Deep Images….with Jack Handy

You know that SNL sketch where the verbiage of a “deep thought” with the Jack Handy voice over lays out a bunch of nonsense? That plays out in my brain in real life whenever I am on a solo bike ride or run or walk with the dogs. I think my best deep thoughts while in my head doing physical activity – a sort of moving mediation. More often than not much of it is gibberish and/or forgotten once off the trail.

In an effort to recapture some of the thoughts, I brought my phone along and captured some images. I took about a bazillion photos and since this isn’t an amateur photography blog nor a living room where people are subjected to torturous hours of viewing Aunt Linda’s vacation slides, I will spare you all of them. Still, there are a lot of photos, so you are forewarned. Just know that I did make an effort to not include them all to bore you endlessly. **(Although, if you are reading this within a week or two of it being published, you have nothing better to do because you are quarantined with your family and need an escape. You. are. welcome.)

To change up our routine, I walked with Hippo solo today while the hubby took care of the littles. If you are new the blog – we have three dogs. (Correction: we have two dogs and a Hippo (the middle photo) and if you knew him you’d understand.)

The Hippo is a giant goober. I love him to pieces. Today was the first time he’d walked a long walk with me since his 2 knee replacement surgeries over a year ago. (He’s now Titanium Hippo!) We took it nice and slow and sniffed all the things and ate lots of clumps of freshly mown grass despite the fact that I told him not to. He pretended not to hear me.

“What? Did you say something? I was busy sniffing.” Uh. huh.

Walking or running around this area one must always be on the lookout for deer (there are tons!) or eagles (they fly all around and low!) and even whales have been spotted in our little inlet (haven’t seen them myself but I keep trying)! We didn’t see any eagles, but did see tons of seagulls and this guy:

He flew right over our heads and it was AMAZING. After looking it up (because president of the Audubon society I am not) I learned that he is a Great Blue Heron. Super common apparently. What is not common is to be ready with the camera at the same time as the launch of a flyover. Nature and wild life are amazing and I always come away grateful for the universe winks.

We saw (and smelled) loads of evidence of spring. The colors were vibrant and gorgeous and the cloudy day made for nice photography. I love seeing little flowers and daffodils and the Indian paintbrush native to this area bloom. Spring is always the season of hope, and this year the need for it is amplified.

Maylor Point trail is stunning and a quick escape from my house while ensuring social distancing. From my doorstep, down the trail and back was 4.5 miles of nature and solitude for which my heart and head were in desperate need.

Dog photography is not for the faint of heart. I don’t carry treats much (mostly because I forget) so I have to be quick when the shot presents itself! Luckily today Hippo was (mostly) cooperative. Except for that one selfie, which made me giggle because SQUIRREL.

I love playing with filters, color, and black and white photography. Partly because of the COVID19 quarantine, and due to the weather, it is eerily quiet. The old buildings, rundown tennis court, and not-oft used recreation areas on the military base make for great apocolyptic-esque subjects.

What an accurate photo for our current slower pace of life. We actually have SO. MUCH. TIME. Quarantine or not, it’s the same 24 hours each day. What we do with those hours makes all the difference.

There is a large number of deer that roam this little peninsula. The come out like clockwork and while not tame, are very used to people. They nibble and watch us take photos of them, probably wondering why we are so odd. Hippo still thinks they smell weird and would love to investigate further, but they are bigger than him so he is secretly glad I make him stay on leash.

For the folks who have never been to the Puget Sound, this would constitute a “beach”, albeit somewhat loosely defined. The white things stuck all over the rock on the left are barnacles. Barnacles are little arthropods (related to crustaceans) and they are abundant here! They also hurt bare feet so no kicking off the flip flops. (Not that you’d want to wear flips because brrr cold.) The thing you won’t see in abundance here is sand. Rocks are however everywhere and really, aren’t they just larger grains of sand? Technically I guess we can let it be called a beach even though you won’t find many people in bathing suits rushing to take a dip.

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Author disputed, but credited to Mary Stevenson 1939

There is no question that a dog can carry us through hard times. It is often said that it’s no coincidence that dog is God spelled backward. While I don’t worship my dogs, they are exquisite examples of unconditional love and acceptance, patience, and understanding. This is my visual take on the poem, Footprints in the Sand. (You can read it in its entirely here:

This concludes the tour of random deep (and not so) thoughts. Thank you for coming. Please gather your belongings and watch your step as you exit.

And don’t forget to wash your hands. ❤️


Learning, Learning, and More Learning

Since the phone call, I have met with a registered dietician in my area twice and have gained a wealth of knowledge. So much of which is counter to what we are taught as trainers. (Not to mention the crap nutrition info that gets passed around on the internet!)

During the first session, I was poised to take notes and hang on her every word. What I had been doing hasn’t been working. I was feeling great for the most part, and still strong, but I had been slowly creeping back up the scale, both the literal one, and the scale of sizes in my closet. I was teaching spin and loving it, strength training 2-3 times per week and running any chance I could. Along the way, I kept thinking it was because of the move, the deployment, the lack of a fitness tribe as experienced in Hawaii. When all of your friends are doing the same thing and intensely motivated – it’s not exactly easy, but it is so much easier. Despite crafting a life dedicated to activity and doing fun fitness-y things, I wasn’t heading in the right direction. The dietician promptly said, “A little bit of nutrition knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” And how true that is.

There are some universal basics: calories in vs. calories out (food we consume vs. the energy we expend), but there are other factors as well. 150 calories of soda vs. 150 calories of vegetables are going to do entirely different things to your energy level, mood, satiety, hydration, etc. This is where the what we are eating is just as important as the how much.

For the Type II diabetic, our bodies have an elevated level of blood sugar, beyond what is normal. (Hyperglycemia). To counter this elevation in blood sugar, also called blood glucose, our pancreas produces insulin to help bring that blood sugar back down. At first the body will produce more insulin to get the blood sugar back to normal levels, but over time it cannot keep up. Welcome to Type II diabetes. (Type II has a strong hereditary component. It has been said that genetics loads the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger.) Keeping it in check will be a priority for life.

That tank top was an XL

Is it a bummer? Yeah, I guess it could be seen that way, but I get to choose how to view it. For me, meeting with the dietician clicked a missing puzzle piece into place. Though not effortless, I’m not having to kill myself in the gym. Concentrating mostly on high intensity interval cardio (running and spin primarily) and once a week lifting 1-4 reps of max. This maintains current muscle mass. Lifting too much (high reps, focusing on endurance) my body bulks, which is what my 3-day/week plan had been doing. Go figure.

Top pic is the same April shot as above, the bottom is me as of 5 minutes ago :)
Top pic is the same April shot as above, the bottom is me as of 5 minutes ago 🙂 15 lbs down, 12 inches overall and a medium tank.

Ultimately, a body is a body. Mine does what I ask it to and then some. It allows me to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I still wonder if progress pics help anyone except the subject. It’s more than just vanity. When we figure stuff out (that most of us have been trying to figure out since our teens!) it’s empowering to see that success. Dealing with this personally has no doubt helped on many levels as a personal trainer.

If you have been eating well (be honest!) and exercising regularly but aren’t seeing results –  get your blood work done. Have your primary health care provider take a look at it. Take those results to a dietician. Learn. Try something new if what you are doing isn’t working.

It is worth it. YOU are worth it!

The Path


Sometimes the path is rough. It’s not laid out like you may have planned.

Improvisation may be necessary.

That broken log? That’s just a way made by those who have gone before you. Be grateful.

See those rocks? They may look like stumbling blocks, but they may also be in just the right place to get you where you need to go.

Those pilings to the side? Perhaps the road not taken; for reasons we may never know.

The water may be cold, but how will you know if you don’t even try?

Can you make it to the other side? Can you take a chance? Even if the entire plan is not laid out for you to see?

Just try…

You are more capable than you believe.

Wonder-full Wednesday

I have never been so grateful to sleep in my own bed as I am after a stay in a hotel. Yes, more FWPs (First World Problems) but I have to say – if you are thinking of buying a Tempurpedic (or a Select Comfort, I’ve heard) really consider all options. They are the BEST mattresses, but they make you a complete pansy when it comes to sleeping on anything else. Not sleeping due to crappy mattress, coupled with a nasty head cold and falling down the stairs and hurting my back – I was looking at my beautiful babies and the thought of “calling in sick” seemed like such a fun fantasy. There were a few times when I worked outside the home (especially early on in my first pregnancy) when I was very VERY thankful for the ability to call in sick, pull the covers over my head and just sleep and take care of myself. Or, the rare occasion when I was sick on a day when Eric was home and HE could take care of me! (Yeah, I think that’s happened twice in our 12 years of marriage!)

Now here I sit with my beautiful babies and yes, I admit, I would love to go back upstairs, pull the covers over my head and sleep off this cold for a few days. That just isn’t an option. Moms aren’t supposed to get sick. And when they do – they still have to do everything they usually do. So I kept it low key and drug out my camera and played cars, and blocks, and read books with these kiddos.

Then it hit me. While I love the idea of “calling in sick”, what I am REALLY thankful for is a “job” where the “bosses” love me no matter what, that they really don’t care if my hair is done or in a ponytail for the fifth day in a row, that I’m slinging snot all over, and I don’t have to wear nylons. Ever.

Here is a little bit of what we did:


Hannah’s sweet little face…kind of tired and recovering from all the excitement of our little weekend away.


Racing cars down the slide!!!



The collection!


Sweet little stinker!


Watch out! She’s coming down!


Peek at you!


Blocks and tower building!


Dazed and a bit sleepy!


The fog was so thick we couldn’t even see across the street!


Window art!


Toys toys toys…..



Hannah decided to do Jake’s hair!! (He was such a good sport! 🙂 )


I love my littles.

Even on the sick days!


Another blog I like to read is Finding Joy. She has a beautiful way of getting to the heart of what is important. I love her writing style and am borrowing her format of Friday Faves to highlight the things this week that I am grateful for.

Being outnumbered, two to one

Come play with us, let’s have some fun!

Please swing me the highest!

Thank you Grampa for building it – you are the best!
So thankful for this play set!
Play with me Hannah! Play with me Jake!
Let’s Go!
Taking turns, working it through
Getting along so well, if only for a few….
Grateful for the opportunity to stay home with my kids. I love watching them as they problem solve together.

Little man, growing up so fast

I love you so
I hope you know
how much you are loved
by Daddy and Me
and Hanny
I am grateful for the preschool he will be starting this week. I am filled with joy as he asks everyday if today is “the day” he gets to go to school.
Playful baby girl
Investigating your whole world
Waving to everyone you meet
Can hardly keep you in that grocery seat!
Grateful for her quick smile and ability to make those around her smile too!
Working so hard to keep up
You learn so fast, never slow down
It’s hard to keep your feet on the ground!
I am grateful for her little spirit that can’t wait to catch up to her older brother! She sees him doing it and  just knows she can do it too!


Your ability to make me smile
repeating to me what I’ve told you
having a sad day or two
we lean on each other and we can get through….
I am grateful for my son’s sensitive heart. He observes when I’ve had a bad day and asks me if I’m okay. I assure him I am good – and just like him, I have my moments. 🙂
Funny little songs we sing
and crazy games we play
I love to make up words to say
and hear you sing them the same way!
After bath time, I am grateful that the kids are old enough to participate (and actually help) with “clean up time”. I usually sing a silly song as we do it and it makes me smile when i hear Jake sing it back and attempt to teach the words to Hannah!
I love you little ones
Thank you for this playful summer
Of learning, growing and loving each other
A couple more seasons to get through and then
Our little family will be whole again….


As hard as a deployment can be, I am so grateful for our little family. We have much to be thankful for and I am truly blessed.
What are you grateful for this week?

I should also add that I am grateful for no visiting “friends” of the eight-legged variety since I sprayed the house!!!

My Day in The Sun

After a great workout this morning with my sister, I decided that I would do NOTHING all day.
Except bask in that glorious light they refer to as “sun”.
How sad is it that in three short months I lose my mind when that big ol’ ball of fire in the sky decides to shine down on us!?
(This day of nothing can also be referred to as a typical “day in the life of a stay at home mom of preschoolers”)
 So here is my day of ‘nothing’:
Jake is obsessed with the hose…..
 And will spray anyone, anything, anywhere!




…all day long….


 The shorts and short sleeves were donned for the occasion!



Oh! And the exciting garbage truck came by….TWICE!


 It was actually pretty cute to see them so excited. The driver was super nice and honked his horn and waved to the kids too!


Bye Bye garbage truck! She was so sad he had to leave! Until we see you again….next week…..


And then we shot some hoops…..



 More fun with the hose! (You better not shoot Mommy!)


Time for a quick snooze! (You know while Jake plays in the street!)  Ugh!
And after our snooze a bit of strawberry trampling!
And then of course we must stop for high tea!
I really don’t know what could be more fun then a grass spreader and some sunglasses….


….except maybe a quad and sunglasses!


 And by the time it was all over – the yard looked like this……
wouldn’t you LOVE to be my neighbor?! Ha!

 I wait for the knock on the door from the HOA telling us to get the heck out! LOL!


All in all it was a successful day of “nothing”.
Nothing but loving on my kiddos, playing tea party, snapping pictures, spinning in the yard, blowing bubbles….
Completely productive!

Fully Prepared….To Never Leave The House Again!!

Okay, that may be just a tad bit unrealistic. Although I may consider wearing a sign warning people that if they are considering having children, they should look away as watching our family in action just may be the best form of birth control ever.

We went to breakfast with friends at a local restaurant and lucky for us they have 2 little ones as well. It was like looking in a mirror as all four of us adults tried to carry on a conversation while keeping 4 kids under the age of 4 entertained, wiped off, eating, food cut, drinking, not spilling, cleaned up after spills and not tear our hair out. (And yes, Hannah was stripping her clothes off halfway through breakfast!)

Breakfast completed, we made our way to Tulip Town. On a Saturday. In the midst of Tulip Season. With 2 kids. I have no clue why this ever seemed like a brilliant idea.

Stunning! And great weather too! I had to laugh as I overheard a couple exclaiming that they’d forgotten their sunscreen! It was maybe 57 degrees!

Following the herd of tourists, we made our way to the gardens (which are truly stunning in full bloom!) and it dawns on me that this is the first time I’ve made it out here despite having lived here nearly all of my life! Man, what having kids will entice you to do!

While the picture perfect day of gazing at tulips, taking adorably perfect photos of the kids (who always act perfectly) and perhaps a snack or perfect picnic afterwards was what I had in mind – the reality (as usual) was something far different!

After running over a few tourists in the parking lot (okay, not really – but believe me, I wanted to! Who the heck walks into the middle of oncoming traffic!?) we make our way into the gardens and Hannah is begging to get out of the stroller and walk. No harm in that, right? It won’t be a big deal because Eric is here so instead of my zone defense parenting strategy that I employ when he is gone, we are back to man on man formation!

Jake proceeds to attempt decapitation of some nearby tulips meanwhile Hannah is making a beeline for I don’t know what, but it was far away from Mama and Daddy! So in opposing directions go Eric and I as we attempt to redirect our minions. We snap a few pictures and then head out to the fields. The fields have been rained on. A lot. There were some great puddle stomping opportunities and the kids were in heaven! Who needs pretty flowers when you have boots and mud?!






I’m dropping camera lenses, Hannah tosses a boot off the end of the stroller that I don’t realize until a kind stranger taps me on the shoulder and hands it to me. Jake is frolicking asking to go in an area where he isn’t supposed to be. And then Hannah decides to sit down….in the mud… Up to her elbows. Fantastic! Meanwhile Jake is now walking in front of anyone who is attempting to take a picture, so he is probably featured as a blur in about a hundred tulip family portraits! I drag Hannah to the port-a-potty sinks (you know the kind you pump with one leg as water spits out. It’s sort of like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. Everyone looks silly doing it. Only picture it with a muddy Hannah (who has now managed to get me covered in mud) propped up on my “water pumping leg” trying to wash herself, bouncing up and down, and me attempting to help her while she INSISTS on doing it herself. I put her on the ground in front of the sink and begin to wipe her off. I’m right next to the sink. There are 6 other sinks not being used. And here comes a lady who cannot figure out how to get water, so I tell her (in the most neighbor nanciest voice I can muster) that you pump the water using the pedal. What does she do? She walks right over and uses the sink I’m kneeling in front of and knocks me down in the process! Are you kidding me?! Apparently the other unused sinks weren’t sufficient! So I move me and my half cleaned Hannah down to another sink and we finish up. Seriously?! Apparently she is either blind or I am invisible.

And then I hear it. A woman hollers “Hey! Stop that!”. As I turn around I cringe realizing that she is yelling at my son who is now throwing rocks in the air and hitting her kid(s). Okay – I’ll admit it. Eric was there, he handled it and I looked the other way pretending not to see anything! I can only handle so much.

Then Jake decides he needs to pee and proceeds to drop drawers right in the middle of the garden, in front of a bazillion tulip gazers. Awesome. Eric scoops him up, pants halfway down, screaming in protest to the port-a-potty to finish up. Hannah is now only in her pull-up, strapped in so she can’t escape, happily smashing goldfish crackers to smithereens on the dash of her stroller. I am covered in mud. Jake is now melting down upon return from the potty. Tulip time is now complete.

And that is why (as Eric prepares to leave tomorrow) I am fully prepared to never leave the house. Imagine if I’d attempted this adventure alone!? Whew! The thought of that makes me feel the need to lie down…. Ahhh…and as I type this – yep! I just got peed on.  Again. Here are some more of the pretty tulips to look at while I go wipe a butt or two!


This face should have been our warning!






















Photo Fun!

So after 7+ months of hard work losing weight – I have to share some of the pictures from our last photo shoot in Hawaii…..
This was so much fun and I’m so glad we decided to do this one final time before we left the islands!!!

Climbing Mountains

I don’t know why, but climbing Diamondhead seemed like such a daunting feat. We have lived here now for almost 3 years but with the excuse of the kids, being too busy, and just life in general it was something we never got around to checking off of the list…

…..until today!!!!







 My Battle Buddy!!!!













We made it!! The view was absolutely BREATHTAKING! The signs all said to allow for about an hour and a half.
Yeah, we did it in 17 minutes!
So many things can be built up in my mind as difficult or impossible. But really when broken down into manageable pieces, it IS possible.
Next….Kokohead – and I’ve heard it’s REALLY hard!!



Well…it’s been a crazy couple of weeks!
This week will conclude the fourth month of bootcamp – and what a difference 4 months makes…
Here is my before/after shots:


It really is amazing to me how fast a body will adapt if you just work out and eat clean and healthy. Not always perfect, but since I have stuck with it – the results are well worth it!  If I can do it – ANYONE can! It’s amazing how it is much more than just weight loss. I’ve learned so much about myself in the past year it’s incredible. Still have a little ways to go and I’m sure the weight loss will start to taper as I get to my goal weight. What a journey! I’m actually going to be running not 1, but 2 half marathons in the next month. It’s crazy and I can’t even believe it. Perhaps a full marathon sometime next year….hmmm….I’ll let you know!
And then I took the opportunity to have a little photo session with my two favorite subjects!!!


 Fun on the slide!!


 Hannah being a cutie pie!


 Fun!! I just love to watch them play together!
 Rolling down the hill!
Hannah is always running to try to keep up with her big brother! It’s adorable and melts my heart! I love it when they play together!
Jacob had his 3 year check up today and did great! So much better than last year! He is now weighing in at 36 lbs and he is 34 inches tall putting him in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. Growing like a weed!!
Not much else is going on….and moving is just around the corner so we are starting to gear up for that!
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