Tag Archives: Love

7 years!

My how times flies. When I look at these photos I feel like they were taken FOREVER ago…but it also feel like just a blink.

The photo below was the day he proposed. Hahaha look how young we look! I loved him so much back then but looking back I didn’t know what love really looked and felt like. I remember feeling like this was too good to be true. I was worried something was going to mess it up for us. But it wasn’t…it was true.

The first years of our marriage were rough if we’re being honest. We had some wrinkles to iron out and things to learn but we did it and we came out the other side even more in love! I will always love this man and I can’t wait to look back on today and say, ha! I thought I knew what love was then!

8 Insights into Our Healthy Living

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As a preface to this post I have to say that I do not claim to be a genius on this subject.  Although I’ve been married to a genius who has taught me A LOT the last 7 years I cannot claim to know everything.

However, I do feel strongly that my passion for this subject has led me to greatly broaden my knowledge and driven me to live a certain way. And experience is usually a great educator. So I am going to share my experience and what I’ve learned.

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First, to understand a bit more maybe I can let you in on one of my dreams…..

If I had a billion dollars I would start a non profit company that made healthier ‘processed food’ options. They would be offered at a lower price so that they would be the first choice of all ranges of people. Eventually I would also start a fast food chain that offered homemade healthy choices at a lower price. My goal with these is to get nutrients down the American population who are consuming these products anyway but that are essentially void of nutrition.

You are probably thinking, ‘aren’t there already options out there like that?’ Yes there are but not to extent of what I’m thinking and not for cheap…usually when you go out to a nice healthy place it’s a bit pricier. Right? Because of that a vast majority of Americans choose the unhealthier option. This would help me sleep better at night. Knowing people who have busy lives and have to choose ‘fast’ options are at least getting good nutrients.

OK but for now since I do not have a billion dollars, I want to do what I can to help people make better choices with what we have available to us.

Let me tell you what I believe.

I believe eating healthy IS OF GOD.

I believe that when we strive to do so He will help us just as He helps those striving to follow other laws and commandments.

It’s more than just the Word of Wisdom (if you are not familiar with this LDS commandment it’s a law given to us from God about our bodies and how best to take care of them easily found in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 89). It’s about learning what that means for our day.

Back in 1833 they didn’t have to worry about processed food and diet cokes. If there were these foods I  am certain they would be written in the Word Of Wisdom.

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Refined and processed foods are not really food. Too much sugar is harmful and addictive. You know this. We all know this. But making it a part of who we are is a different more difficult story.

Eating healthy is often termed ‘too expensive’ and left at that but can I suggest some food for thought?! Pun intended.  If you believe in a God who created you and gave you your body as a gift doesn’t it makes sense that He would encourage and help you in your quest to take care of it?! And if you don’t believe in God well then I’d love to have a conversation with you. 😉

I announce that He does. As a person steps forward with faith (and it takes a lot!) to take better care of their body they will receive divine help both temporally and spiritually. I’ve seen it.

Maybe He helps free up some of your day and makes things go a bit smoother. Maybe in way we don’t understand His hand reaches in and supports us.

My little family has been living at the poverty level for almost 7 years. My husband is finishing up his PhD and has started a business on the side. It’s been a crazy several years… one for the books and another story altogether but the point is if you looked at us based on how we ate, things would not match up. More than half our budget goes to food. The Lord has been supporting us somehow to keep up with our ‘expensive’ eating habits.  Because I believe it’s important.

I believe God is on our side.

Some people would look in on our life and finances and say “You could be living middle class if you’d just cut your grocery bill and settle with what food you buy! It’s no big deal!” Well  here’s the truth…to us, we’d rather stay at the poverty level than compromise our health. We know someday we wont be at the poverty level and we’d rather show up at that glorious day shining and healthy as can be!

So what do I mean exactly?! What do we do differently?

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  1. Make real recipes for every meal. Or better than that alter the recipes I do use to make them healthier! Everything offered to us on the grocery store shelves can be homemade and is always better, not only nutritionally but in taste too. There are limits of course to what we can make depending on our circumstances for instance if you live in an apartment like we do you can’t keep cows and make your own milk and cheese products. Someday hopefully. 🙂 For now learn what a roux is make your own cream of chicken soup. Your own broth and more.

img_20160912_17390912. It means grinding my own flour and making my own bread with said freshly ground nutrient rich flour and getting rid of that worthless and probably poisonous white powder ‘they’ try to pass as flour. It’s absolutely nutrition-less and a waste of your money, space in your belly and calories. Did you know that in every way you use white flour you can use whole wheat flour? Your buds get used it quickly and eventually prefer it over the tasteless gluey white stuff.

unnamed3. It means making better choices with the things I do have to buy from the store. I’ll be doing a more comprehensive post on just this topic but for now a few examples are this Jif Natural PB and Barilla Whole Wheat pasta. The ingredient lists are short and you can pronounce everything in them. Take a gander at other pasta’s and PB’s (maybe your own pasta and PB) to see how it compares.

green-sugarcane-field4. It means controlling our sugar intake. The truth is our bodies can’t tell the difference between what sugar we put in it. Honey, table sugar, high fructose corn syrup or fructose etc….our bodies react in the exact same way. Shocked? I was too. So no matter the source…just control it. Sugar is not evil. This is what I try to teach my kids…but too much sugar will start to harm you so let’s just keep it minimal and really enjoy it when we do!

2450e8d600000578-0-image-a-10_14199570912455. Vegetables accompany every meal. It’s HARD teaching kids to appreciate eating healthy but it’s possible. Just like we have to teach them to sleep and use the potty we have to teach them to like and appreciate good food. Ok I can’t say they accompany EVERY meal but pretty dang close!

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These ‘green’ waffles (stuffed with spinach) frequent our mornings covered in homemade whip cream and fresh fruit. Yum!

6. Yes! We use full fat ingredients for heavens sake!!! I’m sure you know they can’t just take out the fat and wa-la! We have a delicious less caloric healthier food…right?! Wrong! They have to fill it back up with un-necessary fillers and usually more sugar. Natural is better. I promise. Fat is not your enemy. Full cream, real butter, natural cheeses and whole milk. All wonderful and healthy.

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7. I’m going to contradict myself here for just a second. It’s for all you diet coke drinkers or whatever diet 0 calorie drink you use. Obviously my first thought would be to just stop drinking these drinks altogether but I have too many friends ‘addicted’ that I know it’s almost impossible or too much to ask. When it comes to sugar it’s always a better choice than ingesting the sugar substitute used in those drinks (or foods). That stuff is not food.  Please just switch to the real stuff. I guarantee if you were taken to the plant or warehouse or wherever it is that they make the stuff and saw what it was and where it came from (who knows?) that you would start to question the sanity of the world. It’s just not food. Do we need to define the word food?!!

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8.  In our world, the consumption of red meat is controlled as well. Fat can become a problem (although I might add emphasis that it’s still not as deadly as sugar and other things found in low fat/no fat ‘foods’) when sausage and bacon and high fat meat cuts are eaten frequently. But at the same time these things can be extremely beneficial and nourishing when needed and eaten sparingly. Yum.

How do I feel these sacrifices/steps have helped my family?

At the risk of sounding boastful I’ll just say that I know my kids do not get sick as often as the average American kid. They are bright, capable and able to understand the effect of food on their tiny bodies. They feel the difference on their own.

As for me and my husband we couldn’t really give you any real comparison because we don’t really know any different. When we do eat white flour on rare occasions and not by choice, our digestive systems freak out for a while which makes us feel icky. It’s noticeable.

I feel blessed to be able to eat the way we do and I feel so strongly about it I am compelled to share it with others.

Have you heard the phrase, ‘If your great grandma wouldn’t recognize it as food then it probably isn’t food’.  Next time you are in the store look past all those bright well designed marketed bags and boxes and try to decide if it could really pass as food. Did it come from the earth? And then what did it’s journey from the earth to your mouth look like? How long was it? What did it come in contact with? Who did it come in contact with? What did it loose in the process? If this journey makes your head hurt or you have to get a pen and paper out chances are it’s not the best choice for food. This goes for simple deceiving ingredients like white flour…it’s journey was long and gruesome and it came out the other end hardly recognized by its fellow wheat berries. You can definitely do better yourself.

This journey is HARD. I know. But again I promise you will receive help. Not only from God but I am here to help as well. Another dream of mine would be to move in with somebody (everybody) who is wanting to change their lifestyle and become their sidekick as they start the process. Show them how to make bread. Go to the store to buy the grinder and show them how to use it. Buy recipe books, make lists and go grocery shopping with them. Watch the satisfaction they have as they realize they can do this and how great it feels. Or we can just text. 😉

Every time we eat is an opportunity to nourish and heal our bodies. We should do our best to not waste those precious opportunities. 

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And just so you have proof that we do eat sugar and white flour though they may be rare occasions here is William enjoying a doughnut.

ps. If you are looking for a fabulous chef who has multiple recipe books, Betty Rosbottom is it. I LOVE her recipes. She actually knows what she is doing and she uses real ingredients (save for the use of white flour – easy switch!). I’m a little obsessed with cook books if you have any you love please share!

Photo credits :  Artist, Amber Locke

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Look Ma! I can float!

I’m amazed every day still  how different my boys are. It’s hard for me to list the many ways but it’s true. One example I’ll give you right here is their independence. Ben has always been very clingy and timid. He doesn’t like to try new things on his own without the help of his parents. He doesn’t like to fail which means he sometimes wont try something new at all. He is kind of a perfectionist. Mind you, he is 4.  But still. He has his mother’s sense of worry and caution (Yes it’s probably my fault).  He is extremely sensitive and loving. He loves to teach and help others in anyway he can.

William is the exact opposite.

Swimming has been an increasingly tough thing for Ben. He will gladly get wet as long as he is allowed to wrap his tiny arms around our necks and not let go. When encouraged to experiment with small movements on his own it’s met with a loud and determined no! Until yesterday.

My amazing husband patiently took his hand and (with his trusty floaty’s on) slowly showed him that he could do it on his own. Inch by inch and little by little he realized thru his fear that he could do it. The trust he felt in his dad and the little amounts of progress he saw in himself are what kept him from having a meltdown and giving up.

And eventually….he did it!!!!

And my timid boy was suddenly changed in a small way. It was so awesome watching him go from squeezing his arms around David’s neck to awkwardly splashing those arms around in the water trying to do what his dad was explaining thru his tears/laughs to swimming half the length of the pool with dad just right infront of him to swimming to entire length of the pool with no one around him in just under an hour.

So much fun. He loved his new found confidence and independence in himself and I found myself more sentimental and emotional than is probably normal. Oh well. I’m proud of him and I wanted him to know it.

David A. Sherwood


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His middle name is Allen…but neither of us really know how to spell it.  Or we forget.  All we know is it’s spelled weird, not like you normally spell Allan(what’s the normal way?).  So I didn’t use it in the title…seems like a place that should contain only correct statements.  Anyway, I’m being too lazy on this beautiful day to get up and find out if it’s Allen, Allan, Alen, or Alan. Forgive me love!!

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We’ve been married now for 5 years.  It’s one of those things that has gone by so fast but at the same time it already feels like a lifetime because of how much more I love him. So many memories have been made and the things that we’ve accomplished and been through together make it seem like 10 years.  For our anniversary we didn’t get to do the extravagant things that we wanted to do and dreamed about but what we did was better.

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When we first started dating(in 2009) we loved to hike (still do) and decided to take my mom and my roommate (also my second cousin) on a hike called rattlesnake trail. At the top it overlooks the entire Cache Valley.  This was the first time my mom met David in fact!  It is a beautiful hike and we’ll always remember it.  The pictures below were taken from that day.  See how fit and thin and tan we were? hehe Well on our 5 year anniversary we decided to finally go back to that place and hike it once again.  We hadn’t been back since.  The pic above is from that day.

Of course I knew when I married him that he was special and that he’d make me happy and be a good dad etc etc.  I knew he would provide a good life for our family and that he’d go far and do amazing things with his life.  This is a man who had the suspicion and drive to start his own rabbit food business whilst starting his PhD (and has made it into a success I might add).  A man who wanted to be completely independent and self-reliant (concepts that I knew little about at the time).  A man who had experienced what true hunger was and to stave off starvation ate only millet everyday.  A man who knew what hard work meant and had a positive outlook on the road ahead.  A man who didn’t need much but wanted to give everything.

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Ya.  Special people!!  I was like, never letting this one go!  Thank goodness he felt the same way about me!!!!

And of course he’s exceeded my expectations by eons and eons in the last 5 years. He is a marvelous dad.  Just so so good.  He GENUINELY wants to be NEAR his kids and spend QUALITY time with them.  He is always thinking about how he can make them smile and things he can do with them to create memories.  He’s wrestling with them on the ground, he’s teaching them sound principles, he’s being a goof ball with them, he’s holding them and snuggling them and kissing them and telling them that he loves them all the time.  He’s praying with them and reading books with them. He’s watching monster truck videos with them.  When he’s not around them he yearns to be with them.

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They love him so much.  There will come a day when they realize just how lucky they are that David Sherwood is their dada.  But for now I know it.  And I know how lucky I am to have him as my companion.  There is no other that I would want to spend my life and eternity with.

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  All I can say is, “You certainly are babe! You certainly are!”

 

The Big 25—whoops I mean 35!

My sexy husband feels old and I’m not sure he was excited to celebrate this time of his life…however I’m convinced that he’s the youngest and hottest looking 35 year old there ever was.  Somehow he seems to get betting looking the older he gets…no fair. IMG_1987   He and I are so blessed to have each other.  I still feel like my life with him is too good to be true.  We’ve had our up and downs, don’t get me wrong…it’s not been 100% bubbles and roses but the point is we’ve gotten stronger and closer because we worked thru it and came out the other end together. I believe there will be more struggles ahead of us still but I wouldn’t want to handle them with anyone else.   He is truly amazing people.  I love him so much. I am addicted to him. IMG_1990 IMG_1991   Here’s to another great year babe!  I’m excited to see where it takes us!

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Last night we got to see Alex Boye in concert.  My mom originally bought the tickets for her and my dad but she fell sick and couldn’t go.  Bummer.  She would have loved it.  We didn’t really know what to expect since I know so little of him but he didn’t disappoint.  He was very interactive with the audience and very funny and obviously the singing and performance wasn’t bad either.  He’s very talented.

I really wanted to record more of it for my poor mom but the first time I got it out and tried I got in trouble with an usher…twice.  Yikes.  Sorry mom.

I would definitely recommend seeing him if he’s in town.  He’s very generous, funny and entertaining.  He told us about his conversion and the trouble it caused him with his family and how he overcame it and chased his dreams…inspiring speech.  Anyway, good times.  I’m grateful that we got a free fun night out at the expense of my sick mom…I’m not grateful for that but you know what I mean.  Love this man of mine too.  SO in love with him.

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Cousins!

Last week Ben’s cousins came to stay for about a week.  Beckham is 3 weeks older than Ben so they had lots of fun!  But he even had fun with his older cousins Logan and Liam!  The day after they left when he woke up in the morning he looked around and said, ‘Liam!’  He misses them for sure.

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The Sunday after they got here we celebrated David’s birthday and of course it was all the more fun with these guys!

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And I just have to throw in a few of these..

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Oh! I can’t handle the cuteness!

The boys had tons of fun with David’s spiffy new racecar.  He even let the boys drive it! (with help of course!)  Their favorite was to walk down to the church parking lot so they could go really fast!

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A night at Mimi’s grill of course!

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Love this boy.  He and I had some time away from the craziness to go shoppin.

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I hope these two are buds for life

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The second exciting thing for the week was the bridal shower for Mericar!  I really did have a lot of fun planning it and being crafty which really isn’t like me (maybe I don’t know me very well!) My mom wont admit it but she helped out a ton.  So did my cousin’s wife Ginny (cute banners!), my aunt Kelly whose beautiful home it was held, my other Aunt Cathy whose drawers I emptied and stole and many other helping hands! Oh and course Pinterest!

I really had never done anything like this before so I feel sorry that Mericar was my guinea pig, there are certainly lots of things I learned but I guess that’s the point right!  It was fun and memorable and I just still can’t believe that my littlest bro is getting hitched.  Weird.

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I already love this girl and I can’t wait to get to know her better (we haven’t had the time!)  She is very lucky to be able to call Brian her husband and if she is who Brian chooses to call his wife then I know she is just spectacular.

Love you Mericar!  Thanks for squealing with joy when you walked into the shower.  You were the only one I aimed to make happy and it made me happy!

 

Is February really almost over?!!

We’ve rediscovered a gem in Logan.  It’s a place that David and I first held hands and held eachother close…dancing.  When we were dating we would go country swing dancing all the time and this place called the Fun Park in Logan had one night a week where they would do it.  Otherwise we would just go with groups of people to random places, church buildings etc.  It was so much fun.  Especially since I didn’t know what I was doing and he did so I could just let him swing me all around…oh he was so strong. Anyway since we’ve been married and had kids and been at school and gotten ‘out of shape; we haven’t done it and we’ve both missed it.

This place, the Fun Park is normally  just a rollar skating rink but it also has tons of arcade games and a huge jungle gym for little tykes to play on so we went there for the kids of course.  Ben had fun climbing all over the place and really wanted to rollar skate…maybe next time.  Anyway it just brought back memories of our early time together.  Someday we’ll make it back there so he can swing me all over the place again.

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The weather has been sooooo nice the past 3 days (today it’s back to yuck) and we’ve definitely taken advantage by going on walks to the park!

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Last night David and I went out as kind of a last minute get out of the house away from the kids thing (thanks parentals!) and of course as it usually does it ends up being about the boys.   We either spend all night talking about them or we do what we did last night! Toy shop!  Found this amazing puzzle type board that Ben just loves!  It teaches all different types of latches…hard to describe.  Anyway and what date would be a date without ice cream!?  I love this man of mine.

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