Saturday, December 24, 2011


My Christmas wish came true! Pictures of the girls actually smiling.


Reflective smile.

Ornery smile.

Precious smiles.

Embarrassed by their parents smiles.

Hilarious smiles. Because I'm sure I said something funny.

And...well....I never said we were perfect.

Wishing you a very, very Happy Christmas with lots of laughs and smiles.

Love,  The Lashley Family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stella Ate It.

Is it a bad sign when your daughter takes a bite out of your newly purchased parenting book?

Or just a sign that you actually needed to purchase the book.

Either way...when the girls are misbehaving in public, and someone asks me if I've read any parenting books, I can honestly say,

Stella ate it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This is the way we go to church.

It's a question I will ask myself until the end of time. Why is it so hard to get ready for church? Not to be left out, this question also. Why are we always late for church? I would like to think that it's because I actually have to take the time to wash my hair and get dressed (which is probably the real reason), but I blame it on these two.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum and their entourage.

Before we can even think of getting in the car to go to church, we must have the following.

Christmas dresses-check.
Bows in hair-check.
Jackets-it's not that cold outside. Next time.-check.

Little Mermaid-check.
Belle with mangled hair-check.
Booger check-check.

Sippy cup-check.
Sleeping Beauty book-check.
Tutu that must go over and not under the dress-check.
Mama's sanity-check.
Mama's washed hair-check. Sometimes.
Neighbor's that must think I'm insane-check.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum-check.
15 minutes late to church-check.

It's amazing that I even remember to pants on. But it's worth it for these two. 

I sure do love my little weirdos.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shake it Out/Drown it Out

So, I've never claimed to be the best mom of all time. 

But I'm no idiot either.

Except for when it came to stashing their Christmas toys in the back of the car and forgetting about them.

When I got the girls into car for church on Sunday morning (and yes, Stella did look like that. She won't let me fix her hair anymore. She says, "No, Mama! No, Mama! My heeeeeeeeeeeeer {hair}!!!!" So I have given up. She looks like a wild woman.) I had a moment's panic when I looked in the back and saw the toys sticking out of the back in plain sight.

But since we were running about 15 minutes late, I just let it slide. They didn't notice the toys in the back, so I would take care of it when we got home.

As we were driving, jamming out to our usual Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I hit a little bump and heard- 

"Ring. Ring. Ring." (That's not exactly right, but it's the sound that all Tinkerbell toys make. A little jingle, if you will.)

I held my breath and gritted my teeth.

"Ring. Ring. Ring."

Chloe and Stella immediately turned their heads looking and asking for Tinkerbell.

This eventually turned into begging and crying for Tinkerbell.

I had two choices.

Show them their Christmas toys or change our tune.

I had no other choice but to change our tune. I turned off Twinkle, Twinkle, and jammed out to a little Florence and the Machine.

I turned up Shake it Out and sang at the top of my lungs.

And while I have to thank her for writing such an awesome song...a song that is really loud and allows me to sing really loud; I don't think her main intent when writing it was to drown out an idiot mother's poorly hidden Tinkerbell toy.

But it worked.

I couldn't help but write my own version... "Drown it out, drown it out, Drown it out, drown it out. Oh! It's hard to drive with Tinkerbell in the back, so drown her out. Oh!" 

That was bad. I promised myself I wouldn't share that. 

But I guess I share everything else. 

At least I wasn't writing about my panties. Right?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Never too late to be thankful.

Nothing excites me more than the craft projects the girls bring home from school. Especially when it has their sweet, little handprints. Awe, I just love it.

So when the girls brought home their Thanksgiving crafts I was nearly bursting at the seams. (Which was clearly last month, and we're almost to Christmas. Whatever.)

And of course, in the true nature of my children, there was something embarrassing and oh, so funny about their Thanksgiving crafts.

I present to you Stella, as a turkey-

So dramatic, and yet, I feel appropriate for the turkey type. Which she totally is. I'm just glad that I'm not the only one she doesn't smile for when a camera is pointed in her face.

And not to be outdone, Chloe's list of things she's currently thankful for-

And there  you have it.

Panties, of all things.

But I guess that we should be thankful for everything. I've been thankful for my panties on many occasions. Especially when I was four months pregnant, living in Chicago, wearing a flowy empire-waist dress on a very blustery day, walking into work, the pathway fully lined with professors and other professionals' windows, right as the workday was beginning and everyone was in their offices or walking on the pathway, and my dress decided to fly up over my pregnant belly and meet me in the face.

I was thankful for my panties.

And I was thankful for the skirt covering my bright red face.

And I'm thankful that no one ever said a thing about it.

And I'm thankful for my girls. That they keep me on my toes. And that in spite of their tendency to make my face turn bright red, that they make me laugh.

That's what life is all about.

It's what makes me very, very thankful.

And only slightly embarrassed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Abs, From all Angles

I'm not one to post pictures of midriffs on my blog, however, I read this awesome snipit in the latest Women's Health and I couldn't keep it to myself.

Here's what it says.

"Planks and crunches are surefire ways to build core strength, but they're not enough to whittle your middle, says a new study. Volunteers did seven different core-strengthening exercises five days a week. After six weeks, they had stronger ab muscles, but they didn't lose fat or inches. To zap body fat, you have to train all of your major muscles groups, which increases your resting metabolic rate so you blast more calories all day long, says study author Sachin Vispute, M.S.Ed., of the University of Illinois at Chicago. To lose the flab even faster, add cardio and watch your diet."

I believe in this whole-heartedly. And this is why in my own workouts and when I'm training clients, the emphasis is on total body strength-training, not ab exercises. In fact, we spend very little time on abs and the time time spent on abs is mainly spent in some variation of the plank. 

And the results are there. 

After having the girls, my abs were pretty obliterated. I mean, you can't blame them. I was pregnant for basically two years. After Stella, I picked up my running mileage and managed to drop most of the weight pretty quickly. But I had a few stubborn pounds and a gut that just kept sticking around. 

Running alone was not cutting it.

My sister passed along this book to me and it changed my body completely. After just a couple weeks of strength training my sister looked at me and said, "Your body is starting to look like it did before you got pregnant." I thought I heard angels singing in heaven. That was the best encouragement ever.

The best thing about the program I followed in the book was the fact that it had very little ab exercises, yet my abs were coming back into shape. Dare I say, somewhat flat. When you place the emphasis on strengthening your entire body, your abs manage to tighten back up.

And while I can't say they're perfect, I can say that the new normal is pretty good.

So my advice, buy the book, follow one of the programs, clean up your diet, lift like a boy and you will see results.