Category Archives: Summer

Summer Plans for Moms of Preschoolers and Toddlers

That dreaded day on the calendar is almost here.

You can feel a bead of sweat start to trickle down your temple.

All of a sudden, your armpits are sweaty.

You can feel your heart pounding in your chest.

You think you might be having a panic attack.

Your mouth is dry and you’re having trouble catching your breath.

All from looking at one day on your calendar.

IMG_6620

Last day of preschool!!!!

I remember trying to cram everything I’ve ever wanted to do by myself into that last day of preschool because I knew I wouldn’t get another minute during the day to myself for the next 3 months. Bless the moms who have children under 4 at home during the summer. I know you’ve got your camps planned out, dreams of chore charts, lists of free things to do in your city, and so much more summer fun planned. I know, because years ago that was me. Back when I tried to have my act together, have a plan, be a “fun mom”. I love the idealists and the hope-filled dreamers. We’ve all done it. We have so many well-laid plans and dreams of summer fun. It’s cute really. All is well until things don’t go as planned. Until someone starts whining. Until someone hits his sister. Until someone is SOOOOOO HUNGRY! Until we realize we’ve basically taken a bunch of small humans with mood disorders out into the world who all have a tendency to wander. It’s a crushing reality.

 

Here’s a rundown of how summer’s going to go:

  1. Camps will be amazing until you pick them up and they’re so cranky from not having a nap you will want to put them to bed at 5:00 pm every day of said camp.
  2. Chore charts will last approximately one week. You will forget to get quarters or $1 bills out so you won’t be able to pay them and then you’ll end up forgetting all together. Then you’ll figure out it’s easier to wipe a counter yourself and you know it’s actually clean when YOU wipe it down, so the “chores” will fall by the wayside.
  3. Guess who likes free things? Roughly everyone, so free events for kids is a guaranteed circus. It will be similar to herding cats because what did we say about children? (“prone to wander Lord I feeeeeel it…”)
  4. The pool will be fun for a while but the work of sunscreen and fixing goggles and “Mom, watch this!” and always scanning the pool to make sure you can see all your kids will become taxing.
  5. You will eat Chick-fil-A approximately 87 times this summer. This is also the number of times you will have to endure the Play Area. You have my deepest sympathies.
  6. You will do so well at the beginning keeping them off all the electronic things but by August, they’ll be looking at a screen for 9 hours a day AND YOU WON’T EVEN CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE SO DONE.
  7. During naptime, you will tell them every 2.5 minutes “If you’re not going to lay down, you have to at least play quietly in your room.” This is will last for infinity.
  8. You need to go to Costco now and buy every snack food they make in bulk because your child will want a snack every 26 minutes. But they will never be hungry at dinner. It’s some sort of voodoo magic they do.
  9. Your home will look like a frat house after a band party. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s fine.
  10. If your potty training this summer…………………

I’m just going to go ahead and start a prayer circle on your                                     behalf.

 

Sweet moms of toddlers, my prayers are with you. You will make it through. Your ears may bleed from all the whining and you may find yourself hiding in the bathrooms and closets just for time alone but it’s all going to be ok. If you find yourself circling the drain at some point, call a sitter or a friend to watch your kids. Tap out of being a parent for a hot minute. It’s ok. I didn’t do this as often as I should have because I wanted to be a strong mom and one who’s able to handle it all. I was “fine.” Let me tell you something about being fine: it’s overrated and underwhelming. Let yourself have a break and have a feeling. You are doing hard work being with your kids all day. You will survive. And this will be your reward:

IMG_6621

(Clearly I didn’t plan my Dr’s appt. to coincide with preschool pick up.)

-Courtney

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!
Follow me on Instagram: @thecpallen
Can’t get enough? Click here I’ll send these straight to your inbox!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

THIS IS NOT THE ANNOUNCEMENT…however it IS about the most magical place on earth…and no, it’s not Disney.

IMG_0187

I hate hate hate that I can’t share my news yet, but in the meantime, I DO want to share with you about a family camp I went to this summer. I know, family camp sounds super weird and maybe even a bit corny but normal and cool is soooo 1990. In short, it was the Best. Trip. Ever. (And as you can tell from the pic above, there are theme nights. Obviously Caitlin did not want in on the family camo theme.)

Sometimes when people have an extraordinary experience and are asked about it, they say things like, “ It’s so hard to put into words” or “I can’t even begin to describe it!” This is not my problem when it comes to talking about Pine Cove family camp. My problem is that I want every word I use to describe this camp to carry the magnitude of joy I felt while I was there. My problem is I want bigger/better/more words than I have in my vocabulary to tell you about this magical place. My problem is I want to somehow transfer my experience into your body so you can understand it. Because some things just have to be experienced in order to be understood.
This place, ya’ll.
I can’t quit this place. We drank the Kool-Aid, bought the shirts, and cranked it like a chainsaw. We are ALL IN.
Instead of going into the minutiae of why I love this camp so much, I’m going to narrow it down to 3 things:

1. The Counselors
-Calling these young men and women the cream of the crop would still be a gross understatement. They’re basically unicorns in human skins. I have never met young adults more concerned with the needs of others. Look, I know some of you may be thinking, “That’s their job. They’re getting paid to care for your every need.” Clearly you’ve never been a camp counselor. The monetary gain is SLIIIIMMMM. They’re basically paid in high fives and side hugs. Seriously. And what young 20-somethings choose to spend their summers serving and loving on families? This is not normal, but after meeting some of these men and women, I realized– they really aren’t normal. They are high energy, Jesus-loving, hard working, Kingdom-minded, helping-handed, chant-loving, feet of Jesus, disciple-makers. And smiling is their favorite. For real. These young men and women make this place what it is. I’m not sure if they’re drinking Jesus or Red Bulls all day but my goodness do they have a lot of energy. And funny enough, little kids have high energy too so it’s a perfect match. They are there showing kids how much fun it is to love God and live out their faith… and they’re cool (Because lesbihonest, some people don’t even make it look like fun to follow Jesus. And no, they weren’t decked out in Jesus Freak shirts and bracelets. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

2. Reprieve from Mom and Dad duties
-It’s like a bunch of parents got together and came up with a list of the most stressful things about vacationing with kids and figured out a way to alleviate them. I wish we had started going to Pine Cove about 5-7 years ago when it was a GRIND to go on vacation with the kids. (Plug to moms of toddlers: SIGN UP FOR THIS CAMP! You need a break more than anyone! Pinky promise you’ll love it.) For example, meal times. With small kids, meal times are an opportunity to play “How many times can I make Mom/Dad get up before their food is cold?” Kids aren’t taught this game; it’s somehow burned into their brain upon arrival into the world. With that being said, every meal you have at Pine Cove will not involve this game. You will not lift one single finger during meals except to feed yourself. A counselor is assigned to your table, which means he/she will fill your drinks, he/she will butter their rolls, he/she will CUT UP YOUR KIDS’ FOOD. You read that right and I am not even kidding about it. The counselor will get up and get your kids whatever they think they need. This service allows your family to enjoy a meal without anyone leaving the table. It’s magical, like the land of Narnia. (Moms of babies, I wouldn’t tell you this if I hadn’t witnessed it with my eyeballs. Are you ready? A counselor will HOLD YOUR BABY WHILE YOU EAT! I’m telling ya’ll, it’s like a land where unicorns roam. Are you clicking the links now to sign up?)
For those of you that have children who require more attention and care due to special needs, YOU NEED THIS CAMP. Your precious child will not only still get to participate as his/her abilities allow, he/she will have their own counselor for the week. It brings tears to my eyes even now when I think about watching these college kids love on these extraordinary children. They are so patient and gentle with these kids. It was almost like they considered it an honor to take care of these children. I know it blessed me and I was just a bystander.

3. Family
-There are thousands of camps for kids. There are also hundreds of conferences/retreats for married people (Thousands? Hundreds? I don’t know, but there are a lot.) But rarely do you find a camp that is for families. They understand the value of a strong family unit. Whether you’re married, divorced, widowed, or single, they want to serve your family. They have designed this camp to set parents up to bond with their kids. All those good intentions we have as parents to spend quality time with our kids, they are making a reality. They provide materials and a specific time to have devotionals as a family. They provide opportunities for your family to go do things together i.e. zip lining, tubing, water skiing, etc. They give you a night to spend with your teenagers to speak God’s truth into their lives; telling them who they are in Christ and offering a chance to ask/give forgiveness over the broken parts of your relationship. This place wants to make it easy for parents to win with their kids. It offers a safe place to connect and grow as a family and give memories to last a lifetime.

I know this post may seem long-winded but I promise I’m only scratching the surface of this enchanted place. I’m sure some of you are now thinking, “This all sounds too good to be true but just in case a land of unicorns DOES exist…how much does it cost?” I’m not gonna lie to you, unicorns and rainbows come at a cost. But if your family can afford to save up for a trip to see a giant mouse and stand in line for 1 million hours, you can swing this camp. And once you get there, you don’t pay for anything. Cabins, 17 meals, entertainment, unicorns, stronger families, and memories are ALL included in the cost. Think of it as an investment in your family. Trust me, it’s just that good. You can also do a payment plan if that works better for your family. We made Pine Cove our only trip for the summer and it was worth every penny. Our kids are still talking about it. And if Texas is too far of a hike for your people, they’re opening a new camp location in South Carolina next summer! Please consider this camp for your family, it will be money well spent!!

Here’s the linky-loo so you can check it out for yourself!

Pine Cove family camps

-Courtney

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!
Follow me on Instagram: @thecpallen
Can’t get enough? Click here I’ll send these straight to your inbox!

Tagged , , , , ,

Happenings lately

Rogers

(I saw this on Instagram and I loved it. There is always good. Even when it’s hard to see, there is still good.)

Sweet friends, so much has happened since the last time I posted to this blog. On a large scale, our country is grieving for those that were injured and killed in the Orlando shooting a few days ago. This makes my heart sick. It makes me sick to think there are people out there that are resolved to killing people who are not like them. These people thrive off being feared by others and it’s just disgusting. I hate that I had to talk to my sweet children about people like this as they just looked at me with confused faces, like “Why on earth would you kill someone just because they’re different than you?” I adore their innocence and it makes me ill that the world they are growing up in is not idyllic for them. I hate that they will have to witness hate that is beyond their understanding. People hurting groups of people to foster fear in the hearts of others is so cowardly. But I’m grateful that in these instances, I get to talk to them about Jesus. I get to tell them how Jesus is grieved for this community that lost so many. I get to tell them how Jesus would never think it’s ok to kill someone just because they’re different. Jesus commanded us to love one another. That’s it. I get to tell them that because of what Jesus did for us, we can be kind and love other people because we have hope. The brokenness of our world will only become more real to our children as they grow. I pray this reality will open their eyes to the beauty of what God did through Jesus. It’s all grace upon grace upon grace.

Ok, other happenings on a smaller scale include:

-It’s summer

-The kids ask me what we’re going to do every blessed day

-They also might eat me out of house and home (canihaveasnackmom?)(eventhoughiate20minutesago)

-Nash the dog tore his ACL and had surgery (ohmygoshthismightsendmeovertheedge)

-We are researching a gluten free diet for our family (ohmygoshthisishardtoo)

-It’s supposed to get up to 99 degrees this week and we all might melt

-I have come to terms with my inability to multitask (ijustcant)

-After 13 years of Kyle’s nagging, I finally caved and picked up a tennis racket (eatingcrow) (tennisisactuallyfun)

-My hopes of maintaining some sort of exercise regimen in the summer have come crashing down (doessweatingatthepoolcountasexercise?)

-My kids were at camps last week and Kyle and I ate ice cream every night (itwentdownsmooth)

-I’m learning to embrace my lack of productivity with kids at home (messyisthenewblack)

 

AND THE BEST ONE OF ALL…

-I’ve got another children’s book going to print!!!!!!!!! (YIPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!)

I’ll tell you more about the book as it gets closer to being finished, but just know it’s fun, has really cute illustrations, and will be a great Christmas gift! I literally can’t wait to tell you more!!!

Until next time…

-Courtney

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

St. Louis with my girl

IMG_3853

Caitlin and I went on our very first mother/daughter trip this summer for her 9th birthday. We don’t do birthday parties every year for our kids so on the off years we try to do a fun family outing or one-on-one trip. This year I decided it was our turn to go on a trip together. I gave her a few options of where we could go and she chose St. Louis. Before I mentioned she had designated options, she told me she really wanted to go to California. Sigh. Expectations are getting lowered early in life for this girl. Really she just wanted to go somewhere on an airplane…again, a crushing blow to her expectations. Luckily once I started showing her online what we could do in St. Louis, she embraced the idea of driving. I may have also thrown in that she could watch as much Full House as she wanted on the way there. Maybe. (Sidenote: Anyone else’s kids obsessed with Full House? Who knew Uncle Jesse kissed so many babes? Yikes.)

This was my first trip by myself with Caitlin and we weren’t going to visit family. Basically this meant I was on my own. Solo. Her life was in my hands and if anything went wrong it was on me. So I convinced myself that I actually AM a GROWN UP and I own a phone that can get me where I need to go. Piece of cake.

The drive there was pretty uneventful. I got a little hooked on the Serial podcast and listened to that the whole way while Caitlin immersed herself in her Full House library of DVDs. I know, many of you are all, “I can’t believe they didn’t just talk for 5 hours and listen to T. Swift.” Pump the brakes, guys, we had a whole weekend and we needed to pace ourselves.

We got there Friday evening and went to the City Museum. This is by far the coolest, most eclectic, most interactive (read: physically exhausting) museum I’ve ever been to. It was amazing! There were tunnels, secret passageways, slides, a ferris wheel, humungous ball pits, and a bus that hung off the top of the roof. Did I mention the museum looks like an old, dilapidated building? There were tunnels to climb through literally everywhere. Let’s just say the phrase, “Fat girl in a little tunnel” became my mantra early on. Some of the tunnels were more than a little tight. I know many of you think I am agile like a cat but at 35, my athleticism is on the decline. I don’t think I stopped sweating the entire time I was there. Scratch that. I didn’t stop sweating the entire weekend. It might as well have been known as Sweatfest 2015. All the tunnels and slides were made of metal/iron materials so I woke up with several bruises the next day. 35…I bruise like a peach. We walked through this huge room that resembled a foyer with a dome ceiling. It was so pretty and tall. Then I looked over and saw iron rungs that you could climb that would let you basically scale the wall and ceiling to the top of the dome. There was a hole at the top that would lead you to the roof of the building. The great thing about Caitlin is she’s pretty much up for anything and because I was feeling adventurous, we decided to do it. We start the ascent up the wall and I’m feeling like a ninja warrior. I am owning this thing! When I get to the point where the wall meets the ceiling I have to turn over so I am now looking straight down. At the concrete ground. Which is probably 100 feet below me. In that moment, I think I had a mild panic attack or maybe a stroke because I couldn’t move. I was frozen. Looking down at the ground and realizing the only thing keeping me from falling were these iron rungs was a little more than my brain could process. I was starting to get claustrophobic. I could hear some boys climbing up behind me. I knew I needed to move. Caitlin was almost to the end and yelling for me to “Come on!” At this point it was mind over matter. So I made my brain tell my body to go. Just keep moving. I was like a turtle…slow. I can’t imagine what the boys behind me were saying. I’m sure the view from behind was breathtaking. (Did I mention I was sweaty?) It took everything in me to make it to the end. I finally get to the end and clumsily climb out the hole in the top. Hallelujah, fresh air! Aaaand I’m on the roof of a very tall building. Aaaand the only way down is on a tiny metal slide. Faaat girl in a little tunnellll. I made it down the slide where Caitlin was waiting for me. This is when I told her I would not be going in anymore tunnels or down anymore slides. She was fine with it and continued to play. We ended up staying for a few hours before going back to our hotel. Really, if you ever get the opportunity to go to this place, GO! It really is so amazing even if it did make me feel like a granny by the end of it.

IMG_3861IMG_3863

This is us on the ferris wheel. We need to work on our mean muggin. (This was also my hairdo for the entire trip. Severe bun. Hair on a sweaty neck is more than I can handle.)

The next day we went to the zoo and it was phenomenal. I’m not trying to be a hater but the Nashville zoo leaves a lot to be desired. I grew up going to the Memphis zoo which is unbelievable so I was extremely disappointed the first time I went to the Nashville zoo. Nashville does a lot of things well but the zoo is not one of them. If you don’t think so, go to the St. Louis zoo. They had EVERYTHING! We could have spent an entire day there just walking around all the exhibits but it was hot (did I mention I was sweating?) so we just stayed for the morning. This was C’s actual birthday so she decided she wanted a Build-A-Bear hippo as her birthday happy. She also picked out a Wonder Woman costume for her hippo. Interesting choice. It kind of depicted the way I felt at the City Museum, like Wonder Woman but enormous.

IMG_3871IMG_3881IMG_3886

I love that the hippo looks like he’s smiling in this pic. We decided that the baby ape was Blake because he had about that much hair all over when he was born. It was a little freaky deaky. And we liked this pic of the camels because it made us think they were in love and kissing.

After the zoo we went to Fitz’s for lunch. The root beer floats were ridiculous. So good but we couldn’t drink it all.

IMG_3891

Of course C wanted to send this picture to her brothers so they could be jealous. These are the precious things my children do to one another.

Then C told me one of the sweetest things I’d ever heard. “Mom, can we go back to the hotel and hang out in our room for a little bit?” Yes, sweet girl, yes. Mama needs a nap.

IMG_3866

(This is what Caitlin bought with her birthday money. Rocks. Colored rocks but rocks nonetheless.)

Later we went to the Science Museum which is awesome if you have science-y kids. It just proved to me that I don’t. Glad it was free because we didn’t stay long.

C wanted to go to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner because it’s her favorite. And we ended the night with the Minions movie. She loved that day so hard.

On Monday I had tickets to go to the Arch so we got up and dressed because we had to be there by 10:00 and I wasn’t sure what the parking situation was going to be. I drove like Google told me to (I know, I know, Waze is where it’s at) but there was so much construction it was hard to maneuver around so I ended up just picking a parking garage that seemed close. Here’s the thing, it SEEMED close. On my handy dandy phone map, my blue dot looked close to our destination so I thought it would be fine. So we start our trek to the Arch. It was Monday and sunny there so I began perspiring. Apparently this is what people do in St. Louis. Sweat.all.the.time. It took us nearly 20 minutes to get there and C was complaining. We passed several parking lots as we walked and C never failed to ask why we couldn’t have parked in that parking lot. She’s such a gem when I’m sweaty and on edge. I must say though, it was the first time she had whined the entire trip so that was sort of a win. We made it to the Arch and stood in line to go up in the egg-looking elevator thing. It’s about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide and they stick 5 people in there. Awkward silence is like a slow death so I make up for it with awkward conversation. We all pretend talking to strangers in cramped quarters isn’t awkward but it is. It really, really is. So we get to the top and get out. I’m not sure what I expected but looking out a little 6×12 inch rectangle wasn’t it. The windows were probably a little bigger than that but to say I was underwhelmed would be accurate. We took a couple of pictures then Caitlin was ready to go back down. We were up there no more than 5 minutes tops. Oh well. We can say we did it, right?

IMG_3904IMG_3898

This is literally how big the windows were. Silghtly disappointing.

Then we got back to the car and hit the road to Memphis. As I think back on my time with C, I am filled with wonder. Wonder of her. She is 9 years old. Halfway to going to college. On the cusp of the teenage years. Outgrowing childhood way too fast for my liking. I don’t know that I’ve ever enjoyed time with her more than I did on that trip. It occurred to me that she has a brain with thoughts that are different from mine and they are completely amazing. And ya’ll, she is funny. Funnier than I ever thought about being at 9. She’s confident and smart and will level you with the truth. She’s a caretaker to her core. She can take sarcasm just as well as she can dish it…this may be my husband’s favorite quality about her. And not that I think this gives her any more value as a person but she is a stunner of a girl. Who would’ve thought a beautiful, blond haired, blue-eyed girl would come out of me? I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a different race all together but that’s another story for another day.

IMG_3889

If you’ve never been to St. Louis, it is an awesome trip. One I will never forget. I always knew I loved that sweet daughter of mine but I found out I just really like her too. She’s the coolest chick I know and I’m better because of her. So thanks for the memories C…it was a blast!

PS We also stopped at Lambert’s on our way to Memphis to pick up the boys. It almost sent me into a food coma because it was so “southern” but a fun experience for sure!

IMG_3909

-Courtney

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rainy Day Miracle

050713rain-620x413

I was driving in a storm not long ago with 4 kids in the car contemplating how badly I needed to go to the grocery store. I really needed to go but schlepping 4 kids to the store in pouring down rain would only bring out the horrible awful I try so desperately to keep under wraps (the impatience, the snippiness, the exasperated sighs). So I decided to forgo the store and go home. Any time I go to the grocery in the rain I’m reminded of an incident, or divine appointment, I had last summer.

I was trekking through Publix getting a weeks worth of groceries when I heard it storming outside. Unloading groceries in the rain is on the list of “Things I Avoid Like The Plague.” I finished shopping and had one million plastic bags full of groceries to put in my car. Alas, I had forgotten my recyclable bags once again. This is the story of my life. When I pushed my cart outside, I stood under the awning because the rain was now coming down in sheets. I really didn’t have time for this. So I stood there and tossed up a throw away prayer to God. One of those Hail Mary/last ditch effort prayers. “Lord, please make it stop raining long enough for me to get the groceries in my car. Amen.” I pray those kinds of prayers frequently. Just a little throw away pray I doubted God even heard. Then I continued to wait for God to stop the rain so I could make a break for my car.

Then the weirdest thing happened. As I’m standing there I saw someone walking towards me. This man was as dark as night and had the whitest teeth I had ever seen. He approached me holding an umbrella and, in his thick accent, asked if he could help me to my car. He had one of those smiles that is pure joy. Then I became a statue for about 10 seconds. I think I stammered something but I don’t remember what. I nervously accepted his offer and this sweet man walked me to my car holding his umbrella over me so I didn’t get soaked. He then proceeded to help me put my groceries in my car. When we were finished, all I could manage to say was a lame “Thank you.” Then he walked away.

I got into my car and began to cry. I couldn’t believe the kindness this stranger had just shown me. There was no reason he should’ve helped me. He didn’t even know me. And he certainly didn’t work at Publix so he wasn’t getting paid to take me to my car. This made me cry the ugly cry from way down deep. I sat there in my car, in the rain, thinking about the God that loves me. He loves me so much He chose to answer my throw away prayer. He certainly didn’t have to; I’ve walked to the car plenty of times in the rain. What I love is that He answered my prayer in His own way. He knew I just wanted to make it to the car without getting drenched, but instead of stopping the rain, He used a stranger to answer my prayer.

How many times do I pray and not really expect God to answer? I pray half-hearted prayers. I pray prayers for my convenience. Oh ME of little faith. What if I started always praying with the expectation that God would answer my prayers? I know, in a previous post “expectation” was a dirty word. But expectation doesn’t disappoint when it’s in the Lord. What if I considered that God was actually listening every time I threw up a Hail Mary prayer? Would I pray differently? Would I ask for different things? I think this is how God wants us to pray all the time; in constant awareness that He’s listening to His kids. We have his full attention. I’ve been a believer for 24 years and I am still in awe of the goodness of the God I serve.

Pray for big and small things. Why not? He hears you either way.

-Courtney

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter!

Can’t get enough? Click here! I’ll send these to your inbox.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Sight to Behold

Summer has come and squashed my theory that our family could slow down and take a break. So far, our summer has been loaded with camps and a couple of weekend getaways with family. After this week we’ll be pretty much done with week long camps (Can I getta whoop whoop?) I have high hopes for July and the rest it will bring.

Judging from the first paragraph, it would seem this is a post about our summer. Well, I would hate to big time everyone with my tales of a trip to my parents’ house in Memphis and a weekend in Pigeon Forge. We lead a pretty glam life so I’d hate to make all of you jealous. No, I’m going to tell/warn you of something you should never do. Unless you’re a fitness instructor and your fitness is on point (cough, cough Beatbox instructors).

I’m going to skip my laundry list of excuses and just tell you it’s been a while since I worked out. Maybe a few weeks. I finally talked myself into going to Beatbox on Monday and much to my surprise the class was a bit small. Like “6 of us” small. Realizing there were only going to be 6 people in the class, the instructor decided we should move to the side of the room that had mirrors and do our workout facing the mirrors. (Let it be known that I am a back row workout girl and never, EVER, workout on the side of the room with mirrors.) She said when we watch ourselves work out it helps us perfect our form because we can actually see what we’re doing wrong. Oh, Kim. I promise you this is the least of my worries when I’m working out in front of a mirror.

So I walk myself over to the mirror and sigh. This is what I look like in workout clothes? I should burn these shorts. My hips are enormous in these shorts. Why do my legs look like tree trunks and my feet look tiny by comparison? It looks like I could tip over at any moment. Wow, I didn’t realize my baby leftovers were so evident in this top. Guess I’ll throw it in the burn pile with the shorts. My shoulder game is on point in this top though so maybe don’t burn it. I need to go easy on the tightness of my ponytail. Why does it look so severe? Must be the bobby pins giving me a facelift. This is not a good look. Uh oh, music’s coming on, I’m going to have to move these tree trunks. Oh my. Who knew it looked like my boobs were about to punch me in the face when I do high knees and sprint in place? It’s like they’re in a boxing match trying to knock out my face. (Note to self: get a bra that keeps these suckers stationary.) Now football sprints? Really? I always felt my whole body jiggle during these but to see it with my own eyes is a lot to process. My fat jiggles so fast! Surely that means it’s melting off. I also now understand why most people in these classes wear those yoga cropped legging things. Can’t see your thighs wave back at you in those. (Another note to self: when I sprint in place, I actually look like I’m going in slow motion. How is this possible? I feel like Flo Jo.) Burpees… I think Satan uses these in hell. I need to start closing my eyes when I have to jump. Watching it is too confidence deflating. Here I thought I was Michael Jordan and I’m actually only about 2 inches off the ground. How is it possible that I look so unathletic? Sigh. I really do look like I’m about to die. I wonder if they do a special cleaning of the floor area where I work out. I should offer to help pay the cleaning bill. The sweat is like a puddle underneath me. I can’t help it really, my genetics handed me head-sweating. I know at least one of my brothers’ suffers from it as well. It’s our cross to bear. (Note to self: remember to wash your nasty sweat towel.) Ok, last song before cool down. Oh crap, she’s playing Bad Blood. This means I’m supposed to hold plank for a solid 3 minutes while my arms take turns doing movements to make the 3 minutes even more torturous. I’m 15 seconds in and doing good. I got this. What are those spots on the ground? No worries, I’m about to pass out but it’ll be fine. I’ll drop a knee. Ok, plank again. More spots. Downward dog. Plank. Child’s pose. Plank with arm out. Spots. Drop both knees to the ground. Plank. Sit up and blink because I’m feeling dizzy. Plank. Song’s over. I can’t believe I held plank for 3 minutes!! Yeah right. Now the blessed cool down. Hallelujah, praise Jesus.

Even though I was critiquing myself during my workout something occurred to me. I may not look good doing this workout but at least I can do it…mostly. I am physically able to exercise and there have been times in my life where this was not the case because I was so sick. So as much as I hated watching my wobbly bits work it for an hour, I was reminded how blessed I am that I have the ability to work my wobbly bits at all. I’m also grateful I never invested in a full-length mirror for my bedroom. I used to want one and now I know better. I don’t. I really, really don’t.

PS If you missed my first post about Beatbox, you can find it here. if you haven’t tried Beatbox, please come!!

-Courtney

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter!

Can’t get enough? Click here! I’ll send these to your inbox.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Scariest Place on Earth

photo-33

After several weeks off from writing, this chair is giving me anxiety. It’s the same feeling I get any time I take off from working out. When I’m working out consistently I feel great. I feel strong. I feel better about myself. Then I get busy, take a few weeks off, make excuses, and before I know it, i feel completely out of shape with no desire to go to an exercise class. I know I need to but I know what awaits me on the other side. The other side is going to be hard. It’s going to leave me sore in places I didn’t know could be sore. I’m going to sweat which means I, inevitably, will have to shower and rinse my hair (Ladies, you know what a task this is.)

Writing feels like this sometimes. When I’m in the groove, it can be amazing. I feel like my brain is buzzing with ideas and my fingers aren’t quick enough to type the words. Then I slack off for a bit. Summer comes. My kids are home all the time. I’m busy. I’m tired. I have excuses in spades as to why I can’t find time to write. Then all of a sudden my kids are at camp and I have a few days to myself. I find myself looking at that chair, glaring at it really. Why can’t I drag my tail off the couch and go sit in that chair and write? Because I’m out of practice. Because it’s going to be hard. Because I’m going to have to make my brain form sentences.

Ya’ll.

Making sentences seems easy. We do it all the time with our mouths. We spew words all day every day like it’s nothing. But try sitting down in front of a computer screen and typing letters to make words which will become sentences. Let me spare you the details and just tell you it can be painful. Keeping my tail in that chair can be painful. This is why I make excuses and avoid that chair like the plague.

But guess what? It’s time to get back in shape. It’s time to make sentences. It’s time to get my butt in that chair. Ok, here goes. Be gentle…

-Courtney

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter!

Can’t get enough? Click here! I’ll send these to your inbox.

Tagged , , ,