Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Well, it has been a long time since I've posted.  I could make a long list of excuses, but none of that really matters.  Bottom line is that I just haven't had the time or the energy to sit down, collect my thoughts, and then eloquently convey all that has happened over the last several months.

I guess the biggest change in my life is the recent death of my father.  Phillip D. Thomas passed away on November 10th, 2011.  He was 55 years old.  It was sudden and unexpected and it has turned my life upside down and topsy turvey.  We moved my mother back to Maryland from Kansas the week after his passing and she has been living with my brother, but will occassionally spend weekends with my family.  Its nice to have her near, but it is difficult to see someone you love so much so lost and in so much pain.

I still can't go into too much detail or discussion about my father.  This has been a painful journey for me and was especially heart-wrenching to have the memorial service for him the day before my 30th birthday.  I have always loved my birthday and have anticipated my 30th birthday just about all my life...it was definitely not the celebration/gathering I was expecting. 

Another significant change in our family is that we added a sweet puppy to our lives in September.  Her name is Millie.  She is an absolute joy and just a very special little lady.  She is full of energy, lives to please, and is just beyond wonderful to have in our home.  She's definitely a puppy and still has a long way to go in terms of manners, but she's getting there.

The kids are doing fantastic!  Marissa is still doing choir and piano, Christian is going strong with karate.  He is also doing piano now and both kids started Winter Swim just last week.  They are busy, but happy and they seem to be adjusting to all the changes, schedules and daily craziness of life. 

I'm going to try and be better about blogging throughout 2012, even if it is just for me.  I do feel much better when I get my thoughts out and I'm able to reflect on my days. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sticking to It

So I haven't swayed from my plan. I'm right on target!  Everything is going well, I'm staying organized and I think I've developed a pretty good routine.  School starts for Marissa one week from today.  We get the puppy in 11 days and Christian's pre-k will start back up on Sept. 6th.  We are BUSY! :) 
Here are some changes I've made:

4:30AM wake up for morning workout- I'm home and ready to tackle the day by 6:15; no longer do I have to worry about getting that workout in between the crazy hours of "life".  We all know that busy moms have lots of priorities, and those don't necessarily have anything to do with "mom".   I'm really loving this time to myself and I like that it doesn't cut into my family or work time. 

Speed cleaning-  I have organized myself so that I can clean my house, top to bottom, in two hours flat.  This is a GOOD cleaning too...no skimping!  I put all my cleaning supplies into a large bucket, I start at the top floor, clean one room at a time, don't allow myself to run all over the house collecting things,  or get distracted, etc.  I just work literally from the top to the bottom-taking all the supplies with me as I go.  I don't stop to check email, I carry the phone clipped to my pants with an ear piece in so I can utilize both hands if I'm on the phone, and I just move move move until the job is done!  Nothing feels better than having the house completely clean by 10AM on a Saturday morning and having the entire rest of the weekend WORRY free! 

Kids and Chores-  I have strictly implemented and enforced a chore list for the kids.  Having them help, helps me A LOT!  They make their beds, bring their laundry to the laundry room, water plants, gather all the trash and put all their toys and belongings away.  Sounds simple...and its probably something they should have been doing all along.  The way I see it, they are helping out around the house and character building!

Prep before Bedtime-  I get everything ready for the next day the night before.  I lay out my gym clothes, pack the gym bag, have my water bottle filled and ready to go and breakfast front and center and ready to warm up and eat!  I have lunches packed, and my outfit for the day planned out.  I'm working on getting the kids' things ready the night before too.  I think that will help tremendously!

Go to bed EARLY-  I need to get my full 8 hours if I'm going to operate at this pace.  If my brain is tired, its not clear and if its not clear, none of these plans will happen. 

So I'm sticking to it and really happy with how things are going!  FORWARD MARCH!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kicking Butt!

I made sure I set some goals for this week to help me get organized and in the mindset for the school year. I am SO glad that I did! I'm kicking butt! I cleaned the entire house and did all the laundry (and put it away! That in itself is HUGE!)I also did some major meal prep; protein oatmeal pancakes, banana protein muffins, got all the fixings for salads, etc. I'm feeling on top of the world and just ready to tackle the week.

I think my greatest accomplishment thus far is that I was able to pry myself out of bed this morning and get to the gym! 4:30AM is UGLY, but I know the rewards will be HOT! :)

I'm going to start listing my goals on Sunday mornings and seeing if I can stick to the plan. I think this is a great way to stay motivated and organized in life...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Routine Readiness

For the month of August, I'm desperately trying to get back into a routine so that I don't go into shock when the beginning of the school year arrives. I've been getting up at 4:30am, going to workout, home by 6:15 and then I start the morning shuffle of breakfast, showers, packing lunches, and getting the kids where they need to be and rolling into the office by 9am. This has been great practice and I think I'm getting the hang of it (a few minor lapses, let's call those "MONDAYS", but overall I'm doing very well!)

My biggest concern and reason for getting into this routine is that I know that life is drastically going to change when we add the puppy to the mix. Puppies are a lot of work; housetraining, crate training, exercising, feeding, playing, etc... Those things take TIME and puppies don't understand that there is a 30 minute commute, that the kids have to be at a certain place at a certain time and that she's only going to get about 20 minutes to do her business and then she's just SOL until our next stop. I've got to get myself organized so that I can devote the necessary time to get the puppy acclimated with our lifestyle and make sure that this transition is a happy one. I know this is not going to be easy and that there are going to be times when I question what the hell I was thinking bringing a dog into our craziness, but I know that this is going to be a lifelong commitment that brings our family much joy.

This morning, I realized that a 4:30am wake-up and a 7:30am school departure time does not really allow much time to dilly dally. I've got to make sure I've got a system down and that I'm fully prepared to get things moving in the morning. I think I need to sit down with my hubby so we can develop an effective plan... However, we all know about plans, right? I'll plan and the kids and dog will plan something different.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lazy Summer leads to the Busy Fall!

I'm still here, its just that summer has KILLED my routine and I can barely remember what day of the week it is most of the time. This summer, I decided not to register the kids for tons of camps/activities. Marissa has gone to a few piano lessons, and I did register her for 2 camps, Theatre and Choir for a couple weeks in August. We spent a lot of time at our beach home and then visited my family in Kansas in July.

Its just been a very laid back summer and I'll admit that I've been totally slacking with working out, blogging, housekeeping, etc. I'm just enjoying the down time and spending quality time with the kids. I find myself sleeping in more, playing outside more, going to movies and relaxing more than I ever have in my life! Can't complain; except for the fact that I've put on a little weight. LOL! I'm not worried though, once I get back into the routine and on a workout schedule and back to the business we call life...I'm sure I'll drop the weight very quickly.

As we get closer to the school year, I'm trying to get back into a routine so that its not a shock to my system come September. I'm trying to get up and out to my workouts before the family wakes up. We're also getting our puppy Labor Day weekend, so I need to get organized in preparation for this wonderful addition to our family!

The kids' activities this fall are exciting. Marissa will be doing piano, chorus and hip hop dance, while Christian starts martial arts! We'll have a busy schedule ahead of us and I'm both nervous and optimistic that this coming season is going be full of wonderful new things!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jumped the Gun

Looks like I won't be starting school afterall. After a long discussion with Marty, we decided that the timing just isn't right. Grad school is a huge commitment and would require Marty pick up a lot of slack at home and I would have to make sacrifices to allow the time and focus for school work. Thinking about my children being still so young and needing me so much, I think its best that I put this on the back burner.

I'm not even 30 years old yet. I have no idea what the future holds, but going to grad school isn't a priority right now and I don't want to miss out on my kids being little and my limited precious time in the evenings with them.

So I jumped the gun...grad school will just have to wait.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I took this post from my fitness blog, Figuring it Out wwww.aaloftus.blogspot.com because I felt that it could truly be applied to every day life and relationships.

Today I'm running/walking another 5K with a friend. It's her first 5K and she's really looking forward to it. I'm really proud of her. 3.2 miles is a big step for someone who's getting started. She's been working really hard to move towards a healthier lifestyle.

A couple weeks ago I met with her and we discussed food. I loaned her a book about clean eating and getting the right fuel at the right time. I think sometimes people just need to talk their goals out with someone; they need to hear some encouragement and they need to know that other people struggle too.

My friend has seen my transformation. She knows that I've struggled before, but she saw how my hard worked payed off and how much I now enjoy my healthy life and body. She knows it wasn't easy...but it was definitely worth it.

Something I've recently seen is that its really hard to lose weight in a group setting. For example, the girls at my work thought they would all get together and lose weight. The idea was that they would keep each other on track--well, that didn't go exactly as planned. Once one fell off the wagon, the others quickly followed. This was almost 16 weeks ago, imagine the weight they could have lost by now. Think about how much better and happier they would feel if they had stuck to it...

I think what they lacked was "encouragement". They needed someone there who was making changes and seeing results. They needed to be pushed and lead into a direction of health and fitness. Without the support and encouragement of others, you will most likely fail.

So think about the people in your life. Are you encouraging them to reach their goals? Are you supporting their efforts? Are you running the race along side them and letting them know you are there?

Also, are you thanking those that have been there for you? I know I wouldn't have reached the successes I have if I didn't have my strong support system and the love and encouragement that I receive from those who care about me.