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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

35 Weeks Pregnant

I'm five short weeks away from 40 weeks. ZOIKS!!!!!! How is this even possible??? 

Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
35 Weeks PREGGERS!!!

Depends on how you look at it all though, right? Five weeks could seem long, but not to ME!!! NO WAY! I'm one of those weird moms who is totally cool being pregnant for however long. Why? Well, I SO know what's coming, so I'm cool with hanging on for awhile. Remember, Jackson didn't sleep through the night until 14 months. I'm digging all this sleep I'm able to get. Oh man...how this is going to change. 

I was just telling a friend how I feel like I have a bit of control over our routine once again. I'm able to handle the chaos of the mornings and make sure a healthy breakfast is made, healthy lunches are packed, Jackson is dressed, extra clothes are ready, I'm all ready to go and Karl is all happy. But...that is going to change in a BIG way coming SOON. Just when I am getting time back for myself...BOOM. CHANGE. 

Ahhh, life. 

I'm NERVOUS about having a baby in the fall. With Jackson, we went outside EVERY SINGLE DAY during the spring and summer. We had THE PERFECT weather. It's already getting darker and cooler out there. Oh man... Oh man... I need the sun on my face...the fresh air. I'm hoping for a FEW nice days in there. PLEASE!!!

Karl and I spent the weekend putting together the crib because the changing table is attached. We for sure wanted that DONE. And clothes are hung up. My next step is to buy all the things we need for a new baby. AND to make sure all those bottles and pump supplies are WASHED and ready to go. Can't believe I'm here again. My life is about to get REALLY REALLY crazy. As in REALLY crazy. 

I'm stocking up on supplies...toilet paper and paper towels and shampoos and all those things I won't have time to quickly run off to get for a little bit because I'll be ADJUSTING once again to a new lifestyle. 

I'm really shooting for the laid-back approach this time around. We'll see how long that lasts!!!

My appointment last week went well and QUICK. It was the first time I went to the doctors alone. Karl has ALWAYS been by my side but he started a new job with NO vacation or sick time. So he needs to earn enough so he can take a week off once the baby is born. 

Our doctor was pretty adamant about me going quick this time around. I reminded him that Jackson was a 37.5 long long long long labor, but he reminded me that I only pushed 50 minutes. Most first time moms go about 3 hours. I remember when they told me this. I said, "HELL, NO! Bring me that mirror. I'm pushing this kid out!" The visual is what did it for me. I was able to see how to push quickly and what it was doing to get Jackson out. 

Doctor also said he envisions me pumping the kid out, plopping the baby on me and sending us on our way. Well, wouldn't that just be lovely!!! He said second time deliveries USUALLY go WAY WAY faster, so fast that there is no time for the epidural. Say what!?!??! So yes, he said the FIRST sign of labor, I go in ASAP. OK... 

I go in next Thursday for the Strep B test and to see if anything is happening down there. Then it's an appointment EVERY WEEK. Holy moly. This is just getting SO real. SO REAL. 

I am getting excited to hold this sweet baby and smell him/her and just MEET him/her. I already have no doubt I'm going to fall in LOVE with this child. I'm excited about that part too. I know how in LOVE I'm going to be and that makes my heart happy. It's amazing HOW MUCH we can LOVE, isn't it? BEST FEELING EVER!!!!!!!

I have a feeling Jackson is going to be AN AMAZING big brother just by how he kisses my belly and rubs it and hands toys over to my belly for the baby to play with and lets me know he's "sharing with the baby." It'll be an adjustment for sure. I know he's used to my attention at all times, so this could be interesting. I pray every day that God gives me all the tools AND STRENGTH I will need to be the best mom to both!!! And the best WIFE too. Can't forget about my sweet, cuddly Karl either. 

Until next time!!!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Health Journey at 179 pounds

What is YOUR Health Story? 

I just wanted to share a little bit of my health journey with you all. Trying to keep it short (yeah right) at the same time because I know we all have two seconds in our day to devote to reading blog posts!

First thing to keep in mind as you are reading this is I AM TALL. I’m 5’10” so I have always been able to hide weight well. But once I hit a certain point, I get PUFFY (see pic on left).

I know I’m lucky to be tall when it comes to weight and smacking the heck out of a volleyball and pulling down items off the top shelf at the grocery store. But that isn’t the point of this blog post.


The fact is the photo on the left shows me at 179 pounds. THE BIGGEST I have EVER weighed in my life (UNTIL I had babies). No, I wasn’t obese or totally unhealthy (I was still quite active) but I felt like junk. I know I don’t ever want to feel that way ever again. And I haven’t.

The photo on the right is of me at 179 pounds, 34-weeks pregnant and VERY healthy.

What happened???

Let me share with you what I felt every day at the weight in the first photo. I remember it VERY well. How? Well, I journaled about it EVERY night because it bothered me THAT much. Makes me sad because all that time was WASTED feeling bad about myself. And there I was writing about it and coming up with excuses when I could have been DOING SOMETHING about it. Life shouldn’t be that way one bit!!!

At age 24/25 and 179 pounds I felt:
  • UNCOMFORTABLE EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THE DAY (jeans never felt right. Buttons kept digging into my stomach.) I felt my thighs growing like Slimer in Ghostbusters every time I yanked on a pair of jeans. I refused to go up a size. Instead, I worried about how tight my jeans must have looked all day long and picked myself apart internally.
  • My legs and feet were always swollen. Even made a trip to the ER because my heart was skipping beats and I felt like passing out in the mornings. My family has quite the heart history but that didn’t even register with me...yet.
  • I was TIRED. All the time. I am not one to take naps (ever), but I did around this time, and a lot. Shhh. Don’t tell Karl. He doesn’t know that person.
  • My skin was gross so I thought laying in the sun would fry all my zits. STUPID. 
  • My hair was falling out.
  • I worked out a ton. I worked out to make up for the numerous beers and pizza I drank and ate over the weekends. I didn’t want to have to worry about the calories. Figured the more I worked out, the more I could eat.
  • I ran three half marathons at my highest weight. Except I kept GAINING. See why in the bullet point above.
  • I’d eat ONLY fat-free, sugar-free, low-fat EVERYTHING during the week thinking I could eat MORE of these foods. NEVER EVER was satisfied. So I’d get frustrated.
  • Weekends came and I’d go out and drink (hoping MAYBE that night I’d find Mr. Right) and then I’d come home ALONE and bake a whole pan of brownies and eat most of them. Poor me.
  • Don’t worry, I’d run 8 miles the next day.
  • Blood pressure was in the 120s with a high BMI and higher cholesterol.
  • I was playing volleyball five nights a week. But I couldn’t even JUMP! I was such a slug.
  • I’d mindlessly snack all day long, but on sugary treats. Then I’d get tired. Thought maybe more caffeinated beverages would do the trick. See the cycle here?
  • I was self-conscious about myself so I held back on everything. I doubted myself too much. I was a turtle hiding in my shell.
  • I was bummed out. Lonely. Unhappy. Though I still loved life and all the people in it, I felt STUCK and LOST and like I was missing out. 


Then one night during a volleyball game, I sprained my ankle pretty bad and was FORCED to rest. I could NOT work out one bit. I was FREAKING out. But I was FORCED to take a look at myself and change my ways. 

What was I doing?? Where was I going? Did I want to feel this way forever? It was time for a CHANGE. It was time for Christie to SHINE.

I didn’t work out for one whole week and lost three pounds. Without trying. I wasn’t hungry because I wasn’t working out, therefore I was eating less. Things started clicking for me. Wait a second here, it really is about the calories in, isn’t it… Hmmm.

Second photo is of me at 34-weeks pregnant! And ALSO 179 pounds. Yes, I know I’m headed for the “high-end” of the average pregnancy weight gain, but that is OK. Why? I know I’m HEALTHY. And I feel awesome.  I’m going off that. This is how I feel now (35-years-old at 179 pounds):
  • Crazy amounts of energy. Sometimes my husband suggests I SHOULD take a nap so I take it easy.
  • When I do get tired, I drink water. Tons of it. Works like a charm.
  • CONFIDENT and comfortable in my skin, clothes and body. Ready to let my light shine!
  • HAPPY
  • Skin is great! Just getting older. 
  • Hair is great (and growing at an insane speed. Thanks to those prenatal vitamins)!
  • I workout 3-5 times a week and only 20-35 minutes. LOVE PiYo right now! I need quick solutions and popping in a DVD is IT for me!
  • I eat CLEAN foods but also allow myself to eat ANYTHING I’m craving but in small portions. Haven’t made a pan of brownies and devoured the whole plate yet! Whew. I have made brownies but now incorporate healthy ingredients. I LOVE THIS!
  • I eat full-fat everything. I don’t buy low-fat, sugar free anything. 
  • Guess what? When I’m not pregnant, I STILL drink beer and wine. I LOVE IT. But, I savor it. Karl and I like to try craft beers and pick out the hints of flavors in each sip. I don’t need more than one or two beers. I love sipping a glass of wine. When I get the urge to chug anything, that’s when I know something isn’t right and I need to take a step back. What’s REALLY going on? What am I trying to run from?
  • I’m able to remember how I feel when I eat TOO much of a bad thing. Kind of like a hangover. It’s VERY easy to forget, but sometimes a really bad one stays with you. So is it worth it to eat a bunch of junk? NO. Why? Because I need all the energy I can get with a toddler and baby on the way. I need to be on my A-game ALL THE TIME. And I know that energy comes from fueling my body with the BEST of the BEST.
  • Hear me out though… we DO have pizza most every Friday. I don’t need more than 2-3 pieces. I add TONS of veggies. We either make our own or scope out the pizzerias that aren’t big chains and that we know use a lot of the good stuff.
  • I have dark chocolate in the house. I have ice cream in the house. We eat burgers and brats and all those yummy summer foods. I am human. I just add good stuff along with it. Like I said, nothing is off limits and that makes me NOT crave it. If that makes sense?
  • Blood pressure is 102/50, BMI around 18 and fab cholesterol levels! I now take my family’s heart history very seriously. It’s up to me to PREVENT my heart from getting weak. To prevent trips to the doctors. To put my health FIRST if I want to be around for a LONG LONG time. 


Why am I sharing this?

Because I have been there. I have been in that darker place where you feel stuck and frustrated and annoyed with yourself and mad at everything. It’s SO easy to point blame at someone else. But this is about YOU. YOUR BODY. YOUR LIFE. It's time to take a look at YOU. 

I also get it. You know you need to do something but you’re just not sure what. Or you’re not sure HOW to change? How you’re going to get there? You might even think you’re too far gone, that there’s no turning around because it’ll take FOREVER to get results.

NOT TRUE.

I want to HELP you get out of your FUNK. I want you to be the BEST YOU!!!! You are so deserving to live the best, healthiest, happiest life EVER!!!!!!

We are blessed with ONE body and ONE life here. This is it, folks. Why disrespect it? Why disrespect YOU? Why not treat your body like royalty for once? I promise your body will be NICE back to you!! It’ll take you places you’ve never been.

We might not totally like the body we’ve been given. Heck, I was born with several things I’d like to change, but guess what? I can’t and I’m OK with that. We are SO FORTUNATE and LUCKY to be here right now.

We can fuel our bodies with good and try to be the person we were created and meant to be! I don’t know about you, but that makes SO much sense to me when I feel my best!!! I feel unstoppable. Doors start opening. Opportunities start banging at the door. Your heart feels fuller. Happier. Life is just so much better!

So what do you say? Ready to get healthy??? Let’s do this!

MESSAGE ME!!! Let’s unleash the beast best in you!

Xoxoxoxoxo

Christie

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fun with the Koesters!

Just a little update (in photos) of what we've been doing! Enjoy!

Hoping for the big one!

Got em!

First fish

Having a BLAST at daycare!

Love this kid's smile!

He loves water!

Ice bucket challenge completed!

My lil obsession.. (Found at Costco)

A lot of pregnant ladies in one room! Watch out! Order of due dates from right to left!

UMMM. YUM!

Silly boy!

MINT with lemon. Tasted kind of like a cocktail... 

My aunt and my Godfather came up for a visit!! YAY! We had some bike riding fun!

Love these people!!!!!

Baby Colton and Jackson!!!!!!

CUTE. CUTE. CUTE.

Heart melts every time. Karl found some of his old books!

Jackson says..."GO AWAY, BUNNY!"

There he/she is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO SO SO precious!!!!!! 32 weeks!

Tasty salad for mama!

Love these two!!!!! And the black socks!

Mr. Wonderful and his bubbles!

Putting on daddy's work shirt

My happy place: berries and PROJECT RUNWAY!

Jackson loves his time at the cabin!

Off to fish!

Caught the big one!

I actually got some ME time to RELAX at the cabin!!!!!!!!

My little CUTIE

Chasing after Uncle Ben

Beauty

Yummy breakfast

Yummy snacks!

Typical grocery shopping trip

FINALLY washed all the screens. Little tough with a toddler

Daddy got mom TWO apple trees for our 5 year anniversary! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!

I LOVE Minnesota!!! Leaves are starting to change though. NOOO!

PiYo time!!! 

Yummy breakfast!

A fave snack. Only two ingredients!

Shakeology in the morning! Frozen organic fruit and arugula! YUM!

33 Weeks Pregnant

33 Weeks

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (about the size of a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

This is nuts that I’m already at 33 weeks. Let me tell you, the time is flying. I say that every time, but time really picked up speed now.
Me at the gym getting a good sweat in while I can!!! 33-weeks preggers!


No, we haven’t touched the nursery. Yep, still pink. Yep, still a bunch of stickers stuck to the back of the door from the previous owners. No…no newborn clothes hanging yet. Where the heck is the car seat? My pump? Have I washed the bottles? Should I start stocking up on diapers again?

It’s fine. It’ll all come together, right? This is the attitude I just have to have right now. I had my dad print up my “chart” / horoscope. 

I know. I know. Little crazy. 

But it’s so spot on. Right now Plato is in trine with natal Chiron. What does this mean? I’m in for a rough time until January 18, 2015. GREAT. And have been since November 2013. Well THIS explains things. The only way I can experience GREAT JOY during this time is “GOING WITH THE FLOW”.

ME? Go with the flow??? You laughing??? I am. Why am I so Type A? I was whining to a friend about this. Why can't I just be chill??? What is my problem??

But I will say I have taken this to heart. It’s WORKING. GOING WITH THE FLOW!!!

Just call me Christie Goes-with-the-Flow Koester. 

So yeah, I have 43 pages of this “chart” printed up on me. It’s crazy. I figure God created the ENTIRE world and the planets, so together he and these transits and stuff somehow work together.

ANYWAY…if I haven’t weirded you out TOO much yet….

I’m in the middle of searching for daycare. UGH. PAINFUL. Total MOM GUILT. We don’t mind where Jackson goes currently; however, the drive is getting to be a little too much. It’s about 20 minutes out of our way. Doesn’t make sense. Won’t make sense at ALL in the winter when our commutes will double regardless. I just don’t want to mess with Jackson’s routine. But I also don’t like how he clings to me at drop off. KILLS ME EVERY TIME. I never liked doing drop off. They have been SO great with helping us getting him potty trained and inviting us to trust Jackson to take himself to the bathroom and put on his shoes and clothes and all the things I thought I'd have to still be doing. NOPE. He's such a stud. 

Secondly, Karl’s parents watch Jackson on Monday and Tuesdays. TOTALLY awesome. However, can they handle two and for TWO days in a row? That is the question. We like to think our parents are these young energetic healthy people who chased after us …when the reality is, they are getting older, more tired, have a lot more aches and pains. They like to vacation more. I get it.  Akkk!

I know I have to do something NOW about daycare before baby comes and also throws a little wrench in Jackson’s life. Why does change have to be so hard? Pretty much every place I’ve called is full or VERY expensive. Welcome to the world of raising children, right?

Other than stressing about that, and my grandpa and grandma, I think I’m doing pretty OK. So my grandpa had a brain bleed going on since June. They stopped that a couple weeks ago, but this created a clot around his entire heart. NO! This is the same scenario five years ago all over again. They tried to break it up, but that usually causes the brain to bleed. So they thinned the blood instead so the blood can flow around the heart. Basically every single day is precious. Then, my gma in AZ walked into the chiropractor since my mom sent her there due to my gma complaining about a headache. THANKFULLY the chiropractor and the physician’s assistant there knew my grandma was having a stroke. They called the Mayo immediately and she was shipped to the stroke unit. They later found out SHE ALSO had a brain bleed! Oh man!!!!! What is going on!?!??! Both aren’t doing the best.

And it just makes me think a lot and sends me to a place I don't like. I'm all jittery and worrying. I want to pray that they live forever. I’m going to miss them too much otherwise, but let’s be real here. Am I supposed to pray they live until they are 100 and miserable??? So, I’m just asking God to help me trust him. That’s all I can do. I just get sad about it all. Like I said above, CHANGE is hard. Sometimes I just want to bottle EVERYTHING as is. But this is why we have good days and bad days, so we TREASURE the good days and times. This makes life here precious, huh? 

OTHERWISE, I have been feeling really great. I’ve been doing PiYo, which is SO good for me. All that stretching is MUCH needed. I feel 1000 times better after I’m done. I have quite a bit of energy, which is surprising me. Last Friday Jackson and I went to the chiropractor, then to get my oil changed, THEN ran over to the doctors to get a rapid strep test for him (negative), THEN to Costco. Then home to clean. I WAS EXHAUSTED. I mean each time required putting Jackson in his car seat, chasing him around and then putting him BACK in his car seat and dealing with a tantrum in the middle of the parking lot. NEAT! 

I worked on my business during nap. Schawan’s man came over and he told me all about his dad dying (sad!). Went to the park with Jackson when he woke up from the world’s SHORTEST nap and THEN we were off to a friend’s house to help them unpack and move. Jackson took out the knives and played with them. AKK! By then I was TOAST. I was DONE. DONE. DONE. But then I had to get up and prepare a bunch of healthy foods for the cabin. UFDAH. There is NO rest in the future…is there? This is my life from here on out. NUTS. But damn, I LOVE IT. 

I will say it’s getting pretty tough to bend over. I gave Jackson a bath last night while my husband did his Fantasy Football draft. That was challenging. I had Karl vacuum for me though. Good hubby! Can I just say it is SO SO SO nice to have my hubby back! He's coming home at a GREAT time. Helping around the house!!!!!!!! I LOVE HIS NEW JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you LORD!

I’m trying to get sleep because I know what’s coming. I had a panic attack this morning remembering VERY CLEARLY what those first several months are like. But not physically remember how painful it can be getting out of bed from exhaustion. GULP. 

Praying for a REALLY great SLEEPERJ Actually, praying for healthy. That’s it. As we say our prayers at night, mine are simple. GOOD HEALTH.

We’re down to seeing our doctor every two weeks!!! ZOIKS!! Things are getting real. Karl can no longer come to the appointments because of his new job. Fart. But it’s OK. They are short and I think he enjoys just shooting the sh*t with our cool doctor anyway.

Doctor was shocked at my glucose levels. He wondered if I was human! LOVE IT. Like I said, being healthy is my #1 because it effects EVERYONE.

I’m sitting at 179 pounds now. Up 34 pounds! Started at 145. I was 143 pounds for a little bit there at the beginning, but I’ll just say 145. Makes me feel better. J It’ll come off.

I just know that this is my GET BIG phase right now. WATCH OUT. I have no idea where and how my skin will stretch to, but all worth it. Getting PUMPED to meet this nugget! Excited to hear… “It’s a ….boy! or GIRL!”


Did I mention I was at a baby shower and some lady did a trick on me? I had to stand in front of her, clear my head and take a deep breath and say out loud to her what I think we’re having. I said, “I think I’m having a boy.” I leaned forward. Guess what? She says…”YEP! You’re having a boy!” If I leaned back, I guess that means girl. WE WILL SEE!!!!!!!!! Anyone ever do this trick??? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage

No Other Guy I'd Rather Be With
Where did the last five years go?  Time sure flies when you're having fun! 

Let's be real. I don't know a single marriage that is perfect, but I can say I'm truly happy with ours (at this moment in time...he, he!). I will be honest, a happy marriage takes work EVERY SINGLE DAY, but most of the time I feel lucky to have Karl and all that we get to experience together.
At Minnehaha Falls. Walked around and talked and ENJOYED! WE EVEN HELD HANDS:) 


The hardest part for us in the past five years? The transition into parenthood. Jackson has been SUCH a blessing, but becoming parents and balancing jobs and friends and our families and our own time was a HUGE HUGE challenge for our marriage. But I feel like we're in a really good place right now. Like I said, marriage takes SERIOUS work. SERIOUS communication. SERIOUS teamwork.

One thing I KNOW we need to work on is making more time for date nights and each other. To remember who we were before our son came along. Why did we fall in love? Why did we enjoy being around each other so much? What did we talk about? What made us laugh our heads off? What made us smile? What made us take the time to compliment one another? What made us PAY ATTENTION?

We've been away from Jackson ONE night (he's almost 2.5 years old) and that was when we moved into our new house. So we decided to plan a night out away from our son. Holy smokes. We needed that. It was LONG LONG overdue. So we're going to work on that from here on out because life is ONLY going to get crazier with two.

We had SUCH a fun night out that I had to share in photos!!









Wise Acre Eatery. SO GOOD. All ORGANIC FARM FRESH foods from a farm in Plato, Minnesota

Enjoying the food!!!

Healthy Eats!

Homemade basil chocolate chip custard. YUM!

A bonfire in our new backyard to end the evening!!!!!! SO FUN!

My beautiful flowers!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary, Karl! I love you!!!!! Here's to five more years (times infinity).