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Monday, March 31, 2014

The end of naptime didn't ruin my life.

3yr. 8 mo. 7d. I cannot complain about that. Anyone who does complain about that amount of glorious naptime deserves a swift kick in the you-know-what from the mom of kid who stopped napping at some god forsaken early age like 18 months or something.

We had a really good run.

And while I thought the end of naptime would kill me....it's been a few months now and it isn't so bad after all.


(via)

It's true. I Dreaded (with a capital "d") the end of naptime for Emeline. I pushed through every hurdle, every time I thought it was The End, and we made it through to the other side and the few blissful hours of quiet time in the house mid-day remained. It became my little sanctuary. I thanked God silently every day for this little gift of peace. This little boost of energy. For the time I got to pop my feet up for a second and drink another cup of coffee, and drink it hot, while I'm at it. Never did I realize that drinking hot coffee would be a luxury. What has my life become.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'd hate for you to get me wrong. I am not happy naptime is over. In fact, we've basically just replaced naptime with "quiet time" and this way we both still get alone time. Because the truth is, by about 1:30pm, I can think about nothing else. I have never, and will probably never be the mom who wants naptime to stop, or keeps my kid awake just to spend time with them. I really can't fake it. I love me some alone time, and that's a byproduct of naptime, therefore=it's a love/love relationship and there's no denying that from me. Sister, that's the truth.

Right now, although my time mid-day alone has dwindled down to about an hour, tops, with multiple interruptions in between. It has been survivable. I've not completely lost it yet and for the most part, we're all kinda happy and ok.

As far as knowing when it was time? Well, it's not that she just completely stopped napping one day. No. Actually, I'm pretty sure the girl would have willingly napped until she was 13. We just found that bedtime was getting so friggin' hard (as in, let's drag this out until past mom's bedtime, and, yea--no, that's not cool). She wasn't TIRED. Even if we let her stay up later than her sister. Or let her play in her room. Or whatever. It was a fiiiight. And we were sick of fighting.

Once she became a kid who could actually GET through the whole day napless without being a complete and total meltdown-freakazoid by 5pm, then we knew it was time. She could handle her little self without physically sleeping mid-day, make it to bedtime fairlyyyyy happy--and with as much as a story, song, and a kiss and she was KNOCKED OUT COLD.

For the first few days my husband and I would stand there in complete disbelief.

OH MY GOSH WAS BEDTIME REALLY THAT EASY????

I traded my time mid-day for some more hours on the evening end--and that's basically the gist of it. Both girls go to bed at the same time now (Lucy still takes a 1-2 hour mid-day nap), and both sleep a blissful 12'ish hours at night.

Finally cutting out the mid-day nap didn't kill me, it made me stronger. (Just kidding, hey Kelly Clarkson!) No, really. At the end of the day, I'm all heck yesssss it's bedtime! And it's much easier when she's actually totally tired and ready for bed, too, go figure.

We cut the nap and I lived to tell about it.

That, my friends, is a victory.








Tuesday, March 25, 2014

no more bliss!

Yesterday I received a doozy of an email. One of those ones that leaves you feeling kicked in the stomach and as a side effect completely nauseated. It basically informed me that someone on the big 'ole internet was stealing photos from my blog and using them in craigslist ads when seeking men. Awesome. 

Oh, and not just photos of me--but photos of me with my kids, too.

My first reaction was freak out! cry! scream! OMGGGGG! I didn't do anything other than freak out a little bit, in actuality. But the more I started dwelling on it, the more I started feeling all riled up. How dare someone steal my pictures? How dare someone have the nerve to use my face and claim it as their own, and my kids? sick human being that must be. I was starting to get all livid and hot-headed and downright freakin' pissed, if I'm being honest. I kinda felt violated and icky and gross. Because--uh. MY PHOTOS ON RANDOM CRAIGSLIST ADS. !!!!ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS NEEDED!!!!!

In effort to clear my brain I went to the gym and completely and utterly exhausted myself in an hour body combat class. I just pictured myself punching and kicking the snot out of every catfishing jerk out there who has the nerve to steal photos and pose as someone they're not.

Weirdly, that did the trick and I left that class not only feeling 100x better, but happy to boot.

Endorphins are a funny thing.

It's been about 24 hours since The Email and basically I've come to the conclusion that, while kinda sick and ultimately kinda messed up, I did this to myself. I mean, in the sense that I choose to blog on public forum. I choose to share pictures. I choose to use the internet at all.

Because, let's be honest.

Your photos on Facebook and Instagram and all those internet-based things can be stolen and used for random purposes all the time. It's not just because I have a blog.

Although, I will say--I'm glad the person who took my photos took them from my blog, since, well, the guy who discovered them did a reverse-google-image-look-up and what do ya know??? He found me! Little 'ole me at this Loves of Life blog. Happily married. Clearly not soliciting random men in Omaha. Who obviously had gotten some of her photos hijacked because the wonderful world wide web isn't that safe, cushy place my brain pretends it to be after all.

Go figure.

I can feel yucky. I can feel sad. I can feel a little bit violated, too. But it won't really help.

After all, I choose this. I choose to share. I choose to write and post photographs, all of which I know could (and do) end up in random google searches and (come to find out) random Craigslist ads.

Do I think it's right?

aw, helllllll no.

It's downright wrong. But that doesn't change that it happened (and still could continue to happen). Although, I pray it doesn't--because imma start huntin' bishes down, yo. (Trying to act scary doesn't work well for me, ahem).

I officially lost my lovely internet ignorance this week.

And you know what they say- ignorance is bliss.

***

Since I know there will be questions, I emailed the person using my photos and nicely asked them to cease using them. However, all I had was one of those randomly generated craigslist emails, so I don't know if it went through/got to them, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. I also reported to Craigslist Fraud Department. That's about the extent of what I can/did do.

Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Reasons it's OK to have your husband go away

Declan is on a guys trip with my side of the family in Florida for Spring Training. Thank the good Lord he comes home TONIGHT. He up and left us, freezing cold in so-called "Spring", and spent his days in a baseball stadium, by the pool, drinking little umbrella drinks (I kid), and reading. Can you imagine such bliss? I actually can't. So try to imagine it for me. That kind of relaxation is completely out of my realm and capability to even pretend to picture. So do it for me, k? thanks.

Anyway. It was important he go. That they all go, really. My dad really treasures those types of memories--and most of you know about my Dad. He loves baseball. He loves his kids, those that married in. And he loves sunshine. Spring Training is a special memory he's held with my brothers over the years...so they wanted to make sure to get in one last trip while they felt they really could with my Dad. This trip was it.

What it meant for me, though? Was five days single parenting. Which--I must say, woo buddy. I'm not cut out for. But what I do know is the fact that he rarely has to go away is awesome and so I (try) not to complain about these small trips because other wives have to deal with spouses being away for months and months at a time.

But what I did do was come up with a list of 5 Reasons it's OK to have your husband go away.

1. You can load the dishwasher exactly how you want.

This might be a strange one--but it kind of covers a lot of bases. My husband is much more Type-A personality than me. He likes things neat and organized (mostly), I don't really care about such things. Therefore, when I load the dishwasher? It drives him crazzzzzy. I could care less. Hey! If dishes get washed, then who really cares how it looks? But when my husband is away, it's like--WHO CARES! Throw the dishes errrywhere!! No one will see it but me!!!!!!!! (and then I realize this means I'll be the one who has to unload said dishwasher since, well, he's not home to do it, and the novelty wears off fast. But still! Let's not diverge from the case at hand here.) Getting to load the dishwasher without a "really, Katie?" every time-is, well, a novelty 'round here.

This translates to other areas of the house, too. I let much of the day to day stuff roll off my back when he's gone. I didn't stress about vacuuming up all the crumbs every day. If the dishes piled in the sink too long? Ah, well. We're all alive and that's what matters. I usually try to keep things relatively neat, you know, to stay on top of things while he's at work so when he's home from work there's less of that stuff to worry about. When he's gone though, I sort of let the day to day stuff slide.

2. You learn you can do things you usually pretend you can't do.

The internet went down? Call Declan. The trash needs to go out? Call Declan. The laundry needs to be done? Call Declan. The dog needs to go out? Call Declan.

Turns out, I can do all those things (stop rolling your eyes). Granted, I knew I could--it's just, why bother when you don't have to? Trash day rolls around and there's tons of garbage to go out. Guess who's a big girl now? Hauling that trash like a boss. Fixing internet and TV issues. Boom. And oh, yea, doing our weekly loads of laundry? Yea, I guess I'm capable of that, too. My husband happily does the laundry--we've always been a split-household-work kinda couple. But my gym clothes aren't gonna wash themselves.

As it turns out, I can handle it all. But when he gets back, it's back to pretending I can't. Er, or should I say, 'won't', or 'don't want to'. Whichever. (shhhhhh)


3. You can get into bed at 8pm and surrender yourself to netflix all night.

There is no secret that single-parenting is anything but exhausting. Holy moly. The days I know Declan will be home at a normal hour, etc, I mentally tell myself to 'just make it to 5pm'. But when Daddy won't be home allllll night or the next day (or the next, or the next), you just HAVE TO KEEP IT TOGETHER. You have no choice to check-out or hand the duties over to your spouse and just leave the house/the room/lock yourself in the bathroom. So by the time you're done the bedtime routine x2 kids you're just FLAT OUT DONE.

Every single night I retreated to my bedroom at an ungodly early hour, embarrassingly so--with my water, a snack, and Netflix at my fingertips. I mean, it's basically heaven. But there's no one else in the house to hang out with/watch shows with/do adult things with (giggle), so-- I mean, you get to watch episodes of Revenge back to back and not feel bad about it, cuz, you totally earned it after a long, hard day with the kids, alone.

4. You don't have to shower.

No explanation needed. (just plug your nose)

5. You realize how much your spouse actually does. 

It always helps to put life in perspective again when someone is absent. Yep, it's true--he does a lot and our days feel emptier without him around. Whether it's just letting the girls jump into his arms from the steps for hours on end to wear off energy, or, you know, doing all the weekly laundry---his presence is needed and enjoyed around here. So we miss him. We feel a void. Everyday life is better when he's around, even if I have to load the dishwasher a bit neater for his liking. Or, you know, shower my stinky body every so often.


We love him lots & can't wait for him to be home.

***


Friday, March 21, 2014

heavy & light

Ever been woken up so abruptly by a dream...scratch that...a nightmare that it's just much too hard to shake, so you'd rather get up at the ungodly early hour rather than risk closing your eyes again?

I guess you could say, that's why I'm here right now. I rarely, I mean, rarely get nightmares--let alone about one of my worst fears (those closest to me dying), and so I can't. I can't even risk going back to sleep because ohmygosh, agony. My heart actually physically hurts and it was just a dream. And yet my nightmare becomes peoples reality, all the time, actually. You better believe I sent frantic texts at 6am because dreams like that scare the crap out of me.

***

I haven't written all week. I hate weeks like that, but the truth is--I feel like life is just at that point where I'm not waiting for anything. There's no one big exciting thing coming up or huge anticipation of x, y  or z on the horizon. We're just sort of here, now--just living this life everyday and I have to admit it can become totally mundane. It doesn't mean I don't find meaning and life and happiness in it. It's just...the same. And so I feel like there's just not much on my heart and on the tip of my tongue that I'm dying to get out. At least at this second.

So here are a few random, non-heavy/scary nightmare'ish things going on:

-I've been really into the show Revenge (which is probably the source of my nightmare, let's be honest). Sometimes I like having shows completely separate of my husband so I can watch at any time. When we did Breaking Bad together it was torture waiting until nighttime or when he was home/available/didn't have other obligations to watch. I may be a bit dramatic. 

-I've gotten into a solid, s o l i d fitness routine lately and I'm not hating it. I've basically been getting in an hour (sometimes more) of really good workouts a day for 6 days a week. I rest on Saturdays typically. I've even been switching it up and have gotten myself into RPM (basically it's a spin class by Les Mills and it's intennnnnse) and I've added that into my mix. My body is just eternally sore all the time--but I tell myself that sore=changing and so it's not an excuse to just not work out. 
(proof that I do sweat--and yea, sometimes it even drips from my armpits like last night in RPM...sexy!)

-With that said, I finally bought myself two bikini's...err...two pieces...whatever the technical term is. I have to say that even despite not being on my tip-top game food wise the last few months, I'm proud of myself for feeling good enough to even try them on, let alone buy them. I will say that my sad, pathetic you-know-whats are really just plain...sad. I used to be a well endowed girl. Funny how after losing lots of weight and nursing two babies they're pretty much, uh, gone. Fun. can I get an amen for padded bras?

-Both my girls have had a winter cough/sinus'ey like stuff going on for weeeeeeeks. They have no fever, other than a cough here and there, though? They're fine. Bouncing off the walls, being their normal crazy selves. I feel guilty for just taking them to all normal-life stuff, but my gosh, if I kept them home for a cough we'd have been homebodies the last month, and well, nope. I can't do it. This horrendous winter has nearly killed me already.

important business, dudes.

-I tried so hard to get excited that yesterday was the first day of Spring but I just caaaan't. I read a weather report that said not to get too excited for Spring-like temps around us until after April 15th, and well--that's 3 more weeks and that's flat out depressing. We even have more snow in the forecast next week. I cringe (more like cry) at the thought. 

'round these parts when it's the first day of Spring, you get FREE Rita's water ice, because--duh. It felt so weird to be waiting in the cold with my sister, Em, and little brother (who flew in for one day only to fly right back out), but it was a fun time anyway :) It would have been a tadddd bit better if it was, you know, feeling like Spring. But, whatever.


-My last year in my 20's birthday is coming up in the beginning of April and my husband and I have planned a one-night mini getaway to Atlantic City. The idea of waking up to nothingness (okay, fine, I mean needy kids) sounds so delightful. I just want to lay there, let out a deep sigh...and know that I don't have to move from my amazing and luxurious hotel bed (yes, it will be a good one).

-Annnnd Lucy just creepily put her face in the monitor and whispered "mommyyyyyyyyy", and so, with that--I'd say my day has begun.

happy, happy weekend.





Friday, March 14, 2014

Rise above it & keep going.

Imagine this. No really, i m a g i n e this. A self proclaimed, tested & proved non-morning girl set her alarm for 4:45am and actually didn't click snooze to get to the gym.

gasp.

I feel like by doing this, I finally joined the ranks of Serious Gym Goers, but honestly, I'm not sure it will last, it's just--I knew it would be the way, the only way really, to actually fit in a good workout today. Part of me is in shock that I actually did it. I know a ton of you do this every day and for that? I applaud you. Like, LEGIT STANDING OVATION, because it is haaaard. Especially the whole leaving-in-pitch-dark and then coming-home-in-pitch-dark thing, too.

The upside? I'm all done now. I feel great. I came home to a creepy quiet house full of sleeping people, I even got a shower & dried my hair and GOT DRESSED all before 7am. And, oh yea--I'm sipping my coffee in peace sitting at my table like a BOSS.

you either love the self timer app, or you hate it. I'm hating all the yellow/orangey hues of this crappy phone pic butttttt.....
But before you start thinking that I'm writing a whole post about how I finally got up and did something a whole bunch of other people do without shouting it to the rooftops, I promise, I'm not. 

As I was on my drive home, you know, in pitch black, I started getting those post-workout-feelings. No, it wasn't some euphoric high, singing in the rain-kinda thing. In fact, it was the opposite. I started feeling sore. I started recalling what I'd just done in Body Combat (at 5 friggin' AM-no I can't let that go--that hour should be illegal!). And I thought--why the freak do I do this? I'm tiiired.My quads!my hamstrings!mycalves!myknees!myback!owww!

And I swear. I SWEAR. In that instant I felt like I was transported back in time. THAT IS THE REASON I ALWAYS QUIT WORKING OUT.

People have asked me if I've always loved working out/fitness/health-related-stuff--and the answer is a big, fat, HECK NO. I mean, I wish I could say that this has been an interest of mine my whole life and yadda-yadda, but it's not been, at all. Hence why I was out of shape, uncomfortable with myself, lived my college years being overweight and got married in a wedding dress size I wish I didn't.

yep.

The truth is, I never let myself finish what I had started.

You hear that?

I NEVER LET MYSELF.

I was the one who always stopped myself. I had the the motivation at times, yes. I'd begin to eat healthy for a day or two, I'd work out a little here or there. The second it got uncomfortable or took too much work, and I told myself this sucks & ow my body, forget this--- I JUMPED SHIP.

I never even gave myself the time to see change. The time to realize what getting in a real routine actually did for my health, for my mind, for my body. I never even gave myself enough time to realize that what you work for is so worth it. And no, I don't even mean achieving some 'goal' body, per se. But dang it, you have got to stick it out--and talking yourself out of it isn't going to do a darn thing to help you get anywhere.

This is what I wished I could have yelled at myself years ago. To shut-up the little thoughts that creep in to just quit and don't go back because it's too hard.

'Cuz I call BS on that.

I call BS on my old self-talk. I'm mad at myself for letting that win.

Now I know better. You stick it out. It's not living in a prison, or being bound, in fact--it's the opposite. It's completely freeing being happy with your whole self.



Even though my brain can easily slip back into those old thoughts---at least my heart knows better now.

Listen to your heart & just.keep.going.

***

have a happy weekend, loves.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Susan's Baby Shower


Last weekend we celebrated my beautiful sister, Susan and her baby boy to be with an adorable red & blue, relaxed shower at an adorable rustic barn location.


It made the most sense to rent a venue with a larger guest list (what can I say? My sister is quite popular :) ), and this place, which just happens to be on the property I got married on almost 7 years ago (!!!) was perfect.

We knew that feeding a full-blown-lunch was going to be a bit out of hand, so we went with a simple Treats & Sweets idea. I'll explain a bit more on that in a minute.


I re-used my sister's blue mason jars from her wedding and hit up produce junction a few days before for some red carnations & daisies. The center placemats are just Target, clearance ($1.14 each!)--and helped bring the tables to life a little bit.


I had decided I wanted the pre-set table look, because? Well--frankly, it's cute, and makes the tables look really pretty upon entering. I pre-wrapped all the napkins (yea, that was fun..haha), and they each had a fork & a fun stripey straw in them. Everyone loves stripey straws :)


We had the write-on-the-diaper thing (shown above), and also some adorable flashcards I pre-printed on cardstock featuring the alphabet, numbers, and even shapes at each table with a tin of fresh crayons. On the back, I printed "Colored with Love By" on them & I'll be taking the finished products to get laminated, then hole-punching, and putting on a metal ring so Baby Boy can have as he learns and grows :) People enjoyed having something to do as she opened gifts.

The finished product was adorable:

We also had a "Wishes for Baby Boyda" printable, one for each person at the table, that I got from this etsy shop here.

Anyway, back to the food. We went with the Treats & Sweets idea to keep it simple. With so many people, providing a full blown lunch seemed a little overwhelming. But we had a great friend help make some beautiful fruit & veggie platters, cheese/crudites & then there were sweets and treats GALORE. Think cupcakes, cake, cheesecake, chocolate covered pretzels, muffins, truffles, candy and more...this part was a joint effort from a few of us (my mom, sister-in-laws, etc) :)

cake by The Kake Lady
(most of the sweets are at the far end of the table! There were tonsssss!)

Complete with hot chooclate, coffee & tea, of course.


It was a really great time. It was relaxed. There was no pressure to play those games we all dread. It was a chit-chat, grab a coffee, and hang out kinda shower--and it was just right.


Susan and Jeff (and baby) got some wonderful gifts from wonderful people, and it was a fun day celebrating this little baby boy we can't wait to meet!

***

If you have any questions, I'll answer them in the comments.

(thanks to my sister in law, Lyryn for most of the photos above!)

xo

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday hodge-podge.

I hate being the umpteenth person to say this--but whoa. This is maybe the first year I have really, truly felt that the time change has kicked me in the butt. I feel like I'm being peeled from my bed in the morning like an unripe banana. It is ROUGH. It's like my body just knows that it lost some sleep and I keep playing that mind game of "but it's really only ____ o'clock". I do this for about two weeks, and then I eventually accept the new time as reality. Change is rough on me. ;)

I had an insanely good workout week last week...like, ideal. I love when those weeks happen, I feel like something usually messed up the perfect workout week (usually sick kids), but--6 days of awesome workouts, trying new things, even. Gave myself a wonderful rest day Saturday, and then got right back to it yesterday morning.

Speaking of, this week won't be the same. We have so many variables this week that will certainly mess up my routine-as in, every single night we have someplace to be. I'm gonna try my hardest to maneuver things around, get creative and make sure to get my workouts in--but, it won't be without lots of creativity and shuffling around other things. You know, like, the dishes and dirty house can totally wait. ;)

Yesterday, in the checkout line at the grocery store I accidentally popped open (somehow) the lid of the blueberries container...and yea. You can guess what happened next. BLUEBERRIES ERRRRYWHERE. They bounced, jumped, boinged, and splattered in 800 different directions. It was like dodging a billion blue bombs, it was INSANE. And insanely embarrassing. Some super nice couple next to me tried to play it off to me that this just happened to us last week, and I don't fully believe them. That's something I would say to make someone feel less dumb in that moment. Then the husband offered to run and grab me a new carton of blueberries. I told him no, oh god, please, no--I'm taking it as a sign we don't need blueberries in the house this week. But thanks for asking. Embarrassing moment #1298320938 in my life. Add it to the list.

I finally worked up the nerve to tell a girl at the gym that I can tell she's been working her butt off, and her results are showing. I've seen her there for the last year, clearly she's on a large weight loss journey, but I'm telling you--so much change in a year. I felt like I needed to tell her I see the changes, and I see her working hard. I was all, Um, don't think I'm creepy by saying this but....and she was, let's just say, pleased. I hope it made her day, because if that happened to me I'd be floating on cloud 9.

Oh, I didn't forget that I haven't shared any photos of my sister's beautiful baby shower last weekend--but I'm hoping to have some to share with you this week! I actually wasn't the one who took the pictures, so when the photos are ready, I'm going to share details because it was pretty and it's worth sharing :) So get excited.

Aren't these two the cutest?



One day I'll use my real camera again. One day.

More soon...




Thursday, March 6, 2014

You're capable of more than you think.

I'm not really the charge-ahead type. I have to make my decisions carefully, and really think about them. Especially the ones that put myself out there, that make me feel vulnerable--those that make me a little nervous.

This might sound extremely LAME, and I hate to admit this now, but one year ago when I joined the gym, I was kind of terrified. Thankfully, I had my sister and a few other friends who went there often. I could plan my visits around when we could workout together. I always made sure I had someone. You know, there's some sort of security in numbers or something. Right?

I couldn't even attend a group class alone at first. I needed someone else to be there that I knew. Someone else to laugh with at my ridiculous Zumba moves (thank God I gave that up-it's bad), because I just couldn't own it myself. Flat out, I was insecure.

Slowly...slowly but surely I felt more and more comfortable. When I felt like I got this with one group class, I decided to try another. I started to feel more capable of trying everything and anything. I found my niche in a few classes that I swore I'd never have had the courage to walk into, ever, and I was wrong. They've become my favorites.

Some of them really involve stepping outside the box, a lot of teamwork, and that? That can be completely terrifying sometimes, especially for someone like me who didn't participate in sports & teams in school. Just putting your fitness and capabilities flat out there for the world to see? Yea. That's kind of vulnerable.

For example, this week, in bootcamp, when we did a huge group relay, involving suicides, in a team-setting, and everyone's cheering you on as you perform and run and sweat in front of them. My heart always races a little before we start, because ohmygosh. But I've had to get out of my head, and this week---out of 8 teams, MY TEAM WON. And the two other guys on my team told me I had the lead in suicides. You guys, I HAD THE LEAD!  I know it's kind of a stupid thing to be proud of, but I came home and told my husband that although it means nothing, that our little team 'won' (no one even acknowledged it really), it was a huuuuge deal to me, and a huuuuge reminder to just how far I've come.

I felt darn proud.

I don't know if that left me feeling like I could just conquer anything, or what? But the next morning I woke up determined to get over my last gym fear....cycling (spin, RPM, whatever you all call it ;)) I know, I know--it's just a bike. But that thing intimidated me like no other. Walking into a class, not sure if you were (gasp) taking someone else's spot. Not being able to hide because you haaave to let the instructor know you're new so they can help you get all set up and explain things with the bike, ya know? It surely ain't your momma's zumba class in the way you can slip in the back and no one knows. But I walked in, basically blurted out in an awkward way that THIS IS MY FIRST TIME, OHMYGOSH, HELP ME. And everyone was welcoming and sweet, and the instructor even called out to me a few times during the class to make sure I was hanging in there (I was).


I came, I worked hard, I got a good sweat, I conquered....and my butt is sore to prove it (as I was told it would be).

And you know what? Again, that feeling of accomplishment came over me. I realize, I totally realize this sounds laaaame, but it's true. It was a mini-gym-fear of mine, spin class--but I did it. And I'll be back. 

Sore bum & all.

(pin via)


***

Anyone else have weird fears like I do? Anyone else have any proud moments this week? share! :)
Step out of the box today, you may just surprise yourself.

xo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Favorite Workouts, what I do & Favorite Workout Clothes--stuff like that :)

I don't know what I am anymore when it comes to blogging. Does it matter, really? I truthfully don't have any idea. Mom blog? Sure, I'm a mom. I talk about my kids. Fitness blog? Not really. But I have turned into one of those fitness-loving types. Lifestyle blogger? What is that anyway?

Well-I guess, since all the things I (tend) to talk about when I (actually) get a chance to write have to do with things in my life, I'd say. Yes. Lifestyle, that sounds good. (Unless I have no idea what I'm talking about, which, really wouldn't surprise me much to be honest.) But we'll go with this for now. Basically, this blog includes everything. A little bit o' this, a little bit o' that. Who needs a stupid category to fit in anyway.

So. Today. Exercise stuff that I've been asked and not really addressed.

What's my weekly workout routine like?

To be honest, it varies. But on a good week I'd say my Gym schedule looks mostly like this:

Saturday/Sunday: 
     1 hour Body Combat //Morning (cardio mainly/mixed with arms/leg strength & abs)
           -Ever since our Church schedule changed to evening services, it freed up this morning for me to workout, which I love! Declan stays home with the girls so I go early, and alone! Which is glorious. I usually pick one weekend day to go, mostly Sundays.

Monday:
      30 Minutes Body Combat/30 Minutes Body Pump //Evening
              -Declan and I go together this night. He goes to the fitness center and gets about 5 miles of running in (he's cool with the treadmill, I am not), while I do this half/half class. The girls go to the childcare where it's normally not too busy at night.

Tuesday:
       1 hour Bootcamp //Evening (completely varies each time, very "workout-of-the-day" style. Sometimes high cardio, sometimes more strength-based, always makes me sweat buckets and completely, 100% the hardest class I take.)
               -Declan and I normally attend this class together and the girls go to childcare. I like working out together :)

Wednesday: 
          Often a REST day//Sometimes, if I can muster up the strength after killing myself the night before at Bootcamp, I will attend 1 hour of Body Pump// Morning

Thursday: 
        1 hour Bootcamp //Evening
                -Declan is out at his weekly bible study for Church, so I have the girls. I LOVE a week when I can get 2 bootcamps in, makes me feel extra strong. And also extra sore :)

Friday: 
        1 hour (more like 45 min) Body Pump class// Morning
                   -I really try to make it while Em is in school on this day, but I typically have to duck out early to make it back to pick her up, hence the 45 minute-thing.

Body Pump Weight, since some of you asked (and will probably only make sense to those who take body pump):
(keep in mind, BP is more about high reps, lower weight-so it's not lifting crazy heavy kinda thing)

warmup: large on each side.
squats: large and medium on each side, sometimes I even add a small, too when I feel like burnnnning.
chest: large on each side (but this is still challenging for me, not gonna lie!)
back: large on each side (I should probably go heavier, but my lower back is still so weak, I take it easy here to make sure I don't pull my back out and keep my core really tight.)
triceps: usually use 5-8lb hand weights for kick backs, large plate for overheads
biceps: using the bar=medium & small one each side, if using hand weights, 8lb weights.
legs/lunges: I usually drop the bar and do all body weight for these, or I'll hold a large plate in my arms when lunging/squatting.

(I've worked my way up a little bit on a lot of these. Started much lower on most. You'll know when you're ready for more!)

***

Many of my workouts vary from week to week. I always have at least one, but usually two rest days. Sometimes I'll duck out to the gym when Declan gets home from work and make a 5:15 class sans children. Other times, I'll add in a Saturday morning while he's home with the girls. Sometimes (rarely), I'll go up to the fitness center and do my own thing. Lift, do box jumps, do my own abs, my own deadlifts with the bar, a few machines, maybe. Come Spring I may even start running a bit again (gasp!).  [[also, taking pictures at the gym=ohmygosh I suck at it. I envy all the in-gym photos so many people get, but yea, I just can't. so, stupid face pictures it is. ha.]]

So. The answer is YES. I love group fitness. It keeps me motivated. However, with this winter, the gym schedule has been whacky (thanks SNOW) and there are times I have to workout.....at home. Yes, it's no secret that it's not my favorite. But-there are some super easy ways to get a great workout at home using resources like PopSugar Fitness on YouTube (I normally pick a 40 minute workout + 10 minute arms), or Fitness Blender Workouts. You & a pair of hand weights is all you need!

or...just add a kid. They certainly make your side planking harder :)

***

What I Wear:

First of all, let me preface this with: I only buy inexpensive things. I am sure (actually I KNOW) there are amazingly luxurious (and holy crap expensive) workout stuff out there. Unless someone starts giving it to me for free, yea, no, I can't even speak to that since it's way out of my element. I will say, I am mostly an Old Navy & Target gal when it comes to workout clothes and it does me just fine.

training sneakers
Favorite Shoes: When I do more jumpy/cardio classes I wear my Nike Flex 2013 Run sneakers. They're bendy and flexy and comfortable for me. However, they do not work well for me in Body Pump when being stable is very necessary for say, lunges and squats. I got myself a pair of Nike Training sneakers (but in pink & black), they have a very flat bottom and actually help me out SO much with my form/keep me stable when lifting.

I have done the very-expensive-running-shoe thing before. Since I'm not just running, I prefer to have two types of less expensive sneakers I go between depending on the workout I'm doing that day. It works for me.

old navy adjustable strap bra
Favorite Bras: I'm not super picky about this and I will say I'm not exactly....well endowed these days. I really like and prefer stretchy-hold-me-in bras, and I don't care for them to be padded since they're often paired with tops with 'built in bras' anyway. My favorite are the Old Navy Adjustable Strap sports bras and I get them when they go on sale for $10 a pop. I own 3 colors. I wear size small & they're nice and tight but not uncomfortable.

Favorite Pants: Hands down, the Old Navy Compression Capris (or full pants) are my favorite. I used to say I could NOT wear full length pants, but since I had to drag my tush to the gym on the most frigid days, I just couldn't handle it anymore. I caved, and I'm glad I did. Weirdly enough, if they are made of black material, I'm a size small. If they are made of the grey, I'm more comfortable in a medium (although I do own some small). It just runs a little smaller in grey. Also, I always feel 'held-in' and don't ever feel like I'm hiking my pants up (that annoys me to no end). Highly recommended.

Favorite Tops: I am not a picky workout tank girl. I love any and all of them. I'll find them at Marshalls, Target, Old Navy, wherever. I actually have preferences of which tops to wear to which classes. I wear a few of the compression tanks with the flowy bottoms like this one (size small) but I find they annoy me in classes like Bootcamp where we're doing a lot of planking, or hand-stands, or mountain climbers, because then they fly up. I prefer a more fitted top for a class like that. I also love a fun phrased tank, and probably need more of them in my life.

(tank from here) I am so not condoning the turquoise leg warmer look, however, that's what happens when you don't own full length compression pants :) (now I do)
Calorie/Heart rate Watch: I love my Polar FT4 and that's no secret. Part of the reason I love it so much is because it totally pushes me in the gym, and it's really fun to feel like you can measure your workouts. I like knowing which workouts (and exercises in particular, hello burpees) really get my heart rate up there, and knowing a better idea of the calories I'm burning. You pair the watch with a little heart rate band that goes around your chest (under your boobs) and that's it! easy. It's really fun. So for about $64 on amazon, you cannot beat it. You'll use it all the time so get one.

and no it's not uncomfortable at all.
***

I have really come a long way in this last year in the working out department. I mean, other than running a little bit here and there, I was basically a couch potato. Now? I LOVE it. I've seen unbelievable changes in my body and most of all, mentally, I feel really good. It's amazing what it does for me to just sweat, and how (weirdly) happy it makes me to put my workout clothes on. I used to side-eye the oddballs who said that, and now I'm one of them.

(left: right before I joined the gym & started working out more---right, a few weeks ago. small differences, but hopefully you can see them.)

Sorry this post was so long. If you have any other more specific questions, I'd be happy to answer you back in the comments or email, whichever ;)

Go get your sweat on, friends.

**just so you know, I wasn't paid by anyone to toot their products--I get nothing free from old navy (i wish!), there are a few amazon affiliate links, but that's about it. just my honest thoughts about stuff I like and wear :)**