The Happiest Place on Earth

Tonight we are heading to Disney World. To say that I am excited would be the understatement of the world. I have been feverishly planning, packing, re-packing, researching, and organizing since we decided that we were going in February.

Disney holds a very special place in my heart. I spent many a family vacation there as a kid and a college student and a young adult. My dad had conventions and business in Orlando a lot and we reaped the benefits many times over. I love everything about the Disney experience and I cannot wait to see it from the eyes of my children.

I will be a full circle moment, indeed.

I will be picking Shawn up from work and we will be driving until we cannot drive anymore. We are hoping to make it to Orlando by mid-afternoon and spend the rest of Saturday lounging by the pool and resting for the start of our big adventure on Sunday. There will be meals with Mickey and friends as well as the princesses, meeting Buzz Lightyear and all the Playhouse Disney gang. Our goal, like my summer goal, it to just have fun!!!!

Hopefully I will have time to post some pictures and a few words while we are there, but no guarantees.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH….I can’t believe this is happening!

Target is Awesome

Who doesn’t love Target?
I think if your don’t you are kind of un-American.
Not really, but who doesn’t love that place?

Where else can you go for an hour of clean family entertainment and also pick up a gallon of milk, a hose nozzle and tampons?

Megan always asks to go to Target to look at toys and today I was in the mood. Not that we didn’t have a full day before Target, but it was the icing on the cake so to speak.

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20130625-221612.jpg why, yes, I did take pictures of my kids in the Target parking lot

I spent almost two hours in exercise classes today. I am hooked on Cardio Mix which is like kick-boxing, step aerobics, and weight training all in one. Boy, am I sweaty at the end of it. I also love Power Core and Muscle Max. I get such a high in those classes. If you would have asked me in January if I would be going to aerobics class everyday at this point I would have given that a big hell-to-the-no. But I am finding that fitness classes are giving me that push I have needed to move forward in my weight loss. Since I spend zero time lifting weights on my own, it gives me a great opportunity to learn technique and get a really awesome work-out in on the daily.

I also love the companionship and the team effort that happens in class. Even though the are all working at individual fitness levels, there is something about being “in this together” that makes me want to join in, work a bit harder, and push myself to a level that makes me proud.
I was thinking today as I was doing like a million and one chest presses, “you deserve this…you owe it to yourself to push yourself harder than you think you can, your results will be a reflection of the effort you put forth at this moment.” Those words were so true, so clear. My journey is mine. I am the owner of my life…not my husband or my kids or my mom or my friends or my boss or my students…it is just me. I deserve better than I give myself on most days. I need to stop and recognize that I, too, am deserving of all the love and the graciousness and the hard work that I give everyone else.

That is deep. It feels good. I feel good.

Finally, I tried some chicken sausage per my friend Beth’s suggestion. I have to say, I loved it. I ate it with eggs this morning and pasta this evening and it was darn good. I need to find some more food variety in my life. I eat the same things over and over again until I am sick of them. I am so bored with chicken breasts. Tomorrow I am going to try a black bean burger that I picked up in the freezer section last night. I am hoping for the best. I do love a great veggie burger.

Until then, have a great night. Does anyone have a great exercise class they would like to share?

Monday Happenings

Another great weekend is in the books. I know being off all summer means everyday is like a weekend day, but it is different when Shawn is working during the week…weekends are really for family time.

This weekend was packed with smiles but also a bit of sadness. We spent time hanging with friends and going to our church festival which is always a blast. It is so nice to see my students and their parents in a relaxed setting. Megan and Tyler loved the rides and the games and just being the center of attention with everyone. I don’t know about you, but growing up church festivals were not a “thing” in my town, but in Cincinnati they are big, like really big. I had to reel in my obsessiveness and just put the kids on the scary carnival rides. In the end, Shawn was more nervous about it then I was!

The dad of one of Shawn’s friends died on Friday night. He had suffered cancer for a while. We went to the wake yesterday and will be attending the funeral today. This is the second funeral I have attended of a friend’s father who has lost his life to cancer since my dad died. It is hard because I know exactly what they are going through and even more so, I know what the years to come bring. It is rough.

The circle of life, I tell you, sometimes is is awesome, but sometimes it sucks.

In other news, I went 936 calories over my goal for Saturday. Not good. Even when I am on great swing I still have setbacks. I am human, I have to accept the choices I make and own them and move on.

It was a hard week for me on the diet/exercise front because my mom was here. Not that she is a bad influence, but I am a creature of habit and it is hard when my schedule gets messed up . I will say we did a ton of active things with the kids…things that a few months ago I would have skipped because it would have been too much walking, too hot, excuses, excuses, excuses.

I am ready for this week…we will be knee deep in getting organized for our BIG VACATION which we leave for on Friday. So exciting!!!!! I post coming this week about where we are venturing and what we are going to do.

Shout out to one of my second mamas…My BFF’s mom who is having hip replacement today. Pat, you will be in my prayers and hopefully the prayers of some of my Internet friends too!!!

here are some pictures from last week…if you are local to Cincinnati, Sawyer Point and The Cincinnati Children’s Museum are great options if you’re looking for something a little different to do!

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Life is Good

Life is moving way too quickly. I feel like June is slipping through my fingers in the most glorious, wonderful way. Our days and nights have been packed…just the way I like it.

I have two major goals for the summer:

1. Lose weight by exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
2. HAVE FUN!!!!!

I must say, I have been killing it.

It has been so freeing not to wake up to an alarm clock. It’s funny because I still wake up at the same time as I was waking up during the school year on most days. But, the art of having a slow morning is my favorite, I would say I have perfected it! I will not say that I am lucky to be a teacher, because I have worked hard for that status. But, I am blessed that I am in love with a profession that allows me to stay home in the summer. Lovely.

My major goals for the summer are an exciting and fantastic work in progress. I do not go to bed at night if my goals have not been accomplished. I will give a full report on my exercise and lifestyle goals at some point this summer…but not just yet.

For now, we are gearing up for our first family vacation, just the four of us, since, well, ever. Oh, and it is a doosey. I will go more into detail on those plans early next week.

Excitement is in the air and I am loving life right now.

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A Great Weekend

We had a fabulous weekend that went by at a pace I was comfortable with…not too fast, not too slow. On Saturday morning, Shawn declared that it would be a “stay-cation” day in which we would stay in the area but pretend we were on vacation.

I started with an awesome Muscle Max class in the morning. Megan went to the Kids Cardio class and Tyler stayed in the Kids Club (Shawn slept…he does work second shift, you know!). That class SLAYED ME! Oh my, I felt muscles I never knew I had…more on my love affair with classes at the gym in another post.

When we got home Shawn was just finishing up with mowing the lawn and we took about 15 minutes to clean up and get changed for the pool.

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As the pictures show, we had a great time. Many of our neighborhood friends were also there so it made for a fun day for both the kids and the adults. We stayed at the pool way too long (remember, we are on vacation and staying at the pool until early evening is mandatory!). We all changed and headed to dinner at the local pizza place. We never go there and when you are inside it does feel like you are on vacation. After dinner we finished the evening with a very “vacation-ey” type activity..PUTT PUTT!

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So. Much. Fun. We came home at dusk sunkissed and exhausted. It was a such a great day and just what the doctor ordered.

For Father’s Day Shawn golfed in the morning and then we headed to his parents house for a BBQ with the family. When we came home it seemed like most of the neighborhood was out in our park and we joined them for some baseball and running around. Then the adults and kids gathered for an impromptu campfire.

It was a lovely weekend. Truly one of the best weekends we have had in a very long time. I know I have said it before, but I just love the summer so much. And this weather is to die for!! I know I will be cursing the heat in the next month or two but right now I have zero to complain about. It made Father’s Day a bit more bearable for me and I did appreciated some really kind words Shawn spoke at the end of the night. Love my guy!

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Lessons from Father’s Day

It has been 974 days since I lost my father to cancer. I have thought about him every one of those days, multiple times a day. There are so many times that I still want to pick up the phone and call him. He was the first person I always called with anything in my adult life. He always listened, I mean, really listened. It can be for something silly or something sad or just to hear his voice. I think his voice is what I miss the most.

Father’s Day is always the worst holiday for me to get through. I try to keep positive for my kids and my husband, they deserve a great day. But, on the inside I am ripped to shreds. I miss my dad. When he died, a part if me died as well. He was the greatest man I ever knew. He taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car…but his lessons about enjoying life’s journey are the ones I like to keep in my back pocket. He loved hard, he worked hard, he played hard and he lived life not as a dress rehearsal. He was a good great man.

This Father’s Day I celebrated my family, and I loved spending the day with the four most important people in my life. I laughed, I cried.

I miss my dad. I love my dad. I want him to be proud of me and the legacy that I have continued.

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Last Night’s Dinner…Amazing

I would like to preface this post by saying it is not sponsored by Bertolli. Let’s be serious, no one is sponsoring this girl for anything at this point. HA!

So, last night I decided to try the Bertolli Classic Meal for Two, tomato florentine and tortellini with chicken, that has been sitting in my freezer for bout three months. I couldn’t decide what I wanted for dinner for a few reasons. First of all, I had lunch with one of my BFF’s and it was a big one and a very high calorie, delicious one. I also went to work out in the late afternoon and sometimes after I have a hard work-out I don’t know what I have a taste for. Finally, I am trying to clean out the fridge, pantry and freezer for the next couple of weeks and that means one thing and one thing only…nothing in the pantry, fridge or freezer will sound good. Ever.

Well, let me tell you, it was a very pleasant surprise. I loved it. I cannot even begin to explain how delicious it was. It was a combination of all of my favorites in a soup. The tortellini tasted fresh and the spinach was well cooked. Oh, and the chicken even tasted like something I just made and not that funky chicken you sometimes get in pre-packaged meals. Delish.

And, it looked like the picture. Yum. Go out and buy this immediately. Seriously, go. Now. Right now. Stop reading.

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The end