"All Things"

An adoptive mom who loves Christ, family, running, fitness, and all things health related.

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Happy Easter!


The Kester Family- Easter 2013- Hoping for a busier photo next year!!

Easter 2013 was blessed! We had a great time celebrating our risen Lord with our family 🙂

We began this morning with Easter baskets, because you are never too old for Easter baskets and candy, duh.


Our Easter Basket


Ree’s Basket

Yes, my mom still does Easter baskets for all of us and for the kids.  She set the kids baskets up on the coffee table


For the kiddies!

My mom is the best.

After opening our baskets, I ran my mile and then we got ready for church. I love church on Easter Sunday- especially the “Hallelujah Chorus”- my absolute favorite. I also love singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” and “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The joy of Easter morning is so encouraging and so beautiful!

After church, we had everyone (except for Kristianna, Alex, and Holly- who are in NC and were dearly missed) here at our house for Easter dinner. My mom made SO much food: ham AND turkey, green beans, corn, salad, stuffing, coleslaw, potato salad, rolls, salad, applesauce, cornbread, baked beans, and peach cake, carrot cake, and cupcakes for dessert.  Yup- she made all that.  She is the bomb.com.

I loved having everyone here- especially the kids, who loved their baskets and Easter egg hunt!



Love these kiddies.

As I sit here and think about how blessed our day was today, I can’t help but imagine how different next year {hopefully} will be.  I can’t wait to have excited babies to make Easter baskets for, to buy pretty dresses, white socks, and Easter bonnets- and maybe even an Easter suit for my boy.  I pray that the Lord blesses us with two children and that His plan is revealed to us this week.  Praying for our Easter miracle!  Like I say every Sunday- maybe this will be our week!

Trusting and believing in the power of our risen Lord.

Happy Easter!

How did you celebrate Easter?


Fueling for 14 miles and Family Fitness Day


Today was a GREAT day!  A few weeks ago, my cutie cousin, Sarah, and I were talking about how much we wanted to plan a day to run together.  So, we checked our calendars and decided that today would be a good day. After setting our date, we thought that it would be fun to invite our entire family to the park with us.  So, I excitedly made a Facebook event called, “Family Fitness Day” and invited everyone to join the fun!  I know, I am the dork of life.

Well, Family Fitness Day turned out the be a fairytale! A bunch of our family met, along with some friends, at the beautiful Tyler State Park.  Everyone chose their exercise of choice: walking, running, or biking.


This photo was taken by my friend, Tanya. Tyler State park is SO beautiful!

I had 14 miles on tap- I absolutely loved running the first few with Sarah, and then finished up the rest of my run with Beeker riding alongside me on his bike.  Isn’t that true love? A husband that is willing to ride his bike alongside his wife for 14 miles- to coach her, hand her water, and be there to talk to her when she gets bored.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times- The Beek: I am blessed with the best.

Turns out Tyler State Park is pretty hilly.  Actually, when I say hilly- I mean SUPER hilly.  My quads got quite the workout 😉  I decided to run at an easy pace and just enjoy the day with my family, the scenery, and having my Beeker next to me.  I also wanted really focus on this run to make sure that I fueled properly before, during, and after.

Fueling for a marathon fascinates me; it is such a fine science of knowing exactly how much I need.  I wanted to make sure that I fueled properly, especially after a very humbling 7 miler that I had earlier in the week.  During run, I crashed and burned BIG time.  I got caught about 3 miles from home seriously wanting to quit because I had absolutely no energy. What I learned is that if I am going to run a 7 mile pace run, my breakfasts need to look a little less like this:


3 egg whites, peppers, and tomatoes- nice if I am going to relax; not enough fuel for 7 fast miles.


…..And a little more like this:


Pumpkin protein oatmeal with apples and berries



Lesson learned.

I fueled for my run this morning with my pumpkin oatmeal- and topped it with some natural peanut butter for staying power.  During my run, I took Gatorade gels at miles 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.  I felt great!!

We celebrated my 14 miles and the fun of Family Fitness Day with lunch at a diner, where I refueled with a turkey wrap, salad bar, AND french fries.  

Will run for french fries- duh.

It is nice to feel properly fueled, which is something that I need to remember for the rest of my marathon training.  So, getouttahere egg white and veggies and cometomama protein oatmeal.  No more mid-run bonk, thankyouverymuch.

Family Fitness Day- you are welcome any time 😉

What is your favorite food after a hard workout?

Ever hit the wall during a run?


Amazing Love

One of my favorite songs goes like this:

Amazing love, how can it be- that you my King should die for me?

Amazing love, I know it’s true- that it’s my joy to honor you.

In all I do- I honor you.

As I reflect on Holy Week- I praise God for loving me enough that He would allow His only son to die for me.  Wow- His only son.  I always knew this was a profound sacrifice; however, it has taken a whole new level now that I feel the love that I have for my children in my heart.  To think that God would give His only son for ME. It truly is amazing love-& it is my absolute joy to honor Him.

As I wait for our babies, my biggest prayer for their lives is that they will personally know Christ’s amazing love.

I pray that Brian and I can raise our children to love, obey, and trust God.

I pray that the Lord will take hold of each of my children’s lives and ROCK  IT.

I pray that we can be courageous enough to be in this world, but not be of it- and wise enough to know the difference.

I pray that we can raise our kids to be brave, to be faithful, and to love the Lord our God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Yes, this is my prayer as a mother- that the Lord will be revealed to each of my children and that our family will live for God.

Sound like a tall order?

It is.

Good thing God is amazing.

breaking spring & a day of eats!

Spring break? It snowed here all day yesterday! This weather is crazy…

Even if this weather is nutty, I still love having off, duh.

It is so nice to wake up without an alarm, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and be able to make a great lunch and dinner.

Today, I thought it would be fun to post a day of eats…

The past two mornings, I’ve made a mexican egg white scramble, which is so good!


In the mix- peppers, tomatoes, and salsa. Please notice my awesome mug- perfect for this week 😉

During the week it is always rush, rush, rush.  I have loved having the time to actually savor my breakfast, instead of trying to eat it as I frantically do my hair and make up to make it out the door on time.

For lunch, I enjoyed a bowl of homemade turkey chili and a big salad.


I’m noticing a mexican theme on this blog….


bread & butter pickles = ❤

I was feeling smug with my delicious lunch, until Beeker sat down next to me with his- a grilled turkey & cheese sandwich made on the waffle iron.  Genius.


#59392 reason why I love the Beek- his culinary creativeness.

In the afternoon, I ran and then did yoga with my sister, Annmarie.  I am really loving yoga on Mondays- it makes me feel strong and is a great way to stretch out after my long runs on the weekends- especially for my hip flexors.  I hope to keep this up throughout my marathon training, which will *hopefully* help to prevent injury.

During our workout, I was trying to think of a really great snack that I could make for the afternoon.  As I downward dogged it and breathed through my poses, I thought of the perfect thing: pumpkin pie greek yogurt.

So, when we were finished, I eagerly went into the kitchen to make this:


pumpkin pie greek yogurt

To make this, I combined some pumpkin (about 1/2 cup) with one cup of plain greek yogurt, cinnamon, and a dash of sweetener.  I topped it with a spoonful of cool-whip.  The cool whip turned out to be the best part, ha!  This recipe still needs a little bit more tweaking- it is hard to balance the tart taste of the greek yogurt with the expected sweetness of pumpkin pie.  Maybe I could try vanilla greek yogurt?

For dinner, I roasted a turkey loin in the crock pot and Beek made homemade garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.


Perfect dinner

There you have it- a day of eats, courtesy of Spring Break!

I am off to run- 7 miles is on tap.  I am going to wear capris and pretend like it’s spring-like weather!


What is your favorite afternoon snack?

Has the spring weather arrived yet where you live?

Turn it into praise

We celebrated the beginning of Holy Week last night with an “Evening of Praise” at our church.  It was so wonderful.  Praise and worship is my favorite part of our church service- so to have an entire service devoted to singing was a fairytale.

I went to the service with a heavy heart.  We are in our 29th month waiting on our blessing(s) from Ethiopia, and this week marks 9 months at #1 on the sibling list.

9 months at #1.

9 months of waiting for the phone to ring every.blessed. day.

9 months of waking up with a hopeful heart thinking, “maybe today,” and going to bed- disappointed- praying, “please let it be tomorrow.”

9 months of obsessively keeping the phone at my side, checking the volume, checking the service- making sure that I will hear it ring.

It has been an emotionally exhausting 9 months.

To say that I am ready for the phone to ring would be the understatement of the year.  As I write this, I struggle to find the words to fully explain how I am feeling. For those that know me, you know that I can be private with my struggles.  I wrote about this in my post on Taking the Noodle.  I am working on this…

I prayed that the Lord would speak to me last night, and He did.  What I realized is that every negative emotion, thought, feeling- all stem from fear.  I am afraid that I can’t wait any longer, that I will never be a mom, that my children are scared, lonely, hungry, alone…..I could go on and on. Yes, I am afraid.

I will NOT let this fear define me.  I will not.

Standing in church, singing to the Lord, I decided last night to take my fear, my doubt, my weariness, and turn it into praise.

I was searching for the right words, and came up with this:

When my strength has failed me and I don’t know how to pray;

I hold onto your truth and your mercy for each day.  

When my soul feels anguished and I feel I can’t go on;

your mighty hand is holding me- for when I am weak, you’re strong.  

When I feel alone and scared for what I face;

your loving spirit engulfs me, covering me in your grace.

Yes, your word is true- a strong anchor for my soul;

Your love and mercy surround me- it’s you that makes me whole.

So when my journey scares me and my life feels like a maze;

 I will take my fear and turn it into praise.

I praise God for his perfect timing, for his goodness, and for our journey.  29 months on the list- 9 months at #1 on the sibling list- are all necessary to give us the PERFECT children that God has already placed in our family.

I can’t wait to tell my kids how much I love them.

March 24th Fitness for the Week

Sunday: 1 mile run + walk with Beek = ❤

Monday: 1 mile run + Jillian yoga  (I’m planning on trying the advanced workout)

Tuesday: 7 miles @ marathon pace

Wednesday: 4 miles + abs and push ups

Thursday: 4 miles + abs and push ups

Friday: 1 mile and rest up for long run!

Saturday: 14 miles 🙂

A Jolly Holly Day

Today was a great day. I woke up around 5:30, had some breakfast, and was out the door to run by 6:15.

It was glorious.

I love running as the sun is coming up, and it is always fun to watch my neighborhood wake up and come to life as I run.  My neighborhood is super hilly, so it adds a little bit of a challenge to my runs.  I finished 9 miles in 1:22:10 and I was in the door before 8 am. Love it.

Afterwards I went to meet my sister to pick up Holly.  We had such a fun day with her!! I took her to a jewelry party at my friends house for about an hour. She was so good and I loved showing her off 🙂  After the party we spent the rest of the day at home- playing and snuggling.


Having fun with Uncle Beek!


I love her perfect posture


Eating lunch


Can I eat lunch with her everyday?


“Aunt Heidi- enough with the pictures.”


My failed attempt at getting us both in a shot!

As I wait for my baby(ies), it blesses my heart so much to be able to spend time with my nieces and nephews.  They are like a little dose of heaven and remind me that my time will come.  I am so lucky to have their little faces to kiss!! 🙂

My mom surprised me this afternoon with a little Easter present for Bella and her brother or sister.



My mom said that the flower represents how our babies are sprouted in our heart. Seriously so sweet.  My mom gets me. I love that she is always thinking of our babies and encourages me each and every day. Clearly, my mom is the best.

We topped off a great day with a great dinner.


Tomato pie!

Day 1 of my 9 day break= a tough one to beat!

What was awesome about your Saturday?

Feel the Freedom

Like any kid, I always anticipated the last day of school.  I loved handing in all my books, cleaning out my locker, and entering into a summer of adventure and fun.  On the last day of school, my mom would always pick us up and take us out to lunch to celebrate. As we pulled out of the school parking lot in our big red van, we would all throw our hands in the air and proclaim:


It. was. glorious.

One of my top 5 memories as a kid.

Today, at approximately 3:45 pm, as I was pulling out of my parking spot at work, I found myself I repeating this ritual.

Although it’s not summer, I have off for the next 9 days for spring break.  To say I am excited would be the understatement of the year.

9 days.


Becoming a teacher was a great idea 😉


Brian and I had to go out and run some errands last night, so I had to make a quick dinner after my run. I decided on one of my favorites, breakfast for dinner.


This was a veggie omelet that turned into more of a veggie scramble, but was still delicious!!

This morning I was in the mood to do something more than just 1 mile.  So, after my mile I put in Jillian Michael’s 6 pack ab workout and did the advanced level.  I {heart} Jillian.  She is seriously awesome. I wish she could be my personal trainer and bff.

After my workout I was starving, so I made one of my favorite breakfasts: pumpkin oatmeal with berries.

ImageWho am I kidding by saying this is “one of my favorites?”  It is hands-down my favorite breakfast, and I eat it nearly every morning.  Please tell me it is normal to eat breakfast at my vanity while I do my make up.

Beeker just told me that there is going to be a snow storm Sunday- Monday, with 3-5 inches of snow expected. I am countering the impending storm with my new spring decor.


Sunflowers= spring.

I am planning an early bed time tonight- I have 9 miles on the books and plan on being out the door by 6:15 am.  Tomorrow will be a great day because I get to hang out with this girl all day:


My heart.

A Holly & Aunt Heidi date day = perfection.

How did you celebrate the beginning of summer as a kid?

Are you ready for Spring? (duh).

Remember how it feels to be done.

Man, this week has been relentless.  I was still battling the sinus infection and then I got pink eye.  So gross. I thought only 3rd graders got pink eye? Jeez Louise.

I was feeling really run-down (no pun intended, ha) last night, so I decided to sleep in this morning and push my workout to the afternoon. I *though*t that sleeping an extra hour would  help me to wake up refreshed and feeling better.

When the alarm went off at 5, I sluggishly hopped in the shower and began getting ready for work.  It felt SO WEIRD not to run.  It is so funny how acclimated my body has become to running first thing in the morning.  Not moving this morning felt as weird as not showering or not brushing my teeth- it just felt off.  I felt this way all day- like I never quite woke up.

By the time I got home, I was ready to just run my mile and call it quits for the day.  For me, the problem with working out in the afternoon is that I have the entire day to talk myself out of it.

My training schedule had me doing 3 miles today- which is NBDl- but my motivation was just really lacking. It is so funny how the little workouts are the ones that sometimes get to me. As I contemplated blowing off my training run, I thought to myself,

“Remember how it feels to be done.”

3 miles – 27 minutes- and it would feel so good to be DONE- knowing I had a good workout and did not blow it off. I knew that I would regret not completing my run.

So, I laced up my shoes and decided to run fast- shake it out- and have fun.  This, I thought, is what running is all about- a chance to clear my mind and remind myself that I am strong.

I grabbed my Garmin,turned up my tunes, and was out the door- feeling tired strong and determined.

When I stepped out the door, I was greeted by a cool breeze and sunny skies.  Perfect. Smiling, I began.  This was going to be a good run.

Until I started running down the street, into the wind. Seriously, that “little” cool breeze that greeted me when I walked out the door turned into a beastly freezing wall, which was trying to get me to quit. And, it was doing a good job.

Again, I thought- Remember how it feels to be done. Just keep going. Lock and load.  Almost there.  You can do it.  I was channeling all of the motivational catch phrases that I see on signs while running a race. This “positive self-talk” was both motivating and incredibly annoying.

Since I was running an up-and-back, I was convinced that I would be rewarded for my battle with the wind on the way back.  I thought that when I turned around, the wind would be at my back and it would help to propel me forward. With a wind like that pushing me, I could run like a track star.

Until I turned around.

I was still fighting that beastly wind.  How is that possible? I felt like a weird old person who talks about “walking uphill both ways” to school.  How can the wind be against me both ways?

Despite wanting to quit- I pushed against that wind- dreaming of how nice it would be to walk through my front door.

27 minutes later, I opened my front door- sweating, with numb hands, wind-blown hair, and the biggest smile on my face.

I was done- and it felt GOOD.


What motivates you to workout?

Would you rather run in the cold, wind, or rain?

Marriage Romance.

I love romance.  Luckily, I married this guy, who is so romantic….


My handsome Beek.

Anyone that knows Beeker would agree- he is the best.  Seriously- THE BEST.  My hubs is what dreams are made of and is sometimes OTT with his romantic gestures.  He will leave me little notes, schedule fun date nights, and ask me to dance in the middle of the kitchen.

I am blessed.

Most people only enjoy these little romantic gestures while dating, or newly married.  I am so happy that at almost 7 years of marriage and 13 years together, Brian and I still have romance in our relationship.

With that being said, my idea of romance has certainly changed now that I am getting older.  Last night, knowing that I was tired and still not feeling well, Beeker sent me the following text message:

“Relax & let me take care of dinner.”


No card, flowers, or little present could come close to how romantic I found that message last night.  It was the best thing ever.

So funny!

So, I took a bath and Beek went to the produce store and the food store to stock up on goodies.  When I got out of the bath, he was home- the produce was all put away- and he was cooking chicken stir fry. So delicious.


After dinner, we snacked on peanuts, which he also picked up at the produce store, and caught up on the Bible Series.


Goal of the week- don’t eat these all by Thursday 😉

So romantic.

How has your idea of romance changed?

What is the last romantic thing your spouse did for you?

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