A Hot Minute

Well, it has been a hot minute since I wrote on here (almost a year).  And I have kinda missed it but not really.  Today I have something to say so I thought I would share.



I said it.

I am not sorry about it.

I know bloggers spend hours putting these together with affiliate links to make the big bucks and all that jazz.  But, I sincerely hate them. I think they are super boring and cumbersome to read and I would rather not.  So I don’t.

But I love blogs so I just keep coming back for more.

I also hate when bloggers turn into 3rd party marketers with companies and all they try to do is push product.  3rd party marketing is the new ad I guess.

But I still read blogs because I love blogs.

That’s all for today.  Maybe I will be back in three months.


Lazy Days of Winter

We are in the midst of our second “cold day” here in southern Ohio. A cold day is like a snow day except you usually find out the night before which is GLORIOUS!!!!

My kids wake up at the crack of dawn on any day, but when you have nowhere to be a lazy morning is the best.

I am still doing Beach Body (currently 21DF Extreme) and I have also added the treadmill back into my life.

I put out to the Universe (via Facebook) that I was looking for a cheap, re: free, treadmill and this one sort of fell into my lap. It isn’t high tech or anything, but it works and I have been enjoying it…and so have the kiddos.

So I have been working out the last two mornings at my normal time and then taking it really slow the rest of the day. It has been amazing.

My kids surprised me yesterday by having a completely impromptu homework session at the kitchen table. Gotta love that!

This kiddo is going to be 8 in four days and I am in complete denial.

And I am loving Color Street so much! It is life changing!

Well I must get back to mindless TV! See you soon…

And stay warm!

My Secrets to Tiding Up

“Tiding Up” has become somewhat of a buzz phrase for some time now.  I have seen books and Facebook posts and articles all about getting organized.  I have considered myself “The Queen of Tidy” for a long time.  I do not like a mess and my anxiety is heightened when things are out of place.  With three kids, a full time job, and a full time sports/social schedule, created chaos sometimes happens, but I do my best to keep my home and life under control at all times.


My kitchen is generally clean.

I decided that maybe I should share my great wisdom with the masses (HI BETH!) and give you a list of things that help me keep my home tidy. Full disclosure: We live in a fairly small home with five people.  I don’t have a mud room and our basement is finished which means we do not have a ton of storage down there.


This room always looks like this.

  1. WE HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING: There is a “home” for everything my family brings into the house. If it doesn’t have a place to stay, I/we create one. This way we always have a place for everything to go at the end of the day. And because there is a place for everything in our home it is easy for everyone to pitch in and tidy up the house before we go to bed.  About 5 minutes before it is time to go up I stop everyone and they grab what the need to bring upstairs and clean up anything they might have gotten out. Bedrooms are also tidied up prior to my kiddos hitting the pillow.
  2. I DO LAUNDRY EVERYDAY FROM START TO FINISH: (I do all of our laundry…I am pretty anal about laundry and I learned a long time ago that I wanted to do it all) I do not leave piles and piles of clothes until the weekend. I put a load in almost every morning and when I arrive home from work I throw it in the dryer.  I fold it (and put it away!) before I go to bed or before I start the next load the next morning.  This is a system that works for me and I can keep up with.  I get overwhelmed when I have three or four loads piled up and it makes me want to just pretend it isn’t there which creates more of a bottleneck.
  3. THE SUN DOES NOT GO DOWN/COME UP ON DIRTY DISHES: Every night after dinner we wash and dry pots and pans and place everything else in the dishwasher. I do not run the dishwasher every day because I want it to be full when I run it, but when I do run it I start it in the morning after breakfast before I leave for work and it is emptied in the evening before/during dinner prep.
  4. WHEN THE FLOORS ARE DIRTY WE CLEAN THEM. Our floors tend to be a bit of a mess on the daily (after meals in the kitchen especially). So instead of getting mad and complaining about dirty floors, we sweep pretty much after every meal. Just like laundry, the more it piles up the more I hate looking at it and I get mad about it, so in order to have a peaceful, tidy home, we just do it every day even if it doesn’t look like it needs it (spoiler alert: it always needs it).
  5. BEDS ARE MADE IN THE MORNING. We do not leave the house unless beds are made. That is a family rule.  They may not be made to my specifications, but they are made nonetheless. This means we have to build in time in the morning for rooms to be tidied.
  6. SAVE BATHROOMS AND VACUUMING AND DUSTING AND CLEANING PROJECTS FOR THE WEEKENDS. My kids are responsible for taking a disinfectant wipe to the bathrooms every morning and evening after they brush their teeth (yes, even my 4 year old can wipe a sink/toilet). But the BIG bathroom cleaning and dusting and vacuuming carpets is done on the weekend. I would say it takes about 30 minutes to clean those areas on Saturday morning (we have 4 bathrooms/4 bedrooms/1 family room/1 basement). We do not leave the house on Saturday until those tasks are complete…that means if we have an 8:00 game and need leave the house by 7:00 these tasks are done before the sun comes up.  This is a non-negotiable.
    Bigger cleaning/remodeling projects are reserved for when we have time for them which is pretty much never (keeping it real)

I know it seems like this is a HUGE undertaking.  But, to be honest, I never feel overwhelmed and my house is never to the point where it is out of control.  At any given day I can have a person drop by and not feel mortified by how my home looks.  I do think, for me, it is part of the “Pride of Ownership.”  I grew up in a home with these same principles so I feel comfortable doing it myself.

This is not everyone’s cup of tea and I understand that.  I don’t judge people for how they keep their homes but sometimes I do feel judged by how I keep my own and I am okay with that.  To each their own I say.


I spot a Tooney!



I think “Present” is a fitting word for this coming year. I want to be available to people when I am with them and as cliche as it might sound I do want to put my phone down more and be in the moment.

I have some pretty lofty goals as well but that will be another post.

I did accomplish a pretty big thing by the end of last year. I have wanted to re-paint my whole downstairs and right before Christmas I decided to do it. We also added from around the fireplace which turned out better than I could have imagined. I didn’t take many before pics, but the change is extreme.



I am absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out. Yay me.

The house now has a very “Beachy” vibe that I love. I am obsessed with Behr Icicle paint.

New Year New Goals

The last half of 2018 went by in a blur. Between volleyball and football and softball and basketball and school and everything else in between I feel like I have been in survival mode for a solid 6 months.

With 2019 upon us I wish I could say I will be slowing down and living more intentionally, but that would be a lie. We are in the thick of it…and it is only going to get busier as the years move forward. So this year I am going to be present in everything I do. I am going to put my phone down more and engage in conversations. I am going to really listen when people talk to me. I am going to work on my marriage and my family and my life in general.

I am going to get to my goal weight and live in it for a long time.


I am ready for you!

Beach Body

I started Beach Body 21 Day Fix on July 9 with a free trial. I took a million “before” pictures, got on the scale (ugh) and went for it. Well, I didn’t totally go for it because I really didn’t follow the eating plan. But I did cut back a bit.

I wrote about my struggles here and knew I needed to do something to get motivated again.

I was pleased that after 21 days I had lost 6 pounds basically only following 1/2 of the program. I didn’t take any “after” pictures because I am not an after yet. But I did feel stronger and I also didn’t feel as hopeless with getting rid of the last 25-30 pounds I really want to lose.

This week I started the 21 Day Fix again (I purchased on demand for a year which includes the first month of Shakeology and a few other bells and whistles). This time I am following the eating plan as well. I decided to go “old school” and write everything down in a notebook for the next 21 days.

I figure I want to give myself every advantage I can get. I also love using colored pens and making things look cute. I also hate not finishing what I started so I am super motivated to fill in-everything everyday.

I bought a new battery for my scale so I am now able to weigh in at home. So I have been weighing myself and it is nice to see the numbers going down down down. I am three pounds from where I was last year at this time so that makes me super happy!!!

The odd thing is, I totally thought I would miss going to the gym but I don’t. NOT ONE BIT! I love having the flexibility of working out at home and I find the workouts to be super motivating. I have dabbled in a couple of other programs and they seem really great. I even convinced the kids to do Country Fix line dancing with me. That was fun!

I will check back next week with some official progress.

Summer Slide

Reading and Math practice has been a priority for my kids this summer. We have been doing timed math, 30 minutes of free reading and they have been doing reading and comprehension work that I found on-line.

They think I am a “mean mom” and that is okay. I want them to be confident and ready to start third and second grade.

There is a lot of debate among parents about forcing kids to do school work over the summer. Many feel like it is summer and they shouldn’t have to do anything for school and it is bringing them down.

I am on the other side of this debate. I think there is plenty of time for fun in the summer…believe me, we have fun pretty much all day everyday. But I also know that school is difficult for my kids (and for me!) and the more they can work their skills in the summer the more confident they will be come back to school time.

Today they wrote a letter to their teacher telling her about their summer. It is part of a “BINGO” board reading activity. If they complete the board and the summer reading packet then they get a special treat (a lunch out with our librarian) when school is back in session. My kids LOVE incentives and the want to fill in the board.

I am not ashamed to be a “mean mom” by any means. Success in school means success in life. What I do know is kids who work hard in school are much more likely to make good, moral choices in other areas of their lives. So why not give my littles an advantage now?

Before we have “fun” for the day we do academics (and chores…but that is another blog post for another day). And guess what? It has become such a habit now they know to just do it right when they get up. No debate, no deals, no putting it off. They just do it. And they are better for it.


I am two years (wow, that goes fast!) past VSG. It has been a major ride and one that I have zero regrets. I can honestly say two years out that this was absolutely positively the best health decision I have ever made in my life.

Sorry this picture is so small, but this is the day before my surgery, June 24, 2016.

And both of the above pictures represent where I stood weight-wise for about the last 10 years prior to surgery. I was always in a “dieting state” as I would call it. Always on a diet, always starting the next diet, always struggling.

I would say I was about 60% consistent with exercising through the past ten years. I always enjoyed being active, but it really depended on where my life and mentality was as to how much and when I worked out.

My only regret is that I did not take bare-boned pictures of myself prior to surgery. I have no undies and sports bra pictures because I had so much shame and I never wanted to see those pictures. I also didn’t really believe I would be successful and I didn’t want to picture proof of it.

At two years out I am down 95 pounds. Last summer I was down 105 pounds.

This is the reality.

It is still a struggle and I still have to work hard to be where I want to be. The fact is I want to lose between 25-30 pounds more. The only way this is going to happen is to keep myself in the bootie a bit. It was 15-20 pounds but this 10 pounds has brought it back up.

I have no excuses. I have been pushing the limits on eating and I need to reign it in. I need to push myself in the work-outs and I need to change things up a bit.

I didn’t go through everything to “almost” reach my goal. I have always had a number in mind and will not be happy until I see it. The number is realistic and something I could get to with work and dedication.

So, I am changing things up. I decided to give Beach Body a try. I have seen so many good results with the program. Not only weight loss but toning which is really the next phase of my journey. I am doing a two week trial and will most likely make the year long commitment after I finish it.

So far so good. I am going the traditional route with the 21 Day Fix . I started with the “Total Body Cardio Fix” last night (it was somewhat Hellish…I am talking to you, Surrenders) and I really liked the way I felt doing the program and afterwards. This morning I tried the “Upper Body Fix” (a little easier, IMO) and it was good. I like being able to do it in my home, that there is an order to each program, and the 30 minutes is a nice break from the 60-90 I have been doing. With that said, I am also going to try and walk/jog during the 21 days.

Yesterday i weighed myself and I took a few “before” pictures…not really to show those yet. At some point I will show them.

But not today.

So there it is. I am hoping to do a weekly progress monitoring on the blog. Hopefully I will see some progress soon.

My short term goal is to be 10 pounds down by the time school starts in Late August. I think that is doable.

Anyone want to join me?

Why I’ve Lost my Blogging Mojo


Anyone out there still?

I have seem to have lost my ability to blog. With so much happening in our lives I want to write about it but I seem to have no time. But that is living life.

Summer has been quick and fun. We are making the most of it. My kids are having the summer I always dreamed of (and had) as a kid. Lots of outside time, pool time, friend time, family time, sports time, camp time, amusement park time. It has been awesome.

Somewhere in the middle of it all my baby turned 4. What the what? Not possible. I’m totally denial.

Tyler made the All Start baseball team.

Megan finished up a great softball season.

And now we are on to everything else. Slow down summer.

Seriously, slow down.

I am still working hard at my fitness and eating. It is still a daily struggle but one that I always kind of enjoy the challenge of. Since the hubby went to day shift it was hard to get the gym in the early morning and I am feeling a bit soft. Exercise has been a priority this summer for sure.

I don’t know when I will be back, but to all of you out there, have a great and active summer!

Celebrating Megan

It has been a hot minute. But Life is crazy over here and I love it so there has been about zero time to write about anything.

But I can’t go too long without highlighting the beautiful First Communion Day we had for our sweet Megan. She looked like and angel and was so polite and kind and sweet just like she always is. God picked a good one for us to keep!

Here are some pictures from the day: