Thursday, December 29, 2011

Toes and accountability.

Last night I made a quick run to the grocery store for a few things... as I was heading inside my mind was wandering thinking about the possible gang members living in our apartment complex (this was in the days previous conversations) and I somehow tripped as I stepped up onto the curb.  Tripped meaning I ended up laying on the sidewalk with a throbbing toe.  This morning when I woke up this is what I found:
A nice bruise across my toe and a difficulty bending it in either direction very well.  I wanted to go to the gym this morning and I thought Crossfit makes me feel better all the time why not my toe? 

I entered the gym with some apprehension of even being able to complete the workout being that today was 4 rounds of 800 meter running.  Oh yay my favorite running :(   Now, I have never enjoyed running and have never really done it much but Crossfit has really taught me that you can learn how to do anything and there is always room for improvement.  So off I ran... my first 2 rounds I got the same time 6:22.  As I was starting my third round a visitor from a Crossfit gym in Anaheim, CA named Al joined me on the run.  I assumed he was just starting his own round until he asked me what time we were going to beat? I was a bit confused and he then explained he was just warming up and was there to help me beat my time.  He stuck by me, always running just a bit faster so I wouldn't slow down.   I made it to the top of the hill where we turn around and head back to the gym, this is when it got more challenging.  He told me to relax it's just down hill from there, then the closer we got to the gym the faster he had me running and by the end we were sprinting and he was cheering me along.  I came in and had beat my previous times by almost a full minute!  Was it easy? No way, but it felt great accomplishing something that I walked into the gym not even knowing I could finish let alone improve.  It also shows the power of accountability in our lives and that other people can see our potential especially in an area we feel weak in. Why is it so easy to not strive as hard when were are alone with no one challenging our standards or method?  
A big thanks to Al from Anaheim Crossfit for challenging and believing in me today! 

And... my toe is feeling a bit better than it did this morning : )

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Little Christmas time...

We had a lovely Christmas this year, it's so fun to see how the kids change and respond differently.  We watched some videos from last years Christmas and the kids all looked so little, I'm thinking we should watch those videos every year as a new tradition just to see a glimpse of our past each year.  

Here is the short version, or I like to say Official Trailer of our Christmas morning.  

Here is the full version with a little more detail.  Marinn was very embarrassed to receive panties in her stocking and Taurin was really excited about it, oh what an age difference makes sometimes.  Shaw got lots of fun cars to push, and drive everywhere.  Blaize just looked really confused and a bit excited that everyone was tearing paper and it was all over, since we are always confiscating paper from him! 

Christmas always seems to feel like you are finishing up a year and new goals and memories are coming so quickly.  This year has been so very challenging in many ways, but looking back and seeing where we are today I realize that the foundation we have created from the beginning of our marriage and the commitment to serve and love one another with everything we have has been the reason for our success in difficult times, challenging situations, and just bad circumstances.  In the end, a year that could have broken our family and relationship has made us stronger and reminded us that the effort that we have put forth to keep our family strong and healthy has paid off,  that is has all been worth it.  It hasn't been easy, but situations have always seemed to work out for the best even though they seemed impossible in the moment.
"We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy."

I'm excited to say that Andrew will be starting his first day of work tomorrow, I'm so proud of all his hard work and perseverance to complete his training and go for the job and department that he wanted. Sometimes our dreams take sacrifice but it always seems to be worth it.

I found the videos from previous years : )  yay!

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2009

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Joy of Family

The other day, this is what my morning looked like.  All my babies snuggled in our queen size bed. Yes, I had to crawl out from under a few of them to get to my camera but it was snuggle heaven. 
 It makes my heart happy to see how they care for and love each other. 

This morning I had the 3 amigos to help me make pancakes.  They ate about half of what I was taking out of the pan so by the time I was done cooking they were full.  But it sure saved us some mess and syrup. This picture cracks me up... Marinn sitting on the pancake warmer with her feet on the cutting board I'm pretty sure this is not up to code with the health department but she had a great time.  Shaw's job was occasionally opening the lid to the warmer so I could throw a pancake in.  Taurin was the one who let me know when to flip the pancakes and just look cute. 

Raising 4 kids ages 5 and under can sure be challenging at times but just getting to know them and having the opportunity to impact their lives is totally worth it.  They have so much love, wisdom, and excitement for life to share if we just take the time to pay attention. 

Here are just a few moments in the last few weeks that were memorable...

1.     Taking all the kids to the grocery store... well 3 different grocery stores to get some deals with some coupons.  At the first store Marinn and Taurin stood at the end of the line with bags in hand ready to do some serious bagging.  They kept shaking open the bags looking all crazy like line backers, as if they were going to charge our cashier at any minute.  I asked her to please pass them anything they couldn't break so they could bag it.  She looked over at their eager faces and posed a challenge.  She said, "Are you ready? Because this is gonna happen fast!"  This was the wrong thing to tell Marinn, my super competitive child.  She got that "look" in her eye and gave her bag another fierce shake.  The cashier started scanning crazy fast and flinging the items toward Marinn and Taurin.  They were bagging like pros! Groceries were flying into the bags and they were running to the cart to toss them in around Blaize and Shaw (who was constantly trying to escape his safety belt).  It was a site to see and I couldn't help but wish I had put more groceries in the cart just to wear them out.  As I left the store with my cart half full of groceries, half full of children I realized that I could have gotten frustrated with their over eagerness to help.  I was proud of myself for letting them be a part of the process and a valuable asset.  I think we all want that, to feel like we are needed and have something to offer even if it might be small.  

2.     At the grocery store once again, with my pro-baggers at my side.  In the checkout line I decided to hold Shaw so he wouldn't attempt an escape during check out.  We enjoyed pressing our pretend buttons while the cashier rung up my things.  Then all of a sudden I feel something extremely hot on my side right where I am holding Shaw,  I assume he is peeing, but am surprised at how hot it is even through his diaper.  I shrug it off as I watch Marinn and Taurin convince the bagger that they are fully capable of hauling the gallons of milk to the cart.  That was hilarious watching a 3 and 5 year old practically move a grown man out of the way so they could carry the milk.  He was totally impressed.  Then, I set Shaw down for a minute just to pay and all of a sudden my side where there was heat now feels cool? Ut oh?!  Somehow, with Shaw in a fresh diaper fully secured to his body the pee has snuck past multiple barriers including his pants to soak a nice large circle on my shirt.  What's a girl to do in this situation?  There isn't many options, but I know that our perception is our reality and they way we think of things often effects our emotional response.   I thought to myself,  I am wearing my work out attire and who's to say that's not just a result of an intense workout?  So as I walk out of the store with my head held high I think, no need to be embarrassed this could easily just be sweat.  

3.     On Monday's we have a play date at the park.  As I was getting the kids ready to leave the house for our play date, Andrew asks if Shaw is wearing a diaper.  I think to myself about the last time I saw him which was moments before and I recall him being in a diaper.  We head to park and everyone is having a great time until Piper and Taurin notify me that Shaw has pooped.  They are very insistent and vocal about me taking care of it immediately.  I walk over to get him and realize that there is a very serious situation going on.... I discover that Shaw had somehow taken off his diaper before leaving the house and has now pooped freely in his shorts.  I take him into the bathroom to clean him up... pretty much a bath.  Now, I will be honest I thought of just placing him inside the toilet and flushing a few times but how could I have posted that blog entry without some serious criticism?  I take off his shorts that pretty much fell off by the time we made it to the bathroom and I place him in the sink.  Well, lucky us it's one of those faucets that you press down and it gives you about 5 seconds of water.  And this one was the kind that shoots out water at the speed of light in very small streams.  Needless to say there was water and who knows what else blasting and flying all over the place, but we somehow got Shaw fully refreshed.  I had left the new diaper and shorts in the van so I wrapped Shaw in a large paper towel skirt and we walked over to get in some fresh clothes.  The the fellow play date moms gave us a cheer for his awesome skirt as we came out.  He finished up playing and had a great time, no embarrassment or shame.  Such a great example of how sometimes life just happens and we have to take care of business.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frankencrispy Treat & His Bride

I decided to make some fun treats for a Halloween party on Saturday... 
The hosts of the party are going to be Frankenstein and His Bride so I thought I'd stick with their theme and make some Rice Crispy Treats Frankenstein style! 

I did your basic recipe and added some green food coloring. 
I formed them into a large cookie sheet and then cut them into the desired size.  

 Then I shaped one sheet into rectangle-ish shapes. 
(This is the green you get when you forget to mix the food coloring in until you are already stirring them up.)

And the other batch into long rectangle-ish shapes. They were easily molded even 15 to 20 minutes after I had poured them into the pans. 
(This is the green you get when you add the coloring in the marsh mellows before you start mixing.)

After the shapes had set for a bit I melted some dark chocolate on a double boiler and half dipped, half painted on the "hair".  

The chocolate was taking a long time to set and so I proceeded very carefully adding all the details.  
-For Frankencrispy's hair, eyebrows and mouth I used the chocolate.  
-For the eyes and stitching your basic out of the can frosting with some food coloring.  
-For the bolts I cut miniature marshmellows in half and secured them with some frosting.  

-For his lovely Bride I used the chocolate for her hair and eyelashes.
-For her eyes, mouth, stitching, and hair highlights I used frosting. 
(For applying the frosting I used a sandwich bag with a small hole cut in the corner.)

Wha La!  The happy couple : )

I love how these turned out and the kids and Andrew said they tasted great! 
I can't wait to give one a try on Saturday. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where did you get this?

Marinn found a book that she hadn't seen before... she held it up and asked, "Mom did you get this out of that dump place? That bin thingy?"
"No Marinn, I didn't get it out of the dumpster.  That is a book MarMar got out."
Now where would she have gotten that idea?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Top Secret Coupon Mission

While going to pick up Marinn from school I noticed a recycling dumpster for "paper only".  I peeked in to see the mother load of possible coupons!  The following is the conversation that conspired later that evening.

I text my sister (she was working), "Would you join me on a secret mission after you get off work?"
Her response. "Sure. What's the plan?"
Me, "I found a secret stash of free coupons near Marinn's school."
Her, "Ok."

After she gets off work at 10:30pm she calls and the conversation goes something like this,
Her, "So, are we breaking into somewhere to steal coupons, because that's kind of what it sounds like?"
(I think it's funny she agreed even though it sounded like we would be breaking and entering, now that's a good sister!)
Me, "Oh no, we will just be dumpster diving."
Her in a small pitiful voice, "I don't want to go dumpster diving."
Me, "You don't have to get in, you can just stand out side and I'll pass you the coupons."
Her, "Are we going to get arrested if we get caught?"
Me, "No, Andrew said he doesn't think it's illegal.  But if we do I'm totally going to ask to hold up a coupon in my mug shot."
Her, "Ok, I'll pick you up in a few minutes, I'm on my way."
Me, "Ok, I'll have the flash light and masks ready."

She picks me up and we head to our destination.  We pull up, get out and I go to open the large lid on the top, only to discover that it is locked shut.  Fortunately there is a large square opening on the front, a "shoot" you could call it that if easily big enough for someone to fit through.
Now, anyone that knows me and my sister knows that I have about 80 lbs and 5" on her, so she is significantly smaller than myself.  We decide that the safest bet would be to put her down the shoot so I don't get stuck.  So, down she goes!
I pass her the flash light and she starts digging like a pro!  Now I have to note that this was the cleanest dumpster I've ever seen.  No smell, no cockroaches, no spiders, just paper and magazines.  
 With her awesome work we came out with 12 coupon circulars, and 4 motorcycle magazines.
This was actually a great time, we laughed a lot and it was totally free, not to mention scoring some great coupons. We decided if the cops came I would just shut off the light and leave her in there, then circle the block and pick her up after the cops left... lets just say this made us giggle.  

I'm seriously considering making this a monthly adventure and even hitting some of the other recycle bins in the city.  But next time I'll take a trip down the shoot : )  Who's with me? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sock Bun Review & Victoria Secret Hair

I've experimented with a few different sock bun options.

#1. Sock bun while working out.
The results weren't too bad, this was my first try and I don't think I got it wrapped tight enough or dampened my hair enough.  The curls lasted okay, not sure if that's because they needed to be sprayed or if my hair weighs like 8 pounds.  

#2.  Sock bun overnight with very damp hair. (I don't have a picture of this one because I did it at about 3am.)  The result was very sad.   My hair was much too damp and so the result was scraggly looking half dry half wet hair.  No bueno.... Or should I say no bun-o. 

#3.  Double sock bun overnight with lightly dampened hair.  
I used 2 sock buns and easily got a nice tight roll.  I think 2 is probably necessary for the amount of hair that I have (see size of sock bun in #1).  The resulting curls were really great, but after walking Marinn to school they are more like light waves.  Maybe I just need more product in my hair or less hair?  I'm thinking I'll give it one more attempt with maybe some mouse or spray in my hair to help make the curls last.  
All of this sock bun stuff was spurred on by a picture I posted of my Victoria Secret hair.  So here you go!

Victoria Secret Hair 101

There are 2 methods I've found on this one...

 #1.  Hair in high pony, use straightening iron on small sections of hair then roll around Velcro rollers.  Let cool and then take down.
I use clips or bobbi pins to help hold curlers in place. 
After the curlers are out.
The result is a very voluminous with some slight curl at the ends (depending on the size of rollers you use).  

#2.  Same as above method but instead of using Velcro rollers you just wrap the hair around your finger and pin it down... like a pin curl.  This seems to work the best for me just because my hair is so heavy that curls tend to come out easily and these curls are smaller.  The results look a bit like the double sock bun above.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Perfect Purse in Panguitch

I stumbled upon this beauty in a small town called Panguitch, UT.   We had done a last minute camping trip and me and my sister ended up going into Panguitch to buy some groceries, while in town we saw a few small boutiques and I was lucky enough to find this purse.   I fell in love instantly and for only $34 I was sold.  For the first time I feel like I have a bright and fun purse.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Pair of Shorts...

So this week began our 2nd month of Insanity, which means a tougher and longer workout plan.  We had a recovery week last week so we got a bit of a break.  Starting up this week was tough, but sometimes the little things can be inspiring.  I think it was wednesday and I was sore from the previous days workouts and I just wasn't in the mood to work out.  Then I remembered... I had just purchased a pair of new work out shorts (as a reward for completing month one) and all of a sudden I felt inspired.  So I threw on my new shorts and got down to business.  Rewards for small accomplishments are important and they can keep you going and inspired.  Who knew the power of my shorts!?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"You're just heavy."

Watching my nieces today...
The kids are playing on a pogo stick and I decide to give it a try.  
Andrew says, "Jess, that's weighted for kids." 
Tearony, "Yeah it's for like 80 pounds or less."
Me, "Oh, well I'm about 100 pounds over the weight limit so that's probably a bad idea."
Tearony's eyes get big as I tell her I weigh 180 pounds.
Me, "Go ahead and say it Tearony, say "You're a big woman Jesse." (this is what her sister used to say to me when she was young)
Tearony looks and me and holds her hands up a bit and says, "You are not a big woman, you are just heavy." 

: )  This made me smile. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Insanity Day 30: Weigh In & Before and After Pics!!!!

Pictures speak louder than words so these week I'm gonna skip the numbers and totals and just show you our before and after pics after 30 days.  
On the left Day 1 on the right Day 30.

I can't wait to see the pics in 30 more days : ) 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Insanity Update 3: Weigh-In & Breakfast Pizza Recipe!

Let's get right to it... Weigh In #3:
Jess: Down 3 lbs from last week. Total Weight loss = 10 lbs! 
Andrew: Down 8 lbs from last week.  Total Weight loss = 12 lbs!

Now for a scrumptious recipe that I snagged from my friend Ryanne:

Paleo Breakfast Pizza: 
6 slices of bacon
1 med zucchini
1/2 onion
1 tomato 
7-10 eggs
Cut bacon to little pieces cook to crisp, add vegs with the bacon and grease, cook for a few min. Scramble the eggs, add pepper to liking, pour over bacon and vegs cook on low for 3-4 min then throw it under the broiler until top is firm. Cut and serve like a pizza! So good!

Above: Ryanne's Pizza

I followed her recipe...kind of.  I substituted the zucchini with mushrooms because I had no zucchini, I also used canned tomatoes because I was out of the fresh ones.   It turned out delicious and Shaw even ate 2 pieces himself!
Above: My Pizza

I have since tried this recipe using zucchini and spinach... yet another great combo! So many possibilities!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Insanity Week 2: Weigh In + Measurements

Yesterday (Sunday), marked our second completed week of INSANITY.  We had an adventurous Saturday hiking in Zion National Park for about 10 hours (another post on that later), and Sunday at the lake.  Needless to say I'm glad we have been doing INSANITY because I might not be walking right now if we hadn't.

So, now for the numbers the exciting part!

I lost another 3 pounds, bringing my total weight loss to 7 pounds! Yay!
I also lost 1 inch on my waist, 2 inches on my hips, and 1 inch on my neck... thats 4 total inches lost so far!
You put all that together and I have lowered my percentage of body fat by 3%!  

Andrews stats...
No weight loss this week for him, but he held steady at his previous weeks weight.  
He lost 2 inches in his waist! 
And all that combined he lost 4% of body fat! 

Now some of you might look at some of the numbers and think that's not much, but the real goal here is lowering our body fat because that is what really causes the problems... so if you are trying to reach goals and don't see weight coming off you might want to measure your body fat loss so you can see that their are still changes going on.

As far as the eating healthier I have really been able to change my mindset and realize that there are a lot of options out there for great tasting food... even when eating out... without the huge amount of calories.  Sometimes you have to get creative and ask them to leave something off or replace it with a more healthy option but it's totally worth it! We have been eating small meals about 5 times a day and I find myself being less hungry and not wanting to snack all day long.  It is a challenge everyday but I am seeing results and know that it is better for my future, I just have to keep on going and being disciplined.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Insanity Week 1: Weight In + Fish Taco Recipe!

After one week of INSANITY Andrew and I have both lost 4 pounds!  Whooo hooo! 
Getting closer to our goals already! 
Found a great healthy alternative:  Substitute your corn or flour tortilla in your taco to a large leaf of Romaine lettuce.  Has a nice crunch and my fish taco was still delicious! I think I might actually like this better than a tortilla : ) 

Fish Tacos

Filet of Catfish, Tilapia, or Mahi Mahi
Lightly bread with corn meal and some seasoning of your choice
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake in the oven

Cabbage cut thin
Green onions
Toss the above items with some vinegar and oil to make a spicy slaw.

Pico de Gallo:
Chop and mix together for a tasty chunky salsa

Put it together:
Cut or break apart the fish and place on your leaf of Romaine lettuce, top with a generous portion of the spicy slaw and Pico if you prefer and then squeeze a lime over the top.  Enjoy!

These are so crunchy, spicy and flavorful.  I had them for lunch and dinner today : ) I used the Mahi Mahi and it really holds the moisture and doesn't dry as easily as other fish, it was delicious!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Insanity Update #1

Well, we just completed day 6 of our first week of INSANITY.  Tomorrow we get a day off and a weigh in to see what kind of progress we have made.   The eating healthy part seems to be the biggest challenge, but I was able to survive a trip Las Vegas, the movies and the Cheesecake Factory without making any bad food choices.  I did lots of, "no bread thank you.... egg whites only please.... yes I'll have a water... no need to bring the cheesecake menu" I really love food that is bad for you but I know my body deserves better and with some disciple I can make it happen.  Can't wait to see the results!
Blueberries are my friend : ) 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Let the INSANITY begin...

On Monday we (Andrew & I) began a "kick ourselves in the butt" workout plan.  We have chosen to do the 60 day INSANITY challenge.  It's basically 60 days of butt kicking cardio workouts and healthy eating.  Today we completed our 5th workout and I'm already starting to feel stronger and getting used to being dripping with sweat.  I'm sharing this with you my faithful blog readers to keep myself accountable and to maybe encourage someone along the way.  So I encourage you to ask whenever you feel is necessary if I've completed my workout of stuck to the healthy food.  

I know how much I love to see before and after pictures so when I hit 30 days I will post a before and after for the first 30 days and again at 60.  

Let the INSANITY begin! 

P.S.  To all of my Crossfit family out there... I LOVE Crossfit and hopefully I will be able to get back to the gym soon, but right now this is where I am.   I miss all of you a ton and can't wait to be back in the gym. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Adventures...

On Friday we got the chance to go to Sand Hollow (pictured above) with my sister and her family.  We did some boating, the kids braved the crazy cold water, Andrew learned how to wake board, and we had a wonderful time.  I can't wait for the water to warm up so I can enjoy the swimming and do some wake boarding myself.  We also survived with NO sunburns, which is amazing with my fair skinned children. 

Then, on Saturday we headed out to Red Cliffs, this great hiking area with a river that runs through it.  We were a site to see: Andrew with Shaw in a hiking backpack, Me with Blaize in a front carrier thingy, Daisy on the leash, and Marinn and Taurin walking.  I guess they thought we were a bit mad taking 4 kids age 4 and under + a dog on a hike.  We hiked back into the canyon about a mile to this waterfall with pools for the kids to swim in.  They had a great time playing in the water and sliding down the rock into the pools.  It's such a neat place and so much fun.  I definitely need to get a durable/waterproof camera to take with us on our adventures because I can see a lot coming this summer.  Below are some pictures, not taken by me, but this is where we hiked up to.