Category Archives: think happy thoughts

That time I lost a toddler from my body

That time I lost a toddler from my body

Confession time: I have lost 30 pounds in the last four months.

THIRTY. FLIPPING. POUNDS. No joke you guys.

March30lbs(Sorry it’s a bit blurry… Miss Persnickety wasn’t wanting to take a picture today, and this was the best out of 30.)

Do you see that sweet girl with me? Yeah. I apparently was carrying all THAT on my frame, because that is just about what she weighs right now.

Thirty pounds. That sounds like a high number. That was kind of my original goal. At least be back to my pre-kid weight. That was almost too good to hope to be true. I didn’t know if I worked, even for a year, if I could make that happen.

But I did, in a third of the time.

Thirty pounds… The size of my toddler. That just blows my mind. How was that even on my body?!

It’s pretty fitting that those numbers line up right now, because I now weigh what I was pre-kiddos. I am starting to pull shirts out that I haven’t seen in over 3 years because I just couldn’t fit in them. It’s almost better than going shopping outside the house for new clothes! I seriously pulled out a few shirts today that I had hidden away (including the one I am wearing in this picture!) because every time I saw it, I was sad. It reminded me of a body I didn’t think I could ever see again.

All of this doesn’t even compare to how much better I feel. Despite the fact I haven’t touched a caffeinated beverage for four months, and my baby loves to wake up during the night multiple times, I have more energy than ever. We are all eating better, doing more activities outside the house. And when I get frustrated with my own weaknesses, I know I am working harder than ever at overcoming them. This has changed my life, my perspective. Everything I have put in, I have gotten back.

I used primarily 21 Day Fix (based on the research that it takes 21 days to break those bad habits and reinstate healthy ones for eating and working out) and Shakeology for December and January. The second half of February, I played around with a lot of different programs that were available for Beachbody On Demand. Now I working on 21 Day Fix Extreme, which has more difficult workouts, but the eating plan is about the same, just no cheat days. It’s been tough, but I am so proud of myself for being able to keep up!

I’m gearing up for my challenge group for April. If you are ready for change, ready to feel better about yourself, wanting support, motivation, a friend to cheer you on, let me know.

More than anything, know this: You are worth the investment.

braverstrongersmarter

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!

New Year Resolution Review

New Year Resolution Review
New Year Resolution Review

I was just thinking about my big New Year’s Resolution for 2013. I wanted to learn a new hobby- particularly focusing on crocheting/knitting. While I haven’t quite gotten excited about knitting, I feel pretty good about nailing the crochet part of my resolution.

Here is a year in review with some of my favorite projects.

corchetcollage2I did a lot of crocheted flower/bow-tie collars for rescue, along with birds that could be sold to raise money for IGCA rescue, too. (And I made several birds as gifts for friends, too!)

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I have made several cute booties and accessories for friends and others, but these are my favorite. Evelyn’s owl hat was a blast to make. I still adore her pink boots That she wore for a while back in February, along with her “Converse sneakers“. (Now that I think of it… those “barefoot sandals” from the same post as the sneakers were pretty sweet, too!) The fingerless gloves in the middle were a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law, and it’s hard to tell from the picture, but there’s strands of glittery silver mixed in with the yarn, which is a super soft blend of merino wool and silk lace weight yarn. They were so soft and beautiful!

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And of course, all the stuffed animals/ amigurumi items I made were both a major pain and so fun to try out. While I thought that Link and Yoshi were going to kill me to assemble, the end results were absolutely worth it! (You are welcome, Jacob and Stephen. Like my college-aged brothers have time to read my blog, though! 😉 ) Evelyn’s birds, bear, and birthday owl were easy enough, but great softies for her. And the patterns from Creepy Cute Crochet (Ninjas, Amazon Warrior Princess, and Grim Reaper) were all great learning experiences, as well as fun gifts and decorations.

As far as meeting a New Year’s Resolution, I think this year I hit it out of the ball park! It’s so neat to look back on the past year and see what I’ve accomplished when this time last year, I couldn’t even do a single crochet stitch. 🙂

Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving!

I realized that there were some technical difficulties with my last post, because I wrote most of it ahead of time and set it to publish last Thursday, and then it disappeared into the interwebs never to be seen again. Boo. So, I’m going to end off the month of November with 10 things that I am thankful for (because 14 is just a weird number to stand alone).

  1. Rain- I LOVE the rain! One of the great bummers of our area lately was that we have been in such a horrible drought situation since we moved here. The last two months have brought several bouts of rain, and it is very refreshing to the land and the soul to see the flowers bloom and the occasional gray skies!
  2. DVRs/Netflix and all those wonderful ways to record and watch the myriad of shows out there. It’s helped with several of my loves of shows like “Castle” or “Downton Abbey” or even “Top Gear” (BBC version, of course!). And the ability to pause live TV, and rewind to watch a punchline you might have missed? How simple and great!
  3. Siblings- It stinks being so far away from our siblings, but having siblings is a great thing. Hopefully Evelyn will be able to have siblings and have a good relationship overall with them.
  4. Evelyn’s buddies: Evelyn has a few very special buddies around her age, one in particular, and it’s so fun to watch them play together. I am so grateful that she has the opportunity to interact with others her age and have fun fairly often. We can’t afford a preschool situation or programs like Gymboree right now, and I worry about her not being able to social with other little ones more. But she’s growing up so beautifully, and it’s even better when she and I get to socialize with others outside the home!
  5. Our Texas friends: We were so lucky just this week to be involved with others’ holiday celebrations on more than one occasion. We are far away from the family we grow up with, but this season, we were so lovingly included that it makes being far away from family so much more bearable. We love our Texas family!
  6. The miracle of babies- I was just looking at pictures of Evelyn at Thanksgiving last year… and the change is remarkable. I can’t believe how quickly my little girl is growing up!!!
  7. Cars- We got a new (new to us, that is) vehicle over the summer, and I LOVE it. And it has a BACK UP CAMERA. It’s the little things, people. But I love the wonderful comfort a nice working vehicle is.
  8. Email/Blogs/Instant messaging- I love the fact that email exists. I won’t argue that there’s nothing quite like getting a real, meaningful letter in snail mail, of course. But when you have a very active toddler and your only time to get things done is when she’s asleep, being able to use Google Chat/Hangouts or email or whatever have you to speak with loved ones all over the world helps keep them much closer, and updated on the ever-changing Miss Evelyn.
  9. Mother Nature: I LOVE the outside world. I miss the mountains, but where we live has many beauties of well. And I think of some of my favorite places that I have visited, like Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon, which are some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, and I am so grateful there are so many lovely places in the world that I hope to share with my family.
  10. Thanksgiving- We need more times to focus on being grateful for what we already have. Which is part of the reason I hate “Black Friday” shopping so much. One day it’s “I have so many great blessings in my life!” and the next day, it is: “I need more STUFF, and I’ll fight tooth and nail to beat other people to the STUFF!” I have so much in my life, and so much to be grateful for. I wish we had more days every year to focus on all that we have instead of wanting more.

 

Thankful Thursdays II

Thankful Thursdays II

What a week! Many of my things I am grateful for are things that suddenly have been in short supply. Nothing like a good dose of change and challenge to remind you to appreciate when things are good.

1) I am grateful for the days that I get a good night’s sleep. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping, but having a child of my own has really brought “sleep deprivation” to a whole new level. Especially when teething, or growing pains, throws a wrench into the nighttime workings of toddler sleep!

2) I am grateful for warm weather. We’ve hit uncharacteristically cold weather for our locale this week, and it reminds me of several  reasons why I prefer the really hot summers here over the very cold (and snowy…yuck!) winters of my childhood.

3) I am so grateful for our beautiful home. Even with all the maintenance (some of which has been taking FOREVER lately!) and random “Oh no!” moments  of home ownership, it is so neat to have our own home to make memories in with our family.

4) I am grateful for Pinterest! How many amazing, cute ideas have I come across on that site (many of which I will never get to replicating), and how many amazing, quick and easy recipes have I come across to spice up our dinner rotations? And I know there’s always that feeling that sometimes some of these people who do these projects are crazy overachievers, it gives me something to aspire to on the crazier days of being a mom.

pinterest

5) I am grateful for crock pots. Seriously, whoever made the crock pot, I love you. Not only does my crock pot help me made chicken and pot roasts so tender they just fall apart to the touch,  it makes it possible for me to make dinner while Evelyn is having some down time, usually mornings. Unlike the days where 4:00PM hits and her separation anxiety is so bad that she must be held constantly or else break down into hysteria. And then I end up calling Jared to pick something from Chick-Fil-A because I get anxiety just thinking about trying to contain her wiggles while trying to cut veggies or cook on the stove!

6) I really enjoy the chickens. In the cooler weather, they haven’t been laying as frequently. (Frankly, that is a relief for me- I have been having a rough time trying to keep up with 3-4 eggs a day! 1-2 are much more manageable!) But they have been a lot more fun than I had anticipated them being, and Evelyn thinks that they are hilarious to watch. She’ll run to the back door and sign bird, squealing “Bir-Bir-Biiiiir!” and I know she’s hoping to catch a glimpse of the chicklets. And it’s kind of fun to be a little more “self sustaining” with having them, too. Maybe we need to get a nanny goat next, Jared?  😉 JUST KIDDING. Mostly.

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7) I LOVE Evelyn snuggles. This girl isn’t the most snuggle-bunny of them, and so the moments that I can get her to sit still next to me and cuddle for a few minutes on the couch are PRICELESS. And when it is snuggling with Mom, Dad, Evelyn, and three doggies on the couch? Nothing beats snuggling with the loves of your life!

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