Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lazy Day

What's this? A post up before 8AM? I know, I should have gone back to sleep after Jason left for work,  but I decided to catch up on blog reading instead. Priorities.

"I'll just sit here and read while you do all the work, Mom"

My second official teenager. So pretty.

These two won't be up for a while. And why are the sheets off of the bed?
I'm on Day 2 of my staycation (or day 4 if you include the weekend) and have done a whole lot of nothing so far. The girls and I have been out to the pool every single day and that's about it. Today is going to be a break day from the pool, though, mainly because Paige and Cordie look like little lobsters. I think their sunscreen skills left a little to be desired yesterday.

I am not burned, but despite slathering on SPF75, I do still have some color. That color is mostly my freckles popping out, but still. I also gotta say, that I am such a fraud. I've been preaching "pale is better", "you don't need a tan to be pretty", but I like the way I look better when I'm not translucent. Dammit.

Emmeline has been plagued by mosquito bites something terrible this summer. Every day she comes home with new bites and they all seem to be right around her underwear line. I didn't really want to spray her down every day with bug spray so I thought I would try Avon's Skin So Soft which is supposed to be a really good bug repellent. We actually have an Avon store close to us so I went in last week to pick some up. The lady working told me that they were all out so she ordered me a large bottle.  Now, I was expecting a bottle of lotion to arrive, but instead it was actually body oil. Not what I had planned on at all, but I figured I could still make it work. I put some in the bathtub and then gave Elsa and Emmeline a bath. Elsa always takes a bath with Emmeline when she's here. I don't question it. I washed them up and let them play and they laid down in the water as usual. Here is where my inexperience with bath oil comes in; I didn't realize how it would affect their hair. Both of them looked like they hadn't washed their hair in weeks, it was not pretty. I gave them another bath last night to try and wash it out and it was as if I'd covered their hair in Vaseline. I couldn't get a good shampoo lather for anything. I'm hoping that it will eventually wash out over the course of the week.
Pro tip: Don't use bath oil on your kids' hair.

No big plans for the rest of the day here, although I did promise Jason I would clean our bathroom. Yuck, it is pretty gross and I'm not looking forward to it. Wasn't I supposed to have a maid by now?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Love Your Body

Have you ever taken a nude photo of yourself? Whether you sent it to your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend or just kept it to yourself, I think that it is an important way of self discovery.

Only recently have I been able to take a nude photo of myself without cringing. Last year or 5 years ago, I would have taken one and then immediately deleted it because I would have hated what I saw. And yes, although losing 33 pounds has certainly contributed to me feeling better about myself, I wish I could have learned to love my body even at it's heaviest.

My body has been through a lot in the past 39 years and it hasn't failed me yet. However, I let myself get away with poor body image and self loathing for much too long. I wish I could go back to when I was 18 and start a tradition of taking a nude photo every year on my birthday. Not in a pornographic way or as eye candy for a man, but for me. Pictures can show you so much that you can't always get with words and memories.

What would my pictures show me?
The belly button ring that didn't last very long.
My annual summer freckles that always come out in the sun.
My appendix scar from when I was 3 years old.
My swollen belly from my 5 pregnancies.
My stretch marks that came with those pregnancies.
Swollen boobs from breastfeeding.
New scars from various mishaps.
New wrinkles and laugh lines on my face.
New muscles from exercising and running.

Each one of those things has contributed to who I am today. I think that as women, even men, we spend too much time worrying about things that are "wrong" with our bodies. I encourage everyone to take a full body naked picture and for each flaw you want to criticize, you must say something positive about yourself instead.

Don't go through life being unhappy with who you are or what you look like. It is amazing what some positive words can do for your outlook.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another Finish the Sentence linkup?

I earned another Bad Mommy badge this morning. I managed to catch Emmeline's toe on the bottom of the door as we were walking into daycare. I felt terrible and it bled. Ugh, not a good way to start off the morning. I gave her lots of hugs and kisses to make up for it, though. She really is such a sweet little girl.
Such a Daddy's girl
And this man, I just love him so much. We have reached a really good place in our relationship and I can't imagine not having him in my life.

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I am also linking up today with Holly and Jake. I've done the last 4 of these, might as well keep the streak alive.
If I had one extra hour in the day... I might actually get more than 5 hours of sleep.
I wish my name... wasn’t so popular. I do love my name though, and I really like having the initials AZ.
I think anything chevron is... still cute, but I’m not obsessed with it. I think I own one thing that has the chevron pattern.
My last nightmare... was that Jason was killed in a car accident and I had to figure out how to move on without him. Horrible.
Sometimes... I neglect my job by spending way too much time on social media.
My last meal on earth would be... a perfectly cooked steak with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon wrapped asparagus.
I would much rather be truthful than lie to someone. Even if it hurts their feelings at first, the truth is always better.
Mayonnaise... Not a fan. I just don’t even eat it anymore.
10 years ago, I didn't think... I would be able to work at the same company for 9 years.
Selfishly... I really just want to curl up by myself some nights with a bottle glass of wine and shut out the world.
My favorite show on TV right now... Actually, it’s only on Netflix, but it is Orange is the New Black. Very quirky show by the same creator of Weeds.
And, George Zimmerman... NO
By the way, if you have nominated me for a Liebster Award lately, I apologize. I just never got around to getting those done. I appreciate it the gesture, but I suck at follow through. Procrastination Queen, right here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Race Photo Linkup

Today, I thought I would join in the race photo linkup with Kyra and Mel. Because posting more than once a week actually gets people coming back to your page! Who knew?

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I tried looking for more race pics, but didn't have a whole lot of luck. There were none of me at the finish line from either of the races I did in Joplin, which is unfortunate. The Warrior Dash pics finally expired online I believe, and I forgot to screenshot them. These are the ones that I have from my 10K that I did in February. They are pretty epic because I look like I am about to die. That is pretty much how I felt, too.



My headband was about to fall off as this was pre-Brady Bands

So, now on to some much better pictures of me. I got the first sampling from my photo shoot and I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. I kind of wish I had been smiling in a few of them, though. I really, really don't like the way my face looks in pictures when I'm not smiling. I don't think I have the sexy, sultry look down. I think I just look annoyed. Plus, I won't even talk about my jowls. (Jason says I'm not allowed to).






All images courtesy of BeeJay Photography-Intimates


Overall, it was still a great experience and I can't wait to see the rest of the photos. Now, go dig up your race photos and link up!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pinup and Tattoo Pics

Is it too late to do a weekend recap? Since I did it last week on Wednesday, I'm going to go with no. I haven't blogged in a hot minute but honestly I haven't had that much going on. Work and home and that's about it. However, I did have an amazing weekend so I'll share that with you.


I alluded to it a little bit last week, but I actually got the chance to be a part of a pinup/boudoir photo shoot. It was very last minute and it was in St. Louis, but no way I was going to pass up on the chance. I had been wanting to do one for a really long time. So, we got Jason's mom and sister to come up and babysit, got the hotel booked and headed out to the Lou on Saturday morning. Did I mention that I even managed to squeeze in a short run before we left? Made me feel so much better.

We ended up running a little late, but it worked out in the end. Bethany, the photographer, had a huge suite booked and had people there to do hair and makeup for all the girls. There was also a woman with a whole range of jewelry for the shoot. Can I just say that this was really an amazing experience? I felt so pampered and beautiful and sexy and I already want to do another one. I got to have three outfit changes and I went with more clothes than lingerie. Next time, I'm getting some super sexy lingerie. Bethany was so sweet and professional and you can tell that she really loves what she does.

I cannot wait to see how the pictures turned out. I may get a sneak peek tonight and am super excited. I'll be sure and share especially if I look really good. ;) Anyway, if you are ever in the St. Louis area, you should definitely contact Bethany at BeeJay Photography. Seriously, she's wonderful.

I didn't get a chance to hang out with my STL girls since they all had other things going on and this was last minute, but Jason and I still had a good time. It was nice to have time away by ourselves and then there was hotel sex. Enough said.

Jason actually got a chance to have his picture taken on Sunday. Lars Van Zandt, the tattoo artist who did his half sleeve and his pinup girl was compiling pictures for a new portfolio. Since the timing coordinated with the St. Louis trip and his shop is in Columbia, it worked out perfectly. We stopped in and had some lunch at Shakespeare's Pizza, and I got to see my brother (who is one of the managers) and chat with him a bit. He is still in fun single guy mode, but I'm hoping that someday he'll like someone enough to introduce her to his three big sisters. :)

After lunch, we went back to Iron Tiger and got the pictures done and I think they are going to turn out very cool looking. Back in the car to come home and relax for a minute before our whirlwind weekend was over and it was back to work. I'm just counting down the days of the week, though since I have all next week off for my staycation with the girls. Sorry, I took absolutely no pictures this weekend. (Worst blogger ever)

Have you ever done boudoir pics? Get features in a tattoo artist's portfolio? Other cool picture stories?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Smile, it's good for your face

Good morning and Happy Wednesday to everyone! Sorry for being MIA the past week, did you miss me? I just haven't been feeling like blogging much so rather than force it, I just took a break.

I've actually been in a really good place mentally lately. I'm feeling good about myself and in just a general happy state of mind. Even though work has been super busy and stressful, I haven't let it get to me. Plus, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw that this happened this weekend.

I actually wore a bikini in public for the first time in 14 years and felt good doing it. Yes, I still have stretch marks and loose skin but I think I looked pretty good. Hannah told me that I need to get my belly button pierced again since I already have the scar from the first time. Umm, we'll see.

This past weekend was a good one with the girls, minus all their bickering. My brand new teen (Happy Birthday Cordie!) and my preteen seem to be at each others throats constantly and then there are the tears. Aside from that though, it was fun. We explored a thrift shop that I discovered close to me and everyone got some new clothes. I got some dress pants and a skirt from Ann Taylor for $9, score! Hannah tried on some Mom jeans and just looked hilarious. They were ridiculously high waisted and baggy and fabulous.

Costco was next on the agenda where I spent way too much money and had to hear Cordie talk about how thirsty she was. Then, when I got her a bottle of water, she turned her nose up at the brand. Lord help me, I had forgotten how difficult 13 year olds actually are.

Sunday, we went to an early showing of Monsters University which was a really cute movie. Emmeline did amazing in her first movie theater experience and sat mostly still the whole time. She didn't even sit by me, she sat by Hannah. I got some snuggles from Paige, which was nice.
This was too good to pass up
Good weekend, but it flew by as usual. I actually have the whole week off of work with the girls the week after next so I'm really looking forward to that.

Jason and I have been going methodically through the house and trying to deep clean one room at a time. Not fun, but it is so needed. Last night we tackled Emmeline's room. I cleaned out her drawers and packed up all the 2T sizes because she loves nothing more than to squeeze her little butt into an outfit that is too small. We also organized the toys and vacuumed under all the furniture. It looked so much better when we were done. Tonight, it is the upstairs bathroom. Ugh.

I have something fun coming up this weekend, but I can't really discuss it yet. You'll just have to wait until next week! I'm such a tease.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Looking good, Billy Ray; Feeling good, Lewis

Bonus points if you can name that movie.

I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good today. I have been keeping up with the various challenges for the month (even though it has only been two days). I forgot how much better I feel when I am running on a regular basis. Crazy how that works, huh? I will say that my thighs are on fire from Jillian. My goal is to stick with these the whole month, even if I have to alternate days. I am notorious for quitting challenges halfway through the month and I want to finish strong.

Here are some of the challenges I'm participating in, if you want to play along.
30 Day Shred sponsored by Holly and Amber (although I'm doing Ripped in 30, same diff)
The Meredith Challenge - Move Your Booty
#60inSixty - sponsored by Darci - Goal is to run 60 miles in 60 days
Half Marathon training - I'm using Hal Higdon
#getitinJuly - by the lovely Mel - basically just hitting it hard all month so I can look banging in my after pics

Pretty stoked that I only have to work half a day today (with a full day's pay, holla) and then have all day off tomorrow. Half of my office will be out on Friday, but this girl will be working away. Beginning of the month and end of the quarter is always crazy time for me. There is a Happy Hour get together this afternoon which I am really looking forward to and then tomorrow I plan on cleaning my house from top to bottom. Jason and I stocked up on cleaning supplies so we are going to scrub like our lives depend on it. If you know me at all, you'll know that this is a huge deal because I hate to clean. I just hate living in filth more and I don't want to see another ant inside this summer.


Pool time
 I've got my girls again this weekend so I'm looking forward to that. Lots of pool time and maybe a movie. We didn't go last weekend so I want to see Monsters University this weekend. I won't be doing any fireworks since I won't have the girls on the 4th and Emmeline is still rather young. My neighbors have an endless supply, however so I'm sure there will be a show. Or we can go downtown and watch the professionals do it. Either way it isn't a big deal for me.


Love these monkeys

Anyone else getting it in July? Big 4th plans?

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Month and a Recommitment

Last week marked the 1 year anniversary of my decision to get fit and healthy. I lost 30 pounds in 6 months and my weight has been pretty much stayed the same for 6 months. As of January 4, I weighed 147.2. As of this morning, it was 148.8. I was going to take my measurements too, but I couldn't find my tape measure anywhere. I have noticed that laziness has started to set in as well as a general disregard for my eating habits.

So, since today is the first of a new month (and my sister's birthday - Happy Birthday Rach!) I am re-committing to my goal of getting fit. I am still a little more squishy around the midsection than I would like and I want to improve my running times. I feel like I am so slow. There is a new Shred challenge that is starting around Blogland, although I may try Ripped in 30 instead. I still have yet to complete a full 30 days of one of Jillian's DVD's. My half marathon training also begins this week. I plan to be in tip-top shape for that half marathon at the end of September.

My eating is the next thing I need to get under control. I have just been out of control eating crap and it is really telling in how I've been feeling. No thanks to my coworker who brings in food every damn day. I am going to see if I can get Jason on board with doing the Whole30 challenge again or at least trying to eat 80% Paleo. I think it will make a huge difference.

Jason is also getting to the point where he is fed up with his weight and being unhealthy. He is not one to do it by himself though so he is looking into joining a gym. He hates wasting money so I know that will be a good motivator for him. Plus, if he is working out then I know that will be a big kick in the butt for me to do it as well.

I did get outside for a run yesterday after a week and a half hiatus. Once again proving to myself that I need to keep up a consistent workout schedule or I am just going to be backtracking. I need to stop bitching about all the hills in my neighborhood and just use them to my advantage. If I train on hills, then flat courses should be a breeze!

The picture doesn't do it justice

Any new challenges you are committing to this month? Whole30 survivors?