Monday, November 17, 2014


And I'm back.  Sort of.

I know it has been forever and I know I need to post an update on the kids and all the goings on in our lives.  I promise I will, but this post is for another reason.

Many of you may know that I have recently become very interested in yoga (obsessed would probably be what Justin told you.)  I love it so much, and for more than just the physical work out, that I decided to pursue my yoga teacher training this summer.  It was one of the best experiences I have had.  I has changed me as a person and grown my personal practice tremendously.  I love that yoga is about more than just the physical poses. It's about learning about yourself and being mindful and present in all aspects of your life at all times.  It's about breathing and meditation and most importantly to me, community and support.

After I finished my teacher training, I took a continuing education course for work to begin to pursue my specialization in women's health and pelvic floor.  I especially want to work towards a specialization in perinatal health.  I truly love this time in my life (pregnancy, labor, babies, kids). I am so passionate about helping ladies in this time of their life find community and support, especially when they are down or in need of that community of women in similar situations.

Prenatal yoga is what initially got me interested in yoga over 4 years ago.  If you have been following my blog from the beginning, after finding out we were surprisingly pregnant with Kayla and not being completely overjoyed at the thought, you know that prenatal yoga really helped me through my pregnancy by keeping my active and giving me a community of other pregnant mommies who were in similar situations.

I want to share yoga and what yoga has done for me with everyone around me.  I cannot wait to start teaching yoga, but I am especially passionate about prenatal yoga teacher training.  I have felt my whole life that I have a general idea of what I love and want to do, but I've always felt somewhat lost on what I TRULY wanted.  I feel like over the last year, deciding to pursue Women's Health Physical Therapy and with the introduction of yoga into my life, the path of my life has finally been set before me.  And I really want to start walking that path.  But I need some help!

My birthday and Christmas are both coming up.  I've done some research and found a certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training program that I really want to pursue.  I've figured out a way I can help the instructors out and get a slight discount on the price of the program, but I still need some help with the cost.  It's going to end up being around $1500 for me to start my journey towards what I believe is my calling.  If you feel like donating, giving me a small gift for my birthday or Christmas, or maybe you want me to teach you yoga (I totally will), please click the button below to donate as much or as little as you wish!!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this little old blog!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Household Update

So I took Brody to his 18 month check up last week so I figured it was time to actually post instead of just saying I would.  So here's a semi quick update on the Hales' Household:

Kayla: 3 years + 2 months

Height: About 5-6 inches taller than Brody I think (however his measurement was likely off...see below) so I'm guessing around 3' 4".

Weight: Hovering around 30 pounds and not eating that well lately...she's still a peanut.

Likes: Frozen, movies, coloring, writing her letters and numbers, "reading" (a.k.a. reciting books she's memorized), Mommy, her friends "Sydney and Sara" which she states every time something starts with the letter "s", asking what every word starts with, writing words we help her spell, singing any song she can remember especially songs from Frozen and the Sound of Music, airplanes, baby dolls, Barbies, the swings

Dislikes: Sometimes Daddy (and Mommy), listening to directions, sitting down on chairs/couches, standing still, being dropped off a school, when you don't give her hugs and kisses when she wants them, when you try to give her hugs and kisses when she doesn't, trying new things (food, the dentist, swim lessons, etc...)

This kid has been a breeze so far, but the 3's are turning out to be no fun.  Everyone is right, three year olds ARE assholes.

Brody: 18.5 months

Height: 34" although this is probably wrong as he was ridiculously fussy and he is insanely strong therefore impossible to straighten out enough to measure accurately.

Weight: 26 pounds 10 ounces (my hefty boy)

Likes: Mommy, Daddy to put him to bed (ALLELUIA), music/singing/dancing, swinging, slides, running, climbing, jumping on anything and everything, being obstinate, his tiger/paci, giving hugs and kisses, cars, things that move, balls, food, milk, technology (don't even THINK about taking the phone or the note away from him), movies especially ones with music, blowing his nose, reading especially Brown Bear and Hippopposites, bathtime

Dislikes: sometimes waking up from naps/bed, getting in the car, sitting down, being told what to do, getting his diaper changed, everything noted above under "likes" at certain times, being hungry, going to bed

Overall, he's a really happy kid.  But when he's not, it's like the exorcist.  God help me.

Mom and Dad Hales: 364 and 379 months respectively

Height: 5'9" (on the roster), 6'4"

Weight: decreasing since starting to use our fitbits and eating out less.  Back to meal planning

Likes: Our kids (most of the time), each other (most of the time), our jobs (most of the time)
           Mom: yoga, photography, reading, tv, movies, volleyball, alone time in the shower (that can be construed as dirty but it's definitely not)
           Dad: relaxing, the time after this kids go to bed, figuring out/fixing house situations without anyone else's help (backup sump pump anyone), watching sports when he has the chance

Dislikes: our debt (all of the time), when our kids don't sleep (all of the time)

Basically we are all doing great.  We've made it through the winter without any serious sickness (at least for the kids) and have come out of this Polar Vortex alive.

I've slowed down on my photography.  I still love it, but it's not at the top of my want to do list anymore.  I still want to take photos of my kids but it's not as important to me that they are "good" anymore.  I love yoga and am hoping to pursue that in the future as it's up my ally and it relates to my job.  I love my job and am starting to work a few more hours a week to help us start paying down our debt.  We are reading/read Dave Ramsey's book and we are on the bandwagon.  We have a plan and are "gazelle intense" to pay off some of this stuff so we can live a bit better and easier.  Overall, we are great.  I am going to try to get back to posting, just know that pictures may not always be involved at this point.  It takes to much time and effort to take/edit a ton of photos.

I'm going to try to update on our progress with Dave Ramsey's plan, our meal planning and I've been contemplating a every Monday post "The Happenings at the Hales'" with some weekly iphone photo updates and meal ideas.  Anyways, sorry for the radio silence...again.

Happy Monday!

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Special Connections

Anyone with kids notice that they have a special connection with a member of your family early on?  I realize that some of this may be who they see the most, but even beyond that I see something special with Brody and my dad.

Honestly, I'm not even sure how to describe it.  My dad is a pretty awesome guy, but he's a lot of business and only a little bit of fun. Well, I guess he is a lot of fun too, but he comes off as all business, not something kids warm up to really quickly.  But Brody loves him.  He is not shy at first when he sees him (which is usually is with people).  He gets excited and says "Papa" when I mention my dad.  I think if I lined a bunch of people up in chairs, Brody would run to my dad to have him pick him up.  I've been noticing this subtly recently, and then I captured some of these photos on Christmas Eve that kind of solidified it for me.  I mean, I think my dad was just sitting there minding his own business despite the semi craziness around him and Brody was kinda fussy because it was nap time or close to it.  So he just grabbed his pacifier, his tiger lovey and went right to my dad.

And then this happened when we went to visit my dad at his new office.  (This happened BEFORE my dad got back to his BRAND NEW office/desk from his meeting.) He climbed up there himself.

Anyways, I love seeing my kids have connections with my family and Justin's family, because family is so important to me.  Every time, my heart grows 2 sizes I swear.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Big Milestone

I realized this week that a large reason why I keep this blog is as a sort of digital scrapbook of sorts.  So I can remember the milestones and the memories and look back on my kids little lives.  So we are still decided on getting rid of cable right now, but either way, no more TV during the day for me, back to blogging, learning to sew, photography, etc.  I'm looking forward to spring.

Anyways, back on track.  Kayla has hit a pretty big milestone I think.  I'm not sure if this is early or late and frankly I don't really care because I love that she can do this so much.

She can officially write her name.  On her own.  Without any help.  On Tuesday, at school, they have a sheet where the kids can "sign in" themselves by writing their names in little boxes.  She was so excited to show me when I picked her up on Tuesday.  Now she wants to write her name in everyone's little box.  I didn't get a photo at school, but I took some photos of her writing at home.

She also loves to write Daddy, Papa, Lolo and Brody.  She sometimes writes Mommy or Meme, but I think she's still working on M's.  She always asks me to write all family members names so she can trace them and try to write them herself.  I'm so proud.  She even writes things backwards, which I'm sure might be sort of normal, but I think it's awesome and hilarious.  Wasn't there a famous person who wrote from right to left? Oh yes, Leonardo da Vinci.  She's my own little da Vinci.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Time Consuming.

T.V. is so time consuming for me. Especially right now with the Olympics. I'm like an Olympics junkie. I love every single second of the Olympics. I love all the sports in both winter and summer. I will watch whatever is on. I love the opening ceremonies, watching all the athletes walk in, imaging how that would feel, learning about the host country through beautiful artistic elements. I love learning about the athletes and their stories. I love Mary Carillo. I'm invested and I feel for the athletes.  I. Love. Every. Second. I eat it up. I would stay up all night for 2.5 weeks to watch every second of every sport.

Alas, I don't and I can't. But my point is this: I've been getting little else done with the Olympics on t.v. And next week when they are over, we are getting rid of our cable. To save money and so we can do swim lessons with the kids. Priorities. And I think it will be good for me.  We mostly watch stuff on network t.v. anyways so we will figure things out.

After t.v. is gone, and the Olympics are over, I will hopefully be blogging more since I'll have more time on my hands (lol probably not as much as I'm imagining.)

Anyways, back to the holiday post part 1 I am WAY behind on. We spent Christmas Eve as I have always remembered it, at my maternal grandparents' house with that side of my family. It wasn't anything special but was so nice. Christmas was extra fun this year with 3 little kiddos running around, especially an almost 3 year old who had to be convinced to open ALL of the presents without playing with anything first.

Enjoy some photos from Christmas Eve...Christmas day coming soon.

Also, this Christmas was a significant step up from last Christmas where Kayla got literally everybody sick.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

On Being Overdue...

No not me.  :)

My little sister is due with her second baby any day now.  I'm so excited for her and everything ahead, but she was technically due on the 12th (2 days ago).  Her first, my nephew Liam, was 6 days early so I think she is just a little anxious that this little one isn't here yet.  I've been reflecting back on my days of being overdue (8 total over 2 pregnancies) and trying to think of what to say to her to make her feel better.  Then I realized, you can't say anything really to make a overdue very pregnant lady feel any better.

So instead I'm making a list of things people say to ladies who are overdue that are meant to be helpful (or maybe not) that are very much NOT helpful and don't make you feel any better.

  1. "The baby will come out eventually."  Or any variation including, "No woman has been pregnant forever."  Not helpful because it actually does feel like you will be pregnant forever.
  2. "You look like you are going to pop!"  Um, because I am, hopefully soon (and I secretly hope my water breaks right here all over your feet.)
  3. "When are you being induced?" Not making mom feel hopeful about labor without induction...
  4. "Due dates don't mean anything."  Then why the hell do they have them??? :)
  5. "Are you sure you got the dates right?" Pretty sure it's been at least 40 weeks since I got pregnant...
  6. "I bet you are ready to have that baby."  Um duh, have you EVER been pregnant?
  7. "Can you have the baby this weekend (or any day that is convenient for person doing talking." Yes because I'm sure this wait is tough on YOU.
  8. "Bounce on a yoga ball." "Have sex." "Eat spicy food." "Take a long walk." "[This] worked for me." None of these things are magic...except for maybe sex, or spicy good, or 
  9. Daily texts/messages "Have that baby yet?"  Sorry about my husband on this one Lauren.
  10. "How are you feeling."  Anxious, stressed, tired, fat, shitty, ready, irritated, a million other crappy sensations.
  11. "Sleep now, before the baby comes."  Anyone that says this has never been very pregnant, because Lord knows you sleep like crap when you are very pregnant anyways.  I remember thinking it was God's way of preparing you for a baby.  Then I actually felt MORE rested when the baby came.
  12. "You don't know the sex? I bet you are ready for that baby to come."  Again, duh.
No words of wisdom Lauren except I'm excited to meet the newest addition to our crazy awesome family.  And I love you. :)

Here is a sneak peeks of some pictures from Christmas time, a few good ones of the little guy that's soon going to be a big brother. 

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Big Plans, Small Successes

I had some really big plans to write thoughtful and well written post on one of the three deeper topics I have my gmail list "Blog Posts" (see I do INTEND to write more, once a week is a start...), but I just came in from shoveling well more than 3 inches of snow that was called for last night during both kids nap time for an hour.  Only to step inside, take off my snow gear, and hear the freakin' plow FINALLY come to plow the street and promptly blow another 2 inches of snow BACK ONTO MY DRIVEWAY.  Curse words, curse words, curse words.  I even shoveled INTO the street to try to help and avoid this.  More freakin' curse words.

Anyways, I'm tired and I don't want to write a deep post while I'm tired.  So I will leave you with some not so great photos I took of the kids before Christmas.  I tried to get some Christmas light bokeh pictures, but the kids weren't really cooperating.  But the next day I got some cute ones of the two of them.  I'm still trying to figure out clean's not really working too great but what can you do.  I'm thinking I'm going back to the Aperture setting instead of just works better for me, especially inside during the winter.  Maybe I'll be back to manual when I'm back outside.

Anyways, here's some photos, and I DO have plans for more posts.  A list even.  And I think Sundays are going to be my phone dump/things I'm loving post days to get some photos off of my phone. :)

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Brody is never too interested in sitting where I want him to.

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Daddy is pretty cooperative

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Both kids are pretty cooperative when it comes to sitting with Mommy.

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Kayla did NOT want to sit with Daddy.

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Kayla took this...she's quite the little photographer.

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Little hands helping me.

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Much better mood.

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Fish kisses

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This series of photos is called "Kayla cheesing for the camera, Brody playing peek-a-boo with the camera"

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These eyelashes...

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