The Last Year of Grad School

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! This week is flying by. Yesterday I started back to school! Ahhh! I’m already kind of stressed out looking at all of the assignments for the semester. I just have a hard time picturing a schedule that incorporates work, school, Jackson, fitness coaching, working out, and a long distance marriage that doesn’t run me ragged. And I’m even considering applying to a management position where I work, but I don’t know if I can even fathom that right now. I feel like I’m way under qualified anyway, so maybe I should apply just to feel like I tried.

When I checked my school email yesterday, I had an email from our program coordinator reminding us to apply for graduation! The deadline is October 1st. I can’t believe it’s time to apply for graduation! I know this year is going to be tough, but in nine months, I will be done with this chapter of life. I’m really proud of myself for pursuing this master’s degree. No idea where it’ll lead me, but I’m okay with that right now.

I spent yesterday morning running errands, as always. I returned my horrible adjustable weights to Wal-Mart and opted for two 10lb weights, two 15lb weights, and one 25lb weight. I have 5lbs and I think I may invest in 8lb weights also. Now I have a nice little workout area in my garage!

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I’m kind of bummed that this space is temporary. Since I’ll be moving back in with my parents in a few weeks, I’ll be doing my workouts in one of the bedrooms there. Or I could take them to the deck once it cools off a little bit. But I like this little area. It has been so nice getting my workouts in at home and not having to go to the gym. I still love the gym, but when I’m in a hurry, this has been huge. I’ll discuss this more in my 21 day recap that’s coming up soon.

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Jon and I decided to cancel the surgery to get tubes for Jackson’s ears. Well, Jon decided to. I’m just kind of going with it. He hasn’t had an ear infection in the last few weeks and typically, he’s not too miserable with the ear infections anyway. If Jon doesn’t want to do a surgery, then I’m okay with it.

But speaking of my little terror, life is rough with him lately. We’re in a huge hitting phase and it is driving me insane. He also is throwing tantrums when I pick him up and flails his body around. The kid is a big boy! He can be hard to handle. I’m feeling like I need to read some parenting books on how to handle these outbursts in a way that he’ll understand at this age. I definitely feel myself getting impatient and frustrated much more easily than I’d like at times. If we have a slow day at home, I can handle anything. I don’t get frustrated at all. But when we’re in a hurry or I’m trying to do stuff, he really gets on my nerves.

Last night, my neighbor (Ashley) was having a gender reveal party. I picked Jackson up from his sitter and got dinner together before we headed over there around 5:30. We ended up staying until close to 7pm. It was fun! I’m feeling sad about leaving Charleston! I know I haven’t met a ton of people here yet, but I have met a few people and I’m just content with where we are right now. I want to stay and pursue friendships with the people that I’ve met and build up more of a network.

Anyway, I should be hopping off of here. I’m trying to get some schoolwork done and I have a feeling Jackson will be up soon. I plan on making some Paleo pumpkin muffins this afternoon. Jon should be home around 4:30 and I’m excited to see him. I was in Atlanta all weekend and then Jon stayed in Savannah last night, so I haven’t spend any time with him lately. My sister-in-law and her family will be here tomorrow night.

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This past weekend was a pretty busy one!

Jackson and I left for Atlanta on Friday morning. The drive took so long because my McPooperson didn’t stop pooping along the way!

When I got to Atlanta, I got ready really fast before heading out to Blue Moon Pizza for Kassie’s 31st birthday celebration. We rode together since we’re both staying with our parents and they only live a few minutes away from each other.

Kassie’s birthday dinner was a lot of fun. It’s always nice for everybody to get together and just catch up. We ended up hanging out for a few hours before we all headed home by 10pm, just like the old folk that we are.

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Kassie and me.
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Gina and Laura.

I was up pretty early Saturday morning with Jackson. I was on call at work from 7a-11a but didn’t get called in, thankfully. I hung out and did some work on the computer and drank my coffee slowly until Jon arrived in Atlanta around 10:45. Once Jackson went down for his nap, Jon and I ran to Target and Kohl’s before we both went our separate ways.

My friend, Alex, was in town this weekend. We’ve been best friends since high school, although she moved to Connecticut five years ago and I haven’t seen her since. Laura and I met up with her for the afternoon. We started at Atlanta Bread Company for some lunch and then ran some errands for Alex at Home Goods. We decided to head to Ponce City Market (a new-ish shopping/living district in the old Sears, Roebuck & Co building) since Alex had never been there before.

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One of the stores has a white backdrop for photos so we snapped a few and then went for coffee at my favorite place ever, Dancing Goats. They brew Batdorf & Bronson coffee and I love their coffee beans. I stock up on their decaf when I come to Atlanta so I can brew it in Charleston.

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I was so tired since I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I headed home for the evening.

Shockingly, I still did one of my Shift Shop workouts for the night. I had planned on taking a rest day but ended up doing my workout because of my This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked challenge. I bought cheap adjustable weights at Wal-Mart though and they’re so bad. I’m going to have to return them, but I made them work since I didn’t have anything else.

I had to work from 7a-3p on Sunday, so I woke up nice and early to head into work. It was a super slow day and my supervisor actually called to let me leave at 2pm, so I got home a bit early. I had thought about meeting up with Crista, but I was kind of pooped when I got home. I’m just too old for so much fun in one weekend!

I spent Sunday night hanging out with my parents and Jackson and doing another workout for my challenge group. I’m almost two weeks into the challenge, so maybe on Tuesday when I get back to Charleston, I’ll have Jon snap some quick photos and do a two week update!

It’s Monday morning now and I just put Jackson down for his nap. We ran some errands this morning and I got my workout in while he was still awake, surprisingly! We have a vet appointment for Rascal at 2:30 and then I’m meeting up with Laura and Alex for dinner. Tomorrow I head back to Charleston!

 

 

Four Night Camping Adventure in Vermont

Back to mine and Gina’s trip recap!

On Saturday morning, Gina and I left Philly in the mid-morning after finishing our breakfast. It was about a six hour drive from Philly to our campsite, which we didn’t actually have booked yet. We actually had to find our campsite the morning we left on our phones (way harder than we were expecting), but we managed to find one that had availability. Our destination ended up being Half Moon Pond State Park near Lake Bomoseen.

We got to the park around 6pm, just in time to check-in. We really lucked out with our site. We didn’t get a spot on the water, but we could see it from our site and we were right next to the bathroom.

Gina and I set up the tent and built our fire for the night. We actually built some really good fires while we were camping. I was super impressed.

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The first day in Vermont, we decided to head out to Burlington since we wanted to hike the second day and go to Montreal on the third day. We stopped for breakfast in Shelburne at Rustic Roots but it didn’t really meet our expectations. It had come up on a bunch of Google searches for brunch in Burlington and we decided to stop early to avoid the Sunday church crowd, but meh. Not necessarily somewhere I’d go again.

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It was actually pretty chilly in the morning, but it was much needed after such a hot day in Philly! We mostly just walked around and explored. I bought a necklace that’s made out of the shells from bullets in the Cambodian killing grounds. I love it. Also, the guy at the store was talking to me for so long and when he walked away, I turned around and Gina was cracking up. I was so confused, but she had put her hat on top of my hat (that I was wearing) to try on necklaces, and the whole time I was talking to the guy, I was wearing two hats.

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Gina really wanted to go to a brewery in the afternoon, so we decided to go to Citizen Cider. I had a Cider House Mules (similar to a Moscow Mule) and it was so good! Gina got a flight of ciders and I really liked all of them, so I’d definitely recommend Citizen Cider!

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We decided to get back to our campsite since it was over an hour away and we still had to build our fire.

On Monday, we had planned on doing a bigger hike, but the weather wasn’t looking great. Gina really wanted to check out Woodstock, so we headed out there for breakfast at Mon Vert Café. I have no idea why, but I was expecting a bagel sandwich and instead, I got a regular sandwich. But the menu totally did not say that it was a bagel sandwich so it was my fault that I was kind of disappointed in my sandwich. It was still really good though. And my latte was delicious.

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We explored Woodstock a little bit and then headed to Sugarbush Farm. We had planned on doing a short hike in the afternoon, but I had a pretty bad headache and the weather was still a little iffy. The farm was pretty cute and it was interesting to learn all about maple syrup. Fun fact about me: I love maple syrup. I drink it in my coffee every day. We got to taste the different types of syrup and we did a little cheese tasting too. It was fun to try the cheddar that had been aged for different lengths of time.

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By the time we left, my headache was really bad. I’d been having headaches all week and I thought it was from doing something to my neck at the gym earlier that week, but Sunday was the first day that Motrin wasn’t even touching it. We decided to just go back to the campsite, where I fell asleep for a little while. I can’t remember if we did anything else that evening or not, but if we did, I didn’t take any pictures because I wasn’t feeling well and now I can’t remember. Oops!

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I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. I was nauseous from my headache and the pain was miserable. As soon as Gina woke up on Monday morning, I told her I wanted to go to the ER. I felt so ridiculous, but I didn’t want my migraine to ruin our trip and I’d had it for over 24 hours. I knew I could get some quick meds and feel better, so despite knowing that it would be an expensive fix, I still went. We went to Rutland Medical Center and their ER was great! It was pretty quick and we had a wonderful nurse and an awesome doctor.

Gina and I were hungry after leaving so we went to Speakeasy Café for bagels. The bagels were too dense for my liking, but the flavor was good (I got rosemary) and that was probably the best latte I got in Vermont. It was super good.

Since I was basically in my pajamas still, we headed back to the campsite to get ready for the day. We ended up hanging out at the campsite for a while, reading our books and napping. It was so nice to just sit and relax for the afternoon. We ended up going out to Manchester for the evening to get some dinner at Ponce Bistro. Our salads and sandwiches there were so good! It was such a nice evening to sit outside and eat too. Gina wanted some drinks, so we went to Gringo Jack’s and sat outside on the porch. The food there looked so good.

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We both woke up before our alarm clock and packed up our campsite on Monday morning. We did it surprisingly fast and even got the tent to fit back in the bag! We were so impressed with ourselves!

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Our original plan was to drive to Charlotteseville, VA, but we decided to go to Richmond instead since we didn’t want to go out of the way to make a stop for the night. We booked our AirBnB on the road again. Then of course, we had to stop in New York for bagels! We went to Lox of Bagels and Moor and holy moly, do they use a ton of cream cheese! Even too much for me and cream cheese is probably one of my favorite foods!

The drive was uneventful and we arrived to Richmond in the early evening! Stay tuned for Richmond, as I think this post is long enough!

Long Weekend Updates

Happy August, y’all! Today is my parent’s 36th wedding anniversary. I just counted that like, 10 times to be sure, but it is. Thirty-six years is a long time!

Jon and I had a long weekend together since he had elbow surgery on Thursday. I had actually planned on dropping him off and getting some stuff done in the morning before his surgery, but he was a little nervous and he never gets nervous, so I decided to stay with him. I ended up getting a ton of work done at the surgery center since I had about six hours there. Thankfully, everything went well and we headed home in the late afternoon. The rest of our Thursday was pretty low-key, other than some errand running since Jon was out of commission all day and he was tired from the anesthesia.

Jackson went to his sitter on Friday, so I had the whole day to myself for the first time in awhile! Unfortunately, after going to the gym, I had to clean our bathrooms and do some other adulting.

Since Jon was off work because of his surgery, we decided to take advantage of our freedom and go out and get some lunch. He had been waiting on his coworker to come by the house to pick some stuff up so we got a later start than we had planned on, but we still had plenty of time to go grab lunch downtown at Fleet Landing. Jon is still mostly keto and I’m eating grain-free for now (and hopefully forever), so we went with a seafood place. I ended up getting the meal of the day, which was fish tacos. They were only $10 and they were actually pretty good! I resisted dessert because, well, 21 Day Challenge. I need some abs or something to show for this, and I’m not going to get them from dessert.

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I skipped the tortillas and had them make a fish salad, and I didn’t eat the rice.

We spent Friday night hanging around the house, as usual.

On Saturday morning, I headed out to the gym with Jackson since Jon can’t really care for him solo with his cast on. We didn’t get out of the house until later on since we were just relaxing at home in the morning, so by the time we got home, Jackson was ready for his nap. I completed my at-home workout and got ready for the day.

Jackson took a super long nap on Saturday! It was fantastic! I drank some coffee and did work on my new health & wellness business after getting ready until he woke up.

Once Jackson was up, the family headed to the Children’s Museum downtown since we hadn’t been in awhile. It was super packed there but Jackson had tons of fun going down the slide 10,000 times.

Our Saturday night was low-key again because that’s just how life is with a kid who goes to bed at 7pm. I’ve been Googling “questions for your spouse” and Jon and I have been reading them and answering them together, so we did that. It’s kind of fun to do something different, instead of just watching Netflix together.

I typically love my Sunday morning gym time because nobody goes to the gym on Sunday morning and I have it all to myself, but they don’t have childcare on Sundays so I was stuck at home with the boys. I took my workout to the garage and did a 45 minute speed session. Jon and Jackson played outside while I got my sweat on. After finishing my workout, I got ready, had lunch, and did more work during nap time.

After Jackson woke up, we decided to go to the Fire Museum in North Charleston. We weren’t sure what to expect with a toddler there, but it was only $6 for each adult so we didn’t have too much to lose. Jackson actually loved it though. He ran around and looked at the fire trucks and had fun pressing all the buttons on the displays. They even have a simulator of driving a fire truck, so we took him in that so he could drive. It was kind of loud and bumpy, so he wasn’t a big fan but it was still cute!

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After bedtime, Jon and I watched What the Health to see what the hubbub over that movie is all about. I actually thought I had watched the documentary, but turns out, I just read the description and then watched a different documentary. It wasn’t until I saw a clip of the video on Facebook that I realized I had never seen it. I think this article gives a good rundown of why I thought the documentary was total BS. I do agree with it being backwards that large foundations are backed by the food industry and wish that wasn’t the case (down with big pharma and Monsanto!), but that’s just how we roll in the US. Maybe one day, money won’t run everything, but our country is just not there yet. Other than that though, the movie was just crazy talk and did a good job at creating fear in those who never research anything else about nutrition.

Jon had a light day Monday for work, so we hung out around the house a bit on Monday morning before Jackson and I headed out to the gym. Our mornings look the same most of the time. Jackson has breakfast, I have breakfast, I clean up, I get Jackson ready, I get myself ready, we go to thy gym, I give Jackson a snack, he goes down for a nap, I eat lunch, I get ready, and I do work until he wakes up. We did throw in a little walk outside since it was nice out before his nap. This dude loves being outside!

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Since it was magically beautiful out in Charleston yesterday, I decided to take advantage of the weather! I took Jackson to the park in the afternoon and he found a 9 year-old boy that was obsessed with playing with him. We did a quick dinner and bath when we got home and relaxed for the evening together.

After Jackson went to bed, Jon and I had our third marriage counseling session. We talked about my love of travel most of the time (Jon thinks I travel too much and I think I don’t travel enough). We’re still in those early counseling stages, so I’m not sure if it’s made a difference, especially because we’ve spent a ton of time apart since we started going. But I still think it’ll end up being a good thing for us in the long run! We mostly decided to start doing marriage counseling just to work on our communication, but that also makes counseling hard because we don’t really have any major issue to overcome. So I think it’ll take more time to pinpoint how to make improvements, but I just like that we’re working on our marriage together and have a sounding board to tell us if we’re both just crazy.

Jackson went back to this sitter this morning so this if my first real free day in awhile! Since I’ve spent a lot of my summer traveling, I’ve been using all of our days at the sitter for when I’m out of town, or for things like Jon having surgery. School starts in 8 days (WAHHH!), so I decided to get in a few days with the sitter so I could do some major relaxing beforehand! I ended up heading to the beach this morning. Although I’m still doing my “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” 21 day challenge, I decided to take today as a total rest day. I’ve been continuing with my own heavier lifting workouts in addition to my at-home workouts, so there is no way I can do 21 days without a rest day. I feel like my body needs it today, so I decided to make today my rest day, which meant that I got an earlier start at the beach. It was so incredibly windy on the water and I kept getting covered in sand, but it was beautiful out! Loved every second of being out in the fresh air, as always. I swear, I was made for the ocean.

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I got some iced coffee after the beach and headed to Whole Foods to pick a few things up before coming home to do more work on my business. I am so pumped to be doing this health & wellness business. I love talking fitness and nutrition and am so excited to help other people feel comfortable with their bodies. And because I work out and am strong AF these days (I wish I could make the laughing face emoji here so you guys know I’m being sarcastic), I carried our brand new ottoman up the stairs today! It was awkward because my arms were too short to reach around the box, but I did it. Jon didn’t want to order this until his cast is off since he didn’t think I’d be able to get it up the stairs. Bish, I work out!

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And that’s my whole looooong recap! Thanks for sticking with me, guys!

This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked Challenge Week One

Hey guys! I’ve been doing the “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” challenge for a full week now. I’ve actually really enjoyed the challenge group, surprisingly. I figured I’d do weekly rundowns during this challenge so I can track my progress.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working out regularly because I’ve had tons of free time. Going to the gym is a huge priority when I’m home. But that’s the problem- it’s a huge priority when I’m home. I work out five days a week when I’m home, and then I don’t work out at all when I’m out of town. I spend quite a bit of time out of town so that’s a lot of days where I’m not fitting in my gym time!

With this challenge, I have to work out everyday, but I can do it at home. I also have to drink my superfood packed protein shakes every day. Each workout program has a meal plan with it (including all of the recipes), but I’m not following the meal plan. I actually love the meal plan with my program though because it’s grain free and that is huge to me! But in order to make this program doable for me, I just can’t be spending that much time on food. So I’m sticking with some old trusty faves and just worrying about getting in my workouts and my shakes.

I check in to my challenge group daily on Facebook. This has actually been one of the best parts for me because it holds me accountable. I actually went to the big girl gym on Friday and Saturday this week but then I still had to do my workout program at home to count it for my challenge. There have been a few days where working out definitely wouldn’t have happened had I not been in the group too. The day Jon had surgery on his elbow? I worked out at 8pm and absolutely did not want to. But I have a group holding me accountable, so I did it.

Aside from working out daily, I’ve cleaned up my eating too. I’ve been wanting to give up grains for a long time again (I fell off the grain-free wagon when I got pregnant and Jackson is 17 months old now soooo…) and even with Jon doing the keto diet, I was still holding onto a few grain-filled items. Because I want to see results in this challenge, I’ve finally given up grains again. Aside from two sushi rolls and ice cream on Day 1 (I was hanging out with Laura), I’ve stayed grain free and have cut out all desserts. I’ve even eaten out two other times and didn’t give in. This is the first six days being grain free since I was pregnant. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel.

I also think the last big push to cutting out grains again was how I felt when I was eating them. I had cleaned up my diet a bit lately so I wasn’t eating grains regularly. So when I did eat them, I really felt it. After having sushi and ice cream with Laura on Day 1, I went home and was all out of sorts, as I typically am when I pack grains and sugar into the end of my day. My heart was racing, I felt gross, and I couldn’t sleep. This happens every time I eat grains now, so I knew I just needed to cut them out again. And the bloat was getting unreal at the end of every day when I wasn’t eating clean.

So, one week in and I feel great. I actually love the protein shakes. The chocolate tastes like dessert and today I made a frappe out of the cafe latte flavor and some cold coffee. I’ve been rocking my workouts at home, even though I still don’t love working out at home. And the push to clean up my diet was much needed and it feels so nice not to look pregnant by the time bedtime rolls around every day because of bloat.

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Frappe made with Cafe Latte protein powder, cold coffee, and ice.

I’ll post the official “Before” and “After” pictures once the challenge is over, but I decided to get a nice Day 7 photo with Jackson since he came outside with me for my workout.

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