Monday, August 18, 2014

10 Tips to Roadtripping with Kids

As wonderful as summer vacation sounds, what doesn’t always sound so nice is the prep work leading up to the trip and if you’re taking a road trip, the work seems to double. I’ve flown with two and have recently taken a road trip with two (1 year and 3 years).

I’ll admit, I was stressed about everything that had to be done before we even got in the car so I planned it out, spaced it out and it wasn’t so bad. Here are some of my tips for road tripping with kids.

Rather than just giving you a list of things to pack, here are five pointers for each type of packing.

Car Time
1. Car Essentials Food is critical to a drama free car ride. Pack nonperishable items, in bulk within arm’s reach.
2. Plan your pit stops in child friendly locations. Look for places like Chick-fil-a that has clean child play areas.
3. Leave as early as possible. The more time you can get during kids regular sleep time will serve you well. Technology is your friend.
4. Load up your iPads, portable DVD players and all. Remember, no wifi in the car.
5. Be patient and flexible.  You aren't going to get to eat perfectly or stay on your schedule perfectly.  Make this a "special" occasion and go with the flow.

Vacation Time
1. Know what you’re going into, does the place have washers/dryers, that will effect what you pack and may help with over packing.
2. Combine kids with your clothes to cut down on the number of pieces of luggage you need
3. Don’t forget the strollers, pack ’n’ plays and all the other equipment not provided by your hotel or condo.
4. Be creative about space. I put MiniE’s pack ‘n’ play in the closet because she loves her personal space. Add a nightlight and white noise and she was as happy as a jaybird.
5. Pack personal items (i.e. pillows, blankets, etc) to help kids transition in new spaces. If you can’t take pillows, take pillow cases

What are your tips for traveling with kids?

Check out my wifi friendly apps and traveling with kids.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Beat Goes On

I have been pretty honest about what's been going on in our world and the effect it's had on us.  It's added pressure.  It's sadness for the family and it's fear of the unknown.  Things have not calmed down, in fact it seems to have gotten worse with no end in sight. 

We have tried very hard to keep the kids sheltered from all of this.  They are just WAY to young to try to explain this but it's been hard.  When you can't even let your kids watch TV because the news is always cutting in to show us more looting or violence.  It's beyond troubling.

In light of all of this, the beat goes on.  We have to try to not let this rule our lives for the sake of the kids, if nothing else.

So I'll keep running, because I find solace in it. I'll keep squeezing and cuddling the best I can because my kids find comfort in it.  All the time praying that peace will find it's way to Ferguson. 

Sometimes being an adult is not fun.  This is one of those times. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


Yep, that's how I feel.  Uninspired, a little unmotivated, just blah.

It's been an emotionally charged week here in St. Louis.  You pretty much have to live under a rock to not know.  A young man was killed in a town not far from my office.  I've spent many a lunch breaks in that town and what you have seen TV with the looting is not the community I know it to be.  Look past that and you'll find a community of people filled with passion.  Not to mention some pretty great little restaurants and shops. 

It's all been hitting me pretty hard this week.  All I've really wanted to do is watch and pray that this community and that St. Louis entirely can recover.  A while back I wrote a post that I haven't published yet about why St. Louis rocks because we seem to get a bad wrap in all the Top 10 poles. 

I'm telling you, it's not like that and I'll share some of the reasons why when I publish that post, probably next week.  In the meantime, I've not had the motivation to workout, to write or to really even be on social media.  I guess bigger things are weighing on me. 

Christine said it well...I've just been staring at the computer trying to come up with something profound to write about but it's not coming.  Somehow my workouts just don't seem to be enough this week to motivate but I wanted to/had to write something so this is what you get.

I'm glad it's Friday.  It feels like a crossroads of sorts..It feels like a good time to shake it off, leave the rough week behind, enjoy some much needed time with my kids interruption free and come back Monday feeling refreshed (hopefully). 

It's time to chose to move on, leave the week behind and move on. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's more important than the run?

Yesterday on my run, I saw something that has had me thinking.  I was following this woman running.  We were keeping a pretty good pace but nothing that would have you hating life.  Anyway, we came across a father and her daughter (maybe 7) that were running together.

You could tell the little girl was excited to be running, excited to be out on the trail.  She held out her hand, looking for a high five.  The woman in front of almost went out of her way to not give the girl a high five.  I reached out and we slapped hands.  I saw her face light up and she smiled at her dad. 

I just got a little upset and ashamed.  When did we become so serious about our sport that we couldn't celebrate it?  Maybe it's just me and maybe it's because I'm a mother of two kids that I HOPE decide they want to run some day.  Whatever the reason, I will always high five, I will always slap hands.  There are just somethings that are more important than run itself. 

What would you have done?  Be honest.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hopelessy Devoted...

When K9 Advantix II asked me what it means to be a devoted dog owner, one word came to mind…


That's what we pet parents call our beloved dogs and cats. I have talked about Zoey a few times in the past. She was my first baby. She was supposed to be a foster dog but the second I picked her up and she jumped in my passenger seat as if to say…"let's go home mom", I knew this wasn't a temporary arrangement. My hunch was even more solidified when Zoey met my then boyfriend, now husband. You would've thought they had been together since childhood. They just clicked.

When the kids came around, I couldn't believe how maternal she became. She's an older dog so I thought maybe she was past that stage in her life but I was wrong. She would sleep next to E's crib when we were in the old house and even now, every night when I rock MiniE, there she is..waiting to help or just cuddle.

The bond we each have with Zoey is different yet so special. S is the primary dog walker. They love their time together late at night. Zoey and I have bonded in the kitchen…turns out we both freak for green beans. J I think any dog parent would say this but she's always there…ready to love, protect and play and there's a comfort in that which I just can't properly do justice. Pet parents get it. The house would feel so empty without her. I do and always will care for her as if she were one of my babies on two feet. K9 Advantix II wants you to keep them in mind when you think about protecting your furbabies. K9 Advantix II provides superior and safe parasite protection. Check out more on their site. I promise, clicking that link will lead to adorable puppy photos and important dog care info…

The bond between you and your dog is a special one, and you’ll go to great lengths to keep your furry family member safe and healthy. K9 Advantix® II is a once-a-month topical application for dogs and puppies that REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Visit to learn more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of K9 Advantix® II. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heavy Hearts...

I want to write about running and fitness but tonight I just can't.  There's an instinct that has taken over and all I'm concerned about is the safety of my family and the community that I love.

I don't live in Ferguson but I'm close enough to feel unsettled.  I'm close enough to feel sadness for the family and sadness for the community in which they live.  I'm close enough to feel extreme frustration for the families of North County that just want to live their lives. Life can be difficult enough without this.

Our main priority as parents is to create a safe and happy environment for our kids.  It's times like this that remind me how much we take for granted.

So tonight hug your children, say a prayer and hope that while justice is served, that peace comes soon.     

Thursday, August 7, 2014

High Five Friday

Jumping on the High Five Friday wagon this week because sometimes you really do just need to celebrate the fact that it's Friday and you've made it through.  5 also represents many parts of my week so lets begin:

The number of states I visited in 2 days:
My week was all about work.  I'm in week 2 of a new role and while I love it, change is exhausting.  Especially when that change has you in 5 states in two days with a 4 hour delay!! oh and did I mention I did it all in 3 in heals?!

The number of minutes I lasted on the treadmill:
So when I actually did make it home all I wanted to do Wednesday was hit the gym hard.  The kids were cooperating so I intended to hit the treadmill but after just a few minutes, I realized my head had won out in the battle of focus.  It just wasn't there.  So I went to pure cross training and strength with the TRX system, which I LOVE.  Here's one of my favorite core moves:

The time I left work to get to my work function:
Thursday was more work related functions after work which meant no physical activity so I'm really looking forward to weekend of just leaving it out on the trail.  It's been calling my name all week and rain or shine, I will be out there...hopefully logging MANY miles. 

The number of glasses of wine I intend to have this weekend:
Yes, I'll spread it out over the course of three days but after the week I've had, I think I kind of deserve it!

So in the essence of starting off this weekend on the right foot I have two pictures that are sure to melt your heart (at least they did mine).  The first was actually taken by my significant other Monday when he was home with the kids, eating grahm crackers.  The second is MiniE's first real ponytail.  Can't you just die!?

Please Daddy can we have a graham cracker?

MiniE's First Ponytail

You can see more snapshots of my crazy week on Instagram.  Are we connected?

What are you high fiving today?  How was your week?  Were you focused?  Did you accomplish what you set out to do?