Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Meg's Healthy Holidays

Oh hey there! Do y'all even remember me???? 
So as most of you know, after the birth of my second precious baby I lost 90 pounds. Well when I got pregnant with my third Little, old habits crept back into my life and I gained 50 pounds back. Womp womp.. 
After Vivi was born, I COULD NOT lose the baby weight. I stalled out at 165 pounds and the scale would not move. I just kind of gave up, got discouraged, gave into old binge eating cycles and ended up gaining an extra 15 pounds putting me back up to 180 pounds. NOT OKAY!!

I finally broke down when shirts I wore at 8 months pregnant were becoming tight on my 5 month postpartum body, I knew something had to change. I had tried weight watchers again, which is what I used the first time I lost the weight, but I just abused the flexibility. I needed something concrete, black and white, to help regain my self discipline. 
I ordered the 21 Day Fix* and I am absolutely so, so glad that I did. 
My results from my first round were amazing!! I lost the extra 15 pounds and 5 inches in my waist!! 

I am so excited to start my second round and see MORE results. I am in love guys. This has helped me recharge my drive and absolutely helped squash the binge eating habits. 

This leads me to my next challenge. Surviving the Holidays... 
I love food. I mean obviously right??? But so does my family. 
I know they mean well when they say things like "Oh, just a little won't hurt you!!" and that's true, but I never know if I will be able to stop at "just a little". Once a binge eater, always a binge eater. I have to work so hard every day to stay away from triggers. 
If you don't already know, I LOVE Instagram. My instagram fam is AMAZING!! I love the support I have received as I trudge along this new journey and deal with all of my struggles and celebrate my triumphs.
From now until Christmas I will be using the hashtag ---->  #megshealthyholidays. If you are struggling this season to stay on track, or just need support, I want you to know that I am here in any way I can be, whether to help keep you on track, or just to listen to you complain about how much pie will be thrust in your face. You can use the hashtag or just message me for support. But I want you to know that if you are stuck or unmotivated or just straight up losing faith, please know that I AM HERE for you. WE CAN DO THIS together. 

All My Love, 

*I am not affiliated with the 21 Day Fix or Beachbody, I just really love the program and got great results. You do not have to be doing the 21 Day Fix to participate, you can use any method you would like!!! I am just here for you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Autumn Update

My dear sweet friends, I have been so supremely busy! Life with my three babies and being a babysitter means I am constantly pulled in opposite directions! I am squeezing in a moment to type this while both of my little girls nap and the bigger two are at preschool.
I should probably be cleaning, or prepping lunch...

Since school started, we have not had one free weekend. Mason has soccer, Ellie had a Birthday, we've done some major landscaping, and at some point we will be tackling the task of painting our living room/stairwell/upstairs hallway. Last weekend we went apple picking and rode some fun apple themed rides. We have an Octoberfest gathering this weekend, a wedding next weekend.
 I feel like I never have a moment to just stop and catch my breath. So this is me taking a moment to breathe and to soak up all of the little moments we have had since school started.

Mason and Ellie LOVE school. They have the best teachers and school staff and we are so blessed to have them attend the Presbyterian Preschool. Mason is in the challenge class this year and is working hard on writing his letters, mastering phonetics and polishing his social skills. Ellie is in the 3's class and is working on discovering new things and making some friends aside from her brother, who she tells me is her best friend.
Vivienne is almost 5 months old and is the happiest baby I have ever met in my life. She nurses like a rock star and loves sweet potatoes, squash and apples. She's working on sitting unassisted and loves to chew on everything she can get her hands on. She is starting to have some stranger anxiety, but she's usually all smiles.

The kids are looking forward to Halloween and the upcoming Holiday season. Mason already has a Christmas list started(has anyone else heard of a Zippybed??) and Eleanor is counting the days until she can wear her Princess Ariel costume.

I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your Autumn!

All My Love,

Monday, June 29, 2015

Busy life, a Baptism and beach bum plans.

Well friends, it has been a hot minute since I blogged. Adjusting to life with three small children and getting back into the swing of babysitting, plus general Summer fun has left my blog on the back burner. Most days I have to choose between catching up on sleep, breakfast or working out. Lately getting in a run is winning! 

Our sweet Vivienne was Baptized yesterday! It was a beautiful Church service and miss Vivi did fabulous. I cannot tell you how much I thank God every day that she is such an easy, happy baby. 

Pastor Rob talked about us ALL being brothers and sisters in Christ and how much damage loneliness and alienation cause. It was a beautiful sermon and hit several spots in Matt and I's hearts as we continue to deal with some family issues. Please say a prayer for our guidance. 

I have really tried to stay on track lately with my eating and exercise. It has been really tough to see the scale staying exactly where I started, but since I am breastfeeding it will probably just take some extra time. I am not one of those lucky ladies who loses weight just through breastfeeding. My fat clings to me more! I have lost inches though, so I am seeing some results. 

We are planning our first BIG vacation. We are heading to Gulf Shores and Pensacola Florida in August! (Kelly, how far is that from you?!) We are driving and I am panicking a little bit about the 13 hour drive with small children. 
Matt and I decided that we would way rather have experiences than the latest and greatest stuff, so this will be the first of many traveling with children adventures! 

Also, I have missed my favorite blog ladies!! Kelly, Emily and Lindsay, I think about you every single day!! 

All My Love, 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vivienne Ruth

So my heart could not possibly be any more full and I don't think it's possible to be any more tired. 
On Tuesday May 5th at 7:57AM, our sweet Vivienne Ruth was born. She weighed 7lbs, 1oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. She has long, skinny fingers and long toes and a head full of black hair. We could not be any more smitten with her. She is peaceful and calm and she stares into your soul with her enormous blue eyes. 

Surgery went relatively smoothly. There was some internal bleeding, but they got that fixed up quickly and I have been recovering well. I was able to walk by Tuesday afternoon, so Mason and Ellie came to visit that evening and meet their baby sister. 

Mason and Ellie are adjusting, sometimes beautifully and other times not so much. They adore their baby Vivienne, just not how much mommy is unavailable right now. 

Breastfeeding has been a breeze so far(can I just take a minute to say PRAISE JESUS!!). Mason and Ellie both didn't take to breastfeeding and we had a lot of sleepless nights, crying infants and stressed out parents, so feeding Vivienne has been a really great experience so far. 

There are moments when I can't believe we have three tiny humans, relying completely on us to keep them alive and other moments when I cannot even remember what life was like just two short weeks ago. 

Having three children has certainly been an adjustment for Matt and I. Two children seems to be the maximum number for efficiency, so it makes things like getting breakfast after church and taking walks together much more complicated. Sidewalks are not adequate for pushing a double stroller AND a jogging stroller. In fact we thought maybe Mason would just walk beside us and we'd be ok with just the double stroller still..

They ended up trying to sit like this for our entire walk. We made it one block folks until there was a meltdown of EPIC proportions. 

Getting a table for 9 for breakfast after church is kind of tricky too. A table for 8, easy peasy! But throwing in that extra space for Vivi's car seat, that just throws the restaurant for a loop. 
Also the logistics of getting three children ready for any activity can be challenging, especially when the newborn is hungry, the toddler wants to dress herself(which usually equals backwards and/or inside out clothing) and the 4 year old keeps insisting he's too tired to do anything but lay on the floor and complain about how tired he is. 

So far these are our biggest hurdles and for that, I am so thankful.

Vivienne has already completely changed our lives and she has been worth every sleepless minute so far. My heart might probably explode from the amount of love I have for all three of our beautiful children. 

All My Love, 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Temptations Snacky Mouse review

Have you heard of Influenster? I had heard of Influenster before, but I just recently became a member. Y'all I am kicking myself for not signing up sooner! You write reviews and opinions of products, fill out short surveys and receive FREE products to test and review based on your social influence. I am all about free stuff! 
I signed up in February and have already received two free VoxBoxes! It's so much fun! Here's a link to sign up if you haven't yet!

My first VoxBox was the Temptations Snacky Mouse and Temptations treats for my kitty to try. 

Now I received these products for free, but all opinions are entirely my own. 
My kitty is 7 years old and particular about her treats and toys and she LOVES her Snacky Mouse.
It is super easy to use and really affordable. These are the first treats we have found that she will eat. She will meow at me until I refill her Snacky Mouse. I can't wait to use my coupons to try other flavors of the Temptations treats! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Coffee cannot fix this tired.

Today is a drink all the coffee and let the Little's watch all of the Daniel Tiger day. I don't think I have ever been less motivated to do anything in my life. I am tired y'all. I am pretty sure I have entered some sort of hibernation period to prepare for our newest Little. I must have looked as bad as I felt yesterday at Church because I received quite a few hugs and a lot of sympathetic looks. I promise I am fine just exhausted.

I will not let my exhaustion stop me from being grateful today though. Today I am grateful for rainy Mondays that allow me an excuse to not put on real pants. I am grateful for these last few weeks as a mommy of two. I am grateful for the calm before the storm. I am grateful for this season in my life. Soon I won't even remember what life was like before our third baby arrives and I want to cherish these little moments with Mason and Ellie.

This week is considerably less busy than last week, and I am super glad.
Right now my biggest project is finding Thomas the Train balloons for Mason's birthday party. That is the only thing he specifically requested and it is proving to be a bigger challenge then I anticipated.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!
All My Love,

Monday, April 6, 2015

Grateful Heart and Easter Blessings

Happy Chocolate Coma day! I hope you all had a beautiful and blessed Easter! 

Yesterday was a fabulously beautiful day. We had a wonderful Communion service at Church. The sermon yesterday really spoke to me. Pastor Rob's main point was Whom Are You Looking For? Like Mary Magdalene, who was so focused on finding Jesus that she almost missed him assuming him to be a gardener, we come to Church often searching for Jesus, but Jesus already has us in the palm of his hands. He knows us by name. He walks in our lives everyday. He suffered our sins and conquered death to sit with God in Heaven and he lives. Amen!

After Church, we headed to Matt's moms house for brunch. It is always so fun to spend time with the Boeckman clan! Mason and Ellie got to play with their cousins and the bigger kids hid Easter eggs for the little ones.
Ellie is a super competitive little lady and a MASTER egg hunter. That girl does not mess around. She puts her basket at one central point and RUNS to all of the eggs she can find, piles them into her arms and carries the entire handful back to her basket.
Mason is definitely a Ferdinand the Bull. He follows rules, he takes his time and he does things exactly how they should be done and he stops to pick dandelions along the way.
I love watching their personalities blossoming as they get older.
Mason, calmly and orderly collecting his eggs.

Ellie, with her arms full and her feet carrying her as fast as possible back to her basket.
After brunch we headed to lunch with my Parents, Grandparents, Eddie and Nikki, Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. I ate so much food in a terribly short amount of time. Both of our families definitely know how to cook!
The kids enjoyed another Easter egg hunt, bringing the total up to four this last weekend. They got so many eggs and had so much fun hunting them and sorting them. In fact last night as the kids and Matt were sorting the eggs and different candies, Mason said "This is the most fun in my life!" It really is the little things folks.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
Today, on this Grateful Heart Monday, I am so thankful for Mason and Ellie being able to spend this time with their Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. I am very, very close to my Grandparents and I am so glad my kids have an opportunity to be close to their Grandparents as well. Living near our Parents and Grandparents has been a huge blessing for Matt and I as well. There is always someone close by who can, and will, drop whatever they are doing if we need anything. It really does take a village to raise a family, and we have a huge village, support system and cheering section. Thank you dear, sweet family. We love you!!

We are gearing up for a super busy season in our lives. This week starts the beginning of my weekly doctors appointments, Mason has soccer on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I have a couple meetings at Church the next two weeks and my mom and I are serving lunch at the Ken Locke adult housing apartments this weekend. Mason has school pictures this week, and goes to preschool Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also babysit Tuesday-Thursday, a six month old, and provide before and after school care for my best friends daughter. Mason's birthday is the 24th, and I still need to do some shopping for his Thomas the Train party. I also would like to squeeze in a pedicure and some last minute shopping for a few hospital essentials. This last month of my pregnancy is going to FLY by and we will be holding a sweet baby girl in our arms before we can blink. I am trying to take life a few minutes at a time and not be overwhelmed. I am trying to enjoy the last few weeks of my first "normal" pregnancy and soak in the time I have with Mason and Ellie before we completely change the dynamic of our family. I am trying not to compulsively clean our house and let the Littles make messes and just be little for a while longer because life will soon be a blur and I want to slow down and enjoy this last bit of just being a family of four. 

All My Love, 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday reflection.

This week has been crazy.
Mason was on Spring Break this week and he doesn't do well with routine changes and neither kiddo has felt well all week, so this has led to lots of fighting and tears. 
We did squeeze in some fun, like a picnic at the park and a trip to the movie theatre to see Home. It was a really cute movie and both kids sat through the entire thing, although Ellie ate way too much popcorn and SweetTarts and drank way too much orange soda and got sick into the empty popcorn bucket. We have been "those people" all week. All of our tantrums, epidsodes and my mommy fails have really helped me reflect on Holy Week. I have been so, so stressed, but then I think of how Jesus must have felt walking toward his impending death. My week hasn't been that tough. 
Christ died for me, so that I may be whole and healed. He made the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. God gave his only son for my life. I think of Mary today. I imagine her anguish watching her child be tortured, shamed, humiliated and hung on a cross. It makes me weep with her, for her. My own struggles are nothing. Thanks be to God. 

All My Love,

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monster Cookie Protein Balls

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!

Mason had his first soccer game of the season this weekend. He did such a great job! I couldn't believe that the little ones play for a whole hour. He was wiped out when they finished. He had a lot of fun though! We even went to "Chick a Leg" (Chic-Fil-A) after to celebrate. I can't believe how big and smart this Little is getting. He also has a memory like a steel trap, so don't screw up around him, or he'll remind you about it for the next 6 months.
He was so excited to wear his soccer shirt.
He's the one in front, getting ready to kick the ball into play. 

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
Today I am thankful for Spring. I am thankful for the new life and joy this season brings. I am thankful for our tiny veggie sprouts that have started to pop up. I am thankful for the chance to be active with my family.
I am thankful that we spent most of our weekend outside. It was so, so beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny. We grilled every chance we had and it made me suuuuppppper excited for Summer. Grilled Summer veggies are my favorite!

We are getting into nicer weather, which means more time spent outside and active! I made these a few weeks ago and I have gotten a few requests for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with y'all. These are so tasty and so easy to grab before or after a workout and they seriously taste like a monster cookie. You could even grab a few for a quick breakfast on the go. 
Monster Cookie Protein Balls:
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup of organic honey
pinch of salt
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder{I use ItWorks Vanilla ProFit}
2 cups of oats{I used old fashioned oats because I like the texture in mine, but they might get a little softer if you use quick oats}
1/3 cup of mini m&m's

Mix the honey, peanut butter, and pinch of salt together. I used my stand mixer, but you can do it by hand. It would be a great workout and a reason to eat one of these bad boys immediately!
Add in the protein powder. Once protein powder is mixed into the peanut butter mixture, add in all of your oats. It should from a pretty stiff ball. Hand mix in your m&m's so they don't break. 
Shape into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate and enjoy, or eat immediately as fast as possible because these are so good :) 

All My Love, 

Friday, March 20, 2015

5 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy

I'm going to share a little secret with you all...I have a bad habit of not watching shows when they first come out, so I haven't seen Modern Family. I KNOW! Where have I been?! And let me tell you how hard I am kicking myself for not watching this show sooner, because Cam is my spirit animal. 
This is all of me, especially this one lately:

I am blaming my third trimester hormones for this last one. I have been so emotional lately. I am trying to remember that the hormones will stabilize after the baby is here and I shouldn't be crazy, but it's tough friends. I take things super personally when I'm not pregnant, so everything is amplified by 1,000 now. 
I also haven't been sleeping well, and that doesn't help. 
Which brings me to my next point, 

5 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy:
1. You will lose your mind. I wish I was kidding, but between pregnancy brain{which is so, so real} and hormones making you happy, mad, sad, and every shade of emotion in between, your brain will be a useless puddle. 

2. You will develop weird skin issues that you never had before. With Mason, I had awful acne. With Ellie, I had this weird bump that would develop on my eyelid and then go away only to reappear the next week. With this Little, I have rashes that come and go on my legs. Hooray! 

3. You might not crave crazy things like pickles and ice cream, but there will come a day when you absolutely NEED Chinese food and if you don't get it, it will become all you think about and it will haunt your dreams at night. Husbands, if your wife ever says, "do you know what sounds good?", you listen and make it happen. Remember number 1? She's crazy already, just get her whatever sounds good, don't ask questions and rub her feet for good measure. 

4. You will be exhausted by 3pm. You will feel great all day and you will find yourself thinking "This is so easy! Why do people complain?? I can do EVERYTHING I did before I was pregnant!" This is a lie that your crazy brain is telling you. By 3pm you will have realized that dragging 3 kids to the grocery store, organizinging the pantry, mopping all of the floors and having a dance party with those same three children was the worst mistake of your life. I could tell you to take it easy, but you're a mom, that's not real life folks. 

5. It is WORTH IT. It is worth every moment of struggle. No pregnancy lasts forever. You WILL feel normal again, I promise! Just hang on and warn everyone that you love to be extra nice, because you have mush brain, Chinese food haunting your dreams and the urge to clean everything you own while simultaneously napping. 

All My Love, 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Grateful Heart: My Husband

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
This weekend was full of things to be grateful for, but today I am grateful for my husband.
I have talked a little about Matt on my blog, never really much in detail, but this guy deserves the spotlight.

I met the man that I would marry in high school. Well, I was in high school, he was a rock star in a local band.
I worked at Hot Topic in our mall and he came into the store and gave me a demo of his bands CD.
He was{and is still} so handsome.
We went on our first date the day before I started my senior year of high school, almost 10 years ago this August. 
He was my escort for my homecoming and prom, even though he was waaaayyy too cool for that. 
FIY this dress was my mom's for her junior prom, I think. I LOVED this dress. I spent HOURS sewing on the gold sequins to the top.

We're on the far right. Check out Matt's blonde mohawk folks.

We spent every possible moment together that year. We went to concerts, his band's concerts and other bands we loved, we went to movies, we talked on the phone{that was still a thing!} we dreamed and planned.
I knew that I loved him, this boy that was still just a boy.   
When I was making college decisions, Matt quit the band and came with me to Benedictine in Atchison, Kansas.
We were scene before scene was a thing yet.

He proposed on Christmas break our Freshman year of college. I obviously said yes, but I had no idea what we would be faced with, or how difficult things would be at times. I did know, however, that I loved him, with my entire soul.  
We were just babies! This was taken with a disposable camera and then scanned onto my computer. My phone didn't take pictures then, ha!

We moved to Springfield, MO in the summer of '07. Matt had decided to pursue an Engineering degree and Benedictine didn't offer an engineering program then. 
We moved into our first apartment in June and both found jobs before school started in the Fall. I worked in a daycare from 6AM-6PM and went to school for a few hours in between working. Matt went to school in the afternoon and worked every night until 10PM and worked every weekend as well. We saw very little of each other. 

After living in Springfield for a year, we bought our first house.
We moved in June of '08. It was a cute little house that we put our heart and soul into fixing up and making our own. 
That Fall as we prepped for our wedding, I was going to school, working at the daycare, working at Hot Topic in the Springfield mall, and working in a Sunday School for an Episcopal church. Matt was going to school and working full time at O'Reilly. The most time we spent together was probably the week before and after our wedding that year.

We were married on December 20th, 2008 in the church that my grandparents, and parents were married in and our current church home.  
One of my favorite photos from that day.

Marrying this man, was the best thing I have ever done.

Nailed it.
After we were married, we saw very little of each other, which is never easy. We were both still growing and learning who we were as our own people, as well as who we were as a couple. It was very lonely for both of us. Work and school dominated our lives because we knew the end result would be worth all of the sacrifice. Our marriage took a backseat and suffered dearly, but we both held on because we knew God had a plan for us, for our lives, and I was not giving up on the boy, now man, that I was still so in love with.

When Matt graduated, we didn't know how to move forward as a couple. Mason was a year old and I was pregnant with Ellie. Things were strange and difficult because we had spent our entire marriage waiting for this moment and now it was here and we didn't know quite what to do to fix our relationship, but God knew.
God worked in both of our hearts to fix the heartache and strangeness that was our marriage. We spent the first 3 years of our lives together as husband and wife, basically apart, but God pulled those strings that still tethered Matt's heart to mine and drew us together and drew us closer to Him.
We did not have an easy road in the beginning, but it has been worth every rocky step. I would still choose this life, over and over.

Last year, we renewed our vows in front of family and friends, in the same spot we had made our original vows.

God gave us a chance to be newlyweds and I am so, so grateful for this opportunity to continue to fall in love with the man that I have loved since I was 17.

We have now been married for 6 years.
Matt is everything I could have ever asked for in a partner, husband, best friend.
Today, I am grateful for him. I am grateful for a God of second chances. I am grateful for pure stubbornness. I am grateful, that even when people specifically try to tear us down, we are there to build each other up and encourage one another. I am grateful for people who help to build up our marriage, instead of tear it down. I am grateful for a love that continues to grow. 
I love you Matthew. 

"But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man seperate." Mark 10:6-9

What are you grateful for today?

How can I pray for you?

All My Love, 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Busy life and a prayer journal.

We have had the craziest week.

Mason woke up Tuesday morning at 5 and threw up all over his bedroom floor. I don't do vomit very well, so God bless Matt, who is the best dad and husband, he cleaned up Mason and the floor while I moved Ellie into our room. We made pallets in our room and tried to lay both kids back down, but Ellie wasn't having any of it, so she and I went downstairs and let the boys go back to sleep. Mason woke up at 7:30 and we didn't have any more puking, but he did have other tummy trouble the rest of the day, so I spent my day cleaning both bathrooms repeatedly, sanitizing every item in my house and washing every sheet, blanket, stuffed animal and rug. So far no one else has been hit with it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an isolated incident.

Yesterday he was feeling much better, so we let him go to his first soccer practice. 
There is nothing cuter than a bunch of preschoolers learning how to play soccer. 
Mason did so good!! Matt and I were a little nervous because Mason is the youngest on his team since he won't be 4 until the end of April, but he was the tallest one on his team and he participated and listened to his coaches so well!

I really have to buckle down and meal prep for Wednesday's since his soccer practice is at 5:30. We got home last night at 6:30 and I didn't have anything ready for dinner, so we didn't eat until 7:15. The Littles were not impressed.

We are on serious baby countdown and our calender is alarmingly full right up to my c-section date. Matt's dad broke his wrist, so Matt will be helping on Saturdays at the meat shop and some evenings after work since grilling season is kicking off. My Deacon responsibilities have started also, so we will be busy little beavers right up until our newest Little's birthday.

I am currently working on a naptime craft for the playroom, and I can't wait to show you all! We desperately need to repaint, but that will have to wait for a while. We made the mistake of using a satin finish in the playroom. With small children, we definitely need a high gloss so I can wipe off the peanut butter, marker and dirt without wiping off our paint.

Thanks to my beautiful friend Emily, at Ember Grey, I was inspired to start a prayer journal. I always find myself hollering quick prayers at God throughout the craziness of my day and Emily posted about her prayer journal, which I thought would be a great way to focus and center my thoughts instead of yelling them up to the Heavens in my head while I make grilled cheese sandwiches.

How can I pray for you today?

All My Love,

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grateful Heart: Gender doesn't define you.

Yesterday as I was taking Mason to use the potty at an event that was all men, except myself and Eleanor, Mason realized there was no soap in the tiny restroom. Since we are sticklers for hand washing, I knew he would lose his child mind if I tried to explain that it was okay in this instance not to wash his hands, especially because he had been playing outside and his hands were naturally filthy. I quickly scanned the scene and noticed some Dawn dish soap. I grabbed it off the counter, squirted some of the bubbly blue liquid into his hands and turned to shut the door again. As I turned around to replace the soap, a man came in to use the restroom and as soon as he saw me he said "oh, is she cleaning it?"
Now I understand it probably looked strange me exiting a bathroom with Dawn dish soap, but who uses Dawn to clean a restroom and why on earth did he address all of the men in the room and not me, the "she" he was referring to who was standing right in front of him. This immediately hit the sore spot in my soul that is "the role of a woman".
I just looked at him for a moment, waiting for him to laugh or give me a just kidding, or acknowledge ME at all, but he stood there just staring, so I spoke directly to him "um, nope, I'm just taking my son to the bathroom." 
I hope he treats his wife with more respect.

Yesterday, was fittingly, Women's Sunday at Church. 
I, along with the other women in my Church were blessed to lead an entire service. 
I love being a part of a church where women can not only participate in missions, but we can LEAD. We are part of the governing body. We aren't delegated to the kitchens or nurseries. We can be Deacons, Elders, and Ministers. 

I am so grateful to be a woman. I am so grateful to have such beautiful and inspiring women in my life.

I am also so grateful to be able to raise my son to be respectful and understanding that ANYONE can do ANYTHING. We are all different. We all have different qualities, abilities and talents and that is what makes us beautiful. I am grateful to teach him to be respectful of everyone. I am grateful to teach him to be polite, use his manners, and to be kind to every person he meets. I am grateful to teach him that he can be smart and handsome and successful and he can do it with respect and kindness.

I am grateful to teach my daughter that while being a mom was my career choice, she is more than capable of doing ANYTHING in her life, just as I am capable. She can be smart AND beautiful and she should never be ashamed of either. She can be an astronaut or an engineer, a fashion designer or a surgeon. There is no limit for her.

I am grateful to teach my children that gender does not define you.
"There is no longer Jew, nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cheesy Bell Pepper Bites

I have been so under the weather this last week. I have doubled up on my Greens and I have been trying to watch my diet more in hopes of shaking this sinus trouble, but nothing has helped. Breathe right strips and mentholatum are my BFF's. If I could just get some decent rest in, I could probably kick this illness to the curb, but that's not real life y'all.

We finished our kitchen project Sunday! I am so thrilled with how it turned out. 

Unfortunately, I don't think our sink has been empty of dishes since we finished the project, so all of my photos have some sort of clutter in them, but that's reality in my house. I have an almost 4 year old, a two year old and I am 31 weeks pregnant, my house won't be decluttered completely for the next 20 years. 

I'm kind of scared to cook anything for fear of getting our beautiful new cabinets messy, but I did get brave today and try out a fun new snack though! 
Cheesy Bell Pepper Bites:
4 mini peppers
2 light string cheese sticks

Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds. Cut string cheese into fourths and stuff each 1/4 of cheese into a pepper slice. I broiled these for about 3 minutes, but they weren't as melty as I would have liked so next time I'll bake them first and then broil them if they need some color. 

These were delicious! They felt like a super decadent treat from all the string cheese, but it was only 130 calories for 8 pieces! 

I have been suuuuuper struggling with any form of diet lately. I am tired and sick and have just been giving in to all of my cravings. I have gained more weight already than I originally wanted too and that's been kind of depressing also. I am unofficially back to following the Weight Watchers structure. It is my best option since I can eat anything I want as long as I stay within my point range. It gives me a little more options and definitely hope that I will be able to shake the baby weight pretty quickly after Little Miss gets here. Once I'm back within a more comfortable number on the scale I will focus more on cleaner eating. 

I hope you all have a great Thursday! 

All My Love,

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kitchen Remodel for UNDER $130

So when we bought our house in 2013 we knew that we would need to do some work to our kitchen. Check out these photos from our realtor.

The beadboard around the bottom was painted navy blue friends. Who does that to perfectly good beadboard in a 1930's house?! The top of the kitchen was a dirty yellow beige.

Here is our kitchen in all of its glory before we moved in. I don't even want to talk about the horrible tile they have as a counter top. I am so thankful to have a husband who is as handy as he is smart. Matt is pouring me concrete countertops to round out our kitchen project!

Here is our kitchen as of Friday evening. Matt was in such a hurry to get started that I didn't get any good before pictures without the tornado of junk and cabinets already missing.

Our refrigerator literally had artwork falling off of it. Mason knows that when he brings home art from school, I will hang it up on the fridge, but lately he's been putting EVERYTHING onto the fridge. I found a piece of notebook paper with one Thomas sticker on the back hung up in that mess. My next project will be a place for Mason and Ellie to proudly display their art without wading through paper to get my coffee creamer out in the morning. In fact when I cleaned off the fridge to move it, Mason went in to get his cup and he looked at me with such confusion and said, "How do I open this?" You know it's bad when your child can't even recognize the same refrigerator.

We started the project by taking off all of the cabinet doors and marking the hinges, pulls and screws for each one and putting a label on each door corresponding with the correct cabinet.

Nymphadora supervised from the window sill.

My living room was the holding place for all of our kitchen and dining room items. Can you spot the cat? She was not impressed by our mess.

We had 3 big tables set up to house all of our wet cabinet fronts.
We sanded each door and the base of the cabinets with 100 grit sand paper, cleaned up the sanding dust and painted the first coat of primer. We then sanded again, cleaned the cabinets and primed again.

Here is the bottom half of our cabinet bases primed once.
Once we had everything primed twice, we sanded again with 220 grit paper, wiped everything clean and laid our first coat of paint and repeated the process again.

Here is a basic breakdown of what we did: sanded with 100 grit paper, cleaned, primed, sanded with 100 grit paper, cleaned, primed, sanded with 220 grit paper, cleaned, painted, sanded with 220 grit paper, cleaned, final coat of paint.

The primer we used was a sealant, water based primer. We used Dutch Boy cabinet and trim paint in Whispering White.

Here are the final results!

My kitchen is so much brighter! It looks 10x's bigger than before. The best part is that we completely changed the look of our kitchen for UNDER $130!
Paint and Primer: $60 both purchased at Menards
New décor: $50 worth of Hobby Lobby finds
New rug: $14(marked down from $49.99 at Kohls, plus I had an extra 20% off)
$124 total.

I replaced the gold hardware on our glass front cabinets with these pulls from Hobby Lobby and I am obsessed!!

I also put our 8 boxes of cereal into this cute basket for the top of our fridge and then kicked myself for not thinking of this sooner!

I LOVE my pressed copper ceiling and the top of my cabinet décor.

I also have a Pyrex obsession. The Early American pattern has a cat on it people.

So again, here is a recap:
BEFORE                                                                                AFTER

I can't wait to get my new concrete counter tops to finish out this project!

All My Love,