I’m Not Going There

I got up this morning with a mission to help my daughter.  As a homework assignment, she was asked to gather pictures of herself which capture her favorite things.  As I began skimming through files of photos on my computer, you would have thought I was spending most of my time smiling and reminiscing about the past.  To my surprise, recalling those days turned into feelings of discouragement as my role as MOM.

You see, after I had my first daughter, ten years ago, I did a great job taking lots of pictures and getting them into a scrapbook in a timely matter.  As life got more hectic and our family grew, I didn’t capture the same moments by photograph with my other two kids—probably because I usually had one kid on my hip and a basket of laundry in the other.

The reality is, life will always be hectic and I CaN’t Do iT ALL.  As soon as I had those sunken feelings this morning I could see how this day was going to pan out—feeling guilty ALL day about the numerous things I should be doing better.  Like how I should plan meals ahead of time instead of pulling meat from the freezer at 4:59 every afternoon…or logging our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet every month instead of staring at a pile of receipts from the last 5 months. The list is never-ending, isn’t it?



Instead, as soon as my daughter left for school, I shut those feelings down by thinking to myself, “I’m not going there”.  I’m not going to spend the entire day beating myself up about my areas of weakness as a mother.  To help, I tried to imagine what our seven-month-old would say to me when he becomes an adult.  If he knew how terrible I felt for not taking pictures of his sweet feet when he was only a few days old, he would say, “Mom….really?  That’s what you’re worried about?  It’s not a big deal. Really.”  And then he would go on to remind me how I would play tractors with him on the living room floor and  spontaneously make him a farmyard out of old oatmeal containers and cereal boxes.  Ahh…thank you, my sweet kiddos, for loving me for my imperfect self.  And Leanne, make sure you remember this if you become a Mom some day. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)

So if this is you today, pick yourself up and start focusing on the things you do well.  You simply can’t do it allDon’t let special moments (like scanning through years of pictures and reflecting on the past with your kids) pass you by because you are beating yourself up, wishing you’d done better.

From one parent to another, I think you are doing just fine ;)




Filed under Getting Real, Life

Cucumber Salsa

This Cucumber salsa is a hit no matter where I take it!  A great way to use up the abundance of cucumbers from your garden!  Very flavorful and colorful!

What you need:

3 cucumbers

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

1 Can Rotel

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 C. White Vinegar

2 Ranch Packets

Chips (or you could eat it with a spoon!)

Take the skin off of the cucumbers and cut them up in small pieces.  Add your chopped cilantro.

Throw in the diced tomatoes and Rotel (or you can replace the diced tomatoes with another can of Rotel if you want it spicy!) Add your 2 pkgs of Ranch and vinegar!

Stir it together and VoiLa!!  It becomes more flavorful the longer it sits, so I suggest making it early in the day if you plan to eat it that night!


Lara :)

*Thanks to my little sis for passing this yummy recipe on to me!


Filed under RANDO•RAMA, Recipes

A Cookie & A Walk

chocolate chip cookie

Years ago when I was living in Tulsa I got an unexpected knock on my door.  It was my good friend Cindy.  She knew I was going through a really difficult time and so she bought me a slice of a large chocolate chip cookie and asked if I wanted to go for a walk on my favorite bike/run/walk trail along the Arkansas River.

What a simple gesture and yet close to 30 years later I am still touched by the impact of her thoughtfulness.  Maybe at the time it seemed like no big deal to her, but it was a big deal to me.  A really big deal.  And a really big lesson.

To this day her gesture challenges me to search for ways I can give someone a little grace, show a little kindness, and spread a little love.  And lest I am tempted to think my kindness is insignificant I remind myself of the power of a cookie and a walk.

I know there are always people needing kindness and a little hope.  And so I’m looking for someone I can dispense a little kindness to.  How about you?  Who do you know who needs a little grace?

=) Robynn

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Filed under Family, Friends, Life, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Impeccable Timing

Every now and then I find myself focusing way too much on areas of my body that I don’t like.  Do you ever do that?  Often times it is the skin spots that keep popping up with age or the way my body has changed after having three kids. *Sigh*.

Well today I got an email that included the video I have posted below.  Talk about impeccable timing.  I am glad God put it on someone’s heart to pass it along, because I needed this reminder.  Just in case you needed it too, I decided to share it with you!

This video is an eye-opener in more ways than one.  Not only does it make me think twice about nitpicking areas of my physique, but gave me a kick in the pants for when I get down about life or complain about a task being too difficult.

Attitude is everything.  Don’t deprive yourself of a good life just because everything isn’t perfect.  And I love what Chris says, “If you are worried about how you look, you are cheating yourself out of opportunities.”  Needed to hear that. So true.

I hope this touches your heart like it did mine.  Enjoy…


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Filed under Dream Big, Getting Real, Hard Reality, Inspire, Life

Make a Pact

Every once in a while Doug and I will catch ourselves wAsTiNg a lot of time rehashing an upsetting incident, discussing something negative, or spending way too much time on something that we shouldn’t.  Do you ever do that? Recently, we have done something helpful to avoid these ongoing situations.  We “make a pact” with one another to no longer waste another minute on that specific topic.  When we catch ourselves in a conversation that makes us feel sour, one of us may say, “Okay…for the rest of the month we need to work on not bringing up_______.”  From then on we hold each other accountable by giving “the look” or a quick reminder when conversations head the wrong direction.pinky-swear1

Is there something that you are doing, saying or thinking about that you need to nip in the bud?  By regurgitating the same negative conversations you are adding unnecessary depression to your day AND to those around you.  Doug and I always have to remember…the kids are aLwAys watching and listening!!  Whatever we talk a lot about, they will believe!

What conversations can you remove from your life by mAkiNg a pAcT to stop?  Don’t forget, with the help of someone else, you can achieve this goal much easier and catch old habits before they creep back in your life!


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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Marriage, Relationships

Lara & Robynn’s Secret Struggle Becomes Public

Today is the big day! Our book, Peace with Food, is now available online (click book below):


Many of you may have been surprised to hear that we wrote a book about our struggles with food, body image, and weight.

For years we have felt called to be the voice for individuals who have the same struggle. This is a very common challenge, but one that is rarely talked about because—let’s face it—it can be awkward, humbling, and embarrassing. People always joke at needing to “lose a few more pounds” but the conversation ends there. Don’t you agree?

We became so tired of comparing ourselves to other women, feeling tormented by our favorite foods, always starting a “Monday” diet, and being chained to the scale. Thankfully, God brought us together and, because of our honest discussion in this life-long battle, we were able to write this book.


Peace with Food shares all of our personal struggles, how we overcame them, and all the tools and guidance to help others share this same victory. It explains what our lives look like now and how we are able to live in peace. No more diets. No more rules. Weight Lost. Best of all…peace.

We committed 4 years to this book for one simple reason: to help people. We want to initiate the conversation that can help set people free. Please give others that voice by passing this on. You never know what life you are changing by one simple click. Be the person that can make a difference for someone else…We’ll love you forever for it :)

May Peace Be With You Always–
Lara & Robynn



“Let me first say I loved loved LOVED the book. Reading it and the personal connection…I felt like they were speaking the words I couldn’t find to explain on my own. I really like how opposite the two of them are (one loves exercise vs. the other dislikes it, for example) to show that it works for everyone. They gained my trust immediately bec”ause I could tell they were normal people, just like me. They are not extreme exercisers or experts in nutrition. They are everyday Moms who have found peace with food and are passionate about teaching others to do the same. I felt like each personal connection was clearly speaking to me. I would read, and in my head, say comments like: “oh yes! How did she know? That one read my mind!”
-Joe-Shane Vondracek​

“The analogies to real world situations were great. The concepts are awesome and I can honestly say that it has changed how I look at food and dieting.” -Lacy Neal

“I have talked to many people about the book! I feel like it has changed my life :)” -Misty Deeds

“I like that this is not a diet book but a way to be mindful of what we eat and how it makes us feel.” -Megan Griffins

“I love it and every time I read it I thought of a ton of people that need the book NOW! I think you ladies are awesome and I loved reading your story at the beginning. I felt an instant connection with you both. ” – Sommer Tucker​

“I haven’t ever had peace with food and I didn’t even know it until this book made me realize it.” ~Anonymous

“Most diet books tell you what to eat but never dive into the side that really matters for sustained loss and change—the mindset—the reasons why we eat how we eat. Peace with Food goes into all of that WITHOUT telling you what to eat and still have success!” Siobhan Burch​

“As a former high school and collegiate wrestler, I know the frustration and the sea of negative emotions on the road to losing hundreds of pounds only to gain them back…plus more. I only wish this book were available years ago, because it provides many easy-to-use and practical tools that you can start using today to get permanent results. I highly encourage you to read this book now and choose the path that leads to: peace with food!”
–Bob Manard​

“PWF is unlike anything I have tried before. For the first time in my life I am getting to know myself, I am trying new foods, and finally finding food enjoyable. This is the easiest, most fulfilling plan I have ever tried. It’s not only helped me to make healthier food choices, I have found I am intentionally looking for peace in other areas of my life. I have stuck with this plan longer than anything I have tried in the past, and can say with confidence my life is richer in so many ways having found peace with food.” –Lisa Emma Collins​

“Peace with Food has filtered into other areas of my life. It really is that powerful.” -Wendy Hodges Taylor​

“The book title was like a life raft thrown to me just in time.” ~Candace Dale​

“This book made me realize this: That I don’t struggle alone. Not every strategy is for everyone. Don’t feel guilty and/or hang on to the guilt of what you do or don’t do.” ~Janelle Stukey​

“Peace with Food is a great approach to conquering your “Diet Dilemma”. No matter what your approach is to dieting Peace With Food is a great tool to help you stay focused on the root of real Transformation which is Peace. I recommend this book to anyone who is uncomfortable with diets, and exercise plans.”
~ Minister Dangerfield​

“I LOVED this book. As a guy who pays a ton of attention to health, it was very informative. BUT what I enjoyed the most was the PERSONAL side of the writers.” -Steve Murry

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Filed under Health/Fitness, Inspire, Peace w/ Food, You

Moving Day!

I am so excited to announce that I have decided to get my act in gear and start writing again!  The Suede Sofa has been my blogging home since Lara and Robynn asked me to join them back in 2009.  I have shared so many wonderful experiences with all of you and have loved collaborating with my girls in Kansas!  Robynn and Lara have started a new blog, Peace with Food, that I hope you are enjoying.  I am launching my new blog today…Robyn’s Roost!  As always I plan on writing anything and everything that comes to mind.  Stories, inspiration, food, and of course…crafts!  Please visit and I hope you will become a fan of my page, Robyn’s Roost!

To Lara and Robynn…this Jersey Girl is soooo thankful to have two amazing friends in Kansas!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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