Category Archives: Family

#CTCMOMMYSTRONG

Don’t Show Off-Just Show Up tank from Cross Training Couture

I have entered a new season of parenting, and to be honest, while I was a little nervous…I wasn’t exactly terrified of the pre-teens.

I have been blessed with a daughter who is a true joy.  She is definitely coming into her own when it comes to her growing into who she is. And with every sweet precious girl, a little bit of sass is apparent (she is her mother’s daughter!)

But I can’t complain about her.  When she was a precious babe, I would hear from so many well meaning parents who would tell me to just wait until she became a teenager. Just wait. Then I would want to pull my hair out. Then I would agonize over having a daughter.

But, and perhaps this is me being naïve, I don’t think we are in for hard years with our daughter.  Our precious Madi.  I don’t mean that we are going to go through life bump free. But I don’t think that when she becomes a teenager, life will suddenly become terrible with her.

Being the momma of a daughter is special.  Some of us are blessed to have more than one daughter.  My daddy had three girls who looked up to him and thought the world of him. Our Daddy was our first knight in shining armor. He was our hero.  Madi looks at her daddy and sees a man who loves her unconditionally. The bar is set really high for the special young man who will one day love our daughter and marry her. I am praying for him specifically. I can’t wait for that young man to one day join our family.

But for now, our daughter is ours.  She is being raised in our household.  We are striving to teach her His word. To cling to what is good. To love others and to serve God with her whole heart and mind and body.

Madi is entering a stage and age groups where the need for attention is real. Showing off, being front and center, being noticed, wanting to be valued…those are real messages that will be vying for my daughter’s attention and for her heart.

So, as her momma, who understands the pull of the world and whose own heart has been pulled and affected, I want her to cling to this:

“That according to the riches of his glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV

I want her to know who she is and to WHO she belongs to.

My daughter is also an athlete. The shirt she is wearing tonight says “Don’t show off-Just Show Up.”

In the fitness world, it is easy to see how that applies.  We show up each day for our workouts.  We don’t show off our awesome muscles just because we want to look good. If it is a part of our life, we do it daily, regardless.

As we walk it out with Jesus, we need to show up daily.  Christianity is not a cool club to belong to.  My daughter will soon see from some of those who don’t share her beliefs that being a Christ follower isn’t so easy.  It takes showing up.

I want my daughter ultimately to realize that she doesn’t need to show off in order to gain anyone’s love or approval.  With so many things that will be vying for her attention and heart, I want her to instead focus on showing up in the things that matter.

*Show up in love and compassion for her friends that are in need of it, even if she is without words.

*Show up each day in His word, so that she may be empowered by His Holy Spirit and to be guided by Him when she faces decisions she is unsure about.

*Show up in offering grace, even when others withhold it, for God did not withhold His own son from us.

*Show up daily by offering hope found only in Jesus.

*Show up daily as a friend. As a Daughter. As a princess of the King.

She doesn’t need to compete or show off in order to prove how valuable she is. God loves my precious daughter.  He loves her more than I do.  He wants good for her, He wants to give good gifts to her more than I do.

My job is not to make her life pleasurable and happy. Happy is a by-product.  My job as her mother is to raise her to walk with the King and to love Him with her whole heart, mind and soul. That will take the rest of her life, and she will most definitely falter some moments. But grace upon grace and the willingness to run towards Him even in failure, she will learn and grow to fall more in love with Him and fulfill His will.

I can’t wait to see what God does in the life of my beautiful daughter.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

 

Back To School Ideas for Kids

My kids start school soon, and lately, we have been shopping and trying to pick out some outfit essentials so that the kids feel their best, also allows them to move with ease and function. I remember as a kid, I didn't want to be limited in movement when I came to my wardrobe. I wanted to be able to still run and plan, but I also didn't want to look like a slob either!

My kids enjoy shopping at Old Navy, and they are having a Back to School sale right now (and if you shop online, I believe you can get an additional 30% off of your order), I thought I would share some of my favorite items that I saw while browsing.

For girls:
I love a good top, especially when it could be worn with many different things.

I saw something similar to this for women at Nordstrom. So on trend!

Graphic tees always are a hit!!

Chambray tops are a staple in every closet.


This jacket!!! Love!!!!


Such a cute dress!


I need those pink high tops in my size. And those colored leggings! Love!

My husband cries every time I go shopping with Madi. It is dangerous, people!

For the boys:

My son has a shirt like this with hot dogs on it. Yes. Hot dogs. It is awesome!!!

If your boy needs a cool bomber jacket, we really liked this one!


I like to grab these style shirts for Sean in a variety of colors. They are a simple style, but they go great with jeans and shorts, and Sean always looks good in them. They are really great for cooler weather.

Dry Fit shirts are a must. My son plays constantly, so we need plenty of these around.

Sean really likes Old Navy's shorts, but he doesn't care for their denim. I only buy the Denizen by Levi brand for Sean, which can be found at Target. But these shorts fit him pretty well.

We have also had awesome luck with Old Navy's shoes for Sean! Those high tops and sneakers! So cool!!!

This is obviously a pretty small list, but that is just what I saw at Old Navy online and I thought I would share with you. Happy shopping!!!

When do your kids go back to school? Or did they already start?

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

*Disclosure: Old Navy did not pay or provide any clothes or goods with this blog post. All opinions are my own.*

Self Care is Not Just For Fitness

You have probably heard that word, self care, a whole lot. Usually, it goes along with someone who is inviting you to join them on a journey towards being healthier and being more fit.

That is definitely part of it! A healthy body is part of the whole self care movement, but that is not the only piece! There are so many ways we busy mamas can take care of ourselves so that we can pour into those we love and give ourselves to the ministries and passions we are focused on.

Here are some of my favorite ways to get in a little me time:

*Getting my hair/nails done
*Massage
*Facials
*shopping (Did you see my last blog post?)
*Night out with the girls
*Reading an uplifting book
*Learning a new skill
*Soothing music
*Bath time and using my favorite essential oils/natural skin care products
*Going to the beach or any place that has water
*Hiking or fun outdoor activity with girlfriends
*Study a new topic
*Exercise
*Try a new healthy food restaurant
*Test out a new recipe or bake something yummy
*Blogging/writing
*Being creative and putting together pretty outfits for myself, friends, and family.
*Singing, by myself, out loud in my home.
*Taking a nap! (Do it!)

As you can see, there are so many ways to fill your tank. We give a ton to those around us. If you are a mama, you probably feel like you are constantly running on empty.

But, it is hard to pour into others if you yourself are running on empty. It really is.

Fill your tank, then let that overflow into others.

We are such a busy society! Who the heck told us that in order to be great or worth anything, we had to run ourselves ragged? Who said busier was better?

Who said being a wife and mom was an act of a martyr? Um no.

There are sacrifices, yes. Obviously. But being a wife and a mom isn't a prison sentence. It isn't horrible. Let's knock that off.

Let's take care of ourselves and do things that bring us beauty, joy, pleasure, and then let's bring those very things to those we love.

What are your favorite ways to practice self care?

Be a Size You,

Tiff

The Weekly Workout That Didn’t Really Happen

I started off week 3 with a bang!


I was so excited because, hello, I am almost done with this program!!! I really like it, but I am not sure I am falling in love with it like I did with 22. But I am enjoying learning how to punch and kick and I am doing more push-ups that I ever thought possible.

Anyway, week 3 kind of got put on the back burner because our family……

HEADED TO LEGOLAND!!


It was the final week of Spring Break for my kiddos (they get two weeks off instead of one) so Dan and I wanted to treat them to something fun and Legoland was the choice. They had a great deal where you buy one day get four days free and admission included Legoland, SeaLife Aquarium, and the water park. Yes, please!!! Our kids were so excited!

So basically, my workout meant a lot of walking and swimming 😂


So while yes, I was “off routine” but honestly, my kids are only this little for so long. I would much rather make sure they get enough Momma and Daddy time. You all know I am consistent and dedicated to my health and fitness. This week won’t deter me one bit.

We needed this week of fun and no routine. It is good for us once in awhile.

And that is what Be a Size You is. I can share consistency, but we can also express freedom. My kids emotional Cup is filled this week because we decided to play. 

So, with that being said, week 3 is going to be done over…because I can. There are no rules! You won’t get kicked out of the health and fitness club if you do over the week! 

On deck for Core De Force this week:

Repeat of last week! 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany 

The Widow Maker


Yesterday was a blur. And mostly because Monday did not happen like it normally does.

I was in my groove. I was working, I was getting my 7 Day Keep It Simple challengers ready to kick off on Monday. I was conversing with friends, and I was enjoying a peaceful and productive day.

That changed quickly after phone call from my sister. My Dad had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. 

That I needed to hurry. I don’t even remember responding at first. I think she even asked me if I was still on the line. I was in tears and thankfully, Dan was home and got up and was right at my side.

All I remember was being frantic, trying to figure out how to head to the hospital, which was an hour away from us, how to get the kids. Should we take the kids? Did we even have time? Was my Dad even alive? I had no other info except “heart attack” and “get to hospital”.

Dan decided to drive us because I was just in no condition to drive. I was shaking. 

I remember yelling out “Not today God. You can’t take him today.”

I wasn’t trying to boss God around, although my husband now jokes that I was being bossy. But I was desperate. It is was in my pleading and praying that I had no other words or thoughts except “No. Please NO.”

I am sure there are theological errors in how I prayed yesterday. I will let God correct me.

My Dad is alive. We got to the hospital. He was talking. He was joking with us. I could tell he was trying to brush it off a little bit. I am sure it was a little humbling with your entire family there, especially your grown daughters, clucking and crying over you. I don’t like people asking me what is wrong or worrying over me. I get that from my Dad. 

They called it the Widow Maker, the heart attack my Dad had. Most men that experience this type of heart attack don’t even make it to the hospital. Death is not instant but it is almost always certain. He almost died. I cried all the way to the hospital and suddenly in the room, hearing the Doctor share what they had to do in order to help fix him and stabilize him. I am still processing everything. I am not even sure if this post makes any sense. 

I left the hospital thanking God for His mercy. That my Daddy is still here. Changes are going to have to be made. My Dad had to cancel some big trips and plans. But I would much rather have him here.

This morning, I woke up a little more heavy hearted, but ready.

I did some yoga from Beachbody on Demand and spent time listening to worship music and praying.

Listening to my Mom and my Aunt talk about our health family history put all of this in perspective.

It was a wake up call again for me. Our family is a ticking time bomb of health concerns. Cancer. Diabetes. Heart Disease. That runs in my family. But I don’t have to play victim. I can’t prevent everything from happening to me. I don’t have that kind of power.

But I can be pro-active. I can choose to eat differently. I can know my family health history and live in a way that can reduce my risks. This is in no way to shame my Daddy. I am so thankful.

But I am wide awake right now. I well aware of the dangers. I have always a researcher. You better believe when I got home last night that I started researching for my Daddy. For myself. For my family. 

Because just because it is a part of your family history doesn’t mean you have to just take it lying down. I am too stubborn to live that way. That is not a hill I am willing to die on. 

So far, our prayers are that there was little to no permanent damage to his heart. He will be at the hospital for the next few days. I am so grateful to this community. Thank you in advance for praying for us. Your outpouring of love and support on social media has been overwhelming and we are so incredibly humbled and grateful. 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany 

Health & Fitness & Your Daughter

Today I saw an alarming statistic posted on one of my favorite Facebook pages for pre-teens. It was concerning young girls and body image.


Image from Secret Keeper Girl

I have read these kinds of statistics before, and they should raise the hair on your neck for good reason. 

Here are some more from Oxygen Magazine (March/April 2017)

*9.5 teaspoons is the amount of sugar per day the American Heart Association recommends (6 tsp for children over the age of two)

*20 teaspoons is the amount the average American consumes!

*$147 Billion is what the cost of obesity is in the US

* 66% of the adults in the US are classified as overweight or obese

* 33% of children and adolescents in the US considered to be overweight or obese

Does that wake you up a bit. Where is that conversation in the churches? Because I don’t hear it very often. 

I am not saying that we should focus on weight. Both of the statistics that are provided are right. It should concern us as parents. And it needs to be addressed. 

Young girls are affected from all sides in regards to their beauty, their weight, their appearance and so much more. And as you and I both know, as they get older, it will get worse. The messaging from the world is confusing. 

But it doesn’t have to be. Not in your home. You can take control of this discussion and this topic. 

As a Christian woman who is a momma to an athletic pre-teen girl, I am taking very seriously these types of conversations. I am not perfect by any means, but I don’t shy away from this issue. Her health is important to me. She has also shared that she wants to be a competitive Olympic swimmer. Whether that actually happens or not is not the issue. I must deal with the topic of her body image and her self care and health. 

I never say in front of my kids that I am on a diet. I might share that I am trying something new to help my health, my body, or my physical performance, but I don’t say “mommy is fat and I need to go on a diet.”

I am not fat. Not even in the slightest. I have been unhealthy. I have been honest with Madi especially about my journey as a wife and momma and with my health. 

I don’t want my daughter to be fearful of the body she has. God made her. I want to teach her how to care for it because it is shows stewardship of what God has given us.

 I also do not shy away from saying what is not good for her (and Sean). I am their mother and I love them.  I love the sugary treat once in awhile as much as anyone. But I am very clear that a treat or dessert or surgery snack is not acceptable for every day. I am okay with telling them no to something that I know won’t benefit them or keep them healthy. I am okay with being that mom. 

But perhaps you are a mom who does need to lose weight. Perhaps the doctor has told you that you need to make changes because it is affecting your health.

Can I encourage you to not say diet in front of your kids? Can I encourage you to share with them (because they will notice that you are cooking differently and doing things differently) that you need to make healthy changes because you want to be around for them? Because you love them? And you love that God has created you and you want to honor Him? 

If your whole family has to make healthy changes, pray first how to address it. How will you speak in your home so that your daughter doesn’t see it as a fat vs skinny issue, but a health and stewardship one. That has to start with you. 

Your daughter will be fed many messages, especially if she attends public school or is active on social media or is away from you for any length of time. You can’t put the blame on them. It must start with the firm foundation you have set in your home. It won’t look perfect, and you will get some of this wrong. 

In my house I try to say this: 

“My body is a temple. Your body is a temple. God created it. How will I treat it?” 

I think as parents, especially Christian ones, we are afraid to talk about weight or health because it seems frivolous and vain and not Kingdom worthy. But it is. Your daughter’s heart can be affected by this. So yes, it is Kingdom worthy. If you care for your daughter, you won’t shy away from having this type of conversation. Too many young girls are struggling because we have shied away from talking about it. We don’t want to damage or hurt their feelings or seem like we are obsessed with body image. This is deeper than skinny or fat. 

Also, please note. For those whose daughters are now struggling with an eating disorder, it beyond self image, although that can trigger it. There are deeper issues going on at that point. Seek professional help and resources. Also, a great book to read would be by my friend Michelle Myers, The Look That Kills

Stop being afraid and start talking Mama. She may roll her eyes or think you are being lame or uncool. I don’t care. I care about her soul and her heart and her walk with Jesus. I’ll be uncool any day of the week if it means I am training her to see truth and not fall victim to the lies the rest of the world throw at her. But I have full confidence that for the most part, she will value the time she gets with you and that you want to share with her and talk to her about tough topics. 

A couple of great resources for you:

Raising Body Confident Daughters by Dannah Gresh 

It’s Great To be a Girl! By Dannah Gresh and Suzy Welbel 

These would be perfect books to pick up today at the library or from Amazon or even from Secret Keeper Girl! 

Be encouraged, mama. This doesn’t have to be weird. Or yucky. Pray. Seek truth. Even seek guidance. And go talk to that precious princess God has given to you to love and care for.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany 

Ready for Harvest

Whenever I think of Autumn, I think of the words in John 4:34-35:

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work…..Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” 

After summer, Fall is my next favorite season.  Here in California, we don’t really experience seasons.  Unless you live in more northern parts of our state, it generally stays the same temperature with some variances in heat. But not too much. For instance, last week? We were hitting 90 plus degree temps.

Yeah, Fall doesn’t feel like fall quite yet.

But that is okay.  I think the fields are still ripe and ready.

Especially the fields in your own home, and in your communities, and in the hearts of those you love.

2016-09-23-21-12-17

Our family got to take a break from the mundane and school, and went to our local apple farm in Julian, CA to pluck from the trees that were ready to share their abundance with us.  This is the kind of stuff I live for.  Julian is this perfect little town and it is so cute and I wish that I could visit it all the time!

We got to go with friends from church and can I say that we as a family really needed this. We needed to go on an adventure together. Yes, to most, it was simply apple picking. But to me, to this mama heart, we have been so busy rushing from one activity to the next, our schedules are full and it feels like we are on a hamster wheel. So the fact that we got to bend the rules a bit and get away as a family together to do something fun meant the world to me.

2016-09-23-10-42-09

The Fields are ready for harvest in my own home.  No one else is going to spend as much time as Dan or me to teach my children about Jesus or spend time with them.  It is the will of God who created me and made me a mother to raise up these little humans.   It is my job. It is my main ministry.  I have a heart for women and I am actively pursuing women’s ministry, but my first role is wife and mama.  Family.

It is why going to the apple farm with the kids and Dan meant so much to me.  It was a chance to create a memory that we could talk about together.

2016-09-23-12-46-29

I am also reminded that I am to love other people, especially when their hearts are ripe and ready to hear a message that can be transforming to their lives.  I will let God do all of the heart transforming work. I will simply open my mouth and be available to those who need to hear powerful truth.

Being on social media tends to be a popularity contest of sorts.  I don’t want to post so that I can become more popular or gain more likes. I want to post words that will inspire and point back to Him.  My hope is that each person who visits my small corner of the internet, they will be moved to learn more about their Creator and to fully submit to His goodness.

When I take my children out and we go on adventures, my heart isn’t that they will see how much money we spent or all the cool places we get to go.  My heart is that they will see that I love them and desire to spend time with them and to have fun with them and create memories together. Right now, I need to be nurturing and caring towards their little hearts so that as they grow older and one day have families of their own, they will spend the time harvesting in the hearts of their children, as Dan and I tried to do with them.

Often when a lot of read scripture and we see the callings that Jesus placed on the disciples to share and witness, we think of traveling all over the world, or going on missions trips or running non profits.  But God has shown me over and over again that I have my own little field right in front of me that needs attention.

For those fields are white for harvest.

Be a Size You,

Tiff

Lessons from Family, Vacation, & Mickey Mouse


Vacation is so very important. Time with your family is so very important.
I learned a lot while in hot, sticky, glorious Florida. 
The Harper’s spent a total of two weeks playing and hiking the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. We had a blast, although I never really did get used to Florida’s weather. There were a couple days where it was ridiculously hot, and then a huge storm pulled in right over us, complete with a torrential downpour! 😂
Thank you Jesus for ponchos!


I learned that when you are on vacation with 16 family members, you have to give a lot. Selfishness will never win and you will be found out by those around you.
Putting your differences aside and putting another person’s needs before your own will have to be something you say often to yourself, and follow through.


I learned that being present really matters to these kids of mine. I learned that they really want me to play with them. To not worry so much about how I will look but to really get off my butt and play with them. Put on that bathing suit, and get in the water. To go down that water slide. Who cares if your stomach doesn’t look flat. Your kids don’t care. Play with them. Laugh with them. Be around them.
My kids are 10 and 7 now. Soon, I won’t be their number one playmate.
Play.


I fell in love with Disney and learned to dream some new big dreams. I was inspired by what Walt Disney had dreamed and put together with an incredible team of fellow dreamers. You can’t help but get caught up in the magic of it all. 
At almost 35 years old, I am really excited about life right now. Most people dread getting older. I am rejuvenated by the possibilities of what this next year may bring. Lord willing, it will be a time of growth, fun, and new blessings.
Be a Size You,
Tiffany 

Beach Days

Beach days are my absolute favorite.

The Beach

Happy kids

Sandy boy

Now we only have one more week until our summer is over. And then Madi heads off to school for a brand new adventure. 

I don't want summer to end.

How are you spending your last days of summer?

Tiff~

Changes and Loving Summer

We have been a busy bunch over  here. Summer is finally here and let me tell you that I absolutely, positively love this season.

Experiencing a couple of changes here. Nothing major.  But still, change is fun and can be really exciting:

Like getting a new haircut

IMG_0535

Anticipating this little guy's second birthday on the 4th of July

IMG_0548

A change in the weather (finally the sun is out!) means spending tons of time in the pool

IMG_0544

In the summer I absolutely adore the heat.  Call me crazy, but I love 80 degree and above temperatures.  I know. I'm nuts.

But I can't help it! Plus, summer to me means:

*Farmers Markets

*Strawberries, blueberries, Raspberries, Watermelon

*Beaches and sunblock

*Pretty maxi dresses with wedges

*Frappucinos

*Family Vacations

Yes, this season is pure heaven for me.

What do you love about summer?

Tiff~