Aleksander is TWO!

This sweet boy turned two last Sunday...  I can't believe how fast time flies!  We chose to celebrate the following day with cupcakes and presents...thanks to Pinterest for the amazing Elmo cupcake idea!  I love how they turned out...and they were super easy!  Aleks was in heaven!  His big brothers were very excited to celebrate with him and help him open his presents...he is so loved! 

I took this after church on his actual birthday...some of you may have already seen it on Instagram or Facebook, but I wanted to include it with this blog post.  His dimples and big blue eyes just melt my heart!  I can't believe we have TWO blondies!

Happy Birthday little man!  We love you so much!  


back update and personal peace

First of all, THANK YOU to all of you for your sweet notes and messages of concern and encouragement!  :)  I truly appreciate the advice and offers to walk with me...it really buoys me up knowing I have a support system!  thank you thank you xoxoxoxo

I have started chiropractic treatment and have already seen a difference.  I am feeling very optimistic about being back to "normal" soon!

on another note...

I spoke in Sacrament Meeting today, and am SO GLAD THAT'S OVER! 

PHEW!  what a relief. 

It's so emotionally draining for me.  I was part of a group of members in my ward who were asked to speak, and to take a new approach to how we give talks.  We were asked to base our talks on a specific conference talk (we were each assigned one) but not to regurgitate the original talk.  We all know that when a speaker is reading a lot, or quoting right and left, we tune out.  We were asked to live the principle being taught (I had 2 weeks to prepare, others have longer - I was in the first group) and pray for inspiration to have experiences living that principle.  Then they wanted us to share more personal experiences of that principle - and only use bits and pieces of the original talk by the general authority.  I was super nervous.  And  on top of that, I was sure I was going to fall to pieces and cry and blubber the whole time because the personal experiences I chose to share were 2 very difficult times in my life.  So, I practiced and practiced and cried and cried, and hoped that when the time came to actually present my talk at church, that all the tears would be cried out and I'd be fine.  But, of course that didn't happen :) 

I cried.  a lot.

And so I've had a headache all day :( Blah! 

But, I digress...

I wanted to share those experiences with finding peace during a trial here on my blog... in the hopes that someone else out there will be touched by what I have to say.  However, I am not up to it tonight... still have puffy eyes and a headache... and well, let's be honest, it's past my bed time. :)  yes, 9pm is generally when I start to shut down! 

So, stay tuned for another blog post from me sometime this week... 

love you all! 



being fat hurts

Over the past 4 years, I have gained around 50-60 lbs. All of which I had worked hard to lose after I had Drew at the end of 2007. Several factors led to this obnoxious weigh gain, but that's not what I'm here to talk about today. I'm struggling. Big time.

My major issue over the past 18 months has been severe chronic low-back pain - debilitating back pain. It makes me so irritable because it limits what I'm able to accomplish as a mom and plus, just being in pain is a HUGE PAIN! My doctor is convinced that it is a muscle problem, and that once I lose weight and strengthen my core, my back problems will subside.

 I am hopeful that it will, but you see, it's really hard to exercise when you're in pain and constantly afraid that your back will go out. It can happen by just the slightest movement. Reaching into the washing machine. Twisting to put dishes away in the cupboard. Carrying my (30 lb!) baby. And yes, obvious stupid things like moving/carrying heavy objects.

  So, I have made a deal with my doctor to start using My Fitness Pal to help me be accountable for what I'm eating. (Haven't started yet, shhhh!) And he suggested finding friends/family who also use it so we can help encourage each other. Anyone out there use it? I've found a few friends on there, but if you use it also, and would like to add me, my username is "sharibeth78" - please add me!

I made a goal to walk for 30 mins/day. Shouldn't be hard, right? 30 mins is nothing.  This has been hit or miss over the past month - but now that school has started, I've tried to at least walk the boys to or from school every day.  I haven't quite gotten into the to AND from routine yet -- mainly because it's been really hot and I don't want to walk in the afternoon!  I was walking with my friend Tracy for about 2 weeks before school started, but with our busy schedules/kids at different schools/etc that kinda fell to the wayside.  Walking with someone makes the time go by so much faster, and its also a bit therapeutic to have a girlfriend to talk to!  But for now, walking the boys to school is good enough.  It's a little over a mile, which isn't much, but is plenty for the state of my back right now. 

I am currently doing much better, but today marks 6 weeks that I've been in pain - constant pain.  If any of you out there have ever suffered from sciatic pain, you understand how terrible it can be!  Shooting pains down both legs, starting from my butt, all the way through my thighs, down my calves into my feet - sporadically.  It's so annoying!  My tailbone/low back is still very tender and sore, and my butt muscles/hamstrings are EXTREMELY tight and I can hardly stretch at all.  However, when I keep moving, I feel better. 

Which leads me to one of the main problems with this dumb back issue...sitting for long periods of time makes me super stiff and makes the sciatic pain worse...so I've been avoiding a lot of editing, which is just ridiculous because IT HAS TO GET DONE! and I'm the ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO IT!  So...I'm finally grinning and bearing it the best I can, because my dear, sweet friends and clients have been so extraordinarily patient.  I feel awful making them wait for their pictures. 

This trial has given me time to reflect on my personal strength and my stubborn desire to be independent.  It has made me humble myself and receive service.  It has taught me to be grateful for this "imperfect" body - and not to take it for granted and not to abuse it by over-eating and not exercising. The obvious motivation for me to lose weight and strengthen my core is to be healthy and to feel good and be pain free.  But there's another reason I have to do this.  I want another baby.  And I just cannot imagine being pregnant on top of dealing with this back pain - not only that, but I'm unhealthily heavy, and will 100% have gestational diabetes again, which is risky for me and the baby. 

So my friends and family, if any of you are still following this sad blog of mine, will you please say a little prayer for me?  Check in with me occasionally and see how I'm doing... keep me accountable!  I feel like I'm stuck in a fat suit.  It's time to set my body free!