Staying on Track this Holiday Season

We are officially into the holiday season, which clearly means one thing….sweets! Cookies, candy, brownies, bars, and the extremely indulgent Buckeye. For those who do not know what a Buckeye is: peanut butter, butter, loads of powdered sugar, and Rice Krispies cereal mixed together to form a ball that is then covered in chocolate. Are you drooling, yet? Us too.

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While these are delicious and we would love to partake in these everyday, they can definitely throw you off track for a ‘healthy eating’ plan. As can being at parties and celebrations where there are others who do not have your same lifestyle in mind. Here are Megan and Erica‘s top 8 tips to help you stay on track this season:

Continue reading “Staying on Track this Holiday Season”

Kids are Thankful for the Darnedest Things

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches I am reminded of all that I have to be thankful for: God, family, friends, a home, food on the table, and a plethora of other things.

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My heart is so full of gratitude.

I considered writing about all the things I am thankful for, but decided that there is another group of people who have a different and maybe more pure aspect on thankfulness. Our children. Continue reading “Kids are Thankful for the Darnedest Things”

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

Continue reading “My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training”

Thankful Children

It’s November! Holy moly where did this year go? November in our house is big because we have Hank’s birthday (my baby is 1) and Thanksgiving (Steven’s favorite holiday). We are particularly excited about Thanksgiving this year because we have family coming out from Indiana and some of our closest friends are back from Japan and will get to come spend it with us too!

In the midst of all the excitement, one thing that has become increasingly important to me is teaching my children to be thankful. I like to do this all year-long but for the past few years I have tried to be very intentional about it in November. Teaching children to be grateful for the things they have is extremely important. We don’t want to raise children that cannot appreciate the blessings in their life.

I have mentioned before I am not crafty, but I have found that crafts are often a good way to get the girls to be involved and engaged in hands on activities. Continue reading “Thankful Children”

For All the New Mommies

I have tons of friends having babies, more than ever before. And it has prompted thoughts about being a new mom again. I have done the infant stage 3 times and I can tell you I am not an expert by any means. Anyone who says they are an expert is lying to themselves. No one knows exactly how every baby is going to respond to every situation. Those of us who have been there can give advice and suggestions, but we can only speak from our experience. There are a few pieces of advice I have found that every mom has been in agreement thus far.

Cry. You are exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your hormones are out of control. You are going to reach a breaking point and no matter how much you love your baby you are going to lose it. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Cry. Have one of those deep from the gut ugly cries. Do it anytime you need. The middle of the day when you can’t get baby to eat or sleep or stop crying. The middle of the night when you are trying to figure out when the last time you slept more than an hour in a row. I have cried at all these times, it doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a mom.

Take a minute to yourself to just breathe. I know you are thinking ‘…when can I find time to myself?’ This is especially difficult when you have more than 1 baby. It doesn’t have to be long or far away. But step outside, by yourself at least once a day. Even if it’s just on the porch. Just sit or stand for a minute and breathe. Don’t think about the things you need to get done or what comes next in baby’s schedule. Just thank God for the day. That’s it. Just breathe and be.

Let your house go for as long as you need. I promise anyone who comes to visit could care less if you have dirty dishes or laundry. They want to see your baby and you (more so the baby). They don’t care it your floors have been mopped or your toilet has a ring. And if they do, don’t invite them over again. But do take people up on their offer to help. Let someone do your laundry, clean the bathroom, or make dinner. I promise at some point you will be able to do it all, but with a newborn it’s not worth trying.

Remember this most of all. You are doing fine. There is no right or wrong to this parenting thing. Breastfed or bottle fed. Swaddle…no swaddle. Stay at home mom or working mom. Cloth diaper or disposable. It doesn’t matter. Love your baby and you are doing it right.

All the pictures are the first ones of me with my new babies. I may not look great, but I was happy as could be.

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Imperfectly Perfect

My body is far from perfect. I have a very smooshy belly that is full of stretch marks. My arms jiggle when I wave. My thighs are very well acquainted with each other and I do not anticipate ever having a thigh gap. Even my calves and ankles are chubby.

But my smooshy belly has seen a dramatic reduction after losing 100lbs. A challenge I never thought I would accomplish, but I did.

My stretch marks are permanent reminders of the 3 babies my body grew and housed. 27 months of growing and stretching and 3 surgeries to have 3 babies ripped from my body. The incision scar will always remind me of the strength it took to recover each time.

My arms that jiggle are strong. They carry babies, wave to friends, give hugs, cook and clean.

My thighs, calves and ankles enable me to stand, walk and even run. They are moving me toward my goals.

I spent a long time hating my body. A long time thinking I wasn’t good enough because my body isn’t “perfect”. I don’t ever want my kids to feel this way. I don’t want them to bear the emotional baggage that comes with hating their body and feeling they need to look different.

My body may not be perfect I the view of the media, but God had blessed me with the perfect body for what He has in store for me. My body is imperfectly perfect.

This imperfect body even carried me through my first 5k Mud Run this past weekend, with some awesome ladies. And just yesterday shaved 20 seconds off my fastest mile pace. So this hard work is paying off!

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Getting Crafty

I am not crafty. I’m just not. I try. I try really hard. Art class was never my favorite. I still cannot cut a perfect circle. I have half finished scrapbooks and supplies for well intentioned projects that just never seem to happen. But I also have 2 little girls who like to draw, color, paint, and make crafts. So while I may not be the best at it, I still try.

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Recently I decided I want to finally get working on decorating some unfinished places in our house. This includes the kid/guest bathroom. I don’t have a “theme” or design in place but I want it to be colorful and fun (and cheap). So I thought it would be fun to let the girls use some fun right colors to paint on some canvas I had and then I would write Bible verses on them. While doing this I thought back to all the other projects I have done with the girls and realized some things I had to remember and I think is important to all craft/art attempting parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends to small children to remember.

1. Let go of what you think this is going to look like. My girls are 3 and 4, and both have a mind of their own. They want to do what they want. And truthfully they create much more beautiful things when I let go of my perfect image of what it “should” look like if I just step back and watch. There are times I give direction, but if I can I try to let them figure it out. (My only requirement this time was that they could have a gray filled canvas. Somehow they mix all the colors together and I turns into this yucky muddy gray color, and it drives me crazy. Weird, I know.)
2. If possible do it outside. Or cover your floor, chairs, table, anything you don’t want glue, sparkles, marker or glitter on.
3. Get all supplies out and ready before calling them over to do the project.
4. Remember they are going to get messier than you thought. Seriously, Brynn ended up with paint in her hair. But it all washes out and didn’t hurt a thing.
5. Tell them it is beautiful, hang it up, and let them show it off. We have very little art bought in a store in our house. I can’t find anything I like. But we do have drawings, paintings, and crafts hanging. And in this stage in our life, that’s the kind of art we enjoy. And it gives the girls a big self esteem boost to see their paintings hanging in their bathroom.

And for those who are curious I discovered this week that I am not a treadmill fan. I would much rather pound the pavement and endure the hills than deal with running and getting nowhere! But I did run 1.3 continuous miles on it, so maybe it has some benefits.

Finding something for me

Hi all! Well I am pleased to report that my running (more like walk/jog) went very well this week. I was able to run 3 times, which is my weekly goal for a total of about 8 miles. I am most proud that on Sunday I was able to do a 5k in 37 minutes! My goal was to finish in 50 minutes, so beating it by 3 minutes is pretty awesome in my book!

So I want to explain a little more behind why I am training for a half marathon. I have mentioned before that I am a stay at home mom, and most of my day revolves around my 3 kids. And I love that. I love bring able to play, teach and care for them everyday. But there are definitely times when I feel like I have lost my sense of me. I have forgotten who I am beyond a wife and mom. That is just not a good thing. And this is not something that just moms suffer from.  Anyone can become overwhelmed with their job and other commitments and forget who they are beyond that one thing. Whether you are a mom, a nurse, a teacher, a student, life can sometimes seem to take over and you lose the chance to have something just for you. Something that benefits you.

So after months of feeling like I was getting lost in my role of wife and mom I found a half marathon and it excited me and seemed like a challenge, just what I needed. It is different for everyone. Maybe you are crafty and need to get yourself a project. Maybe you have a life bucket list and need to pick one thing to focus on to accomplish. Find something for you. Something that will help you not go crazy in what can be a crazy life.

A new challenge!!

Hi! I am Megan and I am so excited to be a new contributor to the Anchor Drop Blog! So I want to start by giving you a little background on myself. I am stay at home mom and Navy wife in sunny San Diego. Steven and I have been married 6 years and have 3 kids. Mady is 4, Brynn is 3 and Hank is 10 months. I am from Indiana and Steven is from South Carolina, so we live far from our family, but have been extremely fortunate to make amazing friends both through the Navy and through church.

Okay so those are some basics. But I want to tell you about a new challenge I am taking on….Half Marathon training. So I feel I owe you a little back story on this. About 2.5 years ago I decided it was finally time to take control of my life and shed some weight. I had been overweight and obese for most of my life and at the time weighed 280lbs. Over the course of 13 months I was able to lose 115lbs. I went with a very basic and effective route to weight loss. Eat fewer calories, but better for you food and workout. Thankfully I was able to keep this up when I got pregnant with our third child. I worked out almost right to the end and while I gained 35lbs, I was able to shed most of it quickly after having Hank. Unfortunately I admit to having fallen back into some bad habits I had before losing weight. Too many sweets and not enough fruits and veggies. So I put about 10lbs back on. I realized I needed motivation, I needed a goal.

I began jogging on and off before I got pregnant and have done some jogging since then as well. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I am not fast. I get tired very quickly. It seems to just keep going and going. But it is so wonderful to get out. And I feel extremely accomplished after a run. So a friend of mine posted about the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May 2015. I couldn’t resist looking into it. I kept feeling pulled toward it, despite the fact it is 13.1 miles. So I decided I would ask my dad and if he was up for it, I would be too. And he said yes!! So here I am searching training plans and trying to figure out how I am going to run for so long!!

I am excited for this new challenge and seeing where this takes me. Maybe I’ll become a real runner. Probably not, but maybe…

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