I highlighted some fun questions in RED and GREEN throughout the post. I would love if you answered some of the questions in the comments below. This will be fun!
This month is a blur! It’s not because we have been insanely busy or stressed to the max with Christmas tasks. It’s just because the days fly by with a little one in tow!
I have been in the festive spirit since mid-November. It has become an extended family tradition to meet in the city for the lights parade. The first year it was just me and my sister’s family. The next year, my parents met up with us. And this year, we even had 2 of my aunts, an uncle, and my cousin fly in! We all had swanky hotels rooms off of Michigan Avenue (you can get unbelievable deals on Priceline!!), and usually piled into my parent’s room for drinks and social time! Needless to say, it can be a little crazy coordinating a group of people in a cold, busy city. However, we do a great job at having fun and making awesome memories. This year, like every year, we stood out in the cold watching the parade go by. Georgie loved it and so did I! It’s hard to leave a weekend filled with family, shopping, food, and tons of hustle and bustle and NOT have some holiday spirit! If you haven’t been to Chicago around the holidays, you must! There is so much to do and it really is a blast!
Have you ever been to the city of Chicago for the lights parade?
On Thanksgiving weekend we did a few fun activities like attending our town’s Christmas Tree lighting and visiting Santa. We even invested in a new Christmas tree (my husband Jake found a killer Black Friday deal!) I got rid of our beast of a tree a few years ago during a move. (Boy did I hate that thing!) We put up a mini tree and lots of garlands, and last year we even tried the real tree thing. I am in love with our easy to assemble pre-lit tree (7 different lighting settings! Colored lights, white lights, blinking, fading, and alternating!
What do you prefer, white or colored lights?
On that same weekend, we had our Black Friday Boot camp at The Libertyville Sports Complex. This was a free class if you brought in a food pantry donation. I lost count, but I hear we were upwards of 50 people on that festive, sweaty morning! Every time we do a “Make a Difference with Your Fitness” event I am in awe of the goodness and generosity of our community. We had a great workout AND a ton of food pantry donations!
In what ways do you enjoy giving back?
This year my dad (Georgie calls him Poppi) sent her an Advent calendar in the mail. It has been so fun as we record her eating her daily chocolate and send it off to Nana and Poppi. If I don’t send it right away, I usually get a text saying, “Where’s our video??” It’s been such a fun thing to do.
What are some of your favorite traditions you do or did with your kids?
Here’s a link to one of our videos! https://goo.gl/photos/nmuUEdeuaXtiDLpS7
I have been playing around with so many ideas I want to execute for fitness classes/training, and some topics I want to blog about. A few include: Cardio Kickboxing, Fit Moms Club, Body Image Talk, Keto eating, carb cycling, Make Your Own Diet Rules, Collagen Supplements, New Year’s Goals, Boxing and Boot camps, Yoga and Self Care, more guests posts…
What would you like to see from me in 2017?
Mondays are my day off of teaching and training, so my workouts are just for me! I used to take this day to get a nice long outdoor run in with a few friends, and we did bundle up for a few of them. However, it’s just been too cold to bundle Georgie up and push the jogging stroller around town. How boring for her! So recently I have been hitting the gym, (Georgia loves the childcare there. She has several little friends and she loves Miss Lisa, the sitter! She is simply wonderful!) My friend, turned newly certified fitness instructor Katie, had persuaded me to lift some heavy weights which I just haven’t experimented a lot with. We usually head in for a treadmill run or spin class, then the both of us head to the weight room for some weights. It has been a good change of pace for me, and I definitely notice some gains in my training! And honestly, it’s just really fun to try something totally different.
Do you like to lift heavy weights? If so, what has been your experience and results?
I have been really fortunate to meet amazing people through fitness. It’s a rare thing to meet people you want to hang with outside of sweating…but year after year, I find some real gems. Many going back close to 8,9 10 years (You know who you are!:) A lovely group of girls and their spouses are among the people I love and met through fitness. We have started a monthly tradition of getting together, and their friendship is something I really value. This month we celebrated the holidays with a taco bar and ornament exchange. Having meaningful relational connections, sharing a laugh, and letting my hair down is key for me to be healthy on the inside!
Do you get together with friends over the holidays or just family?
Oh the snow…I actually don’t mind it and as long as we can be home safe and sound. Getting some snow can be kind of exciting. And…if it’s going to be cold, it might as well snow! I have done my share of shoveling the driveway (holy cow that’s a workout!) and playing with Georgie outside! As long as it’s not crazy cold we still get our fresh air in the afternoon walking the dog and playing outside. We have already had a cold snap which leaves us feeling cooped up. In those cases, I warm up the car and off we go. One day we just walked around Wal-Mart and Bass Pro. And one day we drove to the gym and she just ran around the soccer fields and watched the kids play basketball. We all have some energy we need to get out…am I right?!
What do you do when you start to get Cabin Fever?
We got Georgie just a few little things for Christmas as we know she will be showered with lovely gifts from her friends and family. One of her gifts from us this year was a teepee. She loves taking her books into a little reading nook, and we thought this teepee would create such a nice place for her to do just that. All the teepees I looked at were upwards of $100.00. It was Jake’s idea to make one, so I found a cute how-to online and off to Home Depot we went. It was fairly easy and totally adorable!
Have you ever done a DIY Christmas gift? If so, what was it and how did it turn out?
Monday afternoon I was able to deliver a carload of gifts, brought in by my morning fitness crew, and take it to a family in need. We adopted 4 little ones, all cousins. As usual, you think you are doing something nice to bless another when in the process you are the one feeling the blessing. Modeling this habitude early on for Georgie is most important to us. Thank you again to all my clients who really did a wonderful thing for these kids!
This week before Christmas I will wrap up a few errands (head to a Dr’s appointment before my insurance changes, chat with an old friend, clean the house, get an oil change, lol). I will start to pack for our annual trip to Ohio to visit family and of course, continue to teach classes up until the last second!! (We are leaving right after my Saturday morning class, WOOT!). We are also very excited about our Christmas Eve service at the Chapel in Libertyville; our church home for 10 years. I don’t have anything wrapped yet, and I could care less. I need to do up laundry for the trip and I’ll get to it, I will. I just put my Christmas cards in the mail today even though they have been sitting on my counter ready to mail for almost 2 weeks. To sum it up, I am truly and thoroughly enjoying the season without any shoulds or oughts. We really do keep it simple around here and have been practicing that habitude for a while now. Having a child to experience Christmas through is more fun than I could have ever imagined. For me, this Advent season has brought so much joy, gratitude, and reflection. Each year as I grow a little and yet feel an even deeper need to draw close to God. The truth is, without the light of Christmas, this life would be empty for me. It is only because of this holiday, this Advent, this coming of Christ, that I can stand up and live. I am in awe of this Christmas gift and forever grateful.
What are you thinking about this week?
God bless you this Christmas! Keep working hard, sweating, eating cookies, sipping mimosas, laughing with friends, and getting after it! (Balance, right??!:)