What goes first?

“You always have time for the things you put first.”

But what do you put first? And, more importantly, how often do you put YOU first? I can say that for a long time I was very much towards the bottom of my list of things. My husband, our house, my work, my students, and now my baby are usually prioritized about my own self. Does my list change constantly? You betcha! Last year, I would leave myself towards the bottom of the list and focus on those around me.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I had to put myself higher on my list in order to better serve those around me. As I finish up Core de Force (I’m on day 26) I have made my health a priority in my life and, because of this decision, I always have time to get my workout in.


To most people reading this post, the picture above just looks like a bedroom. And, most days, that’s exactly what it is. But for a small amount of time each day, it is my solitude. It is where I go to focus on me; to focus on my health and my well-being. I push play and for that time I only focus on me.

My results in a few days will not be a dramatic weight loss but it will be so much more in so many ways.

As I was working through the rounds of MMA Speed last night, I felt the difference from day 1 to now. I remember thinking ho hard the 6 rounds were on day one and questioning if this would even work. Tonight, I’m left wanting more. 6 rounds were nothing and I could see and feel my muscles working differently than they had the first night.

In the course of this program, I’ve fit back into pre-pregnancy pants! I’m talking multiple pairs of pants! Pants that I couldn’t button last month! I’ve had more focus throughout the day, both at work and in my home life. Because of my gained focus, I am getting better at planning and executing my day. Things on my daily to-do list are getting crossed off! I have energy and don’t feel stressed like I typically do at this time of the school year.  img_4261

While I know I am not done with focusing on my health when CDF ends in a few days, I now have the tools to maintain a healthy life and focus on the habits that allow me to better myself and those that depend on me. As a society, we so often put ourselves at the bottom of our lists. Move yourself up and see the benefits it has on all aspects of your life.


Little Miss Em

Just in a week this little gal has changed soooo much! 💗 Not only did she cut her first two teeth, she now crawls in and out of her ball pit at her leisure, runs through the house in her walker, is infatuated with Mom & Dad (not going to lie, best thing ever) and is pulling herself up to stand! 😳 She is already getting good at letting go and standing for a brief moment. #daredevilbaby As cool as it is to watch all of these changes occur, I can’t help but wonder where my little baby has gone? 👶🏼 #emeryjanecastle #31weeksold #changingsomuchtumblr_ojg19pkwve1rzdluco1_500

Shakeology & Planning

When the baby sleeps for almost 11 hours and is up at 5:00 AM with no intention of going back to sleep, you grab your Shakeology and life plan! This is my first Panda Planner and I’m so excited! Just filled in the monthly and weekly pages.

My major project this week is to complete my PASC application. If I get accepted I will join the April cohort through the Madera County Office of Education and have my administrative Credential in a year!

My monthly focus is to simplify and my habit is to exercise daily. (I love that there are daily habit check boxes so I can mark it off each day I workout!)

Monthly goals include:
✔️putting $1000 into our savings
✔️completing the Core de Force program
✔️utilizing my tumblr more (see posts from the last two days, haha)

Happy New Year and Happy Monday!tumblr_oj5ozhjSee1rzdluco1_1280.jpg

Beauty in Pain

I’ve been reflecting on the past year while trying to cope with uncontrollable circumstances the last couple of weeks. I’ve been figuring out what everything looks likes for me and for us. What is the new year going to hold for us? Will this year determine the sequence of events for our foreseeable future?

2016 has been a whirlwind for our family. We welcomed our biggest blessing yet when Emery was born in May. Since then, our perspectives and priorities have drastically changed. The person I was this time last year- a wife and teacher who was extremely type A and overly planned in all aspects of her life- would crawl in her skin to see me now. Yet, as I write this, I am perfectly content with my grades still not entered in the grade book, less than 8 hours of my entire break so far spent on work, no plans for my classes next week but way too many pictures of the baby and so many smiles and memories to cherish from break.

I really thought 2016 was going to end on a high note for us. We found out in November that we would be welcoming baby two in July and we couldn’t be more excited. I loved everything about being pregnant with Emery and was so happy to experience that again. We know we aren’t done having kids and can’t wait for our family to be complete. We told our family and friends. I told my students. I even spent half of a Sunday designing the perfect Christmas cards to announce baby two. Little did I realize when I pressed the order button that those cards would end up sitting in a box tucked away in our office closet.

Jump forward a few days later. The feeling of seeing an empty gestational sac- one without a baby, a heartbeat or anything that resembles a viable pregnancy is one of the toughest feelings to describe. In a moment that is typically filled with so much love, awe, and amazement, it suddenly becomes filled with despair, sadness and disbelief. While I followed up with multiple tests and lab work, and a week of waiting to confirm what I already knew, I had to figure out how to still find beauty during this pain and how to move forward.

The topic of miscarriage is still very much taboo and I get it. Everyone handles loss differently and it is very much a loss that a woman primarily suffers through alone. For me, part of the healing is talking about it. I’ve been fortunate to have so much support in family and friends and that in itself is beautiful. My faith and relationship with God has become stronger and that is beautiful. I find myself cherishing the moments with Jared and Emery more, and that is beautiful. While some days are tougher than others, I find beauty in knowing that I am that much stronger for making it through.

What does 2017 hold for us? I used to wish I could answer that. The old me would already have now until March planned out, written down and ready to go. The old me would have a hard time losing control. But that is the old me. If 2016 has taught me anything about myself it is this:

Don’t try to control everything;

Spend more time making memories and less time spending money on material items;

Don’t ignore your health, both mentally and physically. If you aren’t healthy you can’t take care of others;

Remember that balance is about enjoying all that matters;

and, lastly, find beauty in pain.

Filed under newyear reflections beautyinpain movingfoward