Saturday, July 12, 2014

According To My iPhone Pics

If you were to scroll through my iPhone pictures, here is a little sampling of what you would find from the last month:

-Bath time with my boys. Mohawk, soap beards, and all...
 -We have had some pretty nasty rain storms lately. This picture really doesn't capture just how hard it was coming down
 -This is how Harry is entertained for long trips
 -Ollie is finally in cloth diapers!
 -And he is no longer swaddled, and sleeps in his own crib, in his own room
 -Harry talks non stop about his grandparents. Every single day I get to hear about Grandpa's big green tractor, and grandma jan's blankie. No lie, probably 15 times a day he talks about my dads tractor.
 -The day before the 4th we attended the Nisswa parade. Harry loaded up on candy, frisbees, and bead necklaces
 -The night of the 4th my parents watched the boys so Bri and I could go to the fireworks without awake, screaming children
 -The day after the 4th, my mom and I went strawberry picking
 -One of our 4 buckets
 -Harry chilling on the boat
 -And it appears that Brian is nursing Ollie under my jacket, but no. He was just trying to keep him out of the sun
 -With the strawberries my mom and I picked we made 6 batches of jam
 -And many pb&j sandwiches have since been eaten
 -Hello 5 month old Oliver!
 -This is an incredibly terrible photo, but this was as good as it got when it came to capturing Ollie's tooth that he popped through! Its still just a little nubbin poking through the skin, but in no time he's going to have 2 little chompers
 -The other day I put Ollie in the Lifetime child care and Harry and I enjoyed some one on one time drinking smoothies and sitting next to the pool. Bliss!
 -That night when Bri got home, we went back to Lifetime but this time Harry actually got to go swimming! Ollie and I also joined in on all the splashing
 -Something about evening swims is so nostalgic. I have so many fond memories of going to the pool with my brother and sister, and swimming till the sun nearly set and our muscles ached.
 -This past weekend our friends Steph and Dan got married at the amazingly beautiful and new venue called A'Bulae in downtown St. Paul. The ceremony was on the roof, followed by the reception one floor down with breathtaking views of the city. Brian and I got engaged on the steps of the capital, so St. Paul will always hold a special spot in my heart!
And there ya have it! A brief, non detailed description of what's been going on this summer! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Honor Flight

Two weeks ago Brian and I had the privilege of welcoming my grandpa home from his honor flight! For those of you who aren't familiar, here is a little bit about what the honor flight program is:

"Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect attheir memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.
Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out."
"The trips are called “Honor Flights” and for the veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it’s often the first time they’ve been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply move all who are involved. It’s uncommon for World War II veterans to talk about the War, but the Honor Flight experience brings their stories out. Many veterans say, with the exception of their wedding day and the birth of their children, the trip is the best day of their life."
The day entailed my Grandpa and mom heading to the airport at 0500 and meeting up with 80 other veterans and roughly 80 guardians (what my mom was) flying to DC, visiting the WWII memorial along with the Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln memorial. A trip to Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guard and the tomb of the unknown soldier, and flying back to Duluth that night. One jam packed day!
Where Brian and I come in is that we greeted my grandpa and mom at the airport in Duluth after their crazy long day! Brian's parents took Harrison for the night, so come 5pm Brian and I hit the road and drove the 2.5 hours to Duluth, met up with my dad, made some signs, and headed over to the airport for the planes 10:30pm arrival.
We got there a little after 10, and there was already quite the crowd forming.

We ran into a handful of my family members, and anxiously awaited my grandpa's arrival.  Ollie even got in on the action and had balloons tied to his stroller.
Slowly the veterans started making their way down the escalator and that's when the party started. There was a band playing music to usher them in, along with quite a few members of the Duluth police and some other military personnel.
It was truly such an honor just for us to be at the airport, giving them a homecoming they deserve and was long overdue.
About halfway through the unboarding, we finally spotted my grandpa making his way down. We wove our flags and held our signs high, so proud of my grandpa and all he has done for this country. Not only is he a WWII vet, but also a Korean war vet! 

Being able to give my grandpa a hug, and shake the other veterans hands has been one of the highlights of my summer this far. 
After everyone was unboarded, my mom and grandpa shared a little bit about their day, and what an incredible experience it was. One of the highlights was on the flight to D.C., the veterans had one last "mail call." Earlier in the week Brian and I and the rest of my family had written letters to my grandpa, letting him know how much we appreciate all that he did. 

So once again, thank you grandpa and all other veterans who fought so bravely fought for this country! So much honor is due yours, and as a country, we are forever grateful!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Go To Workouts

In my recent post body baby post, I mentioned a little bit about my workout routine, and thought I'd elaborate on it a little more here!

 5 years ago, my workouts would have never looked like this. 5 years ago I thought running each and every day was the perfect workout. While I still love running, it's no longer my sole form of exercise. 

Talking to a friend recently about long distance running made me realize that often I was at my heaviest weight when I was a distance runner. I could pound out 10-15 miles no problem (and in pretty good time), but I was certainly not in the best shape. I often got stuck in my "cardio zone" and never got my heart rate up and moved into "fat burning zone."

When we moved to Colorado and Brian took a job with Lifetime Fitness, a perk of the job was that Brian was able to connect me with a personal trainer for a discounted price. For the first time since high school, I got back into routinely lifting weights, and felt like I could navigate my way around the weight room knowing what I was doing, and what proper form looked like. After working with a personal trainer for a few months, I noticed that my body was much stronger and leaner than it had been. Since then, lifting weights has been a routine part of work outs. 

My go to arm workout for me will include:
-Rear deltoid flyes
-Pectoral flys
-Bicep curls
-Tricep Dips
-Lat pull downs
-Cable row machine
-Inverted pull ups 

My go to leg workouts include:
-Squats (traditional squats, sumo squats, or squats on a bosu ball)
-Walking lunges holding weights
-Prone hamstring curls 
-Hip abductors
-Hip adductors
-Seated Leg press

Another huge change in the last couple years has been incorporating yoga into my regular routine. In college I would take yoga classes every now and then, and while I enjoyed it, I never stuck with it for long. It wasn't until about a year and half ago that I found a style of yoga I really loved: Hot Vinyasa Flow. 
What I love about hot vinyasa is that the classes are typically much more energetic, you move through the poses quickly, and you always get in a good sweat. If I'm going to do yoga, I want to feel my muscles burn and have sweat dripping down my face. 

It wasn't until I started doing yoga that I realized how tight a lot of my muscles are, and how important flexibility, and balance and stability are for protecting your body from injury. 

Lastly, I mentioned that running is still my go to workout, however I have learned to switch that up quite a bit too. No longer do I run 3-5 miles every day, at the same pace. Now when I run, I try switch it up and run negative splits, add sprints to the end, or have just 1 day a week where I do my "standard" run. And if I'm really feeling crazy, I go on the elliptical or another cardio machine just to keep my body guessing. 

So there ya have it. My typical workout week!
Saturday and Sunday-Rest

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Anniversary By Numbers

4 years

7 moves

2 kids

1 miscarriage

3 states lived in

0 pets

5 countries visited 

18th day of June

6 month of the Year

Year 2010 
It's funny to think back to our wedding vows, and all the things we promised each other. While we both fully meant those words 4 years ago, now we have gotten a taste of what they truly mean. We have lived for better, and for worse. We are still yet to be rich, but we sure know what it means to love each other when we are poor. In sickness, we have cared for each other, and in health, we have rejoiced. While we have often failed to love, our capacity to forgive has far exceeded what we ever thought would be needed or possible. These past 4 years have been exciting, challenging, fun, tough, exhausting, thrilling, the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. But more than anything they have been filled with love. More love than I could have ever dreamed possible 4 years ago when on this perfect day we said I Do. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

7 Things That Made The Baby Weight Come Off

So here we are, 4 months after having a baby, and just now am I finally feeling like I'm getting my body back to the point where I can say things are good. Never in the past 4 months was I disappointed with where I was at, heck I just had a baby, which in my book, is a pretty huge deal! But now I am finally feeling back to the old me with just slightly wider hips.

(2 weeks after Ollie)
After having Harrison, I was a little shocked with how quickly the weight came off, and now in hindsight, I don't know that it was all that healthy. After 2 months I was at pre baby weight, and at 6 months I was 10 pounds under baby weight without really even trying. A lot of the weight loss I can contribute to stress, which certainly isn't the best way for weight to come off. You can read all about that journey here.
(3 weeks after Ollie)
So this time around things have gone a little slower, but I am more than ok with that! At 3 months, I was back to pre baby weight, and now at 4 months, I am sitting 3 pounds under. So how'd it happen?? 

First. I stayed active during my pregnancy. I ran till 28 weeks, and was still lifting and walking right up to the end. I would say this is what also helped keep my weight gain down to 27 pounds, which made it a manageable number to lose. Ironically, I also gained exactly 27 pounds with Harrison. Apparently it's my number. 

Second. Starting at 6 weeks postpartum, I went back to working out. But not a day before. In my opinion, letting your pelvic foor fully heal is way more important than rushing back into working out, so once I got the a ok from my midwife, I slowly and painfully got back into working out. For a good two weeks I felt like I could have been on the Biggest Loser, running the 1st mile of my life, but eventually it did start getting easier. I now understand why some people aren't runners. I think this was the first season of my life that running has not come naturally to me. 
Third. I did more than just run. While I consider myself a runner down to the core, I've learned that just running won't get me the body that I want. Running will almost always be my choice cardio, however now I strive to do cardio 2-3 times a week, lift weights 2 days, and do yoga once. It doesn't happen all too often that I hit all 5 days, but at least I have a goal I strive for. It also amazes me how much easier my running days are when I don't run each and every day. I guess cross training actually does serve a purpose...
Fourth. I eat healthy. Well moderately healthy. I am by no means a total health foodie, but I strive for more fruits and veggies that sugar and fried foods. More homemade meals than takeout. More whole grains than white flour. Almost every day I have a green smoothie loaded with spinach or some greens, and also have a protein shake for either a snack of post work out recovery. 
Fifth. Oliver's breastfeeding. That piece alone has probably made the most weight come off as I am ravenous most of the time. I haven't felt full in what feels like months since Ollie is such a chunky monkey and loves to eat. 

Sixth. I sleep. Thankfully Ollie allows me to sleep, and my wonderful husband wakes up with Harrison almost every morning, but I am slowly learning that I feel much better, I am a better mom and wife, I get in better workouts, and I make healthier food choices when I am well rested. I'm learning that instead of sleepily watching the Tonight Show (love me some Jimmy Fallon) I just need to turn off the TV and head to bed. While working night shift certainly doesn't help my lack of sleep, I try and make up for those hours missed on my non working nights.

Seventh. I try and have water be my choice drink. This one does not come naturally at all. I am a desert creature by nature. But I force myself to drink water over any other beverage minus coffee, I ingest large amounts of coffee every single day...

So there ya have it. My 7 things that have helped the baby weight come off. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oliver: 4 Month Update

Welp, I missed the 3 month update (and the 1 month but whose keeping record...) so my track record is not going so well with this 2nd child. I now understand how middle child syndrome is developed. Oliver, I am sorry, here is your better late than never 4 month update.

Oliver is seriously one of the sweetest babies. I know I am a little biased, but honestly, he is just the greatest. I would have 10 babies if I knew they could all be like him. For majority of the day, he spends his time smiling, and when he's not smiling, he's sleeping. Gosh, he just makes my heart melt. 
It's interesting to me to compare Harrison and Oliver. Well it's not that interesting, it's just that they are polar opposite. It's a good thing we had Harrison first, otherwise we would be in big trouble right now!

 But when I think about my love for Harrison, it's this deep, big love. It's a love that we had to work for. We had a lot of tough days together, but I wildly, passionately, love him with everything in me. Don't get momma bear going... And while I love Oliver just as much as Harrison, it's just different. Loving Oliver is easy. He is the baby I dreamed about. He is the newborn, and now infant, that I had pictured in my head. He is just a total and complete joy! 
Oliver excels in the sleep department. Since about 10/12 weeks he routinely began sleeping pretty much through the night and still continues to now! He goes to sleep around 8:30, and most nights only wakes up once around 5 for a quick feed, then sleeps again till around 8. How did I get so lucky?! What's funny is I did the exact same thing with Harrison, however he didn't sleep like this till he was well past 1 and we tried just about everything under the sun...
He also is a pretty darn good eater. He has got some serious thunder thighs, so no need to worry about if he is getting enough. I have been blessed with an over supply, so we have been fortunate enough to feed him only breastmilk and we have a pretty hearty supply in the freezer too! Most days he goes about every 2.5-3 hours between feeding, however he is yet to go beyond that.

Ollie loves his paci which is a whole new thing to me considering Harrison never took one! Although now that Ollie has one Harrison loves to think that NOW at 2 he needs one and every now and then  I'll catch Harry running around with his brother's paci in his mouth. 
To get Ollie to sleep all we have to do is wrap him in the miracle blanket, pop a paci in, hold him for about 5 minutes and then he is out! I know, easy. It's also not unheard of to find Ollie sleeping under his play mat, in his bouncer, or wherever I happen to set him down while I chase Harry.... 
About a month ago I laid Ollie on the play mat on his belly, walked away, and came back and he was laying on his back. Apparently the boy can roll! Ever since then has rolled a handful of times, however I think we are right on the brink of him being a continuous roller!
One thing that Ollie does not love is car rides. And we unfortunately spend a lot of time in the car. Thankfully he is starting to get a little better now that he can grab his moose that dangles or play with his paci clip, but the few times that he has really gotten worked up all involve the car. 
Sometimes I joke that we should bring Oliver to a hospital or nursing home to visit the elderly, because he just brings so much joy into the room. He smiles at everyone. Will happily be held by everyone, and is one of the easiest going babies around. 

Some Stats:
Weight- 15lbs
Somehow is still wearing size 3 month clothes
Wears size 2 diapers

We are so blessed to call Oliver ours, and can't imagine our family without him! 

And get this, I have a post lined up for every single day this week!! That hasn't happened in oh, about 2 years. So stay tuned!

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