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...

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018 Goals

Happy June, everyone! Are you ready for a fresh start? Well, today is the day - even if it's a Friday!

I love to make goals for each month. It keeps my weight-loss journey feeling fresh! This month, I am going to work toward 3 main goals.

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1. Drink 120 oz. of water, 5 days a week

2. Visit the Gym 10x this month

3. Track nutrition daily, 5x per week

Now that it's June, I can feel time speeding up quite a bit. The closer it gets to summer, the more busy we seem to be getting. 

This week went especially fast for us! We found out some very exciting news earlier in the week that I hope to be sharing with you in a post, soon. It's a big change for us and we're really excited! We have an appointment this afternoon and then hopefully we'll have some exciting news to share with you all sometime next week! See you then! Have a great weekend, everyone!