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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

d-day: shock & grief

well i have almost made it through the first day of this darn deployment... today has been the saddest day of my life; driving away from justin today was definitely the hardest thing i have ever had to do.

the last few days have been super emotional for me. lots of crying. i have been really quiet and just lost in my thoughts. we have been blessed with a ton of time together the last few months, which i am incredibly thankful for. justin and i were able to go on one last date last night, to the movies...i am so glad we were able to have some time alone right before he left. i have been sad, but i also have felt all of the prayers that have been going up for us. i have felt more peace and hope than i imagined i would feel.

but still, today was a hard day. justin checked in, then we grabbed some lunch together. after lunch we drove him back over to the plane and that's where we said our goodbyes. we both figured it was better for us to just do it, rather than hang out for twenty minutes in misery. so we held each other tight, cried tears of sadness at having to be separated for so long, whispered "i love you's," justin said goodbye to the girls (i didn't watch...i can never watch their goodbyes), then said "see ya soon." this was the first time ever that avery has cried when saying goodbye to justin. breaks my heart.

when we got home i sat in the car for a minute and let it all out. i think the girls were wondering what was going on...maybe some of our neighbors were too.

for the most part, i feel ok. being in this apartment is hard. i see him everywhere, which is just a constant reminder of his absence. i will be doing every day things then suddenly feel sick to my stomach because i think about him, or i look outside and see the car and remember that he's gone, or i think about being apart from my other half for half a year. i miss him. so much.

mostly i just can't believe this is it. we are going through our first deployment. it doesn't feel real. i have been dreading it and talking about it and praying about it for so long, and here it is. i just can't believe it. i don't want to do it. i just want him to come home, right now.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

being transparent: my fitness journey

lately i have been feeling god lay it on my heart to be transparent, in an effort to heal and grow and learn more. so with me, what you see is what you get. i won't pretend like my life is perfect and i have no flaws, because that is totally false. i mean, if you knew someone who always seemed happy and like her life was perfect, would you share your heart with her? would you ask her for advice or prayers? probably not, because you're not going to feel like she can relate to you. you're not going to feel that connection, that realness.

i want you all to feel real with me.

so in an effort to be transparent, i feel like i need to share with you my fitness journey. it's a big part of my life, and if i am going to be influencing you in any way or becoming your beachbody coach or giving you fitness advice, i want you to know where i'm coming from.

it all began almost 5 years ago...

i was 19. i had just had a baby girl. i was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, left out, sad, disappointed. i wasn't ready for a baby or a marriage, but that's suddenly what i was thrown into. i was immature, selfish, insecure. i had no close friends because those my age were busy doing other things (i.e. partying at college) and those who had children were a lot older than me. i felt like i had no purpose in life. it was a hard time. i knew i was suffering from depression due to the sudden hormonal shifts as well as the amount of stress that was on my life (my parents were also newly separated at the time). i knew i needed to do SOMETHING to help myself feel better.

and so it started out as little walks. i would get justin to go with me while the baby was sleeping or being held by a family member. it was a sweet time, when we could just be a couple and talk and enjoy each other's company. i loved our walks and will remember them forever.

when i was able to, i started using my mother-in-law's elliptical...every single day. i'm not kidding. i rode that thing so much that it broke. literally, i broke it. i was also doing some of the p90x dvds and getting into running. i loved working out. it made me feel better, it distracted me from my complicated life and boosted my endorphins. i became addicted. i had this obsession with getting smaller. i wanted to look like those wispy celebs i saw in us weekly.

then justin starts talking about joining the military. i felt like it was our only option if we wanted to get out on our own and be a 'real' family (we were living with his mom and grandma at the time). and so i said ok. we started talking to different recruiters to figure out which branch was right for us. finally we chose navy. i was scared to death. during all of this i was still working out every single day, and started restricting what i ate. at the time i thought i was being really healthy and conscious of what i was eating. i was proud of myself. looking back at old photos i see a girl who is just too thin and not healthy at all. i was to the point right before justin left for boot camp where i was barely eating at all. i felt powerful when my stomach growled and i was able to deny it what it wanted. i felt like i at last had control of something, and i liked that. i would have small snacks all day and maybe one good meal, only because people were around and watching. people were telling me i was losing weight, some even told me i was too thin. i didn't hear them. i just kept getting too small for my clothes and imagining a body like nicole richie's as i jogged around the track.

justin left for boot camp, i went into a depression again. i was working out and that should have been helping, but i forgot one key to happiness: my walk with christ. i was not working on that at all. i was too distracted, with justin gone, raising a baby alone, and trying to be something i wasn't made to be.

well fast forward a year to 2010. we're living in california! on our own at last! i was so excited. but it was harder than i imagined. i had never lived away from my family and was so homesick. change is hard for me, i really struggled at first. but eventually i got into a groove, joined a bible study, started going to church more regularly, and took a look at myself. during the move and the few months prior, i had almost stopped working out because of business. now i lived in a place that was perfect for runners, and i had been given a jogging stroller (hallelujah, such a blessing!). and so my love for running was born.

running is my soul mate workout. it is my obsession i guess you could say. my passion. i love to run, i love the way it makes me feel. i even love the pain after a good, long run.

i now see my body as a temple, a gift from god. if i don't take care of my temple, my precious gift of health, then i see it as disrespectful, irresponsible, and sort of selfish. don't my kids deserve a mom who can run around and chase and dance and be around for a long time? i want to be here for a long time, i want to enjoy my children, and their children, and maybe even their children. i know that my days are numbered and death is a certain thing, but shouldn't i use the time i have here to be the best that i can be? shouldn't i take care of myself so that i can live life to the fullest, and even help others to do the same? won't i be able to do so much more for the lord if i am healthy and able to go where he wants me to go? my body is an amazing thing. my body has carried two healthy, precious babies. my body is about to run a marathon. my body can run, dance, carry 20 bags of groceries inside at one time, hug, carry, play. my body is also a gift to my husband. let's face it, ladies, our husbands are visual creatures. i want my husband to love the way that i look. that's part of my calling as a wife i think.

and so, there you have it. i am by no means an expert in anything, but rather a student of it all. i am constantly learning more about what to eat, which workouts will benefit me, etc. etc. i enjoy it. i want to help other people enjoy it, too. your body is a gift from god, you are so blessed if you're able to walk around right now. please, i beg of you, be more conscious of what you are doing to yourself! please take care of what god has given you; be a good steward; be the best version of yourself that you can be;  inspire others to be better versions of themselves! it's never too late to start!

 above is me at my smallest. don't my arms look skinny? and i think i don't look very happy, either =/

and this is me now! HAPPY and HEALTHY, and planning to stay that way!! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

homeschool friday: butterfly edition

avery and i have been having homeschool fridays with a few of her sweet little friends. basically two other mamas and i have collaborated and planned a morning of fun learning together!!

this week the theme was butterflies and their life cycle :)

 one of ave's little friends even had real butterflies!! how perfect! we were able to see the cocoon that they had hatched out of.

 we had some art time. the girls drew and decorated their own butterflies and then made some butterflies out of pipe cleaners

 we also read books about butterflies! this was my favorite part! (i know, i'm a total book nerd). i just LOVE homeschooling because i get to learn WITH avery! so fun!

we also had some math time. we wrote our numbers by two's on the caterpillar's body and then put them in the correct order :) math made simple!

and there you have it! an easy and fun lesson complete with reading, art, science, and math! avery loves our homeschool fridays!

Monday, May 20, 2013

tears, tears, tears

ok i know i have been really slacking on my blog updates. but here is the reason why...
i have been trying NOT to think about justin's impending deployment...and when i sit down to write, that's all i can think about. and so i haven't sat down to write.

i have done so good about pushing it all out of my head. focusing on the here and now, enjoying each day that we have together. just basking in justin's presence and the joy that i feel when my little family is all together. until this weekend. this weekend it has all hit me really hard, like a tornado of emotions. i keep thinking really sad, depressing thoughts that are hard for me to stop thinking about. for example, today we all went grocery shopping together. the only thing i could think was "well here we go, grocery shopping together for the last time for a while." thoughts like: "his toothbrush is no longer going to be in the bathroom; i am no longer going to be washing and folding his clothes; his favorite foods and snacks won't be in the kitchen anymore; i will be sleeping by myself every night; he won't be coming home to give me a kiss or play with the girls or help me with the dishes after dinner; he won't be here to read all the silly voices in avery's bedtime stories or help her take her bath; his shoes will no longer be in the shoe basket beside the door; i will only be cooking for myself and two littles; i will no longer have the comfort and security of seeing him at the end of each hard day; he won't be begging me to watch his man movies every night; i will no longer have weekends to look forward to because he has time to spend with just us; the girls are going to miss him so much, especially avery; i am going to miss him so much...i already do and he's not even gone yet." yeah, you get the point.


i have just been a ball of tears since yesterday. tears splashing into soapy dishwater; tears on all of my t-shirts; tears in the rare quiet moments that i am by myself. tears.

i honestly do not know how i am going to make it through this deployment. but i do know that it won't be of my own accord. i am too selfish, too exhausted, too emotional, too human to be able to endure a trial like this. it is going to be all God, all the time.

the next several months are going to be a testament to how great God truly is.

Friday, May 10, 2013

a day for you, Mom

Mother's Day is this weekend, as I'm sure you are all aware. I have been reflecting all week on what it is to be a mother, trying to think of something worthy of a tribute to moms. And I am sitting here at a loss for words. There simply are no words for what we do...

It's the kisses when we have scraped our knee or lost our favorite toy;
It's the hugs when our first boyfriend breaks our heart, or our dog got hit by a car;
It's the preparation of nutritious meals day in and day out that we are ungrateful for and complain about;
It's the patience on her face when we have drawn on her favorite sofa...or the walls;
It's the gentleness in her voice when we have had a scary dream or are feeling a little left out;
It's the length she goes to to make our birthday special, whether we're turning five or 24;
It's the notes she leaves in our lunchbox every day;
It's the occasional treats she buys us at the grocery, even if she doesn't approve of the nutritional content;
It's time spent in the kitchen on favorite holidays so that everyone has a wonderful meal before them;
It's the way she rubs your face when you are feeling ill;
It's the way she combs your hair, ever so gently;
It's the way she reads your favorite stories, over and over;
It's the way she works so hard and never, not once, complains;
It's the way she sacrifices so that you don't have to;
It's the way she sits and plays with you in the floor until her back is breaking;
It's the prayers she whispers over you that you never hear;
It's the effort she makes to ensure your happiness;
It's the chocolate chip pancakes, because she knows they're your favorite;
It's ignoring five phone calls and 30 text messages because she wants you to have her full attention;
It's the way she holds your hand as you cross the street;
It's the things she teaches you, things that are important to her, things she wants to pass on to you;
It's the journals she keeps for you that you haven't read yet;
It's the pictures she is constantly snapping, so that one day you will look back and remember;
It's the way she always puts you before herself;
It's just her way.

There are no words to describe what it is to be a mother, not really. Not until I had my own children did I see the sacrifices my own mom has made over the years. Not until I had my two sweet girls did I have even a slight glimpse of my Father's love for me. There are no words for that, either, only the feeling of an overflowing heart.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

busy bee!

ok...i know i have been away for a while. life has just been crazy busy!!!

we went on a family mini vacation to vegas, zion national park, and the grand canyon. more on that trip later. it was all fabulous!

i started coaching with beachbody. love it so much already. i am part of an amazing team and am learning so much!! super motivating!

justin got a few extra weeks with us, as his date for deployment got pushed back. i am happy about this!!!

we celebrated brooklynn's birthday this weekend. she doesn't turn one for two weeks, but we scheduled her party early to ensure justin would be here. so glad that he was :)

i took two weeks off from long runs. i feel good, and ready for my 21 miler on saturday...i think.

so for now, deployment has been the last thing on my mind. i think God is providing a ton of distractions for me, which i'm thankful for.

but don't get me wrong...sometimes those thoughts creep up on me. "i can't believe i won't see my husband for six or seven months!" "what in the world will it be like when we see him again?!" "how are the girls going to react to him?!" etc. etc. but tonight i think God opened my eyes a lot... i just had a moment where i know He was speaking straight to my soul. i was thinking about d day, negative thoughts probably, when i heard in my heart "this is going to be an adventure. don't make it a bad thing. i have so much to teach you!" and for a moment, i wasn't scared. i wasn't anxious or fearful. i didn't feel dread. i felt hope. surrenderexcitement, not for deployment itself but for all that God is going to teach me during this time; i know i am going to draw so close to Him. i know it will be TOUGH, but i also know the reward will be so worth it :)