Raising Healthy Happy kids in Las Vegas | Let's Go! Fun Run

We've been living and raising our family in Las Vegas for 6 years already.  Last year I wrote how I l enjoy calling Las Vegas home.   Feel free to check out that post HERE!  Do I get weird looks when I tell people this? Absolutely.  And I always feel I have to defend Vegas.  One thing I hear a lot is how Vegas doesn't have a great public educational system.  If you look at the data, it's true, Nevada does not rank high in public education.  Does this change how I feel about raising my kiddos here? Not really, not right now.  I do wish kindergarten was full day, though!  Things might change as my kids grow up, but for now I like the elementary school they attend.  It's a four star school and my son is in the Gifted & Talented Program.  He's involved in a weekly morning art club, and he's in Instrument Ensemble, having music practice twice a week. He'll be participating in Battle of the Books (kinda like Jeopardy for Clark County schools based on 8 books they had to read and study).  He'll also be attending Astro Camp in May!  Their school principal and teachers communicate regularly with us, they put together fun activities throughout the year, and seem to really care about their students.  Staying involved with school activities has helped my son stay on top of his grades and reading and I'm sure it will be the same for my daughter too.  At least, I hope so ;)   

One such activity was the Let's Go! Fun Run!  For the past 3 years, the school has put together not only the traditional cookie dough selling fundraisers, but also a fun run.  I was so excited about it the first year and I'm so happy they have continued to have fun runs for the kids.  We're a pretty active family and anything that gets my kids out there and moving is a big plus!  With the Let's Go! Fun Run this year, they added the "color run" aspect to it, which made it especially fun for the kiddos.  I'd participated in the Color Run 5K a few years ago, so my kids knew what to expect, but the paperwork they sent home was very specific in explaining the color corn starch they used and even had an optional colorless fun run for those who didn't want to participate.  The fundraiser works by having the students ask donors to sponsor their run.  I really liked that this year there was no minimum donation required.  I think it made it easier for folks to donate what they were comfortable giving.  In the weeks leading to the race, they have The Go! Team visit the classrooms getting the students excited about fitness, healthy eating, and good manners.  

As a family, we "trained" for the fun run about 2 weeks before.  So, it really got them involved and having fun while running and exercising.  On the day of the run, I volunteered to serve the runners water and got to see my kiddos running and having fun.  It was a blast.  

My little Elysse insisted on fun knee high socks for the run.  She wanted to be like her mommy! Proud moment for me ;) 

Raising healthy, happy kids is a big priority for me as a parent and doing it in Las Vegas is no different than doing it most other places.  I also feel that it is my responsibility as a parent to take care of their educational needs too.  I'm not going to just have them in school and expect the teachers to do my job.  I expect my children to learn in school, yes, but it is my responsibility to teach them beyond the school system.  Children learn and thrive in a hands-on environment and I believe life-experiences and travels will do so much more for my kids in the long run than going to a top-notch school.  Don't get me wrong, would I want them to go to a top-notch school?  Absolutely!  But, I am also realistic and I intend on making the best of what we have and where we are.  I hope you do too!  Do you love or hate your child's school?  In your opinion, what makes the difference in public schools?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're local to Las Vegas! 

Wanderlust | Let's Travel the World

Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world!

 Yup, this is so me!  I love to travel.  I love to get away and explore new places.  I love to break free from the daily routine and say yes to adventure.  When I was little, my family always traveled.  We'd travel for weeks on end.  I blame my parents for my traveling spirit.  Going on family outings, weekend getaways, road trips, vacations...these are all my favorite!  I've been pretty lucky and we get to travel often.  We make it a priority.  We budget, save our pennies, and look for good deals!  Being in Las Vegas, we've got lots of awesome destinations within driving distance, which is great because airfare for a family of 4 adds up pretty quickly!  

Our last family trip was to Texas in early November.  It was a really fun trip where we got to see family, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones!  In December Jason and I got to travel to Orange County, CA with my sister and brother-in-law for a friend's wedding and we made a nice weekend getaway out of it!  Oh and let's not forget our trip to Temecula, CA in January for our Spartan Beast & Sprint Races!  Sadly, that trip didn't end to well, which kinda leads me to the point of this blog post.  Wanderlust.  

I'm really itching to get away and I know that is not happening any time soon.  First of all, Jason has a broken ankle.  He'll be using crutches for another 4 weeks and another 8 weeks wearing his boot and going to physical therapy to recover.  I think just knowing this is making me want to travel even more.  Why does that happen?  It's like when you're on a diet and all you want to eat is doritos and brownies! Ugh, the struggle is real, folks!  Plus, we're planning a big trip to Florida in November and did I mention airfare for 4 is expensive?  So, we've got some saving up to do to make that trip happen.  

So, what to do in the meantime?  I'm not sure, exactly.  But, I think I will day dream.  I will dream of the places I long to visit and the adventures I know we'll have someday.  I will remember.  I will look back at all the adventures we've already had and the wonderful places we've been to.  I'll look at all the photos and relive those memories. I'll reminisce and feel all warm and fuzzy thinking of all the fun we've had.  I'll be grateful for the life I have, my healthy, beautiful kids, and an amazing hubby. But most importantly, I will live in the moment.  I must be present in the here and now.  I don't want these days and months to pass me by.  I don't want to only live for the next big thing or next big trip.  I want to live every day of my life like it matters.  Because every day I spend with my loved ones, is worth something.  I need to remember to live with intention, to make every day matter.  Not every day will be amazing. But every day we have the opportunity to be present and I don't want to miss out on the present because I'm daydreaming of what's to come.  

Do you have a wanderlust spirit?  Do you have a pinterest board of all the places you want to visit (I do!)?  What do you do when you're wandering spirit wants to run away but you can't?  

Accountability & Reaching your 2015 Goals

Well, we're almost halfway through February and it got me thinking about how everyone's 2015 New Year's Goals were coming along.  So, it's time to fess up, how are you doing with reaching those 2015 goals?  Are you crushing them early, going slow and steady, or did you forget all about them?

Too often we get super excited about starting something new.  I know I do!  I'll write it all down, get a few things I "need" to make it happen, and then life takes over.  We've all been there and before you know it the year is gone and we don't have much to show for it.  It's happened to me more times than I care to admit.  I don't only mean fitness/weight loss goals, but redecorating my office, getting a cleaning schedule for my home, staying on budget, etc.  Well, let's not let 2015 slip away from us.  Let's reach those goals this year.  

I declared 2015 the Year for Finding Balance and I intend to find that balance in my life!  Not just with working out and eating healthy, but in all aspects of my life.  Work, home, family life, social life, etc.  

I wrote a blog post sharing 10 tips for keeping your health & fitness goals and you can read those HERE!  They're really great and practical tips that you can apply not just for your fitness goals, but your everyday goals too.  

Once you put those tips into action, I really think it's important we keep ourselves accountable to reaching our goals.  Here are 3 ways we can remain accountable and finally reach those big goals!

1.  Set small monthly goals that will lead to reaching the ultimate goal and write them down!  For example, if one of your goals is to go to the gym 5 days a week and you're currently just going every once in awhile, then you can set a goal to go to the gym twice a week for 2 months, then 3 times a week for 3 months, 4 times a week for 4 months and then it'll be way easier to add that 5th day by the end of the year!  

2.  Tell people about your goals.  Sometimes just saying our goals out load is good enough to keep us accountable.  Sometimes sharing on social media, like facebook or instagram works wells.  Sometimes we need a little more.  If so, find someone who you trust and can be your accountability partner.  Whether they're on the same path as you or not, tell them what your goals are and ask them to keep checking in on you weekly, monthly, whatever works for you.  Make them the person you call when you're feeling down or about to give up.  I guarantee you that they'll help you feel better and do all they can so you don't quit and pick you up when you don't want to keep going.  

3.  Have visual reminders.  You know the saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."   You don't want this to happen to your goals, so we need to keep them in sight and in our mind.  You can do this by creating a Vision Board and keeping it in a place you'll see it everyday.  Another idea is to have motivational sayings throughout your room, office, or fridge.  Sayings that will help keep you on track.  Other ideas of visual reminders could be photographs of your goals or even better photos of your rewards when those goals are met!  

Here's my lovely vision board sitting in my office reminding me of my goal for 2015: Balance in all aspects of my life! 

Here's my lovely vision board sitting in my office reminding me of my goal for 2015: Balance in all aspects of my life! 

Let's not let another year go by.  Let's not let another year slip away from us.  Not this time.  No, this year we will make it happen.  We will make the time for reaching our goals.  Think of how awesome it's going to feel come December 2015 and we can say, I killed it!  I made it happen.  It may have been hard, I may have wanted to quit, but boy was it worth it.  Because I promise you, it will be worth it.  You are worth it.