Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Belated Birthday Post

So I had a birthday last week. I didn't write about it because I was feeling a little blah about it all. Last year my birthday was horrendously awful, it permanently lowered my expectations for all future birthdays. I had this feeling of dread the weeks leading up to my birthday that something terrible was about to happen. And quite frankly the age of 31 just sounded awful. I was fine with turning 30, really I was. To me 30 sounds mature, grown-up, and wise and even though I'm still probably not any of those things at least I was only one year removed from my twenties. Want to know what 31 sounds like? Lame. I really am trying to make peace with the fact that I'm really into my thirties now.

 Anyway, it turns out my anxiety about something bad happening wasn't entirely unwarranted. A few days before my birthday I found out that my car was going to be totalled. I had taken it in about two weeks previously for what I thought was going to be some minor repairs from being rear ended. I had no idea that the damage was far more extensive than what was visible. We spent countless hours playing phone tag with the insurance company and trying to negotiate a better offer. And then Brian's parotid gland got blocked and swelled up. Seriously, he looked like he had a golf ball in his cheek and he was in a lot of pain. I was trying to be caring and loving but I was honestly a little annoyed, like he always has some sort of health emergency whenever I have something important going on. Like breaking his foot the day before I had Shye, breaking his ankle on my thirtieth birthday, it's all very suspicious if you ask me. So I woke up on the Friday before my birthday in the sourest of moods. After a few hours of sulking around, I left Shye with Brian and took myself shopping and got myself a pair of Converse and a few new tops from Forever 21. Speaking of Forever 21, I officially feel too old too shop there now. But as long as my bank account looks like a 21 year olds I guess I will keep shopping there. I came home a few hours later in a much better mood. So I guess the moral of this entire post is this: retail therapy really does work. You can quote me on that.

Beside the little shopping spree I gave myself I also got a manicure from a girlfriend and Brian got me a Fitbit. We dropped Shye off with her grandma and went to the Bombay House in Provo on Saturday night. Brian also slaved away to make me a low carb, sugar free cake so that I wouldn't have to break my diet. I know a lot of people were appalled that I wasn't splurging dietarily (made-up word alert!) on my birthday but I mean, it was MY birthday, right?  I can not eat sugar or carbs if I want to, right? I thought a lot about it beforehand and I just felt like I would rather keep going until I reach my goals. No one else liked the cake but I thought it was pretty good.  All in all this birthday turned out to be pretty nice and low key, which is a million times better than last year. And the way things are looking right now this is going to be a kick-ass year. I'm feeling all kinds pumped.

Ok thirties, let's do this!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cousin Time!

Last week I spent three days down in Spanish Fork babysitting Brian's niece Kimberly while her parents and older brothers went camping down in Moab. Kimberly is about 9 months younger than Shye and they love each other. Ok, maybe the affection came mostly from Shye and Kimberly just tolerates it. Barely. But seriously, they actually get along very well. It was fun to watch them play together. They had their own little games and their own little language. Their favorite game was one where they would both go running down the hall and into the living room and then they would each play a single note on the piano and then run back shrieking and giggling to the family room. No idea why that was so hilarious but they sure enjoyed it. They had races sliding down the stairs on their bottoms. We watched Frozen at least 28 times in those three days. Shye wanted to get into Kimberly's crib every night when I put her down and she made me bring Kimberly into our bed to snuggle each morning. And we had lots of fun little outings.

Take a deep breath because there's a whole lotta pictures here.

Her hair in this picture cracks me up!

Shye had so much fun with her little cousin. I sometimes feel bad that she is still an only child, I think she gets lonely. I try to make sure that we go out every day and that she gets plenty of social interaction but I still feel like she is missing out. I'm glad she has a cousin close in age nearby. I'm sure they will be besties forever. Or at least until the hormones and girl drama kick in.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bipolar Spring...

If there was ever a season that was bipolar it would be spring. At least you can count on summer for being miserably hot, and winter for being miserably cold. Even Fall is pretty reliably warm and wonderful. But man, spring will trick you every time. One moment it's 70, sunny, and gorgeous and then a few hours later it's cloudy, freezing, and what the heck, it's snowing? It's been frustrating too because I just happened to pack away all of our heavy coats and bulky sweaters in mid-March. We had an incredibly mild winter so I figured spring would be warm. Next year I need to remember that jackets don't get packed away until Mother's Day.

I'm determined to spend as much time as possible outside these next few weeks because I know by next month it will be blistering hot and I will be melting in a puddle in front of a fan. Besides spring is undeniably gorgeous in SLC. Flowers are popping up everywhere and trees are blossoming. The Capitol building is basically in our back yard and the trees there have been blossoming. I'm dying to go see DC's cherry blossoms one of these days, but I have to admit SLC's blossoms are pretty great too.

As always I took way too many pictures. Here ya go. 

Shye the hobo. She laid down on this bench and said "night, night!"

Future politician?
Hope you are all having a lovely spring!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A weighty topic...

Ugh. I've written and rewritten this post so many times and I always end up deleting it because I can never seem to get it to where I want it to be. But this time I'm determined to get it out there. Weight loss is, well, a weighty topic. Pun obviously intended.  But seriously, talking about weight loss and diets is not only painfully boring but it always comes across as incredibly condescending and self-righteous. Which isn't how I feel at all about it. So anyway, this is me just sharing what I've done recently to lose a little weight. I'm not trying to say that I think everyone should do what I do or eat the way I eat.

Last year my weight yo-yoed up and down due to three consecutive miscarriages. My last miscarriage in December left me 20 lbs heavier than my normal weight. My body goes into panic mode when I'm pregnant and holds onto everything I eat. And then it doesn't help that during the nausea of the first trimester the only things I can stand to eat are starchy carbs. So I began this year with the goal of getting back down to my normal weight again (which is 135-140, in case anyone was wondering and I'm 5'5) and regaining my health. Last month I started a new Instagram account to document my weight loss journey and my new healthier eating habits. Not only has it been a really fun and motivating project for me but it has also been a good distraction from the baby hunger and post-partum depression (yes, you can have full blown post-partum depression after a miscarriage). Recently I've been getting lots of questions about my diet and exercise routine. I'm happy to share but let me just say first that I'm not a health professional, this is just a plan that works for me.

I decided to cut out sugar completely and most carbs with the exception of carbs found naturally in some foods like beans and fruits.  I've done this before with success. I don't really subscribe to the traditional low-carb diets like Atkins or Paleo because I feel they are too restrictive. I love cheese, butter, sour cream and beans which aren't allowed in Paleo and I do eat some fruits occasionally which isn't allowed on Atkins. I don't like how meat heavy most low-carb diets tend to be, sorry but I just can't stomach steak for breakfast. I try to get my protein from eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, beans and sometimes protein drinks and I only eat fish for chicken for dinner. I also eat a TON of veggies every day. I usually have veggies with every meal and as snacks throughout the day. I do avoid some of the starchier veggies like potatoes and corn.

As for exercise I'm certainly not the most avid exerciser but I try to make sure I do something active everyday. And thus far I'm down about 17 lbs. I posted a before and after picture a few weeks ago and I got a lot of questions about what my secret was. There is no secret really. Watching what you eat (in some form or other) and working out. I do the low carb thing because that is what is easiest for me but I've known plenty of people who just count the calories or who cut back on portions or try other healthy eating plans. I think everyone is different and you have to do what works for you. I plan on incorporating healthy carbs back into my diet once I get down to my goal weight but I'm so done with sugar. I feel a hundred times better not eating sugar and I'm now convinced of how bad it is for you. Another question I get a lot is if I ever cheat on my diet or if I have preplanned cheat days. The answer is yes and no. My one left-over vice is diet soda, I love it even though I know it is definitely not healthy. Hey, I'm only human. I allow myself to have one a few times a week. But other than that no, I don't have cheat days or anything like that. 

The hardest part in all of this is being patient. People seem to want a quick fix for everything. I can't tell you how many solicitations I get for weight loss wraps, diet pills, protein powders, and other products. Weight loss is a multi billion dollar industry but it doesn't have to cost a dime. Normally I might be tempted by these products but I'm broke so I just workout at home and cook my own meals. Just goes to show that weight loss doesn't have to be expensive.

And if you hate weight loss before and after pictures, just quit reading now.

the two top pictures were taken in early January, the bottom ones were taken last week.

A few other tips I found really helpful are:
1. Keep healthy snacks around. I keep dry roasted almonds and mozzarella sticks with me all the time. You are much less likely to cheat if you have a healthy option to turn to.
2. Don't let yourself get hungry. Especially in those first few weeks. When you get hungry you get angry, and when you are hangry you are more likely to say "Screw this diet, I'm going to Taco Bell." So keep yourself from getting hungry with healthy snacks and well rounded meals.
3. Be kind to yourself in other areas of life. Take a bubble bath. Get a massage. Get a pedicure. Go to a movie (take your healthy snacks in your purse!). Start a new TV series on Netflix. Take up a new hobby. Buy yourself a new outfit, shoes, purse. Spoil yourself in ways unrelated to food.
4. Keep busy. It goes without saying that boredom leads to eating. 
5. Plan ahead. Make a meal plan every week and then grocery shop for it. Also, if you are going out to eat at a restaurant look at the menu ahead of time and decide what you want before you go. Most places have their nutritional information online. It's much easier to make a good decision in advance rather than in the spur of the moment.
6. Experiment with food. If you just eat a chicken salad every day you are gonna get really bored really fast. Look up new recipes. Try some things out. Mix it up and keep it interesting so that you aren't tempted to cheat out of sheer food boredom.
7. When you are feeling tempted it's helpful to remember that there will always be junk food. This isn't the last time you can ever have a brownie, or a taco, or french fries. Those foods will be around forever. This isn't the last time there will ever be donuts at work on Friday. There will be donuts next friday. And the next Friday. There will always be other birthdays, holidays, and events with tons of junk food. I try to remind myself that when I get down to my normal weight that there will still be plenty of opportunities to indulge occasionally. But for now I'm resetting my eating habits.
8. Be patient. I went two and a half weeks without dropping an ounce when I first started. It was hard to keep going but I had to remind myself that giving up and eating a bowl of ice cream wasn't going to help me get where I wanted either. I learned in a nutrition class that our bodies crave stasis (staying the same) so it will try to fight weight loss at first, but the key is persistence and eventually your body will start letting go of some of the weight. 

Anyway, I hope that answered all the questions I've been getting. If you want to follow along my instagram handle is wholesome_goodness.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Just a quick little post about some funny things about our girl lately so that I don't forget.

 -She has been quite the stinker these past few weeks. I'm not sure what the issue is but it is driving me insane. She recently discovered that she can scream, like a high-pitched, ear-splitting, glass-breaking scream. I don't even know what to do when she does that.
It was a two bottle kind of morning.

-Her hair is quite the show stopper up here in SLC. Whenever we go anywhere people always comment on how cute her curls are. I'm not complaining, I obviously love her curls too. But I definitely don't like the frizz ball they turn into every night.

Funny face 1.

-She is very expressive and is always making funny facial expressions. I swear I only capture a teeny bit of what a ham this girl is. And she loves the camera and will make all sorts of funny faces if I turn on the front camera of the iPod.

Funny face 2.

-She isn't scared to climb on the arm of the couch and jump off but if she sits in a chair that is uneven it scares the hell out of her.  Like she will hold onto the table and scream and cry. It's really the silliest thing.

Such a poser.

-She has figured out how to turn doorknobs. No privacy anymore. This morning she kept bringing me strawberries while I was in the shower wanting me to cut the green part off so she could eat them. Sigh.

More posing.
-She wakes me up with kisses every morning and needs at least ten kisses to fall asleep at night.  She also talks herself to sleep every night and she must crack herself up because she laughs and laughs.

-Her bedtime routine went to jack when we moved here. Now I have to lay down with her every night til she falls asleep. And she wakes up every night in the middle of the night crying and since there is a another tenant in the basement directly under her room we can't let her cry it out so she gets to come and hog our bed for the rest of the night. 
Hogging momma and daddy's bed.

-She has quite the little temper. The other day she was carrying around a bunch of cup filled with water and she got mad when Brian tried to tell her to put them down because she was going to spill them. Since her hands were full she walked over and kicked him. I usually try not to laugh when she does something that is naughty even if its funny, but this time I couldn't help but laugh.

Having a tea party at the Church History Museum.

-She is very into headwear lately. She loves her hats and she has a Burger King crown that she wears around the house all day.

What a ham.

-She loves the movie Frozen. I'm kinda regretting buying it now since we've watched it at least 30 times in the last week.
Pj's and a crown. And reading all the letters.

-She has to be the one to turn off the lights at night.

-She likes to bring her little stool over to the sink when I'm washing dishes and play in the water.

Funny face 3.

-Her latest obsession is letters. She can read all the letters of the alphabet in uppercase and she knows almost all of them in lowercase as well. She gets out her books and recites all the letters on every page. And then she gets her letter magnets out and recites them one by one as she puts them up on the fireplace, the fridge, stove, dishwasher, or anywhere they will stick. And when we are out she makes me stop and read the letters on the signs everywhere.

My little buddy.

-She says yay everytime she does something and if I don't say it too she comes over and grabs my face and is like "yay, mom, yay." In a super serious voice. 

Funny face 4.
-The other day we were grocery shopping at Walmart and she suddenly folded her arms and said a bunch of gibberish and then she was like "amen!" If you could see how sketchy our Walmart is you would probably pray too.

Playing ball at the park next to the Capitol Building.
I sometimes feel bad that Shye doesn't have any siblings yet. Not there is anything I can really do about that, but still I worry that she is missing out on some of the learning experiences that come with having a sibling. I know that when (and if) the time comes she will make a wonderful big sister. She is so sweet and loving. And I'm thankful that we've had so much one on one time with just her. We've become super close these past few years. And it hard to remember was like before she was with us. We love our sweet Shye-shye.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Green Party 2012

Growing up I always just had one close girlfriend at a time. I've always blamed this partially on my hearing problem, it's tough to be in group situations when you are hearing impaired, following a conversation a nearly impossible. I always pipe up only to find out that everyone is actually talking about something different. For example once I was sitting at a lunch table with two other co-workers who were talking about dressings, I asked if they had tried any of the Annie's organic dressings because I had been wanting to try some of them. There was an awkward silence. That's how I know that I'm way off. Turns out they were talking about dressers not dressing. But anyway, as I've gotten older I've realized that my lack of girlfriends is actually more due to me not following the girl code. You know, how girls squeal and scream and hug everytime they see each other? Yeah, I've never done that, or even understood that. Going to the bathroom together? No thanks. Complimenting each other incessantly? Yeah I didn't do that either, it seemed too fake to me. And I had no idea until fairly recently that telling another girl she looked anorexic was a compliment. I'm too practical minded, if a girl ever complains about her weight my first instinct is to ask about her workout regimen, not to assure her that she isn't fat. Needless to say, girl relationships have never been my strong suit. 

I got lucky though when I moved to CA and I made not just one but several fabulous girlfriends. I don't know if it was because we were the Disneyland ward or what but for some reason those girls took me in and accepted me as their own. They tolerated my awkwardness, my sometimes inappropriate sense of humor, the way that i hated hugs, and they even taught me a few secrets to girfriendhood. Like I now know that I'm supposed to always ask if someone's lost weight and to end every statement with an "I know, right?!!" I learned how to be empathetic (or to at least appear to be, still working on that one, haha), I learned that compliments can be sincere even if they are given out frequently, and I even learned to hug. It was a huge deal. The best part about all of this is that not only did I learn some invaluable life lessons but we've stayed close even though we've all moved away. Last week we had a virtual Green Party for St. Patricks Day. We each drew a name and we put together a box of green goodies and sent to the girl whose name we drew, then on St Patricks Day we all opened our green box and posted online for our virtual green party. Here a few of the goodies we got in our green boxes.

 And then we all dressed up like Irish dancers or leprechauns and danced our booties off.

Anyway, the point of all this is say that I'm grateful for such wonderful, thoughtful, funny, sweet girlfriends.  

And may I just say, you all look suuuuuper skinny in these photos here. ;)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Momma/Daugher Date

After my last post I realized that we needed to do something fun to get out of our funk. So I decided to take Shye swimming. She loves water and I knew it would do the trick for her. But I was not looking forward to the grossness that usually accompanies indoor pools. I don't know about you guys, but for me indoor pools conjure images of mold, algae, and feces. So I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the Northwest Rec Center was. It was super clean, it didn't have that damp, chlorine smell, and thankfully there were no feces to speak of. And we were the only ones there! Actually that was a little strange because a life guard had to come out and watch us. This facility had a lap pool and a wading/leisure pool. The water was warm and there were two little slides and there were fountains and water toys. There is also a current that you can float on but shye wasn't very interested in that. She had such a ball that even after two hours she still wasn't ready to go. But on our way home we stopped at Cafe Rio and shared a chicken salad (no tortilla, no rice). We have a deal when it comes to Cafe Rio salads, I get all the lettuce and meat and she gets all the pico de gallo, guacamole, and beans. We make a good team. It's was a perfect little momma/daughter date. And most importantly it seemed to snap us out of our grouchiness.

Happy Monday! And Happy St. Patrick's Day! Go get your green on!