New and good things...

I sit down to blog, and then 800,000 things pop up into my head that I need to be doing first, so this hardly every gets done.

BUT...I want to quickly share some awesome things lately

1. Good reads

I read this last month and it was wonderful. I think every mother/woman/man should read it.

This talk sent to me by a good friend. It gives great perspective on having greater Faith in Jesus Christ

2. I still had 20 pounds to lose from the ectopic pregnancy last year and have had a hard time getting motivated since Christmas. I started using Advocare last month and I'm almost done with the 24 day challenge. I'm going to blog about that soon. I was a little skeptical at first, but I was desperate to try ANYTHING to get me back into my healthy eating and exercise habits. You guys, I loved the stuff so much I signed up to sell it the 2nd day! ha!!! This is the Costco of health supplements, everything is high quality and professional athletes use and recommend. I'm impressed with everything i've tried. Want to get back on track too? This is what I recommend:
 *the 24 day challenge (I've already lost 11 pounds) this is not a quick fix or *miracle drink , this is a healthy way to teach you good nutrition habits and stick to them. It honestly is some of the three best diets I've ever learned from and used all wrapped into one flexible way of healthy eating. It does cost $$, so if you aren't ready for that kind of commitment then try these other small things:
the Spark drink to start with to replace soday/energy drinks and that's a bad habit you need to kick. Sugar free, good energy, vitamins and minerals and no crash. I don't support a lot of stuff but this stuff is awesome. I like the mango strawberry (and Ty LOVES them way better than me, it's helped him kick his soda/energy drink habit on hard days on the job)
the meal replacement shake  this is great tasting, and has the carbs in it already so i don't have to measure out oats etc to put in my protein shake. i have a hard time with whey protein and this doesn't bother me at all. OH! and it has 6 grams of fiber. Um...that's a ton. I like both the vanilla and the chocolate and I don't like vanilla stuff
the fiber drink. again, i need lots of fiber (cough cough) and I have tried every fiber supplement on the earth. this one? Peaches and creme? it doesn't taste like grass and dirt. winning!

  My page is here and you can email me any questions, you know, if you want to.

3. Movie
My sister Danna and brother in law Guy were in town a few weekends ago and we all went out to see McFarland, USA.  GO SEE THIS MOVIE. It was amazing. True story, inspiring, clean and funny without being too cheesy. I'm planning on taking Lucy and Abby to see it soon to support movies like this being in the theatre.

4. I've hired my personal trainer again, Marisa. I took a little break for a few months and it has been torture! I just accepted that I'm someone that needs accountability with my fitness and that's ok. Maybe someday I won't, but for now I'm happy with how hard I work with a personal trainer and can trust her programming.



I saw this quote this week and it has been on my mind all day:

The first thing that came to my mind was all of the parenting techniques I've tried to do, and learn. Almost always the hard way and the painful way (for me) was the best way. And when we stuck to it it worked. And I'm proud of myself for being uncomfortable for a while for the reward when it was done. It definitely is not an easy task to sit at the dinner table for an hour waiting for a 3 year old to take one bite of spinach. *he loved it in the end

After a nice little pat on the back was the next question, "what are my comforts today that keep me from achieving my goals?"
-my electrical blanket. Oh that sweet cloud of warm goodness, it's disaster to my alarm every morning.
-gossip. I know it doesn't sound like a "comfort" but it is. It gives me a false sense of esteem and accomplishment when I can talk about other's failings. Judge away, I know I'm not the only one here in this.
-nighttime, by the time we have done our nighttime routine ty and I are just flat out toast. But there is always a little voice that wants a book read or to show me a picture or or or or, and I just want to curl up one the couch and relax. Lately I've been saying "no" and just vegging out watching Frasier or reading. 
-tv, it's a comfort. It keeps me from accomplishing EVERYTHING
-food. Food. food. Enough said.
-time for myself. It's easy and comfortable to whine and complain about how little I get to do things or go places instead of making time and effort to plan, save and actually do things. Or buy a pair of pants that fit 



I think that's the word I could use to describe motherhood. It is swift. They are born, they grow and grow and whoosh! Everything is different! Good different and difficult different. Last week I desperately needed a costco run, and I thought, "Hey! the two littles kids are getting so much bigger, I bet this will be easy." Disclaimer: I loathe shopping, and trekking an hour drive into town and running errands with two toddlers is like, an inner ring of hell in my opinion.
So we drove in, and they were awesome! And I thought, "Geez annie! Why don't you do this more often? It's not that bad at all!" and then, about 3/4 of the way through the costco list I could hear the fizzle going out in my head. I.can.not.do.anymore. We quickly made it a race to find the last few things, bought some slices of pizza, fought 800 senior citizens for a spot to eat and LOST. So i let the kids sit on a rock and eat pizza while I loaded the car. Two spilt drinks, and one dropped slice of pizza, lots of tears, and exasperated whines from me and we got  back into the car. I had two more stores to go to. We didn't. We filled up on gas, bought 3 things from walmart, washed the car and headed home. I felt like I was hit by a mac truck. WHY? WHY? WHY? did i do that?

Oh well, that's how you learn. I am not someone that can shop a lot with my kids (or alone), and that's  ok. Luckily I took this short video of the total adorable cuteness that is Rodney and Phoebe right now in this stage of life. I'm going to miss it dearly. (ps: this is R's first time not crying in the car wash, and he loves Star Wars if you caught the Han Solo  part)


Church isn't for good people

love being with the women in our ward who share their struggles and trials and lift me up.


weekend thoughts

things are busy, and are not busy over here at the Leavitt house. last week the girls were all in the Missoula Children's Theatre play "Rapunzel". Oh, it was too much! Just the cutest little thing you ever saw, and it had everything to do with my kids being in it. haha. It also made last week just crazy hectic. This week has been nice and relaxed.

It is spring here and the weather is not disappointing. I have gotten absolutely nothing done around the house because the little kids and I are spending most of the time outside. I have been working out in the mid mornings while they play and ride bikes. The older girls have finished their "big" projects and reading goals so the tension is a little more relaxed around that too.

Here are some pictures of the play. Swoon!


motherhood done right

A few weeks ago I popped onto Facebook after about a week hiatus. The first thing I saw was an article about sleep training your children. I groggily clicked onto the article and read a blog post by a woman (who is not a mother) that used some studies to say that because i sleep trained my children i had ruined their lives. it should be noted that the horrendous examples they gave in the article were nothing like what we used for our sleep training but it still sent me into a complete tailspin. {it should also be noted that my period started approximately 3 hours after reading the article hahahaha}

anyways, ty came home from work while the 5 year old and almost 4 year old were in hour 3 of their naps. i told him, "well, i read something that said I ruined the kids." he just laughed and laughed, "Yup, it's over" he chuckled and walked away. i was able to look back and laugh at the situation, i had slipped into being 25 all over again. i was POSITIVE that because someone said something or some "study" reported a statistic i was either a good mom/bad mom. ugh, i do not miss those days.

once i surfed down from the crimson tide i realized that i absolutely LOATHE articles that bash motherhood choices. you know what i'm talking about, either it's one that tells you you are doing it right and everyone else is wrong or vice versa, they are all just garbage. because guess what?

you are a great mom. yes, you dear reader. whether you are a friend, family member, stranger or one of my own daughters reading this, you are an amazing mother. you that had a natural home birth with enya, you that has scheduled c-sections, that breastfed/formula, binkie/no binkie/thumb sucking, blanky/no blanky, co-sleeping/sleep training, homeschooling, boarding school, special needs kids, soccer mom, working mom, introvert mom, loud mom, crafty mom, fitness mom, artist mom, teacher mom, cooking mom, non-cooking mom, all natural, organic garden mom or chef-boyardee ravioli mom: You are the BEST mom to your kids.

that's it. there is no magic formula. God sent you your  kids because they needed you and you needed them. only you know what is best for them and how to figure that out. no one else. nada. zilch. zero other people.

don't let an article or book make you feel like you are failing. don't let other families successes mean anything about you, because they don't. don't let your failures mean anything either. failing means you are trying, it's much more scary to never try and never fail. don't let some remarks from other moms or family members get you down.

i can't tell you how hard it was to sleep train my children, it was excruciatingly difficult with each one (except abigail, who is an amazing sleeping unicorn sent straight from heaven). it was not easy, but i knew it was important. there were many times when people and family questioned my methods and pointed out that i was crazy. there were also many times when friends and family wanted their kids to sleep like mine, but couldn't do it the way we did and got defensive. but here's the thing, i knew it was the way that my kids needed and what i needed and that is all that matters. i'm very happy that i listened to my gut and followed through, because it did turn out to be exactly what our family needed. that doesn't mean that's what other families need either or that they should do what we did.

in my 20's i would run all over the place trying to convince everyone that my way is the best way (said like the Queen of Hearts) and you should be doing it too! but now? oh, i couldn't give a flying fart as to how you train your kids, or don't train them. i don't care! have a cotton candy disco party on the trampoline at midnight and eat pot brownies in the morning if that's what you think is right. More power to ya!

i'm happy i don't fall into the comparison trap as much anymore, but it goes to show that i still can fall prey to it pretty easily (note to self, don't get on social media the week of your period). i imagine it will get better and better as the years go by. my mom said that just about when that goes away, is when your body starts to fall apart. OH JOY!!!!!

here is a short clip of the daily dinner time struggles we have here with hot rod (turn your volume down):



it's march. can you believe it? The year is just taking off like a rocket around here. on hard days i find myself reminiscing on our trip after Christmas. i haven't blogged about it yet, but we found dirt cheap flights and last minute surprised the kids with a trip to Kentucky to see their Curtis cousins there. It had been 3 years since they had seen them and we were long overdue for a visit. Aunt Sarah lives there now too so it was a two for one as far as family trips go.

it was such  fantastic trip. the kids played perfect all week long it was just great to be with my siblings. soon i will write more about it, but for now i will let you know a secret. we passed this grandiose horse farm on our way home from lunch one day and it is on my mind all of the time. Elmendorf farm in Lexington, Kentucky. just look at it!

all of the horse farms (miles and miles and miles of them) were just breathtaking and unbelievable, but this one was so stunning we immediately googled it (thank you smart phones) before we forgot the name. could you even imagine raising your kids in a mansion like this? i can and it's dreamy.

have a happy week!

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