Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What I have been thinking...

Well hello there everyone... I hope you all are doing stellar this here almost Mid May;) I took a step back from blogging (not IG you know I can't leave my true love - LOL) and I truly believe it has taught me a few things. This post will be open and honest and so it goes...

1. People are crazy or sad... or crazy and sad... You can get so caught up in the Internet world that you forget to look at things from an "outsider". An "outsiders" perspective can be very different then when you are all "up in the mix". Not that being crazy or sad is a bad thing - it is just a different perspective that I had not related to in awhile.

2. Life is passing and time is not about to stop - that beautiful breeze in the backyard feels so good on my pasty skin... that screaming kid telling her brother "you are NOT the best brother anymore" still has the cutest button nose and longest killer eyelashes... Playing Connect 4 367 times in a row IS fun... Sleeping in, in the mornings is AMAZING. I had gotten so caught up in "finding the time" to write posts that I passed some of these things up here and there.

3. I enjoy browsing and then moving on. I would over analyze, re-read, analyze again, etc... It feels nice to skim and move on about my day.

4. Laughter... I missed laughing. I laugh that is just WHO I AM... and I was losing that about myself. I wasn't laughing as much anymore - I was getting stressed, hurt, and fun Mel was becoming somewhat of a "fun sponge".

5. Competitive Mel was rearing her ugly head... I have never been one to dismiss the fact that I am a competitive person but sometimes this can get out of control. I always root for everyone to reach their dreams, potential, and/or fulfill their goals and there was a part of me that was getting annoyed and spiteful. That is NOT ME! I don't like that part of me, even though comparing ourselves to one another is human nature - it can spiral out of control and I was headed down that road. I had to NIX that in the bud with a quickness. Feels nice to have the "good ole Mel" back.

6. Validation... I admit, getting validation from others was nice (if anyone tells you that they don't enjoy validation from others, they are LYING in my opinion) - but was it truly needed? No it wasn't. I have wonderful friends and family that support and encourage me. My friends IRL and the one's I have met online that are now my life long friends, love me for me and know the real me.

7. Not everyone will like or understand me... Yes it is true I struggle with this. I want to be a good person that people walk away from and say "she was really nice, I enjoyed meeting her" but truth is, NOT everyone will understand or like me. After I took a step back I realized that I can be the nicest person on the planet and SOMEONE will always find something negative to say or think. No I don't think it is okay, but I deal with it better now.

8. I am a passionate girl... Yep... I am passionate about what I do and that included blogging and sometimes being completely passionate can make or break you. I was caught up in posting EVERY SINGLE DAY, trying to make my content worthwhile, and/or giving the readers what THEY want to hear. That type of passion turned into resentment and time spent doing something that just didn't bring me that much joy anymore. Sad, but true.

With all this being said, I still love the blog world and the wonderful relationships it forms, help it provides to those in need, and... not going to lie, entertainment. To say I am done blogging is a LIE... I love popping in and saying hi, sharing stories of my life, and seeing how everyone is doing. I just felt compelled to state these eight findings today for my own personal reference.

Hope this finds you all well and have a wonderful rest of May:)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life lately... the running part...

Hey there! Hai, hai, hai... Life's going my friends. Where shall I start?

I ran my first half marathon of 2014 on April 6th. It is that course with #allthehills in downtown St. Louis. I, honestly, had not been running much at ALL prior to. I logged about 15 miles total in 3 months before the race BUT... I committed so I got up and ran.

It was a gorgeous day to run and I paid 80 bucks so I wasn't about to NOT get my money's worth:) First 5 miles I was doing fine - slower than usual but keeping the momentum. Mile 6 was an incline and I saw this kid with this sign that said "shortcut" and I am not lying 77% of me was ready to head off the trail and follow that kid to the nearest Lions Choice... but I kept at it and told myself if I can get up the Holy Hill I was GOLDEN. Mile 10 I got my second wind and Lil Wayne started with "A Milli" and I was OFF... Finished the 13.1 in 2:20 - NOT near my usual time but I was really proud of myself - I overcame my self doubt, my head telling me to DETOUR, and I didn't eat 2 roast beef's with cheese, fries, and a large Root Beer that afternoon from my fav Lions C...;)

The following weekend I had signed up to run a 5K for MODOT Work Zone Awareness and so we did. This course was no joke - it was another incline city but each 1/2 mile they had a cone set up with a worker who had lost his/her life on the job - it was motivation, a reminder to slow down in work zones, and my realization that this could happen to E at any moment, on the days he is out in the field. Scary...

This was E's first race EVER (his work put a team together) so he was pretty AMPd up... He stuck with me for the first mile and we clocked in about an 8:30 mile - then the second mile I pulled back - he was in the ZONE and I thought, hey why not let him run this run? I didn't want him to worry about where I was or blah, blah, blah... and I am not going lie - I was tired and my body STILL hurt from the half the weekend before (yes training is worth it - hahaha). I stuck behind him - he came in around 27 something and I was right behind at 28 something. Not my fastest race but, once again, I chose running instead of waffles that morning - WINNING!

Saturday I am going to get out there and hopefully crank out around 13 miles. My boy Tim and his hot wife (my sweet friend) Jenn are running their first half marathon Saturday morning, and I really wanted to be there. I can't make it this time around, so I am going to run WITH them - just virtually:)

I am back to running... Glad to be - I truly missed it. I am pumped to get my running back in order. I am starting to book up my race calendar and plan to run my next 26.2 in October - the St. Louis Rock N Roll Marathon - YAY! I also think that K9Bish and I are going to run 26.2 at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December, just hoping it is NOT another repeat from last year.

If anyone is planning any STL races and wants to run with someone or at least meet at the start line - let me know? I have been racing solo lately and miss having someone there as motivation and support to keep going.

Hope everyone is doing well. I will update more on life MINUS the running part soon. MISS YOU ALL TREMENDOUSLY! Have a wonderful Easter.

Thursday OUT

  How is racing going for you? Started running for the first time? Trying something new?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saying Goodbye...

Last week was supposed to be filled with spring break antics for the kids and fun for the family - and then I received a call that my grandfather was in the hospital. I wrote about my G-pa back in October when he had a heart attack - you can read it HERE.

My grandfather had been doing well since the heart surgery, but with increased shortness of breath and the diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis he wanted to take himself to the hospital. He went to his small town hospital on a Saturday evening and they sent him to St. Louis to one of our bigger hospitals. He did well on Sunday and by Monday my father was saying that he would be going "home", unfortunately things took a turn for the worse.

I wanted to visit him at the hospital on Monday after work but I had class and it doesn't let out until 9:30 PM - and visiting hours would be over for sure. Tuesday my father called and told me that the doctor called and it might not be long - so I left work and headed to the hospital. I talked with G-pa, laughed at his hatred for the food, quirkiness with the nurses, and told him I loved him - held his hand and kissed his forehead when I left to go back to work. He was having the hardest time breathing and his oxygen levels were dropping and the doctor had told us it was time to learn to "let go". He made it until around 5:00 p.m. and I got the call that G-pa passed. I asked my Dad to please let me see him one last time - so I headed back up to the hospital to be with my father and grandmother and see him for the final time. Saying goodbye was extremely tough - but seeing my grandmother (whom he had been married to for 64 years) and my father in pain - was even tougher. This was first close family member to pass in my short 33 years and I wasn't prepared for the sadness that I would feel.

Long story short... the wake, funeral, and weekend consisted of grief and a celebration of his life. So many memories and wonderful stories shared - it touched my heart...

I will remember:
- him lacing up his fine leather boots and getting ready for the Mason Lodge on the weekends
- his old type writer and him sitting down to write REAL letters
- him making us ice cream with his ice cream maker in the basement of his "City" house
- the long rides down to the "Country" and the music we listened to down there
- his love for farming and sending us kids home with TONS of veggies and fruit
- him trying to teach me to "hook those worms" and to succumb to the "country girl" life
- his YELLOW Freight notepads lying all over the house for me to play "secretary" with
- his delicious REAL breakfasts in the morning - cooked with lard and love
- the way he combed his snow white hair back with his small black comb
- his mustache tickling our cheeks as he kissed us goodbye

There are so many more memories that I will cherish. He was a GOOD man - a truly genuine GOOD man who will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Break it off...

Hey everyone. Hope March is treating you right! I am on spring break, officially, and made it through my Accounting class, barely, but I did:) I may have freaked out after my final last Monday and contacted the professor to grade my exam "THAT NIGHT" because I couldn't handle the anticipation of waiting to hear my final grade. Here is the deal, you CAN NOT get a C in your Master's program - you go on probation, have to pay your employer all the money back from the program, and go into straight depression - so needless to say, I was a little on edge. He was sweet and obliged to my "freak out request" and I did just fine and got a B in the class. WOOT! So now onto to Statistics starting on March 17th.

Stats and I are friends - I love testing the validity of theories - I mean that is every day life. I test theories ON THE DAILY;) So I am ready for this class. Numbers might not be "my thing" but put them with whether something has significance or not, and I am ALL OVER IT!

Anyways back to the topic, accounting was not my ideal class, I struggled,  and guess what else I did?... EAT AND NOT WORK OUT... Stress eater right here!

So for 9 weeks I have been laying low - it felt good, but now class is over... I am off track. I can't say I am unhappy because I am not - but things are out of whack and I know it. I want my workouts/running back in my life. I miss it.

Oh and Chris touched on a great subject today - the dreaded "Ah ha" pics that make us go "daaaang GINA I need to start caring again" - here is mine...

All I see are maroon thighs and puff cheeks... womp. womp. womp.
Anywhoo... I just wanted to put this out there for my own accountability. I have California in June and I want to get myself a nice new bikini and wear some boho Cali chic clothes while I am there. Every time I think "boho chic" my mind immediately goes "bare arms" - AGH!!! You know me and sleeveless - ouch... I have some work to do and I need to get started. Here is the deal, I am not unhappy I am just ready to get back on track:)

Here is what I am looking at each week so far.

Monday - OFF DAY (school night)
Tuesday - 3-4 mile run and legs/abs
Wednesday - DANCE NIGHT for Elle - 3-5 mile run and TurboKick class at the gym
Thursday - 3 mile run and shoulders/triceps
Friday - 2 mile run and chest/biceps
Saturday - Long run
Sunday - Back

It is just a start but hey... gotta start somewhere!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Had to give...

Just wanted to say hello to the blogging world. I am still here. Things are going well, honestly, very well.

I know it has been a hot minute since I blogged so I thought a quick stop in felt appropriate. Sorry this is all TEXT I am sure you are sick of seeing all my pics on IG - so I will spare you on this one:)

Here is the deal, I was packing my life with a TON of stuff - never saying "no" to anything - and while I love a life filled with shenanigans - I needed to slow my roll. I have quite a bit going on and sometimes "I" need to sit back and re-evaluate. Certain "things" were not bringing me JOY anymore and as much as I kept telling myself they were - truth was THEY WERE NOT!


School is going well, it is still on Monday nights from 5:30-9:30 - so LONG night. This accounting class is HARD - it is not clicking so I am taking extra time to study my booty off. Every free moment I get I have my book out and/or notes doing problems or trying to understand the terminology. I have my final exam next Monday night and then onto the 4th class in the program. AGH!!! I am ready for this class to be over, but so glad I didn't let the challenge of this course stop me from pursuing on.

Work is great, very busy with many projects going on and I am traveling a bit these next few months - so work has me BUSY - but I LOVE IT!

Family is great. E has some changing going on at his place of business, so waiting on the outcome of all that. The kids are hysterical - I am spending extra time with them lately and loving every second of it. These 2 crack me up like no other. Elle and Wes start t-ball soon - yes you heard that right "Elle is playing t-ball", I am giving her 2 practices and then we will see:) She is the girl who needs drink breaks after 5 minutes of physical activity - LOL. Kids are still in swimming and Elle can FINALLY swim. YAY!  So basically Wednesday is Elle's dance night, Thursday Wes swims, Saturday morning Elle swims - so we will see where t-ball fits in.

Elle is too much - she's a smarty, SUPER nosey, and a SASS A FRAS, love her. Wes is so sweet and asking so many interesting questions lately, like this morning "When do we die?" - fun...;) and his new phrase is "I am not a fan of..." and he likes to tell me I am a "hot mess". Oh and at the dinner table the other night he said "O.M.G. that is gross". WHAT? O M G - where did he learn that?

I bought a car (Acura MDX) on a Saturday, that Tuesday someone SMOKED me. I was driving down the street, they were parked and didn't look before they pulled out and $7000 later and a rental - here we sit. I don't even remember what my new car looked like:( At least they were insured and it wasn't my fault.

AND... finally... exercise/fitness/running... I haven't done much at ALL and I am OKAY with this. I scaled back on all of this... running to the gym, running long distances on the weekend mornings, lifting, running on the treadmill... I put all of this on the back burner. I am still working out here and there - trying to eat right - and doing the norm but being honest, I am doing LITTLE.

It actually has been nice to reconnect with myself internally and focus on certain aspects of my life that needed some "Mel time". It's refreshing to rejuvenate myself.

With all this being sad, the beginnings of March will prompt a fresh new start for me. New class, spring is closer, and running outdoors starts. I will be using IG to hold myself accountable - so be aware as you might get annoyed;) Oh... and Turbo Kick is now a new found favorite of mine. So here is to a fresh start.

Happy (soon to be) March

Thursday, February 6, 2014

School is in session...

Happy Thursday... and to me that means I have a quiz due tomorrow and another Exam on Monday. With all that being said, I am going to scale back on the blogging for awhile. This class is harder for me than the others and I am going to devote the majority of my time to studying. The next class is Statistics and I will need extra time to study for that course, as well. I am hoping to test out of the class for the summer session, so I might be back in swing by then...

Race season is also creeping up on us quickly and you know where I will be, either hitting the pavement or on the treadmill. I have signed up for a few fun races this spring, summer, and fall and I can't wait to start training again.

I will pop up here and there and update on the family, life, friends, race recaps, school, etc... but for now I need to get through these classes. I will still be on Instagram - my favorite place EVER:)

 Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drake is going to motivate me...

And not the Drake you are all thinking...

My 4 bff's and I are headed to Chitown in May, for our "turning 35 together" trip and we are going to stay at The Drake - see how I put a spin on that - all hyped on coffee this morning;) Oh and FYI... all these bia's will be turning 35 - little ole me will still be 33. WOOT!!! I am the youngest in the group and have used this to my advantage for MANY MANY MANY years. HA... (these are my girls since grade school)

Okay here is the deal, I have almost a full 4 months to get in TIP TOP shape. The #jmdvdchallenge is wrapping up and I can say I did well. I worked out - did The Shred - ran - joined a gym - and then the bad weather happened and so did fro-yo, Twix bars, Papa Johns, Pasta, etc... you get the point... BOOYA!

With January wrapping up and my lack of motivation, running, working out, and eating healthy it's TIME to make a change... (for the hundreth time) - hey... fall down, get back up 17 times, isn't that how the saying goes - or something like that?

Feb - May Goals

My goal is simple, to feel good in Chicago. 

My FTF posts will be a weigh in for the week, my workouts that week, and goals for the weekend (the hardest time for me). I was also really bummed out I didn't run the half in Forest Park last weekend - well minus the sleet and wind that blew people sideways - so I am starting to sign myself for races for the spring - YAY! Oh... and I am doing the 10 day herbal Advocare Cleanse again starting on Feb 10th. I do the cleanse about twice a year - not just for the sheer reason of dropping that water weight, but because it really does put things back into perspective for me and I believe in the product.

Today I am going to put together my workout calendar and race calender for February and I will share that with everyone tomorrow for "Follow Through Friday". I am glad I woke up in a "Let's Do This" mood - I needed a swift kick in the booty and booking The Drake was just what I needed.

  "Then I, hopped inside the Cadillac
The chauffeur drove off and we never came back"

Goals for February? Great arm routines? Chitown places we should not miss?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bikini Bridges and Thigh Gaps...

Rant time (you might be used to sunny side up Mel - this post "eh" not so much)... and what this means to a WOMAN who has a beautiful impressionable daughter...

Can I just say this "What is wrong with people - I mean for real what is WRONG WITH PEOPLE?". Ugh... I always take the "high road" and just let stuff go - BUT COME ON! Yes we all want to look amazing, feel amazing, have other's tell us how amazing we look, etc... blah.blah.blah... BUT this... this ridiculous obsession with thigh gaps and bikini bridges makes me extremely angry and yet sad at the same time.

Thigh Gaps... 

Really, does the world think these messages are healthy for woman and our younger generations? My answer is HELL TO THE NO!!! I understand wanting to have healthy legs, thighs, and a booty but shouldn't we just be striving to make ourselves stronger instead of focusing on making our thighs "not touch". I agree nice legs are something that I work on too, but I enjoy the burn, pushing them to the limits, and/or feeling nice in skirts. Not that my way is the right way - but I want Elle to want to take care of her body because she enjoys exercising, running, dancing, swimming - not because all the girls want DARN THIGH GAPS!

Bikini Bridges...

Can I smack someone now? Now we are obsessing how we look lying down... AGH!!!!!!! Once again I like working on my abs too - I want a strong core, I feel it gives you better posture, and it makes my pants fit better. I actually REALLY enjoy working out my core, but not because I want this dam* bridge when I sunbathe. I am not EVEN going to get started on this one and how unfortunate I think this craze is. Sad. just sad. Please let this pass by the time Elle starts asking to go to the pool with her friends.

Long rant short... I TOTALLY understand the need and want to feel better about ourselves. I would love great looking legs, killer abs, and a nice booty. I think feeling good about ourselves establishes confidence and who doesn't want to be confident? I believe we should workout, eat healthy, run, swim, dance, play soccer, etc... because we LOVE IT, we want to be strong women, we want to feel better about ourselves, and want to live a long healthy life. Reality is, is that is not norm. We get fixated on certain stigmas, trends, obsessions. I know this and although it makes me sad and angry, my goal is to strive to teach my children to take care of themselves for no one other then them self. To push themselves to be strong because living healthy is more important than any gap in a thigh or bridge in your dang swimsuit. Rant concluded...

Happy Worst Day of the Week

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mi Casa...

It was long weekend. Elle came down sick with a nasty cold and was all out of sorts so I didn't race. I stayed home and loved on her. She needed me and I am okay with that. Basically I stayed indoors and got a ton done. I went out to dinner on Saturday night to one my "The Hill" favs, Zias. I ate my face off and don't care, but honestly I am sure the scale does... OVER IT!!!

Onto better things...

I have a few fun projects coming up at home and I can't wait to see the before and afters. First thing first - the kitchen. Let me let you in on a little secret - I am neutral girl... My house is fairly neutral and all flows, minus the kid's rooms. The kitchen needs a little "umphhhh" if I might say. So we are doing some fun things to the island counter... I am not going to spoil it, but I can't wait to get it done... I would also love to get above cabinet lightening done - we have the under but the above is so "perfect" to me. Here are a few before pics...

I have also been spending an ample amount of time in my office since I started my MBA. I love the color in the office but I think I am ready for something to spruce it up a bit. We will see...

I am also going to be doing a little "jazzing up" to my stairwell. I can't wait to share it with you all. Home projects are always a blast to me - well I am not the one actually DOING them, but I get to enjoy them;) Spring is upon us and that always makes me want to jump on every house project possible... Now just bring on the Spring warmth - I am over this winter. DONE. D.O.N.E.

Any projects going on in your home? Love your above cabinet lightening? Does Spring put you in "do, do, do mode"?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Follow Through Friday...

It is Follow Through Friday with my LADIES!!!


This week I got my JM in like a champ and moved up to Level 3 of the Shred. Um... helloooo Level 3 - for real who can do those things where you lie on your weight and do one arm up then one leg up? I am NOT there yet. I cut back on the weight training this week and just ran a few 2-3 milers. I run a half marathon tomorrow and I wanted to be rested up. WOOP! Looking forward to hitting that pavement in this cold weather;)

Really? Here is the deal, I am making better choices but I am still eating. I have been choosing healthier options when we go out to lunch AND... I am only eating half my meal when we eat "out". I ordered a French Dip sandwich the other day and a side salad. Only ate half of the sandwich and the whole salad - that is a TOTAL win for me... I usually slop my fries up with ketchup and eat every single bite on my plate - including making sure all the salt is off the bottom of my plate AND... I order dessert, so this is "winning" in my book.

I am eating fairly well at work and snacking on fresh carrots at home while I cook instead of Sun Chips (my usual go to). I am still eating dinner and I just can't fathom making TWO dinners right now - I have enough going on. So I just eat in moderation - with the exception of Thursday night when I ate chips and salsa at Las Fuentas and then frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf after Elle's dance class. Hey... she didn't finish hers and I wasn't about to let that go to waste - sad part is... she has a cold now so it is inevitable I will be ill in a few days - maybe I will lose some weight;)

This Weeks Goals
Continue with Level 3 of the Shred - finish the #jmdvdchallenge strong... Run, Run, Run, and start focusing on my weight lifting more. I am going to weight train 4 times a week. Shoulders/Biceps - Chest/Triceps - Back - Legs - I do abs every day so that is a given. I need to UP my water baby... Chug a lug.. and I am buying another round of the Advocare Cleanse. It's time to clean it up again. I am going to start sometime in February - haven't decided yet?

That about sums up this week. Tomorrow I have dinner out "sans kids", and I am really hoping that I stick to my healthy eating plan BUT... who knows? I like a good slab of meat and I may just go in for the kill;) If I do well in the race tomorrow morning I am treating myself... to FOOD!!!

Happy Weekend

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The ONE part of me...

You know that one part of your body that you just don't particularly care for... well mine are my arms. If you haven't noticed I wear long sleeves/ three quarter sleeves 365 days a year. You won't catch me that often in sleeveless, NEVER in a regular sleeve, and I am the QUEEN of jackets/blazers.

I have broader shoulders and the "Pauley Cursed" arms - my mother's side of the family has them and we just have to deal with it. I don't have a slender upper body and never will, so I HAVE to work my shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, traps out or else I just look like a big mush upper body.

My body is shaped somewhat like an upside down triangle. I have always been ashamed of my arms and if I am speaking the truth, I still am... but this year I am going to work really hard to embrace those muscles and let them see the sun more often.

Since I am not constantly running 20 miles on the weekends I am focusing more on weight training and I am loving it. My arms are toning up a bit and that makes me happy. Shoulders/chest are my favorite muscles to work out. I just feel that it keeps my posture nice and gives the illusion that you have a nice toned upper body PLUS... it looks nice when wearing lower cut neckline shirts.

I am putting together my shoulder/bicep day, chest/tricep day, back day, and leg day workout schedule and will post them each individually soon. I always find it helpful to see what other's are doing and try to incorporate a new routine or so - makes life fun... 

On that note, here is to 2014 and letting muscles win out over shame!!! 

P.S. if you want to see some amazing results - check out Holly's 2 week Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Results HERE.

Thursday OUT!
Any arm workouts you love? Can you dig those muscles? Whose ready for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So What Wednesday...

I am linking up with the Shannon from Life After I "Dew"  for SO WHAT WEDNESDAYS!!!

So What If...

I keep pictures of my outfits, where I went, and who I was with in my phone. I don't want to wear the same outfit out EVERY time with the same people. 

Elle enjoys the camera as much as the next guy;)

I am addicted to SoMo - A.D.D.I.C.T.E.D.

Even though Wes man says "You mean mommy" - I scoop him up and kiss his face and say "Mean, maybe? but I love you". That little voice tugs at my heart strings like no other.

I am counting down the days until Memorial Day weekend to spend a girls weekend "NOT running" with my "sistas" in Chicago. We had planned a big 35th bash, but since everyone and their mom (MINUS me) will be getting their "pregnancy on", we are going to soak this up!!!

I am missing my spray tans. I miss having some color on my pale skin. It is like a tan makes you INSTANTLY feel better - or at least it does me... AND this reminds me - I miss Cali. Miss it

Happy Wednesday
SoMo fan? Any fun vacations planned? Any girls trips to celebrate mid-life;)?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Myself, Numbers, and $$$

Happy "worst day of the week"!!! I haven't said that in awhile and it feels DANG good saying it. Ever since 2 weeks ago I wake up each Tuesday morning in a daze. Want to know why? I have "Jibbba class" on Monday night AKA... Accounting. Now if you know me and you put Mel and Accounting together, you are probably laughing your face off and clapping your hands... I SUCK AT SPREADSHEETS!!!

I started Accounting class a few weeks ago and thought "Eh... I will get through  this". I can read the book, memorize, and eliminate answers fairly well. We have a 10 question quiz each week and 3 Exams (open notes/book). I mean "Come on Mel... you got this"... So I was laying in bed on Friday night around 10:45 P.M. and it dawned on me "Agh... I have a quiz to do that is due by 11:59 P.M. that night". Procrastination Station, stop ONE - so I jet to the office, get my book and PPT slides out, read briefly through the quiz, and then just start laughing. I mean I understand NONE... NADA...ZILCH... I hunt and peck for 30 minutes on a 10 question quiz.... I did end up with a 9 out of 10, but I can't tell you what ONE of the questions actually meant. FYI... I guess fairly well;)

Now let's discuss how I feel in class on Monday nights from 5:30-9:30 while we are taught about debits, credits, margins, ROE, ROI, beginning balance, ending balance, investments, liabilities, expenses, etc... AGH... I sit there for 4 hours and dream about food. Big huge plates of crab legs with melted butter, German-chocolate cake, Papa Johns pizza, soft pretzels with cheese, Swedish Fish... and I nod here and there like "oh yeah... I totally get it". Not even close people...

I have never been the best with "numbers". When I was 18 I signed up for my first credit card. It had a limit of $500.00 on it. I spent about $212.00 at J Crew and then never paid my bills so it eventually reached $500.00. IDIOT!!! I then worked a whole summer in college to pay off that bill by the time I went back to school in the fall AND... that is where my ignorance with moolah lies...

Fast Forward to today. I NOW have a "spreadsheet" in my office (at home... this is AT HOME people) that I am TOLD to use. I put each debit on the spreadsheet... I forget sometimes... well OFTEN, but hey... I can make a mean meal with the money I just spent at the grocery store, or flip my "newly" done hair and bat my Lancome lashes... does it work? NEVER, I must still abide by the spreadsheet rule... LOL

Here is the deal...I make money. I like to spend it. I like to save it (some of it). I might not understand how a Balance Sheet or Cash Flow "whatever" works... but I can tell you what color each of my credit cards are WITHOUT looking, if you tell me the name of the store;)

Truth be told, I pay off my credit cards each month in full. I can't have any other debt hanging over my head beyond the mortgage and car payment (which I don't even have yet... waaaah) - I just wouldn't sleep at night (that is just me). Do I understand how it all works - not really. Am I going to pass this class - your DAM* right. I am going to come out of this class the BEST guesser on the planet - you might even want to hire me, that's an asset, right?

Tuesday OUT
Have a spreadsheet? Accounting smarts? What color is your Nordstrom's card;)?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Realizing and saying "okay"...

Hey guys.. I am so sorry I didn't get my "Follow Through Friday" in with my gal pals last week. It was a hectic week and when I am swimming upstream - sometimes something gotta give.

I did want to update on how my fitness is all going though...

I have been keeping up with the 30 Day Shred daily and getting in 4-5 miles run about 3-4 times a week. I have also been able to get in 3 days of strength training a week, which I am hoping to increase soon.

I started Level 2 of the Shred on Saturday of last week and I love this level SO much. I might have somewhat of an addiction to "skaters" - I absolutely love them. The ONE thing I just don't think the Shred offers, is an intense ab workout - so I always improvise with a few of my favorite ab exercises. Maybe one day I will share my ab pics... I am still too shy and still working on them...

My Favorite Ab Routines... 

I am actually doing fairly well with eating this week, with my cheat meal of the week being Saturday night. I ate pasta and drank 2 wheat beers and felt right with the world;) With school starting up, I am busy again and forget about food - that is VERY uncommon for me... I like food - A LOT! I am usually thinking about my next meal with I am eating the previous one.

I have also finally realized and came to peace with the fact that I will NEVER be a true clean eater. I was beating myself up with food and what is "clean" and "not clean" and feeling bad for this and that. I am DONE with that. I am taking on the "moderation" way. If I want Cheez It's - I am not going to feel bad for eating them because they are not "clean" - I am going to eat a small portion and MOVE ON! I just can't eat fruit, protein, and veggies for every meal - I will DIE... seriously... that just IS NOT ME and I feel so great saying that. I am not going to deprive myself of that skinny cow ice cream - I am going to eat it and be happy. All is RIGHT with the world again, it just took me knowing who I am and being OKAY with it.

This Weeks Goals
I am excited to bump up to Level 3 of the Shred on Tuesday. I am going to get my 3 days of weight training in AND... get a few 3 milers in this week because Saturday I run my half marathon. I AM PUMPED!!! I love races... LAAAAHUUUVE races... I really missed running just because I love it - it feels good to be back on that level. I am itching to run another marathon soon. Am I crazy? Nah... I just have the running bug and I LIKE IT!

Happy Monday 
Goals for this week? Racing this weekend? How is the #jmdvdchallenge going for you?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Update

Hey Hey Hey... Just wanted to give a few quick updates today...

I am revamping some things on the blog and will post about the "sponsor spots" soon. I am NEW to all this and honestly I am learning as I go. I started this blog when Wesley was around one (August 2011) and I didn't really get into it and work at consistently until September 2012 - but here I am... chugging along... and diving into new territory - hey that's my MO right?

I feel like I am somewhat in a blogging rut, so once again I am coming to you and asking you what you would like to hear about? I am a pretty open book and you know I LOVE to chit chat - so if you have any questions for me, want to know something about me, or want to hear about a certain thing/things, leave me a comment and I am ON IT... 

I am running the first race of 2014 next Saturday, January 25th and it is a half marathon (my absolute favorite). I am hoping to get in a few 5 milers this week and a nice 9 mile this weekend, and then next week just hit a few 3-4 milers before Saturday. I honestly do not have a "goal" for this race - I am just excited to get back out there after the marathon and hit the pavement.

There are some NICE give-a-ways going on right now, especially on Instagram. I am @missmel_joy on IG (I know different name... but that is me;) Here are a few you might want to check out:

#mamaneedsanewbag - Kate Spade Bag give-a-way - Check it out HERE

$250 worth of Glyder Apparel give-a-way - Check it out HERE

Kiki La' Rue has TONS of give-a-ways going on right now on IG (@shopkikilarue) and one is a YEARS worth of clothes.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why I love working...

It's been a minute since I talked about my job. I am not going to get into everything I do because I like to keep the blog separate from my career, but most of you know I work full time and absolutely, positively, most definitely... LOVE my job...

I went away to college (CMSU - name has changed now) and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Rehabilitation. I then stayed there to continue my education in pursuing a Masters in High School Counseling. I came back to St. Louis to get married and decided I needed a job... so I started applying everywhere and anywhere. I ended up on an interview in Clayton on a cold cold November day in 2004. I remember walking in and just being myself. I talked to the employees, did my best on the interview, and left feeling pretty decent. I got the call that afternoon and was offered the job... The job was an "office manager" position. It wasn't in my field and less money than I had expected, but since I was getting married in 6 months and we were in the process of buying a house I took it AND... I am so glad I did... 

I started out in the file room - worked my way up to an analyst  - and then a position opened up in I.T. (System Administrator) and I was told "you are going to learn this" and I took the risk. I had only been employed for a year and now I was jumping into new territory, but I had the support and encouragement of my superiors. I ended up absolutely falling in love with the new position. I took it and ran with it... When I didn't know - I found out, when I wanted to throw in the towel, I didn't. I kept at it - kept learning more - kept listening to others... kept confidence in myself... and it blossomed into my career. 

I will currently be with my employer for 10 years this year and this was my FIRST job out of college. I am very proud to say I am loyal to my company and my department. I work with a superb team and under supportive management. They are not just my co-workers, boss, employees - they are my family. 

I wanted to start a MBA program 4 years ago. I even applied and was put on the roster, but I got pregnant with Wesley and decided it wasn't the "right" time. I wanted to be home in the evenings while he was young and Elle was going to be transitioning out of the "only child" role and she needed mom too - so I put it on hold. With Wes being 3 now and Elle 6, this summer I decided it was time, No more excuses... So I signed up for the MBA program through my employer at Webster University. Each course is 9 weeks long - and you attend one night a week for 4 hrs. I will graduate in May 2016 and honestly I can't believe I am already 3 classes deep. It is flying by... I eventually (2-4 years) want to use this degree to pursue a management position, as I can't see myself being a System Administrator forever. I am only 33 and my career has JUST begun... 

I understand that working is NOT for everyone, but I can't imagine my life without my career. My family DOES come first, but they also know how much my job and education mean to me. The kids always ask "you like to work mommy?" and I always reply with a resounding "YES". I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I walk out the door each evening, the relationships fostered through my time at this company, the skills I am learning each and everyday, the drive to want to learn more, and the all around happiness my career brings my life.

I hope my kids see that you CAN get where you want by hard work, determination, and the drive to get there... never giving up, but always staying kind and humble. It's definitely going to get overwhelming, it will be tough, you will want to give up, but in the end the reward is much greater then any pain you endured along the way. 

 Happy Tuesday


Monday, January 13, 2014

Swimming upstream...

This post will be short. After last week and my 4 day home stint, millions of parties coming up, school starting tonight and running solo by the end of this week. I am tired... I am behind... and I am sorry, I have completely been neglecting the good ole blog... I am here, just trying to get everything back in order.

This weekend I tried to enjoy the nice weather as much as possible, who knows when snowmageddon will back again. I was all about getting outside and getting some exercise. I missed the sun MUCHO. Anyways, miss you all and I will be back tomorrow or Wednesday - as soon as I get my "mind right";)

Have a Great Week

Friday, January 10, 2014

Follow Through Friday

Did you think I went M.I.A... nope... just ended up with the stomach flu like the rest of the my family. Ugh... I was down and out for a couple days but I am back...

Today I am co-hosting the "Follow Through Friday" link up with 7 ladies who are on a mission in 2014 to get FIT...


Here is my "Goal" Run Down for each week.

Monday: 3-5 mile run and JM 30 Day Shred
Tuesday: shoulders/biceps/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 3 mile run
Wednesday: legs/abs and JM 30 Day Shred
Thursday: chest/triceps/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 3 mile run
Friday: back/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 5 mile run
Saturday: REST and JM 30 Day Shred (or switch with Sunday)
Sunday: long run (7-10 miles) and JM 30 Day Shred

I will also be weighing in each week (Wednesdays) and sharing my results.

Saturday, Jan 3rd - Friday, Jan 10th
I kept up fairly well until I was hit with the stomach flu on Tuesday - I took Wednesday as a REST day but I did weigh in and I am down 7 lbs from last Wednesday - I am sure this is due to my hurling this week - but nonetheless that is where I stand. JM had me sore the first 3 days and adding in the lifting had me EXTREMELY sore but it felt really good. I move to Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred tomorrow and I am READY for a change. I have been really trying to think before I eat and eat cleaner. I will NEVER be an all clean eater but I can try, right? So here is to another great week and my 2nd full week of my new changes in 2014. 

Next week I will summarize better and start posting my lifting workouts - but all in all I am feeling confident and better... YAY!

How are you all doing? Link up with us and share. Grab the button and share your "follow through" last week. Then click around and enjoy reading everyone's progress.

You are all doing AWESOME ladies and I am so encouraged and motivated by ALL of you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hurling, Cleaning, and Repeat....

Well my house has had the stomach flu since Thursday and we also have been snowed in since Sunday so my patience is wearing VERY thin... and my house can't get ANY cleaner...

Elle woke up Saturday at 12:30 AM and was sick until around 5:00 AM and then just tired and groggy all day on Sunday - so I cleaned - deep cleaned... Sunday the storm came and we have all been snowed in with 12 inches of snow. Monday the kids didn't have school, so I was home AGAIN and decided to take down my Christmas decorations (except for the tree that doesn't come down until after the 12th) - that caused a mess so I cleaned AGAIN... The rest of the family (minus me) woke up this morning at 1 AM getting sick so guess where I have been all morning? CLEANING!!!

I LOVE to clean - don't get me wrong... I find it therapeutic and a clean house, to me, is peaceful. I don't stress or obsess about cleaning (that much) I just find the time throughout the week to do certain things. Clutter and I are arch enemies, so I don't have that around to worry about. I clean the upstairs bathrooms on Friday nights - the rest of the upstairs I dust, vacuum, etc... on Saturday mornings and I do the downstairs on Sunday nights when we are finished down there. I just have this set schedule and it works.

I don't trust a cleaning person - not because I think she/he might steal my collection of Kohl's jewelry, but because I am not certain that they will clean the dusty baseboards behind my doors;) So I do it myself and I like it that way. I am getting off track here... Moral of today's story is - I don't like cleaning vomit and my house has been cleaned 23 times in the last 4 days AND... I need out of this house so bad. I can't listen to another moan or vomit stricken noise coming from inside these 4 walls. I am going to brave the bad roads and try and make it to the gym this afternoon, if my family will allow me out. AGH!!!!

I will just be inside, AGAIN, sending goofy pics to my friends - if you need me;) Oh I did the boiled water thing where you throw it outside and it makes this big puff of white dust... and burnt my hand... the end...

Happy Tuesday - the WORST day of the week....

Any snow experiment suggestions? Stomach bug hit your house yet? Am I next - AGH!!!?

Monday, January 6, 2014

A few things on Monday (mostly fitness related)...

I am home. It is Monday and I woke up early to kick my workout in the booty before the kids wake up on this snowy "snowed in/schools out" day in. I wish I could take them outside but the negative wind chills have me actually considering their tiny fingers and toes - so inside it shall be...

First, my girl Holly is hosting an amazing Kiki La Rue giveaway - two $50 gift cards - get over there and check it out HERE. Did you also see that Holly signed up for the Nashville Rock N Roll Country Music Marathon in April - I am BEYOND stoked and proud of her. I am actually considering road tripping this one to run it with her - if all the cards fall into the right place it will be my second marathon. Fingers crossed:)

Second, starting this week my Friday posts will be all about my fitness goals for 2014 and how my progress is going. I will be linking up with some lovely ladies (Aubrey Leigh, Candra, Jodi, Val, Cait, Jacquelyn, and Jennifer) for "Follow Through Fridays". If you need accountability (like me), a "support group" of sorts, or just a place to jot it all down - LINK UP WITH US. If you are NOT a blogger and want to participate use the hashtag #FTF on twitter/IG and join in on the encouragement and support. These posts begin this Friday.

Third, I wanted to jot down my last week's progress in the "Jillian in January" challenge that has gotten so many people motivated and busting their tushes... I am beyond thrilled with the participation and find the encouragement/support overwhelming and wonderful.

Wednesday, January 1st - Gym (biceps, shoulders, and abs) 3 mile run.
Thursday, January 2nd - weighed in, took measurements and photos. 30 Day Shred video Day 1.
Friday, January 3rd - Gym (legs and abs), 3 mile run, and 30 Day Shred video Day 2. 
Saturday, January 4th - 30 Day Shred video Day 3.
Sunday, January 5th - Gym in my basement - snowed in (triceps, chest, legs, and abs). 30 Day Shred video Day 4. 

I am trying to watch what I eat - it's hard, like really hard, like those "dumbbell shoulder raises side squat things" in Circuit 3 of Level 1. I REALLY love food - it is such a struggle for me. I need a personal chef and not two kids running around wanting Popsicles and waffles. Ugh... I HAVE to change my mentality and when I get hungry not jump in the pantry for whatever looks appealing. That will be my challenge this week - to think before I eat and actually chew my food and not shovel it down my pie hole. I eat faster than anyone I know... It's crazy... I have to slow down and enjoy it - not scarf it down like a dog. 

I will also be upping my run mileage come this week (I wanted to taper after the marathon for a bit) as I am running my first half marathon of 2014 on January 25th. YAY! I can't wait. Just hoping the weather cooperates. 

Keep up the amazing work!

Any small goals for this week? How is JM going for you? What other workouts/running are you doing?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Getting Real Here in 2014

It's Jan 2nd and that means today starts the FIRST day of the Jillian in January challenge. I woke up, stepped on the scale, took my measurements, and stood in the mirror with my Holiday bloat and took pictures... Blah... NOT my idea of a good time, but I did it and I am ready to COMMIT!

Along with the challenge I will also still be running and hitting up the gym. I went yesterday and for the first time in a LONG time, I lifted weights. I did shoulders/biceps/abs and ran 3 miles - I should of planned better because my 30 Day Shred this morning was KILLING from yesterday. I was feeling downright awful after my morning "scale/photo session" and after that workout, I felt immediately better.

Oh... I signed myself up for a half marathon on Jan 25th here in St. Louis... I have a goal to at least run 1 race every 2 months or so... YAY the FIRST race of 2014 - can't wait.

There have been a few questions regarding the challenge and Holly put together this wonderful FAQ section, you can review it below:

Jillian in January FAQ's

Which Jillian DVD's are allowed?
Any of 'em! You can do the same one for the whole challenge or switch it up... as long as it's Jillian, it's all good. 

How much are the workout DVD's?
Most of her DVD's are under $10 from Wal-mart or Target. I have also found some free ones on YouTube by googling the workout. If you are a Amazon Prime subscriber, there are a lot of free Jillian workouts included!

How many days are between Jan 2nd and Feb 2nd?
There are 32 days built into the challenge. We added some extra days because stuff comes up, for those that are wanting to complete the DVD 30 times (not required). Also, Feb 2nd is the Super Bowl, so it would be a nice celebration with Sodium Delight and booze if we wrapped it up before the game. 

Do I have to share my BEFORE pictures?
No, not unless you want to. :) Just be sure to record your measurements and take a before photo, but you do not have to share that information until the challenge is over, if you wish to compete for the $150 cash prize.

How do I enter in the contest?
Share the image on your instagram and be sure to tag the four of us (@hollystanfield@missmel_joy@kimmyyy1, and @fatchick2fitchick). Between January 31st and February 3rd, people who wish to compete for the $150 cash prize can email me their before/after pictures to > holly.j.stanfield[at]gmail[dot]com

How is a winner for the $150 prize chosen?
On Monday, February 3rd, the four of us will go through the before and after pictures that were submitted. We will each pick one finalist. Those four finalists will have their before and after pictures posted on our public instagram accounts (photos will be removed when contest ends). Whichever finalist receives the most LIKES on their photo on February 5th (until midnight CST) will win the $150 cash.

What is the "A" for Effort prize?
The winner of this prize will win a Ruffles with Love tank of their choice. The winner will be based on how frequently this person posts their workouts, uses the hashtag #jmdvdchallenge, and motivates others during the challenge.

If my instagram is private, can people see my pictures if I use the hash tag #jmdvdchallenge ?
No, unfortunately people cannot see the pictures if your profile is set to private. However, you can still enter the contest for the $150 cash prize, by emailing me your before and after pictures by February 3rd. There just isn't a way for us to consider a private account for the "A" for Effort prize.

In the 30 Day Shred, Jillian says that I "can't phone it in." What does that mean?
I have no idea. Girl is bat-shit crazy so I leave her on mute and turn up my tunes. She also says that my neck "isn't invited to this party" like we are swinging at a pinata full of Snickers. 

Do I need to post a picture to my instagram everyday? 
No way. We don't want you to annoy everyone in your feed with your awesome and sweaty dedication. But the more you post, use the hash tag, and encourage the other participants, the higher the chance of you winning the "A" for Effort prize. 

Can I do other workouts in addition to the DVD?
Sure, ya little over achiever. But really, just do what you are comfortable doing. I'll be keeping up on my runs and watching Wheel of Fortune at the gym. But you do you.

Holly also has some great visuals and charts to use that she posted HERE. 

I am ready for 2014 and to make healthy changes and get my eating and weight in check - I hope by my next marathon I am slimmer/trimmer and can FLY through it.

Best of luck to everyone this year making changes to live a healthy life... and if you have ANY questions at all, feel free to email me at 

Get your JM in today? Sore yet (ha ha ha)? Any races this month?