Monday, April 30, 2012

A healthy craving (for a change).

Looks like we are getting better from the flu! And I had a great weigh in this morning!!  I lost 3 pounds for a total weight loss of 18.5!  It makes up for last week's plateau.  I didn't feel like exercise much last week, but overall I ate pretty good.  I get on these food-craving kicks.  I will crave one thing for weeks, even months!  Eat it as much as I can get my hands on it.  Then all of a sudden not think of it again and not eat it again for 6 months!  Usually it's unhealthy stuff like Pizza Hut's deep dish pizza and bread sticks or Krystal's Chiks or hot Cheetos or candy...but this time my craving is a dish from one of my favorite local restaurants, Old Town Grill.  (Shout out to Caitlin, who works, unfortunately, I don't get free food).  It's a delicious, spicy blackened chicken that comes with this flavorful peppery white sauce, perfectly steamed vegetables, a pickle spear and a piece of texas toast covered in butter.  I enjoy every last drop!  Mmmmm!  Anyways, I'm just happy to be craving something half way healthy!  I've tried to blacken chicken and shrimp at home and it turns into a smoky mess with all the windows and doors open.  Jacob tried for the 1st time yesterday for me, it was better than when I tried, but not quite crispy enough.  We'll keep trying.  Since December 26th, I have a different outlook on several things.  Mostly "is it worth it?"  Sometimes it absolutely is.  Like that butter texas toast.  Of course it's loaded with calories, but it's worth it to me.  When I eat unhealthy (yummy) things, I am just conscious of what goes in my mouth the rest of the day.  I still don't LOVE to exercise, but when I'm done I feel better.  Either way, this year I have changed my perception on what is possible when you put your mind to it.  I'm not done, but I'm going to get there!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

sick, sick and more sick!

Yours truly has been bitten by the sick bug.  Flu.  Bronchitis. Asthma flare-up.   I must sat that I'm kinda pissed at how sickly I have become.  I feel like I delivered my entire immune system from my vagina in room 335, 2 years ago!  Seriously, I have been more sick since I had Bella than I have my whole life.  I was diagnosed with asthma when she was 13 months old.  Before that I was sick for 4 months straight...but I never thought I could have asthma.  I went to a pulmonologist.  Yep.  Adult-onset ASTHMA!!!  After that I catch any cold, respiratory infection...FLU that anyone passing by might have! Every 2-4 months I get sick and stay sick for a good 10 days at least.  Heck my sweet 5 month old can avoid getting it (thankfully), but her 28 year old mama can't fight it!?!  So, I'll try to "rest" as much as a mother with a 2 year old and a 5 month old can.  Jacob has gladly accepted full baby duties this weekend.
All of this and 2 sore butt cheeks later, I hope to be a new woman in a few days!

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Friday, April 27, 2012

The good

I'm an optimist. All you pessimistic people that hate people like me, just go be pissed off in your corner.  One of my very 1st jobs was a gymnastic instructor.  My sweet boss had only 1 rule..."Never say anything negative without saying something positive".  That was so important to these young girls that we trying so hard.  Even when some didn't have the natural ability, they tried hard.  We were taught to praise them in some way.  I have carried that rule with me throughout my life.  This week did start out bad, but there's been plenty of good in this week too!

The Good:

  • We paid off the debt that we wanted gone before we bought our new sectional. That moves us 1 step closer to having those 2 small/old chairs out of our living room!
  • Bella is getting better and so far Lucy isn't sick!
  • We laughed at Lucy as she tries to watch TV, backwards and upside-down.
  • Jacob got to spend a few extra unexpected days home with us girls. We love days where we are all together.
  • I sewed together a pillow thats been in my To-Do List for 3 months! I bought a pillow case at a yard sale last year. It had a hole & stains. So I got the good part & bought blue minky dot for the sides.  Love It!

  • After 3 months, we got our camper back from the repair shop. Remember?? The tree.  It's all sparkly and new looking.  I'm glad it's back home.  We might even go camping in it very soon!

  • We ate out for my mother-in-law and father-in-law's birthday last night.
  • We visited a friend who had a brand new baby girl (YES, we washed our hands before touching.  NO, our flu baby did not go in the room.)
All in all it hasn't been the best week...but there's been plenty of good sprinkled in this week too!  I have this shirt hanging in my closet that I've always loved the saying.  I was told that it was a fundraiser for a young girl who had been in a terrible car accident, to help raise money for her rehab.  
"Don't ask God to make life easier, ask Him to make you stronger."
Amelia Woo

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It's an exciting day in our house when a baby gets to try baby food for the 1st time!  I got out the video camera and the camera to document this big moment.  We fed Lucy bananas as her 1st "solid" food.  For some reason, I skipped rice and oatmeal with Bella and Lucy.  When they were 6 months (or close to it) I went straight to baby food.  Lucy seemed to love it!  I hope that she loves it when we try peas and carrots too! Bella has always been a good eater & I can only hope that Lucy will be too.  She would reach her hand out to help me shove it in her mouth.  Bella was funny too.  She wanted to wipe Lucy's mouth after each bite and told her "don't spit it out"!  

Lucy laughing at her big sister.

This was the only yucky face, I think it was because she was done with it!
Of course, I had to catch some of the funny faces that Bella will give us...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

bad news.

This week has sucked.  After a weekend filled with fever, coughing, runny nose, and a cranky, sleepless 2-year old, I took Bella to the pediatrician.  She tested positive for the flu.  I thought 'What?  She had the vaccine!'  The pediatrician explained that hopefully it'll be a milder case since she had the vaccine and her fever has been low (100-101).  Then I thought of my little Lucy, I really hope that she doesn't get it too!  Trying to keep Bella away from Lucy is impossible!  Trying to keep her out of Lucy's face is close to impossible!  Dr Sawyer wanted to treat Lucy preventably.  Maybe with Tamiflu for Lucy, Lysol wipes, lots of hand washing and attempting to keeping these 2 separated...hopefully we can keep Lucy well.  However, my throat has been getting more sore and my nose has been running.  I'm not sure if I can escape illness.

This morning, Jacob called to tell me he was laid off.  He's a crane operated that works out of the local 312 union.  He worked at a crane rental company doing jobs locally.  It was pretty nice, set schedule (usually).  Monday-Friday 7-3:30 (usually).  We have been through this before and know that everything happens the way the Lord wants it too.  The last time he was laid off was the day before I was scheduled to be induced with Bella.  Talk about freaking out, this hormonal mama had a total break down when I received that phone call.  But we survived and all is well.  I can't help to feel stress of paying bills and anxiety of where he'll have to work.  We found out this evening that he'll be starting a job Monday that is pretty close to home.  We aren't sure of the hours or how long this specific job will last.  But we are so thankful that he won't be traveling out of town. The thought of him being away from his babies breaks our hearts. I just pray that the Lord has great plans for us and that he'll provide a job that Jacob enjoys and that will allow him to come home to his family every night.  That is my prayer.

I'm afraid of what tomorrow will bring.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Stats. A new day.

It makes me happy that y'all like checking in on me!  It's crazy to think that readers in other countries are checking out Amazing Love too!  Keep reading!!

Last week I did really good with my eating until the weekend.  I ate it up at Brynn's baby shower and Jacob really wanted pizza, but we ended up grilling hamburgers.  That probably wasn't much better than eating pizza.  I exercised 4 days last week.  I have a bad habit of weighing every day.  When I started I would only weigh-in on Mondays.  I have to start doing that again!  In the middle of the week I weighed and lost 1.5 pounds and was so excited.  This morning when I got on the scale, I had gained back that 1.5 pounds and am back where I was last Monday.  That's so disappointing.  So I am STILL at a total weight loss of 15.5 pounds. Every day is a new day and today I'm back on track. I'll keep dedicated and working hard to get where I want to be.  Usually if I have a goal, then I'm pretty determine to meet it.  I've got my goal weight and an ultimate goal of feeling happier and more confident in my own skin.  I'm not sure when that'll happen, but I'll know when I get there.  Until then, I'll keep this in mind...

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Celebrating Brynn and baby Eli

I spent most of today celebrating my best friend, Brynn and her baby Eli.  We had a lovely tea for her.  From the day she told me she was pregnant, I've been excited to throw her a wonderful baby tea.  It was at Darby's parents lake house.  The 3 of us grew up together.  Her parents claim us as their own.  They were kind to let us take over their home for a few hours for our baby bash.  It was beautiful with a large deck and patio to mingle around on.  We were worried about the weather.  Earlier this week they were predicting 80% chance of rain.  Yesterday it was a 30% chance.  It turned out to be a partly sunny day in the mid-70s with a nice breeze blowing.  Perfect!  It was a great turn out.  
I love trying to be crafty, and this occasion was perfect for a few little projects.  Lindsay and I made these tulle balls.  I thought they were a better idea than the tissue balls because they could easily be stored and reused, unlike the tissue balls.  Being a labor & delivery nurse, I get great access to the cutest door bows/wreaths/signs.  I recently saw a wreath similar to the one below and tweaked it to make it perfect for Brynn at the tea and on her hospital door.  I experimented with the fabric rosettes on Bella and Lucy's Easter baskets...thought they turned out great, and got started on the wreath.  Brynn loved it!
 Darby did a great job on the blue punch!  It was funny, when she was describing the recipe she found on the internet, I blurted out "Oh yea!  I pinned that too!"  Needless to say, Pinterest was mentioned more than a few times today.
 We had a great spread too!  Can I just say how much I LOVE baby shower food!  Mmmmmmmm!  On the spiral cupcake holder, I made bird nests with blue eggs (sixlets candy).  The tea wasn't really "themed".  But on the invitations had an adorable blue bird sitting in his nest.  That same cute bird was on top of the cake, so there's where the nest/eggs on the food table came from.
 See those croissant wrapped yummies below?  They were called "Dirty Diapers", full of sausage and cheese.  When we were setting up for the tea, I said "Man, I'm so hungry I could eat a Dirty Diaper"...and I did!  Mmmmm.
 Here's Brynn with her hostesses (minus one who couldn't make it).

 Check out all of her adorable gifts!!!
 See the diaper bag at the top of the photo below?  That was the diaper bag that I gave her!  I love it, she loved it...score!  A local artist make it from a roll of white canvas!  Can you believe that?  It's so unique and creative.  I thought it isn't that "babyish" and could even be used as an overnight bag when he gets older.  If you live in the Birmingham area check out Laura Stacy at Pepper Place on Saturday mornings and get you a one of a kind bag.

 Another awesome gift was a "Posh Pusher" hospital gown! She'll be adorable even in labor!
I love her so much!
Brynn and her husband, Josh.

Brynn and Lucy
Brynn, I love you.  You deserve all there is good in this world.  Enjoy every moment of this brief, but exciting time in your life.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Sprinkles of Fun

After planting our hill last weekend, we ended the day by playing in the sprinkler.  Jacob and Bella got wet, while Lucy and I sat on the deck.  Bella was a little hesitant.  She would get close enough to get a little mist, but wouldn't get close enough to get drenched...until her daddy got her.  Those genuine smiles and laughs made my day!  

Here's some photos of my hot hubby and precious Bella having a little sprinkler fun:

Check out that cute wedgie. 

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Monday, April 16, 2012

On my way to a healthier, happier me...

It's on!  Now that I'm no longer breastfeeding Lucy, I don't need those extra calories and I can start focusing on losing the rest of this baby weight!  Instead of the saying "dieting", I prefer to say "watching it".  So lets review: I started "watching it" December 26, that was the most I've ever weighed (not pregnant).  Over 6 weeks I lost 12.5 pounds.  The restricted caloric intake was affecting my milk supply. So, I increase my calories and focused on what was most important.  In the past 10 weeks, I did manage to drop 2.5 more pounds.  I would like to lose at least 15 more, for a total loss of 30 pounds.  My goal isn't to get to some tiny size.  I would just like to get into the clothes hanging in my closet.  I'm ashamed to say this, but I have 1 pair of fat jeans that I've been wearing since I had Bella.  Yes, she's 2 1/2 years old.  Yes, I've been wearing the same pair of fat jeans for 2 1/2 years.  I never wanted to be this size.  I feel like if I would've bought more jeans the size I am now, that that would be me settling on being this size. So I never have. I have about 7 other smaller size pair in my closet that I would love to get over my wide hips again.

My plan of action:

  • use My Fitness Pal app to count my calories and keep a log of everything I eat.  It's free, and pretty cool.  I can search any food and scan any bar code that gives all the nutritional values of that food.  Be my friend.  I'm under mepperson.
  • Exercise everyday that I'm not working 12 hours.  Right now I'm doing Jillian's 30-day Shred.
  • No eating past 8pm
  • Eat very little sweets or junk food.  If I said NO sweets, it would be a lie and just miserable.  So I allow myself just a little occasionally.
  • Have one cheat meal per week where I can eat whatever I want without feeling guilty.
  • Blog my journey to a happier, healthier me
Thankfully, I have a husband who is very supportive of a healthy lifestyle.  He encourages me and works out with me.  That makes this journey so much easier to have his support.  This is about being healthy.  Showing our girls healthy foods and fitness habits.  It's about being happier about myself and more confident.  

I'll start updating on Mondays again with my progress.  Hopefully announcing good numbers!  I'll say one last time, I know most of you don't care.  I'm writing this on here for me.  To keep me accountable.  

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

More grass, please.

Today I was magically better, back to the old me.  We had a wonderful day!  Lucy was ready for a bottle at 6:15 this morning.  I wasn't happy about that.  Bella was up about 15 minutes later.  It's still better than getting up early AND throughout the night!  I'm so happy to get uninterrupted sleep at night now!  But 8:00, when Jacob was getting up, Lucy was cranky and going back to sleep.  Jacob ended up waking up Lucy at 5:00!!!  Yep, Lucy had a 9 hour nap!  Have you ever heard of such!?!  We were very busy, so we got a lot accomplished during her outrageously long nap.  Jacob left this morning to borrow his Papaw's tractor to disk up our hill to plant grass.  He bought seed, fertilizer and hay and loaded it on that LONG trailer.  I saw him pull's like the trailer kept coming and coming.

Bella jumped in her daddy's arms as soon as he got home. He put her on the trailer and fear of heights set in.  

A little background:  We have been in our house for 5 years.  We built it.  We have done all of the yard work (with some help from our sweet family some years).  We have 7.5 acres.  About 4 acres is our "yard".  I know that is a lot of grass.  I questioned Jacob during our planning, making sure that he was ok with cutting that much grass.  In the south, cutting season is April through October.  He said he wanted a big, beautiful green yard and he's got it!  Today we did, what we hope, is our final planting of the yard.  That's right, we have been planting grass for the past 5 springs in sections.  I'd say that we are ol' pros at it now.  Our final recommendations:  Buy sod.  It's worth the money.  It's instant gratification and it usually takes root easily with regular watering.  It feels wonderful when walking barefoot! We sodded a large area in the front and back that's closest to our house.  We tried checker-boarding the sod to make it go further in an area of the yard.  It worked, but we have to go back and add sand in the low areas to make it more even.  For the area further from the house, we seeded to save money.  We have learned the must-haves of this too.  You must use good quality seed.  You must fertilize and you must cover with hay, so it doesn't wash away.  And of course, you must water regularly.  Morning being the best time.  And you must be patient.  With that being said, we still have a lot on our wish list for next year.  Like fill in areas where the grass isn't doing well and planting trees.  But this is the LAST of the grass.  I'll be so happy to no longer see dirt in our yard.  
That's a lot of seed and fertilizer!
Tractor Ride!  

Disking.  It looks like such a small area from this picture.  Trust me, it wasn't!
We also plan to plant some trees back there to add to our big backyard.

Jacob spreading the goods.
My job in this whole process is to spread the hay.  Jacob is allergic to it!  In minutes, he starts sneezing non-stop, he begins wheezing.  So it's my job.  I spread 10 bales of hay.  I counted that as my work out for today.  After Bella woke up from her nap she came out to visit her t-shirt and panties.  So cute!

Jacob felt bad that he couldn't help me spread the hay.  That I had to do it all.  So after we all showered, we had a family date night.  We all went out to dinner and had a great time.  

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