Archives for category: weight loss

I passed the halfway point of my Reformer student teaching hours. I have been in the studio every Saturday morning teaching at least one class. I am really excited to have reached this point. I have 9 hours left! That really is not that much. I could do it very quickly if I wanted to get it all done in one week. It is no secret that my full time job is still a stay at home mom. Until we have him in his preschool program, Saturdays are my time to teach. I have to make a decision by today regarding preschool. I will know by the end of the day about how much longer this will take.

As each class ends I feel more confident in my teaching, authority of the subject matter, and myself. I have had a few bumps. Clients who are not happy that the newbie has been teaching. It is what it is. It hurts me, because I am about as hard as a cloud. I keep on keeping on though. I mostly vent to my mom, husband, and bff about it. They listen unconditionally and encourage me to brush it off. They know I am a sensitive soul.

All I do is make sure that I am giving my best when I am in front of those clients. If I leave and I know I did that, then their responses really can’t bother me too much. If I just was standing around doing nothing, not trying, and not giving my all, then well that really would be on me.

I have received a lot of positive feedback though too. I have started to learn about the different clients we have in the building. Their needs, wants, physical abilities, personalities, and restrictions. This past Saturday was my 3rd time teaching a specific class. I was asked to come up with a whole new class since this was week 3. Weeks 1 and 2 were different but I decided to really change my focus. I came up with some challenging moves. I walked in the building and the Reformers were filled with new students! You can switch around if you have to, and this class happened to have that happen. There were a few of the regulars that I have had, but there were about 3  new ladies. I spoke to another instructor and quickly adapted my plans. I used some of the things I had planned. I winged others. I did it. I think it went well. The lady who loves hard work and extra spring load had to get up to take off her hoodie at one point. I took that as a good sign. If she was hot and sweaty, then I was doing my job.

I am excited to continue. I am excited because I have been offered a lot of opportunities. As soon as I know my schedule my boss/master teacher will be giving me regular classes and privates! I will have my own clients to work with weekly. I won’t be subbing jumping into an already established class that is used to someone else. I am looking forward to that. It is making this preschool guilt a little easier. Just a smidgen though.

I flew over a huge hurdle yesterday! I had been asked to sub for another Pilates instructor. Three Reformer classes needed to be covered. 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 in the morning. A Saturday morning. Saturdays are busy at my studio. I said yes. I decided to just go ahead and do it. I knew my master teacher would be in the building. I just wouldn’t have another instructor sitting by free to help or answer my questions. I have always had that crutch to lean on. Also, I have never taught three classes in a row. I considered all of this after I had been asked. My parents happened to be over. I discussed it with them and my husband. The consensus was that I needed to do this. I was capable of doing this. I am meant to do this. “Rip the band aid off” is my husband’s favorite phrase. He told me to do just that.

I am SO glad I did. It went really well. There were no major issues or hiccups. I got a lot of positive feedback. From my master teacher/boss and from the clients. I love the Mermaid. I love it on the Mat, Reformer, and Chair. There is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t do some version of the Mermaid. I included it in my classes yesterday. I had a few clients rave about it. Saying they had never done it before. They LOVED it. I explained my passion for the position. They replied that they think it needs to be in every class they take. Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my signature move at this studio. “If you take a class with Nicole, you will more than likely do the Mermaid in some way!”



I feel so empowered. I know that practicing Pilates can empower you. I have been empowered by it. I am empowered by it. Teaching Pilates can also empower you. Being able to help people. Seeing them find the work. Listening to them tell you how great that move felt on their body. Lately, every time I leave the studio after teaching a class I am riding on this high. I feel so great, happy, energetic. I am not even working out. I am just working. I am doing what I was born to do. I left after my last class and drove home. I thought along the way, this is clearly what I was born to do. This is my career. I have never been so sure of that in my life. Besides being a mom. I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. Other than that I  have never quite made up my mind. Nothing made me feel this way. Nothing until I started teaching Pilates. I am about halfway through my Reformer teaching hours for certification. Chair will likely be conquered in the fall when my boss adds more chairs and then adds some chair classes. I love Chair. I own one and I practice on it pretty much daily. I know a lot of people loathe it but I feel that is because it is intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It can be so tailored to a client that gradual increase in strength can be achieved  I also have a potential offer from my boss to teach at Lulu on Saturday mornings. If it does happen it is supposed to start in early May. It is not 100% yet but I am excited that she even thought of me to do that. I will bring the same passion I just wrote about along with me to the store. I will turn people on to the love of Pilates. I will hopefully be able to convince new people to walk into the studio that is my home.

It feels good to find your place in the world. I have found mine. I am Nicole. I am a mom, a wife, and a Pilates instructor.

What/who are you?

Yesterday marked a big milestone in my Pilates teacher journey. I officially finished the training courses! We are all done with classroom time. I have to complete my million hours of practice teaching now. Yikes! I cannot believe we have reached this point. It feels like September was only yesterday. pilates

I have a myriad of emotions about this all. They range from excited, to terrified, to frustrated. I am not sure I can explain entirely why I am all over the place. This is an off week for me in general. That has to be a contributing factor. I am excited for obvious reasons. I did it! I finished a huge part of this. The next is to apply my knowledge. Terrified because I have to apply that knowledge. And frustration is likely over the same thing. Working out how to articulate what I know. Getting to know the clients and their needs. Many of these clients have been there for years. When I enter a class to teach I feel blind, since I don’t know them like their regular instructors do.

I am excited to get my own clients. I would like to start to build a relationship with people and train them. I want to share the love of Pilates with everyone. I want to help make someone’s life better. I want to help them move and feel better every single day. I am frustrated because sometimes I feel like I am not seeing what my Master Teacher sees. I know that is why SHE is a master teacher and I am still a novice. But I have said this before and I will say this again, I am incredibly hard on myself. I get so mad at myself when I can’t see or do what I am trying to see or do. I know that it will come with time and experience. But my inner voice sometimes won’t listen to that rationalization. There are many times where I DO see what she is speaking of.  You see, the thing is, Pilates is in millimeters. The correctness of the moves are often incredibly tiny movements. Your eye really has to develop to see that. There are many times I do see it. But I hate it when I look and I am just baffled. I have to tell myself to ease up and just keep looking and practicing. I know how these feel in my own body. I know what I am looking for in general. I am always self correcting my positions. I know where a client is supposed to be most of the time. Especially in the moves I am very familiar with.

A portion of my journey is over. I am entering the next phase of my journey. This journey will never really end. I believe I will always be learning and improving myself as a Pilates teacher. Who knows what the future holds down the road. The possibilities are unlimited!

Do you drink green tea? I do. I drink a lot of it. Every day I have, at minimum, one cup. Usually I have many more than that. I don’t add anything to my tea. I enjoy the flavor the green tea. I also drink one cup of black coffee in the morning. My taste buds work that way.

Yesterday I came across this image on Haley Hobson’s Facebook page. If you haven’t checked out her blog or her Facebook page, you really should! You’re missing out!!! I immediately shared the photo on my page. It always makes me happy to come across these kinds of images. It is no secret that I do not drink pop. My beverage vices are black coffee and green and herbal teas. My one cup of coffee first thing in the morning, water, and tea are the only beverages I ingest. 60937_317984781648837_1315825388_n

There are so many good reasons to drink green tea, so if you aren’t, you should be. On top of all of those wonderful points, the light amount of caffeine in it can give you the boost you need when you are feeling sluggish in the afternoon, or morning! It gives me my super powers. Especially after a long morning with a toddler. A cup of green tea can really make my day much better. I allow myself the moments to prepare it, no matter what craziness is going on. Jack even knows what tea is. When he sees me with my mug he will say “tea.” Momma needs her tea break sweetie. Trust me!

My favorite green tea is Jade Cloud Green Tea from Spice and Tea Exchange. I don’t really drink any other kind of green tea. I just really love it. Their product description calls it a “smooth & mellow cup.” I have to agree.

Jade Cloud Green Tea

My husband even got me a travel tea mug with an infuser for Christmas. It works really well. It has two different lids, one with the infuser and one without. The one with even has an additional screw on lid, so that when you are done, you can remove that entire piece and place it lid down, so excess tea water does not leak everywhere. The hole in the drinking lid is large enough for a straw. I drink my tea through a straw. Even my hot tea. I actually don’t really care for iced tea, to be honest. There is something so soothing about a nice hot cup of tea in your belly.

I am a green tea addict. I am a tea addict in general. I also have an obsession with Ginger Turmeric tea. MMMM MMM MMMMM! I share that tea with my little man, because it is caffeine free. He won’t eat most of the meals I make him, but he will sip Ginger Turmeric tea, so that makes sense!

Do you drink green tea? Black tea? Herbal teas? What is your favorite tea? Have you discovered the health benefits of drinking tea?  

Christmas is over. My husband returned to work today. It is rare for him to ever take a day off, so yesterday was a treat. The living room is still a half disaster. The dining room table, forget about it. I started trying to clear it of all the new things, but I didn’t finish. I hope today I get that done.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Daddy breaking my no treats rule....

Daddy breaking my no treats rule….

Christmas was amazing though. I had such a wonderful time. I loved watching Jack. He was so into it. Very into presents. Loves opening them. It truly did blow last year out of the water. I loved watching him play with his new things. He is so grown up. Not a baby anymore. His face looked older and he would quietly concentrate on his new things. In his own world, playing with his wonderful new stuff. I just sat near him a lot, watching, and being totally over the moon. I covered his squishy cheeks in tons of kisses because I couldn’t get over how amazing he is.

Christmas morning!

Christmas morning!

He is very good about immediately cleaning up the paper

He is very good about immediately cleaning up the paper

If I had to dream up a perfect Christmas I am pretty sure it would have went along the lines of this year. I just am over the moon for my two guys. We really had a great family time together. There were minimal tantrums. None really, in all honesty. The worst of it was late on Christmas Day at my aunt’s house. Jack was just clingy. He didn’t want me out of his sight. That really isn’t bad. Considering he is a month shy of 2 years old.

We had to stop mid opening to read his new book, he insisted!

We had to stop mid opening to read his new book, he insisted!

Daddy and Jack playing with a Handy Manny tool book

Daddy and Jack playing with a Handy Manny tool book

Now we move on to New Years Eve. No big plans for that. A lot of people make resolutions. I do not do that. I find them pointless. People never follow through with them. The way I see it is, if you really, really want to change your life you will start the moment you want to change things. You don’t wait for a Monday to start a new healthy lifestyle and you don’t wait for a New Year to do it either. I haven’t always been so strict with my healthy living. It was something that I refined and honed in on over several years. It started in my early 20’s when I stopped drinking pop and I started to run on a regular basis. Over time I got sucked into this lifestyle more and more. It became part of me. Intertwined to the point where I could not function if I had to stop living how I live right this second. It is me and I am it. So for me, the concept of a total overhaul on anything in life starting January 1st seems doomed to failure. I think we need to give ourselves time to change. Let it consume your life slowly, like a lava. Slow moving, yet so very powerful and consuming. That is the key to true lifestyle change. There are no quick fixes, if there were, we would all be perfect human specimens. I wouldn’t have a temper. I would snap my fingers and never be short tempered again. I also wouldn’t bite my nails, my one big vice. And maybe just maybe I wouldn’t love shopping as much as I do. Ok, scratch that, I wouldn’t change that part of me for the world. Ha!

My point is, don’t set yourself up for failure by putting so much pressure on yourself. January 1st is not some special day where all the stars align and make it easier to change yourself. You can find that path any day of the year. Also, change may take more than one year. A true lifestyle overhaul probably will. My temper is much better since getting pregnant and having a child. I used to not have to care about it. Then I had a child, and now it matters how I respond to things. So I have developed this immense patience over time. I am not perfect and I still get frustrated, we all do. But over all, I can listen to the same cars song 100 times and still not get frustrated. I can be asked the same word over and over. I can handle a tantrum in the store, for the most part, without losing my cool. Sure, I will have a day where I too am cranky, and then maybe I will yell at my child, but I try my hardest to have less of those days and more of the patient ones. It is a practice and I  have to work at it all the time, not just starting on New Years Day and then watch the gumption of my declaration fade out slowly over the next month or maybe two.

That is my advice on New Year’s resolutions. You don’t have to take it. We are all different. That is just my view from my life experiences.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or any holiday you celebrate. I love this time of year because it is all about family. That is what is important, focusing on your loved ones. We did that to the nth degree in our home. I hope New Year’s Eve and Day go wonderfully for everyone. I won’t be putting on a skimpy hot dress and hitting the town. I will curl up with my boys in our living room and spend it with them. That is perfect for me. I may even go out and get some party hats for the 3 of us to wear! Jack is a night owl and I bet, if we let him, he will make it until midnight!

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Do you go out? Or do you stay home with your family and celebrate from your living room like we are? Do you feel how I feel about resolutions? 

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.

Yesterday marked the end of our formal Reformer training. We actually finished the book on Thursday, but yesterday was a big review class. We went over any move we had a question on. Class flew by and we actually stayed 30 minutes over our normal time. It ended up being a 4 hour class. We even attached the jumpboards and had a mini jumpboard session. That was fun and another facet I look forward to learning a bit more about.

I say it marked the end of our formal Reformer training because I truly believe I have so much more learning to do. This will be hands on learning that I experience as I shadow, co-teach, and eventually teach entire classes myself. I know that I have read that book front to back, attended all of my classes, and reviewed it at home. You can learn a lot that way. It is just a base knowledge though. Experience will help me become the instructor I want and long to be.

As part of our Reformer culmination we all took photos of each other doing Front Splits. It kind of became an inside joke that I won’t go in to, but it ended up being super cool to do this for one another. This is a tough and advanced move. My favorite part of it is the concentration you must have in order to successfully do it. My mind is usually all over the place. I don’t think it ever shuts off. Being a busy mom who is in school and starting her career, you do not have time to stop thinking about things. This move requires you to only think about one thing, not falling off of that Reformer. Being in the moment, breathing, concentrating, and balance.


I woke up this morning feeling very excited about life. I am starting my career. It is funny for me, because, since we decided to try getting pregnant I wasn’t thinking about a career. I knew I wanted to stay home with the child we would eventually have. I was finishing up my BA in History and shortly after I graduated I found out we were finally pregnant. It took us a while for that to happen. I won’t write about that journey right now. But now, I am ready to start thinking about the career I never put on the front burner. Perhaps it is because I found something I have a deep love and passion for. Something that, for now, can work around my schedule as a mom. As he grows older and more independent I can add more to my plate. I am pretty sure my Mat workshop will begin this Wednesday. I am still waiting on 100% confirmation. If not this week then after the Holidays, which is fine too. I am flexible, pun intended. I know, I cheesy at times.

My joy of Pilates is overflowing to those around me as well. I recently discussed it with my dad and he is interested in training with me. I have taught my future sister in law, my mom, and my mother in law. Last night my husband said to me “I need to do some Pilates so I can be flexible.” He has also been talking up Pilates to those around him. Once it was in front of me, to our Realtor. I was taken aback to listen to him praise me and what I do. I always thought he was a little skeptical of it, but lately he has really been showing this appreciation for the practice of Pilates. He has been telling his employees about it as well, apparently. He came home and told me one of them was interested in it. I would never have pegged this person for being interested in it, but after Jason spoke about it, he did take interest  See, my love of it has caused a ripple effect. The way I speak about it has flowed over into my husband’s day to day life. Pilates can do that. Passion can do that.

We did some written test review. She just asked us questions out loud and we could answer if we knew it. Individually or as a group. This always makes me a little nervous, especially because now we all make an effort to not refer to our book. I am happy to say I knew a lot of the answers without looking. That is such a confidence booster! I know more than I think I know. It has been embedded in my brain because I have spent the time and energy trying to learn it. Last night I went to bed thinking about Reformer things and this morning I woke up thinking about them as well.

We have become intertwined, Pilates and I.

What is your passion? It doesn’t have to be fitness related, anything that you feel this deeply about. I feel this way about my son and husband too, so there isn’t always just one answer. Have you reached a point in life where you are feeling satisfied with your family life and career choice, be it staying at home or working outside the home? Like I said, I never thought a career would become this important to me at this point in my life, so everyone is different and everyone’s “ideal” can shift  over time. 

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 taking the plunge. In two days I begin a teacher training program to become a Pilates instructor. I am so excited!!!

This isn’t something I have entered lightly, on a whim, or just because. No, I have thought about this on and off for a couple years. I have looked into different places, different options, yoga or personal trainer, etc. I have always loved Pilates. I have been dabbling in it since high school. Not teaching, of course, but taking different classes or buy dvds to do at home. It has always been a favorite and often my go-to toning method.

I do have a degree in History. But I haven’t done one thing with it since graduating. I did get pregnant shortly after graduation. Maybe one day I will use that but for now what I am looking is for is more part time. I have taught before. Sunday school and scrapbooking/cardmaking classes. I enjoyed those. I think that I will really shine teaching Pilates. I truly love Pilates, fitness, and helping educate other people on working out. I love to share my tips here, on facebook, and pinterest.

The program goes through mid-January. My classes will be Thursday nights and Saturday late morning-afternoon. Two days a week is no bad. The classes are long 3 1/2-4 hours each. I have taken courses like that before. When I think about it I took them a lot while working to obtain my BA. I have a feeling I am going to find these classes a little more enjoyable than some of those required core classes I had to take.

On and off I have feelings of guilt going back to school and then teaching part time come next year. I am hoping that this ends up being the right decision for Jack. I think when you’re a mom this feeling is inescapable. I am not looking to work full time next year. Just a couple classes a week.

I have even posted a job on sitter city so we can find a sitter for when family members are unavailable. I was very uneasy about that but I don’t have to hire anyone just because I posted it. I can see the responses I receive and go from there. I have received 4 already and only thought 1 was kind of a fit….kind of…

I am just hoping it goes well. Jack and I are very close. He is very attached to me and well I am equally as attached to him. He is my world. I love being with him and I miss him when he sleeps. Seriously. Some mornings I am sitting around wishing he would wake up because I miss his squishy cheeks. I really won’t be gone all that much. I keep telling myself that.

I swear I am excited about doing this! But as a momma, taking time away from the home always comes with guilt. I am doing this because I want to and because I should do something for myself. I am not doing this because I have to at this point. Which, I need to remind myself of to. I WANT to do this! Down the road he will go to school and then where will I be? Really missing him! Have to keep my hands busy.

So here is to my new adventure that begins in two days. Here is to expanding the world’s knowledge of fitness one class at a time!

We went to a wedding this past weekend. My little boy is growing so fast and becoming quite the little gentleman. Enjoy the photos below…


He loves to give me kissies!

Dancing the last dance together


I would also like to take a moment to reflect on how it is has been 11 years since September 11th. I can still remember exactly where I was. I am sure most people can. I was in 2nd period Chemistry class. We happened to be in the computer lab that day working on some research or something. I don’t remember exactly what the assignment was. That kind of got pushed to the back burner as we searched news sites for up to date information. It was a scary day. I was a Junior. I remember how quiet it was that evening. See I grew up down the street from O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest in the world. It is literally 5 minutes from my childhood home. It was eerily silent. I remember the immense sadness I felt. I still to this day cry at nearly every story I hear or every show I watch about things that happened. It really shaped a lot of my world views. If I think I can see how many worldly views tie back to what I went through as a high school student experiencing 9/11. Being someone who has a degree in History I know as time continues we are going to push this tragedy to the recesses of our minds. Think about Pearl Harbor. It happened so far before most people’s time that we don’t quite set aside reverence for it the way we still do for 9/11. I found that this year I didn’t realize it was approaching until late yesterday evening when I saw a news preview for the nightly news. I felt really bad. I have normally been well aware of the approaching date. I feel myself slipping already. I feel terribly guilty for that. I have been so consumed with Jackson that it slipped my mind. I guess I have to live in the now and my child should come before thinking about the anniversary of this, but I still felt bad. At least I don’t have to explain it to Jack this year.

Off to get ready to take Jack to music class. On that sad and reflective note….sorry to bring down the excitement of my post but I felt I had to mention and recognize this day in some manner.

I have been a little quiet on here. I just seem to always have something to do. I have not been quiet in real life though. I have been busy with Jackson, who is 19 months old now! He definitely keeps my days action packed. I have been working out, cooking, going to family events etc. I have slowed down on running a bit. I actually took this weekend off from my run. It has been a bit humid and warm and the thought of running in that kind of weather made me want to crawl under the covers. I figured I deserve a break once in a while so I stayed inside and did workouts in my house.

I have two new videos. Both Jillian. I love that woman. She is the best. I have done my share of at home videos and she is still hands down my favorite instructor. Instead of buying the DVD I have started to use my amazon instant option. Jack has been getting his sweet little hands on DVDS and BluRay discs and managing to scratch them. The kicker was when he broke our BluRay player last week. So oh well!

I bought Kickbox Fast Fix and 6 Week Six Pack. Ok so I have to admit I am not looking for a fast fix in either case. I am a maintenance person at this stage. All of the baby weight is gone, I am mostly toned all over. I weigh about 120lbs. I wear a size 0 or a size 2. Extra small shirts. So I am not using these programs to drop or shed quickly. I cannot give a response on if they do any fast or 6 week fixes. I am going to assume if you are looking for that and you are honest and stick with these workouts as part of your regular routine that a difference will be seen. As with any workout. You have to be honest with yourself though, no cheating!

I am just looking for ways to shake up my routine so I stay involved and not bored. I love learning new moves and finding ways to challenge myself. The kickboxing is something I have always been curious about. I am not very coordinated. I am incredibly clumsy and I have a hard time learning coordinated moves. So for me kickboxing is a new challenge. I have to learn how to punch and kick in step. I am sure I look ridiculous but it is fun to try! Maybe soon I can take a kickboxing class out of the lovely shrouded privacy of my own home.

Speaking of workouts not at home we are thinking about joining L A Fitness. There is new one being built right down the street. I want a place for the winter. I am also now comfortable with having Jack in a babysitting program at a facility I choose. We went to an amazing place about 20 minutes away. We thought of joining there but the distance and the price differences in the new L A Fitness are tantalizing us! So has anyone been a member of L A? Any tips, any reviews? I know this place is new, not even done being built so we can’t think about location specific reviews. Also I tend to take reviews with a grain of salt, remembering that sometimes only negative people tend to review places. However the historian in me instantly gravitates towards doing my research on a topic. Any advice is appreciated so that I can make as informed of a decision as possible.

So my little man is now 19 months as I mentioned. I am baffled as to how this has happened. But I do relish in his growth and development every day. I love that boy so much. It is ridiculous. I love how much he communicates with me. I could listen to him talk all day. He has so many words. He is great at figuring out how to tell me what he wants. Yesterday morning I was getting us ready to visit my grandpa. I was making our breakfast and told Jack we were going to visit great grandpa! He said GA? GA?!?!?! And got very excited. He calls my mom Ga. He calls my dad Pa. So I think he thought I was saying we were seeing my mom, maybe because I threw the great in front of grandpa. Anyway I called my mom to tell her because it was so cute how excited he got at the thought of seeing her. She talked to him on the phone and his reaction was equally sweet. He got rather excited. He didn’t get to see her yesterday but I love how happy he gets when he thinks about her.

So we are eating our breakfast and he is quiet. Then decides to start saying “bye bye” and waving. I said yes we are going to go bye bye in a bit! Very good. I had said we were going bye bye to visit great grandpa. So he remembered our previous conversation. Then after I encouraged him he was right he said “bye bye! Park!” I was astonished. It was the first time he asked me to go to the park! It was amazing. I explained that we weren’t going there but we were going to visit grandpa and that was fun too. (he had a blast on our visit) I just love how he can tell me what is on his mind. I know people say I will get tired of that but for now I am not. I love it and I am excited for him.

Stickers have been a hot item this week. He has finally discovered their awesomeness. He used to think they were weird, probably because they were sticky. But this week he is obsessed and I love it. You should see the laptop I am typing on. The front of it was his white canvas and is covered in layers of stickers. I mean, I put any hipster to shame at this point!

He also has started to decorate us and himself. His feet and mine were covered in stickers last night. Then he started decorating his forehead. He managed to do this all himself without a mirror.

I have been enjoying these kinds of moments a lot lately and I hope they keep coming. He is such a sweet loving boy. I am so excited each day to see what he is going to learn, say, or show me he now knows. I look forward to his bear hugs and sloppy kisses. Being so consumed with love for my child is not a new sensation, in the least bit! I have known how overpowering that love is from the moment I held him in my arms, right after I pushed him out. Yet I am still blown away at times at how much love I have for him. Sometimes it knocks me off of my feet and I stop what I am doing and just think WOW I LOVE THIS KID SO MUCH! HE IS AWESOME. HE IS MINE! I hope that never changes. I hope that I can always be aware that my love for him is so grand it stops me in my tracks. I think that is a happy life. Being aware that there is love inside of you that is greater than everything and that trumps any bad moments or days!

Toddlerhood is challenging at times. It is not always a walk in the park. We won’t get into his separation issues with his cars and naptime/bedtime. So when you can relish in how amazing your love is for this amazing child, it makes those stressful small moments nearly vanish. It overpowers them and knocks them out. At least for me, and I truly hope that all parents can be in the place I am with that. It keeps my patience in check. I have more patience when I remember that he is a toddler and I could kiss those squishy cheeks and toddler toes all day long.

That is my update. Please if you do have any thoughts on L A Fitness let me know. We have never done a membership at a fitness center. This is the first time for me so I am a little unsure what to expect.