26 February 2010

go wales

we are headed to wales for a long weekend. rhys took a few days off and we wont be back until tuesday. we have a busy weekend planned, most notably a night out for rhys and i without the baby! :0 more to come on that, but in the meantime, a picture of the family cheering for wales int eh 6 nations! nothing beats a the baby in her kit (this one is for you katie :)

if you look closely, you can see the babys teeth! :)

24 February 2010

Paris or Barcelona?

its been a while since i have written a post. not for lack of things to say, but because of a genuine lack of time. The last week or so has been unbelievably busy. busy in a good way, but still busy. Since i last posted, we have been to several rugby games, including a 6 Nations party at a friends house. Little ele in her Welsh kit was the hit of the party. Well, the boys might have preferred the beer and rugby, but E was a close second. We have had swmmining, yoga, walking, and play group. Plus a weigh in clinic and doctors visit. and that doesnt even include the all day Londontown excursion which included eleri's first (of many) visits to the Imperial War Museum. Because what 7 months old doesnt like British Imperialism right? Oh, and e reached the 7 month mark.

so a pretty busy time.

and even though everything we are doing is fun, and even though i love every second of every day that i get to spend with my family, i need a break. a fun, exciting, over the top, break from normal life. i need a holiday.

daily i come up with ideas about where we should travel to and what great thing we should do next. this is not a new thing, just ask the girls i lived with in college. Leah and Stef can tell you that i am in no short supply of crazy ideas. The only thing is, i think that every idea i have is realistic. the one about a year living in Australia, working at a surf-shop with little e playing on the floor? totally doable. or the plan for rhys to quit his job, us to take all of our savings and travel around the world until the money runs out? completely logical. believe me, the list goes on and on. and as any normal, sane person can see, most of my ideas are in fact not realistic.

however, this one actually is. really, it is.

my birthday is in 2 months. I have convinced rhys that we should go somewhere as a family for my birthday weekend. My actual birthday is on a friday and the following monday is a bank holiday in the UK so we would have a long weekend. awesome timing; its like it was meant to be. and we have narrowed it down to two options.




Paris for the obvious reasons. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triumph etc, etc... and even though rhys is actually european himself, he has never been to paris. neither has eleri. plus, paris is a great city. fun cafes, amazing sites and an interesting french culture.

on the other hand, barcelona is probably our favourite european city. it holds special memories for us. rhys first told me he loved me in barcelona. we spent part of our honeymoon in barcelona. we go to barcelona pretty regularly. its the equivalent of dallas to tulsa. or rogers to tulsa. the fun, bigger city you go to whenever you want a change of scenary. we LOVE barcelona. and eleri has never been there. and i would LOVE for her to experience a bit of why we love it so much. the culture is phenomenal, the sites are incredible, the food is amazing and of course there are beaches. and i love beaches. plus barcelona is home to La Sagrada Familia our favourite cathedral. It is the inspiration for rhys' work on his tattoo half sleeve. its amazing.

and whilst typing that out, i realised that i had a lot more positives for barcelona. but i just cant decide. i know i want a fun break. and either one will be great. so, which one? barcelona or paris?

17 February 2010


Today marks the begining of Lent. For those that are unfamilar, Lent is the season of 40 days that leads up to Easter. and as i went through catholic schooling pretty much until i went to university, my views on the Easter season are largely shaped by those years. In elementry school we had to give up something for those 40 days and at the end of it, write a paper about how the giving up of that thing affected us. my fifth grade teacher really brought the point home for me. She explained that although we were required by the nuns to give something up as an assignment, we should really focus on the reason behind it all. For example, if we choose to give up pop than every time in those 40 days that we wanted a pop, we should instead think about Jesus. If we gave up TV, then every time we went to turn on the TV we should instead pray or read our Bible. She emphaised that the point of us sacraficing something was so that we would have a daily reminder of the sacrafice Jesus made for us.

I have remembered that lesson every lent season. Its not just about giving things up, its about being mindful of Jesus. Remembering that we are getting ready to mourn His death and celebrate His resurrection. He is really what it is all about.

Plus, it seems like everyone gives things up for lent. I encourage you all to use this Lent season to talk to your friends about why they are giving things up. I have found that a lot of my friends over here give things up for 40 days, but dont understand the meaning behind it all. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus. especially as Easter is coming up, what better time to tell people that Jesus died and rose again for every single one of us. If you had not planned on giving something up, i would encourage you to do so. If for no other reason then it gives you a great opportunity to talk to your friends and explain why you do the things you do. and remember to why it is you are giving things up.

12 February 2010

its booked.

as of five minutes ago. and i am so excited! i will explain.

in the UK bachelor and bachelorette party's are a BIG deal. they are called Stag Dos and Hen Dos respectively. it is the job of the maid of honour and best man to plan the events. and believe me, they are events! As i am the maid of honour in a wedding this summer, i had the job of planning a hen do.

and i have been busy busy busy planning away. but it is all set now and i am so excited. here is a picture of where we are going.

fun eh? plus the amazing night life, great food and great beer.

Copenhagen, Denmark here we come!!

10 February 2010

there are no words

i have sat down to write this post countless times over the past month. Each time i try, i end up deleting everything before i post it. It just never sounds right. there are not enough words, no right words, really nothing that can describe the situation. to put it mildly, it is heartbreaking.

when i lived in arkansas, one of my friends found out she was pregnant. i remember one time when she came to visit me at work, she was really excited because her plan was to only wear 'normal' clothes the entire course of her pregnancy. she was so excited about everything. a few weeks later she found out that her little baby had trisomy 18 and would die. She named her son eliot and he lived for 99 days. you can read all about it HERE. During that time, i remember feeling so sad for them. I couldnt imagine having to deal with something like that.

shortly thereafter i found out that i was pregnant. and eliot was one of the first things i thought of. even though i still have no idea what its like to lose a child, having one of my own now, it hits home a bit harder.

so here we are now and one of my friends from high school is pregnant with a little girl. Sheyenne is 31 weeks. i remember being 31 weeks pregnant. i was giant, tired and ready to be done. i really took those last few weeks for granted. Sheyenne, on the other hand, is soaking it all in. she is treasuring every kick, every movement. she has taken great care to document her pregnancy, making all the memories of this special time with her little girl. she is drinking in every, single precious moment that she is pregnant because her little girl is dying.

is there a nicer way to say that? i have re-typed that line several times. fatal pregnancy sounds just as, well, fatal. there is no way to soften the blow. sheyenne is carrying a child that will never survive in the earthly world. she is carrying a baby that she knows she will bury. i cant even begin to imagine waking up every day with that knowledge. it breaks my heart.

and i am sure that it breaks sheyennes heart too. but she has shown amazing strength and courage. she keeps a baby blog HERE. i really recommend that you go and read it. it will break your heart, but it will inspire you. and she can say it better than i ever could. i really wanted to write a post that was significant for the situation. but i cant. i cant explain it. i just cant do sheyenne or her baby justice.

but i will do what i can. there is an organisation that has offered sheyenne support and comfort. They deal specifically with fatal pregnancys. THIS is that site. They send out resources and materials free of charge to women who are dealing with pregnancys like sheyenne's. for every person that leaves a comment on this post, I will donate to the organisation. it is a small gesture, but its the least i can do.

1 February 2010

High School Musical

my baby is completely weaned. i started her on formula and food on a thursday and 7 days later she was completely finished breastfeeding. i had told myself that when it came to weaning, i wanted it to go quickly. a week was pretty quick. but it worked well for us. she was happy to switch and seemed completely unaffected by it. i had wondered how my body would react because i had heard it was usually a pretty painful process (engorgement and such...) to avoid this step, i intentionally de-hydrated myself. i stopped drinking in an attempt to stop producing milk. because that is not the healthiest of ideas, i wont recommend that to anyone else but.... it worked brilliantly! 3 days of hardly any fluid and i bypassed the painful bits.

the downfall of my quick weaning plan?

i forgot i needed to change my eating habits. while the amount of additional calories that breastfeeding burns is not massive, it still offers a bit of leeway in eating. and pregnancy offers LOADS of leeway because there is always an excuse to eat a little bit extra. and before i got pregnant i was running between 6 to 8 miles a day. so i could stand to eat a bit extra. But now? Now i REALLY need to watch what i eat. I am not breastfeeding. i am not pregnant. and i am NOT running anywhere near 6 miles a day. i am barely running 6 miles a week! unfortunately, the amount of food i am eating has not changed at all. for instance, tonight for dinner i had spaghetti and 11 pieces of garlic bread. ELEVEN. whoa.

the end of february was my goal to be completely back to the same body size that i was in October of 2008. tonight i have decided that that is an unreasonable goal. No, i did not decide that because i ate 11 pieces of garlic bread. (promise, that had nothing to do with it) but i have had a baby. my body has changed. and its ok, because i have a precious little girl as a result. i have lost of most of pregnancy weight, but am still holding on to a few extra pounds. i had told myself that as soon as i was finished weaning, i would focus on getting back to pre-pregnancy size. i had been pretty down on myself about 'size' recently. i never set a weight goal really, it was more size. and two factors this evening showed me it wont be possible.

cleaning and facebook.

i was cleaning out my drawers and discovered my halloween costume from 2008. that is, or was rather, my target month. Then i found a picture on facebook of me wearing that costume. and it hit me. i had set myself an unrealistic goal.

here is a picture of me wearing the costume. and chopping over the head of a zombie.

it was an actual high school musical cheerleading costume from the disney store. in a childs size 9-10. after birthing a child there is no way i can fit into a childs size 9-10 again. so now that weaning is over, i have set a new goal for myself. a goal that is much more reasonable. a goal that in no way, shape, or form involves high school musical. which is for the best.

and that picture? i have it to remind me that its not about an image to try and live up to. its about what is healthly. healthly weight, healthly body image, healthy lifestyle. no childrens clothing and definitely not 11 pieces of garlic bread.