It’s Complicated

For days, I’ve tried to put together a post on the recent school shooting. I started to write…then deleted my post…started again…only to delete –  My emotions, mostly sadness and frustration, have prevented me from doing what I love most – writing –

As a teacher and a mom of two school-aged children, I’ve been at a loss for words. I can’t believe school shootings are still happening. Even more frustrating, I don’t have the solution. The issue is, there is no “one” solution. There are so many variables – it’s complicated – guns, mental illness, anger issues, lack of school security – I don’t know – honestly – I just don’t.

In the aftermath of Parkland, I have read numerous articles, blog posts, Instagram posts, and watched many news segments. I have read the cruel and insensitive comments on social media from the keyboard warriors. I have read the heart breaking stories from families of the victims –  I have also read some really interesting, intelligent, and well-written pieces.

I’ve struggled to write this  -mostly due to the backlash – but mostly, I’ve struggled to write because my post won’t be any different from what has already been said. And a lot has been said.

I am writing mostly to be a voice – a voice for parents and teachers – a voice for the students and teachers that are anxious to go to school – and a voice to say – we CAN’T forget about this in a week, a month, a year – we can’t sit back and add this shooting to the list –

I am writing because, sitting behind a computer screen clicking “share” is much different than actually sitting at a teacher desk looking around your classroom wondering…

“Where would I hide my 28 kids?” “Could I protect my students?”  “What would I actually do?”

I’ve thought about it…I know the drills – I know “what to do” – but will it be enough?

Instead of writing – I read – I read articles suggesting teachers can, “simply arrange” classrooms differently. Another article talked about a teacher who has students write notes on Fridays about who they would like to sit with the following week or a classmate they would want to get to know better. The teacher studies the notes over the weekend to identify struggling students or “loners” – It’s a sweet idea – and it may work for some grade levels – but aren’t teachers already aware of their struggling students or loners – isn’t that already in their instinctual teacher super powers?  It seems teachers should add therapist, psychologist, and mind reader to their already extensive list of responsibilities and unrealistic expectations.

I don’t have the answers it seems nobody has answers — and since Columbine, the only thing that has changed is an increase in the amount and type of drills conducted on a monthly basis, and an alarming increase in the amount of school shootings.

I am just like every other frustrated teacher and I’m just like every other worried parent — praying Parkland doesn’t happen in our community.

How cliche? Hoping and praying doesn’t prevent school shootings. Hoping and praying doesn’t stop tragedy, but change could. I just don’t know what that change is.

I’m just like every other teacher, hoping I never have to make the split second decision to take a bullet for my students; I’m just like every parent, praying that there is a teacher that would take a bullet for my children.  

  Continue reading “It’s Complicated”

The “F” Word

Recently, my 5-year-old daughter, Parker, asked if she was “fat”. I am not naive – I know she’s heard the word, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t come from my mouth from time to time…I am my worst critic. I’ll look at myself in the mirror and ask my husband, “Does this outfit make me look fat?”

So horrible, I know…But…I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m not a perfect mom…And those words have totally come out of my mouth.

Parker is confident- So confident that sometimes I need to discuss modesty with her. She runs around the house in her underwear and wears sometimes too small clothes. My older daughter is the exact opposite. She needs complete privacy and is sometimes overly modest.

I asked Parker what made her think that she was “the F word”, and she said that she looks at her friends and her big sister, Peyton, and her tummy is bigger. Parker’s “tummy” is literally the cutest thing in the entire world…When I was pregnant with my youngest, Parker, would stick her tummy out and say that she had “baby Bella” in her tummy.

Parker and Baby Bella
Parker and Baby Bella

We are a healthy family. We eat healthy, for the most part. My girls are active in swim, gymnastics, and dance class year round. Parker has a “solid” and “athletic” build. Her older sister, Peyton, is taller, has ballerina long legs, and has a different shape.

As any mom would, I stressed to Parker that she is just perfect. She was easily appeased – until a few days later when she tried to squeeze into too small “skinny jeans”…eh…Why do we even have to call them “skinny” jeans?

The jeans were definitely a size too small, and her athletic gymnast legs had a hard time getting in them. I told Parker that she is growing big and strong, that’s why the pants didn’t fit…Thankfully, Parker IS confident. She threw the silly skinny jeans aside and rocked another super cool outfit…(I swear, this kid makes anything cool).

Boosting confidence in our children, and not just our daughters, but our sons too is SO important. At an early age, whether it be from television or conversation at school, our children are comparing themselves to others and trying to figure out life. It’s tough being a kid. It’s tough being a teenager, and we as parents need to encourage these beautiful children.

I completely dread the teenage years .I teach teenagers, and know how difficult it can be. For now, I will make sure Parker doesn’t lose an ounce of her confidence and spunk. That she she keeps her amazing, feisty, and adorable personality.

We will be mindful to use the words healthy, active, and making healthy choices in our house…And I promise to not use that “F” word in front of any of my daughters again.

Setting Goals

Tonight as I put my children to bed, I read them each a bedtime story of their choice. My oldest, Peyton, chose a book to read to her little sisters…Peyton set a goal in the beginning of the year to be at a letter J for the scholastic reading scale. Peyton entered first grade at a letter D.

She was just recently leveled, and advanced to a letter M! Pey has exceeded her goal. Of course I am proud of her reading ability, but she could be reading at a level A and I would still be proud. I admire that she is so young and recognized the importance of setting a goal and recognized the importance of hard work.

 

 

Peyton is learning the value of hard work and her perseverance paid off.

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Building confidence is so important at her age…It’s the foundation for the rest of her life. She doesn’t brag about her goal, yet she feels a sense of accomplishment. Her humbleness is admirable.

Setting goals are important, no matter what age we may be. Goals help us feel a sense of accomplishment and boost confidence.

Some tips for setting goals:

1. Be realistic.

2. Write your goals down. Getting a journal or a book of some sort to keep track of your goals is helpful. I’ve been using this “goal getter” book from Target.

3. If the plan doesn’t work, modify it, but don’t give up.

4. Vocalize your goal. Say it out loud when you’re doing your make up, or showering. Say “I will do this! I know I can.” Sometimes I hold myself accountable by posting something on social media.

5. Stay positive & patient. Some goals will be easier than others. If you have a positive mindset, anything is possible.

I have set some goals for this summer.

1. Workout at least 5 days a week.

2. Finish renovating my home and move in!

3. Find more time for mindfulness.

4. Do more meaningful activities with my daughter’s during our summer together.

5. Surprise my husband with a 40th birthday party (he doesn’t read my blog or even know how to access it…sooooooo…😆)

6. Put my phone down and tune in more to what is happening around me. Especially limiting my time on social media.

7. Try something new. (Not sure what, but something different)

Seven is my lucky number so I am stopping there! What are some of your goals? Go get them! Anything is possible!

Post Baby Body! 

I’ve had three babies in 6 years. It certainly does a number on your body. I feel like I’ve been pregnant, breastfeeding, and hormonal for awhile now! Peyton is 6, Parker is 5 and my youngest, Piper, is 18 months, and I am finally feeling like ME! Well…most days…

Unfortunately, there’s this unrealistic expectation that women should just magically lose the baby weight…but sorry, it’s just NOT realistic. With my first daughter, Peyton, I gained around 40 pounds during the pregnancy, and it FELL off in the first two weeks, but then I struggled with my second daughter and I only gained 25 pounds and she was my smallest baby! Go figure! My last daughter was the hardest. I was in my 30s when I had Piper, and everything was different. The pregnancy was harder and losing the weight was even harder, not to mention I struggled with PPA.

I’m not going to lie, I am not the most patient person in the world. I thought the weight would just fall off with breastfeeding, but ultimately, it did the opposite. Sure, I lost weight, but I was SO hungry all the time. I was eating all the time too (healthy options of course), but I wasn’t losing the extra weight. Thankfully my body was smarter than my ego, and it retained some weight most likely to keep my milk supply for Piper.

When I was done nursing, I felt like the last few pounds melted off me, but I also put in some hard work. If I couldn’t make it to the gym, I worked out at home doing Jillian Michael’s videos, HIIT workouts I had found on Pinterest…or I would run or walk with the baby in the stroller whenever the weather cooperated.

img_8218It took time. And I had to be patient. Essentially, with each pregnancy, it took about a year to feel like “me” again. But being a mom means your body is changed forever. I definitely have the mom stomach and things just aren’t as they were before, but it’s SO worth it! After Peyton, when I was starting to feel like myself again at her first birthday, I found out a week later that I was pregnant with Parker!  With Parker, it took a solid year, and again with my last baby (I think 😜), it took a little more than a year because I nursed her the longest.

There’s no rule that you need to lose the baby weight in a certain amount of time and everyone will have their body respond in a different way depending on hormones, metabolism, muscle memory, or even what exercises they did during pregnancy.

Working on strengthening my core and pelvic floor again was most important…think kegels 🙂

Getting my running endurance back up was the most challenging. I am not the strongest runner, especially speed wise, but I have the endurance and heart. Since the birth of my second daughter, I realized that I needed to cross train as well. I have incorporated spinning, weights, HIIT workouts, SLT classes, and even some yoga. Another favorite of mine is TRX. I just haven’t had the time to get into that class. Finding the balance and changing it up is important in losing the weight and not burning out, along with drinking plenty of water, sleep, and a healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I splurge…Dessert (occasionally) and wine on the weekends. Balance and moderation are key in everything.

Top 5 tips for fitness success:

  1. Find a workout group that supports and encourages. You will hold each other accountable.
  2. Change it up and try new things. Pinterest is an amazing place to find new workouts.
  3. Be patient and listen to your body. Rest when your body needs rest! Schedule your rest days.
  4. Drink water & Eat Healthy
  5. Create goals and a workout schedule. Write those goals down.

Links to some of my favorite workouts below:

6 months postpartum on the left after baby #3 and 18 months postpartum with baby #3 on the right! Hard work pays off!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3761/Good-Morning-Yoga-Sequence.htmlhttp://indulgy.com/post/OGsQJPI6s2/workout-with-weights

http://www.pbfingers.com/2016/09/27/total-body-bosu-workout/

The Balancing Act

My three peas in a pod

It’s crazy how busy life can get…Work, homework, dinner, laundry, and just about everything else that there is to cram in a day.

Since I’ve started my blog, my husband and I unexpectedly bought a house! We weren’t really looking, but the perfect house fell into our lap.

I was picking up clothes from a friend to pass along to a another mom, and I found out that the house across the street from her was going to be put up for sale. My husband and I met with the homeowner, and bought the house before it was even listed –

Our new home on closing day!

The house was “move in” ready, but my husband and I wanted to make it “ours”. Since we closed in March, we have been having our own version of “fixer upper”.

 

It’s a balancing act for sure, but I don’t think I would want life any other way. The journey is the best part, and the fact that I get to experience this journey with my husband, Kevin, even better. .

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but it’s certainly the most rewarding…Balancing it all with kids can be a challenge, but the point of my post is this – YOU GOT THIS – The hard days, the fun days, the sad days – YOU GOT THIS.

You can balance it all because you don’t have to be perfect and you certainly don’t have to pretend to be perfect. Who really has it all together? 

Find YOUR balance – and if you haven’t yet, you will!

“Life is a wonderful mess.” 

Find your balance and embrace your crazy or maybe not so crazy life!

Stay tuned for Blog Posts on our favorite home improvement ideas!