Spring Bucket List

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my to do lists. I’m pretty sure I have a list for everything in my life, and my bucket lists are no different. I have one giant overall Life Bucket List for all the things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. And I have seasonal bucket lists for things that I want to do with the family, or primarily my children. I love following Lisa Marie over at Paper and Glam and how she really incorporates seasonal living into her life. So one of the small things that I do is come up with seasonal bucket lists. And I know I’m running out of time to get these all done, so I better get to it! Happy Spring!!

Spring Bucket List

2015 Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

Summer Schdule

Summer Schedule

My One Word Challenge

I may have said this before, but I am a planner at heart. It’s one way I manage my anxiety. The more things that are scheduled out, the calmer I am. And while I am still working on some goals for 2017, I have decided to try something a little bit different. This year I’m trying the My One Word challenge. Instead of spreading my focus on too many things and too many resolutions, I’ve decided that I want to pick one word that I want this year to represent. With that being said, my word for 2017 is going to be consistent.

my-one-word-consistent

It took me a little while to finally settle on one word because I felt drawn to several: consistent, intentional, and present. I truly want to be consistently intentional and present in the moment. I’m too often distracted or spread too thin. I want to be intentional with what I do. I want to be present in every moment with my children. But most of all, I wanted to be consistent with it all.

I’ve struggled with being consistent for years. I know it’s because I usually do spread myself too thin, but that’s just me. I’m multi-passionate. I love to write for my blog. I love to cook new recipes. I love training people and helping them. But with these ventures, I need to be more consistent to make them successful.

As luck will have it, I’ve already hit my first challenge with being consistent this year. In my last post, I shared that my family had just moved to Virginia. We woke last Tuesday to a flood in our kitchen. It took a whole week for the cleanup crew to get all the water up and dried out. Then it took another week for the contractors to come in and fix everything. For those two weeks, my family was back at the hotel. It was difficult to keep up with my work and with my daughter’s preschool lessons when I was constantly driving between the hotel and our house.

flooded-basement

Water damage in the basement

 

We finally got to move back in yesterday, but we’re still not settled. The things that weren’t destroyed are still in storage and we still have contractors working on the basement. But I am trying to stay positive and chalking it up for it is. I’ve been off schedule for two weeks, and it still may be another week or two until things are back to normal completely.

With that being said, I would love to hear if anyone else has tried the My One Word challenge. Let me know how your experience was and your thoughts on the challenge itself.

A New Journey for a New Year

Another chapter has closed in our lives and we are bracing ourselves for the new adventures ahead in the upcoming year. My family ended 2016 with many changes around us, but perhaps the biggest change was my husband’s promotion and transfer at work. Last month, my family moved from Ohio to Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlottesville Virginia

With this move, we’ve encountered many challenges. The first challenge was finding a tenant for our home in Ohio….in three months….during the holidays. Needless to say, this is still an ongoing challenge. This also caused another challenge in our life. Due to the financial strain of paying rent and a mortgage, we decided to downsize once we got to Virginia. This hasn’t been so much a hardship challenge because I’ve been slowly becoming more drawn to a minimalist lifestyle. However, my husband is a pack rat who apparently has an emotional attachment to everything he has ever own. And I mean EVERYTHING! It’s a slow process, but we’re getting there.

Another obstacle that we ran into was the preschool system here in Virginia. In Ohio, my youngest was going to preschool four days a week at minimal cost to us. However, the public preschools here are only for children with learning disabilities, while the private preschools cost an arm and two legs! I knew my daughter was going to be crushed. She loved being a big girl and going to school with her big brother every day. So after a lot of thinking and praying on the matter, I’ve decided to home school her. I’ll be sure to share my struggles and mishaps with that journey as we go along.

off-to-school

Possibly the biggest challenge I’ve faced personally with our move, is having to transfer my new personal training business. When I started IMT Fit Life I had the notion that we would be staying in Ohio for several more years so I was planting my roots, so to speak. I was training a few clients, working on programs for several different organizations, and making new connections daily. And then I had to walk away from it all. It was definitely disheartening to say the least.

But when one door closes, another door opens. That’s how the saying goes. We’ve closed the door to 2016 and our lives in Ohio. We have begun our new adventures here in Virginia and what a better time for new adventures than the New Year. And I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to share as we continue through these challenges and great adventures!

shenandoah-national-park

Shenandoah National Park

Finding Purpose in the Static

Looking back, this year has been one for the books for me. From new friends, new jobs, and soon a new home….things have been quite crazy here. It’s really amazing how much can change in one short year. I just wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the major steps I’ve taken recently.

IMT Fit Life

By far, the biggest change in my life has been becoming a certified personal trainer and opening my own business, IMT Fit Life. Around this time last year I was fed up and tired with my life. Nothing brought me joy anymore. I walked away from several friends and several volunteer projects so that I could really re-evaluate what I wanted out of life. As I sat at home, I prayed. A lot. I prayed for peace on my decisions and for the path to take next. I prayed for wisdom to shift through all the static around me. Well, you know what they say; be careful what you wish for.

ace-cerified-personal-trainer

To my surprise, I slowly started to feel a calling back towards fitness and nutrition. I pushed back a bit but soon things began falling into place. I was given the opportunity to earn my certification for free from one of the leading fitness educators. From there everything slowly worked itself out and I was presented with several opportunities ranging from working with my local Parks & Recreation office to the USO and other fitness facilities. It’s been an amazing ride and it has just begun. I feel truly blessed to start on a career path that will allow me to truly help people make a difference in their lives. If you want to know about my journey to becoming a certified personal trainer, I’ll be sharing a post later this week on my fitness page.

Wildtree

But I also took another unexpected step as well this year. After years of saying that I would never join any direct sales company, I signed up to be a rep for Wildtree. For those unfamiliar with Wildtree, it is a company that specializes in providing all natural, organic spices, cooking oils, and mixes. I purchased a few items to try and I instantly fell in love with them. As a new personal trainer, the nutritious and cost efficient options were just what I was looking for and something that I could back 100%. I’ll be sharing some of my experiences and recipes on here a bit later. Here’s a quick look at some of the products.

Wildtee Essentials

This year has been incredibly difficult but very rewarding. I’ve always felt a bit lost or drifting through in the past. So to be able to tune into my faith and listen, I believe that I finally found the path I was meant to travel. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I urge you to pray, to listen to your faith, or even the universe. Get away from the static noise of everyone around you, and most importantly keep an open mind. I was not a popular person this time last year because of the changes I started going through. It was a tough road to travel. But I can say without a doubt, that I am much happier with my life and with myself in general these days. I also believe that everyone has a unique purpose for their life. And if you just take the time to look inside, then you’ll find what you’re looking for.

6 Tips to Remember When Potty Training

Manic Monday Blog Series

It’s getting to be that time again. I’m cringing at the thought of it. My evil mommy nemesis. What part of motherhood can make me cringe at the very thought of it? Potty training. Baby girl is now 2 and is really starting to show the signs of being ready to start potty training. And as awful as I may sound, this is the one part of parenting that I wish I could fast forward. It took me almost a year to get my son potty trained. Within that year, we moved twice, my husband left on an extended business trip, and I started working outside the home. With these constant changes, it was very difficult to potty train. I’m hoping that I don’t run into the same road blocks with my daughter. So here’s some tips that I learned from my first potty training experience.

  1. Prep Yourself! While many of us are so busy watching our toddlers to make sure they’re ready to start potty training, make sure you take time to make sure you’re ready. I’ve already attempted round number 1 with my daughter, and failed miserably mainly because I wasn’t ready. I was having several doctor appointments and my medicine kept getting changed. It’s hard enough sometimes adjusting to new medicine without the added pressure of potty training. I especially had some bad side effects of one of my medicines, so I made sure that I took time out to get myself squared away first. Remember, you are no good to anyone else if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. So make sure you get plenty of rest, and if needed reach out to family and friends to help.
  2. Prep your house. You really want to pick one room to stay in for the first few days to keep the inevitable accidents contained. I picked our upstairs living room because it’s all hardwood floors. I rolled up my area rug and tucked it under my couch for safe keeping. I pull out a few toys and books and closed up all the bedrooms. Keep in mind that every child is different, so I suggest knowing what toys, books, or movies your little one really enjoys. You don’t want them so enthralled that they forget to use the potty, but you want something that will keep their attention longer than a minute. I would also go ahead and do some prep work in your kitchen. Get your snacks and drinks ready. Prep some crock pot or freezer meals so you don’t have to worry too much about dinner.

    6 Tips to Remember When Potty Training

    Here’s the book that I bought for my daughter. I also found several potty training playlists on YouTube for us to watch.

  3. Ditch the Pull-ups. This one can be difficult but it’s really easier if you ditch the diapers and pull-ups all together. It can be a bit confusing for toddlers and they will be inclined to potty in the pull-up instead. I suggest getting some good fitting cotton underwear for your little one. What else you put on your child is up to you. Some just throw on a t-shirt while some use leg warmers or socks. And still there are some parents who let their little ones run around with nothing on at all for the first day or so. Do what’s comfortable for you and your little one.
  4. Lots of fluids and dry snacks. Your little one is learning to recognize the sensation and feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. You’ll want to make sure to give them plenty of fluids so they’ll need to use the bathroom frequently. The dry snacks help keep them thirsty because after a while they’ll get tired of drinking.
  5. Set a timer. Timers are a good way to stay mindful about the task at hand. That may sound redundant, but it’s easy for you and your little one to get caught up with playing or watching that potty dvd for the 20th time or so. Some recommend to set the timer for every 15 minutes, but that was a little much for my daughter. She got annoyed by how often I was asking her to sit on the potty. Try a few different times and see what works best for you.
  6. Be patient! Be patient with your toddler, and be patient with yourself. This is not an overnight learning curve. There will be accidents. There might even be some tantrums and meltdowns, parents included. Don’t get caught up in the Mommy and Pinterest wars. If little Tommy from down the street potty trained in one weekend, great for him. But don’t force your little one to uphold the same timetable. Remember, every child is different, every parent is different. Ultimately, you need to do what’s best for you and your little one.

2015 Fall Bucket List

Whatever Wednesday Blog Series

It is finally FALL!!Today is the first official day of Fall, and I don’t know about you all but I have been ready for this for the past month or so!! As things are slowly winding down here at my house, I’ve decided to slowly start getting back in the swing of things here on my blog. And what better way to start then by sharing some of the Fall highlights I plan on enjoying this season. So here’s my 2015 Fall Bucket List that I made.

2015 Fall Bucket List

I love the crisp sweater weather, the amazing Fall colors, being able to enjoy some time outside with my kids without the ever complaints of “I’m HOT!!”. And did I mention the savory soups and tons of freshly baked sweets!! What are some of your favorite Fall activities??

Fall

Childhood Abuse

Monday Matters Blog Series

I planned today’s Monday Matters weeks ago, but now the timing couldn’t be more perfect. My cousin’s ex recently had an article published about the abuse she went through as a child. Being as she was married into my family, we all got to hear about the things that she had been through, which were horrific. However, many things in her article had been embellished or just false. As a childhood abuse survivor, this really hurts my heart. I pointed out that the website should have done some fact checking on such a huge story, and I was attacked and called a troll. If that makes me a troll, then so be it. I guess I am. But I know the bigger picture, the fight ALL childhood survivors must go through. And every step forward a survivor makes, we get thrown back several by someone who lies. Here’s why.

In today’s world you know we are all grouped together. The major battle of equality between blacks and whites pits that all whites are the same while all blacks are the same. This is a separate topic for a whole different post, but it serves as an example. If one childhood survivor takes to a major news stream and lies about her experiences, it puts the rest of the survivors in a negative light. Many assaults go unprosecuted because the victim is called a liar. They use situations like these to back up their point of view. It’s not right at all, but it’s the battle we must fight right now. I tried to use my childhood experience to help others and became a sexual assault victim’s advocate. I sat in interviews with the victim and saw how the detectives poked holes in every inconsistency. Before long, they acted as if nothing happened at all.

Now, I know it’s not easy to open up. Very few people in my life know exactly what I went through as a child. Others may know the general idea but I never went into details. It’s hard to open up. It’s humiliating. I’m sure at some point every survivors tells themselves lies to help get through things, build up their self-esteem, or to just imagine that we had or now have a normal life. It’s part of the process. But this part should not be broadcast through main stream journalism as the truth.

Childhood abuse is horrific. It scars the victim in multiple ways. It can lead them down a path of self-destruction. It causes many heartaches and many obstacles that the survivor must deal with throughout their lives. I went from promiscuity, to self harming (cutting), to alcohol, to suicidal thoughts. I’ve been in and out of counseling since I was 16. It’s been a never-ending battle. As soon as I get through one layer, it opens up a whole new layer that I didn’t even know existed.

So what am I getting at with this article? My heart goes out to every abuse survivor, child or adult. I am here for you in any way that I can be. Recovery is not an easy road. But no matter how hard it gets, we must remember to be honest about it. If you come to a part that is too difficult, take a break. Deal with another issue in your life. Come back to that part when you’re stronger to deal with it. Or seek help from a trusted friend or a medical professional. We shouldn’t take what we perceive as the easy road out and embellish our stories. We hurt more than ourselves when we do. And it really is detrimental to your recovery. You will never fully heal if you have made yourself this whole other world to live in. And quite honestly, you deserve better than that.

Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

National Abuse Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health National Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)

{It’s important for me to say that I will eventually open up about the details of my abuse, but my story will affect others close to me as well. When I’m sure they are comfortable with my story being published, I will begin sharing it with everyone.}