Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Resolutions!

2010 was a year to remember, and for good reasons. We accomplished quite a bit as a family, and we learned so much. I have no clue how we will top 2010 in terms of accomplishments, but I guess we can certainly try! Just as a recap, here is what we accomplished in 2010:

1. We paid off our car
2. I finished my degree
3. The kids learned how to swim
4. We read the scriptures as a family far more often
5. We did an FHE activity almost every week
6. I did better with visit teaching
7. We took a family vacation!
8. I added some more landscaping to the yard
9. We did some updates around the house
10. We paid off some small medical bills
11. Bryan got an awesome job!

For 2011, I/we resolve to:

1. Finish reading the Book of Mormon again with my family
2. Go through all of the New Testament lessons in the teaching manual for FHE
3. Make more time to go to the temple
4. Follow through with my new exercise program and not allow myself to stop
5. Help Bryan accomplish his goal of paying off more debt for our family
6. Plant a fruit tree or two in the backyard
7. Start learning a new language with the kids
8. Bryan wants to fix his truck up, we are already on our way
9. Stain our concrete floors and paint all the walls
10. Fix the damage Sam has done in the backyard (it's scary)

I think we should be able to accomplish it, and I hope 2011 is just as amazing as 2010 was. My farewell to 2010 is bittersweet. It was a wonderful year full of growth and blessings. But 2011 could be just as good, or better, than 2010. Here's to 2010, a year of blessings, and here's to 2011, a year full of potential.

Happy early new year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My new challenge

Hey again!

I have been doing a fitness challenge, and I started week 5 yesterday. I want to blog about it a little bit to keep myself motivated and let other people know why I am always complaining about *insert muscle group here* being sore. The weekly routine is:

Monday: upper body (bis, tris, shoulders, chest, etc.) 40-45 mins.
Tuesday: HIIT (treadmill, max out at 8 mph right now) 35 mins.
Wednesday: middle/core (abs and back) 40-45 mins.
Thursday: HIIT (treadmill) 35 mins.
Friday: lower body (legs and glutes) 40-45 mins.
Saturday: HIIT (treadmill) 35 mins.

I am planning on doing this for a total of 6-8 weeks, and then changing up my routine a bit.

As for diet, right now I am focusing on eating every 2-3 hours, with meals being 300+ calories and snacks being 200- calories. I am focusing on whole grains, nuts, nut butters, lean protein, and lots of carbs from fruit/veggies.

When I change up my routine, I plan to follow the 5 week diet challenge advice of Zuzana at

So far I have stayed around the same weight, but I have gained some muscle definition and lost a total of 5 inches of fat from all over (arms, hips, stomach, legs).

I will admit, I was concerned about the focus on lifting/strength training and the idea of "bulking up". I also got a little discouraged when I gained weight the first 3 weeks of the challenge. But after researching the reasons why it would happen that way (and seeing the definition look more like toning than bulking), and seeing the scale drop for the past week or so, I am a little hooked on it and I hope I can find what will work best for me.

This challenge has helped me focus on being active and eating healthy. It is hard to do with the holidays, but the fact that I have stayed below 160 lbs. during the holiday season is proof that what I am doing is actually working.

Also, the little two-pack I started at the top of my abs is really fun to look at and flex, so I think I will just have to keep going until I get a four-pack. :-)

Support my challenge! Comment on here or FB to let me know what you do and what motivates you. :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simple Joy

I know it has been quite a while since I updated my blog..... I got just a little busy. Thanks to all of you who followed my blog challenge about trust and recommitting to yourself and others.

So.... updates:

*Note - if I have already updated everyone on these things, I'm sorry for the repetitiveness!

I decided to volunteer to be in charge of the silent auction for Grace's school in September. That was a fairly involved task! It started in mid-September and ended the first week of November, and it kept me BUSY. At the end of September our air conditioner stopped working. We had a large outpouring of support from friends (they offered fans, food, refuge, and one even fixed our air conditioner for an amazing price), and I want to say thanks again to everyone who helped us out! In October a water main busted under our driveway. Don't worry, it wasn't on our side, it was on the city's side (thank GOODNESS and everything else sweet). It took them about 10 days from start to finish to clamp the line and fix our driveway.

Grace's birthday came and went, and she had a wonderful birthday party with friends and a nice birthday celebration with family. I can't believe she is seven years old... it is exciting and terrifying at the same time. When did this happen??? She is doing very well in 1st grade. She is reading at a high 3rd grade/low 4th grade level and she is right on track with all of her other subjects. She is still enjoying her ballet class, and she has really gotten in to writing in her journals. I love her!

Andrew is still attending preschool, and he is starting to recognize more letters and small words (2-3 letter words right now). He has really enjoyed counting objects and making up his own stories to his books. He is a little engineer! He loves to build train tracks, car tracks, and block buildings all day long. He also loves to save the world with his super heroes. In fact, I spent over an hour last night resewing the chest seam on his Spiderman costume (my sewing machine is still on the fritz) because he has been wearing it so much recently that it is falling apart! He will be starting Sunbeams in January, and it is a bittersweet time for me. If this is our last child, there will be no more excitement of starting church nursery. Once he gets in to Primary he is going to quickly transform from a little preschooler to a little man. *sniff sniff*
I love him, too!

Bryan's job is still going very well. He is still with the same client he has been with for several months now, which gives him great utilization percentages and nice quarterly bonuses. We just attended a company Christmas party where I met all of the people he works with on a daily basis. Just as I suspected, they are all a bunch of kids trapped in men's bodies. :-)

I am still keeping busy with the kids, the house, my little projects, and my church calling. The holiday season is here, which means that the choir and other groups are preparing for the church Christmas program. I am excited about the music we have picked out this year. The choir members are lively and always in jovial moods, which makes practice very enjoyable. The songs that have been picked out sound wonderful when we get together and sing them. They touch my heart and make me feel the joy of this season.

Speaking of joy.... if you did not see the LDS First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night, you need to see it. It was amazing. The songs were gorgeous, and the spoken words were divinely inspired and so heart-warming and touching. It was just such a wonderful experience. We prepared for it by reading some scriptures by candlelight and making cocoa kiss cookies together. Grace said she was looking forward to the music, and Andrew was excited to play with his toys while we watched. Towards the end Grace crawled in my lap and fell asleep. It had been so long since that had happened, at least 3 years. The song the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was singing was "Silent Night", and my daughter fell asleep peacefully in my arms. I was so overwhelmed by the simple joy of that moment that I cried. I felt the Spirit so deeply, and I though to myself that there is no denying the Christ. If this joy is something that comes from the soul, and we can connect our souls to a reason for living, we can find the truth and feel so much happiness in it. The gospel really is very simple, and so comforting.

As I looked around our small computer room last night and saw my sleeping daughter, my playful son, and my happy husband, I realized that I have a chance to be with them forever after this life is over. And all of the thanks for that can be given to our savior, Jesus Christ. I am proud to be one of those who believes in his birth, because it gives me a chance to believe in his life, his teachings, his sacrifice, and our salvation. I want my simple joy to be your simple joy, can I share it with you? If I say "Merry Christmas" to you on the street, will you feel the genuine love behind that phrase? Will your heart be warmed by happiness while the bitter cold swirls outside? Will you remember on Christmas Day that we are receiving a gift that cannot be seen? We are receiving the reminder of Christ's birth; the time that came when he was received in to the cold world by a loving mother's arms, and was protected, nurtured, loved, and given the chance to do his father's work. Will you open your heart and feel the joy of that moment? I know I will, and I already do.

Merry Christmas to all of you!