Inline Double Jogging Stroller Review

Before I verbally make love to my running stroller, I need to announce the winner of my Hydracoach Interactive Water bottle Giveaway.  Congrats to…

Amy Adelsberger!

Email me your address and I’ll get the bottle to you pronto! Enjoy and congrats!

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Now onto why I’m dedicating a whole post to something that has made my runs so much harder, but rewarding.

When I started researching strollers while pregnant with Caleb, I went a little nuts. For some reason, I became obssessed with all things strollers. I was fascinated by all of the different styles, brands, types, and impressed with all of the engineering that goes behind creating the almost perfect stroller. I even created a whole spreadsheet of pros and cons for dozens of the most popular strollers on the market, that’s how crazy I was about ensuring we got the most bang for our buck. Because let’s face it, strollers ain’t cheap.

So when it came to finding the perfect jogging stroller, I had high hopes for the popular Bob Revolution stroller that every momma and their momma talks about. We even drove all the way to a fancy stroller boutique in Raleigh to test it out. And while we loved how smooth the stroller ran, we had major sticker shock and couldn’t justify the price of paying over $400 for a stroller that we’d most likely only use for 30-45 minutes a few times a week. I know some moms are totally cool with investing that much into their runs, but I am not. I didn’t see myself using the stroller to train for something crazy like an ironman, since I tend to only run 3-5 miles a few times a week. You all know how much I prefer the gym or CrossFit instead 😉

And then I discovered the Joovy Zoom 360.

Inline Double Jogging Stroller Review

It was LOVE at first sight. I was first attracted to it’s huge 16″ bicycle tire wheels, I loved how different it looked from the plastic wheels on other strollers, and I loved how modern it made the whole bike appear. And when we test drove the stroller, it was SO incredibly smooth to push. It steered so effortlessly and moved like butter!

And then I released the canopy and discovered how humongous it was. This was a huge selling point for me because I wanted to make sure my baby’s smooth as a bottom skin stayed perfectly shaded. My mom instilled in me from a young age the importance of sunscreen and shading your face from the sun so it’s something I’ve always worried about for my future kids. I also understood how important a large and shady canopy would allow the baby to nap a little easier while in the stroller.

I was expecting Caleb in the fall but remembered how hot the summers in the Carolinas get so I wanted a stroller that I run at night with but still feel safe. The reflective stitching on the five point harness straps, the reflective tape on the hood and canopy, and the reflective lights on both of the tires definitely nipped that worry in the bud! The stroller comes in a bright red, black, and bright blue so of course I went with the bright blue because I figured if I was running at night, the stroller would be easier to see. Plus it’s my favorite color, haha.

Another perk of the stroller is how tall the seat-back is. It’s made to accommodate taller toddlers which the Bob’s actually don’t. My husband is 6’2 and I’m 5’8 so I was pretty sure we were going to have a fairly tall baby. Lo and behold, our big guy is now 33″ tall and his head doesn’t even come near the top of the canopy. Along the same lines, the stroller works with taller folks because the handle bars aren’t set so low to the ground. My husband has no problems pushing the stroller with his gorilla arms 😉

I will admit that it’s a bigger stroller and I was worried about fitting the stroller into our truck in case we wanted to haul the Joovy to one of our favorite trails. Fortunately, the stroller boasts quick-release wheels that are super easy to take off and put back on. So when the wheels are removed, the stroller actually folds really flat and has a locking mechanism to stay locked and folded (loaded? haha).  And for us busy moms who hate fumbling with the incessant amount of baby gear having a baby requires, the stroller folds in half with just the pull of a string. Hear that? It’s a quick, one handed fold!

SOLD!

Finally, the last thing that did me in was how it already came with a neoprene parent organizer, a tire pump, AND a high quality rain cover. It’s a great deal considering all the accessories are included and with how you’re forced to purchase these items separately with other more expensive strollers. This stroller only cost us $220 dollars with free shipping and I honestly believe that you can’t beat the price for the quality. It costs half as much as other brand strollers, but runs the same (if not even better) then the big name joggers. Plus, it’s a freaking awesome looking stroller that rides like a dream. And I can guarantee that it’s a head turner – I’ve gotten tons of questions about this stroller every time I’ve taken it out.

If you’re an expecting momma, I highly recommend getting the Zoom if you’re looking for a luxury all terrain stroller that doesn’t cost a whole body part or three. Here are some specs if you’re interested:

  • Stroller weight: 26.8 pounds
  • Car Seat Adaptable
  • Weight capacity: 75 pounds (!!)
  • Recommended age: 6 months and older
  • Wide seat with five point harness
  • Reflective stitching and fabric on sunshade and harness strap
  • Adjustable reclining seat position
  • Front wheel swivels 360 degrees and locks inline for jogging
  • Shock absorbing system
  • Oversized sunshade and peek-a-boo window
  • Made with aircraft grade aluminum

And here’s a video! Don’t ask me why I decided to make a video after I just finished running. I guess I was thinking about parting ways with it in search of a double running stroller so this was how I was inspired to bid adieu to it at the last minute.

And after watching this video, I’m realizing how sad I am to say goodbye to this stroller.

This stroller got me through rough mornings when I needed a break from being trapped indoors and when I needed to feel the sun on my face but still be with Caleb. It calmed him down even when he had his worst crying fits from reflux, and helped him nap on days where he fought so hard not to sleep. When my husband was deployed and I couldn’t make it to the gym or to yoga, it was my only way to move and be outdoors at the same time. This stroller got me through some rough times and as we near the end of our journey here at Fort Bragg, I’m realizing just how much I’m going to miss the quiet moments I’ve had pushing this stroller with Caleb. I never thought I’d like stroller running but 15 months later, I’ve actually come to love it.

But alas, we’re moving on to this next chapter of our lives with a move to Europe where space is limited and with another precious baby on the way. It’s time to say goodbye and sell this stroller (haha any local takers!?) and search for something that we’ll make new memories with. If only the Zoom could turn into a double, I would totally keep it but since it doesn’t, here are the two strollers I’ve narrowed our search down to:

The Phil and Teds Explorer
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Mountain Buggy Plus One
stroller

Here’s why: I definitely want a double INLINE stroller instead of a double wide stroller because of how much we plan to travel in Europe, and I want to get our money’s worth with a stroller that can adapt to a newborn and toddler and then grow with both kids. I also want a functional running stroller that is high quality, safe, and  easy to use but I’m really having a hard time deciding between the two. And the clock is ticking!

So anyone have any experiences with either one? I’ve tried the Phil and Teds (and even ran with it with a friend’s two kids while I was pregnant with Caleb) but still would like some thoughts on the Mountain Buggy before I make my decision. Help!

 

My Yoga Teacher Training Experience Part 1

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, I finished the first 10 day session of yoga teacher training. I wanted to write about everything while it was still fresh in my mind but I knew that if I tried I wouldn’t sound very coherent because my brain was FRIED. In fact, I’m pretty sure if I attempted to write a post so soon after the session, it would turn out like this: “yoga yoga aldkakadfa I want cake aldjakf yoga ahdalkdfjakjfak”.

So here I am with a clear mind, a week later, and ready to reveal why those 10 days have been so emotionally, physically and mentally challenging, and why those 10 amazing days will go down as one of the best 10 days ever. Get ready because this is going to be LONG…and I’m only covering a few things with this post too. Yikes.

1. To start, our first day of class opened with a discussion on yoga and religion which caught my attention right away. I was raised Christian and always wondered if practicing yoga could conflict with my background but those thoughts were nipped in the bud immediately when our teachers explained in depth that yoga can basically enhance your own relationship with whoever your God may be. They explained the in depth history behind yoga and I was so relieved to learn that I wasn’t secretly converting myself to Hinduism.

2. Something I wasn’t prepared for going into this training was how much meditation would be involved. Again, I always figured that meditating was a religious thing with yoga so it was never something I went out of my way to practice. I meditated here and there for 10 minutes or so, without ever really knowing what I was doing so I never reaped any full benefits from it other then falling asleep (and sleep is always a benefit in my opinion).

Once I started the training, I finally understood that meditation is the practice of being still and learning to be present. The importance of this is so that we learn to be still and present in the moment when it translates to our daily lives. Being present in the moment allows the body to respond instead of react, so that when we become present, we learn to create space and reprogram our urges to react a certain way. It allows us to deal with whats happening the present moment, and not at just what happened or could possibly happen later. Does that make sense?

An example would be getting rear ended on the way to an interview. Instead of panicking and thinking “well now I’m going to be late for this interview, I’ll never get the job, I won’t be able to afford that vacation I wanted next year”, being present in the moment allows us to think about just getting through the accident without getting worked up over something that may not even happen later. You might be late for the interview and miss out on this job but what if another job that’s even more rewarding falls into your lap?

The point is to not get so worked up over something that may not even turn out to be horrible. It’s about taking what the universe (or God) throws at you, and learning to work with what you’ve got at the moment. And it’s about taking things in stride, and not letting your emotions get the best of you. Meditation helps us create this space before our emotions, so that we can learn to use our energy effectively elsewhere.

3. When people say that going through yoga teacher training is a transformational experience, they’re not kidding. During the 10 days I was in training, I noticed that I was letting things slide a lot more easily. When I got cut off by a crazy driver, instead of flicking him off or cursing to myself, my thoughts were instead replaced with “maybe he’s got a pregnant wife in labor” or “man, I am not a fan of you right now, but I still hope you have a nice day”. This applied to almost everything during that week and even now.

The thing is, I normally do think this way before reacting harshly, but I have to make such an effort to do so. During the training, I noticed that responding in a kinder manner to things that would normally irritate me, came a lot more easily and without any real effort. I became so much more calm and learned to look at things with peace, instead of anger. And I really believe that all the meditation we did is the biggest contributor on why I’m now able to control my emotions a little more. From meditating I learned that peace is a matter of retraining my mind to deal with life as it currently is, and not what I think it should be.

4. My teachers are absolutely freaking out of this world AMAZING. They know their yoga, and they know their shit. They live, breathe, and ARE all things yoga epitomizes. I have such an admiration for the two brothers that I’m doing my training under, and the word respect does no justice for how I feel about these guys.

During our lessons, they’re able to provide scientific evidence to almost every thing that is done during yoga and it utterly blows my mind just how much science goes behind it all. I absolutely love it. They’re huge science nerds yet they make it so appealing to those that are not with humorous anecdotes and by using real life experiences to describe things.  They’re genuine, hilarious, and they really know how to keep a class interesting without boring us all to sleep. I mean, here I am halfway through my pregnancy and cooped up in a room for 11 hours and they still haven’t put me to sleep. That’s saying a lot here.

But what I really admire most about them is how they keep it real with their stories and their personalities. They have no qualms about admitting that they’re not perfect and that yoga doesn’t make them the perfect husband, brother, yogi, etc. which makes them so much more easy to relate to.

And look, there’s even a documentary being made about them (and a few other yoga gurus I’m a total fangirl about):

5. As I mentioned in this post, I got into yoga mainly for the health benefits. Then it turned into so much more for me when it clicked that yoga is so much more then just about the body. And even though the body is such an important aspect in yoga (why else would we do such amazing things with our bodies during our practice?) during this training I learned that there is so much more to yoga then I originally believed.

I’ve always prided myself on playing it safe with my body and never getting injured, so when it was stressed during our class that yoga is so much more then just sinking into our joints and trying to get as bendy as possible, I perked up. I was interested in learning the other side of this beautiful adventure that I can’t get enough of.

As it turns out, yoga doesn’t have much to do with our ability to perform a posture but everything to do with our ability to pay attention. We do poses because it teaches us to pay attention to our bodies and to learn to be still through the pose, so that we can be “still” in our real lives.

Another point that really stood out to me was that the highest level of practice is not the one that goes the deepest, but the one that knows it’s own body and is the most in tune with it. Instead of hurting ourselves to get into a deep pose, what happens in 10, 15, 20 years to our bodies? We can aim to get there, but at what cost? I learned that we should be strong with where our body is, concetrate on that very strength and not at what you want to get strong at. I learned just how important it is to always practice in a sustainable matter to ensure avoiding pain years from now. And I learned that we all need to be a little more thankful and kinder to our wonderful bodies.

Whoo! This post has gotten long enough so I’m going to end this here. But can you believe that I still haven’t touched on half of the other topics I really wanted to talk about?! I honestly can’t wait to discuss our spiritual discussions, the 8 limb path, breakdown of poses, and why there’s so much more to being a  yoga teacher then just telling a class to inhale and exhale.

Stick with me here though, mmkay? I do have a pretty sweet giveaway coming up 😉

Som Tum Recipe

Som Tum Recipe — Make It At Home

Hi there! I’m alive, thanks for asking 😉

I promise I’ll get a post up about my amazing experience with Yoga Teacher Training but right now my preggo brain is too fried from cramming a years worth of information in 10 days. When they call the 10 day intensive “intense”, they’re not kidding. And we still have a whole ‘nother session to go!

So for now, you kind folks get another recipe while I recuperate and attempt to collect my thoughts.

Just don’t start weeping into your bowls of oatmeal yet because this isn’t just ANY recipe. It’s one that’s incredibly special to me because it’s from my beautiful MOM!

Easy Thai Som Tum Recipe

This is a popular Thai dish, called Som Tum (spicy papaya salad or papaya kimchi), that my mom used to make for us when we were kids and since we always begged for more, she would end up making an asinine amount. For just a week or two our fridge would be stuffed to the brim with this spicy deliciousness.

But only for a week or two at most, this stuff never lasted very long at our house 😉

Easy Thai Som Tum Recipe

So here’s what you need to make this tasty and healthy side that will clear your sinuses and make you cry for more.

Ingredients (Note, I cut her recipe down to leave you some room in your fridge)
1 tbs sugar
1 lime
1 lemon
2 cups green papaya, shredded
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs fish sauce
3 thai chili peppers
3 tomatoes cut unto medium sized chunks
Handful of cilantro, chopped

Place the garlic cloves and the chilies in a food processor and process until crushed into chunks. Set aside. Peel papayas until the whites show and then shred into long pieces using a mandolin. Squeeze juice of lemon and lime over papaya. Mix with sugar, fish sauce, garlic, chili peppers, cilantro and tomatoes.

And that’s it! It’s such an easy dish and one that’s so nutritious for you too. It’s best when served cold and is so refreshing with the sweetness of the papaya, the saltiness from the citrus, and the sourness from the fish sauce. And you know that I’m lovin’ all over that spicy kick from the thai peppers.

GOD I JUST FREAKING LOVE THIS STUFF.

Easy Thai Som Tum Recipe

Make this dish, and then eat it as a side for whatever your eating, or top it on a fish or another protein as a garnish, or maybe even stuff your face with this stuff for breakfast. Hmm…just kidding about the breakfast part.

And I promise that one of these days I’ll bring it back to the classics with a burger recipe or something. This is just the kind of stuff we grew up eating and I simply wanted to share the happiness it brings me to eat dishes I was so fond of during our adolescent years.

Speaking of happiness, my brothers are here in NC staying with me! So not only do I have my parents here, but now my two brothers that I haven’t seen in years. It’s actually been 4 years since my entire family has been together, cue spontaneous HAPPY DANCE!

I’m off to spend some time with my family but I’ll catch you guys tomorrow with….drum roll please….our gender announcement!

I already announced on twitter and instagram so if you don’t already know, any guesses?

Pan Fried Udon with Crispy Tofu

Is it any surprise that I am madly in love with Asian food? It doesn’t help that with this pregnancy I crave anything with the word “noodles” in it. I’m not complaining though, I love cooking noodles and I’m even more in love with how filling and nutritious most Asian foods are.

Pan Fried Udon with Crispy Tofu

I’m especially in love with how delicious this dish was, so much so that I of course, had to share. I know, I know, I’m like your new best friend 😉

So here’s what you need:

2 packages udon noodles, cooked according to package
1 package firm tofu
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tbs sesame oil
4 tbs soy sauce
4 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs mirin
2 tbs minced ginger
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cup mushrooms
2 cups broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
cilantro leaves to garnish
Asian sprouts to garnish
Sesame seeds to garnish
Heat a frying pan with a few tablespoons of sesame oil. Cube tofu into small squares and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to frying pan on high heat. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until crispy and browned. Set aside.In the same wok or frying pan, add sesame oil and then add carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli and saute till soft. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, mirin, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes. Add the noodles and then stir everything together. Finally, add the tofu back into the dish and garnish with sesame seeds, sprouts, and cilantro. Then, stuff your face and enjoy!

Pan Fried Udon with Crispy Tofu 2

And I promise, you will definitely enjoy this dish. There is something about eating udon noodles that makes it so much fun.

In other news, I am now the proud owner of a Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juicer! I am so ridiculously excited to start juicing, my mom got us hooked while we were in Korea and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.

Tonight we decided to test our new baby out and….LOVE. That is all I have to say about our feelings. It was incredibly fast, efficient and super easy to clean. Needless to say, the husband and I were impressed.

juicerIn our juice: carrots, lemons, celery, collard greens, and apples.

 juice
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

Now I can’t stop daydreaming about all of the yummy vegetables I can juice. I know it’s recommended to use a few root vegetables, a watery vegetable, a green, a fruit to add sweetness, and a garnish for extra flavor like lemon, ginger, or parsley and I have a few ideas up my sleeve but I’m always open to suggestions. I just want to have some more fun with my brand new toy 😉

Anyone have favorite juicing recipes to share? And have a great Thursday! I’m off to bed early tonight because I have another pregnancy migraine…WOMP WOMP. Super fun times!

Chick Fil A Spicy Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Recipe

I’m skipping today’s Week in Workouts post because to be honest, with all of the fun holiday happenings, working out was the last thing on my mind. I got a few runs in, and one run where I even tried to wear headphones, but I was reminded of why running with headphones sucks so I’d rather not talk about that.Instead, you get a recipe. Holla! And not exactly a healthy one but hey, life is short, live a little! Newflash, one unhealthy meal and a few skipped workouts aren’t going to magically turn you into a huge porker. Trust me on this.

Anyway, what is this unhealthy meal I speak of? Well, we live within a short 5 minute drive from Chik Fil A, Panera, and Chipotle, which can be a blessing and curse at the same time. I love being able to hop in the car and pick up a meal when the craving strikes, but my wallet isn’t too happy about that and I’m pretty sure if I continue the habit, my ass won’t be either. Since I already recreated a Chipotle bowl, my favorite tuna sandwich from Panera and these scrumptious chicken and rice stuffed peppers, the spicy chicken sandwich and Chik Fil A sauce from Chik Fil A was the last order of business.

And let me tell you, this sandwich will NEVER be the last order of business in this house. It was my first time ever frying chicken and I am proud to say that both the sandwich and the sauce came out absolutely amazing, had my boys raving for more, and completely satisfied my cravings. Plus, now that I’ve got this sandwich down pat, if we happen to move somewhere far, far away from Chick Fil A, I won’t be too devastated.

As I mentioned earlier, it was my first time ever frying chicken so I wanted to make sure I did this correctly. I combined recipes from Serious Eats, Table for Two, and this blog and I honestly believe I came up with the perfect adaptation of the three. And because I found it somewhat of a pain switching back and forth between each recipe, I decided to make things easier for you and provide a step by step breakdown – Pioneer Woman Style. Your welcome 😉

So here’s what you need for the breading:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar (YES)
3 tsp paprika
2 tbs black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper ( I like my eyes to water so you can add less if you don’t)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Here’s everything else you need for the chicken:
2 large chicken breasts or 6 small tenders, beaten till tender
1/2 cup pickle juice mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Peanut Oil for frying
Dill pickle slices for the sandwich

And here’s what you need for the delicious Chick Fil A sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
3 tsp yellow mustard
3 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon honey mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of bbq sauce

So now that you have all your ingredients together, the first thing you want to do is mix 1/2 cup pickle juice and 1/2 cup of water. Then, let your chicken brine in the solution for 30 minutes while you assemble the rest of your ingredients and make the faux Chik Fil A sauce.
Next, mix the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, powdered sugar and baking soda together.

Then, make your coating mixture by mixing the cup of milk, two eggs and a splash of pickle juice.

While the chicken is still brining, you can also make the Chick Fil A sauce. Mix the mustard, dijon honey mustard, honey, paprika, bbq sauce, garlic powder, lemon juice, and mayo together and stir until evenly mixed. Set aside.

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

After you have everything set up, you can then move on to the buns. Lightly butter the tops and insides of the buns, and then toast on your lowest setting. Once the buns have toasted, add even MORE butter to the top and insides.

If we’re trying to get that authentic greasy sandwich taste here, the more butter the better 😉

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Once you’ve finished toasting and buttering your buns, (does this not crack anyone else up?!) heat a large frying pan filled with 3 cups of peanut oil. Try to get your oil temperature to around 350 degrees.

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Add a little bit of the milk and egg mix to the flour and mix everything up till the flour mixture gets crumbly. I promise this makes the breading on the chicken even more crispy, thick and out of this world delicious.

It’s also how the professionals do it so of course, it’s how you should do it too 😉

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Finally, it’s time to FRY! Hallelujah!

Working in an assembly line, remove one tender from the pickle juice brine mix, then dunk into the egg mixture before coating the tender with the crumbly breading.

And here’s where we get ridiculous. To get even more of a thick and extra crispy skin (don’t lie, you know you love it that way), go back and do it all over again. It really doesn’t take that long to do and the results are totally worth the extra work.

And in this case it’s perfectly okay to double dip so have at it – no slapped hands here! Dip the tender back in the egg, then back into the flour and finally, carefully place the tender in the oil.

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Fry the tender on each side for 4 minutes or until golden brown. If you’re worried about the inside of the tender not being cooked enough, you can warm the tenders in the oven for a few minutes while you get the table set up or clean up your oily mess 😉

There you have it! A perfectly crispy and perfectly spicy chicken filet sandwiched between a rich buttered bun and two sweet and sour pickles, just like the real thing but almost better because it was made with love and without MSG.

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

And because of the pickle juice and water brine, the chicken retains it’s moisture and stays incredibly juicy, even with the deep frying.

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

As for the Chik Fil A sauce, the hunk suggested I make a whole jar of it and keep it in the fridge so we can put it on “everything”. The sauce was that ridiculously good and I dare say that it even rivals the real thing.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Just try it and tell me what you think. I hope you all love it as much as we did, because you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of these babies on this blog. I want it in my face FOREVER AND EVER AND EVERRRR…

Chik A FIl Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich

And finally, for my local peeps:  If you want to start your new years off right, Hot Asana Yoga Studio & Boutique is hosting a Hot Gratitude Yoga Glow Flow this Saturday! There will be glowing balloons, black lights, and killer music! Sounds like TONS of fun, right? I’ll be there and hope to see some of you there as well!

Have a happy, healthy (not if you make this sandwich) weekend!

Yogi Clothing Review

If you can’t tell by now, I seriously can’t get enough of comfy, chic yoga clothes. As much as I love to try gussying myself up for the day, there is nothing better in the world then coming home and slipping on clothes that I can move, sleep, play, and even do yoga in if the mood strikes.

Normally I would throw on my favorite pair of hot pink fuzzy monkey pajamas pants, take my bra off (feels so good to get that stupid thing off), and throw on a redskins shirt, but when Yogi Clothing offered me the chance to review some of their gorgeous clothes, I jumped at the chance to get out of my frumpy clothes and test out their beautiful items.

I mean, have you seen what they have!? Gorgeous, I tell you. Absolutely gorgeous. As much as I love bright, fun colors, I love that Yogi Clothing mostly consists of beautiful, soothing neutrals that make it perfect for mixing with other workout clothes or even with your regular every day clothes.

Since I’m not only about aesthetics with my clothes, I also have to rave about the quality of their clothing. I was sent the Cowl Back Cardigan, and the Burnout Stripe Racerback Tank and immediately buried my face into them. Both items were SO soft I couldn’t wait to get them on my body but most importantly, I loved that they were supportive enough to get me through a gentle workout yet soft enough to lounge all day in.

Also, both items passed the “chase after toddler, play in the grass test” with flying colors 😉

Since I didn’t get a great picture of me with the front of the cardigan showing (impatient husband behind the camera) here’s a better picture of the top from the web site:

cardigan 2

I used this cardigan during one of my favorite warm vinyasa classes. It was the perfect top to throw over the skimpy tank I was wearing so I wouldn’t feel so exposed during my commute, and the top held up during the first half hour of my warm flow class. It held up just fine in the wash and I’ve found that it works perfectly to wear around the house because it’s so comfortable, yet it’s cute enough to run errands in without announcing to the world that I’m wearing yoga clothes.

And the back of the cardigan is a magnet for compliments. SO cute, right!?

cardigan back

As for the racer burnout tank, I was surprised at first at how thin and loose the tank was. I’m used to tight, conforming tanks but loved how the top flowed with me as I ran, did CrossFit, and did yoga. There’s also a built in support bra in the tank which I also wasn’t expecting but discovered I needed, even with the support of a regular sports bra underneath.

See? The tank also works for running after a toddler 😉

And just like the cardigan, I loved that the tank was versatile enough work out in, but to also wear as a regular top for going out. It doesn’t scream “I’m a workout tank” and I dug that. Comfortable AND cute, which is right up my alley.

One last thing about this brand that I love, love, LOVE? They post daily WODs (workouts of the day) that are insanely fun and perfect to do at home. You can check them out here.

LOVE.

Speaking of love…

GNC Total Lean Review and Warm Flow Yoga

Oh. My. God. My body. Touch my body! It hurts all over. And yet it feels SO good.

Okay yeah, because that whole first line wasn’t creepy at all. So anyway, last night I checked out Warm Yoga flow with some super sexy girlfriends of mine and HOLY AMAZING BODYGASM (there I go again with the creepiness)….that class felt amazing. I realize I say amazing a lot but let’s be real here, I’m not pretending to be a literary genius with my words. Fine, it was incredibly stupefying (yeah, I totally didn’t use a thesaurus for that one). See, it’s better if I stick with what I know.

Back to warm flow yoga. We walked into a heated room, not bikram heated, because I won’t be doing any bikram while pregnant, but just enough heat that hits you when you walk in from the cold and you’re like “whoah momma”. That’s literally what I said when I walked in. Then we went through a series of intermediate to advanced poses all the while sweating our ass-anas off and trying not to fall and break our noses. There was incense burning, candles burning in the background, beautiful music, and basically a lot of muscle burning. The heat challenged my knocked up self, and my favorite instructor pushed us through various arm balances and inversions. At the end of the class, we were rewarded with the usual savasana where she walks around the class massaging our shoulders, giving us pillows if we needed them, and placing eye pads on us if we requested them.

It was such a sweet, sweet finish to a tough class, I just had to gush about the experience and recommend for all of you local peeps who want to get your yoga on, you MUST check out Sandra at Embrace.

You can thank me later 😉

We ended the night with some delicious hot chocolate, and girl talk while scaring the men sitting near us away. Last night was just what I needed after being cooped up all day. Hence my awesome mood this morning.

hot chocolate

But enough about my awesome night with girlfriends. We need to talk about something else. Specifically, these delicious Total Lean Protein shakes, Breakfast bars, and SafSlim I was sent by the generous folks of GNC. It’s taken me awhile to get this review up because well, I actually wanted to try the products first.

Imagine that, trying a product before reviewing. I am so cool.

So the first thing I tried was the SafSlim. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, here is the product description from their website:

A revolutionary breakthrough in targeted belly fat science. SafSlim™, powered by SAFActive78™, is the first-ever solution to target unsightly and health-threatening OMENTUM fat, the fat that accumulates around the belly region.*
This patent-pending formula features a proprietary blend of non-GMO, expeller pressed, high-linoleic safflower oil. In a major university study on obese, diabetic women, the active ingredient in SafSlim significantly reduced belly fat – 6.3% on average – in just 16 weeks.*
This “belly fat omega” has been shown to activate hormones, such as adiponectin, to help mobilize stubborn dormant midsection fat, curb appetite and improve insulin sensitivity.*
Emulsified and “body-ready” for maximum absorption, SafSlim is the easiest and most effective way to transform your belly and ab flab… naturally.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Simply put, it’s supposed to really help with the spare tire I have from eating one to many donuts. Yes, I really have a fixation with donuts.

safslim
In the two and half weeks I tried the SafSlim, I actually LOVED it. The flavor was delicious, tasted almost like orange sherbert ice cream, and I liked that it was just a spoonful to take. Easy to take, and easy to go down. I also noticed results pretty quickly. My stomach felt tighter, less bloated, and my ab definition definitely improved. I don’t know if it’s because of the SafSlim itself, or if because it was coupled with a clean diet (with the exception of original glazed donuts) and intense exercise but I will assure you that I absolutely loved the results. Admittedly, I was surprised, but very impressed.

I stopped taking it when I found I was pregnant for obvious reasons. But once I pop this sucker out, I will definitely be trying another delicious bottle of SafSlim.

products

GNC Total Lean Reviews

As for the breakfast protein bars, I was sent Oatmeal chocolate chip and Strawberry cream. Normally I’m not a fan of these kinds of bars because I prefer to make my own food. But the flavor of both of the bars were too delicious to pass up and I started using the bars before my runs in the morning. They kept me full, but not disgustingly so, and did I mention they tasted like heaven in a bar? Yeah, they tasted like heaven in a bar. Oh, and they have 12gs of protein in each individually wrapped bar. Pretty awesome for such a tasty treat, if you ask me.

Finally, the lean shakes were the last thing I tried. First, I was completely enamored with the details:

GNC Total Lean Shake Nutrition

  • Healthy meal replacement or snack
  • 25 grams of high quality protein
  • 170 calories
  • 24 vitamins and minerals
  • Lactose Free

And then I tried the swiss chocolate flavor and tried to marry the bottle. Anything chocolate is delicious to me but this particular chocolate flavor had me crooning. It was delicious, kept me even more full then the bars, and I loved the convenience of having a bottle ready to go after my workout. I didn’t use the bottle as a meal replacement because, um, that’s not how I roll, but I can see why it’s advertised that way. These babies satisfy you for hours. Yeah, baby. Oh yeah. Don’t stop.

I’ll end the creepy blog post and review here though. I hope I still have readers. Hello? Anyone there? I am just in an EXCELLENT mood. But perhaps I should refrain from doing reviews when I’m this high off life? Eff it, GNC is awesome. Yoga! Hot chocolate! I need to get out more! Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein bars! Balls! Life!

And guess what I’m going to blog about next!? My mother effing homeland KOREA! Why? Because KOREA IS THE SHIT!

Off to bounce off walls now (run). Goodbye.

31 days of Yoga and Palm Beach Athletic Wear Review

Hey there. If you follow me on Instagram, I have to apologize for the overload of pictures. There needs to be an Instagram Anonymous for serious addicts like me.

Next, I want to explain the reasoning behind my narcissism. If you haven’t noticed, the majority of the pictures I’ve posted are yoga pictures. I decided to join Grow Soul Beautiful’s Yoga A Day challenge where each day you are given a daily asana and your goal is to recreate the pose. I thought this was a perfect challenge to up my practice and to help me prepare for my teacher training this coming January.
yogacollage1So far, I’ve been LOVING the challenge. It’s been so motivating for me to get up every morning before Caleb wakes up and dedicate an hour of practice to myself. I light candles, play soft music, and go through various flows as they come to me. As a result, I feel better, my running and CrossFit have improved, and I’ve mastered poses that I never thought I could master before. I also love that it’s challenged me to be more resourceful of my surroundings in order to snap a pretty picture 😉

One thing I’ve noticed with this challenge is that proper yoga attire has been crucial for me. I started out wearing the hunk’s old army shirts and shorts, but as I started challenging myself with arm balances and inversions, loose shirts got in the way and I would inevitably lose focus and fall. Ouch.

I also realized that since I practically live in workout clothes, I’d like to at least look somewhat cute while sporting hot pants and baby drool. And let’s face it, fashionable workout clothing actually motivates me to workout. I need all the motivation I can get so when I was selected to review clothing from Palm Beach Athletic Wear, I didn’t even hesitate. Sign me up baby! In fact, I may have even let out a scream or two.

I mean, have you seen their gorgeous stuff!?

yoga palm beach athletic wearyoga palm beach athletic wearyoga palm beach athletic wearI am drooling over those tye dye capris. In fact, there’s even a bigger puddle of drool on my keyboard then when I blogged about wine and donuts.

You know what else is drool worthy? The fact that the owner, Kristen, handpicks every single item to ensure that what the store sells is flattering, comfortable, and of the best quality out there. I love when companies pay this much attention to their product, and my interactions with Kristen are definitely a testament to show how much she cares. She was so kind, personable, and knowledgeable about the quality and material of her clothes and what kind of activities they’re suited for.She sent me zebra print Ambition shorts, the Palm Beach Athletic Wear Logo tank, and the Protokolo Space Glimmer Sports Bra and pants and I about died when I opened the box and saw everything. I could tell from the get-go that the quality of the material would be PERFECT for my CrossFit and yoga obsession, and that the items would last forever. You can always tell when something feels cheap and when something will hold up perfectly fine in the wash. And these items are definitely of the latter variety.

I was a little intimated by the Protokolo Space Glimmer outfit because even though I am proud of everything my body has done for me, I don’t feel confident enough to parade a shiny sports bra all over town. And I definitely don’t look as hot as the model in the picture. But once I tried the set on, my confidence just soared. The set is so surprisingly flattering and I had no problem busting out with just my sports bra (and of course pants) at a yoga class. I got so many compliments on the sports bra and I have to agree with every single one. This was actually a sports bra where I ended up having no problem with skipping a shirt, haha!

yoga and palm beach athletic wear

Can you see why? The sports bra is a gorgeous, shimmery, green that glistens in the light and is so flattering for any body type. Even for gals like me whose chest has suffered damage from breastfeeding. I swear I feel like a mermaid every time I wear this bra. And even the back is super cute (and sexy)!

One thing I was worried about was that the pants might be too short on me or they might shrink in the wash and turn into highwaters on me. I’ve had experience with this happening in the past but I guess that’s the price I paid for skimping on investing in quality workout pants. When I tried the Protokolo pants on, I was very surprised to see that they were long on my 5’8 frame, but not too long to hinder my work out. They are made from 100% lycra which hugs all of the right places and the length has stayed the same, even through 4 rough laundry cycles. Winning!

Next, the Ambition Printed shorts I was sent was another big win in my book. I was able to get into some of my favorite pretzel-iest poses without feeling like my pants were going to rip. The shorts are incredibly comfy, and they moved with me. I am also digging that they’re not too ridiculously short so I can wear them out without feeling like I’m showing the world my goodies.

yoga and palm beach athletic wear

yoga and palm beach athletic wear

I loved the shorts and the logo tank so much that I was actually inspired to do another vlog, in spite of my distaste for standing in front of a camera yakking about myself.

So here you go. Please don’t laugh at me. Just smile and nod and be in awe of the gorgeous outfit from Palm Beach Athletic Wear. Thank you.

If you’re clicky finger is twitching to place an order, you can check out Palm Beach Athletic Wear HERE. I also have 10% off coupons for anyone who is just as enamored as I am with all of the cute workout clothes. Just comment with your email so I can get your address (I promise I’m not creepy) and they shall be yours.

And have an awesome Thursday, world! The hunk, babes, and I are off to DC to catch a flight to Seattle this weekend. Send us a few travel well wishes and prayers, will ya? 😉

Fort Bragg Gyms

The start of my husband’s reenlistment date is coming up (meaning, the time frame of when he can either leave the Army or rejoin) which means that we could possibly be leaving Fort Bragg within the next year. So with this news in hand, I finally feel a lot more comfortable divulging some of my favorite places here.

So without further adieu, I now present to you everything you ever need to know about good ol’ Fort Bragg, North Carolina:

Ft Bragg Gyms: My Favorites

Fort Bragg is home to the Special Operations and Airborne troops and as a result, fitness is a HUGE deal here. Besides all of the local races, the monthly 5k’s, and all of the fitness related events they have on post, there are 14-15 gyms on post and all of them are awesome in their own right. Unfortunately, the MWR just started charging for classes and we still don’t have awesome child care co-op like the Smith Gym at Fort Benning (booo!). BUT the following gyms make up for their lack of child care with their awesomeness:

1. Tucker Gym – Located off Ardennes Rd, behind the Airborne PX and across from Towle Gym. It’s basically a CrossFit gym and they even post daily WOD’s. If CrossFit style workouts aren’t your thing, there’s also a separate room that carries regular gym equipment. And the best part? They have an indoor saltwater swimming pool. WINNING.

Healthy living in Fort Bragg, NC

2. Frederick – Located off Gruber Rd. Just like Tucker, minus the pool, but the gym itself is on crack. Ladies, watch out for the eye candy. Just sayin’.

3. Pope Gym – I used to work at this gym so of course it’s one of my favorites. They have a great children’s room for parents to work out in with their little ones. Also boasts a big weight room, big cardio room, nice racquetball courts, and I love the outdoor track and outdoor workout area. Plus, it’s next to the trail around the flight line (more on that if you scroll down).

4. Iron Mike – I’ve only ever used this gym because they have an awesome children’s room. They have several machines for you to work out on while you can watch your kid play, and let me tell you, they will PLAY. The childcare room is AWESOME. Miniature elliptical, spin bikes, and treadmills for the kids, anyone? As they say, play hard, nap hard!

5. Spa Renaissance Center – Granted, this one is located OFF post and you have to be a member but I have a love affair with this gym because it doesn’t feel like you’re in Fayetteville when you walk in. It’s extremely fancy, has a gorgeous spa attached, great cafe and juice bar, awesome variety of free classes, indoor pool attached to the yoga studio, and 2 locations that are convenient to where I live. This doesn’t tickle my pickle as much as it might for someone else, but they even have a separate weightlifting room for women if you’re trying to avoid the meatheads.

gym

Crossfit Fort Bragg Gyms

1. RedPoint: This one has to be my top favorite because it’s also a climbing gym, MMA gym, yoga, and CrossFit all in one. So basically all of my favorite things rolled up into one little warehouse. Plus, it’s cheaper than the other gyms AND closer to where I live.

2. Fort Bragg CrossFit: They utilize parallel bars, a wall climbing wall, AND have a childcare area. Enough said.

iron forge

3. Iron Forge: I haven’t been to this location yet but I’ve heard TONS of great things about it. Even though I’m happy with where I do CrossFit, I still plan to check this location out because of the fact that I’ve heard so many awesome things. Update on this soon!

4. Team Roc: Another CrossFit and MMA gym that specializes in Jujitsu. They’re smaller, but the people there are so nice and encouraging. Love them!

As an aside, I recently found this very cool CrossFit Workout Index that I thought I would share. It’s great because it not only gives you 7 weeks of CrossFit routines, but it also includes suggested supplements and recipes to keep you going strong. Can’t beat that! Follow this link to check it out: CrossFit Workout Index.

Favorite farmers markets and where to satisfy your omnivore needs:
1. Believe it or not, the commissaries on post actually carry a limited selection of organic meat. It’s located in the Organic Prairie section near the frozen meat bins at the South Post Commissary but all they carry is ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, and beef franks.

And a quick note about the commissary: Both commissaries have a huge section portioned for health nuts. They have an awesome selection of Bob’s Red Mill products, gluten free products, non-GMO, vegan, vegetarian…pretty much everything your little health nut heart desires.

2. Harris Teeter off Raeford Rd carries a better variety of meat AND seafood and the prices aren’t too bad either.

3. T&T’s Farmers Market carries locally raised bacon and ham and sometimes they’ll have fresh poultry as well.

4. Reilly Road Farmers Market: More like a grocery store but still carries seasonal, fresh produce and meats. Great prices, awesome staff, and they always have samples to taste, and the prices are the best in the area.

Reilly Road Farmers Market

5. Carolina Grown: Carolina Grown is a GREAT Community Supported Agriculture program where they deliver farm fresh produce and meats directly to your door for a monthly fee. We participated in the program and loved it but canceled our contract to make room in our budget. Plus, you have to be VERY quick to “order” your meat on Sunday nights otherwise everything sells out very quickly.

6. Fayetteville Farmers Market: Open every Saturday and Wednesday, located downtown behind the transportation museum, and just like any other farmers market, has all the fresh, local produce and meat that you need.

Favorite running trails
1. If you have access to on post, there’s this trail that runs along the entire flight line on Pope Airfield that I used to run and LOVED during my half training. It’s exactly 6 miles so it made for easy mileage calculating. I also loved that it was an open trail, part of it is paved with that soft rubber material that’s less damaging on your knees, and I loved the views around the flight line. It’s also an amazing feeling having the nations best planes fly over your head as you run, you can’t help but be in awe and run faster. The time would pass by quickly when I ran this trail.

2. Coolaconch: I’m not 100% sure if that’s the name but it’s 2 miles up, and 2 miles down on red clay. It’s a steep hill which always makes a run even more fun (for me that is). It’s also on post, located off Gruber road near the parade field. Sometimes you’ll run into soldiers doing their PT or training exercises but that’s okay. It’s extra motivation in my book.

3. Cape Fear River Trail: This one is 8 miles, and it’s a pretty trail to run but can get pretty dangerous at night. It’s located near Methodist University, off Ramsey St. and during the day is littered with other runners, bikers, rollerbladers, and families walking.

4. Maverick Park: This is a short 1.5 mile trail but it’s one of the prettiest since it’s located right next to a lake. It’s located off Bragg Blvd and is very easy to get to. LOVE this one!

Maverick Park

Favorite places to chow down
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many choices in the Fayetteville area. You’d have to drive 45 minutes up to Raleigh for better choices in the health department. I’ve been to some amazing vegetarian and vegan restaurants while there but since I can’t stand driving long distances, I stick to my options in Fayetteville and do the best I can with what we have.

1. Jason’s Deli: This one is pretty self explanatory. And while it may not be the greatest or healthiest option out there, it’s still better than lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s or something along the same lines. And you can’t hate on their awesome salad bar.

2. Blue Moon: This is such a cute little restaurant located downtown on Hay Street. It’s gluten free friendly, vegetarian and vegan friendly, and they have an awesome beer and wine selection. You can never go wrong with that.

3. Fresh Cafe: Also downtown and near Blue Moon, this is another gluten free friendly, vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant that boasts using all locally owned and organic ingredients. The food is awesome, cheap, and the restaurant is quirky but charming. Love it.

4. Royal Grill: This is one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants in the area. Everything is moderately priced, the food is great, and never oily or greasy. They even offer fresh veggie juices, yum!

Favorite Yoga Studios

 1. Embrace Yoga: SUCH a cute studio located in the heart of downtown Fayetteville. I love the instructors, and they have an awesome variety of classes. I also love that they do a lot of free sessions for military service members. Any service that supports the military, is a service that I support.

2. Hot Asana: I recently checked this place out and it’s also adorable. You can tell everyone here has a huge passion for yoga and it’s the kind of passion that’s contagious. It’s kind of far for us city folk who hate driving more than 25 minutes to get anywhere, but I swear it’s completely worth it. It’s located in downtown Southern Pines which is also an adorably cute area to visit.

Favorite miscellaneous:

1. Studio X: This is a pole dancing studio that I need to do a separate post on. It’s located off Raeford Rd, in a safe location, and it’s SO MUCH FUN! Plus, they have CHILDCARE! Whoo hoo! Post on this coming soon.

2. Ram’s Self Defense: Located in Hope Mills. They have an awesome staff, great Krav Maga classes, and affordable options. Occasionally you can catch a groupon for them as well. Highly recommend you check them out if you’re down to kick some ass!

3. Apple Crate: This cute little store is a health nut’s DREAM. It’s like a Whole Food’s, but smaller and minus the delicious hot foods bar, but they still have a decent dry bins selection. It’s locally owned, and located right next to Great Harvest Bread off Raeford Road which also makes it a win in my eyes. They don’t carry meat or seafood but it’s across the street from Harris Teeter which as I’ve mentioned earlier, is a great place to purchase meat anyway.

So that’s my list for now. I hope this helps any of you newcomers to Bragg! If you’re on your way here, don’t listen to what the rumors say, it’s really not that bad. As with everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. If you stay home and complain about being here, of course you’re going to hate it. We’ve called this place home for the past two years and I’ve actually come to love it! Shocking, right? Fort Bragg is 2 hours from the mountains, 2 hours from gorgeous beaches, an hour from the city of Raleigh and Durham, and 5 hours from either DC or Savannah. Less if you drive fast 😉

If I left anything out, shoot me an email and I’ll update this post. Holla to my fellow Bragg-ilinians!

 

The hunk’s Ranger School Graduation

This past weekend marks one of the most momentous occasions in our little family’s life. My husband finally accomplished the goal he had been talking about since he joined the army 2 years ago…he got his Ranger tab.

ranger

The Ranger tab, a tiny black and gold patch that soldiers pin on their uniform, may not seem like much. But to my husband and many other soldiers like him, it’s the culmination of a trial by fire that few can accomplish. To me, it meant that we could finally be together again.

Early Thursday morning, my in-laws and I made the 8 hour drive to GA to make the graduation for my husband. I was terribly sick with a cold, had a fever, horrible sore throat and runny nose, and of course, Caleb screamed at the top of his lungs to let his disdain for being in the car seat be known. But nothing was going to stop me from being there to support my husband through one of the most important moments of his career.

We got there that night, exhausted, hungry, but excited. The hunk informed us that the graduating soldiers were given a 5 hour pass for that night so I was beyond myself to see him again. I couldn’t wait to see his reaction to how big Caleb had gotten, and I couldn’t wait to hug the man that I’m bananas for.

We waited outside the training site among other excited families where I ended up meeting another wife of a Ranger grad (who’s adorably pregnant) AND she reads my blog, haha…hi 🙂

ranger graduation

When the buses finally pulled up, soldiers poured out and started running towards their families. The crowd erupted in cheers and claps, and you could hear everyone yelling “congrats”. It was such an awesome moment and one that I’ll never forget. You could just feel all of the pride and joy in the air…

The hunk found us and we hugged and laughed at how much more thin he’d become. Next, he pulled out a picture of Caleb and told us that it had helped him through many rough nights which prompted me to melt into a puddle of happiness right there. God I love this man.

The next day was the day of the actual graduation ceremony. I’ve been to 6 different military graduations but this one takes the cake. It was one big explosion of testosterone where they had all kinds of awesome demonstrations of what the guys had learned.

It started with a few real explosions…

explosion
Guys running down towers shooting their rifles…
running down wall shooting rifle
Then even more guys running down this big tower thingy while holding another dude (who was supposed to be injured, haha).
tower
Then a bunch of the guys hung from a helicopter, flew high into the sky, and dropped into the water. Needless to say, the whole crowd was pretty impressed by this part.
hanging from helicopter
There was a nine man infantry squad team demo…
infantry demo
Then a guy who ziplined into the water, a guy who crawled the tight rope, tapped the Ranger sign, then dove into the water while saluting.
zipline
diving and saluting
hand to hand combat
One of my favorite parts of the graduation was the hand-to-hand combatives demo. I recently took a local ju-jitsu martial arts class and now have a new found interest in this kind of thing. To see these guys demonstrating various moves in a very realistic manner was so awesome to me and makes me eager to take some more classes.
combat moves
getting out of water
Throughout the entire graduation, Caleb was a saint. He hammed it up with the ladies behind us and when there were loud explosions, he flinched a little but that was it. I had more of a reaction from the explosions simply because I was worried about his little ears. But my little man ended up being a trooper just like his daddy 🙂

When it came time to pin the tab on my husband’s uniform, I practically leaped off the bleachers and flew onto the field to greet my husband. This was a moment he had been waiting for, and the moment my husband had been dreaming about for months now.

ranger patch
I pinned that black and gold tab on his uniform, we gave each other a huge kiss, and happily laughed that this journey was finally over.

After that, we were told to return to our seats so the graduation could conclude with a speech from the superintendent from West Point. Finally, the day ended with the graduating Rangers reciting the Rangers creed. Hearing the guys recite the creed in unison with such pride and honor was the perfect way to end the monumental occasion.

Ranger School is one of the hardest leadership courses in the Army. They drive these guys to the bone with sleep deprivation, starvation, mental and emotional stress, and exhaustion. These guys are pushed to their mental and physical limits and beyond, and to know that my husband fought through all of this to reach one of his goals fills my heart with so much pride that I really cannot put into words here. I’ve always known he was tough before, but now I have even more respect for him knowing just how much more stronger he is after all of this.

And of course, seeing him with Caleb again just made this joyous occasion even more wonderful to me.

With copious amounts of paperwork, packing list stress, Pre-Ranger course, and one “recycle” where he had to start over, this whole journey took a total of 5 months, 1 of which I birthed our son without him and 4 of which I practically spent raising a newborn alone.
It was tough for both of us but the sleepless nights, frustrated cries, and lonely meals didn’t matter because my husband made the time apart worth it. Just as he would for me, I supported him through this endeavor and am beyond proud that he made it.

It really is an indescribable feeling to be so happy for the person you love the most in the world.