Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Taos: Christmas 2015

Okay...okay, yes it is the very end of January...and I'm posting about Christmas. But you guys, I had to wait for pictures and then I got busy...real talk. Hah. I've started working from home a little bit (more on that in a later post) so that has been taking up some of my time during Evie's naps, in addition to my calling for church (I'm the secretary for our women's organization, Relief Society) taking up more of my time. It's all been good, but it is definitely busier and meant that another blog post for the month of January just had to wait. (I am, however, getting this one in so I'll have met my goal for 2 blog posts!)

Anyway....on to the recap!

For Christmas this year we were blessed to go on a Ski Trip with Graham's extended family. All of his Aunts, Uncles, and cousins from his Dad's side of the family were there. It was so much fun and definitely not long enough. (That side of the family all live in San Antonio so we don't get to see them super often.) We made the drive out with us, Graham's parents, and his sister's family (husband and son) in one day (it was like a 12 hour drive I think? I honestly can't even remember). It was a long day (Dec 22), and started snowing at the end of the day which only made the drive last longer as the roads started to get icy. We made it to Taos all in one piece though!

We stayed in 3 cabins that were on the same piece of property. The main one had 3 bedrooms in addition to a loft, large kitchen, and living room. The one Graham and I stayed in had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen and living room, and a loft area. We were in one room and his sister's family was in the other room. The 3rd cabin had just one room with a kitchen and living room, and a hot tub outside the door. There was another, larger hot tub, between the other two cabins.

The first real day that we were there (Dec 23), Graham went skiing (along with most everyone else). I stayed behind at the cabin that day with Evie while everyone else either went skiing or went up to the slopes to hangout, because one of my very best friends lives in NM only a couple hours away from where we were staying, and I had the opportunity to see her! We hung out during the day, and then went out to dinner that night in Taos. I hadn't seen her since our wedding, so it was great to be able to catch up with her and to meet her boyfriend, Matthew. Graham had a great day skiing and had his share of falls (one of which gave him a nasty bruise on this thigh). He couldn't wait to get back out the next day and ski more.

On Thursday (Dec 24), I went skiing along with Graham and our brother-in-law, Korey. We got to the slopes as they were opening and got suited up in our boots. This was my first time to ever go skiing, and I was excited but nervous. (Especially since everyone else had gone the previous day.) Graham taught me the ropes briefly, we did the bunny slope twice, and then were off to do a green. I fell and got stuck and any time I got going fast I would freak out (and then fall again). I had a terrible morning. If you would have asked me at lunch I would have told you that there was NO WAY that I would ever go skiing again. After that run I went inside to warm up and let the guys go do a blue. I met up with Graham's cousins Kelcey and Hanna and when the guys got back, we all had lunch together. I was feeling much better after having been warmed up. In the afternoon I was able to hang out on the bunny slopes with some of Graham's cousins (Sophia and Emily) and then I mustered up my courage to try a green one more time at the end of the day. I went with Graham's Aunt Ellen and cousin Taylor. I had a much better experience that time around, and even though I still had several falls, I actually had a fun time! At the end of the run, our route met up with the run that Graham, his Uncle Chris, and Korey were on. We were able to finish the run together, and I enjoyed being able to show Graham that I hadn't given up entirely on skiing ;)

That night we had a fantastic dinner. The tradition for their family is to have Mexican food on Christmas Eve and it was delicious! I ate way too much, but I just couldn't help it. That night we also opened up the gifts from Graham's Aunt Melissa and Uncle Chris (her family's tradition is to open gifts on Christmas Eve, so we were able to open their gift that night). Part of the gift was "Reindeer Food." We took Evie outside to sprinkle it on the snow and she grabbed a big handful and ate it. (It was oatmeal with red and green sprinkles.) Heh. Melissa also surprised us by getting us all matching pjs! She had told us all to bring a red shirt for a family photo, and then we were able to wear the pjs in the picture as well. I was feeling tired later that evening so I sat on the couch and watched as some of the family sang Christmas carols. Then we played some games before heading off to bed.

On Christmas morning we opened presents (we got so many great gifts!) and then enjoyed another delicious meal. There was a ton of fresh fruit, breakfast casserole, bacon, and Melissa even made shaped pancakes! Again, I ate so much!

There was so much snow that we just had to go out in it! We had a big snowball fight and then built a snowman. We took a break for hot cocoa in the middle of it all. Evie wasn't quite sure what to think of all the snow. She wasn't quite walking yet, so we didn't set her down in it much, but she didn't seem to mind the cold. After being in the snow for so long, several of us decided to hit the hot tub! It was surreal to be in a swimsuit warm and cozy in the hot tub and have it snowing at the same time.

We had a big dinner that night with turkey, ham, and all the fixings. Another great meal. (You can tell what wins me over! Haha) I think it was that night that we played Bean-Boozled. It was hilarious! If you haven't played the game before, it is basically a bunch of jelly beans of various colors. You spin the spinner to determine what color you'll eat. The catch: there are two flavors for every color, one that is good (like pear or blueberry) and one that is bad (like vomit or skunk), so when you grab your jelly bean, you know you are getting one of two things, but you don't know which until you try it!

The next morning was our last day there. Originally we were going to leave on Sunday morning, but there was a really bad storm coming through and we decided to leave on Saturday instead. So instead of having one last day with everyone, we packed up and headed out. It was sad to leave suddenly, but we were glad that we left when we did and just kept on driving. On the way out to NM it took us about 13 hours (stops and everything included), and on the way back home it took us 19 hours due to the weather. We drove through the night through snow and wind and then finally rain (boy were we thankful when we hit the rain in Oklahoma City!). Graham and I (and Evie of course) made it home and then crashed. We literally did nothing on Sunday and it was perfect. Hah. I think we each took a short nap (about an hour each) and then we went to bed right after we put Evie down and slept for 12 hours, just like she did!

We really did have an amazing trip and loved our time with family to celebrate Christmas. Graham seriously wants to go out skiing again now.
This week my scripture is from The Book of Mormon, Alma 57:21 "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them."

Love you all!
xoxo, Marissa

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tips on Keeping Health-Related Goals, and My Goals for 2016

Wow. Can anyone else believe that it is already 2016?? I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. We were able to go skiing in New Mexico with Graham's family, and it was a blast! When I get pictures from people, I'll do a post on our trip :)
January always gets me thinking back to the previous year and goals for the new year. I know for sure that I am not alone in that. I've been talking with my sister, Michelle, lots about health-related goals. (Think: eating healthier, exercising more, and the like.) This has made me want to share some tips on making and accomplishing health-related goals, as well as to share with you my personal goals for 2016.
Links to previous posts about similar things here and here

Making Health-Related Goals

As with any goal for a change in behavior, the biggest suggestion I can give is to frame it in the positive. For example, if you are wanting to eat healthier this year, a goal could be "I will choose a fruit or vegetable for snacks 4 days a week." Instead of "I will not eat junk food."

Another important facet of your goal is having it be specific. Instead of saying "I want to get in shape this year" try saying "I will do a 20 minute cardio workout 3 days/week and take a 15 minute walk the other days."

Tips to Complete Them

Now, I know that all of you can set a goal and then get out there and do it all year long, without having to put too much thought into it, right? Well, pretend with me for a few seconds that that isn't the case. I've got some tips for you :) 

For eating healthier (whatever that looks like for you), it is important to know that every little bit does truly help and that you don't have to change your eating habits all at once. I love dessert. Like, it's bad guys. I can eat an entire pan of brownies by myself. Don't ask me how I know. Okay, brownies are truly my weakness and I did eat an entire pan a 24-hour period. Well, I think Graham had maybe 1 or 2... Yikes. I know, I know, it's bad, like I said. BUT. There is hope for me, and for you! So you know I love sweets, but I also really like fruits and veggies. When I feel like I've gotten off track, *ahem Christmas* I will focus on eating fruits and veggies during the day. When I find myself gravitating toward the bag of Ghirardelli chocolates that is currently atop my dresser, I remind myself that I will have a treat at the end of the day. It totally helps! As soon as I remember that, I either realize that I wasn't really hungry in the first place, or something else will be more filling and a better snack. I love being able to have a treat at the end of the day (last night it was a few slices of my chocolate orange, and the night before it was a scoop, okay 2 scoops, of ice cream). Staying "on track" during the day helps me to enjoy my treat more, and to feel better generally because I am not eating as much junk (tasty though it is).

I feel like I really got off track there. Did I lose anyone amidst my dessert-loving rant? Focus. Tips: If you are going to set any restrictions (less dessert, less chips, whatever it is), be sure to have "planned indulgences" (whether once a day, once a week, whatever works best for you). That will help you to stay on track and improve! It is way easier (and far more realistic) to tell yourself "I can wait until tonight to have that scoop of ice cream" or "I can have chips with lunch tomorrow" than it is to say "I'm not going to eat _____ ever again." Chances are, you will eat it again, and then you will feel super bummed and not even want to try anymore. Don't do that to yourself! Set an attainable goal and work from there.

I think one of the biggest obstacles in completing fitness goals is finding the time to exercise. Not only do you have to carve out a chunk of time for the actual exercising, but then you have to add in time to shower and get ready again. I know for me, that is my hardest challenge!

Evie helps "add resistance" to my workouts from time to time

Something I have started doing is exercising in the morning (after breakfast, cause a girl's gotta eat!). I go from pj's to workout clothes (or sometimes I stay in my pj's) and then I do a little workout. Sometimes, I do get sweaty and do an extended workout (which, for me right now is like 20 minutes) that will cause me to need a shower afterward. I either wait until Evie is down for a nap to shower, or I will put her in her crib with some toys to shower quickly while she is awake. Alternatively, I'll do like a 5-10 minute workout that is challenging, but doesn't make me sweat. Then, all I have to do is change into my clothes for the day (which I would have already had to do). Right now my favorite workouts are by Cassey Ho on Blogilates. I've done several of the workouts before, so if I want a quick one I'll go to YouTube and search one there.

I know not all of you are stay at home moms, and even if you are, you don't have just the one kid. I know that carving out time for working out is hard. You can try exercising in the evening while catching up on your favorite TV show or watching Netflix, or you can add in what I like to call "mini workouts."

What are Mini Workouts? 

I'm glad you asked :) Mini workouts are simple exercises that you can complete while you are doing something else. What do you do while you brush your teeth? Just stand there, looking in the mirror? And you say you don't have time to exercise...You can do calf-raises, squats, or lunges while brushing your teeth and bam! Mini Workout completed. Multi-tasking like a champ! I've also done arm circles while watching Evie during bath time. Calf raises are my favorite mini workout, because they are seriously so simple. You can do them while brushing your teeth (as previously mentioned), cooking dinner, waiting in line at the grocery store, folding laundry... pretty much anywhere.

Doing mini workouts will help fitness and greater levels of activity into your daily life. They are a great first step and building block toward achieving your fitness goals.

My Goals for 2016

Some of these are my individual goals, and others are goals that Graham and I have decided upon together for our family. I hesitated about whether or not I wanted to share them, but I decided to go for it. Being accountable is a HUGE part of accomplishing goals. Now I'm accountable :) 
  • Attend the Temple 3 times this year with Graham
  • Read The Book of Mormon every day as a family (and have personal scripture study daily as well)
  • Post to the blog twice a month
  • Date nights with Graham twice a month
  • Read 20 books (at least 5 nonfiction) 
  • Exercise 3 times a week (and do mini workouts 3 other days)
  • 91 Day De-Clutter Challenge 
What are some of your goals? Do you need any help setting a health-related goal? Contact me! I have a Bachelor's degree in Public Health and I took an entire course on this very topic. I would love to help! (If you don't have my contact info, send me a message on Facebook.) 

Graham and I have the same scripture this week (not know what the heck I'm talking about? Go here and read the end of the post.) because it is part of our Ward's theme for 2016. Our Ward theme for church is D&C 27:15-18. The scripture we chose is Doctrine & Covenants 27:15 "Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand." 

xoxo Marissa