Darn elf…

Funny story…
So my mother-in-law had an elf at her house and she thought that she could send the elf to Jeff while he’s deployed. Jeff has been so good with making the Elf on the Shelf entertaining for the kids so we figured that we could pretend that our elf flew there to visit Jeff and help him put up his small Christmas tree that we sent him. Jeff could then either take pictures of the elf doing other things or we could just have him “fly” back here and I could set him up at our house.
Jeff sent us the first picture of the elf over there decorating his tree. I said “Look, Brayden! Percy went over to visit and helped Daddy decorate.”
Brayden took one look at the picture and said, “That’s not Percy. That elf has different ears and his eyes are different.” 😳
Seriously, child….
So now Percy’s friend is with Daddy and I’m stuck with this damn elf…




I love that no matter how crazy or long a day may be, we always end up here. We have ended our days like this since Brayden was a baby. I love this time not only as a mom, but as an SLP. I remember doing research for my thesis in grad school about early literacy skills. The main focus was how important experiences like these are and how parents can implement strategies to help their children to become readers. Although I loved the research that I did back then, it sure is a whole lot more fun to apply the strategies to your own children! It’s even more fun when your kindergartener can read the bedtime stories!

Here are a couple of strategies that you can use during story time

  1. Focus on the letters and letter sounds.  Point out the fact that “cat” rhymes with “hat”.  Ask your child what sound the letter “S” makes.  Show them that the word “dog” has a letter “d” at the beginning.  Building that knowledge of letter-sound correspondence helps immensely with their early literacy skills.
  2. Track the print while you’re reading the words.  Your child will start to see and recognize words, letters and sounds as you read and incorporate some print referencing strategies.
  3. Ask questions.  Make story time a time of conversation.  Ask them what they think might happen next in the story.  Ask them what they would do if they were the character.  Ask them what is happening in the pictures.  Storytime is a perfect time to build language skills.
  4. When reading a book that has repetition like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See.”, encourage the child to help you “read” along and finish the phrases that they already know in the story.  Not only will this help them to recognize words, but it will build their confidence and encourage them to start trying to read on their own.What’s your favorite book at storytime?

Choose your battles

Just one piece of happiness of my week! I lay the kids’ clothes out for the week on Sundays. So much easier to do this instead of dealing with it each morning!
What do you do to make your life a little easier throughout the week?



So many times we are focused on a number on the scale. We get frustrated when that number doesn’t budge and it makes us feel that we aren’t making any progress soooo we say “screw it”. We give up after a week…two weeks or a month.
Take a look at your NON-SCALE victories!
How do you feel? Are clothes fitting differently? Are people noticing that you have a better attitude and you are more positive? Do you have more energy to get through your day? Are you gaining confidence? Keep a journal, take pictures throughout this journey or do whatever you need to do to track.
My non-scale victory today? This moment! Ainsley and I were playing and I picked her up and twirled her around. She felt as light as a feather! I felt STRONG! That kind of stuff builds confidence and the determination to continue on this track.
There are so many other victories that we can have besides weight loss. Why? Because it’s not a quick fix! It’s a lifestyle change!
Focus on progress, not perfection and celebrate every small victory!


The small things…

picjumbo.com_HNCK4046-1024x682I always used to get overwhelmed with everything that I had to do in a day.  I would try to do way too much and just get mad when I had things left on my list.  I soon realized that the small changes that I made daily, made big changes later on.
Check out this great article about how to implement things into your daily life to help you become more productive.

15 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Become Highly Successful



Bananas getting ripe? Freeze them!
I love having bananas in my smoothie (especially with Chocolate Shakeology and PB2)! These frozen bananas are perfect for the smoothies and even for banana ice cream!


Morning motivation

This right here! This is how I get workouts done in the mornings. This is what gets me out the door on time in the morning!

I was so scared when I had to start back to work, Jeff was deployed and I was going to have to get both kids ready and out by 6:30-7am. Yikes!

I’ve learned that not every morning goes smoothly and you can NEVER predict how the kids are going to feel when they wake up.

You can only control what you can control sometimes. I do my best to set myself up for success. I greet the kids with a cheery, happy voice and I have everything ready in my kitchen to get me out the door.

What do you in the mornings to make it easier to get out the door?


A random compliment…

Today was an early work day at the middle school. I was tired, it was starting to rain outside, it was cold and did I mention I was tired?!?! I have not been sticking to a good bedtime this week, so I guess I know what I should set as a goal (again!) for next week!

When I was done I was walking back to my car and a lady was walking towards me. I had just put my hood up, was lugging my big bag of stuff (as most SLPs know too well) and wearing boots with heels way too highfor a day like today! I was just concentrating on not tripping and falling on my booty!

She looks at me, smiles and says, “Don’t you look cute today?! I hope you have a great day!”

Wait, what?!

I said “Thank you. You too.” and walked the rest of the way to my car with a little more pep in my step and a smile on my face.

Never underestimate the power of a smile and a random compliment. You never know the impact that it may have. That lady may not know it, but she helped me to set a positive tone for the rest of my day and I’m grateful to her.


Food Prep overload

Ahhhh feeling like I have food prep ADD right now. I have a million things going at once but I know that it will pay off throughout the work week! Here’s what going:
– Body Beast Easy Chicken Fajitas marinading in my refrigerator overnight
– Veggies cut for the week
– Grandma’s Tomato Sauce (FIXATE) cooling off to freeze in gallon sized bags
– Oven Fried Chicken (FIXATE) cooking in the oven
– Cooking ground turkey to freeze for later
– Prepping ham and cheese sandwiches for Brayden’s lunches this week

What are you doing to get ready for your week?

food prep

Life lessons


Oh this girl. She was THAT girl in Target today. She grabbed a small, stuffed monkey off of the shelf. I told her that she couldn’t keep it, but she could hold onto it until we left. She was wanting in and out of the cart. She was climbing out even with the darn strap around her(Houdini!). She had not even EARNED that monkey. We get to checkout and I realize that she still had it. After we checked out, I took the monkey right over to customer service to hand it over.

Ohhhh unleash the beast! This girl screamed and cried and cried and screamed. I had to pullover in the parking lot because she undid her seatbelt and I had to get her buckled again. She was one MAD 3 year old.

I was determined to stick to my guns and not give in. It wasn’t about the $2 stuffed monkey. It was the fact that she thinks that she can just take it and get it.

I turned up the radio and drove along like nothing had happened while she continued her screaming. When we got home, I asked her if it was ok to act like that. She said “No, I’m sorry Mommy.”

Mission accomplished! Until our next shopping trip…