Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Catching Up: Lots of Traveling and Some Life Stuff

Hey Guys! I hope no one was worrying about me again with my mini absence there.
We’ve been like a family traveling band these past two weeks. (Well, minus the music part.)
A LOT of traveling.
I don’t have TONS Of time for writing -- so this will be a bullet point kind of summary.

Something you should know about me is I am not a natural born traveler. I’m a natural born homebody. The concept of traveling is generally stressful to me (pre-motherhood.) The idea that only the things I pack are the things I have when gone, is pretty overwhelming to me. All the “what ifs” make my brain break when packing.
Add kids --- well that’s a whole new thing.
Add in food allergies (and pet + environmental allergies = lung issues) -- whole ‘nother 75 levels of stuff.

So to say I had anxiety when looking at the calendar of events would be stating it lightly. I definitely had a legitimate (not ha-ha use of the word) panic attack when facing the packing for the longest part of our trip. I became non-functional that night. But, my goodness, am I blessed by my husband’s steadfast love, he just took charge and packed basically everything but my clothes. (To say Blake’s love has been life changing-ly wonderful, is to understate things. He is SO GOOD to me. He really does personify Christ to me regularly.)

Anyway, so we were able to get on the road and do what we need to do. And it all turned out really well.

First up we went to my parents on Memorial day weekend. My grandparents had come to visit, they live in Montana, so our visits are very special. 

Then my grandparents added our house to their tour. (it’s an hour and a half from my parents.) And we showed them all our hard work around here, and had two nice days together here.

Next up was a combo trip. We met some childhood friends in Michigan for a couple days and from there we left to go to Ohio - because Blake had a work trip and we made it a mini family vacation. (This was the part I couldn't pack for -- it sounded just WAY too complicated for my brain.)
In front of Lake Michigan
This beach is my FAVORITE place in the world. (That’s why I had my wedding there.)
I’m so happy my kids can spend time there.
The day we went was cloudy, but warm, so I kinda loved it. The lake was still too cold for us. 

Bronson went right to work digging in the sand. He also was surprisingly disciplined at not eating it. Although he did put EVERYTHING else in his mouth. :)

There is a creek that comes out of the woods down to the lake -- that turned into the best play spot for the kids since it wasn’t so freezing cold, and not overwhelming to them. It also boasts clay back in the woods, that is THE BEST for playing with. 

They had a great time!

It was nice to be up there. And it was really nice to see old friends. (I didn’t add their photos -- for privacy consideration.) But I had a hard time being myself and relaxing. Seeing old friends really made me miss my brother (we all grew up together -- these are the kinds of friends on the order of cousins -- just always part of life) and while we had some nice reminiscing together, it was hard.
And having the unknown of traveling to Ohio hanging over my head was intimidating.
So I had a very hard time with anxiety and being me. I felt guilty about that for their sake.

But one thing Blake and I really did take away from our time with our friends was a renewed interest in stepping up our game in certain parts of life.
Our friends are ON TOP of food -- healthy, delicious, very aware of the different ins and outs in lots of aspects of it.
They were also ON TOP of being organized. I mean like wow levels.
And all of which was done in a normal nice non-big-deal or judgey way.
So Blake and I both walked away from our time there wanting to aim high like that.
(I mean to be fair our kid ratio is a bit different than theirs right now, so we gotta give ourselves some grace there. But we were honestly just inspired.)

So then we headed off to Ohio.
And let me tell you, I was so pleased with how this part went.
I was so nervous.
We’ve been to locations where just the general area made Jasmine wheeze for reasons we can’t determine. So I didn’t know how that would go. I also didn’t know how we were gonna do food. We were staying in a hotel, and I didn’t know the accommodations. I didn’t know the area -- I really honestly wasn’t sure how we would survive. I was just going and hoping we’d figure it out and make it through ok.

It was a four or five hour (I forget now) drive from Michigan. And of course you have to add in like 700 potty breaks.
But the kids did REALLY good.
Two sleepers, one yawner
As we were pulling up to our hotel, we saw Whole Foods directly across the street.
Of all places in the world to be situated by! I’d never even been inside a Whole Foods before, but I knew what it was. And I KNEW they would have foods we could eat.
As soon as I saw that it was like see-hearing God say, “See I know. I’m taking care of you.”
I mean I was just totally at peace right then. It was a big deal for me.
This was our hotel room view. It was like a huge hug every time I saw it.

So then we get up to our room and it has a WHOLE KITCHEN!

You guys, this is not a little thing to me.
This trip really really was a God-blessing-my-heart thing. (Well and keeping us alive thing -- which isn’t a little thing.)

In the morning I went downstairs to get myself some coffee and see if the included breakfast had any food my kids could eat. And the staff was SO NICE. They invited me back into their kitchen to read their labels so I could be sure of the food’s safety. There was a nice amount of safe foods.
And then the miracle happened that my picky eater  actually tried a food, AND liked it, AND ate heaps of it.
Once again -- not a little deal -- such a huge sigh of relief and pure joy.

While Blake was at his conference me and the kids snuggled in the big bed and watched Curious George together (with our full bellies)

Then we took a walk across the street to Whole Foods (the street was kinda busy, so the walk was effortful and bit nerve wracking with three kids and no stroller -- but totally worth it.)  And I let the kids pick out whatever they wanted. And we discovered some delicious new stuff.
It was great.

When Blake got back he took the girls swimming in the pool while Bronson slept. 
They LOVED it. 
(Sorry no pictures of it though.)
We had no wheezing there at all. 
And Jasmine called the whole event of the Hotel “Family Date Night.”
And she’s hoping to do this much more regularly.
Not knowing where we’d be going next is hard, but this trip has really helped me be less afraid.

When we got home we had a couple days to the family.
And then Blake’s parents and grandma came for a visit to help us with our yard work a bit.
While they were here Jasmine lost her first tooth!
I’ve honestly been a bit worried how I’d handle that --  for some reason, since growing up, I’ve often found the idea of loose teeth and gaps from it gross -- and I didn’t want to show those emotions to my kids and make them feel bad. But of course, my mom hormones took charge, and once it’s my kids -- it’s not gross... it’s adorable and exciting! (But I still can’t stare at the photo super long. lol )

So yeah that all took up our time from May 27 up until today.

So my introverted self is SPENT.
I’m happy. But I’m spent.
I’m looking forward to a slower pace and routine and finding some alone time.

But one more bit of news---
While doing all that I decided I was ready to REALLY get this baby weight off now.
Who cares that it’s taken me SO MUCH LONGER than the other times, let’s just commit and actual get it off.

A friend of mine had a really fantastic health transformation a bit ago, and I was really inspired by her. She wound up deciding to become a beach body coach. And while I’m normally kinda leery of that whole scene. This time I was like hey I know her, this is for real, and I for real need some accountability to do this. My emotions are too crazy for me to do this on my own this time around. 

So I got in touch with her and joined her online accountability group. It started last week and I joined in as soon as we got home from Ohio.
To be a part of it  I needed to buy some beach body product (so that she fairly gets paid for all her hard work.) I’m still working on my MuTu program to heal my diastasis recti. So I didn’t want to buy a workout program for the moment. So I decided it was worth the price of Shakeology, to me, to have someone who would really truly push me to do what I deep down want to do (but with my emotions usually don’t do.) I didn’t think Shakeology was magic or anything, I just thought it was a nice bonus to having this level of accountability.

And both thoughts were accurate. Shakeology is a nice bonus -- it’s pretty tasty stuff (compared to my old shake stuff I was using which was not delicious at all) and since it’s tasty I use it at our 3:00 snack time so I don’t eat my kids chocolate or all the carbs and sugar in the house which 3:00 usually begs me to do. And it really does fill that void for me in a a heathy way.

But what’s really great is the group. My coach has us post our meal plans every monday. 
My meal plan -- basically just counting calories. I figured what I needed to lose weight and added 200 calories for breastfeeding calories since Bronson is eating solids too.
I also planned ahead with the kids -- my picky eating book recommends it. So it’s all going hand in hand.
And we keep each other on track through the week with certain assignments like sweaty selfies after works outs (we do that on Saturday since normally weekends are easy to skip!)

I’m so happy I decided to commit to this. I didn’t know if I was up to it. I didn’t know if I had the energy or emotions or ability. 
And I kinda don’t.
But since I spent what I think is a large amount of money for a meal shake thing, I’m making sure I use this group to my fullest. And it’s paying off already.
All I’m doing is MAKING SURE I am being more consistent in my MuTu workout accomplishing. And MAKING SURE I eat healthy -- by planning and adhering to my plan.

As for planning our family meals easily with our food allergies, I’ve been using TheFresh20’s dairy free meal plan. (This link earns me nothing. Just sharing.) I have to tweak a few parts to make it safe for us, but it’s quite easy for me to make those changes.  I bought this meal plan years ago, but didn’t really use it, I’m not sure why now that I think of it. It was only $18 (less than takeout!) and it’s a full year’s worth of seasonal weekly menu plans with grocery lists -- and it’s cost effective shopping. And everything I’ve made so far is delicious! I’m very happy with it.

But I’ve already lost 5 pounds this week.
I’m so happy with that!
And Blake’s already very complimentary of the change. (He’s always sweet to me though. It’s in a good way.)
I have about 10-ish pounds left to get this pregnancy weight off.

My plan is to stick this out.
This month I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.
Then next month I’m going to keep going but I will be done with my MuTu program (and it’s working! My diastasis recti is coming together more and more, faster as I press on and am more diligent with it.) So after that I’m going to give PiYo a whirl. I’ve seen a decent number of people I know in person have really great results with it, and have had it in my mind to try (but have been pregnant or all-the-after-pregnancy-stuff since I had heard of it.) And it’s also what my coach used for her transformation. So I’m excited to see what that’s all about.
But I’ll do that with shakeology in the mix as well.
After that time will tell.
I’m hoping that’s all I’ll need to kiss this pregnancy weight goodbye for good -- but I may need longer. We will see.

*Normally I don’t have any links that make me any money on my blog. But honestly JUST because it saved me money, I signed up for buying Shakeology in a way that allows me to sell it as well.
So since I did that, I thought I’d throw this link out there. If you are interested in joining me on my health journey and you wanted me to get a small commission from it you can buy shakelogy from me here.
If you wanted to join an accountability group, I’m not coaching, but I can set you up with my coach (who is awesome, and I know, because I know her from in-person-life --- you can “meet" her on her youtube channel here.) So if that sounds good, you can email me at 1lydiajohnson@gmail.com and I will get everyone in touch. You’ll need to buy some kind of beachbody product -- like PiYo (this link would send me commission) or what-have-you. (But email me first if you want to join a group -- because I’d need to ask her which way to do stuff to get that set up. Don’t buy anything before we chat, unless you just want the product and not the group.)

But I’m not putting any pressure on this AT ALL. I’m not about to turn my blog into a huge fitness and beachbody sales thing. (I’m not sure I’ll be selling this stuff for more than the amount of time it takes me to lose the weight.)  My blog is about my life, so I’ll blog about it when it comes up. But I’m not gonna change how I blog because of it. I’m just sharing because so far it’s been SO GOOD for me to have this group. You know I need all the support I can get in life in general. This is good for my heart too (meant like emotional heart, but physically of course applies.) That’s why I’m sharing.


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