Tag Archives: Feel Good

I Can’t Be Inside

I hadn’t realized until I thought about it a bit but this year’s garden is really my first time ever having a garden of my own! Yes, after we were first married and Ben was a newborn we had a big community garden that David headed up but I was not physically or mentally involved in it with a new baby around.

After that we were in a house with no garden space and then another apartment. But now we’re here! And I’m not just talking about vegetables. I have all this space for flowers too!

Snap peas 1
Snap peas 2
Spinach 1
Spinach 2

I feel like my level of giddyness is right there with my two young boys. When we started to see the snap peas and spinach pop up from the seeds we had lovingly placed in the ground a few weeks earlier, I almost squealed. 

Then there is the sunflowers. Our neighbor always grows the most amazing sunflowers and then uses the heads to make these beautiful wreaths. She gave us a baggy full of seeds and so I planted some along the back fence line. Little did I know the boys did some planting of their own , all in one spot so now we have an area with 5 or 6 sunflowers coming up! So fun!

We also have little flower seeds and pumpkins that we started in egg cartons. Some flower seeds molded and died so that was sad but I just planted some more. And now some are doing well!  And look at those pumpkins! Yay!


I planted some sweet peas in the back hopefully it wasn’t too early and I am so anxious to see if those pop up. Our daffodils and tulips that we planted last fall are out and in bloom however they don’t look extremely happy. I am certain they need more sun because in the afternoon you can see them leaning towards the sun trying to soak up as much as they can. Poor babies.

In the mail headed our way are strawberries, asparagus, green beans and tomatoes. So excited to get those in the ground and watch them grow too.

If you could see my back and neck you would see the most disgusting red sunburn from the last several days. Shame on me I know. But I just can’t stay inside! My latest project was pruning the apple trees. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I also had no idea what I was doing but with a little advice from people who did I felt like I could accomplish the job. Plus these trees had been neglected for probably 4 years so I figured what more damage could I do?

I worked on them for a little over a week. They would have taken me another week if my wonderful husband hadn’t stepped in and helped me with the last tree. Bam, done in an afternoon. It’s amazing what teamwork can do. Now we wait and see how they respond. Crossing my fingers I didn’t kill them but I doubt it. They are probably breathing now; bathing in all the sun they are getting. It was hard, hard work but it felt good working on a project.

Clearing out flowers beds of weeds, picking up old spiked horse chestnuts in the front yard, planting pansies in pots, mowing the lawn, cleaning out the sandbox, have all kept me busy and I’m loving every minute of it.

The inside of my house might have to wait till a rainy day to get attention. Eating every meal outside?  Yes please.

30 Questions for Self Discovery

  1. How do I feel at the moment?

Just finished breakfast, baby is sleeping, boys are playing battleship together. I feel really good. I’m trying to overcome this notion that my life is lacking in so many areas because it’s really not. I am listening to and watching my home videos of my family growing up and I realize even more how blessed I have been. I feel nostalgic. I feel anxious for my kids to have the same blessings..the same great memories I do.

2. What do I need more of in my life?

I need more of the spirit of Christ. More christlike attributes. I need more perspective of what’s really important…the ability to see my kids as they really are instead of little men trying to drive me crazy. they are just little boys! So innocent and sweet. I also need to have more genuine silliness in my life which will require no inhibitions or pride. Spontaneity and fun.

3. What would make me happy right now?

To be able to go to church without fear of illness and show off my baby. To get dressed up and feel good. To feel sunshine on my face and skin.

4. What is going right in my life?

My children are all healthy and happy. I am married to an amazing man who is genuine and serving and just an all around good guy. We are living in a nice area in a spacious home. Business is succeeding and growing and bringing much reward to those who have been working so hard. I can’t think of anything that is really going wrong right now. Ya, we need more money for things that we think we might need but there is no hurt, no uncomfortable living situations, no panic, no urgency. Content.

5. What am I grateful for? List at least 10 things.

  • Family
  • Healthy food, healthy family
  • Home, cars, water, clothes
  • Fresh air and blue skies and sunshine
  • Birds
  • Memories and technology
  • Jesus Christ
  • Music
  • Good smells
  • Being able to sleep good

6.  When did I experience Joy this week?

Everytime I am nursing my baby I feel joy. One morning particularly this week the sunrise was beautiful out my small window and birds were flying thru the blue sky and I felt my small baby’s hands on my chest and I knew that God was listening to my thoughts and prayers. I can look down at the small miracle at my chest and feel joy. Somehow it’s also helped me feel more joy with my two older boys too.

7. List all my small victories and successes.

Everyday I feel is a small victory. Most days getting healthy food down my kids throats is a victory. Making a yummy dinner for my family for me is a victory and I feel very good about doing that. Keeping my house clean and even giving my kids a bath feels like a success to me. This isn’t because I feel incapable of these things but because the list of things to do is so long and never ending that anything checked off that list is a small victory.

When I remember to send a birthday wish or I remember somebody’s name. When I have had a good conversation with a new or old friend.

When I get homeschooling done for the day with Ben.

Seeing my baby full and satisfied after bf. Seeing him sleeping good.

Natural birth.

Not scrolling thru instagram.

8. What’s bothering me? Why?

Always the worry of getting sick. Because of this I can’t get out as much as I want to or feel like I could.

This feeling that I don’t know myself anymore (hence this exercise) that I can’t think for myself and can’t be ‘original’ in my thoughts,  new ideas etc. It’s bothering me that my ‘creative’ brain seems to be dead. SM has probably done this to me.

There is so much i want to do in this life and there is a part of me that feels like the opportunity or the time to do so is slipping away. Will it ever happen?

I’m 32 this year and yet I feel  like I am not who I want to be. I don’t know who i am and I don’t feel one with my purpose. That’s a bother.

9. What are my priorities at the moment?

to fatten my baby up, help him grow up healthy and strong and well adjusted so that we can get to a normal routine sooner rather than later.

To educate my son to the best of my ability which requires me to rekindle and refresh my education.

To make our house a home. Furniture and decor etc. while staying in the small budget.

keeping my family healthy and happy

making sure they are making great memories and spending time with cousins and friends.

Today? This week? To get my vhs digitized and my 2017 photos scrapbooked.

10. What do I love about myself?


I’m tall? I didn’t always love that about myself though. I do now. this is a hard one for me. I guess I don’t love a whole lot about myself.

11. Who means the world to me and why?

My kids. Because along with God we created them and then they grew inside me and I’ve nurtured and cared for them and in turn have eternal love for them. something that I believe is also just god given…a god given love. My husband. Because he and I are a team. We complete each other because we choose it to be that way. My family. My parents and my brothers and their wives. My family is really close. I grew up with my cousins, aunts and uncles all around me all the time and so they are all like immediate family to me. I can’t imagine my life without it being that way. I feel so blessed.

12. If I could share one message with the world, what would it be?

I imagine this as someone saying, “Hey, the world is listening, here’s the mic, you’ve got a few minutes.” Sheesh that’s daunting. I would probably say something like this…”I know God is real. He’s there and he’s your Father…who lives in Heaven. He loves you. Just as you imagine a great dad loves his child but even more perfectly. You are his child. He is the same today as he was yesterday and a thousand years ago. This means that today he has called a prophet just as he did back then. Jesus’ church is on the earth today and I invite you to find out for yourself if I’m telling the truth. Because if I am, it’s the most important thing you’ll hear and do in this life.”

13. What advice would I give to my younger self? (Do I follow this advice now?)

Stop scowling/squinting so much you’ll make a deep wrinkle in your forehead. Stop caring about what people think and be silly. Be more open about your feelings with others, be touchy and loving, kiss more boys and tell your parents you love them more often. Wear your retainer and take better care of your teeth.

14. What lesson did I learn this week?

That I still don’t know what I am doing with this parenting thing and will always be learning.

15. If I had all the time in the world, what would I want to do first?

Travel!!! Everywhere and anywhere!

16. What’s draining my energy?  How can I reduce or cut it out?

Right now, the stress of maybe my milk not cooperating. It seems to be very sensitive to my level of stress and level of sleep and water intake. If any of those things are off it suffers and then my baby suffers. Do I just supplement with formula? Maybe he’s just going through a growth spurt?

My son William has a really nasty cough right now and I am stressing over my baby getting it too.

Just overall not getting as much sleep as I normally would, what with a new baby and all.

I’m not sure there is much I can do about any of it except for choose not to stress over things i can’t control and do what I can about the things I do have control over like drinking enough water, taking lecithin and NOT STRESSING! duh.

17. What does my ideal morning look like?

Wake up with the sun. I love seeing dawn. Reading my scriptures and being filled with the spirit. Going on a hike or bike ride or doing something active outside. Showering and getting ready, feeling pretty and then making my family a delicious breakfast while we dance in the kitchen together.

Most mornings one or two of these things happen but I guess ideally it would be cool for it happen all in one day. 🙂 But I’ll take what I can get.

18. What does my ideal day look like?

I could be doing anything as long as my kids are healthy, I am not stressed over something, no one is yelling or fighting and we are spending time together as a family, its a good day. Throw in a new experience together, some quality time with family or friends and it’s going to be a great day.

19. What makes me come alive? When was the last time I felt truly alive?

Childbirth – not so much the labor part but the moment when that child is placed on my chest after the work is when I feel most alive.

When I’m outside exercising. Hiking. Southern Utah comes to mind. Red rocks, fresh air, heart pumping. Ahhhh. Yes. It’s been too long.

When I’m testifying of Jesus Christ and the spirit fills my heart. Yes, again its been waaaay too long.

20. What/who inspires me the most? Why am I drawn to those inspirations?

She would probably be surprised at my saying so but my mom. She is more of what I want to be as a mom. She has a way with people that I’m sure she doesn’t fully realize and this extends to her kids who all love her dearly. Plus she willingly got pregnant 5 times despite being extremely ill! That is very inspirational…at least to me.

There is also just people/strangers that I see who are going through or who have gone through something so hard and excruciatingly painful but who are still alive and kicking and even happy. Inspiring others and helping others who are going through it. I guess I’m drawn to it because I can’t fathom having the kind of strength that requires such endurance. I haven’t gone through anything that hard and can’t imagine anything other than crawling up in a ball and staying there forever. haha Guess you never know what strength you have until you need it.

21. Where does my pain originate? What would need to happen for me to heal?

I’m not sure what this question is getting at. Physical pain? Emotional? Maybe both? Or maybe it’s open ended so the writer can interpret it. Hmmmm my pain. Sorry i’ve got nothing.

22. What are my strengths? What am I really good at?

Geez, I don’t know why these questions are so hard for me. I guess I have a real self love problem.

I’m a good listener. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

I’m a fairly good cook.

I’m empathetic, not just sympathetic.

23. What is something I’ve always wanted to do but was too scared?

See most of the things below.

24. What is something I would love to learn?

I want to learn Chinese. I want to learn US History and maybe expand to world history. I want to sew.  The immune system. Herbs for healing. Interior decorating. Refinishing furniture. Make the worlds best loafs of whole wheat bread. How to not worry. BALLET! Yoga. How to shoot better and from the back of a horse. Ju Jitzu and karate. There are so many more things!

25. What hobbies would I like to try?

See above.

26. Where would I want to live in my ideal life?

Ideal, not imaginary. Because if it was imaginary it would be somewhere that looked like the green mountains of Canada but felt like the climate of Hawaii.

But ideally, hmmmm probably somewhere warmer than northern utah and as long as my family is not too far away that could be anywhere. I love the feeling of a remote ranch with land all around but I also love the convenience of a city with it’s close shops and opportunities all around. So somewhere in between like a small familiar town with just enough amenities would be ideal.

27. Where would I like to travel in the next 5 years?

Oh this one is so my kind of question right now. I have such wanderlust right now. I would pack up my whole family and start an American tour first, with all the church history sights first and then the American History ones next. Then we would just explore and see the most popular sights like New York City and San Fransisco but I would also love to see the ordinary places like a small southern town in Mississippi. The National Parks would be next. Then parts of Canada and Alaska, Hawaii would be in there too cause it’s Hawaii and my family’s never seen it. Then when we felt we’d seen America sufficiently (is that even possible?) and our kids are now a bit older we would start traveling international. Where to go first?! Oh my! I have no idea! That’s a stinkin hard question! We’ve talked about Germany…maybe that’s where we’d start. Then New Zealand, and Iceland, Switzerland and France, Italy and Greece. I want to see the Holy Land and Africa, China and most of the other Asian countries. India and Australia. I guess basically everywhere. Except I don’t have a hankering to see Russia but that’s probably a mistake so I’ll have to look into it. Obviously that won’t happen in the next 5 years so for the sake of this question we will stick with…Church history, American History sights and the major National parks and cities, museums etc. So fun!

28.  What can I do to take better care of myself?

Start exercising again and get my posture corrected and prevent my back pain from getting worse.

Keep up with my spiritual goals and give my life over to God.

Serve others.

Keep journaling. More.



Pamper myself everyonce and a while.

29. When have I done something that I thought I couldn’t do?

Natural childbirth.

Driving from St. George to Logan with newborn and 2 kids by myself.

Serving a mission, testifying of Jesus Christ to strangers, knocking on door and inviting strangers to learn more about Jesus. Teaching a room full of protestants about our church.

Lift heavy weights, do a push up, a pull up. Didn’t think it was possible!

Go on a cruise (thalassophobia), wakeboard, boating etc.

30. At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?

I hope that I can say that I was genuine and that I loved the people that were in my life. But mostly that I loved God.





Vaccination Day

Vaccination day. I hate these days. I tried finding a way out of it. I had my mom convinced she needed to come do it for me, with me. David just couldn’t get away. But like my mom said, I grew a pair and just did it myself. I know poor me, I’m not even the one getting shot.

But just like I tried convincing Ben that it wasn’t going to be that bad I convinced myself. And it really wasn’t that bad. He was a rockstar actually. He had little tears that welled up in his eyes right before it happened in anticipation but they never fell and the only thing that came out of his mouth was a little whispered, “Owh.”

I was a proud mama bear. I kept telling him that he was tough like Iron Man which of course drew a deep blushing smile from his adorable face.

So after the not so dramatic event we went for an ice cream cone cause, why not? The large one at Chick-Fil-A proved to be quite delicious and very large indeed! He had no problem finishing it…brain freeze and all (see photos above).

I love that smile. This boy is just the best. The sweetest. Just like that treat he’s holding. Which is why I hate seeing him suffer the consequences of the shots.

No, I am all for vaccinations but they are definitely one of those things in parenting (there are a lot) that you kinda just do on a LOT of faith. No, I don’t claim to know everything about vaccinations and yes, I’ve heard the horror stories and seen or heard or read evidence supporting both sides. It’s scary business. So the choice is one you make with faith. At least I do.

I was pretty worked up last night when he was calling my name in the middle of the night and as I came to him I realized that he was soaking wet in sweat and then he was telling me that he felt really sick etc.

Normally if it were William, I wouldn’t be as alarmed because ever since William was a baby with his vaccines he really reacted to them. Ben, however never did. It’s like they never happened. So with these I guess I was expecting the same thing but nope, last night was rough for the poor guy and today hasn’t been much better.

He is so excited for kindergarten.  Like his preschool teacher said, “He is for sure going to be the teachers pet!” So in preparation for that we also went shopping for a new backpack. Of course I didn’t get a picture of that! It was wonderful to watch him choose between two of his favorites. He weighed each pro and con of both and finally decided on the one because it had more cool pockets.

This boy now feels a little bit more grown up. Or maybe I just see him that way. After telling him that after baby brother gets here he is going to have to get those shots too, he was ready and willing to help his brother feel better. He is going to be such a big helper with baby brother. I love this boy so much. I am so thankful he is a part of our family and that I get to be apart of his amazing life.

And stare into those blue eyes.

Time Travel

These two shows…My goodness.


I’m not watching them at the same time. I finished 7th Heaven quite a while ago. And some new episodes of When Calls the Heart just came on Netflix so I’m doing that now.

But what do they have in common?

They make me very, very nostalgic.

I remember vividly while watching 7th Heaven how I desperately wanted to live with the Camden Family. I wanted to travel back to the 90’s and live on their street. I wanted my kids to go to school with their kids and make friends with them.

I wanted to be the friend who called Annie ON THE PHONE or stopped by and had a slice of cake in her kitchen while we caught up.

It made me so very desirous of the simpler times. No cell phones. Land lines! Pay phones if you were out and needed to call someone. Computers were meant for typing and maybe email…there was no hype about them yet. To me this show was about what real relationships used to look like.

I remember wanting more than anything to take a time machine back with my whole family.

And then enters When Calls the Heart.

Talk about a leap back in time. It takes place in the early 1900’s. I love this show.

And now more than anything I’ve been inspired to live more simply… like these people did. I’m not sure I would truly want to go back that far and live there but I feel like I can learn a lot from their lives.

There is a part of me from watching this show that wants to (and I probably will) dry my clothes out on a line in the fresh air. I want to live in the country, in a small town where everybody knows everybody. I want to home school my children and have pies cooling in the windowsill. I want my home to be small and simple, warmed by a fire. And technology to be scarce and hidden.

I am grateful for shows like these. Yes they are as cheesy as enchiladas but I love cheesy and I feel like the world could use more cheesy. It’s uplifting instead of degrading, inspiring instead of depressing. These two shows do so well at portraying the really important things in life.

So BRING ON THE CHEESE! And if you’re in the market for a new show, may I suggest either one of these to you? I know you wont be disappointed. And if you are, call me. We’ll have a chat.


David must have worked quite a while (at least the length of the drive to Twin Falls and back) on this Lego sign but it was well worth it because we are all so excited to have Lucie here for Thanksgiving.

She has been here for a week now and she will be here for a week more still. Yay! I can never express just how complete our family feels when she is here.

Its a terrible shame to say it but up until now this poor girl has not had a bed of her own at our house. How awful is that?! I can’t believe it but it seems we were blindsided with this teenage girl all the sudden and it became apparent that despite her rockstar attitude and resiliency she needed her own space…badly.

Unfortunately we are still here *ahem* stuck in this little 2 bedroom apartment so we had to make do with what we had. Bunk beds to the rescue! Now she has her own full size bed and after a quick shopping trip to pick out the perfect sheets and bedspread I think we got a little closer to helping her feel more at home here. That and a bigger dresser delete the ‘living out of a suitcase’ scenario. Oh how sorry I’ve been that she hasn’t had that until now.

I love this girl so much. She is a cowgirl thru and thru. I thought when I was her age that I was horse crazy but she puts me to shame. She lives on a dream cow ranch with miles and miles to roam and besides her school work to do in the morning she’s a free spirit.

Here she is a little more restricted. No horse. No ranch. No roaming. But we are doing our best to help her find things she might like to do here in the ‘city’. Friends, swimming and tumbling at the local sports academy are a start. But she’s a trooper for sure.

I try to imagine what it would be like in her shoes. I imagine I would be pretty homesick for the home that I was at most often yet feeling the urge and obligation to see and spend time with my other family that I loved and knew loved me. Oh the emotions!!! And I can’t say enough how amazing she is considering everything.

I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She is our life. I can’t imagine it without her. This year I am thankful for Lucie Lu and my entire family.


I am waxing nostalgic today.

I am happy.

I am blessed. I have had a good life.

Ha. I talk like I am and old person or something.

I know I have a lot of good life in front of me too.

I love my husband. So much.

I love my kiddos.

Opening up old files of pictures and scrolling thru them makes me…nostalgic. For the past and the future. Can you be nostalgic for the future?

The house I grew up in still occupies a large part of my heart. It’s not ours anymore and whenever I am in St. George I am tempted to always drive by it, stop by even and ask to go in. But I have stopped doing so. It’s turned from our desert oasis to something unrecognizable.

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It was the party house. Pool, pool house, large backyard…of course it was!


Behind the house was open fields where we rode our 4-wheelers and kept my horse Escalante. Currently these fields don’t exsist anymore as there are houses being built or are already built.


I don’t know why I loved our circle driveway so much. Lots of space for everyone coming and going!


This is what the kitchen looked like for the first 6ish years that we lived there. It later got updated but it was definitely the center of our home.


Love the spanish 70’s tile.


My dad the landscaper did such a beautiful job with our yard. It really was an oasis.

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Being thrown in the pool happened frequently.

These are some pictures that show it a little later in it’s life. Fun fun house.

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It’s just a house. If given the opportunity I am not sure I would even buy it back. It’s the memories made around that house that are precious.

Houses can be purchased or built again. Where memories can be made again. The people that reside and come and go from the homes make it what they are…what they were.

My parents actually just moved into a home in Smithfield and it is quickly becoming ‘their home’ and we already love going there and making memories. I am so grateful for that.


Life is a miracle. Even though it’s so easy to forget that and get caught up in the unimportant and just feel down for whatever reason I always have to remember just what seems to be a primary message from our prophets and leaders lately…to be HAPPY.

There is so much to be happy about!

I love the constant reminders. If I was already perfect I couldn’t enjoy the improvement and the moments where I realize what happiness and joy might feel like in the eternities.  We get just a taste here…and it’s delicious.🍒🍍

🔸Mmmmm mmmm mmmmm….mmmmm. 🔸




Road to 300#

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I haven’t felt much like writing lately. I couldn’t tell you why exactly but I believe it has something to do with the fact that I’m off social media. I’m going through a transition period.

About a week ago I went through an epiphany of sorts, a personal crisis where I confronted the reality that not only am I addicted to social media but that I actually sincerely dislike it.

I noticed that every time I logged off social media I always felt worse. Darker. Lower. You get the idea. It was not uplifting.

Yes of course there are benefits to social media. Marketing for businesses, missionary work and the spreading of good news, and others. Social media is not the same for others as it has been for me. I realize that. But FOR ME these benefits did not outweigh the injury.

Not only was I addicted to constantly checking at the ease of a button on my phone, the endless scrolling and mindless activity of ‘connecting’ with those around me but it left me feeling like I was losing who I was and what was important.

When I would feel ‘confident’ enough to post something myself it was always at the expense of my pride and vanity. Meaning it made it worse. Somewhat unknowingly I was trying to portray a certain lifestyle and picture of who I was. And yes everything I did post was of me and my life but in a weird sort of twisted way. Instead of feeling more connected with those around me I felt farther away and that my ‘friends’ didn’t really know me at all.

I knew something had to change.  So I logged off. For good. If I’m being honest I’ve had one slip up since then. I logged onto FB for about 30 seconds. It was meaningful however because it solidified what I already had been noticing. I DON’T MISS IT AT ALL.

Ironically this was all just after I had decided with the help of my trainer to ‘document’ my journey to a 300# squat. I was going to do videos, pictures, posts galore on what I ate, how I trained, sleeping etc.  Sorry Atticus. Hope I didn’t disappoint you too much.

Which brings me to my point here for this post. No, I wont be doing a document my journey to 300# on social media. But I would still like to do a bit of it here on my blog.

If you haven’t already noticed I love powerlifting. I should specify. I love powerlifting at Blacksmith Barbell. I know I wouldn’t find the same progress, the same soundness and integrity anywhere else. My body is achieving things that I didn’t think it was capable of doing.

Do you know how fun that is?!!!!

Atticus, my trainer believes that I can reach my goal of 300# by Halloween. I’m not sure that’s true although he does have a weird way of always being right about these things. We are however taking two 1 week vacations before then so I wonder how that plays into it.

Nevertheless I will get there eventually. I don’t really care when I just care that I do. Learning more and more each day….like how to not brace the deadlift bar on your knee on the way down…whoops.

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We’ll start at my 230# rack pull last Friday. Sort of like a deadlift but instead of pulling from the ground, pulling from the pins near the shins.

This picture isn’t my max but it’s all I got.


I feel like I can finally make progress unhindered. My shoulder which was causing pain for the last 3 ish or more months is finally subsiding and now my wrist which I hurt in a non gym related way is making progress too. This means my bench will improve which means everything else will too.  As long as I take care of myself and keep loose.

That’s a whole other post.

300 here I come.






“Is that a snake inside?”

I’ve always been pretty active. I played soccer a little when I was in middle school, tried my hand at ballet (which I loved and still have a passionate love for) then horseback riding was the next biggest thing in my life (which if you’re thinking,”that’s not a sport or an endurance activity Anna”, well then I’d say you’ve never really ridden a horse before). Then I hiked a bunch and ran off and on until I came back to Logan in 2009.

That’s when I met and married my husband, worked fulled time, got preggers and had a baby then another one real quick and then come 2014-ish felt like a normal person again and started to dab my toe into being active again.

The reason I tell you all this is because even though I’ve been active most of my life I’ve never experienced what I’m experiencing here and now.

I’ve mentioned in my previous post that Blacksmith Barbell is the ‘hole in the wall’ type gym with no air conditioning. Really, it’s not that bad, the big bay doors are opened up and you can catch a breeze and they’ve done a nice job at insulating it so it’s really quite nice. Some even prefer it hotter as it helps you train harder and become more ‘hard core’. Also, have you heard of a little thing called HOT yoga where people pay a lot of $$$ to do yoga in an insanely hot room? Interesting maybe?

Anyway something you probably didn’t know about me is that when I work out in the heat, even bearable heat I turn into a beet face. A really scary looking beet face. People are concerned for me and waves of heat just pour off me. The thing others don’t understand is it’s not because I’m dying and can’t breathe and am about to fall over. Even if I’m just fine and not out of breathe at all I will still have beet face going on.Ya, it’s super fun.

I guess I just overheat pretty quick and I don’t seem to have the ability to sweat from my face as much as I should so it doesn’t cool down like the rest of my body. No biggie. I have learned how to compensate and alleviate some of the beet face syndrome.


#1. Apply water to face consistently throughout my workout, a fan is a super awesome plus.

#2. Apply water to every other area of my body, amap (as much as possible – I just made it up)

#3. Wear headband that is kept wet.

#4. Wear the least amount of clothing as possible while still trying to be appropriate (darn all you men who can go shirtless!)

This last one is what I mean to write about today.

Sooooo….I have varicose veins(thank you Stephenson genes). Up until I got pregnant they were always fairly unnoticeable. Pregnancy and age just had a magical way of making them reach a whole new potential of hideous. So, I in turn felt obligated to cover them so as to not upset little children or make people squirm (if you’re lucky you’ll get to see my two little boys slowly running their tiny hands up and down them because it feels so awesome or squishing them with their fingers innocently asking, “what are these bumps mama?” or “What’s inside your leg?”) Pride and vanity (or is it shame) were my constant companions in regards to my legs. I never let it stop me completely from wearing capris or knee length shorts or skirts but I was always self conscience and would rarely expose them completely (swimsuit cover ups etc).

Enter Blacksmith Barbell. Pride and Vanity not allowed. Only survival.

It’s been really really good for me in many ways to be fully exposed to the world (dramatic eh) and to lose the pride (or is it shame) that has been with me for too long.  I literally cannot care what people think because if I did I guess I would be wearing pants every day and that would just be really dumb because you would find me either on the floor about to have a seizure or in the hospital post seizure, heatstrokin it up. Not smart. Not smart. Thank you short shorts!!!

My veins are ugly, yes they are, but my legs are not, in fact my legs look better than they ever have in my whole life! So instead of focusing on something I can’t change I am going to continue to focus on things I can! Again I am grateful for finding Blacksmith Barbell. Add this life lesson learned to the many others (although I KNOW they were not aware of this lesson being acquired)!  Our bodies are temples and they are beautiful!!! Varicose veins and all! And I just can’t care if they make you squirm! Squirm away I say!!

ps. If you would like to you can come rub them down like my kids do and then maybe they wont be so scary. You know, cause things we are familiar with aren’t as scary right? Plus they really do feel cool.

pps. Just so you don’t think I’m a hypocrite in the future you should know that as soon as I’m done having babies and we have the extra $$$ I do plan on having them removed. Because they are hideous but also because with time and pregnancies they have gotten more painful.

ppps. I did hot yoga once and you’d have thunk that they had to take me out on a gurney but guess what my face wasn’t even red!  Ya, the humidity of the room helped me sweat so my beet face was minimal. Funny!

Then end.


What the heck is powerlifting?!


Early October 2015 I was at our animal food warehouse refinishing a headboard my mom found at the D.I..  I was so perfectly unaware of this world called powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic lifting etc …until I turned my head down the alley to where a bay door was open in our same complex and silhouettes of people were working out.

When my mom was near by I showed her what I saw and we wondered together. But soon our wondering became stronger and turned into full blown curiosity. She wanted to walk down there and see what it was about. I was hesitant. Who knows what they were…a private gym, or something else. I’m always a bit reserved when it comes to approaching people (save the 18 months I somehow did this everyday) so I really didn’t want to just pop in on them but my spontaneous, fun mother convinced me to anyway.

We took the short walk down there and when the silhouettes turned into full people with faces and full dimensional bodies we saw what was a few extremely strong (and gorgeous) human beings. The owner of the gym walked over to us and asked us how we were, we said something like, “What are you guys?” “What is this place?”


He then began to explain more about his gym and I wish I could remember this conversation but I can’t. It was significant enough that I decided then and there that I wanted to join. One of the gorgeous men working out I recognized as a trainer from the Sports Club that we had memberships to for the last year which had just expired.

I found it very curious. He was an employee (taught yoga and other classes) of this sports academy and no doubt got access to the equipment and amenities at his club, why was he paying extra money to work out in this hole in the wall place with no air conditioning?


When he was in between sets we got his attention and I asked him why. In a manner that was as loyal to his employer as he could be he explained that this place was different because 1. he felt that it wasn’t about appearances here (for example there are no mirrors) and being haughty and macho like it tends to be at hoity toity clubs like his. The biggest difference though was that the trainer who introduced himself as Atticus knew his stuff and since working with him has had no knee problems which is something he’d suffered from for a long time.

Ok! It was more than enough for me! Add on that Atticus was going to let me come try it out a few times for free to see if I liked it and I was sold.

Well……I didn’t just like it.  I looooooved it.


For the next several months I would pull up to this ‘hole in the wall’ (it’s really not that bad but you get the idea) place lift heavy weights and push my body to it’s limit for 1.5 hrs and leave with just a little bit more confidence and strength. It became apparent very quickly that Atticus truly did know what he was doing and that was very refreshing. And not just about the right way to execute each movement so as to maximize growth but also how everything was connected in the body and how it affects the other. Ailments that were brought to his attention didn’t make him squirm or falter. You could tell he was working thru it in his mind and then he’d figure it out and make it better. He knew(knows) what he was doing.

Since middle school I have suffered from a bad shoulder. When I would type at a computer or carry a backpack it would burn and ache and all I would want to do is take a spoon and dig out the pain. I visited massage therapists and even had an exercise therapist who told me that I needed to build muscle back there but wasn’t really successful at doing so with me. It persisted throughout my whole life off and on….until now.

Turns out I have terrible posture (duh) and my bad postural habits have caused these and other problems. But Atticus has shown me that there is hope and that by building muscle in the right spots (my back and my neck) this will fix itself eventually. Specific movements and workouts to target those spots have changed my life.


I came home each day and told my husband how impressed and amazed I was and it wasn’t too long before he was signed up too.  We knew that Atticus would probably be our last resort at being able to fix his back.

We’d been to chiropractors, massage therapists, spinal therapists had x-rays done and found a herniated disk. Spinal therapy was expensive and not really working. Surgery was to be avoided at all costs. This gym and Atticus Smith could not have come at a more crucial time.

The journey of Atticus with David is something that I wish I would have recorded somehow. It’s been fascinating and incredible. It’s in explainable. David has been like the jumbo rubix cube from hell and Atticus the patient steady handed geek trying to put him right again. Or maybe David’s a humpty dumpty that been smashed into a million pieces and Atticus is a kings men who COULD put humpty together again. Or the man trapped at the core of a huge layered onion trying to get out and Atticus the master chef shedding each layer one by one.


The journey is not yet over but the amount of layers that have been shed, the number of pieces that have been placed back where they belong and the twists and turns that have been made to set the colors in place have been life changing so far.

Picture this: In October 2015 a 35 year old(healthy) man slowly moving both legs over the threshold of his car to slowly and painfully stand up, I’m talking like 20 seconds this excruciating process took. And once up on his feet painfully trying to force his back and hips to straighten out and then slowly starting taking painful steps…groaning with each one. He would have to be extra careful to not trip or get his toe stuck on a ledge or curb(which was hard because he couldn’t bring his feet up as high as he should) as this would cause pain to pulse through his whole body.  Fast forward a year to that same 36 year old man who is SPRINTING up Old Main Hill in the morning, zig zagging his way thru to dodge the sprinklers all around him. Picture him bending over and picking up 400# off the ground!!!! With no pain! Amazing right?!


October 2015


August 2016

It’s been a painful and long process as you can imagine for poor humpty dumpty.  An experience that most people would give up on and say “just leave me here in pieces!!!” But my incredible husband has bore it with such a positive disposition that any outsider would never know he’s only gotten on average 4 hours of sleep at night for 2 years or that he hasn’t been able to relax and sit on a couch or a car to visit family for over 2 years and thru it all been in such excruciating pain that it makes him sweat and groan.  Yet come morning sun he still has smiling face though his eyes be sleep deprived and puffy.  He always has a kiss for me and  warm hugs for the boys. He still works harder than most men I know especially when it comes to healing his body. His dedication and hard work for this cause alone is inspiring. And thank God for Atticus Smith.IMG_20160213_180555

Now it’s been 10 months since I’ve been with Blacksmith Barbell and 9 for David. It’s become such a big part of our lives (my awesome mom too)! When Lucie comes she knows that mom and dad will be going and enjoys going herself sometimes! Now we look back to our life before that October in 2015 and wonder what we ever did before we were powerlifting. How did we cope? What did we look forward to? Where did our energy and strength come from? What hope did we have of becoming stronger as we age instead of weaker. How does anybody live their life without powerlifting with Atticus Smith? Sound silly? It’s really what we think….that’s how incredibly life changing it’s been.

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Wikipedia defines powerlifting as this:  Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squatbench press, and deadlift.

Powerlifting at Blacksmith Barbell is so much more than that however because Atticus has taken the knowledge he has gained throughout his training career and life, from Westside Barbell and others and tweaked it to concoct the perfect formula and program. And it’s not about being big and looking sexy or lifting more than your neighbor (although these things are just natural consequences) , it’s about being strong IN THE RIGHT PLACES for the benefit of your own body. Forget big pectoral muscles, quads and biceps…that’s not functional nor does it make sense physiologically. It’s all about the back, the triceps and the hamstrings. Physics and optimal health are what’s important at Blacksmith.  Not just looking strong…actually being strong and having full range of motion and flexibility and working for loose tendons and ligaments so everything can be where it’s supposed to be and stay there long term.

This is my very basic understanding of it anyway in the short time I’ve been there. I love learning more each day I go. My pre 2015 self never thought this sentence would come out of my mouth but I LOVE POWERLIFTING. Yes I do.