Stories, articles and helpful information all about motherhood, parenting and children!

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Farewell Lauren Giannella!

One thing about living in the metro DC area is that we get to meet people from around the globe. We were lucky enough to cross paths with Lauren Giannella, one of our Stroller Barre and Stroller Strides instructors. She is a military spouse who is moving to North Carolina to begin a new chapter. We knew she was only with us for a limited time but it doesn’t make seeing her go any easier!

Lauren has been a member of FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa since January 2015. We’ll never forget the day she came to Melina’s Dancing Garden for the first time. Back then Lauren only had Annora at 6 months of age. Since then she has had Susanna; we love seeing families grow during their stay with us. After she had Susanna Lauren decided to become a FIT4MOM Stroller Strides Instructor and then she became our first Stroller Barre Instructor. Thanks to her we were able to launch our newest program in September 2016. She has had such a positive impact on our moms and village; you can tell that she loves what she does!

Thank you so much for your fun and interactive...

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How I Found Support after Moving Away from ‘Home’

When moving to a new area it’s a given that you will miss those that you leave behind, whether that’s friends, family, your job or all the can prepare for these ‘big’ changes. But, it is the small changes and the ones you don’t expect that often leave you blind-sided.

I moved to Northern Virginia in February 2016. In my first few months here I was too preoccupied with the excitement of the move, unpacking and the novelty of exploring my new neighborhood to feel any real homesickness. Even not yet having an American driver’s license and having no friends of my own didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this new place I called home. It wasn’t until I had lived here a couple months that I first experienced a longing for home. I remember standing in the kitchen and being so angry that the tinned tomatoes that I had just opened weren’t like the ones I was familiar with. A wave of loneliness hit me, and the reality that I was miles from ‘home’ sunk in.

Fortunately, I live in a time where with the tap...

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Our Favorite Mother’s Day Crafts

We have a great team of Playgroup Captains at FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa who work tirelessly to make your playgroups and fieldtrips AWESOME! And we want you to get to know them better through a new series, Playgroup Captain Corner. Periodically, they will post articles on various topics from snack tips during Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre classes to favorite outdoor activities. Have a topic you would like them to post about, send us an email at!

There are those crafts you do with your kids that are great memory makers and then there are those crafts that make wonderful keepsakes and remind you that your little ones will not be small forever. Here are our favorite Mother’s Day Crafts to do with our kids.

Emily Miller – Woodbridge Playgroup Captain

For a Mother's Day craft at home, I found this great idea!...

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The Family that Sweats Together, Stays Together

Most of the time when you go to one of our FIT4MOM classes, you will see a group of moms and their kiddos who are all friends in and out of class. Some were friends prior but most make friends when they join our village. And the same is true for our Body Back classes.

A couple of months ago we had a special situation at one of our Body Back Transformation sessions – three family members all in the same class! Mom, Tina Hardy, Daughter, Shayna Dixon and Daughter-In-Law, Sharon Iaonou.

“The 3 of us started workout out together in my mom’s church one year ago while I was on maternity leave…Today, all three were working out together doing Body Back at Abiding Presence at 5:30 am!” said Shayna Dixon.

Sharon added, “Knowing that if I force myself out of bed at 4:15 am to make it to class because I promised I'd be there, and made Shayna do the same, there's no way I would let her down....

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We have an amazing and super talented village filled with mamas that also wear the hat of entrepreneur. Here is a listing of what some of them offer and their contact information.

And these mamas are showcasing their talents on Thursday, May 4th after Stroller Barre class at Melina’s Dancing Garden at Lorton Station Town Center. Join us for class and then browse our Mom-preneur Showcase to see what these mamas have to offer. Oh and isn’t Mother’s Day right around the corner? Maybe you’ll see something that your hubby can buy for you;)


Mary Kay Senior Independent Sales Consultant – Shaina Goldschlag, Springfield Village

I teach skin care and makeup application. As a senior independent sales consultant with Mary Kay, I love to help women feel and look their best. Whether you want better looking skin, a great quick day look, or tips on makeup applications for special events, I'd love to help you!...

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The Decision to Breast or Bottle Feed

We had been married exactly one month the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Audrey. We were excited and surprised all at the same time. I knew right away that I wanted to have a natural childbirth. I unfortunately cannot tolerate most medications especially pain so I embarked on a journey with The Bradley Method.

Along with natural childbirth I wanted to breastfeed my child. All of my close friends were able to and I had read every book on the topic so I felt confident in my ability to do so. In fact, we didn’t even buy a single bottle for Audrey ahead of time. She came a week early and I delivered her naturally and had amazing skin-to-skin time and she latched right away.

Unfortunately, every latch beyond that was not as blissful and amazing. Audrey was constantly nursing. I would pass her off to my husband to go to the bathroom and then we were back at it. Worst of all, she wasn’t gaining weight. The pediatrician said to stick with it. By day 5, she gained some weight. I felt like a hero. But that...

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Welcome to the Team in April 2017!

Our team is always growing and we are excited to introduce you to our TWO newest instructor team members!

You know that we love to reach more moms in our community. And in order to do so, we must grow our team. Please help us welcome our new amazing, dedicated and talented team members here at FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa. We're welcoming Rebecca Guntharp & Cheryl Stanley, both are Stroller Barre and Stroller Strides Certified.

Read on to find out WHY they decided to become instructors for FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa.

Rebecca Guntharp: The sense of community in our village is astronomical and it's refreshing to have a judgment free zone, which unfortunately is sometimes rare to find in motherhood. I took the leap to become an instructor as I wanted to be a part of the foundation which empowers our mums to positively support each other in motherhood.


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How to conquer daylight savings time!

Anyone will tell you that hands down, the WORST two events ever created by humans are 1) when we ‘spring ahead’ and then 2) when we ‘fall back’ for daylight savings time. Parents typically struggle as it is to get their kids of all ages on a sleep schedule and then we add something to make it a little bit more difficult. Ughh!

This year, we had great success easing the transition for everyone in my family back on to their normal sleep schedules with the use of essential oils.

So what are essential oils? My husband calls them ‘magic in a bottle.’ Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Most of you are familiar with their smells. Essential oils have also been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

Why are essential oils safe to use? Essential oils capture the plant in its most natural state. However, since they are super concentrated, please be sure to check the quality of the...

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Get to know our awesome team member, REBECCA NEWNUM!

March Instructor Spotlight – Rebecca Newnum

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at FIT4MOM LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for March, we'll put the spotlight on Rebecca Newnum, Body Back, Stroller Barre and Stroller Strides Instructor.

Rebecca is a caring, considerate instructor who encourages the women in her classes to gently stretch their abilities and become stronger than they thought they could be. Her guidance in Stroller Strides and Body Back classes has allowed me to do things I didn't think possible and helped me get into the best shape of my life!”

~Laura D. (Burke Village Body Back and Stroller Strides)

“I met Rebecca on the first day that I joined Stroller Strides at Springfield town center. Her determination, warm smile, and care towards my daughter Ryann made me realize that I had found a friend and my village. I was blown away by her dedication to her...

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How to implement music in your daily life with kids

The energy in the room was unbelievable. The music was pumping and a mosh pit had formed. They were jumping up and down and flailing their bodies with reckless abandon, while the more cautious hovered on the outskirts, waiting for a moment of bravery or calm to push their way into the chaos. As we crept into the room, I found a chair in the back and fully took in the scene. Audience? Kids age 0-5 and their moms/dads/nannies/etc. The venue? Our local library. The music? “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” performed by one lady with a microphone, guitar, tambourine, and a lot of confidence.

I put my diaper bag down and set my 2 ½ month-old daughter in my lap. I clapped her hands to the music and bopped her along to the beat with my knees. The mom beside me leaned over: “She is loving this! You should take her to music classes!”

As a mom, my first instincts are to do anything in my power to help my daughter be healthy, happy, strong, independent, creative, social, curious, playful, you name it. If...

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March 10, 2017

We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for March! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Eliana Falls from our Woodbridge village!

“Eliana is a model of determination. If you want inspiration, look for Eliana. She knows what she wants and she goes for it! She is also a wonderful mom and role model to her Lorelai. And a great friend to boot. Definitely an awesome part of our village!

~Kathryn K., Stroller Strides and Running Club Instructor

“Eliana is a joy to have at each and every Stroller Strides class she attends! She is truly beautiful inside and out. I love Eliana’s positive attitude and energy, and she is always willing to give her all during classes. We are lucky and very thankful to have Eliana and her adorable daughter, Lorelai, as part of our Woodbridge Village!”


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You see your child running through the living room, and you go running after him. But despite your Super-Mommy (or Super-Daddy) Cape, you don’t make it in time before your child crashes face-first into the coffee table.

First off, if you notice any signs of a concussion (unequal pupil size, vomiting, difficulty with coordination, etc.), call your pediatrician first - they may want you to bring the child to the office or to the emergency room. You should also call your pediatrician if there is bleeding that you cannot easily stop, as your child may require stitches. You can give your child over the counter pain medication, according to the dosage based on their weight. If your child is still in pain after about 30 minutes, you should call your dentist right away. And what if your child chips or breaks a tooth?

Any dental injury, regardless of how minor it may seem, should be evaluated by your child’s dentist because there are often other injuries that might not be obvious. If your child chips a tooth, rinse their mouth with cold water, apply a cold compress to reduce...

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Get to know our awesome team member, LAUREN GIANNELLA!

February Instructor Spotlight – Lauren Giannella

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at FIT4MOM LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for February, we'll put the spotlight on Lauren Giannella, Stroller Barre and Stroller Strides Instructor.

“Lauren is always bubbly and excited to teach class. She rarely does the same exercise twice which makes it a treat to go to class every week. You never know if you are going to have a partner wheelbarrow race or a team exercise around the fountain. She is also very attentive to the littles and tries to keep them all engaged. I always leave her class wondering how I am so sore because we always have so much fun, I forget we are working out!”

~Kathryn H. (Lorton Village Stroller Barre)


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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for February! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Christina Anderson from our Springfield village!

“Christina is an amazing human being! She is not only a wonderful mom but dedicated and motivated to excel at everything she tries. Stroller Strides, Body Back, Running Club... this renaissance mama is a true inspiration to all!”

~Kathryn K., Stroller Strides and Running Club Instructor

“Christina is incredibly hardworking. She never gives up and always has a huge smile on her face. I'm always happy when I know she'll be at class because she brings such positive energy!!”

~Andrea R., Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby Instructor

"I just know that Christina will give it 100% when she arrives to class. Whether it's Run Club, Stroller Strides or Body Back. It amazes me to see her dedication to living a happier and...


The day I found I was pregnant the first time, I could not contain my emotions. My dream was always to be a young wife and mother. I married at 23 and found out I was pregnant at 24. I was over the moon! We (meaning only me) wanted to be surprised as to what we were having. My husband was not thrilled about this, but I somehow convinced him and we waited all 9 months to find out we were having a beautiful girl. Throughout the pregnancy, I envisioned dresses, tutus, and bows. My husband was imagining football, cars, and trucks, but the second my oldest arrived, we were both wrapped around her little finger and I know my husband wouldn’t want it any other way (nor would I).

Fast forward a year and we found out we were pregnant again. We always wanted one girl and one boy. I always envisioned the boy coming first and being the protector of his little sister, but clearly our plans were already a little different than planned, but we still had the possibility of having one of each. While my husband refused to let us wait the whole pregnancy this time around, I made him wait...

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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for January! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Candice Agustin from our Burke village!

“It has been such a joy having Candice at class. She took her very first class with me and on that day and ever since, has always pushed herself and given 100%. She has such a determination in her eyes, and all her hard work has really paid off as she gets back to her pre-baby body! She is also such a genuine, funny and respectful person - a wonderful addition to our village! The only gripe I have with Candice is that she is too humble and doesn’t give herself enough credit !”

~Ginger M., Stroller Strides Instructor

“Candice is such an inspiration! Not only is she mom to 2 beautiful girls, Anila and Aurora, but she manages to come to as many classes as possible every week! She has set herself a goal and I know she has the willpower and...

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Get to know our awesome team member, LAURA SAPANARA!

January Instructor Spotlight – Laura Sapanara

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for January, we'll put the spotlight on Laura Sapanara, Stroller Strides Instructor.

"Laura makes fitness a family event with baby and hubby in tow. What a great example!"

~Heather H. (Springfield Village Stroller Strides)

Read on to get to know more about Laura and her time with Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa.

1. Who are the members of your family?

James (husband), Nate (16 months), Newman and Arwen (cats) and Mojo (our Russian tortoise)

2. Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in NoVa?

I grew up in Rhode Island. I've lived in NoVA since 2009 (Arlington, Alexandria and now Burke!).

3. Where do you typically teach?


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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for December! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Beth Lombardo from our Woodbridge village!

I have truly enjoyed having Beth at our Stroller Strides Woodbridge classes and getting to know her. She is a strong and amazing women; mom to 2 children and a Registered Nurse, who is still working while juggling her mom role too! In class, Beth is always willing to try anything that I throw at her and she powers through with a smile on her face! She is determined and dedicated. We are so thankful to have Beth as part of our Village!”

~Kelli R., Stroller Strides Instructor

I just love Beth! She has a great personality and is up for anything. Since Barre is new, most of the moves are new too and she is always right there with me trying out things that the group may not think they can do. She never...

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Get to know our awesome team member, KATHRYN KNIGGE!

December 5, 2016

December Instructor Spotlight – Kathryn Knigge

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for December, we'll put the spotlight on Kathryn Knigge, Run Club Coach and Stroller Strides Instructor.

‘Kathryn is just a sweetheart. She is an amazing mother to Delilah and brings her to every class. Kathryn always conveys such a positive presence wherever she goes. In class, she is professional, caring, and goes above and beyond by offering all of us her advice and support. She truly gives her all in each class she teaches and is always coming up with creative activities for both the moms and kids. She is a wonderful inspiration to us all!’

~Eliana F. (Woodbridge Village Stroller Strides)


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November 14, 2016

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for November, we'll put the spotlight on Ginger Mallory, Instructor for Stroller Strides. Here's what local moms have to say about Ginger.....

"Ginger is not only an incredible instructor she is also an amazing mother! Her kind demeanor and physical strength are remarkable. Even though she totes her twins to class each week, she doesn't skip a beat during instruction! She is always right there running and planking along side us! She makes every single mama that comes to class feel special and always has encouraging words to keep us motivated! And she will lend an ear and commiserate about all the joys of motherhood! We just love you, Ginger!"

~ Jessica S. mom to Derek and Nathan (Stroller Strides Burke)

"Ginger leads class in such a calm and peaceful way but still works us hard....

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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for November! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Diana Richardson from our Springfield village!


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I always planned on being a “fit mom”. I mean who doesn’t? But then James and Addeline actually came, and I was exhausted.

Turns out, babies are a ton of work! Between taking care of twins and breastfeeding, I was loosing weight, but I still wanted to be active. I also felt like it was all too easy to use the kids as an excuse to stay home all the time. I wont lie, it takes an insane amount of preparation to get all three of us out of the house, and sometimes most of the time I just couldn’t motivate myself to even go to the grocery store, let alone to the gym.

By the time the twins were about four months, I was starting to feel like a recluse. The weather was getting warmer, and I knew that the three of us needed to get out and socialize. That’s when I heard about Stroller Strides. I loved the idea of moms working out together, but I was really unsure about taking two babies to a group workout. What if one of them started crying? Or needed to be fed? What if BOTH of them ended up fussing? I really didn’t want to be the mom who disrupts the class...

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October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month and one of our own moms from Woodbridge, Rachel Leszczynski, wrote an article about her grief, her challenges and how her loss has affected her life and how she is slowly making amends. We want to help spread the awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and to let others now it's not a deep dark secret to held inside, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


When I thought about writing about hope after loss, I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. All I could think about was how difficult it is to have hope after a tragedy. And losing a child is a tragedy like no other. When Carsen was born still, my world was shattered beyond repair and my soul felt broken. People talk about waves of grief, and the waves after the loss of a baby feel like enormous tsunamis, taking your breath away and blinding you from the rest of the world. Hope seems like an impossibility, perhaps just a speck of dust far off on the horizon. Almost invisible.

But that speck is still there. Maybe there will be some days that you’ll forget it’s...

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October Instructor Spotlight – Andrea Robinson

We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa, and we want you to get to know a little more about each one of them. So for October, we'll put the spotlight on Andrea Robinson, Instructor for Stroller Strides.

At the beginning of 2016 I was getting preparing to launch a new location in Burke and coincidentally I received an email from Andrea! She indicated that she used to teach Stroller Strides in Connecticut, she was a party planner and would love to teach at my Burke location. At that point I was looking for an instructor and a playgroup captain. HOW PERFECT! The stars aligned for both of us.

Before I hired her, she showed up one day for a class and I was impressed by hear confidence, her FIT4MOM passion, her positive aura, her muscles and physique – she was MOM STRONG! At that time I had no idea who she was.

After class we chatted about teaching & playgroup activities and I had no hesitation whatsoever to hire her on...

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I learned about Body Back when I was 10 weeks post-partum. My best friend just finished her 1st session and was encouraging me to do it as well. I approached Shannon and she asked me if I was sure since it's a high intensity workout - I said I was up for the challenge but I was really scared and kind of second guessing myself.

A little background about me, I don't workout, in fact I never liked working out, I signed up initially because I wanted to get my Body Back without dieting. I've pretty much tried all the diet fads (HCG diet, Diet Pills, AdvoCare, Weight Watchers and Yoli) I've spent lots and lots of money on the supplements instead of investing on ME. After I had my baby, I realized that I don't want to take the easy way out anymore- I want to be responsible and be a good example for my daughter. I'm tired of counting calories, limiting my calories to 500/day, getting hungry all the time and just having a shake for breakfast and dinner, I want to eat sensibly without feeling guilty.

My first session was when I was 14 weeks Postpartum and boy was I in for a...

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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for October! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Jenny Bezos from our Burke village!


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We have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at Fit4Mom LSBW NoVa, and we thought it would be nice if we could get to know a little more about each one of them. So beginning this month, we’ll spotlight one of our team members each month. And for September we'll put the spotlight on Amber Merrick, Instructor for Stroller Strides and Body Back.

I first met Amber at our Grand Opening event at the Springfield Town Center in October 2014. She arrived with Jasmine and was so eager to participate in our Stroller Strides program. She signed up right away and has never looked back. Amber is the most dedicated person I have met. If you need anything, she is there to help out. Be it assistance with kids, borrowed items, rides, you name it – she is there.

When I launched Body Back in February of 2015 Amber was one of my first moms to sign up. She gave it 100% and really had amazing results. She is dedicated to leading a healthy lifestyle and to teach her child all about health and wellness. Definitely a mom to look...

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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for September! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local FIT4MOM Lorton~Springfield~Burke~Woodbridge Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Jacquie Mendoza from our Springfield village!

"Jacquie is such an inspiring mom to her little girl Emma. Not only is she a participant in Stroller Strides but she also decided to make a life time change by coming to our Body Back sessions! She has such a calm personality and has a smile on her face every time we see her! We know nothing can bring her down! “You got the eye of the tiger, a fighter… dancing through the fire ‘cause you are a champion… and we’re gonna hear you ROAR!” Thank YOU for being part of our village!"

~Rebecca N., Body Back Instructor


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Maternity, Birth, Fresh 48, Newborn, and Breastfeeding SessionsA Posed, Documentary, and Lifestyle Approach

When I first started out, I had a vision in mind. This idea I had surrounded women, their bodies, and the life they bring in to the world. I didn't want to limit myself at the time, so I learned other techniques and styles, as well.

After giving it much thought, I have decided to narrow down my photography to capture and document my vision.

As some of you know, I have a love for breastfeeding and I believe in enjoying those precious moments. This stemmed from several months of seeing lactation consultants, fighting low supply, and even taking medication to increase my supply with the hopes of one day exclusively breastfeeding. My exclusively breastfeeding journey started when my youngest was a little over three months old and I had no idea it would continue past six months or even one year. Here we are at seventeen months and still going strong! In the beginning, I took pictures of practically every time we nursed. I had no idea when it would be her last...

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My name is Jean and I am a 32 year old, stay at home mama to three beautiful children: Isaiah (5) and Ella (1.5) and step-daughter Kyra (16). I am a local of Northern Virginia, and joined Fit4Mom’s Lorton-Springfield-Burke-Woodbridge Body Back program in May 2016. I want to share my journey with you, mamas.

I was not in the best physical or medical shape just 4 months ago. Despite the fact that I have a beautiful and loving family, I found that I wasn’t very happy. I was tired and stressed all the time, dissatisfied with my appearance, and lacking confidence and positivity in life. I had been inactive both physically and professionally since my son was born. I was experiencing some tough personal challenges for the past 3 years, what I now refer to as “The Dark Ages”. The last straw was when I went in for my annual physical, only to discover that I had high cholesterol levels and my doctor wanted me to start medication immediately. Naturally, I was not happy with this news. Right then and there I decided that I needed to stop my complaining and do something about...

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We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for August! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local FIT4MOM Lorton~Springfield~Burke~Woodbridge Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Stephanee DellaCruz from our Woodbridge village!

"Stephanee is a model of dedication and motivation, always pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Even into new things like running! She has a great perspective on motherhood, and when a day seems tough she powers through making it look easy. So happy to have this strong mama in our village."

~Kathryn K., Stroller Strides Instructor


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July's MOM - Motivating Mom of the Month

July 31, 2016

We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for July! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local FIT4MOM Lorton~Springfield~Burke~Woodbridge Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Erin Caines from our Burke village!

"The word I have often used to describe Erin is determined. Not long after I met her, Erin and I did Body Back. At the time she had three kids and didn’t like the shape she was in. She set a goal and made losing weight look easy. After having her fourth baby Erin wanted to get back in shape again so she signed up for another session of Body Back. During that time I saw her at a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at church. While the rest of us chowed down on corned beef and cabbage Erin was satisfied eating the salad she brought from home. That is determination!

A few years ago Erin and Larry decided that their family...

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Busy moms, I've rounded up some of the best ideas for you to make this 4th of July extra special! Check it out - click on photo to reveal blog entry


It is with great pleasure to begin posting about our village - they are amazing and deserve to be recognized for many reasons. We are all on this journey called motherhood and we can all learn from each other.

Here's our JUNE mom of the month Lauren Giannella - we asked her some questions and here are her responses. Thank you for being a part of our village!

  • What are the members of your family? There's John my husband who is totally surrounded by us girls Annora, Susanna & our dog and cat Luna & Toyota
  • What is/was your career? From 2006 to 2014 I owned a pet sitting service in Orlando FL, I sold it when moving here to Virginia & became a vet's assistant at Kingstowne cat clinic where I still go in once a month for kennel rotations. After attending stroller strides for over a year, I decided that I wanted to be a part of this amazing team. So in June 2016 I got certified to become an instructor and I am also interested in pursuing Stroller Barre certification this fall.
  • How long have you been a member of FIT4MOM? Since January...
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I am a planner. On Sunday evening, I set out the kids’ clothes for the week. Each evening after dinner clean-up, as the kids squabble over their last few bites, I prepare their breakfasts, my breakfast, set up the electric tea kettle, and make their lunches.

Here are some breakfasts I often make the kids:

Smoothies: #1 and #2’s favorite is frozen mixed berries, frozen banana, frozen spinach, a dollop of sunflower butter, and apple juice. They also like frozen berries, Almond Dream Almond Non-Dairy Unsweetend Vanilla Yogurt, frozen spinach, and cranberry juice. I throw all of the ingredients in the blender cup, pop it in the fridge, and blend it the next morning. Easy!

Sunny Apple Sandwich: I core an apple then cut it horizontally into four slices (the apple core hole should be in the center of each slice, like a bagel.) Spread sunflower butter on one side of two of the apple slices and top each smothered slice with a naked apple slice, so you have apple sunflower butter sandwiches. Cover, refrigerate, and, in the morning, serve...

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Click on photo to be directed to Kim's blog!

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What if you could go into your birth feeling confident, powerful, and in control?

What if you didn't fear the pain?

What if you could go into labor knowing exactly what to do?

It. is. possible.

I'm going to let you in on six secrets that can make your birth awesome no matter how you birth or what happens during your birth.

1. It isn't all about "happy and healthy baby". It is about happy and healthy mama too.


When you start thinking about YOU as an equal part of this experience, you realize how important it is to think about things you'll need during and after the birth. You'll feel empowered to communicate your feelings, wants, and needs. You'll begin to think through how YOU WILL feel in certain situations and weigh that equally against how your baby will feel. The more you diminish your feelings and needs, the less you can be present for your baby. So don't. Get what you need for your baby and you.

And this isn't about taking risks with your...

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April 10, 2016 Abigail Waldron

It's been two months now, two months filled with the difficulties of early grief.

But you should also know that there is a beauty about these days I still don’t have words for, a beauty that is palpable even here, even in these days heavy with her absence.

* * * * *

It’s the week after Lily’s delivery. CJ and I are out for breakfast, eating pancakes at a diner and trying to plan our baby girl’s funeral, when a friend texts us a link to a song.

I listen to it later in the car by myself, in between stops at Old Navy for funeral clothes and Costco to pick up premade soups for the burial luncheon.

And I know as soon as I hear the first line that it is the right song for our Lily: So beautiful how could we not believe. (click on image above to listen to song)

I listen and I can’t stop...

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When I was younger there weren’t many indoor playgrounds to go to. Now there are so many places you can take your children when the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor activities, or just because they are fun places to go.

Imagine your child’s face when he or she walks into this indoor Fun House! If your child doesn’t take a nap or sleep through the night after a few hours at Kid’s Choice Sports Center it would amaze me. There are several bounce houses to jump to one’s content on. Kid’s Choice has thought of something for all ages and genders.

How about being able to workout while your children play right next door in the play area? It’s hard finding child care these days and this solves your problem. Mom or dad can exercise or work on the computer while the kids play. Saves you a lot of time and money. A very convenient option. Come check out Stroller Strides in the morning with Fit4Mom. You can workout with your stroller age child with other mothers and have a great time. Check out their page...


Are you always on the run? Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything you need done? Here are a few tips to help your busy schedule:

  1. Don’t think about it too much- if you have a long list of tasks to complete and just stare at it, it can be a little overwhelming. The best thing to do is just start, go for it, once you get your momentum going you will realize that your list wasn’t that overwhelming after all.
  2. Practice meditation- now some of you may be rolling your eyes but it’s not what you may be thinking. Gather your thoughts when you wake up all to yourself, clear them from your mind, breathe and then after at least 5 minutes of silence and deep breathing get your mindset where it’s supposed to be! Focus and start the day with Intention!
  3. Pick up to 5 things from your list of things to do each day that are a ‘must complete’ and work on those first.
  4. Set a timer- if you’re anything like me you get distracted easily and end up with multiple things half done. Set a timer, work on one thing at a time.
  5. Learn to...

I am probably one of many moms who calls their daughters ‘princess’ and their sons ‘prince’ a term of endearment I would say. Yes, I know some articles came out saying not to do this but in my household I was ok with it.

Not to long ago I was diagnosed with severe anemia and had several vitamin deficiencies. I was working a full time job, 2 par time jobs and I was a mom of 3 children. Needless to say my plate was full. I kept on brushing things off saying that it was easier for me to do everything then having to repeat 5-10 times a day what needed to be done. What can I say my husband and kids seem to have selective hearing.

I want my children to learn to take care of themselves, I will not be here forever and I don’t want them not knowing how to do their own laundry, wash their dishes or use a vacuum. These are simple things they should not rely on others for. Let them be kids, is what I’m told but who said I wasn’t letting them be kids?? I treat them like little princesses!

Guess what? It hit me one day when I just broke down crying, frustrated, tired and...

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