Wednesday, November 26, 2014

He's 3 going on 10.

As I sit here watching the First Wives Club for the 856th time, it's hard to think that a year ago we were packing up our home, with high hopes that we'd have a smooth closing. We were running around fixing things as requested and counting down the days until a new chapter began!

Now, we're sitting comfortably in our new home, in love with our space and location. This home has brought us such joy in our lives. It's an accomplishment for us and something that fits "who we are" perfectly. It's not too big, not too small, but just right. It's a happy time to be decorating this new space for our first holiday season.

I can't believe how much this little guy has grown in the past year, too! He's like going on 10 already and he's not even 3 just yet. Last night, he was falling asleep and reviewing the sizes little, small, smaller, and big with his hands; showing me each size. He just kept repeating, and I could see the wheels turning in his mind.

He's grasping so many new ideas and concepts, it's fun to watch his mind grow.


He still tells me he's my baby guy, but he's growing into such the little boy. I love it!


We're buddies out and about. We love to have fun together. I am thankful to be of such good health to be an active mom in his life, getting right in to play with him every time. Most people think running is difficult, but I am thankful to have found health and fitness in my life so many years ago because I feel the opposite is far more difficult; as I've experienced in times of injury.


And my baby guy makes me so proud to be his Mommy! At a recent party, he flipped his slices of pizza over and yelled to the staff woman for vegetables. Maybe it's just him, or maybe it's all the green smoothies we share, but I am glad he likes his veggies - especially those colored peppers.


I'm working through a lot on my mind the past few months and not sure what I'm planning to do in so many areas of life. So much has changed, so much to be thankful for, and so much more to learn. I will be back here more regularly soon with photos and more creative projects, as well as sharing my running journey :)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

- kn -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No one will push you.

I've come to realize that no one is going to push me to make my dreams come true, no matter how much I'd like someone to throw me in a stroller and run a marathon with me relaxing comfortably within under a warm blanket. Though, that would be pretty awesome if that was my first "marathon" experience. Could it be a yellow stroller if you're thinking of helping me out?

In rejoining the gym, I have high hopes for myself. When don't I have high hopes for myself? Hmmm, just about never. I'm always searching, reaching, pushing, and pulling. Whew, I'm exhausted.

I have this burning desire, the higher power only knows why, to complete a marathon. Maybe not even just one marathon, but several. Maybe even several in a year. Heck, why not go further... I know I can do it. I gave birth, remember that? Hahaha.

Yet, my body seems to fight me, or maybe it's my mind.

Ah, I can never tell these days. My mind, body, and everything in-between is on the fritz, going haywire, yelling.... no more drama!

Oh wait, that's what Mary J. says. I'm usually yelling "no more winter" every fall right after daylight savings time ends, the weather turns brisk, and the lights go out. I've just about lost my mind again this fall - ah, it's not even winter.... gulp... yet.

Last time I shared my big hairy goal with you to run a marathon and the fact that I paid cold hard cash to torture myself, I ended up injured and didn't even complete the half marathon I signed up for months ahead of time. Geez-weasels. I hate wasting money.

So, this time I'm not telling you when, what, where ahead of time... but you'll be able to figure it out, because you know me. You know how I am. I'm cra-to-the-zee.

I like a challenge, but not too much. I've also been googling things like "how to run a marathon with no training"... but I'm not that daring or athletic. Or am I?

This week, I ran a whopping 2 miles in one shot. That's pretty big for this lady. I haven't run in weeks, and when I've attempted a run, I've ended up with a run/walk/walk/walk. I've been sticking safely to the bike, cycling away watching Dr. Phil and realizing life isn't so terrible after all. I could be on Dr. Phil.

After my run, I felt like a different person. I was even considering 5am workouts again. Yeah, I felt that good. Of course, my tendonitis is flaring as I'm typing, but whew, I'll beat that monster back with The Stick.

Next year, I'm making it a year. A year of what, well I've got time to figure that out. But, I can tell you what... I'm not holding back. I'm not giving up. And I need your help and support. I'm here, I'm trying, but man, it's a struggle.

I'm going to write whenever I feel like it, any time of the day, share photos or not share photos, I'm going to thrash, I'm going to run, lift, and splash (in the pool!) - but I'm going to do my very best not to give up on myself or my goals. English teachers: avoid your eyes on that last sentence, I've always been very bad with commas.

No one's going to push me... right? Are you sure I can't convince you?

I'm looking forward to a snowy trail run, just not too soon!

- kn -
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Monday, November 17, 2014

5 Questions to Find Your Life Purpose

How do you answer the question: What do you do?

I've been struggling to find my life's purpose for quite some time. There are many things I enjoy, but I've never understood what the reason is that I'm here to begin with. At times, it ebbs and flows as to how much I examine my life, but more recently I've been examining things and finding I might just want to head in a completely and utterly different direction in certain areas of my life.

I came across this video watching other TEDtalks on YouTube, and boy did it help me sum up my life's purpose. I feel like my purpose is very similar to many...


Who you are:
I am Katelyn Nesi.

What you do:
I help people. I find and share resources, information, or find answers to their questions.
With regards to photography, I give others a memory to keep indefinitely.

Who you do it for:
I do it for everyone I meet. Through this blog, clients, and more directly educators and students.

What those people want and need:
Those people want information, answers, and resources to help make their life easier or more enjoyable. Clients want lasting memories and need a way to create images they've only dreamed of.

How they change as a result:
The people I serve change from the information I share; whether it's a blog post with a recipe or home project, a fitness workout to guide their own plans, a photo session that captured a moment in their life that they'll never want to forget, or a student who's life is made easier by understanding the world around them. Maybe even this post helped someone find their own life's purpose...

I, Kate Nesi, am here to help. Through my own personal learning journey and passions, I am able to change another who is seeking more or give someone a piece of their memories to have and hold.

What I do changes the people I do it for.

I've been reminding myself daily that at the very basis of what I am here to do is: to help others.

Your turn: What's your life purpose?

- kn -
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Soft around the middle.

My mom always told me growing up, "you should never ask a woman if she is going to have children, when she plans to get pregnant, or if she is pregnant."

I can distinctly remember two times I ever uttered those words to another, the first time was to a cousin when I was a tween, which my mom told me why that isn't the right thing to say. She said, "you never know what someone may be struggling with, and it's none of your business." The second time, which Chris corrected me on, was when his cousin's wife was clearly beautifully pregnant and they weren't bringing it up to see what we'd say. I took a chance on that one!

Chris used to ask me why it's not a topic of conversation, so I explained to him years ago what my mom told me. He understood and catches me if I start to get close to asking those kinds of questions of anyone. What a good husband!

A few friends have openly shared their pregnancy journeys with me, fertility problems and more. I appreciate their openness, because I've learned so much. I have always told them (or thought to myself) no matter what they share, I won't ask about it. They are free to share what they'd like, but if not, it's none of my business.

I never understood how much those kinds of questions could be stressful to deal with, even though they are often meant in a lighthearted way, until more recently.

When Chris and I first got married, we were asked or prodded with those questions often, it just seemed to be a norm I could ignore. Now, as I have a son who is 2 1/2 years old, it seems to be the standard question when someone (anyone) finds out I already have a child, "When's the next one? Are you planning to have more?" And then they stare at my stomach and wonder if I'm hiding something or when the big announcement will come.


I'm not hiding anything, ha. I'm just a little pudgy from having Miles and working to whittle that down. I'm chubby and happy to just get back to healthy :)

Have you ever found yourself asking someone about their family planning? Those decisions are completely personal and believe me, if someone wanted to share, they definitely will - cause I've heard it all ;) even when I haven't asked!

I'm also not sure when we'll have another, so I'm not sure I can answer that constant question that seems to arise on a regular basis these days. Is there a specific age gap required? What is the best way to answer anyway? I'm new to this stage of life...

I'd like to respond that my uterus fell out from running, but then that'd mean MiMa was right when she warned me ten years ago that my uterus would fall out from all the running I do.


Has anyone's uterus fallen out from running? Maybe I lost mine awhile ago, I mean I have lost lipgloss and a variety of other things on the run.

- kn -
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thankful for the NJEA Conference.

Chris and I took a trip to A.C. a week ago to attend the NJEA Conference. Of course, Chris left at 4am to get there to setup to do live podcasting, and I went down later with my conference buddy Mar. She knows how to rock a conference with the best of them. Of course, before we got there, she had to gamble a bit. I've been her good luck charm since I was a kid, when I'd stand off the carpet and tell her when to hit the button.


At the conference, we explored the exhibit hall. We grabbed lots of info for our day jobs, as well as lots of ideas for Miles learning and places to visit. A little fun was had, too.


I learned about the most awesome 3D printer I've ever seen. The owner is 27 and developed this all himself. He actually prints 3D printer parts for his machines on previous machines. Say, wha? The quality was insane. I might just have to convince my school to buy one of these to add to our collection. We also put ourselves in a video game... yeah, I know, cool huh? I'll share that when it's ready.


Later that evening, we hit up our favorite buffet at the Borgata. I don't know why, buffets are awful for health, but I always enjoy going. Of course, Chris gets his money worth. I stuck with sushi, veggies, salad, and a little dessert. I just can't stuff myself like I used to.


The next morning when we walked to the car Chris made a joke I just had to share... "Look Kate, the signs are even in another language - 2-D Casino" - haha. That made me laugh. Get it? Yeah, we're easy to please.


I wasn't looking forward to going to the conference, feeling extremely overwhelmed with my day job and unsure if this is where my passion lies anymore. I'm glad I went. It made me remember what I enjoyed about education.

I feel like it was just what I needed to remember what's in my heart and blaze a new path yet again and stop being afraid of what might be in front of me. I'm thankful for Chris' prodding and Mar's kindness to bring me down later in the day and hook us up with a great room for the night. I needed that moment of clarity.

Miles spent the two days with his MiMa and Pop-Pop shopping in Lancaster :D I missed him a lot.

I'll figure this thing out we call life and passions one day... right?

- kn -
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A little lion and his Batgirl Momma.

Since you missed our Halloween, I thought I'd share some of our holiday. The weekend before Halloween, we went to our friend Abbey and Jay's house for their annual pumpkin carving and cookie decorating party. They are fabulous hosts!

Jay carved the lower right pumpkin. He's a pro. Chris fell in love with this and we plan to crash their family party again next year.


I love to see Abbey play with Miles. He just loves Abbey and Jay and it's so cute to see him have a good time with friends. I also tried to teach him soccer, he's getting there... maybe.


Halloween proved to be awesome this year. Once Miles got into the groove, he was all about going from house to house. "What's the next one going to have Mommy?" and he couldn't wait to ring the bell. Our neighbors were so sweet, giving him holiday cards with gifts and one gave him a bag full of kiddie activities! They've said they are so happy we moved in. Abbey and Jay, plus his Uncle B/Aunt J and grandparents also gave him bags of fun stuff, too. This boy is so loved.


And I dressed as Batgirl for Halloween. Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, was a librarian. Fitting it seemed, though Chris told me they canceled the Batman TV series after her character came on, as they were grabbing at straws to get interest. Bummer.

I wore my Vibrams Five Fingers so I looked like a real bat.


Mar-Mar always needs her cuddles, and Halloween was no different!

How was your Halloween? I was tempted to workout as Batgirl, but figured the walking we did all over was enough for that day.

- kn -
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank you Uncle Jerry. #VeteransDay


My Godfather, and Uncle, Jerry fought in Vietnam as a Marine. He experienced so much so that I am able to enjoy the freedoms I do today, and continue to pass those freedoms down to my children.

I appreciate his service so very much, and we just love him lots. His stories are amazing. I love to listen to where he's gone, what he's done, and what he's seen.  He's been to more of the the world than I think I'll ever experience.

Take a moment today to thank a Veteran for their service. We don't always stop to realize how great we have it in our country with constant negative noise on the news. We have what we have because of people like him willing to give their all - for us.


We drive to Florida ever year to visit Uncle Jerry and Aunt Sandy. This year, with the move we weren't able to make it this summer. It made me kind of sad, since Miles has grown so very much and is a talkative baby guy these days.


But, that's not going to stop us though. We still plant to get there before year's end... keep a look out for that fun adventure. Miles is going to be wild down there chatting them up this year! I'm not sure Uncle Jerry knows what he's in for... :D


Thank you Uncle Jerry and all the Veterans today. We appreciate you. You are loved.

- kn -
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Why I decided to rejoin the gym.

Oh, hey there. I'm still here. I took a bit of a mental health break from blogging for a few weeks and sweat out my stress.

I've been a bit overwhelmed, unsure of the next step, and all that deep thought for a few months. It's been a weird fall, so many emotional ups and downs that I haven't been able to think straight. We're trying to get back to our "normal" as a family with all the transition this past year and I think too much change at once hit me hard, like knock down drag out hard.

A year ago, our home had just sold, hard to think, but now we're finally ready to settle into our forever home for the first of many holiday seasons here. I've received a lot of insults based on the location we chose to live, but man, I love it here. It's perfect for "us" and that's what really matters. We know what it's really like to live in a bad neighborhood, no matter how pretty it might look to the outsider. Ah, we just love our new house and our neighbors rock!

I took a little time last week to finally get back into the cooking groove. I made quick stuffed jalapeños one night, followed by chicken and veg enchiladas. Quick, simple, easy, and just what I needed to break out of my foodie rut.

I didn't follow a recipe, just used what we had on hand. Jalapeños: cream cheese, cheddar, peppers, bacon / Enchiladas: shredded chicken, peppers, tomatoes, seasoning, cheddar, tortillas, enchilada sauce.


I decided to get back into crafts I used to enjoy as a teenager, this time following the directions, starting with cross-stitching. I forgot how relaxing crafting can be... I'm sitting in Miles' Great Grandma Nesi's chair, how fitting.


And, I decided after many months of thought, to rejoin the gym. I decided to journal through my stress and realized I needed this back in my life.

I was considering using our family room as a gym in our new home. There is enough space, but then we couldn't use it to cuddle up in front of the fireplace much. I looked into buying a treadmill, but I knew I wouldn't be happy with quality less than I would get in a gym.

Treadmills of that level are three to four thousand dollars. So, in the end, and much to Chris' delight, I opted to rejoin the gym. It would take 10 years of gym fees to equal one treadmill in my calculations. If I bought a treadmill, it would have to be the Boston Marathon Treadmill...


Yes, I walked into the gym with a spreadsheet calculation of fees, comparisons based on locations, and the ultimate priced I would be willing to pay (much less than asking). I got the best deal I've ever had at the gym this go around, with a signed guarantee that my price won't increase ever upon renewal; I paid the year in full. Yeah, my weird is showing.

With all the maintenance, space, etc. that a treadmill would take up in our home, I'd also miss out on the alternative equipment. So, this made the best sense financially, space-wise, and for my mental health. Now, I have a place to unwind when I need it. I still love trail running, but I've found in just two weeks my mood has lifted, I feel accomplished after five days a week working out, and my muscles are just the right amount of sore.

Funny how the gym colors are the same as McDonald's these days, but I don't mind.


Luckily I opted for this choice, as a few days after I joined, I dropped a table on my foot. I wasn't able to run for a week, but I could bike and lift sitting down. Good thing I had more options than just a treadmill.

In addition, I know some make an excellent argument for at-home workouts. I've done videos and lasted several years on and off without a gym membership. I always made it work, but I focus a LOT more on my workouts in a gym than at home. I feel far more guilt working out in the house when I know there are tons of other things to get done.

For me, the gym is a must in my life. A space to be anonymous, get my sweat on, fart if I need to, and have access to all the things I might want to use. Plus, my new gym has a lot more than our old one and some people I know go there which made me feel super comfortable about it. Bonus.

Oh, and it's less than a mile away - easy to bike to safely. Our old one was five miles to bike each way on a busy road (which I did numerous times) which made me nervous. I ride my bike everywhere these days in our new neighborhood. It's awesome.

How about you? Do you prefer at home or the gym?

Have you ever cross-stitched? Do you like crafting?

- kn -
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Monday, October 27, 2014

House Project: Interior Doors and Electrical


We've been super busy each weekend managing our social calendars, personal projects, and house projects. The past month we've Chris has redone some electrical and I started to paint the interior doors white.

Our first floor, we replaced the doors entirely and painted, but the second floor we decided to wait to buy replacements and put that money aside for other projects. Painting is so easy, inexpensive, and brightens everything up!


With electrical, we had a few rooms without fans, and the wall switches that worked a plug outlets. Chris rewired through the attic and put in double switches in each bedroom. TGFC.

We're slowly getting things together around the house, but projects go extremely slowly when Miles is awake! He takes a lot of our energy and focus, and if you have a toddler you know painting isn't ideal when they want to help, ha. And everyone thinks I get messy with paint...

Hope you enjoy your week. I dropped a table on my leg yesterday, so while I rejoined the gym (story about that decision later) I am not sure how much I'll be doing there this week. Ugh.

I'm working on going with the flow.

- kn -
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Need a quick dessert? Learn to make simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fudge.


Chris made the easiest fudge I ever did see. Not only that, he's been experimenting with it quite frequently much to the joy of my students, and our friends.


This latest concoction included peanut butter and marshmallows. I'm still a fan of his s'mores version using the basic recipe adding in whole marshmallows and crushed graham cracker to the fudge as it cools.

The ingredients are simple: butter, chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk.

For the full recipe and steps on how to make it, watch the One Pot Chef Show:


Once you've made the basic recipe, you can mix-in a tbsp or two of natural peanut butter, marshmallows that have been microwaved to be soft to mix-in, and anything else you can dream of. There is no end to what we'll try to put in this decadent dessert!

We usually make it ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge after the 1-3 hours of cooling time. We've also been known to put it in wax paper in the freezer and take out a bite or two when we're experiencing low blood sugar ;D

Enjoy your weekend!

- kn -
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