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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Inhuman(e) Part of Me

Thanksgiving is two days away!  Why, then, do I have a Christmas tree erected in my living room and boxes of ornaments everywhere?  What are your thoughts about this phenomenon?  I have fallen right in the trap of the "Halloween-to-Christmas" scheme!  Conspiracy theorists probably have an explanation for my tree being up before Thanksgiving, but then again, so do I.

I have company coming over tomorrow night.  This is how my brain works, folks... The logic part says "Just get it up now, because Christmas is less than a month away!"  Peggy (My Inner Brat) says "Oooh, a new tree, sparkles, and lights!!", and that other, maybe inhumanly cruel part of me says "You have company coming over. You must put up your tree now and do all the other two million things before they get here. Bwahahahaaaa!!!"

That little inhuman part? Yah, I need to talk about that.  I have a feeling at least some of you have dealt with that old hag before!  See, I know I want the house to be presentable before I have company over.  My house isn't grand, updated, or new in any way, but I do like it to be mostly-picked-up-and-stuff.  I am also the "Grand Procrastinator" (only the coolest Slackers get to say that).  So, no matter what, I know I will have to get the tree up, get the stuff put away from said tree, clean the bathrooms, clean the kitchen, vacuum, clean the hard floors, and make sure the laundry is at least under the rim of the hampers.  I also need to cook. Something.  Do I have a menu made out yet? Uh. Do I ever have a menu made out in advance?  That means cookbooks, online recipes, decisions, lists, a trip to the grocery store, finding a place to put the new groceries (Storage space is like zero in my cozy little abode).

Really?  I am a stay-at-home mom. I have an awesome husband, fantastic kids, and very, very little stress compared to others.  Why do I choose to wait until the last second and then pile on as much  as I possibly (and usually some "impossibly", too) can?!  I made a sign- using a weird selfie... and it fits this inhuman, unkind part of me:


So, instead of waiting until this afternoon to get started, I'm going to set my timer for 15 minutes and make a list of the things I need to gather/clean/do before tomorrow evening.  Then, I do believe I'm going to go to the gym.  I have been trying to talk myself out of the gym since I went to bed last night.  But I need it.  I know I won't do a workout at home today because of the mess here.  So, a list, a mini-shower, the gym, then back home to start knocking that list OUT!

The human, kind part of me is going to enjoy this process while working hard to accomplish lots of things!  Peggy is going to be happy- because there are shiny, glittery things decorating our home.  And I am going to be happy, because I recognized what the inhuman(e) part of me is trying to do, and I'm laughing in the monster's face instead of hiding this time!

Enjoy your time before Thanksgiving- don't spend it in freak-out mode.  Trust the expert.  It doesn't help, and those around you will be grateful if you don't.  Get your timer- do 5, 10, or 15 minutes- even ONE minute at a time is something.  We can do this!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 5K Experience

AT&T came to our house today to fix our DSL outage.  Thankfully, the problem was "outside", so it was a FREE repair!  *happy dance*

I have been dying to post a couple of pictures from our 5k on Saturday (November 16th).  My beautiful sister AND some of her family came to run it with us.  As it turns out, this was the perfect race for my sister to cut her teeth on!!  She won a medal in her very first 5k!  I was so incredibly blessed to be a part of that whole experience- to see her face when she crossed the finish line was a moment I will never forget.  My brother-in-law also won a medal in his age group!  How awesome is that?!  I keep joking that I brought in "ringers" from out of town.

And then there's my sweet daughter Kyra.  She was amazing, and I wish I could have talked her in to going ahead of me much sooner than I did, because I think she could have finished with a significantly better time!  I am so honored to be part of that whole experience for her.

And what could make it even better, you ask??  My other daughter (who has professed to "hate" running) has decided that she will participate in the spring session of GOTR.  If you are not familiar with Girls On The Run, please click HERE to learn more.  This program is amazing, and it has made a positive impact in my little girl's life (and will soon make an impact on my other little girl's life, too!).








Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Internet Down!

I have tried to create a post using my iPhone, but I am really not good at using it. My DSL connection is down, so I can't post from my laptop. I am taking a few days off from the blog, hoping we'll be fixed up by Friday (recent storm damage has put me at the bottom of a long list).  Enjoy your week!

I can't wait to update you on the fun stuff we're doing/have done!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Less than 48 Hours

In 48 hours (from when I'm starting this post), we will be preparing to run our first "official" 5k together!  My daughter (who is 8) and I will be running together with Girls On The Run (GOTR) to close out the fall 2013 session.  We are so excited!

I am hoping I can get my sweet hubby to take lots of pictures to commemorate the occasion, but I know I'll carry this memory in my heart forever, even if there aren't bunches of photos!  I am so blessed that, even though I know she can run faster than me, she wants ME to be her Running Buddy.  She chose me.  Could my heart swell any more?

She is already talking about wanting to run a half marathon in a couple (I say a few) years, and once she even said she might just want to do a full marathon when she's older!  I am so incredibly proud of her- she is amazing!  She really seems to love running, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  She is encouraging to those around her, taking time to lift others up (including her old ma!) and push them to be their best.

Ok, I'm getting carried away, I know...

I have a "21" update:  I have completed 11 days in a row!  WOOHOO!  Yesterday was literally step-ups and squats for 12 minutes, but it was something, and that's the goal!!

My world is just sailing right out of my comfort zone right now!  There are some exciting things on the horizon, but I don't know if they'll come to fruition, so I'm going to lay low with them and just continue to be excited about whatever direction life leads me/us.

Housework remains a daunting task, and I'd rather do just about anything than that :)  I'll improve... slowly but surely, somehow.. I'm going to find a way to baby-step my way to "normalcy" in housekeeping!



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran's Day

Most of the time,  I don't realize how profoundly I miss my parents.  Right now, I am thankful for the reminder Veteran's Day gave me.  My dad (Mom, too) would have gone with me yesterday to the Veteran's Day Program at the elementary school.  Not because he wanted to be recognized, but because he wanted to see his grand-kids, and I would have asked him in that way, so he couldn't really say no.  I am, after all, the spoiled baby... just ask my sisters and brother *wink*

Instead, I went on my own.  I sat there, thinking about my dad for a moment, because that's what you're supposed to do, right?  I quickly realized I needed to think about whether or not mice could crawl in the big pipes above the gym... Otherwise, I was going to have a big old meltdown in the gymnasium.  I found myself totally detaching from what was going on, so my kids didn't have to wonder what was wrong with Mom for the rest of their school day.

Now, however, with my fingers flying and my mind whirring, with no one to see me and the blessed privacy for a meltdown or 2, I'm going to let you know something: 

I am so proud of my dad.  He never talked much about the war (The Korean Conflict).  He volunteered just a few tidbits. I wish I had known how and what to ask about his experience, because I think it would have brought me closer to understanding him.  I think knowing more about that (and other parts of his history, too) would have helped me know the man who was my first love; the strongest, most powerful earthly being I knew before I met my husband.

I remember wearing his long wool coat to trudge across campus  during the eternal winters at Taylor. I wonder if he knew what it meant for me to wear that coat, knowing it had kept him warm in his Army days? I remember seeing his uniform in the hall closet and wondering, but never knowing what or how to ask questions about it.

Now, I'm just thankful for memories, the things he did share, the sacrifices he made for my country, and the love he gave me.

Thank you, Dad. <3

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Exhausted for No Good Reason!

I know why I'm exhausted, and it truly is not a good reason.  That is because I know better, but I choose not to do better.  Infuriating.

I do exercise.  I have marked 7 days in a row of getting at least some exercise on a daily basis.  Today, however, I am putting off the exercise (tick-tock, I'm about out of time!).

Ok, hold on, just typing those words gave me a fit of inspiration- I'll be back after I get at least a few minutes of actual heart-elevation...

I did it! I called myself out and then I made it right by just doing it!  Make that 8 stickers in a row for Jo's "21" Challenge!! Woot Woot!

So, back to the reason I'm so stinking tired.  It's as simple as pie (I think I intended that pun).

I eat like poop.  I don't know what keeps holding me back here.  It's not rocket science, and although I have taken a couple of good steps forward, it's been a year now, and I'm ready to say I've taken more than a few steps in the kitchen!

(source for image: Thanks to http://thefithousewife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/abs-in-kitchen.jpg)

I've eaten too much refined flour and sugar lately.  They make me grumpy, irritable, bloated, and after I eat these things, they make me feel like I have a huge hangover.

I am the definition of insanity, right?!  I keep doing the same stuff over and over, trying to imagine different results.... ACK!!

Ok, getting a grip :)

On a positive note, I have been doing much better with thinking before I blame others for the way I feel or react.  Which is a good thing, it turns out... because my DD9 is in hot water for just such an issue.  I feel like going through the actions is helping me help her get a grip on this "pointing fingers" game.

I'm going to pack it in for the evening.  I'd like to be on my way to dreamland by 10 and up & at 'em at 5am.  I wish I could say My passion wakes me, but I have to set the alarm clock. And I have moved the alarm clock so I have to take actual steps out of bed to turn it off.  Alas, maybe someday it will be my passion for life, but for now, the alarm clock will do just fine :)


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankfulness

I noticed recently that some people are really getting annoyed with the "30 Days of Thankfulness" trend on Facebook.

I have an opinion, and I am "thankful" I have a blog to discuss this!  :)

My opinion has a lot to do with my "Project" post (click the link to read it if you're interested!).  I have lots of thoughts about the subject (surprise, surprise!) I'll try to separate them below, because I tend to run it all together in my mind:

  1. If you think people are annoying you, you are wrong. You are allowing yourself to be annoyed.  You are choosing that reaction. And in the process, you are giving that person an incredible amount of power over you.
  2. You can choose a different reaction. Yep. It's that simple. 
  3. Choose to see the cheery difference in your Cranky Uncle Hank's post about being thankful he has a job- at least he's not posting something about how dark it is in the office or how low his sales numbers are... you get my drift. Stop focusing on what he did yesterday, and celebrate with him!  Maybe... just mayyyybe...it will help him shift his attitude just a tiny. little. bit.
  4. Why are you "freinds" with people that you claim annoy you?  Is it so you can put down what they're doing? Is it so you can tell so-and-so Cranky Uncle Hank posted this-or-that (this is also known as gossip. ugly word, huh?)?  Answer this honestly- you don't have to say it out loud if it's too hard to admit.  I know I'm stepping back to look at myself here, too.
  5. You may not agree, but I believe it is incredibly important to count your blessings!  Yes, I think you should try to be grateful every day of the year, but why on earth would you want to discourage people from taking time out from their lives to count their blessings- no matter what the format?!
  6. If you are still annoyed, please block the person from your newsfeed rather than putting up a negative picture, quote or status message that belittles others.  
I may very well be missing a vital point here.  I have missed whole sides of some topics before.  I'm willing to listen and try to understand another viewpoint on this, but, at this point, I really believe that having a negative attitude about others being thankful is... nonsensical.  



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Project

Oh, I bet you thought that title indicated that I'm working on something, huh?  Well, as my dad would say, you put the em-pha-sis on the wrong syl-ahh-ble. After that play on words, you know where I get my sense of humor :)

I'm talking about the way I project my own feelings on to others.

Oh. Reality check.  Did I really do that?

Yes. *groan*

I have been using the phrase "You make me....!" like a madwoman the last few weeks.  no. nono. That is not acceptable.  I have talked long, hard, and thoroughly with my children about why this is not valid, but for the last few weeks, I've just decided to ignore those wise words. It's an excuse of the worst kind; especially when you look at me- Miss Stubborn, Miss Independent, Miss I-Own-It.

I have an epic fail on my hands.  Those words make me feel mousy and weak, and that is offensive to my sensibilities!

Shortcoming:
I've been projecting my moody little pity parties on the ones I love most.

Plan for Improvement:
I recognize, acknowledge (have apologized and asked for forgiveness), and will now SUCK IT UP and move forward. Forward without blaming everyone else for my choice to be moody, brooding, hurt, blah blah.

I am so stinking blessed, it's not even funny! I don't have the right or a real purpose to use those silly defense mechanisms.. So, I'm going to smile and move right along!  It was a little hiccup, and now I'm right back on track. :)

This is how the morning started:


Do you know what's GREAT about that? (and yes, that is gold-flecked countertop) There are lots of bonuses here:  I fixed it up, and it worked for a couple of extra months.  The machine gave up the ghost after I made the coffee this morning, and DH is off tonight and offered to take us to get a new one! Normally, I wouldn't want to trouble my hubby with shopping (he generally hates it), but he usually helps me pick out better-quality appliances than I would probably get if I were on my own.  

How's that for silver lining?

Thought for the day:  Do not allow yourself to think for one minute that other people can "make you feel...".  Do not give other people control like that.  You control how you feel, and you control how you act. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2014 Planner

Yesterday, I found some paper I kind of liked, so I decided to try my hand at making the cover for my 2014 planner.

I was clearing clutter a month or so ago and emptied a black binder (8.5x5.5-type), so a few weeks ago, I got these 2-page per day planner refills (click the link to check them out. I love Office Max!).  The plain black binder, however, was boring!  So, of course, I decided I needed to spruce it up!  Please note: I am not a crafty person.  My sisters are crafty and artsy and talented and lovely... me? Not so much :)  Which is why I am so proud that I made the perfectionist in me just sit down and shut up for a while.

The nice thing about doing this? Oh, there are a few perks- let me make a list!

  1. I love looking at paper, so choosing the paper was a mental health break for me!  It was $5.00 for a whole ream of these coordinating scrapbook papers, so I have lots to keep in my supply drawer!
  2. I was pretty stressed out last night (over something I probably shouldn't have reacted to so strongly), so launching this project was a great way to take my mind off things.
  3. Let's face it, I am a binge eater.  There, I said it "out loud".  I struggle with this every day (not purging, folks- just binging. This means I rapidly consume excessive amounts of food.).  I do this more often when I feel stress (my choices- poor, but I own them). This little project probably saved me about 800 calories worth of candy and junk last night.  Heck, thinking about it that way, I would have paid $10 for the paper....
  4. What if I have this cover for three months and decide I hate it? I can simply slide it out, throw it away and make or add a different one!  See, I allowed myself this idea so I didn't obsess about having to have the "perfect" cover. And guess what?? It got DONE!!!  I didn't just think about it and plan it until June of 2014. (woot!! Superwoman Moment!)
Now, if I can keep finding "things" to accomplish after the kids go to bed, maybe I can replace my bad eating habits with positive, Superwoman-like changes!

I also want to share my "21" progress with you:  I have managed to get 3 straight days of exercise!!  My goal is at least 10 minutes of heart-elevating movement each day.  So far, so good,  This is the first time in almost a year that I've had 3 days of exercise in a row.  I have a feeling this "21" is going to be my hardest one yet- because I'm stubborn- but I'll keep working on it, because I want it to be a habit for a lifetime!




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sugar High, Anyone?

I was going to try to come down from my sugar high this morning.. but there were these monster cookies.... and there were 4.... and I only have 3 kids.... and I didn't want them to fight over that poor little fourth cookie... and you know where it went. blech.  I am on sugar. overload.

Speaking of Monster Cookies, I found this recipe and pinned it some time ago.  I'll post the picture from lilluna.com, THEN, I'll post a picture of mine. LOL
  Ooey Gooey Monster Eye Cookies Recipe - so good and perfect for Halloween!

I assure you, mine taste really good! I fell in love with the original photo and the color of the cookies... and the actual candy eyes.  They are so adorable!  Here's the positive twist, though- I didn't waste all of my day in pursuit of perfection.  I couldn't find the eyes at the first store, so I didn't dwell on it.  I did my best and moved on!  This is kind of a big deal for me.  I think at another time in my life, I would have thrown my hands up and said "forget it, I'll make the old standby".  Yay me! And yes, I'll be making these cookies again as a party food (not for at-home, because I would eat them all).

Bonus points:  I made a double batch yesterday, so I had enough to pack them up as after-football-game team snacks. :)

The kids were SO fun for Halloween this year. I had 2 little tigers and a tiger-tamer! They were just too cute!