November 2, 2014

This is who I am

This past year has been a year of major changes for me. At the start of the year I made some goals. We all do that. How many of us actually follow through? Not me! That used to be my anyways. I made the goal that I was going to lose weight, learn to accept myself and change habits.
Well I sat on the back burner until May. I remember I was at Costco and I ran into a dear friend I hadn't seen in quite awhile. Truth be told I hardly recognized her. She was thin, I mean really thin, she walked with confidence and she was just happy. After we talked and as she walked away I knew I had to do something for myself.  This friend of mine was getting ready to compete. She had a trainer, worked on meal plans and worked out everyday. I hated the thought of doing that. I never really had to worry about what I ate or how much until child number 4 came and since then it had just piled up. Now mind you I wasn't fat by any means but I felt sluggish and just low. I had no self esteem and I always felt the need to cover up. I wasn't happy in my own skin.
So that night after thinking about it that whole day. I couldn't really think of anything else but my friend. So I sent her a message on facebook and she responded with a name of a gal who was a fantastic trainer that would be great to give a try. I starred at that message for a whole week after that. I remember making the attempt to call her several times but I would end up hanging up before she would answer. I chickened out. I did that several times. I am sure she thought a psycho path was calling. I finally did it. I let it ring until she answered. I knew the minute I heard her voice that this was my gal.
So this is where my journey started. It started at the end of May. I remember the first time I actually when and met Teri for the first time. She was so awesome! Made me feel like I could do anything and that she was there to help me do what I was there to do- change myself. Physically.
So I did it! I stuck with it. It was hard. Super hard! I hated working out and the food, I wasn't used to it. But I did it and you know that saying that "slow and steady wins the race?" Well it is true. I can testify of that. I didn't see huge improvements right away. I hurt all the time. I was constantly craving sugar, sweets, anything that tasted good. Over time and every time I met with Teri she would measure me and take pictures of my progress. It was working and for the first time in a long time I could feel something happening inside of me. I felt good. I was starting to lose the weight and I was gaining confidence.

The food started to get better. I had to learn how to cook all over again. Goodbye boxed food. Goodbye canned food. Hello protein!!!!
So here we are almost 5 months later and I have lost 12 lbs and 4 inches off my waist. I feel amazing!!! I can sleep better. My back pains have practically disappeared unless a child creeps into my bed at night and kicks my back with their feet, then it hurts.
My cravings are still there. I fight them still. But they are slowly going away. On my meal plan I am allowed 2 cheat meals a week. I take them! I love them! They keep me going but I am starting to crave them more after having them so I am in the process of eliminating all of it! Goodbye sugar!!!!
Every morning when my alarm goes off at 6:10 a.m,. and it is cold and still dark outside, it is really hard to get out of bed and go to the gym. But the mornings I don't make it to the gym, momzilla wakes up and it is not fun. My kids will ask me "You didn't go workout today did you?" I ask "Why do you ask?" and they will so kindly say "well because you are yelling and telling us what to do." So I make it a point to go every morning.
I have a hernia in my stomach. It's called Dissectus Reci. Which means that my ab muscles are stretched to their max. I can fit my entire fist between my ab muscles. It is not pretty. Explains why I can't do a situp to save my life and while I struggle to do pull ups. I am quite the sight to when I do it. Teri laughs every time I try to do them at the gym. So I just kick her and we end up rolling on the floor laughing because I looked so ridiculously funny. I also have a lot of saggy skin from having 6 babies. I am seriously contemplating having a tummy tuck in the spring along with my muscles being sewn back together.We will see.
So this is my life now. I am in love with it! Accepting myself as I am. I know I will never look like i did when I got home from my mission or post baby. I know that now. But I can learn to accept myself for who I have become. I have 5 beautifl children that I wouldn't change for the world. This is the body that challenged me through thick and thin, I accept myself now. Acceptance has always been a hard thing for me, but  I can honestly say I am happy right now, except for Sundays. Sundays make me grumpy. Why do I admit that? Because I am being open and honest. Sundays are hard for me. My kids never listen to me,probably because I am just their mom and I don't really mean anything. That is another post for another day. But today I am happy. My kids all went to bed at 7 pm. I was tired. They were exhausted because they were up at 5 am due to the time change. I hope this isn't a new thing. Heaven help us all!

September 24, 2014

doTERRA Convention- Salt Lake City

It happened again! Another great doterra convention. My good friend Shannon and I hoped on the bandwagon and bought tickets and were traveling buddies.
Shannon and I rented a rental car and drove down last Wednseday. Can I just tell you how fun it was! We laughed and laughed. Very therapeutic for me and probably for her as well. Shannon and I see the same trainer and it was nice to not have the temptation to eat crappy food, because that is usually what happens when you travel. Well we did pretty good! We stuck to our plan.
We had a sorry rental jeep. Oh well, we made it and it was a gas hog. We stopped in one place called Snowville, Utah. Yuckiest pit stop ever. It is literally out in the middle of nowhere. The gas station was icky and creepy. There were rattle snack treats you could buy out of a gumball machine as you entered the store. Who feeds rattlesnack treats? Don't they eat live rats and rodents? So we snuck in to use the restrooms. There were signs all around like, "Watch for bats!" " Watch where you step." Creepy signs all over and they were for real too.
The sign as you were entering the restroom said that the restrooms were not for the public unless you bought something. So I full intentions of buying something. Shannon used the restroom first and then I followed after. What I didn't know what that she had already gone outside and started the car and was waiting for me.
The grumpy old man behind the counter was sure to tell me that I needed to buy something. I told him I would and I needed to get my wallet out in the car. So I went out to find Shannon already in the car waiting. I tried to sit in and reach for my wallet and when she did she started to take off. So what did I do. Closed the door and we cruised on. I felt terrible for not buying anything but we were on a schedule and had to get into Salt Lake by 4:3-5 o'clock for registration.

We finally made it. Shannon had never really been to Salt Lake before so I told her alittle bit about Temple Square and she asked many questions about the church. I think we made good progress.
We stayed at the Hilton Hotel which we thought was across the street from the Salt Palace where the convention would be held. Perfect, walk across the street and be within walking distance to everything we needed. Wrong. We were in the Hilton by the airport. Not what we needed.
So the first night we stayed there. We roomed with two other gals who came from Mexico for the convention. Only one of them made it. Ale Berron from Los Cabos was there waiting for us. She was so sweet. Young mom of 4 and a owner of a Salon there in Los Cabos. She spoke good English but was extremely exhausted and just wanted to speak Spanish. Perfect. I speak Spanish. What a relief. I was surprised on how quickly it all came back to me. It was so much fun.

Ale has a sad story. While she was in the U.S. a hurricane hit Los Cabos. A strong, very strong Hurricane. It destroyed everything of theirs. Their home- gone. Her salon- gone. Everything literally destroyed. There was no communication with her husband or children. She didn't know if they were alive or what was going on. Come to find out that right before we arrived at the hotel she had just received word that her family was okay. Her children were shipped off on a flight to Mexico City so they could stay with their in-laws. All woman, children and American citizens were the only ones that could leave on flights. So her husband stayed behind to help out with all their friends and family members that were still there. Can I just tell you how humbling it was to be with her. To listen to her cry. To listen to her cry as she spoke with her husband and children one by one. All she had left was her suitcase full of what she brought.
As the week wore on we talked and come to find out that everything was literally gone. So where does she fly home to? Mexico City to be with her children or her husband who is still stuck in Los Cabos? She chose to go to Los Cabos to help everyone out. Her children are safe at her in-laws. It is all the thousands of people who are without. She spent a lot of their savings on supplies and things they needed to help others out. She filled up more suitcases with things from Costco, Target and other places. What a humble and amazing woman. I hope that we will continue to be in contact. I was really touched by her story. She has been on my mind and in my prayers. She asked me what faith I was from. I told her the Church of Latter-day Saints and she had never heard of it. Never seen missionaries or knew what we believed. So I told her. She said that she was going to look for missionaries and welcome them into her home.

Long post made short. We attended several classes on how to use the oils. From ADD- to hormonal imbalance in women, there was so much to learn. I took close to one hundred pages of notes. It was that good. I wish everyone could go and see for themselves what good these amazing oils are making around the world. More and more people are empowering themselves to take their health care into their own hands. What a wonderful gift.

Met many people from around the world. Flagged down crazy taxi drivers. Attended a Gala. Dressed up like I was in high school Prom all over again. Super fun. Driving at midnight in downtown Salt Lake without my headlights on. Crazy taxi drivers flagging me down to tell me I was an idot. We just laughed and laughed. Played with my brother. James. and flew back home Saturday evening. Wild and crazy. That is how I sum it up.

I came home with a determination to do the business. I will be walking that red carpet next year. Get ready world, cause here we come!!!!!

September 9, 2014

Our random happenings

So our life has been crazy busy as of late. We have done a lot of fun things and we have been just really enjoying being together. Here is a hodge podge of what we have been doing.
Sundays are fun around here. Most of the time. One Sunday we had everyone out to our place for dinner. Didn't go as well as we had planned. My mom was out of town and stopped in to say hi and visit when she got back. We took all the kids and grandma for a ride in the Polaris. Sunday Funday!
We love to do the Library summer reading programs. When they read for so many minutes or so many books they earn prizes. One of those prizes was a trip to Mongos. A different version of Mongolian BBQ. We weren't quite sure our kids would eat it. They actually really liked it. Notice anything different or mission? Yep! That's right, Owen's other shoe. I swear we always leave our house with him missing a shoe or just grabbing one. So he ate dinner that night with just one sandal. Kid cracks me up.
So my friend Jeralyn told me about this Mother/Son date Knight at Chick- fil- A. So I told her yes and I took the three older boys because it was a mother/son date night. They actually liked it. Not so much the food but getting out and having fun. To end the night they took us on a limo ride and the boys thought that was pretty cool.
Next we went to Slide the City. It came to Boise. We saw it advertised on Facebook and thought the kids would really enjoy it. The day started out well and ended well but the in between? Oh man it was a long, hot day. When the Slide was setting the Slip n' Slide up the water hoses broke so the big problem? How do you get water for the slide? So the slide was dry. It was slow but we made it and we probably won't do it again. Now we can say we did it.
When we got home we saw a surprise visitor in our driveway. Uncle Justin had surprised us all with a visit to town. We love it when he comes to town! The boys jumped out of the car and ran in to see him. It was a good weekend.

First day of school

I am really, really behind on my posts. First day of school! First 2 weeks have passed and everyone is loving it. Ellie wears her backpack every time we go to drop off and pick the boys up. She is really lonely around the house during the day so we try to find thing for her to do.
Keaton is in 4th grade, Andrew- 2nd grade and Owen is Kindergarten.

Do you see her little silver teeth? Yep, my daughter is a pirate. A cute pirate. At least that is what her little friend Jack says.


Every year Lance's family goes to Colorado over the 4th of July week. Lance's father was raised in the Rico/Dolores, Colorado area and it is just amazingly beautiful. Lance's grandparents Bob and Mary Snyder still live there. So every year there is a chance to go and visit with them. Service projects and so many fun family activities.
Everyone tries to go. It is just little kid heaven up there. I guess I could almost say it was heaven for me too. That is huge coming from my mouth too. Anyone who knows me knows that.
It started off with my driving myself and all my littles by myself to Utah and then following everyone to Colorado. I had worked up a lot of courage and guts to do the big girl thing and just go. So I finally decided to do it. My kids would love it and I was hoping that I would love it too.
Lance surprised us by leaving work for the week and jumping on board with us. So we all went. Can I just say it was one of the best weeks I have had on vacation! It was so great!!! My kids loved every minute of it.

Grandma and Grandpa Snyder literally live off the land. They are so sweet and live so humbly and there is just a sweet reverence when you go there. There are many work projects to do and we were ready for all of it.

Some of the gang camped out. Some of us, rented a cabin and we survived. I don't do the tent thing. We rented a little cabin that was suppose to sleep 7 but we got stuck with a little bungalow that was only suppose to sleep 3. So the kids got the beds, because we wanted them to sleep. Lance and I traded between the recliners in the kitchen or the cot that folded out. We really did it. Looking back on it now I just laugh. It wasn't funny at the time but we did it and the kids actually slept really well.

Every day was play day. They went canoeing, paddling in the boat on the pond to making a fortune on Grandma Bucks. Grandma Snyder invented this amazing program where if all the grandkids did certain jobs around the place like helping clean up, cooking meals and other clean up projects, they would earn money to spend in the Grandma Store. All the kids went crazy over this and you could hear kids constantly asking "What can I do to help out?" It was a marvelous idea! Got everyone working and playing so nicely together.

My kids really do have the cutest cousins ever. They all played well. They made memories and now every year this will be a fun new tradition.

There were a ton of highlights but a few that were the most memorable to me was our ride to Silverton, Colorado. Grandpa S. told of an old rough road that they used to travel growing up that went up and over a pretty steep mountain that only took an hour instead of 3 going on the highway. So we loaded up all the grandkids and some adults to supervise in the back of Grandpa's truck and we had our suburban. We followed each other up to the base of the mountain and planned out what we were going to do. The kids were all together signing and having a grand time. Grandma came prepared with snacks and we followed comfortably in our car hoping that Hayden would take a nap on the bumpy ride up the mountain.

They weren't kidding when they said bumpy and straight up the mountain. I was pretty nervous going up the mountain on a small dirt road in our car. Sure going in a 4x4 up the mountain is one thing but in our suburban but it made it. Just as we were about to make it over the summit Grandpa blew two tires. What????? Change of plans. So all the kids hoped out and the guys changed the tires. Only problem is there was only one spare tire. So about 30 of us crammed into our suburban. It was really, really crazy but so much fun. Our car lost the new smell and look that day. Oh well.
We finally made it down into Silverton, Colorado. A small town nestled in the most beautiful mountains. We had packed lunches for the kids and the guys dropped all of us moms and our kids off at a little park next to a library so they could go get the tires fixed for the truck.

So imagine 5 moms and about 20 kids over taking this small town. Once we had lunch we all went into the little cute library that looked like an old Victorian church. Our family overtook the entire place. But the cute little librarians were very understanding and let us make all the noise we wanted.
Afterwards we traveled on down to the train station. The train was too long and too much to carry us all so we just waited there to see the train and get on and take pictures. The kids had a great time.
Before heading back up the mountain we stopped to get some hamburgers, French fries and ice cream for everyone.

They we started our journey back over the mountain. It wasn't nearly has bad going down then it was going up for me. It was doable and Hayden slept. So it was a good trip. We made it back to the Ranch.
Then on one other night we took a 2 hour drive into Durango, Colorado. There is a lot of cool places to see there. One of those places was the Bar D Ranch. Awesome place if you ever get a chance to go. It is an old western experience complete with shops, playground area and a huge BBQ dinner and entertainment for everyone. The food was amazing and the entertainment. That was the best part. There were 4 older gentlemen that had amazing voices and a lot of class. They also had all the kids dancing and laughing so hard they were crying. They sang a song that was close to Old McDonald had a farm instead they called it- Old Matt Palmer had a misfit farm. I was dying. Funniest song I have ever heard. An older man, grandpa age was playing the bass sang it and he was so funny. There were were asmatic horses, narcoleptic pigs, dyslexic sheep and other animals. Funny so funny!!!!
We will be going back there again with our kids. They really enjoyed it!

I think this was the first summer in a really long time where we really had a great time, no one got sick and everyone got along. It was so much fun for me as well. I got to see my sisters-in-law in a different light and they have become some of my best friends.
Since we spent the 4th of July there. The small town of Rico, Colorado held a great parade. The kids loved it! It was actually 10 x's better than our town parade. It was warm but we stayed cool with snow cones and thanks to Rashelle, an umbrella.

It didn't stop there. So we headed back to Utah on a Saturday afternoon thinking we would stay overnight and they head back to Boise the next morning. Well the kids and all the cousins talked us into staying another week in Utah to play. Lance had to get home to work and so he took our car home Sunday night (on my birthday) and we had mom and dad's house all to ourselves for a few days. My kids were in cousin heaven. I was so relaxed and stress free. We had a whole week to play and do nothing really but have a good time.
The Mason clan. Aren't they just a sharp looking family? ( Lance's older sister Shauna.)

Well the second night we were there and after I put all the kids to bed, my sister-in-law Sharlene called me over. No picture in your mind an awesome new subdivision built up against the mountains just south of the BYU campus and my in-laws all live next to each other. They all built their homes next to each other. My in-laws (Lance's parents) built their home with a daylight basement which is a whole house and the top is rented out to a sweet gal who lives there. They bought the lot right next door and seeded that and it is a beautiful lot nicely landscaped for all the grandkids and family to gather, eat and play ball. That is where we do all our family gatherings. Then the lot right next to that is Tom and Sharlene and their 4 kids. Right across the street from them in another brother Paul and his wife Lesa and their 4 kids plus another one on the way in November. Paul is the BYU Raquetball coach so he built a court in his home so the kids love to go over there and play.

So back to my story- Sharlene called me over and had the bad news- Kali her oldest daughter who is 12 had lice. This was bad news. So the entire week we spent nit picking, literally every morning and every night on all the kids and even us. Glad to report that no one else got lice but we had to sanitize everyone and everything that week. Glad I was around to help out.
It was really hard to leave but by about day 6 my kids were not sleeping well and I wasn't sleeping well. Like they say, "There's no place like hom!" It's true.
What a great trip we had!!! Can't wait to do it all again next year!!!!!

September 2, 2014

Sister's Retreat 2014

Well we did it! We actually did it!!! We all found a weekend that worked and all 10 of us met up. My sister-in-law Jaclyn hosted it this year in Acworth, Georgia. She was a great host too! They opened their homes, their family life and everything to all of us. It was so much fun too! Can I just tell you that I married into an amazing family. I love them all dearly!
On Monday July 21st I flew out by myself to Chicago, IL to be with Carrie and John and their sweet kids. It had been a really, I mean really long time since I had that much free time to myself and boy o boy I loved it! I think every mom deserves that. But to be honest after the first day I did start to feel homesick for Lance and my kids. Crazy ha?
My plane arrived around 2 p.m in Chicago and the Snyders were all their to pick me up. They were such a cute site. John drove us around to see bits and pieces of Chicago. Crazy. I have never really been in a place where I was the minority. This was my first taste. It was different. Things and places I have only seen in movies. This was the real deal.
We spent the first day at their sweet home and just visited. It was so fun to catch up with them. We ate lots, went for walks down Millionaire avenue and played. Oh I forgot to mention SHOP!! Gotta shop! We made a few trips to Home Depot so we could plant some flowers around their little home so it would brighten things up. You know me and flowers.
The next day we ventured out into Downtown Chicago. Holy smokes!!! Crazy place! Exciting place. A very sad place.
John introduced me to the Park Me app so we could find an affordable place to park. We finally found one. Super ghetto. We had to pull up in front of a rusted shed and a spray painted sign that read Honk for service. So we pulled up. We honked. Nothing happened so John pulled up closer and almost rammed the door. We honked again and slowly the door started to rise. I think we were all alittle nervous when it was pitch black inside and the only way you could drive was straight down. So down we went until we came to a little car garage where a man who was just about as dark as night standing there telling us to get out so he could park the car. We all looked at each other wondering what in the world were we doing here. Rest assured it was all legit. The gentleman parked our car and we headed back up into daylight and explore the city.

We had Brantly and Evelyn with us. They were super troopers. They did fantastic.
I have always heard about Sears Tower and have always wanted to go and stand on the glass ledge that overlooks the city. We finally found the building and headed up to the 40th floor. By the time we got there we found out the cost to stand on that little ledge and decided that $120 for all of us to see it just wasn't worth it so we went back down. The kids loved the elevator ride so that was worth it.
We walked and walked and walked. We explored and explored some more. I think next time in order to see the city we will find a babysitter for the kids and rent bikes so we can move faster.
I had seen homeless people before. Plenty on my mission but this was unbelievable. There were everywhere. We stopped into McDonalds to get some ice cream cones for the kids because they were hot and as we were sitting there eating there was this little old African American women just sitting on the corner crying. I sat there and watched her. Where was her family to help take care of her? So Brantly and I bought a prepaid card for the women to come back a few times and have a free meal. Brantly and Evelyn were the ones that went up to her and gave it to her. It was a very sweet moment.
Thursday morning came and it was time for Carrie and I to fly to Georgia and meet up with all the other sisters. Carrie was on standby and her flight didn't leave until 6 that evening so our plans kinda changed. I flew out at 8 and arrived in Atlanta around noon. I met up with my mother-in-law Sharon who happened to be there the same time I did. It was so fun to find each other.
After what seemed like hours trying to find our way around the largest airport I have ever been in we finally found the car rental place. We rented a car and then navigated our way to Acworth. Not too bad. A huge rain storm kinda slowed things down but we made it.
Everyone arrived! All 10 of us together! It was so much fun.

Lee made some delicious BBQ rib dinner for all of us. It was fun to sit around the table and just talk, laugh and just catch up.
We got to pick our rooms. I felt like I was in college again. We were all split up into two rooms and we stayed up until 3-4 a.m each night just talking and laughing. Seriously laughing so hard. I loved every minute of it!!!!! Such amazing sisters.

We went and say several history sites. That place as full of beautiful places. I wish we had more time to go and see it all. I guess I will just have to go back. I fell in love with Marietta. It was beautiful. I told Lance that we should move there. So green and so beautiful. It was my first time I have ever seen a fire fly. Each evening we would sit out on Lee and Jaclyn's covered patio and you could see them fly and glow. Pretty cool.

One night we went to Henry's Louisiana Grill. I hate seafood! I hate the smell and I hate the taste. I guess the word hate is pretty strong but that is how I feel about it. I ordered chicken to be on the safe side. Everyone ordered something fishy or spicy. Fun to see everyone's meals. My sister in law Lesa ordered oyster pasta and she had never tried one. I was so grossed out but they all dared me to try one so I did. Disgusting!! The texture was horrible. It didn't taste fishy at all but the texture was too much for me. I tried it though and I consider myself brave for doing that.

The weekend went by too fast and it was time to say goodbye. Can't wait to do it again in 2016. Love them all!!!!