My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

the shoes

I love to run.  Yes, that would pretty much be the understatement of the year.
The only thing is, every. single. time. I have to take a break from running for whatever reason (giving birth, illness, leg pains, surgery), I have a terrible time getting back in to it.
It is not hard for me to want to run again, my body just completely freaks out, and without fail, some muscle or bone decides to give me crap!
This time around, my post surgery getting back in to running pain is...
I am going on 4 weeks now of stabbing pains digging into my legs every time I step down, much less run.
It is been such a joy in my life.
I decided to back off running (which I loathe, and do some classes and some spinning instead).  That didn't help, so I went on to the next step.  New shoes!
I went to the shoe store yesterday, and lo and behold, I saw these beauties!
Actually, they are not really beauties.  In fact, I don't like the look of them at all.  They are boring black and white.  I added the hot pink shoe laces to make my eyes happier.
 I am just so loyal to Saucony, regardless of the fact that they have yet to make a cute running shoe, that I will buy no other brand.
Saucony fits my feet and my running style perfectly, regardless of how they look.
These babies are not only my favorite brand, and full of support and cushion, but they now have microfiber in them!!!!!
orange stuff= heaven
I am so excited!
I ran in them today, with almost no pain at all in my shins.  I grinned the entire 6 miles.
Welcome my lovelies.

all aboard!

Ever since we moved to Heber, we have wanted to ride the Polar Express at Christmas time.  We have heard lots of cool things about it, but we never seem to get around to it.

This year, our neighbors, the Sweats, were able to get an amazing deal on tickets, for up to 12 tickets.  Exactly enough for their family, and ours.  Yup, we have some pretty awesome friends here. They invited us, and we gladly accepted.

The kids have been beyond excited for this!  Last night was the big night!
the kiddos

We boarded the train, I mean the Polar Express, and headed off.

We sang songs, listened to a girl play the fiddle, ate cookies and hot chocolate served to us by elves, had a little talent show, and the best part of all....we arrived at the North Pole where Santa boarded the train and talked to each child.

Unfortunately, by this point, Luke and William were asleep.  William woke up long enough to say hi, tell Santa what he wants for Christmas (a beyblade), accept the cool bell Santa gave him, and then go right back to sleep.

Poor Luke just would not wake up.  It was kind of ironic, because he was by far the most excited to ride the train.  This is the face he did when the train started moving.  Not kidding!
and of course, there was noise associated with his excited face as well.

Ben had a great time with Santa.
Molly took one look at Santa and screamed her lungs out.  You can see her crying in the above picture.  The poor girl!

Mary and Sam were sitting in another seat with their friends, so I didn't get pictures of them, but I am sure they loved it as least that is what the excitedly told us when the ride ended.

It was a fun ride, and definitely something cool to do to celebrate the season and get in some family fun.  I am so glad we were finally able to experience Heber's own Polar Express!

ho ho ho, bo hoo hoo

Ward Christmas party. 
I LOVE this picture.
Mary: cute.
Sam: sneaking a peak at the big man
William: death grip on candy cane, happy as can be
Luke: not sure, and thinking up his next devious plan to get into the vacuum closet
Molly: scared out of her mind.

Just in case we ever wonder where Molly got her anti-santa seeing from...yes, that would be me.
Sorry mom, sorry santa.

shake it up


Nope, I am not a beachbody coach.  Nope, I am not advertising this.  Nope, I am not selling anything.

I just really, really, really, really, really like Shakeology.

I was at the end of my energy rope one day, and it was only 11:30am, when my friend posted something on Facebook about this drink that gave her tons of energy during her normal afternoon crash, and it was healthy, AND it took away the lunch munchies (which I have the WORST time with).

I called her up and asked for a sample, and my life was altered forever.  oh the drama of it all :)

I drink this to replace my lunch, and I am completely full until dinner.
It has more vitamins and minerals in it than I could ever even imagine.
It completely wipes out any sugar cravings, which for me, is a complete miracle and nothing short of an Olympic feat.
AND, it has helped me start getting rid of the last 5-10 pounds I would love to shed.

I love the stuff.

It is freaking expensive, and I almost have a stroke every time I think about it, but it is absolutely worth it to me.

I feel healthier, I look healthier, my skin looks happy, my tummy is happy, and I am pretty dang excited about my daily chocolate shake.

The end.

life post surgery

Here is a post-surgery update for those who are interested.

I feel like I recovered much faster and much better than anticipated, which I am thrilled about!

The first two weeks I was exhausted most of the time, though not really in pain.  Just so, so tired, which I was told to expect after this surgery.  I was taking up to 4 naps a day.

At about 2 1/2 weeks after the surgery, I went back to the gym.  I did the elliptical, and even though my guts felt like they were shaking all over and like they might flop out at any moment, and it felt absolutely disgusting, it felt so good to work out again!

I started running a week after that.

I have no pain at all, and haven't had any since the first week, but fatigue is a battle.  Around three weeks, I could make it until about 2:00pm before I just couldn't stay awake any longer.

At a month, I could make it through the day, but around 5:00 I would want to cry, or sometimes actually cry out of being so tired.  The doctor called around this time and told me that the lab results confirmed what he saw during the surgery.  I had adnomiosis.  It is like endometriosis, but instead of being contained in the uterus wall, it was outside of it, inside of it, and also on my tubes.  Big time ouch!  It was a relief to know that I actually did have something causing all of the pain and symptoms, and that I had proof of it. 

Now I am 6 weeks out.  The golden number.  The number where I am told I am a free woman!  I can resume all of my normal activities, and I have.  I am completely back in to running, as well as doing some classes at the gym. 

I am still battling fatigue, but there are no tears anymore, and I can be mostly ok with a good night sleep.

I have absolutely no regrets at all, and I am already seeing the positive results of having the surgery!

I am so glad I did it.

my name is becky, and i am an elf on the shelf survivor

The past several years, I have heard all of the hype of the Elf on the Shelf.  I have read about the fun that the people that have one seem to have. I have read the ranting's of the people that don't have one and are really excited to condemn those who do to hell, I have listened to my kids' endless pleas to have one, and so on.
Bottom line, I just didn't want to add anything more to a busy time of year.
Until now.
I have no idea why, or what could have possibly persuaded me (Sam may have had something to do with it:) ), but on Dec. 6th, our elf arrived.
One look on the kids faces, and I knew I had a winner!
To be honest, I am having a blast with our elf, who is now named Charley.
I crack up when I look at all of the ideas out there for things to do with the elf each night, and it is pretty fun to see the kids reactions every morning when he is in a new place.
It actually doesn't add any added stress at all, pinterest does all of the thinking for me.  I just get on there each night, steal someone's great idea, and the elf is done.  Piece of cake!
If anything, it had added some humor and some fun to the season.
William had to have some convincing.  The elf is SO CREEPY looking!  Seriously.  You know all of those scary stories where the doll comes alive in the night and kills everyone in the house.  Um, this would definitely fit the description.  *shudder*
William finally warmed up to Charley when he brought a note back from the North Pole one night telling the kids they were on the nice list, so far.

Charley spent the night zip lining into a bowl of cotton balls one night.

snow ball fight with marshmallow another night.  Elf vs. nutcracker and imaginext guy

creepy Charley, I mean cute Charley, in his sweater Sam left out for him, writing notes on our bananas.
So there you have it.  I am an Elf on the Shelfie, and I am proud of it.

lessons from the light house

A few weeks ago, Mary came home with a paper describing a project that she had to do.  She was stressed out of her mind!  She had to cut up some Christmas lights, and using a battery, some duct tape and some brad pins, connect the lights to some kind of house and make them work again.
She tried it over and over and over again, and it just wasn't working. 
About a week before it was due, Mary had a complete melt down.  The poor girl was stressing about this project, her math class at school, and some tumbling things.  In her 10 year old mind, these things were very stressful and heavy.
I felt bad for her, but felt like I just needed to tell her to pray for help, keep working hard and to hang on.
And she did!
Yesterday, I went to the school for the "light house show."  There was Mary's awesome Eiffel Tower, decorated with Christmas d├ęcor, and with lights glowing brightly. So Mary.
I was extremely proud of her!
She also told me that she got a 95% on her math test that day, and things were figured out with tumbling.  She was visibly relieved, and looked like she could just fly!

We celebrate with a root beer float from Quench it, and a high five.

Deep down though, I was so proud of Mary for learning a life lesson....never give up, keep on keeping on, and trust in the Lord.

oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree

The long awaited day finally arrived, and the Maynard clan headed out to get our Christmas tree.
We have had issues in years past of our Christmas tree dying within a couple weeks, the ornaments being pulled off from the bottom half of the tree, and our tree basically looking like a very sad, very dry, very depressed Christmas tree, by the time Christmas actually came.
This year, we decided to try to change it up a bit.  Instead of going to a local grocery store (which was probably our first and biggest mistake of years past), we went to a local nursery instead.
It was FREEZING, so the kids hopped out of the car, pointed to the tree they wanted, and then we all hopped back in the car and listened to Christmas music while Ben paid for the tree and got it on the car.
We got it in the house and set up in the stand and called it a night.  The tree is beautiful, and we could already tell that it was way better off than others we have purchased.
The next evening we turned on the Christmas music, pulled out the hot chocolate, opened the bins of ornaments, and decorated the tree.
The kids were very excited and animated as we decorated.  Luke was the one that was so hilarious.  He was jump and cheer every time he pulled out an ornament, like it was the most amazing thing on the face of the planet.  It was great.
Of course, I would love to have a perfectly decorated tree, completely symmetrical, with big beautiful ornaments and some kind of elegant bright tree topper, but right now is not the time for that, and I don't want it to be the time for that. 
Right now is the time for the kids to soak in the magic and the joy of looking at the ornaments, hanging them in the special spot they pick and enjoying the full splendor of the Christmas tree.  It is the time for them to place their mark on the tree, and share a piece of it that is meaningful to them.
I have to admit, that later that evening, as I looked at the crooked lights, the mismatched ornaments, the bald spots and the clustered spots, I expected to feel a little anxiety creep into my type A personality, and to maybe spend a few minutes making things a tiny bit more even, but all I felt was peace and happiness. My heart was full.
This was our tree, and I would not have it any other way.

(and yes, the tree is now completely naked from the waist down, it is tilting to the right, the lights have been yanked here and there, is STILL alive.  I am thrilled!!!!)

we are thankful!

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful! 

The good neighbors, Mike and Mel and their boys Tyler and Trevor, drove all the way here from Colorado Springs, CO, just to spend the holiday with us.

Waiting for them to arrive honestly felt like Christmas morning.  We love them so much, miss them terrible, and get soooo excited when we get to see eachother again.  Ours is a friendship that time and distance won't hurt or make fade.  We always hold out the hope that one day we can all own a cabin together, or just plain live next door to eachother again.  Someday...

The arrived Wednesday night, and the second they walked in the door, our home was filled with love, laughter and friendship.

Thanksgiving day was spent playing in the snow, talking, laughing, playing games and letting the kids play.  And of course, some cooking was involved. :)
I had to skimp on the cooking from scratch this year, due to me just being a few weeks out of major surgery, but even with boxed stuffing, Rhodes rolls, and Marie Calendar pies, the dinner was really yummy, and I did squeeze in a few dishes from scratch. 

for the first time, we used the extra leaves for the table.  It was awesome!

After thanksgiving dinner, Mel pulled out some gifts she had brought.  The kids were so excited to get tickets to a "movie night" and new pajamas!  Thank you so much Mel, you rock.

We all settled in for a Christmas movie, hot chocolate, popcorn, and a great evening with friends.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The next day, I was feeling the effects of maybe doing a little too much, so I stayed home with Molly while everyone went swimming at the Kamas pool.  The kids came back with all sorts of stories, and it sounded like they all had a great time.

That evening, we drove to Salt Lake, and literally made it within seconds of watching the lights of temple square turn on!  Perfect timing.  It was awesome.

It was absolutely freezing, and there were people everywhere, so we found a little restaurant, and hung out in the warmth for a while and ate dinner. 

After dinner, we headed back out to look at more lights, and also to check out the newly remodeled Church history museum.  I could have stayed in the museum for hours!  I could not believe how much stuff is in there.  There are some truly amazing things, like the clothes Hyrum Smith was wearing when he was killed, the pocket watch that was shot and saved a life, some of Emma Smith's things, and so on.

Whether you are a member of the church or not, it is a fascinating museum.  The lights were amazing as well.  They had them arranged really cool, especially the nativity scene.  It was so serene and magical.

I am so glad we braved the cold and the crowds to go to this special event.

We got home late, and went straight to bed. 
A storm hit that night, so Mike and Mel had to get on the road fast the next morning.  :(
It was really hard to see them go, but we were very thankful for the time we were able to spend with such great friends.

Until we see you again Mike and Mel......

cinnamon toast

Ahh, cinnamon toast.  The perfect cold day, home from school sick, pick me up, feel good, comfort food.  It is my go to for the kids when they aren't feeling great. 

It was a winner for Molly!  The tradition lives on.

miss molly's first snow

Last year, during winter, Molly was too tiny to know what snow was, or to really go out in it. 
This year, when we had our first big snow fall, the kids were all excited to go out and play in it.  Unfortunately, we didn't have any snow clothes for Molly yet, and she was sick, so she had to sit at the window and watch.
Then, Mary came to the rescue!
I was taking a nap (recovering from surgery), and when I woke up, I found Mary and Molly playing in the snow!  Molly was laughing and giggling and all lit up.
Mary had taken a Tupperware outside, filled it with snow, and brought it in to Molly.  She then let Molly taste the snow, play with the snow, and she even had Molly's first snowball fight with her.
Molly was so happy, and my heart was bursting as I watched my two girls have so much fun together.  Mary was so sweet to think of Molly and to take the time to help the first snow be magical for her too.
so happy, and seriously crazy hair from pulling out her ponytails!

first taste

sharing with Mary

Add caption

Mary helping Molly touch the snow and feel that it was cold and squishy

Sisters are the best!

catch up...

Sooo, it's been a while since I've been on here.  I have a million excuses, all of them really good too, but I still feel bad that so much time has slipped by.  I guess I get to play a little catch up, at least as long as Molly is sleeping, and Luke isn't destroying the house, unwrapping Christmas presents, "fixing something" with scissors, or smashing playdough in the phone charger.

Lets see, I think I left off with a post about my surgery.
A few days after I got home from the hospital, my mom helped me decorate the house for Thanksgiving, and that very same week, we got our first snow!

There was magic in the air big time!  I absolutely LOVE the first snow and everything that it brings.
pretty scenes of snow kissed pumpkins on porches

The whole house smelling like spiced apple pie
warm, fuzzy slippers
fire in the fireplace, and a pretty, festive mantle


and endless amounts of Stephens Mint Truffle hot chocolate
The house was all cozy, and magic was in the air.  It was a great way to kick off life post surgery, and to welcome a new season.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

slice and dice

I went in for my hysterectomy a week ago yesterday.  November 2nd to be exact.

I honestly had kept the surgery in the back of my mind, and had not thought too much about it, leading up to it. 

I focused on my half marathon's, Halloween, and doing the daily things that go with life in a big family.

On Sunday evening, the day before the surgery, it finally slapped me in the face, and it was really weird.

I wasn't really nervous, just anxious to get it over with and for life to get back to normal once more.

Ben had to stay home and get the kids off to school, so I drove myself there and did all of the pre-surgery stuff.

I still wasn't too nervous that morning, in fact, I was looking forward to lying down for a minute.  I was really tired and sore from the marathon a couple days before and from the Halloween festivities.

I just kept thinking I was having a baby though.  I have never had a surgery (aside from three D&C's) before. And I have never stayed overnight in the hospital without bringing a baby home.  I kept finding myself going through the list of things I needed to have ready for the baby, and then I would realize that I was not having a baby.  It was a little sad for me, but also a relief at the same time.

The nurse was great, and she even numbed my hand before putting the IV in.  She deserves a gold star and a cupcake!

When it was time,the sandman came in, and put an nice dose of his magic juice in my IV.  I reveled in that amazing medicine as long as I could.  That stuff is the BOMB!

But, sooner than later, they wheeled me to the freezing OR room, placed a mask on my face, and then...lights out. Rats.

I woke up in a lot of pain, and Ben was by my side.  I was so relieved that they had remembered to call Ben, so he could be there when I woke up.

After a few rounds of morphine, a trip to the bathroom, and sleeping for another few hours, I was actually feeling OK.

Dr. Clark came in and told me that everything went really well.  He didn't stay long, but I was happy to know that things went smoothly.  He is a great doctor, and I have a lot of trust in him.

Ben stayed as long as he could, and then headed home to be with the kids for the night.  I pretty much laid there in a drugged blissful stupor, and slept on and off until the next morning.

I was surprised with how well I was doing.  I was sore, but with the medicine, it really wasn't terrible. I was extremely tired though.

I had another visit from Dr. Clark, and a few other people, and then I started the check out process.

Yes, I did order carrot cake, and they did have it, but I was never really hungry during my hospital stay, so I didn't eat it.  CRAZY...I KNOW.  What was I thinking!

Ben and the kids came and got me from the hospital later that morning. (Mary and Sam insisted on being checked out of school to come get me).

I pretty much slept the next couple days, and then my mom came on Wednesday.  It was so great to know she was here and that we had the much needed help, and that Ben could get back to work.

Ben did a great job holding down the fort those first few days.  He had a great attitude with the kids, and was very loving and caring toward me.  I sure love that guy.  I am very lucky.

By Thursday I was off pain medicine, and on Friday, I went on an outing to Walmart with my mom and the two babies.  I rode the cart thingy, and my mom helped with the food and the bags.

That one outing did me in for the next day. I was soooo exhausted.

My mom was wonderful with helping with the kids, taking care of me, and cooking lots of yummy food.  It was comforting to have her here, and I was sad when it was time for her to leave.  I feel so lucky to have a mother that is able to come and help, and a mother that I am close enough to and that my kids love.  What a blessing!  I hope to do the same for my kids someday.

My mom left Sunday, after making us a nice Sunday dinner, and Jolene arrived a few hours later.

It is now Tuesday, a week after the surgery.

I still have pain, but nothing Advil can't handle.  The worst part, by far, is the fatigue.  I cannot believe how tired I feel all the time.  Not tired enough to sleep, but too tired to really do much.  It is a weird feeling, and one that I pray will pass soon.

I really miss running, being out and about, and just having energy.  It can get depressing if I let it, but at times, it is nice to just slow down also.

Jolene has been a wonderful help so far, and I am so glad she will be here this week.  She is great with the kids, and seems to know exactly when I need to have some peace and quiet. We are all so blessed to have such amazing mothers and grandmothers in our lives.

I am so relieved to have the surgery done, and I am really excited for my future life without endometriosis, and so much pain every month.

I was a little sad to be losing the organ that has carried all of my precious babies, but the pros so completely outweigh the cons, and the sadness didn't last for long.

So here I week out.  Still a little pain, but not bad, and working though some serious exhaustion and fatigue.

I will check in again in a week, and hopefully have some great progress to report on...maybe even an outing to the gym?!?!?!

one little flower, one big message

As I was walking around outside the other day, putting things away for the winter weather, I noticed how everything had pretty much died.  The weeds (thank heavens), the leaves on the trees, the flowers, and the grass.  Nature was hunkering down for a new season.

As I walking up to the front door, I glanced down and saw this.
One sweet little petunia, perfectly blossomed and full of it's beauty.

I sat there astounded as I thought of it's journey.

First of all, I did not plant and petunias there, so it must have started out in the planter on the porch next to it.

Let's back up.

When I bought flowers to put in the flower bed, I had some left over.  The left over flowers accidentally got left outside for over a week without water, before I remembered them.  When I saw them, only a few had survived.

I hurried and planted the ones that somehow survived into planters by the porch.

Out of all of those in the planters, only one plant survived in each planter.  Those plants blossomed beautifully, despite all they had been through.

Half way through the summer, Luke found a new thrill in filling the planters with water over and over and over again.

I would have to try to save the drowning flowers, and re-plant them, over and over and over again.  Most of them died.

Finally, at the end of summer, with just a couple petunias left in the planters, Luke flooded the planters again, and the flowers were poured out onto the grass, where Molly promptly picked at them, at a few, and played with them.

We have since mowed the lawn several times where those flowers were, and the flowers were all but forgotten.

So, for me to glance down and see this miraculous petunia that had somehow defied all odds and rooted down yet again in the dead grass, to grow into a beautiful flower, was truly a testament to me of what can happen if we just keep going, no matter the obstacles that are constantly being thrown at us.

As I stared at this cute little petunia, I felt like it was stretching as tall as it could, and doing everything in it's power to show me how beautiful it was, how good the world is, how good God is, and how it was fulfilling it's role here on Earth to the best of it's ability. It was meeting the measure of it's creation to the fullest.

I loved how this simple little petunia was telling me so many messages, and giving life to much meaning to me in that moment. 

God is good.  Life is good.  There is always hope. Miracles happen every day.


Last week, our neighbor across the street sent us this picture.

It took me a minute, but can you see it?  Or should I say, can you see him?

If you look at the little boy in the blue pajamas standing by the garage peeing...yes, that would be Luke.

Luke pees outside several times a day, and thinks nothing of it.  In fact, it is so natural to him, that I have to catch him on his way out, and remind him to pee in the toilet, not outside.

Obviously, I am concerned enough to try not to let him do this, but I am not freaking out either.  Am I just completely warped by this point with the third boy, or maybe I'm just too tired.

I wasn't at all concerned about the neighbor who sent the picture, because first of all, he was laughing his head off, and second of all, his kid has pooped in our yard more times than I care to mention.


halloween happenings

Halloween this year was on a Saturday this year, and it was great!

I started the day with the Halloween Half Marathon, and then we all watched Sam's last STORM soccer game.  His team did great, and beat a team that absolutely slaughtered them at the beginning of the season.  It was a fun way to end the season.  Sam did really well, and has improved a ton!

After the game, we came home and carved pumpkins! 

Sam carved his at a friends house, Molly was sleeping, and Ben was running errands, but the rest of us had a fun time.
They were all so proud of their pumpkins!

William drew the face on his pumpkins about 10 times, before it was good enough to carve it out.  He was extremely proud of his pumpkin, and spend a lot of time finding the perfect spot for it on our porch.

Luke had no desire to carve his, aside from the top, so he grabbed every marker he could find, and made this lovely creation.  He was thrilled!

Mary did her entire pumpkin completely on her own.  She made a vampire pumpkin, to match her costume.

After everyone got back home, and Molly woke up, we had a fun dinner of wrapped mummies (hot dogs wrapped in dough), and deviled eggs with spiders (olives).
It was nice to not feel rushed, and to have the whole day to celebrate.  It really kept things fun and calm in our house.
After dinner, it was TIME! 
Unfortunately, Molly's costume never arrived in the mail, so I have no Halloween pictures of her this year.  She wore our adorable spider costume that all of our kids have worn to the ward party, but Halloween night, she just hung out in her favorite fuzzy jammies, and helped me hand out candy.
Here are the other kids though.
the most gorgeous, um, I mean creepy, blonde vampire.

another handsome, I mean terrifying, vampire

the cutest Mario ever!

Luke was a giraffe, but ended up not wearing his costume trick or treating.  It was too hard to hold the darn head up everywhere he went.

Mary and Sam went trick or treating with friends, and came back with a massive haul of candy.  They were all grins when they got home.  Mary and Lydia came here when they were done and sorted their candy and talked about the scary people out trick or treating.  Sam went to a friend's house after and had a movie night.

William and Luke went with Ben, and lasted longer than last year. They came home happy and excited.

Molly stayed home with me, and loved putting candy into people's buckets and bags.  She was so cute!

It was a great Halloween this year!