Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

  This Mother's Day was the best one I've had since becoming a mother.  Each year with the kids gets better and better but this year definitely topped them all.  I woke up to Loyal and the boys bringing me gifts before I even got out of bed!  Loyal had the boys give me theirs first and then he followed up with one form himself.  I love how thoughtful it was of Loyal to incorporate the kids in making their mom feel special and so loved on my day.  Our kids are learning from us and we try to keep that in mind each and every day.

After gifts and breakfast we went to church.  This was our second Sunday going to church and our first time leaving them in nursery.  We had high hopes of actually listening to the service rather than chasing the kids around while making failed attempts to get them sit in one spot for a full hour.  They did really well!  Not one tear from either of them!!  I knew Loyal would do well since he's been going to preschool for a year now.  I took Roman in and the second he saw a truck, he was golden!  I can't tell you how much more at ease I was knowing that kids weren't disrupting others.  I will be honest though, Loyal and I sat in the very back with an aisle seat so that we could book it to the nursery the second church was over!  We couldn't wait to see them again. :)

 We went down to Buckhead for brunch once we got out of church.  We went to one of the cutest little restaurants with a patio that reminded me of a hidden gem you would find in the French Quarter.  The food was amazing and the scenery was exactly where I wanted to be for my Mother's Day.  The rest of the day was pretty normal and laid back consisting of long naps, a wagon ride and a trip to the park.

I will forever cherish this Mother's Day just as much as I have the previous ones.  I am so grateful for Loyal making this day so special for me and leaving my heart so full.  My babies make my life worth living.  They give me so much purpose and continue to make me who I am.      
Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful mothers, including my own.  I love you Mom!

Here's to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How to stay motivated to work out

Lets be honest here, we've all slacked off when it comes to exercise and keeping up with working out.  I know I have.  I have made a million excuses and they all resulted in skipping my work out or postponing it until after dinner which always makes for a sloppy and disappointing performance.  Now that I have been consistently working out for a while now, I have a few things that help me stay motivated and not skip any days.

WRITE IT DOWN
This is something that works really well for me.  I have a planner that I have to write everything in, otherwise I will most likely forget something important like paying Loyal's preschool!  Once I started writing down my exercises on the day I wanted to do them, it helped hold me to it.  I am definitely the type that feels accomplished by checking things off my list.  Looking back on a finished week of completed workouts was extremely rewarding.  It also helped to look at my agenda for the day and get mentally prepared for the exercise that I would be doing that day.  Preparation is key!


SET YOUR CLOTHES OUT
I set out what I am going to wear the night before.  Mostly to help with getting out the door on time on chaotic school mornings but I noticed a trend along the way.  On mornings that I went ahead and got dressed in gym clothes, I was more likely to actually work out that day.  I work out while the kids are napping, which is around 2/2:30 p.m.  At that time of day, it is really easy to make excuses or let the middle day laziness get the best of me.  Even something as small as having to change into gym clothes could prevent me from working out and plop myself down on the couch instead.  With gym clothes already on, I am ready to go the second I get the kids down.  Now I know that not everyone can dress this way every day so if you can't, then set your clothes out anyway.  Have them out as a reminder that you have to work out!  Pack your gym bag before you go to bed and leave it by the door for work in the morning.  Whatever you have to do to be ready to go!

EAT WELL
Every time I eat a big heavy meal for dinner, I wake up feeling so sluggish in the morning.  I know that diet can affect some more than others.  A poor diet usually hits me pretty hard.  When I consistently eat well I have more energy, am more alert and am usually able to accomplish more all around.  During the week, I really try to eat clean to ensure that I feel energized and ready to start my day every morning.  I like to save my splurging for the weekends and reward myself for eating well and working out throughout the week.  Waking up clear headed always encourages me to look forward to working out that day.

GREENS
I do a few things each morning to better my health and ensure a healthy immune system from the inside out.  Adding greens to my routine has been extremely beneficial.  Greens help to alkalize, energize and detoxify your body, all of which are so important for you.  Greens are packed with fruits, vegetables, herbs and nutrient-rich super foods.  I don't know about you but I definitely wouldn't get the servings of fruits and veggies that I need every day without these!  Since adding this to my wellness routine, I am always energized, alert and hardly ever get sick anymore, all being key to consistent exercise.  Nothing breaks my workout flow like getting sick!
HERE are the ones that I am currently taking.  Love them!

MASTER YOUR PROTEIN SHAKE
  This one took me a while to really have an effect on me.  I remember when I first started working out and trying to get into drinking a post workout shake.  It took a little while to find a protein that I liked and really master my shake.  I have come a long way since then!  I have a couple different ones that I like to alternate between and my protein shake following my workout is something that I actually look forward to now.  There have been days where that is the only reason I actually work out!  It has become really rewarding for me and as soon as you get your protein shake to where you enjoy it, it will be for you too.

FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
There are a couple of different ways in which I achieve this.  Sometimes I will come across pictures on Instagram, Pinterest or somewhere else on the internet and save them to my phone.  If one of them is really speaking to me at that time, I will save it as my screen saver.  How many times a day do you look at your phone?  I look at mine A LOT and every time I looked at it, I was reminding myself exactly what I was working towards.  Another way for me to get inspired was to sit down and search for inspiration.  If I was feeling lazy or procrastinating, I would get on my phone and find every picture I could of women who looked like I want to look.  I look at them until I finally felt like "ok, if I want this then I need to get up and work for it!"

For some, it can be easy to work out on day 1 but maintaining that motivation to keep you going can be a little difficult.  I hope this helps a little with finding your own motivation to keep you focused!  
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Break 2016

A couple weeks ago we went on our annual girls & babies trip to Seaside.  I think we all look forward to this trip each year to get in some much needed girl time and relaxing.  Although, it seems that the relaxing has become less and less considering we have added a baby to the mix every year since the first!  I love to see how much they have all grown since the year before.  Loyal and Alexis were just under a year old and I was pregnant with Roman the first year!!

I think this year was my favorite so far.  Maybe it was because this was the first year for me that I wasn't pregnant or nursing!  It was just a really great time with my kids and especially with Loyal now that he has such a better understanding of things.  We talked about the beach for an entire week before we went down so to see his excitement once we were finally there was amazing.  Roman is such a ham in general but I really think he picked up on the energy that comes along with being on vacation.  He was so silly and making every laugh so much!  The kids all played so well together and watching them all run around together brought so much life to the group.  Sweet little Camden will be running right along with them next year!    

The wind was just not in my favor for these pictures and Roman was soooo over it, hence this picture above, LOL!  But this cotton candy sky was probably the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen.  This was the first time the boys have seen a beach sunset and experiencing it with them was just magical.
So this was Roman's first beach experience.  It was the first day we went down to the beach and his reaction had me a little concerned for the rest of the trip!  He absolutely HATED the sand and the beach in general.  Every time I put him down he just lost it.  I held him for pretty much the entire 15 minutes we were down there.  It was close to lunch and nap time so I think he was just cranky that day.  Luckily, the next day was much better!  Both him and Loyal had a blast!
Waking up every morning to this view!  Take me back!!!
I love these girls so much and I love that we have made this trip happen 3 years in a row now!  Next year though, we MUST get a group picture and not forget until the very last night when pajamas have already been put on. (Insert eye roll here!!!)
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday Funday

We really try to maximize our time together as a family over the weekends.  Lately though, the kids haven't been very cooperative of this concept.  It seems that every time we have a fun day planned, they are super cranky and we end up wondering if we should have just stayed home.  Maybe this is just a tricky age with them right now but we are hopeful that it is just a phase that will soon pass.  Yesterday for example, we had a great day planned out.  We went down to Ponce City Market to shop and eat lunch.  Loyal and I LOVED Ponce.  The shops were so cute and the vibe there was great.  The kids on the other hand, could have cared less!  Loyal just wanted out of the stroller so that he could run around, which is just a never ending battle these days.  We had lunch at Hops Chicken where the chicken was just ok but the lemonade was phenomenal!  After we strolled around Ponce for a while, we did a little more shopping and then ended up at Bar Taco.  We can never go wrong with Mexican in this family and Bar Taco did not disappoint!!!  The food was amazing, per usual, and our evening ended with quite the entertainment from our little dancing toddler once the live music started!
I don't know what it is about aprons but I really love them.  Like, really love them.  Anthropology always has such cute ones.  I've got my eye on that black and white checkered one!
These two ^^, giving me all the heart eyes!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 2016

This Easter was such a good one for us!  We started off Saturday morning with an Easter Egg hunt at Avalon.  It was pretty early for us and still a little chilly but we made the best of it.  They had real bunnies there, a visit from the Easter Bunny and a ride with Choo Choo Charlie, which is the kids favorite!  We took it easy the rest of the day since we were out and about early.  I was really excited to dye eggs with the kids, thinking they would enjoy it, but it turned out to be the biggest disaster!!!  I spilled one of the cups of dye before we even dyed the very first egg and the rest went down hill from there.  Basically I just did all of the eggs as fast as I could while the kids watched.  We will be doing this activity outside next year.  Lesson learned!

Sunday morning we all woke up and meandered out into the living room.  Everyone was still trying to wake up so I didn't want to blind the kids by flicking the lights on to show them their Easter baskets.  Instead, we all sat down on the couch to watch cartoons while our eyes adjusted.  Eventually Loyal and I went into the kitchen to get something to drink and while we were in there little Loyal must have noticed the baskets on the table behind him.  He got soooo excited and ran into the kitchen saying "GUYS! Come see dis!!!"  Aren't kids are the best!!  The rest of our Sunday was spent relaxing and indulging in too many sweets and Easter treats.  That night we had dinner with my parents and the kids ran around like crazy animals, per usual.  This year was an Easter well spent for sure!
Sorry for all poor quality iPhone pics.  Rapid fire phone camera seems to work out best these days. 
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