Marriage at Three Years

There’s laughter, so much laughter. Before bed, during the workday when he sends me a silly email, a text that is supposed to make sense but doesn’t because he’s cursed by autocorrect on his phone. At night when we are both so exhausted that anything we say reduces us to giggles. There’s his laughter at skits on SNL or silly man movies, things I don’t always get but I love to see him laugh, to know he’s amused and happy.

There’s kindness: he knows when the last thing I want to do is cook dinner and so he picks up something that we both love. I know when it is the absolute wrong time to ask a question during any of the sports games that he loves to watch. The notes we leave for one another in the morning. The fact that he cleans my car without me asking. Or how I’ll package his lunch for him the night before for an easy grab on his way out the door. He walks our dog in the morning (early bird, he is) and I do it at night (night owl!). Countless other little gestures that remind us that we are thinking of one another because if there is one thing I learned from my parents: the loving is easy, the living is hard. Not that the living with each other is hard, but all the external factors and inputs coming at us can make it tough to remember that you and your spouse, as a couple and as individuals, need to be taken care of.

There’s adventure. Everyday is an adventure really, because we never know what’s coming our way. We’ve had a LOT happen in three years of marriage and nearly five years of togetherness; roller coaster sums it up. I love that every time we travel somewhere new that we both love, we talk about if that would be a good retirement place in the future or if we could ever relocate to that particular city. It’s fun to contemplate the what-ifs.

I admit, I didn’t really know what I was getting into with this marriage thing when I walked down the aisle three years ago. It is by far the hardest and most amazing thing that I’ve ever tackled and I’m thankful everyday that we choose each other. Marriage doesn’t just happen: it is a job. It requires work and compromise and talking (sometimes so much talking) and then also, knowing when to be quiet. There are those moments where everything clicks and then times where it all seems so… hard. It’s during those hard times where we hold hands a little tighter, stronger and longer knowing that as long as we are standing and supporting one another, there is nothing we can’t handle.

Lastly, there’s love: for one another, for our life together, for our family. It’s unparalleled. I didn’t believe it when people said you would fall more in love but there are those moments where I look at him and just think, “wow, I love him a little bit more than yesterday.” My love for my husband is hard to describe but I feel in my soul, my bones, my heart, my mind and my actions every single day.

Here’s to three more years!

On October

It is only fitting that on the first day of October it feels as though fall has finally arrived: there is a crispness to the air that we have been lacking for most of the month of hello octoberSeptember, leaves are beginning to fall and crunch, and I feel… a tad rejuvenated. Apart from winter, I’m a fan of all seasons but there is something about fall, perhaps the fact that I celebrate my birthday and anniversary in the span of one week, or football season or World Series games (hopefully for STL anyway), or crockpot recipes + baked goods. It’s just a nice change of pace from the swelter and mosquitoes, sun rays and pool days.

September brought all sorts of good things: a 5k with a friend; my brother’s birthday; new exercise/training plans for me; lots of books added to the Read shelf with even more books added to the To Be Read/Want to Read shelf; discovering some new recipes and dusting off some old ones: I’m looking at you taco soup!; getting back into my groove on sending snail mail;catch-up calls and video chats with dear friends; a few lovely days with friends and their kids; a date night with my dad; my birthday (thank you all for the kind wishes, messages, texts, cards, etc.!) and probably a hundred other big and little things I’m forgetting.

I told Knight before bed last night that I feel like we’ve been doing nothing but running since my bonus daughters left. Running to sports games (my husband cannot say no to a free ticket of any kind). Running to work. Running to the grocery store (it’s insane how much greek yogurt, protein bars and chicken I’m going through courtesy of my lifestyle change). Running to see this person or that, this activity or another. September was a lot of running, all for very good reasons but I’m a bit tired and so with October, I hope to relax and enjoy fall nights spent outside, windows open, and doing boring adult things like finally getting our office in order, purging more stuff (so. much.stuff that we have!) and just enjoying this season. It’s a time of transition for sure, and along with that a bit of a trigger for me, as it was around this time two years ago that we learned of my mom’s impending surgery, then her cancer, and the rest of it… and as much as it sucks, it’s my reality, something that colors and shapes me on any given day at any given hour and if I’m not careful, smacks me in the face.

And here I am writing this and laughing at myself because I just thought of all the fall things I want to do before we run out of time: visit a pumpkin patch because you’re never too old for that, go to a winery as the views are stunning this time of year, fires in the fire pit as often as I can fit them in, treat myself to one last custard run before our favorite place closes for the season, planting more mums in our front garden area and maybe going to an Octoberfest event or two…. and I say I want to slow down!

What were the highlights of your September? Any fall things that you want to do before the wretched winter shows up? 


This is 32

Tonumber-32day I’m 32.

32 means wearing a dress and fancy necklace to work, because if you have to work on your birthday, you may as well love your outfit.

It means a quieter celebration with the hubs and my dad (also, the curse of a birthday during the work week! Everyone is busy) for some Tex-Mex and likely a giant piece of a cookie cake afterwards.

It means waking up to sweet text messages from friends and family, both near and far. The one that brought a tear to my eye was my mom’s best friend- she was in the hospital with my parents the day I was born and we’ve grown quite a bit closer since losing my mom.

There are a lot of things I love about being older: I’m comfortable in  my own skin. I don’t mind saying “no,” to social engagements when I’m overbooked or overtired. I have no guilt for reading a book for two hours instead of cleaning the house. I can have dessert for dinner if I want to. I’m confident and secure in my love, marriage and relationship with Knight. I love holding and playing with my friends kids and babies; it’s an honor and privilege to see them morph into parents and grow in their abilities. That the friendships I have are strong, stable and those ladies are always there for me, no matter what (and vice versa). I don’t feel bad if I’m 20 minutes late for work because a) I can work from anywhere and b) it’s only 20 minutes.

Of course, there are things I don’t love but tolerate: gray hairs, signs of wrinkles around my eyes, my inability to stay up late for more than one night in a row/function on less than four hours of sleep. I’m a bit more picky about my accommodations when I travel, or the restaurants/hangouts I frequent. I feel old when I visit my college town, and incredibly out of touch with the hip clothes and fashion.

At this time in my life, I love Netflix (bonus points for old shows that I never watched), am a still a sucker for a good RomCom and I guarantee I’ll cry at the end of it. I love chocolate and cheese more than I should. I can make a mean homemade pasta (gravy) sauce, some killer meals in a crockpot and I love to bake. Sitting outside on a crisp fall night may just be my favorite thing. I am horrible at reading magazines; they sit in a stack for months on end before I either get frustrated and recycle them or binge read them all. I have no idea what I’ll do without my furbaby, Jack. I love my hair long (not short), I rarely dye it. I treat myself to monthly pedicures but rarely paint my fingernails. I wear the same four rings every single day: engagement + wedding on the left; one from my parents & one that was mom’s on my right. More often than not my hair is in a ponytail, and I know I should style it more. Lucy yoga pants are the best thing ever.

At this time in my life, I love a good workout and do so five days a week. I rarely drink alcohol because I don’t like how it makes me feel (hello, old person status) but love a good Shirley Temple because I’m also apparently five. I know junk food is bad for me and when I do decide to indulge, I pay for it. Instagram is my favorite social media platform. I love my friends fiercely. I can’t stand scary movies or masks on people of any kind (in other words, no haunted houses for me, ever). I love pictures but don’t take enough of them. I’m a messy housekeeper at times, and other times I’m a clean/neat freak. I still cry when I’m sad/stressed/frustrated, and most especially when I miss my mom and the only way to let the hurt out is to cry. Birthdays aren’t the same without my mom; I’ve come to realize that, though not sure I’m in acceptance mode of that, yet.

At this time in my life, Dave Matthews is still my favorite artist, with Zac Brown Band a close second. I am not ashamed to say I’m listening to more country than I am pop music. White cheddar cheese popcorn and Junior Mints (not together) are my two favorite “guilty” pleasure snacks. I really would love a job where I can work from home/be more flexible… I’m working on that/what it would look like.

I don’t know what the next year holds but if it holds even an ounce of love, friendship and joy, I know I’ll be blessed.

Review: The Visitant

the visitantThe shadows of Venice have long inspired writers—from Henry James and Thomas Mann to Daphne DuMaurier and Ian McEwan. Now, its Megan Chance’s turn, as the acclaimed novelist takes readers through the alleys and canals of this ageless and mysterious city in her compelling new book, The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story (Lake Union Publishing; September 22, 2015). Part haunted tale, part love story, part mystery, this riveting historical novel explores the truth behind a terrifying reality, as a young American woman, immersed in a strange foreign culture, encounters a world beyond her wildest imaginings. Buried secrets of a tragic past converge, threatening to destroy not just her hopes of redemption, but her very life.

Set in 1884, The Visitant paints an unforgettable portrait of a decaying city and the secrets that lurk in its dark, crumbling corners. Elena Spira has arrived there to take up the duties of nurse to a young epileptic man who has descended to the depths both physically and psychologically. Samuel Farber wants none of Elena’s help as he wallows in a laudanum-triggered haze of hallucinations. Samuel speaks of visits from a spirit, seemingly wild claims that Elena first rejects as drug-fueled. But, the truth is far more sinister. When Samuel’s best friend and host, Nero Basilio, arrives, Elena finds herself drawn to this charming man as he shows her the hidden delights of Venice. But there are dark forces at play—forces that Elena cannot begin to comprehend. Casa Basilio possesses a tragic history, and a ghost whose presence may be driving Samuel to madness.

I have a soft spot for stories that take place in Venice; it’s hard to find a story that does the city justice, that balances the romance with the mystery of the city but this book is a great combination of both. The only downside of reviewing mysteries is that you don’t want to reveal too much in advance of you picking up the book, but suffice to say I loved Elena, the twists and turns that Chance takes you on throughout the pages, and the writing that had me feeling like I was back in 1880s Venice. There’s suspense. There’s love. There’s mystery. There’s something about this story that I was drawn to which made it hard to put down.

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Interested in reading this book and live in the US or Canada? Leave a comment by Friday, October 2nd, letting me know what your favorite mystery is. Winner will be notified by email. 

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Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this novel for the purposes of my review, via my partnership with TLC Book Tours. All comments and opinions are my own.

Lessons Learned: Parenting, Summer 2015

It’s been about eight weeks since my house went from a family of four to a family of two and in case you were wondering, it is still weird. This past summer Knight and I emphasized bonding as a family, and individually with each girl, which was a success but also made the leaving that much harder. Although it is months until they come back to stay with us (we are working on a few visits between now and then), I’m already in full-fledged “what can we do better? What worked? What didn’t?” mode.

What Worked…

* Love and Logic style of parenting. Everyone has to find their own style of parenting, own tools and techniques given their personality and that of their children, but you guys, this was a lifesaver for us. We picked our battles better than before. We had our go-to phrases and above all? We, as in me and Knight, weren’t stressed. There were fewer tears, fights and power struggles and it was glorious.

* We had the best babysitter this summer. The best. We didn’t have to use her too much thanks to flexible work schedules but when we did the girls were happy, we were happy and I didn’t have to fret about the house being a mess when I got home.

* Flexible work schedules. Enough said and thank the lord.

* Setting limits/boundaries. We do this every summer (or try to) but given our new obsession with Love & Logic, it was far easier to implement. Bedtime had always been a struggle but this summer we let the girls push the boundaries a bit (or so they thought) while still protecting what we believe in. Example: The girls were allowed to stay up as long and as late as they wanted, so long as we didn’t hear or see them. They had to stay in their room, unless they needed the restroom. If they were excessively loud or came downstairs more than once (we gave them a one time offer) then game over, lights out. The beauty of it? They weren’t up for more than 30 minutes past bedtime, books on their faces, book lights turned on.

* Bonding. As I mentioned, we made a very serious effort to have 1:1 time with each kid at least once a week, and unique family experiences. Mission accomplished as we had the best time this past summer, even on the hard days. Knight and I made sure to steal a lunch hour or two just for us, too. I mean, why not? The kids were at day camp, so why not take a break and treat ourselves to lunch and a quiet meal out? (There may have been no talking during one of these lunches because the silence was lovely.)

What didn’t work… 

* Chore Charts. This year we had game time (DS, Surface, iPad, etc.) tied to their chores. For each chore they did, they earned five minutes of game time. Turns out they didn’t care as much about game time as I thought so chores went undone and their DS’ remained off most of the summer. What they do love? TV (duh). This next summer chores will be tied to screen time, their choice of TV or game time. Only exceptions are our family movie nights on Fridays.

* Me packing their lunches. The girls are old enough to put things into their reusable snack bags and make decisions about what they want for lunch. Next summer I’m going to have them put together their sandwiches, snacks and etc. for camp. Don’t worry, they will be supervised with the butter knife, no accidents on my watch! It will save me some time each evening/morning and I won’t resent the adorable Skip Hop lunch bags every time I see them come out of hiding.

* Flexible work schedules. I mean, it did work. I just always felt like I was working no matter what time it was. I’m thankful that we didn’t have to shell out an arm and a leg for child care but it’s not easy to write a proposal while two kids are asking what you are doing? Why? Who is that? Why do we have to be quiet right now? Who are you calling? I  need to come up with a way to not feel so indebted to work outside of the office.

* Exercise. For me, not the kids. I am determined to make it through all of next summer working out four to five times a week. I must.

Any tips & tricks from my fellow Bonus Moms out there that I should consider for next summer? What kinds of chores did you love (or hate) as a kid? I’m looking for some new ones for next summer! 

Page & Screen

I haven’t been doing as much reading as usual, but since the beginning of September I’ve managed to read five, so why not a recap?

The Boy I Loved Before, by Jenny Colgan. What a charming book. The story focuses on Flora who finds herself in her early 30s, dating a man she’s not sure she loves, working a job that she could take or leave and next thing she knows, she makes a wish to be 16 again. And it comes true. Improbable perhaps, but a lovely look at what could have been, how fun it would be to have a different attitude in high school, first crushes and loves, appreciating parents and more. If you liked 13 Going on 30 (the movie), this would be right up your alley, with a few twists, turns and surprises that you’ll not see coming until the end.

Sit! Stay! Speak! A novel. I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog so I’ll keep this short: if you love dogs, love stories, a story that takes place in the south and deals with some serious issues, give this book a try.

Inspector Dewey by Kristen Heimerl. This story is a children’s book, all about a cat, his cat buddies and his owner. Dewey thinks that humans can hear his thoughts and sets about to foil a robber in his neighborhood. The illustrations are gorgeous, the writing is cute, creative and fun, and I know my girls will love this book. (Bonus: published by an indie press so counts for the Read Harder challenge, even though I’m not totally doing it this year!)

If You Find this Letter, by Hannah Brencher. My favorite part of this book was the third and final section and made me fall in love with the book (the first two sections were a little flat for me, but I’m in the minority, here). There were sections on grief, on love, on family that felt as if they were written for me. I definitely cried. I squeed when I read the section about my friend Becky. (Memoir category for Read Harder challenge.)

A Paris Affair, by Tatiana de Rosnay. I picked this book up because I loved Sarah’s Key and figured she would write a good short story. And she does… but these are all about infidelity or some form of infidelity. Tough to swallow, though a few of them were laugh out loud because they involve take no shit women. (Short story category for Read Harder challenge.)

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. This is the first novel by Hannah I’ve read and what an introduction to her. Beautiful book from beginning to end, heartbreaking, haunting. Everything that you’d expect out of a novel about WWII. You’ll want some tissues as you work through this one, though.


I finally watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I’ve always been a fan of British movies and this one was no different. Emily Blunt is adorable. The story is so farfetched and yet believable that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the movie and was more than a little sad when it was over. I realize I’m four years late on watching this one, but isn’t that what Netflix discs (yes, I still get discs) are for?

Unfinished Business with Vince Vaughan and little Franco. At 90 minutes this movie is hilarious. Little Franco is adorable. Vince does a great job being a real family man and I may have given this movie bonus points because apparently the three main characters are from the Lou. Perfect for men and women, though there are few more than necessary crass moments (but when Vince is in it, what do you expect?).

I have a giant stack of books to read including Circus Mirandus, Hard Eight, Love and Miss Communication and about 100 other books. My Netflix queue is a mix of chick flicks, indie films and date night films. Always looking for more! What have you read or viewed lately that you recommend?


Good Things Friday on a Long week

Anyone else feel like this week was particularly long? Hopefully it wasn’t just me!

Good things on what felt like the longest week ever:

Upping my weights/resistance on my leg workout.

Having free time put back in my schedule after a dinner with friends was canceled.

The STL Cardinals won two of their games this week as of the writing of this post (thankfully and finally).

Only a few more days until my brother visits for a whole week and then I turn around and go visit him on his stopping grounds for a week.

An easy commute on Thursday morning, likely attributed to the fact that I went into work unusually early.

My chiropractor saying he can tell that I’m slimming down and toning up.

The first batch of taco soup of the season was made and consumed this week. Such a delicious dinner in one pot.

Treating myself to early birthday shoes: a pair of heels and then a pair of suede booties because: coupon + sale + birthday coming soon. (Side note: I don’t feel very mature using the word booties.)

Allowing myself a really good cry; the grief business bubbles up and spreads into other areas of my life if I don’t let the I’m-missing-my-mom-tears out at least once a week.

New pen at work. It really IS the little things sometimes.

What are your good things for this week?


Review: Sit! Stay! Speak!

Sit Stay Speak (430x648)I’m a sucker for books that feature dogs on the cover, which I confess is the main reason I wanted to read this novel because, how cute is that puppy? I’m delighted to report that the book is just as adorable and charming as the cover, a story full of love for animals, forgiveness, discovery, friendship, mystery and romantic love. I oohed, aahed, and even shed a few tears as I read this story. (There are a few violent/graphic scenes in the book, so if that disturbs or bothers you, perhaps skim those sections… you can tell when they are coming up.)

I read this book in less than 36 hours, staying up past my bedtime two nights in a row because I was drawn to Addie (the main character), her dog Felix, Jasper (the love interest), and the wild and crazy cast of characters that Noblin weaves in and out of the story. Just when I thought I had a handle on where this novel was going, Noblin threw a few curves my way, throwing me off the trail.

If you are anything like me, your mouth was watering when the Southern food was described: hush puppies, fried pies (new idea to me), chocolate gravy (I had no idea that was a thing) and more. Noblin was kind enough to share recipes at the back of the book and I can tell you I’ll be trying a few of them out this fall and winter.

I hope that Noblin writes another novel, and soon, because she has a new fan in me. Bonus points that she currently resides in Missouri.

About Sit! Stay! Speak!

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 8, 2015)

Who says nothing happens in small towns…?

Tragedy sent Addie Andrews fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next-door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. Not just any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding her way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

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Purchase Links

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About Annie England Noblin42686

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.

tlc tour hostDisclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this novel for the purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.


Good Things on a Short Week

  1. It’s a short {work} week! That is always a good thing.
  2. I posted before and after pictures on my Instagram feed of me standing in my workout clothes and… nothing bad happened. Imagine that. The world can be a kind place sometimes.
  3. The weather dude is calling for cooling temps this weekend which means windows open and no more a/c. I’m hoping for a night sitting on our patio, fire in the firepit, and a glass of wine in my hand.
  4. Suits on DVR + coloring books for adults = blissful evening.
  5. Junior Mints.
  6. Picking up a book that I couldn’t put down. I just might make my goal of 62 books this year, maybe.
  7. A husband who spends time to clean my car, inside and out. I didn’t realize just how dirty it was…
  8. I know it’s a sign of bigger things when gas prices drop, but I’m kind of loving paying less than $1.99 per gallon right now.

What’s on your Good Things Friday List? Any weekend plans?

On Fitness

I’ve started and stopped this post countless times and as a result, this is a rather lengthy post. It surely isn’t anything new to share, not unique to me, but still, I’ve been ashamed to put it out there. Over the last year or so, I’ve struggled with how I look and feel. I know that since I married Knight I’ve gained a little over ten pounds. I’ve read articles about how it’s happy weight, or how one spouse starts to match the other person’s eating habits. I could pretend it’s because I’m allergic to so many foods or because Knight doesn’t eat a single vegetable. I’m sure some of that is true but it’s really all up to me.

The thing is, in my 20s I was super fit, loved my body, and was all about the protein and smart snack choices, and high intensity workouts.  I’ve been an avid worker-outer for years. It’s my fix, my stress reliever, my go-to when things get rough. For the most part, I’ve always worked out, four to six days a week. I do so well with it, except when my bonus darlings are with me. I fall off the bandwagon halfway through their visit because I’m just So. Tired. And around that time is when we start to eat out more again, because we are exhausted and it’s easy, and next thing I know all the tone and muscle and cardio stamina is gone by the time the girls leave. I know how to do it: workout & eat right. I just needed an extra push this year.

I joined 3S Fitness. It is one thing to have myself and/or Knight to be accountable to but another when you have a real, live, trainer that checks in with you weekly, that sees your workout progress and check-ins, and who is there to support and encourage you. I mean, within 24 hours of signing up I sent Abby pictures of my “before,” and if that’s not motivation,  I don’t know what is! I’m on week five with 3S Fitness and I’m hooked. 

Abby is the founder and personal trainer of 3S Fitness (the 3S = Strength, Sweat and Soul); within a few days of signing up and sharing my goals for the program: weight loss (goal is 7-10 pounds), toning, strength & cardiovascular fitness, I had a custom meal plan for the entire first month (which took into account my diet restrictions due to my extreme food allergies), with details about the macros (carbs/protein/fat) I’d be targeting each day, recipes, a super helpful shopping guide, all in a downloadable PDF but also viewable online. I followed the food guide to a T the first week, resulting in a 1.1 pound weight loss. In the weeks since, I follow the macros as best I can each day, allowing myself a little leeway Friday night to Sunday morning. What I’ve learned from the change to my diet :

  • I love brown and wild rice.
  • Eating too much bread makes me bloated
  • Cottage cheese tastes much better in scrambled eggs than it does alone
  • I already love food that is in high in protein (chicken, turkey, greek yogurt)
  • PowerCrunch protein bars are delicious (Knight says they taste like air) but when you have only one dessert a week, a Power Crunch bar that has chocolate on it tastes divine
  • I’ve become more mindful of my snacking and if I do need to snack, I’m opting for the healthier, even not totally satisfying foods

Not only did I get a personal meal plan, I received a customized, tailored to me workout program. The workouts are at once killer and the best thing ever. I spent the whole first week in a chronic state of being sore but it felt so good. With the exception of a few exercises, I had done all the exercises that Abby prescribed me in some form or another. What’s different with Abby’s plans, though, is that she knows the exact way to sequence the exercises in the workout so that your muscles are worked smarter, harder and the results will follow. If I’m not sure what a particular exercise is or want to double check my form, Abby includes videos for me to watch in the app, which I love. Saves me time and I can always know I’m doing it right. What I learned from my first month of workouts:

  • I’m stronger than I thought.
  • Muscles will develop literally overnight.
  • Star jumps are brutal.
  • I love pushing myself to beat a previous week’s time.
  • I’m finally learning to love my figure and my butt (let’s face it, I can eat carrots all day and workout for eight hours a day and I’d still have a butt)
  • It feels so good to add more weight to my workouts
  • It feels even better to receive the email telling me I completed 100% of my first month’s training plan!

Other things I love?

  1. I have access to this awesome app called Trainerize which is how I track my workouts, my reps/weights, and lets Abby know that I completed them. The web version of Trainerize goes into more detail, allowing you to track your progress side-by-side by workout, download spreadsheets of your progress, and adjust your workout calendar as need be.
  2. There is a very active (private) Facebook group for current clients of Abby’s. The group is supportive, hilarious, collaborative, encouraging. We are all real and honest in the group, sharing our good news and bad, sharing recipes and meal suggestions. There are all people from all walks of life, all levels of fitness, and because of that, I love it all the more. It’s not like hanging out at a supplement store or the free (heavy) weight area of the gym where it’s all big dudes with bulging muscles. We are all real women, living real lives, striving to be healthier.
  3. There are fun ways to get involved & earn points/swag between Loyalty Points (for social posts/shares), contests and extra challenges that you can opt-into if you’re a current member. The community manager does a great job keeping us in the loop about all the options and ways we can join in for more fun.
  4. Abby is awesome. She interacts with her clients online (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope), you can text here anytime with a question and she’ll get back to you within one business day. She hosts weekly calls to chat, allowing you to ask any questions you need/want to. She keeps you inspired, motivated and she keeps pushing.
  5. Since I started the program at the beginning of August, I’m down 3.5 pounds and a total of five inches between my waist, thighs and butt. I have abs again, my arms are toned and the people I see on a regular basis (husband, dad and co-workers) have noticed… and I’m not stopping there. (If you would like to see my before and after pictures, let me know and I’ll text/email you!) I’ve signed on for another month and am loving me new workouts. I have my confidence back. Pants that didn’t fit a month ago are fitting again. I feel like myself again: more energetic, enthused, I smile and laugh more. Endorphins for the win, baby!

If you’re interested in joining or signing up, use code NORAFIT for 30% off your first month with 3S Fitness. If you have any questions about how it all works, I’d be happy to answer them for you, or find someone who can.

I am so glad I made the leap and joined 3S Fitness; it came at a time when I was feeling lost and frustrated with myself and my body image. This has been such a positive experience for me and I can honestly say I look forward to my workouts everyday.

What’s your favorite workout? Do you enjoy switching up your routines or do you prefer to stick with a certain kind/set?