Throwing Out the Life Preserver


I hated working out. Thought I didn’t need it, that was for crazy people, I had better ways to spend my time! (don’t laugh or think I was a self absorbed jerk, I just didn’t SEE a need to get sweaty and sore) but barely in my 20s I found myself in rapidly deteriorating health that led to miscarriage of our first child.

That was my true wakeup call.

Up until then all the talk was just noise that made me want to hide more, it wasn’t until I felt broken and like a failure that the noise finally started to resemble words. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen over night (and STILL some days are like reopening the wound). I distanced myself from my closest friends and family, made some poor choices and generally started to self destruct.

I needed an outlet for my frustration, despair and self loathing. What was once discomfort in my own skin, had escalated to hating my body for not doing the one thing that it is supposed to do as a woman. I needed to pick myself up and pull it together not only for me, but for the sake of my marriage, for the sake of the amazing man who got a little more than he bargained for, yet stood by my side through my entire roller coaster ride.

I haven’t always been happy and healthy, I haven’t always been able to reflect the light in my life back to those who shine brightest for me. It took (and takes) hard work, some days the waves crash over me and I struggle to keep my head above water, but those days are far outnumbered by the days I can sit on the shore and soak up the light in my life.

I don’t say this to brag, or be boastful. Because if I’m honest, I’m still not in the place I want to be. What I want is sleepless nights rocking a newborn, to hear little feet on my hardwood floors, to be at little league games and school plays, but I have to hold onto the belief that the best is yet to come and one day I will get to do all those things and more.

The point was I had the courage to start, to decide this wasn’t how my story would end, that I would no longer play the role of the villain and the victim, that somebody was going to be the hero in my story and that somebody was me.

That one decision literally changed everything.

You are the one writing your story, so why not make the happily ever after start right now?

Finding My brave


So I’m a chicken.
Like 100% love and follow all these rock star peeps but would be FAAAAAR to afraid to talk to them let alone do anything about getting pictures with them, well my ‘momma coach’ yelled at me when I told her I needed her here to be my ‘brave’ because she makes me feel invincible. I was battling some social anxiety and feeling really overwhelmed, I told her I can’t do this without her.
After a firm talking to and an order to go make this trip something I am proud of with NO REGRETS, we happened to be walking next to this rock star….well I swallowed my nerves, (and my “OhMYGosh that’s Coach Caleb” giddyness) and asked if I could bother him for a picture. He said yes; and flint to fire and I found my brave.
Turns out it was in me all along.


Is it really that life changing?



When I committed to coming on this trip, to making this happen no matter what;
I had NO IDEA the change that would happen here.

I had no idea I would be witness to so many inspiring stories, that I would cry so much, that I would sweat so much, that I would walk away with a heart so full, that I would meet friends I’ll love for a lifetime, that I’d hear such great stories that truly touch my heart, that I would walk so much, sleep so little, laugh so hard and leave here so FIRED up to chase my dreams.

I’ve heard so many people say that THIS EVENT was their game changer, and honestly I thought they were just saying it.
I wasn’t a believer.
But after being here this week I can finally see what they were talking about, but more importantly I can FEEL it.
I can feel the CHANGE and see the VISION.
And I KNOW that from this moment on I can (and will) be a little braver, do a little more and truly live life by my design. 💗

WARNING: Extra Motivation Required



That’s right I said it, extra motivation required. I’m human. Even though I know how beneficial a good workout is, the endorphins that make you happy (happy people don’t shoot their husbands [or coworkers];)), the energy to power through the day, the stress relief and of course feeling less guilty about the Chinese food (hey being honest here)…sometimes all that still isn’t enough for me to stay goodbye to my bed at 5am or have to wash my hair, again (have I mentioned how much I hate that?)
What’s a girl to do?
Well this Irish/European skin desperately needs sun….and I enjoy a good book in the sunshine.
*Queue an added more tangible reward.*
So everyday I get my sweat on, I can get my tan on too. (Bug spray required, this is the Lowcountry)

How do you motivate/reward yourself?
If you dont have a way, What are things you like to do?
Let’s come up with something that works for you!

Ready for Baby?!?


It’s no secret that I want to be a Mom. In fact my entire life I can’t think of ONE thing I wanted to be more than a Mom, not one. I married my high school sweet heart, I got my degree, we moved away, adopted a fur baby, bought a house, adopted another fur baby, I went back to school, quit school because it was making us broke and went back to work full time. And you know what? In the middle of all that, what my heart wanted never changed. My heart still aches every time yet another friend announces they’re expecting, my news feed and grocery store visits are filled with Mommies to Be and infants galore (thank you, multi-branch military town!) and here I sit with those extra bedrooms that have yet to be filled with toys and laughter, my ovaries kick it into high gear when I see or smell a baby…you may laugh, but it’s a thing I promise.

We’ve been saying, oh when XYZ happens then we can start a family. For a long time it was when we had a place of our own, well when I finish school, well when my husband has a steady income, well we don’t have insurance and having babies is expensive, well when I have a career that I’ve settled into and can bring home so I don’t have to miss so much of our kids’ lives, when I can find someone I trust to keep the kids, when pigs fly, when the moon falls out of the sky, when we can take a trip to the moon, when we can teleport to California rather than fly…okay well maybe not that extreme, but you get the picture. I was depressed, and frustrated and it showed in our marriage and the way we handled things.

Some of those things were logical, some of them made sense at the time and some of them seem completely irrational to me now.


Well because to be honest, those were great milestones and goals to have but we didn’t have a real plan to reach them, any of them. As much as I pride myself on being a planner, we in no way made a plan to achieve those goals….so really we in no way were truly working to create the life for the family we wanted.

What’s different today?

Today, we not only KNOW what we want (in very fine detail, might I add) we also have a PLAN of action and a TIMELINE in which we want to complete it all. The trials of being beyond paycheck to paycheck, of being sick all the time, of the heartbreaking news we didn’t want to hear, and of sticking it out through all the pain has us coming out on the other side with determination to change our fate and the kind of marriage you see in short bursts with an overlay of music on movie screens. I’d like to think that the hard times made me better, made us better, and has made us more appreciative of all that we have and all that we receive.

It has us making lists, setting goals and putting our plan into action.

So rather than a “someday, maybe, when” mentality we have a 2 year baby plan (that we’re both privy to) that allows us to enjoy our time together, finish our home renovations piece by piece and build the life that works best for us. To the best of our abilities, we’re planning for baby….with a Total Money Makeover, a renovation checklist and a “Before Baby” bucket list.

So what should we add to our list? What things do you wish you had done before you had kids? Or at least something you miss the most so we know to savor it while we can?

We’ve been quiet about our pain for too long, and I for one am tired of suffering in silence.

So it’s time I started asking questions, talking to more than just my journal and making a little noise, after all that’s what the end game is anyways right? A noisy house full of love, laughter and tears.


a delicious recipe to help satisfy that craving for something sweet

I’ve got lots of apples, and a wicked sweet tooth rearing it’s ugly head, this recipe helped take care of both problems!

2 birds, 1 stone. I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as I did!

Lost at Sea


Uncomfortable in my own skin, hiding in my baggiest clothes that no longer fit me, sick all the time, drawn in and hiding, pushing to get from day to day, I was my own worst critic and I not so silently battled how I was feeling every day. I lashed out, and was short tempered. I never wanted to do anything and was much happier under the cloak of my comforter.

It should have been like that! I was a 20 year old mostly newly wed who found herself at her heaviest and unhealthiest to date. I had let the stress of life and everything that came with it get the best of me, and there wasn’t much of me left. My hubby was briefly unemployed then working what ever kind of job he could find, even if it meant working 3rd shift, then 3rd shift in a different state, then 70 hrs a week in a high intensity factory. We never saw each other. I was working while attending college full time and trying to navigate the purchase of our first home as we lived in a 3bd/2ba house with four other people. It wasn’t how I pictured my ‘happily ever after’ and I stress ate my feelings. Hoping somewhere in the pile of junk and hours of mindless television I’d find solace, even if just for a moment.

Well I didn’t find it. In fact what I found was myself hiding in my biggest clothes until even those stopped fitting, I was constantly sick and had zero energy, I stopped wanting to do anything, I hid from the camera and avoided all new experiences. I thought my ‘funk’ I was in was all mental, a product of being a newlywed in a new town fighting for the ‘proper’ new beginning I had in my head. But when I found myself at the doctor for easily the 11th time since moving (12 months beforehand) and their scale read 37 lbs heavier than the weight I was on my wedding day, not even a year and a half later, I wanted to ugly cry. Add in getting fussed at over my blood pressure, nutrition and water intake and I felt like the victim. I was mad at my doctor and over the next few weeks I sort of listened. I spent less time on my bum, I ate a few less fries and tried to get moving. But I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know how to fix it and gave up.

It wasn’t until I realized that I had done this to myself, that I was responsible for the way I felt that I could fix it, but how? My whole life I’ve been a quitter: gymnastics, dance, girl scouts, soccer, softball, world language club, heck even college. Why? because it gets a little hard and I take the easy way out. No wonder I ended up so miserable! My ENTIRE life I have been called ‘weak’ or ‘little’ and somewhere along the way I let that sink in to my subconscious and started to believe it. Only now not only was I lacking strength, but I also wasn’t the ‘little’ part anymore. An adjective that used to irritate me beyond all get out was now something that I longed to be true.

I decided to stop being a ‘once in a while kind of person’, I needed to go all in if I was going to see a change. I needed to do this for my health and the health of my marriage. I had no idea what I was doing and I needed a plan. I started with Insanity, have and dabbled in T25, 21 Day Fix and PiYo losing 25 lbs. I have developed a love for running and have done multiple 5Ks, an 8K and a half marathon.

It wasn’t until I started doing things I thought I couldn’t that I realized just how strong I can be. I’m in this business for the days when my strength fails me and the self doubt rears it’s ugly head, I’m here for the support along the way and to have the connection with someone else so that we can push each other to be stronger than we’ve ever been mentally and physically.

It has been a back and forth battle, one I fight in everyday.

I will be starting BodyBeast tomorrow.

I’ve got new adjectives in mind, ‘fit’, ‘strong’, ‘confident’, ‘finisher’.

…and oh by the way, I’m still fighting to complete program beginning to end with no skips or cheats. I still have to remind myself that mini red velvet cupcakes aren’t the answer to my problems. Sometimes I catch myself thinking like I used to and literally have to mentally tell myself to shut up.

I’m not perfect, I don’t claim to be.

This is my journey and I’m finally the one steering the boat.

The Making of a Kingdom


We have a once car garage. Yet neither of our cars get to call it home. If you’re wondering where all those OCD forest animals put all the dust, cardboard, tools and outdated appliances it was in my dark dusty dungeon of a garage. What’s that you say? There weren’t circa 1962 appliances in fairy tales and Disney movies? Oh well someone should kindly tell them that, because I am lacking in the singing princess department they refuse to relocate it all to someone else’s dungeon, trust me I tried that angle.

So with the animals on strike I was left with a big dungeon full of cardboard trolls, all the tools the dwarfs didn’t want to carry and enough odds and ends to keep Templeton happily rummaging for days. If I wanted a little more sparkle in my life I was going to have to enlist the help of my Prince so for four and a half hours we cleaned out that dingy dungeon and when most of the mess those forest creatures left behind was gone we started putting it all back! You see in the almost two years we’ve been inhabiting our early1960’s estate, those creatures did drop off some useful things too. We finally had the space to assemble the pile of shelves in the corners, and with the shelves in place the dwarf’s tools now had a set place to be. we freed the cardboard trolls and last I saw they were hanging around until their chariot arrives on Thursday.

Under all the rubble we discovered the pile of Knight Training gear we had been keeping under lock and key. With the dungeon clearing up there was finally the space to set everything up and have it accessible not just in the pinch before the battle, but year round! We were able to put together our Kingdom of Sweat-Sylvania (<~ see what I did there (;) for less than $100.00. We purchased a $20 6×5 non slip rug, $20 weight set, 2 adjustable weight benches $24.96 each and $6.96 DVD player ( I ❤ GOODWILL). Everything else we already had.

We busted our butts putting together our training facilities. I’m so excited to get out there and build up some muscles and sparkle daily. I know my Prince is excited to be able to spend more time in his throne surveying the subjects and commanding the armies undisturbed anyways. (;



Our Training Facility Currently Has:

  • Multi-function Weight Machine
  •  2 Adjustable Incline Benches*
  • Dumb Bells
  •  Free Weights *
  •  Curl Bar
  • Squat Bar
  • resistance bands
  • Punching Bag and Gloves
  • Mirrors
  • TV
  • DVD Player*
  • Stability Ball
  • Chin-up Bar
  •  Fans
  •  Fridge for Waters
  •  Cabinet for Storage
  •  Large Whiteboard to keep on Track

Coming Soon….

  • Speed Bag (need hardware to hang it)
  • Jump Mats*
  •  Better Lighting *

*purchased after began transforming from dungeon to training facility

The best part about this recent development of our estate?

Despite my lack of princess qualifications, I get to make my own happy ending.

“No one is going to save you, be the hero of your own life.”

Fun little addition to this post….

I have since gotten my ‘anti-workout’ prince to join me! (:


Raindrops, Thunder and Lightning, OH MY!


We have two furbabies, Minion a male 19 month old German Shepherd and Annabelle a female 30 month old Mini Daschund/Terrier Mix. We’ve had them both since they were only a few weeks old and they truly are part of the family. That being said, I treat them like children. So no judging in any of my stories of their antics. I am neither crazy nor mean, I just find them amusing.

wpid-20140627_172103.jpg wpid-20140623_120144.jpg

Minion has just reached the age where he can begin learning to run, before 18 months their bones are not finished developing and training them to run can actually cause their bones to grow improperly and increase their chances of getting hip dysplasia at a later date which is already a common ailment of large dogs. We’ve only been training for a couple weeks now, but given the set routine of our run and the intelligence level of shepherds, he’s catching on quickly. Friday night we had some terrible storms blow in that not only cancelled our run, but also a local Eric Paslay Concert at the Waterfestival.

With all our plans ruined and our power flickering there wasn’t much to do, I washed the dishes from dinner with my four legged shadow following right behind me, which is totally the norm except now he was looking at me with his big sad eyes and whining. He even brought me his leash. I put it back and he continued to follow me.

I was grabbing a post dinner yogurt when his ornery little self decided to start sniffing around the countertops. He knocked down a small glass that bounced off his nose and shattered on my foot. The second it made impact with the ground he ran himself into his bed and covered his face.

Meanwhile, I’m stuck standing on one foot trying to balance on the outside of my foot so I don’t bring myself down on the glass that is surrounding me…oh and yelling to my husband to grab shoes and come help me, hoping he can hear me over his headset.

Luckily it only took a minute before he came to my rescue and cleaned up all the glass before any body got hurt. Minion and I both walked away without anything bigger than a few scratches on my legs from the bounce. (this entire time Annabelle has been curled up in my hubby’s lap while he plays Xbox, they play favorites)

He continued to follow me as I folded laundry and settled to read a book. There was finally a lull in the rain long enough for me to attempt to let them out. Just after opening the door with Minion sticking his nose through the doorway a huge symphony sized crash of thunder and accompanying lightning cuts through the air and literally scares the pee out of my poor baby! He ran all the way to our bedroom and buried his face under the pillows. I didn’t know whether to laugh, be mad about the pee in my house or feel bad for him. I chose to laugh while I cleaned it up and let this guy cuddle me until the storm finally stopped.


A New Kind of Currency


Sometimes I seriously lack the motivation to workout. There I said it, I’m human too!

I love a good workout and the way I feel afterwards so much so  that sometimes I go a little crazy and do a bunch all at once and feel amazing! Other times I’m laying in bed thinking so loud the only way to drown out the freight train in my head is to distract the conductor and hop on a more rigorous track. But sometimes, for days on end, I can’t seem to convince myself to buy a ticket, let alone walk out of the station onto that platform and board the train.

I need a motivator. Something that works just for me, we all have something that will push us whether it be a new tattoo when we reach our goal weight, awesome new gear for finishing a program or a new pair of kicks for staying consistent and racking up the miles.

My struggle is consistency, too many excuses for not making it to the ticket counter. My end to all the missed cab rides, traffic jams and getting lost in the terminal?

Funding a dream trip.

It’s pretty high up on my bucket list to visit New Orleans, even higher to see the Saints play in the Superdome. So what better way to have a multipurpose journey than to combine the two?

I don’t want lighter luggage, I want it to be stronger and more durable. Every time I leave the station and hop on that rigorous track, I’ll be paying the conductor by adding a dollar to my NOLA 2016 JAR.

wpid-photogrid_1406301946648.jpgBecause sometimes the conductor needs a little push to get the wheels moving on the track. After all, you’ll never reach your destination if you can’t leave the station you’re at.

There is no telling how far you will go chasing a dream. But can you imagine how great it will feel when you get there.