Saturday, August 31, 2013

Date Night

Lord knows I could be a better wife. I long to be the perfect spouse but fall short... Way short. 

Joel and I haven't been on a date since little Bear was born back in December. We were way past due. 

We had the sweetest girl watch our girls while we went downtown for dinner and some entertainment. 

We started our night off at Tamarack Brewing Company where we enjoyed a beverage and I had a chicken brie sandwich. I've waited a whole month to have Brie and bread! 

Joel and I both noticed how big the portions are when you go out to eat... Way too much food! I think we'll be splitting from now on. 

We had about an hour to kill while we waited for our evening entertainment so we walked, hand in hand, up the Main Street in Downtown Missoula. We love our city.  There is so much creativeness here. (Keep Missoula weird!) 

We ended up at Worden's Market - the best little deli/market in town. They have almost every kind of gelato, hot sauce and chocolate you can think of! 
It reminded me that we need to go there more often. I love our downtown. 
All the shops were closed but it was still light enough to do some window peaking. I found the cutest dining room chairs - now on my wish list! 

Around 9 we headed down to the Elbow Room so we could listen to our friend Leon perform as the Piano Man. Talk about talent! He can play almost any song that you request. Joel and I made a few requests and sang the whole time we were there. 
Yes, Margaritaville was our first song we danced to as husband and wife. Long story short... Our band was drunk. 

We had such a relaxing time. It was amazing to just be with each other, having quality and silly conversations and at times not even talking at all. 

We will definitely be going out together more often. Tonight was amazing. 

It is so important to take time to enjoy your marriage. What do you do to keep your marriage strong and fresh? What are some date night ideas that you think would be fun? 

Until tomorrow (we are off on a last minute vacation and I'm not sure we'll have cell service - gotta love the mountains- but we are surprising our girls!) 


Friday, August 30, 2013

Feature Friday.

It's another Friday (I've been doing every other Friday) and it's time to feature another successful Scentsy Team member.

The following girl I have known my WHOLE life! It's my big sister Jenna O'Grady! 

This is her story:

Hello, I’m Jenna O’Grady Director of Team Sniff~a~licious! I currently live in Olympia WA with my husband and 2 daughters. My Scentsy story started just shy of 5 years ago….

My family was stationed in Hawaii and my sister had just started selling this new product, called Scentsy.  I wasn’t a huge candle fan so when she asked me to buy from her I told her “I’m just really not into candles.” She then asked me to join her team…..that certainly was NOT going to happen, ha! So about a month later she sent me a warmer and 3 bars for my birthday, along with 1 catalog so I could see it ALL. When I opened the box I thought wow this warmer is cute, and the smells…AMAZING!!! I quickly plugged it in and dropped a cube in.  About an hour later my doorbell rang, my neighbor wanted to know what that amazing smell coming from my house was.  In HI we always had our windows open and she could smell it in her house! She instantly wanted to order. In the next week everyone who came into our home wanted this product that I had fallen in LOVE with, in one week I had over $500 in sales! Wow if it’s that easy and the product is so awesome why am I giving these sales to my sister….yep we know what happened next I joined her team and became a Scentsy consultant!

Fast-forward 4 years I now have an AMAZING team of over 100 amazing ladies and gentlemen too, which I never would have imagined!  We continue to grow in business and friendships!

Being a military wife and a stay at home mommy, Scentsy has been the perfect fit for us! It’s given me the opportunity to meet new people, volunteer in my girls classrooms and I’m still able to chauffeur them to all their activities!  With no worries of punching any clocks or asking for time off! 

The income and opportunity is endless! The friendships are amazing! And the trips are phenomenal! Not only have I been able to earn fabulous trips (that I would never have been able to afford on my own), earn generous commission checks, etc. I have made so many wonderful, lifelong friends that I would have never met if it weren’t for Scentsy.  My family is so glad I found something that I love so much AND gives me plenty of time to spend with them!!!!  I am so blessed to have a job where every time I go to work - I end up at a party!!

I love that Jenna is on this crazy awesome Scentsy journey with me. We get to see more of each other because of all the events including FREE trips to the tropical beaches! I love you Jenna!!!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 29 - - of many.

Today marks the day of the final weigh in of the challenge Joel and I were taking for the month of August.

Basically it is a way to cleanse your body of all gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol so you can reintroduce these at the end of the 30 days and you can see how these foods affect your body and how you feel.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it - - ha! It was DIFFICULT at first. I mean... I'm the sugar cereal, toast with jelly, pasta mama! Did I mention bread?!? I LOVE bread! -- and to be truthful, not having coffee with oodles of creamer (coconut please!) and a nice refreshing beer at night was so hard!

We did 'cheat' but I don't like that word at all, so I would say that we indulged - - allowed - - ourselves in a few treats throughout the month. A 12 oz of beer a few times, cheese on a bun-less burger, ranch on a salad, and I'm sure a few more. <--- probably more than a few.

We did find a new way to live though. We found discipline.... not only in our eating habits but it carried over to a lot of our living as well. But tonight we're talking about food.

We started our journey as we were spending almost a week on the road. Rather than eating out for every meal, we chose to go to the grocery store and purchased more whole foods than we'd probably ever eaten. We spent the following week at the fair (Lemon-dairies, vikings, funnel cakes and more!) and packed our dinner and snacks for every night we were there. (I've rarely packed a cooler because it always seemed much easier to just go out and eat) Now that takes discipline folks!

It got easier as the month went on. We spent many meals having the basics that we knew we ok to eat.... brown rice, black beans, salsa. That did get old at first but that just meant we needed to find more creative ways to eat.... again discipline to sit down and meal plan. Pinterest has a lot of ideas!

The first 5 days of this challenge, I truly felt like a bus had smacked me right in the center of my being. I felt like CRUD! I thought I was getting the flu.  Little did I know, that is completely normal when you start to detoxify your body. I have spent many MANY years eating whatever I wanted and now I was paying for it. But my body was thanking me... (it was - I could hear it loud and clear :)

Day 6 I woke up feeling better and by the afternoon I felt FANTASTIC! I think I lived with a constant headache. With constant bloating. Always tired. Always crabby. I could tell that was all gone. I felt soooooooo good!

I knew at that point I wasn't going to give up! I wasn't going to give in to the temptations that were screaming at me EVERYWHERE we went. Coca-cola, snickers and donuts were a norm for this girl.

Now, I had a baby 8 months prior to starting this challenge. I was still holding on to about 30 extra pounds. Not a good feeling. But I couldn't seem to shake it. (now don't get all fussy on me - "well you were eating snickers and donuts silly!") I'm still nursing and I was sure I would lose the weight faster because of that. Nope. Turns out I needed to actually CHANGE the way I was LIVING.

Fast forward to today. Today was the final weigh-in. In 29 days, I have learned how to eat healthy and feed my family in a way I can be proud. I have also lost 14.8 pounds. That is 8.4% of my body weight (you can do the math :) JUST BY EATING RIGHT!

My mom yoga pants are baggy. My jeans fit. (I'm not completely squished into them) I feel good. I have more energy. I know I'm a better wife and mom.

I must say having it be a challenge was really good for both Joel and myself. We kept each other accountable (we've always been enablers for each other) and I'm proud to say that Joel even lost just over 13 pounds this past month too.

To celebrate a month of discipline, I wanted to go to the store and find a treat to indulge in. Like a reward. I searched the whole store - the 6 aisle store we have in our little town - to find the perfect sugary treat. I stared at the Oreo's, soda, and gummy candies. I went home empty handed. Nothing looked good. Like at all. So I opted for a nice cup of tea.
I'm changing. And I like it.

If you want to learn more about the challenge, check out Jenny's website.

I have another pretty funny but VERY SERIOUS story for you later too. It has to do with the other half of being healthy.... Fitness!

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Your Turn!

I've thought about what to write tonight. I walked around the house. I begged Joel to give me topics. But I am just blank. (Could be overly tired...)

This is the first time since I've started blogging that I feel like I have NOTHING to say. 

So it's your turn! 

I need you to help me come up with some 'bloggers block'  ideas that I can use on nights like tonight. 

What is it that you would like to read here?

What do you want me to write about?

What would you like to know about me?

If you would so kindly leave a comment here and help me over this brick wall, I'd mucho appreciate it. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy River Mom Forever

 I choose to be a 'yes' mom. I want to savor every moment with our girls. Time goes too fast.

Every day I wake up wanting to be a better mom. I pray for patience (don't tell me I'm not suppose to pray for that... I need it!). I pray for a giving heart. I pray to be focused and attentive to our girls' needs. I pray to be consumed in the little moments of our day.

None of this comes easy for me. Hence the word pray. I can't do it on my own.

I've learned from a sweet friend that I need to protect the time I have with my family.
To find joy every day.
Today we did just that.

We got up... did our school work... and picked up the house because we were expecting a dinner guest. We were finished by 12:30pm so I had a crazy idea.... Let's go to the water park! I'm not a spontaneous person. I like to have a plan. But I knew the girls would get a kick out being surprised! And they were!

We were all in the car and ready to have fun the rest of the afternoon.

I'm not much of a water park person. I mean, it's fun and all, but I'm not a fan of getting wet. (or being in my bathing suit)  I don't like to get my hair wet either. I have bangs now and as you can see, I can look like a complete goof with my white hair plastered to my face.

But that didn't matter today. Today was about my girls.

I yearned to see the look of complete joy on their faces. I wanted to see those funny toothed grins. I wanted to hear those giggles that make every mama's heart just melt.

I have been to this water park 4 times this year with the girls. I never got in the water. I always used Avin as an excuse to stay dry and covered up in my corner of the lawn under the big shaded umbrella.

But today.... today I felt free. I felt free of all my insecurities for the sake of my children's joy.

I got lost in the moments of just being present. Lost in the moments of just being a parent. Loving on baby snuggles in the shade. Floating down the lazy river with the middle. Playing model for the camera for my big.

Tonight as I was telling Alyn goodnight - she said today was one of her favorite days because I went down the lazy river with her and I didn't get mad that she drenched me with the water buckets.

If she is this easily filled with joy, I shall get drenched more often. I will go on EVERY lazy river with her for the rest of my life.


(There are no photos of Arly because today she was the photographer + she had a friend there too!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

He's Waited His Whole Life....

When I met Joel, I didn't know much about baseball.  In fact, I knew so little that I was a Cubs fan just because my dad was and my nickname growing up was Bear. 

The first summer Joel and I dated, he played Black Hills Amateur Baseball (this was the summer before his college baseball program was cut from the University he attended). I fell in love with the game that summer. But mostly, I fell in love with him. (I mean, I seriously wish he would wear his uniform every day ;)

Some of our favorite activities as a family have included the ball with stitches. 

We love going to any major league games preferably the Braves. We try to go to as many Osprey games as possible and if we can, we'll even catch a Mustang game or two each season. 

I played in a recreation league when we lived in Pierre. (Until the time they told me to unhitch the plow!)We played on co-ed teams together too. (Joel always on first, I was always in the outfield)

We have had many memories on the field. Alyn choked on her first peanut in Denver at the Braves vs Rockies game. She even puked all over the couple sitting in front of us... They were NOT happy. Mortifying for young parents but happy she lived. 
We learned how to cheer for the home team (PEA-PEA-PEA.... NUTS-NUTS-NUTS!) and go crazy for the between inning entertainment. 

Little did I know at the time, just loving the game, how much more we would be LIVING the game. 

Last year at this time, we were just finishing up our week at the Western Montana Fair and our Scentsy booth, when Joel got to talking with the 'guy from Dish Network booth.' We knew his wife through church (we co-taught the older kids together). He told us they were having ASA fast pitch try outs the following week and if we were interested, he thought Arly should try out. 

Long story short, I ended up taking Arly to try outs because Joel was out of town. 

The next day we found out she made the team (that took 2nd in State this year!)

We were in this for the long haul. We started bleeding black and blue... 'ahhh Avalanche, you know!'

We knew if we were going to be committed and consumed by softball our family focus had to be on God and our church first. 

That's when we started praying. A lot. Joel has always wanted to be a coach. His passion is ball. His desires to help young kids be better people through this game. Often he would sit down at dinner and say 'hey babe, the so and so coaching position is open. Think I should apply?' Timing was never right. 

But toward the end of the season this summer, The Lord seemed to be pointing Joel in the direction of coaching. Other coaches and parents just started asking him if he was going to be coaching. Before we had ever discussed him coaching the 10u team, I knew in my heart that he would make a great coach. 

He asked me one night if I thought he would be a good coach for these young girls. I told him I couldn't think of anyone better. His heart is full of Jesus and love of the game. 

Tonight was his first day as Head Coach for the Montana Avalanche 10U fast pitch team. It was try-outs. There are 13 players on his team... And 21 girls showed up tonight. I heard many parents on the sidelines say 'man it sucks to be the person who has to tell the girls who didn't make it'. 

For about 2 seconds I thought the same thing. But right after that gut wrench, I thought to myself, Joel is the best person for that job. He is so positive, encouraging and honest. I know that there will not be a girl that doesn't receive a compliment from him. I know that if he has to tell someone that the team doesn't have room for them this year, he will tell them what to be working on specifically for next year. I know that this is not an easy task for him to do (build his team) but I do know he has been and will be spending lots of time in prayer. 

I'm asking you to please say a prayer for him too-- for wisdom and peace. 
He told me two nights ago, with tears in his eyes--- "I have waited my whole life for this!" To be his kids' head coach. 

I melt. 


Ahead of the Game.

With all the events that trapped us in our home last week... Numb to even the daily duties... I'm feeling recharged ready to take on this week! 

Today was a very productive day...

Dog is groomed. 

Church was amazing (like usual). 

We watched the big girls (18u) Avalanche team try out in the heat of the day.  
Our big littles met up with a team mate and met some new girls today too. 

Groceries are all purchased. 

Weekly menu is planned. 

Laundry is all clean. (I just need to put it away tomorrow)

Dishes are done. 

The Sunday 7 is complete. 

School has been planned. 

Deliveries are ready to go out tomorrow. 

Family book reading has started again (one of our favorite things... I'll share more soon)

Don't get me wrong. I still have tons on my 'to do' list but I feel ahead of the game for this week. 
I haven't felt ahead in almost a year. 

It feels good. 

I'm super tired now. Ready for bed. So that's what I'll do  

Thanks for reading and sticking by my side even when I don't have much to say. 

Oh and FYI if you have tried commenting on this blog (comments are my favorite!) and wereunsuccessful, please try again. I think I changed some settings so hopefully that will work. 

I promise to have something good to say tomorrow. (I hope!)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Pinteresting Life

I live a fairly Pinteresting life. No seriously. I do. 

I have the best hair styles and the cutest shoes! Have you seen the way I make my own work out clothes? (Yes, the ones I never wear!)

I have about 97 work out routines and the best fitness quotes--- I'm sure to be well on my way to a 6 pack and rock body!

Did you see my girls' room makeovers? Talk about CUTE! Their closets (well ALL the closets in our home) are perfectly organized with the cutest baskets and the most adorable labels! 

Did you know that our home as 784 rooms?! We have each room styled in the most trendy, eclectic, beautiful way! 
I didn't want to toot my own horn, but most of the projects in our home we DIY'd!  (Ok... TOOT TOOT!!! I had to!)

We throw the best parties!!!! You should join us! I mean, I seriously sit down for days and work on the paper lanterns and the labels for all the drinks. 

We haven't eaten the same thing twice in the past year and we eat dessert at least twice a day. Who doesn't?

We have the most luscious garden you've ever seen. Our deck is to die for! I'm talking comfy furniture, built in kitchen and even a pergola that shades our in-ground hot tub!

I've become the best homeschool teacher at Spry Academy. No really... I am. We do a morning routine where give weather reports, raise money for the less fortunate and all of our books are color coordinated. 

We eat Velata at every meal! 

Did I show you how organized my office? Not one paperclip is out of place. 

I have chalkboards galore! Weekly menus put in just the right place. And we even have an extension cord that tucks in neatly right into our wall! 

Every holiday we go way over board with the decorations and I wouldn't have it any other way. My goodness! Autumn is almost here and 'Fall is my Favorite!'

If you haven't already guessed, I'm totally living in my Pinterest world. 

I've been pinning for probably almost 3 years. I didn't really 'get it' for the first year. Then I spent about a year suffering from Pinsomnia. Now it's like my go to bed time story. 

But when is enough... Well... Enough?

When is it a good time to stop pinning and start planning? Maybe not planning. But doing. 

It's time for me to decide if its time for me to let go of this fantasy world OR start making it a reality. (Well some of it... I don't think I have a green thumb. Just ask my flowers sitting at my entrance.)

I can't give it up.

I MUST start executing some of the ideas and start turning our house into a home. 

I will organize my boards so I can easily choose at least ONE project each week and git 'er done! (I never thought I would say 'git 'er done' on my blog. Ever.)

I will be sharing with you the projects as I complete them. 

Want to follow me on Pinterest? Search for JariSpry and you'll find me!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Egg-stra yummy Breakfast

Yeah, that was really cheesy (like funny... Not cheesy like dairy)

Ok. It's late.

Joel and I have been doing pretty good with our 30 Days to Fit Challenge. (We may have 'cheated' a few times) We are learning how to make delicious food by following the plan - free of dairy, sugar, gluten, caffeine and alcohol. 

I want to share with you our little breakfast we had yesterday morning.

It's so simple. 

Black beans (rinsed and warmed)
Fried egg (1 egg + 2 egg whites)
1/4 avocado 
fresh parsley (you could use cilantro if you prefer)

And if you like a little heat, add some Cholula (or sriracha, tapitio, or salsa!)

I've pretty much failed at sharing what we've been eating every day... Sorry. 

But I'm happy to report that so far Joel has lost almost 10 pounds and I am down almost 12!  In just 3 weeks! I wish we would have taken our measurements. I think we would have seen a big difference there. 

We haven't been exercising like we said we would be. (Ill start on Monday.... No I won't!) but we do need to get a routine to make that a priority. 

I feel so much better. My jeans fit better. Even my 'mom' yoga pants are getting a little baggy. I have more energy. I don't remember the last time I had a headache. 

We have decided that we are making this a lifestyle change. To choose good healthy goods at least 80% of the time but to be ok having sweets every once in a while. And by sweets, I mean cocktails, frozen yogurt, bread. 

It's so crazy to say this but I'm not craving my cokes, donuts and snickers anymore. At all. 

This makes me happy. 

One more week to go! We will finish strong!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ready To Let It ALL Go

I can't stop thinking about Monday late afternoon. The blow up of the Lolo Creek Complex Fire had us all going around our homes gathering our valuables... The material items that really meant something to us. Little trinkets or items that hold a lot of dear memories to us. Items such as my wedding dress, our bibles, photo albums and finished scrapbooks of the girls, our external hard drive and computer that hold all of our files and photos. We loaded up our fire proof box that holds our important paperwork like birth certificates, passports, vehicle titles, taxes, and our marriage certificate. Joel grabbed the plaque of his Baseball Hall of Fame team photo, his guns and of course the 4 buckets of softballs! (Coach Joel ;) Alyn's important items were her bible, catchers gear, trophies and softball tournament shirts. Arly decided to grab her Avalanche uniform, bible, photos hanging in her room and her kindle. 

If you've been following along, you know that we're packed and ready for evacuation. 

In order to be completely ready before we left our home, we took photos of every room. 

This what I saw.... And frankly, I've debated on whether or not I wanted to share. But I think it will embarrass me enough to do something about all the 'stuff' here. 
To be completely honest with you, I had NO idea how bad things had really gotten as far as being so disorganized, until I took these photos. I knew it was time to start purging but I didn't realize I was this big of a hoarder. 

And to think, I was willing and ready to walk away from it all. Still am. 


We spend so much time thinking about organizing our stuff. Rearranging. Shuffling through the stuff. Stuff. Stuff that is just cluttering our lives. Stuff that you live with. Stuff that just takes over your peace. Stuff that keeps you from having people over. Stuff that makes you uncomfortable in your own home. 

Stuff. And that's all it is. 

You know what I really want to do? Take it all about 2 miles over the mountain and let it all burn. 

But we know that's not a reality. But I'm done with it all. I'm going to attack the stuff that causes so much chaos in my life.

Consider these the before photos. 

If you have tips or ideas that would help me, I would appreciate it so much. 

I'm tired of living with the stuff. 

I won't let the stuff decide how I feel or take up any place in my mind anymore. Stuff causes chaos and I'm over it.  

It's going to be a HUGE job... But I'm up for the peace. 


Fire update:
Today was a calm day. Not much new here. Just more waiting. But even more praying. We are suppose to get a thunderstorm which means possible erratic winds, lightning but also RAIN! Pray for rain!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


That's how I feel today. It's not a panic numb. It's more of a waiting numb. Like the whole world has stopped. Just waiting. 

It has taken every thing I have to come up with a morsel of energy just to try to be social with people today. To do a little Scentsy work. To be a good mom. And wife. 

I haven't been productive at all. I have been consumed by the media coverage and our neighbors' updates. 

Spry school was in session but it was pretty surface and spotty all day. Just like our cell service and Internet too. 

If I try to go to bed now I know I'll get more sleep than I have the past couple of nights. That will feel good. 
So that's what I'm going to try to do. 

Our update today:
This outline shows were the fire grew from yesterday to this morning. 
This map shows where we and some of our dear friends are at. The yellow square represents one mile. The Fire is now obviously a little closer but today was a good day. They have dozed lines on the west side of the Sleeman homes (where Luhmann's and Boretsky's are on the map)  where they are prepared to do a back burn if the fire reaches past it's trigger point. Today, we watched 4 helicopters and a spotter and bomber plane drop 40,000 pounds of retardant which helped hold the fire for most of the afternoon. 
These aerials were much closer in person than they appear in these photos. These were taken from our across the street neighbors backyard. 

Tomorrow, it sounds like they will be prepping a line between Sleeman and us just in case (as a back up)

We did receive an evacuation notice as a precaution. Nothing mandatory yet. We are still at home. 

Tonight is expected to be calm.... The girls and Joel were outside playing whiffle ball with the neighbors tonight. It is eerily calm today and our air quality was surprisingly good. Very little smoke. Could it be because we are so close to it?
They say we are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow. Things will most likely pick up. 

We have had so many more resources pouring in to help. Our fire is the top priority fire in the nation. Even still, resources are short but the MT National Guard is set to be here tomorrow and Monday. 

Praise Jesus for today's weather and for all of our fire crews working day and night. We are so thankful. 

Now I better go. This little one is playing me some music. Time to drop the crib down to the lowest notch ;)