About Me

My photo
I am a recovering student, finally free from the grasp of higher education

Friday, July 27, 2012

My new adventure

So here we go.  I have started a new adventure in my life.  Enter Body By ViSalus.  I have to say.  I have worked hard to stay fit.  I have accomplished this many times (because I get lazy or pregnant).  I have done HCG and loved it.  But.. these shakes are the easiest and best tasting way to go.  They nutrition in them is great, the taste is outstanding, there are over 300 recipes to try.  Just pick your favorite treat, dessert, candy etc and it will be posted somewhere. 
The company does a 90 day challenge.  For 90 days you drink 2 shakes a day, weather your goals are weight loss related, fitness related or overall health related.  There are vitamins, appetite suppressant, metabolism booster, neuro energy drinks, cookie snacks.. etc.  So many great ways to make your life and reaching your goals easier.   I want to invite all of you to try, to join me in making yourself healthier, in reaching your goals.

My 90 day Challenge is to increase my lean muscle mass.   I have taken before pictures and at the end of Sept I will post them along with my after pictures.  I have already, in the last 27 days, dropped a size and lost 4 lbs.  Now I don't tout this as a perfect cure.. you still have to put some effort in.. making the shakes will take 2 min out of your day. :)

There are different kits for whatever your goals are.  Let me help you figure out which kit is best for you and how to get these shakes in your belly. 

Call me, email me, comment on this post, contact me anyway you need to.  Ask me questions (my Master's is after all in nutrition).  Join me.  See the results for yourself.  There is a 30 day money back guarantee.. there is nothing to lose (but fat and pounds).
Oh... did I mention that the producer of the Biggest Loser is on board and is starting a new show (starting on the inet) and says it will be BIGGER than the Biggest Loser???

Go to my website here
If you want the nutritional information.. contact me and I'll send it to you.

PS.  Butterfinger, snickers, cinnamon roll, pina colada... those are my favorite meals that I get to eat. 
PPS.. Lets also get your shakes for FREE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Feelings of inadequacy, that's what I'm full of.  Inadequate to convey all of the feelings, the emotions, the love I felt this past weekend.  My family drove down to Haleyville, AL to participate in the Mark A Forester, Price of Freedom Race.  I was able to walk the 31 mile ruck in honor of Mark's 31st birthday on May 15th.  I was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding experiences of my life. We met up with Chris and Caroline Sprayberry, some friends from Tuscaloosa, and after a late dinner, and (trying to sleep with Isabel waking up at 4 am telling me she was ready for her pancake breakfast.... ) I met up with Chris and his brother Chad to drive over to the High School.  We registered and met up with Thad, it was so great to see him, and waited the last few minutes for the walk to begin at 6am.  The first stop was at Mark's grave.  His commander Lt Col. Parkes Hughes said a few inspiring words and led us in memorial pushups.  I was right next to Thad for them and I about lost it.  I miss Mark, I cherish the times I spent with the boys in Tuscaloosa my last two years there.  I still feel full of un-shed tears, unshared grief for his loss.  I am so proud of him, so honored to have known him and I am better for it. 
Welcome sign as we drove in on Friday night.

One hero honoring another.

There are 12 of these sign, I wanted to cry every time I saw one.

Mark's best friend, Rob, and his father Tony.  Rob went back after her finished the walk and walked the last 2 miles with his dad.

Oh a happy funny note.. The three of us (Chris, Chad and myself) were in the front of the group for the first 2 sections (Chris stayed up longer) and we were busting out sub 15 min miles... it was CRAZY fast especially when you take in to account the hills.  If you have never been. North Alabama is much hillier then you would initially think.  By the time we hit mile 16 ish.. my feet hurt.  But after awhile I realized they would hurt whether I walked or ran so I (along with most all the 65+ walkers) ran down the hills. 
I would come to realize later that maybe that wasn't' the best idea I have ever had.  The bruising and swelling was fantastic in me feet. 
Chris and Chad, my walking buddies (we were missing Aubrey in this picture)
This sign made me laugh.  I will always remember Mark saying "Giddy Up"

The fourth leg of the ruck, I had a second wind, probably because I knew my kids and husband were going to be there waiting for me.  It was so fun to see family and get re-energized for the last leg.  I ran into a lot of wonderful people I knew from way back when and I finally had a chance to meet Thad and Mark's parents.  Such special people they are.  I was introduced to Pat Forester by her friend who also taught Thad in primary and Mark in seminary.  We walked the last 2 miles or so of the fourth leg.  It was wonderful to visit with her.
We had an extra walker try and come with us.  I love the face of the girl next to me.

Thad getting the baton, with Mark's name and dates of the walks, from his dad.

Walking up to the Forester home at the last stop
My littlest supporter at stop 4.
Isabel (and John Even, one of my walking buddies' child) cheering on everyone who reached stop 4.

To finish this ruck was awesome.  I had some great comic relief with my walking buddies, especially the last mile or so, we were getting slap happy, Aubrey was also with us most of the way but he thought we were crazy to run as often as we did. :)  Once I heard we were ending the ruck with one lap around the track my goal was to run that lap, and I did.  As soon as I entered the track I heard Isabel yelling "Good Job Mom! Run faster! Run as fast as you can!"  I really wanted to yell back, 'what do you think I'm doing'.
When I look at all of the pictures from that day (go here) I am overcome with gratitude not only for Mark, but for his family, the volunteers and for all of the military men there.  I was able to talk with a few, I did have a hard time striking up some conversations ( I know hard to believe) but talking with Rob Bonnello was awesome.  Rob was Mark's best friend who was charged, by Mark to take care of his body and return it home, among other great experiences they shared.  Rob is a wonderful man.

I sit here reading over this still unsure how to adequately express all I want to.  My heart still aches for the loss the Forester's must endure, for the friend that I lost touch with, for the sacrifice he so willingly gave.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Baby" girl is 6!

Man, I can't believe that not only is Isabel 6, but that we are finishing up her 1st year of school!!  We tried to make her birthday extra special for her this year.  She woke up to a breakfast she has been wanting forever, sausage and biscuits, yes they were awesome.  She got to pick out her favorite food for lunch (although I suddenly have no idea what she picked).  Daddy went and delivered flowers to her after he dropped her off at school and then Mike and I went back up there for afternoon snack time to take ice cream to her class.   Then we brought her home early and she was able to take pictures with Daddy and her flowers.  
I love these two!

my big girl
For dinner that night we headed over to our friends house.  The husband is a chef.  Yep, we are that lucky.  :)  Isabel wanted pizza for dinner, so the kids had that and the adults enjoyed yummy chicken, pork and salmon along with rice and asparagus.  Then my awesome big girl.. she wanted crepes for dessert, no birthday cake, but Nick's awesome crepes...with nutella...and ice cream... and whipped cream.  The her and her friend played for a while AND.....  we got Stella in pig tails!  I'd say a successful birthday.  
seriously.. how good do these look?

opps, not the best picture but she just wanted to eat and was tired of me taking pictures.

yes.. super cute. (and looks a tad like Shrek we decided)


Monday, May 7, 2012

Kansas City Temple

These posts are a tad out of order.  We actually went to the open house the week before March of Dimes.. but at least it's getting posted!  

So I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take Isabel to the Temple.  During the open house is the only time the Temple is open to anyone, regardless of The Church membership or age.  Isabel was pretty excited.  Some friends of ours met us up there as well so we had a group of 10.  Let me tell you, I have been in a handful of Temples... this one is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!  Now to be fair, they are all beautiful and most of them are at least 15 years old.  But, oh goodness, the details (here is where all of my friends who love remodeling old historic homes *Sara Archibald*, would have loved it.) The doors, and handles, amazing.. I want them in my house.  The continuity of finishes, textures.  The foot high maybe 16 in high marble baseboards... the gradient almost ombre color of the blue tiles in the baptismal font.  I was in love.  I would move to K.C just to have that Temple. 

The kids had a great time and loved walking around.  The fountain provided a few moments of fun play for them, before they started to get a bit irreverent with the water.  :)  It was a fast trip for us, we left at 5:30 in the morning and had to be back by 5pm.  I wouldn't have traded that experience with Isabel for anything.  And just because I don't want to wait for blogger on these photos... they are all at the end.  Oh! and how I wish I had a picture of Kyle and Stella, after we had said goodbye in the parking lot, Stella was running after Kyle with her hands outstretched, Kourtney put him down and they hugged and Kyle licked Stella's cheek.  It was one of the cutest things!
Stella not cooperating, but Izzy's cute.
all of us.
helpful big sister trying to get Stella.

Running around, but it's too bright to keep our eyes open.

notice Stella, not wanting Izzy's help.

Someone was done.

but if you give her a cookie....

Me and my babe.

March of Dimes

(I am struggling to learn this whole picture placement with blogger... so sorry if it's hard to read)
 First of all, I want to say thank you to all who donated to our March of Dimes team this year.  We not only reached but surpassed our goal!  We were one excited family this year.  We had some of the same people with our team as we did last year.  Although we did miss the Lenahan's.  This year we had amazing weather.  I think it was around 80-85.   Unlike last year, we arrived early enough to partake in the festivities like the moon bounce, and tunnels (Isabel and I also hit up the tunnels afterwards, who would have thought the hot humid outside air would have felt so good.  It was HOT in those tunnels! Face painting was up on our list of things to do, Isabel decided she wanted to be a cat.. it's the only time in his life Mike has love and accepted a cat into our family.  But then again who can blame him, it was a cute lil' kitty.  She even showed us how kitties run.

My sweet kitty

This is how cats run.
Cat in motion

Jamo, Sheri and James
Dan, Britty and Phoebe

Walking with us this year we had Mike's bro Jameson and his wife Sheri (and lil' James)And we had Dan, Britty and lil' Phoebe from our ward.  It was great to be able to visit with everyone and see the huge sea of people walking thru Forest Park.   They had the Baby BLVD again, it has to be my favorite part of the walk, yet amazingly this year I didn't cry!  Well not until later, but it was fantastic ( they day, not the crying).
The reason we walk.
2012 Team Brooklyn

After the walk we decided to go to try a restaurant I've been wanting to go to for a while... it's call cheese-ology.  Yes... CHEESE-ology.  It's a mac-n-cheese restaurant.  I was in heaven, especially after I saw they had lactate at the registers.  Darn this lactose intolerance thing.  Can I just say... delicious.  We had a strawberry and blue cheese salad followed by black and bleu mac in cheese.  Steak and bleu cheese.  YUM  

I think next year I'm going to run in the 5k before the walk.  I wanted to this year but not getting home from work until 11:30 and Isabel not getting home from her friends until 10p.... it was  a good decision to skip it this time. Can't wait for next year.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter... finally

So I know I am a few weeks behind, but I thought I would finally post about Easter. Easter weekend we had a good time. I had to work on Saturday morning so Mike and the girls went down to Mike's parents and waited for me to get off work. We ran a few errands and then went on a walk. I was proud of Isabel, minus 1/4 of a mile or so she walked all 4 miles of it. I did get to burn some bonus calories when I gave her the piggy back ride for that 1/4 mile. We came home so we could dye eggs, finish dresses and make our bunny cake. Unfortunately I don't have any pics to show for the dyeing party, Mike and Isabel decided coloring should be (just shy of a ) nudist activity. The bunny cake turned out fairly cute. Mike's mom had made a cake and sent us home with it. She used sweet potatoes instead of applesauce and then used Stevia. Now I am not a huge fan of Stevia, I think it tastes really chemically and leaves a numbing sensation on my tongue, but once I made the cream cheese frosting to go with it and added the coconut it was really good. The cake wasn't overly sweet which was really nice and it was moist enough. All in all a successful cake. Especially once Isabel made a crown of toothpicks for bunny.

The only pic I can show of egg dyeing.

Sunday morning we woke up and Isabel found the items that the Easter bunny left for her and Stella. The bunny didn't get a chance to hide the eggs, so we did that after breakfast. And oh, breakfast! We had crepes with nutella, boysenberries and homemade buttermilk syrup. A.MA.ZING. My crepes were finally thin enough too.. usually they are just slightly thinner pancakes, not paper thin like they should be.

 Breakfast was that good.

We headed to church to be filled with the knowledge of Easter and we were not disappointed. I, as usual when I wear my 5 in platform heels, was asked to help out in nursery. Shockingly, the kids were really calm. My friend Becca, who was in there with me, and I decided all the kids were on their crash after the sugar they all ate that morning. When we came home we made dinner and Izzy's favorite, resurrection rolls. I had never made them before and I wanted to do the cookies but there just wasn't enough time in the day on Saturday. So we did crescent rolls with giant marshmallows inside. I have to say.. they were SO YUMMY! Oh and yes we did talk about what the rolls and marshellows, before and after cooking, stood for.

 The bunny cake.. I guess we took off the crown by this point.

All in all it was a successful day. The girls dresses turned out really cute. Isabel's was shredding more than Stella's and in hind sight I should have looked harder for yellow knit (there are no good shades at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby) or a soft pink.. (again no good shades at either store). So I might be remaking her dress. She did really like it. Mike did get a couple of cute pics with the girls, of course they both were not looking at the same time.. but what else is new.

 I love this picture of Isabel trying to turn Stella to face the camera

I hope everyone else had a great Easter also. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of my resurrected Lord and Savior.  Knowing that I too, with my family, will return to see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  We get to be reunited with our Brooklyn because of Jesus, we can live again.  He Lives.   I am so grateful for Kate and Michele for being awesome friends and examples and for sharing the Gospel with me so I could learn the true reason we celebrate Easter. Also I am so grateful for a couple of awesome Sista' missionaries with Sis. Baker (Bullock) and Sis. Spendlove (Lemos) who taught and explained the Gospel to me. Love all of you wonderful ladies!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Devil went down to Georgia

Remember me telling you about the awesome furniture that my Grandma was giving to us?? Well we headed down to Georgia this past week and picked it up. We toyed with leaving on Saturday since one of my best friends was in town for work and her husband wasn't able to come up at the last minute and spend the weekend with us, but with tired and sick kiddos and a husband who had a lot of work to do.. we just left on Sunday. Some great friends let us borrow their truck so we wouldn't have to rent a car and a moving truck and we just got a uhaul trailer to tow back. I must say of the drive, I forgot how beautiful Tennessee can be. We got there just after dinner on Sunday and stayed at my Aunt's house. It was great to see her and spend some time with her. Isabel loves her and both the girls had a blast playing in the loft area of the house. There is a huge playroom... We have some pics on the camera, I'll try and post them tomorrow.. I just remembered they are still on the camera. Monday was moving day. We headed over to Grandma's house and moved a couple of things back to my Aunt's house, picked up the uhaul and Chik-fil-a then back to Gma's house to load up. It all went pretty smoothly thank goodness. We got all but the 'gun' cabinet. It was already at my Aunt's so I wondered if she forgot I was taking it or if she decided she wanted it, either way we didn't have room for it. We did come back with the piano, queen sized bed and mattress for Izzy, a night stand, a bombay dresser/vanity, a 6 foot long dresser, and a ton of stuff my mom inherited. It was a successful day and we ended it by eating at Ruby Tuesdays so I could indulge on their salad bar.
We stayed up really late talking with my Aunt which was so great.

Tuesday we got up and headed to Grandma's apartment to help her organize and clean. We did her craft room and got it all prettied. Then Mike and the kids took Grandma for some ice cream while Aunt B. signed the papers selling the house. The girls all went and helped Grandma pick out some flowers for her back yard at the apt then we headed out to this great Mexican restaurant and had truly some of the best mexican food I've had. After dropping Grandma back off at her house and staying to chat and spend a few more minutes with her we headed back to my Aunt's and off to bed.

My big girl!

How can you not love a giant cheesy grin!!

Isbael with Grandma and Aunt Barbie at dinner

We have really missed out on some great opportunities to spend time with Grandma. Being self employed stinks sometimes, it's hard to get away and just having the one car makes it difficult also. BUT we are trying to make it back down there before Isabel starts school and we are spending Thanksgiving there this year. Thanksgiving should be pretty fun, my sister, bro in law and their new baby will be there, my cousin, her husband and their baby who is the same age as Stella, and possibly my other cousin and his wife (depending on her residency schedule). How fun!!

Grandma and Stella with the little piggies

The girls and their (great)Grandma

We drove back.. ok, Mike drove back on Wednesday and we finally made it after a bajillon stops for bathroom (as much by me as by Izzy) and one stop that also included a Giradelli store for important baking goods.

Isabel loved these blocks from front to back is my bus stop, my house and a ramp to my restaurant that serves Mexican food.

Stella LOVED this slide, she was up and down this slide almost the whole time she was in the play loft

This one is for my sister... she might recognize the agony and screaming coming from this girl... Demon's overtook her body once a day for about 5 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012


We have a lot of upcoming things this next few months. I thought I would start listing them so I can look back and see all the chaos that is our life this spring. :)
1. MAATA convention (just this past weekend in Topeka, KS)
2. Head to GA to see Grandma, Aunt Barbie (and hopefully) Uncle Johnny and pick up furniture
3. Make yummy treats since Mike and I are off our diet... healthy ones of course.. not the crazy sugary ones I'm pinning...at least not for a bit.
4. Work...work and work
5. Soccer for Isabel
6. Dance for Isabel
7. Shriner's Circus
8. General Conference
9. Easter (and finish Dresses for the girls)
10. Kansas City Temple Open House (I CANNOT wait to take Isabel there!!)
11. keep training for 31 mile walk
12. Isabel's 6th Birthday (are you kidding me?!)
13. Mark Forester Memorial walk
14. Girls Camp
15. Trip to Oregon for Leslie's baby and Ph.D graduation
16. National Convention in St Louis.

WHEW! That is a lot.. I guess I forgot to to add winning the lotto. That would be helpful. :) This list doesn't even count Mike's big milestones he has to accomplish. I have such a great family and I am so lucky I get to do all of this list with them.
I just wish I knew if I could add moving to this list. We'd love to so we can get all of our (new) furniture ready to go and finally get to tackle my huge Pintrest boards and get all of my ideas done for them. Oooh and could you imagine the amazing culinary creations I could whip up in a big kitchen.... or even a normal sized kitchen?! I am doing better thinking about all of the blessings I have and trying not to focus on what I don't. I am trying to will myself to be hopeful and optimistic again. It's not fun being pessimistic and it's not in my nature to be so for very long. Some day's I hate dealing with the "natural man". But I am lucky with my awesome family, awesome weather, great places to walk/run to, tv and internet to pass the time when I don't want to read, and health. (not all in the correct order...) and of course the Gospel, my foundation, and my Savior. So here's to being more happy!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Doubt, it's such a sad word. Doubting in yourself is tough because if you don't believe in yourself, who will? Doubting in others is scary because you want to see the best in people. And most importantly, when you have doubt, you can not have hope. And Hope is what keeps us going, hope is what brings us energy, happiness and allows us to wake up and move every day. I went back today and cried, a lot, as I re-read the comments and the posts about Brooklyn. Mike's Grandma is getting a bunch of information together for the families genealogy. I had so much hope, so much understanding, so much faith during that amazingly large trial. It's funny how at times my faith has doubt, my understanding has doubt, my hope is (not all)gone. (ok, it's not ALL gone). I have yet to figure out how I had all that faith, all that understanding, not a shadow of doubt in Heavenly Father's knowledge of me, His love for me, His awareness of what I am was through. Yet now, when times seem tough, when I have been dealing with the same trial, off and on for years, I doubt. I doubt that He is aware of my, I doubt that He cares what happen to me. And this trial, is nothing compared to losing my sweet girl. It should be nothing. I lost the greatest thing one can lose, and I stayed whole, my faith stayed whole. But this little trial, this inconvenience of a trial, consumes me and overwhelms me. I think one of the hardest parts is knowing that it is I who have wandered away from Him, I have have lost faith in Him, not the other way around.
Yesterday I was so frustrated, so sad and to be perfectly honest... pissed. So pissed that I tried to ignore and miss the tender mercies that were right in front of me. My heart was so hardened that even knowing I needed to smile, there was too much ice, I wasn't really letting it chip away. Then last night, it was almost gone. I can't say I am through the doubt, or all my hope is back because honestly, I am to afraid to hope. It hurts to hope, it is so tough to hope only to be knocked down.
One would have thought that all my rough places would have been made smooth by now, the refiners fire would have worked a bit more by now. But if I'm to stubborn to let it...
So here's to be back to my normal optimistic self and to find that faith I had not that long ago.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Easter is right around the corner.. yes I am skipping over St Patrick's day, green fun for the day will be had but I need more time to focus on Easter. I am making the girls their Easter dresses this year. Thru the amazing world of Pinterst, I have found new, fun, inspiring blogs to follow and one of those blogs brought me this...

Isabel has requested a yellow and pink dress, so the main part will be yellow and the specialty fabric will be pink. Stella's I'm thinking maybe purple and pink? I'm off to the fabric store in a bit to decide. I thought about making a different dress but since I have two to make, this one will bring me less headaches... I think.

Here is the other dress

I love it but... Maybe for a birthday girl dress for Izzy.

I also am thinking of making myself this for a cute spring top

I know, I know. If I made that top I could coordinate with the dress... but I don't want to share. Oh and I think all three of these tutorials can be found over at U Create... their link is over to the right.

Pintrest has been making my life so fun..I did just glance at the number of pin I have, it's nearing 1700. I think I may have a problem. But I am using much of what I have done, or ideas for it at least. Many friends have benefited from my yummy-ness recipes, my girls will enjoy my sewing (I hope) and I have so many great ideas for when we move.

Oh and I am gaining about two rooms worth of furniture at the end of the month. My Grandma has moved out of her home she built about 15 years ago. My mom and aunt are there as I type this packing up her home and going thru everything. The other two cousins and my sister didn't want any of her furniture and since we already have a few pieces from years ago of hers, we are finishing out that set (I wish I had a picture to show you... we painted it black and it is AMAZING), now we are also getting her old bedroom set.

Now I know this set seems old.. but Isabel is getting this set... it might have a few extra touches put to it. She will have a princess room! She is so excited.. I'm hoping she will forget that she really wanted a bunk bed. She wants me to paint it pink, but I told her she could not have pink furniture and pink walls.
And yes...that is a queen sized bed.. Isabel is getting a HUGE bed for her little self. Let the jumping begin!

Lastly, for furniture that is we are getting a gun safe.

No, we don't have a gun...not yet anyways but I do love this piece of furniture.

I am so grateful that my extended family doesn't mind that I just took it all. They were offered but didn't want it. So someone had to take it, or deal with selling it. The one thing I don't have a picture of is the player piano!! With scrolls. :) Toss in some china (ok, don't really toss it) some bake ware etc and I don't have to buy anything else for my house. :) THANK YOU GRANDMA (not that she reads this)

Now to rent the truck in 3 weeks to drive down there......