Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ode To Elle

It's my sweet Elle's 9th Birthday Today!
I can't believe how fast time has gone.

I've told my story before, but I will tell it again.

We tried for almost 4 years to get pregnant with Elle and after a lot of failed fertility treatments it finally happened...we were pregnant.  We were so excited.
We found out our baby was a girl on Daves birthday and I couldn't have been more thrilled.  I wanted a girl so bad.  We knew we would name her Elle.

At week 28 I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and ordered to bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Let's face it, it was horrible.  My blood pressure was sky high so my doctor admitted me to the hospital.  He was just going to keep me in the hospital until my due date (I was 35 weeks) but decided that he needed to induce me anyway.
So the next day they started me into labor.  Well my labor was slow but painful.  So they decided to give me my epidural early.  It was bliss.
BUT come 8:00pm it was wearing off and I could feel the contractions on my left side and the self doses weren't working.  So I called the nurse in and the anesthesiologist came in to give me more medication.

The anesthesiologist gave me a direct dose into the line as well as filled the bag with the epidural medication and left.  The nurse was checking my vitals when my ears went funny.  That is the only way I can describe it is that my ears were funny.  Now in the meantime Dave had left the room to go get a snack and so it was just me and my Mom.  I was getting dizzy so I closed my eyes and said to my mom "My ears are funny."  At that point my mom came over and held my hand.  When I went to tell my mom I was dizzy I couldn't breath.  So I whispered to her "I can't breath."  It felt like I was breathing out of a straw.  I couldn't talk or breath I said it again.  The nurse said "if you're talking you're breathing."  I'll never forget that because I wasn't doing either very well at that point.  Then knowing my mom would believe me I opened my eyes, looked her in the eyes and lipped to her "I can't breath."  For a split second I thought "don't close your eyes, if you close your eyes you will never wake up again."  But I couldn't help it.  At that point my eyes rolled back in my head and I flat-lined.  Elle's heart rate dropped off and I was gone.
As Dave walked back into the room he saw the nurse on top of me bagging me as they were running down the hall.
They called a code blue and rushed me in to the O.R. to get the baby out.
The hooked me up to machines to keep me breathing as they waited for a few moments for the doctor to arrive.  My doctor was at his office which was 15 minutes away when he got the call that his patient was unresponsive.  He has said that he will never forget how fast he drove.  He made it to the hospital in 4 minutes to attend to me.
Once the doctor got there they had Elle out in 45 seconds.  Elle wasn't breathing and they had to hook her up to a brief machine too.  But she came around quick but they had to keep her on oxygen.  She then developed pneumonia.
I don't remember what was going on around me because well I wasn't there really, but I remember what my spirit felt and my thoughts.  I remember praying to God "please don't let me die." and then the moment I said that I remember saying "how selfish of me. Okay God, if it's the only way Elle can live then she can take my place."  When I woke up in the O.R. I thought I had died.  But realized that I didn't.  I am so grateful to God for sparing my life so I can be a mother.
The doctor said it was a miracle that I came around so fast.
Apparently the reason the nurse thought I was okay was because she didn't know what to look for.  They had only heard of my situation happening but it was so rare that they had never seen it happen before.
Elle weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces but quickly dropped in 12 hours to 4 pounds 5 ounces.  They were going to life-flight her to a Primary Children's Hospital, but she had a turn around and they decided to keep her.  She was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks.   I got to hold Elle 4 days after she was born.  We brought her home on oxygen and she was so tiny.  I was so scared.
Although this is a frightening story I know it was supposed to happen to me.  I was supposed to learn from it.  Because of this I know that I am so grateful to be a mother, I am so grateful for the little moments in our lives.  I treasure every stage of my girls and I am honored to be given the gift of life so I can raise my girls.

Elle is extremely sentimental.  She doesn't want to grow up.  And truth be told....I don't want her to either.  Last night as I was tucking her in and saying her prayers with her she said to me..."Mom, this is my last night being 8.  I'm afraid I'll forget all my memories of what it was like to be 8".  She cried.  She doesn't want to grow up.  I honestly think it's because she is so pure and kind that she sees the heartache in the world and doesn't want to face it.

My Elle is an angel and a true blessing to us.  I couldn't be more honored to be her mother.

Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet girl.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Travel Plans

We have been seriously blessed with such great fortune over the last few years.

I am so blessed to have a business that allows us to be able to travel and enjoy things in life that we never thought we would be able to do.

I am excited in October to be able to once again take my family to Maui to spend 10 days.
We will be staying in the same beautiful condo (or one in the same resort) as we did last time.
I am so blessed to have clients all over and to be able to travel to photograph them.
I also feel richly blessed to be able to mentor photographers too.  I will be doing some mentoring sessions while we are in Hawaii as well.

I have to thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the ability to do these things.
I can't wait for what the rest of the year brings us!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Catching Up.

So I have a lot of catching up to do.

In April we went to Disneyworld.
We took my parents with us and then my little sister and her family decided to go with us too.  It was fun to have them all there.
We stayed at the Disney's Old Key West resort in a Villa.  It was super nice and oodles of fun.
We went to the different parks every day we were there.  We got the Disney Dining plan so we took full advantage of all the yummy eats.  We made sure to do several Character Dinners/Lunches/Breakfast.  It was a ball.  I gained 4 pounds in 1 week.  It took about 2 weeks to get off those 4 pounds.

But we had a blast!

I had my 3rd Photography Retreat June 3-7th in Salt Lake City and it was a blast.  I rented a beautiful home downtown Salt Lake City and had all our meals (besides breakfast) catered.  It was so worth it.
I met some amazing women and I feel so blessed to have them in my life now.

I have been able to get closer with my cousin Kassie who I spent years not knowing and it has been so wonderful.  Kassie came to my photography retreat as she is a photographer too and I feel that we grew closer together because of that.

I turned 32 on June 3rd and I got to celebrate with the women at my retreat.  That was awesome.  They all pitched in and got me the most awesome cake that had a replica (life size) model of my camera on top.  It was amazing.

On June 9th Dave and I celebrated 12 years of being married.  I am so grateful for him.  I am more in love with him now then I have ever been.  I feel so blessed.

Yesterday June 12th, I went back into my surgeon to have a revision of my tummy tuck and a few little touch ups.  My tummy tuck just wasn't as tight as my surgeon or I wanted so he did a revision for me.  So today I am really sore and I kinda just want to crawl into a hole.  HOWEVER Dave and I were looking at before pictures from November and it's amazing the difference.  I am glad I have done it.

Anyway that is my catch up...hopefully I will be better about blogging....but for now I am saying goodnight...I feel my valium kicking in and I might start typing things that could be embarrassing.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A rant on friendship.

It comes at no surprise that I value friendship.  It's something that is very important to me.
Some people once they are grown don't need friends like I need friends.  Some people are perfectly fine and feel that their life is solidified in their family only.  I don't think it's a bad thing for me to say that it's not enough for me.  Now don't get me wrong I love my family 100 million percent but I need to have a social outlet.  I need to have friendships.  However it is kinda sad when you think that you are the only one that feels this way.  And honestly I do feel that I am the only one that puts a lot of weight and thought into friendship.  I say this because 99.9% of the time I am the one that is out seeking friends. I am the one making plans to get together.  I am the one that gets cancelled on.  I pretend it doesn't bother me, but it does.  I don't want to sound mean but I am a busy person.  My business schedule is planned and booked out now till September.  But I leave days open to spend with my family and I leave days open to spend with my friends.  I BLOCK OUT TIME.  So I get really sad and down on myself when I get cancelled on.  In the last month I have planned 10 friend outings and only 1 lunch worked out.  :( .  Now one lunch did get cancelled because Ava was sick and Ava was going to be going with me so that one is on me.
I just wish I didn't put so much weight on friendships so I didn't get my feelings hurt.
Okay end rant.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bad Mom?! Yes I think I am

I think I am a bad mom. NOt for obvious reasons though.  But for reasons that some might think "you're lame" about.

For example, I don't take things serious.
Like homework.  I mean I make Elle do her homework and her reading, and spelling and math...but really sometimes homework doesn't get done until just before bedtime because I have let her play all evening.

My kids are in dance class but they are only in their 2nd year.  I thought I would be the type of mom (since I was a dancer myself) to have my girls in dance the second they were walking...but you know what I'm not.  My kids aren't dance prodigies and it makes me feel like a bad mom.  If I put them in dance when it was 'the thing to do' at age out ....of the womb... maybe they would be amaze-ball dancers...but they aren't...they are just learning.

I let my kids watch TV A LOT!  And honestly I don't care!  They enjoy playing outside and they love to play barbies and dress up and jump on the trampoline (yay warm weather) but if they want to watch Good Luck Charlie, I let them.  According to a lot of people I should limit their TV watching, but I don't....and I'm not to sad about that.  I mean I don't let them rot their brains out...but I sometimes use TV as a babysitter.

If my kids don't want breakfast I don't make them eat it.

I let my kids stay up till 9:00 on a school night and they really don't have a bedtime on a weekend.

If Ava doesn't want to take a bath I don't make her...soon enough she stinks herself out.

My kids have gadgets...lots of gadgets.  And I don't make them earn their gadgets.

I bribe my kids... A LOT.

 I don't say no to a lot of things.  (unless it's going to hurt them, or someone else)

I am a bad mom and I know it.
I want my kids to be kids so that is why I might put off homework till just before bedtime...because I want them to enjoy their childhood playtime.

I want them to enjoy what childhood has to offer. If they want to watch TV, or play on their iPads or stay up late I let them.

I don't want to force them into growing up faster than they have to.

So while many think my way of raising my children makes me a bad mom, I say it lets me enjoy them in the way I know how.  Right now I have Elle's homework sitting next to me and I know she needs to do it, but as I look out the door I see her and Ava and their cousin Alexa dancing and laughing in this blissful spring weather and to me not forcing her to do her homework at a decent hour is just the kind of mom I want to be.  One day I hope my kids reflect back on their childhood with laughter and joy and not memories of a overly stuffy and controlling mom, but they will say to me "you were a good mom"  and I can in the now cherish my kids as what they are... kids.

So if all this makes me a bad mom...I'll take it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Years and years ago my grandpa (my momma's dad) and his sister (my momma's aunt) had a fight/agreement/tiff and stopped talking to each other.  (We are talking 20 nearly 30 years ago)
Well because of this our families never got to know each other.
UNTIL Facebook.
Through Facebook we were reunited with my moms cousin and her darling girls.  We were thrilled.  I vaguely remember one family gathering when we were little and meeting these girls who were me and my sisters ages and then never getting to meet them again.  I remember thinking at the time "cute new friends" (you know I'm all about friends).  But then the falling out happened.
....back to the story... So we reconnected with them through facebook and it has been so wonderful.
We have been able to follow each other on Instagram and Facebook and really start to get to know each other a little bit.
So my sisters and mom and I decided to give my niece Ashlee a bridal shower and we wanted to invite our cousins. SO WE DID!
I can't ever begin to find the words to tell you how amazing it was to hug them and to laugh and to get to know them more.
They seem so much like us.  They laugh at the things we do, they have fun stories and a great sisterhood.
We visited for quite some time and really enjoyed ourselves.
When it was time to say goodbye we vowed we WILL be getting together often to catch up, get to know each other and to right the wrong that our grandparents made.  We love our grandparents dearly we just wish we could have known each other for the past 30 years.  Hopefully our children..this up and coming generation will be friends with their extended family.

I feel so blessed to have them now in my life.  I can feel that our family puzzle is no longer so scattered but coming together in a beautiful way.

What have I learned from this?  (or what can all of us learn) Don't allow a bitter fight/grudge/argument pull apart generations.  You may feel like you're the only who will be hurt but you will hurt your children and their children and you will take away something beautiful from them the chance to get to know those who our Heavenly Father put us together to be a family with.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I used to be funny.

So I was reading old blog posts today...and found myself laughing at my old posts and cringing at the old photography.

I used to be pee your pants funny.  I used to write with oodles of wit.  Now I'm just BLAH!  My stories are still as good I just don't blog them like I used to.

And as my photography goes it's pretty funny too............I look at some of my old stuff and think "what the poo what I thinking?"

So I am going to try to remember to blog the funny things that happen, because honestly my life is pretty funny and remember to never overly edit eyes EVER AGAIN (so grateful I kicked this habit a long time ago)

Okay...I need to go now and think of something funny to blog about. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stress and Shingles

It is no secret that I have been mega stressed lately.  I have been not only burning the candle at both ends but holding the candle over a hot fire....seriously the only thing I can do to stay a float is tread water.  I started getting my papers ready for 2012 taxes and it was so daunting I closed the file and said "LATER".  I start doing laundry and I do one load and I say "LATER".  I find myself saying to my kids "later".  I am treading water here and can't seem to find the shallow end.
This being the case I broke out in a horrible rash and after complaining how much it hurt and how bad it was getting I finally went to the doctor.  The doctor asked me two questions 1. "Did you have chicken pox as a kid?" and 2. "are you stressed". Yes and YES! and she then said in her fabulous Indian accent "You have 'the' shingles."  OH lovely!
So this past week I have been trying to de-stress and I have to say "IT HASN'T WORKED".  I feel like the more I put things on hold the more stressed I become.
So here is where YOU come in.
What are your favorite ways you de-stress?
Because mine are not working.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Be Strong

Today I wanted to blog about a friend of mine.  Her name is Kamille. 

Kamille and I met shortly after I got married and shortly before she got married.  
She was working for Clinique Cosmetics and was my consultant.  I wouldn't let anyone else help me (see that is my loyalty thing) except Kamille.  It didn't matter if I really needed something I would wait until she was working so she could help me. 

Kamille and I were really....REALLY close at one point.  She was there for me at a time when I needed it the most.  Kamille outed me about my {former} eating disorder.  She actually called Doctor Laura.  (Yes..the Dr. Laura) about me.  

Kamille is probably one of the strongest souls I know. 

Kamille is married to her best friend Clint.  Clint served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Brazil prior to them getting married.  While he was there he found out he had bone cancer.  He was sent home to have surgery.  He married Kamille and they have 3 children. 
Clint had been in remission from cancer for 10 or so years. 
In December of 2011 they found his cancer was back.
It was devastating to them. 
Clint underwent surgery to remove the cancer.  There is no treatment for bone cancer other than removal.  It doesn't respond to chemo or radiation. 
They got it all. YAY
Then he went in for his 3 month check up... the cancer had come back in a different spot now. 
He went through surgery again. 
He went back again for his 3 month check (at least I think it was all 3 month checks...I could be wrong) and they found it was back again.  This time they decided to wait and see if it would grow.
Yesterday they went back for his check to find that it has doubled in size.  Then they found a new spot of cancer on his back. (Prior it had all been in his hip and groin area). 
This is devastating news. 
I can't imagine what is going on in their heads and hearts.  

Through it all Kamille has been pretty upbeat and happy as that is Kamille, but I just know that her soul is crushed. 

Kamille is one of the strongest women I know.  She is beautiful and remarkable.
To her Clint hangs the moon.  She calls him her dream boat.  
I am so blessed to know such an amazingly strong women. 

I've wanted to do something for them, but I don't know what and it just hit me. 
I am going to hold a sale on my actions and all the proceeds are going to go to Clint and Kamille and their family. 

When you pray, pray for those you don't know that they can be strong through their trials.  I know there is so many of our Heavenly Fathers children out there who need our prayers...including Clint and Kamille. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chop Chop

This morning as I was getting ready Ava came in and stood beside me on her stool and began to put on lipgloss and style her hair.  {in a way she could..come on, she's only 4}
She then asked me if I would straighten her hair.  So I did.  I hate doing it though.  She has beautiful curls and it makes me sad to straighten them out.  After I did she was very matter of fact when she said to me "I want my hair like this" and demonstrated a short bob-ish hair style. I then proceeded to tell her that I couldn't cut her hair.  And she said to me "yes you can, just get cut it straight across!"
All day she talked to me about having short hair.  So after much talk about it today I decided she could do it.

So we marched over to my sisters house (who is my neighbor...isn't that clever?) and she agreed to give her a little chop chop.

Ava went through a gamut of emotions. Happy, scared, nervous, silly, excited, scared, silly...did I mention silly?!

Ava loves her new "Avie hair" and says she feels like "A New Ava".

I was sad that we cut off her curls but she has never had a hair cut so at some point we were going to have to cut the baby ends off.  We will see once it's wet if it's curly...but for now it's just a cute little bob.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This is the plan

I really enjoy blogging.  To me it's a good way to get my thoughts out there.
But I get bogged down because I don't know what to blog.
So when I was sitting in church today I had a 'that's it' moment or if you're an Oprah fan a "ah ha moment."
I've decided that every week I am going to pick a theme and blog about that theme.
The blog posts may vary, but they will all have an underlining tone.
But hopefully this will help me.
I may blog only once a week, or several times depending.
This week I have decided my blogs will be on Friendship.

I have a lot to say on this topic.  So expect several posts.

For now, I need to go prepare a 7 layer dip for the Beyonce concert..I mean superbowl.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


For the last month and a half Elle has really become her own person.  And what I mean by that is that she has gained so much independence.  She no longer wants to do things she used to do.
For example, she wants to do her own hair, and take baths alone.  Up until this point she totally loved playing in the bath with her sister, but now...noway.

She has been listening to more "pop"-ish music instead of disney and wanting to watch all the big disney shows like Jessie, and Shake It Up more and more.  She also decided that she wanted to look cool and get bangs.  I guess bangs are the in thing right now for girls at her school.

SO I made her think about it for a month.
She still wanted them.
So she got them.

She loves them and likes to show them off.  My big girl Elle.
I adore her and I'm so grateful I'm her momma.


Over the last few weeks Ava has seemed so grown up to me.  She says the cutest things and sometimes sounds just like an adult.  She is starting to use big words and actually using them in the right context.

Ava is full of funny things.  She loves to tell a story and is always making us laugh.

I am so honored to be her mom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kid President

Okay so today I just discovered that cute little kid known as Kid President.  I would vote for him!
He is darling!
I know I am behind the times.

ANYWAY I've watch several of his videos and I am smitten.
But there's two a few things in his videos that I adore and love and really want to apply more so to my life.

1.  Don't be boring.

nobody likes boring right?! Everyone can be boring.  Be different...that's not boring!

2. Be more Awesome

Do awesome things to make others lives awesome.  DEAL!

3. Be a Party

I can do this.
Make your life a party.....
That's life is going to be more of a party on a daily basis.

I think these three tips are great tips to live by to be happy.

That's it...I am going to go and be more awesome, not boring...and make every event a party.

Born to be Awesome.

We all were born to do awesome things...what awesome things are you going to do.
Don't quit...keep trying

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do the best you can do

I am often reminded of how often I fail.
I hate failing.  But I know that failure is part of the human experience.
So I'm trying to learn patience when it comes to this.
What I have to keep reminding myself is that I am doing the best I can do.

Sometimes that is all we can do, is do our very best.

Do the best with what you have been given, with what cards you have been dealt and with what discouragements and set backs you are faced with.
Sometimes we fail...seriously major fail....but it's okay as long as you try harder next time or as long as you can say I did my best with what I could do.

So as long as I am doing my best with what I have been given and what is best for me, my family, my business and my friends then it will be okay.

Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing big, great and totally awesome things.

Sometimes we fail...when we do ask the Lord...."what can I do better?" or if you've done all you can do, He will pick up the rest.

Hang in there... {I say this to myself...and to all of you who need to hear this} brighter days are ahead.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How I did it.

I recently posted a picture of myself via instagram on Facebook.
Elle took the picture of me with my phone.
It's this picture

I feel good about myself here.
I feel good about myself right now.

I don't know if I've ever felt this good about myself to be honest.  When I was thinner as a dancer it was just normal but I still had issues about my weight.
So going from being extremely heavy to finally being able to tuck in my shirts has been so great.

Okay so when I posted this picture I got a lot of "wow's" and "how did you do it?"
I got some private messages asking if I had gastric bypass.  No I did not have gastric bypass.  I lost most of the weight myself.  Then as I have said here, I had a tummy tuck to remove the extra skin and a little liposuction to help with those areas that wouldn't budge.  BUT ANYWAY I lost A LOT of weight on my own and I am going to tell you how I did it.

My 3 Step Plan.

When I decided to start to loose weight I started secretly last spring.
I was doing pretty good.  I lost 10 pounds.  Nobody noticed (I had a lot of weight to loose) but I then got discouraged because I didn't have any positive feedback because nobody knew of my new challenge for myself.  So I quickly fell out of the weight loss mode.  I kept that 10 pounds off.

Come Summer time...JULY.
I decided this time to get serious. SO I posted on my Facebook Fan page a Photographers Fit Challenge and I took it serious.  You see I had many people I was now accountable.  Although 99% of those who joined the challenge didn't finish it, I knew that I couldn't give up because I started this thing. And it felt good.

So the first step I did was I told people...and I just didn't tell a few close friends and family who would love me, I told EVERYONE.

STEP ONE... Tell people, tell a lot of people.

Now that I had told people I needed a plan, how was I going to do it.

You see with my history of bulimia I knew how hard this would be without getting triggered.  So I said out loud what I couldn't do.  I knew I had a problem with eliminating whole food groups and putting foods into a "naughty" or "bad" category.  So I decided that no foods would be bad or eliminated.
I also knew that excessive exercising was not good for me either.  When I was in the midst of my eating disorder I would exercise 5-6 times a day.  I would purge my food not only through vomiting but through excessive exercise.  This was going to be a no-no.
The other thing I said was "do not deprive yourself of anything"

This was the start to my plan.
These were the rules.

Because to me this wasn't a diet, this was a lifestyle change.

Now the plan started to happen.
I decided I needed to drink A LOT of water.  I got some really cheap cups from costco.  Clear plastic Solo-type cups.  I bought plastic lids and straws.  This made me feel like I was stopping in at a cafe for a cup of ice-water (I know weird right).  Then I got me some DoTerra oils.  I got the lemon and the grapefruit.  I would add a little drop of each to my icewater and I would drink my water as I cleaned, or watched T.V or edited.  When the cup was empty I would fill it up again.  Yes I felt like I was peeing every 10 minutes but soon I got used to it.  My skin looked better and I was feeling a difference.  Plus I was feeling full and didn't feel the need to snack all the time.

I also found this company called ItWorks (yes the wrap place) and found that they have these pills called Thermofit and Fat Fighters. They are not diet pills but suppliments.  And I see differences in my energy when I use them.

Snacks.  I love food it's no lie. Obviously I didn't get to 233 pounds by myself.
So I filled my house with foods I liked that weren't going to make me feel bad.  I bought a lot of fresh fruits.  Grapes, oranges, apples, berries.  I had them easily accessible to snack on.
I love me salty snacks too.  Like chips.  Oh do I love a good chip.  Well I found Special K. makes a cracker chip that is so good.  for 27 chips it's around 100-110 calories.  27 chips! That's a lot.  So I picked up those and would snack on those if I needed something salty.
I stopped snacking when I edited late at night.
That was my hardest one.  I used to pop some butter popcorn or have a bowl of ice-cream.  I stopped this all together.  Why? Well first it was late at night, second it was late at night, third I was just sitting editing so I wasn't being active and fourth, it was late at night.  No more late night snacks.
I don't miss it anymore.

We are red-meat eaters around here. I'm a cattle ranchers daughter.  We eat a lot of red meat.  We have a big freezer full of it.  When I didn't have anything else we would eat a steak.  I used ground beef in a lot of my cooking.  SO I decided to cut this back.  I started replacing ground beef for ground chicken and ground turkey.  And actually my family likes it better.
I would make my entree portion smaller and my salad bigger.  I fill up more on veg, rather than something meaty.

If I wanted a piece of cake I would have it, but I would make sure it was a smaller size.  I don't need the mammoth size cake anymore.  And let's be honest this is why to me diets fail.  Because you can't have anything splurge worthy.  Then you go crazy and you eat the whole pan. So if I wanted a cookie I would have the cookie but then I would remind myself that was all I needed.  Plus I drink a lot of water now so I didn't feel like I needed 10 cookies.  One fixed my craving and I was good.

So don't deprive yourself of something because that is called the beginnings of sabotage.

I cut out ALL (and I mean ALL) fast food.  I used to love me some fries from somewhere greasy, no more.  The only fastfood I will eat is Subway and that is their veggie delight on flatbread.
I just don't do it.  It's easy to pick something up on the go and that is where I contribute most of my weight gain food eating.

Then came the getting active part.  This was the hardest for me because I am a all or nothing girl.  So I did things that wouldn't make me feel like I was going to be stuck in the gym.   I started walking the block, then I would set goals as I was walking like "I am going to jog to that light pole" then the next day was "I am going to jog to the second light pole" and so on.
I would park farther away when I went to the store so I had to walk further.  I would skip isles at the store on purpose so I had to go back ( I would skip every other isle for more walking).
I started with the little things.

This was my plan.

STEP TWO have a plan.

And the last thing I decided to stick with it.
That this was not a diet that this was a lifestyle.
The thing that has saved me the most is that if I want to eat something I can.  Why? Because I am being healthy with everything else.  I don't eat fast food anymore so if we want to go out to dinner I know I can make healthy chooses.  I don't even crave fast food now.  I know I am not snacking on junk all the time so if I want popcorn at the movies I can have it.
I made a healthy life change.

Step THREE stick with the plan.

As the weight came off the more my skin was hanging even more than it did before.  I always knew one day I would need a tummy tuck I just didn't think it would happen so soon.  But I was ready.
So I made an appointment to have a consultation.
The doctor was so friendly and so positive and I was really excited about the possibilties of feeling good.
(Need a good surgeon?  He is fabulous)

So I scheduled my surgery.

From July to November I lost 50 pounds.
After my surgery I have lost another 15 pounds.

So since July 2012 I have lost a total of 65 pounds.  That is a young child.

What my surgeon did was really sculpt what my body was to be.  It's now up to me to do the rest. I am the one that needs to keep it up.  Just because I had surgery doesn't mean that the weight won't come back, but I am now accountable for my weight.  {and my wallet says it too}

I guess when I was in surgery my surgeon said "this is going to change her life" It really has!
Although before surgery I lost a lot of weight it was hard to tell.  Having the surgery has allowed me to show off the weight I lost.

Before loosing the weight I would always avoid being in front of the camera even for pictures with my children, now I don't mind.  I am now becoming comfortable in my skin.

It is hard to loose weight but I think it's even harder to admit you need to loose weight.
The reason I was able to stick with it was because I told people...I became accountable, I had people that was watching me.  Try'll find it works.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Review

What a year 2012 was!

I feel so blessed to have had so much in 2012.  2012 brought a lot of new adventures for our family and we feel so overwhelmed and so grateful for the blessings that we received this past year.

In January we took the girls to Disneyland for a week.
We had a great time.
We started out our trip with a night stay in Las Vegas where the we took the girls to Serendipity for dinner and their famous frozen hot chocolate.  {YUM}
The next day we drove into California.  We took the girls to the American Girl store and Ava got her first American Girl and Elle got her 3rd.
Then Dave took us to Santa Monica Pier for lunch and to let the girls play a little on the beach before we went to Disneyland.
The next 6 days was spent at Disneyland.  We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and it was lovely.
We enjoyed watching the girls feel like princesses {because they are} when they got their princess makeovers.  We loved seeing their faces light up when they got their books signed by the Disney Famous Celebs....aka Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang.
It was a fabulous week and the girls were devastated to leave.

In February I joined 3 of my dearest friends in Las Vegas for 5 days at WPPI.  I learned a lot and was overwhelmed by the bipolar photographers who taught many of the classes {do this, but don't do this....never say this...but always say this....}oh good gravy...make up your minds! But we had a blast.  We laughed a lot and hard and for a long time.  I left Las Vegas with a hangover...a laughing hangover...cause I don't drink.

My business really started to flourish much more in 2012 and I was so blessed with more weddings, seniors and fabulous clients.  I met some awesome photographers and some fabulous clients who are now amazing friends.  I filled my time with learning new photography techniques and teaching myself how to be a better photographer.

In May Dave graduated from college. YAY IT WAS ABOUT TIME!
I was so proud of him!
He now his BS degree {don't you love that...B.S BWAHHHHAAA} in Business with the emphasis in Business Management.

For his graduation present I booked a trip for our family to go to Maui.  We took a long my parents and my oldest niece {as she graduated too}
We stayed in a beautiful condo in Makena and we have decided that every other year as funds allow that we will be returning with our children to Makena.
It was the most fabulous and relaxing vacation..just what we needed.
I did a few photo shoots on Maui.  One client shoot and one commercial shoot.

In July I had my second annual Wish Retreat in Park City, Utah.  It was fabulous!  I was reunited with old friends and made some fabulous new friends.  I feel so blessed to have been given the talent of photography that I have a deep desire to teach and help others learn photography and this is one way in which I feel like I can do it.
My Retreat is one of the highlights of the year and I can't wait till my next retreat this June.

In July Dave and I ended our 3 year attempt at a 3rd child.  With prayer and much thought we knew that we were only meant to have 2 children of our own.  As we have infertility we decided that it was time to move on.  It was a extremely hard decision but it was time for us to focus on the beautiful 2 children that we have and focus on now raising them.
I have said many times to Dave how weird it feels that this is it...that we will only have Elle and Ava.  We have a partly unfinished basement that we were going to finish as bedrooms when we needed them because of more children and its weird that we don't have to do that now if we don't want to.
There's so many other facets that seems so strange to me about only having 2 children {I wanted 4} but I am grateful that I have 2.  They both are extreme miracles and I count myself lucky.

With deciding that we were done having children it allowed me to focus on my body in a positive way. My mentality changed.  It finally clicked that I don't need to make myself purge to lose weight and that I don't need to exercise 4 times a day to lose weight instead I just needed to make healthy lifestyle changes and so I did.

Elle started the 3rd grade and she loves her teacher.  She is getting to be a good reader and she is improving so much.  Elle continued to be requested by boutiques to model for them and me photograph them.  She is a natural model and she loves it.

Ava continued to be as hilarious as ever and she is growing and learning so much too.  She has a giant imagination and she is going to be a fabulous artist one day.  She loves to draw and color as you can see her work located on my couch and wall...viewings are held daily...oh that child!

In August Elle was Baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It was such a great day.  She was ready and excited to take that leap of faith.  We are so proud of her.

At the end of September Dave and I went on a cruise with Janet and Sean {Daves Sister and Brother in Law}.  It was a fun week in Mexico for sure.
We enjoyed the sun, playing Phase 10 daily and of course the Chocolate Melting Cake every night....

In November I went to North Carolina to attend a workshop.  I was so scared to go and so much almost stopped me from going, but I went.  I met some amazing women and I am thrilled with the new friendships I made.

At the end of November I had a tummy tuck and felt like I was hit by a truck.  I am just now starting to feel good.  However I am excited for the results.
I have lost almost 60 pounds now.

The holiday season was really laid back.  We enjoyed the company of our families and teaching our children more about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

We feel so blessed to have met so many amazing and fabulous people this year.
Dave has reconnected with his friend Sekoa and he has been a humbling addition to our lives and we feel blessed to have in it.
I have strengthened old friendships and made some amazing new friends.
My business has grown so much and it has blessed us so much.

My relationship with Jesus Christ has grown this year as I have accepted more responsibilities in our Church to serve the Lord. I have vowed to be a better person this year.

We are so excited for what 2013 has to offer us and what we have to offer 2013.
Here we go! Ready for our adventure!