Happy New Year!

2014 has been a wonderful year. Here is wishing everyone a prosperous and happy 2015!

Do I have resolutions? Of course!

I resolve that in 2015 I am....

.. going to focus on my family
Not that I don't know but I sometimes feel we have so many priorities that I feel our family time becomes strained. I want to make sure my focus is on my family in all that I do.

..  working on my marriage
Marriage is work. Sometimes it's easy and other times it's not. It's been easy, but I don't want us to fall into a rut.

.. going to continue working on my health
Because I want to live.

.. going to grow
In every way possible.



So... enjoy the remaining time in 2014 (if you haven't already rang in the new year) and see you next year!

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Tonight is our annual Young Women in Excellence program where we get to recognize our wonderful young women and all the things they've accomplished this year. The Stake recently announced that they will stop doing the Young Women recognition ceremonies, which I like, because now we get to recognize our girl's in our ward and by their own leaders instead of Stake leaders. Not that it wasn't nice, but I feel like this is much more personal.

It's a special celebration tonight for myself as well, I'll be earning bookmark ribbons for personal progress along with some of the girls. Granted I'm at least 20 years older than most of them, but hey, it's never too late I suppose.

I've been involved in the Young Women program for about a year and a half. It's very time consuming and it can be really stressful sometimes. But frankly, it's totally worth it. I feel like I've managed to connect somehow with each of our girls in some way and I really like that. Each one of them is unique and it's so interesting getting to know them.

During this time I've also been actively involved in personal progress and at this rate, I'll be completing my own personal progress program by the end of the year. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be involved and to be able to participate. It really has been a blessing in so many ways.

If there were one thing that I could leave with the girls, it would be that they are loved. By me, by all the leaders, by the Bishopric, by their family and friends. But most importantly, by their Heavenly Father. 

And on another excellent note, yesterday my kid rode his bike for the first time with no training wheels. He told me now that he did that, he's a man. I told him he has to kill a bear and grow a beard before he can be a man, because until then, and even after then, he'll be my little boy.



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So every time I think about the gym, that song I'm Sexy And I Know It, pops into my head. Instantly. While I'm not a newbie to working out, I am apparently a newbie to weight lifting and body building - a big newb. But hey, we all gotta start somewhere. 
My goals?
Lose weight. Gain muscle. Get strong. Isn't that everyone's goals?
I don't really know what I'm in this for, other than I really want to be stronger than I am. I want to be more fit than I am and I want to be a better version of me (physically, because mentally, I'm just 100% awesome).

So, I might as well start this out by humiliating myself.
My stats...
I'm currently 166 lbs at 5 foot 4 inches tall. My body fat % is probably astronomical, and I plan to track that as well, I just haven't yet. 

My plan...
I have  a 12 week workout plan set up right now, to start.

MONDAY
Upper Body A
  • Bench Press                       3 X 8-12
  • Bent over Row                    3 X 8-12
  • DB Should Press               3 X 8-12
  • Lying Triceps Extension   3 X 8-12
  • Barbell or DB Curl              3 X 8-12

TUESDAY
Lower Body A
  • Squat                           3 X 8-12
  • Dead lift                       3 X 8-12
  • Leg Extension            3 X 8-12
  • Leg Curl                      3 X 8-12
  • StandingCalf Raise  3 X 8-12
ABS
  • Lying
    Leg Raise                  3 X 10-15
  • Crunches                   3 X 10-15

THURSDAY
Upper Body B
  • Dips                                       3 X 8-12
  • Pull ups                                 3 X 8-12
  • DB Side Lateral                   3 X 8-12
  • Tricep Cable Pressdown  3 X 8-12 
  • Cable Curl                          3 X 8-12 

FRIDAY
Lower Body B    
  • Deadlift                              3 X 8-12
  • Leg Press                         3 X 8-12
  • Lunges                              3 X 8-12
  • Seated Calf Raise           3 X 8-12
  • DB Shrugs                        3 X 8-12
ABS
  • Incline Crunch              3 X 10-15
  • BackExtension             3 X 10-15 


Monday went as planned, the only problem was I couldn't get a bench to do my Bench Presses at, so I grabbed a free bench by the dumbbells and did dumbbell presses.
My weight on Monday or upper body was really just 10 lbs, except for my barbell curl, I did 20lbs. I wanted to see where I was at. I need to really up my weight on the bent over rows to 20 or 30 lbs.
Tuesday I worked out at home with my favorite coach, my husband. We subbed Walking Lunges for the Leg Extensions and Leg Curls - and frankly after that I was done
My weight on Tuesday for lower body was basically 65lbs for everything except for the walking lunges (10lbs) and calf raises (25lbs).
So this morning I went on the bodybuilding.com forums and were reading some posts about the average novice weight for dead lifts....  135lbs. WHAT?

Ok, I have SO much work to do. 

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Change

7.14.2014 |

I don't typically shy away from change. In fact, growing up in the military has taught me to deal pretty well with change and in my career I've found change to be a good thing.

So about a year ago I was called into the Young Women's presidency in our ward at church. I was the 2nd Counselor and I served with some really fun and amazing women. It's probably been one of the most rewarding callings I've ever had (out of the whole 2 of them I've held). Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work and it was incredibly time consuming but completely worth it.

This was my first time in any type of presidency role so I was learning a lot new things, like how presidencies worked, how Young Women worked, how to teach lessons, how to plan for multiple events at one time among a lot of other things - administratively speaking.

It also helped me grow tremendously spiritually. As I got to know more and more about these wonderful Young Women that I was serving, it did two important things. It reminded me of how much I needed when I was a teen and it gave me hope that I could help maybe even one girl through a struggle. And secondly, it made me pray, a lot. I prayed for these girls and for our presidency so often, just begging to know how we could serve them in the way they needed. I've never prayed so much in my entire life.


So, a few weeks ago, our presidency was released because our Young Women's President moved out west. Although I knew that the standard protocol was that when the President leaves, you have to replace the
entire presidency, it was still such an awful thought. I loved all the women I was serving with. Then the fear came to mind, what if I didn't get called back into Young Women? So the day came where I met with one of the Bishopric members and he told me that I was being released from Young Women, just as I knew I would be, and then he mentions that they would like to offer another calling to me. So the first thing that starts happening in my head is I start rattling through all the different places I could be called, and I start sweating and I smile and I try not to look terrified. And then he asks if I would be interested in being the 1st Counselor for the Young Women's program! And I immediately said "yes" and immediately my fear was replaced with questions. Who would be the President? Who would be the 2nd Counselor?

My questions were answered a little bit later in Sacrament meeting when we were all announced. And as soon as I found out who the new President and 2nd Counselor were, I was immediately thrilled, and completely intimidated, but excited! And then I was sad as well, I knew this was change. But change happens. And I'm rolling with it.

So here I am, a few weeks into our new Presidency and honestly, I feel like it works so well. It's different and that's not a bad thing.. it's just different. I like how we were before and I like how we are now. But the one thing that isn't different are the girls. And that's what I love.

I'm so grateful to be able to serve in my Church. I'm so grateful for the people who are here mentoring me and teaching me so much. I love the girls that I serve, they are amazing. I see their different personalities and how alike and different they are and I love them each for being exactly who they are. I love the ones that are there every Sunday - our rocks. I love the ones who straggle and struggle - because I know their fight. I just pray that I'm doing good work for them.

I love this journey.



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Summah Time

6.09.2014 |

Summer is here... so much to do...

So I just wanted to share one of my fastest growing pinterest boards.


Follow Jonna's board LDS on Pinterest.

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#GoVoxBox Fun!

6.02.2014 |

The other day I told you all about my love for the Fit N Fresh Shake I received in my #GoVoxBox from Influenster.

Well let me just show you what all came in this box of awesomeness....


I'm not going to lie, this is probably my favorite #VoxBox I've received to date. Don't you want one, too? If you do.. head over to Influenster and get started so you can get boxes of fun stuff too!

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Ok, ya'll. If you haven't noticed I took a vacation from blogging and frankly, so consider this a comeback! As most of you know I'm a member of Influenster.com and what that means is, I get sent boxes of things to try out and then give my honest opinion on them. Shoot... ain't nothing better than getting something for free and then getting to talk about it!

So, in my latest #GoVoxBox I received a TON of stuff. But for right now I want to point you to one item in particular - the Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake - that I have fallen in love with, and apparently I'm not the only one. Ok, let me get something out of the way... I was sent this box with free samples in return for my honest opinion. Just because I get stuff for free doesn't always mean I like it. However, in this case, I do.

Here's the deal.. I'm not really one to tell anyone to do a meal replacement plan for weight loss, because frankly I just feel that stuff like that is just not maintainable. I feel like you'll do the shakes, lose some weight, but then as soon as you stop the shakes (or whatever the meal replacement is) then you'll probably put weight back on. However, this is a little different as because the Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake actually has almost the same nutritional values as all of my other protein shakes, so if you're going to replace a meal with a protein shake, then you might as well try out this brand.

What I like about this the most is that, even with it being mixed with water, it's actually filling! I'm the type of person who hates substituting shakes and stuff for food because I always seem to get hungry like 10 seconds after I finish the shake... and then waiting 3 hours to eat again while my stomach growls and gurgles. Not fun. So, when I received 3 samples of the Fit N Full shakes (chocolate, vanilla and fresh berries) I was a little scared that I'd have the same results. I didn't. Yay! I was actually full. Not side splitting full or anything like that but I definitely wasn't having to camouflage my stomach growls with coughs during my morning meetings!

I really liked the vanilla and chocolate. I hated the fresh berries. I don't know, I'm just not a berry flavor kinda gal when it comes to protein shakes or any type of supplements. After I finished my 3 samples I received, I went to the Vitamin Shoppe and used my $5 coupon that I also received and I bought a tub of the French Vanilla flavor. It's a little more pricey than the typical WalMart brand protein but there are some notable differences. This is more of an isolate protein than the typical whey protein you find in the Walmart and Target aisles. Long and short of that means that it's a more pure protein, lower in carbs and fat, and usually is better digested by those with lactose intolerance.

Ok, enough of the protein talk because frankly, I'm an amateur when it comes to the real science behind it all. What I do know, I've lost 4 pounds by replacing my breakfast with a Fit N Full shake and I'm digging the taste and results and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a lot of the other shake/meal replacment plans out there... that's why I wanted to share.


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What We Are Reading

5.22.2014 |

And by WE, I mean me and my kid. Frankly, he reads more than I do, and I love that about him. I hope that the reading bug stays with him.

So today at lunch I ran by our local library headquarters. The one by us is a small branch but I love it, it has the best view out of it's wide floor to ceiling windows that overlooks a river and greenery. It's so relaxing there. But I was bored at lunch and it's been great weather so instead of waiting for the weekend to come and going to our local little branch I decided to hit our library's main headquarters. Needless to say, I could have spent hours in there.

But I had a mission, I was getting a couple of book for my kiddo to read because now that summer is almost here, I don't want him to lose that interest. Plus, we're running out of chapter books for him to read by himself when he wakes up at night. He has an interesting little routine going on right now. After I read to him (currently Harry Potter) before bed, I'll turn out the lights and he'll turn on his LED light that's attached to his loft bed and he'll read to himself for a bit before going to bed or if he happens to wake up in the middle of the night. So far he's completely re-read the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. So I'm in some serious need of books to keep him entertained at night.

Anyway, the title of this is what we are reading, not all about my kid's reading habits.

What The Kiddo Is Reading
Hank the Cow Dog The Case of the Vampire Cat and The Lemonade War.

I started reading Hank the Cow Dog to him when he was about 6 years old, when he first became infatuated with dogs. It's a great series and I can't believe how many of them there are. It's always a funny read and I hope he gets hooked on these again because I actually like reading them with him. Plus, now that he's reading at a more advanced level, he can read these to himself. By they way, they have a really fun website for kids too.

The Lemonade War is new to me, I just found it on the Barnes & Nobel website and the story sounds intriguing.  There are five books in the series and this is the first, which I'm all about starting new series, so we'll just see if he can get into it.















What I'm Reading

I've just hit the forth chapter of The Black Box by Michael Connelly. Yes, I'm still on my Harry Bosch kick. I just can't stay away, plus there's a new Bosch book coming out soon so it makes me want to finish up the series so I can see what's NEW!  I haven't really had the time to read like I used to, but I'm making good progress because the book really is a page turner.

So... there we go... that's what we're reading.... What about you?







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... somedays...

5.14.2014 |



nuff said.

So I've gotten some messages lately asking why I haven't been posting. I'm just really not good at being a consistent blogger. I've tried scheduling posts, putting ideas down in my lifeplanner, forcing myself to write a blog post a day.

I'm just not too worried about it.

I want to post when I feel passionate about posting, because if I start blabbing off at the mouth on some random day about some random topic I chose only because I couldn't think of anything better... well heck, I just shouldn't have posted at all!

If people stop reading my blog because I don't post often enough, well... okay. My friends don't tell me they don't want to be my friends anymore because I don't call them every day. I get busy (don't we all) and instead of trying to find content to post or sitting at my computer all hours of the night, I'd rather be out practicing my karate or running through the hose with my kid.

When I have something to talk about, I will... don't you worry about that!



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If you've ever wondered about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or what we believe, this is a great weekend for you to learn. Twice a year we have General Conference, where we listen to living prophets and apostles speak.




This is my invitation to you all.... watch, and I'd love to hear your comments about your thoughts!
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www.heandsheeatclean.com
Seems like there's some huge clean eating frenzy lately, maybe I'm just late to the party, I don't know. But as my husband and I are trying to be more careful about what we are eating, we've been eating more "clean" and after just a week of no processed food (hmm, is cottage cheese processed??) I'm feeling really good.

And frankly, I'm not so sure I'm really a clean eater rather than eating real food. I've got some other elements to my nutrition that I'm implementing but those are more for my weight-loss methods more than just knowing what I'm eating. I'm trying to eat high protein food cutting a lot of my carbohydrates out, except the good ones, and I'm managing my eating schedule pretty tightly.

The thing that is crazy to me is the huge difference that I feel after just a week of cutting out the junk food snacks and such. I definitely feel less bloated, I haven't had my 2 pm crash that is usually like clockwork for me, I'm sleeping really well (not sure if that's food related or not) and I've got great energy. I'm telling you, I feel awesome!

It does take a lot of preparation when it comes to eating clean. I've given up fast food completely right now (hey, I'm never going to give it up completely but for right now I will) and I have to do a lot of cooking on the weekends so that my weekday mid morning snacks, lunches and afternoon snacks are ready to go - because seriously I hate nothing more than running around like crazy every morning just to get my food ready. I'm having to shop more often because most of my food are things that will go bad faster than the whole processed stuff. But all in all, it's really working out. It seems that the extra work into the preparations seems to make it easier during the week so it all evens out.

So, here's an example of what I'm eating and I got mine out of a 4 week nutrition and exercise plan in Muscle and Fitness Hers:
Breakfast: 5 egg whites scrambled with 1/2 cup green bell peppers or tomatoes & onions
Midmorning Snack: Medium apple, 2/3 cups fat free cottage cheese, 10 almonds, crushed (in the cottage cheese)
Lunch: Turkey breast (4oz), yam
Afternoon Snack: 1 can of Tuna (water, drained), 2 cups spinach, balsamic vinegar, whole wheat tortilla
Dinner: 4 oz chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli or green beans, 1 red potato, baked
Evening Snack: (usually post workout) whew protein shake with almond milk

So there ya have it. I've mixed up a few things with my lunches and dinners and skipped the salad sometimes for my afternoon snack. This is a pretty straight forward, and kind of boring meal for me but it works so I can't complain. The great thing is that my son can eat most of these things, but he'll spice things up a little and I don't deny him the fats and fun that I am.

So there we go... I'm curious if eating clean has made a difference for anyone else!

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Jessica over at GlistenFit posted an All or Nothing April workout, and although I'm not following her calendar (although I do love her), it is totally All or Nothing April for me.

I'm doing a 4 week program to kick start me back into my fitness routine this Spring. Yeah, I know I'm late, we're supposed to be doing this in the winter so we all can squeeze into the bathing suits and all, but hey, I'm a procrastinator. So, I found a great 4 week nutrition and workout plan out of Muscle and Fitness Hers that I think is going to work great. Granted, I don't have kettlebells so I'm substituting in some dumbbell work. And this will be my first time EVER having to work out in the mornings. Today was my first 5am workout and I'm glad it's done but boy am I beat! That whole "working out in the morning gives you energy" thing.. apparently doesn't work for me.

The thing I like about this nutrition plan is the first 2 weeks are 1500 calorie goals and then the last 2 weeks are 1200ish calories.  So, I'm really excited to see how this goes and to see how I feel at the end of the 4 weeks. I'll be tracking my nutrition and workouts on sparkpeople (user: justjonna) and probably myfitnesspal (user: akajonna) so add me as a friend and you can keep me accountable or join along if you want!

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Easter!
marzipanforever.tumblr.com
I mean, more importantly is the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ. 

But CANDY!
What? That's not you? That's me. Totes.
But see, here's the deal. I still have candy from valentine's day, and even some from Christmas and I'm pretty sure there may be some Halloween candy still lurking in that big candy drawer of ours.

And I think my love of candy has been passed on to my son. Literally, every night after dinner he grabs a piece (or 3) for desert. I can't blame him. I want to do the same. But I fear I may have instilled in him some bad habit he will have to try twice as hard to break later when he realized how many calories are in those reese's and that eating a bag of skittles at a time is just frowned upon.

So here's to a candy crush, like for real, not the game. I'm going to do a candy cleanse, so to speak. No more candy! No more sweets. If I want sweets, it's going to come from fruit. Let's see how long this lasts before I freak out and binge eat oreos.

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I've been in such a funk lately. I think it's a combination of burn out at work, overloaded schedule at home, some pressures from my calling at church and on top of that not feeling so great about my fitness (or lack there of) coupled with some insecurities shinning, some things I've bottled up and the fact that I am terrible at communicating this to anyone - but myself. It all resulted in an evening of ridiculous crying for a couple of hours but I haven't really shaken it.

I just need to let it go.

Usually, I'm the ridiculously annoying, happy person. The one who is always seeing the glass as half full. In fact, the glass is always full (half with water and half with air!). See, it can get annoying. Usually, I'm the optimistic one and the one who will try, try again and again and again.

I need to forgive.

Lately, I just haven't felt like trying. I've been in a kind of pity party for myself that I can't seem to fully pull out of. I would just keep hoping that someone or something would pull me out of it, I just needed that one thing to kick start me again. It didn't happen.

I need to be at peace.

Then last night, I was sitting on the couch watching TV, feeling bored and annoyed and I realized. It was ME. I need to be the one to pull myself out of it, because no one else will. I need to be my own hero, because in  life, most of the time, no one else will.

I need to never give up.

So, I'm sitting here today, in a bit of a better mood. I feel like I still have some emotions I still haven't worked out fully, but I know that it's up to me. I'm willing to put in the work because I like being happy. Don't we all? So I'm shaking the funk. Maybe not as quickly as I would like (or those around me would like) but I'm working on it.

I need to focus.

So. I will.


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source
As I've said over and over before, I'm really putting some effort into my health and fitness. I'm hitting karate classes and working out at least 3-4 times a week. That means a lot of sweat. And I mean a lot. It is no secret that I sweat like a man. I have no idea why, but I do - so I deal. And by deal, it means I need a kick butt deodorant. So, when Influenster started the Dove Advanced Care Deodorant VoxBox, I was all about it!

So, my full sized Dove Advanced Care deodorant arrived and I've been trying it out for the last 3 weeks. I'm going to say I like Dove Advanced Care deodorant for it's moisturizing effects for sure. Not that anyone is feeling up my armpits but my skin is super soft now. It holds up great on my day to day sweatiness but the one downfall that I did see is that it doesn't quite hold up as well as my normal brand on my heavy workout days. I usually throw my deodorant on in the morning and then forget it.

So I have to say for a day to day deodorant, I'd probably make the switch because it is cheaper than my current brand. For my heavy workout days I'll either need to reapply before my workout or just apply my current brand.

So check out Dove Advanced care Deodorant on Facebook@Dove on Twitter  with #RaiseYourArms or on Instagram


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Once upon a time there was a girl who was footloose and fancy free. She planned things on the wind, and then the wind changed, so did her plans. She enjoyed the spice of life because life was spontaneous and wild. She would drive for hours just to visit the beach for a few minutes. She would take adventurous weekends on a whim.

Then one day she got married, had a child, joined the PTO and got a job that came with some actual responsibility and that all changed.

I wouldn't change anything in the world as far as my life is concerned other than just reminding myself that I can actually breath and be spontaneous sometimes, and probably do it a little more often.




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It's no secret that I'm a computer nerd. I remember in high school (class of 1993 baby!) I received the "Most Likely To Start an Internet Dating Site" superlative - and for real, this was back before the Internet was all huge. I was a co-sysop of a Bulletin Board and seriously, I geeked out big time on there. I've always been a computer junkie since then. Besides a brief stint with bartending all of my jobs were computer related and most of free time was spent on a computer. Sad, I know.

So during South Carolina's Snowmageddon 2014 I watched a documentary called We Are Legion, which is about Hacktivists. It was truly interesting to see how Anonymous originally formed. As the story took you through the formation of Anonymous and how it evolved, it struck me as so amazing, how the Internet culture has merged in with real life. And it hit me instantly how different the digital world is now.

Back in the day, you had handles and your identity was whatever you wanted it to be. Now, it's linked to your Google profile and to your LinkedIn. What you do on the internet now has a huge repercussion to your everyday life. And I'm not sure that back in the day, people really ever thought it would be like this. The Internet 15 years ago was like the wild west... it was savage, it was unexplored and usually, you went out to see what you could find and you came back scarred in some way.

Does anyone remember IRC anymore? I remember logging onto mIRC and an underground world was at your fingertips. There were channels for downloading music, hacking tools, movies, or just chatting with a channel full of other people.

The Internet has evolved so strangely and so wonderfully. But it's scary. We rely so heavily on the Internet and in all reality, it's so fragile. I know as I grew up with the Internet, I never would have seen it as it is today. I love technology, I love the advancements we make. But even with advancements it seems we take steps backwards. Instead of the Internet being a place of acceptance and one-worldness, it's angry and it's dangerous. You make one post on FaceBook or tweet an opinion on something and see how quickly it can escalate. It's like a double edged sword... you are free to share your opinions no matter what it is, but be prepared for the aftermath that comes. We want freedom of information, to all information but information is dangerous and sometimes it's scary. 


Anonymous was formed and I had I not pushed out of the Internet culture during that time, I could have seen myself being a big part of the initial movement. Like the Internet, Anonymous has evolved and I'm not sure I really agree with everything they do anymore. But it's amazing to see how Internet culture could push at least 3 major world events. It's awesome and scary at the same time.

I have such good memories of what the Internet was, I love what it is and I wonder what it will grow into. And I wonder if that's something I even want to be a part of later.

Jonna

I don't check my blog stats... like ever. I don't have a dream of monetizing my blog or anything like that so counting "clicks" to me is just a waste of time.

But seriously, I just went to schedule a blog for this week and I just happened to see this...


No really that's 1215 views. In a month. I have one other post about fitness that blew up, it was posted in March of last year and it's about 80 views more than this one.

Mind. Officially. Blown.

And really? It wasn't even a really interesting post! It wasn't about something important or beautiful!

Oh well. It's a strange internet we live in.

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Dear Nikkos,
This past weekend, on February 15th you were baptized. I hope you know that it makes Mommy & Daddy so proud for you to have made this decision.

You selected very special people to participate in your baptism.

Bishop Eichhorn conducted your baptism, and because he is such a good friend and wonderful Bishop to us, you wanted him to preform your Confirmation, too. Grampie, Brother Reynolds and Elder Esplin joined int he Confirmation - these were all members of the Priesthood that you chose.

Sister Hullinger played the piano beautifully. You asked for her because you are friend with Ella and Cole and you think she plays the piano really well.

Sister Lor was the chorister. You remembered her from Primary when she would direct music for you.

You selected When I am Baptized as the opening song because we sing it before bed time almost every night.

You wanted Grammie to give the opening prayer because you said that Grammie is a great prayer sayer.

You asked Sister Eichhorn to give a talk on baptism because you love her and you think she is always so happy. She gave an amazing talk and she really loves you, too.


You asked Sister Brown and Sister Harris to sing A Child's Prayer because that is your favorite song, and Nikkos, if you don't remember it... they sang it so beautifully it made Mommy and so many others cry because it brought such a beautiful spirit.

Grampie baptized you and it was such a joyous feeling seeing you enter those waters. Did you know that your Grampie baptized me and your Grammie, too? I think it's super special that we were all baptized by him.

While you were getting dried off and dressed after your baptism, Ashley Thomas played the violin and her sister Emily Thomas played the cello for us and it was wonderful. You wanted them to play because they are so nice to you and always give you hugs. I think you might have a slight crush on them, but hey, we'll get into that when you're older.

You asked Sister Richey to give a talk about the Holy Ghost because you think she is awesome and knows so much about Heavenly Father. Honestly, Nikkos, Sister Richey is a huge reason that you have such a good grasp on the Gospel that you do right now. Between her and your Primary teachers, they have helped teach you so much and I am so grateful to them all.

You chose I Am a Child of God for us to sing as a closing prayer. That is another song we sing at bed time and is one of your favorites, and just so you know, that was your Great Grammie's favorite song too.

You asked Sister Drolette to give the closing prayer, you said she was so nice and you liked her a lot from Primary.

Nikkos, I write this to you because I will always remember this day and I want you to remember it as well. I want you to know that there are only some memories in your life that will last for ever and ever, and for me, this is one of them.

So many people who love you came to your baptism to share this special day with you. Connie, Brandi, Josh - you knew they wouldn't miss it! Susan and Dean and Chase came to be with you. Aunt Margaret of course was there. Ms. Lori was so excited and so happy to be there. Papou was there and of course me and Daddy. And so many of our ward family came to be there on this special day!  I'm so thankful for all those that could come and there were so many people who called to tell you how proud of you they are and happy for you.

Nikkos, you are a son of God. Your Heavenly Father loves you more than you can imagine. He is my best friend and has helped me so much Nikkos, I hope that you know that he will be there for you too, any time that you need him. I pray that you will grow up and love the gospel. It will be a foundation in your life that will help you in so many ways that I can't explain right now. I pray that your testimony will grow as strong as you are and that you stay active in the church and serve anyway you can. You will find so much joy from service in the church. Heavenly Father's son, Jesus Christ, atoned on the cross for you (and all of us!), so that you can one day return to live with our Heavenly Father and your eternal family. I know we will be an eternal family one day. Nikkos, I love you so much and I know that you will make Heavenly Father proud.

All of my love,
Mommy



The Brass Verdict
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Mickey Haller back in action and a bunch of Bosch, of course I'm going to love this book. But the story itself was incredibly gripping. And then.. the last 3 chapters... took me completely by surprise (in an awesome way).

This is definitely on my top 10 list of books I love. Without spoiling anything, this is Mickey's biggest case upon returning to law (read The Lincoln Lawyer to find out why he left). Harry Bosch (another GREAT Michael Connelly series) the sarcastic detective you can't help but love, gets involved and there you have it.. the Michael Connelly dream team! The case is intriguing and takes Haller into quite the legal predicament but the ending - never saw it coming!

I love getting a great surprise at the end and this gives you just that.



View all my reviews

I'm not blogging right now, I'm busy prepping for Snowmageddon which is about to happen here in the South. That means we're about to receive more than 1 inch of snow for more than one day. In fact, we just got over our last Snowpocolypse, 2 weeks ago where we received a wicked dusting of snow that had us out of work for a day and a half.

I love living in the South.

Because seriously, when it's too cold to wear flip flops, everything should just shut down.


Now we'll go enjoy our week off  and ignore the ridicule from the Northern half of the Country, because seriously, those people come here to vacation for a reason, ya'll.

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My son turns 8 on Sunday and I'm still trying to get over the shock of it all.

7 going on 8

  • He's in the 2nd grade.
  • He's an orange belt at our karate dojo.
  • He's got an absolute love of laughter and making people smile.
  • He's smart... sometimes too smart for his own good.
  • He's taking after his Daddy so much, and that makes me happy.
  • He's got his grandmother's blue eyes & they are beautiful (even if I get asked if he's adopted a lot)
  • He's got his own sense of style and I hope he never loses it.
  • He makes me worry constantly, but that's normal right?

And in 2 weeks, he gets baptized. I've been so overjoyed and overwhelmed for the last 2 weeks or so trying to plan birthday party stuff and baptism stuff that I haven't really been able to let it all sink in. His growing older always reminds me that I'm getting older. If anything will make you realize your age, it's having kids. But it's also made me much more humble about aging. I'm glad I'm getting older because as I age, I'm seeing my son get older and I am experiencing things with him. The alternative is that I'm dead. And well, I'll skip that for now, please.

So for the time being I'm going to appreciate my kid for who is right now because I know he'll be changing and growing and I don't want to forget exactly how he is right now.


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I don't went and got a makeover! No. Not me.

My blog.

(I'll wait.. have a look around...)

Whatcha think? You likey? I likey!

It's Friday and I don't really feel like doing a High Five for Friday so guess what!
A new season of Welcome to Myrtle Manor has started! I'm not sure how well it's going to go off this season without their tattooed trailer park guy, Taylor. I'm not sure if he left to go work on new stuff (such as some reports say.. yes I follow it!) or if he left after he got arrested for messing with underage gals. Hey. I'm not judging. Inquiring minds just want to know.

Oh, but hey, if losing Taylor on Myrtle Manor just kills the whole show for you, our lovely state of South Carolina has gone out and gotten ourselves a CMT reality show (drumroll) Party Down South!  We just ooze class, I tell ya!


See... classy!  And just to clarify.. no hate here... I watch this junk so I'm not going to talk bad about anyone.. but I make make a little fun.

Anyway, now that you all can adequately judge my character by the TV I watch, I can go on and tell you about my wonder Mommy Moment of the Week. These are those moments that happen and it just reminds you that you are no longer in your prime of life, that you have a small person who you have birthed and they will point out every flaw you have ever had. The think I'm learning about this is to just own it.

So, kiddo and I take karate. And while my son walks out of each class looking no worse for wear, I come out looking like I just ran a marathon or something. Sweaty. Hot. Mess. So after class I jump in the shower, as per the norm, but this time as I was drying off and just as I was hanging up my towel and reaching for my shirt (moment of nakedness)... my son come barreling into the bathroom asking about his YouTube channel. Before he even gets the whole sentence out of his mouth, he sees my state of nakedness, eye goes wide and hand goes directly to his mouth and he turns around instantly, trying to tame his giggles.

Nothing can smack your self esteem in the face like a kid laughing at you while your naked.

Not cool, bro!

Fortunately for me, I think he was more devastated than I was. Which I'm happy to know that the thought of nakedness is more funny than it is anything else at this point because seriously, I'm not going to be ready for the whole puberty thing and having to explain the birds and the bees.


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HUMP DAY!

Enjoy it!
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High Five! Awww..




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Wake me up before you go....















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