One Week Out!

I weigh in in exactly one week! I’ve lost 12 pounds and 3% body fat so far.

This week I started eating less carbs because I wanted to win the challenge. Then my body got angry! I was super nauseous, had dizzy spells and was overall not a happy camper.

So I decided health over winning and added them back in and even added a little. I felt wayyyy better. It was a good lesson for me to care more about my health than winning. So I still lost one pound but I probably won’t win the challenge. Totally okay with that!

I’ll give a final update in a week!

Thanks for all of the kind words of support!

We’re all getting fit!


The Eye Gaze Device! It’s Here!

Super quick update: we have an eye gaze device!!!

It’s in Katie’s room and is in the very beginning stages of being set up. If you’re not familiar with an eye gaze device, essentially she will use her eye gaze as a mouse. Everything she looks at on the screen will be voiced. She will be able to say things like “I have pain in my back” and “I love you” and “please call Ephram!”. It’s pretty incredible! As she becomes more comfortable with the device more options will be added. Some people use wifi to connect them to home appliances, social media, FaceTime etc. We’re so very excited to start witnessing katie gain back some control of her life!

An enormous THANK YOU is in order. A few months ago I spoke at church about where we are a year after Katie’s brain injury. At the end I shared two things we’d love to purchase for Katie, an eye gaze device and a wheelchair. In such a short time we were able to purchase an eye gaze device for her and we are SO thankful. If you still wanted to donate toward the motorized wheelchair and/or expenses Dan and I have incurred watching the kiddos (buying a new van to fit all the kids, trying to take the kids out to fun places, taking them to lunch, etc!) we would love that! You can just send money via PayPal to Put in the notes section if it’s for the wheelchair, an outing, etc.

Again THANK YOU! We are incredibly humbled to feel like this verse is being lived out among our community.

Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

The Challenge That Won’t Quit

Ok folks, 11 days to go.

I've learned some big things over the past couple weeks.

  1. I have just as much fun on vacation (and in life) if I'm eating well and working out. I don't know about you but I feel better when I'm consistently doing those two things! So I truly did not miss the ice cream and pizza on vacation.
  2. I'm enjoying the taste of food more. I never loved sweet potatoes but now I can't get enough of them! I think my taste buds have begun appreciating natural sweetness and other flavors and it's making me enjoy my (plain) food more. This excludes egg whites. I still gag eating them.
  3. There's a huge difference between going on a diet and changing your diet AND exercising. I've lost weight before but still didn't look awesome. Even when I was 20 I was "skinny fat" meaning super thin but that was just good genes (WHERE DID THEY GO?!?! Oh they must have left when my 10lb 2oz baby Judah arrived) But now everything is getting firm and I love that! I'd take strong and a bigger number on the scale over "skinny fat" any day!
  4. I realized the other day I haven't had a single stomach ache. I usually have them pretty frequently! But then I had some brussel sprouts and I was in some pain! My body was probably blinded by the gluten and dairy I was always eating with them and didn't know which way was up. Now I'm sure, Brussels don't like me.

Weeks completed-4
Pounds lost- 11

I may have only lost a pound this week but I lost 1.5% of body fat. I feel like that's a lot!

Week 3

No clue what I'm talking about? I'm doing a fitness challenge. You can read about that here!

Week three made me sad! We left for vacation on Tuesday and even though I've followed the food plan super strictly and have completed the at-home workouts, I don't feel like the pounds are coming off! I don't have a scale here so who knows. I'm looking forward to getting back into the gym Monday morning and weighing in. Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised! Good news is-my bathing suit and clothes are definitely fitting looser. So something's changing! I can't believe I'm half way done!

Here is what pretty much all of my meals looked like this week.

Facing Demons

A few weeks ago a dear friend of mine was camped in labor and delivery for a few days before having her sweet baby at 34 weeks. She was lonely and anxious and if there's anything I'm good at it this point, it's sitting in hospitals. So I texted my friend as I was getting into my car to visit and asked where she was.

I knew she was at the University of Maryland where my sister spent about six weeks last year in a coma. For some reason it didn't make its way through my skull that I may have lots of feelings. Surely it wouldn't be the same building, UMD is enormous. So I got her text immediately, oh in the building on Greene. Seventh floor.


Golly that sounds familiar, the seventh floor is where the neuro ICU is. Where I spent six weeks taking the trek to visit my sister. Where I cried and prayed and begged God to wake her up from a coma. Where He didn't wake her up. Where the doctor in the room with all the windows told us global brain damage and "she's not going to wake up". Hrm. THAT seventh floor on Greene.

I took a few shaky deep breaths. Gazed at my "warrior" tat on my wrist in Kate's handwriting. I chanted "I can do hard things" ten times out loud like a lunatic, alone in my minivan. I quickly texted a few in my tribe while I waited at he stop sign at the end of my street (shhh I was essentially pulled over!). Then down I went to the familiar trek downtown.

I went in the same parking garage. I remembered the smells and the feelings and the heat from the underground garage. As I left the garage and gazed at the tall building on Greene I instinctively started praying like I had SO many times before. This time for strength, that I wouldn't be a sobbing mess by the time I got to my friends room, and for boldness. I decided on my drive down I was going to walk into the neuro icu and ask for our favorite nurse.

In I walked, smiled at the same doorman/security ish guy to the sign-in desk then to the elevators. By this time I was shaky. Up, up, up in the scary glass elevator shaft. The door opened and I forced myself out. I took a deep breath and pushed the doorbell. They let me in and then told me she wasn't there. I left our favorite nurse a note with my email and asked her to connect if she wanted an update.

Meanwhile, it was time to get my act together. I found my way through the maze to my friend. I sat there listening and talking. My friend was nervous. She lost her second baby 15 months prior and there was some fear in that space. We get deep quick whenever we chat, bonded by intense pain and sorrow. Totally different but so much the same. We talked about how our families have only been one of a bazillion that have walked through the doors of this world-renowned hospital. We knew God as good on all the days before it was our people in those hospital beds. We were certain He was good when it was someone else's sister clinging to life and someone else's baby who stopped kicking too soon in his moms tummy. Somehow once it's our people we question goodness and faithfulness. Not right but so very true. Anyway we talked over the sounds of some poor soul a few beds away puking her guts out. My friend made it to the delivery room, brought her perfect baby home, a happy ending for this chapter of her story.

So I made it. I lived through the elevators and the smells and the parking garage heat. I made it back onto 83 and home in time for church. Praying the whole way for every person in a bed in that hospital that didn't have loved ones at their feet begging God for
mercy and grace.

Fast forward a few weeks. I got an email from that favorite nurse! We emailed back and forth a few times. I gave her a reasonable update of the last year and Katie's successes and our sadness at her not being home. In a moment of boldness I asked her if Kate was doing better than she thought she would. Here's her response:

Thank God I went to visit my friend even though it was hard. Thank God I left a note. Thank God she had a nurse that cared enough to respond. It's been a slow month or so. We constantly teeter between wondering if kate has plateaued. Then she blows us away with three new things.

Today I'm finding comfort that God has the last word. If I'm stuck in thinking "this is IT?" I'm given a voice saying that she's doing great.

Praying friends out there-please pray for more progress! More connection, more healing, less pain.

Let there be Anger

I started a weight loss bet two weeks ago, catch up here!

Full disclosure, this is how I felt Friday morning as I got up at 5:45 for my fourth workout of the week.

Food-I've been doing great with food! Literally have not cheated once. Day ten was HARD. I had my workout in the morning and ate normally but I was just angry. At everything and everyone. So that was a shame but I got over it.
**I do not like the Costco brand of fat free Greek yogurt. It tastes like sour cream. I'll be going back to good ole Trader Joe's.

Exercise- I feel like I'm getting in my groove! My body is hurting less and less and it's hurting in different areas which is exciting. I definitely feel myself getting stronger! I feel like such a bada** weight lifting!

Im having trouble noticing any differences when I look in the mirror but Dan keeps pointing stuff out that's shrinking. So that's a bonus! We also go on vacation next week and I'm feeling pretty nervous about falling off the wagon. I'm trying to hook up with another gym there so I don't have to workout at home.

Bad news is I didn't lose pretty much any weight this week. Womp, womp. Im told it could be from my body getting used to the diet change/drinking more water/gaining muscle, etc. I've lost several inches but the scale is killing me! Im trying to not care. Next week it'll get better! I wasn't supposed to weigh myself today (don't yell at me, Josh!) but I did it anyway for the purpose of the blog and was happy to see a tiny dip!

Total Recap:
Pounds lost-7.4

Week one complete!

I started a weight loss challenge last week. You can read about that here.

Full disclosure it has been a roller coaster week! I’m going to break it up into diet and fitness.


  1. It took me three full days to stop getting sugar withdrawal headaches. THREE DAYS! That was huge for me to feel my dependence on sugar.
  2. I didn’t realize how much I eat after my kids. Just simple stuff, licking the yogurt serving sooon, giving myself a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels when I serve them, eating fruit snacks when I’m out with them. It’s crazy! That all adds up.
  3. The first few days I was super hungry on the meal plan. I’m totally fine now as far as hunger goes but I definitely miss some of my favorite foods. Really just cheese, ice cream, and John Daileys


  1. I somehow made it to age 30 without knowing basic form for things like squats, push ups, literally any exercise that includes a bar, etc. The coaches have been super patient in working with me to perfect my form so I don’t get injured.
  2. I have no idea if I will be in constant pain for the next five weeks but I’m just going to assume I will. Every day all day, quads kill me. I just woke up with shoulder and peck soreness from yesterday’s workout. It hurts but it’s a reminder that I’m getting  stronger!
  3. An unexpected added bonus is that I love this early morning time away from my little humans. I’ve been getting up at 5:45 to go to the 6:30am class. I’ve loved having some time in the morning with other adults that’s just for me! It’s been awesome!
  4. I get to wear my fun Qalo wedding rings so I don’t pinch my finger! 

Week one recap:

  • 3 workouts
  • 7 days on the diet plan
  • 5.3 lbs lost!