Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The trail of children...

Have you ever been to my house? If so, it probably looked decently clean and put together. Many of you have been to my house before, but rest assured, before you come, I do a clean sweep of toy stashing, clothes folding, and table wiping. Some few friends who come over unannounced (ahem...my neighbor) sometimes walk into the tornado ridden zone. I am no longer embarrassed by this because those select few of you who have babysat for me know how incredibly fast my children can trash (dump out bins of put-away toys) my clean living room :-)

But today, as I took a once around my dining room and living room and shook my head at the "trail of toys" that spanned from my feet around the couch and into the entry way, I thought...why not share this with those I love? This is my reality. This is the way my house looks from about 8am-6pm (with the exception of 1-3pm when I insist that it be cleaned while D naps - I need some sanity). After D goes to bed, C and I clean it all up so I can breathe easier once they are both asleep. But for now...here it goes....this is how my house REALLY looks if you were a fly on the wall - or an unannounced visitor :-)

The "train" table is more of a dumping ground - until they dump everything off of it to play on it.
Notice the empty bins :-(
Looks more like a crime scene to me...
I think I will miss seeing sippy cups laying around one day....
I think the couch pillows were being used as some sort of bridge. Or maybe a bed?
Why do I still have a bouncy seat out when my youngest child is almost 18 months old?
Because he likes to play in it of course :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A week of unmet goals

You can kick me, its okay....I didn't blog more like I wanted to. Once again, I got busy and crazy and during my bloggable moments, I chose to take the kids to a new playground, lay on the couch, work out, go out with my MOPS friends, have my gal pals over for dinner, or take a bath. Yesterday I spent 2 1/2 hours at the mall getting an oil change at Sears. Today I spent 4 hours there getting new tires, brake pads, fluid, an alignment and a tie rod (what is this anyway?). The bill was high :-(

I even skipped a workout (Gasp!) on the day I went out to dinner with my MOPS friends! I felt guilty, but the food was good and the fellowship was even better :-) Have no fear though... I did get caught back up and today I did my cardio day on my rest day to get back on track. Tomorrow begins my last week of Chalean Extreme - well for this 90 days anyway.

Hmmm, this short blog post is very choppy. Sorry about that! I can pretty much assure you that this week will be the same as the last one. The kids and I are heading home to Atlanta on Wednesday. I am in my good friend's wedding on Saturday, and I am throwing C a birthday party on Easter Sunday! Whew, I am overwhelmed thinking about all of it....

In the meantime, here are 2 pics of me after my workout tonight, My muscles are really taking shape :-) I may not have met my goal of being a better blogger this week, but I AM meeting my fitness goals one day at a time!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Good Company

As usual for us this Sunday morning, I got the kids (and myself) out the door by 9:05am to head to church. We even had time to Skype with B for a few minutes - to show him D's adorable big boy outfit and C's fun new spring dress...and of course to get a few compliments on my own appearance (who says fishing for compliments from one's own husband is wrong?).

I felt so good heading to church because we weren't rushed this morning. It's amazing how much calmer the drive can be when all is going just as planned! We left with time to spare and arrived with time to spare. After getting both kids settled into their respective Sunday School/nursery classes, I walked towards the sanctuary hoping maybe I'd see one of my friends from MOPS so I could at least have some brief adult conversation before the service began. I spotted one! Sitting with her hubby of course, but I figured I'd slide in the pew in front of her and turn around and visit for a few brief moments. I love to chat...even if just for a few minutes :-)

Low and behold, when I went to sit down, I ended up scooting in right next to a MOPS friend whose husband is deployed as well! Ahhh, now we're talking good company! Loved chatting with her for a few minutes. Our children are very close in age and she lives in my neighborhood. I'm always up for talking with someone who knows EXACTLY what I am going through! Then as if that we're great enough, in slid another MOPS mom of a deployed spouse. She brought with her her sweet baby girl whose coos and chuckles through the service touched my heart and brought a smile to my face.

This may not mean much to you as you are reading it, but let me just tell you, worshipping alongside my fellow sisters in Christ who are doing just what I am doing was one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. Sure there were couples of husband and wife duos all around the three of us, and normally seeing everyone else in pairs makes me miss B even more, but today, I felt "strength in numbers" strong. Put on the Armor of Christ strong. Soar on wings of eagles strong.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three stands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

As the service went on, we learned about The Weight of the Cross in preparation for Easter just a few weeks away. A large wooden cross stood at the front of the sanctuary and our pastor asked that as the service went on, individuals come down to hold it up. At any given moment there were 5-8 people bearing the weight of that big cross. At first it seemed that the men of the church would be the primary cross bearers, but as the service went on, I watched as teenagers, moms, dads, older men and older women, and even children went up to support its weight. I went up at some point briefly and was surprised how rough and heavy it was. Christ was and still is just so incredibly good to me - and to us. What He did for us can so often be overlooked or overshadowed by our daily trials and struggles, but I know when I truly take the time to dwell and meditate on His sacrifice, I am in awe of His unfailing love. That cross was big and it was heavy and rough to the touch, but He carried it for me. Praise Jesus...King of Kings!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Workout Saturday

Wow! I have been a bad blogger lately! So sorry about that. Life has just taken over these last couple weeks. My evenings are now taken over by workouts and then showers and baths to rinse away the sweat. Then I am too worn out to think about sitting down at the computer to blog.

Even at this moment, it's after 9:30pm and all I want to do is take the dog out one last time and go to bed :-) I promise I will work harder this week to blog about all the wonderful topics I'd love to tell you about. Like, my "God bracelet" (what C calls it), C's new big girl bedding, and of course my Multitude Monday's - Gratitude.

But, because it's Saturday night I suppose I'll give you a workout update. It's been an amazing weight loss week. In short, I have lost an additional 3.4 pounds - bringing my total weight loss to a whopping 25.0 pounds! I can't even believe I can write that out. I am still in shock each day when I step on the scale :-) It's a wonderful feeling that I haven't felt in many years. I love it. A lot.

I am still in the last phase of Chalean Extreme doing extreme moves that work upper body, lower body, and my core all at once. I added new cardio routines to my week by acquiring Turbo Jam, a Chalene Johnson kickboxing-meets-dance workout. I got it because I am getting kind of tired of doing the same Chalean Extreme cardio/interval workouts week after week. I have done the Turbo Jam twice so far - a different workout each time. It is so fun, but I sure do feel like a fool. Chalene jabs left, I jab right. She kicks back, I kick to the left. Haha, you get the idea :-) I think after doing it for a while, I will get it though! Either way, as I jump, jab, and kick, at least I am burning calories (even if my moves don't always match hers).

Lastly, I started Shakeology, a super healthy meal replacement shake. I don't eat as healthy as I know I should, so I was excited to try this nutrient rich delicious shake. My Beachbody coach sent me a free sample last week and I LOVED the taste, so I placed an order for myself. So far I can't get enough, haha. I have had it now for 3 days, an I can say that I have looked forward to it each time. In fact, I want to have it for breakfast before church tomorrow, but I know I should wait until lunch because lunch is always a busy time after church here at our house and I know I will need the "pick me up" this delicious chocolate shake gives me. So, we'll see how long I make it before I get to blending my favorite meal of the day :-)

And...to my hubby....I can't thank you enough for allowing me to purchase this rather expensive shake. Thank you for trusting me to know that I will use it wisely and continue kicking my own booty each day so that I look fantastic when you see me again! Come home soon! I am shaping up rather nicely :-)

Okay, I need to go to bed...Again, I apologize for my lazy bloggy-ness. I will make it a goal this week to write about all the things I want to write about. But, please forgive me if after a whole day with the kids, then a crazy workout, and a much needed hot bath, I am just too pooped to support my own body weight on this chair and come up with decently proper sentences to get across all my thoughts and stories :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Workout Saturday!

What a GREAT week! I started the final 30-day phase of Chalean Extreme on Monday and am already seeing incredible transformations in my body. I immediately broke through the weight plateau that I had hit in the final week of the Push Phase.

Since monday morning, I have already lost additional 2.4 pounds! WooHoo! This phase is super effective :-) I know it's because Chalene really changes up the workouts. Last month it was very slow concentrated reps with very heavy weights. This month its still slow but its a higher number of reps and each move works upper body, lower body, and core at the same time. I have been sore after every workout.

I can feel my body saying, "Girl, what on earth are you doing?? Tricep extensions in a push-up position...on one arm!?!"

I tell my body, "Body, get over it and build some more muscle...now extend that arm and hold up my booty so I can finish the reps!" :-)

The kids and I have had a lot of fun dancing around the house this week as well. I downloaded Sarah Buxton's Outside My Window, so we have a fun beat to get our groove on. And just this morning I added I Know You Want Me by Pitbull and Poker Face by Lady Gaga. The beat of those songs just can't be beat for danceability! I love getting a quick 4 minute cardio dance workout in the middle of the day with my kids :-) We all have fun!

And lastly, I found a really great inspiration for my weightloss goal this week! It's a BIKINI (oh my goodness!) that I am in love with. I haven't worn a bikini in over 10 years. I didn't even wear one in college! But, I found this one on the Landsend website, and I can't wait to wear it this summer :-) I have already achieved so much, that I know this summer I will feel confident enough to show some stomach - faded stretch marks and all! I could already order a size 10 (which just blows me away - if you'll remember, I was a snug size 14 just 65 days ago!) but I am going to hold off until next month and see if by then I may need an even smaller size :-)

Here is the Top and here is the Bottom. I want it in the pretty aqua blue color :-)


I can't wait to update you next week! This is so exciting and fun!

Friday, March 12, 2010

My keychain from Jesus

Do you believe in God? Since I don't really know everyone who will read this, I can't be certain that you ALL believe in the one true, all knowing, perfect God. If you don't, or have never really considered it, I think this story may change your mind...

Monday morning I dropped C off at preschool and headed to WalMart with D. We did our shopping and headed to the van. As I pulled the shopping cart up to the side of the van and opened the sliding door, I turned to decide if I was going to put D in first or load in the groceries first.

I turned back towards the open van door and was completely startled to find a man standing near the back side of my van (by the gas cap). He was only about 2 ft from me. I never heard him walk up and he never spoke a word. He wasn't getting into the car parked next to me either. After my initial reaction (I jumped) I noticed he had an arm full of keychains. He handed me one. And in my still startled shock I quickly took it from him and said, "Oh, thank you." I glanced up at him hoping that was the last of our unplanned encounter, but he still stood there....smiling. He gestured towards the keychain. It was then that I notice the piece of paper hanging on it. This is what it said...

With my heart rate still a little raised and my mind a bit blurred, I immediately said, "Of course!" I reached in my purse and pulled out 2 $1 bills...which is SO rare that I even had cash, let alone 2 $1 bills. I never carry cash. Never. In fact the only reason I did is because I had just returned something to WalMart and was given cash back. I handed him the money and he gestured towards the keychains remaining in his hand as if to ask if I'd like to select a different one from the one he had handed me. I told him, "No, this one is perfect." I smiled. He smiled. I turned back around the put my wallet up and by the time I spun back around, he was gone. I was relieved.

My next thought after, "whew, I'm glad he's gone!" was, "Why on earth did I just buy a keychain I don't need from a deaf guy? Deaf people can work! I know deaf people who work! Ahhh, I am such a sucker!"

As I loaded the groceries and buckled D into his seat, I was looking all around the parking lot to see if the friendly deaf man was getting anyone else to buy his keychains....or was I the only sucker? I didn't see him anywhere. As I pulled out of the parking spot and drove to the exit, I continued to look for him. I didn't see him. As I looked, a bible verse came to mind. All I could think of was (and this is exactly how I quoted it in my head), "you fed me when I was hungry...you clothed me..." I couldn't think of the exact verse, but I knew the gist of what I was quoting in my head.

The it entered my mind, "Did I just buy a keychain from Jesus?"

I never saw the man as I drove out of the parking lot. I never heard him walk up, I never heard him leave. All day I kept thinking about the bible verse that I needed to look up. Later I told my mom the story and how I was about 90% sure, I bought the keychain "from Jesus."

Then as if all that weren't enough, God spoke as clear as day to me the next evening. Did you read my last entry, Mommy Meltdown(s) where I spoke at the end that I was going to go take a bath? Well, I did take a bath and I brought with me my devotional, Faith Deployed.

In the tub, still kind of a teary mess, I began to flip through the devotional to find out where I had last left off...for some reason, my dog-eared fold had come out and I needed to re-find my place. I found the chapter and then scanned through 2 devotions that I had already read before I got to the next "new" one. I began with the verse at the top of the page - the verse that the devotion would focus on.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Matthew 25:35-36

Seriously!!! It was THE verse I was trying to quote in my head just the day before...it was THE one verse my devotion was about. It was exactly what God was trying to tell me...He WAS there. He was there in the parking lot. He is here now. He was there and he hears me. If you read Mommy Meltdown(s), you'll know what I am talking about. I have been practically begging God for an answer about B's deployment and his future job. God still hasn't quite answered that yet, but he did speak to me. He is there. He saw me in the parking lot. He saw me blogging my heart out Monday. He spoke to me in the tub...He is there. And He is involved in EVERYTHING!

Praise God! Praise Him for my keychain blessing. Praise Him for sending that small hispanic deaf man to my car in the WalMart parking lot. I don't know if that man is with his family right now in North Carolina or if he was an angel and is now back in Heaven, but either way, Thank You for sending him...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mommy Meltdown(s)

This deployment is making me age faster than I should be aging. I can practically feel the gray hairs growing on my head and fine lines developing along my face. The stress has made me physically ill again. I have felt nauseous all day. I haven't felt like this since about a month before B left last Fall. On the upside, at least I know it's stress....haha, I know I'm not pregnant.

In all seriousness, I feel like I am drowning in a sea of exhaustion, loneliness, and anticipation. I feel defeated by my children most days.

I never knew a parent-child relationship could feel like such a competition, but on many days, it does - and I feel like I lose. It's almost as if C doesn't speak English some days...like she doesn't even hear what I say to do...or not to do. Little D is too young to understand anything about what is going on. He is still living an "all about me" life. I must meet every one of his needs. I have to drag the kids everywhere I go. Today we all had to go to David's Bridal to get my dress altered then later we hit up Walmart and Target. Tomorrow, we have to go grocery shopping. It's exhausting to do all this without my husband here. It's even more exhausting to think that I have another 4 months of this before I get some relief. I feel like I am drowning....or at least treading water making no progress of swimming towards the shore.

B and I are still waiting to hear back from the commanders here to find out if he is going to be allowed to return home early and pursue his DC position. Still waiting...and waiting...and waiting. I feel like I have exhausted every word of prayer I have. I am now pleading for an answer. Literally crying to Him. I know God knows my heart. I have faith that His plan is perfect. But I can't help how I feel. And right now, I feel like crying to Him. And pleading...or maybe begging.

I don't know what else to write. My head is just all tears. My dog won't go to the bathroom. I've walked her 4 times in the last 2 hours. She's about to go in the crate for the whole night. She HAS to go. Why won't she go?

B is out at the mall and then going to see a movie tonight with one of the guys on his team. I just wish he were home. Or that I was with him. Or that I could go to the mall by myself.

I don't even want to go to bed because I know when I wake up, the kids will wake up and this "Groundhog day" will start over again.

It's just a Mommy Meltdown kind of day. I think I may go take a bath. At there, my tears will have a whole sea of friends...at least they won't be lonely :-)

Heavenly Artist

Little C asks me a million questions everyday. Well, maybe not a million, but probably around 150 :-) I try and answer most of them, but there are times that I just tell her, "I don't know, baby." Some of her questions are hard to answer. For instance, yesterday in about 3 minutes she asked me, "What color is our stomach?" "Why do cars have doors?" and "How does blood move in our bodies?" Seriously, that is way too much thinking and explaining in a 3 minute car ride home from the playground!

So, this evening in the car on our way home from our last errand, she began with her question asking once again. We have had multiple tantrums and meltdowns today, so by 6pm, I was tired. Actually I was so stressed that I was nauseous and on the verge of tears. I just wanted her to be quiet so I could listen to the song on the radio and have some silence, but she must not have been listening when I told her to "please be quiet until we get home" because this is what happened just as we were getting close to home:

"Mommy, what's that?"

Not even looking back at her to see what she was referring to, I replied, "I don't know, baby."

Moments later she asks again, "What's that in the sky?"

It's a pretty clear evening with no odd clouds or anything so I have no idea what she is talking about...and I don't really care anyway, so again, "I don't know, baby."

I think she has moved on, but then about 20 seconds passes, and she quietly says, "Maybe it's God drawing a rainbow..."

I glance up - way up - and I see it....the jet flying on her side of the window leaving the white "streak" behind it.

I laugh :-) I love the way she sees the world. It's so refreshing!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


142. My room at Chateau Elan...so quiet and still....
143. The embarrassed laughter from a blushing bride at her lingerie shower :-)
144. Babies pretending to be "sleeping babies"
145. C's hairdressing and photography abilities
146. Seeing old friends I haven't seen in many years.
147. Going to A's BRIDAL shower....such a blessing to see her be the bride!
148. The surprise of seeing my long lost friend there as well! (and meeting her beautiful daughter)
149. Precious K's laugh on her 1st birthday
150. Morning breakfast time with my mom (she took the picture) and daughter :-)

holy experience

Workout Saturday (on Sunday) Day 60 Results!

Sorry this is a day off...I didn't think you, oh loyal reader, would mind too much. I wanted to postpone my workout update by one day since tomorrow marks day 60 of my 90 day Chalean Extreme program! I just took all of my most up-to-date measurements and I am so excited to share them with you :-)

I am still in shock at how well this program works. It is literally reshaping my body each week! If you remember last month at my 30 day update, I had lost a total of 16 inches and 11.8 pounds. Well, now at 60 days I have lost a total of:

19.2 pounds!
4.5 inches in my waist
4 inches in my hips
4.5 inches in my abductors (saddle bags)
4 inches in my chest
1.5 inches in my right arm
1.25 inches in my left arm (still odd...)
3 inches in my right thigh
3 inches in my left thigh
7.2% body fat!

For a total of 25.75 inches!

This last phase was so much fun since I got to lift super heavy weights and feel really strong. I am so proud of myself :-) I actually feel good about my appearance for the first time in a really long time. I only wish B were here to see me - I can't wait until he comes home! Maybe I can look almost as good as I did when we got married 6 1/2 years ago! (well...I can at least hope for that, haha....it was pre-babies after all).

This last phase is going to be really exciting since I have heard people lose a ton of body fat in the last 30 days. I can't wait to get started on it tomorrow!

Here is a recent photo of me. This is the first time I've bared any "leg" in a REALLY long time! I still have a long way to go....but I am excited about how far I've already come.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Prayer Request

I know that the Lord hears our prayers. He has heard me and answered me so many times - some times in the way I have wanted and sometimes in His own better way.

Today, I just want to simply ask for your prayers about a specific issue. You may be tired of hearing about B's job opportunity. If that is the case, please stop reading :-)

Some brief background first - B interviewed last May for a position within the Army in Washington D.C. He was selected for a position within the agency but needed to obtain 2 different security clearances. After months of private investigators interviewing B, previous employers, and all our friends and family members, he finally was granted both clearances late last year. In December, he was "fully approved" to receive orders.

About 2 weeks ago B got word that when they (DC) tried to request orders for him, they were told that he couldn't be given orders because he is on a "deployment hold" through this current deployment and then an additional 6 months (dwell time) through January 2011. So...basically, he can't even be given orders until after January 2011.

B and his team called around to see if they could get the hold lifted in July 2010 when he comes home from this current deployment. But they were told that he can't "lift" the hold until he is back home from his deployment and is done in-processing back to his unit. So, as of right now DC can't even issue him orders until about August (the orders would have to be for later in the Fall) and we just hope that they will still have a position for him that many months away.

Here is where your prayers are needed :-)

B's team came to the conclusion that the best option for him is for him to come home early from this current deployment so that he can get the hold lifted and get in-processed so that DC can cut him orders. Yes, COME HOME EARLY!!! So....last week B and his officer proposed their idea to the commander to have him come home early so he could pursue this DC job. Right now it is completely in the commander's hands.

Please pray that the commander will be able to see the awesomeness of this job opportunity and figure out a way to get B home. Pray that they would be able to coordinate getting him home and getting a replacement soldier sent to where he is to carry out the remaining months of this deployment. Pray that DC would be able to cut him orders and we will be able to move sooner rather than later.

Truly, this is a lot to ask of the Army. God is bigger than the Army though. I know that. Please pray for us. It is so incredibly much the desire of my heart for my husband to come home and be able to get orders for an awesome position in a wonderfully cool city. He's been gone 4 months now...I am very ready for him to come home :-)

Family Fitness

Since I have started working out, my kids really enjoy trying to copy me and do the exercises with me. Most often it is C who wants to lift weights and do the moves with me but on this day, little D found it exciting to do squats and lift weights too! My mom's 3lb weights were too heavy for him to lift without falling over, so we got out the 1 pounders. Aside from banging his finger in between them once, he had a ball lifting them over his head and then putting them away where I put my weights away. He even did squats with me...so adorable!

D doing a squat...what a cutie!

Fitness is for the whole family!

"Time to get Extreme baby!"

She is good at lifting these! She loves to do my "Shanalean" with me (Chalean Extreme)
So proud of my little man