Wednesday, August 15, 2018

His Plan All Along | Re-Entering the Workforce

In 2015, when I left my career as a Paralegal at 9 months pregnant to stay at home with my daughter, I had a plan of staying at home with her for at least the first year. That was my plan and it turns out, God's plan was better.

I wasn't sure if we could make it work financially for an entire year but, I wanted to stay at home with her for as long as we could afford. Fast forward to the present, three and a half years later and, I'm still at home with my daughter. I don't know how we did it financially but, we made it work - all by the grace of God.

During my time at home, I had some anxieties about re-entering the workforce. I couldn't clearly see my future beyond being a stay-at-home mom, which was hard for me considering I'm a planner by nature. I didn't know when it would come to an end or where I would go when my time at home was over. I had no plans for the first time in my life, which made it really easy to be open to God's plan.

Being open to God's plan was easy, being patient during the wait was hard. The book "Wait and See" by Wendy Pope helped me find peace in God's pauses and plans.

Finally, after many years of wondering, waiting and praying, God has allowed me to see a glimpse of what's next for this stay-at-home mama!

At the end of the month, I'm officially re-entering the workforce!


I'm beyond blessed to share that I'll be working part-time with my church as our site's admin. I'll be working in-office a couple days each week, which will be such a blessing for our family! This new part-time position should work very well with Piper entering preschool at the end of the month.

On the two days that I work in the office, Piper will stay after preschool in a program called "Preschool Wrap". I think my little social butterfly will love the extra time with her school friends and teachers!

The timing of this transition is working out better than I could have ever planned, likely because it wasn't my plan at all; it was His plan all along.

Praise God!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels

This is a day late but, I want to share my meal plan with you; mostly for the sense of accountability.

Monday - Turkey Burgers + Fries

Tuesday - Picnic

Wednesday - Salmon + Broccoli + Rice

Thursday - Burrito Bowls

Friday - Chicken Parm + Zoodles

Tonight we are going to a picnic, which should be a fun way to break up the week!

Tomorrow, we are having salmon for dinner. It's kind of funny because my husband and I always joke that salmon is one of those meals that we never really look forward to until we are eating it. Do you have any meals like that? Where, you know it's good for you and you'll like it but, you don't really look forward to it until you're eating it? Maybe it's just us - maybe we are just weirdos.

On Thursday, we'll be having burrito bowls and, on Friday, I am looking forward to Chicken Parmesan and Zoodles. Replacing pasta with zoodles is kind of my jam right now.

I am really determined to stay on track with my meals this week because, I went super off-track this past weekend. I went over calories on a few occasions and, I wasn't feeling good physically because of it. I know that eating well and within calories is worth it. Feeling better is worth staying on track.


My Tuesday reminder: Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Weekend Recap | Spillway + Camp Sherwin

Happy Monday, readers! How was your weekend?

My weekend was pretty good! I feel like we worked hard and played hard, too!

On Friday night, my husband and I took Piper down to the spillway to feed the fishies. She loves to toss some bread out and watch the fish gobble it up. We really enjoy the drive (down some country roads) and, the scenery out there, too. It's was a peaceful and fun way to end the week!

On Saturday, after a full day of working around the house, we grabbed some pizza and took Piper to Camp Sherwin for fun at the pool and splash pad!

On Sunday, we went to church and listened to a super convicting sermon called "Faith on Monday". If you have time, it's definitely worth watching. 

Sermon: August 12, 2018 from Grace Church on Vimeo.

After church, I went to a bridal shower for my cousin's fiance. Then, I went grocery shopping. I know, just last week I said I like to grocery shop on Saturday's but, it didn't happen this weekend! When I got home from shopping, I did some data entry for church and then, we ate dinner and took our dogs for a walk... kind of.

Max can't walk very well right now because he has a splint on his front leg. He hurt himself when he jumped off a chair a couple weeks ago and, after two trips to the vet, they determined he should have a splint in order to let the leg heal. It's been very sad for him and, I really hope it helps. We pushed him in Piper's stroller during our walk and the time out really seemed to help boost his spirits!

As for today and the week ahead, I have a few meetings, another vet appointment and a lot of fun to be had. I really want to get to the gym a couple times this week because it will be closed next week for cleaning and, the following week Piper starts preschool. 

This is bittersweet because all summer long, Piper has been coming with me to the gym a couple times a week and, that is coming to an end once preschool starts. That means one summer routine is coming to an end this week and it's triggering some serious summer-blues type emotions! 

Hang on, summer time! I'm not done with you, yet!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Meal Planning + Zoodles

Happy Friday!

Do you have any Friday routines that count toward living a healthier life? I've gotten into the routine of making my grocery list and meal plan for the following week, on Friday. It doesn't always happen that way but, for our schedule, it's most ideal. I like to start going through my kitchen stock on Friday to figure out what I can carry over to the next week for meals and, what I need to grab at the grocery store.

Back in the day, I use to love grocery shopping on Sunday. Now, I've found a better way for our family. We function best when grocery shopping is done on Saturday, for the week ahead. This way, Sunday is left open for a morning full of church followed by an afternoon/evening of family time and rest. The occasional meal prep session is done during that time, too.

I really love the produce in the stores this time of year. It's "zucchini season" and, I love to use zucchini to make zoodles! They are just about as satisfying at eating spaghetti noodles and, my 3-year-old daughter loves them! This week alone we had two zoodle-based meals.

Spaghetti Zoodles + Meatballs and Chicken Parm over Zoodles.

So, beyond making my meal plan and grocery list today, we are just going to play outside as much as possible and enjoy this summer day!

Readers, what is your ideal day to grocery shop? Do you shop for the week or make multiple trips?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Struggle is Real | Eating at Night

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. I need to start going to bed earlier. Sound familiar to anyone? Maybe you know the struggle. When I stay up late at night, I struggle with late-night eating, which at times can account for a big chunk of my calorie intake for the day. 

Whenever I stay up late, I often confuse being hungry with being tired. Well, this is a reminder for myself and maybe it will help you, too. When it comes to eating past 7 p.m., it is time to question - am I hungry or am I tired? This is a question I'll be asking myself more often, especially going into the weekend.

If I'm being completely honest with myself, night snacking wasn't the only thing holding me back from losing weight. Throughout the past month, I have not been making the best choices in the daytime, either. I've been using the excuse of "it's summer!" a lot lately. Weddings, picnics, events that only come once a year. I've been finding all of the excuses.

Sometimes I'm in the mindset to eat healthy and other times I'm not. That's just life. I feel like I was not in the right mindset to lose weight last month, especially during my summer break, but I also feel like I'm coming back around. This week especially!

Despite it all, I haven't given up on myself. I remain on this weight-loss journey, through the high's and low's. That's the key to success - no matter how long it takes. Never give up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Spoiling Quiet Moments with To-Do's and Should-Have-Done's

I've noticed a new little habit I've fallen into lately and, it's not a good one. Let me explain.

Some mornings, if I manage to wake up before my 3 year old, I grab a cup of coffee and head outside to sit in front of our pond out back. I do this in effort to soak in some quiet moments and, appreciate what is around me. Despite my intentions, more often than not, I haven't been appreciating what is all around me, as much as I should.

The other morning, I sat down in front of our pond and looked around. Instead of seeing this beautiful pond in front of me, I was looking at how much we've neglected our dear pond. We've let the plants overgrow, both inside and out. 

I take a sip of my coffee and look beyond our pond, out into the yard. Instead of seeing the beauty of nature, I see grass that hasn't been mowed in about two weeks. I look beyond that and I see a half-burned pile of branches that just won't burn down; our summer-long eyesore. Don't even get me started on the weeds that have grown so much that they are almost reaching the gutters on the other side of the garage. Then, there's the garden that is barely thriving because, we didn't ever weed it this year. We are so behind this summer and, there is so little time left.

I take a breath, realizing that I'm spoiling the moment and, I try to refocus on the good in front of me. It is August, after all. I close my eyes as I enjoy a warm breeze blowing through my hair. "Ah, August. The last month of summer", I think. Then, my mind wanders on. "Fall is coming soon. Then winter. The opportunity to sit outside like this, is almost gone. In a few weeks, it will be time to cut our plants back. This is nearly over. I didn't do enough, I didn't enjoy enough, I didn't appreciate enough." Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?

Before I could continue down this negative spiral, the moment is gone. Piper is awake and, I spent my quiet time going through a list of to-do's and should-have-done's instead of living in the moment and appreciating what is good.

I've noticed myself doing this a lot lately. Instead of living in the few quiet moments I get throughout my days, I spend those moments thinking of what I should be doing or should have done, instead. I'm spoiling these moments with a bad mindset.

The first step to changing something is, identifying it. I've identified it and, I am ready to change but, how? I'm no expert but, the first step for myself is to share the struggle with someone else. Admitting these kinds of things is a freeing experience. 

Next, I am going to try to redirect myself any time I notice this happening. Whenever I start to think about what needs done or, where I've gone wrong - I am going to redirect my focus on what I've done right. It's probably not a bad idea to also remind myself that the world is still turning despite my to-do list not being complete. There are bigger things to worry about than overgrown weeds and grass that needs mowed.

I am done spoiling my quiet moments with to-do's and should-have-done's. The remainder of this season is going to be spent in the moment, as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Full Day of Eats | Processing this Transition

Yesterday was another "Day One" in the books. If you missed my post from yesterday, you can go back and read it, here: Call Me Shameless | One Day or Day One.

I decided that in order to keep myself more accountable, I'd share my full day of eats with you all.

Monday, August 5, 2018

3 pieces of bacon
Coffee with 3 tbsp. of creamer

24 pieces of popcorn chicken

Fiber One cheesecake bar

4 oz. Sesame Ginger Chicken 
1 c. Stir fry vegetables (mushrooms, onions, bell peppers)
1 1/2 c. cooked rice

10 pieces Hershey nuggets

Monday's total calories: 1,841 calories

There were definitely areas for improvement when it comes to my food choices yesterday but, this wasn't meant to be a perfect day of eats by any means. Honestly, what is a perfect day of eats, even? I was within my allotted calories for the day, after all. I'm happy I was able to eat things like chocolate and still stay "on track". That's why I stay away from diets.

On Monday, Piper and I went to the YMCA in the morning, followed by some shopping at Walmart and Aldi in the afternoon. We were at Walmart right during lunchtime and so, I grabbed a to-go container of popcorn chicken for the two of us to share. It's the perfect size for us and, it was only $2.50 for the container. No regrets!

Man, do I love days like yesterday. We were just going with the flow, out and about, running errands. I may or may no have cried on the phone with my husband when I realized we only have a few more weeks like this left before Piper starts preschool in the mornings, Monday - Friday.

Be prepared for me to talk about this preschool transition a lot in the coming weeks because, it's a big one for us. I have been so fortunate to have spent these past three years at home with Piper. Some days I'm really excited for this transition and, I feel super ready. Then, other days, I'm weepy and sad that this chapter of our lives is coming to an end. Bare with me as I process it all.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Call Me Shameless | One Day or Day One

Hey! I've noticed an increase of readership over the past week. For anyone who is new here, or just recently found their way back to my blog - welcome. Thanks for being here! You can find me here most days, as I try to update Monday - Friday.

For those who might not know, my name is Kalyn and I have a goal of losing 100 lbs. while living life. That means, I don't believe in putting my life on hold to lose weight. I actually wrote a re-introduction post not too long ago - you can read more about me and my journey, here: Re-Introduction Time.

Well, today is Monday, which means back to the grind for most of us. In a sense, that is also true for me, however, most of my grind wrapped up yesterday.

I own a small business, Anything Rustic. As a part of Anything Rustic, I consign at local shops and participate in a few vendor shows each year. Yesterday was one of our biggest and one of our favorite shows of the year: Light Fest. It was a long day of work and play.

Today, I am recovering from my nearly 12 hr. shift from set-up, to tear down, to putting most everything back in it's place here at home. After spending most of my weekend prepping for the show and then, wrapping it all up - I was exhausted. Today feels more like a rest day to me and, that's okay.

My participation in this most recent vendor show had a slight bitter-sweet undertone to it. If you were here last week, then you know I've been at a bit of a crossroads as far as what's coming next for my business and a potential job opportunity. Without going into too much detail, this Fall, I am either going all-in with my business or, I will be scaling way back. Bitter-sweetness all around.

With so much going on last week and this weekend, I didn't pay much attention to my new list of goals I set out for myself. I didn't track my nutrition much at all last week or, focus as much on my water-intake as I would have liked. So, today, I declare to be a fresh start. Sometimes, you just need to declare it to make it feel more real, you know?

So, here's to another Day 1.


After years and years of being on this journey of losing 100 lbs. some might call me pretty shameless for never giving up. The truth is, being shameless is part of what it takes to reach your goals. I don't care how long it takes, or how many "Day One's" there are - I will not give up on myself and, you shouldn't either.

Comment below if today is another Day One for you! You aren't alone.

Friday, August 3, 2018

My Plans vs. His Plans | Practicing Patience + Obedience

Happy Friday! How was your week? Truth be told, I've been a little out of sorts lately. Mostly because I have a big question unanswered right now. I have two paths in front of me and, I'm just waiting on the answer as to which path I'll be taking at the end of the month.

During my summer-break, I had two interviews for what could be my first job since leaving my career as a Paralegal, right before my daughter was born three and a half years ago. 

This is kind of huge, right?

It's funny because in the interview, when they asked why I was pursuing this position, I admitted that I didn't know myself that I would be pursuing a job right now. 

The timing of this opportunity was not in my plans. If I am offered the job, I will be starting around the time that Piper enters Preschool. That seems like great timing, right? However, if we go back to when I was working in my plans alone, I would tell you that I have been looking forward to when Piper finally goes to Preschool so I could focus more on my business that I've built up from scratch, during my time as a stay at home mom.


God's plans are always better than our plans.

The fact of the matter is that I am trying to follow God's will, which I'm finding requires much obedience and patience. This process has revealed many areas of growth for me {enter, patience} and, regardless of the outcome, I am thankful for this experience.

The truth is that I don't know what God's will for my life is but, this opportunity that I have been pulled toward, and it happening outside of my timeline, was a reminder that my plans may or may not be aligning with God's true will for my life. It was a reminder to stay in prayer, to continue asking for this alignment and to stay open and patient during the process.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Vlog Edition

I'm bringing "Throwback Thursday" back, if just for today!

Earlier this summer, I was really into vlogging and then, I got really behind on editing my vlogs. You'd be surprised how much time goes into editing a 3 minute video! So, this video I'm sharing with you today is from JUNE... hence the need for "Throwback Thursday". 

It was a really fun video to film. Nick and I took Piper to play putt-putt golf for the very first time and then, we had a last-minute picnic at the park! 

It was a great summer night that I love looking back on.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Goals 2018

Happy Wednesday and welcome to August! I've made some new goals for the month so, let's get right to it!


Goal #1 - Enjoy the final days of summer vacation.

This is the first year of Piper's life where the end of summer will actually mean the beginning of school. My baby starts preschool in less than 4 weeks! My mama heart is both super excited and super sad. It is bittersweet. A chapter ends at the end of August; a very long but, too short chapter. A life-changing chapter, filled with setback, growth and self-discovery. I'm no longer the mother of an infant or toddler; I'm the mother of a preschooler. There is one constant I'm sure of in motherhood - the constant shift of letting go while holding on. It's the most hard and beautiful thing I've experienced and, it's still only the beginning of sorts.

Goal #2 - Keep myself at the top of the list.

My to-do lists have been growing and, some days my health and well-being gets pushed back to the end of the list. I am a firm believer that you can't draw from an empty well. I've experienced the struggle of trying to do so and, everyone suffers at that point. So, I am putting myself at the top of the list. Self care will be a bigger priority this month and it will come in the form of taking some time for myself to be active, write and pray each day.

Goal #3 - Take hydration more seriously.

I have definitely lacked in reaching any sort of water goal this summer and, I am still suffering the side effects. Bloating, sore joints, etc. Drinking enough water is one of the easiest things I can do to stay healthy and yet, I struggle. I am going to work on taking hydration more seriously this month. I am going to aim to drink 120 oz. of water each day.

Goal #4 - Track nutrition 5 days per week.

Tracking nutrition is definitely something I've slacked on, with all of the picnics, parties and weddings that summer brings - it's easier to just eat intuitively. That's great for maintaining weight but, I have plenty of weight left to lose. I am going to start out this month by tracking my nutrition 5 days per week, aiming to stay within calories during those days.

Readers, what are your goals for the month of August?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Break with Southern Breeze Sweet Tea

Well, hello there! It's been a while... twenty days to be exact!

If you're new here, welcome! You've visited my blog at a great time because, I just finished up a little summer break from the blog world. Now, I'm back!

While I was on my summer break, Southern Breeze supplied me with a couple boxes of my favorite cold brew sweet tea bags. Peach + Raspberry!

If you've been around my blog for a while then, you know I'm head over heels for Southern Breeze Sweet Tea because, it's ZERO calories! It also cold brews within 5 minutes so, taking these tea bags on-the-go is so ideal. These tea bags were a beach bag necessity during my summer break!

While on summer break, I managed to maintain my weight-loss for the most part! I'd have weeks where I was up on the scale and then, weeks when I was down. For as many events I've attended during summer break, I'd say maintaining around the same weight during summer break was a serious win! Oh yeah!

I plan to share a lot more about my time spent during summer break, as well as what's new in general with my life, soon. {spoiler alert: great things are happening!}

For everyone who has been waiting on my return - thank you so much for hanging around while I took a break from blogging these past few weeks. I am feeling super refreshed and, grateful to have your support and readership.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Volunteering + Interviewing + Summer Break

Hey you guys! I'm here today to ask you to please bare with me these next couple weeks as things are a little crazy for me right now. 

I have been volunteering a bunch of hours for my church as our Site Manager (which has been a great, exciting challenge for my brain - I love it!) and I have an interview for a part-time administrative position this week, which, if everything works out, will be starting around the same time Piper starts preschool!

I'll fill you in on all the specifics and a bunch more, soon.

I have officially put my Etsy shop into Summer Break mode and, I'm going to take some time away from blogging these next couple weeks, too. I'll see you back here on July 30th - if not sooner!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Independence Day 2018

Good morning and happy Monday!

How was your Independence Day? We had a lot of fun with family and friends! In between all of the celebrating, we took some time to talk about what freedom means with our three year old, too - which was really special for us.

When Piper was asked later on "what does freedom mean?", her response was "freedom to pray to Jesus and to play". She pretty much nailed it. We are all so grateful for all of our freedom!

The night before the 4th, we went to our local park to watch fireworks. The local fire department had a whole celebration going on, with bounce houses, rides, food vendors and a beer tent. Nick's mom happily offered to take Piper around on the rides with her friend, Ethel and Piper's little best friend, Amelia. Nick and I had a couple hours to ourselves and, ended up spending most of that time testing some home-brews at the beer tent. It was so much fun! We all reunited just in time for fireworks at the end of the night.

On the 4th, we had a picnic at my aunt's house. Surprisingly, I didn't take any pictures but, I am okay with that because we were just in the moment, enjoying our time together. We ate, played games and ended the night setting off some of Piper's "fireworks" - sparklers, smoke bombs, etc.

All in all, our Independence Day celebrating was really relaxing and fun! I ate too much, drank too much and, ended up feeling like the "marshmallow man" the following days but, I am making my way to getting back on track and I am feeling less bloated today! 

One thing I always try to remember is that "losing weight while living life" will mean ups and downs on the scale - as long as I'm enjoying life and trying to live healthier a majority of the time, that's what matters most.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Hello July + Back to the Gym

Happy Monday!

I don't know about you but, July really came quick for me this year. I can't believe we will be celebrating the 4th of July in two days! How exciting!

So, if you follow my Instagram: @GoalOfLosing100 then, you may have gotten the hint that I gained some weight during babysitting week. Like, 3 lbs. to be exact. Womp womp. Some weeks you're up and some weeks you're down. It's no big deal because I know I'll get back down as soon as I get back on track - which starts now!

This week, I am giving myself a little treat day right in the middle since that's where the 4th of July lands and we will be going to a picnic that afternoon. All of the other days this week, I will be working hard to 1) stay within my nutritional ranges 2) drink 120 oz. of water and, 3) be active!

Last week, I didn't get hit the gym at all since I was babysitting during the day and in bed by like 7 pm each night (babysitting really took a lot out of me)! So, this week, I am super excited to get back into some sort of gym routine! In fact, I am headed there this morning! Eeek!

I'll catch up with you all next week, after the holiday!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Soaking Up The Sun + Babysitting Week

If you were here earlier this week, then you know that I have my hands full right now. I am babysitting my little brother Evan (8 years old) all week!

We have been keeping very busy and we've been having so much fun! This week, having Evan with us, just truly feels like summer vacation! I have been so tired at the end of each day and each day I've felt was a day well spent. Work hard, play hard, sleep hard. That's how it goes... right?! Haha.

On Monday, we packed a lunch and went to the Edinboro Lake! The kids played at the park, ate lunch and then played in the water a bit. We met up with my friend and her kids who are all in town this week. We don't get to see them very often so, this was a real treat!

On Tuesday, we met a friend and her daughter at Conneaut Beach and the park at the beach. Are you noticing a trend here? On Monday, the park was the main attraction and so we didn't pack swimsuits or anything like that but, Tuesday was different. We were in for a full day of fun in the sun and sand with our friends!

On Wednesday, it rained most of the day and so we headed out to an arcade with indoor glowing putt-putt golf! We spent three hours in the arcade and we all had a blast! Piper actually did really well for being so young. She had way more fun "playing" the games than I thought she would!

On Thursday, we met some friends and family at the zoo! If you didn't already know, Piper and I are big fans of the zoo - we usually go at least once per week and, it was great to have Evan with us this time!

Today we are planning on meeting a friend and her daughter at the splash pad and outdoor pool at Camp Sherwin! Today is going to be a great way to end a super-fun and incredibly busy babysitting week! Today's adventure is the main event we've been waiting for all week. It's going to be fun!

Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Some Wednesday Motivation

A little motivation for your Wednesday...


It's mid-week and, it's always a good reminder that we are in control of how happy we are, even when the circumstances get tough.


So far, this week has had both it's challenges and it's rewards! No matter how hard it gets, I am trying to remember that over-eating or eating poorly won't make things easier. When I eat good, I feel good.


These awesome quotes were brought to you by Pinterest! Whenever I am feeling unmotivated - scrolling through Pinterest for motivational quotes always seems to help me out.

Now, it's time to go make this day a great one! See you back here, soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Spiritual and Physical Health

Welcome to Tuesday!

If you've been around here for a while then, you might know that I have, at times, had a complicated relationship with food. More so, I am known to take comfort in food. Night-eating is especially a big challenge for me. Or at least, it was.

As of late, I have been doing fairly well at keeping the balance of eating healthy and also indulging in some treats. I haven't been going overboard with food, like I was doing for so many years. I also haven't been night-snacking as much. 

Does this mean that you won't see me eating cake at a birthday party or, have multiple slices of pizza during a get-together? No. I can almost guarantee you will see me enjoying life at these events but, it's what I'm doing outside of these special occasions that really add up.

Recently, as I've now totaled 15 pounds lost in 6 months, I have noted a specific change that has helped tailor my habits into healthier ones. While, it wasn't my intent, I have found that spending time reading the Word daily and praying more intentionally has helped me to stop seeking comfort in food as often. Does that mean it won't happen again? I really don't know. I imagine I will continue to have some occasional struggles in the comfort-food department but, I am happy to say that as of right now - seeking comfort in God and His word has helped me to stop seeking comfort in food.

Like I said, this was not my intention. I didn't start trying to grow my relationship with God for this reason but, it is just something I've noticed happening and figured it was worth mentioning.

Over time, I've found myself diving into my Bible instead of diving into our food-pantry, and; I praise God for His comfort in these times because, I am not only becoming healthier spiritually by doing this but, I am also becoming healthier physically.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Babysitting Week

Happy Monday!


This week is going to be a fun week for us! I am going to be babysitting my little brother, Evan, all week! This week is also going to come with it's struggles, that I am sure. I don't know if you can imagine but, it's not every minute that daughter Piper (3) and my little brother, Evan (8) get along. Haha. Of course not, but, I am going to focus on the positive and, try to keep things light and fun as much as possible this week!

To protect my own sanity, I am planning on waking up at 6 a.m. all week to give myself a little quiet time. I plan to read my Bible, spend some time talking with God, and of course, get myself ready for the day before the party begins at 6:45 a.m.

In order to make this week run a little more smoothly, I have made tentative plans for us this week.

Daily Schedule 
6:45 a.m. - Drop off 
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast / Free Play 
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Out of Town Outing 
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Lunch / Free Play 
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Local Park Outing 
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Wind Down at Evan's house

I have a lot of different ideas for our "out of town" outings. It is going to be a busy and fun week and, it starts now!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Funday

Hey you guys! I am glad to see you here on this Sunday.

If you are a regular reader, then you might have caught on that I don't usually post on the weekends but, today is a little bonus, if you will.

I uploaded a Sunday Funday vlog from June 3rd and, figured I would share it here today since it is Sunday!

I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our life today. See you back here, tomorrow!

Friday, June 22, 2018

15 LBS. DOWN + Balance Doesn't Mean Perfection

Bring on another round of antibiotics.

After 10 days of antibiotics, and a few days of thinking my infection was getting better - it is back. What a pain - literally! I just want to get healthy again!

On the bright side, this has been another motivator for me sticking to living healthier in general, so I can lose weight and hopefully avoid such complications in the future. 

I have been so determined to stay on track lately that I've seen another loss on the scale!

January 1, 2018: 248 lbs.

June 22, 2018: 233.8 lbs.

I am down 15 lbs. so far this year!

I officially saw the number "233" on the scale this morning! There is a big significance in this number for me because, it was the number I saw on the scale right before I got pregnant with my daughter, 4 years ago.

I made it! I'm back here - again!

The best part is that I made it all while going out on random ice cream trips and, out to eat with my family. I maintained a balance - eating healthy any chance I got and letting myself also have treats when the occasion arose. 

Balance doesn't mean perfection. That's something that I was reminded over these past few weeks. Balance truly means balance - an even distribution for, in my case, healthy choices and the occasional treat.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Way Behind but Catching Up

I am waaaay behind on uploading videos that were previously recorded for my YouTube channel but, I'm slowly and surely making my way through editing and uploading them all.

Today's video is from June 2nd.

What do you guys think of me sharing my YouTube videos here?

Vote here: YouTube Videos on the Blog?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Messing Up - Not Giving Up

Hey guys! Happy Memorial Day, again! Yeah, that was weeks ago but, I finally just got around to uploading the vlog from that day on my YouTube channel. 

I made a good point during this video, when it comes to messing up but not giving up. It's definitely worth the watch because weeks later, I'm still finding myself living by this rule.

Last night, I went way over calories during a spur of the moment cookout with my family. I messed up but, that's no reason to give up. Today, I'm right back at it - trying to do my best.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Prenatal Vitamins + Nails

Happy Tuesday!

I have some happy news, today. So, last week I mentioned that I made it below 235 lbs. on the scale and that my wedding rings were feeling loose, right? Well, I am officially two wedding ring sizes down from my original size-9 and, rocking this new size-7 on my finger!

I bought a stand-in ring for my wedding rings for now, that way I don't have to resize them in case I do get pregnant sometime in the next year or so. No, I'm not pregnant now (womp womp) but, I pray that day will come in God's perfect timing. You can read more on that, here: Faith Over Fear: A Second Child.

I did get a few people wondering if I was pregnant when I mentioned that I was taking prenatal vitamins on Instagram last week. Again, I am not pregnant. Better luck next cycle. Which unfortunately is double the length of a typical cycle since I have PCOS. Sighing and moving on with a grateful heart, for I trust God's plan is best. It is well with my soul.

Songs of the moment: "It is Well" by Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music + "So Will I" by Hillsong Worship

All of this questioning had me wondering: am I the only one who takes prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant?

I did this before we starting trying to get pregnant with Piper, too. Maybe I'm just a little weird but, I like to take prenatal vitamins for at least a year (or as long as I can) before getting pregnant, just so my body is stocked up on the vitamins and, also, so I can reap the benefits of them (like stronger nails and thicker hair).

It might be weird but, my nails aren't complaining. I haven't had nails this strong and long since I was pregnant in 2014.

Readers, did any of you take prenatal vitamins before being pregnant?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day Weekend 2018

Is it just me or do weekends in the summer go faster than any other time of the year? Phew!

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? As you might have guessed, ours went by pretty fast. 

On Saturday, we went around to yard sales for most of the morning and then, we went to a local carnival and parade in the evening.

Piper had so much fun at the carnival! We got her some tickets to jump in the multiple bounce houses that were set up at the carnival and she bounced her little heart out! 

We also ate some yummy carnival food and, watched a parade through town from the back of our family truckster (as Nick calls it). We has so much fun on Saturday night!

On Sunday, we went to church in the morning and then spent the rest of the day running around, delivering Father's Day gifts. 

We are blessed to have multiple Father's in our family. We dropped off gifts to both of our fathers and both of our step-father's. We also celebrated Nick with some gifts that Piper helped me pick out, making it all the more special.

By the time we got home, it was way past dinner time and so, I threw some burgers on the grill, tossed fries in the air fryer and had a quick, dinner before bedtime routine.

Readers, how was your weekend?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Finally Under 235 lbs. - Again

Yesterday morning, I weighed in at a new lowest weight for the year - 234.5 lbs. I was so excited to see a number below 235! The last time I weighed in at 234 lbs was in November. That was seven months ago! It feels good to be back.

Some things that I've been noticing about my day-to-day now that I'm back down under 235 lbs...

1. My wedding rings are really loose. Whenever I got married, I weighed around 240 lbs. and so anything under that, I start feeling my rings get more and more loose. Well, even though I am only down about 6 lbs. from my wedding weight, I am noticing a big difference!

2. I'm not being too restrictive, I'm just making more healthy choices than not. I mean, I still ate out this week and got a milkshake from Cold Stone but, when I wasn't indulging in treats, I was making healthier choices.

3. I've been active almost every day, in some way, because I truly want to be. My daily activity hasn't and doesn't necessarily need to be in the gym either. I've been craving the extra activity lately. It's my own little escape or, my own time to process things. Last night, for example, I went for a run just because I wanted to do something good for my body and help me to process a big (and good) decision I have on my plate. Turning to exercise more often than food has been a good change for my lately.

4. I've been drinking water like crazy. Being hydrated has been helping me feel better and, when we feel good, we're more apt to make good choices.

Summer officially starts next week and, I just know this summer is going to be a good one for my weight-loss journey!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Errands + Out to Lunch Vlog

It's the middle of the week! How's it been going for you? It's been busy over here! I feel like I can never get caught up or cleaned up but, that's alright. We have been enjoying the sun a lot lately and that's so much more important than having a clean house or folding those 4 laundry baskets filled with clothes anyway, right?

Today, I am sharing another day in the life vlog with you! I hope you enjoy this little peak into our day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Anxiety and Depression

Hi, I'm Kalyn and I deal with anxiety and the occasional bout of depression.

Whew. Talk about getting straight to the point.

Many of you already know this and, to others it may come as a shock. Actually... I hope it's not a shock to anyone. I'm pretty much an open book. I mean, I write a blog about my weight-loss journey/life so yeah, I'd say I'm very much like an open book.

In being an open book, I don't want this very important chapter to be overlooked. Mostly because by sharing this chapter, it might make one more person out there feel less alone in this very common yet, personal struggle.

My anxiety is not something that affects me constantly but, it is very much apart of my story. Especially since becoming a mother. Worrying is just part of the job - amiright?

Anxiety looks different for everyone. I don't want to generalize it or water it down. I also don't want to bore you with too much detail with my specific triggers and such. What I do want to do is share a few ways that I cope with my anxiety that may help you, too.

1. Get an accountability partner. Nick is my person. He knows all about my anxiety and at times, I'd say he identifies my anxiety and knows how to alleviate it more than I do. He reminds me how to work through it and, helps navigate me through the storm, even if it's just by holding my hand until it's over. Find somebody who takes your mental health seriously, like it's their job - it might even actually be their job. Your accountability partner may be a medical professional.

2. Keep talking about it. Man, sometimes I go through such a high-anxiety season that it gets to the point where I don't even want to hear myself talk about it anymore. Just keep talking about it. Don't become quiet.

3. Identify your triggers. Evaluate yourself. Ask your accountability partner or, some friends/family to give you feedback on what they may even notice triggers your anxiety. Take some time to dive deep. This is worth looking into. You are worth taking the time to figure out. Don't just keep muddling through.

4. Practice self-care. Shame and guilt may tell you not to take the time for self-care. In my case, shame and guilt makes me feel like I shouldn't need as much quiet time alone as I do when I'm going through a high-anxiety season. My shame and guilt tries to tell me that I'm a burden when I take the time for self-care. It's not true. When I take the time for self-care, I am better able to care for others. We can't pour from an empty well.

5. Make a list of personal coping mechanisms. This is good to do in advanced and, to look back on when you are in an anxious state. What has helped you to calm down during a high-anxiety time in the past? Write down some tips for yourself to look back on when you're "in the thick of it". My personal list (in no particular order) includes: lighting my lavender & chamomile candle, drinking chamomile tea, listening to calming music, deep breathing exercises, praying to God, writing in my prayer journal, going for a walk alone, talking with Nick, taking a bath, drinking more water, eating healthier foods, etc.

Here's one of my current favorite songs to listen to when I'm feeling anxious.

Honestly, I wasn't even planning on sharing this list or even touching on this topic with you all today but, with all of the recent news of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, it was something heavy on my heart.

Mental health is just as important as physical health and, I'm working on bettering both every day.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up + Knock on Wood

As I begin to write this blog post, I can't help but feel excited because I feel like I am finally back in the groove of my normal routine. I need to go knock on some wood or something because of what I am about to share: nobody in my house is sick right now and it's about darn time. It's basically summer! Flu season, be gone already!

This past weekend was a busy one and, so so great!

On Friday night, Piper stayed over at my mom's house while Nick and I went out with some friends to celebrate a birthday in our group. It was so much fun to go out, have a couple beers, chat and laugh way too hard.

On Saturday morning, Piper was still at my mom's since she slept over night. Nick and I woke up at normal time (about 7 am) and headed out for a walk at the beach. 

We spent about an hour or so at the beach, just walking the boardwalk and taking in the views. It was the perfect way to start the day! So relaxing and soul-refreshing.

On Saturday evening, we finally planted our garden. We stuck with the basics this year and planted our top 4 favorites and most used produce: tomatoes, string beans, corn and zucchini.

On Sunday morning, Nick left early for sound check at church. This Sunday was exciting and so much easier than usual because, for the first time ever, we got to drive separate to church in our own vehicles. It's so much easier now that we have two vehicles (see the post: My First SUV). Prior to this Sunday, we always had to make arrangements to either borrow my mom's vehicle or ride in with them. Having two vehicles is kind of wonderful. I am starting to wonder how we went over four years with just one, now.

On Sunday afternoon, we went our separate ways to attend a couple parties. Nick and Piper went to a BBQ at our friend's house while I went to a bridal shower at the beach. See, yet again, having two vehicles is such a blessing to our family! After the bridal shower, I went shopping for our groceries for the week and then met Nick and Piper back at home. 

I am so excited to be back in our normal routine again. I meal planned for the week and, here's what I'm planning for dinner's:

Monday - Salmon with Broccoli + Fries
Tuesday - Burrito Bowls
Wednesday - Cheeseburger Salads
Thursday - Buffalo Chicken Wraps + Asparagus
Friday - Wings + Homemade Flatbread Pizza

I am hoping to make it to the gym a couple times this week, too.

Readers, what's your game plan to make this week run smoothly for yourself? Raise your hand if you've got a meal plan ready to be put into action!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rest Day = A Day Wasted?

Wow! I seem to be constantly reminded how much can change in a matter of hours lately, especially when it comes to my health.

Yesterday morning started out rough. I began an antibiotic the night before and woke up feeling, well, for lack of a better example... I woke up feeling drunk. I just couldn't shake it. I knew that fatigue was a side-effect of my antibiotic but, this was some next-level fatigue. I felt like I was having an outer-body experience for the better part of my day.

Mid-morning, my grandma came to grab Piper for a few hours so I could rest and, I'm so thankful that she did. I ended up canceling my appointments for later in the day and, just spent yet another day resting.

It's so hard for me to "waste a day" resting, especially since this was the third day in a row. On Monday, I had the stomach flu - bad, on Tuesday I was recovering and, on Wednesday, I was adjusting to this new antibiotic. Let's hope there's no surprises in store for me, today. I am just looking for a little bit of normal - I would just love a normal, ordinary day. 

Now, of course, I know that resting should not be considered a waste of a day. Rest is important. It is a form of self-care. Speaking of self-care, a few weeks ago I filmed a self-care day at the YMCA and finally got around to uploading it last night.

Of course my self-care day included some time at the zoo because, we basically live there. That is, when we aren't sick.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My First SUV

Hey friends! How are you doing? After a long weekend of being down with the stomach flu, we are all doing a lot better now. That is, with one little exception. I developed an infection {cellulitis} while down with the stomach flu and now I’m on an antibiotic. To say that I’m exhausted is an understatement. I am thankful, however, that all pain is gone!

Last week, I promised that I had some new exciting news to share.

After almost 10 years of driving around in my little Ford Escort, our family finally upgraded to an SUV! My first SUV! 

Our "new" SUV is an older H3 {a 2006} and, it is high mileage but, it is in great shape, all things considered. Given it's age and mileage - it's likely coming in to a higher-maintenance period of it's life but, thankfully, Nick is a mechanic and he should be able to give it all the TLC it needs to stay dependable for our family.

Ever since Nick and I decided that we wanted to expand our family, we have been talking about getting an SUV. The price was never right, though. We actually gave up the search all together a couple weeks ago, when we agreed to just stick it out with my car for the long haul and figure it out later. Not even 24 hours later, we ran into a little thing called fate.

As we arrived at my mom's house two weekends ago, her friend was getting into her SUV in the driveway. I told Nick, "that would be the perfect size SUV for us". I really liked the style of it, too. When we got out of our car, I asked my mom's friend how she liked her SUV. She said she loved it but, she had to sell it because she was possibly looking for an SUV with a third row. I asked her how much she was selling it for and, it was in our price range! I got really excited and asked Nick to look it over. It took Nick a little more convincing but, before we knew it, we were test driving it and putting an offer on it later that evening.

This entire experience was just another example that I can plan all I want - fate will always find me.

This SUV is such a blessing for our family. I feel like by purchasing our first SUV, we just found another piece to the puzzle of expanding our family.