Not Your Mother’s Blog

Getting Back to Fit•ish | How I’m Getting My Pre-pregnancy Bod Back

We all know those women who bounce back after having a baby within weeks, fitting into their pre-pregnancy jeans with their flat tummies carrying around an infant.  They are all over Instagram and Facebook and maybe you have friends who did the same thing (you know who you are).  Well I was not that woman, although props to those who did, I will forever be jealous of you.  And while I am getting closer and closer to my pre-pregnancy weight it looks totally different on me.  So what have I done you ask?  Well I have decided to train for a trail half marathon.

As my Instagram presence continues to grow with #fitmoms and #momsthatrun and #activemoms, I realize more and more how completely average I am. Ha! But that makes me a little more relatable.  No I don’t have a six-pack (maybe one day) and while to most people having run 1 marathon and 2 half marathons sounds pretty awesome-to the marathon running world that is crumbs in comparison.  So here is a little introduction into my active life, hopefully some of you can relate!


I have always been in decent shape as far as abilities go. As for physically, well, I have always liked cookies too much to ever get to any sort of ‘fitness model’ condition.  So deciding to run 13.1 miles isn’t all that out of the norm for me.  However, most people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I actually enjoy running.  And I completely understand them because that was exactly how I felt also, up until a few years ago.  I started running half and full marathons after I turned 25 and had a bit of an identity crisis which pushed me to start setting new goals for myself.  I never actually thought it was going to be something I enjoyed or continued to do after my first one.  I am not, nor will I probably ever be fitness model material, but what is more important is being healthy and happy with how you look and feel.  So no I am not promoting for everyone to start running marathons, I get it, its not for everyone.  But finding that thing that challenges you to grow and become better is so important.


The day of my first half marathon I ran into an old friend who told me I would either hate it and never do another one or love it and want to sign up for as many as I could.  He was absolutely right, and not long after my first half marathon I began to train for my first full marathon.  Training for 26.2 miles is an incredibly different experience then training for 13.1 and I don’t anticipate doing it again anytime soon.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad I did do it but for now I am going to stick with halves and under.

Training for my first half was incredibly similar to my current training due to the fact that it had been a very long time since the last time I had done much running.  The first few weeks are miserable and I have to talk myself out of quitting multiple times a day.  Sometimes I only end up doing half of what my training plan called for.  I am currently way off of my intended plan and many miles behind but as long as you keep doing something it will all work out.  It’s once the runs start to become easy, your leg muscles get stronger and your stamina improves, you actually start to look forward to your run for the day and then it all feels worth it.  I’m hoping to get to that point soon!


Carbs. Carbs=Sugar. Sugar=Stored Fat.  There is much much much more to it than that, dont take my word for it, there is plenty of research on it.  But my point is this, cutting the intake of carbs increases your body’s need to kick into your fat stores for energy.  My husband and I have recently cut out almost all Simple Carbs and many Complex Carbs, and began following a very loose Keto diet.  As with pretty much every diet, there are pros and cons.  One big pro is that I was able to lose 5 pounds in only the first 3 weeks.  I also don’t have to starve myself, in fact if I am hungry there are lots of things I can eat whenever I want.  That means no calorie counting or any counting for that matter.  So if your bad at math this might be good for you!

The typical tagline of some of the biggest work out plans “Continue to eat all the foods you love!” is total b.s. if you ask me.  I love candy and ice cream but I definitely won’t lose any weight if I continue to eat those things.  That being said however, with a Keto diet you can actually eat a lot of foods that you already enjoy.  Cheese, chicken wings, burgers, Reddi Whip, and bacon are all on the okay list!  This is intended to be a lifestyle change but it is not for everyone.  This is not a plug for this diet and I am not recommending anyone to start it, it is simply part of my current active lifestyle and so far has been very successful.  I will now go enjoy some strawberries and whipped cream after suffering through a 6 mile run today!


Follow this link for some very good information about the Ketogenic Diet.  (you might need to copy and paste it)


More Than a Mom Blog

Welcome to the site of a real mom sharing real life shit.  “Here we go again” you think to yourself -with a sigh and an eye roll- another Mom blog.  Trust me I feel you and want to assure you that is not my intentions whatsoever.  If you’re looking for relatable stories about parenting, fitness, travel and more you are in the right place!  Expect to read the raw truth about everyday things not the glammed up versions you see all over the internet with warm and fuzzy moms who use flowers and the color pink.  I will be talking about all the gory details, the lessons learned and navigating life without sensors.

My name is Jess, I am a newly minted 28-year-old stay-at-home mom with a Master’s degree and way too much pent-up energy!  I am in the US Air Force as a traditional guardsman, I am a trained yet unemployed archaeologist,  I run marathons and half marathons for fun, I love photography and I just moved to the Southwest with my family and plan on doing ALOT of traveling.  If any of that sounds interesting to you stay tuned for the fun has just begun!

Rollin in the Poop|Diaper Changing Advice

Never in my life did I ever think I would become so obsessed with another human’s poop.  What color is it?  What is it’s consistency?  How many times did he poop today? Is that poop under my nail?  Every parent knows exactly what I am talking about.


My very first diaper change, ever, occurred the day after I returned home from the hospital with my first born.  Since then, very few things have turned out to be as I expected being a mom would be like.   The preoccupation with poop is one of them.  Of course I knew there would be countless number of diaper changes but I was not prepared to be studying what was inside of them like a scientist looking through a microscope.  I also did not expect it to smell the way it did, or that once you smell it you start to smell it everywhere!  Sometimes I will literally give my hands a few sniffs, check the sleeves of my shirt and look down the front of myself before realizing its actually just the food sitting on my plate or a candle.  Its not that my food smells like poop, I think its more my brain tricking me because it is so attuned to everything baby.

I lost track of how many times I got poop on myself after the first few weeks.  And every time it happened I thought of the beginning of Baby Mama “Is that chocolate or poop?”

Makes me laugh every time.  Although while babies are on breastmilk their poop looks a lot like the honey mustard dipping sauce with the mustard seeds in it that you get with an order of soft pretzels at a hipster restaurant/brewery.(Sorry for the visual) But since my son has started to eat real food his poop has become much more solid, which means it doesn’t really stick to the diaper anymore, more like just sits in it.  So when you pick up said diaper, if you aren’t careful that shit (pun intended) will literally go flying.  This is something I have done on numerous occasions, much to my displeasure later when I have to clean it up for a second time.  Another thing that has changed is his ability to roll from his back to his stomach with ease, which has now become somewhat of a game on the changing table.  Imagine trying to clean poop off the backside of a rotisserie chicken as it rotates, talk about a moving target.


My messiest poop encounter thus far happened earlier this week.  It began during a 6 a.m. diaper change, in the dark and without my glasses on-which means I was doing it mostly by feel and muscle memory.   Now I know there are those super moms out there who get up at 6 before their baby wakes up in order to do whatever crazy people do that early in the morning.  I am not one of those moms, I love my sleep and will take as much of it as I can.  I am also a night owl so even though my son is now on a 7 p.m. bedtime schedule, my husband and I are barely ever in bed before 11.  Anyway back to the story.  So during this 6 a.m diaper change my son tries to begin his rotisserie chicken routine mid butt wipe.  As I continue cleaning him up while trying to keep him from flipping over my one finger sinks knuckle deep into the warm mushy mess.  “Oh goody” I think to myself.  This I assumed was the worst part of the situation as I attempt to wrap him up in a clean diaper and wrestle him back into his pajamas.  Well you know what they say about assuming.

Back into the crib he goes, unbeknownst to me with a huge glob of poop stuck to the leg of his sleeper.  And back to my bed I go to gratefully catch a few more Zs, only after making a detour to the bathroom to wash the literal shit out from underneath my nail.  Since he is such an amazing baby, he gives me a few more hours of much need sleep before deciding it’s time for us to get a move on for the day around 9 a.m.  As I make my way into the nursery bleary eyed and in need of a cup of coffee the scene before me is one of a very happy smiling baby with his legs propped up on the side of the crib.  That is not what immediately caught my attention however, rather it was the huge glob of something dark brown on one of those upright legs and the smears of that same dark brown color all over the crib sheet.  Crap.

Join Us on This Journey

I never saw myself as a blogger, or someone who had a whole lot to say about anything in particular.  It wasn’t until recently, during a long run that I decided maybe I didn’t have a lot to say about one thing but I definitely have a lot I can say about many different things. And as I enter into this completely new chapter in my life I have decided to document it in the hopes that I can maybe help some people or do some good, or at the very least make people feel better about themselves by sharing my screw ups.  Ha!  My very diverse repertoire of skills and interests include being a new mom, running and training for races, archaeology/anthropology, photography, the Air Force and plenty of other things in between.  If your now wondering to yourself “Why in the world should I even bother continuing to read this chick’s online ramblings?”, let me ask you this.  Have you ever been lost in an unfamiliar place and really would have loved it if there were signs or arrows or something pointing you in the direction you should go?  Well that’s exactly where I am in my life, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could figure out which direction to go by learning from other’s mistakes?  That is where this blog and the things I will be talking about come in.  I am about to navigate a brand new direction for my life, one that will most likely have lots of bumps and bruises as well as boogers and maybe a little bit of blood.  So come along for the ride, enjoy the funny stories and learn from my mistakes!  Here is an intro into some of the things I will discuss in more depth in the future.


I recently became a Mom and found myself invited into this brand new club I didn’t even know existed.  It seems there are many things that come with being a parent that only other parents can understand, because only those who have brought a newborn home from the hospital exhausted and scared shitless can understand exactly what that feels like.  Just like me I assume other new Moms (and Dads) have read many a blog post discussing things like the items you need and don’t need as a new parents, what happens to a woman’s body postpartum, and what life looks like now that you are on the other side of that invisible wall.  I also assume I am not the only person who wants to call bullshit on some of the things discussed in those articles.  Sometimes I even question whether or not those articles are written by people with kids!  I plan to give you the down and dirty on some not so glamorous parts of being a mom as well as those beautiful moments you hold out for between the poopy diapers and the tantrums.


After having a baby your body is definitely going to change, don’t let the articles saying “your body will never be the same after having a baby” scare you too much.  With a little hard work and some serious self-control I do believe it is possible to get back to a place you can be happy and comfortable at.  I am currently working my way back to that place after devouring sleeve after sleeve of Oreos during my pregnancy and immediately postpartum.  This attempt includes training for a trail half marathon, which for you non-runners out there, that means 13.1 miles on a winding hiking path in the White Tank Mountains in Arizona.  I know, I know this is the part where I start to lose people who say they suck at running or absolutely hate doing it.  And this is where I tell you, no matter who you are or what your fitness level is you can teach your body to do it.  We are genetically designed to be able to run long distances in order to outrun the threats we were not intended to be able to fight.  But it doesn’t have to be running, just getting out and doing something active can make the biggest difference in your mental and physical health.  I will talk a little bit more about how it has helped me in the wake of baby number one and things you can do to keep yourself active as well!  After being a competitive gymnast for 8 years, playing soccer up to the collegiate level and spending a lot of time researching I think.

To Infinity

My husband and I, along with our (then) 5 month old son, two German Shepherds and two cats made the move from the Northeast where we have lived our entire lives to the Southwest, just outside of Phoenix Arizona.  On a mild November evening in New York we piled into our F-150 pulling our newly acquired 2002 Jayco Kiwi 17 foot camper and made the trek through 10 states and almost 3,000 miles to get to our new home. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth version of that fiasco).  After growing up in the Northeast this has been an incredibly dramatic change, particularly the weather.  So far I can’t say I miss the bitter cold or the snow, and since I have been running outside so much I also have a tan, so that’s pretty awesome! Now if you look at a map of the Southwest you will see tons of National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks and all sort of cool places to visit and explore in a pretty small radius around Phoenix.  So far we have accidentally stumbled on one called Tuzigoot National Monument, an outcropping with thousand-year old ruins on it, and obviously the archaeologist in me was so stoked! Yes you may now call me a nerd in your head but only if you say it like this “neeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrddddddd”.  Anyway, that is just the first of many travels we will be exploring and each one will get a review and any new tips or tricks we may have learned about traveling with a baby.

And Beyond

Now that is just the tip (phrasing) of things I will talk about, so stay tuned for other topics.  Including but not limited to; what it is like to be a woman in the military,  how we handle being a dual military couple, my struggles to start other endeavors, my love of all things photography, binge watching Stranger Things, continuing to learn how to be a mom and pretty much anything else that comes to my mind!  So stay tuned because its going to be fun, or at least interesting (and maybe not in a good way! Ha).

And last but not least I would love to feature other moms or just people dealing with or experiencing some similar things I have talked about.  If you feel you have a good story or something you would like to share that could benefit everyone please contact me so we can coordinate.  No one is alone in this journey we call life and I want to highlight that!