Today is a day like any other. At the moment I’m looking at 4 Lincoln logs of varying sizes, a used tissue (yuck!) and a throw pillow, all strewn about a living room that has definitely been lived in. Mind you, that is not ALL I’m looking at but it’s all I’m going to admit to right now. In t-minus 4 minutes my 12 year old twin boys are going to come thundering into the house to add to the already gigantic mess we call home. My 9 year old daughter will follow 30 minutes later asking for something…again. You guessed it, it’s 3 ish on a Friday and it’s about to get nuts!
My name is Toni Kuhel and my life, at least parts of it, probably resembles yours. I have a family – the 3 above mentioned kiddos – Evan, Jared and Renee, a husband Alex, a dog-Wally, and 2 cats Teddy and Dora- the one that doesn’t ever leave the basement. We are, what I consider, a typical family. We run around trying to fit everything in: work, school, activities, homework, errands, fun, and oh yeah, connecting as a family. Your family may have a different make-up and your list of things to do may have other things on it, but it really is all the same. By “it” I mean life.
What’s the purpose of yet another blog? Health and wellness – there I said it. Sounds dry. Sounds like something we all should strive for. All good parents want that for themselves and their family –right? I think on some level we all know what we should be doing, but how do we do that AND everything else. I want to share the story of our family’s on-going journey toward health and wellness. I hope that through this blog, you’ll see how we were able to apply the information provided to us. We struggle like many of you and we found a few ways to make health and wellness a way of life, not just a way to look good in our clothes or to improve athletic performance. Bear with me while I give you a bit of background so you know where I’m coming from.
In August of 2004, my husband, Alex Kuhel joined a small company as a new employee. Our family went with the company to Colorado for a trip that would ultimately change how we live. A kick-off event for a new, company-wide health and wellness initiative was an eye opener. Upon returning back to Chicago, Alex would tell me about the presentations and lunch/snack changes suggested and implemented by the company. Although Alex is no longer with that small company, those ideals are still with us.
I was a Speech Language Pathologist in Early Childhood. My daily work involved collaborating on a team with the classroom teacher, two teaching assistants, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker, psychologist, parents, and of course my many students ages 3 to 5 with varying levels of ability. I have worked as an Early Childhood SLP for 10 years with a break to raise my babies. I’ve had many years of course work and practical experience in working collaboratively as part of a team. Effective communication and working within the existing framework of the family is of utmost importance.
So…”What does all that have to do with anything?” you are probably wondering.
In the past, I was able to use my skill set to help other families with their challenges. I thought that it was time to work within my own family’s framework to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We are a team. We are THE team. If any one of us was going to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, we were all going to have to make some changes. We were given the kick in the pants to realize why health is so important and that it should be a focus of our daily life. We also received a wealth of information that clued us in on what changes we should incorporate.
Some of my blog postings will contain the ways that my family interpreted “expert” suggestions. A few will just be venting on frustrations and how we cope with it all. Some postings will give you a peek into the chaotic “Kuhel world” so you can feel better about your chaotic world. I would love to know what your challenges are. The more I know, the more I can work to help take away the obstacles that can trip your family up when you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, former speech therapist, and now (gulp!) a blogger. With your questions, input, and challenges, I think together we can have what’s most important – a healthy life.
So now…Let’s get on with task of taking that motivation and knowledge and turning it into “real life” practice.
Until next time…Live Well! – Toni Kuhel