Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Overweight Becomes a Lean and Mean Mom of 3

I may not have introduced myself.  Some of you know me, some of you don’t…  some of you I have been friends with for YEARS and some we’ve never met but have only connected online.  I don’t like to post pictures of the kiddos and I’m not all about the selfies as much as others, but you may be able to relate better knowing that I’m a single Mom of 3 and they are my world.  We are just as busy as you and we still make the time to work out.  I keep the kids in sports to make sure they stay busy and aren’t home creating unhealthy habits.  I post a lot about fitness and nutrition but have you ever wondered why I do what I do?

Examples

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Have you ever wondered what exactly I do as a fitness coach?  Have you wondered how I got here?  Have I always been  shape?  (uhhhh no – I haven’t.)  How did a stay at home Mom turn working Mom with a fitness business?

I haven’t always been into fitness.  But I have always been an athlete.  I lived and breathed gymnastics until I was about 14, then I wanted to do team sports for my school (soccer, tennis, volleyball).   I was in shape but working out was not the fun part of my day.   I used to hate running.  I would do it because a lot of sports needed the cardio conditioning but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t eat right, etc.

Before kids, I could eat whatever I wanted just like when I was a teenager and not gain a pound!  But now, that’s not so much the case.  Once I had my first child, Kaitlyn (with whom I gained 64 pounds!), I could not lose that weight.  I tried every diet under the sun, got a gym membership thinking that would help, etc.

Pregnant but still overweight

Pregnant but still overweight

But I didn’t stick with it.  My husband at the time could still eat whatever he wanted and the scale would not be affected so I would gradually go back to eating like he and I always did.  Then 7 months after giving birth we were pregnant again.  It was what we wanted because I always wanted to have my kids close in age and we knew we weren’t done, HOWEVER, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight first.

With baby #2, I was determined not to gain another 64 lbs!  (BTW, this before pic ——–>      was really hard to post!) I did a little working out while I was pregnant with her and I ate a lot better.  Not good, like I do now but better.  I only gained 24 lbs with Britney.

After she was born was right around the time that low carb diets were the thing.  And I was sold when I read that I didn’t need to work out, I could just eat low carb.  HA!  I dropped all the baby weight and then some!  Then it became that the only time I would work out was when I ate really bad the day before.  So now that I knew I could just eat low carb whenever I had some weight to lose I went back to eating atrociously!  Then I would work out twice a week if that.

Well as the girls were getting older, I decided to start cooking and making more home cooked meals at home.  I was a huge advocate for nursing since formulas were getting so much criticism for their ingredients and I was reading more and more about baby foods and how easy it was to make at home AND this way you knew what was going in to your child’s mouth.

That lead me to start watching and learning about the foods I was eating.  All the crap sold in the supermarket were 90% chemicals!  I started trading in the commercialized grocery stores for farmers markets and Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods wasn’t in Phoenix yet).  I also started buying organic whenever we could afford to.  I started with vegetables that grew in the ground and then meats was next.

After seeing and FEELING the results of just eating right it motivated me to want to get toned and in shape especially since I knew how to eat now!  Food was fuel now, not comfort.

Now comes the year 2007, I was in better shape then I was when I was a teenager, even had more energy then I did then.  We were running, biking, I had a gym membership where I would do spin class 2- 3 times a week, my girls and my ex and I all belonged to a dojo where we were all there at least 3 times a week.  I even taught yoga there for a while for some of the moms that had kids in the karate classes.  In June I found out that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Baby # 3, my son Frankie!  He was due in December!   So I had 4 short months to plan to have a baby!  But I didn’t want to stop working out.  I was mostly doing cardio anyways:  running, hiking, rollerblading, spin class, kickboxing and yoga at the dojo.

Frankie was born and I ended up only gaining 22 lbs.  My doctor towards the end was concerned that I hadn’t gained enough weight.

Then I started to want to help other Moms!  My girls started cheer and would have regular practices in a park, their Coach asked me if I would be the squad’s conditioning coach so now I started doing that every Tuesday and Thursday.  Soon after, some of the Moms of the girls recommended I do a fitness bootcamp where they could come work out.  We did and soon more and more moms showed up.  I would get the girls warmed up for cheer and then I would move over to the Moms!  It was fun.  We all created a close bond and I even helped some of them get ready to run their first marathons.

I started a blog, THIS ONE, hence why its name is Mom-related and not fitness related.  🙂  When I first created it, I started talking about tips to help breastfeeding Moms and nutrition was one of the most common posts because the questions were all closely related to the Mom being able to produce enough milk for a growing baby, etc. and then it started connecting me with women who were likeminded all across the country.

2008It was about this time that my neighbor introduced me to P90X.  Frankie was not even 2, Britney was 7 and Kaitlyn was 8 1/2.  My hands were full.  I was in shape but not getting toned.  I was still doing a ton of cardio.  P90X had weights and I knew I had to add that in.  I was always afraid of weights, always thought I would like a man, etc.  I was ready for a change.  I always wanted a personal trainer and now I had my own in MY HOUSE!!  It was amazing.

1st round of P90X

1st round of P90X

 

This was me in Cabo after the 1st round P90X.  I did the lean program and I refused to eat the P90X way.  I thought I knew more about what my body needed than this nutrition ‘guide’ telling me to eat 100 carbs a day!  At that point, I would barely eat 100 carbs in 4 days!!  I thought I had this whole fitness thing down and all I needed was to add weights.  HAHA.  I would be exhausted half way into the workout, or getting really bad headaches right after.  So I knew something was wrong.

 

 

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

The lack of carbs is why my first round didn’t get me the results I anticipated.   I added a little muscle but nowhere near everyone else’s 90 day results.  This got me so mad!  So then right away, I started the classic program and I ate exactly how it told me to, even bought Shakeology.  I was posting my results pics on Facebook and friends and family were the first to notice.  Then I started helping other people get through their first round of P90X.

After 3 rounds of P90X, I decided to switch it up with Insanity.  I loved Insanity because it was a more intense version of P90X’s cardio days and guess what I started thinking P90X was too EASY!!  On the P90X cardio days, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) I would do the Max Cardio Circuit from Insanity instead of PlyoX.

I started connecting with people on the Facebook P90X message boards and through my blog.  I was helping people get through the programs but not getting paid for it!  And then Tony Horton shared my blog post of How you know You’re Addicted to P90X.

I knew I could help other Moms too… and realize everyone can do this too.   Being a Coach has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  It got me in the best shape of my life, I have a healthy relationship with food, I have spent more time learning about myself, learning about others, and learning ways to better help YOU.

You do not have to be a fitness expert or nutritionist to be a successful Coach.  All you need is the desire in your heart to help others.  Beachbody is all about helping others.  They provide the tools you need to change your body, the nutrition your body is craving, a Coach who is always there for you… (ME!) and the network of likeminded people that you can connect with on Team Beachbody.

If you are interested on learning more please contact me.   We do a very brief 15-20 min webinar once a week and you will see how it easy it is to do the same thing I do!

Let’s get in touch and work on You together!  What do you have to lose??  You never know, it could be supplemental income for you too OR even become your main source of income!

 

Send me an email:  at CoachChristysElementsofFitness@gmail.com

OR an Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

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November 16, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Divorce, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family, Insanity, Me, My Low Carb Recipes, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Phoenix AZ, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to Get in Shape But Don’t Know Where to Start?

Does getting healthy and fit seem like a jigsaw puzzle that has you stumped?  Are you wanting to do something but don’t know where to start?  If you’re still reading this then you know you want to do something and that’s the very first step!  The second step is deciding if you have the commitment it will take to see it through.

As you might know already, I started P90X in October of last year and I’ll be honest, I didn’t really put the focus on it from the beginning.  My plan at the time was just to incorporate it into what I was doing already.  I was running, attending spin classes and doing a few push-ups, lunges and crunches right after cardio.  That alone made me lose 10 pounds of my goal.  I weighed about 145 after a year of breastfeeding (A Secret To Weight Loss That Men Don’t Possess) and I wanted to get back to where I was before I had kids which was 125.  I’m only 5’5 but I thought if I got down to 120 I’d have a 5 pound cushion to play with.  So my exercise routine got me down to 135 but I couldn’t seem to break that mark and it started to really annoy me.

So then, I realized I had to start making some real changes.  I started keeping a log of what I ate every day to give me an idea of where I could change things.  I also got 2 metabolic tests done at my gym that determined my resting metabolic rate and my metabolic rate after I had been running for 15 minutes to figure out where I burned fat most efficiently.  That right there was the missing piece of the puzzle that I needed to start making seeing changes.  I found out that all those days at the gym without a heart rate monitor really held me back from attaining my goal.  I wasn’t ever getting into my fat burning zone, not to mention, prior to these tests I had no idea what my fat burning zone was.  At the time (September 09) the zone I needed to be in the majority of my workout was 160-168 beats per minute.  Wow, what a difference that has made.  It turns out, I was hardly working my body to the degree I need to in order to see results.  I was also doing very light resistance work and only about 15 minutes of it.  Not good enough to see the changes I wanted.   The other key piece of these tests gives you your caloric intake for the day on days you work out and the days you don’t.   On days I don’t work out my caloric intake is 1100 calories.  On the days I do work out it’s about 1400-1500 calories depending on the workout.  This astounded me because I was eating 1800 calories.  I thought that was where my intake should be, being a female.  Wow, was I way off?!  Everyone is different.

Since I didn’t take P90X seriously at first I have no formal before and after pictures.   But here’s a picture of me in Hawaii last July.  I’m not very proud of this but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?

And here’s picture of me taken a week ago….

I also made huge changes in my diet.   I cut down my coffee from 3 or more cups to just 1 and started using sugar free liquid creamer (not powder) and 1 tiny teaspoon of Splenda (but I hear Stevia is better for you).  The other significant change I made was cutting out alcohol.  I now only drink on a Friday or Saturday night and only if we’re going out to dinner or hanging with friends, and even then I try to only have one drink.  Below is a sample menu of what I eat every day.  If you can handle this, then start doing it!  The hardest part is making yourself eat every 2 hours.  You will see the results and I’ll be here to help coach you along the way!

My Sample Menu

Breakfast (eat breakfast within an hour of waking up)
– cup of coffee (with my sugar free hazelnut CoffeeMate creamer)
– 3/4 cup oatmeal w/ 1 tsp of Splenda (Quaker Oats not the processed sugary oatmeal)
– 1/2 of a banana (I give the other half to my 2 year old)

Snack (2 hours later)
– 1 small apple with 2 TBL of organic peanut butter (I share this also with my 2 year old)

Lunch (2 hours after snack)
– a sandwich with Light whole grain bread, 2-3 fresh slices of low sodium turkey from the deli and a thin slice of pepperjack cheese,
 I use light mayonnaise on 1 piece of bread and regular on the other
– a side salad (romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes and 1 TBL of light champagne dressing (Girard’s brand)

Recovery Drink (after I work out)
– protein shake with glutamine (P90X recovery drink or Hi-Health’s brand).  the Hi-Health protein shake I use is 120 calories, 24 g protein, 1 g fat and 4 carbs.  I also will have another shake right before bed at night if I feel so hungry that I might not be able to sleep.  This is the best thing to eat if you HAVE to eat before bed.

Snack (at least an hour after snack)
– a 6oz yogurt (Light and Fit -strawberry or strawberry cheesecake) or I’ll opt for a granola bar (Nature Made Oats and Honey)
– a baby-size handful of raisins (I won’t do this if I choose to have the granola bar)

Dinner (2 hours after snack)
– grilled, baked or sauteed chicken, fish, or turkey
– 1/2 cup brown rice
– favorite veggies (my fave is the Steamers broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas and water chestnuts)

….. and of course WATER!  I drink about 90 ounces of water or more (on workout days) EVERY DAY!

Is this seems feasible for you then do it with me.  We can do this together.  As an Independent BeachBody Coach (creators of P90X, Insanity, ChaLean Extreme, etc.) I can help you reach your goals, just as I did.   I coach many others every day.  I am primarily on Facebook where I can interact with you and give tips, tricks and links.

Now, I must be going.  It’s Thursday, time for Yoga… X Style.  Come on Tony, let’s go! 

 

March 11, 2010 Posted by | About Me, Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Me, Nutrition, P90X, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

To My Dad for Father’s Day

Every year at this time, I always want to get my Dad something better than the year before.  It’s so hard to buy anything for someone who is so distinguished.  He has everything already.  What could I possibly get him that he really wants and doesn’t already have?   Well, Dad I am about to try…

Dear Dad,

I love you more than words can say.  You have always been the world to me.  When I was little and would put my hands in yours I trusted you to show me the way.  And never wavering, you always would.  All my life you were there whenever I needed you.   You are a wonderful teacher with the utmost patience and you possess a kind-hearted spirit that makes me strive to be more like you every day. 

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful Dad in you.  Too many people I have met throughout the years either lost their father at a young age or worse, never even met their father.  I couldn’t imagine either one or anything in between.  You have been such an inspiration to me. 

You taught me right from wrong, good and evil, how important it is to believe in God and most of all to cherish life and all it has to offer.  All the while instilling in me so many life lessons.  You told me early on that “priority #1 is always Numero Uno” – that health is the most important thing because if you don’t have your health you will experience nothing.  You taught me as a teenager that “life isn’t always fair” and the soonest I believe that the less disappointments I would feel. 

You’ve always had a way of bringing the most mundane of things to life.  A boring drive would turn into fun and excitement.  We would guess what the people in cars in front of us looked like just by their bumper stickers, license plates or where they bought their car.  Or teaching me about how a car engine works by drawing a diagram and showing pistons, rods, the crank shaft and side block. 

I remember when we went up north to find a Christmas tree and we made a day of it.  We stopped and played in the snow, made snowmen and snow angels and had snowball fights.  We picked the most beautiful tree we could find and then lost it on I-17 just 30 minutes before we got home.  It was one of the best days ever!  We laughed so hard and then on the way home we picked up a tree on a street corner a minute away from our house!  

I remember spontaneous road trips like when you drove us up to the top of the Four Peaks and we actually drove through the clouds. 

The Four Peaks

I remember telling my friends that and them thinking you had magical powers.  And I would tell them that I really thought you did have magic powers because who can drive through clouds?

 I remember all the bike rides where we would ride and talk.  Then, we’d come home and jump in the pool because we were so hot!   Oh and lets not forget my sweet 16 birthday.  It was time to drive but first you had me change a tire.   You didn’t lift a finger – you only gave instructions.  

Dad and the girls

These days it seems we don’t have enough time to be with each other like we used to.  When we do, I get to see you in your role as Grandpa.  It’s there where I get to relive your goofiness and marvel in all the things I loved about you when I was a kid.   I see the kids light up when you play with them and it brings me such joy inside. 

You are not just a wonderful father.  You are a wonderful son, husband, grandfather, a friend to many, an inspiration to all that know you and a blessing to all that share your love. 

Thank you for being you!  Happy Father’s Day!

Love Always,
“Peanuts”

(no, no one else is allowed to call me that… besides Mom and thankfully she never does!)

— The song above is mine and my Dad’s favorite father-daughter song. —
                                                       Enjoy!

June 19, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Family, Me | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Help! I’m In Love With a Workaholic

Does anyone have a workaholic spouse?  I want to know some ideas on how to deal.  If you have any please share them with me.

I am not lazy but if you compare me to my 15 hour work-day fiance some would probably say I am!

He has a determination that I haven’t seen in anyone before.  While I love and admire it, sometimes it’s also the thing I despise most about him.

He is an entrepreneur inside and out.  He has never worked for anyone but his own father.  He is a type ‘A’ personality through and through.  I am the laid back one.  The one who doesn’t get easily upset about anything (for the most part).

Whenever his phone rings, he has to answer it no matter where we are or what we’re doing.  Countless times we’ve been out to dinner and in the middle of a conversation and his phone rings.  I can’t stand it.  It drives me crazy.  But I also know that it’s business.  It’s what puts food on the table so I just deal with it.

He wakes up at 5am every day and is tired by 9pm.  Doesn’t leave much time for anything after the kids go to bed at 8:00.  We do have date night every Friday which keeps me going but lately our date nights have been pretty dull.  We go out to dinner and by the time we pay the bill he’s ready to call it a day.

I know he works so hard so that I don’t have to and so that I can be home with the kids.  I am so grateful to him for that but it’s also very lonely.  Even though he’s here during the day we don’t talk and hardly see each other because he’s in his office.

Can anyone give me some solutions?  What do you do?  I meet with friends for lunch occasionally but don’t make a routine of it because I feel guilty when he’s working his butt off. 

June 5, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Me | , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Artificial Sweeteners are Making Us Unhealthy!

Today, after waiting 2 months, I finally weighed myself again.  I lost 10 pounds.  In March, I hit a plateau and couldn’t figure out what was causing it.  I’ve finally narrowed it down.  I cut out ALL artificial sweeteners.  Which is not easy to do on a low carb diet.  All controlled carb products use artificial sweeteners.  In fact, Dr. Atkins in his many books even suggests using sucralose (Splenda) instead of other leading brands.  While I am an avid believer in the Atkin’s diet I have also tweaked it a bit for my family and I.  I’ll get into that at another time.

Prior to 2 months ago I tried everything.  I cut out alcohol completely, worked out more, worked out longer, combined different exercise by doing cardio and then strength training, started taking CoQ10, L-carnitine, more vitamin C, omega 3’s , and even going back on the induction phase of Atkins.  All that worked but I only saw a little difference.  I wanted more. 

So the only thing left to do was to cut out artificial sweeteners.  This was really the only thing left to do that I hadn’t tried.  So this morning, to my dismay I might add, I realized it worked.    I, myself, was a big fan of Splenda.  I would put at least 4 TBL of it in each cup of coffee I drank.  I knew this wasn’t healthy but I wanted my sweet, yummy, delicious coffee!  Frank would constantly give me a hard time telling me I’m a disgrace to coffee drinkers everywhere!  But hey – at least I was getting my morning jolt!  I didn’t use Splenda for anything else. 

But to ask me to give up my coffee, UGH, that was the last thing I wanted to try.  The headache that sets in 24 hours to your exact last cup of coffee, the lethargic feeling you have for the next 2 days along with that wonderful headache,  oh and the evident lack of energy to even muster the strength to get ready and go about your day.  BLAH!

But it was worth it for me.  Believe me, I am not knocking coffee, nor caffeine in any way.  I love it.  But unfortunately for me, I cannot drink coffee black.  The thought alone makes me cringe.  Might as well just go outside and lick the asphalt street instead!  That sounds just as appealing.

What are these “artificial sweeteners”?  What are they made of?  We don’t know.  The manufacturing companies don’t want us to know either.  They are foreign.  And even our own bodies know it.  That’s why it was holding me back – our bodies store this ‘substance’ because it doesn’t know what to do with it!  Where does it get stored?  In our bellies.

While researching this particular sweetener, I found that Splenda is actually a chemically modified substance where chlorine is added to the already chemical structure, making it more similar to a pesticide than something we should be ingesting.  Their commercials conveniently forget to mention that part.

Artificial sweeteners are not healthy at all.  In fact, they can be worse than sugar and corn syrup.   It actually made me crave sweet things.  Whereas, if I were eating right I wouldn’t be craving sweets at all.  The battle between artificial sweeteners and regular sugar is a battle of two wrongs.  And we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right.

Also, while researching, I stumbled on a website by a guy who is pretty knowledgeable and gives a lot of free information.  Check out his website for some other tips and tricks.  He’s actually against the strict low carb diet but has some valuable information about working out and the foods we should be eating to get the best results.

Let’s get back to basics people!  Eat fresh veggies, fruit and meat (all organic whenever you can), don’t eat ANY processed food, and take your vitamins!  Avoid the inner aisles of the grocery stores and adjust your favorite meals to be more healthy.  For all you people that say you can’t do low carb because you can’t do a diet where you can’t eat bread and pasta I have news for you:  I eat bread and pasta!  The low carb kind and I don’t eat it all the time, just once a week.  All the favorite appetizers and yummy casseroles that I thought were a thing of the past are now being enjoyed again by the whole family.

After doing low carb for a very long time, I have noticed that if all my spoons are clean and still in the drawer then I am eating healthy.  (I used to only need a spoon to stir my Splenda into my coffee!)    🙂

If we feed ourselves and our children natural and fresh food we might actually see these modern day dilemmas such as autism, child obesity and minor problems such as food allergies disappear and become a thing of the past.  We all need to re-evaluate our diets, no matter what diet we choose.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Me, Nutrition, Organic | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Ode to Stay At Home Moms!

This is for all you Stay-At-Home Mom’s out there… 

I don’t get much time these days to do this (being a SAHM and all) but I love it when I can sit down while the baby is sleeping and read a good book! 

Recently, I have been feeling a little negative about my current situation and trying to find some creative outlet (besides blogging!) that I could do in my spare time.  Then, while catching bits and pieces of the Today Show last week I heard what sounded like a knowledgable voice talking about how we should be praising the “Stay At Home Mom” and it got my attention.   

Author, Dr. Laura Schlessinger was speaking to Meredith Vieira about how SAHM’s really get a bad reputation but they should instead be given credit to forming the next generation of people. 

Me, being in need of an ego boost and an internal pep rally, went right out to Barnes & Noble to get this book.  I finished reading it the next day and I truly loved it.  It was the pick-me-up I wanted and so badly needed.

Yes, there are parts that sound a bit 1950’s but when you cut to the core of what she is trying to say it all makes sense and it is very truthful.   SAHM’s put their families as priority #1 and we rarely get credit for it.   After all, these are the women who are choosing to take responsibility for the choice they made to have a child and want to actually be there to raise that child with our own morals and views of right and wrong instead of a minimum wage day care worker.

We are also perceived as being unintelligent, lazy and/or unmotivated.  But we’re not.  We are not lazy since we know being a Mom is work 24/7,  not just 8-5  and we’re not unintelligent.  We are trying to share our intelligence and instill it in this brand new beautiful mind we’ve created.  We want to be there to teach our children the morals we grew up with, our beliefs, our truths, and our knowledge of the world so that when they are presented with a choice that could dramatically change their life they will be equipped with the skills needed to make an “intelligent” decision. 

To me, it is extremely smart to choose to be there for your children and one of the best and most important decisions a woman can make.

I am very aware of the women who have to work due to financial situations and I’m not saying we should accept just cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children all day as a means that defines us.  So please don’t be offended by what I’m saying.  If you have a skill, a talent or a dream by all means fulfill it!  But rearrange your goals and dreams around your children, not the other way around.  They are only in our care for 18 years!  In the bigger picture of life, that is not very long!  Make the most of it!

What I enjoyed most about the book is the letters and emails from other Moms that the author shared.  Heartfelt and uplifting true life stories of other moms and children brought tears to my eyes many times throughout the book.

Most importantly, it inspired me.   As I was reading it, I couldn’t wait for the baby to wake up from his nap and the girls to walk in the door from school. 

There are days I get so frustrated I want to pull my hair out, getting upset over something so miniscule, or that certain things didn’t get done that day or I am so totally exhausted by the end of the day that I think to myself that any other job would be a pleasant relief.  But then I remember there were also so many moments I would never trade in for any other job on the planet:

Those moments when your child gives you a smile or just a look of sheer happiness, moments when they would give you a kiss, a hug, or just hold your hand for no reason, or one that just happened to me the other day:  my daughter told me that when she grew up she wanted to be just like me!

Those are the moments a mother treasures forever in her heart.  They cannot be replaced.

No, SAHM’s don’t get a paycheck at the end of a very hard week.  We get hugs, kisses and an immense joy that fill our hearts so deep that money feels like… well,  just that …. money.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Baby Care, Being a Mom, Children, Family, Me, Women Today, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

As I Turn 30

I became 30 years old last August, however, I have not come to grips with it yet.  Yes, I’ve accomplished a lot.  I went to college (or shall I say ‘visited’), I have met some wonderful, very special people and I have 3 beautiful children along with a wonderful life in suburbia but still . . . I have had a hard time accepting that my twenties are over. 

I guess because I got pregnant at such a young age I was forced to grow up sooner than I thought I would have to.  I always thought I was missing out.  Having 2 babies by the time I was 23 a lot of my friends were single with no children.  

But now I’m realizing I have an advantage:   my kids will be out of the house by the time I’m 40!  (Well, at least my oldest will!) 

I never imagined in my twenties that when I would reach 30 I would look back with such disappointment in myself. 

Not until social networking sites such as Facebook and classmates.com did I realize that most everyone I grew up with has started their own families and they also live in suburbia.  The only difference between us is they hung out and drank more alcohol than I did!  See full size image

 

 

 

In recent weeks, I have reconnected with old crushes, class clowns, and friends I had that I thought back then would never disappear out of my life.  

I just spoke with an old friend from high school that disappeared 6 months before we graduated.  No one knew where he went or why he never said goodbye.  Fourteen years later I get an email that he is requesting confirmation that we’re “friends” on Facebook.  I immediately accepted and he explained that his parents had a falling out and then he chose to enlist in the army when he turned 18 (6 months before our graduation).

He met someone a month later and they had a son within that very same year.  I mention him because he and I were very close all through high school.  Then our junior year he dated a very close friend of mine.  When they broke up, he asked me out.  I won’t deny that I considered it.  I knew him long before they were together and I was the one who introduced them.  And even though at times he and I got along better than they did, I reluctantly declined out of respect for my friend. 

However, I haven’t spoken to her for 13 years!  So had I foreseen that, I probably would’ve said yes to him and then I would be a military wife right now with 4 kids living in Orange County. 

   The little choices we make in life end up paving our destiny.   And you don’t even realize it when it’s happening.   So I will begin to embrace my 30’s and look at my twenties as the learning curve.  In the words of Matthew McConaughey, “years are just something from a calendar”.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Me | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Tuscany” in Phoenix Not So Tuscan

Happy Saturday Everyone!

So first before I go into my latest critique let me first explain that the only times I leave the house without the baby these days is for “Date Night” which is every Friday.  So needless to say, every week I look forward to it passionately.  Usually, we just go out to dinner and go see a movie.  (I would much rather go dancing but I’ll save that for a different post.) 

So last night Frank and I went to Tuscany at the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge.  We’ve wanted to go check this place out for a while and we finally got around to it.

Hmmm . . . it was ok.  Nothing to write home about.  Although by the price of things they really must think the food is superb.  It is not.  First, it took us forever to decide what to order.   Typically we get an expensive entree for dinner when we go out.  But none of the entrees sounded appealing except for the filet but we didn’t want to order the filet at a “Tuscan” restaurant. 

So we ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese with italian sausage.   When we got it there was no italian sausage!  It was stew beef with diced up rigatoni.  Not what we had expected.  I’m sure the folks in Northern Italy are not enamored with stew beef and chopped up pasta!

Urgh!  Disappointing.   Mind you, Frank is Italian and is also from New York.  So he is very hard on italian restaurants but last night I was right there with him.  Then we tried the zeppoles for dessert.  Also disappointing!  They were filled with mascarpone cheese.  Which to someone who didn’t know any better would probably be pretty good.  But not what we’re used to.

Anywho, enough about them.  Next time we spend that kind of money we’ll just go back to Mastro’s, The Chart House or Elements!

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Me, The Critic | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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