Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Makin' Brudder Laugh

The other day, Jack was messing with his fridge letters, and got Miller laughing SO HARD! 

I love watching these boys make each other laugh!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Whole30 - 1 Week Down

I've waited a little while to share this anywhere, but now that I have a week under my belt, I feel like it's okay to officially claim that I'm doing a Whole30. 

What in the world is the Whole30, you ask? Basically it is a strict Paleo eating plan for 30 days. So no sugar, dairy, grains, or legumes - and guess what? I'm not dead yet! ;) 

We had already been eating Paleo dinners since the beginning of September, and enjoyed pretty much everything we made. (We love the Against All Grain cookbook!) Jason was about 90% Paleo, but I was eating pretty much whatever I wanted all the time. 

Leftover birthday cake? Gone. 
Cookies and brownies from my sweet Mamaw? Gone. 
Chick-Fil-A nuggets and fries? Basically every day. 

I have been working out at the Y consistently for 9 weeks, and have felt better overall, but hadn't seen any improvement in my particular problem area. 

As a side note, I only gained 20 pounds with Miller (since he came so early), and lost that pretty quickly, but when I stopped nursing, I gained - you guessed it - 20 pounds. I weighed as much as I had 8 months pregnant. Except I wasn't pregnant. None of my pants fit. My shirts got super tight. The number on the scale didn't bother me so much (other than the fact that it kept rising...), but the way I felt was not how I wanted to feel.

So after a lot of prayer, God nudged me in this direction. Cut out my addiction to flavored coffee creamer, Halloween candy, French fries, and wheat thins. Get drastic and see if you survive. It's been tough!!!

I started out by cleaning out anything in our pantry that wasn't "on plan." Which... was basically everything. 

It's just stored for later, but now it won't mock me every time I open the pantry. 

So what HAVE I been eating? Breakfast is bacon, eggs, and grapefruit if we have it. (For the FIRST TIME in my life, I'm not piling sugar on my grapefruit. I took a note from my MIL who sprinkles salt on hers - it brings out the sweetness!) Lunch is leftovers or grilled chicken, grapes, sautéed zucchini or steamed broccoli, and a sweet potato for "dessert". Sweet potatoes used to mean butter and tons of brown sugar. Now it's cinnamon and salt, for the same reasons as the grapefruit. 

Dinner is typically one of our favorite recipes from the Against All Grain cookbook - BBQ bacon burgers, meatloaf muffins, slow cooker chicken tacos, and almost ALWAYS mashed garlic cauliflower, which fulfills my craving for mashed potatoes. 

Alright, do you think I'm crazy yet? Don't knock the cauliflower til you try it! :) It's definitely hard when temptation is all around (like ANY trip to Walmart, or the amazing cookies and cream cake I'm still having dreams about), but I'm committed to sticking it out! I'm ready to feel better and not feel like such a slave to sugar. 

Have you ever given something up (like for Lent) that you didn't think you'd actually be able to do for the set amount of time? What would be the hardest food/food group for you to give up?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What I Love: Podcasts

If you dropped in on me during nap time, and I was tending to all the house things (& not taking a nap), you will find me listening to one of two things - a sermon or a podcast. When the boys are awake we usually listen to music (Pandora: 2012 Top Christian Radio), but when I've got to deal with mountains of dishes like this:

...I love to listen to podcasts. And here are a few of my favorites (all free & found in the iTunes store under podcasts).

The first podcast I started listening to was the Simple Mom podcast by Tsh Oxenrider of the Art of Simple (formerly I have always enjoyed reading her blog, and loved hearing her interview some of my other favorite bloggers. It has now changed to her having the same 6 co-hosts and you basically get to listen in on their conversations. Crazy, I know, but so entertaining and informative. Some of her co-hosts are Myquillin Smith (the Nester),  Hayley Morgan (Tiny Twig), Emily Freeman (Chatting at the Sky), and Kat Lee (Inspired to Action). Which leads me to...

The second podcast I can't miss is the Inspired to Action podcast by Kat Lee. On one of the Simple Mom episodes with Kat, she mentioned starting her own podcast, and I couldn't download it fast enough. (I have an endless sink of dishes - I need an endless queue of podcasts!) I was going to tell you which episodes of hers are my favorites, but I've really enjoyed most all of them. However, I was SUPER PUMPED when I was listening to episode 13 and she read MY comment from her iTunes reviews! (And apparently my iTunes name is waaaay old - itsmeSG was my username when I got my very first iPod, so that's the name she says when she reads my comment.) I felt like a celebrity - I have arrived, people! Anyway, I always get something out of her episodes, like on one of the more recent ones (episode 18), she interviews a friend of hers whose husband left her and her 3 children. After listening to it, one commenter said it "stunned her into gratitude" for her husband. Completely agree. Worth the listen.

Also, from Kat and her friend Katie Orr is the HelloMornings podcast, from the HelloMornings community which was created after Kat's ebook Maximize Your Mornings. So far there is only 1 episode, but I know this will be another one on my have-to-read list.

Another podcast Kat recommended is the This is Your Life podcast by Michael Hyatt. It is a business leadership focused show, but as Kat says, running a household is a lot like running a business. I have found a lot of great information from his episodes!

A couple quick podcasts that are from the same website are the "Quick and Dirty Tips" podcasts. I subscribe to MightyMommy and Domestic CEO, but have also found some gems in the Get-It-Done Guy podcast too. These are typically short (7-10 minutes vs. the 45-1hr episodes from SM and I2A) and are, as the title says, quick tips.

And since we're already talking about podcasts, I might as well go ahead and tell you about some of the sermons I've been listening to.

Ok, that is a TON of information and a ton of links. I've been listening to podcasts for years, so this post is long overdue for me. :)

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites? You know I want to know!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Miller's First Time Swinging!

A few weeks ago, we took the boys to a local park and Miller got to swing for the first time! I can't believe it took me 8 months to put the kid in a real swing, but oh, I'm so glad I took a video of it!

Then it was time for the brothers to swing together!

Love these two!!!

Fun family day at the park!


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