In link up monthly learning professional life snow snow days snowmaggedon Things I Learned winter

Snowpocalypse, Sleepovers and Snow Cream (February Learning)

1.) Snow Cream is awesome!
Despite growing up in an area that was known for canceling school when the snow was taller than the shortest kindergartner, I had never had or made snow cream.
I was so missing out; it is awesome!

2.) A broom, a baking sheet and small trash can can dig you out of snowmaggedon if you were too in denial to buy a snow shovel.
Okay, at first we figured it was an exaggeration, we've never seen this much snow in Kentucky, so we assumed rushing out to buy a snow shovel wasn't needed. By the time we realized that this was a serious storm, everything that resembled a snow shovel had been purchased. So, much to the amusement of our neighbors, I tackled the snow with a broom (that was sacrificed to the cause), the small trash can, and a baking sheet (that bent in the middle and therefore was also mostly sacrificed to the cause).

3.) Sleepovers with your bestie are just as exciting when you're in your 20's as in your teens.
I remember that around age 13 the most exciting thing you could possibly do on the weekend was have a sleepover at your best friend's house. That doesn't change when you get older. Tomorrow night I get to have a girly sleepover that will involve eating Thai food, having a glass of wine, and probably not going to bed till 2 or 3am. I can't wait!

4.) How to Take a Head Shot
Work contacts (read: College presidents, CAO's and other fairly important/intimidating peeps) have started to add me on LinkedIn. Until a week ago, my picture was a selfie. A flattering enough selfie, but still, not exactly what I wanted my profile to convey. So I pinned some tips, took one of the snowed in days, and took some pictures that I could feel more confident using in my professional life.
They're far from perfect, but they work!

As usual, my mishmash learning is linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky, feel free to do the same!

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In dedication determination don't give up fitness Weight loss

Getting Back to Healthy

Not losing weight when you've worked out hard is quite discouraging. I mean, let's just be honest. If you do the workouts, count the calories, and the scale shows you nothing for your effort, it is so much easier to say forget it and grab an extra slice or two of pizza with dinner.

That's what I've been having a tough time with lately. I haven't really gained back weight, but I know I'm not in the same shape I was a couple months ago.

The new work schedule, the cold, the tight money month, the vacation,  I can give a million excuses why I've slacked off instead of picked up the pace at this plateau. In the past, when I couldn't move past a weight, I simply stepped up my game. Added an extra workout, did something different to tone new muscles, but lately I've just been in a slump.

This morning, I'm wearing an older pink  sweater (hello negative a million degrees) and remembered taking a selfie in it a little over two years ago. On a whim, I took a current selfie and compared the two.

There's my lightbulb moment. My "oh yeah, that's why I'm not giving up" realization.
I have come so far over the past year. Even though it was hard, even though the day to day was hardly noticeable, and even though the temptation to avoid the cold/eat the doughnut/ stay in bed was always present, I worked hard to get to this point.

So even with the impending bad weather, the excuses that will come so easily when I'm stuck in the house to avoid freezing temps, I am going to hold myself accountable and keep going. After all,  I was able to do it 40 pounds ago, so really, what excuse do I have now?

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In have to laugh Jace quotes kids say little moments mom life toddler toddler life

Mom Moments (Part 1)

Parenting a two year old means I sometimes string together sentence I never imagined I would say. I have some conversations and moments that my pre-mom self could never have dreamed up. My toddler tends to respond with some interesting phrases that are worth a laugh.

This all leads to some pretty entertaining moments, so I thought I'd share, and I'm naming it part one because, let's face it, parenthood is only bound to get more entertaining as time goes on.

Me: Jace, what do you want for dinner?
Jace: Applesauce.
Me: Applesauce is not dinner.
Jace: Applesauce!
Me: Applesauce is still not dinner.
Jace: Applesauce?

*Me cleaning fruit in the kitchen*
Jace: Grapes?
Me: No grapes right now, would you like a strawberry?
Jace: Straw-baby!

Jace: Snowman!
Me: We can't build a snowman baby, there's no snow.
Jace: *Gets snow boots.* Boots, snowman.
Me: Just because you put your snow boots on doesn't make it snow.

*At the library playing a Sesame Street computer game.*
Me: Jace, look what I found for you (A VeggieTales CD).
Jace: Beggietales! *Looks at Elmo on the computer screen, holding up CD* Look Elmo, Beggietales!

*I'm in the kitchen, Jace in the living room.*
Me: Sneezes.
Jace: Bless you mommy! *No response, so he gets off couch, marches to me in the kitchen.* BLESS you mommy!

Whenever Jace hears the theme song to Big Bang Theory: "Knock knock, Penny! Knock knock, Penny!"

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In being a mom Choose your hard life mom life working mom

Guilt Both Ways

I live by the philosophy of "choose your hard."

Being overweight is hard.
Maintaining weight is hard.
Losing weight is hard.

Choose which version of hard you want to live with.

Being a mom that works full time away from home is hard.
Being a mom that works from home is hard.
Being a stay at home mom is hard.

I've chosen my version of hard, and it's to work a full time job.
But there are some days when hard seems a little harder, and that's where I was yesterday.

Yesterday morning I was supposed to have a meeting at work at 10:00 am. I had a full checklist of tasks to accomplish because we are entering our busy time of planning, adjusting to a new building, and have fewer employees than usual. I was ready for a full and busy day at the office, until a sweet toddler boy got out of his bed at 5:45 am with flushed cheeks, a congested cough, and a singular goal: to cuddle.

I take my job seriously. I take motherhood seriously. So sitting at home watching Veggietales and filling sippy cups with orange juice, I couldn't help but feel simultaneously complete in my motherhood and useless in my role as employee.

It's amazing to me how much being a mom and being an employee do not go together. But as I continue to navigate my dual roles, I know I have it a lot better than some. I have it better than even my husband, because though I felt guilty about not being at work yesterday, and knew I would go back to extra work on Monday, I was able to take a paid day off. If Nathan had called off, he wouldn't have been paid and would have been at higher risk of losing his job.

And if the worst of my hard is missing a meeting to cuddle my boy, I really can't say it's that's hard.

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In feminism feminist political stance pro-choice

When You Know You're the Sore Thumb

In so many ways, I do not fit into the world I find myself in. I love my friends, I love my church, but I stand out in my beliefs.

I'm not a stay at home mom. Beyond that, of all my close friends locally, I'm the only one that works a full time job with a small child who isn't yet school age. 
I'm not gearing up for homeschooling, because even if I weren't working full time, I would still choose to send my child to public school.
I support gay marriage, and I am pro-choice.

That last one is by far the most mind-boggling (or shocking) to my friends.

To clarify, I am not pro-abortion, and I want there to be fewer abortions, which is why I am pro-choice.

This article sums up very nicely why I, as a woman who doesn't want to see the number of abortions rise or even stay the same, am firmly pro-choice. I don't agree with everything written (the no 5k for Zygotes sounds silly, I know), but her facts are sound. The fact is that making it illegal isn't going to cause abortions to stop happening. Not in America or in any other country in the world.

"Overturning Roe, I realized, would not make women stop having abortions. Instead, it would simply punish women who have abortions by requiring them to risk their health to do so. This is all well and good if the goal is to punish women for seeking abortions, but if the goal is to keep unborn babies from being murdered, this is extremely ineffective."

I hope to never have an abortion. Losing one baby to miscarriage seems like as much grief as I can possibly bear in my lifetime, but I will always, always stand by a woman's right to choose, because I know in a dire situation, one with a baby incompatible with life or that would leave me to die to carry it to term, I would want to have the option of a safe and medically sound abortion, not to be left without a choice or only dangerous alternatives.

A social media friend of mine recently posted a lengthy status that she is a devoted Christian, and also a firm believer in making gay marriage legal. She stated, quite eloquently, that she was willing to be bold in her beliefs, and I want to do the same.

Even if you disagree with my thought, could I convince you to at least think through the other side of the argument?

And even if you think I'm insane for my stance, I don't believe that that stops our ability to be friends. One of my closest friends in the world disagrees with me on this issue and on many others. But it does not affect us being dear friends. In fact, she tells me often that one of the reasons that she loves me is because I bring a different perspective into her life. I make her think about why she believes what she does and she is also the one that is quick to remind me that even being a sore thumb, I still absolutely belong and am loved where I am in my church and with my friends. 

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