Monday, January 31, 2011

Heart-Healthy Challenge!

Will you take it with me??!
February is American Heart Month!
Time to raise awareness to the #1 cause of death in the United States.
When my grandmother was diagnosed with heart disease many years ago, around the same time I decided to change my life, I told myself I would do whatever it took to help people understand the importance of taking care of their heart before it was too late! When I worked in cardiac rehab, watching patients recover from bypass surgery and many more heart-related problems, I was VERY involved with this month's awareness, 5K walk/runs, campaigns, health fairs and much more! I would visit with these patients and they would always say, "why didn't I take better care of myself?" When I became a physical education and health teacher, I carried my passion to my students and faculty. One year, our entire faculty wore RED and we met in the gym for a giant picture of all of us standing in a "heart", pledging that we were standing up against heart disease! That picture was featured on our district website too-Yay! Almost all of the students in the school wore RED cool is that??!
Now that I am a full-time mom and wife, I still have this passion
and decided to share it with all of YOU,
so maybe you'll take this challenge with me?!
It's easy, just think of a way to improve your heart-health and STICK TO IT!
My heart-healthy challenge to myself is to exercise and eat even better! I know there are times when I let my temptations get the best of me, so in memory of my grandmother and others that have lost their lives to heart disease, I will REALLY pay close attention
to the foods I am putting into my body and my exercise!
We lost my grandmother a year ago February 25th, so this month is especially hard for my family. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her and the impact she had on my life. She was so proud of me and the way I took my life I live each day wanting to take care of myself and my family, making sure we are the healthiest we can possibly be!
For some helpful tips on heart health for you and your entire family,
here are some websites I find VERY helpful: has some great heart-healthy recipes!
National Wear Red Day is February 4,, whatcha waiting for?!
Get heart-healthy and raise awareness with ME! If you visit , you will see that if you WEAR RED on Feb 4th you may get some great discounts from their sponsors!

Friday, January 28, 2011

what a FUN day!

We decided to take a trip to a nearby nature center and we sure had fun...perfect weather, it actually reached 80 degrees today :)

It was nice to get out of the house, after being stuck indoors most of the week due to those yucky ear infections with BOTH boys and the weather being gross and rainy most of the we sure took advantage of such a great day, especially before Daddy goes back to work tomorrow!
Highlights from the Day: seeing all of the deer...very cool! Watching our two boys run around this place like crazy! watching my boys bond with their Daddy :), and going on a 2 mile hike with Jacob and he LOVED every bit of it-he said next time, he'd make sure to drink plenty of water so he could run the whole thing! Ha, he's HILARIOUS!
What a fun day, thanks boys!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

twice in one week?!

how is it that both of my sweet boys had to visit the doctor this week?!?
Yes, both :(
Little Man on Monday, then Big Brother this morning!
Both are thankfully ok, just some pretty bad ear infections. Justin is pretty much all better, but Jacob broke out in a red, spotted rash all over his face, complained of throat
and ear hurting yesterday and is now, also on antibiotics.
Must say this is a first for our family...TWO trips to the doctor's office in ONE week :(

P.S. THANK YOU for all of your sweet, wonderful, uplifting comments about my weight-loss story that I shared with all of you. I hope I served as inspiration to any one
that struggles to lose weight and find that healthy balance!
I've said it a thousand times, I love my readers and bloggy friends!

Monday, January 24, 2011

my weight-loss story..."before" pics included!

Picture taken January 2001-I was 21 years old, size 18, 240lbs. My "before" picture

To truly understand my passion for healthy living, you must understand where it all began. I was an overweight child and teenager but never truly out of control until college. I struggled with weight and self-image for most of my childhood. I was a child of divorce, so food was a way to deal with the pain and loss of my “normal” life. People deal with stress differently and my way is through eating, unfortunately. So, I started off college as most teenagers do, lost and looking for my way. I have an extremely strong relationship with my mother, so leaving was hard but I really enjoyed my time away, growing as a person and finding myself. Unfortunately, that came with weight gain. I was going out with friends, eating too much, drinking and fast food were my best friends, sad but true. I was a size 18, 240 lbs…oh just writing it out, makes me sick. It brings back all of the pain, the shame, the self-worthlessness…all of it. One night I had come home from being out with friends, I stopped in front of my bathroom mirror and just stared. I no longer knew that girl. I looked at myself and wondered why I had done this to myself for so long. I always felt different, always larger than my friends but now it was WAY worse, my weight was out of control. My health was suffering. I was drinking, smoking and eating out at least once a day, sometimes more! Ugh. I stared in that mirror and cried. It was an awful moment for me, but it also changed my life FOREVER.
I decided I needed change in a big way. But where do I begin? I looked for support in my friends and found what I needed almost immediately. I had some friends that were extremely healthy, boys who went to the gym every day, stayed active, didn’t smoke, watched what they ate…all of it. This is what I needed! So, I asked. They were MORE than willing to help me; they knew I was lost and wanted help. It started with a trip to the gym. I was embarrassed, felt so insecure, especially standing next to all of these guys who were in the best shape ever. But I did it anyway, jumped on the machine and they guided me through my first workout…who knew that ONE trip to the gym, would change my life forever!
The next day I woke up so sore, aching and starving too! I needed help with my diet, it was all off track, out of control and contained WAY more food than one person should eat in a day, that’s for sure. They agreed to cook with me, teach me how to cook healthy, eat at home and enjoy it. It was so eye-opening. Without their support, who knows where I’d be. I lost 8 lbs in ONE WEEK. Yes, one week! I was beyond thrilled. I felt better, had more energy and had officially started my weight loss journey! The weight loss continued from there. It took me six months to lose over 70lbs! I was a new person. Happy, confident and I had found a new love for exercise and nutrition! I pretty much went from one extreme to the other and boy, did it feel good!
At this point in my life, I was a sophomore in college studying journalism. When I started to understand nutrition and healthy eating, I started to research more, wanted to find out more and more. So, I changed my major from Journalism to Health. Wow, what a change! With my workouts, came meeting new friends at the gym. It was great because they had the same goals and health was a large part of their lives so it kept me focused and motivated. I was asked to teach aerobics for the gym and to share my weight loss story with members. I was SO excited. I started teaching Step Aerobics and Body Pump and LOVED every second. As I transformed my life, I felt a happiness like I had never felt before. All those years as a child, struggling to fit in and using my humor as a way to distract others from my physical appearance. See, I never struggled with bullying or teasing, because I was funny. I made people laugh, I was “popular”, and that’s how I stayed away from being teased in school. I still felt completely helpless, even with all of those “friends”. I felt lonely and not comfortable in my own skin. Now that I had changed my life, I was beginning to feel like I had wanted to feel my entire life. It was amazing!
I eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education. I wanted to share my enthusiasm for healthy living with people everywhere! I wanted to help by sharing my passion and my story to help motivate others who were “stuck” like me. Who couldn’t find their way. My grandparents had always worried about me and my weight. The look on their faces when I reached my goal was something I’ll never forget. They were SO proud. It felt better than losing the weight. They were happy that they didn’t have to worry about their unhealthy granddaughter any longer. I will never forget that moment when my grandfather said, “Marissa, you look amazing…I am so proud of you!”…he passed away in 2001 and I’ll still never forget those words.
I worked in cardiac rehab for a while, helping develop nutrition plans and exercise routines for heart patients. It was a very fulfilling job for me, especially since my grandmother had been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure not long before. I felt in some way, I was helping her too. Then I wanted to help MORE, so I went for my teacher certification in health and physical education. I taught P.E. and really connected with the children, helping them understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and I was able to share my story with those that struggled with weight and really change their lives. That feeling is like NO other.
These days, I have kept the 75lbs off for 10 years…yes, 10 years! WOOHOO! I have gained 10 lbs here and there, but NEVER gone back to that dark place. I am constantly reminded of how happy my life is and how I wanted to represent a healthy lifestyle for my husband and children too! My four year old already sees our examples and hopefully he will want to lead a healthy lifestyle too! My husband recently found his new way of healthy living, and we want to grow and raise a healthy family together! My passion is being with my family but I will never lose sight of wanting to help others lose weight and maintain a healthy way of living. That is why I created my blog, Lets Move It Mommas; as a support system for busy mom’s that need support. I hope that this blog serves as that support they are looking for from day to day. It’s what I set out to do years ago and I will continue to do it for years to come. I hope my story has inspired you or at least made you think…it’s nice to go back and see where it all began. It serves as a daily motivation for me and always will. I don’t know that unhealthy girl any more, I am a strong healthy woman who struggles with weight every day and continues to find that balance for myself and my family!
Thank you for allowing me to share my weight loss story :)
Get out there and start living healthy TODAY!!! If you're not already ;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

G.I. Jake!

First of all, THANK YOU to all of you for your birthday wishes yesterday,
I had a great day and so far, I guess turning 31 is not SO awful.
Now back to the post...
he's fast, he's tough, he's no other than, G.I.Jake!
Mission: to keep from getting caught by Mommy and getting TOO many hugs! Mommy sees her target...but he's hiding, he's fast and he's got a loaded Nerf gun...
Ahhhh, the suspense....

Yep, he's been captured. The Nerf gun has been taken away and now...

it's time for HUGS, HUGS and MORE....HUGS!
*a few weeks ago, our cousin had a Nerf Blaster-capture the flag birthday party! it was AWESOME! The kids were dressed in camo, had their guns and ready to go! Very cute idea and I know the kids had a BLAST :) The pics above are from my cousin, since I had forgotten my camera-whoops, and she kept snapping pics of me trying to get a hug from my boy,
ya know he'd rather be playing than huggin' on his Momma.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

Not sure how I feel about turning 31 today...but so far, so good :) My mom, husband and boys surprised me with a cookie cake last night, we all sang and enjoyed cake and coffee-YUM! Today is starting off with LOTS of hugs and kisses and birthday wishes from friends and family-thank you to all of you for making my day special!
Now I'm off to let it sink in that I'm 31 years old...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a visit to MeMe's work

MeMe had promised Jacob a visit to her work, she is in environmental sales and works for a company with LOTS of things that her grandson's L.O.V.E, such as...tractors, trucks, and big equipment! All the tough guy stuff Jacob loves, so today seemed like a great day for a trip to her work, then to a delicious restaurant on the water(for my birthday,
YES I'll be 31 in TWO DAYS), and a trip over to the battleship too!

He's a big boy up on that tractor...he LOVED it!
He said MeMe's work was THE coolest :)

As we drove off, he asked if he could go to MeMe's work EVERY day!

and there's the Battleship, pretty cool huh??! We were going to get tickets and hop on board, but our littlest man was super tired and crashed out as soon as we got into the car after lunch...maybe next time! It was a gorgeous day, 60 degrees
SUNNY and breezy and best of all, NOT humid! Yayyyy!
Although I've been wishing for snow just once this winter,
this weather will work for me too :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

why I LOVE snack time gives me some time to practice and play with the editing on my new D3100 camera!
And by the look of these faces, they seem totally ANNOYED with my practice time,
Don't they?!?! Ha!

and there's a smile from my little, toothless man! Poor thing :( They are still there, but MUCH shorter than before. So far, so good discoloration and he seems to be doing great!
THANKS again to all of you for your kind words about his little accident
AND for wishing my hubby and I a Happy Anniversary...
each and every one of your comments brought a smile to my face!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy 6 Years!

On this day, six years ago I married the man of my dreams! My true love, my soulmate and SO much more! Since this day we have grown so much, bought our first home, had two sons, changed careers, lost loved ones, watched our children grow and bond as brothers, watched our families grow closer together, met friends that have been there through so much,
moved back to where we grew up, and SO much more!
I have been blessed to have met that one person that was meant for me and for that,
I am forever grateful! Love you,'s to 100 more!

update: Justin is doing just fine since his tooth accident. Thanks to ALL of you for your sweet comments!! Meant a lot to me!!!! We've been watching the teeth closely, we're suppose to watch for discoloration. So far, so good. He seems great and back to his good 'ol sweet self. We'll see what the next few days bring and Mommy is making sure he's stays seating in the bath tub at ALL.TIMES! Not sure what was wrong with me, because I used to never let Jacob stand up in the tub...whew, what a bad parent :(

Thursday, January 13, 2011

oh, what a day!

Well, the day started off great
Dropped my oldest son off at preschool, came home to visit with my cousin and my friend, and their babies. Justin had a blast playing with his friends for a change!
I had dinner cooking on the stove, picked up Jacob from school and decided we'd do an early bath so when Daddy came home, we could play and enjoy the evening!
Boy, what a mistake that was!!
I ran the bath water for my baby boy, he stepped in
and immediately started to play, then all of a sudden
he slipped and busted his face on the side of the tub...
he started SCREAMING, Mommy teared up and didn't know what to do.
I looked for blood, scrape, redness...nothing!
After drying him off, I layed him down and he would not stop crying,
I tried giving him his "binky" which always makes him a happy boy,
but that did NOT work, he was biting down on his finger, screaming and then trying to put his whole hand into his mouth...poor, little man!
After finally getting a good look in his mouth, I noticed that
both, yes BOTH front teeth were chipped. He was screaming and I looked behind the gums, and yep...blood on BOTH front teeth
. I freaked...
called our pediatrician, then my friend who recommended a great pediatric dentist(thanks, Tarah!) and they told us to get there right away.
*My boys were both dressed in camouflage pj's...Ha, but we went anyway, no time to change them because they said I had to be there in 15minutes!
So, after flipping out for a good hour, the dentist said this is common
(so, Yay I'm not the world's MOST awful mother!) and there's nothing they can do.
We have to watch the tooth, and if there's color change we must go back immediately,
but other than that, treat it with Motrin and that's IT.
But do you want to know the worst part??!
My little baby boy went from this toothy little grin...
ahhhh, it hurts me just to look at it. Its taken on my phone, so sorry for the blur!

to this...
I guess the best part about it is that these teeth are NOT permanent...whew!
Oh my poor baby boy :(

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SO proud of you!

As we come upon our six year anniversary, I look back on this time last year...if you haven't read my entire weight-loss story, its coming VERY soon but I wanted to share my husband's story of finding a healthy lifestyle
and his weight-loss journey over the past year!
Let's see...
how about a before pic to start things off ?!?
This picture below was taken December 2009!

and THIS picture was Christmas 2010, just a few weeks ago :)
To say I am proud of him, is not even enough!! Nope, not even close to enough!
He is my life, my soul mate, he completes my life and is also my best friend!!
I have been in love with this man for 10 years
and happily married to him for ALMOST six years!
(it'll be six years on the 15th of Jan!)
We have had our ups and downs, had two beautiful boys together but weight-loss is something we've both struggled with for most of our lives. When I changed my major back in college, and when I found my new way of life, I met my husband. We both worked out daily, ate fairly healthy-I ate extremely healthy, but he lived an overall healthy lifestyle. When our first son was born in Nov 2006, his weight sort of went out of control. He was gaining weight, not really sure where to begin on the weight loss journey...that was until last year at this time. Something seemed to click with him, something snapped and he said he wasn't going to live that way any longer. He started exercising alongside ME, eating everything that I cooked and I began cooking more healthy than EVER...I noticed a change in him right away! Almost immediately.
His attitude was more confident, he was more active with our boys...
it was so great to watch the man that I love, changing his life!
I am proud to say he has lost 95lbs to date!
He runs about 8-10 miles twice a week, and 3-4 miles on the other days.
He went from a size 42 waistline to a very healthy, 34!
I could not be more proud of him, I love him no matter what his weight and health, but I am SO happy that he made these changes for our family. He's a happy man, full of energy and life. I L.O.V.E to watch our four year old, wanting to run with Daddy, wanting to play football with Daddy, being active with his Daddy. It puts a smile on my face each and every day!
I love you, are my world, my best friend
and I am SO proud of you! Happy Anniversary too...
here's to the rest of our lives together!

*We are going to celebrate with dinner tonight,
since he works for our actual anniversary.
I'll try and take a great pic of the two of you together...
we haven't done that lately!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

snow in the forecast?!?

well, NO but it's FINALLY cold enough to get all bundled up to play outside :) Yay!

and this Momma is still WISHING for snow at least once this year...please?!
and for the temps to stay cooler and not hit 80 degrees again next week...ughhhh!

Monday, January 10, 2011

home improvements...YAY!

I've never been great at decorating, but I do know that my house was very "BLAH" before this and now with help from Santa, my hubby and mom(partly from my birthday that is coming up soon too!), I was able to do some MUCH needed home improvements and I must say, I'm happy with the results :)
Here's a little sneak peek...

My house had NO curtains AT ALL and after watching
TOO MUCH, HGTV I came up with this!
And I already posted about my chair recovering project HERE!
Yes, there's still tons to do, but I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out!
Next item on my wishlist...LAMINATE FLOORING!!!
Maybe I should write my letter to Santa NOW?!?!

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Just You and I"

Daddy was working, big brother went to a slumber party at DeDe's, so tonight it was...
"Just You and I"

and as you can see, we LOVED every minute of it!
Mommy was able to play with my new camera, which I L.O.V.E!
My point and shoot could not capture pictures like these!!
We played in your room, you had your favorite cookies, we watched Elmo and Chuggington(your two fav's!), you rode your tractor, we played in big brothers room(shhhh, don't tell!),
took a bath and then it was night-night time!
But not before getting LOTS of hugs and kisses :)
Although I'm missing your big brother and Daddy like crazy right now, I sure enjoyed tonight!
Love you, sweet boy!