Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Time I Cried "NOT FAIR!"

I know that I can be a bit dramatic and over the top sometimes. I recently told Mike sometimes I just need a few minutes to freak out and then I can breath and think clearly. 

Last night I had one of those little freak outs. And while I can now think more clearly about it the things that led up to it are still very real and still bothering me.


Before I go on let me just say that I blacked the names and pictures out because this is not about those people. I like those people a TON and I know that they care about me and meant well and intended to be encouraging. (If you are reading this please know and understand that this truly is not directed at you. I'm speaking very generally. I love you!)

This is about me. And the problem I have run into over and over again during my long life of 32 years.

Why am I expected to be different?
Why are the expectations that others have of me higher than the ones they have for themselves or others?
Why would it be such a disappointment if I quit something?

I often feel like I CAN'T quit. Because if I do I would let so many down. So many that are looking for me to keep going so that they too can keep going.

That's a heavy burden to carry.

Yet at the same time when I put a frustration like that out there not one person asks how I am doing, how they can pray for me, what's wrong. Nothing. (Who knows... maybe most people didn't even see it.) Maybe that's because they are thinking "Oh... there goes Laura again. Having one of her freak outs." And yes... maybe I am. But like I said at the beginning of this... the things behind the freak out are real, hard, hurtful, or stressful and it could be a gazillion other things that add up to the freak out.

People want me to be a leader. But let me tell you this... being a leader can be a very lonely place. Think of the leaders you have in your life. Now call them, send an encouraging email, drop them a note. DO SOMETHING to let them know how much you appreciate them. Let them know how they have impacted your life. How what they have done or shared has made you a better person. This will give them the strength to go on when they want to quit. It will remind them that every thing they are doing is worth it. The time. The effort. The sacrifices.

I'm not writing all of this so that you all can go write me a note. That's not the point.

But let me actually get back to the point...

I'm human too. Just a girl loving Jesus and trying to live a life centered on God. I need people just like everyone else does. I can't only be a support for others. I need others to be a support for me as well. Some days I don't want to be different. Some days I want to quit. And it's hard to feel like everyone else is allowed to but I'm not.

I know I'm kind of running all over the place here. And I know that some of these things may just be the way I THINK that others think of me. But somewhere along the way, somehow, I came to believe that I HAVE to be different. I HAVE to keep going even when no one else does... because if I don't then who will?

Who will go on when no one else will?

You?

If not you, then don't expect it of others.

That's just not fair.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Tired of Being Tired

I am tired all. the. time.

I exercise. I eat well. I sleep 8-9 hours a night.

Yet I am still tired. I always feel like I am just dragging.

I got so tired of it that I decided to do something that I never ever do. I went to the doctor. Seriously... I don't go. In fact it has been so long since I have been to our doctor that I didn't know they moved. It was really fun showing up at the old place to realize they were no longer there and that I didn't have a cell phone. Thankfully there were other offices and I figured out the new address and still made it to my appointment on time.

I just want to know WHY I am tired all the time. I can't really start trying to fix it until I know the cause. I'm searching for the cause. I need to know.

I met with the doctor and he asked all kinds of questions. He told me that there isn't really any good evidence that shows that having enough of certain vitamins adds to energy so he didn't test for those. (Still not sure about that.) He did have me go for blood work to test my thyroid (he doesn't think that is it though), as well as vitamin B12 (because that is the only one that shows evidence of helping energy) and anemia.

I should know about those things tomorrow. If those are all normal and not the problem then we'll see if maybe it's either low-grade depression (which would make some sense) or sleep apnea.

I still hate going to the doctor. I have a horribly sensitive gag reflex and I thought I was going to gag while he was pressing on my neck to check my thyroid. That would have been embarrassing! And I hate needles and didn't really enjoy going to have blood drawn by myself. But at least it was quick... from the time I walked into the doc office to the time I walked out of the lab (which was conveniently located across the hall) it was a total of 45 minutes. Impressive!

I'll be waiting to hear about the results tomorrow. I'm really hoping that it is something easy. I just want to have a day where I don't feel tired.

But even if the news isn't great tomorrow at least I get to look forward to going to Florida on Wednesday!

Workout DVD Review: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism

I recently got six new workout DVDs and the plan is to use them all and once I get a good feel for one I'll write a review and let you know what I think.

Today I did Banish Fat Boost Metabolism with Jillian Michaels.



This is a good cardio workout.

It runs in circuits. You will do five exercises and then repeat them before moving on to the next circuit. From warm up through the cool down the video lasts about 50 minutes.

And you guys! This workout is no joke. You will work and you will sweat and there are times that you might scream for a break... like during the jumping squats or plank twists. You will be glad when the workout is over.

There are some times where I think "This isn't quite enough" but it's the kind of workout where you tailor it to your own needs. If you want to work harder you just jump higher, move your arms faster and bigger or speed it up.

I love that this video is all aerobic. You need no equipment. (Unless you have a hard floor. In that case you will want a mat.) It's just you and the video. Working hard. It will be a great DVD to throw in my suitcase and take to Florida with me later this week.

The shocker for me was that I didn't hate Jillian when this was over. In the Shred she makes me want to punch her. She seems a little kinder in this one... while still pushing you.

The only thing I didn't like about this video was the music. It feels really busy, noisy and chaotic and that kind of drives me crazy and annoys me. But that aside... I'll be using this video plenty! Gives me a great mix in my workouts.

And for the days where you don't have time to do it all, or you need to give a certain muscle group a break you can just pick which of the seven circuits you would like to do.

I definitely recommend this video! 

Have you ever done this video? What did you think?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Song: Savior



Savior




I have seen with my own eyes 
Your faithfulness O God
So I refuse to believe the lies 
that war against my soul  

You rescued me from all my fears  
And loosed the chains of wasted years
 
You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder,
My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior
 
Now my heart is overwhelmed by all sufficient grace 
For I have seen my weaknesses become Your perfect strength 

You've rescued me from all my fears  
And loosed the chains of wasted years
 
You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder,
My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer

You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder,
My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior

Behold the One who holds me in His hands
The God who comes and turns my mourning into dance

You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder, My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer
You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder, My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer
You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder, My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Little History

I know I've been talking about getting healthy a lot lately but that's a big focus for me at the moment so that's what I am going to be talking about. :)

I wanted to share a little bit of history so you know where I am coming from. Maybe you will relate with this. Maybe you won't. But maybe it will encourage someone else that is starting to waver with their resolve to stay on track.

I grew up active. Hours of running around the neighborhood, even in high school. Great games of tag, riding bikes, craziness. I also played sports up through high school. Soccer several seasons of the year. Softball in the summer. Track in the spring. I was an active girl.

I continued to be active in college. Intramural sports year round and hours spent at the gym because I had nothing better to do.

Then I finished college and got married. Life changed drastically. I was home a lot doing nothing. I didn't know anything about cooking so I used a lot of those hamburger helpers and things like that. (Which now makes me kind of want to gag haha.) Most of my food was processed and lacking in nutrients.

Over two years I put on 25 pounds and went up two pants sizes. I felt awful and was always tired. I was so out of shape. I was lacking confidence. I was unhappy with myself. I was unhealthy.

I decided to take charge and started reading books about eating right. The more I read the more I changed. (Knowledge is power.) We started eating much much better. I was moving a lot more. And I dropped one pound a week for 25 weeks straight.

It was during that time that I also quit eating sugar for the first time ever. I didn't have it for NINE MONTHS! I felt amazing!

And then I got pregnant. And I gave into my cravings. I remember ice cream being the first thing that I couldn't get out of my mind. I gave in and got some. And then I continued to indulge for nine months. I gained 50 pounds. I lost it all six months after Liza was born. I went back and forth between eating sugar and not eating sugar. I was still doing my best to eat right.

Then when Liza was eight months old I got pregnant again. And once again I indulged constantly and ended up gaining 50 pounds again. Ugh! It took me a year to lose it the second time and I've been a constant yo-yo ever since. Gain ten. Lose ten. Gain eight. Lost eight. Gain fifteen. And that's where I am now at.

But you see... somewhere along the way... between the sleepless nights and lack of convenience... I let some of my good eating habits slip. I never went back to those hamburger helpers but I wasn't making the best choices either.

You see... it's easy to be all pumped when you start out on a new plan for life. You get excited about it. You remember all the reasons you are no longer eating some things that you used to eat. But time goes on and you start to forget all those things you learned. You long for convenience. (Especially when you have a 17 month old and newborn... don't judge me for not sticking with my healthy eating plans!) You give in a little here and a little there and before you know it you are so far from the way things had been.

I could sit around and beat myself up and call myself stupid for slipping back into old habits and old ways of thinking about food. But that won't move me forward. Instead, I've set out to learn again. I'm reading books. I'm making changes. I'm teaching my children and encouraging my husband. This time we are all in it together. We often exercise as a family and we talk about the foods we are eating and why they are good choices.

Changes are happening. Knowledge is good. And it's easier this time because I already have a foundation. It's not all new.

Now I just need to stick with it!

I need to continue to learn. Continue to fill my mind with knowledge about healthy living. Continue to remind myself of the reasons I started on this journey.

This time it's for life!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Exercise






Exercise.

I don't like doing it.

The hardest part is getting myself motivated at the right time of my day. I have small windows of opportunity and if I miss them it's just not going to happen at another time.

I don't think there is ever a time that I WANT to exercise.

But I know I need to. I know it's good for me. And I know that at the end of it I will be glad that I fit it in. 

Lately I've been seeing progress. Those twenty minute workouts that I started with now seem easy and aren't quite long enough for me. Two months ago I could barely do one regular pushup. The other day I did fifteen without a rest. (GO ME!!) I don't enjoy the exercise... but I'm becoming addicted to the progress!

I may have only lost about three or four pounds (losing weight has always been an extremely slow process for me) but my legs don't feel so flabby. My clothes fit just a tiny bit nicer. My insides feel good. And I am stronger. I can do more today than I was able to do a week ago. And I will push myself today so I can do more in a week!

Progress.

It's what's keeping me motivated.

Small victories. (Wrote about that at Girl Talk today.) Every decision counts.

I don't like exercise but I like progress. And so I keep on going. I actually got six new workout videos in the mail yesterday (most Jillian Michaels hahaha... I torture myself) and I'm excited to try them out. I'll let you know what the good ones are.

I'm also working on a series that I will call "The Truth About Sugar". I've been reading a lot of books and I say it over and over again... knowledge is power. When I learn something that helps me and motivates me I like to share it. Hopefully I'll have that series ready in about a week or two. You are about to be educated! :)

How are you all doing with your journey to health?? Are you well on your way? Just starting out? Or not even thinking about it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nine

We live in a world where people don't know what commitment means. A world where people give up at the slightest hint of trouble. A world where all that people seem to care about is themselves and what makes them feel good.

And that is why I consider myself a very lucky girl because somewhere in the mix I found a treasure. I found a guy who is committed and cares about things beyond himself.

Today Mike and I celebrate nine years of marriage.

For better or worse... Mike has loved me through all the messes of our life and he's not going anywhere. He's seen me at my worst and we've been pretty low together at times. But we worked at it. We worked hard!

Because it's worth it. HE'S worth it! And the simple fact that he is still with me tells me that I am worth it too.


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Snow Fun!

It's been a weird winter! Last year it snowed pretty much nonstop. This year it's like I'm begging for snow but it never comes.

Until this past weekend. We woke up one morning to about six inches of beautiful, white snow! Good thing we got the kids outside to play in it because it was pretty much gone two days later.

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We bought the kids little kid-sized shovels and it was money well spent. Jason LOVES his! He always wants to shovel the driveway and when that doesn't need done he will just go around shoveling the yard.

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And Liza... well she had spent the night at my in-laws and came home with a fun new hat.

I can't look at her wearing it without laughing. It's just too funny.

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My kids are growing up and getting sooo BIG! I think that's why I love these last two pictures most...

Jason made a snow angle...

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and when he sat up he was stuck and couldn't get up. He looked at his daddy and said "I need help getting up!" And when I look at this picture he still looks like my little boy.

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I hope it snows some more this winter!








Monday, January 23, 2012

Baby Charlotte

My friend just had a baby girl and asked me to do some photos. Let me just say that newborns are tough! I've been reading some blogs with tips on newborn photography the past two days because obviously the good newborn photographers know something I don't. I'm learning. It's a process.

But Charlotte... oh my! What a cute, sweet little girl!! Adorable!

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PS... I'm totally jealous of photographers who live in areas where all the houses get nice natural light. It's just not happening much around here.




Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's Not About Skinny

I've been exercising and I've been eating well. I talk about it a lot so people know it's going on. But for me it's not about skinny.

Yes. I have some weight to lose. Yes I get excited when I do lose a pound. Yes there is a number that I have in mind that would be my healthy, ideal weight.

But it's not about skinny.

It's about HEALTHY.





There are plenty of skinny people that are far from healthy.

A while ago I posted this on FB in a moment of frustration...

"So... I searched 'healthy' on pinterest hoping to find some recipes and inspiration. I found a few of those things but also saw lots of pics of super skinny girls. The reality is that you can look great in a bikini and still be unhealthy. There is more to it than your weight and how you look on the outside."





For me this journey is not just about a number on the scale or the size of my pants. It's about being healthy. Feeling good. Being fit. Taking care of my body. Eating for the right reasons and eating the right things.

It's about understanding things like this and applying what I learn to my life...






You see... those other times skinny WAS my goal. And what happened once I reached my goal?? I let go of many of the things I had learned and embraced along the way. I've now learned from my mistake and I am changing my focus. I will focus on healthy. Skinny can be the bonus that comes along with it but it is not my goal.







I am making great changes and I am feeling really good about it. Changing habits and forming new ones when it comes to your health takes time, sacrifice and educating yourself. I'm doing those things. I'm tired of living the way I was. I'm tired of how I had been feeling about myself. I like the glimpses of healthy that I have had and it motivates me to keep going.





This is my journey and I have to do it my way. I found my way while praying and letting God speak to my heart about changes that I need to make. I hope you take the time to find your own journey and let God speak to your heart about changes you can make. I hope you make your focus healthy and not skinny. I hope you are successful.




Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Without Sugar





Life without sugar isn't nearly as bad as one might think.

It's just getting to that point that is hard.

When I tell people that I don't eat sugar I often hear something along the lines of "Oh I could NEVER do that! I like it too much!" Truth is... I liked it too much too and that's why I need to go without it. I don't quit sugar because I don't like it that much. I don't quit sugar because it is easy for me. I don't quit sugar because I WANT to. I quit sugar because I HAVE to. Because I like it too much.

Did you know that the average American eats 150 pounds of sugar a YEAR?? YUCK!!

That means there are a ton of people eating way more than that because right now I'm not eating it.

Well... let's actually be truthful about this...

I am eating some.

Once in a while I have yogurt. Yogurt has sugar.
Once in a while I have ketchup. Ketchup has sugar.
I still use salad dressing. Salad dressing has sugar. (Although I plan to try making my own this week!)

(Read your labels... it's in everything!)

But mostly I am eating meats, fish, fruits and veggies.

YUM!

You guys! Once you get all the other crap out of the way you realize how good real food tastes!!

And I've noticed some changes as well...

1. The number on the scale continues to go down.
2. My stomach isn't constantly bloated anymore.
3. I'm *ahem* much more regular. (Hi!)
4. It's easier to eat less. And I stay full longer.
5. Even though I haven't lost a ton yet I FEEL skinny... my mind feels skinny. The other day I was walking into a store behind someone who was really thin (thinner than I will ever be) and in my mind I felt like she looked. I know that might sound weird but my body is changing from the inside out. I feel healthier. Way healthier!

And the most important thing... the cravings are going away! When I'm not having sugar I find myself not needing sugar and THAT is sooooo nice! Sure, I'll have days when it is hard but for the most part I feel like I am over the hardest part.

As the year goes on I plan to cut more and more things that have sugar listed in the ingredients. I want to find substitutes and better options.


I can do this! I can make it a year! And after that I'll just keep going. This is my life now. I'll never be one of those people that can indulge every now and then. It's just not going to happen. And I think I'm going to be ok with that because I LOVE how I feel when I'm not eating the stuff!!


Be  healthy people!! It feels good!










Thursday, January 19, 2012

I love winter! I hate winter.

I really do like the winter. I can handle the cold temps as long as I have lots of warm blankets. (And I have lots of warm blankets!) I like snow. It's pretty. It's fun. You won't hear me complaining about the weather.  Snow and winter just come with the territory. It snows in PA.

But I hate the winter too.

I get depressed. It's dark so often and I live in the woods which means even if the sun is shining I don't see much of it. And once I get in a funk it's really hard for me to get out of it.

I've been in a funk these past few weeks.

And I feel stuck.

I keep forcing myself to put things on the calendar and get out of the house. If I don't I'd just stay home all the time. Most days I would prefer to put on some cozy clothes, grab a warm blanket and crawl in a hole with a good fiction book.

Fiction books are a way of escape from reality for me.

Anyways, this happens to me every winter. (I'm sure I could get diagnosed with SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder.) I don't like it but I don't know how to beat it.

So yeah... that's where I'm at right now.

Sorry to be a downer but I didn't want everyone thinking I didn't like them if I seemed distant and cranky. I'm working on it but it would help if you prayed for me too. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smoothies

There aren't a lot of breakfast options for me right now. I'm not eating sugar so anything that needs syrup is out. I could eat some of those things without the syrup but I'm also avoiding simple carbs soooo. Most cereals are out. Fruit is good but on it's own it won't keep me full. I don't eat pork so breakfast meats are out. (I could do turkey sausage or bacon but I don't enjoy cooking, especially first thing in the morning.) I can handle eggs about once a week. (I had an experience with eggs while pregnant with Liza and have had a hard time eating them since.)

Oh... and I can't stand oatmeal. It's a texture thing.

I know breakfast is a really important meal so I can't skip it. Plus... if I skipped it I would just end up eating all the wrong things two or three hours into my day.

I needed some options.

And that is how I found some really yummy smoothies! I make one almost every morning and they are good and keep me filled up till lunchtime.

Here are the ones I have tried so far...



(This one is nice and thick. Will be a great treat in the summer!)



(My kids drink this... loaded with spinach but you can not taste it. You will taste peanut butter and banana.)




(This one was ok. Not nearly as good as I had hoped it would be.)




(I made some changes to this one... I used frozen bananas and left out the ice cream, ice cubes and honey. It was yum!)




(Simple and thick! I had to add some milk to get it to blend but it was good! Might need one of these later tonight. :))


To get to the recipes just click the pic. If you are unfamiliar with pinterest all you need to do is click the pic that you see come up in the new page and it will take you to the recipe.

Do you have a good, healthy smoothie recipe?









Monday, January 16, 2012

Feeling Professional

I have been getting called a lot lately about photography. Word is getting around. People are seeing pics that I did for others. My name is getting out. And people are asking.

I still say no a lot... and it feels like I say no even more now that more people are calling. Photography is still a hobby for me and I'm not ready to go all out with a business or anything. One reason is that I don't want to do that yet. Another is that I don't have the equiptment I would need to do that. And another reason is I just wouldn't have the time right now.

But someday... maybe someday. I do have dreams. In the meantime I'll keep taking some shoots here and there that allow me to continue to practice and learn. I'll read more books. I'll take some more classes.

I'll always love photography and I love the joy that comes with giving someone that picture that they will treasure forever.

Because it's a hobby I'm not real professional about things. I often sarcastically say while laughing at myself "I know! I'm sooo professional!" You know... while handing out a generic note that says "so-and-so has permission to print these photos" written on an index card.

A few years ago my friend Kim tried to get some pictures printed somewhere that I took for her and they wouldn't let her without a note. I wrote something along the lines of "Kim has permission to print any pictures I ever take for her forever."

I know! I'm soooo professional!

The other day someone called me about possibly doing a wedding. Shooting a wedding IS on my 2012 to-do list and after a few questions I decided it would be a good fit and we agreed to meet at Panera to talk further.

And in that moment I was all "OH! That's kind of professional!"

I see couples meeting photographers at Panera all the time to discuss prices, options, etc. You know... the whole interviewing thing to see if that's who they want to go with.

And today that was me. :)

I sat down with my computer and showed them pictures from past weddings I have done and talked about all kinds of things wedding day and how photography would go and what I am capable of and prices and all those things.

It was fun! A step in the right direction for me.

And then she asked "Do you do a contract or anything if we go with you?"

"Well I haven't. But I can if you would like that."

I know! I'm soooo professional!

And then I handed her a business card for my "other business" because that's all I have right now.




Baby steps. Baby steps. Remember... it is still just a hobby for me.



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Did You Hear It Shatter?

My Sweet Sweet Liza,

I hope you know how much I love you! You are a delight to have around. You make me smile and laugh even when I am in the worst of moods. Your smile is my sunshine. Your heart is beautiful and kind and amazing.

It makes me so sad to see you hurt. And even more so when the hurt that you experience is a result of things that happen to me.

You see, you once had this lovely friend. Her mommy and I were good friends too. Then, one day something happened between her mommy and I and things were just never quite the same again. I hoped and prayed that things would work out. I liked having your friend's mommy as a friend. And I liked that you had such a wonderful little friend too.

But we can't control the decisions that others make.

I received an email from your friend's daddy asking me to no longer hold on to hopes of a friendship with your friend's mommy. I was not to contact her again.

This upset me. I hurt for myself and the loss of a great friend. But more importantly, I hurt for your loss of a friend.

You loved your little friend and you talked about her all the time and were always wondering when we might see her again. Once the decision was made that I would no longer see her mommy I let you know that you would no longer be seeing your friend.

My heart broke that day Liza.

That was months ago.

You still talk about your little friend. You still ask to have her over. Before bed you pray for your friend's mommy that she would like me again.

My heart breaks every time. When you pray those prayers I kiss your cheek and tuck you in. And then I go where I can be alone to cry. I'm so sad that I was the reason you lost a friend.

Today I came home to find you all cuddled up on Daddy's lap. You were really sad and had been crying. When I found out why my heart broke all over again. You had made a card for your little friend but Daddy had to tell you that we couldn't send it. You knew why. You understood. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt you and that you aren't sad about not seeing your friend.

I cried again. And I cry as I write this.

Life is hard little Liza. People will hurt us. But I hope and I pray that never again will you have to experience hurt like that because of me.

I'm so sorry Liza. I wish I could change things. But someone else made the final decision.

I know you will make new friends. You love people so much and you want to be best friends with everyone you meet. And you make the best cards ever!

Liza, you are more wonderful than words could ever say. You make my world go round. You make me a better woman.

I love you now and forever my precious little girl.
Love,
Mommy

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fitness Friday: Not Beneficial





1 Corinthians 10:23
Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial.

This is where I am at. This is what I am constantly reminding myself. All that food. There is so much that I want. I COULD have it. It's not like it will kill me on the spot and the only thing that God specifically asked me to avoid was sugar. So I could totally down a box of crackers or a bag of chips right?!

Not gonna lie... I kind of want to.

But I realized that typically when I give up sugar I just replace my binging with some other type of food... normally crackers and chips and all other things that are bad for me in large quantities. And I eat them large quantities.

Not beneficial!

So I'm currently avoiding all of those snacky kinds of food as well. Why? Because I mentioned before that I have a total food problem. I eat all the time and for all the wrong reasons. Right now I want to eat because I am bored. Yesterday it was because I was stressed.

All emotional eaters raise your hand! *Raising hand really high.*

My hope is that by the end of the year I will not have just quit sugar for a year or lost the weight... but rather my hope is that I will have learned to deal with my emotions and boredom in more healthy and more beneficial ways.

Removing all sugary things and snack foods from my life and my home will be a huge help in this. Why? Because I have removed the convenience of eating when I am bored. It's a lot harder to find a snack when you decide you want to eat if you can't just grab a bag of chips. I might actually have to make up an entire salad in order to have a snack. And well... I'm just not going to do that very often! Grabbing a bag of chips is easy. Making a salad or trying to come up with some other healthy snack? No so convenient.

Lysa TerKeurst says this about convenience:

Unhealthy choices are always so convenient. They are packaged and preserved and sing of salty and sugary highs tailor made for a hungry stomach. You don't find fresh fruits and veggies conveniently located in a nearby vending machine. So, I give in to that bag of chips or a candy bar because I am so hungry and it will only be for this time. These empty calories do nothing but taste good in the moment and then set me up for more unhealthy choices just a short time later.

And that's the truth of it. And that is why I need to change my thinking and change my habits. I have to remember that not everything is beneficial for me.



Bladen... 6 Months

Last weekend I met up with my friends Keith and Sarah to continue with the gift that I gave them at their baby shower... Lot's of pics of their baby boy for the first year of his life.

This time it was the 6 month old shoot.

6 MONTHS! And boy has he grown! It's hard to believe this is the same Bladen that was only five pounds the first time I met him! He's such a sweet little boy with the cutest of smiles.

And I am totally enjoying taking his pictures! My goal was to bless my friends with pictures at no cost while I would get some practice. I learn more and more with every shoot. I'm becoming more comfortable with my little setup of my made up portable studio of blankets and random things from around the house. And I'm also getting better with my flash. At least I think so. And gosh! It's fun to watch babies grow!

I've been taking the same props for each shoot with Bladen so they can have a series at the end and compare photos to see his growth over time. :)

Anyways... here are his 6 month old pictures. Super cute!



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CUTE! CUTE! CUTE!






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