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Christmas Eve/Day is less than 2 weeks away. It is that time of year for holiday gatherings. For us, that begins this weekend. We are attending a Radio City Christmas show on Saturday night. Sunday my inlaws come over to celebrate Christmas with us. My sister in law lives in SC and this is the year they go down there for Christmas. So we adjust our Christmas celebration with my husband’s parents at times.

We will go by my parent’s for Christmas Eve. Christmas Day will be the three of us at our home until about 3pm. Then we will head to my aunt’s home to celebrate with my aunt’s/cousins. On the 29th we have an extended family Christmas with my family as well. On New Years Eve my parents/siblings will be coming over to celebrate both the New Year as well as mini Christmas. One of my brothers is heading to Texas for actual Christmas. His long time girlfriend is from there, so this year they are visiting her family. The celebrations go on long before and after the actual Eve/Day of Christmas. Plus, every other normal day to day activity. Teacher training for me, being at home with an almost 2 year old, Jack’s classes, taking my almost 2 year old out and about besides his 2 classes (today we head to a Children’s Museum), and my husband being the owner of a successful software company. We never stop. We are always doing a million things. ornament

I suspect we are not the only family in the world that has a holiday schedule like this. So, it is no mystery why I have been inundated with articles about how to keep your workouts during the holidays. I have seen probably 10 or more of them this week. I have to be honest. I have not read even one of them. Why? Because I do not believe there is any trick to maintaining your fitness during the holidays. I am going to be brutally honest here. You just do it. You just workout as your normally would. You find the time. If you really want to, you will. If preparing a gut busting meal is that important so is keeping to your fitness regime. I do it, and I have for many years. Even with a baby and now toddler. Maybe you wake up 30 minutes earlier, to fit it in. You do not have to do a 2 hour gym session. Squeeze in 30-60 minutes, surely we can manage that, can’t we?

I am so busy on a day to day basis, but I always make the time to workout. It is no different during the holidays. If that means Christmas dinner is at 5:30 instead of 5:00, then so be it. This year I started a cold on Thanksgiving. I still did a 40 minute Mat workout. The only exception in the last 5 or 6 years of me missing a workout around the holidays was this year on Black Friday. It was day 2 of a week long cold. I didn’t even want to be awake, but I had to go do some observation at the studio, so I went there. But I skipped any Mat or Reformer work for myself. Had I not been sick, I would have gotten up even earlier to fit in a Mat session at home. Then I would have went to the studio by 8:30am. On Saturday, I did mat work before we left for our trip to Wisconsin. I was still sick. I actually did a few Mat sessions at home while sick. I took off a couple days, which is abnormal for me, but I still fit it in a few times. Sick or busy, I still find some moments to workout.

It has to be important enough to you for you to MAKE the time to workout around the holidays. That is the only secret. You have to remember that your fitness and health are as equally as important as making sure all the gifts are wrapped under the tree.

This year, having a toddler has made things extra crazy. Here is what I have done to keep on top of things, which will make making time for my workout on our actual holiday days easier.

  • Shopping online. You can do it whenever. Amazon is my BFF. Free shipping? Often, cheaper prices? YES PLEASE
  • I have been wrapping gifts as I get them. All of my son’s gifts are wrapped and hidden in our room. I did that during nap times or after bedtime. All of the gifts for other family members? Wrapped and under the tree. I did that while he was awake. I let him “help” me. A lot of people have tape on their gifts. But it got done.
  • Workouts in the morning. That way I don’t have an I am too tired excuse by the end of the day.
  • We have already started meal planning for Christmas Eve. I know what I need to buy, 2 weeks in advance!
  • I have been cleaning the house spotless daily. Yesterday it was while Jack was still up. This way things do not get backed up.
  • I make time 5-7 days a week for Pilates. Especially my mat work. I just do it.

I really do not mean to sound preachy or witchy, but for me, this is the plain truth. I feel very passionate about this. In order to successfully stay on top of your fitness during the holidays, it has to be as equally important to you as everything else is. It is your body, your health, and your well being, so take control of that. Not to mention, exercise is a stress reliever. The holidays can be so stressful, why not be proactive and get your workout in, to help maintain a semblance of normalcy during these hectic times.

Hugs are a big deal in our home. We actually “squeeze!” It all started a couple months ago when my mom and I were hugging and trying to get Jack to give a hug too. My mom started squeezing me, saying “squeeeeeze” Then I would squeeze her. Jack thought it was so funny to watch us do that. It stuck with him. Somehow that little moment morphed into a daily/nightly thing for Jack, Jason, and me! Every night before we put Jack in his crib we all do our squeeeeezes. He even says squeeeeeeze. A squeeze is not a regular hug. A squeeze is a serious business, tight, big, all encompassing hug. It is soulful and powerful. It is part of our family now.

As I read 10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day, I couldn’t help but agree with all 10 points. I often stop what I am doing and just hug or squeeze Jackson. For several moments. It just feels amazing. Mind Body Green’s list is in bold, my thoughts are in italics.

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.

Jack and me

Jack and me

 The first thing Jack does when he is hurt or scared is run to me for an embrace. Safety. I am his safety. My arms, my touch, my squeeze provide him with the comfort he needs. I haven’t stopped hugging him daily since the moment he was born. We have that trust and safety established. 
2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
 My dear aunt passed away in early August. When I read this one I immediately thought to the moments in the funeral home. When everyone but the pallbearers leave. I was a pallbearer. So were my brothers. I was just devastated. My brother Dan was nearby. He is a year and a half younger than me and a foot taller than me. Suddenly I just flew over to him, sobbing, and wrapped my arms around him. We were both a mess. I think that is the longest we have ever hugged. Just trying to get rid of those negative emotions, trying to boost the oxytocin levels. Unbeknownst to us, obviously. We hugged like that because we hurt, and there was this natural instinct to embrace to ease that pain. 
3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
 I certainly was not happy after that long hug in the funeral home, but I did feel a slight release. I was able to get through carrying her casket, the funeral service, the cemetery, and the luncheon. There were many more hugs with many other people mixed in there too. Hugging is something that happens a lot when we are mourning. While we all do not carry around hugging research notes, we do all know on a basic level, that a hug helps. 
4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
 This is beyond my scope of practice, however, I do believe in the power of touch. From massages to your Pilates instructor gently touching you to help you through a move. It can have immense power over the body, whether factual or perceived.
5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still embedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
I agree wholeheartedly with this point. I truly have hugged Jack daily. We would spend hours cuddling when he was a newborn. I have never felt you can  spoil a child with too much love or hugs. He will be playing, run up to me, and hug my legs, saying “hug” (see it is different than a squeeze in his book!) He does that a lot. He is special and very loved, and if hugging fosters that, then I will never stop. He better get used to his momma being huggy!
6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
I can see this too. Sometimes if I am just feeling stressed or exhausted I stop and I just hug Jack. A long deep hug. I soak up that moment. It just feels nice! I will rock him back and forth and tell him I love him. When the hug is over, things seem better. 
7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
Again, beyond my scope of practice, but why not? Just hug away and reap the possible positive effects! It doesn’t hurt you to try. The mind has a lot of power over the body. I can see how a balanced, hugged mind, could balance the nervous system. 
8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.
YES! I think Jack is a great example of this. He is generous in so many ways. Is that because his mom never stops hugging him? Perhaps. I take you back a few points to how he loves to run up and hug me in the middle of playing. I often  stop what I am doing just to hug him too. I give hugs, I receive them. He gives hugs, he receives them. 
9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.

Our wedding

Our wedding

I mentioned how sometimes when things are hectic that I just stop and scoop up Jack for a big hug. I do that first thing when he wakes up too. It really does stop everything else and allows you to just be there. I don’t think about other things. I think about how wonderful that hug feels. 
I could use this when hugging my husband. He tends to want hugs when I am in the middle of something, cooking, dishes, cleaning, trying to get 1000 things done. I admit I am naughty and I tell him a lot that I have to finish what I was doing. I am trying to get better and stop, be in the moment, the dishes can wait. I apply that to Jack so often, my poor husband deserves that too. But then that sneaky thought attacks, if I stop everything all the time for both of them, NOTHING gets done. No one is perfect, we all have our obstacles. Sigh…
10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it’s synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

This point takes me back to number 9. I am invested in my marriage. I need to remember to let go of all of my tasks for 30 seconds. It will be fine, 30 seconds is fine. Being a mom and a wife is tough! You have so many needs of so many others to meet. You try to balance it all. My hubby can get pushed to the side at times. I have this theory, he can wipe his own butt, Jack cannot. He can manage to take care of himself, while I care for our toddler. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN HE DOESN’T NEED HUGS TOO!!!! 


This article helped me to think about those last two points. Hugging is phenomenal. I love to hug my loved ones. Jack gets so many hugs around here. But life is about balance. I have things I need to work on. I suppose that means when he walks in the door tonight, my husband deserves a SQUEEEEEZE!

Do you hug daily? Do you hug your children daily? Are you trying to work more human touch into your life? Are you really good about stopping things for your kids, but could use a lesson in applying that elsewhere in your life, like me? Do you  have any hugging traditions like us?

Yesterday I briefly mentioned that I took over part of a private session. It was very last minute, I winged it. I had no time to prepare. I was told I was just going to bridge her. When I was done, my teacher asked what I wanted to do next? Did I want to stay in her hamstrings? I thought for a second. I decided I wanted to move on to abs. I said “It is the day after Thanksgiving. I want her to do some ab work. It will work on toning, which is always nice during the holidays. AND it will help stimulate digestion.” Both my teacher and the client said “she thinks just like us.” That made me smile inside. It is nice to hear you think along the lines of the studio you plan to turn into your career.

We went through a longer ab series. Women love ab work. I have noticed that a lot lately. I have always loved ab work too. I was misinformed for many years. I did crunches like a crazy person. I did them on a huge ball, weight bench, on the floor, against a wall. Crunch crunch crunch. I see a lot of posts on Pinterest from the girls I follow, “blast abs fast” “top ab moves” etc. But I bet most of the them, when they do the moves listed, are not doing them properly. I know I wasn’t. You want flat abs, I know that I do. I have them, but not without much work. Crunches are going to be your least effective workout for this. Also, spot reduction doesn’t work.

Instead of thinking about “abs” you should think about your core. Toning your core. It includes much more than your abs. If I listed all the names you would likely think, what???? But it is more than your abs. Your pelvic floor (think kegals) and even glutes are part of  the many muscles that make up your core. Essentially your core is everything except your arms, legs, and head! Can you see how only crunches won’t work it all? Crunches also tend to push the lower abs outward, which can create a pooch in your lower abs. The very thing that you are working against!

Rollover. A favorite of mine. Courtesy of

This is why Pilates creates such a toned core. Pilates focuses on properly engaging the core. Closing up your rib cage, pulling your belly button to your spine, engaging your pelvic floor. You must do that in every move. No matter if you are doing arm or legwork. You still go back to the core, pun intended, principle of engaging your core.

I came across this slideshow of 20 Tips for Tight Abs Faster. I wished they labeled it core, but I suppose that they titled it to get more hits. Essentially, they are Pilates based principles! Yet, they do not mention Pilates until the very last slide. Sigh, well, I am working to get the word out there. They even mention focusing on a mind-body connection in the second slide. That is one of Joseph Pilates’ 9 Principles!

I was happy to see they mentioned that diet is an important part of obtaining the aesthetically appealing core people are working towards. You can do all the work you want, but if you sabotage yourself with your diet, you are not going to see results. Bottom line. You may be strong and have a very strong core, but you won’t see the ab definition. I  hate to be so blunt, but it is the truth. If you do an hour of Pilates, with heavy focus on your core/abs, then go home and eat some pizza and ice cream, your abs are not going to have that desired 6-pack look. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy.

Overall, I found this link to be particularly useful. It had some great tips, which like I said, are all Pilates based! As the holidays are in full swing, go and check out a Pilates studio. What would be a better time than now? When we are not playing outside as much, we tend to eat more decadent food than normal, and bundled up nights on the couch are more frequent. Reformer and Mat work are amazing. You truly will see results quickly. You are toning finite muscles. You will feel stronger, refreshed, and ENERGIZED!!!

I was happy to work with a client this weekend. I wasn’t nervous as I have been in the past. I was strangely calm. I am sure I made mistakes. But I did not feel like I was going to throw up from being so nervous. I enjoyed it. I was happy to work her abs and have a nice conversation.

I am fascinated with the concept of detoxing. I believe that our bodies do absorb things in the air, food, products, etc that are not awesome for us. I have not done any total juicing detoxes. I was playing around with the idea while I was nursing, but obviously didn’t think I should do it while being a nursing mom. Then after I weaned Jack I kept meaning to, but I didn’t find the time.

Then I got diagnosed with IBS. I revamped my diet entirely. I do not eat wheat, dairy, and a large array of fruits/veggies. It dawned on me that at this point, I live a daily detox of sorts. I follow a very strict diet. So detoxing with food probably isn’t the best idea. As an athlete, I find myself exhausted enough dealing with the elimination of foods I was so used to. I feel better lately, for the most part, but I have just decided it wasn’t wise for me to do a strict juicing detox. Maybe when I pass my 1 year mark I will reevaluate. I still believe in the benefits of detoxing.

I came across a recipe for a detox bath! A bath!!! I love baths! We currently have a large soaking tub. I have taken baths regularly since moving here. I gave it a shot last Sunday. Then again last night. I love it. I am hooked. I came across it on Pinterest, I think. The link is through wikihow, though. Click there for their full instructions. There are variations to the version I chose to follow. This one is the one  I tired and fell in love with. You may like slight alterations.

Here is the recipe that I followed:

  • Fill up the tub.
  • 2 Cups of Epsom Salt
  • 1-2 Cups of baking soda. I used 1 cup.
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger. I used ginger powder. They warned that this will add heat to the bath. It may even make your skin a little red. You can add some cold water to the bath if you get too hot. But you are supposed to sweat.
  • You need to soak for 40 minutes. They recommend the full 40 but if you do not have time for the full 40, to at least do 20. The first 20 minutes are when you start to sweat, which is releasing the toxins. The 2nd 20 minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water. They also suggest essential oils. I have sensitive skin,so I opted out of that for now. I may try that later. There are instructions for children as well. I likely won’t be giving Jack a detox bath. Maybe the next time he is sick, but he doesn’t really like to sit in the bath for 40 minutes!

A few things:

  • Do not eat immediately before or after your detox bath.
  • You should drink plenty of water. I bring a huge glass of ice water with me. It helps to continue to flush out the toxins. It also cools me down if I feel a little too hot. I have a bath tray. It was a gift from my sister in law a few years ago. It is well loved! I will likely have to get a new one after we move. It has a space for my water, tea, and my kindle. I put my kindle in a hefty zip bag. To make it waterproof, just in case.
  • I also bring tea with me. Ginger Turmeric tea to be exact. It helps with my IBS issues. Settles my stomach and just aids in digestion.
  • You can use a loofah when you are done. Move in sweeping motions towards your heart.  It kick starts the lymphatic system, which helps aid in toxin release.
  • It is important to drink water after as well. You may feel a little dizzy when you get out of the bath, so exit carefully and drink water. As well as helping flush the toxins, it is re-hydrating you after all that sweat.
  • I wrap myself in a large towel and then work on putting on my jammies. I put on long  warm pants, a tshirt, usually a sweater, and socks. To keep the heat in and prolong the toxin release.
  • I take this bath in the evening. After Jack goes to bed. Then I go to bed or go relax and watch some tv. I don’t do anything too stimulating. I just enjoy the relaxation and release. I usually feel a little tingly and calm!

When I took the first bath I came downstairs after. I hadn’t told my husband what I was doing. He noticed I was gone a long while. This was our conversation:

Him: “What have you been up to?”

Me: “I took a detox bath”

Him: “What’s a detox bath”

Me: “I used Epsom salt, baking soda, and ginger. I soak for 40 minutes to sweat out toxins.”

Him: “hmmm, sounds like witchcraft!”

That is my husband. He is a character. He was being facetious, but he isn’t as into this natural healing stuff quite like I am. It was really funny. I call it a Jason-ism. Some people may feel this way about detoxing, but you can’t win everyone over!

I did read some of the discussion under the discussion tab on the site, and a lot of people do not believe in detoxing or toxins. One person was way off base with saying we are reverting hundreds of years. They mentioned they have a history degree (ah hem so do I) Saying this was similar to the reason priests used to blood let people. That is reaching if you ask me, I won’t get into a full blown argument here. But I laughed to myself.

Listen, the way I see it is, I feel great after I take this bath. I feel better than a regular bath. I am an athlete and my muscles are often sore and inflamed. At the very least an Epsom salt soak relaxes my tired muscles. I enjoy it. I felt wonderful and refreshed. So for me, the detox bath worked. There is nothing wrong with doing something like this, or a massage! I feel the same after this bath as I do after a massage. Some of the bath salts I  have tried in the past irritated my skin. Once I started itching in the bath and had that hivey feeling. Taking a bath this way does not do that to me.


If you are in the mood for awesome relaxation, have the ingredients, and just want to give it a shot, I say go for it! I hope you enjoy it like I did!


I am back! My new laptop arrived today. It had quite the journey. My husband ordered it on Friday on Amazon.He paid the 8.99 shipping for overnight. Amazon is usually always reliable. We are Amazon addicts. I seriously had the UPS guy say this to me:

Him: “You really love Amazon, don’t you?”

Me: ::laughs uncomfortably:: “Yeah…”

Him: “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

So yeah, even he has pointed our our Amazon addiction. They have great prices, bulk options, great shipping, reliable, lightning deals (just scored my first Christmas gift deal last night!), and they are great. So imagine our surprise when Saturday came and went and no laptop. The tracking info had one scan. Sunday and Monday also came and went. Jason contacted Amazon Saturday night. They said it was UPS’ problem and refunded the 8.99 shipping. He then contacted UPS yesterday. They said it was Amazon’s problem. Sigh…I assumed that my laptop was never coming.

But it arrived earlier this morning. I had to get us to Gymnastics and later a trip to Target, so I didn’t get to play with it until after 1pm. The keys are different feeling than my old one, which was several years old. In the life of laptops it was a senior citizen! My typing is a little awkward feeling still, but I will get used to that. Other than that, I think it is great. It is very sleek looking. What kind is it you ask? I couldn’t tell you much more than an HP Envy 6 or something to that affect. Jason totally picked it out on his own. I just wanted to be able to store my photos and get online for blogging, research, articles, Pilates videos,  Facebook, and email. I don’t need something super fancy. This is one of the few areas in my life where I am rather low maintenance. In all honesty, I usually just get Jason’s hand me down laptops. He is the techie in the family. With Jack already pulling in a close second. He wanted to buy some robot bug at target today. I had no idea what the heck it was and I made him put it back!

So what have we been up to other than incessantly checking Amazon order tracking?

Last Wednesday I was practicing some Pilates stuff and Jack decided to help train me!

Then  later than night, after a long day of practicing Pilates at the studio while Uncle Matt babysat Jack, we made dinner. Here we are whipping up some Quinoa tortillas! They were tasty. Jack is a great assistant. I love that he enjoys helping me prepare food. He even says “cook!”

I discovered my son can make the “Elvis Lip”, as my family called it. I can do the same thing. I remember growing up my mom always asking me to do it. Jack was watching a show and thought something was weird or silly and suddenly started making this face, unprompted by me. Somethings are genetic!

Saturday night the hubby and I had a date night. We went downtown to see Louis CK! It was a blast. He was hilarious, as expected.

Sunday we went to look at a home with our Realtor. We have started the home buying process. By that I mean narrowing down the neighborhoods we are focusing in and starting to look at homes in person! I even went in my Trulia account and deleted all of the neighborhoods we have decided against. Afterwards we did some fall cleaning. I took down every single Halloween decoration that was still up. Jason headed outside to clean the patio and prepare things for winter a bit. Jack wanted to help Dad. It was a perfect day for it because the weather was unseasonably warm! Which promptly ended on Monday.

Yesterday was swim class and some other errands. Nothing crazy. Kind of low key. Jack was a bit cranky. He has a 3rd molar coming in.

Today he is feeling better and we have been having a wonderful day! We had Gymnastics this morning. He was a ham, as usual. During the warmup they have the kids stretch and do a few other things. The other little kids sat nicely on their mom’s laps. Jack wanted to be in the middle dancing and doing the stretches. She told them to open their legs wide, and I caught him doing it perfectly. He needed zero prompting from me. He listened to the teacher and did as she instructed the whole warmup! It is safe to say, the boy has my athleticism!

When the temps started to drop as summer ended we had some battles getting him used to wearing a coat. That has ended. He understands he has to wear it now. We are still working on a hat. Today I wore a hat. Then I had him wear one. He let me put it on him on the way into class and the way out. That was it for the whole day, but it is a small victory. Doesn’t he look cute?

So that is a small summary of our week. There are a million other tiny things and probably a hundred other photos. But I won’t cram every detail into this post. This new laptop is not happy with the WordPress page. It is jittery and delayed in the typing and frankly, it is starting to annoy me! Ha! Husband will look at it tonight and clean up some things. He is a techie genius! I am not exaggerating either.

I am happy to be back! I can’t wait to start finding articles to share. I have been reading them like crazy lately.

This morning I hopped on Facebook, as usual. I drink my coffee, watch the local news, and check my email/Facebook/links/etc. I posted a very sweet video of Jack last night right before bed. I had some likes and comments on that. It was what I checked on Facebook first. Then I decided to look at my news feed. That was kind of a mistake. A ton of people had negative/complaining/judging posts/know it all rants. I thought “geesh, these people never change” It tends to always be the same people in my Facebook feed. They post different “topics” but it is always the same theme. It is always negative or righteous or better and smarter than the rest of the world. I need to start using my delete or hide button more liberally.

I do not claim to be perfect. I know I have had my periods of moodiness in life. There was probably a time that I could fall under the above categories when it came to my posts. Then I got pregnant. Then I had a baby. Then I became a mom. Then I got rid of some negative influences in my life.  I think I have changed a great deal since becoming a mom. My world changed because I realized I was responsible for another tiny little human being. My outlook in life would have a great impact on his outlook in life. I made an effort to be positive, happy, and content.

As I scrolled farther I came across a beautiful link from Mind Body Green. The Not-To-Do List: 15 Habits to Stop Now. I thought how funny it was that I should come across it this very morning. I opened it and read. It was perfect.

  1. Don’t be mean or snarky. (Instead: Be kind.)
  2. Don’t judge. (Instead: Be receptive and open.)
  3. Don’t compare. (Instead: Recognize and celebrate others achievements.)
  4. Don’t disrespect. (Instead: Be respectful of other people, situations, time and things.)
  5. Don’t hold grudges. (Instead: Forgive people, situations and yourself.)
  6. Don’t be selfish. (Instead: Be thoughtful of others, life is not a game of solitaire.)
  7. Don’t be ungrateful. (Instead: Be content with what you have: it is always enough.)
  8. Don’t deny responsibility for the quality of your life. (Instead: Be responsible for your thoughts, emotions, body, and actions.)
  9. Don’t lose your sense of humor. (Instead: Be funny, laugh a lot – even at yourself.)
  10. Don’t assume the worst. (Be positive, hopeful and assume the best.)
  11. Don’t be stingy, (Be generous with everything especially your time, love, and money.)
  12. Don’t lose interest. (Be curious, creative and actively filled with wonder.)
  13. Don’t stop listening. (Be an active listener and hear what is not being said—and not said.)
  14. Don’t get stuck. (Be open to change and new perspectives.)
  15. Don’t act conceited and think you know everything. (Be a life long learner.  Never stop growing and humbly expanding your knowledge.)

I make an effort to be all of these. I may not be them all daily, weekly, or monthly, but I do try to pull a few into each day. I have my moments, like I said. I certainly didn’t know about this list until this morning, so for the most part I just came to these conclusions on my own. I have made a big change where I avoid posting negative things on Facebook. No one really cares, unless they are just as miserable. If I am having a tough time I turn to my husband, best friend, or mom. They really are the only ones who know how to listen and help. Since they know me so well.

My big problem on this list is not holding grudges. I am awful at that. If someone hurts me I rarely am able to totally look past that and forgive them entirely. It is something I have been working on. It has gotten easier as a mom, unless someone messes with my kid. I guess some habits die hard.

I just felt that people should think about these things more before posting all of their drama and garbage. Mostly because all of the posts above think shared link were so unhappy and negative. I have about 4-5 people on my friend list that I can think of off the top of my head that could use some reflecting on this subject. Is this judging? Number 2 on the list? Maybe. But the proof is in the pudding and I see the posts regularly and sometimes I am exhausted for them. It is exhausting being that negative. So I am not judging them but really wishing they could find that rest and relaxation of their soul/heart. That they could not feel all of that negativity, because it is so destructive to your own self. I had a period in my life where I was that negative. I was going through some things and working through some awful things that happened to me. It is not an excuse to treat people badly but I was not myself. I know that they may be dealing with darker deeper things, I totally understand that. I was there. It is tough and self destruction is easier than healing. Healing is hard work. I survived and got through it. Yesterday I was able to discuss it with someone I met a few months ago. I found a comrade in arms, unexpectedly. That is a big step for me. I was feeling a little anxious about it all last night but this morning I woke up feeling fine. I slept through the night, which I was unsure if that would happen, having drudged up all the past thoughts. So I woke up feeling positive, happy, content, thankful, etc. That is a huge deal and step! It is easy to have moved on and not think about things. To be happy now. but after talking about things, those memories come back and well, it can bring up past fears. For me, this time, I was good! I just wish more people could feel that way. Work through whatever demons are in their past or present and be happy. It isn’t easy. It wasn’t over night, but it is possible.

My huge wake up call was becoming a mom. Life is so much bigger once you are a parent. The thing is, most of the people I am thinking about are also parents. So I suppose they would need to find their own change trigger, but becoming a mom was mine. Things are more important that my little selfish world. Also, getting rid of certain negative influences in my life really changed me. To the point where my husband was happy that I had stopped talking to these people. He made comments on how the normal me was back. Negativity feeds negativity. It is a dangerous cycle. All of the things on the list can easily be fed by another influence in your life. It is incredible how easy it is to stay positive when something isn’t whispering in your ear to keep on being negative, self pitying, unhappy, etc. I think that would fall under number 14, to not get stuck in this routine/rut/friendship/relationship/etc. If it is unhealthy for you, don’t get stuck. Take responsibility for your life, number 8, and change, move on, eliminate the negativity.

I like being happy and content. Like I said, I am not perfect. I have crabby days. We all do. We are entitled to have a cranky day or a bad day. Truly we are. We have so much responsibility that it is impossible to be all 15 things of those every single day of every single month of every single year. The difference is, it doesn’t have to consume you. It really doesn’t. Have your bad day, be grumpy, but the next day be resigned to wake up happy. Find the joy in something during that bad day. A child’s smile, a funny joke, a hug, etc. There is always something good going on. Jack was about 5 months old. I had him in my Ergo carrier at the grocery store. We were checking out and there was a woman in line behind us. He was already a charmer and smiling, cooing, and giggling. She asked me about him, how old he was, etc. She then said to me, “thank you. I was having an awful day and he really really brightened it up.” I will never ever forget that. A total stranger found happiness on a crap day because of my baby. She would never see him again, never know anything much about him, other than he was a sweet infant. But his smile and his innocence brought her the joy she needed that day. It is possible to find one small happy thing in your bad day. She really opened my eyes to that. She did something for me that she will never know about. I think about that often, even though all this time has passed. I may have cheered up her day by being in that store at that moment with my son, but her response and honesty gave me an outlook for life.

I am so thankful and grateful to have the life I have. I have 2 wonderful boys in my life. Last night Jack was walking around asking for me. I was at class. He went to the back door, that leads to the garage, which I exit through. He knocked on the door saying Mom over and over. Jason got it on video. My heart melted when I watched it. Yesterday was a great day, but even finding joy on a joyous day is good. It is good for the soul and the heart.

I am going to remind myself about these 15 things when my day seems impossible, because life in fact is good, and if you make the choice to see that, it gets even better! Have you found a way to live in the happy moments? To know that bad days happen but overall life is beautiful and should be embraced? Do you encounter a lot of negativity on social media? Do you ignore it and move on to the next post? Or do you comment? Have you come across lists like this before? Do you try to pull any of these into your daily thoughts?

Mom gene? A recent study on mice showed that there could be a genetic link to maternal instincts. I found this article very interesting. The headline grabbed my attention immediately. The main reason is because I have always wanted to be a mom. If playing house was an Olympic sport, as a child I would have been the Michael Phelps of house playing. It was one of my favorite things to do with the kids down the street that my brother and I played with. The 4 of us, yes the boys too, often played house. The boy was my age and the girl was my younger brother’s age. It was kind of a perfect match. I played with my dolls. I played with my Barbies and made families. I made families with my Legos. I built huge homes and then played with the little lego people as a family. Growing up, getting married, having 3 kids (that part has changed when I realized what goes into growing/birthing a baby), and raising those kids and being a mom has always been on my mind.

Disney on Ice! I loved every second of taking him to this show!

So naturally when I saw this headline I thought, “oh that makes sense! I have that.”  Initially when I saw the link they left out the mice part of the story. Way to trick me!  Then I read that it was found in mice. Oh ok, so it wasn’t found in humans. But it is interesting none the less.

They address the issues of if being a good parent is behavioral or biological. I think it could be a mix of both. I see a lot of the way I do things similar to how my mom is. I also see differences. That is fine. It is good to grow and do things in your own way too. But the fact remains, I always wanted to be a mom. I longed for it when we struggled to get pregnant. I miss Jack when he is sleeping at night. Ok not every night, but on those particularly amazing mostly tantrum free days together I miss his squishy cheeks.

My little squishy cheeks at the park

I also don’t think that it will marginalize women more if it is true. If you don’t want to be a mom, then don’t. I see nothing wrong with that. Just as I hope people see nothing wrong with me being totally over the moon about being a mom to my son. If you want to focus on your career and that is your passion, your love, your baby, then by all means, enjoy and live your life the best way you see fit. Don’t feel pressured to have a baby! Please. A child is a serious deal. You are bringing life into the world, that isn’t something a person should be guilted by society into doing.  We are all different! That is a wonderful thing. Life would be boring if we were all the same. I would also hope that it wouldn’t make adopting more difficult for gay men. That seems absurd to me. No doubt there are two loving men who would  be way better parents than some male/female couples. Maybe some men also have a more nurturing nature than some woman down the street. Human beings are complex. I am no woman’s studies expert but in my little world and brain I don’t see anything wrong with some women being more naturally inclined to be motherly. I don’t fault those who don’t feel that way. I would never say two men cannot be loving amazing fathers because they are men.

Are people really taught how to be parents? What about people who had  rough childhoods?  Abusive parents, alcoholism, neglect, etc. But then they grow up eliminating that cycle? They are loving and nurturing and genuinely good parents. Is that behavioral because they saw something they didn’t like? But what makes them disagree with it instead of thinking that parenting was normal? Then other children do not break that cycle and end up also being how their parents were. Then you have people who were brought up in loving homes and they end up being abusive and neglectful. Or people who were in loving homes and continue that. Where does that difference come from in people? We are all so different and respond so differently to things that I cannot accept the fact that everything is behavioral from your surroundings. There has to be something innate in your being that helps guide you to agree and disagree with the things you experience.

I think it is a pretty fascinating concept. I think discovering anything with the human body and genetics is pretty amazing. I always find it amazing how we are all so different. Why do we think the way we think? Why do we feel the way we feel. What makes some people more inclined towards a certain thing than others? Something plays a role there and I don’t think it is all behavioral. I allow Jack to play with all sorts of toys. He was naturally drawn to his cars. Obsessed with them. Lately he has been into playing with his stuffed animals more. He holds them, hugs them. and plays doctor and gives them check ups and surgery. Is that all because of his makeup or is it from his surroundings. I would love to know. He doesn’t like finger painting because he doesn’t like the gunk on his hands. He does love stickers though. Our house can attest to that, so can this laptop I am tying on. One type of craft agrees with him and the other doesn’t.

I wanted to take a photo and he leaned in for a hug! Talk about heart melting!

I truly love being a mom. There are some days that are harder than others but from the moment I knew I was pregnant I was enamored. That doesn’t make me a better mom than other people though. That doesn’t make me better than the mom in the article who never saw herself being a mom but now has a 3 year old who she covers in hugs and kisses. It just means I knew what I wanted to do with part of my life before other women who weren’t the Olympic champions of house playing. At the same time I finally decided what I eventually want to do career-wise! I changed my major several times, got a degree in History, I am not using that, now I am back in school for Pilates. So while I had my brain together about motherhood, I did not feel strongly about a career outside of being a mom. We are all different. I think that should be celebrated, loved, embraced, and most importantly respected. I wouldn’t change a thing about my path. It led me to my husband and my son. To my happy little family unit. These two men who I am over the moon about, even if sometimes they frustrate me, haha! At the end of the day I love them with all my being and I would be lost without them. They are my whole world and THAT makes me happy. In the end if you are doing what makes you happy that is all that matters.

Going down a slide together! Some days I get to be a child all over again!


I created a Facebook page for my blog! If you are a Facebook person and want to follow me on there please “like” my little page. I post my blogs there but I also post links and such I come across. Some things I don’t have enough to say about to warrant an entire blog post. So I will post the link with a few thoughts.I decided to do it this way so that if people actually are interested in my thoughts they can like the page. This way friends of mine who really don’t care about fitness and such are not always inundated with my blog links, fitness links, breastfeeding links, etc.

So come and like FitMommaBoom on Facebook!

Today my baby is OVER six months old. Yesterday he turned 6 months. On Wednesday night I was clinging to the fact that it was his last night being 5 months old. I truly feel as if time is just slipping through my fingers like sand. I love him so much it is ridiculous. I am in wonder of him. He is just an amazing person. I find it fascinating how quickly their personalities shine through. I wrote a bit about this on facebook yesterday but I will mention it again. He is so very brave and courageous. I see it in him every day. If he wants something he goes for it. He thinks about the consequences later, like falling over while sitting up. He normally sits supported by his own hands, yet he always wants to play with something while sitting. He just goes for it. Lets go with one or both hands to grab for his toy. I am always there to catch him right now, but he just goes for it and will take the tumble, as long as he gets his toy. I know that I am in trouble very soon as he starts moving. He is going to be in everything. And honestly, that is ok. I want him to explore and develop his curiosity.

Speaking of that, yesterday was his last time at Level 1 Gymboree class. Next Thursday he begins Level 2! Yikes! I think it will be fun though, even during his adjustment period. I think we will learn a lot of fun things to try out at home.

Being a mom is hard and tiring work. No doubt about that. I feel more exhausted now than I did in the beginning. He has been sleeping through the night lately but yet I am always utterly exhausted at the end of the day. Because we do so much more now.

I am pretty sure he has started posing for photos with me. He does this move in a few lately lol

Our days are filled with adventure. I love it. I feel so accomplished at the end of the day. I spent the day helping my little man grow, explore, develop, and learn. I have always wanted to be a mom. Playing house was my most favorite game as a little girl. I would dream of how great it was. But I never imagined it would be this amazing. Hard, tiring, amazing, wonderful, lovely, messy, worrisome, all of those in one huge bundle of awesome. I wouldn’t change a thing. Like I mentioned in my last post, I am totally satisfied with our life right now. It has been crossing my mind a lot lately, how blessed I am to honestly feel satisfied and content with life!

On a totally different note. Mosquitoes have been cramping my style lately. I am itching, pun intended, to go for a run.  However, where we live, in Lake County, the mosquitoes have been ridiculous. I was outside for about 3 minutes the other day at 2pm. I tried to take Jack swimming in his splash pool. I was swarmed! I counted at least ten brand spanking new bites! I rushed him back inside. I want to go running but the area where I run is very woodsy and there are several yards along the way I know are prone to flooding AND I run around the lake. All a perfect storm for the little bloodsuckers. So I haven’t been getting out there. I have been doing my SHAPE dvd. It is what it is. I miss the runs but I cannot put him at risk with the bites or myself really since I nurse him. It is going to be time very soon for me to look into getting a membership somewhere. First it was the out of control heat and now it is these bugs. Fall will be here soon enough and that should be nice. There are a couple 5ks I plan to do with Jason and Jack. How fun, family runs!

So here is to the next 6 months, which I am sure will fly by even quicker than the first. Sometimes I cannot believe how quick one single day flies by! We are movin and shakin towards his 1st birthday!

I am always looking for new core workout tips or moves! This article has some moves that are supposed to be beneficial to runners. The study that was done showed when done regularly these moves helped to shave some time off of 5k runs.

5 Ab Exercises For Runners

I provide the actual link, but I also placed it in this post. I like that they also include moves to up the intensity. That will come in handy once these moves get old and repetitive.

I have done a few of these moves before, a few are new though. I will be adding these to my bag of tricks. I have done a lot of reading throughout the years about how strength training can really increase your running abilities. I have tried to incorporate both into my lifestyle. Plus, I like the look of my nicely shaped arms and abs hehe…well I LIKED them…we are getting back there…slowly but surely! Happy running!

By Dena Stern

According to a recently published study “runners who did these moves four times a week shaved a minute off their 5K times in six weeks.”

Whether you are training for an endurance run or just looking to improve the quality of your weekly jog these ab moves are a must.

Directions: Perform two sets of 12 reps of each exercise.


Instability Crunch

Begin by lying on your back on a exercise ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. To be safe you can anchor your feet under a stable object. Place your hands behind your head and extend your elbow out as you roll your upper body forward and up. Roll

For more of a challenge try: Weighted Ball Crunch

Hip Lift


Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, palms down, and your legs bent on top of a exercise ball. Press your heels into the ball while raising your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should end at a 45 degree angle to the ball. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: One Leg Hamstring Dips

Back Extension


Lie on an exercise ball with your belly button over the center of the ball and your arms and legs extended. Contract your abs and raise your upper body off the ball until your body forms a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Lower and repeat.

For more of a challenge try: Medicine Ball Hyperextension

All Fours


Begin with your hands and knees on the floor, shoulder and hip width apart, facing downward with your back straight and parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg and extend it behind you as you lift your left arm and extend it in front of you. Hold this position for about five seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

For more of a challenge try: All Fours with Weighted Balls

Russian Twist


Begin by lying on your back on top of a exercise ball with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms toward the ceiling and bring your hands together. Keep your arms straight as you twist from side.

For more of a challenge try: Russian Twist with Weights