Commentary on a Blessed Life

This and That


I made it to the gym again last night.  Once again I spent some time on the treadmill.  At this point in my life I am not really concentrating on speed, just movement.  Getting 45 minutes of solid movement in is all I am asking of myself.  The “Before” me would say that is not good enough, but the “Today” me says it is alright because I am gearing up for some hard work starting in January.


I have an iPad that I use whenever I am working out.  I enjoy watching trashy TV on Netflix.  It makes the time go much faster for me.  However, the Internet at the gym has not been so great, so, instead, I have been listening to Pandora (mostly DMB, Bare Naked Ladies, and PINK radio) and I just downloaded a book.  The book is called Heaven is Here by Stephanie Aurora Clark Neilson.  Stephanie writes a popular blog that I have been following for a few years now.  Basically she lived a very perfect fairytale life until she almost died in a plane crash.  Her story is actually pretty amazing.


Some blogs I have read for several years now and I feel like I know the writers well.  It is strange, because, in fact, I do not know them at all.  Blogging is funny that way.  I also hate it when I have read a blog for years and then the person stops writings and doesn’t tell anyone.  It’s like the “friendship has ended and I mourn it in a way.  What has happened to you Beth Ann????

Personally, I know I have a couple readers, but I am sure there are other people “out there” who read this blog.  It is kind of neat to think about.  I write on this blog because I like to have a journal that I can look back on.  I have never been interested it advertising this blog or making myself known, but if that were to happen, it would be fine too.


We started feeding Ryan baby food this week.  He seems to like it okay.  We started with cereal which he is not impressed with but he finds sweet potatoes and apples to be pretty darn good.  Just like the other two…they love those sweet potatoes!


I have not bought one Christmas present yet.  Yesterday I did make a list of everyone we need to buy from and what I think I will be getting them.  I am thinking about making it a “Kohl’s Christmas” because I have some Kohl’s Cash and coupons and it just makes financial sense.  Some people might be stressed out about this but I am not.  In fact, I kind of like waiting until the last minute.  When I am finished working on the 19th, we will head out to the mall and get all of the things.  It is like a special date night for Shawn and meJ


I love Starbucks


I am showing my 7th grade students The Ultimate Gift.  It is such a wonderful story and puts me in a great mood.  If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it over the holidays.  You will not regret it.


I love Old Navy.  I love it even more now…I ordered a few things (for myself) last week while they were 30% off.  My shipment is still pending and I saw yesterday that everything was now 40%.  I e-mailed customer service to see if they would honor the 40% thinking they never would.  But, you know what?  THEY DID!  What AMAZING customer service!  It makes me want to order more (which I am sure I will).


I am getting a Fitbit for Christmas from the pastor at my church.  Every year we receive $100 in our paycheck as a “Christmas Bonus” but this year he asked if we would like a Fitbit instead.  Um, yes, please!  So excited about this!


Only one more week until Christmas Break!  It is going to be a long week filled to the brim with evening activities, but nonetheless I am super excited about having two weeks off!

An oldie but a goodie of my BooBoo Bear!

An oldie but a goodie of my BooBoo Bear!

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Getting Some Things off My Chest

It is not a secret that I have been feeling a little bit “off” lately.  It could be blamed on a lot of things, but I would say it mostly has to do with my attitude and the choices I have been making.  You see, we all control our own destiny (with a bunch of God mixed in there, but that is for another post).  We all make a choice every morning when we awake what version of ourselves we are going to display (thank you, Matthew Kelly, for teaching me those words).  Every day is an opportunity to show the best version of yourself.  I must admit, this choice seems to have been harder to make over the last few months.

I have been very tired.
I have been feeling fat.
I don’t like how my clothes fit.
I feel overwhelmed.
I feel worthless.
I feel under-appreciated.
I feel over-worked.
On and on and on…

I have made a choice over the last few months to spend a lot of time in self-pity.  It may not seem like that to the outside world (I am an excellent actress), but about 90% of my attitude has been in self-loathing mode.  It needs to stop.  I need to bring myself out of this funk.

The weirdest part about this “funk” is that when people compliment me, I take it as a complete insult.  For instance, I made reindeer cake pops over the weekend and posted a picture of them on Facebook as Megan and I left for a cookie exchange…so many people made comments about them; nice things, like, “how do you have the time?” or “you are a super-mom, how do you do it with three kids?” or “I envy your talent.”  With each comment I felt about as big as my pinky nail.  I felt like people were judging me and telling me I was sacrificing time with my family to make them.  I felt like I needed to justify my decision to make cake pops instead of playing with my kids or attending to my baby.  I had myself in a complete tizzy about the whole thing.  I went to bed in tears that night.

That’s how I feel a lot of the time.  Like if I go to the gym people judge me because I am a working mom and I am spending EVEN MORE TIME away from my kids…or if I go out to dinner with friends, or make plans for the future, or anything…judge, judge, judge.  I know this is in my head.  I know it.  I also know that I am the only person that can stop this feeling.  And, if I really dig deep I can see a light.

Slowly I am trying to work my way out of this.  I am trying to not take things so personally, but it is hard for me to change this mind-set.  I have big plans for 2015…and I am gearing up for those so I am feeling in transition right now.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate transitions.  HA!
Seriously, why do I care if people judge me anyway?  I am raising my kids the best way I know how and that has to be good enough for me.  I am taking care of myself so I can be a better mom.  If I want to have another baby I should not feel like the world thinks I am crazy.  Anything I do I am doing with good intentions.

I just have to keep telling myself that.

Over and over and over again.

Like, a lot.

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Giving the Gift

Guess where I went yesterday?


Oh yes, after about a month hiatus, I was back to Lifetime Fitness.  I did a great 45 minutes on the treadmill.  When I left, I was sweaty and happy.

My friends and I talk about this all the time, but isn’t it funny how great working out makes you feel so good, but how it is the first thing to go when things get busy?  I think part of my crankiness over the last few weeks was that I was not giving myself the gift of movement.  I actually love to go to the gym.  I love the vibe, I love how I feel when it is over, I love that my kids love the KidsFit area.  It is really a win win, but I almost never make it a priority.  I am so good about it when my schedule is clear and I pack my bag and I head over there right after work.  But if one thing is off, it is the first thing I fall away from.

I am gearing up for a very healthy and happy 2015, but I decided yesterday, why wait?  I need to get back at it, even if it is not exactly perfect timing all the time.   So what if dinner is a little later or bath time is pushed back.  In the grand scheme of things, why does it even matter?

So, I am giving myself the gift this holiday season.  I am handing myself the freedom to feel good and to have a little time to myself.

I already feel good about it!

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Checking In

I have been sort of a blog slacker lately. Really, I have sort of been a life slacker if you want to know the truth. With the cold weather setting in, driving a neighbor to and from school, and just being tired; life has seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace for me. This means, no blogging, no working out, no doing anything really fun for myself, nothing.

20141206-161951.jpgI have spent time outside when the weather has not been crappy…that one day in November.

I am hoping once the holidays are over, I will feel a new zest for life again.

20141206-162140.jpgThis was fun

As much as I love seeing Christmas and Thanksgiving through the eyes of my children, the holidays are still very difficult for my since my dad’s passing. It is just another harsh reminder of the one thing that I really want that I will never again have. Believe me, I know I am blessed beyond words. I have a wonderful life with a great family and my cup runnith over. With all that said, it is still depressing for me. And I let this feeling ruin a lot of my days. I become a miserable person to the people I love the most (namely, my husband). I become bitter and defensive and annoyed very easily. I get mad at people and internalize everything until my heart is broken in pieces. I tend to look at the cup as half empty instead of half full.


20141206-162308.jpgI did bust a move at a fab ’80s party for my BFF

So this Advent Season, I have decided to be really intentional about happiness. I am going to prepare for Christmas by doing things that make me and my family happy. I am going to extend myself a little more than I usually do without complaint. I am going to be especially nice to my husband. I am going to be a little more patient with my children. I am going to forgive feely and not let the little things become big issues. I am going to eat peppermint ice cream (because I love it).


20141206-162533.jpgBecause, really, life is pretty awesome

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Snow Days Rock

So, my relatives in the Buffalo, NY got hit massively with snow. My nanny (who will turn 100 in May) got so much snow that they can’t even get out the door. She is fine and happy and warm in her room, but still, it is crazy.

Here in Cincinnati, OH, we got hit also…with about 6 inches. It is sort of funny to compare how southern Ohio handles snow with how western New York does. Anyway, school was closed on Monday so that meant out first SNOW DAY! Of the year.

Even though I was up at 4am with Ryan, it is still always great to see your district’s name across the TV screen. Like a little gift wrapped in a bow.
Of course, Megan and Tyler wanted to get out there right after breakfast. Our little friend, Hailey, from down the street also spent the day with us which just added to the party. I have a big breakfast rule on snow days. Must.make.pancakes.

So I did and we ate and we bundled and the whole family made our way outside.



Some of us were happier about the snow than others.


So, then, everyone got cold and I made hot coco and then we played. And then, like it was Heaven sent, my neighbor texted that she would like to have the kids down for a movie…so I sent them two doors down to watch “Saving Christmas” and I nursed Ryan in peace and quiet and then we took what I would call a “Long Winter’s Nap.” Glorious. Just glorious.


I love snow days…even when I am frazzled going back to work the next day I still love them.

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My Love Hate Relationship with Nursing

I am a seasoned nurser.

I call myself this only because I have successfully nursed three children. I do not claim to know everything about it. If people ask me for advice, I will (happily) give it. I do not play into any kind of “Mommy Wars” on this subject. Feed your kid. Period.

I nurse because I can. I nurse because financially it makes sense for my family. I nurse because I love to do it and I find it easy and convenient to do.



I absolutely HATE HATE HATE pumping. It has to be the biggest time suck (literally) of my life. I hate cleaning the pump, I hate cleaning the bottles. I hate trying to find time during the work day to do it. I hate that everyone knows what I am doing in the teacher bathroom. I hate that we have no nursing room and I have to pump in the bathroom. I hate the sound of the pump sucking me dry. Pumping is my personal hell.

This year we made a decision that I would only pump enough for me to be able to nurse Ryan. Meaning, I do not produce enough to sustain Ryan so we have to supplement with formula. I do not feel any guilt about this fact.

Ryan is fed and happy so I am happy.

Glad I got that off my chest. HA.

20141115-193940.jpgThe after eating coma. I love that sweet face.

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I’ve realized something about myself. On Netflix, I am only able to watch one show at a time. For instance, I finished Gossip Girl which freed up time for me to watch House of Cards and when I was caught up with that I could watch Orange is the New Black. Now that I am finished (for the time being) with OITNB I am now able to watch season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.

This is so strange to me because I watch a million different shows on regular TV (which I DVR) at once. Since I am up in the middle of the night (Ugh…that deserves its own post) I watch all the shows in any order I want…

I also never watch Netflix at home…just at the gym or other random times.

SO weird.

What does this say about my personality?


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Thank a veterinarian

Megan came home from school yesterday with a card she had made. It was really well done, with stars and stripes on the front and carefully placed letters “thank you” on the inside. She was so proud of herself and told me we needed to give it to a veterinarian tomorrow (today) because it was Veterinarians Day for the whole country.

Oh, how I just love that girl.

In all seriousness, I do want to remember all of the men and women who have given their lives both physically and mentally to make our country a better place to live. I found myself a bit choked up this morning as we stood at Veterans Park in Loveland and thanked the many people who had served our country in some capacity.
No matter how you feel about our president or our military, today is a day to remember that it is people who give of themselves every day.

So, thank a veterinarian (Veteran) today!


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Welcome, Ryan Robert

As I said before, I have sort of been overwhelmed the last week or two. I am actually feeling better today and the weekend was just what I needed to bring my sanity back. We spent a lot of time together just as a family of five which is something I really crave. I love having people around, but it is always nice to just lay low for a while and just chill with my tribe.

Being overwhelmed, it is easy just to pass over things, but I don’t want to do that…

On November 2, we welcomed out sweet baby boy, Ryan, into the Catholic Church. It was a beautiful day outside to match the wonderful occasion inside. With each child I have seen how meaningful this rite it is. I have always loved watching Baptisms at our church, our priest does an amazing job welcoming not only the new member, but the entire family as well. The congregation is encouraged to gather around the font to see the Baptism up close and participate.
There were so many children and families gather around the font it was almost overwhelming. Being that I teach at the school connected with the church I worship, many of my students came to 9:45 mass because I invited them during the previous week.

We had family over afterwards and it was a delightful day. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then this post will be quite full!







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20141109-063312.jpg Megan and her BFF, whose mom happens to be my BFF of 35 years

I would call the last few weeks very busy in my world. Ever since we “fell back” it seems like I have a lot less time to do things that I need to get done…like laundry and dishes and making beds…et al.
I wish I could get to the gym more, but I have just not made it that big of a priority in my life. But, I need to. I want to be fit and healthy but it is so hard to find the time. I know this is a huge excuse, but it is my reality. I feel like my day is filled with so much to do that the last thing I want to do is take the kids to another place, get them out of the car, into the kids zone, change my clothes, work out, rinse and repeat. I even tried this week to start C25K which is only a committed 20 minutes three times a week. I made it one day, for a half hour. I felt AMAZING afterwards. In fact, I walked/ran two miles faster than I ever have before. But, alas, I haven’t made it back since Monday night.
I feel like I am being mediocre at everything and exceptional at nothing. I know this is a season of life, and I by no means want to wish this time away. But, I also want and need to be better at, well, everything, really. So, I am going to give myself the weekend to kind of get it together as far as my fitness and overall health plan goes, and then I am going to be committed again on Monday. Three days a week is all that I need. Just three days.
You all know how much I love my job and my school. I feel privileged that I get to wake up and do something that I love. But to say that having a newborn and two other children to attend to and a job is difficult is an understatement. It has been a hard transition back to work this time around. I still love my job, but I am working on patience and organization and diligence almost every day. It has been rough…not that my students have noticed. My lessons have been better this year than they have ever been (in my opinion). I still love my work, but it is sometimes harder to get out the door than it used to be.
WOW…I have complained a lot in this post. I really didn’t mean to. I still feel blessed in this life that is mine. I am still honored to be the mother of my children and the wife to my husband. I just need to breathe and see the reality of life in the moment.

20141109-063437.jpgfirst snow

20141109-063529.jpgBoo Boo Bear

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