Double Duty Judy

Have you ever made the decision that completely altered your life’s definition of normal? We all have, Right?

Could be anything, from big to small.  Changed your diet? Gone back to school? Changed careers? Decided to grow your family? New parents? Retire? Join a gym?

Whatever that decision may be, big or small, it’s not easy.

Let me repeat. It’s. Not. Easy.

Forming a new habit, adjusting to a new norm, finding your groove, it’s not easy.  It takes a lot of sacrifice, a lot of patience and a little grace.

Please y’all, allow yourself some grace.  I recently decided to take on a second job.  Not because my family is struggling, not because I’m a glutton for punishment,  but because this time next year I want to be in a better financial state than I am today.  I literally have this giant smoggy cloud of dread and gloom over my head 24/7/365 that I refer to as Student Loan Debt.

Some call it the Grim Reaper Debt because it will follow you to the grave.  Ok, maybe only I think of it that way, but it’s a thing, it’s ugly, and I’m so sick of it. When you go to college without much guidance of the process and few resources at your disposal, who saves the day? Student Loans.

So this mom has decided to commit to double duty. A couple evenings a week and every other Saturday I’ve committed to a ‘side hustle’.  Not my favorite term but by definition that is where it defaults.  This decision has spiraled my life about 180 degrees from the ‘norm’ we had 45 days ago.

THEN- At least 5 evenings a week were spent as family time and late night gym sessions with my Beau. Getting swole and pumping the iron.  You know, badass stuff.  THIS is my happy place.

NOW-  The gym has (to my dismay) taken a temporary backseat. I’m spending time focusing on my side-gig so that I can get to a comfortable place to find a new norm.  And due to the added responsibility, I’m finding myself spending more and more time with my little ones.

Maybe I’m just more in tune to this, but it’s really made me realize how little I get to see them as a working mom in the first place. So today, I find myself on my off evenings wanting to ‘snug’ with my small fry until we are both in a zombie-like comatose state of sleep. This is healthy! I’m allowed a break!  I know myself and I know that the gym will always be there but until a new norm sets in, I’m OK with being more lax than usual with my routine.

THEN- I would find myself online shopping with downtime. Adding so many lavish and trendy things to my large selection of shopping carts online. Honestly, you open up a shopping site on my phone and there is a strong likelihood I have item(s) in the cart.   I like to call this ‘The Internet Window Shopping Experience’.  Inevitably it lead to the purchase of items that I later questioned my thought process in buying and ultimately could do without.

NOW – AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. I am too busy to sit and window shop.  So not only do I find myself making additional income, I’m finding myself with less time to dispose of it.  Not that I don’t have self control, but c’mon, I’m female and shopping is in our DNA. #itsafact

The drawback to this notion of working multiple jobs is like I said before, It’s not easy.  It’s time consuming. It’s tiring. It pushes into your ‘free-time’ (wait, what is that?), it requires sacrificing some of your wants for the success of your responsibilities, it requires you to be mentally tough and focus on the positives.

Household chores sometimes take a back seat OR better yet, a younger version of myself luckily is inagurated into a new role of Dish Washer, Trash Guy, Carpet Connoiseur, The Dust Destroyer.  (By the way, giving them cooler names than what they are does not deminish the risk in attitude recieved at the knighting, Nor does it increase the excitement of the individual being sworn into their new duties).  But it’s not all bad, the kids are learning life skills, right?!

Some nights I feed my kids hot dogs. *GASP*

At least a fed my kids in the 30 minutes I was home between jobs and was able to give them a kiss and knucks on my way out the door.

Literally every single thing we do in life has ups and downs. Upsides and drawbacks. Give and take.  This is no different. 

When you commit to something, do it.  Like don’t just go through the motions. Actually try and put forth real effort to do it well.  Don’t just do it.  Do it well.

< That’s right, I said it. Look at me all motivational up in here.>

And for the love of Pete, give yourself some grace.  Adjusting to a new norm is hard. Maintaining boundaries between work, home, family, fun, sanity.. it’s hard.  Allow yourself some frustration. Allow yourself some mistakes.  Allow yourself some down time. Damn, Allow yourself a whiskey.

Just keep the end goal in mind. Be thankful for the opportunity to better your life versus resent the opportunity. Use it as a constant reminder that hard work pays off.  Remind yourself of your accomplishments and forgive yourself for mistakes.

In short, give yourself grace, give yourself credit and give yourself a whiskey.

To quote the great Rihanna:

Work, work, work, work, work, work.



‘Double-Duty Judy’



Gratitude is so Gangster

If you read my previous post, you’ll understand why I’ve decided to compile this list. If you haven’t, start there.

Let’s take some time to reflect on things we are thankful for. Stop dwelling on things that are not going right and spend some time reminding yourself of what is going right in life.

Focus on the good.  Let’s try it.

Below is a list (in no particular order) of things that I am thankful for.

  1. My Career.
  2. My husband.
  3. My van.
  4. Plants.
  5. My children.
  6. Coffee, duh.
  7. Blogging.
  8. Texting.
  9. Inspirational quotes.
  10. My extended family.
  11. The Gym.
  12. My health.
  13. Morning Radio Shows.
  14. Sunglasses.
  15. My home.
  16. Sleep.
  17. Cereal.
  18. Fall.
  19. Sports.
  20. My dogs.
  21. Chewing gum.
  22. Aloe Vera.
  23. Frozen Pizza.
  24. Netflix.
  25. Teachers.
  26. Protein Bars.
  27. Facebook.
  28. Cardigans.
  29. Rain.
  30. Naps.
  31. Audible.
  32. Space heaters.
  33. Outlook Calendars
  34. My Mother’s Garden.
  35. Almond Milk.
  36. FRIENDS.
  37. Sunshine.
  38. My Healthy Pregnancy.
  39. Umbrellas.
  40. Chap Stick.
  41. Vests. Bubble Vests. Denim Vests. Vests.
  42. Heated Seats.
  43. Deodorant.
  44. Fall Scented Anything.
  45. Deer.
  46. HGTV.
  47. Cooking Shows.
  48. Pinterest.
  49. Dry Shampoo.
  51. Queso.
  52. Plumbing.
  53. Family Vacations.
  54. My Neighbors.
  55. Cardiagn Sweaters.
  56. Electricity.
  57. Weather that allows for open windows.
  58. My hardships.
  59. Good hair days.
  60. The holiday season.
  61. Waking up and realizing you have hours left to sleep.
  62. Halo Top.
  63. Alone time.
  64. Sunsets.
  65. Back-combing.
  66. All hugs and kisses from my kiddos.
  67. Storytime and bedtime snuggs.
  68. A perfectly ripe avocado. (this is a rare gem)
  69. Throwback music.
  70. Buckeye Football
  71. March Madness Basketball
  72. Laughter.
  73. Eggs.
  75. Adoption.
  76. Carbs.
  77. Documentaries.
  78. Lazy Sundays
  79. Science.
  80. Baby Smell.
  81. A Good Nights Sleep.
  82. Great Conversations.
  83. GPS.
  84. Donuts.
  85. Clean Sheets.
  86. Wireless Headphones.
  87. Well Manicured Fingernails.
  88. Spellcheck.
  89. Google.
  90. Feeling loved.
  91. Chocolate.
  92. My iPhone Camera.
  93. My Favorite Jeans.
  94. Puppies & Puppy Breath
  95. Role Models.
  96. Dreams.
  97. Being Patient With Myself.
  98. Warm Blankets.
  99. Kind Strangers.
  100. Hot Showers.


I could go on..



Gratitude Always Wins

The last week has been a true test of my patience, my will-power and my sanity.  I won’t go into every single detail, but I’ll try to paint a picture of our life since returning home from a 9 day TRIP as a family ( I use this work strategically – it’s a TRIP when kids are involved, NOT a vacation).

Imagine all of the things that come with returning from a ‘TRIP’.  Trying to get back into a groove or any sort of routine I can with work, endless emails, managing a house that I’ve been away from for that amount of time, laundry for a family of 5, back to school homework and schedules catching up to use from the TRIP, mountains of mail to sift through, the list goes on.

Now, throw a toddler in the ER with Norovirus, dogs ransacking our garage during the workday, a mom and dad with 6 hours of sleep in a 60 hour period, Mom with Norovirus, Football game, Pre-teen with Norovirus, sanitizing the cesspool we call home, meal prepping, grocery shopping, trying to continue to know what’s happening at work, and then an emergency rush to get toddler who was possibly reacting to a bee sting at daycare.

And that’s just the last 5 days.

My will power is tested. My patience is that of paper mache.  I need a minute.  I need the gym. I need a whiskey.

Let’s think of something positive. Let’s not allow the multitude of bullshit make things even worse by dwelling on it. 

SO on my drive back to work today from checking on my toddler with a bee sting, I decided I was going to list in my head things that I’m thankful for. I know my problems are miniscule in the grand scheme of things, but they still take a toll on you none-the-less.  As I drove, I then thought

“Why keep these in my head? Why not put them on paper and make them real?”

When you put things on paper, err… the internet,  it makes them real right?

More to come.



Motherhood: A Story About Coffee Getting Cold

happy coffee
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Y’all. This is real life. Motherhood is a redundant, repetitive, exhausting, messy, sticky, smelly, frustrating, shitshow. If you can’t admit that, then we can’t be friends.

Today, I had my foot peed on, and got poop, from my tiny human, on my hand.. twice.

I had to shower with a tiny human on my leg.

Today, I had a child miss the bus. Which lead to rushing thought breakfast with a toddler- which is not possible- to get out the door, in the rain, to get the kid to school in time.

Today, I had a barnacle on my leg that had such a death grip on my yoga pants I got a hole as I tried to pry from his grip to leave him at the gym daycare while I lift for an hour.  THEN when I go to pick him up he’d rather stay and play longer.  There is no winning here.

Today, I realilzed AFTER the gym, and AFTER being in public more than once, that I had my pants on inside out. All day.

Today, I  broke up a fight between my teen and my pre-teen about french fries. Then had to discuss with the eldest her need to be nicer to her brother, regardless of how ‘annoying’ he can be. Followed by repremanding the pre-teen for his behavior when I stopped the argument. Which lead to the standard pre-teen slamming of doors, rolling of eyes – I swear he could see his brain- and stomping off.  FRENCH. FRIES. THIS IS REAL LIFE.

Today, I found dirty, smelly socks from a smelly pre-teen athlete in the following places: Between the couch cushions, the kitchen pantry, the guest bathroom floor, behind the toilet, on the barstool, in the toybox, and in the dog dish.

Today, I had to hold a toddler during a haircut because clearly the third time getting a haircut is TERRIFYING. Unlike the first two.

Today, I got to clean mashed potatoes out of the cracks and crevices of the various Paw Patrol characters.

Today, I got to clean soda cans, empty glasses and food wrappers out of a 16 year old’s room.

Today, I got to sit and watch a loop of nursery rhymes before bedtime in order to make my tiny human happy.

Today I had to bribe my child into a booster chair to strap him in to eat, just so he wasn’t running through the house getting cheese or meat or sticky food juices all over my house… twice. I call this workout’s two and three.

These are all actual things I have done with my day. After each of these instances, I looked around and asked myself the question “Where is my coffee, dammit?”

Said coffee was in the microwave, cold, ready to be reheated… again. And allowed to cool… again. Story. Of. My. Life.  I’m fairly confident that I reheated my coffe at least 5 times today and I ended up consuming approximately 3/4 of the coffee itself.

After a day like today, there is no combating the FACT that motherhood is a literal shitshow and as a mom, YOU are the ringmaster. THESE ARE YOUR MONKEYS.

But at the end of today, I got hugs.  I got a “sorry” for the crabby behavior. I got to check homework that had ALL CORRECT answers and that shows me my kid is doing his job.  I got to hear about their day and all of the positives that go with it. I heard big kids reading and tiny kids telling me bedtime stories.  I had tiny hands grab my face and give me tiny kisses and snuggles.

So in a nutshell, my coffee getting cold is worth it.

The shitshow is worth it.

All in a days work, Y’all.


Much love,







Life as a Reject

Ok this title is a little bit dramatic. But there is truth to it on some level.  Sarcastic truth, but truth nonetheless.

No, I have not been a reject outcast my whole life, though my RBF (resting-bitch-face for those of you stuck in the 90’s) does tend to keep me distanced from people on some level.  It’s a craft I’ve honed over time. I’m really not mean, I do like people, I’m just allowing myself the ability to be somewhat picky in my interactions with people.  Have I not had coffee today? RBF to the rescue.  Is my toddler throwing tantrums like right-hooks today? RBF for the win.   It’s useful.

When I was young I had friends. I had a lot of friends. I feel like I was one of those people who was likeable? I played sports. I was in clubs. I enjoyed parties and sporting events and holiday fun with my tribe.  I was always on the go. I was alway busy doing something. But as a teen I had a harsh wake up call when my family went through the most startling shock to our system with my father going to prison. THIS brought on a whole new normal.  THIS was probably the start to my mild form of trust and isolation issues. THIS was my first ‘rejection’ that I can recall to date.

Friends were all like ‘Bye Felicial’.  Ok not really, I had some loyal ones out there who never wavered or left my side.  They knew I had no control over our families situation, nor did I even really understand everything that was happening.  They knew me and my family and they loved us no matter what.  BUT reality proves to you that your Tribe,  like..  your REAL TRIBE, is small. Very small.  So small that you can likely count on one hand, small.  And hard times bring that to the forefront of your life.

Not only did this bring on rejection from my friends, which to a 15 year old girl is like, life… but from the community and my extended family as well.  My own father’s family (again not ALL but the vast majority) were long gone. No one called, no one wanted to help, no one cared. My branch on that family tree was shameful and an embarassment and seemed to be hacked off with a skillsaw. Whatever. I don’t really need narcisisim in my life anyway… and THAT is not a defense  mechanism. As an adult you see things SO MUCH DIFFERENTLY than as a child, and the biggest realization about this particular topic is that my fathers family is literally the biggest hypocritical bunch of narcissists you will ever have the misfortune of meeting.  Sorry Not Sorry, Rosebrooks.

So starting in my teenage years, I began to really question everything.  I questioned literally every persons intentions with me.  I pushed old friends away, which to this day I still regret.  I was skeptical of new friends in college and overly critical of everything. Again, I regret. I kept my tribe small, and by small I mean nearly non-existant.  THIS was a defense mechanism.  This was a way for me to control the impact that other people had on me and my life.  Or so I though. I don’t really know- because now I realize that it also prevented me from having more joy. It limited my life experience during these years. I clearly did not handle rejection in the best way.

My sister and I joke and call ourselves the ‘black sheep’ and though we joke, y’all, we know its so true.  We both use humor as a way of coping… and it softens the blow.

During college, I literally rejected myself.  I had the mentality that I needed to settle and was always afraid to take on goals and challenges that seemed to difficult and too hard. I had the mentality that I could not accomplish these things, I was not able to do these things.  So I had the mentality of, Settling.  WHICH TODAY I HATE MYSELF FOR. In 2010 I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology. It was, at the time a huge accomplishment and also a huge relief.  I was so happy I was done with my bachelor’s and so relieved that ‘I couldn’t fail anymore’. Boy, was I wrong.  I failed a lot- and its literally all my fault.  *Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesology*… sounds cool right?  What in the literal fuck do you do with your Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesology?  I realized quickly that unless I continued school, I was not going to be doing anything that I wanted to do. However resources were scarce and a job was a necessity.

*Enter Sales Representative Job*

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the fact that I landed a job after college. The job market is hard. I met my best friend and my husband through this opportunitiy. So by no means do I wish to change this. But there are no words that describe how much I don’t enjoy Sales. I don’t.  There I said it.  My friends and family know this about me, but I have never put it out into the world before. I did well in my Sales job. I did what I had to do. I produced numbers or hit whatever goals I needed to. But I hated nearly every second of it.  I had applied for a couple of positions within the company to try to transition myself out of direct SALES and into more of a sales support/supervisory/training etc role.  Rejected.  But whatever, I was young, I will surely not be doing something I don’t enjoy forever.  Right?

Many years and many positions later, with the same company, I find myself in another state (Minnesota) and in another phase of life (motherhood/wifehood). I definitely had some positions I enjoyed, but not fully.  Not really anything that made me happy on a daily basis.  But isn’t that what you do? You wake up every day and do whatever it is that you need to do to provide for your family and yourself. You survive and move on with life.  Well earlier this year, my company announced it was for sale and an entire new shitstorm was created.  People could see the writing on the wall and abandonded ship one by one. Which personally I find smart. I mean the company was literally sinking, it was all a huge mismanagement of resources. I feel like we lived out a remake of the collapse of the Roman Empire.  How a company can go from te top to the bottom in such a manner is a discussion for another day.. with whiskey… and carbs.  It was a stressful time to say the least.

When my division of the company was absorbed into another entity, I was not kept.  I recall sitting down with the new, soon-to-be owner and I blatantly told him, I hate sales. Period.  Mind you, I was back in a sales position at this time.  So probably wasn’t my best strategic move had I wanted to be retained, but can I say that it was such a good feeling to just be blunt.  It was liberating.  What did I have to lose?  (besides a job, obviously).  But I spent that meeting explaining what else I had brought to the table during my tenure in other positions. With a long-shot hope that there would be some value seen.  And in that meeting, there seemed to be some value found.. But it was clearly short-lived because when the transition happened I was not retained as an employee. It sucks to be rejected. And I was sad for like… a day.   But I didnt let it consume me.  My family was moving. My husband – who is probably one of the best salesmen I have ever known or will ever known…  He’s like the love child of Billy Mayes and Zig Ziglar…. on steroids- found a new job opportunity that we could not pass up.  The potential opportunities were glaring and endless so we took a leap of faith, and moved our family to Iowa.

The timing of my being rejected by the new ownership of my previous company was actually semi-ideal.  We moved and I had the opportunity of staying home with my kids all summer in our new town.  It allowed for us to get settled.  It allowed for us to explore our new town and learn the ropes a bit. It has allowed for me to stay home with my toddler and not miss lots of fun new milestones that he has accomplished.  I am so grateful for that.  See, all rejection isnt bad.  Had I not been rejected of so many jobs I wanted right out of college – I would not have found the job that lead me to my best friend and my husband.  Had I not been rejected from the new ownership in my last job I would have missed out on the last few months with my littles.

This brings me to my latest rejetction.  

I applied for a job with a company that I sincerely and whole-heartedly wanted to become a part of.  I applied for many jobs with said company actually.  Have you ever just had a gut feeling about something? Like,  I feel like I belong here and I cannot ignore the feeing?  That was how I was feeling.

After multiple conversations with recruiters in HR, I was able to land a 6-Person Panel interview for a job that I genuinely feel would be the next steppingstone in my career. If I were going to stay in the corporate world, in a sales driven track, this was it.  I have all of the necessary experience. I have all of the skills and needs for this position. It was like it was meant to be. Or so I thought.  I was scheduled for the panel interview immediately after the phone interview. Good Sign.  I was extremely nervous, I had never had so many people interview me at once- so I recall lots of research on ‘what to expect in a panel interveiw’. I prepped, and prepped and prepped my heart out.  On interview day, I felt prepared.  I nailed the interview. I made that interview my bitch.  I got laughs from everyone.  I had answers for everything.  The nerves were gone and I simply kicked ass.  I even received a compliment from the higher up once the interview was complete, ‘You did extremely well with 6 people firing questions at you, nicely done’.

I left feeling confident and excited. 

Two weeks later, after some followup, I received an invite to coffee with the hiring manager. This is GREAT NEWS!  Strange to do a one-on-one coffee date AFTER a panel interview, but I was elated. I prepared for a normal interview but with the expectation that, maybe she siply wanted to get to know me a bit more before they made a decision, all good.  I show up, she doesn’t get a coffee. WTF?  Bad sign.

At this coffee shop in our new town I was rejected.  I was told that I check ‘every box’ for what they need but they need someone who is going to be more analytical and hold the sales teams accountable for the success of the programs… etc etc…  I wont get into that part. After a couple of rebuttles with my experience and what I can bring to her team, it was evident that this was not a negotiation, she had made the decision.

But the point is, I was told, 1. everyone liked me, 2. I checked all of the boxes,  3. I had the background they wanted.  My mind was kind of blown.  I feel like if you wanted to take me to coffee to give me feedback, the least you could do was give me actual feedbad…. because I feel I didn’t receive anything I can build upon or work on.  Maybe it was my personality? Maybe my RBF was shining through.  I’m sure during coffee it was.  On some level I find it cruel to take someone to a public place and reject them on the spot like that.  Pretty sure no one I can think of would walk into that situation expecting what I experienced.  Rejection does suck in the short term, especially when it’s for something you actually really wanted.  So I sat there holding myself together in a public coffee shop trying to navigate the remainder of the meeting until I could make it to my car and actually cry a little.  What the fuck just happened?

Rejection sucks in the short term.  But if I have learned anything from all of my experiences with rejections is that it’s not the end.  It’s simply a left turn in the road of life.  You take it, you move on and you figure out the next turn. I let mysef sulk for a day after that coffee date.  I cried. I yelled.  I ate a giant slice of pumpkin pecan cheesecake (because #basic) from the cheesecake factory while my husband and I had a heart to heart.  Much needed.

The next day I woke up with more clarity. I kissed my baby. I went to the gym.  I drank a cup of coffee. I did some research. Because even though I might have felt down, or like a failure, or like I was so close to getting something I wanted, it was not the end of the world.  It was simply time to figure out my next step.

Is this time to grind it out and continue to apply for a million other jobs?  Is this time to re-evaluate my career path even moreso and take steps to move in another direction? Is this time to entertain my going back to school?

I can tell you one thing, I am compiling a plan. I am not going to let rejections in life set the tone for my future. I will not allow rejection to isolate me or make me feel sorry for myself like I might have when I was younger.  I’m older and wiser – self-proclaimed, but still.   I am getting support from all of the right places.  I am not going to just settle.  I can tell you that I dont know exactly what my future looks like or my next career move, but I do have an idea of how I’m going to get there.  I can tell you that rejection sucks in the short term, but no one would be where they are today without it.  And I can certainly tell you that my future will not be in sales.

Quote of the day from my husband as we sat and discussed an option for my future that would entail a lot of work and a hard year ahead, but would have immense payoff for myself and our future, “…And Imagine, you would never have to sell anything again…”.  

As hard as we laughed at that line, I think that is how he sold me on my next steps in life.

Much love-



Looking Back- First Competition

So,  it’s officially been about 6 weeks from my competition.  Annnnd I finally feel like I want to reflect on my experience.

looking back .jpg

It did not go as I had hoped or planned.  That being said, I still did it.  Looking back, my posing was not what it should have been, and I know I heard that many times (POSING POSING POSING) but honestly, I now accept that Its more important than anything.  I remember standing backstage thinking,  I can compete here,  my figure is competitive here.  I was proud of the package I brought.  My glutes, my shoulders, my quads, my waist, I was even proud of my hair and makeup because that’s typically not a strong skill I posses… I was happy.  Then I recall being the equivalent to a duck on crutches when I stepped on stage and that was the end of that.

I cried (a lot) that day.  It’s just so much devotion, prep, resources, time, energy, money, etc..  for such a long period of time, to walk off stage after pre-judging knowing that you wont be in finals that night.  It makes for a bummed out day.

But like I said before,  I did it.  I still went on stage, regardless of how silly I may have looked during a couple of my transitions in posing, regardless as to whether my legs were shaking faster than a hummingbird’s wings, regardless as to whether I felt like I was going to throw up on the head judges face, regardless as to whether I was sweating so bad my tan started to run (ewww)-  I. got. on. stage.

So now, looking back, I’m doing much better at not dwelling on the negative. Not letting myself get frustrated that I feel like I bombed it. I DO know I was capable of better. I DO know that I could do it again and build on with what I’ve learned (not sure if I will, but I have confidence that I can).

So basically, I’m to a point where looking back seems silly.  Chin up, look ahead and move on to the next thing/goal/journey/challenge.

turn back.jpg

The only time you should be looking back is to see how far you’ve come… And to check out your booty.



Grow a pair. Suck it up. Do what needs to be done. 

Fact: I really should blog more.

Struggle: Life. Is. Cray.

Goal: 1 new blog post a week.

Plan: Discipline. Structure. Organization. Release.

Starting this blog post off with my latest goal- to actually fucking blog more.  Make use of this format of release for myself.  Why not- even if I’m the only one reading it.  These last 20 weeks I’ve allowed myself to have a goal for ME and it’s been so rewarding and empowering.

This post may seem like it’s all over the place.  Bear with me.  It’s been a while.


So. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 20+ weeks of prep for my first NPC Bikini Competition.  I’ve learned that the body is capable of pretty much anything, within reason. I’ve learned that in reality, your mind is what you need to overcome.  I’ve learned that pushing yourself is key, but listening to your body is imperative.  I’ve learned that there are no excuses.  I’ve learned that you will never, ever, always be motivated. You create your own motivation.  We are our own limits. I have a weird, inexcusable deep yearning for donuts and macaroons (two things I rarely eat, but prep life has brought this to the forefront)  And also, abs really are made in the kitchen. Accept that…. it’s a fact of life.

I can do hard things. I am the gate-holder to my goals.  I am the the catch-all, be-all.  It’s me vs. me.

As many of my close friends and family know, this journey dates back a couple of years for me. My husband and I, after years of struggling to conceive, decided to proceed with IVF.  Yes, we wanted to make a baby with Science because basically my body hates me and I make cysts, or as I like to call them, hard boiled eggs.  Ok, it’s really not funny, however I find humor to be a healthy medicine for the acceptance of my lack of properly functioning female body.  Sue me.

Our IVF Journey began after about a million different tests and procedures that pointed us in said direction.  The entire process of In-Vitro is nothing short of exhausting and completely mind-numbing.   You have to be patient, meticulous, careful, mindful with the entire process, all while dealing with the surge of hormones rushing through your body making you feel like you’re going to go full on, B.Spears 2007. It’s hard, really hard. We started our journey of shots and suppositories, and medications, and emotional distress in February of 2016. And my ‘eggs’ were ready to be harvested in late March.

Now, this is all subject to where you read it, but my Reproductive Endocrinologist told me that ‘most’ women in my age group, fitness level, health, etc.. tend to harvest upwards of 20, 30, sometimes more eggs in one cycle.  Which to me sounds insane.  I was hopeful. I was optimistic.  I mean I’m a healthy person. I take care of myself, I eat right, I exercise, I finally have my thyroid disaster in check.  This is going to be it!  I was SO BLOATED during that final week before the harvest. I was certain there were like 30 eggs in there ready to be put into a nice little dish.

There were 7. SEVEN.   Like whut.

Out of those 7.  5 were viable, meaning healthy enough to be fertilized.  So we had 5 little chances to have our miracle baby.  I was still hopeful. I was still optimistic. I was still convinced it was going to work and I even was preparing myself for twins because there was a 78% chance that would happen.  Great odds right!!

The next step is to wait 5 days.  5 days is the magic number because once fertilized, those little tiny miracles begin to multiply and on day 5 become blastocysts and you can then implant the healthiest ones to provide the BEST possible chance for a pregnancy.  Simple enough.  We had  a plan and it was going to work.

Well, the day after the harvest and fertilization I received a call. This call was basically ‘We need you to come in TOMORROW (2 days post harvest) to implant… can you do that? That’s all we can tell you right now.’

Talk about an upsetting call. You know something is wrong but you don’t really know what. I go in, with my super patient and supportive husband that next morning. Undress. sit in the sanitary, quiet, dim procedure room. Ready to have 2 embryos implanted into my lady parts.  The nurse walks in, hands me a folded sheet of paper, then walks out.  The paper read as follows

Number of eggs harvested: 7

Number of eggs viable: 5

Number of eggs fertilized: 2

Number of embryos implanted: 1

We had one embryo.  One.  One single chance to have our baby.  Like, how did it come down to that?  That’s absurd.  I cried. A lot.  The doctor reassured me that it only takes one. They really were all super supportive about it. But the reality was, we had gone through all of this – not to mention spent tens of thousands of dollars- and we have nothing left. We have nothing to freeze.  We have nowhere to turn if this one does not work- aside from start the entire process over.

Most couples will have something to freeze. So if the first implantation didn’t work, they could go back a cycle later, and implant again- minus the shots and harvest and medications leading up to that point.  We didn’t have that option.  And we knew we could not practically spend this all over again knowing the way my body responded to this initial round.

So we had one. Talk about pressure.

Well that one did not work.  I cried. A lot. Again. It really was a grieving process.  Anger, Sadness, Disbelief, Repeat.

I was learning to accept that I will not have a baby. I had to.  I have a wonderful husband and two great adopted children at home that I was very grateful for, but accepting that I would not get to carry my own baby was an uphill battle.

THEREFORE – this lead me to a desire and an urge to do something with my body that I could be proud of.  I mean, nothing makes you feel less of a woman than not being able to have a baby. I wanted to occupy my mind and my energy into something positive. Something constructive. Something for ME that I could be proud of.

Enter Bikini Prep.

I reached out to my current coach and it was decided.  I was going to compete in the NPC North Star in October of 2016.  I had never been more determined or focused on a goal before.  It was really helpful for me both emotionally and physically during this time.

Fast-forward only a few short weeks – my bloating was EXCESSIVE.  Like,  I literally felt like I was a hot air balloon.  My Assumption: it’s all of the protein. Duh.  I’m eating 6 meals a day. My body is adjusting.

Nope.  Turns out, as my body was coming down from all of the crazy hormones I had been pumping into it for the last 4 months, I actually got knocked up.

Some people have told me its all a miracle but I know its just science. I know I would not have my little guy today if it weren’t for this WHOLE process, and now looking back I wouldn’t change a thing because I have him. And he’s the most perfect little person in the world.

So what does this have to do with my prep.  Well… I had a goal that was outstanding that I needed to tend to.

Talk about doubt in yourself.   A post-baby body is not an easy thing to transform.  I mean the body is fucking amazing.  I was a human submarine. I gained over 40 lbs (pretty sure I had so much water weight I could fill a public pool). And now, just over a year later i’m the leanest I have ever been in my life.  I’m down over 50 lbs from when I gave birth. That’s a ton for my body frame.

The point of this blog is, there are no excuses.  If you have a goal. Do it.

We are all on our own journey and we are all moving at our own pace through this crazy life.  If you care about something, pursue it.

Stop making excuses.  I have a husband who is an avid outdoorsman, which means every season.. is a season for something.  I never want to hold him back from that.  And in my being supportive- he’s been supportive right back with my goals and passions.  I have three kids to manage. One in high school, learning to drive. One who plays travel football, basketball, and baseball as well as now AAU basketball.  I have a one year old.  Enough said there.   I have responsibilities. I have a home to tend to. To clean. To cook. To SELL (we just listed our home for sale… which only complicates things more).  Just like everyone else, I have a life.  But I’m choosing no excuses.

I am so proud of myself for this process.  I am so proud that I have literally been getting in all of my workouts this week.  I am so proud of myself for the way I have been nourishing my body during this process.  It’s not easy to eat 6 meals a day,  especially when it’s ‘again with the fucking chicken or turkey’.  But you know what.  I  do it. Because it’s what needs to be done. There are no excuses. Period.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again. I am by no means perfect.  I’m far from it.  But there is no reason we can’t be proud of how far we have come.  I may not be where I want to be in my future, but dammit I can be proud of my progress.  I can be proud of everything I’ve learned about myself along the way.

I have 10 days before I step on stage.  I hope I walk out there with a proud feeling of how far I have come.  I hope I feel a sense of pride in my journey and myself.  This is far out of my comfort zone but nothing great ever happens in a comfort zone anyway.  This journey, this process, this prep life is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s not for someone wanting to willy nilly their way through.  It’s fucking hard.

But, I can do hard things.






The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten

So, lets set the scene.  I’m approximately 34 months pregnant (or so I felt like it). I’m emotional. I’m bloated. I’m exhausted. I’m sitting at work, in my last weeks prior to maternity leave and I get a call from one of the sweetest co-workers ever. Obviously regarding work items, but then transitioned into small talk as well.

‘How are you feeling?’

‘Are you ready for baby?’

‘If Waylon needs another grandma I can stand in!’

“You CANNOT hold your baby too much. You CANNOT spoil a baby. They are only this little for a short time… so soak it up!” Which could not be more accurate. I made him, so if I want to go into his room at 2am when I can’t sleep and rock with him on my chest, dammit I’ll do it.  Don’t judge me.

Then, completely unprovoked I could tell she got a little emotional. As she told me how wonderful and fulfilling motherhood is she also gave me some words of wisdom. And I had no idea that it would turn out to be the best advice I would ever get. It went something like this…

You hold that baby. Because when you’re holding him, nothing else in this world takes precedence. Nothing else in this world matters. In that moment, its just you and him and you hold on to that. No matter what’s going on in your life. No matter what’s going on in your home. No matter what’s going on at work. No matter if you’re stressed, or sad, or grieving, or happy, you go hold that baby. No matter what is going on in this world, you go hold that baby. It helps.

Fast-forward to today.

This week was a sad week for our country. As of now, 59 people dead and over 500 injured in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Music Festival.  I recall sitting in bed Monday morning, and just staring at the news in disbelief. This is something my husband and  I would go to. Jason Aldean is, hands down, my favorite person to see in concert, and he was on stage when people started dying. How can people do this to other human beings?

A million thoughts running through your mind as you just watch the latest roll in on your news feed, feeling helpless and sickened at the though of this being reality.   Monday was a somber day. I work in the gun industry.  I hunt. We have a lot of weapons in our home. We understand the way firearms work, the laws associated with them. The power behind them. A tragedy like this is simply heartbreaking. I’m not sure of another way to describe it.

As I crawled into bed on Monday night, I found myself in thought.  Like, one of those days where all day long you just want to crawl into bed and go to sleep because the world sucks, but then when you actually get into bed, your mind is like ‘oh hey, lets go zero to sixty with our thoughts right now’.  I found myself tossing and turning and looking at my phone.  Nothing was helping.  I was sad. I was thinking. I was overwhelmed.  And in that moment, I thought about what my former coworker had said almost 8 months ago.

I got up. Walked into Waylon’s bedroom. *GENTLY* picked him up. And we rocked. I snuggled him. I smelled his head. I rubbed his back and his hair. I cried.  He nuzzled up into my neck and that was that. She was right.

Moms and Dads, Go hold your babies. It helps.


Sending loving and healing thoughts to victims, families, the Las Vegas community and all of those affected by this weeks tragedy.

If you want to know how to help and can afford to donate even $5 to the victim fund, the link is below.

Las Vegas Victims’ Fund 






Limitations is a dirty word.


 I do not like accepting the fact that they exist.   It’s kind of like rules, don’t you think?  If rules were made to be broken; limitations were made to be exceeded.

Week 1 of my competition prep has gone as smooth as I can HOPE for, being that there are going to be some major adjustments in my life and my families life.  First, lets talk about the food.   Oh my god, the food.

I am eating a LOT.  6 meals a day to be exact.  I’ve talked with my coach and found a couple ways to wiggle in things to satisfy my cravings.  But to be honest, aside from a few things here and there, they are not unbearable.   Why? Because I’m always full. Always.   Sometimes I question how I do not look like a beached whale. But, I know what I’m fueling myself with, and its all part of the process.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually lay in bead eating my last meal of the day some nights just so I can hang out with my husband for a bit and watch one of our Netflix shows before I pass out.  It’s really sexy. Plus I get a cheat meal on Saturday’s, and I make the best of it.  Last week we went to JL Beers and I got a Cajun Burger, homemade Jalapeno chips, a coke and a mini froyo.  It was glorious and I don’t think I spoke the entire time I was eating.

Moving on.. The Workouts.  I’m currently on a routine to do cardio in the mornings and lifting at night. Which sounds great in theory… but I have struggled severely with the mornings.   Gym opens at 5 am, 15 minute drive each way, 30-45 minute cardio session (plus abs on some days), get dogs & kids situated and fed, shower, eat and be on the road to work by 7:30.  It’s like my mornings have pressed fast forward and I don’t even know what happened by the time I get to work. So, not to use that as an excuse, but I have found myself doing cardio in the evenings some times… yes I’m at the gym longer at night but I refuse to miss a workout. It’s better than not doing it at all, right? Last Monday they literally turned the lights of on me at the gym.  I had one more set of abs. Did I finish? Yes. #SorryI’mNotSorry

So far,  everything sounds great!  Right? Wrong.    Here is where the limitations come into play.  I am training for something great, I am determined, I am dedicated, I am ready.  But… I am also a wife, a mom, a maid, a dishwater, a chef, a chauffeur, a laundromat, a full time employee.. this list goes on and on.  And this last week, those limitations became apparent.   After a busy weekend last week, I was not prepared at home for the week to come.  Shame on me. I was not caught up with laundry or dishes or housework and I paid that price this week.   My son ran out of clean socks and athletic shorts (which is all he will wear right now),  my husbands favorite underwear were all dirty forcing him to wear an old holy pair (which I heard all about) , my dishes have been my Everest this week- in part because our dishwasher is broken (its 2016… and I’m doing dishes by hand… I feel like I’m a real life Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie) and I have literally just kept the door to our laundry room closed because it’s utterly overwhelming to look at it.

Based on the amount of laundry I do, I have come to the conclusion that there are people who live at my house that I have not yet met.

I know there is a learning curve whenever priorities and new challenges are brought upon us.  I’m chalking up this week as a lesson learned.  Considering I have weekends off from the gym right now, I have no excuse not to bust my ass and get caught up.  My to do list is disgusting but its a necessary evil to make life less stressful.  Plus,  I plan on sweet talking my kids into helping me by taking them to the beach if they do extra chores this weekend. Win-win.

I know I can do better next week.  Better with my house work, and keeping up with family, better with managing my time,  better with planning ahead for my kids week along with mine,  better with my MORNINGS, better with my meals and so on.  I’m trying to remind myself, you cannot do it all, but you can do a lot.  You can improve each day, week, month and never stop.  You can create your priorities and have a plan in place. Let’s face it,  when you take on so much, something’s gotta give eventually, and if its my laundry for a few days, then so be it.  It doesn’t mean I’m failing, it means I’m human.


Now… We are nearing my cheat meal… I really should go put some deep thought into what I want to indulge in this week.


Until next week..