Goal Setting in 2014

As I reflect back on 2013 and look forward to what 2014 will bring, I need to set some goals for myself.

I always use the S.M.A.R.T. technique when setting goals.

Some of my 2014 goals have been recycled from 2013. For one reason or another I wasn't able to achieve them, or achieve them as fully as I would have wanted, so I'm going after them again!!

1) Spend more time with my husband. Have at least one date per month. It doesn't have to be dinner and a movie. In fact, we prefer that it isn't. We enjoy the company of one another and really enjoy spending time together cycling. It also might be easier for us to find a more reliable sitter if it's during a Saturday afternoon rather than a Saturday evening.

 2) Spend more 1:1 time with each of my kids. This needs to continue. I've made great progress with each of my kids, getting to know them better, and as they get older and start to pull away, I want us to have the relationship where we can go out and spend quality time together.

 3) Run 14 in 14. I will run at least 14 races in 2014. I've registered already for the first 5, and 4 of those are with the kids, so that's a great start!


4) Pay it forward. Continue to do what I've been doing on my blog and on my Facebook page. I get such a feeling of pride helping other people.


5) Participate in another CrossFit competition. Maybe I'll even step further outside my comfort zone and do one held outside my box.


6) Deadlift 300 pounds. My current PR is 240, so I think I can get to 300 pounds by the end of 2014.


7) Lift 100 pounds over my head. This is going to be a huge challenge for me. 85 pounds is my current max, and I think maybe, just maybe I did 90 pounds once, but overhead is a huge struggle for me, but I'm going to work on increasing my weights in my daily WOD's and that will help me to get stronger in my lifts.  


8) Continue with Weight Watchers and lose the 23 pounds I gained towards the end of 2013.


9) Speak at a conference. I applied to speak at a few, and I hope I get selected for at least one!


10) Be a better house keeper. In order to keep a better house, I need to spend less time on the computer, so this is a double-edged goal. But spending less time on the computer will also make me more present in my families life, so really, it's a win-win. 


And I think that's it.

What are your goals for 2014??


2013-A Year in Review

These were my goals for 2013. How did I do??

1) Learn how to braid my hair  Didn't happen. But I did learn how to braid my daughter's hair. Nothing fancy, just normal braids. In fact, I ended up cutting all my hair off towards the end of the summer.


2) Spend more time with my husband. Have at least one date night per month. Didn't happen. Sigh. We tried. Really we tried. But we just couldn't find a reliable babysitter. We did manage to get out a few times in 2013, but not nearly enough.


3) Spend more 1:1 time with each of my kids. Have at least one date with each of them per month. YES!! This one happened! It might not have been a "date" but I did get out with each them alone at least once per month.


4) Run 13 in 13. YES!! This one happened too! I actually ran 16 races in 2013!


5) Pay it forward. YES!! I have been paying it forward in so many ways. Proud of this one!


6) Get my own cycle class on the schedule. Didn't happen. In fact, my indoor cycling pretty much went to the wayside in March. Oh well. It is what it is.


7) Get certified in a Les Mills program. Didn't happen. I ended up discovering CrossFit En Fuego and canceled my membership at the Wellness Center which is where I was taking Les Mills classes.


8) Lose 12 pounds by May. Didn't happen.


9) Get a sponsor.  I didn't get ONE sponsor, I got a bunch of sponsors.  Though I haven't found one that will pay me to attend conferences on their behalf, etc...but in 2013 I only paid for ONE race (Gasparilla.) Pretty happy with that.


10) Attend FitBloggin  Didn't happen. Too expensive and I was hoping for a sponsor. Fingers crossed for 2014. I applied to speak at FltBloggin!!


11) Continue with WTSP News Channel 10 morning segment. YES!! Until the segment got canceled. But I did get the amazing opportunity to film a bunch of news promo's for the channel, so that was super cool!


12) Eat lunch with my kids every Friday afternoon. YES!!! I did this throughout the 2012-2013 school year. I have only been able to do it once this school year because they eat at such different times and the one time I did do it, I was at the school for 3 hours. I don't have time like that, so I need to figure out a day/time for each of the kids and eat lunch with them on a monthly basis.


There were some pretty amazing things that happened to me in 2013, too!!

I participated in my first CrossFit competition.

I spoke at my first conference.

I got an amazing dog.

I became an ambassador for Polar, Fit Fluential, Sweat Pink, Feetures, Bondi Bands, and more.

I got to drive an Audi Q7 for 3 days.

The kids and I were on TV multiple times for a variety of different things! You can read about some of those experiences here and here and here.

I went to my first social media conference and connected with some amazing people and learned all about  Return on Relationships!

I was honored to be chosen as the Athleta Power to the She winner for the Iron Girl Race Series!!

The kids and I got to experience Stand Up Paddle boarding and it was so much fun!!

Our family took a vacation to North Carolina and got to stay at the beautiful Biltmore Inn!! We also got to spend some quality time with my aunts and uncle and mom. We had a great time!

I was featured on the front page of AOL, Yahoo, Huff Post and Marlo Thomas.com. That was pretty nifty!

I was chosen as Working Woman of the Week by Working Women of Florida.

I did a 240# deadlift.

I was nominated as best health blog of 2013.

I did my FIRST Tough Mudder!!

The kids and I did our first family mud run!!

And while we did SO MUCH MORE in 2013, I picked these things as highlights.


I'm hoping that 2014 will be as good, or better than 2013 and will share with you some of my goals in the next few days. Some will be a repeat of 2013, but that's okay. Better late than never!


How was your 2013? Big plans for 2014??




Push Away the Screen: Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo

Disclaimer: My family was provided with tickets to experience Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo. All opinions are my own.


We arrived at the zoo promptly at 6:20pm. Wild Wonderland was scheduled to open at 6:30pm, so we waited in line for a short bit, got our tickets, and then we were instructed to go wait in a pretty long line for entry in to the zoo. I noticed on the ticket vendors sign that they were Autism Friendly and certified through CARD so I asked what that meant at the Zoo. I know what it means at Busch Gardens, but had never asked about services at the zoo before. She told me that they had a special map and all rides were disabled friendly. It was at this time that I asked her if we could somehow avoid that long entry line because we had an au-some little dude with us that doesn't do well in lines and it would make our visit start off so much more enjoyable. She agreed and let us in through what Ronin called "the golden doors."

Upon entering the park, we were greeted by a wonderful light display and festive music!

We quickly asked for directions to the Ice Slide because we wanted to knock that out of the way ASAP to avoid what we knew would be really long lines! We stopped for the #TampaTrio to take a quick photo at Zoo Blvd.

And yes, that's a Tampa Trio sign that Ella is holding in her hand. Tongue Out

We scurried through the beautiful lights and ended up in Wallaroo Station, where we noticed that there was no ice slide, so we took a look at our map and realized that the slide was on the total opposite end of the park. We made a quick pit-stop at the penguins and then began the trek over to the slide!

But along the way we got side-tracked by reindeer!! While we were waiting in line to see the reindeer, we saw fireflies!! Haley was so excited! She loves fireflies and was just thrilled to see them in Florida!

The reindeer were really cute. I couldn't snap a good photo of them since they were feeding behind two rows of fencing. One had lost an antler due to shedding and that was pretty cool to see.

When we came out of the exhibit the kids had the opportunity to touch and feel a real reindeer antler!

And then they each got a turn to be a reindeer.

And off we went to find the slide! And find it we did. It wasn't open when we arrived at 7:06pm. So we decided to wait in line rather than get out of line and come back. The kids entertained themselves by playing in the sand gravel in the back lot. Lots of parents were telling their kids to stop, but not me. LOL. As long as they weren't throwing it or eating it, more power to them. FINALLY after waiting what seemed like forever, they opened the slide. And more waiting ensued. But they got a turn and said it was worth the wait! Here's a video of them coming down the slide!

They jumped in the bouncy house and then we walked over to see the stingrays and manatees.

They always enjoy sea life.

The manatee exhibit was super cool, but what they enjoyed more than the manatees were the snakes! They had a HUGE rattlesnake that was very active and moving all throughout its cage. Yikes! I didn't want to snap any photos out of respect for the snake, but trust me when I say that it was HUGE.

Then we decided to walk back over to the other side of the park and see some of the African animals, but along the way we got sidetracked by the merry-go-round. And to make it even better, we were first in the group to board, so each of the trio got the animal that they wanted. SWEET!

Finally we made it to Africa where they got to feed the giraffe!



It was $3 each kid for 2 pieces of Romaine lettuce. $9 for 6 pieces of Romaine lettuce. But it goes for a good cause, so whatever. Tongue Out

We went and had a quick visit with the cute Pygmy Hippo and tried to see the Cheetah (no luck...we'll be back for that one!!) and they had lots of beautiful displays set up!


A quick glance at my watch showed me that it was after 9pm, so it was time to start heading back towards the zoo entrance. Along the way we came across the beautiful Frozen Forest an icy winter wonderland full of glistening ice, snow and more!

Dozens of beautiful Santa's were on display!

And they even had a flying Santa!

The kids and I had a great time exploring Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo. There were some exhibits that we didn't see, like Santa. My gang doesn't believe in Santa, so they had no desire to wait in line to see him, and we did some of the other rides at Zoo Boo and we really didn't want to wait in any more lines (sensing a theme here?? Lines are super hard for us with an autistic child.)

We will certainly be adding Wild Wonderland to our annual Christmas traditions. It's a great way to get out, be active, and Push Away the Screen.

Wild Wonderland is open select nights through December 30th. Check their website for more details.