New Year, Improved You

With 2014 going out with a bang (And by bang, I mean a Noon Years Eve party for the littles, and a mostly quiet night at home with a few friends) I find it important to have goals for the year. New years resolutions seem to quickly fade out of peoples thought come February, but I find that having goals for the year are much more realistic.

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This year, many of my goals involve my family. Besides eating healthier, and gaining more muscle mass, I want to learn, and grow with my boys. I want to be able to experience, actually experience Gods grace, love, and plan for my life. I find looking back on my year, there are some big memories that stick with me, but overall I can describe it in one word: BUSY! From moving, to having a baby, to figuring out how to parent 3 little boys, traveling to NY, trying to find time to work out etc, etc…. I realize that I let a lot of the year just pass. There were days (probably more than I actually want to admit) that I would count down the hours until nap time, pray they slept for the better half of the afternoon, then counted down until Daddy got home.

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My goal is to experience every moment, every frustrating, boring, overwhelming, joyous, funny moment, and thank God for allowing me to be home with my boys, and to experience them. My goal is to have mine and Jordan’s time together, be quality time. Time where we learn more about each other, grow together, and just enjoy each others company. My goal is to be able to have God plant truth on my heart when it comes to my body image and working out. Truth that in His eyes, I’m perfect. Truth to know that I can work out, lift weights, and run without it being an idol, and truth to know if it becomes that.

I think having goals for the year, or month, or even week is healthy. It’s important that we set goals for ourselves so we aren’t just going through the motions of life.  What are your New Year Goals?

Coming to an end.

Once Christmas time is over, I am always amazed at how quickly the year flew by. This year was very busy for us. From purchasing our first home, having a baby, and starting to homeschool, there have been many changes for our family.  We spent the year laughing, learning, growing closer with our relationship with Christ, and our friends. We flew back to NY, got to spend time with family on the east coast, walked for suicide prevention, witness Jordan complete his first triathlon, and run the tough mudder together. Overall, we’ve grown in many ways over this past year. They say photos are worth 1,000 words, so here you go, our year in review:

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We welcomed our third boy to the family!

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Zachary loves the outdoors as much as his brothers.

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Carter turned 5

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Zachary now sits, crawls, and is getting his first tooth!

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Carter and Jesse have a special bond, only brother understand

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I kept running, even while pregnant with a baby elephant.

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Brianna came to spend some time with us!

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The boys were introduced to pool.

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Quality time was spent together

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Jesse turned 3, and has gotten much bigger.

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The boys enjoyed their first trip back to NY as a family of 5.

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Jordan completed a triathlon!

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Nice weather meant making memories.

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Landon and Jesses friendship and bonding continues to grow

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Two sisters and too many kids. Gwen was welcomed to the chaos of boys weeks after Zachary.

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We got to spend time with my mom and sister!

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  We completed our first tough mudder together

Christmas Letter

I figured since it was practically Christmas, that I would share my Christmas Letter with you.  Since all my side of the family lives mostly on the East coast, our Christmas letter is more of an update of our lives for the past year. Enjoy! Merry Christmas!!!

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This year has been busy, filled with many blessings, too.
One big blessing is that our family recently grew.
Zachary Atticus was born on the second of May.
His siblings were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to play!
Now Zachary chats, is full of laughter, and a smile.
He sits, plays with toys and sleeps through the night (once in a while)
Jesse is now three, and loves to sing while playing his guitar.
He enjoys playing outside, being a superhero and throws his ball pretty far.
Carters’ now five, and has recently begun homeschool.
He loves legos, anything Batman and thinks dinosaurs are so cool.
Brianna has turned seven, and is now in second grade.
She adores her brothers, drawing birds, and ‘Just Dance’ is constantly played.
Since having Zach, Carly’s a stay at home mom.
She’s started a blog, joined a Moms Group, and thinks yoga is bomb.
Jordans’ been busy at work, and a promotions been given.
He got a new truck, completed his first triathlon, and is still super driven.
Together we completed a Tough Mudder, it was great.
We also purchased a home with Royce and Monica, and started to renovate.
We hope your year was full of laughter and cheer.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Much Love,
Jordan, Carly, Brianna, Carter, Jesse, and Zachary

Your body and the holidays

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The holidays can be a time of enjoying delicious treats, drinks, and time with loved ones. So often, people decide they will start (or get back to) their fitness journey after the new year. It’s great to set new years resolutions (My husband and I are doing the “Whole30” challenge come January) but that doesn’t mean that the effort beforehand should be non-existent. The average american gains 6-10 lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I used a few ‘tricks’ to going about the holidays that can help you start off your 2015 goals on the right foot.  With the average person gaining 6-10 lbs, the biggest problem is over eating. The delicious treats, and appetizers make it challenging for most of us. My first piece of advice is to get a plate. It’s easy to over eat when you keep making those trips back to pick at the food, but by getting a plate, you can see how much you’re eating.  Next, be aware of what you’re drinking. Some eggnog drinks can contain as much as 440 calories per glass! I believe that most things are fine, in moderation,  so a glass is okay…. four glasses is over 1700 calories, just in drinks. My ‘trick’ with eating desserts is simple. Like I said before, I tend to think things are okay in moderation. When heading to the dessert table, if I want something I tend to stick to a seasonal treat. If it’s something that I can get any time of the year, I usually choose to go without.

Although the holidays can be busy and stressful, it’s important to be aware of what you’re consuming. Sticking to your usual eating routines with healthier choices can help you to feel more energized when spending time making memories with your families!

Phases of Life

      Lately, I’ve been feeling slightly burnt out. From middle of the night wakings (which have been becoming less and less!), to constantly arguing boys, to the daily nap-time disputes, my days seems very long.  We are usually out and about in the mornings (library, moms group, the gym, grocery shopping) and the boys are pretty well behaved while were out. When we get back home, however, I may be looking at the clock counting down until Jordan gets home.
I know it’s just a phase of life, and it’s an important phase. It’s the time to teach my kids how to solve problems on their own, how to show each other grace and love, and how to respectfully obey their parents. It’s sometimes a pretty tough job. It’s ironic that the little people that can sometimes drive me absolutely nuts, can also make my heart fill with joy the next second. Throughout the day, I find that God uses my reaction to their defiance (and arguing, and disrespect…) to teach them. I can demonstrate showing them grace. I can also demonstrate confessing my sins, and apologizing.
Do any of you moms feel this way?  I know everyone has hard days; days they’ve yelled all day, days they didn’t get any housework done, and days that it’s dinner time and you’re realizing that you haven’t sat down to eat all day.  Remind yourself that it’s just a phase of life. Soon it will be passing by, the kids will be getting older, more independent and this current phase will be what you long for.
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Stress Less Holidays

 From Christmas shopping and the huge list of DIY crafts you’ve been wanting to try, to trying to fit everything onto your calender, it’s easy to feel instantly overwhelmed once we get to November.  I know I tend to get slightly crazy (really, only to my husband) between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with endless thoughts of worrying, stressing, and putting myself down.
I know what I can do to combat this negativity! So I’ve made it a priority first thing in the morning to get Zachary from his crib, and read the Bible, usually out loud to him. Having that daily reminder of Gods love, and grace for me gets my days started better.

 I have so much to be thankful for. From being married to an amazing man for the last 6+ years, and having three adorable, energetic boys to owning a home, and being surrounded by a great church family.  I want the holidays to not be focused so much on the gifts we get, but the gifts we have.
(I am not saying gifts are bad….We’re getting the boys gifts!)
I want to start traditions with our family, have the boys enjoy the time we spend together, and teach them the joy in blessing others. Those things I can do without the stress of finding the time, or having the finances.
Those things are things that can be taught just through our daily lives.
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Fatigue at it’s finest

We’ve recently returned from a 10 day visit back to NY. My family lives there, as well as Jordan’s daughter. Our trips back are quite frequent, and over the past four year, all the boys have flown multiple times a year. Zachary flew at 3 weeks old to go back with my for a family reunion.
Our flight there was perfect, even with our 6am departure time! The boys slept, read books, played leap pad games, and looked out the window.  We had an awesome time spending time with family, going on little outings, and catching up with old friends.
Although we’re looking forward to getting back home, it’s always hard to leave.We have to say goodbye to J’s daughter, cousins, my mom and sister, and usually we don’t know when our next visit will be.
Our flight home, was beyond horrible. Besides our original flight getting canceled, and having to stay another night in a hotel, our new flight was not through the same city for the layover, and we had a 5 and a half hour flight to look forward to.
I can’t even begin to describe the flights, just close your eyes and use your imagination….
super hot, screaming baby, airsick kid, no sleep.
Lets just say, we prayed alot for patience, and grace while trying to get home.

Here are some memories from our trip:

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 We miss everyone, but are happy to be back home, and getting back into a routine.
We have decided that it will be million years a very, very long time before attempting another cross country journey with the whole family.