Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Delays and Early Dismissals

Well, March has gotten off to a snowy, slushy, icy, messy start.  We are halfway through the week and have yet to get in a full day of school.

Monday – 2 hour delay
Tuesday – 11:30 dismissal
Wednesday – 2 hour delay

*Pre-K is cancelled on 2 hour delay days

So how have we kept ourselves busy with the all of the time that the kids haven’t been in school and the weather has been less than desirable?

Monday – Scrubbing, vacuuming, mopping, and laundering due to PukeFest 2015.  Evelyn threw up once Sunday night, and apparently Charlotte caught Evelyn’s bug on steroids.  Charlotte started throwing up a little after 1:00 on Monday afternoon, and vomited 14 times!  Thankfully, the doctor called in some Zofran for her Monday night.  Once she took the Zofran, she went to sleep and made it through the whole night without any issues.

Tuesday – (Charlotte stayed at home this day – 24 hour rule – and thankfully no one else has gotten sick!) 

Trenton informed me that he has a permanent tooth.  The dentist said to start wiggling the baby one.  They like letting baby teeth fall out on their own rather than extracting them.  Trenton got busy wiggling, and I got busy searching all thing Tooth Fairy on Pinterest!

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We started making our way through our Lenten coloring/activity books that I found on Rosie’s blog.  The kids love them!

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We also played peekaboo in Evelyn’s favorite hideout.

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I know I’m kind of biased, but isn’t she the cutest thing?!?!?
 

Wednesday – Building and wrecking towers of blocks. 

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A hilarious game of copycat that I wish I would have caught on camera.  Evelyn and Charlotte were copying each other and it was just the cutest thing ever!  By the time I got my phone out, Evelyn hit her head and then was done.

Making cookies for our neighbors.  Our neighbors are so great and really help us out a lot.  We thought that we would repay their kindness with sweets.  Because who doesn’t love a good homemade cookie?

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We’re supposed to get more snow tonight.  The forecasters aren’t sure exactly how much. I’ve heard anywhere from a coating to 8 inches – they’ve got their bases covered!  So I’m not holding my breath for a full day of school tomorrow either.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Friday though! 


*And if you want to get in on my March 21 Day Fix group, let me know ASAP.  We are starting Friday, March 13th!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My 21 Day Fix (With Before and After Photos)

I finished my 21 Day Fix last week!  I was a little nervous going into it because while I’ve worked out somewhat regularly, I’ve never done a scheduled fitness program.

What is it?
The 21 Day Fix isn’t a diet.  It’s not calorie counting.  The 21 Day Fix is portion controlled nutrition plan paired with easy to follow daily 30-minute workouts.  It’s all about making simple changes to your life that can add up to life-changing results.  No, it’s not a “miracle pill” that will shed your extra pounds while you eat bon-bons sitting on the couch, but that’s not really healthy (although it would be kind of nice!).

Why?
So why did I decide to do the 21 Day Fix?  I hear all the time that I’m skinny.  But I definitely have been harboring a few extra pounds since having Evelyn.  I’m not sure if it was that I was older when I had her, the fact that I had to have a c-section, or if it was that I went into my pregnancy a few pounds heavier than normal because of my miscarriage.  Actually it was probably all of those put together.  So I wanted to shed that extra weight and tone up.  I also want to set a good example for my kids.  I want them to see what eating good looks like and that exercise is an important part of our daily lives.  I normally tried to get my workouts in while Evelyn was napping, but if she happened to be awake while I was working out, she was a great cheerleader.  And Trenton and Charlotte liked working out alongside me sometimes.  Charlotte actually holds the title of best side-planker in the house!

The Nutrition Plan
The 21 Day Fix comes with seven color coordinated containers.  You are allotted a certain number of each container per day.  That’s it.  No calorie counting.  No starving yourself.  I actually had days where I had trouble fitting all of my containers in!  Is there a container for doughnuts?  No, but there are “cheat treats” allowed.  Yay for red wine and dark chocolate!  And there’s actually a really good meal/snack that tastes like a treat – Shakeology.  Shakeology is a super food packed, nutrient dense, all-natural shake that you can use as a meal, midday snack, or just a nutrient boost.  And y’all, it’s good!  There are so many Shakeology recipes out there that I haven’t had a chance to try yet - Butterfinger, Tiramisu Latte, Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel, Strawberry Cheesecake, but I have tried out some good ones.  My favorites are Thin Mint, Orange Dreamsicle, Tropical Pineapple, and Vanilla Berry Blast.

Tropical Pineapple Shakeology

I also tried out some new recipes during our 21 days.  I bought a spiralizer (thanks for the Amazon gift card, Uncle Tom!) and tried my hand at zoodles.  They were amazing!  I tried mashed cauliflower too.  Not so amazing.  We were also still able to eat most of our tried and true recipes. 

21 Day Fix results and review

Workouts
Thirty minutes a day of easy to follow, get your heart pumping and your fat burning workouts.  There are also modifications that are shown for those who may need them.  No extra equipment is needed other than two sets of weights.  And with eight different workouts, you don’t get bored.  I loved the workouts, and actually looked forward to the week of optional doubles (two workouts a day).

21 Day Fix results and review
21 Day Fix results and review

Accountability
What I feel was a huge help with the 21 Day Fix, was the accountability aspect of it.  I was in a private Facebook group with my coach and “teammates” who were all also doing the fix.  We checked in every day to rate our nutrition and workout.  There were days that I was right on track, and there were also days that I didn’t do so great (hello, Valentine’s Day!).  But having to check in every day made me want to do my best.  And when I didn’t, my teammates offered me the encouragement that I needed to get back on track.

Results
So did it work?  Yes!  I lost 4 pounds and 7 inches!  I’m right where I want to be weight-wise, and I can definitely see a difference in how I look.  I feel a lot better too.  There’s something about exercising in the morning that really gets your day off on the right foot!

21 Day Fix results and review21 Day Fix results and review

*Jarrod followed the fix nutrition plan during the 21 days, and did about half of the workouts.  He lost 7 pounds!  And although he didn’t take final measurements to find out how many inches he lost, he’s going to have to get his dress uniform jacket taken in, and the pants that he wore to church this morning are now too big.  He’s going to be all in for the next round of 21 Day Fix, and would love to have some other guys doing it too!

What’s Next?
So what’s next?  I’m going to do another couple rounds of the 21 Day Fix.  I’ll be following the maintenance nutrition plan though since I don’t need to drop any more pounds.  From here on out, I just want to tone up more.  Then I want to move on to T25 (25 minute workouts), Insanity Max:30 (30 minute workouts), or maybe 21 Day Fix Extreme (fix workouts and nutrition plan taken up a notch).

But here’s the big news about my “what’s next”: I loved the 21 Day Fix and all that the Beachbody company stands for so much, that I’ve decided to become a health and fitness coach through them!  I’ve always enjoyed helping others, and now I can do that all the time!  Whether it’s the just the extra nutrition of Shakeology that you need, or you want to experience one of Beachbody’s amazing programs, I can help you out!  Or perhaps, just maybe, you want to join me for my next 21 Day Fix!  I’ll be forming a group later this month, and I would love to have you on it!  As your coach, I’ll be there to guide and support you, and our team will motivate you and hold you accountable.  If you’re interested in being a part of my next 21 Day Fix group, Shakeology, or any other Beachbody programs – or if you need guidance in figuring out what’s right for you – please let me know!


*If you’d like more information, you can contact me by commenting here, on Facebook, or emailing me at creativelyblooming@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A New Look

After almost two years with the same blog layout/background, I thought it was time for a change.

I think the blog still has pretty much the same feel, but just looks a little different. 

I made the new blog header myself.  I’m not very versed in Photoshop, but after a few hours of fiddling around, I finally got the header looking the way I wanted it.

There were some headaches and frustrating moments when trying to get the header inserted into the blog and the blog background changed to transparent today (because I saved the header as a jpeg instead of a gif), but I finally got it figured out (thanks Mom and Google!).

I hope you enjoy the new look!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nine Years and A Life That’s Good

Jarrod and I celebrated our nine year anniversary yesterday.

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Okay, well we didn’t actually celebrate.  Jarrod took the kids to soccer, and I went to a book club meeting where I tangled with a deer on the way home.  (I’m fine.  Bumper damage to the car.)

But anyway, back to the nine year thing.  The past nine years have flown by.  And while it hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows, we’ve built a life that’s good.

“Slideshow posted to a blog” is not on the traditional list of anniversary gifts, but honey, I thought you’d like this better than pottery (the traditional ninth anniversary gift).

So, Happy Anniversary!  I love you!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Navy Supply Corps Birthday Ball Recap

Friday night we celebrated the 220th birthday of the United States Navy Supply Corps.

It was the coldest day of the year (which also means that it was the coldest day of my life), and Jarrod and I stood outside to take a picture before we left the house!

Navy Supply Corps Ball, Rent the Runway dress

Thankfully the wind wasn’t blowing at this point, so the two minutes we spent outside did not freeze my fingers off!

The ball was held at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.  The museum sits atop a hill and the views are just outstanding.  But, I had already spent enough time in the cold, so I wasn’t getting out of the car to take any pictures of the view!

We will be going back again though since everyone in attendance was given a free ticket to the museum.  The museum was open during the ball for us to walk through, but between cocktail hour, dinner, a speaker, and dancing, we didn’t have time to get in to see the exhibits. 

But that didn’t stop us from getting into the spirit of the Civil War!

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I used Rent the Runway again for my dress, and got so many compliments.  I have had really good experiences with them for this ball and the Navy Ball last fall.

I also got a ton of compliments on my hair.  I am by no means even close to a hair stylist, but I got a wild hair (or maybe a frugal hair) and decided to fix my hair myself.  I was at Target the day before the ball, and just happened across a headband (found in the jewelry section, not the hair section) that matched my dress perfectly.  I came home, searched Pinterest for tutorials for “updos with headband”, found one I liked, and got to practicing.  And since I don’t have any pictures of the back of my head from the ball, y’all get a picture of my practice ‘do from Thursday night.

Super easy DIY updo - no pins, no ponytail holders!

It was the easiest hairdo EVER!  I curled my hair with hot rollers to give it some volume, put the headband on over my hair, pulled a bit up at the crown, and then started tucking pieces of my hair back into the headband – starting with the sides and ending with the center back.  I left a couple pieces on the sides out, and used my curling wand to curl them.  And that was it.  No pins, ponytail holders, etc.  Just some hairspray, and my hair stayed put all night!

We had such a wonderful time at the ball.  It’s always fun to get fancied up for a night out with your uniformed hottie and all of your friends!

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(It’s like playing Where’s Waldo?  Who can find Jarrod?)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Out of the Mouths: 5th Edition

The things that come out of my kids’ mouths never cease to amaze me.  Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s thoughtful, and most of the time it’s entertaining.  Here are some of my favorites from the past few months.

Talking with Trenton:

Why don’t the wrinkles go away on old people after they get out of the swimming pool?


Nurse Mary had to ask me questions to make sure I didn’t crack my brain when I hit my face on the blacktop.

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Trenton: I want to take you on a date to a really nice restaurant.
Me: Really?  That’s really sweet.  Do you know of any really nice restaurants?
Trenton: Yes.  That barrel place (Cracker Barrel).  They have candles on the table, so that means it’s really nice.


You’re the best mommy in the world.  Well, you AND Mary.  She was Jesus’ mommy, so she was a really good mommy too.


Me: This restaurant was built in 1867.
Trenton: Is that the year you were born?


Hey Daddy – when can I watch IndyAndy Jones?  Han Solo is in that movie, right?


Jarrod: Trenton, are you trying to get Charlotte to say something that she shouldn’t?
Trenton: Yes
Jarrod: What were you trying to get her to say?
Trenton: Ummmmm….the F word.
Jarrod: The F word?!?!  What’s the F word?
T: I don’t think I’m supposed to say it.
Jarrod: It’s okay.  You can tell me just this once.
Trenton: (pause) (sigh)  Okay….fart.


Mimi, Pops, Charlotte, everybody – guess what.  Mommy shaves!  I found two shavers in her shower!  And they’re pink!  What do you think she shaves?  Her face?


I don’t like potatoes.  That’s just how God made me.


Whew, it’s hard work with a baby!  You have to make sure they don’t try to climb the stairs and fall.  And you have to make sure they don’t eat little things that can choke them.  Babies are hard work!

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Charlotte’s Chatter:

Charlotte: Can you read me this book please?
Me: Sure.  Let me put Evelyn down for a nap, and then I’ll read it to you.
Charlotte: (Goes to her piggie bank and comes back to me.) I’ll give you three moneys if you’ll read it right now.

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Charlotte: What is beer made out of?
Me: Grain
Charlotte: That’s what cereal is made out of!  So why can’t I drink beer but I can eat cereal?


Charlotte: I don’t like the orange part in sweet potatoes.
Me: Oh really?  Well what part do you like then?
Charlotte: The marshmallow part!


(Singing)
Baby boobies
Baby boobies
I still have my baby boobies.
Baby boobies
Baby boobies
When are they going to grow?


Mommy, if I give you 100 kisses would I not have to clean anymore?


Charlotte: Can I buy a drink please?
Me: Not right now.  My wallet is in the diaper bag, and Daddy has the diaper bag.
Charlotte: Well can you just say please real nice if you don’t have any money?


Jarrod: Charlotte, your shoes are on the wrong feet.
Charlotte: Shut!  Not again!
Jarrod: That’s not a nice word.  Where did you hear that?
Charlotte: Mommy…
(And no, we didn’t correct her pronunciation issues)


Charlotte: No, Mommy.  You’re wrong.  I know more than you do.
Me: Oh really?  And what makes you think that?
Charlotte: I’m in school, and you’re not.


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Charlotte: I can spell almost everything.
Me: What can you spell?
Charlotte: Charlotte and cat
Me: Wow!  That’s almost everything!


You know what my favorite part of the fish stick is?  The chicken on the inside!


(To Trenton) Let’s pretend you’re Abraham Lincoln and I’m Abraham Lincoln’s wife!
(pretend play gets interesting around here!)



If you liked these and would like to catch up on some of my other Out of the Mouths posts, here they are!
First Edition
Pregnancy Edition
Third Edition
Fourth Edition

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Visitors, the Weather, Fastnachts, and Other Randomness

  • We had visitors last week!  My brother, Bradley, and his wife Courtney came out to visit us.  We had a blast with them!  The kids got some ski time in with Uncle Bradley and Aunt Courtney.  Mommy and Daddy got some adult time for dinner and wine tasting with Bradley and Courtney.  And we all had a whole lot of fun!  We can’t wait to have them come visit us again!

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  • Let’s talk about the weather, y’all.  I love Pennsylvania, but this weather is a bit much for me.  I couldn’t even imagine living up near Boston where they have it even worse than us!  Anyway, Saturday while we were on our way to church for our Valentine’s date night, it was snowing.  Just as we pulled into the church parking lot, the snow got really heavy.  Like whiteout conditions.  It was blowing sideways, and was so bad that parking under the carport to get the kids out of the car didn’t even help.  Sunday was frigid.  The “feels like” temperature when I woke up was –18!  Jarrod and I split up for church that day, and didn’t even get the kids out of the house.  It snowed more last night, so this morning while Jarrod was getting the kids breakfast, I went out to shovel.  Shoveling in 6 degree weather is no joke, y’all.  Jarrod came out when I was about 3/4 done, and I was holding back tears.  I asked him to take over, and I came inside, pulled my gloves off, and put my hands under warm water – crying because it hurt so bad (I have Raynaud’s which makes my hands and feet get colder than someone who doesn’t have it).  I guess my North Face gloves don’t cut it in 6 degree weather!  (And Mom – no need to call; I already learned my lesson.  No more than 5 minutes in those kind of temperatures in the future!)
  • A few weeks ago, I said that I was going to be starting up Moloka’i for bookclub.  Well, it wasn’t available at the library (yes, I’m frugal and very rarely buy books – except for the kids), and while I was waiting for it, I picked up another book – I Shall Be Near to You.  It was about a woman who disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her husband in the Civil War.  It was a great read, and I highly recommend it!
  • Happy Fastnacht Day!  I know – most of you are wondering what in the world a fastnacht is.  It’s a Dutch treat that is very popular here in central PA.  A fastnacht is essentially a fried doughnut.  Fastnacht Day started as a way to empty out one’s pantry, prior to Lent, of lard, sugar, fat, and butter which were traditionally fasted from during the Lenten season.  Let me tell you – fastnachts are amazing!  I only ate half of one, and I’m already looking forward to next year when Fastnacht Day rolls around!

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  • Speaking of Lent…if you’re looking for something special to do but just haven’t figured out what yet, you may want to check this out: Best Lent Ever.  It is a daily email from Matthew Kelly, the best-selling Catholic author in the US, that teaches about Catholicism along with helping you become the best version of yourself.  Jarrod and I are both signed up and looking forward to it!
  • And last, but not least, if you follow me on Instagram or if you follow the blog on Facebook, you may have already seen this video.  But it’s too cute not to share again!  And I promise that we keep the liquor where she can’t reach it!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine’s Day Date Night

I got to go on a nice Valentine’s Day date last night with this handsome guy, and we didn’t even have to worry with reservations.

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Last night was our last of six date nights in our Six Dates for Catholic Couples series.  But instead of meeting at the church, watching a short video clip, and then leaving to go out on our own (the usual setup for the date nights), we stayed at the church for dinner.

It was a fancy potluck dinner.  Along with a dish, everyone brought their own table, place settings, candles, table decorations, etc.  I had spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out how I was going to do our table, but when I came home from my workshop last weekend, the kids had a gift for me.  They, with Daddy’s help, had put together everything that was needed for the table.  But I couldn’t look at it.

Last night when we walked into the room for our date was the first time I had seen the table (Jarrod had gone to set it up earlier in the afternoon).

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It was adorable, and we got so many compliments on it!

We watched the last of the DVD series, and then everyone ate a delicious dinner.  All while a professional musician played for us.

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Our Valentine’s date night was closed out with a mini dance lesson from another couple from our parish who just happen to be dance instructors.

We had a great time last night and at all of our “church date nights.”  Jarrod and I learned more about ourselves, each other, and our marriage.  Plus, it was a great way to meet others in the parish.  And the kids loved it too (they went with us to the church each month and were kept in another room where they played, had snacks, and watched VeggieTales)!  We can’t wait until the next couples series rolls around!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Things that might happen if you don’t get enough sleep…


(Alternately titled: Why Won’t My Baby Just Sleep Through the Night?!?!?!)

You might put toothpaste on your hairbrush…

You might wear your shirt backwards all day and not notice until at night when you’re changing clothes…

You might put lipliner on one of your eyes….
…and then be so pressed for time that you don’t even take it off and just put eyeliner over it…

You might give the gate guard your credit card instead of your ID when trying to get onto base…

You might put clothes in the washer in the morning, and not realize until after dinner when you go to move them to the dryer, that you forgot to turn the washer on…

You might put food in the crockpot, but forget to turn it on…

Yes, I have done all these things, and probably more!

It’s a good thing she’s so darn cute!

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Monday, February 9, 2015

A Busy Weekend

Wow, it was a busy weekend!

We started off Friday by having some friends over for dinner.  Remember Trenton’s girlfriend that I mentioned a few weeks ago?  It was her family.  And the girlfriend spent the night!  I’m not sure how kids have so much darn energy, but Jarrod and I were ready to go to sleep, and the kids (excluding Evelyn) were still awake telling “ghost stories!”  They were so cute!

The next morning after our sleepover guest left, Jarrod and Charlotte got dressed up for a Daddy-Daughter Tea.

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There was some dancing, lunch, storytime, craft time where they decoupaged a frame for a photo that they took when they arrived at the event, and of course, tea.

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Once Jarrod and Charlotte got home, they got changed, and Jarrod, Trenton, and Charlotte all headed out to Ski Roundtop – only about 25-30 minutes from us – for lessons!

Trenton took snowboard lessons, and Charlotte was on skis.

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They both had a good time, and are looking forward to getting back out there soon – hopefully later this week when Uncle Bradley and Aunt Courtney come to visit!

Evelyn and I had a good time at home too.  I got in a workout, did dishes and laundry, and had plenty of playtime with my favorite little one year old!

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Yesterday we started out the day with church.  Our kids are normally pretty well behaved – other than the sometimes loud wiggly one year old – but I’m not sure what was up yesterday because all three kids were a hot mess. 

At lunchtime, we headed back up to the church for a new parishioner lunch.  We’ve already become pretty involved in the church, but we learned about even more of the ministries that the parish offers.

I hightailed it straight from lunch to a spouses workshop on base.  It was all about entertaining, and was really interesting.  I came home with a lot of neat ideas for Valentine’s Day centerpieces for next weekend, only to find that Trenton and Charlotte had already taken care of that for me while I was gone.  But I have to wait until next Saturday to open the box to see what they put together!

I ended the day with some yoga, an orange dream shake, a bubble bath, and a book.  A good way to end a busy weekend.  Now on to conquer a new week!