When Home for the Holidays Isn’t Enough: Relocating Your Loved Ones #GenworthHoliday

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Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial. Remember that time in April when we just picked up and surprised my family by driving 17 hours to South Texas and met them for dinner? It was probably in the top 5 moments of my life, seriously. Seeing my mom round the corner of the restaurant to find her daughter and family standing there -- it was perfect. We still talk about it to this day! So over Veteran's Day weekend, Andrew and I both had Monday off from work. So on Thursday, he asked if I wanted to go to Texas. I responded with a resounding YES -- duh. We planned to leave Friday night, and drive straight through until we arrived. The kids just thought it was HILAAAARIOUS that they were getting to sleep in the car! We didn't tell anyone we were coming until we were two hours away, and even then, my mom didn't see the text message we sent! She didn't know we were in Texas until I called saying we were going to swing by and say hello, haha! Over that … [Read more...]

That Time I Ran A Half Marathon And Didn’t Die

So proud of myself!

Well. I'm three days past race day, and I am slowly starting to not limp a little when I get out of my office chair at work, so I think it's time I recap my run, eh? On Friday night, my sister, Kelsey, flew in to the Phoenix airport from San Antonio to run the race with me. We wanted to both run our first half marathon together, so she flew out here for the occasion. She's been a runner for some time, and has always been athletic (soccer, volleyball, kickball...the list goes on! She was playing sports while I did musical theatre growing up!), but she has been having really weird issues with her shins and calves lately. She's fallen three or four times while running, and described the falls by saying "my legs just quit working." So while she felt prepared, she was nervous. I, however, felt under prepared and nervous. I knew that I could finish -- I didn't doubt my physical ability to travel 13.1 miles, but I knew that I wouldn't be finishing at an impressive time. Kels and I … [Read more...]

SAHMs, how much life insurance do you need? Calculate it here! #GenworthIns

#GenworthIns

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial. All thoughts are my own. One thing is certain -- the hardest job in the world belongs to the stay at home parent. The hours are never ending, your boss can be a real brat, and the amount of bodily fluids you encounter on a daily basis is enough to warrant a HAZMAT suit. Up until 7 months ago, I had been a stay at home mom for 6 years. The day my oldest daughter, Emma, came home from the hospital, I was laid off from my job as a student loan consolidation rep. I wasn't planning on being a stay at home parent, but it was kind of thrust upon me in the most sudden way possible -- hey, you have a kid now, and you had absolutely ZERO time to plan for the loss of an income, GOOD LUCK! Thankfully, we made it work. I wonder often, though, what would have happened if something were to happen to me, what Andrew would have done. He obviously would have to continue to work to support the kids, but then, who would look after … [Read more...]

You haven’t had chocolate until you’ve had a GODIVA Truffle FlightTM. #TruffleTakeoff #Giveaway

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You guys know that I’ve been doing my best to just eat like a normal person, stop obsessing over points, and just truly ENJOY food again, right? Well I got an email a while back. From GODIVA. When GODIVA emails, you listen. They wanted to send me some chocolate (YES, PLEASE) and hear what I had to say about them (I can handle that). Ladies and ladies, let me introduce you to the GODIVA Truffle FlightTM.  Yes, that’s a pistachio one in the middle. Yes, it was pretty heavenly. Now, a while back, I would have hesitated. I would’ve counted points and calculated weekly allowances. But the second I opened this box (and took photos), I dove in. The hardest part was deciding which truffle to eat first! I received the Nut Lovers GODIVA Truffle Flight, which contains Salted Almond, Hazelnut Crunch, Pecan Caramel, Butterscotch Walnut, Maple Walnut, and Pistachio flavored truffles. But the Truffle Flight experience doesn’t stop at nuts. They come in varieties like Cake, … [Read more...]

T-Minus ONE MONTH Until Half Marathon

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You guys. Look what popped up on my phone yesterday. That ain't no joke, folks. My sister has purchased her plane tickets (she lives in Texas and is coming to Arizona to run it with me!), and I've started to design my race day shirt. THIS. RACE. IS. HAPPENING! ...but is the training happening? Yes. and no. But yes. So while I am totally not going to sit here and tell y'all that I've stuck to my training plan to the T, I've done a decent job of prepping. I'm a little (ok a lot) nervous about it, but I'm mostly confident that I'll be able to do it. On Sunday, I went out for a long run. It was GORGEOUS outside, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run outside! I've been treadmilling it, mostly, because of the kids. I can't very well just leave them sleeping while I run around my town, can I? But Andrew was home, and I put on my running clothes really quickly and hollered "I'm going for a run!" before he could get a word in edgewise :). I told myself that I was … [Read more...]

You can take care of yourself now — but who’s going to take care of you in the future?

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Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial. All thoughts and opinions are my own. So I might be a little biased and have a little bit of a cross to bear, but I'm going to make a statement that I believe to be true: We're doing ourselves a disservice as women if we focus only on our present-day health. Women, in general, are the caregivers of our society, but they hardly give their own care a second thought. Now, I don't want to go all matriarch on you guys, but I read an article that made me think. It spoke of a couple who was emotionally, physically, and financially drained after the husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his early 60's. They hadn't planned for this --- no one really does, right? --- and it hit them hard. I grew up living just one door away from my grandparents, and it was something that I'll treasure forever. After a long career in the military, my grandfather and grandmother settled down with their six children. While her husband was away, … [Read more...]

Weigh In Wednesday: The One Where I Change My Mindset

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I didn't post last week, and it's no wonder -- I've been having a serious internal struggle about weight loss for a while now. Shall we get into the whole story? The kids are tuned into Lilo and Stitch, so I'll get while the gettin's good. Where it all began I went on my first diet at 13 years of age. My mom and I signed up for some weight loss clinic that was reminiscent of a Jenny Craig type of situation. We would eat our own food, supplement with their drinks, shakes, and bars, and visit the clinic weekly to weigh in and pee in a cup. I can't remember how much weight I lost on this program, but it's my first vivid memory of dieting. I remember exactly what I would eat -- half of a chicken breast, small salad, saltine crackers, and a little bit of fruit. Pretty much every meal looked like that, so I'm going to assume that I was on a 1,200 calorie diet. I kept the weight off for a few years, and even lost a little bit more once I entered high school. In high school, I toyed with … [Read more...]

I finally bought some new kicks! #ReebokMom #sponsored

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating. Way back when I was at my starting weight, I spent every last penny of an Amazon gift card on workout clothes --- and that included the cheapest pair of running shoes I could find. I obviously didn't even try them on; I just purchased the size I presumed I would need. It wasn't all bad, really. Those $20 shoes (on super-duper clearance) carried me many, many miles. But now that I'm in the process of training for my first half marathon, it's time to upgrade. I headed to my local Famous Footwear store to check out the goods. I wanted to buy a fun pair of shoes, but obviously, fit and comfort were top priority. I need to take care of my feet! I'd never owned a pair of Reebok shoes before, but I'd heard good things. Emma came with me on the shopping trip, and she as the … [Read more...]

We hit up Kohl’s for Back To School! #spon

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom CentralConsulting for Kohl’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. Remember when I was talking about heading out for back to school shopping? We went! The kids go back to school in mid-July, so it was important  to get our school shopping done in one place to save time and money. We found exactly what we needed at Kohl's! Emma started first grade this year (WHAT?!), and she has totally started to have an opinion when it comes to her outfits. She probably takes longer than I do to get ready in the morning, and most of that time is spent on picking out juuuuust the right outfit for the day. So naturally, deciding what she should wear on the first day of school outfit was a major undertaking, and it started in the store. She thumbed through the racks, trying to find THE PERFECT OUTFIT, and then it hit her. Flamingos. And tutus. I mean, really? I kind of want a teal tutu for myself, and I was … [Read more...]

Weigh In Wednesday: I’ve apparently got some willpower.

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First of all, I am going to apologize in advance if this post is incoherent. I am not intoxicated, I promise. I am writing this at 9:45 PM -- and for this granny, that is LATE. I've been solo parenting for the second week in a row, and it has been ROUGH, y'all. The kids are behaving about 75% of the time, but it's just exhausting having to be on point 24/7. The past week has been kind of a blur (I feel like I say that every week!), but I had the forethought to jot down a few things that happened along the way so I wouldn't forget! Treadmill shopping! Andrew was home for a whopping 24 hours this weekend (I miss that guy!), and we went treadmill shopping. I'm teetering between two different models, but I'll be sure to let you guys know what I end up getting. My official start date for half marathon training is Monday, August 12! If you pray or send vibes or wish on stars, please send one up for my knees. My right knee has been hurting lately, and I haven't even been running! So … [Read more...]