Posted in Health

Fit Friday : The Beginning

One year and four days ago, I had a baby.

The day before I had that baby, I weighed more than I had ever weighed before in my life. The day after I had that baby, I weighed about 25 pounds less than that. It was a good start, and my naive, overly-optimistic self assumed that I would continue on that downhill journey until I was at my pre-pregnancy weight…or even my wedding day weight.

But, did you know that having a newborn is tough? Did you know that life happens, and you might end up going back to work earlier than you expected, or your child might have to have surgery, or you might just be exhausted from trying to figure out your new life?

Shocking, right?

So here I am 369 days after giving birth not at my goal weight. I’m not even at that day after the birth weight since I’ve gained about half of that back. I want to beat myself up. I want to make excuses. I want to delete this entire post and not talk about weight or any of the feelings of discomfort and sadness that I have because of it.

But, I won’t do those things.

Instead, I’m going to be proactive. I’m going to start making healthier choices and share my weekly progress so I will be accountable to changing.

I know I’ve started and stopped about 900 blog series and challenges, including at least one devoted to losing weight. However, I have never felt like this before. I don’t like how I look or feel. I’m tired and sluggish. My skin looks terrible. I struggle with finding things to wear. I just feel frumpy and blah. Plus, I’ve never had to be on blood pressure medicine before. I’ve never been classified as morbidly obese before. I’ve never had to raise a daughter before, and I don’t want her to struggle with her weight. I want her to be strong and confident and healthy. I want me to be strong and confident and healthy also.

I also want to accomplish a goal and feel proud of myself. I have a lot of goals that I have halfheartedly attempted in the past, and I’m tired of quitting things. I want to succeed. Actually, I have to succeed. My life quite literally could depend on it.

So, here’s the deal – every Friday morning, I will weigh in (but I’m not going to share those numbers yet…there may come a time when I’m proud of the progress I’ve made, but for now, it’s embarrassing). Before Friday is over, I will update how my week went and set goals for the upcoming week. I want to also try sharing a recipe or resource that helped me over the week too, whether that’s a quote, a workout idea, or something else.

My new week will start on Saturdays. I’m doing that for a couple of reasons. First, my husband is off on Friday nights, so that will be our “free night.” Char sometimes stays with her grandparents on Friday nights also, so we enjoy a kid-free dinner on those nights! I also can order our groceries on Fridays, so I know that I have a whole stocked kitchen to work with for meal prepping over the weekend. Finally, I think there’s a little victory in getting to Monday (the typical “diet starts today” day) and knowing that I have been eating clean for a couple of days already. I don’t have to treat Monday like an atonement for a weekend of crappy eating.

Will I mess up? Undoubtedly. I’m human.

Will I beat myself up, quit, or go off the rails? No. That’s how I operated in the past, and I’m tired of being that person.

Alright, now that my super-long backstory is finished, let’s talk about this week’s goals. I’m going to keep them relatively simple since it’s my first week, and I have “all or nothing” tendencies.

Goal 1 : Drink half my body weight in water daily. I’ve been so bad about drinking water, and I can tell that it’s making me feel super thirsty and cotton-mouthed. I loaded a water reminder app on my phone to annoy remind me to drink enough daily.

Goal 2 : Prep lunches for the week. I want to get to the point where I meal prep breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, but that will be way down the road. Lunches are a good place to start because I’m inclined to go grab fast food if I don’t have anything made for lunch.

Goal 3 : No restaurants or coffee shops – except for Friday night. I have gone to two coffee shops and five fast food restaurants this week. Wow. After typing something like that, I realize that I’ve nailed a huge cause of my problem with my weight and wallet! The bad part about coffee shops is that I usually have to get myself a little “treat” along with my expensive, over-sugared coffee. And, let’s not even talk about the five different fast food places, including one I ate from twice this week. Sheesh.

Who wants to join me on this journey? I am going to lose this weight by cleaning up the food I eat and exercising. That’s it. No supplements. No powders. No wraps. No anything that deviates beyond my regular grocery budget and spending. I want this to be sustainable and realistic, and I think this is going to be my best method. If you want to join me, leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page.

See you next Friday!

(Just kidding. I’ll be posting Charlotte’s ONE YEAR update on Tuesday and a Guys Behind the Blog linkup on Thursday. Busy week on the ol’ blog!)

Posted in Linkups

Currently : April 2017

currently-1

Accomplishing: Prep for Charlotte’s birthday party! It’s going to be a small party with immediate family, but things still have to be done!

Feeling: Kind of blah and meh. Nothing is wrong necessarily, but I just feel like I’m kind of just bumping along. Does that make sense?

Needing: To take clothes out of the washer. I feel like if I don’t do a complete load of laundry every day, then all of the sudden, there’s a mountain of dirty clothes!

Practicing: Uh, not sure about this one! Practicing being a couch potato? 😉

Pinning: Hairstyle ideas. I like my cut, but I feel like I’m in a hair rut. I guess that goes with the blah feeling I talked about earlier. Anyone have any go-to hair tutorials or sites or anything like that?

Linking up with Anne In Residence and Jess Gets Dressed Sometimes

Posted in life, random thoughts

Life Lately : Volume 2

Welcome to the much-anticipated, long-awaited second volume of life lately…aka random thoughts to tell the Internet what I’ve been up to when I don’t really have something to write about but just feel like writing. Phew!

  • HOW IS OUR CHILD ALMOST A YEAR OLD?!? That is all.
  • Our furry, spastic kid just turned four a few days ago! I don’t want to sound too cliche, but I can’t believe how fast time is going!
  • I stepped down from blogging for Nashville Mom Blog because I was falling way behind on submissions, but this recent article about baby-friendly hospitals really resonated with me!
  • I’ve also decided to drop the #Achieve2017 posts. They’re some of the lowest read posts I have, there’s never really any interaction on them, plus I haven’t been finishing the goals I set every month, which kind of defeats the purpose of blogging about them in order to finish the goals!
  • I will still be sticking with the linkups I’ve been doing…and probably more. Yay for those who like the linkup posts! I’ve also got 21(!) posts in my drafts folder, and I’ve got some ideas of other things to write about. I started a new writer planner, so let’s see if I can become more consistent with my posts!
  • My husband is starting college this summer! I’m so excited for him and proud of him! And, I get the opportunity to help him plan his class schedules, which is one of my favorite things to do. I think he needs a new planner, which means I also need a new planner because logic.
  • A friend and I are presenting at a library conference on Friday, and then Charlotte and I are supposed to have a play date with a former co-worker and her son on Saturday. It should be a fun week/weekend! Anything exciting happening in anyone else’s world right now?
Posted in Linkups

Guys Behind the Blog : March 2017

I’ve been blogging and writing for a few years now, and although I’ve talked about my husband here a few times, I’ve never really introduced you guys to him. That’s why I was really excited to find this linkup called Guys Behind the Blog! Every month, they have a few questions that they have people ask their husbands. This was a fun one because it let us have an interesting conversation, plus I love asking “would you rather” questions.  There’s also a Kids Behind the Blog linkup that I’ll have to participate in when our child’s vocabulary expands beyond the few words she can say! 😉

GBTB March 2017
Ladies and gentleman, meet my husband, Thor…I mean, Will

1.) Would you rather have your dream job and make less money or have a job you hate and make tons of money?

Will – We know the answer to this one

(Amber note – earlier this month, he left a distribution center job that he was really unhappy in to start work as a security guard, which pays less, but it’s so up his alley that it’s a little scary. This question made us laugh because it’s our life now!)

2.) Would you rather play a hero or a villain in a movie?

Will – Villain or an antihero

Me – What do you mean by that?

Will – Antiheroes still do good, but they don’t care about the rules

Me – So, you want to be Deadpool?

Will – Yes…or The Punisher. The Punisher has a lot of guns.

(Amber note – he was a little too giddy when he said that)

3.) Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never be able to speak again?

Will – I always say what’s on my mind anyways.

Me – Don’t I know it…

4.) Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go into the future to meet your great grandchildren?

Will – I think it would be cool to go back in time and meet my ancestors

5.) Would you rather swim in the Arctic Ocean with nothing but a swim suit (no wet suit) or walk through the desert in the middle of the summer having to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt?

Will – Polar bear club

Me – You know, only one of us has done a Polar Bear Plunge…

Bonus question:
Would you rather live like a king but have no friends and family or be homeless with your friends and family?

Me – I know the answer to this one

Will – What do you think?

Me – You’d rather be homeless with your friends and family

Will – That is true

Me – It would save us a lot of money every month. Plus, if you’re The Punisher, no one will mess with us…

Linking up with Hall Around Texas, Chasin’ Mason, Fortunate House, and Cocktails & Carseats!

Posted in baby, Charlotte, motherhood

Charlotte’s Eleven Month Update

So how about that nearly 3 week absence, huh? My husband has a new job with a different schedule than his last couple of jobs, so I’ve been working on new life routines, and this fell to the wayside. But, now I’m back…back again…Amber’s back…tell a friend (bonus points if you know what song that’s from…)

Now, let’s move on to the important stuff – Charlotte!

11 month collage
Google Photos automatically created this collage. I think it gives her a bit of a sullen, bored teenager look, don’t you think?

Height:

at birth: 20 inches.
at one month: 21 inches
at three months: 23.5 inches
at four months: 24.5 inches
at six months: 26 inches
at nine months: 27 inches

Weight:
at birth: 6 lb 5 oz
at one month: 7 lb 11 oz
at three months: 10 lb 4 oz
at six months: 14 lb 10 oz
at nine months: 17 lb 3 oz

Clothing Size: 9 months and up!

Milestones:
– We’re on tooth watch, 2017. It feels like she’s been teething for about 40 years, but none of them have popped through yet. It will be a glorious day when the first one does. Plus, if she realizes that teeth = getting to try more foods, then she’ll be a happy girl!

-She moved backwards some when she was on her stomach/hands and knees. It wasn’t quite crawling, but it was progress!

-I think she can say “my mama”. At least, that’s what it sounds like to me!

-She is pretty decent at picking up foods and feeding herself and is getting better at using her spoon. She also got some of her puffs out of the container one day when I held it up to her. Of course, that obviously means she’s a super genius! 😉

Likes: Going places (such a little charmer!), sitting in her pack and play and watching the weather while eating snacks (that’s my girl!), and pulling Koopa’s ears!

Dislikes: Not being allowed to chew on my phone, when we don’t give her back the things she throws on the floor (like spoons and napkins), scrambled eggs – my parents have fed them to her a couple of times and said that she didn’t enjoy them at all. I think this is the only food she hasn’t loved!

Sleep: Still co-sleeping and still (mostly) sticking to a routine. Most of the time, she sleeps through the night, but sometimes girlie needs a midnight snack…and not just a bottle!

Best Moment: There have been a few times when she has pulled me near her to give me a kiss or snuggle up next to me, and I have just completely melted!

Worst Moment: We’ve had a couple of middle-of-the-night wakeups that have gone from “hmm, she’s a little upset” to “whoa, she’s having a complete meltdown.” I think the incoming tooth is really bothering her, and then once she wakes up, she’ll realize that she’s hungry and super tired. I know that she can’t really communicate what’s wrong yet, so that makes things even tougher!

Eating: She is starting to like “real food” more than her baby food. She’ll still eat baby food most of the time, but she also wants something that she can pick up with her fingers and feed herself with. She’s also becoming good at stealing things off our plates!

Mommy Update: I’m feeling more confident as a mom, especially as I’m starting to focus more on just being in whatever moment we’re in and enjoying it. These 11 months have flown by, so I want to make sure I’m soaking everything in as much as possible!

Overall: She has such a great personality and is really starting to develop her own little quirks and habits. It’s been so fun seeing her grow and become more of her own little person!

We love you, baby girl!

Posted in Uncategorized

Six signs that you’ve found your spouse

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary! In honor of that, I decided to share this post from November 2015. Over a year later, all of these signs still apply to my wonderful husband…and I”m not just saying that because of the two glasses of fantastic anniversary wine I’ve had! 😉

Amber I Am

My last couple of posts have talked about the girl creature who’s joining our family this spring, but I need to give credit to the one who’s 50% responsible for her, so tonight, I wanted to share six signs that showed me that I chose the one I was supposed to marry.

(Amber note: I know that we’ve been married a relatively short amount of time in the scheme of things, so before all of you long-timers start rolling your eyes about my “sage marriage advice,” consider what you want to add to the list and share your wisdom with all of us!)

six signs graphic

1. You can to talk to him about anything:

During our rough summer and the approximately 15,000 doctor’s visits that followed, my poor husband learned more than he ever needed to about the female body, hormones, and just what was going to happen to me as my body recovered…

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Posted in Linkups

Glossies Made Me Do It : March 2017

In another post, I talked about how I want to join more linkups. If you’re not familiar with what a linkup is, it’s basically when a blogger or a group of bloggers all post about the same thing and leave links to each others’ blogs on the host(s) blog(s). Clear as mud for anyone? 😉 I’ve been participating in the monthly “Currently” linkup since January, and now I’ve found another fun and interesting one to join, called “Glossies Made Me Do It.”

glossies2bmade2bme2bdo2bit

A little backstory: I was reading a blog that I found on a Currently linkup, and it had a post called “Glossies Made Me Do It” about an idea from a magazine that she tried. There were a couple of other bloggers who did it, and then they decided to make it a monthly linkup. I think this is a fun one because I’ve always enjoyed reading magazines and saving ideas to try “someday,” but I rarely ever do anything beyond that. Now I’ll be forced inspired to actually try some things!

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to it!

The library I work at recently added a magazine browsing app called Flipster, and I have really enjoyed it! Earlier this week, I loaded 5 magazines on my iPad! Can you imagine how much space 5 actual magazines would’ve taken up in my purse? (Librarian note – many other libraries have Flipster or similar services so check your library’s website to see if they do!).

I was browsing the March 2017 edition of Glamour magazine when I found my inspiration : an article called “How to Look Less Tired”.

Sign. Me. Up.

A couple of the ideas in the article were ridiculous. Get more sleep? Wow, earth shattering, life-changing info right there. But, one portion suggested faking it with makeup application. I’m pretty makeup challenged, but the suggestions in this article seemed easy enough, even for someone like me.

Here I am in my natural state last Friday morning:

IMG_20170303_075113.jpg

TGIF, y’all…

Also, let’s take a minute to admire my majestic morning hair:

img_20170303_075413

#Iwokeuplikethis

The article outlines a number of steps to go through, including using an undereye cream/primer, a couple of different concealers, and eyeshadow suggestions. I didn’t have all of the necessary makeup/tools, so I followed along the best I could.

Here are my final results, in the glowing natural light of my car in the driveway:

img_20170303_083941

A few answers to the burning questions I know you all have:

  1. Yes, my earrings are cassette tapes
  2. Yes, I do need something else to cover that spot on my forehead
  3. Yes, my hair actually did look better before I tried to “style” it

So, do I look less tired? Maybe. I felt like I had a lot of makeup on, and at one point in the day, my undereye concealer looked like it was melting off my face. Always pleasant.

I’m glad I tried these techniques, but it probably won’t become a regular thing for me. Now on to looking for next month’s idea!

Linking up with Lauren @ Shooting Stars Mag (where I originally saw the idea), Ashley @ Happy. Pretty. Sweet., and Erika @ Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans.