Have You Ever Taken A Sabbatical? Part 1.

Good Morning Friends!

I’m back from my sabbatical. I didn’t mean to take a blog break for so long, but I didn’t feel the urge to write for a while. It’s been a good break for me as I’ve taken a little breather from social media to focus on other things. Some HUGE things… more on that in a bit.


I came from a refreshing spring break with my family where we celebrated the life of my Dad in a beautiful military ceremony. Our family is fairly private and I told very few friends that he passed away last July 5th from congestive heart failure. He lived a very full 85 years. Even thinking about him now brings me to tears, but I’m starting to talk about him more with my kids keeping his legacy alive with all the wonderful memories I have with him and the lessons he taught us.


My Dad suffered from diabetes and severe dementia for a long time… most caregivers thought he had Alzheimer’s at the end, but he still remembered a few of us in his last days. While it frustrated all of us, I can laugh now about how my Dad would get mad so quickly at one of us about something trivial and 20 minutes later… sometimes even mid-conversation completely forget why he was so angry, or that there was even a fight! We couldn’t stay mad at him for very long because we knew how frustrated he was, too.

The one thing that makes me sad, though, is that my Dad never remembered he had grandchildren and so my children never really knew him like I did (though he was always happy to see them when we told him). He looooved food, the outdoors, and working in the yard. His favorite food was ice-cream and he got to share one last bite with my 9-year old who learned about death first-hand last summer as we sat by his bedside for the last few days. Hospice even let my parents’ dog spend the last day right next to him.

I’m not sure why, but since coming back from that trip I haven’t wanted to exercise in over a month! I don’t think I’m depressed, but with my PF slowly getting better, I hesitate to make it worse and am embracing the fat pockets on my derriere. LOL! Do I get any credit for going so far as to put on my workout clothes and then clean our house or take care of other personal business that’s been neglected? (don’t answer that).

Last week, I tortured myself working outside for a couple of days with our blooming spring yard and now am paying the price with a full-blown head & chest cold that started out with sneezing and snotting for 2 days from allergies! Oye.

But my yard looks pretty! #priorities


So now what?


I’m figuring out what I want to be when I grow up! (I know, long overdue!).

If you didn’t already know, I’m one of the “Lunch Ladies” supervising lunch and recess at my boys’ elementary school. I started a year and a half ago and WOWZERS… did my eyes get opened to the highs and lows and huge challenges of working in our schools today.

I’m sure I haven’t even come close to the complete range of emotion when working with kids, but let’s just say I’ve sent kids to the principal and I’ve gotten hugs all in the same day. I open juice boxes and fruit snacks, help kids make friends, encourage good manners and kindness, clean up after them and teach them to clean up after themselves. I can honestly say that my initial view of how we teach and discipline our children has changed 180 degrees from when I first started.

The best example of how perspective and expectations can change so dramatically is to share a little story…

I remember going to my friend’s house who had three kids when I just had a baby. I’m not proud, but I admit I judged her. But, I also now LOVE and appreciate her even more for keeping it real and showing me what being a great mom is all about. Her house looked like a tornado had touched down. Not just in one room, but the whole freaking house!!!

“REALLY?”, I thought to myself, “Who lives like this?”.

Fast-forward 12 years… we do. Perspective changes when you cram in 3 very active boys, 2 dogs, and work. I seriously have a huge pile of laundry on my floor next to me as I write. (Where in the he!!fire does all of it come from because I just folded a truck-load yesterday and we did not wear this many clothes in 2 days?!!! #hatesocks)


And the dish washer got partially emptied in the hurry of getting kids out of the house (they do it, not me… Boys, we need to complete the pass and go for the touchdown on our chores!).

I have a second office on our formal dining room table because our real office has no room to sit down and spread out. #summerproject Who am I kidding?!

And that’s just part of the reality lurking in our house.

But, my yard is pretty. (Leo, get your paws out of my flowerbeds!!! Sigh)

Long-story short, I now have a completely different perspective of what family-life is all about (messy and happy and not a clean house) and have changed my expectations about what we should be focused on to raise healthy, happy, kind, generous, hard-working, critically-thinking, well-adjusted grown men! I’m sure that perspective might change a few years down the road as we get into full-blown teenager life! OMG, my son will be learning to drive in a little over a year….

So, what does this mean?

(stay tuned for part deux)





Instagram: My 5 Favorite Accounts To Follow!

How many of you are on Instagram?


I jumped on 4 years ago, but didn’t really take the time to understand the platform at the time. It sounds funny now, but it intimidated me and sounded too confusing (just like Twitter still does for me).

A little over a year ago, I kept hearing that Instagram is really the place to be and so I decided to focus my efforts on learning how to make it interesting and another source of encouragement.

This past year, I’ve discovered some great accounts and I thought it would be fun to share the top 5 Instagram accounts I’m addicted to and tell you why I love them!

  1. @natgeo – This is the National Geographic instagram account. It’s not just their images that can take your breath away, but often the stories behind them, too. It’s a great way to see what and who else is out there outside of our little world.

    Photo by @stephenwilkes. This is Allie Peek, Tuskegee Airman.

    Photo by @stephenwilkes. This is Allie Peek, Tuskegee Airman.

  2. @discoversharks – Can anyone say Shark Week fan?! It’s just a SUPER cool account and the photography is spectacular! I just wonder how they get some of the amazing shots they do? Of course, who doesn’t love sharks when you live in a house full of boys?

    Photo by @mornegardenberg

    Photo by @mornegardenberg

  3. @runitfast – This is where to go to gather some great ideas for where to run and get different running photographs to take for your own accounts. I also love their description: “RUN IT FAST is an attitude held by runners that go the extra mile, dig deep, and constantly do the impossible.” They showcase runners who use the hashtag #runitfast!

    Photo repost by @marinadesapega

    Photo repost by @marinadesapega

  4. @astro_kjell – Want to check out what space looks like from the International Space Station?! This is one of my favorite instagram accounts because Kjell is a classmate of mine. He’s not a pilot. He’s an UBER smart biologist whose always wanted to go into space. What I admire most about his story is that most people have the notion they have to learn how to fly to go into space, but Kjell proves you just have to follow your dreams and have a passion for discovery.


    Talk about the ultimate selfie! Photo by @astro_kjell

  5. @pnwonderland – Pacific Northwest Wonderland. It’s where I’m from originally and so most of the pictures take me back to my childhood (and they make me want to run many of the forests, beaches and trails they photograph). Sometimes I see their images and think… WOW, did I really grow up there?! Yes I did. It also makes me appreciate the beauty I see just outside my own window.


    Photo by @snickerssv

There are so many other accounts I could have also listed, especially other fitness friends and inspiring people out there (oh, I love the dog personalities, too!), but I keep coming back to these five over and over. Obviously, the biggest factor, for me, is the amazing photography. Instagram is all about it.

What are your favorite instagram accounts? Do you follow any of the same ones I do?

And if we aren’t already friends, let’s connect! I’m @reinventitude.

Running in the Pacific Northwest!

Running in the Pacific Northwest!


Transformation Tuesday – The 30-Day Challenge

What does it take to truly transform yourself?

We see people changing on the outside by losing significant weight or transforming their bodies into chisled Mr & Ms Olympians, but what we also know is that these same people truly change on the inside, too. Their outlook certainly becomes more positive. Their self-confidence and happiness just shines from them!  Sometimes these transformations change a person’s life forever!

I’m ready for my own transformation and so I’ve accepted a 30-day challenge where I expect to see change.

The Challenge


What this challenge is NOT:

  1. It’s not about food or weight-loss.
  2. It’s not about fitness.
  3. It’s not about running.

Suprising?! For quite some time now, I’ve been wanting to transform my blog and take it from writing when the urge strikes me just 3-4 times a month, to writing consistently and with an intense focus that will take it to the next level. To really hone in on an area where I want to become known as an expert where I can really help people… not just talk about myself all the time!

I’m talking about future transformation… reinvention. I hope to experience a blogging transformation in the next 30 days and beyond as I tackle a challenge that frankly, scares and intimidates me!

I’ve been challenged to blog for 30 straight days. It can be 100 words or it can be 1000. And, it can be on anything I want to blog about without focusing too much on editing, SEO optimization, and perfection (oooooh, that’s so tough for this self-proclaimed perfectionist who has barely scratched the surface of understanding what a great blog is all about, let alone SEO optimization.)

My Goals

I have a couple goals by participating in this challenge:

  1. Learn how to become more effective with my time while still producing quality content.
  2. Learn a few tricks and tips when it comes to blogging since I’ll be connected to a couple hundred other bloggers who’ve also accepted this challenge.
  3. Explore my voice. Find out what is fun for me to write about while still inspiring and creating a movement of people (YOU) who are ready for your own change.
  4. Let go of my fear of writing and putting myself out there. It’s hard knowing my thoughts, knowledge and feelings are being broadcast to the world and are being opened up to scrutiny. That’s a biggie!


So hang on to your hats as I stap on some courage! I’d sincerely appreciate you commenting when the topic really speaks to your heart and providing me with any constructive suggestions you might have for improvement! I’m excited to see where this goes!

Have you ever challenged yourself to a 30-day blogging streak?