Monday, June 30, 2014

Extra Extra!!

Once upon a time there was a young teenage girl from the South side of Chicago who decided to take an unconventional route for her high school choice. I chose to go to Nazareth Academy in La Grange (which was about 10 miles from my house at the time). I chose that school because I only knew a small select few people from my neighborhood that went there, it was Catholic and Co-ed, and I wanted to get as far away from the people I didn't like in my neighborhood as possible. Funny, but true. The attitude you have when you're 13 and 14 is quite embarrassing when you look back at things. On my way to school everyday I would love the drive down Ogden and sometimes through the side streets of La Grange and La Grange Park. Everything was so clean and cute, there were a bunch of neat places to grab a bite to eat, and everyone had a smile on their face as they went about their daily life. I enjoyed ditching school (once in a GREAT while, shhh) and heading over to the Starbucks in Downtown La Grange to grab a Caramel Frappuccino! During my time at Naz, I met so many wonderful people with great attitudes (although most of the time we were bratty and complaining teenagers), those who loved the dedication of being an athlete, and many families who were the opposite of mine. Nazareth gave me a real chance at a future, other than being a close-minded neighborhood girl with a puss-face on at all times (that was me for a small part of my life, true story). Growing up in my teens with girls from the surrounding areas of the Western Suburbs really gave me confidence to challenge myself to be better, it also let me know that being a part of a flourishing community where you give back and form strong bonds is possible. So ever since then, I have had a goal to live near my Alma Mater.

Fast forward to when I was around 18 years old and I discovered the clubs and bars in Downtown Chicago, and all of that changed. I was only concerned with having as much fun as possible, being as rebellious as possible, and doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. I also met some very successful people who lived in high rises and I KNEW that one day I would live downtown with all the commotion! 

{Fast forward again to today and I have officially lived in the city for 6 years (goal accomplished) and we as a FAMILY are now moving to the La Grange area next month (goal accomplished!).}

In the 7 years my husband and I have been together and the 6 years we have lived together in the city, we have had a baby, got engaged, got married, took so many vacations, remodeled our condo, and experienced all the fruits this beautiful city of Chicago has to offer. We have created a beautiful life together here, so it's sad to say good bye to this place that we call home. But I know the future is incredibly bright for us. 

Of course with any sort of change comes all sorts of emotions. I don't think I've had an actual good nights sleep in about a month. I've been tossing and turning with excitement and nervousness and a touch of anxiety. My main goal is to ensure the happiness of my family. I am so glad to finally give my son a yard! I'm so glad that we will now all have doors on our bedrooms and that I will no longer have to watch the TV on volume 6 when my son goes to sleep. I can't wait to be able to have my family and friends over for a BBQ, or a football game, or whatever. All of those moments that make a house a home, I truly am so excited for. I'm so thankful that I am also still blessed with the opportunity to stay home and take care of my family and hopefully have another baby sometime in the near future. But for now I will stick to buying some brand new furniture and getting to know our new neighborhood. 

I am so excited for this new journey in our lives and can't wait to breathe in all of that fresh air!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living My Life(style)

So, since my lifestyle change that began in January, a lot of exciting things have been happening. First, I find that when you're happy and are filled with positive energy that you radiate that. Once you radiate that, that's what you're putting into the universe and what you put out you get back. For one, within my family circle we have received many blessings this year and truthfully we have fought tooth and nail for all of it, and finally things are coming full circle. Of course, life has been much busier with my busy bee 2 and a half year old now that the weather is warmer; but trust me , I'm NOT complaining! I've been getting much more creative with dinners and have been spending a lot of time tying up some loose ends on our home front, so I've been consumed with commotion, good commotion. My husband and I are leaving Friday for Vegas and I am so excited! We went in October to celebrate our wedding anniversary and it was fabulous as always. However, at that time I felt like a busted can of biscuits, EXTRA BUTTERY! See, my body is interesting in the fact that I am tall (5'7") but I am muscular from playing competitive sports throughout my adolescence and now with heavy lifting, I carry a decent amount of muscle. Well, even when I gain weight I don't look too much like it because my weight is pretty much evenly distributed. So, sometimes it's hard for people to see the changes, unless I show them before and afters. However, I am going to Vegas 15 pounds lighter than the last time! Good thing because it will be in the 100's weather wise and I am going to be wearing very little clothing to keep cool. And it's not about the weight per se, it's about how comfortable I am. I have put a lot of effort into my current physique and I feel strong and happy. So, with that I am confident, and when you are confident you are able to just have a better time all around and enjoy the people you are with; rather than fiddling with your bathing suit, or trying to cover your muffin top.

Just the other day I was in the gym and dealing with some lower back pain (felt more like nerve pain than anything) and I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't feeling like myself and to top it off I was bloated and crabby. So, I did what I could and then I stretched the rest of the time. I saw a regular at the gym starting to walk over to me so I took off my headphones. He said, "I have seen your transformation over the past couple of months and I see how hard you workout and I just wanted you to know that you look wonderful. And you have a little one, right? I would never know it. You inspire me." <<<<<Enter heart pounding happiness>>>>>> Wow, I was so overwhelmed I couldn't stop smiling and said thank you probably one too many times. But, truthfully, that's what it's about, it's about showing up even on your worst days and trusting the process. Just when I was feeling like a busted can of old biscuits, I was reminded to not give up. That even though I couldn't throw the heavy weights around that I have control over what I put into my body. That I could keep going despite a small set back.

My goal for the summer is to simply get out as much as I can with my family and enjoy myself. My goal is to keep enjoying my favorite summer fruits (watermelon and cantaloupe). I am going to keep striving to hit PR's in the gym and eat to fuel my body and workouts. I went for my first bike ride with my husband last weekend (I haven't rode a bike for real in probably 15 years) and it was so rejuvenating! I felt so alive and my goal is to do that with him as much as possible.