Friday, September 5, 2014

{Blog-tember} - I'm Passionate About...

I'm passionate about...

...Always saying yes to God
...My marriage
...Living life to the fullest
...Being positive
...Seeing others succeed
...Living a disciplined life
...Quality time with people
...Watching the sunset
...Being around a dinner table with others

Brave Love Blog

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{Blog-tember} - When I grow up

When I was graduating college, I told myself, that I never wanted to say I wish I would have....I wanted to live a full life and always say "yes" to where I felt I was being called. As I reflect on today's prompt, it was hard for me to answer, because I've felt I've done what I've wanted to do.

Upon graduating college, I moved to Florida and started teaching at a Christian School. I had many opportunities there and was able to coach and build lasting relationships. However, 4 years later God laid missions on my heart, specifically the country of Haiti. I went on a trip and I knew that I needed to follow his leading, so I pursued a job opportunity with FLVS (Florida Virtual School). Because I was teaching online, I had the flexibility of traveling back and forth to Haiti every other month and I was able to start training teachers.

After two years, I knew I was being called to do I moved to Haiti. During my time in Haiti, I was able to develop strong relationships, I mentored teenage girls, I worked with mission groups to help build relationships and provide sustainability, I mentored interns, I trained teachers, and I fell in love and got married. Then we got called back to the US.

Now, I am working for Florida Virtual School again, and we had our first child, Lia Marie.

I've lived a full life.....I've done a lot. If I had to answer "When I grow up..." I would say that I would love to train teachers and develop curriculum. I love to learn and I love seeing others learn. But, that's maybe someday...right now, I'm happy where I am.

Brave Love Blog

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

{Blog-tember} Seasons - September Goals

Those of you that have been friends with me for a while know that I love seasons. I love to enjoy what each one has to offer (okay, I struggle with winter). As much as I love summer and hate to see it go, there some equally great things about Fall!! So today, I welcome fall. New home decor is up, the fall scents are in the burners and new fall candles are out, football has started, the mornings are getting cooler, I've been seeing lots of Pinterest outfit pictures of sweaters and boots and back to school pictures have filled my Newsfeed today. I'm excited for what this next season brings. 

I love my job and definitely wouldn't trade it for anything, but seeing all of those back to school pictures, makes me miss the first day of school. I miss the excitement, the buzz in the hallways, the smell of new school supplies (I got to buy my hubby school supplies, so that helps), new outfits, and friends reuniting. 

Another "season" starts for me next week. This week marks the last week of maternity leave. While, I work at home and for now am not taking her to day care, our time together will change. I will have to learn how to find balance again. 

I never done monthly goals before, but felt that with this new change in life, it may be good to set some monthly goals. So....

September Goals

1. Take at least 10 - 15 minutes every day to spend in the word (I know this isn't a lot of time and would love for it to be more). 
2. Exercise 30 minutes - 5 days a week. 
3. Get ready everyday (I know I work from home, but I think this is important). 
4. Go on at least one date night with my hubby without baby girl. 
5. Social media free weekends. 
6. Read one fiction book and one non-fiction book
7. Blog at least 4 times (I would love to get to a couple of times a week, but we will start small). 

And just is a cute picture of little girl...She is getting so big and her smiling more and more....can't wait hear her giggles. 

Brave Love Blog

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

{Lia Marie} - Newborn Photos

Originally I had great plans to take Lia's Newborn photos myself...but at about 37 weeks preggo and talking with one of my friends, decided this wasn't a great idea. Per my friends suggestion, I asked Amy of Amy E Photography to take Lia's pictures. She spied on my Pinterest board and came up with some great ideas for shots. 

I'm so happy with the results. Here are some of my favorites. 

And some fun outtakes....

Thanks Amy for the great photos of our little sweet pea, Lia Marie!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shakeology - A Review

I meet Cyndy about a year ago at a work conference. In addition to working at a school, Cyndy is also a Beachbody Coach. Over the last year, I've been super impressed with Cyndy's dedication to being fit and healthy and also her encouragement to others to also be fit and healthy. 

About 2 weeks before I was ready to give birth, Cyndy asked me if I wanted to try Shakeology for 7 days after I had the baby. I thought it would be a great idea and a great way to boost some post baby weight loss. 

Initially I thought I would replace my breakfast with the shakeology, but to be fair, I don't always eat breakfast, so I choose to replace one of my other meals. I also wanted to use the meal replacement when I had started working out again, so I chose last week. 

I must admit, I was not sure I would like the drink and was worried I would be so sick of it by the end of the week. I was wrong, every shake I tired was delicious.  I was also worried that it would not fill me and that 2 hours later I would be hungry. I was completely wrong... it was actually hard for me to drink the whole shake, it was so filling and I definitely wasn't hungry 2 hours later. 

My two favorite shakes where

1 packet chocolate shake powder
almond milk
peanut butter

1 pack chocolate shake powder
almond milk
frozen strawberries and raspberries 
water results. 
My pre-preggo weight was 136, but my goal weight loss is 130 (or less). 

Along with the shakes, I ran 5 days for 30 minutes and did 5 minutes of abs. 

I saw weightloss of 2 lbs...

As you can see I still have some work to do...but it's coming. 

Thanks Cyndy, for your encouragement and help boosting my post - preggo weight loss. 

Cyndy's Website:
Cyndy's Fitness Facebook: 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lia Marie - Birth Story

We are all home and snuggled in and adjusting to our new life as a family of three! I know many of you are wondering about her birth...her are the details. 

July 10th, Due Date...Had a check up and was not dilated at all. Made a plan with my doctor that he would check me again on Monday, July 14th. If I was dilated he would induce, if not we would have to wait until Wednesday for another check. 

Monday, July 14th: Not dilated at all, despite lots of contractions, but had high blood pressure. To the upstairs we went for a non-stress test. After 2 hours of testing, baby and I were fine, so they sent us home. We were told to come back Wednesday, July 16th to start cervidil. 

Wednesday, July 16th at 4pm we arrive at the hospital to have cervidil inserted. I know this is controversial to some, but family history indicated, that I would not dilate naturally, and most likely would need a C-section. 

From 4pm - 6pm, was having consistent contractions, so before cervidil was inserted, I was rechecked and still wasn't dilated. 

6pm - Cervidil Inserted and from 6pm- 8pm, I had to lay flat on my back...a very long 2 hours and painful. 

8pm: I was allowed to sit up and move around. I did a couple of laps around the hospital. My mom and sister-in-law visited with me to keep us company (thank you for that). 

July 17th @ 6am, Cerivdil was removed. I took a shower, I felt a gush (I assume it was my water breaking, but didn't know due to cervidil). Walked around the hospital a couple of times, got some coffee and waited for the doctor. 

July 17th @ 7:30, Dr. Checks and I am dilated 1cm. At this point I was super discouraged and assumed that I most likely would need a c-section by the end of the day. Dr. remained positive and decided to start Pitocin. 

9am - Liz (our awesome L&D me, I don't think I could have done the labor without her, she was so encouraging, supportive and calm, exactly what I needed) started my Pitocin. 

11am - I couldn't handle the pain any longer, I asked for my Epidural. Liz checked me and I was 4cm dilated (wohoo for progress). 

11:15 - My mom comes in (she works in the surgery department at the hospital) and tells me it's going to be about 15 min before Antithesis could come. 

11:30 - Epidural is inserted. Wohoo I can breath again. At this time, my sister-in-law joined us...she helped bring some needed distractions. 

12:00 - Dr. stops by to check me before he heads to lunch. I was 6cm dilated, but there was some concern because baby's heart rate was dropping during contractions.

12:30 - Started on Oxygen, again they are worried that she wasn't receiving the oxygen she needed. 

12:45 - Dr. Stops by again, due to concern she would need to come out right away. However, I was dilated to 9cm. Craziness arrives...nurses go into full mode, mom comes in. 

1:25 - I feel like I could push, so nurse checks me again and feels her head immediately. Dr. is called :) 

1:30 - Dr. arrives and I start pushing. 

1:48 - Lia Marie Francois enters the world measuring 21 3/4 inches long and 7lbs 10 ounces. 

Our first Family Picture

Getting Cleaned off

She's got some long toes :) 

In daddy's arms...

She got to meet Great-Grandma Zeltwanger

Meeting her cousin Abby

Claudy takes time to read to our visitors. 

Uncle Chad gets a chance to hold her

It's safe to say her Daddy Loves her. 

So does mommy!

We are headed home :) 

I missed some with Grandma and Grandpa and with Auntie Kalee. 

Also a special thanks to Auntie Kalee for taking all of these special pictures and to help support us through the process. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Favorite Things Swap

Today I'm Linking up with Megan for the 'Summer Favorite Things' Swap

I was partnered with Cheri, a mom of two boys, a high school technology teacher, and a who lives in Texas. Everytime I do swap's I always forget to send a picture of what I sent, but I sent her a "beat the heat" package. 

Here is what I received...Some of Cheri's favorite things...

1. Carrot Cake Luna Bar - I must admit I was skeptical of this, but it tasted pretty good :) 

2. Some glow items. I love these, can't wait to share them with my nieces and nephews at the cabin some weekend soon. 

3. EOS Hand Lotion - I have loved the EOS lip balm and never knew they had a hand lotion. This stuff is amazing and fits nicely in my purse. 

4. Apron - I love apron and this one is so cute. I think I'll try it out tonight while cooking :) 

5. Personal Care Items: I love this dry shampoo, it has helped me on my 'off' washing day. Burt's Bees' never disappoints and so far I'm love the color stick. 

Thanks Cheri for the great items and thanks Megan for Hosting.