Why This Competition is Different

trainIt’s hard for me to believe that I’m already four weeks into my competition prep.  And, I’ll be honest.  There are many times I wanted to quit. Many.  For many different reasons.  But, unfortunately/fortunately, I let everyone know I was going to compete and I don’t want to be seen as a quitter. 

Preparing to compete is no easy venture.  When I competed from 2008-2010 I was worry free.  I was single and ready to mingle.  The main thing on my mind was competing and I went at it full force.  The main thing I had to worry about when I woke up in the morning was what color sports bra to wear to the gym.  My abs were cute, I was cute, I was on a mission.

Now, all of that has changed.  I am married.  I am a mother of a toddler. My priorities are completely different.  I wake up thinking about the activities my son and I are going to do together.  At night I can’t wait to spend quality time with my husband.  It sucks not to be able to eat dinner with them at night and eat the same things they do. We went on a vacation to DC for a week. While I cooked most of my food, I enjoyed two meals with husband. I’m so over chicken breasts.  I’m so over tilapia. 

The other thing that is different this time is the category I’ll be doing.  I LOVED competing in fitness.  The surge of energy doing a two minute routine is thrilling.  I actually started as a figure competitor.  That was cool too because I was able to build muscle, but not too much muscle.  But, now…… Now, I am a bikini competitor.  I remember when bikini first became a division and I thought very little about it.  Even now it’s my least favorite division, although it’s the most popular when it comes to numbers. I now must get on stage in an itsy witsy teeny weeny (I don’t know the color) bikini!

So, I’m just weeks away from my first post-marriage, post-pregnancy competition.  I had a major setback last week when I became sick with meningitis type symptoms.  I was in bed and out of commission for almost six days.  It sucked.  I didn’t eat like crap, I just didn’t eat.  But I learned it’s one of those things you either let hold you back or use as a comeback.  Mine is going to be a comeback baby.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  My good friend Larry Jackson is my trainer.  Some people think that could be weird, but it’s actually been a good thing.  He knows me and I trust him.  While I may call him and very briefly complain about eating tilapia three times a day, he know when he gets off the phone that I’ll eat it. He and his wife have fallen in love with the competition industry and I’m proud to be a part of his team.

So, please wish me luck and say a prayer that these next couple of weeks go as planned.  Pray my butt gets smaller and my smile gets wider.  Pray the judges say, “That’s one hot mama!” and award me first place. Now, off to eat some asparagus I go.

The End of a Year

The End of a Year

You know, each of us have good years and bad years.  I hurt for all the people this year that suffered tremendous loss through death, jobs or others means. For each person that is excited for this year to be over, there’s another person celebrating this year and not wanting it to end.

Although I’ve had my fair share of bad years, this was one of the best years of my life.  In early February I was able to walk away from a job that I didn’t find fulfilling and follow my fitness dreams. It was definitely scary to start something new and unknown but it’s a journey that I knew I needed to take.

In late April, I married a wonderful man.  He left his job in June and moved to Louisville to “bond” with his wife. In July, he left for five months of training.  Right before he left, he was able to visit my new fitness/Zumba studio and each day I was/am excited to help diverse groups of people meet their fitness goals.

Around the same time I started promoting a health and wellness product and met some amazing people in Louisville excited to transform their bodies.  Along comes October and Milton comes in town for a short weekend visit. He says “Let’s try to have a baby!” One week later I’m nauseated and tired.  Then there’s November and Milton is invited to go to Airborne school and conquer his own personal fear of height.

First week of December Milton finally comes home for good to work for two years in Fort Knox. Two weeks later we tell everyone the news of our pregnancy.  Christmas was spent celebrating our blessings and giving all praise to God.

With all of the blessings that we have received it definitely hasn’t all been easy.  Running a business is very difficult and often times stressful.  Being a newlywed away from your spouse can definitely be trying and it can be equally as trying to adjust to each other once reunited.  My shoulders have become stronger while being a tower of strength for those who needed me in time of need.  Doubts have been cast as to what path God really wants me to take. Curiosity and fear now linger and I hope our baby is healthy and that we can be nourishing parents.

But at the same time, my hands have become sore for applauding others in celebratory times.  My eyes have been open to new opportunities and new people.  My household skills have improved as I try to be a good wife.  My creative juices have started flowing and my heart skips a beat when I know I’m making a difference!

Miss Me Some You


Miss Me Some You

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re truly missing until you actually have it in your life.  That’s how I’ve felt these past two month being married to Milton.  As an only child, I always felt that I could be a strong, independent female that could roll solo and conquer the world.  And while that wasn’t always such a bad thing, I also longed to have someone consistently by my side.

In walks Milton.  You never know how married life will be once the honeymoon is over.  Will we get sick of each other?  Will his snoring keep me up at night?  Does he know how to put the toilet seat down?  It’s all a mystery.  Milton and I had the entire month of June together – and I mean the ENTIRE month!  He didn’t work the entire month so that we could spend quality newlywed time together.  Wherever I went, he was there.  Zumba- check.  St. Stephen Family Life Center – check.  Grocery Store – check.  Bathroom – uncheck, lol!

And our month together was great.  We found shows that we both like to watch.  Enjoyed just being around each other and doing nothing.  We even found solutions to household things.  For example, Milton loves to cook, but not clean.  Well, I love to clean, but not cook.  Problem solved.  He hates folding clothes but doesn’t mind putting them in/taking them out of the washer/dryer. Wonderful.

Everything was going well and we were learning to love each other (and our differences) and then the 4th of July hit.  Yes, this holiday was one that I will never forget.  On Monday at 12:00pm, while everyone else was getting ready for their BBQs, my dear Milton was in Fort Lee, VA checking in for the first time as a US Army JAG Officer.  And while I was super excited for him, I was saddened that my best friend was gone.  I never really realized how much an important part of my life he was until I sat in our room and he wasn’t there.

Bad news is he won’t be back in Louisville until close to Thanksgiving.  Good news is that I can still go and visit during part of the time he’s in Charlottesville, VA.  So while he’s gone I’m getting involved with some new ventures and ways to keep Louisville healthy – more details about that coming soon!

I’s Married Now

I’s Married Now!

May 11-3The week leading up to the wedding there was plenty of flooding and tornado warnings.  I worried that my wedding day would be the same. Saturday, April 30 had perfect weather.  The day before all of the bridal party arrived.  All of the groomsmen drove in from out of town. One ran out of gas 30 miles outside of Louisville – and left his wallet in Indy.  Not good.  One of my relatives drove 10 hours to the wedding, but never bothered to tell me he was coming.  Let the stress begin.

I had to ask Milton for one day not to have the open relationship that we have where we talk about everything.  If something went wrong on our wedding day, I preferred to be out of the loop. The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner went well.  I enjoyed bonding with my three bridesmaids after everyone else left.

Wedding day starts at 8:00am with my hair. Followed at 11:00am with makeup.  We arrived at The Grand in New Albany at 1:30 to take pictures.  First pics/video were of me getting ready.  Then, Milton and I had our “First Look”.  This is a time when only he and I are in a room together.  His back is to me as I walk down the aisle and then he turns around.  It was a golden moment.  We then all take all group photos.

I wasn’t nervous for the entire day, except for one moment – our guests were in their seats, the bridal party was downstairs and I was alone upstairs waiting to come down. At the top of the stairs I could see the back of Milton’s head in the mirror.  The reality of it all set it.  I walk into the room surrounded by all of our family and friends and all of the attention is on me.  I see Milton in the distance wiping his eye and all I want to do is be by his side.

We tried to make the ceremony and reception personal and meaningful.  During our first dance (to Luther’s So Amazing), Milton and I recorded messages to each other that played over the song.  We also did this with the mother/son and bride/uncles dance.

I did a dress change (yes, there were two wedding dresses) and was made a Kappa sweetheart by Milton’s fraternity.  We cut the cake, did the Electric Slide and took plenty of photos. My one and only regret was that I didn’t get to speak to many of the guests there.  But, I hope they know how much I appreciate them.
At the wedding we also announced where we would be living for Milton’s first two years in the JAG – not Germany, not Hawaii, not Ft. Bragg.  We are headed to Fort Knox!!!!!  Because Milton took the bar in IN, he couldn’t live in that state – however KY was fair game. We’d like to start a family and would love to be around friends and family as we go through that transition.  So, I’ll be here.  Milton will be here. The only thing that will change is my last name!

A License To Wed

A License to Wed

Apr 11-2Slowly but surely all of the wedding details are coming together.  One of the wedding horror stories you hear from couples is that they forgot to get their wedding license.  So Milton and I planned several weeks out to go and get it.

We had originally planned to get our license the day after I gave my speech since Milton was going to be in town.  He had done the research.  Since we are getting married right across the bridge, he went online to see what we would need.

We woke up that morning and I re-asked Milton if I needed a birth certificate or social security card.  He called and asked them but they said all that was needed was a driver’s license.  HOWEVER, they told Milton that because he lives in Indianapolis, we would have to get our marriage license in Indianapolis.
Which means a new trip needed to be planned!  We planned a lunch date/marriage license get together.  The process was very simple – show you driver’s license, pay your money and fill out a form.  Most of the information was typical but then they asked the following questions:

Have you ever been adjudged to be out of unsound mind?  If yes, has the adjudication been removed?

Are you related to the male applicant closer than second cousin?

Are you now under the influence of an alcoholic beverage?

Ar you now under the influence of a narcotic drug?
Luckily I passed the question with flying colors – and so did Milton. When asked if either of us had been married before or if we had kids, I am proud to say that no unknown love children or women from the past emerged.

Wedding dress – check.  Marriage license – check.  Shellin’ out a lot of money for everything else – check!!!  Let the countdown begin – 10….. 9 (wait stop right there)!  Nine more days…

April 2011