Friday, January 30, 2009

Body Image

So, I was thinking this morning how I'd like to remember the last time I didn't have negative thoughts when eating. I can't. I'd love to just be able to enjoy Pizza or Steak or Lasagna without worrying and stressing over the calories I'm consuming and what they will do to my (already overweight-although not obese yet) body.
Eating said foods causes extreme anxiety because I am wondering if I will be able to stop when it is time to stop. And if I will have the will-power to exercise it off the next morning.

The next thing I'd like to remember is when I didn't have negative thoughts when I look down at this body. This body has done something very important. Why can I not just embrace that? It's assisted God in the miracle of forming a new human being 3 different times. I have 3 beautiful babies to show for the scars on this body God has given me. I promised myself that every stretch mark would be a red badge of courage. That I would remember how I longed for a few stretch marks (or at least what they represent) when I had the unmarred skin of someone without children.

How do you look at people like Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie and all the other stars who have had (multiple) children and reconcile with the fact that they can still look the same or in some cases better than before children. I know that they have a small army of people helping them-including personal trainers, dieticians and chefs as well as nannies to watch the baby while they do all of this to get back in shape. And that's fine. I honestly would not trade my life for theirs for even a minute (ok, maybe just one minute-but then I'd want to come back) and I'm not asking for perfection out of this body--it's already given that 3 times over. I just want to feel good. To feel normal. To not feel like making jokes about cows or pigs when I think of my body and my self.

The good news? I am working out almost daily, watching (most of the time) what I'm eating and I think I'm getting somewhere with this journey. The thing is, I"m still going to have to accept some imperfection. I'm going to have to learn to have a happy medium. To still enjoy life and not worry about every single bite that goes into my mouth. To not obsess. To realize that this is real life. I only get one go-round and then it's over. And when I get to Heaven? Well, since Heaven is perfection...I guess there won't be any stretch marks or cellulite, right? So, in the scheme of eternal's all fleeting. Only what's done for God will last, right?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crazy Monotony

Now, there's an oxy-moron for you. There is so much going on all the time, but it's always the same stuff. My hubby's car is dead...again. Yeah. Here is a picture of my dear, dear husband that represents 2008-2009.

We're planning Haley's little birthday party. Don't know what to serve. We always do hamburgers...and while Harold makes the bomb of a hamburger...can we have some variety in our lives?

We're getting there with our bedroom/bathroom makeover! I'm loving everything that is done so far! So excited to have my own pretty bathroom. The before pics will show you just how exciting this should be. ;)

Jared got his Tiger Badge...making him officially a Tiger Scout! Yay Jared! He says he wants to go all the way to Eagle Scout. And let me tell you, I will encourage and work with him for it. I think that is an awesome thing to do-and will look good on college apps too (sssshhhhh! Don't tell him that!) I wish we could find his scout hat. He looks so cute in uniform with the hat...but alas, it's gone! Here are some pics of us getting his tiger badge. Daddy couldn't be there. :( He's working lots these last two weeks of the month.

Getting ready to jump back into baseball. Oy. Do you know how much they charge for the spring season??? I'll bet you're dying to know! They charge $75! ****gasp**** I'll take out a in his savings bonds. Just so he can play baseball. **eyes roll** (oh, and for that you don't even get a full uniform!You get a shirt and a baseball cap! You still have to buy the pants, socks, belt and shoes!) But it's worth it when your little guy hits the ball and is happier than you have ever seen him. Or when his papa shows up at practice to be an assistant coach-meaning he's taking time for your interest. In a 6 (almost 7) year old boy...what could be better?? :) Not much!

I'm working on a Bible Study that is veeerrrry heavy. Very good, but heavy. Heavy on future events eschatology and history. The eschatology I figure I'm at no more of a disadvantage than anyone else (no one knows what will happen definitively) but apparently I have a serious history deficiency. I can't wait til next year when we do our new history curriculum and I get to learn with the kids! Then, maybe I won't be so befuddled about what I've studied in this Bible Study. But, I plug on...even with the confusion.

I'm also extremely busy planning the spending of our tax refund! I have been made fun of (MOM) for my planning of this expenditure (ok, maybe it's because I have it spent for the next 5 years) but when this is the only time you have "extra" money...and get to have a little fun and splurge w/o kind of get excited (by the way, next year we're going to Disney!!!) Anyways, this year?: Renewal of vows (looking for a modest but elegant event in August), pay a credit card down a bit, redo the girls' room (yay!! so excited about this one), rip out lots of carpet and put down laminate (partly b/c our carpet is ick and partly due to Lindsay's allergies) and homeschool materials for next year (anyone who knows me knows this is very exciting-nerd that I am I unashamedly love anything school/office supply related!)

Oh, and then there are the plumbing issues...that's fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Writing Inspiration

So, I was wanting to write but still am just not very inspired. I don't know if I've been too caught up in "weight loss" stuff to think about anything else (if so, how sad is that?) or if I'm just in a blog slump. At any rate I went back to the site I got my last idea from and there were a couple of them that kind of gelled into one idea. One of them was "Would You Erase a Traumatic Event?" another was "Are You the Same Person You Were 10 Years Ago?" and thirdly, "What 10 Rules Should Everyone Live By" (ie if I had the power to chose 10 rules for everyone in the WORLD to live by what would I choose. What an interesting thought, having that much power. Anyways, all those came together and made me think of a kind of corny thought I had not too long ago. I was at my mom's house and she has my senior picture up on her mantle and I thought about how although you can tell I am that person, that person is so young. And I thought, what would I tell "that girl" if I could? How could I save her heartache and mistakes?

There is so much I've learned in the last (almost) 15 years. But I don't know that "that girl" would've even believed some of what I would have to tell her, let alone listened to my advice. I think that when I was younger I was so idealistic and absolute. I thought right was right and wrong was wrong (I still believe that by the way) but here's what I've learned: Good people can make wrong choices. I've made a few. Does that make me a "bad" or "wrong" person? No. I think that the key is to learn from your wrong choices and make different ones next time. I think that is called growing up. I am less judgemental and more understanding. I realize that people come from different walks of life and those paths lead to different choices. I realize that we are not the sum total of one choice-no matter how bad it is. I also realize that I am not perfect! **gasp** ;)

I think this segues into the 10 rules I would choose!
1) What else? Treat others how you want to be treated. The Bible says it! It used to be in every classroom on the wall. It's a good rule.

2) Live like today is IT. It just might be. Either for you or for the person you love. You/they might not be here tomorrow.

3) Love like you've never been hurt. If you hang on to what someone else (that you thought loved you) did to you you are allowing that person (who may not have even truly, really loved you) to affect the rest of your life-and the lives of those you touch.

4) Listen to people.

5) Please, thank you and Bless longer optional. How wonderful would life be if those words were used more-and meant!?

6) If you get it out, put it away.

7) If someone is them!

Ok, so maybe I would stop there. Maybe # 8 would be less rules, but more respect for the ones in place. Maybe I wish we didn't need so many rules. That people were more into "self governing"....

And lastly, would I erase one tragedy!? No. We are the sum total of our life's experiences and I would not be who I am without the experiences I have lived...good and bad. I am blessed that thus far my worst tragedy has been infertility/miscarriage. However, it really brought me to my knees. Literally. I think it made me realize where I was and where I needed to be if I wanted God to bless me with the children I have now.

Ok, next I promise! ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If I could read one person's mind...

So, I decided that my blog entries are lacking something. I can't blog about my bathroom renovation yet...because it's not done. I haven't been in a photog mood lately, so that leaves out those picture blogs (with lots of fun pics of the kiddos) and I don't want to do too many controversial blogs-not that you would notice that since the last two have been based on some of the most drama-filled subjects there are. (Stay at home mom stuff and politics-no controversy there! ;) So, I googled (a really great tool in this post-modern era we live in unless you google medical conditions which then cause you to have a nervous breakdown because you are just sure you have contracted ebola virus or something equally as devastating-when really all you have is a mild case of food poisoning or stomach ache. Anyway, I digress. Google is a magical tool in our world so I used it for blogspiration. (Isn't that cool how you can add the word blog to the beginning of any ordinary word and it subsequently becomes "blog related"? I love it!

Now, the question in my search was "If you could read one person's mind, whose would it be?"--and asks: If you had the power to read only one person's mind, whose would you choose? What would you like to learn about them from this? How would this help you understand them? Would it answer questions you have about them?

I have thought about this and cannot come up with anyone whose mind I would truly want to know that well. What if they thought bad things about me? And what if they could read my mind? Mind reading would be the worst kind of invasion. That said, I know it would not be that of my children. For one, how could I choose which one? For another, it would cause me complete heart break if they thought some of the things I know kids think about their moms. Especially when said mom is with them all day long. I think, if I had to choose someone, I would want to read my husband's mind. Nope, no jokes here about how little time it would take me to read it, or how easy it would be. Nope, not from me.

I would finally understand him. That is all. Not because I think he's hiding something from me (all sarcasm aside, I trust my husband as much as anyone can trust another human being-I'd say close to 110%). There is no ulterior motive here. Like last night, when I put my arm around him in bed he tells me "You are going to have to move over" Wow! Really? Had I been able to read his mind I would've known that he felt too close to the edge of the bed and wanted us both to move over. Big difference, huh? So, maybe I don't want to read his mind, I just want to understand what he means when he speaks. And sometimes when he really balks at something new I'll think it's because he doesn't want to do that thing-thinks he would hate it-when really it's just the fear of the unknown. That would be nice to know! He just doesn't use enough words...I wonder if he thinks words? ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why It's Important to Me....

disclaimer: this is not meant to stir up any kind of debate about who is a better mother-the one who stays home with her children or the one that works outside of the home. Both are doing the best they can with what they have and what they know and neither is a better mother than the other...Just like in every other area of life, people are different.

That said...

It is, and always has been, a priority to me to stay at home with my children. I think from the beginning it was more about my "selfishness". I waited 4+ years for my first baby and there was no way I was going to "share" all those firsts with someone else. I wanted to be there for every waking-and sleeping-moment that Lindsay had. There were days when I had had no sleep the night before and prob'ly could've been a better mommy, but I did the best with her that I could and I LOVED her like no one else could've. Because I'm mommy.

As time went on it became more about shaping my children. I wanted my children (no longer babies) to have my values. The ones that my husband and I feel are important. I can't imagine for my part not being there if they get hurt (physically or emotionally) as they are so young still. I don't want to wait 8 hours to know that someone has broken their heart. Yes, at some point they will have to go out and "face the world" but for now, they are mine to protect!

One of the biggest things I hear against Homeschooling is that "You can't protect them forever" Yeah, I know that. But, I can take some more years to instill our values and wait until they are older and hopefully stronger in what they believe to face that world and what lies in wait for them. I love that my kids think the "f-word" is fart, the "d" word is dumb and the "s word" is stupid. That may seem naive to some, but they should be naive and innocent. They are just babies in the scheme of life. There is so much time to be grown up and they only have just this one chance to be kids!

**this was inspired by a blog post of Passionate Homemaking which is listed to the right in the blogs I keep up with. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Politics Again

This is not a debate issue per se, I just have to say I am proud of our President. I believe he has done the best he could with a really difficult term. I was watching the Press Conference this morning and he was asked why his critics were so "loud" and so passionate...his answer? (paraphrased of course) was that he made the best decisions he could and he didn't listen to the "loud" voices. He said he was not the first president to have such loud critics and he won't be the last. Because (and this is something I have always admired about him) he made his decisions based on what he thought was right-not based on whether the press would praise him-he can hold his head up high and like who he sees in the mirror. I wish I had an emoticon on here with a standing ovation because whether you like him or dislike him, agree with his policies and decisions or disagree heartily you have to respect someone who stands firm with their beliefs and convictions even when the loudest voices he is hearing are those that are calling him names.

He has held on to his sense of humor and is able to poke fun at himself! I think that shows humility and grace under fire.

Another thing I am struck by is his respectful tone in regards to the President Elect. When he speaks of Barrack Obama he speaks with respect and wishes him the best-it surely seems genuine. I'll bet there will be nothing missing from the White House when the Bushes leave it for the Obamas. I'll bet there will be no keyboards damages and such. The Bushes are leaving Washington with their heads held high and with class!

Farewell President Bush...I hope you enjoy retirement!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And the Battle Rages On

So, yesterday I heard Kelly Ripa say something that just really hit home for me. She said that her children would fight over sand at the beach. I KNOW that! I LIVE that!
I kid you not that my children will fight over trash! They fight over who is first, who is last. Who has most, who has least. Who is more loved. I get so tired of the fighting. Sometimes you don't even see it coming-it's hidden in the most innocuous-seeming questions. Jared:"Lindsay, how much is left of your ice cream?" (then a triumphant "HA" when she has less than him-he has won the unspoken contest of who can make their ice cream last longer--therefore having something that the other child no longer has).

I would not think this would be a big issue in my home. I have NEVER incited this in them. I do not encourage comparisons or rivalry in any way. I tell them constantly "It's not a competition". But I am wasting my breath, because life is a competition to them. I used to joke when they would question ridiculous things ("he got one more m&m than I got") and tell them "that's because I love him/her more" and then give them a silly smile-to let them know that there was no reason-and it was not intentional that I slighted that child with less. I did find out though that this was not good. In a serious moment one of them told me that they did not like this joke-ok, no more of that...

We are adding Haley into this. The other day Jared laid his head in my lap and she FREAKED out. She made it very clear (in her mostly word-less way) that she owns that lap and he'd better get his endangered head out of it. And on the rare occasion that Lindsay dares to sit on my out! Oh, and then you have the hair jealousy. You see, Lindsay has hair-so I sometimes fix it for her. Haley has none to speak of, but I have to pretend to fix hers lest it hurt her feelers-if she gets less attention.

Sigh...I'm sure all 3 of them will end up on the therapist's couch one day and it will all be my fault...because I loved one more than the other or gave one of them 3 drops more of milk than the other two. No matter how many times I assure them that this is not true, it is simply impossible to measure some things in exacts....they will not believe me.

I'll leave you with a list of things that they have fought over:
1. empty tic-tac containers (ie trash)
2. sawdust
3. bent curtain rods (trash)
4. water (there's lots of it)
5. leaves in the yard (again, not a limited supply)
6. time/attention/love from us parents (this one I do understand a little bit)
7. who is first/last/best/worst/most/least of any number of things
8. a dime found under the register ("It's not fair, why did she find one and I didn't?")
9. Who is biggest/smallest/fattest/thinnest...
You get the picture!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings

So, in the last year and a half I've had some issues with our church and how some things are handled. I didn't know if it was just me or what was going on. It's been really difficult to do what I know I'm supposed to do and let my husband make the decisions regarding where we attend services. I'm not a submissive kind of person but know that as a Christian wife that's what I'm called to be. So, I fight my natural tendencies to be the "leader". I've let my husband know (several times) that I'm not altogether pleased with the way things at our church are but have met with resistance. I can't say that I was always pleasant and happy to be submissive, but I've managed it.
Yesterday he said we could go to the church I had kind of been looking into-for if/when he decided to. I was pretty pleased with how things went. I've been wanting a more "old-school" approach to Children's Church. Ours has been more progressive and seems a little too focused on entertainment in my opinion. There are times when children should expect to be entertained and times when they should expect simply a pleasant learning environment. I don't think they should be in a church setting where they aren't allowed to smile or enjoy themselves. But I also don't think it needs to be like a party. Flashing lights, games and crazy videos just aren't appropriate for church in my opinion (wish I could say my "humble" opinion but I can't-I'll work on that this year ;) ) When I was a child (now I'm starting to sound old) we went to church, learned songs about God-sometimes the songs had motions and sometimes not-but it was mostly reverent and focused. This is what we experienced this week.
The theme of the Children's ministry is the "Rein" Forest. So appropriate (unless you're Ethan-our friend- who was a little nervous that there would be live animals in this "rein" forest) for garnering their interest and making it friendly...yet the children learned straight from the Bible and came home talking (not about wrestling and other crazy things) about the scripture they read from and lessons they learned. The lesson was exactly what the "big" church did-3 John-a story of 3 men, one who built up the church, one who tried to tear down the church and one who went out from the church (missions). The children talked about how we should make people feel welcome and special (building up the church)...And for the record, I was a little concerned that since they've been so used to the "party" atmosphere they'd be "bored" but not so! They want to go back!
As for us, I enjoyed the more laid back approach to worship. Much more like what I grew up with...and some things don't need "fixing"! :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

So, when I think about making a New Year's Resolution...I think of failure. After all, it seems as if the ones I want to focus on are the same ones I've made every year. And although I don't forget about them I tend to give up on them.
The first one is of course to lose weight. Blah. It's really more of an "after the Holidays" thing because it's almost impossible to go on a "diet" during the holidays. I know this, because I tried.
The second one is to stick to a budget and get our finances under better control. Yep, made that one before. And failed. Our amount of debt is indicative of that.
The New Year makes us all feel like a fresh start is in order but that "newness" just doesn't last-in my opinion.
What is the answer to actually making and sticking to your New Year's Resolution? Maybe making small, specific goals that are ATTAINABLE? Maybe posting them where you can see them on a regular basis? Maybe checking your motive? I don't know but I'm going to work on that this year-ach! Is that another "resolution"????

So, here are my resolutions (for what it's worth):
1. Lose 25 lbs by June (should be attainable-that's 6 whole months!)
2. Stop charging. Period.(I will be handing my charge cards over to my dear husband who doesn't have that weakness)
3. Follow Dave Ramsey's plan for debt free living. And complete at least step one this year.
4. Become a prayer warrior-complete devotional Learn to Pray in 28 Days by Kay Arthur.

For now that's enough. That is more than enough. I want to succeed...not set myself up for failure!

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