Here are a few of my favorite workouts for this uncooperative pregnant bod of mine. These are the exercises that I notice the most pain and stiffness relief from.

1. Squat with overhead press (arms/legs/butt)
2. Plie with lateral raise (arms/legs/butt)
3. Opposite arm/leg reach (back/abs)
4. Plank (core)
5. Tricep dips (arms)
6. Lateral leg rotations (legs/butt)
7. Dead lifts (legs/butt)
8. Exercise ball leg lifts  (legs/butt)
9. Wall sits with exercise ball (legs/butt)
10. Hip raise (core/legs/butt)
11. Cat and Cow(core/back)
12. Exercise ball stretch (pelvic floor muscles)
13. Yoga (everything)

Links to my favorite pregnancy specific workouts:






You should only use these workouts if your body is used to working out. Do NOT start working out during a pregnancy, and follow your doctor's instructions.

Chocolate Cream Pie

(not my pie, but this one looks way fancier)

Just a testimonial on how delicious this very simple pie is: I ate an entire pie. By myself. In one day.


  1. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Cover pudding with wax paper and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour pudding into pie shell and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Top with whipped topping before serving. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites are the most delicious and easy snack on the face of the earth. At least, they are at the current moment for a certain person I know who is 7 months pregnant....

■1 cup creamy peanut butter

■2 tablespoons softened butter

■1/2 cup powdered sugar

■3/4 cup brown sugar


■1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.

Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

30 Weeks

30 Weeks! 
Craving: Nothing... loss of appetite
Feeling: HUGE
Found out I'm incredibly anemic and have since started iron pills - it's already helping improve my energy Yay!
Baby's moving around like a little alien in there. 
Missing: Margaritas
I also have symphysis pubis dysfunction. Pelvis. hurts. lots. 

Can't believe we're so close to meeting our little man!

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!

The kids all had the best Christmas EVER (their words). They have two sets of amazing grandparents who made sure this would be a great Christmas for them, even with everything that has happened this year. 

This is my favorite picture from Christmas morning. It was the very first picture of the day. 


Mornings are a crazy time for most people. And with four kids going to three different schools with entirely different schedules, it can get insane. I snapped this picture a little while ago....

This is what four kids worth of getting ready for the morning looks like. It makes it much less stressful, but also makes me smile how cute everything is. 

Mom Guilt

You know you've felt it. Maybe a little too often?

I struggle from time to time, as all mothers do, with what I call Mom Guilt. We compare ourselves to other moms, our friends, our own mothers, and feel inadequate. We didn't do a craft/project/take an awesome adventure/give them the healthiest possible food/ remember that one time you yelled?!

It's overwhelming.

Oh that Mom over there? She looks amazing every single day. Her hair looks awesome, her clothes are so cute, and baby weight, what baby weight?! She eats all organic. Not to mention her kid behaves like an angel every time you meet up for playgroup. Her life is perfect.
   What you don't know....
She's struggling with an abusive husband and an eating disorder. She's miserable. And envious of YOU.

All moms struggle in one way or another, it is a fact of life. Stop being so harsh on yourself.

Also, avoid the Mommy Wars at all costs.

Step foot into any online forum and you will see WWIII. Moms get to duke it out over their parenting choices with the anonymity of the internet. Circumcision, breast feeding, bottle feeding, baby wearing, attachment parenting, potty training, natural birth, epidural, c-section, the list goes on and on. Half of it I didn't even know was controversial until I joined an online forum called CafeMom. I went there for support during the pregnancy of my third child and part of me wishes I hadn't.

Avoid it.

Here's an idea: do your research. Make your own informed decision without listening to someone from the internet telling you that you fail as a mother because you didn't breast feed or cloth diaper.

I read an amazing article that a friend told me about. READ IT. It will remind you of how good of a mom you really are.

Article: Why You're Never Failing As A Mother

An amazing friend of mine likes to say "The beautiful thing about parenting is every one parents differently."


After the events in Connecticut, I avoided the internet for awhile. I can't even begin to process the tragedy and I have some sort of mental block regarding any thoughts of it that come up.

I did, however, find a great and inspiring article that (somewhat) restored my faith in humanity.

Enjoy, and I hope it brings a little happy to you too.

26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

A Little Funny For You


28 Weeks

This was taken about two weeks ago, when I was 28 weeks. Ryan is an awesome amateur photog!

28 Weeks
I was craving Quiznos Chicken Carbonara 
Feeling the waking/sleep patterns of my little guy
And got to breathe a little sigh of relief that I hit the "safe" mark. 


A Dash of Sanity

There are few things better than lounging around, drinking some delicious hot chocolate, and reading a book. With four kids, there isn't much time for the lounging part, but I've been sick this last week so Ryan took all of the kids out of the house and I got some much needed peace and quiet.

What am I reading? Why Harry Potter of course!

Some have said that they are surprised my literary taste is "so immature" for holding an English degree, but you know what I say?! "DON'T MESS WITH MY HARRY POTTER!" The books are excellent and an easy read, which is what one needs, dammit.

I will fight to the death for my hot chocolate as well. 
I use regular old Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix, but THEN I add heavy whipping cream and some marshmallows. DELISH. Try it people! 

Andddd now I'm done with this random and pointless post. :)

Our First Christmas Tree

On Wednesday night, we started our new Christmas tradition. We loaded up the kiddos, bought everyone their very own hot chocolate from Starbucks (love the kids sizes!) and went to the tree lot to pick out our very first REAL Christmas tree! It was such a good time, and the kids loved being part of the decision. 

We also let them pick out their own Christmas ornament - which they will get to do every year. Brody picked an Angry Bird, Zachary picked R2D2, Wyatt picked Thomas the Train, and Maddie picked Cinderella. 

Brody's Rock Climbing Adventures

At the YMCA, where we work out, they have an awesome rock climbing wall. Kids as young as three can (attempt) to climb any of the six different routes up the massive thing. Honestly, I'm a huge wuss so NO WAY for me, but Brody LOVES it.

Look how brave he is!!! I was sitting there watching him in awe! How could this be MY child?! No clue. 

Gingerbread Men Making

Grandma and Grandpa bought a gingerbread men kit for the kids. It had four HUGE gingerbread men in it, as well as nifty little icing bags and candy for the decorations. 

So convenient that it had four...

Anyhow, here are the boys making theirs. Maddie-Girl was already down for the night. 

Look how clean and tidy we are, Mom!

Getting started....

"Mommy, I put hearts on it because I love you so much!"

"Mommy! COOKIE!"

"But Moooooooom, don't take a picture yet! I want it more detailed!"

They had a blast (and a major sugar high) for the rest of the night! By the way, we got it at Costco for like $9! Good dealllll. 

Winter Wonderland

Had a snowball fight with the kids today! 

Yeah.... that's all I have to say for this post. It's pretty self explanatory LOL

Miss Maddie & Mommy

My adorable boys making snow angels. SO CUTE. 

Maddie getting ready to throw a snow ball at Ryan

 Maddie's ensuing laughter from throwing said snowball at Ryan.
Maddie hated this. LOL. 

Maddie giving us "that" look. 


Brody Tuesday - Early :)

Brody is my big boy, my very first baby. He has a hilarious sense of humor and such a funny outlook on life.

Fun Facts About Brod:
1. He once told my older brother, "You should stop smoking or you are going to die."
2. He is a Math WHIZ
3. He is very specific about the shoes that he wears.
4. He told me "Mommy, I love my blocks. But I love you more than my blocks. And that's A LOT!"
5. He is the most responsible seven year old I know.

Brody cracks me up. You'd never think that when he was two, he was an absolute hellion! He was very "independent" and had a "I do what I want!" attitude. It was a rough time. He also used to chew on everything. EVERYTHING. He chewed the hand rail going down our stairs like a little beaver - it literally had bite marks out of it. He also chewed the corners off of cabinet doors. And all of his toys.

But luckily he grew out of it! PHEW!

He is so mechanically inclined. He could take apart anything and put it back together. He is Lego-obsessed. He also remembers everything. Today, for instance, he saw an actor who resembled someone from Grey's Anatomy in a movie I was watching, and then proceeded to give me very specific details on an episode I watched over a year ago! Mind you, I don't let him watch Grey's Anatomy, so it had to have been a split second glimpse of the show.

He also likes to remind me of conversations I had with various people weeks, months, or years ago. Sometimes that can bite me in the ass.

He is also incredibly competitive, which can be somewhat of a problem. He definitely has what I like to call "First Born Syndrome." For example, he believes he must always be first due to his "oldest" status. First to get breakfast, head of the table, first in the car, first out of the car, first to get lovies, first first first. He's working on it. ;)

He looks exactly like my younger brother, Brandon. He is also obsessed with Michael Jordan because of Uncle Brandon.

He's incredibly helpful around the house - loves doing chores (I'm sure that will fade over time), keeping an eye on the little kids, helping Maddie around (he spoils her), and he loves helping with anything else he can.

Although words cannot express how awesome and caring of a child he is, there's a glimpse at Brody-man for you.

Love him!

Brody after playing basketball. Don't mind the lighting, he's not really that yellow. I promise his kidneys are perfect :)

Brody when he was 2ish! Adorable!

Mini Me Maddison

Um, look how cute she is. Love my baby girl <3


Maddie's Mini Party

We opted out of the big birthday party this year and instead chose to do a small family birthday at our house.

It was a blast and much less stressful lol.

  Her birthday accessories

Happy Birthday, Mads!

 Getting shy while we're singing Happy Birthday
MMMM yummy cake

And a yummy cupcake...

Maddison's Birth Story

Here is Maddie's birth story... enjoy :)

I had a doctor's appointment on December 1, 2010 to strip my membranes. Since it was my fourth baby, I knew it would work and I was excited to meet my baby girl.

I went in at 2:00pm, I was 4-5 centimeters dilated and almost completely effaced. After my appointment was over, I went home and relaxed, played with my three boys, and waited for something to start.

At 5:30pm I felt my first contraction. Due to my really fast previous births, I wanted to go straight to the hospital.

When I got there, around 6pm, I told the nurses in Labor & Delivery that the baby was coming tonight. They checked me and I was at 6cm, but they weren't convinced it was going to happen as fast as I knew it was. Then dawdled, wanted to observe me for awhile, etc. I was still in the closet sized observation room.

About ten minutes later, I asked to be checked again. I was at 8 cm. The nurses believed me now.

They rushed to get a room ready and wheeled me down the hall.

 I had asked for an epidural right when I came in so I could get it in time for delivery and the anesthesiologist showed up very quickly. Unfortunately, for some insane reason, he missed the vein in my back and then decided to leave to check on another patient. I was in pain and confused (and without an advocate) so he left without answering my questions.

Maddie was born shortly thereafter. It was a rough one, I had expected an epidural and been let down, so I was not prepared for the pain of delivering my largest baby naturally. I wasn't pushing for long, so thank God for that.

6:28pm on December 1, 2010 weighing in at 7lbs 4oz and 19" my little princess was born. Head of blonde hair and blue eyes.

She was perfect!

Maddison Sophia Linn <3

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