This post marks 100 for my blog

It's only taken me three years to get here...

In honor of my 100th post, I decided to look back and choose 10 of my favorite posts...which really was hard given that everything I write is awesome... ;)

Ok, stop laughing.

Alright, let's start with the oldest posts first.

1) In April of 2010 I wrote my very first post which I titled Dreams. I'm still of the mind that I was way smarter back then...

2) And, apparently I was very bored when I posted about the basketball experiment

3) Later that year, I talked about the day trip Brenn, his friend, and I took to the Cherokee National Forest. Great memories made that day. We did some letterboxing while we were there. I love wandering hiking trails and enjoying the changing leaves! See these posts here and here

4) The dreaded age of 30 also happened in 2010. 30 hasn't been too bad I guess, but I sure do miss my 20s...

5) In 2011, I shared my thoughts on the Casey Anthony trial

6) I shared a recipe for blackberry cobbler that could certainly help you find a man if you're looking for one. Not quite sure why it hasn't worked for me yet...

7) This year, we had the privilege of taking a short trip to Myrtle Beach

8) I also shared the story of my weight loss journey

9) I finally did my very first vlog

10) And, shared my thoughts on being a single mom and dealing with negative comments

Blogging is certainly a journey. I feel as if I've grown through the years and I'm slowly becoming more comfortable sharing my thoughts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings. Here's to the next 100 posts!

I'm Dreaming of a Single Parent Christmas

Not really....

When I was a little girl, I definitely never dreamed of a single parent Christmas. Money is always tight and the calendar fills up even before December arrives. By the time we get to December, I'm just ready for it to be done. I hate feeling that way.

Christmas is busy and financially hard for many people. However, single parents face a little different spin to the holiday hardships. We deal with the decisions of who gets the kids, how to afford Christmas presents when money is already tight, and loneliness when the kids are with the other parent. 

This time of year is just hard...dealing with everything by yourself just stinks.

Every year I try to remember the reason Christmas is so special for us. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and spending time with family should be my most important priorities. This month, I decided to come up with some different ways to lesson the stress and deal with the hardships of facing the holidays as a single parent.

1) Learn how to say NO

Practice saying no to yourself in the mirror everyday. After you practice saying no to yourself, start saying it to other people. You don't have to attend every Christmas party or event. Make sure to schedule family time and time for yourself. Do not...and I repeat DO NOT push your health and fitness to the side in December. Make it a priority.

2) Make a budget

Make a list of every person you need (or want) to buy a Christmas present for. Then, make a budget. Make sure to include your kids and family in the list. The easy part is making a budget; the hard part is sticking to it. I promise that your kids/family/friends will not be scarred for life if you can't buy extravagant presents. Check on Pinterest or Google search Christmas present ideas. I have a board on Pinterest which includes a few Christmas Present ideas that are good for teachers, friends, family, etc.

3) Take some time to focus on others

Be creative and think of ways to show others you care. This year, Brenn and I are planning to make cookies and then deliver the goodies to some neighbors and friends. Other ideas would be to help in a food kitchen, adopt a child from the Angel Tree (if you have the extra funds), or even babysit another single parent's children so he/she can go Christmas shopping.

4) Make sure to surround yourself with family/friends, especially if your kids will be with the other parent

Don't sit at home and sulk. I know it's hard. I remember crying the first time Brenn wasn't home on Christmas Eve. Keep yourself busy and connect with friends and family (if they live close). My family lives six hours away and we don't always travel to see them for the holidays. Thankfully, we have very good friends who invite us to their house if they know we will be in town. Another idea is to find and connect with other single parents or single parent groups. 

Being a one-parent family doesn't mean we can't enjoy and make the most of the holiday season. Cease every opportunity and make sure to focus on your blessings.

How do you deal with this time of year as a single parent?

Weekly Recap: Getting back on track...once again

Happy Monday! I have almost made it to my 100th post!

I haven't done a weekly recap because after Thanksgiving I had trouble getting back on track.

(Yummy Pumpkin Pie)

I gained a couple of pounds and all that hard work of the weekly challenges pretty much went down the drain. I was also dealing with the negative emotions from the text I talked about in my last post

Thankfully, last week was a little better. 

Actually, it was way better.

I lost a little over a pound, which means I almost lost what I gained during Thanksgiving. I've decided to take a break from the weekly challenges and just focus on drinking more water. 

Also, Brenn and I are running our very first 5K this Saturday!!! AND, I am working at getting my spin instructor certification!

(Slowly gaining some muscle!)

So, last week wasn't all that bad. This weight loss journey is certainly a daily struggle. It's hard and sometimes not fun. But, I am certainly the most healthy I've ever been. Doors are opening that I never thought in a million years would open (me??? a spin instructor???).

(Most current plank time)

So, this week I will focus on drinking water, doing my daily squats, and continuing my plank-a-day challenge. I've also not done a good job in logging my food...frankly because I'm embarrassed by all the junk I've been eating lately. Thank goodness each day starts off with a clean slate!

(Are you up for the challenge?!)