Monday, August 14, 2017

The Starting Line

Image result for starting line

I feel like I have just found myself again.

My pace and cadence.

Living intentionally.

Summer has few requirements and allows space for me to live for me. Something I have to hold onto when school is in session for my 3 children.

The start of school is a race.

The starting line is in my sight.

I have pre race jitters.

Pre race events start happening.

The emails start.

Deep Breath!

Orientation cuts into vacation EVERY TIME. Like WEEKS into summer. Does no one want to be on vacation? Please, can't they do all this stuff on the first few days of school?

"Mom, can we go shopping for school supplies?"  "NO - well, okay, maybe, but we have like 10 glue sticks already and half the items on the list at home." "What's wrong with the backpack you had last year?"

Deep Breath!

It's all a warm up for race day! Which really is like a few weeks long. The start of a new school year.

Athletic physicals and uniforms, forms, syllabus to be signed and the emails. Lord have mercy. 3 kids means 21 teachers. TWENTY ONE!. No, I didn't look at your nice website and know that there is a test coming up or that you asked for donations.

Deep Breath!

Wake up early for prayer, meditation, centering.

Oh, don't forget the alarm clock. What time is the bus picking up....OUCH. What happened to the time freedom I worked hard for by working for myself? Buh Bye time freedom, you're a mom!

With school comes the AFTER school driving marathon. Shuffling kids into different place at the same time in different locations - I'm a gold medalist in this event.

Deep Breath!

Summer I miss you already!

Image result for there is more to life than increasing its speed

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

You got to work hard constantly to be successful

We all create stories in our heads.
Untruths that block us.
Stories that bubble wrap our fear and protect us from it.
Some are 5 seconds long.
Other stories we have been writing and editing for years.

One of my long stories is that I need to struggle, exert great effort, be busy, etc. to be successful.

During meditation one morning, my minds eye envisioned a fish caught on a  line with a hook in it's mouth. It was thrashing, twisting, pulling, fighting. The harder it fought and resisted the line and hook, the more worn out it was and the the firmer the hook got set.

Somewhere along the way I adopted the story that to gain success, I had to struggle and work hard constantly. My efforts alone, even if completely in the wrong vein, would propel me and deem me worthy in society's eyes. Successful! WORK HARD, I heard.

Something I missed was the beautiful life around me. The living water flowing (to keep up the fish analogy.)  Filling my gills with life. Once I relax, the waters settle and I see clearly that all the things I wanted are here in my life. Be still and enjoy, eventually the hook will dissolve.

Friday, December 2, 2016

What are you saying YES to today?

It’s as easy as that. With each choice. Each and every choice you are saying yes to something. Each and Everytime. Will it be to be on time by getting out of bed on time or hitting that snooze….or oops you turned the whole damn alarm clock off and said yes to sleep. Precious sleep - I miss you. Yes Sleep. Yes rush to get the kids on the bus.

Exercise = Yes Health
Cookies = Yes Fat
Smile = Yes Happiness
Work = Yes Money
Avoid = Yes Isolation

Yesterday I said yes to health and fat all on the same day. Exercise and cookie dough. So YES to no progress.  I said yes to being clean, I took a shower. Yes to learning. Yes to connection with my husband, not just sex, I know what your thinking. Your thinking, does she mean sex?. Yes and No do I mean sex. Yes to love. I said yes to regret, did I mention those cookies. Yes to being a supermom, amazing cookies. Yes to responsibility - Quickbooks and I had a few hours together yesterday. Yes to friendship. Yes to God. Yes to vulnerability which lead to tears in front of someone else - yes growth. Yes understanding, why do you believe in that friend when I see it SOOO differently but I love you more than being right. Yes to gum disease, I didn’t floss. Yes.  

What do you want your day, your life, your legacy to look like. It all starts with a YES.

This perspective was inspired by Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

Monday, November 14, 2016

My year of not drinking

I was first aware of mom’s drinking when I was about 10-11 years old.  My parents fighting.  Brother being upset. Mom went to inpatient rehab. She was my girl scout leader. I was the only one in my girl scout troop who didn’t have divorced parents. It wasn’t long after that when my parents announced their divorce.  I was 12.

I was teenager alternating between 2 houses every 2 weeks. She a was  loving nice mom. She liked to cook, take me shopping and I knew she was proud of me.  She led my Girl Scout troop, took me on trips, instilled in me a love of gardening and rivers.  She taught me some basics of sewing and cooking.  Mom shared her makeup, hot rollers and clothes with me.

Alcohol ruled her life. When at my mom’s house, I felt like I could do anything I wanted.  I didn’t have much respect for her as a parent. If not daily, she was drunk weekly. Words slurred. Stoned cold passed out. Sometimes I would check for signs of life.  Trying to see her chest rise and fall with her breath.  Cocktails of gin hidden in cabinets, bathrooms, closets. Forgotten and lost with mold growing in them.

It led to me screaming the “F” word at her when I was in the 6th grade the time she was an hour late picking me up from kickball practice and driving me home on Mopac, the 55 mph highway, 40 mph in the shoulder. “What the F U C K  is wrong with you!” - she was wasted.  

The time I slapped her across the face like in the movies, a quick reflex reaction to her slapping me.  My high school principal and teachers asking me if I was okay and needed anything when she showed up drunk to watch me perform in the school play.   

I graduated, went to college and never lived with her again. She developed alcoholic onset diabetes, pancreatitis, recovered and a few years later died of lung cancer at 56.  Depressed, unemployed living off alimony in a sketchy neighborhood in a rental house she got in the divorce.

I remember tasting beer with adults as a child.  In junior high at a friends house, we took some alcohol from her parents liquor cabinet. I started drinking in high school with the other kids.  It was normal and what everyone was doing on the weekends.  I got drunk. Ended up in situations with boys I would not of been in sober. My parents never talked to me about me drinking or called me out on mine. I wonder if they ever noticed. I went to Al-Anon.

College life continued the weekend drinking. It served as entertainment. Something to do like going to a movie or playing soccer.  Drinking was an activity I would do with others. One day in my apartment after college, I decided to drink alone at home.  Like buy it at the store, keep it at home and drink alone. I remember talking to myself and knowing that it was not a good idea.   I justified.  Wine and beer aren’t gin or liquor.

My husband doesn’t drink. I have praised God for this for years.  He is my perfect husband. He did drink. Oh, he has some high school and college stories. We drank some on dates, at our wedding and honeymoon, but never at home, just him and I.  It was never OUR entertainment or escape. But, it was mine.

I became a mom at 28. One, two, three daughters by 34.  Around 4:00 pm daily the “mama, mama, mama” nagging and my patience would hit a wall and I would pour a glass of calm relaxation as I cooked dinner. Guilt. Justification. Guilt. And on and on I would dance in my head.  Frequently one glass turned to 2 or 3 and I would fall asleep reading to my kids in their beds. Unavailable physically, emotionally or spiritually to my husband.  Day in and day out for 10 years.

I would ask friends if they drink and with a resounding “yes” they would reply. “Oh girl, how do you think I survive.” or “Can’t wait for my margarita”. So, I thought, I must be okay, I am like them. It’s normal. I always wondered what normal drinking looked like. I just keep wine and beer at home. So, I am not an alcoholic… my liquor loving mom.  I am not an alcoholic……...I don’t drink in the day and pass out stone cold. I am not an alcoholic…….I have a job.  I am not an alcoholic…...I am positive and happy.   

I would make deals with myself to not drink at all. I would pray to God to remove the desire and cravings. I made a plan to only drink when out and not keep alcohol at home. I would drink when I was bored and wasn’t communicating in my marriage. I would drink to change my brain and entertain myself. Avoid discomfort. Slowly, vodka and pre-made margaritas made their appearance in my home. Just like mom showed me, I would hide it. In the pantry and freezer. My self-talk included that I never wanted my husband to acknowledge my drinking as a problem and ask me to stop. It won’ t go THAT far and be THAT bad. Shame. Guilt. Shame. Guilt.

“Normal” drinking continued. Drinks with friends. Cold beer on weekends. Wine while cooking. Oops, I drank the entire bottle - Shame. Guilt. Shame. Guilt. Please, Lord, take this from me.

The last time I drank it was December 31, 2015 and I was 43.  It was “normal” drinking with friends at a backyard New Years Eve party. Not drunk, not hungover. God opened my eyes and changed my heart that night. It was the first time He started showing me other people’s “normal” drinking as it really is.  My husband drove a family home that night. The man could barely stand up or walk. His wife, my friend was happily wasted. In the back seat their son and daughter were experiencing, expressing and verbalizing the embarrassment, shame and anger I did my entire childhood.  I don’t EVER want my kids to see or experience that because of me. Not once in my life have I witnessed a positive outcome from drinking alcohol.

The next day, as planned, I started the January 2nd Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living/Clean Eating Challenge which avoids alcohol among other things. I had done and even led this program 3-4 other times without drinking. With fresh eyes and a renewed mind, I decided to take a year off of alcohol.  I don’t ever want to crave anything more than I crave God, my children and husband. Again and again the Lord has positioned me to witness how drinking affects people. In times when I am tempted or in situations where use to drink, He shows what it does.

I wrote that about 7 months in. Today I am 11 months sober and free of guilt and shame and ready to share this tiny bit of my story.   Today I heard a mentor/friend at church say that “avoidance is the exchange for strength”. Today I choose strength.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

You Won't Know it's Vegan Chili

Eat like a Vegan - Tastes like a Carnivore

I don't consider myself a vegan. I did however get inspired by some leaders on my Arbonne team 

(who are vegan) after rooming with them for 4 nights in Las Vegas during our conference. 

That inspiration led to crockpot PROTEIN CHILI

Here is what you will need:
1 medium yellow or white onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
3-5 cloves of garlic mashed into worms thru one of those Pampered Chef tools.
Water or vegetable broth for sauteing 
4 scoops Arbonne Protein Boost (10 grams of protein per scoop, you can add more) 
1 Can diced or crushed tomatoes (Organic)
1 Can drained and rinsed red kidney beans
2 C Lentils. I used the sprouted lentil trio from Costco.
4 Cups Water
Daiya Cheese Shreds optional

Chili Seasoning: You can buy a gluten free version at the store, or mix this together.  

  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp (approximately) freshly ground pepper
  • *Adapted from
Before the protein boost is added
My Costco find

 1. Saute the onion, pepper and garlic until soft.  Don't over do it as they will cook more in the crock pot.

2. Load crockpot with Lentils, water, spices, tomatoes and beans

3. Add 4+ scoops of the protein boost powder. Don't worry, you can't taste it.  

Four scoops = 40 grams of vegan protein

 I was worried it was going to be milky and weird.

Look how amazing this turned out.  It's on repeat in the Hallberg home.  
I topped with Daiya cheese shreds 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Blackened Fish or Vegan Tacos

You are going to love these tacos.  

2 tilapia filets or some other yummy fish, wild caught preferred
1.5 t paprika
1 t oregano
3/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cumin
1/4 crushed red pepper
cabbage slaw
almond flour tortillas

 I mixed the spices together and used a pie dish to dust all the fish.  
What is that yellow fish you ask?  It is my vegan version using yellow summer squash. 
Next I sauteed them in avocado oil until cooked.  
I used a few filets and the squash so I doubled the spice recipe. 

I served on an almond flour tortilla with a cabbage kale slaw (premixed from the store), 
some cilantro and lime.  I forgot my avocado. So sad.  

The vegan version was amazing.  Zucchini or Portabella would make a great taco too.

Eat like this during the Arbonne 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge with me.  There are even MORE great recipes included each week. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I would if I could, but I can't so I won't

Amplify:  make stronger, greater, larger. To expand, increase.

Today in Austin, TX, the entire community rallies to amplify the nonprofit charities that serve our community. #amplifyatx  Go ahead, look it up.  It's an organized day of increase. In 2 Corinthians 2:9-10 Paul said "multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness". Today Austin aims to  increase the good and righteous causes that bless others. 
A 24 hour period to give our fruits. 

Some people say, I would (fill in the blank) if I could, but I can't so I won't. I would GIVE, SERVE, VOLUNTEER.......but I can't so I won't.  I beg you to ask yourself what CAN you do? When pondering this myself it came to me that I CAN donate 20% of my Arbonne sales for a day to the Godly causes of YOUR choice for a day.  I CAN amplify and increase the good with my business.  Today, your purchase of products you already use (shampoo, face wash, protein powder, etc) will make our world stronger.  

How to Amplify with Arbonne: Go to MY WEBSITE and purchase products you will love today, March 8-9th at 6pm .  
I will email a confirmation to you and get the name of the nonprofit you'd like me to donate to on your behalf.  Any nonprofit, anywhere.