Monday, October 16, 2017

Whirlwind of Goodness and Fun

Wow! It's Monday already. I can't believe it. This weekend was a whirlwind of goodness and fun. 

On Friday, my husband and I had an amazing date night at the beach... in October. It was about 75 degrees and beautiful. I couldn't believe we were at the beach, in that kind of weather, at this time of the year. Our date night truly felt like a vacation.

On Saturday, Nick, Piper and I went on a little road trip out of state to go to the Fall Fest at Peek n Peak in Clymer, New York. We got there around 11 a.m. and stayed until about 3 p.m. 

We had so much fun! Piper got ride-a-rama which gave her full access to a bounce-house obstacle course, pony rides and this cute little train ride that she rode about 12 times without exaggeration. 

We all got to feed some animals, check out some really cute vendors, and eat lunch together under a beautiful sky with some beautiful views of the resort. It was the perfect day for Fall Fest.

Piper took a nap on the ride home from New York, which worked out perfectly for us. When we got home, it was still around 75 degrees outside with no chance of rain, so we decided to take advantage of the weather yet again and go to Zoo Boo at our local Zoo!

Piper dressed up as Princess Poppy from the movie Trolls, which was her first pick for Halloween! 

Side note: I got this Halloween costume on Amazon way back in August because I figured it would be a hard one to get this year and, I'm happy that I shopped that early. There were only 6 of these outfits left on Amazon when I went to buy it back in August and they were sold out nearly everywhere else online, including Walmart, which seemed to be the main carrier of this particular costume. Amazon to the rescue for this Halloween!

I called up my mom to see if my little 7 year old brother wanted to go to Zoo Boo with Piper and so, she drove us all in to the Zoo. Evan recently broke his arm and so, to help disguise his cast, his costume of choice this year was a knight. I loved seeing the two of them dressed up together and enjoying Zoo Boo!

Piper's favorite part of Zoo Boo was this little kid dance party in the center of the zoo. It was the absolute cutest thing to watch her dancing with all of those other little kids in their Halloween outfits. I am so glad that I got a video of it because I never want to forget that sight.

As for Sunday, Nick got up early and left before Piper and I were even awake so he could get ready to play electric guitar with the worship crew at church. We met him at church for the 10:30 service, where Piper goes to her 2-year old class with Miss. Becky, whom she absolutely adores.

After church, Nick, Piper and I went out to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. Which was mainly Piper's idea and we just rolled with it. Nick and I love going out to eat with out little toddler foodie. She is usually {I try not to say always, even though it's mostly true} so well behaved when going out to eat.

After lunch, we decided to opt out of a nap for Piper so we could visit some family that we hadn't seen in a while. We visited with them until later in the afternoon. Then, it was time for me to figure out a meal plan and grocery list for the week. I went grocery shopping before dinner and then it was typical end-the-night routine, with a bath time for Piper, bedtime stories and bed.

So, like I said, this weekend was a whirlwind of goodness and fun! We are really excited to get started on the week ahead. I hope you all are ready for it, too!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pause and Pray

I feel like these past few weeks have flown by faster than usual. I mean, it's the middle of October, everyone. Can you believe it?! I am having trouble coming to terms with that one.

I do want to say that while this week went by really fast for me, I feel like my time was well spent! I can't always say that, so I feel like I need to celebrate that fact whenever I can.

I think one reason why I felt more balanced and productive with my time this week is because I put God first. I started almost every morning either with an earnest prayer and/or bible study this week. And, that wasn't that only time I spent in prayer. I prayed all throughout my day, too. Whenever I felt like I was close to losing my patience with Piper (my two year old), I paused and prayed. Whenever I felt like I was about to have an anxiety attack, I paused and prayed. Whenever I was sad, I paused and prayed. Whenever I was happy or content, I paused and prayed. It was a very prayerful week, as I wish all weeks were for me. I am working on it!


I remember a while back, there was a time when I felt like I couldn't pray to God at all. That was a hard time for me. I had many reasons weighing on my heart. Some of the reasons being, it had been too long since the last time I prayed; I didn't have enough time to really get into a full earnest prayer; I didn't know what to say.

So, at first, I started praying by saying nothing at all. I just opened my heart to God, asked Him for forgiveness and begged Him to just listen to my heart because, I didn't have the words. I knew that He knew what I wanted to say, without me saying anything at all. He knew what I needed even when I didn't, and I trusted that silent prayer was enough to start building back up my relationship with God. It took me a while of silent prayer before I started feeling comfortable enough to start voicing the words from my heart. After a while, the words started flowing so much easier.

To be "in touch" with God throughout the day also helps to keep me from feeling that "stay-at-home-mom loneliness" that creeps in from time to time. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm sure you can google something like "why do stay at home moms feel lonely?" and get a bunch of answers from various articles on the topic. I don't even know the reason fully, myself at times. I mean, I'm never alone during the day {I'm with my two year old} and yet, I would sometimes get lonely. More so, I would feel lonely back in the days before Piper and I started having these fun two-year old conversations, thanks to her more developed speech. But, still, it happens -- just less often, now.

Another thing I noticed happening this week: now that I started to focus more on being prayerful throughout my day, I was forgetting to check my phone -- a lot. I left my phone upstairs for an entire morning on Monday and then an entire afternoon yesterday. Compared to my phone {and social media} uses in previous months, that is kind of a big deal for me. I think I know why I've been needing to be on my phone less this week, too. 

It's really no secret {to me anyway} that I use my phone and social media to feel connected in a fairly isolated environment. Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating at times and social media and texting friends is my connection to the outside world, every day. But, now that I've been more prayerful throughout my days, I haven't needed to rely on social media as much to feel as connected. Instead, I've been connected elsewhere. I've been "in touch" and connected with God all throughout my day and my heart has been content.

I know that not all weeks will be this good but, I needed to share what's gotten me through this busy week with such contentment. I am sharing this mostly so I can look back and be reminded that when I feel like things are falling apart, or; I can't get ahead, or; I have no control over how my day is going, I need to just pause and pray, over and over again.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thankful Thursday #8

Happy Thursday, friends! I hope that this week has treated you well so far.

I have plenty to be thankful for this week but, here's a short list of a few fun things I've been especially happy about lately.

Spontaneous Outings to the Children's Museum

Yesterday, I shared a post on our spontaneous outing to the Children's Museum! 

Click here for more pictures from our visit.

Our Local Library

I think I might have said this one before but, for real though, I love our local library so much. Even more so during the winter months but, all year round for sure. 

Our local library is so close to home and there's so many different toys there for Piper to play with; plus story time with kids for Piper to play with every Wednesday. Our library is such a blessing to our family!

Summer-like Weather in the Fall

Did I share this one before, too? I can't remember. Either way, it's worth sharing again!

Sometimes I love the crisp Fall weather but, we've been taking full advantage of the weather when it seems more like summer. I know we've had to have had some record-highs this month already and I'm not complaining.

Home-Grown Brussels Sprouts

Our final type of crop is being harvested from our garden and it's a good one!

Brussels sprouts fresh from our garden! We ate our home-grown brussels sprouts with a side of homemade mashed potatoes and chicken cordon bleu on Monday night. It was a delicious meal!

The Path to Action Diagram

In church this past Sunday, our pastor spoke about Toxic thoughts and shared this diagram on how our thoughts directly effect our actions, whether we are fully aware of that fact or not.

The pastor did an awesome job of explaining this diagram in the sermon from Sunday, which can be found here. If you don't have 30 minutes to listen to the sermon, you can read on for my {lesser} explanation.

Basically, when we see or hear something, we create a story in our mind {either a positive one or a negative one} which makes us feel a certain way {good or bad} and then we act accordingly.

So, whenever I would have a negative thought or feeling this week, I referred back to this diagram and changed the story in my mind to a positive one. Honestly, it works! Doing this has already made such a difference in my train of thought, my feelings and actions!

Readers, what's something you've been especially thankful for this week?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spontaneous Outing to the Children's Museum

Day by day, we create our future selves by the decisions we make. Yesterday was a good day. Finally!

Not only did I stay within calories {I use to track my calories and macros} and drink all of my water; I also had a fun spontaneous outing with Piper. 

I love days like yesterday and Piper does, too.

Yesterday morning, as I was folding clothes into neat piles on my bed, Piper was laying next to me, watching Curious George on the television. She was still waking up and I was, too. {I like to do chores like folding clothes before I am fully awake and realize what's happening.} 

Halfway through my coffee and folding the basket of clean clothes, I decided that it would be a good day to get out of the house. I dropped what I was doing and asked Piper if she wanted to go to the local children's museum. She sat right up and excitedly said, "Yes! Go play at children's museum again!" She then started listing all of the things she loved to do there. She mentioned the water table, the shapes and grocery shopping. Once we got there, we did it all!

"Grocery shopping" is one of my favorite things to do at the museum with Piper. It's quite hilarious to watch all the kids running around with their carts; frantically picking what items they want to "purchase". Sometimes it gets tense in there; similar to real life grocery shopping, depending on where you shop. {Haha}

Piper did so great at the children's museum. We made multiple trips to the bathroom {because, potty training is never-ending as it seems} and we made it through the entire visit and the ride home with no accidents. I was so proud of her!

Piper got a year-long pass for her 2nd birthday to visit the children's museum from her Grandpa Fred and Grandma Christina. We have used our membership pass many times this year. It's been invaluable for us! We will definitely be looking into getting another pass for next year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Failure Inspires Winners

Yesterday I nailed it. I drank over 120 oz. of water and was perfectly within calories, that is, until about 10 p.m. 

Real talk: I've been here before. I know that I just need to go to sleep to prevent myself from eating what basically ended up being a "second dinner". My body was mistaking my tiredness for hunger and I sought comfort in food instead of my bed. 

I know what I need to do next time {because there's always a next time}. I just need to take the right steps toward the stairs instead of toward the kitchen. I need to stop thinking that staying up late, watching Netflix or Hulu is going to satisfy me more than getting some extra rest. The extra sleep will not only keep me out of the kitchen, but the sleep itself will help my body lose weight, too. It's a win win. 

The only thing that I feel like I'm missing out on by going to sleep at a decent time is hanging out with my husband. I'm not watching Netflix or Hulu alone on the couch; he's there with me and it's the best. There just never seems like there's enough hours in the day. The hours after Piper has gone to bed is our time to be Nick and Kalyn. We love that time together. I think if we bring back date nights {it's been a few weeks since we've done a date night} that should help.

I know this has been a lot of rambling but, I needed to get it all out there so I could move on and start out fresh today.


My goals for today are to drink 120 oz. of water, stay within calories, and to go to bed before 10 p.m. Readers, what are your goals for today?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Just Get Back on Track

Happy Monday, everyone!

If you watched my latest YouTube video, then you know that I am working on getting back on track. 

This weekend, I went grocery shopping and took some time to make a meal plan for the week ahead. Here's what I came up with:

10/9/17 - 10/13/17

Breakfast options:
Smoothies -OR- Hard Boiled Egg with Turkey Bacon

Lunch options:
Salad -OR- Sandwich

Dinner menu:
Monday: Chicken Cordon Bleu + Brussels Sprouts
Tuesday: Tilapia + Broccoli + Rice
Wednesday: Ground Turkey + Brussels Sprout Skillet
Thursday: Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs
Friday: Date Night

I am also trying to focus on reaching my water goal every day this week, Monday - Friday. My water goal for the week to is fill my water bottle 4 times a day, which would get me to around 120 ounces of water daily.

This is how I'm getting back on track this week. What's one step you're taking to get back on track or stay on track this week?

Friday, October 6, 2017


You guys, I've been struggling. I could come up with about a dozen excuses of why I am not losing weight but, those excuses don't matter as much as why I'm still here, writing to you today. I'm here because I am not giving up.

Here is my combined weekly weigh-in video for weeks #15 and #16.

That's all I have for you today. I don't have it all together right now, clearly, and that's okay. I just need to keep showing up here to help me stay accountable throughout it all. The good and the bad.

Now excuse me while I go eat some pizza. ((Face palm.))

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thankful Thursday #7

I am beyond ready to share some fun things I'm thankful for this week. So, let's get right to it.

Fall Fest Fun

This past weekend, our church put on an awesome event called "Fall Fest". It was held at a ranch where we were able to ride horses. It was so much fun! Piper couldn't contain her excitement when she got on her horse. 

When she passed me on her horse she said "weeee" and giggled happily. It brings a smile to my face just remembering it, now.

There was a soup cook-off {we brought a copycat version of zuppa toscana} and so we got to try a bunch of new soups and voted for our favorites. 

After eating dinner, we went on a hay ride around the ranch and then we got together near the fire to warm up before heading home. It was an awesome night!

Spontaneous Picnic Lunches

On Tuesday this week, I spontaneously decided to pack a lunch and head to the park for a picnic with my 2 1/2 year old, Piper. 

Piper truly appreciated our spontaneous picnic lunch just as much as I did. She just kept saying things like "Piper is happy have picnic with mama". Then she would take a bite of her ham and cheese sandwich and look around smiling; kicking her feet with joy. She even pointed at the park and said, "Eat picnic then go play at park" and then she laughed with excitement. She understood the principal of a picnic lunch at the park. She understood the joy of it all. It was absolutely adorable and made my heart overflow with happiness.

Our little spontaneous picnic lunch on a warm October day was hands down the highlight of my week. Already I am noticing my little Piper really appreciates the good stuff in life; the simple stuff. I couldn't be more proud and thankful.

Walking by the Water

We live near Lake Erie and it's so big, it could qualify as an ocean experience. Especially on a warm, 80-degree day; it doesn't seem like we're in Pennsylvania at all.

Earlier this week, my husband, Piper and I went down to a local park and down at this particular park it's got some great views of our lake. While Nick and Piper played at the park, I ventured off for a solo walk. 

I appreciated the alone time; the quiet time, to process some thoughts while looking out at the water. It was so peaceful. When it was time to walk back, I met my family feeling much more centered and refreshed.

Sermon Notebook

I found the cutest sermon notebook on Amazon last week. I mean, just look at it.

We are starting a new sermon series in church this Sunday and I'm excited to start using my new notebook for it. I am a big note-taker {maybe it's the paralegal in me} and having a cute notebook to write in just makes me smile. It's the little things.

My Friend, Emily

I got a text from my friend, Emily, this week that made me cry -- in a good way.

Emily was the maid of honor in our wedding. She is one of the most empathetic people I know. Usually, when we have a conversation, it seems like the concept of time no longer exists. We could talk forever about anything and everything. When I talk, I know she really hears me and when she talks, I really hear her. She cares, so much. I know that when I come to her, she is there to listen with an open heart and she always has good advice; advice that seems specifically tailored for my heart. Everyone needs a friend like Emily in their life.

Readers, now it's your turn. What's something that's been making you feel extra thankful this week?