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.

Hidden Treasures

Well, well, well… Look who decided to show up without posting a Friday weigh-in.

Me! It’s me, okay?!

Friday was supposed to be the last day of my six week challenge. The challenge that I failed at miserably. We have already hashed over how that didn’t quite go as planned in the last post. By mid-week on I was back on track and feeling just as great as ever.  Since I had spent the first half of the week in a complete shame spiral funk. I thought it best not to weigh myself by the time Friday had rolled around. I didn’t want to ruin the momentum I had finally gained mid-week.

So instead of sitting at home writing a weigh-in blog post I went for a run instead…


Brent has been working a lot lately but he was finally home on this particular day so I took the opportunity to have a little time to myself. I had already made my normal three mile loop but decided to go the extra mile (literally) to pick Bridget up from swim practice on foot.


I am so glad I did because on the way home we found the most amazing thing! A Little Free Library tucked into the back of someone’s fence.

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I had no idea such a thing existed, it made me so happy! Apparently this is a place where you can exchange books with complete strangers. It’s amazing the hidden treasures you come across as a pedestrian. I’ve driven past this place a million times and had no idea it was here. As Bridget and I walked away we both talked about how fun it would be to leave secret messages in the books that we exchange.

After our little discovery we rushed home where Brent and Penelope were waiting for us to hurry up and get cleaned up so that we could go see How to Train Your Dragon 2. It was Penelope’s very first time going to the movie theater.


She sat still for about thirty minutes and then all hell broke loose.

By the time Saturday rolled around Brent was back at work and I decided to try out this whole potty training business. Penelope has been wanting to use the potty for quite some time now so I thought I would give it a shot. I had been prepared for a while. I bought a little potty chair, a million pairs of panties, little prizes to reward her and lots of apple juice to entice her to pee.


And boy did she pee… all over the place. She was so excited to wear her panties but I don’t think she actually knew what they meant. It was a disaster. I gave her my phone to watch “tarcoons” on and she would sit through a 30 min show on the toilet and then get up and pee on the floor. It was so bad I had a glass of wine during nap time. I had to give myself a major pep talk to keep going for the rest of the day.

When she woke up from nap it didn’t get any better. She never managed to pee on the potty. She had no idea what we were doing. She even held it for an hour and a half while she sat on her potty to watch a movie and have some snacks. Then let it rip as soon as she stood up. It was awful, I’m still recuperating from the experience as I type. After having been held prisoner in my house for an entire day cleaning up puddles I called it quits and decided that my sanity was much more important to me. We’re going to keep trying but with a more gradual approach.

Other than that, things are going great. I’ve carved out time almost every morning to work out. I have discovered that if I don’t get out of my house and get moving by a certain time I start to get super restless. I feel much better on the days that I work out first thing in the morning so I’ve stuck with it. I’ve also mastered the mental aspect of choosing what to eat once again. I’ve gotten back to choosing what to eat based off of what my brain tells me to do versus what my feelings tell me to do.


It’s not easy, it requires a daily pep talk but I’m doing it. And I find that I’m much happier with myself when I stick to my plan than when I don’t. There’s just nothing worse than breaking a promise to yourself.

Adventures in Christmas Tree Hunting

Hold off the search party! I am not drowning in a vat of hot chocolate or anything…

However, for future reference if I’ve ever gone more than four days between posts you should probably come looking for me because it more than likely means that I have gotten lost in the junk food section at the grocery store and can’t find my way out. Luckily, these past few days have been the exception.

I’ve been busy writing a 22 page paper for my final project (for my final class) before student teaching. YAY! It was a bit stressful trying to get this done during Thanksgiving but I managed to pull through with a 99% in the class.

Why, yes I’m bragging. I just need you to validate me and then we can move on… thanks. 

Even though I had a stressful project for school to complete we still managed to have a fun family filled weekend. My in-laws, however, left early on Saturday morning after seeing the note I left on my kitchen white board on Friday night.


They figured they had until 10:30 to get the heck out of here before they had overstayed their welcome.

In reality, I doodled this while I was talking to my friend Andrea on the phone about the Christmas tree hunting adventure we were planning during the weekend. Brent and I were lacking a few of the needed supplies.


Andrea and her husband Jon always get permits to cut down their own Christmas trees and this year they invited us to join them. I was super excited about it but also a bit nervous. Visions of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kept dancing through my head.


Surprisingly, nothing went awry and our first trip to chop down our own Christmas tree was everything we hoped it would be. The drive out to the national park was beautiful and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We’ve decided to make it a yearly tradition.

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While we were out there Andrea offered to take family pictures of us for our Christmas cards. (This is one of the perks of being BFF’s with a photographer.) Andrea owns Life Du Luxe Art, so if you are local she’s your gal!






We used Andrea’s equipment to take family photos of Jon and Andrea as well and mid-shoot they were bombarded by carolers on horseback.


It was actually pretty hilarious.


The kids thought it was awesome because not only did they get to pet the horses but they were given candy canes to munch on as well.

We managed to get our Charlie Brown Christmas tree home in one piece. Penelope has already managed to tear down all of the ornaments off of the lower branches and half of the pine needles along with it.


Every time she rips an ornament down she scrunches up her nose and sniffs as hard as she can. It does smell pretty amazing. In the meantime, our old fake tree has found a home at the fire station to keep those lonely firefighters company.


Since the family has left town I’ve been trying to clean up my diet. I’ve been loading up on lots of fruits and veggies…


I even raided the bulk bins at the grocery store in hopes of saving a little money.


I plan on making my own hummus and I’ve already made some amazing homemade granola. I’ve been chugging down a lot of water and tea as well. Speaking of which…

***The winner of the Swami Mami Teatox is Marci! Please email me at with your shipping information so that I can make arrangements to get it to you.***

P.S. Here are a few more recipes I’m tempted to try in order to make use of my bulk bin purchases…

Harira: Moroccan Chickpea with Chicken and Lentils

Kale, Lentil and Chicken Soup

I also plan on checking out a few of the bulk bin recipes from Naturally Ella as well.

We Interrupt This Programming…

Good morning world! It’s a cold and frigid one in these parts.


The past few days have been a little rough because the little one has had a bad reaction to the flu shot she got on Monday for her 18 month appointment. She must have not been far enough removed from the cold she had the previous week. By Tuesday night she was running a fever that escalated to 104 and was feeling bad off and on for the remainder of the week.

Whenever she was feeling well we went to the park to get some fresh air. Where I would only let her play with the geese in case she did have something contagious.


I call this picture, “Wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Whenever I was able to get out with her I made our ordinary outings to the grocery store as special as possible.


I mean seriously… who takes time to take pictures outside of a grocery store?

For the first time in her life she’s been super clingy and we spent many hours watching Sesame Street and reading books. To be honest I kind of loved it. Only, I wasn’t a huge fan of worrying about her late into the night as her temperature climbed and she writhed in discomfort. Hopefully last night was the last of it because she woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. We pulled her into bed with us (another thing she does not tolerate) where she still remains snuggled under our covers as I type this. I’m pretty sure this is the latest she’s slept in her entire life. I don’t even set an alarm clock anymore. I usually just let Penelope let me know when it’s time to get up.

I still managed to go to the gym, fit in a crossfit workout and squeeze in a run thanks to the help of my husband who has been off work for the past three days. I’m a little sore so I feel like I’ve done my job.

My diet wasn’t at 100%. It could have been worse but it could have been better. It usually fell to pieces in the evening when I needed to make dinner but Penelope wouldn’t let me put her down.

In the mornings I’ve been obsessed with two ingredient pancakes (2 eggs + 1 banana).


I’m also in love with this cinnamon tea I found that tastes like red hots.



For lunches I’ve mainly stuck with salads because they keep me full and I’ve been craving them like crazy.


And at dinner it has been a free for all since Penelope as been sick. I probably ate chili three times…


It would not hurt my feelings if I never had it again.

Thanks to the feedback I received about weigh-ins and food journaling I’ve made a few decisions. I’ve decided to continue to weigh-in weekly only I’m moving my weigh-in day to Monday so that I have to stay on point throughout the weekend. I’ve also had a little pep talk with myself about slacking off right after a weigh-in that went a little something like this…

“Knock that shit off!”

Hopefully it works.

I’ve also decided to take pictures of my food on random days to illustrate how I eat when I’m on point. I won’t ramble on and on about what I’m eating unless I’ve found an amazing recipe that I want to try out. I’ve also decided that if I’m going to eat something less than stellar I have to post it on here for you all to see. It will be like a confessional… only there won’t be blushing priest.

Welp… the munchkin is awake. demanding more snuggles.


I must be on my way now another round of Sesame Street awaits! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you Monday for the new weigh-in!

P.S. Here is a good read about making nutrition compromises from Kath Eats Real Food.

The Lunch Box Compromise and Other News


Hey do you remember that one time when I posted a weigh-in post and forgot to mention the actual weigh-in?

Well, lets just pretend like that didn’t happen… m’kay?

I’ve been getting really down on myself lately because I didn’t lose any weight all summer. I don’t know what I was actually expecting.  I didn’t do anything stupid like fall face first into a box of stale donuts and eat my way out or anything.  But, I wasn’t really on my A game either. I was in moderation land which could also be known as maintenance mode. Maintenance is great and I’m glad I found out how to do it. However, it wasn’t really the look I was going for and now I’m being mean to myself about it.

Finally, I decided enough was enough and had a pep talk with myself . I pretty much told the mean side of me to put a sock in it and proceeded to put an abrupt stop to the negative self talk. Then I found my blunder on my weigh-in post…  Seriously?

Anyway, I moved on and ended up having the best weekend.

Lately, Bridget has been complaining because I don’t buy snacky things for her to pack in her lunch. We don’t have soda or juice, we have milk and water and beer. I hardly ever buy anything that comes in a box unless it is cereal because I’ve grown an aversion to processed stuff. Yet, I didn’t really provide her any other options other than a crisper full of fruits and veggies. Her preteen brain just couldn’t wrap around it. She would try to head off to school with a sandwich and that’s it.

We decided to make a lunch box compromise. I bought bags of pretzels and veggie chips (fully aware that they aren’t as healthy as advertised) and we made our own snack packs because it was much cheaper than buying them already portioned out. What can I say I’m cheap like that… have you seen my car? ‘Nuff said.


Instead of counting out chips to find the right portion size I used my food scale and filled up the baggies until they reached the right weight. It didn’t take long at all.

It was a family affair, Bridget was on ziplock duty…


And Penelope wanted to entertain us with her table top dancing skills (again) so the chairs were sent in time out (again). Instead, she had to settle as a test taster throughout the process… She didn’t mind so much.


Another reason I don’t like processed food is because I’ll find the empty box sitting in my pantry after the last snack was grabbed. Then later on I’ll grab a can of tomatoes out of the back knocking all of the empty boxes on to the floor. This is where I curse under my breath and yell at the culprits (who aren’t listening) only to find myself doing this little dance again the next day. So, I decided to skip this part altogether and pile all of the snacks in an old paper bag for quick grabbing.

However, Penelope thought the bag could be put to better use…


We tried to hash it out but Penelope was insistent that this was where her kitty belonged so I had to get another one out…


For part of our lunchtime compromise I bought some granola bars to go with the chips and pretzels. I also bought yogurt that wasn’t loaded with sugar, cheese sticks and the usual fruit.


I gave Bridget some guidelines for packing her own lunch.  It has to have a protein (sandwich or leftovers), one source of dairy (cheese or yogurt), one snack and the rest fruits or veggies. We’re stocked up on grapes, apples, clementines, pears, bananas, berries, plums and peaches. It’s her choice. On Friday’s she can have an extra treat which I will pack as a surprise.

Later that night Bridget had a friend sleepover.


They had a blast until I cramped their style by waking them up for an early morning hike. My friend Amanda’s husband works with my husband and we decided to explore the wilderness while they were playing video games saving lives at the fire station.

The girls ended up having a blast walking and talking. They were actually too busy doing their own thing for me to take any photos of them. Penelope’s only complaint was that she couldn’t do the hiking herself. She was stuck in the carrier. But we remedied that in the end.

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We let her down so that she could dip her feet in the stream. She ended up dipping her butt in it too but it was all good.

After our hike Amanda confessed that she’s lived in Colorado all of her life but never really took the time to go hiking. We decided right then that this would be our weekend ritual until it got too cold and muddy to go out.

She also told me that she had never been to the Farmer’s Market. What?!  So Bridget and I decided that we needed to show our friends how we roll on Sundays.

Luckily I had an extra pair of shorts in my back pack for Penelope so we headed over to the Farmer’s Market straight away. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a stroller with me and Penelope was tired of the hiking carrier. I wasn’t so sure how I was going to handle her while we shopped. As we walked up to the market we found an abandoned shopping cart sitting there offering its services as a solution to our stroller dilemma. So we accepted.

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After we did all of our shopping we put it back where we found it so that it could help another person in need.

Overall, it was a great weekend and so far a great start to the week. Weight loss is a total mental game. Sometimes it’s hard to get on track but once you push through it things just start to fall into place. All of the things that seem so hard at first become second nature. Eventually that inner voice that tries to talk you out of the process becomes quiet and you are left with the peace of knowing that you are doing what’s best for you. One step at a time…

What did you do during the weekend?