Once upon a time…I was a legit blogger! Gah! I’ve been strugglin’ folks. 🙁
However, school started this week and it’s been such a good thing for all of us! I love my kids, but MAN, I feel like I can actually think again. I can actually get stuff done. I can actually clean the house and have it stay clean for longer than 5 minutes! I can actually sit for a minute and enjoy a little bit of quiet. It’s really been great.
Organization, structure and a set schedule is a positive thing for us all. I have high hopes of getting a lot of stuff done this year! Woot!
We had a fun summer and did a lot of fun things, but these past two months just about did me in. Wow. I loved every second of June, but July and August were friggin’ nuts.
Anyway, I took some pics of the kiddos on their first day of school…
They are growing up way too fast! It’s weird to have my oldest son graduated and not going back to high school. Sigh. 🙁 FYI, he will be starting a great full time job in a couple weeks and is saving up to go to college in the spring. Yay.
I always like to pull up my kids’ pictures from the year before to see how much they’ve grown. It always blows my mind. These are from last year….
Oh wow. I think my two middle boys have changed the most! Crazy! I didn’t realize my cute 7 year old wore the same shirt and shoes on the first day of school last year too! Ha ha. I ordered my little boys some new school clothes online and they just arrived today.
Other exciting news around here….this sweetie poo turned 3 last week….
I really have mixed emotions about it. It absolutely tears my heart out to see my last little baby growing up so fast. He still has just a little bit of baby-ness left in him and I’m soaking up every piece of it….his chubby belly, hands and feet, his cute little diaper poking out of the top of his pants (I’m hoping he’ll be potty trained soon though!), his darling innocence, the way he says all of his “L’s” as a Y sound and just every bit of sweetness in him!
I must say that although it absolutely kills me to watch him grow up, I’ve also been breathing a humongous sigh of relief knowing that he is my last baby. I think my body and mind has reached it’s limit. Actually I think my body and mind reached it’s limit a couple of kids ago. Ha ha. I loooooooove babies and I love my kids so much. I think I’m a little bit of a baby addict, but I’m grateful I don’t have to start all over with a newborn ever again. I’m grateful to be done with the mega sleepless nights, nursing, morning sickness, pregnancy weight gain and just the complete takeover of life that babies require.
I’m learning to just enjoy every stage of life. I love love love being a mother to young children and babies, but MAN it is just so physically exhausting and taxing. It feels nice to be moving onto the next stage of life.
I have another picture that I want to share…
Oh my heart! I took that picture on the right a couple of months ago. He never falls asleep in my arms anymore and it was an absolute treat to have him do that! It reminded me of that other picture (on the left) that I took when he was a baby. I’m thinking he was about 4-5 months old there.
What a joy it is to be a mother! Really, I can’t think of anything more rewarding and fulfilling. Ya know, even all those sleepless nights, hard pregnancies and crazy days make motherhood that much better in a weird, twisted sort of way. It just makes you love your kids that much more because you sacrifice so much for them!
Another amazing thing we did this week is we saw the Total Eclipse!!!!
Oh guys, it was one of the most spectacular, incredible, mind blowing, spiritual, unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had. I really have no words to describe what a special experience it was for me and for my family.
The line of totality was about 3 1/2 hours away from our house. We headed up to Idaho early Monday morning around 5:30 AM. I had no idea what to expect and hoped we weren’t headed into the apocalypse. BUT, I just thought it would be a fun adventure regardless and we’d just play it by ear and see what happened. Sadly, Kev couldn’t come with us because he had to work. 🙁
I’m happy to say that we drove freeway speeds the whole way up there. I decided to take the kids to a more remote place in Idaho instead of the Idaho Falls/Rexburg area where everyone else seemed to be going. It turned out to be the perfect thing! We drove out into the middle of nowhere, turned off of the highway and found the nearest church parking lot.
It wasn’t even that crowded! We were able to spread out our blankets on the grass and eat some food while we waited for the eclipse to start.
We loved watching the eclipse with our eclipse glasses. It was so neat to watch the moon slowly start to cover the sun. We also loved watching the changing shadows on the ground and all the little eclipse shapes.
And then totality happened.
I thought it was going to be cool, but I was in nowise prepared for what I saw and felt. The air suddenly turned colder, everything got dark very quickly and a 360 degree sunset appeared. But MAN, when I looked at the sun/moon I was completely at a loss for words. It was the most beautiful and powerful thing I’ve ever seen. I was overwhelmed with emotion and felt like I just wanted to bawl.
I really, really, really can’t begin to explain the experience. All I can say is I don’t know how anyone could ever witness a total eclipse and not believe in God. It was a humongous witness to me that yes, God is real and he is very much aware of us. It was just the neatest experience ever. We were only able to see the total eclipse for about a minute and a half and I was just so sad when it ended. I wanted to enjoy it and soak up the experience for so much longer.
I am SO glad we decided to go! As soon as the total eclipse ended, we zipped out of there and pretty much drove freeway speeds the whole way home too! I was so grateful. There were definitely a lot more cars on the road, but it didn’t slow us down too much.
We were all so tired driving home….
Overall, it was a 10 hour round trip adventure for us. I was so sad that Kev didn’t get to experience it with us. However, we’re definitely planning on seeing the next eclipse in 2024. I wouldn’t miss it for the world! We’ll probably end up heading down to Texas or Mexico to see it. I can hardly wait!!!
Well folks, I’m sad to say that I ate like crap on our little eclipse trip. I packed a bunch of healthy food and snacks with us, but I ended up eating what was quick and easy…a few chips, cookies and candy. Gah! Most of my healthy food was packed in the cooler that was in the back of the van. I really didn’t have a lot of time to eat and fix myself food since we were in such a hurry to get there and then turn around and get back home!
It was nuts.
It’s a’ight though, I’m living and learning. 🙂
I’m still going strong for the most part, but I haven’t been doing as well with the low carb thing as I should be! I’m supposed to be doing several low carb days in a row and then have a refeed (regular carb) day. I’ve been trying to generally eat more low carb, but I haven’t been as hardcore as I know I should be.
In all reality, summer is not the best time for me to do a mega challenge! I’m still glad I’m doing it and I’ve done a pretty good job considering the circumstances, but I think summer is probably THEE worst time for me to really commit to a mega workout plan and diet!
My challenge is officially supposed to end in about 2 weeks, but I’m still planning on stickin’ with it after it’s over. It’s been great and I’ve learned so much. It really is a great lifestyle plan. It’s just made me more accountable and aware of the choices I’ve been making for better or worse. I can definitely feel the effects of those choices too!
When I’m stickin’ to the plan, working out hard and eating clean, I just feel good. I feel leaner and have more energy. The past couple of weeks I’ve struggled a bit with the diet. I just haven’t been as committed as I should be AND I can feel it! I feel poofier, more sluggish, more tired and not as motivated. It’s tough. I’m trying to stay strong until the end though!!!
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things that have been helping me. I’ve been having this for breakfast pretty much every single day…
Sometimes I make my eggs into a pretty egg wrap, but most of the time it ends up more like a scramble. I’ve been sauteing peppers and onions in a pan and then adding them to my egg white scramble. I then top it with salsa (that’s green salsa in that picture), fresh tomatoes from our garden and sometimes a little bit of guac.
I’ve been having one or two protein pancakes on the side because I love them so much! I’ve been topping them with a few berries (I have to eat berries in the summer!) and some Walden Farms caramel syrup (0 calories…I looooove this stuff!!!) and a spray of whipped topping (15 friggin’ calories for 2 Tablespoons!)
This is like my favorite meal evah and I never get tired of it!
I’ve also been loving these wraps and pita bread from Jospeh’s so much!
The macros on these things are freaking awesome folks! Those Lavash bread things are huge, so one bread is two servings. Each serving (1/2 bread) is 60 calories, 1.5F, 8C, 6P. Woot! They taste great too! The pita bread has similar macros; one whole pita bread is 60 calories, 2F, 9C, 6P. Whaaaa???? That is unheard of! I love these things!
I’ve been having half a pita bread as a sandwich (stuffed with lettuce, veggies, pickles and meat topped with dressing or mustard) and it’s been great. I’ve also been making both of these into homemade pita chips and I love them so much! I like to make a big batch and then just store them in a baggie.
I’ve been loving these dipped in cottage cheese or I just like to snag one or two when I’m craving something crunchy and salty. So yummy!
I’ve also been loving making salads in a jar lately…
They are THEE perfect thing to bring on road trips or anyplace you want to eat on the run. I brought some of these with me on our eclipse trip (although I didn’t eat them!) and I brought some with us when we went to Lagoon Amusement park a couple weeks ago. They were just perfect.
I think a pint jar is the perfect single serving size. You just put everything that you want in your salad into a jar packed in this order…
- Dressing (1-2 Tablespoons)
- Hard veggies (carrots, cukes, onion, peppers, tomatoes, etc.)
- Softer veggies and other soft things (corn, peas, zucchini, mushrooms, beans, etc.)
- Protein (meat, hard boiled eggs, cheese, etc.)
- Grains and nuts (cooked rice, quinoa, nuts, seeds)
That’s it. Really, the most important thing to remember is to keep your dressing on the bottom and the lettuce on the top….keep them very separate. The hard veggies as the second layer serve as a great barrier. I think you could put the 3rd, 4th and 5th layers in any order, really.
I also try to fill my jars with a ratio of half lettuce and half everything else.
When you’re ready to eat the salad, just pour it out onto a plate and eat. You could also shake it up and eat it from the jar, but my jars are usually too full to do that.
If you keep the protein items out of the jar, these will keep for up to a week in the fridge. If I put the protein in them, I try to eat them within a few days.
I also wanted to share that I got a much needed haircut this week. Yay!
My friend that does my hair curled it for me too. I thought it was fun, especially since I usually don’t even do my hair. I just throw it on top of my head in a random bun. 🙂 It’s nice to have hair that actually works when I decide to actually do it now. Yay.
I also thought I’d share my fav workout leggings that I’ve been loving so much!!!!
I know this isn’t the best picture, dang it, but it will have to suffice for now.
Several months ago I splurged and bought me two pairs of black workout leggings from Lululemon. Those of you who are familiar with Lulu know that it’s a very expensive, top quality brand.
Guys, I’m a bargain shopper type person and don’t usually buy really expensive things. I loooooove to buy very nice things, but I’m always lookin’ for a bargain. Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are my all-time favorite stores! I also love to shop the sales at Ann Taylor and The Loft. You can get so many nice, cute things at all of those stores!
I’m also not a “trendy” person or someone who’s into name brands, so I’m not usually a Lululemon shopper. BUT, the few things I do have from Lulu, I LOVE! They really do have so many cute, well made things. The two leggings I bought from there are my all-time favorites! They are just comfortable, flattering and feel like they hold everything in place….which is always a plus! Oh, and the ones I’m wearing have big pockets that I love, especially when I’m running!
The two pairs that I bought are now sold out, but they have so many other ones that are very similar. They are always gettin’ new stuff! Every single time I wear my Lulu leggings, I just love them so much. I think they are worth every penny. Oh, and I wear them both all the time and they still look just like new!
Well, I think I’ll leave it at that! I still have so many more things I could share because I haven’t blogged in so long, but I think this post is already too long! I hope each of you are doing well and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! xoxo