I don’t want to put her down…

Claudia Love turned 6 months at the beginning of October. Ever since, I’ve just had the hardest time putting her down. She is growing so fast and one day this stage will be but a memory.

IMG 7484 200x300 I dont want to put her down...

I don’t want to put her down…

Because one day, she will be playing with her brothers and too busy for me.

Because one day, she will refuse to hold my hand in the store.

Because one day, she won’t want me to kiss her in front of her classmates.

Because one day, she will lock herself away in her bedroom all day.

Because one day, I will have to drop her off at the homecoming dance…

and then suddenly a boyfriend will be driving her.

Because one day, she will come back to my arms, but it will be because she needs her mama to soothe a broken heart.

Because one day, I will have to literally and figuratively “let go” as she moves out, creates her own adult life … maybe getting married, moving away, starting her own family….

Because one day, she will be a fiercely independent woman who was once a baby cradled in my arms, looking at me with that sleepy, gummy smile.


I am feeling so sentimental about Claudia lately. The time is going by so quickly, as I feared it would. This girl brings so much joy to our lives.

Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)

On a daily basis, I do great with diet. It’s when my mom is in town that everything goes to shit. She cooks homemade dumplings and cake and it’s full of grains, full of sugar, full of everything I avoid on a daily basis. She is leaving today after being here for 4 days. Cleaning up the diet, thank you very much.

I have been selling Claudia’s outgrown clothes in various venues. If anyone is interested, I will do a blog sale. Please comment if you’d be interested in seeing what I have.

My classes are going well so far this fall, but I’ve fallen into terrible procrastinating habits. I think that’s coming from the fact that the classes are fairly easy for me. It’s mostly info I already know and the things I don’t know are fun for me to learn. Today it has reached a bad place. I have a 3-page scientific research paper due tonight and I have to work this evening. Don’t ask how much I’ve done. I just read the assignment late last night.

I decided to start reorganizing and decorating the entire house by focusing on one room at at time. After a year in this house, it’s still not fully decorated and I hate some of the decor I chose last year. I’ll be sharing some of the projects and room reveals here. I’m pretty pumped about it. I am starting with our bedroom because I want it to be a nice and relaxing area for us to escape all the craziness that is our family. icon wink Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)

I just want to leave you with this… this sweet thing turned 5 months on Sunday! Where does the time go?!

5m Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)
mat bw Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)
denim Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)
pretty bw Hump Day Dump Day (a little late)

Sometimes I’m the worst

I always have amazing ideas and ambitions, but the problem is that I have too many things I want to do. I can’t do EVERYTHING. I think I have finally come to accept that. I have a HUGE secret project going on right now and with that, I’m going to drop a lot of other projects and focus on the things I’m most passionate about and the things I want to do for a lifetime. I hope that I can continue updating this blog because I love sharing what’s going on with my life, connecting with readers, and just having a venue to JUST. WRITE.

Going forward, I have to stop striving to have an amazing blog. You’re going to get what I can give. It’s that simple. I just have other priorities. I can’t deal with blogging on a schedule right now, even for my fitness updates. I don’t know what kind of posts you’ll get, honestly. We shall see!

I’ll leave you with this cuteness.

cl1 Sometimes Im the worst

Hump Day Dump Day

Today was so busy and so insanely crazy. I worked on cleaning mine and Dustin’s bathroom for probably four hours. Have you heard of the iPhone app Unfuck Your Habitat? It’s pretty awesome. It’s simple, but it’s really helping me to clean up and take care of projects that I’ve ignored for so long. You should check it out. Nope, totally not paid for this mention. UFYH has no idea who I am. icon smile Hump Day Dump Day Anyway, it took so long because, well…. FOUR KIDS. That is serious stuff.

After cleaning, I showered and dressed. When Dustin got home from work, I headed to Biloxi to fill out EMPLOYMENT PAPERWORK! This mama is going back to work. I’m going back to a retail job I had once before, but starting back as a part time sales associate because that’s all they have at the time. I will be so happy to be working for my wonderful friend Ashley again, waiting for a management position to open up. I am really looking forward to this.

I would not be taking a part-time job if not for another cool bit of news. Dustin’s teenage cousin is coming from St. Louis to stay with us for the summer. Keeping our kids (I originally typed boys out of habit) will be her summer job. She is doing it for room and board only, which affords me the opportunity to just get my foot back in the door at the company that started my love of retail. I am excited to learn more about her and have some help with this house full of children.

Harper and Nick have decided that they want to be roommates now. Harper was sharing with Quentin and Nick had his own room. However, with Harper starting Kindergarten in fall, their maturity gap is closing. They are having so much fun together, so toward the end of the summer, Harper’s stuff will be moved into the schoolboy room. For now, they are sharing on a trial basis. They fight a lot, so we have to see if some of that dissipates.

I’ve been laying out on the deck a couple of times a week and wanted to leave you with this cute picture. Angel Baby wanted in on the action.

swimsuit Hump Day Dump Day

Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday) – Week 4

It has now been four weeks since this post, in which I revealed my postpartum body and promised weekly updates.

So here’s the thing – I could rattle off excuses all day long, but it won’t change anything. And honestly, there just can’t be excuses when changing your body, because there will always be something that comes up. What’s important is what we do when we realize our goals are slipping between our fingers. I had a baby over two months ago and not much has changed on my body since the initial weight fell off. No excuse for that.

That being said, what has changed? Well, I finally found my way with a workout routine. I have been lifting heavy and it’s so much fun! I am also still running. I lift one day, rest the next day, run the next, rest the next, lift the next….. so forth and so on. On my “rest” days, I do a few things, like some ab work, extra crunches, walk the dog, have a dance-off with the kids – anything but sit on my ass all day. I have gotten to the point where I crave exercise. I am so excited to be at that point again. It’s been a long time!

I have been slipping on diet, but have finally gotten in tune with my body again, so it’s getting better. Anyway, not much has changed in the last 4 weeks, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m here with an update anyway.

5/13/14 – 140 lbs, 33 in. waist.
6/10/14 – 140 lbs, 32.5 in. waist.

My weight did not fall at all, but my waist shrank half an inch. The picture doesn’t show much difference, but I can tell (in person) my ass and thighs are firmer and my belly is slightly smaller. I want everyone to know that as soon as I hit publish, I’m going to clean that mirror.

side 4 week Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday)   Week 4
front 4 week Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday)   Week 4

I know, barely any difference. Anyway, I’m not done and I think you’ll see more progress with my next photographic update in two weeks.

OH, me?

I have FAILED y’all. Truth be told, I have not been well-behaved when it comes to nutrition. I’ve had Harper’s birthday cake, Coke, movie popcorn, and my mom’s chicken pot pie. Through all of that, I gained weight. I wasn’t consciously avoiding an update, but I think we don’t necessarily want to report our failures, but are excited to shout our successes from the rooftops.

Well, I’m here to tell you.. in the last couple of weeks, I have made zero progress. I can be honest about that. if anything, I’ve moved in the opposite direction. The thing is, I’ve been eating crappy. I won’t even tell you the “reasons,” for they are all really excuses.

Next week, I will be back with an update on my fitness progress and it likely won’t be pretty. I just have to be real with you.

So come back Monday to see the real deal!

DIY: Bow Holders

When I found out I was having a girl, I knew three things for certain:

1. My family is complete.

2. I have a new relationship with God.

3. There will be a bow holder.

I knew that for a bow holder, I needed something simple, yet ornate. Yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense to you, but it certainly does in my mind. A nursery tour for Claudia’s room is coming as soon as I move out the twin mattress guests have slept on while Claudia sleeps in our room. For now though, one of my favorite details, her bow holders.

bow holders1 DIY: Bow Holders

There isn’t a tutorial here because it really is so simple. I bought two decorative frames from Michael’s, sprayed them glossy black, and hot-glued gold ribbon on. Yes, that simple.

bow holders 2 DIY: Bow Holders

Six Weeks … It begins.

On Friday, I had my c-section follow-up appointment and was released. I am now able to do as I please, including working out. I will be taking it slowly at first, considering I did have major abdominal surgery a few weeks ago. I think it’s so important to listen to your body, at any stage of fitness. Yesterday, I sprinkled in a few squats, push-ups, and lunges throughout my daily routine. I also didn’t shy away from going up and down the stairs numerous times a day, sprinting up them when I had to go. These little things can really help you to keep your energy and heart rate up.

I took Before pictures yesterday and took my waist measurement. Y’all, it’s not pretty. I have debated whether or not to share here and I really didn’t want to. I kept justifying all the reasons it would be fine to leave out the before until I have good progress pictures.

I’m only six weeks out and still have swelling, so…. And I mean, nobody wants to see that gross belly!Oh my god, the loose skin is gross.

Then, I was scrolling through some inspiration pictures on IG and I realized that the most inspiring, encouraging, and motivating accounts for me were the ones that are very raw and very real. I also noticed how much better it made me feel to realize that the loose skin and stretch marks are part of being a mother and that I am NOT alone in having them. I also totally believe that a lot of the loose skin can go away with time and you know what? I’m okay with the stretch marks. We all should be.

All that to say, I am sorry if this disgusts you (cause it sure does me), but if you are the kind of person who is put off enough by these pictures to stop reading, then you aren’t my target audience anyway. If you have ever felt like your body will never be good enough or that you don’t have time to attain a high level of physical fitness, my journey is for YOU. We will figure this out together!

Without further ado, here is my 6-weeks-postpartum body, 140 lbs, 33 inch waist, ready for its makeover. I also encourage you to follow me on MyFitnessPal, where I will fully disclose everything I eat. I’m going to update here every Monday (at least that’s the plan).

starting 51214 Six Weeks ... It begins.

I am hoping that having this pictures up and really putting myself out there will encourage me to just. keep. going. And I hope that my progress will encourage you to do the same.

WAY-late Easter post

This was such a special Easter for me. We stayed at home, just our family, and hunted eggs and had a lovely Easter dinner. We spent the day outside and it was just absolutely laid back and lovely. I woudln’t change a thing!

easter collage WAY late Easter post

The absolute highlight for me was trying to get a picture of all the kids for the first time.

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It’s such a joy just look at them all in one place! My stepson will be here for a visit next month and I can not WAIT to get them all together! I am so blessed to have a large, healthy family. Every day I pray that I will always remember how lucky we are to have each other and more importantly, that the kids will realize how fortunate they really are!

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