Throwing Out the Life Preserver

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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

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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.

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Is it really that life changing?

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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

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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?!?

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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.

Why?

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.

APPLES APPLES EVERYWHERE!

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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!

The Making of a Kingdom

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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. (;

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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! (:

 

A New Kind of Currency

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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.

If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.

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Last year I took back my health, I am eating better, working out daily and running most days of the week. I never thought I’d be able to run a mile, let alone multiples; and of course I couldn’t until I tried. I could never have lost 27 lbs and 14 inches total if I didn’t get off my butt and do something about it. I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible, I have a new found love and appreciation for fitness and nutrition. I have found hobbies that I never thought I would be able to call mine. I have met amazing driven people who both inspire and encourage me daily, so why then am I so afraid to make this change? I hate change. Frankly it terrifies me! I find myself going over every single possible scenario (including the 89 I’ve made up) that could happen, I freak myself out and end up not making the change at all or talking myself out of it. My Resolution? Spend less time planning and worrying, more time enjoying and doing. Do you know what that means? You guessed it, I have to change something.
Before I started my fitness journey, it was “you have no idea what you’re doing, what if you hurt yourself? What if for the rest of your life you have this ridiculous limp you must explain to your children and all their friends because your dumbass didn’t know how to work the machine? What if they laugh at you? What if no one offers to help? What if I’m in someone’s way and they’re impatiently tapping their foot at me and they yell at me because I take to long? What if I put in all the work and it still doesn’t work?” You may laugh at some of those, but for real those are just a few of what I remember asking myself before, before I signed up for a gym membership and every time I went to get out of my car when I got there. That is until I found a friend who encouraged me to try Insanity, it’s “structured you’ll love it. and the best part is no onto watch you” No body watching and no guess work? SOLD! By taking this leap by grabbing on with both hands and finding there was this amazing group of people willing to support me and work through it with me, you’d think I’d be a little less gun shy about change right? WRONG.
I’ve been working in my profession for 6 years now, and my entire life it was all I ever wanted to do. But now that I’ve been at this for awhile I’m burnt out. I know I know a phase right? Give it more time right? What if I said I’ve felt this way for over a year and it hasn’t gotten better but instead worse in the tenfold? So after over 6 months of being miserable and me complaining daily, my husband turns to me and says “If you’re so unhappy, then do something about it!” Well it only took me a few months to listen and another couple to decide that he was right I need to change something (hey I already made it abundantly clear change terrifies me).
I am completely changing my major so I will be mostly starting over, which is tough to swallow given that I finished my AA in 4 semesters, worked nights and planned our wedding. We moved, bought a house, got a few dogs and somewhere in there I hunted for colleges in our small town-found none, attended an all online college-hated it, restarted my search for a college with the new credentials of changing my major. So I go from AA overachieving (seriously 7 classes in a summer semester) to fast forward a few years to present day and where I now get the joy of juggling:
1) Student at a continued over achiever status, I want straight As (I mentioned I was a perfectionist right?)
2) Keep Up my hard work in fitness and my love for running (which is more like therapy)
3) After School Care
4) Nanny-ing
5) Maybe keep a few friends (after all they’ve always been there, hoping that continues)
6) Keep in contact with the ‘mothers’ in my life so they don’t think I’ve died or been kidnapped
7 ) Oh yeah and this little thing called a marriage and running a household.

So basically I am expecting to become a hermit, sleep less, communicate only via text homework breaks and phone calls on travel time, run for therapy, study till my eyeballs ache, kiss all pleasure reading, TV and mindless free-time goodbye, pray for a miracle and make the best of every minute I have in a day because people are counting on me. No pressure right?


But I want a life we’ve never had, which is living without late fees and working in a profession that feels less like a root canal and more like I love what I do.
If I want a change, I have to do something I’ve never done, so here goes nothing….

Why “Unobscured”?

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For many of us the lack of exercise and healthy nutrition has lead us to be uncomfortable in our own skin; add on the complication of health issues and it puts us in this dark place where we want to hide under a rock, at least that’s how it was for me.
The concept of “Spreading Your Light” really speaks to my heart because I found myself hiding, I was frustrated and lost and felt myself falling deeper into a hole everyday, that is until I found a beacon of light that helped me climb my way out of that hole.
Changing my health and fitness has helped me shine on through all the things that used to dull my personality and appreciation fo life, now I can enjoy life’s simple pleasures and find the joy in even the hard times completely ‘unobscured.’
I want nothing more than to toss the climbing gear to other people who are stuck in the bottom of that hole. I want to shine the light that will allow them to climb out of that hole and be able to live their life ‘unobscured.’
I love the person I am becoming because I’ve had to work hard to be where I am. This pride and self-confidence is too wonderful not to share and honestly my life isn’t always so ‘unobscured’, I’m the kind of girl who needs to write out what I’m feeling or thinking I’ve kept journals and done tidbits of tips for cooking, crafts and random funnies on various platforms. I’ve decided to compile them all here for your reading pleasure, thanks for stopping by y’all.