Sunday, November 18, 2018

maternity photos

Back in September I have the amazing opportunity to be a model for a photography shoot out!
Basically what that means is I got to get my hair and makeup done by a professional, wear a gorgeous gown and model for a bunch of photographers in the community. 
In exchange I got back a few photos from each photographer. 
It was SOO much fun getting all dolled up. 
I love seeing everyones different artistic style and editing too. 
I can't wait to get some of these printed for the wall! 
ahhh I really can't pick my favorite one...

Photographers credited below each photo set. 

 Michelle Perdue Photography 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mesa Sprint Triathlon

Saturday, September 29, 2018 I completed my second PREGNANT sprint triathlon! 
It was SOOOO awesome. 
I feel like i've found my people and it's like i've found my fitness niche!
I  LOVE everything about Triathlon. 
I finished in 2 hours which was 14 min slower than the one I did in May 
Not too shabby for being 25 weeks pregnant at the time. 
I trained again for 12 weeks, this time with a better fitness base.
 Near the end however, I did notice a big difference with how my body was responding since I now had a giant baby bump attached to me, haha. 

I slowed wayyyyyy down in every event. 
Which with my insane personal internal competitiveness, it was absolutely KILLING ME, 
but I knew deep down I just wanted to have fun and finish the race.
I mean, how many people can say they did a triathlon while pregnant?!
Still feels pretty badass.

This race was more fun too because I got to start the swim portion with my girls Gissell and Elena. 
It is nice to have people to talk to while you're waiting anxiously on the swim deck before it's your turn to get into the pool. 

The swim was ok, I felt like I was moving in slow motion. 
I flipped to backstroke a few times and I hated that the pool didn't have any flags hung above so I could never tell how close I was getting to the end on each lap. 
Then when I finally got to the end to get out, my body were so tired already that I could hardly push myself out of the pool. 
David was cracking up. 
I was like one, two, three, pushhhhhhh and my giant pregnant body somehow managed to get onto the deck again. 
I know I can always cut down my time in transitions, but I like to make sure I get rehydrated and that I don't forget any of my stuff. 

The bike ride felt slow also. 
It was a 4 mile loop that we rode around 3x to get the 12 miles. 
On my first lap I witnessed 2 crashes between other athletes. 
It was crazy!
The 2nd and 3rd straight away on each lap was a gradual hill climb which killlllled me. 
And then the last straight away was a crappy road and I felt like I was going to bust a tire over every little bump. 
Thankfully, I had no mechanical malfunctions, but I was mad that it took me a lot longer than I had trained for. 
When I came back into transition area, I saw David and my sister Jocelyn on the sidelines cheering me on!!
My other sister and her husband came to spend the night the night before so they could watch the babies for us. The race was about an hour from our house and we had to be there EARLY and I didn't want to do deal with the kids lol.
Then came the run. 
My only goal for the run was not to stop. 
I didn't care how slow I ran, even if it was a fast a other peoples walk lol. 
The water stations were poorly planned and I'm so glad I brought a water bottle with me because I was DYING. 
It was warm out but I didn't feel the affects of the heat. 
I grabbed one of those "cool towels" that keep you cool when you get it wet. 
It worked liked magic. 
The run course went through a neighborhood and then a park where we ran through a grass field that had SO many pot holes. 
I was afraid I was going to roll my damn ankles the entire time. 
Finally it ended up on the track for the last 100m. 

I remember glancing down at my watch and thinking OMG I can finished at 2 hours, YAY!
My initial goal was to finish in at least 2:15 so, despite being slower, I was still happy overall. 
My trip suit zipper broke a week before the race, so I had to complete the whole thing with my baby bump hanging out lol. 
I got some funky tan lines from that!
Finished and so happy!!
It was Elena's frist triathlon!
I was SO proud of her. 
She had had surgery on her knee just a few weeks prior and she kicked ASS!!
You can actually see her on the film killing me in the swim, passing my butt 25 m into the race. 
She totally rocked it. 
Gissell also beat her PR by 20+ minutes!!!
I loved training with her. 
She keeps me on my toes. 
I love these girls so much!!
I can't wait to train and compete in more Triathlon events next year. 
I'd love to train for an Olympic distance and possibly try on open water race!?
We will see.

Here's a little highlight film that I threw together with some of the clips David captured. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

IT'S A.....

Ah my gosh, I was shocked actually. 
We were both leaning towards boy. 

I went back and forth on whether or not we should find out the sex of the baby forever. 
And then a few weeks before my appointment my anxiety reared it's ugly head. 
I woke up in full blown panic attacks every single night. 
I couldn't sleep. 
I was a mess. 
I couldn't shut my brain off, thinking about everything that could go wrong with the little person growing inside me. 
Sometimes it's just too hard to put into words how I'm feeling. 
Pregnancy after a loss is just hard

So I get to my appointment and the sweet tech asks right away if I want to find out the sex. 
I said, "I don't know..."
And she goes "Ok, that's all right, I'll give you a heads up before we do any lower body measurements and then you can decide later." 

She squirted the warm jelly and held the wand to my bump. 
The first image appeared on the screen. 
There she was legs spread wide apart. 
There was no mistaking she was a she.  
We both laughed. 
The tech says "Well there you go!"

I teared up and couldn't stop smiling the rest of the exam. 
Baby E (yes she has been named!!! no middle name yet...David decided that on the 6th baby he all of the sudden has strong opinions on names...wth dude) was kicking a bunch while she was being measured. 
She checked out with a perfect bill of health, measuring right on track and already weighing in at 1 pound. 
The tech had a hard time getting a good view of her spine so I will be going back in two weeks to try again. 

I am just so happy she is ok. 
My anxiety has settled a bit since seeing her and finally being able to feel her move!
I for sure DON'T have an anterior placenta this time, YAY!!

The kids are soo excited for Baby E. 
I get all the heart eyeballs when I hear them pray for her at night. 
I can't believe I'm already half way done. 
January can't come soon enough. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018


It's halfway through August already, ahh!
I can't keep up. 
We are busy hustling and figuring out our new routine now that school is back in session and summer is OVER. 
Speaking of summer, I felt like we had a pretty good one given our circumstances. 
Some of the best parts were announcing our baby, visiting family in California (documented that whole trip on Instagram) and David finally getting a new freaking JOB!
It was totally a bummer being sick for a good part of it but having our summer bucket list to work on helped make it feel like it wasn't a total loss. 
We almost got everything checked off!
That being said, here's an update on what all of us have been up to lately...
Yes, David did get a new job!!!
In fact his first day is tomorrow, ahhh!!!!
This has been a huge answer to our prayers and has been something we've been working towards for the last 2 years. 
If you've read here awhile, you know its been a LONG time coming. 
Lots of prayers and tears and feeling hopeless and forgotten, finally coming to an end. 
His official title is Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager. 
He will be running the cardiac and pulmonary rehab clinics at a hospital just up the road from us. 
I still can't believe how it all worked out. 
He was called for his initial interview while we were in California. 
We happened to be in the middle of terrible traffic and the kids were soo restless. 
We said a prayer together as a family and we asked the kids to be so so quiet while he was on the phone. 
They didn't make a single peek the entire phone call. 
I felt like that had to be a sign. 
They wanted to meet with him in person as soon as we got back into town. 
He rocked his in person interview and they said they'd get back to him in a week or so since they had other candidates to interview. 
We knew the drill, and didn't give much thought to it since we'd been rejected soo many times. 
The next day I got a call from him in the morning and he yelled "JESS THEY OFFERED ME THE POSITION OH MY GOSH!"
I was like WHAT!?
and instantly burst into tears. 
I couldn't believe it. 
I still remember the joy and excitement in his voice. 
They told him they didn't even want to interview anyone else and wanted him on their team. 
It was seriously the best news. 
I couldn't contain my excitement and called all my family and close friends who have been such a huge support through the whole process. 
He is just so thrilled to finally get the position he's always dreamed of!
A real job, with GOOD benefits, ahhhh, we've made it!
God is SO good and he hears our prayers. 
(even when we feel like he doesn't lol)
We've been on our knees thanking Him for making this all possible. 
Wish David good luck on his first day tomorrow :) 
I'm busy growing another baby Olsen and trying not to be an anxious emotional mess all the time. 
The anxiety that comes with being pregnant is probably the hardest part for me. 
I hate how my brain works like that but it does. 
Some days it's crippling and other day it's manageable but it's always there. 
Staying consistently active, working out and scheduling my own time to do so has really helped keep me sane. 
I like to joke that it's cheaper than therapy lol, although, I'm not against seeing someone... I really probably should. 
I'm currently training for my second sprint triathlon. 
The race is at the end of September and I'll be 25 weeks pregnant. 
I'm so much slower than before but I don't care. 
It just feels so good to get out there and move and get it done. 
I have my 20 week ultrasound this week and I just can't wait to see the baby again. 
I think that will really help calm down my nerves. 
I always seemed to get worked up the last few days before that big ultrasound. 
All the unknown and worst case scenarios running through my head...
Besides that, I'm just enjoying having half the Olsen crew at home during the day!
Fran and Wolfe can be sooo fun. 
They also know how to relax and take it easy which is nice when I'm having a harder day. 
Remington is loving first grade!
He was so nervous going to a new school this year but after learning that his best church buddy was in his class, he got super excited. 
The school they go to is a STEM academy (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
I guess they are using iPads and computers a lot and Remington was like I learned how to do it so fast!!
David and I laughed because the kids have never really used either. 
I felt a pang of guilt for a second wondering if I had held them back by not allowing iPads and computer time at home but he sounds like he's catching on quick so who knows haha. 
He loves reading and is always reminding me we need to go to the library so he can pick out a new chapter book. 
He also got a new pair of glasses and they are just soo stinking cute on him I can't even handle it!!
I am so excited to see what else he learns this year. 
Olive LouLou is in Kindergarten! 
She says she's bored a lot (lol) but she's so sassy after school I think that's just her being a stinker. 
She struggles in the heat and absolutely falls apart when she realizes I came to pick them up without the car. 
I don't blame her, it sucks, but its good for her too. 
She is very opinionated and very particular about certain things, it is SO funny to me. 
I just can't believe the beautiful little girl she is becoming. 
She always has the funniest things to say and her reactions to anything asked of her are 
always so dramatic. 
I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This girl is going places someday. 
Smack dab in the middle of threenagerhood. 
It's killing me guys. 
Hands down my least favorite stage of toddlerhood. 
Don't let the sweet little, chubby cheek smile fool you...
The constant boobing and whining is literally giving me an eye twitch. 
I can't even. 
On the other hand, she has totally been a snuggle bug lately. 
Anytime I'm laying down she asks to come snuggle up with me. 
Wolfe sees it and gets all competitive and throws his weight around to come get a spot and then before you know it, it's a knock down drag out fight over who gets the best snuggle spot. 
Frances also got her first hair cut!
Her hair has struggled to grow since day one lol. 
It literally has always been a dozen different lengths so I trimmed off the random long pieces so it's mostly all even in the back now. 
It looks a lot thicker and I hope it will continue to grow well. 
She loves going to nursery and is obsessed with the daycare at the YMCA!
She actually cries when we have to leave. 
Last but not least, MR. WOLFE!
This kid. 
Like my momma always says, "he just has a wild look in his eye!"
He is straight up crazy. 
See those wounds on his head!?
Yah, that's from continually provoking the bunny...
He will lay and cuddle with her while she grooms him and then out of nowhere he whacks her across the face and she retaliates. 
He just laughs!
I'm like dude, you deserved it. 
He's gotta learn someway lol. 
He's talking SO much I just can't believe it. 
He just learned the "baby shark do-do-do" song and he sings it
constantly while doing the hands signs. 
I die. 
He also learned how to climb out of his crib!
We knew it was coming and are actually surprised it didn't happen sooner. 
We transitioned him to a twin bed back in Remington's room and he's doing totally fine. 
He was more than ready and he loves the freedom of getting up when he's up. 
He's only come into our room 2x in the middle of the night and I actually don't mind because I love those snuggles. 
He is currently obsessed with Teletubbies which is so adorable. 
He sings the intro song and points out the baby sun and all the rooney bunnies. 
I feel like I'm reliving my childhood lol. 
I'm so curious how he's going to adjust to a new little nugget next year...
We gotta work more on being soft.
If his interactions with the bunny mean anything, it's going to be a rough transition haha. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Say hello to Rooney! Our first family pet.

This is Rooney!!
She's a three year old Holland Lop bunny and we are OBSESSED with her. 
We totally got her on a whim a few weeks ago. 
My brother in law's little sister posted on Facebook that she was looking to re-home her. 
I saw her photos and literally fell in love right away. 
I commented "wish we could take her!" and went on with my day. 
That night I literally had dreams about her and woke up the next day knew that she was meant to be ours. 
I joked to David that I would be bringing home a bunny, ya know, to gage where he was at with the whole thing.
He was like, uh no.  
You see, we are technically not allowed to have pets in our rental (shhhhh) which is what was holding me back initially. 
Plus, in the past, i've been very vocal about how animals don't belong in the house, period. 
The only in-home pets I was familiar with was dogs and cats which leave their crap and hair EVERYWHERE and that totally grosses me out. 
I showed David her photos and told him about my dreams.
It was then I learned he actually grew up with pet bunnies!
I was like ok dude, you either get on board now, or later because I'm bringing her home lol.
He finally was like, whatever makes you happy bae!

I spent the next few days reading and researching everything I needed to know about having a pet rabbit. 
I've learned soo much.
The first thing we needed was a place to keep her, so we tracked down a well loved rabbit hutch for $25 on Facebook market place. 
It was totally beat up, but the bones were in great shape. 
I was excited to have a DIY project and be able to give it a good scrub down and clean up. 

Next I researched what food she needed. 
I learned that 80% of their diet needs to come from fresh hay, 10% from fresh greens/veggies,  5% from healthy pellets and 5% from health treats (like carrots, fruit etc) 
I also learned about all the foods they aren't supposed to eat like corn, peas, potatoes and pretty much every kind of processed human food. 

My next inquisition was where the crap do they crap!?
I learned that they can actually be litter box trained!
How cool is that?!

Anyway, we wanted to surprise the babies and the moment they saw her for the first time was seriously the best. 

Rooney was actually a name on my girl baby name list. 
It was one we were considering for Frances way back when. 
It felt like the perfect name for this 'ol gal!

Plus it's so cute to hear Wolfe say it "HI OOONEY!"
Her ears and fluff under her chin are my favorite. 
The holland lop breed of bunnies is actually one of the smallest of the lop eared breeds, so she won't get much bigger than this which is cool. 
A few days ago Frances goes "oh I just lover her big brown eyeballs! They look just like grandpa Marks!"
I was dying. 
So stinking cute. 
She was very reserved and really took a few days to relax which I read is common for most bunnies when you bring them home. 
She was just so gosh dang cute and fluffy that I wanted to hold and snuggle her all the time but I resisted and let her do her thang. 
I kept her in her cage during the day and only opened her door for her to come out after the babies went down for bed. 
It was fun to watch her hop around and figure out her new surroundings. 
I'm glad we got the hutch we did because it gives her a dark/semi quiet place to go when things get cray lol. 

Now that it's been a few weeks she is SO much fun. 
She's totally used to the babies, sticking their fingers in to pet her while she nibbles on her food. 
Fran will sit there for hours talking to her. 
Wolfe is a little more intense and has even been nipped at, but that doesn't stop him lol. 
We are taking every opportunity we can to teach him how to speak softly and be gentle when he's around her. 

She is the most playful first thing in the morning and later in the evening. Those are the times we open up the cage and let her roam free. 
She's not a fan of the tile floor so she really only sticks to the living area. 
Which I'm totally fine with, because it is safe and there's really nothing for her to get into. 
She snoozes under the tv dresser occasionally, since it's really dark under there. 
She also likes to run back and forth behind the curtains. 

As  far as the potty business, she picked a spot in her little hutch and goes in the same spot every time! She hasn't left messes anywhere else outside the cage which is like a huge plus. I'm like seriously so amazed. The bottom of the hutch has a tray that catches it all which makes clean up a breeze. 

I was sooo worried about my house smelling so I've been really anal about making sure her cage gets cleaned every single night. 
So far, so good!
If you come over and my house smells like animal TELL ME!
Because I am not about that life, lol. 

David is even enjoying her too now that she will sit and snuggle in the evenings with us while we watch our shows. 
Out of the kids, Fran has def had the most snuggle/lap time with her. 
She just loves that bunny so much. 
Apparently they can live to be 10 years old, so we've got a lot of time left with her. 
I'm so happy we got her, she is literally the perfect addition to our little family. 
I never thought I'd be a pet mom, yet here I am getting anxious to leave her when we go on vacation, lol. 

Here is what the hutch looks like after a good scrub down and a few fresh coats of paint!
I threw together her little wreath from the greenery I had left over from those headbands we made for family photos a few years back. 
I still need to seal it and decide if I want to paint the metal part of her cage, but other than that it looks  100x better than it did before.
The Before: 

Monday, July 9, 2018

4th of July!

^^13 weeks!!

We had such a fun 4th!
We were able to check off two items on our Summer Bucket list. 
My sister Natassja and her hubby Travis spent the night with us the night before and then babysat Wolfe for the morning while we took the older three babies to a matinee showing of the Incredibles 2.
It was Frances's first movie experience and she did as well as I would have expected of a 3 year old, lol. 
She was such a light weight that the seat kept swallowing her up. 
It was so funny!
 We hunted down a booster seat and she was a lot more comfortable. 

It was Rem and Olive's second movie theater experience and they just LOVED it. 
They were laughing out loud and talking about their favorite parts and characters the entire way through.

It was so fun to be able to do that all together. 
Afterwards we grabbed a few snap shots at this fun American flag mural and then picked up an ice cream cone before heading home. 

We all settled in for a long afternoon nap in preparation for the Goodyear firework show!
The Goodyear ball park where they launch the fireworks is literally 2 blocks from our neighborhood. 
We drove down the road to an empty field and picked the perfect viewing spot. 
I love where we live soo much. 
I'm actually going to be sad when it is time to leave. 
Wolfe was absolutely mesmerized by the fireworks. 
 Rem started off a bit nervous but warmed up after a few snuggles with momma. 
The show ended late and we dragged the babies home to bed. 

I'm so grateful for the freedoms we are able to have in this amazing country. 
Standing up and singing the National Anthem at church on Sunday literally brought tears to my eyes. 
I'm so glad I have the opportunity to raise my little family here. 
^^Look at those cute freckles! 
^^They're getting SO big. 
^^I'm actually getting sad that his adult teeth are coming in so quick. 
I just realized I got zero documentation of Wolfe on that day, whoops but we did document our new BUNNY of course! 
Ah I love her. 
More to come on her later. 
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