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Pictures on my birthday – 2015 – 2018

One day in 2015, I just woke up.

Single. Broke. Scared. Emotionally abused. So broken.

A college drop-out with a part-time-job in a high rent area of town.

And two beautiful daughters who were depending on me to keep up our two-sport-traveling-team, European SUV and perfect polished nails lifestyle.

I was exhausted and my body hurt.


In that moment, I decided I could … I can.

Because, they were watching me.

We threw out the bad food. We went to the grocery store and bought new, healthy food and we tried new recipes. Sometimes, these new meals went straight down the garbage disposal and we drove through Burgerville instead.

I made a commitment to start to move my body.  Exercise seemed so out of reach for me, because my previous successful experience with exercise had only been through a $500 a month gym/personal trainer combination. But I decided to try. My sister sent me the DVD’s to do the 21-day fix through Beachbody and Autumn motivated me every morning to just hold on for 30 minutes. Then, I started walking my dogs. Even when it was raining (BTWs – pugs in raincoats are SUPER cute).  Then Lizzy, who was then 13 years old, said she was going to take over as my personal trainer. We did our first race together. Then our second. And more. And my BFF Shae signed us up for our first Ashley Horner Transform You Challenge, and we started lifting weights in my garage. Which morphed into becoming a transformation challenge winner and an Ashley Horner ambassador, earning me 1,000s of Ashlete Sisters and friends from across the globe.

I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and learned how to budget. I paid cash as often as I could and tried to tell my money where it was going so that I didn’t have surprises that I couldn’t handle. I asked my mom for temporary help to fill in the gaps. I bought insurance. I got scholarships and grants and loans and went back to college. I got a second part-time job. I got a reasonable car. Eventually, I broke down and opened my home to a friend from CrossFit and my girls and I got a roommate.  And a savings account. And we were able to take a family vacation.

2018: 3 years later.


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I am overwhelmed with emotions as I think about the payoff from being determined, hard working and not giving up.  And yet, I acknowledge that the journey is never over. And there is never right. There is just always the opportunity to get better. 

I have a healthy relationship with food. But I still have challenging days and cravings. OMG that peanut-butter-pickle-burger.

I just completed the CrossFit Open and placed in the 90th percentile for women my age in fitness. But I still can’t do a strict pull-up and running is so difficult for me.

My oldest daughter is in the “dream” art college and my other daughter is now in high school. Both with healthy friendships and positive, happy lifestyles and are successful in their jobs/sports. But we still struggle getting our schedules to match to have family dinners.

February 17, 2018: I got married. I had to learn to be patient, to not settle and to trust. And the rewards are amazing.

March 28, 2018: I graduated from college. I never tried so hard in my life as I did in the last terms. Because. Math.

April 1, 2018: I have a full time career job at a company that gives benefits. I am so grateful for this and want to keep learning.

July 27-29, 2018: I just competed in my first Masters Elite Individual CrossFit Competition. I had the best experience at the CanWest Games and want to keep getting stronger, quicker, and more healthy.

September 5, 2018: My husband and I just got keys to our new home. We are so blessed and happy to have a house that we can start fresh and create a home together for our family.

July 19, 2019: I got my first USA Weightlifting Certificate recognizing that I set an Oregon State Record for Masters Women 45-49 87+ KG Weight Class in Snatch, Clean and Jerk and Total. Snatches used to be my enemy; they are now a frenemy. I work very hard on mobility, nutrition, recovery and attack what does not come naturally. 

December 4, 2019: Got the official notice in the mail; the first loan of about fifteen student loans has been paid off. This 7 year college undertaking was THE BEST investment I could have ever made in myself and I will chip away and be done paying long before these loans are due.

January 2020: My husband and I were able to take Lizzy and a friend on a senior trip to London and the trip included both Mike and I competing in a CrossFit Sanctional Event “Strength in Depth”.  This trip was a dream for Lizzy; she has wanted to go to London for a long time.  We partially paid for it due to our Chestee “side-hustle” income, which leads me to point out that if you want it bad enough, you will MAKE it happen. 

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October 22, 2020: Paid off my last credit card debt accumulated whilst being a single mom. I know that financial professionals preach to never make some of the creative financial moves I made from 2015-18 which I discussed on the instagram post on this date, however, I will never regret those “bad” financial decisions because it was what kept a roof over our heads and allowed me to still be the best parent, finish college and discover more of who I am.

As move forward into the future … I am grateful for my life’s experiences and want to help others who are starting their journey which is the reason to launch this website.