Pep in Your Step



20170223_090426It’s in our nature to be creatures of habit and routine. Day-in and day-out we go through the motions in a somewhat mindless manner in our personal, professional, spiritual, etc. aspects of our life. I know I am guilty of this.

For example, since having my littlest nugget I have set out on a fitness journey. I was doing the same exercises and eating the same foods that I was before I was pregnant. But, I was gaining weight and didn’t know the cause. Something had to be wrong! Well, I spoke with my doctor and my trainer (my dad J ) and they were asking me about my diet and protein intake. Then suggested I journal my daily intake. I’m not going to lie, I was thinking to myself “I eat clean and workout 7 days a week, it has to be something medical.” Begrudgingly, I started my fitness pal tracked every little thing. Next, my dad suggested a different protein shake, so I switched it up.   Would you believe, I lost almost 20 pounds! Now mind you, most of that weight was bloat. But it turns out the protein I was using and the way I was consuming it caused immense amount of water retention.   Now I am back on track and keep evaluating and tweaking my food intake and exercise routine.

Another stale routine in my life was my moming. Every week I took my kids to the same places, did the same activities, and ate the same soggy peas. One morning, on a whim, I decided to go to a different park take my little nuggets to lunch. Can you believe it? Go to out lunch? As a penny-pinching mom who normally packs peanut butter and jelly, I felt like I was playing hooky. I must confess, it was very liberating and added pep to my step. My little nugget was so happy and we made some very special memories. Not to mention, after our “venture” my nugget took a two-hour nap. Win/win!

I’ve learned a lot from these little changes, even a humility.  Sometimes you need to ask for advice and utilize the wisdom of others. Remember to always embrace the day and be grateful for the little moments. Every day is a new chance to try something and push yourself outside of you comfort zone. Maybe it’s wearing a new lipstick shade, but these little changes can make a world of difference. Also, don’t forget to turn off the autopilot, because you miss out on the beauty around you.  Sometimes you need to take a step back and reevaluate your different daily routines, because you never know how one simple change may change your life.


Samantha Jo

P.S.  What are some little changes you’ve made that have been liberating?



Pass It On

img_62751Disclaimer: This is NOT a post on how to wean your child off a pacifier.

Everyone has that special something that if taken away would result in heart palpitations, sweaty palms and an immense amount of anxiety. For my two-year-old nugget this would be her pacifier; a part of her bed-time ritual since the day she entered this world. The moment she nibbled on that nuk I cringed about the thought of breaking her of that habit. However, it became clear the time had come to give it up, or else local orthodontists would start headhunting her for a metal mouth.

Yesterday, on a whim, I grabbed an Amazon box and some packing tape. I told nugget that her cousin in South Carolina would love her passies and that it would be a great idea to send them to him (she loves her cousin and talks about him everyday). Surprisingly, she began skipping around the house picking up her passies like she was on an Easter egg hunt and gingerly placed them in the box. Over and over she talked about sharing her passies with her cousin and how much he would love them. She sealed it with a kiss and we placed the box on the front parch for the mail man to take to “Souf Carowina.”

Step one was done, but the real battle would be bedtime. All day my stomach was in knots. How was I going to handle whatever terrible – two behaviors that were about to be thrown at me like yesterday’s juice box? Every night the first thing she asks for is her passie as she nervously scourers her bed for the first one she can find.

Bath (big bubbles of course), Ariel jammies on, hair braided, hugs and kisses for Daddy and baby nugget. This is it! I tucked my little nugget into bed, said our prayers, laughed about our day, and read some books. Once our routine was done, I laid next to her to circumvent any anxiety, but NOTHING, nothing happened. Soon she was fast asleep.

I cried. I cried because I realized this beautiful little blonde, that still wears diapers, taught me a huge life lesson. Through this whole process I was so concerned about myself, and how this was affect me, that I totally lost sight of the fact that she was the one experiencing loss. Not only that, but she gave up her most coveted item without so much as a tear, because she wanted to pass it along to someone she loves.

In the simplest and truest form, this innocent little nugget showed me love and selflessness. Thankfully, each day she reminds me what’s most important in this average Jo’s life.