Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just a bunch of random rambling…

I hope all of you are having a great week so far!
I have been so busy lately that I honestly don’t know whether I’m coming or going!
My sweet mamma’s birthday was yesterday. We are all celebrating on Thursday. My brother’s and daddy’s birthdays are in just a few days so we typically just gather everyone together all at once to celebrate. Makes for a pricey week, right?!? Ha! I don’t mind. They are more than worth it!

I have promised myself to drink more water throughout the day and my awesome hubby bought me something to help with that last night…


It’s called a Bobble. They have filters built into them. Every two months you just replace the filter. Considering how many people drink out of plastic bottles of water, each costing up to $1.50, every month, it’s so much smarter, cheaper, and environmentally friendly to use this. This is my first day trying it out and I love it so far. The water tastes fresh and it allows me to make sure I’m drinking water throughout the day. I’m very particular about how my water tastes. In the past, I only enjoyed Aquafina bottled water. Bobble turns my ordinary tap water into the same exact thing!

Caleb has been quite the handful this past week. He has entered into a very defiant stage. We’ve been very consistent on making sure he understands that it is definitely not tolerated in our home. Ryan and I have been sure we are on the same page. He can’t get away with any of his bad behaviors with either of us. I will tell you right now: It has been more than tough right now! Caleb is such a strong willed child and he’s giving us a run for our money! Ha! I am praying constantly that this is a very short lived phase we’re in right now. The funniest thing is that he only does this to Ryan and me! I am praising God for that!

I’ve been checking into that whole Freezer Meal Exchange Club over at Remodelaholic and I really think she’s got some great ideas there. Pinterest has tons of ideas for freezer meal planning, so it’s a great place to start if you want to jump into it. If you’ve got a couple of lady friends, this could be a great time to check out different recipes and help each other out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He Provides….

This past weekend marked an important accomplishment for our home. Ryan officially replaced the last major purchase for our home renovation. We were kinda forced into it!
Last weekend I noticed a little water leaking into my laundry room and knew it only meant one thing: the water heater was finally giving out. When I purchased the house, I knew the water heater replacement was definitely going to happen. The bottom was rusty and six years later, it finally gave out. It’s actually amazing….that poor water heater was the original unit for the home. It had a good long life and we are so thankful it happened when it did.
Ryan and I made that a priority this year and knew we needed to catch it before it completely rusted out the bottom. Ryan and I prayed it would hold off long enough to save up the money for it. Just as we got the extra money in the bank, it started leaking! Ha!
God answered our prayers by providing for our needs! Then on top of that, we received a 10% off coupon to where we were going to buy it. How awesome was that??? For a such a crummy situation, it sure turned out well! God provided the extra money for the water heater and then we saved a little more on top of that!
We have now replaced the roof, replaced the A/C unit and heat pump, replaced the water heater, cleared out some many trees, and are almost finished with a major basement renovation! All in our almost four years of marriage! I am so blessed to have Ryan. There’s no possible way I could have managed all this on my own.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Progress – Week Nine

I do have another loss to report this week! I have lost two more pounds. I am beyond happy with that….I am really hoping that next week will place me at the half way point of this whole journey.
This week has been difficult because I have been super sick. I found out on Friday that I had a severe ear infection and respiratory infection. I’ve been fighting the respiratory infection since Valentine’s Day. I am so over it at this point! I still cannot hear out of my right ear and I am hoping that it clears up in the next couple of days….
My weight loss is steady right now. I’m so grateful that I am past the plateau. That has been the most difficult part of this experience. I knew I was trying my hardest and I just couldn’t seem to break it. It went on for WEEKS! But the patience and persistence finally paid off and I am back to having results.
I finally feel like I have more energy and just feel healthier overall. I am looking forward to spring so that we can get outside more. Caleb and I took a walk around the neighborhood last week since we had such a pretty day. For the first time since having Caleb, I could walk the whole time and not feel like I was going to absolutely die at the end. Our neighborhood has plenty of hills and it really is quite the workout! I was so pleased that I made it finally!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Conquering the Beast

Ryan and I left work early yesterday to bring down the rest of our giant tree in the front yard. He notched the base and then used his Jeep to pull it over. And we conquered the beast!
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I brought Caleb home and he was beyond excited! He immediately went to work with his Daddy and Pa!
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We were cracking up at him! This tree was massive. I am so very grateful that it is finally not a risk for us. Hubby has a lot of work ahead of him, but the scariest part is now over.
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I love how open the yard looks now and it makes our home look so much better!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Progress – Week Eight

Here we are eight weeks into this now. I have literally been wearing the same outfits over and over for the past three years. When I gained weight through my pregnancy and then failed miserably at losing it, I refused to buy clothes. I hated clothes shopping when I felt so heavy. If I got a new outfit, it was due to my mom or aunt giving it to me. I have seriously worn holes into some of my clothes because I wore them over and over. They were the only things that fit. The only things I felt comfortable in. This past week, I found holes in my favorite “fat” jeans and lounge pants. I started to completely freak out when I put them in the garbage.


Grown woman….flipping out….near tears….over two pair of “fat” pants.


Poor hubby looked at me like I had lost my mind. Maybe I had. Then he said something that completely rocked my world…
“Wendy, those stupid things are way too big for you now. They look horrible on you. You have to buy some new clothes.”

My sweet hubby let me pick out some new clothes for my Valentine’s Day gift last week. Since we didn’t really know what size I was he thought it was best that I tried everything on myself instead of him guessing. Smart man, right?

My mom and I took the opportunity to shop at Kohl’s (one of my favorite stores). I picked a couple of outfits that were one size smaller than what I had been wearing. I was optimistic, but did not get my hopes up. I know the scale says I’ve lost 27 pounds, but my mind still believes I am still where I began. The whole time I had this thought in my mind that if things just didn’t fit I would not buy any clothes that day….
I found two cute fleece outfits and a beautiful pair of jeans. I dreaded walking into the dressing room like I had over the last few years. I already knew how this would go….I would find something cute and really want it. I would try it on and I’d look like a cow. I already had this scenario worked out in my mind.
I started with the more forgiving outfits….and they fit! I looked at the pair of jeans and felt slightly hopefully. As I put them on, I realized they were still a little more loose. In stunned silence, I walked out of the dressing room and  grabbed the next size down ….tried them on. I just knew there was no possible way….
Shock of the century!

I literally had on a pair of jeans that should NOT fit! I checked the tag four times….I texted my mom on the other side of the store….I took a picture to show hubby. Seriously flipping out in the dressing room. I pray no one else was in there while this was going on….
So, what’s the point of all this drama today???
I have officially dropped FOUR SIZES since I began!!!!!! I am wearing the same size jeans that I wore when I first married my sweet hubby. That is epically big! My shirt size is a whole size smaller than when I began as well! I have lost 27 pounds so far….
Even though my weight loss had slowed, I’m still making progress. I’m eating a million times healthier now and taking so much better care of myself. I may never be a size 0, but I really don’t care to be. I’m pretty now even though I am not as small as I would like to be. I can embrace my nice features and know that my hubby is pleased with the way I look. My progress may be slow, but I am getting there. Any day I don’t gain is a victory.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tree Goes “Boom”!

Our Saturday was very unusual this week. Hubby used a bucket truck to begin removing limbs from the massive tree in the front yard. Caleb is still sick, so we watched from inside the house.

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He was all about Daddy making the tree go “BOOM”!

Seriously, he said it forty-seven times….all day long…

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Granddaddy came over to give us a hand with it. Before Ryan topped the tree, Pa came over too. The tree could only fall one certain way without hitting something. It was really nerve wracking!

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They did it! And nothing got hit!

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The rest of this tree will be coming down as soon as the rain lets up!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Trees and Trains

This week is turning out to be fairly random….bear with me!

See this big, eighty foot tall tree? The one currently residing in my front yard? Hubby said it’s past time to take it down. Apparently with the rains we’ve had over the past couple of years, our yard is washing away from this tree’s roots. Ryan says that we’re at risk for it falling. If this tree fell, there’s no possible way it wouldn’t do some kind of damage….it can hit the house, hit Caleb’s room, hit our neighbor’s home, hit our vehicles, or hit power lines. I really don’t like any of those options at all, so we must have it removed.

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Honestly, I hate trees in my yard. I prefer flat, green, beautiful grass. I hate mowing around the roots sticking up in my yard from this tree. I despise all of the leaves this tree drops in the fall. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be saying goodbye to this giant.

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Caleb decided to bring out all of his train set and play with it while his Nana and Pa were at our house last night.

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Ryan reconfigured the tracks for about twenty minutes and then finally let Caleb play….

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By the time Ryan finished, Caleb was on to bigger and better things…

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Caleb got a new Veggie Tale movie and a bedtime devotional book for little kiddos from his Nana and Pa for Valentine’s Day. We get to start checking those out tonight!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Antibiotics and Strawberries

Caleb and I shared something on Valentine’s Day: a bad sinus infection. Nothing says “I Love You” like back to back doctor appointments! My sweet hubby was our hero yesterday. He helped us all afternoon.

Caleb had his first strep test yesterday and it was negative. Praise the Lord for that! He was so very brave and never got angry over it. Daddy took us out to Baskin Robbins and got ice cream since we felt so bad.

Ice Cream

This was his very first time at Baskin Robbins and he loved it! He had cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate sprinkles.

While Caleb stayed with his granny, Ryan took me to my appointment. When we got home, we had homemade veggie soup. After Ryan put Caleb to bed, he went back out and picked up my antibiotics.

This is the first time he’s brought me antibiotics and strawberries for Valentine’s Day and hopefully it will be the last! Ha!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Good morning, friends! Ryan, Caleb and I wanted to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day today.

Caleb woke up to a special surprise this morning! Attached to a yummy bowl of oatmeal was a sweet Valentine’s balloon. He was beyond excited!

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He kept saying, “Look, Mommy!!!” He gave his mommy the sweetest kiss this morning.

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On Saturday we took him to an IMAX movie for an early Valentine’s Day present. Daddy bought him a soft, little polar bear at the gift shop and he was good to go.

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I have the sweetest hubby! I am so blessed to be loved by him.

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with friends, family, and your favorite sweetheart!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Progress – Week Seven

Hey, friends! It’s that time again: another week into this journey. I know I wasn’t able to write much last week, but I am finally catching my breath at work. I do have another small loss to report! I am down another half a pound. It has really been a struggle and I wish I had bigger losses to share right now, but that’s just my body. The loss comes very slowly for me and this is real. I’m never going to be one of those ladies who can drop ten pounds on a whim. No, I have to work really hard for this. It’s so totally worth it!
The next two pictures were taken this past October…Have mercy! I was so chubby!
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And this was taken this past summer…
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These were taken yesterday with my sweet little Valentine…
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This is me now with a 23.5 pound loss. I feel so much better and I’m not as chubby. Still a little chubby, but I’m getting there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wild Child

 

Caleb and I were in serious need of a fun night out yesterday so we grabbed a couple of our favorite people!

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These two cuties were ready to get some energy out! They have been so wound up for the past few days.

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I think Tara needed some play time too!

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Caleb is so adventurous now….and completely fearless!

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He gets a chance to practice his awesome tackle skills!

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I just love this sweet boy! He’s so funny at this age and I really enjoy him.

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Caleb got a big surprise when his sweet cousin, Anna, showed up to play with him! He followed her everywhere. He’s absolutely crazy about her!

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Caleb slept great last night!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Year Later….

Some of my most popular blog posts are not about our home renovations or my weight loss journey. No, the most popular posts are the ones where I show you my heart and the inner workings of our marriage. I know there are plenty of people searching the internet as I type that are looking for the secret to a happy, successful marriage. Most people find it difficult to admit what isn’t working for their marriage. No one wants to talk about their marriages falling apart or how they just can’t seem to get things right. You never know what goes on behind closed doors…

Some people look to their church or small groups for the answers. Others seek out friends’ or family members’ advice. What happens when you can’t find help? What happens when you don’t know anyone with the strength and courage to discuss the reality of their marriage with you? What if you don’t know anyone that has true success?

Ryan and I have found ourselves asking some of those questions before. Our friends are about our age and are going through the same things in life that we are. They may be asking themselves those questions! Our parents have all had happy marriages for so long that everything about marriage just seems to come naturally for them. We have struggled with finding people who can break down the parts that work for them.

Nothing comes easy to Ryan and myself when it comes to marriage. You can pretty much guarantee that if there is a long, difficult way to go about something one of us (if not both) will take that direction. We just can’t help ourselves! I imagine that God chuckled to Himself the day we got married. Two of the most stubborn, aggressive people you can imagine decided it would be a fabulous idea to start a life together.

We have not had it easy. I’m sure we’ve complicated things so much more than necessary along the way. I believe strongly that God should be at the very center of our marriage. It’s almost been a year since I wrote this post. I still believe every single word I wrote. We struggle from time to time, adjusting here and there. We try to wait patiently while God works in our hearts. It’s not an easy process and we still struggle sometimes.

I do have a few suggestions if you’re stuck:

  • Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!
  • Seek a personal relationship God!
  • Find a church home.
  • Join a Sunday school class or small group.
  • Begin reading your Bible.
  • Begin the Love Dare. You can do this with or without your spouse.
  • Pray for a change in your heart and in your marriage.
  • Do a Bible study concerning marriage
  • Start talking with those around you! Seek their help and advice for a healthy marriage. Just asking can get people to open up and share their experiences with you.
  • Pray for God to make changes in YOU…not your spouse. Most of the time women like to “fix” men and never give ourselves a second thought!

Ryan is always going to be the one person I want beside me through the happy times, the sad times, the tough times, and all of the times in-between. My marriage and my husband are one hundred percent worth fighting for. God never promised that life will be easy and that marriage will be a fairy tale. The Lord does promise to be there when I rejoice and when I struggle. One day when we look back at the difficult times, we will realize that it was necessary to appreciate each other.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Progress - Week Six

What a week! I worked the local boat show this past weekend and I can really tell that losing the weight has helped my energy level so much. Compared to last year, I know there's no way I could have survived this past weekend if I was 23 pounds heavier....

Oh, yeah..... I did say 23 pounds. 

I have a 23 pounds loss so far!!!

Please forgive me while I try to catch up for a couple of days and deliver some sold boats! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Move!

Caleb has been hilarious this week! He’s really developing a funny personality and enjoys making us all laugh. Every day is an adventure and a chance to show him all kinds of new things. His interest in everything is exciting right now. I enjoy being a parent to a toddler…most of the time.

On a recent grocery shopping trip, Caleb behaved wonderfully. I was so proud and starting to feel like Super Mom until Ryan left us to grab something we missed two aisles away. As I walked by the dairy aisle Caleb was growing impatient. When we got close to the cheese section (one of his favorite foods), a lady in front of us stalled. She was slowly making her cheese selections and my sweet, little child just couldn’t contain himself any longer….

All of a sudden, he yelled, “MOVE!”

He said it so boldly, with such authority that I couldn’t believe that came out of such a small child….my child!

Horrified, I gasped and watched as this 300 pound, 6 foot tall woman slowly turned around to face us. I’m sure she stared at me for about five seconds while my mouth hit the floor in complete and utter shock. I managed to squeak out, “Caleb, you apologize RIGHT NOW!” This woman stood there as my once brave child burst into tears! Then the biggest grin spread across her face and she replied, “He’s too cute to get mad at!” The laughter rolled out of this large woman and I lost it. I laughed so hard I couldn’t catch my breath!

While Caleb buried his little face in my shirt and sobbed, we couldn’t contain our laughter! Ryan turned the corner, looked at the situation, and tried to figure out what was going on. He said, “I could hear you across the store!” The lady walked away and I pried my child away from my chest.

We paid for our groceries while I had globs of snot across my shirt from the clingy two year old permanently attached to my waist.

You would imagine that my sweet angel would remember this incident and refrain from making that same mistake….No, not my child. Since this episode, he has yet again pulled this on me in the store. Luckily, the woman in front of me was too far away to hear my rude child. Praise the Lord for small gifts! 

Looks like I may not receive the Mother of the Year Award this time around….

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I finally made my own dishwasher detergent. I found a link on One Good Thing and decided to give it a try. Instead of paying $.21 per load using Cascade, it now costs me $.09 per load if I make my own! 

Pure happiness, people!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent 
* 1 cup Washing soda or Baking soda (I used the Baking soda)
* 1 cup Borax (Borax and baking soda/wash are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives.)
* 1/4 cup Kosher salt (reduces the effects of hard water)
* 1/4 cup citric acid (available at brewing places or Amazon.com. Or as an alternative you can use the same amount of Fruit Fresh or two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon and ONLY unsweetened!)
* You can add about 20 drops of essential oil if you'd like it to smell special...
* Also, add about 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to the dishwasher prior to starting. It helps eliminate water spots and makes a huge difference!



I made just a little to try it first. I didn't want to waste my supplies if I wasn't going to love it. I ran a load of it with the dishes after dinner and it was perfect! 

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