i just got back a bit of cell service and am typing thison my iPhone w/out the handy WP app bc I didn’t think I’d ever need it. Kinda likes weather radio and an RV. We are fine. Without power in the ENTIRE CITY until Monday (we hope Monday) — I know it’s bad al over the state but I don’t know how bad bc we are so out of touch. The weather is perfect so life without power is just an inconvenience forcing us on walks and to parks. It’s weird and I can’t wait to tell you our stories when I can do so withmore than my forefinger. Thanks for all if your messages of concern on Twitter, FB and here. It makes me feel less alone. I hope to update soon.

Oh…I also haven’t showered for 3 days and have eaten most of the 100 cake poppers I made for the Dessert Theatre we were supposed to have Tonight. In other words? Being without power makes me SEXY.

So Close…

The Boys

Donnie and Wes unintentionally ended up matching on Easter Sunday. Nothing planned, but I couldn’t resist snapping their picture. First, Donnie squatted down and Wes squatted down next to him. This cracked us up because – while Donnie looked like he was just trying to get down to Wes’s level – Wes looked like he was pooping in the yard.

Donnie asked him to stand up and said, “Just put your hand on my shoulder.” This is what he did. He couldn’t understand why we were laughing so hard. I mean…is he totally gangsta or WHAT?

Let Me Tell You About My Boot Camp

Purple Shoes

Many moons ago, my Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp instructor asked me to do a testimonial video since I signed up for the whole year. Technical issues ensued and I was glad as I HATE BEING ON VIDEO. It occurred to me, however, that I do like to blab my mouth on the interwebs. Since I’ve been reading a lot about people struggling to find a exercise program that is right for them, I thought I’d tell a little about why this class is exactly perfect for me. This is not me pimping out my specific boot camp because most of you don’t live here. This is me showing you why I love this boot camp so you can maybe look for similar things in yours. We have at least FOUR going on locally in our small-ish town. And that’s not counting Cross Fit which is a similar type of class. My point? If there are a lot of choices in my town? There are even more in yours. These are just the factors that make my boot camp perfect for ME. I hope it helps you find something perfect for YOU.


The Instructor

I’ve been to boot camps with other instructors before; and this is why I can not profess enough the importance of finding the right instructor. Boot camps are great! We’ll get into why I love them later. But the instructor has to be a good fit, too. I’ve had a yeller, which I hated. I’ve had an instructor that prides themselves on making people puke. HATED. I’ve even had a girl who was excitable and energetic but TOO AGGRESSIVE. HATE.

My instructor, Joe, is great. But I’ll tell you why he’s a good fit for me. Because I’m as insecure as they come. I think I was more nervous of my first nutrition/assessment meeting with Joe than I’ve been on any job interview. I WAS TERRIFIED. I feel very intimidated by physically fit people AND I have absolutely no self-esteem in that department. The assessment went fine and then I became even more terrified of the first class. Thank God for Sarah who thought of me and sent a wonderfully encouraging email to send me on my way. But here’s the thing that warmed me up immediately to Joe: He’s self-deprecating. He is perfectly fit and healthy and awesome, but he also knows how to make fun of himself. And if you want to put me at ease? That’s how you do it. He makes everyone feel comfortable in class, even if it requires mocking his own inability to count time.

It Doesn’t Matter If I Hate A Certain Exercise

Boot camp has such a variety of exercises that it doesn’t matter if you hate any of them. I’m not a fan of push-ups. I just am awkward doing them. Do we do push-ups? Yes. Often. Joe loves them. But do we do them enough to make me care that I hate them? Nope. Some days we don’t do any. I also hate jumping rope, but that only pops up periodically. Some days we do lots of cardio, some days we do lots of squats. Some days I feel like I’ve run 5 miles, some days I’m convinced I can’t use my arms any more. Some days my ass hurts, some days my abs hurt. There is too much variety for me to get sick of any one thing, which I do quite easily.

Speaking of variety…

It Is Never Boring

Even as Joe pulls from workouts from other sessions (I think this is my sixth session) they still don’t feel repetitive. He spices things up just enough that even a veteran like myself doesn’t know what to expect. The downside of exercise videos is that you get used to them. You know what to expect. Even six months in, Joe still catches me off guard with new exercises or techniques.

It Allows Me To Eat My Frog First Thing

Eating your frog is a thought on time management introduced by Brian Tracy. It builds principle that if you have something TOUGH you have to do every day (EXERCISE) then you should do it first thing. Then, the rest of the day is a breeze. To me? The 5:30am boot camp is just that. It’s me getting the exercise out of the way so I can go about the rest of the day saying, “I worked out already today.” Even if the rest of the day sucks, knowing that I ate my frog already? Always is a ray of sunshine.

It’s As Hard Or As Easy As I Need/Want It To Be

Most days I walk into boot camp and I’m ready to push myself. Some days? I’m not feeling it. But I know that if I get up and go to class, I can make the workout what I need. Most days I do push myself, but if I can’t? The workouts are very easy to adjust. He does a lot of it by time and may say, “Do as many as you can.” This could be 10 for me but 50 for the girl next to me. I can make it what I need to and STILL get a good workout. I don’t think if he made it a “Number” or a “Distance” issue every time it would be that flexible. But since that’s peppered in throughout timed exercises, it feels like you have a choice of how to push yourself. Making age/size/fitness level not an issue. Although, I’ll be completely honest with you. Since September I have totally become that ANNOYING girl that wants to PUSH IT AS HARD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE every moment. I blame Joe.

You Get Results

Let me say this: I AM A TOUGH CASE. I started in September but I had loads of bad habits to undo. Just signing up for boot camp wasn’t enough. Making real life changes isn’t easy. If it is? You are lucky. But you are not normal. It took months for me to really get a handle on my late-night stress eating. I gained 7lbs STILL through the holidays. (That should tell you how much I was eating, it takes a lot to GAIN when you’re working out so hard every day.) So, around February I finally got a handle on the late-night stress binging. Since then I’ve lost 15lbs and at least 12 inches and 6% body fat. I’ve probably lost more because I did gain that weight over the holidays that didn’t get factored into my original measurements. Considering how much I struggle with emotional eating? To see results like that? Really shows you how much this class can change your body.

Speaking of results…

I Can Now Do This Workout In Just Over 8 Minutes. EIGHT.

(Joe originally wrote about this personal challenge workout here. )

50 pushups
50 squats
50 shoulder presses
50 jumping jacks
10 mat laps
30 straight leg situps
30 burpees
50 flutter kicks
30 jump squats
50 side kicks

The first time I did this series it took me 14+ minutes. Now? I’m right around EIGHT. And I’m using 8lb weights in each arm for the shoulder presses, when I only used 5lb weights that first time. This makes me so proud I can not contain myself. EIGHT MINUTES. My only complaint is I have to break up the pushups. He lets us split up the workout and do it in whatever order we choose. Since my my push-up technique starts to wabble, I do 40 and then save 10 for right after the mat laps. (Mat Laps: Running Circles Around Your Yoga Mat.) The fact that Joe’s boot camp has helped me achieve such speed on this series of exercises is nothing short of a miracle.

The Other Women In The Class

This has been an unexpected perk…the women I’ve met. Not only do I feel we’ve become friends (especially those of us who signed up for the whole year) but I feel like we’re all invested in each other’s success. We ask each other what we’re doing on the weekends to keep up our routine, what about on the week off? We’re sharing recipes and exercises. I’ve got an ab routine I’m doing at night now that one of the girls in the class shared with me. And these women? ARE INSPIRING. There are several who have totally motivated me to push myself harder. Be faster. Be stronger. Are these women super-athletes running marathons? No. They’re just like me. Or maybe not. Maybe older. Younger. Bigger. Smaller. That’s the awesome part. These women may not LOOK like me, but we are all alike. We all very much want to be better versions of ourselves. And I find inspiration in many of them.

In Conclusion…

I just love my boot camp. It’s expensive but for us? It’s so worth it. Even my husband agrees because he’s never seen me this into exercise. With the year plan, we had to make sure it would work with our finances. It worked out to be about $8 a single session, which is a GREAT deal if you’ve ever shopped around for such classes, but is a lot to pay at one time which is how the year plan worked. I pray we can make it work it again next year because I really feel this boot camp is the perfect workout for me. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, just like I wouldn’t recommend my parenting style or book choices to everyone. We are all different. But this? SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. And look…I love it now. So, the most important lesson I can give you from this? DO WHAT SCARES YOU. You never know…you may end up loving it.


Rainy day at the gardens


I’m a chronic eye-roller. It is probably my husband’s least-favorite quality because I throw the eyeroll at him at the most mean moments. He’ll have had a rough night’s sleep and say he’s tired and I’ll think of all of the nights I didn’t sleep well with newborn babies and BAM! EYEROLL. It’s a trait I know is not fair, but a lot of it is subconscious. When my instinct is to say, “OH. MY. GOD. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” Then I eyeroll. I know. Ugly trait. Let’s move on.

I eyeroll a lot when I go through my feed reader. I’ll read blogs where someone talks about the joy of exercise and how happy they are now that they’re eating healthy. EYEROLL. Someone talks about the joy of parenting and how they are truly blessed by their children. EYEROLL. I’ll read an entry about the power of inspiration and creativity and tapping into your inner artist. EYEROLL. Articles about how annoyed people are by bloggers who don’t use proper grammar. EYEROLL.

Here’s the catch: I have written EVERY ONE OF THOSE ENTRIES.

See…if I’m in the mood to relish in my pride of eating right and exercising? I nod and smile. If I’m not? EYEROLL. If I’m experiencing a joyful Mom day when I read your entry about hugging your kids? I nod and smile. If I’ve just discovered the 43rd crayon mark on my walls? EYEROLL. If I’ve spent a weekend crafting and creating when I read about your weekend of inspiration? I take notes and learn lessons. If I’ve spent the weekend mowing my grass and weeding my garden? EYEROLL.

I say this for one reason: I am about to write something that is probably going to make a lot of you ROLL YOUR EYES. And I am okay with that, because on many other days? I would be rolling my eyes too. I just wanted to say you are perfectly fine to roll your eyes and please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Because I know what I’m about to write is the CHEESIEST, most OBNOXIOUSLY toxic, and annoyingly TRITE thing that has ever been written. Yet…here I go.


Yesterday morning was a typical morning in my home. Me running around trying to get myself ready for work post-boot camp while also feeding the kids and getting them ready for school. WHILE ALSO doing laundry and packing lunches. (Mornings are FUN.)

Because the kids had a long weekend, Wes was a little emotional. A lot of whining and refusing to eat breakfast. Fighting getting dressed and grumpily picking on his sister. He sat in my lap to eat (It’s a new phase, don’t ask.) but I had to get up after I finished my oatmeal to put dishes up. He wrapped his arms around my leg and begged to be held. I told him to PUHLEASE sit and eat his oatmeal. I got irritated. He went back to the table and when he went to sit in his chair he hit his shin on the chair. And he lost it. He grabbed his leg and started wailing.


But luckily? Something inside spoke to me. I knew the day he was having. I have those days CONSTANTLY. The day where everything just seems to go wrong. You can’t shake the grumpies. I KNOW THAT FEELING. And in reality? I was in a fine mood. Wishing the kids would be more cooperative, but I got a good night’s sleep, my allergies weren’t bothering me, boot camp started back up. I was feeling good.


So I put down what I was doing. I pulled up a chair next to him. I sat in it and I picked him up while he was crying. I curled him up in a ball and snuggled him as tight as possible. He calmed down and wrapped his arms around me. And we just sat there. Donnie and Nikki and E were all getting ready around us, eating, getting dressed, putting up dishes…and Wes and I just snuggled. He rubbed my back and I kissed his head 100 times. I ignored life for a moment and just tried to focus on giving him exactly what he needed from me, which I very rarely have the luxury to do.

And you know what? Turns out I needed it too. I think I always do, I just sometimes get too busy to notice.



Easter Bunny and Spiderman are Total BFFs

Who is this teenager?

We rolled back in town about 10am Easter Morning and picked up two completely unimpressed kids from their Grandmother’s. They looked at us while playing with the goodies the Easter Bunny brought to Mimi’s and you could tell they were thinking Oh. You’re back. We were kinda hoping aliens would nab you on the way home. Between the tea parties and the trampoline along with their Grandparents and Aunt, they had no desire to come home. We forced excitement out of them by reminding them the Easter Bunny came to OUR house too. “Don’t you want to see what he brought you to OUR house? I hear there’s MORE CANDY.” They looked at each other like Eh…might as well.

Nothing like spending the weekend away from your kids to reignite their love for you. Oh, wait. That didn’t happen. Nothing like Cadbury Creme Eggs to reignite your kids’ love for you. YEAH. That’s more like it.

Come to the dark side...

We still made sure to at least attempt our annual child tossing photo op. Last year I thought it would be the last year we’d be able to include Nikki, but Donnie managed three tosses this year before needing to stop. I got great pictures of all three. The best, of course, synchronized with a Wes toss.

Easter Tradition

All in all it was a lovely Easter. Great time with Donnie’s family for dinner and only minor diet infringements. Well, for a normal Sunday? I would consider 2 desserts and two Cadbury Creme Eggs a MAJOR infringement, but since it was Easter? I say I did great. A perfect relaxing day to end our weekend away.

Oh, and who needs the Easter Bunny when you have the Easter SPIDER MAN?


No one.