Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bikini Body Mommy Update

Day 15 was the official weigh in, measurements and picture day. We still have like 12 weeks left. I am already feeling stronger! I still haven't lost any weight but I have lost inches! And I have more energy during the day. I have noticed some change in the depression since working out. It's still an ongoing struggle but I feel better during the day after the workout on most days. Some friends have said they notice a change in my body. I don't really see much of a difference but I tend to be really hard on myself :/ 

Here are some pictures from the post workouts. 

A late night workout. Sean and I watched lots of tv afterward haha 

Fitness test day. I compared it to the first day and I had a lot of improvement! 

Noah worked out with me too! He was exhausted haha. Mountain climbers kill my belly and legs. Ah hh

Gotta love a rest day with the sweets. 

Beginning of the 3rd week! Rebekah hung out underneath me and made me work extra hard haha 

I've lost 3 inches on my waist and two on my hips. Legs and arms are the same. Weight is the same. 

Cardio done! Silly kids were just chillin in front of me the whole time haha. Morning work out troubles. 

The workout today killed! Those weights are so heavy but I did it!

I'm trying to eat healthier. I know the dressing isn't so great but I only had a drizzle on the salad. Yum! I kicked butt on the hiit cardio video. It's getting easier to get through so I just push myself to go the hardest. 

Baby under me again. Haha

My legs were sore that day. 

She messed up the video for this day and it was really confusing what was being told and what we were actually supposed to do. Blah 

Loved having the bestie here to workout with. All the kids woke up after we did Zumba so we had to go to the kitchen to workout. 

I used ketchup as my 5lb weights. Haha 

Monday, January 20, 2014


I am so infintely grateful for the Gospel. I konw that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the true Church. I know that the teachings are true. I know that President Thomas  S Monson is the true Prophet today. He is guided by our loving Heavenly Father to lead us. He is the Prophet for the world. I sustain him. 
I know that the plan of salvation is designed by God. We were sent here on Earth by own own choice and free will. In fact we faught to be here. We faught because we knew that it is what we needed to do so that we could someday be like our Father in Heaven. We knew it would be hard but we knew there was no other way and that it would be so very worth it. We knew we would be tempted and tired. Yet we still chose to come. 
I know that the Atonment is real. I know that because my Savior and Brother Jesus Christ died for me and my sins that I can return to Heavenly Father. I don't fully understand how this can be but I do know with all my being that it is so. I know that he suffered for me. He suffered for the sins of the world. He has been through every hardship, every pain. He truely knows me. He knows my heart. He knows what I am going through. He knows what its like to be Deana. This is what makes it possible for Him to be my judge, my ally, my comforter. I know that no matter how far gone you think you are, there is always a road back to Him. We can always repent and be forgiven. There isn't anything that would change His love for us. For you, for me. 
I know that the Priesthood is God's gift to man. It is the power to act in His name. We, man and woman are blessed abudantly through the preisthood. I am forever grateful that I have a husband that is worthy and willing to give blessings whenever the need presents itself. I know my home is blessed daily because of the presence of the preisthood. 
I know that familes are forever through temple sealings. We can truely be 
together for eternity. I love my babies and it means more than anything to me to know they are mine forever. I know these things to be true. I say I know. Not that I hope or think so. I have prayed and recieved my answer. I have faith and peace in my heart. I know that if anyone wants to know if this is true they too can ask in humble, honest prayer and will recieve their answer. I'm so
grateful for the guidance I have. Im thankful for latter day revelation. I know my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me and know who I am.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Talks

Sean and I were asked to give talks for today. I was really freaked out to so it but it turned out ok. Sean's was amazing. He doesn't write his talks down though so I only have mine to put on here. But I can paraphrase his talk. Sean just reads on his topic and then knows mostly what he will say. He is impressive. 

So here was my talk; 

I’m Deana Howell and this is my husband Sean. We have been married for 3 ½ years. We have a 2 year old named Noah and a 7 month old named Rebekah. Sean just graduated with his bachelors in Psychology. I am a stay at home mom to my cute little ones. Noah is thinking about using the potty someday and Rebekah just smiles at everything and eats anything put in front of her. So that’s a little about us.  

The topic we were given to speak on was faith. As soon as I was told by Sean 2 weeks ago we were asked to give talks I immediately had an anxiety attack. I’ve been having anxiety and other issues since having my daughter and it's hard for me to do things. I wanted to just say no we couldn’t do it. Sean said for me to think about it and to let him know in a day or two if he needs to say we can’t do it. I was ready to tell him the next day that I really didn’t want to do it. Just thinking about writing the talk and having to stand in front of everyone and speak made me short of breath. I prayed about it and still felt like I just didn’t want to do it but also felt a need to not say no. Finally Saturday night last week as I was going to bed and I still hadn’t told Sean weather I wanted to give talks or not. He told me that by now they are probably just assuming we are since we haven’t gotten back to them. As I went to sleep I was filled with anxiety, doubt in myself and kind of irritable. I prayed again that I would be calm and that I could just do what I was supposed to do. I closed my eyes and started to drift off and then a scripture from the Book of Mormon popped into my head.  1 Nephi 11:17

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

I’m not sure why but that was all I needed to know that I can do this. Writing a talk I can do. Now actually doing it is kinda freaking me out.  It may seem silly that it was so much effort to get me to me ok to give this talk and then all I needed was a scripture that didn’t really completely apply to my issue with talking but that’s just what I needed. I know Heavenly Father loves me. He can help get me through this. I know for some giving a talk is not a big deal, some people actually enjoy it. I know that some people aren’t the biggest fan of giving talks and that its mostly just something they get nervous for and then when its time they just do it. For me its kind of different. I literally have an anxiety attack the night before and then again in the morning of. Standing here right now is really hard. But I have faith that I can get through it because Heavenly Father loves me.

I know that this Church is true. I have a testimony of the Gospel. I have had many instances in my life that give example of this. Yet I also have some things that make it hard to want to have faith. I continue to have the knowledge of the Gospel even in hard trying times. I can’t just un-know the things I have been taught.  I have sometimes however made a choice to not act on my faith of that knowledge.

A talk given in the October Conference in 2010 by the presiding Bishop Richard Edgley spoke of Fathing being a choice perfectly. The talk was titled “Faith—The choice is yours”

In the talk Bishop Edgley said “Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.

Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.


Back to the scripture I read in the beginning. There are a lot of things I don’t know. I don’t know why I have anxiety as bad as I do, I don’t know why My friends and family have the struggles with some of the trials they are going through. I don’t know exactly how the atonement works and how Jesus is able to take away our sins and pain if we ask him to and are repentant. I could go on and on because there really is a lot I don’t know.

But even more important than the things I don’t know are the things I do know. I know that even though I don’t know how the atonement works that it does work. I know that because of the atonement that I can go in prayer to my Father in Heaven and I can ask for help in the things I struggle with. And I can chose every day to have that faith in the things I know even if I don’t understand them.

Bishop Edgley said “But while I don’t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge. By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.”


So even if your testimony isn’t very strong, or you are just starting out in learning about the Church and Heavenly Fathers plan, or if you are struggling with trials in your life and you don’t understand, or you have doubt and fear in your heart. You can chose to have faith. Faith is an action word. There is a reason why Faith is the first principle of the Gospel as stated in the 4th article of Faith. We must first have faith and then from there we build to our testimony. You first have to have faith that the Church is true and then that faith becomes knowledge that it is true.

I know that this Church is true. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that the atonement is real and that it is there for everyone to partake of. I know that our families can be together forever through the sealing power in the Temple. I’m grateful for this knowledge. I chose to have faith. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  "

I had a hard time getting through the talk. I started crying and my chest got really tight. I got through it though.  My dad and friend Kara were in the congregation and took care of the kids for us. 

Sean gave his talk next. He spoke about some examples of faith he saw on his mission and in his own life. Then he used the movie the karate kid as an example of faith. It was so funny that he used a movie. Haha. He is always so good at making principles easy to understand. 

After sacrament the Bishop came and told us we both did great. He then told me that before he was called to be the Bishop he suffered from a stutter and had horrible anxiety but that through his faith he was able to overcome the stutter. But that he still has anxiety sometimes. A couple other people came and shook our hands and told us they really enjoyed our talks. Then a few people came and told me that they have anxiety too and that it was good hearing my talk. One older man came and told me that he has had anxiety since he was 12yrs old. He said he went to psychologists to help but it never went away. And that one of the doctors told him that it is just his cross to bare. And he said that he went to Israel and saw the cross and that they point upward. We have to look up to Heavenly Father to help us with out cross to bare. 

 Sean had to take Noah and Rebekah home because Noah threw up and was running a fever. I was so grateful to my dad and Kara for watching the kids for us. They are awesome. 

Im glad I was able to get through the talk and that Sean did so well. I hope you all had a great Sunday :) 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting healthy in 2014

I started a work out challenge with one of my besties Melissa. Its a 90 day challenge built by a mom for mom's to lose the baby belly and get healthy. Here is the link to her site

She is such an inspiration. If you haven't heard of her you should read her story. Basically she has done this challenge 2 times and this is her 3rd time doing it. This is the first time she has added videos to the work out. Each day she posts on her website, facebook group and youtube the work out for the day. I love how easy it is to schedule the workout into my day. Its always 20 min or less (unless you chose to do 45 min cardio instead of the 20 HIIT workout for cardio day). The workouts aren't easy. They definitely kick my butt. Thats a good thing though. If it was easy then it wouldn't do anything for my body, but I can get through it. I feel stronger each day. I love how she is going through the work out right along side me. Its a good change up from the usual workout videos you see with a skinny minnie leading the workout asking why youre struggling and saying "if I can do it you can too!". haha right. She has 30 pounds to lose (her words not mine) too so its nice seeing someone that looks like me doing the workout. She gets tired and winded at the end of the workout too! And then she is right there the next day doing the work out. It makes me feel like I can do it too. Another great motivator for me is that Melissa is doing it with me. We text each other before and after our workouts and give support. Also one day that Melissa didn't want to do it I texted her and told her she had to do it and to push through. Then 2 days later she did the same for me. Ya we rock like that :) We have been eating healthier too! Like the Briana (work out trainer) says "you cant out train a bad diet".  I got discouraged the first week when I gained 2 pounds but then Briana said in her video that day that its to be expected with working out. Water weight, muscle, your body is changing. I think measured my belly and I had lost 2 inches! I would love if my body would just transform in a 2 week period but its just not how it happens. I need to have patience and keep pushing on. The results will come.

After I had Noah I tried to lose the extra weight I had gained. I tried for a couple days and then did one or more of the following each time I made a commitment to lose the weight. I either 1. got bored of working out and quit   2. Got busy and didn't make it a priority 3. Got discouraged that I didn't see results right away.  4 hated the workout I was doing and just quit. 5. Decided not doing anything was easy.

Each time I basically decided it wasn't important enough to push through to the end. I had lost 20lbs of the 30 I had gained quit easily just from giving birth and then breastfeeding. The last 10 pounds I didn't lose. I then got pregnant with miss Rebekah a year after having Noah. That's when I lost those 10pounds I had gained while pregnant with Noah. I was throwing up so much I lost 10 pounds with in the first month of being pregnant. Then of course as pregnancy goes I gained that 10 back plus. At the end of my pregnancy with Rebekah I was 40 pounds heavier than my prebabies weight. Again just having a baby and breastfeeding (had to stop BF when Rebekah was 4 mo) I lost 20pounds again like nothing. Now I am 7 months postpartum and still 20 pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant the first time. I realize having a baby means your body changes. In some ways it will never be the same. I'm ok with that in some ways. I can't lie to you and say that I love it because it reminds me that I'm a mother, or that I have a true women's body now. I just don't feel that way. I have seen so many blog posts on facebook and all over the internet about mothers embracing their postpartum bodies and not wanting to get back into the shape they were before having babies. They are beautifully written and empowering. I agree with the message. Love yourself for who you are. This is the body that created life. I get it. I do. Yet, I still don't read those articles and think "ya I'm fine with my body. The extra fat, stretch marks on my sides, weak muscles. Its all because I had a baby and thats beautiful. " ya, not so much for me. I know plenty of women out there are happy with their bodies post baby even without fitting in their old jeans, or having a toned stomach. To them I say "way to go! Thats great that you can be so comfortable in your own skin and I'm sure you look great".  Even if I was happy with my body I think its still good to work out and be your best self. You can be happy and love your self and still have goals to be better. I feel like sometimes when I read those articles its saying that working out and losing the extra weight isn't a necessity and therefore you shouldn't worry about it. I agree its not a necessity. I have babies to take care of and other things to do. But taking time out of my day for me to work out is something that is good for me. I may not always want to do it but after I do I feel so good!

I would love to say that I am happy in my own skin and that I love my body how it is. I just don't. I know part of it is due to the postpartum depression I'm struggling with, another part is due to the fact that I don't think I ever really liked my body even when I was thinner. Yet another part is probably due to I'm a women and I'm crazy, as Sean so lovingly points out. Being skinner and having a toned body is not going to just fix my insecurities with my body. Its deeper than that.  However I still want to work out and lose this extra weight I have gained over the last two babies. I don't think I will get back down to the weight I was before Noah. I'm a different women now. I have hips and a chest I never had before being a baby maker. To me wanting to lose the weight and get more toned isn't just about looking good. I don't think I need to fit back into a mold of who I was almost 4 years ago. I do however want to be healthy. I want to be able to go for a run and not be exhausted after going half a mile and having to walk until I have the strength to run again. I want to be an example to my children that being healthy isn't about being skinny. (Even though I really do want to be skinny haha Can't lie). Its about eating right and taking care of your body.

Briana says to post your before pictures so you can be accountable and continue to work out and get to the end of the challenge. My ever so lovely friend Melissa did and gave me the motivation to do it too. I was going back and forth with doing it. Here they are.

And these last pictures are from the first day of the challenge. I was going to wear a t shirt but I really wanted to be able to see the change at the end so I took the plunge and wore my work out bra thing. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Still catching up with everything that has been going on with us. I really need to get better at keeping up to date with this blog and writing as things happen haha. One day I will, that day is not today.

Rebekah- She is a crawling pro now. I love watching her go for things and the gets there quickly and lunges for it. She is a girl who knows what she wants. She fights naps and going to sleep but as soon as she is out she is out for hours. She enjoys sleep, she just has to be reminded that she does. She doesn't cry very often which I am forever grateful for. When she does however it is very loud and distressful. She loves her Noah. She crawls after him and tries to pull herself up on time all the time. He isn't a fan haha. He will learn to love it. Rebekah knows her name now. She will turn and look when she hears Rebekah and Bekah. She loves her daddy. When Sean is in the room she is staring at him and trying to get him to speak to her. She loves his voice. She loves being tickled. Her feet are so ticklish. She has the funniest throat giggle gargle ever! I just love baby laughs. She snuggles mommy all day long. She is so good at pulling herself up into sitting position and will stay there for as long as she likes. I bet its fun seeing the world from a new point of view. She is eating baby food and real food now. Her favorites are guacamole (doesn't like just plain avocado),  mashed potato, yogurt, bitter tasting veggies, rice cereal mixed with any fruit baby food. She likes to be read to and will just sit in my lap and look at the pictures as I read.

My baby carrier I got for Christmas from Sean. I am in love with it!

Noah- Our little sweetheart. He is such a sensitive caring boy. He loves to cuddle, pick out his own clothes, help with whatever we are doing. He likes to help do the dishes, sweep the floor, make smoothies, change the laundry in the washer and dryer. His favorite activity is to play his guitar with daddy. They both boom it and sing songs. Noah is getting really good with his songs. He knows the words to a bunch of songs and loves to sing them. He has a smirk that will get him anything in life. Seriously women years down the line will fawn over him I know it. He just has such a sweet smile and he knows he is a cutie. He talks about people out of the blue at home. We will be playing with puzzles or another toy and he will just start talking about someone and something they said once. Examples: Carlos trying to pick him up or Emily driving a school bus (emily has never driven a school bus so no clue where this came from), or Robyn talking to him on the computer, or Amanda giving him something to eat, Grandma taking me for walks. Noah loves to pray. He holds his little hands and bows his head and just says whatever comes to his mind at the time. Little kids prayers are the sweetest. I like when they haven't gotten into the habitual sayings that we all get into sometimes. He prays for mommy to love me, and daddy to come home and play and bless the food, and Bekah to not push me. Its so funny and sweet. I like that he knows he is talking to Heavenly Father. At night when he wakes up and can't get back to sleep a prayer is sometimes the only thing that will calm him.  He is progressing with potty training. I still don't think he is fully ready yet. On Monday he was in 'britches' as he calls them, instead of a diaper for half the day. He went potty on the toilet 3 times but also on the floor 4 times. He is so close but I think he just doesn't know how to hold it yet which is important. He told me 3 times before we went potty that he needed to go and we rushed to the potty and he made it. The other times he didn't is because he told me right during or after he went. He only went a little bit each time and then when we got off the potty and into the living room and were there for a few seconds he wet his britches. Maybe it is just a matter of staying on the potty longer. I'm not sure. We will just keep going off his ques and not push anything to much right now. He loves play dates! Playing with Spencer, or Belle and Gracie is so fun! And he talks about it for days afterward. His best friend is Calli. Its fun that she is over 2 days a week and he looks forward to those days. They love playing together and reading stories. Their conversations crack me up!

Example : Conversation between Noah and Calli.
Calli found the found the book she gave him for Christmas.

C- I found your present Noah! I bought this for you
N- Yes you did. You did that for me.
C- Ya I bought this for your present at the store. I picked it out to give you.
N- Ya I like it. It's mine. Can I have it?

She hands the book to him

N- this is mine because you gave it to me for my Christmas. I opened the wrapping paper for it. ...So its mine. Thanks!
C- you're welcome. Can I read it now? 

Deana-  I am doing good on most days. I am so grateful to be a mother and wife and I love those roles. I love the sweet and silly things the kids do. I love taking care of them and Sean and making sure the house is always clean and orderly, and making sure we have good meals to eat. I love planning fun things to do. Building forts out of blankets and chairs and the couch, reading stories, tickling my littles, going outside to the swing set. I am busy all day taking care of them and playing and planning and budgeting and making sure every thing is going to plan. I sometimes get lost in all that I am doing and feel like I am going to fall. Its a weird feeling. I'm not sure what I am going to fall from but I just get a falling feeling. I am still struggling with depression and anxiety. I have good days and very good moments throughout the week. I can't stress how much I love my family. They really do make me so so happy. There is just another side of me that wants to break down and go to sleep and not have to wake up. Not in a creepy I want to kill myself sort of way. Just I don't want to exist. I know that sounds paradox but its just how my head is working these days. I want to just be happy and enjoy my sweet little ones. I know I am so blessed to have the things I have. I wish I could just stop. Stop feeling the way I feel sometimes, stop hating myself and my thoughts. I guess mostly I don't feel worthy of having the things I have. I feel like my kids and husband are too much for me. That my friends are too good. That one day they will wake up and realize that I'm not what they thought I was. I feel like my sisters and parents are disappointed in me. I didn't mean this to be what it is ending up being. I was going to just write about how happy I was and how sweet my little family. But then my fingers just started writing my thoughts instead of what I had planned to write. Its kind of therapeutic. As I write this I want to delete this whole thing and start over though. I'm not sure if I will or not. I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me or thinking I'm a nut case. I just want to be real. The reason I started writing this blog was for my kids. The one I was growing and the ones I knew I was going to have. I want them to know what life was like for them growing up. What life was like for me while they were growing. The good the bad the average. I don't want to skip over things just because it wouldn't fit nicely into a Disney movie.  I hope none of them every go through what I am right now but if they do or know someone who is I want them to know my raw feelings while I was. Maybe it will help them. Maybe this will help me? I don't know.  Other than the looming depression stuff I am good. I started a work out program last night. Its called Bikini Body Mommy Challenge. The woman who founded it did it twice to lose her baby weight and now is doing it again to lose baby weight. Its nice having a women who looks like me doing the work out instead of a super fit women who makes me feel like an idiot trying to work out.  She is sweaty and winded by the end of the work out too so I feel like I'm on the same level and will get better with time. She lost 100 pounds the last time she did her program so I am hoping to lose 10 or maybe 15 pounds. I was 20 pounds lighter before I had Noah but only 10 lighter before I got pregnant with Rebekah so I would be happy with something in between. I don't think my body will ever be what it was before I had Noah. I'm excited to get fit and to have more endurance and energy during the day. It will also be really nice to look in the mirror and not grimace. I went to Downeast basics and spent the giftcard I got for Christmas. It was really fun. Melissa Burnham and I split our Christmas giftcards with each other so we got lots of things from different places. I am so happy with my new clothes. Melissa has really gotten me into wearing leggings with a big shirt most days.Its so comfortable but can be dressed up really easily. I have been looking at pinterest boards for easy sewing projects and it makes me really want a sewing machine. Someday **sigh** Sean and I mostly watch tv shows at night after the kids go to sleep. Its nice having the down time to just relax but I would like to start playing some games at night to keep things interesting. He is a cutie though. I am happy doing anything with him.  I'm so blessed to have him as mine. He takes care of our family and especially me. 

2nd day of work out. I'm sore. 

Sean- Sean is really enjoying his time off of school. He has signed up for two online classes that he needs to do before he applies for the Ultrasound program in March. Online will be a great break from his normal full time schedule at ASU. And the bonus is that Rio Salado will let him work at his own pace so he can get through the classes quickly enough for the apply deadline. He has been teaching himself the guitar with the help from a few apps on his Ipad. He has gotten quite good. He knows a lot of chords and the beginning to Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. He has fun playing his guitar with Noah and Rebekah loves the sound of them both playing. He is going to start getting back to the gym most nights which will help with his energy levels as well. I love watching him interact with the kids. They just adore their daddy and he gets such delight out of making them laugh. He has been picking up a lot of my slack around the house and taking care of the kids when he is home. I just love him.