Sep 27, 2013

OOTD: Color block

Here's an outfit I wore last Sunday:

I am sooooo in LOVE with the shoes.  And for being as tall as they are, they are super comfortable, which is a must for me. 
Well, hope you have a great weekend!


Sep 26, 2013

Random Pics

I've been a bad blogger.  I've been busy and haven't been taking too many pictures lately.  But I just found a few on my camera, plus an OOTD that I will save for the next post.
I love looking at pics of hubby playing with the children.  It melts my heart every time I see them.  Little Jax gets quite a bit of attention from daddy, and he LOVES it.  As much as I tell people that Jax is a mama's boy, he likes daddy just as much.

One day last week the kids were playing in the backyard.  Linc turned on the water, and of course Taylor ended up soaking poor little Lincoln.  He got cold fast, so I made him take off all of his wet clothes.  I did tell him to go and get other dry clothes on....but he has his own agenda....

P.S. Don't you love my pad of fake grass! I DO!  We rarely see grass where we live, so I love having it in my backyard....even if it does look silly.

And....these pics below were all taken by Lincoln....pretty good!

 Just look at that little boy.  He is delicious!  He was also soaked by his big brother.  I had to change him quick because he was shivering!

 And then one night, I came home to see this at the end of my street......

I've seen the moon like this oh, about once every year.  I LOVE it.  It's huge!!!  This picture doesn't do it justice.   
Well I'm off to bed.  Sweet dreams.

Sep 19, 2013

Conspiracy Theorist

Hubby told me to look front of the this is my awkward result! haha

So, here's a confession that sometimes I'm a little bit embarrassed about.....because the hubs makes fun of me for it.  Have you ever heard of that show called "DoomsdayPreppers"?  My hubby teases me that I should go on it.  I've never actually watched it, but am extremely interested in those kinds of know.....preparing for the end of the world kind of stuff. 
It all started back in September of 2008.  I started waking up in the middle of the night with a HUGE amount of anxiety about food storage and I would stay awake for hours stressing over it.  The church that I belong to is a big advocate on food storage and preparing for emergency situations.  I never put too much stock in it though.  But after waking up night after night with anxiety about not being prepared, I knew I had to do something about it.  Since then I've done a LOT of research on food storage.  Then, my interest grew into gardening, canning, and ALL SORTS of things.  Last year, I even went as far as learning how to butcher my own meat.....2 baby cows.  I am a city girl.  I was raised in the city, and all of these interests are completely new to me.  I still consider myself very new.  I still don't have a lot of hands on experience.  But I read about it all the time.  My dream would be to live off grid.  I love reading blogs about people who do.  It is so amazing to me.  I would love to have the peace of mind knowing I can provide for my family without any help from the outside world.  At the same time, I see how hard that life off grid.  And I am NOT ready to give up all the luxuries that I've come to love, like having a hot shower every day, or having power (lights, internet, microwave, heating, air conditioning).  I know I can generate power myself.....but you need to be RICH to afford it.  Solar panels to power a good sized house are VERY expensive.  So for now, I just dream about it, and learn about it.  Part of this planning is learning how to use a firearm (see above, our baby glock).  Call me crazy, but I don't only want to know how to hunt meat if I needed to, but I want to be able to protect myself if the need presented itself, against humans.  My biggest fear is that our Country has some kind of disaster happen (like war, or famine because we don't receive any know....crazy stuff) and that I may have to protect our food or family from others.  Don't get me wrong, if I saw someone suffering from starvation, I would like to think that I would share what little I had.  I know God would want that.  To love others like our own family.  I just want the peace of mind, in case I ever needed to protect myself or my children.  The guns I would like to own are: AR-15 and a rifle.  I shot an AR-15 for the first time just a couple of weeks ago.  AMAZING, but HEAVY. It's so easy to be accurate with it.  Not only am I learning, but shooting guns is just plain fun. 
I'm not extreme like the preppers you see on TV.  I hardly have any food storage, but I do know a lot about it.  Also, my gardening skills are SLOWLY improving.  This is the 4th year I've grown a garden:

I still have sooooo much to learn though.  Realistically, I probably won't ever live off grid, but hopefully part of my dream can come true.  I hope to live in a home where I have at least a 1/2 acre to grow a LARGE garden, and a few fruit trees.  My goal is to have my garden provide all the fruits and vegetables that we can consume each year, so that I never have to buy at the grocery store.  OH and did I mention chickens?  I would love to have fresh eggs/meat as well.  I even went as far as to cook up some goat meat to consider raising goats for their meat....but it's a no go. my opinion.  I probably cooked it wrong.
Back to the fruits/vegetables... I also worry about all the pesticides and chemicals that are on our vegetables/fruits that we purchase in the supermarket.  What is it doing to our bodies?  I really wonder about that.  Not only do I wonder about fruits and vegetables...but also the meat, and dairy in the grocery stores and even the processed foods that have all those preservatives.  I could go on and on.  I've read countless articles and I can't be sure one way or the other, but I definitely wouldn't be surprised if the foods we are consuming are causing disease or illness.  Hmmmm, is that crazy as well???  My hubby might think so.  He likes to call me a conspiracy theorist.  I have to admit, there may be some truth to it, but mostly I like to think of myself as cautious and open-minded.  You just never know what could happen.  I just want to be prepared.
What do you think about being prepared for a disaster?  Do any of you out there wonder/worry about the food we are consuming with all of their pesticides and chemicals?


Sep 16, 2013

OOTD and The Weekend!

Hello!  Here is an outfit I wore a couple of Sunday's ago.  Sorry about the blurriness, there must have been a fingerprint on the lens or something????  I also bought this outfit while I was shopping in Phoenix.  I got the shirt and skirt from Kohl's, and the sandals from Target (on clearance).

My weekend was A-MAZ-ING!  Wanna know why?  It's because I did absolutely NOTHING.  It was so perfect.  On Friday night we had a bunch of friends over for a friendly game of poker, and then on Saturday we just lounged around all day.  In the afternoon, when I put my boys down for a nap, my husband left to run a couple of errands and brought Taylor with him, which left me all alone to work on a project.....which I will be posting about very shortly and just CANNOT wait to share!  Back to the weekend.  So once hubs got back, we just chilled all day long.  I wasted time looking at magazines (Better Homes and favorite), reading, and watching shows (The Amazing Race) with hubby.  We also watched a couple of movies "Now you see me", and "Star Trek" the second one.  Both were GREAT!   We let the kids play games on the Ipad, watch cartoons, and play outside.  We made no bake cookies, and delicious meals and TRIED to eat outside on the patio, but of course if it's not raining around here then it's usually windy.  It was too windy and we all ran back inside.  At one point, I was feeding my little Jax, and looked over at my other 2 children.  They were sitting at the kitchen table eating.  Linc was standing on his chair wiping his chubby little dirty hands all over the chair and table, and then he jumped down and started playing with Taylor on the kitchen floor.  Once upon a time, I would have looked at this very same moment...with panic.  I would stress over my chairs, table and floor getting sticky and dirty, and then I would stress about the fact that my kids were NOT eating their dinner and worry that they wouldn't get enough to eat.
But during this moment, I smiled.  I felt complete joy in my heart.  I noticed Lincoln's tiny chubby baby hands, and Taylor's huge grin as she played with her brother.  My children looked so happy.  I relished the moment and thanked God that I was able to enjoy that beautiful moment.  Don't get me wrong, I still saw the dirty chairs, but I didn't feel panicked, I actually enjoyed it because I know my kids won't be young forever, and one day they will grow up and leave, and I will miss cleaning up their little hand prints all over everything, because I will miss them terribly.  I feel the older I get and the longer that I am a mother, my stress and anxieties seem to decrease.  I feel like I am able to see life's beautiful moments more easily now because I don't feel like I'm running around with my head cut off.  I also think what helps is that I have lowered my own expectations.  I realize I can't keep my house SPOTLESS.  And that's OK.  I also realize that enjoying these moments of happiness with my children is much more important, than having a spotless house. 


Sep 11, 2013

OOTD and Rampage!

Here's an outfit I wore last week:

I'm in LOVE with the shirt.  I got it from Downeast Basics.  It's so soft and breathable, and I love that it looks like denim.

Hope you are having a great day!  I know I am!  I've been on a cleaning rampage.  Yesterday when I was rummaging through a cupboard, I found a mountain of loose flour in the back.  I didn't have time to clean then, but you better believe I got to it today.  My flour cupboard has been a catch all cupboard with all kinds of random things in a cup of pens, cook books, glow sticks (what the????), and games for my children to name a few!  So while cleaning it out, I got down to business and took out all that random weird stuff (except the cup of pens....for now) so the cupboard has a purpose now.  It feels so good to clear out clutter and define a space.  I have a few too many places in my house right now that are cluttered and DRIVING ME NUTS!  Like my bookshelf, console table (has a pile of DVDS on it that I now have no home for), mudroom, storage shelf in a closet, and above my kitchen cabinets...I like to put weird random crap up there if I don't have a space for it....I've got to STOP!).  Slow and steady wins the race.  I'll eventually get to them one by one.  I have a bad habit of shoving things in weird places, instead of taking the time right then and there to find a home for it.  Soon I'll be organized right??????  Or maybe I should just stop buying things all together?  My husband would LOVE that idea.  For now, I am going to work on my organizing skills and probably purchase some bins for organizing....bins and containers always seem to help.

Do you have any organization tips for me?  I would love to hear about them?


Sep 9, 2013

Fat Loss Week 8 and children

By now, I should have been close to achieving the results I had been imagining....but my diet has been a very hard struggle.  Again this last week I struggled....probably worse than I have this whole challenge.  I ate soooooo many sugary treats, and soooooo many salty crackers!  Not good.  One of my problems is that I've been potty training my son, and we buy him potty treats.  I don't usually have so much junk food in my house....but since I have been buying it, I've been on a rampage!
Here are my measurements from this morning:

Waist: 27 3/4"
High Hip (belly): 33 1/4"
Hips: 36 1/2"

Not much change.  Like I said, ultimately I'd like to get my waist down to 25"....but we'll see if that's even possible after giving birth to another.  It seems my body changes after each baby, in different ways.  Usually not for the better! Ha!  But, after it's all said and done, it is sooo worth it.  I'd rather have my beautiful children, and be able to listen to delighted giggles and squeals, and laughter.  I would give up my idea of a perfect body any day of the week for these precious children.

This morning I had one of those happy moments.  I was driving my daughter to school, with the boys in tow, and also a friend we had to pick up on the way.  My daughter and her friend were giggling in the back seat, all excited to see each other....they are best friends.  My son Lincoln, wanted our friends' attention so he was also yelling at the top of his lungs to get her attention.  While listening to the girls' chatter and giggles, and Lincoln's loud voice, one of my favorite songs came on the radio.  It was "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band.  In the lyrics, he talks about "feel the touch of a precious child, and know a mother's love".  A wave of happiness washed over me.  At that moment I felt complete joy.  I knew that the best happiness and joy that this life can give is motherhood.  It really is.  It is sooooooo, soooooo hard sometimes.  But overall, I'd definitely say it is worth every minute of pain and heartache, to feel the touch of a child, or hear their squeals of delight.  There really is nothing else like it on this earth.  Nothing.  I love being a mother so much.  All I ever wanted when I was little, was to get married and have children.  My dream is coming true and I feel truly blessed.

Jax was not too thrilled about being held.  But Linc was so sweet and tried to comfort him.
  So with that, I'll end this post by saying I'm going to try harder with my eating.  I NEED to get it under control so I can accomplish my goals.  I had a killer workout this morning with some friends.  Lots and lots of upper body work, using my own body weight, and some ab work too!  Today I felt weak though because I haven't worked out since last Thursday.  The break was nice, but I'm going to hit it hard this week.  Maybe I'll try to workout 5 times instead of 4!


Sep 5, 2013

Jokes and Potty Talk

Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Potato who?
Potato no ones there!

That was my 5 year old this evening before bed.  Knock Knock jokes are the big thing around here nowadays, and I love it.  It's so ridiculously adorable, watching them laugh on and on over their own jokes that they seem to think, make sense.  Adorable.  For a while there, my 3 year old (Lincoln) would say them over and over anytime we drove anywhere.  After that got old, he started in with "I spy".....but he doesn't fully comprehend it yet.  It's hilarious and annoying all at the same time, annoying because he goes on and on and if you try to stop playing, he SCREAMS at the top of his lungs until you start playing again.  Good times.
Lincoln's grumpy face. 

In other news, I have FINALLY started trying to potty train Lincoln.  It's not going so well.  He started to potty train himself a month or so before he turned 3, but then Hubby and I went out of town for a few days, and left him with family, and since then he has stopped.  I've been trying very hard this week, and we've made progress, but not very much.  He WILL NOT have a BM on the toilet.  I've tried running him to the toilet as soon as I know he is going to have a BM, but then he just sits there and cries, and then says he doesn't have to go anymore.  Of course he will go within the hour in his pull up.  I try bribing him with candy and chocolate, but he doesn't care.  He does go pee in the potty about 50 percent of the time.  This potty training business is hard work!  I just need to buck up and try harder to stay on top of it.  But at the same, when I make him sit on the potty every hour, he cries and cries and gets mad.  Ahhhhh!  What's a mom to do!?!? 
I will continue to reward him with gummy bears (pee) and chocolates(poop) when he does use the potty.  Also, when I googled potty training, I got a GREAT idea.  I have been using ABC flashcards while he sits on the potty, that way he can learn at the same time.  He has LOVED it as well and always wants me to pull them out when we go!  I am crossing my fingers that he is potty trained in the next month....but I have a feeling that it may take longer!  Ugghh!

Do you have any potty training tips for me?  I'm all ears!

Oh, and I had to add this:
Lincon insisted on wearing his socks like this.  Hubby and I got a good laugh out of this!



Sep 4, 2013

Fat Loss Week 7

So fat loss....oh boy!  Well, I decided to eat what I wanted for 2 days over the weekend...and then that turned into 3....and so on.  I still haven't gotten back to healthy eating.  Ahhhhh!    I've had one too many hot chocolates with LOTS of whip cream and lots of other crap!  Tomorrow is the day!  This has been interesting to blog about my diet.  Eye opening really.  I realize that once I give in for "a day", I can't get back on the band wagon, or at least it takes me a long while...sometimes weeks! :)  I want to be able to indulge every so often though, so I need to figure out how to jump back on the wagon quicker, instead of dragging my feet.  I know it all comes down to mental will power and rationalizing!  Once I eat badly for a couple of days, I rationalize with myself...."well, I already screwed up....what's one more day?".  This kind off thinking quickly gets me into trouble, and it makes it so hard for me to jump back on the diet train.
So I'm going to try a new strategy this weekend.  IF I decide to indulge, I'm going to try only indulging in one meal, and one dessert.  They don't have to be at the same time.  I'll see how this works for me.  Crossing my fingers.

As far as the exercise, I had another fabulous week!  I worked out 4 or 5 days, and did MOST of what I wanted to.  I can tell that my body is getting stronger.  I am not getting smaller, but I am building muscle and improving my cardiovascular fitness, which makes me very happy.  Right now, I am LOVING exercise.  It makes me feel so good about my body....even though I don't look perfect, there is a sense of fulfillment that comes with it.  My arms are getting a little more defined, and I am building a little more muscle in my legs (which for me is very difficult).  My gut is still my trouble area, but I will keep plugging away.  Day by day, I WILL get to where I want to be.  I will NOT give up.  I will try to take pictures next week.  I am not sure if my progress will be noticeable yet....but I'll post anyways.  I would have been transformed by now if I had stuck to my eating plan perfectly....but such is life.  Slow and steady wins the race.....right???? 
I am not going to post measurements right now!  I am sooooo bloated, and weighing in at more than I have in MONTHS!  But I know it's not "real" weight gain.  I've got some really bad cramps, and when that's happening I am always bloated.  This one happens to be a real doozy as far as the weight gain.  I just barely weighed in at 132lbs!  But don't worry.  It won't be here for long, I'm sure I will lose at least 5 lbs after the week is over...and that is just water weight.

A quick meal that I just ate the other morning, which was pretty healthy according to my standards was egg and turkey sausage scramble.  All I did was spray pam in a pan, add chopped green peppers, and onions, and turkey sausage (I bought Oscar Meyer brand that looks like a big link...not the ground kind).  Once that was cooked, I added 2 whole eggs (that I whisked quickly before adding), and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  After it was done I added a Tbsp of ketchup to the side.  Probably didn't need the extra calories and sugar....but whatever. 

What about you?  Do you have any healthy recipes to share with me?  I am always looking to try new things so that I don't get bored!  I would love to hear from you!


Sep 1, 2013

Love Conquers All

Painting pumpkins almost a year ago
Today, as I sat in church, tears streamed down my face....out of gratitude.  Lets start from the beginning.  I went to church (which is 3 hours long) today with my 3 little children.  My hubby had to work and was out of town.  That happens a lot.  He works so much.  I feel so bad for him.  But that's another story.  Anyways, I'm at church and both of my boys start screaming and crying at the top of their lungs.  So I quickly swoop them up in my arms and dash out into the hall, trying not to be a disturbance to others.  Taylor followed right behind.  Once in the hall, I tried to force my son Lincoln into a chair and told him that his bad behavior was not ok.  Another girl (young, like 14 yrs old)seeing that I had my hands full, tried to come up and help me....but that didn't go over so well.  So I ended up walking outside and letting the kids run around playing hide and seek (close by where I could see), while I talked to this sweet young 14 yr old girl, who has actually been through a lot...also another long story that I won't go into detail about.  After the first hour was up, I had to drop my two oldest off at their classes, which they love.  Then I went to the class that I teach every Sunday.  I teach 8 year olds, and let me just say, when I began teaching them, it was rough!!!  I have a few kids in my class that can be challenging, and at first I didn't know how to handle them.  But over time, I have started to figure it out.  The first eye opener was when I saw how another lady responded to their bad behavior.  She didn't yell at them, or even talk sternly.  She dealt with them very calmly.  Previous to that, I was talking sternly with them.  Kind of like the way I talk to my 5 year old when she is in trouble.  The "challenging" children did not respond well to that.  Once I realized that I didn't need to get angry or stern with them, class has gone a lot smoother for me.  Anyways, today, one of my more "active" children was crawling around on the floor and really disrupting my whole class.  I had already asked 3 times (very calmly and patiently) for her to get back to her seat.  She was not responding, so I spoke sternly for her to get back to her seat.  She then went back.  After class, we go into a larger room where kids form the ages of 8 to 12 sit and learn together.  The "active" child sat next to me.  Lets just call her Anne.  During class, I looked down and saw "Anne" picking at her dirty little foot, trying to get a sliver out.  In all honesty, my very FIRST thought, was, "ewwww, disgusting....doesn't this child have manners?".  And then as quickly as that raced through my mind, another thought came.  I remembered my childhood, and how carefree I was.  I ran around all summer barefoot and dirty.  And I'm sure I was the "active" child in church.  In fact, I KNOW I was when I was 12.  My poor teacher!
Well, my heart softened.  I realized right then and there, that I needed to embrace who she was, instead of scolding.  Don't get me wrong.  I know there is a time and place to have fun and crawl around, and I know that we should be somewhat reverent at church.  But at this moment, I felt the strongest urge to put my arm around her and tell her something kind.  I looked over at her, a little unsure of what to say or do.  At that moment, she was bent over in her chair with her head on the ground, so I tapped her on her back.  She sat up quickly, with a guilty look on her face, sure that I was going to scold her for fooling around in her chair.  I put my arm around her, and told her how grateful I was that she was in my class.  And I really meant it.  Tears started pouring down my face.  I whispered in her ear that I was sorry for being stern with her in class earlier.  While tears were streaming down my face, I thought of the Savior, and how He feels about little children.  I am sure He would have treated them with love, instead of scolding them.
Most importantly I also thought about my own children and how I parent them.  I think I've mentioned this before (here), but sometimes I find myself being concerned with how others are judging me as a mother, and as a teacher at church.  I get too concerned when other adults give me that know the look.....the one where they are thinking....."look at her (me), she sucks as a parent, her kids have no respect for her and are soooo disobedient!"  Or at least, that is what I am assuming "they" are thinking when they give "the look".  I'm sure my own ideas of how a child should behave, and my own feeling of inadequacy plays a big part into the assumption that other people are judging me.  But I also know, people do judge.  I do.  I hate to admit it, but I do.  So many times, I've had to take a big bite of humble pie, so to speak.  Because I make a judgment on someone else, and then later realize that I shouldn't have judged since I was going through the exact same thing with my children.  Funny how that happens!
Anyways, I've realized something profound today.  It's definitely not the first time I've realized it, but it hit me hard today.  Like a hammer pounding a nail into wood....I feel like Heavenly Father is teaching me OVER and OVER again (to gently remind me) to be patient, and to not worry about how others are judging me as a parent.  I know that a child's worth, and how they feel about themselves is so fragile.  I hold my children's self worth in my hands.  I can either crush it, or make it blossom.  Obviously I want to make it blossom.  I know that children mostly learn out of love and gentleness.  There is a time and place for talking sternly and disciplining, but I DEFINITELY don't want to use those tactics out of fear.  Fear of what others may be thinking about me, as a parent. 
I've realized that I am getting a lot better at this.  I realize more quickly when I am acting out of fear, and try to put myself in check.  To make myself realize that it does NOT matter what anyone else thinks.  When I was out in the hall dealing with my LOUD son Lincoln earlier at church, a woman was watching me.  I could not tell what she was thinking, but I was embarrassed.  But then quickly I reminded myself, that it does not matter.  I have nothing to be embarrassed about.  I cannot control my child's behavior completely 100% of the time.  It's NOT possible. 
 In all honesty, all that matters is what my children think about me.  All that matters is that when my children are going through a hard time, whether in elementary school or high school, or beyond....that they will want to come to me to talk about their problems.  That my children will trust me no matter what.  I want them to be my very best friends.  My husband, and my children mean more to me than anything else on this earth.  As it should be.  As each day passes, I realize more and more how much I LOVE being a mother.  It is an awesome responsibility.  I really do think it is the BEST "job" anyone could ever have in this life.  Motherhood can mold a woman into something beautiful. 
So with tears streaming down my face, I thanked God for giving me another reminder from this sweet little girl "Anne", about humility, patience, and grace.  And you know what...."Anne" sat quietly beside me the rest of class.  It was a small miracle.  Love really does conquer all.