Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Inspire- (V) to move someone to act, create, or feel emotions

I have a favorite shirt that I wear when I do a work out.   It is a dull gray with purple and pink letters that spell out "Inspire."  I often chuckle in my head as I grab it to put on.  The word inspire is so close to perspire, which I do a lot of lately.  I never thought much about that shirt, until recently.  Last night when I grabbed it, instead of laughing, a smile spread across my face.

In the last few days, I have had a number of people tell me, message me, write to me on Facebook, and text me that I am inspiring to them.  What? Who, me??  The first person that told me, I just smiled and said thank you and went on with what I was doing.  But as I heard from more and more people (friends, family, Facebook acquaintances, co-workers, former bosses, etc. )all in a short amount of time, I began to listen. . . and think. . . and reflect.

I am being quite verbal about my journey, probably annoyingly so to some, but I am realizing that being vocal about my journey and sharing my successes, my frustrations, and my goals, I am inspiring some to become healthier. . . to become happier.  Wow- what an amazing feeling!  What really made me smile was when people told me specifically how they were inspired by me-  everything from taking a picture of their daily mii character to drinking more water to exercising almost everyday to giving up half of their Coke intake to eating healthier and with smaller portions.  I even got told that I would make a good weight watcher leader some day.

It also made me realize that more people need to tell their stories and their journeys, so that we, too, may be inspired by them.  We all have so much others can learn from and be inspired by.

I have a long way to go on this journey.  It's not a diet, it is my new lifestyle.  It is for life.  I could use a little inspiration too along the way, and I just got a ton by different people telling me that I have inspired them to become healthier.
Thanks to those of you who shared that with me.  I know for some, it was a step out of your comfort zone to let me know.  It is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Power of a Picture

I LOVE this picture-
The way Jaely is standing
The smile on her face that is just a hint of excitement she had on this day
The way we match
The reminder to me of when I used to go into my mom's classroom on Take Your Child to Work Day.  I loved going in with her and seeing how she taught and interacted with her students.  I loved helping out in her classroom, doing her bulletin boards, cleaning, etc. 
Brought back a flood of so many wonderful memories.
I hope to have a picture every year on this day, eventually having Camryn come too.
Our smiles

I HATE this picture-
I knew I have gained a lot of weight, but this picture shoved that reality in my face.
My chubby little arms, round face, multiple chins, pregnant looking belly, thick legs. 
It has inspired me.

Now I have this picture on my refrigerator and on my phone.  Because of this photo, I used some tax return money to join weight watchers.  I can do this.  I will do this.  Now that the boys are older, sleeping through the night, walking, etc, I have no excuses.  I am exhausted, but it isn't like it was.  I must do this for my kids and for me. I will do this.  I will get healthier.

Wish me luck.  Pray for me. Encourage me.
Thanks! (and a special thanks to the person who took this picture, for so many reasons.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

If I really could write you a letter, stick a stamp on it, and run it out to the mailbox knowing you would read it in a couple days, I would.  I would write you all the time.  But, this is going to have to do, and I am going to pretend, if just for a moment, that you are completely up to date with all the changes that have taken place since I have last talked to you- you know the stuff like getting a teaching job, buying a house, getting my master's degree, and being the mother to FOUR kids.  If this was just another letter, I would stick to one topic, so here I go with the one topic.

I am sorry.  I am sorry for all the times I teased you and laughed at you for all your nap taking.  You have to admit Mom, you were a professional nap taker- anywhere, anytime, thru anything (kind of like TJ).  Remember you would come right home from school, get into your pajamas and slippers and take a nap, a long nap?  Looking back, I can't believe you even took your bra off that early.  What were you thinking??!!  Even though you drank coffee through the entire day, you were exhausted enough to take a long nap.  I remember on the weekends, you would wake up about 9 and sit in your chair.  Then you would shift to the couch and read the newspaper and look at the ads.  Then, you took a nap.  That was the nap I made the most fun of you for.  Seriously???  Reading the newspaper made you that tired?

I am reminded of this often as I pull into the driveway after a long day at school, wanting so badly to take a nap, but knowing I can't.  This Saturday after giving the kids breakfast and playing with the boys, I got an overwhelming tired feeling, like I just had to sleep.  And I laughed.  Knowing I couldn't sucked, but at that moment, I totally understood your need for a nap at that time.  It's call catch up.  Now I know that as a high school teacher, you were exhausted, like me.  You corrected your little heart out every weekend.  You parked yourself on the couch in your pajamas with your pink gradebook binder, your pink pen, and your pink coffee mug and corrected mountains of Shakespearean Essays, persuasive pieces, grammar tests, news articles for the school paper, and narratives.  You worked endless hours, made countless lesson plans, corrected mountains of papers, and built relationships with hundreds of kids.  That is exhausting.  That is nap worthy. 

So, I wanted to write you this letter to apologize, to let you know that I get it.  I understand why sometimes when your head hit the pillow, you audibly moaned with glee.  I now understand why you raced down the hall to get your pajamas on because I now race down the stairs to get my sweats on (i keep my bra on though.  You really should have too!).  I now understand why you took naps on the weekend, sometimes two a day.  Teaching is exhausting.  Being a parent is exhausting.  I can imagine that being a single parent is even more exhausting.  You did it all.  And you deserved those naps.  So, i get it. 

Let's pretend that I write you all the time, but I just had to send this to apologize.  So, I don't need to tell you how full my life is, yet there is still a hole from your absence.  I don't need to tell you how amazing it is to be a mom of four and of twins.  I don't need to tell you that TJ is the most incredible partner on this journey that I could ever ask for.  He loves me for me.  He loves our kids. He sees this as teamwork and gives 100%.  We dream of growing old together and being a grandma and grandpa together (after we get to experience an empty nest, of course!).  I don't need to tell you that I love my job and my students, but sometimes I feel like I am not going to make it.  I don't need to tell you that I miss you incredibly because every letter would have said that.
I love you.
I appreciate what you did for us.
I get it.

I think i will go take a nap!
Love Always,

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hi mom! It's Me.

I wanted so badly tonight on my way home from work to pick up the phone and call my mom.  It had been a very long week, full of added stress at school.  I just wanted to talk to her.  To hear her voice.  To laugh.  I was wondering what she would think, as a high school English teacher, of this ridiculous m-step test we are to give our students.  Would she be just as stressed as I am?  Would she worry about how her students would react at its ridiculous, unrealistic demands?  Would she stay quiet and just do as she is told?  Probably not.  It would be fun to bitch about it with her.

I wanted to talk to her about being a mom, specifically being a mom of twins.  I wanted to tell her that we're doing it, this parenting thing. We are so tired, but we are doing it.  Our kids are amazing.  Our kids are healthy and beautiful and smart.  There are nights where i just want to cry and collapse.  There are times when TJ and I look at each other and know, without saying a word, that we are so very blessed.  I wanted to tell her that one of my favorite times is going in to watch the kids sleep- Bryson with his booty in the air and his legs tucked under him with a loopie by his cheek, Tobin flat on his tummy with his ankles crossed and one binky in his drooling mouth and another in his hand, Camryn with her booty in the air and her hair covering her face to the point it is difficult to tell which side her face is on, and Jaely sprawled out with her robot blanket and her mouth hanging open.

I wanted to share motherhood with her.  I never got a chance to compare stories, to ask questions. . . about anything major in life really.  I got my first teaching job just two months before she passed away.  We bought our first house, our first car, had our first child all after she had passed.  So much in life as changed, but I still want to call her.

I want to share so that someone will begin to understand how difficult having twins is.  How when you really think about the nitty gritty, you begin to see how everything can be a struggle.  It is a wonderful, exciting, interesting struggle, but it is a struggle.  Two trips to drop them off at daycare, two trips to pick them up.  Two winter jackets to put on and zip up, two lunches to pack, two pairs of shoes to try to put on feet, two outfits every day that need to be washed, two boys at the doctors office and running around the room, two teethers who need to sleep, two baths to give and diapers to change and buy, two carts when you go shopping, two hungry boys demanding food at the same time, two daycare bills, two high chairs to clean, two crying at the same time and wanting to be held. . .

Many people don't think of all that.  They think of all the good stuff- and there is PLENTY of good stuff.  I don't mean that, but I think my mom would get it.  I think she wouldn't keep telling me how "cool" it would be to have twins.  She would get the struggle along with the good.  Because Camryn still needs so much, she would get why going places would be so difficult.  One boy for me and one boy for TJ, but then who is with Camryn?  This goes for everything from going out to eat (if we had money!) to going sledding to going to the aquatics center for open pool time. 

I would also share the pure joy that fills my heart to hear both boys laughing as they crawl over TJ, to see them both smile when I see them for the first time in the morning, to hear them both babble to one another, to watch them give hugs and blow kisses, to watch them learn new things every day, to watch them love their big sisters, to tickle both their tummies, to watch their "firsts" be experienced together, to watch their personalities develop. . . . such joy both bring!

I know as the girls get older too, I am going to keep wishing I could just call me mom.  I am sure I would roll my eyes at the stories she would tell me about when I was their age (and rolled my eyes back then, too).  I would love to her the stories.  I don't have the best memory, like my oldest brother Jered.  I have always been so jealous of his clear memories.  Jason just makes up the stories, but Jered really remembers with great detail.  I got nothing!

I would also share how I am getting fatter every day and feel so out of control with it that i am sick about it.  I know with my mom's history, I have to be get my weight down.  She struggled too, but never this badly. . . . but she didn't have twins, two older kids and work full time, either.  Ugh!

My heart just aches so badly and there is nothing that can be done.  I can't talk to her.  I can't hear her voice and listen to her advice or listen to her complaints about school and this dumb test.  I really miss having "that person" to call.  No one is like my mom was on the phone.  TJ comes very, very close, but i couldn't call him because I knew he had a car full of our kids.  And he is in the thick of it with me.  I needed an outsider!

So I came here.  My computer doesn't hug like my mom.  It won't take me in its arms and dance with me around the kitchen while wearing pajamas and fluffy slippers.  It won't even laugh.  Or even nag.  I would even take a mom nag right about now.

This will pass.  Tomorrow, may be better and I may not feel the ache.  I haven't in awhile, so maybe it will go as quickly as it came.  One can hope.  Until then, thanks for listening in a weird sort of way, Mom.  I love you and miss sharing this journey of life with you.  Now to go grade papers on this Friday night. . . just like she did.