Losing that Baby Weight

“I can’t believe you still workout and you are THAT pregnant.  Your baby weight will come off really fast.”  I heard this constantly when I was pregnant with Claire.  I heard it so often that I believed it.  Couple that with watching the Today show and someone on there saying, “You should be back to your pre-baby weight at 6 weeks after you are pregnant.”

Well, here we are 16 weeks later and I am still not back to my pre-baby weight.  However, for the first time in 16 weeks I am okay with the fact that it is taking me longer than I intended- it has been a humbling experience.  I have always been an athlete, always been in good shape, but darn this is hard work.

Have I worked hard at this? Yes.  Could I have worked harder the last 16 weeks?  Yes.  Could I have eaten better?  Yes.

I started working out again two weeks after I had Claire and started running (slow and short distances) four weeks later.  I started teaching my class again at the YMCA after 6 weeks and I would say when Claire was 2 months I was working out four to five times a week.

My daughter is 16 weeks old tomorrow and I am 10 pounds away from my pre-baby weight and 16 pounds away from my goal weight.  (I was about 4-6 pounds heavier than usual when I got pregnant.)

I am not as fast as I used to be, but I am getting faster.
I can’t run as far as I used to, but with each run I go farther.
I am not as strong as I used to be, but I am getting stronger.
I am not the woman I used to be… now, I am a mother.

I will get where I want to be.  I will get there within a year of giving birth. I have learned to give myself time and to give my body time.  I have also learned to be kind to my body- it took 9 months to grow a healthy baby, it might take 9 months to lose that baby weight and that is okay.

I can do it, but know that the most important thing to me is not  the number on the scale, but to teach my daughter through example to live a healthy life and and to be comfortable and confident in her skin- it begins here…


Last Minute Shopping Ideas

Well folks, you have one week left to finish up your Holiday shopping.  Are you struggling with some last minute gifts?  Here is a short list of some of “my favorite things” that might be what you are looking for to finish up the last minute shopping (all you need to do is click on the picture).

Note: most of these gifts are for women

Chica Band

Chica Band





I can’t seem to run or workout with these awesome headbands that keep my hair back AND stay on my head.  Most headbands I have come across do not stay on my head, but the Chica Band has never failed me.  They come in both thick and thin bands- I prefer the thin band.

Vera Bradley Grand Traveler Bag









I received this bag as a baby shower gift before Claire was born and it is incredible!  I  packed all my necessities for the hospital in the large bag, and it was perfect.  Now, I use it whenever we go out of town for the weekend and I am able to fit everything for both Claire in me in this perfect bag.  Not to mention when you are a mom, you are usually carrying a million things on your shoulder and this bag frees up a shoulder as you can put it across your body.  Plus… Vera Bradley is offering $9.95 two day air shipping until Wednesday!

Monogrammed Address Stamp









I am not sure if you would be able to get this in time for Christmas, but if you hurry on over to this etsy shop, you might be able.  I love this return address stamp: it makes addressing cards, letters, invitations, etc. so easy.  I used to hate always making sure I had return address labels- with this you just need a stamp pad.

Fleece Sweatshirt

Thanks to my favorite running partner, I have been introduced to the wonderful, inexpensive line of JC Penny workout clothes.  I recently purchased this sweatshirt for cheap and I LOVE it.  It is perfect for after your winter workout at the gym.  The outside is a warm fuzzy fleece, but the inside part that covers your torso and chest have a dry fit material so the fleece does not stick to you after sweating.  Not to mention, it is cute and looks good with workout pants if you need to go out and about after hitting the gym.  Unfortunately, it is no longer available online, BUT if you hurry to your nearest JC Penny, I bet you can get this.


indianapolis zoo
Sometimes it is hard to come up with a perfect gift for people.  So, how about a membership to somewhere?  For those Indianapolis area residents, I think a membership to the zoo or children’s museum would be a perfect gift for your favorite family- it is something parents and kids can enjoy together all year long.  And for those of you not in the Indianapolis area, what about a zoo or museum near you?

Do you have any great holiday gift ideas you could add to this list?

30 Before 30 UPDATE

Back in June, I wrote a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30 here.

I am 15 months and 5 days away from turning 30 (not that I am counting), and thought I should probably check my progress on my list:

1. Become a mother
2. Finish my Masters in Education Administration
3.  Run another full marathon
4.  Start playing tennis again (league or lessons)
5. Visit Napa or Sonoma Wine Country
6. Take another trip overseas (I am thinking Germany & Switzerland) (It will be Switzerland for sure, and we have already started saving for this… YAY!)
7. Run a sub 1:50 half marathon (After having a baby and trying to get back to my normal pace, I have realized this is more difficult than I ever imagined!)
8. Complete a triathalon (a sprint try would suffice)
9. Take another ski trip out west (This is planned and happening soon!)
10.  Complete a family run (with hubby & the baby)
11. Take a family vacation (the three of us)
12. Take a weekend trip with my girlfriends
13. Become a better photographer
14. Run a race for charity
15. Complete a trail run
16. Move out of the classroom and into a leadership role (I am not sure this will happen by the time I am 30 considering my new SAHM status.  It is amazing how a child can change your goals.)
17. Complete a mudder
18. Bake an apple pie… homemade crust in all
19. Successfully grow vegetables
20. Keep my car clean for a month (this might be the most difficult of all of them for me)
21. Paint pottery
22. Print all my pictures that I have on the computers and put in an album
23. Begin keeping up with my pictures by making a Shutterfly book for each year (then in three years I won’t have to do the above)
24. Read to Baby N each night (I do this each night, but I am not crossing it off because I want to continue to do it)
25. Attend a Notre Dame football game
26. Attend a Jimmy Buffet concert
27.  Read 30 books that are not assigned to me (they can be professional books, but not ones I HAVE to read for grad school) (I have been HORRIBLE about this, but uploaded a book to my Kindle today, so I am starting it)
28.  Listen to Jackie Kennedy’s Historic Conversations
29.  Take Baby N to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, Children’s Museum and Zoo
30. Golf a full 18 holes with Josh

So, I have only completed three of my goals, but that is okay, I still have time.  I am so happy to be a mommy!  We completed our first family run on Thanksgiving day and it was wonderful.  Josh and I have always done a run on Thanksgiving day and it made it even better pushing Claire in the baby jogger this year- I love creating traditions with our family of 3.  AND, I can’t believe I kept my car clean for a month- actually, it has been beyond a month… I am proud! 

What do you want to accomplish before your next big birthday?

A Christmas Survey

I am a big fan of healthy living blogs.  In fact, I always say I am going to blog about what I eat, how I exercise, etc., but that never happens.  However, I thoroughly enjoy reading healthy living blogs my favorite being Peanut Butter Fingers, but I recently discovered Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, and I am enjoying her blog as well.

Sweet Tooth Sweet Life recently had a Christmas Survey I enjoyed, so I thought I’d take part in and fill it out as well.  Here it goes…

1. Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song? Mariah Carey Christmas of course, BUT every since I met my husband the RatPack Christmas comes in second.MC CHristmasRatPack Christmas

2. Run on Christmas morning or take the day off?  No running on Christmas day, but we always go for a nice stroll with our coffee in hand… even if there is snow on the ground.  This year, we will do the same even if it means bundling up Claire.


(And the answer is no, I don’t spend Christmas on IU’s campus, I just love this picture… and the HOOSIERS!)

3. What do you usually eat on Christmas morning? Chocolate Chip pancakes, bacon, eggs and some kind of speciality coffee.  I just bought some Peppermint Mocha Creamer today at the grocery store that we can add to the list on Christmas morning.

chocolate chip pancakesPeppermint Mocha

4. Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition? I love them all!  Does that count?  When I was younger we always went to Christmas Eve Mass and then came home and opened one gift and it was new pajamas to wear to bed that night.   My siblings and I also used to always sleep in the same bedroom on Christmas Eve: when we were younger it was the same bed.  We continued this tradition until I got married, but it wasn’t in the same bed.  The last Christmas before I was married we still slept in the same room: my sister and I slept in the same bed and my brother on the floor.

At our home, we  have implemented the pajama tradition and buy each other new jammies every year… and now, little Claire gets new jammies on Christmas Eve too.   We also go to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at our church, and come him and watch a Christmas movie.  I can’t wait for Miss C to get to go up for the Children’s message at our church on Christmas Eve and receive an ornament on her first Christmas- I love making new traditions with my new family of 3.

Christmas Eve Service

(And yes, this is my church on Christmas Eve)

5. Real tree, fake tree or no tree? Real tree.  We go and pick out our tree the Friday after Thanksgiving and decorate it.  I love it!  We always start a fire, watch Christmas Vacation and decorate the tree.  I love going through all the ornaments and remembering where we got them from.

real christmas tree

(Although we aren’t cool and we don’t go cut it down… we just cheat and go to Lowe’s)

6. Christmas pajamas… yay or nay? Well new pajamas, yes, but they don’t have to be “Christmas-y”.  Actually I prefer them not to be so that I can wear them more than on Christmas.  Something like these will do…


7. Where do you spend the holidays? Well prior to this year, we alternated: Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other, and then the next year it switched.  Now with our own child, we have made it clear that from here on out we will spend Christmas Day at home with our little family.  So, Christmas Eve will alternate every year between our two families.

December 25th Calendar Image

8. Food that you always have during the holiday season? Favorite Christmas food/treat?  My family’s Scotcharoons (they are really called Scotcharoos, but somehow in our family someone added an “n” and that is what they have always been called… they are peanut butter rice krispies topped with chocolate and butterscotch.  MMMM, I love them!!! We also have soup at my mom’s on Christmas Eve and I love that.


9. Open presents all at once or take turns? Take turns.  I HATED that we had to do this as a child, but now I like it.

christmas gifts

10. Favorite Christmas(ish) movie? The Holiday… hands down.  I love it, I love it, I love it.  My favorite part is when she is dancing with the glass of wine in her sweats and slippers… I find myself doing that often.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz 2

Merry Christmas, Friends!

Teacher to SAHM

First of all, I have neglected my blog… uuggghhh!  I have spent the last three months caring for, snuggling, and loving every minute of being a Mommy to this little one…


Yes a formal introduction to my blog readers: this is Claire Renee, born on September 10th, 2012 weighing 7 lbs 6 oz.  She is clearly much bigger now!

I have also finished another semester of grad school and am officially halfway done.  So, although I don’t like it, I have a legitimate excuse for neglecting my blog.  I hope to get better… a 2013 resolution.

So back to the title of this post: Teacher to SAHM… a recent transition.

My husband and I have made the decision that I will continue my maternity leave and stay at home with Claire for the rest of the school year.  It has been a hard decision, and a hard adjustment.  I know, despite my internal struggle, it is the right decision for our family.

And what an internal struggle it has been for me.

I dread this conversation:
Person: “What do you do?”
Me: “I stay home with our daughter.”
Person: disgusted look, “Oh.”

Maybe it is just my insecurities, but I am not looking forward to that day.  Why has our society transformed to this view?  We value working mothers much more than stay-at-home-mothers.  Do we value money and things more than time with our children?  We look at women that choose to stay at home as less because they don’t have a career: almost as if since they chose to stay home they must not have the intelligence of those who have chosen to work.

For us, this was not an overnight decision.  We went from at first me going back to work after Thanksgiving, to taking the whole semester off, and now extending it for the rest of the year and possibly indefinitely.

At this point, I can’t imagine leaving Claire at 6:30 in the morning, returning to her at 4:30 (at the earliest) and only having four hours with her before it is time for her to go to bed.  This four hours would mean that I didn’t go to the gym, didn’t run any errands and had no grad school.  I am amazed by the moms that are able to do this- I don’t know how they do, how they manage their time– KUDOS to them!

So in the meantime, here I am, home with her.  I am continuing grad school and I still hope to someday be a principal or in a leadership position in the education world, but right now I need to be Mom.

In the meantime, I also need to learn what being Mom looks like to me: it is different for everyone.  I need to learn to deal with that internal struggle I am having.  The internal dialogue that says, “You were supposed to be a career woman.  You were supposed to climb the ladder in the word of education.”  I need to learn that sometimes our careers can be put on hold to pursue our first calling: Mother.  In the midst of being Mom, I need to find ways to still challenge myself, stimulate my mind and find my way through this new journey… Motherhood.