Friday, June 23, 2017

Spring Swim Classes - 2017

So, I knew that I was behind in some of my updates for you all but I didn't know I was a full season behind! It's summer now and I still need to update you on Piper's Spring Swim Class session!

In the Fall of 2016, we signed Piper up for her first round of swim classes. She fell in love with the pool right away! You can read more on her first round of swim classes, here: Piper's First Swim Class.


This Spring, we signed Piper up for her second round of swim classes! The classes were every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 6 p.m. for four weeks. We all love our local swim classes, so much! It was definitely a welcomed activity in the Spring months, when the weather wasn't always ideal to get outside and play.


Piper improved so much during this round of swim classes. She got much more confident in the water and often wanted us to let go of her so she could be on her own. We aren't quite there yet, though.















Piper started taking swim classes with her friend, Rowan, last Fall and he joined her again this Spring! While they weren't in the same group this time around, they were still in the same classes, right next to one another in the pool. Piper always looked forward to seeing her friend in the locker room after swim class was over.












Piper's second round of swim classes were so much fun! We are looking forward to signing up again in the fall, however, we can definitely wait for that because right now it's sweet summer time!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Piper's Dedication Ceremony

I am behind on so many updates for you guys, it's not even funny. I have so much I want to share and it seems like I have so little time to do so. Summer does that to us.

Today, I want to share with you one of the best things that happened in the past month and that was when we dedicated Piper at our new church at Grace. 

Piper was dedicated on May 21, 2017.




If you're wondering what a child dedication service is, I think the best way for me to explain it would be to just share some of the information outlined on Grace Church's website.
"There's no Biblical mandate to dedicate your baby or child. However, we do see examples of child dedication in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1:27–28, a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. God answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words: "For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord." In Luke 2, we see Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple to have him dedicated as well. In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God. The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publically, through a child dedication ceremony.
Why don’t we baptize babies? People arrive at Grace from many faith traditions and varied spiritual journeys. Most Christian traditions have some ritual that responds to the spiritual magnitude of a new baby coming into the world. Some traditions baptize infants while others dedicate newborns. We believe baptism is only for those who have made a conscious decision to follow Jesus.
What are some of the responsibilities of a Christian Parent? When a parent dedicates their child they commit to doing everything they can to raise a child to love God. This includes: • Praying for the child (Job 1:5) • Setting a godly example (Proverbs 20:7) • Attempting to discipline them in a way that helps them understand how God lovingly disciplines us (Proverbs 29:15,17) • Involving the child in GraceKids. (No... there’s no scriptural support for this. But its a good idea.) • Taking the lead in the child’s spiritual development (Deuteronomy 6:5-6) • Inviting God into the process.
We can’t do this on our own. (Philippians 4:13). How will Grace help? By providing: Biblical training that helps family members of all ages know, serve, and love Jesus. • Men’s and women’s support groups that parents connect with other parents and grow spiritually. • Periodic classes to equip parents with helpful skills. • Pastoral support as needed to address specific issues." - Source / www.whoisgrace.com


In a nutshell, during the child dedication service, Nick and I declared, before our family and church, that we would raise Piper up to know Jesus. It was such a special occasion for our family, and we were so happy to have most of our immediate family by our side on this day.



Not pictured but present was my dad, stepmom and my siblings on that side.


During the service, alongside us were my mom, stepdad and little brother Evan. Both Piper and Evan got dedicated on that morning. It was really special for us all.




At the end, all of our family came up to pray around us. In those moments of prayer, I could feel God's love surrounding us. I couldn't be more thankful for our family, and now our new church family, too. God is good and I am so looking forward to sharing God's love with Piper in every way I can.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Fun is Here

Happy Wednesday, guys. How are you doing? I hope you're doing great! As for me, I have been feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day. Piper's bedtime has been thrown off for... well... quite a while. We've been having a lot of late nights on the weekends and her routine hasn't seemed to be getting quite back in order until mid-week, and by then, it's just about time for some more late weekend nights.


On Friday evenings, my husband and I are bringing back date nights. My mom has agreed to watch Piper on Friday nights this summer and we're really grateful for that time. Last week was our first date night of the "summer" and it was really fun! We went to a carnival, out to dinner at a new restaurant and then we went to watch the sunset on the lake. We didn't get back home until late, and so Piper went to sleep way past her bedtime.

On Saturday, my mom hosted an outdoor movie night. My mom got a projector for her birthday and for the past couple weekends, she has been hosting movie nights outside, under the stars. On movie nights, we don't get home and in bed until like 10:30/11 p.m. and so, bedtime is always thrown off from this event, too.

Summer weekends are the best weekends of the year. I know that we only get summer for a short time, so... I'm going to try and just cherish the season we're in; even if it means that my floors don't get swept for days and leftover sand from the beach is piling up on our floors. My advice for any guests is to just wear your sandals in our house. Beach days and summer fun is hitting our house hard and while I'm trying to keep up with the aftermath of all the fun {and seemingly no work}, we're not stopping any time soon!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Did A Thing

So, I did a thing.

I have been watching some inspiring weight-loss transformations on YouTube lately and, I decided to start a series for myself!

I'll just leave this right here...


I am hoping that this will give me the extra motivation and accountability I need to get me through my 30 by 30 challenge. 

Let me know what you think -- also, I'm going to start gathering questions now for a Q&A to be recorded at a later date. If you have a question for me, whatever it may be, ask it in the comments below and your question might get selected to be read aloud and answered on my YouTube channel!

Monday, June 19, 2017

30 by 30 Challenge: The Standstill

Two months ago, I declared that my husband and I were going to start a 30 by 30 challenge. You can read more on that, here: 30 by 30 Challenge Intro.

Since starting the challenge, not much has changed. There has been some fluctuation on the scale, however, our weight is virtually the same as when we began the challenge two months ago.

{source}
Two month's is a long time. We could have really gotten somewhere with our goals but, instead, we are at a standstill. Now, more than ever, would be a good time for me to recenter my focus on the 3 essentials I outlined at the beginning of this challenge.

There are 3 essentials I said we would focus on in order to be successful in this challenge:

1. Set a Goal with a Deadline
- lose 30 pounds each by our 30th birthdays

2. Determine a Plan of Action to Reach our Goal
- post monthly challenge updates with our current stats {I did not do this, yet.}
- weekly meal planning and incorporate exercise plans as time goes on {Done!}
- drink half of our body weight in ounces daily {We haven't complied with this every day, but a majority of them.}
- track calories through Sparkpeople daily, the good and bad {Need to improve on this!}
- give ourselves grace for when things don't go according to plan {Doing this now!}
- pick each other up when we stumble and never give up {On it!}

3. Set up a Reward to Work Toward for More Incentive
- if we both reach our goal, we will plan a vacation for just the two of us
We've been failing at a lot of things these past few months, however, we aren't giving up. We are two months closer to our deadline and we need to start making some serious progress now, before any more time gets wasted. The time is going to pass regardless, we might as well make it count!

Today is a new day, a fresh start. What are you going to do with it?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Non-Scale Victories For The Win

It's Friday; traditionally, weigh-in day for me. Is it weigh-in day for you, too? Whether the scale made you do a happy dance or made you feel frustrated today, don't forget to count those non-scale victories, too.

{source}

As for me, I didn't do a happy dance this morning. While I did lose weight this week, I found myself feeling like I am going nowhere fast. Well, I was feeling that way, until I took a look at the big picture of all of my weigh-in's for the year.

2017 Weigh-In's:

1/1/17: 255 lbs.
1/6/17: 253.8 lbs.  -- HealthyWage challenge begins
1/13/17: 247.5 lbs. 
1/20/17: 246.5 lbs. 
1/22/17: 246.3 lbs.

2/3/17: 241.5 lbs. 
2/10/17: 243.7 lbs 
2/17/17: 242.1 lbs. 
2/24/17: 241.6 lbs.

3/3/17: 241.4 lbs. 
3/10/17: 239.4 lbs.
3/17/17: 240.3 lbs.
3/24/17: 238.2 lbs.  -- HealthyWage challenge ends - 15 lbs lost!
3/31/17: 239.4 lbs.

4/7/17: 237.7 lbs.
4/14/17: 240.3 lbs.
4/21/17: 240.3 lbs  -- 30 by 30 challenge begins
4/28/2017: 239.7 lbs

5/5/17: 239.3 lbs.
5/12/17: 240 lbs.
5/19/17: 239.3 lbs.
5/26/17: 239.7 lbs.

6/2/17: 240.1 lbs.
6/12/17: 242.2 lbs.
6/16/17: 240.3 lbs.

Good news is, I am still 15 pounds down for the entire year so far, however; it's easy for me to get stuck on my most recent track record. I'm talking about from when I started my 30 by 30 challenge in April until now. My weight hasn't really changed at all since I started my challenge. It has fluctuated as weight does but, I'm not seeing any serious progress. Instead of letting this fact get me down, I am going to count my non-scale victories, instead.

My non-scale victories of this past week:

> Mid-week, started waking up with less pain.
> Easier to wake up earlier in the morning; feeling more energized.
> Feeling better in my skin.
> Fewer cravings, would rather choose well.
> Feeling motivated.
> Feeling less bloated.

I have completed a full week of eating within calories; avoiding night-time binges {which started getting harder later in the week but, I've stayed strong}; drinking all of my water, and; being active for 90 minutes {and then some}. I feel really good about my accomplishments and while, I felt like I deserved to see a bigger loss on the scale, I realize that the scale doesn't tell the whole story.

I'm sticking to this; I am going to make some serious progress!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Overeating My Emotions

"At some point, I came to realize overeating was adding to my hurt, not soothing it." - Lysa Terkeurst

Anyone else out there tend to soothe themselves with food? Whether or not I'm conscious of what I'm doing in the moment, I'm a total repeat offender when it comes to soothing myself with food. Mostly, I do this at night, when I'm tired. 

I can't tell you how many times my body has mixed up the feelings of being tired and hungry. The thing is, eating late at night doesn't fix the problem. I'm still tired after I indulge in a late-night binge and then, I end up going to bed feeling worse than before I soothed myself with food. This quote from Lysa Terkeurst couldn't ring more true to me.

{Source}

Since coming across this quote, I have been more conscious of my bad habit of night-time eating. I have had a couple instances when I wanted to make myself some late-night nachos but, I refrained and I went up to bed instead. Do you know what happened next? I went to sleep and, it was a good sleep. That good sleep turned into a good morning because, I didn't have any regrets from the night before. That good morning turned into a good day and then, another good night. 

I'm almost through a complete week now without having a night-time binge and I feel so much better. Slip ups are bound to happen eventually but, I just need to keep in mind that eating my feelings isn't going to fix anything. If I'm tried, I need to rest, not eat.

Readers, what emotions do you tend to eat instead of deal with and, in what non-food way will you react the next time you come across this emotion?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Health + Happiness

"Health is not just about what you're eating. It's also about what you're thinking and saying." {source}


Yes. A million times, Yes. Also, this:

{source}

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say and, what you do are in harmony" - Gandhi.

These past few days, I have been very happy in the sense of what I think, say and do are in harmony. It's a great feeling compared to weeks before. I was always either saying that I would do better tomorrow or thinking that today would be the day when I would get back on track but my actions never followed suit. Now though, it's all in harmony and I'm on a roll.

For the past three days I have tracked my nutrition on Sparkpeople, stayed within calories, drank 120 oz. of water, and gotten in a decent amount of activity. One thing that I've been doing differently compared to previous weeks, too, is that I have been waking up early to do some yoga stretching on my back patio. I love the start of summer. I am so energized from the change in season and I'm using this extra energy to my advantage.

One last thing I want to mention is that I started using Pinterest again to spark some motivation. Creating a vision board is one of the tools I like to use for losing weight and, Pinterest is great for that! You can check out all of my vision boards here: Goal of Losing's Pinterest.

Make it a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Back to Routine

After about a month, I am happy to say that this routine-loving mama is back to her old routine. While I am going to miss my husband being home every day {after being partially laid-off for nearly a month} he finally went back to work yesterday!

Good news is, I'm back to work too -- on myself! These past few days I have been reaching my water goals, counting calories with Sparkpeople and getting a lot of activity in.

(source)

Contrary to my own initial belief, I actually got the same {if not less} time to myself when my husband was laid-off as compared to when he would work 40 hours a week. We just wanted to do everything together because we actually didn't know how long we would have with his lay-off until the end of last week. 

So, while in my head I thought, "oh -- good, my husband will be home all day so I can go workout whenever I want and I'll have more time to make healthy meals for us"; really, it didn't happen that way. Sure, I DID get out on more walks with my dogs these past few weeks than I have in these past two years combined; and sure, I did make a few healthy meals but, not as much as I thought I would. 

Mostly, during my husband's time off from work we just enjoyed the freedom of both being home with our toddler during the best time of the year. There were many last-minute beach trips, zoo trips, museum visits and so on. We had SO much fun while my husband was off from work that instead of overloading you with all the details now, I am just going to take a little time each week to recap some of our adventures from the past month {including our first overnight vacation with Piper} so keep an eye out for those updates, soon.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Active Couch Potato + Patio Pictures

With summer nearly upon us, so begins the almost-nightly trips to get ice cream. I am not joking when I say that we spent about $40 on ice cream in the past few weeks. Going out to the ice cream stand is the perfect end to a long, warm day but, it's going to have to happen a little less often for us. Not only do our almost-nightly ice cream visits hurt the bank account but, it's been hurting my weight-loss progress too. 

Thankfully, the amount of extra activity we are getting in with the sun setting later at night is helping even things out a bit. While I didn't gain any significant amount of weight during our "staycation", I didn't lose any significant amount of weight either. 

In the past few weeks, I have found that there were days when I was successful and other days when I definitely was not even close. Especially when we went on a real over-night vacation to Niagara Falls last week {more on that soon}. The balance between success and failure in recent weeks seemed to translate in a stand-still on the scale -- which is better than a big gain in my book. 

To some, the warmer months might seem like the perfect time to lose weight but, for me, I always seem to struggle. I know why, too. It's the heavy and sometimes uneven balance between extra activity and extra indulgences {like nightly ice cream trips} that keep me from losing weight this time of year. There are days when I go for multiple walks a day because it's so nice out, and then I have other days where I order out, eat ice cream and sit on patio all night -- just relaxing. #balance right?

The warmer months are my favorite for relaxing in our backyard and also for exploring new places. I'd like to consider myself an active couch potato -- only, the with the couch being outside on our patio because, well, summer is coming. 

Speaking of our patio, I finally took a few pictures to share with you.





Piper even has her own section of the patio for her play-house, picnic table and toys. I love the placement of "Piper's patio" because it's a straight-shot view from our kitchen to the patio when our backdoor is open.




Our patio is one of my favorite places to sit this time of year. I love to go out under the patio at all times of the day.


On warm mornings, before Piper wakes up, I like to take my yoga mat outside and do some stretching to start my day. It's also great for mid-day when Piper's playing in the backyard. At night, when things are starting to wind down for the day, Nick and I love to sit under the patio and chat, too. It's just my favorite place to be right now!



If you know anything about my husband, then you know that he can make just about anything. Piper has been in love with wind chimes lately {she calls them jingle bells} and so, Nick made her a wind chime and it hangs from our back patio. Anything for his girls! He's such a good guy.




With summer on it's way, my covered-patio is one the place where you can always find me! My stone-patio comes in second place. But, it's been a close call lately now that we have a big umbrella covering the patio table out there.


I plan on writing quite a few post outside this summer, this one was included!