Before Boys

My aunt has a theory for women everywhere – try to remember what you loved to do before you started liking boys. Then go and do that.

That theory came to life for me this past weekend. My parents have sold their home so everything stored in their attic is being sorted. I came home and found my pile – including a box of old schoolwork. As I flipped through the pages, it became very clear what I loved to do before I started chasing boys.

I loved to write.

Story after story filled that box. Creative short stories – far better than I remembered them being. I marveled at my middle school mind’s creativity and wondered when I last allowed my imagination to run wild.

Then I came across a book of old journals.

As long as I can remember, I have loved to journal. I guess that’s why I love blogging so much. I began to read one of my journals from ninth grade. How pathetic! Every other word mentioned this boy or that boy. It seemed as though nothing else mattered to me – which probably isn’t far from the truth at the time. It appeared as though all intelligence and creativity displayed in my middle school writings had flown out the proverbial window.

So now I am trying to go back to that young girl and rediscover what really makes me tick in the deepest parts of me. It’s time to put that pen to paper again. It’s time to let my imagination run wild once again.

To that end, and thanks to Savvy Blog Services, I have finally made the leap of purchasing my own domain now and switching to self-hosting. It’s about time, right? Please update your Readers with my new site:

Thank you all for reading this blog and for supporting the little girl in me who still loves to write. Who knows where it might take me!

What did you love to do before you discovered boys? 




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Labor Day Livin’

It’s been a great long weekend around here!

The Mini Athlete cheered his favorite football team to victory…

While Mommy chowed down on some of the best appetizers ever. Check these babies out. They’s just a sliced baguette, pesto, mozzarella, tomato and banana pepper. SO yummy! Wish I could take credit for the idea, but my friend Desiree is the genius behind this deliciousness.

I woke up Sunday morning and talked myself into going out for a run. As soon as I stepped outside, I was glad I did. Check out that sunrise!

So beautiful. I had almost forgotten how inspiring running in the morning can be. It just sets the tone for the day. The weather was perfect – dare I say there was a slight crisp in the air?

I ran 2.1 miles and felt great! I’m a big fan of the run/walk method, but I’m also really proud that I ran that entire 2.1 miles without walking!

We enjoyed our weekly Sunday morning breakfast with friends and then headed to church.

After church, we made the impromptu decision to head to the outlet mall for some shopping, and then decided to travel on south to visit the grandparents. I love spontaneous days!

Since fall is *almost* in the air, I decided to start today out with some pumpkin oats. It may look like sweet potato casserole, but it’s really just oatmeal, pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, with some pecans sprinkled on top. Tasty!

It’s been a busy morning around here, including some much needed house cleaning. Pretty soon we’ll be headed out to a cookout…wouldn’t be Labor Day weekend without grilling out with friends!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Body After Baby: Three Months

It’s that time again! Time for my third installment of “Body After Baby.”

It is hard to believe that it has been three months since I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. This has definitely been the toughest month!

Since the last time I checked in, I have returned to work. It has been tough to find time to workout, and tough to make the right food choices. My life feels like a whirlwind most days – just to wake up and doing it all again the next day! But I’m trying to make exercise and eating right a priority.

Pounds lost: 5!

Pounds lost since giving birth: 28

Pounds to go until pre-pregnancy weight: 12

Almost there! What those number don’t take into account is the fact that I was in probably the best shape of my adult life when I got pregnant. I’m actually only two pounds away from the weight I was two years ago! Hard to believe.

And now what you’ve been waiting for…the progress photos!

If you’re new around here, take a look at my photos from one month post-partum…

And here are my comparison photos. The first (smaller) photos are from two months post-partum, and the second photos are from today.



I gotta say I’m pretty pleased with those results. I could definitely stand to do more toning (especially in my back!) but I’m actually just really happy I didn’t gain weight over this past month! Seeing the progress gives me motivation to keep making healthy choices.

See you next month for another edition of Body After Baby!






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A Flat Tire

Running with a jogging stroller is tough.

Running with a jogging stroller is tougher with a flat tire.

Even tougher when it is 5:00pm, 90 degrees outside, and probably about 100% humidity.

No, I did not get rained on – that’s just sweat. Eww.

I honestly thought it started sprinkling at the end of my run. Then I realized it was my sweaty hair dripping onto my arms. Gross.

But running with a jogging stroller is  a whole lot easier when you have this cute face to stare at during your run.

I can’t wait for cooler temps here in Florida! I’ve had such a hard time finding time to workout. Yesterday, I picked my Mini Athlete up from daycare, came home and immediately changed into my running clothes. We were back out the door in less than fifteen minutes. I think that might be my best approach – especially when it gets a little cooler outside!

I have been seriously slacking when it comes to working out. Remember how I was doing the Couch to 5k? I stalled out at Week 5 – I just got too busy returning to work. Last night was my first time running in about three weeks – and my legs are feeling it today! I ran just under two miles which isn’t great, but isn’t terrible either. I’ve got a lot to work to do though – the One Day Relay will be here before I know it!

Are you training for any races? Ever hit a wall in your training? How have you pushed through?


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A New Shape

All my life I have been decidedly “pear shaped.”

Having a baby has definitely changed my shape – or at least nursing has. Suffice it so say I’m a bit more “top heavy” now…or maybe my bottom half is just balanced out with my top now.

Quite frankly, I don’t have too many old clothes that fit my new shape. I have been rotating the same five outfits or so and decided this weekend was time for some shopping.

I’ve been trying to pay attention to people on television whose shape is more similar to my new shape than my old one.

One person I’ve been watching is Sandra Rinomato who is on one of my favorite HGTV shows, “Property Virgins.”

I wear a lot of suit-type outfits for work so a lot of Sandra’s outfits from the show would work for me. I’ve noticed that she wears a lot of structured jackets, and a lot of things that accentuate her waist.

Forgive the poor quality of my photo (as if you haven’t seen enough bathroom photo shoots from me!) but here’s one of the outfits I picked up this weekend. (And yes Mom, I know my mirror needs cleaned…)

I got the jacket with belt at JCPenney this weekend for $12. Couldn’t pass that up! It’s actually a much more vibrant purple in real life. I added a black nursing tank underneath and paired it with a black pencil skirt I picked up at Target yesterday for $17 . Not pictured here are the cute black patent leather heels I wore with the outfit.

I’ve got quite a few compliments on my look today – guess I’ll be looking for more deals like that one in the future!

I seriously have NO fashion sense, so if you have any suggestions for how to better dress my new shape, I’d love to hear them!

Have you ever had to learn how to dress a new shape?


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Beach Day

Today I enjoyed my second day off work since I started back on August 8. It has been an exhausting few weeks!

My college roommate Courtney is in town this weekend and we decided it would be the perfect weekend for the Mini Athlete’s first trip to the beach.

We headed down to Pass-a-Grille – one of my favorite beaches in the area. It’s nice and quiet and not overly commercialized like too many beaches seem to be. We parked the car, walked on to the beach and saw this:

If you don’t live here, you probably don’t think there is anything unusual about this photo. But we just don’t normally have waves like that here on the Gulf!

Daddy headed out into the water to enjoy the waves, but we decided it would be a good idea to wait for calmer water before introducing baby to the ocean.

Instead, we hung out on the beach, braving the crazy winds that were whipping around. We don’t live anywhere near Hurricane Irene, but maybe the wind had something to do with it?

We didn’t stay at the beach too long, but a good time was had by all!

We came home and I promptly took a two hour nap. Not a bad Saturday if you ask me!

To everyone in the northeast – stay safe tonight! I’ve certainly been through my fair share of hurricanes, and they are nothing to mess around with. Wishing the best for everyone in its path!

Did you do anything exciting this weekend? 


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How to Return to Work After Having a Baby (Without Losing Your Mind)

I am certainly no expert when it comes to being a working mother, but I’m happy to share with you what I have learned! Here are just a few of my suggestions on how to return to work while keeping your sanity – or at least some of it. :)

1. Prepare yourself – but don’t live it a million times.

I spent way too much of my maternity leave dreading my return to work. I played it out in my head a million times. I would imagine taking him to daycare, kissing him goodbye, and driving away. And then I would cry. Instead of just living it when the day came, I lived it a million times before that day.

Yes, I cried the day it happened, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as all those times I had played it out in my mind.

2. Don’t talk about it.

This seems so counter intuitive but it is the biggest way I got through that first day. My co-workers, wanting to be nice, asked me how the baby was doing. I kindly replied, “He’s great, thank you, but I really don’t want to talk about it.”


As long as I was focusing on my work, I was fine. The minute someone brought up that sweet baby of mine, the tears started welling up and my heart started aching. Thankfully, the co-workers closest to me caught on and started playing a bit of defense for me. As the days passed, I was able to talk about him more without risking melting into a pool of tears. And as more days passed, I was able to start to show off his picture. Two weeks later, I have finally reached the point where I have his picture up in my office.

Sometimes you just have to compartmentalize things. Returning to work was one of those times for me!

3. Find perspective.

A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend mentioned the Stanley family and I followed her link to their blog. As I read, my heart began to break. Their sweet baby Caden was born with a severe heart defect.

On the same day I returned to work after maternity leave, Becca Stanley watched her baby boy go into the operating room for open heart surgery. I made a decision that every time I started feeling sorry for myself for having to take my baby to daycare, that I would instead start praying for Caden and his family. Talk about perspective.

As much as my heart ached that day missing my own baby, it only paled in comparison to what Becca must have been feeling.

4. Start slowly.

This is some advice I didn’t take. I’ve often heard it recommended that you should start work on a Wednesday or Thursday so you have the weekend right around the corner to spend with your baby.

Sadly, I didn’t follow this advice. I went back to work and worked 13 days straight! I’d definitely recommend easing back into work if you can!

Do you have any other advice for new moms returning to work?



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