December 9, 2014

Christmas Dews

I am going to be cliche right now and proclaim my love for this time of year.  Christmas with kids makes this time of year THAT much better. It's more magical, special, and WAY more fun.  Being a parent at Christmas is even better than being a kid.  Don't you agree?  It's so cool to watch the wonder in their eyes when they see Santa for the first time.  They truly believe in magic each morning when they wake up and find that Elf in a different spot.  It's really, truly the best time of the year.

I also love seeing how different people do Christmas.  From the way presents are wrapped to different traditions, everyone does Christmas a little different.  So here's how we "Dew" Christmas, hehe. 

Presents:  We wrap any and all presents, including stockings.  It wasn't until recently that I heard of people not wrapping certain things but instead leaving them set up, ready to play with, under the tree.  I kinda sorta love that idea so I think this year we're going to adopt that tradition.  Some of the more awkward to wrap items are going to be left out on display and I can't wait to see the reaction on Christmas morning.

Stockings:  Like I said, in my family, presents in the stockings were always wrapped.  It didn't matter if it was a gift card, that sucker was wrapped.  And our stockings were usually filled with actual gifts like earrings, money, or CDs {back when CDs were still a thing}.  Jimmy did not do this tradition in his house.  Instead stockings were full of things like candy, tissues, and snacks and they were definitely not wrapped.  Now that it's my turn to do the stockings I am choosing not to wrap.  What tedious work, sorry mom.  They'll be filled with a mixture of actual gifts and filler items but there's no way you'll catch me wrapping a teenie tiny tube of chapstick.

Santa:  Another realization I had this year is that Santa isn't everyone's cup of tea.  We like Santa over here and we will go visit him every year until my kids are way too big.  This year I completely thought James was going to have a meltdown on Santa's lap but surprisingly he did awesome!  He just looked to his big sis for reassurance and snap, cutest picture ever.  But we don't go all Santa crazy with threats of NO Santa if you're not well-behaved or anything.  

Elf on the Shelf:  OK I know there are mixed feelings on this creepy little guy and I feel you elf-haters.  We do Elf on the Shelf, his name is Rich, but some days I wish we never started this new tradition.  Every night, as I'm all snug in my bed, just about to drift off to dreamland....I REMEMBER THE ELF.  I know I'm not the only one.  However, I want to make this season as magical as possible so I get up, out of bed, every night and move Rich to a new spot in the house.  This year we took it down a notch though, our elf doesn't participate in any shenanigans.  He simply moves to different spots in the house and that's it.  And, again, we don't use him as a threat.  It's just simple and fun.

Decorations:  We are traditional over here, red and green everything.  Every year I think of changing it up and going with those fun, colorful decorations, but I can't bring myself to do it.  I also think that ice blue and silver is gorgeous but it's just not our house.  Our decorations are a mix of traditional and rustic and I love it.  I don't think I'll ever change it.  Add to it? Absolutely.  

Advent Calendars:  Again, this is something I never did growing up and I'm sure Jimmy didn't either.  I just introduced the Advent calendar last year and we had so much fun with it that I knew we had to do it again this year.  I fill ours full of things to do, no toys, candy or prizes just making memories.  It's simple stuff, make a Christmas craft, buy a special gift for James {when he's older we'll add "buy a special gift for sister"}, make Christmas cookies, donate food to the food pantry, watch a Christmas movie with hot chocolate, Zoo Lights, etc.  It's fun and even though I wrote each activity I get equally excited each day when we find out the newest.  

So, that's how we celebrate the season.  I'm all about making it as magical as possible.  I hope that my kids look back on their childhood and remember how special it is/was.  How do you "Dew" Christmas?

December 3, 2014

Love Your Body, That Is All

Growing up I was never a fit kid.  I never played sports, never exercised.  My eating was just what any kids was.  I ate whatever I wanted.  I was never fat but I was never thin either.  I rode right in the middle and I was always happy with that.

I never thought about the way I looked in terms of my weight/body.  I was just a kid and worried about kid things.  Even as I got older I don't remember ever thinking negative thoughts about my body and I certainly never dieted.  It wasn't until I gained 40lbs from pregnancy that I ever even "went on a diet".  I never really exercised much either.  I joined a gym and worked out with a trainer for a few months before our wedding but as soon as I got pregnant I saw it as an excuse to kick my gym habit.  

I know that the reason I was never obsessed or focused on my body was because of my mom.  While
my mom has dieted over the years she never let that rub off onto me.  She always showed me how to love yourself because no matter what her weight was she always loved herself.  She always took pride in her appearance and she was always happy and smiling.

As I've gotten older and been exposed to more in terms of diet and exercise.  I've seen it all and I've tried a few things a long the way and figured out what worked for me.  I don't believe in starvation or even deprivation.  I don't think you need to work out 7 days a week for 52 weeks.  I do believe that everything in moderation is great.  I think exercising more days than you don't is healthy.  I don't believe in fat shaming or, the newest trend, skinny shaming.

I've been eating an 80/20 Paleo diet for the past 3-4 months and I love what it has done for my body, inside and out.  I have also been doing PiYo for 6 months.  The combination of the two has really changed my body, it's leaned me out and made me more defined.  I've never felt or looked like I do right now and I am proud of the way I look.  I am not done, however.  I know that I can tone up more and really take my body and fitness to the next level.

I am happy with where has come from and where it's at now but it seems others aren't.  That's where the skinny shaming comes in.  I don't even refer to myself as skinny, I never use that word to describe myself because I am not skinny.  I still have curves, I still have jiggly spots, and I still have meat on my bones.  But lately I've been hearing comments like, "girl you NEED to eat" and "you're wasting away" neither of which are supportive or true.  Both of which are hurtful and mean.

I don't talk numbers but I feel like I need to.  I am 5'3 and I have and 31-years-old.  The ideal weight for my height and age is 112-140lbs.  The lowest number I have seen on the scale {because I don't weigh myself often} is 126.4.  That number is pretty much right smack in the middle of where I should be and where I feel comfortable.  I do not think that number qualifies comments like, "if you lose anymore weight...we're going to have to have an intervention".  Yes I've heard that to which I reply, "I am NOT trying to lose anymore weight so you don't need to worry about that" because it's true, I'm not.

What people don't understand when they say those things is that it is like they are negating the hard work I have put in as if all I am doing is starving myself, which couldn't be further from the truth.  I even heard a comment that compared me to a sick person.  As if to say I look unhealthy and sickly myself.  How hurtful?  I work hard, I eat well {for the most part} and take pride in how far I've come while raising two little kids.  To hear such negative comments from people who know me, personally, feels like a slap in the face.  I know they think they are "helping" or being funny but it is anything but.

I am not trying to nor do I want to lose any weight.  I would like to lose body fat and lower my percentage.  I would like to continue eating a mostly Paleo diet.  I would like to continue on the path with PiYo and building those long, lean muscles.  And I would like to see my body change and see what it, what I, am capable of.

And I would like to do all of that with supportive comments, "girl you are looking FIT, high five!" Not that I think everyone needs to tell me I look good, I don't, but if you are going to say something, say something nice.  Remember that age old saying, "if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all"?  That.

I've read so many posts about skinny/fit shaming and I never thought I'd be writing myself and I never wanted to.  I got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore though, I had to speak up and defend myself.  

November 25, 2014

Sometimes. Always. Never

  • Sometimes I eat like crap.  Like right now I'm eating pizza for lunch with a side of Diet Coke.
  • I always make sure I get in a workout to make up for it.
  • I never let one bad meal, day or week derail me. 

  • Sometimes I lose my temper and say things I don't mean.
  • I always feel guilty immediately after.
  • But I never go to bed mad.

  • Sometimes I spend nap time doing guilty pleasure things like watching Tori and Dean.
  • I always feel like I should be doing something more productive.
  • I never have enough time for everything.

  • Sometimes I make goals and don't reach them.
  • I always try though, always.
  • I never give up.

  • Sometimes I don't shower.
  • I always feel nasty and hate myself for being dirty.
  • I never remember and it happens again the following week.

  • I always love a surprise.
  • Sometimes I ruin them because I get so excited.
  • I'd never turn away a good surprise party.

  • I will always love cute clothes.
  • But I sometimes go from PJs to workout clothes and back to PJs.
  • I never get tired of shopping.

  • I always love my children and being a mom.
  • Sometimes I need some quiet time though.
  • I never regret my decision to stay home with them.

  • I always check my phone first thing in the morning.
  • Sometimes I wish I lived in a social media-less world.
  • But I could never go a day without my phone.

  • I always want to read lots of books.
  • Sometimes I start AND finish one.
  • I never read as much as I should or want to.

  • I always love nap time {for the kids, not me}
  • But sometimes I try to make them not happen {for Kendall}.
  • I never wake a sleeping baby.

  • I always drink coffee.  Sometimes twice a day.
  • Sometimes I sneak in a little of my old creamer ways.
  • I never finish a whole cup.  Ever.

November 24, 2014

When Things Don't Go Your Way

I don't know about you but I'm a big baby.  Maybe it's the only child in me, coming out to play, but when things don't go my way I'm kind of a brat.  I never thing that it's ME that caused the problem.  I always am looking to place blame.  I pout.  It's really unbecoming, if I'm being honest.

Last week my PiYo class had 3 people in it, THREE.  One of them was my mother-in-law.  To say that I came home bummed was an understatement.  I ate my feelings away when I pulled in the drive-thru of McDonald's and ordered a double cheeseburger with a small fry.  I came home and laid my head on Jimmy, boo-hooing about my small class.  When he wouldn't indulge my clearly overreaction  I stomped off to bed and went to sleep.  

I mean talk about a big baby.  

I woke up the next day with a new perspective on things, thankfully. 

The weather was bad that day, freezing cold, snow on the ground.  The other classes at my studio had been half their size as well so I know it wasn't just me.  No one likes to get out of their warm houses to come out in the freezing weather to work out, I get it.  That's where I come in and motivate them and encourage them and reward them for doing the hard thing.

The studio I'm at is new.  Brand new, actually.  And so am I.  This is my first time teaching anything and so to expect the turn out of someone who's built a clientele is just unrealistic.  I need to get my name out there and they will come.  I believe that.

What is PiYo after all?  A lot of people have never heard of this class. Yes they've heard of pilates.  Yes they've heard of yoga.  But PiYo?  It's kind of a foreign language.  So it's my job to educate them.

Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself I actually came up with productive ways to make the situation better.  I looked at myself and what I could do to help things go my way next time.  This is something I need to work on in all areas of my life, and I think Jimmy would agree.  

What about you?  How do you handle tough situations?  What is your first reaction when things don't go your way?

November 19, 2014

Bare-ing It All

The other day I came across an article about post baby bodies and how they aren't always as pretty as what you see in the magazines or, heck, even as pretty as your best friends flat, post baby stomach.  The article talked about our "battle scars" and how we should be proud because they're a symbol of something amazing, life created, our precious babies.  The girl who wrote the article is a small, fit girl but she just had one "problem area" that she could never seem to embrace regardless of how often she told others to embrace theirs.  The girl went on to show her not so favorite body part, her stomach, and it looked just like mine.

And then, in not so many words, she said she was having surgery to correct the "problem".

And I haven't been able to shake it since.  

I was sad, instantly, when I realized what I was reading.  Maybe a little part of me was jealous and that's where the sadness comes from.  But I like to think I'm not as shallow as to be jealous of someone else's tummy tuck.  Anyway...I was sad.  I was reading this story and thinking, "someone else like me" and how empowering this post was and then it was like someone popped a balloon.  I was mad at her for making me feel like I wasn't alone in the struggle to tighten up this post baby belly and then it was like she was "taking the easy way out" with surgery {not that she is taking the easy way out, that's just how it made me feel in the moment}.

Then it dawned on me, I will be the face of "ugly" post baby bellies.  Why am I relying on someone else to share their vulnerability for others to relate to.  Why don't I be that girl?  So here I am. 

This is my belly at the end of the day, what it normally looks like.  I have a very small waist and am the lowest weight I've ever seen as an adult but that lower part of my belly {and my belly button} still look wonky.  I'm actually starting to see a little bit of definition {abs maybe?} in the top part of my stomach but it seems like the bottom half, that pooch, is still playing catch up.  But you know what?  I've not given it my all either.  I haven't tried targeting that particular part of my body but I will start.  I haven't cut out grains and dairy long enough to see a change but I will continue to eat a Paleo diet in hopes that the results will follow.  You know what keeps me going?  The fact that even though it doesn't look perfect, or like what the magazines show me, or like my freak of a nature friends look like it looks better than it used to and I'm all about progress, not perfection.  

Surgery is not an option for me.  Most likely, if you're reading this post, it's not an option for you either.  Not only is it not an option but it's not something that I would want for myself either.  I am raising a daughter, a young impressionable girl, and that's not the image of beauty I want to portray to her.  If you don't like something, go under the knife and have it changed.  No.  Instead I'd rather portray an image of hard work and dedication and IF by some chance you still don't get the results you desire, well by golly you've tried like hell to get there.  And, chances are, the only one judging you is YOU.  

In light of the whole Kim K thing, you know the one, I've been thinking about how women's post-baby bodies are portrayed and it's not a good image.  Certainly I know that those photos are photoshopped to death but young, naive,impressionable girls do not know that.  They look to celebrities, like her, as inspiration and idolize that type of behavior and appearance.  I will be damned if that's the way my daughter views herself.  So yeah, it's a tough time for a woman's body, but it doesn't have to be. 

I think all of this has brought me to realize something I should have a long time ago.  I love my body.  No it's not perfect and it sure as hell doesn't look like it did 4-5 years ago.  But I've created two beautiful humans.  The apples of my eye, my greatest gifts, my pride and joys both came from this body.  Also, I'm not done yet.  I am not done seeing what my body is capable of.  I have come a long way in the 15 months since James was born and I know I can push my body further.  If it's just loose skin and this is how my stomach is destined to look forever, so be it.  

Love your body.  

That is all. 

November 10, 2014

Dinner With The Dews

It's been a while since we've done a Dinner with the Dews and since I've been back to cooking again I thought I should share some of my recent, yummy discoveries.  I was really craving comfort foods this week, I blame the fall weather, so I whipped up lots of soups and chili {I will be sharing this amazing paleo chili recipe later}. I posted this pic to IG last night and y'all went nuts.  I can't say I blame you because it looks as good as it tastes.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 pounds)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
24 oz frozen vegetables (red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, carrots)
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes (or sweet potato)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

Throw everything into your crock pot {my chicken was even frozen when I made this} and cook on high for 4ish hours or low for 6-8.  I took the chicken out about an hour before eating it and shredded it and put it back in to soak up more of the juices. It comes out super hearty and very filling.  The best news, my kids even ate it- I call that a win!  


I modified this recipe, here.

November 3, 2014

Breaking The Silence

That ^ sounds like it should be on the cover of an US Weekly magazine or something, doesn't it?  My reality TV loving self wishes.

I'm not here with some big announcement or to tell you something profound, I wish...again.  Instead I'm going to give you a brain dump sort of post because after taking long?...break that's all I have to offer.

I miss blogging.  I do.  I used to have ideas on top of ideas for posts.  Sometimes I'd even have to keep a list in my "notes" app just so I wouldn't forget all my "great ideas".  I don't have anything major going on in life right now, maybe that's why.  Life is pretty good, easy, uncomplicated, content at the moment and I like it that way.  But I do miss feeling inspired and I miss writing.  I've read other posts lately that convey the same message so maybe blogging is dying?  I don't know.  But for right now I'm OK with blogging whenever and feeling no pressure to do more.  

I'm going to start teaching PiYo this week!  I can't tell how nervicited {nervous+excited- got it from Pinky Pie on My Little Pony}.  I've been practicing PiYo for about  months now and I love it.  Coming off of T25 I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about something more low impact, less of a calorie burn, and overall slower but I underestimated it big time.  I drove three hours to Ft. Wayne IN last weekend and took an eight hour certification class and, believe it or not, they passed me!  And, yes, that means I did PiYo for EIGHT hours {8!!!} that day.  Ouch! But I learned so much about form, teaching, music, how PiYo is supposed to feel, it was awesome.  I've got an hour long routine and I've almost got it nailed down, almost.  My class is Thursday and as long as I don't throw up on the stage I think I'll be doing alright.  Wish me luck.  
I threw a surprise party for Jimmy's 30th this weekend.  It's the second surprise party I've thrown for him and I have to say, I'm quite good at it.  He had been saying how he wanted to do something BIG for his 30th this year and I kinda just brushed it off.  I didn't want a big party at our house because I hate cleaning, didn't feel like cooking for the masses and I was just really selfish about the whole thing, to be honest.  I did want to make this birthday special though so in a weeks time I set up a surprise party with twenty of our closest friends and family and it went off without a hitch.  I'm glad we got to celebrate my main squeeze the way he deserves, with good beer and good friends.

Are you guys watching True Tori?  Oh I was so excited when I saw it was coming back on {my inner reality TV whore is coming out}.  Can I just say it, they are a mess.  I mean I am really glad they decided to share this train-wreck with all of us, I really am, but MY GOD I'm thinking that maybe some of this should have been handled in private.  Am I right?  Last "season" I was all Team Tori because DUH he cheated on her, ruined their marriage, disrespected his wife and family, embarrassed them, abandoned them, was self-absorbed, the list goes on.  But this "season" I find myself feeling a little Team Dean.  Maybe it's because they're showing us a new side of crazy in Tori but geeeeez girlfriend needs help.  And that's all I'm going to say about that. 

Kendall and I had some mommy-daughter time this weekend and it was much needed.  It's not often I get to spend time with just her so when I do I'm always reminded how awesome she is.  We went to a roller skating birthday party and it was her first time on skates and my first time in a LONG time.  It was so much fun to teach her something new, to be silly, and just focus all of my attention on her.  She's such a little girl now!  She's no longer a toddler and she reminded me of that yesterday.  On our way home she said, "mom it was so much fun roller skating with just me and you" and at that very moment it was like she was reading my mind because I was thinking the same thing.  And did I mention she was like a pro in those skates?  She only fell a handful of times in two hours and barely held my hand except to be pulled every now and then {because that's FUN!}.  I really need to make more time for just her more often.  She rocks. 

James is...James.  He's still a handful and reminds me that boys really are different than girls.  Jimmy and I are always saying, "Kendall never did this".  He's a boy through and through.  He climbs EVERYTHING, gets into EVERYTHING, and loves his mama.  If you give him a pile of toys to play with he will gravitate towards the cars and trucks before anything else.  He sleeps with a stuffed teddy bear now and when he sees it he grabs it and hugs it as tight as possible and sways back and forth.  Pretty much the cutest thing you will see ever in your life.  His first and only word is, "whoa" or sometimes it comes out "wow" we're still trying to decide if he's saying two separate words or if they're the same to him.  He can "jump" now and he thinks he's pretty cool when he does.  He's a pretty great sleeper, most nights, knock on wood, and is usually a solid 7-7+/- schedule.  He's definitely the cutest baby I've ever laid {layed?} eyes on and that's just a fact.  I say, at least once a day, "OMG he's SO cute!".  And I mean it.  He's SO CUTE!  He will definitely give me grey hairs and a heart attack but MY GOD he's cute.

Fall hit us in the face with some winter like temperatures this weekend and it reminded me of what's to come.  Winter.  Snow.  Ice.  Never leaving the house with two small kids because all the coats, all the hats, all the cold.  I hate it.  I will never be a fan of winter except on Christmas.  I try to convince my husband that we need to move to a warmer part of the earth on a regular basis.  He doesn't even roll his eyes anymore or listen for that matter.  I always thought people were being dramatic when they talked about S.A.D. but guys it's a legit disorder.  I've never been a fan of the winter months but being a mom in the colder months is like a dying a slow death.  I rely on park dates, swimming pools and all the outdoor things for my sanity.  Take those away and I'm a crazy person.  

Speaking of... I saw about 6 billion Red Cups {capitalized because apparently they are THAT significant} in my Instagram feed this weekend.  Instead of making me want a big ole cup of Peppermint Mocha it made me want to boycott The Buck altogether.  Why?  Red Cup=Christmas time.  We didn't even get to devour our Halloween candy and these guys are celebrating Christmas?  No, Starbucks, it's not time.  Respect the turkey.  

And there you have it, I broke my silence to talk about reality TV stars and Starbucks.  Happy Monday friends.