Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Monday, June 30, 2014

"TiK ToK, on the clock. But the party don't stop, no. Whoa-oh oh oh" - Kesha Rose Sebert

*Knock Knock*

Kelly: Who's there?

D2: Heeeey! It's Day Two Of Your Period! I'm here to TEAR. CRAP. UP. and PARTY!

Kelly: Day Two? Didn't we just hang out?

D2: Naw, son. That was probably my cousin PMS. People tell us we could be twins.

Kelly: Awesome. And it looks like you've brought a friend. Who is this?

D2: This is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness From Your Squat Workout! He'll be hanging around for the next day or so.

Kelly: Wow. Together you guys kind of remind me of  ... hmmm, I can't quite put my finger on it ...

D2: Back Labor?

Kelly: YES! Together you remind me exactly of Back Labor! I haven't hung out with Back Labor in over 11 years and I totally haven't missed her at all.

D2: Me and DOMS are just going to come in and have a ball here for awhile. I called Bumpy Cake Ice Cream. He'll be here in about fifteen minutes.

Kelly: Just in time for me to hook up with Yoga Pants and Twilight On DVD. This is going to be such a wild party.

D2: Totally. I call dibs on the heating pad!

If there was ever a moment I knew the Internet would never let me down, this is it. Because Friends, *that* is a Uterus* Pinata.
*Story for Free because Day Two is visiting and I have poor decision making abilities as of this moment* I have a picture of my own uterus. Like, an actual photograph. This is because I've had four c-sections and am a control freak really wanted to be involved in every aspect of my childbirth experience so when I had an emergency c-section the first time around I asked Brian to take pictures of everything. Including my uterus. It is lovely, thank you. (I'm still a bit pissed he didn't take a picture of my Fallopian tube when he got the chance during Ezra's delivery.)(But that's another story for free for another day.)

I got found out. Go ahead and judge me. I'm not who you think I am, after all.

I honestly thought I could get away with it. It would be my own private dirty secret, and no one would be any wiser. Life would go on, I would be my normal self on the outside, while inside I held tightly to the truth, lest anyone discover what a hypocrite I am.

But then Brian confronted me Saturday night.

"Kel, what is this?" he chastised gently from across the kitchen. I looked up, guilt in my heart and fear in my eyes as I prepared to suffer through this dreaded conversation.

"Honey, I ... I don't know what to say."

"Please just tell me this isn't what I think it is." I hung my head in shame. How many times had I sworn I wouldn't do it? How many times had I made fun of those who made the choice themselves? How many times had I argued against it? Didn't I have, in the very annals of Sublurban Mama, written declaration of my stance against this very thing? I quickly blurted out my defense.

"I know. I just caved to the desire for a ... a change in my life. You can understand that, right, Babe? Besides, I'm making BLT's later this week and I might die if I eat another lettuce wrap."

So hyprocrite. Many ashamed. Much full of delicious BLT on actual bread.

Yes ... yes, that is Ezekiel bread you see in my house. Yes, I paid an astronomical amount for it because BLT's. And yes, the truth will find you out, my friend. So there you have it folks. Please, keep the rude emails to a minimum. I promise I'll be less hasty with my life-stance declarations in the future. (And I'll wait at least a week before getting my "Sprouted Wheat 4 Lyfe" tattoo.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So You Think You Can ...

Summer break with more than one child

My three girlies and two of their friends are engaged in a riotous game of Charades. It is Hosanna's turn to act something out. She stands and starts contorting her body in a way that can only be described as a cross between a feral seizure and a person going through an exorcism. The guesses from the young audience begin flying.



"SOMEONE FISHING LIKE ON A RIVER WHERE THEY THROW IT?" (I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that meant fly fishing.)




This is when Hosanna, fully out of breath, pauses and indignantly says, "No guys, I'm mom dancing."

Monday, June 23, 2014

95. 155. 165. The BootKemp Sessions - June

You wanna piece of Kemper?
Find him here.

Another month and another in-person training session with Kemper. Yes, there are pictures this time. Of me. Lifting a giant tire while I pretend Elliott Hulse's camera people are filming me. They are as lovely as you can imagine. And yes, I will post them.

You're welcome.

THE homemade chocolate cake.
And Esther.
Which one is sweeter? You decide.
(One is legit louder, though. No contest.)
I woke up incredibly early Friday in anticipation of my training session that night. I drank as much water as possible to flush out my birthday feast (update - I went for the bison burger instead of the black bean)(it was meh - the black bean burger is going to be hard to top)(unless you top it with the house-made red pepper mayo, spring mix, tomato, and red onion)(*insert rimshot here*). I felt the day craaaaawwwl by* as I waited for my dad in law to come over and babysit so I could head out.

(*A mid-morning playdate with my friend Jenny totally helped. She brought her girlies over with the plan to walk to the splash park, but it was chilly and raining when they arrived so instead we broke out the playdoh because I clearly wasn't thinking about five children under the age of six using playdoh.)

Due to fear about new road closures and traffic woes, I gave myself extra time for travel and arrived at Kemper's house really early. Instead of sitting in my car and working on the grocery list like I'd planned, I had to bum rush Kemper's door because mommy bladder. In my haste to get to the bathroom I *did* take a moment to appreciate that Kemper had Rage Against the Machine playing in the gym. He totally prepared for my session.

Since I was so early I had a few minutes to meet the family. I think most of Kemper's family has read my blog when he has been the star of the show. I've "talked" with his mom via Facebook comments before, and I full on proposed to his brother, so yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm invited to Christmas this year. Or at the very least I'll be included in the family portrait.

Kemper has a great family. They are the kind of people whose home you immediately feel at home in. They all genuinely like each other. I have been blessed in my life to know a few families who have really done it right. The parents put in the time and fought every fight during those hella hard hands-on parenting years in order to raise loving, happy, successful adults who still desire a relationship with their parents and siblings.

Kemper's parents are some of those people.

Because I'm a trained musician.
I could have stayed and talked forever. His mom and dad are so encouraging, and his older brother Oscar (who is super fine and single, ladies) has a degree in music just like me. In fact, the whole family is musical - his mom sings, his dad plays bass, Oscar plays guitar, Kemper is a drummer, and his little sister plays piano. There will be a collaborative jam session in our future. (I will contribute vocals and random offbeat air drumming.)(Although? My air drumming is about 95% passion and 5% rhythm, which is definitely the proper ratio of an excellent air drummer.)

Kemper started our session with a quick chat about my strength training. I have been building a strength base and am ready to get stronger. Kemper wanted to take a few minutes to get my max lifting weights for a few lifts - bench press, squat, and deadlift - before he put together a 4-6 week individualized plan to turn me into a meathead get me some gainz.

After a warm up, I did some stretches with bands to get my shoulders ready to bench press, and then the real fun began.

I have done bench press less than five times in my whole life. Trainer Dan taught me a few weeks ago, and then Trainer Mike did them with me twice. I've never benched more than 65 pounds and that felt seriously heavy. Kemper went over proper bench press form, stressing to keep my entire body tight to support the lift. He showed me how to pull my shoulder blades together, where to place my hands on the bar, and how to breathe. He had me do the empty bar a few times, and then, in true Kemper style, he started piling on weight.

Guys? I benched 95 pounds.

Just victims of the in-house drive by
They say jump squat, you say how high low.
After bench press came SQUATTING. Kemper taught me to squat about five weeks ago. The most I have ever squatted is 115 pounds. But with a little help from Kemper standing behind me saying things like, "Power!", "Push!", and "Keep your core tight!" (and, I kid you not, Bullet In The Head perfectly cued up for my heaviest lift*) I squatted 155 - twice.

(*After squatting Kemper and I had the most adorable conversation that was a totally fitting way to celebrate the day after my 35th birthday. It went something like this.

-The fifth most awesome song comes on-

Kelly: This is the best music. Did you find some "alternative hits of the 90s" station?
Kemper: Yeah. It's called Gorilla Radio. (Guerilla Radio?)
Kelly: Do you know any of these songs?
Kemper: I know some of the Rage Against the Machine songs because we covered a few of their songs. (Because he's a drummer, remember?)
Kelly: But nothing else? (Guys, there was some totally classic stuff played: Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc.)
Kemper: Not really. It was a bit before my time.

Kemper is 22.
And I'm officially old.)

Even with feeling ancient by the time we got to deadlifting I felt like the most powerfully strong aged 35 year old stay at home mother on Kemper's block IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I was so full of jacked up energy (and I mean that as a normal adult knows "jacked" and not like a meathead knows "jacked") I just wanted to jump up and down and #liftalltheheavythings FOREVER.

Previous deadlift PR - 125. With Kemper? 165 - twice.

Weight lifting is so seriously addictive. It is the most fun thing I have done in a really long time. More fun than a night with Needtobreathe. There, I said it. (In fact, if you check the dates, I actually missed the Detroit Needtobreathe show because their ticket prices became astronomical in order to go to this very training session.)

I feel amazing when I lift. I feel strong. I feel capable. I constantly feel pushed beyond my comfort level, and I feel there is so much more to learn. I love the effect on both my body and mind. I teenage girl super bubble heart weight lifting.

After Kemper had my max weights written down, we used the rest of the session for a circuit of 6 tire lifts, 30 seconds ropes, 30 seconds rest, repeat 2-3 times. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the lovely pics Kemper took during our session.

"Hey Kel, did you get that shirt at Costco for the bargain price of $9?"
"Why yes, I certainly did. Because fashionista."
(Also, I love this pic because dat baby tricep and baby calf)

"Kel, I'd feel a lot better if I knew you were exhaling on the lift. Too bad there's no way to check ..."
"Don't you fret, Kemper totally got a pic of my 'breathing out' face."
(dat baby calf and dem NECK VEINS)

I was all sorts of bruised and sore from that tire. I loved it.

"I wish Kelly were so skilled in technological arts that she could only figure out how to take a selfie in the mirror with her iPad. It would be even better if she didn't bother to crop the resulting photo and allowed everyone to see the reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror."

Since Friday night, Kemper has emailed me and I now have in my possession a 4-6 week strength training program. It's a 5x5 program and is filled with seriously heavy lifting. I'm not gonna lie, it scares the bejeebers out of me. It intimidates me so much on paper that I can only mentally take one day at a time as I try to work it out. What I'm going to focus on is what is going to happen with my body after 4-6 weeks of following this plan.

I am seriously stoked to find out.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"You tapped out, Kel, you tapped out."

Proof - "Party Pizza"

Scene: It is Saturday night and Brian is preparing to cook a Totino's personal pizza while I blog. #partylikeyou'remarriedwithchildren

Brian: *sneaks up and puts the ICE COLD pizza box on my bare (I'm wearing a tank top, chill out) back*

Kelly: *screams, spins around, and hits the pizza to the ground*

Brian: *looks incredulously at his frozen pizza on the floor* Why did you do that?


Brian: Are you kidding me? I thought you could lift tires? Imma call Kemper and tell him you just punked out.

Kelly: I can lift tires, but that was yesterday, and today I'm sore and I need hugs.

Brian: *smirks* Whatever. You tapped out, Kel, you tapped out.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Go Shawty, it's yer birfday

Today I celebrate the sixth anniversary of my 29th birthday. If you are a math genius you can figure out I have run out of time to do stupid things. I mean, the excuse of "well, I'm just in my early thirties" only works when you are actually in your early thirties. (No matter how you try to spin it, the sixth anniversary of my 29th birthday is solidly my mid-thirties.)(And rounds up to 40 years old because math is a jerk.)

I have to say that my thirties are my favorite decade so far. I realize I only have three others to choose from, but having found years 0-9 somewhat lacking in autonomous achievements (aside from learning to walk and talk, that was pretty dope) and years 10-19 being a crapstorm of hormones and the pressures of making huge life-defining decisions (as well as some awesome fashion, let's give the '90s its proper due), the contest is simplified to my twenties and thirties. In comparison, my thirties win hands down.

Thirty is awesome because you still feel like you are twenty, but without all the naivete that comes with being so preciously young. You understand a lot more about the world while simultaneously knowing you know very little about the world. It's like living an oxymoron. You still have lots of energy (when your children aren't sucking it away with their nightly puke fests) but also the life experience that allows you to really value time, so you don't fritter it away doing stupid things. (I mean, ideally, of course.)

Last night I went over to my old gym for another workout while Lifetime is under construction. I had a glorious epiphany that sums up what has been happening during my thirties. I realized that when I worked out at my old gym I was terrified of the free weight section (sound familiar?). After I ran or did floor work I would purposefully walk out of my way to avoid strolling through the free weights with all the boyz and their muscles.

But last night I headed straight there to find a squat rack and lift. Since it's such a small gym everyone was all up in everybody else's business due to space issues. I had to interact with the guys simply to avoid a collision. I felt like I belonged there. I looked like I belonged there because I was confident I knew what I was doing. When it came time to deadlift I caught the eye of the biggest man there and asked if deadlifting was allowed at this particular gym because it's not really a Meathead Mecca. (It's more family friendly and filled with teenaged bros and only a handful of adult meatheads.) His eyes got all wide and homeboy got excited when he answered, "Um, yeah. You can deadlift over in that squat rack."

So I deadlifted in the squat rack without a care in the world. A year ago I never would have done any of that. I find that my thirties have been spent making gainz - and I'm not just talking about the physical kind. I have grown emotionally, learned to take chances, and have tried so many new things. I think a lot of it has to do with the confidence that has come from losing 107 pounds (yeah, that's right, I'm at 146!!!), but I think the perspective that comes from being older definitely helps.

So on to my birthday. The plans for today are to EATALLTHETHINGS. Breakfast, snack, lunch, and afternoon snack will all be my usual, but dinner is GAME ON. We are going to my favorite burger place (Basement Burger Bar - holla!) and I'm eating a black bean burger and sweet potato fries. I'm also making my own cake this year because if I'm eating birthday cake I want it to be amazing. Like, not from some bakery amazing. Homemade chocolate cake with icing is going to put me in a food coma in roughly 13 hours. NOM NOM NOM.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Oh Dwayne, stop. I saw you in Tooth Fairy.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WELCOME TO THE 2014 PERSONAL TRAINER SMACKDOWN EVENT OF A AT LIFETIME. IN ONE CORNER WE HAVE MIKE (*echoes* Mike...Mike...Mike). IN THE OTHER IS KEMPER (Kemper...Kemper...Kemper). WHO WILL BE CROWNED CHAMPION TRAINER OF THE ENTIRE WORLD? (Stakes may be written higher than they actually are for dramatic purposes.)

My month of free personal training is officially over. (Because remember how I won that raffle and Lifetime Fitness gave me a month of free personal training?!) I was assigned a trainer (for the purposes of this blog we will call him Mike because that's his name). I figured out pretty quickly that the way Lifetime assigned this particular trainer to me was that they asked all the trainers who was willing to take free clients, and the brand spanking new trainers who have not built up clientele were the ones to volunteer. This was in hope that the free clients would turn into loyal paying clients. I was basically the biggest bust of a free client ever because there was no way I was ever going to become a paying client unless I was assigned to Elliott Hulse or his equivalent.

(However, I was really interested to work with another trainer because I've been wondering if I'm really objective enough about Kemper. I mean, we all know I love him to pieces and think he hung the moon, but am I just the average Fat Mom who fell in love with "quick" results or is Kemper really as good as I think he is?)


My first session with Mike started on the treadmill. This is all I learned about Mike during my ten minutes on the treadmill:

- his full name
- his place of residence
- his employment history (former insurance salesman turned PT)
- his age and upcoming birthday (49 going on 50 this summer)
- his kids and their interests (3 kids including twin boys)
- his divorce and dating history (slightly bitter, getting back with his girl across state)
- his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, and sister are all named Kelly (because it's an awesome name that means "warrior woman")
- he hates Obamacare (because it destroyed his career in private health insurance)

This is what I learned about Kemper in the first six weeks he worked with me at Lifetime:

- his first name
- his thoughts about my diet
- his thoughts about my exercise
- he is 22 precious years old (to be fair, I totally asked him for that info)

I'm not saying Trainer Mike is verbose, because he's not especially. I don't mind talking about life and other personal stuff (because honestly it's my bread and butter and I really kind of love getting to know people). There was just a marked difference between the two trainers in their focus of our training sessions. Mike wanted to sell Mike as my new personal trainer. Kemper wanted me to reach my weight loss and strength goals.

Round one decidedly goes to KEMPER.


*Ski Machine
The first five sessions with Mike: Because I was trucking along nicely with my strength training workout schedule, I was pretty firm in telling Mike I was interested in sticking with abs, back, and learning to use new equipment during our sessions. We got off to a rocky start because Mike wants to train how Mike wants to train (which I understand), but he has been pretty cool about accommodating me, and I had a lot of fun during our sessions. I've been introduced to the ab roller, the Ski Machine (hated it*), the Rowing Machine (LOVED it), the t-bar, the TRX bands, the ropes, and a few new machines. He is completely opposite Kemper in his ideas about training (Kemper is low rep, high weight and Mike is solidly in the 15 rep zone for everything) so it was a bit weird adjusting to the question, "How is the weight, Kelly?" Because I'm thinking, "I could totally do a full set of this!" as I struggle on rep 7. Mike usually responds, "That's too heavy" and stops me and adjusts my weight so I can do 15.

The last three sessions with Mike: This is when Mike and I clicked. I think he was finally just all, "Eff it. She's totally not ever going to hire me. We'll just go ahead and Imma MC this party anyway." The last three sessions he started strength training with free weights (mostly chest and back) and letting me lift heavy. He actually even challenged me to go heavier than I thought I could a few times. It was awesome. But our sessions still had the feel of working out with a training partner, and not so much a personal trainer. I felt like I had a buddy, not a mentor.

Ohmygosh, Gene Wilder, I'll get there.
Give me time, man.
My sessions with Kemper are crazy informative. I'm there to learn, and he is there to teach me. It's not all business, because I do have fun and enjoy Kemper as a person, but I know I am not wasting my time with him. He is focused on pushing me and not on getting in his own workout or texting other clients while I'm doing 15 reps of something (*cough*Mike*cough*). With Kemper I have learned how to deadlift, squat, and how to do assisted pull-ups and dips. He started me on a simple strength training schedule and helped change it up in order for me to progress when I was ready. When I'm training with Kemper, there is no doubt that he is leading our session, and I feel comfortable following, because I trust him.

I just felt overall that when I was being trained by Mike, he could honestly be training anyone in the entire world in that moment, but when I am with Kemper he is specifically training ME.

For all the above reasons round two belongs to KEMPER.


Round three is going to cover the technical aspects of personal training, of which I know nothing about. These are things like proper form, the science behind how the body works and the best techniques in which to take advantage of those workings.

Funny, but this is totally what I wear to squat.
#onesies #twinsies
I think my biggest beef with Mike was that he was iffy on form. I'm totally a proper form nerd. I google the mess out of how to do different lifts and exercises. This is for sure so that I don't look ridiculous at the gym, but more importantly, so I stay safe. Whenever I would ask Mike a question about form, he would inevitably answer, "Do what feels good." Or he would think about it, try the move himself, and then tell me what he was doing. I'm not gonna lie. It made me nervous.

*you can't out train a bad diet*
*the best ab exercise is walking away
from the kitchen*
*insert your own fitness cliches here*
Another red flag is that Mike never ever talked with me about nutrition after his initial assessment, not even to check in with me at our weigh ins. Like, for a whole month. Again, we had differing opinions on food, but I found that Mike's take on nutrition was seriously laissez faire. He would go an entire day not eating; not because he is a purposeful intermittent faster, but because he was busy or didn't get around to it. To me, if you have made your career about fitness but don't give any mind to food, well, it's like being a painter that has no paint but doesn't go get any because they were too busy trying to paint without it. Food is fuel, and nutrition is a HUGE part of health.

On the food tip, Kemper is so about proper fuel that he owns a backpack that stores and cools six meals at a time. He food preps. He practices what he preaches. And he minored in nutrition in college so the man literally has a degree in it. When Mike tells me, "You should eat XXXXX for breakfast," and Kemper tells me, "You should eat YYYYY for breakfast," I'm totally eating all the YYYYY.

With form, Kemper not only shows me how to do something, but he also stops and corrects me if I'm not doing it right.  (Because this is just another huge post about me jocking Kemper - HAHA shout out to the '90's, y'all!- I want to include that I took advantage of Free Trainer Day at Lifetime a few weeks ago. I hunted down a trainer named Dan to teach me how to bench press and how to do bent over barbell rows. Dan was just like Kemper. He knew the lifts, knew how to teach them, and watched as I did them. He took me seriously. Dan is also going to be a winner in this round by osmosis.)(Or something.) Kemper introduced me to wraps to protect my wrists and he watches my body in order not only to keep me safe but also to do the corrective stretches and exercises needed for my messed-upedness (the technical term, I'm sure).

There were many times over the past month that I would have a question, ask Mike because I spent two hours a week with him, only to have to write the question down in order to ask Kemper later because Mike simply didn't know the answer. It's not that Mike is a bad trainer, but I think that to some, fitness is a hobby that can be made into a job, but for others it is a passion that turns into a vocation. I want to be trained by the latter.

One area that Mike really excels in is sincere praise. I probably noticed this because my love language is words of affirmation, but Mike made a lot of offhand remarks that totally built me up. He would comment about how strong I am, or how nice it is to train someone who "knows what they are doing", or laugh when he would describe me to another trainer as "she never gives up, man". (Which, when someone brags on us words of affirmation people to someone else - that mess is like heroin, dude.) Mike has called me "tenacious" and I have noticed lately that I am clinging to that observation whenever I want to quit. "Nope, Self, no quitting today. I go hard because I am tenacious."

Still, at the end of the day there can only be one victor ... conclusion, KEMPER IS THE CHAMPION TRAINER OF THE ENTIRE WORLD. 
Not Kemper. But I'm totally awarding him the Triple Crown Championship anyway.
Now he just needs a wrestling name.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

And a side of pizza

Some happenings...

LAUREN had her baby!!! Deborah Rose joined our world June 8, 2014. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce and has a ton of hair. Lauren is recovering nicely after a horrific birth experience that she will wear like a badge of honor in about five years as soon as the trauma feelings wear off. My first act as Aunt Kelly was to take Deborah's First Selfie. She can mark that milestone in her baby book.

Other milestones with Aunt Kelly will include:
First Barbell Squat
First Iced Coffee
First Needtobreathe Concert

EZRA is striving for the longest stomach bug in the history of our family. He has spent every other night for over a week now throwing up and poo-ing everywhere. This is disgusting and has made me gag on occasion. Thankfully one of the characteristics of motherhood is that once Nasty is out of sight it is out of mind and I can clean up filth one minute and make myself a delicious breakfast in the next. So, yay survival skills. The weirdest thing is that he is only really sick at night. I discovered a lovely little option on our washing machine called "the sanitize cycle." It is keeping me sane.

I subbed veggies for that mushroom
cap. Because I hate mushrooms,
that's why

MY IN-LAWS returned from Africa!! They have been living there since February 2013, and I've missed them terribly. We picked them up from the airport yesterday afternoon, visited for a few hours, and then ate dinner at Applebee's. (Where I had one of the best steaks of my life.)(Right?)(At APPLEBEE'S?)(I thought the same thing.)

LIFETIME is closed this week for maintenance. Well, just the fitness floor is closed, but since that eliminates all the weights, cardio equipment, and stretching area that pretty much renders Lifetime useless to me. I worked out at my old gym last night and ran into Trainer Tom. He was all, "YOU LOOK GREAT!" and then asked about my body fat percentage. He guessed it accurately (which I'm pretty sure is his trainer parlor trick) and said he could see a huge difference in my body. I was all, "I'm lifting...heavy," and felt like a total bad-A. Good times.

No Butterfinger candy bars were
harmed in the making of this shake.

THE BEST PROTEIN SHAKE I've ever had was made in my blender for lunch. It was seriously amazing. It's not a clean recipe, and is a pretty hefty meal replacement (it was about 440 calories and 42 grams of protein and was HUGE) but it was such an awesome summer "treat". The only thing that could have made it better was a side of pizza a fun twisty straw.

Butterfinger Protein Shake

1 cup milk (any kind will do, but I used cows milk because I needed the calories)
1 cup water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup ice
1 TBSP peanut butter
1 TBSP sugar free, fat free butterscotch pudding mix

Blend and inhale. Or savor. Whatever.

These shoes now belong to me. I spent two days thinking about them after trying them on. It took three Kohls adventures to find them in my size. Totally worth the effort. I'm going to wear them with my elephant t-shirt because of course I have an elephant t-shirt. (Because if I was an animal I'd be a Kelephant.)(Haha.)(Not a fat joke.)(Just a hilarious play on words.)

I am going to enjoy another sunny day here in the Mitten. It is supposed to get really hot and I can't wait to let the kiddos run through the sprinkler while I weed the flower beds, wash the car, and wear a tank top. I LOVE SUMMER!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.

Facebook Status: Watching Beauty and the Beast at 4:00 a.m. with a *literally* hot 104 degree four year old. Because moms party hard.

This is the third night in a row I've greeted some insane hour by doing ridiculous things (i.e. anything other than sleep at this wretched time of day). Monday morning found me googling "macronutrient calculator" at 3:30 a.m. while waiting for Esther's pukey sheets to tumble in the wash. I am now knowledgeable enough to have an entire eating plan calibrated to my weight, preferred diet, and exercise level. I rocked that plan all day Monday and Tuesday like I was metamorphic. (Ohmylanta, rocked it like a metamorphic?! Oh, geology jokes, I dig you.)

Thankfully, before I got too prideful about my superior eating plan, Ezra has been suffering a seriously high fever for a couple hours now, and I am handling the situation of yet another sleepless night with a whole wheat English muffin and peanut butter consumed about an hour ago. (Because have you ever had a tummy so hungry it hurt? I haven't eaten wheat in who knows how long and decided it was the perfect choice for my "you aren't normally awake at this time and your body is trying to manipulate you into feeding it and you will go ahead and do it because you are an American and you do not negotiate with terrorists instead you give them exactly what they want".)(That is probably seasons four through eight of 24 talking because once President Palmer left office crap went downhill fast.)

Ezra is now tucked snugly on the couch with a Tigger water bottled filled with soy milk (and has moved on to the Winnie the Pooh Heffalump movie) and I have tackled two loads of laundry and a full half an hour of Pinterest. Now that I have accomplished the important items on my to-do list I am free to blog about last night's workout.

I only have one session left with Trainer Mike. Once I finish the whole month I plan to have an assessment post all about Trainer Mike. (It will totally be a Mike vs Kemper smackdown event). Until then know that my time with Mike has been spent mostly on abs and back. This is because I do arms on Monday and legs on Wednesday and I meet with Mike on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he tries to work other parts of my body. I'm sure he totally loves basing all his training around my workout schedule and this doesn't make me a PITA to him at all.

Last night was a whole new game for us. I missed Monday's workout (because LAUREN HAD HER BABY!!!)(pics soon!) so Mike was free to do whatever the heck he wanted. And? It was hella fun.

I ran a warm up mile on the treadmill and then met Mike. He started me on a quick ab circuit that included 30 seconds of mountain climbers (on towels), 1:30 planks, and 15 medicine ball slams (which are probably one of my most favorite things to do in the history of life). We did that circuit three times.

Then he gave me only one more circuit to do. We were going to do the whole thing three times, resting as I needed.

This is not me. But this is totally what it looked
like last night. Except there was no dog. And I was
 waaaaay sweatier. And my muscles are
slightly less defined.
We started with push ups with rows. Mike has me use the PowerBlock dumbbells for these because they help my wrists. I got in plank position (wide leg) did a push up (which felt more like a tricep push up with the positioning) then alternated a row on each side. (The PowerBlock was set at 15 pounds for each side.) I did that 10 times. We went straight into plie squats with a 25# kettlebell. I could really feel the difference all that heavy squatting has made. Those plie squats weren't a thang.

Next were regular kettlebell swings (@20#), followed by ... box jumps. This was a HUGE milestone, because I've never done box jumps in public before. (Unless you count jumping the benches at the park.) I was so nervous! I did that whole Biggest Loser pre-jump sike-out move twice before I just took a deep breath and just went for it. After my first set Mike raised the height by a few inches. It got so much easier (emotionally) the second and third round.

This *is* what I look like while working the ropes.
Like my hair is all shiny and clean and flows
behind me as you can see above. It definitely
doesn't cling to my head in a mom ponytail while
 sweat drips off the ends and onto my neck
and into my eyes. Because that would be
decidedly not hot.
We followed box jumps with the ropes. Trainer Mike does this totally cute move where he tells me to "GO!" and then pretends to look at the clock so I can do 30 seconds but really he gets distracted by the cute girl doing back extensions on the machine in front of him and makes me do 45 seconds because "you looked like you could keep going." Haha, he's such a joker.

After the ropes was a cool down move of a minute of step ups before we repeated the whole circuit twice more. I really had a blast with this workout. It was a nice break from heavy weights but also just kept going, so I never got bored. I was challenged physically by the push ups and mentally by the box jumps. After all the circuits I ran a cool down mile. Then I came home and ate carbs, so yeah, a day that finishes with a great workout and allthechickenandRICE is a good day.

Now I'm going to go tend to my sweet baby boy (who is now on his third movie of the day - Toy Story at 6:30 a.m. for those of you keeping track)(and who could really care less about my "tending" unless it's to bring him more drinks and the occasional back rub). The girlies will be getting up in another half an hour and the day "officially" begins again.


Is it wrong that I'm already dreaming about a nice arm workout and HIIT treadmill run tonight? Don't answer that.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Case of the Mondays: It got on my shoes but not my pillow.

Suuuuuummertiiiiime and the livin' is eeeeeasy.

I freaking love this weather so much. It has been gorgeous here in southeastern Michigan. Bright blue skies, sunshine, slight breezes, and temperatures in the 80's. It's like the weather is trying to apologize for all those subzero "you'll die if you go outside" days we suffered this winter.

You keep this up, weather, and all is forgiven.

I have been incredibly busy filling my days with as many outdoor activities as possible. Our lawn has been mowed within an inch of its life, I've swept and rearranged the patio, cleaned the patio furniture, and finally, just because it was all that was left to do, sat in the sunshine and read a book. It's been awesome.

And because usually in life you have to take the good with the bad, I've also spent a fair amount of time this week cleaning up puke and poop. Because here is a quick lesson in probability. If you have four kids and one of them gets a stomach virus, the probability of the other three catching that same virus is really high. While I've found the best way to deal with sick kiddos is to mainline iced coffee and plug them into Disney movies just soldier on and get through it, I have been tempted at times to ship them all away and let someone else deal with it. Summer camp, anyone?

That's when I came across this blog by Liesl Testwuide, along with an AMAZING letter from her kid who was away at summer camp. I WANT TO ADOPT THIS KID. He could be my long lost child.

"It got on my shoes but not my pillow."

For the full blog post, click here

Happy Monday, y'all!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blooper Reel - Take One

The beauty of the internet is that you can portray yourself any way you please. It's been likened many times as "displaying your highlight reel" (and is usually accompanied by the warning not to compare your own blooper reel against someone else's highlights). Thanks to this little blog I think I have been doing a stellar job of convincing everyone my daily life is as highlighted as they come. I mean, who wouldn't want to be the woman who is so good at parenting she kicked a hole in her kitchen wall? Or has the social graces to survive being conversationally accosted (*totally a real thing*) at Red Robin? 

But please know that I have my own moments. My life is so filled with gaffes that I'm beginning to see my life movie as one huge blooper reel ... without the chance for any retakes. (Which? Is pretty awesome because we can all agree that the blooper reel is the best part.) Here is one of mine from last week. You're welcome.

Scene: It is four minutes before Ezra's school begins. The lobby is pure chaos. There are about ten families milling around waiting for the teachers and aids to come claim the children for their classrooms. Ezra is standing next to me talking to his friend Cory. Cory is the youngest in the class, but also known as "the one whose DAD brings him".  (Cory's dad is infamous among the children because he works in customs and has a uniform that makes him look like a cop. He also looks a ton like a young Jason Statham, except with way more hair and tattoos.) Cory's dad is all sorts of cool and intimidates the heck out of me. This scene opens with him whispering to me as he tries to hand out invitations to Cory's birthday party.

Who is Erika? I never even knew they had a girl in their class. When did she show up? Should I invite her? Is that weird? Who is her mom?


Erika is that little girl with the blonde hair. *nonchalantly head nods* There. And that's her mom.

Cool. Thanks.


Awesome, Bud.

So this party thing. It's just a little thing at one of those jump house places. And we're celebrating after back at our house if you want to come by.

Sounds cool-


Dude. That's amazing.

Oh, here's Hunter's mom. *Starts handing out the invitation* *realizes it's not filled completely out* DOES ANYONE HAVE A PEN?

I think I do-


Hold on, Bud. *reaches in purse*

*anxiously waiting as I root around* Yeah, any pen will do.


Dude. Just let me find this pen, baby.

*waiting* *waiting* *waiting*



Aaaaaand I die.

End scene.
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