Monday, August 30, 2021

Smells Like the End of Summer

After a few weeks of researching and dreaming, I picked up a new hobby and it might be one of my favorite hobbies, yet. My husband and I began canning recently! I started by visiting 5 local produce stands, collecting goodies from each one. We started with dilly beans, and have gone on to do dill pickles and preserved green beans. It's definitely a labor of love, and I like it. Every part of the process is joy-giving for me.

Nick joked that Piper is going to remember the beginning of a new school year smelling like dill and vinegar. I hope we all remember the end of summer smelling this way, really. I hope this becomes a tradition for our family - something to share with our girls as they grow.

Now that we're into canning, we are already dreaming about what we should plant next Spring. Gardening and canning is for every season. Whenever you can't actually plant or tend to your harvest, you can plan and prepare. It's a process rooted in every season. It feels right and true.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Piper is set to start school this week. We are all experiencing that excited-nervous feeling of a new school year. 

I hope to share more blog posts on Wednesday and Friday but, if I'm quiet on the blog this week it's likely due to settling into our new routines.

Friday, August 27, 2021

ISO: Ordinary Moments

This is our last week of summer break, and we've been taking full advantage of our time together! When I began to think about how I wanted to spend this last week of summer break with the kids, I started thinking of all the places we could go and all of the things we could do. Of all the things I thought of, it still didn't feel like enough. I tried to think of things we'd miss doing together while Piper was at school. We'll miss going to the zoo, and the amusement park, sure. We'll miss going out for ice cream and swimming at the beach, definitely.

When I first started to plan out our last week of summer break, I was trying to avoid anything ordinary, until I realized those are some of the biggest moments we're likely going to miss. I'm going to miss sneaking back under the covers in my bed with Piper after getting Laney down for her mid-morning nap. I'm going to miss the silly tickle fights and the mounds and mounds of paper crafts on our dining room table. I'm going to miss the chance to sit next to Piper on the couch as she shows me something new on her tablet game. I'm going to miss holding hands with her as we walk down the driveway to collect the mail together.

So, while we might get out for one more zoo day or beach trip this weekend, it's not the extraordinary adventures I'm after for us at the end of Piper's summer break. It's the ordinary moments for us.

With that said, here are a few pictures from the other night when we did get out for ice cream and a park playdate by the lake.

These are the days!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Week 7: Weight-Loss Update

 As promised, I have a little weight-loss update for you all.

On July 5th, I weighed in around 244 lbs. Yesterday, I weighed in around 232 lbs. 

In 7 weeks, I have lost a total of 12 pounds!

I am really happy with my results. I feel good physically and I am noticing some physical changes in how my clothes are fitting, as well.

If you were here last week then you know one of the things that would always trip me up when trying to lose weight was night snacking! I tried for so long to avoid doing it but, I have finally come to terms with the fact that some (most) nights I just can't help it. Instead of trying to avoid night snacking, I have been accounting for it when tracking my nutrition for the day. I make sure to save some room for a night snack or two, and that has been working really well for me!

Having the right snacks and meals that make me feel full and satisfied is another important factor in my success, lately. Right now some of my top favorite snacks and lunch combinations include: buffalo wing pretzel crisps, peanut butter and chocolate rice cakes, fresh tomatoes from the garden, turkey sandwiches on low-calorie bread, blacked chicken and cottage cheese. For dinner, we always try to eat fish on Mondays, and we make our own pizzas on Fridays. I have been allowing myself to have treats as I want, especially on the weekends. I just try to make sure I'm eating well and within moderation 80% of the time. 

Those are just some of the rhythms and things that I've been using to help me lose weight lately. I haven't been doing any dedicated workouts aside from the occasional evening walk outside. I plan to incorporate dedicated workouts around the time when my weight-loss naturally slows down or plateaus, or when I'm feeling ready for it!

So far, this weight-loss has been fun and rewarding to work on. Probably because it hasn't felt like much work at all. It's been a very natural, relaxed and forgiving process so far!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Chatty Friday Update

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a good week. We have been having one of our better weeks over here, lately and I'm so glad!

The past few weeks had some bumps. First, Piper was sick and then the following week we had an emergency vet visit for our dog, Max. We weren't sure at the time if we were going to have to say goodbye to Max that night but thankfully the vet thinks we have a little more time with him before we need to start weighing things like "quality of life". He is still on medication, which seemed to help him move around, however he is starting to slow down again as we ween him off. In the back of my mind, I have been preparing myself for goodbye. We just don't know when, exactly. 

Oof, I didn't mean to get so heavy there. Let's move onto something else. Back to how this has been one of our better weeks, lately!

This was Piper's first week back on summer vacation after her 6-week summer program. We kicked off the week with the sweetest little tea party with friends.

It has been so nice to all be together again during our days. I feel especially grateful for this time with both of my kids at home. There is a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world right now and I've been having one of those "squeeze your kids and count your blessings" kind of day, every day this week.

I have loved having Piper back at home, especially during Delaney's naps. We have been doing fun things like making crafts, baking zucchini muffins, and cooking homemade pasta!

We are also doing things to get ready for school, like getting eyes checked and new glasses ordered.

As for my weight-loss journey, things are going incredibly well with all that! I want to sit down and process through exactly what is clicking this time around so I can share all of those things in a post or vlog with you (and with my future self for when I get in a rut).

I can say that one of the things that would always trip me up when trying to lose weight before was night snacking! I tried for so long to avoid doing it but, I have finally come to terms with the fact that some (most) nights I just can't help it. Instead of trying to avoid night snacking, I have been accounting for it when tracking my nutrition for the day. I make sure to save some room for a night snack or two, and that has been working really well for me! I have also been doing more healthier things before bed, like taking my vitamins and reading my new devotional.

I got a notification the other day that I have logged into My Fitness Pal for 45 days in a row which makes me incredibly proud. That is also helping my weight-loss this time around. I haven't been perfect with tracking or sticking within my nutritional ranges every day but, I have been doing amazing about 80% of the time which seems to be the correct type of balance for me right now.

I'll be back next week with a weight-in update and more! Make it a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Delaney Jane: Eight Months

Eight months! Oh my goodness! 

Similar to how she got her first tooth at seven months old, Delaney popped her second bottom tooth without us barely noticing at eight months old! We think she has a high pain tolerance because teething has been a breeze, so far.

Delaney started sitting up on her own this past month! She was so proud of herself when we came into her room to find her sitting up in her crib for the first time. That's when we knew it was time to drop the crib down. And just like that, another sweet milestone was completed. 

Delaney has been finding her voice! Her first word was "dada" or really,  "da da da da". Since then we had been working on having her say "mama" and "sis". She has had the "mmm" and "sss" sounds down for a while and so it's was just a matter of time before she chose her next word. I was pretty happy her second word was "mama"!

We have had so much fun with her this past month! Just take a look:

We love this sweet baby of ours!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Hello Monday, Goodbye 10 Pounds

Hello, Monday! Goodbye, 10 pounds!

I have officially lost 10 pounds since July 5th! I lost one pound last week and I’m pretty impressed with that because I had quite a few moments where I indulged myself. There was fudge at an amusement park, a dinner out to celebrate Piper’s last day at her summer program, a peanut butter pie after my shift at the diner, and a wedding with a couple cupcakes and a few beers.

Speaking of the wedding, here are a few more photos from that special day where we got to celebrate my cousin, Nathan, and his new wife, Molly!

We had an amazing time with our family this weekend!

With all of those previously mentioned indulgences considered, I still lost a pound last week! Spreading out the indulgences and sticking to a healthy balance has really helped me to enjoy this weight-loss journey and continue to be successful despite the occasional (or in reality more frequent) treat.