5th Annual Friendsgiving Celebration

There are friends, there is family and then there are friends who become family. Another successful Friendsgiving celebration is on the books and boy was it a day to remember! We spent the entire day celebrating friendship with those we hold most dear to us. It’s these friendships and these people that have made our cross country move five years ago worth it. It’s these friendships that have made me feel a lot less homesick for Wisconsin and have made Arizona start to feel like a true home. It’s these friendships that will last a lifetime.

This year was our biggest year yet! I have never seen our home full of so much laughter, food and fun. My heart and belly is so full and I wouldn’t have it any other way. A HUGE thank you to everyone who made it this year! We love and appreciate each and every single one of you. And to those of you who couldn’t make it we missed you terribly. Let’s get together real soon.

It warms my heart to see how this event has grown over the years and I’m so excited to watch it continue to grow for years to come. I cannot wait to do it all over again next year! In the meantime I have two refrigerators full of leftovers that need to disappear ASAP so hit me up if you’re hungry.

Health and Fitness Journey Update

You know I’m always gonna keep it real with you. But I feel a little bit like an imposter. I will admit I have been a little bit in hiding. I haven’t shared my workouts, transformation photos or really given any updates on my health and fitness journey for a while now.

Truth is I have been struggling behind the scenes and haven’t really known how or what to share. So before I spill my guts here people I ask that you keep it kind. And for those of you who just can’t help themselves I can promise you that there is nothing you can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself.

I want to start by saying that life is good! REALLY REALLY good! But for someone reason I find myself in a season where my disordered eating is getting out of control again. I am back into a cycle of starving, binging, and purging. I act like it’s some unknown reason that led to this but because of the healing journey I’ve been on this past year deep down I truly do know.

For the first time in my life I am coming face to face with all my demons, past mistakes and childhood traumas. The mask is off. The heavy drinking and substance abuse to hide from having to face these demons is off. I am facing all of this in its truest and rawest form. And to be on this journey at a time when I am also mourning the loss of a future I can no longer have as a woman and mother because my body is changing and my hormones are an absolute mess is beyond difficult. Not just for me but for my family. My poor husband especially. He gets the sobbing, blubbering, can’t even breathe or form a sentence version of me that only those closest to my heart have ever seen.

The work is being put in folks that I can promise you. Even if you don’t see it. Even if I don’t share it. It’s being done. I CANNOT and WILL NOT continue to live my life this way. And for the very first time in a long while I feel like I can see a little bit of sunshine through this heavy cloud that’s been hanging over me. The pieces of the puzzle are all starting to come together. I am able to see things clearer and have a better understanding of how I got here and in turn have a better understanding of what needs to be done to truly heal my whole body, heart, mind and soul.

Thank you to all of you who have been there for me without fail watching, supporting and uplifting me as I navigate this crazy journey. Thank you to my amazing support group and team. I wouldn’t be here without all of you. Thank you to my husband for never giving up on me. Thank you to my family for always showing me grace and forgiveness. I’m coming out of this a new woman for sure. I’m so close. I can feel it!

Fresh Start Grocery Haul

It’s your “day one”. The pantry and fridge have been cleaned out and your grocery haul is up next. So where do you begin???

When you’re just starting out trying to eat better I am ALL FOR splurging on convenience items. Items you know are going to keep you on track regardless of what life throws your way on any given day. Pre-packaged, pre-cut, pre-cooked, individual serving sizes. You know, the kind of stuff you don’t even have to think about. Whether it’s a crazy busy day and you’ve gone far too long since last eating or you’re in a grab-and-go situation that may lead to bad food choices; focusing on convenience will make all the difference in the world when trying to avoid that end of day binge or quick run through the drive thru.

Pre-cooked, pre-cut protein options are a MUST. They can be used as a stand alone item or as an add-in to any meal any time of day. I’m a HUGE fan of pre-cooked, chopped and frozen chicken breast. Be sure to grab some eggs and cottage cheese too. It’s the fastest, easiest way to boost your protein intake. With pre-packaged salad kits the possibilities are ENDLESS…eat alone as a full meal, as a side to a meal or as a wrap! So good to have on hand. Finally, I always grab a healthy amount of fresh fruit and vegetable options for the week. Apples, individual servings of avocado or hummus and little veggie snack packs are PERFECT for grabbing on your way out the door. Don’t over complicate it babes. Make it so stupid easy you can’t fail.

Yes Day

Today was one of Hunter’s favorite days…it was a “YES DAY”!!! These days don’t happen often but when they do it’s a pretty big deal. What’s a “YES DAY”???

This is how we do it:

1️⃣ We agree on a store to shop at.

2️⃣ Hunter has 10 minutes to shop.

3️⃣ Anything in the store is fair game. All items are an automatic yes.

He may get ANYTHING he wants BUT…

4️⃣ He must be able to carry all the items himself.

5️⃣ He is responsible for checking out all by himself.

Today we went the Dollar Tree and let me tell you, some of the items he picked were a little bizarre, some were cute and some were super duper sweet. He got really creative this time too. When it came to carrying his things he headed to the gift bag section first to have bags to fill for easier carrying. His total came to $23.09 and included things like a toothbrush, toothpaste and his own deodorant, a lei and flip flops for Mommy, a card for Daddy and a bright blue glittery star to go by Grandpa’s photo and flag. I’m most impressed and extremely proud that given the option to get anything he wanted that he thought of others.

Have you ever done a “YES DAY” with your kiddo??? If you haven’t I would highly recommend giving it a try! It’s a pretty special experience and you might be surprised at some of the things your child picks out and why. If you do happen to do your own “YES DAY” be sure and tag us!

Today is a Good Day to Cry

I was trying to think of something profound or poetic to share but the truth is nothing creative is coming to me. I’m just sad. And it’s truly difficult some days to simply get out of bed. These days don’t come often but they have now come back to back weeks. When you ask me what’s wrong I cry harder because I just don’t know! Or maybe I do know but the thought of telling the truth sounds so dumb.

But the truth is I’m still grieving. Some days it’s triggered by little things like dropping popcorn on the floor and calling for Athena out of habit. And some days; like today, it’s seemingly brought on by nothing at all. There are days I will miss my Father in Law and then feel guilty because I should be missing my Grandpa, Athena, Justin’s Grandma and Aunt just the same. Then I feel even more sad for not grieving each of them the same. I carry guilt for still grieving when others are not. The snow ball grows and the cycle continues.

I know in time I will be ok. And I am putting in the work to ensure that does happen. I just didn’t expect that it would take this much time. In my Bible study last week my dear friend had shared with me that things will never be the same and that hit me right in the gut. Nothing IS ever going to be the same! And I AM still holding on to all the things that my future holds that I won’t be able to share with these people.

I fucking miss each and every one of them so much. And as if the grief weren’t enough I also have new anxieties and fears surrounding my family that still lives. It’s a struggle and one that I’m so over dealing with. But the reality is that this is my new normal. And I DO have to live each day going forward without them. If a single one of them were still here they would tell me to live by my word and get out of bed and make every single day a great day. So for now I’ll cry. But just know that through the tears I’m determined to make it a great day. If I can do it you can too! If you’re struggling also please know you are not crazy, or wrong or alone. I see you. Drop a ❤️ below if any of this spoke to you.

Grief Hits When You Least Expect It

I’m just walking around holding back tears today and it sucks. There has been so much fun and so much excitement this whole week there truly is no need for it and seemingly no cause. I’m literally sobbing as I type this. I’ve also been super snappy with Hunter today and the guilt of that alone is weighing heavy on my heart. It’s so crazy how life can be so joyful one minute then grief says “I think the f*ck not!” And just slams your ass back down again.

Its not lost on me that I’ve been asking God for a good cry. Actually I’ve been begging for it. It could have been any day in the past six months and I was ready for it! But now? Really? With friends in town and with all the fun stuff we’ve been up to? Now? Now is when the tears are gonna finally fall? Grief is such a b*tch and I would never wish it on my worst enemy. So I’m gonna go bawl my eyes out for a minute then continue on with my day. Because I’ve got things to do, places to go and people to see. If you’ve ever had a day like this please know you’re not alone. I certainly hope I’m not.

Girl Get That Milkshake!!!

There was a time in my life that I would never pass up a milkshake. But I’d have to be certain it was always in front of others so no one would ever suspect anything was off. Then in private, the things I would do and justified doing because no one would ever know were horrendous. But I still knew. And that guilt would reset the cycle all over again time after time. I was drowning and no one knew it. Food RULED my world.

When I became a Mom I realized VERY quickly that our children see and hear literally EVERYTHING. Even the things we thought we got away with, we really didn’t. They are like sponges; soaking everything up. Right down to how we eat. I did not want the same horrendous relationship with food for Hunter. And I knew in order to set the very best example I had to BE that example first. I had to face my food demons and really start working on my own relationship with food.

I am far from perfect but the important thing is that I am making a dedicated effort to do better. And that starts with things like a surprise lunch dates for milkshakes with ZERO guilt and ZERO plans to self-sabotage afterwards. Because sometimes life is about eating dessert first and making those memories in moments that are so fleeting. I have to remember that one milkshake ISN’T gonna make me FAT just like one workout ISN’T gonna make me SKINNY. But a milkshake with my favorite little guy ever IS going to create memories that WILL last a lifetime.

Goodbye 2021

My word of intention for 2021 was GROWTH. As I reflect back on my year I am so incredibly proud of how far I have come and all the growth I experienced this past year. And in all that growth I found a strength inside me that I never knew existed. Where before my vulnerability would consume me; my anxiety, my life, my everything, it has now become my superpower. I’ve shared a lot with you all this past year. I’ve showed up even when shit got hard. REAL HARD! I have put in the work on myself mentally, physically and spiritually and continue to do so every single day.

If I had not gone into this past year determined AF to grow and to push myself outside my comfort zone I would not have survived the year. Old habits are hard to break but I broke them just in time for the shit to hit the fan. Now I am far from perfect and will never claim to be but simply being able to recognize triggers that would normally lead to destructive behavior and disorder eating is a HUGE win in my book. And let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that I have FINALLY learned to ask for help when I need it rather than feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders and crumbling under all the pressure. I’ve said it many many times throughout the year and I will continue to say it because I believe it with all my heart…you simply MUST commit to yourself and your health first in order to give the very best version of you to others. Period! It’s not selfish to do so it’s necessary.

This past year was one of the most difficult years of my life filled with a LOT of loss. I’m definitely still drowning in all that grief but know with time those wounds will heal. I’m just not there yet. It still hurts just as bad as the day they each left. But the funny thing is despite all that loss my faith is stronger than ever before. My marriage is stronger than ever before. My relationships are stronger than ever before. My friendships are stronger than ever before. It started with growth and led to strength. So despite me wanting to curse 2021 for eternity I thank the year instead. Thank you 2021 for forcing me to find a strength within that I never knew I possessed. It’s with that new found strength that I go into 2022 with my word for the new year. Be sure to stay tuned for what my next adventure will be.

What’s Your Superpower?

What’s your superpower??? Drop it in the comments below.

My vulnerability is my superpower. I show up. I share the hard. And I don’t quit. When I was younger I was always told I overshared. I have ALWAYS been an open book who wears her heart on her sleeve. But what was once considered my weakness has grown into something that has changed not only my life for the better but has the ability to change other people’s lives as well. What was once something I was looked down on for is now my strength. I share it all because it’s healing for me to do so but it also helps countless others feel less alone in their own shit. I know this because of all the heartfelt messages I receive on a regular basis. These messages mean the world to me and keep me going on the days I want to quit.

So if you’re reading this thinking yeah she totally overshares. Then you are not my people and that’s ok. For those of you whose lives I’ve touched in any way by sharing my truth, my pain, my struggles, you are my people and I thank you for being here. Thank you so much Ronda for the reminder I needed today. So yeah, my vulnerability is in fact my superpower and I couldn’t be more proud.

Workout With Me – The Mom Workout

I call this workout the Mom workout. I’ve selected each move in the circuit to mimic picking up after and/or chasing the kiddo(s), running errands, picking up and hauling shopping bags, etc. But you definitely don’t need to be a Momma to do this amazing workout.

Optional Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Leg Band, Rope-less Jump Rope. Do x15 reps of each arm/leg move as seen in the video with x100 reps of varying jumps in between each move with the jump rope. Do 2 complete sets for an absolute calorie burn that’s tons of fun and can be done just about anywhere…at home, in the gym, at the playground, on the beach! The sky is the limit with this one.

No time to try this workout now? Simply save this post or the video over on my YouTube channel and come back to it when you have time. If you do try this out be sure and tag me and let me know what you think!