Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-Bye 2013

2013 has been an amazing year. I've accomplished big goals that I didn't even know I was capable of.
I've met some amazing people. I've realized that I'm worth more and not to settle for less.

I ran a 5k, two 10k's, a 15k, a half and a full marathon!!!
15 K

Half Marathon


First time I ran 17 miles!

Full Marathon 26.2 Miles. I'm a 1% now.

PR'd my 5 k

My dream of being part of MTT. 10K

I've stepped out of my comfort zone a lot this year. I never imagined I could run a marathon and not be in the best physical shape. I proved my misconceptions wrong. I never would have went to a big city solo before to meet up with people I never knew, but I did and I'm so glad I stepped out my comfort zone!
Chi-town hotties

Don't judge you know you're jealous of my Pedro look...

Left -2012 Right 2013
I transformed. I proved myself and any haters or doubters wrong. You don't have to be a size 2 to rock the crap out of a marathon. You need to have drive and determination. You don't have to hate your size. You can dislike it but only you have the ability to change it. Nobody's going to do it for you. I'm not perfect, and I'm still on my journey. I hope everyday that I can inspire someone else, that is doubting that they can do it. I hope that I can spread positivity and ignore the negative. There is enough hate and self doubt in this world and I have the power to raise people up vs dragging them down.

2013 was just dress rehersal....make 2014 your best year ever!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Link-up - Festive Favorites

Crafty Healthy Mommy

Just another link-up. Sorry their not combined but well I'm rushing and didn't want to miss the fun!

Favorite Christmas song.  Christmas Canon and Christmas Eve in Sarajevo- Trans Siberian Orchestra and O holy Night ~ Jessica Simpson (she drives me crazy when she sings, but I do love her voice) Sorry I can't just pick one.

Christmas song you can't stand. ~ 12 days of Christmas...lord that is a long-A song

Favorite holiday movie ~ Elf, The Grinch (Jim Carey), Christmas Vacation

Real or artificial tree ~Um fake. I have a black thumb, if I got a real one it would be a Charlie Brown tree the second day.

White or colored lights ~ White

All matching ornaments or more random personal ornaments~ Always random personal one, maybe when I'm 60 I'll have one that is perfect but I like my imperfect mis-match tree:)

Favorite ornament ~ Ahhh..I have to many that I love, maybe my rocking horse I received when I was born

Angel or star tree-topper~Star

Does Santa wrap presents or leave them unwrapped~Santa has his own special wrapping paper naturally.

Favorite childhood memory~ Making Christmas cookies and hanging out with family.

Coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog~ Hot chocolate all the way.

Christmas morning at home or do you travel~At home with the in-laws and my dad and his girlfriend. They watch the kids open their presents and then we eat breakfast.

Traditional holiday meal or something unconventional~ it's at my in-laws at night so very unconventional. My MIL likes to make gourmetish things

Personalized photo Christmas cards, store bought cards, e-cards, or "ain't nobody got time for that~  LOL, I usually make all our cards by hand. This year well time is slipping away so we'll see what I end up with.

Linking Up With the Queen and Prince...


1. The Best Christmas....I don't have a best Christmas because I love Christmas in general. The lights, the season of giving and I love to give. Each and every Christmas has been great in it's on way:) (Sorry nothing magical, no proposals, or babies being born at midnight, nothing life shattering.)
2. The worst Christmas I had...it wasn't the worst but it was not fun. The Christmas that our family car got stuck in the driveway in a huge pile of snow and we had to push it out. So imagine here we are all dressed in our holiday best running late to get to my Grandma's that is an hour away, and we're pushing this heavy boat of a car to get it through this pile of snow. After 1o min which really felt like 4 hours we get the car free only for me to face plant it in the snow and now I'm completely covered in snow, and no time to change. So we drive an hour with me soaking wet. Yeah not great memories there. 
3. That one gift that made me scratch my head and say, "Hmmmm" was...probably this ginormous stuffed dog that I got when I was 15 from my uncle. Yeah that's a cool thing to tell the kids at school so what did you get for Christmas...oh a giant stuffed dog.
4. One year I.... I woke up and went to sneak out to start breakfast. It was the perfect morning. A light dusting of snow outside, still dark enough that the Christmas tree lights let off a small glow, just a nice peaceful morning. I was so excited to warm up some cocoa and just sit by the tree and be thankful. I had warmed up the cocoa and was just heading to the living room and then I hear BOO. Well I just screamed at the top of my lungs, cocoa went flying and needless to say the whole house woke up. Here my little guy thought it would be funny to scare mommy. Geesh....
5. I think the worst gift to give is....I have no idea because I always give the best gifts. LOL
6. At Christmastime I typically....Run around like a mad person trying to everything done.
7. Typically, family Christmas....starts Christmas eve at my mom's. We all get together in our pj's exchange gifts, eat way to much and play games. Christmas morning, my in-laws and my dad and his girlfriend come over to watch the kids open their gifts from santa and have breakfast. They leave and then at night we have Christmas at my in-laws. We typically eat to much and play games as well as the wonderful White Santa exchange. The Saturday after Christmas is spent at my dad's. We again stuff ourselves exchange presents and watch a movie that we all fall asleep to with the exception of my dad's girlfriend and the kids.
8. If I could change one thing about the Holiday season....I would make it only about being with the ones you love.  Even though I love to give gifts, it has gotten out of control.  I would much rather forgo the gifts and watch the waves crash in on some beach.  Or...have breakfast with Mickey, at Disney World!
9. It is so hard to buy for....my in-laws, my dad...in truth you get older and you just buy what you want. I hate to give gift cards because really let's just exchange money. Ughhh, but what do you get for the people that have everything they want?
10. My favorite Christmas tradition is...making cookies with the kids, taking them on our HM polor express, spending time with all the family that we only see at Christmas time. 
11. Santa, baby, bring me a ....younger body that can handle all this running. To say that I should age gracefully is a joke. I'm going to be 27 forever (I'm 34) My hips hurt, my knees hurt, and these big babies I had did a number to my torso from my chest to my stomach. So I want a mommy make-over. That's not too much to ask is it?!
That's all I got peeps. Link-up it's fun!

Monday, December 9, 2013

What If Christmas, Perhaps Means A Little Bit More


 “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags. 
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. 

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. 
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
So this little topic has been spinning around in my head for a couple days.  I think it was after I heard the wants of some kids and the long lengthy Christmas lists to Santa that have been posted on FB that I felt so inclined to write about it.
I thought about it and I can't even imagine dealing with that. I can't imagine having children that have a list longer than their arm of "things" they want. Now, don't get me wrong we all "want" things.
It's a good thing to want things.  Wanting things and working to get them instills the value of hard work. Too many children these days get whatever their hearts desire, and America wonders why our youth don't want to work, feel entitled, and live at home till their 30.
When I was younger we were poor. No, I'm not just saying that for sympathy, and we had the necessities most of the time. A home, clean clothes, food, but we didn't have the extras or extravagance that has come with growing up in America. We didn't go on vacations, we didn't have internet, we didn't have new clothes, and sometimes we didn't have a phone. 
We had a car that would start sometimes and was covered in rust. I even remember a classmate seeing our vehicle and saying "Is that your car?"
                                                  "yeah", I replied why.
                                                 "Why don't you just get a new one?"
                                                 "Umm...because that costs money."
Money that we didn't have. The reason for the lack of funds is for another post all together. We understood at a very young age that you don't always get what you want, and to be thankful for what we did have, and to work hard for what you want.
My husband and I have instilled that in our children as well. We aren't strapped for cash (like when I was younger) but we aren't rich either. We are like every other middle-class family with the following exceptions: we don't have cable, we don't have gaming systems, we don't shower our children with gifts, toys or fancy vacations. We do go on vacations but nothing fancy.
We teach them that their are many children and families that are struggling to make it, that their are little kids out there that don't get everything they want. We teach them to be thankful and if there's something they really want, to work for it.
We teach them that being with family and friends during the holidays and throughout the year is the best present ever, because there are many kids that don't even have that.
So at Christmas time when they write out a list to Santa it's not a mile long, and we remind them that they might not get everything on their list. We also want to instill that they need to give to others so  they pick out a present from the store and we donate it to Freedom house (a family shelter) for a family in need. We spend time making memories with them. We take them on the golden ticket tour to see the neighborhood lights, we watch Christmas movies, we decorate cookies, and every Sunday night is family night.
Yes, my children do get presents at Christmas, probably many more than they need. We usually pick one big present that they've talked about for the past year and then some smaller ones. We don't go crazy and they are usually grateful for what they receive.
Now again I'm not saying this to be all "oh look at me, I'm the perfect parent.", because I'm not. I'm far from it.
 I know how it feels to want to give your child everything they want because the heartbreak in those eyes is a horrible feeling for a parent, and their have been times that it has happened.  I would love to give my child everything they want but I also realize that it is my responsibility as their parent to teach them what they need to know to go out into this world and be the best person they can be.
So this Christmas maybe re-evaluate what it's really all about. Family, memories, love, caring and sharing, and giving.

What if Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more.

Friday, December 6, 2013

No Rest!!

Wohoooo for Friday!!! I'm so glad it's finally here.
This momma has been busy every night of the week, while resting a bum hip.

I went to the chrio on Monday and lordy these hips that don't lie were outta whack once again. Ahhh. I just hate it. So I took off all week running which has been driving me insane, but good things come to those that wait. Right ?!?!?

I'm kind of glad I couldn't go out this week because this is what the northwest is dealing with
Brrr...that's cold

Well cold or not come Monday it's on.

Last night we had a work party to go to. Good food, some vino and mostly good conversation.

The weekend plans include hair apt, work, kids party and maybe some time with my home girl.

So like the title said no rest. I'll rest when the holidays are over. That's all she wrote!

What are your weekend plans? Running in this cold?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Day and Hip Pain

Well Hello....Monday...
Who else here would love to crawl back in bed and sleep like Rip Van Winkle? Maybe we could just have one more day off. I sure would like one.
I'm not sure if it's chaos at your Turkey Day get togethers, but here at my casa it is not a day off.

I started off Turkey day with a wonderful 5 miler Turkey Trot.
I felt ok about this race. A-why can't it either be a 5k or a 10k what's with this random 5 mile crap.
I ran it last year and I wanted to beat my time. Now normally I could care less about my time but I knew last year I didn't run my best so this year I wanted to give it my all.

Pic on left 2012; pic on right 2013.
Wow amazing how much has changed in a year. Last year at this time I had been running and had lost some weight but I hadn't been doing the mileage that I've done this past year. Oh and look at that it looks like I gave away some of my chins from last year.
I felt good at the end of this race. I stayed at a solid 11:25 min mile. Hey that's fast for me. My friend that I ran with stuck with me or was right behind me. Last year she beat me. My time last year was 1:02. This year I beat her by a whole 2 min and my time was 56:18. Wohoo!!!
I did however have a left hip twinge when I was done running.
I ventured home and started getting everything ready for feast #1. Turkey, potatoes, pies, you name it. Our guests arrived at 5 and they all stuffed their faces. I on the other hand was in severe pain. I'm not sure if I pulled a muscle or tore one, or maybe it's because I now have inserts and my body is pissed that I didn't wear them running. Either way I was not a happy camper and nothing was cutting the pain. I iced my hip like it was my job and felt a little bit better Friday but still pain.
Friday I took it easy. No black Friday deals for me. I was content with shopping from my computer.
Saturday I was suppose to run but decided to skip it since I could barely walk. I also had to get ready for feast #2.
Again with the face stuffing and me cleaning up everything.
Onto Sunday are you following me? I had two family photo shoots. One was a re-do since when we tried to take them the Sunday before it was like 15 degrees outside. I was pleasantly pleased that they were done quickly. The second one went fast too. Yes just the way I like them.

Photo Shoot Site for Sunday
I love Lambeau for pictures. Although, the lighting can be wonkey it's warm and you don't have to do the typical "Packer" themed pictures. A perfect spot for indoor pictures, and since  we played and lost horribly on Thanksgiving there really wasn't any crowds as there can be when we have a home game.
The rest of the day was spent trying to clean up from the feasts and getting ready for Monday. School work needed to be done and baths needed to be given. My gal pal sent me a text and invited me to a movie and I was totally down since I'd been stuck with the family (whom I love), but momma needs time to herself too. We went to see Catching Fire. Holy crap, and now I have to wait a whole another year to see the next one. Ekkkkkk....
This week is full once again. I'm skipping running in favor of healing. I have a photo shoot on Tuesday and Wednesday, a Christmas party on Thursday. I have a hair apt bright and early on Saturday morning and then get to go and set-up yet more computer stuff at the shop. Oh and lets throw in a kids party on Sunday. Gaaaaaaa....
How was your Turkey Day? Any good shopping deals? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Breaking It Down, Confession Time


"I'm So Fat" 
"She's So Ugly"
"I Hate My Hips"
"She's So In To Herself"
"Attention Whore"
"OMG She's SOOO Big"

Do any of those sound familiar?  Anybody.....
Those words or comments are what I read on the daily. The hateful remarks that people spurt about themselves and others. It got me to thinking. Why can't we just build each other up. Why can't we say hey girl you look fabulous, hey girl you really killed it on that run, hey girl I'm so inspired about your accomplishment.
Why can't we believe what we're told!

I'll tell you why......Women tear each other apart. Men tear women down. Media tears women down. We just honestly can't catch a break. We'd rather believe the negative than focus on the positive.
If we have really bad self esteem we'd rather put someone else down than raise them up.

Not to many years ago, although as I type this I realize it was many years ago. 6 years ago, I hung out with some hateful bitches. (sorry for the cussing but it's the truth).  They would rip people down like no bodies business, and I got sucked into it. I was constantly ripping people apart constantly. They would immediately pass judgement on a person when they first saw/met them and I was no different.  I noticed I was becoming more and more negative about life and I didn't like who I was. I was so focused on peoples outer appearance that I didn't even give them a chance.

Now it doesn't help that as women we are constantly told to lose weight and also the airbrushed model of what perfection looks like doesn't help. Thank you Victoria's Secret for showing us how we "should" look in undies.

Thank you dove for using real models.
You know what else doesn't help? Genetics. I'm not talking about genetics of being heavy, fluffy, big girl status. I'm talking about how our mothers, grandmothers, fathers, etc viewed weight.
Truth be told every time I talk to my mother I hear a negative comment about her "big belly", or a negative comment from my grandmother about how "she needs to lose weight". My father even said once "oh you stopped eating the ding dongs and hoho's" when I had lost weight, but all that's for another post. My point is this negative body talk is what we pass on to our children, and the vicious cycle continues.
One day a light bulb went off in my head, I was doing this negative, judgemental behavior because I was unhappy with my appearance. Even when I weighed 135 lbs back in the day, I was unhappy with myself. I always wanted to be skinnier, have perkier boobs, a flatter stomach, the list goes on.
Truth is I would never find that perfect thing I was looking for because I didn't want to work for it and I had such a negative image of what healthy is I wouldn't know it if it slammed me in the face.
I never believed compliments. I think it's the little voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough. Maybe it was the abusive situations I've went through in my life, maybe it was having a mom and sister that were tiny and I was the outcast "fat" girl. Maybe it was being so different from the others I went to school with that constantly made fun of me for being "different". Maybe it was because I was never told I was pretty.
This is something I didn't want to cycle down to my daughter. I want her to know how beautiful she is inside and outside. I want her to have confidence.
First things first....I realized that superficial friendships needed to say "adios"!
I needed to focus more on positive people in my life that gave as much as I'd give.
I needed to practice what I preach.
I needed to realize that while I may not be perfect I really needed to be happy with who I am each and every day.
I needed to start believing those compliments that I received as well.
I needed to be a good role model for my children of what fit and healthy were.

I started running. I made sure to cultivate the positive friendships I had, and to be an advocate for positive living. I read an inspirational quote every day, and I share it with my FB peeps. I've learned to take compliments (this is super hard yet but I'm a work in progress). I don't let the negative committee in my head get "air time". I have learned through this that I need to pay it forward. I try to compliment those that are working on goals. I try to be a ray of light vs a cloud of doom.
I try to raise others up instead of breaking them down. I don't allow the word fat in my house. Mommy has lost weight because she wants to be healthy for her kiddos.

I try to not take myself so seriously. I'm a goofball at heart. I will break out into a dance mid shopping, running, at dinner. It's part of what makes me me! I don't let the focus of my life be the number on the scale. I try to look at how far I've come vs how far I have to go. I try everyday to be a better person than I was. I've broken down the negative and filled my life with more positivity.

You know what I am more happy these days. While I do look forward to the weekends when I can relax a bit, I truly enjoy everyday.

                                               Be done with the rest.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sickness, Half Marathons


Well, since I'm sick and super busy STILL!!!

I have no time for this sickness crap. I think I can pencil it in when February comes around.
I'm sure my friends are sick of hearing me complain. Truth is I don't "do" sick very well.
When you're sick you're suppose to lay around and rest. Well in my life that isn't an option, unless I'm hospitalized. I stay at home with my kiddos so if I'm sick I'm still at home with my kiddos. I can't sleep and rest when their jumping on me. They just don't get that mommy's tired and sick.
So I've been battling like a champ.
This has been my saving grace!!
I think I should get a medal for my awesomeness. Bad news no running in a week.
In a moment of sickness I registered for my 3rd half marathon.
Ok, so I have a love/hate relationship with this half. It was my first one I've ever done.
It made me give up on running and then I did it again and in epic failure I forgot my inhaler and came back gasping for air. This time I want it to be great and I will remember the damn inhaler and rock the crap out of it. Only 6 mths away!!
So with that I'm braving the cold tonight and kicking this cold's butt! I'm sick of being sick...
I know super exciting stuff on going here (do you hear the sarcasm in my voice).
How are you this week? Any cold? Any fun races?

Friday, November 15, 2013


Linking up never felt so good!!!
Why do I love Fridays maybe because I don't have to think about something to write. I'm taking the easy route and linking up.
{ONE} Another busy weekend and all I want to do is lay around. Getting my run on in the am, then mini's hair-cuts on Saturday, a head shot shoot, and 3 shoots on Sunday.
Lazy - being-lazy Photo
{TWO} So I'm getting yelled at (just kidding Holly) for not updating my blog more. I'm working on it. Momma has just been super busy. Between a full-time job, a part-time job, 3 kids, 1 husband, and running to keep my mileage up. I'll do better.
{THREE} Getting ready for the holidays makes me happy. I love spending time with my family and who doesn't like getting paid for a day off.
Nov 2012
{FOUR} Spending time with friends, even for just a couple hours.
woah...batman pardon the crazy hair.
{FIVE} Monsters University...yes I love kids movies. Thank you for giving me a couple minutes to breathe while the munchkins were enjoying their movie time.
That's a wrap...till next time!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

So I've been super busy here at casa de Nicki. I've had many photo sessions, and of course still watching the minis, on top of getting an internet upgrade that has taken forever. I took last week off and just wanted to live life in the moment and not be strapped to my computer. So I'm sorry if you missed me but I'm back and my head is a spinning with stuff.

Weekend of Nov 1-3
Way back in July there was a suggested meet up in Chicago, that was scheduled to happen Nov 1-3. There were some of my fav blogger girls going, and my IG goddesses, but I didn't want to go solo. So I asked one of my peeps if they wanted to go. We booked the hotel and the plan was set. Well you know life happens and my peep wasn't able to make it. Boo hooo:(  But being who I am I still went anyways.

Let me give you some back story, had this meet up happened last year I would have canceled too. I am not a person that just goes on a trip by myself. I like to have company while I travel, but I said I was going. I had the hotel and worst case scenario I would just hang out in the room and catch up on some shows.

I had to work Friday so after I was done I headed out to Chicago. I was scheduled to be there approx. 7:40 pm and then would check into the hotel and meet up with the girls for dinner.
All was going according to plan. I was rockn' it to some awesome jams, because the babies weren't along so I could break my ear drums out with the loud music. I was drinking my soda to get some energy. I made it to Racine and then all of sudden stand still.....ughhh. Anyone that knows me personally knows I hate traffic. I hate wasting time. So about 20 mins later....tick tock tick tock...traffic was moving again. Wooohooo. Let's get this party started!!! Finally I pass the border and about and hour away and bam doesn't my GPS take me on the scenic tour. Lord almighty I just wanted to get there. I get a text from Wendy asking where I am....

Yeah. I was lost...I'm not going to lie I was having a slight panic attack. Big city, lost and I think I was in the ghetto...eekkkk. All I know is I was driving and all the signs were not in English anymore.
I told Gertie to "efff off" after she yelled at me for turning the wrong way. Gertie is my GPS. What!?!?you don't have a name for your GPS. I finally arrived only an hour after the fact. I trudged through construction back-ups and getting lost. I checked in and took a deep breath, freshened up because of the cold sweats I was having during my "lost in IL time", and headed to the restaurant. All the girls were just so awesome. It was hard to talk during dinner because of the seating but we made it work. A couple girls went back to the hotel because they were tired and not feeling so hot. Poor girlies. I stayed back with Wendy and Amanda and another girl Gloria met up with us. Well the second wind kicked in...wohooo...and some of this happened...

(WTH is all I can say about this last picture)
After a little more drinking, some dancing, some yummy pizza we called it a night at 4am. Yep, 4am. Can you say party girl.
I was up bright and early Saturday and ready to hang out with the other ladies.  We made our way to the "bean". If you're not familiar with Chi-town than you don't know about this awesome mirrored kidney bean thing. There's a bunch of artsy-fartsy statues and sculptures. It's cool to walk around and check it all out.

After some shopping and eating, we headed to Wendy's to meet up with some other peeps, and have some fun.

                                     The Whole Gang

Why yes I am wearing a scarf on my head. Just one of the many looks I sported that night.

We all had a blast. I was so excited to meet so many wonderful ladies, and build some amazing friendships.

The moral of the story.....don't be afraid to be yourself, let loose, be crazy, wear a pair of mustache glasses, or doodlebops on your head. Have some fun. Life is to short to watch it pass you by.

How have you stepped out of your comfort zone?