About Heather Johnson

I am a wife and mom with a focus on healthy living; a multi-sport athlete with a B.S. in Health Fitness and a minor in Nutrition. I currently specialize in wellness coaching, personal training, and group fitness instruction. In the process of becoming a Certified Health Fitness Specialist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Fast Forward

It has been two and a half years since I last visited this space. 

So much has happened, so much has changed. Life evolved and I lost track of my writing and my little internet oasis. However, things are finally settling down into my new normal and I have been inspired to return to the blogging realm. I cannot promise everyday posts, but I hope to frequent at least every other day. Pop in, update, write. It helps to clear my head and my chest. 

Let me first give a brief explanation of what has changed. It would be a novel if I tried to expand on everything in this one post, so I am going to spread it out, but I do want to touch on everything here. 

First, Brent and I are no longer together. I do not want to place blame on anyone, we simply just did not click anymore. We were struggling to find balance and we really lost sight of why we were together in the first place. We grew apart mentally and physically and got to where we were in two completely different places in life and it just was not working out.  We separated in the fall of 2012 and our divorce was finalized summer 2013. 

Elly, who is now THREE!, handled the transition much better than we could have hoped. She loves us both and enjoys her time with each of us – which are two very different environments. She exhibits qualities from both of us that give her her own very unique personality and attitude. She will be starting pre-school next week and I have never seen anyone so excited. She loves to learn and experiment and I am so excited (and sad) for her to be starting this new journey!

Elly is also a sister! Although I was never planning on anything happening so quickly, you cannot always plan life.  I met Joe during the summer of 2012.  He has a daughter from a previous relationship who is only 9 months older than Elly and immediately they became the best of friends. Joe and I started off as friends, but in early 2013 we started dating. Things escalated quickly when we found out we were expecting in May. Our little boy was born in December. We could not be happier with our family. 

I still enjoying cooking and baking, but my love for crafting has fell to the wayside. And my time in the kitchen is now rather limited thanks to my job as general manager at a massage spa. Luckily, Joe is an aspiring chef and has been wonderful and preparing food for us!! 

That’s all I have for now. I will try to not disappear for such a long period of time. Again, no promises. 

What’s New with Elly?

Life with a toddler is much different that life with an infant. Gone are the days where I could play with her on the floor and multiple 2-hour naps when I could get things done around the house. Now, my time is spent chasing her around and keeping her out of the catbox. Yes, you read that right, she thinks it is hilarious to play in the catbox. Silly girl.

compare to Elly at 5 months:

However, I would almost say I love this more. She is at such a fun age, she interacts with us and communicates with us and we love it.

So, what exactly is Elly up to these days? She loves giggling, playing peek-a-boo, dancing, and is starting to walk! She babbles all the time and is starting to say actual words. As of now her vocabulary consists of: mommy, daddy, and yummy. The girl definitely loves food, a trait I am proud to say she got from me. She will eat anything we give her – fruit, vegetable, or protein. Her favorites are currently bananas and sweet potato fries.

We are not sure of her exact stats, but if we had to guess: weight = 17 pounds, 28 inches… she is growing like a weed! She is still long and skinny and it really shows in her clothes. She is fitting into most 12 or 12-18 month shirts now, but can still fit into some smaller sizes as well if they were originally made as a “dress”. However, she still fits in 6 month pants. Unfortunately, most 6 month pants fit her like capris and any size bigger is too big in the waist.

We found out yesterday that Elly loves the water. She is such a little water bug, a trait she must have inherited from her Daddy because I hated water as a child. However, she splashed, kicked, and squealed with glee for about 30 minutes in the pool yesterday. Due to her very positive reaction we have decided that we are going to get her in swimming lessons. A big perk to being an employee at the Y is the free or very discounted access to the fitness classes and various activities and lessons they provide.

As mentioned above, she is starting to walk! She was a late bloomer with crawling, so we knew she would walk in her own time so when 12 months came and went we were not surprised at all when she still preferred crawling everywhere. However, she is starting to gain confidence in her abilities and we’ve caught her standing unassisted on multiple occasions and last night she decided to give walking a try. She has the most adorable waddle I have ever seen, and she will only go a few steps at a time but it’s a start. By the end of the month she will be walking everywhere.

Watch out cats!

Fresh Start

With a new year comes a new start. A clean slate. A fresh outlook.

Last year, I miserably failed at accomplishing any of my resolutions, however I plan to take a different approach this year. I am setting goals rather than resolutions. I will have a detailed plan for each goal and have set actions for how I plan to achieve them. I am doing it this way to keep myself more accountable and motivated.

My biggest goal this year is to revive my organization. I used to be overly-organized, now not-so-much. I have dusted off my planner and made it my lifeline. Everything I need is written in there, color coded with highlighter and adorned with multi-colored post-its for my multiple to-do lists. I have sorted all of our important paperwork into file folders and shredded papers that we no longer need. I have a calendar hung to keep us on track with bills. Goal 1: started, now to maintain for the next twelve months.

My next goal is to focus on my health.  For the past two years I have let my health fall to the wayside. I got lazy in pregnancy and took being a stay-at-home mom to the extreme by spending more time on the floor playing with Elly than I did focusing on my eating or physical activity. This led to too many bad food choices, neglect on what I was putting in my mouth, and a bunch of extra weight. I want to change that this year. I do not have a goal weight. I am not making specific exercise goals. The purpose of this goal is to improve my health, my eating habits, and incorporate some exercise into my daily routine.

Make family a priority. More specifically, make my marriage a priority. Too many nights, Brent and I spend doing our own thing after being apart from each other all day at work. While Elly is the center of our lives, we need to focus on being a couple first because without that solid foundation, not much else matters.

Enjoy my hobbies. This means more time crafting, scrapbooking, sewing, cooking, baking, reading, and blogging. Setting aside time for myself to enjoy the things I love will be essential in making sure I stay happy throughout the year, and a happy Mommy makes for a happy family.

There are my goals on how I plan to be successful in 2012. Of course I have other goals, the ones that are obvious and will come in their own time – find a new job/better career position, save money, etc. – but I cannot set out a plan for those,  so it’s easier to not focus on them and getting let down.

Here’s to a great start to the new year. Happy 2012!

Did you set New Year’s Resolutions? How do you plan to achieve them?

A Look Back at 2011

I feel like every year I always say “this year went by so fast”, but 2011 seems to win the speed race because I honestly have no idea where the past 12 months have gone. So many life changes and exciting things have happened to us that the year flew by in a whirlwind.

In the past year, I have gone from stay-at-home mom to a working mom. Although, my “career” and job history this year has been nothing short of ridiculous. I have technically held 7 jobs this year so tax time should be a big party. However, as the year ends I only work at 1 of those 7 places – the YMCA. I am so happy to say that I really do love my job, in every aspect. I work as a fitness coach which means I am using my degree (!) and sharing what I am most passionate about – living a healthy lifestyle.

At the root of my new found success in finding a bunch of jobs including the one I love was a move from Michigan to Wisconsin. This was a huge step for us as a family, but overall we have been very pleased with the outcome. It has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for our family and I am SO excited to see where they lead us to in 2012.

Here is a look back at 2011 from Elly’s perspective:

She started the year as a 9 week old infant:

Image

Met her first friend, Miss Ella Mae:

Image

Celebrated her first Easter:

Went to her first concert – Hello Rainey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveled to Chicago on her first vacation:

First trip to the zoo:

Enjoyed her first ice cream cone:

Celebrated her first Independence Day:

Got her first car, thanks Grandma!:

Picked apples at an apple orchard:

Dressed as a cupcake for her first Halloween:

Celebrated her FIRST birthday!:

Ate her first rib:

Watched Santa come to town at her first Christmas parade:

Opened her own presents on her second Christmas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now she is an (almost) 14 month old toddler! Whew, I cannot even believe how quickly she is growing up,. We watch her learn and explore new things everyday, usually something she is not supposed to be in. She has developed quite the spunky personality, with an attitude to go with it. She is the most excellent eater I have ever seen, she will eat everything that we eat and whatever we put in front of her… with the exception of apples, which I caught her stuffing into her diaper rather than eating them. Her favorite food continues to be sweet potato fries. She is a speed demon when she crawls, but hasn’t quite built up the confidence to walk on her own yet but she will walk everywhere if she is holding our hands. We have caught her standing unassisted a lot more recently so I give it maybe another month. She now weights around 17 pounds and is 28 inches long – growing like a weed, but still talk and skinny. She loves music and will bust out in dance anytime a song plays.

Looking forward to 2012 and the new year, I am hoping to start with some new beginnings. However, I will save my resolutions for another post! Hope everyone has a fun and safe evening!

Adjusting

Life has been full of adjustment for the past two months.

We have adjusted to a new home.
We have adjusted to a new town.
We have adjusted to a new state.
Brent has adjusted to a new store and new co-workers.
I have adjusted to being a working mom.

With all of these changes we have changed a lot of our focus. We have been focusing more on family time and spending our days and time off together instead of in front of computers or video games. We have been focused on teaching Elly new things and watching her learn and grow everyday.

And next week we will have a new focus and adjustment: our little girl becomes a toddler. When did that even happen? I cannot believe it has been an entire year since our little girl entered the world. She has grown so, so much and continues to amaze us every single day. With this, we have been busy planning her 1st birthday party and we cannot wait to share details and pictures with you after it happens.

We are also preparing for Elly’s last first – Halloween. Next Monday will be her last first holiday and I am so glad that it is my favorite holiday. We got her an adorable costume and cannot wait to get her all dressed up to go out trick-or-treating!

So, overall we are enjoying life in Wisconsin. We love that Appleton has so many great things to offer and is a very family oriented community. We love all of the opportunity that this move has offered to us and I hope to share more details about that in a future post!

I am also recommitting myself to the blog! I cannot believe it has been two full months since my last post! My goal is to blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If I blog in between, then great! If I happen to miss a day, sorry!  🙂

I have also had lots of requests for recipes, so that is another thing I will be bringing back to the blog. When I get time I plan to add a recipe page and I will try to blog at least one recipe a week.

If there is anything else you would like to see on the blog or have me talk about, please let me know in the comments.

Chuck Taylor… Wednesday

In honor of Heather, I present to you Chuck Taylor Tuesday… on Wednesday!

About a month ago I won a Facebook contest for a photoshoot with Erica. We cashed in on our prize on Monday evening and had some pictures taken of Elly. Erica is absolutely fabulous and we had a wonderful time getting to know her. She also has amazing photography skills and was able to capture some of Elly’s greatest facial expressions.  We have not seen all of our photos yet, but the few sneak peeks she has posted have blown our minds and we could not be happier with the results! The above picture is the 3 of us sporting our Chucks.

This one is, by far, my favorite… so far! It’s our “family” picture from the evening and I literally got teary eyed when I first saw it.

Once she has finished editing she will share the rest with us so we can pick which ones we want prints of, so if you would be interested in purchasing any please let me know and I will forward them on to you.

As for the big announcement I was going to reveal… sorry there has been such a delay. I wanted to wait to announce it until we had everything lined up, but unfortunately things are not progressing as we had planned and there are still some kinks that need to be worked out…. BUT, here it is:

We are moving to Appleton, Wisconsin on September 5! 

We have been hoping, planning, and trying to get out of Mount Pleasant for ages and the opportunity finally arose. It was nearly impossible for us to line up jobs anywhere, but luckily things finally worked themselves out just when we had decided to stop looking. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes.  While the timing only left us with 3 weeks to prepare, we are very excited to start this new chapter in our lives.

In the process of trying to get things situation and ready, we actually had a chance to get Elly weighed today. She is currently 11 lbs. 15.5 oz – only 1/2 an ounce away from 12 pounds! She is also 25 3/4 inches long. Looks like our prediction of her being a tall, skinny beanpole are standing true. She is still cute as ever though and is growing up way faster than we want her too, but more on that tomorrow!

It’s been a long day of packing, so this Mama is off to bed!