Happy Birthday Jackson Ray! (+ Two Green Smoothie Recipes)

Rachel, the daughter

My little Jackson Ray turned one on Friday. Life has been sweet this year, very very sweet. Knowing deep, heavy, sorrowful years, I don’t ever take a sweet year for granted. Tears rolled down my cheek as I crawled into bed on Thursday night, a reel of sweet moments from the past year flashing through my head.

Feeling my baby’s little (and sometimes not so little) kicks and bumps in my belly.

40 weeks and ready to meet my son!

Holding him in my arms that first day and being so baffled that I actually grew him and that  just hours before he was inside of me. “So that was you kicking around in there this whole time?”

Kissing his perfectly squishy cheeks and pouty lips over and over again. Some things haven’t changed.

Spending hours and hours and hours rocking and feeding and staring and talking to this little wide-eyed wonder. I had no idea how easy those early days were. Ha!

The first warm spring day that we got to go outside and soak in the sun, feeling privileged to get to show the world to this little man, to be there as he he feels grass tickle his toes for the very first time.

The moment I realized my baby was turning into a little boy, as he instinctively made “vroom, vroom” noises while pushing his Tonka truck into the “rough terrain.” Shortly after, to my horror, he ate a rolly polly, driving it home that he was indeed all boy (and possibly not a vegan).

The first time our water-loving boy set eyes on the ocean, at the very same beach where Jared and I got married five years earlier.

Friday morning, Jared and I greeted our one-year old with his very first Happy Birthday duet. Then we moved the party into the kitchen to make a special birthday version of our morning green smoothies. (Jared and I have challenged ourselves to drink one green smoothie a day for a month. Jackson loves them, so he joins us most days too.)

Jackson loves “helping” so much that we got him this little step stool for his birthday designed to let little ones safely be a part of the action. Have you ever met a kid this exited over mixed greens and getting to wash their own dishes on their birthday morning? He is his kale-loving, neat-freak mother’s son! And I am a proud momma!

After Jackson cleaned up :), we went to the Dallas World Aquarium, where once again I was privileged to get to see the world through the awe-filled eyes of a child.

We just finished up week one of drinking a green smoothie every day and it has quickly become a fun morning ritual. I’ve been following my friend and realtor, Terri Camp’s green smoothie experiment for awhile now and finally decided to try it out for our family. Not only is Terri looking and feeling great, but her kids are loving it too. I’ve gone on green smoothie kicks before, but Jared never drank them with me and I never stuck with it on a daily basis. Now that he’s joining me and Jackson is old enough to enjoy them too, I’m having a lot of fun coming up with new concoctions every morning. Peanut Butter Banana, Spicy Tomato & Cucumber, Lemon Blueberry, and Tropical. If you’ve never tried greens in your smoothie, don’t be alarmed by the green color. I promise, you don’t taste the greens at all. I really like to add oats and chia seeds to my smoothies for the extra fiber, omegas, protein, and nutrition. I find they hold me over longer when I include them. You can find chia seeds online, at Whole Foods, or your local health food store. Feel free to omit them though.

Jackson’s Blueberry Birthday Smoothie

Serves 2 (and a baby)

3 T. oats
1 T. chia seeds + 3 T. warm water
1 1/2 c. greens (I used a Power Greens mix of spinach, chard, and baby kale)
1 organic apple, seeded
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
2 bananas, frozen or fresh
1/2 an avocado (makes it creamy)
Juice of one lemon
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as unsweetened coconut or almond milk)
ice

Directions

Soak chia seeds in warm water, stirring occasionally until all the water is absorbed and the chia seeds are soft.

Grind oats in blender into a fine dust. Add (in this order) chia seeds, greens, apple, blueberries, bananas, avocado, lemon juice, milk. Blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice if desired and blend again until smooth.

(Note: I add a little more milk to Jackson’s so it is easily sipped through a sippy cup.)

Tropical Green Smoothie

Serves 2 (and a baby)

3 T. oats
1 T. chia seeds + 3 T. warm water
1 1/2 c. greens (I used a Power Greens mix of spinach, chard, and baby kale)
1 date, pitted
1/2 organic apple, seeded
1 clementine, peeled
1 banana, frozen or fresh
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1/4 t. almond or vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
ice

Directions

Soak chia seeds in warm water, stirring occasionally until all the water is absorbed and the chia seeds are soft.

Grind oats in blender into a fine dust. Add (in this order) chia seeds, greens, date, apple, clementine, banana, pineapple, almond or vanilla extract, coconut milk. Blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice if desired and blend again until smooth.

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The Title: Happy Birthday Jackson Ray ( + Two Green Smoothie Recipes)
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