Flying + Flu = The Life of the Wood’s

I just wanted to let all of my three subscribed bloggers that I am still alive and kicking (kinda)! The past three weeks have been filled to the max with preparing to go on a week long vacation to Madison for Jason’s work (I got the vacation, not Jason), a wedding, another wedding, and my job that still feels very new. We arrived home safely Sunday evening, but we both came home feeling miserable. I caught a head cold last week while enjoying the BEAUTIFUL Autumn weather of Madison and then promptly passed it on to my husband three days later.

At least he was able to fully enjoy his best friend’s wedding.

I fully enjoyed it too, but had to have a 2 glasses of wine to completely forget about how miserable I felt.

I’m sure that some of the reason to why we both ended up sick was because we threw caution to the wind and didn’t eat according to our diet (see below post). It was all worth it though!

Our time in Madison was wonderful! J got to see so many of his former work friends throughout the week and I got to spend some much needed alone time walking the downtown streets of Madison and people-watching at various coffee shops on State Street. We were able to have dinner on Wednesday night with Jennie and Dave (two of J’s favorite people) before their beautiful wedding. I love this couple! They are funny, smart, and so genuine. I’m pretty honored that I can call them my friends now! We also were able to spend some quality time with another one of J’s favorite people, Nate. He was a blast to be around. He gave me a tour of Epic (the company they work for/with) and opened his house to us over the weekend. He also introduced us to a very cool diner next to Camp Randall.

We also were blessed to have J’s parents come for a quick visit on Friday. We had lunch with them at Panera then toured the state capital with them. Thanks so much Robin and Dale for making the 6+ hour round trip to see us for maybe 3 hours! We love you!

The weekend of the wedding was wonderful! The weather held out and didn’t really rain (kind of spat a little). I was introduced to a whole new group of J’s old friends from Chicago. This group is hilarious! I definitely felt included and loved by the end of the weekend. I tend to be a little skittish around new people and so I act all awkward and quiet, but they were able to draw me out. That meant the world to me. So thanks guys (you will probably never read this…)!

We were happy to come home, but also very sad to leave our beloved Midwest (especially me). Nora was waiting with a wagging tail and an overpowering jump for us at the Bess’ so that made our day! She is getting huge! I will have to dedicate a post to her soon.

We’re adjusting back into a schedule again BUT WAIT! I am flying back to Milwaukee in 2 days! My close friend from college is getting married on Saturday and I could NOT miss this wedding. I will get to see so many of my college buddies and my sister! This will be so good, but so quick! I’ve definitely been missing my beloved friends (another post on that later). Friendships are the best, especially the ones I have with these ladies because we have been through so much together and have stayed friends through many many seasons.

Well, that was life in a nutshell the last few weeks! Here are a few pictures to fill in the gaps!

My Primal Lifestyle

Now I know that many of my friends who read this title are wondering what in the world am I talking about! Let me give you some back story into this new eating and living lifestyle I’ve adopted over the past 6 months. When Jason moved to Tucson a year ago, he was on the look out for a new gym to join. He had heard good things about the Crossfit workout style back in Cedar Falls from some friends and was interested in trying something new to help him lose weight for our wedding. He joined Wildcat Crossfit and began learning how to do their exercises and how to incorporate their diet into his life. It was this move that changed our eating habits forever! Crossfit gyms subscribe to a diet of meat, vegetables, and fruit. Or pretty much no grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar etc. The diet is termed Paleo. We  have incorporated dairy into our diet because we love milk and cheese (Jason is from Wisconsin!). Because we eat dairy, our “diet” is coined Primal eating. The idea of this diet is to eat real food that is high in protein and fat so that our bodies utilize the best energy resources for every day living. It also takes into consideration the idea that people ate from the ground and from their animals to survive during the Paleolithic time period. I was skeptical when Jason started eating this way because I LOVED grains. I would eat bagels at Panera every day, sometimes twice a day. I ate sandwiches and pasta for lunch or dinner. I loved tortillas and pretty much everything grains. BUT I often had headaches, stomach issues and was tired a lot.  I thought that this was just a part of me getting older because I saw it happen to my mom as well as she got older. While Jason was living in Tucson and I was still in Cedar Falls, I tried going a few days without my Panera fixes and ended up feeling even more miserable, so I thought he was just crazy (even though he was losing weight faster than he had in a long time)!

After we married and I moved to Tucson, Jason made it his goal to turn me into a Primal eater because he was convinced that my stomach issues and headaches were connected to my love for grains. I began to believe there was a connection too, but I didn’t want to change my lifestyle (I’m a very stubborn woman). Slowly I began to eat less grains, mainly because there was no Panera in Tucson (God thing!) and Jason wouldn’t buy bread or rice often. I began to notice that on days I ate more meat and vegetables I felt better and didn’t have miserable stomach pain in the evening that would make us leave friends’ houses early or leave me belching all evening (sorry if that was too much!). So I became convinced that this was a diet that I wanted to incorporate into my lifestyle, even though I knew it would be hard and I didn’t think I would be able to eat cookies or banana bread anymore. BUT then we found a great blog that has tons of awesome Paleo/Primal recipes on it that had…you guessed it…grain-free chocolate chip cookies and banana bread AND pumpkin bread! July started my 30 day Primal challenge and for 30 days we ate completely primal (all but on Friday date nights). And my result was that I stopped having my late night stomach issues, my headaches all but disappeared and I had more energy to workout and keep our house in order AND have fun with my husband! I lost about 5 pounds and gained more muscle through doing the crossfit workouts on Wildcat’s website. I have become a believer! 🙂

Currently, we slipped up a little bit with our eating habits since we got back from Jason’s brother’s wedding a few weeks ago, but on Monday we are starting the 30 day Primal challenge with Mark’s Daily Apple‘s blog. I’m excited to do it again and I know that this time I don’t want to make excuses for travel or being at a place where there’s nothing but grain food. I was able to do it in July, so I know that I can make this a continual habit and I want to feel better! Email me or message me if you want more information about what we are doing. I will be blogging along the way about recipes and new finds with paleo living (soon I will post my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!)

At the beginning of my post I said eating and living lifestyle. We have begun to make changes in our day to day life so that we can live a little more naturally. We have moved from two vehicles to just one (I walk to work), we practice natural birth control methods to keep extra hormones out of my system, and I’m looking into studying to become a doula for new mommas. Now I know that this isn’t for everyone and it may only be a season for us, but it has been a fun time of exploring the why’s of how we live our life. I’ve begun reading a book called Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. In it she writes:

“While I was single and in my mid-twenties, I traveled internationally and saw the way many other cultures lived. I was inspired by what I experienced, but I still didn’t know what I was made for. I knew I wanted to run a home that was full of kids, a husband, and love. But I felt like I didn’t know how to manage a home, a most basic life skill. My problem was, I didn’t quite know what that house full of love and family should look like. I enjoyed my childhood, so it wasn’t as if I wanted a 180 for my own kids. But I wanted more…intentionality in my life. More conviction. More certainty about the why behind the decisions I made as a home manager. I didn’t want life to happen to me; I wanted to happen to life.”

The last few sentences have been in my thoughts a lot lately. As Jason and I start our life together we have an opportunity to think about the why’s of our actions and decisions. We can make decisions on how busy we are as a family, whether we put our kids in public school, charter schools, or home school; whether we have home births or hospital births; how we discipline our future children in a way that they understand God; how we interact with each other and our neighbors in a way that is intentional and full of grace. I know we don’t have to have all of the answers now, but I do want to happen to life rather than let life happen to me.

I named this post my primal lifestyle, not just because of the new diet I am on, but also because the word primal makes me think of going back to the beginning and to what is important in life. What is prime for me? What is prime for you?

Hello Blog world!

Since I married the love of my life and moved across the country a little over 8 months ago, I have become an avid blogger! I’ve learned so much about life, love, marriage, homemaking, and everything in between through reading and learning from amazing, godly women who strive to glorify God in their every day life of being a wife and mom.

I’ve contemplated about starting a blog for months and decided that I need to just take the plunge and see what happens. This blog will mainly be about the goings-ons of life with my new hubby and our puppy, but I’m betting that there will be posts every so often that delve into the ponderings of my heart. Here I hope to challenge, encourage, and uplift souls to strive to live a life filled with Truth and Grace.

This Labor Day was a full day! Jason and I woke up EARLY to run in a Labor Day Race at the BEAUTIFUL Saguaro National Park. We logged 8 miles and sure have felt it all day! I was so proud of Jason since he hates running and hasn’t run that distance in ages! After our race, we got cleaned up and headed to Wilcox to cash in a groupon at a local vineyard. We had a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting and sitting in cooler weather! We had some friends watch Nora while we were away and just returned from taking them out to dinner. It has been a full, but wonderful day of friends, food, and the beautiful outdoors! I hope that you all (whoever reads this) had a great Labor Day!

Here are a few pictures from our day!