how to make resolutions you can stick with.

Did you know dietitians who do counseling, particularly weight loss counseling, have the slowest season between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Makes sense, right?  Who wants to go see someone who’s going to tell you you need to eat less and better when there’s so much good food around?


Their busiest season starts right at the New Year.  New plans, the desire to make changes, people wanting to shift their lives– or at least their waistlines, making new resolutions.  They seek the help of a professional, a Registered Dietitian– hopefully!





Not everyone sees a dietitian, and that is totally fine!  But most people do make New Year’s Resolutions.  And many of them include goals for food, weight loss, and exercise.  I have seen so many people with great goals who can’t make it out of the starting gate.  Or make it out of the starting gate but never round the bend.


I chalk this failure to meet goals up to unrealistic goals and expectations.


I see it all the time.  A patient who has just had open heart surgery and sees their new life ahead of them now.  When I talk to them about their diet goals and changes they tell me they’ll never eat red meat again.  They’ll never go to another fast food restaurant.  They’ll do it all right.  [Of course I see the other extreme, too, but that’s another story for another day.]  Doing these things, in theory, would make a difference, but no one can do them.  Just like the newly diagnosed diabetic who says they’ll never drink sweet tea again.  That would help their blood sugar, but they’ve grown up in the south– sweet tea’s in their blood.  They can’t just drop it like that.  It’s so unrealistic to be so extreme.



So the thing I always focus on with patients and clients is making realistic goals.  When I was a dietetic intern one of my mentors was so focused on this point, and now I get it.  It is so important.  Realistic goals lead to real change which gives real results.  Goals that are challenging but obtainable are the best.  So I encourage you, as this new year approaches, to really take time to think about your goals and make them fit you.  I can promise you that I will be doing the same thing.



wrapping up 2012.

Can you believe this year only has 3 days left?  It has gone by so fast.  All of the people who told us that life moves faster when you have kids, really weren’t kidding.  I cannot believe our little man is 19 months.  I cannot believe how quickly Christmas came and went.  And I cannot believe in just a few days we will be ringing in 2013.  I still remember spending my first New Year’s Eve with Tommy in 2005.  That was nearly 10 years ago!


Here is my brief, or not so brief, recap of 2012 from the Morgan’s perspective.




1.  We started off the year with one chunky, just started crawling babe on our hands.  We haven’t sat down since 🙂

2.  We got an offer on our house and after agonizing negotiations we were under contract.  The selling of our house proved to be exhausting, taking a toll on us physically, emotionally, and financially.  We learned a lot from it and know next time we’ll use a good realtor, we’ll wait on the best offer for us, and we certainly won’t be afraid to say no.

3.  We made a trip back to Maryland to move out of our house and close on it.  Worst closing ever.  Great to see our friends who we dearly missed though.

4.  Last look at our first house.






1. The first half of the year was pretty full of teething.  Always working on teeth, that little one was.

2.  We tried a lot of new foods this year.  Most went over really well.  Some did not.

3.  We bought a house!  And it was painless and smooth and oh so refreshing, especially after being scarred from the last experience.

4.  We were so blessed that Tommy’s new work moved us down here.  I didn’t lift a box.  Just got the fun job of unpacking, which I tackled as quickly as possible with a 10 month old.






1. Celebrating Easter for the first time with our darling little man.  He’s a looker, especially in that bow tie.

2. We turned a work trip into a beach vacation in sunny Florida.  Jack’s 2nd plane ride.  Jack’s 2nd plane ride with a double ear infection.  But it was all worth it for some fun in the ocean.

3.  Jack had his first surgery getting tubes put in his ears.

4.  Jack turned 1!!!!  We had a wonderful party with our family and celebrated the little guy like crazy.










1. 4th of July celebrations at mom and dad’s, including an intense game of croquet.

2. Family beach trip to Wild Dunes, South Carolina.  Our favorite place.  Jack had a blast with his family around him all week, and we had so much fun getting to hang out with everyone.

3.  We had lots of fun adventures this fall — we all love the fall season!

4.  The pumpkin patch was a huge hit for our little man.  He couldn’t have been happier to be surrounded by pumpkins as big as him.





1.  Found out and shared our news that we were expecting baby #2!  Earlier that day we got to see our sweet little bean on the ultrasound screen and experience the miracle of hearing the baby’s heart beat.

2.  We got to celebrate Thanksgiving day with both of our families this year.

3.  After 8 straight weeks of sickness Jack had his 2nd surgery– adenoidectomy and they put tubes back in his ears.  2 weeks of recovery and a virus later, he was back to himself!  And life has been wonderful since!  He is truly the happiest child I’ve ever known.  So thankful he is back to himself.

4.  We celebrated Jack’s 2nd Christmas and spent lots of time with our families.  It was a wonderful holiday season.



God continues to pour blessings on us.  This year has brought more and many different things than I’d imagined.  God has blessed us in ways that I never could have dreamed up or ever thought to ask of!  He is truly so good.  In the hard and the easy.  In the ups and the downs.  Thankful for a year where my eyes were more open to this.  Thankful for a year of more feeling and experiencing and living.  So looking forward to 2013 and what it will look like for our family.

weekly recap.

I haven’t done a weekly Instagram update post in awhile, so I thought it was time I bring it back.  I’m still loving Instagram– it’s so fun to see daily tidbits of peoples’ lives in pictures.  If you’re on there, follow me @laurengmorgan.





These 2 are best friends.  Jack loves his “Ya Ya”, his name for Lady.  They were working together here to destroy my closet.  Mission accomplished.




A little quiet, independent playtime for my boy.  Love to see his mind at work!




We had a play date this week with this little ballerina.  She’s too cute!  And they look like pretty good buddies here.




I found the tunnel being used by both of them in one evening.  It has so many purposes!




Santa baby.



insta7Merry Christmas from your favorite dietitian 🙂




Christmas music entertainment courtesy of @lindsaykgranger and Jack the musician.  Merry Christmas Eve!




The true Jack in the box.




Sweet babe who was so tired from Christmas that he easily fell asleep in a bed that’s not his #Christmasmiracle.




I tried for awhile but at 9 pm on Christmas night this was the best I could get.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!



insta2We spent the whole day after Christmas riding around in the cozy coupe.  Best present ever!



insta1     Life is rough when you’ve had family around you for four straight days and then you have to go back to spending your days with just your mama.



Hope you all had a great, great week!



I’m linking up today with Life Rearranged.

nutrition tips for these holiday days.

We have had so much wonderful food over the past several days.  We’ve had favorite treats, sweet desserts, full meals, and incredible dishes all around.  We are so blessed.  I realized as I opened my fridge on Sunday night and I had no room to put anything, that we have these incredible blessings including so much food that most of the world doesn’t have.  So before I get into the dietitian-y things, I wanted to share that.  How blessed we are.  Beyond measure.  And I pray we don’t take that lightly.


Now on to the nutrition…


I have stuffed myself full for days.  It’s been awesome.  But I’ve reached that point where I feel full.  Maybe the fact that I had my coffee this morning with a big handful of Dove chocolate.  So I’m at that point where I know change is coming, but I’m not ready for it yet.  I still want to enjoy the rest of the delicious food and keep on celebrating.  In the meantime, until the rest of the holiday season passes, I’m trying to follow a few easy tips to keep some healthy stuff in my daily diet.


1.  Make at least one snack a day vegetables.

My morning snack today was carrot sticks with some ranch dressing.  Now when I snack on party mix or candy this afternoon, I will know that I got some veggies in earlier.


2.  Choose vegetable side dishes with your meal.

When the big meals or leftovers are served, go heavy on the vegetable side dishes.  Try to keep the macaroni and cheese and mashed potato servings to a minimum, and bulk up on the sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots.


3.  Keep drinking water.

Drinking water all day long will keep you hydrated as well as help keep you from nibbling all day long.  Keep water on you throughout the day and you’ll be drinking it more than popping little treats in your mouth.



Easy enough, right?

the 26th.

Y’all, I’m so sad Christmas is over.  This year I truly tried to take in every ounce of the season, every moment, every preparation, every bit of togetherness.  And it was wonderful and all built up to this amazing Christmas day.  And the day, it happened so fast and was over just like that.  A day of fullness and love.  As Christmas day came to an end I found myself sad for it to be over.  Sad to wait another year to celebrate this again.  Good thing I have Ann Voskamp to remind me that Christmas is not over, but is every day now that Christ is come.


Today was a great, very relaxing day.  I got to spend the whole day at my parents, and it was so nice.  Tommy had to work, so we missed his company, but I was so thankful to get to spend so much time with my mom and dad and sister and brother.  Jack LOVED the company.  He loves his family so much, and I loved having the help of family all day.  I got to relax a lot.


Jack spent 3/4 of the day cruising around in his new Cozy Coupe.  It was raining outside all day yesterday and today.  And cold, too.  So Jack got a pretty good racetrack going around the living room, hallway, kitchen, and dining room.  He didn’t mind the rain.  We did get some snow flurries today!  I’ll take what I can get.  It’s always exciting to watch for snow.


day after Christmas crazy coupe




I spent the whole day in my Christmas pajama pants and Christmas socks.  It was glorious.


day after Christmas




And tonight, I lay snuggled up on my couch with the amazing new blanket I got from my parents.


day after Christmas blanket



Today has been cozy, slow paced, and perfect.  Nothing better than spending relaxed time with the family.  So because I can’t quite let it go, I tell you again, on the day after Christmas, Merry Christmas!



a true day of hope.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

‘til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 



I hope your Christmas was wonderful and truly blessed.  We had a heart-full and very action packed day of celebrating with our loved ones.  We got to see all of our parents and spend part of the day with my grandparents, too.  We couldn’t have been more surrounded with love.  What a blessing.




We started out the celebrating on Christmas Eve.  We went to the candlelight service at church and then back to mom and dad’s for dinner and fun.  By this point, Jack was pretty tired.  But he got a second wind later.



Christmas Eve collage

Pictures from left to right:  Jack got to open a present on Christmas Eve.  My grandparents are so cute!  Love my siblings.
The girls.  We had a great night watching Home Alone together.  Jack actually was interested in the movie– it was

crazy.  And he even spent a little time cuddled up on the floor with Aunt Lindsay.  Then he joined his Pops on the

couch for a nice, cold glass of milk.




Christmas Day collage1

Early on Christmas morning we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Jack gave me a big “cheese” and smile for an early morning picture.  Love him and his bed head.  He enjoyed opening presents, eating Dada’s delicious sweets rolls, and playing his first game of hockey.



Christmas Day collage2

At Granny and Grandfather’s it was music time!  A dancing santa and a snowman who plays the piano were highlights for Jack.  He pushed the buttons over and over and over.  And he and Pops danced out to the music.  We had a beautiful lunch!  Tommy took his annual lay on Granny’s couch and sleep for 10 minutes post eating nap.  Then it was back to Nan and Pop’s house for more fun.  Jack got a cozy coupe and he was ready to ride it before it was put together!  He LOVES that car.



Throughout the day, even though we were busy, I kept trying to remember the words– the Scripture, the song lyrics, the wise words read and heard, about this day.  And as I sit here now processing our wonderful, family-filled, love-filled day of togetherness, I can’t even quite take in all it means that the true Hope has come.  That we no longer have to long for anything.  That He is come.  He is risen.  We are redeemed.  I am so thankful.  On this day I keep remembering and thanking that the weary world rejoices at this thrill of hope!


Hoping your Christmas was full of Hope!  And plenty merry and bright, too.

Christmas yearbook.

I love looking at people’s family pictures from years past.  It’s so fun to laugh at how we all used to look and see how everyone’s grown and changed.  I want to be able to do that with our family and to remember what our family looked like each Christmas, so I started a tradition.  I put an ornament with a picture of our family that Christmas on the tree every year.  I love to look at it while the tree is up and it’s especially fun each year as I pull out the ornaments.  Since so much has changed for our family in the 4 Christmases that we’ve been married, it makes it more fun to see it all.


2009 –  Tommy, Lauren, & Lady




2010 – Tommy, Lauren, Lady, & Eli [and Jack on the way]

Christmas 2010



2011 – Tommy, Lauren, Jack and Lady & Eli [but they got cut out of the picture when the baby arrived on the scene]

Christmas Card 2011 Morgans


Christmas 2011 [on Christmas day last year]



2012 – Tommy, Lauren, Jack, and baby #2 on the way and Lady & Eli




Do you have fun family pictures you keep track of each year?  I’d LOVE to see them!

a little update.

This week’s gone by so fast!  On Tuesday I was saying “is it Friday yet??”  and today I’m sitting here thinking how can it be so close to Christmas already?


Here are 10 things going on around here:

1.  The mouse situation.  I appreciate all deep concern for me over the mouse I saw in the garage.  We have a pest control service that comes quarterly, so I called them and they set some stuff out in the garage and crawl space to help with that problem.  I’m feeling better about it.  Here’s to hoping I NEVER see one in the house.


2.  Jack is on the mend!  Eleven days post-op and he’s still running a low-grade fever, but his smiles and giggles are back and while the general fussiness/whining is still hanging around, it’s with much less frequency and intensity.  So very thankful!  It’s good to see him back again.  We missed him.  Thank you to everyone for thinking about us, asking about him, and your prayers.  So very much appreciated!


3.  My sweet friend got to adopt her baby boy on Wednesday, and my heart has been so filled with joy for them.  Can you imagine a better Christmas present?


4.  I’ve been doing some baking but nothing hardcore.  I got the urge to make cookies and decorate them, but I’ve yet to do it.  I need some helpers for a task like that.


5.  I LOVE Christmas cards.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  I love thinking about our perfect card, addressing them while watching Christmas movies, sending them out, and then checking the mail every day with excitement for what I’ll find.  I put the cards we get up on the walls.  I have every year that we’ve been married, and it makes me so happy!  I love how it brightens up my home.  I love seeing faces and reminders of ones we love around the room.  And I love that when friends and family are over they can look through cards, too.  There are few things in life greater than a Christmas card to me.


6.  I got a pie from work.  How nice is that?  I like my job.  And not just for the pie.


7.  Online shopping.  I’m all about it.  I order most things in our life from Amazon anyway, so why should Christmas be different?  I never pay for shipping.  I get it within 2 days, and I don’t have to leave the house and fight the crowds.  Yes, please!  I’ve noticed a lot of places doing specials and free shipping, too, so I have been taking advantage!


8.  It’s so weird thinking about what Christmas was like two years ago.  I guess it will always be like that with kids.  Two years ago I worked Christmas, so we stayed in Maryland.  We had Christmas dinner with our dear friends and their family, and then had our family come up to visit after Christmas and stay for New Years.  The crazy part– Jack wasn’t here yet.  I forget a lot that there was life before him.


9.  Christmas lights.  What are your thoughts?  Do you put them up?  Do you enjoy looking at them?  Does it matter to you either way?  I love them!  It’s just another way to brighten things up, I think.  I really appreciate the houses that go all out.  I’ve been so impressed with our neighborhood.  There’s a lot of Christmas spirit around.  We have yet to drive around to see any big displays.  This weekend I guess.


10.  The dogs got a new bed.  It’s their Christmas present.  They are in heaven.  Especially Lady.  They also got groomed this week which is great for all of us.  They get pretty gross being mostly outside dogs.  After they come back from the groomers they spend a lot of time in the house with us.  It’s always nice to have them around a little more.  And then I remember why we generally don’t let them wander through the house — they’re huge, not gentle, not well behaved [our fault], and get really dirty playing outside.  Oh and Eli sheds like crazy.  So we go back to life as usual after a few days of togetherness.  They were meant to be outside.  They love it!  They keep up with everything and can wrestle and play all day.  Then they come in and cozy up in the evenings.  Win-win.



little hands.

I’ve been obsessed with these hands for a long time.





Almost 19 months.


Lately Jack has been really interested in his handprint and footprint hanging on the wall in his room.  He wants to look at them and is very interested in hearing about them.  He was a month old when we did that.


Now his hands are so much bigger.  But every now and then I’ll catch a picture like by accident, and it makes my heart stop for a brief moment.  Seeing his little hand in this picture reminds me that he is still little.  And I’m so thankful for that.





We spend a lot of our day talking about what a big boy he is and how helpful he is, and being amazed at all of the things he’s learning.  He is so big now, getting to be such a little boy and not at all a baby.  And especially as we shift our thinking to preparing for another little baby in our lives, it’s easy for me to get caught up and forget the little guy that he is still.  I love his growing independence, his desire to learn, his running/climbing/bouncing, but I particularly love that he’s still little and he still needs his mama.  I’m thankful for the little hands and little moments that remind me of just that.