Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finley's First Birthday Party

We celebrated Finley's first birthday way back in June. :)  Her birthday is July 2nd but we decided to do her party the last Saturday of June so that we didn't mess up anyone's July 4th plans!  It was a perfect day and we loved celebrating little Finley!  We had an icecream theme and I think it turned out really well!  I had fun putting it together.  Beware...TONS of pictures to follow! :)







Party favors for Finley's sister and cousins :)


We had a painting spot set up for stained glass icecream cones.




The cakes turned out so cute!


I just love that one sweet little candle.



Mama's sweet girl :)






Ready for the iceceam bar!



I think the kiddos were BIG fans of the theme!



After icecream we watched Finley's first year video.



Ellington made this pose at all of the sweet baby pictures of Finley.  It was precious!  She loooooves her little sister!


Time for gifts!








Cake time!!!









Time for a bath! :)


We are so thankful that Finley is a part of our family!  The first year is a tough one (to me anyway!) and I am always sort of happy to see that first birthday. :)  I don't want my kiddos to grow up too fast but it's such a joy to watch them grow and develop!  

Friday, September 12, 2014

24 Day Challenge

Hi all!  Long time no blog but we've been crazy busy.  I hope to get this little "scrapbook" of our lives back up to date soon!  I did want to stop in and post about something that I had NO intentions of posting about, talking about, etc.  However, Robert and I had such a wonderful experience that I just felt like it was really important to share in the hopes that we might help someone else!  So, I am going to try and put aside my fear of being judged and just share with ya'll!

Robert and I have ALWAYS struggled with our weight.  We eat to "feed our feelings"...whether good or bad!  We would eat when we had hard days, were stressed, etc. and we would eat to celebrate anything and everything..."Hey, it's Friday!", "Football is on!", "It's national cookie day!"....ha.  You get the drift.  We just really struggled with food.  We've each gained and lost weight at different times for different reasons.  I have tried a million different things- counting calories, working out twice a day, Weight Watchers, Adkins, etc.  In other words, I've been around the weight loss block.  A couple of months ago a friend of mine did a 24 day AdvoCare challenge.  She is someone who's opinion I trust very much.  I know that she doesn't just jump into anything lightly and does her homework.  I watched her 24 day challenge very closely.  I SO wanted to do it and I knew it would be great for Robert and me but I was scared of two things: 1) that it was just more or less a weight loss "scam" and 2) it isn't super cheap and we are financially very strained right now.  However, like I said....I trust this person a ton so I quickly came to realize that it wasn't some trick or way for the company to rip me off and then I realized...our HEALTH is what matters.  We were both overweight and miserable.  We HAD to do something!  

So, 25 days ago we started our own AdvoCare 24 day challenge!  We didn't tell ANYONE.  I actually had zero plans to share it with a soul.  For some reason I just felt weird about it.  The first phase (days 1-10) is the cleanse phase and the second phase (days 11-24) is the max phase.  The challenge is all about creating a healthy LIFESTYLE.  That's what I loved about it so much...it's truly changed how I look at food and my body.  I really feel that from here on out that I will be different...and HEALTHY!  It isn't a magic diet pill.  It's all about learning how to take care of your body!  I won't go into a ton of details (you can always contact me if you want to know more!) but basically AdvoCare sends you lots of great supplements, meal replacement shakes, a fiber drink (for the cleanse phase), and my favorite of all....Spark!  Spark is a powder drink mix.  It's an energy drink but isn't full of lots of terrible things that you can't pronounce.  It's healthy and is AMAZING at giving you energy and mental focus.  Before this challenge I drank at least 5 or 6 diets drinks a day.  (Yikes...I know!!!!)  Now I only drink Spark (once or twice a day) and it wasn't even hard to give up the diet drinks!  A HUGE thing during the challenge is drinking lots and lots lots of water.  I enjoyed this soooo much!  Unfortunately Robert and I did this during a VERY busy time of our lives so we didn't exercise at all.  I REALLY would have loved to see how much more the results would have been enhanced with exercise but it just didn't happen.  

My biggest hangup was definitely the expense (and ya'll, I was so committed that I SOLD things from around our house to help pay for it!)....but now I realize how much we'll save in the long run.  First, we use to eat out a TON.  I mean, a ton.  We ate out occasionally on the challenge but not as much as we previously did.  Not only did we not eat out much during the challenge, but we won't eat out as much moving forward.  Also, when we did eat out we ordered water which saves as well!  Also, Robert and I were both about to have to buy some new clothes for our not so great weights.  I don't know about ya'll....but I would rather spend money on losing weight than buying fat clothes!!!

I know you all just really want to know our results. :)  So I'll stop talking and get right to that!  I lost 6 lbs. and lots of inches....2 inches from my stomach alone.  Robert lost 17 lbs!!!!  While our weight loss is AWESOME I think the best part is how great we feel and our new positive outlook on eating, our bodies, etc.  It has truly been a lifestyle change and I can't recommend the program enough.  It was easy but SOOOOO effective!  It was also great being able to do it TOGETHER!

Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in AdvoCare yourself!  I could literally keep writing about our experience for days so please let me know if you want to talk more about it! I would love love love to help you!  

All of our goodies before we started....
(keep in mind that this is for two people!) 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will Be Back....Eventually! :)

Hi all!  Don't give up on this little ole blog!  I promise that I will be back...one day! :)  I still have LOTS to catch up on...Finley turning ONE, 4th of July, the fair, etc.!  Trust me...good stuff is on the way!  The good news is that I finally found a part time preschool job.  Woohoo!  After looking since the spring I was beginning to wonder if anything was going to work out, but it has.  I will be teaching at a Mother's Day Out on Tuesdays and Thursdays and of course the girls will be going too!  We had a teacher work day yesterday, will have Open House tomorrow night, and school starts on Tuesday!  So needless to say, I have been pretty busy getting ready!  We are excited for the school year.  I am ready for us to meet lots of people and start feeling like a part of the community!  Ellington is sooooo excited about school and Finley...well, it is going to be a HARD adjustment for her but I am praying that she adjusts quickly!  

Don't give up on me!  I'll be back soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Swimming Lessons

Ellington took swimming lessons this summer. It was at the YMCA and she went M-Th for 2 weeks for 45 minutes.  I was reeeeally nervous about it because if Ellington gets a tiny drop of water in her eyes in the bath tub she kind of loses it.  But, much to my delight she loved swimming lessons!  She did such a great job.  She listened well and tried her best!  I was so proud of her!  We are VERY rarely in a pool.  She's probably been in one a handful of times but I think it's important for her to start learning to be comfortable around water.  She still can't swim but she gained a few skills and a lot of confidence...so it was a success in my book!...not to mention she had an absolute BLAST!





She even jumped in!  I was soooo proud of her!



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Homemade Ice Cream and Swimming Pools

One Sunday evening in June we decided to try making homemade ice cream for the first time and do a little swimming.  We needed to do a test run of the ice cream for Finley's birthday.  We had such a fun evening together at home!  

Ellington was Daddy's helper in the kitchen.


It was Finley's first time in the pool.  At first she was not thrilled (I think because the water was a little chilly), but pretty soon she was LOVING it!



Happy girl!


The Connerley Resort ;)



What could be better than ice cream and pool time?!  Ice cream IN the pool! :)