Who am I!?! This…

My name is Erika.  I love to eat good food whether it is good for me or not.  I love beer and wine, I love a good run.  I believe in breast-feeding, I believe in having an epidural when you are about to go into labor.  I do not like guns, I accept that military and police should be allowed to carry them.  I love the Constitution and what it means.  I believe in the separation between church and state, I am Catholic and am liberal.

I love my kids and am grateful that I have the choice to stay home with them.  I also believe you CAN have it all!  I am pro-choice and believe the government has no right to tell me what to do with MY body.  I also believe that if you cannot take care of a child, let a loving and stable family adopt them.  I am the daughter of an illegal immigrant and believe that you should come to the States, legally.  Immigration laws need to be fixed.  I believe in taxing people who make more than my spouse.  I believe that teachers, nurses, police officers, military and firemen should be making FAR money, they deserve a pay raise.  I HATE THE KARDASHIANS!

I believe in loving your true self (even though I have a hard time doing that myself.)  If you were born in the wrong body, become the person you truly are.  I believe that anyone ANYONE who abuses a child in anyway, shape or form should be locked away and taught a very very good lesson.   I believe that if you are going to run for office, you must give up 50% of you paycheck!



I believe in Equality, I believe in acceptance.  I believe in Love.  We are all entitled to our opinions, that is what makes the USA such a great place.  It is why my husband puts on his uniform everyday, he wanted to serve his country!

We were formed because people wanted the freedom to believe in something and not have people tell them they were wrong.  We as human beings need to accept that we are not all perfect!  I don’t condemn, there are greater evils out there than same sex marriage.  There are children in foster care, soldiers still going to war, human trafficking, racism.  I am raising my sons to love and accept others who look or are different than them.  Why call ourselves Americans if we are not going to accept everyone’s right to marry?  There was a time where I would not have been allowed to marry my husband.  Who are we to judge?  God is about loving each other, the bible is written by some many people with so many beliefs.  We can’t live by that alone, well except the part about treating others as you wish to be treated.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We are all one!



I am a badass!

Well, it is June 22nd far past the 21 day challenge and I enjoyed it!  The challenge showed me that I needed to kick my own butt and work on getting stronger inside and out.  I look a little different (pictures will come later!) I feel different!  Getting back to crossfit and working out again was awesome.  I missed it so much and now will continue to maintain the same work level I had before.

The  badass challenge presented itself at time where I was allowing others to sneak into my head and spout out all the negative stuff.  I let myself get caught up in the negativity and believed I was all the things people said.  I also never gave myself time to work out.  I put a lot on my plate and in turn I suffered from over-volunteering.  I complained (per usual) and was kicked in the face with reality, I needed to make time.  These two things combined made me not happy with myself.  Here I am in Europe and while the traveling has been great, my self-esteem not so much.  I was not totally myself, I can put on a great facade.

So my 21 days to being a badass has re-ignited me to continue to be badass! I needed the re-charge and the kick in the butt to get me back on track!  I always have to remind myself that I am worth it, that I have healthy kids, I have a roof over my head and I have a pretty good life.  I can’t complain, I really can’t and that is another thing I need to stop doing.  I need to stop complaining and whining.  When I do that, I am really ungrateful and petty.  I can be such a baby.

“To be happy is to not be concerned with others.”  This is a quote that reminds me that my happiness is not determined by others.  I make my own and it is what makes me a badass.  I am on my way to getting healthy physically and emotionally, I am happy and on my way to feeling good in my skin.  Everyone is a badass in their own right.  Whatever you are working on, you are a badass.  This challenge is the first time I actually felt that I conquered, following through on a challenge and not finding an excuse as why I didn’t finish feels good as well.  Nothing kept me from it, I followed though.  Badass!  I need to do that more often, I can’t get lazy again.  I let myself down too many times and that as to stop, what example am I setting for my kids if I self-sabotage?  They need to know that they can push through and conquer.  They too are badasses!  I am on my way to getting better and feeling better.

If you have not checked out the Christmas Abbott’s book go out and GET IT!  It is great!  This book was a good tool and a good reference to get healthy.  Healthy is more than just physical, it is mental and emotional.  For whatever reason you want to get healthy, get this and become the badass you know you can be.

Day 15-feeling it!

Physically, I ran a mile and did 100 kettle bell swings this morning.  I have been far more active than I ever have before, I am tired!  I thought I was active but clearly I was not.  Oh were my legs screaming for me to stop!!  My arms hurt yet I feel much stronger than ever.  I actually miss this feeling of hard work and strength, a little pep in my step and a little more confidence.

This challenge so far has really made me look within myself, wanting to feel comfortable in my skin and saying how it doesn’t matter what other people think and blah blah blah!  I honestly was not believing it myself!  I was trying to hard convincing myself that my mantra was working, I was pretending and I need to get up off my ass bum and get the confidence I keep saying that I was going to get!  My pep talks are getting a little louder now and I finally am getting the hang of it.

I will never look like the other moms out there, I am my own person.  I also have to stop comparing myself to my own mother, she grew up differently and raised me differently.  I am not her, she tried her hardest to make sure my life was better and that I not screw up on missed opportunities.  But I also feel like she was hoping for a different daughter, considering who my dad was.  Maybe she thought I would end up like my half siblings, she tried hard to make sure I didn’t.  She often went about it the wrong way and it still lingers the words she threw at me.  I try hard not to raise my sons they way she did.  This challenge is showing me that I can’t be her and to not tried so hard, my kids are happy.  They are going to a great school and their life is way better than mine.  I am grateful that I can give them that!

I am feeling a lot better these days!  I feel lighter and more satisfied with myself and my progress.  It feels good to follow through on a challenge.

Chugging and Chugging

No the title in no way talks about alcohol.  It is about my 21 day badass challenge with the Christmas Abbott Badass Body Diet.  It is day 11 and I finally feel like I am doing something right!  I am eating meals, I actually eat breakfast.  My water intake is far better, after a workout I notice how I feel when I do not hydrate.  I am doing longer workouts which is nice to get back into.  No more 10-15 minutes of sweating (even though it is far better than nothing!)  45 minutes of a good sweat session is what I need!

Do I notice a difference physically, no.  Remember it will not happen over night!  It takes work!  Doing my crossfit again, it feels great!  I really missed it!  The lifting, the rowing, running, squatting, I missed all of it.  Crossfit has been a saving grace for me.  It has given me an outlet to show myself that I am capable.  That physical strength isn’t the only way to show others that you are a strong person.  It does something to you, the first time you do a dead lift or you finally do a pullup without using bands, the euphoria of “YES I DID IT!” is amazing!  It is an added bonus to your everyday and I am thankful that I have discovered Crossfit.  I am also excited to get that I swallowed my pride and am getting myself out there to introduce to others.  I needed to stop complaining that nothing is out there.  I am excited to see how far I go with Crossfit again, I have my level one and I hope to get certified in endurance.

I am still going and am liking where it is taking me.  This far into the challenge I have changed my mindset again, I am more about being healthy and happy rather than looking at my body and being disappointed.  I need to learn to love myself even more!  Life is too short to hate on yourself.

So I will keep chugging and will continue to learn and discover.  I have layers to peel away and happiness to find.

Just keep going!

“When you think about quitting think about why you started.”

It is day five of my 21 day badass body challenge and so far, my body is feeling it.  Monday’s workout kicked my butt!  The baseline workout looks harmless, but when you do it you will regret you thought otherwise.  Day 2 was a rest day but I was hurting, my arms and legs were not happy.  Day 3 I changed up my workout, I did a one mile run to replace the jumping roping that was programmed.  Got my butt kicked one more time, thankfully I stayed home to clean the house.  If I had to run errands I don’t think I would have accomplished much.

Wednesday night, I did indulge in some wine.  The goal was not to have alcohol during the 21 days but I was in a good mood and I indulged.  I do not feel totally bad, I am eating better, sleeping better and above feel great!  Normally I would have had 3 glasses, this time I had one.  So no not a big change in habits but at least I am making an effort.  Yesterday was a rest day as well and I was tired!  Errands and throw in my allergies kicking in, I was a mess!  But I pushed through, congestion wasn’t going to let me down.

Today is day 5 and I have a quick workout and a busy day.  Why am I telling you every single thing, because I am being accountable.  I am making an effort to eat better (even though I pass by the local bakery and see loaves upon loaves of fresh baguettes!), I am making an actual effort to see this through, where before I would stop after 10 days.  This challenge is more my speed and it fits with my life!  It is attainable and I like that!

The changes I am making are actually eating!  I often would skip breakfast and lunch.  By dinner time I was famished!  I would be cranky and down right mean.  I was hungry and I not very happy.  I am eating meals and having snacks, this is a huge help.

It is Friday and I have done ok, although in the back of my mind I was hoping for fast results, I did a twelve minute workout with my Nike Training Club app.  My pants are still tight, I am showing my lumps under a dress but that is that high schooler how never felt that she was good enough.  Who always wanted to be the pretty one.  We are going to a local festival this evening, not sure what will happen, but I will not indulge that much.  I will make smarter choices in my meals.  I know that I have to keep going if I want to see results.  I will get better in my eating and will workout more and feel better for doing so.  Hard work will reward with amazing results, physically, emotionally and mentally.  After these 21 days I know I will get a lot out of it and will continue to do good things for myself.  I have to remember why I started in the first place!

Day 1 of badassery

IMG_0284I started my 21 days to becoming a badass with Christmas Abbott’s Badass Body Diet!  I needed to start this and so far feel good, the workout this morning the Badass Baseline kicked my ass (no pun intended).  I have been so bogged down with committees, not sleeping well and eating horribly that this is exactly wheat I needed.

I had a little bit of yogurt with peanut butter and coffee!  I sent the kids off to school and did my baseline workout.  The workout which is detailed in the book was:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 squats
  • 40 crunches
  • 20 push-ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 50 jumping jacks

This workout is no joke, I mean Christmas is a Crossfit athlete and the workout did what it was meant to do, make me sweat!  My goal based on her book is to get back on track with my goals and to be ready for my half-marathon.  I am following the minimalist plan for 21 days, this will jumpstart my training so I can run at my best come September.  My concern is food, I love eating and over here french fries are the national dish (so yummy).  I am not perfect, I will falter at times but knowing that I can pick myself back up.

Now even though I am trying very hard to accept myself as I am, I can’t help but notice that my jeans are a bit snug.  I admit that I wear big blouses to cover up the imperfections.  In her book, Christmas talks about taking before and after pics so you can see the progress you are making.  I chuckled at the thought, no way was I going to see myself, my true self in a photo.  But no one except for me was going to look at the photo.  So I took this: IMG_0285My imperfection, out in the open.  The pants are snug, I have love-handles.  I am a work in progress!  I hope I don’t regret posting this.

I have 20 days to go and more to be able to finish my half-marathon in 2 hours.  In no way do I expect to look any different, I do think I know I will  feel different, stronger, energized.  I do think I will cut back on the beer and become more comfortable in my skin.  I am on this journey and will learn more about what I am capable of.  I am looking forward to see what the rest of the challenge holds for me.

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365 Photos – 20/52


This is my hometown! The pictures capture the beauty of Portland and I love it! Powell’s bookstore, my favorite place. Books galore and a must see. Check out the blog the photos are really cool.

Originally posted on Greetings From:

I’m working on a post about my trip to Portland, and my notes from the fantastic Write the Docs conference. In the meantime, I took pictures. I was a little distracted this week, so I’m not super excited about each and every one of these, but I particularly enjoyed stumbling across the heart graffiti while on my trip. 

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Fell down

So I am not off to a good start on my badass challenge. I have not been taking very good care of myself lately, late nights and drinking a little to much. When I am home and the kids are asleep, it has been my only chance to relax and forget about my day. Have a beer or glass of wine relaxed me a little too much.
I have been under a lot of stress, I am on a committee that has been troublesome. I have been feeling a lot of weight on my shoulder to do well and am getting nothing in return. I sacrificed a lot of family time to help out other people and by the end, I gave up. I love volunteering and will continue to do so. I love it and I learn something new from it all the time. But when I am involved with something and it doesn’t turn out they way it is suppose to, I get upset. And to throw in people who are ungrateful, I take it personally! I volunteer because I like to help.
So my challenge has started off not so good. I have not been good to myself and in turn not good to my family. Today is a reset, I will be drinking my water, going to bed early and learning to say no! I can’t volunteer for every organization out there. As my spouse says, “take an appetite suppressant” and devote my time to one thing. I get in over my head and I end up falling and realizing that I can’t do everything. Saying no does not make me a bad person, it makes me realistic.
I may have fallen down but I am picking myself back up and starting over. And getting back to becoming badass!

Bad Ass!

Okay so when I discovered Crossfit, I came across Christmas Abbott.  She is like the Crossfit Girl of all time!  Her story is very cool, she was a contractor in Iraq, that is where she discovered Crossfit, she was part of a NASCAR pit crew.  She has competed in Crossfit games, she is an all around bad ass!

She has recently published a book titled the Badass Body Diet.  I have only recently got my online, I have not finished it yet.  But it got me thinking, I need to put my big girls panties on and challenge myself.  I have a half marathon in September, I have been complaining that I am not working out enough and I have been getting sick a lot lately.  I do however, love to eat!  I am a big believer in not depriving myself and since we are stationed in Europe, the food here is so good!  She does discuss that what she is setting out to do is to have this method continue on through a lifetime.  No gimmicks, just hard work without the deprivation.  I am going to challenge myself to become Bad Ass!  A badass mom, spouse and friend, I need to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone and do this.

I will post while reading the book.  There may be (MAYBE) a before picture of me, I still am not sure if I can bring myself to expose myself like that.  Fear is still an ever present thing in my life, fear of judgement and ridicule, the unpopular high schooler who didn’t have a lot of friends.  I don’t want to be judged yet, I know that it will help with accountability, I will get back to you all on that.  This is going to be interesting!  Let’s do this!  I will be posting pics and my thoughts during my journey to become badass.  I would like to post some vlogs, we shall see about that as well.  I also want to challenge YOU out there!  Let’s all be BAD ASS!  Try it!  I don’t want to do this alone, join me. Check out Christmas’ site and get her book, I am just starting out and I am nervous and excited.

My goals with this challenge; the main goal is to be healthier and more fit for my half-marathon in September.  I want to run well and do it in 2.5 hours.  My other goal is to feel better in my skin, to have a little kick in my step, I do not work out as frequently as I would like, this challenge is that kick in the rear to get me back on track.  With my half-marathon, I need to step up my training with this challenge I have a SOP (standard operating procedure) if you will.  I want to wake up in the morning not having to dread the day, I want to wake up strong and ready to face it.  My other goal, to be around and active for my kids, they are active and I want to make sure that I can keep up with them and be there for them.  And I am sure I will get more out of this challenge, but for now I will have these to work on.

I have a thing for challenges, sometimes they can be exciting and an excellent learning tool.  They are also hard, frustrating, and unwelcome.   I am accepting this, I will embrace whatever it is  (even if I may not like it.)  I have to get myself ready for whatever comes my way!  It is time to get Bad Ass!

Chip it away.

Tomorrow is Mother’s day!  It was created to celebrate the overworked and under appreciated mothers, we are to celebrate the women who raise us and take of us.  I as a mom, endure the fact that my kids are growing up far too fast, I have friends who finally have the families they have prayed for.  Being a mom is a badge of honor!  I proudly wear it!

But lately, it seems that there some moms out there who try to put other moms down because they are just not that great.  Mom-shaming is horrible!  What the hell!  First of all, I never, NEVER claim to be perfect.  I am not crafty, I get flustered when my kids where the same pair of socks three days in a row, I keep a clean house but it is not perfect, I hate doing laundry and I own an iron but it does not get used very often.  But do you dare judge me! My kids are healthy, they are well-mannered and are typical kids.  I love Pinterest but I cannot mimic what I pin, I try, and that is my best.  I use Pinterest as inspiration!  Again, I am not crafty, I try.

I do not have the best skin and I am not skinny, but I am healthy and keep up with my family.  I am special!  I am unique and dammit darn it, I am learning to love myself and so far I like what I see.  I do not think it is right to shame moms for not making time to work out, for not making time to be fit.  Not every mom is the same!  If you have time to workout, great!  I make time, sometimes I have only 15 minutes, sometimes an hour but whatever time, if I want to sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet, I will do just that!  Some moms are taking care of other people’s children besides their own, stop being a bully.

I am not organized, I am but it is not nor will it ever be picture perfect.  My house is a place that is home for my kids and they can run around this place, chasing the dog and know that they are at home.  My home represents us, me and all the adventures we have been on.  Mi casa, my home.  Also, we love to eat!  I refuse to deprive myself and my family, we eat healthy, we eat what we like, I don’t serve junk food but every once in a while a piece a chocolate will not harm them.

I sometimes carry a chip on my shoulder.  I sometimes feel like I am not doing enough for my family, maybe if I did graduate college when I was supposed to, maybe if I tried harder to pretend I am the perfect Stepford robot.  I always wonder if I am depriving my kids of more.  But that is where I chip away at the thing on my shoulder, my sons are getting an amazing education and get to experience Europe!  They have people who love them, they have friends, they get to be kids!  I love my kids, they make me pull my hair out when I have to ask them to clean their rooms up, but they are my loves.  I hate how some other moms make me feel!  How dare they make me feel like I am not good enough, I am a good mom, so what if do not have a perfectly decorated home or children.  I live a pretty interesting life, maybe they should look at THEIR lives.  As moms, we need to unite, you breast feed great, you don’t, great!  As long as our children are happy and healthy and loved that is all that matters.

I am chipping away and I know that I am doing a good job with my kids.  More and more, I learn something new and they teach me something new as well.  They amaze me and every Mother’s day is just as important and special because they grow and are turning into these interesting young men.

I want to wish all of my fellow moms a Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you all have a wonderful day, you deserve every second of it!  Wear your badge proudly! And know that the job you are doing is a good one, just look at your family!  You nurture and love with your whole heart.  You adopted, you birthed and you love!