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August 2010
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October 2010

Thankful Thursdays: becoming my favorite self

Sometimes, it surprises me to hear people think I'm a positive person. Mostly because I know what a negative creep I can be. Whenever I get to feeling all angsty I start to spin things in my head, taking things the worst possible way and jumping to negative conclusions. I know I'm not alone in this. I know it's why many of us take things personally when in truth, most things aren't about us at all.

I also think that once we get in a funk of a mindset, it's easy to forget all the good things about people and all the nice things they do and instead shift our attention on nitpicking the particulars ... which, if you don't already know, does more harm than good.

I am blessed with some amazing people in my life and want to spend my energy focusing on those blessings and the happiness they bring. It'll be nice to be a click away from remembering the good and thoughtful things when I'm tempted to be a negative creep. Meanwhile, I'm working on learning from Sam and jumping to positive conclusions and taking things the best possible way. I have a lifetime of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" to overcome, but I think shifting my focus, consciously, will help.

Just thinking about doing this brought up all these thoughtful things people have done but since I have just a few minutes before I pick Sam up from school I'll do the very most recent: an email from my friend April to confirm our lunch date tomorrow AND because she knows I'm stressed meeting this deadline she offered to bring lunch for the kids and for us as well as make a Trader Joe's run for me.

The old "oh-no, I can do it all myself" me would've politely declined the offer and then stressed over the details of what to make for lunch - (really? It's just food!) but now, I'm all over it. And so thankful for her thoughtfulness!

Thank you, April! xo

p.s. here's a free tip from my counseling days ... you wouldn't believe how much it cost me to learn this! Here ya go, on me ... TRUST that people say what they mean and, in turn, mean what you say! For some this is so obvious, for me it was another major breakthrough in becoming my favorite self.


You might be on deadline if ...

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I must be on deadline. I took every.single.thing out of my pantry and had it on the dining room table for the better part of the weekend. That was an organizing project I've been meaning to tackle since we moved in here, of course I waited until I was on deadline with simultaneous projects to do it. Also, I organized my freezer which got crammed with stuff willy nilly when we first moved in. I remember thanking my friend Chris for doing it and telling myself I'd get back to organizing it soon. Then four months happened.

Late last night I filed my column, sent out my interview questions for my other assignment and kept smiling stupidly at my new freezer and pantry. This morning, I'm sick. I may have over done it but it was worth it!

So now I've started a draft for "You might be on deadline if..."

- You've tackled projects that have somehow managed to wait for months or years (as pictured)

- You forgot about feeding your family dinner.

Matt: What's for dinner?

Me: Oh, is that tonight?

- You pack your baby around on your back, stopping to write in front of the mirror so he can "play" with his reflection

- Your kids --who are generally healthy--  become sick. At the same time. Also, is that a tickle in your throat?

And so much more but Jake is on my back, and pulling my hair, hard. Peace out.

-



First day - mostly a success!

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Okay you astrology wizards, what is going on in the universe? There seems to be so much going on - a lot of it quite stressful, some of it crazy cool and other things just kind of ... weird. It's mostly other people's personal stuff, mostly, people I love so it keeps me up at night too because I'm mental like that. In the spirit of full disclosure it's my sweet little kiwi keeping me up at night, every hour on the hour last night thank you very much Jake. But once I'm up I wander around in a blind fog - really, it's dark and I can't ever find my glasses at night - and try to turn worries into positive prayers for situations that seem ... insane. I've been in God's ear so much lately I swear I'm waiting for some sort of "you've exceeded your maximum calls allotted" voice mail.

Thanks to the sleeplessness I'm all nauseous and fuzzy-headed and just doing my best not to be cranky because cool things are happening too. Like Sam's successful first day of school last week. He loved  it. It went so well  I gradually worked my way out of the room, into the hall and eventually back home while he stayed and as he says "had good listening." I love everything about school - the apple decorations, the birthday board, the first names with last name initial, the cubbies ... I think I have classroom mom written all over me, except that I can't bake and I suspect my kids, Sam especially, won't relish the thought of me being there. I can already tell this is kind of his thing.

All the other kids practically leaped at their eagerly awaiting parents in a rush to tell them all the cool things they did. Sam, on the other hand, staggered out. Literally. He was so exhausted from taking it all in that he staggered over to me with this little school bucket and backpack and then proceeded to have a total meltdown right there in the parking lot in front of God and everyone.

Today, take 2. Hopefully with all the enthusiasm of Day 1, without the farewell fiasco.

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Why I don't stick my head in the oven

It's been a long week with no down time. By which I mean, none. So I'm about done here. I tried cooking two new things for dinner yesterday, stupid, stupid idea. After dinner, while I'm standing in the kitchen surrounded by ... everything (none of it clean) and the boys are both melting down because they've decided to start teaming up against me with the first official Hardy Boys Nap Strike, Matt comes over to me and says:

 I'm going to step out for a minute, okay?
Me: I'm going to stick my head in the oven, okay?
Matt: Knock yourself out honey, it's not a gas oven ...
Frickin' figures.
 
But then, just when you start pricing gas ranges, this happens:

Sam & Jake bathtime Sam & Jake bathtime (2)
I think I'll let the boys protest from upstairs while I hop in my attitude adjustment chamber/shower and try to salvage what's left of today.


 


Must.Get.Sleep

Delirious thanks to 20 some days in a row of very little sleep thanks to Jake's night time shenanigans. The few hours a night I do get are fitful as I wait for the next page from down the hall. But this isn't a post to complain about my lack of sleep .. oh, no. This is a quick check in to share something I thought was funny and I've been meaning to post something all dang day with several drafts to show for it.

Sam is so excited to start school this week. He got a post card from his teacher the other day and has asked to see it so many times I took it off the bulletin board and on stuck it on the fridge, down low.

"I start school on Thursday." He says to anyone who'll listen. But he doesn't know exactly what Thursday means. I just told Matt that story and followed up with: "Oh! I can't wait to get-or make- him one of those chart things with the days of the week and months ..."

Matt: "Like a calendar? ... Honey, you need to get some sleep."

Who thought there would come a day I'd forget the word for one of my favorite things?!


Meatless Monday & Food for Thought

Happy Monday! Meatless recipe to follow as well as some "Food for Thought" from Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

I discovered a new magazine to love recently: Family Fun where I found all sorts of inspiring and cool ideas including this weeks Meatless Monday selection - which I'll be making later in the week so I can't post my notes yet - instead, in case you're a stickler for your meatless day being on Monday - here is a link with a recipe for cooking white beans from dried to delicious so you can freeze for later use in recipes like the tasty looking sesame bean-and-pasta salad.  

Beautifully Basic White Beans: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/beautifully-basic-white-beans-922817/

Sesame Bean-and-Pasta Salad: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/sesame-bean-and-pasta-salad-922825/

The article below is long but worth sharing. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this essay by Leanne Ely, C.N.C. (The bolds and underlines are mine).

It occurred to me as I was watching the news about the approaching Hurricane Earl, that being prepared for a disaster (flashlights, water, food) needs to be front and center on everyone's list; to be unprepared would be a secondary disaster. And then I took it step further and began thinking about menu planning (really!). You see, not planning is choosing to live in an unprepared state and invites it's own disastrous conclusion. Think about what that means for a minute. Being unprepared means chaos, confusion and regret. Living life in a state of perpetual unpreparedness is highly stressful. Why do we do this to ourselves?

In the kitchen and in the food department of life, being unprepared translates to not having the food you need to cook and feed your family and yourself well. Unprepared means unhealthy, expensive and wanting in nutrition. And when you consider that 70% of all disease is lifestyle-induced (by making poor choices in food, drink, not exercising, smoking and being stressed out), it's astounding that we are surprised when handed a less than healthy diagnosis from our doctors. We have got to take responsibility!!

Here's the thing, menu planning isn't sexy and glamorous. However, it's necessary and one of the easiest ways to get a grip on your health. The simple art of menu planning is too often passed up by adventure seekers living on adrenaline and the thrill of the hunt. You know what I mean, right? Hunting for something to throw together for dinner at the very last minute. Hunting for a fast food place to get your whining children and cranky spouse fed. Hunting for a place to park at the grocery store at rush hour, hoping to score an already cooked rotisserie chicken to feed your family.

This kind of hunting is not feeding your family the way you want to. It's stressing you out, neglecting your health and not helping you with the body clutter you may be sitting on.

Instead of being hunters, we need to be gatherers. Gatherers always have food because they have a plan. They use menus. They make grocery lists. They gather their groceries, they chop, they cook and they feed. It's deliberate preparedness that gives them a sense of calm and peace. Yes, preparedness is that powerful and when applied to all things food-related, it will revolutionize your health, your well-being, your finances and that of your family's as well.

The beginning place is a menu plan for the week. Pull recipes as necessary, make a list for the grocery store and then implement your plan. It's that simple.

Don't put this off and invite chaos and disaster into your home come each and every mealtime. There's too much at stake to be so capricious with your health. Do it today.


Hard either way

Word count this week: 300 words - but I did also write and submit a column.

Weight wise: -2, 33 to go in 6 months ...

I had a quote I wanted to share with you, it was one of those little whispers from the universe. I found it shortly after the little dip in Vantage and read it out loud in the car. I've looked for it on and off all week but will have to settle for a paraphrase for now.

Someone was quoted as saying {the journalist in me cringes} losing weight IS hard. Maintaining a healthy weight is hard. Fighting a disease because you didn't lose weight is hard. Staying the same and hating it is also hard.

So, you just have to pick what kind of "hard" you want to deal with.

I picked "stay the same and hate it."

Just kidding. Well, I guess I did kind of pick that for a few the last 8 years. I lived in Tillamook when I first saw the words "obese" next to my BMI calculation. That was two houses and two kids ago ...

You're reading this because now that I'm done with all the human-being growing, I'm ready to do some personal growing, or not ... and work steadily toward my goal.

ps I still hate food journals. HATE them. Unfortunately, they kinda work.



Catching up

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My online silence is not for lack of having something to say, I assure you. Then again, you probably knew that. I took a little thing a:

1va·ca·tion

noun, often attributive \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\

Definition of VACATION

1
: a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
2
a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3
: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation <had a restful vacation at the beach>
4
: an act or an instance of vacating
 
 
I would only add
5
:after which chaos reigns as everyone settles back into routines and can't find clean clothes to wear.
and maybe
6
:a blissful break from real life requiring a transition period which then calls  for another vacation
 
In other words after our little 10 day road trip we decided to go camping with friends for Labor day weekend and I'm just now getting back to life ... back to reality ala Soul II Soul.
 
 

Vantage, me

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This picture of me and the boys, taken on this road trip in Vantage, Washington, looks at first glance like just another summer vacation picture. For me, though it frames a point of personal growth. There are several other pictures that are better ones of the boys ... but you'll notice if you look closely that I have the boys positioned very carefuly in order to hide the parts of me I'm ashamed of. I'm so, so sick of feeling like that. While I've made personal gains in this area (word choice?) since the days of refusing to be in a swimsuit on a hot day, I still have a ways to go. Like 38 pounds to be specific.

This road trip break splashing and swimming in the Columbia River, combined with a few other things that came next, ended up being an epiphane for me. I realized that the only way I'll ever know if I'll really feel better by losing the weight is to actually do it. For real.

I used to set goals as realistic as: "lose 40 pounds before seeing my parents. Next weekend."Or, "lose 25 pounds before summer" in May.  I've hesitated to go all Bridget Jones on you but then it occured to me that story struck a nerve with enough people that I might as well just keep doing my thing ... which is to say write my life out loud.

So ... my 35th birthday is in six months. I think I could healthfully lose 35 pounds by then and I can't imagine a better gift to myself!

P.S. It isn't lost on me that this moment of clarity took place in a town called Vantage.

Noun

  •  (n) vantage (place or situation affording some advantage (especially a comprehensive view or commanding perspective))

In other news: my Confessions of a Green Wannabecolumn printed while we were out of town, I wrote about my Meatless Monday experiences. Here's the link if you're interested: http://www.newsregister.com/article/45345-confessions+green+wannabe+going+meatless+once+week