Saturday, May 2, 2015

Here and Now update {Getting in shape}

It's been almost three months since I started this journey to a fitter me and I am glad to report that I have succeeded! I've lost a total of 17 lbs. and 20 in.!!! I feel great and there are a ton of other non-scale victories I can report. My wedding band fits (it hadn't since 2012), I am wearing clothes I wore before I ever got pregnant, I've worn L shirts for a looong time now they all look big on me, I feel lighter and better, and more importantly working out has become a part of my life. I even like it now, whaaat? Yes, me, I love to work out!

I would like to thank Bruce and Melanie for pushing me to start this journey and for their encouragement throughout. I love you guys!

Having said this I want to encourage you to go for it. You don't have to buy expensive workout videos or be on a perpetual diet just make little changes that will yield the results you want. Go to a thrift store and look for work out videos (I've seen some for 2.99 each), get on youtube and get some workouts to incorporate to your day, get outside and run/walk for 30 mins., whatever works for you do it! Also there is this awesome app called "Lose it" that helps you set goals and track your food intake and activity so you can achieve loss weight easily. My point is, when you think of getting in shape it seems that there is so much to it long work outs, gym memberships, counting calories, diets, giving up fats, dairy, carbs, sugar, etc., switching to organic foods, and so on. If you start thinking about it it gets overwhelming, you get tired and you quit before you even start but it doesn't have to be like that.

30 min. workouts and staying within a caloric budget is all that there is to it. Of course that can look different for every one so do what works for you. I am a very chill person, I knew that if I wanted to lose weight and keep it off I needed to do something that I could keep as long term habits. I needed to change them, not be on a diet because it is not in me to be on a diet forever. I need to live too! It's good to eat healthy, it doesn't always happen but with this new habits I have set in place I don't have to worry about the times it doesn't work out. 

Anyway, I'm not sure how much sense I'm making. All I want is to communicate that if I'm doing it anyone can, you can too! It won't be easy at first but believe me when you start seeing results you will want to keep going and it will be totally worth it!

WARNING, COMMERCIAL COMING:
If you need a jump start I strongly recommend the 21 Day Fix. 21 days of a new way of eating and an easy to follow work out program and you will be on your way to a healthier you! Melanie is an awesome Beach Body coach and if you are interested I can get you in touch with her so you can start your journey! 

...and since a picture says more than all my words here it is:


Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015's Here and Now {Phase I}

One of the ways in which I have taken my phrase of the year "here and now" is this other phrase "life is too short". I am not too old but loosing Evan has opened my eyes to a world of pain, loss, and uncertainty. I had a VERY nice childhood. I never really went through anything really hard. There wasn't much that I wanted that I didn't get. Life was good and although there was bad in the world none of those bad things could/would ever happen to me. Well, that is long gone. Now I know that bad things happen and they most certainly can happen to me. I'm not immune to life. This knowledge is both good and bad. To be honest I struggle with not spiraling into a constant state of worry but I don't ever want (can) be as naive as I used to. Life is short.

As I said this phrase can go in many directions and I will be sharing them as I discover them. I hope you will join me in this adventure and maybe we'll learn a thing or two in the process. I am going to be open like I never have been (stepping out of my comfort zone is something I suck at and am working on).

I have never worked hard for anything in my life. Maybe NEVER and ANYTHING are strong words but I'm going for the dramatic effect here. If it gets hard, I quit. If it's not instant, I quit. If I have to step too much out of my comfort zone, I quit. I have good excuses for quitting or so I keep telling myself. Well, no more. I am... afraid to type this... I am determined to accomplish at least 1 hard thing this year. Life is too short and I don't want to look back at the end of my life and think of all the excuses I made. Please don't think I am sharing this so I will get nice comments out of you. I am sharing because as much as I hate it I think accountability will be a good thing for me. 

So, first up is getting in shape. I know, I know couldn't be any more cliche but I don't like the extra pounds I carry around. For the last three years I've had legitimate excuses to not do anything about it. I don't have those excuses anymore. I have decided to make time for something that is important, not only for me but for my husband and for my boys. February 9 I am starting a program with shakes and exercise. Doable 30 mins. a day work outs, healthy meals, a shake for breakfast (thank goodness because I struggle with breakfast), an accountability group, improving my lifestyle and the anticipation of seeing great results in just 21 days. I am excited and ready to tackle my first challenge of this year! I know I can do it!

Stay tuned maybe I'll be brave enough to post "before" pictures, insert big maybe here.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

I've been pondering...

The other day I saw something on a friend's Facebook page that made me think a lot. She has gone through quite a bit of loss and she posted that she was having one of those days in which you just miss what you've lost. I can totally relate! She also said that when we mourn we tend to paint a picture in our heads about what would have been. Of course, that picture is always better than our reality or at the very least it is a good picture. However there is no way to know that if such and such hadn't/had happened then our life would be better (or as good as we picture it in our dreams).

This is how this reflection applies to me: When I think of Evan I think what he would be like now. I wonder how he would be with his brothers. I imagine our big family of 5 enjoying life all together. I get tired just thinking how crazy it would be to have two toddlers and a baby. I think that I would be able to say that I have 3 under 3. You get the picture. HOWEVER... and this is where my friend's reflection made me think differently... what if life were completely different to what I imagine.

What if Evan had been healthy or healed on this Earth? Maybe our view on having babies wouldn't have changed. Maybe we would have waited longer to have another baby. Maybe Jason wouldn't be here, maybe even Ethan wouldn't be here! 

What if Evan would have lived with the health challenges that we knew he had? We would have spent hours upon hours in the hospital with him. He would have had surgery(ies). We would have been too worried, concerned and busy to even think about getting pregnant again. Maybe that experience would have made us too afraid to even have more kids. We would be missing out on our Ethan and Jason!!! 

My heart breaks when I think of that. Granted we wouldn't know what we would be missing but now that we know the thought of it is almost unbearable! Nothing says that if Evan had lived our life would be exactly as it is + him. Maybe our story would be completely different. 

Now, this doesn't make me miss my baby any less but it does make me want to enjoy my boys a lot more. It makes me want to cherish the good times and work through the hard ones. It makes me want to live life here and now. It makes me want to create memories every chance I get. It makes me proud, happy, and thankful that I have my Evan in Heaven and my Ethan and Jason in my arms.

I won't say that I wouldn't change a thing because, if I had a choice, I would choose to have all 3 right here with me. That is just the honest truth, but knowing what I know now I can accept and intentionally enjoy the life I do have!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My phrase {2015}

I'm not sure if I've shared this before but ever since 2012 instead of New Year's resolutions I come up with a phrase to live by throughout the year and that hopefully will stick forever. I personally like it better because instead of remembering my years by the resolutions I failed to stick to I have a phrase that gives meaning to them. Not that there's anything wrong with setting goals and working to accomplish them, it's just my personal preference for the beginning of the year.

With everything we were going through in 2012 "Trust and be Thankful" were the words that resonated in my heart. So much so that it was the phrase I held on to for 2 years. 2014 brought the calm after a couple of stormy years "Relax and Enjoy" marked that year. We had spent so much time longing to have a baby in our arms and the time was finally here so I made it a point to soak up every moment, every challenge, every milestone. There was so much to enjoy in 2014. My growing baby and my grown belly. When we found our I was pregnant again I wanted to take advantage of the sweet time Ethan and I were sharing (just us) because I knew that would soon change forever. It was a good year!

For 2015 I chose "Here and Now". We're only a few days into the year and I've already thought of many ways in which I want to apply this. I really hope that at the end of the year I can say I was present in my life. I don't want to spend my time wondering what my life would be if Evan had lived. I don't want to spend my time wishing for more babies. My reality right here, right now is that I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful boys in my arms. I don't want to miss any of what God has in store for us. I don't know what life would be if... I don't know what life will be when... All I know is what life is like right now and if I'm honest with you it is pretty awesome!

I have the privilege of being provided for. I have the luxury of staying home with my boys. I get to watch them grow every day. I go to bed at the end of the day next to my best friend. We have family, friends and friends that are family close and far. We have more material things than we know what to do with. There's food on our table, in our fridge and in our pantry and these are only a handful of things off the top of my head.

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding what I know this year's phrase will teach me. Looking forward to discovering more!

What about you? Do you have resolutions or a phrase or maybe a word for this year? I'd like to know if you'd like to share!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

What a year!

We started it with a bang with a visit from our cousins in January, they were the first ones in our extended family to meet Ethan. It was such a sweet time just hanging out and catching up!


Mid January we took our first (and last) trip to Mexico as a family of three. My friends and family got to meet Ethan. We went to the beach, threw his 7 month monster party and dedicated him to the Lord. We spent some much needed time with dear friends and family!


We also found out that our family would grow by two feet making it the 3rd year in a row in which we would have a baby. I know what you're thinking... Ironically, this year we also got rid of both our TVs!


In February we closed in and moved into our very first home. We've spent most of our time this year remodeling it and making it pretty!


In June we celebrated Ethan's 1st birthday. It was awesome to see how many people came together with us to celebrate the life of our sweet boy. We are happy to have so much love in our lives. Also, my mom was able to be here for the party!


September brought the sweetest addition to our family. A little surprise that has filled our home with even more joy, cries, dirty diapers, laundry and so much love! Thankfully my parents were able to stay with us helping with the boys. It's a blessing to have retired parents! We love you Jason Allan!



In November we received Bruce's parents and sister in our house to celebrate Thanksgiving together. We hadn't seen them in a long time so it was great to spend time with them and see how much they enjoyed the boys!


Christmas was family time. Just the four of us, no schedules, no rush. Just us, making memories, loving on each other, missing our Evan and enjoying our Ethan and Jason. Opening presents, wearing matching pajamas, sitting by the fire, enjoying our home and our little family!


Although, I think I'm safe to say that this year brought more ups than downs. It has also been the year in which I have missed Evan the most. I've noticed his absence more but that has made me realize how much I need to enjoy Bruce and the boys here and now.


I am looking forward to 2015 and what it will bring for our little family. I am excited to continue on this journey with my husband and kids. I hope next year brings lots of joy to my dear friends who are reading this. Let us keep on doing life together! I love you!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I miss him!

So, it's been a while! It's been a busy couple of... months. Two boys, holidays, kitchen remodel, parents and in-laws visiting. It's made for a crazy but very enjoyable time! Also, I was going through sort of a writers' block spell. I didn't have anything to write about till now.

I've been feeling kind of strange lately. There are lots of feelings going on in my heart and my head. I've been missing Evan a LOT which makes me feel a little guilty because, well, I have two AMAZING, healthy, growing kids. So here is the thing having Evan makes me appreciate Ethan and Jason more but having them makes me miss him even more. I miss what I never had. I miss seeing him grow. I miss him playing with his brothers. I miss his little steps around the house. How is it possible to miss something/things you never had? The more I see my boys grow and develop, do new things and reach new milestones the more I miss seeing Evan doing the same things, reaching the same milestones.

The holiday season doesn't make it any easier. It's like there's a a piece of our family missing. It's like we are not complete. I try to balance how much I miss my boy in Heaven and how much I want and do enjoy my boys!

Anyway, I don't have much more to write I just... miss my Evan! 

I love you sweet boy and I miss you a lot. You will always have your special place in my heart and in our family!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

He's here: Jason's birth story

Our Jason Allan is here! 




It's been a week since Jason was born, where did time go? I'm not sure why but I feel I've recovered a lot faster this time around. Maybe because I was under a lot less stress, maybe my body already knew what to do. I had a repeat c section and everything went very smoothly.

Let's start from the beginning. At 36 weeks we had an ultrasound to check were he was size wise and his position so we could know what to expect (haha). The ultrasound showed a healthy 7 lbs baby, head down "ready" for delivery (we did want him to wait till 39 weeks to be born). From then on we planned on having a VBAC, which my OB was on board with. We had our awesome birthing coach, Sharon, and our photographer lined up. We started our weekly check ups, he stayed head down up until 38 weeks 5 days. 

We were 39 weeks on Tuesday 16th, on Wednesday 17th we had our routine appointment and that's when we found out things had changed. His heartbeat was way higher than it had been the previous week so for good measure the Dr. did an ultrasound just to find out that he had turned! I had felt my tummy different the night before but I really didn't think he could have turned that far along. 

I know some may say my reaction was a little over dramatic (yes, I cried). I knew in my heart that it wasn't the worst news ever because guess what I have gotten the WORST news ever before and it doesn't compare. However, it was the fact that things were, once more, not going our way. We've wanted nothing but natural deliveries from the beginning and it just isn't happening. The doctor gave us some options to try to turn him back around, one of them being a procedure called Version (the doctor manipulates baby from the outside, turning baby manually with "little" risk form mom and baby). We considered it and decided that's what we would do.

For some reason we couldn't get to a place of peace with this decision. The procedure, which was going to take place at the OR, was scheduled for the next day September 18th. I could barely sleep and there in the middle of the night I decided Jason's safety was more important to me than being cut open not having things go my way. In the morning I told Bruce what I thought and he agreed. We decided to skip the version and have a good old fashion c section. We still had Sharon and our photographer there (I'm so glad we did). We had amazing support and gorgeous pictures taken. I'll do a picture post as soon as I get them back!

This time the anesthesia worked right away. I walked into the OR at around 9 am and at 9:25 we had a healthy crying baby in our arms. Daddy was by my side the whole time, as soon as baby came out he ran by his side. He cut the cord, watched them clean him up and swaddle him and as soon as he was able to he brought it to me. He let me kiss him and meet him for a few minuted before they were taken to the recovery room where I would join them about half an hour later.

In the recovery room I got to see Jason. Once the numbness in my hands was gone I was able to hold and nurse him. Over all it wasn't a bad experience, of course I would have preferred to have a natural delivery but God knows why that didn't happen again. I am just thankful that our boy is alive and healthy. I am recovering well. 



Thanks for reading and for sharing in our joy for the new addition to our family! Now on to discovering a whole new world as a mother of a rambunctious toddler and a newborn. I will be documenting our adventures here so stay tuned!