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Three Y moms share their stories on healthy living, healthy outlooks, and healthy challenges they face on a daily basis. These women are regular moms, just like you, who are working to balance activities and obligations, lessons and love - while setting good examples for their children.

Name: Sara L.
Kids: Evan (22), Georgia (3.5), Parker (2)
Parenting style: Inconsistent
Favorite family activities: Crafts,  movie night, field trips to the zoo and the park
Hobbies/Interests: Shopping at Target, solo trips to the coffee shop, Real Housewives of _______
Best known for: Inappropriate sense of humor at all the wrong times

Name: Jessica H.
Kids: Elijah (9), Ruby (6), Gideon (3)
Parenting style: Evolving. I use logic when I can, bribes when they're needed, and unconditional love always.
Favorite family activities: Having fun. Whether it's the grocery store or the park - it's more fun when we're silly.
Hobbies/Interests: Anything creative
Best known for: Saying exactly what I think. (I win some and lose some this way.)

Name: Lisa T.
Kids: Lauren (13), Leah (11), Sydney (7)
Parenting style: Perfect balance of structure and chaos.
Favorite family activities: kid's sports (playing and cheering), cooking with the kids, family game and movie nights
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, nutrition, yoga, crochet
Best known for: Healthy, home-cooked meals and brown-bag lunches.



A Decent Start
Posted by Sara L. on Feb. 25, 2013

I’m a few workouts into my training for the Run Like a Mother 5K in May. (Back story here.) I can’t really call it training because there is no plan other than to get on my shoes, get to the Y and run. (Okay…jog.) I’m not sure yet about pacing or warm ups or how many miles is a K, but what I do know is that I started. And I feel pretty darn okay.

I downloaded an embarrassing amount of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj for a woman my age, but the rhythm and youthful grrrrl power makes me feel strong and makes me want to keep going through to another song.

I love to people-watch as I run. The Y is such a melting pot of kids, families, adults and seniors. The moms hustle in with their kids, towels and swimsuits in tow ready for swim lessons. Little girls in tutus head downstairs for ballet class. Friends meet up in the lobby, ready to tackle a cycling or group exercise class together. Seniors stretch and chat, staying active and social well into the decades. People of all shapes and sizes show up to learn something new, be active, and hopefully get a little healthier.

This has helped so much in the early stages of my training. Even though I’ve been to the Y many times before, it was usually for work or to take my kids to class. When I walked in to work out I felt like an awkward 6th grader again. Were my clothes right? Which is the right treadmill? And how to I turn the stupid thing on? Can EVERYONE tell I don’t know what I’m doing? Ridiculous, I know.

Then I noticed that 1) no one was looking at me (should’ve remembered that from 6th grade), and 2) everyone around me was at differing stages of ability. But we were all there doing something. I was doing something. I’m certainly not putting myself in the athlete category, and I’m pretty certain that there was a 70-year-old woman on the track who could’ve lapped me, but I started. And it feels good.



The B-word
Posted by Jessica Himsel on Feb. 7, 2013

It's been cold enough for long enough now that I swear my house has shrunk to half its normal size. My kids are bickering (incessantly) with each other one minute, running wild the next, and leaving a trail of destruction and chaos in their wake. Also, the "b-word" has reared its ugly head. The b-word, my friends, is likely not what you're thinking – although it's a "naughty" word in our house nonetheless. The b-word is "bored." I loathe that word – almost as much as I long to have enough time to waste becoming it.

A couple years ago, I instituted a 25 cent penalty for each utterance of the word. My kids are young enough that this is quite a serious penalty – so I was happy when it took barely more than a dollar's worth of fines for the word to be eradicated from our vocabulary. Until just recently, with my youngest the offender.

This has been the longest of winters with the strangest of weather for us. Not really enough snow to be fun, often too cold to play outside if there is, and a sloppy mess in between. We've also been plagued by more than our fair share of illness (strep, pink eye, colds, flus, more pink eye…you get the picture), so we've been a bit self-quarantined more than our liking. But in between our contagiousness, we've found a winter boredom buster for the whole, entire family. Yes, the whole 39-year span of us. (Insert triumphant trumpet noises here.)

If you've never been to Passport to Play at your local Y, and you have kids who like to play, and better yet, your kids have parents who like to play – you have to check it out. Not a Y member, you say? Not a problem, I say (and, well, so does the Y, which is the important part). It's full of fun games, sorted by age groups, and changes each week. Anything from red-light, green-light to dodge ball to family basketball. Led by friendly gym-teacher-like instructors, children and parents run and laugh and play. And this time of year, having a wide-open space to run (without being dressed like that kid in the Christmas Story) is a big, fat luxury. Add most definitely, a b-word buster.

Schedule and locations below – hope to see you there!

South Shore YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm
Northside YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm

Parklawn YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm
John C. Cudahy YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm

Tri-County YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm

Rite-Hite Family YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm
Southwest YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm
West Suburban YMCA, 6:00-7:30pm


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