Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Losing Both Grandparents

Nearly a year ago I had a dream that felt so incredibly real. My grandpa told me that his time was coming. That I needed to be ready. “But Christie,” he said, “Nothing good lasts forever.”

I begged him to stay. I saw this amazing light, like the most incredible sunset imaginable. Then this presence of warmth filled my soul as he shuffled off in his slippers and his famous red flannel shirt and worn corduroy pants toward the light.
Can you hear the laughter? My grandpa said something naughty here... :) 

Nothing beats a hug from grandma. Nothing.


“No!” I yelled.

The light flashed like one of those old school TVs when you actually had to get up and turn it off. I woke. The room was dark. Silent. I felt weird. I nudged Karl. “I think my grandpa died.”

It was 3 a.m. I started to panic. But I waited until 7 to call him – on my way to the dentist of all places. My grandma answered and giggled at the urgency in my voice and as I tripped over my words explaining my dream. “How come nobody has dreams about me?" She asked. She pulled the phone away. "Gramps, this one’s for you.”

“Haalloo.” He said in his Polish accent that I love so much.  

He was alive! Whew. Tears sprang to my eyes. We talked about my dream and both giggled. I felt relief. I hung up.

Then panic washed over me. Because I knew death wasn't going to go away. It's our one guarantee here. I knew the end was coming sooner than it was later. And there was nothing I could do about it.

My grandma died a week after our son Nathan was born this October. We knew my grandpa would soon follow. Their love story was more than a treasure, more than words that fill the pages of a good romance novel. They set an example for all of us. To me, being picky was worth having a piece of what they had in their marriage. They taught us that things and stuff are just things - you can't take them with you - but love is EVERYTHING. They taught us that God is worth getting to know. That it’s OK to be goofy and weird if it means you get to be YOU.

Laughter always followed them. Always.  
These dimples live on in me. And in Nathan. 

The sillier, the better!

Nobody wants to say goodbye. Karl was bold enough to insist we see my grandparents last summer after leaving my parent’s house even if it meant driving a few more hours out of our way with a toddler. I was stressing. Car rides are not always fun with kids. But Karl saw through the lens of a caring heart. He was able to take my frustrations and emotions and make the best decision ever. I got to see them both and set everything else going on in my life aside.

We thought we could be saying goodbye to my grandpa that day as he had clots building in his heart. Instead, I was actually saying goodbye to my grandma without realizing it. I still remember the way she greeted us that day. Open arms, her dimples, her smell. Thank GOD, Karl drove right instead of going straight that day.

Karl insisted I call my grandpa to say goodbye recently. It was a busy Saturday. I hadn't showered. I had a million excuses building. I don’t like crying. I don’t like people seeing me cry. I especially don’t like my boys to see mommy sad. But I called. And as soon as I heard his voice, I let everything out. I cried so hard I couldn’t stop. Jackson was worried. Nathan joined me. But this is life. They have to see mommy sad so when they have to decide to go straight or right one day, they choose right. No regrets.

My grandpa just listened to me go on and on about what he meant to me. He tried to speak but I kept going, sobbing. I needed to get it all out. And just like in that dream, my grandpa caught his breath and said, “Christie, nothing good lasts forever.”

There is dancing in heaven, right?

The hairs on the back of my neck stood.
We were allowed to drive the orange truck at age 10 at their house. 


My grandpa died today. I have this visual of he and my grandma dancing and laughing. I can imagine the reunion was glorious. And I like to think our family dog was there wagging his stubby tail too.
They were so good at making us laugh. Making us feel loved. Making us feel like we were the most important person in the room - their world -  at that very moment. Like we were “their best”. And in today’s world, that is more than impressive.
My grandma cried when she met me because I had her dimples


Like I said...we could ALWAYS be ourselves. The weirder, the better!



My grandparents invested interest and time into us and our wild side too. Beer and polka? SURE! Let's go! Take us to the bars, kids!

My heart is incredibly heavy. I am not sure I have totally grieved the loss of my grandma yet since I want to cry but I’m off to nurse and change a diaper, or am wrestling an overtired toddler half the time, running off to work and making sure I don’t forget to pack bibs or extra socks for the boys. But this is the life I'm living. And I'm OK with that too because I feel blessed at the same time too. It's kind of crazy. Have I processed it all? Will I ever?

My grandparents played flip cup with us when we were all in college. FUN. FUN. FUN.


Was it supposed to be this way? The timing? Was God giving me a heads up? Did he want me to stare at my boys and know and feel that love that only parents can feel? Almost like He was saying… 

Trust me. Do not be afraid. I am still here. When it’s good, it’s so good. I know. But with good comes hurt. And I can't stop it. I need you to understand the difference so you don’t take these amazing moments for granted. I am hurting right alongside with you, but this isn’t the end. Your grandparents are safe with me and loved to the infinite. Look into your children's eyes. You have quite the journey here to live. Don’t be sad for too long. Love so hard that it hurts. Soon enough, the Circle of Life will come again. It always does. Hang on to those happy memories you have right in front of you, take them and breathe life into new ones so your grandparents live on forever and will always be in your heart.

Amen. God. Amen. Hold them tightly for me, OK? They really love to polka so if you could round up a few folks for a polka fest, that would be awesome. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why I Became A Health Coach

My Story

At home workout vs. the gym


I wanted to do a post on WHY I became a Beachbody Coach and how my life has changed since I made the decision. I'm getting a bunch of questions from a lot of you so this blog post just makes sense.

First off, to be 100 percent honest, before I became a coach I had never done a Beachbody workout. I wasn't even sure who Beachbody was. However, I knew several friends had great success with P90X, Insanity and T25. They would talk about the programs like they were the best thing ever. I didn’t even realize Beachbody and the workouts were related.

I mean, I was a gym rat. I didn't need to hear anything more than what was going on at the gym. I loved going, I loved the steam room and I loved playing volleyball. That was who I was and what I needed. But I would do the SAME workout over and over. My body didn't want to change. Only until I met a trainer did I start to see a transformation, but that started to get a little expensive. 

What I didn't realize was my life was about to change in a big way and the gym would soon be a place I rarely saw. I became a mom. Actually, everything seemed to change for me. But more on that later!

I have ALWAYS loved health and fitness. Not all coaches have a background in the health industry. Usually the coaches who are still on their weightloss journey are some of the MOST successful coaches! Personally, I believe that once you become a coach, you realize how important your health is and what a profound effect it has over EVERYTHING. Without your health…what is there?

But back to my journey... I think at one time I had MAYBE 8 health magazine subscriptions and would get super excited to get them in the mail (of course this was before kids and I could actually sit down and read!). This is how I grabbed the attention of Meg – one of the top Beachbody coaches in the country. She saw that Shape Magazine had printed one of my FB posts in their pages and reached out to me. This was about 3 years ago. We chatted about heart rate monitors and some other fitness related stuff. That was it. A nice cozy relationship was formed.

I started to follow Meg’s journey. I started to get really inspired by her. I loved that she put herself out there. To me, when someone opens up, I like them. Why? Cuz I know it takes a lot of courage to do that. But, not going to lie, I was still skeptical. Why? Because I think that’s my natural reaction. I automatically thought, pyramid scheme, salesy. No thanks. Even though Meg never once pushed me to do anything, nor did she ever come across that way. BUT I had been approached by a few people in the past who were pushy and salesy and was totally turned off.

Everything about this was different.

Life got busy. Always. So I continued to post my healthy stuff and my fitness journey and blog about recipes and life. And I kept thinking…boy…Meg sure posts a lot of the same type of stuff I do. But yet she’s changing people's lives and she's getting paid for it. 

Then we had our first son, Jackson. Let me tell you…when you become a parent, you hop on the most insane emotional roller-coaster of your life. I was NOT prepared. I thought I was. No way. I have never in my life been so exhausted. I was literally crawling on the floor sometimes because I was that tired and I was that way for 14 months. I was constantly anxious and worrying about everything I could not control…the amount of milk I was or wasn't producing to germs to the color of poop. I was a wreck. And that affected everything and everyone around me.  

I was resentful toward my husband. I feel bad now. Poor guy. I’m not even sure why, other than he worked a ton. His schedule was unpredictable. He was studying for his boards. He was on call. He was gone a lot of weekends and there I was trying to figure out motherhood. I kept thinking, "what about me"? Don’t I get to be taken care of somewhere in here? I felt like I had the bulk of work on my shoulders. 

As much as I loved my son and being a mom, I also knew I did NOT feel like myself. I was STRESSED OUT. I was barely able to find time to go to the gym because I didn’t know when I could get away. And not to mention all the friends and family who were harassing me because I disappeared and could never find time to get on the phone or meet up. I honestly wanted to enjoy my son and get some great sleep and hit the gym! But when I finally did get to the gym, I’d feel guilty leaving my son. 

See. I was a mess.

BUT, I was very focused on my nutrition because I wanted to make sure Jackson was getting the proper nutrients from the get go. That was important to me. I was able to lose the 40 pounds I gained in a year’s time, but inside I was ready to explode.  I was in a constant battle with myself. Part of me wanted to hang on to my old life (when I knew there was NO way. I mean, even thinking about going out to have a drink meant I would lose more sleep. No.) and then there was part of me who wanted to let go of it all and just jump into this new life (but I had no idea how. I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going...I thought any chance of dreaming was gone). So I kind of lost myself.

But I will say things started to change a little when Jackson started sleeping through the night. I started to make peace with myself, I had stopped nursing around 14 months and had a little extra time on my hands. I was trying to sneak away during my lunch hour to workout at the gym, but again, I had work piling on top of me because I was trying to power through everything..... because YES, I was pregnant with our second. I knew I had to get caught up on everything before I left for 12 weeks of maternity leave.

We were excited and thrilled, but let me tell you. The fear was there. It was thick. I was not ready to go back to feeling the way I did…exhausted, anxious, constantly worrying.  I knew our already busy life would get even busier. How was that possible?

When would I find time to work out? When would I find time for me?? I knew I NEEDED that. I needed those endorphins. And most of all, I needed SOMETHING for me!!

I knew I had to find a way to hold myself accountable when it came to working out and NOT allow myself to feel bad. I NEEDED the energy. And with that mindset, my pregnancy was pretty great. I stuck with my afternoon workouts once or twice a week and spent a lot of time walking or biking on the weekends. But I still felt like I was always in a race against time when I was at the gym. It always took time to pack for the gym, get to the gym, workout at the gym and then shower and get back home. It was never a 20 minute escape. It was always 2+ hours and I didn't always have that. I knew when #2 came, I would most definitely NOT have 2 extra hours in my day. 

Among it all, we decided to move when I was 6 months pregnant and I started to panic again as I was unpacking all the baby stuff and bottles and pump parts. Could I do this? Would my body bounce back? Would I be too exhausted to chase my toddler around and rock a baby to sleep too?

I think a post of Meg’s caught my eye. She had posted something very similar to what I had back in July. I thought about it all night long. I woke up thinking about it. When it eventually grew into a gut feeling, I knew it was something more. My gut has never failed me. I had to reach out to her. I told her I thought I wanted to be a coach. She invited me to a live call on coaching and I was sold. What was the WORST thing that could happen? I get healthy? I decide I hate working out at home? OK, then I learned my lesson.

OK. BEST DECISION EVER and I will say I’m kicking myself that I didn’t do this back when that first initial conversation started.

What has changed?

The biggest thing is that I OWN something. This is FOR ME. That speaks volumes because it is VERY easy to lose yourself in your kids. I did it. But this is something I can hold onto for me. It’s hard to explain but it really makes me feel like I do matter. I mean, I know I matter to those around me, but it’s very easy when you have a toddler throwing a tantrum, a husband trying to ask you something and spit up running down your chest, to wonder…who am I anymore?

Beachbody has made me realize that lil’ ol me can make a difference. A BIG difference. I can still have my dreams and continue to dream up more of them up and chase after them. I can go after them regardless of where I’m at in my life.

I started doing PiYo and drinking Shakeology during my second pregnancy. I WAS HOOKED!!! 25 minutes and I had an awesome workout in and I was refueling with a natural superfood. Heck yes!!! I was able to meal prep or spend more quality time with my family rather than commuting to and from the gym. I had an insane amount of energy. I can’t even describe it. It was like I was nesting 24/7. I worked out all the way up until the day my second was born. Soon I was doing T25 (awesome!) and Insanity Max:30 (nuts!).

My first son’s labor was 39.5 hours of misery. I had my second in less than two hours from arriving to the hospital and in one push. That was also during the week I was offering 5-days of clean eating! Coincidence? 

I wake up every morning PUMPED. I am excited. I get to change lives. I get to inspire. I get to motivate someone to change their life, to take control of their health to see that THEY TOO can do this and feel the same way I do!!!!

This business is FUN for me. It’s almost like an obsession because I’m addicted to the positivity and inspiration beachbody provides every day. It’s that awesome.

When I hear stories from my challengers, that they are either losing weight or gaining confidence or finding energy, they are playing with their kids and doing fun activities, or even talking to their husbands again and laughing, I swear my entire day is made. It’s incredible.

My relationship with my husband is even better. I feel like he's my teammate. I am happier. I’m less stressed. I see the GOOD in him and every situation.

I feel like I’m showing my boys that they can still dream regardless of what comes their way. That if they simply believe in themselves, they can change the world. That a lot of the time we are standing in our own way of making our dreams come true.

Financially… I’m not a top coach by any means yet. But we have two in daycare right now. That is about the cost of another mortgage. I’m able to help pay for that. I was able to pay a chunk of my maternity leave too. That gives me a sense of pride!

And that is my story! There’s more to my journey too, but for the most part that’s what has happened. 

So my question to you is what are YOU waiting for? What’s holding you back? Are you the one standing in your own way when it comes to making a change in your life? 

Contact me for more questions on coaching via email or find me on Facebook!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Six Weeks with Two - 1 Month

6-Weeks Postpartum

Whoa. I blink and the weeks fly by. A lot is going on (like always) but the boys are great. I had my six-week postpartum visit and everything checked out great.
My sweet boys bonding

Jackson showing Nathan all his trucks and their smoke stacks



So proud of myself. I have FINALLY taught myself how to use the Baby Bjorn (yes, I know it doesn't distribute baby's weight as good as others). I DID IT!!!!! I HAD to this time around. I need both hands!

The tough part is always getting on the scale during doctor's appointments. I'm still hovering around the same weight from my 25 pound weight loss after Nathan was born (only lost one pound since then) and I know the reason for that: chocolate, beer, wine, snacks. Akk! They are way too available. And way too delicious. Tis the season!
Working on that belly!
When I do drink, I try to make it as healthy as possible. FRESH raspberries and lime juice with Gin

Just a half a glass. Hey, it's organic!! :) 

I love being a Health Coach. Look at the cool stuff I get! I LOVE new workouts!!!

First time away from everyone (other than the grocery store) and first time running a couple miles!!! I LOVED IT!

I love this after a workout! Full of vitamins and superfoods!!

When I workout, Nathan works out! TUMMY TIME!

My healthy contribution to Thanksgiving!

Deadly mix. SO GOOD!!!!

I was able to try the brand new Insanity Max 30 before it was launched. I LOVED IT!!! I sweated like crazy!

T25 is my new workout and I LOVE it!!!



Nathan is doing great. He's growing (said goodbye to his newborn clothes and hello to size one diapers). He's smiling a ton and cooing. Love that. He loves looking around and lifting his head up. He can stand for a little while (if we're holding him of course) - those little legs are getting stronger. He's a great baby. Calm and happy. He will fuss but I will either feed him, change his diaper (he can't stand sitting in his poop) or give him a pacifier to suck on. He is a very gassy baby. Probably my diet... too many veggies?? He does NOT like being in a car seat. Give it about 2 minutes and he poops right away. It's a given. He's up like clockwork during the night. Loves to greet us around 2:30 every morning. He'll go down right away but sometimes he'll get up around 4 or 5 again for a little bit or stay sleeping until around 6:45. I will take it. This guy has the craziest poops ever though. They are VERY loud and VERY explosive. Have to love boys!










Jackson is doing much better. Those first three weeks were challenging on him. I feel like these most recent weeks have been challenging for me more than anyone because I'm around them the most. Jackson loves to repeat himself and will try over and over to get away with earning treats. I caved a bunch of times while I was nursing Nathan the first few weeks because I was feeling bad my attention wasn't always on Jackson and so I gave him treats. FAIL. Not good. Now Jackson will whine until he gets what he wants. Problem is, I don't want to give him treats. So we usually have a meltdown and somedays I don't have it in me to deal with those.

Jackson loves to sing. Always. I sneezed this morning and he turned it into a song. It was super cute. He is also very curious about male and female anatomy and who has what parts. So his new song was "Grandma has a peeeeee-nis!" I died. And he is scared of smoke detectors. They are too loud.

He loves his brother though. He is an amazing helper and kisses and hugs Nathan whenever he can. He had no problem body slamming him the other day too. True sibling love. I'm in trouble.

Best ever. From Target. Keeps him busy!

Jackson's snake baby


Had a little rash on his face. Put Aquaphor on it. Did the trick!

Yesterday, I was racing around trying to get Jackson to daycare on time. I didn't put the sausage on his waffle right so he cried. Nathan pooped as soon as I put him in his carseat and Jackson peed ALL over the floor in the bathroom because both of us turned to look at Nathan since his poops are SO loud. Jackson started crying. Nathan started crying. I had wet hair that turned to ice once I stepped outside. We were out of cream for our coffee. Nathan screamed all throughout Target. Just not a good day. Nathan didn't nap all day. My work wanted me to complete this video for their Christmas Party and I just didn't have the time to put into it. I have a pile of Christmas cards waiting to be addressed...not to mention the Thank Yous I need to send out to everyone. My head was about to pop off, but I knew tomorrow would be better.

Baby Nathan and brand new cousin Hadley!!! So sweet!

My sweet boys!

Grandma Cindy and Nathan

The Hat Boys

Building a tower with Uncle Mark

Do I need a caption?

Papa!!!!

Thanksgiving dinner made by dad!

Celebrating the feast!

Aunt Amy and Nathan

Smily Nate. Had bad cradle cap but we put on baby oil, left on for a bit, combed through and then washed. GONE!
Painting pink room gray











And today has been great! Whew. That is motherhood for you. One day you can dominate the entire world. The next you feel like the world is on top of you smooshing you to pieces.

Anyway...check out all the pics of what we've been up to! Good stuff!