About Me

State of the summer: a new house, baby mobility, and the longest gap between pregnancies ever

So far the summer of 2016 has been a mixed bag of highs and lows. And since it’s been a while since I waxed personal around these parts, I figured why not share some “roses and thorns” as we do at the dinner table most nights, with you fine people.

Rose: we’re buying a house, and we’re all set to close next Friday, August 12th. The final hurdle is appraisal, which happens this Thursday and which we are very much hoping contains no surprises whatsoever, because surprises are no longer fun or whimsical when they relate to matters of home ownership. As we learned during inspection.

St. Joseph came through like a baller though*, because we got an unprecedented number of objections favorably addressed by the seller, and we’re going to be able to do most of the new flooring and all of the painting our little 70’s dream boat requires right away.

*(and oh, by the way, if you’re buying or selling real estate in the metro Denver area, Brendan Moran is my new best friend and my heart leaps for joy a little when I have a new email from him, and as excited as I am to be in our new house, I will be a little bit sad when we aren’t regularly communicating about life, because he is my people. If you need a bulldog of a realtor who will fight for you and fight hard with a smile on his face, he is your man. With an Irish accent. You’re welcome.)

Thorn: I had shingles. Which was pretty much the worst. But which admittedly could have been so, so much worse. I’m officially one month out today, and I feel almost 90% my old self, which, according to my panicky late-night online research, is about the best recovery course one can hope for with adult chickenpox. Possible pro? My kids may now be extra immune to chicken pox. Or it might by lying in wait, hoping to pounce once the school year begins in earnest. Time will tell.

Rose: I’m almost completely packed for our big move, because I used part of my enforced downtime from all things work and internet related to assemble and fill cardboard boxes with all our worldly possessions. The kids were pretty helpful, much more so than in previous moves when the median age was much lower, and our house looks like we’re indoor camping for the next 9 days. And we’re not really missing anything we’ve packed so far. Which means that despite my best efforts towards minimalism, we still own 70% too many things. I am seriously considering dropping a considerable number of my tidy, packed boxes at Saver’s on our way across town. Will I really miss anything inside them, if I’m not missing it right now? Maybe the winter coats. But anything else? It’s like I capsule-wardrobed our entire life, and then promptly forgot about all of it.

Thorn: I still have 19 stubborn pounds of Luke-weight to lose, and he’s about to be one. And he is almost (sob) walking. He started crawling last month and now he’s doing that drunken sailor swagger where he lets go of furniture and flails his arms a bit before plopping down hard. Because gravity. Please recall that 2 year old Evie has only actually been walking for about a year herself (how can that possibly be, I wonder, as she sprints past the neighbor’s mailbox and heads for the stop sign at the end of the block, cackling as she evades me).

Rose: When he does turn one next week, we will have achieved our longest to-date spacing between any of our children, meaning I have a decent shot at losing the rest of the weight, should I be able to chill out and stop medicating my deep end-of-day packing and parenting angst with wine and salt and vinegar chips.

While catching up on a seriously backlogged blog feed last night, I came across Dwija’s post about Trim Healthy Mama and immediately launched into an hour of research and scrolling. Anyone else tried this and found it effective? Because daily trips to the gym and keeping My Fitness Pal happy at 1600 calories does not seem to be doing the trick entirely, this time around. It makes sense in an intellectual sense, but then again, I am the queen of starting off a Whole 30 with the intensity and terrible focus of a senior during finals week, only to peter out on day 14 with a margarita in hand, “because agave is a little bit Paleo, you know?”

Thorn: I am more exhausted than I have ever been in my entire life, which keeps confounding me when I hit 8:30 pm each night and seriously debate the merits of not going to bed yet. Then I remember shingles, the house-buying process, 4 young kids in varying states of a late-summer gastrointestinal illness, and a world that seems to be collapsing around my ears if one tunes in too closely to the news, and I figure that probably anyone in my shoes would be as tired. And while it is helpful to extend myself a little grace with that rationalization, it does not do as much to ameliorate the feelings of inadequacy and fatigue that I am imagining only the dawn of a new school year in 3 week will fully accomplish.

Rose: I’m done now.

Thorn: you just read it all.

Happy Tuesday y’all. Anyone hitting up “National Night Out” tonight? Our local police department is teaming up with our parish, and I’m looking forward to showing our officers a little love. Plus, they’re bringing a margarita cart.

“I’m still the baby, adore me.”


  • Sarah

    Yay for a new house! I have done trim healthy mama. It does work, it was a bit hard to keep up with I think. If you plan to keep your meals really plain and simple it would make it easier. I am 35, and have tried everything! What I have found to work best our at home HIIT workouts, because I have 3 kids and I can do it my jammies if need be. There is something about those style workouts that rev your metabolism. I chose Beachbody 21 day fix and hooked up with a group of women for daily encouragement and accountability on all things life, including nutrition and workouts. Cancelled my gym membership and haven’t looked back! Good luck, it isn’t easy with small children in the mix but possible. 🙂

  • Rachel

    Ugh, I feel that way at the end of the day too. Is it normal to be this tired? But then I list it all out and I’m like “duh” lol also, house buying is a huge pain. I swore I’d never do it again…but we probably will have to at some point.

  • Ashley

    Holy cow! We had a lot of catching up to do! Exciting about the house. So sorry about the shingles. And solidarity about the baby weight! I had resigned myself to never losing it, but recently have had some successes! Haven’t done THM (but wow! Dwija looks fantastic!) but Isagenix has been working really well for me.

  • Amanda

    I’m doing THM (with less success either in weight loss or energy than Dwija) and it’s not bad. You’re already grain free, right? Not too hard a switch. And you wouldn’t have to count or restrict calories so life would suck less.

    Good luck on the move! Being in the new house makes it all almost worth it 😉

  • Jen Brown

    I’ve been doing THM. Hard to follow as a working girl who loves to snack. But I feel amazing and extremely disciplined when I stick to it. It makes a lot of sense to my Dr brother, so I bought into it. FB msg me if you want to get into the online groups-they are quite helpful when you are starting. It takes out all the calorie counting and gives you things like cheese. And bacon. And Ranch dressing. (Though you will need to replace your sweeteners, which are quite good, I must admit).

    Always fun to read your updates. 🙂 Always fun to read anything you write!!

  • Ann-Marie

    I’m four months post partum and only have five pounds to go. That’s never happened before and I am thinking it is thanks to THM. And I am SO SORRY about the shingles. I had them back in third grade and they are miserable. My husband had them at the start of the year and it was NO FUN! Best of luck with the new house and moving and such and such.

  • Laura

    Oh mama, sympathy and solidarity abound. I got shingles (correction: gave myself shingles, according to finger-wagging doctor) when I hit the stress apex of my life in trying to write a book in 6 weeks with no childcare and 3 littles underfoot. Never. To. Be. Repeated. It is so awful & I will keep you in prayer!

  • Denise

    So excited about your house! We are just ecstatic over here to think that in 1-2 years it could be possible for us. I can. not. wait. and know you had a looong journey too. Congrats, Jenny!

  • Lauren

    I waited to think about baby weight until baby was sleeping through the night. Are you getting a good block (4-5 hours) or like 7-8 hours total? It’s so hard to lose weight when tired. I feel like if you address sleep first (go to bed earlier and try to take a nap 1-2 times a week), drink water (which I’m sure you’re already doing), and eliminate fast food/processed … It might be easier. For me, I ran a 5K and the training (3x week) helped so much… But I hate running. Now I swim and nurse and take care of my 4 kids under 6 and feel pretty healthy and fit.

  • Becky

    I didn’t realize how tired I was during the season you are in until I was about a year out of it. You’re tired because you are in a crazy tiring season. And, that’s also why you aren’t losing the weight (I would hazard). I wasn’t able to seriously drop any weight until I slept for 6 hours in a row, regularly. And, that’s ok! Are you actually unhealthy or are you just not living up to a current ideal? Is there any chance you’ve made a “magic” number an idol? (I know I struggle with that!) I finally came around to the idea (with my doctor’s blessing) that while I was in the season of very small people, my BMI would hover between 25 and 26 and that was just the way my body was made.

    • Ellen Johnson

      Omg, Becky, this is me! I *just* made it down to my happy weight last fall and it took a lot of self control and self discipline, and I was 15 months postpartum and sleeping through the night. But! It didn’t last! My body wanted to be 5 pounds heavier, which is just a smidge below 25 BMI. It was so infuriating, but eventually I had to accept it. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and the only reason it was bringing me down was because I was letting it. It’s actually a healthy weight for me at this time in my life. I so make an idol out of getting down to that certain number on the scale.

      Jenny, it sounds like between moving and having shingles last month, maybe you’re being a little to hard on yourself? I know the feeling of wanting to get out of a slump and get healthier, but don’t obsess over the number. 🙂

  • Melissa

    Baby number three is 5.5 months and just got his first tooth. I am so sad. It’s like he’s an adult already or something. Why do they have to grow up?!?! Congratulations on your house!!

  • Diana

    I read the whole (huge) THM book and keep flirting with the idea of doing it….but it seems like a lot of work to keep up, at least until you’re in a routine. But…can’t argue with those results!

  • Hannah Gokie

    I did THM for a little bit last year, and then subsequently started trying to get pregnant so stopped caring…haha. But! The two months or so I did it, even not super super strictly, I saw numbers move down on the scale for the first time in a VERY long time. It’s a little confusing to learn but after a week of doing it, you’ll have it (mostly) down. And it is so much more satisfying than anything paleo, so if you’ve done that even a little this will feel like cheating all the time – not bad in a “diet.” I’d definitely recommend getting the sweeteners and collagen (collagen did SO MUCH GOOD for my postpartum hair & skin) – but first read the books! Most libraries have a copy if you don’t wanna buy/commit.

    • Hannah Gokie

      Meant to add: I was planning on doing THM to prevent a huge amount of weight gain like last time during this pregnancy, but so far my body’s not gained anything so I haven’t. I definitely plan on starting back up after baby #2 is born, though!

  • Karyn

    I started THM after reading Dwija’s post, lol! So far I’m losing (slowly but still) and I’m feeling less irritable with my family (which is huge). It is hard to figure out and to plan out my meals— and I’m a naturally obsessive planner (INTJ characteristic?) I do think it’s getting easier as I head into three weeks…..It seems like you were just pregnant with Luke???

  • Mira

    Not moving anywhere, but now I’m SO tempted to pack up everything and see what I won’t miss. 😂

    And I would be VERY interested to know what was/is in your boxes.

    Glad you are feeling better.

  • jeanette

    Congratulations on getting the home and prayers for you that all goes well with your closing and move. I’m jealous, though, as we have been looking for over a year now and can’t find the house we want (and we are moving 2 hours away which makes for a real long day when we go look at homes…I think I’m getting too old for this stuff!). I was hoping to get moved by the time our daughter gave birth to her first child (our first grandchild), but she is due any day now and we are not even close to finding a home. Well, all in God’s time. Remember that rule for everything, including loss of weight.

    Take good care of yourself. Tiredness is normal during a move, but be sure you eat enough for the energy required by the extra work you are doing (and don’t be thinking about your weight loss goals; the energy expended will use up the extra calories, and you can pay attention to calories after the move). During the last few days of moving it is sometimes very hard to get your meals. Enlist helpers (family/friends always want to know how they can help…don’t be shy about asking them).

  • Laura Rose

    Yay, a house!! Can’t wait to hear more about that! You are seriously a rockstar. You have had A LOT going on this summer and look at you, killing it. Boxes packed, house practically bought, shingles defeated… We need to get together.

  • Monica Stoddard

    Hey Jenny,

    I was reading about your journey for weight loss post Luke and I thought I would share a gem I found and am doing. It is called: Mutu Systems. I have a subscription which I will share with a sister if she asks (because it’s rather pricey) But it has been so helpful and I feel so much healthier and stronger post baby, especially if you have any abdominal separation still–It comes complete with exercises and demos and I generally can always fit it in everyday. It is very doable even with kids around and there’s an awesome support system that comes with it. Plus she has eating guidelines that I think are practically in line with whole 30, but she stresses–it is not a diet it is something you are doing FOR life so make the changes so they are sustainable and don’t freak out if you eat cake or drink wine once in awhile. That being said, I’ve used myfitnesspal too :). I’d love to chat more about it if you are interested.

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