How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget

 

Some of you beautiful mamas out there LOVE being pregnant. You’re glowing, you’re excited, and you’ve never felt better! I wasn’t exactly in that boat.

I mean, I was absolutely thrilled to be having a baby, but I’m about the most impatient person in the world! 9 months seemed like an excruciatingly long wait, especially when I already felt like I’d been waiting 31 years to be a Mom. I felt nauseous, exhausted, and though I kept checking the mirror for it, I was definitely not seeing the infamous “glow”.

I’m prone to bloating even when not pregnant, so buttoning pants was out of the question pretty early on. (The ol’ hair tie trick saved me for a little while!)

First, I tried to rework my closet to accommodate the bloat. I was NOT going to be that pregnant girl wearing baggy t-shirts and athletic shorts every day, and let’s not even talk about buying a pair of jeans with elastic on the top. Ugh. (Eventually, I ended up doing both.)

Here were the biggest challenges to my maternity wardrobe:

  1. I’m a teacher. I needed to look professional during the week, but fashionable comfort was my go-to on the weekends.
  2. Being due in October in New York meant my closet needed to be equipped for 3 out of 4 seasons with temps ranging from 50 degrees (or less) to 90 degrees!
  3. I refused to spend a lot of my fashion budget on clothes I’d only be wearing for a few months.
  4. Pinterest made me want to be the cutest, most fashionable pregnant lady anyone had ever seen. (Yes, you might find a board on my Pinterest called Pregnancy Goals.)

For the first 2 trimesters, I was able to rework some of my existing wardrobe to fit my expanding belly.

Step One: Scour your closet, and KEEP these items:

-Long tank tops

-Long t-shirts

-Leggings, Especially LuLaRoe!

(If you haven’t heard of LLR, you need to find a consultant in your area. The leggings are like butter.)

-Those cotton sundresses hiding in the back of your closet that are way too short to wear but that you can’t stand to get rid of because they’re SO cute (These make adorable long shirts with leggings!)

-Stretchy dresses or summer dresses (They work even with a slight belly.)

-Stretchy maxi skirts

-Stretchy jeans (Dig those jeggings out from the back of your closet because when you don’t have ANY jeans, you’ll want these. Promise.)

-Cardigans

See? You actually have a really good start to your maternity wardrobe if you can breathe life back into some forgotten pieces in your closet. If you’re anything like me, these won’t work for your big belly in the third trimester, but they’ll get you through for now.

Take everything else from your closet and store it away somewhere for 9 months. This way, you won’t be staring longingly at those skinny jeans. It also makes getting dressed in the morning a little more organized.

Clothing Items You Won’t Want to See Again for 9 Months or More:

-Crop tops (Some girls can totally pull this off. Me? No. I didn’t even have any to begin with unless we’re talking about my favorite Dave Matthews tank that accidentally shrunk in the dryer.)

-Skinny jeans without stretch

-Any tight dress with a zipper and no give to the fabric

-Heels (Again, some of you glamorous moms can pull this off. My feet were swollen, and I was way too tired to try to give off the impression that they weren’t.)

-Flowy shirts or tanks (These just weren’t flattering in my case- they made me look much larger.)

Now It’s Time to Shop! Here are the Basic Items You’ll Want to Get You Through the Next 9 Months:

Maternity Budget Capsule Wardrobe

Luckily, I had a few items given to me by friends. I was also able to hit up the local consignment shops for some gently used maternity items. Check out Cuddle Bugs Consignment in Moreau and Saratoga! They have a large selection of maternity, including nursing tanks and covers!

I splurged on these items, and they were totally worth it:

1. Maternity Jeans. ($35)

This pair of cropped skinny jeans caught my eye because they would get me through almost every season of the pregnancy. Looking back, I wish I would’ve bought them a size bigger because they weren’t the most comfortable in the third trimester. In the beginning, a friend recommended buying full panel in any pants, and I was thanking her later. You’ll want to hike everything up over that belly!

2. This tank. In. Every. Color. ($13)

They’re long, they’re comfy, and they look cute under all your existing cardigans. And they’re everything on the weekends. And in the summer. Just get them.

3. These T-Shirts ($15)

(See all the reasons above.)

4. A Maxi Dress (Prices vary)

For days you want to feel pretty but don’t want to sacrifice any comfort, go with a maxi! Be sure to check this site for coupons and clearance. If it’s not on sale when you’re shopping, try again next week. They run new promos all the time.

5. Cotton T-Shirt Dress (Prices vary)

Comfort + Fashion = Cute & Happy Mom. I actually wore this one to my baby shower. It was a Jack n’ Jill Baby-Q, so this dress was perfect.

6. Crop Stretch Pants ($32)

These were my faves because I could get away with wearing them to teach, but no one knew they were entirely made of stretch and had a stretchy panel. The best part is they have an elastic band you can tighten up at the top of the panel. That sounds super dorky, but trust me, when you can’t wear a belt, elastic is a lifesaver. Buy these a size up for sure.

7. Maternity Leggings (Prices Vary)

You’ll want several pair of these if you’re anything like me. I wore them almost every day to school during the cool weather months because I could get away with pairing them with a tank and cardigan, a light weight tunic, or even one of my regular-sized short dresses. On the weekends, there’s nothing better!

8. Lightweight Tunic ($20)

To finish off your wardrobe, you’ll want a few lightweight tunics for days you want to throw something on quickly without having to put in much thought. And there’s the whole comfort theme going again!

Reworking my wardrobe around comfort really worked to make my 9 months a lot easier. I even came to like my maternity wardrobe better than my normal one! I might even still wear my full panel leggings from time to time. 😉 What tips do you have for stretching your closet to make room for a baby belly?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive compensation.

Sunday Prep Series Week 2

Written by Glens Falls Mom, featuring Jenn Wolfe

Welcome back to our Sunday Prep Series! If you’re just tuning in for the first time, take a look back at last week’s post for some introductions and the tips & tricks to help get started with Sunday meal prep. We’re prepping breakfast, lunches, and dinners in under 2 hours. Yes. Seriously. 2 hours. (I tried it myself, and every last dish was clean by the 2 hour mark. I even had to stop halfway through to feed my 5 month old!)

Thanks to the fabulous Jenn Wolfe for letting us have a peek into her kitchen again this Sunday! Jenn is a local mom, teacher, and business owner who makes health and wellness a priority in her house every day. She loves to post ideas for meal prep, so we asked her to share, and she agreed! 

We’re starting off this week’s posts with a few more questions for Jenn. 

Thank you for joining us for the second post in our Sunday Prep Series! Let’s get into some of the details of prep day. Can you tell us about the kitchen equipment we might want to keep on hand for Sunday Prep?

This Sunday’s food prep will include the use of a crock pot, baking sheets, muffin tins, large mixing bowls, cutting boards and knives. Most of these items are staples in anyone’s kitchen. If you don’t have a crock pot, I seriously encourage you to get one! 

Tell us about freezing on Wednesdays. Why Wednesday? What’s the process like?

Assessing your leftover foods is important to do on Wednesdays because you shouldn’t let cooked food last more than 3-4 days. Luckily in my house between my kids and my husband we rarely have to freeze food, but when we do I use freezer safe containers that stack easily.

How do you recommend we organize our Sunday Prep recipe ideas? Tell us more about how you pick your recipes and how you mix it up from time to time.

I wish I could say I was super organized! The truth is I often shop first, and then figure out what I am going to do either while I’m walking around looking at ingredients and what looks good (I avoid shopping when I’m hungry), or when I get home. I try to avoid boredom with food. Last week was full of chicken recipes, and although they were different, I knew I wanted more variety this week. I made the meatloaf cups a few weeks ago, and my husband and kids LOVED them, so I knew that would be a good fit. The crock pot recipe is always a crowd pleaser. To better answer your question, I mix and match protein (chicken, ground turkey, pot roast, steak), spices, and pair them with a different grain or starch each week.

One last question…we’ll make it a fun one! What’s your favorite local activity to do when you’re done with meal prep on Sunday?

I’m a HUGE fan of being outside. If I’m not coaching my girls sports teams, I love to drag them up mountains. We call it “Girls Day”. One of our favorites is Sleeping Beauty. We hike to the top and then I reward them for hiking by taking them down to Shelving Rock waterfall. We spend the afternoon splashing away and enjoy a picnic lunch. We’ve made some great memories out in nature!

We know what you’re really here for…the recipes! Here’s what you’ll need from the market this week:

 

Remember our tip…try to shop on a day other than Sunday to avoid burnout. You don’t want to spend the entire day shopping and cooking, unless you like that sort of thing! 

Groceries

Other general cooking tips to keep in mind:

Focus on the meal you struggle with most. If you rush to get breakfast in, make some easy eggs cups, make ahead breakfast sandwiches, etc. If you struggle with lunch/dinner, prep those items you need most.

Make a plan, stick to your grocery list. This is time and money saving! I’ve found Hannaford To Go to be extremely helpful. Don’t try to shop and prep in one day, that can be overwhelming.

Keep it simple! Don’t attempt several new recipes. It will monopolize your time and you will never want to do it again. Think/shop/cook in food groups and then mix and match.

Mix things up. You don’t want to be bored. Food should be fun!

Have plenty of storage containers and zip lock baggies handy.

Here’s how Jenn says a typical Sunday should go:

A typical Sunday prep takes me about 2 hours start to finish, including clean up. I make and focus on lunches and dinners.

I also make hard boiled eggs and I bag nuts for when we are on the go or as salad toppers.

I plan for 3-4 days. If I get to Wednesday and I find I have a lot of leftovers, I will freeze and use later.

Food prep shouldn’t be overwhelming, start small, and keep it simple.

Maximize your time in the kitchen by:

Chopping veggies while protein is cooking. You can also chop them the night before and store in a zip lock bag.
 
Lay out all ingredients on your kitchen table or counter so you save less trips to the pantry or fridge.

Clean as you go. I always make sure my dishwasher is empty and ready to be loaded. It’s much less overwhelming when you finish and don’t have a sink full of dishes!
 

Dinner Prep

Make a few dinners ahead on Sunday, and you’ll have a quick, ready-to-go dinner for the weeknights!

Turkey Meatloaf Cups

Mix ground turkey (1-2 packages) in a large bowl with…
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Chopped onions
Chopped peppers (Use the tops of the pepper you’re slicing for the cups- less waste)
 
Slice peppers into thick rings
Lay on baking sheet (Use parchment paper for easier clean up!)
Fill cups with meat loaf mixture
If you have left over meat loaf mixture- freeze or put into a muffin tin and bake
Add ketchup and sriracha to the tops of each cup (If you like it spicier…add sriracha to mixture too)
Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins or until ground turkey is done
Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of the cups
 
Turkey Meatloaf Cups
 

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

Combine chicken thighs, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, ½ cup chicken stock, chili powder and cumin
Make sure Chicken is covered
Add more stock if needed
Cover with lid; cook on high for 3-4 hours
Add 1 cup of rice, black beans, chopped onions and remaining chicken broth
Replace lid and continue cooking on low for another 3-4 hours
Check rice in the last hour of cooking, stirring occasionally 
(6-8 hours total cooking time)
 
Notes:
If it’s too dry, add more chicken broth
If rice is cooked but there’s too much liquid, take lid off and let cook on high to evaporate liquid
You can also cook rice separately and add the black beans/onions in the last 30 minutes of cooking time
Top with salsa or other desired toppings!
 
 

Sausage, Peppers, Onions Over Rice

Cook turkey sausage in a large saute pan
While turkey cooks, slice peppers and onions
Remove sausage when cooked 
Add peppers and onions to the pan, using remnants of sausage for extra flavor
When peppers are cooked, chop and store with peppers and onions
(Total cook time 25 minutes)
 
Notes:
We will eat over brown rice during the week
Batch cook the rice so it is already cooked for use in other recipes
 
 
 

Lunch Prep

Chicken & Salad

Chicken this week will be cooked three ways to serve over salads. Use mushrooms and cucumbers in salad along with any other salad toppings you like! To prepare the 3 types of chicken, use aluminum foil in the pan to separate. On baking sheet, lay down parchment paper and roll aluminum foil to create “walls” between each flavor of chicken.

  1. Sriracha/Lime Chicken
  2. Lemon/Garlic Chicken
  3. Buffalo Chicken

Evenly coat in sauce and place lemon or lime slices on chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Place on salads when cooled.

Breakfast

Egg White Muffins

Grease muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil
Pour in egg whites
Bake at 350 for 20 mins or until fully cooked
*Add turkey sausage, spinach, tomatoes, or whatever you like to jazz these up!
 
 

Here’s how to contact Jenn for guidance on health and wellness, information on AdvoCare and the 24 Day Challenge:

Website: www.wellnesswithwolfe.com

Email: wellnesswithwolfe@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jenn Wolfe /jennifer.wolfe.77715

Instagram: @wolfe.jenn

A special thank you to Jenn for helping us with this series! Keep following along for the next post in our Sunday Prep Series.

The Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese That Broke the Internet

 

Ok, so it didn’t exactly break the Internet. But my macro-friendly mac & cheese recipe from my old blog has been pinned over 1,000 times on Pinterest. That makes me Pinterest famous, right? I’m a one-hit Pinterest wonder.

To be honest, there isn’t anything crazy special about this mac & cheese. And you might be wondering what macro-friendly even means! Well, I’d need a longer post to explain counting macros. In a nutshell, if you actually measure the fat, protein, and carbs you take in every day, you can make big changes in your health and lifestyle based on these numbers. 

At one time in my life (pre-baby) I measured and counted these macros to study my eating habits. I made adjustments and learned a ton about what I was putting into my body. (I will write a more detailed post about this in the future if you’re interested in how to do this yourself.)

While on this food journey, I wanted some mac & cheese. Because, well, who doesn’t crave a bowl full of cheesy carbs now and again?

The great part about tracking your macros is that you can eat whatever you want. It’s the anti-diet. But, you want to be sure you’re keeping your fat, protein, and carbs at a certain number for the day. So, I set out to make a single-serving mac & cheese that would fit within my daily numbers.

This can easily be made into a family-sized recipe, and it includes a serving of broccoli, which means the kids will be getting their veggies in. You could also throw together a single serving for your own lunch…if you have that kind of time!

Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese
Serves 1
Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1/2 cup skim milk or 2 tbsp light cream and 1/2 cup starchy water
  5. 1/3 cup elbow mac
  6. 1 cup frozen broccoli
  7. Dash of salt and pepper
  8. Dash of nutmeg
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Boil mac and cook broccoli according to directions, reserving starchy water from pasta.
  2. Heat EVOO in a small sauce pan. Add coconut flour and combine.
  3. Add milk or cream/starchy water mix, then stir in cheese to finish sauce. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta. Combine with broccoli and cheese sauce, adding starchy water as needed to thin out the sauce to desired consistency.
  5. Add salt and pepper, sprinkle with nutmeg.
Calories
319 cal
Fat
15 g
Protein
20 g
Carbs
31 g
Print
Glens Falls Mom http://glensfallsmom.com/

Moms of Marathon #momcrushmonday

When it came time to write another post for our #momcrushmonday series about moms in our area who ROCK…I immediately thought of the South High Marathon Dance. With less than a week to go until the big day, you can feel the energy rising in our community.

South High Marathon Dance

I started thinking about the dancers and the hard work they’re putting in this week. Bags are being packed, last-minute phone calls are being made for fundraising efforts, and that last bit of hot glue is being reapplied to costumes.

And behind every glue gun, helping to load those suitcases in the car, braiding hair, and counting up all the money…is a mom. (And a dad or aunt, uncle, grandparent of course, but today we’re crushin’ on the moms.)

If you’ve experienced the dance, think for a moment about just how many moms are behind the scenes at SHMD.

You’ve got the moms of alumni who’ve been sticking around to help out at the snack bar or in the kitchen even though their kids graduated years ago.

You’ve got the alumni moms who come back to the dance every year to volunteer with little ones in tow.

Andrew Quinn training for Production Crew at SHMD!

You’ve got the moms of younger students helping with events at elementary and middle schools to inspire the future dancers and contribute to the cause.

You’ve got the moms of current students running the kids to marathon meetings, scrambling to pick up donations, and helping with every little SHMD detail.

You’ve got the recipient moms– the moms who wrote in to the dance to ask for help and support. The mom whose heart aches for her child and needs to be surrounded by our community.

And, of course, you’ve got the mom who’s a combination of a few of these!

That’s a whole ‘lotta AMAZING moms in one place. (By the way, I think you Marathon Moms should create your own Facebook group because if you pooled all that talent, drive, and dedication, you’d have one powerful bunch!)

My next step for writing this article was to seek out a mom to feature. But which type of Marathon Mom would I choose? I sent out a Facebook message asking for nominations of a Marathon Mom, and the response was overwhelming. I couldn’t possibly pick one. So, I’m featuring all of them. 

Please know the moms wanted this post to be a thank you to all the Marathon Moms out there. The best part about these moms is they don’t want the credit- they’re the behind-the-scenes types. 

They all- every single one of them- denied being a true Marathon Mom. Each one sent me the name of someone else they thought better deserved the recognition. They were in utter shock they had been nominated. (Um, the red and blue nails and the SHMD profile pic sort of gave you away, Mamas.)

When I asked the moms to send me a picture of them at the dance, I received responses like, “Well, I have a picture of my kid at SHMD, but not one of me.” The Marathon Moms are working their tails off, never stepping forward to take the credit. They do it all for the kids, and for our community. And that’s the best kind of mom.

Who are the Marathon Moms?

Tracy Capozucca

Wife of Joe Capozucca, mom to two daughters, Maddie (11th grader) and Jillian (6th grader), and Slugger, the family dog.

For Tracy, the dance quickly becomes a family affair. They all help to spread the word about SHMD to friends and family who may want to make donations. The Capozucca’s business also donates items to the silent auction, and the entire family helps to raise money for the dance.

Tracy and her daughter, Maddie

Trish Myott

Trish’s family is seriously dedicated to SHMD! Her husband Tom is a teacher at South High in the Art Department and an advisor of SHMD. Her oldest daughter, Mackenzie, is an alumni who was a SHMD Chairperson her last two years of high school. Her youngest daughter, Allie, is currently a SHMD Chairperson as a Sophomore at South High. They have three male rescue cats, which Trish lovingly refers to as their Fuzzbutts- Baby, Bubka & Koda. (I’m honestly surprised they don’t own a bulldog named Southy!)

After 12 years of face painting, Trish passed the torch to her crew, Amanda Chovan, Jenn Pease and Collene Streicher. She says it was a difficult decision to make because she loved painting all those little faces and looked forward to an ever-growing group of “regulars” that would come see her. But, in 2014, she was asked to get involved with the SHMD Garments aspect of the dance. She worked on designing, ordering and selling all the retail merchandise with John Van Wie and Mary Mann. She realized after two dances of working garments and face painting, she just couldn’t do both any more. She says she hasn’t found the recipe to clone herself yet. (Trish, please share if you ever find this recipe!)

SHMD Garments is a large aspect of the dances’ fundraising efforts. She says they start brainstorming as early as a few weeks following the dance for the next dance- it’s a year-round commitment- and they love it! (Don’t worry. I’ve already worked on convincing Trish to add a Marathon Moms t-shirt to the order next year.)

The Face Painting Committee at SHMD

Tieka Harrington 

Tieka is married to John Harrington, and they have two daughters Jillian, a freshman at South High, and Janessa, a seventh-grader. They have been residents of South Glens Falls for 18 years. Jillian was a recipient of the dance in 2014.

Tieka runs a booth with Karrie Cook at SHMD in the old gym. They offer colored extensions, hair wraps, colored spay for the boys, cornrows, and braids. Each year they try to come up with something new and exciting. She says, “All these people come out to support marathon, and we get to help them show it by giving them red and blue spikes or cornrows with bulldog charms dangling off. What better way is there to show bulldog love?”

Her oldest daughter is now old enough to participate in the dance, so they try to come up with different ways to raise money throughout the year. Her youngest daughter sells raffle basket tickets for the middle school so she can dance during the hour provided for grades 6-8.

Megan Quinn 

Megan is an alumni of South High married to a fellow alumni, Nick Quinn. The two serve as lead members of the Production Crew each year. They have two boys, Andrew (4) and Peter (6 months). Megan says the boys are the most spectacular thing to ever happen to her. (We know EXACTLY what you mean, Meg!) Megan’s family and the entire Production Crew are excited to celebrate the 40th year of SHMD.

SHMD Production Crew

Caitlin Collins

Caitlin has four children, Aidan (11), Avery (8), Annalise (7), and Aubren (4), who all attend South Glens Falls schools. This year’s dance will be her 18th. She’s returned every year to volunteer as an alumni, but this year her son, Aidan, is also a recipient.

Caitlin says, “It’s a completely different feeling this time. It’s surreal. The dance is always an emotional event, but this year definitely takes the cake for us. It’s such a relief to know your entire community is supporting you.”

T-shirts made by Aidan’s family to wear at this year’s SHMD

Sandy Mahoney

Sandy is married to Tom Mahoney. She works at Fort Edward School and as an EMS Supervisor at The Civic Center. In her spare time, she teaches EMS courses at Skidmore College and is a director at the Moreau Rec. They have one son named Logan (10) who attends Harrison Avenue Elementary School. 

Sandy gives back to the dance by being a part of the security team. Her son Logan was inspired to start a mini-marathon at Harrison Avenue shortly after his grandfather passed away and his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Logan wanted to find a way to help his grandmother, so he talked to his principal, Mr. Palmer, about hosting a mini-marathon event at the elementary school. Logan and Sandy worked with the SHMD advisers, the Harrison HSA, and they went looking for support in the community. Logan met with business leaders to ask for t-shirt sponsorships. He gained support from Dan and Kelly Hutchins of Superior Power Washing, Joe Gross, and Jim and Belinda Hunt, and ARCA Ink. They coordinated a DJ, a design for the shirts, and a date to hold the first Harrison Avenue Mini-Marathon Dance. Logan’s grandmother insisted the money be given to others who needed it more. (Grandmas rock, too!)

Logan has written letters to family and friends for donations, raising over $2,500 in 5 years! Sandy grew up in a family of volunteers, and she says it’s a great feeling to watch her child continue this tradition. She and Logan love to spread the word about the dance when they travel. She says the dance has truly reached all aspects of her life. Sandy is proud to be part of SHMD!
 

Melissa Rivers

Melissa and her husband John have a six-month old named Benjamin and a cat named Max. They live in the village, and Melissa has been a teacher at Oliver W. Winch Middle School for thirteen years. She and her husband are both members of the South Glens Falls Fire Company. John’s a firefighter, and she’s in the auxiliary.

Melissa is part of the core alumni committee and works with a small crew to run the alumni merchandise table. They have input on the shirts, take part of the ordering/inventory control, and count all the money donated through the alumni.

Tracy Langdon 

Tracy was born and raised in South Glens Falls and says she grew up with the Marathon Dance. Now she is raising her daughter, a current dancer, in her family home. Tracy works to sell 50/50 tickets, volunteers to work the garment booth, and will be working with the kitchen crew this year.

Check out our interview with these Marathon Moms. Each has a unique perspective on the dance, and I think you’ll find it very familiar if you’ve experienced SHMD!

Trish Myott with South Glens Falls student, Declan Cohan

What was your first experience with SHMD? What are your goals to continue working with the dance?

Tracy C: I always thought SHMD was an amazing event, but it wasn’t until Madison became a dancer in her ninth-grade year that we experienced how remarkable the dance is. It was that year we nominated a very special person to be a recipient, and they were chosen. Our family experienced first-hand how the marathon helped this family financially when they needed it and gave the emotional support they needed. I would like to be able to donate more of my time working at the dance in the future.

Trish: I moved a lot. I was a Bulldog the first year and a half of my life, then a Scot, then a Fort, then a Tiger. Fast forward to when Tom & I met in May ’91, he was hired at South High in the Art Department. That fall, working with his mentor Bill McCarthy, he became very involved with the dance as an advisor-in-training to Bill.

Now, he told me stories about the 4 years he’d been a part of Marathon as a dancer, but I didn’t truly get what the big deal was about this “little dance” UNTIL he brought me to my first one in March of 1992. I helped out as a volunteer for whatever was needed- bringing food to the cafeteria, pushing carts of orange slices out to the dancers in the gym, running to Abbott’s for bags of ice, sweeping hallways, taking out the trash with Gibby (custodian), room monitor, fetching food for the DJs, and making posters.

In the next few years Tom and I were involved with the shirts for the dance, (alumni, dancer, etc.) which involved printing, folding and delivering t-shirts prior to the start of the dance. (Our old BANANA TEES screen printing days!) Back to my first Marathon experience- All I can say is those two days forever changed my life as well as the recipients’ lives. I couldn’t imagine not being there and being involved, and we have been blessed to be a small part of this amazing community we call our home.

I am incredibly proud to say our daughters have been, are, and will always be, a part of SHMD. They were born into it. My oldest, Mackenzie, went to the 1998 dance BEFORE she was born. I was there 8+ months pregnant, big as a house! The DJ, Jerry Moller, named her Buddha Baby. Dave Powers (50/50 Tickets) and Steve McNaughton (EMT) wanted me to do a few laps around the track so we could have our “1st Marathon Baby” born at a dance! So to say it’s in their blood isn’t far from the truth and they love it as much as we do … WE ❤️ SHMD!!

After our daughters were a little older, I realized there really wasn’t much for the dancers’ younger siblings or other kids to do while the dance. I decided to set up a face painting booth with the other vendors in the old gym and take donations to give to the dance. My first year (2005), I was thrilled to raise over $100! Every year following it got bigger and better! Later on, a couple former South High students joined me on the Face Painting Committee. Because it was such a hit with the little kids, adults and alumni, I needed help keeping up with the line of customers!

I know my family will always be involved with the dance in the future. I see myself continuing to work with the Garments Committee, even after Allie graduates high school in 2019. Our group has fun and we work so well together…bouncing ideas off of each other, coming up with concepts for designs and finding the next “must have” SHMD merchandise.

The Myott Family

Tieka: My first experience of SHMD was all the talk going around town about this amazing event that took place right where I was living. Once my oldest was in elementary school, that’s when I saw what this event was really all about. I couldn’t believe the amount of people Marathon helped and how many lives it affected in such a positive way. At that point, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to help. I was a Girl Scout leader at the time, and I was sharing with Chris Whorf (another girl scout mom) how I would love to help raise money but didn’t know exactly what to do and how. I owned a salon, but I knew they already offered haircuts at the dance. The popular hair trend that year was feather extensions. Chris talked with her husband Jim, who is a big part of SHMD, and the next thing I knew I was running a booth at the dance and putting in hundreds of extensions!

One of my main goals is raising enough money to give back what SHMD gave to us. My daughter Jillian was a recipient in 2014, and I would love to be able to pay back what was given to her. She has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and an immune disorder. She went through one of the hardest years of her life 2014. She had some surgeries and missed over half a year of school. What SHMD gave her and our family in hope and spirit, I can never replace. But, to be able to work my booth and raise money to give back to other recipients- I will do it as long as I can. I will never stop being involved with the dance. What they have done for us and so many others, and what they will continue to do, is something I always want to be a part of. If there ever comes a time I can’t do my booth, you will find me somewhere else in the building volunteering.

Jillian Harrington with the dancers

Megan: I was born and raised here in South Glens Falls, so I have been around the dance since I was born. My dad and his whole family are alumni (including my grandmother!).  I started out like every one else, waiting patiently for that 5th grade D.A.R.E hour with “Officer Jeff” in our over-sized adult XL shirts. After that, I attended every dance in between because my brother, Matt Lemery, was a dancer. Finally in 9th grade I got to be a dancer myself. I was a chairperson in 11th and 12th grade, and it was the best time of my life. After I graduated, I returned as an alumni and met my husband through Deep Run Marathon Dance. We came up with the idea to bring in some video cameras in 2009. With the expertise of Josh Jacobs a few years later, the production team blossomed into what it is today. I hope to stay as involved as I can as my children come up through the SGF school system. My passion is the production team, and I have made myself a nice little home there.

Megan and her son, Andrew

Caitlin: My first experience with SHMD was in 5th grade, dancing with my class. I’ll never forget it. It seemed huge then, and to think of how big its gotten now, it’s just crazy! I participated as a dancer from 2000-2003 and have been returning each year since to volunteer as an alumni with my father who volunteers for security- this is his 23rd year!

I will return every year to volunteer. Looking forward, I can’t wait for the day my children get to participate as dancers. This year especially shows them how much of a difference you can make in someone else’s life, and I hope to continue to show them how to pay it forward.

Sandy: I am a South High alumni, and always did the work behind the scenes. When I graduated and came home from college, I began volunteering as an EMS person then on the Security Team, which is where I still volunteer today.

I’ll continue to give back to the dance and help with the mini-marathon as much as I am needed, even as Logan moves on to the middle school. I know Logan is already thinking of ways to fund-raise while in the middle school. 

Melissa: My first Marathon Dance was in 1995. I was a freshman, and at the time 9th grade was still in the junior high. I really didn’t know a lot about the dance, but my friends and I were excited to get involved. After that first dance, I was hooked. I participated throughout high school, then returned as part of the alumni organization, never missing a dance. 

I hope to remain involved in the dance in some way as the future unfolds. I enjoy my current role, and look forward to being involved as a parent. The elementary schools and middle school do so much to raise money now, and I’m excited for Benjamin to get involved! He will definitely be visiting the dance this year with his Grandma. The plan is to raise a SHMD kid!

Tracy L: My first experience with Marathon was when I started dancing as a freshman in 1988, and I continued through my senior year. In 2013, when my daughter was in the middle school, I started volunteering for the 50/50 table. My goals are to continue to support this amazing dance in any way I can.

What do you think is the most special part about SHMD?

Tracy C: The most special part of the dance is our community’s involvement and the involvement of the surrounding communities. It’s moving to see all of the support being given to the dancers, and most importantly, the support given to the recipients.

Trish: There’s too many special parts about SHMD to pick just one, but as a resident and a parent in this wonderful community, I love that we all (students, parents, teachers, administration, businesses, SGF and surrounding community members, etc.) come together with the same mindset and mission- to help change lives for the better. KINDNESS IS POWERFUL & ADDICTIVE. Once you experience SHMD you just can’t stop!

Tieka: Wow that’s a hard one because I don’t think there is one special part. First, how amazing is the amount of work that goes into setting up the marathon each year? The number of people it takes to pull off an event of this magnitude is pretty special. What happens behind the scenes and the amount of hours, days, weeks and months it takes to prepare is something no one can explain. That, to me, takes some pretty special people. Then the dancers themselves- they go out and collect money, come up with ideas to raise that money, make props and participate in skits, and stay up for hours dancing and encouraging each other to charge forward through each hour. Those kids are pretty special. They come together for the good of the recipients and put everything aside to dance their hearts out for people who are in need. Let’s not forget the recipients. They share their life stories and open their hearts to feel the love these kids are pouring into them. Over 800 kids dance for these special people. I have been on many sides of Marathon, and during all of them I would say it was more than special.

Megan: The most special part of the dance is the thought that these children, out of the goodness of their heart, have chosen the recipients for one reason or another SOLELY because they want to help. No preconceived notions. No outside opinions, no adult interference. Just the pure, loving hearts of children who were brought up in a community who is so very proud of them for doing something so amazing.

Caitlin: There are so many amazing parts, it’s hard to pick just one. The dancers, the difference they’re making, the money they raise to help others, the community coming together (regardless of differences) to offer their support, the volunteers who give up their entire weekend to make it all run smoothly. I guess the most special part would be everyone who pulls together and makes SHMD work. Each piece is necessary to form the whole puzzle.

South Glens Falls student and 2017 SHMD recipient, Aidan Collins

Sandy: As a representative of the Moreau Recreation Center, I experienced the feeling of being chosen by the students as a recipient and seeing the compassion shown by all at the dance. The best part is knowing that the students of our town are so dedicated, caring, kind and compassionate when it comes to giving. They know the true meaning of kindness and what it can do for others. Being kind to others always stays with you, and I think being a part of SHMD teaches kindness and compassion. That feeling will stay throughout the dancers’ lives. 

Melissa: The recipients are the heart of the dance. They are the reason we all come together each year. At the end of every Marathon Dance, look at the dancers’ faces. They are exhausted, but when they see those recipients up front, and hear just how much the money raised will make a difference in their lives, exhaustion quickly fades to pride. That pride and love shines from their eyes and eventually streams down their cheeks. There is no greater feeling than that.

Tracy L: The most special part about SHMD is listening to the recipients’ stories and then when they express their gratitude toward the dancers and alumni. This dance started out so small, and now the community comes together and makes the dance what it is today.

From a mom’s point of view, why is it so important for our kids to experience this dance?

Tracy C: The dance gives my entire family time to reflect on our health. Although we weren’t recipients, nine years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, and our family did receive some financial support and a lot of emotional support from the community. It made a horrible time much easier due the support that we got at that time. SHMD is important to our entire family because we know what it’s like to need help when you already feel so defeated.

Trish: It teaches compassion and understanding for others. It builds everlasting friendships and bonds. It fills their hearts with love and kindness! When those dancers take to the gym floor, they become one. They know what they are there for, and they know they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. There are no differences between classes (freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors). There is a spirit of camaraderie. They are one big unified team and they pump each other up to not stop and just keep going. As parents we try to teach our children to be kind to everyone, and this dance only helps to foster what we’ve been teaching them.

Tieka: When I try to explain SHMD to someone who has never seen or heard about the dance, I tell them it’s not something I can explain. It’s something you must feel. When you walk in those doors and see 800+ kids coming together and dancing for the same cause, it will take your breath away. It will bring tears to your eyes. As a mom, that’s what I want my kids to experience. As dancers, I want them to experience the hard work of raising money for the recipients. I want them to experience the blood, sweat and tears of making props and working with others to come up with ideas and see that plan through. I want them to experience the bond of hundreds of kids coming together to help others in need. Most of all I want them to experience the love that pours out of those recipients. These are moments, memories and bonds they will never forget.

The Cook girls

Megan: It’s such a unique experience for them. It’s a time where cliques don’t matter. Where it doesn’t matter who your friends are, or what sports you play, or what your grades are. For a brief moment in time they are working together as one unit to create a better world for people in need. It’s important for kids to know compassion and acceptance, and that is exactly what they experience at marathon.

Caitlin: It shows children you can make a difference. That you and your actions matter. It brings a sense of community and pride- things that kids need to feel and experience. And it shows them that as a community, we support and help those who need it.

Sandy: I love seeing my son show compassion, caring for others, and never-ending kindness. It is an everyday reminder to be kind, to give to others that may be in need, and to realize you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. The students of SGF show us how easy all of this is when you work as a team. They pull the community together with their hard work. These are traits I would love my son to have and carry forward in his life.

Melissa: I’m only six months into my own experience as a mom, but I do get to see many former students taking part in the dance each year. I think getting involved in something so incredibly selfless and raising money to help those in need helps kids play an important role in their community. It helps them develop into caring, compassionate adults, who recognize the importance of helping others.

Tracy L: Marathon is important for the kids because it makes them appreciate and realize what they have in a community as wonderful as ours. It shows them how to share compassion, love, and respect for those they’ve never met before. It’s a profound feeling.

Thank you to all the Marathon Moms out there! We see your hard work and dedication to your kids and to all the kids in our community. You are amazing role models for future generations of SHMDers.

To donate to the dance and to watch it live March 3rd and 4th, visit www.shmd.org.

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This series is dedicated to awesome local moms in our region. The goal is to take a moment to shine the spotlight on deserving moms. Why? Because we are the best support for one another in this journey of mommyhood. It’s not easy to balance being a mom with everything else life has to throw at us, and all too often we can feel like we aren’t enough. On Mondays, we say YOU ARE AMAZING, MOMMA! So if you know of a mom who rocks it, please use the contact form to let us know. We’ll set up an interview with her, and feature her in one of our posts!

DIY Freezer Smoothie Packs

Each morning I find myself wondering what to do with that extra 20 minutes of quiet time before the baby wakes up. 

Oh wait. I don’t have extra time in the morning. I’m usually running out the door with my school bag, a diaper bag, my lunch (if I remember), my pump bag with all the parts and a cooler, a baby, and a rag to clean up the spit up all over my shirt. On a good day I’ll remember to grab a stale granola bar for breakfast.

So last week while looking longingly at the ice cream in the freezer aisle, those smoothie freezer packs caught my eye. They seemed so convenient- pop in the blender with some milk, and I’m out the door with a nutritional {yummy} breakfast in hand. The problem? They’re kind of expensive considering I could grab some frozen berries and yogurt for much less. Couldn’t I make this a DIY? I’d put together my freezer packs on Sunday and be set for the week.

 

Now I’m all for Sunday meal prep, but no one wants to spend all of Sunday in the kitchen. This took about 10 minutes in the morning to get the ice cube trays packed with yogurt and coffee, and about 10 minutes in the afternoon to chop and throw everything in baggies. Total prep time: 20 minutes. That’s my kind of food prep!

Tips for prepping

  • Freeze the yogurt in an ice cube tray! This is one less ingredient to measure out in the morning, and the little cubes of yogurt actually held together when putting in the freezer bag. No mom needs another mess to clean up in the kitchen, so put the yogurt in a bag and cut off the end to help squeeze the yogurt into the tray neatly.

  • Brew a pot of coffee and freeze that into cubes. If you pop some coffee cubes in your smoothie, you’ll have that extra flavor and won’t have to worry about carrying a coffee in one hand and a smoothie in the other.

  • I didn’t add peanut butter to my freezer packs, but if you want to save some time, I’m sure this would work out just fine.

The basic formula

You don’t need to use these exact recipes. Basically you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 1 cup of greens (optional), 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, and 1 cup of milk or almond milk. Add protein powder, chia seed, flaxseed, coffee, peanut butter- whatever you like. 

To save time, freeze yogurt into cubes ahead of time.

Throw all the greens and fruit together in the bags and freeze. Frozen fruit works, it’ll help make your smoothie nice and cold! I’d throw the peanut butter in there too.

Measure your dry ingredients into baggies for the pantry- usually 1 tbsp of chia and flaxseed and 1 scoop of protein powder.

 

In the morning, dump the fruit into the blender with the dry ingredients and milk. Almond milk is our favorite, but you could use any milk or skip the yogurt and add juice.

I LOVE my single serve blender (only $15) because I can take the cup with me to work. To be honest, one day I totally forgot to make the smoothie and only had 2 minutes to spare. I brought the enitre blender with milk in it and the smoothie packs with me to work- problem solved!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

2 yogurt cubes, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 banana, 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, 1 cup milk

Banana Mocha Smoothie

2 coffee cubes, 2 yogurt cubes, 1 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 scoop protein (chocolate or mocha flavor is best!), 1 cup milk

Green Super Smoothie

1/2 cup spinach (snap stems off), 1 banana, 2 yogurt cubes, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 cup milk

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?