why i didn't like "Brave"

*spoiler alert* if you haven't watched it yet, i'm going to reveal the plot and outcome. ye be warned.

oh brave, we've been waiting for this movie to come out for a long time. everytime i saw a preview, my heart thumped a little. the scottish accents! the fiery red hair! those cute little boys!  it was going to be a great family movie for sure. for some reason, i missed the fact that it was PG, and assumed it was G. we really limit the pg around here and i'll tell you why later.

anyways, monday night is family night and we all went. great grandma leavitt graciously stayed at home with rodney and phoebe (i don't waste movie money on kids that won't remember it).  now it was cute, don't get me wrong. of course it was cute! how else could they get you into the theatre?

so why didn't i like brave? because it force fed my children things i don't believe to be true.

1. you can change your fate.  a. i don't believe in fate. you're life is a series of choices and once you are an adult you have control to change your life.
2. you can only be happy if you change your fate (see #1.)
3. you can only change your fate by going to a "witch" and using a "spell" (no real work needed!)
4. the mother doesn't become loveable until she is changed into a bear and we laugh at her experiencing true animal instincts and burping.
5. the men were stupid. all of them. big, bumbling, idiots. funny to watch, but the sexism in this movie was just oozing.  having a movie full of large, ugly and idiotic men is just as bad as a movie full of floozy bimbos.
6. the only woman who did what we call "home making" duties (the maid) was unintelligent, flimsy, cowardess and extremely large chested. they have to have boobs somewhere you know, it's kind of required.

 i don't need a movie to end in a "happily ever after" scenario for me to enjoy it and have my children watch it. not true at all. but watching my children being force fed the ides that you can do whatever you want, and especially do what is socially unacceptable or selfish, and still be happy is not true. ok, the girl was not ready to get married. i'm not saying she should have! but having her "having the power to change her fate" was the most misleading lead line i've ever heard. all she did was buy a stupid spell! she didn't "choose" anything. the entire movie was her making up for her selfish and immature decision.

now of course, we have to throw in some mad skills for the girl so she's acceptable. she's got bow hunting skills, horse riding skills, sword fighting skills, rock climbing skills, thinking skills (i hope you said all that with a napoleon dynamite accent). all that happens is she doesn't want to get married! i get it! you really shouldn't if you don't want to. so in the end, they change that a princess/prince can choose a spouse for love instead of obligation, which in my opinion, is a good decision. but in ancient times it really wasn't. you know why they had royals marry royals? because of their ancestry. if you were alive and disease free by age 15, that was pretty amazing. they needed people with strong genes to marry so they could keep the family line going, resist infection, disease and the elements and fight in a war, all in about 15 years.  (not saying a cartoon needs to be historically correct, but you know, whatever)

as a mother of 3 girls, i just have a hard time at what the cartoons are telling them today. the disney movies used to tell them that you had to be beautiful, rich and small waisted to live happily ever after. now they are telling them that you have to be independent, rebellious, stubborn and unique to live happily ever after.  the men are mere pawns in the game, and have no affect on your life whatsoever.  but i believe we were put here for each other (see Genesis).  the woman is naturally a nurturer and the man is naturally a provider. i think the more and more my children listen to society or let disney or pixar tell them what brings happiness, the more unhappy they will end up when the dust clears.

but i also am not raising stupid children (i hope) that will let movies or society tell them what brings happiness. we just watch them for entertainment and most of the time i don't really put a lot of stock into it. because ty and i (try to) talk more to them than the movie does. but brave just rubbed me the wrong way.

does this mean i won't let my girls ever watch it again? heavens no! it's just a movie people! and it was cute and i really liked a lot of it too. ha! surprise!

*ps, all the bare butts in the movie?  all week my girls have been yelling, "feast your eyes!"
  ugh PG.


lazy days

you know that mid afternoon droll between naps and dinnertime? also affectionately known as "the witching hour".

 luckily yesterday we had photobooth and cousin ari over to entertain while i cleaned.


*ty finally built a shelf for the dvd player! it's really great, i think i love him again now.

**we buckled down and bought slipcovers. we can't afford the new couches we want, and something we can remove and wash after spills is something essential for the next 5 years.

***you gotta love how much lucy bosses everyone around. it's my favorite thing ever.


apples and trees

i don't post pictures of the older girls very much, or talk a lot about their personal things. 
does this mean i don't love them as much as the babies? probably.
 just kidding! oh my gosh my mom just died a thousand deaths when she read that. i'm just joking mom! i dont' post a lot because they are older and i keep their lives more private.

but lucy, boy. she is amazing. 

 this summer she has taken off in her swimming. breast stroke is great, practicing freestyle. she is jumping and loving everything about swimming. thank goodness, she started off in april with a life jacket still. no, joke.

this year she was the first 1st Grader in the School's history to earn 250 accelerated reader points.
the first!

 she misses her teacher and staff at the school. she misses school. what? who's child is this? seriously though, school is the best thing that ever happened to this girl. she loved mrs. wilson, mrs. wheeler and mr. hardy of the library. they were her cheerleaders and support to reach her goal. i know they were just as proud of her as i was. we are going to miss Mrs. Wilson. what a great teacher!

lucy misses school so much we have practice spelling tests on a daily basis. and she makes charts and organizes her thoughts on paper. this apple rolled far away from my tree.

because our lucy girl is definitely going places, and i'm excited to watch.


how to clean the family car

step 1. get a helper. preferably a really cute one that enjoys steering wheels. like, enjoys them so much they make him epileptic. its' kind of scary how much he enjoys the driver's seat.
step 2. ( i use this method when cleaning a bedroom too)  get one trash bag for trash (duh) and one basket for things that belong somewhere other than the car.
step 3. start digging. don't be ashamed at what you find in your car. there's no judgy judgy from here. i've found everything from moldy grapes, when i couldn't remember the last time i bought grapes,  to chemistry flash cards  when i hadn't had chemistry in 10 years. and don't forget the sippy cup of milk that's so disgusting you just throw away because the thought of unleashing that biohazard makes you dry heave.

step 4. take a deep breath and step back. try not to go into the house and yell at your children for being absolute slobs. better yet, make them help. (See step one) i didn't let them help this day because they were sleeping in. (something that NEVER happens around here- oh blessed peace and quiet i missed you)

step 5. take out your vacuum and vacuum. you don't need to go to the car wash, ours works just find.

step 6. i recommend wiping down all the hard surfaces where fingers touch, door panels, drivers dash, steering wheel, basically anything that is filthy (trust me, everything will be). when i'm in a hurry i'll just use plain old baby wipes.  i try to use a disinfectant when i have time.

step 7. step back and enjoy a clean car. because it's not going to last long, let go of the idea of "always keeping the car absolutely sparkling clean". because you'll be mad at yourself in your kids in about 5 minutes into the first errand.

this is just after one week with 4 kids. and i drive the car probably only every other day. crazy huh?

* DISCLAIMER* i am not a clean person.  as a right brained person, i struggle a lot with staying organized and consistent with things. being a mom of four kids can make this either a. really fun for my kids because i'm flexible and b. really stressful and overwhelming for my kids because of all the chaos.

i'm getting better over the years at learning how to clean the house and the children and keep the little bodies fed and happy. and then i have down times where i can't handle the thought of cleaning. one thing i've found is that i HAVE to clean out the car once a week. more than that, and it's just a ticking time bomb.  when i've waited, oh say, just 4 weeks to clean out the car- i can fill up two trashbags of trash and two baskets of things that belong in the house, not the car. despite what my kids tell me, towels DO belong in the house.

*aunt hattie! thanks so much for the bath stuff. the girls' are loving all of it! perfect for summer too : )

****UPDATE***** I think it's hilarious I wrote this post. My car was messy for about TWO YEARS after this! ha


a summer of swimming

 lately as the temperatures go up up up, we are finding ourselves at my parents' pool almost everyday. (oh my goodness, try not to hate how this sounds like blagging) i really didn't plan the summer this way, it just has slowly evolved. the kids are really good now at finding their suits, asking for sunblock, getting their towels, managing their goggles etc.

plus, they are all still so little that after an hour of swimming there isn't too much complaining (lucy!) that it's time to go home and make dinner. phoebe and abby just wear out their little bodies going a mile a minute. and rodney? yeah, he thinks he can swim. while lucy is working on her freestyle stroke, getting higher jumps off the edge and learning how to do an underwater flip.

every once in awhile someone will swim with us and grab rodney so i can play with the girls. and you know what? i feel like i'm 8 years old again in the water.  i just love the freedom of swimming. i love everything about it gosh darn it. maybe because i grew up with one. i don't know, but my heart would die a little if we never put one in (we are on a 10 year timeline for one).

one of my college roomies, Teresa (the piece), came to visit a few weeks ago and we hit up the pool on their way back to Utah. it was hilarious to see us in the pool with our 8 kids. 8! we used to swim at my parents pool in high school and choreograph water ballet songs (we were such nerds). and now, swimming is every second someone saying, "mom! mom! mom!...watch this!".  "look at this mom!",  "how was that mom?"  "mom...MOOOM! watch me!!!!!".  but when we did get to show off for the kids, teresa does her flips off the diving board, and my swan dive is a little more floppy than swanny. but hey, we've still got skills. (sadly, no pictures of that or our last day of school party : (

but i did snap a few pictures with my ipad today.
which just makes me want an iphone even more. gargh.
*these are the best life jacket every invented. there's no other way to swim really. i don't have to worry about phoebe one bit, (except if she decides to take it off without my consent) totally worth buying (plus, they are coat guard approved)
i got my hairs did! after 12 months! (For reals, it had been that long since a cut)
i went all crazy and got bangs and i'm in LOVE with them. 
they hide my rainbow bright wrinkle forehead. plus my mom said i looked younger. cha ching.
i just really like this little boy a lot. my cut and color made him a little confused at first.
 (after this picture he totally whizzed all over my mom)
tonight when i was putting her to bed she said, "oh mom! i love your new head."
goggle faced phoebe, you is my bestest friend. 
(when i see this picture i totally think, "i want pizza steve!" name that movie)


the best cake i ever ate

last week i finally met emily! a blogging friend that i've made  (even though our friends and family know each other, and even though we live in the same small valley we had never officially met). we've been emailing more and more lately and she's been very supportive of my sugar problem that i've got (remember this?).  anyways, long story short, last monday that cute little pregnant lady was on my doorstep and had brought me mounds of delicious vegetables from her garden. oh! they were fabulous and i protected them like gold. but the most amazing thing she left was a sugar free, dairy free, german chocolate cake for rodney's birthday.

seriously, she made me an entire cake! i was so flattered/embarrassed/excited all at the same time.  i've been sugar free for over 2 weeks now, and doing great. but the concept of holidays and birthdays was so sad to me. no cake? no ice cream? i felt as though the world would stop spinning. oh contraire mon frere! there are whole foods, healthy versions of your favorite treats available to make. just look up paleo, vegan or raw (and then insert favorite dessert). i even found smores last night!

ok, long story short (too late) i was hesitant to bake anything. and emily saved the day. i cut into it about an hour before the party so i could take a picture for the birthday album, and sneaked a small bite from the pan afterwards. ok, fine. i really just took out a piece early so i could try it before anyone else came over.  and honestly, it looked great. but i was prepared for disgustingness. the only "healthy" cake i ever made tasted like dried dirt.  "here goes" i thought, as i lifted the fork to my mouth. and OH MY GOODNESS! the flavor. the moistness. the coconut and nuts. pure, and absolute heaven.

and rodney was our first baby that really devoured his birthday cake. the girls just picked and licked and then ate most of the ice cream (and then threw up that night). it was all over him and he loved it! ( i added fresh unsweetened heavy whipped cream on top for him)

the best part though was sharing it with all of our family and then telling them what was in it.  now, i don't know if it tasted so good because i'm without refined sugar any more, but i don't care either. it was delicious, and it didn't spike my blood sugar and send me into an all night eating binge like regular cake does.  this is serious progress my friends.  the only bad part is there was too much left over the next day, and instead of sharing it with my friends, i ate the rest of it by.myself. two steps forward, one step back i guess.

 without further ado, you can find the recipe here:

Super Moist German Chocolate Cake
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
3 T. sifted carob powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. Sucanat
1/2 t. sea salt
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. vanilla
1 cup cold water

Put your flour into mixing bowl, add carob, baking soda, sugar and salt and mix well.Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil, into the next, pour the vinegar, into the next, pour the vanilla.Pour the water into the bowl, over all of this.Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren't any more lumps and pour into a 9x9 inch baking pan.Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, test with fork.Can also be made into cupcakes, bake for 15 minutes.

1/2 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. organic cane sugar
1 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 c. almond or rice milk
1 t. vanilla

Boil together all ingredients in a medium to large saucepan over medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden or plastic spoon. Pour then spread on cake while frosting is still warm. Let set up for a few minutes before serving. (Sets up faster if you cover it and place it in the fridge.)

Now i'm trying to figure out how to repay Emily. because honestly, i am in her debt for her generosity and kindess. Have you ever had people do really nice things for you? How do you repay them?


happy father's day

tara snapped these pics without ty knowing, and i think it shows his tender side that he doesn't publicly display. he loves his children, he loves me, he takes care of us. he was raised by a great dad. he's a great dad, and i knew he would be. that's why i married him!


back in the saddle

"go run" the voice in my head whispered.
"no, i'm tired and the bed feels so good."
"go run" it said again, more loudly.
"20 more minutes, and then i'll get up."
"go run!" it yelled.

"fine!" so this morning, for the first time in 2 years, i moved my legs fast enough to constitute a run.

man, did it feel good. the sun was shining, it wasn't too hot yet (it was 6am), and the birds chirped me along.  it was a short run, but afterwards i felt like i could conquer the world. there's nothing quite like that runner's high.

i was surprised to see how good of cardio shape i was in just from 2 days a week teaching zumba . but there's one thing i noticed that was different since before baby #4:  the saddlebags. slap slap slap slap, they cheered me along as i followed the trail. they usually go numb after about 15 minutes, but still. remind me to wear my compression shorts from now on. and i can't skip pilates no mo.
phoebe and her amazing bed head hair, helped document this special day with me.

*my friend meja coerced me into registering for the Vegas Ragnar. and since i was so late to the meeting i got a hard leg. hooray!
i'm glad she did though, because it's the only thing that got me out of bed this morning.


never a dull moment

 phoebe cracks us up on an hourly basis. she is positive that her hair looks gorgeous down and long like this. she'll tilt her head back and shake her locks like the little mermaid and just beam with pride.

poor girl looks like a homeless ragamuffin.

she still strips down every day and uses the potty and then asks for a diaper and uses it. she does not like underwear, at, all. she loves her nursery school at church and her "most favorite of friends". her personality is in 5th gear the entire day. i am so very grateful she wasn't my first child. i would have flayed her alive with my rules and expectations.  we're using more of a "free spirit" approach with this girl(mostly because we are afraid of her rage issues).  if this little patootie gets mad, look out. her crusty face can kill.

in other news, we've been swimming a lot this summer already. can you tell?


confession: life is hard

the first year we moved back to our hometown, things were more difficult then we had envisioned. somehow those DIY shows failed to mention that most people living in a fixer upper are either, 1. filthy rich 2. d.i.n.k couples (double income, no kids) or 3. crazy.

seeing as we don't fit into those first two categories, 3. fell on us like a ton of bricks. being pregnant for 3/4 of that year didn't help either.  i thought for sure after the baby came things would return back to our "normal".

things didn't return back into normal, they catapulted into pure bedlam.  at my 6 week postnatal appointment my doctor asked me on my way to the room, "how are you!?", and i had to fight back the sobs because there were nurses all around.  luckily, i'm comfortable enough with him that i told him how bad things were. they were scary bad.

we survived. barely.

so here we were a year later with all our body parts functioning and everyone is sleeping through the night. i'm wearing makeup again. i'm feeling happy again, but i realized that even though circumstances change for the better,  adult life is just hard. somehow though, our society thinks that "hard" means something is "wrong".  and we are dead scared that someone might find out that we have problems too. (now i'm not saying we should all be negative nelly's- what a drag). no, i think it's wonderful to accentuate the positive and put our best foot forward. i'm still working on how to do that. (i'm extremely negative all the time, just ask my sisters.)but don't be fake, please please please don't be fake. i can smell fake faster than funnel cakes.

i had a friend tell me, "i don't even read blogs anymore, it's just too depressing". and it shocked me, just because i know that if it looks too good to be true it probably is. but sometimes when i'm over tired or emotional a blog post of extreme perfectness will send me into a spiral too.  we are all these babies in adult bodies concerned that life isn't "good" because it isn't  "easy" anymore. and you'll come across blogs and people that desperately try and fake perfect. and that night you'll lie awake wondering where you went wrong and what you could change to make things better. i think that's when a lot of women turn to food and shopping. i know i used to. a cookie! a cinnamon roll! maybe new clothes! a new car! that perfect ruffled throw pillow! will make us happy. i always thank my brother in law guy for teaching me about the hedonic treadmill. but i'm still human, and when things get crazy i desperately start seeking an emergency exit. heck, just last week i was 99% percent sure that  a new couch* would make me happy and our lives so much easier (ha! what a lie!).

*i didn't buy the couch.

because i remembered this talk:
There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks, to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear, the divorce courts are jammed.
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. -Jenkin Lloyd Jones

let's be honest then: we all have hard days, and (if you have kids) sometimes sleepless nights. my kids fight, sometimes my kids and i fight (gasp! i know!), things are messy 90% of the time, daddy comes home tired, the money ends don't meet. marriage is hard work.  parenting is hard work.   i mean, c'mon, i have had a baby in diapers since I BECAME A MOM. yes, for almost 8 years i've been buying diapers and wiping butts. straight.

 my life isn't perfect, and it never will be. if it was, it would mean that i am dead.  recently family and friendship has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  i have had friends call at just the right time, or come over to visit, or drop off amazing goodness on my doorstep, leave a sweet post comment, facebook message, chat with me at the gym, email, or just wave at me as they drive by. or sisters and mom that stop by when you are napping and lysol your house for you and drop off groceries.

but with all of the hard work and trials and ups and downs, i still laugh every day. i still am grateful for all that i have been given every day. i still try to be a better person everyday. because i know that there is a God. because only a God would send me such wonderful family and friends to take care of me. because He knew that life would be hard, and He knew that we would need each other when he couldn't be there. and i'm trying to be a good friend to others like i have been given. because life is hard for everyone. we are all going through something right now, that you don't know about. i need you. and you need me... not new clothes. (ha! i just cannot resist the snarky sarcasm can i?)

one of my best friends, my mom on her birthday

rodney rodney rodney

in just one short year you went from our little 7 pounder to this:

 yesterday we had so much fun celebrating your birthday
 you loved all of your toys that your friends brought for you
 rodney, ty, great grandma adams
 blowing out the candle-
 you needed phoebe's help.
 everyone wished they could have been there, but i don't know if there would have been room.
we all had a great time together watching you play and laugh.

what a great birthday you had!


another happy birthday

happy birthday to my favorite woman in the world!
i won't tell everyone how old you are mom, but seven decades have just made you even more beautiful.

i hope you have a wonderful day! you deserve it!


baby boy no more

rodney is one year old today.
baby rodney, grandpa Rodney, ty
June 11, 2011
i'm still in too much shock/mourning to write.

it seems like yesterday he was born. and then again, it feels like 10 years since then.

time is a funny thing.

*happy birthday to aunt hattie!! rodney's birthday twin!*



high school graduation. there's nothing quite like it. it had been years since i'd been to one and we went sans kids, which means plenty of time to people watch.  all the families were there, most dressed nicely (sadly ty and i seriously underdressed), cameras in tow, nervous faces waiting for it to start. sadness in their hearts that their child is grown up, shock at how fast it came.

as the graduates walked out and sat down, they looked like adults (well, the girls did). beautiful hair, shoes that defied gravity (and common sense), perfect make-up. light years ahead of my graduation. i leaned over to ty and asked, "how often do you think about graduation night?".  he thought for a moment and said, "hardly ever."  i was in the same boat. the only time i think about my own high school graduation is when i attend one, and even then i don't dwell on it that much. it was 12 years ago, seems like forever. i was stupid. i still am stupid.

we dressed up, got a diploma, went to a fun party, left the fun party for a more promising fun party. "fun promising party" was just a lot of booze and pedophiliac older graduates crashing the party. lame.  we were disappointed and just went home.

i tried to look at each face at one point in the ceremony, wondering where they will go to college. if they will graduate. maybe they'll go military. or vocational. or nothing. i liked what the principal said, his parents encouraged college education strongly, but even more the wanted their kids to work hard and be honest in whatever they choose.  and i agree, whatever you choose, do it well.

one of my favorite quotes is in Sahara, when the main characters are traveling via camels on a hopeless rescue mission. al says, "Hey, you know how it is when you see someone that you haven't seen since high school, and they got some dead-end job, and they're married to some woman that hates them, they got, like, three kids who think he's a joke? Wasn't there some point where he stood back and said, "Bob, don't take that job! Bob, don't marry that harpy!" You know? " if i could, what would i tell my 18 year old graduate?  
  • you're think it's funny to burp in public.
  • it's not funny to burp in public.
  • stop eating dairy, it's causing all of the burping. 
  • and the farting.
  • the clothing companies aren't changing their sizes, you're serving sizes are insane.
  • you'll think you look good in all of your outfits. 
  • you don't look good in all of your outfits.
  • when you are lifeguarding some minor league teams will stay at your pool. they will ask you and your friend to go out with them. you will say no, your friend will say yes. 
  • be proud of yourself for saying no, not embarassed. 
  • when you are hanging out with your friends you're going to make fun of the girls to get the guys' attention. don' t do that.
  • you're boyfriend is going to leave for two years. you're going to be depressed for two years. you're going to eat 6 snickers bars a day. 
  • it's ok to be depressed for two years.
  • it's not ok to eat 6 snickers bars a day.
  • you're going to have a lot of fun freshman year. you're also going to hang out really late at night with boys.
  •  don't hang out really late at night with boys.
  • ever.
  • you're going to want to quit college once a week. that's normal.
  • you're going to work really hard fall semester on your classes and learn a lot. 
  • you're going to sluff a lot of classes spring semester and not learn anything.
  • don't sluff classes.
  • you're going to call boys on the phone and hang out with them trying to get them to like you.
  • don't call boys on the phone. if they want to talk to you, they will. 
  • you can't make boys like you.
  • you're going to make fun of the marriage and homemaking majors.
  • take marriage and homemaking classes (it will save you a ton of time later on).
  • you are going to think a lot of boys like you like "that".
  • they just think you are funny. but they do like your roommates "that" way.
  • relax. you are pretty and are going to marry your boyfriend that's gone.
  • get uglier roommates.
  • write down your friends'  last names in your journal. you're going to forget them in 10 years.
  • meet with an academic advisor twice a semester. trust me.
  • get your hair cut more often and keep your nails nice.
  • call your mom more often and listen to her advice.
what would you tell your high school graduate self?


why and how I detoxed

4 years ago i was waiting for the phone to ring. my doctor was going to call with my lab results from testing. 26 years old and ty and i were sitting there waiting to hear if i had leukemia/lymphoma or not.  kind of a scary place, fyi.  luckily, everything came back negative and further appointments revealed that i had major blood sugar problems. i went sugar free for 8 weeks that summer and all of my symptoms disappeared. it was difficult, but when you are that sick, you are also that motivated to change.  i couldn't believe that i had a headache for the first 2 weeks of no sugar, (not 2 days, 2 weeks). it was really shocking how addicted i was to that stuff.  i felt fantastic and was doing great! and then one day on the phone my brother bill said, "you know, you can't go forever without it."  and i thought, he's right. i need to learn a little moderation. so i had a cookie the next day with the kids. and, well, i haven't been sugar free since. (luckily my symptoms have never returned as badly as in 2008, but they will come back if i really abuse myself).

fast forward, and 4 weeks ago I went sugar free for a week. I was finally ready to be healthy and lose the last baby weight. I drank a protein smoothie in the morning (with banana) a green smoothie for lunch and repeat breakfast one at dinner if I felt faint or tired /cranky, I would allow a handful of nuts. I lost 4 lbs! and... I felt awful. Zumba was too much, I was weak, faint and sick. I couldn't concentrate. But, I was happy and then committed to eating healthy thereafter*. Then the we all got PINK EYE! And sick stuff enveloped my life and stress went up up up and away in my magical balloon. Sorry, just broke into song there. So anyways, I fell off the wagon. Hard. As in no control, eating everything I wanted and feeling awful.

So, of course I was on pinterest looking at motivating workout pictures and posts (which, btw, some of those fitness pins are awful!) and stumbled upon this trailer.

And it was late enough at night that I watched it, and something in it really resonated in me, so bought it. i have always believed that food has a lot to do with your overall health, i mean, we grew up in my house repeating, "the whiter the bread,the sooner you're dead!'.  and my mom sent us to school with whole grain nutty breads and those apple juice aluminum cans instead of squeeze its (so embarassing!)  and i try really hard and feed our kids healthy foods, but still struggle with sweets. and i also know that how i eat can really make or break my depression swings. well, the video came two weeks ago and I loved it!  it was awesome and if you want to borrow it just email me (if you're local of course) The same company put out this video and a three day detox guide. So I read and decided to do the detox, after a few pints of ben and jerry's of course,   and bought the all food, vitamins, supplements (which are key!).  And, I was ready.

I knew I needed to be kind to myself for the three days. Not too much stress and/or responsibilities.  I needed lots of time for sleep and quiet time and meditation. So I started on a Saturday. (looking back i would have started on a friday). It is essential on the one that i did to have a juicer. (i used a high speed blender, and it worked but, i would not recommend it).  It was important to be prepared, i had read the plan a dozen times and printed out the daily menu on the side of my fridge for constant reference.

Day one: Saturday went great. The drinks were horrible but that is because I don't have a juicer and am too lazy to strain. Blech. But...and this is huge, I was not hungry at all, and didn't have any sugar withdrawal headaches. It was crazy. You take a vitamin c with every meal and flax seed oil in the morning.  I napped in the afternoon, played with the kids outside, read in the evening. Had Ty around for help. He was 100% supportive, which is a must. But by 9pm he  had an ex large pizza right in front of my face. I was a little tempted but the juices were so gross I didn't want to start over. Ha! That night I slept extremely well for my book. No night waking, which also means no night eating! Success.

Day two: Sunday morning was pretty calm as far as Sundays go. We had a slow morning and by the time we were driving to conference I realized that 1. I wasn't hungry and 2. I wasn't cranky and 3. I wasn't dreaming of what dessert I would make that night. By sundayafternoon I still felt great, but choking down dinner's smoothie was awful. But I did it! And I was tired and went to bed quickly (usually takes me awhile to wind down). I slept like a rock, no night waking again.

Day three: Monday morning baby woke me up early and after I put him down I went back to bed. After a few minutes I realized that I wasn't tired! Or groggy! Or cranky! What the? So I got up, did my morning routine and even slipped in some yoga in front of my sunny bedroom window. I felt fantastic! and, i had lost 7 lbs. (i know it was all water weight, but it still was shocking that i felt so great) The sugar crashes and ups and downs were gone. The mood swings were gone. The snacking was gone. But by 2pm, some of the kids were way off their schedule and eating the said former pizza for lunch, and oh! it smelled so good. i was sitting there cutting up pieces for rodney and ate around 6 bites. and funny enough, i wasn't that upset at myself. i just drank some water and moved on. and i didn't eat any more pizza the rest of the night.

i am very happy that i did the detox. i had been working for a few months with this program for my food addiction, and spiritually it was very helpful, but physically i was still addicted to sugar, and how!  i felt that it was right for me to cleanse and start anew and it worked. i feel great. the sugar cravings are gone. the carb cravings are gone. but as with everything, i know that relapse is always around the corner if i'm not careful.  for me, sweets and things with white flour in them are just too much.  i've compiled a lot of healthier whole food and/or raw paleo versions of my favorite sweets for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. these two websites have been lifesavers!  *feeling good through food and * simple healthy tasty and my bloggy friend emily (thanks em!, and i hope it's ok i called you em!)

i slowly transitioned tuesday and wednesday back to whole foods, instead of  raw juices. and it's been good. a protein smoothie for breakfast (with my favorite protein powder and super greens), salad or soup for lunch and a smaller portion of dinner that everyone else is eating (i try really hard to eat what everyone eats at the dinner table, the girls are all old enough to notice) i think i had a few tastes of phoebe's toast with jam on it (it was so good joyce!), but other than that i am still sugar free and loving it. no night waking (except rodney's been up once every night, gargh! but * no night eating* hooray!)

now, this weekend is trying to prepare for rodney's birthday party on monday (family, you're invited!). i'm going to have to be creative for this one, but i have a lot of good ideas and am ready for change.


life isn't fair

out of all the quotes my mom repeated year after year, the one i remember most vividly is this:

life isn't fair.

i was up almost all night last night thinking about this. aren't those nights the worst?
sorry to be a downer, but sometimes life just stinks.

to end cheerfully- here are some recent photos of our real life (because family photos just make us look too darn perfect):
 rodney found the washing machine yesterday.
 i chaperoned lucy's reading swim party



family pictures this year were just not happening. our wonderful sister-in-law Tara at purebliss gave us a christmas present of a family photo shoot. hooray! who doesn't love that?  but somehow christmas time came and went and it never happened (all on our part i promise you). and then we had a shoot scheduled and our kids got sick. and then we had a shoot scheduled and tara's poor camera died on her.  and then i had post partum depression and was eating 2 loaves of bread a day and didn't want to take any pictures.

but it all doesn't matter, we finally did it! we had a wedding to go to anyways and i said, "hey, let's kill two birds with one stone here." i actually brushed all the kids' hair, put clean clothes on and tried to smile. my only regret is wearing that stupid jean jacket. ty gave it to me for valentine's day in 2004, and i love wearing it! but  i never knew how bulky it looked before. oh well, such are the thoughts of a woman right?

we are happy with all of them. thank you tara!
i have to admit, i look at all those kids and it's a little mind boggling that i birthed 4 little bodies. 


when food turns into a drug

i remember the first time i ate food in the middle of the night (other than in college, but when you are awake still at 3am it's more like 3rd dinner). sitting in the stark fluorescent lit hospital cafeteria while our 2nd born was trapped in an incubator  in the nicu. i can't describe hospital smell, but it was there. clean and scary all at the same time. i had ordered a pudding cup and a turkey sandwich, anything to keep my eyes open and legs moving. i don't remember how old abby was the first time i did this, but those sleepless nights in her little NICU room were long, and food was the only way i could find to stay awake (i don't drink caffeine-go figure). my doctor and the nurses all wanted me to sleep. even an entire ambien couldn't keep me asleep though, not since abby's first night when she crumped on us. and so, for 2 weeks i was in that nicu room. morning, noon and night. there for every feeding, every round, every weigh in, x-ray, and procedure...i don't think about those days often.

my mother in law gracefully mothered our 2 year old lucy the entire time, as ty stayed at the hospital with me. and then we stayed in the Jubilee house across the street, a tiny house for family members to stay for only $25 a night. heaven sent for people with looming mountainous medical bills. after a bath and a weigh in and all that other mumbo jumbo they do to patients, abby would fall asleep while i pumped. then i would escape for 10 minutes to eat. peanut m&m's. almond roca's. those first few weeks of sleep deprivation i live on sugar and chocolate, oh, and butter.

when we returned home we had a few peaceful and rainy days of peace. and then saturday morning my father-in-law was in our living room telling us that our good friend, and one of my husband's best friends, had died of heart failure friday night, at the age of 25. that time was one large blur to me, i was still feeding abby every hour, and pumping afterwards, we had to take her temperature every 3 hours and dr. appointments twice a week for weigh ins. i was exhausted, ty was exhausted. we were mourning and we were still in shock. it had been a long month.

with food, i just remember eating a lot and a lot and a lot during those nights. after the memorial service, i had come home with 2 uneaten brownie pans of the 4 i had brought. the next morning, one was entirely gone. ty asked, "hey, where did that pan of brownies go?". and ashamedly i answered, "i guess i ate the whole thing last night." you could too if you ate a row every time you got up with a baby. 5 times up in the night, 5 rows. gone.

now, i'm not a psychiatrist, but i do know that ever since that month, that horrible january month in 2007, i have been a night eater.  since then, for a few months, and one year i have not been nursing and/or pregnant and have slept through the night. but those times are few and far between. i get up with insomnia during pregnancy, and eat 3 slices of pizza. i get up with a nursing baby with swine flu, and eat 1/2 a costco bag of miniature snicker bars. i get up with puke covered toddler, give them a bath, put them back to bed and eat a zone bar. and even a few months ago, with my fourth baby 9 months old and sleeping through the night, i will find myself eating a piece of buttery toast at 3am and reading emails.

 i remember my 2nd personal trainer that i hired after 20 weeks of bedrest (can you say desperate?). i only met with him for a month. he was in his late 20's, newlywed, no kids, 4 chihuahuas, you know, an extremely busy life. but he was the first person (besides my sisters) that i told that i ate at night {i felt safe telling him this as i had a newborn, so I was awake nursing too, what a perfect coverup!}  and he just looked at me and said, "well, just don't do that anymore." ha! what a genius! i knew i was paying him $40 an hour for something that ground breaking. sheesh.

now, luckily, i love to exercise. i love dancing. i love running and swimming. i love hiking. i love going for walks. moving my body is invigorating to my soul.  and i am lucky that i move so much, because the scale number would be quite different without it. but no matter how many books about fitness and nutrition i've read, 2 personal trainers, nutritionist, diet plans, weight watchers, combined with prayer and scripture study, i still couldn't escape my dysfunctional relationship with food.  because it wasn't just the night eating, food is my drug. my escape. my crack dealer lives in my house, at the store, at every restaurant, at every social function. and i am tired of using and abusing my body.

i used to think i was the only mom who had gone to food as a drug. because only a mom would understand how some days can go from ok to in the crapper in about 20 seconds. i go to the only escape that i can find during the day, and night, and that is food. i don't drink alcohol, i don't smoke, i don't do drugs, i don't take hard prescription drugs (that's another story in and of itself), by golly i don't even eat potato chips or drink soda pop! but food, delicious chocolaty, peanut buttery, sugary, or baked pastries goodness is my addiction. it takes me away, even for a little bit.  and sometimes, when i'm having a hard day i think about food a lot. more than i should, more than i think about God. and for me, that's not cool.  it wasn't always this way, but little glimpses of it were there growing up. and then i had a child, and it turned into a spark, and then we had a hospitalized preemie, and it catapulted into a a lightning show. and with each precious child that we've added to our family, that i am always grateful for, my life is less in my control. i can't control my children, i can only control so much of my day. i can only get so much quiet in a day. and the food fills the gaps. it is my addiction, it is my drug.

so few months ago, during my weight watchers bout, after an extremely frustrating day i downloaded the free 12-step program from our church, that can be applied to any area in your life where you find yourself stuck under an addiction. now some people may think i'm being a bit extreme looking into a 12-step program for just food. i mean, what american doesn't eat too many ding-dongs in any given week right? well, i would say, when you are like me, and no matter what you try and read, and do, nothing can help you break away from eating an entire costco package of cinnabon's in one night, you might have a problem. and when nothing works to help, and you kneel down and finally admit that only one power can take this problem away, and that is God. and that, my friends, is when you look into 12-steps.


the good, the bad, the ugly

the bad:
-i wrote friday's post early on in the day, before i got a call from ty that he was sick again and coming home. oh joy!  rodney still was rocking the diapers with the runs, and because of it we are almost out and i don't have a costco run planned till next week. bah.

-i'm trying a 3 day detox to calm my sugar/carb cravings and get healthy. oh my gosh, the smoothies taste like GARBAGE. but you know what? i feel fantastic.  so i've figured it out, if food tastes delicious and sugary=i will feel horrible in 30 minutes.  if food tastes like grass clippings and yuck=i will feel awesome in 30 minutes.  hopefully i can balance out a little where the healthy stuff tastes better.

-phoebe is always stripping down naked. and when she's naked she uses the toilet like a pro. and then, out of the blue, she'll say, "i need my diaper back on!" and the first time she said that i thought, "oh great, where is the surprise?" but she really had just gone on the potty. so, who knows about this girl and the potty stuff. it's confusing and i'm trying to stay out of it. i caved a little and bought training underwear, but she had an accident in them right away. she prefers being nude, thank goodness it's summer. but we do know that i call her, "laaady godiiiiva!"
this was her outfit she wanted friday. notice the shoes on wrong feet.
the good:

speaking of naked-  i found this stud playing the piano the other day. and yes, he piddled right after this.

-we rescued quail eggs from a raided nest a month ago. i almost threw them out several times (because they stunk to high heaven), but on wednesday afternoon lucy ran into the kitchen, "MOM! something is peeping!" i ran with her back into her room. and sure enough, as soon as lucy started talking a little "peep peep" would come out from one egg! i really couldn't believe it and called ty with the good news. that night we all watched as this little miracle worked on getting out of his egg. he really struggled and the next day we found out he was too dry and kind of stuck. we put a large dish of water in the incubator to up the humidity, and sure enough he popped out within the hour. cute little baby quail! ty and i held it and watched tv and cooed at it. the next morning i checked on it and it was a little furry fluff ball, just like the ones you see rolling across the road here behind their parents.

-ty bought a huge pizza last night after adult stake conference and cooked it right before me. i can admit, i was a completely tempted to restart my detox the next day and eat that entire thing! but i abstained and feel so proud! and clean! (plus, i really don't want to choke down those smoothies longer than 3 days. blech)

-last week lucy and i celebrated her reading accomplishments with a mommy daughter date. it was a lot of fun and a much needed tlc for our relationship.

-we had stake conference this morning and i ran into cate's (and candi's, and ginny's and kory's) mom. so fun! (btw, she looks so young you guys! lucky genes). and i will tell the world that our kids were SO good the entire 2.5 hours. it was a small little miracle my friends. it definitely helped that grandma and grandpa leavitt sat by us (and taryn and shane). rodney would only have made it half that long with just me and daddy.

the ugly:
-after chores that morning and lots of diarrhea diapers, i went to check on baby quail (i named him gunther) again....and...he had drowned in the dish of water. i know, it was horrible. i'm glad i was alone, it was not pretty. poor wee little quail baby. i even tried a little chest pumps to see if i could resuscitate (what was i thinking?) and then buried it out by eddie. in case you wondering, yes, all the girls cried.

-do you know how often you are supposed to move your bowels? seriously, i just asked that. i bet you should be going more often then you probably are.  i can't believe i'm talking about poo on here. sheesh. but for reals, research into it a little bit. this poo talk here was a little informative.  because if you are dehydrated your body will absorb the moisture from your bowels (i.e. sewer water- yuck) but seriously, dehydration is huge! drink your agua my friends. lots and lots of it.

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