Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year, New Look...

Well, I'm sure you're all irritated with me. I said I was going to catch up on my posting, but so far my posts haven't been much. Life has been cRaZy lately!! I thought things were supposed to calm down after the holidays!

So, to catch you all up, first, THE MOVE.

The week before we left was SO MUCH FUN!! Every day was a lunch date or a dinner date or someone stopping by to visit and say goodbye or all of the above!! It was so great to see everyone before we left.

We headed out early on Saturday afternoon (November 22nd). Jason drove the U-Haul and I had the kids with me in the car. Luckily, I drove in front of him. We went through Provo Canyon to get to I-80 (it's shorter by minutes). The shoulder was under construction and I was in the right hand lane. Payson and I were belting out or best to the High School Musical 3 soundtrack and Jack was staring out the window wondering why Heavenly Father sent him to these crazies. :) Suddenly a Dodge Durango was directly next to us in the left hand lane. I wouldn't have noticed at all, except that HE TRIED TO MOVE INTO THE RIGHT HAND LANE!! Fine, no big deal. Honest mistake. I wait a millisecond to see if he notices us. Nope. I lay on the horn long and loud. Nope. I slam on my breaks and try to swerve into the shoulder to avoid this man slamming into the side of my car, all the while picturing Payson in the back seat driver's side.

Yes, we were able to swerve and stop and avoid this idiot. Everyone and everything were fine. Except...remember the shoulder of the road being under construction? That's right. Big orange pylons keeping me from saving my little ones. Arg. Luckily only the passenger side mirror was hit.

I pulled over to inspect the damage and make sure the kids were okay. Jason had fallen behind. The U-Haul couldn't handle my speed. :) I called him to tell him to watch for us pulled over and explained what had happened.

We eventually made it to our apartment without anymore excitement, all the while the passenger side mirror flapped in the wind.

In case you're wondering, it is now AWESOMELY duct taped to the door again. :) We are the world's COOLEST white trash.

Anyway, we got to the apartment, got our key, met a few really nice men in the ward who helped us move in quickly, and now we're Wyoming residents!!

We couldn't find any of our church clothes the next morning, so we finally made it to church the next week. Initially I was freaked out by the mullets I saw. But a lot of those ended up being Thanksgiving visitor's and many of the ward members were gone for the holiday.

After just a couple of weeks I realized how much I LOVE this ward!! Everyone is amazingly friendly and sincere. The kids and I met several new friends at the ward Christmas party. We were invited to join a playgroup. (A mom in the stake organized it so that every Tuesday at ten they open the church and bring all of the nursery toys into the gym; mom's socialize while kids have a blast; perfect combination!) We found out about story time at the library and what day and time most of the moms from our ward go. I've already been assigned visiting teachers and given a visiting teaching assignment, we spoke the Sunday before last, and we have an appointment with the Bishop this Sunday. Guess what that could be. (I'm going to assume callings).

Anyway, you get the point. Besides the wind and the frigid cold, we are really loving it here. And Jason is loving his job, which makes all the difference in the world!

The Monday after we moved, we headed back to Utah for my Grandfather's funeral. He passed away the Thursday before we left. I was able to spend some time by his side in the days before he passed. I had mixed emotions about it. He was 90 years old. My Grandmother passed away five years earlier. And he wasn't perfect, by far. But regardless of anyone else's opinions of him I loved him so much. And I knew without a doubt that he loved each of us the best he could. I have such a strong testimony of life after death, which makes events like this so much easier to bear.

Anyway, because we had been back to Utah so quickly after moving, we decided to spend Thanksgiving here, on our own. I made the entire meal. And I must say, it was FANTASTIC!! I really am a great cook. ;)

The morning we left, one of my dearest friends in the whole world stopped by the drop off a gift and say goodbye. She had written me the sweetest note and had made me an apron. I wore it all day on Thanksgiving. We didn't take any pictures that day, but I made sure Jason got the camera out to take a picture of me in my fancy cooking duds.

Not the most flattering picture, but whatever! Kristin, I adore you!! You will always be one of my best friends. Thank you for my cute apron. I miss you! And I love you and your sweet family so, so much more!!

On to Christmas!! We came back to Utah for a couple of days in December to do some Christmas shopping and go to the temple. The drive home was A NIGHTMARE!! The weather and the roads were awful! And to add to that, on the last half of our trip home, the heater in the car died. Jason and I had piled blankets and coats on the kids to keep them warm and the two of us froze our bums off the rest of the way. (I think I need a new car...)

Anyway, because the drive had been so awful we were FOR SURE not going to come home for Christmas. Besides, we had already gotten excited about having our first very own Christmas.

It turned out SO MUCH BETTER than I could have imagined!! The kids wore the CUTEST EVER Christmas outfits to church the Sunday before Christmas. They looked so grown up and ADORABLE!! I really do believe I have the cutest kids on the planet. (I know. Who doesn't, right?)

On Christmas Eve Jason had to work for a few hours in the morning. No biggie. When he got home we went through the neighborhood carolling and dropping off our neighbor gifts.

We came home and decorated our gingerbread house. Then Jason bathed the kids while I finished up dinner. (I had prepared a lot of it while he was at work, so there wasn't too much left to do). When dinner was ready we all sat down to a fancy candlelit dinner of ham, Mormon funeral potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls, jello salad, and sparkling cider in champagne flutes. Delish!! (Again, I'm an awesome cook!)

After dinner was all cleaned up, the kids got to open one gift each. (Always an ornament that Santa drops off early). Next we left out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for Rudolf and the team. We looked outside to see if Santa was close. Jason and I pointed to a blinking red light in the sky and told the kids, "Look!! Rudolf! Santa's close!" Payson looks at as without missing a beat, and very matter-of-factly said, "Mom, that's just a blinking light." So much for magic!!

We headed upstairs for our daily scriptures and family prayer. Instead of picking up where we left off the day before, we read the kids the story of the birth of the Savior in Luke 2 and tried to explain to the kids about the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Then we read a Christmas book before bedtime prayers.

We plan to read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg and I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane G. Adamson each Christmas Eve before bed, but I had ordered and overnighted them just to be safe several days before Christmas (couldn't find them anywhere out here) and they showed up three days AFTER Christmas. Nice.

Christmas morning, the kids woke up around seven. They headed downstairs to see what Santa had left them. Sure enough he and the reindeer had scarfed the cookies and carrots and there were three piles of presents on the couch! The red ones for Payson, the green for Jack, and the white to share.

After tearing into the Santa gifts, we opened the presents under the tree one by one in age order. Then cleaned up and had a MASSIVE Christmas breakfast. So yummy!! (Do I need to remind you that I'm awesome in the kitchen?)

This year was so much fun!! Jack was old enough to at least be excited about the toys and Payson was old enough to feel the real magic. I thought I'd feel disappointed about not being with family, but the day was too perfect! We called both of our families several times throughout the day with Thank yous, Merry Christmases, and I love/miss yous.

We spent all of Christmas day in our pajamas playing with new toys, watching new movies, and enjoying our little family. Perfect day!

New Year's was not near as exciting. The kids went to bed at seven, as usual. Jason and I played games and watched movies and tried to stay up. I made it. I woke him up just a few minutes before midnight and we counted with Dick Clark and New York City. We kissed Happy New Year/Goodnight and headed off to dreamland. :)

Then this last Friday my parents called and asked if they could come visit for the day! They wanted to bring up presents and take us out to dinner for our birthdays. (I'll have to steal those pictures from my parents next time I'm in Utah).

Since Payson, Jason and I all have January birthdays, we combined and just had an impromptu celebration on Saturday. It was so great to see my parents and sisters!! I miss them!! Spending the afternoon with them was the best present!! That...and my parents gave me an oil painting that my aunt did of my Grandpa Cox (mom's dad who died of cancer in 2006). It's so beautiful and completely captures him. I love it!!

Jason gave me/us an elliptical machine for our birthday. Oh yeah!! For those of you who don't know already, we have the same birthday. Jason was born January 6th, 1981, and I was born three years later on the same day. :)

Anyway, the elliptical brings me to the title of this post!! New Year, New Look!! Of course I include the minor changes to my blog. But the real look I refer to is ME!

I know I posted something similar last year, but this time I REALLY mean it!! (Hopefully...)

I was always thin growing up. Not a rail, but thin. Never for any reason other than being a kid who can eat anything and not gain an ounce. Around 18 or 19 it slowly started to catch up with me. I gained a little weight, but nothing extreme. Then I had Payson. My eating habits went down the toilet and I packed on the pregnancy pounds. I did better with Jack, and lost some, probably from nursing, after he was born. But I've hovered at a terribly unflattering weight since then.

Every now and then I've tried something new. LA weight loss, Curves, and a bazillion work out dvds. I've got everything from Pilates to Step Aerobics to The Firm weight training and cardio program. I even borrowed my moms old Jane Fonda videos for a while! :)

Anyway, I usually manage to do really well for about two weeks and then I revert back to old bad habits. :( This time will be different!!

So I've read this book, Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The foreword in the book is written by Dr. Mehmet Oz (the guy who's always on Oprah). Anyway, I heard about it from Jason who hear about it through a friend who had read it and bought the book expecting a typical diet book.

Not even! Most of the book is basically a whole new education. He teaches you about how foods are broken down and how the body handles them and what they really turn into in your body. It's fascinating!! His idea is that willpower will only go so far. At some point you give up. (I'm such a great example of that!) He says that with the knowledge you gain from the book you'll be able to continue making healthy choices based on facts and therefore lose and permanently maintain the weight.

I finished it just before New Year's and figured what better time to start?! Besides, I was feeling really crummy from all the junk I had eaten over the holidays. So we cleaned out the kitchen and replaced everything with good, healthy, whole foods.

Today is day seven for me. I'm not going to say this isn't hard. Because this is HARD! But it's working. And I'm enjoying it!! I've dropped ten pounds this week!! TEN POUNDS! I'm sure a good portion of that is serious water weight, because of my dramatically decreased sodium consumption, but pounds are pounds!!

I ate out when my parents came to town. We ate at a Mexican restaurant here in town and I just avoided the pre-dinner chips and ordered veggie fajitas. I skipped the cour cream and tortillas, and just ate the veggies smothered in salsa and guacamole. I was completely satisfied and couldn't finish my plate. And I was able to enjoy the company of my family without feeling guilty!!

I've also started to work out again. I've alternated using the elliptical machine and a toning video every other day. This week I'm going to increase my time. I figured its been long enough that I'd better ease myself into it.

Point is, I'm feeling great!! And I feel like I'm more aware of my health than I ever have been. I honestly believe that THIS time will be different. We'll see in another week or so if I've given up as usual, but I really don't see it happening.

I'm sure I'll frequently be posting about how I'm doing and the fun new recipes that we try. I could really go on about what I've learned forever!! Just ask me, I'll talk your ear off!

Anyway, aside from working on my physical self, I've set so many goals to just be a better me this year. I'm studying my scriptures a little more, being better about my morning and evening prayers, and actually studying the lessons for church before Sunday. (I've never done that before. Isn't that sad?)

I'm also sticking to a better schedule during the week which is helping me get SO MUCH MORE done! It's keeping me super busy, but instead of lounging in front of the television I'm being productive which makes me feel better about myself.

I'm also teaching Payson preschool three days a week at home. It's been so fun so far! We get to spend a little one on one time and I get to watch her learn and grow. I love it!

Anyway, this was going to be a a short and sweet post. I think that's pretty much out the window! But I'm caught up!! On reading and posting!! Woohoo!! One more thing to cross off of my list. :)


Erin and Family said...

Oh Fun! You guys are having so much fun in Wyoming & doing great! I love the Christmas pics. Your kids are pretty adorable:). Awesome New Year resolutions. I still need to make mine:) Miss you guys! Let's talk soon!

The Brandt Clan Fam! said...

Thank you for the update! We're so glad you all are doing so well, and are happy. Great pictures, and post!!!!! :)

Liz Goble said...

I love the picture of you in the apron. I think you look SO pretty in that picture!! I understand about driving in Wyoming in the winter. We used to live in Lyman, Wyoming for a few months....and those hills just past Evanston would be PURE ICE! I remember it snowed in November, and that snow didn't melt until APRIL! GOOD LUCK!

Liz (Cox) Goble

Jason and Bri said...

Hey miss, so glad to see you guys had great Christmas and are all settled YEAH!!!

Anonymous said...

wow you've had a lot going on hunh? Thanks for the perfect update and I love the apron :)

womanoforangerinds8 said...

Holy crap! I'm going to have to read this later. I love your new header picture! Love it love it LOVE IT!!!

camille said...

I'm so glad to read that your doing good in Wyoming. I would love to live there. I lOvE the new header picture, I so want a picture like that. {You all have such cute shoes:)}

Jobi Niu said...

YAY! McKenna's back to the blogging world!! :] Um.. that picture up top the one you sent out for the Christmas cards... LOVE LOVE LOVE! That picture of you in that apron, um.. you're so GORGEOUS! I miss you guys. Sounds like everything is going great though. Good luck on your New Years Resolutions, YOU CAN DO IT! Fun pictures of Christmas.

Mandi said...

Loved your post.. good to catch up. Glad you enjoyed your own little Christmas and Thanksgiving.. How fun. I am so not ready to do that yet, but I am sure it will come. I am glad you made it safe to Wyoming, with the crazy's on the road... Can't wait to hear what your calling is? Glad your having a pretty good adjustment.

Kristin said...

WOW i am glad you got all that out of your system but honestly what i am supposed to comment on!! That was way longer then post regulations!