Thursday, September 19, 2013

Braggin' on My Man!

Can I just brag on this guy for a bit today?



This man I married loves me so much! This last time he was home he planned our whole date night. He stayed up until almost 1 am researching things he thought I might like and then surprised me the next day. He made reservations at this awesome Italian place downtown (even though he hates italian food), then got us tickets to an improv show! It was such a fun night! ...and yes, I felt the butterflies all over again!

We have a picture frame in our kitchen with "I love you because..." written on it. B will write me a new note on there almost every day when he is home! Here is the one he left for me when he went to work this last time:

Speaking of this hitch...I have been having a rough time of it here at home. It seems like it has been one thing after another. Our upstairs bathtub had a leaking pipe that caused our entryway ceiling to be water damaged. I've been fighting with the home warranty company for a week now and I am still waiting for the third plumber to show up and fix it. On top of this, Avelyn has been teething like crazy so she wakes up almost every 30 minutes on some nights..to nurse! She is also so grouchy during the day!! Our A/C system has some repairs that are needed. Then of course I am trying to finish unpacking the house and catching up on chores around here. We have had a lot of unexpected tasks come up from my husband's company getting bought out by a different company and its been a lot of fun dealing with insurance companies etc. I could go on for days and days but the point is, I have not been handling the stress of it all too well. I am just so tired! If I could get a full night's sleep it would probably be easier. Anyway, my sweet husband has been listening to me gripe and even has given me helpful advice. 

On top of working his 16 hour days on his vessel he is handling many things for me! Aaaand yesterday he hired a cleaning service to come and help me out this afternoon. Our house needed a good deep cleaning before we even moved in but with time constraints I wasn't able to get it done. Now that we are here it has been weighing on me so much but I just don't have enough hours in the day to do it. B researched and found a green cleaning company and called a booked a cleaning for this afternoon. He said that from now on he wants to have them come once every time he is offshore just to help me out!

He loves me...and I know just how lucky I am to have him in my life! I don't praise him enough, I don't appreciate him enough.. but he never stops trying to make me happy and show me his love. He selflessly works his tail off for 3 weeks on his boat so that he can come home to "his girls" and love on us! He gets up with Avelyn in the morning and lets me sleep in, he leaves me little cards with encouraging quotes on them throughout the house, he tells me how beautiful he thinks I am every day. Seriously, I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Thanks for letting me brag on my man for a bit today. He deserves it!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fitness and Healthy Living Update

Okay, so I'm not the best at doing follow up posts. I get it. I never finished doing my weekly eating clean posts. It has really just become a habit and not even something I think about anymore. Recently, I've gotten some requests to do more fitness/clean eating type posts so here we go.

What I'm currently doing:

Right now I am working out 5 days a week. I have committed myself to 4 days so that if something comes up or I miss a day I don't get off track. I was doing great with going to the Y until our move happened. Then, it was all just crazy for a while. I did a 30 day squat/ab challenge with one of my best friends and that helped me stay on track a little bit since I missed the gym so much.

Now that things are settling down a bit I am back to working out. A huge bonus is that my friend Jenn works out the same time that I do! It has been so nice to meet up with her! You really don't notice how hard you are working when you have a buddy to talk to and motivate you. If you are trying to get back in the gym I highly recommend finding a friend to do it with you. I know this is hard for most people, I just lucked out! Now let's hope Avelyn doesn't change her nap schedule (again) and ruin it! haha

I am back to using My Fitness Pal. I've always had a love/hate relationship with this app. I love to know I am staying on track but at the same time, always logging in my food makes me think about it more and I seem to get hungrier than usual. The first few days of using it again this was especially true. However, it has been easy the last couple days. I sort of changed my attitude about it... I just think about it as a tool for my information only (duh..that's probably how everyone sees it). I don't cheat because the only person I am lying to is myself. If I go over on my calories a little bit I don't beat myself up as long as I log it in and stay on track the next day.

Speaking of calories, my current goal is 1500 a day. I've been pretty good. I went over by a hundred or so one day and just a couple yesterday. I have days that I workout really hard and burn so much that I end under my goal as well. I use the calorie goal as a guide, not a hard and fast rule! Oh and I am lucky enough to have a friend tracking herself through MFP as well so we help each other stay motivated and accountable.

I have been back on my new plan for a little over a week. I am feeling better than ever too! I have noticed huge improvements in my energy levels and my attitude has been more positive. Of course, those have more involved than just working out. I started a new fall bible study with GoodMorningGirls and that has really been amazing!

Weight loss has been up and down. It seems like when my husband is away I always lose a few pounds but when he comes home we go out to eat more often and I gain it back. My weight 1 week ago was 125 and I lost 1 lb. My goal is to lose 1/2 a pound a week and stay on track with working out. I am still breastfeeding so I don't want to try to lose too much too fast and jeopardize my milk supply.

In addition to working out and eating clean I have become more vigilant with my vitamins. I take a prenatal+dha multivitamin, 500 mg of Magnesium 2 x a day, and 2000 iu of Vit D3. Also, I take 1 tsp of a homemade mixture that has raw honey, turmeric, black pepper, olive oil, grated ginger, and cinnamon. I will do a post on that another day.

Water is so important to being healthy. I cannot stress this enough! I drink 3-4 liters of water every day. If I wasn't breastfeeding 3 would be the ideal amount but making milk requires a bit extra. Coconut water and coffee are in addition to my regular water intake.

So that's what I'm up to right now! I will post a new fitness photo when Avelyn turns 9 months in a few weeks!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Igniting the Fire

My friend Stephanie (who blogs over at The Candid Pastor's Wife ) posted a link to this on her Facebook today. http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/09/4-ways-to-invest-in-your-husband/

ignite-small-fixed

It's a fall series on marriage. I thought it would be fun to answer the question at the bottom of the post here on my blog. It's also a good way for me to stay accountable in my commitment! 

So here is the question for today's post: 
What is one area of your marriage that you would like to commit to working on this week? 

Respect. I really need to learn to respect my husband. I shared previously that I am currently reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs and between that and my daily time with God I feel very convicted to respect my husband more. For me this means letting him make decisions without me questioning him (I do this all the time), watching my attitude and tone of voice so that I don't come across as condescending, speaking positively of him to others, praying for him daily, deferring to him, and really listening.

Feel free to join this Fall series with me! Let me know if you are so we can encourage each other! 



The Liebster Award!!

Yayy!! I was nominated for the Liebster Award by my friend Jenn who blogs at The Hunt's. Her and I met through a small group when we were attending the same church. Our babies were due the same day and it has been so fun to read her blog and keep up with her! Her little cutie pie, Jane was actually born two weeks early so we are always about one step behind them. It works great for me because I can see what we might be about to go through :). Thanks for testing the waters Jenn!

The Liebster Award is for blogs with less than 200 followers. At the end of this post check to see if I nominated YOU! Also, if you aren't following my blog you can do that to the right either through Google + (which is how I follow everyone) or through email.

Let's get started:

1. What's your favorite recipe?

I have to say my favorite recipe is for these chocolate chip cookies. No surprise there! I am an avid dessert lover/eater!! The best thing about this recipe is that it only makes 2 huge cookies or 4 regular cookies...which makes it the perfect after dinner dessert for the hubs and me! These cookies are chewy around the edges and soft in the middle..just the way we like them! Also, they are fresh out of the oven every time! :) I found the original recipe here. I noticed that it takes my oven much longer than 8 minutes if I make 2 large ones but if I do 4 regular ones 8 minutes works just fine.
Perfect Single Serving Size Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Single Serving Size Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 1-2
Makes just two very large chocolate chip cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 firmly packed tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk – discard or set aside egg white for a different use
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter just until it starts to melt and is softened. Blend softened butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla together by hand.
  3. Add egg yolk and stir again.
  4. Add baking soda and flour and stir until combined.
  5. Then stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Form cookie dough into two balls and place on baking sheet.
  7. The cookies will spread during baking, so make sure they are several inches apart.
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  9. Remove baking sheet from oven and give the baking sheet a firm, but careful bang on the counter top. This will deflate the cookie and give it a perfect wrinkly appearance.

2. What's your favorite hair product?
This is easy! Wen! Yup, I'm a Wen girl. I first decided to try it after reading this post on Maskara.com. I bought some right before I gave birth to Avelyn. My thought was that it would save time in the shower since it was only one product. It actually takes the same amount of time as shampooing and conditioning since you scrub your scalp so much working it in but the results are amazing! I didn't really notice a big difference for about 3 weeks but after that my hair had never been better. I bought mine from QVC because they seem to have the best price. After reading a LOT of reviews, I bought the Sweet Almond Mint scent. I didn't purchase another bottle after the first one ran out (16 oz one lasted me 2 months) and I tried the Sally Beauty Supply knockoff version Hair One. It was night and day different. In fact, I haven't used the Hair One more than "One" time. Hehe get it?! lol

Anyway, I just reordered Wen and this time I am trying the new formula SixThirteen. My scalp has been so dry and greasy at the same time and I knew I needed to suck it up and just buy it. My way of justifying the price is that I don't get my hair cut or dyed more than 2x a year and my other beauty products are cheap. If you decide to try Wen I promise you won't be disappointed.

3. What's the best vacation you have been on?




Our honeymoon! We had the best honeymoon. We spent 10 days on Oahu in Hawaii. We rented a garage apartment right on the North Shore and it was perfect in every way. A bonus was that we brought Avelyn home as a souvenir! ;)

4. What's your favorite meal?

I have to pick just one?! Well that is really hard for me because what I want always depends on my mood that day. I can't eat the same thing over and over. In fact, I rarely even eat leftovers. Today, a tofu vermicelli bowl sounds amazing!

5. Dream job?

Thankful to God that I am living out my dream job right now! I love being a mom to miss Avelyn. Being a mom is the most rewarding, fulfilling job I've had. . . and I have had alot of jobs. She wakes up with the biggest smile on her face when she sees me...and will even give me some cuddling before bed. I just love her!

I'm thankful for a husband who provides for us so that I get to stay home too! :)

6. Christmas or Thanksgiving?



Christmas! I really feel like I should be thankful every day of the year and not just one. Also, it was the day Jesus was born!! How do you beat that?!

I love that people seem friendlier and more loving during that time of year. I know that holidays are a hard time of year for some people and they were for me for a long time. But, my first holiday season with Brandon changed all of that. Our first Christmas together was spend decorating our little palm tree houseplant. We exchanged gifts in front of the fireplace and kissed at midnight. Last year was spent with his family in Wimberley and little Avelyn came a few days later. This time of year will always be special to me.

7. Favorite Clothing Store?

For Jeans it is The Buckle. I buy every pair of jeans there. They are a bit pricey but I have been wearing some of my jeans for 10+ years and they still look good! Of course, I can't really wear any of them right now. I can technically get them on and button them but they look ridiculous! I actually just hung them all up in our new closet and can't wait until they are appropriate to wear in public. :)

8. Favorite Football Team? Do you have any traditions on game day?

Well let's be honest. I'm not all that into football. I went to college at Purdue and going to some of those games were the only times I really cared if we won or lost. My husband however is a football fanatic. He loves any team from Texas although if he had to choose just one.. it would be the Longhorns. We just had our first football party in the new house. We made/bought tons of food and invited some friends and neighbors over to watch the game.



I guess our "traditions" would be dressing Avelyn up and eating queso!


9. Favorite TV show?

Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell. They just wrapped up Season 3. Each episode follows one person through their weight loss journey over a year. They have weigh ins every three months. I love any kind of makeover show but to see the transformation of these people inside and out is just incredible. It is such an inspiring show!

10. DIY or Buy?

I would love to just buy everything. I pin a lot of DIY stuff from Pinterest though and due to budget constraints I do make most stuff here at home. I like to DIY things for Avelyn's nursery or for the holidays. When it comes to things like furniture, sewing and that stuff...we are all better off if I buy! :)

This has been super fun for me and I can't wait to pass the torch on to some of my favorite bloggers. I really cherish the blogger friends I've made since starting this and I love that we can share this! Without further ado I nominate:




Saturday, September 7, 2013

She has teeth!!

Finally Avelyn has two real teeth! I feel like I've been saying "She is teething" for moonths now. It got to the point where I didn't even want to say it after not having any actually show up. Well those puppies have arrived.

They are the two middle ones on the bottom. I thought I saw extra swelling there on Thursday and I told my hubby Friday morning that I felt teeth when she was nursing that morning. Baby girl does not let me put my fingers in there for any reason (usually because she has something in her mouth she isn't supposed to and I'm trying to dig it out) so I couldn't confirm my findings until tonight.

Let me tell you, those are sharp little suckers. It feels like she is chewing on me when she nurses. I actually thought the latch was messed up at first because it hurt so much.

Of course, everywhere I went recently the little old ladies would stop me and tell me she was teething :). She chews on EVERYthing. I'm pretty relaxed about letting her explore but I draw the line at chewing on flip-flops. YUCK!

I tried to get a picture during bathtime tonight. It is a little hard to see the teeth but trust me..they're there!






Tuesday, September 3, 2013

6 Month Photos

We scheduled 6 month pictures with our amazing friend and photographer Abby {Abby Glenn Photography}. They were actually taken at almost 7 months since we had conflicts with vacation and B being home. Abby is seriously so talented! Here are a few of my favorites!
























8 Months

I can't believe it!! This month has shown the biggest developmental growth! I sure.  Hope I can remember everything!

A couple weeks ago Avelyn learned to clap. I was on the phone with B and she just started clapping. I sing to her a lot and after every song she claps! It is the cutest thing.

Avelyn says Dada now as well! After I nurse her in the morning I bring her into the bed with B and I for some snuggles. She always crawls over to him and pats his arm saying "dada". So sweet!!!

Avelyn just started doing a fake laugh. It's hilarious.

The other day Avelyn pulled my hair really hard. I said "ow" and she gave me a big kiss. That was the first time she showed any sign of feeling bad for hurting me.

Another thing happened when B started tickling me in front of her. I started screaming and wrestling with him and Avelyn started crying. She must have thought I was hurt. It was so sad to see her like that. We both reassured her and she was fine a few seconds later. We haven't played that game since though.

She is closer and closer to weaning herself. She eats solids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Her snack time are sometimes solids and sometimes nursing just one side.