Why Moms Can’t Be Sick

Hey Everybody!

I hope that your Christmas was filled with lots of laughs, joy, warm memories, and appreciation for the birth of our savior, Jesus! Our Christmas season this year was UBER busy, and to top it all off, I ended up getting hit with an infection on CHRISTMAS EVE! So I suffered through it on Christmas day and finally went into the ER on Friday morning only to spend 5 hours there for a diagnosis that could have been given over the phone. BUT you know how it is, they will prick and prod and give you every test imaginable to get all them “coints!”

Thankfully, I am hardly ever sick. I have the occasional head cold once or twice a year max, but other than that, I’m on the go and I love it! So being sick this time around made me realize once again, why its so hard for moms to have sick days! First off, my big toddler kid Elijah who is 16 months is still nursing, so the initial infection was breast-feeding related. Right. Who gets a breast-feeding infection almost a year and a half in the game? *insert a long wail* To top it off, the antibiotics to treat that infection caused my tongue and inside of cheeks and roof of mouth to start welting and swelling, so finally after 2 days of that I’m like WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEEE?!!!!!!!! *insert another long dramatic hands on my head wail* So I pull up my computer, and after some very quick research discover that I had developed *drumroll* oral THRUSH! OMG. If you are lucky enough to not know what that is, its basically a yeast infection in your mouth, eeek! So my tongue hurts, the roof of my mouth hurts, and the sides of my jaws hurt, and with all that hurting, I am not eating because….IT HURTS! The highlight of my day yesterday was cream of chicken soup. And I relished it as though it were turkey and dressing while my goofy sister Tresbien laughed at what I was eating.

But back to my point, I have made my own list of why its so hard for me as a mom to be sick and actually peacefully recuperate:

1. Its hard for your husband to balance 3 bad boys who are all geeked up from their new Christmas toys. So you end up wilting in the bed, starving and desiring something to eat, yet cannot eat because your mouth is all jacked up. *he did bring me eggs in bed this morning though hehe*

2. The kids keep coming to YOU for stuff, when your husband was literally right next to them. I wish I could put on that gold ring from the Hobbit and be invisible for like 2 days.

3. When you are able to get out of the bed, you are smacked in the face with pulsating anxiety at the mess you see…..EVERYWHERE! I woke up today to find 3 plates of food on the table, and most of the food that was on those plates had made their way ON THE FLOOR beneath the table! Then there’s the big puddle of water or apple juice or whatever it was all mixed into the food, coupled with overturned cups, forks and spoons  strewn about the room, chairs that were all grouped together and angled in different directions…. you name it, I saw it. It looked as if I had just missed The Three Stooges having breakfast. I pointed out the mess to my husband who I saw look at it, and then eyes register as if he saw it for the very first time. Yet he walked past it at least 15 times that morning. His response, a very dry “oh I’ll get it when I get back”, which would be 2.5-3 hours later. #ICant

4. We hate asking for help. Cue the mop & broom.

5. And when we do get help, we don’t know what to do with it. Yesterday my niece asked if I needed help and came over. I really racked my brain like “what can she do?” although one QUICK glance around my house one could easily make a pretty lengthy to-do-list, but instead I asked her to keep the kids entertained and I got back in the bed lol. For some reason, I could not say “hey wash the dishes, clean the tables, run the vacuum”. What’s wrong with me?

6. You have anxiety over what your kids are being fed. One evening I saw my son getting rocked to sleep in the dark with a sucker in his mouth. I’m not gone say who was rocking him though.

7. The big humongous growing pile of laundry in the corner is seriously depressing. That and no one has clean underwear or socks in the house!

So you see?! The struggle is real! But big shout out to my husband who has been holding it down at the house… in his own way, giggles. I don’t think he’s changed this many diapers since Elijah was born! Go Red! LOL

What did I miss? What reasons do you find make it difficult for you to just stay in the bed and recuperate? In other news, I’ve lost like 5lbs on the oral thrush diet, lol. *why does that make me happy?* #durp

Your Best Mile Yet

This morning during my jog, I ran my best mile since I started back running this past summer. I ran my first mile leg in 10 minutes and 22 seconds… a far cry from the 13 minute plus mile I ran when I first began. When the voice on my Endomondo app announced my time, I did a mid-length fist pump in the air. YES! I am that much closer to my goal of running 10 minute flat miles consistently without my heart palpitating out of my chest and me sucking in air as if it would be my last breath. The 10min 22sec announcement represented more than just running a faster mile.  My endurance is strengthening! I am getting stronger! I am getting faster! And most importantly,  I DID NOT QUIT WHEN IT WAS HARD! 

You see, when I first laced up my running shoes in June 2014, I was slow, tired, out of breath, and heard a myriad of “you can quit” and “you are so tired” whispers in my head that I constantly had to battle. There were many mornings when I would have rather turned over and continued to sleep, or listen to the many excuses I had lined up for myself like “girl you were up 2 times last night with the baby, you need your rest!” or “just run later!” or “its just too cold out there today.Many of times, its our own thoughts that defeat us before we can even get started. There have been times during my runs when I knew I was tired, when I was doing all I could to even out my breathing to decrease my heart rate, and I had to combat “go ahead and quit” thoughts with self affirmations like “I am not tired”, “I have two more miles in me”, and “I will finish strong”.  Sometimes, we don’t have a pack of clappers and shoulder patters behind us when we embark on a new journey. Sometimes, we have to do it alone and be our own pom-pom squad and give ourselves our own inspiring speech to get us through that 2nd half.

So I ask you today. What goals do you have that you have talked yourself out of? What dreams do you have that have been running around on your wheel of excuses like that hamster displayed in the pet store? Trust me, I have been the queen of excuses time and time again. I have wasted years of singing the “I have a dream” song to myself and then turning around and reaping the guilt that stems from the realization that yet another year has passed and I hadn’t done one thing to see those dreams manifest. Another New Year’s resolution proclaimed with no real plans to sustain it. Another season of me looking in the mirror and not liking the weight I was at. This time, when I put on my shoes, I didn’t want it to be another lackadaisical attempt. I wanted to be consistent, I wanted to be progressive, and I wanted to run my best mile every single day.

If you need help like I did combatting your own self, I encourage you to turn to our “lamp”, the Word of God. It always begins with discipline! This scripture especially hit home for me. Discipline does not feel good in the moment. Training is not always easy. But it is worth it.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 

Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

As I sit here and reflect, I am overcome by emotion because I can face myself. I can look myself in the eye when I see my reflection and tell my own self, “you did it girl! I am proud of you.” This time, I did not give up. This time, I did not quit. This time, I completed the training process of being disciplined enough to hit the pavement and put one foot in front of the other and push those negative thoughts aside.  Now, I lay out my running gear before I even go to bed. Now, my alarm is set to ring before the kids wake up for the day. Now, I look at my calendar and map out what days I will run and what days I will hit the gym. So I encourage you to ask yourself, what is your pavement? What’s the thing waiting for you to hit with everything you’ve got? We can have all the faith in the world, but faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

This journey has taught me that when we make goals, we must have two things in order:

1) A Plan.

““Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets so that whoever reads it may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

2) Clear Steps of Preparation to Execute the Plan.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Provers 16:3)

So I say to whomever may be reading this. You can do it! But it won’t be accomplished until YOU believe you can do it. Commit to making that plan TODAY! Your best mile is waiting for you :)



FITNESS FRIDAY FEATURE! Jami Stephens: The Queen of Clean Eating

Happy Friday!

I thought it would be fun to do Fitness Friday features from time to time to help enlighten, encourage, and motivate my fellow mommies and women (ok dads and men ya’ll can read too :) )that prioritizing our health and wellness is not only vital for our wellbeing, but that it can FINALLY BE SIMPLE! Allow me to introduce you to Jami Stephens, the phenomenal woman, wife, mother, and fitness coach that I had the pleasure of learning how to “eat clean” from just this past September! Now that I am 15lbs lighter, which has been a true struggle after carrying and pushing out them big head boys (hey, they made me eat cheese burgers while I was pregnant…everyday), I’d love to share her health & wellness journey and invite you to also connect with her so you too can learn the tools of being Fab & Fit!

So, lets meet Jami! First off, don’t let the pink hair fool you, she’s sweet as pie but she don’t play no games when it comes to nutrition and coaching people to their fitness goals. Just ask her about cookie butter and you will get a nutritional beat down faster than you can say “but its so good!” Married for 12 years to the love of her life and fellow Army veteran, Jeff, they parent two handsome boys together! #teamboys She’s fun, whimsical, easy going, and overall the loudest cheerleader in your corner, even when you just want to have a treat….like cookie butter…. she’s there explaining with L-O-V-E love the actual nutritional info on the back of the jar that so many of us don’t know how to or don’t take the time to read! Don’t get me wrong, she’s definitely pro have-a-treat, but its all in moderation! Don’t get caught in the garage, in the dark, in your robe at midnight…spooning the sugary goodness out of the jar. Now that’s when you know you need Jami to help you fix your life! #FFF (inside joke)

Here’s Jami’s Transformation Story below!


Stephanie:     Tell me about your fitness journey. When did you begin getting uncomfortable in your skin when it came to your health? What triggered your action plan to get fit?

Jami:     When it comes to fitness, I was a late bloomer.  I was raised by my grandmother and we lived on her social security income.  That didn’t leave much room for sports or other recreation.  I had a love for music and was a part of a dance group to keep me in shape, but our group lost financial sponsorship, and that is when my weight gain began.  Until that point, I’d been a size 5/6.  By my second semester of college, I was a size 14, at a height of 5’2″!   But I honestly thought nothing of my weight.  It didn’t seem to hinder my primary mission at that time: getting boyfriends.  However, when financial aid fell through and I wanted to join the Army to earn college money, everything changed.  For the first time in my life, I NEEDED to lose weight.  I started running and got down to a size 10.  I still wasn’t  a fan of exercise and I was completely oblivious about nutrition.  Once in the Army, I learned that I was strong and capable of things I never dreamed of: like doing 100 pushups on command and running 2 miles in little over 16 minutes.   During the latter part of my Army career, I was deployed to Uzbekistan. While I was there, my grandmother, who’d been overweight my entire life, passed away.  When I came home for her funeral, I vowed that I would get educated on health and fitness and I would do everything in my power to keep people from dying from preventable ailments (much of her health issues stemmed from her obesity).  When I got home from Uzbekistan I stayed true to my vow and studied for and obtained my personal training certification through the American Council on Exercise.  I truly developed a love for fitness and even competed in two bodybuilding competitions AFTER the birth of my youngest son.

Stephanie:   In the midst of your role as a wife, and working mother, how do you prioritize yourself?

Jami:   Because I am the primary caregiver of everyone in the house, I MUST make my health a priority.  You can’t efficiently take care of others if you’re lethargic and undernourished.  Therefore, I make sure to get my fitness in first thing in the morning, before any unforeseen issues (ie. hubby, kids, and work) pop up.  I’m extremely blessed to have access to great home workout programs to minimize my time away from my other commitments.

Stephanie:  If someone is just beginning their fitness journey, what exercise regimen do you recommend?

Jami:   If you’re not active at all, it may be overwhelming to try to immediately jump into a 6 day a week 30 minute + workout regimen.  Everyone is different, but everyone can challenge themselves to go beyond what they do right now.  For folks who are ready to accept the fitness lifestyle full steam ahead, I say aim for at least 20 minutes of an activity that will get increase your heart rate 6 days a week.

Stephanie:  As mentioned, I met you via a Clean Eating Challenge group that you host on Facebook. Prior to joining the group, I was actively working out 3-5 days a week, and the weight was slowly coming off, I mean like ounces a week and I wanted to see pounds! It wasn’t until I joined your group that I saw significant weight loss…5lbs in one week for me! You couldn’t tell me NOTH-ING! I immediately thought I was a size 4 in my head. Explain what “clean eating” is for us.*

Jami: For me, clean eating is enjoying foods as close to how God made them and avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and other synthetic additives. I believe our overconsumption, as Americans, of processed, nutritionally void “foods” is leaving us undernourished and overweight.

*if you are ready to take a dive into “clean eating”, click here to join her free 5 Days with Jami-Clean Eating Challenge November Part 2 group. She provides the meal plan AND the grocery list… if you can read and follow directions, you can do this! Plus, you get to connect and be encouraged with tons of other people to stay accountable. Its FUN! Join us!

Stephanie: How can readers keep up with you and stalk you for health & fitness encouragement ? 

Jami: The simplest way to stalk me is to go to www.beachbodycoach.com/JamiStephens and click “join”.  That will get you access to my newsletter and my Facebook community, The Elevation Nation.  I may be a little biased, but my peeps are amazing!

Stephanie: Lastly, what’s your motivation?  

Jami:   My motivation primarily is my grandmother and other women like her: caring, selfless, but without adequate access to the information and mental coaching they need to improve their lives.  Of course I enjoy helping men as well, but the memory of my grandmother is what keeps me going.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Jami Stephens! To show just how much she loves helping moms and women like us get healthy, she is giving away  (1) 5 day supply of Beach Body’s Chocolate Vegan Shakeology (a $32 value), which is a yummy shake packed with nutrition that will help energize and sustain you as we get these bodies back!

To enter to win:

1. Simply “like” My Life With These Kids on Facebook by clicking here, AND like Jami’s FitCoach page by clicking here. Then, look out for Mylifewiththesekids.com Facebook post announcing the giveaway and comment “I want to win!” That’s it! One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by 5pm EST on Monday, November 17th, 2014.

2. If you are NOT on Facebook, simply comment on this blog post and you will be entered into the random drawing!

After this read, it is my prayer that if you feel a conviction about your health as it is right now (and I stress health over weight because all skinny people ain’t healthy…okaaayyy?!), then I urge you to connect with Jami, join the clean eating challenge, and with prayer, dedication, and commitment, allow the Lord to transform your mind so that you can truly treat your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Let’s join together and honor God with our  bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and be examples for our children. After all, we can’t be tired, overweight, and sluggish trying to keep up with these kids! :)