All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

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Lessons I learned from selling books door to door

This is a must-read no matter where you are in your life right now. Powerful stuff!!!!

From zero to zygote

(Or: Everybody has donut days.)

Years ago when I was at uni, a friend of mine asked me if I would go along with her to a recruitment event for the chance to work in the USA for the summer.

Being an Americophile*, I jumped at the chance. I’d already worked the previous summer in the US and I was of the age (19) where I was adventurous and up for doing anything.


Americophile ‎(pluralAmericophiles)

  1. a lover of the United States and/or their way of life


As it turned out, the firm was called the Southwestern Company and what they did was recruit university students to sell educational books door to door during summer break in the USA.

My friend decided it wasn’t for her, and ended up going and working in a US summer camp.

I somehow got talked into it, and ended up…

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I can hardly read or talk about today’s Supreme Court decision without tearing up.  I honestly cannot believe it.  Gay marriage has been legal in my lovely state for over 6 years now (what a proud day that was – our conservative little state granted rights to a minority group before they were told by the federal government they had to do so!), but I truly wondered if I would ever see this day, when all Americans are free to marry the person they love regardless of their sexual orientation.

As I was driving the boys home from the neighbor’s today, I told Matthew that this was a very important day because, “mommies can now marry mommies, and daddies can now marry daddies, like your mommy married your daddy.”  He does not understand this at all (and of course you don’t have to be parents to get married – duh!), but I felt the need to tell him how important this day is.  Because it is.  My children and I have both witnessed a very important piece of history in our shared lifetimes together.  I will tell them about this one day, and will tell them where we were when we heard the news.  What is interesting to me is that they will never know anything different.

Isn’t that amazing?  Our children will never know what it’s like to be told that they can only get married if they marry someone of the opposite sex.  This amazes me in the same way that I’m awed by the fact that they will never know what a real dial tone sounds like, or know how to use computers without touch screens.  It’s just… weird.

And it’s awesome!



We Need Prayers

I’m not the praying kind until there’s a tragedy, so I feel like a hypocrite. But we need prayers right now. Turns out, everyone was worried about the wrong person in the accident and my cousin is in very bad shape. We need a good 72 hours. Please pray for Sam.

I think his friend is stabilized, but we don’t really know. So K needs prayers too.

I can’t believe this.


Onto Pre-K (Round 1)

Matthew finished up 3 year old preschool this past week. This school year finale was much easier on me than last year, when I cried and cried because I couldn’t imagine him having different teachers the next year. Getting new teachers is a fact of life and I’ve accepted it… And also worked hard to get him into the Pre-K class with his favorite teacher from this year as the assistant. 😁

Yes… I’m that mom. I make no apologies for it. I want my kid to be comfortable with the people who know and understand him. He has a lot of energy, and we’ve worked hard on that this year, learning to not push and hit when frustration sets in. Mrs. M helped us with that and also “gets” boys, so he’ll have her again next year. Yay!

We’re not sure if we’ll hold Matthew back until he’s 6 to start kindergarten our not, so I’m looking at this as Pre-K round one coming up. We’ll see… A lot can happen in one year!


A Second 10 Weeks in Review

Here I am, another 10 weeks later (actually 12 weeks later because of vacations), and I’m happy with my final statistics.  I didn’t hit my weight goal, but I did exceed my body fat goal, which is awesome!

Here are my 10-week stats (I didn’t test with push-ups, sit-ups, or the mile run… sorry!):

second 10 a


  • I lost a total of 4.25 inches over my entire body
  • I lost 10.4 pounds (goal was 12 pounds)
  • I lost 2.3% body fat (goal was 2.1%)
  • I lost 1.7 points in BMI

I had a goal of working out 6 days a week, and when this was all said and done, I ended up at 104% of that goal, which is something I’m super proud of.  Many days included double workouts, and I spent at least 5 hours a week, every week, exercising.  I also added a lot of strength training to this 10 weeks, which was really needed.


Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

weight 10


And here are my before and after photos.  Please remember that the before photos from June are just hideous because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  The side view of the before photo still nauseates me, but it does show how far I’ve come in 23 weeks now!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!


Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right  11/22/14


Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right 11/22/14



June 14th to November 22nd… oh the difference 5 months can make!


5 Months of hard work!






So there it is – not a lot to say because it’s late and I’m super tired, and I just did strength training for over an hour while we watched TV.  I start a new session TOMORROW and will post my starting stats (they may be different from these ending stats from Saturday).

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No Excuses

Between the Y, running, and the new kickboxing bag in our garage… Well… I have no excuses when it comes to working out.


I broke the bag in today with a 32 minute routine that I then started over for another 14 minutes. I bought an awesome interval timer that I programmed the other night for this particular routine, so I just hit the start button and worked down my list of exercises. It was like being at the KB studio. It was awesome!

I took Bryson for a nice run on Wednesday in the neighborhood and got 3.4 miles in. We don’t live in a big neighborhood and I can get 2.3 miles in without repeating anything, but then add an extra mile with the straight-away section of road (down and back). Again, no excuses.


I feel fortunate to have so many fitness options and the gear to support them. Hottie’s work pays for our Y membership, so we’re able to justify things like the bag and various shoes (even Hottie agrees he needs different shoes for a specific class). We’re fortunate to get some decent inclines and mileage out of our little neighborhood. And I recognize that I’m lucky to have the time to devote to my fitness and health. Between early AM (6:00!) runs with Bryson, child watch at the Y so I can attend classes, and an hour of double nap (kickboxing) time in the afternoons – I can make time to do this. And I have no excuses.



10 Weeks in Review

I don’t know what to say right now.  I’ve spent the last 10 weeks working my ass off and eating as intelligently as possible.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely and was completely wrapped up in the challenge.  These last 10 weeks gave me my “normal” self back – the Courtney I was before we found out that we couldn’t have babies the normal way.  The healthy and active Courtney I was before infertility became the focus of our lives (for 2+ years before conceiving Matthew, and then again as we ramped up for Bryson).

I feel like myself again in my own skin.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel proud!

I didn’t win the $1,000 challenge.  My stats blew the winner away and the photos – well – they speak for themselves.  BUT – even though I was in it to win it (and I am so competitive with myself and others, it’s ridiculous), I’m so proud of what I accomplished in 10 weeks.

I’ve broken down the data in many ways because I know I’ll want to look back on this someday and not have to run all of the numbers.

Here are my 10-week stats:

2014 Stats

  • I lost a total of 21.5 inches over my entire body!
  • I lost 25 pounds exactly (but 26.2 on the gym’s scale)
  • I lost 8.1% body fat (23.9% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago)
  • I lost 3.93 points in BMI and am now in the healthy range
  • I more than doubled my push-ups (ended at 78)
  • I did not double my sit-ups 😦
  • I gained 2.5 inches in flexibility
  • I took 2:21 off my mile time!

Here is a comparison of my first 10 weeks (over 8 years ago!) to this most recent 10 weeks:


  • I lost 2 inches more in my chest, 4 in my waist, 1 in each arm, and 0.5 in each thigh this time around.
  • My hips aren’t as small as they were 8 years ago (surprise!)
  • I started 6.8 pounds heavier this time around and ended up 5.6 pounds lighter!
  • I ended up 2.1% lower in body fat this time around
  • I lost 0.7% more body fat this time around
  • I finished way stronger in push-ups this time around
  • I beat my 2006 final mile time by 1:31 this time around
  • This 10 weeks was way more productive than my first 10 weeks!

Here is my exercise log from the last 10 weeks.  Expect to see something almost equally aggressive in the next 10 weeks:

Workout Tracking

  • My goal was to workout 6 days a week – I exceeded that goal by 3% overall and 13% in the second half of the session
  • Many days had multiple workouts
  • Doing this helped me plan my work for the next 10 weeks

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

Weight Tracking per Week

And here are my before and after photos.  Please note that the before photos were really hard to prepare for because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  It’s amazing how much our daily posture holds us together in our mid-sections.  I had to think really hard about letting it just hang out like that.  The side view of the before photo nauseates me, but that after photo makes me SO PROUD!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

WP_20140824_09_49_03_Pro (1) WP_20140824_09_49_22_Pro (1)

I worked really, really hard at this, and near the end, it really felt like my job (a job I loved).  Hottie viewed it the same way – we talked about it on Saturday.  I said that I felt like the last 10 weeks was all about me getting back to how I like to feel, how I view myself, etc. and that it felt like a true job, and he agreed.  Hottie was SO supportive, it was amazing.  I don’t know how many mornings he sat up with Bryson in the rocker while I kicked bags at class.  On many occasions, he rushed home from work so I could get to a late afternoon class because I’d been up all night with Bryson the night before and just could not get motivated to go to class at 6:15 AM.  He admitted on Saturday that he got nervous about “the gear” purchases but didn’t say anything because, “I knew it would help you stay motivated, and I wasn’t going to mess with that” (he also said he was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t buy a ton of stuff!).  This really was a team effort, as fitness always is in this house.  It was awesome to both be so focused on my success at this!


The Monday Snapshot – Need Some Happy

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a generally happy person. I’ve had my years of therapy and antidepressant/anti-anxiety treatments in the past, which let me just say were very much needed, but in general, I’m happy. I say things like, “things are what you make of them,” and, “everything happens for a reason,” because I generally believe it’s true. I don’t say those things to diminish anyone else’ situations and would never say them to someone I know is having a hard time, but I believe those things for myself.

I do.

But holy hell – our household has not been generally happy the past week. Matthew has been unbearably whiny and Bryson has been the sickest he’s ever been, ending with a decent (and our first ever) episode of croup. I couldn’t sleep last night because I thought I needed to get sick as I froze my ass off under several blankets, and this morning was worse. Just when I drifted off for a nap, Bryson woke up after a too-short nap. Then my in laws popped over (which I actually encouraged and enjoyed). By nap time, we were all spent. Bryson, still very much unhappy and sick, slept 2.5 hours in his crib without a peep, and Matthew and I slept in my bed for 2 hours. It was needed. I instantly felt better. We all did.

Poor Bryson is so stoic these recent days, but he got to bathe alone tonight which meant he got the whole tub to himself for the first time! And finally, FINALLY, I got to see my baby boy smile from ear to ear over and over again.

I needed this today. I needed someone else’ happy to take me back to my own happy.

I’m hoping I get a lot more of these smiles this week, but for now, I’ll take what I can get and make the most of it!


THIS Moment in Time (#?) – I Spy

B put a new camera in Matthew’s room so that we can try to get rid of one of the monitors on my nightstand. The picture is perfectly clear, letting us see exactly what is going on. Poor kid… He’s going to have a hard time getting away with anything now. Ha ha!

And here’s our poor little guy with croup. He looks like he always does in these photos, but I really appreciate being able to see his chest movements tonight with the video streamed to my phone. The minute he wakes up, he’s coming into our room to sleep in the pack and play. I hate not having him with us when he’s so sick, but I wanted him to fall asleep in his familiar space.