I have a problem.

4 years, 4 months, and 8 days after the fact I am still totally and completely haunted by the death of my dad.

I just can’t believe it happened.

I miss him terribly.

I miss his daily phone calls, his sound advice, his quirky personality.

I miss his mustache, his perfectly-straight-never-needed-braces teeth, his running legs, his voice.

I will never be loved by anyone as much as he loved me.

I feel so alone in this grief.  

No one understands because he was mine.  Our relationship was so sweet and pure and awesome. I talked to him every day (sometimes two or three times a day) for my entire life.  There is a void every day when I am waiting for a phone call that will never come.

At lunch yesterday many people were talking about the death of a loved one.  It was so sad that so many of us have lost a parent.  I couldn’t even speak because I was so over-whelmed and devastated with grief.  

I am wrecked.

Ryan looks exactly like him. When I look into his eyes I see my dad.  It is both a blessing and a curse…so happy, yet so, so sad.

The Dennis Shephard look, spot on.

Just had to get it out today…


Make a Change Monday #7

Coming in late night/early morning with an update. Complete transparency…I haven’t been to the gym in over a week. Some is my own doing, but mostly it is because we have been snowed/iced/frozen in.  I also gave been off with my dieting as well.

No need to rehash and get all self-loathing. I just need to get back on the bandwagon and move forward. I am going I have an active week and I have already started to really watch what goes in my mouth. I only have a week left in this month and I want to end on a high note.

Here are my stats for this week: 

Weight loss: +.8 

Total Pounds Lost: -18.2

February Goal: -10 

# Away from Goal: 5.4

Reward: Gel Manicure

Iced In

I have to tell you, I never really wanted to be a stay at home mom. As I have said many times before, I think I have the best job in the world and I really get to have the best of both worlds. I get to work with a lot of smart and interesting people who respect me and my work. I teach great kids and collaborate with a lot of neat parents. For three months of the year I stay at home and eventually my kids will all be at school with me.

IMG_1889Two days ago…a day we could actually go out!

Stay at home moms, I give you all the credit in the world! This week has really taught me how much I like to be on the go. Staying at home day in and day out trying to entertain the masses has been rough. It would be different if we had places to go or people to see or if the temperature wasn’t so FRIGID outside that we could go out, it would be different. But, seriously, enough is enough!

In the summer we have a schedule and we do ALL THE THINGS! But when it is -11 and you have an infant and two other kids that do not keep gloves on I just can’t justify doing anything.

IMG_1897 They greet Ryan every morning like this. Totally cute.

So here we are, Snow Day #4 and we are literally climbing the walls. We have done crafts and pretend play and play dough (which this neat freak thinks is sent directly from Hell) and painting and jewelry making and fort building and baking and cleaning and doing it all again.

IMG_5760 Dance party at 8 am. Anyone? Anyone?

I love my kids and I love being with them, however, have you ever heard the phrase, “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”

Yes it does.
Yes it does.

IMG_1906What doesn’t kill him will make him stronger.

If it warns up above zero we might take the kids to the indoor pool tonight. Sweet!

IMG_1909 8 months! How did that happen????

What are you doing to keep from getting the winter blues?


I think I wrote here a week ago about experiencing Eucharistic Adoration and how I really felt changed by it. Since that day I have been preparing myself for Lent. Now, I have give up coffee for the last ten years and it has, honestly, not changed my life at all. This year I want to do something meaningful; something that will change me over the next 40 days.and, I don’t want it to be something diet/exercise related because that is already a given.

I have decided on a few things:
1. Spend more time in prayer.
2. Attend Adoration when it is offered.
3. Go to confession
4. Write a few meaningful letters
5. Be more patient and more kind

I have also signed up for the Best Lent Ever and will be following that weekly program.


Snow Daze

We are on our second snow day this week but if you count us being off for President’s Day this makes a grande total of 5 days off. Not to gloat, but I love me a snow day! (It’s why I became a teacher, not really, maybe a little bit!)

I have enjoyed spending time at home with my kids…I did not enjoy my co-workers (who have no kids or who have teenagers) having a play-by-play snow report over group text this morning. Sleep people, sleep when you can!

However, I will take it if it means hanging in my Jammies all day.

To me, unplanned days off give me an opportunity to spend extra time with my family, but it also gives me a chance to catch up on chores that I never seem to have time to get to. I re-organized Ryan’s drawers because he is growing like a weed and barely fits into 12 month clothes now! I also cleaned our basement which was in shambles. I opened new toys for Ryan that he is really enjoying. I cleaned out Megan’s sweatshirts and gave anything that didn’t fit to a neighbor. I spent yesterday morning cleaning and re-arranging our toy box (mostly Tyler’s TMNT) in the living room. I cleaned out all the junk drawers (4, I am embarrassed to say) and art cubbies and Megan’s hair bows and ties. Today I am planning to take down the Pack-n-Play that has been sitting in our garage since Christmas

WOW, I am tired just thinking about that.

I feel great about it though. Very accomplished.

I also spent time playing and hanging out and resting. We had six children over to the house yesterday for play and movies which was a lot of fun.

I am going a little stir crazy and I would love to be able to go to the gym but the roads are horrible and I am not risking it. I have managed to get in 10,000+ steps each day, but without “real” exercise I fear my weight going up this week.

Today is Ash Wednesday and I was looking forward to church services, but if the plow does not come through that might not happen either. Ahem…give and take.

Have a great day! I will end
with a couple if pictures of what has been going on…

Waffles for everyone!

Ryan’s new toys!

Make a Change Monday #6

What started as a great week food and exercise-wise turned into a real struggle towards the end. It was totally my fault…lack if planning, poor choices, and a difficult time making it to the gym all contributed. But, hey, this is life and life is imperfect and flawed and messy sometimes.

I am not mad about it. I realize if I want results I need to work for them. I also realize that sometimes the only effort I can give is to try and maintain what I have already lost.

I love the blog RunsforCookies and she had a friend tell her a couple weeks ago, “just get it over with” and that is what I really need to do…lose the weight, as much as I can, in the shortest amount of time in the healthiest way possible.

It’s a new week and I ready for it!

Here are my stats for this week:
Weight loss: -.2
Total Pounds Lost: -19

February Goal: -10
# Away from Goal: 4.2
Reward: Gel Manicure

A List

I love lists, so I thought I would start today off with a list of a few things that are hanging around in my brain this morning.


A couple weeks ago I talked about my love/hate relationship with the crock-pot.  Well, it seems I have the same issue with Overnight Oats.  Love the idea of them, actually eating the oats makes me want to gag.  Breakfast fail.


I feel like I am in a really great groove with my teaching.  I am enjoying my lessons and I am pretty sure my kiddos are too (they are teenagers, though, so you never can tell!).  Teaching is such a difficult profession because you deal with the “Human Factor” everyday.  I want to bring meaning to my students lives and I work hard to do that everyday.  Sometimes my goals are accomplished, sometimes they are not.  I want to end the year with way more good days then bad days.


I had the most horrible dinner last night.  It was one of those frozen family meals that you cook in the skillet.  The taste was awful.  And since my breakfast was disgusting too (see #1), yesterday was just a bad food day all together.


I have a reward gel manicure coming to me.  I even have a gift card to cover the cost.  The problem is finding the time to get it done.  I need to pencil that in today.


I spent three hours at Eucharistic Adoration last week.  It was so wonderful to connect with God during that time.  It might be the first time I have spent that long in prayer since I went on the Seven Day Silent Retreat in college.  I feel changed.  God has great plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and although I have no idea where life is taking me, I know things will be good and I will be taken care of.

Make a Change Monday #5

Make a Change Monday #5

Another week is down for the books.  It has been a better week than last.  Physically, I am feeling much stronger and my back seems to be doing better.  I am certainly not at 100% but I would say I am in the 90% range most days.  Back issues are awful for so many reasons but the biggest is that it affects everything you do in your life.  I do not sit down, stand up, walk, run, put in a load of laundry, make a bed, or anything without first thinking about the movement I am about to make and feeling and acknowledging what my body is telling me.  It is something I will live with for the rest of my life.  I am not complaining about it, just facing the facts.

I am happy to report that diet and exercise-wise it has been an awesome week for me. Something in my brain has “clicked” and I feel like I am on a great path.  As with any change, things could downward spiral very quickly, so I am not taking this great attitude for granted.  It is still a day to day hour by hour minute by minute struggle sometimes.  I am so glad I have my friend Beth with me on this journey.  It is nice to have someone to check in with who “gets it” and does not judge!

As for non-scale victories, I have had a few this week that I would like to write about. First, I ordered a pair of jeans from Old Navy to get me through until more of my pants fit (I assume everyone has done this at some point in their lives) and when they came in they were too big.  Yes, my friends, TOO BIG!!!!!  I mean, they were not a size smaller than I normally wear or anything like that so I am not like having-a-party excited, but I am happy that finally I am moving in the right direction!  With that, I decided to try on a pair of my own jeans that I was not able to get around my hips in December and they FIT!!!!!  They were not even skin tight.  I wore them to church on Sunday!!!!!  Finally, with Tyler’s birthday, there was all the cake and all the food and I really did keep myself in check.  I indulged in a couple of things that I thought were worth it (cheese balls) and skipped mostly everything else.  I ate my calories in cheese and crackers, but I was fine with that.

My work-outs were back up to about 90% (with my back issues) and I did manage to make it to the gym 4 days this week so I have stayed within my February goals.  I have fallen in love all over again with the Elliptical Trainer.  Such a good, hard exercise!

Oh, and I will be getting my manicure sometime this week, for sure!!!!

All in all, I would say this has been an amazing week.  It was not easy, but things that are worth it usually are not.

Who is on this journey with me?  How was your week?

Here are my stats for this week:

Weight Loss: -6.6
Total Pounds Lost:  -18.8

February Goal: -10
# Away from goal: -4.4
Reward: Another Gel Manicure

Celebrating Four

I can’t believe this sweet thing turned four years old this week.

We started the celebration on his actual birthday with a dinner date at our local “fire” place (aka Chinese restaurant) since it is a family favorite. He opened a couple of special presents from his brother and sister that night.

The real celebration started in Saturday morning with a trip to McDonald’s with his grandma and uncle. We never go inside Mickey-d’s so that was a real treat.
Then, the magic happened. We headed to his real birthday party with fourteen of our favorite kids with his. Tyler is all about TMNT and baseball, so his party reflected his two loves. We had a wonderful day. A special time for a special boy. Tyler is such a little charmer. He is so stinkin cute and has a hilarious personality. Everyone who meets him loves him, seriously. And he is lucky he is cute because he is also a stinker. Even though he is getting to be a big boy he still loves to be held and cuddled and I still rock him to sleep which I personally love. I hope he always has a sweet heart and finds joy in everything he does.

Here is a list if Tyler’s favorites:
Food: Macaroni and Cheese
Snack: Doritos
Drink: Chocolate Milk
Toy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Game: TMNT Trouble
Activity: playing baseball
Best Friends: Jackson and Will from pre-school
Sayings: “What the Heck?” “Are you serious?” ” Thanks, Chuck!”
Tyler gives the best hugs and kisses in the world! He will let you hold him for hours. He is definitely a lover.

And now for an explosion of pictures…






February Goals

I am going to make this short and sweet. I have a sleeping baby on my lap and am feeling like I need to head to bed soon too (it’s 8:15…don’t judge!).

My goals for February are pretty simple, but they will not be super easy.

1. Lose 10 pounds this month
2. Exercise 4 days/week
3. Eat one salad a day the entire month

My reward…not sure yet!

Happy Wednesday!