Summer recap: travel, training, and finding my way to zen

Dang, I haven’t posted in a while. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would post every week, and multiple times per week when I had the writing flow. But life is life and here I am posting for the first time in a month.

It’s after midnight here in Colorado. The girls are sleeping. My husband is sleeping. But there’s a heat wave and a thunderstorm approaching and my mind is going a million miles per hour. So I came downstairs to write.

This summer has been a whirlwind so far. At the end of June, I traveled to Orlando to attend a blogging seminar and came away with some amazing ways to make this blog better. I’ve dedicated much of the month of July to improving my SEO and backend menus and categories to make future publishing a breeze.

A couple of weeks later, I traveled with my girls to my hometown outside of Chicago to visit friends and family. While I was gone, my husband helped establish MamaLifts as an LLC and set up my accounting should I ever earn a dime off of this site.

I’ve been participating in blogging groups to learn all I can about the audience I hope to reach. I’ve learned about video and growing my social media presence. I’ve listened to hours and hours of podcasts on topics ranging from affiliate marketing to interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerzy Gregorek.

But mostly I’ve been planning. Planning out my next moves with this blog, my training, and my kids.

The blog

In order to keep this blog going with two young kiddos, I know I need to be methodical in creating a sustainable posting schedule. Although probably not ideal in the eyes of the blogging masters of the world, I’ve decided to devote each month to a different theme and post five or six posts related to that theme while researching and conducting interviews for the following month.

Because of this shift, I’m treating August as my “official” launch for my site. So all of my sporadic posting until now doesn’t count.

I have the next nine months planned out, with topics ranging from weightlifting during pregnancy to mobility tips to children lifting. I’m building up my sources and making contacts with medical professionals and fitness industry experts.

In addition to all of this, I’m starting to explore contacts with brands and affiliates because, dang, with all of this work I think I deserve to earn a dollar or two. Don’t worry, I will disclose if I use an affiliate link.

This next year is going to be a doozy, but the excitement of it all keeps me up at night wanting to research, write, and create more. All for you guys!

The training

In addition to traveling and soaking up as much knowledge about blogging as I can, I’ve been training. A lot.

I’ve tried to hit the gym at least four times per week, which with kids is a feat in and of itself.

I’m determined to get back to a 200-pound squat before the year is over. Why? Mostly because I want to be in the 200-pound club, but also because I feel like the squat is the foundation to all of the other lifts. I can’t have a solid clean and jerk without a solid squat. So each week I’ve been pushing myself a little more and a little more. Right now, I’m at 160 for three sets of five.

With so much travel, training has been tough. I’ve done what I can in hotel gyms and dropping in at my parents’ Anytime Fitness. Although I’ve had to modify my workouts due to different equipment, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that these facilities had squat racks and decently heavy kettle bells for me to work with.

Now that I’m home, though, it’s back to business.

The kids and finding zen

Man, balancing a 2-year-old and 5-month-old is tough. These girls are the absolute joys of my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and want to hide in a hole from time to time.

My youngest, Lucy, is teething. She can go from the happiest, most angelic baby to a screaming terror in two seconds flat. And when I can’t soothe her with a bottle, diaper change, or rocking, my patience drops to zero. Doesn’t she know I have work to do? Workouts to tackle? Sheesh.

Caroline shocks me every day with everything that she is learning. She’s talking a lot now and so stinkin’ smart. She’s also learning to manipulate the adults in her life, including me. When she throws food on the floor or spits water (wth!!), I make her clean it up and apologize. When we were visiting my parents she did this, but refused to clean it up, so I sat her on the step for a timeout. I went to check on her only to find her sneaking back to us, crawling along the floor with the biggest grin on her face. Needless to say, she won that round.

Through it all, I’m trying to make sure my girls and husband are always remaining my top priority. It’s hard to put the computer away when you’re on a roll because the baby is crying or your toddler is pulling on your leg to come play. But perspective is key. I know down the road I’ll never regret playing the Curious George Matching Game with Caroline instead of tweaking my Yoast content for the umpteenth time.

And that leads me to my final thought before I pack it in for the night: finding my zen. Or the closest thing I can call zen.

I’m not a calm, centered person. I’m a controlling, Type-A spaz. Any time I try find that inner stillness, my mind instantly clicks to my to-do list. I’m at a crossroads right now between embracing my natural inclination to be a frantic list tackler and forcing myself to truly find solace in the quiet.

Maybe some podcasts on meditation are in order.

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