Friday, December 31, 2010

Finding a New “Normal”

So, life sans-meds is different. But we probably knew that already, right? Right. But I guess maybe I had a little notion in the back of my head that I would be magically cured once I made it past the withdrawals and initial adjustment. A completely false idea, but I must have been harboring that hope. I think that’s why I’ve been so frustrated lately.

You see, I have this tendency to be perfectionistic (no shock to my family, I’m sure), as well as being pretty self-conscious about… well, everything. My husband has been reminding me that I need to cut myself some slack. He’s always telling me to stop being so hard on myself. But sometimes I feel almost incapable of that. It’s as though I want to stop my constant worrying and self-deprecating thoughts… but can’t shut them off. And so, I feel “crazy” (for lack of a better word). And then that, of course, leads me into the thoughts that I am not able to cope without medication. And I spiral from there.

I apologize, I didn’t intend for this to be a “depressing” post, by any means. Just a sharing of what’s been in my (crazy) head lately. And to share so as to relate/encourage others going through the same thing. Because here’s the truth: I am not crazy. I can cope without medication. And I already have the victory – because Christ won it for me.

So, as I exit 2010 and enter 2011… I know I’ll continue to find that new “normal” for me (without meds) because…

“…Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:57-58
To read more of the story of my start of life without meds… go here and here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Arrivals

After MUCH stress and debate (with myself) I finally ordered some new jewelry storage items. We're planning a new shelving unit/vanity in our bedroom (still only in planning phase). So, I decided to downsize my jewelry (I may have been was hoarding things from high school that I NEVER wear) and I decided to part with my standing jewelry box that was taking up a lot of space.

Currently, the small amount of jewelry I kept is taking up residence on top of a small bookshelf in our bedroom. Yeah, not so pretty right now. But in anticipation of these new shelves and a possible vanity area for me (finally!) I thought I'd look for things I would really like, would go well in the room, and I would (obviously) be able to get good use out of.

Enter Urban Outfitters. *rousing applause* I caught a peek a very cute jewelry stand in Lucky Magazine from UO (that I love, but wasn't EXACTLY what I needed), and decided to check out what else they had to offer. Short story: It's amazing! I loved nearly all the jewelry storage I saw... which is why I say there was much stress and debate. I had a heckuva time deciding... and my hubby refused to give a deciding vote ;P  In fact, I just now clicked the "Order" button... (after weeks of NOT ordering because I couldn't decide) and couldn't wait to share with all of you!

So, without further ado... my picks.

(I ordered two)

And now... I just have to wait for them to GET here!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Driving Duties

It's almost my drive. You remember when you were a young teen? Not quite 16 and DYING to drive? Yeah, me too. Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom being able to drive brings. But on long trips like this, I don't think it'd be terrible to NOT be allowed to drive. ;)

Please don't misunderstand. My husband is amazing and drives the majority of the 10 hours to Oklahoma City. He's a rock. I usually only drive the last couple of hours. But it usually dawns on me right before I'm about to take over the wheel that I missed my chance to nap. Not every time. But this time....yeah. I was playing with the iPad and not napping. (and taking care of munchkins, too, of course) Oops!

Don't worry. I'll down some (more) caffeine and we'll be good to go. (and then maybe I'll get to nap in OKC)

Location:On the Kansas Turnpike

Blogging On the Road

So, this is my first attempt at blogging while traveling. My husband's friend, Joe, who runs is testing/reviewing the iPad for his site and being the nice guy that he is - he lent it to us to try out.

That's right folks, I'm sending you this blog from somewhere in Kansas, via iPad. Yes, so far, I love it. And yes, it's likely I'll "let" my hubby's talk me into buying one when the new ones come out. ;)

The alarm went off at 4am this morning (yes, we're those crazy people) and we were on the road by 5:30. Me, the hubby, 2 boys & 2 dogs in a minivan heading to Oklahoma for Christmas. About an hour into the trip Zack informed us that he "couldn't sit in this seat much longer." Not a great start. But a little while later when we stopped and got them some hashbrowns from McDonald's and turned on Curious George the movie, we were in better shape.

Thank goodness for food and portable DVD players.

Location:I-70 somewhere in Kansas

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Years

Our little Austin turned two this month. I honestly feel like it’s been the fastest two years. We can’t imagine life without our fearless little boy (who gives his big brother a run for his money). He makes us all laugh every day (and sometimes challenges us every minute).
When we first heard he would be born with clubfoot we didn’t know what to do. We were afraid. We were worried. But little did we know that the entire experience would cause us to grow and push us to lean more fully on God. He entrusted us with this sweet boy, and we reaped boundless joy on top of it all.
As parents, we’re usually concerned about what we will teach our children. How we will shape their lives. What we fail to realize sometimes is how much our children teach and shape us. I’m a far different person two years after the birth of our second son – and I’m immeasurably thankful for that. I hope we never brush off how difficult those first few months of Austin’s life were. Even more, I hope we don’t brush off how much we learned and grew during that struggle.
Austin, you won’t read this any time soon – maybe never – but I love you, sweet boy. And I’m so glad God chose me to be your mommy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One of Those Days…

It’s been “one of those days”…
One of those days when you’d rather just stack the dishes “neatly” than actually wash them.
One of those days when you know that if the “Mom of the Year” award was being decided, and your name came up, the committee would laugh at the suggestion – or despairingly roll their eyes.
One of those days when you realize you didn’t eat breakfast, but then figure that saved calories, so you can just have some chocolate at 10am.
One of those days when you know there are chores to be done, but just figuring out which to do first is overwhelming.
One of those days when you long for nap time, but hate yourself for wishing away the day and time with your kids.
One of those days when you’re hit smack in the face with the reality that you CAN’T do it all and you’re not supposed to.
One of those days when you’re forced to fall into God’s arms and surrender.
One of those days when you realize how blessed you are.
(I’ve been having a lot of “those days” lately)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daydreams of a Housewife

As I clean and scrub and organize in my grubby sweats and t-shirt, I'm day-dreaming of cute clothes. And you know what I've discovered? I'm pretty sure that I desperately need jeggings and a pair of Mary Janes. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Baby No More

Our little Austin will be turning two in just a couple of weeks. Un-be-LIEVE-able. (for me anyway) His personality is blooming by leaps and bounds. Frankly, the boy is hilarious. (not that I’m biased or anything) He’s also a liiiiiiiittle bit stubborn. And yes, since you asked (you did, right?) I do have proof.
Austin, like his big brother, loves superheroes. But Austin has decided that there’s just no need to differentiate them all with specific names. Apparently, that’s just wasted energy. Instead, he’s decided to call them all the same thing: Bahm-Bahm.

This includes Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man – any of those heroic ‘man’ guys. At first, we thought he was trying to say Batman – and MAYBE that was true, but he’s now decided that that’s just fine to use for any old guy with super powers.
So, in the case of “Is Austin Heilman Stubborn or Not?” I give you…
Exhibit A.

And, Exhibit B.

(Notice his facial expressions in both videos? Highly annoyed with us trying to ‘convince’ him he’s saying it wrong.)
I believe the evidence speaks for itself.

Case closed.

It's All in the Interpretation...

Zack: "Mommy, look at my picture!"

Mommy: "Oh, very nice, Buddy. Who is it?"

Zack: "It's YOU with your curly hair!"

Mommy: "Oh, I see!"

*Zack pauses, looks at the picture, then back at Mommy*

Zack: "It kind of looks like a mane. Sorry about that."

*Mommy stifles laughter*

Mommy: "That's ok, Buddy. I love it."

*Zack smiles*

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life Lessons

I tend to learn things - or have realizations about things – while I’m doing something else. I guess sometimes I need time to process, or maybe I just have a strange mind. (pretty sure that’s it).
Whatever the case may be, I thought I’d start a little series on the blog of things I’ve learned…life lessons, if you will. So to start things off…
Things I’ve Learned While…Running.
  • Feel pain? Keep moving. It’ll go numb eventually. (except if it doesn’t go numb. Then stop. ;P)
  • Your body can adapt to nearly anything – including running (or doing any activity) in hot or cold weather. Don’t use weather as an excuse, but don’t except to adapt overnight. Give it time.*
  • Somehow, wearing running tights in public isn’t indecent. (and I’m no longer self-conscious about wearing them!) But wearing legging as ‘pants’ is wrong. Don’t do it. Please.
  • Listening to my favorite podcast** on headphones, in public frequently leads to me looking like a crazy person. (i.e. Laughing/Snorting at inopportune moments)
  • Having someone to share a hobby with (in this case, a running buddy) is a giant blessing. (Shout out to my running buddy and sis-in-law, Amber! LOVE you!)
  • Going solo is also good to do sometimes. Don’t be afraid to be on your own occasionally.
  • I do not know how to properly “hock a lugee” (my attempts usually end with spit on my face or – if the wind’s blowing – on the side of my head. It ain’t pretty.)
  • There IS such a thing as a "runner's high" and it's AWESOME. (seriously)
  • I can’t smell myself when I “stink” after working out. (also, my hubby won’t tell me I smell bad, but WILL tell others.)
  • You CAN accomplish things you never thought possible. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Note that it says ALL things, not SOME things or a FEW things. ALL THINGS! Take it to heart.
So, that’s a longer list than I originally intended, but I guess I learned more since I started this whole running thing than I thought. Like the new series idea? Let me know and we’ll see if I can cook up any more tidbits. (though I know I can’t dish out the wisdom quite like the McElroy brothers.)
*I NEVER thought I’d be able to run in cold weather. I’m now DOING it. Unbelievable.
** “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” is only for those with a VERY healthy sense of humor.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ye Olde Birthday

Remember awhile back when I said something about a birthday…a kinda biggish one? Well, it came and went during my recent absence from the blog. And who turned 30? THIS gal.
The final decision for the big three-oh party was a gathering for some bowling, followed by some delish pizza, cake and party games.
I was excited to gather with both sides of my fam and do a little bowling. My hubby and my dad were kind enough to catch some photos for me.
Zack was VERY excited to go bowling (he was also under the impression I was having a costume party. We just let him go with that…)
Impeccable form…
Austin’s favorite thing: The claw machine. (he ended up with more than a dozen of those little things!)
He also tried a little bowling…
…and was obviously pretty impressed with himself.
It was fun to get to see everyone play…
And I definitely need to work on my form, but I had a lot of fun!
After a couple of games, we all went over to my in-law’s house for pizza (including SUPREME, which I LOVE but never get to have – due to the picky-eaters in my house) and a delicious custom cake from Hy-Vee (marble cake with bavarian cream filling – YUM!)
I also was blessed with some awesome gifts from my family. I won’t bore you with all the repetitive pics of me opening presents… but when a gift is wrapped in a giant ball of aluminum foil, it’s less boring to see being unwrapped. (thanks, Jordan) So, here ya go…
We also got to play an awesome new game called “Start the Party.” It’s a game for the Playstation Move (which is a recent purchase for us). We rented the game, and had a blast getting to play it with everyone. It certainly lives up to its name!
Zack warmed up the crowd…
…and pretty soon everyone was joining in.
My brother, Jake.
My brother-in-law, Jordan.
My brother-in-law, Jared.
My sister-in-law, Amber (contemplating her next move).
Even my mother-in-law!
I, of course, dominated the competition. (not really)
I had an awesome party and am SO thankful to my amazing husband who took care of all the details and let me just relax and enjoy it all.
And, as for 30? So far, it’s not so bad. ;)

Experiments in Fashion

Ok, I’ve once again slacked off on the blogging. I apologize. Truly, I’m sorry for disappearing again – but there have been other things that ranked higher on the priority list, and I had to let the blog slide. I guess I can’t be sorry for that. My family has to come first… even if my blog is mostly about my family.
At any rate, I’ve still be living and stressing and coping and thriving. I just haven’t been blogging about it. Today, I’ll attempt to do a little catching up – and I do hope to be a bit more regular than I have been. (Ok, we all know I’ve said that before, but let’s just stay in the moment, shall we)
So, I told you before I’ve been adding a few new ideas/items to my wardrobe recently. Thanks to inspiration and ideas from some awesome fashion bloggers (You *must* check out Kendie, Bethany & Jill. Really, MUST) I’ve tried to break out of my little comfort zone (not all at once, mind you. But little by little) and try a few things I wouldn’t have before.
Case in point today (or actually Wednesday) is this little get-up.
I love how the previously mentioned ladies use belts in so many different ways – and I love a good belt – but I’ve always been unsure of how to wear them. Or a little uncomfortable wearing them, to be honest. So recently, I’ve been trying out this concept… and love it. Now, I’m still a little unsure about this particular outfit… but I was happy that I made it out of the house in it and didn’t chicken out.
I’ve tried a couple other “belted” outfits, but I didn’t get pics of them, of course. It should be noted, I feel SUPER awkward taking outfit pics… and since I make my hubby take them, I feel even MORE awkward. And wouldn’t you know it, I also LOOK awkward. (as seen above)
I should also mention how much I love open-front cardigans (so this post doesn’t end up just about belts). I could wear them EVERY day, I think. I just adore them. (which I guess is why I’m continually tempted to buy more of them).
Ok, for what’s it’s worth… Here are the outfit details:
Open front cardigan: Old Navy, $15 (sale + coupon)
Tshirt: Old Navy, $3 (I think) (sale + coupon)
Levi Skinny jeans: Kohls, $30 (coupon - bought with bday money – more than I’d usually spend!)
Boots: Younkers, $30 (sale last season)
Belt: GoodWill, $1.50

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Favorites: Oversized Sweater

So, I’ve been looking for ways to changes things up on the blog, and incorporate some new ideas. This will be my first real attempt at that – although I’m still working on some formatting ideas.
Sure, you probably couldn’t tell, but I’m drawn to fashion. Not HIGH fashion as much as PRACTICAL fashion. I LOVE things that are hip and in-style, but I NEED things that work with my day-to-day life – otherwise, I never get to wear them. And where’s the fun in owning clothes you never get the chance to wear? (Nwhere, that’s where. I’ve been there, done that!) So, I’ve been working to incorporate more pieces into my wardrobe that are functional, and fashionable. (and let’s just add COMFORATABLE in there, as well) I thought maybe I’d share some of my new favorite things with all of you, and see what you think – and maybe inspire you to give something new a try. So, here we go!
One of the things I picked up recently, was an oversized sweater that I’m just crazy about. (and I got it on SALE!) It’s so comfy and PERFECT for fall, and I think it looks great with a pair of skinny jeans and boots! (plus I think it could absolutely work with a pair of cute flats, too). Something that’s versatile, comfy AND cute? Couldn’t pass it up. (and did I mention it was on sale?)
Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like it’s a look that’s “put together” and I also get to feel snug and cozy at the same time. That’s a giant win-win for me.
Sweater, Gap - $20
Tank top, Forever 21, $3.50
Skinny Jeans, Old Navy - $29
Boots, Younkers, $30 (on sale last season!)
So, let me know what you think of this new idea for posts! (unless you hate it, then maybe just don’t tell me ;P)

And Then There Were Two

Remember when I said I wanted to run another 5k? Did you believe me? Be honest. You thought I’d slack off, right? It’s ok. I forgive you for doubting me. (I’m kidding! I’ve been humbled by all your support!)
Well, 5k #2 was on October 9th in Iowa City, and it was awesome. Even more awesome was the cause I was running for – raising funds and awareness for clubfoot research. Of course, you’ve read the last post and know all about why it’s a cause that’s personal to my husband and myself. So this particular race held a special place in my heart.
My hubby and I turned the roadtrip into a mini-getaway for the two of us. My awesome mother-in-law stayed with the boys, and Josh and I headed out the night before the race. We headed over to the University of Iowa campus to pick up my race packet and then went to our hotel. I had looked for one that would be a little different and fun. I didn’t even guess how “different” it was going to be. Turns out, the whole place was “themed.” And the decor? Well, it was entertaining. ;)
The sign on the door to our suite…
View from our balcony over the indoor pool and restaurant area.
Portrait of a knight (of course).
View of our room. The loft suite. The bed is upstairs.
We forgot to get a picture of the “stained glass windows” (as they’re advertised) that were actually regular windows with tape on them in the shape of diamonds… Yes, really. Don’t get me wrong, it was clean and nice – but the themed stuff just made us laugh!
The next morning, we headed over to campus and met up with my sister-in-law, Amber, who ran with me.
(Be warned, the following pictures feature me in running tights – I apologize in advance)
I made a pin to wear during the race. I wanted to have Austin close to my heart while I ran.
Austin Pin
Amber and I warming up after hearing from a couple of the doctors from the clinic and Dr. Ponseti’s sweet widow.
A view of registration and the inside of the UI Recreation Building.
Ready to Run!
Herky and the cheerleaders came out to cheer us on.
And we’re off!
And here we come around the bend to the finish!
And we even had enough energy for a little ‘jump for joy’ before we crossed the finish line ;)
We actually improved our time by about 30 seconds from our first 5k. I was especially happy with that because I’d been incredibly sick just before this race and hadn’t been able to run for 2 weeks. I got a couple runs in before race day, but was worried I’d be really slow. But we did well! And even had to truck up some serious hills in this run!
After the race…Amber was ravenous. ;)
Post race. Feeling great!
So, 5k #2 is in the bag! What’s next, you ask? Well… 5k #3 is THIS Saturday! Look for me at Race for the Cure in Des Moines! :)