Story Time

Recently, a friend of mine asked me how I ever became involved with high school foreign exchange students. She didn’t know me back then and wondered how I started down a path that would lead to hosting over a dozen different teenagers from all over the world (not concurrently, mind you).

Well, the year was 2003. I was very pregnant. We had just moved into a new house and boxes were everywhere. I also had a foster daughter in the 1st grade that we were in the process of adopting. Meanwhile, my husband and I were both working full time and he was taking college courses at night. To say we were busy — would be an understatement.

Through a friend of a friend, typical networking, we found out about a young lady coming to the United States from Russia. At the last minute, her volunteer host family fell apart. It happens. A wonderful woman, named Tanya, was scrambling to find a place for this teenager to stay. I remember telling Tanya that we did indeed have an extra bedroom, but it was filled with boxes and I was very pregnant, still working, etc. However; she didn’t miss a beat. I was willing to open my home so she was willing to help. She literally helped me unpack boxes and get that room ready. She even went with us to the airport to pick up our student upon arrival. That young lady from Russia stayed with us for the school year. She says we changed her life; but I say she changed mine. All in the most wonderful and profound ways.

This experience launched a path in which I had NO idea would evolve into global friendships and even a career. That first exchange student we hosted from Russia was 15 years old back then. Present day she is married with children ~ and we still keep in touch. Meanwhile, Tanya and I have remained good friends and are connected in so many ways. I truly consider her a dear friend and someone I am honored to know.

Working with high school foreign exchange students and volunteer host families is a unique experience that has shaped my life in many ways. Not just mine, but the lives of my children. I even have a video where I interviewed my daughter about what it was like being raised with folks from other countries living in our home. Here is a link to the YouTube video if you are curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQu-7obfKIg&t=24s

Meanwhile, here is a photo of us at the airport with our very first foreign exchange student from Russia and my friend Tanya, the local coordinator at the time.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about what it’s like living with — or working with –teenagers from around the world, please reach out to me. Or visit this link!

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

(aka Deb)

Host Family Referral Form – complete this form and if the family you refer is new to Greenheart and ends up hosting a qualifying student, you will earn a $200 Visa gift card!

Discover Greenheart’s global impact & connect with us on LinkedIn or Facebook 

Categories: Fitness | 1 Comment

I Named Him Rubbish

What is the thing that holds you back?  What is that elephant in the room that you refuse to acknowledge?  Who is your nemesis?  Is it you?  Is it fear?  Is it anxiety?  What is it going to take for you to slay this dragon?  Well first, you have to name the thing.

Once you name your dragon, then you can slay that sucker.  Admitting the silly beast exists is half the battle, yes?  Or admitting that it does NOT exist so you can move past it – that is also progress, my friends.

Once upon a time, I could not hurl my big butt into an inner tube … you know the kind you float in water and enjoy?  Even though I am now much smaller and know that I am capable of such a thing, there is still this twinge of anxiety that is residual from the days of morbid obesity.

Story time: While on a mini road trip with my three sons, we went to this huge spring fed pool, that had little fish in there and everything.  Some of the water was 25 feet deep.  This place had a high dive, whoa … and inner tubes.   So what was a mama to do in this situation?  Well, this mama got her butt into an inner tube and also managed to jump off the high dive, that’s what.  You know what else?  I loved doing it even more than I thought I would.

Life is good when you name your dragons so they can be slain.   I named mine Rubbish … since my fear of not fitting into the tube was pure rubbish.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Fitness | Leave a comment

What is the next little thing?

Hmmm… what is the next itty bitty thing?

Do you realize that you are right where you need to be to take the next step? There’s absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress. All you have to decide is what to do next (just the next itty bitty step). It really is that simple. You don’t have to have it all figured out to take that next step and move forward. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.

Remember: Never make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Many people make choices and plans when things aren’t going so well. They look for relief in the despair of the valley; instead of waiting for the clarity that comes from being on the mountaintop. . . The best time to make decisions is when you’re succeeding — or calm! If you fight your way through the valley, you’ll make better decisions at the summit.

I am pretty sure nobody is going to stand up at your funeral and state that you had an amazing couch and fabulous shoes.  Life is not about things, stuff and junk.  It’s about memories, experiences and feeling alive.  It’s about impacting other people, in a positive way.  So what is the next itty bitty thing that you need to do in order to move forward? If you don’t know the answer to that question, take a deep breath ~ and figure it out. Go get yourself that very next AHA moment !

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Fitness | Leave a comment

New Year, Same Me, Better Goals

Taking a break, enjoying the lake

2021… I honestly don’t know if I have anything worthy to add to the chit chat about how difficult 2021 was for so many I love. The tragic and unexpected death of my daughter aside, it was challenging and soul crushing for me on oh so many levels. So, let’s just let me leave that acknowledgment as it is, shall we?

What about 2020? Well, I survived a pandemic amidst my middle son’s two surgeries compounded by many other challenges. I even tried to ‘retire’ #TheHealthyHabitLady blog and social media. Yeah well … that didn’t work out … folks wanted their cheerleader back; and I needed to be back. But there is nothing wrong with breaks, nothing at all.

Anyone remember 2019? That was the year I survived a devastating divorce and dissolved a 26 year marriage, lost my home, was financially obliterated and started all over, with my children, in a small town here in Northeast Texas. I traded in suburbia and city life for 13 acres on a lake. Zero regrets. Then menopause hit me. Oh Joy.

Guess what? I’m still here, I have survived, my heart is still beating and my blessings they do abound. Now I think I’d like a year to THRIVE … and not just survive. Anyone else?

Regardless of tragedies and sucker punches, I have had a few wins! Truly, I have… and I intentionally wrote them down in a journal by Mel Robbins … in my very own messy handwriting … to reflect and remind myself that YES, I AM STILL HERE. I’m still breathing and I do actually still have something to offer to those around me. I still have a voice. I still have something to say. I still have children to raise. I am 52 years young. I am far from done.

It is so important to celebrate your wins, and I hope you take a moment to honor anything that you accomplished in 2021, or even in the last few years. No matter how small .. it does matter. Write out your top 5, maybe it’s just barely a top 3 …. but I double dog dare you to do a little dance! Articulate your gifts and greatness into any flimsy words you can manage to string together. Building on that sense of accomplishment helps you with this next step … which is to plan your 2022! Be present in 2022! Engage in 2022!

Now I will whisper in your ear … drown out the distracting noises. If only for a moment, ignore the dog barkin’ and listen with intent. Here’s the question: Have you set any goals for this year? Not resolutions. GOALS?! Do you use a journal or a planner? I’d love to hear about your tools.

Now comes the most important question: Have you mapped out any strategies and action steps needed to accomplish desired goals? My brutal truth is this: YES, I have started ~~but I haven’t finished. My brain is still churning, my gears are still turning. Yes, Ms. Deb is still crafting and prioritizing, but I’m doing it ~ nonetheless.

My emotional bandwidth and mental energy are growing stronger, so let me hear from ya! How can we be here for each other throughout this year? Who can YOU reach out to this week; whether to ask for help or offer encouragement? Who can you check on and remind them that – yes – they matter? Who can you impress, even if it is just yourself? Who can you shock the hell out of this month? Now go on, get busy.

As for me and my mirror, we are good pals. Come tomorrow morning, when I see the rising woman whom I will greet with a ‘good morning‘ … when I see her in that gloriously flawed yet marvelous reflection … that woman will get a High 5! She deserves it, and so do you, my friend, so do you.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Buying a journal is one thing …
and yet OPENING it is quite another 🙂

My Amazon Associate link if you would like to purchase this journal by Mel Robbins:
https://amzn.to/3qRTXQD

I originally discovered Mel Robbins on LinkedIN, this is her page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melrobbins/

My Amazon Associate link if you would like to purchase the High 5 Audiobook, which I have done, and am presently listening to in my car, on my way to and from work:
https://amzn.to/31ry6H5

The first book I ever read by Mel Robbins was The 5 Second Rule, and I read it on my Kindle, but it is available in other formats. Still a fabulous read or listen, and here is my Amazon Associate link if you’re interested:
https://amzn.to/31pD6vG

Meanwhile, Mel Robbins has a High 5 Crew Group on Facebook, I just joined today:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/high5crew

Categories: Motivational | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Air Fryer Salmon

Can I just say that the invention of the Air Fryer has changed my life. The possibilities are endless with this thing; and I dare say we use it daily. We actually have two. One with trays and one is a basket. I had a third but I gave it away. We have made wings, hamburgers, salmon, filet mignon, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, hash browns, etc. We have even reheated restaurant leftovers (and they taste the same as they did in the restaurant).

There are many groups on Facebooks, boards on Pinterest, etc. to find lots of information. Many options and many come with payment plans. I can hands down say I am a huge fan of this contraption. My teenagers even use it, all of the time.

Tonight’s Air Fryer blessing was salmon. One of my favorites. Now some people can season it (like my son makes his salmon with lemon pepper) … but as for me and my SED, I eat it plain, and just a wee bit of butter.

I highly suggest spraying the basket or trays with cooking spray before using. ALSO – if you buy salmon for the air fryer, buy it fresh and NOT skinless. The salmon with skin seems to do better. I typically do it at 360 for 12 minutes; but if it is a super thick piece, it may need to go longer.

Here are a few of my affiliate links if you’re interested in purchasing. Shopping through my affiliate links helps support me and my ministry / small business efforts. However; I never recommend anything I do not have personal knowledge about and/or use in my home.

https://amzn.to/35NUtou

https://amzn.to/3d4mT1K

Here are a few pics from tonight’s Air Fryer adventure…

Meanwhile in other news; I am beyond excited because I was accepted into the Amazon Influencer program.  I thought you might be interested in my storefront page.

https://www.amazon.com/shop/debrasueharris?ref=cm_sw_em_r_inf_own_debrasueharris_dp_FLVxftgXmn0NQ

This is my personalized Amazon storefront where I share product recommendations of things I use, know about and love. Feel free to take a peek and offer feedback. I’m just now getting started with it all.

Also as mentioned above; I have an Amazon affiliate link, whereas if you are going to do any shopping on Amazon anyway, if you click my affiliate link and then shop; it helps me so much.  

My Amazon Affiliate LInk

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Cooking | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.