A Note of Thanks!

Dear Friends and Readers!!!

This post will be my version of short and sweet. 🙂

Although I recently mentioned that once my kiddos were all in school, I’d then be embarking on my next academic venture; the stars aligned, I had hubby and kiddo support, I followed my intuition… and THIS WEEK, I have begun the journey towards Health and Life Coach Certification!!! 

I’ve been interested in doing this for FIVE YEARS!!! But, it took until NOW to truly feel in my gut that it was the right time, and the right decision to make.

I’m thrilled. I’m pumped. I’m invigorated.

The major intent of this post however, is to say THANK YOU to all of YOU!!!

I have gone through SUCH TRANSFORMATION in the past five years, and it’s all due to amazing mentors, teachers, friends, family, a like-minded fit fam community, and… a vision. 

I never saw myself capable of being a leader, let alone in the name of health. But not only have I done it; it has become my passion!!! 

In addition, my blog… Pacifying Chaos… has reached 1,000 VIEWS this week!!! 🙌

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to help, connect, share, build relationships, inspire, bring joy, & shine a light on *the possible*. I’ve also always been this quirky, authentic, half-glass full kind of self. Fake is not something I do well.

The fact that so many of my readers are *repeats*, shows that my beliefs, struggles, triumphs, and authenticity resonate with so many of you, and affirms my decision to become a Health and Life Coach.

Although I recently announced I’d be sharing a new post weekly… with newly added modules, school work, and coaching practice added to my schedule, I cannot make that promise! Although the do-gooder in me wants to DO IT ALL, the recovering perfectionist part reminds me *small changes* produce *big results*, not to mention, help steer clear of overwhelm and burnout.

That being said, I have SO MUCH I plan to share, and I DO promise to post when time allows!

Subscribing/following my blog will ensure that anytime I post something new, you’ll be notified. I’ll also plan to continue sharing any updated posts on social media.

I heard something today in a module that truly spoke to me…

“You teach others how to recognize their gifts by you recognizing your gifts.

Meditate on that.

I encourage you all to dig deep, and identify your gifts. Dish on yourself!!! What lights a fire in your belly?!… and head towards that! 

It might feel uncomfortable, it might seem unreal, people might think you’re cRaZy…

But you’ll feel more like yourself than you have in a LONG TIME… if not ever. ❤

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Stay tuned!

Workout To GAIN!

After graduating fifth grade, I remember looking at a photo of a friend and I, and thinking, “Oh my gosh! I am SO much bigger than her!”… and I was! I was always the tallest girl in my class, and I had “a bod” before many others my age.

It was around this time, FIFTH.GRADE, that I started being very self-conscious about my body. I felt uncomfortable in swimsuits, I felt uncomfortable at sleepovers, and I felt uncomfortable around food, but… I also always *loved* food… and people.

In order to continue enjoying food and feeling more confident around others, I started exercising. My parents always did it, and I figured… it was time I did, too.

During middle school, I spent a lot of time with Billy Blanks and Tae Bo, and Richard Simmons… Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

Now, I DID enjoy these workouts. I usually did them with my mom, we had fun, and I DID *feel good* both while and after doing them. BUT… what I loved the most… was how my clothes felt looser. I loved the compliments I would get about losing weight. I finally felt noticed and recognized, and the reason – my smaller body. Hearing, “Oh my gosh, you look so good!” made me realize I didn’t look so good before, and now I do, therefore… I.must.continue.

On my 14th birthday, all my dreams came true when I officially became a member of the local recreational center. This was all I wanted for my birthday.

I counted down the days until it would happen, I looked over classes I could take, I pictured myself on the elliptical and bike, and most importantly; I thought about the weight I would lose.

I just knew that once I had regular access to the gym, I could *finally* create the body I wanted, and oh… I had a total vision of what that body looked like; thin, toned, pretty, and TINY.

This was the beginning of 20+ YEARS of working out in order to lose weight, and look a certain way.

All through high school, I was either up bright and early or at the gym late at night – typically, extremely light-headed, because I wasn’t eating enough.

All through college, my friends and I would hit up the gym to sweat out all the beer, Jungle Juice, and pizza we had the night before, or… we’d go before the festivities to prepare to partake in them.

During my years of teaching, I remember going to the gym after dinner with friends in order to burn off drinks and food on the elliptical – sometimes, tipsy!

I later found out that this obsession with working out in order to burn calories is actually compared to that of a person who is bulimic since you’re trying to rid yourself of the intake.

Because (in my mind) working out was simply for the sole purpose of burning calories, when I wasn’t “in a good place” with food, I just wouldn’t workout. I didn’t see the point of exercising if I wasn’t attempting to lose weight.

After my middle child was born, I was able to experience a few health coaching sessions with a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend. Not only did she validate my thoughts and feelings, but helped me truly see and understand so many of the reasons and whys behind them all. She also helped me reconnect with myself, which was *huge*. Shortly after, I reunited with an old friend from college who helped me develop a love and passion for overall health and wellness. This was the first time, five years ago, that I ever thought about eating well and exercising because of wanting to take care of my body.

During my third pregnancy, I found myself doing light to moderate exercises simply to be healthy… to feel good… to stay strong… and prepare myself for labor.

Although I had come a long way from my middle school days, I was still very much in the mindset of eat this, not that… and workout so you can eat more.

Fast forward to 2020.

During the first several months of the pandemic, I treated my body HORRIBLY. I consumed all the things, I rarely worked out, and mentally… I was not in a good place.

As was tradition, I spent several months after that attempting to lose the pandemic weight I had gained, and although I was very much in the mindset of “getting healthier”, this meant back to diets and exercises that would burn the most calories to speed up the process.

I did lose weight, I then gained it back, and then tried a combo of all the diets I’ve ever known and done until I hit a wall. I then ate all the things, and tried again – all while completing workouts that were WAY crazy intense and I rarely enjoyed, simply because I felt that’s what I should be doing if I truly wanted to see a change.

In February 2021, I had arrived to a place where I truly felt numb. I had no idea who I was anymore, what I believed in, who I was trying to be, and what my main goal was. I was SO fixated on a number on the scale, yet so far from it… and whatever I did, I couldn’t get even close to it!

I was frustrated, and felt defeated.

Something magical happened between February and March. My body basically shut down and got super sick. I know that’s an odd experience to identify as “magical”, but it was… and I needed it to happen.

Between that experience and a couple honest and quality chats with close friends, I woke up one day and decided; I’m done dieting, & I’m only exercising in ways I enjoy.

I no longer track my workouts on my Fitbit, and I haven’t weighed myself in weeks.

I may not love every workout *in the moment*, but afterwards, I feel stronger.

I feel that endorphin rush everyone talks about.

I feel calmer.

I feel more sane and patient.

I’m less anxious.

I feel energized.

I feel successful.

I *strongly* believe in moving our bodies – for the right reasons.

I intentionally participate in some form of “purposeful movement” every day, and I never dread it because I listen to my body, and do whatever it’s craving; weights, cardio, walk, hike, bike, yoga, etc.

It’s truly liberating to be in a place, for the first time in my life, where I’m not tracking losses but counting gains! To be in a place where I recognize that my purpose is to be and feel my best, not to be thin and pleasant to the eyes of others.

Fit is a feeling, not a size – and my hope is for us all to feel and gain this realization.

May we all move our bodies in order to feel our best and show them some love; for they are truly the only physical thing we will always have during our time here on Earth.

A Blog with a Purpose!

Hello, Friends!

I hope this evening finds you relaxed and well.

When I started this blog back in October of 2020, I was very honest about the fact that I had zero direction for where it would go. I simply knew two things; I wanted to write, and I wanted to connect.

After my previous blog post, Who Am I?, many reached out and thanked me for my honesty. These beautiful souls admitted it felt good knowing they weren’t alone in their feelings, and that it gave them hope that they too could get over their own internal struggles with “health” and weight.

For this, I’m thankful… because it was the validation I needed to move forward.

After 26 years of some form of dieting (yes… since I was 10), I diet no more.

I could not mean this more fully and with 100% certainty.

For the past month, I’ve been flooding my mind with all things self-love and body positivity, and I have to tell you – it’s been life-changing. I have attempted Intuitive Eating in the past, but it was never the right time for me, meaning; I wasn’t mentally ready to trust and accept my body as it is.

I have just come out of one month… diet free, and you know what?… I no longer step on the scale, the only Easter candy I’ve *enjoyed* is some Lindt Chocolate because I LOVE it, I stopped stuffing myself into my clothes and bought bigger ones that fit me comfortably and make me feel good in this season of life, and I stopped using my Fitbit to track calories burned during exercise, because calories burned is no longer my goal or my purpose to move my body.

I’ve realized that I am actually eating less overall, and I don’t even fully enjoy many of the foods I’ve been shoving into my mouth as much as I thought I did.

I’ve learned that by taking food obsession and weight out of the equation, I’m able to be more present and truly enjoy conversations and moments with loved ones.

I’m realizing all the over-indulgences were because those moments were limited and taboo and would soon be “off limits” once I started my next diet!

I have officially decided that chocolate truly is my most favorite food, and sitting down and enjoying *some* tastes so much better than mindlessly downing a bag in a moment of stress-eating or in an attempt to just get it out of the house.

As I’ve slowed down, enjoyed foods, and paid more attention to what I am eating, I’ve realized that I have *a bit* of a sensitivity to onions and/or garlic… and THAT is what causes some bloat and gas – NOT the fact that I ate some chocolate or didn’t “stick to my plan”.

I have no idea how much, if any, weight I have lost… but I know I feel amazing.

Literally, within the first few days of this Intuitive Eating journey, people were commenting on how healthy I looked and “my glow”.

Friends, there were literally no *physical* changes occurring.

What was changing was *internal*; my *mindset* and my beliefs within.

My future book (which will be a process and is nowhere near ready to be shared or published) will be a lot of my journey in this world of dieting and what I’ve overcome! But that is only part of it. As time progresses and my young kiddos are all in school, I plan to become a Certified Health and Life Coach, and that will be another part of my book – but those pages are yet to be lived, yet alone – written.

In the meantime, I feel excited and compelled to share my journey with you here, because I can… and because there are very few things worse than feeling like you’re alone when it comes to unhealthy and shameful thoughts about food and your body.

If I can inspire and encourage you with all the experiences, realizations, resources, ah-has, struggles, and triumphs NOW, my passion of coaching and helping others feel their absolute best and enjoy life to its fullest is already in the works!

This does mean this blog will be shifting to primarily health; body, mind, and soul, with a sprinkle of parenting here and there.

If you are someone who could use this – if you’re DONE with diets and trying to reach that “magic number” on the scale… if you want to be inspired and given hope that no matter how long you’ve been dieting, you too can overcome all of that… PLEASE click the subscribe button below, and please stick around.

I plan to post weekly, and I promise to be authentic, raw, personal, and relatable!

Sending all the love!

Who Am I?

The night before my 13th birthday, I wrote in my journal of *all* the things I would change “tomorrow”, in order to FINALLY be my best self.

Friends, I was 12 years old.

I have struggled with finding joy through food, searching for “skinny” through exercise and starvation, and always striving for the infamous, “If _________, THEN, I’ll be good!”… for as long as I can remember.

I have done ALL the diets, I have tried *many* workouts, I have been a size 2… and never, have I ever, been satisfied.

The struggle is *real*… to want to inspire and motivate, but never feel happy with Yours Truly.

Y’all, for the first time EVER… in my life… at age 36…

20 pounds larger than my mind tells me I should be…

I’m finally recognizing that this body is strong… it is able… it has birthed THREE babies… it never stops… it’s always on the go… it’s FULL of energy… it.is.STRONG.

For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have fallen *in love* with my body.

Many of you have been asking me about the progress of my book, and for that… I am *beyond* grateful. Truly.

If I’m being honest, I was initially PSYCHED for my book, until I got in my head, started having all the doubts, and started asking myself, “Who in the world is going to want to “learn” from ME?!”

Doubts can be loud, and they can be MEAN.

But ya know what!?

I am realizing, FINALLY… after ongoing conversations with family, friends and accountability partners… that you don’t have to be “skinny” to be motivational. You don’t have to be a size 2… to be inspirational. Heck, you don’t even have to have it all figured out.

But Loves, I’ll be damned if I allow my identify to be wrapped up in a body size or eating pattern… anymore.

I can tell you that what I HAVE learned, is that healthy does not equal “skinny”.

I have learned that you CAN have that burger and fries, and NOT have the pizza and chips and Queso, too.

I’ve learned that you CAN have ice cream, and not eat the entire bin of chocolate and box of cookies.

I have learned that even though the scale may not budge, or may fluctuate a few pounds each week, that you can still be strong, and happy, and living your best, dang life.

I have *learned* to TRUST myself.

When I look at my daughters, my biggest PRAYER for them is that they never go through the eating struggles that I’ve experienced.

It’s truly a living hell.

I pray they can love themselves, in their own skin… as God made them.

That they are PROUD to be who they are, and that they don’t waste a single second with the next fad diet or ridiculous workout program they don’t even enjoy… simply because they *think* they need to LOOK a certain way.

For the first time ever, I am confident in this book I will be publishing…

Because for the first time ever, I am confident in myself.

I’m Writing a Book!

Ever since I can remember, writing has been my thing.

I.love.to.write!

I remember writing books as a little kid, and reading them to my mom… asking her…

“Do you think I could really publish this?”

Needless to say, I’ve wanted to be a *published* author for a long time.

Last week, after finishing the incredible book known as, “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, I was reminded that we all have something to give, that God is good, and that the universe will work in your favor if your vibes and go-getter-tude are in the right place!

A huge reason I’ve hesitated in the writing of this particular book, is because my “specialty” by degree is in teaching. I feel confident in writing a book about kids and education because my degrees tell me… I’m an educator!

Although my *confidence* lacks in the health department, my *passion* is strong.

Last week, I decided I was going to finally do it. I was going to write my first book.

I did some serious praying to The Big Guy, and then…

I binged on junk for three days; almost as though I was attempting to convince myself:

I am not qualified to write a book on health.

I went back to prayer – in hopes He would *ninja* my doubts, worries, fears, and what-ifs, and the following morning as I was making breakfast; it was almost as if the holy spirit himself walked me to my Chromebook – hand on my back, sat me down, and said:

“You’ve got this!”

The craziest part, is that after literally *YEARS* of doubting my abilities in writing on this topic, in that moment, I had never been more sure of anything.

HECK YES!!!!! This is it. I’m finally going to do this. It’s happening.

There were no doubts in my mind, and I felt like a rockstar.

The next morning, after I had written quite a bit and shared about this endeavor on social media, the anxiety started setting in…

What am I doing?

Who am *I* to write a book?

Who is going to even read this?

I’m not a nutritionist?

There are SO many books on health. How is MINE going to be any different?

I just spent the past three days binging! Who is going to trust me?

I took a big, deep breath… and felt flooded with calm; realizing I don’t HAVE to have it all figured out, and to be honest… I want my readers to also believe THEY don’t have to have it all figured out. How *intimidating* this journey becomes when you think you do!

The most exciting and refreshing part of my book that I truly believe in my gut makes it unique… is the fact that it’s authentic, and I’m writing this in *real time*.

So many books I’ve read in the name of health include nutrition facts, food-inducing diseases, special diets, or individuals who have truly conquered their issues. And Friends, THAT.IS.AMAZING. But, how often do you read books from individuals who are in the midst of dealing? I’m sure they’re out there, but that’s just not what people tend to gravitate towards.

This book won’t be about the moment I stopped eating sugar, gave up alcohol, or never ate large portions again (although originally… that was my goal… and that’s why it’s taken me years to get going)!

This book is about connecting with and encouraging those who also struggle with their relationship with food and the diet world. It’s about my own personal journey; my struggles, my triumphs, my realizations, my ah-has… PRACTICAL ADVICE AND EXPERIENCE that has helped me come SUCH a long way over the past 25 years in my tango with food and a negative body image.

I’m psyched to be an open book and share my journey with whoever needs and wants to hear it. I want to help remind the world that *we truly can* find a common ground with our inner struggles, *we can* find a balance that is life-giving and joyful, and *we can* and should accept ourselves as we are.

I have no idea how long this book will take.

I have no idea what it will look like when it’s done.

I have no idea who will edit it.

I have no idea where to even START in the publishing department.

BUT… I know I’m writing this, and I know it’s what I’m meant to do.

Stay tuned!!!

In The Name of *Presence*

Hey There, Pacifying Chaos Readers!

Happy New Year!

How is everyone doing? How is everyone feeling? We’re more than three weeks into 2021, and this is typically the “make it or break it” point of those newly created resolutions.

Does anyone make resolutions?

If so, what were they, and how are you feeling about em?

I think this is the first year since I was 14 that I didn’t have a resolution including “losing weight”, and this caused me to reflect on just how amazingly far I’ve come, health wise.

THIS is my year of *presence*.

March-August of 2020, I escaped the moment at hand, more times than I’d like to admit, with *consumption*.

August-November of 2020, I *focused* my energies on getting healthier through purposeful movement and the Ketogenic Diet.

The final two months of 2020, I found myself REALLY focusing on “what’s next” or “what’s to come”. Although I had physically become healthier, I was finding myself preoccupied with making the holiday season AMAZING, *especially* during 2020, and again… in making THAT my focus, I wasn’t truly present in the season, and yes… *consumption* as a coping mechanism returned.

Thankfully, instead of MONTHS going by, I was able to recognize these behaviors within a few weeks, and I reflected on what I truly wanted out of not just January, but the entire year and even more importantly… this time in my life.

On Christmas evening, I couldn’t help but reflect on how fast these times are going! I cannot believe my kids are 7, 5, and 2.5 when it feels like JUST.YESTERDAY, I was thrilled to be pregnant for the first time!

All the fun and excitement my kids feel for the season are amazing and beautiful, but are limited. And yes… OF COURSE I hope and pray they’ll always love the season for many reasons, but the cookies and the milk and the giggles and the pitter patter of feet as they run to tell you, “HE CAME!!!”…

THOSE moments don’t last forever, and they’re so very precious.

Thankfully, the holiday season isn’t the only time we can enjoy these days with our young and easily excitable kiddos, and I’ve realized, I truly want to *be there* with them.

Yesterday, I finished the most incredible audio book I’ve ever listened to, The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh.

I have encouraged, and basically told everyone I know, to listen to this book ASAP.

First of all – the reader has the most soothing and meditative voice, second of all – it’s only a 5-hour listen, and third of all – I have a great feeling many of your perceptions, views, and thoughts will be altered for the better.

Thich Nhat Hanh has reminded me that even though yes, having three young kiddos is a lot of work, I can still be filled with peace and happiness… every single day… every single moment of the day… with *slowing down*, and *changing my perspectives*.

As someone who is always rushing from one thing to the next, scheduling my day by the minute, planning and prepping for all things, people-pleasing, fearing and worrying about things truly out of my control; I feel as though I’ve been enlightened.

Yes, there are many tasks I’ll still have to do because they have to be done, but the *attitude* behind them has changed.

Tell me… who here would love to be more present? Who feels they do a good job of being present? Either way, I’d love to hear your tips, tricks, and realizations of *being* in the moment.

I wish you all a beautiful weekend! ❤️

Still Around and Very Reflective

My Dear Readers and Friends…

I hesitated restarting this blog for two reasons:

1) Time… who has it?!

2) My ever-changing thoughts and ideas about all things life.

Since my last blog entry, G has started back face-to-face at school, we have decided to send E back… come January, we have celebrated two of my favorite holidays, my middle child has turned FIVE!!!, and I’ve been mulling over what I believe it means to be *truly* “healthy”… yes, again. 😉

Because I started off this blog introducing myself as an educator who is a homeschooler with a virtual student during a pandemic, I found myself feeling a little embarrassed to share all that had changed.

But *feelings*, *thoughts*, and *times* change… sometimes by the second, and *especially*, if you’re me.

As a recovering perfectionist, I have to *continually* remind myself that this blog isn’t supposed to be my “expertise” on anything I’ve “mastered”.

It’s about relating and connecting through real.life.experiences… real day-to-day successes and failures.  It’s about the truth of being a mama of three young kiddos, during a pandemic, who loves food and drink (okay, it’s not REALLY about this… but, partly ;)).

I am not someone who claims to have it all figured out, not.even.close…. BUT MAN… every day, I attempt to see a little more of my WHY in this world, and with each and every moment, I feel like a bit more of that shines through.

This past month and a half has been full of realizations, ah-has, and so much love and togetherness it makes my heart burst.

I’ve realized that although I am a certified teacher with two degrees in education, I much prefer to hold that role in a classroom setting… away from home, and be solely “mom” to my kiddos.  

I’ve been reminded that “health” comes in MANY forms, and far surpasses the numbers on a scale, the shape of our bodies, or the calories we consume.  It also consists of our mental well-being, and the love and acceptance we give and feel to ourselves and others on a daily basis.

This pandemic has brought about so many challenges, and for that, my heart aches; but it’s also helped me to truly appreciate “my tribe”.  I’m so thankful for all the relationships I’ve managed to hold on to, and even strengthen during such odd and uncertain times.  

I’m thankful my holidays included family, near and far… whether present or through FaceTime… which in turn, makes me super thankful for technology (even though I truly could use WAY less of it).   

This is my heart, and although I LOVE sharing ideas and suggestions with everyone, THIS… *reflections* and *ah-has*… is the stuff I truly love to share and write about.

As 2020 comes to a close (can you even believe it?!), I encourage everyone to dig deep, and think about what you truly do have to be thankful for… for what IS.POSSIBLE… for what is yet to come.

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year!!!

Looking forward to more *shares*, *reflections*, and *connections* in 2021! 

Our Daily Schedule

Good Morning, Friends. Happy Saturday!

As promised, I’m posting our Monday-Friday learning schedule.

Now, keep in mind, I have my oldest, G, who is in first grade and is learning *virtually*.

Then, there’s my middle, E, who I’m homeschooling through the first half of Pre-K.

And finally, my youngest, L, who turned two in July.

Now, this *is* a schedule, but don’t at all assume it “flows”. 😉

There are CONSTANT interruptions and distractions throughout the day.

The most common occurrence includes G having a technology or class issue and needing assistance. on the computer in the middle of lessons with E, and once I run up to help G, E starts screaming because L has tossed our rug of work in the air, and materials have been dispersed everywhere. 🥴

THIS.IS.REAL.LIFE.

If you are at home right now with all your kiddos, especially with young ones and/or multiples… remember to breathe, and expect chaos. Read that again, remember to BREATHE, and EXPECT.CHAOS.

I truly believe if we do those things, the issues that arise are much easier to handle than if we’re expecting the perfect flow of day. Those unrealistic expectations just cause MAJOR frustration and upset, and that energy is felt throughout the environment.

Our Day!

7:15-8:00am – I wake G, he gets dressed, and comes down for breakfast. The girls usually stroll down shortly after.

8:00-8:50am – G’s in live classes. During this time, E and L are typically finishing up their breakfast. The girls then get dressed and ready for the day, and I begin “Calendar Time” with E (L sometimes joins, but is usually destroying the place). 😉

8:50-9:30am – G completes asynchronous learning (non-live classes, works on his own). During this time, G practices his high-frequency words (sight words) by reading them aloud, completes Imagine Literacy or Math (through his school’s digital resources website), and then comes down to read a story to his sisters and I.

E and I do a “Rug Lesson” at this time. We lay out a Montessori Mat, and this is when I present our lesson of the day; introduce a new letter of the week, phonics, rhyming words, sequencing of events, patterns, numbers, shapes, etc. These lessons include lots of pictures, manipulatives (objects to be handled and moved around), interaction, question & answer, and three-period lessons.

*I will be doing separate posts about specific activities and lessons that take place.*

Following our Rug Lesson, E completes an “activity”, and it usually includes coloring, cutting, pasting, and/or writing, and aligns with our skill of the day and/or theme of the week. It’s some kind of simple and clean craft that allows for practice of necessary skills to prepare for Kinder.

*G typically comes down around this time, and we stop what we’re doing to listen to his read-aloud*.

9:30-10:10am – G plays educational games on his tablet (he really likes Math Race and ABC Mouse), and then heads back up for his next live class. This is when E completes her “worksheets”, which SHE LOVES, and provide excellent practice for listening, following directions, and handwriting, which are all GREAT Kinder skills. I am right there with her, and we talk through them together.

*G typically plays educational games for 20-30 minutes, it just depends on the day.*

10:10-10:30am – G has a live class, and E and I do about 10-15 minutes of ABC Mouse together. ABC Mouse truly is great fun, and helps reinforce any skills we have learned.

10:30-11:05am – “Snack and Recess” (play time, lots of chasing, tag, dancing, music).

11:05-11:25am – G heads back up to complete Imagine Literacy or Math, whichever he didn’t do earlier. During this time, E and I complete her school day – which is usually “trivia cards” (Brain Quest or similar) and a “shared story” – many times on the tablet because she LOVES watching the read-alouds.

While G finishes classes, there is a lot of play dough, kinetic sand, water color painting, coloring, and drawing added in here and there for the girls. I also like to take out a few of their favorite activities (bristle blocks, pattern blocks, little figurines/toys, etc.) and lay them out on the table or around the room so they have something to attract their attention. When out of sight, it’s out of mind, and the opposite is true when it’s out and presented in a way that’s *attractive* to their eye.

12:15pm“Lunch!” During lunch, I read 1-2 books depending on time and how L is handling the situation. 🙂

*E’s school day is done at this time, sometimes earlier.*

12:45pm – I eat, the kids play or complete their chores.

*I will post their chore charts and how we handle that in another post*.

1:00-2:00pm – G completes his assignments. This is a time where I allow the girls to be on their tablets or watch a show so I can be with G.

2:00-3:00pm – G has his final class, and then he completes any other assignments and chores.

Now, you may have noticed L is not mentioned much. I try to include her in as much as possible with E, but honestly, she is two, and her mission is to TEST, which she does wonderfully. 😉 I will be honest… there are many times where I hand L my phone or her tablet so I can complete lessons with E. She loves Cocomelon (kid’s music videos) and practicing letters and numbers on the Dave and Ava app. Do I love that I distract my youngest with a phone and tablet? Not at all. But if she’s over the play dough, the other activities, and the coloring… and she’s taking away from E’s learning, this is just what works best. 😕

Afternoons!!!

Our afternoons are filled with GETTING.ENERGY.OUT!!!

We either scooter around, go to a nearby park where we can be safe and socially distant, or head to the zoo, a museum, or a nature preserve.

L still needs a nap, but usually a short car nap to wherever we’re going will suffice.

If we stay home, we typically bake or complete one of the “artsy”, hands-on, playtime activities above.

Our days are busy!!! None of this is easy and as I said, hardly ever does it *flow* nice and smoothly. But, I do like having an agenda and a plan for the day. Even with disruptions, it’s nice to always know what comes next.

Kids *thrive* off of routine.

They *love* a good structure.

It provides *comfort and safety*.

Do you have kiddos home right now? Does your day to day look similar? Does it look different? What do *you* find SUPER helpful during these crazy days at home with your kiddos? Teachers… how are you dealing!?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences.

More to come on specific lessons and skills!!!

“I’m a Healthy Person”!

I remember looking in the mirror, end of August, and thinking just how much I didn’t *identify* with that person looking back at me.

I love exercise and fitness, yet I hadn’t worked out in MONTHS. I’m freakishly into good health and nutrition, yet we were ordering out almost daily and drinking *ALL* the adult beverages. I can be a bit of a hypochondriac, yet I was allowing my gut to expand to the point where it was opening up so much risk to so many potential diseases.

Change can be SO hard, and last March… losing my routine and everything I knew to be true *really* messed with me – mentally! While many I knew (after a couple weeks of “fun” 😏) chose to use the time to get healthier, I let everything I believed in take a back seat.

Now, for those of you who have known me for quite some time have been a part of my health and fitness journey for a while now!

Once I get motivated enough, I have no problem losing weight! As a perfectionist and a rule-follower, I can really get into a good diet. Tell me what to do, give me the rules, and oh yeah… you better believe I’ll follow em!

My problem, however, is in the KEEPING.IT.OFF!!! 🤣.

I am so thrilled to share… thanks to my new favorite book, Atomic Habits, I’ve finally nailed down the issue!!!

The reason I have always been able to lose weight, but have failed at keeping it off, is because I haven’t *identified* with “the healthy, fit person”.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used phrases like, “I’m just not naturally a healthy person!” or… “I just love food too much.”… or… “Ya gotta live”.

When you still believe you’re your old self, even after a big change, you won’t remain that way. That isn’t who you are. You don’t *IDENTIFY* with that new, healthy person.

For the first time ever, I’m realizing I DO identify with that healthy person… I DO love eating right and exercising… I love keeping busy and having the energy to do so!!!

Now, identity is HUGE, and this was a great ah-ha for me. But there’s also “the why”. My purpose for living a healthy life goes WAY beyond looking good.

I want my kids to see what “healthy” looks like!

I want to live a long life where I truly *feel good*.

I want to be the last one on the dance floor for “longest married” at our grandkids’ wedding!

It’s a fact that yo-yo dieting is almost MORE harmful, yes, to your health… than simply living a “less than perfect” lifestyle.

You guys, hear it now.

I 👏 am👏 over👏 it!

Our health doesn’t ever end. It’s a journey.

Keto may be over…but my yearning for a long-term, healthy life continues.

Thank you… SO much… for being such a support system for me. I love you.

I’m grateful for you. And I pray that if you’re in a funky place, you feel inspired… you feel motivated… and you KNOW… you too can out funk the funk. ❤️

Welcome! Hop On & Join Me!

Hello, and welcome!!!

I cannot express just how thrilled I am to officially have “kicked-off” this blog.

My original plan was to focus primarily on school-related business; lessons, videos, skills learned, & how to balance multiple age groups at once.

Because I am an experienced teacher with two degrees in education, this is a *comfortable* topic for me… and an area in which I feel CONFIDENT.

The truth however, is that there is SO much more to this busy mind than teaching… so much more that I’m *passionate* about, and I just cannot feel satisfied with the idea of limiting this blog to “education”.

Yes, I will *MOST DEFINITELY* be sharing posts related to teaching and learning, but you can also expect posts related to parenting; my beliefs, experiences, triumphs, and struggles, health; body, mind, and soul, & relationships; family, friends, acquaintances, significant others, and their importance.

Many of the educational posts will be more “how to” and “informational”, but you can also expect many of these posts to be more journalistic, and to include my insights, realizations, ah-has, and questions.

Writing is my therapy. I sincerely love it.

I also love teaching, inspiring, and sharing!

And lastly, people! I *thrive* off of human connection. It’s what fuels me.

If I can write, teach, learn, inspire, and connect… my blog goals will be accomplished!

In order to do this, I need a favor…

I know you belong to SO many groups and receive a plethora of notifications per day, but if this sounds like something you’d enjoy, if you’re wanting more ideas of what to do with your kiddos while they’re home, if you’re into inspiration and motivation, if you desire connecting with a fellow *chaos-coordinator* who is on this parenting journey with you!!!, if you are into health… or even more importantly, WANT to be an overall healthy person, if you are READING THIS ANYWAYS… ;)… *please* subscribe, and share this blog with anyone else you know who may also enjoy what it provides.

In addition, a MAJOR bonus would be if you would also respond to the questions I present in my entries, either publicly or through a private message.

I’d love to build our own little “virtual tribe” here… where we encourage one another and lift others up, and it’s *real difficult* to do that without “followers” 🙄 (I really don’t love that word).

I *truly* believe with all my heart we are better together. Everyone has their own experiences and wisdom to share, and I would LOVE to hear it!!!

Thank you for being here, thank you for reading this, and thank you for helping me FINALLY take the first step to accomplishing my HUGE DREAM of writing, and publishing, my own book.

Life is a journey, Friends…

I’m so grateful to have you along for the ride! ❤️