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“Sweet Caroline! Dun dun dun. Good times never seemed so good!”. At that point my mom would shout “so good! So good!” as she threw her arms in the air, imitating what happened when the song played live in concert. She did the same thing every.single.time. it came on (Which I might add, was about four times a week thanks to the mix cd that she insisted I make her). To this day, I can’t help but to think of her each time I hear it. The first few years after her death, the song was a trigger for instant tears. However, with the 6 year anniversary of her death upon us, the song finally brings me the same amount of nostalgic joy that it once brought her.

My mom was a beautiful person. She was a hopeful romantic and she was a dreamer. She once wrote on a very official debate tournament semi finals ballot that her reason for voting the way she did was because the winning team ‘had more spunk’ than the opposing team. She would drive 10 laps around a parking lot if that’s what it took to get a prime parking spot, and her broccoli cheddar soup would put Panera bread to shame. She was not perfect, but she found so much joy in the silliest things, and I know she would have been the most loving grandma to my son.

She was never able to meet the love of my life, and she was never able to meet my baby boy. For that, there will always be some sadness. But I can feel her in our lives each and every day. When my son points to her photos, and when I turn the car radio on to one of her favorite songs, she is there. When I am scared or nervous or lost, I remember the silly pieces of advice she would give me, and she is there. When I snuggle up with one of her throw blankets or a family member shares (an always hilariously ridiculous) story about her, she is there. The fact that my mom will never have the chance to hold my son or to hug my husband is a fact I had to face long ago. But she is there in spirit and memory each and every time that I need her to be, and that is enough.

So on this sad day, I am going to choose to be thankful for the precious years I had with her. I am going to be thankful for the love that she put in my heart and the lessons that she taught me both before and after her death. I am thankful for the fond memories that I can share with my husband and son, and I am thankful for the truly amazing family members that have been there for me in the moments that she couldn’t be.

Six years ago today, the party in heaven got a little bit crazier. With terrible dance moves, rum/diet coke in hand, and surely wearing a hot pink sparkly dress, my mom made her heaven debut, and the world lost a special woman too soon. Flip flops in paradise, rest in peace mama.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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Taking California. Again.

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Going on a family trip to Southern California may not have been the best thing for my diet, and it certainly was not the best thing for my workout schedule, but it was great for my soul, so it all balances out, right?

Going into this trip, I felt like I needed to get out of Las Vegas… like, yesterday. I am not a winter person. At all. I enjoy the winter months from Thanksgiving until New Years, and as soon as those winter events have come to an end, my brain moves into summer mode. So in other words, this trip came at a much needed time. Between a memorial service for my great grandma in San Clemente, and my husband needing to take care of some business in Santa Monica, this trip just fell into place perfectly.

We spent the first portion of our trip at the Ocean View hotel in Santa Monica. Directly across from the beautiful beach/Santa Monica Pier, and right up the street from the Third Street Promenade, we couldn’t have asked for a more prime location. I have seen master bathrooms larger than our hotel room and the walls were so thin that it sounded as though each passing hotel guest was standing in our room… but when you can open your balcony doors to the smells and sounds of the ocean, you are quickly reminded that there really isn’t much to complain about.

When my husband tended to business and meetings during the day, I took my son on long walks on the Santa Monica bluffs over looking the ocean. When my husband was done working, we strolled through some of the most stunning beach neighborhoods that I have ever laid eyes on, we spent time on the beach as the sun set, and we went to some of the most delicious restaurants in the area. We did have a breakfast incident in which Liam threw his sippy cup at my coffee cup, sending coffee all across the table and into my lap… But hey, after the mess was all cleaned up my avocado/mushroom/goat cheese omelet was so great that it was impossible to care too much.

As beautiful as Santa Monica was, after several awful nights of sleep due to Liam waking up from all of the noises outside, the second half of our trip was welcomed with open arms. Moving on to stay with my god mother in Irvine, our family fell nothing short of being totally and completely spoiled. Upon arriving in Irvine, my husband and I were hitting our parenting limit. Liam had been great for most of the trip, but after the bad nights of sleep and a terrible experience with him (involving 10 too many hysterical fits) at a restaurant that day, we were in great need of a break. Little did we know, my real life fairy god mother and her dear husband had already planned on babysitting Liam for the night so that we could go out to an ‘adult’ dinner. Who knew how relieving a two hour dinner could be! We found a lovely restaurant down the street, shared some delicious sangria, then came back to a sleeping baby and the good company of my amazing God mother and her family.

The following day, we attended a lovely memorial service for my great grandma in San Clemente. At my cousin Kelly’s beautiful home overlooking the ocean, the family came together to remember our great Gammy and to celebrate the long life she lived. Liam found joy in chasing a bunch of the little girls around the house, while simultaneously draining my husband and I of the small amount of energy that we had left.

Returning to Irvine that night, my god mother had one more grand surprise up her sleeve: a hot tub date for my husband and I in her backyard. Not only did she create the loveliest ambiance of candles and light fixtures surrounding the hot tub, but she also put Liam to bed AND treated us like royalty, bringing us drinks and Liam updates as we enjoyed the peace of the perfect California night.

Heading home on Sunday morning, we were feeling relaxed, thankful, loved, and pretty freakin stoked about the lack of traffic. Our trip was everything we needed it to be. We got to relax, my husband was able to secure some important meetings, we were able to spend quality time with our loved ones, and Liam was better behaved than we’ve ever seen him be on a trip. The year has been off to an interesting start to say the least and it has already presented its fair share of challenges. However, sitting in the comfort of our home, relaxed and refreshed, I can’t help but to feel as though we are one very blessed family.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

 

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Mission Get Hot: week two.

Our journey started almost two weeks ago. I am down 4 pounds, 2 inches, and can already see a major change (as in I finally don’t look 5 months pregnant before I go to bed each night). That being said… All I have been wanting is a cheeseburger.

Week one was the easy week. Feeling pumped and excited, I whipped out new recipes left and right and looked forward to working out each day. Going into this week however, I had a temporary crash. Sunday evening, after 10 days straight of workouts and home cooking every single meal, I found myself completely worn out. I did not want to cook. I did not want to meal prep. I did not want to drink another fruit smoothie or even look at another piece of broccoli. I did not want to move a single limb in my body. I just wanted to sit on the couch gorging myself on hamburgers and pizza for the rest of eternity.

That’s where my husband comes in. As I sat there obnoxiously wallowing in my hamburger fantasies, my husband reminded me of all of my success so far. He told me he would make me a healthy meal so that I didn’t have to cook yet another one. He told me my feelings were completely normal and understandable at this point in our journey, but he also told me that I could not let those feelings consume me. In other words, my husband was a saint.

Eventually, after lots of pep talk and hugs, I got past my hour of weakness. I woke up on Monday feeling ready to face another week of hard work, and feeling grateful for the community of support I have on this mission. While I wasn’t proud of my moment of weakness, I can also pat myself on the back knowing that I made it through the first one, when just a few weeks ago I would have caved.

Steel cut oats, berries, grapefruit, eggs, pistachios, broccoli, kale, salmon, and brown rice have taken the place of fast food, cheeseburgers, French fries, pizza, and beer. I have found an array of Pinterest recipes that creatively allow me to sneak in the not so tasty nutrients that my body needs and I have made it a priority to read up on nutrition facts and to become more familiar with the foods that I am putting into my body. With each day of workouts I have found that I am becoming stronger and stronger, and each time I look in the mirror I am becoming happier and more confident.

Just 2 weeks down, and 10 more to go, I am sure I will continue to have moments of weakness. I’m sure my husband will have moments of weakness. But in those moments, we have each other and the vision of our healthy and fit future.

And with that, the journey continues on.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

 

wild Alaskan salmon marinated in Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce, brown rice, green onion, and broccoli

wild Alaskan salmon marinated in Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce, brown rice, green onion, and broccoli

Crustless quiche made with eggs, almond milk, spinach, red bell pepper, onion, and  thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

Crustless quiche made with eggs, almond milk, spinach, red bell pepper, onion, and thin layer of mozzarella cheese.

stovetop popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels and coconut oil

stovetop popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels and coconut oil

Meal prep: broccoli, brown rice with green onions and pepper, ground turkey patties made with organic ground turkey, green onion, spinach, yellow onion, red pepper flakes, and oregano.

Meal prep: broccoli, brown rice with green onions and pepper, ground turkey patties made with organic ground turkey, green onion, spinach, yellow onion, red pepper flakes, and oregano.

blackened organic chicken breast, yellow squash, zucchini, and steamed green beans.

blackened organic chicken breast, yellow squash, zucchini, and steamed green beans.

Chicken tacos made with: corn tortillas, low fat mexican cheese blend, cilantro, onions, organic chicken (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chille powder, and cayenne pepper), homemade quacemole, homemade chipotle sauce

Chicken tacos made with: corn tortillas, low fat Mexican cheese blend, cilantro, onions, organic chicken (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chilli powder, and cayenne pepper), homemade guacamole, homemade chipotle sauce

grapefruit with a smoothie containing: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, strawberry greek yogurt, banana, oats, and orange juice.

grapefruit with a smoothie containing: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, strawberry greek yogurt, banana, oats, and orange juice.

Mission: get hot.

The new year is upon us and this slacker mommy is finally back to blogging. While my blog took a back seat in the farthest row possible during the holiday season, I now welcome it and the new year with open arms.

I have never been a ‘new years resolution’ type of girl. Always taking the pessimistic route, when asked what my resolution was for the year, I would come up with a sassy answer along the lines of ‘to not eat any shellfish’ (I am allergic to shellfish and hate the stuff anyways). I approached the entire thing wrong, thinking that if I set no goal for myself, I couldn’t disappoint myself when I couldn’t accomplish said goal. This year however, inspired by my husband’s incredible ability to achieve his wildest goals, I set myself a goal. To put it at it’s simplest: get healthy, fit, and well… get hot.

I went into pregnancy weighing 107 and wearing a size 0 or 2, but I was by no means healthy. I ate McDonald’s once a week, drank a dr pepper once a day, and couldn’t even tell you what the last fruit I ate was. Since having my son, I have drastically modified my ways, however I still have not been consuming in a way that any nutritionist would approve of. I have lost very little of my birth weight and every poor food choice I make seems to haunt my remaining little baby pooch for weeks to come. Wasting money on poor food choices and fattening alcoholic beverages has led to very minimal baby weight loss, which in turn has led to a very low confidence. In the 19 months since birthing my son, I have done several juice cleanses and diet modifications, however I have not fully committed to any of them. My exercise routine consisted of a few squats and push ups every 3 or 4 days, if at all… And I wondered why I wasn’t losing any of the baby weight? I was living a lifestyle that was simply not sustainable long term for my health or for my bank account. It took talk of New Years resolutions, Instagram creeping some super hot fitness models, and several conversations with my husband and close friends to realize that now is the time for some big change.

In the least overdone and cliche way possible, I mean it when I say that 2015 is our year. My husband and I are committed to not only getting the ‘hot bods’ we’ve always wanted, but we are also committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Knowing that I will be on bed rest for the entire duration of my next pregnancy, I have always said that I cannot get pregnant with baby #2 until I have lost all of my previous baby weight. Getting pregnant before I have achieved that goal would most likely cause me to gain so much weight that I fear I may never be able to come back from it. With that being said, I am not only losing this weight so that I can look good for my husband/myself, and I am not only losing this weight so that I can demonstrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle to my son…but I am also doing this so that I can bring another little human into this world.

After a beautiful holiday season filled with cooking the largest most delicious meals, a Park City vacation in which diet was the least of our concerns, stuffing our faces with chocolates, and having a few too many beers, I can confidently say that I am ready for this change. My body has been begging for this change, and it is about time I listen to it. This year I will prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing my goals. I will prove to myself that New Years resolutions CAN be fulfilled, and I will prove to everybody else that it is possible to be in better shape after a baby than you ever were before.

To put our plan into action, my husband and I invested in the newest p90x. I was always skeptical of workout videos prior to meeting my husband, however, he has completed the p90x program in the past and was very successful with it (that is, until I got pregnant and he joined me in my endeavors of eating for two!). Two days into the workouts it already became very clear to me that if done right, p90x will be very successful at whipping us into shape… By ‘it became very clear to me’ I mean that I have not been able to walk up the stairs without wincing for 3 days straight. In addition to our 7 day a week workouts, we will: go for long walks in the park on weekends, be drinking the suggested daily amount of water intake, going to bed earlier, drinking no alcohol (with the exception of the occasional glass.. Or 2..of red wine of course), eating no fast food, and we will be sticking to a very strict meal plan that contains primarily fruits, veggies, and protein.

Everybody may be seeing a little less of us. I may not be the ideal person to ask to go grab a burger with and I may not want to drink as much at social gatherings. I may decline an invite because I’ve got to work out, and I might not hang out as late because I’ve got to get my 8 hours of sleep. Call me boring, but I’ve got a bigger goal in mind. A goal that will lead to a healthier me, a more plentiful savings account, a husband who is even more attracted to me than he was when we met, a son who can see me as a healthy role model…and eventually this goal of mine will lead to Baby #2. With the goal on my mind, a positive outlook, a supportive community of friends/family, and a fridge full of meal prepped food containers, I WILL make 2015 my year. Let ‘Mission: get hot’ begin.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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