books read in 2015

  • The Girl on the Train by: Paula Hawkins [15] ****
  • Paper Towns by: John Green [14] ***
  • The Invention of Wings by: Sue Monk Kidd [13] ****
  • Go Set a Watchman by; Harper Lee [12] ***
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee [11] *****
  • The Good Girl by: Mary Kubica [10] ****
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by: J.K. Rowling [9] *****
  • The Secrets of Midwives by: Sally Hepworth [8] ****
  • Hope; A Memoir or Survival in Cleveland by: Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus [7] ***
  • Prodigy by: Marie Lu [6] ***
  • Legend by: Marie Lu [5] ***
  • The Duff by: Kody Keplinger [4] ***
  • The Rose Garden by: Susanna Kearsley [3] ***
  • I've Got Your Number by: Sophie Kinsella [2] ***
  • The Girl You Left Behind by: Jojo Moyes [1] ****

This was a slow reading year for me. Back pain and a very rough pregnancy kept me from being able to focus. i probably started more than double the amount of books I finished. Oh well. I literally did not finish a book after Tommy was born in September. 

And since I never blog on this blog anymore, look before for past years. 


books read in 2014

books read in 2014:

  • Yes Please by: Amy Poehler [28] ***
  • How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by: Jeff Guinn [27] **
  • The Bone Garden by: Tess Gerrison [26] **
  • The Hypnotist's Love Story by: Liane Moriarty [25] ****
  • The Sandcastle Girls by: Chris Bohjahlin [24] ***
  • Ordinary Grace by: William Kent Krueger [23] ***
  • Big Little Lies by: Liane Moriarty [22] ****
  • The Last Anniversary by: Liane Moriarty [21] ****
  • Finding Me by: Michelle Knight [20] ***
  • This Is Where I Leave You by: Jonathan Topper [19] ***
  • Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty [18] ****
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home by: Carol Rifka Brunt [17] ***
  • The Paris Wife by: Paula McLain [16] ***
  • Winter Garden by: Kristin Hannah [15] ***
  • Love Life by: Rob Lowe [14] ***
  • Bad Monkey by: Carl Hiasson [13] ***
  • Where Did You Go Bernadette? by: Maria Semple [12] ***
  • Love, Stargirl by: Jerry Spinelli [11] **
  • Stargirl by: Jerry Spinelli [10] ****
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by: Rebecca Wells [9] ***
  • The Light in the Ruins by: Chris Bohjahlin [8] ****
  • The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green [7] ****
  • What Alice Forgot by: Liane Moriarty [6] ****
  • Wild by: Cheryl Strayed [5] ***
  • Me Before You by: Jojo Moyes [4] ****
  • The Round House by: Louise Erdrich [3] ****
  • Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry by: Mildred D. Taylor [2] ***
  • The Illusion of Separateness by: Simon Van Booy [1] ***


things are a changing...

so for years i have talked about losing weight. i've even tried for a few days at a time. and slowly, i've gained more and more weight. sure, i had two kids, but i also ate more and more. it wasn't pretty for me. i started really not liking what i was seeing. i never have been a big "check myself out in front of the mirror multiple times a day" kinda girl, but for a long time, i have downright avoided mirrors. it was embarrassing. i didn't think nice things about myself. i've probably always been way too hard on myself, but the mental abuse i put myself through for the last few years was not good. and it didn't help. 

i didn't know what to do. i could join a gym or weight watchers, but that's expensive. and i don't have money to just waste if i wasn't truly committed. about a month ago, i decided things needed to change. i really wanted to do something. 2014 was going to be my year and it was half over. sure, i've had two kidney stone surgeries this year, along with a few other excuses i could come up with... but really when i thought about it, the kidney stone issue was even more reason that i needed to do something. i do not want that problem back. and it very well could happen. i could be prone to them, regardless of my diet. but... if diet has anything to do with it, deep down i knew i owed it to myself to avoid it. my sister had told me about the bikini body mommy and i had even done a few of her workouts for a few days. i think i even did her first challenge for about 5 days straight earlier in the year. and like always, i tanked. something happened and i gave up. and comforted myself with a burger and fries. 

here's what is hard about having natural skinniness on your side until your mid to late 20's... you never learn to monitor yourself. you're used to being able to eat as many oreos as you want in one sitting. and chocolate shakes? well they belong with a burger and fries, doi. anyway, in my early years, i was a picky eater - but as an adult, i discovered things like sour cream and deviled eggs and heaven only knows i washed it all down with a dr pepper. i have never been "athletic," didn't play sports in high school, and have never enjoyed working out. i'm a reader, i like to listen to music, to watch movies, to make people laugh. breaking a sweat, not my thing.

but being ashamed when you look at yourself in a mirror is brutal. i know i am a good person. deep down, i like me. but i hated the way i look. and i knew my health was suffering. so, i finally got moving. got my ass off the couch, if you will. 

so, i spent a few days thinking and really stewing about what i was going to do. i talked a little about it with my husband, but in my mind i was really plotting. i thought i was going to join weight watchers... that is even what we talked about doing. then on a monday morning (july 21st to be exact) i was on bikini body mommy's website and i bought her success journal ($15). as soon as garrett was off the phone, i poked my head in there and told him what i did. and i said i was going to get the book printed that very day and i was going to start her workouts. 

i got the book printed (>$25) that day. and i did the workout. and i took my measurements and pictures. and i hated those numbers and the picture. but i told myself this was going to be the end of it. and the next day i did it again. and again and again. 

today is day 26. monday we do our day 30 pictures and measurements again. i'm not skinny or even fit yet, but i can tell a difference. i've lost about 14 pounds. i've lost a lot of inches, especially in certain places like my belly. my face isn't as fat. i wore a pair of pants this week that fit comfortably. before this all started, i couldn't wear them, they were obscenely tight and i couldn't even button them. 

garrett is doing this with me, in fact most days we do the workouts together on his lunch break. when i told him i was going to print the success journal, he told me to print him one, too. he's doing great, too. it is good for both of us. i'm proud of him but i'm not telling his story. i'm glad we're doing this together, mostly because of the eating. i'm eating a lot healthier and it wouldn't work if one of us was eating ice cream every night. that person might not survive the night, ha. 

we're using our fitbits that we got earlier this year. we're logging our food on our fitbit. we log our activities, too. i'm loving my success journal. it really helps for me to have a place to write down thoughts, feelings, and what i'm doing. 

most days i go for a walk in the morning - about 2-3 miles. i don't count that as my exercise because it just helps me get to 10,000 steps. that is a daily goal, to just be moving more. the bikini body mommy workouts are my workout. and they are tough. but i  can do them. for free. at home. with my kids underfoot. 

so i'm 26 days in. i have not skipped a day yet. sure, there have been days where i've gone over my desired calorie deficit. but not grossly. there have been days where i've had treats. but i've kept track. and those days are happening less and less because i'm figuring things out and it isn't as hard, mentally any more. physically it is still kicking my butt. i sweat like crazy now. but i like it. i never thought i would. there has not been a day where i've missed my exercise, except sundays. sundays are the rest day and i have taken advantage of them. mommy likey sundays. 

today was probably the first time i even thought about skipping a workout. i had a huge costco trip to make this morning. so my morning routine was off. and then we went to my mom and dad's for dinner. but at 8:30 when the kids were finally in bed, i knew i had some calories to make up for. normally my work out is over early in the day, and i'm not eating calories that i haven't earned yet. but tonight, i was a few hundred calories over. so we did our bikini body mommy workout. and then i jumped on the treadmill until i got to 10,000 steps. i didn't even really want to skip, it just could've happened pretty easily. but we're doing this together and so instead of plopping on the couch watching shark week, we got our move on. 

i'm excited. its a 90 day challenge, which goes until mid october. i'm excited to see where i am at the end of this challenge. i have a goal to lose at least 20 more pounds. i know i can do it. the craziest thing to me is most of the time i don't even want the junk. i can see how my body is using food for energy and strength. i feel better when i eat healthier. and the few times i've had the junk, i didn't feel as good. i don't even want dr pepper anymore, which is pretty much a miracle. 

i feel stronger. i push myself everyday to do better than i did on the last workout. i am amazed at what i am doing. and i am feeling better and better about myself. the less negative self-talk, the better, right? 


a more effective me...

i was reading a book the other day and one of the characters talked about how she had read the seven habits of highly effective people. one of those habits is list making. 

when i was teaching, i always had to do lists going, especially on friday afternoons which was my weekly block of planning time. i found great satisfaction in crossing items off my list. i made good use of my time [mostly] and got things done. it helped me stay organized throughout the following week and my teaching was better, too. 

as a stay at home mom, i've never been able to shake the mindset of being off track. when i was off track, my days were relaxed and unproductive. i got to things when i got to them. as a stay at home mom, i've never felt good at it. my house is clean, usually. its not tidy though which i'm not sure it ever will be with two little boys. but somedays i feel overwhelmed at the clutter and unfortunately i tend to ignore things that overwhelm me. 

anyway back to the book. i got to thinking about how when i was a teacher, i was effective when i made lists. i thought, i should make a list of 5 things to do everyday. above and beyond changing diapers, feeding the boys, and just continuing to live. i want my list to include things that are reasonable, but not necessary. i also want to include one spiritual goal, one service oriented goal [even if it is just a little cleaning project/laundry] and one physical goal.

today's list:
  • enter huggies codes so i can get the things off my desk
  • make flashcards for mikey
  • read an ensign article
  • laundry - whites. includes putting away, too.
  • exercise
i've done the huggies codes, i've downloaded the flashcards just need to print, read this article, and i did day two in my ab and squat challenge. i plan to do a bikini body mommy workout still. 

but here's what else i've done: read books to my kids, gotten them dressed, made smoothies, made mikey's bed, cleaned up a mess of books that mikey and henry had fun with, and this blog post, complete with links and all. all before 9:15 am. 

that's productive for stay at home hayley. 

ok, i'm off to start a load of whites. 


thoughts from a shower

that post title could attract some very dirty people. i assure everyone, that is not what this post is about... so if you came here looking for slime, please go away.

while in the shower just a few minutes ago, i had a huge burst of love for my mom. she's strong. she's amazing. she's beautiful. in so many ways, each of these things. when catastrophe has struck in my life, which it has, she's been a huge back bone. a rock. i'm not sure i sing her praises enough for all the world to know. i've always been a daddy's girl, but that doesn't mean i'm not a momma's girl, too. i am. 

my house smells divine right now. i've got a pork roast simmering away in the crock pot for some pulled pork sandwiches tonight. i'm about to go make a homemade pound cake. i bought some ciabatta rolls at the store today that should be delish. and i will probably whip up a yummy salad to go with. my parents are coming over for dinner tonight. my boys will be delighted when grandma and grandpa show up. 

welp... henry just woke up from his nap. i'm off to change a pooper and snuggle a ginger. 


may is practically over!?

i've been stalling out lately when it comes to eating healthy and exercise. as in... i'm eating a bowl of ice cream every night after the kids are in bed. and my workouts aren't happening. i don't like it. i mentally beat myself up about it all of the time. my clothes are tight again. i feel so pudgy.

i need to pull my head out of my you know what. i'm just not there yet. i don't like this.

i've been reading lots of good books lately. i never thought i'd be this person, but i actually highly prefer to read on my ipad now instead of an actual book. i got an ipad mini a few months ago, so i've even replaced the kindle. i've figured out a few tricks about checking books out easier from the library. reading does my little heart and mind good.

my kids are huge. i love them. their personalities are so strong and so different. they really entertain me. motherhood isn't easy. that's for sure, but it is grand. i love wrestling with them and snuggling with them. i'm not sure what is better. i think it is good that i do both.

yesterday morning my back started hurting. well, it had been hurting slightly for a few days. but my lower back all of a sudden was so tight i couldn't sit. this blog post  is the longest i've sat up in 36 hours. i'm going to have the shakes by the time i'm done. but i just want to get up and walk around. standing up i'm super crooked, but i crave it. i want to walk and to stand normally. i might need to go see my ol' chiropractor. i just don't want to pay for it yet.

because you know... i'm still paying off the thousands and thousands we owe in kidney stones. good news there: another month or two and i'm even. yay.

this year is flying by for me. what about you?


three and a half and 15 months

i love having two little boys. if i had girls, i'd love them. if i had a mix, i'd love that, too. i'm not saying i'm better than you because of my situation. i'm just saying - i love my kids. i grew up with all sisters. there were no cars, guns, balls. ok there were probably a few of those things... but, not the obsessions like we have here.

lately i've been thinking a lot about how similar they are and at the same time how different. they have the same manner, temper if you will. they're both easy going, happy little fellas. they're both independent, self-entertainers. i love that. i love that i can work part time from home at my computer and they'll typically just play and keep themselves busy. they play together and laugh... oh man, their giggles - melts a momma's heart. sure, i have to help here and there with things, but it makes things nice for me. but there are differences, too.

mikey is sensitive. he is a rule follower. i told him one time not to say "stupid" and "hate" (on two different occasions) in passing, that is now law. if you say those words around him, expect to be corrected. he is smart and inquisitive. he likes to talk and ask questions and figure things out. he's not a baby anymore, at all. he's a kid. he thinks. he goes to school, loves it and does well there. he is methodical, he is habitual. there are times when i am perplexed because he'll do something that frustrates me - because he is a little me. it is a good thing i'm pretty awesome, cause so is he. ha. he has some of my more difficult traits, but he also has my better ones, too. i also realize that he's 3. and from what i've heard and seen, probably the hardest age. so if this is him at his worst, i'll take it. he's a good boy. i often say mikey should've been a little brother because he loves big kids, but he is also an amazing big brother. he is protective and generous, most of the time.

henry. this little bundle of joy. this kid got me through a difficult 2013. my angel. happy to the core. now that he's less baby and more toddler, his personality shows more. if mikey is the rule follower, henry is the rebel. he has such a sense of humor. he wants to figure everything out. he is his own little man. i think he is a little young to say he is not a good listener, but he's not. if you tell him no - about something, like throwing a ball down the stairs - he turns and smiles as he chucks it down the stairs anyway. he is very quirky, i am finding. he loves flip flops, but hates all other shoes. ("we don't say hate!") he loves balls. ball is one of his few words he is saying right now at 15 months old. at the doctor's office last week, when the pediatrician was asking me what he can and can't do, i said, "he knows where his nose and ears are, but he probably won't perform." so i asked him, and he shook his head at me. the doc said that it was fine - he understands things very well. he knew exactly what i wanted him to do, he just wasn't willing. i sometimes worry that he's going to get away with things that he shouldn't because he smiles about it, but ... he'll turn out fine, i think. he is small in stature but mighty in spirit. he is a face maker. he is a climber. he is a stinker. he is into everything. everyone that knows him adores him.

anyway. i just like my little boys. i enjoy their personalities. they can drive me up a wall at times, but they also make me laugh harder than anyone i know and they bring me so much happiness and peace. i'm so thankful for the job they give me everday - "mom." it is not easy, but it is the best one ever.


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 big. 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!