Saturday, December 11, 2010

Huge Savings

I think this comic goes really well with this time of year. Isn't it so true that we get so caught up in the money we've "saved" by shopping deals that we forget that we haven't actually saved a penny? What would happen if you actually took the money you would have spent and set it in your savings account? I think you really would be surprised by the money you saved! But instead, we keep those "savings" in our spending pool and never see it. This is something that I think as a culture we need to work hard to change. If you're a big penny-pincher or bargain shopper, you should try this- just for 1 month. Take the difference from what you WOULD have paid and what you DID pay and put it in your savings. If you were going to buy the item at full price anyway, you won't miss the extra money. Then when you find a great deal, instead of thinking you now have more money to blow somewhere else, you can think that you just put some money away- and depending on the rate of your savings, that money is going to make you some money!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Ian had another stomach ache episode and went to the doctor. He ordered a CT on his abdomen and the results came back: Ian has appendicitis! So I met him at the hospital and we waited, he was prepped for surgery, we waited, he was operated on and I waited, he went to post-op and I waited. And finally 7 hours later he was put in an overnight room to recover where I could see him. He's doing great- anxious to get home. But he needed more morphine than they anticipated and the surgery was started so late in the day that the doctor said to be safe he wanted him to stay overnight.

So thank you to those of you sending well-wishes our way! And thank you to my sister who took some time at the beginning on the phone talking to me and researching some info for me to keep me sane. And a BIG thank you to Joan for taking both of my kids for 4 1/2 hours during this whole thing! I finally picked the kids up at 9:30 and got them both to sleep by 10. A late night for everyone, but Serra had a blast playing with friends, Alex was happy as long as someone was feeding him or holding him, Ian was knocked out or medicated for most of it, and I was stress-ball but at least I didn't have to take care of anyone and could just veg in the waiting room watching cable [which, by the way, has reminded me why we don't pay for TV...] So now I'm going to wind down and go to bed myself! We'll pick Ian up from the hospital sometime tomorrow morning and then start to baby the invalid. :)

Another funny thing is that we finally had a real date planned- which of course has been postponed. AND we were going to go up to Rexburg tomorrow to visit Ian's brother. AND Ian has a work trip next week. The doctor says Ian will be able to do anything he wants- but he has to feel up to it. So we'll see how long it takes for him to recover!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Eating Clean

On Labor Day, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet with Lisa Boucher, a personal trainer and nutrition consultant in Utah. I had heard about her through several of my friends when I was living in Lehi, but I never had the opportunity to meet with her because we were supposed to be moving up to Idaho and then we finally did move! Luckily, my best friend, Abby, convinced me to see her even though I had just recently had Alex and only begun another weight loss journey. And it was even a holiday, but Lisa was more than willing to meet with me and she spent an hour teaching me a whole new outlook on nutrition that has completely changed my life.

It's called eating clean- it's not a diet to start and stop doing just to lose weight. It's a lifestyle change to continue for the rest of your life. It's been hard, but definitely worth it. I have seen and felt lots of changes- not only in losing weight, but in having more energy, feeling better overall and improving my health all around. Clean eating in a nutshell is eating only natural things- no processing, no additives, no hormones. Every week I learn something new about a food that I used to eat and how it has been part of the cause in my weight gain. Most people would disagree because I have been lucky enough to carry my weight well, but in all measurements considered by my trainer and doctor I was barely inside the lines of obesity. Learning that made me wake up to the problem that I have been avoiding for years. I gained this weight during my first year of marriage- 7 years ago! And since I have been eating clean I am currently at a weight I haven't seen since that first year of marriage. I am a little out of my healthy weight range- a goal I plan on accomplishing by the new year!

Anyway, I had made the goal that this Thanksgiving would be COMPLETELY clean for me. I usually have days where I am at least mostly clean, but it was important to me to have a day as special as this- and a day that is focused on food- devoted to my new lifestyle. It was easier than I thought- here's what we ate:Natural Turkey Breast- no dark meat, no skin, low fat, no added hormones- this was probably the JUICIEST turkey I've ever had!

Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing- I've never made my own stuffing so this was an adventure. This recipe was a bit of a risk for me because one of the ingredients was dried apricots. I was worried about how much that would change the taste, but it was fantastic! It definitely wasn't your "normal" stuffing, but I liked this sweet version even more I think.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes- this recipe was a bit bland and we ended up making clean mashed russet potatoes for dinner later.

Clean Vegetable Gravy- unfortunately, this recipe was a disaster. Something I've learned about eating clean is that some things are harder to find a cleaner version of. Gravy happens to be one of those things. I have a decent clean gravy recipe, but I wanted to try something new and we regretted it- the seasonings in this gravy were horrible! But, at least we had some clean gravy for our Thanksgiving meal- next year it'll be better.

Depending on the brand/ingredients, pickles are clean! So we had a "relish tray" with sweet & dill pickles. In the back is Ian's canned jellied cranberry sauce. I wanted to make a clean cranberry sauce, but Ian really wanted his nostalgic version. So I kept it for him and didn't eat any myself.

Whole Wheat Rolls- mmmm. These were excellent leftover used for mini sandwiches!

Serra had a mini Martinelli's, Ian had Egg Nog and Ian and I shared a peach flavored Martinelli- which surprisingly has no artificial ingredients!

And, finally, what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? But THIS pie is completely clean! I made a whole wheat pie crust- and a natural pumpkin pie filling. Ian said it was a little different in texture, but as far as taste it must have been good because 1 1/2 of my 2 pies is already gone!

And I had to include a cute picture of my little rugrat. Alex is sitting up- kind of, sometimes. THIS is why I'm learning about proper nutrition. THIS is why I'm losing any excess weight that I possibly can. THIS is why I want to be healthy- my kids are my life! I love Serra & Alex more than I could have ever imagined- and I want to be the best that I can be. Because the best "me" is the least of what my kids deserve.

Thanksgiving & More

Serra was a BIG helper preparing the Thanksgiving feast. Here she is putting the potatoes in a pot after Ian chopped them.

And here she is helping to stir the gravy. Such a big girl!

Alex was NOT a big help... he was cranky pretty much the entire time. :(

Here's a pic of our Thanksgiving feast [I'll post more details about it in a little bit.] We had a very good Thanksgiving- it was a quiet day with just us 4, but it was one of our favorites.

It's been a while since I blogged, so here are some older photos to catch you all up.
This is a picture of when Alex was so dehydrated that he was completely lifeless- he kept throwing up and we were so worried that we took him to the ER. Serra was so concerned she wanted to lay on the bed with him and hold his hand. She is such a great big sister- I love this picture because you can see her love & concern for Alex. But I also hate this picture because it reminds me of how horrible Alex looked- he looks like he's dead, or like a doll- it's so sad.

Here is Serra in her Halloween outfit [Snow White] at a Halloween party thrown by our local Allstate office.

Silly Serra hung her baby doll between the counters at Subway in Rexburg. :)

Serra got her new "big girl bed"! It's a full- and she chose her sheet & blanket [not your typical choices by a 3 year old... but she loves them]

And lastly this is what WAS hanging above our door- until Ian decided it was too dangerous & knocked them down.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Furniture!

Ian's grandmother passed away after battling cancer for nearly a year- she had brain tumors. We were so glad that we took the time to drive out to see her on the 4th of July. I had only seen her one other time in my life [when Ian's grandfather was dying]. It was a lot of fun to spend time with her and get to know her- she was a spunky lady with great personality. With her passing, Ian's parents were found with the task of clearing out her estate and getting rid of her furniture. They sent out an email letting everyone know what was available and we just had to jump on the chance- several of the items were things we were currently saving up for! So while we wish the circumstances were better, we're glad that we were able to get such a great deal- and I'm sure Gramma Mac is glad some of her stuff will be going to good use! So, here are some pictures of the things we put in our townhouse [the rest is being stored in our garage until we get a house... whenever that is!]

Ian is using his Grandpa's huge corner desk for his computers.

We have a nice, HUGE dining table- this is it at it's smallest [it has TWO leaves to add in!]

And this is our new California King bed [and nightstands from our new full bed set that's in the garage- the nightstands with the king set wouldn't fit in our tiny room with our HUGE bed!] Still working on finding some bedding- since taking this picture I found some gold satin sheets and we have just the red blanket on top, but you get the idea. :)

I had to add a couple of really cute/funny pictures of Serra this time- above she is in her carseat on the way home from the store. We had just bought some Cheerios which she really wanted- apparently so badly that she refused to let go of the box when she got tired and fell asleep right on the box!

Yes, this is Alex's walker that I just posted a cute picture of him in... Serra loves to sit in it when he's taking a nap- and seeing as she's so light, I can't really tell her she's too big for it b/c she's under the required weight limit! [She's since learned how to put her legs in so she ends up kneeling on the floor.]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Troublemakers & Negligent Parenting

So... we have this horrible set of 2 year old twins living three doors down. The main reason they are horrible has more to do with nurture than nature... they have the MOST negligent parents I have EVER met! Nearly every day these 2 can be found wandering the neighborhood- or parking lot- or street- with NO ONE watching them. Remember, I said they are TWO YEARS OLD! The father will be at work and the mother will be inside- with all doors & windows closed- doing who knows what. So, naturally, they get into a lot of trouble [but I'm sure they have nature to thank for some of that- they obviously have the dispositions to be trouble makers, it's just magnified by the lack of nurturing influence to make them otherwise.]

Anyway, there are 3 parking spots right outside our front door and for whatever reason we were using 2 one day [and Ian's brother was using the 3rd]. I look outside and see the negligent father messing with our car- our brand new Nissan Cube. Of course, I immediately zero in to see what he is doing when he moves to my brother-in-law's car and starts to pick up dozens of little red rocks off the hood of their car- rocks that are supposed to be on the ground as part of the landscaping. Then I look at our 2 year old Kia Rio and see dozens of these same rocks on it! Knowing I have a temper, I call to Ian to have him go out & talk to the guy about it- his twins were out on their own with no one watching them and had enough time to throw rocks onto all THREE of our cars! So, now we have about 100 little white scuffs on the hood of both of our cars. GRRRRRR!!!

Since I'm talking about cars, I figured I'd show off pictures of Serra & Alex in their new car seats I talked about last time- they both LOVE them!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Sorry... it's been a while. I had so many things to post, I just didn't! So, I decided instead of back-dating and adding 3+ posts, I would just add 1 big post with everything in it.

First of all, September was sewing month and I had all these great plans to finish some projects- and start new ones. Well, I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but here's what I DID accomplish.
Yup, in 30 days I did one 30-minute project! I made one of these black curtains for the kids' room, but the hall window was still bringing light into their room during naptime. So, this month I finally managed to make a second curtain.

However, to not be so hard on myself, I did get other crafts done- just not sewing. I finished Alex's baby crafts- here are pictures to show you how his match Serra's.

Also, before I forget, October is Rollerskating Month [Serra and I will be taking advantage of this at our local roller rink this month] and Car Care Month.

Last month was filled with all kinds of fun- and this month will be too. I signed up for a parenting class which has been very enjoyable for me. We get free dinner and then Serra gets to go play at their free day care while I learn about their "nurturing parenting program". I think the things I've been learning have been helping us a lot too- Serra isn't quite as much of a handful [and surprisingly it was ME that needed to change to make that happen!] I also signed up for a free program called "Baby Steps" where Serra gets to play with their free daycare while I just chat with other moms and earn points for free baby stuff- I've used most of my points on free diapers for Alex. Woohoo! Serra's new dance class also started again- she was really enjoying it for the first couple of weeks, but it has since become something she'd rather not do. Since I already paid for October, I'll keep trying to bring her this month, but if she continues to not enjoy it- we're done! I don't want to force her into anything, but to be honest I think she loves dance she just doesn't love having to dance the way her teacher tells her to at the exact time her teacher tells her to. :) And lastly, for September, we got some new car seats! I went to a car seat inspection and for just $15 each was able to buy brand new car seats [that's a spanking deal for those of you who don't know...] So Serra has a car seat that will convert into a booster seat when she's big enough. And Alex has a convertible car seat that will turn around when he's old enough. They both love their new car seats- and I love that they don't have any history of wetting accidents or throwing up!

This month will probably be a lot like last month- only with Halloween activities added at the end. Looking forward to it and yet at the same time not so much- hopefully it isn't cold and rainy! [Oh, and in case I don't blog that day, the 24th is Sweetest Day- something we celebrated in Ohio but a lot of other people haven't heard of it. It's kind of like another Valentine's Day only it doesn't have to be for lovers- friends celebrate Sweetest Day too.] And, of course, I had to include a couple of pictures of Alex- he's getting so big!

Yes, this is him in his walker- and he can already make it move both backward & forward! He's WAY too advanced for his age in a lot of things- however, he isn't even slightly interested in rolling over [just rolling from side to side]. Eventually he'll knock it down, I'm sure- I just can't believe how much he's growing and changing! It seemed so much more gradual with Serra...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Serra Bling

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our 5k

We ran another 5k- this time, we really did run. Okay, fine- maybe it was more of a jog. But I didn't stop to walk a single time. And it was uphill for most of it [it's called the Rolling Hills Classic 5k to give you an idea...] I also beat my previous time by 10 minutes! We're done with 5ks for this year- but next year we'll give it another go and see if we can do even better. Here are some pictures from our race.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Room Swap & Labor Day

Had to start with a silly face by Alex. You can tell he's thinking, "What are you doing?"

We decided to swap our room with Serra's room. So we're in the smaller room- which looks cramped, but it's fine since all we do is sleep in there anyway!

And it made room for Serra and Alex to share and have room for all of their toys!

And here's another random picture I took of Serra & Alex's feet- I think it's super cute!

Serra wanted to take a picture with "the babies" [she put her baby doll on Alex's lap and then sat next to him for the picture].

Ian spent the Labor Day weekend with an old friend in AZ and so the kids and I went to Lehi to spend it with my sister, Paige, and her new husband Mark. Here's Paige utilizing her "magic touch" putting Alex to sleep for me.

And we had to get a picture of Serra with her Uncle "Marker"!