Pinterest Fail

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I am a big Pinterest person.

I know that’s not something people love admitting, but I don’t mind. The fact of the matter is, I consider myself to be pretty crafty and capable….but not super duper creative.
Every once in a while you come across an exciting Pinterest Post. One that you think, “Hell yeah, I CAN do that. I WILL do that!”
You pin it, you read about it, you buy the supplies for it, you make it and then sit back and observe it.
Sometimes you have a winner, sometimes you wonder what you did so terribly wrong.
Last year I decorated our front door like a monster. It was cute and fun. So this year when I came across the Mummy Door on Pinterest, I knew it was for me.

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Doesn’t this look so cute? Easy Peasy, right?

But…how the heck?! This thing was a pain in the toosh from the beginning. First of all the big gigantic roll I bought of white streamer, will not fit through the gap of the door, no matter how hard you try. So you have to rip off chunks, which now has turned in to a huge taping nightmare.
Also streamers rip, easily. So now I’m taping streamer back together on top of taping pieces to the door.
My end result…..I don’t get it. I used the worlds biggest/Costco sized streamer, why doesn’t it look like it’s enough? Thank God for the premade eyeballs or this whole thing would be an even bigger flop.
Even though it keeps further tearing and catching on stuff, I’m leaving it up damn it.

Proof to all mommies out there…… that just because it’s on Pinterest, doesn’t mean you should do it.

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This……..

Friday Favorite

Instant Pot IP-Duo

Ok, if you follow me on Instagram, you know this is my newest love. It makes life so much easier. I’m not joking!

When I first got my Instant Pot IP-Duo, I was pretty scared of it. Not going to lie. It sat in the box for weeks.

But eventually I took it out, cleaned it up, watched a YouTube video or 2 and got cooking.

I haven’t looked back since.

The Instant Pot IP-Duo is a 7 in 1 magical cooking machine (I got the 6 quart). I can use it as a pressure cooker, rice cooker/porridge maker, steamer, saute/browning, yogurt maker, warmer and a slow cooker.

If you’re interested in it, check out Amazon when they have any of their Prime deals. We bought this baby half off. I would have paid full price though in a heart beat, if I knew how much I would end up using it.

I’m sure a recipe or two will be coming soon. 🙂

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Look at this well loved, beautiful machine!

Packed Lunch Woes

My kids are just about to go on Fall break. These next couple days are half days, then a week off of school.

There are so many things that excite me about this. Sleeping in, doing our own thing, a mini vacay I planned out, Halloween fun, etc.

But the thing that I keep coming back to, the thing that excites me the most……I don’t need to have a lunch packed for my kids until November 7th!

What is it about kids lunches that sucks so hard?

Seriously! Its a lunch. Its not complicated, unless you make it that way. So why do I hate it…always?

My theory is this. I always kind of forget about it, until I’m just about ready for bed. I usually am really good at making sure they throw their lunch boxes in the sink, before I start washing dinner dishes. But then, you know….they have to dry (God forbid I hand dry them). I’m tired from making dinner and cleaning up. So now I’m going to just chill a bit. A nice hot shower, comfy jammies, a glass of wine later and the lunch… can bite me.

No seriously. Bite me!!

I despise making lunches in the morning even more though, so I get it done before bed.

My new plan, starting in November when kids go back, is “no mommy time rewards” until the lunches are made.

It can be the obstacle I have to get over before the relaxation begins. Maybe I can trick my mind in to thinking that I can’t wait to get the lunches done, so I can relax. What do you think?

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Fork In The Mountain

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In life there are so many times when we are standing at a fork in the road and have to decide if this challenge we are going through is worth it.

Should I go one way and just be done. Go back to life as I know it.

Or should I go the other way and push myself. Not knowing if it’s a good idea or what to expect, but knowing it will be different.

This weekend I got to experience this with my oldest.

I had an early morning hike planned with friends on Saturday to climb to the top of Cowles Mountain. Cowles Mountain is a 1,591 foot summit and the highest point in the city.  It’s hard work, but once you are there it’s beautiful and absolutely worth it.

About 10 minutes before I walked out the door on Saturday, I offered my oldest kiddo to come along. He surprised me with a quick yes and once he was dressed, we were off.

Man, that kid was excited, bouncing all over the place. We met up with our friends at the base of the mountain and started climbing. After about 20 minutes, I watched the happy go lucky grin slowly but surely disappear and the grunts and groans began. I told my friends to go ahead and we will do this at whatever pace he wanted. Another 15 minutes in, he was hating this decision. He was honestly, probably not liking me too much either.

So we recouped. I took him just off the path a bit and we had a talk. All I told him was, “this is hard, you’re right. But its not impossible. One step in front of the other, take your time, try to enjoy the views and do me a favor as we walk…..start checking out all of the people walking it with us. What you will see is every single shape and size. You will see young, old, fit, not fit…you will see people really struggling and some people running. But the one thing in common is, almost every single one, makes it to the top. You are in charge of your body, you get to decide how far you go. But, I KNOW you can do it.”

He was ready again, so we started off. This time he was smiling at people as they went by. Pointing out the pretty views, the cool looking dogs and how happy people looked as they were going back down the mountain.

The last 1/8th of a mile is the hardest…in my opinion. The well made trail kind of disappears, it’s mostly rocks to climb around and it’s steeper (or at least it feels like it). I was hurting, but moving.

My kid though, was gone. He could see that finish line and he couldn’t wait to cross it. He was running. He passed everyone in our group and proclaimed “last one to the top is a rotten egg!”

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Taking it all in

He was so incredibly proud of himself and was taking it all in. He borrowed my phone to take pictures and as we started walking back down the mountain he would cheer people on that were climbing up it. “ Don’t worry guys, you’re almost there. Just a bit further. You got this.”

Then we started jogging back down the trail.

The drive home my kiddo thanked me for taking him and for reminding him what his body was capable of doing. He was so thrilled, that he asked if he could come along on the next hike, wherever I go.

He didn’t once mention mom had been the rotten egg.

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Picture taken by my oldest

Friday Favorite

Ok, I was so impressed by this company as I started researching it, that this week I’m sticking to just one favorite!

Farmgirl Flowers

Flowers are totally a part of my love language. There is nothing better than coming home to a beautiful bouquet.

Farmgirl Flowers do not disappoint. I first started seeing these flowers in pictures from friends getting them in Oregon. I thought for sure it was something I couldn’t get here and was so jealous. Then one day, I came home from a morning of errands and at my front door was this gigantic box.

I was so excited and ripped that box open, super fast and of course was beyond happy. Every bouquet is wrapped in recycled burlap and a beautiful card is inside from whomever bought them for you. Mine happened to be from a sweet friend who was congratulating me on some accomplishments I had met (Thanks Miss).

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Beautiful right?

Some other cool things about this company is their flowers are ALWAYS American grown (did you know 80% of flowers sold in the US are imported?), they have about 39% less waste than other companies (by keeping the options to a minimum), ordering is crazy fast and hand delivery….with a smile. Oh and come to find out they deliver to all of the lower 48 states…they are working on nation wide!

So go order someone some gorgeous flowers!

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Exposed?

I consider myself a pretty tough chick. I kind of always have been. Even when I was younger…the littlest one in my class or on the field. I always knew I could handle myself just fine and sometimes acted the part.

My husband knows this about me. He always jokes that he would feel bad for any guy who tried to come up to me. He knows my fight status is always ready to roll.

Lately though, I have noticed as I’ve started picking up running and hiking way more often than before….that I catch myself feeling very vulnerable.

I’ll be really enjoying my music and the moment. Taking in the beauty around me and the strength my body is building. Then something will feel wrong. I’m not ever sure what, but I feel exposed.

We are in a day and age where you hear about everything the world has to offer….most often the bad. We know of stories of women and girls who have been hurt or attacked while out on a run.

Man, this makes me hurt. It makes me sad that I am sitting here, researching online for various gear I will feel comfortable running with, in case I need to protect myself.

Am I really considering the TigerLady handheld running grip? With my luck I would make a fist, the claws would come out, and I would trip and fall, killing myself. Impaled by my own safety device.

Do I want mace? If I don’t know which way the wind is blowing, couldn’t I end up getting it right back in my eyes?

Do I just do what I do now? Keep one ear always free of my earphones, putting my house key between my fingers, ready to pounce?

It’s such a freaking shame.

 I just want to run.

 I just want to get my emotions out from that day and enjoy the trees around me. But I can’t.

Am I alone in this? Ladies, what do you use?

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October 17th

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On October 10th 2008, my husband, oldest kiddo and I went to the OBGYN to have my ultrasound done for my 2nd child. We had been out of state the month before and were going in to this appointment a bit later than normal. We were so excited. We couldn’t wait to find out the sex of the baby. As the scan was underway the technician went from bubbly and fun, to quiet….very quiet.

She left the room, said she would be right back. I remember looking over at my husband, panic was setting in. We knew something was wrong.

But I could feel that baby dancing inside of me, so it couldn’t be that bad, right?

The technician came back with the Dr and they began talking…. my world started changing. There was something wrong with our baby. But they were not 100% sure what. It was a girl, but she seemed to have Downs Syndrome, as well as a ton of health issues.

The next day we went to a Specialist. We had an amniocentesis done to see exactly what was going on and to have genetics testing. When the Dr went in with that huge needle, he told me that he knew this wasnt going to be easy. There was not a lot of fluid in this sac and he might have to go in a couple times. I squeezed my husbands hand and closed my eyes tight. It was over, that part at least.

On the 12th we saw the Genetics Counselor. She told us that our baby had a rare chromosomal disorder. It was called Turner Syndrome. Turner Syndrome only effects girls, they do not develop full reproductive systems, they can have heart and kidney issues and they have a much shorter life span. Our baby had this, but was also very sick. She was already experiencing multiple issues. Her heart was beginning to go in to failure, her kidneys were not functioning, her limbs were all extremely swollen, she didn’t have enough fluid in her sac to survive the full pregnancy and she was only measuring at 3 months (I at this time was 6 months along).

On the 14th I saw my personal OBGYN. He went over further results with us. Our little girl (whom we had named Taylor) was dying. Her body was giving out on her. She was not going to make it. My Dr was surprised she had made it this long. In fact, he was flabbergasted my body was holding on. I remember him telling me that this shows us what an amazing mothering body I had. Even though this baby was extremely sick and hurt, my body just kept providing and kept her going. My Dr wanted to schedule surgery for the 17th. He truly didn’t think she would still be alive then and we would monitor before anything was done, to be sure of this.

On October 16th, I remember standing in the shower, the heat enveloping my body. It was practically hugging my tummy. I sang to her, I prayed for her, I cried, I wondered why….. she stopped moving. I never felt her again.

The next morning we went to the hospital, they confirmed she was gone. They took me to the surgery ward. The prep room was on the same floor as Labor and Delivery. I still can hear women pushing, them crying from pain.

I laid there, struggling to breath. It all hurt. Not pain from an injury. But pain, much more deep than that.

We wanted this baby. We had planned and tried for her. I had prayed secretly it was a girl in the early months. I remember one camping trip having horrible, vicious cramps when I was 3 months along. I remember being so scared I was losing her. I prayed for God not to take her.

Now I was here. In a surgery room, prepping to have this little baby taken from my body.

Maybe if I had not prayed so hard it was a girl? I should have just hoped for a healthy baby! Oh my God, did I do this? Was she trying to let go at three months? Did I fight what was naturally suppose to happen? Did she experience pain, because of me?

I now can look back at this and absolutely know the answers to all of these. No! You didn’t do this! But at the time, its all I thought about.

When I woke up the Surgeon had told me that everything was done. He reconfirmed that she had already passed. He also told me that she had been extremely swollen, her whole little body.

The next several weeks were a whirlwind. I started following up with a Psychiatrist that had been recommended, post-surgery check ups and trying so hard to not feel the constant cloud that was always over me. During this time I turned to my kid. He was three at the time and understood something happened, but of course he wasn’t grasping exactly what. He helped me though. I could look to him for a giggle or a hug. I’m sure I put more pressure on him than I should have during that time, but I couldn’t help it. I needed him more than he needed me.

Light at the end of the rainbow?

But of course.

We got pregnant again, quicker than I thought. We had our Rainbow Baby, in fact he is that kiddo I wrote about a couple posts ago. You know, that fiery, full of attitude, strong willed kid? He was the last bit we needed to recover from this. Well that and lots and lots of counseling.

I became a member of these groups called Remembering Our Babies and Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. The groups were made to basically allow woman to help others that have gone through, or are going through something very similar.

This was it. This was what I was meant to do with this. This was the answer to my why.

I was able to help coach many woman through their losses. Because I was so open about my story, I also would get approached by family and friends going through a loss or a friend of a friend. I discovered that though this loss hurt. Still hurts. I could find a couple blessings from it. The gigantic heart of my oldest who always wanted to care for mommy, helping others through this difficult time and my healthy youngest little man.

 

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This pretty little bracelet was gifted to me by my little sister. The date 10-17-08 is written on the back.

Friday Favorites

These are the things I’m obsessing about this week!

  1. Marilyn Monroe Intimates

So a recent trip to a department store, had me eyeballing the underwear section. I was in a big need for some new chonies! So on a whim I tried out the Marilyn Monroe Intimates. I personally bought the lace hipsters.

You guys! Seriously. These are the best undies I have ever own! They are so comfy and soft and they do NOT move. And coming from a girl with a decent budunkadunk….this is a big deal. Cool part is they are cheap at TJ Maxx. I have since then gone back and bought three more sets! Do it!!

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Believe it or not…the picture above is NOT me. I know! I know! Shocking.

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2. Young Living Lemon-Sandalwood Soap

Ever since I got to my mid 30’s, my skin has gone to hell. My hormones are out of whack and my skin is showing it. I tried everything through my dermatologist first. I stopped though when the suggestion came for Accutane. When you are about to do this process, you have to sign a contract saying you will use protection and not get pregnant, it freaked me out! Why would I want to put this on my body? So, I pulled back. I started going a much more natural route and once my skin got use to it, the results were much, much, much better. My husband just made a comment this week about how good my skin is looking.

Lemon-Sandalwood Soap is a huge part of my new regimen. In the beginning I washed my face with this bar everyday, once a day. But now its just during my hormonal times  (if you get what I mean…about 7 days a month).

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Good not Evil

My youngest kiddo is a handful. He always has been.

He is quick to emotion, whether that is good or bad.

He could never be persuaded away from something he wanted, even as a baby. I call that, “lack of shiny object syndrome.”

My youngest boy is Strong Willed. It’s just him.

The kid has a ton of personality. He is really smart (school smarts and street). Also he can read people, like they are books. Not just regular books either, but HUGE letters (so that Grandma can read it, books). Like, clear words across their foreheads.

But the problem we are facing.  How to get him to use these amazing skills for good, not evil?

In moments of struggle I like to think of the adult greatness that will come from this strong personality. The awesomeness that we will help mold him in to.
You know, once we get over this hump of surliness and stubbornness.

So, my question is this…. how do we help encourage this little man to remain himself, but at the same time stay in control of his emotions? How far do you push this?

I struggle. He is young, he is amazing, he is focused, can be extremely loving and strong….but he is a massive stubborn turkey, sometimes with the mind of a wizard.

 

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Here I go…..

Part of this new adventure of “finding me” starts today. I am determined to get healthy. I (no matter how old I feel) am an athlete. I always have been. But as the years have gone by, working out has definitely not been the priority, it probably should have been.

Today I start a 6 week challenge with my gym, NXPT Fitness Studio. The challenge technically started off this past Friday (with a dunk in a water tank) for the hydrostatic body fat test (dude….so much fun).

Is there truly anything better than standing in your bathing suit in front of someone, to get your fat measured? I think not!

Seriously though, it’s really not that bad. The thought of it was WAY worse than actually doing it.

The challenge continues with your team of three people. You have to eat right, workout a ton, earn points for your team in competitions and lose that weight or inches in 6 weeks. The teams with the most amount of fat loss, muscle gain and points per challenge…. win some awesome prizes.

These workouts are tough, I’m not going to lie. I will be bitching for the next 6 weeks on how sore I am. So get ready for that. It also doesn’t help that I have been completely out of the gym for the past 6 weeks, due to Walking Pneumonia!

For someone like me…trying to push myself, to better. This kind of set up works out perfectly. I will try as hard as I can, because I don’t want to let down my team!

Cheer me on people! I seriously will take all the motivation I can get!!

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