Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Spring Days

We planted flowering crab apples in our yard last summer. I didn't know then that we'd get pink AND white flowers from them and they attract honey bees! (Not just wasps!) They make me happy.

Logan convinced Daddy to take him to the playground while I was gone at weddings all day.

Joining the rat race at sunrise for some fun in SLC Monday morning!

That one time I had a client say that where I was standing to take her photo looked really cool so she wanted to take one of me. (Garden Park Ward in SLC)

My favorite part of our house is the view. Yes, including the dang cat who can't seem to keep himself healthy and uninjured.

The kid who can't sleep straight. He's always all over the place!

A sad day this week, we will miss Bunker so much. (9 1/2 year old photo, from my endowment. Haha, we're such babies here!)

My little reader loves his Knuffle Bunny books.

Logan does not understand or know the words "person" or "people". Instead, he refers to all humans as "friends". For example, "Mommy, look! A friend!" or "I see friends! Go play with friends!", etc.... I just don't have it in me to correct him.

Preschool, learning about and making "ahh-pus"!

The pittance of snow we got this week. Poor kid really missed the snow this winter. He was so excited to get bundled up so he could pick up chunks of snow, throw them on the patio, and stomp on them.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shoes & Photos

In between regular stuff, we got out exploring and prepping for sessions this week. So I actually had my good camera with me, and took nice photos of Logan in those places, rather than just iPhone! :)

Preschool, learning about oceans now!

Ballet flats that stay on my feet and don't give me blisters! Hallelujah! Thanks to Sheridan, I'm totally obsessed with Yosi Samra now!
Winter during spring.... I don't know what it is about storms, but they make me want to get out and explore. After finding ourselves with a free morning, I decided to take a drive up the canyon to see if a favorite location is accessible yet. (It's not) but we had a little fun in the snow along the way!

And now, I'm ready for some more Spring!

Poor kid just didn't get enough snow to play with this year. He was so excited to see it and play in it, but with a bitter wind blowing (and I forgot my gloves), we both were done in about 5 minutes.

Last night, Logan randomly hugged my head against his chest and I could hear the little heartbeat that I first heard over 3 1/2 years ago.... The memory came rushing back so quickly, so much hope, wonder, love, longing, and other emotions attached to that simple little sound.

Cleaning out all my old shoes that I don't wear anymore and Logan had to try on every single one and say "Nope! Doesn't quiet fit."

He begged to take a bubble bath today. I got him settled in and kept working on other stuff. Went to check on him and ask how the bath was going. He said "It feels goooooood."

Oh the life of a photographer's child.... Extremely used to/tired of being a test subject.

Some fun in a field. (And with Photoshop....)

It was national sibling day something or other so I threw together a composite of the photos taken of us at Alex's wedding. Pretty good quick cobble job, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Year Without Sugar (Kinda)

April 2014 (Wearing my "fat jeans" as they were the only comfortable pants I owned at the time.)

One year ago today, I was 13 lbs heavier, depressed, uncomfortable in all my clothes, tired, and headache-y every evening. So I decided to quit sugar. Cold turkey, for the most part. I had tried "cutting back" each day but that just didn't work. I didn't have a daily self-control or work well at monitoring how much I ate. One cookie became 6 entirely too quickly. I decided more drastic measures were needed, so I cut myself wayyyyyy back to one allowed sweet treat a week. There was no long consideration. No silent debates with myself. Just a resolve. And surprisingly, it's worked....

The first three weeks were literally hell. I was a monster, emotions all over the place, cravings through the roof, and lashing out at everything. I knew I'd be that way going in, but I also knew it'd subside after a while. That doesn't make it any less hard though. I remember posting a week into it that someone needed to save Rob and Logan from me. :) Bless them, they took the worst of it all.

I CRAVED. Every day. I would sit and dream about the dessert that we would have for the end of each week. I planned and planned for it to be perfect so I'd be in heaven when I ate it. And those first few weekly desserts really seemed to be so.

At four weeks, I noticed the cravings and grumpiness subsiding. Rob also asked me how my head felt. Surprisingly, though I didn't realize it was causing them when I had started a month ago, we figured out then that all the sugar I had been consuming was what gave me the horrible headaches every evening.

At six weeks, I noticed that the hypnotic hold sweets had on me had finally loosened. I could go to social events and not immediately look for the closest treat to be had. I could be OFFERED desserts and turn them down without cringing internally. I had broken that hold. I even skipped my weekly dessert some weeks because I didn't feel the need for it. Even when I did have the treats I used to crave so badly, they tasted too strongly sweet to me.

Has it been all unicorns and rainbows since? Absolutely not! Fall came, my schedule filled, I had less time, and grabbed more treats on the go. Waffle Love had been introduced into my life. I didn't completely lapse, but my once a week slowly became twice, thrice, four times. The holidays came and went with more temptations and losses. But I still held on to each new day, telling myself I could resist again.

At the beginning of 2015, I told myself I could go back to once a week. I failed in that I was still up to about twice a week, and sneaky pinches of sweets here and there, but I won, in that I was also not even close to consuming the daily amount I used to.

Then Lent came. I am LDS, so I do not observe Lent in it's strictest sense. But my SIL challenged my family, her family, and her friends to join her and quit excessive sugars entirely for 40 days. A year before, I would have said absolutely not. I couldn't have. But with my reduced amounts this year, I knew I could resist for just those 6 weeks. I didn't, for the record. I slipped up several times. I won't go into detail, as I don't think that's necessary, but I was not the best Lent observer. But I still feel I did it. Emilee started a Lent group on Facebook for all of us who joined her. It was a great group, everyone encouraging others and helping support with great recipes. Also, I really started following Healthfest on Instagram and trying her fab sugar-free recipes. (She writes about hard-core healthy & gluten-free foods, but it still related and helped me!)

Lent wasn't without it's outside judgments and disapproval though. I wrote this during Lent, in response to some criticisms from some who felt that I (and others) had quit sugar "at" them, rather than for my own health and state of being. Rob told me to post it here too:

Lent ended last week. We celebrated at Culver's with their amazing custard. It was a sweet celebration in more ways than one. I realize the irony of eating ice cream to celebrate quitting sugar, but we felt we earned it.

Here's goodbye to Lent and hello to a life without sugar addictions.

I still feel I won. And continue winning every day I can resist. I win in that I feel happier and healthier, without daily crashes. My son wins, in that he doesn't see his mother eating desserts all the time and sharing in them. My husband wins, in that I've found other types of "treats" that are not as sweet as before and I prepare healthier meals for him.

Now 13 lbs may not seem much to other people. I know I was not "fat" but I was uncomfortable with my weight and how my clothing didn't fit so well as it used to. I did NOT want to buy a new wardrobe just because I was holding on to chub. So for me, losing that 13 lbs has been more than 10% of my body weight, a significant number in relationship to my size. Much of that was weight I had gained when I met my husband and his mom's fabulous cooking. And have struggled with through other life changes since.

I could not have done this without the support I've been given. Rob, mostly. I know it was hard on him because I completely stopped making desserts, after having one nearly every night for so many years. But he also understood. It always surprises me that I was blessed to have this hubby of mine who so strongly supported me trying to get healthier, even when he had to give up much too. He recognizes what I need to be happy and healthy and supports that. Also, Emilee's Lent group, with their encouraging words and support for each other, during our 40(ish) days together. I've never been a "group encouragement" type of person, but I see now why they are so helpful. It's good to know others are working as hard or harder through the same vices as you and that you all can lend an encouraging word to each other.

One last few words:

This is not a "diet" that I have been on. It's a lifestyle change I have chosen. I didn't decide to do it for a few months, or a year, just to lose some weight and then go right back. I wanted to change myself for the better. I want to always be able to keep up with my spirited, energetic Logan. As we grow older, I want to always be able to go out and explore the world with my husband, without feeling a physical restraint preventing me. I want to be the eighty-year-old who still goes for runs and plays with my grandchildren. For as long as I can, I want to be free from the shackles of poor health that I see take the youth out of the elderly. Granted, I know that there are illnesses and injuries that still may possibly take that from me, but I will do everything in MY power to not let that happen. I want to live a life.

It's still hard. Every day, I wake up and tell myself that I can do it. I keep myself busy with projects and spending time with my family. Sometimes I fail. Most of the time, I win the day. I will always fight it, this addiction, and yes, I will pat myself on the back for each day I pass without it. Because each one is a win and I will celebrate one more day of healthy living. I am stronger than my vices.

New Years resolutions do not have to start on January 1st. You can start next month. You can start next week. You can start now. You can restart tomorrow. Every day is a new day and you can choose how you want to live. Mine randomly started on April 9th and I will continue to enjoy every year that passes with this healthier life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

Our Easter this year kinda spanned two days. With so much family and so many fun things to do together, it takes more than just a day! :)

The beginning of our weekend.... Last nice day for mowing for a while and Logan wanted to help Daddy with his new mower too! Gotta start 'em young!

Skipping naps doesn't quite happen yet. It's hard to get him to nap in his own bed now, but he's pretty likely to cuddle up and fall asleep sometime in the late afternoon. He even fell asleep in my arms and stayed asleep while I transferred him to the car to go to Maren's.

Easter egg hunting....

With lots of cousins and friends!

Just before the "incident"....

No one knows exactly what happened. He got bounced somehow and bit halfway through his tongue! Ouchie, poor baby. I thought we'd have to run him to the Instacare, but after calling and talking to the nurse, decided there wasn't a whole lot we could do and just to be careful with it.

Aunt Amelia was a very good attentive nurse, much better than Logan's mom, who just kept taking pictures.... He really loved his consolation prize, one of Aunt Maren's diet chocolate milk shakes!

Less than an hour later.... I know I have a tough kid, but sometimes he really surprises me! I should have taken a video, because he was up and playing basketball with the big kids and adults that fast!

Happy Easter morning! Our Logan was his happy, normal self today. You'd never know we almost took him to the ER last night.... Though the bunny did end up editing his basket so we don't have to deal with an unhappy boy who can't eat his candy

His favorite toy from his basket, silly putty! We had some ads laying around and he was REALLY impressed with pulling print!

No cut tongue will keep this kiddo from his Easter cinnamon roll breakfast!

Aaaaaaaaand the day-after close-up. I still couldn't believe how happily normal he's been. I know I wouldn't be that way if it'd happened to me....

Random cuddles and pets for Kjelsie.

A relaxing day at home, then off to Grandpa Cooley's house for dinner and egg hunts with the family! The little punk actually seemed kinda proud of his tongue injury, he was so excited to show it off to grandpa, cousins, Aunt Brynna....

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Photo & Video Randomosity

While checking out the spring progress of one of my usual locations, I decided to go hunting for new ones while I was in the area.... And lookie what I found!

Eeee! I was trying to find a Christmas tree farm last year (that didn't cost an arm and a leg to shoot at) but couldn't find one nearby. And just found this little teeny stand of cute pine trees! I talked to some people who lived nearby and they said they didn't think there'd be any problem with me using them so now I can't wait to get out there this next winter for fun Christmas photos!

Literally right next to the pine trees.... Hoping to do a session on this pretty old road soon too!

Awww, some mornings he is just so sad to learn that Daddy is at work!

Logan's reaction every time there is a thump and a knock at the door. (The box he is struggling with is a 10lb barbell, haha!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Day

Logan is sweetest to the dogs first thing in the morning. Wish it'd last all day.... (Lucy wanted belly rubs, but he made her hold/cuddle puppy.)

Jump On It for Jai's birthday!

Rob's idea, family night at the BYU Art Museum. Logan and I kinda loved the rainbow thread installation!

The origami exhibit was really fun to see too!

More of the rainbow. We were a bit obsessed. Logan was so excited about seeing that rainbow again every time we walked into the room.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Planning out the week, so easy when apps make everything accessible by phone! Dropbox holds all of my recipes, Grocery Gadget has my shopping list for tomorrow, and Meal Planner for choosing/planning the meals. (With occasional Pinterest jaunts for new recipe ideas!)

A single moment, short and sweet, chasing a butterfly.

That time I learned that Logan's sidewalk chalk was the exact same shade of blue as my (new but already) scuffed leather shoes = Temporary DIY Win

It's a good thing he has a big bed now, cuz it appears I've been kicked out. Rob had a migraine so they were both watching TV while I worked. Didn't even last until 9.

My little reader keeping entertained before he's allowed to get up in the morning.

He fell asleep reading during quiet time in the afternoon. Makes me feel like I'm doing at least one thing right with this whole parenting thing.

Haha, teaching the neighbor to sit on her ball.

Eh, I don't know about this one. I found this place in Springville and thought it'd be gorgeous for sunset photos through the trees. But it's not turning out the way I imagined. I may need to go back and try again with a different lens, maybe some distance and compression will help.