New Year, New Baby, New Body

It’s a new year, and the long awaited Baby Hafele has finally arrived!  Born on my birthday (one week plus one day overdue), Jema Mae made her arrival, and it couldn’t have been a more wonderful and beautiful experience.

Proud Mommy right here!

For those of you who follow my blog, you may recall that last year on my birthday in my Blog 5 Things I’m just so OVER in my 30s, I made a declaration  that for all future birthdays I was claiming my special day as my own, for just me. I’m going to channel Alanis Morissette for a moment and say, “Isn’t it just IRONIC???!!!!”  My birthday will never be about just me again…and to my own surprise, I’m ecstatic about it.

As I lay in the hospital in labor on my birthday, I looked at the clock and watched the hours go by….there goes the hour I had scheduled a massage for myself….there goes the hour that I had planned a much needed hair appointment.  Then at 3:11 p.m. a tiny little child was placed on my chest. She was crying, red-faced and covered in newborn goo, and she was so beautiful, so unbelievably precious, that I felt my heart explode in happiness.  There is not one thing better than the birth of your child, not a thing in this world that can compete with that incredible blessing.  So my birthdays will not be about me anymore; they will be about “we”, me and Jema, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Many joint birthday celebrations to come

I am now a week into being a mother of three.  It has been heartwarming to watch my older two children fall in love with their little sister, to watch their excitement in holding her each and every time, to listen to them read her stories, to watch our family grow in such a special way.  And my husband…is there anything that makes a wife love her husband more than watching him with their newborn baby?  I don’t think so.  I think the birth of a baby is a gift to a marriage, a reminder of the absolute best in our partner.  Believe me, there are difficulties…the trials of breastfeeding, the sleep schedule, the adjustment of the homework and cooking and cleaning…it’s not easy, but it is SO WORTH IT.

Now a week in, I’m beginning to shift gears to give some focus to my health and fitness.  My six-year old daughter is quite confused as to why I still look pregnant, which she has bluntly asked me about several times.  I can’t help but think of how many times person after person said to me “You’re all baby!”  They lied!  I’m grateful for this still pregnant-looking body and all that it did for me and our family over the past 10 months.  It is truly incredible when you think about it.  I don’t expect to be back to pre-pregnancy weight a week postpartum by any means.  But if I didn’t say it is a challenge to look in the mirror and see a body so foreign to my past fit-self, I’d be lying.

All baby????

With a focus on fitness, not thinness, I’m moving forward into the new year.  I’d love to hear about what fitness goals my readers have committed to for the new year.  What are you doing to feel good in 2019?  I started with a healthy diet on Monday.  Buh-bye Little Debbie!  Hello green smoothie!  I have to take special care of my diet since I am nursing my daughter.  I want her to have the best, nutrient rich milk possible.  Given that she is a week old and has already surpassed her birth weight by six ounces tells me I’m doing okay.  She’s my little chubba-wubba, and I love that SO MUCH!  I’m sharing below some of my smoothie recipes, and I’d love to hear all about yours.  My smoothies are a bit high in sugar, so I’d love to hear how you combat that challenge and don’t give up on taste (I share these with my kiddos and don’t want to lose the opportunity of getting a full cup of spinach into their bodies because their smoothie tastes like dirt!).  I have also started working out once a day mixing light PiYo workouts with walking workouts.  I’m taking it easy and listening to my body, but excited for the transformation to come, and can’t wait to increase my energy level to be able to play at my 10-year old’s level again.  He’s counting the days until we can go on a run together!

Please leave me your wellness resolutions, physical and mental.  I’m thinking about starting a closed accountability group where we can share recipes and workouts and encourage one another.  Please leave a comment if you are interested.  Free and positive is the name of the game. So thankful for my many blessings and looking forward to giving my husband and children my best self this year.  Let’s do this 2019!

Mixed Fruit Smoothie

  • 382 Calories Per Serving
  • Serves 2
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1 Cup Classic Frozen Fruit Medley
  • 1 Cup Blended Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Classic Applesauce
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Chia Blend
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Cup Milk

Green Iron Smoothie

  • 314 Calories
  • Serves 1
  • 2 Tangerines
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Chia Blend
  • 1/4 Cup Blended Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 3 Ice Cubes

Blueberry Smoothie

  • 312 Calories Per Serving
  • Servies 2
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1 Cup Light Cranberry Juice
  • 1 Cup frozen Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup Classic Applesauce
  • 1 Cup Blended Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Chia Blend
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Cup Milk

Letting Go

Happy 2019, Folks.  I pitifully spent much of my evening last night watching everyone’s celebrations from the comfort of my cozy bed in my pajamas.  I also sat and timed contractions for 36 minutes that were around seven minutes apart and lasted for 45 seconds at a time.  I waited anxiously for the contractions to get closer together, more painful or last longer…but to no avail.  At 40 weeks and five days pregnant, I am truly beginning to feel like round, uncomfortable and tired is my new permanent state of being.  I’ve actually googled to see if there is a possibility that I will never go into labor.  The internet says no, but I’m having my doubts.


I’ve spent the last few days trying to get a handle on the past year, and what this particular new year means to me.  I have always been a big fan of the new year season with all of its potential and promise, but this year, I’ve had a difficult time coming to terms with what the previous year meant to me and what I want the coming year to be.  For me 2018 is a bit of a blur with both tremendous moments and terrible heartache.  Such is life.

When I focus on the good, I see that I graduated with my Master’s Degree, I made a career move that I’m ecstatic about, and I made a human being (who is currently stubbornly refusing to be born).  These are big moments which I should be excited and proud of….and I am, but I find that I feel a little detached from these accomplishments, as though they  happened to someone else.

Maybe that is the true value of reflection.  We work incredibly hard to reach our goals, and then when all of that work translates to the end goal, we’re done.  It’s over.  We move on to the next thing and the past months or years of focus and dedication fade quickly to the background as life’s next dilemma or joy takes over.

As I move into 2019, I will take the time here to reflect not only on my successes, but also on what those successes taught me:

  • Finishing my MBA taught me that I have a unique kind of perseverance that allows me to stay the course when things become especially difficult.  I learned that I truly love to learn, and without a learning process of some sort in my life, I feel stale and stagnated.  I learned that to succeed, I need the support of my friends and family.  I learned that even when it feels impossible to do, I have to make my children and family my number one priority.
  • Moving into the Recruiting/Human Resource Field taught me the importance of living for the experience, not the final outcome.  I experienced some bumps and bruises along the path to my current position.  There were moments that I felt angry and bitter about the process, and I could have allowed myself to sit in that moment.  Instead, I chose to value what each experience taught me and move forward with that sentiment in mind.  Although I couldn’t see how things would work out, I had faith that they would.  That faith carried me through to the place where I am today, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to start a new professional adventure this year.
  • I made a human, ya’ll. 2018 has brought the unexpected, and the greatest of all of my 33 years of life’s surprises has to be the blessing of my third child. This pregnancy has taught me that my plans don’t matter.  Talk about a humbling experience.  My 2018 plans included maintaining a healthy, vegan diet, completing a half marathon, and focusing 100% on my career.  My 2018 reality included pregnancy food aversions so severe and pregnancy induced anemia which made me so sick, that I became desperate enough to eat anything my body would tolerate, including meat, dairy and eggs.  The year included fifty pounds of weight gain that have made walking to the refrigerator a challenge, let alone the thought of running anywhere.  2018 brought the realization that my career will never, and should never, be the center of my focus.  I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend.  My career is important to me, but none of that success matters if I’m not the person I need to be at home.

Even as I write this, I am coming to terms with an epiphany that what this year has really taught me is that I need to appreciate the moments in life and spend less energy in a future that isn’t promised.  That for all it’s worth and although I will always be a “planner”, this life is not a planned event.  That I have no control over what is next or what 2019 will bring (although I’m hoping that the most immediate arrival for the new year will be this baby!).  And that while this life is difficult and beautiful at the same time, the very best thing I can do is to get down on my knees and put it all in God’s hands.

I need to appreciate the moments in life and spend less energy in a future that isn’t promised

close up of hands

For the New Year, for 2019, my resolution will be to trust, to pray every day to let go and let God, to focus on the moment and enjoy each second for what it is.  I hope to get back into shape, to put some energy into my art work, continue to write and journal, continue to find those parts of myself that have taken a back seat while I’ve worked to build a career and family over the past decade…but most importantly, I hope to remember and be thankful for the fact that I am not in control.  I certainly lost sight of this in 2018, and it is liberating to let it go in 2019.

I hope to remember and be thankful for the fact that I am not in control

I am wishing my readers a blessed year full of love and all of life’s happiness.  I hope that faith and family carry you through the difficult times ahead, and that you are present and engaged for all of the joyous miracles that are in store for you.  Take the time to reflect today on what has been, and how it has changed you.  Every experience holds a lesson for us.  My hope for you is that you take those lessons and spend a moment in thankfulness for them.  Happy New Year!

I leave you with some of my happiest 2018 moments: