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.