Before the quads were born, George and I were really into fitness.  We worked with a personal trainer for kickboxing and practiced yoga several times a week.  When I was pregnant with the babies, I was put on strict bed rest but even prior to that my exercising came to a screeching halt.  After the babies made their debut, our priorities obviously changed drastically.  We considered ourselves lucky if we clocked a few hours of sleep and took a shower.  In addition, the pregnancy took a toll on my body.  I had severe diastasis recti, which not only caused me pain, but also restricted my activity levels.  As the babies grew older, we started being better able to care for ourselves.  I found therapeutic exercises to reduce the size of my diastasis and sought chiropractic care to relieve back pain.  I started streaming Yoga Merge from Amazon Prime for exercise a few days per week.  Nonetheless, we were no where near our previous fitness level…until this summer!

Life Time opened near our home and although I didn’t think we could afford it, I asked for a membership quote and an amenities tour.  The price tag wasn’t small, but I was S-O-L-D when I learned about the kid’s enrichment classes.  For less than we paid monthly for any of the kids other extracurricular activities, the six of us could take unlimited classes and enjoy indoor and outdoor pools.  Over the summer, I took the kids swimming several times a week then showered them in posh showers before heading home.  It was so nice I dubbed it our “country club”.   We’ve since developed a habit of going to the gym about three times per week.  While I’m enjoying a yoga class or even time in the spa, the kids have been taking dance, yoga, and other classes in the Kid’s Academy.  Joining the gym has made our family so much healthier!



Yoga has improved the kids’ balance/ coordination and has helped them learn how to breathe mindfully.  Yoga has so many heath benefits, Cook Children’s Hospital is prescribing it!


We don’t go as often as we’d like, but the indoor pool has helped the kids maintain swimming skills in the off season.  In the past, they went to lessons then developed swimming amnesia before summer returned.


One of the best perks of the gym is 2.5 hours of childcare per day.  Usually I take a yoga or barre class, BUT it’s also been nice for trips to the salon/ spa (hello, facial!) and kid free time at the pool and café.

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On occasion, we’ve taken family Zumba classes with the kids.  I think I worked up more sweat in family Zumba than heated yoga!

Now that the new year has arrived, what healthy habits are you starting or maintaining?





P. S. Life Time did not solicit a blog post or compensate me for this writing.  I just LOVE Life Time and sharing our fitness story!  However, should you decide to join Life Time (there are locations throughout the United States and Canada) and mention me as a referral, I may earn gift certificates to be used at the salon/ spa (this mama always enjoys that precious time!) Life Time – Amber Shawver referral code

Mental Declutter


I know…. It’s been months since I last spent time here, and coming back was surprisingly hard.  After Christmas I was feeling “cluttered” by not only physical things, but mentally.  We tackled a few home organization projects, which helped ease my anxiety about stuff.  The mental clutter was far heavier for me, creating feelings of angst and discomfort.

In this season of life, my mind is constantly racing. At any given moment my brain whirs, I might be thinking about

homeschool activities

social commitments

keeping up with household chores

impending deadlines at work

the political climate

home maintenance

our budget

Each of these things is important, but the list is literally endless.  IT’S TOO MUCH!!! I’ve found that my mind needs time to rest, space to be silent. Knowing this, I finally returned to my yoga practice. Prior to having the kids, yoga was part of my life- I came to my mat several times weekly, nurturing my body and mind.  Unfortunately, life got in the way. I allowed barriers to keep me from yoga: my new body, childcare, to-dos, budget, and of course time.

I struggle with practicing yoga independently and need an instructor, but getting to a studio wasn’t in the cards (remember those barriers?!?!?)  I checked out a few DVDs from the library and wasn’t impressed.  Next, I started streaming videos from Amazon Prime and discovered Yoga Merge.  I’ve found a good variety of practice options with Yoga Merge that I chose based on my time and particular needs (e.g. stretching, relaxation, restoration, ect).  During my practice, I finally let go of my to-dos and worries.  After practice, my mind feels clear and I’m energized, ready to tackle what awaits.


I know this mental clutter is not a struggle for me alone.  I see it on the weary faces of my friends, family, and co-workers.  In this society, we are constantly bombarded by stimuli and pressure to do.  If you don’t already have an outlet for mental clutter, I encourage you to try yoga at a gym, studio, or at home.  If you’ve never practiced yoga, it can feel awkward at first, but don’t give up too quickly.  A good place to start is Beginner Yoga | 10 Yoga Poses Every Beginner Should Know, or you can visit Yoga Merge where you’ll find basic information about yoga and a few free videos to stream. Please don’t let barriers keep you from trying yoga, or finding another outlet for letting go of mental clutter.  You deserve it.




Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for sharing my experience.  If you choose to make a purchase through Amazon, I will earn a small commission through the Amazon Affiliates program. 

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During my senior year of college, my roommate, Neha, and I discovered the wonderful world of yoga.  For a mere $30/ semester we could take unlimited fitness classes in the student activities building.  We dabbled in different activities including Pilates and Nia, but I fell in love with yoga.  Our instructor was from India and spoke with a delightful British accent, which was probably enough to warrant attendance.  Prior to class he gave brief talks about the benefits of yoga such as what poses helped cure headaches or digestive problems.  While we really enjoyed practicing yoga, the best part were the benefits seen after class.  I always left yoga feeling both relaxed and energized.  Upon graduation, I wanted to continue practicing yoga, but yoga studios are rather expensive (oh about $15-20 per class!)  I went without yoga for a few years until I discovered that 24 Hour Fitness offers yoga classes with excellent instructors.  I was hesitant to go there expecting sub par instruction, but was pleasantly surprised.  The two years prior to my pregnancy with the quads, I enjoyed yoga 3-4 times per week.  It made me feel healthy and also confident when I accomplished new poses such as side crow and headstands.  My yoga practice came to a screeching halt after my first appointment with the perinatologist and the bed rest soon followed.   Since delivery, I’ve continued to battle my Diastasis Recti (split abdominal muscles) and cannot practice yoga the way I used to (not that going to class is logistically possible now anyways).  The majority of yoga relies on core muscles which I lack so I’m pretty limited as to what I can do right now.  I am, however, working on rehabilitation exercises and wearing a splint (when I can tolerate it) to correct my problem.  Until then, I’ve got to take it easy.  Even though I can’t practice yoga regularly, I’ve noticed the babies seem to!  George and I often label their poses as we catch them in action.  I’m loving that!  In case you’d like to take up yoga yourself, the babies demonstrated some of their favorite poses-

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