Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter to all, and to all a good night.

Happy Easter ya'll!








This photo cracks me up.  As if she's saying, "mom....don't you know the Easter bunny isn't real."



This is what I get now when I tell him to smile at the camera.  I'm not sure if this is some sort of gang sign or if he is trying to flip me off.

much better.

G was super stoked about her new Easter socks.




Everett trying to reason with a one year old.  He's got his expressive hands goin' and everything.











He is Risen indeed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Staying healthy while on vacation.

Today I have a special guest post from someone that really knows what she is talking about when it comes to being healthy while on vacation!  After going to Florida with the great ambition to stay on point and keep up with my goals, I was so happy to read her tips and try to stick to them!  This is definitely a first for me, but hopefully not a last!

My name is Kendra Thornton, I am 40 and the mother 3 kids. Before being promoted to the position of full time mom I was the Director of Communications at Orbitz. I now live in Chicago where my family is my number one priority.

My family works hard to stay healthy. We eat good food, and every member of my family participates in sports and other fitness activities. When we go on a trip together, I incorporate a few tricks to help us stay fit regardless of where our travels take us.

1. Healthy Hotel Stays
I always make sure that our hotel accommodates a healthy lifestyle. I check for places that have good fitness facilities, and often I book a hotel with running trails or other options on the premises. In order to avoid unhealthy snacks from vending machines, I stock our in-room fridge with healthy snacks. It’s worth a trip to a local market to get them. To keep unhealthy food out of reach, I also refuse the key to the minibar.

Laura:  I was adamant about remaining active over my vacation, so I took advantage of their fitness facility complete with cardio machines and weights.  I didn’t do it every day, but enough to keep me on track and burn some of the Krispy Kreme’s I indulged in! We also make a trip to Wal-Mart to stock the fridge with fruits and some other healthy snack options while we were just lounging around.

2. Healthy Eating Out
Before leaving, I research local restaurants. I like to pick places to eat that serve local produce and other healthy options. Places that feature light and fit meals or vegetarian options are always good places to eat. My kids are already learning to choose vegetables or fresh fruit over fried and greasy sides. If we do indulge in a high-calorie, heavy meal at a restaurant, we eat lighter, healthier fare for the other meals of the day.

Laura: Before going out or while deciding where to eat, I would use my handy iphone app “Lose it”.  It can look up any food and/or restaurant and help to make healthy choices.  I love it—gives me the freedom to eat out, but still be wise about what I’m putting in my body---and yes, we did splurge a bit, like with bacon and jalapeño deviled eggs… MMmmm.  Splitting meals also helped us to cut back on cost and calories.

3. Healthy Vacation Activities
Playing games is a great way to stay fit. Although you won’t get your usual workout when you’re traveling, you can still exercise. My family often makes up games or races. We usually stay at a hotel with a pool and enjoy playing there together in the evenings. We sometimes have our own Olympics with challenges such as swimming underwater for the longest time or swimming the most times across the pool. We even have splash contests.

Laura:  We had so many opportunities to be active on this trip via swimming, walking, miniature golf, and of course hotel bed jumping J  I wish I would have worn my heart rate monitor to find how many calories I burned the day we went to Disney World!  That was  A LOT of walking!

4. Healthy Drinks
On vacation, my family makes a point of drinking plenty of water. Water helps the body stay hydrated and function properly. On hot days in the sun, drinking enough water helps family members avoid heat-related illnesses and discomforts. If we plan to be outdoors in the sun for a long period of time, I often chill bottles of water to take along. Drinking water instead of sugary soft drinks at restaurants also helps to control calorie intake.

Laura: Besides the occasional “adult beverage”, I drank water and my Shakeology.  I kept hydrated and content with both of those and it helped to give me what I needed and curb the cravings!
Family vacations are a great time to enjoy one another’s company. Everyone has a better time when they feel well. One new tip I do have is to book a hotel with a quality gym. This was one thing we did for our upcoming trip to Orlando in case of rain. With so many hotels in Orlando, this process proved to be a bit difficult however there are sites out there like Gogobot that can make it a little easier. I hope these tips help you have a healthier vacation this year.

Thanks for that Kendra!

I am happy to report that I came back home after a week of vacation and did not gain ANY extra pounds! Woo Hoo!  So folks, whether you’re planning a vacation, on one or just daydreaming about what it would be like to be on one, it IS possible to stay on track and make healthy choices while you’re away from routine!  Of course indulgence and giving in to some cravings is necessary to vacation mode while you are letting the stresses of life melt away, but just keep it all in moderation!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When you wish upon a star...

The boys are taking one last splash in the pool in the warm Florida night and I just got done packing everything up for our voyage home tomorrow.  While I surely and positively will miss and long for sunshine like we've had here, along with the fun adventures we've had the opportunity to partake in, I am longing even more to be a complete family with my baby girl in my arms once again.  Mom guilt was in full effect on this trip--especially yesterday at THE Disney World as I saw many a parent with tiny babes in tow.  I know it was easier without her, but was it necessary?  I beat myself up about it, but in the end it was all for Everett--a trip full of memories for him because we never got to do one last BIG thing before he was no longer the only child.  I do hope he holds on to some of the fun we've had while we've been here and cherishes these memories for many many years!

First airplane ride...









Orlando and Downtown Disney with Auntie Bev and Uncle Norm...








After the monsoon--seriously soaked!

First time to the ocean...













Disney World Adventure...





















...Dreams really do come true.

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