This and that

Sometimes I get emails about this blog. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I junk them. Sometimes I don't know what is really going on (this happens most of the time). One I opened today was hilarious, a hair color company wanting me to post my "favorite" prep for summer beauty routines and they will feature it on their site! Ha!

Are you ready for this, how to prep for summer Annie style:

1. Chop your hair off. Just do it. Don't forget to color your grays! 

2. Cut off some jeans from the thrift store into shorts. BOOM!

3. Make sure you have one pair of water proof flip flops and double check your swimsuit still fits

4. Enlist your kids in every summer reading/library/ swim program you can handle (last summer that was ZERO, this year I'm contemplating at least one)

5. Buy all the sunscreen at Costco 

6.embrace 5am workouts, it's gonna be hot outside momma

What I really have to do to prep for summer:

1. sign that homework packet that is hiding in the pandora's box that is abby's backpack. i think it's been 2 weeks since i've seen it.
2. try and keep lunch food on hand, last year the last few days of school they went with sliced up hot dogs and watermelon slices in tin foil.
3. don't let them stay up late yet! you still have to wake up in the morning for 6 more days.
4. make a bucket list of summer activities with the kids and put on the fridge
5. make a chore list for computer/screen time and put on the fridge
6. do lots of yoga and meditation to prepare for SUMMER
A beautiful double rainbow over our house this Sunday, I'm going to chalk it up as an omen for an amazing summer. 


how i stopped making mother's day miserable for myself

Every year I fantasize about how my Mother's Day will go.  I get to sleep in (my guilty weekend pleasure), wake up to a fantastic breakfast and on my table will be a secret gift I've been wanting but would never buy myself and don't tell anyone except the virtual shopping cart on ze internets.

Then I want to fit into a fabulous dress, have my kids look amazeballs for church, have our leaders give the mothers something instead of a stale cookie, and spend the rest of the day in my pajamas watching musicals and eating comfort foods. Did i mention I also want my house to stay sparkling clean all day long also, without any effort from yours truly? don't forget the nap and food rub too!

SHOCKER: most mother's day I end up a weeping hot mess on my couch with unfolded clean laundry on it because i didn't get what i wanted, my kids fought all day and I expected SOMEONE to do all of my jobs for a day and for unicorns to poop skittle rainbows over my bed.

it doesn't happen (obviously) and then I end up a cranky mess because what have i tragically done wrong in my life to marry a husband that doesn't put the dishes in the dishwasher right or let me stay home for one day? and when i get cranky motherhood feels like this:

my goal this year is to have an "un-miserable" mother's day.

let me count the ways I create an unhappy holiday for myself:


2. Compare myself to others (e.g. Social media) 

That's it. 2 things.

and so, drumroll please, enter in
bahdumdumdumpsh. JAZZ HANDS!


I woke up and asked Ty to please, for the love of all that is holy, let me sleep in a little bit while he fed the kids cereal.


Then, he let me sleep in so much we were late for church. Now, being late to church is almost my #1.pet peeve of all time. But I took a big breath when I realized how late we were and only raised my voice once to a whining monkey child. SUCCESS and triple JAZZ HANDS!

Did I mention Ty is doing the 24day challenge? And he is doing awesome but I'm also preparing all of his healthy food? And I have to do this on Mother's day? Yup, I did. And so I didn't fix my kids one thing to eat all day. I think they ate, cereal, toast, fruit and cheese the entire day.

ten minute JAZZ HANDS with a shuffle ball change thrown in!

remember how I said I don't want to go anywhere on mother's day? guess what? we went to visit all of ty's family for 4.5 hours. JAZZ HANDS!  luckily, i thoroughly enjoy visiting with his family but still, putting a non-napping 3 year old to bed 2 hours past his bedtime and looking at all of the dishes that weren't washed or food put away was discouraging. I did not get upset!

jazz hands! is that getting annoying yet?

ty swept some food that had fallen without me asking. FIST BUMP. and he washed some pots and pans. BEYONCE FIST PUMPING SINGLE LADY WALK!

the girl went down easily, but then I heard them arguing. I opened the door, and instead of charging in like a rhinoceros with rabies, I politely asked, "Do you guys love me?"...

oh man, why do i do that to myself? setting up for failure in 3...2...1...

their quizzical looks gave it away. the 10 year old said, "Um.. I don't know?" and looked around. The 8 year old said, "You are kind of scary all the time", to which the 3 year old agreed with "yeah, scary".


where is my motherhood award? i want it NOW.

so, they were pretty quiet after that because i think they heard my heart crumble into a thousand pieces and drop into my stomach.

After I shut the door and died a small death ty said, "there was a soggy diaper in Rodney's crib? how old is that?" and i just pretended like i didn't hear him because Rodney took it off this morning and ty didn't even notice. Hello? Where did the diaper go when you helped him put on underwear? Those things don't disappear ( i wish!)


Guess what? I had NO CLUE what you got for mother's day. Or what your husband did, or how amazing your mother/grandmother is or all the tacky, sparkly, paper flower gifts your children gave you. They are ugly (not your kids, the gifts). The tacky, sparkly, paper flower gifts my children give me will basically be in the louvre some day, so it's best I don't post photos of them. It wouldn't be fair really.

without social media i spared myself from a lot of comparison/shame spiraling that usually ensues. I can do that any other day right?


instead of throwing a huge tantrum and yelling at the kids because my day was less than spectacular, i brushed it off and peed my pants reading this dog shaming post.

after that ty and i watched some Vegas Rat Roads episodes and he rubbed my upset tummy as we fell asleep. I ate a cookie at grandmas (ok 2, but oh the pain!).

as we talked he asked, "did you have a good day?" and boy, did i want to complain. but instead (remember, no expectations?) i said, "yes i did, thank you for letting me sleep in. that was nice." he said, "You're welcome. I tried really hard."

Bless his heart.

next year I will repeat these two steps and add one more, i want to try and enjoy being a mother more on Mother's Day.  That is hard for me to do sometimes on Mother's Day. Because I actually do love these little fart knockers.


anniversary trip

our favorite weekend plans around here are NO weekend plans, but every once in awhile we get away. last weekend we escaped for our annual anniversary trip. i start saving up babysitting grandma time in the fall and hoard and hoard so i don't feel too guilty asking them to watch the kids overnight for a few days for us. this was the farthest i have physically left the kids, so i was a little apprehensive. i even tried at the last minute to convince ty to just stay home for the weekend, but let people think we actually left somewhere for vacation. we still would be kidless right? ha, he didn't fall for that one.

he kept asking over and over, where do you want to go? and i honestly did.not.care. anywhere, nowhere, as long as i could 1. sleep in and 2. get in and out of a car whenever i wanted without saying a pray, swearing in my head, strapping in kids and doing the hokey pokey to keep crying to a minimum. anywhere without kids, i was happy.
vacancy on a Thursday night! huzzah!
we ended up FINALLY staying in tonopa, nv at the newly refinished Mizpah Hotel. let me tell you, it was fabulous. said in my most fabulous of voices and using jazz hands. i wish we could have stayed there both nights, i just love old historic mining towns.
Jack Dempsey, the famous boxer ended up living in Tonapah after a boxing match and working as bouncer at the Mizpah 
We stayed in the Jack Dempsey suite and it was beautiful

we made the 40 mile drive to see the ghost town Belmont, NV and that was something we can't wait to take the kids too also.
but first...a selfie (look at how happy Ty is)
luckily ty and i both morbidly love old cemeteries
and taking pictures of dirt devils and desert

we drove the next day and toured Virginia City, NV (another must go see with the kids). Ty had only been once as a kid, and I grew up going there but hadn't been for decades. i love virginia city so much history! so much to do! also, we only fought about parking in virginia city once, not too shabby.
mark twain museum was fascinating, these are the artifacts that survived the Virginia City fire
Mark Twain's desk
I like Mark Twain ok?
We can't wait to take the kids, such a fun getaway.

we met my brother and sister in law for dinner in Reno, which was a delight in and of itself and then saw my nieces and nephews before heading home. it was a great weekend of sleeping in and no diaper duty and seeing some family. i can't wait to start planning next year's trip. a special thanks to my amazing in-laws for parenting our children the entire time. i know they need to rest up until next year, hint hint :)

it is nice to be home and back to our home life, things have been crazy so i am especially grateful we got away for a minute or two 


twelve or a dozen

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove. 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wand'ring bark, 
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
If this be error and upon me prov'd, 
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

Sonnet 116
William Shakesepear



my roses are blooming. which can only mean one thing...

it's fair time! we went we saw, the gyro i ate conquered my insides and i vowed to NEVER AGAIN eat lamb at a county fair.

the kids had a fantastic time. I was impressed with the improvements they have been making every year and it is always enjoyable to see old friends.
ty and i went to the rodeo, i drooled over the manly cowboys in their chaps riding bulls for a split second. judge away, it's fantastic i tell you.

the kids are happy, things are winding down with school and i'm already dreaming of trips for the summer. we only have a month or so of piano, homework, and tight schedules! i know i can't complain, i'm in the minor leagues compared to most mothers with schedules, but i really enjoy less. less, less less.

i tried to catch lucy getting in piano quickly before going to school, it didn't work

i took the kids in to town and everyone got new flip flops...it's already getting warm. abby had another seizure (i haven't mentioned the other ones she's had on here) but we finally got an answer as to why they happen. good news: not serious and preventable! phew! 

i'm helping some friends do the 24 day challenge and it is really fun seeing people happy and successful. life isn't meant to be miserable you know? anyways, here is to spring! my favorite time of year!


24 day challenge details

I did a few things completely different this time. Instead of not telling anyone and trying to lose weight, I told everyone especially the kids. I told them that I was spending 24 days teaching myself how to eat healthy again and feel better and not (cranky mommy).

Obviously the thought of happy mommy excited them as they helped me make a paper chain that hung right in our family room/kitchen.
Let me tell you, I had no idea how much I would need that paper chain the first week. Actually the first 3 days were the hardest, but I would look at that chain and see Phoebe's little sweet eyes asking if I stuck to my "plan" for the day. Every day they tore off a chain we did a little victory dance. That really helped keep me accountable despite cravings.  Honestly, by the second week I would forget to tear off a chain, the days just kept going so quickly and I was feeling great sticking to my plan. I pulled off the last 3 days all together at once. ha

The second different thing I did was post on my fitness page my starting weight. WELP. That was NOT easy. I'm not a light girl. My weight has been a huge source of shame for me for the last 15 years. I finally want to weigh what's on my driver's license! The irony is is that when I renewed my license I did post my real weight, only to gain 20 more pounds in the next 6 months. bwahahahha. cruel irony, she is my favorite mistress.

Those two differences, along with the products really helped me. I wasn't trying to do something exactly the same, I was trying NEW ways and letting the SHAME go. I also had Heather and BJ Faas, my coaches support me all the time. Heather sent me email after email of encouragement, texts and instagram love all the time. That support was essential for me. I know they are weightlifters, parents and human and knew I would need support. That is just totally different than anything I've ever tried before.

I also cleared my schedule of stressful stuff for the first week. I have four kids, that's enough excitement and stress on a plate despite trying to start a new leaf with eating and addictions. That helped a lot.

The first 10 days is the cleanse part. I made sure to drink all of the water needed and stuck to the plan like glue. I followed all of the directions completely. The next two weeks was the max phase with the vitamin pack. I worked out more during this phase than the cleanse. I ate 3 meals a day and the 3 snacks. If you follow the plan you are GUARANTEED success.

So now that it's over here are my final two cents:

I had been taking all of these supplements for 2 years. I would buy them (along with protein powder) at costco, GNC and amazon whenever on sale. This doesn't have my BCAA that I was taking in the picture either.

So now, I am just taking these supplements (along with protein powder- although I'm ready to order the meal shake again from advocare bc it doesn't make me gassy like regular whey protein) and still having success. I weighed myself this am, after a week of finishing the challenge, Easter AND some fair food and I was down another pound. That is just huge success for me. The MNS has all of the supplements I was taking, plus a probiotic that helps keep me regular. 

I have some people ask about the caffeine in the spark. Yes, there is caffeine in it. I'm not a soda/coffeee/tea drinker at all so this was a worry of mine too. But I never got the jitters and with one spark a day I stay on my healthy eating all day long. Before the spark I would eat junk food all day (sugar/carbs) to get through the day. So for me, taking one a day and working out and eating healthy is a much healthier lifestyle change for me. I also don't take a pre-workout anymore for my heavy weight lifting days and those have a lot of caffeine in it. 

I don't think this plan is for everyone, it is pricey and you have to be willing to put in the work and follow directions. But it was totally worth it for me and exactly what I needed. It took me 3 weeks to save up to buy the challenge. I didn't realize it but the money that I saved by not eating junk was worth it alone. And if I was a soda drinker I would have saved twice as much. Ty now takes 1-2 sparks a day, usually one, and has completely cut out soda and monster drinks. Yay!!!  Ty isn't quite ready to do the challenge, but I'm so grateful he isn't drinking all the crappy sugar and stuff in soda and energy drinks.  As for me I feel amazing and I'm so happy that I found these supplements to support my healthy eating and workouts. 


my favorite weekend

I love Easter. I think I almost love it more than Christmas. We were married on Good Friday so I think that affects my decision there also. Having our church's conference this weekend made it even more sweeter for my soul. On Good Friday the girls helped me make hot cross buns while friends were over to play. Saturday morning I went for a run alone and marveled at how lucky my life has been and grateful for our quiet and peaceful property.

This week was spring break, and we just played it super lazy. We had friends over Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday, which was fun but I was exhausted by Saturday. I love my kids but a week at home playing and there wasn't a clean corner anywhere. ugh!

Saturday between conference we had an Easter picnic at the wildlife refuge and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was like a little slice of heaven for just that little hour and I savored it completely.

Sunday was full of egg finding in our classy pjs, and the eating of candy baskets,chocolate and conference.

I made my sinful potatoes from pioneer woman, honey glazed ham, peas and deviled eggs. Lucy requested my carrot cake that hasn't emerged for over 3 years. I ate a piece of every candy that I liked, and left the rest alone. I ate a slice of carrot cake and all of dinner and felt just fine. I woke up monday morning feeling so tired from the sugar and fat and not tempted to eat any junk for awhile. I know that I can anytime that I want, I'm just choosing not to and that is a huge WIN for me. I am in charge of my destiny, food doesn't control me anymore and that is an answer to a lot of prayers over a lot of years. I have found over these past 6 months that I can feel good for a few minutes when I eat what i "WANT" or feel good all day when i eat to fuel my body.

It was a glorious Easter sunday of gospel truths and family all in one. I'm so grateful that my brother, who was perfect in every way, showed me the way to be baptized, and then atoned for my sins, and died so that I could live again.

Easter joy fills my heart with these two words: HE LIVES!


24 Day Success

I finished my 24 day challenge from Advocare yesterday. And I'm proud to say that it has been the most successful "weight" loss endeavor I have ever tried.

so here is my starting weight and my ending weight:

*i stalled in weight loss these last few days because of my {cough} cycle. but 11 pounds is still awesome and i'm really proud of myself!

here is my before/after:
non scale victories: losing 11 pounds in 24 days is pretty rapid weight loss, which usually means you lose water, fat and muscle. after this my goal is to lose 1-2lbs a week. i'm proud to say that over this challenge i didn't lose too much strength, i'm fitting into my jeans and need a belt! my underclothes (lol) are looser and i'm not yelling at the kids every morning because i'm cranky.

but honestly, i told Ty last night, yes all of those things are awesome feelings but there are two things that make me love these supplements and they are this:

1. THEY HELPED ME TO STICK TO MY GOALS. I slipped here and there with bites of the kids food and a few peeps (ha) but I didn't do all or nothing. we ate out 3 times and i just ordered things that would fit (which is really easy to do). I am normal, nothing is all or nothing and to get out of that mindset for me is groundbreaking. the feeling of accomplishing my goals is the best feeling in the world. i ate lean, whole proteins, lots of green veggies, complex carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal) and good fats (nuts, avocados etc)

2. I FEEL AMAZING. I wake up with energy, i have energy throughout the day. i'm the most regular i've been in years {cough cough}. i told Ty that I feel better on these multivitamins than on my anti depressants that I've had to take after the babies are born.

I have always been embarrassed at my weight as I have not weighed less than 140 since my sophomore year of college. yes I'm a mesomorph, so I'm more muscular, but trust me, I have extra fat too. and when you are on the ballet company and you weigh 150, let's just say there is a lot of 'sucking in' going on day in and day out. every thing i've tried i usually lose about 5lbs and then gain back 6. before trying to get pregnant with Rodney I did break down at the doctor's office and he prescribed me phentermine, a super scary prescription weight loss pill. ack! it was awful. I took it for 3 weeks and that's about all my heart could handle. I couldn't sleep and my heart was pounding in my chest 24/7. But it helped get off the extra pounds before getting pregnant, but it was a drastic move. i'm sharing that on here because I know how desperate you feel when you just want to lose some weight. you are willing to do anything. and buddy, i've done a lot.

so when i say that i LOVE these products and they have helped me see the most success and offer a sustainable healthy lifestyle change, know that I've been around the block. and something that is sustainable for the rest of my life was exactly what i was looking for. i know that i can't eat paleo the rest of my life, or whole foods, or vegetarian, or or or fill in the blank. i do all of those and then fall of the wagon into a 4 month bingefest. but i do know that i feel better when i stay away from dairy, chicken and refined flour. and this challenge has helped me find the best balance between living the healthy lifestyle that i need and also being human.

*I'm writing a detailed post about the "HOW TO" of how I did the challenge: what i ate, how i worked out and the ups and downs during the challenge.
**Advocare is an online health and fitness supplement company used by professional athletes and just everyday people like you. for me, it's like bodybuilding.com but with costco quality products and without semi nude people everywhere. ha!  You can buy the challenge here and look at what these supplements can help you with here.


New and good things...

I sit down to blog, and then 800,000 things pop up into my head that I need to be doing first, so this hardly every gets done.

BUT...I want to quickly share some awesome things lately

1. Good reads

I read this last month and it was wonderful. I think every mother/woman/man should read it.

This talk sent to me by a good friend. It gives great perspective on having greater Faith in Jesus Christ

2. I still had 20 pounds to lose from the ectopic pregnancy last year and have had a hard time getting motivated since Christmas. I started using Advocare last month and I'm almost done with the 24 day challenge. I'm going to blog about that soon. I was a little skeptical at first, but I was desperate to try ANYTHING to get me back into my healthy eating and exercise habits. You guys, I loved the stuff so much I signed up to sell it the 2nd day! ha!!! This is the Costco of health supplements, everything is high quality and professional athletes use and recommend. I'm impressed with everything i've tried. Want to get back on track too? This is what I recommend:
 *the 24 day challenge (I've already lost 11 pounds) this is not a quick fix or *miracle drink , this is a healthy way to teach you good nutrition habits and stick to them. It honestly is some of the three best diets I've ever learned from and used all wrapped into one flexible way of healthy eating. It does cost $$, so if you aren't ready for that kind of commitment then try these other small things:
the Spark drink to start with to replace soday/energy drinks and that's a bad habit you need to kick. Sugar free, good energy, vitamins and minerals and no crash. I don't support a lot of stuff but this stuff is awesome. I like the mango strawberry (and Ty LOVES them way better than me, it's helped him kick his soda/energy drink habit on hard days on the job)
the meal replacement shake  this is great tasting, and has the carbs in it already so i don't have to measure out oats etc to put in my protein shake. i have a hard time with whey protein and this doesn't bother me at all. OH! and it has 6 grams of fiber. Um...that's a ton. I like both the vanilla and the chocolate and I don't like vanilla stuff
the fiber drink. again, i need lots of fiber (cough cough) and I have tried every fiber supplement on the earth. this one? Peaches and creme? it doesn't taste like grass and dirt. winning!

  My page is here and you can email me any questions, you know, if you want to.

3. Movie
My sister Danna and brother in law Guy were in town a few weekends ago and we all went out to see McFarland, USA.  GO SEE THIS MOVIE. It was amazing. True story, inspiring, clean and funny without being too cheesy. I'm planning on taking Lucy and Abby to see it soon to support movies like this being in the theatre.

4. I've hired my personal trainer again, Marisa. I took a little break for a few months and it has been torture! I just accepted that I'm someone that needs accountability with my fitness and that's ok. Maybe someday I won't, but for now I'm happy with how hard I work with a personal trainer and can trust her programming.



I saw this quote this week and it has been on my mind all day:

The first thing that came to my mind was all of the parenting techniques I've tried to do, and learn. Almost always the hard way and the painful way (for me) was the best way. And when we stuck to it it worked. And I'm proud of myself for being uncomfortable for a while for the reward when it was done. It definitely is not an easy task to sit at the dinner table for an hour waiting for a 3 year old to take one bite of spinach. *he loved it in the end

After a nice little pat on the back was the next question, "what are my comforts today that keep me from achieving my goals?"
-my electrical blanket. Oh that sweet cloud of warm goodness, it's disaster to my alarm every morning.
-gossip. I know it doesn't sound like a "comfort" but it is. It gives me a false sense of esteem and accomplishment when I can talk about other's failings. Judge away, I know I'm not the only one here in this.
-nighttime, by the time we have done our nighttime routine ty and I are just flat out toast. But there is always a little voice that wants a book read or to show me a picture or or or or, and I just want to curl up one the couch and relax. Lately I've been saying "no" and just vegging out watching Frasier or reading. 
-tv, it's a comfort. It keeps me from accomplishing EVERYTHING
-food. Food. food. Enough said.
-time for myself. It's easy and comfortable to whine and complain about how little I get to do things or go places instead of making time and effort to plan, save and actually do things. Or buy a pair of pants that fit 



I think that's the word I could use to describe motherhood. It is swift. They are born, they grow and grow and whoosh! Everything is different! Good different and difficult different. Last week I desperately needed a costco run, and I thought, "Hey! the two littles kids are getting so much bigger, I bet this will be easy." Disclaimer: I loathe shopping, and trekking an hour drive into town and running errands with two toddlers is like, an inner ring of hell in my opinion.
So we drove in, and they were awesome! And I thought, "Geez annie! Why don't you do this more often? It's not that bad at all!" and then, about 3/4 of the way through the costco list I could hear the fizzle going out in my head. I.can.not.do.anymore. We quickly made it a race to find the last few things, bought some slices of pizza, fought 800 senior citizens for a spot to eat and LOST. So i let the kids sit on a rock and eat pizza while I loaded the car. Two spilt drinks, and one dropped slice of pizza, lots of tears, and exasperated whines from me and we got  back into the car. I had two more stores to go to. We didn't. We filled up on gas, bought 3 things from walmart, washed the car and headed home. I felt like I was hit by a mac truck. WHY? WHY? WHY? did i do that?

Oh well, that's how you learn. I am not someone that can shop a lot with my kids (or alone), and that's  ok. Luckily I took this short video of the total adorable cuteness that is Rodney and Phoebe right now in this stage of life. I'm going to miss it dearly. (ps: this is R's first time not crying in the car wash, and he loves Star Wars if you caught the Han Solo  part)


Church isn't for good people

love being with the women in our ward who share their struggles and trials and lift me up.


weekend thoughts

things are busy, and are not busy over here at the Leavitt house. last week the girls were all in the Missoula Children's Theatre play "Rapunzel". Oh, it was too much! Just the cutest little thing you ever saw, and it had everything to do with my kids being in it. haha. It also made last week just crazy hectic. This week has been nice and relaxed.

It is spring here and the weather is not disappointing. I have gotten absolutely nothing done around the house because the little kids and I are spending most of the time outside. I have been working out in the mid mornings while they play and ride bikes. The older girls have finished their "big" projects and reading goals so the tension is a little more relaxed around that too.

Here are some pictures of the play. Swoon!

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