Monday, March 31, 2014

Progress [March]

Is anyone else glad to see March go? It seems like March was nothing but one reminder after another that Ohio does not like to give up winter in exchange for spring. I mean, we had snow two days ago: SNOW. I'm so over it. This winter has just been so very long.

I haven't let it stop me though; I have rocked my goals for this year to become a healthier, happier me.

This month I lost a total of 7 pounds and 7 inches. I look at that total for the year: 17.5 inches, and I wonder where the heck it came from. I mean, I know I'm a little smaller, but I sure don't feel like I'm 17 inches smaller.

Okay, so maybe this picture helps me realize that it's came from somewhere. End of January to March...what a difference!
Bye, bye belly!

Three months in and I am still just as motivated and determined as I was on January 1st. I am going to do this, and I have such an awesome support team that I don't think they would let me stop at this point anyway. I'll be posting about how I rocked my goals from March and my new goals for April later this week!

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Do you know what day it is?

No, it's not hump day. It's better than that.

It's opening day!

Seriously, though.

For us baseball fans, it has been a long, hard winter of waiting and wishing that it was spring time and that our favorite teams were playing again. We have sat through football, and basketball, and the comments of how football and basketball are better than baseball (don't make me give you a lecture) less than patiently and now our wait is over.

Today my beloved team will walk onto the field at Great American Ballpark, the national anthem will be played, Votto and Phillips will win our hearts all over again (and really, how can you resist with those smiles) and life will once again feel complete.

It definitely doesn't hurt that it's going to be almost 70 degrees today, I have the day off of work, and my Red's shirt is fitting better than ever this year.

Cincinnati ball, that is. Have a great Monday, it's going to be epic in our household!
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Easter Printables

Happy Friday!

Easter is right around the corner and I've been busy decorating and planning out all the crafts, decorations, and festivities to go with the holiday. I may or may not already have Henry's outfit bought and ready, and I may or may not have already decorated my house a week ago...

I love Easter. To me it symbolizes spring, and hope, and the truest form of love and victory in our Savior's death and resurrection. I was scouring Pinterest to find a new printable to put in my frame for the season and I just wasn't finding anything that I really loved so I thought I would make a few of my own to fit my perfect style.

I thought you may enjoy them too so I'm offering them to you for free to print and use as well.

You can download these here for free. Keep and eye out because I will be adding the cutest homemade bunny treat bags for sale in the next week for Easter baskets.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I had the privilege of spending the majority of my Tuesday with my two best girlfriends. I don't really spend a lot of time with 'girlfriends' because I really don't have many girlfriends (and who really has the time?). Growing up, I was always that girl that surrounded herself with guy friends, and after I got married, I realized that having a lot of guy friends was not ideal so I gave most of them up.

Still, through-out the years I have made a couple of girlfriends who I know will be life-long, and although we do not get to see one another as often as I'd like, I cherish every single minute that I do get to spend with them.

Among the laughter and deep conversations and reminiscing, I realized something wonderful yesterday.

These girls know me. They know me at my best and at my worst. They know me all jazzed up and right out of bed in the morning. They know my likes and dislikes, my life-goals, my dreams and desires, my insecurities and disappointments. These girls are real life, and I can be real with them.

That is my biggest issue with making friends. I refuse to put on a face or a front. I am who I am, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm something that I'm not. I've always been a quality over quantity person, and my friendships ring truer for that fact than most anything else in my life.

I would rather have one good friend, one good girl, who I can be myself and completely real with, than to have even two or three more.

One of them made her way back to Wisconsin yesterday while the other is about an hour away. No matter what I'm doing or where I'm at in life, I know I can count on these two girls. They hold a piece of my heart and I truly believe that we are a sort of soul-mate.

One day I may have more girlfriends. Or I may not. I don't know. But the truth is, I have all that I need in these two and they've really changed my life for the better.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

A Day in my Life [March's Bathroom Edition]

From nothing to something...

's getting there.


Now go check out Sara's post and follow our little circle around!
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Purpose & Balance

There's a constant struggle in my life to find balance between all of the things that I have to do, need to do, and want to do. Just when I think I've caught up and have a moment to relax, things go and get all crazy on me again and before I know, I'm behind. Again.

My one word for 2014 was purpose, and while there have been certain aspects of my life that I have found easier to find purpose in, there are others in which I am completely lost. I just have a hard time identifying the most important parts sometimes.

Sometimes balance comes in the form of staying up too late and losing a little sleep, or going to bed early and sleeping in for way too long. Sometimes balance is simply finding enjoyment in all that you do, whether that be work or play or both. It's more than just knowing that you were able to mark off each item on the to-do list, or get in that morning run, or make it to the kids play-date while looking like a mommy rock-star.

It's about living to the fullest potential, taking moments to create memories, and knowing that you've put the important things first, even if they're not as important to anyone else.

Maybe the best part of this mess is that I've accepted that maybe this is the way it's going to be. At least for now. Maybe things are suppose to be a little crazy, a little busy. Maybe I'm going to be a little behind, and then a little ahead. Maybe we all get too caught up in the pursuit of perfection that we forget that the here and now is all the really matters.

Perhaps my purpose is to keep searching for the purpose, and in the meantime, enjoy the journey.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

March Mid-Month Update

Hooray for progress, right?

This month has had a lot of ups and downs for me. The first week I was just as sick as could be and I still haven't completely gotten rid of the upper respiratory issues I was having but I've tried not to let it hold me back.

I finally got out and started running. I won't lie and say that I'm running an entire mile. I incorporate a lot of walking into the days that I get out and go, but every day I add a little more and a little more. Eventually I will get there - I just know it. I've found that the only time I can get out by myself is before Henry is up in the morning and Jeremy leaves for work. I hate getting up early, but it's worth it.

My first solo-run clocked in at at 15:34/mi pace so when I got out this morning and ran and saw that my time was 11:54/mi when I got home, I was thrilled. Like I said, about half of that was walking. Most days I take Henry with me and I pull him in the wagon behind me as I walk and run. Once we get to an area in which I don't feel like I need to be right next to him the entire time, I'll branch out and run a bit ahead and then back. Henry likes to run with me too as long as I hold his hand. He usually insists on pulling his wagon home himself so I consider that my 'cool-down' time. We usually clock a mile in 18-22 minutes, depending on how cooperative he is being and such. It's definitely not a great time but it is what it is and a mile is still a mile.

Hopefully this progress will continue into the rest of the month. I have a lot of big and small goals floating around in my head right now, and I had set a goal of 40 pounds for my challenge at work (which was huge, I know) and I only have about 6 weeks to lose another 12 pounds. Two pounds a week is doable at this point, but I've gotten to a point where 1 pound a week is very comfortable for me and anything more tends to be pushing myself too hard. So...we will see.

Thank you all for your continual encouragement and support!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Last Sink Baths

There is something about bathtub photos that I just adore, or in our case: sink photos. I don't know if it's wet hair and bubbles or just the pure joy and innocence of a child playing in water that makes me just smile and melt inside. Some of my absolute favorite photos of Henry are of him in the water, and I know that years from now, they're going to be the ones that I cherish the most.

At 2 1/2, Henry is getting way too big for our sink. He's taken showers with us before, but we know he prefers to splash and play, even in the way-to-small sink. Both places that we have lived since having him were lacking a bathtub, something that I too have missed in our five years of marriage immensely.

Saturday our master bathroom began it's remodel. Or I should say...existence? When we moved in two years ago, there was nothing in that room but a few pipes coming up from the floor and the studs. It's sat empty (okay, so it's been used for storage) for two long years awaiting the time that we could afford to undertake all that it needed.

Soon Henry will have a bathtub...and I know he's going to be thrilled. And so am I, but I feel as if this transition just concretes the idea that my baby is no longer baby but very much big-boy. When he takes that very last sink bath, I will document every minute because I never want to forget it - or this stage in his, and our, lives.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One of Life's Best Lessons {for me}

I was pretty shy through-out all of elementary school, middle school, and most of high school. It wasn't until after I graduated and got out into the big 'adult' world that I sort of came out of my shell. I always envied girls who were full of confidence and demanded attention just by walking into a room. I'm not talking about the wrong kind of attention either, they were just so confident and sure in themselves and their skin that they shined from the inside out.

I wanted to be that girl.

As I got older, I began to realize that confidence was a trait learned and earned; it's not something that is just there for most of us. Confidence comes with stepping outside of your comfort zone, caring less about what others think, and really focusing on yourself and what matters most to you.

I wish someone had told me that sooner.

With years of practice I have bloomed from that shy girl into a strong, confident woman. I know this because I practice this...daily. When I look in the mirror, I assure myself that I am enough, that I am beautiful, that I am loved. When I walk into a room, I keep my head held high, I smile, I make eye-contact with others. These things are not always easy, but over the years, they have gotten easier and easier with each passing day.

Something else I've learned?

Confidence is so much sexier than short-shorts, or low-cut shirts, or any other means of drawing attention to yourself. Confidence gives you an inner-beauty that shines so bright, everyone sees it.

I wish someone had told me that sooner too.

And in case no one has never told you: Girl, stand tall, with a smile on your face, and know that you are enough, you are beautiful, and you are love. Be confident in who you are, no matter who that is or how different it is from anyone else. You'll find that with confidence comes happiness and the deepest sense of satisfaction with the reflection in the mirror.


Now go link up with The Girl Between the Lines, the prompt this week is: 

Tell us a lesson you wish you had learned earlier in life.

Girl Between the Lines Link up

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Host your website with!

No, seriously, do it.

I had several of you ask me where I host my blog from, so I thought I would (shamelessly) plug

Although I just bought my domain for These Ripples and Waves, I've actually been hosting my photography website through them for several years.

They're awesome to work through, and very inexpensive too. They also run special promotions and if you type ' coupons' into your search bar, you'll find that there are several out there to get you an even better price.

I had an issue with this last domain purchase and they solved it right away. Their customer service was quick, easy, and overall awesome - something you don't see everyday anymore.

When I saw they had an affiliate program, I jumped on that bandwagon just as fast as I could because - guys, I LOVE them.

If you're looking to have your own .com for your blog, or other website, I highly recommend I'm in the process of working up a how-to post as well so that if you need a little extra help setting it up, it'll be so easy you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago!
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Monday, March 10, 2014

A Truth about Fear

There are very few things in life that I keep to myself. I have no issue (for the most part) sharing my life with others. I like to be an open book with very little surprises, not only do I believe being open and truthful helps others along their journey, but I feel as if it makes my life easier too. I mean, who wants to carry all of life's burdens on their own, or constantly put effort forth to hide the details of their lives? 

There is one thing, however, that terrifies me to share with others.

I touched on this subject a bit in a recent post, Confession of a Fatty, but it's really reared up it's ugly head in my life in the last couple of weeks.

Beginning to run again was one of my goals for this month and although I was sick as a dog the first week of March, I have rocked this goal the past few days. I've clocked at least a mile a day for the past four days, and while the majority of that was walking, I am slowly incorporating more running into my routine.

When it comes to running, the worst part isn't the burning in my legs, or the shortness of breath, or my inability to run very fast or very far, but the eyes of others. While getting out and training has been an extremely rewarding feeling for me, I make sure that while I'm doing it, I am out of sight. I walk out of town to the cemetery to run, or go to a park in town that is surrounded by trees and tall grass to make sure that no one sees me.

I don't know why this is so hard for me, but I feel like the more I talk about it the better I feel. If I could run 3 miles without stopping (or even a mile, let's be honest) or lose enough weight to where it looks like I should be running, I think I would be okay. But there is something about that silent voice in the back of my head saying 'people are going to talk about you doing this' that absolutely paralyzes me in fear.

I just can't get the idea out of my head that people are going to almost point and laugh and say 'Look at that fat girl running down the street. What in the world is she doing?'

Is that silly? Am I being too hard on myself?

Probably. But I'm not sure how to get over it. Perhaps giving it a little more time, and allowing to prove to myself that I can do this will give me the confidence I need to face this fear head on. I don't know.

I know I'm not giving up and if I have to run out of sight for weeks on end in order to build up the confidence to do it in the public's eye, then I will.

I just wish it wasn't this hard.

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Friday, March 07, 2014

Winter is Good

It's going to get up into the 50's today and I am so excited that I woke up at 6:30 this morning ready to conquer the day.

This winter has been so very, very long...but I am thankful for times of long-suffering like this, because it reminds us to be thankful and joyful and to soak in the warmth and goodness of days like today. And when spring finally makes it's way to this sleepy town in Ohio, I will be so happy, so full of life, so ready to spend my days out enjoying it, that I don't think there will be any room for dissatisfaction.

That's what winter can do. That's why winter is good. It's a restart, a new beginning, a time to realize just how important it is to breath deep and to enjoy the warmth of life.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

How We Quit the Pacifier - Cold Turkey

When it comes to our children, there are things that we as parents all dread. For us, the worst of these things was taking away Henry's pacifier, or paci, as we called it. He was over-the-moon, completely attached, absolutely obsessed with his pacifier and we both agreed that he kept it a little longer than what we had both intended and liked. 

Before this final, successful time, we tried a couple of various other times to take it away and it was straight-up painful. The first time we tried the 'only at bedtime' approach and it worked for about a week. But before we knew it he was hiding them in various places around the house and every time we turned around he managed to have one stuck in his mouth again. Taking it away during the day ended in a meltdown and before we knew he, he had the thing almost all the time again.

The second time was right before Christmas and we tried to explain to him that Santa would only  leave gifts if he left his pacifiers with the cookies for trade. Big no-no. First of all, he could care less about whether or not Santa was going to leave him gifts, and second of all, he received THREE NEW PACKAGES of pacifiers as gifts from family the next day. BIG failure on our parts.

This last time was by far the most successful and easy thing that we had done and it worked like magic. Let me start by saying that although I feel as if the pacifier stuck around a little too long around our house, I'm going to attribute the fact that it was so easy to the fact that he was older (2 1/2) so it may not work the same for you and your child. Are you ready to know how we quit the pacifier cold turkey - for good?

Here's a few easy steps on how to do it:

1) Find a movie/book/song/episode about giving up the pacifier.

We watched the episode of Sesame Street that this song came from and then sang the song numerous time through-out the day. I think this helped prepare Henry for the idea that a pacifier is not something permanent that 'big kids' have and that others have had to experience giving it up too. 

2) Pick a time of day that will be easiest for them.

I wouldn't recommend taking away a pacifier right before nap time or bedtime, especially if your child is dependent on it to sleep. For us, we found that taking it away early morning was the easiest. It gave Henry time to eat, play, and be distracted all day without thinking about it, especially now that he skips naps most days.

3) Talk to them about it.

Henry and I had numerous conversations that day about why it was okay to be a little sad or to miss his pacifier. We also discussed how not having a pacifier meant that he could talk more and be a 'big kid' instead of a baby. We reiterated several times that day what big kids could do that babies could not and even did a few new activities like building a fort and playing with a new toy that were meant specifically for 'big kids'.

4) Make it known that this is it, no more pacifiers.

I had Henry help me gather all of his pacifiers and together we threw them away. This action made it known (to both of us) that the pacifiers were gone for good.

5) Make them comfortable that night.

If your child is used to a certain routine for bedtime, make sure your able to practice it the night that the pacifier goes away. This was the hardest part for us because Henry always had his pacifier to sleep. But, after a hot bath, a couple extra stories, and some bedtime snuggles with his blanket and mommy, he fell right asleep with no problem. We were amazed! Don't take your child out of their comfort zone when they're already trying to cope with the loss of something they once relied on - it will only upset them more.

6) Answer honestly.

Henry asked me several times where his pacifier was or if he could have it. I answered him honestly every time - the pacifiers were gone because we threw them away, there were no more nor would there be anymore, it was okay to miss it, and he was such a big boy now that he didn't need it. When he laid down that night he sort of sniffled a few times for it but I cuddled him closer and told him that it was okay and that he didn't need it anymore. I think kids can often sense when we're lying to them and if we're honest, it will make them even more confident in themselves and in our ability to tell them that this time of their lives has passed and it's on to something else exciting and new.

Henry has been without his pacifier for over a week now and honest-to-God it has been the easiest 'big' thing we have done in awhile. He asked for it twice the day we took it away and twice since and every time we explained honestly where they went and why and he just lets it go. He has been such a big boy about it and we are so very impressed!

How did you take the pacifier away from your child? Was it easy for you or more difficult? Do you think this process would work for most children or do you think we just lucked out?

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Monday, March 03, 2014

March Fitness Goals

Last month I set a few goals for myself to help me along my fitness journey. Ya'll should be proud of me because guys, I rocked them.

I added measurements and was wowed by the amount of change my body undertook. I added circuit training to my weekly fitness routine and fell in love with it. I exercised at least 3 times a week, if not 5, or 6, or even 7. I didn't replace a meal every day with a smoothie or protein shake, but after a trial week, I realized that doing so was hurting me more than helping me progress. So...I still drink my green smoothies most days, and some nights when I have to work I take a protein shake for dinner. Those changes were beneficial, but replacing meals daily did not work for me and that's okay. I did find an exercise that Jeremy and I can both do, actually we agreed on a couple of things, but unfortunately our wonderful Ohio weather has prevented from partaking in them together.

So what are my goals for March?

1) I want to will start running again. Running is pretty much a dream of mine. I admire people who can run and can push themselves to keep going. Hopefully the weather will change a bit so that I can get out and at least start on this journey again.

2) I want to will work-out five days a week, no excuses. I'm already doing this most weeks so this should be easy for me to accomplish! 

3) I want to will eat better. I'm already eating pretty well but I've had a lot of 'cheat' days in the last couple of weeks due to this and that (which are all just excuses). My goal is to really focus on what's going into my body this month, no excuses.

4) I want to will see some numbers change. I want to lose at least 5 pounds and at least 2 inches. I think this is very doable for me!

5) I want to will fit into a least one piece of clothing I have hanging in my closet that is too small. I have several pieces and at least one of them better fit by the end of this month!

I'm gonna do this guys. Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement! Do you have any tips to send my way? What are your fitness goals for this month?

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