Friday, April 29, 2016

changed for the better

Mid-March, I found myself staring into the mirror, with a sullen expression on my face. I just wasn't happy with the sagging skin, the muffin top, the bags underneath my eyes. For a moment, I let myself forget that I had just given birth one month before. 

One month. 

And not only was I just one month postpartum, I was still a full month away from getting medical clearance to work out because of having a c section. All this and I was already unhappy with the way my body looked. I was already not good enough. 

As I was telling a friend about this experience, she expressed to me that after her first child was born, she was sharing some of these same grievances with her mom. To which her wise mother responded something to the effect of when I was your age and having children, no one expected us to have a baby and bounce right back to our normal selves. They didn't expect us to act or look like nothing had happened to our bodies...because something HAD happened! 

I've really tried to keep that in mind as I transition back to a non-pregnant weight and size. Something DID happen to my body. Something incredible. Something amazing. Something miraculous. And I'm so grateful that it did. I'm so grateful for a cherubic infant who snuggles into my curves and sagging skin. Who grabs hold of my muffin top with her tiny, chubby fingers, with no intent to ever let go. Who stares just above the dark circles that hang below my eyes and peers into my soul. Because when she does, I catch a glimpse of heaven. 

I'm so grateful for my angelic Leah, who reminds me every day that our bodies - functioning or not - aren't the only things that are important. It is our spirits, our souls, that truly have worth. 

I'm grateful for my silly Kate and that she mixes up words sometimes. Because it's so much better to hear "Mom, I think your shirt is too big for you" as I exercise than what she actually means - that I'm too big for my spandex shirt.   

I'm so grateful for my own mother who never valued herself (at least in front of me) based on her physical fitness, but did show that taking good care of your body was important. 

I'm grateful for a husband who, when I'm indulging in a much-too-big bowl of ice cream at the end of a really long Thursday, doesn't say a thing. 

And I'm so grateful for Jane. I'm grateful she is reminding me that my body changed because she is HERE. She is in my arms! A living, breathing miracle. And with that reminder, I hope to remember I'll always be good enough.  

(I know, you really wanted to see a picture of my curves. You get Jane's instead.)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

december in an instant

I love everything about December - the smells, the lights, the traditions, the people. I love watching the simple joy of my children as we spend time together as a family. I love the time I take to slow down and focus on my Savior and see the goodness in the world around me. There's a lot of hustle and bustle this time of year - places to be, gifts to buy, things to check off my to-do list. But my favorite moments are the quiet ones - sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, watching the snow fall softly to the ground, singing a favorite carol. And I'm grateful for each of those moments and more this December. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

november in an instant

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing--

that when we look for what's best...

we're doing what God does all the time...

we're participating in something sacred.”

-Mr. Rogers

Sunday, November 1, 2015

october in an instant

L.M. Montgomery said it best when she penned, 

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

Incredible Team Leah Bean support, fall leaves, weekend trips to Minneapolis, birthdays, two cute girls in their Halloween costumes, and baby GIRLS...I really am glad I live in a world - my world - where there are Octobers. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

september in an instant

We spent September recuperating from our August adventures. The girls settled into new school routines (2nd grade! Preschool!) and we added some extra curriculars. Ryan traveled for work. We geared up for our 2nd annual Team Leah Bean virtual 5k. And we traveled to the Big House to cheer on our Cougars (but apparently didn't cheer loud enough for them to score any points). 

Fall is in the air, we're back into our routines and it feels good. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

august in an instant

August flew by altogether too fast. We snorkeled in the ocean, we played with grandma, we took a day trip (read: 10 hours in the car) to Indianapolis, we started school!, we swam, we camped, we cleaned. Maren went on a girl's trip to Chicago. And our sweet little Leah was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

It was a really good month spent with even better people. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

july in an instant

You start out with Utah, throw in a little heat and humidity in Iowa and end with Cancun. 

July was basically an Iowa sandwich with a really tasty bun on both ends. 

Throw in some swimming, star-studded golf, Nauvoo, neurology and GRANDMA and you've got a pretty great month. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

june in an instant

Summatime, summatime, sum sum summatime. 

Sunshine, swimming, sweat, strawberries, seizures. Almost everything about summer is simply glorious. I do tremble with fear thinking about long days that lead into long weeks with me as the sole entertainment for my children. But, I do love it. And I REALLY love it on swim days. 

In June we spent three whole days driving so we could run for two days straight. Really, we did. Good thing we love so much about Utah and the people who live there (and the people who visit there the same time we do). And lucky for the Laytons, they all put up with us and our bathroom-flooding shenanigans (that's a story for another day). 

Monday, June 1, 2015

may in an instant


May had a little bit of everything. Most of it good. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

april in an instant

Growing up, I was never one to appreciate the spring. I couldn't understand why some people chose it as their favorite season. After living through another Winter That Shall Not Be Named, I completely understand. Spring, and April in particular brings new life. Hope. Rebirth. Joy. Warmth. We celebrated the birth of our Savior. We enjoyed time with friends...outside! And we marveled at the beauty...and warmth...of God's creations in spring.