Thursday, October 30, 2014

Just A Country Girl

This week has been wild and busy! The week before Halloween is filled with school parties, Zumba® fitness parties, football, and everything in between. 

On Monday our Zumba® ladies dressed up to party for Halloween! I went with a cowgirl/country theme naturally. All of my songs were country and I love bringing out my Southern side to a workout that's dominated by Latin and pop music! 

I'd love to show you how adorable all of the costumes were, but I'm pretty sure some of the ladies are pretty shy about having their cute faces plastered all over my blog. So...you just get me. 


I think the toughest part about being an instructor is finding my own style. I appreciate each instructor's unique movements and rhythms but it's kinda tough finding "me" in Zumba® class. I'm this very OCD, country music loving Southern girl who counts steps and patterns in each song. Throw me into a class with all of these Latin rhythms? Hilarious, y'all! But I absolutely love it! Who would have ever imagined?!?

I think most of my regular songs have been influenced by my own instructors over the past year and a half. I think I tend to pick up their styles a lot, but I want to put more of me into it now.


I noticed something last week that has been weighing heavily on my mind. I've lost the fear. I had an amazing opportunity to dance with some of the best Zumba® fitness instructors in the Chattanooga area. I participated in an event that raises money for the LIVESTRONG Foundation supporting people with cancer. 

Not only did I get to dance with two of my favorite girls, but I also got to see other instructors' styles and individuality shining through. I knew the ticket sales to the event were pretty high.... I'd never danced in front of such a large group!.

Once I got there, I was swept up in the excitement and energy in the building. We had a great group of ladies from our regular classes join us and we had the best time. When I jumped up with my group to do our songs, it all happened so quickly. I really didn't even have time to get nervous and it was fabulous!

Afterward, I realized that all four songs were just tons of fun. The fear of messing up in front of everyone, or forgetting the songs, or going the wrong way is just simply gone. I can remember having to have a pep talk right before I taught my first class because I was such a wreck! Now, I don't really even sweat it. I tried a new song this week in class that I learned at the very last minute...no nerves. 


Photo Courtesy of American Henry Photography

I'm excited to discover that the fear is gone and no longer holding me back. I've battled with it quite a bit over the past several months and now I'm ready to focus on the things that bring out my own style in class. And no, it won't all be country! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday Pictures: Then and Now

For someone who is obese or overweight, professional pictures can be just plain stressful. There's nothing like the feeling of getting pictures back that you paid a lot of money for just to be disappointed. It's not the overall picture or the faces my family made....it was me. It was that chubby body and double chin. I cringed every time I saw a picture of myself. I would get so frustrated with how I looked in every picture. I kept thinking, "My husband and son look so cute....and then there's me. UGH!" I never felt like I fit in with my own family. 

For someone who loves pictures and all the sweet memories that go with them, I was devastated time after time. I can remember crying after family pictures. I know that may sound silly, but I did. It just really got to me. I have taken pictures of every special moment in my child's life and it felt like I ruined a lot of them. 

I am so thankful and fortunate that I decided to change things. I don't regret my journey and I admit every single struggle was one hundred percent worth it! I have pictures that I'm not ashamed to frame and hang! 



I've noticed changes between last year and this year's holiday pictures! Yay for progress!




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Patch: Then and Now

We take Caleb to the pumpkin patch every year. It gives me a pretty good comparison point for weight loss pictures. 


Over the years Caleb and I have both changed! I love to see him getting bigger and me getting smaller... 



Caleb was about to turn one in the picture below on the left and he's almost five in the picture on the right.


I actually look like a totally different person. I'm thrilled that I do because I wasn't happy at all with the person I once was.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Every year we visit a pumpkin patch with Caleb. The one we have been to every year closed after last season. I was so sad to have to find a new place to go. I saw several recommendations for Old McDonald's Farm, just a short drive from us. We decided to give it a try and I am so glad we did! 


It was really kid friendly and Caleb had plenty to do. Give the kid a tractor and he's in Heaven! 


We took a hayride to the pumpkin patch and picked out three large pumpkins. Caleb wanted the biggest pumpkin ever, but we told him he had to be able to carry it back to the car.



He finally found a pretty one.... that he could not carry.....


Luckily for him, his daddy is a sucker for pumpkin patches! He carried two large pumpkins back....




I finally found a pretty one!



I love these two pictures on the hayride, but the kid next to me looks totally unhappy! I'm really not sure how anyone can ride on a tractor and pick out pumpkins with a look like that!





We finished our day playing in corn, sliding and petting farm animals.




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Holiday Pictures 2014

I absolutely adore my family. If you hadn't gathered that from the overload of pictures of my guys, I really don't know what to say...

I love watching Caleb grow and comparing his pictures from year to year. I am always in awe of my sweet, little boy. He brings so much joy to our lives. You can see his little personality showing through in most of the pictures. He's a little ham that loves being the center of attention (I have absolutely no idea where he gets that....). 


Even though Caleb is a mama's boy, he loves his daddy. They have weekly "boys nights" and I am so glad they spend quality time together. I know a lot of little boys clash with their dads at this age, so their relationship is really a blessing.



Normally getting pictures of Caleb is really tough. He gets so overwhelmed with the extra attention and usually bounces off the walls. This time he cooperated pretty well.


Ryan and I have been together seven years. I believe he gets more and more handsome each year. I love how his looks have changed over the years. I had this huge crush on him when he was a blonde haired little boy and I have an even bigger crush on the man now.




This kid is getting so big! He turns five in just a few weeks and I cannot believe how the time has flown by.



 This picture is most definitely going in a frame for the hallway. I love how it turned out!






Our silly picture was definitely one of my favorites!


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