Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Biggest Accomplishment from the Past Few Months

After a year of putting it off because I didn't feel "qualified," I finally recorded a podcast with Power of Moms about Intuitive Eating!

Some of you may remember that I recorded a podcast with them about my experience of going to counseling and learning about the cycle of unhealthy stress and negative self-talk in my life.  This is the follow-up podcast to that first one, focused more specifically on eating disorders and learning to listen to and love my body.

It was scary to record this because I am so far from living all of these principles perfectly all the time--BUT I do believe in these ideas 100%, and I am so SO much happier than I was a few years ago when I was trapped in the diet-binge cycle and loathing myself for my inability to lose weight. So even though I felt inadequate and vulnerable recording this podcast, I am proud of myself for getting up the courage to just do it and put it out there for other women who might need it.

I think sometimes I feel like I can't be a spokesperson for Intuitive Eating because I'm not thin--but this isn't about being thin.  This is about being happy.  And sane.  And not hating yourself all the time.   And not allowing your life to be consumed with thoughts of dieting, desserts, calories, cellulite, food journals, clothes that no longer fit you, the judgement of others...the list goes on.  It's exhausting.  And emotionally damaging.  And there is another way to live!

After recording this podcast, I felt even more committed to living these principles.  I can explain them intellectually a lot better than I can actually live them--but I do believe that it is possible to become a truly intuitive eater, and I have several friends who definitely live and eat this way.  It's inspiring. 

I want to continue on this journey--continue learning how to respect, listen to, and love my body.  Who will join me??

If you ever feel like you are war with your body (constantly worrying about your weight, pledging to start your diet "tomorrow," eating in secret, or feeling self-loathing daily), this podcast is for you.  And even if you are in a good place with your body image, it might be worth listening to learn some ideas for maintaining sanity in the midst of a culture that is obsessed with weight.

Here is the link: 

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Break Traveling Craziness

I don't know if it was my relief that winter is over or a momentary surge of bravery (insanity?), but for some reason, I got all crazy and planned a long and ambitious trip for Spring Break.  And most of it was just me and the kids, making things even crazier.  I am a creature of routine and comfort, and I don't particularly like traveling with my kids even when I have Ryan with me, but we had a lot of family that we wanted to see, so I just decided to make it happen.

First we headed to Utah and saw Noah's birthparents.  Katie is currently in the play The Little Mermaid, and we knew we wanted to see that!  She was the most beautiful "mersister" up on that stage, and Noah enjoyed the show.  His favorite part was Prince Eric's ship.  And flirting with the mermaids after the show.

We also got to go to the park and dinner with Drew, whom we love, and we stayed the night at Katie's Grandma's (so Noah's biological great grandma), and he got to spend some special one-on-one time with her, doing puzzles and building a ship out of tinker toys.


From there we drove to the SLC airport and flew to Denver.  I hadn't been planning to go to Colorado, but my older sister has been struggling with severe depression this past year, and when she told me she hasn't been able to make dinners, keep her house picked up, or get out of bed in the morning, I decided we would make the trip to keep her company for a week.

I love my sister.  She is such a huge support to me, even when she herself is struggling. Despite the depression she's been feeling, she was still so much fun to be with for a few days.  We watched tons of Modern Family while eating chocolate chip cookies and Cadbury mini-eggs, of course; we put together and hosted a 4th birthday party for my niece Jade; we made several dinners and freezer meals to help keep the family fed for the next little while; we refereed our kids fighting (they are best frenemies) and sent them to their rooms for quiet time when we'd had enough; and we went shopping and out for dessert one night.  Honestly, I think the trip was just as therapeutic for me as it was for Sarah, and the kids certainly loved being together!


Oh and in typical Colorado fashion, it was 70 degrees the first two days I was in town and we spent all day playing at the park--and then we got 19 inches of snow in 12 hours.   Ha!  Colorado weather is completely nuts.  The kids had fun making a snowman with Bapa!


I also got to see my grandparents, whom I completely and totally adore.  My grandpa has been getting so frail in recent years, and he was in the hospital for almost a week this month with the flu!  I have been so fearful that I wouldn't get to see him again in this life, so it was such a blessing to spend time with him.  He drove me and the kids to the airport, and when we said our goodbyes, he hugged me close and said, "You have been the light of my life."  It meant the world to me to get that hug and to hear those words that will stay with me for a lifetime.  I hope I have many more years with my grandpa, but I also don't want him to suffer so we are all putting it in God's hands.  My grandparents are as good as they come, and it is a treasure to see them with my children.

We flew back to Utah, and then drove straight to Pocatello for Easter weekend with Ryan's family.  Phew!  What a whirlwind!  But it was worth it.  So fun to be with the Nielson family.  (And Ryan met up with us there so I was no longer parenting solo!) We dyed eggs, drove remote control boats in the reservoir, played with cousins, had an egg hunt, snuggled with our favorite Uncle Tanner who was home from college, and of course went to church and had an amazing Easter feast made by Grandma.






Little Sally and her cousins made quite a splash in their Easter dresses.  I couldn't get over Sally's Easter hat, and I think she and Lucy look like little ladies headed to Grandma's for tea.


Another highlight of the weekend was getting to meet my newest niece, Gracie.  She was born to Cole and Sara two months ago, and she is a bundle of sweetness.  I almost ate her for Easter dinner, but I refrained.  Instead, I let her sleep on me for an hour.  Heaven!  My Sally is obsessed with babies and she was delighted by Gracie, and Noah was so cute with how he "baby talked" to her and wanted to hold her all by himself.





All in all, I am so glad that I took the plunge and made this long trip with my kiddos! Is there anything in this world as fun and comforting as family?? As completely chaotic as it can sometimes be, the relationships are priceless. I love these people with all of my heart!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Winter Lows and Highs

I've come to realize that I really hate winter.  I actually like snow, but the winter months make me extremely blue.  When I look back in my journals, it is obvious that every winter I struggle more with depression than I do the rest of the year.  So the months of January and February were a little bleak for me this year, but in spite of that, we managed to fit in a lot of family fun and memories.

We went tubing with our little family; we went skiing with extended family, including cousin Kate who went for the first time and my dad who came to hang out with us in Sun Valley; we bundled up and went to the park with friends; we went for rainy bike rides to discover worms; we went on a couple of fun preschool fieldtrips...





We spent plenty of time lounging at home and wrestling with Dad, and we had some fun Family Home Evenings based on action-figures of Book of Mormon heroes that I found at Deseret Book.  (Can I get a fist-bump for actually planning a few meaningful FHEs?)



As is our tradition, we had a fun Secret Cupid week in mid-February.  I sometimes feel like I am running out of novel ideas for this holiday, but this year Ryan and I went on a date to Target and each took thirty minutes to pick out a gift and a card for each other.  We then sat in the food court and wrote our notes and exchanged gifts.  Classy!  I picked an extra big card for my Sexy Dexy. ;)  The kids and I also surprised him by sneak-attacking his car at work.

The highlight of my winter was going to San Diego for a sisters' weekend!  The weather was perfection, and there is just nothing like spending time with my sisters.  I also LOVED seeing my nephew Luke, who is at the cutest age and is so friendly and loving.


So there were plenty of bright moments this winter, in the midst of the gloom.  And I cannot tell you how happy I am that spring is here.  I have been feeling so much better the past few weeks.  It's crazy what a marked emotional difference I feel once we get past February! Onward toward spring walks and backyard barbecues...hoorah!