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Updated: 2018-03-02T09:36:16.956-06:00


Losing weight, I mean being more active, I mean doing fun stuff...


So I have tried to lose weight for the past 3+ years with minimal success. I have failed out of several programs including weight loss services, self started schemes, and DVD's. I do really well for the first month, some times even several months, but then I get sidetracked and de-motivated. I see a little bit of success and then slack off thinking it's all going to be downhill from here. Yeah, look where that's got me...10 pounds later...

So one motivator for me right now is joining the military lifestyle, not just the military, the MARINES, where everyone and their brother is in super shape. I don't want to be the fat one out. Plus while Jordan is gone at OCS getting super duper in shape and losing what little weight he had to lose, I'm sitting at home. How awesome would it be to show up for his graduation 5, 10, 15 pounds lighter? That's my goal. No guarantees it is going to happen, which is why I didn't tell anyone about it (except here), not even Jordan. So as far as he is concerned, I'm going to stay the same. I guess for me, I don't want to be the chubby spouse while Jordan is a muscle machine. Plus I can do it for the health benefits.

I am also trying to eat healthier. I was SO BAD over the holidays. I ate SO much crap food and did not work out once. Needless to say I gained like 5 pounds. So yeah, I'm gonna really try to make up for it and eat better. One of my biggest problems is that I over eat. I love food; too much, pretty much like every other American. I have all the tools to lose weight, I just have a hard time putting them into practice when my stomach is thinking instead of my brain. I go on a food rampage. I am so a perfect candidate for a reality show..."Steph finally loses some weight"...I can see it now...haha.

So yeah, here is to the next ditch effort to lose some baby fat. (Yeah, Hailey is almost 2 1/2)

10 things about Jordan...


So I saw this on Kristine's blog and thought I'd give it a go...

To list 10 things about my significant other...

1) He is extremely caring, but sometimes has a hard time recognizing when he needs to be caring...
2) He is really good with Hailey, he has way more energy to play with her than I could ever dream of
3) He is joining the Marines, as the day gets closer (Jan. 9th...gasp!) and I hear more about it, I admire him for it more and more, there is no way I could ever do it!
4) He has sacrificed so much for our family and I appreciate it very much!
5) Even though he shaved off his goatee for the Marines, he still wants to grow it back someday...I think he looks better without it
6) He works REALLY hard at whatever he does...this is why he will succeed in the Marines and anything else he does in life...his work ethic is way better than mine....
7) He doesn't get much sleep
8) He is really good at talking and meeting new people, I'm always glad when he's around in a social setting where I don't know anyone, then if the conversation dies, he will think of something to say
9) He is a loving husband and father, I seriously don't think I could have asked for anyone better, even though I may have thought differently in the past, he is perfect for me
10) I can't wait for what life brings with him and our little family and our treks around the US (maybe around the world?)



I'm considering re-joining Facebook. Even though I loathe social networking sites, I have being out of the loop...all the time. Plus when we move to Virginia, it would be a good way to keep in touch with many people in a fairly simple manner. I dunno, I keep going back and forth, but I think I might do it...

My Birthday! (and 2 other things)


So I guess I haven't said anything about my birthday and what we ended up doing...

So November 8th, I was going to have a bunch of people over to my house and then we were going to all go downtown, but only Jordan's sister Elin made it to the house. Jessica and Rachael met us down town, so total there was 5 of us (me, Jordan, Elin, Rachael, and Jessica). We started at The Lone Tree, which I had never been to before and Jordan Elin and I got there around 8:30 pm. We had dinner and waited for the twins. They got there around 9:30 pm, right when the free drinks for an hour started. They had to pay a cover charge, but since we got there early, we didn't have to, sweet! It was pretty entertaining there, think about it, free alcoholic drinks for an hour, plus a dance floor. It was fun to people watch. After The Lone Tree, we went to Solera, which was pretty boring. We had some drinks and appetizers and then Jessica and Rachael had to leave because they had to get up early for church. So then the 3 of us went to Gameworks and played some games up until about 1:30 am...I think. We pretty much stayed there until they almost closed. All in all it was a pretty fun night. I really enjoyed it because I don't get to go out and do adult activities like that very much because we have Hailey. But that's ok, we love Hailey and she's worth it! :) Oh, and I only got one picture from the whole night. I suck at taking pictures when we're out...ugh.

Speaking of Hailey, we went and got her bangs cut on my birthday too. I was so sick of her always having hair in her face, and she would never keep anything in her hair, so I just decided it was time for bangs.
Also, Jordan went down to Fort Snelling today and re-took his PFT (physical fitness test) and did much better!! He even did better than another guy who was there doing his PFT and he is going in January too! Yay for hard work! Yay for Jordan!

I'm not a coupon clipper...I saved how much?


So I used to be of the school of thought that clipping coupons is for psycho frugal stay-at-home moms. Needless to say, I never bothered with them. But today we went grocery shopping at Target and I noticed I had a $10 off $100 purchase at Target, I figured, what the heck, I have it and we're going. Then as we are checking out, Jordan noticed a few items that had coupons attached to the item...$.55 off each item! Sure, they are here and so are we, so we pulled them off. All in all, we saved $11.65, but it brought the bill down from $190 to about $178 or so. To me that seems like a lot! Maybe there is more to this coupon clipping business than I thought!



Here is Hailey and I right before we went inside after trick-or-treating to about 8 houses...she was really tired...
Hailey and Jordan on to the next house!


The First house we visited

A close-up of Hailey's costume...everyone thought it was a is a cat

Hailey in mommy's high-heels



So I just got this email and watched the video. I've seen TONS of abortion videos, but nothing like this, I couldn't finish to the end. I don't understand how some people can be pro-choice, especially after seeing something like that. Maybe they just don't know the reality of it? The link to the video is below the message...


What are we allowing to happen in this world!!!!! Abortion has become just another word in our vocabulary. This video reminded me of the murder it is. EVERYONE should be forced to watch it before they vote. I've seen lots of stuff about abortion, but I've NEVER been so affected more than this video affected me. Sorry in advance if this ruins your day. I promise it will make you want to pray for the grace of God on our country.

The following contains a graphic video clip about abortion. Please click on the 'in English and Spanish' bar under Mr. Verastegui's picture on the right. It isn't pretty, but I think it is very informative and therefore necessary. We all know someone who has had an abortion or is simply pro-choice. Please watch and become educated with the truth.

Marine update


So Jordan isn't leaving for OCS until January. That way he can get ready physically more and do well and not die or injure himself. Apparently the shortest distance they run in a given day is 8 miles. So yeah, he is going to be working out for 3 months straight and then be super in shape and pass with flying colors. So we'll be here for a little longer than expected :)



So Jordan is joining the Marines. At this point it is a matter of when. He is going in as an Officer so he has to go to OCS instead of the Enlisted Marines boot camp. There is a cycle going October 3rd, and the one after that is going in January. We want him to go to the one in October, but he has to pass all the tests before he can go including a medical examination and a physical fitness test, which are both tomorrow. The only test that is a question mark as far as him passing, is running 3 miles in under 23 minutes. Jordan isn't a runner, but he also is in fairly decent shape from working at HB Fuller for 3 years. We bought him running shoes tonight (he didn't own a pair!) and my aunt who runs a lot told us to get New Balance. So we got him a pair of those. His medical examination begins at 5:15 am (!) and goes till 11 am, then after that is the physical fitness test. So tomorrow keep Jordan in your prayers/thoughts that he'll have endurance and be able to complete all his tests to the best of his ability (maybe even miraculously better than his best of ability? :) But if he doesn't pass this time, he'll go to the OCS in January for sure. Either way, we're both super excited about this new chapter in our lives and what comes next. We'll obviously be leaving Minnesota, which will be sad because we both have family and friends here, but we'll eventually come back.



So today I had a one hour complementary personal trainer session. I wasn't super excited to go and I thought it was going to be boring and I wouldn't like it. Well, it was kind of eye opening. I met with Dan and I told him I basically joined the gym to swim, but I also want to lose X amount of weight. He told me swimming wouldn't do it. Swimming is just cardio, it doesn't build muscle mass and on and on he went. So we had a little 15 - 20 minute session (I can't remember how long it was) and just worked on the legs. He kicked my ass. I have never felt that kind of a burn in my muscles in a looong time, if ever. I can't walk down the stairs without holding onto the railing for dear life. So I now have a personal trainer.

Nickelodeon Universe (aka Camp Snoopy)


Then after going to the farm and a nice long nap (see post below) we went to Mall of America with our friends Aurora and Gavin. We decided to take the kids on some rides. I wasn't sure how Hailey would handle it since the last time we went on the carousel at Camp Snoopy (like when she was 1.25 years old) she cried the whole time and wanted off. Well it was quite the opposite this time. She hated waiting in line and wanted to run in front of everyone and get on, so I had to hold her back while she was fussing in line. Then we got on and she was happy. Then the ride started going, and she was ecstatic! Then the ride ended. I had to pull her off of every ride we went on, then the tears came again and "No! No! No! Gain! (again)" It was an emotionally exhausting experience for her as I'm sure you can imagine. We went on a total of 3 rides with her, the trucks (pictured below with Aurora and me on top and Hailey and Gavin in the cab), the mini roller coaster, and then the little bus that goes in little circles...which Hailey managed to get a free second ride on since she fussed and ran in the gate when it was open to let everyone off and the lady was nice enough to let her go again. So it was a fun time, but 3 rides was definitely enough. Then we walked around the mall and went and saw the new Best Buy and played some of the games. I got some cute pictures of Hailey and Jordan playing the Wii and the DS. Overall it was a pretty eventful Saturday! Then next Saturday we have Hailey's birthday party -- another jam packed day of fun for Hailey!Aurora and I barely fitting in the truck Jordan and Hailey in the bus rideAgain on the bus...Playing the DS at the new Best BuyJordan hitting the ball in baseball Wii[...]

A day at the farm


On Saturday I took Hailey to the farm and she was able to "ride" Sally. Kate (my sister) came along and helped out . Hailey had a good time playing with all the animals and enjoyed sitting on the saddle while I led Sally around. Then Kate was able to ride Sally for a little bit and then we had to leave because Hailey was super crabby and in desperate need of a nap! But I got some super cute pictures![...]



So I have caved and am going tonight to join LA Fitness. I had originally wanted to join Lifetime in Coon Rapids because my friend is a personal trainer there, but realistically, if I joined there, I wouldn't go often enough to get the Medica reimbursement because it is like 20 minutes away. So I'm joining the LA Fitness in Roseville. I want to join mostly for the pool so I can swim laps. I went online last night and found a swimming workout regiment and will be doing that. I also found online a neat mp3 player to wear while I'm swimming, so it doesn't get so boring. It is called Nu Technology DOLPHIN 1GB Waterproof MP3 Player. I'm pretty excited to try it out. I read reviews online, so I don't have exceptionally high expectations, but some music, regardless of the quality, is better than no music.
(image) I think seeing all the olympic swimmers has motivated me to swim again. I loved being on the swim team in high school and was in the best shape of my life because it is really a full body workout - plus you don't sweat (well, at least you don't get sweaty)! So I'm going to go and try to lose my extra baby weight (yeah, I'm a procrastinator, it's been 2 years). Wish me luck!

This is amazing


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This is my new favorite song...what can I say, I'm a sucker for acoustic guitar and amazing vocals.



So Hailey got gymnastics lessons from Grandma for Christmas (early present) so we went to Target today and got her 2 leotards that were on clearance. Here are a few pictures of her in one of them; super cute if I do say so myself![...]

He's here to stay


Well, it's official, I went over and signed paperwork and wrote a check. Hunter is ours now for real. We've decided to keep him, so he'll be here to stay.



So, today we got a dog...on a trial basis anyways, if he doesn't work out, we can return him after a week. He is a Lab/Great Dane mix and is 12 months old. He is 97 pounds. We named him Hunter. I will post pictures later once I find my camera, but he is really cute. He is also a really sweet guy.



I have tonsillitis. NO FUN.



So I went to the ranch in Andover again today and rode Sally, the horse that I am potentially going to lease. I actually remembered to bring my camera and take pictures this time so I have 2 pictures for you all to have a visual reference. I didn't really have much to say I guess, just wanted to show you the pictures!

Here Sally is right before I tacked her up and rode her

Camel Spiders


So this isn't anything new, but I just heard about it and thought it worthy enough to share with those that also haven't heard about it. So apparently there are these creatures over in Iraq and that area called Camel Spiders. They are HUGE. One of the guys that goes to our church used to be a Marine and supposedly broke his rifle trying to kill one. These spiders (which actually aren't spiders, but are in the same family as scorpions) are nocturnal and prefer shade in the daytime. I guess they can run 10 mph and scream when they run. I would have nightmares for a long time if I was ever chased by one of these--ick, I'm getting shivers just thinking about it. Also, (again, supposedly, I haven't officially checked this out online, but heard from people), when they bite, they numb the area with a built in anesthetic of sorts, and since they are nocturnal, they apparently have been biting soldiers while they sleep at night. But that isn't the worst part, after they bite, they feast on the flesh. So some people wake up with chunks of skin missing. Great, huh? ICK!


How about an updo?


So I was poking around on the internet and came across these hair creations by Artist Nagi Noda. Um, wow. I have absolutely no idea how he did it, but it is pretty much amazing.(image)

Graduation and a little bit of everything else...


So I graduated on May 17th, well, at least went through the ceremony, I have to still finish my internship/senior project. The ceremony itself was pretty standard, nothing exciting to report, though, about halfway through the commencement speakers speech, a stage light exploded backstage. That was probably the most exciting thing that happened. Here are some pictures, they aren't the greatest as far as posing goes, but I believe it was my sister that took them and she likes to go for the more "natural" look.The choir and president of Northwestern and a few other important guys that I "met" for the first time that day (as they shook my hand and gave me my diploma holder)A candid shot, courtesy of KatePosing in the backyard in regaliaThe family (from left to right: Grandma, Mom, Jeanie (Jordan's Mom), Jordan,Hailey, and Elin (Jordan's sister))Last Friday I went to the Children's Museum with Kristine. We had been planning to go for a long time and actually went this time! I was worried Hailey was going to be crabby because the time we were there overlapped when she would have taken a nap, but there was enough to do that kept her busy she didn't mind. As Kristine mentioned in her blog we went without strollers (mostly my idea) thinking the girls would be old enough to walk (at least I thought Hailey would do ok) and learned that strollers are still a good idea to bring along, especially if you are almost 9 months pregnant (sorry Kristine!!). So we spent most of our time chasing the girls around and snapping pictures as soon as a photo-op presented itself, so here are some of the shots I got:Hailey going down the "Jack and the Beanstalk" slideHailey eating at the "Beauty and the Beast" dinner table Hailey playing the keyboard that scared her at firstAt the soap bubbles table Hailey for some reason decided that the suds had to be onher face and started patting them on her cheeks, it reminded me of what guysdo with aftershave, it was quite humorousHere she is with Graycen playing with the boats at the water table, let me just say, that after this exhibit, Hailey's shirt was considerably wet (thought it was pretty damp from a previous exhibit that had a play stream that she wanted to splash in)And on Saturday I went to the ranch in Andover again and was delighted to find out that myself and 5 others were going to go on a trail ride at the Rum River Park! (note: below is not an actual photograph, but the scenery was quite similar) I got to ride one of the lady's (not using her name for the sake of her privacy) horses and we all explored the trails. To be honest I was a little nervous at first because it had been 2 years since I had been on a horse, but once I got on I found out I wasn't the only one who was really nervous which made me calm (don't know why, but it did). So horses can tell if you're nervous and they themselves get nervous because of it. There was a girl who was on a horse that she recently bought that was feeling frisky (first trail ride of the season) and this girl was super jittery. The lady with the ranch wasn't able to give me pointers because she had to spend most of her time calming down this other girl, understandably. So we get to this big sandy incline and this girl's horse starts crow-hopping up the hill and she is bouncing everywhere in the saddle helplessly shouting "ho! ho! ho!" (not like Santa, "ho" is used to tell a horse to stop/slow-down). So we all get to the top and she is shaking like a leaf, again, understandably. So we all take a[...]



So today I cleaned off and organized my vanity counter in my bedroom. I'm so happy! I had forg0tten about some of the makeup I found because it was buried under other makeup. Also, today I got my shipment of e.l.f. makeup, I was even MORE excited! Makeup is one of my favorite things, and chocolate-chip cookies :) So I decided to take a few pictures of my counter so you could get a visual of what I'm talking about (for some reason one of the pictures wouldn't load). I feel like a professional makeup artist, I definitely have enough makeup to do the job! I (heart) makeup!

Getting closer!!


(image) This picture shows what we did last Saturday, very similar to lunging a horse.

So from now on I think there may be more posts about horses now that I am around them regularly, just a heads up :)

So I went to the ranch last Saturday and it was amazing. We didn't get to ride though, because it was so windy, the lady said that it might spook the horses because it can mess with their hearing. But I am going back next Saturday (instead of the Saturday after that because of graduation).

This time instead of riding, we took one of the horses (that happens to be for sale) named Al into the round pen and she taught me one of the ways to work a horse. It was amazing, just seeing how horses interact in such an intimate setting, and when being asked to work. This lady is so full of information and I am so grateful to have met her.

We talked about the possibility of me leasing a horse and just paying boarding costs, which is super great because her board is super cheap! She also told me she could take me to Fleet Farm and outfit me with everything I would need except a saddle for $100. Wow. I'm so excited. I have talked to Jordan about it and he is ok with it! So I might "have" a horse soon!



So yesterday I went to my annual eye exam, I made the appointment mostly because I was having trouble focusing on things far away and my eyes were getting tired.

My whole life I have had "perfect" eyes, at least that is what the doctors have all told me. I remember one time when I was younger I went in to the eye doctor and had to get a test done where they put drops in your eyes that make your vision SUPER blurry and then look into your eyes. When the doctor looked into my eyes I remember he was amazed at how "perfect" my eyes were, "just like in the text book" I remember him saying. He even had his co-worker come and look because he was amazed.

But yesterday I went in and the "nurse" (the lady who does tests before the doctor examines my eyes) told me my sight had changed and understood why my eyes were getting fatigued. So then I went in to see the doctor and we decided that I would get glasses to wear part-time. Basically when I'm not looking at things close-up, or horseback riding :)

So I go in today to pick out a pair of glasses and join the world of people with "four-eyes." I'm kind of excited about it, maybe it'll make me look smarter for my interviews! Maybe I'll post a picture once I get my glasses.