Saturday, April 28, 2012


I wouldn't be a good mommy blogger if I didn't post this.
This is my life on a near daily basis.  No joke.

If you didn't laugh at this, we can't be friends.

Monday, April 16, 2012

it's about time

I just came off of a wonderfully busy wedding weekend.  My best friend, Betsy, got married to her boyfriend Michael, and I could NOT be happier for them!  Lots of pictures and stories to tell, but I'll get to that later.  

Being at the wedding (and all of the activities leading up to it) was incredibly surreal for me.  Not only because one of my best friends was getting married and I was so excited for her, but also because it was a landmark for me.  I have been working since January (20th, to be exact) to lose weight, using this wedding as extreme motivation.  My friend and all of her bridesmaids are beautiful and I really wanted to look good for these pictures and just the memories - it really meant a lot to me.  So I started Weight Watchers in January and almost four months later I am officially down 25 pounds!

I was thinking about it and I'm kind of embarrassed now that I haven't lost any weight sooner.  I mean, right after I had my girls I lost weight because you retain a lot of water and things like that when pregnant, but besides that I hadn't taken any of the necessary steps to shed the pounds.  I know that the ingredient to success for me was that I had something important I was aiming towards - I just really wanted to look good!  But man, I just wish I had done it sooner.  It wasn't even that bad.  On Weight Watchers you get to eat pretty much whatever you want as long as you count it towards the points you have.  You could still have Oreos if you really want, they're just 3 points for every two cookies you eat, so you gotta watch it.

I really need to put any shame or guilt away and just be proud of myself.  After all, I have two daughters.  That's 18 months of weight gain.
I lost 25 pounds!  I'm only 4 pounds away from my original goal weight, and I'm thinking about lowering it 5-10 pounds.  I did it, and I can't believe it, but I did.  I actually look pretty thin, which is hard for me to see still.  But I do.  I have people tell me a couple times a week that they notice at this point. (Not trying to stroke my own ego, just pointing out it is noticeable to the naked eye finally.  I have heard that people won't notice you've lost weight until you're down 12-20 lbs., depending on your height.)

Thank you for the kind words after my last post on weight loss.  They were really encouraging.

Here's to 10 more pounds!  Pretty soon you won't recognize me. ;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

trip to the northwest

Holy wow,  does anybody else feel like they need a vacation when they get back from vacation?
That was a heck of a 10 days we just had.  One thing my family does fairly regularly is vacationing over spring break.  I know I'm not in school and am not really taking a break from anything except cold weather, but it is nice to have a time set aside for a little vaca.

We've been talking about going to Seattle for a couple years now.  We have family there that always seem to be visiting us but we never get a chance to go see them.  We finally made it happen and booked a trip for 10 days.  Luckily for us we were able to stay with our cousins, Brynn and Haley, so that made things much easier and less expensive than staying in a hotel.  

This was my first vacation flying with both girls.  And Luke wasn't able to come because of work, so that left things mostly up to me and the help of my mom and grandma.  My sisters came as well, and of course my sister Chelsea brought her baby Carter.  We were quite a bunch of estrogen and a tiny baby's worth of testosterone.  Poor Carter is growing up in a sorority.  

I'm not going to lie, the flights were difficult holding Parker on my lap (she's so busy at this stage!  Constantly moving), but two flights later we had made it.  We rented a really nice minivan, a Toyota Sienna.  I've never wanted to be a minivan owner, but this one was really nice.  If I ever own a minivan it will most likely be one of those. 

We had a really nice time staying with Brynn and Haley.  It was great to spend some time with them.  Parker and Carter were both not feeling well and we had them checked out by a family friend who is a doctor and Parker tested positive for RSV - which, in case you're unfamiliar, is a respiratory virus that mostly effects babies/children.  She was prescribed some antibiotics that she hated, but had her feeling well within a couple days.  And unfortunately, Haley's grandma wasn't expected to live much longer, and sure enough, within a couple days of being there she passed away and Haley had to go to Oregon to be with family and attend the funeral. 

The next day we headed to Portland, OR to visit Carter's grandparents and stay with them for a couple days.  The trip down was awful, because Parker was in the worst part of her RSV and screamed a good majority of the 4 hour trip.  It was really awful.  Another family friend was nice enough to check her out again because she just seemed to be in so much pain, and I guess her ears were really bothering her.  We then knew to alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen to keep her ears from hurting so much and also to lower her fever.  After about an hour of being at the grandparent's house, Carter's grandma Mary received a call and started sobbing.  Come to find out, her brother-in-law took a nap that afternoon and never woke up.  He was only 60.  We thought we might have to leave so Mary could fly to be with her sister, but she ended up deciding to wait and we were able to stay.  I was glad we were able to spend some time with them.  They live in the most beautiful home right on a gorgeous river in the woods.  It has an atrium almost completely made out of windows that you could sit in and just look out at the amazing view of the river rushing by.  I could sit there all day.

While in Portland we were able to eat at the Carver Cafe.  If you have seen the Twilight films, you will remember in the first movie, titled "Twilight", Bella has dinner with her father, Charlie, in a little diner.  That diner is the Carver Cafe.  We sat in the same place that they sat in the movie and had breakfast.  It was pretty cool to be there and we were able to sign a fan book that Catherine Hardwicke (the director of "Twilight") had signed as well.  

We also dared to head out to the midnight release of "The Hunger Games".  I am not much of a midnight premiere person anymore.  I am a tired mommy of two girls for goodness sake!  But we decided to do it anyway.  The crazy part is that in Oregon it is two hours earlier than it is in Iowa, so it was like seeing the movie from 2-4 a.m. Iowa time.  But we did it!  And it was awesome.  We loved it!

We made our way back to the Seattle area to spend the last few days of our trip with Brynn and Haley again.  It was nice to be back and have our babies feeling well this time around.  Haven's attitude didn't really improve however with her schedule so messed up, but we dealt with it the best we could, aka a lot of time-outs and melt downs.  Honestly, I was about to pull my hair out dealing with her.  Luckily for Haley, Chelsea and I, our family was willing to watch her while we took the three hour drive North to FORKS!  YESSSSSS!!!!!  I am a huge Twi-hard.  Yeah, I am kind of a freak about it.  But I wasn't going to be in the Pacific Northwest without heading to the "home" of my obsession.  In case you're not familiar, Forks, WA is where the Twilight movies are supposedly set (even though they aren't actually filmed there).  So we made the long drive northward.  We rode a ferry, drove through lush green forest, and around beautiful lakes.  It was a very scenic drive.  When we actually arrived in Forks, to be honest, it was a letdown.  Forks is the lamest town I have ever been to.  I have to give it a little grace however, because we did go on a Sunday afternoon during the off-season.  I am sure if we had gone on a weekday during the summer it would have seemed a little more hoppin'.  But yeah, the town was really small, and empty.  We stopped at a store devoted to "Twilight" and bought a couple souvenirs and learned that the town visitors center was up the road.  We went there and they gave us a map with different tourist destinations related to the movie.  They also had Bella's truck sitting out front so we were able to see those and get some pictures taken with them.  After driving around town a little bit, we ate at a diner simply called "Coffee Shop", where the ambiance was lacking (to say the least), but the food turned out to be pretty stinkin' good.  

Last but not least, we made our way to First Beach in La Push.  We figured we better give it a looksie before we started the long drive back.  Actually, Chels and Haley wanted to leave, but I begged them to make one last stop to hopefully make the drive worth it, and they gave in. Best decision ever.  La Push was beautiful!  It was cool out, just the way I expected it to be.  The beach was covered in driftwood and small round rocks and just off the beach there were rounded cliffs in the water.  We looked around for a while and took pictures.  There was a local surfer standing by his car filming something in the distance, and we kept accidentally walking into his shot, not realizing what he was filming.  After doing this a couple times, he said, "Do you guys see what I'm filming?" And he pointed out into the water, where there were a couple whales swimming around together.  It was amazing!  They were beautiful.  We looked to our right and there were more whales, and we think maybe some seals as well.  It was awesome.  

We made the long trip home.  It didn't seem quite as bad this time.  When we got back we packed up our things since we had to catch an early flight back to Des Moines.  We chatted, hugged, said our goodbyes, and went to sleep.  The flights home were pretty easy.  Well, as easy as they can be holding an 11-month-old on your lap for four hours.  I was happy to get home, back to Lukey where I could have some help with the girls.  It was a great trip, despite the challenges we faced.  I can't wait to see them all again.

Flying over mountains on our way to Seattle

The weather while we were there.  Seattle-like.

girl cousins
coolest place!
fresh flowers everywhere

these shrimp were the size of my hand!

the produce was so beautiful


waiting for the movie to start

the sickie starting to feel better, looking out at the beautiful river

the river again

breakfast at the Carver Cafe
Catherine Hardwicke's signature

Carver Cafe

on the sky tram, eek!

the amazing atrium overlooking the river

Crescent Lake on the way to Forks, Breathtaking.

I got a little excited.
Haley, Chels, and I

liiiiittle place

the high school sign, as seen in the movies

La Push, baby, it's... La Push

hanging out on some driftwood

more driftwood
I've never been to a cold beach before.

Bella's truck

The only way I could get him to stop crying on the way home.  hahaha, sorry little guy.

So happy to not be sick anymore.
Haven throwing rocks into the Puget Sound.

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