Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sophia's first field trip to the Baltimore Science Center

The four girls :)
 Love this girl!
Her "favorite blanket" aka my shirt. :)

Just a few pictures from today. We had a great time at the Science Center in Baltimore. I'll admit I was nervous traveling to Baltimore alone with Sophia but everything went well. Very thankful! It was a gorgeous day but extremely windy. But at least it was not raining or snowing. 

Seeing the exhibits at the Science Center brought back so many memories of visiting it as a child. Oddly enough many of the exhibits look the same. The dinosaur exhibit by far was the most fun. I wish we had been able to spend more time with the "dinosaurs".

So, now this trip makes me want to go on another field trip. Where should we go next? Where would you go?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Belated birthday gift

Thankful for the people in my life...

Saturday I got a facial. It was a wonderful birthday gift from my husband and his family. I don't do things like this for myself very often. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to go to the spa. I like to take care of my skin. What spa treatment would you get?

My mom came over Saturday morning for a visit. It was so nice to have her over and to play with Sophia. 

My father-in-law came for a visit in the evening. He brought fruit to make smoothies. I love smoothies-they are so healthy!

This past fall God really put the words "less is more" in my heart. It's certainly true. Since I am not working this year we have cut down on expenses. We also don't have the time to go out as much as we used to before Sophia was born. However, the things that we do are much more special.  It just makes me a little more aware of how family visits are truly wonderful. I savor the special treats like a facial that happen now and then.

I think it's truly important to say thanks to God for the things in your life. What are you thankful for?

 I love impromptu photo shoots. These pictures were taken at my church. We were waiting for Pat to finish stacking chairs in the sanctuary after the service. We were waiting for him in the lobby. However, Sophia was desperate to get to him. So I took her to the sanctuary and held her hands so she could stand up. She was so proud of herself standing and watching all the movement of the chairs being stacked. Then after the chairs were put away we played some "basketball". Well, she had fun dribbling and shooting for the basket with her daddy. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How did I lose the baby weight?

I am an extremely active person. I love to be outside. I'm so glad Sophia was born in March because the weather soon became nice and we were able to get outside. 
What activities helped lose the baby weight?
1. Breastfeeding :)
2. I walked every day. You can't work out for the first 6 weeks after the birth but I did try to walk when I could during this time. Then after 6 weeks I made it a point to walk every day. She still loves taking walks in the stroller.
3. When she was 4 months old I got a Bob revolution running stroller. I LOVE this stroller and highly recommend this stroller if you are a runner or want to be one. :) She got a morning nap while I got a morning run. We love our runs in the stroller.
4. Stroller Strides class. Stroller strides classes are held all over the United States. It's a way to get a work-out with your little one and meet other mommies with little ones.
5. Spin class. I didn't start going back to spin class regularly until she was about 6 months old because of the demand of breastfeeding.
6. Jillian Michaels 30 day shred work out dvd is great. There are 3 levels of intensity. So, you can decide if you want to really challenge yourself and do level 3 or take it easy on yourself and do level 1. The work out is only 20 minutes long so you can tell yourself the work out will be over in 20 minutes. It incorporates strength, cardio, and abs. I also like that it's only 20 minutes because sometimes I can do the dvd with Sophia. Sometimes she plays with her toys while watching me.
7. Mommy & Me yoga. I started this class when Sophia was 5 months old. I love mommy & me yoga. However, since Sophia is crawling she has kind of out grown the class I was taking. 

Work-outs I'm looking forward to this summer:
1. Swimming
2. Bike rides outside :) 

My biggest piece of advice is be kind to yourself. Don't stress yourself out about losing the weight. I used to work out so much before Sophia was born but there are more important things in life. My little one keeps me busy and she is much more important than a work-out. It's nice that my husband is supportive and knows that a quick work-out break makes me a better mom.

Mommy & Me Yoga 

 One of our morning runs this past fall

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Truly thankful

"When you do it with all your heart you honor God." -Joel Olsteen
"Run your own race. Be the best you can be."- Joel Olsteen
"Every person is a masterpiece made by God. No one will be a better me. It's easy to be yourself because we are equipped to be yourself."-Joel Olsteen

Being a stay-at-home mom has made me realize how I can have more alone time with God. Also, that I've met so many more people-God can use me to impact so many more lives. At first I thought it was just Sophia and I but then I realized how we meet so many new people all the time. I meet more people than when I taught. I know that it's God's plan for me to stay home this year with Sophia. I don't know what I'll do next year but I'm ok with that. I know God will let us know when it's time to figure out next year.

How God has changed me in 2012-since Sophia was born:
1. He's humbled me. I thought I was humbled in Swaziland but He has used Sophia to humble me. Life is certainly not all about me.

2. Pray! I never thought I'd be praying for sleep for both us and naps for her.
3. I don't have "control". I thought I learned that lesson before but obviously I didn't and God had to teach me again. God has control and I can't do anything without Him. Especially on caring for my little one. I need Him to tell me how. 
4. Every day is a new day and never the same. If I have a bad day I know the next day will be better.
5. Working out and weight is not everything. God comes first and then family. I'd love to do a full Ironman triathlon someday but I don't need to. My family comes before training. However, I've realized a workout break makes me a better mom. :)

I'm truly thankful for this little girl who has brought me so much joy and taught me so much!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why did I start a blog?

I started a blog because I realized I was reading many other people's blogs. The blogs I was reading were inspiring me. So, I thought why not start a blog and hopefully inspire others?

Things about me:
-I love God
-I love my family
-I was a kindergarten teacher. So, I like working with children.
-I graduate in May with my Master's in Curriculum & Development
-I love fitness and working out. I'd love to do another triathlon this year. I haven't done a triathlon since I found out I was pregnant with Sophia.

-I also have a heart for orphans. I went on a mission trip to Swaziland in 2007 with Heart for Africa and worked at an orphanage. I went again with my husband in 2010 and worked at a rural church in Swaziland where we had a vacation bible school for the children. These trips were very humbling but also very life changing. I will never forget these trips and I know God will send us again some day. I also know Sophia will go with us to Africa some day. There is so much to write about these trips but I won't do that now. However, I always encourage others that if you believe God is calling you to serve somewhere, "listen" and serve how He wants you to serve. It may not make "sense" to other people but if it's God's plan obey and He will make a way. God's plans are amazing!
This picture was from my trip in 2007. They were the sweetest little boys.
This is Latiza. I met her in 2010. I will never forget this little girl. I hope to see her again some day.

In this blog I hope to talk about the things I love and that inspire me. I also intend to write about how my 9 month old daughter teaches me something new each day. It's amazing how God can use little babies to teach.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Welcome to my blog! My name is Christa. This is my family. I'm new at blogging but wanted to share some things about my life as a stay-at-home mom. I was a kindergarten teacher. My daughter Sophia is 9 months old.