Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hi. It's me... I'm alive.

Its true.

I am alive. And even in perfectly good health, actually.

A very small part of me wishes I wasn't though, just so that every time someone asks me "Hey, why don't you blog anymore?", I could have something totally tragic and sympathy-generating to bust out at a moments notice, like..."Well actually... I was in a plane crash. And its been a long recovery.You understand.".

And they totally would.

And then I would also probably feel no guilt or stupidity about having dropped the ball on this because Hello? I survived a plane crash! Which kind of makes me AWESOME.

But no. I didn't. Nothing that glamorous.

I've just been doing life. That's it.

I had my second baby, sixteen months after I had my first baby, and I've just been getting the hang of it. Over and over again.

I say 'over and over again' because children develop habits and patterns in their lifestyle and personality and then UP AND CHANGE ENTIRELY ON THEIR OWN, approximately every 15 minutes.

So basically after you go through the process of freaking out because you have no idea what you're doing, then you start getting used to it and finally feel like you're not only getting a handle on it, but actually kind of getting good at this whole thing...BOOM. They change. Back to being clueless.

{This is when all the fellow parents in the room raise their glasses, shouting Amen!'s and Preach it, Guuuurl's.}

Honestly I think that in life, everyone has a bunch of preverbial balls up in the air that they all have to/want to/need to juggle.
 And sometimes more balls get thrown at you, and you have to drop one or two, in order to keep the important balls up in the air.

...Like the Sanity Ball, for instance.

And the My Children Can't Become Terrorists Ball.

I have a Blogging Ball, that I put down for a while.
I'd like to pick it up and keep it juggled, but it's less stressful for me not to commit to anything, and just take it one day at a time.

...And wow, that just sounded super crazy. Like... take-deep-breaths, Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted kind of crazy...Yikes.

Ok but stay with me, because I'm pretty much over those couple minutes of deep, introspective sincerity. Whew!

Now I think I'll pour myself a glass of wine and talk about some of the RIVETING things that we've been up to:

1.) Well, I'll go ahead and just start by informing you that while I sit in my living room writing this, I'm listening Vienna yell her favorite song from her crib, "What Does The Box Say?".

Box. ...No joke.

She kills me.

2.) And OHHH, is she ALL SORTS OF SASS lately.

She has completely taken off with talking, repeating EVERYTHING (*nervous laugh*) and rambling on about new things every day.

Example: waking up from her nap a few days ago

Me: "Heeeey, sweetie. Do you want to go upstairs and have a snack?"

Vienna: *rubs her faces and glares at me with half open eyes*
               "Mommy. WHAT.... are you talking about?!"

Ohhhhhh Kaaaay.

Little touchy, there.

I'm telling you...her Sass Cup OVERFLOWETH.

3.) Boaz is walking now, so he is as troublesome as ever.

Still though, in comparison to his very emotional, strong-willed, mysteriously complicated Sister, this kid's goals in life are pretty obvious and easy to understand:

                                 1. Eat much as humanly possible.
                                 2. Destroy much as he can find and get into.
                                 3. Marry Mom .....ASAP.


We're working the list, ok?

4.) We were just in California, visiting my family, where we were all together for the first time in 4 years.

Do you want to know how we were able to spend our precious time together?


Running high fevers. More puking. An Urgent Care visit. More Puking. Three toddlers with ear infections. More puking.

Yes. 4 YEARS. And one whole year of planning and excitement and looking forward to this one thing... And then? THE STOMACH FLU.


Here's the thing was just one of those insane, 'Are we being Punk'd right now?' situations that you can't just not laugh, you know? I was like flippin' National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Vacation, for crying out loud.

So stressful. So absurd. So hilarious.

And honestly, in spite of all of the sickness and chaos, we actually got to have some really fun times in between all that. And even just laying in the same room, dying of the same viral plague, as my little brother, who I get to see maybe once or twice a decade because he's off running around, fighting for our country...was so precious to me. And I cherished having us all together.

5.) But now that Pukesgiving '13 is behind us all, and we are safe and back home and NEVER FLYING WITH KIDS ANYWHERE EVER AGAIN, I am all sorts of occupied with christmas festivities.

...And when I say 'festivities', I actually just mean that I follow my kids around all day making sure that they don't knock down our tree or strangle themselves with lights or shatter any more snow globes on the tile right by their feet.

Yeah, you read that right. Any MORE.

*sigh* Tis the season.

On a higher note though, I would like to continue in my annual tradition of telling everyone and anyone who will listen how accomplished I feel about getting christmas cards done!
Truly, though ...every year that I get them ordered, stuffed, addressed, stamped, and mailed...I'm pretty much ready to throw myself a flippin' parade.
And sometimes even start thinking that I may deserve an olympic medal or two for this feat.

Because seriously...WHO HAS TIME FOR THESE THINGS?

But whatever undiagnosed mental disorder I have to make me want to do these things...I just do, and I'm super proud to have it done.

Plus it helps to know a Magical Unicorn Photographer Fairy who took such a stunning family portrait of us this past summer.

I mean...the chances of Vienna, Luke and I all smiling naturally and everyone looking at the camera?

I'm still in shock about the whole ordeal.

Bo looks a little stressed out because my poor minnesotan offspring aren't used to actually seeing the sun on a regular basis, but other than that...pretty dang near perfection, wouldn't you say?

Well, that's all for now folks. I might pick up the ball again to write about a couple things that have been going on in my life....

...MOST IMPORTANTLY last week's episode of Scandal and how far my jaw dropped to the floor when Madam Vice President went absolutely CRAY CRAY on her husband! 
(Speaking of Girl, Interrupted... Good grief.)

You know...important things like that.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Boaz

It's my baby's birthday today.

Which, for the record, I wanted to celebrate by COMPLETELY IGNORING IT, going about our daily business and pretending that my son is still a newborn.

BUT friends and family keep texting me and bringing it up, being all Oh hey, Happy Birthday to Boaz and I'm all ...Who? but they just laugh and clearly don't understand how important denial is a mother's emotional state.

And it's just making this whole occasion increasingly difficult to ignore.


SO I guess I haven't really been left with many options.

Say a few nice things about him here. 
Go make some cupcakes.
Shove approximately 57 of them in my mouth while crying and looking at baby pictures.

This is my to-do list.

So Happy Birthday to this sweet little boy of mine.

Who is always happy and smiley..

...ticklish and snuggly...

...strong and very big.

(24 pounds to be exact.)


(Must be all those sticks of butter I let him snack on.)

(Just kidding.)

...And still insists on crawling on his flippin' hind legs.


( P.S. You can go back and read his birth story HERE. )

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vanity Fair called...

They want pictures of my sassy,




...naked, little people.

Cause, you know... Vanity Fair loves this sort of thing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fatty McFlabersons: A Weight Loss Story PART 2

Now that you've read PART 1, I'll share what I've been doing to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy since Boaz was born in September.
This wasn't some hardcore bootcamp diet that lasted 2 weeks.
I honestly changed my lifestyle.

But just to warn you... it's pretty basic stuff. If you're looking for something magical...this might seriously bore you.

On that thrilling note, let's begin:

1.) I drink like a fish.


Water. I drink WATER like a fish.

Drinking water all day helps in digestion, flushing out toxins, and suppressing your appetite.

So basically it keeps your stomach from telling your brain that you should go bake 3 dozen White Chocolate Chip Muffins to go with your coffee at 11a.m.

Plus it keeps you going to the bathroom. Which is a good thing!
But you're smart, so I'll just stop there.

I have one of these handy dandy Camelbak water bottles that I keep refilling all day, which helps me a lot. They have them at Target and Walmart-go get one!

In Addition:

-I don't drink soda.
Or at least I rarely drink it. Like, maybe a couple times a year.
It's easy to think that when you're drinking something, it's not fattening...but Soda is like pure corn syrup mixed with some yummy addictive chemicals, so it's basically like having a dessert...that's eating your internal organs.
(So wouldn't you rather just have a brownie?)
If you're a daily soda drinker, just cutting that out of your diet alone, without doing nothing else to get healthy, will probably still make you lose weight.
But hey, it's your deal.
Hakuna Matata!

-I keep 100% Pure Cranberry Juice in the house that I love adding to my water for flavor and all those fabulous antioxidants. Also adding lemon to water is yummy, refreshing, and is ridiculously healthy for you in so many ways. Who knew!?
(You probably did.)

2.) I wake up and eat.

I'm not naturally a morning eater.
What's the point of breakfast when there's coffee?

Well once I found out that making yourself eat just a little bit in the morning gets your metabolism going which starts burning fat sooner, then I decided to suck it up and have a bowl of oatmeal or toast in the morning.

And THEN have my coffee.

A small price to pay for a big difference.

3.) I Put. Down. The Bread.

This one makes me cry.
I mean, really.. drinking water and eating breakfast is easy stuff.
But NOT having garlic bread for dinner?
NOT baking those 3 dozen muffins that I'll probably eat most of?
NOT making cookie dough EVERY SINGLE TIME I crave it at 9 o'clock at night?
(Which is approximately 4 times a week.)

This is the real battleground.
And I'll talk about that a little further down under Motivation.

But basically I try to keep it pretty low carb, by substituting veggies for things like bread and potatoes and chips.
Though I don't totally cut out carbs because I'm still active and breastfeeding and not a total masochist.

In Addition:

-I rarely ever eat potatoes anymore.
They're pretty fattening and I'm not passionate about them (like I am, for say..garlic bread) so they feel like a waste. Finding fattening foods that you regularly eat but that you don't even really enjoy all that much to cut out of your diet is always smart.

-I also use those 100 Calorie Sandwich Thins to make delicious burgers and chicken sandwiches with.

-I've stopped baking as much.
I love baking. Both as a hobby and out of reverence and loyalty to the other man in my life, Butter.
But I try to limit it so that I don't have to be removed from my house with a crane by the time I'm 30.

(Dear Butter, Please don't be mad. We just need to see other people. It's not you, it's me. Love, Fatty McFlabersons xoxo.)

4.) I don't binge.

This is another important, but not so fun, big one... Portion Control.

I don't think I'll ever understand why God made it so that I can't eat a whole Papa Murphy's Pizza by myself every night and still look like Angelina Jolie... but I am pretty certain this is the Thorn In The Flesh that Paul wrote about.

(For any other spot-on answers to theological mysteries, feel free to contact me.)

Either way, we all have to go with the flow of life's great hardships and this is one of them.
So I try to keep how much I eat during the day to a respectable, non-binge-related-eating-disorder, amount.

Here is pretty much what my diet looks like on a normal/good day:

Breakfast: Small Bowl of Oatmeal or Bran Cereal, or Whole Wheat Toast
Shot of Tequila (Kidding.)
More Water
Lunch(after workout): Protein Smoothie, made with protein powder, almond milk, frozen strawberries, 2 bananas, and spinach.
More Water
Snack: 1/4 cup of Almonds or Celery with Peanut Butter
Dinner: (Varies)
Wine (Duh.)

Some days I forget to eat anything until 3p.m., and some days I eat nothing but cookies all day long.
(the second one being more likely.)
I'm not die hard and rigid about it, but when I stick as close to this as possible, I see the best results.

5.) I get off the flippin' couch.

Ok, well technically I'm sitting on the couch right now, writing this.

But since this last fall, I've been trying to stay good about Working Out 3-5 times a week, only for about 20-30 minutes each time.

I wrote about the Workout Video I've been using, and I'm still enjoying it so much.
I supplement it with some strength training, and I'm always happy with the outcome and that it doesn't take up my whole day.

I feel happier, more energetic, and just overall healthier when I work out at least a couple times a week.
Plus it keeps the heinous level of doughyness on my midsection at bay.

6.) I keep myself motivated. 

Ok people, honestly, this is the hardest one.
Every person is different in what motivates them and the key is to find what works for yourself.
Some people count calories, some people write down everything they eat in a day, some people like someone else to keep them accountable... everyone is unique in what is helpful to them.

I've never been a super skinny kinda gal, so I feel like I've tried a million different ways over the years to lose weight/motivate myself, some which worked and more that didn't.

The biggest thing that I've found about myself, personally, is that I'm driven by POSITIVITY.
That sounds a little cheeseball-motivational-speaker-ish, but let me elaborate:

1.) Encouragement keeps me going.
This might be a 'Duh' kind of point.
But when my husband or close friends ever say even little things like 'You're lookin' good!' or they drop the magic 'skinny' word, not only do I tearfully confess my undying love and devotion to them on the spot, but I feel proud that my work is paying off and I'm inspired to keep going.

So at the beginning of all this, I asked Luke to tell me when he notices changes, even little ones, to help me stick to it. And it's been a great support system.

2.) I don't own a scale.
Numbers are just numbers, and not only can they be deceiving, but they can become really unhealthy to focus on.
I maybe weight myself once every few months, and I usually do it randomly when I go into a bathroom at a friend's house and use theirs or something. That way, I have an idea of where I'm at but I don't keep up with every pound that I lose or gain on a daily/weekly basis, which I find to be more discouraging than not.

I can tell a difference in myself in how I look and fit into my clothes, which is more important anyway.

3.) I splurge. And I don't hate myself for it.

Here's the thing...I love food. I really, truly do.
And I really don't ever want to live in a world that doesn't allow me to enjoy chocolate cake.
In the past, when I would go on health/weight loss "kicks", so to speak, and at some point I gave into temptation and had chocolate, or say half of a pizza (totally hypothetical), I would feel like I had just thrown away all of my hard work and just give up.
So I make sure to not let myself think that crap anymore.

I eat cake and pancakes and pizza (sometimes all in one day!), and I TOTALLY enjoy it.
 But then the next day or week.. I get up and keep going.
I work out. I drink my smoothies. I have a kick-butt salad for dinner.
And then I do it all over again.

I make sure to fight discouragement from myself by not making this some 2-week "kick" that I cannot break under any circumstance or everything will fall apart.

So instead of being unhealthy most of the time with occasions of being healthy, it's the opposite.
I live a pretty healthy life now, and occasionally splurging is part of it.

In Addition:

-I have found that Pinterest can be an awesome motivational tool!
Some days when my little munchkins are FINALLY napping (and at the same time!) after a whole morning of whining and pooping and them giving each other high-fives in the face, all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch the latest episodes of Nashville and not think about anything.
And heck, half the time-I DO do that!
But on the days when I know I need to push through and work out, sometimes perusing through the Health and Fitness section on Pinterest for a couple minutes gives me a jump start I need to get my butt off the the flippin' couch.

-I also follow some Weight Loss/Health Nut Bloggers!
One of the biggest inspirations through this whole process of mine has been a blogger named Mama Laughlin. She has such a fun and down-to-earth blog about her postpartum weight loss (losing like 60 pounds!), and reading her posts and following her on Instagram always gives me such incentive and drive to keep going.
SO positive. And SO encouraging.


Well people, like I said, not very groundbreaking stuff.
But being diligent with these few things have really payed off for me.
So far I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was this last October, and so thankful to be feeling comfortable in my clothes and my own skin again.

Well ok, right now my clothes and skin both have spit-up, urine, and applesauce on them... but other than that, I'm pretty comfortable.

One step at a time, right?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fatty McFlabersons: A Weight Loss Story PART 1

Well I typical don't usually talk about this stuff (you know... my body. And any other crimes against humanity for that matter), but I decided to take the plunge and get real. 
Because our weight is something most of us mere mortals have issues with at one point or another (if you don't..Congratulations! Oh, and you suck.), so why not be open and honest and gross about it with each other?

I'm already feeling the bonding happening.

..Mmm. That's nice.

Ok, so here it is:

Picture on the LEFT: Uhh...Kill me.

(Alright, but let's be honest, my mayonnaise-esque skin tone is the real travesty in this situation.)
(Unfortunately that hasn't changed much..) 

Picture on the RIGHT: I took that yesterday morning.
 I think I'd only had half a cup of coffee at that point, and I'm really not genuinely happy until I've had at least two.
So if my smile looks kind of fake... that's because it kind of is.
Plus I'm not wearing any makeup.

What Happened Between:

So at the time of the first picture, I had just given birth, after having spent the last 4 months of my pregnancy doing nothing but baking.
I spent my days watching every single episode of Grey's Anatomy and eating cookies.
That was my life.

So I gained A LOT of weight during my first pregnancy.

But then I had this gorgeous baby, and here were my problems:
1.) I was jonesing for carbs every hour because I was breastfeeding.
2.)The Magical Breastfeeding Diet Where You Can Eat Nothing But Ice Cream And Cheeseburgers And Still Lose Tons Of Weight NEVER kicked in for me.
3.) I sat on the couch all day. Just staring at my baby and crying.

SO... obviously it's a big mystery why I stayed the size of Shamu for so long.

But it was hard, as being overweight always is.
I hated going in to the bathroom because it meant I had to look at myself in the mirror. 
NONE of my cute, pre-pregnancy clothes fit me.
I was engorged and sweaty and fat and hungry.
It was just crappy.

I think when Vienna was around 8 months old, I lost like 5-10 pounds.
Not much, but it was something.
BUT a month later I was pregnant again!
Hooray for Babies! But not for weight loss.

Thankfully, having a crazy mobile baby kept me relatively active and I only gained 30 pounds during the whole second pregnancy. Which was really good.

But by the end of those 9 months... I was just done.
I was done being huge.
Something clicked in me that made me so sick of being big that made me decide that as soon as I had this kid out of me, I was going to work my BUTT OFF to do something about it.

And I did!
By my 6 week post-birth doctor's appointment, in October, I had lost every last pound that I gained during the second pregnancy, and I was going to keep going to get rid of all of the extra weight I had gained during my first.

At the beginning of the year, when Luke and I sat down to write out our goals for 2013, I put down that I wanted to have lost 20 more pounds before my next pregnancy.

And I'm not pregnant yet (at least that I know of... huh.)...

...But I lost ALL OF THE WEIGHT!

I definitely have more to lose to be at my totally ideal weight, but I'm back to where I was before I got pregnant with Vienna.

There's probably a 40 pound difference between the two pictures above.

All of my old clothes fit me, and some are even big on me.
I'm comfortable again and looking in the mirror doesn't make me want to go throw myself in traffic.

I've worked hard for it.
For me. For my husband. For my kids.
And after 3 years, I finally feel good again.

Now go read PART 2 to talk about what I did and how I've changed my lifestyle...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crockpot Saturday: Ranch Beef

So a few months ago I read on a blog that a gal and all of her sister-in-laws had a weekly tradition of making the same crockpot meal on a specific night and then they all kind of talk about it and review it.

I thought it was such a neat idea and since I'm a big, fat copy-cat, I decided to text my sister-in-law to see if it might be a fun thing for us to do together.

She said she was in, so we texted our other sister-in-laws and a close family friend, who were all game for trying this recipe club of sorts for crockpot meals a couple times a month.
At first, we picked Saturday as the day we would all do it...but that soon became kind of crazy to work around the schedules of 6 women. So now whenever a recipe is picked, we all just make it within the next two weeks, whenever each of us can.

SO much smarter.

But the name Crockpot Saturday kind of stuck and no other suggestions for a new name have been made.

Crockpot Club?

Crockpot Palooza?

Crackpots for Crockpots?

If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Until then, laziness shall prevail.

ANYwho! The first dish that I suggested we make was a Chicken Teriyaki that turned out to be absolutely ATROCIOUS. 
I don't think I even served it to my family.


But the next dish (that I obviously did not pick) turned out awesome!

A big ol' pot roast with delicious ranch and onion flavor, shredded, and served with melted provolone on a toaster kaiser roll.
Easy, simple, and a major Man-pleaser.

I definitely recommend it.
And so did all the other gals, it was a hit!


Ranch Beef
Recipe from The Tasty Fork
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3lb Chuck Pot Roast, Boneless & seasoned with Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 Dry Ranch Packet (1.0 oz)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 6 French Rolls, sandwich size (optional)
  • 6 slices of Mozzarella (optional)

  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. 
  2. Add sliced onions and place beef on top. 
  3. Mix vinegar, ranch packet, garlic and water. 
  4. Stir and pour over beef. 
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. To make sandwiches - shred beef and place in toasted rolls. 
  7. Add cheese on top of beef. 
  8. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted.