Tuesday, May 9, 2017

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Fitness Edition

     In the past two months I have really committed to getting healthy and fit.  Sure, I have been pinning healthy inspiration for years but I have started taking it seriously, entering your 30's can do that to a girl!  In those two months of me actually putting in some effort I have lost 16 pounds and counting!  And the best is I am actually loving healthy foods and I crave going to the gym.  Like I miss it if I don't go, unbelievable...right?!
      I feel like after trying so many things for a couple of weeks I finally found some things that work for me.  Easy, affordable, and things that my entire family enjoy.  I will be sharing a ton more about this in future posts, but I thought I would share some of my favorite things that are helping me along the way.  None of these things are essential in any way but are just really fun to have.
       First up, my Fitbit Alta.  Years ago I had the first Fitbit model.  It was just a simple bracelet with not many bells and whistles but it got the job done.  Well, I got it wet and it never worked again.  When I started looking into getting another Fitbit the watch caught my eye.  There are so many cool features and I am a sucker for gadgets.  I am also very motivated by competition and my mom and I often compete on who can get the most steps in a day.  It is a great tool for me and tracks your sleep and workouts as well as your heart rate.

       Next, Halo Top ice-cream.  My goodness this stuff is good!  I keep repurchasing the chocolate flavor because it is pricey and I am scared to try another flavor and not like, though that is probably very unlikely.  Each pint is filled with protein and less than 300 calories... for the whole pint... THE WHOLE PINT!  Sorry to yell but you just can't beat that.  At night when the kids go to be Jared and I usually watch a show and I will have a couple of spoonfuls.

        These Nikes.  When I was starting to intensify my workouts I knew it was time to upgrade my shoes.  These are great light weight shoes that match everything (you know that's important).

         Finally, my fitness belt.  This was one of those things that I bought on complete impulse from the Target dollar spot a couple of seasons ago.  I was really skeptical about it, but it was around five dollars so I thought I would give it a try.  Now I don't think I could work out without it.  It is adjustable and never slides up or down and holds my phone and keys without me having to think about it.  Seriously, if you see one of these pick it up!  You won't regret it.

       So that sums up a few of my super non essential gym favorites.  Except the ice cream, ice cream is totally essential!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Meal Plan Monday

     Menu planning is one of my least favorite things to do.  At one point I was regularly sitting down and planning for an entire month at once, those were the days.  My goal is to work back towards that because it truly made life so much easier.  Typically Monday comes and I have no clue what to make for dinner that night.  With all that said I figured I would put my menus for the week here on the blog to hold myself accountable but to also have something to come back and look at for inspiration when I am contemplating feeding my family grilled cheese sandwiches for the second time in a week, not saying that's ever happened her haha.  So here is this weeks menu:

Monday: Mississippi Chicken
               Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday: Velvet Porkchops
                Roasted Potatoes

Wednesday: Roast Beef french dip sandwiches
                     Chips and dip

Thursday: Taco Salad

Friday: Grill night: burgers

Friday, May 5, 2017

Oh Toodles! A Mickey Mouse Baby Shower

     Last month I had the pleasure of throwing my dear friend a baby shower.  Her sweet little son is due in July and I can not wait to meet him!
     With the help of her mother in law, sister in law and another friend we threw the Disney loving parents a Mickey Mouse themed shower.  
      Everything turned out just perfectly from the food to the centerpieces.  And the best part was the excitement on the new parents' faces when they walked into our church fellowship hall and saw it transformed.  
      Here are some pictures from the big day!
It's a little hard to see in this picture but on the outside of the double doors of our church fellowship hall we flanked the doors with balloons in Mickey's signature colors.  On the door I made a large sign using my Silhouette Cameo.  On the sign was the wording "Come inside, It's fun inside."
Each table was decorated the same.  We bought red solo cups and simply put two round, white stickers on each cup to mimic Mickey's pants.  I made all of the centerpieces with my Silhouette and pots I scored at the dollar tree.  I was not able to find enough in the same colors so I just spray painted them all black.  The centerpieces were very affordable since it was mostly scrapbook paper.  

The food tables were my favorite.  We served Mickey's club sandwiches and Hot Diggity Dogs as well as chips and a couple of other sides.  I think the signs in front of each dish were a very cute touch and I must mention that every piece of bread, sandwich meat and cheese was cut in the shape of Mickey's head using a cookie cutter.  

For desert we served vanilla and chocolate cupcakes all topped with vanilla icing and two mini oreos to act as mouse ears.  We also had cinnamon glazed almonds as something sweet to munch on.  I don't have a picture of our refreshment table, but we served a mint julep drink, a cherry sherbet punch (this was a nod to Walt Disney who's favorite treat was a cherry milkshake) and water of course.

To thank our guests for attending the shower we made chocolate dipped oreos and signed them on sweet baby boys' behalf.  

     It really was such a fun day! And I loved all the sweet touches in the room.  I know the mom and dad to be were so very excited to have a room full of people they love so excited to meet their first baby!  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Book of Prayers

     One of my favorite days in the year is New Years Day.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am the person who makes a hundred New Year's Resolutions or goals (I am ashamed to admit how many I keep haha).  My sweet husband, however, could not care one bit.  We really couldn't be more different.  He is so logical and practical and thinks "it's just another day."  And my free spirit says "anything can happen!"  I love him and the balance that we bring to each other.
     At the beginning of this year I purchased a little calendar from from the Target dollar spot because it was cute and only one dollar, we have all been there.  Anyways, I had no plans for it what so ever but when I was praying one day God began to speak to me about the New Year and writing down some prayers and dreams.  I approached Jared about it thinking there was no way I would get him on board but to my surprise God had been speaking to him about the same thing as well.
     As we sat down and scribbled somethings down that we believe God was instructing us to pray about as well as some of our own desires the little calendar from Target caught my eye.  In the back is a little section for notes so I transferred the prayers to that section and then had the idea to write down on the day when God answered the prayers in the book.
     So now, about five months in it is so amazing to see the prayers turned into praise reports written down on dates.  And I just have to brag on my Heavenly Father for a moment because there were somethings that we have given specific dates to that have happened in the time frame.  One of the things that we wrote at the beginning of the year was for Jared and our brother in law, Adam, to have training with a concrete company done in March.  They left for the trip to South Florida on March 30th.  God is so good.
      We have many more prayers that we are still believing for and they are some big ones but my God is so much bigger.  One last thing to share because Jared just blesses me so much.  Every morning Jared is up at 4 am to get ready for work he is usually so tired from staying up too late but almost every morning he sits at the dining room table with his Bible and a book of our prayers.  He is so faithful and I am just so thankful for his heart.

Something just for me

      A couple of years ago, when the boys were still babies and I was finding my footing as a new stay at home mama with three little ones under three, I really began to feel like I needed to make sure I was taking care of myself.  I would go through the whole day only eating junk and was lucky if I could get in the shower before my husband got home.  One day I made myself a nice fancy lunch of sautéed shrimp and quinoa with some veggies on the side and everything changed.  I realized I could do things for myself and it was okay to feel like human.  It was also okay for me to admit that sometimes I just need to be alone.  In those early days I felt this false responsibility of having to be with my children constantly; when the truth was it was better for me and them if I had a break.
     Today, one of the things I do to have some alone time and recharge is go to the gym at least four days a week (wish I would have started this one sooner haha).  I love the time of being alone with music playing through my headphones while I silently talk to God and He responds to me.  I love feeling better about myself and having more energy and I love the example that I am setting for my children but for my daughter in particular.  Brooklynne loves people and has the biggest heart but her sweet personality is like mine and sometimes we just need quiet where our thoughts can roam freely without distraction.  I spent a chunk of my life feeling ashamed of this quality in myself.  I would feel guilty if I didn't go to every playdate or invite someone from church over to dinner.  There is a balance to it; and I find when I have time to be alone then I am so much more open to the times to develop relationships with others.
       I am always curious to know what others do for themselves or if they prefer the larger groups to recharge.  Let me know what you think!


Watching: The Americans.  If someone just gave me a brief summary of this show I would have never thought I would have watched it much less love it!  However, this show following Russian spies in America is one of my favorite shows.  It keeps you guessing and unsure of who to root for at times!

               Better Call Saul.  My favorite show of all time is Breaking Bad so naturally when Saul Goodman landed a spinoff show I was sold.  Honestly, I am a little underwhelmed but I can't help but watch due to my loyalty to Breaking Bad.  There is just way too much time in between seasons and some scenes tend to drag.  Nonetheless I intend to watch every episode haha.

Listening to:  "Reckless Love" by Bethel.  This song is on repeat every. single. day.

Reading: Chase the Lion by Mark Patterson.  A friend of my husbands sent him this book a few months ago and I decided to read it and I have been really enjoying it.  In this book Batterson,  the pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., encourages the reader about chasing down your dreams.

Eating:  Pineapples.  All day everyday.

Thinking about:  Summer!!! My favorite season of all and it pretty much already feels like summer here in the panhandle.  I can not wait for lazy mornings and  more time with Brooklynne.   Hopefully, we will have more beach days this year since the twins are older now.

Back Again

      It seems that I like to take about a year off between blog posts.  I always find my way back to this space and take a look at old posts and spend time reminiscing about about the seasons and days I have written about.  I read through the posts of us trying to conceive and I remember how challenging but rewarding that time was and how I can not believe that we have three kids.  Or I look back at the pictures of Brooklynne's chubby cheeks that are gone now and I can't help but get teary eyed.  And every single time that I come back to this space I tell myself the same thing... "I need to blog more."  No one reads here, its just something for me and I am completely okay with that.  If I am totally transparent I think I prefer it that way, it keeps me honest.
      So with that being said, here I go again... promising myself that I will be at this space more.  Truth is, I think its good for me.  Last Friday, Jared and I had an impromptu dinner date.  As we sat at the thai restaurant I was able to share somethings on my heart with Jared that I had been keeping in because I didn't know how to articulate it.  In just being able to talk without the interruption of children I realized that sometimes I just feel trapped.  I feel trapped in motherhood, or I feel trapped in routine or I just feel trapped at home.  When the words came out I honestly felt lighter but suddenly guilt was right there.  Jared works two jobs as well as trying to grow his own construction company with his father and brother in law.  He does everything in his power to make sure I can be home with our kids.  It is one of the most important things to us and something that we have fought for since having our first child.  I love my life.  I found myself starting to defend myself to my husband before he could ever say a word.  I told him about how much I love being at home and so on and he stopped me and said :"I would go crazy if I had to do all that you do."  It was all I needed.  Jared is great about letting me know how much he appreciates me and all I do and I am so thankful for that; but in that moment when he acknowledged it I didn't feel so crazy.
       We spent the rest of our date brainstorming date ideas and some ways for me to enjoy some of my old hobbies again.  I haven't been knitting or sewing much because I have felt too busy and our budget is so tight but I know that for me creating is important.   It helps me feel more like me.
       Its interesting that I came across this space again, maybe this can become one of my creative outlets.  Being a wife and mother feels like giving away so much of yourself constantly so I know that it is important to recharge and take care of myself so I can be the best wife and mother for my family.