Monday, September 30, 2013

My Happy Place

I am a beach bum at heart.....always have and always will be!  

And I have my mama to thank for that:) 

We actually lived in Destin, FL for a few years when I was younger and I have the 
best memories of being a beach kid!

For the past few years we have made the trip down to the great beaches of 30A.

For those of you whom have not traveled here, need to plan a trip.  It is fantastic.  Each and every town has it's own great perks and the great thing is that they are all so close that you can venture out every day.  

Our favorite place to stay is Seacrest Beach!

And the main reason is the pool.......
 How can you not want to lounge by this everyday? 

The past week we went for the 4th year in a row (and 4th trip this year).
We are starting to feel like regulars to the area and have our routine of what we do
and where we go but each year we always like to try new things.

 Here are some of our favorites memories so far.

Seeing their expressions about the beach for the first time.
Braxton 2010 & Wyatt 2011

Capturing the moment in 2011 that Brax (17 months) walked with assistance for the first time on camera at the beach!
For those of you whom know his story- this was a BIG moment as he had only crawled at this point.
(and that would be Wyatt in my belly, not a donut)

 Bike Rides w/ Lauren
Alys Beach

Morning runs through beautiful towns....setting the peaceful tone for my days:)

Great kids playground at Alys Beach!

Many stops to good ol' Charlie's Donut Truck!

Digging the biggest hole we can!

Using the wagon for much needed naps
Sugar white sand

Crystal clear water

Feeding the seagulls

Canoeing with my honey
Making the drive to Destin to Fudpuckers to see the gators!

Renting bikes for the week at Peddlers 30a
Many visits to Frost Bites in Seaside

Hanging out in Rosemary Beach!

Evening Trips to the Pier in Panama City to watch the fisherman.

Watching these kiddos grow up together!

All of the places that we have rented have had full kitchens so that is nice on the wallet when travelling as a family but we do like to get out and about.  We have been to tons of restaurants there and have enjoyed them all- La Cocina, Bud and Alleys, Pizza Bar, Taco Bar, Barefoot BBQ, Crush, Shades, La Crema...... I don't think you can go wrong!

Our favorite "sweet tooth" places are Orange Leaf, Frost Bites, Heavenly, The Sweet Peddlers & The Sugar Shak!

And for all you shopping folks, there is not a store I have entered that I didn't like!  Destin has a great Outlet mall if you are up for the 30 min. drive.  Some of my favorite local shops are Perspicasity, Deja-vu, Mercantile &  Rosemary Beach Trading Co.

My cute pillow purchase from Rosemary Beach Trading Co.
(very fitting for my life right now)

This past week we also took the chance to get some family shots on the beach 
by a great couple, JB & Amber!  If you are in the area, check them out!  
(They are also live part of the year in Atlanta for all my local peeps)

Munkel Family

My handsome Braxton

My sweet Wyatt

Caleb, Kevin (super dad) & Maddie

Our lil family of 4

A sweet treat for cooperation:)

One of my favs!

Ahhhh- love the beach!

So head down to 30A, pick your town, get your toes in the sand and relax:)


Monday, September 23, 2013


One year ago today, I dug deep for courage and told my story......

One year ago today, I was baptized.

It was such an amazing experience and I was surrounded by my family and friends!

And as this anniversary approached, I was reminded how great God is!  

You see, Braxton had all of his annual checkups the past few weeks and we heard nothing but great news! 

"He is doing fantastic!"
"His kidneys look great!"
"He is walking so well!"
"His x-rays look perfect"
"Just keep doing what you are doing because it is working"
"We don't need to see you next year"
"He can jump?"
"You know he is not supposed to be doing all of this?"

and my favorite.....

"How far can he walk before he needs assistance?"
with me responding a bit confused but with a smile, 
"Ummmmm FOREVER!" 

I also have to brag at what a champ he was this year!  It is so much nicer to have him a bit older and be able to prepare him for these visits and explain what each test/exam will be about.  We also looked up some you tube videos on the different tests that he was having to fully prepare him.  He was so cooperative and brave! 

Ultrasound,  DONE!

Waiting patiently.......thank you Ipad:)
Practicing "freeze" for his x-rays

This is his new camera face!

Upset with me for not allowing him to push all of the buttons:(


Lookin' Good!

It is quite a humbling experience to be at Spine Clinic and look around the waiting room.  I can't help but tear up when I see other children in wheel chairs, not able to walk or run.  It's hard not to feel guilty at times for the miracle that He has given us and forces the well needed reality check for how lucky we are.  

Sure there are times where I still ask, 
"Why did this happen to Braxton?" 

And then on the flip side there is another "why" question I ask, 
"Why did God choose him to perform this miracle on?"  (I am forever in awe of this one)

This is where trust enters the equation and where I have learned over the past few years to trust in God's plan.  We are all created special and each and everyone of us has a plan and it is a good plan.....
You just have to trust!

And don't forget that He has a sense of humor......because He does, in fact, have one!

The other day Brax and I were in a store and he had his eyes set on a pair of Spiderman flip flops. Most of you may not know that he wears AFO's (ankle foot orthotics) that prevent him from wearing most shoes. He was begging for the flip flops so that he could be just like me, daddy & Wyatt!  How could I say no?  So, he tried them on and to my surprise was able to walk for a bit without tripping.  With great excitement, he asked me if he could wear them out of the store and I, of course, said yes.

As we were making our way to the checkout, an employee looks at him and very frankly said "Why is he walking like that?"  I was a bit taken back at first that she actually had said that out loud and in front of him....I mean come on, he's only 4 and he's right here!!!!!  He just looked at her, looked at me without a care and then made a bee line for the little Lego kits at the checkout.  I counted in my head for a bit and then very politely said, "He was born with Spina Bifida and wasn't even supposed to walk. So if he walks a bit different, we'll take it!"  The look on her face was pure embarrassment and I felt bad for her knowing what she was feeling. So as she apologized, I said, "That's ok, you are looking at a miracle!"
And with that, she smiled.

Last month on Brax's first day of school I wrote a post about my concerns with him being unique and my fear of people accepting him at school.  Funny thing is that the one thing I was worried about (people teasing him at school) ended up happening right in front of my face!

It was like God saying, "See, he'll be fine.....just trust Me!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Go Week!

Monday 9/9

25 flights of Stairs
Core Pilates Class (1 Hour)

Food Intake

Breakfast:  Coffee w/ Vanilla Protein Powder & Steel cut Oatmeal w/ almond butter and banana

Post Workout:  Lararbar

Lunch:  Grilled Chicken w/ Hummus & roasted edamame

Snacks:  Choc. Sunflower Seeds

Dinner:  Italian Sausage w/ wholewheat pasta, olive oil & basil.  I also made Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin which were really delish! 
And I just had to showcase my cute kitchen sign courtesy of

I also did some food prep for the rest of the week! It makes it much easier to grab and eat on the go when it is all washed, cut and ready to go. Yum Yum in my Tum:)

Tuesday 9/10

3 mile run with the hubby:) Just under 27 minutes!

Food Intake

Breakfast:  Coffee w/ Vanilla Protein Powder

Post Workout:  Eggs over easy w/ ezekial bread & oven roasted edamame

Snacks: Larabar & Celery w/ Almond Butter

Lunch/Dinner:  Burger patty sans bun with spicy mustard & grapes

Post Dinner:  We had small group tonight and it was our turn to make snacks.dessert.  I chose to be a bit healthy and made a layered dip with black beans, fresh tomatoes, avocado, light sour cream & cheese. I brought chips but also brought brown rice triscuits for myself.  I also did graham crackers with a light cream cheese dip with caramel & toffee (not so healthy) but did offer apples for dipping as well.  I did partake in this but did not over do it!  

Wednesday 9/11

2 mile run
3x15 squats w/ 40 lbs
3x15 bicep curls w/ 20 lbs each arm
3x15 side crunch w/ 20 lbs each side
3 x10 plank rows w/ 10 lbs each side
100 push ups
100 bicycles

Food Intake

Breakfast:  Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte' & Larabar

Lunch:  Thai Chicken Salad- super yummy recipe!  I have been having some issues with peanuts so I substituted almond butter and it was still just as delicious!

Snacks- Cheese stick, Brown Rice Triscuits & Graham Crackers- I waited to long to eat lunch today and got a big case of the carb munchies!  I have to confess that I also had a few starburst & twizzlers today.....candy is my weakness:(

Dinner: 1/2 of Braxton's Hamburger (plain), celery w/ almond butter and I rewarded myself after my workout with a chocolate covered frozen banana.

.......and sad to say that is about how far I got with my week being so busy wrapping up work stuff and preparing for the beach week.  I didn't do anything catastrophic to my diet on Thursday & Friday so feeling good!  I do have to say that eating cleaner has definitely made me feel better.  I am down another 5 lbs and feeling slimmer!  Ready for the beach!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back in Action!

Saturday 9/7


2 Mile Run on the dread-mill

Body Sculpting Class (1 hour) with my hubby......He had no idea what he was in for:)

Food Intake

Breakfast:  Coffee w/ Vanilla Protein Powder, Banana Bread Lara bar & Banana

Post Workout: 2 Eggs over easy on Ezekiel Bread w/ avocado & peaches

Snacks:  Plantains, hummus, grapes & cheese

Dinner:  We went to a birthday party and I had some snacks (veggies & mini meat pie) but I resisted the sweets table!!!  Kudos to me:) So when we got home to feed the "sweets" crave, I made myself a Chocolate Cherry Shake (skim milk, fresh cherries, kale & choc. protein powder)

*I also had a glass of wine tonight- first one in a while!

Sunday 9/8

Rest Day: a peaceful day of church in the morning and a fun afternoon with my boys:)

Food Intake

Breakfast: Coffee w/ Vanilla Protein Powder & Steel Cut Oatmeal w/ almond butter & 1/2 chopped banana

Lunch: Burger sans bun with Laughing Cow cheese & grapes

Snacks:  Plantains, hummus and a few choc. covered sunflower seeds

Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Jasmine Rice & oven roasted edamame w/ olive oil, garlic & parmesan cheese

It's GO week- 5 days to the beach!!!
Have a good night!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slacker, Party of One!

Wow- I am a slacker :/

Let me just say LIFE has gotten the best of me this past few days and I have kept no consistent record of my food log. I have not really fallen off the path with the exception of a few bites of fries and a few spoons of milkshake twice this week.  I'll blame those on Brett for, #1 ordering them & #2 sitting by me.....I just can't resist it. I mean, how could anyone resist a few bites of salt & vinegar fries and a red velvet/pecan milkshake!

But it certainly is not worth it.....
Every time I have a bite of something "bad" now, I immediately regret it and my stomach feels horrible.  I can tell you that limiting the grains and sugar in my diet has made a HUGE difference. I have really focused on protein at every meal.  I feel slimmer and can definitely see some results happening with all of the weight training.

And thank goodness for the Map My Run App so that I could keep track of workouts!

Friday 8/30-
4 mile time was horrible (44 mins) but I am going to blame it on the time and day and extreme humidity!

Saturday 8/31- 
Body Sculpting Class (1 hour)

Sunday 9/1-
 Rest Day

Monday 9/2- 
2 (BORING) miles on the treadmill- Now that I am an outside runner, I just can't bear to run inside anymore! But when it's raining, you have to bear with the "dreadmill!"
Squats: 4 x 15 (120 lbs)
Lat Pull Downs 4 x 15 (60 lbs)
Chest Press: 3 x 15 (75 lbs) with Brett as my spotter:)
100 Russian Twists w/ 20 lb weight
100 Bicycles

Tuesday 9/3-
20 Minute Stairmaster
Leg Press:  4 x 15 (210 lbs)
Leg Prone Ext. 3 x 15 (70 lbs)
Bicep Curls: 3 x 15 (45 lbs)
60 Russian Twists w/ 20 lb weight
60 Side Standing Crunches on each side w/ 20 lb weight
60 Bicycles
60 Ab Pikes with 10 lb medicine ball

Wednesday 9/4- 
4 Mile Run....not my best time but just under 40 minutes:)

Thursday 9/5-
I plan on doing a 4 mile run this evening:)

So as of tomorrow, I will start back on track with daily postings- I PROMISE:)