Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Category Archives: Holidays

One month down! I’m so excited to say I’ve made it one month! I’ve lost some every week which is also so very exciting! Admittedly, only two ounces last week. That is partly because the previous Friday, I over ate and gained a few pounds. So, I spent the week losing what I gained. This week, I may be in the same boat. We had friends over on Saturday and we had baked potato soup, crescents, and apple crisp. I also made sangria. So, that was not low on points. I finished the Sangria and dessert last night. I didn’t weight myself this morning. I know I should’ve. I will weight myself tomorrow. I will be on track today.

Overall, I’m down almost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. For me, this is a good average weight loss. I did sign-up for a diet bet at work. It’s my first. This runs into February. At the beginning of this challenge, I told myself if I could lose 5 pounds I would be happy.  I’m over that and happy about that success. Now, I would love to hit the 10 pound mark during the challenge.

Overall, I’m satisfied with what I’m eating. I did get a little craving on Friday. But, I think that was due to eating less protein last week. So my goal this week is to ensure good protein intake. I will correct my diet and hopefully lose more than a few ounces this week. I would love to round out my 8 pounds.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution of weight-loss this year? If so, how are you doing with your goal? Are yo following WW? If so, how do you like it?

Its an end of a decade this year. Its amazing how much has changed in just 10 years. I went from a 30 year-old mom of one to now a mom of two with a new busy career. In the last 10 years, I’ve had my second child and completed graduate school. Our family has moved into a new house with a neighborhood full of kids. My daughter started junior high. Yup. Life has changed a lot in 10 years. Its busier but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I’ve skipped the last couple of years of resolution making. This year, I’m not skipping it. I do better when I have a resolution. A goal to work towards. Something to focus on. I also due better when I write it out. So, here I am. Typing away and setting some goals.


  1. Focused Energy:  As a mom and a primary provider, I am pulled in so many directions. So much, it can be difficult to really enjoy my time and to not feel distracted by the never ending “To do” list. I want to be present for those I am with and the tasks I am completing. This year. I will focus my energy on what I am doing. I will feel present in the moment. How I will do that, I am not sure. I will work on some specific goals the first few weeks of 2020.
  2. Weight Management: This is very important to me. If you read my previous post, you know I will be starting Weight Watchers. I will be working on diet first and then, once I feel stable, will work on exercise. I will write more focused goals on this in the first month of the year.

2020 Word: Mindfulness 

Definition according to Webster: 1 : the quality or state of being mindful. 2 : the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis also : such a state of awareness.

I chose this word for several reasons. I want to work on being more present and less distracted. I want to also practice mindfulness in my thoughts and the emotional effect of said thoughts. I have been more negative in my self-thoughts which I believe has impacted and assisted in my weight-gain.

Bible Verse of the year: Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7

I’m not a anxious person. I don’t typically sit and worry about things that may or may not happen. However, I do have worries about what I plan to do and accomplish next year in both work and home life. I worry about failing at weight-loss as I have in the last two years. I also worry about our finances. This Bible verse reminds me that I am lucky to have a God who cares for me. For ME. I have nothing to worry about as He will take care of things. It will be difficult for me as I do enjoy having control over things. Learning to let go and act in FAITH is difficult for me. I plan to use this verse to help guide me through my goals.

Have you set New Year resolutions? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Please share below.

I can hardly believe its almost 2018. This last year has gone by quickly. As every new year approaches, I find myself reflecting a bit on the previous year and what’s possible in the next. I had so many changes last year and a few more to come in the beginning of next year as well. 2017 brought me a graduation and a new career. It brought me some new friends and time to re-connect with some old friends. It brought me laughter and tears. Overall, 2017 was a good year. I’m facing 2018 with ongoing faith of the greatness of a new year and (hopefully) some grace to face the challenges.

I have some pretty BIG goals for 2018. Some will be easier than others. Some will require some Grit. And others will require some flexibility.  Some will just take some time. All are with it.

My Goals
1) Read 1 book a month
2) Complete 2 half-marathons (after I start running again!)
3) Approach change with optimism
4) Take time to REST
5) Re-connect with friends and family

Every year I try to come up with a word that I want to use to keep me grounded in my goals. I use it as a way to refocus myself. The word becomes a mantra of sort. It helps push me toward my goals. In the previous years, this word helped define how I look at my circumstances.

My word this year is confidence.

Confidence: self-assurance; certain one can do something. 

I chose this word because I need to remind myself to be confident. I’ve started a new career and I find myself often questioning myself. This is part of the process, but boy do I wish I was a bit more confident. I also feel like I need to be more confident in my social interactions. I feel so socially awkward and feel like some of my new relationships have me feeling insecure. I want to feel confident in my interactions. Finally, I’m re-entering the running world. I know the struggle ahead of me to accomplish that will take confidence.

With my word now chosen, I now need to choose a Bible verse for the year. I really wanted a Bible verse that not only helped me gain some confidence but also helped remind me who I am in Him. I wanted something to encourage me and move me. Here is what I picked.

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him
- Ephesians 3:12

So there it is. My New Years goals, word and Bible verse.

Do you have New Years Resolutions? Do you pick a word or Bible verse? I’d love to hear all about your new year plans.


Now with 2013 behind us, my focus is on 2014. I’ve made a couple of resolutions this year as I always do. Last year was the first year I choose a word and Bible verse for the year. I really liked having both the word and the verse as it helped keep me focused.

This year I chose the word PerseverancePerseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve despite difficulties, failure, or opposition; steadfastness.

I picked this word for many reasons. I’ve started out making changes in my life just to fall short when life gets busy. I was doing a great job reading my Bible every morning just to stop when our schedule changed to include Kindergarten. I do great with my diet for several months just for vacation or the holidays to make me fall behind. You see, in many aspects of my life, I’ve fallen very short of Perseverance.

In the new year, I look forward to persevering through our (hopefully) changing food allergies. I know these changes, although positive, will take my focus and energy. I will have to maintain a new diet. I’m also planning to persevere in reading my Bible once every day. I feel more at peace and relaxed when I have this time. Last year, I put together a cleaning schedule and really worked to improve our household management. But, that all fell apart during the holidays, this will be better this year.

I also need perseverance this year as I train for my first 1/2 marathon. Yes, I said it….I’m training for a 1/2 marathon. Last year I did several 5Ks with much success and a 10K. This year, I got the crazy idea and very impulsively agreed to do a 1/2 marathon. This alone will challenge me in so many ways. Not only the challenge of completing the miles but staying on tract with the training, family life, work life and social life. Ok, as I type this out, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Yeah, I’m gonna need some perseverance!

My official New Year’s Resolution are the following:

Jogging Resolution: 1/2 Marathon: I will complete this! 10K: I will do at least one of these 5K: I will do a few of these

Weight: I will weigh-in under 190 lbs at the end of the year

Social: I will make time this year to see people outside of social media

That is it. I’m keeping it simple this year. I don’t want to get bogged down in multiple things to work on, I just want to persevere.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4

This year is basically over and a new one starts very soon. It’s amazing how quickly time goes! I’m a believer in my grandmother’s saying, “time moves faster the older you get”. Yes, this is very true. I feel like I literally blink and a new year begins.

As I do every year around this time, I begin to think about what I’ve accomplished. I’ve not reached all of my goals but I’ve made some major steps toward them. I’m not one to feel bad or sorry for myself if I don’t reach all of my goals. I mean, after all, I have a whole new year to continue to make progress, to continue to grow, and to continue to develop. So, why stress about a goal here or there?

I do however, feel its good to look back and evaluate my progress as I look into my goals for next year. So, here’s a quick look at 2013’s New Year’s Resolutions:

2013 word Health: my goal to improve my health and the health of my family. I often thought about how decisions would affect my health or the family’s health and based decisions on this.

Personal Health goals: I didn’t hit the mark on this completely. My actual weight goal was not met, however, for most of the year, I was the lowest I’ve been since having the kiddos. And my goal was to continue to work toward’s losing, and I most certainly did that! I found there were times and seasons where I had lapses in my focus on diet and exercise. My jogging goals were also partially met. I did complete a 10K and multiple 5Ks. I had a time goal of 38 mins for my 5k but unfortunately the one race I think I would’ve met that goal, I forgot to time it.

Household Health: I did put together my cleaning schedule it was much later in the year than I would’ve liked and we’ve now fallen off that schedule. However, it’s easy to get back on board which we will do.

My 2013 Bible verse: Trust in the Lord always with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I still love that verse. I often went back to it when I was struggling or just needed some reassurance.

How did you do with your resolutions? Are you making any for the new year? I’d love to hear about your successes or learning opportunities!

When I find a Bible verse that I especially like or one that speaks to me, I like to write it down for future reference. I keep a few on my work desk for reference and I have some bound that I keep in my purse to help me kids memorize verses. The problem is, my index cards in my purse are always buried or falling out everywhere. I really like having verses handy but haven’t found a great way to organize them and to make it less messy.

This fall, we’ve been focused on organizing our life. Everything is taking a hit and being organized from our financial to our over all house. I’m very proud of us even though I feel like we’ve got a long way to go! One of the biggest things is getting rid of some of the clutter and extra stuff. I’ve been sorting and resorting through kids clothes. Re-thinking our kitchen dishes, do we really need 3 full plate sets?

While cleaning I came upon my old business card holder. Now this was an essential piece of work equipment when I was the director of nursing. I always had my business cards handy was pawning them off to everyone in hopes of strumming up some business for the small skilled facility. Since leaving that job, I’ve not really had a use for it. As I pulled out the old business card and my heartache for a job I poured my heart and soul into. My mind went to my Bible verses and I came up with this idea. A way to keep my verses handy with less clutter.


Business Card Bible Verses

I simply cut down index cards to the size of business cards. Then I wrote my verses onto the cards. Presto! I now have an easily portable Bible verses.


I’m planning on using this one for myself, but it would be a great gift for someone. If you give it as a gift you can add a sticky note with a personal message attached to the inside cover or add it in replacement of a Bible verse. Other ways you could use this idea as a gift by writing daily affirmations, things you respect/like about the person, famous quotes, etc.

June and July are always a bit of a blur in this house. Everyone has a birthday except me during these months. And since I like to celebrate the kids actual birthday just as our immediate family, I end up preparing two birthday parties for each kid. Granted the one with just us, is much simpler. I still have to plan it. I really could simplify the birthdays more by not having a large party and the immediate family only party, but I love birthdays. They are the day a year that is all yours.

My daughter had her first birthday party for her friends. We invited all her daycare friends and had about 10 little kids and parents show-up. They had a blast! We had her party at a local park that has a carousel and wading pool. I also set out some outdoor toys for the kids play with. We then did a much smaller party with just our family on her birthday. She also took cupcakes to daycare on her birthday.

My son’s parties we’re Spiderman themed. We did cupcakes for his daycare class on his birthday so we ate those after supper as a family too. He also had a much larger party the weekend following his birthday. We invited mostly some family, his God parents, and then a few of our friends who have kids about his age. He had a lot of fun at his party.

Here’s a few pictures of cakes. I didn’t get a picture of my daughter’s cupcakes as they went to daycare. I didn’t make either her big cake or the cupcakes. I did make the cake for our family celebration and all of my son’s cakes (my son has multiple severe food allergies so I don’t have the luxury of buying his).

Here are a few pictures of the cakes:

20130709_004543   20130714_14534120130714_14533020130630_100055


If you’ve been following my blog you know that my word for this year is Health. If you’ve not read the original post and want to, check it out here.

Health defined as  the state of being free from illness; a person’s mental or physical condition. 

So, where am I in regards to my goals I set? I can say I’m not exactly where I wanted to be. OK. That may be an understatement. I was quite certain I’d be further than I am right now. I was certain I would be down several pounds, be jogging at least 2.75 miles, my house would be organized, and my cleaning schedule up and running. Boy did I forget to factor in life! I’ve come quite the distance with my fitness but not so far with my diet or home management health.

So far since the middle of Jan, I’ve drastically improved my tolerance to exercise. I started barely able to continue jogging a mile at less than 3.8 speed on the treadmill. I jogged outside two weeks ago since the weather was nice and we were out-of-town. I was able to jog nonstop for 40 minutes and tackled a very hilly, just shy of 2 miles route in about 23 mins. I was pretty pleased with myself. Since then I’ve returned to the gym. The first time back to the gym I did 1.5 miles at the 4.5 speed. I was completely tired afterward but so proud. Then the last time I jogged 2.25 miles, the furthest I’ve gone so far this year and kept my pace at 4.3 and greater. Very pleased with myself despite knowing that’s a pretty slow pace. I should be working out more. Which is my goal for this month.

What I’ve learned from the fitness: Jogging outside is so much easier for me. I do better outside than inside. I enjoy it more than inside. So come on SPRING!

As alluded to above, my diet has been very poor. Last month we spent more time away from home then home. Or well, at least it seemed that way! Now, I’ve only gained a couple of pounds, I certainly could’ve been doing much better! Despite my plan, I’ve not been counting calories. I’ve been eating whatever I want. Last week its been a lot of sweets. So yeah. Big improvements can be made here!

What I’ve learned from the weight loss: Life happens but I need to find ways to focus on the food I’m eating. I’m setting a small goal for the next 6 weeks to get me moving in the right direction.

Household management health has been at a standstill. Good thing we don’t have to judge my success on just the first two months! I’ve made the cleaning schedule. Unfortunately due to so much traveling in Jan/Feb, we’ve not implemented it. So that’s my goal for March. We have purchased some shelves for the back room in the basement. My husband has organized some and I am planning on going through everything. I want to take a bunch more to Goodwill and make one stack for consignment and another for garage sales. I’m seriously contemplating donating anything that is little baby stuff that doesn’t sell this summer. We have too much baby stuff and we’re not planning on any more little ones.

What I’ve learned from household management: It’s a continual cycle. I know this may seem obvious but it really is! There’s always something to do and we are never completely done. I must be adaptable and I really need to get the cleaning schedule in place so I don’t become complacent.

During my Bible study, I recently read these verses: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. – Prov 6:6-8

What a great reminder to go get up and get things done! My television shows can wait! Laying on the couch gets me no where! But, hard work now, will pay off later. If God’s smallest creatures realize this, there really is no reason for me to put off today what I’ll hate doing tomorrow.

How’s your New Year’s Resolutions going? Is there room for improvement?

20130103_134314It’s that time of year again! How in the world did another year pass so quickly? The new year is a time to purchase new calendars and start the year fresh. The picture above is of the pretty new calendar my husband gave me. It’s a good time to reflect on the year that passed and the year to come. Naturally, many people make resolutions and plans for the future.

A few weeks ago I was in the car, listening to a local Christian station and first heard the concept of one word resolutions or one word to sum up your resolutions. I really liked that idea. So, this year, even though I have specific resolutions, I searched for one word that I felt summed them all up. The word I chose was HEALTH. 

Definition: the state of being free from illness; a person’s mental or physical condition. 

I want to work on health in all aspects of my life, not just limited to my physical condition. My goal this year is to look at all the situations and consider its “health”. Although I’m making two specific resolutions, I’m planning on looking/examining everything and considering whether its healthy. For example, do we have a “healthy” budget (or are we overspending)? How does this activity affect my spiritual health? How can I improve my home management to make it “healthier”? Get it?

My specific resolutions this year are as follows: fitness/weight loss and household management. But before I get too involved into what I want to accomplish, I want to tell you what I’ve accomplished last year.

Last year I realized I was less than 10 years away from when my mom had her first stroke (she was quite young). Quickly following that realization came the one that I was out of shape and had several extra pounds. So, I resolved to start exercising. During the winter I started using my elliptical at about 20 mins and worked myself up to 45 mins (yaay me!). I first started not lifting weights and by the end of the year now I’ve made tremendous improvements in my strength training. Then in the spring I started training for a 5K. I took the training slow basically following the couch to 5K with a few adaptations. I jogged my first 5K in Aug and continued on to jog a total of 4 between Aug and the beginning of Oct. At to end the year I was back on my elliptical 4-5 times a week with a goal of doing 30-45 mins at a time and lifting 3-5 days a week.  I’ve lost a little over 20 lbs last year which is a great start to my overall weight loss plan.


This year’s fitness/weight loss goal is three-fold: 1) jog a 10K planned for September 2) jog  a 5K in under 38 mins 3) work on losing another 20 lbs. My plan: exercise 4-5 days a week to include 30-45 mins on my elliptical or jogging and weight lifting. I also plan to track calories to help in the weight loss.

My resolution for household management is to put together a cleaning schedule and stick to it! This way I don’t feel so overwhelmed trying to get everything done. I also hope it helps me to stay on top of some of those less frequent household cleaning things (like dusting). I’ve made my first step in creating a monthly cleaning schedule. I plan to start implementing it next week. I anticipate there may be some adjustments made as I go but I’m certain this well help me have a “healthier’ household management.

So that’s it, my New Years resolutions. And, you might think I’m done, but I’m not. I’ve felt led to pick a Bible verse to focus on this year. I can already anticipate some difficult times ahead and I know I will need something to help me provide strength for my family. For me, my strength comes from God and his words. Knowing this, I’ve decided I should pick one verse that I can keep close to my hear this year to help comfort me and encourage me. The verse I chose is this:

Trust in the Lord always with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I personally like this verse because it helps to remind me that I am not in this alone. It reminds God watches over me and I don’t have to feel like I need to do it alone. And quite frankly, I need to remind myself that I don’t have to control everything because well, God actually controls everything.

Did you make any resolutions? Please feel free to share, I would love to hear from you!

It’s now the day after Christmas (when I’m writing this, probably a couple of days after by the time I post it). All the presents are opened with gifts strewn throughout the house. The kids played so hard yesterday, they fell asleep within minutes. The only thing left undone was the pumpkin pie wasn’t cut and eaten. So, now, we have a great dessert following dinner tonight.

Sitting watching my kids laying on the floor in their new sleeping bags watching a movie, I’m contemplating what actually makes a successful Christmas. Is it getting everything on your list? Is it family time? Is it the Christmas Ham/Duck/Turkey? Is it watching your favorite Christmas show? How about navigating family events without major confrontations?

I would say all of this is nice and comforting. However, for me, a successful Christmas includes several things. First and for most is taking time to thank God for all his gifts. Gifts of grace, forgiveness, and salvation. Plenty of family time. I and my husband was off for Christmas Eve and I’m off today. We’ve made and decorated Christmas cookies, completed art projects, talked about the reason for the season, and did “nothing” together. Third part of a successful Christmas is gift exchange. To me there’s something about watching a very excited son/daughter opening up  his/her present and finding exactly what they wanted. For me its the giving of presents that is exciting, not the receiving. Although, I did get almost everything on my list and am very grateful.

Was this year a successful Christmas? Absolutely!

Here’s a few pictures of our activities over the holidays:


Wreath cookies/treats made for our family Christmas


Christmas cookies decorated on Christmas Eve. The kids picked one each to leave for Santa. They had a blast but I quickly realized with all the candy options Santa was going to have a sugar high!


I apparently had a sweet tooth because I made these Vegan and allergy-free cookies a week before Christmas


Since my son has multiple severe food allergies, I make the kids’ chocolate goodies. Each of the kids got one bag of chocolate in their stockings.


I was home from work with the kids the day after Christmas and we made these little trees as an art project. Never mind my inability to create two trees the same, they loved the craft. It was a good reminder that I must be better at doing crafts with them more!

How was your Christmas? Was it a success? What makes your Christmas a success?