30 Day Challenge

Well hello friends! It’s been a while hasn’t it?

While in the car a few days ago, I heard the Carrie Underwood song “Love Wins.” If you haven’t heard it, definitely give it a listen. The chorus goes…

I, I believe you and me are sisters and brothers
And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other
And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand
Put a world that seems broken together again
Yeah I, I believe in the end love wins

I’m so tired of the hate and arguing on Facebook. I’ve thought about just unfriending people I don’t agree with politically. It’s more than just disagreeing with posts…some are just ugly and hurtful. And my heart and spirit just can’t take it any more. Reading the hateful comments on news stories is draining me mentally.

So after hearing “Love Wins” the other day, I felt inspired to spread some love. Be the change I want to see in the world and all that. I went on Pinterest to look for some ideas for acts of kindness. I hit the jackpot of course but then I also saw 30 day challenges for lots of other things. And I thought it would be really fun to do a different challenge each month for a year!

I thought about waiting until January but why wait. A year’s a year no matter when you start and I’d like to spread the love asap. So I do plan to wait until November to get the ball rolling and I’ll be documenting my experiences for all of you!

The challenges include a good mix of mental health, physical health, and general fun-ness! I hope you’ll join me in a couple of weeks as I get started with my 30 Acts of 40cdc7f27098f89c0708e97ac22fe362Kindness Challenge!



I decided to join Weight Watchers again last weekend. I’ve struggled with my weight for so long and I’m over it. Weight Watchers has been the only thing I’ve done well on in the past. The new Freestyle plan is so simple and having the app makes tracking super easy. On the plan, skinless chicken breast, fruti, veggies, eggs, and a handful of other things are zero points. So all you really have to track is things that aren’t on the list. The app has a barcode scanner so if you have a camera on your phone, boom, done. I mean there’s really no reason I can’t do this.

Food is definitely the thing I stuggle with most. And it’s what’s most important when dealing with weight loss. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. And the meetings are so great for me to stay accountable. I realized on my way to my first meeting that it’s probably similar to AA (I imagine as I don’t have any experience with that). Food is, sadly, my addiction. I use it to deal with my negative emotions. When I stop going to the meetings, I start gaining weight again.

I’m so ready this time around to really do this and really commit. My pre-eclampsia scare with Jillian has driven me to get my butt in gear. I’m still on blood pressure meds (though a lower dose now) and I want to get off of it. I go back to the doctor in August to see where I’m at. I need to get my heart healthy and be around a long time for my girls.

I’ve also been having trouble with my back lately. I pinched a nerve I guess and couldn’t take care of my baby. I took steroids and muscle relaxers for a few days and it helped but now I sort of feel like it’s flaring up again. I think I’m going to check out a chiropractor to get some more permanent relief. It seems to get worse when I’m sitting (which I know is the worst for your back) but I can’t realistically go around standing or lying down all day. I have to sit to feed Jillian and to eat. I have to sit in the car. So anyway. I don’t want to have to keep going on meds to just mask the issue. I’m sure losing some weight will help with those issues.

I haven’t felt deprived at all and I was down 3 lbs at my first weigh-in this past week. I’m trying to think of some non-scale victories I’d like to achieve.

  1. Get off blood pressure meds
  2. Fit into cute shorts I bought a long time ago but then gained weight and they didn’t fit anymore
  3. Not have the worry that I’m over the weight limit on ladders/step-stools
  4. Be able to fit a standard bath towel around myself and be covered/have it stay up
  5. Never miss a WW meeting

All or Nothing

I’ve come to the realization that I need to get rid of my “all or nothing” mindset. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to accomplish this but admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

I guess it stems from being a perfectionist. The saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well” definitely applies. From that phrase I infer that if I can’t do something well, it isn’t worth doing at all. I’m sure I’ve got it all wrong but that’s just how my brain works at the moment.

Looking back I’ve noticed a pattern of trying new things or making attempts to change and as soon as things don’t go according to plan, I give up. When I was in college, I didn’t really have a clue what I wanted to do afterward. I was under some crazy assumption that once I graduated, a job would just fall into my lap and that’s what I’d do until I retired. So I got my psych degree with no plan to go to grad school. I also dabbled in the thought of becoming a physical therapist, an occupational therapist (didn’t get in), a dental hygenist (the waitlist was 2 years long), an activity director, and more. But, when I didn’t get in to OT school, for example, I didn’t hunker down and improve my resume; I gave up. I figured it wasn’t meant to be.

I’m a terrible homemaker. “Tidy” is definitely not a word those closest to me would use to describe me. Now, we’re not living in squalor, but you can find dog-hair tumbleweeds in the corners and toys scattered to the winds at any given time in my home. Our dwelling is cluttered for sure. And some days it’s overwhelming. Some days when I’ve already been up all night with the baby, haven’t showered in days, my toddler is having yet another meltdown, the cleaning just doesn’t happen. And maybe it doesn’t happen the next day either. And then it feels impossible to catch up, so I don’t try. And that’s when I end up spending an entire Saturday cleaning everything. Oops.

And then there’s my weight. This has been nearly a lifelong struggle. This is where the all or nothing hits the hardest. And I don’t know why. I understand with that logical part of my brain, that if I eat well and move my body, the occasional ice cream or slice of pizza will not ruin everything. But for some reason it just does not compute with the rest of me. I guess it’s because it’s never just one scoop of ice cream or one slice of pizza. It’s an entire pint (or carton over a couple days) or half a pizza. It’s never one day of skipping a workout; it’s an entire week. And well, I screwed up today, why keep trying tomorrow? I wish I had a healthier relationship with food but I just don’t know how to get there. I know I don’t have to go crazy restricting calories and avoiding foods I enjoy. Like I said, I KNOW these things to be true but subconsciously, I just can’t figure it out. I don’t know why I think it has to be all or nothing.


Well, we’ve been in Savannah nearly a month now and the honeymoon hasn’t worn off yet. It does sort of feel like we’re in a bit of limbo right now, staying in this condo. Just makes me feel a little anxious and unsettled. We close on our house on the 27th of March and I can’t wait!

The weather has been cool and comfortable…mostly sunny days! Tybee is gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend. The parade is Saturday and I guess goes right by our condo so we’ll have a great view from our balcony. Lord knows I hate dealing with crowds so I’m glad we’ll be able to do our own thing. But we’ve definitely noticed more people coming into town…the hotel parking lots are filling up and tour buses and constantly on the street.

This past weekend we checked out the Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market. It was opening day and pretty busy. There was the usual farmers with their fruits and vegetables; as well as vendors selling baked goods, honey, and crafts. They also had a face painter, live music, a bounce house, and food trucks. We ended up buying some cucumbers, broccoli, and strawberries. Josie had fun dancing to the music and got her face painted like a puppy. It was a fun couple of hours spent out of the house!

Sunday was a laid back day. Justin went to the driving range for a little while and then when he got home, we took the girls to the park. More kids showed up later and Josie had fun running around with them. And of course they all wanted Justin to push them on the swings since he can push so high! It always cracks me up the way kids gravitate towards him. I knew I found me a good man.

We were at the park as the sun went down and here’s a friendly PSA for my northern friends. Sand gnat bites don’t start to itch until like 24 hours later. I could feel myself getting bitten but the only evidence was small red spots. No itching at all. All of the sudden Monday night I was itchy and had welts like mosquito bites! The more you know…

Well I feel like I had more to say but at the moment all I can think about is getting some things done before Jillian wakes up.

Back in Savannah

I decided with a new adventure that it was time to start writing again.

If you haven’t heard, Justin’s job has brought us back to Savannah, Georgia! I never thought I’d agree to it, but I could see how unhappy he was in his current position. And he was very much appreciated in Savannah and kept in touch with his old boss for the last 3 years. So just before Jillian was born, when he told me his boss asked again when he was coming back (a higher position was opening up), I told him I was up for the discussion. The application process within his company is long so while we’ve known we were moving for a while, I think it came on as a bit of a surprize to some of our friends and family.

We put our house on the market a few weeks ago and it sold in just a couple of days. We still haven’t closed yet but it’s in the works. The movers came to the house Monday the 12th, Justin, Josie, and Pepper drove down Tuesday & Wednesday, and Jillian and I flew down Thursday.

It was definitely an adventure flying on my own for the first time, not to mention flying with an infant. I get stressed when I travel as it is but having Jillian added an entirely new level. But I told myself the night before that I would just go with the flow, that we’d be okay. I bought a new carrier and practiced getting her strapped in and out and it was easier than I thought it would be. The security line was short and even though we were departing from the furthest gate, I still had plenty of time to grab breakfast.

I opted for a first class seat for the trip from Detroit to Charlotte and I’m so glad I did. It was so nice to have that little bit of extra space with Jillian in my lap. She basically slept the entire time and only cried when she got hungry. And then of course as we’re making our descent, she blows up (and out of) her diaper. Thankfully we arrived in Charlotte a little early so I had time to change her before boarding to Savannah. It was quite the production, basically having to give her a bath with wipes in the bathroom! The flight from Charlotte to Savannah was less than an hour and very uneventful.

When we arrived in Savannah, it was the perfect airport movie scene reunion. I saw Justin and Josie but Josie hadn’t seen me yet. When she finally did, she ran toward me yelling, “Mommy!” Talk about heart-melting! We had to pick up the stroller and carseat from baggage claim and then we were on our way.

Justin had set up some house showings for us that afternoon. As he rearranged the carseats, I sat up front feeding Jillian. We had the car running so the AC could be on. When we started driving, the battery light came on. We didn’t worry too much about it at first. We went to lunch and then to look at a couple of houses. On the way home, Justin started to worry about the battery. Then the power steering went out. And then the screen said “shutting down to save battery.” All the sudden the dash started dinging with all these warnings. Thankfully we were able to roll into a gas station and get some help. Justin called for a tow and his boss was able to come give us a ride to get a rental car. Unfortunately the problem was the alternator which was not a cheap fix.

We had a relaxing weekend, going to the beach and looking at more houses. On Tuesday, Justin’s car was delivered by the moving company and somehow his brake line broke. Thankfully that was a cheap fix and he had someone at work help him fix it. Also on Tuesday, I had to take Pepper to the vet and then the girls and I looked at a few more houses. There was one we really liked and we almost put an offer on it with some contingencies.

For now we’re staying out on Tybee Island, which is about a half hour from downtown Savannah. We’ve got a short term, furnished rental for the next couple of weeks. It’s amazing being so close to the beach and having plenty to do nearby. I’m hoping next weekend we can do more exploring since we’ve spent the last couple of weekends house hunting. We do have an accepted offer on a house and will close at the end of March! I can’t wait to really put down some roots and start making memories here!

Day #6 of Gratitude

What in nature are you grateful for?

I’m grateful that I live in a place that has, for the most part, four distinct seasons. I love the cool air and crunchy leaves in the fall; the gentle snow and quiet of winter; the renewal and warmth of spring; and the sunshine and thunderstorms of summer.

And I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience nature in new places. This past weekend, we were in Colorado, a place I had never been. Seeing the hills and mountains and trees and wildlife was absolutely amazing. I wish we had stayed another day or two so that we could have explored some trails.

Day #5 of Gratitude

What sound are you grateful for today?


I am grateful for the voice of my daughter saying “mama!” She said “dada” so early on that it became a running joke that we believed she could say mama, she just thought it was funny not to!

But now it’s an everyday occurrence. And she isn’t at the age yet where it’s “mom, mom, mommy, mom!” Although I’m sure those days are coming. So I am going to soak it in and let my cup runneth over every time I hear that sweet voice.

Day #4 of Gratitude

What food are you most grateful for?

ALL. THE. FOOD! Which is probably why I’m fat. 😀 Some of my favorite foods are pizza, sushi, coffee, ice cream. I love trying new things. I don’t get a lot of opportunity to try interesting foods which is part of why I love going on cruises. They have foods I wouldn’t eat at home like alligator fritters…so yummy! And at the ports we get to try local foods. When we were in Costa Maya, Mexico, we had a wonderful spread of traditional food like tamales and hibiscus water! It was fantastic.

Day #3 of Gratitude

What color are you grateful for?

I’ve never really thought of being grateful for a color. My favorite color is purple, pretty much any shade. For our wedding, my bridesmaids wore the color sangria from David’s Bridal. THAT is my favorite color. Not quite purple, not quite pink. A wonderful fall color…almost like a plum. We got married in spring and it was perfect for that too!

Day #2 of Gratitude

What technology are you grateful for?


I am actually really grateful for smartphones. Sure, they can be a real time-suck what with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and so on, but they are also a wonderful tool! You literally have the world at your fingertips. You get amber alerts, weather alerts, you always have a map with you, you can be up to date on the news, you can call or video chat with your friends and family, take pictures, settle a debate, and basically look up the answer to any question.

I love my smartphone but I do try to balance how much I use it. I give people my full attention when they are talking to me, I put it away on date nights, and I NEVER have it out when I’m driving. No call, text, notification is worth your, or someone else’s, life. *end soapbox rant*