Monday, July 30, 2012

Worth the Weight: EDIT.

EDIT: Corinn, pics at the end per your request. ;)

This is one of those posts that has the potential to sound annoying or repetitive, so I'm apologizing beforehand. I mean, posts about weight and bodies and whatever can be either encouraging or obnoxious, and my intent is with the former.

I stepped on the scale yesterday and my mouth gaped open when I saw that I was three pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. Now. Let me tell you a bit about my weight history so you can understand why this is poignant. You have to know that I'm not someone who just drops weight after I have a baby. Some people just seem to blink twice and crinkle their nose and bam! They've dropped the weight. Not me. It takes work, work, WORK. If I'm naturally skinny, I don't know it, because I've always been naturally HUNGRY, wherein lies the problem!

In my first three years of marriage, I gained TWENTY POUNDS. Yes, twenty. Typing it out seems surreal. I can't really explain why, except that my first post-marital job had me working into the evening, so we usually ate out. Bam. Also, I have a huge appetite. Bam Bam. So, by the time I got pregnant with Cub, I was twenty pounds over my wedding day weight. GAH! That's a brutal way to start a pregnancy. Especially now, after having three children, I can't believe I allowed myself to gain so much weight for no apparent reason. My starting weight with subsequent pregnancies hasn't been that bad (thankfully) but they haven't been really great, either. When Lydia's pregnancy became known to us, I knew that I was going to have to plan ahead to get healthy after her birth. Because it doesn't come "naturally" to me. I knew the road before me would be a long one. And a hard one. I have mentioned before in a previous post that after my postpartum check-up after Lydia's birth, I texted my friend about personal training and we started the very next week.

So, for five months now, I've woken up twice a week at 4:40am. I stumble through the house, hoping I'm somewhat dressed, before rubbing my eyes and starting the car and driving to our workout destination. We start at 5:15 and the workouts include everything from Boot Camp to Body Sculpt to Step Aerobics. Always cardio, always weights. Twice a week, with the exception of being out of town or things like that. But I've never missed an entire week. I've also sprinkled in running and/or yoga once a week, which has been great. And a few weeks ago, I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and started keeping track of my caloric intake. Like I've mentioned before, I have a voracious appetite and had no idea how many calories I was consuming every day (eek!). I'm not a big calorie-counter, but just the awareness of what I'm eating has been enormously helpful. I'm breastfeeding, so I take that into account (the app told me initially that I should eat only 1200 calories a day, which my personal trainer immediately nixed and adjusted--that's way too little!).

So, between working out, working HARD, and (realistically) watching what I eat, I've reached a goal. I can't tell you how excited I am. And I'm not there yet--I still have weight to lose. And don't worry, I'm not going to post some obnoxious picture of me attempting to look stick skinny with my hands on my hips and my collarbones jutting out. My mom pooch is still in full force and probably will be for a while. And that's fine. I said from the get-go that my goal is consistency in discipline and to get stronger. The results will come as they may. And they have started coming, and it's thrilling to see hard work pay off. Three pounds under pre-Lydia weight is ten pounds under pre-Cub weight, which is great. Could I ever reach my wedding day weight again? Who knows! But it would be great to try.

I write this to encourage you. I haven't used any powders or creams or pills or magic potions. It's simply been hard work and discipline. Exercise and eating right. Which, for me, is work. Trust me, if I can do it, you can, too. I still have a ways to go, but I'm encouraged by the progress. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, it's a battle to get my feet on the floor. I've moaned. I've whined. My friends have put up with a lot. But they never gave up on encouraging me and I'm indebted to them for believing that I could do it. For a girl who's never had great self-esteem, that means a lot.

I would never have guessed that after having three kids, I would feel my best. Who knew.

Have a lovely day, friends.




Okay. I'm awful at before/after pics, but I wanted to wear the same-ish outfit and do the same-ish pose to be fair (although a hands-on-hips-jutted-collarbone pic was quite tempting, along with a duck face and awkward side-bend, ha ha). And the second photo has no editing, so you get to see me in all of my greasy-haired, makeup-less glory (apparently, I was better at showering a few months ago?). In the first picture, Lydia was just over a month old. The second picture was taken this afternoon. And yes, my thighs totally still touch. You're welcome, ha ha. ;) To be honest, I'm just as proud of the first picture as I am of the second (stripes do nothing to show tummy change, I realize, but, as I mentioned, I wanted to wear same-ish clothes). I had just birthed a baby and was figuring out how in the world to take care of three little kids, so the green-shirted Katie gets mad props from the coral-shirted Katie. The "Before" and "After" reference is only to show time change, not to imply that there was anything wrong with the first picture. Y'all, we're supposed to be soft when our babies are born! I hate when Moms are down on the way they look after they have a baby. Sigh. We ladies need to cut ourselves slack. The End.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Love: The Week.

Baby Lydia getting lots of attention from visiting relatives. Sweet baby.

Teal pants!

The hutch purchased from my bestie. LOVE!

Look who's big enough to join us at the table! That Phil & Ted's Me Too chair has now held all three of our little ones. Love it.

Naomi and her little bestie, Emery. Cute girlies.

Nutty face time with the baby. I was snapping away at her giggles in the mirror and caught this gem of myself. And teenage girls think the duck face is cute ..?

Peppers, avocado, chicken, and tomatoes in lime juice. We eat them on Romaine lettuce "boats". Yum!

I cleaned out my closet and organized my dangly things. Earrings, and ... 

... the necklace wall! Too long for my little jewelry box. :)

I saw a friend of mine do this so I totally copied her--indoor hopscotch on these hot, hot days.

The Great Closet Cleanout unearthed some frames I had forgotten about! I added new pictures and hung them in our master bath. Engagement pic, wedding pic, pic of each our kids. Love this. And the IKEA mirror. :)

Outfit from the Great Closet Cleanout. I bought this dress last year but put it away because I got pregnant. I was happy to find it again.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lydia: Six Months.

Dear Liddybug,

Today you are SIX MONTHS OLD! WOW!

I can't believe it.

Girl, you have totally turned a page within the past few days. It's as if the somewhat schedule-jumbling four to five months suddenly ended, and here you are on a new routine, completely happy and content, taking in the world around you with a smile on your face.

Six months: The Golden Age.

You stopped sleeping through the night after two weeks of being gone. When we take trips, I get nervous that you will wake up everyone, so if you fuss in the middle of the night, I just feed you. Well, girly, you became accustomed to that feeding and decided you were done sleeping through the night. Thankfully, after a week at home, your sleeping habits have started to normalize, phew! You go to bed between 7:30-8:00 and wake up happy and cooing, content in your crib, between 6:30-7:00. It's wonderful, really.

You are nursing five times a day. You eat solid foods three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, six to eight ounces total. I tried feeding you more than that and you were NOT happy, so we've backed off and learned your cues when you're finished. Cereal gave you a tummy ache, so the doctor told us we could just skip on over it and move on to fruit and veggies. You've had pears, apples, mangoes, squash, prunes, broccoli, blueberries, bananas, and carrots. You are a good eater!

You are absolutely entranced with the world around you. You love to lay on your back and watch the busyness that is our home, and then you decide you want to join in. You roll over onto your stomach, stick your rear in the air, and attempt to inchworm your way across the room. It is HILARIOUS. You aren't pushing your chest off of the ground yet, so instead your head lays flat on the ground. It's so funny! Good try, honey. :) You sit in your Bumbo and with the help of a Boppy, but are not sitting independently yet. You grasp at objects now and hold them for inspection and it's so cute. You love my earrings and my necklaces, too!

Before bedtime I sing your lullaby and you've started to snuggle against my neck and lean your head on my shoulder. Oh, sweetie, this is absolutely the best. I love our quiet time snuggles. You also love books and very intensely smack their cardboard pages. You are happy in your car seat and love that your brother sits directly behind you, in plain sight. You two love to smile at each other. And, of course, your sister loves ticklefests with you. 

Baby girl, we love you so much.

Keep growing and slow down, all at the same time.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I contributed a post to my friend Devi's blog today, so, if you get a chance, mosey on over to her blog and check it out!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who? Me?


I know, I KNOW, the blog has taken a back seat in my life. I mean, life is still tumbling forward and I'm still standing in front of it, arms spread out, shouting for it to stop, but it's still ignoring me, collecting me as it snowballs and taking me along for the ride as it bumps and jostles along.

I had my nails shellacked for the first time.

I bought a hutch from a friend (LOVE) for the formal dining room.

I've tried to explain death and heaven to a three year old.

I now own teal pants.

I'm grappling with teaching my children how to act based on love, not on outward behavior alone.

I'm watching Pride and Prejudice for the first time.

I have had smoothies for lunch twice.

I am nervous for Lydia's six month appointment, hoping she's gained more weight.

I am unsatisfied with my eyebrows.

I am pathetically dependent on and want to hug and kiss it and cradle it and say sweet things to it.

I went to yoga for the first time since college.

I finally had my hair blonded again.

I am getting better at sending my husband lots of flirty and inappropriate texts while he's at work.

I saw my three year old comforting his sister when she tripped and fell.

I counted another wrinkle.

I started a new book.

I went to church with the price tag from my shirt still dangling down my back.

I soaked in Epsom salt for the first time.

I helped with VBS.

It's hot. So hot. Hotter than inappropriate texts to my husband.

Ha ha. :)

Have a lovely day, friends.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Mouse.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 16, 2012

An Ode To The Nap.

When Cub was a baby, I remember reading a parenting book that insisted that my baby should be able to sleep through anything. Being a newbie Mama, I nodded eagerly at the suggestion and thusly vacuumed and ran the blender during his sleep times. And, yay, he could sleep through anything, good for him, rah rah rah, who really cares I don't know.

Then I had two kids.

Then I had three kids.

And y'all, nap time is SACRED.

As soon as that clock strikes 1:00, I tuck the kids in bed, blow them kisses as I close their doors, and spring into action. I run to the TV and turn it off if it's on. The iPod player gets unplugged as I shut off the kitchen lights. I close the blinds in every room, lock the doors, and after one final sweep through the house, I slip into my room and close the door quietly. After tiptoeing to my bed, I silently pull back the covers and crawl in, letting my head sink into the pillow as I pull my comforter up to my nose.



The only time in the entire day when I am completely alone. I can go to the bathroom alone. I can eat a snack alone. I can rest ... alone.


So. Can my kids sleep through anything? Well, of course they can!

That's what high-powered fans and sound machines are for.


Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

We said goodbye to Pam yesterday. Red was her favorite color and it was such a special thing to look out over the packed sanctuary to see a sea of red, worn in her honor.

She leaves behind a legacy of love and she was honored in the best way.

Thank you for all of your sweet comments! Your thoughtfulness and sympathy are appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Aunt Pam.

We lost my husband's aunt to advanced pancreatic cancer yesterday in the early hours of the morning.

I was in Arkansas visiting my family when I received the news that Aunt Pam would likely not survive the night. I woke my parents and we prayed and cried together, and I went to bed with my mind filled with memories of my precious Aunt-in-Law. 

When I say "in-law", it sounds like she was a vague relative in a family that I married into. But Aunt Pam was so much more. She was my mother-in-law's best friend (and sister-in-law), and she welcomed me into this family with open arms. She was a part of the village that raised my husband and when I came into the picture, she became part of my village, too. And when our children came along, they joined that village, too. 

She threw my wedding shower. She helped with my baby showers. She was the first person to babysit Caleb. She brought me meals after my babies were born. She hosted Christmas every year and almost always made her delicious bruschetta chicken, at my request. If you told her you liked something she cooked, chances are she'd show up a few days later at your doorstep with the delicious item in hand, made just for you. She taught the four year old Sunday School class at our church for years and years and always referred to the kids as her "friends" when she addressed them collectively. They absolutely adored her almost as much as she absolutely adored them. She was devoted to them. Her exuberance and bubbly personality were contagious. It was impossible to not be happy when you were with Pam. She made you feel important and comfortable to be yourself when you were with her. 

When I was pregnant with Caleb, I had food poisoning and was admitted to the hospital. Everyone was out of town, including my husband, but Aunt Pam showed up almost immediately. After scolding me for not calling her sooner, she dabbed my forehead with a damp rag and held the bag whenever I threw up, without making me feel embarrassed at all. She was right there the whole time. I had miscarried my first pregnancy and was so scared of losing this one, too, and words can't express how much her presence steeled my soul. And she did it seamlessly, just stepping into the hospital room and putting down her bag in one swift move as she sat by my bedside and stayed there for hours, as if it had been her plan all day. Her soothing words of encouragement are in my mind forever. 

My nursing cover is from Aunt Pam.

My bubble bath is from Aunt Pam. 

I have so many small tokens of her generosity all around me. 

She made me the best Nutella cheesecake after Lydia was born.

After she first went into the hospital and they discovered the tumor on her pancreas, we went to visit her in the ICU. When we walked in, the first thing she did was compliment my dress. After all of that. 

She raised godly children and was an inspiration to us all.

Pam with her grandson, Eli, at his birth.

The phone rang and it was my mother-in-law. She told me Pam had passed. I again awoke my parents and there were more tears. I drove home as soon as I could in the morning and the day was spent recalling our favorite things about Pam. The list is endless.

Our loss is heaven's gain. As my MIL put it, "Heaven just got more fun" now that Pam is there. 

We will miss you Pam and we love you so very, very much.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Love: The Lake.

Family and fun. Yay.

Have a lovely weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Will Never ...

Three little words were never spoken by another as much as they were spoken by me. Before I had kids, I was absolutely certain that there were specific things that I would simply never, ever do. Like wipe my child's nose with my shirt. Of course, there are some good "never"s, like allowing them to play with knives in traffic. That kind of thing. But then there are the other "never" promises that were spoken out of complete inexperience.

Upon becoming a mother, I completely proved myself wrong. Utterly wrong.

Here are some of my best "I Will Never" statements that are now "I Do Actually"confessions:

I will never drive a minivan.

I will never have brightly colored toys in my house.

I will never tell my child to do something "because I said so".

I will never let my children wear their pajamas all day (although I still won't take them out in public with their jammies on ... except in drive-thrus ...).

I will never let my baby sleep in my bed.

I will never watch Elmo.

Oh, sigh. Me.

And the list goes on.

The biggest lesson motherhood has taught me? To keep my mouth shut until I experience it for myself. :)

How about you? Was there anything you absolutely swore you wouldn't do when you had kids ... and then you actually had kids and things changed?

Have a lovely day!