Snow Day!

When it snows in Georgia, everybody freaks out with both excitement and fear. Today was mostly excitement at our house when we woke up to a semi-white yard and snowflakes falling hard. We were excited for James to get to see and experience snow! He saw some flurries about a week ago and last winter we had a teeeeeeny bit of snow on the ground, but this was the first “big” one. We’ve been reading a lot of Curious George in the Snow, and my goodness we’ve been watching our fair share of Frozen, so we knew he’d be excited! Plus, any material that can be made into a ball is a winner for James.

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Although Neely slept through the outside play time, she got to at least see the snow from the comfort of our warm house, complete with her own snowman of course 🙂

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Beautiful Things – FREE Printable!

BeautifulThings

Happy weekend! What better way to celebrate the weekend than with a FREE printable of some encouraging words! Click the link below to download your free 8×10 PDF of this sweet lil print. Use it however you’d like – I hope it serves as a reminder to everyone that we are constantly being transformed by our loving God more and more into his likeness – a truly beautiful thing!

BeautifulThings  <<<< Click Here!

You are what you eat?

I’ve heard it said that “you are what you eat.” I’m sure everybody has heard that saying before! So if I am what I eat, then today I must say I looked pretty good:

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Changing my eating habits and focusing on proper nutrition has been the biggest change and also the biggest surprise for me throughout these challenges. I don’t know why it was such a surprise to me that eating heathy foods, and eating the right amount of healthy foods, would make me feel like a new person. But within the first THREE DAYS of eating this way, I felt a distinct difference in my body. I could literally feel the food in my body fueling me and energizing me rather than weighing me down. For the first time ever I felt perfectly satisfied all day long, never feeling uncomfortably hungry or uncomfortably full. I didn’t get stomach aches or feel gassy or bloated. It has been the most incredible realization for me.

If I had taken pictures of my daily meals prior to January 2015, you would have seen cereal, pb&j with chips, chicken fried rice, Diet Mountain Dew and sweedish fish. Sure there were times I counted calories and could lose a few pounds, but what does it matter how few calories you’re getting if the quality of those calories is just junk? And there were also times when I worked out almost daily but didn’t change my eating habits, and saw minimal, slow results. Nutrition has been a TOTAL game-changer throughout this process and I truly don’t want to go back!

I can’t say that I haven’t had a single bit of fried food or chocolate over the past 6 weeks, but it has been few and far between, and I don’t feel guilty about it. I haven’t let it throw me off when I’ve strayed from my meal plan because I now know that this healthy way of eating is becoming my instinct and my normal, so it would take more than one dessert to completely throw me off. And you’ve just got to splurge every once in awhile!

I’ll be posting more specifics on my meal plans and how all that has worked at another time 🙂

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New Year, New Race: Challenge #2

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Here we go again! Tomorrow begins my second 30 Day Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited. It is hard to believe that not that long ago I was preparing for my first 30 Day Challenge, and I didn’t feel anything like I do now. I was so full of fear, nerves, doubt. I wondered if I would be able to follow through, to finish what I was starting. I wondered if I would see any results, if I would lose weight or feel better about my body. I never would have believed the transformation that was about to begin!

Now, as I look toward these next 30 days, I am full of excited anticipation. This time, I already know I can do it. It doesn’t feel like I’m preparing to make huge changes in my diet – I’ve already done that. And I truly enjoy the healthy decisions I’m making; it is definitely my new normal. I’m not wondering when I’ll have the time to fit in workouts every day. I am already doing that! It is a non-negotiable part of my daily routine. I look so forward to my afternoon workout, followed by my refreshing shake. It is my new nap time tradition. The kids are asleep, and before I sit down at my computer to work, I take care of myself and my body.

I have a much different outlook and much different expectations. I also have different goals. My goals for the next 30 days are to:

1) Wake up early each day to spend time in God’s word and in prayer. I want this to become even more non-negotiable than the workout.

2) Get all 7 workouts in every week. Even if it means doubling up some days, there are 7 workouts in my program and to achieve the best results, I need to fit them all in!

3) STICK TO THE MEAL PLAN! Nutrition has proved to be a total GAME-CHANGER when it comes to my overall health and how I feel. This is of vital importance!

4) Stick with this blog. Like I said before, I want this to be an opportunity for accountability. If I know there are people out there who are reading about my experiences, I better keep it up!

5) Don’t get discouraged, and do NOT give up!!!


 

If you’re new to my blog, make sure to click the “Healthy Living” tab at the top to catch up on the beginnings of my journey toward a healthy, balanced life!

Special Treasure

I’ve been staying busy with design work over the past months, even in the midst of having a newborn! While I enjoy pretty much all of the work I get to do, I keep coming back to hand-lettering when I am doing personal design. After sitting in front of a computer for so long, at the end of the day I tend to need to unplug and create something with just a pen, paper, and my hands. It is so comforting to me! So I continue to sketch and draw encouraging verses and sayings, and I plan to continue to post them here to share.

This verse has been special to me over the past few weeks as it has given me a reminder as to who I am and how God sees me – as his very own special treasure! (Deut. 7:6)

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5 Months (and 4 Months too… oops!)

 

Our precious girl turned 5 months old today! And although I failed to update at the time, she also turned 4 months old too. Oops! So here’s the latest with our girl from the past TWO months:

She is FINALLY sleeping all night long! It felt like it took forever though I know in the grand scheme of things, it was a very short time. She’s getting into a predictable nap/sleep routine which is HEAVEN for this mommy who thrives on a predictable schedule. Her sleeping has been a bit interrupted for the past week though because she’s fighting her first sickness 😦 She has bronchiolitis and an ear infection! Poor thing. She’s learning how to take her medicine from the syringe (a tricky thing for a baby who prefers the ONLY thing to ever provide her with food to be, ahem, mommy) and she’s also doing breathing treatments. Hopefully this sickness will get knocked out and she’ll be as good as new (and sleeping all night again!) in no time.

When we went to the doctor for her 4 month check up, Neely weighed 16 lbs 11 oz. and was in the 95th percentile for weight. At her doctor appointment this week, she was 17 lbs 9 oz. She doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit! She is much bigger than her brother was at this age!

She started rolling over on February 1 and once she figured it out, there was no stopping her! If you lay her down, don’t blink or else you’ll miss her rolling onto her belly. On her belly is now her preferred sleeping position as well.

She’s getting really good with her hands and will reach out and grab whatever gets within her reach, and it all goes straight into that gummy, slobbery mouth. We keep waiting for a tooth to poke through because the girl is COVERED in drool all day long, but so far, nothing.

Neely is super easy-going, very content. She likes to watch whatever is going on and finds her brother to be the most entertaining of any of us. Well, actually she is most entertained by her own reflection in the mirror! She is a smiley little thing but as often as she’s smiling, she also has a look of deep thought and concern on her face. And also, sometimes, a look that can only be described as “so over it.” I think Neely is going to have a lot of personality!

Other milestones – first taste of solid food (she liked it!) & finding and grabbing her feet

We love our girl more every day!!

 

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Race – Step One: Done

I did it! I completed my first 30 Day Challenge and I feel AMAZING! Not only because I achieved awesome results, but more because I finished something I started. I didn’t give up. I believed in myself and pushed myself like never before.

This was a 30 Day Challenge that included an exercise plan, a healthy eating plan, and daily protein shakes. The thing that took it to the next level was the accountability – I was part of a group on facebook (a secret group, so no one else saw us!) of other people making strides toward a lifestyle change and healthy habits. It was so incredible to be a part of a group all working toward the same goal – to be our healthiest selves!
I’m pretty shocked at the results I achieved. Physically, I lost weight, went down a pant size, and toned and strengthened my whole body. The physical changes are really such a reflection of the changes I feel inside. I have gained confidence, gained belief in myself, gained courage, and gained a better understanding of my responsibility to myself and others as God’s temple.
It doesn’t end here. Like I said before, I plan to make this a real, true lifestyle change, not just a quick fix diet. I’m about to start on another 30 Day Challenge and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use this next 30 days. I know he will continue to transform me and I hope that in the process I’m able to bring Him glory.
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If there’s anyone out there who would like to join me in these challenge groups, please let me know! New ones are staring every month!