The Struggle for Fitness

The struggle is real. This is a saying that has been floating around social media for a while and has been applied to a multitude of topics. For me, the struggle with maintaining a gym routine is so real. I am sitting here on a Saturday night debating how my week will go. Do I invest a few hours tomorrow to grocery shop and meal prep? Do I spend that time with my family or savor a few free moments to myself? Is the mental break I'd get from relaxing more important than the physical health the meal plan will bring, assuming I stick to it and I’m not left with containers of leftovers at the end of the week? This is not a new struggle to me.

I like to think I’m healthy. I’m not going to the gym daily and posting sweaty selfies all of the time but I do workout when I can and eat relatively healthy most of the time. I wouldn’t say fitness is a priority in my life, more like a nuisance. Even when I’m in a good rhythm with a routine and working out consistently it’s still a battle. I still fight for time at the gym, feeling like I am missing out on lunch dates or moments to veg out. I have to talk myself into it most days. Why is this such a battle!?

We have a cruise vacation planned in September and I have been using that as a long term date to meet my fitness goal, to be totally comfortable in my bathing suit. This is a realistic goal. I am 5’9” and 145 lbs. I’m at a weight I am comfortable with so I just need some toning, I have enough time for that. I’m going to go into this week with best of intentions but not beat myself up if it doesn’t go as planned. It should be a pretty easy week to stay on track for meals---Hello Fresh for dinner Monday through Thursday and Friday we head to Disney for the weekend. Just need to keep lunch and snacks on point! Wish me luck!

The Opposite of Routine

I've never been one that must have routine. I don't follow the same schedule daily. I was never strict when the girls were small with their day-to-day routines. Sure I made sure they ate every two hours or so and bedtime was consistently 7:30 for as long as I can remember but it ended there. Routine isn't something I thought I needed, until now. 

Tomorrow is our last day without child care and I can’t tell you what a relief we are feeling. It’s been three weeks of splitting days with my husband, working from home with the kids, taking phone calls while scooping baby frogs out of the pool and wiping butts---no lie! These three weeks have been tiring, interesting, and the farthest thing from routine.

It has been tough in ways I didn’t expect. During the first week I really tried to work in the mornings with the girls. I would set them up with Playdoh or paint and then sneak off to my laptop for twenty minutes or so until the next activity was needed. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was not only unproductive for me but the girls were getting bored and feeling neglected as I would just set them up and run off, not to mention the five interruptions I’d get within those twenty minutes. After this realization, I tried my best to make sure we did something for entertainment each day. We went to the pool or the library, anything to get them out of the house and out from in front of the TV. This helped a ton! They were less bored, still not as stimulated as they are at school, but I saw a difference. My work suffered but something had to give.

One area I'm felt the most strain was the lack of time to myself. During my work day, I spend my lunch break running errands or going to the gym, taking time to catch up on reading blogs or writing a post. I didn’t get any of this time during these three weeks and I am feeling it. I feel tired and empty in regards to my energy. After my time with the girls, I went to work where I spent the afternoon catching up on emails and following up with my team; meetings filling almost every block of time I had. I feel I have nothing left to give. I have sat down, with at least one child glued to my side, a few times to write a blog post or an essay or really just anything but nothing comes. It’s been frustrating from that point, I know how good I’d feel if I could get something out onto paper. I look forward to time to myself once again, even if it’s just in small increments.

These three weeks haven’t been all bad. I have had more time with my girls than ever before. We’ve spent time as if I were a stay-at-home mama. We’ve been to open gym and the library, Target in the middle of the day. We’ve played dress-up and makeup, we’ve made cupcakes and painted. So while I am feeling tired at the end of this, I have a lot of moments to be thankful for. It’s hard to remain grateful in situations of inconvenience but looking back I’m grateful for every morning we snuggled in bed watching movies. I’m grateful I have a husband that was able to be home for half of the day with them. I’m grateful for every laugh and funny story I have to tell during this. I’m grateful for an employer and team that is understanding and flexible.

With all of this said, I’m looking forward to routine!! Daycare drop off and pick up, lunch time gym and being on top of my work. Also I can’t wait to hear how the girls like their new building. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for being patient with my lack of posting lately. I’m hoping there will be more "routine" soon!!
 

June Favorites

Hello July!! 2017 is halfway over and is flying by, June was the fastest month yet! I've mentioned the daycare has been closed for the last week and a half and it looks like it will continue to be closed for another week or two. This has thrown most routines right out of the window which usually helps the days to fly by. Here are a few things we've enjoyed this month. 

This pictures from our Disney trip this past weekend is by far my favorite, I just love the matching outfits, the bright colors, and of course the girls! We stayed at the Art of Animation Resort in an Ariel room which the girls were in love with. When I walked into the lobby there was the most amazing smell, I couldn't get over it, it was sweet and a little tropical. I have followed Spireside Candles on Instagram for a while and my immediate thought was to find their site and order this candle. They create candles for lots of different Disney scents such as Pineapple Whip, Haunted Mansion, or Belle's Library. I ordered it on Sunday and it's already en route. I'll let you know how it is once it arrives.

The sunshine!! We have been sun bunnies this month between the beach, the pool, and the local water park. We got to Sanibel around ten this day and there wasn't a soul in this shot. Henley loves the water and Macie is starting to get more brave with the breaking waves, and by waves I mean those tiny, little whitecaps there. 

I have been obsessed with the sailor bows that have been all over Etsy and my Instagram feed. Being the crafty person that I am, I couldn't justify spending $10 per bow when I know I wanted a ton of them. I went to Pinterest to see if I could find a pattern and sure enough I did. I found this great tutorial from Natalie Malan and have made the girls four bows each in a few different patterns. If you can sew a straight line, this is a tutorial for you. They did take a little time, about twenty minutes each, but the end result is worth it. I've made a unicorn print, a flamingo print, and I have a colorful Mickey pattern coming up next. 

I took at trip to Board and Brush with my mom for her Mother's Day gift and it was great! We made these signs (the similarity of these two signs was not planned at all!). The staff was really great, helping with every detail to ensure the end result was just as we wanted. It was a fun night out and a really great way to spend the evening with my mom. It was a little pricey at $65 per person but it was fun and you leave with a really great piece for your wall. I definitely recommend for a night out.

I have a lot I want to do in July and nothing all at the same time, we will see which wins. It's hard to actually be productive on the weekends when it's so hot out and the pool is so nice. We are entering the worst part of the Florida summer so my gut feeling is that the pool will win. Happy July and it's already Wednesday! Yay for short weeks!

Meredith

Happenings Lately

Friends, it is only Wednesday and I am tired! This week has been quite interesting. Our daycare is unexpectedly closed for two weeks so my husband and I have been splitting the days and working from home when we can. I have always longed to stay home with my babies but after this week, I am thinking that maybe I’m not really cut out for that after all. Due to this wacky schedule, I’ve not been able to get any workouts in and have been eating things like chocolate chip cookies with mac & cheese for lunch so yeah.

We tried Home Chef for the first time this week . We’ve been using Hello Fresh for over a year and thought we’d try another one just to see how we liked it. The food has been ok, not bad but not amazing either. The schedule is a little weird, deliveries are available towards the end of the week versus Monday. Hello Fresh has more flexibility on selecting certain weeks for deliveries and the schedule is better so I’ve canceled Home Chef. We will picking back up on Hello Fresh after the holiday. The meals are tasty, easy, and usually are between 600-800 calories. If you are interested in trying Hello Fresh and saving money click here and you will get a coupon for $40 off!

This weekend we are planning to surprise the girls with a short trip to Disney. They have no idea and I can’t wait to load them into the car and see their sweet faces of surprise. Even though we purchased Gold Annual Passes that include the summer, I never had any intention of taking a trip in June----it’s crowded and hot----but the opportunity arose so off we go. I have taken a few extra measures to help with the heat. I ordered fans that clip on the stroller for each of the girls and I also ordered these cooling cloths for all three of us. I am planning to pack a cooler full of waters to have them readily accessible too. We got a cooler from the Disney store on one of their promotions and it’s actually a really great cooler. We load it up with ziplocs full of ice and it keeps the ice in the Florida heat all day. We’ve used it a few times including at the beach. Now just to pack without them realizing where we are headed. We want to surprise them in the car on the way up.

Lastly, this article is a nice read for all of us moms that try really hard but sometimes just can’t. Check it out.

Tomorrow is my Friday, I'm almost there! I hope you are having a great week!!

Thirty-Five

“What toy do you want for your birthday, Mom?” Henley asked as we drove to school earlier this week.

“I don’t want a toy, baby. I’m just going to take a day off from work to relax.” 

“You’re having a birthday party without me?!?”

I assured her that I would not be having a party without her and then explained that sometimes Mommies just need time alone to recharge, similar to a battery. She seemed to reluctantly accept that I would be home while she went to school, then decided that a trip to Target with Daddy was in order to pick up a few things for me.

A few days later I walk in to find beautifully wrapped presents on the table and two proud little girls. They chose very thoughtful presents and were more than helpful in the unwrapping of them as well.

I had the day all to myself. I spent the morning cozied into a booth at Panera reading my book and then roamed the aisles of Pier 1. I spent the afternoon at the pool, floating in the water while Ed Sheeran’s latest album played in the background. It really was a great day.


Birthdays in my thirties are quite different than they were before. Instead of lavish gifts I prefer a few moments of peace. Instead of late nights out drinking we opt for a nice, quiet date night instead. I act surprised when unwrapping presents that are easily identified and I let the girls help me blow out the candles, even if that means there will likely be slobber somewhere on the cake. Seeing their excitement for my day is just as good as the day itself.

 My birthdays may have been more eventful in my twenties but I can say with confidence that the years in my thirties have topped them all. The thirties have given me babies, a stronger marriage, confidence in myself, a drive for my own desires, strength to say no, pride in my family, and a love above all else. Motherhood. So while every year adds another candle on the cake, that is another year of growth for our family, another year of milestones, another great adventure. Welcome thirty-five, I look forward to another great year.