Yesterday I did something that was sort of a “bucket list” item in my life. It is something that 90 pounds ago would have been too taxing on my body and I would have spent the majority of the day watching instead of doing.

I went snow tubing!

It was so much fun and totally worth it. The looks on my kids faces were absolutely priceless. I am beyond grilled that I was able to enjoy it with them. These are the type of memories I always wanted to make with the kids. This is the type of active mom I wanted to be when I started this journey a year ago.

What an amazing day it was. 

And I didn’t feel like a beached whale in my snow pants and coat. Although I did kind of look like Frosty a little bit. Fun fact: the coat I wore yeasterday did not zip last winter. #winning

And I spent the majority of the day navigating three tubes with children in two of them…but I loved every minute of it. And I wasn’t huffing and puffing in the least bit. All those exercise classes are finally paying off.

Large and in Charge

When you fit into a size large for the first time since about 1988…you take lots and lots of pictures.

My niece bought me a large pair of work-out leggings for Christmas. I thought the size was a joke…

But, alas, they fit.



Merry Christmas, friends! 

It has been a busy but wonderful few days around here. I have happily sent my older two with Grammy for a few days and I am sitting here with my Ryan and the hubby trying to decide if I should just start taking decorations down or be lazy and just hang on the couch.

I just looked at Facebook and in front of me was a reminder of how far I have come in my journey in the last two years. It really is neat to see the picture proof of the evolution of my weight loss.

It was around this time last year that I got my ducks in a row and decided that 2016 would be the year that I took control of me and made positive changes in my life; for my health, both mental and physical. And while things are far from perfect in my world, they are a heck of a lot. Enter than they were.

So here is my evolution sonto speak…

Here I am in 2014…six months post-pardon and I was actually feeling alright. I was not at my heaviest, but I was still wearing a maternity top:

2015: the heaviest I have ever been in my life. A couple weeks after the “picture that started it all” was taken. My top was a 3XL and I felt so horrible that day. Do not let the smile fool you, I was miserable.

Finally, 2016…I am not at goal but feeling so much better than I ever have before. And the hubby has slimmed down as well (so proud of him).

Here’s to making more memories and happiness in the New Year. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be fabulous!

A season of Joy

I went to two Christmas parties this weekend. The first was a HUGE party given by one of Megan’s friends family. They have been having it for years and each year their girls choose which friends they want to invite and then they invite the whole family. This was our first time being invited and it felt special. There were approximately 20 families there and 52 KIDS!!! Unbelievable! 

One of the best parts of the night was scanning the room and realizing I was not the biggest woman in it. I actually felt like I fit in. I know hat sounds crazy, but it was a huge deal for me.

The next day I attended a Christmas party for my junior high staff from school. It was nice and reserved. Someone made endive cups when he were to die for. I need that recipe in my life. I also felt pretty good there too.

I have turned into a selfie/mirror picture taking crazy person. Megan keeps telling me to stop but I can’t. Sometimes I can’t believe my refection.

I have a short week this week and then a long break. I am so glad to be having some time off.

I am ready for a break and for 2017 to be the best year of my life!

Fitting In

Over the years I have kept a couple of items of clothing after I grew out of them. By nature I have a bit of OCD so mostly everything I couldn’t fit into were donated. But a few special pieces were kept and now I am so glad I did. I kept a couple of windbreakers from college and a tweed jumper that I wore to my first job interview. 

…And a couple of awesome dresses that I wore on my early twenties that I just felt so good in. Those two dresses have not fit since 2003.

Until today…

Ignore my hair and weird facial expression

Well hello, my old friend, I have missed you.

The end.

Market Research

I love to do Market Research Studies/Panels.  Not only do I like the money associated with it, but you meet such interested people.  I am all about people who “march to the beat of a different drummer” so to speak.  I was on a panel yesterday with four different women who were so interesting to me.  It was about toilet paper and that is really all I can say (I signed a confidentiality agreement).  We spent two hours talking about  our preferences.  One of the women said she likes to bathe after every #2.  Who has time for that nonsense?

Image result for "ain't got time for that" meme

Prior to the panel we had to write a short story about ourselves.  I actually really enjoyed writing it and I thought I would share it here.  I noticed I am getting a bit of traffic on blog so I thought this would give my trust readers (HI FRIEND!). Here we go…

Making an Impact
a short story by Elizabeth Richardson

From the day I entered Kindergarten I loved school.  I loved the classroom, my teachers, studying, reading and even homework.  Loving school turned into a passion for wanting to be a teacher.  When I was eight my parents (Santa) surprised me with a classroom of my own in the basement. It was decked out with a chalkboard (hung on the wall!), a teacher’s desk and some student desks.  But, the best, most amazing thing in the classroom were the attendance book and real teacher’s manuals in math, reading, and social studies. I can distinctly remember squealing with joy when I was directed down there.  It was like a dream come true.

I spent the next several years coercing friends and family members to play school with me all the time.  Countless hours were spent setting up my classrooms, writing out class lists and preparing my lessons for both real and imaginary students in my classroom. It was like the gift that kept on giving as far as I was concerned.

Moving into junior high and high school, my basement classroom became somewhat neglected as drama, dance, tennis, and life sort of took over.  Instead of spending time with my “students” and “lesson plans,” I began exploring my own sense of self and studying for my own real classes. The pressures of teenage life took over but my love for school never wavered.  I still enjoyed the learning process and while I didn’t love homework, I did love learning new things and being a part of the classroom experience. I observed my teachers and collected the great aspects that each one of them offered me.  I even spent four years in high school as a peer-tutor which I thought was the greatest thing ever.

By the time I moved into my senior year I was well on my way to making my imaginary life as a teacher into a reality.  My top criteria for college was a successful teacher college. I landed at John Carroll University which had one of the best teacher training programs in the Midwest. From the first semester we were given the opportunity to observe teachers and takes note of what made an exceptional teacher. It was really a dream come true for me and ignited my passion once again.  I knew my life was headed in the direction I always wanted it to go.

Four years flew by and before I knew it my dream was about to become a reality.  I received a solid job offer and was accepted into a top-notch graduate program to boot.  The following August after the dust had settled from my graduation in May and I had finished up my summer jobs as a swim instructor and waitress, I was finally able to set up my own classroom.

I was a real teacher. I cried the day I walked in and looked around at what had once been a dream finally coming to fruition.

Twenty years later and I am still as much in love with being a teacher as I was on the fateful Christmas seeing my basement “classroom.” Through the years my life has changed; I became a wife and a mother, I lost a parent to cancer, and I moved to a new city, but the one thing that has always remained constant is my love for teaching and the excitement I get when watching my students succeed.  Not every job allows you to make such an impact on people, but teaching does.  When people ask me what I teach I always respond that I teach the best kiddos in the world, year after year.

Have any of you known what you wanted to do for a career since childhood?

Project Runway

Let me preface it with the following statement…

I cannot sew, I am not crafty, and I pretty much have zero designer inspirations.

But I love me some Project Runway!

To each there own…but I happen to think it is one of the best reality shows on TV. I love it from start to finish and I especially love binge watching it. Oh, it is so good!

I am having troubles in my own personal styling life. Everything I own is too big and things that I used to love I now hate. I know this is a great problem to have. Believe me, I would not want my clothes to be too tight (like, ever again!). But I struggle with feeing good in my skin and clothes play a huge role in that.

Yesterday I went shopping and I was so overwhelmed I almost cried. I have a party to attend next weekend and while it is not fancy I know that the women will be looking stylish. So I was determined to find something.

I tried on about fifteen items and ended up going back to one top several times. So I decided to buy it.

I need better undergarments, but overall I really think it is going to be a cool look for me. I finally have something that I fee excited about that isn’t too frumpy or dumpy or ugly.

I feel sheik…Project Runway approved.


I have been gaining and losing the same five pounds for the past month. It is disheartening because I have been putting in the same work. I also know that this is part of the process and I need to be patient with my progress. I do see a lot of non-scale related victories,so I thought I would list those out today. 

Here are five things that I can celebrate at this moment:

1. Looking smaller in the legs…

I am finally seeing some shape in my upper thighs. They have always been a problem area and I have carried a lot of fat there for years. For a while I thought they would never get any slimmer but now I am seeing a bit of progress…no where near where I want to be, but so much better than they were.

2. Fitness…

I am finally able to hike, run, and take long walks with relative ease. I actually love fitness and exercise and crave it when I miss a day. I have also started running and really pushing myself in all of my classes. More than anything I feel like a true “member” of the fitness community.

3. Mothering

Even though I have less time than ever, I feel like I am a much more quality, awesome mom. We do so many more fun, spontaneous things. The weight literally does not weigh me down anymore.

4. I am happier…

Life is definitely not perfect and I still do a lot of self-assessment and have a ways to go with my own “issues” I am so much happier this year than I was last year. My big worries don’t seem so huge that they turn into an anxiety-ridden tantrum at any given moment. I can look at life with a lot more zest and enthusiasm than I ever have before.

5. Relationships…

I say to my BFF that not obsessing about food all the time has given me great clarity.  This has proven to be really great for my mental state. I am now at a point in my life where I value the people in it and the toxic ones are slowly being eliminated. I have no tolerance for people who are negative and bring me down. I also want to spend time with those I care about the most.

Weekend Revisited

We had a great mix of fun and relaxation this weekend, just how we like it!

Saturday morning started at about 5 am which was not ideal. Shawn was working so he was gone and Tyler was up. Ryan awoke shortly after that and the three of us went downstairs. Megan was up by 5:39 ugh.

I decided that early morning was the best time for us to finish Christmas cookies for the exchanges I have next weekend.

And so began three hours of dipping, frosting, and bagging cookies. Everything is so much more work with six little eager hands, but I had to keep reminding myself that we were making not just cookies but sweet memories.

After a workout and run at the gym we headed to Kroger to pick up more icing. It is then that Ryan had an epic blow out that I am sure you can image was not pretty. Clothes were promptly thrown away and we were back home for a bath in no time!

Megan and Tyler were invited to a birthday party in the evening. I love gymnastics parties more than anything else. So fun!

Saturday night we met friends for dinner. We had not seen them in a long time so it was nice to catch up. Tyler fell asleep at the table which was entertaining. 

Today we are currently at a wrestling meet and then I have a huge grocery haul that needs to happen. Our cupboards are literally bare. We need everything to have a successful week of meal planning.

Have any of you tried the “Company Chicken” recipe that is floating around Facebook? It looks yummy.

Have a great week!

Just for Fun

How to fail as a mom and a wife in 10 easy steps:

  1. Dare to work out in the morning and leave your children fending for themselves during the hours of 4:45 and 6:30 am (with their dad sleeping at home)…they need you, every moment of every day (even when they are sleeping).
  2. Make a breakfast of eggs, fruit, and whole wheat toast…how dare you try and feed everyone something delicious and healthy…meanie!
  3. Say “no” when your kids ask if they can have Christmas candy at 7 am…you are the rudest!
  4. Give your daughter the wrong leggings to wear under her uniform (you know, the ones she loved yesterday)…how could you!?!?!?!?!
  5. Make your son wear uniform pants and a jacket in 30 degree weather…you unfeeling bi@#h!!!
  6. When your husband gets home from a 12 hour day, ask him to eat leftovers or a sandwich like the rest of the family did…you are a horrible wife!!!!
  7. Clean the house so well that no one can find their favorite things that have been laying around for days…are you insane?!?!?!?!?!
  8. Say Advent prayers every night for about a minute and a half…don’t you know there is TV to watch????
  9. Punish your two year old for pinching and hitting his sister…that is just how 2 years olds act, you should just ignore it.
  10. Make your kids take a bath on a regular basis…no one in the WORLD does this but you!!!!