Category Archives: Family

Mother’s Day Weekend

I had one of those weekends that was awesome and exhausting, and as I write this post I’m so thankful. I spent Mother’s Day with Mom today, and she’s continuing to recover from the strokes she had a few weeks ago. I’ve never been more thankful to spend time with her than I was today.

Mom and Me

When I arrived at her house we both took naps, then we ate watermelon, spent time with the neighbor and played Bananagrams. We didn’t do anything particularly exciting, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s here and healing. I’m just so relieved that God is in control – even through the scariest of circumstances, and I’m also thankful that I recognized that in the midst of everything.

I have a lot to discuss here – protein shakes, TRX and swimming, but right now I’m beat. I’m looking forward to relaxing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I just need to power through a few days first.

I’m going to start the week off right be getting some sleep. My goal is to sleep for 7 to 8 hours. Am I the only one who needs that much to feel refreshed the next morning?



My Mom Had A Stroke (Actually, She Had Two)

The last seven days have been the most terrifying of my life. Mom flew in one day after I did, and when she arrived I told her that we needed to go to the Emergency Room. The right side of her face was droopy, and she was having a hard time saying her words. She refused to go.

She lost her job (and healthcare benefits last year) and has looked all over to find work. She’s approaching her mid-sixties, and even with her incredible work background and education she hasn’t found work. She was willing to do things way beneath her level of expertise, but she lives in a very small, oppressive area where life has been hard over the last year.

My mom carries the stress of her family on her shoulders. She’s the strongest person I know, but she’s tired. My aunt Debbie has been incredibly sick for over a year, and before that her granddaughter was fighting cancer. Mom cares about them and worries about them. She’s been under a lot of pressure, though who knows if that’s why she had the stroke?

A couple days after refusing to go to the ER, my aunt called me and urged me to convince her. I left work knowing that Mom would protest, but this time she didn’t. She knew things were getting worse, so I met her at the ER.

The next several days were rough. My sister caught the next flight out when I texted her that Mom’s CT scan showed that he did, in fact, have a stroke. (Mom assumed it was Bell’s Palsy.) She spent that night at her local hospital, and they released her. Before she arrived at home, which is only a few minutes away, my sister brought her back to the ER because she couldn’t lift her arm and leg. She had experienced another stroke.

At that point they sent her to a hospital near my home in New Orleans. She went through several tests, and they confirmed that she had a blog clot in her brain. It’s really small, so the doctor prescribed meds that should dissolve it over the next few weeks.

My sister and I brought her home last night, and she seems much better than she did when she entered the hospital. She had two strokes in one week though, which makes the risk much higher that she’ll have another one over the next few weeks. They gave her a pretty strong dose of medicine, which should (hopefully) counteract that.

I know that God is in complete control of this situation (and that He’s here in spite of my fears.) I just want Mom to be okay, and I am praying and believing that she will be.

My sister goes home tomorrow, which means that I’ll spend as much time with Mom as possible. I’ve missed several days of work, which I wouldn’t change for a minute. I just want to be sure that she’s okay too.

I’ve never been so scared in my life. I wish I could say that I wasn’t worried at all, but I’m human…and I’m trying to have faith. I’ve felt a lot of peace, which seems like enough.

We’ve been surrounded, supported and uplifted by people who love us and were willing to put that love into action this week, and I’m so utterly thankful for that. If you’re a person who prayers please pray for my family, especially for Mom.


Friend Makin’ Mondays: All About Family

This week’s FMM is coming to you from Colorado! I came out to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday, and, as always, we had a great time together.

Auntie auntie and h

The theme of her party was the “Wizard of Oz,” so I baked ruby slipper cookies. We played games and ran around in the snow, and I’m already looking forward to seeing them over the summer.

wizard of oz cookies ruby slipper

snow feet

This long weekend was all about family for me, so naturally, FMM is going to be all about family too.


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

All About Family

1. How many siblings do you have? Tell us about them. I have one sister. She’s a teacher, and she’s married to a cool guy. They have two daughters, who just happen to be my favorite little people in the world.
2. Do you have kids? If so, how many? Nope, but I have two awesome nieces. I adore them!
3. Share one thing you love about each of your parents. My mom would do anything for me, and she requires nothing in return…ever. Dad and I don’t always agree politically, but it’s a lot of fun to talk about it with them.
4. How close do you live to your nearest relative? I live about an hour and a half from my mom, which is awesome.
5. Does your family have any particular traditions that you’d hate to miss? If so, what are they? I just enjoy being around my family, so I take every opportunity I can to spend time with them.
6. Share an odd fact about your childhood. When I was really young we lived in Louisiana, but I didn’t grow up there. We traveled across Lake Pontchartrain to visit family, and for a while I had a recurring dream about trees quickly growing up from the water and snakes dangling from them. I also thought the lake was loaded with sharks.
7. Did you have pets when you were growing up? Do you have any now? If so, tell us about them. I had kittens, and I even had a dog once as a kid. I’d love to have another cocker spaniel, but my home and lifestyle just aren’t conducive to it. Many people around me do it, but I plan to wait until I no longer live in a high-rise building.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and leave your link in the comments!

Happy Monday!


Fitbloggin’ 15 and Family

I’m making some changes here, but I couldn’t wait to share my Fitbloggin’ recap.


After spending a glorious week in Colorado, I’m back home in New Orleans. I haven’t really had an opportunity to process everything yet because as I was departing yesterday, I became ill. I’ll spare you most of the details, but let’s just say that I now have a new “worst flight ever” to remember. I’m pretty sure the people sitting next to me would agree too.  Thankfully, we were in the air before the decided to call a medic, otherwise I’m not sure I would have made it home at all yesterday.

I’m not 100% yet, but I’m far less miserable than I was. I have no appetite, but I no longer feel so putrid that I can’t even think of food. A sweet someone brought me dinner and meds, and I’m on the mend now.

Fitbloggin’ didn’t officially start until Thursday evening, so I spent the afternoon with my sister and nieces, and Leslie and Jaason joined us. It was awesome to let my worlds collide for an afternoon by introducing my family to friends who feel like family. We walked around downtown dinner, chatted for a bit, and relaxed.

Leslie Steph and More

My oldest niece, Hannah, knows how to make her auntie feel good. When she spotted me she ran through the lobby of my hotel to greet me. I love that kid. She’s so awesome! My youngest niece, “Haddy,” took a while to warm up to me. She’s only one, and she didn’t know me. Thankfully, through offering her a bite of a cookie, we became instant BFF’s. I definitely think she’ll remember me when she’s here in a few weeks.

Westin Denver

They loved that I let them jump on my bed too. (What can I say? They’re adorable.)

I didn’t spend a lot of time at the opening mixer because I had dinner plans with Leslie, Jaason and David, which I’ll discuss more in a moment. I did stay long enough to say hello to a lot of people whom I adore and to make my official Fitbloggin’ badge. It’s a fun way to kick off the conference every year, and this year we were instructed to place a star on our badge for every year of attendance.


They’re some of the coolest California people I know.


Five years of Fitbloggin’. Wow..

I’ve attended this conference for five years in a row, and there’s one specific reason for it: the people. I don’t care about blogging now nearly as much as I did when I started attending this conference, but enjoying a friendly reunion weekend never gets old.


J’s pretty good at taking selfies. I’m glad he’s tall.

Everyone should have a friend like Kris.


After hours…

I wouldn’t have gone this year if Leslie hadn’t agreed to go as well because it’s just not the same without her, but I’m glad she did. I’m glad we all went. Thursday night we ate at Mercantile Dining & Provisions inside Union Station. We shared several appetizers, and I chose the Boulder Natural Crispy Half Chicken heirloom grain porridge, shaved asparagus & morel mushroom salad, spring onion crema.

Mercantile Denver

My chicken is definitely fancier than your chicken…

Earlier that day I had breakfast with some of my other Fitbloggin’ pals, Kris, Deb, June and Julie.

Fitbloggin Breakfast

Julie, Me, Kris, June and Deb

The conference offers some cool sessions and opportunities to work with various brands, but some of my favorite things happened after hours this year.

My friend, Kelly at No Thanks to Cake, decided to have an impromptu chat Friday evening, and people filled the room to listen. I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening at the time, but it led to an amazing conversation with friends in the other room.

Fitbloggin Women

Deb, Pauly, Dani, DeAnna and me

We talked about life, self-love, love from others and a myriad of other things. Pauly shared the most amazing beer ever with me too, Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment. (It’s probably good that I’ve never seen it in New Orleans because it’s too delicious!) Anyway, these women all come from different backgrounds, cities, etc., but they reminded me that we all want the same thing at our core. Moments like the ones we shared that evening are the reason I go to Fitbloggin’ every year, and I’m so thankful for them.

After the conference I picked up a rental car and drove to Colorado Springs. My favorite thing about the conference this year was the proximity to my sister’s house. It was great to spend time with her family, and we filled every moment with something fun.

One of the highlights of our time together was a little hike we did near their house. We had an amazing view of Pike’s Peak and Pulpit Rock, and the weather was perfect! Colorad Springs  We did a lot of other fun things, including mani/pedi time with Auntie, a cupcake date with Mom and Auntie, shopping at Trader Joe’s (because I can always use more Belgian chocolate) and breakfast that included a flight of pancakes.



I’m so thankful for the week that I got to spend surrounded by people I love. I left to conference with some insight into where I’d like to take my blog in the future. (I kind of regret trying to merge the two.) I also created some small, reasonable goals that I hope to share here soon.

My first year at Fitbloggin’ will probably always be my favorite, but this year gave it a run for its money. I can’t count on both hands how many people I know and love as a result of this community, and I can’t wait until it’s time to see them again.

Until next year…




Screw You, Cancer…

This is Aunt Debbie’s granddaughter, Izzy. She’s only 4 year old, and she had surgery a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s back in New Orleans facing 18 months of treatments starting today, followed by another surgery.

Children's Hospital New Orleans

Our hearts are broken because her journey will be rough, but I’m thankful that God is strong in our weakness. I’m also thankful that He is the Great Physician.

If you pray, please pray for complete healing of this little girl and for comfort and God’s provision for her family.

This Is My Life, Not Yours…

Last weekend I was told that my biological clock was ticking.  I even received links (that I didn’t bother reading) about the risks involved in having a child after 35.  No…it was not my family hounding me about having a baby, but I felt personally attacked by someone who would tell you he loves me.

First, let’s take a breather and remember that I’m only 32 years old.  I’m not too old to have a kid, start a new career or to wear bright blue nail polish, even if some people in my life see fit to make me believe otherwise.  I’m in my early thirties.  I live alone, and I take care of myself, and I’m proud of myself for making major changes in my life.  I’ve experienced tremendous emotional growth, and I’m still changing.  I went back to school last year to pursue a degree in a field that has opened up an entirely new world to me, and I have recommitted to finishing what I started in weight-loss.

I’m 32 years old.  I don’t have a husband, nor am I in a healthy, happy relationship that would make me consider bringing a little human into the world at this point.  I’m not sure why it’s so important to married and unmarried people with kids to project those desires on me.  I’m a terrific aunt, and I love my niece as much as I could ever love a person.  Of course I’d like to experience that kind of love with a child of my own, but I’m not ready.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready, and that’s okay with me right now.

Having a child has never been a serious consideration for me because I’ve never been married, and for most of my adult life, I have been obese.  I realize that women my size often give birth, but I personally don’t see a reason to put myself and a tiny, helpless life at risk because of my size.  I feel more comfortable at this weight than I did at 400 pounds, but a child wouldn’t be on my agenda at this point, even if I had already fallen in love and married The Future Mrs. Kenz whom I’ve discussed here before.

It’s not easy to express how hurtful it was to hear that I have a couple of good years left before I should turn to adoption, or simply not bother.  (Adoption sounds like a wonderful idea, by the way.)  I know that the person who shared the statistics wasn’t being cruel intentionally, but he failed to see why his assertion that the only way to do it is to do so by 35, hit a nerve with me.

I would love to fall in love, get married, move back to the city I want to live in most, buy a place and live happily ever after – all in the next 2.25 years, but who knows if that’s in the cards for me?  What I do know is that shoving statistics down my throat from doctors who have never met me or examined me, and reminding me that 35 is the cut off before I’m “high risk” definitely won’t make anything happen any faster.  If anything, it will just squelch my desire to make any of it happen because I’m already “too late.”

Whether we are sharing our lives on the internet, or we are simply opening up to people that we deem trustworthy, we subject ourselves to thoughtless judgment.  If you know me, you know I’m no stranger to that realization, but I have also learned throughout my journey that sometimes showing love and respect to someone is more important than being right.  Sometimes taking feelings into consideration is more important than winning a debate, especially since changing someone’s mind is a difficult thing to do.

So if you think I’m too old to have a family, get a new job or paint my fingernails bright blue, then get ready for some major disappointment.  I’ve created goals and achieved success in my life before, but I’ve done it on my terms and in my own time.  This is my life, and I will live it in a way that brings joy and happiness to me and the people I’m lucky enough to love.

Until then…I’ll continue to wear blue nail polish if I want to.


There’s A Big Smile Plastered On My Face…

Yesterday was an incredible day from start to finish.  I woke up in our nation’s capital.  The sun was shining brightly, and I had so much fun that I can’t even share it all here.  I had sushi for lunch and skipped the cupcake.  Don’t worry though…There are cupcakes in my future, and I’m not-so-secretly hoping that my NYC cupcake fairy makes an appearance this weekend too.

While I was enjoying what was already a special day, I received a video message from my niece who woke up and reminded her mom that it was my birthday. (She’s three. How cool is that?!)  She insisted that they make cupcakes; the kid is already indoctrinated with her auntie’s love of cupcakes. (Thankfully, she doesn’t seem to love them as much as I do.) She called to ask me what time I’d be there.  Sigh…  I explained that I would visit her soon though not today, and we had a fantastic chat before she sent me the best video message ever.


I also received an incredible message from my friends from the Great North.  Seriously…Tara and Meegan made me smile huge!  I wish I knew how to embed their video, but since I don’t check it out here!

I received lots of love from my family and friends all day, and I was reminded that I have countless reasons to be thankful for my life and the people in it.

Now it’s Friday, and I’m headed to New York.  I should reach my old stomping grounds this afternoon.  I’m looking forward to the stellar weekend with friends that I mentioned in a previous post, and it’s so nice to know that ‘the suit’ will give me his cupcake if I want it.  (I’ll get my own, but it’s still good to know. hehe)

It will be interesting to see how I feel about food this weekend.  Recently I blogged about how I don’t have a desire to overeat when I’m around him. Was that a fluke, or is he the magic cure?  I suppose we’ll find out soon.

My birthday was fantastic this year, and I still have an incredible weekend to look forward to.  If I weren’t me, I’d be jealous of me today. 🙂  I’m thankful for all of the people who love me and care about me who go through the trouble of making me feel special often, especially yesterday.  I love you too. xxoo

I had a great day and a great workout, and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend in my favorite place with most of my favorite people.  Until Monday, Friends…



And this week’s Kenlie’s Cook At Home with Calphalon Challenge grand prize winner is Joelle! Congrats, Joelle!  Enjoy your new 7 qt. Digital Slow Cooker and Calphalon Unison 8″ and 10″ Omelet Pan Set!  Look for an e-mail from me to claim your prize.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and thank you, Calphalon!  Let’s do it again soon!

Family, Friends and Cupcakes, Or Kenlie’s Favorite Things

Yesterday I mentioned that it has been a busy week so far, and yesterday was no exception.  I didn’t get to spend much time with my family, but I did have a good conversation with my sister before school.

I’m always thankful for my friends, but I was particularly thankful for ‘the suit’ yesterday because he entertained me from the moment I walked into class.  I didn’t really want to be at school because I wanted to be with the fam, but he made it fun like he always does.  (Seriously, he’s hilarious…Ha!)  Between J and ‘the suit’ I should probably feel guilty for enjoying class as much as I do, but I choose to embrace it instead.  He made me laugh, but he also listened and encouraged me today because he knew I needed that.  And while I don’t plan to elaborate further, I just want the universe to know that I’m thankful for that guy.

When I arrived at home there was a package of cupcakes waiting for me from Georgetown Cupcake in Washington D.C.  Has anyone seen their show on TLC?

Thank you the cupcakes, Friend! =)

I’m leaving New Orleans at the end of June to spend at least a couple of months living in the D.C. area, and someone I know there (who knows of my love of cupcakes) wanted to share a sneak peek of the awesomeness that is DC Cupcakes.  Whoa…

After trying a few bites I can tell you that I’m glad that place is in Georgetown because I’ll have to stay away from it most days.  Damn, the cupcakes are good!

Today is going to be a another good day because I’m spending time at the beach with Steph and Hannah before we head to dinner with Mom and CJ in the evening.  I’m definitely looking forward to the sunshine and sand.  (And I’ll wear stronger sunscreen than I did last week!)

What are your plans today?


***Oh, just one more thing!  I’ll tally up this week’s entries for the Calphalon challenge and share the winner on my blog tomorrow.  From what I’ve seen so far, this challenge has been awesome for some of us so far!***


Quality Time

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s true.  I’ve been incredibly busy since my sister and niece arrived on Monday.  In addition to my regular work, conference calls, etc. I’ve been spending as much time as possible with my family.

My sister turned 30 yesterday so we celebrated with lunch, wine and shopping.  Stephanie, Hannah and I shared a piece of caramel pecan cheesecake at Copeland’s before buying new handbags.  Can you guess which one is mine?

What do you think? Did I choose the flowery Fossil print or the white leather Sak?

In addition to lunch and shopping, we played with Play-Doh, sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  Check out our super cool chalk designs!

We are talented. We know...

We also visited with friends who are really more like family.  My sister and I have known Brother Harris and Aunt Doris since we were born, and now they know Hannah too.  Mom joined us as we picked up boiled crabs and snails for dinner (no, not kidding) and Brother Harris and my sister convinced Hannah to hold a blue crab.  She’s fearless so, of course, she did it.

I have loved this guy and his wife since I was younger than Hannah is now. I'm so happy that she knows them too!

In case you're wondering...No way! I did not eat this for dinner.

And that’s not all that my fearless niece accomplished today.  She also rode a Harley.  To be clear, she only stayed on for a few hundred feet, but she loved it.  I think the following picture says it all.

Check out her face...and her death grip!

She makes me so giddy!

I didn’t sleep much Monday night, and Tuesday was extraordinarily busy.  But I had a great day with my family followed by a core workout and a much-needed conversation with someone who matters to me.  I was reminded that in spite of life’s challenges I am blessed.

I have class today which means I’ll be missing some fun family stuff, but I’m looking forward to more of it this week!  Right now, I’m looking forward to getting a few hours of sleep!

What’s happening in your world this week?

Happy Birthday Hannah!

I cannot believe that this kid is going to be 3 years old Sunday!  I’ve loved my niece since before she was born, and everyday I love her more.  She is awesome and adorable…Don’t you agree?!

I’m so lucky to be this girl’s Auntie!  Join me in wishing her a happy birthday! xoxo