postpartum & the struggles.

miss lola grey will be 5 months next week. WOW.

i am constantly finding that i am thoroughly enjoying her. i'm not sure if it's because she's my second and i'm not as anxious or worried or confused about mothering a baby as i was with gracie, or if gracie (being the two year old that she is) just drives me crazy so it makes lola look as if she could do no wrong (which she can't!), or a combo of both of those. but i am just loving this sweet little baby right now. she is such a light in my life, i can't even explain.


i have also found that i have struggled more postpartum with lola than i did after gracie. my emotions are all over the place, i am SOTIRED, i am easily overwhelmed by anything, really. i was becoming the grumpy, impatient mom that yells at her two year old. and i have absolutely hated that.

i was fed up with feeling that way and also with feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin. i was the heaviest i've ever been, and i was eating like GARBAGE (thanks, breastfeeding, i am totally blaming you!). i've never been a great, healthy eater, but when i am nursing, i crave all the chocolate. all the time. ALL THE CHOCOLATE. i had lost 20lbs within a couple weeks of having lola, and then the weight loss ended - came to a screeching halt, and i hadn't lost anything else since.

i knew i had to do something.

a friend from high school became a coach for a exercise/weight loss program called beachbody. i don't really know much about these types of programs and i've never tried one. but i was desperate to do something to lift my spirits and give me some energy and help me start losing the weight (some of which i had never lost after having gracie).

i also knew i wasn't super accountable to just myself and i've never worked out or eaten healthy on any sort of consistent basis by myself before. so i had to do something drastic. like pay money! so i did.

i bit the bullet and paid my money and signed up and joined a group and got my package in the mail. workout dvd's, a meal plan, 21 day's worth of protein powder for shakes (shakeology), a bunch of shake recipes as well as other healthy recipes, and colored food containers to help with portion size. i also ordered two new sets of weights and a measuring tape to get my measurements along the way. i was serious!

basically it's a 3 week program. you are part of a group (on facebook) that is doing the same 3 weeks, but everyone is doing whatever workout program they choose - some did the 21 day fix (that's what i did - it's a good mix of cardio and weights and isn't too hard on a postpartum body that hasn't worked out in awhile), T25, P90X, hammer and chisel, body beast, etc - there's literally like 20 workouts to choose from. you have to log in every day and be accountable for your workouts. for your eating. for drinking your shakes. for drinking enough water. there were also challenges every day - do a wall-sit for as long as you can in addition to your workout, show us a picture of one healthy meal you're eating today, etc. nothing hard, but extra things to keep us accountable and working hard. and you know what? i kind of loved it.

i quickly found out i couldn't cut back my calories like i had hoped (thanks again, to nursing! not that i'd give up nursing, so that was fine), and i also quickly found out how out of shape i really was/am. but i also found out i could commit to something and truly do it. i did my workout every day, i drank my protein shake for breakfast, i included so many more fruits and veggies in my day and cut out so many carbs and sugars. I DIDN'T EAT CHOCOLATE FOR 3 WEEKS STRAIGHT. if that's not a success, i don't know what is!

don't worry. this isn't the part where i share a bunch of before/after pictures in my skibbies. no one wants to see that. but i am happy to say i lost 6 lbs! again, not as much as i had hoped going into this, but considering all the variables, i am just happy the scale kept going down. and i know i am gaining muscle too, so obviously that's not going to help the number go down. i know i lost inches too, but i didn't get those measured from the start, so they're not totally accurate. so i'm just skipping those this time around. anyway our 3 weeks ended this past monday, and i am so ready to keep up what i'm doing. i get up and do my workout every morning and that's how we start the day. my girls know i do that now and usually let me do it without too many complaints (usually ;)). and i am constantly looking at what else i can do - now that the weather is better, we are going on walks and i'm doing extra 10 minute ab workouts here and there, and i'm grabbing an apple on my way out rather than a roll or cookie.

i feel better. i have a LONG way to go still, but i am feeling more energy already. my clothes are fitting better. i am not nearly as tired every day as i used to be. i am finding more patience with gracie (i think that one will always be a work in progress). it's only been 3 weeks, but i am hoping to keep this up for a long, long time. i'm actually already planning to start another 3 weeks of workouts with another group in may. and i'm excited!

this was gracie 'flexing' with me :)

sometimes life is just hard. like after you have babies and you totally lose yourself and your identity and your body for awhile. i so needed this. for me. and i can't wait to see where i'm at in a couple more months from now.


life lately: april thus far

april is more than halfway over and i am excited and ready for may.
and that's about all i have to say about that!

playdates with friends from our old ward. we miss them terrrribbly :( so glad we're still close.

looking for some new plants, trees, and flowers for the new house! i thought this one looked neat, and then i saw it has my grandpa's name in it! (otto). i think it's meant to be.

gracie's favorite part of getting the oil changed in the car - free popcorn

i've been working out most every day for a few weeks now, and these two either help me ("help" me) or interrupt my workout 7134 times. but they're cute, so oh well.

she see's the temple whenever we drive home, and always wants to go see it. we talk about how she can't go inside until she's bigger, but she reeeally wanted to get a closer look. so we went in by the fountain and got a quick picture. she was so excited :)

that girl loves to snuggle her papa when he gets home from work

she's been practicing her noodle-sucking techniques

went on a family walk one night the other week and she insisted on pushing her baby in the stroller

we hardly have any pictures of all of us, so i insisted we sit and enjoy the sunset (below) and take a couple family selfies!

some beautiful spring skies lately

these two!!!!!! i truly hope they get married some day.

every morning they snuggle and play and goof around on mom and dads bed. i just love them.

we're (still) in the middle of remodels on our house, and gracie gets soooo bored being there while we're working. so the other day my mom gave her a bucket of water and a paint brush and let her paint the walls. she was so excited haha


spring fun: cross e ranch

last week we took the girls to a farm not far from us. they have tractors and barns and bales of hay for miles. they also have baby animals! i had heard about this place last year but we never made it out, so i made sure to not miss it this year. they're only open on weekends so i was afraid it'd be busy no matter what day we went, but it totally wasn't! it was fun!

gracie loves animals and wished she could've held them all (even the baby goats, which were totally adorable but would've been totally bigger than gracie if she had tried ;)). it was fun to let her run around and get excited about it all.

and the freshly dipped corn dogs.....YOU GUYS.
i asked jae if he thought they'd let me go back and not pay an entrance fee if i promised just to go in and buy some more corn dogs on another day. he said no.

snapped a few pics (of course, none of all four of us at the same time, but whatever).....
(ps, is gracie holding that baby chick not the cutest thing ever?!)


colorado: uncle jim's funeral.

my uncle jim passed away a few weeks ago.

technically, we're not even blood related to uncle jim. he was adopted by my dad's mom after his father passed away when he was a young boy (my grandma and his dad were married at the time). and uncle jim has always lived in a different state than us and honestly, we rarely got to see him. but uncle jim has never felt like anything but a very real uncle to me.

every birthday. every christmas. presents, gifts, cards. i always got something from him in the mail.
in fact, one of my most cherished gifts - a giant stuffed bear. maybe 3 feet tall or so? he sent it to me for christmas when i was 7. i still have that bear, and now gracie plays with it. i love that bear.

he had major heart surgery last year, after a very active and outdoorsy lifestyle. his love, my aunt hilda, passed away many years ago. it's just been him and my cousin shari for awhile. they've spent their time traveling in their monster motor home, fishing and camping and exploring their days away. since his heart surgery, he just didn't ever quite get back to normal.

this is one of those times in life when you wish you had done more. wish you had visited more, called or written or emailed more. made more of an effort. and for that reason, i am sad. i knew, for that reason alone, i had to make the trek to be at his funeral in colorado. sisters susan and jamie and my pop made the trek with me and lola. it was a long two days and 20+ hours of driving for only one full day there. but i am so glad we did it.

there was a small service at a presbyterian church, and it was really nice. simple. i stood in the back for most of it, rocking lola girl to sleep. at the end, we sang 'how great thou art' and it was just a perfect, teary moment.

i am happy he's reunited with his wife after so many years apart.
and i would bet he's fishing again right this very minute.

**i don't know how many times i said it on this trip, but the scenery was BEAUTIFUL. i am not a fan of snow or cold, but the snow on those evergreen covered mountains was just more than i could take. if it weren't so dang cold and snowy more than half the year, i'd probably pick up and move there. so so gorgeous.

setting out!

she had no idea what she was in for, poor thing.

found this bench at the cemetery. i'll be honest, i was a little creeped out.

the sunshine and those snowy, green mountains. i couldn't get enough.

had to try to have a little fun and take advantage of a swimming pool! except it was too cold for her to swim anyway. so she just looked cute in her suit :)

(second) cousin nate, cousin shari, susan, jamie, me & lola, dad, nate's wife sara
you can kind of tell in the picture, but shari has prosthetic arms. she has a prosthetic leg too. she is amazing. you can't find much nicer people than these. 

wish i could've gotten better pictures. these don't do it justice.

the cemetery had the coolest old barn building with stained glass windows in front. 

and then back to the red rock of utah.

total trip! 


life lately: march

time just keeps flying by. march came and went and i barely remember it. trying to be better at taking photos of the big stuff and the random stuff to remind me what we're doing every day! 
here's a quick run-down.

just a daddy and a little girl with an over-sized 'pack pack', walking to church. 
love that the weather is finally feeling like spring.

visits with our baby friends! come again, kayla and gavin!

and visits with our baby cousin friends! we are so glad you're here, gemma!

grocery shopping with this little squirt now pretty much always involves her own mini cart. and i'm actually ok with it. 

easter egg hunt! except gracie got so overwhelmed by the hoards of people running to get the eggs all at the same time, she ended up just crying and being upset and having jae carry her around, watching everyone else get all the eggs. literally, zero eggs for us. it was totally worthwhile ;)

terrible picture, but these little ones are great chocolate chip cookie making helpers!

just got the bumbo out a couple weeks ago, she's liking it for the most part, when she's not totally starting to slump over.

4 month dr visit! obviously these smiles were pre-shots. poor bebe.

the kids (cousins) had a sleepover at our house the other night (which i'm just realizing i didn't get any other pictures of) and i made them go grocery shopping with me. super fun aunt right here!

i often find these two like this :)

Easter sunday! first matching dresses!!!!!! it's a stretch - i had to buy gracie's in an 18-24 month size, which was the biggest they had. so it was a little short. but i didn't care, i just wanted them to match! 
(too bright for lola and gracie seems to not be sure how to smile on cue yet. best pics we could get)

entertaining during church. she's the sweetest.

i've been doing a 21 day fix workout, including these lovely shakeology smoothies every day. more on that later, but these smoothies have so grown on me! i totally look forward to them.