HIGH Fitness Instructor Certification

A few months ago, my good friend, neighbor, and High Fitness instructor Holly and I started discussing the idea of me getting certified to teach High and possibly team teaching together. I went back on the forth on the idea for a while, unfortunately I waited too long and the Utah one filled up and passed by. Then I realized there was one in Arizona right around our anniversary, so I decided to sign up for the training and make an anniversary weekend out of it with TJ!

It was the first time TJ and I had left the kids together before; the first trip without kids we’ve ever had since having kids. We did leave Eva for one night when I was in the hospital having Finn, but that’s it. So, I think it was time! We left out of Provo on Thursday, and I couldn’t get over how easy it was to fly with my kids! It’s been FIVE YEARS since I’ve flown sans kids. I literally had a small carry on (which TJ carried) and my book. BTOML. I read 100 pages on the airplane and didn’t have to change a diaper in the teeny airplane bathroom. I still can’t get over it.

Thursday night we met my brother and his wife for dinner, then relaxed outside for the evening. Friday we spent the entire day being incredibly lazy. Well, TJ worked a lot. But I laid out by the pool and read for hours. Take me back! Friday evening we met our good friends Ryan & Kacy for dinner and stayed up way too late talking about our funny college memories.

On Saturday, moms got free French toast at Kneaders so we headed there for breakfast (Kacy & I gave the toast to our husbands lol… I wasn’t about to eat unlimited French toast before working out all day long), at which point I headed to the gym for the High Fitness class before the training. The class was amazing. A packed house taught by Amber, one of the creators of the class and a bunch of other great instructors.

My friend Natalie got certified with me so it was really fun having her by my side the whole day, it really took away a lot of the nerves! Fun fact: Natalie and I were in the same Stake back in Kentucky, so we kind of grew up together and we sang in a children’s choir together for a bunch of years. We both moved out to Utah and have done 21 day fix together this year and now are both doing High! Yay!

After the class, we had a lunch break so Natalie and I went back and took a quick shower and changed (we were soaked after the first class). Then from 12-7 we were in the training learning choreography and pretty much what it takes to become an instructor. We then broke into groups and had to teach the rest of the class songs, while we were being graded. I passed with flying colors… hurray! It was a nerve-wracking day but one of the best ever. I literally held back tears several times because I was just so excited and happy for this new stage of life!

To celebrate, Natalie and I headed out to dinner right after at Grimaldi’s (I really wanted to eat at Shake Shack, but their grill was down… WHAT?) and split a pizza and canolli (we were starving after working out all day)! It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

It was Mother’s Day when we came home, and I was so happy to see the kids! We sure missed them but were so grateful they were safe and happy with their Uncle & Aunt (who sent me lots of snaps per my request!). I definitely cried a lot when we left, it was so hard to leave Finn for some reason. But the weekend away with TJ was so needed and the training was an incredible experience!

A Lil’ Home Project

Ever since we moved into this place, I wanted to take those shutter blind things down because 1) they’re ugly, 2) some were missing, and 3) they’d break or fall down pretty easily. After Finn pulling one down again this week, I told TJ we would be picking out curtains that night because I was done with them. We picked out simple white curtains for both the door and windows, then headed to Home Depot for wood to use as the rods. I love it so much and can’t believe it took us so long to do it!

Everything has a place. Everything in its place.

One of my goals for this year is a mantra to live by: Everything has a place. Everything in its place. Honestly, at times it seems easier said than done, especially with kids. I feel like I’m a pretty clean person. But, when you have kids and life is busy, it’s easy to get behind on stuff or think you don’t have time to put something away.

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she talks about how if something take a minute or less (or maybe it’s 30 seconds, I don’t remember the specifics… just a short amount of time), then instead of waiting, just do it. Finish your dinner? Rinse the plate and immediately put it in the dishwasher. Change into pajamas? Stick your dirty clothes in the hamper and hang up the clean ones. Little actions that just build up to save you time. Another favorite book of mine about productivity is called The Compound Effect. And that’s what it’s all about. Small actions that build up to really save you big time in the end. If you haven’t read either of those books, stop reading this blog and go read them!

So, I started with cleaning out the majority of my closets in the house. I got rid of a lot, threw away tons, and it felt great. Then I’ve just tried to stay on top of everything each day. I have a Weekly calendar sheet that I just write my daily goals down each day and then cross things off as I go. It’s seriously been a game changer for me this year. A few things I’ve realized by staying on top of organization and cleanliness:

  1. Do a little bit of a laundry each or every other day instead of waiting to do a huge amount once a week. It doesn’t take as long to fold and put away and it doesn’t seem overwhelming anymore.
    • If you are going to start laundry, only do it if you know you will have the time to fold and put it away immediately. No more piles of clothes waiting to be put away!
  2. As soon as you get out of bed, make your bed! I’ve always done this, but have started making sure Eva does hers now. When possible, get (somewhat) ready for the day.
    • I’ve noticed I’m so much more productive in the morning if I’ve at least put in my contacts, fixed my hair (even if it’s just a pony tail), brushed my teeth and gotten out of my pajamas (even if it’s into leggings).
  3. If the dish washer needs to be emptied in the morning, do it ASAP. That way the dishes don’t pile up in the sink and you can just put the dirty ones away throughout the day.
  4. I read this article last month saying it’s good to follow the RULE OF FIVE. Every hour, pick up five things. So, if your kids are playing, pick up as you go. Also, every hour, clean for five minutes. In five minutes, you can sweep, mop, vacuum, clean one vanity, clean a toilet. Just one little chore. It doesn’t seem like much, but by the end of the day, you’ve cleaned for one hour!
  5. Keep your counters clear. Holy cow. Even if my house isn’t clean, it definitely feels so much better if my bathroom and kitchen counters are clear. I don’t feel as stressed through the day seeing the clutter!
  6. Set the mood for a clean house. Open the blinds, let in natural light, open the windows when possible. Turn on your scentsy/light a candle. When the house looks fresh, it makes it feel even better.

It really has affected my mood this month keeping the house picked up and clean. It’s still a work in progress and I definitely have off days from time to time. But it made January not seem so dreary. And here’s why: There is a real link between clutter and depression. Read about it here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts on this. Please share any tips or ideas you have, because I’d love to hear about them!


Santa Flashback

Two flashback posts in one day? #sorrynotsorry


Santa at church (Finn is 1 and Eva is 5)


Santa at church with two kids (Finn is a newborn and Eva’s 4)


Santa at the Plaza Hotel (Eva’s 3)


Santa at Macy’s Santaland in NYC (Eva’s 2)


Santa in Cincinnati with cousins (Eva’s 1)


Christmas Flashback

You know how I love a good flashback post! Here are videos and photos from Christmas past!


Living in Lehi. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s 4 and Finn is a newborn.



Living in Jersey. Christmas in Kentucky. Eva’s 3.



Living in Jersey. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s 2.


Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. Eva’s 1.


Living in Provo. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s a newborn.


Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. First married Christmas.


Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. Almost engaged to TJ (he came out to KY for Christmas then proposed in Jan).


Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. About to meet TJ in January.

It’s so fun to see how it’s all changed. Bittersweet.


We hosted playgroup at our house last week where we did a bunch of crafts and read a Christmas story together. I kept the craft stuff out for the rest of the week and Eva was a crafting machine!


Christmas Cookies

Last Tuesday, we baked and baked and baked. I think it turned out to be about 75 cookies. A batch of gingerbread cookies (my first time making) and two batches of sugar. Eva loved helping me, although it would drive me crazy because she wouldn’t conserve the space of the rolled out dough and just put down the cookie cutters wherever haha! We divided them all up and brought them to neighbors and friends. This was by far Eva’s favorite part, and she was so sad when it was over! Quite a fun day.

Here’s the soft and chewy gingerbread recipe I used. I loved them, but next time will cut the ginger in half.

Here’s my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

In the evening, Eva and I went over to our neighbor’s house to build gingerbread houses. We had our fill of sweets that day for sure.

Christmas Craft Exchange

I hosted another craft exchange last week and it was another hit! I need a bigger house though haha! I forgot to take a photo of everyone’s crafts but there were so many great ones! Some wooden plaques (one wood burned, some with chalkboard paint), advent calendars, Christmas bulb magnets, peppermint sugar scrubs, homemade cards, Christmas potpourri, peppermint mason jar candles, and more!

I didn’t get a great photo of the craft I made this time, but here’s a duplicate version I made for myself below. I cut out pieces of felt and sewed them together (using a fancy stitch on my sewing machine, which is a first for me!). It was super easy but turned out really cute, I think. Thanks to Sarah S. for this awesome idea! I saw it on your instagram and had to make one for myself.

Thanks everyone for coming! Can’t wait for next year’s! Or maybe we should do an Easter exchange 😉 !


Christmas with Vocal Point

I just love this season so much and am grateful for the Spirit it brings into our home. We have watched a bunch of Christmas movies already and also several Christmas specials. My favorite special so far was Vocal Point’s. You can watch the whole thing here. It’s such a great show!