Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tips

These are Jack Lalanne's 10 top tips. I thought they were cool.

1.) Exercise - If you don’t exercise you’ll look and feel old.
2.) Better Nutrition - Be conscious of food. Cut down fats and include more fresh fruits & vegetables.
3.) Positive Thinking - Count your blessings.
4.) Good Habits - Replace the bad habits with good.
5.) Good Grooming - Make an effort- hair and clothes
6.) Smile - It’s infectious
7.) Posture - Stand tall & pull tummy in.
8.) Help Others - Blessed to give than receive.
9.) Relaxation - Spare 5-10 minutes to relax or nap.
10.) Faith - In Nature or God.

I'm working on it!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Job, new Me

So - I got the job. I was offered it on Fri. There will still be an extended transition, but I'm on my way to coming full circle and being an ER Nurse again. I'm thrilled.

I'm also doing a juice fast. I'm on day 9 today and down 11 pounds. I'm feeling pretty good except for the cravings. Those are crazy weird. The brain is such a powerful influence on what we eat and crave. I'm trying to reset my body and my brain and my habits. I'm planning on 60 days. I hope I can do it.

It's been a wonderful weekend. I've had really good social time, which I have needed. It's been sunny. My husband is home. The fruits and veggies are all ripe and good. I love farmer's markets. My kids even snuggled today on the couch. It was a rare, awesome moment.




I wish they were like this all the time. Ethan was playing his DS and Ocean was watching TV. Yet they were snuggled up on the same couch.

Okay well, I'm off to sleep, because this juicing thing is giving me energy during the day, but I hit my wall about an hour ago.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

5 days off

You know how you go about life and things are just what they are. Then something changes and you realize just how big of an impact it was having on your life. I have just been off work for the past 5 days and it's been heavenly. I've been relaxed, happy and good. I didn't even think about my co-worker.

I have an opportunity to apply for another job. I'm in knots inside about talking to my boss and this co-worker about it. Crazy nervous. Dealing with this woman makes me crazy. I don't want to be crazy anymore.

I was just advised that they don't have to release me until January and so once again, I'm at their mercy.

I have to go meet with my boss and ask to be released. It's all so lame. I just want to move on.


EDIT: I met with my boss. It went extremely well. I went ahead and applied for a new job this afternoon. They will have to post and fill my current position before I'm released, but at least things are moving to a better place.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

100 yr anniversary of discovering Machu Picchu

On July 24th, 1911, Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham. He was actually looking for a different ruins nearby. Can you imagine? Stumbling on something like Machu Picchu?! Amazing. We've known about them for 100 years now. They have been around for hundreds more than we knew.

I know this blog has gotten a bit off track, but I have needed to get myself sorted out to move forward.
I am still - 100% - planning to climb this mountain. I will experience this place.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

REBOOT!


I am rebooting. Juice fasting. My goal is to do it for 60 days. I just spent the past 5 days eating just fruits and vegetables - whole foods. I had a few nuts and seeds thrown in too. No dairy, No soy, No wheat, No grains, Nothing processes. It's been hard, but good. I'm down 6 pounds and today was day one of my juice fast. I'll let you know how it goes.

Today I'm thankful for:

My husband being home.

This picture just makes me so happy and content. My man with my kidlets. It says it all for me.


I'm also thankful for the ability to buy a juicer and all the fresh veggies and fruit that I can consume. I'm thankful that my husband and I both have work. I feel fortunate.

I'm thankful that I got to sleep in this morning - it felt amazing.

Did I say 6 pounds already?! That's worth being thankful for.

I'm thankful for the fact that as soon as I hit post, I get to go snuggle my man and watch So You Think You Can Dance. Yummy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Busy and Good Day

Thankful for:

My man is en route!So happy to not have to sleep without him tonight.

My middle boy spent more time outside riding a bike than in front of a screen - MAJOR accomplishment!

I stayed home from work today because ... well, I had a good reason ...

I also found out that I do not have to work Monday, so I'm off til Wednesday! So HAPPY to have that time with my man - it was great timing!!

I have maintained my eating and broken a sweat daily for almost a week now. I'm happy with my progress and am feeling very motivated to get through these hard first several days and onto greener pastures.

Concrete got poured today. Jake worked so hard and I appreciated him greatly. I'm pleased with the little shed's progress.



I love this lady!



My three babies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's Thanks.

In a little over 24 hours - My man comes home.

My dad made good progress on my shed project.


The landscaper came by this afternoon and we finalized all the details and plants. It wont get all installed until September when it starts to cool off, but the clean up starts asap!! Very excited about things getting cleaned up around here.

My lavender is blooming beautifully and there are these cool fuzzy yellow bees and yellow headed bumble bees all buzzing about. I have been gardening right next to them and they are chill. I think I like them. You can see two yellow bees and a yellow headed bumble bee in the picture if you look close.


Ethan got his braces adjusted today. He got a chain across the front four and head gear tightened spacers on the bottom molars for bracketing next week. Basically - He Hurts!! Poor darling - he's being so brave. I'm so proud of him. Ibuprofen can only help so much. It's not going to get much better with the lowers getting brackets soon too. We're buying popcycles tomorrow.

I'm just thankful for my life. There this video going around on FB of a lady who had a baby, got her house foreclosed, was diagnosed with breast cancer and her husband tragically died - all happened within a few months. I have NOTHING to be sad or unhappy about. A little perspective goes a long way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today was Fabulous!

I am thankful for:

Getting off work early.

Found out today that the position they are creating for me in the ER was approved.

A friend from work divided out her irises and gave me three bags full to plant at my house!

I was able to dig in the dirt and it felt great.

Healthy food today. I was even able to distract myself from a not healthy temptation.

I made dinner for myself tonight. A Roasted Acorn squash that was stuffed with portobello, onions, garlic,cauliflower, spinach and herbs. It was really pretty good. I filled my house up with smoke because I used wax paper in the oven instead of the called for parchment paper. Lesson learned and giggles at myself completed.


I had a great walk with my friend Shelly after I ate. Thanks so much for making time Shelly! I really enjoyed our walk and your garden is fantastic!

Fresh picked lettuce for my salad. (From Shelly's fantastic garden)

My mom taking the kids to PERC and having a moment.

My feet hurt. Yes, I'm thankful for that. It's good because it means I used them today more than normal. That's awesome.

I'm tired, but I'm going to watch some TV and fold up the laundry I got washed today. Then I will sleep and I will sleep well.

I'm so thankful and happy.

PS - SHELLY - I got the points.... Study... Study... Study It's a long shot, but I have to try.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Digging Deep

Today was busy. I accomplished a lot. My to do list is down to a two sided 4x6 card. That's a bunch of progress!! My husband is crazy in love with me and glad he's with me even after almost 11 years of putting up with my quirks. My kids are happy and good. My mom was released from Cardiology today and all her other follow ups are in place and she's getting better each day. I had my last class of summer term today. I need to take my final still, but I'm otherwise officially now a grad student because I've completed grad school credits. That's exciting. I'm on track for healthy eating - watch out for me to change!

SO - that's all good right?! I'm so glad that this blog makes me look at the positives. I feel a lot less than positive tonight. I don't understand why my brain does that sometimes. REGARDLESS - I'm choosing to go to sleep with all of the day's accomplishments swirling in my brain, because I just summarized them. EPIC WIN!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thankful for a day off tomorrow

I don't have to work tomorrow.

I do have school, doctor appointments with my mom. Yard work to do. Kids to spend time with. A final to study for. Laundry to do. People to call and email. Bills to pay. Life, you know.

But I don't have to work!! That makes me happy happy happy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today I'm Thankful for...

My eldest son - he is simply a gift. I so appreciate his love of me and his ability to share it.

My middle child - he is growing and maturing daily. I love when he hugs me just a moment longer than expected.

My youngest - her independence, how she knows herself and her needs and wants, she is going to be somebody someday. I love how she has chosen a new name with confidence and certainty.

I am thankful for the breezy, awesome curtains I hung in my bedroom today. They make the whole room feel lighter to me.

I am so thankful for my man. He makes every other relationship prior to him insignificant.

I am thankful for friends. Good friends. I am blessed with several.

I am thankful for honest communication.

I am thankful that I still have my health and the ability to enact change in myself.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

24 hours

I am thankful for a 24 hour moment.

My kids - all three of them - were occupied with other things. Away at Big Lake summer camp or at camp meeting. My husband was travelling. My mom was busy with her sister.

And me? Well - No one needed me. I think it's the first time I can recall since I became a mother that this was the case. My BFF and I decided to spontaneously run away for 24 hours. We went to Sisters,OR because I needed to pick up two kidlets Friday afternoon at Big Lake.

We stayed in Five Pine Lodge which is these individual cabins scattered all over the property with a little creek right outside our windows. It was so relaxing, quiet and comfortable. Big soaking tub and comfy chairs to chill in. We ate dinner at Black Butte - I think it's the best food I've ever had. It was fabulous. I would drive three hours just to have dinner again. We walked around on the nature trails around the lake and watched the sun set behind the mountains. We practiced grounding and laughing.





The next morning we headed to the spa for spa relaxation. The wandered around Sisters - it's a great little town. Loved it.



It wasn't hard to pick up my kidlets. It was great to see them. It was hard to say goodbye to Cham. Had a lovely dinner with Cham, Trav and the girls before heading home.



It was really hard to come home. This house and all the work and responsibility that lives in it and comes with it. I'm trying to figure out how to bring some of that relaxed Jill home and keep her here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Swimming and gravity

I went swimming with my daughter. I actually got into a swimming suit in public. This alone should be forever evidence of the love that I have for my child. I was walking in the deeper area and unintentionally touched my stomach. It wasn't hanging where it normally is. Having a different shape was really quite cool and a reminder of what it feels like to not lug around all this extra weight. The walking out of the pool and back into gravity was crazy. It was like I could feel every extra pound re-attaching to my body. I should get into a pool more often - it was really motivating and so relaxing.

I also realized a couple other things. (I'm normally very busy when I swim with my kids, but my youngest didn't really need me at all so I just people watched.) My realizations: as overweight as I am - there are many out there who weigh more than I do. My point in this is that I shouldn't be so anxious about going swimming. I should find some confidence. I also noticed that augmented breasts are REALLY obvious in a bikini. I could go for a breast lift at some point and I'm certainly not opposed to a tummy tuck, but I'll keep my own breasts thanks (small or not small - either is fine - I've had both).

I had an amazing time with my kidlet. I'm so glad I chose to go and put on the suit. I'll try to remember the things I realized and go again sometime soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dairy and Gluten Free

So - I've successfully been caffeine free for weeks now. I have to admit I still miss the Diet Pepsi, but I really like how I feel caffeine free. I sleep more normal, I don't have the highs and lows associated with caffeine for me. It's good and it feels good.

Next: Dairy and Gluten.

This one will take longer to accomplish I'm sure. What I do know is that dairy messes with my insides. I also know that gluten often goes hand in hand with a diary intolerance. I don't think I have Celiac disease, but about 30% of people in the US have an intolerance to gluten. I'm going to check it out. The best way is to eliminate it and see how I feel. So - here I go.

Elleri and I shopped gluten free this afternoon - it was really fun to teach my kidlet about healthy choices. Now to live it. Today was okay - I got too hungry at one point, but I have all sorts of healthy gluten and dairy free choices now to choose from. That's what I get for shopping hungry.

My mom is sick. It sucks. I don't enjoy this phase. I want the old her back. It's not happening. Here's what I can do tho: I can be healthy and make good choices. I can prevent or at least delay my own illness and death for my husband and kids.

Wikipedia says that obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years: a BMI of 30–35 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity (BMI > 40) reduces life expectancy by 10 years.

Yes, My BMI falls in that last category. 10 years I stand to lose. 10 years to not know my kids and my someday grandkids. 10 years to not be with my husband. I need to lose 50% of my BMI to be in a healthy range.

I'm not sure how I am going to accomplish this, but I do know that I don't back down from much of anything in my life. I'm stubborn and persistent in most areas. I plan to turn these personality traits at my health. I might ... in fact, I know I will... fail a few more times. I'm going to keep at it. I'm going to be healthy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I am thankful for my husband, friends and community.

My mom is in the ICU. She nearly died yesterday. It looks like she will pull through, but it's been a bit stressful in my world.

My husband is simply the most amazing and wonderful, perfectly supportive, fantastic man. He was first on the scene with my mom and stepped in. He has been exactly what I've needed to support me and allow me to support my mom and dad.... and he took me to a RUSH concert tonight that was the best break in my stress level imaginable. He is everything I need and want. I'm so thankful for him.

I stopped by VBS tonight. I am tired, stressed, trying to juggle kids, hospital stays etc. I walked into the church lobby and I was surrounded by friends. No one knew my mom was in the ICU or that I'm feeling pretty maxed. I was greeted with smiles, support, assistance, and hugs. I can't say how much that meant to me. It felt amazing to be so welcomed and accepted. I'm thankful for all the work that has been put into VBS - my kids and the neighbor boy are having a wonderful time. VBS is here at the perfect time to distract them and I just felt loved tonight standing in the church lobby.

I'm thankful for my mom. I'm going to get more time with her. She turned the corner. She was moved to the step down unit from ICU around 10pm. I thought we were going to lose her Monday. I'm not ready yet, so I'm thankful for as many more days as we get. I'm hopeful there will be many.

I'm also thankful for my knowledge. I wonder how people who don't understand healthcare manage. I'm grateful for my education and my occupation. The opportunity to have gone to school and obtained my license. I feel so fortunate.

I'm heading to bed. For those friends of mine who were there at VBS and also read this blog... thanks for making a difference in my day today. I think you ladies are fabulous!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Better Day!

Today I made steps toward work change! Change is always hard and this feels a little bit like quitting. I'm not a quitter, but in this case - walking away is the right choice. This work situation is toxic.

So - I started the steps today to transfer to a different department and it feels great!! It feels fantastic, I have a plan. The plan feels right. Feels good. I have hope.

It's been years and years - I can't even remember the last time - that I have been tied up in knots inside. Sick to my stomach and butterflies. I thought I might even puke at one point - all surrounding my work. It has even affected my sleep and it certainly has affected my family and the quality of my off work time. It's not worth it. It's good to have a plan.

I just had the best conversation with my daughter. She wanted to sit in the chairs that face each other and have a talk about her birthday in the fall. I think she is really going to be someone that I enjoy as she grows up and once she is grown. I'm so thankful for her.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1st Day of Summer

Good things today:

The sunshine was fabulous!

My husband is a able to communicate and I love him for that. So many people can't.

My kids are healthy and happy.

All my needs are met. Honestly, lots of the things I consider needs are really wants. I'm fortunate.

It's been a really long day, so...
Kind of a minimal post today, but that's all I have in me at present.
I will go to sleep remembering that the good is there and I am thankful for it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinner with friends

1)Dinner with another couple. It doesn't often happen. Certainly not at the last minute and it's hit or miss as to how it goes. Tonight we unexpectedly ended up over at another couples house for dinner. It was really nice. Very comfortable company which is unusual for the first time you get together with. It was very pleasant.

2)Social settings always reminded of how much I adore my man. I love seeing him like that. We are such home bodies and with his travel, most of his home time is just that.. at home. I find him so charming, funny and smart. It's just really fun to hang out with him socially.

3)I got 92% on my midterm. I'm fine with it. Perfectly.

4)I get to go crawl into my bed and snuggle my man and sleep soundly. What a simple luxury I usually take for granted.

5)Shelly - you're pictures made me want a day at the beach something fierce!! Thanks for sharing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday is over. The weekend is here.

My kids are finally all out of school for the summer.

I'm able to go to sleep with my husband tonight which always makes the day a good one.

My eldest child has proven to be a mature, helpful, loving young man who really stepped up this week.

It was sunny today and lovely.

I have my midterm this weekend that I need to study study study for.

I am so thankful that I'm able to live my life and share it with my husband and my kids.

I am grateful. I'm exhausted and I'm able to go crawl into a nice bed with an even nicer man. It's good. There happens to be the cutest little girl all sleepy in my bed too. She's good for cuddling. See? Life is amazing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The ER and a few other moments.

1) I visited the ER last night at my hospital. I used to work there. It was very affirming. It makes me feel liked. Mom and I were taken directly back. Treated promptly. The MD knew me, the nurses knew me and my mom felt like a queen. Now, I personally feel like this particular ER gives their best to any patient who comes through the door, but my mom and dad think it's all because of me. I try to tell them, but they don't listen. Anyways - It felt good. It felt good to be acknowledged, welcomed and respected. I miss my ER days some. We got in and out very promptly (Mom's fine) and I was asleep by 2am. 6am came early and this afternoon makes the nap I can not take right now a worthy dream.

2)I worked in the same day surgery area of surgical services today. I worked with patients. It was a blast. I think I might even miss patients. It felt amazing to be making a difference in their day.

3) My house is full of extra kids this afternoon. It's loud, crazy and good. I love when my kids are all home.

4)Shakespeare: He's our amazing, coolest, declawed, indoor, fraidy cat. He prefers to be where we are at any given time. He also makes the rounds before bed. He will go snuggle each of the kids and then Steven and I and now mom too. Then he chooses a place to sleep - it varies from room to room. He loves us all. He's the coolest cat I've ever had and even Steven likes him a little (which really says how cool he is.)

My mother texts me at work asking if I've seen him. It would appear he got locked out last evening and spent the night outside. With our ER adventure no one noticed he was missing til this morning. We have coyotes and other nasties that come out at night and I'm immediately in tears. The 4 hours of sleep and no breakfast probably didn't help my emotional stability any. The last time he got out he only came when I called. Well, I called as soon as I got home from work and he came again today. He was filthy and scared and I didn't care. I was just thankful. Thankful that he's home, in one piece and asking for hugs. (He head butts until I pick him up then he buries his head in my neck with a paw on each side of my neck.)

5) I'm excited about some landscaping. I've walked the property with two companies so far. They have interesting ideas and thoughts. I'm looking forward to them offering up some bids and seeing how much of it we can actually get done. Happy Dance for a cleaned up property!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Responsibility


This is what I made this evening. I am going to hang it up in my office. I think it's pretty, calm, and a good message. I hope people get it.

It's not my words. They are from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. (Yes, Although we are both named Jill and I will also have a doctorate to call my own someday, that's not why I like her message) She wrote a book called My Stroke of Insight that I plan to read, she gave a TED talk about ber experience, but mostly she just put it out there:

You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you're responsible for the energy that you bring to others.

I LOVE THIS! I'm posting my little homemade reminder in my office in the morning. I'm hoping that people react POSITIVELY!

Today was a good day. School this morning - work this afternoon - kid snuggles this evening.

I have my midterm this week and I'm right on the edge of an A to an A-. This particular teacher drops you to an A- at 95%. Makes getting the ever desired A rather difficult, but I'm chasing it anyways. Any points matter - so I will be studying this week! Shelly - send some of your 100% my direction. *grins

I'm getting bids on some landscape clean up this week too. I have to admit to being really excited about the idea of getting some order to the outdoors. I might even have to buy a lawnmower. I was anti grass when we moved in here, but the weeds are just so persistent and grass is an affordable alternative. Maybe one of the landscapers will be brilliant and have a great alternative. *crosses fingers. I really just wish we could go ahead and put on the deck and such. All in good time.

It's sleepy time for me... sweet dreams.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Plan for work

Go In To Work Early!

If I go into work early, then I get to leave early. This has two effects. One - I only have to be around negative energy for about 1-2 hours that way. Just when she's getting rolling I'm on my way out the door. That works for me. Second - I was home at 11am today and I felt like I had the day off work!! It was awesome. I accomplished a lot of stuff that has been needing attention.

I had a REALLY terrific, feel good about what I got done, day.

I TIVO all of my TV that I choose to watch. I have an aversion to commercials, so I have made fast friends with my DVR (that really isn't a TIVO anymore) ANYWAYS.... I recorded the Oprah final show awhile back. I'm not a huge Oprah fan, but I've watched from time to time over the years, so I thought I'd see what she had to say for her last show. It was an interesting show - she basically shared what she has learned from the people in her audience and her guests over the years. There was one thing in particular that I found really fascinating and inspiring. She had a guest on the show years ago that had had a traumatic brain injury and was talking about the energy that people give off as they came and went from her hospital room. Happy, Sad, Negative, Competent, Indifferent. She couldn't speak or communicate or see, but she could tell what and who was in her room by their energy. She said everyone gives off energy and that we are responsible for our own energy and it's message. Now, don't think I'm all new age-y or anything but I totally get what she's talking about. When you interact with people you are impacted by their energy. The negative people can bring you down, the happy people can bring you up, the optimists can change your mind. I think most people are unconscious of their energy footprint. We don't realize how our energy spills over to those around us.

Well - I'm going to try to surround myself with positive energy. If I'm around people who cannot seem to find a positive thought - I will counter their negative energy with my positive thoughts and comments. I am choosing to be cheerful and positive. I don't want to be anything else.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lovely weekend

What a beautiful weekend! Amazing sunshine, the kids have gotten along so far without a single real fight. It has been relaxing, nap filled, peaceful and restorative.

I'm going to call some landscape companies this week to get some bids. I have been trying to 'get to it' since we moved in 18 months ago now. It's not happening and I think it's just too big of a job to do by myself. So - I'm going to get some bids and see if I can get some weed control and some neatness in our outdoor space accomplished. I'm excited by the idea. I'll take some before and after pictures.

I also have my midterm coming up this week. I want to do really well on it so I'll be busy studying this week. It should be a good week.

Anyone have some creative ideas for Father's Day? My husband is so deserving of something fun and special. **Thinking**

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Crud

I'm sick. I don't get sick very often or easily. All those years of working in an ER I suppose. However - sick I am. I still have good things about this day tho:

1) I was mostly in my office alone today and I got a lot done.
2) My husband and my eldest took care of all the chores today. They took care of me. They allowed me to just crawl into bed when I got home. My honey even gave me a back rub to help me relax. It is so amazing to be loved by the men in my home. My nap was lovely.
3) I had some really nice quality time with E this afternoon going to his drum lessons. I just really enjoy him and he cares about me deeply. He showed awareness and tried to take care of me too. He has good examples.
4) I love that my best friend called. Just because I'm loved.
5) The day is rounded out with Elleri all snuggled up with me in my bed. She buries her head onto me and tells me I'm the most 'comfortable thing ever'. I'll take it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

gOOD dAY

My day started at 4am this morning. I was showered and at work starting my day by 5am. It felt amazing .... for the first few hours anyways... I got a full 4 hours of work in that were really productive. I was starting to feel the 5 hours of sleep and early start but then I ran off to the zoo with my precious baby girl. I 'chaperoned' on her field trip and get this - best chaperone day ever on a field trip - I only had my own child. We were teamed up with a friend of Elleri's and that little girl's mom. I liked her - she was fun, the girls had no drama - it was a great field trip. Great weather, cute animals. I like their new exhibit and fell in love with the Caracal cat. So pretty - here's a googled pic - but the one hanging out at the zoo today was stunning.

Elleri had a fun day. When I thanked her for inviting me to the zoo with her, she said.. I just wanted you mommy. *happy mom* Too sweet.

I went back to work this afternoon and was again crazy productive. My grumpy co-worker was even happy with me for once lately. Sigh.

Now I'm home - my kids are tucked in and kissed on. I'm heading to bed. I am going to be having early starts as a routine from here on out. We'll see if it helps the office tension.

Here's some pics of Elleri at the zoo:




This is our self portrait - not the best picture, but we look happy. I like happy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's felt like Sunday ALL day!

I didn't go to real work today. Therefore - it's been Sunday in my head all day. This morning seems really far away too. We started early heading into the oral surgeon's office for Elleri's extractions. Babygirl did fabulous. Then home, set up mom's room since the paint is dry and get ready for family to arrive. Spent the afternoon hanging out with my 4 cousins. I haven't seen them in years and years. It was awesome! I love them all so much and have such great memories of them in my childhood. It was just great to spend time with them. This evening, Elleri and I snuggled on the couch with the cat curled up and Ethan on the other side. It was a wonderful parent moment. This week is crazy busy. I'm hoping that I remember to go to school in the morning since it feels like Sunday night right now. I hope I don't forget.

It was great to be home today. I wish I could be a full time, stay home mom. I think I'd stay busy and happy. I could get the yard cleaned up, the pictures hung, the laundry room cleaned up. It seems so appealing. Is the grass always greener? I have much to be thankful for in spite of having to go to work. I'm going to work on appreciating the green grass under my feet. I bet I might even find a flower or two mixed in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Electricity and other good stuff

1) I rushed off to work this morning to do patient care. Yep - I actually took care of patients today. It was nice. Great family to work with and she was sick so there was lots for me to do. Felt good again. it also made me really grateful for my normal flexible hours. There is normally no stress about getting out of the house if I am running 15 mins late for not. If I get in a bit later - I work a bit later. It all works out. Patients need you to be there when you're supposed to be. Just a different morning dynamic that made me appreciate my normal flexibility.

2) I left electricians at my house. They were pulling some outlets for us. I just love anything to do with construction. I adore the process. It was exciting to come home to change.

3) My husband. AMAZING. He spent quite a bit of time today doing my chores so when I came home from work today I could have a relaxing evening. I know - most people thing chores are a shared thing - most things are - but laundry and dishes are a clear division. I do all the laundry. I don't fuss about picking up clothes where ever they land. I make sure his drawers and closet are full of clean and ready clothes. He, on the other hand, does all the dishes. I don't even have to clear my spot at the table. He will come home from trips sometimes to several days in the sink and he utters not a word, just cheerfully does the dishes while I unpack his suitcase. It works for us and there is rarely a variance. Today - he folded, washed, put away, did it all. I came home to a beautiful clean room rather than the one that was full of laundry - clean and dirty - I was behind on. True Love.

4) So You Think You Can Dance - anybody watching?!?! It's going to be good this year - next week starts Vegas week. We LOVE this show!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Torrential Downpour

I LOVE it when it just pours! I love the sound of it on the roof, I love the look of it through the windows. When Jake and I lived in Costa Rica six months of the year is the 'wet season' and six months of the year is the 'dry season'. The wet season was beautiful weather per normal except for between 2p-4p. During those two hours the skies would open, these huge rain drops would pour down, thunder and lighting everywhere, the streets would have flash rivers running down them... it was phenomenal. Then it would stop, the sun would come back, the blue sky would shine and the day would continue. Jake and I always tried to be home when the deluge started. We would sit on our covered patio in a rocking chair. We would count the seconds between the lightening and the thunder, we would watch the water pour down, we would cuddle and chat. They were precious moment. This afternoons downpour took me back. I love that little boy. He just grabbed me and wrapped me up in a huge man hug. He's not so little anymore, but I'm thankful that he still loves to snuggle.

I was going to post pictures of Jake and I in Costa Rica on the porch, but my husband and my boy want to snuggle and watch So You Think You Can Dance. So - I'm off. Pictures can wait for another day. HappY JunE!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back at it.

Good things today.

1) My teacher gave credit for two questions I got wrong on the last exam for being a poorly worded question. That brought my score up to 49/50. HAPPY. I'll take every point I can get.

2) Good day at work and school today.

3) Elleri learned to ride a bike without training wheels this afternoon and I got to be there to see it.

4) My husband worked magic on my grandmother's computer. It's not his magic skills that make me so happy, but his love and respect of my grandmother and my mother. He treats my family like they are his. I love him for this.

Here's a picture of Elleri on her bike and a picture of my favorite plant in my yard right now. They both make me happy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's a new week.

Thanks for your prayers. I felt them. I appreciated the private messages too. Things are better. I'm better. Mom's doing better.

1) It was a very very busy weekend, but thanks to my friend Lexi (she brought a bed, mattress and a full set of adorable linens, down comforter and pillows) and her husband Kent (who came with a truck full of saws, his tool belt and years of expertise. My mom now has a private space with a door and can call it all her own. She is loving it! We still need to go some drywall taping and painting and get some electric pulled (scheduled for Thursday) and then she can fully move in. She is happy, relaxed and seems very content. That makes it all worth it.


2) I was on call for the first time since January. Call pay used to easily be 50% of my income and when life got upended in January I quit taking call. I started my new job, mom got diagnosed, I started grad school and I just didn't have emotional or logistical room for it. Now, here it is the end of May. I have finally started to look up and look around. I haven't balanced my checkbook or played with our finances since January. My husband's income has been regular this spring and it was perfect timing to not have to worry about that piece. However - I have finally started looking ahead and realizing that sooner than later that call income will be missed. So, I worked call. It was great actually. I had forgotten just how validating it is to make call back pay. It feels great. I admit - I am very motivated by money. I love making it. I am also reminded that I'm good at my job. It feels good to be proficient at something.

3) Week three of school is done. 25% finished and holding at 96%. I'm trying to decide how many classes to take Fall term. How long do I want to be in school? What am I willing to decrease time on to make room for classes? I'm currently registered for 10 credits. That's considered full time for grad school. Steven will probably be travelling again come fall. I just don't know. I may need to just do 6 or 8 credits. I have such a tendency to jump in with great intent and bite off more than I should. I would take 18 credits if I could because from 10-18 the cost is the same. That's 8 'free' credits. I know I can't handle work, kids, mom and 18 credits. At least I know my limits.

4) I am so proud of my eldest. I just like him. It takes a big person to hear a criticism,choose to listen, absorb the information and then make change. He has done this in a couple areas and I'm so pleased with him.

5) I had some great quality time with my man yesterday. I'm thankful for him. He makes me so very happy on so many levels. He exceeds my expectations on a daily basis. He has been so supportive and completely wonderful. Thank you baby.

My goal for this week is to get my school paper and quiz done and turned in before the weekend. I want to hang out with my man on Saturday and then Sunday I want to paint and finish up my mom's new room. I'd like to do it all without having school work hanging over my head. So, I'm going to get busy and see if I can get my paper written today. I hope we all have a good week!

PS - I was digging into my reading material for this week and there is only 80 pages of material!!! Last week was 380 pages, so this feels easy! Yeah!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I need prayer.

Please send up a prayer for me today. I just don't know if I can succeed at being the person I need to be. My mom is moving in. My dad can't seem to be the person he should be, so my mom is moving into the house. My husband is amazing, the kids are okay. I'm having a hard time. I can deal with the displacing, the remodeling, the re-purposing, the intrusion,constant presence and many doctor's appointments. I am not dealing well with the fact that person that I'm caring for is quickly not my mom. My husband once said that his mom was 'gone' several years before she died. I understood it at the time, intellectually. I get it now. I wish I didn't.

I don't hide my feelings. I've never taken the time to learn the social grace of masking myself. If I'm feeling it or thinking it, you will know because you can see it on my face or I will tell you straight up. I'm finding myself getting frustrated and short tempered with my mom. She can't keep up mentally anymore - chemo side effects are evil. She still wants to be helpful - it's what she lives for, the feeling of being needed. I do need her. I need the old her. I don't want her to see my frustration or my sadness. She knows me so well. I want to respect and honor her. I want her to feel loved and wanted. I could use a couple extra prayers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday - a little bit of sunshine

Hi! It's ultimately been a good day.

My class went great this morning. Even got out a bit early. There was a moment of sunshine I enjoyed on one of the breaks.

My kids are well even though I didn't get home until after dinner time because I had to work after class.

The best part of my day... well two things actually - my husband told me on the phone that he had been thinking of me and feeling all full up of loving, romantic thoughts about me. He also texted me that he's glad I'm the mom of his kids. This man is the perfect man for me. The other thing is my 16 year old just asked me if I would snuggle and watch a TV show with him. I love love love that my teen wants to spend time with me.

Here's a picture of my office. So now you can picture me at work. Below that is a beach in Thailand. This is where I would like to be instead of work. Smiles.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lots to be happy about today.


It's an interesting process to sit down and process all the good out of my day because I spent a good deal of it in tears and angry to the point of shaking. However, there was good and that's what I'm choosing to focus on.

1. Ethan got braces on today!! He's only 9, but it needed to happen to correct his bite. He did fantastic and is rather proud of himself. I think he's so cute. He's certainly growing up and he's making great strides with his behavior and processing. I'm simply proud of him.

2. After two weeks in grad school my average is 96%. That's an A. Anything below 95% is an A- in this class so I don't think I'll be feeling over confident any time soon. I'll take the A though. I so appreciate my husband for being so supportive and creating the time for me to get the studying in. There's something really amazing about a man who makes you a priority. It feels fantastic. Thank you baby.

3. Beverages - I am kicking my caffeine habit. I had one cup of green tea today. No soda, no black tea, nothing but water and the lone cup of green tea. I always feel better when I'm simply a water drinker. I need to feel as good as I can, so here we go. I hate breaking a caffeine habit but the results will be worth it.

4. I also decided today to remove sugar and simple carbs. I'm tired of myself. So - today I just decided I was finished with my habits. I am really proud of myself too because I ended up at Burgerville, Wendy's and the bakery today. I purchased what I was there for other peoples but I did not get anything for myself. I came home and made my self a healthy food choice. It's been a long time since I've found that level of self control, so I'm going to celebrate it for today. Today I have eaten well. I have been healthy and respected myself. I feel good about it.

5. I was having a moment today. A moment of tears and anger and frustration - I ended up talking to my friend Lexi. I don't see Lex very often, she lives south of the river and around the bend. We joke that I live in Canada and she lives in Mexico because sometimes it feels just that far away. However, today when I really needed it, Lexi understood. She stepped up and took care of me. Right when I was feeling overwhelmed as a caregiver and hating the situation, she helped me step back, take a fresh look, and offered to take some of the load. I'm so thankful for friends.

6. I can go to bed early and since my caffeine withdrawal is in full swing, bed sounds amazing!! We're doing some remodeling so that my mother can have a private space to call her own. So, I'll need my energy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Craaaazy day today!

This was the busiest - run aroundest day I have had in a long time. I went to work, clocked in, worked, left for something, returned, clocked back in... three times. Yep - three. I took the kidlets to the orthodontist. Ethan ends up needing to be bracketed asap, so Monday it is. That's a check I wasn't planning for, but I'm all about fixing things if there's a problem. Elleri is getting some baby teeth pulled. She'll be facing serial extractions until her teeth are all in. Sigh. Okay - positive and thankful.... we have a very talented orthodontist and I'm certain the kids will look amazing when they are done. We can come up with the money even though it wasn't what was planned. Ethan's headgear wearing will happen outside of school hours. There. That's three positives about that. It's a good habit I"m trying to create here.

On a totally happy side - tonight was Gallery Night at the kids school. I absolutely LOVE this night. It's my favorite school program of the whole year. The art program at their school is strong and the kids work on projects all year long then on gallery night they have the walls plastered with art and you walk through like a gallery. They have the BGHS jaz choir singing, craft and art projects for the kids to do, they have local artists with their art and showing the kids what you can do with what they are learning. I think every school should have a Gallery Night.

I always take pictures of the kids with their masterpieces because I'm not a paper saver. Here's some of them to share. My kids are so proud of their work.



Ask Elleri about Monet - they learn art history and appreciation as well as art skills. She's taught me a thing or two. Ethan's 'Monet Lily' was collaged with all the other kids lilies and pads to make a Monet like picture. I wish I'd take a photo of the whole thing - it was really cool. They work with all sorts of mediums and papers. It's a great program.

This is Elleri's 'Picasso Cat'. In the theme of the artist they were studying.



Each classroom had an insect and there was a BIG insect and then little ones for each kid. Ethan's class had ladybugs.

The best moment of my day is the fact that my man is home. Life is best when he's near. I'm sleepy and heading to bed. Hope you all had a good day too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where'd Sunday and Monday go?!

Well - I know where Sunday went. I spent the whole day - and I mean the entire day with my nose in my studies. It paid off and my weekend assignments netted me good grades. Those ever important grades sure do speak to me. It makes all the time worthwhile see my favorite vowel. SO Sunday was good, good for my soul. I so appreciate my husband for doing EVERYTHING. He ran total buffer between my kiddos and myself, he fed me, he met my every need so I could put in the required time. I am certain that completing this degree, getting the grades, it's all going to be the result of a family effort. After week one - I know there's no way I can accomplish this without my husband and kid's support and help. I'm thankful that everyone is supportive.

Monday was a work day. What I am thankful for is that my work went so fast that I got home early and had most of the day at home. I got laundry done, some much needed budgeting and planning, spent some quality time with my man, was home when the kids got home from school - it was all good.

Today is Tuesday. I started my day with class - then went to meet up with Elleri at a field trip. There's something really special about your child being so excited to see you. Makes my heart smile. Then I was heading into work and got a call that the computer system was done. This means that I can't do any work at work, so I headed home and I am blessed with almost 3 hours of no little kid quite. I LOVE those moments at home. I'm not alone, but it's quiet. Happy sigh.

I'm off to start my studies for this next week. I have 1 week down. I have 11 more weeks, 11 more quizzes and 11 more case studies in addition to midterm, final and presentation. My reading for this week is just under 300 pages - and I thought 180 for last week was bad! At least Steven is home this week so I'll be able to focus sooner in the week. I'm just feeling so thankful that I have the opportunity to do this. I am able to go to school and further my profession. I also found out today that my employer will pay for part of my tuition. Only a couple thousand a calendar year, but that's worth filling out a form for.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday - Sábado

Today was a lovely day.

1. I was able to spend almost an hour in the car with my eldest and his friends. I love that time with him. I always learn something about him. I like his friends too.

2. My aunt and uncle dropped by today from California. It was actually really nice to see them. I enjoyed them both more than I was expecting too. Family is good.

3. I had a chance to chat with my friend Shelly for a moment. It was nice. I wish we could sit down over a cup of chai tea and just catch up, but I'll take the moment. I like her very much and I'm so thankful for friends. Good friends make my world a better place.

4. MY HUSBAND IS HOME!!!!! Speaking of the world being a better place, I like my world best when he's in it. At the moment, I'm listening to him laughing with Ethan in the other room. He's essentially been traveling since yesterday afternoon and today was a crazy day of delays and false starts in his effort to get home. He's on a couple hours of sleep and I LOVE this man because as tired as he is, he still finds the reserves to take a moment with his kids, laugh together and let them know they matter to him.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday - Jueves AND Friday - Viernes

Well, blogger was on strike yesterday so I was unable to post that I had an amazing day. So, today I am going to talk about Thursday and today.

Thursday -

1. I am feeling so very thankful for my house. I love this house. It's simple, yet amazing. The timing that it was completed, the history with the land, the fact that we are living here after trying to sell the land so many times. It just all feels like we we're supposed to be here. I love how it sits on an axis to the sun that keeps it warm and full of winter sun in the winter and yet it's cool and full of diffuse light in the summer that doesn't increase my utility bills. I am looking forward to someday getting our deck on the back and throwing a party with outdoor lights strung about, several intimate tables with fresh flowers, good food and great friends. I have been picturing this setting for a party since before we even broke ground to build the house. One day I'll throw this party and I'll invite you.

2. I ended up with 4 hours of being home alone yesterday. It was luxurious. The housekeeper had just left, the kids were off to a birthday party, the eldest was at a friends studying. It was sunny, quiet, clean - a small moment of nirvana.

I studied. I was quiet for a bit. I sat in the sun. I studied in the sun. I ate yummy food. I didn't answer my phone. I wore sunglasses. It was a peaceful, near perfect moment.


3. I'm sure there was a third something, but 1 and 2 were just so amazing, I can't remember.

FRIDAY - VIERNES

1. I did not work today, at least not at my job. I chaperoned a 2nd grade field trip to OMSI. It ended up being a lovely day. I enjoyed my boy and we all just had a great time. I'm thankful for a flexible schedule so I can do such things. I recently read Suzanne's blog about her kids and soccer and it made me think about years past when I scrambled about like a crazy woman trying to rearrange my work schedule, get people to work for me, trade shifts, etc in order to go to Jake's games. Come fall, with this job, I can simply go in early on the days that there are games. What a treat.

2. I picked up my new earrings today and in an effort to actually wear them I had an interesting moment. The holes in my ears had shrunk. I have had pierced ears since I was a teenager, but haven't really worn earrings for the past 10 years or so. Working in the ER complicated such things because patients sometimes grab at them. Not wanting to get my earlobes torn, I just got out of the habit. Well, my new earrings wouldn't go all the way through because they have screw backs (which are a bit bigger than standard) and it's been so long. The best option is to have the holes stretched open instead of shoving them through (risking tearing) or getting re-pierced. So, I ended up in NE at a piercing/tattoo shop. IF that sentence alone doesn't give you a visual of me being very out of place, I'll just say that I did not fit in. However, they treated me like I was a regular, they did a fabulous job, my earrings are in and it only cost me $5. I don't feel out of my element very often and it was an interesting experience. I love my new look.

3. This one should be: "My husband's coming home tonight!". However, he's not. They missed their flight and couldn't get out on a replacement flight tonight. He will be home tomorrow afternoon. It's a bummer. However, since I'm committed to finding the positives - the silver lining here has to be that I will end up with more time to study for my first quiz due this weekend. I'm not sure how I feel about a timed, 50 question quiz. It sure sounds like a test to me. However, I'm going to give it my best shot and study, study, study. Cell metabolism anyone? Good thing I love this stuff!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday - Miércoles

Well - Today was a day full of work, work and more work.

1. I choose to be grateful that I have work. I had to work more than my normal hours today and it's been a long day. My paycheck will be happy when it comes, so I will not complain today.

2. I enjoyed sitting down and eating dinner with my mom. Treasuring the moments.

3. Talked to an old, good friend tonight. It felt good to catch up and just chat. Friends are so important and special. Speaking of friends - Shelly - thanks for running my kiddo about. Appreciate you!

Tuesday - Martes

Well - Tuesday was interesting. Crazy busy. So crazy busy that I am just now blogging about it.

Good things about Tuesday:

1. I went to school, my first day of class. I told my kids that I went to my own class and they didn't believe me. Yet, it's true. I've started grad school. I'm going to WSU and my official course of study is the Family Nurse Practitioner program. I will end up with my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) with my Master's degree along the way. It's a crazy undertaking at this point in life but every door has opened to indicate that now is the right time. I believe in doors, and I'm walking through it. Check out this text book though! It's HUGE. Jake was quite impressed because the pages are small print too. I have 180 of those small print pages to read for my first week.



2. I'm thankful for my job. My work is allowing me to work flexible hours so that I can morph my work around a class schedule. I'm very fortunate that I can go to school while maintaining my job. I went to work after I finished my class. It worked out just fine.

3. My husband is so proud of me for getting accepted to the program and for undertaking more schooling. He surprised me with a pair of earrings for congratulations. They are being made and I get to pick them up on Friday. I haven't worn earrings in years, but I will wear these. I'm very excited and pleased. It's one of the few times he has completely surprised me. He's such an amazing husband.

Well, that was Tuesday. It feels like I'm starting on a journey that will help me become who I choose to be. It was a good day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday - Lunes - Begining of the work week.

Three good things for today.

1. The best thing about today is some test results. My Mom's doctors have been fairly convinced that her cancer is a genetic mutation type. This would mean that I would likely have the gene. IF I did, I would have to have all my girly parts removed preventably because they all fall into the same genetic mutation together. So, I have been anxiously awaiting the test results. We got them today - no genetic mutation!! I'm so happy. It doesn't change anything for my Mom's outcome, but it means a whole lot to me and my kiddos. Good, good news.

2. Today was crazy busy. I've been going Mach 10 since I woke up at 5am. I got most everything done however. As tired as I feel right now, I'm grateful that I was able to get so much accomplished. That always feels good.

3. I was in a bind today. I had Jacob with me because he had an orthodontic appointment in Portland. The love of my life is travelling. I was meeting both of my parents for my Mom's Dr Appointment. None of the normal 'be home when the kids get home' people were home. My kids were getting off the bus and there was no one to meet them. No one was home. That is a very rare occurrence around here. There is almost always someone about. A was in a fix. A friend stepped up and offered to meet my kid's bus. She doesn't even have kids the ages of my little ones, but stepped in to fill the gap anyways. Perhaps a small thing for her to do, but for me - it made all the difference in my day. I felt loved and cared about. I'm so thankful for all my friends. They are such quality, amazing, wonderful people. I feel blessed beyond measure to have each of them in my life.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Sunday - Mother's Day - Domingo

Today has been fabulous! I slept in a bit, the kids trying to be ever so quiet. I half wonder if their quiet was why I didn't sleep longer. I'm in the habit of always investigating quiet children. Grins.

Positives for today:

1. I still have my mother to celebrate today. We don't know if we will have another year with her or not, but TODAY, I got to hug her today and tell her that I love her so. She's an amazing woman and I'm so thankful that she lives so close and is so involved in my and my families life. We're all better for her presence.

2. My amazing husband took me out to breakfast and then chauffeured me to get a manicure and pedicure. There's something especially luxurious about being driven to be pampered. Best husband ever!

3. My kids gave me the sweetest home made cards. All three of them. Ethan's was my favorite because when I read it out loud, he got very shy and admitted that he didn't know what it said. He had just copied it off the board. It said: 'Here's a gift for Mother's Day. I'll try my best in every way, but when you get upset with me, relax and have a pot of tea. Love Ethan.' It was a cute colored teapot shaped card with a bag of tea in it. Ethan's response was the best.

4. My toes are RED and I like them.

5. I did well at just loving and living in each moment. Savoring the preciousness. It felt amazing.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Looking Forward

Well - I find my own blog to be a total downer. I have no further interest in writing any more about my failings or my ineptitude. SO - I am going to write about accomplishments and/or things I like about myself or my day. POSITIVE things only.

Perhaps by focusing on the good things, the things I can grab onto and be pleased about, I will be able to become the person I truly want to be.

Three things a day. I'm sure they will usually be small, inconsequential things, but you never know, perhaps at some point, something bigger might happen too.

My life over the next couple years will definitely be different than I had anticipated, but perhaps that alone will be the catalyst for the changes that I want to make in myself and my life.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Motivation and Follow Through

I seriously seem to lack these skills in the areas of healthy eating and weight loss. I'm open to any ideas on how to get some. I wish I could buy it. I'm motivated to work every day, spend time with my kids, do my laundry, buy groceries. I get through tasks every day that I don't particularly want to do, but I find the motivation somewhere to get them done. Why can't I find the motivation to get healthy? I want to be able to be who I want to be. I want. I want. I want.... yet I don't. Sigh.

My house has been a busy place these past few weeks. My Auntie came to visit my mom. My mom has been living at my place since my dad has pneumonia. My eldest child has been off with his school and has come home sick. I'm tired. I'm emotionally worn out.

I am looking forward to the kids bedtime. I'm looking forward to snuggling and reading with my man. I'm looking forward to a down weekend. I'm going to take the weekend and relax. Sleep a bit. I'm looking forward to getting my ass in gear and being the me I want to be. I'm looking forward to the sunshine. Til Monday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Week

It's Sunday night. The house is quiet. The kids are in bed, my husband is doing his thing. I'm watching an episode of Survivor and contemplating my coming week.

My cravings are still well under control. I even had some sugar this weekend and am doing fine. I'm so very happy about that. I've lost about 6 pounds this past week. I'm sure that the coming weeks will not be so generous, but I'm pleased to have some progress.

My work schedule will be changing this coming week. I will be working every day, shorter hours. I'm trying to wrap my head around that. I need to make it a positive and use the consistency to help me get some habits formed with my exercise. It also means that I wont have to take a lunch break at work so I can do all my eating at home. I like that idea a lot. I plan to keep up my healthy eating this week. I also plan to increase my water intake. I plan to be a better person.

I was reminded today that good intentions don't result in action. There can be permanent results to not acting on intentions. Intent is not enough. I have to do.

I have to admit, a simple life, uncomplicated, living off the land, simple, hard work, but simple, is very appealing to me today. I hate making mistakes. I hate letting those I love down. I hate letting myself down. Learn from it. That's what I teach my kids. It's only a bad mistake if you don't choose to learn from it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Cup of Tea

It's Friday. My mom is at the beach for the week with her sister. Jacob is off on his school trip. Ethan is playing a video game on the Wii. Elleri is playing with toys next to him and intermittently reading the text from the game to him. Their collaboration is very sweet. Steven is happy and looking forward to the weekend.

I'm sitting here enjoying a cup of tea. My new Chai blend I picked up at Teavana. It's amazingly good. I'm looking at Shelly's picture of a single tulip. It's stunning and simple and beautiful. I plan to paint it. I'm contemplating how to paint a waterdrop. I'm not a painter, not an artist of any kind. I am going to attempt to paint a 40x60 canvas however.

Part of this journey is to create a new me. I haven't liked the 'me' I've been these past 9 years or so in many ways. I think the stresses of little kids and full time work and moving several times resulted in me just coping. I don't feel like I've grown or pushed or expanded my knowledge or skills. My husband is always thinking, learning, processing and pushing himself to be better or smarter. He's working on an anti-resume of things he doesn't yet know or can't yet do. All for the purpose of expanding and bettering himself. My friend Shelly made herself a list - to identify dreams, goals and intents. I think the idea of the anti-resume is interesting and I might undertake that at some point but for now I think I'll share a couple list items. I'm only going to consider a few because I don't want to discourage myself.

Dreams/Goals/Intents

1. Weight loss and better health - I am finally feeling on track. I'm down 6 pounds so far this week. No real cravings. I feel so great. It's amazing how fast the weight is coming off. It's almost as if my body is excited to get to it finally.

2. Travel - I need more trips in my life, even domestic. Of Course - Machu Picchu being the ultimate adventure for me. A summer in Italy or Spain a close second.

3. Spanish - I am going to get started on finishing up my second bachelor's degree in Spanish. I ultimately plan to get my Masters in Spanish. Why? Simply because I want to. There is no other reason and I've finally decided that wanting it is enough reason to do it.

4. Garden - See how far into the winter I can garden. I am hopeful for a big and productive summer garden this year and I really want to learn to cold frame and produce year round. I'm also trying to decide where the best place for my garden to live is at my new property. Perhaps I'll plant 3 test gardens this year and see which grows best. Hmm. That's a new and possibly good idea. I'll ponder that some more.

5. Exercise and outdoor activities - I want regular exercise to be a habit. I also want our family to do outdoor things for family time. Kayaking, rafting, walking, biking, whatever. This one will take time for all of us to become accustomed to.

6. Do something outside my box - This is going to be a painting I think. I want to stretch myself. Try something new.

This is it. My imagined tulip painting. Soon. Thanks for the inspiration Shelly!

My quiet moment is past, I now have a VERY loud and full house. I am watching friend's kids while they are out for the evening. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Day for me

Well, I'm down more weight this morning. Exciting!

I went out yesterday. I went down into Portland. Bopped around, shopped, lunched, visited, discovered Teavana, got kidnapped and successfully sold products in the Nordstrom's cosmetic area. (You should see me - I have a 'glow' about me - even Jacob commented.) I have to laugh, but it does make a difference. I intended to get a pedicure too, but ended up just visiting through the evening with an old friend. It was an amazing day. Best day I've had in a really long time.

I didn't break off my healthy eating plan. I wasn't even tempted for more than a momentary second. It was amazing. I felt pretty, I felt healthy, I felt successful and proud. Perhaps the glow isn't from the eye cream and tinted moisturizer after all.

PS - Shelly - you have to find time to come try this new Chai tea I discovered. Oh my it's amazing! I Love Teavana!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

cravings and critters

I'm down 5 pounds this morning. It feels good to finally be making some progress. I still have a couple more pounds heavier than where I was when I started this blog in January, but I'm taking it as a success. I'm also a total of 14 inches decreased overall since the first of January.

I'm doing something a bit different this time round. I have been reading and studying - trying to figure out why I get such intense sugar and carb cravings when I try to reduce them in my diet. It feels like a drug addiction to me. I can't think of anything else and it makes me almost frantic. I have been really frustrated and self critical of myself over this these past few months. In my reading I've learned that you can have an overgrowth of Candida/Yeast in your GI tract and that when you cut out sugar/carbs it results in crazy sugar and carb cravings. The yeast is trying to eat and when you take away it's food source it goes crazy. It's a parasite. It sounds disgusting. I think it is disgusting, but I have to say - I've started treating for GI yeast with medication. I'm not having cravings. Hardly at all. I'm happy with my salads and healthy choices. I'm not obsessing about food. I'm eating when I'm hungry. I even went out to eat last night and passed up the basket full of white bread with out even a moments hesitation or desire.

I'm making some assumptions because I don't really want to pay for the test for it. However some of the symptoms of GI yeast overgrowth are:

1. Gas and Bloating
2. Brain Fog
3. Infections
4. Fatigue
5. Sugar and Carbohydrate Cravings

It all fits and seems plausible. I feel so different. I'm hopeful. I feel in control and able to make the choices I need to. Maybe, just maybe I can get on track now. *happy sigh

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Man



I just have to share that my husband is amazing. It's incredible to me that he chose me. He loves me as I am. It matters not to him if I'm younger, older, thinner, heavier, happy or sad. He accepts me wherever I am. He makes me feel beautiful and amazing on a daily basis. That kind of love and acceptance is a treasure. When I am feeling down on myself, his opinion of me carries me through. When I'm weak, he keeps me strong. I never feel as beautiful as I do when I'm with him. I don't know what I did to land him, but I'm so thankful on a daily basis that I'm with him. He's the best husband, father and friend. He is so smart, funny, loving and kind. He's patient and thoughtful. He's attentive and real. I love him. I'm happy with him. I appreciate him. I'm thankful to share my life with him.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Day One

Sunday was DAY ONE - again. Steven is home for the next couple weeks and we are both dropping into a very healthy eating plan. We both have some goals for the what to accomplish over the next couple weeks. Mine are to lose 7 pounds and get under 250 lbs. I also want to start the habit of rising earlier and getting some exercise to start off my days. I am also hoping to eliminate my sugar cravings. Sunday went great. Good eats and not too bad on the cravings. We even went to a movie and were successful at passing up the popcorn and candy. I'm proud of myself today. My alarm is set to get up for am exercise. We've even talked to Ethan about exercising with us in the morning as a way to get past the obstacle that he wakes when we get up. We'll see how that goes. I'm feeling positive and motivated.

For Suzanne -
Thanks for the compliments on my clean house. However, just to keep it honest - (whispers...I have a housekeeper). So...I can't take much credit for the clean house. Those pictures were taken on the day she comes. In fact, I can prove that it is often a very lived in house and much in need of the housekeeper's visit.

I admit that I struggle with having a housekeeper. I tell myself: I can do it, the kids need to learn to do it and it costs too much money. I've gone without help for months and find that since I work so much, what time I do have at home is spent cleaning, fussing at the kids and not enjoying being home. When the house gets cleaned every week it frees me up to come home from work and just savor the moments. For me, that makes it worth the money.

I still need to teach the kids to clean up though. Elleri just recently complained about having to pick up her toys when asked. She said 'I wish we had a maid'. I laughed and explained that we do. She says, 'yes, but I want her to pick up my toys too.' I sat her down and explained what her chore list would be like if our housekeeper didn't come every week. Elleri quickly picked up her toys and had little more to say about it except thank you. Teaching them will be a work in progress. I'm so grateful to have a clean house. I find it more relaxing and more pleasant to be home. I also say thank you every week.

Here's my proof that I just happened to take pictures on a good day.





Yes, it's really evident that my desk and laundry are the two most difficult to keep clean and sorted. Not having a garage yet makes a huge impact on the laundry room I've found. I'll get both cleaned up one of these days. There have been several times that the housekeeper can't even begin to clean the laundry room or find my desk to dust it. *grins

Friday, April 8, 2011

Positive or Nothing?

So, I don't know what to do. I'm still new to blogging.

What am I supposed to do when I can't seem to find anything positive to say. Do I share? Do I write what's on my mind? It's not very pretty this week. I know you all would be supportive, but there's nothing anyone can do. So, do I be Debbie Downer? Any of you who know me at all know that I'm really bad a pretending or being anything other than what I am at the moment. So, I've been quiet.

I've rearranged furniture. I've cried. A lot. I've eaten comfort foods. I've listened to music. (Suzanne - do you know that I pull up your blog into a background window just so I can listen to your playlist? Thanks for sharing great tunes!) I've played in the dirt with my starts and even planted some tulips because those things usually make me happy. (Shelly- I haven't looked at them this morning yet. I'm scared they will be all droopy from the freeze too. Sigh. I'm ready for a real spring and summer this year.)

I'm going to share pictures of my new living room/dining room configuration. In an effort to quit fighting with my kids over where they eat, I rearranged. The kids want to watch TV while they eat. This is fine with me (except when we are having family breakfast or dinner). However, the food spillage in the living room makes me a crazy, horrible parent. They can't seem to stop spilling, in spite of their promises. I can't seem to let go of my need to not have food stains on my furniture. So, I moved the table. Now they can eat at the table and see the TV. I'm surprised how much I like it. I don't really have any before pictures, but the two chairs that are now a 'sitting area' in the dining area off the kitchen traded places with where the table is now.



This next picture is special to me. These are the moments I hope my kids remember.



Well, they are a little droopy, but I think they will make it.







I'm sitting here thinking that the rabbits water probably froze last night too, so I'm off to go take care of them and enjoy the sunshine that is shining bright. My man comes home today. I'll cling to that. I'm home from work unexpectedly yesterday and today. I plan to make the most of it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reasons

I'm at risk for: diabetes, high blood pressure, joint failure, heart attacks/arrhythmias, many cancers. You rarely encounter obese old people with any quality of life.

I have three children.

I want to know my grandchildren.

I will feel better about myself.

I will feel better in general.

I will be able to pick up things off the floor without difficulty.

I will look better in clothes.

My head will be clearer - perhaps I'll be a bit smarter.

I'll have more energy.

I'll be less emotional and more even tempered.

I'll be a better mother.

I'll be able to be an example of healthy living to my kidlets.

I'll handle life's stresses better.

Find myself again and be proud of myself.

I want my kids and my husband to be proud of me, not embarrassed.

Elleri would love it if I felt like wearing a dress.

I could shop in 'normal people' stores.

I wouldn't be driven by food anymore - maybe even not have cravings.

More energy - did I mention I want more energy?

I think I need to see a shrink to figure out what my problem is. It has to all be in my head. Sigh. There are plenty of REALLY good reasons. I know what to do. I even know how to make it happen. Yet, I don't do it. I don't make it happen. Maybe hypnosis. Maybe I'll just clean out my pantry.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eat adequate protein at every meal.
Eat within an hour of waking.
Eat healthy fats.
Eliminate all "white" food – refined sugar, flour, and cereals.
Remember to hydrate.
Eat balanced meals.

If only it were that easy! I suppose this is all the bazillion diet books out there actually say, but I think I need a list to fix what's wrong with my head.

I have been thinking often since Saturday about what obstacles are in my way to succeeding. A good friend of mine shared some thoughts about this topic and I've been pondering it.

So, here's a few of the things that come to mind:

- my own self image hasn't caught up
- too busy taking care of everyone else that I don't make time to take care of me
- weirdly unmotivated to make it a priority (apparently I'd just rather wallow in it)
- being a vegetarian complicates things
- competing demands - for instance, I've been interrupted 100 times just while typing this post so far.
- getting up early to exercise wakes up my middle child who of all of them NEEDS his sleep.
- eating on the run and doing it healthy is really hard
- I hate to cook

wow, there's so many more. I have to run - I have two kids sitting here saying, let's go. More soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Progress

Well, It's probably all water but I'm down 3 pounds so far this week. Feels too early to celebrate but I'm happy all the same. I'm going to go with it and try to keep on track today. Mostly I'm avoiding any white carbs and no sugar. I'm trying to have some moderation so I don't fail and get frustrated with myself. It's going to be a busy day out and about. Work early this morning, orthodontic appointments and guitar lessons so eating today might be a challenge.

Karie - yes, caffeine - honestly tho, it's Diet Pepsi that I'm referring to. The aspartame is horrible for me. I'm rather reactive to it too. I've had a cup of tea a day and do fine with that, but the soda caffeine that I love needs to be eliminated FOREVER!

Susanne - Thanks for your pm. I'm going to look into that. The quick results are very appealing, but I want to make sure I wouldn't lose then regain. Thank you for thinking of me!

Shelly - Thanks for your note too. I'll write back to you later today!

Thanks for reading, commenting, caring! LOVE!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sick

I'm sick. tired. still working. still caring for kids. sleeping early every night. trying to eliminate caffeine while I'm at it. yes, again. I know. I love that you miss me! Thanks for letting me know. I'm working on my eating, I'm working on getting up early enough to exercise in the mornings. I'm just doing the getting up part right now. My elliptical is getting fixed today, so exercise will come soon enough. I'm very ready for the weekend and the week is not even half over. So, I'll be back. I'll try to get back to my routine posting. I feel a bit better today. Here's a picture from our Seattle trip last week. This is one of those eye opener picture of myself. Wide.. can you just say wide?! Wow. I'm on it!