This past Spring Break, we sprung a surprise on Nikk.


But let me backup for a moment....

We decided to go to Disney, kind of on a whim. My husband had always been hesitant about Disney because of the cost, so it rarely came up in vacation conversation. But somehow, it came up and literally my husband and I were saying, "Let's do it!" (of course, the husband had a caveat that this will be a one-time trip and we probably won't ever go back... remember he said that)

Our first trip to Disney World consisted of our me, my husband and son (naturally), my Mom & Dad and my Father-In-Law. But the more the merrier right? So we planned the trip along with our close family friends who have a son the same age as Nikk, and so they had a set of Grandparents to come along.

Considering the large group we were planning to go with, it really went smoothly.

My friend and I had an absolute blast planning everything from the drive down, to the Fast Pass selection to dinner ideas. I don't know, I love planning these types of things. It's exhilarating to see a plan come together.

So, the way our trip worked was that we left on a Saturday, just around noon. We drove from Greenville, SC to Jacksonville, FL. We stayed at the Hampton Inn - Airport in Jacksonville that night, which was a nice layover spot for us. The next morning we promptly checked out and made our way to Disney World. Of course, upon getting there we surprised the kiddo.

We stayed checked into Disney's All Star Sports Resort that Sunday afternoon and got settled into our room and hung out by the pool and got acquainted with the resort that evening. Starting that Monday, through Friday night - we partied hardy Disney style. I have so much that I could talk about with each Disney Park that I honestly think I could dedicate a post or 2 to each one. Then that Saturday morning we checked out, and drove home.

Fast forward about 4 months (to today)....

I'm about to book our next trip to Disney World again. My husband came back from our vacation totally pumped about Disney and was probably more gung-ho about booking again from the minute we stepped back into our house.


So.. here we are again... we're going to Disney!!


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Last Wednesday night was the Spartanburg 2nd's New Beginnings for our Young Women. New Beginnings is a wonderful way to start the year (I know, it's March), and welcome any new Young Women that may be entering the program this year.

This year's theme for Young Women is Mutual Theme is "O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day" D&C 4:2

The theme of "Embark" is really a neat one because you can encompass into so many things. Our Young Women President really found a beautiful way to use it in this year's New Beginnings and to help us with our Young Women in Excellence program that happens in November. She made all of the girls "Spiritual Passports" to use as we "Embark" upon our journey in Young Women this year. She tied the video below into the program and I think it was perfect.




Our Young Women's Second Counselor created a beautiful, big ship (like the one in the Embark logo) and the Young Women introduced the Young Women values on flags and hung them on the ship. It was a great introduction into my talk, about what a fun way to start "sailing" through Personal Progress!

Also during the night, we had three Personal Progress Recognition Awards and medallions handed out. Myself, and beautiful Young Woman who recently moved into Relief Society and her mother! I loved doing Personal Progress and frankly, I'm a little sad that I've completed it. Although, I supposed my Personal Progress journey isn't ever really over, even if I'm not recording it all in my book. However, I can say from my heart that it is a wonderful program that I would welcome any Young Women (or in my case, not so Young) to strive to finish. You will come out at the end with so much growth. Spiritually, educationally, physically. The church truly knew what they were doing when they put this program together and I'm grateful for it.
My Young Women necklace and my Medallion
I am grateful to be serving these beautiful Young Women. I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow along with them. We have a small group of girls but each one of them have touched my heart and blessed my life in ways I can't even begin to go into in this forum.

Now.. time to work on getting my Honor Bee!








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I'm just totally failing at blogging.
It's not that I don't have things to talk about.. it's just I don't have time to compile all of these thoughts and get them down.

However, I am writing in my journal much more... you know, those paper things that we used to all keep hidden under our pillow where we talked about how much we loved Bobby and couldn't live without him (spoiler alert... we lived).

I usually keep up with friends and family on Instagram and FaceBook and Twitter so I feel like my poor blog is just neglected.

I'm a bad blog-mommy.

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Happy New Year!

2014 has been a wonderful year. Here is wishing everyone a prosperous and happy 2015!

Do I have resolutions? Of course!

I resolve that in 2015 I am....

.. going to focus on my family
Not that I don't know but I sometimes feel we have so many priorities that I feel our family time becomes strained. I want to make sure my focus is on my family in all that I do.

..  working on my marriage
Marriage is work. Sometimes it's easy and other times it's not. It's been easy, but I don't want us to fall into a rut.

.. going to continue working on my health
Because I want to live.

.. going to grow
In every way possible.



So... enjoy the remaining time in 2014 (if you haven't already rang in the new year) and see you next year!

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Tonight is our annual Young Women in Excellence program where we get to recognize our wonderful young women and all the things they've accomplished this year. The Stake recently announced that they will stop doing the Young Women recognition ceremonies, which I like, because now we get to recognize our girl's in our ward and by their own leaders instead of Stake leaders. Not that it wasn't nice, but I feel like this is much more personal.

It's a special celebration tonight for myself as well, I'll be earning bookmark ribbons for personal progress along with some of the girls. Granted I'm at least 20 years older than most of them, but hey, it's never too late I suppose.

I've been involved in the Young Women program for about a year and a half. It's very time consuming and it can be really stressful sometimes. But frankly, it's totally worth it. I feel like I've managed to connect somehow with each of our girls in some way and I really like that. Each one of them is unique and it's so interesting getting to know them.

During this time I've also been actively involved in personal progress and at this rate, I'll be completing my own personal progress program by the end of the year. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be involved and to be able to participate. It really has been a blessing in so many ways.

If there were one thing that I could leave with the girls, it would be that they are loved. By me, by all the leaders, by the Bishopric, by their family and friends. But most importantly, by their Heavenly Father. 

And on another excellent note, yesterday my kid rode his bike for the first time with no training wheels. He told me now that he did that, he's a man. I told him he has to kill a bear and grow a beard before he can be a man, because until then, and even after then, he'll be my little boy.



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So every time I think about the gym, that song I'm Sexy And I Know It, pops into my head. Instantly. While I'm not a newbie to working out, I am apparently a newbie to weight lifting and body building - a big newb. But hey, we all gotta start somewhere. 
My goals?
Lose weight. Gain muscle. Get strong. Isn't that everyone's goals?
I don't really know what I'm in this for, other than I really want to be stronger than I am. I want to be more fit than I am and I want to be a better version of me (physically, because mentally, I'm just 100% awesome).

So, I might as well start this out by humiliating myself.
My stats...
I'm currently 166 lbs at 5 foot 4 inches tall. My body fat % is probably astronomical, and I plan to track that as well, I just haven't yet. 

My plan...
I have  a 12 week workout plan set up right now, to start.

MONDAY
Upper Body A
  • Bench Press                       3 X 8-12
  • Bent over Row                    3 X 8-12
  • DB Should Press               3 X 8-12
  • Lying Triceps Extension   3 X 8-12
  • Barbell or DB Curl              3 X 8-12

TUESDAY
Lower Body A
  • Squat                           3 X 8-12
  • Dead lift                       3 X 8-12
  • Leg Extension            3 X 8-12
  • Leg Curl                      3 X 8-12
  • StandingCalf Raise  3 X 8-12
ABS
  • Lying
    Leg Raise                  3 X 10-15
  • Crunches                   3 X 10-15

THURSDAY
Upper Body B
  • Dips                                       3 X 8-12
  • Pull ups                                 3 X 8-12
  • DB Side Lateral                   3 X 8-12
  • Tricep Cable Pressdown  3 X 8-12 
  • Cable Curl                          3 X 8-12 

FRIDAY
Lower Body B    
  • Deadlift                              3 X 8-12
  • Leg Press                         3 X 8-12
  • Lunges                              3 X 8-12
  • Seated Calf Raise           3 X 8-12
  • DB Shrugs                        3 X 8-12
ABS
  • Incline Crunch              3 X 10-15
  • BackExtension             3 X 10-15 


Monday went as planned, the only problem was I couldn't get a bench to do my Bench Presses at, so I grabbed a free bench by the dumbbells and did dumbbell presses.
My weight on Monday or upper body was really just 10 lbs, except for my barbell curl, I did 20lbs. I wanted to see where I was at. I need to really up my weight on the bent over rows to 20 or 30 lbs.
Tuesday I worked out at home with my favorite coach, my husband. We subbed Walking Lunges for the Leg Extensions and Leg Curls - and frankly after that I was done
My weight on Tuesday for lower body was basically 65lbs for everything except for the walking lunges (10lbs) and calf raises (25lbs).
So this morning I went on the bodybuilding.com forums and were reading some posts about the average novice weight for dead lifts....  135lbs. WHAT?

Ok, I have SO much work to do. 

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Change

7.14.2014 |

I don't typically shy away from change. In fact, growing up in the military has taught me to deal pretty well with change and in my career I've found change to be a good thing.

So about a year ago I was called into the Young Women's presidency in our ward at church. I was the 2nd Counselor and I served with some really fun and amazing women. It's probably been one of the most rewarding callings I've ever had (out of the whole 2 of them I've held). Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work and it was incredibly time consuming but completely worth it.

This was my first time in any type of presidency role so I was learning a lot new things, like how presidencies worked, how Young Women worked, how to teach lessons, how to plan for multiple events at one time among a lot of other things - administratively speaking.

It also helped me grow tremendously spiritually. As I got to know more and more about these wonderful Young Women that I was serving, it did two important things. It reminded me of how much I needed when I was a teen and it gave me hope that I could help maybe even one girl through a struggle. And secondly, it made me pray, a lot. I prayed for these girls and for our presidency so often, just begging to know how we could serve them in the way they needed. I've never prayed so much in my entire life.


So, a few weeks ago, our presidency was released because our Young Women's President moved out west. Although I knew that the standard protocol was that when the President leaves, you have to replace the
entire presidency, it was still such an awful thought. I loved all the women I was serving with. Then the fear came to mind, what if I didn't get called back into Young Women? So the day came where I met with one of the Bishopric members and he told me that I was being released from Young Women, just as I knew I would be, and then he mentions that they would like to offer another calling to me. So the first thing that starts happening in my head is I start rattling through all the different places I could be called, and I start sweating and I smile and I try not to look terrified. And then he asks if I would be interested in being the 1st Counselor for the Young Women's program! And I immediately said "yes" and immediately my fear was replaced with questions. Who would be the President? Who would be the 2nd Counselor?

My questions were answered a little bit later in Sacrament meeting when we were all announced. And as soon as I found out who the new President and 2nd Counselor were, I was immediately thrilled, and completely intimidated, but excited! And then I was sad as well, I knew this was change. But change happens. And I'm rolling with it.

So here I am, a few weeks into our new Presidency and honestly, I feel like it works so well. It's different and that's not a bad thing.. it's just different. I like how we were before and I like how we are now. But the one thing that isn't different are the girls. And that's what I love.

I'm so grateful to be able to serve in my Church. I'm so grateful for the people who are here mentoring me and teaching me so much. I love the girls that I serve, they are amazing. I see their different personalities and how alike and different they are and I love them each for being exactly who they are. I love the ones that are there every Sunday - our rocks. I love the ones who straggle and struggle - because I know their fight. I just pray that I'm doing good work for them.

I love this journey.



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