Rex

Ryan turned into a dinosaur at the library this week.


So did his mommy.


I always forget how awesome the library is for kids until we go there. Then I think, “we should do this more often.”  This summer we will! It is my goal to make it over there quite a few times this summer. It is a nice quite activity for the kids to do. We spend so much time running it is good for them to just be able to sit. I am also trying to read a bunch of books for fun this summer. I miss reading and my season of life is finally at a point where I can (sometimes) chill with a book. Less social media, more books!

Last week my mom came down and we took a day to head to the dairy farm. It is about an hour from our house but absolutely worth the drive. My only regret is that we didn’t get there earlier in the day to enjoy all of the activities I had no idea!). I am hoping we can get back here to meet my BFF and her son for the day.

Here are some pictures:


What a great day. Except Ryan was afraid of the barn with the animals.  That’s why there are so many pictures of him…my mom kept the big kids in the barn and Ryan and I climbed tractors. Good times!

I have been focusing a lot of effort on getting exercise classes in. I would really like to lose these last few pounds and start year 2 strengthing up pretty much every problem area on my body. I am happy where I am but there is always room for improvement!

Gotta run. Have a great day! 

It’s Been a While

Hello, friends!

I can’t believe it had been so long since I have posted. The end of the school year is no joke. After Mother’s Day life went into crazy mode and it did not stop until today. 

I went to Washington DC with my 8th graders for four days. It was a great trip. It is amazing how much easier everything is when I am not carrying so much weight. I actually felt great the whole time I was there.

The best part of the trip actually happened on the way to D.C.,

If you can’t figure out what that is, it is me sitting comfortably in an airplane seat with the buckled fastening with room to spare. The last time I was on a plane I was extremely uncomfortable and needed an seatbelt extender (humiliating). So the trip started on a great note.

In other news, I have been loving yogurt and fresh fruit and Special K protein cereal and slivered almonds.


Megan won a Theme Award from school on the last day.


Ryan is turning 3 in two weeks and I am not  mentally prepared.  He also looks like he is 6.


Summer started with ice cream.


And I am happy to have some time off.

I will be back with some summer goals soon!

Motherhood

I struggle with infertility for five years prior to becoming pregnant with Megan. The first three years I just thought it was normal and we weren’t ready for children. Year four was the rough one. Many of my closest friends had their first and were working on #2 while we still waited. It was a lonely time for me. As many people who struggle with getting pregnant know, those pregnancy announcements bring so much joy but also a ton of sadness and , for me, worry that I would never have one of those announcements to share. It was a terrible space to live in.

Then, by God’s grace, I saw those two fateful pink lines on January 1, 2009.  And here I am eight years later with three of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.


I always say to Megan that she made me a mother and to her I am forever grateful. And Tyler and Ryan made me a better mother which was icing on the sweetest cake ever.


Mother’s Day always is a touchy one for me. I am so happy to celebrate my own family, but I feel a great heaviness on my heart for those who want so desperately to start their family or grow their family. This pain is not lost on me, even 8 years later.


My kids are my greatest accomplishments and will continue to be for the rest of my life. My cup was overflowing yesterday as they presented me with hand-made gifts and cards and the sweetest picture collage. But the best gifts are the ones that I experience on the daily…their laughter, their hugs, the sweet little voices they have. I am so thankful for Megan, Tyler, and Ryan. I love them so much it sometimes hurts.


And in the day to day, when life seems so chaotic and unorganized, and messy it is important to look around and realize that within the chaos is the never-ending love that I have for my little ones.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Meal Prepping

We had the most fabulous weekend. It felt like we got so much accomplished but we’re also able to relax and have some fun. I love that.

Games were canceled because we had so much rain on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday turned out to be the most beautiful spring day. We spent the morning getting caught up on life and the afternoon and evening celebrating our cousins First Communion with church and a very fun party.

Sunday was amazing. Another beautiful day. We already went to church Saturday afternoon so it was like we had the day to ourselves. Shawn took Megan for softball pictures and then to play at a friend’s house and I spent the afternoon meal Prepping while Ryan napped and Tyler played in the yard (okay, I played for a while too!).

Meal Prepping is such a pain but totally worth it. I love spending time cooking once and then having tons of good choices for the week. It makes making lunches and dinners a breeze. Here is what I did:

Ground taco beef. One for us, one for a friend who just had a baby. Making tacos on Monday and a zoodle-beef casserole type thing Wednesday.


Roasted sweet potatoes. Some for breakfasts in the morning and some for our Sunday dinner which was steak and corn with these potatoes on the side.


Stewed black beans and tomatoes. To have on the side with the tacos, to mix in with eggs for breakfast, and to eat with cheese and sour cream (like a soup) for lunches.


Brownie for my friend who had the baby and a few for our family for after Sunday dinner.


Bento box lunches for Megan. PB & J, grapes, carrots, and Colby-jack cheese. Any mom’s out there tired of making lunches??? My kids used to be fine with anything but as the year has gone on they have become super picky. Tyler has decided his wants to buy daily which is fine by me, a waste of money, but fine.

Do you meal prep? 

What are your go-to dinners for busy week nights?

Random 

Man, life is so busy right now. As a teacher I fee like May is the busiest month of the year. So much to cover, so many special things going on. It takes it out of me!

This is also the first year both kids are playing a different sport. It is crazy and has me running myself ragged! So much fun, but so much work (especially with a 2 year old in tow!).


Last weekend was Shawn’s birthday. We had a great date night. We went to Tony’s in Lexington, KY and it felt so special. We really talked about a lot of things and it was so nice. 


I had the BEST manicure a couple of weeks ago at my girls weekend. I am going on three weeks and it is amazing how well my nails have held up.


This weekend is going to be busy as well. Lots of games and. Family first communion and a bunch of other stuff. 

Man, I am ready for summer.

Unrecognizable

I went to an educators reception last night at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  This sounds like something very fancy (it kind of was) but really you have to go if you want to be guaranteed tickets for your students to see “A Christmas Carol” in December.  We have been taking our 8th graders to see this play for years and have to go through this formality every year to secure the tickets.  It is a nice afternoon out.  They served a beautiful display of heavy appetizers, but they had a gourmet popcorn that totally stole the show.  I could have bathed in it.  Yum.

That was a long introduction to a very short story…

When we got there (I went with a co-worker) I saw an old friend whom I have not seen for years.  We worked together when I first moved to Cincinnati and stayed in contact for a while but kind of lost touch since I had kids.  Anyway, I went up to her and she had no idea who I was.  Even after I re-introduced myself and asked her how my former place of employment was.  She was literally looking at me like we had never met.  Ten years ago we chaperoned a service trip and share the same room for six days!

I have never experienced anything like that in my life.

I am not sure if it is because of the weight loss or maybe she has a failing memory.  I don’t know.  But it was so odd.

And that is all I have for today.

#yourewelcome

Active Break

This past week was Spring Break for us. We hit the jackpot in that the weather was absolutely amazing! We could not have hand picked a better week.

And what a difference a year makes. This break was spent mostly outside and moving. What I lacked in formal workouts I made up in running, jumping, skipping, and chasing with my kids. It was an example of exactly why I have chosen to get my health in check. I want my kids to see me participating instead of sitting on the sidelines! 

Monday we mulched all day and the boys hung right there with us. It was not the most fun activity, but it needed to get done.

Tuesday started our week-long “Tour of Parks” which turned out to be a complete blast.

Why does Ryan get to eat a pretzel he found on the ground??

Legs for days

I hope they are always best buds

We picked up Megan in Columbus on Wednesday and managed a park before we took the two hour trip.


On Thursday we had a full day of different parks and it was amazing!

We ended the week at Kings Island (our happy place) to which I got zero pictures (big fail!). But we had an absolute blast. I noticed how much better I fit in all of the rides. For a moment I had an “oh, shit, am I going to fit” moment, but I didn’t need to worry at all!

We ended the week with Ty’s first baseball game. As expected he played like the champ he is!


And now we are back to school for five very over-booked weeks. 

Can’t wait for summer!