The holidays keep getting better and better as our girls have gotten older and have started to really "get" it. Halloween with little kids is the absolute best! I picked Eloise's costume, she was a wind-up doll (like Penny was). Penny said she wanted to be a witch's shoe, I hoped she would be goldilocks, we compromised and she was a witch.
She loves those pumpkins!
This one is an outtake, but it's so funny to me I couldn't help but include it!
Considering, I just threw away the very last halloween pumpkin, this post isn't quite as overdue as it seems, right? Ok, so Halloween was a few months ago, but these pictures are too cute to keep hidden on my computer!
I wanted to go to a big pumpkin patch and take a million pictures, Andrew wanted to grab a few pumpkins from the grocery store. We compromised and went to a small local pumpkin patch at a church. It ended up being perfect! Short and sweet. Just the right size for our young family.
Penny started going to preschool again in September. I desperately wanted a "first day of school" picture, but she would NOT have it and all I got was this:
I remember feeling really frustrated that I couldn't get a nice, smiling picture, but now that a few month have passed (and a scary hospital visit) I have a much better perspective. I love it! Attitude and all!
Despite her grumpiness about my constant picture taking, she was thrilled to be back! She was so happy when I picked her up, she let me take another picture of her, and she almost smiled!
But when her teacher takes her picture, she's all smiles!
In August we flew to Washington to celebrate Scott's wedding. We hadn't visited for several years (since 2011). I thoroughly documented our trip on Instagram, but not on the blog! Here are some highlights:
A trip to Washington isn't complete without a trip to the Himmer family's favorite: Kinza. We got take-out four separate occasions before we returned home. Penny and Eloise had no complaints with the cuisine.
Chickens and the eggs
The months leading up to our visit, Penny would talk with Grandma on FaceTime about all the things they were going to do and see. None were more important than tending to the chickens and collecting eggs. Within minutes of arriving at Grandma's Penny found herself to the coop. Penny gladly collected eggs throughout the trip in her basket.
Astrid and Eloise
Penny and Eloise love animals as most kids do. Penny will often times feel timid with animals larger than herself. Eloise is quite the opposite. Eloise had no problem taming Astrid a large Great Dane. Astrid seemed to feel overwhelmed by this tiny kid and tried to avoid her the rest of the week. The only exception was when Eloise had left over dinner on her hands (licked from a safe distance).
Andrew and I had one ambitious bucket-list item on this trip. We both wanted an opportunity to spend some time in the water kayaking. Fitting this into the trip's schedule was tricky and we were afraid we wouldn't be able to do it since it required someone else watching our kids for a few hours. It rained for the first 20 minutes, but the harbor was gorgeous!
Thanks Scott and Elyssa for the opportunity to visit the PNW.
For that last three years, this blog has revolved around my beautiful girls. I have in some ways, been hiding behind them both online and in person because I was ashamed of some of the changes physically and emotionally, that have happened as a result of becoming a mother. I lost a bit of myself for a while and put aside my own needs for the good of my girls. However, in neglecting myself, I was not adding more to them, but less, because I was not taking care of myself.
About a year ago I joined a CrossFit gym. This seemingly insignificant choice was the catalyst for much greater changes in my life. As I began to take time each day to work on Lindsay, I felt myself returning and I had a greater desire to change other areas of my life.
Because I was gone for an hour or two in the evenings attending CrossFit, Andrew had more time alone with the girls. At first, this was rough on him, but he has grown immensely and is a much more confident dad. And I was able to return home a better, more patient mom.
Instead of being drained by the workouts, I was energized by them. I soon took on the Whole30 and went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. A lot of good came out of those and interestingly, even my marriage became much stronger. Finally we had a firm control over our finances and I wanted to take control in other areas of our lives.
I have always enjoyed food. But I came to realize that it had started to control me and I was using it like a drug to help make myself feel better when the stresses of my life and being a parent weighed me down. For the last four months, I have been actively fighting my emotional eating by applying the twelve steps of recovery and attending Addiction Recovery Meetings. This is such an immensely personal thing, that I am a bit shocked that I am opening up about it on my public family blog, but I feel like it is something I need to share.
I had an awakening today. For months I have been a bit discouraged that my weight loss goals have not been happening how I would like them to. In fact, the actual number on the scale has hardly budged. I realized that I was still trying to measure my self worth according to a number on a scale and it was clouding my ability to notice more significant changes happening in my life.
First, food does not have the hold on my that it once did. I still enjoy good food, but it no longer controls me. I attribute this entirely to daily scripture study and working through the steps of recovery. On the few days I have neglect my scripture study, the temptations return and my ability to fight them vanishes.
Second, I feel much better about myself. I enjoy getting dressed and feel comfortable in my clothes. I no longer dread looking into the mirror. I finally had the courage to cut my hair short, something I have been avoiding because I knew Andrew preferred it long. I thought that by keeping it long, I would also feel better about myself, but that is not the way it works. I cannot rely on how Andrew feels about my looks to help me feel better about them. Just as with a testimony, I cannot "borrow" his version of me to add to my own self-esteem. I have to feel beautiful independently of how anyone else feels about me.
Finally, my inward changes are showing outwardly, even if not on the scale. I have never received so many complements on my appearance as I have the last few months. Many of them tell me it looks as though I have lost weight. I think that my inward changes are translating to others as beauty. And I have stopped spending so much effort thinking and worrying about how I look.
Ultimately, I feel really comfortable in my body. In fact, I don't think I have ever felt this good about myself. Definitely not in High School, when I had what I now consider to be my perfect body, but which, I loathed and saw nothing but flaws. Now, the number on the scale does not matter. I feel good! I feel pretty! And I can leave the house and forget about how I look and enjoy my life without obsessing over it.