Friday, August 28, 2015

A Mother's Love

Happy Birthday, Laynie!

My beautiful mother has a birthday today. I could never explain how eternally grateful I am to have been blessed with such an amazing mother. In my thirty years, I've come across a lot of people who aren't as lucky as I am. She is certainly not someone I take for granted.

My mom is my mentor. I value her opinion on every single topic. She's a role model as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, and business woman.

She taught me that it's not all about me. There are a lot of times where you have to do things you don't want to do for the people you love. However, she also taught me to say no when your family needs to take priority or you're spread too thin.

She taught me to love your kids with all your heart, but never make them think the world revolves around them. I remember my mom running us all over the place and doing so many things for us, but I also remember her making time for her marriage and friends. They went away to soccer tournaments for us, but also went on trips for them. She's always been the queen of balance!

My mom showed me that friendships aren't calculated. Friendships should be easy and no person should make it hard on the other. True friends understand that life happens and that your interactions may ebb and flow, but that you'll always be able to pick back up.

She taught me that my spouse should be the person I WANT to spend my life with, not one I NEED to spend my life with. Plain and simple. She and my father both showed me to marry someone who saw me as their equal.

More than anything, my mom showed me how to raise a daughter who is independent. My mother always SHOWED me, she rarely did for me. I was responsible for getting my things done and she never bailed me out when I dropped the ball. I'm so thankful for that! My mom set out to ensure that I didn't rely on others to meet my basic responsibilities. I aspire to raise Eliza the same way.

Thank you, Momma, for being you and loving me! Happy Birthday.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Eliza!

I can't even believe a year has gone by. This time last year we were hunkered down in a delivery room with a long day ahead of us. You know how they say a woman forgets their labor? It's so true! When I think back, I remember a beautiful day of my body performing some pretty incredible miracles. I remember Ryan coaching me through pushing and giving me the motivation to push one more time and meet our incredible daughter. It was a truly amazing experience.

Then there has been motherhood. I could never have been prepared for the way my life would change. Those first few weeks/months were pretty scary. That I haven't forgotten. I have never been one to operate under such self-doubt, so this was a very new concept! But, Ryan and I linked arms and really powered through. Eliza has had such an uncanny way of cementing our relationship. Ryan is truly my partner and I'm so grateful for this beautiful girl who has joined us in a new way. We will ALWAYS be Eliza's parents.

Eliza, what an incredible little person you are. You're so very brave. You are never afraid of ANYTHING which gives your Mommy a lot of anxiety! You've never met a stranger and are so kind and warm to everyone you meet. You bring a lot of smiles to your friends and family, but also to a lot of people we don't know! You give sweet grins from the shopping cart seat in the grocery store, waves to people in the neighborhood from your stroller, and the sweetest little head tilts from your high chair in restaurants. You have a wonderful sense of humor and love to make people laugh. You know exactly what to do to crack everyone up. You mimic EVERYTHING and learn really fast. You figured out how to walk and haven't looked back! I'm pretty sure you'll be running any day now. 

More than anything, you're Daddy's little girl. You've softened my ESPN watching hubby and you melt his heart. You have your daddy wrapped right around your little finger and he would do anything for you. I love watching you together.

Eliza Ward, you're my best buddy and I've cherished every second of this life with you. You've turned our world upside down and we wouldn't change a thing about it! Stay brave, stay funny, and stay kind. The world is yours for the taking!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

An Amazing Summer

Here's to the last week of an AMAZING summer. I've truly cherished every moment of being with Eliza, working around the house, and putting a lot into my business.  I celebrated the Big 3-0 and enjoyed quiet moments with my little family.  We had two beach trips and a BIG trip to Punta Cana to watch Shawn and Katie tie the knot!  I spent time with family and friends, and we're wrapping up the summer with Eliza's First Birthday and a special visit from Liz! 

Here are some pics!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Did It!

I did it!  I stepped on the scale today and I'm officially .5 pounds LESS than my pre-pregnancy weight! It took a little over 2 months, thanks to Arbonne's 28 Day Detox and what it taught me.

The best part is knowing I did it the right way. I focused on healthy eating since I just don't have the same amount of time in the gym and I set a fitness goal with my half marathon. I've learned so much about myself and what I need to do to proceed with my healthy lifestyle.  I keep thinking about my new mantra:  "It's not self-control, it's self-respect."

My half marathon is next Sunday!  I'm so excited.  After that, I'm going to refocus on weight training with heavy weight. What everyone says about your body not looking the same after a baby is SO true.  Where in the world did my butt go?!  I think it flipped around to my front.  Ugh.  Time to train!

Just had to brag!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Eliza Ward - Six Months!

Hey Little Miss Thang...You're six months old!!

I cannot believe it. 

Your daddy and I talk about it all the time. It's flown by, but yet, it seems like it's been forever. It seems like we don't remember not knowing you.  How can something so young be so familiar? You're an extension of us.

You're truly part of us.

You're absolutely everything.

Here's what you've been up to lately...

You started rolling over on your three month day and you've never stopped.  We'll let you play on your playmat, turn around for a second, then find you to be facing the complete opposite direction. For a while I thought I was crazy until I witnessed it.  You're not crawling, but you don't really need any help getting what you need!

Going in your room in the morning is my favorite part of my day. You greet me with the biggest smile and it melts my heart.

When we get ready for the day, you scream at the top of your lungs.  It's as if you're getting out all the noise you were holding in while sleeping. I think you're going to be a chatterbox and I think we know which side that came from...

You're not the most patient child. I like to think of you as being strong willed. You know what you want and you're going to get it no matter what!

You have zero interest in holding your bottles. Shoot, if someone hand fed me all the time, I'm not sure I'd turn it down either!

We just started solids. You HATE peas and love oatmeal. I'm not giving up on the peas.  Sorry, chick.

Bunbun is your favorite thing.  She calms you down almost immediately.

You think your Cousin Drew is the funniest thing EVER. He thinks you're pretty special, too.  Your Uncle T, Aunt Weenie, Daddy and I are so grateful that you will grow up together. Drew will always look out for you.  You're his "Baby Yiza!"

You had your first snow. You weren't a fan. I think it was the suit.

You're so happy at Heather's while Mommy is at work. She loves you so much and you love her. I thought it would bother me, but it really doesn't. I'm eternally grateful for this woman who loves my child when I can't be there. I hope she knows that. Plus, you still light up when I come to get you. Please don't ever stop doing that.  Even when you're 30 and 6 months...please still do that.
You teach me so much every day. You're right, our hands are pretty cool the way we grab things and move our fingers. Our voices do amazing things, too. The pattern the fan makes on the ceiling really is fascinating. I like how you make me slow down and see things in a different way.  Thanks for that.
Eliza, keep being you. You're awesome and we love you with everything we are! 

Changing Inside and Out

This past December, I changed my life.

I was settling into my groove as a working Mom and learning to balance it all.  I was happy to be back at work, Eliza was thriving, and things were good. But, I just wasn't feeling like myself.

Jen and I had daydreamed for a while about being business partners in some capacity and she finally took the plunge with Arbonne. I'll post more about the business soon, but today I want to talk about the detox. I'm so grateful to Jennifer for bringing this into my life.

When Jen and began learning about the business, we discovered the 28 Day Detox. This plan is so incredible. Arbonne hasn't created something new, but they've made it beyond easy.

For the longest time, I knew that I wanted to change. I focused for a long time on eating as clean as possible, but found myself depriving myself and eating a lot of foods that weren't as healthy as I believed. My ultimate goal was to set in place habits around which I could raise my children. The fitness side was easy for me but I wasn't making progress. I just kept missing the mark because I was trying to out exercise my fork.

Starting the detox was a revelation for me. It finally made sense and was so simple.

For the longest time, I thought I was having trouble with self-control, when in actuality, I was having trouble with self-respect. I was an emotional eater. I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was happy, I ate to reward myself. I was such a mess! I actually put on weight and found myself weighing more than I did when I came home from the hospital. I needed to change.

We only get one body in this life and we need it to do a lot for us. What we eat matters. I learned so much through this detox. Unfortunately, in today's society we're fighting an uphill battle. It's cheaper to eat unhealthily. It's easier to eat that way. More than anything, it's addictive. Our foods are riddled with pesticides, artificial sugar, GMOs, and preservatives. THIS IS NOT FOOD!  Our bodies literally do not know what to do with them, so they just store them which leave our bodies in a toxic state.

Another goal of this detox is to show you if you have any sensitivities or intolerances to dairy, soy, or gluten.  This re-program is designed for success and I found it.  I truthfully feel better than I can remember in my life. I can run better than ever before; I have the energy to keep up with school, family, and friends; and I finally feel good about myself again which makes everything easier and better. I love accomplishing my goals and the detox got me there and has taught me how to stay there.

It's totally manageable. I've learned to love REAL FOOD and I've learned how full it makes you. I've learned that what I used to eat would spike my blood sugar and make me consistently hungry. I learned why I was holding on to that extra weight. I learned that my protein shakes were keeping me fat. I learned to see foods and quickly figure out what they'll do to my body and how it could set the tone to change the rest of my day. 

I'm just amazed.

I'm amazed and I'm proud and I love that I get to share it with others.

It's a commitment and it's worth it. I feel like myself again...possibly an even better version. I feel prepared to carry these habits along and to pass to them Eliza, which is the greatest gift.

I'm so excited to see what the future holds!

Do I Need to Detox?

My Arbonne Site