This Week at the Brennans’

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Well folks. It’s been a while! I’ve been meaning to get around to writing a family update post and, well, work and life just gets in the way sometimes. But after hitting a few walls with work and being frustrated beyond belief, I’m giving up a lot of this blogging stuff for the summer and getting back to the stuff I love…like these family updates! While they take an hour or two to write, I’m so grateful to look back and have them. It’s like my journal and I love being able to look back and read about the good, the hard and the different milestones we’re all reaching across the board. So, here is this huge and massive update. Lots of good!

family smiling outside

Let me start with the biggest things first:

Gordon got a job! He felt that familiar nudge maybe three months ago to start looking and so he started applying. The process was frustrating and for me as a wife, was hard to see my husband go through. Lots of rejection and lots of people wondering why on earth he would leave such a prestigious position in New York City. After interviewing several times, he was offered a position with a local security company as a Security Operations Manager that seems to be a perfect fit. He started a few weeks ago, right before we finished homeschooling which timing seemed pretty serendipitous, to say the least. It just reaffirmed our decision to walk away from the secret service and city living. For us, it was the right decision.

man standing in front of a front door
Gordon’s first day of work 🙂

I’m quitting Instagram. Well, technically Instagram stories. Social media in general eats up so much of my time, just trying to notify everyone about my new recipes or recipes for the next holiday or fill in the blank here. Since Gordon went back to work, I’m home with the kids for the summer and I’d like to actually enjoy my summer and not have to worry about getting out my phone. So I stopped doing instastories and hired a girl to help me with everything else on social media. I’m hoping this will help refocus my priorities and help me not care so much about the stats and numbers and make it become more enjoyable (like it used to be back in the day.)

Porter got a hair cut! I was hoping to keep it long until he turned at least two but Gordon found the clippers and gave him a big cut. I couldn’t watch (hahahaha!) I know it makes sense to have it short because he was starting to become annoyed by it and with summer practically here, he’ll be cooler, but but but…it was so cute!! I know it’s just hair and it’ll grow back but he looks like a little man now and I don’t know how I feel about it.

We finished our year of homeschool! I think this statement needs about a million more exclamation points. It was real touch and go by the end but we made it and I think it was really good for our kids, especially math, to solidify these concepts. We are hoping school will be in person 100% of the time by September but Oregon schools are still up in the air…who knows what’s going to happen. I know Eddie is so excited to start kindergarten and Brooke is anxious to get to middle school. Blake is such a social little guy, that he thrives at school, so here’s to hoping they all will find their way back.

Blake started (and finished) a season of soccer. He loves all sports so it was no surprise that he loved it and was sad to see it end. He and Eddie will be doing soccer this fall. I wanted them to do swim lessons over the summer, but there are no pools offering this anywhere yet. But I’m still looking!

boy holding soccer trophy
Last day of soccer for Blake!

Blake got baptized into our church! It was strange and small and sweet. This pandemic has been all sorts of crazy but being able to share that experience with more family via zoom was pretty darn special. Even having musical numbers from cousins in Arizona and a special talk from Grandma Ernhofer in Canada. It was lovely.

Gordon got called into the bishopric in our church congregation. That’s been an interesting adjustment for our family as there’s a time commitment involved, but it allows our family to be in a position to serve others which we most definitely want to teach our children about.

I recently started seeing a trainer at an actual gym. Most of you probably know that I’ve been counting macros for the past 15 months and have been able to lose 25 pounds. While that is awesome and I’m truly so proud of myself, I got to a point where I was at a bit of a stand still and I couldn’t really get the progress I wanted (lower my body fat while increasing muscle mass.) I do think I could have gotten to where I’d want to be, but just at a slower pace. Since I know I do so much better when I’m accountable to someone, a trainer made sense. So I’ve been seeing him for a month and already lowered my body fat my 2.5% and gained 2 pounds of muscle. 🎉 I’m seeing progress and that progress is fueling me forward!! I’ve never had this kind of motivation for getting into shape because I’d keep having babies (or keep taking hormones trying to have babies) but knowing that my baby shop is closed makes me so happy. I’m not going to lose any progress because of a pregnancy and that is even more motivation to keep going. I’ll probably get a ton of questions about what I’m doing and honestly, I just lift heavy 4 days per week, do minimal cardio (maybe 30 minutes 4-5 days a week?) and eat a macro-friendly diet. It’s all about the food fortunately…or unfortunately. Haha! You can sign up for all my macro friendly recipes here if you’re interested.

woman taking selfie in workout clothes
Photo taken last week. My muscles are getting bigger and my fat percentage is going way down 🙂

Gordon and I have gotten vaccinated! We had the opportunity to get our covid shots and we jumped at the chance. We are thrilled that other family members (especially our parents) are able to get theirs as well. We were supposed to attend some family reunions in 2020, but that never happened. So we are very much looking forward to being reunited with all our family members again in a safe way.

Gordon bought a truck. We knew with him going back to work, we’d need a second vehicle and I told him to pick whatever he wanted. (In retrospect, maybe I should have told him to get a small Honda…haha!) He chose a Dodge Ram and ya know, it suits him. He’s always wanted a truck and so I’m grateful he was able to get one.

family enjoying outdoor fire pit
Enjoying our Fire Pit!

We got a fire pit for the backyard and a trampoline! Slowly, we are turning this house into what we’ve always imagined. In previous homes, we didn’t put in any effort to how they looked and we felt it. The older I get, the more I realize that your surroundings can change the way you feel. So we are working on creating a home that is comfortable and welcoming.

We wanted to redo our kitchen this summer but with lots of items on back order, it looks like it’ll be closer to September or October. We were going to do a lot of it ourselves but after it taking almost four months to finish our living room built ins, Gordon was adamant we do nothing ourselves 🤣🤣🤣 So it looks like we’ll get rid of the corner windows and move them to one wall, remove all the cabinets, replace all the flooring on the first floor and install brand new everything. We already met with the cabinet maker and ordered our appliances. Things are coming together albeit very very slowly.

baby on counter looking in cabinet
Porter pushes anything he can get his hands on to get him onto the top of the garbage can and onto the counter. Heaven help me!

Here’s what is coming up this next week:

We will be going camping quite a bit this summer! Camping and being outside is our jam, so I’m excited to head outdoors and do something we haven’t done in a long while. I’m even considering doing a bunch of camping recipes because I love cooking outdoors. It’s my jam. Do you all go camping, too?

I’m excited to do a lemonade stand with my kids. Blake wants to earn money for a basketball hoop and I just want to make yummy treats for fun, not because I have to for work.

My sister and her family are coming to visit us here in Oregon! They will get here tomorrow and will stay a little over a week. We are so excited!

Brooke saved up her money and bought herself a bunny! It’s a baby bunny that isn’t available for pickup quite yet, but it’s they sweetest little doe Holland lop. We’ll be bringing her home soon.

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18 Responses
  1. Cambi

    Love getting the updates. Your family is beautiful & busy! I will miss the Instagram stories. Hopefully they’ll be back once school starts. Fingers crossed. Congrats on your weight loss & training. You look great!

  2. Marsha

    Hi Lauren!

    I’d love to know more about your workouts!

    Do the 4 days a week happen to be 2 upper and 2 lower? What does your format look like in terms of sets / reps? 🙂

    1. Lauren

      Here’s how I break it up: 1-Back and triceps, 2-Leg Day, 3-biceps and shoulders, 4-abs. I just do what my trainer tells me to do. Typically we do a 45 minute workout with two sets of three exercises each. Then I finish with 30 minutes or cardio. The rower, standing rower or the stairmaster. If I’m working out at home, I just do my bike and use my dumbbells.

  3. Karen

    What a lovely update! I’m so happy for you to be taking time to recharge and figure out the next steps for you and your family—and also to take time to just really enjoy your family. That’s going to be so good for all of you.

    Hope you really thoroughly get to enjoy your summer!!

  4. Courtney

    Congrats to Gordon on the new job. Hope he is enjoying his new position. Love that you took a pic, like it was his first day of school 🙂 it also explains the time lapse between updates, LOL. I loved Porter’s curls and it reminds me of when you finally cut Eddie’s hair. He looked so different too. Both adorable, of course. I am with Gordon on remodel stuff. We are putting in a patio and its a ton of work. Next home project, we are definitely subbing it out. Glad to hear these update are coming back, they are some of my favorites. Camp on!!

  5. Aunt Donna

    Love the updates!!! Porter has gotten so big. You will have fun with him 😅
    We are all looking forward to the reunion. Our family have all been vaccinated so we are ready!!

  6. Denise

    Congratulations to Gordon! I do miss you on stories on IG but understand your priorities being with the kids and staying in the moment. I enjoy these updates and hope now you’ll do them more since you won’t have other things pulling on your time. Enjoy your summer and the kids. They truly do grow way too fast.

  7. Amanda

    I’m so happy for y’all that you seem to be loving all of your family changes. Congrats to Gordon!! I’ll miss seeing your stories but I totally understand why you are doing it. It’s so hard to balance everything, I’m sure. You look so awesome! It’s been really great to watch you on your health and wellness journey. I really need to subscribe to your meal plans! I hope y’all have an amazing summer!

  8. Linda Damschroder

    Sounds like your family is doing fantastic little gordon is so cute he was darling with his long hair too. but sooner or later that baby look is gone and they grow up. I just made your Lasagna skillet dinner thats a keeper recipe for sure!! Have a great summer.

  9. TinaMarie

    Glad to hear about everything coming together for everyone. Congrats on Gordon’s job and you finding time for your workouts. If you can do it with four kids I can surely find time for me to workout as well. You look great and motivating me to get up and stop being lazy lol. Hope the kitchen comes out wonderful. My husband wants to do it himself around the house, like putting up a gate which would take hired workers a day or so is taking him over 2 months now. I say, pay someone he says he’s not going to pay someone a lot of money when he could do it and save tons of money. (Whatever) Thanks for sharing your stories, may you continue to have great success in what to do.

  10. Virginia Ledford

    Your family is so sweet and congrats on Gordon getting a job, I was wondering what he was doing and country life is the best! We live on a small farm my husband does part-time and we have an old Ford truck that we couldn’t live without, from hauling trash to picking up building supplies, everyone needs a truck, glad he got one. Family is most important because you can’t get that time back so enjoy your summer with your kiddies and camping. So glad you are out of NY!!

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