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This is me 4 years ago. I was a size four. I felt fantastic. I’m not exactly sure what happened but this is me now. I suppose if I had to guess as to how I got so big it would boil down to wine, food, age and a bit of laziness, okay, a lot of laziness. When I finally realized I was 20 pounds heavier I freaked. What do I do now? I tried all of the things I had done before to lose weight, but something about being over 40 changed the game.

 

For the past year, I have literally used my child as a human shield whenever someone wants to take my picture. Typically I won’t let anyone take my picture because I can’t stand to see how I look. That is pathetic. I avoid situations where I have to see someone that hasn’t seen me since I packed on the pounds. I tell myself this is to protect them from the utter shock of my reverse transformation. This is just a little snapshot of where I was a week ago.

Two weeks ago I was approached by D1 Sports Training to share with my readers their upcoming boot camp for women. As I spoke with them about their program I had a bright idea, which I blurted out. “Why don’t I try your boot camp so I can give them a full picture of what it’s like,” I said. It seemed like a great idea when I was sitting at my desk in black leggings and an oversized shirt. After the meeting, I realized what I had done. It would take a week for me to muster up the courage to show up.

WEEK 1: D-Day

I show up to D1 terrified. I’m certain the next hour will be the definition of humiliation. I walk in hoping to keep a low profile, but that was not to be. This is a good thing. I walk in and everyone in the class greets me. It’s almost like a team really. I was a bit intimidated because most everyone appeared to be in good shape, but that’s a good thing right? I mean it proves this stuff works. Over the course of the next hour I did exercises I hadn’t done in years and some I had never done. The hour flew by and I was constantly encouraged by the participants, not in a poor slob kind of way, but in a way like, we are glad you are here and kudos to you for giving it your all. I must admit the multiple fist bumps made me feel great.

I left that first class knowing I had an uphill battle, but that this might actually work. I have gone for a week now, thus the week one title, duh. As I write, I am sore in places I didn’t even know muscles existed. It makes me feel great. Yesterday was my best day yet. That was my 5th day. I ran, I jumped hurdles, I swung weights and came close to death, but guess what, I’m going back today.

What is D1?

D1 is circuit-based training That consists of a 1-hour workout that includes:

 Total Body Metabolic Training

 Cardio Training

 Strength and Resistance Exercises

 Core, Balance, Flexibility, and Injury Prevention

 Emphasis on muscle tone, strength development, and weight loss where desired.

 

What that means is you aren’t just doing one thing, which is great for my ADD. The class follows this format:

12-15 minutes of dynamic warm-up

Rest Break

12-15 minutes of a performance circuit

Rest Break

12-15 minutes of a strength circuit

 Rest Break

 Remaining time is core and cool down

The best part: You burn at minimum 480 calories per class. 480 CALORIES!!!!!!

 

I will be documenting my journey, but if you want to learn more about their upcoming boot camp and try them out for free

                                                

Click Here.

 

 

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Does my child have dyslexia? This is a question I have been exploring with my 8-year-old. From the time he was born I have read aloud to him. As soon as he was old enough to start grasping letters I began attempting to teach him to read. I continue to attempt to teach him to read.

 

 

 

Reading has played a major role in my life. It is one of my true passions and I want my son to embrace the wonderful world of reading. Unfortunately, he is not developing that love. He struggles with reading and writing every day.  It’s difficult, because, from the time he started kindergarten to present day which is half way through 2nd grade, I keep telling myself he would get over the hump. What has happened is that both of our frustration levels have increased and I have had to take a hard look at what is really going on.

In the majority of schools, they don’t start looking for or classifying dyslexia until 3rd grade. In my opinion, this is too late. My son is already struggling with the writing assignments in the 2nd grade. I have hired a  tutor who specializes in dyslexia and after a few sessions, she hasn’t determined whether he has dyslexia or not. She is leaning toward him not having it but hasn’t ruled it out. So we move forward hopeful that we can get him confident in his reading and writing. It is an uphill climb for sure.

I found a great resource I want to pass along if you might be in the same situation.  Follow this link to learn about the warning signs of age. This site is also an overall dyslexia resource site and I have found the content useful.

 

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“They’re going to lead me to an early death!”

“They’re giving me gray hairs!”

Raise your hand if you’ve either thought or said these sentences out loud when it comes to raising kids. It’s a running “joke” among moms that our kids are going to kill us one of these days because of the stress they put us through, because parenting is NOT easy!

 

Rewarding? Yes.

Would we trade it for the world? No way!

Parenting can be a physical and emotional roller coaster for sure, but did you know that some research is showing that giving birth and raising children may actually age our cells prematurely? Yay.

Researchers analyzed information from 1,556 U.S. women ages 20 to 44 who took part in a national survey from 1999 to 2002. The study involved these women giving blood samples.

Researchers were interested in examining the women’s genetic material inside their cells, namely telomeres. These are “caps” on the end of chromosomes that prevent chromosomes from damage.

Telomeres naturally shorten as people age, but the structures don’t shorten at the same rate in every person. The longer a person’s telomeres are, the more times their cells could hypothetically still divide, research has shown. Thus, telomeres are considered a marker of biological age — that is, the age of a person’s cells, rather than the individual’s chronological age.”

The study showed that women who had given birth had telomeres that were on average, 4% shorter than women who had never given birth. The results suggest that a “history of live birth may be associated with shorter telomeres,” the researchers wrote in their abstract, which was presented this week at the meeting of the American Public HealthAssociation in Denver. [9 Uncommon Conditions That Pregnancy May Bring]

Further research needs to be done to prove why telomeres in mother’s seem to be shorter, but the standing hypothesis for now is that having children increases stress levels, and high stress in humans is linked to shorter telomeres.

So there you have it. We’re doomed! Or, you can take the study with a giant grain of salt… because we all know many many mothers who lived well into their 80’s and 90’s, and even past 100! In my opinion, it’s all about perception. We can choose to dwell on being stressed all the time and view motherhood as a never ending chore, or we can focus on the amazing blessing that our children are, and choose happiness. I for one choose the latter! Motherhood is one of the greatest opportunities I will ever take part in, and I am happy to give up the length of my telomeres for it.

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I think as moms we all have this idea of how “the talk” will go, or how we will handle sensitive questions that our children throw at us… but the moment almost never goes as planned, because usually the moment is totally unpredictable and happens when we least expect it!! Such was the case when my 9-year-old son asked me about periods last week.

 

 

 

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I honestly wasn’t ready for this talk with him! I have two teenage daughters who I literally sat down when they were 8 or 9 and very carefully explained everything to them. I planned for it. I bought books and everything! Maybe it was easier for me because they were girls? I was a girl, so I felt like I could relate to them! But when my SON came to me one evening while I was working and told me my 17-year-old daughter told him “girls have something happen to them every month that hurts and makes them grouchy”, I kind of went into panic mode.  This is how the conversation went:

My son: “I want to know EVERYTHING, mom”

Me: “Are you… sure?” (Kid, this is your escape. Run for the hills!)

Son: “Yes. Everything.”

Me: Deep breath and silent prayers…”Uhh, ok”

“Well, as you know, girls and boys have different body parts, right?”

Son: “Yeah! I have a penis!!”

Me: “Right…well, girls have other parts that help them carry a baby inside their body.”

Son: “Like, their stomach right? I have a stomach too.”

Me: “No, babies don’t grow inside stomachs. They grow inside a ladies uterus, which is like a pouch down here” (motions where it is)

Son: “Ohhh, like a sack?! I have one of those too!”

Me: (heaven help me) “Well, actually this is on the inside of a woman’s body, down here (motions to where it is) And every month it gets ready in case a baby starts growing there. It gets really soft and comfortable and pillowy, the perfect place for a baby!”

At this point my son is completely intrigued. He looks as if someone just handed him 10 packs of Pokeman cards. And I’m patting myself on the back because I’m totally rocking this talk! Everything is going so smoothly…

I continue: “So, if a lady doesn’t get pregnant that month (please don’t ask me how she gets pregnant or I’ll poke my eyes out) her body gets rid of the old stuff in her uterus and it starts all over again”

My son: “Cool, ok, so how does she get rid of the old stuff?”

Me: “Well, that’s a period! It comes out as blood and stuff, from her vagina. She bleeds.”

My son’s expression instantly changes from intrigue to horror (I caught the moment with a photo. See below)

 

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Me: (nervous laugh) Yep, so that’s a period. Aren’t bodies amazing?!! And sometimes it hurts and sometimes it makes girls a little grouchy. And that’s why we buy lots of pads and tampons around here…

Son: “Oh my gosh!” (makes connection) “the pads and tampons catch the BLOOD?!!”

He looks equally disgusted and mesmerized at the same time.

Me: “Well, yes. But even though women don’t like getting their periods, they are very grateful that their bodies can grow babies. Women’s bodies are beautiful and sacred and special.”

Son: “Well, that’s for sure”

This is where I felt like I might cry a little…

Me: “So, how are you feeling about this??”

Son: “Well, I actually feel really grateful that I am a boy right now. And I have something I would like to say to the girls…”

I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

He ran upstairs, found his sisters, and very sincerely and seriously said “Girls, I AM SO SORRY! I am so sorry you have to have periods every month for like 3 or 5 days, and I understand why sometimes you don’t want to talk to me.”

They giggled and laughed, but he was super serious about it, and it was slightly adorable.

Our talk may have been a little awkward, a little unpredictable, and a little messy, but we survived, and it went ok. I don’t know that there is a “right” way to have these talks, because every child and every parent is different. I think the important thing is to know that they will happen so prepare yourself as much as possible! And be sincere about it when they do happen. Talk to your child on their level, using ideas that they can understand and relate to.

The best part is watching my son revel in this new found information. He has a little more confidence now, like he’s discovered a hidden level on a video game. It’s cute, and he’s totally diggin’ it. I also love that it taught him compassion and respect.

And now this mama can breathe for a while…until he wants to know EVERYTHING about how babies are made…

goyag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What are 3 things every parent wants when planning a birthday party for their kids? Easy, Fun and Economical. Springs Trampoline Park gives you all three. Last Sunday we celebrated my son’s 8th Birthday at Springs Trampoline Park. He had a blast!

 

 

 

We chose the Springs Party Package and were really pleased with everything that was included in the package:

Up to 15 Jumpers

         Private Room

         3 Pizzas

         Water and Gatorade 

         Option to Bring Outside Food and Drink

         Your own Party Host

 

img_1537This birthday party was the easiest birthday party I have ever thrown for my son. I simply showed up with the cake and the staff at Springs Trampoline did the rest. If you have the budget the private room is a great option. It is spacious and gives you more privacy than the shared party rooms. I should add that the shared party rooms were great as well and very festive.  The party hosts at Springs Trampoline are on top of everything and extremely helpful. We had Stephanie and she did an amazing job!

I give Springs Trampoline 5 stars on their birthday party package! It was a great experience from start to finish.

 

For information on birthday parties at Springs Trampoline Park CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

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I have a confession. I really want my kids to help around the house, I really do! The problem for me has always been allowing and trusting them to do it! In the past I was such a perfectionist, that I became my own worst enemy in some ways. For example, I was the mom that would allow the kids to decorate the Christmas tree, and then when they were asleep I would fix all the ornaments so the tree looked pretty again. I would let my kids help fold towels, and then secretly refold them because they did it wrong. I would let my kids bake cookies, but insist on taking over when the batter wasn’t stirred correctly.

 

Sigh…

and the truth is many moms fall into this pattern. We have become a generation of “it’s ok, I’ll do it” moms, and our families are suffering.  It not only effects our kids and their own independence, but it typically extends to our spouse as well. How many times have you given your partner directions to do something, and after having to explain it for too long just gave in and said “never mind, I will do it”?

We think we can do it all, and honestly we probably can do it all, because let’s face it, we are superwomen! Unfortunately, doing it all does not teach our families to do things for themselves, and it can lead to resentment in our children and spouses because it tends to send the message that we don’t trust them to get the job done, or we don’t think they’re smart enough. Obviously we want to avoid those assumptions!

Here some signs you may be doing too much for your family…

You’re focused on doing things “right” all the time

If you’re obsessed with the dishes being stacked in the dishwasher right, and find yourself saying things like “nevermind, I will do it” out of exasperation…you’re doing too much for your family. It’s time to let go, and let your children (or partner) complete the task. There is nothing wrong with giving some guidance as to how it’s done properly, but doing it all yourself is not only adding to your own plate of chores, but taking responsibility away from other family members. Something everyone in the home should feel like they have.

You’re constantly questioning your family’s decisions and choices

Maybe your husband comes home with groceries after you’ve given him a list, and he buys the wrong brands. Do you say something or do you let it go? If you say something like “I usually get this brand of toilet paper instead” or “I really don’t like this brand of barbecue sauce”, guess what? After a while your husband is going to say “You know what? Do the shopping yourself!” Now that’s one less thing he’ll be helping with around the house. Learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles. Learn to allow your family to do things their way sometimes.

Picking fights

If you’re so bent on being right or doing things the “right” away around your house, this can lead to more than just resentment on your families behalf. This can start to change the entire tone of your household, with more arguments and fights over silly things. If you’re doing everything, there’s no doubt you will become resentful too and start blaming it on the fact that no one knows how to do anything right. This is a very dangerous pride cycle, and there needs to be balance. A family that’s united is much more important than how the beds are made or how dinner is prepared.

You’re always bringing up past mistakes

Maybe your spouse was late paying the mortgage two years ago, or your child put laundry soap in the dishwasher that one time… do you still belittle them for it, or have a habit of bringing up their past mistakes? And do you use those past mistakes to justify why “you’ll just do it yourself”? If this is the case, you are taking away valuable lessons from your family. Mistakes are part of learning. Allow them more opportunities to learn and grow and they may surprise you with how much they can handle! And you may just start breathing a sigh of relief that you actually don’t have to do it all…

I realize not all moms struggle with this idea of “having to do it all”, and that many families have a very healthy balance when it comes to chores, responsibilities and contributions. But if you are a mom who struggles with any of the feelings above, there is hope (and you’re not alone). It’s ok to take a look within ourselves sometimes and figure out how we can do better. Sometimes it’s not our family who needs to “see the light”, sometimes it’s us…

Do you find yourself struggling with the “have to do it all” mentality? Or maybe you have found some good balance in your family and can share some more advice. We’d love to hear your thoughts either way!

Chances are your childhood memories include going to the drive-in movies with your family.  I have great memories of packing up the back of the car with lots of blankets, pillows, and snacks and watching movies with the trunk open, under the stars. There’s something so nostalgic about those experiences, and as a parent I hope for those kind of memories with my kids. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience a drive-in theater, or would like to take your kids to one, you’re in luck! Colorado is home to SIX drive-in theaters that are still alive and kicking and waiting for your next adventure! Check out our list below, and click on the the theater name for more info.

 

 

88 Drive In Theater

8780 Rosemary St. Commerce City, CO 80022

Phone: 303-287-7717

Google Review: Great place for a family night out! Reasonable prices and great movie selection. Love getting three movies for the price of one, nice big screen, easy to connect to audio, yummy concessions. Our family visits all season long. – Stephanie B.

 

Mesa Drive In

2625 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo CO, 81006

Phone: 719-542-3345

Google Review: Great night out! They show new movies, comfy atmosphere, and nice people. You also get 2 movies for the price of 1! – Amber C.

 

Tru Vu Drive In

1001 CO-92, Delta CO, 81416

Phone: 970-874-9556

Google Review: Great family adventure and the employees dress up like next weeks movie characters! – Mackenzie D.

 

Holiday Twin Drive In

2206 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins CO 80526

Phone: 970-221-1244

Google Review: So amazing. They make sure everyone can see and cars aren’t blocking in front of you and people aren’t too loud. Buy concessions so they stay in business! We love going here! I grew up going here and now get to take my own kiddos here. LOVE IT! – Lindsay T.

 

The Star Drive In Theater

600 E. Miami Road Montrose CO 81401

Phone: 970-249-6170

Google Review: One of the best places to go for a date or take the whole family. A wonderful atmosphere and great people. Not to mention the BEST burgers and fries around. -Chris T.

 

Denver Mart Drive In

451 E 58th Ave, Denver, CO 80216

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It’s back to school season, and for kids that means long school days, after school activities and homework. Throw in ballet classes, soccer practice, church activities, family responsibilities and music lessons and the enriching life many parents are trying to give their children can actually turn detrimental to their well being and mental health.

 

 

Overscheduling kids has become an epidemic of sorts, and has been gaining more attention from educators, doctors, and child psychologists over the past few decades. Overscheduling children leads to the same stress-related health and psychological problems that overworked adults experience, and it’s starting younger and younger. Studies have found that the majority of kids who are overscheduled tend to have parents from an educated, higher income bracket—and interesting enough, they tend to be girls.

The key is balance. Obviously we want our children to be productive, and many parents are trying to avoid having “lazy” children who are glued to the phone or the TV…but there are two extremes and middle ground is where we want to be. Kids need downtime too, and they need to be bored sometimes. This allows them to use their imaginations and find things to do on their own. When their whole life is scheduled out, it leaves little room for reflection and relaxation, and both are critical when they are busy growing a body!

Here are some signs your child may be overscheduled.

You never see them bored

If you think back on the last week, and the mental picture of your child is homework, appointments, meetings, lessons and rushing here and there, it might be time to reasess their schedule. Every child needs downtime. They need time to relax and unwind, process their thoughts and reflect on their day.  It’s crucial for their well being and development.

Your child turns into a grumpy old man

Is your child complaining of aches and pains and headaches regularly? Are they always tired? Are they irritable with family members, and tend to be more grouchy than happy? These are typical physical symptoms that can arise when a child’s life is out of whack, or they are overworked. Revisit their schedule, make sure they are getting to bed at a decent hour, and make sure they have quiet time each night before bed.

Your child loses interest in their favorite things

If your child starts to become apathetic to things they once loved, it’s time to take notice. When things that were fun to them aren’t fun anymore, and they don’t really care about their favorite foods, people, music, passtimes, etc…and if their schedule is very busy, it’s usually because they are too tired to care. These can also be symptoms of depression, however before making assumptions, it’s important to question if it’s just an overscheduled calendar.

Your child’s grades are dropping

School should be a child’s number one priority. They are a student before anything else. If a child’s grades are dropping it can a be a symptom of overscheduling. If your child is having to wake up early to finish homework from the night before because their evening was too full of activities, something needs to get cut. Too many extracurricular activities can zap the energy a child needs to be a good student.

You live in your car more than your house

If you’re having more conversations in the car than within the walls of your own home, this can definitely be a sign you’re overscheduled. If you are shuttling your kids back and forth to various activities all the time, this can mean your schedules are dominating family time.

Your child is losing friends

Friends come and go, and that’s normal, but if your once very social child is becoming isolated because they are missing out on birthday parties or outings with close friends, this is a warning sign. Children need friends and time to have unstructured play and downtime. It’s crucial for their social development, and if their best friend is not around anymore because your child doesn’t have time for them, it’s time to re-evaluate their schedule.

You no longer eat regular meals together

If you are so busy that you’re regularly grabbing dinner on the go, not eating together, or your child is continually skipping out on dinner to finish homework or get to practice, you are an overscheduled family. There are studies showing the benefits of having family dinner on a regular basis, and it’s something more families should be doing. Read our article “5 Reasons to Eat Family Dinner Together”.

You’re too tired to do it all

Are you constanly complaining to friends and family how tired you are because of all the things you have to do? Do you wear your “busyness” as a badge? Do you dread all the activities and playing the role of never ending Taxi driver? If you yourself are one tired mama because of an overscheduled schedule, imagine how your kids feel. If you are drained, chances are your children are too. It may be time reasses your priorities and question if it’s all worth it.

Remember, it’s all about balance! Maybe choose one extracurrcular activity for your child each year instead of juggling three. Make sure you are having regular family meals together, that your child is getting enough sleep and has enough time to productively manage their homework load. With a little mindful scheduling you can find the healthy amount of activities for your family and your child.

 

 

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Most of us are aware of the phrase “the Winter Blues”, but the Summer Blues can be just as real for some moms, and it’s important to not only recognize this potential slump, but to actively find ways to beat it! Sometimes we have grand and lofty expectations of what Summer should be with our family. We envision schedules and day trips, an organized home and backyard BBQs with friends…but sometimes life happens, and we can feel overwhelmed. We can feel like we’ve let down our family, and ourselves. Unexpected trials and challenges often pop up, and those visions we had quickly fade away and we can be left feeling down. For some moms it can become a very real struggle, but there are ways to overcome these feelings when we recognize them. Melody Jensen recently shared four ways that we can beat the Summer blues with Good Things Utah, and they are very helpful tips!

 

 

1. Flip on the gratitude switch

Think of it as turning on a light switch. Suddenly things that weren’t visible in the dark, become visible again. Sometimes we need to actively be aware of the blessings we do have when things aren’t going as planned. Simple things like being able to feed your children, or drive a car instead of public transportation. Having electricity and a roof over our heads! We often take these conveniences for granted, but many people don’t have them and taking stock of the things that are right in our world, can often help us feel more uplifted.

2. Get your health checked

Sometimes moms just feel “off”. You may not be functioning very well, or you’re just more tired than usual and not feeling yourself. It’s important to get checked out by your doctor when you’re feeling this way. You could have a vitamin deficiency you’re not aware of, or a hormone imbalance, or your thyroid can be off.  These issues can absolutely cause us to feel down and depressed. We often think of our children and family before taking care of ourselves, but we have to feel our best in order to give our families our best! So make sure your health is in check.

3. One a day!

We all know about one a day vitamins, but there is another thing we should be adding to our lives once a day, especially when we are feeling down and depressed. When the blues hit us, we are often caught in a cycle of dwelling on our own problems and we can become consumed with ourselves and our situation. Actively commit to do something kind for someone else once a day.  This can be as simple as a genuine compliment, or leaving a small gift/note on a friend’s porch.  When we focus on other’s more instead of ourselves, our own burdens become lighter.

4. Express Yourself

Melody shares that she recently had a friend who was struggling and tragically committed suicide. She not only her took her own life, but she took her children’s as well. It’s so very important not to bottle up our feelings and struggle in silence. If you are depressed, overwhelmed, and in a very dark place, share those feelings with your loved ones, your friends, or your doctor. You don’t have to struggle alone. There is help. There is hope.

Melody Jensen is also the host of Momscast, which is a great podcast for moms intended to build a sense of community and lift us up! Moms from all over the world share their stories of trials and triumphs and the every day adventures of being a mom. Be sure to check it out! You can visit her Facebook page for more info.

Watch her interview with Good Things Utah for more helpful insights on how to beat the Summer Blues!

 

 

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FREE!
Get a small Slurpee (one per person)
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on … what else???
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From 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
While supplies last

ALSO…

chick-fila-cow-appreciation-day

 

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