Life’s too Short

Find your happy, healthy life without guilt!

Life’s too short. 

While the passion behind it is every bit as moving as a Nicholas Sparks novel, my writing here will no doubt fall way short; so, please give me the grace to stumble through and do my best.  With all sincerity, I hope what I’m sharing here will impact you in some way regardless of where you land in the world of relationships.  If you’re married to the love of your life, be wise and never let them go.  But, if that’s not your case, and perhaps like me, you’ve continued to accept a destructive marriage for way too long, there is freedom. This is for you. To start, I’m going to plant a seed here: release the guilt and give yourself grace to live a healthy, happy life.  Alright, here goes.   

A little background:  Welp, it’s been 96 days since he left us (the 4th time).  And while that’s a necessary detail, it’s really not the part of the story I want to focus on.  It’s simply the pivotal moment in my life that violently shot me in the trajectory of this new normal I find myself in today.  I have learned so, so much as a result of his decision to escape his life. Yep, he escaped with no forwarding address and zero effort to see his girls since that day.  We’ve had birthdays and graduation where I presented our younger daughter her diploma, prom… and in a blink, life just goes on.  I will quickly say here with full confidence, I’m in a better place because I finally let him go.  I’m choosing not to be angry and I do have compassion for his struggles.  But, I fought the good fight.   Yes, of course I made every effort to save the marriage year after year to keep our little family together.  I pleaded for him to be truthful with himself and to get help.  But, here’s the reality:  at the end of the day, my path changed.  I will always be thankful for the good times, but most of all, I’m thankful I have my girls.  And with that background, I can share what’s really on my heart.    

Warning: Especially if you’re a Christian (as I am), fall more to the conservative side (as I do), and are Bible believing (like I am), this may challenge you.  Here’s why.  People like us grew up being filled with a set of ideals from a young age.  It’s “one man, one woman, together forever”, right?!   Our parents, grandparents, and Sunday school teachers were well intentioned.  They were determined in their efforts to instill in us the “right” Biblical worldview and values that formed who we are as adults today. I believed it all and that was my plan!   

BUT, what happens when our real-life path diverts?  In all my years in VBS, I never heard a story that said this: life is going to disappoint you; you are going to struggle; there will be unexpected failures, yet God will never remove His love from you and you will come out just fine. Here are a few truths often glazed over in those stories: God said David was “after His own heart”, yet he was taken by Bathsheba.  And He loved Jonah, who fled in disobedience.  And what about the woman at the well?  Jesus loved her enough to have close conversation with her followed by compassion. All are examples of living an imperfect, unexpected life still loved by God.  Consider these scriptures with me: 

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Isaiah 61:3 “…he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…”    

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Here it is:  What I am saying is this, you may be called to a different path.  And that is the place that well-intentioned Christians sometimes refuse to go.  From childhood, our brains are conditioned to believe there is only ONE “right” path and anything less than that is failure.  There is a disconnect here.  The truth is we are living in a fallen world where sometimes the husband leaves again or a wife becomes disengaged and quits trying.  Sometimes divorce is the healthiest path for you, them, and even the kids.   Spinning into shame and guilt for wanting something more than a miserable, destructive relationship, pushes a message of perfection instead of grace!  Because God is love, (that’s what scripture says) and He’s not a God of disorder, why would He ask us to stay on a miserable path or continue in destruction?  He wouldn’t.   

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “choose your hard.” Marriage is hard.  Divorce is hard.  My personal reality is this: my “hard” was due to accepting a miserable marriage for way too long.  I was paralyzed in those “ideals” from childhood that said we MUST stay married regardless of the pain or destructive, unhealthy behaviors!  So, for way too many years, I gave in to the pressure to stay married because I was supposed to, not because it was the best choice.  I am finally in a better place of allowing myself the grace to live a healthy, happy life because life’s too short to waste being miserable.  I know everyone’s story has their twists of complexity, so choose your hard and forge that path in confidence.     

As a side note, please don’t hear me saying to be negligent in your marriage.  Perhaps my message is untraditional, and maybe it will stretch your thinking.  I hope it does.  But, before many years pass and you wake up one day 10 years older in the same situation like I did, I hope you’ll consider my words. Nobody plans this, right?  But likewise, no one plans to roll over and passively accept misery either.  I did fight, by the way.  I went to counseling… lots of it.  I quit my job when he asked me to.  I prayed more.  I read so many marriage books it’s ridiculous.  I gave up friends he asked me to.  I dressed differently.  I spent less money.  I let him track my location, control all the finances, and make all the big decisions.  I kept myself in shape.  I made good meals.  My house was clean and organized.  But at the end of the day, it was never enough.  Life is too short for that.   

Conclusion:   Spending half your life with someone who you feel lonely standing next to isn’t worth it.  The kids will be fine too, by the way.  As a matter of fact, I asked a close friend recently to tell me his thoughts on navigating a life between two families.  He’s college age and his response was refreshing and one I won’t quickly forget.  He said, “It’s made me a stronger, more independent person and I have a bigger family to share life with!”  He’s one of my favorite people in the world!  We have many lengthy discussions and I respect him a great deal.  He’s already lived enough life to have a healthy perspective surviving imperfect, unexpected circumstances. I applaud his parents for guiding him so well.   

Consider this:  Who do you wanna call first when something stupid funny happens?  Who can make your coffee just the way you like it?  Who would you drive two days for to see only two hours?  Who can you really laugh with and never worry about being judged?  If your ‘who’ in those questions is not your spouse, it’s time to be real and move on. I’m saying this confidently only because I’m coming out on the other side of the pain and I see things more clearly now.  Sometimes, God allows events to happen so He can bring you to the next path HE has for you.  Yeah, there may be a storm to get there, but I’ll say it again, release the unrealistic ideals and all the guilt. Give yourself grace to live healthy and happy.  Life’s too short not to. 

3 Anxiety Lowering Tips for Your Day

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

Within the last several days I have found myself in multiple conversations on the topic of mental health. It seems to be an increasingly hot topic, and given how 2020 has gone, I suppose there is no shocker in it’s popularity! I have personally suffered from social anxieties in the past; so, from this perspective, I can relate to the genuine unrest that can occur within our minds, especially during particular seasons of life. Perhaps it’s a pandemic like COVID-19, an accident, divorce, death, triggered fears like abandonment or personal insecurities … the list is long leading to each of our experiences within the scope of anxiety, or at the very least – potentially how we deal with the enormous amounts of stress that happen along life’s way.

Here are my 3 tips for reducing anxiety:

(Because I am a Christian, I see life through this lens; so with that, my content here is based from that worldview.)

1. Read Scripture Morning & Night

My husband has a goal to open his Bible each morning before he puts on his shoes! Reading the Bible does not have to be lengthy or difficult. It just has to be our priority, and all we have to do is open it. In my personal life, I have yet to open my copy of God’s Word and feel LESS peaceful afterward… I always feel more centered. I have more direction. More peace. The Bible is often called the “Living Word” and true to this description, every single time I open it, I “discover” something as though it was new material being revealed to me at the very moment I need it. Reading, even briefly, helps calm my spirit and reduces my level of stress and helps the unrest in my mind. It’s a wise way to start the day!

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Joshua 1:8

2. Talk with God

So, it’s taken me a lot of years to realize God, as the Holy Spirit, is with us & never leaves us. I love how the pastor of the Marriage Today ministry, Jimmy Evans, simplifies this communication with our Heavenly Father. He says this, “You talk to God, or pray, about what you’re stressed about. There’s your prayer list!” How true! The conversation I have with God through prayer helps me to “get out” what’s on my heart… to get out all the stuff that’s stressing me and causing me anxiety. For me, short chats toward God is how I approach my daily moments. Sure, sometimes I’m bowed, eyes closed, but with our fast paced world, more often I’m speaking right out loud driving down the street or even while doing laundry! In my present season, I pray a great deal in our garage… as I hug my girls each morning I pray as they drive away to school each day. When I take the time to have this talk with God, my stresses and anxious thoughts are much lighter and even relieved when I’m done.

 …casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

3. Get Moving

There’s plenty of scientific evidence in favor of exercising to reduce stress. Personally, my day typically starts in the order of 1-2-3 here! I READ, TALK, & then MOVE! When I skip the active part of my day, stresses seem to pile up on me more quickly. I feel more anxious, more irritable. Perhaps a good sweat not only releases the toxins from our physical bodies, but helps to clear out the unhealthy thoughts in our minds too! Regular exercise will start my day better every single time… even when it’s hard to get up and do it! I’m thankful for the ability to exercise at home too. (This has definitely worked out well in 2020 with quarantine and social distancing!) I can honestly say that I’m in my best shape since college all because of Beachbody on Demand exercise streaming at home! If exercising at home sounds like your jam – I’m here to help! I work as an online fitness & nutrition coach. Regardless of how you choose to move, just get moving! It is proven to lower your stress and reduce anxieties in your day!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I’m here for you!

Like I mentioned, I too have dealt with seasons of mental unrest. It’s not a fun experience. I am not a counselor; however, I can share with you my journey of learning to find more peace, wellness, and a healthier life no matter the circumstances! Feel free to contact me 🙂

God Bless you in your journey-

~ Domestic Chick

3 Reasons to Cancel Your Gym Membership

As COVID-19 shut down our world just as the flowers were starting to bloom in the Spring of 2020, immediately friends were loosing their ability to workout “as usual”. Gyms closed down overnight, it seemed. Then, as we fast forward to the fall of 2020, yes, gyms opened back up again; however, many require masks & rigorous cleaning standards that limited members allowed inside & the availability of equipment! No argument that within this elusive virus floats of cloud of serious precautions; but, due to fears & inconveniences, many have made the choice not to return. I am here to offer help and a viable solution to this chaos on the fitness front as I have YOUR family’s (& mine) overall health & wellness in mind!

Let’s be honest, shall we? Many of us struggle with the priority of exercise regardless of COVID. If you fall into this saturated category, have no guilt! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You are among many friends who struggle finding how to fit in the daily workout! Perhaps you’re like those of us who have a schedule that varies from day to day… again such a common situation! Shift work, retail professionals, medical personnel… all on the list of individuals challenged to nail down the “perfect” time to exercise due to an ever-changing daily routine!


1. It will save YOU time!

Flexibility is key for me! Friends, I’m a homeschool mom, I’m a wife, and I work from home! Like all of you, my schedule is full, and having the ability to workout when it’s best for me makes life so much easier! I love it that I can still enjoy a “class”, but when I attend is up to ME – so I won’t ever be late & miss 1/2 of it! LOL 🙂 I save time by completely eliminating drive time to a gym and there’s no need to “get ready” … all I have to do is walk into my living-room, bedroom, backyard, or, when I’m traveling, stay right in the hotel room and PUSH PLAY! It’s that simple & saves me time… I love that!

THE solution = the “Netflix” app of Exercise ➙ BOD!

It’s a simple app called, BOD – Beachbody on Demand. It offers 1,000’s of workouts, all from your device. . . for less than $10/month for the whole family!

“I use it daily! It has revolutionize my fitness routine!” ~ Jennifer McMahan

2. It will save YOU money… a LOT of money!

I personally gave up the gym membership a decade ago! LOL 🎉 With that being said, I’m in the best shape of my life… I just turned 47 too. And all my workouts are #nogymneeded! Private club memberships vary widely; however, it is difficult to find a membership that doesn’t set you back at least $25-75 per month depending on the level of gym you choose & the number of individuals on your membership contract! With BOD, it comes to less than $10 per month! So, cancel that membership & bring your gym AND YOUR MONEY home!

3. It will keep YOU the healthiest! (fitness + nutrition)

I’m a wellness professional by education with certifications and experience in the field. So, discovering the top-notch programs led by elite trainers sealed the deal for me in letting the old gym go! I am so encouraged that every program is led by elite trainers who know what they’re doing. Every program has high-quality calendars to track your progress. Every program is well researched and balanced to offer both challenging and modified movements!

BONUS: along with the fitness side, there is also the Beachbody Nutrition component with two professionally designed nutrition programs (2BMindset & The Ultimate Portion Fix) to get your eating on point too! Gyms don’t do this! And it’s proven that Fitness + Nutrition is the only way to achieve real results. Beachbody has it all ⬅︎ Check out this video link!

Of course, the fact remains – the virus is still lurking. In addition to the risks of going to the gym & catching COVID/the flu/ Strep from all the heavy breathing and sharing of equipment, there is a BETTER CHOICE… and it’s a MASK-FREE option too!

The Total Solution = Fitness (BOD) + Nutrition + Support*

*If you sign up with me, I will be YOUR personal coach! I am here to get you started on a program that fits your needs! I am here to answer questions online & to help you achieve your wellness goals! Ultimately I want to help you achieve the best YOU ever!

That’s my job & I love helping people find success! 🙂

Ready to get started? Email me here ⬅︎

Join the thousands of others who use BOD – to save $ – to save time – to get healthy!

Your future self says, “Thank you!” 🙂

~Domestic Chick

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Best Ever Leg Toners at Home

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Friends, if you’re like me and workout at home, this post is for YOU!

These easy moves are the best exercises to tone both the FRONT and BACK of your legs. In the video below, I’m using a padded bench, but an ottoman or sturdy chair will also do the trick!

My ankle weights are 5 pounds each. The ones pictured here are adjustable, letting you start light and increase as you go!

This is the exact bench I use to do these moves! Really comfortable & also long enough to give me good support!

The goal is to isolate the 4 combined leg muscles – on the front (those above our knee) called the quadriceps. It’s not important to rush this move. It’s all about slowly controlling the contraction as you extend your foot up. And, tighten your core muscles to give extra stability. When your leg is horizontal, pause briefly, and then relax it back down.

Weighted leg extensions – do 15 on each leg, then switch. Repeat each side 3 times.

Weighted leg extensions – do 15 on each leg, then switch. Repeat each side 3 times.

On the back, above the knee is our hamstring, which runs all the way into the glute (booty) muscle. Focus on squeezing your butt as you bring your heels back. Again, tighten that core for extra stability. No need to rush this move, either! Take it slowly and feel the back of your legs and booty muscles squeezing tightly.

Weighted hamstring curls – do 15 curls. Rest, and do it again 2 more times.

Weighted hamstring curls – do 15 curls. Rest, and do it again 2 more times.

On days that I do these exercises, I definitely start with a good bout of cardio. We have thunder snow here today (super cool), so… I went for some time on the treadmill to warm up. 👌🏽 🏃🏽‍♀️ Quality cardio before your legwork is super important because your leg muscles are some of the largest muscles in your body and they need warming up before strength training! Especially those hamstrings (on the back)! They have a tendency to be tight, so loosen them up with some cardio & stretching before the exercises I have recommended here. 👍🏽

Give these exercise a try! I’d love to hear what you think…

~ Domestic Chick

World Spine Day: A Look at Scoliosis

Left x-ray is before surgery. Right x-ray was taken during surgery.

My grandmother, my mom, my sister, myself, both of my daughters, and my nephew all have scoliosis! I guess you could say we’re one twisted family. LOL 🙂

Exactly what is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral or side-to-side curvature of the spine. It can present as an S-shape or C-shape. Scoliosis can also be associated with a rib-cage deformity. It can progress rapidly during the growth spurt just before puberty. However, it can also occur in adults. Scoliosis can cause pain, disability, and an inability to perform daily activities.

“In writing this blog, my hope is to heighten awareness, especially within homeschool families, to routinely check your kiddos for scoliosis.”

~ Domestic Chick

In the school system, along with checking the students’ eyesight, they are regularly checked for scoliosis also. In my particular case, it was indeed the school nurse who found my curvature when I was in the 5th grade. Following her discovery, I was braced for about 18 months and ultimately headed for surgery at age 12. At that time my curves had progressed enough that the doctors were concerned with my “S” curve interrupting the placement and function of my organs.

Only 2-3 percent of the U.S. population is diagnosed with scoliosis.

Source: National Scoliosis Foundation, June 2007

While definitely not a diagnosis one hopes to hear, we can all be thankful for modern technological advancements in medicine and the doctors who have contributed their studies and practice in this type condition!

How do you check you child for scoliosis?

With you seated in a chair, have your child stand in front of you and bend forward as in the illustration above. Their hands should be in “divers” position. Bending over, get your eyes level with their back and check for the points listed above.

What to do if you think your child has scoliosis:

  • Do not over react! Scoliosis is extremely treatable and those affected go on to live normal, productive lives.
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor. Have him/her make the diagnosis.
  • If possible, consider chiropractic care before looking to surgery. (My personal suggestion is to contact: Dr. Marc Lamantia with Scoli-Fit.)
  • If your healthcare provider believes surgery is imminent, seek out a children’s hospital where the procedure is done weekly. (My personal suggestion is: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.)
  • An additional resource: The National Scoliosis Foundation

The takeaway!

There is much to learn and understand about scoliosis. As with my own personal story, it’s easy to see how strong the genetic component can be, even through multiple generations. The GREAT NEWS is this: scoliosis is treatable! And, there are many medical professionals across the globe working daily in this area to continue studying and developing better solutions for patients with scoliosis! Also, those of us with it, can still go on to live normal lives. What a blessing. 🙂

~ Domestic Chick

3 Easy ARM exercises at Home

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Arm day, y’all! 💪🏽 Free weights and a chair is all you need :). The great thing about this workout is that it doesn’t take too long, and the results come quickly with consistency!
Check out these videos & photos to show how easy 3 ARM exercises can be!

Start with biceps & triceps…

  • Sit comfortably on a chair.
  • Support your other arm on your leg.
  • Secure your elbow into your knee holding the dumbbell.
  • Tighten your core to protect your back.
  • Aim for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Switch arms & again, do 12-15 repetitions.
  • Repeat for 3 sets on each side.
  • Do this 2-3 times each week to see results quickly.
These are so easy to do anywhere! Just grab your weights… I’m using a 10 pound dumbbell here.
  • Bend over with knee comfortably on a sturdy chair.
  • Use the opposite arm for support on the chair as well.
  • Hold the dumbbell at a 90 degree angle with your upper arm horizontal to the floor.
  • Tighten your core to protect your back and allow your knee to be slightly bent.
  • Extend arm with dumbbell stopping when it’s horizontal to the floor.
  • Aim for 12-15 repetitions.
  • Switch arms & knee position.
  • Do 12-15 repetitions with other arm.
  • Repeat for 3 sets on each side.
  • Do this 2-3 times each week to see results quickly.

Then, shoulders…

There is so much benefit to strength training as we get older… give it a try! I think you will be glad you made it a priority & your future self will thank you too! 😉👌🏽

~Domestic Chick

3 KEYS to 6-pack ABS

Ok, y’all! I know abdominal work can seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! I wanna share with you what I do to get toned ABS… now, I’m not on the cover of a Muscle magazine, but these 3 KEYS have helped me to achieve definition that lets me feel pretty toned (in my mid-40’s) 😎. So, listen y’all – if I can do this, trust me, you can too… 😉

Before we drop to the floor on a crunch mat, though, let’s get the facts. One massive, important thing I have learned over many years is that my DIET has a great deal to do with toning my ABS! Perhaps you have heard this too. I hope so… because IT’S TRUE! In my experience, when I focus on increasing certain foods while limiting others AND by getting serious about a few, simple core exercises… AMAZING THINGS HAVE HAPPENED 🎉

6-pack ABS are SOOOOOO related to your DIET! 😋

In my life before the addition of my sweet girls, I worked as a personal trainer having a degree in Kinesiology. In addition, I was certified with The Cooper Clinic as a Health Promotion Director, so with that along with the last 20 years of living the busy life with kiddos, I can tell you without question: OUR DIET MATTERS … A LOT! So, if your goal is to whittle your middle, consider these 3 KEYS to making a difference in how you feel around that midsection!

KEY #1

EAT COLORFUL FOODS! 🌈 This is honestly something I think about every single day! With colorful foods that are NOT boxed, bagged, or fried, you will be eating less fat, less sugar + more protein, fiber and vitamins. For mid-day & evening, look for ways to combine salad ingredients (kale, spinach & mixed greens) with proteins like beans, grilled chicken or salmon! Here are a few photos of my mid-day meals. Be creative & get colorful! 🙂

For snacks, I like to make up a few little baggies of good snack choices and have ’em in the fridge ready to go. Having these on hand during the day helps me avoid the regrettable high sugar, high fat moment of weakness… you know, that sneak up between 2-5pm?!😅Choose carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh fruit or even deliciously crunchy, purple cabbage (my personal fav!)… fill up a few little “snack-sized” bags & you’re all set.

KEY #2

CARRY WATER WITH YOU!💧💦 Y’all, water is free…containing absolutely no calories or fat! When I focus on sipping water all day long, I tend to forgo the sugary drinks. By intentionally avoiding the drinks loaded with tons of sugar, I automatically feel less weighed down AND there’s no sugar crash later!

I ❤️ these pop-top water bottles from Klean Kanteen! With the loop, they’re easy to grab on the go AND there’s no lid to mess with.👌🏽

KEY #3

MOVE 6 DAYS/ WEEK! 💪🏽🏃🏽‍♀️

  • #1 Cardio – (I don’t even have a gym membership 😳) – I am passionate about walking! If the weather permits, I hit the streets, but if not, I have a Nordic Track T6.5 treadmill at the house. My personal goal is to get in 8,000 WORKOUT STEPS each day. I make it a point to say “workout steps” because during that time, I’m hustling! My heart-rate is up and I’m rocking a nice sweat. I’ve tried the 10,000 step goal too, but for my schedule, it seems to work best shooting for 8,000 leaving me a little extra time to focus on weights and resistance training. I can typically fit in a GREAT workout within an hour to 75 min. I also rotate through different videos to surprise my body & spice things up … but I always come back to Crunch Fitness: Belly, Butt & Thighs BOOT CAMP with Teri Ann Krefting!
  • #2 Body Weight Moves – I am a strong believer in basic moves that use your own body weight to exercise. A few of the moves I do weekly include walking lunges, plank, push ups and bridge. With each of these, I do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. More recently, I have also started incorporating quick PiYo videos! Trainer, Charlene Johnson, really knows how to motivate and guide you through the workout! I’m LOVING how I feel doing her Beachbody PiYo program! Do I use actual weights at all? The answer is yes, definitely. With a degree in kinesiology and working as a personal trainer, I will always try to incorporate free weights – especially for arms & upper body. I’ll share about that in another post! 😉
  • #3 Focused ABS exercise – I have a few favorite AB moves that I want to share here, BUT, I want to re-emphasize that I believe food & cardio are really critical to great ABS! With that being said, here are my go-to AB exercises. I try to do these 3-4 times every week. When I do it consistently, I like the results!👌🏽🥰
Mountain Climbers are effective & tough! From plank, alternate knees to the front. Back to plank, knees cross to opposite elbow – both sides. Finally, knees go to the outside of the arms – both sides! Try doing this sequence 5 times & repeat for 3 sets! 😅

Ok, y’all… I hope this post is helpful to you! I enjoy sharing, so please follow my blog for more content coming soon. Also, see the links to my other social media! 🙂

~ Domestic Chick