The Northcutt Family blog

This is a crazy, beautiful life we lead. Savor every moment of your time here on earth!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Disney World 2014

I knew if we wanted to have a successful trip to Disney World I'd need to do some massive planning to tackle this beast.  Fortunately, since this was kind of a work trip, the hotel, airfare, and park-hopper tickets were already purchased and planned.  I emailed a friend who is a Disney guru and she got me started.  First, I needed to plan out our days and what park we'd be at each day.  I based my planning on what days there would be Early Magic Hours, and then looked at this crowd calendar.  Next, came planning our dining, and making reservations.  We made these about 4 months in advance.  We chose Prime Time Cafe, Chef Mickey's, Hollywood and Vine, and Crystal Palace (but we didn't end up going to Crystal Palace).  After that, I waited a bit.  As it got closer to the trip, I started reading Disney sites, blogs, and any sites with tips for making our Disney trip a success.

But, no amount of planning could have prepared us for what was to happen at Disney.  We got a full day in on Sunday, visiting 2 parks with a rest time in the middle of the day.  Monday we spent at the hotel pool, and then went to Chef Mickey's and a Pirates Pals voyage Monday night.  That's when I started feeling sick.  I couldn't get out of bed on Tuesday and just stayed in bed ALL DAY.  Matt took the boys to the planned parks.  I went to the park on Wednesday morning but had to leave early to get back in bed.  Finally, on Thursday, I went to a Care Now.  Four hours and a chest x-ray later, they determined I had a small strain of pneumonia.  (We didn't know at the time, but I also had the flu and that's what turned into pneumonia!)  Matt, once again, took the boys out for that day.  Friday came, and Matt and Reid started feeling sick so off they went to the Care Now.  Both tested positive for the Flu.  What????  We were pretty rough trying to fly home on Saturday!  This was definitely a trip we won't forget!  Thankfully, we left Brynn back to stay with grandparents, and we were so glad she wasn't with us.  Now we're just trying to recover and get our strength back!!

We stayed at Disney's Boardwalk Villas

Monday, March 31, 2014


I'm joining the crowds who are using Instagram for resale and selling (mostly) our clothes!  Please look me up and follow and make sure and tag a friend if it's something they'd be interested in!!!  Thanks so much for taking a look!!!

User name:  thenorthcloset

Friday, March 28, 2014

Make Believe Truth

Seems like there are a lot of "truth tellers" in this world today.  People who say they believe in the truth, but what they believe in is their own version of the truth.  If truth is whatever you believe, then it seems to defy the definition of truth which is:  conformity with fact or reality, and a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle or the like.  So, I can say 2+2=4 and that's a true statement.  But, someone else might say, well, I believe that 2+2=5 because I really feel strongly about that.  And then it seems like in today's world, if you feel strongly that 2+2=5, then that's your own truth.  How can we even trust in what is true then?  How can we find solid foundation if our foundation is constantly shifting with different definitions of what is true?

Says something about our human nature that we all want something to hold on to, a stronghold, a foundation, something to drop our anchor on and rest.  Maybe that's why there are so many lost souls searching for the "truth" and loosely hanging on to something that might appeal to them as they claim they've found what is true! only until the next "truth" comes along.

I can believe that the Bible is true because I really feel strongly about it, but then I become just another person claiming that my truth, what I believe in, is true because, well, because I said so.  But truth has to be grounded in evidence that you can't contradict and not based on one's feelings.  So, how do we know the Bible is true?  (Here's a great article, written way better than me and lots of great information)

First, some facts about the Bible - the Bible is a collection of 66 books, written over a period of about 1,500 years by about 40 authors.  It was not written directly by God, but by people divinely inspired, "God-breathed"

Once you believe the Bible to be true, then answering questions based on the Scriptures is reliable and can be trusted, but until you see the truth of the Bible, that "goes in one ear and out the other," because you don't believe the Bible to be true anyway.  We have to look at physical evidence, reliability - both of which are more than just words, but point to the validity and truth (that word again!) of the Bible, which has been researched by people WAY smarter than me.

**There have been copies of the manuscripts found throughout history and these copies show that the Bible has been transmitted accurately, in fact, the scribes who copied the manuscripts followed a pain-staking process to copy accurately and rightly.  There's the original translation of the Bible - Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek - and our English translations come directly from the original translation so it's not like information gets "lost in translation."

**Archaeological finds have proven again and again that the Bible DOES correspond to historical data - check out these finds...

**There's also the internal evidence - the bible was written over many centuries by different authors - and the messages and truths found in the Bible are cohesive, coherent, and consistent.  It reminds me of the writing activity I used to do as a kid - someone would start a story off and write for a period of time and then you would  pass it on to the next person and they would continue the story, only having read your part.  This keeps going until the end of the story- think about that new story, not even close to what you were thinking when you originally started it off! So, imagine a book taking 1,500 years to write, and the main idea/s is the same!

If the Bible can be proven reliable and trustworthy, we can believe the truths found in the Bible and believe them to be true/real.  And that is where we can find a foundation with which to build our lives on that will not shift with the changing winds of truth.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Go To Cardio Work-Out

Honestly, I would be completely ok if we could just skip January and February and go straight to March after Christmas.  There's just not much good that goes on in these 2 months.  It's cold, there's a lot of sickness and I get allergies like crazy!!  So, with all those things, it's hard to get to the gym - I know, I know, I could work out at home and I do sometimes, but for me, personally, I just like the gym.  I need the vibe inside that forces me to push myself.  I like to do both weights and cardio and on my cardio days I'd much rather push myself for a shorter amount of time than do a long cardio session (unless I'm walking with a friend and then I could walk forever!).  So, I found this workout and I like to use the cardio portion (I do other strength training programs on the other days), and it's just the best interval cardio workout.  I also like it because you can completely customize it to your level - so I went to the gym today after not really working out for a couple weeks so I needed to take it down a notch.  Here's the workout and then how I do it.

Treadmill Interval:
5 mins warm-up
Interval set of 60 seconds walk, 30 seconds jog, 60 seconds sprint - complete this interval circuit 10 times (or a few more if you're really feeling it that day)
5 mins cool down

What I normally do:
Warm-up (3.5)
60 secs at 4.0
30 secs at 6.0
60 secs at 8.0

When I'm just not feeling it and need to take it down a bit:
Warm up (3.5)
60 secs at 4.0
30 secs at 5.5
60 secs at 7.5

Or, I may even cut out the jogging part and walk a little bit longer before I sprint (especially if I'm sprinting faster)

If you're just starting out, this will be a tough one, so instead of jogging and sprinting, just increase your walking speed and work up to the running.

Do you have a Go-To Cardio workout??

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Staying Fit through Pregnancy

Here's my disclaimer - with the boys' pregnancies, I felt great.  No morning sickness, just extreme tiredness which only lasted the first trimester.  By 12 weeks, I was back in the gym, working out at my normal, only slightly modified, ways.  So, it's really easy for me to tell you to work out throughout the pregnancy and don't let it be an excuse to slack off.  BUT, Brynn's pregnancy made me eat my words.  I was throwing up sick up until 15 weeks, and even though I stopped throwing up then, I never did get back my energy or that normal feeling back until the day I gave birth.  So, I didn't work out nearly as much, and when I did, it was all I could do to just walk.  I still gained about the same as I did with the boys though, maybe because I wasn't eating as much?  Anyway, so take everything I say with a grain of salt because EVERY pregnancy is different and EVERYbody is different and handles pregnancy in a unique way.

With that said, here's what MY opinions are on staying fit through pregnancy.

1.  I think one of the best ways to stay fit and make it easier to lose the baby weight afterward is to keep your weight gain in check.  However, I also tend to think that bodies have a "setting" that determines how much weight you'll gain during pregnancy, and you might still gain 40 pounds even though you do everything "right."  Plus, it's fun to indulge in your cravings - just don't go overboard.  Basically, just keep yourself and that precious life growing inside of you healthy.

2.  Keep up your work-outs.  Grain of salt, remember?  I was running with the boys' pregnancies up until 26/28 weeks, and even after that, I still lifted weights and did cardio.  With Brynn's pregnancy, I read that working out could help with morning sickness, but dang if I couldn't get up the energy to go do anything!  If you're able, work out, and if not, go easy on yourself and make a commitment to get back into working out after you have the baby.

3.  Enjoy your pregnancy!!!  Enjoy feeling the baby move around inside you, the maternity clothes, the comments from others, the baby bump, all of it!  (It was a little hard to enjoy it when I was sick, but I had to keep telling myself that it was temporary and that the end result would be worth it).  Once that baby comes, it will be hard work, sleepless nights, drained energy, and a soft middle, so enjoy your 9/10 months while that miracle is growing!

Now, for some pictures, because it's always more fun when there are pics involved.  ;-)

Pregnant with Jace

2 weeks before having Brynn - you can see that I'm a little more "swollen" with her pregnancy ;-)

Maternity pictures taken by my uber talented friend, Cara

Thanks Cara for capturing this time!

My next post will be losing the last 5-10 pounds and final thoughts plus some good work-outs that I like!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Starting around sophomore year in high school I slowly started gaining weight and didn't stop until after sophomore year of college.  I started the process of losing weight around the time I started dating Matt (now my husband), end of sophomore year.  I took stock of what I was eating (can we say, pass the bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jelly, followed by cereal, for breakfast??) and the lack of exercise/movement and I made some changes.  Since then, I've managed to keep off about 25 pounds and I've also added muscle.  I've realized tips that have helped me in the process of not only losing weight but becoming fitter.  Just a side note - when I went in to have Reid at 9 mos. pregnant, I weighed what I did at my heaviest years before!!!!  So, I lost all my weight before having kids, which helped with losing the baby weight.

(Matt asked me about what I was going to be blogging about and when I told him he asked me if this would be bragging.  I told him that I'm always interested in reading people's stories about losing weight, so I'm not bragging or anything, just passing along the tips that have helped me) :-)  Plus, I showed him the pictures I was using and I didn't hear anymore about bragging.  I can read between the lines.

My weight loss has gone in stages, and so here are the tips I've learned from each phase.

PHASE 1:  Start thinking about what the flip I'm eating!!!!
Like I said, those years in high school and early college years, I did not even think about what I was eating.  Breakfast consisted of bagels with cream cheese, strawberry jelly, cereal, muffins.  I'm sure lunch and dinner were just as carb heavy.  (And, not to mention those late night runs to Taco C).  Plus, after dinner we'd make our 1 minute rice krispie treat special using the cereal on hand, some butter and marshmallows and just pop in the microwave.  I realized that I was putting on FAT and so started reducing what I was eating and not eating so many carbs.  I didn't do all protein but I at least added some to my diet and took away all the empty caloric carbs I was consuming.  That, combined with adding exercise, started to work.

PHASE 2:  Weights, weights, weights
I took a strength training class in college for a PE credit and starting lifting weights for the first time ever.  I truly believe that strength training is one of the best things to do for a healthy and fit body, even over the cardio.  (I don't have any basis or background expertise to state that, just my opinion.)

PHASE 3:  Start moving!
After I started eating better and lifting weights, I also made it a goal to get my heart rate up - I'd go walking around the Bear Trail (sic em!) with friends, do a cardio machine in the exercise room, etc.  Working out became a part of my routine.

Those are the phases that began my weight loss/get fit journey.  This was all before kids.  Having kids is a game changer, but not a game ender.  I had to tweak some things after having kids.  I'll do another post about my fit tips for during and after having kids.

Ready for some pictures??

I feel like I should add some commentary to some of these pics.....let's examine all the things that are just not working in this picture......the bow as a senior in high school.....THE POSE ?????......the sweater.......what I LOVE about this picture is that the girls pictured are still some of my closest friends

College Days - overalls??  they were so comfy.....

UGH.....those large shirts weren't helping anything!!!!

After the boys - I'd lost the initial weight, but  still had some of Jace's baby weight to lose

Anniversary June 2013 

I don't just randomly take pics of myself - I text with my mom and sisters to check on how outfits look :)

Another text among sisters/mom to see how this looked....ignore the messy room behind you.  We are working on getting our master decorated.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stuck in the Middle

Doesn't this face just scream trouble?  Mischievous?  Charming?  Funny?  Hardest to parent?  Yes.  All of the above.  Our little 2nd born is giving us a run for our money.  Isn't that what you hear?  It's the middle child that keeps you on your toes.  He's a lovable mess, sandwiched right in between Reid, the typical first born, and Brynn who is our outgoing third.  What are we to do with our sweet middle children?  How do we prevent them from feeling "stuck?" Not quite big enough to do what the oldest is doing, but not a baby anymore.  I've told Matt before that maybe we are being disciplined and prepared by God for "future Jace."  Keeping our patience, being consistent, giving grace, not being lazy with our discipline of him.....  Oh how we love our Jace!