Cowboy

Friday, August 8, 2014

3 Month Challenge


Before

After




I'm very happy with my results! I'm obviously not to my goal, but I've made leaps and bounds because of this 3 month challenge!

Even though my challenge is over, I am continuing with the ThermoFit, Fat Fighters, Greens and Wraps

If you're intersted in starting the 3 month challenge, contact me! You can find me on Facebook with the link to the right ------> or you can email me!! 


Until next time, friends


Oh, Sweet Baby July...

I feel like a total goof for not having this up already. Like I don't love my baby enough, but that's not the truth one bit.

The truth is, life has been crazy hectic and time is passing way too fast. That's no excuse, but a silly blog post is not going to make or break my love for our baby...

2 years ago, Ben and I had a storm roll in. I miscarried our beautiful little baby. The baby we so longed for, the baby we prayed for, wanted and loved so much. It was unexpected and very painful; emotionally. 

If you would like to read Baby July's birth story, go HERE. I will warn you though, it's heart-wrenching and graphic. 

2 years later, here we are. I can honestly say I'm the happiest I've ever been. We miss Baby July so, so much and he constantly visits me in my dreams and other little ways throughout my days; which I'm so grateful for. My only chance to hold my sweet baby for now. Baby July has taught us so much and given is much more than we ever imagined. 


Just a couple weeks ago, Baby July visited me late in the evening in Miss Bailey's crib. This block sits on my desk. It's something I look at every single day. Bailey was playing with it earlier in the day, but I know I had set it back on the desk before bed during our nightly clean-up. My breath was taken away when I saw his block laying next to Bailey. 

Though, 2 years ago, none of what life is like today ever seemed possible. We didn't understand, we didn't want to understand. Life was unfair, I was mad at God, mad at my body and mad at whatever allowed me to be mad at it. July 2012 marked a very dark summer. A summer I wish I could relive in some sense. I feel like I wasn't present, like I couldn't breathe. When I look back, all I see is a blur. I don't remember much and that saddens me... because I had a beautiful little boy who I lived for, but I wasn't really living. Pictures bring back a lot of the good memories from those very dark months, for that I am forever grateful.

Looking back, it all makes perfect sense. Now we have a beautiful Rainbow Baby to hug and hold here on Earth and we have a beautiful Angel watching over us. Now, my tears aren't as frequent when I think about Baby July. I harbor more smiles. I harbor more thank you's than unfair words. I can't explain how time heals and some may say the way I feel isn't right... I miss our baby, I will always love him with every fiber in my body. Baby July holds an empty hole in my heart that will never be full. But because of Baby July, so much was possible. Our beautiful baby girl was possible. This happiness was possible. I rest easy every night knowing our baby is looking down and watching over us. He will never experience pain, suffering, unhappiness, hunger, thirst, illness or aging. I rest easy knowing one day, I will see Baby July again. In a happy state, full of life. For now, all of Baby July's family members who have already passed on get the amazing opportunity to love on our beautiful baby. My dad gets to be with one of his grandkids... Something I have always been thankful for. 

You see, my step-dad raised me and though we had an extremely rocky daddy-daughter relationship, he still stepped up to be the dad my bio-dad couldn't be. For that I will forever be indebted. When he passed on in March 2011, when Bentley was only 6 months old, I was saddened by the thought that, not only does Bentley not get the opportunity to know his grandpa, but my dad doesn't get the opportunity to be a grandpa. 

So, knowing (hoping) that Baby July is being loved on by his grandpa makes me smile. 

Baby July sends me little reminders here and there. I always stop to smile and thank Baby July for being. 

My pictures are few... Unfortunately Baby July's life here on Earth was very short. No ultrasound was done, no heartbeat was heard, but the clearly positive pregnancy tests are a genuine reminder that our precious baby was and always will be. 




A little explanation for these tests... On June 30th I was feeling very uncertain about my pregnancy. I wasn't as worried as I felt normal. I'm a "worry when you're not worrying" type of gal and I typically worry when things are going well and don't worry when things are going bad. If that makes any sense. So, on my way to my friend's house I stopped at the Dollar Store and grabbed a couple tests. I then tested in the bathroom of a Burger King just to make my anxiety go away. 

Little did I know that it would be the last truly positive test I would see before that fateful day. 


I have a keepsake box of all things related to Baby July. If I ever begin to doubt it truly happened, I can look back.

Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet Baby. Until I see you again, momma.

Until next time, friends

Monday, July 21, 2014

It Works! Satisfied Clients!




I will be adding to this! I just had this idea to put them all together!

Until next time, friends

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My No Poo Journey: 4 Month Update


Since it's nap time, I figured it was time for a No Poo update!

It's been almost 4 months since I began my No Poo Journey and here I am, STILL loving it! Since beginning, I have no used anything other than a Baking Soda and Water mixture to wash followed by a White Vinegar and Water mixture to condition! My hair is full of life, soft and very easily managed. 

I'm at the point now where my "updates" are merely a, 'yup, still doing it and still loving it!' There is just nothing really to report! I wash my hair once or twice a week when it's needed. I can go a week without washing it, just using water during my shower to rinse it out and it still doesn't get greasy looking. 

My bank account has really loved me for No Poo as well! 

So, there's my update!

Here's a look back if you've just now found this post:
Week 2
Hey Hey!
Progress!

Until next time, friends

Friday, July 11, 2014

Getting Fit while Breastfeeding: EXCITED!!

I thought I would do a small update. Since my last debby-downer post, I have seen some leaps and bounds! I have lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks, I am noticing the toning and shaping my body is doing and... OTHERS are starting to comment on it! 

A few weeks ago, my ankle sort of "snapped" the Friday after a Zumba class and then it was super (almost) impossible to walk after that. If you didn't see that post, HERE it is. Well, it miraculously seemed to heal up. I gave it some time off and though I can't flex it 100% all the time, there is no pain. Yes... I know, some of you are shaking your heads and rolling your eyes. It's fine. I'm used to it. I don't play by the rules. It has not been bothering me for weeks now and, for that, I'm happy.

Well, I took some new pictures since it's been awhile! I was pretty excited when I saw them!

These were taken om March 20, 2014
These were taken on April 17, 2014
and... these were taken tonight! (obvs!), July 11, 2014
Slow progress, but I'm happy with what I'm seeing! I've been working my butt off. Between wrapping once a week, taking ThermoFit in the morning, Fat Fighters for my "cheat" meals, Greens every single day... sometimes a Chew or two for a snack, and tracking what I'm eating with MFP, Zumba twice a week, HIIT once a week and getting back to riding my horse multiple times a week... I think I'm doing pretty good! 

(And, for those of you who haven't been following along with my journey. I talked with both an LC and a pediatrician about the all natural supplements I'm taking and they are fine and I am comfortable using them while nursing... But, as an It Works! Distributor, I encourage you to seek advice from an LC and/or pediatrician if you're unsure.)

Tonight, I was down to 188 pounds! The lowest I've been in 2 years. Before Baby July, I was 175 pounds. After getting pregnant and then my miscarriage at 6w5d, I just gave up. So between losing Baby July and conceiving Bailey, I gained 15 pounds. 

I started a MILM Bet Weight Loss Challenge on July 1st... so that is giving me a little extra boost up to be good! Who doesn't love some extra cash AND losing weight?! We weigh-in every Tuesday morning! July 1st I was 192 pounds. I have been fluctuating between 189 and 193 for the last month or two, but I finally seem to be on the downward slide (I hope!)

Bailey is still nursing quite a bit. She usually nurses 0-3 times in the night, once first thing in the morning, usually an afternoon snack, nurses down for a nap and *sometimes* she nurses 1-3 times during that nap (there is a LOT of up and down the stairs some days for nap time!), then she'll nurse once around dinner time and then down for bed. 

Weekends, she typically doesn't nurse as often due to being on-the-go a lot. 

Overall, I'm happy. Of course I'm not where I want to be, but it's going along nicely! 4 pounds down, 18(ish) pounds to go to my first goal! 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey, rooted me on, lifted me up and patted me on the back! Especially my husband Ben, my babies Bentley & Bailey, my best-friend Elisa and my Zumba Instructor/friend Lindsey! 

Recap!
It's Been Awhile
The Plateau
Holding Back Tears

Oh, and since I wrote this last night but didn't post it...
LOOK what I saw this morning!!


Until next time, friends

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting Fit while Breastfeeding: Holding Back Tears

I'm not sure if I've ever been more frustrated with my body... I've been battling ankle issues for what seems like my entire life. Probably realistically just since high school when I was heavy into sports. For Volleyball, I always had to get my arches and ankles wrapped before practice and games. I've always been "made fun of" for "tripping" over lines painted on the concrete. I am known for randomly rolling my ankles even while just standing still. 

But, fast forwarding to the present time... When I was pregnant with Bailey, I didn't seem to have much of an issue with either of my ankles. I rolled my left ankle once or twice during my pregnancy with her, but other than that, I faired well. 

Well, after having Bailey in August 2013, I've been having issue after issue. My right ankle was super sore every single day from the moment I woke up to the moment I finally laid down in bed. Walking was awful, going up and down the stairs was a task I was always praying I would accomplish. I've never been so afraid of dropping my child as I was during that time. 

About two months ago, I was fed up. I started wrapping my ankle for Zumba and wearing an Amber Necklace around my ankle. It took a couple weeks, but I was finally pain free! I was so ecstatic! I would walk, jump, run, whatever I wanted  without pain! But, my Amber Necklace broke a few weeks ago and after only three days, my right ankle started hurting again. 

So, fast forward again... Thursday I did Zumba. After several intermittent classes due to our Tennessee trip, getting a flat tire and only making half of class and It Works! Meetings, I was feeling it pretty hardcore last Thursday. 

Zumba kicked my ass. I vowed to never take nearly 2 weeks off again. I made it through class, was down even more pounds! (Thank you Fat Fighters, Wraps & ThermoFit!) and I was feeling pretty good!

Friday afternoon I was in the office working and needed some more water. So I stood up. That's when I felt a "snap" and immediately fell back into my chair. For 15 minutes thereafter, I could not stand. Once my foot even graced the ground, I had a shooting pain from my ankle to half way up my calf. I held back tears so the kids didn't catch wind of my dismay; but it hurt, bad. 

After the 15 minutes, I was able to slowly bare weight and sluggishly limp to the kitchen. 

Since then, limping has been my new best friend. Sitting on my butt to heave Bailey and I down the stairs or leaning up against the wall to maneuver the stairs has become my life. 

Tonight at Zumba. I fought back tears. I'm so frustrated. All I want to do is workout so I can feel better, look better and lose this freaking belly that I'm so sick of. But my ankles refuse to allow that. Now that I've been compensating for my left ankle, my right ankle is beginning to give me fits again. I just don't understand it. I'm afraid to get it looked at for the sole purpose that I really cannot afford to have the surgery. Not money-wise, time wise. I do not have the down time, at all. Not with 2 kids, not with a husband, not with a business to run, not with a magazine to work, not with an equestrian team to coach (if we have a senior team this year) not with 2 horses... One of which is being worked, not with 2 cows... I DONT HAVE TIME! 

So any suggestions are welcome. I'm so frustrated I just want to cry. I hate my body right now. More specifically my ankles. My body has bore 3 beautiful children and hopefully many more to come... But my ankles can go to hell. 

On another note... Even with a bum ankle, I tried to work my ass off during Zumba and worked up a really good sweat! I felt pretty good and tonight I decided to go ahead and start the HIIT (high intensity interval training) Program on Tuesday nights. Despite my bum ankle, I was able to do almost everything and oh... my... goodness. Talk about INTENSE! That was the hardest 20 minutes of my life right there. 

Update:
I'm in pain this morning! Lots of it. Not in my ankles, surprisingly! But my entire body hurts so bad from last night. My arms are still like jello, my legs are begging for mercy and my abs and back, ouch. Zumba then HIIT is no joke... I look forward to keeping up with this and seeing even more toning! Along with my Wraps, Defining Gel, Fat Fighters, ThermoFit and My Fitness Pal, I should be looking good in no time! 

If you're just finding this, here's a list of blog posts throughout my journey
Until next time, friends

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reflection


It's been quite some time since I last posted. Lots of stuff going on and lots of stuff on my mind. I tend to shut down when my mind is filled, mostly because I'm not a writer, nor have I ever pretended to be. My mind is a jungle, something not easily tamed. So when it's full, it's best to just steer clear and find a new route around. 

But tonight is different. I don't know why. It just is. 

We've had a lot going on in the last couple months. My business has taken off, to a whole nother level. I'm so incredibly grateful and humbled. I am so passionate about what I do, not only has it changed our lives but it is changing the lives of so many others. Mentally, physically, health-wise and financially. We've taken a couple vacations. One to Chicago to visit a mommy group friend and another to Tennessee to visit another friend from the same mommy group as well as spend a week with family that I haven't seen in well over 10 years. It's a long story... But the past is the past, no sense in dwelling, time to move forward and spend the time we have now. 

The kids, man, they're awesome. Getting funnier, cuter, cooler and more awesome every second of every day. I'm so incredibly lucky to have them. You have no idea. I'm so blessed. Every morning I wake up like it's a dream. Like this cannot possibly be my life. But it is and it's amazing. 

Baby July. Oh, how I miss you. Even though I only spent 6 weeks and 5 days carrying you in my womb. You were our baby. The sparkle in our eyes. Baby July's second birthday is coming up, so naturally he is on my mind a lot. Dreams of him are filling my nights. Tears are filling my eyes with reminders of these days 2 years ago. June 13, 2012 we found out he was on the way. June 17, 2012 we announced to friends and family and made it "Facebook official"... It's very bittersweet. Bitter because it was a very happy and exciting time that was quickly stripped away before we had time to catch our breaths. Sweet because what Baby July taught us is irreplaceable and what was possible is so sweet. My Miss Bailey wouldn't be here. Our Rainbow Baby. Bittersweet. 

Tonight I had a wrap party for a distributor of mine who is rocking her biz. I will be 100% honest here, I wasn't excited about the drive. I've had a few unpleasant drives with Bailey alone and so I was a bit gun shy. But the drive was beautiful. Miss Bailey slept both ways, providing me with a very quiet, reflecting friendly drive. I filled the car with some of our favorite music and reminisced, sang, talked to God, cried, smiled and took in the beauty of Gods creations. Both near and far. 

Life is strange sometimes. We're presented with so many opportunities every day. It always unfolds just how it's supposed to. As much as I love and thrive on planning, I get laughed at every time when I'm reminded I'm merely along for the ride that has already been all planned out for me. My focus has shifted so much in the last few months and I whole-heartedly believe it was all premeditated before I ever knew it. 

So cliche, but so true. Everything does happen for a reason. Come what may. Let go and let God. I'm jumping head first into my faith. Sometimes I come up short. Sometimes I fall. Sometimes I lose focus. But at the end of the day, I'm forgiven and I'm gently set back on the right path. 

Life is so beautiful and so amazing. Enjoy it. Live it up. Don't live in fear. I know that's easier said than done... If God is calling you to do something, listen. Act. Pray. God is calling us to do so much. He has brought us to many opportunities. Now it's just letting them all fall into place. Watching as the roller coaster unfolds. 

Foster Care. More babies. Health. Success. Business. Laughter. Friends. 

Prayer. 

I told you this would be a jungle. My mind is untamable. But, perhaps, I'm slightly more organized. Clearer, maybe. 

I have dreams. We have dreams. Big dreams. Each day were accomplishing another dream. Each day our vision is better. Our purpose more defined. As our lives unfold, we're humbled. 

We're truly blessed. I wish we wouldn't lose sight of that, even for a moment. The chaotic moments. The pull-your-hair-out moments. The days your head wants to explode from yelling so much. Hearing your son say 'don't yell at me mommy' with a grin on his face. The quick memory of you standing on your deceased aunts porch when you find a book titled, 'raise your kids, not your voice.' Those little things stay with you. Embrace them. They're tiny reminders of how blessed you are. 

One day you'll wish for those chaotic and pull-your-hair-out moments to return. You'll wish time hadn't gone by so fast. You'll wish you had spent more moments laughing, more moments playing and more moments being silly. 

I'm already wishing time would slow down. I feel like I've blinked and years have gone by. I look at Ben, I look at Bentley and Bailey and think 'how did we get here so fast?' Where did the time go? 

My jungle mind is slowly clearing out. Sun shine can finally break through the insanely thick canopy. 

I'm feeling content. I think this is the most content I have ever felt in my entire life. I have everything I need, everything I have ever wanted and desired. How could I not be happy, humble and grateful?

I have been blessed beyond measure. I'm really not sure how I've deserved it. But I'm so grateful. 

The days may be long, but the years are so, so short. 

Sleep tight. 

Until next time, friends