A Day At The Tracks

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We live pretty close to the very pretty town of Saratoga. In the summer it’s the place to be around here! We saw the NYC Ballet perform at SPAC a few weeks ago, they have the most beautiful state park, a great downtown area and it’s the home of the second oldest raceway in the US. I am not much of a gambler (pretty sure i’ve never even bought a lottery ticket) nor am I really into horse racing. It’s a pretty interesting culture down there in the summer though. Such fancy ladies, in their fancy hats, watching the horses with their tiny binoculars. hahaha! We decided it would be a fun day adventure to bring the kids to watch. Rowan was pretty in to picking her horse, of course based on jockey colors. Pink or purple were always her top picks. They would cheer, cheer, cheer for the horse getting others around us to cheer along with them when they had picked the same horse. Very cute. I ended up winning twice! Heck yeah. $5.40 and $8.75. Ice cream for all!! There was a delay for what seemed like FOOOOREVER and the kids were getting pretty restless. Life saver Rowan has packed her coloring sheets and crayons and it bought us another 20 mins. My friend Heather won a whooping .40 cents off that race (horse 6!), so it was totally worth waiting an hour for it to start. Doh! We can all laugh about it now. All in all it was a very beautiful day, full of lots of fun memories.

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Juice, Juice, Juice!

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Someone may need to send help. I’ve become a crazy juicing addict. Last week after a few failed attempts to juice from our blender with a nut bag. I decided to bite the bullet and order a juicer. Oh man! I was excited waiting for that package to arrive. We ordered a Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed juicer. It was love at first sight that’s for sure. After watching one too many food documentaries on Netflix, I jumped head first into a light juice cleanse these last 6 days since it’s arrived. Because I am training for a half marathon right now though, I didn’t feel comfortable going all juice all day. Instead I’ve been drinking 4 juices during the day and then having a hearty (but healthy and vegan) meal at dinner. Usually quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado and lots of veggies. I honestly have never felt better. It really made me feel so energized and goodness those juices are so tasty! I’ve found a ton of recipes online but also really like the “Reboot With Joe” by Joe Cross book. It has tons of good info about how to start juicing, recipes and information if you are thinking about doing a juice cleanse. Before I started I wondered “whats better, smoothies or juice?” I think the answer is both. Smoothies keep the whole fruit or veggie (so lots of good fiber) but they are so filing because of that. With juice you get a more concentrated amount of nutrients for the same amount of liquid as a smoothie. I also like that my juices lean more on the vegetable side with some fruit thrown in, where my smoothies always have more fruit in with some greens thrown in. Both are great. Just different.

The girls have been loving it too. Carrot, apple, ginger is a house favorite. I can not give Finley enough. She sucks it right back. We are heading out for the weekend and with a ton of produce still in the house and a family to feed on the road, I made 8 juices (4 kinds, 2 of each) to pack in the cooler and take with us. Here is what I made tonight…

1. Beets, Carrots, Apples, Ginger
2. Spinach, Swiss Chard, Apples, Oranges, Celery
3. Sweet Potato, Bell Pepper, Orange, Pineapple, Ginger, Lemon
4. Celery, Cucumber, Pears, Kale, Parsley,

It’s great that it’s summer and I can pick up almost all our produce at the farmers market. Come late fall I am going to a very sad girl. Stupid Northeast.

Do you have a juicer? What are your favorite juices to make??

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The Clark Art Museum

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Hands down my favorite thing about blogging will always be the friends made. Some I don’t get to see very often (or at all, boo!), but a few very special ones have ended up living near by. The first time I met Don and Rachel, I was on a long run (like at mile 18, ha!). I was sweaty, out of breath and probably looked crazy. I ran right by them on the street and we totally recognized each other from having emailed back and forth a few times. I loved that moment. It made the world seem so small. We ended up becoming very close with the Naylor’s. Addy and Rowan’s birthdays are only a few weeks from each others. We’ve bonded over so many common interests. One being our love of art! This past weekend we decided on a little family date and headed to the newly redesigned Clark Museum. The girls got sketch pads and pencils to use as we walked through the museum. They also had these flash cards of actual paintings in the museum so the girls could go on a scavenger hunt. Let it be known that we had our first “Soooo excited to find the paining, running at it with 2 small hands, full on touching the painting with 2 guards and 2 parents all yelling “Noooooo” experience”. Whew! At least it’s out of the way right? I felt bad. Rowan is a sensitive little girl and it very much embarrassed her and scared the crap out of her. Poor girl. Don’t think she will be touching any paintings again any time soon.

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paintings

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museum

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Clean Eats | Raw Pad Thai

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We’ve still been eating pretty clean/whole foods only in our house. It’s more just our way of life now a days. Which is what I wanted anyway. I really don’t love fad diets, I’m much more a supporter of healthy food choices that last a life time. I was watching a food documentary the other day and the guy said something along the lines of “instead of thinking ‘I can’t have it’, we should be thinking ‘I can have it, but I don’t want it.'” It’s so simple but so true. I feel like when we try to diet, it’s so hard to stick with the mentality of deprivation. We get stuck on all the things we can’t have. That sucks and it will never last. Becoming more informed about my food choices and what each food I eat is doing to my body, has made it so much easier and rewarding to make healthy choices. I can see things like processed food and think “I can eat that if I want, but really I don’t want to”. Knowledge is power! School House Rock really knew what they were talking about. It’s been fun actually to find recipes to make sweets and bake goods that use better, whole ingredients. I made a chocolate pudding the other night from Sidesaddle Kitchen and oh man, it was good.

My other go to lady is Angela from Oh She Glows. If you are looking for a killer cookbook. HER’S.IS.IT!! Her blog is just as amazing. Her Rad Rainbow Raw Pad Thai is one of my favorites. I am telling you it is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I decided I had to share with you guys. I’ve had a julienne peeler for a few years now and have never known what it was. My mom had given it to me in my stocking and I thought it was just a crappy peeler because it never worked when I tried to use it on say, an apple. hahahaha. Doh! Then one day it clicked.

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Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini, julienned or spiraled
2 large carrots, julienned
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Ingredients for dressing:
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup raw almond butter (or try peanut butter)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons water
2.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Directions:
1. Cut up all vegetables. Add the zucchini, carrots, pepper, and cabbage into large bowl. Toss to combine.
2. Prepare the dressing. I just add all ingredients to a tupperware. Cover with a lid and shake. You could always use a food processor. Dressing does thicken as it sits.
3. Top bowls with non-gmo edamame, green onion, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds. Pour on dressing and enjoy! Hemp seeds are my jam. I love them so much.

*Recipe from Oh She Glows

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And We Wait…

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Our foster care class ended the day before we left for FL. All our visits were done, fingerprints taken and the piles of paperwork finished. We flew out the next day and I was emotionally ready. Ready to start the foster care journey as soon as we got back. It all felt like the right timing. Class end, family time happened and we came back refreshed and ready for our placement. Well, here we are almost 5 weeks after we’ve gotten back from FL and no word yet from our case worker. I know families who adopt (especially internationally) wait such long times and I am in no way saying I have waited a long time because I haven’t. But. I am realizing rather quickly that nothing in this process really goes according to your plans. It’s a system that needs families to rise up and help. Yet is so understaffed and busy trying to find homes for the children that need to be placed right now, they can’t find the time to finish certifying the new families. It feels like we are in this weird limbo stage. When we were in our weekly class it felt real, like we were working towards something. Now we just sit, and wait, and wonder when that phone call will come. I have to actively be in prayer over all of it because the waiting let’s the fear creep in. The questions build up with all the what ifs that could happen. So many scenarios, so many children, so many opportunities to help these families. But it can feel scary and overwhelming to me at night when I am alone with my thoughts. I know with out a doubt this is what we are supposed to be doing, but this stage of unknowns is very hard. If you can remember back to my Hillsong post last year. I wrote how going to that concert really changed a lot for me. And since than, the Zion cd has been one of my favorites. Especially the acoustic version! I’ve heard a lot of worship songs in my life and have really been moved by many of them but honestly, I can not even begin to express the power the song Oceans has on me. It literally makes me weep. The words. Oh the words. They just run deep into my soul. My most favorite lines are…

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

I feel like I am living this song right now and it’s scary and wonderful and oh so beautiful. But oh man, it’s a leap of faith.

Our dear sweet friends had their adoption finalization court date last thursday. It was just the sweetest day to celebrate. We were honored to be in the court room with them as their son was declared theirs forever. Sitting there in the back row listening to the judge, it was hard not to picture ourselves down the line. Of course with foster care we want the families to succeed first so it is different. However, if that isn’t the case, I know one day we will find ourselves in that same situation. My heart was filled with so much emotion watching Danielle and Caleb love on Abram that day. We will love each and every child that comes into our lives like they will be with us forever, but I know I have to keep praying and trusting that if/when a child goes home that it really is the best for them. It will be an honor for me to be their mama for however long they are with us.

Untitled^^ at the court house

Untitled^^ The kiddos celebrating at lunch (minus Story)

* Side note: Rowan still trying to understand all of it asks “are we going to take care of their baby?” every time one of our friends give birth (and there actually has been a few births lately). Every time I have to explain that no, it’s not this baby but it will be another baby hopefully very soon.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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