Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Workout Update

I have now completed week 3 of Chalean Extreme and am still dumbfounded at my progress...in a good way. I am SO much stronger than I was when I started this earlier in the month. I just did 20 REAL pushups...on my toes. This may not be that impressive to you, but to me, it's huge. I could only do 1 or 2 of them just 3 short weeks ago. I only have one more week in this "Burn Phase" of the program and then I move to the "Push Phase." In the next phase, I will be lifting even heavier than I am now. Honestly, I am a little nervous since I am already using my hubby's 15-20lb weights regularly. Can I really even lift and function with his 25lb weights? I guess I will find out in 8 days!

I have now lost a total of 7.6 pounds :-) It's been coming off slower than I had hoped, BUT I have to take into consideration that I must creating some muscle in there as well. Since I don't know exactly how the body works and how fast the body builds muscle, I can't really estimate how much muscle I've built. But, I do know that I am a whole lot stronger than I was a few weeks ago. I haven't really lost anymore notable inches in this past week, but I have definitely lost more body fat. I should probably wait until my 30 day results to share this with you, but I am just too excited about it to wait until then. I have already gone from 32.5% body fat down to 29% body fat - in 3 weeks! I can't wait to see how much I go down in the whole 90 days!

Lastly, I discovered Subway sandwiches. Okay, I didn't actually just discover them. I always knew they existed...I just didn't care for them. I don't really enjoy deli style/cold cut sandwiches. But then I learned that they can "toast" them and create a turkey melt with melted american cheese, lettuce, and BANANA PEPPERS (my favorite!) all on a soft 9 grain wheat sub. Yum! I've had it twice this week :-) Today I am going to try the sweet onion teriyaki one - sounds awesome to me! Anyway, I can't wait to share my progress with you next week. I am HOPING to get down to a total of 10 pounds lost. Thats my goal!

Check out who is doing sit-ups with me :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gratitude on a Tuesday

Sorry that I have been so blog quiet lately. My mom has been in town visiting me for about 10 days and we've been having so much fun that I truly haven't had time to sit down and blog....or even check all my emails, or actually read everyone's facebook status changes. But I really wanted to blog my gratitudes...even though today is Tuesday and I missed it yesterday :-)

112. Two Girl's Nights Out this week with my friends.
113. My mom's willingness to come visit (help) me for 10 days!
114. A free online Turbo Tax program that walked me through doing my taxes without making me wait in line or pay a thing.
115. My workout results!
116. Strength to do 10 real push-ups.
117. Pictures my husband sent me of his team (and him!) on their deployment adventures.
118. My new role in the preschool ministry on Sunday mornings (just once a month).
119. D's ability to toddle over to me saying, "ma...ma...ma...ma."
120. Roasted sweet potatoes that my mom has made since being here :-)
121. Feeling great about myself :-) (I have not reached my goals yet, but just being on the way feels great!)
122. Early morning snuggles with C.
123. Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat...those books are so fun to read - even if they are 60 pages long! Does rhyming ever get old? "I do not like green eggs and ham. I do like like them Sam I am." And I LIVE with Thing One and Thing Two!
124. My Swiffer vacuum. BEST PRODUCT EVER!
125. My little monkey girl :-)
holy experience

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 2 Update

I just finished my second week of Chalean Extreme! Yay! I'm doing it! I have great progress to report too :-) First of all, I didn't miss a day of my workouts and even though I had one morning where I had to move the workout to the evening, I still completed all of them. I continued to enjoy eating healthier foods. I even went out to dinner last night and devoured grilled salmon (hold the lemon pepper butter) and a sweet potato. Yum!

Okay, so my results....I only lost between 1-2 pounds (which I will admit I wasn't thrilled about), but overall, I have already lost a total of 6 inches! I was getting discouraged by my lack of big weight loss, so I had my mom measure me to see if there had been any change anywhere else. We were both BLOWN AWAY to find I had already lost 2 inches in my waist, 2.5 inches in my chest, 1 inch in my hips and 1/2 inch in my abductors. Woohoo! So overall, I've lost somewhere between 5-6 pounds and 6 inches in two weeks.

I can now do 10 REAL pushups. I know I am getting much stronger everyday. I feel great and I am proud of myself :-) I still kind of hate doing the workouts but I love the feeling of sweating so much and working so hard. I LOVE completing a workout and knowing I worked so hard, I can barely walk, haha. I can now do squats like nobody's business. So, there you have it. I hope next week I can report a little more weight loss, but either way, I can assure you I'll do my best.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Stash

Most of you know that I use cloth diapers on my 15 month old son, but for those of you that didn't know that....well, now you do! I blogged a post a long time ago about the different kinds of diapers available and how they work, so I would encourage you to read that if you want to learn about the wonderful world of cloth. Now that I have been using cloth on D's bum for about 10 months, I have definitely figured out what I like and what I don't. I have bought diapers, sold diapers, and come to have a pretty great stash. I thought I'd share with you what I like the most and what works the best for us. If you have a child or grandchild in diapers, you should read this! Cloth diapers are fun, good for the environment, great for baby's bum, adorable, and affordable!

To my husband....please ignore this post. You do NOT need to know how many diapers and covers we own :-)

Top Row (left to right)
1 Good Mama good.night - a fitted diaper designed to hold a ton of pee - lasts us 12+ hours
2 Motherease Sandys fitted diapers - these are my favorite diaper to use at bedtime
5 Motherease One Size fitted diapers - I LOVE these

Middle Row (left to right) None of these require a separate cover!
3 Bum Genius One Size 3.0 pocket diapers - I converted 2 to have snaps instead of velcro
3 Bum Genius One Size organic All-in-One diapers - it doesn't get any easier than this :-)
1 Flip diaper - I have 2 of these (the other was probably on D) and 6 inserts...these are my new favorites!

Bottom Row (left to right)
2 Sustainablebabyish bamboo fitted diapers
1 Piddle Poodle fitted diaper (this is for sale if you want it!)
2 Tiny Tush One size fitted diapers (these are also for sale)
6 Bummis Organic prefolds

The Covers: Covers are needed over anything on the top or bottom row in the diaper picture.
Top Row (left to right)
2 Jam Tots Berry Plush covers - so soft!
2 Sugar Peas fleece covers
4 Fleece Soakers - two made by my awesome friend, one made by a work-at-home mom, and one is a Dancing Bears nighttime fleece cover

Middle Row (left to right)
2 Blueberry one size covers
Grey Sustainablebabyish wool soaker (my very favorite cover!!!)
Black pair of Sustainablebabyish wool shorts (so incredibly cute!)
4 pairs of Woollybottoms wool footies - D wears these for almost every nap and every night to bed. They're awesome! I won two of them on a photo contest :-)

Bottom Row (left to right)
Little Beetle wool pants (these are the ones I won from the facebook contest, yay!)
Winkydinks wool pants
Red and Tan Woollybottoms wool soaker (also won this!)
Baby Beehinds wool wrap style cover

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Missing You

My Sweet Love,

It's been almost 3 months since you left us last Fall. Sometimes I think the time is flying by and sometimes I can't believe its only been two and half months. The kids and I have gotten in a good routine and we've adjusted to you being gone, but please hear me when I say that you are not forgotten for even one minute. Everyday C says, "I miss my daddy..." or "I wish my daddy was here," with a soft sadness in her voice. I can only respond by telling her that I miss you too. She says it at random times in the car, when we're watching a movie, or when we're reading a book. She prays for you at dinner - prays that you will come home safely. Tonight it tugged at my heart, "God thank you for the food, I love You, I pray for daddy that he will come home. Bring him home safely because I still love him." He loves you too, baby. She has no concept of how long you've been gone or how long you'll be gone. This makes me sad. I try and explain it to her, but she can't comprehend it yet.

I think of you constantly. I wonder what you're doing. I wonder if you're awake yet. Wonder what you look like. What are you wearing? Have you shaved yet? Do you need a haircut or did you get one recently? What does your rental car look like? I wish I could have dinner with you. I wish you'd come walking through the door for breakfast and then again just before dinner. I wish you were here to do the things I don't like to do. Wish you could take out the trash, get gas, clean our shower, grill our meat, and walk the dog. I think what I miss the most are our family outings. I wish we could load up and go to Petsmart or Target and then have lunch somewhere before heading home for the afternoon. Its just not the same without you. I miss watching movies with you. I miss your back massages.

I love seeing your face every time we video chat on Skype. I know we are so blessed to have this at our fingertips most days. For generations before us, families relied on written snail mail and now, even still, there are soldiers serving in remote areas where Skype is not available. I try and remind myself of all the ways your deployment is so much better than what so many other service members are doing, but at the end of the day, I miss you. You miss us. You are missing things and will continue to miss them. I am doing my best to video those moments, but I can't video all day long. I love when you get to see them on the computer. D loves to "talk" to you and show you his "walking skills" and C loves to just see your face and tell you her stories. I just love getting a glimpse into your world.

I need to get going now. I can hear D coughing through the monitor. He's getting a cold again and I fear I'll be up multiple times tonight rocking him and wiping a runny nose. Just know I'm thinking of you. I am so proud of you. You are a very good man. I love you.

Love Always,
R

Thursday, January 14, 2010

His Love

Oh how great is His love for me. I must share the goodness I've seen in the Lord the past two days. It's amazing and brings me humbly to tears. Does He ever do that to you? This may seem long as you look at it, but believe me, these two stories are worth the read :-)

After a busy week of children, preschool, and errands, I found myself out of a very necessary feminine hygiene item yesterday that just couldn't wait. I longed for Walgreens to offer a tampon drive through, but alas, they haven't invented that yet, so I loaded up the kids to head to WalMart one more time. We had already been to WalMart or Target each day this week for something and I just wanted to stay home for once. I wasn't feeling very good. I was tired of dragging the kids everywhere I went. I was grumbling in my soul....can you hear it? Do you know the feeling?

Okay, back to my story, so I get the kids in the van, start the car, pull out of the driveway (thinking I should get Midol too since I was so crabby), and as I headed down my street, I clicked on the radio and turned up the volume -

You're not alone, For I am here,
Let Me wipe away your every fear,
My love I've never left your side,
I have seen you through the darkest night,
And I'm the One who's loved you all your life,
All your life.

This (click to listen) is what can out of the speakers without missing a beat - this chorus - WOW! The tears came flowing and a sigh of surrender followed. He speaks and He speaks real words. I suddenly felt capable of making it to WalMart and back. I felt Him in the van with me. Not just in His kingdom hearing my prayers and loving me but right there with me. Next to me. Perhaps I even sat in His holy lap. I listened to the rest of the song and cried through it as my Father spoke to me. I am not alone. B may be gone and I may feel alone, but I am not.

I love when the Lord of heaven and earth speaks to me and to my spirit. I am so special!!! You are too!!!

Okay, next humbling moment was today on the playground. C befriended this little 2.5 year old boy and his mom while running around while I tried to help D down some of the baby slides. When I saw the sweet mama pushing her son and C on the swings, I felt I needed to go tend to my child, so I packed kicking and screaming D back into his stroller and headed over there to push her. The mom and I got to chatting as I expected and I learned she and her hubby had just moved to the area in December. We talked about our not-so-exciting city and that her husband was deploying any day to Haiti leaving her and her son home alone in this new place. She introduced herself to me and I did the same to her. As usual, her son needed to use the potty, so they headed down to the restrooms. We were getting ready to leave anyway, but I felt that I needed to stay until they returned because I was debating asking her for her phone number so I could stay in touch with her. We hung around for a few minutes and I kept my eye out for her. I didn't see her coming back - maybe they had gone straight to their car and I had missed the opportunity to ask. So, me and the kids headed towards the parking lot. Ah ha! There she was heading our way. Oddly, even though I am a very social person and I seem to never have a hard time striking up conversation, I feel SO awkward asking a woman for her number so we can arrange a future play date. It's like asking a guy for his number back when I was in high school - just uncomfortable. But I felt like I needed to ask her. So...

"Would you like for me to take your number so I can call you next time we head out to the playground? Maybe you guys could meet us here?" I asked...

"Yes, I'd love that....I really could use a friend" she blurted out as she fought back tears (upon seeing her try and hide them brought tears to my own eyes....which I of course tried to hide).

I fumbled to get out my phone and get her numbers as she explained that before they moved here they lived with her parents and her son was used to getting lots of attention from mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and now that they were here it was just him and her. Her husband was practically already gone, and she and her son were over 20 hours from her family. She just needed a friend in this new city. The whole time we talked, I could see the tears in her eyes.

As I drove away, I thanked God for His whispers to my heart....ask her for her number...."But, I should just mind my own business. I don't have to befriend EVERYONE I meet"....ask her...there she is, ask her...

He had it all planned. He knew that she needed a friend. He knew that I was the one she was there at the playground to meet. He knew that I would indeed ask her. He knew that we both needed a friend. Praise Him for His goodness and love! Wow, I love this God.

Have a similar story? Post it as a comment so we can all enjoy His love to you!







Workout Thursday

Did you come check this specifically to hear my Week 1 results on ChaLean Extreme? If so, great job remembering that today is my weekly update! And if not, well....remember next week and check back again then too!

I have GREAT news to report for my first week on my new program. I changed my eating habits drastically and worked out 6 out of 7 days (there is always 2 rest days...I added an ab workout on one of the days). First of all, I feel great and secondly, I lost 4.2 pounds! Yay! Not bad at all for Week 1. I loved eating healthy and truly enjoyed fueling my body with yummy yogurt, granola, clementines, shrimp, brown rice, bananas, chicken salad, egg whites, string cheese, salad, chicken, coffee with fat free creamer, skinny lattes, Lean pockets, and more whole grains. I finished off a 24 pack of bottled water and still have several diet cokes left in my fridge from my 12 pack (I drank about 3 bottles of water a day and only one diet coke). My kids even ate healthier since I was preparing better dishes. They ate wheat bread, brown rice and whole wheat pancakes and never once complained.

I woke up each morning at 5:10 and finished my workouts by 6:10 - just in time to take a quick break before the kids woke up. It was hard to get up, but every morning I thought of how much I needed this and how great I felt each day at 7am when I had already worked out, drank a bottle of water, relaxed, had a cup of coffee, and had both kids up. So productive! My workouts each left me feeling exhausted yet strong. I love the way my muscles feel after lifting weights. I love the soreness and how I really feel my abs and back muscles during the day. It's a great feeling!

Anyway, I am excited about Week 2 and really excited about the results. I can't wait to report back next Thursday on how I did!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Positive Responce to Haiti

It's B...

As you are very much aware the poverty stricken country of Haiti has just experienced a natural disaster that hasn't been seen in that area in over 200 years. The capital city of Port Au Prince has been devastated by the massive 7.0 quake. Some reports are coming in that well over 100,000 could be dead and some estimates are even higher. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them, yet how are we, as followers of Christ, to respond to this.

1. Pray
2. Give. If God is calling you to give (over and above your normal tithe), than give. Give of time, money, service, etc.
3. Respond Positively, meaning....

Be ready for questions... No doubt we will have questions arising as to "How could God allow this to happen?", or "What kind of God is He, if He allows this to happen?," etc. Be ready for this, and respond in a positive manner, knowing that our God, the one true, living God, is in control of ALL THINGS. God allowed this to happen for some reason that is beyond us right now. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." God has a reason for this. Ultimately, this disaster will bring God the glory that is due only to Him.

For a much better way of putting it, PLEASE watch this video. It will explain everything...It may be long, but take the time and watch it. Consider the impact that it will have on your life and on your response to people in the future. Click Here

TRUST GOD!

God is in control of everything, and for that I am so grateful!

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gratitude

Lord, thank you for...

102. My new endurance for my own life - eating healthier foods, exercising daily, and being a more intentional and effective mom.

103. The way God answers even the simplest prayers like, "God, please tell me where to look to find C's ballet slippers so we can get there on time," and then instantly He reminds be to look in my husband's car... and next, "Please let them both take a nap this afternoon so I can have a few minutes to rest and enjoy some quiet time," and then they both fall asleep in their beds within 30 minutes. Wow!

104. That Darby is finally pottying quickly when I take her outside. No more standing around getting frustrated because she "won't go."

105. The encouragement I am getting from my mom and husband on my new workout regimen and healthy eating. It's so nice to have vocal supporters!

106. Having a great friend up here in NC that can come hang out with me and the kids on a moment's notice. It's so awesome to have a wonderful friend just up the road :-)

107. My neighbor's husband came home early from his 11 month deployment because he got injured while running. He may need surgery, but he is home with her and their new 3 month old (whose birth he missed). Praise God for bringing him home early!

108. New curtains in my dining room that I can't stop staring at. I've been wanting some for about a year now, and I just LOVE what I finally got....all for a whopping $26...should have done it sooner, haha.

109. The cold crisp weather :-) I love the cold!

110. My next door neighbor's baby that is being born today! Welcome to the world sweet girl!

111. My new recipe for chicken salad that uses fat free yogurt instead of mayo. It's amazing! Thank you Lord for this awesome healthy recipe. I can't get enough!

B's Worship Playlist

This is B...

I thought I would just share with everyone, my worship play-list...

Enjoy...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Little Man

Just wanted to post a few recent pictures of my little man. Since getting my new camera lens, I've been photographing more everyday moments of the kids. Sweet C is typically quite photogenic, so it's easy to get cute pictures of her. But, I thought you may enjoy some moments with little D this time :-) Beware, you may fall in love with him!

Getting out all the cars.
He was spinning the ladder around on this fire truck, haha.
Getting a closer look...
Just a boy and his thumb.
And the other finger helps to hold it in.
With his best friend :-)
He loves to gaze out the window on the storm door.
Always getting stuck under the train table...
Big sister teaching him his letters on her Leap Frog letter writing thing.
We promote early literacy :-)
Mad because the suitcase is zipped shut and he can't get into it and rip out all the clothes.
Maybe biting it will help.
Maybe kneeling on it will help?
Last resort - standing?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The First Day

Today is the first day of the rest of my life :-) It is for you too, haha. For me though, this means taking control of my health and fitness. I am worth more than I have allowed myself to become. I have tried before to "lose weight" but this time, weight loss isn't the entire goal. I am not starting Weight Watchers or a strict nutritional program, but rather a 90 day fitness program called, ChaLean Extreme. It is one of the Beachbody programs that have become so popular in the past few years. My hubby is doing Insanity (I kind of shudder when I say it....click on it to see why) which is a SUPER tough 60 day program. I opted for ChaLean Extreme which focuses on building muscle...which in turn, burns fat. I do not want to write a long post today because I need a shower while D is still napping - today was Day 1 and I sure got my sweat on!

So, today is Day 1. I am so excited about starting this. I am 100% committed to not missing a day of this program because I know if I miss one day, I'll miss two...and then three. My only option is to go straight through until the beginning of April. I WILL be a Beachbody success story in 90 days. Then I will choose another program and keep on going. I want fitness to become a priority to me. This year, this is what I am doing for me. As a busy mom, I have lost sight of what I need and who I am. Frequently the only thing I do for myself in a given week is drive through the Starbucks drive-through 2-3 times. It's clearly time for a change! So, now every morning I'll be up at 5:10 working out with Chalene Johnson. It's my new way of life!

I tell you this to give myself some accountability. I will post a brief update every Thursday. I hope to lose weight, lose inches, increase my strength and tone up! I will also be altering my diet in a big way - using food as fuel for my body and nothing else. I must fill up with healthy choices if I want my body to perform at its best. Please pray for me as I begin this journey. This is a big change for me. I know I am a child of God though and I know I need to value my life and the body he has given me more than I have in the past. This is for me...and for His glory! And please let me know if you are doing anything similar. I'd love a workout buddy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Walking Video

This post is mostly for my dear husband who missed our son's first steps. He has now been able to see D walk from a video chat on Skype, but I thought he (and you) might like to see the progression of D's confidence to take his first real steps last week. As I made this video, I couldn't help but tear up a little bit at my sweet boy's innocence. First of all, I can't believe he's old enough to be walking. Secondly, it seems so simplistic that we all start out this way - taking baby steps. Even Jesus did these first awkward steps! Now I am so busy running errands, cleaning, preparing meals, bathing and dressing kids, I forget that the basics are there. Like walking, speaking, praying...all things I learned to do yet now seem to overlook and take for granted.

Lord, thank you for the basics in my life. Not everyone can walk (my dad is nodding as he leans on his walker...he's having hip surgery - he's not THAT old), not everyone can speak, and not everyone knows to pray. Thank you for my son's first steps. They were glorious and monumental in my heart. Little D is on his way to becoming a "big boy." Sure we still have some time. But it will go so very fast...

I didn't do too much fancy editing in this video as I should be doing the dinner dishes and getting ready for bed. I just wanted to get this posted so B can see it as soon as possible :-) Enjoy!

video

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gratitude

Sorry that I haven't been too "bloggy" lately. I was home for Christmas with my family and friends and though I have thought about all sorts of things to write about, I just haven't had the chance to sit down and write them out.

I was completely overwhelmed by how quickly my blog census worked! I have so many followers now! What fun! Now I feel more pressure to write better - it was more carefree when I thought my parents and sisters were the only people that read this, haha. Just kidding. I am thrilled that more than just my immediate family takes the time to ready what I write about our lives. I feel flattered and blessed all at the same time :-)

So for those of you that may just be joining me on my Multitude Mondays, you may wonder why most Sunday nights or Mondays I write about 10-12 ways God has blessed me. Its simply just me counting what I am thankful for...basically, ways He has blessed me. My goal is 1000, but I know overtime, I could probably hit 5000 and still easily think of more. Check this out if you want to learn more, or if you'd like to participate. I'd love to read your blessings each week as well.

God's gifts to me...

91. Each one of you that takes the time to read these posts as I write them. It really means a lot to me.

92. The ability to drive to Athens to visit my best friend. We now drive minivans (she even has the little "family" on her back window, haha!) and talk car seats and toys, but we can still relate like we did when we were 17 years old and were talking final exams and homecoming dates.

93. C's funny comments that always keep me laughing. She really wants a baby girl - a sister, and upon being told "no" when she wanted to redecorate their shared bathroom in a princess theme, she reiterated how she wanted a girl once again. I told her maybe one day God would give us one. She then told me, "When we get a baby girl, we can send D to someone else." Hahaha!

94. The new curtains in my dining room and kitchen that make me so happy every time I look at them.

95. The generosity of my photographer friend who photographed my children free of charge since she too is a military wife and has known me and my family for quite some time. What a huge blessing!

96. Every step D takes....today he took 12 without falling!

97. Being home in my own bed.

98. A HOT shower on a 25 degree morning.

99. Dora the Explorer. She helps entertain my daughter and teaches her all sorts of things. C knows more words in Spanish than I do, haha. I love Dora.

100. Skype. Without this program I don't know how I wold talk to B everyday. We can even see each other when ever we want. This technology is truly a Gift :-)

101. A safe drive back to North Carolina. 380 miles in the car with the kids and dog always has me a little worried, but He delivered me home without incident.

holy experience