Hard times can make you stronger…

Three ago yesterday, I walked into my OB’s office for a routine check-up. I was 16 weeks pregnant with our son, Henry.
What followed was a 4-day whirlwind of shock and grief.
Henry’s story.

As we approach the date of our son’s third anniversary, I find myself in a state of deep contemplation again.
Bill and I both have some things going on in our lives right now… personal matters, friendship woes, and work stress (in Bill’s case, not mine).
It’s easy to get a little “woe is me” now and again, but I have to say that I feel very lucky to have such a great husband.

After a very long day working yesterday (Bill, not me!), we both sat down on our bedroom floor and talked.
We talked about all the things that are going on in our lives right now. We unloaded and vented and offered one another support.

I know a lot of relationships suffer when a child is lost, but losing Henry has honestly brought Bill and I closer together.
Thank God. I can’t imagine losing my husband as well as my baby.
I am so grateful that I can talk to Bill absolutely anything. He truly is my best friend and confidante.
With him by my side, I feel we can get through anything and achieve all that we need to.
We are far from perfect, but we love and trust one another, and we are always willing to make things work… together.
I can’t imagine my life without him.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
Joshua J. Marine

Gwendolina Ballerina

OK, so hence follows gratuitous posting about my amazing kid.
Move along quickly if you feel nauseous!

Our sweet girly!

Those of us who are parents all have them… amazing kids.
They are beautiful, smart, fun, and some of the greatest souls we will ever wish to know and be associated with.

For those of you who don’t know, Gwennie is 5.
Yesterday, we got to have our first parent/teacher conference with her Kindergarten teacher.
She got a glowing report and so much positive feedback, my heart positively swelled with pride and joy.

Naturally I was thrilled with the fact that she is right on target for where she should be learning-wise.
She recognises certain sight words and “chunks”, so she is starting to read and write little sentences.
Her art work is phenomenal. Her teacher spoke about the fact that Gwennie loves to paint and colour and takes a lot of time and effort into making her pieces perfect.
I still think we owe a lot of credit to her preschool teacher who was outstanding in the art department (amongst other things).
We have so many fabulous works of art from our little munchkin already framed and proudly displayed about the house; her rendition of
The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Van Gogh’s Starry Night, amongst other beauties.

But the main topic that touched my heart (and made me teary) was when G’s Kindergarten teacher proudly shared that Gwennie has the most amazing social skills.
She told us that G is a kind-hearted and happy little girl… Ms. H. feels so blessed to have her in her class… and that she is sweet and dear to everyone she meets.
She is known for her loving hugs… no matter if you are a girl or boy, she has one for you.
If she is playing with a friend and sees someone alone, she invites them over to join in the group.
She loves everyone and is kind to all.
I am so proud of that.
I personally always strive to be the kind of person that I would like to be friends with myself (if that makes sense).
I have tried to impart that upon Gwennie. Not that it was a difficult thing to do, because she has a loving heart by nature and needs no encouragement.
Bill is a gentle soul also and is very wise and thoughtful with Gwennie. I know it sends a huge message.
I know how she is at home with us and she is sweet, kind, easy , and thoughtful. She always wants to please and is a great helper.
You can’t help but wonder how they are when they are out of sight in the care of others, so to hear that she is exactly the same wherever the location, just makes me so proud of her.
I feel so honoured to say that my daughter truly is a good person… inside and out.

Angel Face!

Yes, I am totally gloating! No, I don’t really take any credit, because I truly think we got lucky.
She is just a great kid and I think we made some very good decisions so far with her schooling.
She was surrounded by love and nurturing in her preschool and had some wonderful teachers there.
Gwennie still talks about her past preschool teacher, Mrs. F. She misses her and often brings her up in conversation.
That just shows me what a difference amazing teachers make in a child’s life.

Gwennnie’s current teacher in Kindergarten seems so sweet and sincere and patient also. I am so grateful to her for being so diligent and kind with our little fairy.

So, I guess apart from going on about how wonderful my child is, I am also giving a huge shout out to the wonderful teachers out there who make such a difference in our children’s lives.

Thank you for helping us parents out, dear teachers. You are so worth your weight in gold!

A week (or two) in September

I have been itching to write a post for a while now but life just gets in the way! I have had so many topics in my head depending on the day and my mood.
I guess now will be a mish-mash of thoughts and happenings!

What’s going on?

Spent a lovely mini-weekend with my beloved Bar Method Babes.
Karen (the boss from heaven) treated us all to a retreat at an idyllic location in New Smyrna Beach in honour of our 1 year anniversary of the Winter Park location.
We all met up at the house, which was tucked away up a country lane surrounded by beautiful fields, after lunch on Saturday.
We took part in some team building exercises, which were a lot of fun.
Karen, generous as ALWAYS, gave each of us a gift of a framed group pictures and she had made hilarious Paper Plate Awards for each and every one of us.
Mine was: Most Likely to Get Anyone to Do Anything Just by Opening Her Mouth!
Then it was time to get our fun on! Trish had made a wonderful welcome cocktail with Malibu and Pineapple Juice (and other special secret Trish ingredients!!!!). It was perfect!
Then the wine bottles were cracked open. We all made pizza together. Ellen was our Pro Pizza Maker… she had us all in fits as she rolled and flipped and spun the dough around like a true Italian!
I have the most beautiful memories of this amazing group of women, each so different in looks, style, background, and personality, as they all came together and just laughed and laughed and laughed.
I have some great videos of our weekend, which I won’t share here… anyone who wasn’t there probably wouldn’t truly “get it” anyway… but for us girls, it was a great memory to keep and we all said how much we rolled around just watching the footage again.
We played a game into the wee hours…. Ellen brought it and I forget the name, but it was something like “Guesstures”… a type of Charades. It was absolutely raucous and hilarious!
We all cozied up and slept a little before congregating in the kitchen once more for breakfast and more giggles.
It was a great bonding experience and we really missed the ladies who were not able to make it… Kendra, Kelly, Morgan, Fionaaaaaaa, and Suzanne.
A huge thanks to Karen for making it all happen. Once gain, I am blown away by this amazing family that I am so lucky to be a part of.

The Bar Method Winter Park 1 Year Anniversary Retreat

Talking of families, I want to give kudos to my darling husband, who still amazes me every day with his supportive nature and actions.
Bill held the fort whilst I went away for a night. As typical as life is in throwing its curve-balls, his shop was broken into on Saturday night.
Thankfully our BFF James was in town staying at our house and so he watched Gwennie whilst Bill drove in to town to meet with the Sheriff.
Really, really fortunate, else it would have been an even more difficult situation for Bill.

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such good people. Bill has just been amazing with my new work commitments.
Obviously, as the owner of a successful business, he is the bread-winner in the family. For me to work, it had to fit around his schedule.
However, he has been so kind, supportive, and helpful to me. It has been a transition to go from stay-at-home Mum to back-in-the-workforce Mum.
We live out in the sticks and to get G to school and go to work means driving around 60 miles a day. I get up at 5am most days during the week.
I spend about 2 hours in my car every day. Sometimes more.
I have to admit, I was feeling a little burned out last week.
Even though he works all hours, Bill immediately jumped in and offered to take G to school an extra couple of mornings this week so that I could have an extra hour or so in bed.
I appreciate it so much… it truly is the little things that mean so much. I am so lucky to have such a great husband/friend.
He has thrown himself into his new workout regime and has spent 4 mornings this week working out with his TRX personal trainer.
I’m really proud of him, because I know he does not love working out!

Bill & Gwennie at Daddy Daughter Donut Day

Gwennie continues to enjoy her new school life.
I did laugh this week as she came home informing me that her class is raising money to adopt a manatee.
She thought that adopting a manatee meant that said manatee would come and live with us… in our pool… or pond across the road.
I had to explain that the money raised to “adopt” the manatee would just go towards caring for him in his natural habitat.
Cue sweet disappointed face!
She is all fired up to go back to Sea World and visit the manatees there though.
I am looking forward to less humid days so that we can get back into visiting some of the parks on a weekend. So much fun!

Dear Kate is still the matriarch of the house. I hate watching her start to struggle with her stiff back legs.
She doesn’t seem to be in pain, but it is an effort for her to get up after being laid down for a while.
I loathe that she is getting older. She will be 13 at Christmas. I wish we could press the pause button.

Sweet old lady, Kate!

Photo Shoot by Debbie Cirillo

We had some photos taken in the Winter Park studio last week.
The Winter Park and Dr. Philips crew joined forces for some group shots that will be used on the websites.

Cayce’s friend Debbie Cirillo did a great job for us!
Here are some of the pictures….

Beautiful Cayce and her amazing arms!

Bicep curls!


Thigh- 2nd position

Stretch at the Bar Level 2

Stretch at the Bar

Reverse push-ups

Beth’s beautiful arms!

The gorgeous Danielle and I demonstrate Round-Back


Sweet Karen!


The best bosses in the world! Cayce Hurley and Karen Moreno

My beautiful and talented coworkers! Top row from L to R: Caitlin, Kendra, Mimi & Trish. Bottom row L to R: Kelly, Danielle, Ellen, Karen, me, Cayce, & Beth.

More amazing news for The Bar Method of Central Florida!

I heard some great news this morning. Cayce Hurley (co-owner of the upcoming The Bar Method Dr. Philips and current instructor at Winter Park) has been asked by Burr Leonard to be a part of an Advisory Panel at The Bar Method HQ to use her knowledge as a Physical Therapist to assist with technique and modifications.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of Cayce! She totally deserves this position. Cayce is extremely knowledgeable about matters of the physical body and it has been such a blessing to have her wisdom to turn to on many occasions at work.

Wow! What a team I work with! All of my coworkers are amazing and exceptional women. They each have something unique and special to offer. I am so honoured to work with them and learn from them!

The amazing Cayce, with equally fabulous instructors Danielle and Trish in the background.