The one where I cry – Part 2 (Family Edition)

WARNING: Pic heavy and long….

Saving the best for last…my amazing family. The ones I don’t talk about near like I used to. I have a few reasons, most of which I have discussed before, but mostly to protect their privacy. Now that they are getting older they have the right to not want to publicly be all over my blog.

When they were younger and I was writing about young motherhood and the things they were doing it was more simple. But now they are becoming individuals and finding their passions in life and quest for figuring out who they are I feel like I need to remain mum on those topics.

Of course, I believe them to be amazing. This past year as I tackled my own insecurities and inadequacies they stood by me the whole time. Raising three girls to careless about who the world wants them to be and figuring out who they are on their own has so many challenges. To have a momma who battled societies images of women this year I had to think long and hard about what I showed them.

I have always chosen to keep it real. The skin. The reasons why it got so bad. Why it happened. Why I decided to change. And most of all unconditional love of my guy no matter how I looked and love of myself. But this isn’t about me. It is about an amazing family that continues to overcome life’s obstacles.

So without further chatter…I share the amazingness that was E party of five’s 2015.


Getting ready for New Years’s Holiday


If TN taught me one thing….it is to enjoy these moments. The ones where everyone is happy and smiling and no worries. This..these people…they are what matters always.



Me enjoying the view helping my guy as he was snow blowing my neighbors house. The previous winter I was trekking out there all by my lonesome cause he was sick. MVD gave me this back.


She may have been our last and finale, but she keeps me young.


We all sport the “E bun” as my students call it. I love the smiles we created during this problem solving moment where we were trying to get all of our buns in the photo.



Baby Girl # 3 turned 6 and loved every minute of it. She rocked kindergarten. She became a 1st grader. She is growing up to my sadness. She became obsessed with shopkins, is still in love with swiss cheese and summer sausage and can read a chapter book all on her own.



Baby girl # 2 turned 11 and into a teenager. We see less and less of her. She is either with her friends, or in her digital world of her Ipad, minecraft or her music. She hangs out in her room on the regular. She is in advanced reading and math and pulling in straight A’s. She is probably the most like her momma. She loves to be in the kitchen with me and has the organizing skills and fashion taste of Martha Stewart.



And this one turned 14. How in the world I have had her for 14 years is beyond me. Where did all that time go? What a year she has had. I have watched the sometimes easy, sometimes hard process of her becoming a young lady. My guy and I have trust daily that we raised her right to make good and responsible decisions. It has been super fun to have front row seats to her growing into her own person. She loves music. To listen to it, to create it and to be in presence of it. She is in accelerated math and English. She is majorly in love with science. Can I tell you how many times I have heard about different chemical compounds and make ups? She got accepted in my school for her 9th grade year. We aren’t sure exactly where she is headed next year, but the girl has options and opportunities. She also is in the straight A club.


And this guy. The words get harder every year because I love him more every year. I never believed the day I married him I could love him more and now I look back and think of all the hurdles in life we have jumped together and this beautiful life we have created together despite those hurdles and I am grateful for him. He is my home. He is my base. He gives me unconditional love and support. More than I probably deserve sometimes. And more importantly….people often ask me if he just love the new “skinny” me. I just remember he has always had the same eyes for me no matter my size or look. To me that is speaking straight to my heart. I don’t need to be skinny, fat or ugly. I can just be me. That is priceless in the world. I am grateful that God has allowed us to remain a source of love and comfort to one another. Life isn’t always easy, but love is.


Our baby girls # 1 , 2 and 3 The Straight A’s.


Do you know I have single handedly kept the clementine business booming this year. I have eaten approximately 750 of these darlings? Yes I am serious.


With my Eggland’s Best egg’s not too far behind.


My classroom (really it is my students) remains my third place to be besides home and gym. It is my home away from home.


This is probably the place our family has hung out the most besides….


Culver’s which has served as our place to go when we need extra family time. We probably visit at least once a week. Some of it is for the fries, or the curds, but mostly it is for the ability it allows our family to eat together and not go broke.


The time I ran in the rain. How could I not take in this beauty?


Or taking every chance I can to cuddle my baby girl even when it was hot and sticky outside.


Or when my guy went to Iowa for a week and I couldn’t tell anyone but a few select few. How happy his girls were when he got back we decorated the whole house in his favorite color streamers.


The spring/summer piano recital


Baby girl # 3 graduating from Kindergarten. She was so proud of all of her hard work.


My ability to let go of the long stringy hair once I lost most of my weight. I said good bye and cut off 6 inches of hair that was surprisingly easy to let go of.


And I went deceptively darker with peekaboo highlights.


And my guy and I spent a full day at the cemetery that gave spark to an amazing idea that pray and hope leads me to an amazing endeavor in 2016. (Shhh! More details to come… 😉 )


Or October 7th National Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day where we all surprised my guy. Friends and Family also joined in.


Our sweet wiener dog, Roxie, who inadvertently became my dog. I like her somewhat. But not like my guy likes her. But to his dismay, she only wants me. She follows me around the house, whines till I am there and waits in the recliner for me whenever I am not home. I don’t even like her to sleep with me, but every single night I go to sleep without her and midway through the night she climbs under my blankets and cuddles in for the rest of the night.


A birthday date with my love to finally take that design by a student for an addition to my tattoo and make it a reality.


5 hearts representing each of my precious family. 4 black hearts for myself and my baby girls. 1 teal heart for my guy and his TN. Surrounding my already there semi-colon. A reminder that even when you want to stop you have to choose to keep going because LOVE ALWAYS WINS!

Want proof?


A picture from Christmas Day that perfectly shows off each of our personalities. My # 1 showing us how to take selfies. Notice her hand on her hip. She always thinks she is in charge. # 2 showing off a goofy face because that is her gig. She likes to make goofy faces and make life feel a little less serious. My guy is who constantly wondering how he got so lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty and love. Myself who is the peace in the middle of it all. A center to the chaos. # 3 who is so mostly easy going and just wants to get the moment over with so she can get back to what she was doing. That is her “cheese” smile.


The one where I cry – Part 1. (less of me)

This post is going to be two things. Sentimental. And picture heavy. Last night I couldn’t sleep. My guy was hurting. His face was being stupid. He was making pain noises in his sleep. It’s been awhile since he has done that. The pain coming from a respiratory infection, back pain causing a TN flare up.

Anyway….I was sitting there feeling all melancholy and decided to look at my pictures on my phone and my Ipad. Then that led me to my instagram account and holy cow, what a year I have had. To say that my 2015 goal unintentionally (or probably intentionally) became about self development was an understatement.

I didn’t set out for it to become that. In fact, when I rang in the new year I specifically did not want my ‘less of me’ campaign to be a resolution. I had done the resolution thing and it never worked. I even started January 3rd to poo poo that idea of ‘new year new me’.

I didn’t need to change myself. I needed to change the way I saw the world. I am still working on that. It is a process that will probably take me the rest of my life. Previously, I had always found myself so desperate for a change I lacked the patience to follow through. I wanted it now. This time my approach was it was time to get healthy and the side effect of that would be a healthier leaner body.

Everyone has their one photo. The one they see and know it is time. I have one of those and surprisingly to me it wasn’t one of the ones I have used with a side by side. It was one taken in February. It was my guy and I and by that time I had a month of daily workouts under my belt. I felt amazing. But when I saw the photo I didn’t look amazing.

I recognized then it was going to take more than a sweat session daily. I needed to get my eating under control. I needed to find my center. I looked sad. I felt beat. And two weeks later I started 21 day fix. The photo was just the push I needed to get my butt in gear.

And I am not going to lie. The process scared me. I am not sure why. I was afraid of myself and the possibilities. But I was addicted to the endorphins produced by my workouts. I also knew I had spent the last two years surviving taking care of everyone else but me. I became addicted to this daily “me” time and because it was just a half an hour or 40 minutes it didn’t feel horribly selfish.

Add in my true secret weapon. Accountability. My Kpuff. She is my next biggest weapon in my arsenal for less of me. I have had to be accountable to her every single day for almost the last 365 days. There isn’t a day we don’t cover on “will we work out” or not. No we haven’t been able to workout daily. But almost.

I never want to let her down. I know I don’t need her to do this. I want her to do this. She is a part of my success. Together we have achieved so much more than either of us thought possible. She opens her home up to me every single day. And her equipment. And gives me unparalleled support and love. She reminds me I can even when I don’t want to or really can’t. That value is immeasurable to me.

The goal was to drop 60lbs. I have achieved that. The goal was to be more healthy and take a piece of my day every single day to take care of me. The idea being that to take care of everyone else I had to take care of myself. Done and done.

I am looking at different goals for the upcoming year. The goal is undetermined, but not without focus. I am deciding what I want. Is it to run further, or faster. Or is it to lift more? Is it maintain what I have going? I am not exactly sure. I just know I don’t want to lose myself again. This is such an important part of who I have become the last year. I have to fight for it to remain and I will.

My transformation was more than physical. Most of this battle has been emotional. Exploring why things got as bad as they did. Figuring out who I was underneath the layers. Doing so in a healthy way for my three daughters who had a front row seat to the whole event.

Finding ways to be okay with the imperfections I see daily in the mirror and trust me they are there. But remembering always to love myself as I love those most important to my life. Sometimes I forget that and I don’t give myself the grace and forgiveness I give others who I value.

That is my health goal for next year. To continue that battle. Letting love win.



This person. She is me….But the real me is hiding under there somewhere. I didn’t know it yet though.


And then I saw this one. And things changed.


I love this moment. It was a milestone for me. I let it all go. I conceded that I had tried so many diets, so many exercises and nothing worked. So maybe just maybe if I give up and let go…the process would work. And maybe if I let go I would enjoy it a bit more.


And slowly but surely things started to change. I started to like what I saw staring back in the mirror at me. I fought harder and harder for the real me to come out.




Miles and Miles, Sweat, Burpees, Push ups, jumping jacks, high knees and planks. I did and tried it all. I have never stopped. I fell in love with the process. And the way it made me feel about myself.


The process that had my picture on the popular page of instagram. A fitness picture. A sense of accomplishment.


A body with curves in all my right places. That was a year worth of hard work. Imagine what I could accomplish with more time and effort. I am excited to see.


But more than anything throwing up those W’s at the end of every workout reminding yourself that Love wins. It always wins.





Happens every once in awhile.

  I hit the ebbs and flows with my blog where I feel like all I do is repeat myself. The last year has centered around taking care of myself and getting healthier. There are only so many ways one can say the tricks of their trade. I eat good. I make healthy choices and I exercise like a mad woman. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Same story every day. Throw in three kiddos and husband and my job and my blogs are the same. I have been trying to vlog some over at Mommy Rhetoric on Facebook. That format has been appealing to me. I tried posting them here first but the upload time seemed more conducive to Facebook. Head over there to check it out if you want to see what I have been up to. 

I do get small cases of burnout from the exercise or times when my body silently tells me, “Take a break woman.” But thankfully they are short lived and my weight rarely suffers. The biggest reason is because I know how to eat or I should say how not eat. I just left a visit with my dad who is an amazing cook and I pushed all concerns for food aside and ate every carb laden food he prepared. It was amazing and short lived and I refuse to beat myself up for it. Food brings family and traditions together and creates memories. 

That just means when the time comes I am gonna have to work a little harder and I am okay with that. Hard work in fitness has never scared me. Well I should not say that….my goal has always been for it to scare me because it keeps me from getting bored. So it is a good kind of scared. I will admit though that between traveling, which causes me anxiety, and the high caloric foods yesterday I guilted myself into a workout on my rest day. My philosophy has always been even on rest days if you want to workout….do it. I just tried to not target my super sore muscles. 

  So I logged sometime in the Beachbody gym using Beachbody On Demand (think Netflix for fitness) and I decided to do a mixed martial arts P90x3 workout. Nothing makes me feel more badass than fighting. I feel so strong and empowered when doing any sort of fit routine. The routine served to remind me I will always be a cardio girl at heart. I know I need to venture out into strength and yoga so as to not get bored, but cardio will always have me. I love a good sweat session. 

In other news, I am flirting some with essential oils. Well I have been for two years, but wouldn’t commit. I finally did and purchased the big doozy of a kit. It was an expense, but I have been nothing but pleased. My order got messed up and my consultant and the company went out of their ways to get me my oils. Even with the holiday shipping issues they came through and without question took care of me. 

  I have tried them for a few things already and have been very pleased. The first and probably biggest reason I bought them was for my number one who has allergy induced asthma. Which means her asthma has no issues unless aggravated by her allergies which are numerous. On Christmas Day, she went for a run in our unseasonably warm weather and she was absolutely miserable for the whole day. We had all been fighting a cold and she had managed to have it miss her, thanks in part to thieves, which my consultant sent me a sample of.

But on Christmas Day she grew more and more miserable, so I created a roller ball of what they call an allergy bomb. Which was safflower oil, 10 drops of peppermint, 10 drops of lemon, 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of copaiba and had her rub on her sinuses. I also diffused for an hour the first three. The next morning she was good to go. Considering the night before she was a snotty, running eyed mess I was impressed. 

The second thing we tried was we fried a turkey for the holiday. We have an indoor fryer which is amazing but the smell that is created lingers for a few days. We kept remarking on how bad our house smelled and I thought, “Hey, I bet there is an oil for that!” And sure enough, there was. I diffused purification (an oil blend) and lemon and the smell was gone in an hour. The third thing I tried w both my #2 and I suffer from digestive issues. Mine is very diet corrected unless I splurge, well I splurged. As did my #2. We both rubbed a little peppermint on our tummies and smelled it and within a half an hour our tummies were settled. There is supposed to be an even better oil for this but I don’t have it yet. It is sold out always, but luckily I managed to snag some but it is in the mail as we speak. So we will give that one a try as well. 

I will keep you informed….as I dive into the oily life.