Friday, July 27, 2012

Instagram it is...

I have found a new blog to stalk....Life Rearranged
A lot of blogs are witty, funny, real and make you feel like you are chatting with a friend... 
This blog is all of that plus she likes Instagram!!! 
I will follow her and link up to her Insta-Friday posts :)))

Here's our week recap...
 *'Jacob! After breakfast, I'm going to be a robber!! -Matthew'
 *My grocery shopping entourage!
 *BHG mag makes me happy!!!
 *Lunch date with my dad...
 *USA woman's soccer game... Gooooaall!!!!
 *If you watch soccer, you gotta play soccer, right??
 *Drawing his goalie box. Serious stuff!
 *Preschool application fill out time... got a little giggle from my honest answers!
 *Planning a lil somethin somethin to end summer with a bang!
*Friday morning artwork

Follow me @abbeylewis

Always - Abbey

Days at Home

There are some days where I can't get out of the house quick enough! I lurch for the garage door button and smile as I pull away with the windows down and the radio up!! Here lately tho, I have been enjoying long days at home, staying in pjs and seeing the boys somewhat enjoy each other! The moments are quick, fleeting and often followed by choking matches... but they are there!! And I try to savor each one of them, if nothing else but to have in my memory bank when I am yelling for the bazillionth time... 
I do adore when they are sweet and actually show signs that they are related... other than the obvious sign that I birthed them both and know they came from the Hubs and I!! Brotherly love is so tricky and volatile at times... pulsed with testosterone and physical excitement! Sometimes it gets the better of them, I know this... but I still get that eye twitch sometimes when I feel like all I do is referee and try to play mediator 10 out of the 12 hours they are together!!! Being at home is a refuge for us! We get time to be ourselves and relax and just be! Often times it is well received but then again, it is also something a few of us don't do well... that whole relaxation thing just isn't within our little man! 
He is all movement, all the time!!!
Balancing him and our other, 'I'd rather play by myself all day, sit and watch TV for hours, quiet, pensive, creative, deep' older child can be challenging! But if we didn't have that yin and yang within our boys I think we would be sorely missing out on the goodness that is us! They are equal parts me and equal parts my hubby! 
Through and through, we see it every day!
Nothing brings the happiness of home and the fact that we need to relish in the good, the bad, and even the choking episodes more into light, than when one of your littles isn't feeling well! I will trade a 100 wrestling matches and dirty toy rooms for a sick boy, any day!!! When our big boy was down for the count earlier this week I would have done anything to make it better for him!! It's part of being a Momma that just grows inside you as soon as they start growing inside you too! Watching them feel yucky is just not something that sits well with you as a Mom! And when you go thru a day of sick you appreciate home too, just in a way that is different than when the boys are running around playing, fighting or whatever!! You are thankful for the safe haven it gives you to help bring recovery and balance again! You are thankful for the rest it brings and the familiarity it lends when you need it most!!
Days at home are my favorite... even with sickness, I am thankful for the time at home I get with our boys! I know I will blink and they will be gone. But for now I will take the messes, the arguing, the hugs, the choking, the kisses, the sick stomachs, the loud laughter, the constant need to run and kick balls in the house!!! 
I will take it all in stride and enjoy every day we have at Home!

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Putting It Out There 2.0

A little over a year ago I decided to start this blog. For many reasons I felt the need to share more, document more and allow myself a space to find peace. It has given me all that and more!!! But now, I feel like I need another chance to put something out there and see how it sticks... kinda like I did last April in this post! There are many reasons for opening up myself like this, and many reasons why I chose to use my blog as the outlet! For starters, I feel more confident with my words than I do any other form of explanation or expression. Who knows why?? Probably cause it is my space, I am on it alone and no one can interrupt me or break my flow of thought! It goes along with a sense of self protection while self expression is the ultimate goal!

Almost a year ago (7 months) I decided to really embrace my own health and wellness, past anything I had ever attempted before! Being a life long athlete, you would think that isn't something that would be hard or even needed... but it was! There are millions of people out there, athletes, non-athletes alike who struggle with self image, body acceptance, health, wellness, confidence in one's self physically and mentally! The list could go on, and I think there probably wouldn't be one person who dared to disagree with me that at some point in their lives, for however long, wanted or wished or tried to change their physical appearance, whether thru diet, exercise, drugs, surgery, or all of the above! We all do it! We all look at other's and long to have a body or physique other than our own... it's human nature to compare and to contrast ourselves with those around us, and more so with those that society lift on a pedestal of approved beauty or embraced body size! I do it all the time... I wish I could lose 10lbs... If I could just drop these last 2 dress sizes, I'd be happy... Man, if I had her height in high school, I could've been Division 1 in volleyball... How is that, this mom is a size 2 after 4 kids, and I struggle to stay in the single digits after only 2 kids?!!?!? Mental comparisons, verbal barrating and self struggle!! It's there!!

I wanted it to stop, or at least lessen in my own head... so I decided to challenge myself and change things up a bit! I took what I was already doing.. working out and eating what I wanted, and decided to get serious and real about what I was putting into my body on a consistent basis! I kept working out (3-5 times a week), started watching what I ate but didn't deny myself anything major, but ADDED in a healthy nutritional change for breakfast, and some lunches! It's not rocket science... it's not some hidden secret that only the 'fit' girls have!!! It was shared with me by an unexpected friend family member over some random holiday get together!! The addition came in the form of Herbalife! A company that has been around for ages, the one meal replacement I hadn't tried yet!! And believe me, I had tried them all!!! Herbalife is a very welcoming, normal, down to earth company that promotes health and wellness!! Don't get me wrong, I was skeptical... I had tried most all of the shakes and supplements out there but none of them seemed to be me. Some were good but expensive. Most companies were advertising people using their products who, I totally didn't think looked anything like me, no one I thought I could identify with!! BUT I tried them all... and failed, got bored, couldn't manage to drink another shake if you paid me, gave up, basically didn't find MY success!

It's been a slow process, I didn't turn into wonder woman over night (who does?), most would probably say I don't look much different!! But that's not what I care about... what I care about is how I feel, what I think, what I am mentally telling MYSELF!!!!! The comparisons have lessened, the verbal beat downs in my head for who I could be and what I should be doing have subsided, it all just got clearer!! That's what I am finding as I plug along in this little life of mine!!! Stop accepting your self worth based off people who surround you, they can't ever truly add up your worth for you... that's up to you!!! Put aside what isn't within you and embrace what you want, what feels right to you!! It even holds true in the health, wellness and the fitness world, who knew?!!? Ha!

I am hesitantly sharing this picture (much to my friend family/motivator's dismay), because I am not flashy that way!!! Let's face it... how many people out there want others to see a pic of them in less than covering clothing :))!?! I don't care how fit or firm you are, it's still unnerving to have that image of yourself out there!!!  And for me, I can't just post a picture without my words there to guide it!!! To me it's more than just about a picture! One image shown or posted somewhere can't sum me up!!! What it is about is accountability, motivation, small successes that drive me to want to do more, share more and be better!!! So... here it is, my 'outer' change in just a short 7 months... followed by more of my words to explain! :)) Of course....
The thing with physical change is that it's in the eye of the beholder, and all too often we give that eye to those who shouldn't be beholding!!! It's hard for me to admit that I don't care what other's will think about this post, or my health choices, or my wellness attitude, or my over all self! Because the truth is, I do care! We all do... and if you say you don't, I know there is a tiny whisper in the back of your head that says otherwise!! What I have done is for me, it's about me, and in the end it's only my opinion that matters!!! But, yet I will still worry and ponder the what if's and the thoughts of those reading... meh, it's just a part of me that I can't deny!!! Denying it is too tiresome :)) I've tried that for too long!

What I am going to do is embrace what I have done and share it with those that I love and who love me!!! To add to this new wellness path I am working on, I am planning on pairing it with a part of my life that has been there in one way or another since I was in the 4th grade... thru my fitness and exercise! I am adding my health and wellness choices into my life as a fitness instructor and fitness coach! Those that know me know I love my workout pals, I grasp on to them and bagger them into taking my classes, joining me for 5/10K runs, and pretty much fling my sweat on them if given the chance :)) (ok that's a bit much)... but it goes without saying, I love my fitness pals (proof of love)!!! I surround myself with them daily, via email, facebook and text messages!!! To take all of that one step further, I have begun to be a wellness coach to some, a fitness coach to others, sometimes just a sounding board for help or an ear to listen when they need it!! And I love all of it!!!!!! 

Paired more fully with Herbalife now, I am also sharing this company, it's products and wonderful mission with those that want to join in, try it out, or jump full force into the path I have taken! After this post I plan on adding in fitness and wellness posts once a week, here on this site, to help reach as many people as I can, in any form I can! Whether it be a healthy recipe, a fitness move of the day, motivational quotes, or even a rough but honest account of my journey.... I am putting it out there!!! It will fall under my new look and logo...
The [AMP]Le Life name idea came to me out of my blog... [AMP] is basically a short way to say A Moments Peace. When I workout or get excited about health and wellness I get AMP'ed up, and I believe we are all looking for an Ample Life! An 'ample' life means something different to everyone! Some want security in finances, most desire motivation, some look for health in their own lives and the lives of those around them, some strive for inner peace, some will settle for what looks like outer peace.... An [AMP]Le Life is a goal, a want, a desire to do better and be more!!! And that's what I want to help people do... be more, do better, and live life to the fullest!!! Through this journey I hope to be there for those that want me to share with them what I do in my health and wellness plan thru Herbalife. One step at a time, together we can all work on our goals and achieve them in our own time, in our own way!!!! 

I am so excited and nervous at the same time... I think that's the way it's supposed to be when you are passionate about something!!! Look out for what's to come... It's going to be fun!!! For more information or to get a head start on your own [AMP]Le Life journey, contact me at or leave a comment or message me on facebook!!!! 
Life is waiting.... Don't waste a moment... Find your peace!!!

Always - Abbey

Saturday, July 21, 2012

When all else fails... Spray Paint!

For over 2 years now we (I) have had the itch to move. Not that we don't love our house, it actually suits us just fine... BUT there are some minor changes that add up to big frustrations at times! And it is those frustations that have led us on many house hunts in the last 24+ months. We try, we look, we drive our favorite neighborhoods all the time, but nothing has seemed to fit or to work out, so we stay put! Gladly and contently sometimes, but anxious and begrudgingly at times, we stay put! So... what do you do when you have the itch to move and it doesn't happen time after time? There are only 2 things you can really do, in my opinion anyway...
Find small ways to increase your house happiness at your current location or sit in a grumpy mood in your current abode, stewing in your own frustrations... and the latter is no good for a person like me! I decided to get happy where I'm at and attack our current space with some redecorating flavor to add to my happiness levels!!! I did what any girl would do, I grabbed a couple bottles of spray paint and began to walk every inch of our house to find things to 'redo'!!! Normal, right?!!?
Here is what fell victim to my need to spray paint...
Lots 'o Brown.... what is up with that?!!? I think early on in my adult life I had a fear of color...?

That fear of color, or OCD need to have everything the same (drab) color is over!!! Call it a mid-life crisis of a girl who found her inner crafter about 3 years ago, or whatever... I need color!!! I lightly sanded all the wood items and dusted the metal objects. Past that I am too impatient to prep any further!!!
Let the spray painting begin.... 
(got a little chevron crafty with my living room table tray)

I got a little loopy with the yellow... 2 cans loopy!! All in all, I really liked how everything turned out! And thanks to the Texas heat I didn't have to wait very long for my stuff to dry! Just tossed it in the sun and a short hour later all items where ready to re-sand and add little antique touches too!!!
 (my fav piece out of the bunch)
Here are some before and after pics of the spray paint veterans before they went to paint war with me in my garage!!! 

The little subtle color touches around the house really helped up the happiness factor, for me at least! The boys and my hubby noticed but weren't overjoyed about the redo's... but they did notice, so that is a win in my book!!! 
Create happiness wherever you are, spray paint when necessary, and remember to wear your cruddy flip flops while working.. just a couple lessons learned this week!!! 

What sort of happiness are you creating around your casa these days???
Next up for me... real paint (more yellow) and my kitchen?!?!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A quick trip but not short on fun!

Sometimes the smallest of gatherings can be the best of times. Not all get togethers have to be filled with tons of people! I am usually more of a quantity over quality type of girl when it comes to most anything... shoes, purses, clothes... give me an Old Navy sale over a Bloomingdale's trip any day! 
But when it comes to people... that rationale just doesn't float! Quality over quantity wins out every time! You can't trade in the feeling you get after you spend quality time with someone who is a genuine person... there just isn't a price or volume that can match it! 
And that was what this weekend was... good times spent with good people, family and my loves!
The boys spent the first 2 days of our impromptu trip in OKC with their GG. Time with GG for the boys is like time in a play land... they get to do as they please, a kid's dream basically! They look forward to it, and are sad when it is over. Us parents feel the same way... we love the alone time it gives us, but love to see how much fun they are having! Again, quality time that is priceless for everyone involved! So, while the boys were at camp GG, the hubs and I took on the city of OKC in the form of as many date nights as we could muster up in 48 hours! We hit up local pizza pubs, walked the river, caught a movie, ate, drank, talked, laughed, almost had to jump in said river to escape an intruding rat (akkkkkk!)... basically we forgot we had kids for a while! 
Typical for parents of 2 boys under the age of 9!
For us, Oklahoma City is not only cool for it's downtown 'bricktown' area, but it is also cool because of the family we get to visit while there. They open their home to us, share their lives and kick back and relax with us like we were room mates! 
We say it every time we are there... 'we need to do this more... it's such a short trip... we love it here'! It's just that cool! I went for a solo walk around my sister-in-law's awesome, historic neighborhood the first morning we were there. I walked for over 2 hours, never running out of things to look at. I could stare at these houses for days, coming up with scenarios for what our lives would look like if we lived there, or better yet picturing the stories that these houses could tell if they could talk! Some of these beautiful structures have been homes to families since 1910! I am sure the families in them now probably thought I was some stalker casing the joint to later rob it or something... but I didn't care, I kept snapping pics every 2 steps!
Our gracious hosts allowed us to invade their routines and took me to some of the best shopping locales in the city (junking and antiquing... I am always in)! We may be different in many respects, but we share so many similarities it is not hard to tell we are family! That's the best part of these visits... we share, we are family when we are together, no matter what the past holds we always make the best of the time the present gives us!

All in all, the trip was more than fun! We celebrated birthdays, we embraced quiet time on the front porch, we snuggled the little ones and planned the next time we would all meet up!
Quality time with quality people... Priceless!
Always - Abbey

**all pictures were taken with my iphone and the Instagram app... find me @abbeylewis ; ))