August Goals

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So…July came and went, I guess? Whoops! The “dog days of summer” are definitely in full swing here in Florida and I am feeling it. But alas, this month, as I transition back to work, start my “new” job, and return to working full-time for the first time in over a year, life is all about to change.

My goals this month are small and simple in theory, but will take a lot of discipline and adjustment:

Mornings @ the gym on MWF

July found me in a really nice gym routine, but 2pm workouts aren’t going to cut it anymore. Since I know myself well enough to not expect to get to the gym after a full day of teaching (and walking, walking, walking…), that leaves me with the early mornings. Emphasis on early. Like, alarm going off at 4:30am early. I’ve always wanted to be the person who could do this, and when I was running regularly, I got into a good 7am routine, but this feels like the major leagues of commitment.

However, what I have going for me is that I’ve never enjoyed the gym like I do now. It is a sanctuary of sorts. And there is a 5:30am spin class, MWF, that would totally kick my butt. So, here’s to new beginnings in August. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

Get Ready in the Evenings 

My plan to make our lives easier in the morning is to off-load as much as possible into the evenings. Which means: laundry, lunches, E’s bag, my gym bag (with work clothes picked out), teaching bag, purse, coffee maker set up, quick morning snack ready to go, and post-workout breakfast packed. Also, gas in the car, and gym shoes and socks laid out. I pretty much already wear gym clothes to bed (t-shirt, sleep bra and leggings) so with minor adjustments, I think I can just sleep in my gym clothes, hop out into my shoes, and load the car.

In the dark.

Half asleep.

While not waking anyone else up.

HAHAHAHAHAH!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in my journey to lose the baby weight is that where there is a will, there is a way. And my will really likes the progress I’m making, so I think I’ll just keep finding a way.🙂

Happy August!

June Book Report

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I’m really proud of Evan for putting himself to sleep, and I’m proud of us for helping him get there, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t really miss reading books while he was cuddled and asleep in my arms. It is truly amazing how fast the seasons change in a baby, and how quickly they’re on to the next thing. I have a feeling this will surprise me about parenthood forever.

Books I read this month (all from iBooks):

Sharp Objects and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Sometimes a creepy, absorbing thriller is just the ticket. I read Gone Girl last year and liked it a lot, but hated the ending and I guess I kind of wrote Flynn off. I’m so glad I went back to read her older two books. Of the three, Sharp Objects is my favorite. It was just so terribly detailed and disturbing. I finished it with all the lights on in the living room and was still totally creeped out for a while afterward. That’s when you know you’ve found a good writer.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

This was a pretty standard tale of entitled suburban overworked mom seeks a way out of her head and finds ____. In this case, it was pills. I finished this book because it wasn’t uninteresting, but it wasn’t worth paying full price. And it was fairly unforgettable.

What books are you loving right now?

In June

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Eating: better than I was 6 months ago but still not as well as I could be.

Drinking: more water now that I have a Camelbak. Aiming for 5 bottles a day (100 ounces)!

Practicing: recording my calories using MFP (again).

Trying: to remember to enjoy every stage.

Playing: jazz on Spotify.

Finishing: way less than I used to, and still adjusting to it. If I get one phone call made in a few days, it’s a productive week!

Reading: We All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Watching: Orange is the New Black, Season 2

Remembering: the summer I turned 30; this one feels so similar in many ways, and yet I am so very different.

Wearing: way too many pairs of these.

Cooking: roasted veggies.

Working: out at the gym.

Traveling: to Tampa in early July to meet our newest niece!

Wanting: to make some decisions about if we’re going to consider buying a home or continue renting.

32 Things I’m Thankful For…

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Today I’m 32!

And in honor of this previous year, I thought I’d share the 32 things I’m thankful for at 32.

(in no particular order, although there is a clear top ranking)😉

  1. Evan
  2. Finding out I was pregnant
  3. A healthy and “easy” pregnancy
  4. Our family (both sides) for supporting us in SO MANY WAYS
  5. John landing his new job
  6. Finally landing the job  I’ve wanted for years (despite two weeks of baby-induced sleep deprivation surrounding both interviews)
  7. My mom for watching Evan
  8. My mom for teaching me so many things about being a mom – she’s been amazing at giving me real-time, “on the job” training😉
  9. Learning to appreciate even the smallest of homes during our rough patch in 2013
  10. Our beautiful niece, Lily
  11. Hynobabies, the midwives and my doula
  12. Having health insurance that covered just about everything from E’s birth
  13. Our whole family, waiting overnight in the waiting room during labor
  14. The way Evan’s birth went down (even if it wasn’t my planned birth)
  15. Getting to experience breastfeeding
  16. My best girlfriends for always keeping it real
  17. The trip John and I took to Washington, D.C.
  18. Our anniversary trip back to Sebring
  19. Speaking at my field’s national convention in Las Vegas (while pregnant!)
  20. Being able to work part-time during pregnancy and postpartum
  21. Being able to stay home with E over the summer
  22. Our healthy pets
  23. Fellow mamas, near and far, who buoyed me in times of need
  24. My strong and capable body
  25. So many good books
  26. Old Navy for helping me flatter my aforementioned “strong and capable” (weirdly misshapen postpartum) body
  27. John’s sense of humor
  28. This blog, and those of you who read it – I really enjoy writing here
  29. Our pets. While under-foot and sometimes really on-my-nerves, they are all really good animals and each add something rich and special to life, everyday
  30. Our ever-so-comfy bed
  31. The means and ability to dream big with John and Evan
  32. The perspective and inner growth gained over the last 365 days; I’m a better person today than I was this same day last year, and I hope I can say that on every single birthday for the rest of my life

This past year has been the craziest, most exciting, scary, amazing, weird, wonderful and memorable of my life. 32 isn’t looking too shabby, either.🙂

The Art of Saying No

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I came across this on Pinterest from this blog, and it made me think about the art of saying no.

Life is ripe with parties, sales pitches, emails, meetings, groups events, etc. At almost 32 I am old enough to know what I want to do and what I don’t. But yet, I can’t say no to something simply because I don’t want to. Right?

To the guy at Barnes and Noble who does his best pitch for a membership, “no” is easy. In a customer-employee exchange “no” isn’t personal. I was on the selling side long enough before teaching to know this inside and out.

Saying “no” with the people I’m really close with is easy too. But in most other areas of my life, “no” is not so easy for me, especially in those social situations where you’re not close friends, but you’re friendly. Maybe you even used to be close but you’re not anymore. How do you say “no” to things with those people?

I’ve always considered this difficulty with being “nice” or having “tact” or “keeping the peace” but is it? Where do those end and “people-pleasing” begin? I’m really not sure, but I do know as time marches on and I am working and itching to spend my (very limited) time either with my family or doing my own thing, I am going to HAVE to get better about saying no.

And I’d love it if invitations came with a “because I don’t want to” option. Because really, isn’t that what things often come down to in life?

How have you mastered the art of saying no?

Postpartum Summer Staples

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Personal style and my ability to create something that looks good and feels good have always been aspects of my identity I enjoy. I am a firm believer in the “look good, feel good” philosophy. As I’ve been adjusting to how much my identity has changed in the last year, and trying to be patient and just go with the flow, one thing that just BUGS me to no end is that I can’t seem to find my mom style. 

In my head I want it to be pulled together, functional, affordable and classic. But I also don’t want to buy a ton of clothes for every 10lbs of weight I lose so I’ve been hobbling together outfits that are some odd mix of stuff from my bin in our garage of my pre-pregnancy clothes and a few pieces I’ve purchased in the last few months. Oh, and it needs to be easy to wash, hide my pooch, and cool enough to wear in 95 degree weather in 100% humidity. 

Because clothes that fit all those requirements don’t exist, or I just haven’t found them yet, most days I am wearing some or all of what you see here. Pretty humble, but super comfy. That’s the name of the game this summer. 

1. Old Navy Chambray Shirt // 2. Old Navy Ribbed Tanks // 3. Old Navy Compression Crops // 4. Old and comfy Birkenstocks handed down from my mom

Happy Father’s Day

There are a lot of things in life I could have done better, but picking a husband is not one of them.

John is by and far, beyond my wildest expectations, a wonderful father. He is my rock, and everything he does is in the interest of his family. Seriously guys… We have our rough spots like all married couples, but I know I got majorly lucky.

And so, on father’s day this year, I’ll be celebrating John! And my dad, and my father-in-law, and Evan’s cool uncles.  “It takes a village” and I really like who E has in his corner.

To all the dads: may your day be wonderful, and your next year of fatherhood even better.