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!