Monday, February 28, 2011

An ongoing Challenge becomes a New 30 day Challenge.

In my last 30 day challenge I mentioned a few times that I am very unhappy and insecure about my weight. Part of that unhappiness is vanity reasons, who doesn't want to look better? Some of the unhappiness is practical because it is much easier to find clothes that actually fit me well when I weigh less and I feel more comfortable in them. However, a large part of wanting to loose weight is for the simple fact of my health and for the benefit of my family.
I want to be mobile my ENTIRE life! I hope that I am still moving with I am in my 80's and maybe even chasing some grand children around. I never want to get to the point that it kills me to move. That I become more content sitting and watching TV, than being out enjoying life.
Both sides of my family battle obesity. Both sides carry their weight in different areas. Both sides have an incredibly hard time losing weight weather it is due to a "sweet tooth" and life time of bad habits, or just the simple fact that the will power isn't there. Everyone has there reasons and I am no exception.
But I want to break the cycle. I want a way out.
I have never been good at "dieting". I seriously feel like the moment I decide that I am not going to eat something,  it then becomes the only thing that I can think about until I end up eating it. I don't believe in taking pills or tons of supplements to lose weight because I think that your body, if treated right, really should be able to do it itself.
And there is my problem...I don't treat my body right. I don't give it the fuel it needs, but instead I give it what it wants...or at least what I want. I don't use it the way it was made to be used, instead I play into society and let machines do the work for me and run to the store when we need something. The first half of these problems I have complete control over...the 2nd half...let's be honest, I am not going to wash my laundry by hand or butcher my own cow but maybe someday I will learn how to grow a small garden for myself and become a little more efficient.
So where am I going with all of this? Let's just say that I am 30 years old and old habits die hard. However, I believe that I am ready to make some changes to my everyday life that might just impact me for the next 30 years or so. I have at least 30lbs to loose, and it isn't going to get there by hoping and praying...although I do believe the praying part helps in other ways. So for the next 30 days I am going to be beyond honest about this aspect of my life. I am going to try and eat 30 healthy breakfasts, 30 healthy lunches, and 30 healthy dinners along with some healthy snacks. I am also going to try and read 30 "things" about weight loss weather it is online articles, magazines, blogs or whatever I may come across. I am also going to try and put in 30 hours of exercise...and as easy as that sounds my 3x's a week workout class will be having a 2 week break during this time, so that will make the challenge harder because I will have to do most of those hours on my own.
So there it is...a 30 day Challenge to myself to get off my duff and make a difference, not for anyone else besides myself. I am posting it here to help hold myself accountable. I am hoping that by the end of the month I will have lost at least 6lbs. That would be huge for me since I can count on one hand the number of times that I have lost weight successfully, and it is not typical for me to loose weight in the first month. Here is to throwing out the old and bringing in the new. Here is to being real.
All advice, support, and healthy suggestions are appreciated.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The 30 Photo Challenge is over...

So there it is...the 30 day photo challenge is over. Pieces and stories of my life. A life I love. I know that the last few days of photos all came at once and for that I apologize, but life gets busy, I fall behind and then I have to play catch up. I am now caught up. The real question is...Where do I go from here? I am trying to think of another 30 day challenge because it helps hold me accountable and gives me a place to think. Maybe I will do 30 days of trying to Eat right....or 30 days of my life....or maybe I should do 30 days for 30 years....30 scrapbook pages in 30 days...oh that could be a good one, and help me accomplish another project at the same time.....hmmm...30 seems like a good number to stick to since I am 30 this year...and to be honest it doesn't make me upset. I will be thinking about the possibilities today and tomorrow and whatever it is that I begin I will start it on Tuesday the 1st...seems fitting enough, a new, fresh 30 days.

Day 30 : Photo Challenge

Day 30: A picture of someone you miss
This is my sister, Carly, and one of her chickens taken back in 2007.
For many people I grew up with, you might not have realized or remember that I have a sister. Carly lives with my Dad and Stepmom and came into my life when I was 13. It is hard to believe that she is getting ready to graduate from high school this spring and head off to college to begin her adult life. I can not believe I just said sister...where does time go?
Anyways, I feel like the title of this picture should be missED instead of miss, or maybe both. When I left for the AF in 2005, I knew that I would miss seeing Carly grow up in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, I never got to see her all dressed up for a dance, escort her on a date, take her shopping at the mall. We have never got to have our hair done together, our toes painted, or I don't remember even going out to lunch just her and I. I don't even know if I will be able to make it home this spring to see her graduate from HS. I have missed a chunk of her life, and I hate that. I have missed us growing together as Sisters should. And more importantly I just miss her. I feel like I walked away from her right as she was getting to those "important" teenage years where you need someone to lean on and learn from, to go to with questions and blow off steam about your parents when you just can not stand them anymore. 
. It is hard for me to realize that my "little" sister has grown into a beautiful young lady who is about to go out into the world on her own. I just hope that she realizes that she is loved, that I am here for her no matter what, and that someday I hope we can go to lunch, have a pedicure and hit the malls together all while sharing  secrets and stories of what is happening in our lives. I miss you Carly. 

Day 29: Photo Challenge

Day 29: A picture that always makes you smile.
How can this picture not make you smile? It was a beautiful day despite all the rain MI had the week leading up to this day. We were (and are) so in love, and this was just fun. Tyler slid down the slide and ended up below Wesley. I love these wedding pictures. I love my friend who took them. I love everyone in my wedding party. I loved the man who just became my husband and the fact that we just said "I Do" with God as our witness...along with our amazing friends who traveled from four different states to be in our wedding! How can you not smile to that?

Day 28: Photo Challenge

Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of. I am not a typical person who has that "thing" that they are afraid of. I am not scared of heights, water, bugs, the dark or any of the typical fears most people have. As a matter of fact there are only a few things I can come up with...and not one of them has a good picture to put with it.

I am scared of time moving to fast and my child growing up.

I am scared of being financially inept.

And I am terrified of this:

(This isn't the best picture, but how do I express that which i am afraid of when I don't know how to pin point it exactly myself.) I am terrified of going back to Graduate School to be exact. I am terrified of starting at another school and hating it. Terrified of starting a "career" that I eventually won't like. Scared of being the "old student" in the class room, of not remembering anything from my undergraduate degree I earned 8 years ago and have yet to use. Beyond terrified of retaking the GRE, the BILLS that come with school, finding the time to study, re-learning to not procrastinate (yeah it took me two years to learn that the first go around!), figuring out who I would be able to get recommendations from. Don't even get me started on being terrified and totally stumped on how to write my resume...seeing I haven't done any relevant work in how many years? So pretty much every aspect of thinking about, applying to, being accepted to, committed to, attending and graduating from graduate school terrifies me. I can not even go into enough detail about it to describe it. I know I should go back and part of me really wants to, but another part of me wants to stay at home with my children and be content. We will see how it plays out.

Day 27: Photo Challenge

Day 27: A picture of yourself and a family member.
This is my Father, Starl, on my wedding day in 2008. I chose my dad because he hasn't been mentioned in the 30 days yet. My dad and I are pretty close. He never fails to tell me that he loves me and is proud of me and for that I am thankful. My dad is gentle and kind and I could count on one hand the number of times that I have seen him get angry. He gives wonderful hugs and always makes me feel loved when I am with him. I am so thankful that we have a good relationship. That is not to say that the relationship is perfect, it has seen it's stressful times, but what relationship hasn't. When you come from a divorced family, something about relationships is different, not bad, just different. 

When I was little there were so many times that I was mad or upset with my dad for reasons that I am not going to discuss here, but for whatever reason, there are very few times he knew about it. I have never been in a fight with my dad that involved raised voices and other disrespectful things a child or parent shouldn't do. Unfortunately my mother got the brunt of those battles. Even today when I am upset with my father, he is probably the last to know it. Maybe it is an insecurity of mine. Maybe I have felt guilty about ruining the time we do get together, or maybe I was afraid that he wouldn't love me as much if I fought with him. 

Luckily my dad has come a long ways since I was little. Of course there are still things that make me mad as an adult and some choices he makes I will never understand, but maybe it isn't my place. He is still the last to know, if I even tell him, when those times of hurt or anger come, but I am working on it. 

Now that I have a kid of my own I wish even more that I lived closer to my dad. When I went home to visit last fall my son, who had never met my dad until then, fell instantly in love with him. At 9 months old my son basically lept into my father's arms giving him instant hugs and love. I wish they were closer. I wish my dad had more chances to be with and play with his only grand child. I hope that next year we will live closer to home so we can visit more often, and so that hopefully my dad can come and visit us too. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 26: Photo Challenge

Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.
This is my AF shadow box.

Most people who serve in the Air Force do not get a shadow box unless they retire from the service. However, my Father in Law was kind enough to make me one. I wanted to keep all of my AF things, but I didn't just want to throw them into a box and forget about them. I couldn't have asked for a better display. It was beyond important to me that I was represented in two ways...who I was when I came in to the AF, and who I was when I left. Because honestly I am not the same person I was before I joined. Although my military experience was completely different from what I thought it would be, I am so grateful and proud that I did it and I can say I served my country. Without the military I would not have met my husband and I wouldn't have all the blessings that God has given to me since. I believe that God had a plan from the beginning. I felt called to serve, but only wanted to sign up as a linguist. Somehow I past the entrance exam for the linguist school but after months of training it wasn't working out...and when that ended I could have walked. I could have been done with the military and returned to civilian life with no penalties, but I felt a need to fulfill at least four years of service. So I put my trust in God and got re-classed. When I received my new assignment, I bawled. I had no desire to do the job assigned to me but something brought me to sign my name on the dotted line. 
That was it. Committed to fulfill the rest of my four years, I headed to a different Tech school and then off to my first assignment. When I got there I was gun hoe about learning the job and jumping in...again that wasn't the case. Things in the military happen much slower than one would expect. My "idea" of having a "military job" wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. It was way less "active" than the term implies. After playing the "hurry up and wait" game for months, I couldn't wait to get out. Well that along with some bad supervision and feeling like I was stuck in high school click again without being able to say what was really on my mind to the people who probably needed to hear it the most. 
Along the way I met Wes. 3.5 years younger than me, he was a little less "mature" at the time, but when he wasn't being brutally honest, he was actually very nice and great to be around. We became good friends very fast. Knowing I would never date him, he heard it all. And I am sure he told me things he might have thought twice about too, if he ever thought we would date. Then one day something changed. I don't know if either of us can really pinpoint exactly when, but it was somewhere around the time frame of him finding me a sand dollar late one night on the beach while sitting in borrowed beach chairs and watching the putting it in my hoodie pocket for "safe keeping", it getting smashed....then he left for vacation, Jeremiah (a mutual friend) and I joined in the beach clean up and I ended up finding a sand dollar almost identical to the one he gave me. I was so excited to give it to him, and knowing he hates surprises, I was sure to tell him I had a gift for him when he came home. 
It bothered him. But when he got it he loved it. Anyways....something clicked. He asked me out. I was scared and took awhile to say yes. Luckily he waited. We dated. I broke up with him while he was deployed. He came home. We decided to date again for the summer because he was suppose to leave in Oct for Korea. God must have postponed it because he got delayed until Jan, and we started talking about marriage in Oct. if he would have left when he was supposed to we probably would be wondering "what if" right now. In Nov. he asked me to marry him, and without hesitation I said yes. 
The small delay in his departure put it perfect timing for me getting out of the service the same time he was done in Korea. And the rest is history. 
So the Military means a lot to me because I felt called to serve my country and I am proud I did, but it is also where I met my now husband, and without it I wouldn't be where I am today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 25: Photo Challenge

Day 25: A picture of your day.
This is what 15 years of scrap booking materials amounts to when you fall behind!

How would I describe today? The beginning of being de-cluttered. My day started early. I was up at 5am...on my own the kid actually slept until 6!...after checking my computer accounts I did the cleared the dishwasher, did another load in the dishwasher, washed the dishes by hand, cleaned the counters, started dinner, unloaded the dryer, loaded it, loaded the washer and began to fold laundry...all before 6am. 

Then My son woke up. After our morning cuddles, i got him breakfast, popped on the cartoons ( I know horrible parenting) called my mom, while I cuddled with the kid more as he ate his breakfast, finished folding the laundry, sorted - threw out- filed the pile of paperwork on the table. Got the cupboard worth of old paperwork out and did the same, changed the laundry over and folded some more...this took me up to about 8ish maybe 830am.

Then it was time for some more snuggles with the kiddo before he went down for a nap. For whatever reason our son just needed a TON of love and sleep today. Changed the laundry, folded. Watched the rest of the show I feel asleep to last night...son woke up...more snuggles....can you tell why i don't get much done :)

At 1030 I headed back to the bedroom to do my Bible study I ignored all week. Couldn't really concentrate, fell asleep for 10 mins between my husband and son coming back there twice. Got up fixed lunch...I know two homemade meals in one day! I thought my husband would die. 

Re-do the dishes, re-clean the counters, stir dinner, clean of the table. Then I started on the picture above while my husband tried to entertain the kiddo. 16 years of collected stuff for scrap booking and over 2 years behind...the above picture is what you get. Chaos, confusion, and a bunch of stuff you have to sort through to clear out room, get ready to work through it, and most likely make more room for stuff to come. It didn't take forever, and thankfully Noah fell asleep on my husbands lap again so it bought me some time. It is now all sorted and organized and I will have a much easier time getting to work on these projects, let alone completing them...I am excited. 

Part way through my son woke up, I sat with him, he fell back to sleep. I Facebooked, checked blogs, and began to watch Pirate Radio with my husband. Noah woke up, we played while we watched the movie. Noah danced to all the music...mostly me wiggling him around, but the kid is mesmerized  by music so at least he was moving while it was going right? 

I ate and feed Noah. I finished sorting the scrapbook stuff. Re-cleared the table, re-cleaned it, re-did dishes, counters, put food away, emptied the dishwasher and put dishes away, reloaded it, switched laundry, folded more, took out the cans, bathed my son, snuggled my son, read him a story, sang him songs, rocked him, said his prayers, and laid him down. 

Then I finished my Bible study, had chocolate strawberries...I know, I know..sue me...they were good. Uploaded photos to the computer, up loaded photos to FB, and did my blog all while watching the hottie on Hawaii 5O.

I know I have an exciting life and your jealous. But that in a nutshell was my day. Needless to say I feel much better now that a majority of things are in their place. I can not wait to go through more cupboards, drawers, closets and get them as neat and organized as I got this today...I just wish it would stay that way for more than a few mins. But I have to remember that I live in our house and so does my family, we buy things to use not to put it up on a shelf...and life isn't always so organized and neat. I am working on letting the clutter bother me less. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 24: Photo Challenge

Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change.

If I could change something...

     I would get rid of all of these ribbons. Cancer is Evil. No other word needed. It is just Evil. For those you battle it. For the family members of those who battle it. For Friends of those who battle it. For the medical staff you treats those who have it. 
     There is no way to avoid it. Know way to know  who, when, where, why, or how someone will be diagnosed with it. No way to know how long it will last or if it will return once "cured".
     With Cancer there are no answers.

If i could change I would rid the world of cancers. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 23: Photo Challenge

Day 23: A picture of your favourite book.
The top is the photo of the book I read, but the hot guy from the movie had to be added! 
If you have seen the movie you know the story...and that hot guy with that accent...SWOON! I mean it sweep me off my feet, take me home and have your way! 
And Yes I read the book first!

As I am typing this though I have tons of other books that are wonderful and come to mind!

And The ultimate "made me bawl myself to sleep!" book

There are many many more great books out there but these are of the top of my head great reads!

Day 19: Photo Challenge Revisited

Day 19: A picture of you when you were little.

As promised here is the picture! Sorry it took a few extra days.

     This is me and my brother Jacob all dressed up for Halloween. I picked this picture because my mother already uploaded it to Facebook so it saved me a lot of time trying to scan one in :) What can I say time is precious.
     This is also probably one of the few if not the only Halloween picture you will find me smiling in. I don't know what it was...I loved Halloween, but almost always cried about getting dressed up. I am obviously to little to remember this one, so I must have still thought dress up time was fun. I love the homemade costumes though! The price they charge today for costumes is ridiculous! Thankfully the one I got for Noah this past year was free...and especially thankful because it stayed on all of 5 mins! Hopefully as the years pass we can get creative with Noah's costumes and keep them on the less scary and gross side and more on the fun side of Halloween.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 22: Photo Challenge

Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at.
(No this is not my handwriting)
     No it is not my hand writing that I wish I was better at. In fact I used to practice my handwriting to make it all cute and bubbly like most girls, but the truth is that just isn't how I write and I am glad about it. My hand writing is slanted and hard to read and I love it.
     However, I wish that I was better and hand-writing letters to people without any reason. My Grandma Randall is and always has been wonderful at this and even now in her mid 80's she still sends hand written letters signed in Christian Love. I used to be better about this. I used to send cards to people on random occasions with hand written notes, but for whatever reason I have so tapered off on this habit. It is on my list of things to improve on this year, and I am really hoping to start at it soon. I am proud that I do write personal notes in all Thank-you cards, birthday cards and Christmas Cards, but I want to do more.
     I think that hand writing is becoming a lost art,especially cursive, in today's world of computers and smart phones. I look at both of my grandmothers' handwriting after 80+ years and still think that is is beautiful even as both of them apologize for how "horrible it has become". It is funny that even though their writing has become incredible small and less neat, I can recognize every word they have written because I have been reading it since I was little.
     I hope that someday my children, family and friends will be able to recognize my handwriting in the same matter.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 21: Photo Challenge

Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget.

I have thought about this post all day off and on and every time I think about it I come to the same conclusion...

If I wanted to forget about it then, I wouldn't and don't have pictures of it. 

It is that simple. I am a firm believer that everything that has happened to me in my life has happened for a reason. I don't believe that I would change anything that has happened to me. Would I have been nicer to a few people looking back and wish a few people were nicer to me? Of course. Are there decisions that I made that in hindsight I might have made a different one knowing now what I didn't know then? Sure. But each of those things have made me who I am.

I don't believe in holding onto regrets. That doesn't mean that I haven't regretted things that I have done, but I truly believe in the Forgiveness of Sins and Transgressions, and part of that process is truly believing that GOD and others have forgiven you when you have asked for it. Without that belief Satan has got you right where he wants a self pity party where there is no out. 

Thank God for His Grace and His Mercy. Thank God that I have learned many lessons throughout my life. Thank God that I am still a work in progress. And Thank God and others for His and their Forgiveness. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 20: Photo Challenge

Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
I think the pictures say more than I ever could. Breathtaking. I want to visit Alaska....Sitka Alaska to be exact. Remember my friend Meggan from Day 10 of this photo challenge. She lives in Sitka and has some of the most breathtaking, beautiful pictures of scenery that I have ever seen...and she lives it everyday! So not only would I get to experience an absolutely gorgeous state, I would be doubly blessed to visit my friend Meggan and her husband, Sheldon, whom I have yet to meet! I will get there someday...hopefully soon! 

Day 19: Photo Challenge

Day 19: A picture of you when you were little.

This Post will be revisited as soon as I can scan a picture of me when I was little! technology and computers were not household items back then! So I replaced to day with Day 20! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 18: Photo Challenge

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity.

I already talked about my hatred of the "weight" issue which is truly my biggest insecurity, but coming in a close second is the thought of having my husband ask me for a divorce. 

I know that this insecurity comes from growing up in a divorced family. I have no reason to feel or believe that Wesley's wants to ask me for a divorce, now or in the future, yet the thought is almost always present.

Don't get me wrong.
- I do not blame my parents. I had a wonderful childhood even though my parents didn't live in the same house and I had twice the amount of parental advice given to me during my teenage years. Of course I wondered what it would have been like if my parents had stayed together, but I know that I would not be the person I am now if that was the case. There were things I would have changed about my childhood, but I think it is safe to say anyone could say that.  
- I do not need a guy to feel whole. I can and have lived on my own and gotten by just fine.
- I know that Wes loves me unconditionally and without any reservations, for which I am and forever will be grateful.
- I do not look down on anyone who has gotten divorced. I believe that it is a personal choice and nothing to judge another person on. It is heart wrenching enough without others criticizingly your every move. But my heart is sad and does ache for anyone who has considered it, gone through it, and is still living with that shadow over their shoulders. 

The whole idea of divorce just chews at my soul. It bites at my core and challenges everything I really believe in. The thought of someone that you have shared everything with and poured your trust, love, and life into, turning around one day and basically telling you it was all a waste of time just makes my heart hurt. I know that every situation is different, but I can not get over that feeling. 

Wes and I have had this conversation about me being very insecure about this topic, so I feel free to share it. I am so vulnerable in this area. I know that jumping to the thought of divorce is not a normal reaction to have when two married people fight, but that is where my mind immediately goes. If Wes raises his voice (yes i said it...Wes and I are not perfect) my first thought isn't to be mad because his voice is raised, or to consider what I just said to him....although that does come later, but my first thoughts are that 'I am not good enough', 'smart enough', 'thin enough', 'he is over our relationship', 'he wants out', ' he wants a (gulp) divorce' then I get hurt, say things I don't mean, cry and guard myself and my heart even more. 

Bottom line, Insecurities suck. They will never get you to better places and rarely help you out in life let alone your closes relationships. I am a work in progress and I hope that one day my insecurities will be gone and the ugly thoughts will vanish and only leave room for all the love that is staring me in the face.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 17: Photo Challenge

Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Meeting my son, Noah, for the first time. Dec. 2010

I know that the directions were a picture of something "recently", but nothing has impacted my life more than becoming a mother. 

Motherhood has impacted my marriage. Making both Wesley and I grow in our relationship with each other and with ourselves. We have both matured. We have learned what it means to put another person's needs before our own, although we are not perfect about grumbling about it sometimes when it means less sleep or who has to change the dirty diaper for the 10th time in one day. We have given more of ourselves to each other. Being a support system, or a sturdy reminder to each other when it is needed. We look at our son and rejoice when we see each of us revealed through him. A great reminder that he was made out of our love for each other.

Motherhood has impacted my relationships with my own mother and family members. All those years when you think that your mother (or mothers in general) is crazy for crying for the 20th time over things that seem like no big deal to a growing kid. I GET IT! I GET IT! Honestly. I get it. There are no better words to express it than, "Mom...I GET IT!" And just for the record, I can not count the number of times tears have fallen from my eyes over the last 13 months 22 days since this little boy came into my life, over "the small things" like being a day older, his first steps, last bottle, 1 year birthday. The list could go on and on. 

Motherhood has impacted my relationships with friends. There are friends that you will have for life and friends that you will have for seasons in your life. The sad part is, when it becomes hard to relate to those life long friends because you are at different points in you life. There are some friends that I dearly miss, even though I know that we are still friends. However, it becomes hard to find things to talk about when you are simply at two different stages in life's journey. Hopefully one day the paths will cross again and the friendships will flourish in new ways. 

Motherhood has impacted my social life. Like stated above it is no longer "all about me", not that I ever thought it was, but simply put there are just things that I can/will not do now that I have a kid. I will not take my kid to the movie theatre or keep him out until all hours of the night so I can have fun. No one benefits from the selfish acts I see many parents doing with their kids. In the long run you get cranky kids, and worse yet, cranky parents. This isn't to say that we don't have fun or go out, those outings just take a lot more preparation and consideration than they ever did before becoming a mother. 

Motherhood has impacted my heart. I always knew I wanted to be a mother and in fact longed for the day when it would happen, but I never knew how much love my heart could hold until that  day actually came. Motherhood has made my heart beat with a Joy that can only come from God and ache in ways that I truly believe only a mother can understand. There have been moments when I thought my heart was going to be torn apart and moments when I thought my heart was going to explode with Love, Joy and Gratitude.

There are so many more ways I have not listed above that Motherhood has impacted me and I am sure the list will only get longer over the years ahead. I look forward to each and every one of those impacts. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 16: Photo Challenge

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you.This is my Aunt Ginger and Noah Oct. 2010

There are many people in my life who inspire me in different areas, but my Aunt has done an amazing job over the last few years in different areas of her life! A few years ago she went back to grad school and earned her Ph.D, and quit smoking (something she swore she would never give up)! Over the last 2 years she has lost a fair amount of weight and taken so many measures in her life to become a healthier person. This last year I dare say she has found love again and has tried so many new and adventurous things that she thought she would never do. I am so proud of her. She is a true example of a hard working, never say never lady.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 15: Photo Challenge

Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die.

I want to do so many things before I die. I want to read the Bible, own a house, have another child, see Mount Rushmore, go scuba diving, run/walk in a race for a cause, be a wonderful mother and a good wife, learn how to grow a garden, learn to can vegetables and fruit, take another photography class, learn to do more on the computer, learn sign language, travel to the remaining 50 states I haven't been to, go to the Statue of Liberty, be in Times Square on New Years Eve, See the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, become a better cook, see my kid(s) grow and see him(them) fall in love: get married: and have babies. This list could go on and on. Some of the things are significant, some of them not so much, but that is okay. 

The picture I choose above is of Greece. I would love to travel anywhere is Europe. Italy. Ireland. Greece. UK. Germany....pretty much anywhere in Europe. I am not going to lie. There are many places I just don't have a desire to visit or see, but there is just something that tugs me toward Europe. 
Maybe it is all the hopeless romance movies with the scenes like the one above. There is something breath taking about those white buildings with blue roofs set against the backdrop of an ocean that just makes me want to loose myself in it's surroundings.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 14: Photo Challenge

Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
This is Noah and Wesley July 2010

I can not write this post about only one person. My husband of almost 3 years, Wesley, and our handsome, wonderful son, Noah. These two people are my heart. I can not imagine life without either one of them and frankly I don't even want to imagine it. I can not say enough about my husband and what a wonderful wholesome man he is. He is a loving husband and a doting father.I am sure that I am not always deserving of his love, but I am so thankful that he never falters in showing it to me. My son is an absolute blessing from God. He continues to show me what unconditional love is, and he teaches me more about myself everyday. I strive to be a better person because I want him to have two good examples to look up to. 

These two people, both given to me by GOD, are my heart...and I can not imagine my life without them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 13 Photo Challenge

Day 13: A picture of your favourite band or artist.
Kenny Chesney

I choose this album because it holds tons of memories of a great summer and great friends. Kenny Chesney has an "island" feel and voice in his music which I absolutely love. I would say that he is at the top of my most listened to artist, however, I haven't even paid attention to much music in the last few years. I don't know why. I love music. I love all kinds of music although country is probably what I listen to the most...besides the kids tunes. I just haven't listened to much of it lately. Maybe it is because I enjoy the silence now. Maybe it is because I am really content at where I am in life and I can not relate to losing a dating, losing a love a job or my dog  right now in life :) I really want to get back into listening to music it is just going to take time. I don't think I have bought a new CD since 2006 or earlier and I haven't downloaded to I Tunes since 2008. I did just get a free I tunes gift card though, so that might all change in the next week...if I can find the time. 
On a side note...I used to think Kenny Chesney was hot...but then I went to his concert and realized he wasn't as hot as I thought, and he is super short. You don't pick that up from the pictures in his albums because in almost every picture he is sitting or laying down not standing up. Despite the fact he is no longer attractive to me, I still love his music. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 12: Photo Challenge

Day 12: A picture of something you love.

This is Noah at 9.5 months old sitting at Paulson's Pumpkin patch in Belding Michigan.

The task was a picture of someTHING that I love, but I don't have any really good photos on hand to display the Thing. So this is a compromise. First off I love my son, but he is not a Thing and I will safe him for another post. The thing I love is different seasons! I never in a million years thought that I would be saying this. Growing up I longed to live some place warm and tropical and swore that I would be happy and content if I ever got to a place like that. Well I am there, living the tropical fantasy and my heart longs for seasons. It longs for change. 

I guess this is an affect of growing up in the Midwest or more so in Michigan where one never knows what the weather is going to be like day to day let alone hour to hour. It keeps you on your toes. It stirs your scenes. It makes you feel fresh and alive. 

Topical living is great...for vacations or getaways. For a break from the cold. It is great for rejuvenating the soul after a long gray winter. It is not great to live in year round. Being stuck in perpetual summer is boring and grows old, fast. I am sure it is for some people. People who grew up knowing summer year round and never feeling the crunch of fall leaves beneath their feet, tasting snowflakes falling freshly from the sky onto your tongue, or smelling the sweet scent of a cow farm as the ground is thawing and spring looms around the corner! 

I still have trouble shaking that guilty feeling of not "taking advantage of the day of sunshine" that you learn to bear when you grow up somewhere, where you know sunshine and warm weather is never a given, nor do those sunny days last very long. 

I now long for a day of rain, although it rarely ever lasts all day here nor is it accompanied by the glorious booms of thunder or bright flashes of lightning. I long for that change. For the feeling that each new season brings with it and lets you know that Easter, 4th of July, Halloween or Christmas are approaching. 

I long to wear long pants and hooded sweatshirts, or a nice sweater. I long to have a wool hat on my head and my hands in a pair of mittens. I long to be able to wear cute shoes without having to bear the thought of wearing Nylons in this heat! I long to feel the shiver down my spine as a cool spring breeze blows, or I step out into the cold from the comfort of a warm house. I long for the scents, sights and sounds that each season brings. 

These are the THINGS I love and their names are SPRING, SUMMER, FALL and WINTER! One day I will visit them again, and I will feel at home.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 11: Photo Challenge

Day 11: A picture of something you hate.
This about more than just weight.

    My weight is something I have struggled with my whole life. Although now I look back at pictures of me in high school, college and even newly married and think..."What was I thinking!??!?!" I would do anything to be back at that weight. 
     Not that I would trade one pound I gained while pregnant for my son. He was worth ever single one of them...and I am by no means blaming my pregnancy for making me fat...that comes from a combination of things anyone could list..... but this is the one area in my life that I just can not shake the feeling of failure from. Actually it is probably the only area that I constantly feel like I fail at. 
     I have been attending a "boot camp" class since July of last year and while this class has done an amazing job of helping me to build and tone my muscles back up after having a child, and I have lost tons of inches from various parts of my body, the scale seems almost impossible to budge. Since July I have only lost 10 lbs. Yes you guessed it that still leaves me +23lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight 

     I try to watch what I eat and make healthy choices, but I am not going to blow smoke up anyone's arse and say that I am perfect at it. I'm not. And I have a husband who can eat anything without gaining a pound and often wants things for dinner that I wouldn't choose if I was still single, but that compromise is part of being married. I could be content on grilled chicken every night, but my husband needs and wants variety. So that adds to the struggle because I do not have the time, energy or money to make two different meals a night. 
     I have added cardio to my workouts, more so lately than before, and I am working at being more consistent at it, but again I am not perfect. I have realized lately that I am capable of doing more cardio than I originally thought since the birth of my child, and although that has given me a boost in my confidence, my confidence is still swaying. 
     Don't get me wrong. I am not obsessed with hitting a certain number or being a certain weight. I do however know how much more comfortable I am in my clothes and appearance at certain numbers, so it is hard to not say "I want to weigh ____lbs."
     I also worry about my weight because my family history on both sides is not good. Both sides of my family have an incredible sweet tooth. My mom's family seems to carry their weight around their stomach and my dad's family carries it in the hips, butt and thighs. Yeah so you wonder why I am worried. I want to be healthy more than I want to be skinny. I want to be mobile when I am 80 years old and not be complaining that I ache everywhere. I want to be able to keep up with my children and hopefully someday my grandchildren I want to live life to the fullest, not BE the fullest.

     A few weeks ago I was beaming with a new found self confidence that I was running again and that I had lost a fair number of inches over the last month. Then I took a trip to Victoria Secrets with a friend because she wanted to buy something. As I was waiting for her to try things on and make her selections, I was looking around and remembering the entire drawer of cute VS bras that I have not been able to fit in since my pregnancy, and the outfits I had in my closet I wouldn't even think about trying on again right now. Let's just say that wondering a store that you can not buy one article of clothing at because you are the "right size" will slash your confidence faster than a lot of other things.

I hate that feeling...that lack of confidence...the feeling of not being the "right size".... blowing of my husband's compliments because I don't feel worthy of the words he says....I hate feeling like a failure.

I am praying for more confidence, praying for strength, praying for the resolve to get to where I want to be...praying that someday soon I will be comfortable in my own skin and it will take more than a name brand store to shake my confidence.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 10: Photo Challenge

Day 10: A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.
    Me and Meggan at my wedding in June 2008..... 

     Everyone meet Meggan! Meggan and I met our freshman year of college and spent the next 3.5 years of our lives having some unforgettable adventures. They are definitely memorable moments. I honestly don't think we need to go into a lot of detail over the past adventures, but I will say at least half of them were accompanied by Jack and Jose along with a few other popular names. I mean look at the picture that a face of innocence? :) 
     Meggan and I lived across the hall our freshman year, decided to live together our sophomore year, and spent most of our free time in each other's company our Junior year. (Our Senior year I lived off campus). We ventured out for Thirsty Thursdays, took a road trip to Alabama for playoffs, had jobs together at Max n' Erma's and at Target, called numerous cabs, ran from the cops, jumped the border once or twice, and fought like sisters. We have seen each other at our BEST and our WORST...and I wouldn't change one minute of our friendship and those 3.5 unforgettable years. 
     Meggan has a passionate heart. She is capable of something that I can never imagine doing on a daily basis. Meggan is a Special Education teacher in Alaska and she is beyond passionate about her job and her kids. I give all my respect to Meggan. She did not choose to be a Special Education teacher because it paid more, or was easier to find a teaching job, she choose it because she loves everything about it, but most of all she loves the kids. And rightfully so, they love her right back. 
     I only wish that Meggan and I lived closer so that we could see each other grow in our new adventures of marriage and children.