Monday, October 29, 2012

To vote or not to vote...

...should not be a question.

This post will be only on why I think everyone should vote, and how they should go about voting.  I am not going to imply who I will be voting for or I will not be preaching about any specific political party.  I admit that I am a passionate voter.  I am not exactly sure why.  I guess it all stems from specifically two of my major's courses in college, both were in political science, the study of politics. 

My mom and dad always voted, but they never told who they were voting for.  They never brainwashed me into thinking one way or the other, and yes, I said brainwash.

I am so grateful for the gift I had of not feeling like I had to see politics through their eyes.  Just like religion, you hope your kids will follow what you believe, but it will never work if you push it on them.  I was appalled the other day when my daughter came home from school and said that one of the kids in her class was calling one of the candidates for President evil and a liar.  Now, knowing that this child is either 6 or 7, I knew that he truly did not know this, but he had heard it from someone at home.  I sat my daughter down and told her that both of these men had a desire to make our country a better place and that she could vote for whoever she thought was best. I find it idiotic for people (me included) to get all riled up thinking that the guy they are not voting for is evil or a liar or other ridiculous adjectives that simply are not true.

Yes, we may not like the policies of one or the other, but does that make them evil?  Absolutely not.  It is men like Bashar al-Assad, who are evil.  He is the President of Syria and he is literally killing his people as we speak, just because they want the same freedoms we take for granted every day.

Here is my take with my children:

My children, because of their gender, would not have been able to vote only 92 years ago.
These amazing women went to jail and in some cases were hurt all because they wanted the right to vote.

Also, my children, because of their race, would not have been allowed to vote only 47 years ago.

A voting rights march in the Alabama town of Selma in 1965 was broken up by baton-wielding police. (Associated Press)
As you can see in the picture above, blacks were beaten and killed all because they wanted to vote.


I hope that as citizens of this amazing and blessed country, that we take our right to vote seriously, and really look at the topics and people at hand.  Forget the parties.  Forget the media's take.  Go do some research and see where your true vote is.  Taking your vote seriously can give you a sense of fulfillment to know that we are not mocking those who were harmed or even died for our right to vote.  I hope that we can all take great care in how we vote this year.  Let's teach our children that understanding what we are voting for is just as important as who we are voting for.

God bless America.

Lots of love,
Niki

If you live in Utah here is the link for all that you need to know when going to the polls:
http://vote.utah.gov/






Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to our Lia


Lia Krystyna Martins



How does one give such a gift as this?

No payment of gratitude will suffice,
Knowing, this day four years ago,
 how much she did sacrifice.
Our Lia was born.
To a mother who was scared, grieving and torn.

The love of a mother can only be shown,
By her actions that only a few have known.

Little Lia was placed in our arms through her love,
We thank our God in the heavens above,
For her selfless sacrifice.

No other has given to us more freely,
Than our Savior did in the garden of Gethsemane. 

We will love our Lia forever and beyond.
And we hope one day because of this bond,
We can all rejoice,
In her heart-wrenching choice.

To place us with her precious baby.

It was perfect love!

Our hearts will always be full of love for both Lia and her birth-mother.

Happy Birthday, Lia!
We love you so much!




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some times you just need a hug...and then snap out of it.

So tonight, I was on bed-time duty, alone, as the husband is out of town for a couple of days.  Bedtime is something we usually do together, so when he is gone, everything feels little off.  Tonight was no exception.  Our little Lia has been a little edgy (more so than normal) so it shouldn't have surprised me when after we had read our books and everything seemed to be fine, she flipped.  She started crying and started to hyperventilate without warning.  My heart started to beat a little faster as you would think that she is hurt or something of that nature.  But no, it was something much more minor than that. (Minor to me at least)

This was kind of the end of my rope today, as she has been on a tantrum and lying streak these past couple of days.

Let's just say we both acted like three-year-olds and then I sent her to bed.  (don't worry I went in and gave her a hug, after I had calmed myself down).

And that is where I get my title.  Sometimes you just need a hug...and right now I don't have anyone to hug.  So I cried, I cried for being a mean mom and for losing it over something so seemingly small.  I cried because I am tired of not knowing how to handle my sweet little gifted baby, who also doesn't know how to handle herself.  I cried because some of the most important people in my life aren't in my life at the moment and have hurt me beyond belief and I needed to know that I could call them and most of all, I cried because I simply was feeling sorry for myself.



This is where I get to the second part of my title.  I know we all have our own little pity parties.  I actually think it is healthy every once in a while to throw your own little tantrum, however, and as I well know, that party should be a short one.  And the only reason I say this is because when we dwell too much on those things that make us human or those things that we have no control over, we go crazy...literally.

So I can sit and cry about how many things made my life so unfair today, or how how nothing is working out how I had planned (and keep in mind I am writing this to me, but if you get something out of it too great) and how the heavens themselves are working against me to be happy in this life, or I can choose not to think those things.

I tell my kids everyday that it is their choice to be happy or sad, it is by their choices their lives will be fulfilling or not.  We cannot rely upon those around us to lift us up whenever we fall.  The only person who can do that for us, is our Savior.  I could really use a dose of my own medicine sometimes.

So after I threw my little pity-party, I got down on my knees.  I prayed for the strength I need to do what is right with those things that are bringing me down.  I prayed to know how I can get over myself and be a better mom.  And then I listened for awhile.  I was able to feel peace and comfort.  No words, no images, just peace.  And I knew that even though I did not react as my Savior would have, that was okay, because I was able to turn to him in the end and know that tomorrow is a new day and if I choose, it can be a better day.

It is my choice to be better.
No one else can ever take that away from me.



Lots of love,
Niki






Monday, October 22, 2012

Date Night

Okay, okay, I am sure you are thinking that I am going to discuss with you the importance of a "date night" with your hubbies.  Now, don't get me wrong, that IS important, but that is not to topic I had in mind for this post.  I want to discuss the importance and awesome opportunity we have (while our kids are young) to go out on a date night with our kids, individually.

Now, I am an only child, so you would think that everything I did with my parents felt like a date...well, not quite.  I do remember the family trips and going out to dinner every once in a while, but what I remember the best and am most fond of was the times my mom or dad planned something for just me and that parent.  For my birthday my mom would come and get me from school and take me out to lunch.  I always chose McDonalds, and every time I felt elated.  It was special.  It was just me and her.  Then there were the special motorcycle trips with my dad.  Just me and him, out on the open road for a couple of beautiful, fun filled days.  Again, it made me feel special, loved, and important.

Now picture doing this with kids that have siblings to share you with!  
Maybe the rivalry would slow down a bit....



I have been trying to take each of my children (well the two older ones) out separately once a month or alternating months.  I take them to dinner or an activity of some sort.  And when we are there together, just me and that child, their smile and joy is very apparent.

So my challenge to you today is to make time for each one of your kids separately.  You can make it a birthday tradition or trade off each month, if you have only a few kids they can get time with you each month.  But I have found that I only end up taking my kids out when I really sit down and plan something.  I mark it on the calendar.  One tip, (if they are very young) don't say anything until the day of, things come up and if your plans get squashed the disappointment is very apparent as well....

So go have a picnic, take a walk, go to a movie or out to dinner.  Find an art class or a hobby that you both like and share it together.  Your child will never forget the time he or she spent with just you.  And i know for a fact it helps them get along better with each other!  Go have fun and come back and tell us about what you did!


Do you have a favorite activity that you did with your parents or with your kids individually?
How did you feel? 


lots of love,
Niki

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I still feel 18

I have been gone this past week, thus you haven't heard from me in a while.  We went to St. George, Utah, where my parents live.  It is a great place for us to get away and relax while my parents get to see their only grandchildren (I am an only child).

While I was there, one of my best friends from high school contacted me and said she would be there for the weekend, as we were leaving the day after she got there, we decided breakfast would be best.  I had not met her kids yet, so we decided to bring our families along.

She has two twin boys (ages 3) and a sweet baby girl.  Add that to my three spunky girls, ages 6, 3 and almost 2 (that almost 2 makes a bug difference) age 1 and almost 2 are are like night and day in kid years.  Anyway, lets just say are table was packed, loud and people would look at us longer than you normally look at strangers.  I always wonder what people think when they see the craziness that comes with families with small children.  Some cute, older women will usually come up to me as they are leaving and say how cute my girls are, or for me to enjoy these years.  Women with teenagers tend to look both sympathetic and jealous, but they usually don't say anything, while those without children look at us like we are crazy or maybe they are thinking we are the worst parents in the entire world because we can't keep our kids under control.

This little trip was packed with excitement.  We got ourselves systematically divided between our kids.  I like to do the kid-parent-kid-parent-kid approach as that way one parent will always be available and none of the kids are able to touch one another.  My friend, brought her sweet mom along, and grandmas can be a great help as well.  Her two little boys (while looking exactly alike) have very different personalities.  It was fun to catch up and talk with her about the business of being a mother of young children.  In between fits and food complaints we were able to have a very nice visit.

It is amazing how my life has changed since high school.  And yet I feel the same as I did the day I graduated.  I know I have grown and matured (hopefully).  I know my body has changed (unfortunately).  But I don't FEEL older.  I just recognize that I am older.



It was nice to meet up with Aimee and know that even though we are trudging through the mundaness of life, we can still talk as if we were still 18.  The subjects have changed, and life is a little more serious.  But I don't feel that "my self" has changed that much since high school.  And I can't decided if that is good or bad?


What do you think?  Do you still feel 18?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Digital Junkies....

I got my two youngest down for their nap, so I decided to get the pictures off the camera from today.  We spent the morning with Lia's preschool at a pumpkin farm.  The kids had fun and as usual, I took too many pictures.

Digital cameras have made us picture junkies.  I remember the days of film, when you would take one or two pictures of the event as you only had so many pictures on your camera.  I understand that digital has a limit as well, but if your camera or memory cards are anything like mine, I can literally take over 1000 pictures at a RAW form (or the cameras biggest file) and still be okay :)

I did a wedding not too long ago, and I took over 700 pictures.  700!!!!  Of course not all of them turned out how I wanted, but I was able to give the bride a few hundred images of her wedding day.  She can literally relive that day anytime she wants.

So there are definitely pros and cons to the digital world of photography.  One pro is it is much cheaper, minus the camera, the lenses, the flashes...well, maybe not cheaper.  Okay, well another pro might be that you can take as many pictures as you want.  A con is, you can take as many pictures as you want.  The other pros might be that you are able to have your image right away, that way you can see if something is wrong.  You can see what your settings are and know what works and what doesn't.  Other than that, the only thing that has happened with digital, is everyone thinks they can be a photographer now.  The mindset is, if you have a nice camera, you will become a pro.  Of course this is not true by any standards, but it does let a much bigger portion of the population try.


You don't take a photograph, you make it.  ~Ansel Adams

Now, I do not see this digital junkie trend ending anytime soon.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is so fun to have almost every day of my children's life documented...however, I do feel that sometimes I go overboard and feel a little like this guy:


So lets all try a little moderation.  Save ourselves some time in front of the computer screen and go out to get some sun or smell the roses.  I am learning to cut back, just a little.  I am understanding how to make sure I know my camera well enough to be able to take the best picture the first time.  I am able to get to the editing board and know that just with a few minimal edits of sharpening and exposure, that I will be done quick. Everyone is therefore happy, my clients are happier because they get their pictures back quicker and my family is happier because they get more time with me :)


lots of love,
Niki

How has the digital camera changed your life?  Good or bad?






Monday, October 8, 2012

How much "family time" do we spend?

My late grandpa had a PhD  in English/literature.  His love for learning, school and his work was inspiring.  I had the great honor of interviewing him a few years before his death.  I was able to make a book for each one of my grandparents using interviews and journals.  These are treasured memories and items that I will always have and I will never regret spending my time doing them.

As I was interviewing my Grandpa, he talked of his life with both love and regret.  He talked with pride when it came to his pursuit of a higher education and how he was able to live his dream of being a professor of English at Weber State College (now University).  However, he sadly shared his regret, that his schooling, and his career kept him from spending quality time with his family, especially his children.  As a mother of only one, and being a stay-at-home mom I couldn't empathize with his regret. 

As time has gone on, my grandfather has passed and time has a whole other meaning.  I can now see how life's busyness can keep us from spending the "time" our family really needs.  The monotony of life, creates an invisible wall.  We are in our kids presence, but are we present with our kids?  I find myself at home doing housework, reading, going to the store, watching a show, fixing meals, or anything else that keeps me busy.  I am home all day with both Lia and Eva and find that I may go a whole day without really spending any time with them.  Sure I am there in person, but my attention tends to be elsewhere.

Thinking of this scared me, I don't want to regret my time I have with my kids.  One day they will be gone.  One day I will look back and wonder what I did with my time.  Will I remember the clean house I had or the times I made my kids giggle?  Will I think I was super-mom because everyone always had clean clothes and their homework done, or because I sat and talked with them about their day and helped them with their life's problems?  





Time is precious.  

I am just starting to see this.

Take time out for your family.

Leave those things that can wait, until tomorrow.

Let your kids and spouses come first.

So when you look back at your life you will not have any regrets in regards to your family.  

They are the only part of our life that we can take to heaven with us. 



lots of love,
Niki



What are some fun things you do with your kids and family?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Get in the picture...

If you are like me, you do not like getting your picture taken.  I am so much happier behind the lens then I am in front of it.  I am not sure why this is.  Why are we, women, so hard on ourselves?  What are we expecting from ourselves?  I am not sure there is an absolute answer to this question.  But here is my take.

I want you to think of the women in your life, your mom, your sister, your best friend, your daughter or an aunt, your grandmother.  What do you think of her?  Is she beautiful?  When you see pictures of her, do you cringe and think, how does she live with herself?  I am guessing all of you would say, NO.

If this is the case, then what do we think people really see in us?  When a picture is taken, do others close their eyes from blindness, are they running to the toilet to heave this-morning's breakfast (okay sorry, that was a little overboard)?  But I think we can all say that, no, they don't.  When I have a picture taken of myself and both my husband (who thinks I am beautiful by the way) and I are looking at it, we see two very different things.  I see how I wish my jaw was more defined and my eyes weren't so crooked.  I see that one ear is poking out of my hair which makes my hair look thin and my ears look big.  I see big teeth and a long skinny face. And most of all, I see how fat I think I am.



On the other hand, what my husband sees is, pretty eyes, a beautiful smile, long shiny hair, nice skin, and as he says, a beautiful body, and then he sees something even more, he sees his wife, the mother of his children, my spirit, my love for him, his best friend, his soulmate.  When you look at a picture of someone you love, you see them.  You see their light, their love, their humor and all the good that they hold for you.

So when it is your turn to stand in front of a camera for a family picture or a family trip, outing or just to have fun with your kids, be self-confident that no one will see you the way you see yourself, and if you can, try not to be so hard on yourself.  I am talking to all you wives, sisters, mothers, friends and daughters out there, and I am asking you to get in the picture.  Be present in your families lives.  When you are gone, this is what they will hold on to, the pictures of you with them will help them not forget how much you mean to them.  Your face will never be forgotten.  And more then that, the memories you made with them won't either.

My family will always have these...they will see that I loved them, no matter what the future holds. 
Because I got in the picture!



In a picture, your smile will live on forever!


I was inspired by this article in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html  It too will help you see why getting in the picture is so important!


Tell me your thoughts on getting your picture taken.  What are some of your favorite memories you were able to capture?





Friday, October 5, 2012

The Q-tip company may hate me...but I don't care.

Okay, I know that is a strange topic, but it is something that I have been thinking about lately.  When I had my first baby, I asked my doctor a ton of "new mommy" questions, how do I do this? and how do I do that?  what is the best for this and that?  He was patient and answered as many questions as he could.  Then I got to the question about ear infections.  I had seen many babies suffer from this type of pain and I wanted to do all that I could to prevent it, if there was a way.

So I looked my doctor in the eye and asked, "How do I make sure my baby does not get an ear infection?"  He looked me back in the eye and said, "Ear wax".  This took me by surprise.  "You mean get rid of it?" I asked.  They wouldn't make Q-tips if this wasn't the case, right?  But his answer surprised me again.  "No, don't get rid of the ear wax in their ear.  It is there for a reason.  It protects the ear from water from a bath or mucus from a cold.  If the ear wax is there, they most likely won't get an infection."

I was stunned.  

I wanted to make sure that perfect ear was pain-free...



So I said, "Okay."

And I will tell you, I haven't used a single Q-tip on one of my kids.  We clean the outside of their ears with water and a washcloth and so far no one has complained of being grossed out by the monstrous ear wax growing out of their ears. If fact, I can't ever even see any.  They can hear fine and I am happy to report that NOT ONE of my kids have ever had an ear infection!  Here is an article that will explain what I just said in a more detailed and intelligent manor:
http://www.medicinenet.com/ear_wax/article.htm

So when your knew little one comes into your life, resist the urge to clean to their ears spotless.  Let that waxy stuff do it's job!


What simple secrets do you have to help your little one cope with the pains of life?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Adoption is not easy.

I read the story today of a sweet family who had just gone through one of the hardest things a person can experience...losing a child...through adoption.  They had held him for three whole days believing he was now a part of their family, when the birth father changed his mind.

It brought me back to our experience with adoption.  As we lost two baby girls before we got Lia, and then we almost lost her.  You would think I would be used to loss, after having three IVF treatments fail, but I wasn't prepared for what I felt when we lost these two, almost three precious babies.

We had been on the registry for about four months for adoption, when a mother in California had chosen us. We were so excited and hopeful.  The baby was already five months old and the birth mother just felt that caring for her was too much.  She was a beautiful mixture of Indian, African American and white.  She would be perfect for us.  So I started to dream of holding her in my arms, rocking her to sleep, singing her a lullaby,   giving her all of my love and sharing our life together.  The future was ours and we were ready.  And then just like that the birth mother changed her mind.  This precious, perfect little baby was ripped out of my dreams and out of our life.  My heart sank into the abyss it had know from our IVF losses.  How was I to recover from this?  How much loss can one heart take? 


We somehow moved on.

Three long months later, we got a call around 10:30 pm from an amazing young woman in South Carolina, who had seen our profile on one of our registries.  She was pregnant with a baby girl (but we didn't know that until later) and she told us that we were it.  We were the family she wanted to place her sweet baby with.  Our hearts sang.  While we were still grieving for the loss of the first baby, our spirits were hopeful once again.  We talked with her almost everyday.  She was due in December, everything was great.  Both she and the baby were healthy.  We had fallen in love with this amazing girl.  She was becoming a big part of our little family.  We were so excited and once again looked to an amazing future.  I was a little more cautious this time.  I tried to not let myself to dream about this baby.  I tried to just focus my energy on our beautiful birth mom.  I was completely unsuccessful in my attempt.  How could I not imagine, once again, holding our soon to be baby?  I thought constantly of whether we would have a boy or and girl.  I imagined room colors and names.  I saw Hannah playing with her new brother or sister.  This baby was now a part of our life and we were sure this was it.  This joy lasted five weeks.

Then I got the email I dreaded.  The email that changed everything, once again.  The birth father decided he would never sign the papers.  He decided that she should be the one to raise this precious baby.  She was left with no choice.  


And once again, we lost our baby.  

I felt like my heart had been broken into a million pieces.  




The pain and agony was so overwhelming I didn't see how life could go on.  I knew I had a perfect little daughter who I loved tremendously and she loved me back.  I decided that maybe this was what we were to have, one amazing daughter to love forever.  I was an only child.  I knew she would be fine.  I knew she would be happy and grow up with two parents that loved her.  Deep down, however, I knew there was another child that needed to come into our home, so I was only okay on the surface...inside I was screaming.

One week went by and I was still overcome with grief when I got the call.  The call that would change everything.  We had been selected by two birth mothers on the same day.  Both had already given birth to their baby girls.  We now had to choose.  The grief and heartache were so much I had no way of knowing what to do.  One baby was in Michigan, the other was in Louisiana.  I fell to my knees in prayer, but nothing was coming.  I had too much pain inside me to understand what we should do. I called Flavio at work.  He too had gone through this painful journey, but I think he had kept his head more clear than I had been able to.  I explained that we now had two babies to choose from and that I needed him to go find a place at work to pray until he knew which baby belonged to our family.

After about 30 minutes he called and said without a doubt, Michigan.

So we left to go pick up our brand new baby girl.  Who we were going to name Lia.  




She was perfect and beautiful.  My heart was overwhelmed still, however, with the loss and pain from all we had endured that year....I was not completely healed when they placed Lia in my arms.  I was struck with wonder and amazement when I looked at her tiny face and fingers.  But I did not bond with her the way I had imagined.  I was confused and upset.  I was scared and overwhelmed.  My heart was still in so many pieces and I prayed they would come together for this little angel.

They did.  But not in the way I had imagined. 

Not all states make adoption easy.  Michigan is one of them.  We were blessed to have her father's blessing as he signed the papers through his own tears.  She was ours, almost. Our sweet birth mother had six agonizing weeks to change her mind.  She had six weeks to picture this perfect, beautiful creature that she had carried for nine months.  She had six weeks to change her mind over and over again.  Six weeks of grief and pain of losing her baby girl.

At the end of those six weeks, she did change her mind.

Lia had been with us for five weeks and now we were planning the gut-wrenching idea of having to give her back.  My heart seemed to explode inside my chest.  I was not going to be able to endure this.  At that moment when our adoption counselor had called us, I knew that I had bonded with Lia...I just hadn't known it yet.  The idea of losing her was so overwhelming I shut down.  I just held her, and fed her and held her, rocked her, sang to her, loved her for what I thought was the last time.  They were coming to get her in 24 hours.  I had 24 hours to spend with our precious daughter.  I prayed for the strength to let her go.  To know that she would be okay.  That she would be taken care of.  It was almost worse than death, her future was so uncertain now.

I didn't sleep that night.  We had told no one.  We were holding on to the small hope that Lia's birth mother would once again change her mind.  The morning finally came.  We waited by the phone.  The time ticked away slowly.  It finally rang.  It was our adoption counselor, Lia's birth mother had gone to court and at the last minute decided that we were to be Lia's family.  This poor, sweet woman had, I am sure, had a long sleepless night and did what was best for her baby, she unselfishly placed Lia with us permanently. 


Ours was a journey of loss, pain and in the end complete joy.  Lia was ours forever, finally.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Exercising your right to....

...Feel great!!!!

I will admit, I am not a great self motivator.  I could win the Olympic sport of procrastinating, if there was one.  Needless to say, getting going on my exercise routine hasn't been the most consistent part of my life.  

I will say my real motivation died out when we found out we were not able to have kids.  Before, I got married and had a full time job and became obsessed with having a baby, I could go out and run seven miles without any problem.  But when we found out about our infertility issue, I fell into a sort of depression, although I didn't know it at the time, and life kind of lost all meaning.  Once we got on track to do IVF, it made it even harder for me to get motivated because of all the hormones and such.  Now, experts say that if you want to get pregnant, being in shape helps.  If your BMI or Body Mass Index is high which calculates whether you are normal, overweight or obese, your chances of getting pregnant go down.  Here is a link to see where you stand: http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/weight/tools_bmi_calculator.html

Luckily, I was still in the normal range, but I was hovering on the edge.  

Once we got pregnant with Hannah, because she was an IVF baby, I was not allowed to do any strenuous exercise.  They didn't want my heart rate to stay above 90 for any long period of time. This limited my workouts a ton.  She was considered a high risk pregnancy due to our IVF treatment to get her.  So when I finally had Hannah, I started to exercise a little here and there, but once again, getting going seemed impossible.  But I did.  Both Flavio and I were able to do out first 5k together.  I had been through one more round of IVF, which didn't work and we had just adopted Lia. So it took me over a year to finally run that 3 miles, but I did it.  It was amazing.



The one thing that really got me going, however, was when I decided to join a Bootcamp in Eagle Mountain. What is a bootcamp you might say, well picture yourself being drilled by an army captain. 


You are just standing there minding your own business when this guy (or girl) starts telling you in a very firm voice to start doing sit-ups, after two minutes, he tells you turn over for some burpies (I will save that for another time) two minutes go by and you are now doing push-ups...and so and and so forth.  It was crazy hard.  But they make it work for every body type.  Changing your workout makes it so your body cannot become static...there is no plateauing when you are in bootcamp.

There are so many options out there, try biking, running, walking, swimming, jogging, a workout video, join a club, an exercise group, or a bootcamp...find something you enjoy and work hard.

Once you get over that first hill of being tired and sore and feeling like getting in shape will never happen, just keep pushing...I promise it will happen for you.

I am now getting back into shape after a long sabbatical with another round of IVF and having our last baby.  

But I am doing it.  And so can you!

And you will FEEL GREAT!

So lets do it together!  Please share ideas about exercising, diets, lifestyle changes.

Let's start with....

What is your favorite exercise and what keeps you motivated?







Monday, October 1, 2012

A little time out

When I was little, I remember having an amazing imagination.  I am an only child, so I had a lot of alone time.  I would create these little worlds around me and I wouldn't be lonely any more.  Now that I am an adult, married and have three amazing little busy-bodies, I crave that time once in a while.  I love leaving reality for awhile and finding myself in another place and time.  There are a few ways I get there...photography, reading, exercise and music.

When I am out creating images with my photography, I get to use those imaginative skills and try to compose photographs that are full of color, light and smiles.  I did a little escaping yesterday as I went to get pictures of the amazing full moon.

I was able to work my manual mode on my camera to get, what I think, is a really nice shot of the moon. It took me about seven tries, but I finally found the right aperture, about F-32 and the right shutter speed 1/15 with my ISO at 160.


I took this next one right before a family photo shoot I was doing:
This one was a simple aperture priority mode at F-15.



Photography is a way for me to just be me.  To do something that allows me to be creative, to be alone and to improve a talent that I love to share.  Finding something that allows you to escape, whether it is from your kids, your husband, or even infertility or other areas in your life that are causing you pain or heartache, is so important.  Find a charity to help, find an art you love, play some music, take a college course, online or in your community, exercise, scrapbook, or make a craft, just find something that allows you to be you.

God has given us so many different talents, and when we are focused on our own grief or feeling too busy for ourselves, step back, and find the time and just do it.  If you don't take control of your own health, no one will.  I am a big believer that if we plan our days to include a little "me" time, our lives will be more enriching, our moods will be happier our burdens will feel lighter.  Take some time out for you, even when your kids are around.  Give them some "them" time in their rooms to play quiet or put on a movie so you can have some peace.  Forget about the laundry or dishes for just a few moments, so you can use your imagination to create or to read or to help others in need.  You are a daughter of God and he wants you to be strong and he wants you to work and develop your talents.  Go out and have fun!

What are some of your talents?

What ways do you get away?