Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Celebrating Our Last First Birthday!

My little marshmallow turned one year old a few weeks ago.  I wanted to take the time to reflect on this past year of my life with this sweet baby of mine. 
Kids really have a way of making you realize just how fast time goes by.  It feels like just yesterday my husband and I were just bring Thomas home from the hospital, adjusting to life with three boys, and figuring out another new routine with another new baby.  

 Like all parents, I feel so lucky to have this little kiddo in my life.   His sassy attitude keeps me on my toes.  He’s chatty, he’s spunky, and he knows what he wants.  He loves to try to keep up with his older brothers.  He has helped me set limitations and has taught me to let things go.  I promised myself to let the guilt go on my dirty house.  For his whole first year, I promised myself to not stress about piles of clothes, papers, or fur and allow myself instead to use that time to play with my children.  For the most part, I was able to do just that.  I let dishes pile up, left laundry go unfolded, and cleaned the bathrooms far less than I am willing to admit here.  None of my children will remember any of those things.  What I hope they remember are the trips to the zoo, the games we played, and the cuddles we shared. 
My maternity leave was hard.  We decided for financial reasons to keep my (at the time) 20 month old home 3 days a week.  Caring for a newborn and a 20 month old is difficult.  The first day home with both of them, my 20 month old cried for 3 hours straight, I in turn called my husband crying.  But as the weeks went by it got easier, we fell into a really great routine, the crying (from both of us) ended, and I really didn’t want my time home with them to come to an end.   Those 10 weeks whizzed right by. 

I nursed Thomas full time through 8.5 months.  This wasn’t always easy as there were four other little hands that were reaching for their mommy at any given time.  The nine months we spent bonding with each other are irreplaceable.  I’m not going to lie, I also wasn’t sad when it ended.  He didn’t “need” me in the same way that I felt my second born needed me but maybe it was that I didn’t need him in the same way either.  I had let go of the mommy guilt this time around.  I’m doing the best that I know I can do to raise three young gentleman and sometimes that means knowing your limitations. 
I’ve also learned to take care of myself this year.  I’ve learned that taking care of myself and my needs doesn’t make me a selfish person.  In fact, taking care of myself has made me a better mommy.  I’ve learned to tell my husband when I need some time to myself to do things for me.

Both of the old children are great brothers.  They both are so sweet with their baby brother.  The love and affection they show each other is so cute. I hope to remember these sweet moments five years from now when all they will do is wrestle on the floor together or ten years from now when they are trying to out-burp one another.  Sigh.

I've tried to cherish and enjoy all our out last "firsts" with Thomas.  They say the third baby gets the shaft because parents tend to not care about the milestones or care to take as many pictures, a "been there done that" phenomenon .  I've tried my hardest to not make that a reality but the truth be told, it isn't that we "don't care", its because my time with him is so precious.  My hands are busier and that makes the time we do spend together just that much more special.  I'm busy living with him than busy writing about him.  I'm too busy cuddling his snugly little body to start that scrapbook, I'm too busy kissing his chubby little checks to take a time out to snap a picture of the moment.  I'm too busy living in the moment than taking the time to wish for the next.  I love him and I love my crazy little life.  

****Photos all done by the talented Jesse Lee Photography.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

It's that time of year!  Gift giving is just around the corning and I'm so happy to have one major item checked off my gift list; my mother in-law's annual calendar.  I thought I would share the pictures of my 2016 version here because, you know, its been awhile since I've check in here with something crafty.

No doubt about it.  Three kids is kicking my butt.  Something has got to give and most days that my sanity....but.....not today!  Today I'm checking items off my "to do" list left and right!  Boom!

Ok, about this calendar.  Most of my supplies are from Papertrey Ink but I did get the digital calendar off of etsy.  If you love it as much as I do, you can buy one here:  505design .  Isn't it the cutest?  I love all the nice bright colors.  Most of the patterend papers are from various Etsy shops, if you see something you are dying to get your hands on, contact me and I'll send you a link to the shop! 

Without further ado, enjoy!

Well, that's a wrap!  I'm in love with this version of the calendar and I hope she loves it just as much!

And now, one more item to cross off my "to do" list.  Cheers everyone!  Enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow with family, food, and a Packer WIN!

Till next time, PEACE!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Whole30 Wrap Up


Yep that's right I finished the Whole30!!! YIPPEE SKIPPY! Here are my before and after pictures.  A part of me is cringing by posting these but jeez, I'm working sooooo hard, I need to do this! 


Same outfit, same awkward bathroom shots.  Noticeable difference, right? 

Here are my stats: 

Weight: -14.5 lbs
Chest: -3"
belly button: -2.5"
hips: -1
thighs: -1.5"

Amazing.  Near the end I had a lot of ups and downs.  Aches and pains.  I JUST WANTED A CARB!  But I pushed through.  I didn't give in to my temptations.  I kept thinking, this is "only 30 days" and and I can DO ANYTHING for 30 days.  I'm so happy I did this.  It was exactly the push I needed.  I've been trying to lose weight the "right way" and the "healthy way" for several months and I stalled, this pushed the scale in the right direction again and slayed my sugar dragon.  I'm overjoyed that I'm doing this with REAL food, no pills, and no supplements.  The only money invested is my grocery bill (FYI, it was higher than normal).  

I have no doubt that I will struggle and have some stumbles along the way but I now know what will work for me.  When I trip up (which I will), I will re-examine this eating plan and "get real" with my self if/when needed.  I've already committed myself to the 5 lb rule.  I gain 5 lbs, I start another whole30 STAT.  When I'm not on the stricked 30 day food plan, I'll attempt to follow the whole30 rules as much as possible but I'll enjoy my carbs (beer, bread, sugar) a bit.  Perhaps one day I'll give those up all together but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY! 

I hope I've inspired you to try your own whole30.  You really have nothing to lose, if it doesn't work for you, you'll rest assured knowing you're eating REAL FOOD and nobody is a "loser" when that's the case.  Nobody died from eating too many veggies, right?  Be well everyone! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Whole30 Week 4

W9 Manifesto-for-FB-Cover NEW

Welcome back everyone!  This is my forth and final week a recording all my meals while attempting my first ever whole30!  You can see Week 1, 2, and 3, here, here, and here.  

Sorry, I didn't take a ton of pictures, life got busy and that phone of mine just didn't come out as much this week!  Here we go:

Day 24

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  LO pork chop and potatoes
Dinner:  steak, zucchini, sweet potato "fries"

Day 25

Breakfast:  banana "pancakes"
Lunch:  LO steak, zucchini, sweet potato fries
Dinner:shrimp salad.  So so good.  1 lbs of shrimp only made it through for my husband and I, if you make this, make a lot!  :)

Day 26

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs
Lunch:  chicken burger, avocado, grapes
Dinner: spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce/ground beef

Day 27

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  LO spaghetti squash
Dinner: beef burger with mushroom bun and grilled tinfoil potatoes and carrots

Day 28

Breakfast:  strawberry banana coconut milk smoothie (which my 2 yo LOVED)
Lunch: LO burger and tinfoil potatoes
Dinner: hot sauce chicken legs with homemade ranch dressing and asparagus

Day 29

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with roasted potato and carrots
Lunch:  LO of chicken legs with potatoes
Dinner: LO pot roast

Day 30

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes and carrots
Lunch:  Leftover pot roast
Dinner: TACOS.....I'm done and didn't do dinner!!!  They tasted fantastic :)

Stay tuned for my results, thoughts, and feelings on the whole30 program!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Whole30 Week 3


I'm back again with a week 3 of my whole30 experiment.  30 days of eating healthy fats, fruits, and veggies.  You can see my week 1 and week 2 here and here.  I'm really excited to wrap this up and tell you my results already!  :) 

LO=Left Overs

Day 18

Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs w/ LO stuffed pepper
Lunch:  stuffed pepper and 2 oranges
Dinner:  stewed beef, with carrots, celery, and potatoes

Day 19

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs (wasn't hungry)
Lunch:  left over stew
Dinner:  spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce with ground beef

Day 20

Breakfast:  3 egg omelet
Lunch:  leftover spaghetti squash with sauce
Dinner: Mediterranean Salad with chicken, onion, olives, tomatoes   SUPER YUM

Day 21

Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with tiny chicken cutlet and LO Mediterranean salad
Lunch:  LO spaghetti squash
 Dinner: Chicken with broccoli & potatoes

Day 22

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  Mediterranean Salad
Dinner:  almonds/coconut/raisins (too busy with the kids to eat!)

 Day 23

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch: Mediterranean Salad
Dinner:  pork chop with potatoes and broccoli

This week was kind of tough.  Just like last week, the boredom is really setting in with my menu.  It would help if my crazy life would stop being crazy for 10 minutes so I could menu plan.  Well, that didn't happen!  Even though I'm bored and I've had this side ache that won't go away, I'm forging ahead.  No quitter here! 

See you soon with my 4th week and a wrap up really really soon!  :) 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Whole30 Week #2


I'm back with week 2 of my whole 30 challenge.  


Day 9:

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with leftover brussel sprouts/potatoes/ and turkey that I turned into a "hash".

Lunch:  salad topped with fruit salsa and turkey meatballs.

Dinner:  Chicken burger topped with an avocado and salsa,  sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Day 10:

Breakfast:  3 scrambled egss with bacon & LO sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Lunch:  Chili lime chicken burger topped with an avocado and salsa.  More LO sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Snack: Bannana ice cream

Dinner:  Turkey breast, white potatoes and carrots roasted with LO cauliflower "rice".

Day 11:

Breakfast:  Breakfast Fratata with LO brocoli and sweet potatoes, and turkey.

Lunch:  LO  turkey, cauliflower "rice" potato/carrot mix

Dinner:  bannana topped with cashew butter and coconut.  LO spaghetti sauce and lamb (plain)...trying to clean out the fridge :)

***I was exhausted here!  I went to bed at 8:30, painted my boys room the day before so everything is sore.  I really just wanted to "throw in the towel" but I fought through the urge and didn't cheat.  Tomorrow is a new day!!!!

Day 12:

Breakfast:  Breakfast fratata with broccoli, sweet potatoes and turkey

Lunch:  Chili lime turkey burger topped with avocado, and green beans (on the side, not on the burger).  :)

Dinner:  Pork burger with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus.   ---this was soooo delicious, I forgot to take a picture! 

This day was much better and I'm so happy I didn't cheat!!!!

Day 13:

Breakfast:  LO breakfast fratata (see above).

Lunch:  LO pork burgers, mushrooms, and asperagus

Dinner: steak & squash

Day 14:

Breakfast:  1/2 LO steak with 2 fried eggs

Lunch:   chicken salad with lettuce wraps, snacked on few sweet potato chips (from my kids plates, this is probably a cheat as the bag said it "could be" made with canola oil, but I only had a few).  Orange slices and LOTS of grapes.

Dinner:  Roasted chicken with white potatoes and carrots.  Watermelon.

Day 15:

Breakfast:  1/2 steak with 2 fried eggs, grapes.

Lunch:  chicken salad with lettuce, cashews, and strawberries.

Dinner:  LO roasted chicken with white potatoes and carrots.  watermelon.

Day 16:

Breakfast:  3 eggs scrambledc with 1/2 sausage burger and sweet potatoes.

Lunch:  sausage burger with grilled onions and pineapple with a portabella mushroom "bun".

Dinner:  Tilapia (white fish) with blueberry salsa, sauteed kale, and sweet potatoes.

Day 17:

Breakfast:  banana topped with almond butter and coconut.   

Lunch:  turkey burger with sweet potatoes and kale

Dinner:  stuffed red pepper which had beef, kale, sweet potatoes and the southwest spice.

***another bad day.  I felt terrible, I was board with my food, I was tired, I took a nap and also went to bed early.  I'm trying to sleep it off!

Well that rounds up week two.  You can see this week was bit harder to come up with "new" foods.  I got a little less creative and because of that,  I started to get board with my meals.  I was also really tired this week.  I don't know if it was the food or just my life with three kiddos (still nursing one).  I definetely hit the "break it or make it" stage but so far I'm MAKING IT!!!  Woot Woot!  I don't feel as "thin" as a did last week.  Last week it felt like the weight was just melting off, this week, I feel like I gained.  I'm working my way through the book as I do this and that seems pretty common so no need to panic.  Since I usually weigh myself everyday, I've found the freedom from the scale has been a bit liberating (you weight on day 1 and not again till day 31).    

My sugar dragon is under control, I can't believe it!  I passed on donuts, cookies, and cake all of which were offered to be throughout the week.  I didn't even have an urge to eat those items.  Amazing!  I would have taken bets before this started that that NEVER would have been the case for me!

As you can see, I've falling a bit behind in posting my food.  LIFE just doesn't stop!  I got high hopes to get my next post up in a couple days!  If you want to see my week 1 meals with pictures and links to recipes go here:  Week 1.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Whole30 Week #1


Well, as promised here are the meals I ate for the first week or so on whole30.  It's going good so far.  Food is great, the adjustments haven't been that difficult, and the cravings are in check.  Yeah!

LO= left overs

Day 1

Breakfast:  sweet potato breakfast casserole (I skipped her seasonings and added a southwest seasoning blend from Wildtree) DELICIOUS, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: spinach salad with chicken, strawberries, lemon vinaigrette (just lemon juice, EVOO, S&P), almonds, and avocados.

Snack: mint chocolate Larabar

Dinner: Chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli.

Day 2
Breakfast: LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: pulled LO chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli

Snack: Larabar

Dinner: Pulled pork, avocado, Hawaiian coleslaw.  I just roasted a pork roast in my slow cooker with some garlic, S&P, and a little water. 

I had LOTS of hot flashes here.  Weather? Food?  Hormones?  I don't know.

Day 3
Breakfast:  LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, raspberries

Dinner: More LO pulled pork but on lettuce with coleslaw, avocado and green beans.

Snack: banana ice cream with nutmeg & cinnamon.  Take 2-3 frozen bananas (makes 2 servings), I find it best to cut the bananas into chunks before freezing.  Add the bananas to your food processor and add about 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Sprinkle in some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon and blend till smooth and creamy.  This treat with satisfy the strongest ice cream craving.  PROMISE!

Still LOTS more hot flashes  here.  Hard to say if it is diet, or hormones, I did have a baby 7 months ago......

Day 4

Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with diced sweet potatoes inside the omelet, 2 slices of bacon, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch:  LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, green bean.  Banana with cashew butter, unsweetened coconut flakes, and walnuts.

Snack:  2 cuties

Dinner:spaghetti squash with lamb marinara sauce (Aldi's has a sugar free marinara that is pretty good), and baked asparagus.

Still more hot flashes.  Ugh, I think it is the diet.  I think it is all the sugar being flushed from my body.

Day 5
Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with sweet potato hash with onions and 2 slices of bacon.

Snack: Baby carrots

Lunch: LO spaghetti squash and asparagus.

Snack: strawberries with unsweetened coconut flakes

Dinner: orange teriyaki turkey meatballs with carrots & Brussels sprouts.

Day 6

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with LO from dinner turned into a hash

Lunch: chicken salad with homemade mayo, almonds, raisins, and a side of carrots.  I'm not going to lie, I like the store bought mayo better (which I am really surprised about).

Dinner: Grilled steaks, roasted white potatoes, green beans with almonds.  Mix of fruit for "dessert" of pineapples, strawberries, and melons.

We were at my in-laws for dinner and my MIL was nice enough to make something Whole30 compliant.

Day 7
Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with LO fried white potatoes and carrots.

Lunch: Chicken Salad with carrots

Dinner: Jalepeno Chicken Burgers on a portabella mushroom "bun".  Sweet potato fries.

Day 8
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, banana with cashews, cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Lunch: LO chicken burger topped with 1/2 an avocado, and baby carrots.

Dinner: Cod with pomegranate pear salsa with coconut "rice" cauliflower.  REALLY, REALLY good.

Snack:  banana ice cream.  Yum!

Well, so far so good.  It was a great first week of eating.  Food tasted great.  I LOVE the sweet potato hash with my eggs, the slightly spicy southwest mix from Wildtree really works well here (I don't sell it, if you don't know a demonstrator, find a blend in your local grocery store that is whole30 compliant).

The hot flashes were intense.  I think it was my hormones.  It was probably a combination of getting my period (really bad timing) paired with all the sugar and "junk" leaving my system.

I'm already feeling lighter and no joke, my pants that were too tight to wear comfortably are already fitting.  Amazing.