nothing much to say but i wanted a change

i've gotten my butt in gear. i'm exercising daily. i'm eating better. it feels good. i am even losing weight. we got fitbit flexes & i move more and more.

my kids are getting bit. mikey has whiney times, but for the most part i thoroughly enjoy him. well rested & that kid is an absolute champ. he is funny, intelligent, and a sweetheart. henry is busy. he always has something in his mouth - a car, a binky that he chews on, a block... doesn't matter, he's just always sticking something in there. he is fun to play with. he cracks up and his laugh will melt anyone's heart. his top teeth are growing in at a weird pace & his smile is funny looking. i wouldn't change it for anything. his chubby cheeks get kissed often.

i've been reading good books lately. i love being in a good reading phase. it does my heart good.

life is good and i am happy. i like being happy. last year wasn't always a happy year for me. it is such a relief to be back in a better spot. i am so thankful for my little family.


so sick of being sick

less than a week before christmas, mikey got sick. it was worse than just a cold, so we took him in and low and behold - he had strep. at that time, henry was a little wheezy from a cold and was put on his nebulizer for a week for breathing treatments. by christmas eve morning, my throat hurt so bad i wanted to die. i had strep too. my family told me i'd be feeling better by christmas morning, but they were wrong. very wrong. it took 4 days ON ANTIBIOTICS to get feeling better. not great, just better. the day after christmas garrett was diagnosed with strep. right around the time my antibiotics were over for strep, i started feeling weird. a weird stomach ache/cramps that i didn't know what to do about. i didn't say much about it at first. i just had weird pains... looking back now if i ever get those pains again, i'll go straight to the urologist. around the time i had the weird pains start, one night i felt like i had to pee constantly. the next morning i went to the doc and said, "i have a bladder infection." there was blood in my urine but i wasn't showing lots of symptoms for bladder infections, but they treated me for one because of the blood and the frequency of going. by the time that was over with, i swear i felt like i was best friends with my doctor. we had scheduled a physical in order to get a biometric screening done for a huge discount for our medical insurance. i finished my last antibiotic for the bladder infection on friday afternoon. saturday morning was the physical. we talked about the weird pain i was having - she thought it might be an ovarian cyst - not much you can do for those, but suffer the pain unless they are really big and then they do a surgery. i was also diagnosed with round two of strep. and she warned me that if i have strep again right away, i'd need to see an ENT. [ear, nose, and throat specialist]

early monday morning, i woke up with the pain amped up about 100 times and then the vomiting started. i was beside myself. i seriously thought i was dying. i called my parents and asked them to come help me. by the time they got here, it was pretty much decided that i couldn't wait for the doctor's office to open, i needed to go to the ER. off we went. i couldn't even sit down - that pain is like nothing i've ever felt. and i couldn't stop barfing. we went to the ER and after a few hours they figured out that it was kidney stones. boy, pain killers can sure be a life saver. i vaguely remember the morphine getting into my veins the first time and being able to just relax a little. it didn't take the pain away, i just could stop. stop panicking, stop vomiting, stop so miserable. i think i even calmed down enough to fall asleep for a few minutes. they sent me home monday afternoon with instructions to get to the urologist tomorrow. i did. we found out that day that the hospital wasn't in network with our insurance [whoops, that was a mistake, we thought it was] and we needed to go to a different hospital [better in our opinion, but further away...] and that surgery would be necessary within a few days. my kidney stoneS were large. on the right side, both were bigger than what can be passed. [found out a few days later that i also have kidney stones on the left kidney, but they won't do both kidneys at once - risk of renal failure, so they wait a month.]

did i mention that while throwing up on monday morning i ruptured my eardrum? it was slightly infected, along with the strep. i've never ruptured an ear drum before - it hurts terribly. sharp pain in the ear and loss of hearing. takes about 4 - 6 weeks to recover. not much you can do there for it. super awesome. 

they called me wednesday early afternoon to tell me that surgery was going to be friday, and that i needed to stop taking ibuprofen. i could continue my narcotic, but i needed both narcotic and ibuprofen to manage the pain. wednesday was also henry's 1st birthday. we had invited our whole family on both sides over for dinner. i had downgraded the party to just cake on tuesday, as i was not feeling well. the pain meds were working, but no one should throw a birthday party on pain killers. ha. before the party started that evening, i knew i was doomed. i vomited once, but felt better after. my pain was increasing as the minutes ticked on. my parents and garrett did EVERYTHING for that party. my mom decorated the cakes. she helped garrett with decorations. my dad cleaned and helped with the kids. i layed on the couch barking orders and feeling like crap. i knew i was going to need to go back to the hospital, i just didn't know when. i knew i wasn't going to make it til friday.  the party happened. i was there physically at least, probably not really mentally though. everyone left pretty early and i was in bed by 8 pm. 

2 am thursday morning came around and i was awake. the pain was becoming intolerable again. i felt nauseated. [you can really tell a difference without the ibuprofen!]  i tossed and turned for a while until i finally woke up garrett and said, "i think i'm going to need to go back to the hospital this morning. i can't take it." he wondered why we should wait. i didn't even hesitate, and said, "you're right. i'll call my parents." my dad answered at 2:36 and they were here by 3. by the time they pulled up, i was such a wreck that i was waiting outside for them. we jumped in the car, they took over the boys for the next 36+ hours. my parents are saints. they are life savers. there is no one out there that i would've felt comfortable leaving my babies with like that. they know the kids, they know their drill, i knew they would all be fine. 

i spent a few hours in the ER and then by late morning they admitted me to the hospital until after the surgery the following day. i was in the hospital until after the surgery friday afternoon. late afternoon. as in no food or drink all day. its a good thing i've got a little meat on my bones - i survived. 

the surgery wasn't bad. i was out for it. ha. [the anesthesiologist was a little bit rude to me, basically treated me like a crack whore. but that's another store for another time] the recovery hasn't been fun. its been 10 days now & i still don't feel great. i'm not terrible anymore, but there has been pain. bad enough that i've contemplated the ER again, had i not been warned that it could get bad... the stent hurt and was very uncomfortable. the removal was a little scary but the 4 -5 days after that were worse. talk about over active bladder and cramping again! pain killers are a good thing, let me tell you. 

the good news is i am a ticking time bomb until the end of february - when my next surgery is. hopefully then i won't need the stent after. i shouldn't, based on my knowledge of why i got the first one and what the situation on lefty is. 

since january 1 - i have lost 10 pounds. mostly from not eating and being sick. when i have eaten, i've tried to eat better. i was planning on doing a 30 day smoothie challenge. it hasn't happened. i've made more smoothies this month than i had for months, but it surely isn't enough. i have indulged in some comfort eating, but you know what? i've been miserable. i could've done better, but i sure as hell could've done a lot worse! i haven't felt good enough to exercise yet... that is a february goal now. i am proud of myself because i have lost weight, despite all of this crap. i easily could've clogged more arteries and comforted myself more. i'm not beating myself up for what hasn't happened, i'm just continuing to try to do better and acknowledge what i have done. and i'm going to pray everyday that i never get kidney stones again. they're the worse. 

i've got 2 or so more days of antibiotics that they sent me home from the hospital with. for the strep and post surgery. yesterday i woke up with a cold coming on, which is super fun when you already have a clogged ear and pain there.  my throat doesn't hurt yet, but the second time i had strep i didn't even have a sore throat. just swollen glands. you could see the strep in the back of my throat. i'm too scared to even look at my throat now. i'm really hoping that i don't have strep again, cause we've blown through our flex spending money and i don't like our co-pay for specialists. 

oh and - henry is back on nebulizer treatments.

my advice: do not get kidney stones. 


henry is one!

i can't believe this baby is one. he's becoming less and less a baby every day, too. in some ways, it seemed like a long year - that ol' 2013. but in henry time, it flew. i feel like he was only a newborn for about 5 minutes. i remember he was easy and sweet. he smelled good. he liked his momma best. [by the way, he still does.] he had a huge head. he rarely cried. he has always been a happy boy. easy going and smiley. he loves his brother. he loves his daddy. he likes to play games. scratch that - he loves to play games. he likes to use his looks to get away with naughtiness. he has been a huge source of peace and happiness in my life. i'm so glad he joined our family. he makes me happy all of the time. he's just the easiest thing to love still. [no talking back yet, no arguing... you know. i still adore the 3 year old, he's just harder now!]

i'm so thankful for this angel. i tell heavenly father every day "thank you for giving him to me when you did!" 

happy 1st birthday, my hugglemonster! i love you!


books read in 2013

well, this year was a considerably small reading year for me. i was busy. lots of things going on. way more than normal number of nights going to bed without reading at all. i hope 2014 catches back up!

i typically post about books that i've read every year. see past years here. 2012. 2011. 2010. 2009.

here's what i read this year: i'll go back and rate them again, without going to my official goodreads rating - based off my current memory.

  • My Story by: Elizabeth Smart [22] ****
  • Heft by: Liz Moore [21] ****
  • The Rent Collector by Camron Wright [20] *****
  • The Namesake by: Jhumpa Lahiri [17] ***
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by: Harper Lee [16] *****
  • Can You Keep a Secret? by: Sophie Kinsella [15] ***
  • The Storyteller by: Jodi Picoult [14] ****
  • Looking for Me by: Beth Hoffman [13] ****
  • And the Mountains Echoed by: Khaled Hosseini [12] ****
  • The Language of Flowers by: Vanessa Diffenbaugh [11] ****
  • The Orchardist by: Amanda Coplin [10] ****
  • Crazy Little Thing by: Tracy Brogan [9] **
  • Jane Eyre by: Charlotte Bronte [8] **
  • Beautiful Ruins by: Jess Walter [7] **
  • The End of Your Life Bookclub by: Will Schwalbe [6] ***
  • The Light Between Oceans by: M.L. Stedman [5] ****
  • Before I Die by: Jenny Downham [4] **
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by: Ayana Mathis [3] ***
  • The 19th Wife by: David Ebershoff [2] ***
  • Sharp Objects by: Gillian Flynn [1] ***
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells [18] ****
  • The Cuckoo's Calling by: Robert Galbraith [19] ***

favorite books: The Rent Collector, The Storyteller, The Light Between Oceans.

i boldied any books that got a four star or higher rating - cause i would highly recommend them to you! 


project life: my testimonial & plans for 2014

2013 is coming to a close and i'm ok with it. i'm ready for a new year. to leave some things in the past and to have a fresh start. to become bigger and better and smaller all at the same time. [smaller body wise. ha] there were some amazing things that happened this year - henry, for example, has been an absolute thrill. but there have also been some life changing, devastating things - which i won't go into detail about, cause if you don't know, you don't need to know, and if you do know, you know exactly what i am talking about. 

one thing that has - as cheesy as this sounds - gotten me through this year is project life by becky higgins. i got to meet becky this fall in downtown salt lake city & when i started talking to her, i burst into tears. it meant so much to me. i felt like such a nerd & probably scared the crap out of her. my mom was with me when i met her & as we walked away, i told her how embarrassed i was. i mean, i snorted and did the ugly cry at her. my mom pointed out that it has been a tough year for me & project life has gotten me through it. it has been my escape from stress. it has been my happy place. 

 i have been doing project life since mikey was born. his baby book and henry's baby book were project life kits. [mikey was cherry edition, henry's book is baby edition for him. paper kits, not digital.] it is a lot of work, but worth it. i cherish these books. my boys can have them when i am good and dead, i joke. only i might not be joking. a picture a day for their first lives - priceless. i did a family book in 2012, using the clementine on shutterfly approach, which is digital. i had never done digital scrapbooking before [note, i am not a scrapbooker, i am a project lifer. i was just being clear here.] and it was easy. i liked it a lot. in 2013, i have used digital pages by another designer, because i was doing henry's book and i wanted a simpler approach -- only because i couldn't keep up with 2 daily pictures. but i wanted a family book for "big events." i have loved it. i much prefer becky's stuff and am greatly looking forward to 2014's book. 

in 2014, i'm going digital. i have 2 weeks to finish up of henry's book and then it'll just be our family book for the year. i am going to do a two page spread for each week. on the left side, i am going to use the capture app on my phone for daily pictures. i will be using the midnight kit and the design F layout. on the right side, i will be doing "events" from every week. birthdays, field trips, art projects, whatever i please. i will use any and every kit from becky that i want - and believe me, this year i have bought way too many, so my selection is grand and any layout i want, too. i am super excited about this. it is going to give me lots of options and lots of freedom.   

the thing is though, project life doesn't just have to be a daily family album. here is a list of some of the other project life albums i've done this year. seriously, i went buck wild. don't judge. 

  • a 9 year journal of my teaching years. i did a mini album using the childhood mayfield kit. this is kinda what got me started in mini albums and other things. i love it. paper kit, not digital. 
  • a mini album about my parent's house, a stories of home album before they were called that, as they were leaving chicago and their home of 40ish years. this is what we would call a tray-sure. i used the seafoam kit. 
  • a stories of home album about my house. it is a cracker box but it is where i bought a house as a 25 year old, independent woman, we lived as newlyweds, and brought home two babies. i never want to forget it. another mini album using the flea market mini kit.
  • a childhood album using pictures from my parents' supply. my dad has always been a photographer, so we have a well documented childhood. my incredibly generous sister took all of their photos and had them scanned and shared. so we now all have all of the pictures of our childhood digitally. you should be jealous. this is beyond amazing. i used a full size album for this and many page protectors, and the olive edition. paper kit, not digital. another tray-sure.
  • a friend got married. i did a mini album of her wedding pictures for her. i used the midnight kit. 
  • my sister is a quilter. i did a photo journal of all of her quilts for her. i used a mini album and the kraft kit.
  • "a day in the life" mini album. where we documented the snot out of a day in may. we took over 400 pictures of a saturday. it was a jam packed saturday, too. so much fun. i used a mini album and the kraft kit. 
  • my dad worked for united airlines for 46+ years. he retired in 2012. i made an album for him, documenting his world travels, his career experiences, and much more. i left the journaling for him to do. he still hasn't done that part yet, but i will make him in 2014. and i know he cherishes the book. it is cool. we did a full size album and used the vintage travel kit. paper kit, not digital.
  • i did a "garrett and hayley before the kids" book. i want my kids to someday be able to look back and realize that their parents were madly in love before they came along. ha. mini album using midnight and olive, mostly olive. just a few midnight highlights. 
  • i have started and continue to work on a quote and art book by mikey. at age 2, he started saying some real zingers. they need to be documented. i love this book. full size album, using the jade kit. 
  • i am also doing a december mini album using the merry and bright kit. 
  • i also have plans to start a personal weight loss journal for 2014. i won't be sharing this book with many. i will include before/after pictures. journaling, goals, all kinds of stuff. i just want to have some way to document this journey. cause i know project life gets me moving. and i really want to make a push for a healthier hayley. i've got less than a week to get my plans finalized here. it'll be a mini album. i'm using the slate edition for this. 
so as you see, this doesn't just have to be a daily book. there are so many choices. i love so many of them. i have bought mostly digital, but some of the actual kits, as noted above. i have bought from amazon, michaels, hobby lobby, and the digital project life website.  

geez. i was going to link up all of the kits and websites. but it is late and i decided not to. [ha. late = 8:45 tonight. i'm still recovering from having strep this week. eek!] you can look them up on project digital life

i will also continue to use my other blog to keep updates for our project life. i'm not exactly sure how i'll share this year. maybe just the capture pictures, daily. maybe more. maybe less. maybe i'll just share the weekly two page spread. i don't know. we'll see. i've got to figure that out still. 


not happening

my goal of 2.2 is not happening. not even close. i started a part time job from home and i love it, but it keeps me a lot busier than i was when i wrote that blog post. come january though. hell or high water, i will get super serious about this.

nothing but diet pills and laxatives til summer. or something like that.

i'm not completely giving up and indulging in every little thing, i'm trying to exercise when i can. but it is a treaty time of year. and busy. and i'm just enjoying it and trying to not beat myself up too much. it is hard when i see pictures of myself, but i'm going to survive.


68. 150. 2point2. goals.

except i do daily, on my other blog. project life, baby. it is my favorite.

here's the point of this post: there are 68 days left in the year. my baby is 9 months old. i have not lost my baby weight. i did lose 11 pounds in april. but i have gained it all and more back. i don't like this. but i'm not going to beat myself up. its been a hard year. i have succeeded in so many other areas of my life. i'm not going to beat myself up and i'm not going to look back.

i started watching scandal this week. it is good. i told myself that i'm not allowed to watch it unless i'm on the treadmill. we recently improved greatly upon the tv watching situation while on the treadmill. momma likey. mucho. 3 days in a row i've gladly gotten on at 4 pm when garrett is done with work for the day. 
[this is not scandal. this picture was taken before i discovered scandal, but after the tv watching situation was greatly improved on the treadmill, last week. i realize there is only so much scandal to watch. i will watch other shows, as well. but for now, my interest is there.]

i'm getting started again. stress in my life is going down, i think i can handle not comforting myself all of the time with food. less french fries and pans of chocolate chip cookie bars. less. i make no promises of none. i'm tired of my clothes not fitting. i'm tired of my double chin. i'm tired of being embarrassed. 

i want to set a goal: to log 150 miles by the end of the year. that'd be roughly 2.2 miles per day. its not impossible, but it will be a challange. i'm gonna do it. 

yep. i say gonna. 

you should watch scandal. it is on netflix. my sister said there is hot love on it. i laugh at her, but she's right.


mikey is three!!!

my sister designed mikey's birthday invitation. it was awesome. we said, "whoa!"
sunday night was family night with garrett's family. we celebrated mikey's birthday then. 
mckay and sindi gave mikey this jake and the neverland pirates treasure chest complete with a sword. he now insists on wearing pants with belt loops. 
tuesday nana took mikey to build a bear, as she does with the grandkids on their 3rd birthday. what a special tradition!
mikey was a little overwhelmed at everything in the store. he fixated on ivor's backpack... until he woke up from his nap and then he fully appreciated ivor. [ivor is the baby's name on henry hugglemonster... one of mikey's new favorite shows. also, where we got any form of hugglemonster nicknames for henry!]
 mikey started preschool last week - before he was even 3! - and this is his teacher giving him a lil' present and singing happy birthday to him. 
grandpa was able to go read a book to the kids on mikey's birthday, too. what a special treat for me, him and mikey. 
 we had mikey's wall*e birthday party last night. grandparents and a few aunts and cousins came. it was fun. 
 mikey got a few REALLY cool airplanes! he is in hog's heaven!!!
 cars cookie cutters!!!  like we need another excuse to have more treats. as i'm typing this, garrett is making the dough! mikey is running around with a balloon in hand squealing in excitement about making cars cookies.
 this airplane came from auntie tiff and crew - its amazing. mikey built the airplane and can take it apart and build it again to his little boy's heart's content. it is seriously awesome! thanks, auntie tiff!
 we made cupcakes [complete with green plants a la my amazing & talented mother] in a cup. courtesy of buy-n-large. 
 the big boy blowing out his candle. you can also see a fairly decent shot of his wall*e t-shirt that we made. this will be a part of our family themed hallloween costumes, too. more on that later. 
auntie heidi gave mikey some water color and finger paints. with special papers. when he opened it last night, i said, "we'll do that tomorrow!" and this morning when we woke up, he had an agenda. we got down to business painting. we might be painting every day for the next while - maybe until we run out of paper or paint. another awesome present.

we didn't even give mikey his big present yet. cause we forgot until everyone was leaving and it was way past his bedtime. its a bike. and since we didn't want to torture the poor kid, we're waiting until tonight when garrett is done with work to give it to him. when they can go outside and play with it for a while. 

i love being his mom. he's a special kid. i am in awe at how fast he's growing up, too.


sometimes i'm a fun mom...

 i melted chocolate chips while mikey had the time of his life beating graham crackers. 
 i love his smile. he looks so big to me sometimes. 
 mikey helped roll the marshmallows in the chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. also, i love henry's photobomb in this picture. 
 sometimes he just had to take a bite out of the 'smellows [as he calls them]
 and then, in the end - he didn't even like them. he kept asking for plain 'smellows. crazy kid. they're delicious treats!

i have never gotten a bad idea from pinterest!


henry @ 5 months

my sister is a photographing genius!