Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Long Pause, The End or A Fresh New Beginning

Hello and happy Tuesday!

So, I'm going to be real and transparent with you guys because - that's just who I am. 

I've been having mixed thoughts about blogging lately. I even told one of my friends, Blayne, that I may consider quitting all together. I'm glad that I talked it out a bit though because, when she asked me "why?", I didn't have much of an answer for her.

It's funny how sometimes life gets so busy and is so out of sorts that I can't even think about finding the time to write a blog post and then, other times I wonder if writing is exactly what I need to get through these busy times and help sort everything out. I've been having some mixed thoughts, for sure.

Finding the time to blog, especially in the summer, can be hard as well. Maybe that's all this is though; maybe I'm just a little burnt out from this summer. Burnt out in good ways {like typical summer fun stuff} and more difficult ways {like constantly trying and failing to stay on track with healthy living}.

Then, there's this big transition coming up. You know, the one where Piper starts her first day of preschool on the same day that I start my first job outside of the house since becoming a stay-at-home mom. There's that, too.

I guess there's just a lot of stuff going on right now and, as much as I don't want to take another break from blogging, I think it would be best to take a break now, in effort to avoid giving up all-together.


I think I still want this space to write about my journey, my life and my family. I think I still want this space for all of that and, I'm wondering if you still enjoy my use of this space, too.

Either way, I'll be back after this transition to share how it all went and, what's coming next for this space; whether it be a long pause, the end or, a fresh new beginning.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Half-Birthday Carnival Celebration

Hello and happy Monday! I hope that you had a great weekend. We sure did!

On Saturday, we went to a Half-Birthday Celebration at Nick's parents house. It was carnival-themed and so much fun! Nick's parents did a great job setting it all up.

All of us "kids" have winter birthdays and so, celebrating everyone's half-birthday in the summer is such a treat!

Nick's mom, Debi, set up a few different carnival games for everyone to play and gave us the opportunity to win some pretty awesome prizes! Piper especially loved playing the games {over and over and over} to try and win the little creature prizes.

This was definitely a night of indulgence. Just like at a carnival, the food was so good and, I definitely over-did it. The cupcakes were especially delicious!

We all had such a great time at our half-birthday carnival celebration! The weather was perfect, the food was great and the games were fun!

Now excuse me while I go drink a gallon of water to detox from all of the sugar and treats!

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?