Tricky Territory


It’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting in the warm spot on the couch where Scout was sleeping before he heard me sneak down the stairs.

He must have jumped down when he heard me bumbling around in the dark and is currently looking up at me groggily from his new lesser station in life on the floor as I type.

He’s probably wondering when I’ll come to my senses and go back to bed so that he can climb back to his warm forbidden spot.

But it won’t happen, not tonight anyway.

You see, he wasn’t the only one trespassing  throughout the night. Just one hour earlier Penelope had made her way into our bed where she initially snuggled the sucker who invited her in (Brent) and eventually made her way to the soft comfort of her reluctant mother (me).

I’m not going to lie, a part of me likes it too- the sweet warmth from her tiny little body. Then the other part of me (the part that got her boob elbowed five times and her hair pulled twice) just wishes the kid could sleep through the night.

Initially I tried to go back to sleep while I felt her wiggle and grunt next to me. But before I knew it my brain had begun to roil around in my head playing out all kinds of scenarios about life. What I had and hadn’t done, what I wanted to do, what I needed to do.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one pondering life because within the darkness I heard a little voice next to me say, “Mommy, did you know that I’ve never been on a roller coaster ride?” I giggled and made a mental note to take her sooner than later, but refused to fall prey to the conversation that would surely open the door to more sleeplessness.

I eventually put her back to bed, but I had given up any hope that I would ever go back to sleep.

Since going back to work after my surgery, I’ve gotten sucked back into my routine of all work and no play. I had a lot of catching up to do upon my arrival. When I’m not working, I spend my weekends preparing for the next week ahead.

There is no such thing as sleeping in at my house so I usually spend Saturday mornings meal planning and spilling coffee on my planner, while Penelope plays with legos.

After grocery shopping in my pajamas Penelope and I will then usually spend the rest of the morning making home made snacks for the family.


Brent is in paramedic school now which means he doesn’t work on shift anymore. This also means I have a hungry man in my house at all times. Since packaged foods advertised as unprocessed packaged foods are so expensive I make my own. Here’s what is typically on my weekend repertoire…

1. Chewy No-Bake Cinnamon Cranberry Granola Bars


Technically, I was only successful making these once. The other two times it wouldn’t stick together. But boy, that one time was tasty enough to make me keep trying until I get it right again.

2. No Bake Energy Bites


This is Brent’s favorite post-workout snack. It’s also his favorite post-study, post-shower and post-watched-some-TV snack as well.

3. Baked Chicken Breast


I’ve been roasting up a couple of pounds of chicken every weekend as well. I’ll use it throughout the week in dinners that require cooked chicken, salads for lunch and it also serves as another man snack for Brent who lives off of meat, and meat, and no bake energy bites.

4. Healthy Banana Bread or other muffins.


I always make a batch of healthy muffins for an easy snack or breakfast for the girls during the week as well. We switch it up every week and use the heart shaped muffin tins that Penelope insisted we buy.

Despite the fact that I’ve been working hard at eating clean I’ve still gained a few pounds in the last month. I’m hoping that it is mostly just me building my leg muscles back up from after my surgery. I didn’t gain a ton of weight post surgery like I was afraid I would but I lost so much muscle mass my legs don’t even look like they belong to me anymore.

My first full week back to work I was scheduled to go to Outdoor Lab which is like a mountain retreat for the sixth graders. This is a right of passage for all of the kids who go to school in my district. I wasn’t cleared to go yet so my Girls on the Run co-coach offered to go for me. This meant I would have to teach her class… P.E.


I actually had a blast that week “teaching” the kids how to play flag football. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for how to navigate the tricky territory of telling middle schoolers what to do with their balls. I winced every time I caught myself saying phrases like, “Okay guys, hold your balls!”

Bridget is a student assistant during the time that I taught gym and would come and visit me every now and then. I’m also pretty sure she came in to scope out a cute boy or two. So in that case, I did what any self respecting mother would do…

I embarrassed her by taking pictures.


“Oh. Em. Gee. Mom… What are you doing?!”


“Ehhhhh… I’m going to act real awkward now.”


“Just kidding. You can’t make things any more awkward for me. I’m in middle school! Nice try though.

While I was teaching gym the other P.E. teacher told me that they had old spin bikes sitting in a closet that nobody uses. Later on that day I was talking with our facility manager about the bikes and asked if we had one in our make shift teacher lounge gym.


The next morning I came in to find that they had joined forces and put one of the bikes in my class room to help me with my recovery! Isn’t that the coolest thing ever?!


The kids think it’s hilarious when I get on it during class discussions. I also thought I could let the kids take turns using it when they need a little brain break. I hop on it during my planning period and check my emails on my iPad on it first thing in the morning.

My limp is almost completely gone now, but I’ve been warned not to over do it for fear of a set back in my recovery. It’s almost been three months since I had my tibial tubercle osteotomy. It’s hard not to be impatient. I’m so ready to be normal again.

Worth It


It’s over… my time at home has come to an end and now I have to go back to work. And surprisingly, I’m okay with that.

When I first started this blog I was a stay at home mom looking for an outlet. I felt a lot of guilt for not being one hundred percent content with staying home with my kids. After all, it had been a suburban dream come true to have the opportunity to do that.

This is my first year back to work since having my youngest and I’ve learned that I actually enjoy going to work. I like being somebody other than Mom. I like wearing different hats and exploring the parts of me that have nothing to do with the kids that I’ve given birth to. I find fulfillment in it and I no longer feel guilty about it.

That being said, I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with my kids this week. It will fuel me through the next few months as I teach my way through the rest of the school year and into summer. Then I’ll be able to go back to frolicking in sun with my kids and soaking up all of the quality time with them that I can until they start to get on my nerves again.  Then, magically, it will be time to go back to work.

It’s all about balance my friends.

In the mean time, I’ll bask in the joy that I’ve felt the past few days. I’ll file it away into my memory bank to be retrieved when I’m old and in the mood to reminisce about the good ol’ days. It’ll be filed under “that one spring break when I managed to actually cram everything in that I actually wanted to do and didn’t feel one bit of stress during the process”.

So here it is, a list of things that we did for the remainder of spring break…

1.) Play dates that included backyard romps, iced tea with lemon and mint along with some garden planning.

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2.) Post weed pulling picnics that included strawberries, sugar snap peas and green smoothies.

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3.) A picture book inspired trip to The Butterfly Pavillion so that we could be just like Fancy Nancy!

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Even if being surrounded by a million butterflies turned out to be less glamorous that we initially thought…





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(She didn’t mind touching the creepy crawlies as long as they didn’t touch her.)


“This place is wack… but kind of awesome.”


She ended up talking about it non-stop when we got home 🙂

4.) A trip to The Denver Zoo…


…with smoothies provided by our friends.

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We heart smoothies! And cars that are big enough to tote our friends around in.


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I also heart leg hugs from sleepy toddlers. (Please stop growing:( )

I think Penelope’s favorite part was probably the carousel…


even if she had a hitchhiker ride along with her.

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“Hey… so uh, do you think I can catch a ride?”


“Well… only because you are my best friend’s little brother.”


“This is awesome!!!”

5.) Long Runs with Sir Scout…


I mean long hobbles… Scout and I both seriously need to get in shape before bathing suit season and he is long overdue for a good waxing.

6.) A mommy play date that included red wine, tapas… 


and Flamenco dancing!


And a friend who is probably currently nursing a hang over.

Yep, I would say it was a pretty great break.

Now, it’s time for me to gather all of the papers I didn’t grade and pack them up for my return to work tomorrow. I’ll go back feeling rejuvenated. It’s good to hit a restart button every now and then, get out of the funk that you were in. Who knows, maybe I’ll even ride my bike to school in order to keep in the spirit of things.

Oh! I almost forgot! I managed to lose two pounds this week too, but that was before the red wine and tapas. Worth it.

Meals For Week 1 of a New Year

Hi guys!

It’s my first day back to work and I just got done with my early morning gym session. I wanted to take the time to share the meals I’ve planned on cooking through out the week before I get engulfed in teacher stuff and forget to.

My mason jar lunch pick of the week is Kale and Wild Rice Bowls with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette


I haven’t made this yet so I have a hodgepodge of healthy stuff sitting in random containers in my purse as we speak.

The dinners I plan on making through out the week are:

Chicken veggie stir fry w/ brown rice


(I don’t use a recipe for my stir fry… I just make it. But you can use this link if you want to.)

Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili


(Minus the chips 😉 )

Grilled Chicken w/ Purple cauliflower rice w/ scallions and roasted asparagus

(No picture I just made that up)

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats


I’ve got to hurry I have a meeting in 20 minutes BUT I have to share some good news and some bad news with you…

Good news is I’m not as fat as I thought I was because the pounds are already falling off.

The bad news is I cheated yesterday. Brent and I had money left over on a gift certificate to an awesome microbrewery near by. They have awesome Texas Brisket Tacos… the Cowboys were playing… I’m from Texas… just sayin.

The good news is that prior to the microbrewery I had gone to the gym and worked out. Plus I had gone to the movies to see Unbroken with Bridget SANS SNACKS. We didn’t even sneak anything in. (Well technically I did sneak in Kind bars because they were in my purse but we didn’t eat them so it doesn’t count.

More good news… we don’t have anymore gift cards taunting us to cheat anymore.

I just had to get that off of my chest. I did and now I feel better… Now I better hurry up and go to work!

P.S. There are probably typos because I’m in such a rush. Don’t judge me!

Have a great day everyone!!!

Christmas Crack

You know you’ve gone over board with the Christmas cheer when you have to pull tinsel out of your baby’s crack.


True story…

I don’t know how these things happen but they do. Penelope kept complaining about how her butt itched. I went to check it out and I found a shiny green piece of tinsel hanging out of her crack.

This pretty much symbolizes how things roll at our house during the season… an over abundance of Christmas goodness to the point of discomfort.

I’ve been trying to be extra diligent about trying to maintain a balance during this time of year. Throughout history my go to move has been to give up any semblance of health and just decide to give in to all of my indulgent needs. I always do this with the promise of getting back on track the day after Christmas… well, how about New Year’s Day… nope, nope I’ll do it when I have to go back to work on the 7th. The end date to this debauchery inevitably ends up getting pushed back, and in the meantime I end up wreaking havoc on my body and my self-esteem.

This year I’m on a mission to find a way to balance the good and the bad. The scale is tipping more toward naughty than nice but I’m still putting up a fight. Here is what this holiday is looking like health wise so far.

Parties and Get-Togethers: 

I have had my fair share of parties recently. On top of that a few friends and I decided to throw a girls night out into the mix where we drank copious amounts of red wine…


These were my crossfit girls from way back in the day (pre-Penelope). So even though we were indulging in wine and chocolate cake we also discussed the health benefits of the kombucha drink our friend was making at home and selling from the trunk of her car.


I’m not even kidding… the “Boochie Momma” took us to her car to share her goods.

I came home with a bottle of her strawberry/raspberry kombucha. I tried it the next night as I relaxed in my jammies and found it quite delightful. The only other time I had tried kombucha was when I bought a bottle from whole foods. That version had chia seeds in it making it have a really slimy gross texture. (After a few glasses of wine I told the girls what it reminded me of… but I won’t share that here. You’re welcome.) However, it turns out that regular kombucha is quite nice… unless you put chia seeds in it. Don’t do that.


The next morning I was a bit hung over but I still made it to the gym where I met up with my long time frenemie…


I haven’t been able to work with a sled in a long time and felt like a warrior goddess by the time I got done with my work out. The awesome thing about being a slightly over weight 30-something mom is that people don’t expect you to be a bad ass. I’m new at my gym so when I walked passed the super buff patrons in the hardcore section of the gym, I couldn’t help but feel that they were giving me patronizing glances as I made my way to the sled.

A guy had just gotten done using it and he literally snorted at me when I doubled the weight he had been walking with. This pissed me off so I added more weight then took off running with it across the gym as fast as I could. My lungs were about to explode but it was a refreshing reminder of how strong I am… the Viking Princess was back.

TV Watching:

Speaking of Vikings… I have a new show I’m kind of obsessed with. I don’t know if it’s my Scandinavian roots or Rathgar’s enchanting eyes but I’ve found myself sitting in my pajamas night after night consuming an episode every chance I get.


I tried to convince Brent to watch it with me. (I thought it could be our new Game of Thrones while we waited for the next season.) But I got too impatient and continued to watch it without him. The only problem with watching Medieval dramas is I feel like I need to join them when they drink wine from their goblets. Plus,  there is just something about the way they devour greasy fire roasted meat that makes me want to buy a rotisserie chicken and eat it with my hands. (But I’m kind of a weirdo so I’m sure you won’t suffer from those side effects if you decide to watch it.)

Baking Goodies:

During the weekends I tend to bake with the girls. There is just something about warming up your house with the heat of your oven and perfuming your kitchen with the sweets that you make with your little ones. So far my favorite treat is… Christmas Crack.


I’m talking about the buttery toffee like treat, not the tinsel that you pull out of your toddler’s ass (???) I’m going to attempt to share the recipe with you even though I just put that image in your head. (I am way too inappropriate to ever consider being a food blogger. Remember the slutty street tacos I tried to share after a particularly painful spin class?)

Anyway, I love this treat because it’s cheap and easy. This makes it the perfect gift for teachers and neighbors because it’s tasty, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and doesn’t break the bank.

Christmas Crack


1 stick of butter

1 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 sleeves of saltine crackers

2 C. chocolate chips




Chopped M&M’s



(You are only limited by your imagination.)

Directions: Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Line 32-40 saltine crackers on a foil lined cookie sheet. (The amount depends on how big your sheet is.) In a sauce pan melt your butter and add brown sugar. Bring the two ingredients to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for three to five minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens and has a caramel like consistency. (Don’t Burn it!) Remove from heat mixture and stir in the vanilla. Pour it over the saltine crackers spread evenly and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Once you take it out of the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let them melt. After a few minutes spread the chocolate out evenly. Then add whatever additional toppings you want.

After “taste testing” several pieces of Christmas Crack I tried to cook healthy things throughout the week. I was only partially successful.

Healthy Food:

I’ve been trying to balance all of the decadence with healthy home made treats but the closer Christmas comes the harder it gets. I conveniently forgot to take pictures of the take out pizza I ordered and those sugary lattes I’ve been drinking but I did manage to take pictures of some of the healthy goods I’ve made.

I went to my go to move of making Iowa Girl Eats Kale Chopped Salad with Maple-Almond Vinaigrette


I also made Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup


I was so proud of myself when I chopped up the vibrant organic purple carrots that I had bought. But it turned the whole soup a weird lilac color. This was awesome until I had to reheat it for left overs. What was supposed to be creamy looking looked grey and weird. I ate it anyway because it was tasty and I used it as an opportunity to secretly pretended to be eating mush from a Charles Dicken’s novel.

I had also tried to make Ellie Krieger’s healthy green bean casserole


It was so good!

In between the home cooked meals we ordered pizza, drank beer, slathered butter on bread and indulged in a few other unhealthy recipes found on pinterest.

We did this all for the sake of being festive. I blame society for my love handles… it’s my culture.

Now as the days creep even closer to the holidays I find myself caring about the nutrition content less and less. I’m this close to not giving a damn and saying, “Ah screw it! I’ll take care of the after math when Christmas is over!” But I’m not quite there yet.

In the meantime, I’m going to not stress over it and just enjoy this time with my family and friends. I’ll drink some hot chocolate, lifts some weights, eat some cookies, and go for runs. It’ll all work out in the end. Just don’t ask me for any pictures of me sporting my heinous before and after outfit any time soon.

*** What is your strategy for finding a healthy balance during the holidays?***

Treat Yo Self


I found it! Really and truly this time…

No I’m not talking about The Great Pumpkin. Although, I have found that too… over, and over, and over again. (And I’ve loved every minute of it.)

What I found over the past few weeks is that balance that I am always in a quest for. That allusive thing that only exists in your brain. That perfect in between place where you get shit done, taking care of all of your obligations AND manage to find time to treat yo self.

Ah yeah… I’ve been treating myself real good.

Wait. I didn’t mean… forget it.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m happy. Super duper happy. After doing a bit of habit overhauling I finally feel like I’ve got a hold of this whole working mommy thing down without sacrificing the things I need to do for myself in the name of sanity. Here are the things I’ve added back into my life…

1.) Reading! There is nothing better than getting lost in someone else’s story for a change. Once I started my new teaching job I got out of the habit of finding time to read. Then miraculously I got a stomach bug the other weekend. It was awful… but awesome. I was quarantined for an entire day so as soon as the puking subsided I found myself alone… in a hot bath… swimming through the pages of a book. It started out with a book I need to read for an upcoming unit I’m teaching.

Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow


What started out as a chore turned into something enjoyable. I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after I had finished it. I didn’t want it to end. But it did. So I picked up another book to fill the void…

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson


I think this is my new favorite book. I definitely have a new literary hero. The way the characters see the world is like nothing I’ve ever read before. After reading the pages of this book you look up to discover that everything is sprinkled with magic, and you feel like you have been let into a secret club where you are granted the gift of sight for the first time. I was so enamored with it that I couldn’t do anything else in my spare time. I HAD to swallow this book whole.

(You can blame Jandy for my lack of blogging.)

2.) Playing outside. I still haven’t found a consistent workout routine but I have taken the time to go for runs, take my dog for a walk, jump on the trampoline with Penelope and roll around in the leaves outside.


3.) Cooking. I have finally rediscovered my love of cooking. In fact this morning we made pumpkin pancakes from scratch.


Made with whole wheat flour, greek yogurt and pumpkin puree… the left overs will be used to feed the girls as they run out the door during the mid-week rush. The smell alone was worth the effort. Although I was a bit rusty, we almost ended up with pumpkin bricks because I  forgot to add the almond milk.


I also cooked dinner every day this week. I made split pea soup, pan seared pork chops, beans and cornbread… It felt so good to sit at the table as a family and share the food I made for them. Not to mention, I’ve also taken the time to wake up a bit earlier in the mornings so that I can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning before the daily rush. All of the Starbuck’s cups that usually collect in my car have been replaced by mismatched mugs.

I’m also sure to pack a breakfast before I head out the door…


My Go To move is still apples topped with greek yogurt, cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar in a mason jar. I bring a sandwich bag of kashi cereal and sprinkle it on when I’m ready to eat it. All of my students think it’s the coolest thing ever. I would have to agree. Plus, it keeps me full forever.

Speaking of which… I’ve finally lost weight. The more I got pulled into work the higher the weight on the scale crept. I got one pound away from 200 pounds. One pound from the weight I refused to return to! When I weighed myself this morning I weighed in at 194.8. This is still ten pounds more than what I weighed a year ago. Thirty pounds higher than what I weighed when I got married. I feel like I should beat myself up about that for your entertainment purposes but I don’t really feel like it. I’m too satisfied at the moment for self loathing.

Instead I’m just going to keep making those little changes that have been making me so happy lately. I plan on spending as much time exercising outside while the weather allows it. I want to keep cooking fresh clean food from scratch, and I’m going to continue to allow myself to enjoy the things that make me happy like reading and writing.

In other words I’m just going to keep living and learning…

And treating my self every now and then, yo.