GYM TIME = ME TIME

I will be the first to admit, it’s so hard for me to stick with a strict workout schedule. I was in an amazing groove last year when we joined the YMCA, but decided last August that I’d cut that expense and that we didn’t need to pay that much since I knew Brooke would be in school full time.  I figured I’d go back to some at home workouts and be just fine…

Well to be honest, it wasn’t.  I did do a Stepbet which helped me keep active early Fall, but once the weather turned (I don’t love the cold, but mostly the ice! It gets so darn slippery out there!) I was definitely not as active and was losing muscle, gaining fat, not fitting into my clothes and feeling like POO!

So I decided to take matters into my own hands (stop being a victim) and checked out a local women’s only gym that is less than half the price of the Y.  Sure it doesn’t have all the cool amenities for the kids, no pool, no gymnasium, no “Mystery Cavern” but you know what it does have?  A small, clean child care center with lovely ladies who love on my kiddos.  And for $2 an hour, per kid, I can’t beat that!

I mostly noticed a huge difference in my needing to be around other women.  Even if I’m not necessarily socializing, I feed off that positive energy especially in a class like Zumba or Turbokick. I am loving my small group trainings I do once a week where I am pushed beyond my comfort zone and literally feel like it’s a personal training sometimes when the group is super small.

Some days I don’t feel like going, but I still push past it.  I may only walk on the treadmill for a half hour and then sit in the dry sauna for a bit.  I can’t tell you how amazing the heat feels on my skin, bones and muscles! I make sure to drink lots of electrolytes as I noticed I felt a little dehydrated after some intense workout sessions or the sauna.  I also use the time to maybe sit in quiet and plan out my day or read a few pages of a book.  I usually only book an hour with the kid room, so I use it wisely.

I love cute hats and headbands to help hide the dirty hair and plus I sweat a lot!! I also have been dropping Bradley off at Preschool, going to the gym and have managed to get home and shower before picking him up again! I feel like a total rockstar on those days.

This week is February break and I feel a little bad I scheduled the gym every morning, so there haven’t been any lazy days, but honestly? I feel so great afterwards and the kids got out of the house, played with other toys/kids and I just explain how mommy feels better working out! I think batman enjoys himself a lot too.

They are the reason I push harder every day.  I know that I need to be in great shape so that I can keep up with them for the rest of their lives!  I also want to model how important is is to take care of our health, at any age.

I never regret working out, but I always get down on myself when I break that promise to myself.  I have made sweating a non-negotiable lately and while things do come up and I may not workout every day, I will say that I am active most days!  Prioritizing myself has really lifted my spirits and made me do everything else so much better.

I know that my to do list won’t get ever be complete, but skipping a workout never helps the overall cause.  I do listen to my body and rest when I need to, but having access to a treadmill in the dead of winter I believe is helping me with some Seasonal Depression issues. (Not that I’m diagnosed, but I do believe lack of sun and the abundance of cold is hard sometimes!)

I still want to checkout some different classes, but it’s a great rhythm I’m in right now and I’m proud of myself for putting myself on the top of my priority list. I don’t know why it is so hard as a mom, but the saying is true. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Being Brave

In the midst of two very special birthdays, coming off of Christmas and well into the New Year, I finally find a minute to breathe.

It’s within these stolen moments where I can reflect on, count, and re-count my blessings.  Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we intended it to; in fact, it doesn’t go the way we in which we planned at all.

I’m learning to lean deeper into surrendering and to focus on the now, the present, the little bit I can control and letting go of all the things I don’t.

This New Year has been nothing short of intense, painful and quite life-altering. It’s been hard, unfair and there have been more tears than smiles.

This too shall pass.

I believe there is a bigger picture, a plan in place and I have no choice but to let go and let God.

If you’re looking for comfort, then do what it is that gives you that feeling.  Life is short, and so uncertain.  If there is one thing I keep coming back to in these brief 16 days of 2019, it’s to embrace what we are given, with the people we have in our lives.

I’ve begun a small journey with a new devotional, 100 Days to Brave.  I’ll admit I was so angry at the words I was reading and literally said to myself, “You are far from brave.  You are so not brave it’s not even funny…” and then I cried.  After a few moments of stumbling through my own in-coherent thoughts I thought about what I needed most in my life.  And then I acted on that thought.

And you know what dear reader?  That made me brave.  Acting in the face of fear, no matter how small, makes you courageous.  You do not have to go fight an actual battle to be considered brave, but you do have to figure out your next right move, (thank you Oprah) and have the desire to change.  Put one foot in front of the other.  For me it was reaching out to a friend whom I hadn’t seen or really spoken to in quite some time.  It was asking for help.  It was stepping down from “trying to do all things alone because that is what bravery is.”

No.

Being brave is doing the thing you didn’t really want to do, but that still small voice inside of you won’t be quiet and so you must act.

Do the thing, and you will have the power.  — Emerson.

The universe has my back, and I am highly attune to all the small things.  Rachel Hollis said on her live video with her husband yesterday something that made me stop dead in my tracks.

She said that it’s not going to get easy.  If you think for a second if you just work really hard and then one day poof you’ll be flying high with no cares or worries, you’re sorely mistaken.  (I know I’m improvising her words, but still the same meaning is there…) essentially we are all going to have struggles and stumble.  Through sickness and in health marriage will be hard work, babies will be hard work and living a beautiful and meaningful life will be hard work.

Just don’t quit.  You can fail. You can rest. You can do whatever you need to do temporarily, but the moment you give up?  That’s where it ends.

So while I may have a few obstacles to overcome in life, no one and nothing will stop me from going on.  I know that there will be so much good after so much pain.  Without rain, we’d have no flowers.

What helps me be brave?

  • Reading inspirational books
  • Talking to people who understand me
  • Exercising
  • Acting even if I’m scared
  • Trusting God

Chaos Coordinator

There are so many times in life where it’s almost as if the devil himself is trying to stop me.  There are many times throughout the day where I feel like maybe I should just give up something.

Life is hard.

You just do it.

You don’t whine.

You don’t complain.

You focus on the little things.  Be grateful.  Stop trying to be perfect.  Smile. Surround yourself with people like you and people you want to be like.  Get a mentor.  Stop trying to please everyone.  Just live your own life!

There are moments when I tear up or flat out cry, but I always pick myself up and keep going.  I have so many goals, dreams and aspirations for myself and my beautiful family.

Letting go of expectations, judgements and ‘should be’ ideas, is the only way to live peacefully.  I could literally write an entire book on how I thought my life would be right now, but guess what? I was dealt a totally different hand of playing cards. I don’t know all of the reasonings why, maybe I will never know, but I do realize that this is what I have to work with and it’s my choice to be happy or not.

I jokingly had my friend Rachel make this shirt, but oh how true it is!!

Life with littles, dogs, businesses etc is nothing short of chaos!

The best advice for you, if you too are in the trenches, is to not put yourself last every day.  Maybe you can’t do you every day, but if you put yourself first a few times a week? I promise your mind will stop playing tricks on you and you’ll feel better, look better, and life won’t seem so hard.

This is my post Zumba glow—err sweat.

Stop and take the silly photos to remember your season; photos do NOT have to be perfect.  Life is not staged. There is no re-do.  There is no dress rehearsal.  You are given today, and hopefully tomorrow.

Make games out of simple mundane tasks, like homework.

And for goodness sakes, if you’re in a funk?  Lay off the Netflix and Chill and feed your mind, soul and heart with some inspiration. Maybe everyone out there won’t seem so awful, scary, money hungry, etc. if you worked harder on yourself rather than watching everyone live out her dreams.

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This could not be more true–

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And if you’re ready to quit, whether it’s the gym routine, the eating well, the hard work you’re putting into your marriage, the effort in raising your babies right, the side hustle, the career…just keep going.  Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, you literally could be SO stinking close to striking gold!

 

Don’t lose sight of the big picture sweet sister; you may not be able to control anyone else, but you can always control your own mind.  Remember that what you think about, you bring about.  As soon as your head starts going down that negative path, tell yourself (aloud too!) “I won’t go there.”  It really is that simple.  You will need do it over and over again, but you too can be happy.

When all is crumbling or you feel like you’re failing?  Just laugh.  What is there, if you can’t laugh?

Staycation Re-cap

My favorite part of Joe taking off from his full time job?  Being able to be around for the little things.  I love that he’s able to get outdoors and hunt; it’s truly his only passion/hobby outside of the kids, myself & working hard/making money.

We started out the week with some warmer weather, so it was nice to take a walk with Bradley and Holly.  Brooke had some homework so I had Joe help her.  When we got back from the walk, they had turned it into a game show and she was a spelling machine!

Tuesday Brooke had a half day and we got dressed up to go out to lunch.

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The sun was shining, there were blue skies and the leaves were hitting the last of their peak colors.

After lunch we went to a mall to look for some work pants for Joe, but Banana Republic was just gone!  It’s so sad to see brick and mortar stores closing left and right.  The kids had fun playing in the play area though!

I took a lot of time to self-reflect, hone in on what makes me happy and felt a huge shift in my spirits.

Joe snuck in plenty of hunting time and while Brooke danced, Bradley and I went to the library.  It seems to be our new thing!

I had some early morning wake-ups; Joe likes to be out of the house by 6 am (or so?) and I get up to make him a hearty breakfast.  Bailey enjoys the alone time after he leaves.  It’s just us two until the kiddos wake up.

I saw this and started implementing it.  Being present in every day moments seems to help any feelings of ill ease, overwhelm, stress or anxiety.

I saw Bradley’s turkey at preschool and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.   His neck/head may be a little lower than it should be, but isn’t that what makes it perfect?

Getting to the gym a few times a week has been such a game changer for me.  Releasing toxins, sweating out the day’s stress and focusing on my health is so important.  I can never forget this again!

I feel very open to the universe lately and seem to be receiving all sorts of signs, quotes, affirmations and know that I am in good alignment.

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We finally put in a new rug in our living room again.  It’s been since March (when we got Bailey as a puppy) and she’s pretty much house trained I would say 98%.  It’s nice to have a rug again!

I took this one to Wegmans for lunch after school and clearly this photo says it all.  Pizza is life.

We even got out on a Friday night date night!!

We checked out a swanky new place, Skybar.  It was pretty cool!  We went super early since Joe wanted to go hunting the next day, so it was not busy at 9pm, obvs.  They had champs so all was well!  We can’t wait to go back and check it out when it’s busier.

This girl decided to hang out with her doll finally!! It was pretty cute.  Santa may have to bring some fun accessories for her!

I started this book! I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader copy and so far so good!! I love me a good thriller and the authors wrote one of my favorites from 2018, The Wife Between Us.

I ended the week with some family time, baking pies with my step-mom and sister.  The apple pie was delish!  Here’s to more family fun coming up for Thanksgiving.

Have you ever “staycationed”?  We do it every year so hubby can hunt. I can’t say that I mind it one bit!!

Why I Started Blogging

Back in 2011 I went from working a full time teaching job that was about a 45 minute commute to and from my home, to staying home as a housewife.  I absolutely loved my job teaching English 7-12, but the stress of the commute and literally feeling like I NEVER saw my husband took a toll on us.  When Joe suggested I stay home and not go back to work, I thought he was kidding…turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

While I was super happy and confident in my decision to stay home, I longed for some connection of other women who too were happily married and lived a not so average life.  I had always wanted to start a blog, but never found the time to figure out how to get it up and running.  Finally one day I just sat down and figured it out, thus launching Bliss to Bean.  Reading and writing have always been a passion of mine and as soon as I figured out Blogger, it was go time.  With the ease of our cell phones snapping photos and quickly uploading, I was sharing my heart on here in no time at all.

I immediately found a bunch of amazing girls, younger and older, who shared similar values or simply just loved sharing their lives on the internet.  I’ve learned so much and made some really amazing inter-web friends! It was super fun to post daily back in 2011/2012 and once I found out I was pregnant, it was a great way to share my journey.

I also have family who lives far away, so I knew that this online space would be a great way for them to see what we are up to and then of course once I had kids, it was nice to create a family diary of sorts.  I’ve waffled back and forth on whether to quit blogging all together.  I’ve taken breaks.  I have changed my content here and there…

But the reason I always come back is that I feel like I have something to say.  There have been a few times where people have reached out to me and thanked me for my honesty.  They tell me that they don’t feel so alone, or that I inspired them to have a better day.  I absolutely love this!!  I can only hope that more women feel connected to my writing, even if I don’t hear from them.

I’ve always been as honest and true here on my blogs, as much as I feel comfortable being.  There are some topics (like potty training) I feel are off limits.

I never try to come off as perfect or having it all together.  I share what works for me, what doesn’t, and honestly my main goal in life is to just be happy.  There are a ton of obstacles life throws at us, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you and you alone to create your happiness.

Some people think I should be making money off my blog and heck, if I could I would!! I just personally don’t want to turn into a sponsored ad every day.  If I find something that I love, I share it! If I find something that isn’t working, I may just share that too.  I also don’t want it to feel like a burden; I love finding the joy in blogging.  It’s no fun when it becomes tedious and work-like.

While the blogging community has changed A LOT over the last 6 years, I still smile when I see the “OG” girls that I used to really connect with… a lot of them are on instagram, but most do not blog any more.  There were real friendships made and during hard times and good, it was nice to have uplifting ladies in my life.

I set my brand new blog up in January of 2018 and had no idea what I was doing.  If I’m being honest I am still trying to figure out WordPress!  I just wanted to own my site and ensure that my words were safe.

I am not entirely sure where my blogging journey will take me, but writing makes me so happy and this #blogtober challenge has been so good for my soul!

If you’re ever feeling compelled to blog, just do it!! You never know what can happen until you just try.

Happy Friday friends!