Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with love, family and Jesus! I spent three days with my family and it was fabulous. Ryan, Caleb and I went to our church's candlelight Christmas Eve service with my husband's parents. I can remember praying every year that my little one would just sit through this service without screaming and crying. It seemed like we toted him out of there so many years. This year he sat quietly as they told the beautiful story of our Savior's birth and we lit candles. And I giggled as other parents carried their screaming kids out! I really don't miss those days at all. 

The magic of the season swept Caleb up this year. He really had fun with Santa, the elves and all of the reindeer. It was so much fun living it with him this year. We went to my parents' for Christmas Eve dinner and a PJ party. 


If you know me in real life, you know I have an obsession with PJ's. We're talking three dresser drawers stuffed full, my husband has slightly threatened me not to bring any more home, but I still do kind of obsession. The PJ party was pure happiness for me and Caleb, who also shares my obsession! 


My dad cooked a huge steak for all of us and Mom fixed baked potatoes and everything else. It was awesome! 


My nephew was precious! He is such a joy to be around and is so funny right now. But he doesn't sit still for long. I had to catch him quick. 

Same thing with the chihuahua! She quickly jumped on Caleb for a moment and then she was gone. She really does not care for Caleb at all. It must have been a small Christmas miracle. (He did later on drop her and the magic was gone....)


We visited our neighbors when we got home and Caleb was spoiled even more. Ryan and I have said time after time that we have truly been blessed this year. Not only did we get a great new home, but we got the best neighbors a family could ask for. They love Caleb so much and he loves them right back. 

Once we finally got Caleb in bed, Ryan and I started pulling all of the gifts out of the attic. We wanted to surprise Caleb with a kayak for months. He fought all summer for Ryan's and now the battle is over. They can play and fish together next summer while I relax on the boat. Problem solved! 



My husband spoiled me like crazy. The longer we are together, the better he gets at gift giving. He deviates from the list and he does well! 



I love spending time with him over the holidays. He has been such a huge support to me this year in so many ways. I really don't know what I would do without him. 


Christmas morning is always spent with my daddy! We have a big Christmas breakfast every year and it's always a huge production. Over the years we have all gotten more and more involved. I can remember watching my granddaddy cook it. Then I can remember it just being my parents. Now I have memories of my husband and brother helping out too! 


Some little boy was all out wild! 


We had such a great time with our families. I cannot believe it's over. We spent our first Christmas in our new home together and it was just a really sweet time for us. Ryan and I have had such a full year. We are praying for a happier, healthier new year. I've got a lot to catch you up on around here and I am planning some super exciting things for January!!!! 


My family wishes you a very blessed holiday season and a joyful new year! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Only The World - Zumba® Fitness - Dance Fitness Video

I love when something comes together just right. I had bits and pieces of choreography stuck in my head after hearing Only The World by Mandisa. It's a beautiful song and I could see certain moves in my head and it was driving me nuts. Luckily I am blessed with talented friends!

We got together before class one evening and stood in a circle just kicking around ideas. Before we knew it, this song was thrown together. I get so pumped up about new songs that I have to do them over and over. So we literally tried it in class right then. It just worked! We tried to record it with everyone during class one night and it was kinda ugly, so we waited about a week later and finally got this.... 




We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! It is perfect for all fitness levels. You can watch sweet Allie in the back row on the left kick it up a notch for a higher impact version or you can see Loretta on the back, right show you the low impact version. You can tailor this workout to you! Throw in some sass, make it your own, and have fun. 
Shared with That DIY Party

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Victories All Over The Place!

I've got updates all over the place. I promised you a weight loss update this week, so I'm going to do just that. I weighed yesterday and I can finally tell you that I've lost 16 pounds since this summer. Finally!!! I feel so much better.

Last night I had my sleep study and I passed everything with flying colors. No leg issues through the night, no heart issues, and no sleep apnea.



Last night I left Zumba® and went straight to my sleep study. The guy setting me up asked how much I weighed. I told him I was 157 pounds and he said, "Great! The girl right before you was the same, so I will grab the same bands. We won't have to adjust anything."
He fastened the first band around my waist and it was about three inches too loose. He said, "Dang, girl! What do you do? You've got some serious muscle! Are you sure you weigh 157? You are tiny." I promised I weighed that morning because I am only weighing once a week now. Then he fit the other band under my arm pits and had to tighten it up about three inches. He was amazed. He commented that I must be doing something right. I launched into my whole Zumba® fitness speech.
When I got home this morning, I finally felt brave enough to try on my favorite pair of jeans. I had tucked them away after we moved in April. I hadn't worn them in a long time. The last time I tried them on, I couldn't squeeze them over my hips and I was just so sad. This time not only did they slide right on, they zipped and buttoned with plenty of room to spare! My favorite size 4 jeans are back on! 


My endurance is slowly building. I can withstand my Zumba® classes a little longer and I am pushing a little bit harder each time. My girls are challenging me more and more and they're all pushing a little more with me. We are tackling songs as a group that we would never have tried 6 months ago!

I'm watching my water intake carefully. I notice that I have to drink more water to feel better. My energy levels are much better when I do. It takes a while to make it a habit, but really pays off when I do!

What questions do you have for me at this point? What have I left out? 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Life Lately

This has been a whirlwind week for us. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I had a follow up appointment with my neurologist. On Wednesday morning, I had an EMG to test the muscles and nerves in my arms, legs, and back. 


I laughed because my legs and feet look pretty rough. I painted my nails and shaved my legs, but it still doesn't hide the fact that I have bruises from being a complete klutz. Nor does it hide my blistered feet from years of Zumba. Oh well! Part of it....


The EMG was not fabulous. I had electric shocks sent through my legs, arms, and hands. Then the neurologist stuck needles in my arms, legs, hands, and back to test my nerves and muscles. I seriously wanted to cry. We ended with an ultrasound of the nerves in my arms. This neurologist informed me that I have carpal tunnel in both wrists and that we caught it very early. It is treatable and should be resolved within three months. I have to adjust some of the things I do at work and wear braces at night.


As soon as I finished with the testing, I went to my main neurologist for a meeting. I'm now on my full dosage of Topamax for my chronic migraines and that is working very well. I only had one issue while taking this medicine so he prescribed another medication that can shut down a migraine that sneaks past the Topamax. Ryan, my neurologist and I also figured out that I am premenopausal based on some of my migraines and my symptoms. I'm really shocked because I'm only 31. My cycles are consistently coming every 21 days now and my migraines are flaring the night before them. I had also been diagnosed with an inner ear condition called BPPV. You can Google it and it's also tied into migraines. I've always had issues with my ears. The BPPV is temporary, but we don't know how long it will last. Finally my neurologist wants to do a sleep study on me to see if I have sleep apnea. Based on the shape of my throat and my dad recently diagnosed with it, he is fairly certain I have it. He thinks he can greatly increase my energy levels if we can improve my sleep quality.

The best thing is that everything is all manageable. There is nothing life threatening or altering. I can control this and I can adapt. It may take tweaking some things, but most of it is temporary. It just all kind of collided and was tough to diagnosis. I went through months of misdiagnosis, months of testing, and so many months of wondering and not knowing. Now it is over. I am just thankful at this point. I am a little frustrated. I feel sad that I lost almost a whole year. I missed out on things with my family. I mean, we moved this year. We had a big family vacation. This was supposed to be our year of joy. I feel robbed of that sometimes. I wanted that so badly and it was just out of my reach.

But.... God humbled me this year. He taught me so much. He brought my best friends. He showed me that I could depend on others instead of being so independent and strong willed. He broke me and remade me. He showed me to just sit still and trust Him. Instead of taking my health for granted, I value it even more. I make an effort to be more present with my family in those special moments since I really missed out them when I didn't feel well. I learned that I could share my struggles to bring someone else hope instead of just keeping it inside. Most of all He showed me love, mercy, and hope.


This week one of my favorite people got to come to class! Sweet Allie was able to trade nights at her new job to workout with us. We have all missed her so much, but she's saving up for college. I'm so happy she's responsible, but I really miss her. When I really started struggling physically this year in class, she stood beside me and was my high impact example in classes. She brings so much energy and sass every single time. We tried a hip hop Christmas song and it was such a crazy mess, but we had fun and that was all that mattered!


Unfortunately this was also a rough week for Caleb. He got a nasty stomach virus. When I picked him up from school, they office was paged with several clean ups needed in other rooms. I have scrubbed the house and washed so many clothes. Thank goodness for Zofran!


Fortunately I was able to work on my laptop and edit boat pictures. Caleb was content watching plenty of Christmas movies. My favorite Christmas movie of all time was on too!


Late Friday night after no naps and plenty of running his mouth, he finally crashed beside the tree. He had been cooped up in the house for two solid days. For my little ADHD boy, that was tough!


Today has been beautiful! We finally took down a big tree that was right over Caleb's room. The wind whips across the property and I can't sleep at nights when it storms because all I can think about is this tree falling on my child. So my sweet husband took it down for me. Luckily we had some help! I am just so thankful it is gone now. We have plenty of firewood for our evenings after Caleb goes to sleep too!


I'm pretty sure that gets us all caught up. I will do a weight loss update this week. It's slowly creeping back down! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Friends and Football

This weekend was full of family and friends. Sometimes I think back to when Caleb was little. I didn't invest time in anything but my husband, child and work. My life was pretty empty. Over time I started filling it with Jesus, friends, more family, and love. Lots and lots of love. I am filled with so much joy when I think of how blessed I am to have the love of so many friends and family. I don't take any of it for granted because I have known what it's like to be without these friendships.

This weekend I worked a benefit sale for our friends that were in the car accident in October. Ryan and Caleb had a boys weekend. Ryan and Caleb worked on the Jeep and played on the four wheelers while I was away. I loved coming home to see the outside of the house decorated for Christmas and find my husband working in the barn. He has turned into such a country boy since we've moved... I've gotta admit it makes my heart beat even faster....


All three boys were finally together for the first time since the accident. It was a little tough to see them play and not worry about them getting hurt. I think we're all so over-cautious with them right now. These boys are so tough that they know no difference. It made my heart so happy to finally see our boys back together. Caleb was thrilled! 


I have such a special place in my heart for this sweet boy. He's my little boy's best friend. He took my son under his wing in football and in school when no one else did. He has the biggest heart. Before the accident, he'd run up to me and hug me before school every day. I've missed him a lot. Yesterday was the first time I'd hugged him since I held his hand the day he was pulled out of the car. I've waited a long time for that hug. Praise God that day came!!!! 


And this is their mama! Ashley and I have a lot in common and I am so thankful for our new friendship. We had started building it before all this mess happened and I am so glad our boys are buddies! She has a beautiful heart and is raising amazing boys.


Caleb is obsessed with his four wheeler. He is amazed his mama knows how to ride one and knew how to ride one before he was born. Apparently he thought I had no life before he came along...


We wrapped up our football season this weekend with our banquet. I'm so sad this was our last weekend wearing the jersey.





Our church had a Christmas special this morning and it was beautiful. I got to sit with some of my Zumba® sisters. They are so pretty! I'm so happy they sat beside me early on a Sunday morning!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Tis The Season

Caleb had his 6 year old check up this week. He is 48.75 inches tall (the average 6 year old is 45 inches tall) and still 55 pounds (but he's in the 90th percentile). Our pediatrician has always predicted that Caleb will be big when he's older too. He's always been at the top of the growth charts and it's a pretty good indication that he will continue that trend. Technically Caleb can ride everything but four roller coasters at Six Flags now. He now has no height restrictions at certain water parks.... I just find that really fun!





We also had our annual Zumba® Diva Christmas party. This year we were able to relax at one of our Diva's homes and enjoy her beautiful decorations. It was so nice to talk to all my favorite ladies. I might be just a little bit biased, but I honestly have the prettiest best friends ever. But they have the sweetest hearts to match too. 


This year we did something different. Each of us went around and told how we got hooked on Zumba® class. I went last and started to get a little choked up. This group of women that sat with me that night had such a huge piece of my heart. These women are my closest friends. They stuck by me as I lost family members this year, sold a house, moved, renovated, and went through some scary health stuff. They loved me through it all and I have the honor of knowing them and loving them right back. They gave me a special card that night and I tried my best not to cry. I made it home to Ryan and burst into tears. They are so thoughtful and just don't know how much they mean to me.


I love the friends who don't mind selfies and silliness. The ones who can smile even through the toughest days. I definitely have it with these three ladies. One look can set off fits of laughter and it's always contagious. Each girl just has so much joy! 


Ryan, Caleb and I decorated around the house for Christmas. This is our favorite time of the year and we are so excited to find places in our new home to put things.


Caleb couldn't wait to help his daddy with the tree! It has always been their job and tradition to put the limbs on, fluff it out, and string the lights.



I think I get this same picture every year and it makes my heart so happy!


And I get to decorate. I think this is the last time it will look this way. I am going with different colors next year, but I thought I would enjoy it one more time.


This tree has now come full circle. Ryan's grandparents gave us this tree a few years ago. We have loved it and now it has come back to the home they once lived in and passed onto us as well. Ryan and I thought a lot about his grandparents as we sat by the tree that night.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Wrapping Up No Weigh November

A month without obsessing over that scale.... 

I've got to admit I have been pretty busy and fairly distracted this month. And I did have to be weighed a couple of times. I didn't ask for my weight.

It was actually freeing. So far I can tell in my cheeks and in my belly pooch the most. I haven't taken my measurements either, but I know I'm wearing some of my jeans again and I'm okay with that obviously. 


I have taken time to do a lot of soul searching. You can read about my struggles {HERE}. So many of you have cheered me on here and privately through messages, texts, and in person. Thank you so much. Each and every word built me up and made me strong. Some of your words made me cry tears of joy. Some caused tears of pain because you feel the same way I did. But mostly you brought me peace. Who would have ever thought this little blog would bring such awesome people into my life???

Most of you are chained to the scale like I was. I admit that I stepped on that thing multiple times a day. I bet that some of you do too. Mentally it's messing with our heads though. It's defeating us. 

Let's say I step on the scale first thing in the morning and I've lost a little. I'm pumped up and I'm determined to kick butt all day long! I'm feeling great! What if I am conquering the world when I get home from work and step on the scale to find that I gained four whole pounds? Sure, I know that my body weight can fluctuate during the day but it throws me off my game. It doesn't matter what my brain says, my heart feels the pain. It kinda gets me down and I might binge a little at dinner. Or I might not work as hard during class. But.... what if I handle it differently? What if I still make the perfect choices at dinner and workout like a beast? I wake up the next morning and expect to see another loss but I see a slight gain? DEFEATED. And then I give in to my emotions. I don't stop to take into consideration that maybe my hormones are varying or possibly my body is retaining water with something I ate two days before. I expected immediate results and didn't look at the bigger picture and I was defeated. My mind got in the way of my body. Then two things can happen. It can spiral out of control or I can become obsessed by the scale. Either way I am headed down a sad, lonely road. 

If you cannot give up the scale for a month, try every two weeks or even start out for a week. Stop putting a numerical value on you! You are more than a number. You aren't doing this for a number. You are doing this to feel better and to be healthier. The rest will fall into place. Trust me. I have been obese and I have been skinny. Now I just ache to be healthy and happy. I want that for each and every one of you. 

Quit focusing on the scale. Focus on drinking water. Stop obsessing over every fad diet. Obsess over fruits, veggies, lean meats, dairy, good fats, and whole grains. Instead of watching life pass you by, jump up and do something about it. You won't regret anything you put into it.

Oh.... and I did finally weigh today. I lost 12 pounds in one month by NOT obsessing over that dang scale. Leave it alone and go have some fun! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We have so much to be thankful for this year. It was our first year in our new home. We are surrounded by family and friends who love us. And we are much healthier than we even were a couple of weeks ago. No matter how tough things are, Ryan and I know we always have something to be thankful for. 


This was our year to cook for Ryan's family. On Wednesday night I assembled everything so that all we had to do was pop it in the oven and cook the turkey. I baked four skillets of cornbread and they came out perfect. I am so OCD about my cornbread, y'all. It's a Southern girl thing.



On Thursday we had lunch with my family. Zoey ended up being really sick all weekend and I felt so bad for her. She has had it rough! 


Caleb still has football fever even though our season is over. He had everyone out passing with him that afternoon.


My little nephew does not sit still for long. It's more like a grab and go kind of thing.


Ryan deep fried our turkey. I researched it for days before we attempted it. I made sure our home owner's insurance was perfect, I prayed, and Ryan's mama supervised carefully. And it was the most uneventful turkey cooking I have ever seen. Which obviously is a good thing. I made the mistake of watching lots of YouTube turkey cooking fails. None of that happened. But we did get a delicious, gorgeous turkey. Even Caleb, the child who would not eat turkey, begged for more turkey.


After dinner one of my favorite people and I decided to go shopping. My husband thought we were absolutely crazy. Honestly, it was not bad at all and I had the best time. It wasn't terribly crowded and the lines weren't that long. I didn't have to fight anyone and I got coffee. We didn't get home until 2 am, but it was sooo worth it! I didn't have a 6 year old begging for stuff and I was able to just enjoy everything. We are definitely planning and plotting things better next year to get more deals, but I think we did pretty good at the last minute with things.

I crashed hard when I got home, but Caleb let me sleep in until 10 the next morning. That really never happens. I was so worn out!


Over the weekend Ryan showed Caleb how to ride his new four wheeler. The surprising part was that my husband was an absolute nervous wreck.


He went over all the safety stuff first. They had a long discussion. It was pretty cute to watch. 


Caleb really just agreed to anything to ride.




But he listened better than I thought he did.



Ryan rode on one of our other four wheelers for a bit. He's still working on mine right now, but I was content watching.


Once Caleb went inside to nap, we both raced through the yard. I was lighter and faster. He hated that part!


Of course on Saturday he was back on the four wheeler again. He rode for hours.


Ryan's parents kept Caleb for us Saturday night so that we could have a date night. We went to dinner and a movie. It was nice to have some time to ourselves finally. 


I found this clock during our Thanksgiving shopping trip and had to have it. I've got an idea for it!


I have taken some pictures of our barn each season and I want to frame them around the clock in the living room. What do you think?





And I reckon if you stuck around this long I'll give you a health update. Last week my neurologist called me. He does not completely agree with the diagnosis I was given in the hospital. He thinks I could be having migraines, but it does not completely explain all of my symptoms. So I have to have an EMG (nerve/muscle test) in a week and then I have to immediately come to his office to talk. My husband is going with me. I have a feeling that this doctor thinks he's looking at something specific although I have no idea what. He seems very convinced that this test will show something. 

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