Taking a Step


img_20170215_085814-1Pictured Above: December 2016 (left) and February 2017 (right) post-Whole30

Hey All,

I mentioned the other day in my Mom of 2 post that I was doing a round of Whole30. Basically, the premise of a whole30 is to eliminate foods that are triggers for inflammation, digestive issues, pain issues,unhealthy eating habits, and so on. You can read more about it here. I first heard about Whole30 two years ago when my mom mentioned that she would like to try a round. So I agreed.

At that time I was 9 months postpartum from the birth of my daughter. Completing a round was tough, but rewarding. I did another round 3 months later  because I felt so good. Many of you know or have read on here that I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety after my first pregnancy. The Whole30 really helped calm my anxiety, get my gut health back on track, and lose some extra weight (20 lbs total). Over the last two plus years I have done a few rounds of whole30 or shorter “mini rounds” whenever I felt the need to kick start my healthy habits.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my son I didn’t suffer from anxiety as much, but I really didn’t practice my healthy eating habits either. (I consumed a milkshake a day which for me was triggering digestive issues and pain). Over the past 9 months since Max was born I have been learning how to be a mom to 2 beautiful kids, getting back into my freelance writing and editing, bought a new house and moved in! With all of those wonderful events, I let my eating habits slide out of control. I went from never drinking soda to choosing that first. I usually avoid bread and cakes, but I would find myself overeating or snacking ALL day instead of just making a decent meal.

I am not blaming myself or saying “woe is me” because I was busy keeping my babies happy and healthy. The truth is that is not enough. My husband always encourages me to get out of the house, write, and just do things that make me happy. I am happy taking care of my little ones, but I want to show them that Mommy is strong. That I treat my body well by eating right and exercising (okayyy, I’m still working on that part) and treating my mind right by reading, studying, and pursuing my passion to write. I want my children to be happy in mind, body, and spirit. To me, this starts with FEELING good. So, I came back around to another round whole30.

My mom did the January 2017 whole30 with me and it helped to have a team mate. Together, we learned to cook some wonderful new recipes (Looking at you Chicken Chowder, pg 336 from The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig). This is an amazing non-scale victory (NSV) because before Whole30 I would have never, ever tried something like chowder and I LOVED it.

I struggled with this round emotionally. I didn’t realize how much of a hold that my eating habits had over me. There were times over the 30 day period that I cried and wanted to quit because I felt sad. I did realize though that it wasn’t healthy to be ruled my cravings and sugar like that. I wanted to use food to comfort myself and that is exactly what the Whole30 program wants to help you move away from. So I stuck it out. The sense of accomplishment, the NSV’s including less headaches, shinier hair, more confidence, and losing 10 lbs* was worth it.

The  successful completion of whole30 led me to signing our family up for the Y (shout out to my husband who has been going to the gym almost every day for 7 weeks), starting a planner, meal planning, continuing with a family budget, and making a promise to myself to write more often. I would use the excuse that the kids “need” me, but right now as I type Max is playing with toys at my feet and Sophia is watching an episode of Daniel Tiger. I have to make the time where I can spare it.

So here it is, last night I was scrolling Facebook and I saw a picture (Me in the white shirt) from a Christmas party. I laughed because I was wearing the same PJ pants. I had to do a side by side because I knew just looking at that first picture there was a huge change from December. The second picture says so much more to me than weight lost. I am standing up taller, I feel prouder, and I know I am healthier than I was before.

It is not that every day is easy now. There are some days where I will decide that pretzels are an essential food group and I am not going to get out of my pajama, but I’m going to keep trying to better myself. I’m not saying that the Whole30 is for everybody or that everyone needs to change their lifestyle, but as a self-proclaimed “lazy” girl  I want to show my family that you can still enjoy Gilmore Girl marathons and dessert without giving up a strong, healthy lifestyle.

xo AT

*The Whole30 program is NOT  a weight loss program, but for someone with  diplegic cerebral palsy  (read: mostly affects my legs) maintaining a healthy weight is essential. This helps me avoid joint pain, problems with walking, and even breathing. I’ve written more about my life with CP here.

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Adult-Ing


There are lots of funny memes and what not around the internet that basically decry having to be an adult or “adult-ing”. I have to say I totally agree with them. I would love for someone to come take care of me, feed me, clothe me, and entertain me. It’s hard to be an adult. It’s crazy because I know that when I was young I always wanted to “grow up.” Now I’m here and I wish I could be a kid. Haha

Every day I learn more about the responsibilities of being “grown-up.” Not only do you have to get up, be presentable, attend your job or at home duties, but you also have to attend to the tedious, not-so-fun stuff like cleaning out your garage and doing maintenance on your house. Last night I had to research new health insurance plans because Richie is switching jobs. Adult-ing, am I right?

I hope that Sophia never loses her childlike sense of wonder. She loves to color and run around and hide from me. She always laughs and tells great stories. (I know what you are thinking, she is a genius and she’s not yet two years old). Being around her every day makes me want to get back some of that wonder and amazement. It’s easy to be stressed and bogged down by your responsibilities, but it’s important to add in some fun.

Whether she knows it or not, my little girl is an inspiration. She reminds me not to let “adult-ing” get me down. And for that I’m ever grateful.

The Missing Piece


When I was in school, rather when I was taking class for my MA I was always writing. I wrote short stories, I wrote blogs, I wrote marketing plans, I wrote essays…it was part of the job I guess. Studying to be a better writer forced me to actually be a writer. Imagine that?

In the six months since I graduated I haven’t done very much writing. Why? I have been chasing a very active and independent little girl around. This isn’t an excuse…just a fact. I don’t usually sit down in front of the computer because there are lots of other things to do (like trying to get ready to leave the house). This morning is a surprise. I didn’t sleep well last night. I was exhausted by 9 p.m. We crawled into bed and all fell asleep fairly quickly. Then, starting at midnight I was just awake on and off. Finally, at 6 a.m. I just decided to get up. I snuck out of bed (somehow a little girl had climbed into my bed and was stealing all my pillows) without waking anyone up. Now, I’m here. Even though it’s early and even though I will probably regret not sleeping more later I’m glad to be writing.

No matter which way I spin it, I miss writing. I miss pouring out my thoughts onto paper and turning my jumbled mess of a mind into clear, articulate words. It’s the missing piece in my life. I need to try harder (Don’t we all?). I need to make time for myself, for my writing. It’s just so easy to put it all on the back burner. Whether you are a mother, a father, whether you work from home or out of the office, whether you love what you do or you don’t…it’s easy to push the passion aside.

There’s work to be done, there’s kids to be raised, there’s laundry and cleaning and cooking. It’s Saturday and it’s time to rake leaves or go grocery shopping. Oh, it’s bed time again. It’s time to get up and start all over. But, where does that leave you? The chapter you wanted to complete, that essay you’ve been meaning to submit, or like me that blog that keeps getting neglected. For me, it is the missing piece. It’s the thing I shouldn’t be pushing aside. Laundry can wait. During nap time I shouldn’t just look at Facebook or fold the clothes. I should take a quiet moment and write something.

So should you…

If it’s not writing, what’s your missing piece? Don’t let it be forgotten again today.

A Little Humor to Get You Through the Day


10 Steps to Getting Ready (with a toddler)

We all know that once our precious little angels begin to crawl and walk there is no stopping them. All of the sudden you are screaming “Grab the baby gates!” and “Did you shut the toilet lid?” because you never know what (seemingly) harmless household object they will get into next. When you turn your back for a second they have unraveled four paper towel rolls, squeezed out an entire tube of diaper rash cream, and poured out a box of cheerios on the floor. Keeping your toddler in check and being a functioning member of society can be a challenge. Sometimes we wish that parenting came with a manual, especially one that tells us how to wrangle a two year old with the ability to demolish a living room in under two minutes. With this in mind I have compiled a list of 10 easy steps for getting ready for your day when you have a toddler in your life.

  1. Decide what your plan for the day is. Do you need to leave the house? Will you be having any visitors today? Then, yes you need to put pants on. And a bra, maybe.
  2. Realize that you haven’t showered in about three days and even the dog doesn’t want to come near you anymore.
  3. Try (unsuccessfully) to get your little one to take a nap so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a warm shower.
  4. Check the time and notice that you now only have 30 minutes to get ready or you will be late.
  5. Consider going back to bed instead.
  6. Say “Let’s get a shower with Mommy!” in an attempt to get clean somehow.
  7. Stand under the water for five minutes while your toddler tries to climb up your legs and screams for “boobies!”
  8. Attempt to put on clothes until you notice said toddler pooping on your white carpet. Then, try to remain calm when they step in it.
  9. After cleaning up poop, chasing your little naked monster around the house, and wrangling them into a diaper throw on the first thing you see that doesn’t stink.
  10. Decide that everything can wait and put off leaving the house until tomorrow

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Life with a toddler can be crazy, but it’s also precious. Live it up and don’t forget to laugh.