Pictures in May.

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I guess I should preface this post with a FAIL of mine that I wish I were better at. At the beginning of the year, I was thrilled about my new iPhone and I started doing the “Photo A Day” thing on Instagram. I even started printing off the photos and everything, but that turned out to be an epic fail for me. I would do really well for about a day, and then I would get behind and then one week, try to catch everything up, but “5:00 PM” on January 8, cannot be replicated at any time during the 24 hour time span on January 13. So, some of the photos didn’t turn out and I just decided to QUIT.

Tonight, as I was chatting with Shandi, she was telling me how I could post photos to my blog from my iPhone and how she had read of a woman (on Pinterest) that started doing a photo a day and posting it on her blog. Then, one day, when I decide to print my blog into a book, all of those photos will be there, daily.

Genius, that is GENIUS, I tell you. So, that is my goal for the month of May. To do my photo a day each day and post it to my blog. Hope you all enjoy the photos that I take and post here. I know I will cherish them in the future…maybe that idea will make it so I don’t get so frustrated with it this time around! Wish me luck.

-M.

Windows. Were. Clean.

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*Warning:  This post may present to be a bit “hippy”ish, but it’s ok!  Read on and enjoy! 

I was THRILLED this morning to get my {bottom level} windows clean so that I could actually see out of them.  All that dirt and grime that was on them from the winter is now gone.  After this CRAZY wind and rain storm, we will see how they look in the morning.  I even cleaned the screens.  Why did I do this when I knew a storm was rolling in?  

A: They have been driving me CRAZY ever since this beautiful weather has rolled around.  

B: I knew that my efforts would not be in vain, why?  BECAUSE OF NORWEX!  

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Let me tell you the reasons I love Norwex:

1: I don’t have to buy chemicals or toxins to be used in my house to “clean” with…Since I started using Norwex in November, I have not had to buy 1 single cleaner!

2: Norwex saves me money….Like I said, no cleaners or paper towels have been purchased for my household since November, and this also gives less contribution to landfills!  

3: I know my house is REALLY clean…The microfiber that Norwex cloths are made out of pick up ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING off of any surface and all you have to use is WATER.  The cloths are specially designed to pick up everything off of the surface that you are cleaning and trap it all into the rag.  When you are done wiping down a surface, you wash the cloth out with hot water and all of the dirt, dust, grime, micro organisms, etc wash down the drain.  The cloths are also spun with micro silver to fight against mold, fungi, and bacterial odor…aka NO MORE STINKY RAGS(one of my BIGGEST Pet-peeves)!  

4: I have to clean less…The way the microfiber is spun, it creates a static cling so that as you clean, no residuals are left behind, hence, the surface will stay cleaner longer because there is nothing left to attract dust, dirt, grime, bacteria, etc.

5: I have to spend LESS TIME cleaning…I don’t know about you, but I consider cleaning a necessary evil.  Who really LOVES cleaning?  Well, I do now, but it’s not because I get to clean, but it is because Norwex saves me time cleaning.  Let me give you a scenario:  when using bathroom cleaners, this used to be my routine…spray the windows with windex, let it sit while I put cleaner in the sink, toilet and tub.  Leave the room for 10 minutes so I don’t get fumigated.  Come back, windex is dry.  Reapply windex.  Use paper towels to wipe mirror.  Still streaky.  Spray again, wipe again and again.  Get out an old rag, wipe down the sink, rinse the sink forever to get all of the chemical off.  Wipe down the counters and shine the faucet…continue on with the toilet……….continue on with the tub and shower………..more time…….more money down the drain.  

Now let me give you a scenario of how I clean my bathroom now:  wet my microfiber cloth, wipe the mirror, wipe down the sink, faucet and counter tops. Shine with window cloth.  Continue on to toilet, with toilet cleaning system, and wipe down shower with microfiber cloth, shine with window cloth. DONE.   

I seriously did all of my bottom windows today in less than 15 minutes, INCLUDING cleaning the screens. 

I bet that everyone that will read this post will fit into any 1 of 3 categories, if not all:

1) You want to treat the planet a little more nicely and “Go Green” in a small way. (HIPPY!)  

2) You want to create a safer environment with less toxins and chemicals for you and your family. OR

3) You want to SAVE SOME MONEY and TIME.  

If you or anyone you know fits into one of these 3 categories, you should contact me personally or check out my website to shop products and promotions!  kenzie.ostler@gmail.com, 435-230-4447, or mackenzieostler.norwex.biz 

Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit about how you can save time and money, while becoming a little bit more hippy!  

Mothers.

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Mother’s Day is coming up and I read an incredible article yesterday about being “The Perfect Mom”.  I was so impressed by the insights this girl gave about how hard we are on ourselves, being mothers and all.  I thought we all could take time to read this(although it is a little lengthy) and remember that as long as we are trying our best, improving in one area each day, and doing all that we can do, no one asks us to do more than that.  

http://powerofmoms.com/2011/05/the-perfect-mom/

Here is the link and I hope that you appreciate the wisdom in her words, as I did.  

A few highlights that I enjoyed.  

-Harriet Braiker said, “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.”

-“I force myself to count my blessings, to see the beauty and the bounty that exists in my every day life if I will just take the time to notice.”

-I remember President Hinckley using the next quote in one of his books, I can’t remember which one, but reading this quote again made me remember and miss him a bit.  Jenkins Lloyd Jones,  “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.

“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

-“M. Russell Ballard said, “There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.”

As mothers, we’re not in the same boat, just the same ocean.  Comparing each other’s boats and constantly keeping track of who is ahead does nothing to get us where we are trying to go; it only distracts us from the care of our precious cargo.”  How important is it for us to accept our way of mothering, as well as not judging others for the way they have chosen to mother?  I could be better at this! 🙂

-Remember that mothering is not about you.  This reminds me of a VERY tender time in my life.  It was just after Bekkett was born…he was probably 5 or so days old.  I was exhausted, my boobs hurt, and I didn’t know if I was truly living up to the mother I needed to be for him.  He started crying and I was dreading the pain that came from nursing.  I went into his room and fed him and came out bawling.  I am so lucky to have a husband who knows me, who loves me, and who knew what I needed to hear at that moment.  I went back in to Bekkett’s room and was snuggling him and crying and I get a message from Greg that said, “You don’t seem very happy to be a mommy.”  Ouch!  It stings a little, right?  I have had some say to me, “He actually SAID that to you!?”, in SHOCK!  I stand up and defend him, because at that very moment, in my head, I heard the words, “This is not about you.”  This whole mothering experience is NOT about me.  

At that moment, it all clicked and my outlook on mothering Bekkett completely changed.  My boobs hurt, because they needed to hurt so that Bekkett could be fed.  I was exhausted, because Bekkett needed me to feed him.  I was chubbier because I got to carry that precious baby boy inside of me for 9+ months, and what an incredible opportunity that was…I even miss it A LOT, some days.  I chopped my hair off because it made me feel cuter, because I actually took time to do my hair in the midst of my mothering.  I quit my job and sacrificed many friendships that came with that job, because I was/am blessed to stay home with him to see his developing changes and watch him grow every moment of the day.  

I am very grateful that at this point of my mothering, although it has only been 10 months and 4 days and although I am not perfect, that I am PROUD to be a mom and that I have LOVED those last 10 months and 4 days.  Sure, some days are harder than others, but I am grateful that I have Bekkett Paul Ostler to teach me every day.  

Let us all be more gentle with ourselves and find JOY in this journey as a mother.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you lovely mothers that have shown me the mommy I want to be.  

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Cousins.

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Ever since Shandi had baby Alia, our family has passed around congestion, sore throat, runny nose, and such, so we have steared clear of the Ditlevsen household.  FINALLY, after a LONG AND GRUELING wait, we were able to go and snuggle baby Alia and play with Nik!  It was quite an enjoyable afternoon.  Bekkett didn’t really know what to do with the baby…just mostly crawled on or around her.  But, Nik and Bekkett haven’t been about to really play a lot since he started crawling.  For the most part, when we would get together, we would go on walks and just play outside with other cousins.  Yesterday made for SUCH a fun time and they were adorable together.  I think Nikalya was just so excited to have Bekkett moving around, which also equals that he is fun to be with!  

They would pull at each other, stand by each other, Nik didn’t really want to share with Bekkett, but that’s understandable! 😉  Also, my favorite part of the day.  Nik had been hanging around with B and doing pretty much whatever he was doing(hence the photo of them sitting up together).  I had just finished feeding B and gave him his milk, when I made my way into the kitchen to wash his bowl out.  Nik came in and kept pulling at the refrigerator door, so I opened the door for her.  She climbed in, stepped up onto the bottom of the fridge, grabbed her sippy of milk, and when I walked back into the living room, I found this…Image

Absolutely adorable!  I am glad these two are little buddies!  That is what Shandi and I always dreamed of.  I don’t feel old enough to be at this point of my life.  It seems like yesterday that Shandi and I sat in our room, dreaming of having 10 kids each, living next door in BIG houses, having BMW’s(aka Big Mormon Wagons..15 passenger vans) and one van taking half of our kids to soccer and the other van taking the other half of the kids to ballet class.  Well, Shandi now only has 8 to go, and me…I don’t think I will ever get to 10 😉  

-M.

 

Bubbles…

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Saturday morning, my sister Jessica and I went on a long run, 10 miles to be exact.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We went up Blacksmith Fork canyon and ran the top 10 miles of the Top of Utah half marathon.  Needless to say, I was in pain when we got back.  Downhill and my knees don’t really get along, but I have been able to recover quickly, thankfully.  

Greg had his DAT practice exam that morning, so as soon as we got home, he left for that.  I was getting ready to get in the shower and Bekkett absolutely HATES when we shower.  It doesn’t matter if it is Greg or myself, he just cries the whole time.  I think it is just because he can’t see me, but who knows.  So, as I was getting ready to shower, he started whining and I was thinking, “DANG!  I really need a long shower.  I need some relaxation.”  Then I thought, “Maybe he won’t hate it so bad if I take a bath.”  I ran a tub, and YOU GUESSED IT, he was thrilled.  I put some relaxation bubbles in the tub, and he just played on the floor for the first little bit.  Then, he pulled himself up onto the tub and was totally intrigued by the bubbles in the water.  He put his hands in the tub and started splashing and pulling the bubbles closer to him.  He LOVED them!  Looks like I know what I am getting him for his birthday!  I couldn’t believe that we hadn’t introduced him to bubbles yet!  It was so fun to watch him play with the bubbles, while mama got to RELAX and take a long hot bath.  

I didn’t think twice about it, until Greg got home from his test and headed out on a 14 mile run to prepare for his marathon on Saturday.  He text me all the run updating me on how the run was going.  About a mile away from home, he asked me to start him a tub.  He hopped in the tub and I was changing Bekkett’s bum.  After I got his diaper off, he BOLTED toward the tub, pulled himself up again, and  started splashing in daddy’s tub, with only his t-shirt on.  His little, lumpy bum was hanging out of the bottom of his t-shirt, and I got a great picture to black-mail him with for the rest of his life, but don’t think it is quite appropriate to share, as there is a half-showing, naked daddy in the background.  Haha!  I will spare you all! 😉  

Bekkett sure knows how to bring a smile to his mama’s face and I don’t know what we did without him!  I sure am one lucky girl!  

-M.

The change.

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In the last 6 months, I have really tried to whip my body back into shape.  I really haven’t been in shape since High School, and that was almost 10 years ago, so I thought it was time.  I was working out about 3-4 times a week, depending on how often I could drag my butt out of bed, but was eating whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to.  I complained to Jessica, my sister, about how I was working out but wasn’t losing weight and it was frustrating me.  She called me out, then and there and said, “Is your eating matching your effort at the gym?”  I was trying to convince myself that it was, when in all reality, I knew it wasn’t.  

I decided it was time.  Time to really change.  I knew I couldn’t go off of sugar completely, I had tried AND FAILED at that, one too many times.  I decided that I would allow myself ONE bite of sugar a day.  When I say sugar, I mean CANDY, CHOCOLATE, etc. not fruits, etc.  I was ASTOUNDED at the amount of sugar I shoved in my mouth every day.  At first, it was hard to have sugar around, but after a month or so, there could be candy on my counter for G-baby, but I could walk past it, without a second glance!  What it did for me was it FORCED me to make a CONSCIOUS decision, “Is this ONE bite worth it?  The only bite I have for the day. Should I wait for something better?”  Many times, I decided I didn’t need a single bite of sugar in a day…that started to feel GREAT!  

The next thing, I started a “Biggest Loser” competition.  I only had to put in $20 and if I won, I could win $240!  There were SO many things I could buy with $240!  So, I set my mind to WIN!  

Greg also signed me up for the Salt Lake Half Marathon.  This part makes me a little emotional.  This is something that I never thought I could do.  I really never thought I could run 13.1 miles straight.  I blamed it on my knee, on my joints, said that I was an old woman already.  Well, I started training for that in January and the results of weight loss, confidence, and the ability to run are astounding.  

I DID win my “Biggest Loser” competition, went shopping with my $240.  In the 10 weeks that we did the competition, I shed 26 pounds and 13.24% of my body weight.  I feel better than ever and I have continued to lose, only 3.2 pounds, but I am only 6 pounds away from my HEALTHY goal weight.  

I never thought I could run 13.1 miles, but being down almost 30 pounds, since I started, has made ALL of the difference.  One of the things that changed my life was this quote, that I got from Bob Harper’s Facebook page. Image

Thank you BOB HARPER for providing us with some truth.  IT IS TRUE!  Whenever I don’t work out, I regret it EVERY time.  There has NEVER been a day in my life when I have worked out that afterwards I thought, “Dang, I regret that!”  Haha.  I hope this trend continues for the rest of my life!  This morning I woke up in a FUNK because I didn’t get up and go to the gym.  I was in the worst funk I have been in, probably EVER(emotionally speaking), and I was feeling so overwhelmed with life.  As I drove to the store to get Bekkett some nasal saline, I just prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him to help me.  I knew only He could do so, because of the atoning sacrifice of my Savior.  My attitude completely changed,  I went into Walmart, bought the saline, and some snacks for my little man, went home, put my head on straight and decided that as soon as B woke up from his nap, we were going on a run.  I was so grateful to my Heavenly Father for providing the beautiful weather this morning that allowed me to go and get my piece of sunshine in my life.  It changed my whole outlook on my day, and I am SO GRATEFUL.  

Exercise makes me feel better, about myself, and about life.  It energizes me, it strengthens me, and seriously keeps me going.  Before I started to get my butt back into shape, I thought the opposite would be true, that I would feel tired and would have less energy.  HECK NO!  It invigorates me and I love it!  

I am grateful for this change I have made and for where I have been, and where I am going.  The half marathon is in T-8 days.  Wish me luck!  I will have updates soon!

-M.

Alia Marie Ditlevsen

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I am ONE LUCKY AUNT!  This morning, our beautiful niece Alia Marie Ditlevsen entered the world.  After a LONG and crazy labor, Shandi and Ali are doing great!  Nikki got to go and meet her baby sister this morning and oh what adventures await that beautiful family.  Greg and I are lucky enough to go and meet this angel in about 45 minutes, if Bekkett will cooperate!  Here is a picture of baby Ali and her stats. Image

Alia Maria, “Ali” born 7:25 am.  7 lbs. 11 oz. 19 inches long.  Small and beautiful.  

Oh, little babies just make me weepy!  I already love her and I haven’t even been able to hold that little beauty in my arms yet.  So special.  

As I said earlier, if Bekkett will cooperate.  Mr. Bekkett has officially had one night and two naps without a binky.  And he is doing….Great.  If you can call it that! 🙂  It will be an adjustment, but it hasn’t been as hard as I imagined.  One thing IS for sure, all of his crying could just break my little heart.  But, we are making progress!  I hear it only takes a few days and we are almost at 1 day down.  What a blessing he is in our life!  

Last but not least, I have a lot to catch up on.  We had a WONDERFUL weekend with all of the family being in town.  Good thing I have a goal to blog 3 times this week so I can catch up! 🙂  Until then.

-M.