Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random Catch-Up Part 5

These random catch-up posts have been great at helping me to better document what goes on in the Collette household. I think I might make it a monthly thing, sort of a "What We've Been Up To" post, pretty much for my own benefit. Sorry if it is super boring to anyone out their who reads my blog. I like it because it helps me feel like I am keeping more of a journal, which I should do, but I don't.

Anyway... the first thing is, of course, my kids trip to Bear Lake with their grandparents. Apparently everyone there was real big slackers in the picture taking department (I can't imagine why, 4 kids doesn't keep me busy at all... tee hee ;), so if my mom can find any, I will add them to this post later. They had a blast though, boating, swimming, miniature golfing, crafting, getting shakes, playing with cousins, watching movies, playing games.... basically kid heaven.

I left to Girl's Camp the day after my kids got back, but when I got home 4 days later, this was waiting to greet me:
 Laylah had made these cookies all by herself, and they all signed a card for me. So cute!

Some of our dear friends from Virginia, The Archibald's, were in town for a family reunion, and they took a night out of their busy schedule to meet up with us. We went to Chick-Fil-A because one of their kids has celiac disease, and that is the only place who has gluten free food. And bonus: they are delicious, so win-win.

Daphne and Ian went to preschool together, and Baron and Collin went to playgroup together for 2 years. They are the best of buddies. Baron has always been bigger than Collin, but for the huge height difference between them now, I would never guess that they are only 8 months apart!
And now Ian is as tall as Jonah, and Daphne was dwarfed in comparison! Oh genes, they are funny things. 

Thanks for the visit Archibald's, we love you!
Onto Magnus, my never-ending trouble-finder/maker/lover.
Exhibit A:
I came into the kitchen one morning to find this. I'm not sure exactly what he was trying to do. I like to call him the "Silent Assassin", because I never hear him doing anything. I just find things after the fact. I know, I know, I should just lock the whole kitchen up at night so he can't get into stuff in the morning, but really? That's basically impossible, and I'm sure it wouldn't stop him anyway. If that kid wants something, he will find a way to get it. I suppose that will serve him well later in life, but for now, it is just a pain in the neck.
Exhibit B:
Waffles anyone?

Exhibit C:
He was looking for a certain book apparently, and tore the entire playroom apart in the process. Good thing I love the little booger.
Onto our fun day at Lagoon. I love Lagoon so much. This year was interesting, as I have been taking some medication that makes me unusually dizzy. As I got off certain rides and rollercoasters, I felt like I just might black-out. I was fine after a few minutes, but it was rather annoying. It was a really fun day none-the-less. 
My mom and I showed up in matching shirts that we bought about 4 years ago together. Funny :)
And of course, all the kids had a blast. I love that my older 4 can go on every ride now. It is so much more fun than it used to be with a bunch of tiny kids.

Of course, we do still have one tiny kid, so we did have to spend some time in Kiddieland.

Jonah's hair was everywhere after getting off of Wicked. Plus, a funny photo-bomber :)

And we went on the white roller coaster 3 times in a row as our last ride for the night. Fun, fun times and great memories were had by all. I love this yearly tradition my parents have started!
I just love this picture, so I had to post it. Andy and his brother Ryan play in a basketball league together, and this particular night their other brother David joined them because they didn't have enough guys on their team to play. I wish they would have been standing up. Ryan is 6'8'' and David is 6'9'', so Andy, although tall at 6'3'', looks like a little kid next to them. Anyway, I just liked it of these 3 brothers :)
Next up, we have Pioneer Day! My parents do a fun campout with all the grandkids on Pioneer Day, along with a barbecue, s'mores, and fireworks. It was a fun night, like always :)

We were too lazy to set up any tents this year, so the kids all piled onto the tramp in a big heap of bodies, pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags. They didn't go to bed 'til midnight, but at least they slept in 'til 7!
Our ward also does a neighborhood breakfast/children's parade for Pioneer Day. I opted out and went to the gym instead, and Andy forgot to take any pictures, but the kids had a blast, or so I hear. I love holidays.
Another fun thing we did recently was head over to Wheeler Farm with Andy's entire family (except for Jenny's family, and Terra) and fed ducks, watched all the kids play together, chatted, and ate pizza for lunch. I really lucked out with the in-laws. They are a fun bunch! No pictures because it was so hot, and I couldn't manage to make myself even get into my purse to take my phone out. Lazy me.
Moving on, I just wanted to say how much I love Murray City. I used to think they had a weird sort of city pride, but I am quickly joining the ranks of Murray City lovers. These are all from the Murray Library's reading program, which all of my kids completed this year. Free meals, yay! On top of all these gift certificates, they received little prizes like crayons, giant bouncy balls, stuffed animals, and pool toys. Also, they each received a brand new book of their choosing. I love the program, it is awesome.
And one last thing... date night! Yay! I love my husband, and our date nights are truly few and far between, so every time is like a little celebration for me :)
Love you honey... thanks for being on this crazy ride of life with me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Fitness Post

 Well, hi there! I should be going to bed right now, because I have a huge math test to study for tomorrow, and my huge term project due in English on Tuesday (that I just barely started yesterday.... whoopsie!). I need my beauty rest. But sometimes, I just need some alone time, you know? So, I sacrifice my sleep so I can have peace and quiet, and not listen to children asking me for something..... I guess I wouldn't hear that if I were sleeping, but it made more sense in my head. Anyway...

I have been asked by SO many people just how I have managed to lose my weight over the past year. I decided to do a post with the basic information. Now, I am not a dietician, and I am not a health or fitness expert. However, I am well-informed, and I have studied and looked into these things that I am going to talk about in this post. Basically, I lost my weight the old-fashioned way. Healthy, controlled eating (which is NOT a diet.... it is a complete lifestyle change, which means FOREVER!), and some major exercise. 

This takes discipline and time. But, I know I am worth it and after awhile, it just becomes habit and it gets easier.

The first thing I am going to talk about is food. One of my favorite quotes from a gym instructor is, "You can't out-exercise and unhealthy diet" which means no matter how much you exercise, if you are eating crappy, you will not lose weight or see results.

One of the things that worked for me was 5 small meals a day (emphasis on the small). I have a go-to list of snacks that I eat in between meals, and I make sure I have those things on hand at the beginning of each week. Some of my favorite snacks are:
-Cottage cheese with fresh tomatoes, lots of salt and pepper, and whole wheat toast w/butter
-Cucumber salad
-Chobani greek yogurt
-string cheese
-laughing cow cheese slathered onto a piece of celery
-veggies dipped in hummus
-hard-boiled eggs (I throw-away the yolk) and a grapefruit
-apples dipped in peanut butter

Notice anything? I eat a protein with a carb. It helps slow your digestion, which makes you feel full longer. It also helps keep your metabolism up throughout the day. I don't do this only at snack-time, but at all my meals.

Another thing I do is use My Fitness Pal. I am so in the habit of using it, I automatically pull my phone out while I am eating a meal, and enter my calories into it. It has helped me so much to see exactly what I am eating, and where I am messing up. I also love it, because when I am having a great food day, I can tell if I have enough calories left over to have a treat. Also, while using My Fitness Pal, it helps keep me accountable with measuring my food. I literally measured everything when I started, but now I can pretty much eyeball it. It also helps remind me to drink water. I drink 2 cups of water with every meal, and that also keeps me full. I have noticed a huge improvement with headaches and chapped lips since doing this as well. Water is amazing!

Next on the list... exercise. You guys... exercise is FABULOUS! I love the way it makes me feel. I love feeling strong and capable. I would recommend getting a heart rate monitor. It tracks your calories burned,  amount of time worked out, heart rate, average heart rate after a workout, and more. They come as complex or simple as you like. Mine is a mid-range, and it does the job just fine.
 This was my calories burned after a 2 hour bike ride

 Another thing I would tell people... it is okay to work hard. It is good for your heart, and good for your metabolism. You should try to max out (meaning push yourself to your absolute limit) once or even twice during a workout. As long as you feel okay (not lightheaded, dizzy, or blacking out), it is okay to push yourself. Your body will thank you, and you will have results.
 This is my heart rate after running up a huge hill

Some of my favorite workouts include biking, running, doing strenth-training classes (with weights) at my gym, zumba, ballet bar class at the gym, and the stairmaster. Don't be afraid of bulking up with weights. Weight-lifting is low impact and good for you. It will keep your metabolism high all day long. Women create long and lean muscles, because that is how our bodies are designed. You will not get huge and bulky like a man.

It is good to switch up your routine. Cardio every day is fine if that is what you prefer, but you will see faster results with a varied workout schedule.

Lastly, work up a sweat! Because it just makes you feel good to know you are working so hard :)
No, I did not pour water on my arm. Pure sweat from 45 minutes on the stairmaster, is what that is!

This information may seem a little overwhelming, but if you want to change your lifestyle, take one element at a time, and start incorporating it into your daily routine. Soon enough (roughly 3 weeks to a month of doing something every day), it will become a habit.

I love the way I feel. I love working out and eating healthy, and I can definitely tell a difference when I am slacking or not exercising like I should. I realize that this may seem obsessive to some people, but for me, it is what has finally worked. I have never felt better since being diagnosed with my auto-immune disease almost 5 years ago, and that alone is worth it to me. 

Good luck!

Happy #9 To Jonah!

 Jonah turned 9 years old just over a week ago. It was a fun day. I was just relieved that it was his turn for a family party, so it was a little more low-key. I had a big paper due in English the day of his birthday, so I was up bright and early preparing for the day. His request for his birthday breakfast was donuts from Macey's grocery store. They do have good donuts, but that meant that I had to get up early to go pick them up. He also wanted blueberries, chocolate milk, and sausage. Super healthy.
 I let him open one of his gifts at breakfast. We got him a new soccer ball because his old one is one kick away from falling to pieces. He loves it, and it has already gotten a lot of use.

All Jonah wanted to do on his birthday was go see Monster's University. While I was busy working on my paper, Andy took the kids to see it. He forgot to take a picture, even though I reminded him THREE times! Silly man. Oh well, they had a good time and loved the movie. The rest of the day, we had cousins over playing and I let Jonah play the wii for as long as he wanted. I finally had to call them up after probably 3 hours for his birthday dinner. He chose bacon cheeseburgers, fries with fry-sauce, grapes, chips with guacamole, and lemonade. Perfectly delicious summer meal.

After dinner, we quickly cleaned up to get ready for our party guests (grandparents) and then we let the birthday boy open his gifts, because he could not wait another second.

 He got so many fun things. A book and money from Gma and Gpa Collette
 A Skylander (Terafin, at his request) and pokemon cards from Aunt Rachel and his best cousin Ethan.

 A REAL fishing pole and a promise to go fishing from Papa Bry and Gma Claudia

 A new Swimsuit from Mom and Dad (desperately needed)

 And finally... a new Nintendo DS. Magnus broke Jonah's old one (that was used and really, really old) and he really, really, wanted a new one. I found an amazing deal, so his wish came true, and I can't even describe his happiness. I took a video of him opening it, and he says, "Oh my goodness, I am going to FAINT!" It's pretty funny. He was really excited, and didn't expect it at all.

 Laylah made him some edible Angry Birds out of marshmallows

And a few photos with grandparents...

 Gma Marge gave him some money, and Gma Darlene couldn't make it to the party, but she gave him a new game for his DS. Happiness all around. He also got several cards with money. What a lucky boy to have so many people love and care about him.

 Best buds forever

 SO excited!

 Jonah requested a s'mores pie for his birthday cake. I was a little taken aback by that, but I found a recipe and made one. It was pretty dang delicious, but then again, marshmallow is my favorite food, so I wasn't complaining.

Happy Birthday Jonah!

Jonah at 9:

Ohhhh, this boy. Where has the time gone? It is so weird to me that in 9 more years, my oldest son will be leaving on a mission. 

Jonah is quite a funny kid. He can be incredibly moody, which is kind of new. He used to be pretty happy all of the time, but in the last couple years, he can be rather sullen when things don't go his way. I can't wait for his teenage years (ahem... not). That being said, it is pretty easy to get him out of a "mood" and get him laughing again. He is generally happy-go-lucky. He loves to play with friends (his best friend is still Colby, from our old Taylorsville ward) and with them, he likes to play any and all sports and games. His favorites are soccer (of course), steal-the-flag, football, baseball, frisbee, hide-and-seek, tag, and any other active run-around game. He also loves the trampoline, and playing at the playground, and riding his bike. In the last year, a new favorite activity has been hunting for snakes, as they are quite abundant in our neighborhood. He also loves to swim, maybe more than any of my other kids. He will stay in a pool for HOURS, and hates having to get out to have sunscreen re-applied (which, obviously, we need to do often... he is still a total ginger and has darling freckles all over his nose.... I'm sure he will be thrilled with that description 5 years from now ;). 

Jonah is also my child that plays really well alone and has a huge imagination. He will play with toys for hours all by himself. He also loves any and all electronics. Computer games, apps, the wii, DS, anything. He loves it. He is Baron's idol, and they play so well together. Luckily, he also loves to read, and is reading at a 7th grade level. He does well in school (when he tries) and if he doesn't feel like trying, he doesn't do so well. He is in the gifted program and it is a lot more work than his old classes, which has been a challenge for him. But, I feel like it is good for him, and grades aren't the only thing that matters. Experience matters too, and he is getting a lot of good life experiences and life lessons, so we have kept him in the class. Jonah also enjoys church (well, it's probably 50/50) but I feel like he has a testimony and knows it is true. He takes the lessons he learns in primary to heart, and he is such a kind-hearted, loving boy. He is always including others, especially when they might not have as many friends. He sticks up for others and is very loyal. I love that about him so much.

He is obsessed with Pokemon lately, and collects the cards, watches the shows, reads the books, and plays the games. He loves Pokemon. He likes to watch movies and TV, and in general, he is just a tiny bit lazy. I have to constantly remind him to do his chores. Actually, I have to constantly remind him to do a lot of things. Maybe someday all of this nagging will pay-off and he'll do it on his own (fingers crossed!) In all actuality, the older he gets, the better he is. He has become a great cleaner, and does a good job cleaning the bathroom every week. He may not like it, but he does it.

Jonah loves food, and he has grown a ton this past year. He eats a lot (more than me sometimes!) and I think the only reason he stays so skinny is because he is growing taller every day. All of his clothes from last summer were too small, and he needed a whole new wardrobe this year. His feet have gotten bigger too. I think he'll pass me up in a few years. He still wears his glasses, but has been talking about wanting contacts lately. I told him I will think about it when he turns 12, so he's got a few years to go. Jonah has also been involved in cub scouts for the past year and loves it. He has gone to a couple day camps and has had a blast. Besides that, he is still taking piano lessons, and although it isn't his favorite thing to do, he is really good and picks it up quickly. Laylah has taken a year longer than him, and he has almost caught up to her level.

Jonah is so much fun, and he is always helping us to laugh more and not be so serious. He is definitely his father's son, and they have such similar personalities. I think that is why I have a little soft spot for Jonah, even though he can drive me absolutely crazy with his stubborness at times. He is always cracking me up, just like his dad. He is such a fun boy, and I love him so, so much. I am so lucky that he chose me. I love you Jonah.