Friday, April 24, 2015

Reminiscing...

A friend linked me to the Facebook post that went viral of the little boy with Down Syndrome, who's daddy used photoshop to edit him into pictures where it looked like he was flying, and a superhero!

Let me tell you, that little guy is adorable! And his dad even cooler.
See here if you have missed this: "Wil Flying" 
(Worth your time)

It reminded me of the posts I made about Blake's perspective, when he first joined our family.  Haha! I forgot about so many things already.  Oh, how his life--AND ours--has changed, since his adoption.

In case you missed these, the first time around, for your reading pleasure: (a small glimpse into our lives, and Blakes, 3 years ago)

Blake's Perspective: Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Autum's Perspective

Blake's Take on Christmas

I can't wait until he can talk and share what his real thoughts are about life, someday soon.





Thursday, April 23, 2015

Home on the Kansas Range: Times Flies...when...

Home on the Kansas Range: Times Flies...when...: I was looking through my TimeHop app today from pictures that I posted up to 5 years ago...and as I look back on them I smile or tear up th...

Times Flies...when...

I was looking through my TimeHop app today from pictures that I posted up to 5 years ago...and as I look back on them I smile or tear up thinking on and remembering those particular moments.  I smile realizing how much my kids have changed.  Leah doesn't have a gap in her front teeth now, her nose and cheeks are sprayed with 1000's more freckles than before, her face shape has changed.  And Autum has thinned down so much.  No longer are her rubberband arms from her baby days, and she doesn't scream (as much) about every little thing, and best of all she sleeps through the night--ahem, I should say more than she used too, at least.  Blake's turned into a little man.  He is saying words, communicating, interacting, climbing on everything...has an opinion, and has a whole new outlook on life.






So many changes that occur right before your eyes, yet you don't see them until you step back and look in on the days that have accumulated into these changes.  And you hear it over and over again, my grandma's, my parents, my elderly friends, the grandma's in the grocery store line...

"Enjoy it while you can.  It goes so fast.  Before you know it, they will be grown up and gone.  Treasure these moments.  Soak them up.  Slow down.  Breathe it all in..."

And while I know this.  I get this.  I am sure this is true.  I still have a hard time with the "enjoy this while you can" part of this speech...most days.  In fact, until my kids are sound asleep and I am tip toeing out of their rooms in the quiet, just counting down the minutes until I can sit down and prop my feet up for a few, or even eat my cold supper still sitting on the counter, or take a shower with no interruptions...it is sometimes hard to think about "enjoying" this stage of life.  Yes, I have my warm fuzzy moments when I take a deep breathe and smile.  Living in the moment that warms me over.  Don't get me wrong.  I do.  And I savor the fleeting moment that swells my heart up with goodness, being around my family, in a joyous moment. 
video

But....
There are days...and situations.
Where enjoyment is far from my mind.  It's more like, get in, get it done, get out.  Survival mode.

Such as when you oversleep (ahem* like today) and you rush downstairs to get the lights on and everyone moving.  Your youngest who you have been up with at night for the past 1 1/2 weeks because she is scared, or sick, or out of water, or needs a Kleenex, or wants to change her PJ's, or forgot to put on socks...walks downstairs and makes her presence known with crying...and whining...because she doesn't want to go to school.  (in fact, she never does)  So she plants herself in the middle of the living room floor saying she can't get dressed, she doesn't know how...and she can't find her clothes (lying on floor beside her), she doesn't like pancakes (that she eats every morning), and she can't walk upstairs to potty by herself...she needs you to carry her....and on and on...(all read while half-crying)

And then your oldest comes downstairs in her high heels (bought specifically for church and special occasions), prepared to argue with you why she needs to wear them to school again--and no they have no connection to her back hurting this week, her heels burning, and her ankles being sore..she doesn't care if its cold because she is wearing 3 shirts to make up for her feet not being covered...

And your son comes crawling upstairs with a runny nose streaked across both cheeks, all the way up to his snot-hardened hair, whining (and he is usually the morning person in the clan), his shirt half-stuck on his head and arms, his pants are completely wet, because he refused to potty before bed the night before...and he joins his sister on the kitchen floor, and harmonizes in on the crying/whining.

These are not exact moments I breathe in deeply thinking..."enjoy this. You will miss it someday."

Nope. Not even close..
Or by the 8th night in a row your husband has worked and you haven't had a free minute to yourself in 2 months, and your kids don't want to eat the enchiladas you made, that they always eat, and they devoured the night before...and it's 7 pm, you don't want to get back out, you are out of Peanut Butter and cheese--your two go-to tortilla toppings when in a crunch. 

Still nothing. No warm fuzzies.

  • Or when you have to get your child early from school for bad behavior.
  • Or when you can't take another episode of "Ruby and Max"..
  • Or when you just wish you could go to the bathroom alone, for one time.  Without having to explain certain parts or things or differences...
  • Or when you try to make a phone call and all 3 kids are crying before you hang up, and you desperately wish you could text insurance agents who are trying to find time to inspect your roof.
Nope.  I am sorry to say I have no revolutionary thoughts in those moments of..."hey, Anna! Stop, relax and enjoy this, you will miss it..."  I just can't make myself say it.  Not. at. all.
So while I know you mean well, if I'm dragging one kid by the arm through Dillons, the youngest is in the cart crying, and my oldest is behind me calling me every name under the sun....don't smile warmly at me and say, "enjoy these moments, you will miss them..."

Because I just might hand them all over to you for the night, so you will remember.  Remember the tough days.  The sleeplessness, the struggle, and the stresses.  Just so you know.

Because apparently you forget.
Thank God for that. I know I will, maybe, someday.  Possibly.  Hopefully.
So just in case I do forget, which I find it hard to believe-- someday,

I will have this blog to smack me back to the reminder of the reality of life with "littles."



Monday, April 20, 2015

Better Than Sex Cake..(not for the one baking it)




So Jerad's birthday was yesterday, and he slept all day and worked all night.  So we had a small window of celebration time in there.  Because he has already installed and made use of his birthday gift...a Garmin fish finder...we didn't have any presents to open, or cards to read.  So I decided to make him his favorite cake.  

Let me preface this...with this...I am NOT a baker.  Trust me.  I have made cake pops that look like turds on a stick.  Cake Pop (see here)  And probably 12 dozen hockey pucks.  Just last week I made a banana cake that burned over in the oven, nearly started a fire, and left ash all over the entire house...3 hours before we were to show the house.  I seriously had to wash my hair 3 times before the smell was gone.  So he better know how big of a deal this was...just for him...I prayed for supernatural favor over this process ahead of time...in fact, the plea for holy angels to come down and take over may have even been said...

I looked up the recipe.  His mom makes an Italian Cream Cake, he LOVES.  So I looked up online some different versions of it until I found one I liked.  As I was typing it in...the "Better than Sex Cake" recipe kept coming up as an alternate name to this recipe version.  As I was baking it, I kept having this thought.  This cake is NOT "Better than Sex" for the one baking it.  Let me tell you.  Just the stress of making it could leave you needing a massage and a hot bath (which we all know leads to next) just to recover.  Directions such as: Mix a portion of the buttermilk with the salt, set aside.  Then add the egg yolks only.   Then layer the flour in.  But not too quickly.  Whip the egg whites until they are stiff?  (what in the heck does that mean?)  Set aside.  Get a 29th bowl out of your pantry and mix the sugar, coconut, cream cheese and walnuts...now that your entire kitchen is covered in dirty dishes..find enough room to pour all the ingredients together, cream.  Then pour into two bowls covered in parchment paper.  Place in oven...while baking, clean 3 bowls because you will need those for the frosting....and on and on....

I should have mentioned I don't like doing dishes either.  So you can imagine my disgust.  Anyway, 2 hours later. I had the cakes baked, frosting made, cakes layered, cake frosted.  And was starting in on the dishes...

When I get this text...from Jerad, while at work>>>>

Him:  "Hey...I think I'm going to start a sugar-free diet tomorrow...you in??"

ME:   "HECK NO. I just made you a cake, that you are going to love, and eat, whether it tastes good or not...because I made the effort.  So sugar-free diet can start Monday...OK???  It's supposed to be better than sex, but I'll let you decide that..."

Him:  "Ooook??" (and I won't include where this conversation went after that because I know my grandmas read this blog) :)

Anyway, it ended up tasting pretty good, believe it or not.  It was VERY rich, so none of us could eat more than a few bites at a time.  But I have to say, whether holy angels came down and took over (almost positive, they did) or not, I made my first "layered" cake that didn't slide off onto the floor or was burned so bad I could use it as a stepping stone outside. It was edible! Check one off for me.

Happy Birthday Jerad!! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I see you...Tired..Weary..Momma

This morning I shuffled into church dragging Autum behind me, half-whining because I wouldn't let her choose her activity bag--it was one of those, we are running late, you get what you get situations...

I sit down and do a quick once-over...two earrings in? Check.  Matching shoes? Check.  Shirt not tucked into panties? Check.  No snot, food, or toilet paper stuck to me anywhere?  Check.  Food in teeth? Check.

Ok, at least I eliminated most completely humiliating situations I can think of...the rest I'll just roll with.  Surely I have experienced something worse...I'll survive.

Take a deep breath.  Sit for a second.  Then stand to sing and greet one another.  I look across the aisle to see a young couple quickly shooing their kids into the pew, one child a few months old, the other a early toddler...diaper bag strewn across the mommy's chest.  Dad had baby at his shoulder with burp rag on his chest.  Toddler was not happy with the sitting situation, nor to be rushed and shushed.  And of course this all happens when singing stops and all goes quiet.  (been there...)  Momma plops him up on the pew on his bottom....sits the diaper bag down, and sits to do her quick once-over of herself...before realizing the rest of us are all standing to greet one another.  She takes a deep breath and stands back up...and we make eye contact...

One of those...put on a fake smile, hope this make-up covers my dark circles, and that I only had time to curl the front half of my hair convinces everyone else I'm ok.  I'm good.  I can do this.  I'm super mom.  One of those, masked smiles.  Masking all the emotions that can erupt at any given moment if prompted.  But you are working so hard to mute.  To convince the rest of us around you, you are good.  And for the brief moment we made eye contact I feel like so much more was exchanged...than half-smiles.  More like this feeling of:

"Momma...it's ok.  I get it.  I didn't brush my teeth either. In fact I'm wearing workout shorts under my non-ironed dress because I have not done laundry in a week...(more like haven't had a brief moment too)...

And your son had a cookie and a few chips, half an apple, and some pudding for breakfast?  I know.  Been there.  My kids had left-over birthday cake and water.  And shared the 2 pancakes leftover in the freezer.  I told them if they asked for syrup they'd be walking to church by themselves.
Yep.  I feel you.

You cried yourself to sleep last night in total exhaustion, feeling like you aren't seen or heard...your efforts are unseen, unappreciated, unknown?  Yep.  I have cried tears in hidden moments too many times to count...cupboards, car rides to school, in doctor's offices, in the shower, in the middle of the night feedings...yep, all me, too.  Just if someone could understand, reach out, hear you, validate your lack of getting anything done, your weariness, questioning what you are doing, will you ruin your kids...how does anyone do this moment...just someone, pleeeease?? (*sigh) I do, weary momma. I am.  I do.  I've been there.  Over and over again.

Your dress is too tight.  None of your jeans fit yet.  Your hair hasn't been cut or colored in months.  You don't even feel like a woman most days.  Sometimes you daydream of days of old, wearing pretty dresses, make-up always done, house clean, and responsibilities few?  You just wish the weight would fall off.  Or you wish you had time to shop for new clothes, without 3 kids at your feet in the changing room...while you cry your new mascara down your cheeks...feeling desperate and frumpy and unattractive.  I get it.  I have walked out of too many changing rooms and department stores to count...just holding in the tears until I got to the car. 

I know your stress.  Your fears.  Your pains.  Your mess-ups.  Your undesirable yelling fits.  Your anger.  Your regrets.  Your constant asking for forgiveness.  Your silent prayers.  All the same for me.  All my struggles.  They are there.

Just know, this half-smile is my acknowledgement of your feelings of failure.  Your feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.  Yes.  Me too.  All validated.  And understood.  And this half-smile is also my encouragement.  Keep fighting.  Keep praying.  Keep pushing through.  It does get better.  It does.

Trust me.
But for now, just know.
I see you, tired, weary momma.  I see you.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Autism Awareness





April is Autism Awareness month.  I have mixed feelings about months like this.  Just like October is Down Syndrome Awareness month.  I honestly feel like if it affects your life, you are aware of it.  If it doesn't, you aren't aware of it.  And I honestly am not being rude, nor care, it's just how it is.  There are a lot of things that don't affect my life, I am not aware of...again, it's just the way it is.

I am very aware of both Autism and Down Syndrome.  Both with my work.  And my day to day life.  One special need, I chose, persay.  One, I didn't.

My oldest, as most of you know, was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger's a few years ago.  I honestly have mixed feelings about the reality of this diagnosis...but I know for sure we deal are dealing with some spectrum issues, sensory issues, and behavioral issues--most days.  So to make you "aware" of our daily dealings with Autism, here is my explanation through experience.

Because my child has no perception of social cues...as in what is socially appropriate to say, do, wear, or believe, we live in a constant limbo of what will she do next.

  • Possibly answer the door when the mailman is dropping off a package...completely naked...(because it is "hot" in here, mom)
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  • Or invite the girl in the checkout line who Leah has already given my phone number too, our home address, and her daddy's working hours too, to our house anytime...because the girl seems nice....and we can be best friends.
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  • Or constantly interrupt a conversation you are having with someone else...getting louder and louder and in your face until you either explode or have to stop conversing and step aside with your child to ask them to wait to speak.  
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  • Naps are non-existent.  Don't plan to sleep.  If her eyes are open, so are yours.  Even if you are dead asleep, or specifically tell her you are lying down to rest...or even lying down the other 2 "littles" to rest.  DO NOT DISTURB on the door.  She doesn't get it.  If she has something she needs, at that moment, it is of highest importance....you will be awoken.  Or the "littles" will be woke up immediately to hear or see what is on her mind.  

  • She lives in an adult world.  In her mind.  She is one.  She doesn't comprehend peers and what it means to interact with people her age. She will be at a tennis camp, I will drop her off and come back only to find her not participating in tennis any longer--but sitting with the other mom's in the bleachers-asking questions. 
She is highly sensitive to sight, smell, hearing, and tasting...

  • She feels emotion 10x more dramatically than you and I.  Anxiety.  Fear.  Sadness.  Anger.  Excitement. 

  • She can empathize with people better than anyone I know.  She can sense an emotion in a person long before that person may know it or even admit it.  And she will cry tears and be sad along with her teacher who is sad, and expressed her emotion one day.  And she won't forget it.  Guarantee she will be affected by it.  And want to act upon it.  And will sit with you until she feels you are happier.  

  • She will cry tears over a hurt animal we may have passed on the street.  Or heard about on the radio.  She will bring it up months later, long after we have all forgotten it, still near tears at the remembrance.

  • She gets excited weeks before an activity that involves her.  So much so, she can't contain herself.  I mean boiling over the top bubbling out of her ears, can't control it, emotional high!!  And nothing or no one can stifle that.  It is a beautiful and frustrating thing, all at the same time.  It is her constant focus.  Constant flip-flop in her mind, play each possible scenario over in her mind again and again until the day of...
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  •  She can remember what our waiter wore on her feet, 3 months ago at a fast food restaurant.  She can tell you what the entire school's population is and name each person by first name.  She can memorize anything and everything.  

  • She can't properly digest sugar.  Or pop.  Or junk food.  Or dairy products.  Again, she is sensitive.  Therefore her body is sensitive.  She loses all control upon digestion of these foods.  It is a real problem.  And struggle on our part.  Hard to pass up, and see your child have to pass it up at every party, get together or play date.  But the aftermath is real.  
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  • She has to be on a schedule.  It's 8:30 pm bedtime.  Or else.  Or else you are up all night, as she is thrown off by the change.  As she is awake early, before everyone else-already overwhelmed by the emotions of the day.  

Her world is completely "as is."  As literal as it comes.  Nothing figurative.  Nothing "maybe."  It's black or white.

  • If you say, "hold on a minute."  She will count to 60 and ask what she should hold onto.
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  • She is as Amelia Bedelia as they come.  Tell her to put the towels upstairs...she will sit them on the first step going upstairs.
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  • Sarcasm is not on her radar.
  •  Everything in her life is on the clock.  Get in, get out.  Look, see, do. Done.  Check it off the list.  Moving on.
It's taken me awhile to get used to the conversations she's constantly having with herself.  Or the  irritation with wearing socks because they are itchy.  Or combing her hair because it hurts. Or questioning everything.

Yet, she is remarkable in so many ways.  Good and bad.  She challenges me everyday.  Many days I lose.  And lose bad.  But when I step back and count my blessings.  I realize how much she has opened my eyes to thinking, believing, looking, and living outside the box.  Outside the norm.  Possibly questioning why as a society we do certain things...things I'd never think to question.  It's kinda hilarious sometimes.  When she stumps me with a "why do you do that?" question.  One, I don't have answer for, in all reality.

Or how she requires me to slow down.  To pay attention.  To be by her side.  Or to remind me how strong she is.  How her sensitivity, zeal for life, and empathy will play out to help people someday.  How God can use her.  How He already is, to change my heart.

So I guess, this is me making you aware.  Aware of the beautiful struggle it is somedays, to know a child on the spectrum.





Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sights and Sounds


I have made it a point to surround myself with Scripture and positive thinking through books, social media, and anything else I feel I can glean wisdom from, over the past 6 months. I have needed to reframe my thinking, my prayers, my motives, my heart...so to speak.  And it started with my thoughts.  So as I tuned myself into the words being written or spoken around me, and made myself vulnerable to the meaning, and was astounded by the timing-the seemingly clear affirmation to my prayers, questions or concerns at that moment.  It is a true revelation to the gracious goodness of our Lord, and His sovereignty. He speaks to me in so many ways, if only I slow down enough to listen, and see.



For example, during a time of questioning working outside of the home or staying home...whether God was asking me to begin a time of rest...in fact, a year of rest...boom! >>

 When debating whether to semi-retire from CrossFit and forfeit the Open this year, to focus on my family and my marriage....THIS>>







 When my true motives for working out and pushing myself were being revealed in my heart...>>


 When we got a contract on our house and have no clear direction where to move and how we are going to find another house in 45 days...this exact image showed up 4 times on my IG account that day...>>

When feeling convicted very recently of how I have lost track of living missionally, how I have gotten caught up in social media posts and "making a life" for myself, a name for myself, upholding an image....I read this << and then, this >>


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Daddy's & Nanny's Birthday

Reading Nanny her card. (handwritten by Autum) video

This boy was in Heaven with his sandbox and digger.

The girls even got in on the digging.

Leah was the dinner server for the night.  Pot holder hairnet and all! :)

Blowing out the strawberry cake candles for daddy.

Opening his presents.

Reading his gift cards.

Throwing the tissue paper.

Singing and reading Nanny her card Autum wrote (in scribbles)--she was the only one who knew what it said.

Leaving on last mark on Mimi and Papa's back patio before we left.
We spent the only weekend Jerad has off in awhile in Cherokee.  We celebrated his and his grandmother's birthday (Nanny), a week early.  We had steaks, potatoes, strawberry pie, cookies, big breakfast, and lots of tea.  The kid's went to the Family Fun Fair--where Autum won a new bike!  They played the cake walk over and over, winning cans of pop, candy, toys, juice, and lots of other sugary goodies.  They played with the neighbor kids. Did their make-up and hairstyle.  Played house and teacher.  Dug around in their new sand box and digger.  Played ball.  Drew with the chalk.  And we relaxed.  Sat around and chatted.  Took a nap or two.  And did nothing.  And it was great.  Always nice to unwind away from home.





Friday, April 10, 2015

How We Road Trip

With 3 "littles" the packing and prepping for a road trip, even just overnight, is a longer process than the actual trip lasts.  I find myself preparing for the preparation to leave.  It's a process, for sure.  An organized chaos, if you will.

Here's a quick list of what goes through my mind when I am preparing for us to leave.
1)  Crap!  Now I have to do the laundry, and actually fold it.  Can't live out of the laundry basket on the road.  (although it's crossed my mind a few times)

2) I suppose while I'm at the laundry I should throw in some towels..and that reminds me I should probably wash the pee-pee covered sheets I threw 2 towels over in the middle of the night after a 3 a.m.wake-up call to this occurrence and my sleep-deprived quick-fix. 

3) Now to the electronics.  Where are all the freakin' cords to charge them all?  And which cords go to which electronic device.  IPads, LeapPads, iPods, Kindle, DVD Player...cell phones...

4) Which leads to headphones...I can only take so much "Call Me Maybe" and "Let it Go" played out loud...let alone the off-key, not realizing how loud you are singing chords ripping through to the front seat from way in the back.  So headphones for everyone.  Problem solved.  Sometimes even headphones, used as ear plugs for mom and dad, when the DVD players, books, snacks, toys, and IPads wear off the last 30 minutes of the trip and screaming and crying ensues...

5)  Snacks.  My bottomless pits. NEED. snacks.  But I have to put some thought into this after previous mishaps with snacks.  No suckers.  Blake hates suckers. Last time we tried a sucker in the van...he threw it over my seat and it stuck in my hair.  Talk about a ratty, sticky, ANGRY mess...also, no chocolate.  Autum likes to savor her chocolate.  From her chocolate beard, dripping down her chin to the last melted drop running down the side of the booster seat and chair, all the way to the floor-in a nice stained mess.  No nuts, chex mix, sweet and salty, seasoned anything...because that smell is enough to make me puke and dust every inch of my van and myself in seasoning powder.  Nothing like showing up to your destination smelling like the "Salt and Vinegar and Black Pepper family." So bland, no sticky, melting, smelly food.  Cheerios.  Popcorn.  Tortilla chips.  Apple slices. Things I can sweep up off the floor no matter how crunched into the carpet it gets.  Those kind.

6)  With the snacks, comes wet wipes.  Trash bags.  One for trash.  One for puke.  Because I have been known to need a puke sack after turning around in my seat 6, 578 times to settle fights, pick up dropped snacks, type in 400 parental control passwords, change DVD players, refill water cups, sniff bottoms to see who pooped or peed or just a stray gas bubble.  Or just give a simple "COME TO JESUS MEETING" about zipping our lips and simply asking why no one can simply go to sleep...seriously, why do my kids NOT sleep in the car???

7)  Then pack bags.  I have learned to do a bag check after I've already packed the bags.  Sometimes even twice.  After getting to grandmas and Leah forgetting to pack her panties.  Or getting to a motel and Autum decided to unpack her bag and redo it herself, only packing 3 pairs of panties and 4 dollies...nothing else.  I have made it a habit to pack the bags, zip them up, and place them in a high place until we leave.  And rechecking them before we load the van, just one more time.

8) Then drinks.  Sippy cups all around.  I don't care if you are almost 9....you will drink out of a non-spillable cup with a lid.  No one will know you are using a baby cup.  It will last longer because you will have to slurp it, so be glad you have something to drink and stop complaining.  I promise I won't post any pics of you slurping your sippy cup of water.  No milk, don't even ask.  No. No. No.  We all know the stench of those cups found a week later under a seat.  Bleh.

9) And for some reason I always pack a book for myself, or a magazine.  To which never gets touched.  Usually just spilled on or a few pages of it are used for toilet paper during an emergency roadside stop to poop.  Hey! Better than giving up my sock.  Just saying. 
I feel like I pack it as a hope...a glimmering hope that someday my kids will entertain themselves or sleep, or be able to type in their own parental control passwords (ha!) so I can read in peace...and not have to sacrifice page 19 for emergency situations.

...so anyway, just a few thoughts on this beautiful thing we call vacation...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

So many Lose 10 lb. Journeys

I was looking for something else and became distracted upon finding a journal I spent some time writing in during college.  I had been married 7 months. I was 22 years old.  And I was training for a half-marathon in April in Oklahoma City. I scrolled down through my food log for that particular day...

Jan 5, 2005
1 glass OJ
1 c. oatmeal
1 frosted cookie
1/2 c. peaches
1 1/2 c. whole wheat spaghetti
1 c. tomato sauce
1 cheesy breadstick
3 Nutter Butter's
4 slices cheese
4 whole wheat crackers
1/2 can Dr. Pepper
1 c. Stroganoff
1/2 slice Cinnamon Dessert

Arm/Back Day
Cardio Rest Day

My first thoughts were:
1. Man I had a lot of time back then...if only I had known.

2. How did I remember what all I ate?  I can't even tell you what I snacked on an hour ago.  (I guess I should note #1)

3. Starches. Starches. Starches.  This was before Paleo was all the craze.  And I realized I had some allergies to wheat.

4. Dr Pepper? Haha. That was definitely a habit I started from my new hubby!  That was never an option growing up at home.  Diet pop was the "healthier choice" and growing up in an aerobics instructor's house...you always went the healthy route. *note sarcasm

I read on down and found this excerpt..."This is the first day I will begin my journey toward losing 10 lbs. and training for a Half Marathon April 29th.  (I can't tell you how many 10 lb. journeys I have been on since then!!)  Then I nearly died when I saw this:
Current weight: 134 lbs.
Waist: 26"
Hips: 36 1/2"

WHAAAA??  134 lbs.?!! I didn't think I had weighed that since 8th grade.  Seriously.  And I was on a journey to lose 10 more...whoa.
I sat back and began to think back through my athletic life.  And I could almost name what my scale weight was around any significant physical endeavor I was pursuing.

Senior year...college softball recruiting camps....127#  (I was told several times I was too thin)
Wedding...June 2004....128#
Half-Marathon-April 29, 2005 (dropped 5 lbs.--129#)
9 months pregnant with Leah... May 2006....153#
1st Marathon--Leah was 2 years old...130#
Triathlons...Summer 2009...135#
Started doing CrossFit 2009ish...135#

And from then on....I could not tell you what I weighed.  Maybe when I had Autum I was about 165#....

I realized several things at that point.  One, how sad it is to realize that the scale dictated me.  And my life.  How could I remember so specifically my weights from so long ago?  Well, because it was clearly very important to me.   It was a center focus.

And now I am faced with the question of:  was it what drove me?  Did I just mask my obsession with being "fit" and "skinny" with a determination to compete in sports and races?  Deep down...did I really care how I competed or placed...so long as I hit my goal weight and used training as a motivator to get there...?  (not saying that is wrong...yet)

I sat quietly awhile. Contemplating this.
Lifting weights and doing CrossFit and training with other people was a huge turning point in my obsession with the scale.  And I didn't even realize it til now.  I could probably tell you more closely what my  strength maxes were on certain lifts more than what I weighed the past 4 years.

But to dig down, what was the power the scale number had over me?  Why did it mean so much?  What bigger issue did I have at hand?  Lack of self-esteem?  Body disorder?  Need to please?  Pride in my appearance?  Or just lack of anything else to focus on and control?  Passion for fitness?  Need to uphold an image?

Probably all of the above.
That IS. ANNOYING. to me.  Now.

Huh.  Moving on.

All I know is I'm so grateful for the opportunity to change.  For a chance to face this 'skinny' stigma head on with my girl's.  To have experienced it and hopefully be able to empathize better.  To have shaken off that "chain." For strength.  For feeling strong.  For health. 


And to honestly not have that much time on my hands to obsess about a scale number.  Ha!  Because now I obsess over things like how to get that carrot chunk out of my child's nose.  Or how to get your oldest to wear deodorant-because who cares if your armpits stink.

And on...and on.



 




Monday, April 6, 2015

Poopy Easter

Daddy's morning pic of the day!  Super Duper!

This was an IG post I made. Blake was signing "poop" while we were trapped in the Walmart line...forEVER.

Playdate at the park.  Skipping rocks.

The boys.

Fishing derby with Papa.

One product from the fishing derby at Papa's.

Leah helping out a tired Easter egg hunter.

Great Grandmas analyzing the egg hunt.

Blake had more fun washing his eggs and rocks than hunting them.

Prepping.  But nervous. She was a trooper.

Big Sister got new earrings.

Great Grandma and Baby

My sweet sis and hubby, and of course Baby Luke.
My personal fav.

Leah's tense pose.

...and Blake's done.  Out.

Leah's, "I'm done with this" smile.

Annnnd. Blake's sleeping.
I cried a lot yesterday.

First because of my overwhelming sense of thankfulness and joy that seemed to be spilling out from my soul during church yesterday.  The tears streaming down my face were from down deep, as if they had been sitting there awhile...stagnant.  Just waiting for me to release them...as if being cleansed.  And as they dropped down my cheeks onto my arms, I felt lighter and lighter.  Like I couldn't stand tall enough in my church pew...I felt light.  Airy.  Supernatural.

Easter.  He is risen.  I am free.
I posted on IG yesterday...https://instagram.com/p/1GccbzDipz/?taken-by=awhomegym

"Let me tell you..I stood in church this morning. Tears running down my face. I couldn't stand tall enough or reach high enough in my chair. Today I stood among rapists, adulterers, thiefs, addicts, cussers, gossipers, speed limit breakers, name-callers...all over the world. And praised #God. I am redeemed! I am no better or no worse than anyone else because I was condemned with my first sin. But not any longer. Not because of today. #Easter. I am #cleansed. #Forgiven. #Loved. And given life."
#HALLELUJAH #HeisLord #yearofthanks #praisegod #fitfam #christianathlete #homeonksrange #homegym #fitspiration #praise #easter

Then, we had to run to Walmart to get Jerad some shaving cream.  As we pulled into the parking lot a homeless man with a sign was sitting on the curb...with, most likely, his own friend, his dog.  And I drove past, said a prayer for him, and read his sign: "Please help. Need sleeping bag. Dog food. Hungry."
And my heart was moved again.  I felt lead to help him.  And was nearly brought to tears again when my first thought was affirmed...because both girls said "Mom, we need to help him.  Pleeeeease."

So we headed into Walmart and we got him what he needed.  And then they decided to get him some bread. Lunch meat. A jug of water. Some snacks.  Some bananas.  And my heart was again, overwhelmed.  Tears. More tears.  At my children's gentle prompting to help.  And their willingness to follow suit, in their innocence.  No judgment.  (as I fought back the nay-sayers in my head saying "tell him to get a job. Help himself.  His dog isn't important.  Why waste food on his animal when he needs food?  Someone else can help him...")

We walked back out and gave him his goods.  Pet his dog.  Talked to him awhile.  Looked into his eyes.  And we prayed for him as we left.

And then we got home.  Found out we had a house showing.  I was single-momming it today.  And already emotionally drained.  But we pushed onward.  Cleaned our house.  Got it all squeaky clean and headed outside to play.  I realized after awhile that one child didn't follow us outside.  So I went to check,, assuming he was watching his cartoons or playing with his toys.  I hear him in the bathroom and the panic sets in.  I could smell it before I saw it.  And I hit my knees when I saw the bathroom.  Mess. Everywhere. Him. Floor. Floormats. Wall.  Toilet.  Shoes. Socks.  Trashcan.  

And again, the tears hit.  I threw the mats in the laundry. Scrubbed the walls, floor, toilet. Threw my child in the shower.  Prayed for God's strength.  Knowing He saw me.  Knew my efforts.  Tried to cool down.  I already lost my cool on the girls for no reason, while caught up in the moment, and their ill-timed demands and questions bubbled me over the brim. 

Headed back outside hoping the floor mats would be clean and dried by the time of the showing.  And lit a candle.  Hoping to mask the smell.

I did some of my workout to try to diffuse.  While the kids played.  The laundry finished and I got it all back in place.  Done. And thankful for the time to clean it all up.

Not long after, Leah comes in the garage to tell me her brother stinks again.  No...No....No...No....

Seriously, no.  

I walk up to him and he breaks into tears grabbing his behind, knowing he made another mistake.  Why? WHY?  We haven't had this many accidents in 3 days than we have in the past 3 months.  WHAT IS GOING ON?  I checked his pants to confirm my suspicions.  Sure enough. Everywhere.  All over.  Deeming another bath.  
I took him downstairs to get him a quick shower.  As I'm undressing him...on the freshly cleaned floor mats...he begins to go AGAIN.  All over.  AGAIN.  Now with only 30 minutes to show time.

I tear up.  Again.  I drop to the floor.  And just sit.  Sit and cry.  Again.
I am done.  I can't take anymore.  Worn down. Finished.  Exhausted.
I have lost all my patience.  I am literally sitting in poop.  Crying.  How much worse can it get?  Right.

I eventually get it together.  Clean Blake in the shower again.  Tidy up the bathroom as best as I can.  And we leave.  I say a quick prayer for supernatural favor over the house.  For God's renewed strength because I am weak.  Worn.  Weary.

I am happy to say the rest of the day improved.  I am here today, to tell the story.  But wow.  What a day.

video
video
I will say this.  We had a wonderful Saturday.  Shown by the pictures posted.
If you only knew the task it was to get this picture.  With a timer.  The first few pics were a blur of me trying to run to the bench from the camera.  The others were when a gust of wind blew and the girl's and I's hair covered our faces.  One was Blake trying to crawl down to the ground.  I think I did about 10-15 sprints in sandals for this one shot.  1 shot.  Worth it though.  (only missing daddy)

And Autum is distracted.