Category Archives: real life

First Check-in of 2017

Hey hey hey! We are four whole days into the New Year and I have stuck with my resolutions. It’s not a huge milestone, but let’s just celebrate anyway.  Tomorrow is my planned REST day (from the gym) so today seems like a good time to take a look-back on what has been going on.

January 1: Easy yoga day at home. Let’s not start out too crazy, right? Turns out the easy start was a good idea because the day included a trip to Urgent Care with one of the kiddos.  All is well now, but I was happy to have started the day with a moment of calm and peace.

January 2: Teach Zumba class – Hey-oooh!  Starting the week off with a dance session is pretty awesome. Hop around, shake the hips, get the groove on. Good times. Plus, it’s an added bonus to see some of my favorite people in class too.

I followed up the hour of cardio with the strength training program: the Labrada Lean Body Challenge.  The Challenge is 12 weeks long and includes a detailed schedule for lifting weights and overall awesome strength building.  I’m not planning on submitting any of my information or pictures to try to “win” but I am looking forward to seeing the results and, more importantly, having a legit plan for my lifting.  Today I spent about 55 minutes lifting through three sets of 15-20 reps of a variety of chest, triceps, and shoulders exercises.

The Labrada program is kind of “old school” to me, which I am really enjoying (again, only four days in). In the past few years I spent a lot of time in the Crossfit world …. interested in reading about My Crossfit Experience… or 7 Reasons Why Crossfit is Great for New Moms*…. but I am back at the big chain gym now and it’s bringing back some fun memories of my pre-WOD days.

January 3: Ahhhhhh Leg Day. I began with a quick warm-up and then focused on quads and hamstrings. Again, it’s been ages since I was on the leg extension and hamstring curl machines and man oh man did I feel it!  I had to pause the strength portion of the day’s workout to hop into the barre class. For those of you not familiar with barre, it’s a ballet-inspired class and is awesome. This class was a perfect compliment to my strength plan… just when I thought my legs couldn’t take anymore, I did a bazillion plies! Hello calves. Hello hammies.  Why hello to you too, quads. Oh yeah, and remember my shoulders and tricep work from yesterday, well my barre instructor did some great upper-body focused work too! Hello every single muscle in my body screaming at me right now.

Last but not least, I finished the day with last bit of my Labrada plan – some glute strength work. Done and done and done.

January 4: Well, let’s just try to get out of bed today. The legs! The arms! After walking downstairs like a robot due to that my legs forgot how to function properly…. I put the kids on the bus and finally got to the gym a little later than planned.  Strength training focused on upper-body again, but this time included back, biceps, and abs.  There seemed to be more strength exercises today or maybe it just took me longer because I was jamming to my music and was bee-bopp-ing around between sets. (It helps A LOT to have a lifting buddy who encouragingly laughs at – and occasionally joins in – my impromptu dance moves.) When we finally finished up with abs,  I decided to complete the day with a little bit of rowing, a little bit of inclined treadmill walking (I HATE RUNNING), and then a WHOLE lot of stretching and foam rolling.  All in all it was a good workout but felt a little subdued since I didn’t go to a group fitness class.

And that’s it! So far so good.  Friday’s plan will be a little off-kilter because of parenting responsibilities. I’m guessing I will be at the gym without my lifting buddy and without group classes to super-motivate me. I better get a good playlist put together to keep me going!

FYI – This will be my last detailed daily work-out regimen post until the end of the month when I will compare the difference in weights and number of reps from Week One to Week Four. Yippee.


‘Twas the Night Before New Year’s

Here’s my latest creation, written after my last post while feeling super-inspired for some new fitness and nutrition goals:

‘Twas the night before New Year’s, when all through the house

none of my clothes fit, not even a blouse;

the yoga pants were hung near my gym bag with care,

in the hopes that tomorrow my motivation would be there.

The cupboards were filled with an assortment of nuts,

While the fridge burst with veggies assured to shrink guts.

 

And me with my kettlebell near my new yoga mat

Have written my goals, determined to burn more fat,

With burpees and box jumps and the suicide ladder,

I am determined to work hard; the pain – it don’t matter!

 

In the morning, I’ll wake up and fly like a flash,

It’s just the beginning – my very first dash.

The moon is still shining I didn’t even know

I could get up so early, I thought this would blow,.

When to my lips I bring a cup of caffeine

And realize this is what it takes to get lean.

A quick healthy breakfast, I eat in one bite

And I lace up my sneakers so they feel oh-so right,

With my hoodie and ear buds, I dash out the door;

There’s no time to wonder at the gym what’s in store.

In the minivan, my music is playing with might

My mind is focused and my goals are in sight.

I am ready to rock and pumped to get going

People are staring, my smile is showing.

 

Now! Pushups, now! Presses, now! Cleans and some jerks!

Oh! Running, oh! Rowing, oh! Sprints and footwork!

To the top of the bar, to the top of the beam,

OH good heavens, my muscles, they scream!

 

But I will not give up nor will I give in,

For the first time in ages I feel like I’m livin’.

Some days will be hard and I know that’s not wrong,

But it’s important to me that I grow to be strong.

One day at a time, I will make choices that are true

To my goals and allow a cheat day or two.

This is a long journey – not done in one night

It’s a lifetime of fitness and eating what’s right!

 

Inspired by “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moor
Re-worked by Betsy Meyer


New Year = New Blog Intention

It’s been ages upon ages since I put fingertips to keyboard on this page. There are many reasons, but none are very interesting. I will not bore you with them.
Instead, I will start with a disclaimer for the upcoming 365 days: this blog is going to be different… shall we count the ways…design

  1. I’m actually going to write.
  2. In the past this blog has been a place for me to come when I felt like I really had something to say.  Unfortunately, that mindset also put a lot of pressure on me to say something important and resulted in me not saying much at all. Starting today, this blog will be where I journal my journey.
  3. I have some things I would like achieve – call them goals or personal growth or milestones or whatever, my husband just calls it “adulting” – and this is the space I will use to record the steps I take, the ones going forward and I’m sure a few going back.  I am hopeful this is the space that will help me learn to love the process.
  4. Most of my writing will focus on four areas I would like to improve: a. developing better healthy eating habits despite my lack of enjoyment and skill in the kitchen (burnt toast anyone?); b. consistent and effective physical fitness (I work out regularly, but it no longer feels as effective as it used to); c. learning how to -actually and truly-  follow a budget (why, oh why, is this so difficult?); d. living with purpose and intention (as opposed to my latest technique of running around like a chicken with its head cut-off).

For all of you who clicked the “Follow Me” button because I have been writing about military spouse lifestyle things or motherhood things, I thank you for showing your interest in my perspective.  I hope you will continue to hang out with me here. I am sure my journal will continue to hit on military spouse and motherhood topics since those hats aren’t coming off anytime soon!

If you have some things you would like to achieve, please join me here! Together we can get some stuff done. Or vent when it gets hard. Or refocus when the vision gets fuzzy. And always love the process.

nye

 


In Memory…In Honor

Memorial Day 1In Memory of those who heard the call to serve our country and gave their all.  They packed duffle bags and footlockers. They gave hugs and kisses. They fought in trenches, tanks, ships, and planes, hospitals, bunkers, make-shift huts, and city streets.  They traveled thousands of miles and walked through foreign lands. They heard sounds and saw sights that most cannot imagine.  They took their last breath far from home. They went. They served. They gave their lives.  Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

In Memory of our service members who are still missing. They followed their orders overseas and put themselves in dangerous situations. We do not yet know the details of their experiences; we do know they embody courage, strength, and honor. Their homecoming is anxiously awaited. Their stories are not complete.  Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

In Memory of the men and women who went to fight the fight and although they returned home, they returned home a different person.   Whether changed in body or in mind, they gave of themselves for our freedom and security.  They may be home now, but they continue to fight to find their new normal. They deserve to be remembered as who they were before and honored for who they are today.  Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

In Memory of all who gave their lives in service for our country but will not be honored by statue nor memorial. For those we lost in training exercises, mishaps, and missions we do not hear about.  They worked hard. They pursued excellence. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

In Honor of families and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  For the conversations left unfinished, the inside-jokes lost of humor, and lives left incomplete. Today is more significant to them than most.  Their loss is real and deep.  Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 


Teacher Appreciation – and so much more

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and today, in particular, my eyes have been opened to the severe inadequacy of the title of this week.

Let’s start with the fact that I volunteered for lunch duty today so the Teachers at our school could grab a few extra quiet moments in honor of this special week.  For two-and-a-half hours I watched (and HEARD) 500+ students shuffle in and out of the cafeteria.  I opened approximately 20 juice boxes, 17 tubes of yogurt, and 6 cups of fruit – 4 of which squirted juice in my face.  I answered 6,483 questions – the majority of which were pretty random, reminded 172 to use their “walking feet,” and gave permission I-don’t-even-know-how-many-times for someone to use the bathroom.  I came home EXHAUSTED.

The kids at our school are GREAT kids… They listen really well and are quite polite – even the scary fifth graders who look like they could be in college! But as I watched them all come through that cafeteria, I realized how many different personalities and needs our teachers deal with on a DAILY basis. There are kids that need extra attention and kids that want to be left alone; kids that are funny and kids that are shy; kids you can be silly with and kids that need straight answers; kids that need a hug or a high-five or the “I mean business” stare… and our Teachers are able to dish those out… on demand… to the exact kid that needs that exact interaction.  “Teacher” ?!?!  I think not. Let’s go with “Mind-reading Personality-deciphering Super-human”. It’s a little wordy, but much more accurate.

Teacher Appreciation 1

Back to my cafeteria experience: let me point out my responsibilities included keeping the children from injuring themselves or others and trying to keep the noise level at a minimum.  My co-Lunch Duty volunteer and I decided to just focus on the first responsibility and let the noise level go a little bit.  I mean, priorities.

Our Teachers have responsibilities that BLOW MY MIND! They teach those kids to read and write and add and multiply and how to find the area/volume/circumference (which I may or may not have forgotten). They teach history and science and art and music and P.E. They teach how to stand in line and keep your hands to yourself. They teach how to cope when someone says or does something unkind. They teach that life isn’t always fair. They teach cooperation, patience, perseverance, self-control, integrity, kindness, selflessness, determination, dedication, generosity, friendship, love.  How do they prioritize those?! “Teacher” is an understatement. “Developer of Brain, Body, and Spirit” is more like it.Teacher Appreciation 3

 

Let’s also not forget that these Teachers have lives outside the school halls and classrooms.  They are spouses, parents, pet-owners, mortgage-payers, schedule-jugglers, budget-balancers, hobby-havers, and so much more. I know a good number of our Teachers are blazing through real-life challenges and curve-balls right now, but they continue to show-up for our kids. “Teacher”…. Pffft.  “Tough-as-Nails Focused Fighter”… that barely covers it, but it’s the best I could do in a pinch.

Teacher Appreciation 2

Teacher Appreciation Week, eh? Appreciation?! You know what I appreciate? When someone holds the door for me or let’s me scoot in front of them in traffic. For the Teachers… I am indebted to them, astounded by them, in awe of them, and yes, thankful for them.  For a week?! No way!  FOR. EVER. AND. EVER.

 

One afternoon of Lunch Duty has led me to announcing:

Teacher Appreciation 5

(AKA… Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, but I really really really mean it.)


Military: 7 Signs You PCS’d This Summer

One month ago today we moved into our home. I’m sure there are many military families out there experiencing some of these moments right along with me….

  1. You can still spy one or two (or fifteen thousand, if you are like me) of those pesky moving stickers that never seem to EVER go away completely!
    PCS Summer 1
  2. While checking out at Bed, Bath, & Beyond (because you need stuff for your new bed, bath, and… beyond) you pause for a good ten seconds when asked what your zip code is. Zip code… right. WHERE exactly am I again?!
    PCS Summer 2
  3. The idea of going school supply shopping is entirely daunting because, didn’t we just get here?! Now I need to be organizing myself and family for a new school year?!
    PCS Summer 3
  4. Your bucket list for the summer is ten miles long. You MUST see all the new sites RIGHT NOW! Because you know, before you blink you will be looking at a new set of orders and your bucket list will still be about nine miles long.
    PCS Summer 4
  5. You assume all your neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for ages, until you remember it’s a military community and it’s summer and almost everyone is new too!
    PCS Summer 5
  6. Signing your kids up for summer camps and after-school activities feels like the ultimate test of your Mom-hood. This dance studio or that one? We missed soccer try-outs but will they still allow my child to play? Where, exactly, does that swim team compete? Wait, what time does school get out anyway?!PCS Summer 6
  7. There is a sense of immense possibility with each new person you meet and each new road you travel.PCS Summer 7

To all my fellow military spouses out there who are settling in and exploring new hometowns… may this new adventure be your best! And in the words of Matsuo Basho, remember:
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”


Schooled in Parenting (By My 8-Year-Old Daughter)

classroomThis morning while I was getting ready for the day, my kids rolled into a very intense, very passionate argument. The likes of which I’m sure haven’t been seen (or heard!) since the days of old. Or maybe last week.  Of course, this argument was about, none other than, Minecraft.  From what I can gather from my unavoidable over-hearing, my 4-year old was continually pushing random buttons on his Xbox controller while my 7 and 8-year olds were trying to build something (apparently it was a very important “something” that could not be delayed by random button pushing). I will set the scene for you: To find out what I learned, click here


No, no, you really shouldn’t have… but thanks for doing it anyway.

For the past many years, my husband and I have agreed to not exchange gifts for Christmas. Usually as the holiday approached, one of us (most usually me) would succumb to the commercialized holiday cheer and ask, “No, seriously, what do you want for Christmas?” A discussion, a suggestion or two, a not-so-vague hint and on Christmas morning there would be shiny wrapped presents for both of us under the tree. With a few… maybe one or two… exceptions, the shiny wrapped presents were exactly what had been discussed, suggested, hinted. Don’t get me wrong, the opening of the presents and the thank you’s after were sweet and genuine and appreciated.

I’m not trying to throw my hubby under the bus at all… there is no bus to throw him under really. But those Christmas present exchanges were basically a compromise – a merging of our two very different gift-giving selves. I would love to give gigantic, over-the-top, super-surprise gifts every year! (!!!) I would probably, easily, bankrupt us by my gift-giving tendency. My husband, on the other hand, likes to give practical, logical, budget-conscious gifts. (…) He keeps our budget in line. I love this trait of his, I do. Perhaps, though, it took me a Christmas holiday, birthday, and another Christmas to fully appreciate his gift-giving tendency. (“ooooooh… an… external hard drive… for me.”)

Well, this year. Christmas of 2014… something happened. We barely talked about what we wanted. I suggested an arm band for my phone. Practical, logical, budget-conscious. I was looking forward to it! And I got it. But it was from my son. And this is the shiny wrapped present from my husband this year…..
Continue reading to see the shiny wrapped present AND what I learned…


Getting to Know Me… First Day of School

avatarOh boy. First day of school. I’m starting Blogging 101. Eeeeeeeek. I have on my spiffy new shoes and cardigan sweater. My lunch box is next to me and I’m poised with a set of freshly sharpened pencils lined up in a row.

That’s not really true. I’m sitting at a coffee shop, with my laptop, in my sweaty yoga capris and workout sneakers (neither of which are spiffy). However, I AM starting a new class called Blogging 101. Here we go….. “Getting to Know Me…” Continue reading about me…


The Risk of Raising Independent Children

We recently moved to a very family-friendly neighborhood, which also happens to be a military housing neighborhood. This move has given us the opportunity to live in an ideal setting to take the risk of raising independent children. My kids are ages 8, 6 ¾ (it’s important to him to remember the ¾), and 4, which to me are ideal ages to risk the lessons of becoming an independent child.

My kids are learning the importance of being accountable for themselves. No one else can answer for the choices they make. This accountability is teaching them to think through their choices first, act second. They are testing their nerve and finding out how far they are willing to push themselves, whether it’s the speed they ride their bikes or how high they climb a tree. With that test of nerve I believe they will gain self-confidence as they realize they can do new things because they pushed themselves, not because Mom or Dad told them to try it. They are building a frame of reference on rights and wrongs. They are getting better acquainted with their morals and listening to their own conscience instead of Mom and Dad’s voice. Continue reading about the challenges of raising independent kiddos…


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