Here are some recent picks I've recently added to my playlists from i-tunes...they're all FABULOUS and I highly recommend them :)
Mad World by: Adam Lambert (the freaky genius from Am.Idol)
Ave Maria by: Beyonce
Finally Home by: Mercy Me
American Woman by: The Guess Who
Supermassive Black Hole by: Muse (from the Twilight soundrack, I'll probably buy the whole soundtrack - it's got some spectacular songs on it)
So What by: P!nk (the clean version, of course)
The first three are just gorgeous. The last three have been added to my kick-butt work-out playlist. Thought I'd share for anyone out there who's ready to update a little.
I'd love to know some of your favorites, or new discoveries!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Here are some recent picks I've recently added to my playlists from i-tunes...they're all FABULOUS and I highly recommend them :)
Posted by Jennifer at 10:32 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009
Warning: this post is nothing if not honest about my life and what has been one of my greatest struggles. I'm writing it because it makes sense for where I'm at right now, and in hopes of helping or encouraging someone else out there reading this. It's also a testimony of sorts.
Growing up, I was always overweight. It stunk, I hated it, I felt awful about myself, and it left emotional scars I'll probably have for the rest of my life.
During my Junior year of high school, I got up to the highest weight I'd ever been (until I got pregnant of course, ha!) and I was disgusted with myself. My greatest fear was that I'd never get married and have a family, and the biggest obstacle in this that I could see was my weight. My whole life it's always been very difficult for me to lose weight, and very easy to put it on, but I decided that when I went to college, I would look like a rock star (figuratively speaking) and would feel good about myself and be healthy. I did it - I lost 30 lbs. my senior year of high school, going from a size 12 to a size 4/6. I remember being SO proud of myself, feeling SO good, and dating a bunch of guys in college - I won't lie. That was fun :)
Then as I got married, I gradually gained a little here and there. Then when I got pregnant with Bennett, whoa buddy. I gained 45 lbs. and felt miserable at the end. After I had him, I dropped 25 lbs. pretty quickly from nursing, and then was left with 20 more staring me in the face. And in six months, I lost all of that, too. (Jazzercise class was my best friend, no lie).
Now here we are today, and as you've read, I've had another baby, which means another journey. Jasper will be six weeks old tomorrow. I behaved myself better with this pregnancy, and gained 35 lbs. I have 10 more to go to get back to where I was before he and Bennett were born, and 5 more after that to feel really rockin' awesome and to love every article of clothing in my closet. So there are 15 lbs. staring me in the face, and I started working on it all 2 weeks ago.
You may be thinking Who cares and what's your point? Fear not, friends - I have not one but two points today - how lucky can you get? :) Number one is, if you have been or are now or ever become fat, you CAN do something about it, and you CAN lose the weight. I've done it twice, and I'm doing it again. Number two, here are some tips I've learned for anybody else who cares or may have weight to lose, since I know all about being-fat-but-getting-rid-of-it :) (warning again: there's just a bunch of advice down here, then a wrap up paragraph - if this doesn't apply to you or you could care less, you might want to stop reading :) ).
1. Think of your goal in 3 lb. increments. Concentrate on losing just 3 lbs. at a time. If you think about losing 5, 10 or 20 lbs., you'll get discouraged and feel like there's no way to reach such a big goal. I've also found that about 3 lbs. is what it takes to feel a slight difference in clothing, or to see a slight difference in the mirror (slight, mind you).
2. I've found that for the most part, you can eat what you want, but portion control is critical. When I lost the weight initially my senior year, I was cutting my portions of what I used to eat in half. That's how much excess I'd been eating before. So when I'd go out to eat, have a snack, whatever, I'd determine how much I needed to fuel my body ahead of time and only eat that much.
3. Yes, you have to exercise. There's just no way around this one, so you might as well find something you really like to do, or something you can do with a friend, and get busy. After a while, you'll look forward to the "high" those endorphines give you, and that combined with the way your body feels will be enough to motivate you, weight loss aside. I don't run or do anything else painful that I hate, but I make sure to do something, and I change it up a lot so I don't get bored. Along with exercising, get an ipod or something of the like and download some BUTT-KICKING music that makes you want to get your rear in gear. Sometimes what gets me to the gym is thinking about how super-fly I feel cruising on the elliptical with my bad self to the stellar music rockin' out in my ear.
4. When you get sick of working on it all, take a break, just not a really long one - like a day or two.
5. When you've met a bigger goal that you've set, reward yourself. i.e. every time you reach a new clothing size, go buy a new outfit that you feel and look amazing in.
6. When you hit a plateau (and you will), push through it by taking slightly more extreme measures until you're over the hump (i.e. exercise twice a day instead of once, cut out all the bad stuff you eat, not just some, etc.). My plateaus come up every 10 lbs. or so, but everyone is different. When you keep doing the same thing you've been doing and suddenly the scale won't budge for a couple of weeks, that's a plateau to push through. Don't let it discourage you or make you stop.
7. Know and remind yourself that after you're done losing the weight, maintaining the weight is a LOT easier. You still have to exercise regularly and watch what you're eating, but to a lesser degree, and when you fudge a bit here and there, it's a LOT easier to reign in one stray pound rather than 20.
8. For snacks, eat fruits or veggies instead of chips or chocolate. Have a banana or carrots with ranch. That way you get your servings of foods that are good for you, plus you're ingesting a LOT less calories. It's an acquired taste, but once you train yourself, you'll feel so much better.
And DON'T snack at night.
9. Make a plan. Get together with your spouse to decide when you could go off without kids in tow to work-out and do something good for yourself. Also, sometimes writing down food options for different meals and snacks helps. And sometimes I keep a food journal when I'm trying to get back on track, where I write down EVERYthing I've ingested that day, including drinks. This helps me find and fight my weak areas and eat better.
10. Eat breakfast. Eat something low in calories and healthy, like a small bowl of cereal with skim milk and a piece of fruit, and this will boost you for the day and help you eat healthier later on. If you eat something unhealthy (like a McDonald's sausage egg and cheese biscuit with a chocolate milk...yum) it'll set that tone for the day, and if you don't eat breakfast at all, you'll be STARVING by lunch and be more likely to eat too much and eat the wrong stuff.
This may seem like a really WEIRD blog to a lot of you, but I know that a lot of us (whether we admit it out loud or not) want to lose some weight, want to fit into one size smaller, etc. And then there are some people out there who just feel gross or are really put out with themselves and their lifestyle. I just wanted to write about this because I don't have super will power or self-control, I like food WAY too much, and I currently have a decent bit of weight to lose, and I wanted other people out there that struggle to know they're not alone, and that they CAN do it. (man this sounds like an info-mercial...take heart since I'm not selling anything) I also wanted to hold myself accountable by posting about my past struggles and what I'm working on losing right now. Tomorrow I will have been working my FANNY off for 2 weeks, and so far I've lost 3 lbs. (after the dramatic weight loss nursing helps with). So really and truly, anybody can do it, and you don't need a pill or a special diet or a drink to help you.
Again, if you guys are all scratching your heads thinking What in the world?! then just excuse this post and look forward to the regularly scheduled program to come :) I just wanted to put it out here in case I'm not the only one.
P.S. If any of my friends out there do care about this and you live in my nearby vicinity, let me know if you ever want to go work-out or walk together! I do a lot better with a friend :)
Posted by Jennifer at 12:37 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Posted by Jennifer at 12:23 PM
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So I've been turning a lot of things around in my head recently (since it stopped swimming due to the major effort of trying to remember how to take care of a newborn :) ), and God has been putting a LOT of things on my heart to ponder - none of them really related all that much, and coming from lots of different arenas, but all on my heart, nonetheless. And since that's what this blog is for, here it goes:
1) I don't talk about God enough, which translates into the fact that I really don't think about Him enough, either. It pains me to say this, but it's also a good thing, because becoming aware of something is a HUGE start to fixing something/making it better. I've especially become aware of this because of Easter, but not just because "everyone needs to hear about Jesus, blah blah blah." Actually, this conviction came when, a couple of days ago, Bennett was talking about the Easter bunny and eggs and candy, and I thought, "Whoa, glad you're excited little dude, but where's the REAL reason at? I want you to know what Easter is REALLY all about." So we talked about it a bit (actually, I talked and Bennett stared at me with a comatose look on his face, but you've gotta start somewhere, and I believe strongly in planting seeds that later flourish). And as I talked I was also thinking, I do not talk to him about the reason behind things with God NEARLY enough. For those of you who know my little buddy or have heard me speak of him at length, you know that he's good to go as long as he has an explanation and understands the whens, wheres and whys behind things. And I thought, "Why on EARTH have I not been actively and purposely pursuing this with the most important thing he'll ever need to know?!" I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been intentional with filling my son with the knowledge of God. Yes, we read the Bible every night and pray at nap time, dinner time and bed time. Yes, I talk to him about how God wants us to obey and why we obey our parents. But that's been the extent of it pretty much, and God is SO MUCH BIGGER than all of that! That being said, in general I'd like to pursue more actively having conversations about my sweet Lord with my friends and loved ones, etc., but I especially want to be intentional about talking to B and J about Him. I know enough to know that it's more important to do this than my feeble human mind can wrap itself around and comprehend. And as if #1 wasn't heavy enough on it's own (when it rains, it pours in my neck of the woods :) ), now on to #2!
2) I NEVER thought I'd say this, and Michael and I haven't even discussed it because I'm still processing, digesting, thinking, etc....Of all things, I read a blog today talking about homeschooling, and this mom was talking about WHY she home schools her FOUR boys. Let me say first, I've heard MANY reasons inside and out about why people choose to do this, and I've known many people that I respect and admire who have chosen to do this. Nevertheless, I have always stuck to my decision that that was NOT the road our family would take and was not an option for me and my kiddos. I have many reasons for this, some of them personal, some spiritual, etc., but upon reading this blog, I was shocked to be truly touched and convicted and given something to really CHEW on when it comes to the decision to home school. Benito is only 2, so I've got plenty of time to decide, but frankly I'm shocked that I'm even considering it (NO offense AT ALL intended to those of you who choose to home school - in fact I admire you greatly. This was simply my personal decision, and now I'm rocked to find the possibility of changing my mind. It's a bizarre feeling). To sum it up (even though there's no way I'll do it justice), this blog mainly talked about our responsibility to teach our children everything we can about our God in heaven - to make Him known, to show our children the correct path, to equip them to be strangers in this world and to glorify God rather than succumbing to society, and how HUGE this is. It talked about how when a child starts going off to school, we suddenly have only 2-3 hours a day to make an impact, to off-set any negative things they've learned or put stock in, to continue knowing our children intimately, etc. TIME was this woman's #1 reason for home-schooling, and the reason hit home with me. In some ways, 18 years sounds like a LONG time to raise my children, but in other ways, it's no time at all. 2 1/2 years has FLOWN with my little buddy. Anyway, nobody needs to go gettin' their panties in a wad or what-not, just wanted to share and blog about these new feelings I'm having about the idea. I haven't even begun reconciling the hows and whos and my patience/tolerance level, etc. So as you can read, I've got lots to pray about!!
3) I think I'm going to write a book. I've been wanting to write a book (and have attempted several times) since I was in middle school, but more and more I can't get the thought out of my head. I have a main character, a plot, a hook, etc., so in my "spare" time (HA!), I'm going to plow away. I've become inspired and convicted, and I think I need a new outlet for creativity these days, so off I go. I'll let you know how/if/when it progresses to more than just an idea in my head, but actually becomes words, paragraphs and chapters on paper.
And there's a run-around inside my head for the day. Amazing. Mommies really do have lives, desires, goals and dreams apart from their burping, slurping, pooping, crazy babies and toddlers! (but don't be surprised if the next post is back to your normally scheduled program...i.e. more pictures and updates of my fellas...I can't help myself, I kinda like them :) ).
Posted by Jennifer at 6:41 PM
Friday, April 3, 2009
Whoa, buddy, gotta be KIDDING me about those first couple of weeks! I cannot tell a lie: They were tough, I cried a bit, I was anxious, and didn't see an end in sight (patience is NOT one of my virtues). I felt like I was slugging through the mud, and couldn't figure out how to make things work right again. Having two kids is a LOT different from one, that's for sure!! I wanted to say this to document the difficulty, and also to make it public so that others who have or are going to figure out having more than one in the near future, will know that it ate my lunch at first. However, in the third week we've turned a corner. Things are looking up, I'm figuring things out, and we actually have a schedule that's worked fabulously this week! :) So now, needless to say, I feel a little silly for the drama that was me around our house for the first couple of weeks - hee :)
Okay, so here's an update in pictures and info, especially for family and friends who can't be here with us on a regular basis.
First off, an update on Jasper. My initial assessment about his disposition is holding firm (and I'm SO glad :) ). He's an easy going baby who only cries when he feels a cold wipe on his rear (who wouldn't cry over that?), is hungry, or is ready to be put down for a nap. Amazing kid. I keep thinking, "Lord, you are just SO good to us." I send up lots and lots and LOTS of praises for this sweet baby, because he's more wonderful than I could have imagined. Truly. I thought Bennett was an easy baby, but this kiddo takes the cake.
We're working on getting his weight back up to what it was when he was born. We've been going in every week to monitor this because he's been stuck at 7lbs. even for two weeks. He eats, sleeps, and functions GREAT in all ways, so we're thinking either he's just catching up late, or he's not absorbing the nutrients like he should (the doc thinks it's most likely the former, and nothing to be concerned about), so we're keeping an eye on the little guy.
He's getting stronger and more alert. He seeks out faces and sounds now, and attempts to hold his head up for a few seconds at a time, and also does the dreaded "lurch" move, where he swings his head, body and appendages in unpredictable places at unfortunate times :) Man, I LOVE babies!! This phase passes so quickly, I'm trying so hard to soak it all in.
He reminds me of a teeny tiny new puppy, especially when he fusses and cries. He has some pretty good lung power when he gets really good and mad (which doesn't happen much), but for the most part he sounds like a whimpering little pup. It's the sweetest thing. Bennett was a screamer and a half :)
As of this week, we've gotten onto our schedule and our little one is doing great on it, which is a great stress reliever for me - I like knowing what's going to happen and when :) Jasper is now waking up only once a night to feed, which is great, and about the same thing Bennett did, too, at this time.
Now onto my sweet Benito. Man, this kid rocks my socks. Having the baby around has definitely prodded him more quickly into the "twos" stage of life, where he says no just to say it, exercises his choices, takes pride in the little things, asks the same question over and over and OVER again, and repeats everything he hears. He's really had a mind-spurt since the baby has come home. There are some discipline issues we've cracked down on and he's doing really well now with adjusting. Bennett LOVES LOVES LOVES Jasper, and this is WONDERFUL for our family. He constantly "holds," touches, and "plays" with his brother. I thought Jasper's crying would really bother Bennett, and it does to an extent, but he's very accepting of an explanation about why he's crying, and goes on about his business (it's also very nice that Jasper doesn't cry much in the first place). We've had a lot of fun together this week since I really mapped out what our days will look like. We've even ventured out to the library, the park, and a walk around the block :) This kid is a trooper, and he really seems to be enjoying our "new" family (praise God!).
Bennett says and does the FUNNIEST things now. I love the two year old mind-set. The other day at Mimi's house he was eating a piece of cheese, and as my mom and I were talking, he got really quiet. I turned to investigate and found him proudly displaying said cheese (with bite marks visible) on the front of her brand new refrigerator. He'd go off to play with something else, come back, remove the cheese magnet to take another bite, then stick it back and go off again. HA! Today he was waiting to go outside with daddy and he said, clear as day, "I am SO excited!" And best of all, for the first time yesterday, when we were riding home after I picked him up from school, he said, "I love you, Mommy." I whipped my head around and looked to see the biggest, sweetest smile on his face. I've never prompted or taught him to say this, because I wanted him to say it on his own when he figured out what it meant and until he wanted to say it, so it was the sweetest of sweet things to hear it come out of his innocent little mouth, knowing he did it all by himself :) Goodness, I'm blessed!
And without further ado, some pictures of our two munchkins for your viewing pleasure:
(I've been messing around with our new camera and the software Michael downloaded on our computer - I'm LOVING the results!)
Our Sweet Benji
Precious Little J.
Posted by Jennifer at 3:54 PM