Focus on Improvement, not perfection.

It was October 2011 and I had lost 80lbs. That’s why I became a trainer…. Not. I became a trainer because I wanted to help people have a better chance at life, I wanted to show them what life without pain was like, I wanted to show them their body can work for them not against them.

2004 my life was turned upside down by a drunk driver (which I write about a lot) Every thing in my life as an adult some how points back to that night. I spent several months in the hospital relearning how to walk and how to talk. I was on both sides of the scale weighing an unhealthy 80lbs my freshman year and then 205lbs at 5ft 4in after two pregnancies.

I was 21 when the decision to become a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Personal Trainer became my dream and passion. I began to crack open the books and study hard. This helped me in my own health and fitness journey. The more I studied the more Passionate I became.

As my journey in my studies progressed and I got closer to testing the hunt for a job was on. When I tested and passed, I quickly secured a job at American Family Fitness in Williamsburg, Virginia. Here is where my career began. I quickly excelled to a tier two trainer and trained 35+ hours a week. I began to teach seminars to local schools, about preventing sports related injuries.

I absolutely loved my job, so I decided to try it out as my own boss and open a personal training studio August 5th,2013. My studio received a Best of Williamsburg award for recovery and functional training within my first 6 months of opening.

When we received orders 2014 back to Wyoming, my studio was closed down. We also just had baby Raylan. Raylan was about 9 months old when I secured a job at Gold’s Gym in Cheyenne. I loved working at Gold’s, but it came to a halt as I was a high risk pregnancy with baby Wyatt summer of 2016. I had hopes to return back to work after he was born, but life just kept swinging.

I now had a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old that was diagnosed with Autism and global development delay, epilepsy, and later with a diagnosis in December 2018 with SYNGAP1 intellectual disability. My life was about to change. I had uncertainty about being able to juggle personal training schedule and my son’s needs. So I stepped back, from training. That’s what my family needed right?

Boy was I ever wrong. Children with SYNGAP1 intellectual disability struggle with quality movements everyday. Raylan was in physical, occupational, and speech therapy 5 days a week. Further more epilepsy causes your muscles to contract and relax or uncontrollable jerking movements. That is not good on your muscular system. This can cause tightness or loss of muscle tone, which increases the risk of injury.

I thought I was stepping away to help Raylan succeed in his therapy, but by stepping away from training I was doing him a disservice. Knowing musculature and anatomy I could be the ultimate voice for Raylan. I could reinforce what the therapist worked on in clinic, right in our own home. Therapist explain something and I understand exactly what they mean. I could agree or disagree, because I know how your body is supposed to moved as an integrated system.

I began my journey as a trainer not to help people only lose weight, but to help them move better. Now I face the challenge everyday to help Raylan lead a life with functional movements. So here I am once again diving into books to help others, to push them, focus on improvement everyday. I plan to start working as a trainer and a corrective exercise specialist in Cheyenne Wyoming withing the year.

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An open letter to Justin Timberlake

Dear Justin,

My name is Mickey. I am a mother of 4 and I grew up in the era of N’sync and Backstreet Boys. I’m sorry you weren’t my number one pick then, but now you are my hero. Not because of the boyish charm of n’sync or your ongoing success as an individual, but because you’ve helped me discover a new world without even knowing.

This is Raylan, he is almost 4 years old. Raylan is a very special sweet boy and he never speaks a word. He is non verbal autistic, epileptic, and has SYNGAP1 intellectual disability.

Since Raylan is non verbal we have been working on a form of communication for 2.5 years. Sign language was not successful because not have the motor skills or the strength in his hand to develop the signs. So he communicates using PECs and we had given up on sign. We as a family began to focus on him using pictures for communication. We still signed as we spoke feeling that maybe just maybe one day he’d be able to understand and use sign himself.

Raylan discovered the movie Trolls in July of 2018 and it is now December 2018 and our family has every word memorized. He loves Trolls! So much to the point he used his very FIRST sign to ask for “more Trolls”. Raylan will hand you the remote and sign “more” to ask that you throw on Trolls for him. This is huge as we have NEVER seen him this enthusiastic about anything besides playing in water.

Sometimes Raylan struggles to sleep at night so him and I will sit in the rocking chair watching Trolls. It soothes him in ways that we can’t. The bright colors and cheery music have brought my little boy to life and brought expressions to his face we have never seen before.

He loves the scene where King Gristle is working out and the trolls are being chased. He laughs and jumps all through that scene.

My favorite is his reaction when Branch sings to Poppy. He pays attention very intently. Raylan sees the raw emotion in that scene and you can see it in his eyes, he understands.

Thank you and the entire Trolls cast for giving our boy something to soothe and make his day

-Mickey, proud mama of this sweet boy!

Scrunch Butt Gym leggings

I am a little obsessed when it comes to workout wear and I have been since I became a personal trainer in 2011. The new trend is leggings with “scrunch” butt or the technical term ruched leggings. I looked online for these super cute leggings and could not find any that I was comfortable buying. The ones I found were a small fortune and I wasn’t sure if they would even fit right. So I decided to make my own.

It wasn’t that hard for me because sewing is like my thing. But the easiest way to make them is to sew elastic into the seam of a pair of leggings you already own. Or you can 100% make them from a pattern and just add stretched elastic to the rump seam.

The pattern that I choose to use was the Patterns for Pirates peg leg pattern, you can find all sorts of hacks for this pattern on their very own website here. I cut everything out as normal and before I put my waist band on (double in width for high waist) I sewed a piece of elastic in to the rump. The elastic measured 2 inches shorter that the rump seam and I stretched it along the seam so it was perfect length. I will post a video in more detail of they DIY soon.

For the matching bra I used the Brazi pattern for the cross Brazi. This pattern is found here.

Material is from Joann fabrics and can be found here.

Tacos and Toddlers

Sitting in my son’s school parking lot at least 15 minutes after drop off, trying to decide if I should hit the gym or just go home. After being up and down most the night with the boys I’m struggling so hard to keep my mind on going to the gym.

Truth be told if someone would’ve told me in 10 years I’d be walking out of the house no makeup, one armpit shaved, and no deodorant; I would hysterically laugh at them. Now here I am just struggling to decide on taking my mama hips to the gym and at least get on the Arc trainer for even 15 minutes.

15 minutes pass and I decided to put the van in reverse and driving to the gym. I am trying so hard to remember that I forgot something at home, but nothing is missing. Golds gym is literally a block from my house, I could just say I got an important call and drive home. It doesn’t happen. I pulled in the parking lot and it is practically empty, its mid week so a lot of people have fallen off the Monday new years wagon. Let’s face it Monday is like new years every week. “This is my week y’all, my diet starts now, my workouts start now. ” Wednesday comes and people have fallen off their routine, but next Monday, Monday ya’ll!

I start to take Wyatt out of his seat and he is normally telling me “Nooooo”. Well not today y’all. He grabs his backpack puts it on grabs my hand and walks by my side right on in. “Well damn, maybe just maybe kids club will be at capacity” I think to my self. Nope! Keep on going. “Maybe Wyatt will protest like he nornally does” bahaha funny story he walked right in.

“Well, shit. Here I go” I paid for this fall fit challenge I have to use the gym and actually put effort into working out.

Walk all the way to the locker rooms and hope kid’s club will come get me for Wyatt cause he’s crying. Y’all if you can’t tell I’m dreading this workout cause I’m so tired.

Alright put on the damn tennis shoes, get your headphones in, go pee, let’s do this. Sit in sauna and just relax think about what the dinner schedule is for the night.

Oh shit, its taco night! I love taco night!! Its my favorite night of the week and these hips don’t lie. I have to work out!!

29 Days Of Halloween Tutorials

I’m just a small town country girl sooo loves makeup and costuming! What better time of year to do a series on costume makeup looks than Halloween!?

The series will costume looks I have completed before and some I’m trying for the first time. This is a challenge for me to really practice my skills.

Looks will be Makeup and Hair only no costumes.

  1. Egyptian eyes
  2. Roman Empress
  3. Lumber jack
  4. Porcelain doll
  5. Mermaid
  6. Kangaroo
  7. Fawn
  8. Fairy
  9. Sugar skull
  10. Raggedy Ann
  11. Amazon warrior
  12. Scarecrow
  13. Puppet
  14. Pop Art/Comic Art
  15. Cheetah
  16. Pirate
  17. Cat Woman
  18. lagertha or Viking
  19. Giraffe
  20. Jack O Latern
  21. Lion
  22. Elf
  23. Poppy
  24. Dracula
  25. Galaxy
  26. Ice Queen
  27. Frankenstein
  28. Poison Ivy
  29. Camo

Final Surprise look will be my Halloween costume! I am beyond excited to share with everyone!

Here are some looks I have done in the past. I will recreate each look. Lets see how much my skills have changed!

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Moda Mythical Brush Set Review

I had not bought new makeup brushes in nearly 10 years. I was still using my makeup brushes from cosmetology school in 2009 (YIKES). My brush hairs were falling everywhere and stained from my makeup over the years. Consequently, I went on a search for some beautiful Unicorn makeup brushes to finish my Unicorn vanity space. I knew I saw them online, but I also remembered seeing them in a store. I started at Ross with the luck of finding a couple pretty brushes, but no unicorn. Then I moved on to target, TJ Maxx, and last Walmart. Behold there they were in the makeup section at Walmart. The beautiful unicorn brushes my heart so desired! You could say I am a little obsessed with unicorns, because I kind of am. Which is great right now because they can be found EVERY where.

So what do I have to say about them? Well for starters they are every bit of beautiful and vibrant colors with a metallic finish they are great for vanity display. They are 100% Vegan and have brightly colored synthetic fibers. Each Brush is labeled with what it is for.

  • Blush:
    The blush brush is very loose bristles. Depending on the look you are completing it could be good or bad. I may just need to get used to it, as the old brushes I had were a little more firm. The bristles are amazingly soft and feel great on your skin.
  • Complexion:
    Despite the fact that the complexion brush does not have as tightly packed bristles as I would like, it still gets the job done. Even though it does take a little more work, I appreciate the look I can achieve with this brush.
  • Domed Shadow:
    I do like the domed eye brush. When it comes to eye brushes I like to have a lot of different options depending on the eye look I am completing. With soft bristles it is very easy on my eyelids while delivering a good amount of shadow.
  • Crease:
    While the crease brush is not my favorite crease brush, it does do well for all over eye color. It just has a lot of play in the bristles and I like precise crease brushes. I still prefer my Morphe brush.
  • Angle Eyeliner:
    I love this brush! I really do!! I use it for my glitter applications. It is pretty precise and does not have a lot of give in the bristles. It is perfect for perfecting lines!

I actually bought 2 packs of these brushes just so I would have a couple of each eye brush. I believe for the price of $16.84 these brushes do a great job. I have not washed them just yet, but I will edit and add how the washing process goes, a little later now.

Find these brushes here

-Mickey

“Uniquely Human- A Different Way of Seeing Autism” Book Review

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

By Barry M Prizant PhD

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I set out to find answers on google and found nothing, but frustration. My son was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in Fall of 2017. Although I knew the diagnosis was coming, I was still at a loss for what was yet to come.

“How do I make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure he succeeds?” This question was always afloat in my mind. January of 2018, Raylan started school in hopes to seek out the early intervention he was in dire need of. Shortly after, Raylan started school, a parent recommended this book to me. The parent raved about how it had made things so much clearer and helped them understand more. I was reluctant to really dive in and read it. I was still adjusting to my son’s new diagnosis, our life with IEP’s, and our other 3 children. I was not ready to read a book that would blatantly tell me something I already knew.

However, once I picked it up I could not put it down. I started to read it as a paperback. When we had to travel to IL, as I drove I listened to every single chapter by audiobooks. On the return trip, I listened to every single chapter a second time. I put book marks in my paperback and reread the sections I had book marked in the Audible book. This book changed my life, my thought process, and made me even more proud to be a mom of a child with Autism.

There’s one topic the author covers in this book which made me take a step back… as ever work with your child. The author mentions that we are the professionals when it comes to our children, that it is perfectly normal for us to stand up for them and say, “no” when we deem necessary. This was something I struggled with. I as a mama am an advocate for my kids. I will argue, stand up, and not back down until I am certain my kids are taken care of in the way that is right. When it came to Raylan’s, medical I would argue tooth and nail when I knew what was right and wrong. I fired a couple therapists! I was that mama who rattled everyone’s cage if I thought they were treating Raylan, wrong. Some people would say that is not OK, because doctors/therapist are the professionals, but not this author. And not I. In Uniquely Human, there is an entire chapter about parents being the professional when it comes to their children. This was affirming to me that all those times I didn’t back down, I was doing the right thing. Many things that the author wrote about in Uniquely Human, is incredibly eye opening and made complete sense to me. Raylan is indeed Uniquely Human. The title of this book was perfect!

While reading this book it was more than I ever could have expected. The author is well versed and knowledgeable in ASD, he writes from a professional as well as a personal viewpoint. He has a personal connection when he writes with individuals with ASD such as Temple Grandin. He shares stories of parents and teachers who work with ASD, making it easy for the reader to connect on a personal level. Many instances written about in the book, I have experienced myself.

If you have a child with Autism, are working with children that have Autism or you are just interested in learning about kids with Autism, I highly recommend this book. It was eye opening for me and I hope it will be for you.

– Mickey