Monday, April 14, 2014

And time moves on

So it's been a long time since I wrote anything on this page.  Little did I realize it's been almost 2 years!  I think mostly because I have tried to spend more time in the moment rather than trying to document the moment. Not to say that's it's wrong, but I have tried to make time with my family quality time vs. computer time.  (Mind you it's almost 2am and I am at work so I don't feel guilty).

The boys have grown up a lot over the last few years. They're both as busy as ever. Alex started kindergarten in the fall and Ryan began 4th grade. Only one more year with both of them at the same school and then it will all change.  Currently I am glad to have them where they are.

Ryan has matured significantly in the last few months. He has learned how to control himself better and really loves life. He started Tae Kwan Do in September and I think that made the biggest difference.  He has really begun to respect himself and others more than he ever did.  I love seeing him smile and be happy.  He's super smart and always on the honor roll.

Alex is a big momma's boy. He would rather be with me and snuggle in my bed any day of the week. That being said, he would also rather play on the xbox (that belongs to the kids down the street). He thinks I am a horrible mom because I won't buy him an xbox.....and never plan to. Kindergarten is great for him. He's already surpassed where he is supposed to be at the end of the year.  I look forward to first grade in the fall to see how he develops.

I am always on the go. I only work two nights a week in labor hall and then spend the rest of my time at the gym. I'm teaching a lot of rowing, Zumba, and barre on occasion.  I love teaching and get such enjoyment from seeing people happy.

Mike is working all the time and working out at Crossfit many days a week.  We don't get a lot of down time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I hope this post finds you all well.

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Vacation July 2012

For the first time in 5 years, we took a vacation.

Yes, that's right. We actually went away for a week! And it was glorious!!!

Of course, it centered around Mike's 1/2 marathon trail run in Columbia, SC, but that gave us an excuse to go even further.

This year, on the advice of some friends, we went to Litchfield Beach, SC. We rented a condo at the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, and it was awesome. It was close to the pools and the shuttle to the beach. Even though we weren't on the beach, the little golf cart shuttle made rounds about every 15 minutes and took us to and from it :)

We started our vacay though visiting Renee's cousin in Anderson. Since the family is so spread out, this was nice to visit, even if only for one night. The next day we drove to Greenville to spend the day in the park and having lunch before heading to Columbia. The boys had a great time with their girls at the pool and playing in their rooms. I want my kids to know their family and enjoy life.

Mike's race was on Sunday and he said it was the hardest ever. It was a true trail run.....and I don't think he was truly prepared for that. He came back to the hotel with scrapes and bruises and a little hole in his had where he had fallen (more than once unfortunately). But all in all, he finished and survived.

We drove to Litchfield after lunch and got settled in to the condo. I headed off to the local Piggly Wiggly and Fresh Market for some item for the week. And then we headed off to the glorious pool. Big pool, lazy river, kid's area, hot there anything more for which I could have asked? This place was amazing!!!

Monday morning was beach time!!! The shuttle took us to the beach early so it wouldn't be too hot. We stayed a few hours then came back to get ready for lunch. The beach and beach club is so clean. I couldn't have asked for a better place. The boys loved the waves and although Alexander was a little nervous at first, he eventually found his footing and LOVED it. Ryan preferred to dig in the sand......

Lunch was out (figured it would be cheaper than dinner). The first day was Bistro 217. A little pricey, but Ryan ordered shrimp....and ate every bit of it. And I'm not talking popcorn shrimp. I'm talking the big huge butterfly with tail on it shrimp. He was in absolute heaven!

Pool time later in the afternoon again before bed.

Tuesday was out at the pool. After lunch we drove to Myrtle Beach in a thunderstorm to the outlet mall :) Momma had to get a little shopping done.

We had dinner there and headed back for a little more pool time.

Wednesday was beach and pool again. This time lunch was at Applewood Pancake House. Nothing spectacular, but it was good nonetheless.

Thursday morning was spent taking pictures on the beach with the family, then changing for one last frolic in the ocean. I unfortunately got stung by a jellyfish so we had to cut our ocean time short a little. Oh well, the boys had an adventure of a lifetime anyway.

All in all the trip was fantastic and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I'm grateful we got to go, and can't wait to return next year!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Here we go

So here we are with summer in full swing :)

Mike had a goal this year of doing a half marathon every month. This month, he decided to go to Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Seeing as how this is part of my history growing up, I wanted to make it a family venture. Granted, it was a whirlwind trip, but we had fun and packed in a lot of memories in a short time.

We left Friday morning when I got home from work. I had endured a little dental work earlier in the week, so I took 1/2 of a pain pill and attempted to nap. I use that word lightly seeing as how I might have slept about an hour.....We stopped for lunch mid day and arrived at Ridgecrest around 3pm. Mike checked in to receive his race packet, while the boys and I walked around and stretched our legs.

Seeing as how it's been about 25 years since I been there, I didn't remember my way around much. And unfortunately, not long after we arrived, the rain came down (the same rain Mike had been driving in the last 6 hours). No biggie though. We all decided to chill in our room on campus for a little while

then head to Asheville for dinner. Mike's favorite place to eat before a race is Carrabba's Italian Restaurant. Granted, it's no where near a Weight Watchers menu, but it was okay nonetheless. After a short walk around the local mall, we headed back to sleep. And welcome, peaceful sleep it was. No TV. Nothing for the kids to fight over. We all slept so wonderfully that night.

The next morning came as a bit of a shocker. I was not prepared for the cold mountain morning. I'm not sure what the temperature was, but I know it was COLD!!! Luckily I had brought a blanket for myself to use in the car, and had packed 2 blankets for the kiddos to have (you know, things from home). We were up early because the race started at 6:01.....I'm glad we had them.

We made some new friends from Charlotte and took pictures along the beginning and finish line. Their names were Heidi and Neil.

It took Mike an hour and 54 minutes to complete the half this time. He said it was a tough course. I don't think I could ever do one again...

After he bathed and changed, we all headed to Asheville to get him some breakfast and some long sleeves for us to wear. I was freezing and I know the kids were cold as well. Luckily we found some shirts on the clearance aisle at Walmart. I never really intended for them to match, but that's what they had....

We headed in to Gatlinburg after that, ready for the day :)

There was so much to do and see and it was so busy!!!! It's been a really long time since I've been to Gatlinburg, 21 years to be exact, and it really hasn't changed that much. Still lots of candy shops, and places to buy just about whatever your heart desires. And restaurants that make you want to hurl after you eat because they're so full of fat. But you can't enjoy Gatlinburg unless you eat a little junk, right?

We checked in to the hotel about 3 hours after we arrived. I had made reservations at The Park Vista...the big one on the hill. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny.

The next morning was spent walking around town again. Alex and I stayed at the hotel to pack up, while Mike and Ryan walked in to town from a trail the led from the hotel to downtown. We road the sky lift where I was able to take some amazing pictures and enjoy the mountain air.

After that, we decided to go to the aquarium. Although I was a bit disappointed (Atlanta is still my favorite by far with Chattanooga a close second), the boys enjoyed it and we all had a good time.

By this time, we were all exhausted. A short lunch at Subway and we were on our way home. Like I said, it was a whirlwind, but we packed in some amazing times. Hope your summer is going well, too!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

so close....

It's the middle of March and Spring Break is becoming ever so close. As excited as I am for the kids to have a break, I am very nervous as well. Last year just before and the 3 weeks following were the toughest weeks we had ever had with Ryan. I'm prayerful that his maturity level will change this year for the best. His teacher is awesome and I'm sure she'll do her best to keep things going in the right direction.

He's been working on papers at school. Some were informative, some narrative, and so on. His informative paper was about what you call a family of goats. I thought that was cute. But then he wrote an opinion paper on why he liked sheep so much. I was amazed at the things he said and how he worded his paper. I thought, "wow and this is only 2nd grade". His brain is amazing and I'm sure if he allows himself, he will go far :)

Alexander is a tough little bugger these days. Some nights just absolutely refusing to go to bed, regardless of how late it is or how many times I swat his bottom. I'm not sure why he's going through this phase. Ryan did it, but I had a newborn at home. Maybe it's just a developmental phase he needs to get through. I'm hoping, because I am tired of putting him back to bed all the time!!!

Work is work for me....still teaching a lot of Zumba Fitness almost every day and recently completed the Turbo Kick certification. I hope I passed, seeing as how I won't know for a few more weeks. I'll be super psyched if I did!!! But more things are in the works, and my life is blessed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

growing up

Today is Monday, so that means the spelling words have come home for the week. Generally I don't get too concerned, or make Ryan work hard on them until Wednesday. He works on them all week at school so I don't see too much of a need. That was until today. When he gave me his school list I was a little overwhelmed......2nd grade mind you...petroglyphs. Really? When did spelling in 2nd grade become something I would have spelled in 6th grade (at the earliest)? It amazes me at how much the children learn these days at such a young age. And they wonder why our kids talk and act the way they do. It's not just hormones in food.......They are being groomed at such an early age to learn so much. Geez louise!!!!

Alexander on the other hand is screaming his alphabet from the rooftops and writing his name. Yes writing at age 4. Pretty soon he'll be reading before he even hits pre-k in the fall. He loves to come up with words that begin with every letter. It's become a game of sorts some times on the way home from daycare with the three of us. Some days it's anything that begins with a letter. Other days it's only animals, or foods. Those are a little bit of a challenge on occasion.

All in all, things are well. We haven't had ANY snow days this school year. Hopefully we'll be out of school by the end of May which would be totally awesome (except for the fact I would have to pay extra daycare and pools don't open until Memorial Day weekend....)

Mike is still running a 1/2 marathon every month. He's been to Georgia for 2 of them thus far. Luckily the next few are within an hour's drive or so. In June he's headed to North Carolina. I really want to get off for this one since it's in Ridgecrest.....home of Centrifuge when I was a youth. How fun would it be to go back there? Oh the memories......

Well, enough gabbing. I've got lots of work to do this evening on my muscle madness class (yes, let's add another group fitness class to my plate).

Hope everyone is doing well.

Love to you all,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

picture updates

Seeing as how I haven't taken a lot of time to blog, I'm just going to add pictures from the last few months.

Thanksgiving was spent at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. We've been there before and absolutely love it. It's virtually tech free since wi-fi is sporadic and only in the lobby. It was a wonderful change and we had a great time.

I worked all of Christmas this year, so I instructed Mike to take pics. He took 4.......

Anyway, all in all we're doing great and life is going on day by day. Spring break is almost here and since we've had NO snow days this year, we might actually be out before the end of May!!!! So exciting :)

so here's a day in the life, picture style:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little of this, little of that, and growing up

Today is the first day of November.

Are you kidding me? Where did the time go?

Time just seems to move so quickly when life and kids happen. I try to take it all in, but I wonder some days how much I'm missing. I hope not much. I want to remember everything.

I've been busy lately with a little of everything. Working at the hospital, teaching childbirth classes, Zumba fitness Sunday through Thursday (sometimes twice in one day on top of my normal gym hours), and Divas in Defense. Thank goodness the majority of this is done while the kids are in school and daycare so it doesn't make me feel like I'm cutting my time with them.

The Divas in Defense doesn't really take that much time, but I get so much from it. For me it's like giving back and letting people know it's okay to say "NO". After our visit to "The Nest" a few weeks ago I see things in such a different way. You see, my partner in this venture, that asked me to come on board, used to go to this place when she was a child. Being the older daughter of a bipolar and quite unstable mother, she found herself dirty and homeless on more than one occasion. They lived in the ghetto of Lexington which to this day is a very scary place. I believe that is what makes her so passionate about what we do and her passion has definitely reached a place in me. I was so fortunate to never have to go through anything like that in my life. I was never destitute or homeless. I've always had clean clothes....maybe not what I wanted, or what my friends had, but at least they were clothes. And I guess I had toys. I never remember really wanting all that many toys. I do remember the Christmas Santa brought the Atari. I was on top of the world :) I am so grateful to God and my parents for being stable. And although life wasn't always perfect, it was still a good life.

Alexander went for his 4 year check up last week....17% BMI. I guess that's what happens when you're almost 42 inches and 38 pounds. Wow!! His pediatrician talks about how smart he is....of course he's a lot like Ryan. Always reading and watching "Word World" What would we do without that and "Bubble Guppies"? I'm glad he's a little bright :) On the flip side, he's hit the terrible 4's. Two's were okay and three's were good, but he's learning to talk back and push the envelope. I'm sure the people in Target thought I was abusing my child the other day as I put him in the front of the buggy. He was in the back and kept standing up. I promptly picked him up, swatted his backside, and set him down....kicking and screaming the whole time. Him, not me, although I felt like I could. He's just as bullheaded as his older brother (and his mother) It's going to be a long year....

Ryan on the other hand, turns 8 in 13 days. Wow. And it's not just the age. He is really beginning to mature in such a way that amazes me completely. I had a parent teacher conference last Wednesday. In the beginning I was not a fan at all of his teacher. I didn't like the way she presented herself on orientation night and she didn't talk a lot. Maybe she was nervous or something. Then a few weeks ago, I got together with all of his teachers, the parent resource, and social worker at the school. I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page as far as Ryan was concerned. Certain things were addressed and I felt very good after leaving there. But it wasn't until the one on one with his teacher that I truly felt like Ryan was going to flourish this year. We went through things from the beginning of the year until now with her showing me his progress in writing. She talked about how kind & loving he is. Of course, I know all of these things, but to know it carries over into other places other than home makes my heart happy. Then we just chatted. It's amazing how in just a few times of talking, how she knows me very well. She said, "I feel like you are very strong and confident and don't let what others think bother you. You are yourself and it doesn't matter what other opinions people my have". She so hit the nail on the head. I mean, I don't want people thinking badly of me in any way, but I also don't put up a front. I am what I am, like it or not. This is me. I try to raise my kids the same way. I want them to appreciate what God gave them and work with it as best as possible. She and I talked a lot about being grateful for things and how I try to impress that upon Ryan (his school is very diverse and that's good for him). As I left, she walked me out to the front door and said, "I feel like I just need to give you a hug" It was one of the most real hugs from an almost total stranger I have had in a long time. Heart felt and meaningful which felt so good. I know this teacher is here for Ryan.

But speaking of his maturing.....he received a cool cat the other day. It's something that gets handed out when the student is excelling, or striving for personal best...things like that. He got one for "helping others" His teacher had written in his planner to make sure I asked him about it. Come to find out, he saw a younger student having trouble with his backpack and stopped to help him zip it up. It makes my heart so happy to know that for all the years of struggles we've had, something has really gotten through to him. Even this week.......Monday we got a letter about a play they will be attending and the cost of $10. I just said in passing I may send some extra money because not all parents have even the extra $10 it would take for their kids to go. I explained to Ryan again, just how blessed and grateful we are to have what we have. And although he says it in his prayers every night, I wasn't sure how much he really "gets" it. Until this morning, when I saw him emptying his piggy bank. When I questioned him, he said he wanted to help out, too. "Help out with what?" I asked. "You know, with the money for the play." I had tears in my eyes. Knowing that my son is grasping the concept of helping and loving others, sacrificing self for others. WOW!! Thank you God for allowing me to teach him and open his eyes.

We also had our Halloween adventure last night. Some houses were scary......we didn't even go to those. Some were just down right fun and the kids had a blast. Ryan decided he would go as Kowalski from Madagascar and Alexander chose to be the dragon Ryan had at that age but never wore (he hated trick or treating a few years ago). They were both so cute and got a lot of loot.....yes some I've already raided. I'll work it off tomorrow when I teach Zumba fitness and stretch with yoga :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe start to the holiday season.

Blessings to you all