June 30, 2011

30 Day Shred: The END!


Well, here they are...the SUPER DRAMATIC before and after photos. Ta da!

Ok, so I look pretty much exactly the same, but I do FEEL better! See how I stood further away from the camera in the "after" photos so as to appear smaller? Tricks. I forgot to be all gloomy and sad in the "before" and then put on make-up and smile in the "after", that always helps too.

As far as measurements go, I did lose about a half inch to an inch on my lower waist, which was a surprise. Most of all though, I am so glad that I did this 30-day challenge. Not only did it get me kick-started back into working out and eating healthy, but I made some new friends in the process! (barf, I know, but it's true)

Unfortunately I started having some lower back/hip pain the last few days that is progressively getting worse. I will be getting myself checked out and hopefully back in working order soon. I am seriously looking into that half marathon in October, I was in the best shape of my life after the half I ran two years ago and it would be an excellent motivation. 

These next few weeks will be a test for me to see if I can still get some exercise and keep eating healthy through all the craziness. If you haven't read about our upcoming adventure, click here.

How did the rest of you shredders do? Did the word shredder make anyone else think of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just now?

June 29, 2011

Holy moly, here we go!

Remember how I said we had big news last week? Well, it might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but our niece is coming next Wednesday to live with us for 2 1/2 weeks!

No, not this one:

Not either one of these:

Or this one:

Not even this one:

I'm talking about THIS one:

That's right people, we are about to be parents to a 14 month old AND a 2 1/2 month old (for a couple of weeks). Have we lost our minds?? If we haven't yet, I am sure we are about to!;)

Any advice from mamas with more than one kid?

Wordless Wednesday: Sunshine Toes

(Never happier than when barefoot)

June 27, 2011

My week in iPhone pics

These aren't in chronological order, but random is good right?

1. Me with my baby and her baby 2. My girl playing cars with the big boys at Bradley's birthday 3. Cupcake jammies and hair bows 4. Feeding Daddy some O's 5. Trying to crawl under her table and getting stuck 6. A much needed glass of wine after a rough bedtime (dang molars!) 7. Snuggle time with Auntie Clover 8. A tiny plumber's butt 9. Sweet face 10. Mama snuggles 11. Getting out of her chair like a big girl 12. Caught a moment after giving her baby some very nice kisses 13. This kid loves being outside 14. Taking some cues from Michaela and Andrea and loving my striped maxi dress 15. Delectable toes 16. A door that is just her size

June 23, 2011

30 Day Shred Week 4: Failure

This is a lie:

This week’s attempt at the 30 day shred really can’t even be called an attempt. It can however be called a failure. I think I did the shred maybe 2 days this week. To be fair I went out of town and I did do something exercisey 5 out of the 7 days. It was nice this week so we took a lot of long walks and when I was out of town I went for a beautifully refreshing jog through the city of Walla Walla. I actually got a bit lost and had to run further than intended. Bonus!
I’m not sure how this next week will go. I don’t know how often I will do the actual shred, but I do plan to exercise in some way as many days as possible. I am even flirting with the idea of running my second half marathon in October, but that is a whole other discussion.
Here is a quick peek into my fabulous and relaxing weekend:

Our Friday night began with lots of catching up, homemade enchiladas, and drinking spilled margarita out of the bottom of the refrigerator with a straw. You know, like you do.

Saturday began with wine tasting (yes we rock matching t-shirts and cowgirl themed outfits, don't you?) and ended with a fancy dinner and some crazy dancing.
About half of the girls went to college with me in Walla Walla and we have a tendency to get nostalgic for old times. Speaking of old times, this trip back made us realize something…we are old! I mean some of us are getting into our EXTREMELY late 20s over here. Spending just an hour with some actual college kids made this mama yearn for her jammies and a pillow. But honestly, we were still able to rip up the dance floor at the Red Monkey…until about 11:30. PS, a dance club…in Walla Walla? Be serious. I did have a drink with a glow stick in it if that is worth any young-person points.

A round of French 75's for the table! And a failure to get the 60-year-old-man-bachelor-party to buy us a bottle of wine. I think that may be the actual definition of shame.
I was so happy to get back to snuggling with the baby girl on Sunday and celebrating my fabulous husband in all his fatherlyness. While I was gone Lily gave all her extra mom-cuddles to her dad, which was the best gift he could have ever received. She also gave him a slightly creepy picture book with his own face superimposed as the main character. He loves it.

She is being extra silly this week and loving her new play tunnel from Nani and Papa. She is also a little more clingy and quick to throw a mini-fit if she is removed from anything before she is ready. I think the mini-fits are due to some awesomely glacial molars (both in size and speed of movement) painfully poking their way through her innocent pink little gums. Evil molars, what are you good for anyway? Oh chewing food? Ok, but hurry up!
Just a couple days ago we found out some news (I am not pregnant, it is sort of similar however, though not nearly as permanent), more on that later. See how I keep you coming back for more?

Good luck everyone on the last week of the shred, I need your motivation!

June 22, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday

I'm a busy girl and sometimes I can't be bothered with trivial things... like clothes.

Linking up for my first Wordless Wednesday here. Maybe I will start calling it "future-blackmail-just-wait-until-you-start-dating Wednesday".

June 15, 2011

30 days, 3 years and 13 months!

A lot to talk about in this post!

30 Day Shred: Week 3

I've been better about doing the shred this week. I did take Friday off, but 6 days out of 7 is better than my 5/7 last week right? I just keep reminding myself that it is much more than the NOTHING I was doing before. Tuesday night I did a different Jillian video on demand and when I jumped out of bed Wednesday morning to turn off the alarm I could barely walk! I don't know if it was her booty busting moves or the 2+ hour walk Lily and I took with my Dad, maybe both! I also feel like the stretching they do is never enough, but I just turn the video off and stretch by myself.

I don't feel like I am ready to move up to level 3 yet, so I will keep busting out level 2. That jerk Natalie is whooping my butt! I did get a comment from a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of months that I looked "smokin"...so there's that!

3 Years

Tuesday was Ryan and my 3 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated on Sunday by going to see X-Men: First Class at Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace. Holy moly I LOVE that place! I had never been. For those of you not in the know, Cinebarre is a regular movie theater...only it is a bar! You have to be 21 to get in. The lobby is a regular bar and when you get to your seats you have a tabletop in front of you and a waiter that brings you food and drinks. AMAZING. It was so fun to carry my glass of wine from the bar into the theater. I may be immature but drinking during the day, especially in places where you don't normally get to, is so fun. The movie was great, it totally appealed to the super nerd that dwells behind this future-soccer-mom facade.

Afterward we took a trip out to Woodinville wine country (I swear I don't always center my life around alcohol), which is where we got engaged almost 4 years ago. We had a great time visiting the spot where Ryan proposed.

 Tree tunnels are my absolute favorite so it was very fitting that this was where he proposed. Also, the bench we sat on when he popped the question is called the "Love Bench" according to someone with a swiss army knife.

People were lining up for an outdoor concert (apparently it was Jethro Tull?), so we took advantage of their outdoor wine seller and plastic stemless glasses. It was a perfect day, 70 degrees and sunny with a slight warm breeze. If it weren't for Ryan's allergies I might still be sleeping on the lawn.

It was a fabulous day, but I was so happy to get home to my peanut.

13 Months

Lily is so funny these days. So smiley and loving. It melts my heart to see her expressing love all the time without prompt. She gives kisses and sweet snuggles randomly, always welcomed with huge smiles and thank yous from the recipient.

She has started pointing at the sky when planes go by. It may be my favorite thing. I hope to capture it in a photo someday soon.

She loves to imitate faces and motions. She won't always "perform" when I want her too, someone has a mind of her own! She also claps after everything she does and looks around to make sure that we are all clapping for her. It is hilarious. When she learns a new thing or does something we want her to do we clap and say "yay!" so she knows it was right. Positive reinforcement people! Now she expects it every time...uh oh. Oh, we are also starting to like "uh oh".

Play date with Stella. Apparently they find their mamas to be hilarious!

She is so close to walking, so confident, sometimes too confident. I have had to come to terms with the fact that she has many tumbles in store. I am always there with a snuggle and a kiss, but I can't hover around and bubble wrap the whole world. Watching your kid get bumps and bruises is so tough, but I am sure these physical owies are much easier to deal with than the emotional ones that are sure to come. First heartbreak? Kill me now. I will be more of a mess than she will!

Look at the awesome Pottery Barn chair that we got at a garage sale for $15! These things are usually like $100! This is her favorite place to stand and wave at cars/people/dogs/birds/trees. It took a few theatrical dives on to her face and much coaching from Mom and Dad, but she now knows how to safely get out of the chair. We are also working on getting off the big couch and eventually going down the stairs.

I can see her little mind working all of the time. She knows what I say to her and does things when I ask her to (unless she doesn't want to...stubborn!). It is just amazing that she went from a soft little lump to this completely conscious being in such little time. I know more words are coming and every time I see a new concept click in her brain it is like tiny fireworks in my belly. Better than new shoes. Not that I wouldn't mind new shoes.

I fully plan(ned) to continue the Ugly Doll pictures at least through the next year, but I just haven't taken the time to do it. She has been 13 months for almost 2 weeks now, is it too late?

I have a big weekend coming up. Wedding season has fully begun and one of my girlfriends is having a bachelorette weekend in our old stomping grounds of Walla Walla. I am going to miss my little pea, but she and her daddy will have lots of good bonding time leading up to Father's Day.

How did the second week of the shred go for those of you who are doing it? Anyone else enjoy day drinking in forbidden locations like I do?

June 10, 2011

12 Month Photoshoot and YA Lit.

These two things do not necessarily go together, but I just got Lily's 12 month photos in the mail and wanted to share the sweet babyfacedness.

First, however, I want to comment on a recent (terrible) article in the WSJ about young adult literature that has stirred up a lot of discussion. I am a proud and avid YA reader. I follow a lot of YA writers through blogs, twitter etc. so I saw the reactions as they unfolded. The article basically says that the fiction out there for teens is grim: all about cutting and suicide, too dark for our kids. I think it is pretty obvious that the woman who wrote the article has never read any of the books she discusses because if she did she would see that most if not all of them are communicating *positive* messages. These books help teens (and adults for that matter) feel that they are not alone when they do have to deal with some of the darker aspects of life. Ignorantly chastising them for promoting the very things that they hope to prevent is irresponsible and diminishes the importance of good, real, raw and compelling stories. Twitter exploded with #YAsaves linking readers' stories of how young adult novels changed their lives for the better. I am not nearly as eloquent as the numerous authors writing on this subject, so if you are interested I will point you to this wonderful blog by YA author Laini Taylor. She is better with words and much more hilarious than I am, see for yourself:

"Fiction has a power that a news article can never have, because readers inhabit fiction. We experience novels from the inside, and they change us. And those who yammer about "darkness" have probably never read these books, because in these stories, characters struggle with and overcome darkness, they don't roll around in it and slather it on themselves going "Yummy yummy evil! Young impressionable person, lick my awesome evil and become evil too!"

I mean really. 

In summary, don't be dumb and don't be mean. Read lots of books and give lots of books to young people and fight the good fight. Because the scary people are getting dumber, and meaner. And they're getting louder too, and that's a very bad thing."

Alright, I am off my soapbox for the day. To brighten your mood, here are some pictures of a happy kid (who I hope will be reading every book she can get her grubby little hands on): 

all photos by Amber Brickman

 What a goof, I could not love her more.

Happy Friday everyone. My soapbox is free if anyone would like to stand on it.

Laini Taylor's blog: Follow-up to #YAsaves

June 9, 2011

30 Day Shred: Week 2

We made it through the first week! As I said in my last post, I opted for long walks on Saturday and Sunday, but on Monday I was right back at it! Tuesday I moved up to level 2 and I find it much more challenging. I am currently more of an Anita, maybe a little bit of Natalie thrown in when I get ambitious. Me and Anita, we're tight.

Oh, meet my weights:

Yeah, I can't find any dumbbells. These seem to do the trick.

I am feeling a bit sore today. Definitely finding my muscles again, yes! That post workout gin & tonic probably wasn't the best idea...

How are the rest of you ladies holding up?

Here is a preview of what's to come on the little bub front:

Happy Thursday!

June 6, 2011

California girls are unforgettable

What a beautiful wedding.

Traveling with a baby can be pretty stressful. They don’t get enough sleep and they can’t get out all of their energy without risking contracting some serious bacteria from the airport carpet. Everything just gets a little off. That said, my girl did great.

The plane ride down to California she was awake and happily playing the whole time…only to fall asleep as we landed. I managed to carry her off the plane asleep, but she woke up once we were in the bustling terminal.

The weekend was fraught with some crankiness here and there (Lily, not me! Ok well maybe a little) with crazy off-schedule naps, being woken up by tromping cousins at night, and being forced into a dress which prevented the use of her little legs. Overall we just enjoyed the coziness of waking up to a house full of jammied cousins, aunts and uncles. Eating waffles and watching Tangled (with the majority of those watching over the age of 12 I might add). A house filled to the brim with love and air mattresses.

The festivities began with mani-pedi’s for the girls and then a wonderful rehearsal brunch complete with mimosas (a perk of only nursing morning and night...day drinking!).


 Cheeseball grin.

 With the lovely bride and friends. PS - I got a spray tan.

That evening the groom's family hosted a traditional Turkish henna night. We enjoyed some food, a henna ceremony, the jug dance (which I thought was something else, wink wink), and of course the Raki! Raki is an alcoholic beverage that tastes like licorice, not my favorite taste, but the longer I sipped, the more I liked it! Who knew!?

Gorgeous decorations. I want my house to look like this every day.

Drinking the Raki a.k.a. Lion's Milk (that's my lion face)

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. I knew I would be emotional watching my sister-in-law going through her wedding day without her mom. I held it together pretty well, with the exception of watching the groom’s mom help her into her wedding dress, and during a beautiful song sung in her mom’s memory at the reception.

My awesome niece doing my make-up. Yes I have a 20 year old niece, and she is not even the oldest! This is what happens when you marry the second youngest of 7 kids! I am so lucky to have married into a family that I love so much.

 Isn't she gorgeous!?

 Her debut! She did great. Ryan, however, forgot to throw the petals.

The family continued their tradition of wedding shenanigans (see said past shenanigans here) by inducting the newest member of the tribe. Our family has drawn from many lands, the Philippines, Mexico, Iran, Scotland, and Sweden (thankyouverymuch) among others, so we were excited to welcome our newest Turkish member.

Vikings, Scotsmen, and Philippine warriors oh my!

Ryan the Swedish Chef!

The drinking of the traditional Aquavit.

Being sworn into the family.

The whole crazy crew.

I wish I had taken more pictures of all the little details of the wedding, they did such a beautiful job of making everything personal.

Twinkly mason jars with personalized burnt wood hearts (made by the groom!).


Super cute "Eat Drink & be Married" banner.

  A sparkly exit strategy.


I love my family.

The lovely Tams, from whom I stole all of these photos.

 Party in the hallway!

We headed home with very little sleep and even less make-up. My hair was still super-sprayed into the shape of my bridesmaid do. Lily fell asleep shortly after take-off. Tears, hugging, mama singing and…out. She slept cradled in my arms for the whole flight and woke up with a smile.

She was so happy to be back to the land of baby-proofing where she could roam as she pleased. I spent the next morning trying to stay awake on the couch as she played. Every now and again she would trot over and pull up on the couch to give me a smile or a kiss. Crawl-by snuggling is the best.

The 30 day shred is going well, I sort of took the weekend off replacing the workouts with long walks. Hope the rest of you mamas are still kickin, I can't wait to hear all of the updates!

June 2, 2011

30 Day Shred


A bunch of other girls and mamas are doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred workouts for the month of June and I am joining up because I need the motivation!

I was in pretty good shape for most of my life with participating in competition dance in high school and lots of gym trips/hot yoga post college. It always felt good to workout and I enjoyed eating well (I know, that is weird right?) When I got pregnant I was actually in really good shape having just completed my first half marathon. I managed to stay active during my pregnancy, which I think helped me drop the baby weight fairly fast. I am not looking to lose any weight actually, but I have NO muscles! With nursing I could pretty much eat anything I wanted and not gain weight, but it has been really hard to fit in a consistent workout routine with working part time and raising Miss Lily.

Just like a lot of moms my body has changed and things are just a bit softer than they use to be. I am nursing less now and need to start watching what I eat and exercising, it is time to take my body back!

Part of this challenge includes posting some before pictures. I took these last night with my macbook camera since Ryan was putting Lily to bed and we don't have a full length mirror. Please excuse the grainy photos and the scrub appearance, I just finished day 1 of my workout!

As if posting these awkward pictures weren't embarrassing enough, we are measuring ourselves and disclosing our starting points! I do like that we are going off of how our body shape changes and not a weight number, but still, these are now out in the world for my family, friends, strangers, even coworkers to see.

Ok, here I go!
  • each arm (thickest part): R 10.5 L 10.5
  • each thigh (thickest part): R 24 L 24
  • upper waist (smallest): 29.5
  • lower waist (at your belly button): 35
  • your hips (biggest part): 38 
Did I really just put that on the internet? Yes I did.

The first workout went well. I didn't have any hand weights so I will pick some up tonight. I am a bit disappointed because I thought it was a different workout each day, but it will be nice to be able to up the intensity. We will be checking in with each other every Thursday, so wish me luck!

I'll be back soon to tell you all about Lily's fabulous flower girl adventures!
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