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You know those infomercials on TV for a workout video that GUARANTEES you will lose half your body weight or some insane amount like that? And they have before and after photos of people who have used the video and lost the weight?  Is it just me or does the after photo seem a little far fetched? I always wonder if they get a picture of a completely different person, or if they just used photoshop to make them look skinnier. Well despite all that, I am a sucker for those infomercials. I even own some of the videos.  And with life as hectic as it is these days, I decided that these videos might be my only resource to a workout.  I try to go to the gym, but it doesn't seem to happen.  I tried running, but my body just doesn't run.  So the videos are the answer.  And I am here to be your REAL life example and let you know if these videos actually work or not!


So here is the collection of videos I am using.


1. 10 Minute Trainer
2. 30 Day Shred (Jillian Michaels)
3. Hip Hop Abs
4. So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit "Cardio Funk" workout video
5. Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance workout video (classic.  Love this one)
6. Crunch, Tae Boxing
7. Core Cardio
8. Cardio Dance Jam
9. Just Dance 2 on the Wii (if you are wondering why this is on my list, then you haven't tried it! This is so hard. Try doing this for 30 minutes straight without a break!)

Brandon and I have been talking about losing weight ever since Jack was born.  During pregnancy, I gained a few too many pounds... and Brandon might have as well:)  So about a month and a half ago, we finally set a goal to lose some weight by Thanksgiving.  And if we both hit our goal, we get to go on a cruise next year. YAY VACATION!!

Our Goals:
Brandon: Lose 17 pounds
Steph: Lose 20 pounds

And two weeks ago, we finally started trying to lose weight. Go us.

So two weeks down and the results are:
Steph: Total loss of 7 pounds
Brandon: Total loss of 8 pounds


I'm gonna try to keep record of our weight loss, and any tips or helpful things we have learned along the way here on our blog.  So keep checking back to see how we are doing.




The last house we put an offer on felt like the one.  We both got all tingly and giddy whenever we thought about our new life in that house.  We looked up the church we would be going to, we talked to a neighbor who was super nice, we drove around the neighborhood, looked at the area, the river, the sports complex right by it, the parks, the stores and restaurants, and we drove to our brother and sister in laws house, Chris and Julia, to see how far it was from their place. 

We were hooked. It was like love at first site. There were imperfections but we saw those as potential.  It was perfect for us.  So when we found out that they didn't accept our offer and took a different offer, we felt like our true love had denied us or something.  We never even got the chance to fight for it.  We still don't know how much the accepted offer was for.  I became distraught (even despite Brandon's post saying we weren't knocked down).   The house hunting slowed down. We were comparing all the houses we saw to the one we put an offer on. 

Until now.  Brandon went to Toronto this past week for work (such a big timer... I love it!) and I went and looked at a house while he was gone in the same neighborhood as the one we put an offer on.   And I put an offer on it! We faxed the paperwork to Brandon in Canada and $26 later, the offer was in.  The bad news is it's a short sale.  (At first we avoided short sales, but now it is impossible.  There are so many!)  There's also 2 mortgages on the house, so it has to be approved by 2 banks. Ergh.  But the good news is that the sellers approved the offer and it was submitted to the first bank last Wednesday.  So we're hoping for an exception in the short sale process and hoping we hear word soon.

Cross your fingers. Wish us luck.  This house is for us!
We are very biased parents.

We think our baby boy is the cutest person to ever be born.  But after watching this video, I think a few of you might think the same thing!  He melts our hearts.  Sometimes I get nothing done because I enjoy holding him and watching him laugh all day.  We are so blessed to be parents to this well-tempered, happy, sweet child. 



video

This video is just over 2 minutes long, but he laughs the whole time! Well worth it.


Congrats to "Unknown" for winning the Pure Sound earbuds. The random picker chose the number 6 comment as the winner but blogger did not post this person's name. However, I have received information that this "unknown" poster is Chad Henkel. Congrats Chad! You're a lucky man.

The following is Chad's guilty pleasures playlist.

I saw the sign - ace of base
cowboys from hell - pantera
salt shaker - lil jon & eastside boys
down - 311
genie in a bottle - christina aguilera

BOOM!

Nice Chad, very nice.

We'll be giving away more gifts so stay posted.
I had to cut Jack's hair AGAIN! He is now 4 1/2 months old, and it has only been 6 weeks since I cut it the first time.  But it only grows on the very top of his head! The rest of his head is balding. He is losing his hair so bad. Every morning when I get him out of his crib, the sheet underneath him is filled with hair. The poor kid.  I love his cute hair and it makes me so sad that he is losing it.  But the chunk on the top of his head keeps growing like a weed. What is up with that?!

Anyways here is a before and after shot to show everyone how cute he is!


What do you guys think?

Jack was blessed on June 5th, 2011 at 5 weeks old. He wore the cutest little white outfit that consisted of white suit pants (courtesy of Jared and Stephanie Marcum), a white button-down collared shirt from Gap, and a white paisley printed tie that I scored from Kid-to-Kid for $3.  His hair was styled, his tummy was full, and he slept through the whole blessing!

He wasn't too happy about getting dressed.
Family Photo .. including the peace sign!





We had friends and family over at our place after the blessing to enjoy some fresh summer foods.  It was so good to see everyone and to share this wonderful day with so many we love.


My sweet Grandpa and Grandma Ellsworth.  They passed away 4 weeks from each other and I miss them so much. I am so glad that my Grandpa was able to use his priesthood for his last time on this earth in Jack's blessing circle.

My Dad and baby Jack!

Sweet Julia helping in the kitchen


My aunt Nettie and my cousins Kaitlyn and Whitney
Friends came too! Brandon's friends from college
My friends from college. I am so glad they came!

If you don't love music you live in the wrong century. Great tunes can keep you going when you've hit a wall and I'm sure you have your favorite mix. This is our first giveaway and it's a good one. It's a pair of PUR-800 titanium driver earbuds.


PURE Sound has offered to give away these high-end earbuds to one of our readers. They're an $80 value and sound amazing! Just post a comment by Saturday at 11:59 PM and let us know the 5 songs in your "guilty pleasures" playlist. You know, those 5 songs you never want anyone to know you listen to on a regular basis. Don't worry, we won't tell. Just one winner for these babies so choose your songs wisely.

Details: Pure Giveaway ends Saturday, September 17 at 11:59 PM. One winner will be picked and announced on Monday September 19. Giveaway ships anywhere in the United States. One entry per person. Winner will be picked randomly using random.org.
Well, it's happened. Our first home heartbreak. We got the email this morning informing us that the bank decided to go with another offer. The house we fell in love with just days ago slipped through our apparently monetarily weak little fingers. It's almost like our future pushed us off our tricycles and then laughed in our faces while a single tear dropped from our dejected little cheeks. Now that you feel utterly and hopelessly sorry for us I will say we will not falter! We've picked ourselves up off that unyielding slab of concrete, wiped the blood from our swollen knees and we're going to punch our future right in the belly! TAKE THAT, FUTURE!

(A photo of the house that broke our hearts.)


Our hopes are building again and we've wasted no time in our search. Another list of homes to see and a skip in our step that just hours ago was more like a body being pulled across loose gravel. We're even considering past homes we've seen which I'm sure all you "seasoned" home owners/seekers can relate to.

It's not easy being all grown up but it has its perks. Like buying the toys you could never have as a child. Or eating candy until it actually does spoil your appetite. Or even when your doctor tells you that you could lose a little weight. Yep. I'm an adult now. I knew it would come but my mind that says, "oh yeah, you look exactly like you did when you were 18," just doesn't want to deal with such adult issues. I'm getting up the courage to promise all of the digital world that I will run every day until this extra "plump" is gone. However, I don't really want all four of you reading this to be on my back about it. That's more stress than my clogged arteries can handle right now. Until then, I'll see what I can do to bring the 18, or at least the 25, out of me again.
There is nothing more that my wife would like me to participate in than writing on the blog. I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say besides, "things are good" and "work is busy." I started thinking about it though; it doesn't matter if you have anything good to say, you make your wife's day regardless. I love you Steph!

Things are good and work is busy. If you find yourself being content with that sentence stop reading now. It will only get longer and more detailed. And by detailed I mean boring. And by boring I mean great for me to tell, not quite as exciting for you to read. Unless you like torture by words then by all means, indulge.

No pictures in this first post. Shame on me I know. I just wanted to write a bit about life as it is now and possibly a little bit about the road we're taking.

If you're reading this I'm sure you know, but little Jack was born on April 26th of this year. You know that feeling you get in your throat when you just mention a miracle. Yeah, I'm having that. Was it the most amazing thing I could ever experience, watching my son be born? It is no doubt above funeral potatoes which is saying a lot for a guy without a sophisticated palate. He's a heartthrob. At least for us. And for older women at the grocery store.

You won't meet a more proud dad than I. He didn't just make it into law school. He didn't just get a 34 on his ACT. In fact, he just started grabbing his toes the other day but he might as well have solved the energy crisis. He's such a little champion. He has conquered our hearts forever.

Then there is my wife. My strong, sensitive, immensely loving wife. I wouldn't and couldn't be the man I'm on my way to being without her. The end of that road is too far to see but she knows where it is and takes me by the hand and proceeds forward. She cares for the well-being of this family more than I care for anything Apple. Again, that's a lot. She's an amazing mother. Jack always comes before her desires and even her needs. It's been incredible to see how she loves him, how she cares for his every need. Even how she worries if something seems wrong. I couldn't have asked for a better mother for my child(ren).

Now me. I design headphones and everything around them. It's the kind of job you wish for but never seem to find. There's a bit of managing a creative team, there's a bit of writing and there's a lot of designing awesome stuff for people who love awesome stuff. Empire Brands has grown so much in the past three years and this is the beginning of our growth. Now that I'm in-house and the creative processes are streamlined, the sky is the limit. Remember, we're in headphones, not airplanes. It's a figure of speech.

We'll be buying a house soon and with that will come some re-____ of at least some things. We're so excited to have our own little piece of "the real life" and we hope to post some of the happenings here. Our talented and creative bother and sister-in-law, Chris and Julia, have done so many great things with their place and have really inspired the artist in me to make our place perfect. Or as close to perfect as we can get it before we move on.

Our little family, our life together and our families here and beyond make me so very happy. Hopefully I can repay some of that happiness in some little way.