Thursday, May 30, 2019

May Hit Me Hard + Wait and See

I recently picked up a book that I've picked up before but, never finished. "Wait and See" by Wendy Pope. As I'm reading through the pages, I wanted to share a few things with you.

Ever since last Spring, when Nick and I felt the call to expand our family, we have been waiting. You can read the post from last May, here: Faith Over Fear + A Second Child.

This month kind of hit me hard. It's been an entire year since we took that faithful step from "maybe"  wanting another child one day to "yes". An entire year of waiting. I have had days of doubt, days of sadness and, by the grace of God, I have days filled with an undeniable hope and assurance beyond understanding.

In the book, "Wait and See", Wendy says that "waiting is inevitable. Waiting with hope and courage is optional."

I started out this year waiting well. I lost nearly 15 pounds from January to April, all with preparing my body for another pregnancy in the back of my mind. When May came, and it still wasn't a reality, it hit me hard. I did gain some weight this month. I did not "wait well" in May. However, now that I've picked up this book again, I am being reminded of how good God is even in this season of waiting.

I'll be closing out today's post with some more quotes from Wendy's book and, a song that has been very dear to my heart:
"God tucks a dream deep in your heart. You believe Him for the completion of this dream. You patiently do all the "right" things. Then you wait." 
"The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay."
"Waiting well looks forward to the future while staying present in the present. Waiting well means I remain open to God and allow Him to move me toward the future He has planned, in His time." 
"When we ask God to show us His plan, we begin to align our heart with His heart. The door opens to experience God in deeper, more real ways. We still wait, but we deepen our knowledge of His character and goodness. We learn to trust that God acts on behalf of those who are willing to wait and see (Isa. 64:4) and that He does immeasurably more than we can think or imagine (Eph. 3:20). As we wait, we find peace in God's plans and hope in His pauses. Our focus moves from the object of our wait to the Person of our faith." 
"The wait and see is a time of action, excitement, and joy when we join God in His plans for our life." 
"Yet when my trust wavered, I recognized my only hope was to return to this place of surrender, again and again."   
"I came to see His pauses as a safeguard and comfort. I came to view Him as a trustworthy advocate. He is for me. He is for you." 
"The Lord longs for us to reach out to Him and ask for help, clarity and direction. See what James 1:5-8 says: "If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who 'worry their prayers' are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift in sea, keeping all your options open". In this  verse, James clearly tells us we are to ask our Father for what we need. James says God loves to help."
"The anxiety over your future will change to living peacefully in God's pauses as you wait for Him to fulfill His plans. Instead of living in the shadow of depression, doubt and discouragement, you will bask in the light of hope, trust and security." 
"If we want to wait well and experience all God has for us in the midst of our waiting, we have to be honest with Him about our fears and struggles. We also have to ask Jesus to give us eyes to see through a lens of hope and a heart molded by faith that He is working for our good and His glory."

"A common misconception might be that if I am waiting, I must not have heard God correctly We can redirect the negative thoughts we often receive by revisiting the moments when we sensed the Lord's nudging. Reliving the moments of pure excitement we experienced when we felt the prodding of Hid Spirit with extinguish uncertainty that tries to creep in to steal our joy." 
"We need to prepare in the pauses so we're ready to embrace God's plans." 
"God seldom hands out passes so you can avoid the wait and skip to the front of the line. That's not a bad thing, as painful as it is at the time. A rush through the wait has the potential to stunt our spiritual growth and dull our senses to what God wants us to learn as a result of our wait. James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get our of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." 
"Waiting isn't meant to be a grueling process. What if we view it as a pause or interlude, a place we can experience the peace of God while He works in us so He can work through us? He is actively working while we wait - a promise that never disappoints in the end - and that work somethings gets personal."

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Week of Photos / Photo Prompts

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

It's been over a week since I've updated and so I'm going to go through some pictures on my phone and update you all on the past week with those photos as prompts.

Last Wednesday, we got our dogs groomed for the very first time. I think that I am going to work grooming the dogs monthly into our budget because it was so nice!

Last week, my mother-in-law took Piper during the evening two nights in a row which gave Nick and I the opportunity to do something extra fun! We went on a hike and explored a local area that we've never been to before.

It was pretty amazing!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to join Piper on a field trip. We got to ride the bus together, which she was very excited about! I was so happy to be able to join her class on the trip. It was very special for us both.

This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend. We spent a lot of time playing outside, and Piper enjoyed learning to ride her bike with training wheels on.

We also spent some time inside doing one of Piper's new favorite things: putting together puzzles! 

She is really good at doing puzzles all by herself. It's such a great quiet activity, too.

We went to a Memorial Day parade on Monday! Then, it was back to work on Tuesday.

Today, when I picked Piper up from preschool, we went to the YMCA! I worked out for about 40 minutes and then we headed over to the zoo! 

Piper is back at Nina's tonight. Life Group was cancelled and so, I was gifted a little opportunity to type up this update and now you're all up to date!

The school year is coming to an end and I've been a little emotional about it. I may or may not have been shedding a few tears on my back patio this morning after I dropped Piper off at preschool. I am so proud of the little girl Piper has become, and I am so grateful to her teachers for helping get her there. They've had so much influence on this year that I am having a hard time thinking up just how to thank them! If you have any good teacher gift ideas, please send them my way! Piper's last day of preschool is next Thursday! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Monday Adventure + Getting Back to Starting Weight

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by, today.

The weather this week has been a little unusual. It was nearly 90 degrees on Sunday and today it is in the 50's. I didn't mind too much, though. After I dropped Piper off at preschool, I took our dogs for a walk at the park. They really enjoyed it! When I pick Piper up from preschool, I'll be dropping the dogs off at the groomers for the first time. I'm excited to see how it goes!

On Monday, Piper and I went to the YMCA as planned and then, headed over to the zoo afterward. 

It was a fun day for both of us! Did I mention how much I love having Mondays back for our little adventures? It's been so great!

This morning I weighed in to check on my progress so far this week and I'm happy to see that I'm down a little bit more on the scale (231.9 lbs). I will be happy to end the month right where I started (at 229.5 lbs). I still have 2 more pounds to lose to get there, though. 

After gaining a fast 8 lbs earlier this month (hello, PCOS hormones and bad choices), ending the month with a maintained weight will be great! With having consistent losses on the scale from January - April, this month has been the hardest month of the year so far. I just have to stay consistent! I know that I can do it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Vlog: Easter Weekend

Happy Tuesday!

Today I'm just stopping in briefly to share a little vlog from Easter weekend. Yes, that was a month ago. I am still catching up on editing my vlogs!


Thanks for watching!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Play Ball + Getting Back on Track

Happy Monday, everyone!

What a great weekend we had! Today is shaping up to be a wonderful day, as well. I woke up it being warm outside, a nice leftover treat from the weekend. It was 88 degrees yesterday, which was almost too warm but, you won't hear me say that. I really enjoyed the summer-like weather!

This morning, when Piper woke up she wanted to hit the ball around outside before school and we managed to get ready early enough to make that happen! Yesterday, after church and the fishing derby, we spent the evening outside at our house, teaching Piper how to hit a ball with her new plastic bat. She had so much fun! She picked up the stance (and the look) so fast, it's like she's a natural! She can hit that ball pretty far for a 4-year old, as well!

This morning, while Piper was at preschool, I got some cleaning done. I am about to leave to pick her up from school soon and then we will be off to the YMCA because I am getting back into the gym! It's been way too long since the gym has been in my routine and, after a few weeks of being inconsistent I'm bringing it back!

I plan to get to the gym at least one more time this week and, if I make it two more times I'd be really happy! It's all up to me! I need to schedule it in, make myself a priority and make it happen!

As for tonight, I am planning on making steak stir fry for dinner. We also have a lot of healthy snacks stocked up for the week ahead, which I am excited to dig into. Baby carrots, hummus, blueberries, dates, bell peppers, cucumbers, salad fixings, clementines, apples and more! It really helps to get back on track with healthy eating when you're stocked up and we're ready!

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Visiting Easterland at Kranyaks + Olympic Fun Center

A few weeks ago, we visited Easterland at Kranyak's for the first time and our minds were blown. 

It was so big, we could have spent all day looking at all of the different things there! While we visited, Piper met the Easter Bunny for the first time (officially). 

Nina and Papa joined us!

Nina and Papa treated her to popcorn and toys, of course! :)

After we were done at Kranyak's we tried out a new play place called Olympic Fun Center! 

It was only $3.00 and Piper had a blast! Check out the video for more of a glimpse into our trip:

It was an awesome day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Mini Vacation Recap - CLE

Happy Wednesday, readers!

Spring seems to be off to a slow start this year. It's been so chilly and rainy lately. Just yesterday when I was driving Piper to school she looked out the window and said "is the sun ever going to come out again?" Today is a day off from work for me and I'm really excited because it looks like the weather is finally clearing up, here.

Right now I am writing this post from outside, under my covered porch. The sun is shining and it's slowly warming up. It looks like it's going to be a great day!

If you were here on Monday then you know that my family and I took a mini vacation in Cleveland this past weekend. We ate out at the Cheesecake Factory and, Piper was very impressed. She thought we were eating in a castle! It was so sweet. We stayed overnight and spent Saturday at the Great Lakes Science Center. It was so much fun for all of us! I decided to record most of the trip for an upcoming vlog and so, I don't have many pictures to share - here are a few though!

While at the Science Center, we watched a movie in the big Dome theater and toured the William G. Mather ship! I have a few vlogs to catch up on but, hopefully I'll have a video edited that you can watch from our trip, soon!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Gaining Weight Fast

Happy Monday, everyone!

You know when I shared this post last Monday: So Much Partying = Weight Gain and, how I was going to get back on track? Well things went a little downhill in the "getting back on track" department. I was kind of getting back on track in the beginning of last week but then, our family went on a mini vacation that pretty much started last Thursday evening and continued on throughout the weekend.

So, I'm just going to cut to the chase and share the recap of my weigh-in's from the past few weeks:

4/29/19: 229.5 lbs.
5/6/19: 235.4 lbs (+6)
5/13/19: 237 lbs. (+1.5)

It's never fun to report weight-gain, especially weight gain at that kind of rate. It's SO easy for me to gain weight with my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). If I am not actively trying to lost weight, I gain it. Fast!

It's okay, though. I am sharing the gain so I can get a little more accountability to actually get back on track again. With no mini-vacation waiting for me at the end of this week, I think I will be seeing a loss on the scale!

My next steps:
  1. Focus on TODAY
  2. Drink 120 oz. of water
  3. Make a meal plan for the week
  4. Make a grocery list
  5. Go grocery shopping
  6. Track and stay within calories
If you're trying to get back on track today, you're not alone! We can do this, one step at a time!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Playground Season is Here

Happy Wednesday!

I am so loving my new work schedule of Tuesday and Thursday! On Monday, after preschool pick-up, Piper and I took a packed lunch to a park by the lake. It was such a nice day and she had a lot of fun exploring this new park!

I can't believe there are only 4 more weeks of preschool left before Piper wraps up her first school year! I am so excited for all of the summer fun we'll be having together!

Today, after preschool pick-up, we'll be going to visit my friend Mindy and her son, Leo. If it warms up enough, we'll be going to another playground with them today! Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, May 6, 2019

So Much Partying = Weight Gain

Happy Monday, friends! Thanks for stopping by today.

This past weekend was a lot of fun. It included a lot of partying with friends! On Saturday, I went to a friend's baby shower and on Sunday, we went to a birthday party for my friend's son.

The birthday party was the highlight of the weekend, being at an indoor trampoline park. We all had fun jumping around! And don't even get me started on that foam pit. It was so fun to jump into but, a real struggle to get out. However, that didn't keep us from jumping in about a dozen more times! We loved the trampoline park!

Despite burning a ton of calories this weekend, I am still up on the scale from making some not great choices recently. It definitely has something to do with the fact that we ate out a lot last week and even more so at the parties this weekend. 

In the past week we've had, pizza (x3), pepperoni balls, chinese food, fast food, desserts (x6) and, a couple beers along the way. Definitely enough splurging to cause a 5 lb. gain on the scale in one weeks time but, nothing that I'm too worried about. We had our fun and now it's time to get back to business with drinking enough water daily and sticking within my nutritional ranges.

Getting back on track isn't always easy but, I'm just going to take it one day at a time - one choice at a time! Let's make it a great week!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

What Happened on Wednesday

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Yesterday was such a great day, with temperatures reaching up to 83 degrees! It all started out with me getting Piper off to preschool and, going on a solo walk at the park by 9 a.m. I spent the hour walking around (a total of 4,000+ steps), praying, reflecting and then listening to a podcast. I even took a break to do some stretching on a pad of pavement. It was such a nice morning to go for a walk! 

Before picking up Piper from preschool, I packed her a lunch. We headed straight over to a local playground, where we played freeze tag and pretended she was a princess in a castle (the playset was the castle). I really love her little imagination and our times together at the park. We were about to leave when a friend from preschool showed up and so we stayed for a little bit longer before heading home.

When we got home, Piper continued to play outside while I did dishes. Watching her from the window at the sink works out so great! I did some laundry and hung the sheets from the washer on the clothesline. When Nick got home, we each had an iced coffee with whipped topping while sitting under the covered patio outside. Then, he grilled us some cheeseburgers and pineapple for dinner. It was such a good day!

It started raining right before we had to leave for Life Group (small group with some friends from church). We spent the night in community, talking about God and life. It was a really great end to a great day.