When a new mom walks into class for the first time and they have a Stroller Strides branded stroller and a Body Back tank top on, you know she’s already part of your Village. Michelle is humble about how amazing of a mom she is but if you ask any of our ladies in class, they rave about her! Michelle’s hometown is Bend, Oregon. She’s spent time living in other parts of the country and currently lives in East Multnomah county. Her family includes her husband Jacob and her five children Benjamin, Eliana, James, John and Ethan. The kiddos are all due to celebrate birthdays soon so they will soon be seven, five, three and one! Just like their mama, these littles come to class full of smiles and graciousness.
Michelle’s dedication to class is inspiring, she says it, “Literally keeps my sanity. I'm a happier and healthier mama because of SS. I get a great workout, the support of a great community, and play time for my kids all in one place.” She isn’t kidding either, just today she showed up to class and her stroller hadn’t been returned to the car. She tossed a kiddo on her back,...more
Today is my son’s birthday. I’m SO happy, and we celebrated big this year with lots of his friends, doing all the things kids like to do. I was reflecting on how my feelings towards his birthday must vary compared to women who have carried and given birth to their child. For those moms, there is an emotional and physical memory. I can only imagine, like any great event in your life, the birth of their child must leave very clear memories. Very specific details that stick around, clear as yesterday. Could be the contractions, the movements, her body preparing to perform a great feat...so much happening.
As a couple, we’ve grieved not having our own birth story as part of our journey to parenthood but on our son’s birthday, the grief goes to his birth mom. For me this day included heading to a doctors appointment for a women I had only known for three weeks. Earlier that week we had gone to get our nails done together, with her daughter and mother, in an attempt to get to know each other more. I arrived at the doctors office and was told they were being moved to the birth...more
Let’s talk social media as a mother.
If you are on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media site, you have probably been the victim of a judgmental comment at least once. I remember getting a comment on a status when I was pregnant with my first son that still makes my blood boil 4 years later. I deleted the whole status, deleted that person, and vowed to try and be less judgmental online.
I like to describe my current online persona as sarcastically positive, just like in real life. But I sometimes find myself comparing my life to what the other mothers share on Instagram. Don’t do that. Don’t compare yourself to someone’s filtered life they are sharing. You don’t know what their life is like behind the post, what their troubles are, or if they are being paid to post that. So, when those times come that you are comparing yourself to another person’s seemingly effortless take on motherhood, just remember this: WE HAVE ALL BEEN COVERED IN ANOTHER HUMAN’S POOP AT LEAST ONCE.
Social media can be a double-edged sword. We are constantly connected, so when we...more
I am used to the rain; I’ve been an Oregonian for 20 years, so I know it is just part of the contract of living in Oregon. So it really didn’t bother me until I had children because it messes up my day now that they love to go to the park. So these are my 10 tips on adapting to the rainy weather with toddlers.
1. Buy a raincoat, for everyone. Don’t be like me and think your kids will wear their giant parka even in 60 degree rainy weather. Just get them a raincoat. They will wear it more than any other coat in your house.
2. Buy rain boots for your toddler that fit. Not ones that they will struggle to walk in until summer when the rain has stopped for two months. Then when the two months is up, they outgrew them.
3. Stack towels by every door. I’m serious. If you have dogs, stack even more towels by the door. It will be a life saver.
4. Accept an invitation. Another mom friend calls you to come over, and you haven’t showered or left your house in 5 days. Pack the kids...more
Jennifer McColpin was at my first Stroller Strides and my first Body Back class. I can’t begin to explain the joy this lady brings to class. She would probably describe herself as humble, as a village, we’d describe her as enchanting. Jenny lives in Portland with her husband Derek, their daughter Eliana (2 years old) and they’re counting down the days until baby #2 joins them this March!
She describes motherhood as, “So many things. It means everything to me. A lot of hard work, love, learning a lot about myself, stretching, growing, joy, exhaustion, wonderfulness and vulnerability. Having my heart walk around outside my body.” We’re so lucky that Jenny found us, lucky that she went to a Stroller Strides class before she even had children! Thank you to her friend who was an instructor in San Antonio!
If you don’t already know, Jenny is a Registered nurse as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. This girl’s heart is out to give it her all. She has spent time volunteering in Montana and spent six months living with Catholic nuns in Kenya while...more
Being a mother is synonymous to "jack of all trades". We love, we feed, we play, we clean, we share, and we are always working. Whether we are being paid or not, we are all working hard, 24/7. We all find ways to get through the day with a smile on, not always succeeding, but we always try. We all struggle balancing being a mother, a partner, a friend, and we all sometimes forget to balance in ourselves.
My last day of employment was September 18th, 2015 and I started my journey as a stay at home mother. It was exceptionally hard. I could barely balance being a mother and a partner. I needed something to help me feel more complete. We all need a thing. Whether it's writing, exercising, or crafting, it has to be something you are doing because you want to. I tried various outlets before I went to a Stroller Strides class. I didn't know the first day if it was what I needed, but I knew by the end of the week. I was sore, but I was starting to feel like a real person again, not just a mother.
I have met so many women from different backgrounds, with different goals, and...more
Ms. Heather joined Stroller Strides in September with her daughter Emma. It took her a couple years to join us as North Carolina was a bit too hot and she also has her ‘crazy’ dog Tali to exercise as well! She found us through her friend who is an instructor in San Diego and finally was able to join. She says that, “Stroller Strides has been the first time she has successfully stuck with an exercise for a length of time.” She is excited to see the results in her level of fitness and enjoys when we back pedal and run up to tickle the babies!
Heather’s hometown is Wall, New Jersey, but this travelling girl has gone all the way to Italy and back. Her background is Early American History and Museum Education. She worked as a Museum educator/Program Manager for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture. With this passion for history you’ll find she struggles between living a minimalist life but also being an historian/preservationist. Heather mentions being at odds with these two parts of herself. Although she does remember a time...more
FIT4MOM found me at the perfect time. My husband and I had just moved to the Portland area with our two year old daughter and a baby on the way. I was a stay at home mom in a new place and I didn't know anyone.
One morning my daughter and I were just having a really rough morning and I needed to get us out of the house. I didn't really know where to go so we just headed for the mall. I was so distracted by the morning’s tantrum and the thought that it would be hours before my husband would be home, that I didn't think to check what time the mall opens. We were there about 30 minutes early. I got a coffee from Starbucks and started doing laps with the other mall walkers.
I ended up walking behind two moms in workout clothes pushing their strollers and I was jealous. I wanted a mom friend to workout with. I ended up seeing them a little bit later at the mall play area and I decided to ask them if they were a part of a stroller group. I had heard of groups where mom’s workout with their kids but at eight months pregnant I figured I would wait until baby came to really...more
Sara Ellen joined us three months ago when Erin handed her a welcome flyer on Mt. Tabor. Sara-Ellen was enjoying the day nursing Felix, she says it was “meant to be”. If you’re in class with her you’ll notice Sara-Ellen brings an energetic, sporty attitude and laid back style to the class. You’ve probably meet her handsome boys Ozzy and Felix, she also has her supportive husband Junior.
Sara has been certified to appraise real estate here in Portland, though as a child she dreamed of an adventurous life (think Indiana Jones with a camera). She has a degree in fine arts and has worked in galleries in her home state of North Carolina and in New York City. Ask her about studying abroad in Florence, Italy or what her favorite subject to paint might be.
Sara says motherhood is about hard work and love, two feelings that many of us can connect with. Her lively attitude is clearly inspiring, yet she acknowledges how difficult it was to stay positive, remain active and focus on your goals after a difficult pregnancy. “I had a huge goal to overcome, mentally and physically,...more
If there was a contest on the worlds sweetest smile, Jennifer Watson would be the winner. This mama radiates kindness. Miss Jennifer was raised in a small community south of Beavercreek called Clarks. Her family now consists of her husband Welo and their three lovely daughters, Natalie (10), Mirabelle (6) and Violet (1.5). If you feel like you have met Jennifer before, you may have! She started with Stroller Strides nine years ago with Natalie! They’ve made Stroller Strides a special part of their daily lives, enjoying the workout and most important the friendships they’ve made.
Before children Jennifer’s life included Portland State University where she studied Spanish and Elementary Education. Not surprising this patient mama also spent time as a Kindergarten teacher for a few years. She continues to love the beach, the snow and relaxing in a nice hot bath or hot tub.
Jennifer describes motherhood as “Everything. It’s the best (and sometimes the worst thing) ever. The hardest and most rewarding role in life”. I’m sure all of us can agree, that this job is one of...more
This month we want to honor ALL of our amazing adventurous FIT4MOM ladies. We have some great women in our group, who do some extraordinary things in their free time away from class. Check out our swimmers, runners, movers and a new mom!
First, I want to say how amazing you each are and how fabulous it is that you get yourself, your child and everything you need out the door and to class each time. We know how hard it can be sometimes to work out nap schedules and make things work, so we appreciate your effort and your dedication to your health!more
Getting to know the Moms in our village is the most rewarding aspect of leading Fit4Mom SE PDX. October’s Mom of the Month is Angie Russo. Angie joined Stroller Strides in April 2016 at the invitation of her friend Danielle and is now enrolled in a full Body Back session and plans to rejoin Friday morning SS classes soon.
It’s clear that family is tops for Angie. She describes motherhood as an opportunity to view life a second time through an untainted lens and see magic everywhere. She and her partner Aaron are raising one daughter, Juliet, whom Angie describes as “pure joy” and two dogs named Huckleberry and Bessie. She loves Martini night with Aaron, brunch dates with girlfriends, traveling (ask about Villa La Angostura), and watching the sunset at a family cabin in Lake Almanor. Oh, she also loves laughing until her sides hurt, of course!
This cheerful California native dreamed of being a diplomat as a child. Though not yet in the diplomatic corps, she is highly accomplished. Angie has a BA from Berkeley, a Master’s in Education and Juris Doctorate that she...more
Jessica and her husband Paul are raising two daughters, Bella (4) and Aubrey (2). They are a
family that smiles together and smiles a lot. They share their home with four lively hens and one Flower Kitty. Jessica has checked a few items off her bucket list! She is an experienced Digital
Project Manager, a world traveller, professional belly dancer and former BreadHead of the Month.
To say this mama is well rounded is an understatement. Here is Jessica's humorous take on motherhood:
"Pick up, clean up, dishes, laundry, diapers, clean up again, turn around to find the first mess back again, rinse and repeat over and over with a BIG helping of love, various degrees of patience depending on the day, exhaustion, hilarity, more clean up, some tears, poop, always so much poop! Lots of laughs, cuddles, love and a sense of accomplishment."
For sure mama! Especially when you're in the potty training zone! When you have a chance to chat with Jessica, ask this spirited lady why TUCK JUMPS are her favorite and what her favorite shoes are!more
Member of the Month: Jennifer
Jennifer and her husband Jason have two boys Timothy (4.5) and Matthew (10.5 months). Born and raised in Portland/Milwaukie, this mama's favorite things include hiking, being in her backyard, and breakfast!
Jennifer grew up always wanting to be a mom and that dream has come true with her two awesome little men! We asked her what motherhood means to her and she responded with: " Motherhood is so hard to define in a few words! It is more than wiping little bottoms, cleaning up spills, and laundry. Those are the tasks. It is being a loving guide on the journey of life...seeing everything from the perspective of little eyes, teaching right and wrong, learning more about yourself as well as your family, and growing together." Well said lady!
Please be sure to introduce yourself, ask her about her trips through Germany and her 16-year career with Legacy Health! Jennifer was nominated by two instructors to be featured because she has been so dedicated to coming to class and bringing her family with her! We love how...more