Life, parenting

it takes a village

Today is my last “first day” of a new term in Graduate school.

Today I walked on to campus, one of the few places that has remained familiar to me throughout the hurricanes of change that life seems to enjoy throwing at me, and reflected on how different I am from the girl who walked on to this campus two years ago. Today I am strong, confident, and comfortable knowing exactly who I am – faults and all.

January of 2017 I sheepishly walked on to campus so quiet and insecure, unsure of myself. I was determined to be the perfect student. I had what I thought was a great support system with my husband nearing the end of his Masters program, I determined to use this program to make our life better.  We were going to be an unstoppable force together, another version of the power couple I thought we had always been. I was so wrong.

Just 2 months later in March of 2017 (on my 30th birthday) my husband, and the foundation of my support system, told me he was done. While we had some struggles I was always willing to do whatever it took to work through them. I was unaware then how toxic and co-dependent our relationship was, I subconsciously refused to acknowledge the level of dysfunction we had lived with for most of our relationship. With those blinders on I was SO sure we could make it work, but our almost 10 year marriage seemed to crumble overnight.

I was left with apartment and car leases that were both about to expire, a decade of jointly accumulated possessions to sort through mostly on my own, grad school classes to attend, an assistant job that barely paid enough to make ends meet on my own, and a then 7 year old to parent while trying to hold it together myself. Happy 30th Birthday, right?

I continued to show up… to my classes, to my job, and for my daughter. Some days showing up was all I could do. I was so unprepared for this. For life. At 30 years old I had never found a place to live on my own, never bought my own car, never fully supported myself financially. I was so overwhelmed with the process of buying a car, finding a place to live, and figuring out how to make ends meet all while negotiating a divorce and custody agreement. The feeling of helplessness I had the first year of being alone was incredibly motivating. I became determined to make it on my own. I bought my own car, found my own place, and managed a budget largely on my own. I had help from some amazing people who were already in my life, made some amazing new friends that showed up for me when they didn’t have to, but largely – I was, scratch that… I am – scared to let people in, to let people help me. ….Because if I let them help me I’d get used to it and when they decided to leave…. I’d end up even more wounded. So I built up walls and insisted on doing almost everything for myself. Need a set of blinds replaced? Buy my own power tools and learn how to do it on my own. Need a babysitter? Don’t ask friends or loved ones close buy – hire your own sitter. People have asked how they can help and my answer is always “I’m fine, I’ll figure it out.” I refused to let people in. I was there for everyone but rarely let someone be there for me. Call it pride, ego, bitterness, fear… Whatever you call it – It was lonely.

Brene Brown is my career crush. She is a vulnerability and shame researcher. I have adored (ok… mildly obsessed) over all of her ted talks, books, podcasts. She is ultimate #careergoals. She insists that we were made for love and belonging, but that requires vulnerability. Again, something I preach to my clients and attempt to make it look like I’m living well. But I kept my walls high. Those who were inside my walls before they closed stayed there, but letting new people in… Nope, I couldn’t risk it. I’d maybe let people help here or there but never really let people in. I walked around in heavy, clunky armor determined to protect myself from pain or disappointment. But you can’t selectively numb feelings. I was blocking out the pain – but I was also losing out on the joy of connection, love, and belonging. It wasn’t until recently I was shown how ridiculous my inability to accept help was… it was a literal light bulb moment. I brushed off my boyfriend’s offer to help me change a lightbulb – something that takes a lot of effort for a girl with the nick name “Shortney” – and he got frustrated with my inability to accept even the smallest amount of help. And he called me out on it. He was right (yes, I said it). So, I (reluctantly) let him change my lightbulb.

I lost my job of almost 8 years in October. I’ve been on unemployment since then looking for a job that will allow me to finish grad school, including 20 hours a week of unpaid internship. I’m now 9 weeks away and filling up my free time with interviews for jobs that pay (like actual money, not just “experience”) but I’ve been cutting it close in a lot of ways – specifically financially. Along with losing my job I also racked up an outrageous amount of legal fees trying to fight for what I believe was best for my daughter, only to be disappointed by the system.  I’ve hid the depth of the struggle even from those close to me for a long time, but the weight got too heavy to carry myself. Because we were made for community and connection. It truly does take a village – and I was doing myself and others a huge disservice by keeping my village locked outside my walls.

I made a status on facebook in passing today about yet another outrageous expense that popped up – a $335 licensure test that I have to apply for by Wednesday – and how crazy it was that they expected a last term grad student to just come up with that kind of money. It was just minutes after that I had people telling me how much they believed in me and how they would help where they could. One of my friends sent me some money through facebook messenger payments and said “you’ve got friends out there. they will step up” and I honestly cried. Others asked for my Cash App name or popped up on my venmo saying they believed in me and wanted to invest in making my dreams a reality. I have been overwhelmed with the magic that happens when you choose vulnerability over fear and shame… true love, connection, and community show up. And many of you showed up for me today. I know how much everyone struggles and to see them choose to invest in me is so incredibly humbling and inspiring.

it truly does take a village, and today I’m reminded that I have a wonderful village full of amazing people.

divorce, Life, parenting

what i didn’t know six months ago

six months ago my life as i thought i knew it flipped upside down. it was my 30th birthday, that life milestone you spend your twenties simultaneously dreading and looking forward to. on one hand it is that “omg i’m so old” freak out moment… and on the other it is this unspoken life milestone i pictured as a marker of ending the uncertainty and panic that your twenties are known for.

oh how unbelievably naive of me.

instead of having the coveted “dirty thirty” celebration i spent my actual birthday telling my seven year old daughter her father and i were going to be “taking a break” and living in separate houses. and thus began the roller coaster of the last six months.

it’s easy to see snapshots of someone’s life on social media and assume all is well. and for the most part, it is. but some days it’s not. some days are heavy, sad, confusing, overwhelming. the first few months i was a mess. i was in shock. i spent a long time trying to live up to the expectations of myself and others and when those expectations shattered in my hands i struggled. i was disappointed in myself and terrified of disappointing others. mourning the loss of the marriage i thought i had, the future we had planned, the family we had created… it was (it still is) a hard and painful process. this is the ultimate “embracing imperfection” challenge for me. failing at marriage – one of the foundational blocks i’ve built my life on – has created cracks in a lot of my expectations and ways of viewing the world. and i don’t think that’s a bad thing. if i can learn to thrive after what i would classify as one of the biggest disappointments i could face there isn’t much else i couldn’t handle. it has been a catalyst for freeing myself from the cage of people pleasing i’ve felt locked in for most of my life. which i’m thankful for. i’m getting to know myself for the first time in a long time, without the panic of wondering if who i am is enough or acceptable. while this entire process exhausting and painful at times, it’s been refreshing in a lot of ways too. i have to continually be reminded to look for the positive in even the most challenging, frustrating situations.

but… i never wanted this. this wasn’t supposed to be me. it happened so fast. the first few months of living on my own was scary. there is just so much i had never done on my own before… so much you just don’t realize changes with divorce…

  • i never expected to be a “part time” mom (i know i am always her mom… even when she’s not with me… that’s not what i mean). i never wanted to spend long stretches of time apart from my daughter. i didn’t want to miss getting her ready and sending her off for her last day of school. i didn’t want to miss tucking her in every night. the first weekend she was away i had so many mini panic attacks trying to figure out where she was because i was so used to her always being around…. BUT it has made me far more aware of making the most of every moment we have together. we made memories this summer out of moments that would have never happened otherwise.

  • i didn’t realize how heavy simple life decisions were when you had to make them on your own. in the first month of being separated i had to buy a new car and find a new place to live on my own. i moved from the suburbs to right smack dab in the middle of downtown stl. ya’ll – for most of the ten years i’ve lived in this area i refused to drive downtown at all. it induced a high level of anxiety. now it’s just another day. i’m braver, stronger, and more aware of my personal taste and desires. making decisions on my own is still scary sometimes, but rewarding.

  • untangling nearly ten years of physical and emotional connection is messy. he moved out of the apartment that we shared with just what he needed to get by the weekend after my birthday. the lease on that apartment was expiring in a month so i had to move too. that meant the whole apartment and storage unit had to be sorted. packing up a decade of accumulated belongings is exhausting, emotionally and physically. i had to decide what i wanted to keep, what was his, and what to get rid of. our lives were completely intertwined so separating them has been difficult financially, socially, and legally. just when you think you have it figured out something else you forgot about pops up.

this weekend marked the end of the thirty day waiting period that the state of missouri requires when you file for divorce, so it could be legally finalized any day now. this coming sunday would have been our ten year anniversary. so, to say this week has felt exceptionally heavy would be an accurate assessment. but, i’m stronger than i’ve ever been. and i have a healthy support system to hold me up when i don’t feel strong enough to do it on my own.

if you’re struggling through any type of challenging situation, know that you are far more capable than you ever thought you could be. look for the positive. be honest with yourself about your struggles. and find a community of people to be the healthy support system you will inevitably need… because we were never meant to do life alone.

 

Life, parenting

Alpha-Bits Snactivities {sponsored post}

Life with a 4 year old is like a life stuck in fast forward. It goes by so fast! In this crazy tech driven world it is, unfortunately, far too easy for me to forget the importance of hands on learning time. In the world of “there’s an app for that” I often forget the value of getting down and dirty in some old fashion hands on learning. What is better than mixing together learning and eating? That is what Alpha-Bits does!

Alpha-Bits is a delicious, nutritious and wholesome breakfast for children (adults enjoy it too!) with 20g of whole grains and 12 essential vitamins and nutrients per serving, including zinc and iron to support healthy brain development. In one serving, eating and reading becomes a fun way to feed our bodies while feeding our brains.

While Alpha-Bits has been around since 1958 they just recently partnered with the PBS Show “Super Why” and they are now the mascots for the cereal. Payton loves the show so the colorful characters quickly caught her attention! We decided to make some Crispy Treats out of our Alpha-Bits.

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She was so excited to get to help me cook. I even let her stir the marshmallows as they melted (with a very long spoon)

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She was slightly impatient waiting for them to melt. So she went over to the big bowl of Alpha-Bits and started looking for all the letters to her name. She was also moving so fast I couldn’t even get a good picture!

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Once the marshmallows melted we mixed it up, She was surprised at how sticky it was! We pressed them into a pan and then came the hard part: Waiting! When it was time to chow down she was yelling out all the letters as she was eating them “Look Mom, it’s P like in my name!”

It was great to spend some time together learning and having fun! In a world full of screens it’s nice to take a break and enjoy some real hands on learning… and eating!

How do you get hands on learning experience with your kids?

Disclaimer- I received product as a part of a campaign with Alpha-Bits and My Little Free Library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

parenting, Reviews

Sick Days

On Monday Payton woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat. It went away after a few hours, but I knew it’d be back. Yesterday she woke up and squeaked “Mama, I’m sad because I’m hot”

Yup. Fever and congestion. So for the first time in a loooooong time I stayed home from CrossFit with her. I hardly knew what to do with myself with a few extra hours in the morning. She started to get better throughout the day, but it’s so hard seeing her sick. I felt off all day too because I didn’t get my morning work out in. Since she was feeling better we went up to CrossFit for the evening sessions. It was good to get a workout in.

This morning I found her curled up on the end of the bed and she said “I just don’t feel good today” so we stayed home again. Poor kid is wheezing and coughing and still has a low grade fever. So another day of cuddles on the couch and Disney Junior

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Last week I had the makings of something similar. I woke up with a scratchy throat and immediately thought of the Zamboost Samples I was sent to try out.

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I began taking them and sipping on hot tea. Luckily the majority of the sickness past, with just an early morning throat tickle for a few days. I really think that taking Zamboost when I first felt the sickness coming on kept me from getting full on sick. I love that they are a local company from here in St Louis! Too bad I didn’t have a chewable version for toddlers!! If you are looking for something to boost your immune system be sure to check them out. They are available in Walgreens & Complete Nutrition stores in the STL area and on Amazon for online purchase.

In the mean time I’ve been trying all the natural remedies and little tricks I can think of to help Payt…. Vicks (we even got a Vicks Vaporizer for her room), Warm washcloth on the chest, next up is the warm bath/steam shower trick. I know it’s only a few days that a sickness like this lasts but it breaks my heart! Even her pup is trying to make her feel better, sweet boy.

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How do you handle sick kiddos? Do you take immunity boosting supplements?

Coffee Date, parenting

Coffee Date is Back!

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If we were having coffee I would probably have to apologize for being late. Feels like it’s the story of my life lately. I’d blame it on the construction in our subdivision and their ridiculous temporary stoplights, but truth would more than likely be that I snoozed one too many times and then spent 15 minutes running around like crazy trying to grab my meals, dress a toddler, wrangle a dog or two, and finally end up hitting the stoplight right as it turns red… and stays that way for far longer than I’d like. The good news is they will eventually finish construction. The bad news is I’ll lose my most convenient excuse for being late. The truth is I live a frazzled fast forward on the go life. I’d laugh it off during our coffee date and tell you it was just one of those seasons, but the truth is I don’t see our life getting any less hectic. We just aren’t those kinds of people, I guess.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been struggling with parenting lately. 3 year olds are so full of questions. SO MANY questions. Some are fun and easy to answer. But some are loaded. The kind of questions that build her worldview. Some questions I just don’t have the answer to. Not only that, but she is developing such a strong opinion on everything. What toys she plays with, what food she eats, what clothes she wears. Sometimes we butt heads. I can’t imagine this being any better as she gets older. As she develops her own personality she pushes boundaries, which is so fun *insert sarcasm* I feel like we’re always saying No or correcting her for something. And then there is the “But Why” …. I swore I’d never pull the because I said so card, but now I lose track of how often I say it. Life is full of those “choose your battle” moments. Who cares if she wants to wear knee socks and sneakers with her dress?

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I’d tell you that I feel incredibly blessed that my daughter is a good and kind and sweet as she is. She is hilarious and so incredibly caring. I don’t fault her, but sometimes I just feel so inadequate. LIke I should forgo a college fun and start a therapy fund instead.

I’d tell you its usually those moments when I’m most exasperated when someone asks when we plan on having another kid. I laugh and say not for a long time. I feel guilty for even saying that. I know how many people would love to be able to have lots of kids and can’t for whatever reason. The idea of having more than one kid gives me anxiety. Which then triggers more guilt. It’s a crazy cycle.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I’m really bummed that I thought I had a week off in-between terms of school, but I don’t. I was looking forward to a weekend with no homework.

If we were having coffee I’d apologize for rambling on, grab a refill and sit and listen to you.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?

parenting

Learning is Everyday (sponsored post)

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of KinderCare.

Time flies and kids grow up fast. They are always learning. It isn’t just about the lesson plans and school days, learning is everyday. At 3 1/2 years old, our little princess is such a curious little learner. She is always asking questions, some of which catch me off guard. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the weight of responsibility that comes with teaching kids about life and learning. When looking for a preschool I wanted to find a place where they took the responsibility of teaching kids as seriously as I did. I mean, the things they are learning now are building blocks of how they understand life for the rest of forever! Of course I take it seriously. When I’m not around I want to know that my daughter is receiving high quality care and instruction. That takes more than a good lesson plan, it takes a quality facility and caring staff. We have moments every day that are “learning moments” – those moments in our everyday routine that can be used as an opportunity to teach our children something.

I recently had one of those fun learning moments. At our CrossFit we have a large garage door we keep open. Sometimes this means we get some “visitors” like Rollie Pollies and other little bugs. One morning I turned around to find the brightest green leaf bug staring back at me. Right now Payton is obsessed with bugs. She even had a bug catching kit that she kept up there to catch rollie pollies in. Knowing that this would be an awesome learning moment I sprung into action and caught the bug in her bug catcher.

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Not only did this turn out to be a learning moment for her, but for me as well! She asked me what it was called and I couldn’t answer. All I knew was that it looked like a leaf. So, I did what any blog mom would do… I asked my social media friends and googled it!

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So something as simple as a bug turns into a learning adventure! She was so excited and actually got to hear it “sing” (uhm – it was more of a screech) and wanted to keep it as a pet. I explained that it needed to live in the wild to get food and maybe find it’s family. Also, the idea of that thing screeching in my house wasn’t exactly appealing. This was a fun learning moment that she won’t quickly forget!

Kindercare is all about embracing Learning Moments, those moments away from the chalkboard where learning naturally happens. As a matter of fact, learning moments is the theme of their upcoming open house on April 13! They will be having these open houses at all their learning centers nationwide. Families are encouraged to visit their local Kindercare for the open house to meet the teachers and see what quality childhood education looks like. Not sure where your local Kindercare is? Check out the website and use the locator tool!

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Source: SITS Girls Flickr

Want an even better reason to check out Kindercare? KinderCare’s first ever Back-to-School sweepstakes will award five lucky families a scholarship for one calendar year of free tuition for one child at a KinderCare or Knowledge Beginnings Center. From now through October 18th, 2013, new families who visit any participating KinderCare or Knowledge Beginnings Center and take a tour will be entered to win one of five grand prizes. Terms and Conditions apply. Click here to see the Official Rules. Free tuition for a year? I’m all about that.

What learning moment have you had recently?

KinderCare provides high quality early childhood education and childcare for kids who are infant aged through kindergarten.

One of the best ways to learn more about KinderCare is to attend their nationwide Open House on August 13, 2013. Visit KinderCare.com to find the closest KinderCare Learning Center or Knowledge Beginnings Center to you.

And bonus! KinderCare’s Back-to-School Sweepstakes will award five families a scholarship worth one calendar year’s tuition for one child. To be eligible, families must visit their local KinderCare Center and take a tour. Terms and conditions apply. Visit KinderCare.com to see the Official Rules.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of KinderCare.

Coffee Date, parenting

Coffee Date

Hey Friends. I’m so happy it’s Friday. That means time for Coffee Date! If we were having coffee I’d probably order a Chai Latte – they have been my new favorite. I would tell you as the seasons are changing I’ve been wanting less coffee, guess it’s been pretty warm in the mornings. Plus I don’t usually sit down to drink my coffee until after my workout and sometimes it just doesn’t sound good.

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Speaking of workouts – I would tell you I’m SUPER excited for our STL Blogger meet up tomorrow! A bunch of the bloggers are coming out to CrossFit 70 to try an intro class. Yay for sweating with friends!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am feeling exceptionally blessed today. This week has been tough. The workouts were hard *cough* Murph & Fran *cough* and my relationship with food has been something I’ve been working through, but I’ve had such amazing support. I would tell you that since really putting myself out there about my confusion with food and telling you I was going to just try to be normal and balanced that I actually have been! I’ve been tracking on MyFitnessPal (my name on there is courtnorm – friend me!) and paying attention to what I eat and how it makes me feel. I’ve been paying attention to my Macros (Protein-Fat-Carb) and realizing that when my carbs are low so is my energy. I think this may be my issue with gaining strength. I’ve also talked to some people and I am getting a strength building plan put together – along with looking into a nutrition coach to help me balance my goals of losing weight and gaining strength. Yeehaw for progress! The most important thing right now is that I’m feeling really good… more at peace with myself.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that all though there are times she completely wears me out, I’m SO thankful for her. She’s growing up into such a beautiful little lady. She loves going to CrossFit with us and is a great little coach.

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This morning I was reading Jenn’s blog and she talked about how her daughter saved her life and I can totally relate. I would tell you how my “A-Ha” moment came shortly after she was born when I saw a picture of me with the family around Easter time.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you I can’t believe that is me. I realized looking at that picture that if I wanted to be the fun active mom who was around for her daughter that something had to change. I will, however, tell you that as much I as started the process for her… I ended up finding myself in the process. I would tell you that this journey is a never ending one. I’ll keep growing Shrinking? and learning and developing as a person.

If we were having coffee I’d ask you what some of your biggest life learning moments have been. I love hearing other people tell stories. Especially ones that resonate to their core.

Your turn – If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?

 

Coffee Date, parenting

Coffee Date: On Beauty

I am participating in the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign as a FitFluential Ambassador. 

I legally have to disclose that, but in all honesty I would participate in this campaign/challenge even if I didn’t receive awesome UA Swag. This may seem cliche, but really participating in this program has really made me think about beauty… how I see it and how I am teaching my daughter to see it. So pull up a comfy chair and grab a cup of coffee (or tea… or water!) and let’s have a chat. I have a feeling this may be long… so get comfortable!

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If we were having coffee today I would ask you what you thought beauty really was. I would listen intently and probably search for some hidden or underlying explanation for your thoughts. You can thank my psychology classes for that. I would tell you that I still struggle with the stereotypical idea of what’s beautiful… I know it’s not a number on a scale… but to be honest I still find myself chasing it. I know it isn’t the number on the barbell either, but I chase that too. I find myself struggling to find just the right words to define and explain beauty, especially when trying to explain it to my 3 year old. Words are important to me. They are weighty and carrying a lot of meaning. So, I did some research…

beautydefined

Beauty, as defined by dictionary.com is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind.

I had to sit and ponder this for a minute. To wrap my head around the idea.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I think there is a huge part of beauty that seems mysterious to me. Because when something is beautiful sometimes we just can’t explain why. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. You just look at something and you see that intense pleasure or deep satisfaction and sometimes all you can muster is a whisper of “that’s beautiful” 

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beauty is not perfection. and seeing life through precious little eyes reminds me of that all too often. a simple attempt at braided pig tails may frustrate me because they just don’t look right. But she sees the beauty in it. something so simple brings her great pleasure.

and that is beautiful.

GraceRX

maybe it is doing something you never thought you could do. that happened for me this week. when I first started CrossFit I wanted to do one of the benchmark “girl” workouts as prescribed… which at the time was SUPER heavy for me. I mean 95# from the ground to overhead 30 times is no joke. But I kept dreaming about it, and working for it. and this week I did it. and in that sweaty moment when the 30th Clean & Jerk locked out over my head I felt a moment of intense pleasure and deep satisfaction that I can’t explain.

It was beautiful.

So, I guess what I’m saying is I can’t really explain beauty to you in a way that would do it justice. But I can tell you when you see something beautiful… deep in your soul you will know what beauty really is.  You’ll feel it.

If we were having coffee… What would you tell me?

linking up with alissa.

Nutrition, parenting, Weight Loss, Whole30

Confused

Well hello there friends. How was your weekend? I hope you moms had a great mothers day! I sure did. It’s always a good day when I get to spend it with this cutie

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I actually got to sleep in, then we laid in bed cuddling for a bit. The hubs made breakfast while I took a long shower and took my time getting ready. After doing some housework I took Little P shopping for some new shoes. Girlfriend is quite the shopper. She found some shoes she loved right away and wouldn’t change her mind, no matter how hard I tried. Love her. We looked at clothes too. She walked around the girls section exclaiming “This is SO cute. Mom, can I buy this?” And holding things up asking me if it looked good. Hilarious.  We went to lunch with the hubs family at Cheesecake Factory. This would be our fourth night in a row eating out. Whoops.

Can we talk about food for second? Because lately I’ve just been really confused by it. You see – I did the Whole30 last month and I had great results. But I struggled. The idea of being SO restrictive made me miserable. I wanted stuff I haven’t had in so long, and normally wouldn’t want, just because I “couldn’t” have it. And if we’re being honest here… The last 2 weeks have been a continuous “cheat” because I wanted to relish in the fact that I “could” have whatever I wanted. We traveled to Pittsburgh and I ran a half marathon, which I used as an excuse to eat an ungodly amount of processed carbs. I’ve tried to find the balance in the last week or so but I just don’t know what to do.

My problem is I want/need to lose more weight. But I also want/need to get stronger. So how do I balance that? For the past year I have been eating mostly grain-free. I still have some dairy and legumes, so not totally paleo. And I often indulge in desserts and meals that are less than healthy. The reason I did the Whole30 was because I had hit a plateau and was tired of gaining and losing the same 5 pounds. I made great progress, but it really did mess with me mentally. Now I’m afraid of “restricting” myself too much because I don’t want to end up coming off something and eating everything in sight….

So I guess what I’m saying is I just don’t know how to balance it all. I need to do more research on what to eat to gain muscle while losing fat, but mostly I want to find something that clicks with me mentally as well.

All that to say I’m just confused.

Any advice?
How was your mothers day?

Coffee Date, parenting

Coffee Date: Parenting

Good morning! How’s your week been going? I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable with our new schedule. Learning to balance it all has been difficult, but we are working through it. I am so ready for our coffee date! I have so much on my mind and could use some advice.

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If we were having coffee I’d be drinking out of my travel mug. I’ve been doing that since Alissa mentioned she did to keep her coffee hot longer. Brilliant, I tell you. I’d apologize for the chaos that is my life, suggesting next time we go out for coffee. You’d see the dogs wrestling (loudly) in the background as the kiddo is watching Disney Jr – completely unaware of the world around her. I would tell you that this is the first time I’ve actually gotten dressed in normal clothes all week. I’m wearing this color block top from Gwynnie Bee and I kind of love it. What I would really want to talk about is this precious little one…

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With everything changing so much with us, I can only imagine she feels a little off kilter too. For the past few months she has started going to the bathroom in her pants again. She has been potty trained for about a year now. She was even going through her nap times with no pull ups. Then she just started going in her pants a little bit before running to the bathroom. No big deal. Then we had to put a pull up back on her at nap time. Again no big deal. Eventually she just started all out peeing in her pants several times a day. So now when we go out I have to decide if I’m going to put her in a pull up or not. I don’t really know how to handle it. I certainly don’t want to shame her for it, but I want her to know that big girls don’t do that. We have been planning on putting her in Preschool a few days a week, but most places require her age group to be fully potty trained. And she was. But not she’s not. I know she’ll grow out of this – but it is hard for me to understand right now. She’s just so stinkin smart.

cuddletime

Sometimes I feel guilty- Like I did something to cause it. Maybe I’m not “there” for her enough even though we are almost always constantly together. I’ll be the first to admit she watches too much tv… The hubs and I both work from home full time so to get work done sometimes that is what we need to do. Add in the new CrossFit adventure… it’s a lot going on for all of us. I’ve found myself actually listening to what I’m saying and how I’m saying it to her. I don’t want to just be a nagging voice – but to remind her of how precious and beautiful she is.

growingup

If we were having coffee I would ask you for advice. She is growing up into such a beautiful little lady, I just want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to help her along the way. She is so precious and has such a sweet spirit. I love when her eyes light up when you tell her you’re proud of her. It kills me to see her eyes well up with tears when she knows she did something wrong. She rarely gets punished because the poor girl punishes herself enough.

I am just overwhelmed that God has entrusted me with such a beautiful soul. I want to use my time with her wisely. The weight of the responsibility that comes with parenting is heavy sometimes…. today is one of those times.

If we were having coffee… What would you tell me?

Linking up with Alissa.