Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Getting Through The Frustrations

As I type the title of my next post, I can't help but roll my eyes. Really? I'm going to give advice about getting through the frustrating times? I'm pretty sure I'm the world's WORST person at handling stress and frustration. Maybe instead of helping some one out there, some where inside I'm the one needing the help?

Why is my damn scale NOT budging? I'm working my butt off and I just don't feel it. My clothes fit better, but I'm ready to see the number go down. I NEED to see the number go down. I don't know what to do about it other than keep on keepin' on. Keep eating right, keep working out, keep drinking lots of water and just hope that someday soon my body will catch up? It's beyond frustrating. I'm ready to toss the scale and just go by the way my clothes fit. The scale is SUCH a mind game for me!

Why does everything in life revolve around money? I hate money. I hate that we work SO hard and yet, it still feels like we are just getting by, paycheck to paycheck. I know that's how it is for most young families. I'm pretty sure it's a survival mode we're in for the next few years, but dang it sucks to work SO hard and not be able to play hard too. I hate bills. :( 

Why do I feel like such a failure of a mother lately? Hank has croup. He is not contagious, and is still pretty happy for the most part, but his cough... I can't stand it! I am sad and angry every time he coughs. We are sleeping like crap (all of us) and it's miserable. I feel like I secretly wish time away sometimes. I tell myself constantly 'I can't wait until..' I really try to enjoy every step of parenting, but man, some days I just can't wait for 'tomorrow'. I thought I'd be much more patient at this whole mom thing. I love him SO much it hurts. I'd do anything for him. But man, this mom job isn't easy. I know so many people think we really aren't done having babies. We are. Last night was another reminder how big of a monster I am without sleep. :( I'm SO sick of being tired! We go through phases where I feel like he is finally doing it, and then something else happens, he gets sick, etc and it feels like he's a newborn again! I swear, when he's 15 I'm going to wake him up a million times a night as payback! ;) I try so hard with Kailee to make every second count. Until you have to share time, you could never understand the pain and struggle it is to find balance in enjoying the time together, having fun, and still parenting. Still making sure there are chores, and that we are teaching her something. It's SO HARD! I have completely failed in the 'non fun' department lately and I'm getting anxious to change that. I love our time together, especially our 'fun' time, but I know I'm doing NOTHING to help her and our future. She is old enough to have some household responsibilities and I have to start letting go of the 'control' of those things. This week, I'm promising myself! ;)

I have felt so down lately. So frustrated and like an utter failure in so many aspects of life. I have all of these good ideas and intentions in my head and they just don't work out. I feel like I'm letting someone down ALL THE TIME! I feel like I'm letting myself down most days, but I'm really not sure why?!

What would I do without my husband? What do women do who don't have someone like him to turn to? We've had our struggles, and to be quite honest the last year has been one of the (if not the) toughest year of marriage so far. We've had some lows that I don't know if either of us knew how we were going to get out of. But we did, and we do and we will. He is my best friend. Our marriage the last few weeks has saved me from dropping into some major winter seasonal depression (that is SO real!). He tells me he loves me, he SHOWS me he loves me, he helps with the kids, he helps around the house and with meals. He still to this day tells me thanks for dinner EVERY single night. We've rekindled a missing spark and things are SO good right now. If I'm failing in all the other aspects of my life,  we have to be doing something right in our marriage, right?! I love that man. I love holding his hand and I love his hugs. Some days, that is all that is all I need to keep going. He still tells me I'm beautiful, most of the times when he says it I KNOW I'm at my worst. Sweaty from a work out, chubby and no make up, and he still says it. And I know he means it. HE is how I am getting through this! 

Honestly, when I started writing, I had no idea what to say. I almost didn't start because let's be honest, is anyone even still reading this?! This is why I write though. It is SO therapeutic to me. I just typed what I was feeling, and what do you know.. I get my frustrations out and suddenly, I see the blessings! I HAVE SO MANY!!! 

To my family - Jake, Kailee and Hank, I promise to never stop trying. I will fail you and us a million times, but I will never quit! I will find myself out of these funks and try so hard to be the wife and mommy you all deserve. I promise I am trying!! I LOVE YOU THREE SO MUCH IT HURTS!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

113 Months!

K and I get the biggest kick out of this! We joke often about how many months she is and that someday I'm going to answer someone who asks how old she is with her months! ;) I looked at the date today and realized that it was the 25th. That makes her 113 months old! While I COULD give you my favorite 113 things about her, I'll spare you and just give you a few of my favorites!

* She is SO smart! They've been working on the multiplication, and needed to be able to pass off up to 12's by the end of the year. She's been working on her 13's since Christmas break! She had to write her own flashcards because the teacher only had up to 12! SO proud of her!
* She is still as funny as can be. I wish I were better at writing all the funny things down she says like I used to. She has the BEST sense of humor! 
* It is really easy to forget sometimes that she is 9. She holds her own in an adult conversation, and has ALWAYS been mature beyond her years.
* She hates letting anyone down. I love that about her, and it also worries me a bit. I'm that way too, and sometimes you are so busy pleasing others you forget to please yourself, but it's also a beautiful quality to be so aware of others' feelings.
* She won't admit it to many, but chick is boy crazy already! I do love that she'll talk to me about boys! She also has LOTS of friends who are boys, and I love that she gets a long with them and can play sports with the best of them! She was so proud to tell us that for their pace test (running) she was the LAST girl still running! SO athletic!
* She loves her friends! She truly cares so deeply for people. I know she's still a kid and kids get their feelings hurt and hurt others' feelings, but she actually CARES when she does, I love her heart!
* She loves to dance and tumble, and is REALLY good at both! I can't believe her progress in tumbling, and I can't wait to see her on stage NEXT month for the start of competition season!!
* She loves her brothers, SO much! I know sometimes she gets a bit overwhelmed and annoyed that people refer to her brothers so much, but she adores them both! I love when she comes here and can't wait to tell me what Boston is doing now :) She's the best!
* She has suddenly shown a HUGE interest in what she wears. While we are SO glad she actually cares about her appearance this year, it can especially be frustrating on school mornings! Shoes are her favorite accessory, and she loves her Converse!
* She loves writing notes, and seeing them on my desk Thursday mornings is my favorite thing ever! She is so thoughtful!

Love this kid! I hate seeing her grow up so fast, and especially fast in the last year and a half. Becoming a big sister, twice, is a big adjustment and she was forced to become a whole lot more independent. Sometimes we still treat her as the only child, and sometimes she still acts like one, but she has taken every change her whole life with a smile! I find myself waiting for Wednesday's every week. I love having her here. I love doing homework with her, and working out or playing games. I understand it's the MUCH easier side of parenting that we get during the week, but I love our routine. I love that she knows it's straight to homework and then we workout and then eat and then showers. She adjusts really well for having such a busy schedule. As sad that I am that she is growing so fast, I'm also loving each stage. I love that we can chat about things, I can tell her stories that I actually remember from 4th grade, and we talk about boys, friends and school. She really is like a little best friend, unless I mean business of course ;). It's hard to believe she's 9 1/2. I know I'll blink and be at her graduation. I love her SO much and hope she always knows it! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

When it feels like nothing is changing and weekly meal plan

I woke up and felt good. I felt lean, I felt strong and I felt like things were actually changing. I worked SO hard last week and over the weekend. I enjoyed my cheat meal, and actually didn't overindulge at all! I was excited for my weigh in and measurements today. And then....

Weight : + 0.4 lbs
Measurements : - 1 1/2 inches

Overall : - 6 lbs / -5 3/4 inches

I wanted to cry. How?! I even replaced a meal with a protein shake for the last few days. My body is holding onto this weight and I'm pissed. Immediately I went from feeling good, feeling proud and feeling excited to devastated. Why do I give the scale that much power?! I KNOW I've done everything I should be doing. I know I've eaten right, worked out, and drank my water so why?! Why am I not losing this weight like I think I should be? TMI- I have an IUD so most months I don't have a period. Well, I know this month that it's this week, which I know can play a role in this fun weight game! :( sometimes I hate being a woman!

I had to decide this morning how this was going to affect me. I just felt all of these GREAT things; strong, lean, GOOD! So by looking at a number on a scale, was that going to change that? Did that stupid number take those things from me? Hell no! I worked hard for them! I decided right then and there that I was NOT going to throw in the towel and eat what I wanted and take today as a rest day. I was not going to question if I am doing this right, That's dumb. I KNOW I am. I have to trust this process. I have to trust that I in doing it the RIGHT way, with no magic pills and no wraps, it IS going to take longer. I KNOW this is right, I just have to trust that eventually it will show.

I did a little reading and found out that it's actually pretty common week 3 to see no change, or even a gain. Apparently your body goes into it's last stage of 'shock' and it holds on to fat cells. I'm really hoping that is the case. I also know that my cheat meal consisted of salty foods, so I need to up my water game today in order to flush the sodium. For having my cheat meal LAST night, that really isn't so bad. I'm really hoping that the pounds start melting off this week. I need them to. I had a goal of dropping 10 lbs in January, and I'm close, but that is a decent chunk that needs to come off in the next week to make that goal. I CAN DO THIS! I WILL DO THIS!

I also want to be super careful with not eating too little. My snacks are non existent, and I know I should be eating and needing snacks. I should be eating WAY more consistently than I am, so there is that to work on. My work outs have been ON POINT. I haven't been taking them lightly at all. I get a GOOD sweat in every time. I've worked out for 14 days in a row, and while I know rest days are important, I haven't felt like I needed one. I will listen to my body, but for now, working out is the biggest motivation for eating better. Why put in that work if I'm just going to fuel my body with crap?! 

My relationship with food is a tough one. I think maybe even more serious than I thought before. I use food as a crutch and for boredom especially. I am a stress eater, so stress doesn't cause me to lose weight. And I think once I stopped breastfeeding, my body forgot that it didn't need those extra calories. This is by far the hardest it's ever been. And I knew it would be hard. I had a baby, I'm almost 30, and it's not like it gets easier with either of those things going against me. But I know I can do this. Finding foods that FUEL me and TASTE good too have been huge for me. Here is our menu this week. I usually make most of it and then we take a container of what we want or throw it together real quick. Or if I feel like cooking each night, we have it for dinner and repeat for lunch the next day. Meal prepping makes it much easier for me though. Having it all ready and grabbing a container keeps me on track much better than waiting for something to cook while I'm hungry. I didn't get a chance to do it yesterday, so hopefully today! Disclaimer- we try to eat about 80% clean. Sometimes it's better and sometimes it's worse. These are meals I KNOW help as I made them before when we lost a bunch of weight. We do NOT cut out carbs or fats completely, but we do try to keep them in check and ALWAYS make sure we have lots of protein. I know sometimes these meals are higher in sodium, and wouldn't be on a ton of clean eating sites. These are meals that work for me and my family. I love food, I love good food. I like eating things that are good for me and TASTE good. This keeps me successful. I do have to drop down on the carbs for other meals with some of these to keep it balanced for the day. If my dinner is high in carbs, I will have a low carb breakfast and lunch. I just try to be mindful. Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring eating! Again, these may not work for everyone :)

Flat Bread Pizza - These flat out crusts are AMAZING! 1g of fat for an entire crust?! SIGN ME UP! I load it up with either buffalo sauce and chicken, or turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, chicken, jalapenos, etc. I'm not a big fan of lots of veggies on pizza, but getting in the protein makes these SO filling and also almost like I'm cheating :)

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake - Basically, exactly how it sounds. Cooked squash, buffalo sauce, chicken, ranch packet and 3 eggs whisked and dumped over the top and baked! Super filling and yummy. We LOVE spaghetti squash! Mostly, because I love pasta, and it's pretty close ;)

Fish Tacos - tilapia seasoned and baked with lemon served on corn tortillas with cabbage, lime, salsa, feta, and a fish taco sauce. I make my own sauce using plain greek yogurt, lime and cayenne pepper with a little season salt. SO yummy! Depending on my carbs that day I'll eat mine as a salad instead of with a tortilla.

Zoodle and "Veggie" wheat Pasta Spaghetti w/Turkey Meatballs - Just as it sounds. I do a LITTLE of the boxed veggie/wheat pasta with our zoodles, just for some more substance. Then make my own meatballs with ground turkey. Kailee loves them, and last time we had this Jake and I both felt SO satisfied after. Filled us up and tasted YUM! Again, depending on carbs we will do more zoodles and leave most of the pasta for the kids. If you don't have a spiralizer, go get one!!! 

Spinach Salads w/ chicken - I marinate chicken or throw it in the crockpot and shred and have it on spinach with balsamic, cranberries and walnuts with feta and croutons. I can't give them up ;) Or I'll do a Bolthouse dressing instead of balsamic, the Salsa Verde Avocado is SOO good! I'll have that with tortilla strips instead of croutons, fat free cheddar and cottage cheese. Jake is SO grossed out by the cottage cheese part, but I love it on my salads! 

Turkey Burgers(Steaks) w/Sweet Potato Fries and Broccoli - I grew up in Tremonton. Tremonton is 20 miles from Brigham City. The site of Maddox. If you haven't been there.. why?! ;) SO yummy! Anyway, we went there a lot as kids and always had their turkey steak. They are beyond good. We also had them a lot at home growing up, in lots of different ways. They sell them in grocery stores around here and one time while shopping for turkey burgers I took a peek at the nutritional info. DANG! 38g of protein and 16g of fat! (I may be off by a little.. It might be 36g protein and 18g fat? either way, LOTS of protein!) And I can handle that fat count when you see how HUGE these things are! Usually a half is good for me! I buy the flat/thin buns and it's like having a burger! Make your own sweet potato fries and throw some broccoli on the side and it is a BIG meal. I like big meals! ;)

Like I said, these meals are what work for US! I'm always looking for new and FUN and YUMMY recipes, so if you have favorites like this send 'em my way! Riced Cauliflower? Best new thing ever! We had that like 3 times last week! I will post more of our meals next week, we actually have quite the list of healthy AND good recipes. I personally don't want to cook meals for myself and Jake and a separate one for our kids. These are things they will eat as well. THAT is much more sustainable for me. I can do this long term. I can not eat a chicken breast and veggie for 3 meals every day and be happy. I'd rather carry the extra 10 lbs than live like that. I also know I'll never be able to do a fitness competition with these meals, BUT that's okay! I can live and enjoy and stay happy. I can be healthy and maintain a good weight this way without being deprived and miserable. And everyone knows if mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy!" ;)


Friday, January 20, 2017

A Letter to My Step Daughter's Mom

I've been inspired by so many stories involving this subject, one that went around years ago was a blog post written to her daughters step mom. You can find that here. Angie actually shared it to my Facebook and I bawled reading it. I've read it hundreds of times since and cry every time. So much love from someone in a harder position than I could ever possibly comprehend. More recently, a mom shared a picture of her daughter with her ex husband's new girlfriend. She stated that she loved her for loving her daughter and how much better it made her feel knowing that when her daughter wasn't with her, she was loved and taken care of and she chose to see it that way rather than how many choose to see it. It touched me, because I am the step mom. And while I'm luckier than most (if not everyone..) I do still know the struggles and heartache and pain that comes with that. But it got me thinking, what about the other side of that pain? A pain I couldn't possibly comprehended. With that said..

Dear Angie,

Thank you for asking to meet me that day in December of 2010. I don't know if you could tell, but I was beyond nervous. My heart was pounding and my stomach turned on the entire drive to your house. As Jake took the exit, I began to shake. I knew my neck had to be red and splotchy, because this was a nervous I had never felt before. This feeling made meeting his family like a walk in the park! I wanted so badly for you to like me, but even more so, I desperately wanted you to feel my genuine care and love for your daughter. After all, I was now about to be a much bigger part of her life. I had no idea how you would respond and when Jake knocked on that door it felt like an eternity before you answered.

That day feels like yesterday and a million years ago in the same breath. We went from meeting, to friends, to actually hanging out, to an awful falling out, to speaking again, to back to friends, and now to a place I don't think either of us ever imagined possible. To family. It hasn't been easy, in fact, it's been really REALLY hard, but every second has been worth it. 

Thank you for trusting me, for forgiving me time and time again, for encouraging me to have this relationship with Kailee and for being my friend. I don't know how you were able to open up your heart to me, but it's something I'll forever be thankful for. Had you decided to keep me at a distance, would we know what this kind of happy feels like? Would we be able to share birthdays, Halloweens and vacations together? Would we be able to go to Parent Teacher Conferences as a group of 4 and then dinner after? Would we share a condo in St George for dance competitions? I don't think so. All because you decided to open up you heart in the most vulnerable way, letting me love your child. I will forever be grateful to you for that. It was about more than 'liking me', it was allowing me to love your daughter. I can't imagine how hard that must have been, especially at first. I'm not sure I could do it.

I promise to you a lot of things, and some of them I promised to you at our first sit down at McDonalds in Draper 6 years ago. That I would always respect your place as her mom. That I would never try to replace you, or challenge your role in her life. I still feel that way, with every inch of my soul, but that doesn't mean I haven't screwed up along the way. That doesn't mean at times you haven't felt like I may have overstepped in a way or two, in fact, I know I have. I know you've been hurt by me and that sometimes we still get our feelings hurt, either by something we've said or by something Kailee says. I think there are many more 'hurts' to come, but I also know that because of the foundation we've built on communication and friendship, we'll be able to get through them all and remain friends.

There are a few things I was pretty ignorant to when this all started. I can't ever justify it, but at the time all I knew was splitting time with Kailee. Somehow in my selfish way of thinking, I didn't realize or comprehend that there was a time for you that life wasn't that way. That you never had to share her. She was never anywhere else on her birthday, or Christmas, or any other day. She was your baby and you never thought twice about every other weekend, let alone some strange woman coming in and helping to raise her when she wasn't with you. For that, I am deeply sorry. I get it now. You didn't want this life, it was just how it ended up.

I also never imagined my life to be this way. I never thought I'd get married and instantly have a family. I never pictured my life to be split among so many families. I never expected to be second to anything, and I was. I was second to Jake when we dated as Kailee was his priority (and should have been!). I was his second fiance and second wedding and eventually I was the second mother of his child. All of those things were and maybe still are, a little hard. How do I not compare myself to you? How do I not wonder if I am meeting the standard you set? If I'm as patient as you, and so many other things. 

But this is our life now, and I am so glad! I almost can't imagine it any other way! It must be so easy! ;) 

I know I have failed in the past, and I know I will fail in the future as well. I will say something that may be insensitive, I will think of our side first and forget how you may feel, I will upset Kailee, and I will screw up a million times in parenting her. We will disagree on things and do things differently, we'll hurt for the things she misses out on and we'll stress over the holidays. But one thing I'll never do is stop loving her and I'll never stop respecting you as her mom and as my friend.

I promise to always put her needs above mine, to love her, respect her and teach her. I promise to be an example to her of loving unconditionally. I promise to never let her feel like she is anything but my own. I'll never put her second to Hank. I will continue to show her that we're one big family, not two families. I will always support you and your decisions. I will ask you for advise and I will listen. I will come to you with anything I think you should know. I will offer help even when you don't want it. I promise to try to always think of your point of view and not just mine. I will be there for every dance competition, school performance and important event in her life. I will support her and love her through her teenage years. I will make sure we all stay on the same page. I will reinforce rules and consequences you set. She will always know that I'm not on her team, I'm on yours. WE, the four of us, are on the same team. And I promise to be there for you with Boston (and any others that may come ;)) and love them like my own! I promise to never put her (or you) in a position where she feels like she has to choose between the two sets of parents.

I wish there were words to accurately describe how I feel about your daughter, our daughter. There aren't. I've tried to find them for years. When finding out about being pregnant with Hank, I'd be a big fat liar if I said I worried about him as much as I worried about her. I love her in the deepest mother way possible. She is the one who made me a mom, without having the title. 

I will never and could never amount to the person you are to her. You are her mommy. There is NO one in the world like a mommy. It doesn't matter how close we are, how well we get along, or how well she listens to me. I am Lacy and you are her mommy and I wouldn't want it any other way. 

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for sharing her with me. For treating her as OUR daughter and not just yours. For not making me feel like a less than, because I'm a step parent. For listening to me, letting me vent and for also opening up to me. Thank you for trusting me with Boston and loving Hank too. Thank you for the late night chats (sometimes REALLY late..oops!) and for being honest and open with me, as I will always be with you. This won't be easy, but it can be fun! We already know that!! I'm so glad we get to share so many memories TOGETHER, with Kailee. I'm so glad she never feels like she has to choose between her mom or her dad. She gets to love us all! She has a huge heart, and I think I know where it came from!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Successful Weekend and Aquarium Fun

I did it! I made it through a WHOLE weekend with no cheats!! It felt amazing! I worked out hard, and enjoyed some yummy new recipes that are mostly clean and healthy and I think that's the key for me. I have to LIKE what I am eating, I can NOT feel like I'm starving and working out has to be consistent. If I work out, I don't WANT the bad foods! Because.. why?! ;) Why would I get all tired and sweaty just to eat bad? I won't do it, so working out is A HUGE piece of my success. Of course, I can't be one of those lucky ones that can work out hard and eat whatever, my body only responds to healthy eating.. And that's why it's been such a struggle. Anyway, a good weekend was very much needed! And luckily, it showed up on the scale this morning! Whoa whoo!!

Weekly Measurements / Week 2
-5.6 lbs (-7 lbs overall)
-1 1/2 " (-4 1/4" overall)

Not too shabby! I am doing great on my DietBet and have 3.7 lbs to lose to win! I have a few more weeks to do it, so I'm feeling good about that! I know I have to stick with it, those first pounds come off much faster than the rest. And my goal of losing 20 by mid March won't happen if I let up at all. I've got this! Jake and I have had lots of discussions on cheat meals lately. I haven't really felt ready for one, but after having a good weekend, I think we could do this! One thing we talked about was how our cheat meals turned into cheat afternoons/evenings or a full blown cheat DAY. We have to fix that. I read a blog (thanks Nicole!) and her coach gave her 4 hours to cheat once a week. I loved that idea! Really, can't do an insane amount of damage in 4 hours. At least not like we would have in a full day! So we may try that next weekend. Maybe. ;) We'll see how this week goes! We also have a BIG game to watch so it'd be fun to do it then. Maybe it will ease the tension in our house? We will have a house divided for the AFC Championship on Sunday. Jake is a huge Pats fan, and I'm a huge Steelers fan, so we'll see who is happy next Monday! ;) Hopefully we can at least watch the game together, but we'll see. ha ha. We're both pretty competitive and HATE losing, so it may get interesting! 

We had such a good weekend considering how we thought it could go. Jake went to pick up Kailee from dance Friday night, and I was worried we may have a mopey little girl for the night. She was happy and talkative as could be and I was SO relieved! I didn't want to have to get after her ANY more, she'd suffered enough! ;) We ate dinner, played Clue (a LOT), had a Connect 4 tournament, and watched Storks. She fell asleep (of course!) at 8:30, and we all got a restful night's sleep! 

Saturday morning it was up to a big breakfast (thanks babe!) and down to the basement for a family work out! I love those! Even though Hank didn't cooperate very well this time, it's still fun to be down there all together getting our sweat on! It's so motivating to work out in front of our kids! I push myself knowing they are watching and learning from us. And then Jake helps me stay competitive too, always trying to up my weights ;) After, we talked about what we could do that day. Another part of our situation with K that can be a bit of a struggle is weekends. What to do, where to go, etc. She wants it to be fun and she wants to be entertained. We are all four 100% to blame for that. Some of it good reason, others... well, we could work on it! We've talked about this for years, but it's just a struggle we may always have. See, picture having you kids just 2 weekends a month. Yeah, you have 4 NON school days a month to do all the fun things you want to do! Visit family, get together with friends, swim, camp, zoo, aquarium, take a weekend away, hike, etc. Don't even get me started on the struggles with the holiday season! Try getting ALL of your families to understand we have FOUR (non school) days total in December (sometimes less with crazy schedules) to get her to ALL of the fun activities. Oh, want to do something as a family? Good luck! You only have FOUR days TOTAL to get it ALL in. It's hard. I think we'd all agree it may be the toughest part. Sometimes even makes it hard to enjoy the holidays. The schedules are INSANE and there are so many fun things to do, it's impossible to cram it all in. So back to weekends, little miss Kailee sometimes thinks (again, for good reason) that every weekend is 'What are we going to do to entertain Kailee this weekend". Granted, most of the time we have something planned, whether that is getting together with family, friends, birthday party, etc. She has come accustom to having something 'fun' to do. Saturday was no different. We had given her a few options which was our first mistake, and it ended up being a day where we decided to just stay home. I felt like we were forcing her to choose something and she wasn't into any of them. The only thing she was into was swimming, and we didn't really want to do that either ;) ha. We explained we could, but couldn't promise how long Hank would last and that without a friend to swim with, it might not be super fun. And then, she wanted to do something we hadn't suggested, sledding. Another tough one with a 9 year old and a 1 year old. They went to check out the hill and there wasn't enough snow (thank goodness!). I felt a little frustrated, like here we are giving her ALL of these fun options to do, all it felt like we were FORCING her to pick something and she didn't really care about any of them. Jake and I wanted to take them to the aquarium, and instead of all the choices we should have said 'hey kiddos, let's go to the aquarium today!' She would have been fine. I kept thinking why are we forcing her to go and why are we wanting to spend all that $$ if she doesn't really care about it?! I was a little annoyed, but we ended up having a good day anyway. 
We decided to stay home and make smoothies, play games, and just hang out. Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do, it's not good enough. And that is 100% our creation. She is just a kid, and is pretty used to doing something extravagant all the time, so she can't take all the blame. She actually enjoys the times we don't have to go anywhere and are just home. Lesson learned. Her friend ended up texting her to see if she could play later that day, and luckily ended up able to come over to our house so that was really fun! All in all, it ended up being a good one!

Sunday was somewhat of a repeat of Saturday, up to breakfast, workout and smoothies! Kailee went to the Clubhouse gym with me and we did 3 miles - 1 mile on the treadmill, 1 mile on the elliptical and 1 mile on the bike! She did awesome and it was so much fun! She was a HAPPY girl and talked my ear off the whole time! I loved it! I wish we could work out together every day, it goes by much faster! :) Jake and I made the decision that we would be going to the aquarium that day, and it was worth the wait! They LOVED it! At times, I think Kailee loved it more than Hank did! ha ha. For not really wanting to go on Saturday, she sure didn't want to leave when it was time! It was magical, and watching Hank's face as he saw all of these things we read about it books was pretty amazing! Kailee was in awe, like it was her first time too! It was really fun, these things are SO magical with kids!!! We went slow and checked out each exhibit, so nice to not be in a rush! Of course they make you exit through the gift store, and after saving $5 PER ticket for using an American First card (awesome deal!), I was more than open to letting the kids pick a prize. Then I was thinking about ALL the gifts they got for Christmas, most still not played with and we decided no. We left without so much as buying a drink or a smashed penny! I was so proud of us! See, usually the ticket price is just the base of what we spend going to a place like that. We're trying really hard to cut out this excess spending, and it felt good to stick with it. K was bummed she didn't get the mermaid hat she wanted SO bad (but would never wear), and lucky for us Hank isn't old enough to realize he didn't get anything, and we left empty handed. By the time we got to the car, all was forgotten, just as the hat would have been had we bought it! Slowly learning.. :) We had NOT yet made it to the parking lot when she said 'now what are we going to do?'. Ugh, I wanted to vomit. It is just never enough with kids, is it?! Jake said 'we're going home to put on comfy's'. I really think she thought it was off to the next activity! What are we doing wrong?! Once we got home though, she was happy as could be to play more games and hang out. We had a yummy dinner and she watched Netflix while we watched football, and of course, played a WHOLE lot more Clue! I bet we played at least 30 games of Clue over the weekend! 

Overall, it was a pretty great weekend! Food stayed on track, workouts got done, we stuck to our guns as parents, and got in LOTS of family time! Minus a few 'moments' it was pretty perfect! And it felt good to go to bed and be proud of myself too! Here's to tackling another week, and to working on Monday when the rest of my family is playing downstairs! BOO! :(


Friday, January 13, 2017

Ready for this Weekend (I think) and When Being a Parent SUCKS!

It's been a GREAT week! Foods have stayed on track, and I woke up EVERY morning at 5:00 am to do my cardio and even did my nightly weights (all but one night), it's been awesome! Food has and always will be my struggle. Trying so hard to train my MIND that eating is to fuel my body, and not to cover anything up. Not that I'm going through anything out of the normal, but not eating because I'm bored, or stressed, or tired. Or basically just because the tv is on! ;) It has been a HUGE difference in my moods, the way I feel and the energy I have! Day 3 I was a little cranky/hungry, but other than that, it's been a dang good week! I lost my appetite last night, which is RARE for me.. Reason to follow, but it's starting to feel good, and that's what keeps me motivated! Hopefully enough to get me through a weekend, where it is easier to slip up. Weighing in and measuring on Monday's does help too! I also entered a DietBet this week! This is my second time doing one, and I'm excited to do it again! It's a pretty simple deal, you 'bet' $35 that you will lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. They provide meal ideas, a Facebook support group, and workout ideas. It's actually really helpful! I 'won' last time and split the pot with all the other winners. I think I ended up with $46 or something close to that! Nothing big (obviously) but I'm not going to spend $35 and NOT lose my 4%, so it's a nice motivator! Plus, they give away some awesome random prizes just for entering! A fit bit, $100 to Lululemon, Visa gift cards, etc. So fingers crossed for me?! I did just realize that the DietBet ends on February 6th. Yep, Superbowl Monday. :( I almost cried. I love Superbowl foods!!! :(

So to why I lost my appetite last night. I watched our 9 year old on FaceTime with tears rolling down her face and her heart breaking in 9 year old fashion, because we had to be a mean parents. By 'mean', I mean we had to follow through with something we told her we'd do. 

What it meant was - no gymnastics meet at BYU tonight, WITH her best friend AND a sleepover at our house after. She's never been able to have a friend over here (from school) because we just don't know them well enough, or our weekends are jam packed with family stuff so an open weekend is pretty rare. Meaning this was extra heartbreaking for all of us. What she did wasn't crazy serious or awful, she's truly such a good kid. But it was something she's had some struggles with, and been given more responsibilities with, and she didn't hold up her end. We had a good talk (all 5 of us) and I think she gets it and I guarantee because we followed through, she will think next time before letting this happen again. Gosh, I love her and her tears break. my. heart. 

After we talked and told her that we had to follow through with what we said and cancel our plans, she text Jake and wanted to know if she could do chores or clean the whole house to earn it back. (ha ha! So sweet). The answer was, and still is, a firm no. See, you can't 'earn' something back, when you were warned what would happen. Though I do love her heart for it, what is the lesson there? What does she learn from this if we say 'okay', let's still go, or if we had her clean a bathroom and take out the trash? NOTHING!

Another hard part is that we genuinely wanted to go too! Her missing out also means US missing out and that sucks! We arranged tickets with some BYU friends of ours, we had plans to do makeovers afterwards, and bring the tv from the basement up to her room, and I took treat and snack requests from these little girls. It was going to be SO much fun! I was personally excited to finally have a sleepover at our house! We were going to make smoothies for breakfast and everything. We had a plan! It hurt every inch of my soul watching her face turn to complete sadness. I wanted SO badly to say 'let me talk to daddy and we'll call you back'. I wanted to give in and have this fun weekend as planned. I wanted to say 'I think she gets it' and drop it. But, I didn't. Jake and I decided that we had to be firm in our answer long before we saw her face, otherwise those tears would have gotten us (and they still almost did). Jake was equally and completely torn up about it. Jason and Angie are amazing, and even though this incident happened at their house, they would have supported us no matter what we decided to do with our plans and we appreciate that so much! It's hard for K living in two homes, even though we parent very similar, there are differences and there are different rules. She has to learn to live by them wherever she is! I know there are some split families out there who this isn't the case for. Kid gets in trouble at moms, and it's off to 'Disneyland Dads' house for the weekend. And the kids who have super strict rules at dad's and run the show at mom's. It's HARD. It's hard on her and it's hard on us. I also found out after a side conversation with Angie (AFTER we had our talk with K) that they told her they weren't going to tell us, and if she felt she needed to, she should call. She did, with no push from them. What an amazing girl she is! And it made it all sting just a little bit more. 

This parenting thing is no joke. I think at least half or more of Jake and I's disagreements (brawls) are over how we'd like to parent. We are ALL different, every mom, every dad, every step parent, has their own way and reasoning's behind how they want to discipline AND reward their kids. Coming together as a couple and agreeing is hard. Now times that by two more parents. It's tough! We are so lucky and blessed to have a good relationship. Kailee is beyond lucky to be loved by so many, but this situation isn't easy. On us or her. There's a LOT more that goes into it than every other weekend. I wished more families could realize that. It's a TEAM effort, it has to be! And it has to be about more than schedules and drop offs. 

In our discussions last night, I asked Jake what the 'pros' would be of giving her another chance. His response was short and quick and hit me like a brick. "she has a fun night and weekend". He's exactly right! THAT'S IT!! She doesn't learn anything and nothing changes in the future because it wasn't HARD. How unfair of us to raise a child, send her into the world and have her think that every mistake she makes can be fixed by doing a few chores, or by saying sorry, or promising it won't happen again. This night will probably suck for her, and I know it will for us as well, but she'll be a better person because of it. After all, we're not raising happy kids, we are raising compassionate, smart, hard working adults. I just wish it didn't hurt so bad to teach these lessons. :(

I hope she looks back on this night someday and doesn't hate us anymore. I hope she learned that when her parents say something, they mean it and she has to respect them even if she doesn't like what they've asked of her. I hope she's more responsible and that someday, she thanks us for TEACHING her things, not just GIVING her things. 


K's Mean Parents

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

When Did I Stop Being a Good Wife?

You know how everything in the beginning is SO perfect? How nothing your boy/girlfriend does bothers you? All you see is the good and all you ACT is good? The 'just because' flowers happen often and kissing and affection are CONSTANT? Where being patient and understanding is easy? When it's easy to just roll with it and not have a plan? I truly think people in new relationships are the best versions of themselves, at least that was true for me. I didn't sweat the little things. I didn't get offended by every. flippin'. thing. I initiated conversations, I kissed him a LOT, I cuddled and I couldn't wait to see him after work. I happily made him dinner and packed his lunches. I couldn't wait to do his laundry and fold his shirts perfectly (he loved that!). I helped plan dates, and made sure we had alone time. So where did that girl go?
Dating in early 2011

I was inspired by a story that was going around Facebook yesterday and today. I read it this morning and cried. To sum it up (for the few of you left who haven't read/shared it), a wife who complained and nagged and resented her husband for tossing his dirty clothes on the floor, suddenly didn't have a husband anymore. He died unexpectedly and that's when she realized how much of their marriage was spent fighting or resenting him for petty things like laundry. Really put things in perspective when the things you complain about doing, you can no longer do because that person is no longer here. No more dirty laundry also means no more husband. 

Now, I consider myself semi-traditional. I don't mind making dinner every night, I don't even mind making Jake's plate and taking it to him. I don't believe I am his maid or servant, but I like doing 'wife' things. But there are days I also resent him for all the 'wife' things that I do. ALL the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, etc. Does this mean he doesn't help with those things? Absolutely NOT! He truly helps me prepare or clean up dinner every night, throws a load of laundry in every once in awhile, etc. I realize I'm really lucky that way. Not all women have men who help. Also, not all women have husbands who are also amazing fathers. Again, I have that. He's an incredible daddy.

So what am I bitching about?! I know there are things that happen in a marriage or any relationship really, that can stick around and bother us for awhile. Our needs need to be met, and we have to EXPRESS that in order to get it. And sometimes, even after expressing it, it doesn't always happen or change. Trust me, I know. Not throwing Jake under the bus here, but there are definitely things, even lately, I've asked for more of, and he does them.. for awhile, and then it's kind of back to the usual. 

Why is that? HOW many times do we have to tell them what we need?! WHY do we have to tell them? Can't they just see it? Don't they understand?!? Can't they SEE that the laundry needs done? Or the bathroom needs cleaning? Last I checked I am not the only one who uses it! Does he realize when he leaves for work and the bed isn't made, that when he comes home and it is, I DID IT?! Does he realize when he reaches for clean underwear that they are CLEAN and there ready for him? Does he know it's not magic? That I had to load the washer, change to the dryer, fold and put away all before he got home? These are some of the thoughts I have often even though he thanks me for doing all of those things all the time!

On days when those negative thoughts consume my mind, guess how our nights go? I'm short, irritated and even downright resentful towards him. There is no nice Lacy for cuddling or kissing or dancing in the kitchen like we used to do. 

I have been thinking today about WHY that is. Why doesn't he do those things anymore? Hmmm.. read the last few paragraphs and I'm pretty sure I answered my own question! BECAUSE OF ME!! Why would he want to come home and kiss on me when he walks in the door and I'm already annoyed? Why does he want to cuddle on the couch when the kids are in bed after I've barely spoken to him all night? Why does he want to do the little things around the house that need done when he's busy wondering what the hell my problem is? Ahhh, it all makes sense doesn't it?! ;)

Now listen, I don't think that just because I'm also to blame means Jake should get a free pass to neglect my needs, my feelings or our household responsibilities. A lot of these points are valid, and something he can work on. And a lot of the reasons he DOESN'T do the things I want him to, are because there is something I can work on. It really is full circle. I get what I give and vise versa. 

I find myself wanting him to give me 100%, but I'm only giving him 50%. I'm waiting for him to 'meet me in the middle'. I read something that really struck a nerve, and I've seen it several times, but this time it hit me differently. "Marriage isn't 50/50, marriage is 100/100. Divorce is 50/50. If both partners aren't giving it 100, it doesn't work and you end up splitting things 50/50". How true is that?!

So today, instead of worrying about HIM giving his 50, I'm going to give him my 100, and see what I get in return. I bet it's more than 50!

To those struggling in your marriage or your relationship, don't forget why you got in it in the first place. AND more importantly WHO you were in the first place. If I want him to be that man, I guess I had better be that woman!

Love this man and love being his wife!


Monday, January 9, 2017

First weekend down and a rough start to week 2

Well, our first weekend is in the books! It was about 65% good ;)

Friday - we went to a funeral and ended up having a late dinner. I chose a grilled chicken salad and only ate less than half of the dressing with it. That's a tough one for me! I love my salads, but I love my dressings even more! I felt okay after, mostly because I didn't do as well as I'd hoped during the day. I didn't wake up Friday morning to work out, Hank was up in the night and I was tired. Excuse #1. I went to bed determined to have a better day Saturday.

Saturday- Morning started off early, Hank was up at 6:30 even with going to bed after 10:00 pm. Such is life with this kid! ;) I ate a decent breakfast and then drove to Ogden for lunch and catch up with my girlfriends! It was amazing and I laughed and cried and remembered how much I love them! I remembered why we had remained friends over the past decade (plus) and what knowing sharing stories with people who TRULY care felt like. It has been MONTHS since we had gotten together. It felt like it had been a week! I love them, I love their kids, and their husbands.. Man, good friends are hard to beat! We went to Warren's and I wanted fries BAD. I ended up with a salad and a grilled chicken sandwich. Even left half the bun on my tray. I felt good, but still feel like I'm missing out, and not like I'm making a good choice. I can't wait for that feeling to come back. The one where you don't feel sad you 'can't' have something, you CHOOSE not to? yeah, not quite there yet. I was proud though. Drove home and Jake and I did legs and had a healthy dinner. That was nice! I felt like I won that day! 

Sunday - I freaking LOVE football. I freaking LOVE football foods. I love that we always seem to end up with family watching games. This one was no different. Up to mom's to watch the Steelers vs Dolphins playoff game. Tony is a Fins fan, so at least one of us had a good day! ;) Mom made health(ier) foods and I still overindulged. Not as bad as in the past, but not great either. I did 'okay'. Then it was off to family dinner at Jake's parents where I ate too much again! Again, better than a month ago, but not great. Small victories? 

All in all, it made me more determined to have a good week this week. Especially after weighing in and taking measurements. If I can make a tiny bit of progress with doing 'okay', imagine my progress when I stick with it?! That's exciting!

Measurements for week 1 -
Weight: -1.4 lbs
Inches: -2 3/4 "

Hank has had an AWFUL cough since Saturday night. Started in the middle of the night and has been ROUGH. He has no other symptoms, but coughing your head off in the night sure doesn't help to sleep. It's been an exhausting couple of nights. Like, he was ready for a nap at 7 AM today. Of course, fell asleep for 10 minutes, coughed and woke up grumpy. I bawled with him. I am pretty sure the PMS + exhaustion + frustration of my foods + sore body + PMS(deserves two) I just lost my composure. I bawled and poor sweet boy cried harder because I was crying. His cough literally made my skin crawl. I felt like the worst mom alive. And I just wanted to take it away. I hate having sick babies.

On a positive twist, despite being up at 10:15 (after going to bed at 9:30), again at 2:00 and then at 4:00, I somehow got up at 5:00 and did my cardio. It was the best decision, it changed my entire mood. After I finished I woke up Kailee (yay for school night sleepovers!) and we had an amazing morning! We laughed our butts off (at snapchat filters) while I did her hair and our morning ran about as smooth as a school morning possibly could. I'm telling you,that little lady carries an infectious energy with her! I LOVE my bug time! 

After Jake and Kailee left for work and school, Hank and I began our work day. After we cried it out, the rest of our day went better. He ended up falling asleep FINALLY around 10:30 and slept for 2 hours! Man, we both needed that! I got work and laundry done, and later even got in some weights. It was a nice change from the way this day could have gone!

It's hard to get into a routine with so many variables. It's hard to not let all the excuses that worked before work now. It's hard to not turn my exhaustion into anger and resentment. I'm really bad at that, and Jake takes the brunt of it most of the time. It's HARD to say, screw what happened and the little sleep I got, it's time to crush these goals. It's freaking hard. BUT it's harder feeling like crap. And that little thought got my butt out of bed today! 

Things aren't always happy and good around here. I know we put our highlights on social media, but the truth is, a lot of times I feel like an utter failure. I'm working on turning a bad night into a good day, a rough morning into a good afternoon, and a grumpy Lacy into a positive one. One day at a time.. 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

And then REALITY hits...

3:30 am. I'm WIDE awake. I try just closing my eyes, I try Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I try to close my eyes again. Nothin'. It's now 4:47 am and I'm finally sleepy. I turn my alarm off, knowing that Hank is going to daycare and drift to sleep. 5:00 am, Jake's alarm goes off. We both know he's not getting out of bed until 6:00 so I politely (ha ha) ask him to shut it off. He apparently hit snooze. So now from 5:00 - 5:45 I am woken every 9 minutes to wake Jake to shut his alarm off. It was ROUGH this morning.

I have a little anxiety about Hank going to daycare. Last time he did great, but cried (for awhile) going down for his nap and then napped an hour and a half. That kind of nap is pretty normal for us. Well, NOT for daycare. These kids nap for around 3 hours. My dream kids! Yeah, well, not mine! He did fine, but I could tell it was an adjustment for her. About the crying, I don't mind. I've let him cry multiple times. The stubborn little turd will cry for HOURS. He doesn't care if he has to stand there, or lay there or sit there, he's going to cry until your heart and soul can't take it anymore and save him. He'll then crash into your arms and nap.. for 30 minutes OR 1 1/2 hours. Never really know what you're going to get! Well, oddly enough since he's been sleeping through the night his naps have been MUCH better. A lot of days 2+ hours! YAY! Mommy is ready to try daycare again! I'm trying to push out of my head that the last time he went, from that night through the next 5 weeks, he cried bloody murder if he even thought you were putting him in his bed. NO more putting him down awake, the kid acted like you'd cut his arm off. Granted I hadn't let him cry himself to sleep in awhile, mostly because I don't mind rocking him to sleep for naps, and he NEVER had a problem going down at night.. Well, it's probably coincidence and him hitting that stranger danger/don't let my mom out of my sight phase, but it was ROUGH. My mom thought I was crazy when I thought it was because of daycare, and she's probably right.. So here goes try #2! Of course, this morning he woke up at 5:45 am and was a complete monster! Whining and crying, refusing to eat, not letting daddy hold him, etc. He cried SO hard when Jake walked him out to the car I think my heart broke. He cried until they were almost there and then did okay when they got in. Fingers crossed he's playing and having fun. As hard as it was, we both need these breaks.

I find myself feeling like I have to defend that I need a break. I guess I just figured it'd be like a SAHM deal where it just works. These moms seem to have it together, they're ready and they take their kids to do fun things, they get to play and teach their kids all sorts of fun things. Well, yeah.. part of that is true. Except I'm working so I can't just go do things. I can't control my busy times, or explain to my baby that mommy is busy and needs to focus on these numbers. He doesn't care! In fact, that's when he needs me MORE! And now that he's a HUGE help with laundry (side eye), it's even hard to do household stuff with him here. So on days he actually takes a decent nap, I feel like I can do this and I feel sane. On days I get 30 minutes, I want to pull my hair out. So I'm with him, I'm here, but I'm not patient or nice or fun to be around! So yes, I need a break. Sue me. I'm not built to be a SAHM. I need that sense of accomplishment and that purpose that having a job gives me. I LOVE having a super productive day at work. It gives me that boost. I spent 9 years at a company where I was needed probably a little too much, but I was somebody. I've had to adjust a little to being the girl in Utah while the rest of my team is in VT. But at the same time, I LOVE THAT! I get to still feel needed and get all those feelings of accomplishment, without the insane stress I had for so many years! It really is the best of both worlds, WHEN I do it the right way! To stop babbling now, I'm just not cut out to be a SAHM. Maybe if I had unlimited funds, friends who also stayed home, and my shit together, I would be. But it's just not for me. And I also love my job!

And then there are little moments I think I'm doing alright. Like last night while Kailee was here. When I heard "Lacy watch this" 87 times during our basement work out, when I spotted her on a flip on her new tumbling bar, when she wrote all kinds of encouraging words on the cement floor with chalk, and when I watched her be the most incredible big sister and heard Hank laugh harder than he ever does for me. When she asked, like always, if I could make her a lunch for school and I was excited and happy to do it. And then there was the moment I felt like a failure when she asked what was for dinner and I gave her a few options of our meal preps. BORING. Then she says "I'll have a chicken salad". That NINE year old ate a spinach chicken salad for dinner! And then asked for more, twice! I LOVE her. She's the easiest going, most calm and happy, well mannered girl. I'm a better person and parent when she's around. She brings this excitement and life to our home that really can't be put into words. She is our happy!
Am I the only one who enjoys making school lunches? ha ha. I'm weird!

So my lesson and reality today, is not all days start how you want them to. But guess how today is going to finish?! NOT like it would have a few weeks ago! I worked my butt off and got through a TON of my statements, paid bills, cleaned bathrooms (AGAIN), did a load of laundry, washed our sheets, organized our laundry closet, vacuumed and mopped downstairs (AGAIN) and got my work out in! I can do hard things! I can change the path of my day by just getting to it instead of feeling sorry for myself! Today was NOT a good day, and then I decided to change my mind and MAKE it a good day. Happy Thursday, blog friends! Not all days are good, and that's life. It's what we MAKE of those days that changes everything!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

If You're Tired of Starting Over Then Stop Giving Up

Well, hello 2017 Motto!

12 Crazy-Inspiring Photos and Details of Weight Loss Success Stories

I remember like it was yesterday talking with my grandma Jeri about my weight loss. It was over Thanksgiving of 2014 in California. We were talking about eating the right foods, exercising and the way it changes people. There was something about my grandma telling me every morning afternoon and night how good I looked that made me so proud. It made every early morning, long workout, sore muscle and exhausted everything worth it. A lot of people complimented me during and after my 40 lb weight loss, and man, if I could bottle up those feelings that I felt EACH and EVERY time I heard it, I'd be set on compliments for life. It. Felt. So. Good! I never did it for the recognition, but it sure felt nice to for others to acknowledge the hard work that goes into it. I remember telling her I felt way too good, I'd never go back to how I was before. And I meant it! I felt AMAZING! I was in a maintenance phase with my weight loss and I was keeping the weight off, still living life, eating clean for the most part but having at least a few cheat meals here and there, and working out at least 5x a week. I knew how it felt to feel awful and now I knew how it felt to feel fit and healthy and happy. No WAY was I going back! And then when my brother came home from his mission, I was SO excited for him to see me in person. He had seen pictures and said a few things over email, but I'll never forget how happy it made me as we were walking out of the restaurant the night he got home and he said 'so how much weight did you lose?' Ya know how people say nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? These were two of those moments for me. 
January 1, 2015. The day I found out I was pregnant. MOTIVATION!

I actually was at near my lowest at my 8 week pregnancy appointment. I had gone up and down about 5 lbs but was right in the ideal range for my height. I was SO happy to know I'd be starting off my pregnancy extra healthy. And I truly attribute my amazing pregnancy to being the healthiest I had ever been in my life. Jake and I were getting up at 3:45 am to hit the gym by 4:15 at least 3 days a week. During my FIRST trimester! ya know, the extra tired one?! It was amazing how good I felt. I told my doctor I was really concerned about weight gain and he told me the range he'd like me to stay in and I knew I could do it. 30 lbs, that was pretty average for pregnancy and I was excited that he told me I had that much I could gain. I figured he'd want me even less. I was focused on a healthy babe, and not the pounds, but I had worked too hard to just let myself go just because I was pregnant. I actually did great until about 8 months. Then the weight was coming on a little faster than I wanted. But I had worked out consistently until about 7 1/2 months. It got a little harder, and it was hot out. So I decided to let my body rest. I still ate pretty well for the most part, I didn't have many cravings, but by the end the weight added up anyway. I ended up gaining 42 lbs, and though it was more than I wanted, I also felt pretty good and knew that it wasn't because I let myself go. My body just did what it needed to do to get a healthy babe here. I was more than okay with it.

After I delivered I didn't dare weigh myself. I wish so badly I had, just to see where I was. I remember the first time I did, Hank was about 3 1/2 months old. We were in our new house and I was terrified to step on the scale. Most of my pre pregnancy pants fit, tight, but they fit. I was still scared. I stepped on anyway and was pleasantly surprised to see I had dropped 31 of the 42 lbs! I was breastfeeding and starving and though I kept pretty active between a newborn and packing and moving, I knew if I cleaned up my diet even a little bit, I'd drop that last 11 easily. 
January 2016

And that's when I got cocky. It was January and from then through March I did start working out a bit more but didn't change my diet. I would take Hank on walks on days it wasn't too cold, and did a few weights here and there. I cleaned up my eating, but still snacked a LOT. I hit 7lbs above that 8 week appointment weight mid March. I was ecstatic! My body looked and felt much softer, but the weight was coming off and I knew I could tone up with a little cardio and more weights. And then, I didn't. We went to St George for Kailee's dance competition and I felt pretty dang good in a swimsuit. I wasn't uncomfortable, or embarrassed. I wasn't near where I wanted to be, but I was headed in the right direction. I ate to my hearts content while we were there. Hello, vacation foods! And then, it didn't stop. 

March 2016

I came home, and continued eating like I was on vacation, minus a healthy few meals here and there up through a few days ago. I'm mortified and embarrassed to say that I'm just about 10-12 lbs shy of when I delivered. :( I could have cried yesterday when I stepped on that scale. HOW did this happen?! HOW could I let myself do this? After all that hard work, keeping it off during pregnancy, and getting down so close to my goal weight just 9 months ago? How am I going to do this again?! I felt so discouraged and just wanted to bawl. Mostly because it's overwhelming to think about all the time and work ahead. It took me 9 months last time. 9 months of consistency, 9 months of passing on foods I love and 9 months of HARD HARD work. Am I really ready for this? Granted when I started I really had no idea what kinds of food to eat. I thought if I ate less it would work. Or if I ate more salads. Only problem is, less is not always better, sometimes it's worse! And don't get me started on salads! To eat a healthy one, you basically can't have cheese or dressing, at least not the kinds I like! And then there is the croutons!! ha ha. It took me MONTHS to realize that a Caesar salad was NOT healthy! ;) I'm hoping since I know now what it takes, it will come off a little faster. 
This picture was taken in November, 2016. Never made it to social media, because well.. I look fat. Reality right here.

I do know that doing it the RIGHT way is not quick. It's not a pill or a wrap or a shake. It's clean eating and moving your body. I know what my body responds to now, so at least I have that going for me. I know it's going to take some cardio, but more importantly it's going to take weights. Heavier than I'm comfortable with. It's going to take early mornings and MAKING time. Time won't find me, I have to find it. And now that I'm a full time mom, time isn't as easy to find. BUT, I know just in these last 2 days, when I get up just an hour earlier and have that hour to myself, in a dark and quiet house, I'm a better mommy. I have more time than I ever realized before, just by starting a routine. GETTING my butt out of bed and MOVING! It's slow, and way harder than I remember, but I've done it and already felt better! By the time Hank woke up today, I had done T25 Cardio, drank my ACV drink, made and drank a cup of coffee and started blogging. I then was able to start work (at 6 am) and get a few statements started. All by getting up just ONE hour earlier! And I slept SO good last night too, my body was tired and it felt so nice to go to sleep without a belly ache! 

My routine is simple but there have been a few changes I've made that feel really good. I'm going to put it out there not because it works for everyone, or anyone really, but to hold myself accountable. I'll be able to read back and remember that even when it's hard to set that Monday morning alarm on Sunday nights, that it makes a WORLD of difference during my day and week. I'm a better mom, wife and employee because I'm MAKING this work. I make my day, my day doesn't make me. Man, it feels good to have a little control again! SO many things in my life are out of my control, but my schedule, my foods and my workouts are 100% on me. And thank you, baby Hank for sleeping through the night FINALLY! We're on night 8 of no wake ups. Ladies and gentlemen, in his 16 months of life he's slept through the night 3 nights in a row TWICE until this point. TWICE. And probably slept completely through the night a total of less than 15 times. To have 8 nights in a row is LIFE CHANGING! I told Jake this morning, had he slept like this at 4 months-ish when MOST babies do, we'd have another one on the way! ;) ha ha. He wasn't amused and mumbled something about packing bags ;) Anyway, babies who sleep are more loved, judge me! Until you've been sleep deprived for almost 2 years (with pregnancy) I don't want your opinion! I'll go to my grave saying that sleep deprivation is the worst thing I've ever been forced to do. I truly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. There were days and nights I literally was in tears and near losing my shit. There were days and nights I lost my shit completely. All because I was so. freaking. tired. So Hank, THANK YOU for finally joining this sleep party! It's pretty great, isn't it?! Annnnnd now back to my schedule! Sorry about that! We're pretty stoked about the sleep thing going on at our house!!

5:00 am - wake up - get dressed, start coffee and downstairs to work out
5:45 am - drink my ACV drink (gag), pour a cup of Joe and head upstairs to my office, start blog, check bank statements, personal email etc.
6:00 am - wake Jake, log into work and begin my work day.
6:30 am-ish - Hank wakes up and the juggling begins!
Until 3:00 pm the rest of my day consists of keeping a 16 month old occupied and fed, working statements, emails, and throwing in laundry or whatever other housework can fit. 

On day's I don't have Hank I get more done than I do the rest of the week! I've gotten pretty good at juggling the work and home duties on those days. During my lunch break or slow times I clean out closets, or clean bathrooms, etc. Yesterday (Hank was at Grandmas) I was able to plow through my work, and then during lunch clean bathrooms, kitchen and vacuum and sweep and mop my downstairs. And in between work stuff do 4 loads of laundry. After work I blogged and created my vision board while waiting for Jake and Hank to get home. I even shoveled the driveway! Yesterday was a good day.

Once Jake got home, I started some more meal prep and then we headed down to the basement to do some weights. Hank played and watched Baby Einsteins while we got our workout in. After, Jake headed to the gym in our neighborhood to get his cardio done and Hank and I played trucks and read books. It was SUCH a good night! I felt like a good mommy and like my time with Hank was well spent! That felt really good. After dinner and putting Hank to bed around 7:30 Jake and I got to snuggle and watch one of our shows (Shooter- SO good!). All of this because of a schedule!! 

Let me tell you a little about my days previous to setting a schedule. They started at 5:54 am when my alarm would go off for the 3rd time. I'd get up, drag my sleepy butt to my office and log into work. I'd go down and if I was lucky, I'd have coffee made and a cup poured before the monster woke up. And then it was off to the races. But instead of doing chores or laundry or something productive while I tried my best to occupy him during breaks or lunches, I'd put the tv on in the background and snack. ALL DAY LONG. This is embarrassing, but there were days I'd catch up on 5-6 episodes of whatever. Damn Netflix ;). And I'd get ready about an hour before Jake came home from work. Then, because I felt like crap about MYSELF, I'd be short or snippy with him when it came to taking care of Hank. Then we'd go to sleep, and repeat. My break days (Hank at grandma's) I'd cram in all the work and chores possible and then they'd come home and I'd be exhausted because, ya know.. I did stuff! ;)  

To start off this year and this new schedule, Hank will be going to my mother in law's on Tuesdays and to the daycare down the street on Thursdays. We started daycare about 2 months ago, but he's only been ONCE! So ONE time in my 14 months working from home, have I had 2 days a week to get stuff done. I work FULL time, so to have the time to focus without a million interruptions is pretty awesome! This gives me time to be more productive and take on more work. It gives me time to get my house chores done, etc. It gives me a break, okay! ha ha. Listen, stay at home mom's, I don't know HOW you do it! I am not built that way, I get antsy or incredibly lazy. It takes a LOT of discipline to get up and get your stuff done, get ready, etc. when you don't HAVE to be anywhere at a certain time. I also understand the TREMENDOUS heartache it must be for you working mama's who have to drop your babies off to work 40 hours a week! Again, all hard! Just different hards!

I feel like I've now officially laid it all out there. I've said ALL the embarrassing things my soul can handle for one day! ;) Mostly, I want this blog to hold me accountable too!

I created a vision board for this year. For those of you who don't know what that is, look it up on Pinterest. Pretty amazing deal! I love how mine turned out. It's motivating and inspiring and keeps me focused on short term AND long term goals. 

I think I've blabbed enough today. I do quickly want to say thanks for all the kind words of encouragement yesterday. I was blown away by the people who read and related in some way. That's exactly what I was hoping for! Thanks for letting my 'out' be something that helps you too! It makes my day!

To schedules, routines and breaks for mamas!