And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.


In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!


TOLT – 1 Week Until Preschool!

Today is Thursday and I’m not having to get up and go to work for the first time in many weeks. But it also means that it’s the last Thursday, for awhile at least, that I could have slept in…..because next week my baby starts preschool! And, in the words of Peg Plus Cat, I AM TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!

Thank you, in advance, to Amanda for a place to vent my worries.


  1. The Goodbye – When my first son went to school two years ago, he walked right in and I had to call him back to say good-bye to the little guy and me. This time around it will be the big one and I dropping off the little one on the first day. I’m not quite sure how this will go. Part of me wants him to be hesitant and still need me. Part of me wants him to be brave like his brother and waltz right in like he knows the place.
  2. What to do with Kid #1 – So, on the first day of preschool my oldest son will still be 12 days away from starting school for the year. So, it’s kind of new territory for us. There was just the two of us before the little guy came along, but since then I can’t think of another time in which it’s been just the two of us (unless you count volunteering at his school). So, what will we do with our time together? I HAVE NO CLUE! We have had lots of little moments together, but never 3 whole hours of us time in the last 4 years. I’m thinking I might take him to show him my new work as it’s right across the street. We might go out to breakfast. We might just go crazy….who knows?!
  3. More Friends – Okay, so this really shouldn’t be a worry, but I’ve already found that this summer was harder than any other before to make sure we had at least one play date with each of our friends. Why? Because now we have the friends we made prior to school, the friends from preschool that we’ve held on to, and now kindergarten friends. That doesn’t even account for the friends we’re about to make this year for both kids! I already know one of the families in the preschool class and we like them and have mutual friends, but there’s a reason we throw a large party a few times a year….we don’t have enough time for all of the friends!
  4. No Nanny – Yep, she left us and graduated and moved home and got married and is a grown-up with a full-time job now. The last two years have been a breeze because of our nanny and I can tell you it was the best experience we’ve ever had in childcare. So great, in fact, that I can’t seem to find anyone who lives up to her! And now we’re going to try and do it all on our own without her or anyone else. Already I’m dreading it. What will happen when one of the kids gets sick? Who will be there to help out in emergencies? What about when I need someone to set out something to defrost during the day? Who will eat all of the leftovers?! Really, our nanny was like a part of our family and we miss her dearly!
  5. The End – There will be no more kids at home after this. Granted preschool is only 2 half days per week, but this is the end of being a full-time stay at home mom. I have worked most of the time that I have been home with my kids, but I no longer have kids that are home full-time after next Thursday. It went too fast…..

12 Years of Yoga: That Time Before I Became a Yoga Teacher

After leaving Texas and moving to Colorado in 2006 I found myself again without a job. I applied many places and got shot down for not having a graduate degree. Who knew that the world of fitness had become so competitive?! So, I first started thinking about going back to school and had my then MIL help me apply to a program at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. While I waited to hear back I was hired on at a local swim club, CMA as an assistant coach for the Junior and Senior teams and also as a dryland training coach.

Yay! My world had purpose again! I took my job, as I do all of my jobs, very seriously. This has been a hard part of being me for most of my life. I take things too seriously at times and have found myself to be very rigid in the structure of life, work, etc. I am more type A than most who associate as type A….I probably should be labeled type A+++.

Here I was in Colorado Springs, the place I’d dreamed about living since I had visited there on a high school youth group mission trip in the mid90’s. But, I wasn’t really living the experience there I had hoped for. I muddled through life trying to grasp it all and failing miserably. My husband and I had bought a house, but I couldn’t keep up with what that meant. He had a great job, but I was unhappy for him because my career was going nowhere. We had a beautiful dog, but I wanted another because we didn’t have a baby. I was headed back to school, but I still wanted to work. I couldn’t figure it out, but what I really needed more than anything was yoga and a friend.

The yoga came first in a sense. As part of the dryland training I was doing with the kids, I started teaching them some yoga. I was using my knowledge about biomechanics etc to help them come up with new exercises to strengthen their specific strokes and then the yoga to improve their flexibility. One of the swim team parents was a regular yoga practitioner (and in my competitive mind I had to be better), so I figured I would incorporate the practice so that the kids could reap the benefits she always spoke of. I felt a real connection to those kids for the first year I was with them, but also secretly hated working with them because they didn’t always follow the rules nor do what I asked of them.

That fall I started back to grad school and things went okay. I had never really learned how to study in high school or college, but got through both easily enough. Grad school was a different story. Somehow, I’d never learned how to write a scholarly paper either. Things were spiraling downward slowly until I contacted the “Recreation Department” and looked for a job as a trainer. I wanted something more to do (although I was characteristically already overloaded). This was a blessing in disguise.

I started on with the department as their ONLY personal trainer and then worked my way in a little deeper. They were getting ready to boom! UCCS was building a new Recreation Center to open in Fall 2007 and they were going to go from 1 professional staff member and 1 graduate assistant to 4 professional staff members and 3 graduate assistants. The staff would go from 7 students to over 70 students in just over a year from when I joined on. There would even be a real group fitness room and a need for personal trainers. I saw an opening and I took it!

I made myself the unofficial second GA for the department and got permission to run a training program for future PT’s in spring semester. My work at the swim team stayed steady and I continued taking classes and trying to keep up with grad school. I made a friend in Chelsey, the real GA, and we started to grow closer with our similar ambitious nature and desire to take 2 of the coveted professional staff positions at the new rec. We took on even more between the two of us, outlining the requirements and responsibilities of each job and program area, coming up with hiring procedures, planning staff training, listing equipment needs, doing budgets. You name it; we were on it!

The 4 pro staffers and 3 GA's 2007-2008
The 4 pro staffers and 3 GA’s 2007-2008

I didn’t get the job as a pro staffer, but settled into my role as GA in the new facility. Due to poor grades and work at the rec, I left the swim team in Fall 2007 to focus on other things. It’s one of my greatest regrets. I haven’t coached swimming since and I miss it constantly. But now I was “in charge” of a group fitness program that had one yoga teacher: ME.

I offered a yoga class that fall and I can’t remember if it was only one per day or more. I don’t know if it even ran every day or not. I feel like there was an early morning class and a noon time one and maybe even an evening one…..doesn’t really matter. All I know was that I was only teaching (over and over again) what I had learned in that one workshop two years earlier. That, and whatever I could find in Fitness Magazine. I wasn’t a yogi and didn’t have a regular practice myself. But teaching yoga gave me a little more sense of zen….sense of release….and was bringing me closer to my toes.

I had a friend by now, a few actually, and yoga was becoming more a part of my life. I again needed continuing education credits to re-certify my PT, so this time I went the yoga route and enrolled in a YogaFit Teacher Training Level 1 course in Denver.

The Vegan Baker

It’s time for another What I Made Wednesday and this time I’m asking for your help….PLEASE! First, please tell me that I’m not the only one who has ever been mind boggled by how hard it is to be a vegan?! Here’s what I learned this week:

  1. Vegans cannot eat honey….it’s bee food.
  2. Maple syrup might not be vegan because sometimes, with lower grades, they add animal fat to keep it from foaming. So you have to look for higher grades and Kosher certified.
  3. Cereal and other products with Vitamin D3 are not vegan because Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is made from lanolin that comes from sheep’s wool.
  4. Lots of chocolate is made with milk and milk fat….even some dark chocolate.

Why did I learn about being vegan this week? Well, because I was making my Trail Cookies for my yoga classes and the Mindful Eating exercise we do and one of my students is vegan. I wanted to accommodate, so I altered the recipe. So, here’s my new recipe….vegan, gluten free, and no peanuts for those specific allergies.

  • 4 c (2 1/2 after processing) Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal bought at Whole Foods
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 cup of homemade almond butter (see Amanda’s Recipe here at Running With Spoons)
  • 2 large smashed bananas (about 1 c)
  •  1/2 c or so of 365 Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks from Whole Foods
  • 1T flax seed
  1. Make the almond butter. Yum!20160210_185037
  2. Preheat oven to 325F and spray a baking sheet with olive oil or use a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  3. Place the cereal in a food processor and pulse until a fine powder. You can also do this with a food storage bag and rolling pin.
  4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and adjust for taste/texture until you have a thick sticky mess. Now you can either eat the batter or move on to the next step.
  5. Scoop onto the baking sheet in about 2-3 tablespoon heaps and smash down. These cookies do not spread. Bake for 15-20 minutes to allow the edges to turn brown and a little crispy. Mostly these cookies come out moist and chewy.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheet and enjoy! This makes about 2 dozen-ish cookies.

So, second help I need from you this week… I the only one who has ever failed at making nut butter in the food processor? I roasted these beautiful almonds 20160209_113417only to have them take 1 hour and 40 minutes in my grandmother’s handed down food processor to turn to creamy butter. I thought it would NEVER happen! I seriously thought about giving up more than once. And previously I had attempted peanut butter (with raw nuts) and failed there by burning up the motor in my BIL’s old food processor. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough on that one? I saw smoke at about 20 minutes on that one.

Finally, I have been really uninspired for dinner menus of late. Can you please, please, please share your favorite family friendly dinner recipes with me?! I need them!


Today was Ike’s first day back at school. In the car, on the way to school, he told me that he will never not like going to school. It made me smile from ear to ear. I hope that that’s true! He reminded me of something that I need to do for myself this year. I spend so much of my year teaching other people, that quite often, I forget to learn something new myself. This year, I resolve to learn something new by attending a fitness conference that I am not presenting at myself. This will take a few steps in saving money and working a little extra in order to do so, but it will be worth it! Who knows? Maybe it will mean that I actually take a new level in yoga?! How exciting!

Day Four – Get Ed-u-ma-ca-ted!

What’s something new you could learn this year?


Smells Like Team Spirit

I’m in Marion, NC for the weekend for another NETA workshop and luckily for me Fox is covering the Iowa State v. Iowa football game! You seriously cannot hear how giddy I am over this! The game was late to come on tv due to the Yankees v. Blue Jays game going into 11 innings, so I decided to head down to the ol’ fitness center and run on the treadmill (which I hate to do) and watch the game there. Just something to keep me from sitting in my room all night. I conquered 4.17 miles of running up to speeds of 7.5 mph. It was a good run. Check it out at MapMyRun!

So wish I were there! Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

However, while I was running my brain started thinking. ISU is My Team…in this game, but who is “My Team” in real life? You know that old saying, “It takes a village”? Well, I started considering all the ways that I depend on different people for different things. It’s kind of nice to know that I’m not alone in this big world and that I have go-to’s. On Sunday I wrote a little about Ahimsa and non-harming of myself so that I have enough to give to others. This week I have needed my teammates more than ever. Here is a little week in review:


Monday was the start of the walking group that I am leading as an inMotion coach for the local New Balance store. I plan to write a lot more about that and my new shoes in the future. Here I was gaining a whole new team in my life. So far it’s consisted of the three women signed up for the program and the two people who work full time at the store. Each of these people is bringing something new into my life and pushing me to be a better me. I feel like it’s a little piece of what I lost when I left the world of personal training and campus recreation. I am leading and creating a group training program while organizing special event sessions. I am a coach…that is my role on this team.


Back to my full day of yoga on Tuesday. Here I am part of several different teams. First there is the morning class of mostly retirees who are kind enough to share about themselves and ask many questions about my life and the practice of yoga. I feel like I can share with them about My Yoga Life. Here I am still the coach because I lead the sessions. I continue coaching as I move through my teams at CFCC and then into the night with more classes for the City of Wilmington. At each place I have a team manager who takes care of important business at the facility and the organization of the classes….I don’t have to do it all.

Also on Tuesday I have another team….on this team I am the team manager. It’s my family and we have a specifically coordinated schedule to run through that day. This is where Cote, our nanny, comes in. She is my Special Teams Coach. This Tuesday Ike had a little vomit incident in her car on the way to school. He missed school for the first time that day, but don’t worry, he wasn’t sick. She takes care of the most important part of my life for me when I’m not there and I have to rely on her to make the big decisions.


On Wednesday I took over with my home team again and we had dental appointments. Then there was tutoring that I do for my friend’s son. While I am his “tutor”, I count us more as teammates in this endeavor. I rely on him to provide me with the information about what he’s learning about and then also to give me the patience to remember how to do high school math 16 years later. The hubby and I also worked on some projects in the back and other than saying that we’re “co-owners” of the team, I can’t think of a better title for him. He is always there when I can’t be and supports my efforts to be the scheduler, financial officer, concessions and janitor.


It was back to yoga in the early morning and then home to get Ike off to school. Eli and I spent the morning at the park where I took charge of my own fitness coaching again and then to the dentist once more. I had a Skype call with Sam on Thursday afternoon. She is my team owner at NETA. She schedules my weekends, gives me assignments, and has the final say on my work. I like having her as my team owner because I feel like she brings positive coaching aspects to her responsibilities. She’s not overbearing and a micro-manager; instead she’s very respectful of others’ ideas and talents and what each member of our NETA team brings to the field. That evening I was back with my New Balance team setting the pace and leading them through more walks.


As I traveled yesterday for work, it required me calling in part of our second string: the Grandparents. The boys are spending their weekend at their house while I am here in Marion and the hubby is at home working on projects around the house that are hard to do with kids around.

Now I am here in my room after my run feeling blessed to have so many others on my team. In yoga we talk about being part of something bigger than ourselves and uniting as part of one big yoga community. Who is part of your team? What role do you hold on your team?

Well, my team just lost….so…..Deep Breath together!

TOLT #22 – The New Nanny and Other Changes in August

I have so much to tell you all about, but I’m running out of time before we move over to the new site. I can’t believe August is half over, but here’s what’s been going down so far this month! Thanks Amanda for another

1. Another trip for NETA! I stayed in state this month and traveled to the Yadkinville YMCA on the other side of the state. The workshop was wonderful and hosted by a really great staff and very entertaining group of future fitness professionals! Thanks again to Missy and Cirilo (I got your name right this time) and the rest of the gang there for hosting! You can check out more about the workshops that I do (here, here, here, and many other places on this blog).

2. Moving Up the Ranks….Did I mention that I’ve moved up into a Lead Timer position with RTE? If you hadn’t caught on about them lately, I work for this wonderful company that times races all over NC. My boss James and I go way back to my graduate school internship and he has recently promoted me to handle some of my own races. My first race was the Temple Builder’s 5K and it was a small race with fantastic people hosting the event. My sister is now my Assistant Timer and it’s fun to be able to see her more often and work with her. You can find me at some races in the future either assisting James or running the show for the day!

3. PRE-SCHOOL – Oh yeah, Ike had his first day of school already. I can’t even tell you what that was like because he just walked right in like it was no big deal and then came back out at the end of the day and said, “I LOVE SCHOOL!” Eli, on the other hand, is having a little of a depressive problem with being away from his big brother twice a week. We will see how that goes in the future, but I’m trying to come up with new things to do with just him to make him feel special. For instance, Tuesday we went to the beach so I could FINALLY take his 2yo photos. Yes, I know his birthday was almost 3 months ago, but he’s still 2!

After pictures we were headed away from the beach and this woman’s poodle poo’d on the beach next to the boardwalk. Eliot was fascinated with what was going to happen to the poo and I kept reassuring him that she was coming back to pick it up. When she did come back he was watching her and she said, “Do you want to get it?” I thought she was being funny at this point, but his response was, of course, “No.” To which she replied, “Then don’t worry about what I’ve got to do.”


I’m glad I continued to walk away, but she really ticked me off! Instead we went to one of Eliot’s favorite breakfast places (no judgement here….remember….good for you) for a special shared treat: Wake N Bake. It was on the way to the rest of our errands. We shared the Loopy Morning, his favorite. He only likes to pick the fruit loops off the top because he never gets cereal like that at home and it’s a novelty item.

4. The New Nanny….I know you’ve all scrolled right down to here to find out what the heck I’m talking about. I’m a stay at home mom….they don’t have nannies! Well, this one does now. Over the summer we have employed two different friends to watch the kids while I taught yoga in the morning and during various other situations that are more regular than just a babysitter. However, as fall was approaching, neither of them was really equipped (mostly due to scheduling and/or vehicles) to handle our Tuesday mornings. Starting next Tuesday I will be teaching in the mornings for the city, followed immediately by 4 hours at CFCC. During that time someone has to be in charge of the kids and get Ike to school. I will be home in time to get him from school.

So, we ventured into our first time finding someone other than a friend or family member to watch our boys. This was a nerve racking experience for me and I am happy to say that we all came through like champs. I used Craigslist (did not hire anyone on there), (also did not hire anyone from there), word of mouth through friends and family, and posted jobs to the community college and university’s student job boards. We had a variety of applicants and settled on one girl that the whole family loved, had amazing references, and who will be here for awhile. We don’t want to go through this again any time soon.

I will keep you updated as to how it all goes, but so far we’ve enjoyed getting to know her and the kids have warmed up to her quite easily. Fingers crossed!

5. This is my final note for today’s post, but expect another one soon. TRAINING Woes….If you’ve followed me on MapMyRun you’ve noticed that I haven’t done jack this summer! Why? Because it’s been too hot and humid here for normal training. I haven’t wanted to hurt myself or make myself sick. Although Monday I went for a run and had to do a funny walk home because the heat got to me and I thought I was going to be sick all over myself and the kids! I’ve written about training in the heat before and I just don’t recommend doing it! Instead I’ve spent more time with yoga, Pilates, and other resistance training. I’ve done a few extra HIIT workouts and used the cardio machines when I could be indoors at such a facility. I feel my training has really suffered, but I’ve not just stopped doing it. I’m also remembering to just remain active throughout the summer so that I don’t ever feel like I’m “off” my training.

My next post will be all about the new site and the changes coming for the blog. They aren’t drastic, just more personal and focused on why I started this in the first place. You’ll also get a preview of what the fall has to offer! Until then….

Where have you traveled this summer?
Anything new at work?
Are you ready for your kids to go back to school?
Was that lady a jerk or was it just me?
Thoughts on a nanny?
Did you run all summer or workout indoors?