Monday, December 13, 2010

A sweet note.

In Saturdays mail I received a package. I didn't open it at first because I was busy and preoccupied. On Sunday my husband found it and asked what it was. When he opened it, we were blessed to find some adorable baby boy clothes. The gift was thoughtful, especially considering the giver, and the fact that we only know each other from blogging, but it was the note that had an even greater impact. It read:

Dear Jetta,

I don't know when I have been so excited about someone having a baby...especially someone I've never really met or officially "know." but I have watched you grow in so many ways over the past year as I have followed you on FB (what a crazy concept,huh?)I was out the other day and saw these and couldn't resist getting them for you.
You are an amazing woman and this little one will be truly blessed to have you as his mommy.
"...and the Lord remembered her, so in the course of time she conceived and gave birth to a son... 'because I asked the Lord for him' -1 Samuel 1:19b, 20b

Love you,

Now for so many reasons - even now as I type it, these words move me to tears. The bible verse sends goosebumps up and down my body. You see, this note, from a "stranger" whom I adore came at the exact right moment in time. Not only was I looking for a Bible verse to stamp onto canvas for Gabriel's bedroom, but this note opened my eyes.

After 12 years of not being able to have kids (on our own)and finally letting go of that dream, this pregnancy was truly a shock. After so many losses, it was easier to assume this baby wouldn't stay - just like all the others. You see, this baby coming changes a lot of things. Some are tough, and in the midst of those scary changes, it was easier to "blame" someone, something, whatever, for this unexpected miracle. What 1 Samuel opened my heart to, is the fact that I have ALWAYS wanted a third baby. I was just too scared to own that desire because it felt selfish, because it was scary, because it was easier to have things stay just the way they were.

While I can't deny, that if we had our choice, we would have timed this differently. I can never ignore that the woman I am today is the woman that was created to be Gabriel's mommy. Just as Isaac and Hope had their perfect place in history, so does Gabriel, and as with everything, Gods timing isn't ours, but it is perfect.

Thank you Lena for listening to your heart. Your gift was more than I think you ever imagined it would be. It changed my life. Truly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's a....


Yay - he was so sweet! He had the hiccups almost the entire time. Chad and I had a hard time picking names - but before the ultrasound we decided on Gabriel Martin. Gabriel means "the Lord is my strength; and Martin is the name of Chad's uncle who passed away when Chad was 14.

We are thrilled, as are the kids.

Enjoy the pics!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quiet moments - and an ultrasound update

First of all...


I am incredibly sorry. I dangled the ultrasound date a long time ago and then failed miserably to give you the news! WOW. If I were you - I would be furious. And then, of course I would promptly forgive the oversight (hint, hint.)

Since I have made you wait this long - what's a few more minutes??? Right? (Insert evil laugh...)

Thanksgiving morning I woke up extremely sentimental. Okay, maybe it was the hormones. Call it what you will, I was a crying, sobbing mess! My sweet husband brought me my coffee in bed and I sat for a long, long, long time reflecting on my life, my new baby and everything in between. I have so much to be thankful for, and at the same time, there is a lot that scares me just a little.

The thing that struck me the most was my kids. The coolest people I have ever had the privilege to know. I was thinking about each of them as individuals. I decided to call them up to chat with me. I am sure I probably scared them with all the crying I was doing, but I needed to make sure these things were said.

Isaac was first. He was so sweet - especially when he realized I was crying. He is a very sensitive boy, and immediately asked me why I was crying. I told him not to worry - that these were "happy" tears. I won't recite the whole speech, but I will tell you (as I told him) that my favorite trait of Isaac's is his compassion. He is always the first to run to another person who has fallen down to check on them. He always checks on his sister at school when she seems sad. Isaac always seems so in tune to when other people are hurting. I told Isaac that I love that about him, and that I hope he never changes.

Hope came up next. She is so different from Isaac. She didn't even notice I was crying. To be honest, at first I questioned whether she would understand or appreciate the words I had for her, but I couldn't let the moment pass, and I decided that even if she didn't totally "get it" - my heart needed to say these things....and so I did. My favorite trait of Hope's is her thoughtfulness. She is always thinking ahead and trying to anticipate what someone else might want or need. She always has the remote ready to hand to Isaac when he comes downstairs to watch TV in the mornings. She loves to color pictures for all of her friends at school. She is constantly trying to give her toys to other people. She ALWAYS wants to help. Her heart is so good. I told Hope that I love that about her, and that I hope she never changes.

For both kids, we talked about how Jesus also has compassion and thoughtfulness for everyone he meets. It was so sweet! They seemed generally amazed that they might have anything in common with Jesus.

These moments were precious to me. It may become a tradition for me. I truly find power in speaking words of affirmation to my kids even if they don't completely grasp all of the meaning. Their hearts know, and so does mine and that, is what being a mommy is all about.

Now... for the small person in my belly...

I am happy to say that I am currently growing a perfect, healthy, happy little baby - and that's about all I know. The ultrasound place messed up my appointment - so they had to "fit me in." Which means a typically hour long appointment lasted all of 23 minutes with a tech who wasn't interested in the fact that I really wanted to know the gender of my baby. We did however get a super cool profile picture which I successfully loaded onto Facebook, but can't seem to post on this blog.

Fortunately for us, we have the coolest Midwife ever, and she has ordered a follow up ultrasound (at a different location) - and that ultrasound is scheduled for this Wednesday, December 1st.

Happy holiday season to all of you - and here's to a baby who wants to show off it's private parts (just on Wednesday anyway...)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In case you were wondering...

I eat normal.

I have written about diet, weight loss and exercise for so long now. I get a lot of people asking me how I am handling my food now that I am pregnant.

I eat normal. I eat what everyone else is eating. Don't get me wrong, I have definitely had my cravings. The first trimester for sure was the worst. As gross as it sounds, all I wanted was McDonald's and chocolate ice cream. I had an pre-natal appointment at 10 weeks, and my midwife said the McDonald's had to stop. And so it did. Chocolate ice cream is a rarity anymore. In fact sweets in general just don't sound good. That is a blessing for sure. But, for now, I have let go of the chicken and heaps of veggies. I have stopped cooking entirely different meals for me from what my family eats. I don't pig out (although I am sure I have my moments...)

I still workout. My workouts look a lot different than before. No more hard core training sessions and 3 hour cardio workouts. These days, I am more likely to do 45 minutes on the treadmill followed by some weights and light core / ab work 3 to 5 times a week. I feel okay about that because I am working out about 300% more than I ever did when I was pregnant with Isaac.

The cool thing to me, is that I feel normal. I have managed to come to grips with the fact that I am going to gain weight growing this person - but I know how to lose it. I did it once...I can most definitely do it again. I know how to eat, and exercise. I know what it takes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rock Star (a shout out to moms)

Several months ago, my friend Alyssa and my sister Kara had a surprise party in my honor, to celebrate the fact that I had lost 100 pounds. I was so blessed by that night. Some of my favorite people came - and there were a few people whose attendance surprised me. Almost everyone brought gifts - which was another surprise - but hey! I am not complaining!!!
My mom gave me me one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received. It's a silver bracelet with stars and rhinestones. It's really pretty. When I opened it, she said she picked it so that whenever I look at it, I can be reminded that I am a rock star.
I haven't been wearing the bracelet much lately. To be honest, I haven't felt like much of a rock star. I found the bracelet this morning in my jewelry box, and this has been on my heart all morning. I wish I could give all of you a "rock star" bracelet. Especially you moms out there. Why? Simply put you ARE rock stars.

You sacrifice
You lose sleep
You run the house
You run the calendar
You run around

You love your kids
You love your honey
You love your friends
You love your God

You remember the parties
You remember the presents
You remember the date and time

You give your all
and then you give some more

Most of the time, you don't have time to remember that you are a rock star. Wouldn't it be nice to have something to remind you? The reality is, as much as we want them to, others won't always remember to notice how awesome we are; how much we do; how big we love. I think we all deserve to remember, that in Gods eyes especially, we do totally rock.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just another belly picture.


Here is a picture of me at week 17. Everything seems to be going along just fine - which is of course still pretty astounding to me. Our ultrasound has been moved to the 19th of November, so the countdown has begun! I can't wait to find out who is in there!!!
I have been struggling with some hypoglycemia, mostly due to my struggle with not gaining too much weight - but my midwife and my counselor, and my friends and family (of course) are helping me through it.
I keep looking at all the blogs that have amazing decorating pictures like my cousin Lissa's, and wishing I was good at decorating. Our work on the nursery begins next weekend - and I am struggling with unique ideas. Thank goodness my husband has a better eye for stuff like that than I do!
It's so hard to believe that tomorrow is November 1st. If you ask me - the year is basically over. These last few weeks will be so busy and will go by so fast! Before we know it we will be struggling to write 2011 on our checks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A maze, a game and then I crashed.

I have always been a woman on the go. Who isn't these days?? But ever since I got pregnant, I have HAD to slow down. I just can't cram quite as many things into a day as I used to. I NEED SLEEP. I love being home. I have never considered myself a homebody - but I sure am now.
As this last weekend approached, I found myself kind of dreading it. Literally, every single hour had something scheduled. I am not sure how this happened, but it did, and there was nothing I could do about it. Everything planned was fun - but there was just too much planned.

It started Friday with the annual banquet for my kids school. I had to leave early because I was falling asleep at my table.

Saturday, I was up at 6:00 and at the grocery store by 6:30. My son had football and then we headed north to Craven Farms for some pumpkin picking and a corn maze with our dearest friends The Jensen's. After getting soaked in the corn maze, we headed even farther north to The Jensen's house for dinner and a little Pinochle before making the 2 hour drive back home. WOW!

Sunday was similar, although it did start out with a transformer blowing and knocking out our power. That was fun! Then is was a 9:30am departure to get the kids to Auntie Shannon's so that Chad and I could enjoy a date. We watched our Seattle Seahawks kick the patootie out of the Arizona Cardinals. It was a great game (I have told you how I feel about football...) but it was cold and I was exhausted. After the game, we had dinner with Chad's parents one last time before they head to Arizona for the winter. We got home around 11. Ugh!
Needless to say - we were all exhausted. Chad forgot to set his alarm, I must have turned mine off. The only reason we woke up at all was because poor little Hope had a nightmare at 6:00am (I usually get up at 4:30). I promptly sent her back to bed; said a kind of bad word and then proceeded to run around like a chicken with my head cut off.

My saving grace?? A call from the kids school saying the power was out and school was delayed until 11:00.

I went back to bed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today is one of those days...

Today is hard for me. I am just being honest.

You see, I have never done "normal" when it comes to pregnancy, so "normal" is hard for me. Isaac, who was conceived via fertility treatment is as "normal" as it gets for me. Even that felt surrounded with interventions. I had multiple ultrasounds - usually because the doctor couldn't find Isaac's heartbeat. If I ever wondered if things were okay with him, I just said something - and the doctor would order an ultrasound. I had a total of 7.

Every other pregnancy after Isaac has ended with no baby. My pregnancy history is not great. Most days, I do okay. But days like today - when it seems that Satan has a grip on my heart - I really struggle. Every twinge scares me. Every ache makes me question. This isn't a fun place to be. I am grateful that I know it will be short lived.

This time, as bizarre as the whole thing seems, it appears that everything is going perfect. My midwife found the heartbeat at 10 weeks - which is relatively early. I have had typical symptoms; an 8 week ultrasound to confirm dates - but other than that, there have been no sneak peaks. It's so opposite of Isaac's pregnancy. I keep thinking, "if I could just take a look..."

I am kind of at that strange point in pregnancy where I feel great (no more morning sickness), my belly is getting bigger - but I don't feel baby move yet except those fun little flutters that happen here and there. I am ready for some bigger movements to help remind me "hey mom. I am in here..."

I say that now - but I also know there will be nights, when I am exhausted and the very thing I am asking for will keep me awake for hours.

So today, I am just trying to make it to tomorrow when I can wake up and start over again. Yay for do-overs! I guess we all have days like this....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010

It is hard to believe it is already the 19th of October! Where has the year gone?

My kids Halloween costumes came yesterday. They were so excited and had to put them on right away. Isaac woke up this morning - 45 minutes early just so he could spend sometime hanging out in his costume. Wasn't it just summer??? How can we be at Halloween already??? It feels like this year is just flying by...

and then not so much.

Is it possible for time to fly by AND go at snails pace at the same time? This pregnancy seems to be going so slow. I say that now - but I guarantee you - when I am holding my newborn in my arms, I am sure I will be amazed at how fast the months went by!

Time is probably going slow because I am way too excited about my November 22nd ultrasound to find out exactly who I am growing. I can't wait! I can't wait! I should start thinking of a fabulously creative blog post to tell you all the news... I better get on that!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 14

When I got pregnant and decided to stop blogging, I told myself that it was because I never wanted to be another pregnancy blog. My mission was to share my weight loss story and hopefully help and inspire others who were struggling with the same challenge. It's truly amazing how we can convince ourselves of just about anything.

What I have realized now that my first trimester is over, is that getting pregnant, being pregnant and recovering from pregnancy is part of my weight loss journey. If I learned anything from the last two years, it's that I will finish, I am not a quitter and victory will be mine. I might be nursing a baby when I finish - but I will finish.

That folks is where I hope the inspiration comes. I hope that is where my story becomes real and motivating.

There is no shame in how my body is changing. There is only glory in what is happening. It has taken me a while to acknowledge and accept that. The cool part of having lost 115 pounds before getting pregnant this time, is that I actually get to look pregnant. When I was pregnant with Isaac, I was overweight and no one could tell I was pregnant until I was in my 7th month. This time is so different.

So here we go folks. Its not the way I though my weight loss story would go, but it's definitely a story with twists and turns. I hope you'll stick with me until the end...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Living in what's true.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praise worthy - think about such things."

Philippians 4:6-8. NIV

I know it's been a while. I know it may not make sense. But this has been hard for me. Being pregnant is hard for me. It is shocking and scary. There is a lot of baggage here to unpack. I have lost so much. I spent the first 12 weeks assuming that my baby would die. I thought for sure that once I saw the heartbeat, heard the heartbeat, I would be fine. I would believe that this baby would be fine. I was prepared for it all to not be fine. It's so sad. The sadder part is this...

I honestly feel like I deserve for it to go wrong. I don't deserve a healthy pregnancy, or a great delivery, or a healthy baby. Why??? I have no idea. The truth is that none of us deserve the great things we have. None of us deserved a Heavenly Father who is crazy about us. And yet...He is. Absolutely, 100 percent nuts about us.

This weekend, I am away for a girls weekend. I am at the ocean with my best friend. I am relaxed and I am broken. I slept beautifully. Fell asleep to the sound of the wind and the rain and the ocean. I finished a book. I confided to Deana and I cried. I cried into the pillow. I sobbed. I am broken. Deana shared Philippians 4:6-8 with me and I cried more. It is time.

It is time for me to live in what it true. Today's truth is, whether or not I think I deserve it, I am pregnant, with a healthy baby. I have an amazing husband who works hard and adores his family. I have two gorgeous, well behaved children. I have an amazing job. This is my truth. This is where I must live. In my daily truth.

Wherever you are. However you are hurting. Find what's true in your world. Rest in that. Find comfort in that. Your joy is there, and your Heavenly Father who adores you - will meet you there.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I am in love....

My friend Katie has me hooked on this blog. The words this man writes are literally LIFE CHANGING!

Please read, re-read, live and share this blog...

You won't regret it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I am overwhelmed today by inconsequential things that I make too big.

I am craving time, on my knees with Jesus.

I want Him to show me how to be a righteous woman who raises babies, keeps the house clean and serves my husband.

I want to be frugal and creative and content.

I want a different life, a new spirit.

I want to be grateful, humble and resourceful.

Where do I start?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's not you, it's me...

My only purpose for blogging was to talk about weight loss, exercise and the emotional struggles and victories that go along with that. I have really loved blogging. I have met so many great people, heard so many great stories and been inspired myself.

For now - I am done. I don't feel inspired to blog about the week by week changes my pregnant body is going through. I do plan to finish my journey of weight loss and health, but for obvious reasons, this isn't my story right now.

I will keep reading the blogs that inspire me - and I pray for all of you frequently. Thank you so much for reading, and following and praying. Your continued prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby are so appreciated.

Thank you for making blogging such an amazing journey....


PS. It wouldn't be fair of me to just bail on y'all - so I promise to update you on the important stuff - like gender and birthday. Once baby is born, maybe we can pick up where we left off.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A note to my blueberry...

My little blueberry...

I want you to know that I think about you all day long. Your very existence is a miracle that is quite simply beyond my comprehension. I hope that you don't mistake my shock. The knowledge of you changed my life forever. The preparation for you was life changing as well. You were created by a God who already knew your exact place in my life, on this earth and in history. He loves you more than I ever could. He has given me a prize - you. As unworthy as I think I am, I want you to know that I will try every day to be deserving of you.

Even as a surprise, you have captured our hearts and given us joy. We delight in learning how you change every day. We are anxious to find out who you are and who you will become.

Thank you Jesus for picking me...



Thursday, September 2, 2010


I don't blog much anymore. I don't read many blogs anymore. It's not that I don't want to. I don't have much to say - and I don't read others because to be honest, I am sort of jealous of everyone achieving their weight loss goals.
Please don't get me wrong...I am so thankful for this amazing miracle. It hasn't sunk in all the way yet - and so sometimes I struggle to read about people getting smaller, when I am in fact getting a little bit bigger every day.

On August 8th, my friend Deana commented that the jeans I was wearing were too big and I needed to be all done with them. On August 31, I had to unbutton those same jeans just to eat dinner. You know those first few month of being pregnant, when you feel kind of bloated and gross. You know you are getting bigger - but no one can tell you are pregnant yet? It's such a not cute stage. That's where I am at right now. I have to remind myself often, that I am growing a person, not getting fatter.

I am an emotional wreck. My poor family. I cry ALL THE TIME. On Sunday, I was crying because I didn't know which brand of ranch salad dressing I should choose. Thank God the store was practically empty! I didn't cry like this when I was pregnant with Isaac... (reason #1 that I think I am having a girl...) Here's what I do know for sure:

It's hard to be an emotional eater, when you are always emotional.

So frustrating! Pregnant or not pregnant - I believe this is true. The thing I need to remind myself is that I am actually still in charge. I might not be able to control what's growing inside of me - but I can control what I feed it. Today, I am going to try to take back my control.

I need prayer. I need support. I need a latte. Anyone else thrilled that Starbucks has brought back their Pumpkin Spice Latte??? Baby and I are!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

here comes the weight gain...

Don't get scared. I haven't completely given myself to the "eating for two" mindset. We all know that's not they way it should work. This little person growing really only needs about 300 extra calories per day. They are way to small to need their very own gallon of delicious Tillamook PB Chocolate ice cream!

My mom asked me the other day if I had already gained weight. My answer (sadly) was "yes." She was disappointed at first - but let me explain. When I was in diet mode, I was only really consuming 1250-1400 calories per day. That's not much. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I was told that not only did I need to add the 300 calories, but that I needed to bring my basic diet to a non-dieting level. So, I upped my calories to 1500 and then added 300. Now I eat between 1700 and 1800 calories a day. That's not bad...but when you come from the mental place I was - that's pretty tough to swallow. Couple that with the fact that I have been too exhausted to get to the gym on a regular basis...yes, I have already gained some weight.

The first week that I knew about this small person, I was devastated by the very idea of having to get bigger. I know... it's not fat, it's baby, but just the very concept (and my hormones) took over and I spent A LOT of hours crying that first week.

Things have settled down a little. I still cry quite a bit, but it's not usually triggered by my crappy self image of my body. That's a relief! I know that the workouts will become more regular, especially the closer I get to the second trimester. I am so thankful for all of the people who are willing to hold me accountable. Chad, Kara, Deana, Angela - thank you so much for guarding my accomplishments. I appreciate it so much!

Now. How 'bout some ice cream....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coming full circle

When Chad and I first decided we were ready for babies - we assumed that it would happen quickly and easily. After the first couple of months, you are still hopeful, but as the months go on, and nothing happens, the hope diminishes. If you are fairly young - the docs don't even really want to hear from you until you have been trying for 6-12 months. You try everything. Ovulation tests, temperature tracking, keeping your hips elevated after sex - certain that one of these methods will be the answer. When it's not, it's devastating. No matter how obsessed your NOT going to get about getting pregnant, I have seen few succeed. The desire for a baby is not the same as the desire for a new pair of shoes, or a darling purse. Slowly it consumes you. As the months go by, you see friends and family members celebrate their pregnancies. As much as you love your friends and family, and want to be genuinely happy,it just hurts so much. Why them? Why not me?

I know that so many of my friends and family members had to break the news to Chad and I of their expectant joys. Now, I understand how hard it had to have been for them. Loving us, watching us hurt and yet needing to share their joy.

God doesn't always bring us full circle, but in this circumstance I have the difficult and yet amazing opportunity to stand where my friends stood years ago. It's so fascinating to me how He works.

There were two phone calls we dreaded making when we decided to let people know about our pregnancy. One of the calls went perfectly, the other one still hurts my heart. I hope those two ladies know how aware I was of them in those moments. How much I long for their dreams to come true too. How in my dreams, I imagine this all happened now so that we could have babies close together...

For now, I have to assume that God has equipped me for this. Hands on training I guess. Years and years of hands on training.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A "bump" in the road...

Oh boy...what a difference a week makes. On Tuesday, I blogged about finding my old jeans, and on Wednesday Chad and I got the shock of our lives. I am pregnant. HOLY COW!! Wow. Way to throw a wrench into things. How did this happen??? I don't actually need a lesson in sex ed, but seriously. Chad and I started "trying" to have a baby in 1998. That's 12 YEARS of unprotected sex and we have one biological son and one adopted daughter. This baby making thing has not brought us the most success. We have talked about adopting again, but decided we couldn't really afford to. We had discussed trying again to get pregnant, but had decided we were done. In fact - we were so done, that Chad actually has an appointment for a vasectomy on Monday! Is this some kind of joke???

Anyway. Here we are. Getting ready to start week 6. I know it's early - but I am not exactly a private person (hense the blog for everyone to read...)so I told everyone right away and figure the worst thing that can come of that is a little extra prayers.

There are so many things I have to write about; so many things on my mind. I guess my blog will take a little different direction for the next few months.

Now you all know... I hope you will pray. I will probably take the weight loss ticker off my blog. Won't be buying those size 8's anytime soon...

The funniest part of all of this - was the mandatory baby name discussion. Chad's suggestion?? Sue Prize Anderson. Get it??? LOL!!! Nice one Chad!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I found some old jeans...

I was cleaning out my closet this morning and I came across an old pair of jeans. I thought I had gotten rid of all my "fat" clothes, so I was pretty surprised to find these.

They are a size 20.

One leg is the same width of my entire body.

I look at them and can't believe they ever fit. When I showed Chad, he didn't believe that they were mine. Then he said, "how did I never notice..."

I have been hearing that a lot lately. My sister never saw my size, she only saw her sister. Alyssa is amazed by my weight loss - but me now seems like the me she's always known. Deana always just saw her friend - not her friends size. From my perspective, this is so hard to understand. How did they not see? Especially Chad. I mean REALLY? At first, I wondered if they were just saying that to be nice. But Chad's surprise tonight tells me the truth. They never saw the fat - only the friend. Amazing. Truly. Because I still see the fat. If only I could see myself the way they do.

I am definitely a work in progress. When I go back and read my very first posts - I was clearly in such a dark and sad place. I can barely stand to read those words. The transformation has been tremendous, both physically and emotionally. A work in progress... and everyday that I wake up, is another chance to continue working on myself.

I am going to keep these jeans. As a reminder, as inspiration and motivation. I need something that shows me where I was - and I need it to remind me never to return.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Rest of the Story...

As you may now, I was asked to write a guest post for bridgetownbabymomma. Such and honor really. Man did I struggle. I am very proud of the final product, but I realized that I had never told the whole story here on my blog. The feedback I have received has been phenomenal, and I am so happy that I got the chance to share.

I am borrowing the photos from Jenn's post. Even though they are my pictures - she did the editing by adding the dates and weights to the picture - so for that, she gets all the credit. Hope you don't mind Jenn...

Everyone else...this is the rest of the story.

I have struggled with my weight for more years than I can count. Actually, to be accurate, I have struggled with FOOD for more years than I can count. When I was young and athletic and always moving, what I ate didn’t matter as much. Once I stopped doing sports all the time, everything changed. I was never thrilled with how I looked, and I knew that I could lose weight when it mattered most. I lost weight for my 1996 wedding, but promptly put it back on once Chad and I settled down.

In 1998, Chad and I decided to start trying for a baby. Nothing seemed to work – and when it did work, I would always lose the baby at about 7 weeks. A couple years into it, my doctor suggested that I might need to lose weight in order to have a successful pregnancy. She suggested 35, I lost 85 pounds. That Christmas, 2001 we conceived our son Isaac with the help of a fertility clinic. The pregnancy went great and believe it or not, I didn’t gain a single pound the whole time.

After Isaac was born, I don’t think there was any one thing that led to my overall weight gain. The weight went on slowly and steadily for a number of years. To be honest, I am not sure I really even noticed. We adopted Hope in 2005 and I was busy being a mom. I was barely aware that I wasn’t happy. Slightly aware that I was depressed, and eventually, I became totally aware that I was so out of shape, I couldn’t even walk up the stairs at Safeco Field to take Isaac to a baseball game. When you are a mom, you always want to be that cool, young, hip mom. I have never thought of myself that way, but I also never really saw what I had become.
Life plugged along and in 2008 I was offered a position at the company I currently work for. This was such an answer to prayer. From the day I was offered the job until the day I was scheduled to start – was 21 days. Just enough time to drop a few pounds before I had to buy a couple new outfits for work. I ordered this shake diet from – I love it! It was hard, but I dropped about 20 pounds over the 5 weeks I did that diet. Probably mostly water weight – but who cares! I bought a few things and started my new job. It was hard to stay focused on a diet, because at my work there was a constant stream of catered, delicious food. I wasn’t exercising yet…thank goodness my next motivation came a short time later…

Our family was planning a trip to Arizona for Spring Break in 2009. Chad’s entire family wanted to lose a few pounds before that trip, so we started a “Biggest Loser” contest of our own. We started in January, and the final weigh in was going to happen in Arizona. The prize was cash. Truth be told, the prize could have been a pile of poop and it wouldn’t have mattered to me. I am so incredibly competitive; there was NO WAY I was going to lose this contest. Sure enough, Chad won for the guys and I won for the girls.

Here’s what I can’t pinpoint – somewhere in the middle of that contest, I became so determined. I became so focused. I began to see that I was strong, but more importantly; I was finally able to acknowledge that I was fat. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that offers a gym/trainer benefit. They actually pay for me to have a trainer. I realized that it was quite possible that I would never again have access to these kinds of resources. If I was going to do this, if I was going to get healthy, now was the time.

So here I am. Almost exactly 2 years later. My weight before I started my job was 286 pounds. At 5’6” I actually weighed MORE than my 6’5” husband. Today, when I stepped on the scale, I was 171. That is a loss of 115 pounds. I have definitely had my share of rough times over the last 24 months. Sugar has been a reoccurring battle I have to fight. Pretty much daily. It’s my drug. I struggle with the same things many other people struggle with, namely time. Life, jobs, kids, husbands – they all pull us in so many directions. It seems impossible to find the time to get to the gym. The business of life also lends itself well to cruddy eating. McDonald's is so much easier… I have to wake up every single morning and CHOOSE to live this life I have chosen for myself. To be honest, some days I don’t choose it. I get tired. I get overwhelmed, I get sore – but I do know that I don’t ever want to get fat again.
What works for me nutritionally changes all of the time. Partly from boredom and partly because our bodies really do get used to something and then we just stay still. I am learning that in order to lose the last handful of pounds, I am going to have to reinvent my strategy as many times as necessary. My suggestion? Find what works (it’s different for everybody) and then be wise enough to recognize when it’s not working anymore. Realize early, that what you are doing is creating a life not a circumstance. The eating habits, and exercise routines are not temporary. If you want to maintain what you have accomplished, you will have to commit for life – not for a short period of time or in a certain circumstance.

The last thing I will say is… I know it seems like you can’t do it. From the beginning it seems impossible to take the steps; cut the calories; do the work. I totally understand that. Surround yourself with people who already know you can. Let them support you, carry you and talk you
through it. These people will be far more valuable than any diet or exercise plan. They can whisper in your ear, hold your hand and help you soar -until the day you discover for yourself just how strong you really are.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guest Post...

A couple of weeks ago, Jenn at asked me if I would do a guest post for her blog. Of course, I said "yes!" and then proceeded to have the worst case of writers block ever. I am not sure why writing for her blog was any different than writing for mine, but apparently, it is.

At any rate, I did it. It is on her site today. It's so strange. I didn't cry when I was writing it - but for some reason, when I read it on her blog today, I couldn't stop crying. Maybe it was seeing the "before" pictures with the words...

Please stop by bridgetownbabymomma and check it out. She has a great blog that I have really enjoyed reading. I know you will love her!

Monday, August 2, 2010

One amazing woman...


I would like you to meet Elaine.

Elaine is my mother-in-law.

She is gorgeous...

She is goofy...

She is a wife...

She is a mom...

She is a grandma....

She is amazing...

And she could use some prayers.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Giving it another shot

I am at it again. You would think I would get a clue. Take the hint. Nope. Not me. If you don't know me well, let me tell you - I am stubborn if I am nothing else ( I do hope I am something else though. That would be really sad to just be stubborn.)

You already know that on my journey to getting healthy, I have discovered many things, including running. When I start to get down on myself, just the fact that I can run the distances I have, is enough to boost my confidence a little bit. I have always been an athlete, but I have never been a runner.

Until now.

I am once again, training for a half marathon. There was a lot of disappointment for me in April and June when the two big races I was training for couldn't happen. In April, I was supposed to run my first half marathon. I had been training, and it was supposed to be great practice for the marathon I was planning to run in June. Unfortunately, my body had a totally different plan.
In March, my back went out which destroyed my training for the half marathon and in May - when I ran the Seahawks 12k, I apparently suffered a stress fracture, but didn't know it - which turned into a full on break 7 days later when I tried to do my 10 mile training run. I tried to tell myself that I could still run the marathon even though I had missed 5 weeks of training. Then, as I slowly returned to reality - I realized that this wasn't going to happen for me this year. My friends and team mates tried to convince me to walk the marathon, but to be honest - I had no desire to walk it. I already knew I could walk it - I wanted to accomplish something I wasn't sure I could.

I cried every morning the week leading up to the marathon. I had tons of friends and team mates post their times and pictures when the race was over. I was happy for them, but so incredibly bummed for myself. I tried to let it all go. I tried to tell myself that it really didn't matter to me if I ran a half marathon or marathon in my lifetime. Here's the thing...

I do care.

I want to do this.

I want this victory for me.

So I am training again. My sister and I are planning to run a half marathon on September 26th. I hope my back and my feet can handle it. We are wrapping up our second week of our training schedule and so far everything seems fine. This weekend, Kara and I are running in The Torchlight 8K race. For those of you that don't know - and 8K is about 5 miles (4.97 to be exact) - and please don't feel bad - I had to Google that.

It should be fun.

Right now I am telling myself, that if my body breaks while I am training for this run - I will let it all go. I will move on from running and find something else. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, and is evident by the fact that I am even training for this race - I am pretty stubborn, and stubborn rarely equals wise.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pretty Panties (and a few other things...)

I have noticed lately that I don't have much to say. I am not sure why that is. TONS of stuff is happening - and I want to share, but for some reason I just can't seem to find my voice.
I was thinking this morning about all of the things that have changed. Not just in the last two years - although those changes are the most noticeable, but over the years in general. I feel a little like I have sort of calmed down a bit. I used to be lots of drama all the time. Everything had a story. Everything was a big deal. I had to tell everyone everything. I think my friends and family would agree - that has been one area of change for me - and honestly improvement. I think my Mother-in-Law took the brunt of all of that drama. Jeez! That must have been exhausting. Sorry Elaine!
The new me desires a life with a lot more privacy. A quieter life at home with my family, whereas before I couldn't stand to be home. I always wanted to go somewhere, talk to someone. What was I searching for?

Here are a few other things I have noticed that are different about me:

1. I could live in dresses and skirts. This is definitely new. When I was big - I can't remember EVER wearing a dress or skirt. My favorite comfy outfit these days is a skirt from JCREW and a white tank top from the Gap. Don't forget the flip flops. LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear flip flops!

2. I own cute panties. I know this might seem silly - but to be honest, I never bothered before. Chad doesn't care, and neither did I. Besides, plus size panties are expensive!

3. I couldn't run a block...let alone 7 miles. I think this is HUGE. Bigger than I realize most days. Chad says I am crazy for running so much...but secretly I think it bugs him that I now can literally run circles around him.

4. I used to HATE sex. I don't anymore. That's all I am going to say about that...

5. I have learned how to bite my tongue. I don't want or need to have a comment about everything. The people that know me best, know when I am holding back - but I have definitely learned that I don't always have to speak up.

6. I have learned how to say "no." I have learned that there has to be times when there is nothing on the calendar. That staying in your jammies all day is sometimes the best plan ever.

7. I have learned that somethings just aren't worth my energy.

9. I don't mind wearing a swimsuit.

10. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think that I am pretty.

What else has changed??? I'm not sure - I would have to ask my friends. Anyone???

*picture was taken from the Victorias Secret website. I love their stuff!! I'm just sayin....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Things have been so crazy! I know I have sort of slacked off on the blogging - but I have not slacked off on my mission.

As you know - I had a birthday 10 days ago. The picture was taken just after the 4th of July parade that we went to in Edmonds. There is something VERY significant about this picture - although, if you don't know me well, you would never guess what it is. The truth of the matter is, I didn't even think about it until one of my dearest friends pointed it out to me.

I am wearing a tank top. Not only am I wearing a tank top, but I am smiling while wearing a tank top.

This, my friends is a HUGE milestone for me. When I was heavy - I would wear as much as possible so that no one would ever see my body. It didn't matter how hot it was outside - I would be as covered as possible. Not only did I want to be covered up, but my arms have always been my least favorite part of my body. Hiding them has always been a priority.

Another milestone will occur soon. In fact, it will occur as soon as I can get through the line at the dang department of licensing. You see, I noticed after the fact, that on my birthday my license expired. Time for a new one. And guess what??? This time, I don't have to lie about my weight!!! YIPEE!!! Here's why:

Last time I posted my weight was May 11th. Here is where I am at:

May 11: 182.0
July 14: 174.2

Weight loss of: 7.8 pounds

I haven't been able to get into the 170's and stay there - so I am loving this!

Here's to tank tops and legit info on drivers licenses! HAPPY SUMMER!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Emotional Eater

Fist of all, I would just like to mention that it is 3:30am as I write this. That's right - I said 3:30 AM. No need to adjust your screen, there is nothing wrong with your eyes...3:30. There is however, something wrong with my eyes...everything is blurry. Could that be because it's 3:30 in the freaking morning??? Ugh!

Hope came into my room at 2:45 this morning needing some love. I was totally fine with that because last night I had one of the worst nights as a parent - we haven't had a night like this is a long, long time.

I posted on Facebook last night that I thought my kids had been possessed by evil beings.

I wasn't kidding. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???

Disciplinary action had to be taken with both kids. That's the part I hate. No one wants to end their day that way.

After we prayed and the kids were finally in bed - I did what any rational mom would do - I poured myself a huge glass of whatever alcoholic beverage I could find. Just Kidding! I did however, drive to the store and buy myself the one thing that could make my day better.

Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.

Maybe I should have stuck with the alcohol.

While I was skillfully extracting the gorgeous ribbons of salty deliciousness that is the peanut butter, I couldn't help but realize just how much I am the classic emotional eater. I wasn't hungry, I wasn't even really having a craving - but for some reason my mind thinks that eating will solve everything. The part that amazes me is that even though I know better - even though I have the worst stomach ache in the world right now - even though I am pretty sure I gained 45 pounds last night - I still haven't learned my lesson.

I must have some sort of undiscovered learning disability.

I was going to do a weigh in this morning since it's been a while, but I am thinking I might wait. Pretty sure the scale isn't going to have anything nice to say to me this morning.

Praise God we wake up every morning and get a "do over." Me and my kids certainly need it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday. Another year older. I am 34. Even though 34 is not old by any stretch of the imagination, it is always strange getting another year closer. Closer to what?? I'm not sure...I'm just saying it's strange.

I have spent the last couple weeks leading up to my birthday being really reflective. I have been thinking a lot about what I want for me, what I want for our family. I have spent time thinking about my victories, my regrets. Am I where I thought I would be at this age? In some ways, yes in others, no.

I think for me right now, my biggest disappointment is the fact that I spent the later part of my twenties and the early part of my thirties being fat. It's not just disappointing because of how I looked, but mostly because the being fat part dictated so much about how I lived my life. So many things I didn't try because I was just physically not able to. So many people I didn't meet because I was too self conscious. Even the things I did do were so tainted by fear. Fear of failing, fear of being rejected, fear of looking stupid... Such a sad existence.

I am so glad that I made the decision to get healthy. I only wish I had made it sooner. Or better yet, I wish I had never gotten to the place where it was so out of hand. I am so grateful for the resources and support that I have had.

If you are struggling with weight, and it is limiting your life - TAKE CHARGE! You have seen that it can be done. You might doubt yourself - so take advantage of your most available resource - the family and friends who have never doubted you. They will carry you until the moment you realize just how strong you really are.

If weight hasn't been your issue before, but you are noticing that things seem to be spiraling out of control - GET HELP! Find someone you can trust to talk it out with. A good friend can help you figure out where you need the most help. Are you having trouble with baby weight? Are your hormones out of wack? Are you depressed? Again, there are so many resources. Use them.

Don't give up years for food. That exchange will NEVER be worth it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My first ever blog award! Yipee!!

Last week, Jenn at bridgetownbabymomma blessed my socks off by giving me my first ever blog award! I was totally surprised and to be honest it really came at the perfect time. I have been thinking a lot lately about not blogging anymore. I was starting to feel like my posts were just going off in to cyber land and no one was reading anymore. Is anyone out there?????

Receiving the award from Jenn not only made me realize that someone is reading, and that what I say does matter, but I also learned that even if only one person reads - I will still write.

I don't know much about blog awards - but from reading Jenn's post when she received hers, it looks like I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself you might not know and I need to nominate a few other blogs. So here goes...

1. My son was born at a free standing birth center with an independent midwife. I had no drugs - and I loved every second of it!

2. After Isaac was born, my midwife trained me to be her assistant, and I spent the next year and a half delivering babies with her.

3. In 2009, I delivered my nephew at my sisters house with the help of my brother in law. Well, I guess my sister helped a little bit too!

4. If I could go back in time and start all over, I would have gone to school to be a baby doctor.

5. If you can't tell by now... I love everything that has to do with pregnancy, and childbirth.

6. When I graduated from High School, I went to college at Seattle Pacific University. I didn't last long - but sometimes wish I had finished it out.

7. I started working at The Gap when I was 15 years old. I worked there until I was 21. Who can pass up that discount!?!?

Now for my awards... Here are a couple of gals that I make sure and read every time they have something to say. I LOVE these women. These blogs make me laugh, cry, soar... check them out when you can!





Friday, June 25, 2010

If I could say this in person, I would.

This is a post I have been running through my little brain for quite a while now. I get pretty fired up when I talk about it with my friends. I think it's really important to share this - so I decided it was time. I am however going to start with an apology.

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, discourages anyone, or frustrates anyone. This is MY OPINION. It is something I have come to realize over the last several months. I hope you know by now - it is NEVER my heart to discourage anyone, I only want to help (great way to get started, don't you think??)

There are so many of us that are overweight. There are so many of us that are not healthy. Thin does not necessarily equal healthy. This post is meant for those of you who need to change your health. Whether you need to lose weight or you just need to eat better and exercise. Here is the one thing I have discovered in all my years of trying to lose weight and get healthy. Are you guys ready for this??? This is a HUGE discovery... Ready??? Wait for it....

Here it is:

You aren't going to do it until you are ready.

Mind blowing isn't it? So many of us know we need to. Someone has told us - our family, our friends, our doctor. Whether or not we acknowledge it - we see the need there too, but until we are ready - it's not gonna happen.

When I say "ready" I mean, give it your all "ready." Not gonna give up, not giving in, completely committed to the process "ready." If you aren't that kind of "ready" - I would almost say don't bother. Yo-Yo dieting is not good for you at all. Most of the time the end result of a partial attempt, is a few pounds gained.

Losing significant amounts of weight is a LIFE CHANGING EVENT. Do not underestimate the impact it will have on your life, your family, your perspective. It should not be taken lightly. The are emotional issues that need to be dealt with and to honestly do that you have to be ready and willing. There will be so many hard days - if you aren't committed with your whole heart, then what will keep you from quitting?

If you have ever struggled with your weight - you know....there is always a reason, an excuse. "I will start my diet on Monday..." When you are ready - the time will be NOW, not Monday.

I wish I had a different way to deliver this message. I wish I could say this in person. So much can be misinterpreted...but this is what I have. I have a blog. This is my method. This is my heart. I am going to click "publish post" and pray that God uses this post to reach the people whose hearts are open.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Once upon a time...

I had this friend. I had waited for this friend all my life. When I was little, I used to pray for a best friend like the friends you read about it books. Friends that can finish each others sentences, know exactly what you are thinking, tell you everything. I think we all know the kind of friend I am talking about...

In 2002, God answered my prayer and brought me my friend. It was perfect timing! I was pregnant with Isaac, she was almost done being pregnant with her first as well. We grew close quickly.

When my labor started she was the only person (besides the midwife) that we called.

When we found out about our daughter being available to adopt, she was the only person I called (besides Chad.)

When my son has a seizure on my living room floor, she was who we called.

My friend and I spent years together. Our kids became great friends. We laughed together, cried together, we did just about everything together.

There truly aren't enough adjectives to describe the great things about my friend. So many things that I admired. Still do.

As it sometimes goes, the season of our friendship came to an end. There is no one to blame. I have no hard feelings. The memories I have with her are sacred. I will never speak with anything but love for her. How could I? I had prayed for her. She was Gods provision to me in some miraculous times, some scary times and some plain old boring times.

I am not certain she knows the spot in my heart that she holds. I miss her - but I am confident in the paths we are both taking. I hope she knows that I wish only amazing things for her and her kids. I hope she knows that I know God will use her. There are so many things that I hope she knows - but mostly, I hope she knows...

I will never forget.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

girl time heals the heart

In case you haven't noticed - by the extreme lack of anything worth writing about - I have been in somewhat of a funk lately. I am not really sure if it's the weight loss thing, the lack of sun, stress of work. Maybe all of the above. Anyway, I had the opportunity to spend an evening with 3 of my favorite people and let me tell you - it has renewed my strength. Brought back my determination.

These 3 women A-M-A-Z-E me. Here's why:

Kristin (the bombshell in the yellow dress): is a fairly new friend of mine, but let me tell you - I LOVE this girl. We sat down to dinner, and she wasted no time calling me on my crap. Now THAT's my kind of girl! I like women who are strong and honest and call it as they see it. Man did I need that! She put me in my place, but I know she loves me to pieces. Everyone needs someone like that in their life.

Debbie (the adorable gal with the contagious smile): is my quiet strength. She doesn't say much, except when it matters. I really respect that. When Debbie speaks, you listen because you know it matters. She is my fan 100% of the time, and I never worry about that. She is dependable, patient, brave and probably one of the strongest women I have ever met.

Alyssa (the amazing woman I lean on): Literally. I don't even know what to say about Alyssa without crying. Everything about Alyssa is comfortable. Two of my favorite memories with her involve taking naps. That speaks volumes.

If my sister had been here - the night would have been perfect.

The time with my friends was just what I needed. I think most women already know, that girl time heals the heart. It is truly restoring. Especially when you are blessed with gals who really "get" you. These ladies get me. They know me - they know my crap and they still love me. Now THAT is amazing!

Thanks ladies. I love you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Absolute Clarity

There are three days in my life that I can recall with absolute clarity.

1. The day I gave birth to Isaac.

2. The day we picked Hope up.

3. The day I married Chad.

I was so calm that day. I had such a great night. It had been a long year - and now it was time. There was nothing left to do - but breathe and enjoy.

I loved my dress. I still do. The one thing I was worried about was my tendency to break out in hives when I was nervous. There were no hives.

We were 15 when Chad asked me to be his girlfriend. We were 18 when Chad proposed. We were 19 on our wedding day.

I was the only cousin in my family to be blessed with the presence of my Far Far (father's father in Swedish) at my wedding - and Chad and I were both blessed by the fact that Chad's cousin Asa was well enough to be in our wedding. Although Asa went home to be with Jesus a short time later - the pictures of him are treasured for sure!

Would I do anything differently? Sure. But really...why go there? Our story is what it was meant to be. Chad is who God selected for me. He made us match.

While there are only three days that I remember with such clarity and detail - there are few memories I have that don't include Chad.

Happy Anniversary. I love you. Meet me in Maui next year???