Happy Halloween!

Good morning, everyone!  How was your Halloween weekend? Did you eat too much candy or have fun at a party? Do you not celebrate at all?  It was a really busy weekend for us but it was a lot of fun.  It was Max’s first Halloween! 🙂 In lieu of a fluffy animal costume, I opted for the more fun route.  We always joked he’d be a baby genius before he was even born (I mean, how could we not think our baby would be the smartest on the planet?).  So it was only fitting that he was our little baby genius for Halloween.

Max Halloween

Seriously… I couldn’t stop laughing once he had this costume on and made all of his hilarious sounds and silly faces.  I’m totally obsessed with this little man!

Halloween evening we had a great friend of ours surprise 30th birthday party.  Yep, he’s born on Halloween and just so happens to be obsessed with everything Halloween.  We dropped Max off with grandma and grandpa at the farm (his absolute favorite place to be – he’s a total grandpa’s boy).  Earlier this Fall when we were with friends and he had walked away (after a few adult beverages), we jokingly said we should all dress up as Joe (birthday boy) for Halloween.  Well, the idea stuck.  There were several pictures we could choose from to dress like Joe and everyone did something a little different.  He also conveniently shaved off his infamous beard that so many of us copied just a couple days before the party.

So at 8:30 Saturday night we all rang his doorbell dressed as Joe himself.  He had no idea we were coming and I think it’s safe to say we all had a great time! We had food, drinks, apple and peach pie shots that my husband made, and played card games and just visited.

Joe Surprise Party

Can you spot me? I think it’s hilarious that for the first time I don’t look anything like myself and in a lot of the photos from that night, you’d have on idea who I was!

Anyway, Sunday my husband and I went out for breakfast and did some work around the house.  Max spent his afternoon swinging and playing at the farm, then my in-laws brought him back late afternoon.

Max swing

It’s crazy how much we miss him when he’s gone.  It’s definitely nice to be able to enjoy time as husband and wife and with our friends, but we still miss him like crazy.  I’m a firm believer in taking time for our marriage while still being parents.  After all, I don’t want to wake up an empty nester who barely knows her husband.  I love my husband more than words and I want to feel that way even when I’m 80. 🙂 We try to find the perfect balance between our marriage and parenting.  Obviously, Max will always be our top priority and concern so we are working on finding time for us once a month or so.

In other news, I’m happy to report I only ate ONE piece of Halloween candy! In not so great news, I didn’t eat the best over the weekend.  But it’s back to the gym and the grind today! No beating myself up or dwelling on it, just pushing myself harder this week.  I have a bachelorette party this coming weekend for my future sister-in-law so I really need to be on my best behavior this week and make as smart of choices as possible over the weekend.

Time change has affected Max and our sleep – fingers crossed he adjusts sooner rather than later. 🙂 Hope you all enjoyed your weekends and get through this Monday safely!


Push Yourself… Even When You Don’t Want To

So yesterday I started a Biggest Loser challenge with friends that is for the next 8 weeks.  We all paid a $20 entry fee to make the stakes a little higher and push ourselves.  The person who loses the highest percentage of weight in the 8 weeks wins, and payouts for runner-up and 3rd place as well.

I prepared myself mentally and had my gym bag, breakfast and lunch packed the night before ready to seize the challenge.

Then it was super cold, windy, and raining all day and I just wanted to curl up and get some sleep.  I mean, I have a 10 month old son who is teething and I’m EXHAUSTED!

BUT I didn’t let the get me down.  I followed my food plan for the day and gave myself so many pep talks it isn’t funny.  I forced myself into my gym clothes and headed into the gym (BRR!).  Once I was there and on the treadmill, I was still finding it hard to motivate myself.  So what did I do? Gave myself pep talk after pep talk. “Your body is a mess, keep moving”. Mile 1 was done. “Do you really want to let yourself down? Is this how you want to look and feel about yourself?” Mile 2 = done.

While I only did 2 miles at the gym, I was extremely proud of myself for pushing myself to get there and keep moving.  It was Day 1 back in the gym routine and I didn’t want to overdue it but didn’t want to slack off either.  Could I have made a million excuses and headed home to get things cleaned up or spend more time with my son? Of course.  Did I? No.  I realized that in order to feel good about myself and get some of this weight off, I need to make myself a priority just as much as everyone else, if not more.

I don’t want to shed weight for vain reasons or because I necessarily care about what people look at me as.  Does it matter a little bit? Sure, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter even a little bit.  But the biggest priority of me is how I feel about myself.  Because when I feel good about myself I am able to be a better friend, wife, and mother.  I’m doing this for ME.

What’s the point of this post you may ask? That you CAN do it.  You CAN find the time.  You CAN push yourself.  And ONLY you can do that.  Make yourself a priority so that the others get the best version of yourself!

Whew… that was TOO long!

Good morning, everyone!

As you can likely see, I haven’t posted in well over a year (almost two).  Life has changed so much that I thought about gutting this page and starting over.  But then I realized I needed to hold myself accountable for my large time gap in blogging.  I hope you can forgive me.  I promise not to stay away that long again!

Here are some cliff notes on my life since we last met:

  • After our wedding, my husband and I were struggling with getting pregnant.  In July of 2013, my sister told us about her unplanned pregnancy and we had so many conflicting emotions.  OF COURSE we were happy for her and to have a niece or nephew.  But it was so hard to watch people getting pregnant by accident when all we wanted was a precious baby of our own.  I don’t think anyone can truly relate to those emotions unless they’ve been through it.  Do you feel terrible for all of the jealousy and hurt that you feel when you watch people getting what you want more than your next breath? Absolutely.  Can you prevent those feelings or push them away? It takes a lot of work.  So those out there who think it may be personal if a sibling or friend that is struggling to get pregnant seems a bit off when you share the news, know that they love you and are just as excited for you – but it brings up their own emotions they need to deal with as well.
  • April 23rd of 2014, my sister and brother-in-law blessed me with my amazing nephew, Sawyer James.  He was (and still is) absolutely perfect.  He stole my heart from the second he was here and I couldn’t imagine a life without him.
  • April 24th (Morning after Sawyer was born): I had been taking my basal temperature in the mornings to check ovulation, etc.  I noticed a temperature spike and couldn’t remember what it meant so figured it wouldn’t hurt to buy a test.  I mean, I had taken dozens already … so what was the hurt in taking one?! I did my routine and set the test on the counter while I hopped in the shower.  I went about my getting ready routine completely forgetting about how I had taken the test.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the test and glanced down to see the words “Pregnant”.  I was in shock. I literally froze right there on spot.  I stared at it for what felt like eternity.  Then I panicked and called my husband.  (Side note: I had this cute way planned for over a year of how I’d tell him he was going to be a dad but then excitement got the best of me.  Props to those who can wait to tell their spouse!).  It was all a blur of adrenaline and excitement but I’m certain my delivery wasn’t that great.  Something along the lines of “My temperature spiked so I peed on the stick and I think you’re going to be a dad”. Classy, right? 🙂
  • In August of 2014 we were set to find out the gender.  We scheduled the earliest appointment possible (8:30 am) and were both wide awake by 5 am with anxiousness. Every myth told us that we were having a little girl and our guts told us the same.  Obviously the gender doesn’t matter and all we wanted was a healthy baby, but I desperately wanted a little boy.  Let’s be real, 99% of people have a preference but just feel bad saying anything.  I would have loved that baby either way with all of my heart but there’s just something about little boys that melts my heart.  We got to the appointment and they told us that we wouldn’t find out until the end of the appointment the gender because they worked head to toe.  Well, Baby Yoder was eager to show us the goods and the second the machine hit my stomach, the sonogram tech said “Well, looks like we’re going to find out now if I can find the parts again”.  I remember my husband saying “Parts? Does that mean it’s a boy?” I sat there shocked and when she confirmed that we were indeed having a little boy, I just cried. We already had names picked out for both a boy or girl prior to the appointment, so I knew his name would be Maxwell Douglas.  I had quite the pregnancy with gestational diabetes, nausea, intense back pain, placenta previa scare, pre-eclampsia scare… you name it, we had it.  I was due December 27th.  My little Christmas miracle baby boy was on his way and I was so happy I swear my heart could have burst.  I’m a Christmas FANATIC and my husband & I got engaged on Christmas.  Fitting that we’d be due Christmas time with our first child. 🙂
  • As my pregnancy progressed, they realized Max was likely going to be a large baby (My fundal height measured 45 weeks at 38w 6d!).  They gave me an option to have a planned c section (he was always facing sideways… not front or back… sideways).  My husband and I both had a gut feeling that Max would be coming via c-section but I decided to go ahead and do the induction and give it a shot.
  • December 20th I was told to call and check to make sure there was room for us to come in at 7 pm.  I called in the afternoon and they told me I had to call back again in a few hours.  Sitting around and waiting was so incredibly hard.  Finally, they gave us the ok to head in.  We loaded up the car with the bags I had quadruple checked, the car seat, etc.  We got something to eat and went in to have Max!
  • I could go into horrific details of getting him into the world but I will sum it up as short as I can.  I was induced December 20th at 7 pm.  I labored through the night with close contractions and minimal pitocin.  At 7 am on the 21st, my contractions abruptly went back to 5 minutes apart and less severe.  They cranked the pitocin all day, broke my water, gave me an epidural and I labored all day long.  Finally, about 11 pm we thought it was time to push and get Max out.  I pushed with all of my might for an hour, but Max wanted to stay where he was.  They had me rest for a bit in which time I got a fever and cold chills/nausea.  Around 1 am, it was time to try and push again for another hour.  My body was so weak for 30+ hours of labor with no sleep that I was so drained I couldn’t function.  I asked for a moment alone with my husband and we talked about the option of a c-section.  We agreed we needed to get Max out healthy and that was top priority.  I didn’t think I had anything left to give and he was showing no signs of coming down anytime soon.  We consulted with the doctors and called in our mothers who had been waiting hours upon hours to meet Max.
  • The decision was made.  I was going to have my first surgery and not birth my son naturally.  I had gone into this birthing experience without some crazy birth plan and told myself I’d do what I felt was right and get him here safely.  At 4:29 am on December 22nd, our miracle, Maxwell Douglas was born at 8 lb 11 oz and 22″ long.. with RED hair!! Boy, was that a surprise!
  • Due to Christmas holidays and places being closed as well as Max being border line with jaundice, they help us captive in the hospital until Christmas morning.  Max went through the light therapy treatment and had so many blood draws from his heel that I lost count.  That stretch of Saturday through Thursday were some of the longest days of my life.  It was impossible to get any sleep and I was so sore from the surgery.  We thought we’d be released Christmas Eve so when they decided to keep us another day, I just sobbed uncontrollably.  I wanted my dogs, my family, my bed.  Christmas morning we were told they thought he looked a lot better but had to wait around on blood work to come back.  Around 10 am or so we got the great news that our Christmas baby got to go home!!!!! I’ve never been so relieved and happy in my life.
  • The past 10 months we have spent loving on Max, enjoying all of his firsts, spoiling him rotten, and counting our blessings every day.  I’ve been planning his first birthday party and can’t believe how quickly the year has passed!

I know those quick highlights were mostly about meeting Max but he’s pretty much been our entire world for the past year.  Today we started a Biggest Loser challenge with some friends and are starting our journey to get back to our healthier selves.  I will be back posting about recipes I’m making, work outs I’m doing, and life as a mommy and wife.  If you have any requests of material you’d like to hear about – feel free to let me know! 🙂 I look forward to building up relationships and supporting you guys on the journeys of your own.

Happy Hump Day and we’ll talk soon!

Teriyaki Stir Fry



Ok, so my hubby is known for whipping together recipes that randomly taste amazing.  When we were snowed in a couple of weeks ago, he made a stir fry with teriyaki chicken that was AMAZING.  When I asked him to duplicate it but substitute turkey sausage and shrimp instead, I was questioning how it would turn out (after all, he follows no recipes).  To my surprise – O.M.G.!!!!!! I HAD to share this recipe with you.  If you like any Asian food, you will love this MUCH healthier than take out recipe!


Teriyaki Stir Fry


1 pkg turkey polish sausage

1 pkg medium shrimp (deveined), tails removed

12 oz pkg of broccoli slaw

Any veggies you love – mushrooms, onion, peppers, etc.

Teriyaki sauce (to taste)

Soy sauce (to taste)


1. Toss vegetables in a large wok or skillet.  Add teriyaki sauce and soy sauce (Start light, you can always add more.  You just want to lightly coat your vegetables)

2. While your vegetables are cooking, remove tails from shrimp and slice turkey sausage.

3. When vegetables are close to be cooked through, add in shrimp and sausage.

4. Toss until shrimp, sausage, and vegetables are all warm.  (This is when you should add more teriyaki or soy sauce if you want more).

**Note: You can use any type of meat you’d like.  We have made this with chicken, shrimp, or sausage.

If you’d like, you can serve this over brown or wild rice.  We prefer to not add the extra carbs because it’s not needed! This dish is tasty all by itself and we always have enough left overs to take for lunch the next day!

That’s it – super easy, healthier than other options, and amazingly delicious! Enjoy!


Guilt-Free “Fried” Veggies!



Does anyone else out there love some fried vegetables? Pickles, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, etc? Well, when you are trying to stay on track with your fitness program and/or diet plan – those can blow those plans out of the water very quickly. Here’s a fix that will satisfy your craving without leaving you with all of the guilt. Enjoy!


Veggies of your choice (we used a bag of broccoli/cauliflower florets)
1 egg
1 egg white
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1-2 tsp of your favorite seasoning (taco, spicy, Italian, etc.. the possibilities are endless!)
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cover baking sheet in parchment paper.
2. Beat egg and egg white together (you can add more egg whites depending on the amount of veggies you are preparing)
3. In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs and seasoning of your choice.
4. Dip your vegetables in the egg mixture one-by-one and then into the crumb mixture, then placing them on the lined baking sheet.
5. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and the outside is crunchy.
6. Service with warm marinara sauce, a low-cal/light Ranch, or whatever your pleasure may be.

We served these as a side with our grilled chicken wraps – but they would be great with burgers, as an appetizer, or any of a million other ways!

Sweet Tooth Craving Fix : 200 calorie Mini Cheesecakes



Ok, so last night I could not sleep and I was craving something sweet! I didn’t want to ruin my day of healthy eating or completely binge out. So – I winged it. 🙂 I had some random ingredients that I put together for an AWESOME little dessert without too much of a guilty feeling. I figured you all may want to curb a craving sometime soon and have these on hand. 🙂

6 pk Keebler mini graham cracker pie crusts
1 small pkg Jell-O Sugar free/fat free cheesecake pudding
Topping of your choice (I used things I already had such as strawberries, dark chocolate chips, and Heath pieces)

1. Prepare pudding per the package instructions (I did the quick fix that took 5 minutes w/ 1 3/4 cup skim milk, whisked)
2. Put 1/3 cup pudding into each pie crust
3. Top with topping of your choice
4. Put in fridge or freezer, depending on what consistency you would like, and let them set for a while. (If your sweet tooth is really bad, you could probably just eat when you’re done making it, but I let mine sit over night.)

Ta-da! Super easy mini-cheesecakes at a fraction of the calories and time! 🙂