Insta Friday

i am linking up again this week with jeannett over at life rearranged for insta friday.

i love looking back at my iphone photos each week.  photos that don't lend themselves to an entire blog post but fun glimpses into this season of life.

our swing set was in desperate need of some love.
saturday morning dawned sunny and warm so lance and the kids started with sanding the swing set.  
oh how they loved the sanding.
once it was sanded the real fun started... the staining.
there were only four paint brushes so i gladly stood by, took pictures, and gave encouragement!

this little bug is constantly in a dress, wearing a crown, and singing.
the clinched teeth on the picture. well she was still singing and didn't want to take time to smile for a picture because i was interrupting her song. priorities!
sunny sunday afternoon, a blanket, a book, and a diet dr. pepper with cherry.
a slice of heaven!

first bonfire of the summer + s'mores = happy kiddos

 she finally could reach the small drinking fountain on her tip toes
she was so proud

for the past month or so we have had this rattling when we run our garbage disposal.
i have dug around in the sink trying to find what might be making the noise and i found nothing
lance tried digging in the sink to find what was making the noise and he found nothing
we started to think it was broken and we needed to get it fixed.
the sink was not draining the other day, stuck my hand in, and found that quarter.
lance and i both stuck our hands in the sink numerous times and felt nothing but then one day appears the quarter.
so thankful we found the source of our problem.
we spent an afternoon at the hospital visiting our friends and their fresh from heaven babe
my little ones were so thrilled to get to hold the new babe
nothing sweeter than loving on a new baby {sigh}

mauryn's dance teacher is cute as a button so this was a perfect end of the year gift for her
idea found here
a stray easter egg hiding in the kids' kitchen

mauryn got her costume for her recital
excitement level was through the roof
the costume is now put safely away until recital day

snacks, movies, treats, sunscreen, lunch supplies
time for road trip 2011

life rearranged


Joys - Week 20 {giveaway winner}

the joys:

* morgan finished school mid week last week so we are officially on SUMMER BREAK. yes!

* lazy mornings

* kids sleeping in... landon didn't get up until 10:30 am on monday

* play dates with friends

* our first year being part of a homeschool co op came to an end with a presentation night. mauryn was so proud to get a certificate for being part of the preschool class.

* morgan completed her third year of piano lessons and had her recital last weekend
* morgan had an extra rehearsal for her dance class on sunday. it was supposed to be a rainy cold day but it turned out to be beautiful. while she was at rehearsal i sat outside on a blanket enjoying the sunshine and my book

* we have the BEST neighbors.  the kids love each other and are great friends who actually act more like siblings most of the time :o). we are so thankful for neighbors who are like family.
* morgan got a gift certificate for a pedicure for her birthday.  she can't have painted nails during competition season so this was the first opportunity she had to use her gift certificate.  she was just giddy with excitement to get a pedicure.  my toes needed a little love as well.  a fun way to spend the afternoon.
* a beautiful summer spring like night so we fired up the neighbors fire pit for the first bonfire of the season.  we definitely weren't prepared for s'mores as we dug through the cupboards to piece together enough supplies. time to add graham crackers, marshmallows, and reeses peanut butter cups to the shopping list.
* we have an elderly couple who lives down the street from us.  as we came home the other day i saw the wife picking weeds in her front yard.  i sent the kids over the help her out and she rewarded them with many kind words and an ice cream treat.
* the two little kids and i were able to go to the hospital to love on this fresh from heaven babe.  oh he is so cute and snuggly.  we were all ready to sneak him home with us!

* only 2 more days until maycation... can't wait for some time to relax!

* my friend janelle introduced me to the app hey tell a few weeks ago.  i love it.  it is basically sending a talking text.  you know how things are funnier when you tell someone the story then writing in a text well this app let's you do just that.  for example when i took the kids to the park the other day and we were getting ready to leave landon asked me a question.  the wind was blowing and my back was to him so i thought he asked me if he could climb the tree before we left the park.  i said yes. i turned around and found him going to the bathroom behind the tree.  good heavens! it was so funny and i wanted to share so i sent janelle a hey tell message. the story was much better told than via text. anyway... big joy is this fun app. if you don't have it get it its free!!!

* a joy for someone else... 
i couldn't figure out how to get a screen shot so i took a picture with my phone so you all know that the contest was fair and square :o)

the winner of the barnes and noble gift card is:

whoop whoop - congratulations and happy reading!

A Ladder? Who Needs a Ladder?

our girls' bedroom looked like this a few years ago. 
{sorry for the bad picture. i can't find the original so i had to take it off an old post}

then someone mauryn decided that getting up early going to her sisters bed and waking her up was tons of fun.

so we bunked their beds.  

then i put the ladder in their closet to keep mauryn off of morgan's bed.  it shouldn't have surprised me that over time my determined little one figured out how to get to the top bunk.

 why would a ladder stop her when she can scale the side of the bunk beds or climb on a dresser to get up?  ladders are for little kids.

i asked mauryn to give us a little demonstration of how she gets on and off the top bunk.  mostly because i was curious as to how she maneuvers in and out of that bed, even in the middle of the night {eek!}

Untitled from Kristen Cheney on Vimeo.

there you have it - how to scale a set of bunk beds by mauryn cheney.


This Is My Blog and I WIll Whine If I Want To

this is a post in which i am going to whine/have a small pity party for about five minutes, pull up my big girl panties and get on with the day.
i need these five minutes so that i can accurately document my weight loss journey
i need these five minutes to remember the frustrations and the need for patience.
i need these five minutes to remember my real, honest to goodness feelings on this weight loss journey.

you don't have to read this post. my feelings won't be hurt. 
this blog is a place for me to document things going on in my life and the life of our family.  it has been my goal this year to be more vulnerable and real. there isn't anything more real than a little pity party.  it is how i have felt over the course of the past few weeks but there is also victory, there is reason to celebrate, there is perspective to be gained, and there is still some work to do! 

the whining:

* i have exercised for 53 days straight. i have not taken one day off from working out since starting the 30 day shred on april 1st and most of those days i have added 30 minutes of cardio. you know what i thought would happen. i thought i would lose the weight quickly.  i was putting in time working out consistently and not seeing the results. i have been frustrated. i wanted results and i wanted them yesterday.

* why does it have to say lose up to 5 lbs in one week on the top of the workout dvds. i know that isn't realistic but there is always that part of me that thinks "well if i work really hard maybe that could be me". it's a ploy. granted i would have bought the dvd without the weight loss promise blasted across the top.  my point is that there is something exciting thinking about losing 5 lbs in a week but it mostly isn't going to happen so just don't put it on there. okay?

* "you need to eat more food", "you need to eat less food", "you need to give up sugar", "you need to give up carbs", etc... the list goes on and on for all the things i have heard in the last few months. all well meaning statements from people who care. there isn't anything wrong with those statements but here's the bottom line i need to move more and eat less. end of the story.  i don't want to go through the rest of my life not having a chocolate chip cookie because i gave up sugar or not having a potato or french fries because i gave up carbs.  i want to live a life in moderation. i want to listen to my body for when its full. i want to be conscious of what types of food i am putting into my body. i want to enjoy food but i don't want food to control me.

* i want to run at my old pace. i don't like feeling like i am moving at a snails pace. i didn't think it would take so long to get back into "running shape" and still not be to where i used to be in terms of pace. ugh!

* there are days when it is hard to get up to work out. days where the lies try to take over. the lie that exercising won't matter - i am not going to lose the weight.  there are days when it is hard not to succumb to the lies but this is a marathon not a sprint. slow and steady.

* i want my old clothes to fit. i want my thighs to not rub together. i want to feel good about being in a bathing suit at the water park with my kids this summer. i want to be active and healthy for my kids.

the truth - {pulling up the big girl panties}:

* i have lost 10 lbs

* even though i am at the top range of healthy weight for my size, i am in the healthy range again

* i may be close to the weight i was last summer {i was longing to lose 10 lbs then} but i am definitely stronger and in better shape than i was at that time

* my endurance has increased

* there is definition in my arms, back, and legs

* i take time to think about what i am going to eat each day and i am making better choices

* i can still indulge in treats once in a while. the key is once in a while not daily.

* i have always been sort of a cardio junkie. i would rather do cardio than strength training but i have loved my daily date with jillian for the shred and now ripped in 30.  

* i have tried yoga in the past and not been a huge fan. i have recently tried jillian's yoga meltdown. i absolutely love it.  it is a great workout and something different to throw in my weekly mix.

* i am consistently running 2 or 3 days a week for 30 - 45 minutes.  i wasn't sure i would find motivation, joy, or satisfaction in running again but it is happening slowly over time.

* this process is slow. it is not about a number on a scale. it is about my personal journey to be healthy, to be strong mentally, physically, and spiritually, and it's about overcoming the lies. i may never reach that magical number in my head. i am learning to be okay with it.  i want to be toned, fit, and my body to be functioning at its optimal weight. it i might not be the one in my head.  i will keep working and making good choices but i am not going to be focused on that number. the number on the scale will not control me.


* i am thankful i have lost ten pounds

* i am thankful that i can get up each morning to exercise.

* i am thankful for the motivation to get up to exercise.

* i am thankful for a renewed desire to get healthy.

* i am thankful for healthy food options.

* i am thankful that i have a wonderful group of supportive ladies who keep me encouraged and focused.  i may have given up if not for their support and cheering me on.

* i am thankful i have energy to be an active mother for my children. 

* i am thankful that the truth will win!

* if you haven't already entered, be sure to enter my giveaway for a barnes and noble gift card


Insta Friday

i am linking up with jeannett from life rearranged for insta friday.

just a glimpse from iphone photos at the randomness of our life this week.
this ugly bird is the harpy's eagle.
never heard of it.  me neither.
he freaks me out. 
you know what he eats. monkeys and sloths. 
freaky, scary bird.
we went on a field trip to the world center for birds of prey.
its where we met freaky bird.
my boy is diligently filling out his paper about the birds.
it was our first time visiting birds of prey and the kids loved it.
i on the other hand can't get over freaky bird. he sort of ruined the field trip for me. 
my friend janelle mentioned that she had some captain crunch for dinner one night.
i couldn't stop thinking about the captain crunch. 
i was at target so i bought a box and had some for dinner.
not healthy but totally worth all the sugary goodness.
landon was practicing some baseball in the front yard and sat down to take a break. he looked so cute just chilling on his glove.
i tried to sneak over and get a picture but he caught me.  it took me a few shots and a little sneaking before i grabbed a good picture of him.

like the little collage... a fun app called diptic. 

i've talked about my love addiction for words with friends.  morgan got a game for easter called bananagrams.  
basically words with friends in real life. 
just as fun!
see these two?
they are escapees.
landon let the dogs out in the yard the other morning.  after a few minutes i was wondering why i hadn't heard them at the back door.  well these two got out our side gate which wasn't fully shut. 
cait and harley enjoyed a morning swim in the canal - running, jumping, splashing, and chasing ducks.
then we caught them and put them in jail aka their outside kennel. naughty dogs.

see the lip.
 its not grape juice. it's a big ol' bruise.
hit in the face by a baseball. 
this guy is tough. 
sassy wearing my boots.
she thinks she is hot stuff.
kids at the dentist + 30 minutes alone + ipad= a little slice of heaven

not sure what to do with this guy.
he likes to hide in the strangest places.
this is his newest hiding spot.

little miss loves to dress up.
this costume brings back so many memories. 
 morgan wore this for her dance recital when she was four.
it happens to be mauryn's favorite thing to wear. 

we ran an errand at best buy the other day and as we were getting ready to leave i see landon standing by this sign. he was posing like justin "beaver"
kid cracks me up.
these little things are amazing.
it's like a mini dessert without the guilt.
i am not a fan of dark chocolate but this is just a perfect mix of the chocolate and granola. yum!
run out and try them. you won't be disappointed.

i found these at a book fair last year for $.50
it was the best $.50 ever
it kept this girl entertained for at least an hour - coloring, cutting, pasting, creating

 i came downstairs last night to find this
mauryn's former crayon roll minus the crayons
the dogs ate them... grr!
the vet assures me that wax won't hurt them
now to find time to make mauryn a new crayon roll 

 my boy has a love for legos and building
he has brought his love into my bedroom and decided to do his building on my dresser
i now have a pile of lego atlantis pieces waiting to be constructed in my room
i am not so in love with the pile but i sure love the boy who made this big messy pile so he is forgiven
twice a year scholastic has a warehouse sale
a huge room filled with hundreds and hundreds of books = bliss

tell me about your week.

Bedside Reading {giveaway}

i am a bookworm.

i love books.  

my bedside table usually has a pile of books on it. 
my piles are getting smaller now that i do most of my reading 

on here!

i usually have two or three books going at the same time. i like to have a choice depending on how much time i have to read, my mood, or just what i am feeling like reading that day.

here's a look at what i am reading right now:

one thousand gifts by ann voskamp.  i started this last winter but wasn't able to devote myself to this book.  it is the type of book that needs to be read slowly where the words are soaked up and left to linger in your soul.  now that summer is here {at least school is done} i will have more quiet, slow days to read this book.

unbroken by laura hillenbrand.  i started this book last weekend and have had a difficult time putting it down.  hillenbrand gripped me from the start with her story telling.  i am learning that i really enjoy reading books that are historical fiction.  i have been intrigued by this story and look forward to getting deeper into the story.

reshaping it all by candance cameron bure.  dj tanner is all grown up!  i am excited to read about her journey to be physically and spiritually fit.  this book fits well with my journey.

some of my favorite books from this past year:

the help by kathryn stockett .  it is coming out in a movie in august. i can't wait. i loved the characters in this story and how the author gave them each a distinct voice.  if you haven't read this book, you won't be disappointed!

sarah's key by tatiana de rosnay.  this book was hard, not difficult but uncomfortable, for me to read.  it is a heartbreaking story but i was gripped by sarah's story that i had to keep reading.  as sad as it was to read it was a wonderful book.

loving frank by nancy horan.  this book was recommended to me by two people in the same week last summer.  the author had me hooked from the first page.  it was an interesting look into the life of frank lloyd wright.  if you read this book, wait to google anything about frank lloyd wright until you are done.  i made that mistake and it did cloud my reading a little bit as i knew how the story would end. 

the hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet by jamie ford. i just finished this book for our book club.  the story takes place in seattle where the character flashes between the 1940's and the 1980's {which is present day for the story}. an interesting story of life during WWII for japanese and chinese americans. everyone in our book club loved this book.

the girl with the dragon tattoo trilogy by stieg larsson.  i was so intrigued by this series.  i loved the suspense, the character development, and the twists and turns of the plot.  there were parts of the book that i skimmed or made me squirm but overall it was a very series.  

winter graden by kristin hannah. this was my first exposure to any of kristin hannah's books.  this is a beautiful story about relationships and how things aren't always how we perceive them.  i have read a few other books by kristin hannah and have not been disappointed.

water for elephants by sara gruen.  there was so much hype around the book that i put off reading it for a while. when everyone loves a book i usually set myself up with high expectations and then find myself disappointed.  this books was a surprise. i was completely captivated by the story and loved every minute of reading it. i can't wait to see the movie.

 as you can tell a bookstore+ me = dangerous combination.

i love wandering the book store in search of the perfect book to read {or browsing online}, opening it, and immersing myself in the life of the characters.

there is nothing better than spending the day curled up with a blanket and a good book. that is as close to a perfect day as it can get for me.

with summer approaching  {the weather could start to cooperate}, i always make a list of books i want to read over the summer.  i also make a list for my kiddos as well.  morgan, landon, and i are going to track and see how many book we can read between us over the summer. 25? 50? 100? we will keep you posted.

as a kick off to summer, relaxation, and more time to read i am giving away a $25 gift card to barnes and noble.

to enter the giveaway leave me a comment telling me what's on your summer reading list and/or a book you think i should add to my summer reading list.

for extra entries you can:
* follow my blog or if you are a follower let me know
* post about this giveaway on facebook
* post about the giveaway on twitter

please be sure to leave contact information so i have a way to get in touch with you if you are the winner.

winner will be drawn on wednesday may 25th!