Sunday, May 13, 2012

What I Didn't Get For Mother's Day

I didn’t have breakfast in bed
I didn’t sleep in and I wasn’t greeted with “Happy Mother’s Day” when I woke up
I didn’t get a lavish present, a homemade gift, bouquet of flowers, or even a card
I didn’t get to take the day off from cooking, cleaning, or laundry
I didn’t go to the salon or the spa and get pampered
I didn’t get a pedicure
I didn’t have the whole day to relax or sit around in my sweatpants and watch movies
I didn’t get an afternoon nap
I didn’t get a day off from changing diapers, giving baths, or nursing
I didn’t get to shower or take a long bath

But I did get to spend the day with two perfectly healthy, happy kids
Two kids who completely rock my world and make me strive to be the best I can in life
Two kids who remind me how perfect God’s plan is and how He provides for us
Two kids who never judge me, pressure me, or even ask me to apologize when I mess up
Two kids who have taught me patience, love, and that it’s okay to not be perfect

I would say, it was a good Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Part 1: Two babies. Two years.

I have seen countless women who's bodies "bounce back" from their pregnancy a week or a month after delivery. That's awesome -- but for me it's far from reality.

Other women, including myself, are part of the (pardon my language) "Work Your Ass Off To Get There Club". Which is really: "Work your ass off and maybe you'll get there but most likely you'll end up 5-20 lbs above what you used to be." That's what I'm anticipating at least.

Losing weight is something I've always needed to do. Even in high school I was always 10-20 lbs heavier than girls who had similar height, activities, and lifestyles. I just didn't understand. 

After Baby #2 was born [in January], I really hit a low point. After two babies in less than two years my body had been through a LOT and I found myself almost 70 pounds heavier than my already "heavy" weight. It was depressing, embarrassing, and honestly I felt defeated. We want more kids soon but 70 pounds seemed like it would take years to burn off. Especially being a mom of two kids under two AND working from home -- I didn't have the energy to plan workouts/diets/etc. 

I heard about a program called Couch to 5k on one of my online forums. I have never been a runner. I think the only time I ran a mile straight was in PE Class in Junior High... but I was athletic in school and the purpose of the program isn't speed, it's about building your endurance by starting with small intervals and gradually increasing them over 9 weeks. 

So I started running. And I SUCKED! 
The first week I literally struggled to run for 45 seconds. But I was determined. After only 5 weeks I ran my first 5k in my entire life in 39 minutes and 7 seconds! 

My second one is in two weeks (8 weeks after my first) and I'm hoping to shave 10 minutes off my time. Who would have thought I'd be running 5ks for the first time in my life less than 4 months after having a baby! Not me!

As far as weight loss goes, I've lost a total of 35 pounds so far (half of my goal). 

I obviously still have a lot of work to do but I've done a lot so far in the past 3 months. I'm excited to start my next "program" tomorrow and see how much more my body and change! I'll give you details about my next program in Part II of this post.

Overall this has been a difficult journey and I still have several months (if not years) to go. I obviously wouldn't trade my babies to be skinny in a million years. 
However, I am willing to give up an extra 30 minutes a day!

in 10 years, maybe..

Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Tommy and I use "10 years" as our frame a lot when dreaming. It's a realistic amount of time for us to be established in where we'd love to be.

We want a 2+ acre farm complete with organic garden, composting, chicken coops, bees, a goat, greenhouse, and fruit trees. We want a old small house full of half a dozen kids, thrift store and garage sale furniture and clothing, and homemade soaps, detergents, clean products, and the like. We want our emergency fund in the bank, over halfway done paying off our house payment, and be generating income from our homestead farming. We want to have our home completely medication free and fully relying on homeopathic remedies. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Living In My Parent's Basement: What I've Learned

It's been almost two months since Tommy and I moved back to my hometown in Michigan.
Into my parent's basement.

Now, I don't think it's any kids dream to move back in with their parents when they are an adult.
Especially when they are married.
And have two kids.

When my mom first brought up the opportunity to me, my initial thoughts where:
   What about our privacy?
   How will we split the groceries?
   What will the parking situation be?
   How will they handle babies crying in the middle of the night?
And most importantly..
   What will OTHER people think when they find out?

Being the human that I am, the last thought was a big deal for me.
Even though neither of us have college degrees, we've worked really hard to provide for ourselves by managing our money carefully and living within our means. But moving in with your parents to most people = you are failing at life, need help, can't afford to live on your own, dumb, etc. (At least in MY mind)

I couldn't figure out a way to non-chalantly advertise, "Hey, we're not moving in because we need help - we're doing it to (insert real reason)". That way I could avoid being judged/look down upon.

As I sit here writing this, that insecurity and urge to "set everyone who is supposably judging me straight" still exists. But I'm realizing it really doesn't matter.

Anybody who really knows us knows the real reason why we moved into my parent's basement. They know what we are sacrificing emotionally, mentally, and financially to be here. Anyone else who doesn't know and is judging us doesn't matter.

So what was originally going to be a post for me to exclaim "Why We Are Really Living Here And What I've Learned From The Experience - Don't Judge Me" ended up being one about "What-I've-Learned-About-People-Knowing-We-Live-Here". And that's this:

  1) I am way too paranoid about what people are "maybe" thinking about me/my family (basically - I'm human)
  2) What other people think doesn't matter anyways. I know what we are doing is right. And most importantly - God knows and He approves (I think His opinion is a pretty big deal :) don't you?)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So.. about that laundry...

Another blog fail. But I think I have a good excuse this time...
In the last 31 days I have:

1. Welcomed a BEAUTIFUL baby boy, William David Declercq, into the world :)

2. Packed up my house, toddler, newborn, and husband and moved 6 hours north to MICHIGAN! Finally!
3. Submitted an application to become a Bradley Method instructor
4. Successful caught Evelyn's first poop in her big girl potty (TMI? whoops)
Evelyn, by the way, absolutely loves her new baby :)

Moving on...
5. Ate way too much chocolate
6. Biked over 100 miles
7. Changed approximately 288 diapers (and then washed them too mind you.. eek!)

...there's plenty more but I think that's enough to please the 6 people who actually care to read this :)

The real purpose of this post, though, is about something I learned this January.
I think any parent will agree that welcoming a new baby into the world, whether it's your first, your second, your third, or your tenth, is an incredibly challenging, humbling, and life-altering event.

There are days when I just look at Will and think, how blessed am I to have such a perfect, healthy and thriving baby? Or I'll watch Evelyn sprint back and forth for absolutely no reason whatsoever just screaming and laughing with such JOY. God has given us everything we need in life and MORE. We have a home, health, income, family, church... we have it all. How could I ever complain?

But there are also the days where I go to bed at 1 o'clock after feeding Will for 2 hours straight and as soon as my head hits the pillow... Evelyn screams for me. And we're up until 3 watching a movie and then Will's ready to eat again. So then the next morning I drink way too many cups of coffee and get a bill for a $400 X-Ray we thought was covered by insurance, and then a transmission sensor needs to be replaced on our car, and I have 6 loads of laundry that need to be folded. How the heck am I supposed to keep up?

And then there's Evelyn again a cross the room. Hiding under the laundry basket. Giggling.

Life has so many ups and downs. Positives and negatives. Good and bad.
We can write a check, not even blink and pay our bills. We can sleep in on Saturday and have grandma and grandpa willingly take them for a few hours if need be. And what wrong with ODing on coffee or knowing every single line to the movie Monsters Inc???

I think it's what you focus on that you get more of.
God gives us challenges for a reason. I learned that somedays you just have to be lazy. Eat a bowl of ice cream. Just make sure the kids are fed and clean.

And then other days you need to be thankful for the ability to do the things like pay bills, clean the bathroom, or fold the laundry. God didn't create you to be lazy.

But most importantly, EVERY day you need to remember to thank Him. Thank Him for the challenges. Thank Him for the dirty diapers (okay, maybe not..), and Thank Him for all the reminders that we truly are blessed with everything that we need.