Friday, March 29, 2013

Time for Your Checkup!

As you may recall, about 4 weeks ago, I decided to "give up on" my goals of getting back to my pre-baby weight in favor of just getting healthier and stronger.

A group of my friends and I agreed to do 4 weeks of Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 workout.

And I figured you were all waiting on pins and needles to find out the results about this little experiment.

Good news.

I'm here to spill the beans.

Week 1 wasn't so bad.

But I will admit that by day 3, I could barely lift my arms over my shoulders.

Week 2...


In a nutshell - it's a killer.

I may have cried.

But it's not insanity, so....

And it's only 25 minutes long...

I can do ANYTHING for 25 minutes....

So I kept at it.

Week 3 came and went.

At some point during week 3, I am pretty sure my legs stopped functioning properly.

But it's all good.

Eventually, I hit week 4.

And thought, there is no way I can do this.

But I did.

Week 4 is officially over.

And as for the final outcome???

Well, as it turns out, I did lose almost 1 lb. in the last month.

Technically a total of .8, but it's my lowest weight to date...

Putting me only 5.6 from my pre-pregnancy weight.

But more importantly, I really feel like I can see alot of improvement in my body in the last month.

Muscles are getting firmer, I'm seeing more tone and less flab...

And more importantly, my clothes are fitting better every day.

To be honest, I don't think you can visually see alot of difference in the last 4 weeks.

But I feel it.

So moving forward, I am going to continue the same strain of workout dedication.

I will be continuing at least another month with Ripped - maybe interchangeably with other workouts, but definitely more often than not.

And maybe somewhere down the line, I'll get brave enough and/or strong enough to try Insanity or P90x, but for now, I'm excited about the change that the last month has given me and I'm more excited about the motivation it has given me.

Here's to the next 4 weeks and seeing where it takes me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Recent Reads: Requiem

Let me ask you a question...

When was the last time you read a book that you day dreamed about when you put it down?

When was the last time you read a book that sucked you in more deeply than Real Housewives drama.

While we're talking about it, considering last night's RHOBH season finale, it's a wonder I have ANYTHING else to talk about today....

But that's how good this book is.

Seriously, people.

If you haven't followed my advice, and picked up the Delirium series, stop what you are doing and go get it.

This month, Lauren Oliver finally released the final book in this series.

And let me just say, this book is amazing.

The story is exciting.

There is romance, there is intensity, there is excitement.

You will fall in love - more than once...

Your heart will be broken - more than once...

The characters are beautiful and endearing and completely well rounded.

And for the most part, there is a reasonably happy acceptable ending for everyone.

In a nutshell, you should read it.

You can thank me later!

Now, please excuse me while I get back to my regularly scheduled programming (read: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion - I should really live tweet this amazingness!)

The Good Wife

This post is based solely upon my last waking thoughts before bed last night.

You should be afraid.

But, for the sake of full disclosure, Here goes:

I am not a good wife all the time.  

Don't be shocked.  

Put down your paper bag - I'm going to explain....

Sometimes, I don't want to be a good wife.

Sometimes, I even make the conscious decision not to be a good wife.

Sometimes, I am pmsing and I've been around 2 little tyrants who scream their demands at me while I am trying to clean up their poop.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I choose to be the wife that nags and whines and pouts.

Admittedly, on occasion, it's involuntary.

But most of the time, I choose it.

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep listening to my husband, who was still working at 11 pm, talking on his phone next to me, this was the fight I battled.

It had been a particularly long day.

After a particularly long week.

I honestly hadn't said more than a sentence or 2 to him all day.

And at the end of the day, I just wanted a few minutes of his attention.

If you know me, you might know my passive aggressive drill.  (Sarah, you'll recognize this IMMEDIATELY)

1. I sigh, ALOT.

Usually very loudly.

You know that sound your dog makes when he sees a squirrel?  My sighs are a little like that.

Very deep, in the back of my throat.  Just aggressive enough to let everyone around you know that you want something.

Dramatic, right?

And yet subtle at the same time.

2. Then, I make my presence known.

Usually by stomping or banging something.

Think Teresa Guidice.

Think almost, but not really, subtle.

Think, I may have flipped a table in my time...

3. Finally, I play the martyr.

Think Cinderella complex.

Think not at all the strong, independent Drew Barrymore version.

Think "woe-is-me" Disney version.

Usually I start by saying things like, "Do you want anything to eat or drink before I go to bed, sweetheart?"

Usually, DRIPPING with sarcasm.

And last night was pretty much classic Leah-at-her-passive-aggressive-best.

I may or may not have even succumbed to prancing around in lingerie.

Because nothing is as passive aggressive, as a lingerie clad wife who has no intentions of putting out.

But as I climbed in bed, I clicked over to Facebook.

Admittedly, not typically the wisest decision for someone in woe-is-me-passive-aggressive-mode. 

As it typically only leads to more wallowing...

But last night, I saw this...

Le, sigh.

Cue sucker punch to the lacey nighty.

Cue epiphany.

As much as it may have behooved me last night to say it, I have a fantastic husband.

Who works very hard for our family.

To the extreme of working long days and late nights while the rest of us are sleeping. 

It's not my job to love him when he's paying attention to me.

It's not my job to love him on good days.

It's not my job to love him when life is easy and we see eye to eye on every little thing.

It's my job to respect him for who he is and to love him for it.

So, for today, that's where I'm at.

Because that's what love is all about.

Now, excuse me while I go pack my Teresa Guidice angry face away for a while....

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Almost like "The Pianist" But It's Not

Imagine with me.

You are a mommy.

Now for you men out there, this may be a stretch.

Just go with it.

You are a mommy.

You spent your entire life trying to cover everything up.

You got married.

And discovered you married a nudist.

And then you had a baby.

With boy parts.

And he followed his daddy around and did everything his daddy did.

And then one night you went in his room to tuck him in for bed and find him - your BABY BOY - completely naked - snoring.


I'm raising a nudist.

Be warned.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Story Of My Life

This is going to be an emotional post.

Because, dude, that's how I roll.

I can't be funny all the time!!!

But, if that's what you are here for, do I have a story for you!


In the emotional roller coaster that is my life.

These last few days, I have been thinking alot about my life.

Our lives.

How we got here.

Where we came from.

And I have been reminded of some really dark times for me.

I've talked a little about it before...

But when we were first married, I was going through some really tough times.

I was homesick.

My only friends worked all the time or were full time college students.

My mother-in-law was very sick and required constant attention.

My mom was going through alot of craziness.

And life was just...

For lack of a better word...


Michael Scott would be dying right now.

But seriously.

I cried alot.

I was very heavy.

And a little lot discontent with my life.

I remember there being days that I would say things like, "Why me?".

And the occasional, "I didn't sign up for this!"

On one particular night, I had had enough.

We were on our way to a concert 2 hours away.

And I picked a fight.

Have you ever done that???

I'm sure you haven't.

You are all saints aren't you?

Well, sometimes, I fall off the pedestal a little.

Don't be so shocked.

I'm still sporting a halo 99.9% of the time.

But this one time, it fell a little bit.

And yes, I picked a knock down, drag out, good-old-fashioned-screaming-match-fight in a car where Techy and I were both trapped for several more hours/minutes.

I went through every range of emotion there was.

Anger.  Why am I going through so much crap?

Discontentment. Why do I have to deal with all this?

Loneliness.  Why am I all alone?

Guilt.  I shouldn't be feeling this way, but....

Homesickness.  At the heart of it all, I just wanted things to go back to the way they were.

And I bottled up all those feelings, and spit them all out in one extremely hurtful statement -


And not just from the concert...

After which, we sat in stony silence for the rest of the trip.

We pulled into the parking lot, and we tried to pull it all together.

Act like we liked each other....

To make matters worse, we were late to the concert.

We were both miserable.

We got out of the car, made our apologies, and put our game faces on.

But as we walked into the outdoor arena where the music was blaring over the loudspeakers, my emotions were ROLLING.

And then I heard it.

I think, we all know that music speaks to me....

And this was no exception.

Because the first words I heard as we walked into that concert were:

"Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city"

Not at home.

Not in my comfort zone.

Not where I wanted to be.

But right where I was.

And that was the day that I realized something.

Contentment is not about being where you want to be.

Contentment is about being where you are supposed to be.

That night I made a commitment.

A commitment to love the place where I was at for as long as God had me there.

And for the next 4.5 years, I did just that.

I committed to that place.

Until the day that God moved us.

And some days I still long for that place.

Because after 6.5 years, it was comfortable.

It was home.

It was normal.

And now, some people look at us and think we are the craziest people in the world.

Some people look at what we've been through in the last year and a half and think, why on earth would you ever do that?

Why would you leave everything you have established together and move 800 miles away to something you don't know?

But that night changed alot for me.

It shook me to my core.

Because that night was the night that I learned that joy is tied to contentment.

Not happiness.

For any of you who may be wondering through your own darkness, I feel your pain.

I've been there.

You aren't alone.

And just so you know...greater things have yet to come!

Believe it with me.

Fire on The Mountain


This weekend we went to Virginia to to celebrate my Dad's birthday.

Now, you should know, I am a great daughter.

Quite possibly the best.

You aren't surprised, right?

However, I'm pretty sure my sister will beg to differ with me on this one.

And you should know, I can often be the very worst gift giver on the planet.

For instance.  

This year, for his birthday, I bought my dad 2 new dress shirts with matching neck ties.

Tell me this.

What 50+ man wants new dress shirts and neck ties for his birthday?

EVEN IF he asks for them.

We all know those things are just list fillers.

But I went and got them for him.

While my sister got  him a new badge wallet (Dad is a retired police officer) and my brother got him a flame thrower.

Maybe I should say that again...


Neck tie.

neck tie.


Believe me, I don't blame him.

I mean, Id' rather have a flame thrower too.

It's like Kanye vs. Kris Humphries.

There's just no doubt about which one you want to be your baby daddy.


Why do I know this crap?

Or a wallet for that matter.

But under these circumstances, some quick thinking was necessary on my part if I was going to give my Dad something he has always dreamed of.

Which led to me sweet talking Dad into taking all of us kids shooting.

As if it took much effort at all....



My dad is a loyal NRA member.

And yet, this hasn't happened in years.  

And I mean, like decade-years.

Dad absolutely lit up like a Christmas tree.

Within the hour, we were at the range with every handgun we own.

And we all got a turn...

My sister in law...

My brother in law...

My sister...



Unfortunately, there are no pics of my brother and/or my dad shooting.

But I promise they did.


Until it started snowing.

And then we all just wimped out.

Or we ran out of ammo.


But here's proof that we survived.

Because the real kicker is...

The guns we used DIDN'T KILL ANYONE.

And my dad didn't stop smiling for HOURS.


(Full Disclosure: We may or may not be rednecks at heart.  And we may or may not have gone home and watched hours of Duck Dynasty.  Feel free to judge us.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Locked Up

Once upon a time, there was a 31 year old woman...

Sitting in the back seat of a minivan...

Watching Veggie Tales and trying to hear what the adults were saying up front.

(Not much has changed in the past 20 years.)

But on this one, very special occasion, this had been going on for more than an hour and two whiny toddlers were between the woman and the Veggie Tales AND the adults.

To say she was bored is to say that Kim Kardashian was just kinda over her marriage to Kris Humphreys....

(Remember that?!?!  REMEMBER when Kim Kardashian was married for a month and filed for divorce??)

Which leads me to wonder...did she just pick him out because of the K name?

And is that why she's with Kanye now?

And why do I know any of this???

My point, of course, is that she was really, really bored.

And if you have ever been trapped strapped in the back end of a minivan with only toddlers and a toddler dvd between you and the nearest adult, you probably know that entertainment is hard to come by.

And if your cell phone is dead, it is even harder to come by.

Meaning, you, inevitably, will start counting the cold, curly french fries scattered on the seat around you....

Or you will start playing with leftover Happy Meal Toys.

And if you are really desperate, you may (but you shouldn't) stick your hands into the pockets and cubbies and cupholders around you, trying to make the time pass.

But chances are, you will never end up in the situation that this lady ended up in last week....

Because, chances are, most of you don't have a police officer for a brother in law.

And if you do, chances are, his 5 year old hasn't tucked away an old pair of his on-duty handcuffs to play with on long car rides.

And if, by chance, this scenario presents itself to you, the next few words I am about to say may save you untold embarrassment:

Do not...

Yes, you may believe them to be toy handcuffs.

But I caution you to take a moment and feel the weight of them, before letting your instinct override the situation.

Because you could easily end up like this...


With every adult in sight laughing at you.

And most of the toddlers as well.

What's worse?

You may come to realize that your only way out is to drive until you see a police car and then beg him to unlock you.

Or in this case, drive to the school where my her mother works, and have her page the School Resource Officer, while you stand in the principle's office waiting.

And hope no one asks you to explain how you came to have police grade handcuffs on your wrist.

Not that this has ever happened to any one I know, mind you....

You can thank me later.