Saturday, June 29, 2013

From the Vault: Baby #2 Reveal

Two years ago this week, we found out that our sweet baby #2 was a girl. So I wrote a poem to inform friends and family of this...

Thank you all for coming to the party tonight

Seeing all of your friendly faces really is quite the sight
Before we tell you the gender of baby number two
Here's a little story – told just for you
Many moons ago in two thousand and nine
The results of that test warmed Ginny's heart and mine
As you all know, fine, fair ladies and gents
The big news was that we would become parents
And in the middle of summer, in the heat of July
We heard our sweet Nyla cry her first cry

Indeed with sweet Nyla we have surely been blessed

Even though at times, we have gotten little rest
Now here we are, gathered together again
We'd hoped this would happen but didn't know when
This next line will make you spit your drink in your cup
Because, yep, you guessed it, I knocked Ginny up
Nyla's going to be a big sister this we know
"Well, duh," you're all thinking, "Get on with the show!"
Boy? Or girl? You're just dying to find out!
This poem is going on too long without a doubt!
It's great to be surrounded by such great family and friends
As you can tell I'm stalling for time – the poem never ends
Let me pause for a moment and thank God above
For our parents who showed us all about love
Ok, enough is enough! Let's get to why you're here
I see the crowd smiling, wanting to let out a cheer
The excitement is building; you can feel it in the air
A poet of my talents is really quite rare
As I conclude I just want to say
Thanks to you all for coming today

So now let me proudly announce our bundle of joy
Is a healthy, developing, and great baby…


Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 1 Progress

Last week I let y'all in on my want and need to change my lifestyle (see post here) using Spark People. I am happy to report that week 1 went well!

Here are my goals and my progress:

1. Track food in SP 7 days a week--Completed! I originally thought I'd only track 5 days a week (M-F) but I decided 7 days is better, that way I can see my weaknesses and make better decisions throughout the day. 

2. Lose 2 pounds a week--Completed! I lost 4 pounds!! This won't be an every week thing. I always start out losing big numbers since I'm making an immediate change in watching my calories and getting exercise.

3. Go on a 20 minute walk/jog Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to jump start my metabolism and get a feel for getting back into my workout routine.--Monday-Wednesday was a success. My jogging stroller tire was a little low so I pumped it up on Wednesday after our walk and it popped, boo! I have to get a new one so Friday morning I couldn't go walk. BUT, Friday night I went for a 2 mile run and walked very little! I've been keeping my hand or foot in running (see what I did there? :) ) since training for a 5k last year. I took it slow and easy and wanted to get 2 miles in and I did!

4. Do Taebo, Core Secrets or Run/Walk 4 times a week--Fail! I have decided I'm going to do my morning walks, run on the weekends and focus on eating for a few weeks. I struggle with my eating habits and I feel like I need to get them under control and work my way into a good workout routine. 

5. Measure and weigh everything I eat--Completed! I LOVE our kitchen scale. We bought it at Bed, Bath and Beyond back when we started our weight-loss journey in 2009 and it is still the most valuable piece of equipment in our kitchen! It's really helpful to see how much I've been overeating. And our food is lasting longer because I'm weighing everything and eating the suggested serving. It's win-win!!

Other notes from the week:
You can see in goal number 1 that I originally decided to only track my food 5 days a week. I'm glad I changed my mind and am tracking everyday. On Saturday we went to Wendy's and I did not decide ahead of time what I would have (that won't happen again). I ordered from the value menu and got a double cheeseburger and a small fry. I input my food after the fact and was very surprised at how many calories I consumed! I thought the smaller portions would be less but it wasn't as less as I hoped it would be! I knew I couldn't have much the rest of the day if I wanted to stay within range of my calorie goal. I do cut myself some slack on the weekends and didn't plan on staying within my given calorie range but I also didn't want to absolutely blow my week of hard work. That night we went to McAlister's for dinner and they had a "lite" menu so I ordered from that. Instead of eating 700 calories, I ate 500 calories. Five hundred calories is still a lot for one meal but I was proud of myself for making the decision to eat a little less. This immediately made me glad that I track my food 7 days a week so I can adjust on the weekends, as needed. Since I went a little crazy on Saturday I took it easy on Sunday. It's all about giving yourself some grace, as it's a lifestyle change and not a "diet." I know I'll have mess up days and mess up meals but it's about making a better decision the next meal or the next day. I also will look up the online menu of any place we plan to eat and plan what I'll have. This will help me not be tempted to eat too much. I want to make smart decisions!

What good eating decisions have you made lately?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I've got the "Spark"...Again

The SparkPeople Cookbook. I just got it today and can't wait to check out all the recipes!

I struggle with eating healthy and getting in daily exercise. Anyone else with me on that?

Four years ago Daniel and I began on a weight loss journey. We used Spark People and it was fabulous! It's a FREE site and has every tool you'd ever need to lose some weight. Check it out and you won't be disappointed! (If you want more information I'd be happy to help you).We did great all summer and I lost close to 20 pounds then got pregnant with Nyla. After I had her I started walking everyday and lost another 10 pounds and got pregnant with Naomi. Since having her I have had absolutely no desire to really do anything about my weight. There, I admitted it. I really haven't, though. From time to time I've thought I really need to eat better and throw in some exercise but I've never really made a commitment to do it. I know it's all on me, too. It starts with me and I've done nothing about it.

The last couple of weeks I've actually given some deep thought to what I want with my health. I don't like what I'm seeing.

The sermon in church on Sunday was the last thing I needed to hear to get me on the right track. He talked about Joshua and brought up the verse I'm sure we're all familiar with, Joshua 24:15, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I say I serve the Lord but how am I serving Him by eating crap and too much of it and not getting any exercise and taking care of myself? I'm not. And that's not a servant to God. The sermon really hit home with me about serving God. Not only by serving others but serving and taking care of myself. Yes, that sounds a little selfish but if I don't have my act together then I can't be a good servant for God.

Because of all this, I'm back using Spark People and it's like I never left. I jumped right into measuring and weighing all my food and tracking my fitness. I've written out my goals and posted them on the refrigerator so they're visible at all times. I didn't make too many goals as I don't want to get bogged down in them. They're realistic, they fit our family lifestyle and I can meet them in a reasonable amount of time. And because I know things will change in a few weeks I'll go back and revisit and revise my goals. I plan to do this every 30 days.

Here are my goals:
1. Track my food on SP 7 days a week (this will help me see my weaknesses and where I need to work on my eating habits).
2. Measure and weigh everything I eat.
3. Weigh in on Saturday mornings. Lose 1-2 pounds a week (preferably 2).
4. 20-30 minute walk/jog 4 days a week.
5. Revisit and revise goals on Sunday, July 14th

I will workout more as time goes on because that's how I lose weight quicker. For now, I'm focusing on my eating habits. I need to get my eating under control. When we started this journey back in 2009 we focused on our eating and mindset for about 4 weeks. This helped us see our weaknesses and figure out our portions and get used to weighing and measuring everything. It's all about portion control!

So, now you know what I've been thinking of the last couple of weeks. I'll keep you up-to-date on my progress.

This is some inspiration I found today. It's great inspiration but a little gross at the same time. So, enjoy, I guess. :)
This is a full body scan photo of a 250 pound woman and a 120 pound woman. I'm not saying we're all meant to be 120 pounds, I know I'm not, but we are all meant to take care of ourselves. This shows me how I've not taken care of myself. It makes me sad. I'm going to print it out and post it on my fridge. Any time I feel the need to snack I'll see that and step. away. from. the. fridge. I hope I find it helpful. I hope you do, too.
250 pound woman versus 120 pound woman

Thursday, June 13, 2013

O Be Careful Little Eyes

When we traveled to see Grammy last week we listened to Fisher-Price Sunday School Sing Along quite a few times (it's a great CD by the way). I love all the songs but O, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See really struck a chord with me. I don't know how many times I've heard this song over the years but never really listened to the words.

I know I need to be a filter to the girls but I also realized I haven't been a very good filter for me. I need to be careful about what I watch or focus on, listen to, take part it, where I go and what I say. Woah, wake up call!

How's your filter?

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

Monday, June 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert
Printer-Friendly Version
20 minute prep
servings: 9-12

20 Oreo's, divide
2 Tbsp butter, softened or melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
16 oz cool whip, thawed and divided
15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold milk
1 package chocolate fudge pudding mix (3.9 oz)

1. Crush 16 Oreo's and mix with butter. Press into a 9-inch square pan (I may use a 9-inch pie plate next time). Set aside; place in the freezer until you're ready for it.

2. In a mixing bowl, place cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Dump onto the Oreo crust. Sprinkle with half or three quarters of the chopped peanut butter cups.

3. Mix 1 cup cold milk and the chocolate fudge pudding, let sit for 20 to 30 minutes until the pudding has set a little. Then fold in the rest of the whipped topping (8 oz). Dump onto the chopped peanut butter cups.

4. Chop remaining oreo's (you should have 4) and the rest of the chopped peanut butter cups and place on top of the pudding mixture. You should now have a beautiful three layer dessert. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (Note: I placed mine in the freezer for a couple of hours then moved it to the fridge; I was running short on time that day)

This dessert was a hit! I took it to our friend's house for a dinner gathering and it was oh so good! It it something I will make again. I made the crust with too many oreo's (like 22, because I didn't read the directions properly) and it made an extra thick crust which was delicious but it made the top layer spill over which wasn't pleasant. I'll be a better direction reader next time. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Fall

How to Join:
Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here

I have 2 toddlers and they fall, a lot. They have banged up, scratched up, bleeding knees and feet almost everyday. Each time they fall I pick them up, hold them close and love on them as I dry their tears. I love that I'm able to comfort them. I love that when they fall they get up and look for me, wanting me to hold them and help them feel better.
Isn't this what God does with me? I fall, often, and He picks me up, cradles me in His arms and dries my tears. After I'm comforted I climb out of His lap and go onto my next adventure. I long to be close to Him but so often I feel so far. 
I know I create this gap between us. I choose to leave the comfort of His side and go out on my own. Only to find it's a cold and dark world on my own. I fall and then search the crowd for Him, wanting to climb back up in His lap for comfort. He dries me tears and I'm off again.
I love that having my girls has shown me a very small piece of the unconditional love that the Father has for me. Little ole' me. He loves me no matter how many times I climb out of His lap, mess up and come crying back into His lap.
Girls, I love you more than you'll ever understand. I will always be here to pick you up when you fall. I will always be here to dry your tears. I will always be here to comfort you and send you back on your way. I love you.

This post is linked to Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday. Come join the fun!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

To Grammy's House We Go

Two days after we got home from our weekend getaway I packed my bags again and traveled to Griffin, Georgia with my mom and the girls. My grandmother (my mom's mom) lives there and the girls just love her. I'm so glad we're able to pack up our stuff and travel to see her. And I'm thankful that the girls are great travelers. They have their fussy moments, as we all do, but all-in-all they do great and they did great!

I'm possibly the worst picture taker of all time and didn't get a single picture of the girls with Grammy. I know I'll kick myself later for that one. One of these days I'll get good at it. Well, maybe. I did take a few pictures of our trip, though. 

At Chick-fil-a for lunch on Tuesday. I traded in the kids book for an ice cream cone. :)
Nyla loves it!

So does Naomi!

Naomi loves playing peekaboo with her blanket. She starts it on her own and it cracks me up every time.

We played this a few times. Thankfully, it's not as annoying as the Sesame Street CD we have. This is a great CD and the girls are great at singing along and knowing what songs come next. 

The girls enjoying Grammy's swing. This swing belonged to my great-grandparents and still looks great. The girls wanted to swing constantly.

My mom and the girls enjoying the swing.

Sitting in Grammy's chair.

My sweet girls!

Thanks to Grammy for hosting us! I know she loves having us and loves watching us leave! ;) The girls are busy, busy and I know they can be exhausting.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Strawberry Picking

Saturday Nyla and I went strawberry picking! 
(Yes, I am growing strawberries in our yard but we're waiting for them to root properly and won't get any bounty until next season. It's sad, but I'm hoping this helps us having better years of harvest later on.) 

I've been wanting to go but I wasn't sure how she would do. I assumed that she would pop them in her mouth as we picked and obviously that is highly illegal. :) But she greatly surprised me and just carried her little bucket around and kept on picking. I was not allowed to carry the bucket. At. all. She was very insistent on that. ;) I had to give her some guidance to pick the completely red strawberries and had to remind her a couple times but all-in-all she did so great! I think we'll go back in a couple weeks and pick some more. 

Here are a few pictures from our morning together. 
(We also went to the Farmer's Market to pick up some fruits, veggies and grass-fed beef.)

She's so proud of herself carrying the little bucket.

She's doing a great job picking!

"No, I"ll hold the bucket, Mommy."
I definitely head that a few times.

Our haul!
We filled up our bucket close to three quarters full and he told me it was $8. I was shocked it was so little.
I bought another quart because we eat them like crazy around here! 
Nyla and I had a good morning together, so did Daddy and Naomi. They went for a mile walk around our neighborhood and were followed by a sweet puppy for some of the way. We all had a great morning together, but separate! ;)