Saturday, May 25, 2013

Our last few months in bullet points!

I have been having the itch to write again, so here I am. I don't know how long this will last but I'm going to take advantage of it.

A lot has happened since I last blogged. Here's a run down of the quick stuff:


  • Next week is my last week of school
  • Brooklyn will be in the kindergarten prep class next year and go to school 4 days a week! YIKES!
  • Layla just turned 2 last month and talks non-stop.
  • Waylon has a new job but we don't know how long it will last because it's a temp job.
  • I stopped doing the early mornings at work because it was just getting to be too much.
  • We just painted our living room.
  • It's been exactly 1 year since we bought our house and moved in.
  • I tried freezer cooking and I LOVE it! It's going to be my new method of cooking and meal planning.
  • I found out I was pregnant with baby number 3 on March 2nd. Then, I found out on April 17th that my baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks (I was almost 10 weeks along when I found this out). It was heart breaking and devastating. I am working on a post specifically on that whole story.
  • I'm back to doing my c25k running. I love it and I remember feeling the same exhilaration last year when I did it that I'm feeling now. Can't wait till I'm running the long runs!
  • Brooklyn learned how to write her name in school - it's so cute!
  • We had to get a new van because our old one was on the verge of losing it's transmission and catalytic converter. It was going to cost around $4000 to fix and we didn't even pay that much for it. The mechanic said trade it in ASAP before the transmission died so we could get something on it. I'm now driving the mini van of my dreams - leather seats, automatic doors and a DVD player for the girls are among many of the wonderful little bells and whistles I got with it! The down side: we have a car payment again. BOO!
  • We paid of ALL of my credit cards! That was $15k that I brought into our marriage that we paid off in February. HUGE relief!
  • I'm going up to see my sister the week after I get out of school. It will be my first time to see my one and only nephew, Logan. My sister and her husband kindly offered to pay for me and one of my kids to come up. I was thrilled!
  • We finally have a dining room table to eat at!
  • I lost my wedding ring. This one still makes me sick. I was at Garden Ridge and took Brooklyn to the bathroom. I took it off to wash my hands (a habit I do without even thinking). Before I knew it, Brooklyn was making a mess with the soap so I was cleaning that up and trying to get her out quickly and ran out without my ring. I went back less than an hour later and it was gone. I've gone back twice now to see if anyone turned it in and no one has. I'm absolutely devastated over this. I thought I had lost it the week I miscarried but I found it about 2 weeks ago and was SO relieved...only to lose it again! GARR!
  • Waylon and I have been working at getting back on track with budgeting and paying off debt and saving. I want to write a post about that as well since we are trying some "new" things while still sticking to the Financial Peace University principles. I think they will fit our personal lifestyle  better and are just small changes we are making to keep it going.
  • I have some big summer plans to decorate and update my house in a budget-friendly way. I'll probably do a post on that as well. 
Phew! I think that's all the "big" stuff from the past few months. I really do want to start writing again so my goal for now is 2 posts a week. If I don't write what's going on in our lives on here, I feel like I won't remember later on down the road. I haven't kept track of things anywhere else so I really want to continue chronicling our lives. I unfortunately don't have a recent picture to upload since I've been taking all my photos from my phone. I'm sure there's a way to transfer those to the computer, I just haven't tried it yet. Maybe next time!

Happy Memorial Day! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Update: The Incredibly Exciting Lives We Lead

We have been busy, busy, busy around these parts. I won't even try to make promises of blogging any time soon after this because I know it probably won't happen unless God intervenes and provides a Christmas miracle. But I do want to write some things down so I don't forget this very important season of our lives. I have done so poorly at documenting Layla's infancy and toddlerhood. I have taken fewer pictures and written about her much less than I did with Brooklyn. Call it whatever you want, I call it crazy busy.

We have gone through yet another job change for Waylon. I don't know what God is trying to teach us through these many jobs that haven't worked out like we thought, but we have definitely learned to trust in Him and be faithful to Him where our money is concerned. That has meant making some sacrifices along the way that were really hard to make. It stings but I know down the road, when we are debt free and in a financially free place, those sacrifices will be well worth it. Because of the instability of Waylon's straight commission job (which he is totally doing awesome at but, it's still straight commission and there's bound to be a bad week or two or more...), I have picked up some extra hours at my school. I now go in every day (even days I don't have scheduled classes) at 6:30 for the kids who arrive before school. That care is provided until 8:15 when I either go up to my class or go home on days I don't teach. It has added a substantial amount of hours to my check and helped us out tremendously! I'm also coaching basketball this season but that's not a paid position at my school. I'm just doing that because it's fun and I love basketball! :)


The girls are growing by leaps and bounds. Layla will be 19 months old this month. 19 MONTHS OLD!!! How did my baby grow so fast! I can't believe that in a few short months she will be turning two and no longer really be a baby at all. She's such a cute little thing and I could just squeeze her little chubby cheeks, legs, feet and hands all day long. She's my talker for sure. The girl can say anything you ask her to repeat and is already saying full-blown sentences. Right now, her favorite things to say/ask are "What happened?" "What doing?" and "Where??". She'll walk into the room and ask me what I'm doing all the time and it always makes me laugh. She's a great sleeper and will most nights sleep through the night. She's gone through a cold for the past couple of weeks that has had her waking up in the middle of the night with coughs and such but other then that, she's a great sleeper. She still takes a bottle and I plan to take that away from her here pretty soon. We didn't take Brooklyn's away until a week before her 2nd birthday. Go ahead and judge me for that. I don't care. My kids won't be taking bottles in kindergarten so in the end, it really doesn't matter if I let them take them until they are almost two. Anyway, Layla has been a great little sister who loves to play with her big sister and do whatever she is doing!

Brooklyn is my sassy pants. That girl and I have bumped heads a lot the last few months. She likes to argue "But mom!..." and interrupt your conversations with her much more important questions or statements, she loves to interject the word "poop" into sentences where it doesn't even belong or make any sense, she hasn't had any potty accidents in a very long time and she still eats like a little bird. She'll drink chocolate milk all day but is very picky with her food. At the beginning of the school year I was sending her these extravagant lunches with lots of food. Her teachers finally told me she wasn't eating hardly any of it so I cut way back. She gets half a PB&J sandwich and two small snack foods like goldfish and crackers or pretzels or something like that. I occasionally send her a banana when I have them on hand and she will eat those. She is already learning to write her name in school which amazes me and calls out the letter "B" everywhere she goes. She absolutely loves her two teachers and I'm quite enamored with them as well. They are the most lovely ladies and do such an awesome job with that 3 year old class!

We have adjusted quite well to the downsize in our home since buying our townhouse in May. I dare say I don't even miss the extra 200 square feet because so much of it wasn't being used at the other house (other than to be messy and store junk). We use every bit of space in our house now and it's much better organized than the other one. It helps that our living room is spacious and has high ceilings so it feels roomier than it would otherwise. That's where we spend the bulk of our time, in the living room. The utilities for this house are a dream! Since we're attached to the houses on either side of us, we haven't had to use our heat once this fall so far and we have had a couple of nights down in the thirties. Having a small patch of grass in the front means very low water bills as well. Overall it has saved us a lot of money and I'm so thankful God blessed us with this purchase. It also helps that we are closer to everything and everyone we need to be close to. Our church is literally 2 minutes away, my parents 5 minutes away, Walmart 3-4 minutes away and I've shaved about 10 minutes off my work commute. It's a plus all around!

The one area I haven't been doing so great on since school started back up is my working out and losing weight. Thankfully I have held off the weight I lost over the summer and dropped a couple of extra pounds for a total of 17 pounds so far. I'm happy I didn't go and gain it all back. But I haven't been eating very healthy and I haven't been working out at all. No excuses, just lazy and tired all the time. I know I would feel better if I exercised more but once I got out of the habit, it was very easy to keep making more excuses to not work out that day. So I don't know when I'll start back up on that, but I do want to and I want to keep off the weight I worked so hard to lose and continue losing more. I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight with Layla but I have 20 pounds to lose before I'm pre-Brooklyn-pregnancy weight. That's a long way to go still and I do plan on having another baby in the not so distant future. I'll just have to roll with the punches. I'm not ready to give up yet though, it's just on pause for the time being.

Overall life is going really well for us right now. Not perfect or without bumps along the way for sure, but we really have been blessed this year. 2012 has been a year of much growth for us (Waylon and I) in our spiritual, personal, emotional, marital and adulthood lives (if that even makes sense!). I'm looking forward to this Christmas and to what 2013 will bring us. God has been so good to us and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us in the upcoming year!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Success In Spite of the Scale

I've been reluctant to post any official updates about my weight loss because it's going awfully slow and I've been having it out with my scale. But I'm tired of waiting. I also want to write about it now and get my thoughts and feelings out on it so I can look back when I've gotten farther along and see changes in my attitude and feelings as well as my body. I want to be able to look back at when I was frustrated and feeling like things were not moving fast enough so I can keep my perspective of this being a lifestyle change and not a fad diet or short term solution to a long-term problem.

Since tracking my weight and watching my food in February, I've lost about 14 pounds. I haven't lost any for about 3 weeks now, which I will say is very frustrating if I'm only looking at the scale. I've sat and watched others lose a pound a week (or more) very quickly and gotten frustrated with myself and my body (and God at times) because I feel like I'm working my butt off and not seeing results.

The thing is, I don't want to starve myself. I don't want to limit my calories so much that by the time I get to my goal weight, I have to live off this tiny, piddly amount of calories to maintain it. To me, that's not a sustainable lifestyle and it won't work for me. I need to be able to know that whatever method I use right now is going to be something I will realistically be able to keep up through the years. That means a decent amount of calories per day and regular exercise. So that's what I've been doing and I have to say that emotionally and physically I feel a lot better than I did when I was starving myself and working my butt off. I've also lost pounds quicker since switching to this method. I'm not going to get into all the nitty gritty details of how it works. If you want more info, just google Eat More 2 Weigh Less and you'll get lots of info!

So the scale hasn't been my friend lately, but the mirror and measuring tape most definitely have! I'm going to show you a few pictures for proof! First picture is in November 2011. I was at my all time, non-pregnancy high (not ready for numbers yet). The second picture is from this past June after I had started running Couch 2 5K and was doing a little bit of strength training and some workout videos. The third picture is my most current one, after one week of Insanity. The bottom one with me and the kids was back in March - this picture mortified me when I saw it. I look awful. The last picture was taken on the same day as picture three but I put it there so you could see a difference in my face from March to now and hopefully can see the difference in my arms.


 

I'm definitely not anywhere near where I want to be but these pictures are a motivation to me that even the 14 little pounds I've lost, have made a big difference in my appearance. I think that's mainly due to the fact that I'm doing exercise that involves a lot of resistance and strength training. I know I have build some muscle and I've lost somewhere around 13 inches all over. I'm down one pant size and most of my tops are fitting a lot looser and not clinging to every bulge. I can see the biggest difference in my face, arms and stomach. There has been some change in my legs but I don't feel like it's as noticeable as my stomach, arms and face.

I am very hesitant to even post this because it still seems like I should have seen more results than this in the amount of time I've been working at it. I'm sure some will look at this and laugh at my little results, others will be happy and excited for me. I'm excited and encouraged and hopeful. Originally I thought I would have lost closer to 30 pounds by now but I'm only almost halfway to that number. I haven't lost anything doing Insanity but after reading a lot of information on it, most women don't lose in the first month (and sometimes gain) and then in the second month, when it gets more intense, they start to lose. I'm hoping I fall in that category! Even if I don't end up losing a lot with Insanity but my body sees a lot of change and my endurance and fitness level increases, I will be very pleased.

My goal is not to do Insanity from here until the end of time. I am using it as a jump start to get me in better shape quicker. Then I will continue with my running and would like to join some fitness classes at my gym (I'm dying to try Zumba!). I want to have a variety of different things I do for fitness so I won't get bored and slack off. I would love, love, LOVE to join a women's basketball league but I have yet to find one or enough women to start one. Basketball is one sport I love to play and would play regularly now if I knew enough women around me who all had the same schedule and could meet to play weekly. Maybe one day!

So there you have my little update on my weight loss progress. In the past couple of weeks I've had a few people comment on how I'm looking slimmer so that has been a big motivator to keep plugging along and not give up, no matter what the dumb scale tells me! I'm starting to really believe that the scale is not a good indicator of how successful your fitness/health routine is. I would love to never feel the need to step on one again, but....I'm not quite there yet, not even close!

I would love to hear from some of you who read my blog (but never comment) on some things you do that have worked or are working for you in your weight loss journey. Do you have a good snack you eat a lot? Is there an exercise you swear by? Are you like me and don't want to be on a 1200 calorie a day diet for the rest of your life? Please share some thoughts and ideas! (If you want!)


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Taking Great Risks

This year, before students came back to school, the teachers and church staff where I work went on an overnight team-building retreat. We went to a Christian camp ground and stayed in cabins together and did some GRUELING physical, outdoor team building exercises. I'm not kidding ya'll...it was brutal! I got a touch of heat exhaustion and suffered for a few days following the retreat (mainly in the form of a headache that refused to go away).

While it was exhausting, sticky and hot, we learned a lot and worked together and I honestly feel like I got to know my fellow teachers and the church staff much better in that short period of time than I did over the entire last semester when I started working there. It was so much fun!

At our evening devotional, we all had to choose one thing from a list of 'great' things we could do this year and then we had to stand up and share which one we chose and how we were going to apply it to our time at the school/church. I chose "Take great risks" because this year is all about stepping out of my comfort zone and taking some great risks. I'm teaching younger children, I got a new curriculum, I'm trying to step out of traditional teaching (which I loved as a student so I tend to gravitate towards now that I am a teacher) and try new things in the classroom that are normally scary for me to even think of, let alone actually try.

I wish I could say that my 4 years teaching high school Spanish involved class periods filled with students speaking in the target language and doing fun, yet educational, activities at all times and never doing worksheets written work, but I can't. I tended to teach in a traditional style: here are your notes, copy the information as we go along (fill in the blanks...etc), now we will do a writing practice using this concept, next will be a quiz over it and then a test. You could pretty much predict the order of how I did things. In some ways that was nice for the kids because there was routine and they knew what was coming and knew what to do every Monday when I put a new vocabulary list up on the board and handed out a new set of notes. But it wasn't a whole lot of fun. Oh, I would throw in an occasional fun activity (well, my version of fun activity), but it wasn't as regular as I would have liked.

You see, I feared losing control of my class. I was deathly afraid of the kids going wild, getting too loud, not listening to me, the activity failing, and class time ultimately being wasted. I took no risks. I played it safe. End of story.

Fast forward to now. I'm teaching in a very forward-thinking, academically advanced private school. We have amazing teachers and cutting edge technology. Children are active participants in learning and are held to a high standard. Fun is an expectation in our learning process. It's so scary to me some days! You might think I'm crazy for saying that but it's true! I've always equated fun in the classroom as wild pandemonium. I worried that if an administrator or the principal came into my class and we were having fun with a game (and maybe being a little too loud or something) that I would be viewed as an irresponsible teacher. I'm not saying that this was ever spoken in words to me, it's just how I felt. Those were my fears because I feared the risk of losing control of my class if I stepped out of the box too far.

Now, if my principal walks into my classroom, I BETTER be doing something fun in the learning process. I don't want my kids to be sitting quietly in their desks, writing out vocabulary words and not being allowed to speak. It's expected that my classroom be all abuzz with excitement about what we are learning and that there be a visible learning process that involves fun while keeping a high standard of behavior. It's everything I feared I couldn't do.

And yet, here I am...doing it and loving it! I look forward to coming to my job every day (all 3 of them that I work!). I look forward to seeing the faces of all my students as they walk through the door of my classroom, ready to learn some more Spanish. I have fun with the activities and I'm learning to let go of the little nagging fear that something is too "fun" and not enough "calm" and that I need to let loose and show those kids that I enjoy what I teach and I want them to enjoy it too! It's amazing!

My job isn't the only place I'm taking risks though. I'm just letting loose all over the place and taking all sorts of risks!

Like trying new forms of exercise that I never thought I would enjoy or be able to do (Insanity anyone??).

Like drinking 8 glasses of water every day and cutting out some of my favorite, unhealthy junk foods (Dear chocolate Pop Tarts, I miss you the most...*tear*).

Like training for a 5K.

Like buying our first house.

Like...you get the point!

Lots and lots of risk-taking this year! I feel like I should name 2012 "My Big Year of Risks."

I know God is teaching me a lot this year. I've failed at a lot of things I've tried but I've also had a lot of successes. I've made the following verse my focus verse for the past several weeks and I think I'm going to continue with it because it fits with my entire life right now:

Psalm 37:5-8
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret - it only causes harm.

That last part, about not fretting?? Yea, I fret a lot, like A LOT! I get frustrated when things aren't working the way I want them to and my temper flares and I "have it out" with God and sometimes my husband and kids (not fair to them at all, I know). And guess what, it doesn't accomplish anything. I'm really, really trying to focus on resting in the Lord, waiting patiently for Him, not fretting, not worrying about what other moms are accomplishing in their homes or with their kids or with their health, but focusing on God and what He wants for ME and my family and my health and my kids and my home.

I hope this verse comes at a good time for you like it did for me. I really needed it when I read it in one of my Youversion reading plans. I also hope that if you fear risk like me, that you will step out of your comfort zone, ignore the fear and try something new. You might fail at it, and that's OK! But at least you tried and you're doing something about it! (It's kind of what I have to tell myself when I'm at the gym, running slower than everyone else, panting hard like I'm dying and generally just looking like someone who is overweight and out of shape compared to everyone else. At least I'm out there DOING something about it and not sitting on my ever-growing rear end doing nothing. If I keep at it, I will eventually be one of the people who looks all sexy while they work out! HA!)

And now, I will take a great risk by going to sit by my hubby on the couch before taking my shower! (I just worked out...hehe)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happenings

Leave it to me to not get any pictures of the first week of school. I know, what a lousy mom I'm turning out to be in the picture department (and don't ask me about how the baby books are coming along, because, well...just don't ask).

Our first week back to school is under our belt and we did great! I got to see all my adorable preschoolers this week and I can tell you already it's going to be so stinking adorable teaching them Spanish! The older kids were good and I'm really looking forward to seeing how my new curriculum works out. I think it's going to be awesome.

Layla has taken all the new changes so well! She is my big talker. She says a lot of words now and says a lot more than Brooklyn did at this age. So in that way she is more "advanced" than Brooklyn, but in other areas, she's behind, like her running. She's still a wobbly walker and doesn't really run. She walks fast and swings her arms all over the place - that's how she "runs". It's adorable and I could just pick her up and squeeze her and kiss her all over her cute chubby face!

The first week of school my parents were out of town so a friend from church came to our house each day and stayed with Layla. I was a little worried since this was the first time a non-family member was going to keep her and I didn't know how she would do. I was so happy to get a text with a picture from my friend of a happy little Layla, playing up a storm and later, a picture of her sleeping in her crib, butt in the air, after having let my friend know that she wanted her "baba" and wanted to go to bed for her nap! I was so relieved! So that took away a huge stress factor for my first week of school.

Brooklyn is also growing, changing and maturing. She basically talks in complete sentences all the time and only occasionally says things I can't quite understand. She is the smartest 3 year old I know (not biased of course, haha) and she absolutely loves school! Her new teacher is awesome and she already talks about her at home. We were a bit worried about her switching classes because she talked about her previous teacher all summer and would get upset when I would tell her she was going to have a new teacher. After her scheduled "meet the teacher" appointment the Monday before school started, I knew that fear would be laid to rest. She loved her new teacher and her new classroom and has since been coming home a very happy little girl. She still asks to go visit her previous teacher but it's a happy visit and not a sad one. It seems so mature to me that she is taking all this so well.

Another little fun change in things this year is that my mom will be a classroom aide for the 2 year olds (Brooklyn's class last year). She really needed a new job that wasn't so physically demanding and we just happened to need a classroom aide. It's really going to be perfect for her. Next school year, she'll get to have Layla in her room and she's really excited about that. I'm pretty sure Layla will be happy about that too! Tomorrow will be my mom's first day and I'm excited to go down to teach the 2 year olds and see how she's enjoying herself.

I really have to say how blessed I am to have the job that I do. I always wanted to teach at a private, Christian school and didn't think I was ever going to get the chance. I wouldn't take back my 4 years teaching high school Spanish in the public schools, but I'm so thankful to have moved on from that time. I learned so much and I know now that God was preparing me for the job I have now. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time and I know, that I know, that I know that it was all God!

Waylon has also started a new job and we're both really excited about it. It's his first regular day job with weekends off. Ever since we've been married, Waylon has had jobs that had him working evenings or weekends or both. Our schedules were always crazy and stressful and I know he wasn't happy in most of those jobs. He now works for a Christian company that seems like a really great company. It's not all perfect though; he does have to drive to Dallas every day from Fort Worth which is a lot of gas and mileage (and a toll every day) and it's his first job in a long time sitting at a desk and being on the phone all day as opposed to being on his feet and moving all day. It's been an adjustment for him but I really am praying that this job sticks for a long time. We literally get home within 30-40 minutes of each other on days that I work which is SO much better than me getting home from working all day, getting the kids, coming home and getting them all situated and then putting them to bed alone every night and him coming home after 9 or 10pm. I'm SO done with those days and so thankful for evenings and Saturdays home together. Thank you Lord.

My exercising and eating better has really been going well. I've tweaked some things and am actually eating more and losing weight faster. It sounded crazy when I first started reading about it but then it made a lot of sense. I was working out 6 days a week but eating the calories for a person who sat around all day and did nothing. My body wasn't getting enough to fuel everything I was doing and was hanging on to every calorie I took in. Once I started eating more, I felt better, my workouts were better and I started dropping pounds again. I'm now down 14 pounds since April (keep in mind that I had about a month or more of time since then that I "fell off the wagon" and stopped watching what I ate and didn't really exercise so I gained some back) and have lost about 11 inches, maybe more since I haven't measured in a couple of weeks. I'm starting week 6 of Couch 2 5K and have started running on the track instead of on the treadmill to prepare for an actual 5k I plan on running next month (in just 3 weeks...EEK!). I didn't realize how much harder it is to run when you're not on a treadmill...talk about a wake up call! So no more treadmill running for me. I've also been lifting and doing some other stuff for workouts. What I'm most excited about right now is that Waylon and I bought the Insanity workout DVDs and are going to start doing those together. It looks insanely hard but doable. We are also going to borrow P90X from my cousin and his wife and do that after we finish Insanity. I probably won't start Insanity until after I run my 5K so I can continue training for it. All in all, I'm really happy with where I am in my health changes and I am so glad they are changes that I can keep doing in the long run.

Those are the big highlights of what has been going on around here. I do plan on doing a post for each of the girls with pictures and specific information on each of them as well as a before and during post of my weight loss. That one will have to wait until I've lost another 4 pounds though because that will be when I hit my first big milestone.

Praying for all my public school friends who go back to school tomorrow! I know there are lots of my mommy friends who are sad to have to leave their babies again. I remember that feeling so well and just pray that God will comfort them as they start another new school year!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The New Normals for Our Family

We have been getting used to our new normal around here and I think we're going to like it.

Old normal: Hubs worked 6 days a week from about 10-8 or 9pm.
New normal: Hubs works from 7:30-4:00 and is home by 5ish (we live in Ft. Worth and he drives to Dallas for work)

Old normal: I worked Mondays and Fridays all day.
New normal: I will be working Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is a change I was very excited about. I could use the extra hours and by adding a third day it makes my other two days a little easier.

Old normal: Brooklyn went to school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30-11:30
New normal: Brooklyn will go to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (same days as me!) from 8:30-2:00! She's such a big girl!

Old normal: we lived in a rental house. It was nice and fit our needs for 3 wonderful years.
New normal: we OWN (well, not yet but we're making payments towards owning) our house. It's smaller but we use ALL the space instead of wasting the extra we had in the other house. It's closer to my parents, our church, my job and the highway for Waylon. It's cute and the mortgage payment on it is $140 LESS than the house we were renting! Score!

Old normal: I ate crap and didn't exercise.
New normal: I eat better (not completely healthy but MUCH better) and I exercise at least 5 days a week. I'm training for a 5K and I will be starting a new weight lifting program that I'm really excited about. I've lost around 11 inches and 12 pounds since April, which isn't much but I think I'm going to start seeing results again now that I've tweaked my calories and workouts. I'll be dedicating a post entirely to this once I get going on the weight lifting program.

Old normal: sporadic and rare quiet times followed by frustrating days.
New normal: consistent quiet times followed by frustrating days BUT I handle them better! :)

Old normal: messy, disorganized and cluttered house.
New normal: slightly less messy, disorganized and mostly uncluttered house. (Still working on this one!)

So there you have it. A few things that have changed for us lately that are making quite an impact on our life right now. God is GOOD!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer

This is my last week of summer break. I wish I could say I was doing fun things with my children and enjoying all the extra time I have with them. But I'm not. It's been over 105 every day this week. That means no going outside for us. I don't get paid in the summer and hubs just started a new job this week after not really working for about a month. That means no money coming in, which means, only doing things that are free, which means I don't get out of the house hardly at all.

All that translates into is me being couped up in my smallish house with two little girls who have been fighting a lot more lately, getting into things they are not supposed to and hurting themselves! Poor Layla has had a nose-dive that resulted in a huge scab on her nose from rug burn and a a black eye from running into the corner of our little foldable TV table. Brooklyn is always coming to me with something else she did to hurt herself (which is usually nothing more than banging her toe or something like that), always the drama queen.

So the other day, I really needed the girls to entertain themselves for a while so I got out their sea shells that their Nana brought them (my mother-in-law). They love playing with those but I keep them put away so they are more of a treat to play with. Plus, they do break so I want them to last a while. I took some pictures of them playing. If you ignore all the other bedroom furniture around them, you can almost pretend the carpet is sand and that they are sitting on a beach somewhere. I kept imagining that while I took pictures of them playing.















I have really been praying each day to keep my patience under control with the girls and not get too frustrated when they cling to me all day. Poor Brooklyn is constantly being told "no" and getting in trouble because she's at that age where she wants to do everything (without asking) and "help" with things (which usually end up getting broken or spilled or she just can't do). I feel bad and I try to find things to do with her so she doesn't feel like mommy is always mad at her. But it's hard, let me tell you. And she is starting to develop an attitude and actually roll her eyes at me and talk back! That took me by surprise the first time it happened, now I've come to expect it.

Layla is just my sweet little baby. She's still a baby to me and seems more like a baby than Brooklyn was at this age. She's cuddly and loves to give kisses these days. She says a bunch of words and can throw an ugly tantrum like none other I've ever seen on a 15 month old. She goes from happy to FURIOUS in less than a second and I don't think I'll have to worry about her standing up for herself against her sister or anyone else, for that matter. Poor Rowf is always yelping about something Layla is doing to him (she'll stick her hand in his mouth and hook her fingers around his bottom teeth/jaw and start pulling!).


Despite all the frustration I have felt lately (mainly due to the weather keeping us stuck in the house all day every day), I still feel blessed beyond measure to have these two beautiful girls as my daughters. I look at them sometimes and just cannot believe that they are mine. That I have two kids, two GIRLS at that! The love I feel for them almost kills me some days. God really does amazing things in our hearts to allow us to love so fully and deeply every child we have. I never thought I could love another child the way I loved Brooklyn. And then Layla came and I loved her just as much! If/when I have our third, I will love him or her as much as Brooklyn and Layla. Unfathomable.

I hope you're all having a great summer and get to do something fun as the break winds to a close. Today is my 4 year wedding anniversary and my husband and I are going out for a nice dinner tonight. I'm looking forward to it!