Category Archives: family

Happy Green Day!

Happy Green Day!

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I’m not Irish, but I really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe even more than a holiday like Valentine’s day, because there’s not a lot of pressure for gifts or dates, and you don’t even have be in a relationship to enjoy the holiday. And for some reason, Ireland has always been one of THOSE places I have been in crush with. I even got to spend 3 glorious days there in college. I wish I could go back and finish seeing all the places I want to there some day. 🙂

So, in honor of this great, green day, we donned our green and pretended to give our kids some “culture” today. Which included a stop by at the city aquarium. Not sure how that one fit in, but Evie did sit on a green mermaid, so that counts, right?)

We almost successfully took pictures –or not– to send to Grandma of the shirts she sent for the holidays. I tried super hard to get a cute pic of the kids together… and all of them turned out like this or worse. 

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Also, it involved bribing the toddler. Which is why she looks so sweet in this one. Chocolate chips do the trick, people. Or saying you can go outside to play after nap time. Whatever works. She likes to change it up often.

I made our favorite St. Patrick’s Day Shepherds Pie recipe, which is a lot of work and not entirely clean-eating approved, but worth it for a once-a-year meal!

And of course, we watched most of “The Secret of Kells” together… I love the animation and storyline, and it’s totally worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet. I first learned about The Book Of Kells in my senior year of high school thanks to my mythology teacher, and then I actually saw it on display at one of our stops to Trinity College in Ireland, which was pretty amazing. Google is your friend if you haven’t heard of it before. It’s worth a side trip to learn about that artifact! 🙂

kells(Do you see what they did here,  people?! This happens throughout the whole movie.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Internet! Or as one of my favorite brothers would say: “Happy Green Day!”

My Weightloss Journey

My Weightloss Journey
My Weightloss Journey

About 3 months ago, I was absolutely miserable with myself.

I hated everything I saw in the mirror. It was all terrible, and I was really failing at my 2014 New Years Resolution of loving myself, for myself, and for my family’s sake as well.

Yes, I had a baby this summer. Yes, it took 9 months to put on the weight, and so you could justify 9 months to lose that weight. But that wasn’t all of it. I was suffering from a myriad of symptoms. No energy. Postpartum depression. Migraines. I was drinking 2-3 cans of my favorite soda, Dr. Pepper, just to make it through the day. (A good day was just one Dr. P. And with a crazy -cute, but crazy- toddler and and infant, I found a lot of excuses on why I needed more than just one.)

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Me… Mid July. Highest weight I have ever been!!!

Enter Beachbody.

Through an online mom group, I met my beachbody coach, who was inviting people into her clean eating group. That was something I most certainly needed work on, so I thought, “Why the heck not?”

Though I only half-heartedly paid attention to the clean eating group, I kept watching her posts, which lead me to try Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix challenge pack with Shakeology.

And you know the crazy part? IT WORKS.

I started December first, and have been working hard since. With JD’s sleep regression for most of December and the first half of January, it was tough to work out every day. I didn’t always make it. But I did work out a lot more than I had… in years? Now that I think of it.

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Me December 1st in the pink shorts. Around Dec 20th for the blue shirt.

I also tried to stick to the 21 Day Fix meal plan. Honestly, the meal plan is 80% of the results. So even though I couldn’t always get the workouts in, (or I got sick, and knew it wasn’t the day to push myself), I still got some awesome results. I haven’t had a soda since December 1st. I have had lots more salads, ancient grains, and whole foods. It was great, in some ways though. I still had a lot of my recipes I could use if I just made small adjustments and remembered that it wasn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet!

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Down 15 lbs from my start weight, wearing a new shirt that didn’t have a chance of fitting pre-challenge!

And now? As of yesterday? I am TWO lbs away from my pre-JD weight, almost exactly 6 months after his arrival. With Evelyn, I never lost the last 10 lbs, even after 15 months.

I felt like I was trapped in a fat suit that wasn’t really who I was. Besides the weight, I felt horrible all the time. I felt like I couldn’t start to workout even, because it was hopeless. I couldn’t change, and I had a lot of reasons why I couldn’t make it work.

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No more.

Besides weight, I am feeling better in a lot of ways. I have years of bad habits I’m working on breaking, but the results have been awesome. And my WHOLE family is benefitting from it, from the baby I breastfeed, to the husband and toddler who likes to work out with me and eat the healthier food I make.

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I loved it so much I am now a Beachbody coach, or distributor, and have my own site with more information on the individual products and workouts you can try. They work.

I’m no longer feeling so inclined to sit on the sidelines of my own life. I take pictures with my kids. SOMETIMES WITHOUT EVEN WORRYING ABOUT MAKEUP! Because I feel better about myself as a whole.

I will be posting more about individual things I have been doing, but I wanted a more general overview, or introduction, on this awesome journey I have started, and how I hope to keep going down this path! Please feel free to ask me questions! 🙂

Well, this happened. Finally.

Well, this happened. Finally.
Well, this happened. Finally.

World, meet JD.

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He came into this world a little later than we were expecting him to. Lucky for him, this has been the most mild summer I’ve ever experienced in Texas, or else we would have had some serious problems. As it was, he kept us waiting quite a while.

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Here’s the pic I posted on social media to help prevent people from asking me somewhat hourly if the baby had come yet. And then he waited FOUR MORE days. 11 days late total. And boy, was that exciting when he did come. I’m still working on finding time to get all the details leading up to his labor story. When I get around to it, I will post. Fortunately, my body is not in the business of making giant babies, so despite his extra incubation period, he kept it just under 8 lbs. Thanks, little guy.

So far, he’s a huge sweetie. Pretty much a complete 180 from his older sister. Maybe his mellow personality is why he was pretty comfortable with hanging tight for that extra time. But because of that sweet, mellow personality, we’ve decided to keep him. (AS IF IT WERE AN OPTION. We would have kept him anyways, but he’s helping us out by making it much more pleasant. Keep it real.)

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Big sister is doing an amazing job overall with this huge transition. I am really proud of her. We had a -really- rough first day when it was just the three of us alone for the first time, but she genuinely loves her baby brother, gives him kisses, and stops whatever she is doing when she hears him cry to let me know that “Baby J.” needs something.

I am loving my little family and am so glad that this sweet soul has now FINALLY come to join us. The sweet moments and group cuddles make all the sleepless nights and toddler tantrums totally worth it. I wouldn’t trade these cute kids for anything!

The Aquarium and the Flowers

The Aquarium and the Flowers
The Aquarium and the Flowers

I know I mentioned in my last post that things haven’t been going as well as I would like for me, particularly emotionally, the past month or so. In an effort to keep with my resolution to stay positive about things going on in my life, here are two fun adventures we’ve had as a family recently.

The Aquarium

Recently, a new aquarium moved into town not far from where we live. Since this area is booming, and city limits can take take 45 minutes to get from one edge of town to the other in GOOD traffic conditions, we found this to be a bonus. So despite the somewhat inflated price, we checked it out. Some friends had gotten a family pass for half off and hadn’t used it yet, so we invited them with us.

The biggest bummer was that the day dawned very drizzly and wet, and since the aquarium is all indoors, it got crowded pretty quickly. (And that happens on Saturdays, right?) But Evelyn had a blast.

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She got to see exotic birds and fish, crocodiles and tortoises, touch small sharks, starfish, and sting rays, and called the eels she saw “dragons” and roared at them.

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The staff was super nice, and one guy even came out and told us to stick around for a minute because he was about to feed the eels, and the kids usually enjoyed watching that. It was pretty neat. Definitely worth the family pass if you are going to go multiple times with younger kids that don’t think they are too big for the experience. 😉

 

Bluebonnet Season

Hands down, spring in Texas is both the worst of times and best of times. Worst of times: ALLERGIES GALORE. Even if you have never had serious allergy issues in your life, there seems to be at least one thing here that ends up getting everybody at one point or another.  But the wildflowers that pop up EVERYWHERE- any field, along the side of the highways, even on the side of a busy intersection- are gorgeous. It’s hard to focus on driving because I just want to stop and smell the flowers!

We were kind of overwhelmed last year and only caught the tail end of the beautiful wild flower season here for Evelyn, and we were sort of bummed about that. We made a goal to be better this year. So when I happened across a list of some of the best bluebonnet spots last week, I was determined we’d take advantage of the sunny Saturday we had to go get some pictures!

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As you can tell, we weren’t disappointed. Evelyn was entranced by the flowers, but not enough to keep still for long. We grossly overestimated her attention span in competition to all that goes on at a busy park on a Saturday. Despite all that, I still think we got some cute pictures and some great memories. (All these photos were taken by the very persistent Jared.)

instagrambb.jpg (One of my personal favorites that I took with my phone of us trying to compete with an airplane for Evelyn’s attention. Clearly, we lost her attention, but still got a great pic!)

Hope you enjoy our family memories as much as we have trying to make them!

A quick update…

A quick update…

I haven’t been very active on here lately. I wanted to do better with blogging, but it just hasn’t been in my bandwidth. There’s been a lot going on, and with my energetic toddler, I don’t know how anyone has ever had the time and energy to get anything done with these crazy little cuties around.

But other than that, if I were to be completely honest with you all, I would have to say that I’ve been struggling with a big resurgence of my anxiety/depression issues, and just being able to take care of my family’s immediate needs has become a main priority. A lot of the remedies I would usually turn to aren’t as viable an option right now, especially being pregnant. And I know the pregnancy has it’s own share of contributing to the problem with hormone changes and pain issues. I’ve felt fairly isolated lately, and it’s been a really difficult time for me in those regards. However, I do apologize for not keeping up with this as well as in the past.

Things with BabyB v2.0 have been moving along fairly smoothly. In fact, a few weeks ago we found out that “it” is a HE. I felt pretty strongly all along that this little guy was indeed a guy, so it was pretty much what I expected. We were really fine with whatever the result would be, as there are benefits to having both another girl, or having a boy, so really it is just planning ahead now that is the fun part.

SAMSUNGThe “REVEAL” picture I shot the day we found out.

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One of my favorite pictures from the ultrasound- he’s waving hi!

Anyways, that’s been fun. I enjoy being able to plan. The pregnancy has gotten a little more painful the past week with some lower back pain issues that we are working on resolving, but it’s hard to not tweak your back when you have an energetic toddler, right? So being able to sit and rest and dream up ideas on Pinterest of how we can decorate BBv2.0’s room has been a saving grace for my attention during this lonely time, and I am glad for the distraction.

I’ve also been working on a small crochet blanket for him the past few days. I am really excited about this project, especially because it’s the colors I’ve wanted for his nursery from early on, even before I knew for sure he was a boy. I was trying to think of ways to make them work if BBv2.0 had been a girl, so I am glad I don’t have to try as hard now!

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The colors (in cotton yarn, as he’s going to be a summer baby!)

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The project so far, based on this Tiramisu blanket pattern.

 

I haven’t gotten too far yet, since thanks to the cutie pictured above, it took about 5-6 hours to untangle a yarn mess she created, putting me a day behind. (Bonus, it motivated my husband and me to FINALLY get a yarn swift to go with our winder so we can wind hanks/skeins here at home… yay!) I tried to get a stand alone picture of the project all morning since the light has been good, but SOMEBODY would not leave the blanket alone. She sees it and immediately wants to snuggle it. I may be making a second blanket here soon just for her since she has been so obsessed with this project.

So that’s what has mostly been up in our lives. Incubating baby #2, surviving Toddler #1, and fighting a battle with housework that if you came over, probably would look like we’re losing. 😉