I don’t think I’ll change too drastically over the next twelve months, and from what I can tell, I am still thinking along the same lines as ever. But, I do have goals that I’m still working towards – some changes, but overall, still the same me

  • Complete all university assignments prior to due date
  • Raise CGPA to 3.5 or higher
  • IF; 16 hour fasting state, 8 hour nom window.
  • 24 hour Fast Jan 31
  • Complete a Whole30 challenge Feb 1st- Mar 4th.
  • Recommit to the lifting/cardio work out plan @ Planet Fitness beginning NLT Jan 17
  • Utilize Piyo as a back-up
  • Yoga to my heart’s content
  • Continue to learn Russian (duolingo/lingtwins)
  • Revitalize Spanish fluency


See… same old Tess, even if it is a new year.

I’d been on the fence about how to approach my health this year. I’ve come to accept that 2016 was a year of transition, of challenges, and I realize that because I was distressed the majority of the year, the way I handled food was more reactionary. I used food, the wrong foods, as a stress reliever instead of yoga, which I’d used previously. I’d considered forgoing healthy habits and fitness because “I have so much on my plate right now.” I have the same amount of stuff I’ve always had. I’ve always had work, school, children, and friendships – so that excuse is bullshit. I’d considered embracing my new body, and giving up the fight for health because of “body positivity.” BoPo is a GREAT movement. I encourage and applaud everyone involved and all who are cheered on by what proponents do – however, body positivity encourages a healthy relationship with food, movement, and yourself and those involved typically love and embrace their bodies. They are happy with their bodies and find ways to encourage inclusion in the mainstream. Even at my lightest, I may still be considered just left of the mainstream – but I digress. I am not positive about my body right now. I am positive about my body when I nourish it, when I move it, when I don’t fill it with garbage. I know what makes me happy, and how to treat myself when I’m happiest – whole foods, yoga, dance, and a normal exercise regiment. I gotta stop kidding myself.

And maybe, possibly, part of my habits and mindsets are part of an underlying mental wound that has never and will never fully heal. It’s not pleasant, but being a victim, whining about it, and doing nothing changes nothing. It’s up to me to take care of myself, to heal myself. I’m rebuilding in 2017. Greater than ever.

It’s up to you to do the same. Save yourself, from whatever ails you – be it food, drug, alcohol,  or unhealthy, unloving thought patterns, behaviors, and relationships. Another day spent spinning your wheels isn’t worth the pain, frustration, and despair. You don’t have to be perfect, the situation doesn’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to have all the information right this second – learn as you go, change as you go. But don’t wait. You have now. Make the most of it.


Lighter Notes

I’m pretty psyched that the end of 2016 is quickly approaching. This year was a lot; a lot of change, of uncertainty, of everything being up in the air. It challenged me to learn, to be my best self, to figure out what I really wanted. With all the bullshit, I still managed to meet the most amazing, loving, supportive, present man and fall crazily in love with him – and he with me. The months with him have passed so quickly. Seeing how he interacts with my children, how he guides them, advises them, and befriends them blows me away. There is a knowing, a safety, and a comfort being with him. He’s my present and my future. I’m set.

Work is coming together. I’m enjoying what I do, I’ve reclaimed my passion for my industry. I’m no longer seeking a way out, but a way to make myself more useful in my profession. This is a blessing. I have found my calling and at 30, I have a blossoming career.

I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a good group of women and to develop friendships with some of them. I am easing into these relationships, as I am cautious and reminded of the some traumatic events from years passed. I want to allow people to become close to me, but not for their amusement or malicious benefit. I will wait, patiently observing behaviors to determine the safety of the situation. Extreme? Maybe.


My next three major goals:

  • Reclaim my physical health by maintaining a weekly workout regime and healthful eating habits
  • Raise my GPA to a 3.0 by graduation
  • Eliminate credit card debt, a car payment, and begin to build a savings nest.


What I will not do is allow my children or my romantic relationship to suffer. After everything that has happened this year, my priority will always be to protect my children and ensure that my guy feels loved and appreciated. Without him, I may have given up here and returned to a life I hated, but was comfortable in. He saved me more than he knows or is willing to admit. I am a feminist, do not be mistaken, and he is a man who is strong enough to support me in that and kept pointing me in the right direction, even without directly telling me what to do. He saved me by being there, physically and emotionally, by having my back and being my safe place when I felt like everything was crumbling around me.

This is everything I’ve been asking for. I am grateful, humbled, and amazed by my good fortune.

Being Mom…

I put my kids on a plane today. Not alone, not this time. They’re flying with their Gramma – my surrogate mother and their paternal Grandmother –  to spend some time with other members of their extended family for the summer. I’m excited for them to experience a new part of the country and a new (to them) part of their family. And yes, my heart broke into bits leaving them at security. Continue reading


Today I awoke in a state of humble gratitude. Well, actually one of my cats woke me up, mewling to get out of my room to eat. I lie in bed a little longer, appreciating the bright yellow glow I felt illuminating from my heart.  It’s Friday and I didn’t have to rush. My children are out of school; they could sleep in a bit longer and awake to spend the day with their grandmother.

The mother of the father of my two eldest kids has been my greatest blessing, apart from my children. She loves the three of them wholly and has never treated any one of them differently. Even when her son and I parted ways, in the face of my indignation and confusion, she soothed me from afar and quickly became my champion.

For ten years, she has helped me in any way that she can – to include sending monthly child support when her son couldn’t. She has come for yearly visits, often staying a month at a time and lavished them all with a gentle, ferocious love. This woman is dedicated to her family, no matter where they are or what they do. The love I’ve seen extended to her sons and her mother also extends to me and my children without variance. It is humbling to be part of her family.

My children’s grandmother doesn’t run from adversity or difficult situations.  This woman has faced cancer and beat the damn thing, while finding some way to laugh at all the ridiculous ways God has challenged her in her life. She tells me often that I never had to let her be apart of these kids lives, that I never had to accept her, to talk to her, and that I don’t have to let them go with her this summer. She tells me that it would be understandable if I had cut the lot of them out without a second thought.

On this, I will always adamantly disagree.

You don’t spend your life searching for love only to reject it when it shows itself. You certainly don’t deny children the experience of being part of a family that embodies the values you, yourself, hold dear. By society’s standards, I’m sure it would have been acceptable to disallow her involvement. But by my own standards, it wasn’t.

This is not a superficial relationship, the one between my children and their Gramma. With them she has invested real time in learning and accepting who they are, in solving problems large and small, and in remaining firm in the boundaries we agreed upon together. Our intentions are the same: ensure the kids are happy, healthy, and loved and that they grow up into decent, respectful human beings.