Thursday, October 31, 2013


So this Halloween I really wanted to try and pick a theme for our kids to dress up and they wanted 5 different things, so I had to think hard about what we could choose that would appease everyone. Duh, Star Wars! My kids are Star Wars junkies, so it was the best idea EVER! These costumes were not terribly hard to make, and I will post again later in more detail about how we made them. But for now, I present to you, my galactic gang.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I meant to share these a while ago...

I meant to share these a while ago, but I held off due to the fact that I was gifting them to family members. And now here they are!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

Throughout my life I have been afforded a few opportunities to be shown the kindness of strangers. I've often wondered if I have returned the favor, if I have paid my dues. Have I done something out of the goodness of my heart for a stranger, and changed the course of their day, week, life? I'm not sure if I have, or if I would really know. I know I try to help anyone that I can, is that enough?

The first time I recall really being shown a truly random act of kindness was when I was 10. My sisters and I were flying solo from Maine to Florida on what was supposed to be a non stop flight. Our plane had to land for some reason or another and we were left to fend for ourselves. We had a layover and no idea how to get from one gate to another. Then, a man approached us and asked if he could help us. For whatever reason, we felt we could trust him, and he helped us. He bought us dinner and then made sure we got to the right gate and boarded our plane. I always wondered what happened to him after that. Did he go home and tell his wife or kids? Did he have a wife or kids? Does he even remember doing it?

Recently I shared that we were participating in a contest via Facebook for a new roof. Just typing that sentence seems surreal.  This amazing company, Total Home Roofing and Construction, decided the other day to end the contest a few days early. On Tuesday they made the announcement that they had decided to give both families featured in the contest a new roof! I couldn't believe it. I still feel like at any moment someone might come pinch me and I will wake up. The  weight that has been lifted off my shoulders is so tremendous. Words cannot possibly describe the emotions I have felt since they told us. I could try to with a few words: relief, gratitude, faith, amazement, RELIEF, thankfulness, and did I mention relief? I just feel so overwhelmed by the generosity of a company, not only willing to help out their community, but to help two families. Two!

I do not know how I can possibly show my gratitude to this company, other than to talk about the wonderful thing they are doing for us. So be prepared to hear more about them! Oh and by the way, if anyone out there in the Central Florida area needs their roof worked on, or other home construction done, I know this great company...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mamavation Monday: This and That

It's hard to believe another Mamavation campaign is coming to a close! It went by so quickly! I am so proud of the hard work the Mamavation Moms put in, both in making their lives healthier as well as their homes!  We are all so lucky to have such a fearless leader in Leah, giving us all these opportunities to learn more about fitness, GMOs, detoxing our lives, and healthy eating! Leah Rocks!

I have just started preparing myself for the half marathon I am doing in December. I am so excited! This will be my first half marathon ever! If you have trained for a half before, what plan did you follow, and how did you like it? Do you have any advice for me to make this experience better?

As people everywhere prepare to send their children off to school (or if like me you've already done this) there is no denying that summer is swiftly coming to an end. Unlike so many of you however, the end of summer does not quite usher in the ideas of crisp fall air, warm apple cider, pumpkin patches, and the crunch of dry leaves underfoot. Here in Florida one thing I do look forward to in the fall, is the end of the rainy hurricane season. The rain is wonderful for our yard, but this past year or so it has been nothing more than a headache! You see our roof began leaking a while ago, and as time has gone on, the damage it has done to our home has gotten even worse. It's gotten to the point that I actually found mushrooms growing in one of our windowsills! It was horrible! I have done my best to keep everything dry, and clean, but we really need a  professional to come out and repair our roof. My husband has been up there repeatedly patching and trying to find the source of the leak, but without much success. Recently our family was nominated by friends to take part in a contest for a new roof! A local and very generous company is giving away a new roof to a deserving family here in our county. In order to win, we just have to garner as many Facebook likes as possible on the post right here . You have to first like the page, and then like our picture. If you could do this, or share that link with friends I would be eternally grateful! Thus far the outpouring of support, and people's kind words have been very uplifting.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I've been home for a couple weeks now and I am STILL struggling to get back into our routine. Still struggling with food, working out, cleaning, and especially with making time to get online. I feel like I am getting there, but it will probably be better once I have the kids back in school. My oldest three begin school Wednesday, and then next Wednesday, my 4 y/o begins pre-K. So that's probably when life will begin to truly return to normal!

Today I still have to load the kid's backpacks up with their school supplies and let them plan their outfits for the first day of school. Then this coming weekend we will be celebrating my son Joey's 7th birthday! I have a bridal shower and bachelorette party to throw n the next couple weeks, and a 5k to run, and a wedding to attend/be a member of the bridal party. So LOTS going on in the next month...but after that?? Smooth sailing as I train for my first half-marathon in early December! Crazy to think how close it is already!

How do you get back into a routine after a long vacation?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I haven't done one of these before, but I've always wanted to. And being that my favorite past time is photographing my kids....well it just makings sense!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Getting the show on the road...

Today I spent the entire day packing. The amount of things I packed in somewhat ridiculous, and I feel like I could pack more if I had more room! Over the next two days I will be driving from Florida to Maine with my husband and kids. I LOVE Maine. You should too. There are so many great things about summer in Maine. It's not nearly as miserable as summer in Florida. Even without air conditioning, the heat is not uncomfortable. We don't have a set plan, but over the next 7 weeks we will spend our time relaxing, reading, swimming, exploring, hiking, and again, relaxing. My mom and three of my sisters live in Maine so it is a wonderful thing to be able to go and stay for such an extended visit. I haven't seen them in 2 years, and miss them like crazy, so I cannot WAIT to get there!
That's me and the kids two years ago. It's crazy how much bigger they all are now!

I weighed in today and I have not lost of gained any weight since the end of my mamavation campaign. I am not surprised, I have continued eating healthy food everyday and making sure I am getting my exchanges in, but I have slacked a bit when it comes to my workouts. Instead of getting 6 in per week I've been getting in 3. With the kids home from school and getting ready for our trip I am not disappointed by this at all. I'm just glad I did not see a gain! I expect that while we are away I will lose a couple pounds as that has always happened in the past, we tend to be very active outside and not stuck indoors like we are here. Although, I will say, if we were not going to Maine this summer I think I would have been better about making an effort to get outdoors more this summer, I'm not pregnant, and no one is a baby anymore! So the only excuse I have is I don't like the heat, and that's pretty lame!  My goal for this next week is just to arrive safely, unpack, and get settled and enjoy my family!

Monday, June 10, 2013

What is a Runner?

I struggle with this question often. Am I a runner?

I love to run. I run to relieve stress. I run to lose weight. I run to make my body stronger. Am I a runner?

For a long time, I ran in whatever fit. Gym shorts, loose t-shirts, sneakers. I knew running shoes mattered, but I was not a brand savvy girl. I used to work at Sport's Authority during high school and college, so I had an idea of what running shoes were popular. But still, I stuck to the clearance racks because thrifty is in my soul!

As time went on I started picking up more running specific items. Moisture wicking clothing, a running belt, compression socks, Bondi Bands, headphones, Ipod, and running shoes that make it feel like I am running on pillows. Seriously! So now I look the part when I run. Am I a runner?

I joined a local running group called Moms Run This Town. They are wonderful. Look them up, there may be a chapter near you. It's free to join and you may never have to run alone (unless you want to) again! And if there is not a local chapter, you can start one! Ours is pretty active and we get together every so often to do group events. It's nice to have others to run with, discuss technique, aches and pains, etc. But being a group member doesn't really make a runner does it?

Many of my friends have been running 5K's, half- and full-marathons. So far I have not done a "real" race. Just virtual races, such as the Mamavation 5K I completed just yesterday. I did finally sign up for a 5K, a "real" one. But I decided at the last minute not to go. I had been told told 1700 had registered for the race and I chickened out. I was planning to run the race with my three oldest children running alongside me, while pushing my two youngest in the jogging stroller. Clearly I was not running for a PR. But I chickened out, and then was so disappointed in myself. I should have just gone! Only about 700 people actually showed up for the race! If I have never run a "real" race, am I a runner?

What is a runner? Who decides? I run because I can. I run because I love the way my hair feels with the wind brushing through it. I run because I love the taste of salty sweat on my lips. I run because of the adrenaline rush that grows stronger with each mile. I run to get out of my head. I run to stay healthy.
 I run. I run. I run.
 I am a runner.

This post is sponsored by Lifesize Portions and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Results are In!

So last week was my final weigh-in of the Mamavation Boot Camp. I was so thrilled with my results and I've been meaning to share them here all week, but it has been so hectic, I've had hardly anytime to sit down to the computer. So first, let's look back at my pre-Mamavation picture. This was me in December. This was my highest weight (not counting pregnancy) ever. Sadly, it was only 8 lbs less than my highest pregnancy weight. Ugh.
Then I found out about Mamavation. I applied for campaign 15, and though I didn't get chosen that time, I did participate in the hazing and found many amazing, inspirational, and supportive women. I slowly began to lose the weight, and felt super motivated. I still felt like I was struggling. I was working out a ridiculous amount, running a lot more than before, and though I was losing weight, it was very slow. I began to plateau and before I knew it campaign 15 had ended and it was time to apply again! When I applied I was 158.6 lbs, down 13.4 lbs from my original starting point in January.

By the time I was chosen for the campaign I was really beginning to become discouraged. I had lost and gained the same 5 lbs a couple times. The campaign changed that. Using the workout plan and nutrition plan provided I started making small changes to my lifestyle. One major change that was very important was drinking water. Trying to drink 100 oz a day was hard at first, but quickly became the easiest part of my day! The meal planning turned out to be a bit more difficult, mostly because my diet is a bit restrictive. I am a vegetarian and also dairy free. Once I began to get the hang of planning my meals using a system of exchanges it was not as much of a struggle to eat the right foods and more a struggle to plan them properly so that I got enough calories in each day. Yes I said enough, I was eating too few. One week during the boot camp, I ate too few calories all week long and actually gained! If you are not eating enough calories you can put your body into starvation mode and stall weight loss. And contrary to popular belief, losing weight in a healthy way does not mean starving yourself! Just look at some of the great meals I made.

By week seven of the campaign I was down 15 lbs and had lost a total of 14.5 inches! I am down 2 sizes in my clothing, and I have had countless people let me know they can see I've lost weight. I'm not gonna lie, it feels good, and keeps me pushing towards my goal. But the best part was not the compliments, it was knowing that seeing my progress has inspired anyone else to begin/continue their own journey when they felt like giving up! I'm so thankful to the Mamavation community for all the support along the way. I am truly grateful for the new friendships I have formed along the way, and this opportunity to change my life, and the life of my family! So here are my after pictures! I am down a total of 28.4 lbs since January!! That's a toddler people!!!!

And if you are interested at all in trying out to be one of the next Mamavation Moms, just go right here and apply! The next campaign is going to be even more amazing because not only will the moms chosen be losing weight, but they will be detoxifying their homes! There are some amazing opportunities available during the next campaign, so be sure to check it out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mamavation Monday: Feeling the Burn

So today is the first day post-campaign. Today it is up to me to workout. I have no pre-determined plan, I have no required food journal or weigh ins. Yet I find myself still measuring out the peanut butter for my morning smoothie and planning my afternoon workout around my sons' nap schedule. The campaign might have ended, but I'm still feeling the burn. I am on fire! I have been enjoying the workouts and meal plan that I adopted during the Mamavation campaign, and as a result I've been enjoying the weight loss and shrinking waistline! I'm not going to reveal my total weight loss today, but check back in tomorrow and I will share with you my before and after pics, and the numbers! You can also look here to see my results as of LAST week. I'm pretty happy with my results and even closer to my ultimate goal. I hope that you will keep on following me in this journey as I get into the best shape ever!

This post is sponsored by Radiantly You and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Take Time to Live

Sometimes I think we all get caught up int he excitement of all that is at our fingertips. We all have smartphones now, so instantly we can share with family and friends all those awesome moments of our children being ridiculously cute, of our pets acting silly, our husbands being thoughtful, or plate of dinner. I'm not here to point fingers, if that were the case I'd be pointing at myself! I do think, though, that sometimes we are so eager to share the moment that we forget to live it. Instead of letting a wash of emotion run over me as I watch my daughter take my youngest son by the hand and walk him to the playground, I feel an overwhelming urge to share this picture perfect moment via Instagram. RIGHT THAT MINUTE. What is wrong with me! I can still great that great shot. And I can still share it. But I can live in the moment first, and enjoy it.

Right now I am in week five of a 7 week boot camp aimed at learning to live a healthier lifestyle, as well as losing weight. Due to some of the duties associated with the campaign, I've had to give up some of my "spare" time. Anyone who knows me, and knows I have 5 children (9, 8, 6, 4, and almost 3) knows that the word "spare" is used very loosely. In fact it's really more of a joke! Ha, spare time, what is that? I digress. My point is, I had to rearrange some of how I do things each day. And while I have felt as though I am busier than normal, I have still been able to perform my normal duties as mom and wife extraordinaire. One thing I did notice though, with the added pressure, I find myself soaking in each moment a little bit more, appreciating it more. 

Today, Gray was up before the sun. By the time ten o'clock had rolled around he was trying hard to stay awake and losing the battle. I laid him in bed and kissed him goodnight, wishing him a good nap. But within minutes he was crying out for me. This is not normal Gray behavior. He's always been a very willing napper. Today was likely a case of being overtired and fighting it. After nearly an hour of him continuing to fuss and request I cover him with a blanket, find his toy, give him a sip of water etc etc etc..I finally just laid my head on his pillow and rested beside him. He reached immediately for my hair (he's obsessed with it), and soothed himself to sleep within  minutes. Of course the minute I could hear that change in breathing, assuring me he was out, I felt the urge to hop up and get back to my housework. I stopped myself  instead, I continued to lay there, for just a few minutes more. How long will I have moments like this? A sweet child unable to relax and give in to sleep without the comfort of mommy nearby. It's already a very rare thing in this house as it is. I lay there listening to the rhythm of his breaths and feeling the weight of his small hand on my ponytail. For just a bit today, I lived in that moment, letting it leave a permanent impression on my memory of my youngest baby.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mamavation Monday

How do you stay motivated? Today is Monday. Probably the busiest day of my week. It's always a day of catch up, phone calls, laundry from the weekend, etc. I also have ASL class online Monday nights, and later on in the evening I have Mamavation TV. Some weeks I feel like I accomplish SO MUCH on Monday alone. And then Tuesday arrives and I'm usually like blah, what to do. I have decided I need a routine again. I have so much going on lately, and somehow I have fallen out of old routines and I just feel frazzled. So a new routine is in order. I'm going to spend some time tomorrow working on a written out routine of tasks to do each day, to help me stay focused. Some things I am hoping to accomplish: purge all rooms of the house, have a yard sale, paint my kitchen and dining room, reorganize my laundry/storage room, plan my trip to Maine.

The kids have just 7 days left of school and then they are on summer vacation. I think we are all counting down the days. For the remainder of May and most of June we will stay here in Florida. We'll enjoy the beach and parks nearby. But mostly we will stay close to home, keeping busy each day as much as possible. Then the last week of June we will head out! The kids and I will drive from Florida to Maine, where we will spend the month of July staying at my mom's house and visiting family.  I always feel like it's the best place in the world to just decompress. The kids can actually play outside. We can go on hikes and picnics, swim at the lake, and make day trips to  the various points in Maine. I cannot wait for our adventures! What are your plans for the week, for the summer?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

So excited!

See that new badge on the side bar to the right?? See it?!?! Isn't it freaking AWESOME! I'm just a wee bit excited....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Weeks Down, Five to Go!

So two weeks ago I embarked on a new journey as a Mamavation Mom. It has been eye opening to say the least! Having my workouts planned out for me each day has been great. Instead of trying to find some way to motivate myself, I simply open my binder to the correct week and see what Mr. BookieBoo has planned for me. The diet plan I am following was prepared for my by Alysa of InspiredRD. We are using the exchange system to measure out portions and plan meals. As much as it was a tad bit confusing at first, I actually really like this method of eating. And I can tell you I am eating more food than I had in a really long time! It's crazy, eat more, weigh less. Who knew! You can follow along with my progress here or here.

This past week has been a flurry of activity. Between all of my Mamavation workouts, Sign language class, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, my photography business, my Thirty-One business, and Bella's eighth birthday, our schedule was jam-packed.  I cannot even begin to describe the joy I will feel when school is out and we can slow down a bit! But not yet, we still have just about 3 weeks left! In that time we have a Relay for Life event, Bella's Dance recital, Cub Scout and Girl Scout activities and events, more sign language classes, and end of the school year events!

I am really excited about our upcoming Relay for Life event. Both my mom's parents lost their battles to cancer, and my husband's Aunt is currently in remission, so this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I had participated years ago, but hadn't in recent years, so I was thrilled when my local running group decided to have a team. So far we have raised over $2,900 for Relay for Life!! My personal goal was to raise $100, and thus far I am at $85. If you would like to help us out and make a donation you can do so right here. Thanks again for following along and supporting me in my journey! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hello Again

So last week on Monday I was waiting on pins and needles for an announcement. For the revelation of who had been chosen to be the next three Mamavation Moms. Unfortunately, the Twitter party we had planned on never happened. I can't say I mind, it was the right thing to do.

Earlier that day the Boston Marathon was well under way. I was sitting outside sanding down a chair while Grayson played with his water table. And then the unthinkable happened.It's been hard to get back here and write. I found out on Tuesday that I was chosen as one of the Mamavation Moms to  be in the boot camp for Campaign 16. I am beyond THRILLED about this wonderful opportunity, but I am also heartbroken for the families of the victims who died Monday. And my heart is so heavy for all those who's injuries will forever change their lives.

Are you doing anything to honor the victims of the Boston Bombings? I am, I am going to participate in the Run for Boston #Anywhere5K. Anyone can do it, between April 23rd and April 30th. Just sign up, print your bib, and get out there and run!

I hope that you will continue to follow my progress as I embark on a 7 week boot camp! I know I can reach my goals. As I am nearing the end of week one I am finding that I feel better already!

Before you go I wanted to share the blog posts for myself and my co-moms! You can find them by clicking here: Erica,  Lindsay , and myself!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Final Countdown

So tomorrow  (Monday) night there will be a Twitter party for Campaign 16, and at the end Leah will be announcing the three new Mamavation Moms! Will one of them be me? I sure hope so, but won't know until then! If you would like to join in the fun, just RSVP here. In addition to finding out who the new Mamavation moms will be, there will be fun and prizes!

This past week as a finalist was a lot of fun. Each day brought new challenges with the hazing. I have been sore all over every day. But it is a good sore! I weighed in this morning and was pleased to see I was down 1 lb since last week. I was SO HAPPY to see the scale move again after nearly 3 weeks of no losses! I am hoping that I will see some bigger movements next week. I really think that for me, the key to weight loss is to keep changing things up and keep my body guessing. Every time I revert to that I lose weight.

This week I :
  16 miles (ran a 5K and had a PR of 34:11)
  415 burpees
  450 squats
  235 lunges per side
  128 v-ups
  8 x 1 minute planks
  60 thrusters 
  9 x 1 min Feet of fire
  100 jumping jacks

I think there might have actually been more than that, but I must be honest and say I didn't have it all logged in my journal, so I misght have missed something here or there. But as you can see, I have had quite a busy week! Of all the things listed above I think the hardest are the burpees and the v-ups. Bu they are also VERY effective! You can feel the burn for sure! As hard as they are I LOVE them! 

Another huge highlight of my week this week was being featured as The Sista of the Week on the Mamavation forums. It was a huge honor and a great boost to push through the hazing this past week! 

I was trolling around on FB earlier and I saw a picture posted that I had been tagged in back at Christmas. I had promptly untagged myself because I thought, "OMG what an unflattering picture!" In reality, I just hadn't come to grips yet with the weight that had crept on over the summer and fall months. This is that picture:

This picture was taken at Christmas. And no the food in front of me was not all mine, but it might as well have been. I've always had the attitude that if I was hungry I would eat, if not I wouldn't. I wasn't going to deprive myself. As time went on though, I wreaked havoc on my metabolism by chronically under-eating the right things and then overloading one carbs and sweets. Since I joined Mamavation I have learned a LOT about the foods I was putting into my body, and I am getting a better handle on what I need to change. I need to fuel my workouts! After this picture was taken, and after I joined Mamavation, I began making changes. I changed the way I work out, I changed how often I worked out, and I changed the way I eat. I have lost 17.2 lbs since January 9th! I still have 25-30 lbs to go to reach my goal weight, and I know I can do it.  So regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's Twitter party, I am still planning to be a big part of Mamavation and I still plan to keep pushing myself to reach my weight loss and fitness goals.

Thanks for cheering me on along the way, I truly appreciate your support!

Friday, April 12, 2013

How do you do it?

We've all had those days, you know the ones. You can't seem to get moving. Your motivation is somewhere between non-existent and LOW.What do you do to keep moving?

I have struggled with this before, especially in the weeks and month following the births of my children. It was so easy to just turn the TV on to Dora the Explorer and lay on the couch while the kids watched TV and played in the living room. And fresh home cooked meals? Yeah, those are great. But so is Stouffer's Mac and Cheese, all 8000 calories of it! It's just so much easier than trying to get motivated to get in the kitchen and prepare a healthy, balanced meal.It was easy to let the housework go, but in the end it got done. The cooking is a work in progress, but we are moving in the right direction. Letting my body go, on the other hand, that was a bit harder to take back than a pile of dishes or laundry.

Some of the things I have found that have helped to keep me motivated each day to keep myself up and moving:

1) Get dressed from head to toe. Whether I am getting dressed to go on morning run, or just dressed to go anywhere, I get so much more accomplished!

2) Make a list. Don't worry if you don't check off every item. But having a list helps you to visualize all the things you need to do each day. It especially helps if you do not crumble up said list and throw it in the trash. I leave mine on the counter until it's done.

3. If you are a busy mama like myself, learn to cook! I don't mean to imply that you don't already know how. But I know, the things I thought I knew about cooking were sorely lacking! Cooking larger batches of a meal and freezing it has been such a help for those days I lack the time or motivation to prepare a full meal, and it saves my family from eating crap! Also, have you tried crock-pot recipes? There are approximately 367 million amazing things that can be made in a crock pot. While you work, or while you sleep, or while you do yard work! Crock pots are amazing!

4.  Get moving! Go for a walk. Go for a run.  Do a workout DVD, go to the gym, go to a boot-camp. Do something. Just make sure that you are moving around and not settled in one spot for hours on end. I know sometimes I will think of every possible excuse I can to avoid a workout, but I will force myself to do it. And I promise you every single time I am so glad I did the workout.

So I hope these ideas might help you to keep moving. What other suggestion do you have?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mamavation Monday: And so it is..

So last night I waited up hoping to find out if I might have made it was one of the five finalists for Mamavation Mom. I was super exhausted from the day's workout, as the hazing (from Saturday evening) included 4 sets of 15 thrusters, 4 sets of 25 burpees, 3 one min planks, 2 sets of 25 v-ups and then another (for Sunday) 4 sets of 25 burpees. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I was camping with my daughter and her girl scout camp, so when I saw the hazing posted Saturday night, darkness had already fallen and I felt it would be safer to do the workout in the morning, when I could see what I was doing! I got home nice and early and got right to it. A few hours later I saw the Sunday hazing posted and thought, dear God why didn't I just do those burpees at camp hahaha! By the time I finished them I was totally wiped out! It felt AMAZING to be so exhausted though! I took a shower and put on some fresh clothes and we headed to the park with the kids. So by the time I had fed, bathed, and tucked the kiddies into bed I was already beyond tired. I began the waiting game of checking Twitter, FB, and Google+, as well as for the big announcement. But I just couldn't hang and eventually I passed out. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I awoke this morning and saw THIS!

I am so honored and thrilled to be a finalist! This means the next week will be spent busting my butt, working out, eating right, pushing myself as hard as I possibly can in my quest to be one of the chosen three. I would love if you could show me some support during this time! Also, the big announcement will be made on Monday April 15th during a live Twitter Party from 8 pm to 9:30 pm EST.

So I need to get up my before pictures, and measurements, but I do have my weight. I am starting out at 155. I had a slight weight gain, which is disappointing, I was 154.6, so 0.4 lb gain. I will take it though, as I have been noticing some more muscle definition this week in my legs for sure! My ultimate goal weight is 130lbs. That is not my pre-pregnancy weight, but a weight I am comfortable with, and given the fact that I am developing muscles, I think this is something I can work towards! MY biggest problem is my diet, and I have been working hard at trying to tweak it! Any advice is appreciated!  I am so excited for this opportunity, I really hope I make it!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break!

So this last week my kids have been home on spring break. If there is ANYTHING that will test your ability to continue a workout regime, it is having your kids home on break. Or maybe this only applies to moms like myself who have five kiddos between 2 and 9 years old? I am not sure. But one thing I am sure of: it took a LOT to keep myself moving everyday. Of course you are probably wondering, how can this be? You have five kids, surely you must always be moving. Well yes, but I am also accustomed to always moving. So the moving everyday really refers more to the working out beyond my normal activities.

Everyday of this spring break my children have slept until 8 am or later. Everyday I woke up and I was all WHO ARE THESE IMPOSTERS?!? Well they are awfully cute so they must be mine...
 We didn't have much planned for the break. Just hanging out around the house, reading books, visiting the park, and such. We had on trip planned, which was part fun and part business. Johnny had new more powerful, hearing aids waiting for him in St. Pete. So on Wednesday we drove over to Tampa to stay with a friend from college. The next morning we all got up and headed to All Children's hospital. She graciously offered to watch the kids in the waiting room while I went in to Johnny's appointment. Once he was all squared away we were off to the beach. It was so very relaxing!

We went to a church Easter event on Saturday and Easter Sunday we spent with family. Really it was so nice being able to get caught up on sleep, spend time with my babies, and just take it easy during this break. Tomorrow is the beginning of the application process for becoming a Mamavation Mom. Well I say the beginning, it's really just the end of the applications being accepted...and start of official hazing. So you can expect me to be pushing myself even more than I have been, and for good reason! I still have about 20-25 lbs to get to my goal weight. I am not positive exactly where I should end up, since I'm developing muscles I never had before, even at my lightest. But for now, my next lil goal, I just want to lose 5 lbs. That will put me in the 140's again. And I miss those numbers. I don't want to be best friends with them or anything, but a lil visit would be okay. I am really hoping to become a Mamavation Mom this go round, I think the boot camp will be exactly the butt-kicking I need to get me where I want to be. And I want to get there and stay there. No more yo-yo. No more slacking off in the summer. This is my new life. And it's gonna be awesome.

“This post is sponsored by RockMyRun & Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Friday, March 29, 2013

A day at the Beach

Yesterday we were in St. Pete picking up Johnny's new hearing aids. So we decided to make a day of it and visit the beach. It was soo relaxing and nice. The beach normally totally stresses me out because the kids cannot wear their hearing aids or cochlear implants on the beach (I don't want them to be ruined by sand or get wet); and we are still learning ASL, so communicating with them is tougher. We are working on it though, and this is definitely a motivator for me to continue my quest for us to become fluent in ASL. It was a nice change from our beaches though. We live about 5 minutes from the beach, which is awesome. However our beaches have pretty rough waves and a strong riptide. In St. Pete the water was practically flat! We watched dolphins jumping in the surf, and the water was a gorgeous shade of blue.Here are a few pictures from our day at the beach. Enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mamavation Monday: What Inspires You?

So today's topic is What Inspires You? Before I joined the Mamavation Community, I had tried repeatedly to become more active, and lose weight. Every time I got to a point that I began to see results, there was always something that would happen that would stop me in my tracks. I would allow it to totally derail me, and then I would be disgusted when I would see the weight come right back.

Back in January, I found myself back in familiar territory. Only this time was slightly different. Over the summer I had gained a few lbs back after working all during the school year to run it off. This past summer we didn't travel to Maine as we had in the past, so the kids and I were cooped up a lot more than normal. I'm a northern girl at heart, and these balmy Florida summers are more than I can handle. So when the school year began again I couldn't wait to get back into my daily runs! However, it just never happened. I got a few runs in each month, but never with much consistency. By the time the holidays arrived I noticed my pants fitter tighter. One day in January, my husband and I were about to go out to breakfast. I felt so stressed out every time I went to get dressed. It seemed like all in a week's time I couldn't fit into ANYTHING I owned. I had a mini-meltdown, crying, tantrum. My husband walked into the other room and waited. He knew better than to patronize me, but he also doesn't understand my frustration because he loves me, no matter what size I am. While I appreciate this (beyond words), sometimes I need him to understand that I need honesty when it comes to my size. A while back my scale had broke, and I hadn't weighed myself. So I went out and got a new scale, and when I stepped on it I was shocked. I was just 8 lbs lighter than my heaviest weight ever. The heaviest I had ever been was when I was 39 weeks pregnant (when I delivered) my 4th child. I was 180 lbs at that time. So here I was, now 2.5 years since having my youngest child and I was 172 lbs. WHY?!?!?! A year ago I had gotten down to about 137 lbs. Then I had gotten up to about 145 and hung out there for a long while. Then suddenly (though not really all that suddenly) here I was in territory I had only ever seen in late pregnancy, EVER. I was never, ever this large, EXCEPT when pregnant. I just couldn't understand how this had happened.

Something needed to change. I don't know if it's my age, or lifestyle, or both. I feel like I am mostly healthy, pretty active. But there are always ways to improve anything we do. So I didn't drink soda....well now I only drink water. So I ran a bit here and there? Well now I run even more, plus do strength training exercises 6 days a week. So I was a vegetarian? Well now I'm trying to eat as clean as possible, eating more than I did before, and trying to make sure my diet i more balanced.  There are definitely ways to improve everything I was doing, to achieve the result I am after.

So back to that little bit about what inspires me.


These lil cuties are mine all mine! And they are my inspiration and reason for being. I want to be in the best shape of my life because I want to be the mom they deserve. I want to set the best example of how to live and treat your body that I can. I want them to never know the feelings I have felt about my body. I want them to be active and healthy, so that they never have to struggle the way I have recently.And I want to have the energy needed to always be able to keep up with them, and be happy for them. No one wants a grumpy mama. These babies are my happiness, I want to be theirs.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two Week Challenge Results!

So today was the ending of the Mamavation Two Week Challenge. I had completed all of the workouts during the challenge, I made sure I hit at least 10,000 steps every day (except for one, I only had 8851), and I tried to do extra things, like running, boot camp workouts, and some pre-Mamavation-Mom-Applicant-hazing workouts. So I have been pushed to the brink these last two weeks. There were days I couldn't lift my arms, and days I could barely move my legs! It has been amazing.

I purposely did not weight myself during this period (aside from taking initial measurements) because I wanted to see what my results would be, without constantly checking on the scale. I also was afraid if I wasn't losing weight I would lose focus and slack off. The first week was the hardest. These workouts are intense! Then, this last week happened. I went to meet up with some other mothers I know, we were working out together, and someone asked if I had lost weight. Well yes, I have! Seventeen pounds! But I have been losing it slowly, not overnight, so hearing it was exciting. I wondered if maybe I had lost more? Things began to fit differently. I don't feel like I am busting out of my own clothing anymore. I am starting to feel progress!

So this morning I took my measurements, and while at first I was a tad disappointed, after a bit I realized that these are actually great numbers! See for yourself: 

 Start weight: 154.2 lbs                End weight: 154.6 lbs
 Start waist: 32 in                         End Waist: 30.5 in
 Start Hips: 38.75                         End Hips: 37 in
 Start Thighs: R: 23 L:22.75        End  Thighs: R: 20 L:18.75

So while I was at first disappointed that I GAINED 0.4 lbs in the last two weeks, I LOST 10.25 inches!!! This is crazy!! So perhaps I didn't lose a ton of weight. But clearly I built muscle this week. Which is something I have been working towards. Part of my goal, is to have my best body ever. It's not just about the number on the scale, but also about building my body into the best shape it can be. That means eating right and building muscle. It was amazing to see such great results in the last two weeks. I am so excited about the results I will continue to see if I keep pushing myself this way, which I fully intend to do of course!

Which reminds me! The deadline for applying to be the next Mamavation Mom is April 1st! I have already applied, and would love to see others, like myself, find success through the Mamavation community. If you have a minute I'd love if you would show some support by Tweeting this out"
"Hey ! I want to be the next Mom. She has my support! "

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week Two, Day 4

Today was a pretty intense day fitness-wise. When I first awoke I saw that I had a notification on my phone that I had been tagged in the Mamavation forums. As requested (by myself) +Leah Segedie had assigned me 100 burpees to do as early hazing Part of the application process to become a Mamavation Mom includes hazing, wherein the applicants are given various assignments ranging from burpees, pushups, jumping jacks, etc. Clearly 100 burpees is pretty intensive, so I broke it up into sets of 20. After each set I did another chore, then went back to doing the burpees. Before I knew it I had done 100 burpees, and picked up the morning mess. Then it was the pyramids from the Two Week Challenge. So by the time all was said and done my arms were about ready to fall off!

After a while a new assignment was given. Two sets of 25 lunges per leg, and three sets of 50 jumping jacks. Maybe this is just a mom-of-five thing, but jumping jacks make me have to pee!

This morning for breakfast I had plain oatmeal, well it wasn't completely plain. I did add about a Tbsp of honey to it, which was delicious. I was very busy after that. With all my workouts and housework, I totally skipped right past lunch. Which stunk, because I had a good lunch planned, and by the time I realized it, I needed to get the kids. I drank a ton of water today, which might be why I didn't feel as hungry. But by dinner time I was definitely feeling it. I made a small salad of greens topped with tuna fish, salsa, and peppers. Then I had a few slices of tomato with avocado on top, and a side of steamed green beans. It was a wicked good meal. 

Tomorrow I plan to run a 10K in the morning. Hopefully the weather is in the mood to cooperate! It was absolutely gorgeous today and would have been great running weather if I could have found the time.

Two Week Challenge, Week 3 Day 3

Today's workout is Ab blaster. O am going to be doing it very shortly. Again I am doing the more challenging set of exercises. I REALLY want to see some results! I am trying to push myself in all that I am doing.

This morning we got off to a great start, I met up with some of my Moms Run This Town (MRTT) running buddies and we ran the Jelly Bean 5K. There is a 10K also, which I am planning to run on Thursday evening. Grayson enjoyed his ride in my double jogger, and I had a time of 37:30 which is not bad considering I was pushing my double jogger. He even ran a little bit himself.

For breakfast this morning I ate very light, just a banana, as I cannot run on a full stomach.For lunch today I made a smoothie with 8 oz soymilk, protein powder, a frozen banana cut up, and a Tbsp of natural peanut butter. It was so good. Dinner was more roasted veggies and a salad, topped with avocado. It might seem odd to some, but I actually hate salad dressing. So I love putting things like avocado or tuna/salsa or even a boiled egg on my salad to add a lil extra something. I ended the day with 16,085 steps today. Not too shabby! I am hoping to complete a 10K Friday and then the another Anywhere5K on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Week Challenge, Week 2 Day 2.

Today I decided that I would increase my workouts by switching to the more challenging set of workouts for the Two Week Challenge. I did Burn It, and boy did I! Thankfully no one was home aside from my 2 year old, who was napping at the time. I was so disgusting and sweaty by the time I was done. This of course is awesome! I has a lovely salad with tuna, avocado, and tomatoes for lunch. And for dinner I had some roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, broccoli) and it was so good! I swear it was like eating candy. I had intended to incorporate another protein in there but I got sidetracked and totally forgot it. I ate an apple for a late snack. All in all it was a good day. My steps ended up just barely over 10K but I did at least hit that goal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mamavation Monday:

Today is day one of our second week in the two week challenge. Last week left me feeling exhausted and sore EVERY DAY. I loved it though! Having yesterday off was wonderful and relaxing.

 I spent the day with my husband and kids, taking out a couple hours to do a 2 year old's birthday photos. She is such a lil cutie pie, and is near and dear to our family as well. Like my son, Joseph, she wears cochlear implants to hear. Our families have grown close over the last year or so, and I find it a privilege to take pictures marking such a special occasion for them! Actually, right now she is in the midst of a contest to be featured as a model for MEd-El (the manufacturer of her cochlear implants) and could use a few more votes. So if you have a spare moment and can go and "like" this photo on FB, I know her mama would be thrilled! Here is the link : Click Here and go "Like" this photo! 

When I returned home I whipped up dinner and some "pupcakes" for our wonderful dog, Bailey. Yesterday was Bailey's first birthday. She loved her special treat, and so did the kids. And the best part of it was that it was totally healthy! I found the recipe here: RunDMT's Peanut Butter Pupcakes!  My kidds approved of the cupcake portion, but the icing was more than they could handle. Bailey, of course, LOVED them. Today Bailey is at the vet having her leg examined. A few days ago she started limping off and on and favoring her left rear leg. I'm worried she has torn her ligament, or injured her hip somehow. We hoped a couple days rest would improve the situation, but it hasn't, so off to the vet she went. So if you could keep her in your thoughts, we'd really like to have a non-surgical outcome! Thank-you!

The Birthday Girl!

So back to the wonderful Two Week Challenge, today is Pyramids. I LOVE these. When you start them, you think, not so bad. But then as you continue on it gets increasingly difficult. They are so very effective too! I am about to get to work on that as soon as I publish this post.  This morning for breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal, with just a touch a honey and a bit of soymilk. It was pretty good. I had a banana for a snack. Lunch was tuna fish again with a tbsp of salsa on top of a small salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, and carrots. Still trying to decide what will be for dinner tonight since I will have my ASL class final test. Wish me luck!

“This post is sponsored by ReUsies™ & Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women. I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Two Week Challenge- Week One Overview

So week one of the two week challenge is complete! I was so utterly exhausted on Saturday that I failed to get on here and post, but I felt that the week was pretty successful! Saturday's workout was Ab Blaster again. It was definitely a great workout, and I was ready to give up about half way through, I was so tired! I did not give up though, and once I pushed through and got done I was so relieved to be done. I finished Saturday off with a nice 4.7 mile run over the causeway. It was beautiful out, the temperature was 68 degrees and there was a warm breeze blowing. My time was 57 minutes and 38 seconds. This has been the pace I've been keeping lately and I am so proud of it. Am I super fast? No way. Am I super proud? YES!! Before I joined Mamavation, I was running the same distance in about 1 hour and 7 minutes, obviously taking more walking breaks along the way. Since my first time applying to become a Mamavation Mom, I have incorporated more strength training into my routine, and it seems to be helping my running out in way I never imagined. I cannot wait to see how my body responds to this two week challenge. If the sore muscles are any indication, I should see some great results next week!

Friday, March 15, 2013

2 Week Challenge Day 5

Today's workout was again Burn It. Oh man did I. By the time I was halfway through the workout I was ready to give up. All of my muscles were burning for sure. But I pushed through, and I was so very glad when it was over! I didn't start my work out until about 3:30 pm today. I got in 11, 327 steps today. I again forgot my pedometer while doing the workout on the beach this morning, but I hit my goal regardless, so it was not too big a deal.

Of course, it might not have been as difficult if I had not already worked out this morning. Oh who am I kidding, it still would have been hard! I think every muscle in my body is aching right now. And I LOVE it. It is that sore, ache. The kind that means good things are happening. At least I hope they are! This morning in our beach boot camp we worked on butts and guts. I failed to write down what the exercises we did were, so I don't have a breakdown today. But there was a lot of squatting and of course about a dozen ab specific exercises. And suicide runs, my absolute favorite. We started out with a grid of 9 exercises. We had to pick three, do 25 reps of each, then run one suicide run, then do 75 criss-cross jumps. Next we picked two exercises, did 25 reps of each, ran 2 suicide runs, and then did 50 criss-cross jumps. And then 25 reps of one more exercise, 3 suicide runs, and 25 criss-cross jumps. We then did a 20 minute times workout making the rounds of various exercise stations. And finished things out with something the trainer called "Bob's Challenge". Apparently it is taken from the show, "The Biggest Loser", I've not watched anytime recently...but it was hard!

Today I ate much better food than yesterday. For breakfast I ate a little granola (only 120 calories worth) and a banana.  For lunch and dinner both I had salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, snap peas, tuna fish, salsa). It was simple and fulfilling. I chose to eat it for lunch and dinner mainly b/c I didn't think I'd eat the tuna the next day and I didn't want to waste it.

I was kinda in the mood for a run tonight. Last night, as sore as I was, running actually felt really good on my legs. And I am still very sore, so I was just picturing how good it would feel to run the causeway, headphones on, just me and the pavement. But I have to get up tomorrow and bring the kids to a surfing competition and my husband will be working, and I am so tired and sore. So I opted instead to take the night off, I did work out twice today afterall! and I will run tomorrow night instead. Today was a good day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2 Week Challenge Day 4

Today was a not so great day. But it wasn't all bad. Today was a struggle because I failed to manage my time properly, and b/c of said failure to manage time, I wound up eating crap!

For breakfast I ate two eggs scrambled with a tablespoon of salsa, and a banana. Off to a great start! Then I left the house, forgot my pedometer when I had to change into warmer clothing, and didn't get home until 4 hours later. I ate a grilled cheese for lunch.  Not the best choice. Not even a good choice. But it get's better..or is it worse?? I completed my pyramids, laundry, floor cleaning, all while helping the kids do homework. We had to deliver a cub scout fundraiser to someone on our way to girl scouts, so dinnertime was rushed. I  made the kids pancakes b/c I hadn't planned dinner. As we left I ate a pancake. Just one, with no butter or syrup. My planned dinner was salad with tuna and salsa on top. Sounds weird but it's yummy. But again...time management. Ugh. So no salad for me. I left girl scouts at 7:45 pm. Had to run by the grocery store to get something my husband needed for work. then went home, put my daughter to bed, changed again, and off to the causeway I went to run with my running buddies at 8:45.  We ran 4.7 miles in just 1 hour and 7 min. Not a great time but if you consider that we walked about a mile of it, not bad. So it has been a long, long day. Oh, and I ended the day with 14, 368 steps. So it was not a great day, but it was okay.

The Mamavation 2 Week Challenge!

So as I mentioned, yesterday was the beginning of the Mamavation 2 Week Challenge. Everyday there is a new workout to perform. Yesterday we did what was called pyramids. Each assigned strength training exercise is performed first with one rep, then two, then three, and so on until you have completed 10 reps...thus completing the pyramid. It sounds soo easy..HA!

Today's workout is called Burn It. And let me tell you, it did! This is a breakdown of the workout today:

Burn It
All Weeks
Daily Goal:10,000 steps
Warm-up: Foot Fires 1 minute

Burpees x10
Alternating Lunge x16

Squats x10
Kick and Lunge x10 each side
Burpees x12
Alternating Lunges x20
Squats x12
Kick and Lunge x12 each side
Burpees x12
Alternating Lunges x20
Squats x12
Kick and Lunge x12each side
Burpees x10
Alternating Lunges x16
Squats x10
Kick and Lunge x10 each

Yesterday these were my meals:
Eggs on a plain English muffin

Lunch was terrible since I was out running around and didn't want fast food. I grabbed a banana when I got home. Dinner was amazing, I tried a recipe (which I tweaked) for garbanzo bean soup. I will post the recipe later this week.

I am not sure where I ended up with my steps for the day . I was using a pedometer on my phone before but forgot to turn it on. I had to return a defective pedometer to the I didn't start tracking with that till 2:30 pm...and I had 2543 when I sat down for the night.