Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: family
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Elyse's Perfect Newborn Session

A few weeks ago our family went to our favorite local photographer, Aaron Watson Photography, for our yearly family pictures and for Elyse's Newborn Session! It was so amazing. We had the family pictures for the first 30-40 minutes trying to bust out as many pictures with them as possible before they lost it.  With young kids, you only have a short amount of time to get really good pictures. And Collin proved it with that. He reached a point and then he was DONE with getting his picture taken. Over all our family pictures time went great!

The trick with finding a photographer is to really find one you click with. We have used a few in our area and love them all, but we have just loved the photos by Aaron and he has taken a majority of our family pictures and has literally watched our kids grow and will continue to watch our kids grow because he has become part of so many of our families memories! You can visit his FACEBOOK PAGE HERE or his WEBSITE PAGE HERE. Seriously go check out his website and see his magical photos! They are so breathtaking!

Looking for some inspiration? You can search online for some poses you really like and want to use for your newborn session. I found these great newborn photo ideas to help inspire the perfect pose for my birth announcements and pictures. And this photo by In The Little Photography is exactly like the pose our photographer used for our boys!
In The Little Photography
Before the session I was advised to nurse her about an hour before so that she was satisfied during the session would be more cooperative and hopefully fall asleep. We were also told that the studio would be more on the warm side and gentle music would be playing to help create a soothing session. And it was. It was really a special day for us.

Then it was Elyse's time to shine. Because we started with family photos I had to feed her for a bit before we got started with her individual pictures, where she lost her belly button stub because it got caught on my sweater, and then she was out cold for the rest of the session. She was just 6 days old when these pictures were taken. They just turned out amazing! Here are a few of my favorites!

Elyse's tutu was purchased at: Cutie Pie Goodies on Etsy

One of my favorite outfits: Worth the wait by: Mama Bijou on Etsy

Thank you to Aaron Watson Photography for capturing these amazing and sweet moments with my baby girl! Those looking for an amazing photographer in and around central Virginia for family, senior, newborns and weddings, please consider Aaron as he has always delighted us with amazing photos when we just prayed for at least 1 good one! You will not regret the choice to use him, and be sure to let him know that I sent ya over to say hi!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saying Good-bye To A Family Pet

(Archer's last picture before we left to forever say goodbye)

Yesterday was such a hard day for the Allen household. Our dog of over 13 years took a turn for the worse this past weekend. We took him to the vet on Monday to have him checked out and blood work done. We received the results yesterday morning. Archer, our Puggle, was suffering from 3 different very bad diseases, only one of them were were aware of in November, with slightly elevated liver levels. But the other two were very aggressive.  With him fighting 3 diseases out vet advised that he was just too sick to help him out. We knew he was in pain and suffering and less than an hour later we said our final goodbye. The vet said that he is a fighter because of what was wrong with him. He wanted to be with us even though it was really hard and painful for him. 

It was bittersweet to be with him as he passed knowing that he will feel so much better and without pain but also knowing how quiet our house and lives will be without him and how sad we all will be. He was apart of our marriage since the beginning. We will never forget him. The vet gave us a clay paw print to remember him by. Which was a nice gift.

First of all, these pregnancy hormones are HORRIBLE! I cried almost all day long. And any little thing just sent me off. But he was my best bud. He was always my shadow. Hanging around me. He even knew I was pregnant before I did and made sure to protect me more (he became an even bigger shadow when I was pregnant.) He was a sweet dog. Very good with kids (unless Mason pestered him too much, then he would pitch a fit.) He was a snuggle bug, spending most winter as my personal furnace in my bed. He had a long life and I am pretty sure he was happy, always knew he was loved. It is a hard thing to say goodbye to your household pet that is a family member.

We got Archer from a pet shop just 3 months after our marriage. When we had decided on him, he was the runt of the litter and the most submissive, were almost done with the paperwork, I asked what his birthday was. We found out that it was our wedding day. It was fate! Also, we were originally going to name him Porthos, after the Beagle on Enterprise, but it didn't fit him at all. So we went with the Captain of the Enterprise, Archer and his middle name, Malcolm, is from the armory officer on the same ship. Archer Malcolm Allen became part of our family. We had so many years with him.

Here are some tips that we used to help Mason cope with the loss of his dog:

So Mason doesn't quite understand what is happening. But we decided that we need to be upfront with him. The "going to sleep" thing wasn't working and honestly I didn't want Mason to think that when he goes to sleep he won't wake up either. So we have been very up front telling Mason that Archer is very sick and that the doctor can't help him anymore. That we have to help him by letting him to go sleep and dying. Mason is now telling us that Archer died today. He is sad, but he isn't confused. Or at least he understands a little bit about it. He does keep asking when can we go back and get Archer. Which we remind him that Archer died. Then he says that Archer is with Jesus eating, and getting strong. One comment he made that just shattered my heart was, "Can Jesus send him back for a little bit to play with me?" Oh so sad, but it is what it is. So be upfront with your kids. Help them understand as much as they can, and think about how much you want them to know. but the biggest thing for them is to just be upfront.

Coping with loss of dog for adults:

Apparently males and females process this different. I have been crying and sad all day long, and Matt has been more internal. I know he is sad, but he isn't showing it. I suspect to be strong for me. Take time to accept what happened. Take time to be sad. To grieve. It's ok. Don't be quick to get another dog to replace your previous one. Honestly, we have said for many years that we wouldn't get another dog. I don't think we will. But only time will tell. Probably not until the kids are much older is what I am thinking. But be sad. Take time. It is not shameful.

One thing I have been thinking is that I have been blaming myself for not taking him in earlier. But honestly, this is what was meant to happen. He let me know he was ready, even last night. He was just tired last night. He was ready. And I am at peace with that, but for a time I was blaming myself. Don't blame yourself. Things work as they are supposed to.

Dogs are only with us for so long. Take the time to enjoy your 4 legged family member as long as you can. Remember the good memories! To Archer, I miss you already puppy. I hope you are enjoying your time pain-free in puppy heaven, and playing with your best buddy, Bubba. Love you Archer.

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Success in 2016: Plan Your Day

Hello New Year, in just a few days! Are you making your new year resolution list yet? I am still working on mine. But here is one that is on my list. To plan out my day and make sure that I have balance between my family, work, and everyday life stuff. Sadly when you say yes to one thing, you have to say no to something else. Like, if I say yes to working out, then I am saying no to sleeping in. Get it? 
Pick one day a week that you sit down and plan out your schedule, every hour of every day of the week. I am serious! 

1) Family always comes first so start with that. Schedule in any doctor appoints, kid drop offs and pickups, or any other family appointments that you have for the week, oh yeah and church activities.

2) Schedule in your workout just like a doctor appointment. It really is that important for me that I schedule it in secondary in my life. 
3) Next I schedule in my work time. Teaching and coaching. My goal in 2016 is to stick to my schedule. Do what I have to do in the time allotted. I have been crossing over way too much and that is not ok for me and my family. I will no longer sacrifice my family time. I have to become more efficient in my actual work time! 

4) Lastly I schedule my me time. I personally need some alone time for me to just unwind from my activities. I can usually get 30-45 minutes of this a day. I use this for reading or just turning off my brain. 

Here is how to stick with your schedule: 

Turn the sound off on my phone
Set alarms or timers for how long to do something
Close my laptop and put it away
Mute the notifications on Facebook
Only open the window you need to work in right now
Keep yourself focused on the goal in mind
Work from a to do list

Starting today you can plan to make 2016 more successful with these tips! Be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK and PINTEREST for more daily motivation and support!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas From The Allen's!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas! I am late on getting our Christmas Cards out for the year to all my friends and family and you are my friends too, so I wanted to share it here so you can see it. I am so thankful for you watching my journey. That you are following me and I hope getting some good health, fitness and life tips. I really appreciate you always coming back! I am so excited for 2016 and the amazing things that are going to happen next year.

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your day and make it healthy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Staying On Track For Thanksgiving

Check out my tips for staying on track this Thanksgiving. Many of us will be having a buffet style dinner. Here are my tips to keep Thanksgiving healthy but still enjoying many of the foods you want to eat for Thanksgiving!

Tips to Conquer The Buffet
Scope It out
Before taking your plate through the buffet line, check out the options and pick what you like. Having a plan will keep you from going overboard.

Top it with Turkey
Grab a plate of salad, (or bringer own) and top it with some turkey. When your plate is full of delicious veggies you won’t have room to over-do it with the other sides.

Be Mindful About Added Butter, Salt and Sugar
yes those dishes may taste incredible, but most Thanksgiving sides are packed with those things that aren’t the best for you. Try getting smaller portions or avoiding some of the choices.

Choose Water
There are probably lots of options filled with sugar. Stick with WATER! You will be well hydrated and feel great after!

Stick To One Trip
As tempting as all that food just laying around is, try to get everything you’d like in your first trip. et smaller portions of sides so you can have a variety.

Greens Over Yellows
Get more veggies than carbs. Obviously we love those potatoes, but we don’t need a plate full!

Bring Food to Share
Bring your own healthier options to share! Then you know exactly what went into it!

Be Selective About Desserts
there are often tons of desserts. Remember your goals and only get one small choice (or none if you’re feeling extremely controlled!) 

And, of course, be sure to like our FACEBOOK page and follow us on PINTEREST for motivation, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy and Healthy National Redhead Day!

Happy National Redhead day! From this Ginger to you! Where are all my redheaded friends out there? Hey gotta give a shoutout to a holiday just for GINGERS!

Here are a few of fun facts about us redheads! Did you know any of these?
~People with red hair are likely more sensitive to pain. This is because the gene mutation (MC1R) that causes red hair is on the same gene linked to pain receptors. It also means redheads usually need more anesthesia for dental and medical procedures. (um totally true, I am always give more drugs for dental stuff and even for my surgery in March.)

~Having red hair isn't the only thing that makes some redheads unique. They are also more likely to be left handed. Both characteristics come from recessive genes, which like to come in pairs. (I am quite ambidextrous)

~Redheads probably won't go grey. That's because the pigment just fades over time. So they will probably go blonde and even white, but not grey. (yea! Weird thing as I am getting older, my hair is actually getting more red. So...We shall see what happens)

~Bees have been proven to be more attracted to redheads. (I hate bees! And seriously they all flock to me it seems like. I would squeal like a little girl and cower anytime a bee came near me!)

And to end this awesomely GINGERTASTIC post! How about a great Ginger Cookie Recipe! 
Healthy Ginger Cookies

¾ C coconut oil
1 C agave
¼ C molasses
2 eggs (organic and free-range)
3½ C whole-wheat flour, finely ground (preferably soft white wheat)
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp. ginger (plus, optionally, freshly grated ginger root)
1 tsp. nutmeg

Cream together the coconut oil and sweeteners, then add the egg and mix well. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well. Roll into walnut-sized balls and bake at 375° for 6 min. I rolled mine lightly in evaporated cane juice because my boys love the crunch. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day Hot Chocolate

(2012. Picking Matt up at the airport after an 11 month deployment. Mason was 11 months old.) 

Matt has always felt that this day, Veteran's Day is "His Day". And it is. Today we dropped Mason off at school and Matt, Collin baby and I headed down to the downtown area of Charlottesville. We happened upon the Veteran's Day Celebration. We then enjoyed a great breakfast at the area's first diner. I ate french toast and eggs. YUM! 80/20, eat clean 80% of the time and you can eat anything else the other 20%! We then picked Mason up from school, went to Best Buy and I finally rejoined the cell phone age and got a business phone! And have just been relaxing the rest of the day! What did you guys do today? 
So, to make my officer feel extra special on "his day" I am trying out this awesome Hot Chocolate with a kick recipe tonight after the kiddos go to bed! Hot chocolate is one of his favorite cold weather drinks!

Does this look good to you?

(Makes approximately 4 cups)
4 cups unsweetened milk (any type)
3/4 cup honey (or to taste)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
3 tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
Combine all ingredients in a pot and warm over medium to medium high heat. Stir constantly with a whisk.
Pour into cups and serve.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Halloween 2015

Halloween recap! I love Halloween and we thankfully were all able to coordinate! Third year in a ROW! WOW! AWESOME! This year we were Jurassic World. I was Claire the boss lady in heals! Matt was a tourist wearing a Jurassic Park shirt. Mason was a T-rex and Collin was a T-Rex hatchling. We got lots and lots of "OH how cute" And fun comments. Mason and Collin made out like bandits with the amount of candy they got. We let them go hog wild that night and then started to ration their candy the next day. It has worked great for bargaining with Mason.

On top of that, I wore a different wig everyday for my challenge group and students. It was so much fun rocking a fun and different hair color. Some wigs were better than others but still fun. What is your fave?
Bonus day 6:

I hope you all had a great Halloween. Be sure to check out my FACEBOOK page to get daily motivation and tips, recipes and support!
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