Happy Thursdate!

Hey mom’s, happy Thursdate!

I don’t usually have such a target audience, however today I am talking to the mama’s out there! When is the last time you went on a date with your son?

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As a mom, I feel like I owe it to my future daughter-in-law (I know he is only nine!) to teach my son a few things about being a good husband. Not to mention, I think he is a pretty cool kids that deserves my undivided attention from time to time.

Besides watching the interaction between his parents, a boy can learn a lot about relationshipimages and feelings by having a good relationship with his mom. I am totally ok with my son being a “mamma’s boy” as long as he can still do for himself. There is a difference between dependency and simply a desire to be around someone. I can tell you based on my own relationship with my husband, a relationship between a boy and his mom fundamentally effects how he feels about himself and how he expresses his feelings towards others.

So what can you do TODAY to spend some one-on-one time?

  • Read a book together at nap time
  • Go to the grocery store and leave everyone else at home with dad. (some of my favorite alone times with my kids are in the car, they can’t walk away and we are in close enough proximity to hold hands.)image
  • Play a board game in his room after everyone else has gone to bed.
  • Take a walk/bike ride
  • Chat while making dinner together
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie

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You don’t have to have a lot of money or even extra time to make the time you spend quality, you simply have to be intentional. Engage in conversation, be focused on him and show him that for that about of time he is your priority.

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Leftovers Reformed!

Leftovers Reformed!

Happy Friday Everyone!

I have had a lot of people ask me lately about eating cleaner and making it work for a busy lifestyle. Left face it, we are all  busy!

My husband and I were recently discussing taking on a new business venture and he quickly said, “now you know this may mean more convenient meals.” REALLY?? If you know me, I took that as a challenge. So what does making dinner look like for our house? Let me break it down for you.

Let me just start by saying, I have done food/meal prep a lot of different ways, and they all work depending on what else is going on.

I call this the lazy man’s meal prep ( my current form :-/ )    It is usually the protein of the meal that I find myself struggling with when not prepared. It either needs to be thawed or we just plain don’t have it. My solution; when I go to the grocery store and buy my meat, I cook it before I put it away. For our house, meat is usually chicken, ground turkey and pork chops. I season my meats with the same typical spices, or none at all. This allows for future modifications. For instance, plain chicken breasts can be shredded and tossed with salsa for taco night. Ground turkey can be put in eggs, thrown on a salad or put in a lettuce wrap. imageI am not even going to lie, on my high protein days I have been known to walk around the house with a pork chop in my hand!

Have you even been here before?  Standing in the refrigerator starving,  knowing you should have a salad and having no yummy toppings at your fingertips. You have the veggies, but all. that. work. to cut them up…..  Here is an idea. Cut them up when you get home from the store, before you put them away! Tupperware with diced peppers, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers will last in the refrigerator for the whole week. Besides the salads, you can put them in your scrambled eggs in the morning. You never know, maybe your kiddos will reach for a cut up cucumber instead of chips for a crunchy snack.

imageSo as you may notice, I have not actually made any full meals, but I have laid a good foundation for them. So another way of prepping that produces results is what I call the tomorrow today idea. When I am making dinner, I am making extras for tomorrow. If I am cooking already, why not make extra? So, say I am cooking 3 pounds of chicken breasts. If I have seasoned breasts tonight, maybe we have tomorrows with bar b que sauce..same yet different. Just last week I made a whole box of quieno. The first night I added salsa for a southwest theme, the next night I added garlic and shreaded cheese. Another example, our cookout this weekend. The grill was fired up so why not cook all of our veggies? Grilled squash, Brussel sprouts and asparagus. One for each of the next three nights. Your hubby just helped you meal prep without even knowing it!

 

Do you love your crock pot? I do, but I don’t always have time in the  morning to get it all together. Most dinners made in my crock pot are actually not for today,but for tomorrow. I can still set it and forget it, but I can do it in the afternoon and let it cook until bedtime if it is easier for my schedule. I also use my crock as a defroster instead of a cooker. My husband is a great sport, but he does not love chicken  breasts cooked in the crock pot. We typically buy them frozen to cut costs, so It is not a quick turn around from freezer to plate. If I put them in the crock early to start cooking/defrosting, I can throw them in the oven to finish up to prevent drying out.

If you are a 9-5’er you may benefit from a day of prepping individual meals in quick to grab Tupperware. This takes a little more prep on one day, but saves time, money and stress later. All of the previous ideas apply, but the final step is to break the food groups down into individual meals (1 meat, 1 veggie and 1 carb). One of my favorite meal prep ideas is the salad in a mason jar. imageIt must have something to do with the glass, but these suckers will stay good all week! So, cut up your veggies and layer them in the bottom of a mason jar from the heartiest on the bottom up to the lettuce. You can even add your dressing in the very bottom, the only thing soaking in it is your harder veggies like carrots, so they hold up well. After you have filled in your veggies fill it to the top with your lettuce and seal it up. I have even done avocado which made me nervous but it held up well too. I also know people who have added their shredded chicken to complete the meal.

I hope that my crazy meal prep plans can work for you too! I would love to hear feedback on what has worked for you or any new ideas!

Team Make Fit Happen!

I am busting at the seams with pride and excitement and I just have to share with you all!

As you may know I work with a team of fitness coaches that have a passion of health and wellness. To be a coach you simply need to have passion, motivation and a desire to make and be a change in a positive manner.

For 2 of the women I work with, being a coach was not enough. A perk of the fitness partnership that I am in with a fellow fit mom Amanda Tress, the founder of @fit pregnancy and parenting, is that we can grow our knowledge and skill base with specialty certifications at a discounted price. #teammakefithappen is branching out! I am currently a Certified Personal Trainer, working with customers both online and in person. My Fit friends Holly and Melissa are kicking it up too!

Holly is a work at home mom that runs an in-home preschool as well as many other communityimage projects. After losing 55 pounds herself, Holly has become a great role model for her friends and family in regards to overall wellness. Holly is getting her Yoga certification to add children’s  yoga to her curriculum as well as adult classes to out local studio. way to go girl!!!!

Melissa is a 9-5’er I like to say. She is a manager that deals in finances as well as being a wife and mom. Melissa has always had a passion for exercise and being image“healthy.” Melissa is currently studying  for her Personal Training Cert. to take her client interaction up a notch!

Way to go ladies!  I could not be more proud and I cant wait to see how this all plays out, we are going to do big things!

If you are curious about how you may fit in to our team or how you can make income either actively or passively I would love to answer any questions you may have.

 

Race Recap

Race Recap

It wasn’t until I was standing at the starting line, in corral B, right next to my pacer that I realized I wasn’t nervous! imageI had trained for this day, but probably not as intently as last year. This time I was even running solo. So what made the difference? I’m not sure, except to say that I had done this before, I had run this far, ran these streets.

This past weekend was a race weekend like I have never experienced. I ran a 10k Saturday morning at 8, a 5k at 10 and then a half marathon on Sunday morning at 6:30, This may sound kinda crazy, I know it did to me, but it was really a lot of fun! lets face it, if you train properly for a marathon, 6 miles is nothing!

imageI am in no way a professional runner! I probably don’t breath the most effectively, I may not take the hills as I should. What I am though, is better every time. I PR’d all three of my races this weekend! Did I come in first, NO. Did I even place, NO. I don’t even care about that. I beat the old me, that is my success! Another victory, I could walk the next day 🙂

The crowds in Cincinnati were amazing! churches, football teams, retirement communities and families gathered on the streets to cheer us on and celebrate our victories with us. I cannot begin to express how every sign, every high-five, every “way to go” really makes an impact. Many times I could not help but get choked up seeing kids, cheering for their parent, parents cheering for their kids and complete strangers supporting each other. If you have never been in the crowd at a race event like this, I strongly encourage it, I cant wait to take my kids to another event. Teaching my kids to build up others and not see people as competition is important to me. Success is not beating everyone else to that top… how lonely would it be up there alone?

If you played sports in school, you may recall the feeling of scoring the goal, blocking the pass or spiking the ball and looking up into the stands to see your parents cheering you on. This race solitified to me the importance of really being there for my kids. What makes 13.1 miles even longer? Looking for your family every. single. step. of the way. In their defense, not everyone gets it. For some it doesnt matter, for some they would rather not have friends and family along the course of a challenging run.

When is the last time you did something for the first time? When is the last time you did something you were not sure you could do? More importantly, when is the last time you not only told your kids, but showed them, that hard work pays off? That if they believe it they can achieve it. My Race weekend was fun, challenging, fullfilling…. and best of all proof to my children that setting goals and working tword them gets the job done.

If you are local and are looking for a fun race to do, I highly recommend the flying pig in cincinatti. Set a running goal for the summer, even if it is a mile and comment below why what you will Make Happen in Summer 2015! We can support and encourage each other.

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embracing our opportunities

I recently listened to a podcast from a not-so-typical mom. I believe she is more common than you might think, however most women aren’t so outspoken about it. After hearing her I felt empowered!

imageI am a mom of four, (9,9,3, 18 mths), I have been married to my husband for almost 13 years, and I have always worked either in or outside of my home since becoming a mom. I always new I wanted children, in fact we had to try very hard and pay a lot of money to have them! With that being said, I also knew I wanted to have a career too.

I will never forget the day before my c-section with my oldest two, it was also my last day of working in the medical office I had been with for years. I CRIED! Not because I was scared or excited or nervous…..because I was sad. Sad that from the next morning forward I would be a different person, have different priorities and have to change the way I lived my life.

Now before you get all crazy, remember, I wanted to be a mom. I was happy, I was just also mourning the independence and the freedom that not having kids allowed.

Since having the twins, and then adding to the mix with two more, I have worked full time, part time, from home and now all of the above!

I get all the time, “wow, you are so busy.” which I know sometimes means, “do you ever see your kids?” or “don’t you think your kids need you home?” Let me break it down for ya!

First and foremost, I have a great partner! My husband is the strength to my weaknesses, he is there when I am not and he is my biggest supporter. Second to him, I have an amazing friend/babysitter for my younger kids that loves them even better than I can some days! We don’t live by any family since relocating to northern Kentucky last year, so its just us! I must say I think we do pretty great!

It is not like I have some amazing career that brings in a ton of money, I am an ER nurse. I work for the love of it, the reward of making a difference. With that being said, I work the night shift so that I am home to make breakfast for the kids and get them on the bus, I can go to school functions and volunteer when needed and still be home for dinner as a family every night. Some things are not negotiable, family dinners is one of them.

Within the past year, I have also added personal training to my resume. I have always had a passion for fitness, never dreaming it would result in income for my family and making a difference in other peoples lives. Yes it is time away from home, but again, my kids are home with their dad… their other parent…the other half of their DNA…. the other person God gave them as a protector and a provider.

Knowing myself, I know that if I was a stay at home mom full time I would not feel complete. That is just how I was designed.  A lot of women, some of my friends even, do it and love it and are great at it! I only use a babysitter about 16 hours a week.  I am a better mom when I have balance between home, work, fitness and dates with my husband.

Some thoughts for you….  If you can embrace your “opportunities” as an area to let others show their “strengths” isn’t it a win-win for everyone? If a relationship with their father is great for a daughter and a son, shouldn’t mom allow that to happen, sometimes without interruption? If God meant for us to do it all he would not have given us a spouse/partner to share the load with!

I hope that you can see my heart here and maybe see yourself with a little less magnification. You don’t have to be great at everything(you should see my house 😦 ), and you don’t have to be what everyone thinks you should be. If the roles of the people in your family work, then work it! If not, make some changes. God bless!

Quit the guilt!

Quit the guilt!

As a mom of four, I have done it all! stay at home mom, work at home mom, working outside the home and now a combo of working in and out of the home. If you have guilt about the work choices you have made STOP!

I will never forget driving to work when my twins were my only children at age 2.  I had just gotten a phone call that yet another babysitter needed to stop working for us.  I started bawling, asking myself if I was meant to stay home with my kids. At that time, maybe I was, but not at every phase of my kids lives have I felt that way.

As I drove to work today, I was thinking about missing my sons last post season football game.  I was bummed, and then immediately thought about how lucky my kids are that they have a dad that can “handle”  the outings, sporting events, diaper bags and strollers. Does it make you crazy when your kids always ask you for help or to answer questions when dad is right there? It does me!! I love being there for my kids (the big kids never need a sitter because of how I work my nursing job), but I also love that sometimes its just them and dad. They learn to deal without me and work out the kinks in the dynamics of their dad/kiddo relationships.

My husband is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but could any hubby get the job done if they were given the opportunity? It cracks me up to hear women say “my husband could never do ….” We started off with two at a time so it was all hands on deck! None of us is trained in parenting, but we get better with practice right?

How about the amazing friend and business partner I have found in my little girls babysitter.  My girls love the friends that they have at Mrs. Holly’s, they learn a lot and they go on outings to the gym and the church every week. Best of all, they have another strong women to look up too that loves them, not because she has to, but  because she wants to. I promise my girls do not miss me while I’m gone!  the 10-20 hours a week with a babysitter is priceless.

One way that we are able to juggle the chaos that is our life, is by sharing responsibilities, talking about money with the kids and cutting out stuff that just isn’t important in the scheme of things. My kids have chores that rotate weekly, they have since they were about 4. For doing their chores, they get an allowance that they have to save a portion of. They appreciate that I work for my money just like they do. I don’t feel guilty about telling my kids, “if we chose to spend our money on that, I may have to work more/be gone more to cover it.” I think I puts into perspective the value of money and the value of our time together. I have no guilt about that!

so the next time you feel guilty about a choice you have made as a mom; be it work, punishment, saying no… think about the benefit and not the GUILT!