Tuesday, April 28, 2015

whole30 revisited

on march 30th gregg and i restarted whole30. i really wanted to give it another go and make it the whole 30 days this time. we finished last tueaday! hooray.

it was much easier for me this time and i think that's largely due to having kept some of the eating habits i established in my last attempt. habits like replacing bread with lettuce wraps and eating eggs or another protein heavy food for breakfast. it also helped that i already had some go to meals and snacks in place when getting started.

outside of eggs, one of the breakfast options that saved me were paleo pancakes. sometimes, you just cannot handle another egg and these pancakes definitely grew on over the last month. i also ate a lot of tuna with carrot sticks for lunch, sweet potato nachos/salads, avacados, plantain chips and salsa. oh plantain chips. we made the raw brownie bites a couple times too. those are super good and technically not something you should eat a lot of while on whole30 but it's really nice to have a treat on hand that is all whole, healthy ingredients.

while it was easier this time around i really, really wanted to quit days 22-27. like really wanted to. but, i didn't and i am glad i stuck with it. i don't have a way to weigh myself but i am fitting into a size smaller in most shorts and overall, i just feel lighter and less bloated. 

okay, so those are things that i did right, now let me tell you how i messed up. ha.

on days 19-20 i was at a women's retreat and wasn't sure how i was going to pull off eating on plan. overall i did really well because they had really healthy, fresh meals. i did end up eating some tortilla chips at the last dinner because there really wasn't much i could eat and i was starving. i also got talked into trying "the best cookie in the world" but i ate half and i passed up a TON of cake. oh my gosh the cake people. so, it could have been much worse but i technically didn't eat "whole30" those days all the time. oh, and in interest of honesty, i put milk in my coffee the whole month. sometimes regular, sometimes almond, but always milk. so there you go. 

overall it was a good experience, worth the effort and i'm really glad i did it. i have needed to force myself to eat a more balanced diet for a long time and this really helped me learn some healthy habits. i don't think i will be doing it again for awhile but i hope to keep up most of the habits...plus some chocolate ;)

in interest of being honest...

i post a lot of pictures of us at the beach, spending time outside and just generally doing fun things with our family. while we are doing all those things and having so much fun, the obvious truth is my life isn't all sunshine and sand.  one of the things i really want to be in life is honest. i really hope to be as authentic, real and transparent as possible. there are certainly things that wisdom tells us is better kept within a close circle but for the most part, my prayer is that i will be okay with sharing my struggles and hangups because i know how encouraging it is to me when i hear that i'm not alone.

i keep getting texts from friends and picture comments about it looks i am doing so well and am so happy. and yes, we are doing great and yes, i am really happy. we are loving our home here, starting to make real connections with friends and seriously, who doesn't love the ocean right down the road? but, i have been feeling like i should also open up a little bit about some things i've been struggling with that aren't easy to capture in an instagram picture.

let's go back about 3 years to right after tucker was born. the transition to two kids hit me hard. i am sure tucker's resistance to sleep played a role in it but whatever the cause, i found myself dealing with some serious anxiety. i would wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic state. i knew rationally that everything was fine but i could not talk myself out of the panic and make the feeling of being out of control go away. i would have to wake up gregg and just have him sit with me until it got better enough for me to go to back to sleep. when i started feeling that panic feeling creep into my waking hours i knew i needed to talk to a doctor. at the same time we also joined a gym and i started working out 4 times a week, that combined with tucker's sleep finally getting consistent seemed to be enough to keep it under control and i managed to avoid medication. when eisley was born i was pretty concerned that it would be an issue again and was so relieved when it didn't show up immediately after her birth. flash forward four months later and it came back full force and much worse. i now had three children, 3 and under needing me all the hours of the day. i would be standing in the kitchen trying to make them breakfast and just get this feeling of total panic. it's really hard to explain because it's so irrational. when eisley was 7 months old i finally went back to the doctor and got a prescription for an anxiety medication. it seemed to help for a few months but it eventually started giving me migraines and i had to get off of it. my doctor did give me a prescription for a different medication but i really wanted to try to find a way to manage it without medication. i looked into essential oils and picked up my workouts some to see if that would help. it definitely didn't take it away completely but i just dealt with.

it felt manageable until about two months ago. i suddenly found myself feeling that panic feeling creeping in during my everyday life. i hate it so much and i wish there were an accurate way to explain how it feels but i haven't figured it out. in those moments i just feel so lost and as if i literally can.not. keep going. in addition to the anxiety this time, i also found myself dealing with depression in a way i never have. it seemed like i could only hold it together long enough to find a space to be alone to fall apart. i spent so much time driving around town running errands while crying in the front seat with my kids sitting in the back. i really think it took a few months for our move to catch up to me. i had a feeling it would be that way when we moved. i process emotions really slowly and it takes awhile for my heart to catch up to my mind. so, after a few months of this, i finally reached out to a couple of friends and shared how i had been feeling. they really encouraged me to get some help and share my feelings with Gregg. i think he already had a feeling i was struggling without knowing just how much. after talking to him, i decided to go back to the doctor and try medication again.

it's been about a month since that visit and i honestly feel more like myself every single day. i am not driving around crying or feeling totally incapable of doing something simple like making my kids lunch. i am finding myself having more fun with my kids and saying yes to them more often. i feel clear headed and optimistic about relationships and our purpose here in jacksonviile. while i still miss my texas friends so, so much and my texas family just as much (and mexican food!), i know that those relationships can continue to grow despite the distance. i don't walk around with the crushing weight on my chest anymore. it is truly an incredible feeling and i am so thankful for it.

i still have a ways to go. i still have rough days. i would love to get into counseling at some point to help me hash out some of the root causes of the anxiety and depression. for now though, things are looking up and i am grateful.

so, there you go. a truth you may not have needed to know. hopefully if you are struggling with the same thing it helps you feel a little less alone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


i restarted whole 30 again 10 days ago. it seems much easier this time. the first time it was really rough for me figuring out new meals and what i can eat. this time, i already know and i've kept up a lot of those eating habits from my first attempt, including eating non-carby breakfast which is pretty amazing if i do say so myself. however, i am craving sweets and chocolate MUCH more than i did last time. my meals have been pretty lack-luster though so i need to work on that.

which brings me to...i really don't like vegetables. i just don't. unless they are cooked in something, i am mostly not interested. i force feed myself carrot sticks, roasted zucchini and green beans pretty regularly. one thing i do LOVE is roasted okra. i could eat that every single day..and salads. but, ugh. vegetables.

gregg and i did the Color me Rad 5k a couple weeks ago and it was actually really fun. just days before i had decided i was done trying to get into running. i was calling it quits but then i enjoyed that 5k so much (and actually ran the whole thing without feeling like i was dying) that i'm sorta wanting to sign up for another. i realized that i am not good at pacing myself and try to go much faster than i am actually capable right now and burn out really early. running with gregg helped me keep a better pace and realize that i can actually go much further than i realized at a slower pace. i could care less about getting speedy, but i am curious to see if i can do longer distances eventually.
i'm in the back right
gregg over there in the middle
afterwards. we didn't get nearly as messy as i expected.

we also joined the YMCA again this week. the one closest to us is really, really small and basic but that means it is really cheap. they have a great pool, splash pad and playground offsite a little further away from us that will be awesome this summer. we got a family membership so gregg and i did a body pump class together monday and really enjoyed it.

eisley. oh eisley. she continues to be the cutest and most opinionated child. good grief. she kills us with both daily.

trader joes, i have no idea how i lived without you for so long. i am loving their salsa and i am not really a salsa person. it's soooo good with plantain chips and even makes carrot sticks bearable. i am also loving their dried apples and banana chips lately.

we have been spending A LOT of time at the beach lately. the weather is warm again and it's been just beautiful out. it's about a 8 minute drive from our house so it doesn't feel like a huge hassle to go and the kids seem to never get tired of it.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

he knows my name

i'm the first to say that most "christian" music is just really terrible. i'm sorry, i feel like i can say that and still love Jesus. i am not a musician but i do have ears. don't get me wrong, there is a decent chunk of it that is good and i'm so grateful for those who seek direction and prayerfully develop music as way of worship. however, most of the songs that come on mainstream christian radio are just cheesy with predictable lyrics. but when the kids are in the car with me and the radio is on, it's on to the christian station. i just don't need my 5, 3 and 1.5 yr old walking around singing whatever lyrics kesha is throwing out these days.

so the first few times i heard this song i didn't really pay much attention to it. it just sorta played in the background of whatever chaos was going on in our van at the time. after hearing it a few times i pretty much knew the lyrics and found myself singing along..but still i didn't really pay much attention to the words.

last night i was driving home alone from dinner and this song came on. (side note, there are more christian radio stations in jacksonville than i have ever encountered in my years as a texan. seriously, it's almost impossible to find a non-christian station here.) without really thinking i started singing along and before i new it, tears were running down my face.

it's been 5.5 years since i have worked. 5.5 years. someone asked me recently if i always knew i wanted kids and wanted to be a stay at home mom. the answer to that question is absolutely not. when i was younger and single, i didn't really feel much of a desire for kids. i figured i would likely have children some day but i certainly did see myself staying at home full time. i had always wanted to work and be "independent", as any typical first born does.

something changed after abbey was born. i was halfway through my first year of grad school when she came along and by the time she was 4 months old my desire for that degree had really faded. i don't know if it was the new mom fog, a shift in priorities or just being so lonely in ft. worth, but all i could think about was leaving the program and moving back to austin. so, that's what we did when she was 9 months old. fast forward 3.5 years into abbey's life and i am now home with a 3.5 yr old, 1.5 yr old and newborn all day, everyday and am in full blown identity crisis mode.

" i don't need my name in lights..i'm famous in my Father's eyes, make no mistake.. He knows my name. i'm not living for applause, i'm already so adored. it's all His stage...He knows my name.."

eisley is on the downhill slide to turning 2 and we don't have another baby on the way. lately i feel myself starting to panic a little about this because who am i if i don't have a baby to take care of?? what happens when these kids start going to school and i am sitting alone in this house, having not worked in 8-9 years? who am i then? sure, my kids will still need me but doesn't part of my importance fade a little at that point? i mean, they won't need me in the same way they do now.

so, this song came on last night and before i know it, i'm crying behind the wheel and feeling the weight of that pressure to find my value in what i do being lifted.

"he calls me chosen, free, forgiven, wanted child of the King. His forever, held in treasure...i am loved..."

i think my head knows that my value and worth isn't in what role i play here or how i spend my days. i would tell that to anyone who asked..but my heart..it gets side tracked and starts longing to be important. it longs to be valued and seen as an asset. it longs for recognition. it forgets that there is nothing that i could do on this earth that would add to or take away from who i already am because of Him. is it wrong to want to contribute to something outside of my home? no, absolutely not. but i do think it's a problem when our motivation starts to become recognition and a hunt for self worth.

"do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourself.." (phil 2:3)

this morning i'm grateful that i am loved and that i don't have to live for applause. i''m grateful that i can see value in whatever role i find myself in, not because of who i am, but because of what He's done and is doing in my life.

so, shout out to God for using a radio station that i roll my eyes at most days to speak some truth to my side tracked heart.

(ps, the song is He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

whole 30: week 1

gregg and i started the whole30 eating plan last week. we are finishing up day 7 today. i have several friends who have done it recently which got me looking into it.

i have felt like i needed a reset with food lately. this december i ate more sugar than i think i ever have. i was feeling sluggish and icky. i was also really missing having actual meals instead of just eating whatever i could find at meal time. i knew my diet was way to carb driven and seriously lacked in veggies and protein, so whole30 seemed like a good step.

You can visit the whole30 website for information and a better description, but basically the diet consists of eating meat, veggies, eggs, nuts and some fruit. it eliminates grains, sugar (even things like honey and agave), legumes (so no peanuts) and dairy. if you know me at all, you know this is a HUGE jump from my typical diet. huge.

at the end of week 1 i wanted to jot down some thoughts...

  • i am surprised by how little i am actually wanting things like ice cream and chocolate. i was definitely expecting those cravings to the be hardest part.
  • days 2-4 i felt pretty miserable. headaches all day, nausea and exhaustion. it reminded me a lot of how i felt at the beginning of all my pregnancies. none of my food options were appealing to me and i was pretty grumpy about it.
  • coffee has been tricky. i've tried the recommended methods but obviously none of those are going to be as sweet as i'm use to drinking. on day 6, i finally decided to use just use a small amount of whole milk in my coffee. this is definitely not true to whole30 but after several days of skipping coffee all together, i decided that if i was going to actually complete this, i was going to make this exception. 
  • i am learning that i depend on food to be the highlight of my day way too often. if i'm having a rough morning with the kids, i start planning what treat i will have during their "nap" time later..or after they've gone to bed. i make another cup of coffee just because i am bored and need something to do. if i know i'm going to have the chance to leave the house alone (or be home alone) i start thinking about what i can have for coffee/treat. food shouldn't be the highlight of my day or my crutch to get through a tough day. this eating plan is helping to slowly strip that away...which is probably why i've been so grumpy about it ;)
  • what i'm craving most is a diet soda. this was surprising to me because diet soda isn't something i typically have everyday. but it's all i've been wanting since monday.
  • breakfast is really hard for me. i don't do savory foods well in the morning. i just don't. i never have. i typically eat a piece of toast with nut butter or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. the thought of eating eggs or meat in the morning makes me feel sick. after several miserable mornings of trying to shove down eggs at 7am, i finally decided to just wait until later in the morning to eat my breakfast. it's a little easier to eat at 10am than 7am. i think this will change over time. i hope anyway!
at this point, i truly do not know if i will finish out the 30 days. right now, my goal is to make it another 7 days. 23 more days just seems too long for me right now but if i'm feeling good next week at this time i will keep going. i'm starting to notice that eating veggies and meat doesn't seem as unappealing as it did 7 days ago. which is progress!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Eisley, 18 months

this girl turned 18 months old on Christmas Eve. usually i feel like the months go by fast but i feel like the past few months have slowed down a little since we moved to florida. which helps make it a little more believable that she is on the downhill slide to turning two. a little.  part of me just wants to keep her a baby as long as possible but then, i'm so excited to see her personality come out more and more. everyday she learns something new and busts out a new word she has somehow picked up. she hasn't had a well check since turning one (but will get on that next month!) so i don't know her stats but i'd guess she's pretty average in size as she is wearing size 18-24 mth clothes.  anyway, here are some fun things about eisley for me to remember:

  • she loves her small security blanket and pacifier. she mostly only wants them for sleeping but they seem to calm her down when she's upset too.
  • she loves mickey and minni mouse
  • she is a dancer! she does this little shake from side to side with her bottom that is hilarious and so cute.
  • she is definitely a mommy's girl. she loves gregg and gets excited to see him but she definitely is stuck to my side all day. it can get a little frustrating at times but it's also pretty sweet too. before i had kids, i would always work in the childcare at church. the babies would always be so eager to get into their mom's arms when they came to pick them up and i remember wishing for that one day. i definitely got my wish. ha.
  • she loves her brother and sister and they love her. they are so good with her. she follows them around, laughing when they do and trying to keep up with them.
  • her new words right now are "outside!" "where's _____ " "minnis!". 
  • she really likes shoes :)
  • her bout of separation anxiety seems to have passed. it was really bad from about 7 months until 17 months. haha. a long time :) 
  • she FINALLY started walking at 17 months. good grief that girl. she seems much happier as a walker.
  • she LOVES to eat. she will eat anything we give her and out eats tucker everyday...and gives abbey some good competition. 

Eisley is the sweetest thing but she definitely is not our easy going child. she has a mind of her own and a temper to go with it! She is silly and loves to make her family laugh. she knows when she is being funny and definitely hams it up. She still doesn't love being in the car but she has gotten a little better...maybe?

i am so thankful for eisley mae.