Thursday, April 30, 2015

My happy

Is it just me or do you sometimes get really emotional about things in life? Lately I have found myself staring at my kids. Like all the time.  Hard and long stares.  Staring at their pictures (old and new) at work, their clothes and of course when I'm with them.  

I mean obviously this is a given, but I love them so stinkin much.  Sometimes it overwhelms me how much I can be in love with these little beings that Jimmy and I created.  

I think what's triggered it is they are both changing SO much.  Like all of a sudden I'm having full out conversations with Charlie on a daily basis.  He remembers things (like I will tell him what we are going to do after school and the minute he sees me at pick up he talks about it) and notices things for himself.  He rides his strider bike all over and talks about how he's going to Iowa or Walmart by himself on his bike and he'll be back later.  What?!? Don't leave me yet little man.  He's doing so good with potty training and teeth brushing and being a good brother.  He notices when things are not like they should be, like when I pick him up first at school because Maddie was asleep...he was SO confused and kept asking me where Baby Addie was.  

And then you have my other child, my sweet baby Maddie...who is not a baby least it feels like that lately.  She's standing up, drinking breastmilk from a sippy cup, eating whatever you will offer up, making all kinds of noises, finally sleeping a little better and participating in all sorts of play time wih her big brother.  She's quite frankly the cutest little pot roast you've ever seen.  However, she's not a fan if you set her down and immediately walk away.  She likes to bolt up the stairs already (and is quite fast) and is known at day care as the fastest bottle drinker they've seen.


And when they interact and laugh together...I'm a pile of mush.  It's the cutest thing ever.

This past Monday was one of those days.  Monday in general + a no fun day at work = stressed mom.  I was in a bad mood.  But I got home and tried to push it aside.  Jimmy made and cleaned up a healthy dinner, I planted some flowers and Charlie helped me water them and then I got to put both of them to bed.  And it was glorious getting to put them both down and squeezing Maddie while I was nursing her and laying her down asleep after some snuggles.  Then going into Charlie's room and talking, laughing, reading and praying with him.  

I walked down the dark hall to our bedroom and was just happy.  I mean I did complain to Jimmy for like 20 minutes straight about work stress, but he listened, gave me a hug and kept watching the baseball game.  But when I sat down- I just couldn't stop thinking about how much I love these kids.  As crazy as life can be with little's worth all the sleepless nights, extra laundry, extra frustration and all the money we spend on them for this crazy love you feel for them.  And it multiples in abundance with each kid. It's insane the love you feel as a parent.  Just never knew that was possible.

But they are my happy. And I'm so lucky to have them- and lucky that as their parent, it's not considered creepy to stare at your kids pictures all day....

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's up Wednesday?!

It's hump day and you made it half way through this week.  

Something to celebrate these days in my book - so you should too!!

I am joining a new link up on the last Wednesday of the month with some of my FAVORITE bloggers.  Mix and Match Family, Pinterest Told Me To and the Larson Lingo.

What we are eating this week...

I bought a groupon from Social Suppers (in Lenexa this time) a while back and used it last week to get us some freezer meals.  It's SUCH a steal when you use the groupon and in 20 minutes I had made 5 meals for our family for $40 and was headed home.   Pretty amazing!!!  This week we are having the slow cooker BBQ brisket tomorrow and fish tacos tonight.  (I also BURNED pizza from Papa Murphy's last night in case you are wondering - smoke everywhere, smoke alarm going off and now Charlie cannot stop telling me how he doesn't want his ears to hurt from the sound...)

What I'm reminiscing about...

When Maddie was a baby.  I know she'll only be 10 months old next week, but it seems like time has FLOWN by.  Watching her stand up and get ready to take her first well as the fact that I'm in the process of trying to wean (which I hate doing)...has been a killer combo on my mom emotions.  
I love when they grow up, but at the same time I love my sweet little babies...

What I'm loving...

The spring time weather in Kansas City.  AHHH - makes me so excited for summertime.

What we've been up to....
This past weekend was amazing.  We didn't have anything on our calendar, except soccer for 30 minutes.  So we got to spend some time at home together.  Went to Home Depot as a family and went out to dinner - which by the way we will never be doing again.  These kids - I swear.  Worst out to eaters ever (if that's possible).  Earlier this month was SO busy, so it was so nice to have a relaxing weekend to just be.

What I'm dreading...
My May = lots of travel.

It's exciting travel, but to be honest, I'm dreading leaving my kids.  I mean, I'm excited to sleep and to have some time alone of course...but I haven't been away from Maddie except just one night...and now that Charlie is older, he can tell you he misses you, which will just break my heart.  Going to a work conference first and then to Mexico with Jimmy.  Seriously, so excited for a nice breather, but so dreading saying "so long" to my sweet babes!!!

Their school pics and sweet faces....

In the mean time - I need to focus on how happy this resort will make Jimmy and I!!


What I've been working on....

I'm trying to make our landscaping appealing and plush.  Did some work this weekend and now this week too.

Ha - easier said than done when you don't have a green thumb.  But my mom brought over some plants and flowers for me to plant on Monday night and I got them in, but now just waiting for them to grow.  Charlie and I are out there every night watering them (which is a very fun activity together - I love it!).  Our sprinkler system isn't turned on yet until our backyard project starts, so we are doing it the old fashioned way trying to make them grow.

I also got some vegetable pods from Costco that I need to plant somewhere - just need to figure out a place that they will actually grow.  Jimmy is laughing about that - I'll prove him wrong!!

What I'm excited about...

Literally cannot WAIT for our backyard demo/project to begin.  Last I heard, the start date is next week (May 6), but our contractor has had to push us back a few times due to rainy weather pushing back his current projects.  I'm crossing my fingers that it really does begin next week.  

We are getting a new retaining wall, relocating the staircase, expanding our current concrete patio (replacing it) and getting a brand new one too - so lots more living space to play outside.  And the best part (because I'm a kid at heart)...we are taking the extra dirt and leveling out the top of our backyard for a playset.  We are getting the one from Costco that is in store and I love it.  

But check this one out on their website for a measily $15K - haha!!


What I'm watching/reading...

Scandal, Nashville and RHONYC are topping my list these days.

I'm also reading my friend, Adam Griffin's, new book.  I'm about half way through.  You should read it too.  It's a great story for all humans, as he says, and I will agree.  It's called the Guy at the Bar and it's about dealing with grief and life in general.  His wife is one of my good friends, as we all met in college.

Pick up your copy here.

What I'm listening to...
Have I told you I just LOVE Meghan Trainor.

No lie.  (haha - her song about lying)

But her music just makes me so happy with the fun beat and lyrics.  I listen to it all day at work.  

My favorite?  Dear future husband song.  It makes me laugh!

The new Zac Brown Band also came out this week!!

What I'm wearing...

I've been rocking some colored jeans this week and I'm loving them AND that I can fit into them thanks to the 21 day fix!!!

But I'm also on the hunt for a new swimsuit, cover up, shorts and a HAT!  For our beach trip.  I found this on Pinterest and I'll take all of them please....

Can someone just shop and pack for me please??  

What I'm doing this weekend...

My weekend kicks off on Friday at my sister's annual work event she puts on for the hospital she works at here in KC.  I cannot wait to go support her and all all the amazing things she has done!!! 

If you are in KC and looking for a fun event on Friday, check out the info here.

 And my aunt is coming in town from excited to meet her boyfriend and hang out with her.AND my cousin and his girlfriend are moving here!!

So much fun!!

What I'm looking forward to next month....

Does it count to say I'm excited that we survived April?  Ha.  Work is SO crazy in April, so I'll be thrilled when May is here.

But next month, I'm taking flight to a work conference in Orlando and then to Mexico with Jimmy.  So besides the fact that I have to leave these cute faces - let's just say I'm going to look on the positive side of things and get excited for some adventures in May!!  Including my dad retiring from teaching school for 25+ years - talk about a party!!

What else is new...

Maddie is STANDING!!

Charlie is doing a great job being a little soccer player.

And Jimmy is loving the Royal's.

What do you think about this link up?  I think it was pretty fun and just once a month? I'm down.

Join in the fun!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Working all afternoon - paint, planting and DIY planters

So yesterday...Jimmy and I had exactly 4 hours to ourselves.  We dropped the kiddos off at my parents house.  After we finally got them both down for naps, we were pulling out the driveway and he said- "Ok, let's just go home and take a nap."  For like five seconds, I was seriously tempted- but no, we had big plans.  First Home Depot for plants, Quik Trip for gas and lunch (duh) the we had three things to accomplish at our house- and we were determined to do them.  And we did just that.  And I'm not going to lie- pretty darn impressed with our efficiency.  We were a few minutes late for dinner at my parents house...but they didn't mind!!

So what was in our list!!?? 

Here is goes:

1 - Paint our foundation.  Did you know people do that?  Well ours looked super ghetto.  And I was starting to feel like our curb appeal was seriously lacking and neighbors were giving us the stink eye.  Especially since the parade of homes started this weekend in KC and one of the houses on it right behind ours (eek.)

Saturday afternoon after naps, we made a family trip to Home Depot and color matched exterior paint, picked up a few more supplies (including an awesome nail gun), and then I started with this on Sunday--- 

After a coat of paint (which included scrapping all the paint that was falling off off with my hands) on the foundation and the semi-ghetto wood arm rail that was there when we moved in...

Pretty crazy what s difference (in my view) that makes!!  I did the other side of the house too.

2 - Dig up the side flower bed that has nothing in it and plant!!!


And after!  Jimmy picked out some lilac and something else.  Then I think we are going to get Azelea to put in that big hole!  Maybe it won't die like all the ones at our old house did (oops!)

3 - So what was Jimmy doing this whole time? Don't worry he was hard at work!! Building planters!!! Check it out!  I picked out these plans for him (sorry the link to the exact plans isn't working right now - I will re-try and post later) from Shanty 2 Chic website
 and wahla - in just a few hours he had them cut, assembled and ready to go.  He even got everything cleaned up after.  What a good guy!

I'm going to paint them a dark gray that matches our shutters and throw them in between our garage doors.  Or... Maybe by he front door and make him make one more for in between the garage. Hmmmm...decisions decisions of having a handy husband!

So we did that...and went to Aldi for a quick grocery store run all in less than four hours.  It's amazing what you can do when you don't have two human lives to be responsible for!  But of course they had so much fun with my parents and sister and Casey; they went to the park, played hide and seek, rode bikes and ran around the backyard.  As always!!!  

Now our whole bodies hurt from all that work.  But love the results so far!! Planting more this week!!! 

And what I'm still loving? The view of he sun set from our front porch.  NEVER.GETS.OLD.

OMG I think this might be the first post in forever that I didn't put a picture of my kids too....

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five on Friday: my 21 day fix results

Here is goes.  My 21 day fix results on this Friday.  

The best part is?  It didn't stop at 21 days.  Nope - I have kept it up almost everyday since the beginning of January.  And I'm damn proud of it!  For many reasons, but I also had not worked out since before I had Charlie.  BEFORE CHARLIE.  I cannot even remember life before that because it seems so long ago, but I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 3.5 years and like no consistent working out that whole time.  Talk about intimidating to start something like this.

I talked about the 21 day fix and even shared some of my recipes that were my favorite throughout the whole process at the end of my first 21 day round.  You can find that here. 

These are the before and after pictures from that round.  My first round.  21 days of working out in my closet (weird I know, but I have a big closet...) in the mornings before work/my kids get up.  

It wasn't easy at ALL.  Getting up EVERY day to work out was hard.  Especially when I had my 6 month old still waking up at least once a night and a few more time most nights.  My alarm would go off at 4:59 and I would cringe.  It was horrible.  I was sore and tired and just didn't want to do it.  On top of that, when I started this on January 3 - I had just had surgery on my foot to take out a neuroma (apparently a growth on the nerve), so my nerve between my third and fourth toe was cut out completely.  I was cleared to work out, but wasn't sure how I would feel.  But I was determined to not have ONE more excuse.  I felt like I had an excuse month after month and wasn't going to let that stop me this time.

 What kept me motivated?  Honestly, it was the challenge group I was in on facebook.  The ladies in that group were amazing and so motivating to each other.  I knew that other people were just as tired and just as sore - but I knew they were getting up too, so I did it.  And I was so happy to report to my group that I did.  Oh and I can't forget to mention my in house accountability partner - Jimmy.  He is not a veggie guy at all, but went with me on this and ate whatever I prepared and stuck to the meal plans and containers himself.  On the weekends, we always ask when each other plans on working out and we hold each other to it as well - as that is harder because we don't like to get up early!  He's pretty great.  Pretty amazing how accountability works, right?

The eating part.  Well - that was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

I'm not going to lie - it's COMPLETELY overwhelming at first.  You get these random colored containers and a booklet to explain them to you.  They tell you how many they recommend for effective weight loss and that's it.  I wanted more - like "tell me exactly what to eat and when".  But since that was non-existent, I took to Pinterest and the Internet to look for some good 21 day fix recipes.  The main thing is, no salt and not sugar (with a few cheats allowed - wine and chocolate, which is awesome!).  I also made a spreadahseet - because Excel is my love language.

What I learned in those 21 days about eating?  There is NO need to constantly restrict myself.  I really was rarely ever hungry - I swear.  But I was fueling myself with healthy food.  Choosing an apple and peanut butter as a snack versus a handful of potato chips.  I was making healthy (and delicious) meals for my family.  I learned how to use spices and seasonings that are good for you (did I mention vanilla flavoring and cinnamon are my best friend now?).  

My husband and 2.5 year old started eating vegetables.

Yes, go ahead and re-read that.  That might just be worth the whole pain of it all.

But what made it successful?  I planned.  I planned.  I planned.  Meal planned to be exact.  I had the first 2 weeks laid out exactly for every meal and snack that Jimmy and I were having (he was doing the eating part with me and working out alone).  It was kind of crazy, but that is what made it work for us because I had healthy snacks at my fingertips during the day.  Both of our works actually cater in lunch and yep - we both took our lunch everyday instead to ensure we had the most healthy.  

I didn't like all the prep work.  At all.  But it was worth it.

My before pictures at the very beginning of my 21 day journey and my after at the end of 21 days:

I especially like how you can see my abs in the picture on the right.

And from inches - guess how many inches I lost in total on my body?  19.  NINETEEN.

Like seriously?  Yes - from my stomach, my legs, my hips, my arms.  It was amazing how it just fell off.  Keep in mind though - I also had a 6 month old and gained 40lbs during that pregnancy, so I had plenty to go.  My ultimate goal was to lose 10lbs and just get back to where I was pre-baby.  But when I lost 11, I just wanted to see how much I was capable of. 

And I'm happy to report - that as of this morning (over 4 months into my journey) - I have lost 20lbs.  I'm 10lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Maddie and it's crazy to me.  Crazy that I did this - my hard work and dedication to it really did pay off.  And it feels so good.  I feel so good.  In so many ways.  So that's what I wanted to do for my five on Friday - five things I have learned/enjoyed in the last 4 months of this journey.


You do have the time.

I promise - I didn't think it was possible.  I mean WHEN in the world am I supposed to work out???  I work full time from 7:30-4 everyday.  Love that I get off at 4 to pick up my kiddos and spend time with them before it's their bed time, but then after they are in bed, I spend time cleaning the house, doing laundry...oh yeah, and watching TV.  So no time for that.

I did start trying to work out after I put my kiddos to bed, but that didn't work for me because some nights I have dinner with friends, meetings at church, etc.  I didn't like that I couldn't work out at a consistent time - so I decided the mornings it is.  And I make time and make myself get up.

Everyone has 30 minutes in most of their days to work out.  Everyone has to eat...while it may take a lot more time than you are used to to prep all the healthy meals and snacks, it's worth it and it is worth the time investing in yourself.  Speaking of...


You're a busy mom, but you are worth the investment.

Mom guilt.  

Something we all have.  Whether you work at home, work out of the home, or you stay at home....everyone has a little bit of it every now and then.  I'm not going to lie, that guilt is one of the main reasons I just never worked out or find the time to do it.  I just felt like it was somehow selfish of me to take time out of the day that already has so little hours in it to spend with my kids to work out.  Like I'm already away from them for 9 hours, if not more.

But guess what?  When I found a time that worked for me (in the early morning) that I didn't feel stuck.  And it made me happy.  It makes me happy that I dedicate time to myself.  And on the weekends, I don't feel guilty if I am working out for 30 minutes while Jimmy is down playing with the kids.  I have more energy, a better attitude and am a better mom because of that time - which makes it way better to be my child, I promise!


Energy.  Having it makes things so much better.

I cannot stress this one enough.  Before I started working out and eating healthy, I literally was falling asleep at like 7:30PM every night after I put the kiddos down and got only a few things done.  

Even getting up early, I am not exhausted every night.  I need less caffeine to make it through the day also.  It's so counter intuitive, but so true.  And the more energy?  Well everyone likes a lady with more energy - her kids, her husband, her friends and co-workers!


There will be good days...and there will be bad days.

And after those bad days, you can always start over.  Tomorrow will come and that can serve as a fresh start.  I think before this adjustment to my life, I would try to be so strict with my diet and working out that the minute I messed up or ate something not-so-healthy, I would just give up entirely and figure I ruined the whole thing.

So not the case.  What I love about this program is that it's not just designed for 21 days of's designed to facilitate a lifestyle change.  And in can mess up.  You make mistakes.  But everyone was just so encouraging to each other in my challenge groups and you realize that other people make mistakes too - but you can keep on going together.


There is no greater feeling than feeling good about yourself.

 This was not about weight loss to me.  This was not about getting a six pack.

I wanted to lose the baby weight I gained and fit into all my clothes again.  Some of which I haven't worn or fit comfortably into since before Charlie was born.  He's almost 3 years old people!

But now many of my jeans are too big - it's crazy!  I can wear my shirts and not feel self conscious.  I feel great.  I feel like I look great and just how I should.  I'm not too skinny at all - just right.  My comfortable weight.  That six pack?  Well - it for sure doesn't look like it did when I was in high school, but I'm proud of my body.  I'm proud of all the things I have done with it and the two beautiful babies that it made.  It has transformed and been through so much over these last 3 years...but my body has been good to me.  And I feel like getting into this healthy lifestyle and exercising and gaining muscle definition and fueling it with healthy food - I'm rewarding my body for all the things it has done for me and preparing it for more.

And the first time you try on shorts in a dressing room in a size that you think might be too small...and the size is way too big (OH MY) but you always love the way your legs look - that is a feeling I never want to forget.  I feel strong.  I feel proud.  I feel healthy.

And for fun - a work out selfie that I took for one of my challenge groups.

My coach during this journey, Ruth, constantly has challenge groups - so if you are interested, you can find her on facebook here or instagram here, but I'm also excited that my good friend, Lauren, is going to be a Beachbody coach now and her first challenge group is starting on Monday.  I cannot wait to be a part of it and encourage her and my other friends that are doing this challenge with me.

I'm super happy with the way my body looks now, but I am interested to see what happens when I stop nursing (within the next month) and am burning less calories...but I'm confident that if I keep working out an don't go overboard on my sweet treats that this is my new normal and I love it.  Oh yeah - I didn't mention that before, but I did all this while still breastfeeding AND maintaining my supply.  I really think that all the healthy eating helped a lot!!

So there you have it - my 21 day fix journey that has turned into a now 4 month journey and new way of life.  I haven't taken a good "after" picture lately - but really, if you are starting this you NEED to take pictures and measurements.  Because the scale is not everything - I learned that, especially in the beginning. I loved seeing the pictures and seeing the progress and seeing how many inches I lost - things I didn't even think about before I started. 

I'm not going to lie - I was super hesitant to share this, but you know what - I'm proud of what I've accomplished and the new mentality and lifestyle that I've started and if someone needs a little bit of encouragement out there - this is it!!  You can do it!

I will do another post of my favorite snacks and recipes too - because that makes it easy for me to share with others when they ask me for my favorites. 

Happy Friday friends and thanks for reading and putting up with my sports bra pictures! Ha!

Linking up with these ladies: Darci, April, Natasha and Christina.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Double holy communion fun

This last weekend, in addition to celebrating Jimmy's 31st birthday at T-Rex, we also spent a lot of time with Jimmy's family celebrating our sweet niece, Kenlie, and our wonderful nephew, Eli, and their first communions in the Catholic church.  

I am SO sad I didn't get a full shot of Kenlie's gorgeous dress!  When we first walked into their house on Saturday afternoon (we were late because our kids actually decided to take somewhat long naps), Kenlie was walking down the stairs of their house and she looked like a little bride!  It made me tear up a little thinking of her being old enough someday to get married!!!  But luckily for me, Shellie posted a cute little collage of her at church with her dress.  It was gorgeous!!!

I did get this cute shot of this sweet girl at the party at her house though.  She loved the purse on her shoulder too.

And even better about the dress?  Grana (Jimmy's mom) made Kenlie's American Girl Doll a MATCHING first communion dress.  So Shellie had her on display on the table with other adorable pictures of Kenlie.  So so cute!!

And just like Ben's communion 2 years ago (which was the same weekend 2 years ago because it popped up on my time hop - so crazy how fast time flies!), we all sat around in the same spot to watch her open her cards and presents celebrating her special day.  She got her very own bible too, which is pretty special.  And some holy water!!  So she walked around the room letting people do the cross - but of course I messed up because I'm not Catholic - I just blanked, even though I know exactly how it goes!!!

Charlie always takes a little bit to warm up to so many people and kids before he goes off with the kids and starts playing, but once he does, we don't see him at all.  He had a blast in the basement wrestling with his cousins and even made some new friends with two of his cousin's cousins from Shellie's side (got that...??!!).

And Maddie's outfit??! Well it's 12-18 month from Gap and it's almost too small.  This girl is growing too fast! I'm glad I tried it on because now she's going to wear it all the time- it's so cute!

We are blessed to have lots of nieces and nephews - three of which are all in second grade this year (yep, all three my SILs were pregnant at once, which makes me wish I was pregnant with them at that time too - how fun!!  Now I just need to convince my younger SIL to get pregnant the same time as me next time!).  So that meant we celebrated another first communion the next day, this time for Eli.

And I about DIED when I saw him in a suit.  Oh my goodness.  Seriously the most handsome little man ever.  He even wore it most of the party!!

All the cousins were back to celebrate Eli together and play with new toys with each other, just like the day before.  And we got to watch him open all his presents/cards too.  In just two more years, I'm guessing we will be in that same place watching Eli's sister, Katy, do the same thing.  How fun!

And the weather was GORGEOUS.  I mean seriously.  So that meant, it was nice to gravitate outside, even though the Royal's game was on.  Charlie is obsessed with baseball lately and hitting the tee - so a few of the kids got together to play outside while Uncle Jimmy pitched.  

Even Maddie wanted to join in the fun!!!  These two boys love her so.  Jimmy and I were even talking on the way home on Sunday that our kids have no idea how lucky they are to have such amazing older cousins.  Older cousins that love them, teach them to do the right things, cousins that want to hang out with them.  So so lucky.  Built in best friends.  Can't get better than that!

At the end of the playing, Maddie apparently was done with dodging all the balls and escaped under the net!  And Eli came out to announce that the Royal's WON!!  Eli is a sports expert and a huge Royal's fan - so he was super excited and that made his special day even better.

Funny story - Shellie asked Eli what he thought the wine tasted like at communion and he said "metal" - hahaha!  I guess it kind of does for kids!  Haha!!

What a great weekend celebrating two special kiddos and their first communion - we are so blessed to have them and their families as part of our family too.