Cornerstone

How’s it going?

This is a pretty normal question that lots of people ask me on a regular basis.  My answer is usually, “things are going pretty good, it’s been a nice summer…”

However, if I’m in a moment where I’m thinking about the baby we lost, I might say something more like, “Things are getting better.”  Sometimes I forget who I’m talking to, and if they knew or not.

Then I remember that not everyone reads my blog or knows what happened.

It’s strange to experience such a great loss, and realize that the whole world didn’t stop.

After the loss, we went to church a few days later on a Saturday night.  It happened to be celebration weekend at our church.  We were celebrating everything God had done and was doing for our church.  Lots of people were really happy.  There was an air of joy in the building.

I didn’t feel like I belonged there.

I wanted to leave and not ruin the party.

I didn’t feel like celebrating anything.

But I felt something in me tell me to stay, and decided that it was okay if I was sad and everyone else was happy.  It was still my church, and these people loved me weather I was smiling or not.  I was safe here.

During worship, we sang the song, Cornerstone by Hillsong.

Here are some of the words:

Christ alone, cornerstone
Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord, Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

My husband sat on my left and held my hand, and my dear friend sat on my right and held my other hand as I sat and cried/ attempted to sing.

“This is the hardest part” she said.

She would know.  She’s had three miscarriages.

She knows my pain.  She’s cried these tears.

She held my hand as I sang all the words as full as I could with a lump in my throat.

My eyes were blurry with tears, knowing the words were true.

She was right.  This was the hardest part.  Believing that Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all.

But I was choosing to believe it.  Right there, right then.  In that very difficult moment.  I knew God had not abandoned me, and his love for me pierced something deep in my heart.

After a while, I felt God speak to me.  He said, “the angels are singing over your baby.”

I started crying, sobbing.

My baby was safe.  My baby was with Jesus.

I tried to sing again, and asked if maybe the baby could hear my voice too.  I sang as best I could, crying and cracking and singing, imagining that my baby could hear his or her Mama’s voice praising God among the angels.  I sang the words over my baby,

Then He shall come with trumpets sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless, stand before the throne

I will not sit in sorrow, refusing to believe what is good about God.  I will not let my sadness drag me into a place of misery, believing lies that God doesn’t care.  I will choose to take God at his word.  He’s been there for me before, he will be here with me now, he will never leave or forsake me.  Not ever.

I am His.

My Favorite Smoothie/Shake-ish of ALL TIME.

That is a tall order.

I drink this smoothie almost every single day.

It’s that good.

Now that I’ve talked it up, probably WAY to much, here’s the recipe with photos:

The Harry Belafonte 

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1 1/2 cups milk (I use TJ’s Almond Beverage, Original)

1 to 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coco powder

1 to 2 handfuls of frozen* spinach (depending on your spinach mood)

1 to 1 1/2 frozen chopped spotted to brown bananas**

I have since then removed the vanilla

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Put everything into your blender in that order, and then blend.  You’re all set for a great way to start out your day.  Or if it’s evening and you’re craving a milkshake, leave out the spinach, and add in a little extra chocolate.  It’s a pretty decent substitute to a thousand calorie shake.  Now listen to this song… 

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*Spinach doesn’t have to be frozen, it just keeps MUCH longer that way, so I always keep a few bags in my freezer.

**I buy around 36 bananas at a time, let them brown, then chop and freeze them all in ziplock bags.  Then I’m set for a few weeks.  If you keep the bag thin enough, you can break off banana chunk sections and toss into your smoothie, guessing on the amount.  So far this is the easiest way of freezing, storing and using frozen bananas. Be prepared for the checker to make a joke about how many bananas you are buying.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

Bora Bora

What up y’all?

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Obligatory beach vacation photo.

I am fully embracing summer.  It’s like 100 million degrees here in sunny California, and I’ve decided to just go with it.  Should you come by my house at any unexpected moment, you might just find me in our pool, near our pool or making dinner while the kids are in the pool with Davin.  Bora Bora has taught me something, and that is: I take myself way too seriously, and I just need to chill.

Is the sun out?  Yes.

Am I at home with kids all day?  Yes.

Should I take my naps outside in the pool (while my kids are napping) and get a tan without feeling guilty that part of my everyday summer parenting experience includes me lounging in the pool every day for a half an hour to sleep and tan?  Yes I should.

I have brought Bora Bora home.  Also, my laptop might overheat because I am currently typing outside by the pool.  In fact, it just got sprayed by the pool cleaner thing.  Whateve’s I don’t even care it’s all good.

Here is my very best 4th Grade State Report summary of Bora Bora.  If that didn’t just get you way excited, I don’t know what could.  Also, I feel like when people take vacations, and don’t give me a play-by-play, I am deprived.  I want photos and stories.  I want to hear it all because I am vicariously enjoying your vacation.  Yes I am.  So, when you come home from Disneyland, Europe, Alaska, Weed… wherever, I want to hear ALL about it, because it’s fun.

BORA BORA!!!  Let’s go together through pictures!

Bora Bora is amazing.  And it takes like almost a full day to get there from the West Coast – but that matters not once you are there.  It actually felt short to us, but that is because we are parents of young children, and for me, the trip literally started the moment we walked through the airport doors.  I looked around and smiled, and then slipped into cruise control. Which actually looked more like me just staring and smiling and looking at everything.  A few times Davin had to say, “Are you okay? You’re so distracted.”  I was like, “Huh, what?  I actually get to look around someplace and just watch people… this never happens.  No one NEEDS anything from me.”  That in itself was amazing.  Visiting the airport.  Also, if your ever in the International Airport in LAX, hit up Ink Sack it’s delicious, then grab some wine in the wine bar next door, they will let you bring your samiches’ over.

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This photo says, “I have no children under my direct care right now.”
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Best airport food to date.
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Date night at the airport

Back to Bora Bora.  Here’s an ariel view, that is not pretend.  This is real life.  You get here after leaving LA, landing on Papeete, then taking a small (see: exciting turbulence) to this island.  If you sit on the left side of the plane, you are treated with a view similar to this.

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Photo Credit: http://tengasepresente.blogspot.com/2012/03/bora-bora.html

Then you get a boat ride all the way around the main island to your resort.  So for us it was Airplane ride #1,2,3 and Boat ride #1.  22 hours of travel = that was nothin’.  When we arrived, they played us a song on a ukulele, blew a conch and gave us leis and coconuts to drink from. It was like lifestyles of the Rich and Famous all up in here.

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The song was called, “I’ve had no sleep and I don’t even care!”
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Free breakfast the first day? YES please!
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This was only my first plate. There were also crepes and other delights. That is fresh swordfish. Mmmmmmm.

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The water is a million different shades of blue and turquoise.  Every time the sky changes, the water does as well.  It’s like a constantly shifting piece of art.  There are also no bugs or animals that will kill you on the island.  I saw that as a natural plus.

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Sunrise in Bora Bora
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Waking up in Bora Bora

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I am partially convinced it was like a sneaky visit to heaven, like a preview of what it’s going to be like.  We were told it was once a volcano that collapsed on itself and made this amazing motu/reef surrounding it which makes the water almost lake like some days.

The air.  I have to talk about it, because it was amazing.

On our resort’s island, the air was a perfect mix of warm and humid but not too sticky.  The main island occasionally lacks the breeze, but out on the ocean we stayed nice and cool.

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Side view of our hut.

Once we realized there were no bugs, we slept all night with our windows and slider open.

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Romance in Bora Bora
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Drinks! We made our own most of the time.  Drink recipe below ~  you’re welcome.

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Behind our island is the Corral Gardens.  It’s one of the better spots for snorkeling with fish in Bora Bora.

Davin and I did a 4×4 tour one day, which happened to be private, only because no one else had booked it.  I totally recommend it, as we were able to see the whole island and get a lot of history in about three hours.  It was like serious Indiana Jone’s style though.  In ten days, Hawaii gets as many visitors as Bora Bora does in a year.  It’s a great place to be if you want to run into like 5 people and that’s it.

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Roadside coconut stand. Delish.
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Indy!
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View from the main island.
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These trees are so fun.

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And we went to a luau…

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Super fun luau. They all seemed like family and friends, and would laugh at each other while they performed, and make jokes.
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To quote the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, “Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool”
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Night in Bora Bora.  Davin’s amazing photography.
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Night from the top of our island.
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This is after I smashed my face into a boat prop while chasing a lemon shark.  I am in pain but still happy in this photo.  See how swollen the right side of my face is?  See that scrape on my nose?  Owwww.
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This was the view from our bungalow, sitting in our lounge chairs.  It made me feel better.
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Drinks in the resort lounge.  “I’m SO FANCY! You already know!” – Iggy Azalea
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These are our RAD friends we met on our trip. We had them over for drinks. They kayaked over to our island because they are bad-A’s.

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Lastly we took a lot of photos and chilled.  The chilling was my favorite part.  Sometimes we’d wake up early to watch the sunrise on the top of the island, and other nights we’d hike to to the top to see the sunset.  It was just. So. Beautiful.  And I want to go back.  Someday.

To sum it up.  Sprinkle all of your magical dreams of a tropical vacation onto a sparkly unicorn, hop into the saddle and watch it gallop you over a rainbow and fly off into the sky.  That is Bora Bora.

Thanks for reading!

Bora Bora Beach Drink Recipe (stir fast with ice) – an accidentally modified version from the one I was taught by a fancy underground barkeep

2 oz. Rum (I prefer light, but either would work, we used Bacardi)

4 oz. Juice (mango, oj, sprite, your choice)

3/4 oz. Cointreau (& we tossed in 3/4 St. Germain bc I confused the recipe;-)

1 oz. Pineapple Juice (they sell this non-concentrate at TJ’s BTW)

Serve in a collins glass with a cup full of ice.  Enjoy~