Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Keeping Up with the Koesters in June

Hope you all had an amazing 4th of July! The weather was pretty awesome, wasn’t it ? (Minus the 6-7 inches of rain we got last night. Yowza!)
Running with the boys!

I’m working on a routine of establishing regular blog posts. We’re slowly getting there. Just like most everything in life right now. Trial and error. Just when I thought Nathan might be on track to sleeping through the night, he’s back up a couple times. He’s discovered pulling himself up and standing and that’s ALL he wants to do. 

So what have we been up to?

Karl completed a half marathon!! Isn’t that sweet?  Totally proud of him. When he told me he was going to sign up for one, I was like, “WHAT have you done with my husband?” Of course I jumped up and down and hugged him a million times...seriously,  I was super pumped! YAY.

Finally something we could do TOGETHER that was healthy and “sporty” and FUN. However, I forgot the amount of hours training burns up and he’d go off for his runs and I was obviously the one taking care of the boys and by the time it came turn for me to run, I had to either go to the store, nurse or whip up a meal. Reality check! Soooo, I spent a lot of time running over my lunch break while at work, hoping that was enough. Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of train time. I knew I wasn’t totally marathon ready and then our child care fell through. I figured it was a sign that I just needed to take it easy and cheer on Karl instead and let him do his thing. PLUS, he said he didn’t want to run with me because I was too fast for him and all bouncy and cheery (we’re kind of opposites if you haven’t figured this out). I get where he’s coming from because when friends ask to run with me, I have to remind them I breathe heavy and I’m not as fast as they might think. I was really curious though to compare my half marathon time when I was 20 pounds heavier and 10 years younger to today’s time. But some other time, right? And after seeing Karl’s blisters, bloody nipples and him hobbling in pain, I wasn’t sure running 13 miles would be the smartest thing for me to do.

INSTEAD, he and I signed up to do the Warrior Dash!!!! I am NERVOUS but excited. I’m kind of glad I have a few years of Mud Volleyball under my belt so I can be ready to eat mud, but I saw some of the course and am curious as to how I’m going to pull myself up by rope. Upper body strength hasn’t always been my strong suit. Trust in the process, right? The next day I am running in the Color Run with some of my team of coaches! I can’t WAIT!!!

New with Me:

One AWESOME thing about being a Beachbody coach, and I have said this before, is Personal Development. Every day I need to carve out at LEAST 10 minutes for myself and read or listen to something that’s inspiring and motivating and POSTIVE. Something that will push me and challenge me to think differently and approach things and people in a positive light. It’s been SO AWESOME for me. Currently, I’m reading a different kind of Personal Development book. I chose this because I knew it would help me process my grandparent’s passing and the passing of my coworker. As a busy mom, I’m not sure I’ve had the time to step back and totally process all that happened in June. And I had so many questions racing through my mind, but I’m constantly interrupted. Reading this book has helped a ton. I’m not saying it’s the truth but it sure makes a LOT of sense. One thing the nurse told my aunt after my grandpa had passed was he told her that he saw my grandma and she was waiting for him. Hearing that brought a such a sense of peace but curiosity too. This is what I’m reading and boy… it’s good stuff.

I am trying to figure out a plan of attack on getting to the biggest event of the year for Coaches – Coach Summit in Nashville. I will be a coach for a FULL YEAR in a couple weeks and throughout that year, I have earned 3 trips!!! I haven’t been on one because I still have my full time job and am trying to juggle life with two YOUNG kids. I don’t want to come up with excuses though. The guilt of leaving my kids it pretty huge though since I am at work most of the week. It’s just a huge challenge trying to find childcare, leaving my kids and figuring out a way to pump and store milk. I’m working on making this happen because I KNOW it will be AMAZING! Running out of time though…  

The boys are busy as usual!

I’ve been taking the boys out berry picking, which totally makes me think of my grandparents and it’s just a lot fun and DELICIOUS. We’ve also been hitting up new parks around the community. And we’ve really been utilizing our fabulous backyard. We have been in our house for a full year now and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a private backyard. We have been busting out the slip and slide, sprinkler and purchased a fun little pool. Jackson is in LOVE with swimming right now.

Karl helped his sister move into her new house and of course we had to try out their NEW POOL!! It’s pretty awesome. And both Jackson and Nathan LOVE swimming. We’ve had some pretty full weekends with not the best naps, so wowee we’re dealing with ROUGH dinner times. Both kids are melting down and Karl and I are left trying to pick up the pieces and shove food down. Not how I envisioned things going, but I also know it’s just a phase.
Running with my cuties!

Aunt Kelly and Uncle Ben's new pool!

Both are getting up earlier and earlier again. I remember last summer was the SAME way. I’ve been taking this time and getting up and running with both boys. Instead of complaining about it, I’m using this as an opportunity to bond with both boys, get them outside and see the beauty around us, and a time to exercise and feel good. There are enough cold, yucky days in Minnesota so I want to take advantage of this amazing weather. Sure, my body is screaming for more sleep, but I know how amazing and ready I feel to take on the day after and I really really love this time with my little guys.

·         LOVES swimming
·         Loves running and jumping around everywhere and being pushed on his swing
·         Stuttering a little bit (worse when he’s tired)
·         Loves playing with an old cell phone and talking and texting “Roger”
·         Loves Home Depot’s First Saturday of the month project
·         SO good with his brother! Will run up to him and hug him, but at the same time he will tackle him or rip a toy away too. I see
·         Loves going to the library, grabbing the shopping cart and picking out tons of books.
·         Loves story time at night.

·         LOVES frozen blueberries (as in it’s the only thing he wants)
·         Standing
·         Pulling himself up
·         Crawling looks more like a wounded soldier but he’s still fast
·         LOVES his brother. Looks for him and smiles when he sees him.
·         SUCH a HAPPY kid!
·         Does NOT like to be spoon fed. We’re trying baby led weaning right now because I can’t keep sitting through every meal with him screaming if I spoon feed. I know he’s tiny, so we’ll have to see what the doctor says this month.
·         Mommy’s boy. HUGE. 

In short, we're having fun and staying busy. Sure do LOVE summer!!! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Where do YOU fit in?

Life gets busy. Where are you on your to-do list?

So after writing my latest post on losing both my grandparents, I realized how much I missed writing and how much I love it. AND, how much I NEED writing in my life and this blog. And all of YOU. 
One last cart ride around my grandparent's house - one of my favorite homes. I used to drive this cart when I was a kid on their 40 acres. Felt really weird being at their house without them there. 

Sometimes (most of the time) this blog IS the only way I get to communicate my feelings and emotions right now. Not intentionally, but even when I tried getting a full sentence out last night over dinner with my husband, I realized I could choose to scream over Nathan's cries because he was overtired and teething (again) and Jackson's whines because his chair wouldn’t move right or find another time to talk. I chose to keep things to myself until my husband and I could both connect again, and for us that’s usually in bed right now. We're trying hard to get all the sleep we can. So it was another night of chugging down water and forking in food until everyone calmed down. When I finally made it to bed (seriously, dishes take forever when it comes to scrubbing those bottles and pump parts and teething rings, etc), I laid my head down and was out in seconds. I didn’t mean to fall asleep that quickly but sometimes I’m so mentally exhausted, I completely shut down. I woke at 3:30 confused, nursed and  realized I didn’t call my mom once again to check in.

Man, this life is crazy. CRAZY. The days can feel so long but the years FLY BY.

Like most of all of you, I’m a busy person too. And sometimes my passions and to-do lists get pushed aside while I’m so focused on making it through the day, keeping up with all the dishes and laundry and food and making sure everyone is content and getting the attention they need…all with a smile. (For some reason, I know I will look back and be sad when this phase is gone.) Before I know it, it’s time for bed and another day just flew on by.

I often hear the analogy about putting on my oxygen mask first. I really struggle with that one. Anyone else? There are times where it just doesn’t feel right. I’m trying to find that happy balance, but deep down I do know I need to let go more. Before I know it, I will be forced to REALLY let go and watch both boys get on the bus, and get behind a wheel and drive and head off to college, get married, have kids of their own. AKKK!

In the meantime, I have been reading a lot of personal development books and have really enjoyed these. They have been SO healthy for me. This entire health and fitness coaching business has been one of the BEST things for me. It has forced me to make time for myself and improve myself too, which I needed in a big way. Even when I don't feel like I have the oxygen mask on all day long, this business has reminded me to put it back on every day. I love that. These books have really opened my eyes to positive thinking and putting things in perspective. These great reads remind me that what I give the universe is what the universe is going to give back to me. And it’s been pretty spot on. 

For example, there have been a lot of things going on these past 6 months:

  • ·         We moved in a new house while I pregnant with number 2 and transitioned Jackson into his big boy bed at the same time and successfully survived potty training (not at night just yet)
  • ·         Found a renter for our town home
  • ·         My husband started a new job (thank GOD! No more on-call or travel!)
  • ·         I started a side gig as health and fitness coach
  • ·         We had our sweet Nathan and I went on 3 months maternity leave
  • ·         My wonderful grandma died of a stroke
  • ·         Our sweet niece, Hadley was born
  • ·         I went back to work with a new boss 
  • ·         Our sweet niece, Audrey was born
  • ·         My wonderful grandpa died of heart failure (i.e. broken heart)
  • ·         My dear friend Kathy died from a brain tumor

When I look at that list, I think whoa. That’s a lot of hard sh*t. Not just minor things. But as the person living this crazy life, I’m not sure if I have processed it all either. I sort of feel as if I’m going through the motions a lot of the time. I’m constantly pulled away from my tasks and duties or interrupted or thrown one curve ball after the other and I am slowly learning to just go with it. I guess in my mind, we are healthy and that feels like we’re winning. It truly is a blessing to have your health and be surrounded with genuine lovely people. It seems so simple, but it's such a gift. 

I continue to put out positive energy every single day. The other way doesn’t sit well with me. I don't feel whole - and I need to feel whole. 

I have a LOT of conversations with God, asking for his guidance. I often think of the “Footprints” prayer. Some days I feel Him carrying me, other days, I simply ask that He let me follow him. For instance, as I write this, my husband sent a text saying we’re going to need a new air conditioner and furnace. I thought…”I’m so glad he’s taking care of this!” Before, I would have worried about the $3,000+ we’re going to have to fork over.

I am focused on seeing the GOOD in every situation. And that has changed everything.
I know this life is so good, and can be bad at times. But with everything we are faced with we always ALWAYS have two options. We can do nothing at all – and what changes? Or we can DO something and there will be change!

On to these sweet boys…

Nathan is 7.5 months old and in the middle of getting his two top front teeth. We have YET to have him sleep through the night. Yeah.  He woke up once last night though. This was a big deal. Happy birthday to me, right? I celebrated but at the same time I reminded myself that this sketchy sleep pattern won’t last for long. Soon enough we’ll all be sleeping comfortably through the night. For now, it might be a little tough, but it will get better.

Nathan is also army crawling and started doing this the day before he turned 7 months. He actually pulled himself up and climbed up from the living room into the kitchen last night and cleaned our entire hard wood floor with his WHITE onesie. For one, I I couldn’t believe how FAST he is and secondly, man…I have to clean our floors. This is when the childproofing begins. We found him eating dirt in one of our house plants. What’s with plants that kids love so much? Jackson was the same way!

Nathan is eating 3 times a day now. Anything from eggs to Karl’s healthy pancakes to organic fruit and veggies. I just slipped him some quinoa last night. You would be happy to know I did give him a popsicle and he loved it.

He is the happiest baby ever. I love that smile of his. Those dimples. He is something special for sure. His fuzzy hair and cuddles are the best. However, he moves constantly just like Jackson. At my grandpa’s funeral, he refused to sit. He wanted to climb all over me, eat my hair, bite my shoulders, bend to the ground. He wants to observe and explore. He’s curious. He is in constant motion ALWAYS…even in his sleep.
I love working out with mom!

We love getting messy!

This is how he sleeps. He has to be hugging something. Always.

Tickle. Tickle. 

He sees something and he goes after it!

Jackson is Mr. Personality. He loves waving at cars and everyone at the grocery store. He will point out if someone doesn’t have hair or isn’t wearing a helmet on their bike or if they have an owie on their leg. Those big brown eyes and sweet eyes melt everyone’s heart. He has been great lately with entertaining himself and using his imagination to play. I love watching him. He’s obsessed with spiders and making sure there are NO webs in our house. He loves to talk “poopies” and will wave goodbye to his turds when he flushes the toilet. He watches us like a hawk. If a bad word slips out, he is sure to tell us. He asks “why” and “what” a million times. He constantly wants us to “watch me!” I just love seeing who he’s turning into. I’m totally impressed with how wonderful he is with Nathan. 
Hold on a sec, I'm driving... 

Push me higher and faster, mom!!!


This kid LOVES to help and be involved!

He loves to challenge everything

The boys are starting to play together and it’s so much fun to watch. Nathan adores his brother and Jackson the same. This is going to be one awesome relationship to watch. I think…

The walking is slow but I still love getting out with them!

I LOVE this photo! My everything here!

The more they grow, the more I want to be home with them more. Though I get to work and feel like I’m on vacation sometimes. I get to breathe. Sit without interruption. Drink a hot coffee. Listen to music without someone talking over it. But I miss my boys like CRAZY. They are my world and I would choose to be with them in a heartbeat.

I have set some incredible big goals for myself and I’m starting to see that these goals can really become a reality the more I believe in myself and the more I just DO the work. It’s kind of nuts. And it’s kind of awesome.