Making new traditions

Christmas has always been a favorite time of the year for me. Starting with a wonderful, family-filled Thanksgiving to all the hype and excitement leading up to Santa coming. This year however the holiday season seems so much more magical and exciting.

I know Liam is one of the main reasons I’m so excited and in the holiday spirit this year. He is starting to understand and learn more and I’m so excited for him to see what Santa brought him!

With all this holiday spirit and with our new and growing family we are making new holiday traditions. We seem to add something new every year and I am excited to see what all our traditions will end up being.

For thanksgiving Liam and I watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in the morning. Owen “watched” too and so did Joe when he got home from hunting.


We went and got our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We always get a real tree. We go out, cut it down, and put it up in the house. Liam thought it was so neat bringing a tree into the house. We have to enjoy a cup of apple cider and a candy cane too.

We also went to a new tradition in our town called Hometown Holidays. This included a parade, s’mores, hot chocolate, and fireworks! It was a lot of fun and we plan to go every year.

We have gone to visit Santa every year since Liam has been born. We are trying to find a Santa that we visit every year but so far we have gone to a different Santa every year. (Any suggestions on the best Santa??)


Now just last week we went for a drive to see some of the pretty Christmas lights in town. Liam kept saying “I’m so excited” as we talked about going after dinner. He loved all the lights (and so did Mom haha).


We had our 3rd (or 4th?) annual cookie bake at my moms. So many cookies were made and enjoyed throughout the day.

My parents also had their first annual cousin sleepover with Christmas jammies and all!


I am planning to make some Santa pancakes Christmas morning once we all wake up and open our stockings. We will probably open presents too and then eat breakfast. Liam will be too excited to wait I’m sure.

It is so fun continuing with family traditions and discovering new traditions. What are some of your family traditions during the holiday season? 



Thankful for my health!

I am so very thankful for my health and my new found healthy lifestyle. So I thought now would be a good time to share about my health journey. I am so thankful for all the support and changes I have been able to make in these last few months and those who have been there to motivate me. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication and definitely not always perfect days but I’m committed to always doing my best.


Some results:

Since August I have lost over 10 lbs bringing me below my pre-pregnancy weight. This is a huge accomplishment for me and honestly I can’t remember a time other than high school that I have weighed what I do (disclaimer: I did not weigh myself at all in high school or college). I know weight isn’t everything but this is a big deal for me.

I have also lost inches on my waist, hips, and chest. I am down 1-2 pants sizes which again is a huge accomplishment for me.

I feel amazing and I actually feel healthy. I have never felt this healthy before. I’ve tried all kinds of things for my health but right now I feel amazing, and healthy, and strong, and confident. My energy level is up, my happiness is up, and my mood is up (win-win-win!).

How I got here:

I have so many things that have contributed to my new healthy lifestyle and I am thankful for all of them.

Young living essential oils: I love essential oils and I am so thankful for them because they have helped me get off of my allergy medications. I use them for pretty much everything!

Isagenix: This is a new part of my routine. I started this summer and really got committed more in September/October-ish. I seriously love the products and the shakes. The flavor of the shakes is amazing and I honestly love my morning shake. Also the support group that I am involved in with Isagenix is amazing with recipes and encouragement. I could seriously go on and on about the products but long story short: I LOVE ISAGENIX!



Exercise/Zumba: I am so thankful to be able to teach Zumba at Snap Fitness. I’m also thankful to be able to use the gym at my work over my lunch break. Both have allowed me to stay physically fit and active. I love being able to get 1-2 workouts in almost 7 days a week. It helps me in so many ways!


Healthy eating: Joe and I have really changed the way we look at food after watching the documentary Fed Up (highly recommended). We have chosen to eat in more and make healthy meals. We also make sure we have healthy snack options. This has made a huge difference for both of us.


I am so thankful for all of the above that have helped me get to where I am. I am also thankful for the people who have been so supportive of me during this time. Especially Joe who has always been encouraging and supportive of the choices I make for my health. I am also thankful to my close group of friends who are so supportive. I am thankful to my coworker/boss/friend Jenna who has been supportive of my health goals, helps me with Isagenix, and exercises with me at work. Even though Liam doesn’t know it I am also so thankful for him for opening my eyes to see that I want to lead by example for him.

I truly am so motivated and inspired to be a better version of myself every day. I hope that people find this helpful or inspiring but mostly I just wanted to share what has been working for me.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

St Patrick’s day workout

Happy St Patrick’s day! I decided to search for a St Patrick’s day workout on Pinterest to do during Liam’s morning nap and found this one:


Which I did while listening to this:


I did 7 sets of the workout above and it took me about 20-25 minutes and definitely got my heart rate up. Plus the St Patrick’s day Pandora station really got me in the holiday spirit.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe St Patrick’s day!


I have been a certified Zumba instructor since January of 2014. Also in January of 2014 I got hired at a local non-profit community center where I live. I started teaching only one class a week and now teach 2 classes a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Zumba Fitness

I truly love teaching Zumba! Its a high energy and fun way to get a workout. If you have never tried Zumba I would encourage you to do so if it is a workout that is appropriate for you. Honestly you have to try Zumba 3-5 times with the same instructor to get a feel for how they teach and to start catching on to the routines. Once you have gone several times you will really start to enjoy the class and have fun (not to say your first class isn’t a blast…it just can get confusing)!

It’s all about shaking it and just moving your body. Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right, just make sure you are having a good time. Zumba is meant to be a big dance party!