10 Things I Learned in My Last Pregnancy and What I’m Doing Differently


It’s been awhile. Life has been busy: moving prep, running a business, and finding out baby #2 is on the way! Fortunately, this pregnancy has been less stressful, and not nearly as rough physically. In fact, I just entered my second trimester weighing less than when we discovered I was pregnant again, and I have explosive amounts of energy.

Yes, this baby was a big surprise! But we’re also very excited. I learned a lot during my last pregnancy – things that have made my life so much easier this time around. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

If you’re a new mom or are expecting, hopefully, these tips will help you stay sane on your journey through motherhood.

Disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. I only endorse products that I have used personally and have found to be beneficial. This blog occasionally contains affiliate links, and a portion of the proceeds when these links are clicked on go to support this blog, which takes time and resources to run. Thanks again for reading!

1. Take time for you each day, even if it’s just 5 minutes. It felt like when I was pregnant with Erin…everyone and everything had a job for me to do, and to be honest, I was afraid of saying “no”. This time, even when my writing business gets hectic, I take the time to relax and do something for myself. It’s not selfish, because if you don’t take time for you, then you can’t take care of your family.

2. Stay active. I’ll admit that it was tough exercising with my first pregnancy. I was very nauseous during my first trimester and had a hectic schedule my second and third trimesters. I’ve learned though that even 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes. Once I get moving, I feel so much better and more relaxed and can give so much more to the people around me. Talk with your ob about what types of physical activity are best for you at this point. I loved using resistance loops and bands because I could take them anywhere with me, and a comfortable yoga mat is a must. I like these bands because they’re made of excellent material and they’re affordable.

3. Be generous, but spend time with those who value you. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I’m not saying that you should be a snoot, but be mindful that if someone, say a friend is taking you for granted, and seems to think their time is valuable, but somehow yours is less, it might be time to part ways.  For most of my first pregnancy, I felt like I constantly waited on people hand and foot. Did I have friends that would check on me? Yes, but they were few and far between. I’m not saying don’t show kindness to everyone, but there’s sometimes when you need to set boundaries. This time, one of our rules will be that we’re not traveling all over the place to go to everyone else’s houses. They will have to come to us from time to time. It’s just too stressful to load up your family all the time and load them up again to leave. The same rule applies to you… just because you are pregnant or have kids, doesn’t mean the world revolves around you. Let someone know if you’re running behind, life happens. It just does. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

4. Find healthier alternatives for your cravings. I learned this the hard way too. I do not have to eat 24/7 to grow a baby, but I don’t have to eat cardboard either, or feel hungry all the time. We started loosely following Trim Healthy Mama, and it has made a big difference in my energy, and I can have satisfying, healthy food that tastes great. If you want to know more about this doable way to eat healthy for families, you can find out more here.

5. Have open and honest communication with your doctor about stresses you are going through. At one of my jobs, yes, I was working two jobs while pregnant, I was receiving daily intimidation attempts, and no one seemed to care…only one of my friends had the discernment to ask what I was going through at the time. I was so embarrassed and hurt. I would literally cry from the time I got off work until I went to bed at night when no one was around. My husband had to intervene.

My doctor had to send a note, and it caused me to wind up in the hospital overnight 2 months before my due date. To be honest, I was terrified, and after my daughter’s birth. I was told by my medical team and a wise counselor in so many words that “No one has the right to alienate you and make you feel unwanted and unsafe. This is a time for you to be happy.” It took this to make me realize that being a Mom makes me more capable, not less. This empowered me to set healthier boundaries for work and other relationships, and I’m so thankful that Micah was supportive, and I’m happy to say, I’m in a much better place emotionally, if you know me, and you’re reading this, please don’t read into it…it is what it is. I’m just a mom trying to take care of her family. If someone seems to be intentionally trying to intimidate you or make you feel like you never do enough, tell someone you trust, and do not tolerate it. Your family needs you to be emotionally available, and you can’t be if you feel like you’re drowning constantly.

6. Have a getaway. I’m so glad that Micah and I did this… In fact, I wish we’d taken more time. Another boundary. This time, I have no idea how we’ll afford it, but we’ll have a baby moon if I have to sell donuts to pay for it. (And I don’t even eat donuts.)

7. Pamper yourself. Even if it’s an at-home spa night once in awhile. Take that time to feel pretty. Get together with some gal pals and relax and watch sappy chick flicks from the seventh grade. Laugh a little. I wish someone had done this with me when I was about a month from my due date. I was already on maternity leave and felt so shut off from the rest of the world.

8. Make date night a priority. Your marriage needs it. End of discussion. You can forego those $5 coffees twice a week to pay for it. Offer to exchange babysitting with friends to make it happen. Your kids need to see two parents who love each other. Because trust me, you both may have moments where you want to pull each other’s hair out after your baby is born.

9. Find a creative outlet, even if it’s doodling in a journal. I enjoyed crocheting things for Erin, and bought a coloring book with Scripture verse art. Relaxing with a cup of tea also helped me unwind. This is what worked for me. I probably would have pulled my hair out otherwise.

10. Meet with other women in the Word. I don’t care what anyone says, the days of women’s Bible studies are not over. Women need other women in an environment that isn’t comparison based. In a world of social media and selfies, it’s time to learn to build each other up again and refresh our hearts with Scripture. I have a great prayer partner that keeps things just between me her and Jesus, and we PRAY together, not gossip. Be real about your struggles and find a group of women passionate about studying and applying Scripture. This made a difference for me after Erin was born, and I plan to join a study on Romans after Little Bear is born.

What did you learn in your first pregnancy? What have you learned since becoming a mom? Comment below!

Why I Think Twice Before Taking a Selfie

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
So, before you start thinking of me as raining on your parade. Just hear me out.

When I say selfies, I’m talking about a pic of you and you only that pretty much has no other purpose but to show off your lip gloss or eye liner. Not that these pics aren’t fun once in a while, but let’s be honest: what is your purpose in taking those pics? Is it to portray an image? Do you have something to prove?

Let me provide an example:

I’m the owner of this blog, and like all bloggers should, I have an instagram. I’ve recently been leaning out after losing the baby weight, and I also do product reviews from time to time. So I take the occasional selfie, of me using a brand’s product, or make the occasional 30-second workout video. When I do this, I’m hoping to inspire someone to live a healthier lifestyle. The other day, I got a comment from a moderately famous instagram page, basically saying, “We love your page; please follow ours”, so I of course went to their instagram, but I didn’t follow them, and here’s why.

Even thought the title claimed that they were trying to inspire people… instead, I saw post after post of obviously airbrushed “selfies” of women who all looked like Cindy Crawford wannabes, and the camera shots were more suggestive than inspiring. Needless to say, I did not and will not like their page.

So that’s an extreme selfie example, but my point is that their reason for taking these pics was probably more to pressure a certain look or image on young women.

As a mother of an extremely young daughter, I don’t have the time or energy to devote to trying to make sure I look picture perfect all the time. If I took a selfie everyday, most days, it would look like I went ten rounds, and hey, I teach boot camp classes, so that’s probably not too far off.

Use that camera to capture memories with your loved ones and then use it when you’re bored on occasion.

I’m not trying to bash my young mommy friends or gal pals, in fact I LOVE seeing pregnant selfies , and technically, there’s at least two people in that picture. 🙂

Weight loss selfies can be done in a way to encourage others.

I’m just saying that when I see a news feed full of selfies, it implies, that either a person is self-focused or the makeup filters imply that their not happy with who God made them to be. I’m not saying that the occasional selfie is harmful, but I DO think that constantly trying to look perfect or put forth and image is bad for us gals’ mental and spiritual health. When we constantly give into the selfie craze, we feed into the lie that we have to compare… Listen to me, that creates mean girls…and guys But don’t take my word for it, here’s what the American Psychological Association has to say.

You can read the summary of one of the studies related to selfies and narcissism in Psychology Today. The study found that narcissists tended to take certain types of selfies, not to commemorate an event, but simply to try to achieve the perfect look.


What is narcissism? Narcissism is “excessive and obsessive self-interest in oneself and/or one’s physical appearance”. Basically meaning that a narcissist will try to squash or neglect anything that doesn’t put their self-interest first.


What does Scripture say? “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what the will of God is, His good pleasing, perfect will.”


Please don’t take this as condemnation, but know that I’m looking at those who are in my general age group, and the selfish behavior I’m seeing astounds me. I feel like more women are insecure now than ever before, and I don’t think that I personally, should make it a constant pattern to post stuff that comes across at self-glorifying. Confidence is great, but pride comes before a fall.


Most importantly, spend that time taking pics and creating memories with the ones you love. If you’re spending time taking selfies, when you should be paying attention to those around you, there may be a problem. Anyway, that’s my food for thought.


You were fearfully and wonderfully made, and that’s a truth needs no filter.





5 Minute HIIT Ab Workout and Fitness Towel Review


Disclaimer: I received this product at a very discounted rate in exchange for my honest review. However, I only give items positive reviews when I feel it is a trustworthy product.

Hi! So, I'd recently been looking for a fitness/yoga towel to take to classes with me so I wouldn't have to lug around a mat. So, I when Mango Fitness let me try their yoga/fitness towel. I was so excited!

Why would I want to use this towel?

- It's antimicrobial and wicks away moisture, aka, sweat.
- It has non-slip corners that overlap over any standard size mat.
- It adds just a little extra comfort to your mat.
- If you borrow a mat at your facility, this is a great way to give you a barrier between you and a mat.
-If you want a little extra traction, so that you're not slipping in sweat, this yoga towel becomes non-slip when wet!
- It's easy to clean. Just throw it in the wash!

Adam, is the owner at Mango Fitness, and he was very helpful and super courteous. I really loved working with him!

You can order Mango Fitness Hot Yoga Towels on Amazon

Here's a great quick workout that I wanted to share with you!


Inchworm Walk-outs
Boat Situps

Perform 8 reps of each exercise then, move immediately to the next ab exercise, without any rest. During the next round, perform 7 of each exercise, then 6 of each exercise, and so on until you reach one rep of each exercise. This is a great way to break a sweat and strengthen your core at the same time.

I loved using Mango Fitness' towel, because it made me feel like I had a great grip on the mat with no slipping.

To see demonstrations of both exercises, check out my instagram!


How Functional Exercise can help Reduce Back Pain

Hi Everyone,
There’s a lot of buzz out there about functional exercise on the fitness scene, but it’s really important to understand this valuable fitness concept. Today, Molly from Proactive Chiropractic was kind enough to share with us what functional exercise is all about. So, without further ado, take it away, Molly!

Chiropractors treat a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to sports rehabilitation therapy. However, many patients initially seek chiropractic care due to a common complaint; back pain. In fact, roughly 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, that’s nearly 10% of the population.

What Causes Back Pain?
“Back pain” is a common, though often vague description for a variety of conditions that cause pain or discomfort in the back. The back itself is made up of several bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and muscles. Any of these can become damaged, inflamed, or otherwise compromised to the point of causing distress.

Common causes of back pain include repetitive strain Injuries such as work-related lifting, carrying, or other strenuous actions. Post traumatic injuries such as caused by an accident may also contribute. Further, the current office environment in the workplace, characterized by long hours spent sitting at a computer desk may also contribute to poor posture and circulation which are also contributing factors.

Some additional facts regarding back pain:
It is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
It is the second leading cause of workplace absence, after upper respiratory infections.
50% of working Americans report having back pain each year
Most cases of back pain are mechanical in nature. In other words, the underlying cause is not a serious condition such as infection or disease. These conditions are often the most responsive to treatment
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality recommends that patients who experience recurring back pain choose the more conservative treatment options before surgery.
Back pain is responsible for at least $50 billion is healthcare costs each year. And that only includes easily identifiable healthcare costs. When factoring in additional expenses such as lost wages from workplace absences or over the counter treatments and therapy devices, the total costs associated with back pain are much higher.

Functional Exercises
Functional exercises differ from what you may think of when you imagine traditional exercise training. Functional exercises are meant to train and develop your muscles for normal, everyday activities such as you might experience at home, work, or school.

Functional exercise programs fit in well with the chiropractic approach to health. The goal of chiropractic adjustment is often aimed at aligning the body and creating a harmonious environment that is ideal for healing, rehabilitation, or continued well-being.
Functional exercise training likewise is intended to train and develop muscles and joints to work in tandem with one another. This is aimed at increasing strength and agility, developing core muscle strength, or improving balance.

The use of functional exercise programs is widespread and includes:
Rehabilitation of sports or traumatic injuries
Strength training for elderly patients
Combating the effects of work-related injuries and conditions
As an effective, low-impact course of exercise for patients who are inexperienced with exercise, or for those with special considerations such as limited mobility, or even pregnant women.

Chiropractic Care and Functional Exercise
Strong support exists for the role of exercise in the treatment of chronic or occupational back pain. In fact, according to the Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Parameters:
Exercise is at least as effective as other non-surgical treatment options for chronic lower back pain.
Occupational back pain has been shown to be alleviated or managed through the use of exercise programs in conjunction with chiropractic evaluation and adjustment.

Your chiropractor can help evaluate your back pain and recommend a course of treatment to manage or alleviate your pain. Functional exercise is not recommended for every patient or every condition, and the underlying cause of the condition will play a large role in the recommended treatment.

If you are experiencing back pain, or are interested in seeing if functional exercises may help you, contact us today to set up an appointment!

Thanks, Molly and Proactive Chiropractic for sharing with us today!
How do you incorporate functional exercise into your fitness routine?

Tell us in the comments below!

30-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout

Hi Everyone!
It’s been awhile. I wanted to talk to you today about circuit training. This type of workout is definitely one of the most efficient ways to get a workout if you don’t have a lot of time or equipment.
There are several reasons I love circuit training, so here they are:
– strength training and cardio combined
– doable anywhere
– works the entire body
– blasts fat and builds muscle

So what are you waiting for?

How this workout works:

You will do each exercise for one minute each, then move on to the next exercise. When you have done one set of all the exercises rest for one minute, repeat this cycle 2-3 more times. Then cool down and stretch. As you get fit, try seeing how many reps you can do for time or add resistance. I recommend using the exercise library at https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/ if you need exercise tutorials. Enjoy!

Peace, Love and New Mom Life

Hi There!

Yes, I know how long it’s been since I’ve written…I have been a little preoccupied though. Baby Erin entered the world on July 30th and life’s been a whirlwind ever since.

I’d love to tell you the past 8 weeks have been a fairy tale, and don’t get me wrong, I love my little one, and I love being her mother. It just seems as if the rest of the world had a vendetta against me for having a baby sometimes. Thankfully my husband is very supportive, and although I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, I seem to be returning back to normal relatively quickly, according to my doctor.

Just a side note: if you have a new mom friend that’s suffering from postpartum depression, just reach out. Even if you don’t know what to say, just listening and being there for her without saying a word speaks volumes. Unfortunately this wasn’t my experience across the board…I won’t go into detail, but it is very damaging when you feel like those around you lose any kind of faith in your abilities to function…Leave that stuff to the professionals.

Little Erin is pretty wonderful though. She entered the world at 8 pounds and 1 ounce and hasn’t stopped eating ever since…(She gets that from Micah.) Is motherhood easy? No. Is it wonderful? Yes. Erin is already holding her head up very well and loves tummy time…and yes, she is already a music snob. LOL.

Oh, but I still hold the record on napping…that is no contest…I confess to reaching for my coffee mug immediately after nursing…

My favorite part of having this Sweet One to take care of though, is the snuggles. Ahhh, the snuggles. When she falls asleep, it’s as if the rest of the world pauses for a moment. This little chunky angel loves going on walks in the stroller or baby carrier. She goes straight to sleep when I do slow squats with her strapped to me! (Yay for exercise!)

Erin has started smiling a lot in past week and a half, which is so neat! She makes faces like a cartoon character and loves to wiggle…my goodness, I know now why I felt her trying to kick her way out…she was…


Speaking of exercise, I’ve never been so happy to work out in my life! Doing stand-up squats and walking was about the limit of what I was allowed to do…I’m someone who likes to pick up heavy weights, and all that mess was messing with my head. While a lot of women start back to working out after 2 weeks, I had to take it slower than most because of receiving a blood transfusion at the hospital. It took me about a month before I started to feel like myself energy-wise.

Once I started walking about 3-5 times a week, the weight started falling off. Nursing causes me to have to keep my calorie intake at a pretty high level, but I try to put high quality calories in because it Erin’s and my nutritional needs more efficiently. Oh, and I’ve never wanted to just chug a bucket of ice water like I do now…In the mornings, I wake up and feel like I just walked through a desert.

There’s been a lot of changes in our household…saying “hello” to new friends and saying “goodbye” to old ones. As tough as that might seem right now, Micah and I believe some of the tough decisions we’ve faced as a family in the past few weeks are for the best, and that “In every element of rejection, there is divine protection.”  And God is never late or early, but you’ll never meet anyone more punctual. No one walks with him without facing trouble, but the trials we face can drive away or make us take refuge in Him – I choose the latter of the two.


Micah and I definitely have sleep-deprived, new parent look going on in this picture….haha.

A dear friend of mine once told me that I would reach a place in my life where the question I needed to ask was not “Why?” but “Lord, what could you be to me in this situation that you couldn’t be in any other?” I believe that as we are in this whirlwind of change as a family, both good and not so good, that God wants to be our protector, refuge, provider and friend who sticks closer than a brother. Something that I have come to know so much more deeply in the past 2 months. He is also my joy…dealing with post partum depression has been a struggle, but I haven’t lost my purpose. Sometimes God brings us the biggest blessings, like Erin, to push us through dark days. “Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself.” God sends us the greatest joys in life when we are about to go through the toughest trials. Romans 8:28 says, “For we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

I would definitely say that having a baby has grown the relationship Micah and I have as a married couple. Having to work through so many decisions together has made us grow closer in so many ways. One thing that I’ve learned is that it is so important for us to always have each others’ backs. You can both be insistent on being right or, you can work together as an act of love towards your spouse. Good parenting is the definition of teamwork.

So to sum it up, motherhood is not easy, but it is easily the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and I would do it all over again.






Monday Motivation: Setting Goals

Hi! So here it is on Monday, and…we got freezing rain…again! Winter just does not want to let go of his grip!  Today, I’m here to talk about persistence. James says, “Let patience have it’s perfect work, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.” Wow, I wish it were easy, but many times, I know that at the slightest sign of difficulty, I’ve thrown up my hands and walked away from some great opportunities, but that’s not the case anymore! I’ve been learning some things about my self the past 2 months, and one of those things has been that in the past, I’ve talked about goals, but never laid out the ground work to reach them. I get caught up in the grandiose vision of achieving a certain goal, but then try to “guestimate” my way there. My advice: when you set a goal, do the research. Make a detailed plan. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses. Make a sacrifice to get there. Without sacrifice, you will have no ownership in your goal. Some of the best decisions I’ve made in life have been risks.
Here are some tips to help you reach your goals:
1. Write out your goals. Be specific. For example, my next fitness goal is to have a six pack…I’m actually close right now. The goal I had before was to have a flat tummy again. I wrote this down in my fitness journal.
2. Do some research. If you want, slimmer thighs, then you may not want to do powerlifting to reach your goal. Is this an extreme example, yes, but you get my point. That said, do not overlook strength training if that is your goal. Do you want more energy, then do research about programs that allow you sufficient nutrition…a “no carb” diet is not for you. Ask a fitness professional that specializes in the types of goals that you have.
3. Get accountability. So many of us lose sight because we’re afraid to tell anyone what we’re about to do…for whatever reason. Find someone who will encourage you but also be honest with you. Announce your intentions on your social media. It works.
4. Show up. If you never start, then you can’t finish. It’s that simple. Just commit to starting your workout…once the balls rolling, it’s harder to get off track.

I hope this helps! This may not come naturally to you, but anything worth having must be worked for!

Stay warm! 

Workout Wednesday: Butts and Guts

I’m so excited!!! Today marks my first post as a Sweat Pink ambassador, and as part of the group Fitness Media in Motion, and I’m proud to be a part of both. It’s humbling and a tremendous blessing to be affiliated with such prestigious names.

I’m so excited to present this workout to you today! I’ve been experimenting with the pre-exhausting technique: working a muscle that usually takes over first in an exercise so that you can grow weaker muscles. For example, I used quad extensions in this workout, because they usually get the most activation instead of glutes and hammies when I squat. I tend to have stronger quads anyway, well I tell you, this technique works. In the past 2 weeks, I can already tell a difference in my hamstrings. This workout is home-friendly and gym-friendly, so you could really do this anywhere. This workout went by quickly and will scorch your lower abs and glutes in about 30 minutes!

Seated Leg Extensions: Sit in a chair with a resistance band tied around your ankles. Work one side at a time, straightening your right leg and contracting the quads in the front of the leg. Slowly return leg to start position. Repeat for repetitions, then change legs. If you’re in a gym, use their leg extension machine. This is your pre-exhaust exercise.

Walking Lunge to 1-leg Dead Lift: (This is an advanced move. If you’re a first-timer, try just walking lunges, then add deadlifts when you perfect your form.)Step your R foot forward in a lunge. Keeping weight in the right heel, bring L foot forward to meet R. Hinge at the hips, and bend so back is parallel with the floor. Slowly return to standing. This is a challenge, so don’t rush.

Side Skaters: Use a marker to create a boundary to hop over, such as a band or jump rope. Standing on the L side, hope over to the R and lift L leg. Keeping abs in and R knee slightly bent. Repeat, alternating sides. Do this move for 20 seconds!

Hip Thrust: Sitting on the ground with shoulders against a bench (or the couch) with legs straight on the ground, press into your heels, bending knees and lifting hips off the floor. Your shoulders, not neck should be pressing into the bench. Squeeze glutes at the top, then lower, and repeat. This is an advanced move, so if you’re unsure, do glute bridges.

Pop Squats: With knees slightly bent, jump out into a squat, and slowly descend. Jump feet together, and sink back into a squat. Repeat. Modification: walk feet out while staying at least halfway into the squat, then walk feet in.

Reverse Crunches: Lie on your back, feet on the floor. Zip up your abs, and use them, not momentum to bring your knees to your chest, with a lift at the top.

Walking Planks: Get into a plank on the hands, and “walk” hands and feet to the R for 5 steps, then to the L for 5 steps.

Cheating: Is food fair?

This is a topic I get asked about by everyone…and I do mean EVERYONE…So often I hear people bemoan the fact that their one cheat meal of the week was traditional barbecue food or cookout food…I hear…but it was just one meal, but my digestive system feels like a wreck…I’m holding water weight…I feel heavy…on and on the list goes. Some say, can I really cheat, or is that just a lie trainers use to get you to try a diet… The good news is yes, you can cheat, but moderation is a lot less that what you may already believe. Here are the cheating commandments…er uh…guidelines…of cheat meals/snacks

1. A cheat is only a cheat when it is once a week. More than once a week and it’s a habit, not a cheat.
2. It is not a piece of that chocolate mousse pie. It is one BITE of that chocolate mousse pie. People think that following the moderation rule involves pigging out on that food once a week during that cheat meal. I say is is a portion only a tiny bit larger than what you already eat…you normally would not THINK about chocolate mousse pie…as Mary Poppins said, “Enough is as good as a feast.” This is a time to practice self-control and feel empowered by exercising control over what you put in your mouth.
3. It is not “saving” your calories for tonights big banquet…This is especially true for those of you who go to family get-togethers and business dinners. By doing this, you are depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to keep your metabolism fueled, and then gorge when you arrive in temptation central. Practice pre-eating: a small clean meal, even if it’s only cucumbers and hummus, will trick your body, and you will eat less that what  you would have originally.
4. Food is not a social networking tool…even though we treat it like it is…you will not be anymore or less accepted in reality if you eat that shrimp scampi or those doritos than if you do.
5. If you must gorge, gorge a whole food you love, like blueberries…
I hope you enjoyed this comical but practical take on cheating….please feel free as always to comment. 🙂
Galatians 5:23
“For the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control.”