RSS Feed

This Journey called life

This Journey called life

It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve taken the time to blog about my life.  A while back I decided it was time for me to concentrate on the living of my life and not worry so much about documenting it!

But, I’ve been pondering some of the things that have happened and I am feeling the desire to share.

For this first time sharing in such a long time, I will simply catch you up to date on some of the changes I’ve experienced on my journey!  (where to begin?!)

489

  1. we now have 3 grandchildren.  I cannot express the feeling i get when they smile, wave arms, come running (and jumping) into my arms, how they stutter and shout over one another to be heard in the the haste to fill me in on how their journeys are going!  Kiyah turned 6 this month. So big!  Tall and strong and smart!  She started kindergarten this year and is reading really well – she reads with the first graders several times a week. She LOVES the monkey bars! She set herself a goal last year to be about to get across the monkey bars by herself and is now able to not only get across, but skip bars along the way. I love watching her!  She started gymnastics last month and is enjoying that.  Peter turned 3 in January.  He’s tall!  He loves cars, trucks, and trains of every description.  He loves me.  He loves giving me kisses (and they are priceless to me).  He’s also very smart – can count to 20 on his own, and can add numbers pretty well.  He’s beginning to read sight words, but I think given a choice, he’d rather be running his cars and trains around the tracks all over his room. We have a couple set up in our bonus room and when he comes, he takes off his shoes and goes straight for the stairs to play.  He started Soccer shots this month – learning basic soccer skills. A couple of Sundays ago, he came in late to church and came running down the aisle and then proceeded to elbow people in our pew out of the way to get to me.  (did I say how much these kids love me?)  Evangeline turned 1 in February.  I probably don’t need to mention how very busy my daughter, Rachel, is!  Evangeline is a delight.  She is a smiling, happy baby who loves to snuggle.  She loves her Fisher Price camper set and all the Fisher Price animals she can hold.  She is learning to put puzzle pieces back in their correct spots.  She’s not a big talker, but will babble.  She calls me “O”!    I am blessed to be able to see them on Sundays at church and I babysit a few times a month.  Rachel has been home full time with them since Evangeline was born; she’s recently gone back to work PRN once a week.  IF she gets called to work, I get to babysit! I love being able to see them as often as I do. I have too many friends who only see their grands a few times a year if they are lucky!

2.  We Moved!!!  NEVER in 10 million years would I have thought Steve and I would move.  I always said we would be taken out of that house feet first (at 102 years of age!) But… sometimes life takes us down paths we can’t see until we round the bend.  We realized our older home was going to continue to need maintenance on a regular basis.  We had several projects done in 2015 and thought we were good for several years….  The gardens I put in and loved in my 30’s were just plain hard work.  It was discouraging to spend 6 hours in the gardens and not be able to tell anything had been done!   I was spending a lot of time on the road to Charlotte- once upon a time it was a 35 minute drive, but traffic has been getting worse as more and more people have built homes in the Denver area creating a bedroom community.  Both of my kids and all 3 grand kids live in Charlotte; our church is in Charlotte; my Bible Study is in Charlotte; most of my shopping is in Charlotte— you get the drift.  I was spending too many hours of my life driving up and down highway 16.   And then there was the lake issue.  Lake Norman is a large lake, capable of white caps in windy weather and almost always has wakes going in several different directions at once due to the size and number of boats on the lake.  Steve was having to postpone and cancel kayak paddling due to weather and busy-ness of the lake.  All of that seemed to culmulate about the same time and we decided to start looking around for possibilites.  Over about a year, we looked at houses and land for sale not finding what we wanted.  We found one piece of property i still think about because it was GORGEOUS !  But it did not meet our needs once we had completed due diligence.  We were ready to give up and stay in Denver when a house went on the market in the Mountain Island Lake area.  After years of saying we would never live in a development and would never live with an HOA, here we are.  The house is the smallest in the neighborhood (still bigger than we really wanted), but it’s selling points were that it is across the street from a sidewalk that goes down to a boat slip on the lake.  Steve has his kayak on wheels so he just pulls it back and forth – takes about 4 0r 5 minutes each way to walk down to the lake.  The boat slip owners have been generous in allowing him access to the lake. Mountain Island Lake is more protected and is way less busy than Lake Norman so Steve is very happy here.

3. I started karate!  I know, right???!!!!  I have surprised myself over and over this year!   Long story short, I met a new yoga teacher who said I should come to her karate class.  I thought “why not?” and went to a class.  And FELL IN LOVE.  I’ve been methodically progressing and will test this Saturday for my green belt!

4. I have embarked on a new adventure in the world of essential oils.  I’ve teamed up with a group of people who, like me, are trying to live a more balanced, healthy, and chemical free life.  I’ve learned a lot – have lots more to learn.   I will definitely keep you posted on this path in my journey!

So…. in a 5 minute read, you’ve been caught up on the major points of change since I last posted.   My hope and goal is to expound on some of these and try to journal the creative side of how I am navigating my journey.

As always, I love to hear from you.   I write mostly for myself – a type of journal – hopefully an insight for my family when I pass on to the next life and its journey (which I am planning to happen no sooner than 2068!)

 

how’s your new year going?

I know many people make New Year’s Resolutions and we’re told the majority have fallen off the wagon by the end of January.  I was never successful and was thrilled when I was introduced to the idea of a word for the year.  I’m curious how you are doing with either your resolutions or your word for the year.  I’d love to hear your comments!

My year is going well but I find myself ‘struggling’ with Balance.  By nature I am an Introvert, Empathic, and a people pleaser.  I am happiest when the people around me are drama-free, happy, and settled.  In what universe does that exist???  As an Introvert and Empath, I need quiet time and time to myself.  As a people pleaser, I feel an overwhelming need to help when confronted with a person in pain or struggling with an issue I can help with.  This is why I thought the word Balance might be a fitting one for me this year.

One thing I’ve done to help myself is to keep a paper calendar along with the calendar on my phone.  The phone calendar is great when I’m out and need to make a note and the alarm/alert feature is wonderful!  BUT the paper calendar helps the most with seeing where I am tending to overbook or where I can see that I am going to need some time to myself.  (or time to actually complete my own chores!)

Another thing I did was to sit down with my Fly Lady notebook (if you’re not familiar, you really need to spend some time on her website!) What worked for me years ago, no longer does.  So I sat down and thought hard about what I really want and need from my home and re-arranged my priorities for housework AND made completely NEW schedules for what really needs doing and how often.  That has helped me a lot with Balance.  If you have questions about what I’ve done, I’ll be glad to share the details!

My final biggest challenge is my eating.  If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I discovered an eating plan called Trim Healthy Mama last year.  I lost 30 pounds fairly easily, have control over my sugar addiction, and feel better than I have in a long time.  I went away in November to a camp where I had no control over my food and chose to indulge. I ate breads and cakes and pies and it was all wonderful!  When I got back, I had no trouble going back to no sugar, but I have been having trouble getting back to how I was eating before.  I’ve made menus and shopped for the proper foods, but I am still struggling.  I share this because too often we hear only of successes and when we struggle, we feel like failures or that we are weak-willed or ‘less than’ the person who seems to have it all under control.   Over November which included the camp and Thanksgiving and December which included Christmas, I gained 6 pounds.  I don’t think that’s too bad considering.   The problem is I am having zero success in losing that 6 pounds.  It seems to be stuck on with super glue!  AND my goal is another 18 pounds past that 6.  Seems easy enough, right?  24 pounds.  I’ve already lost and kept off more than that!  And many of the people on the THM Facebook page are facing 100’s of pounds to lose.

So I begin again. I woke up this morning to a Brand New Day with many choices ahead of me.  I love knowing that yesterday is behind me; I can do nothing about that day or that time or the choices I made yesterday. Fretting certainly does nothing except use the energy I need for today!  So, I will take each challenge as it presents itself and will do my best to choose Balance and to choose what is best for me and mine with each decision I make.

Balance.  With my calendar. With my time and energy. And with my eating.  That’s how my year is going so far. How’s yours?

Balance

I thought I’d share something I’m doing to help me with my word of the year.

A dear friend of mine gave me a beautiful Quilting calendar for Christmas.  I love it!!  I still use my phone calendar; I love having it handy at all times and I love the alarm function. BUT, I find taking the time to transfer my calendar to a paper calendar where I can see a week or month at a time is essential to me finding balance in my schedule. I am an Introvert (many people find that surprising); I need time to myself to alone with my thoughts and time to ponder and create whether I choose quilting, punch needle, knitting, or gardening. I NEED that time.   Having my calendar on a monthly calendar, I can see when I have too many days in a row scheduled out or when I’ve scheduled myself too closely.

I added something to my paper calendar:  I have written or used stickers to put the word BALANCE at top of each page reminding me to choose balance.

If you are trying to choose balance as well, here are a couple of ideas to consider:

Margin:  Margin is giving yourself some time to breathe. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early to a doctor’s appointment or to lunch with a friend or church or wherever it is you are going.  This does a couple of things:  If you hit a traffic snag, you aren’t as upset or frazzled by it because you have plenty of time . If you arrive 10 minutes early, you have time to check your phone or calendar for last minute messages that allow you to attend to your appointment with a clear mind.

Slowing Down:  Do you really need to be somewhere every day?  (Of course if you work full time, the answer is YES! but then think about your time before and after work).  Can you allow yourself to say no to opportunities in order to give yourself space.  I hear people  say “I don’t have time” way too often.  Most of us DO have time, we just don’t prioritize our time in ways that give us space for things that feed our souls or allow us to just be.

when I pay attention to slowing down and making margin in my life, my life goes so much more smoothly.  I hope you will take a moment to consider where you can add margin and where you can slow down in your life.

images 1

2015 Word of the year

I had some difficulty deciding on a word for 2015.  So many different words raced through my mind – even waking me at night on a few occasions.  As always, I come to the end of a year and the beginning of a new one and battle the age-old temptation to make resolutions.  If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know I don’t believe in resolutions. They don’t last. They are usually unattainable, pie-in-the-sky type dreams.  A few years ago, I found Christine Kane’s blog about choosing a word and have adopted the idea.  I find that having a word guide me through the year is the most useful thing I’ve ever done.

You can read about the idea in several places. Here are two of my favorite:

Christine Kane

Jane LaFazio

So what is the word that will guide me through 2015?

Balance

I like it.  It speaks to what kind of year I want to have.

My first goal?  I want to make a vision board with Balance as the theme.

Have you chosen a word?  I’d love to hear what it is!

Well, Hallelujah!

Good morning!

Wanted to share that for the past few weeks, I’ve been gaining and losing the same 1/2-1 pound over and over and over. The scales just wouldn’t budge.  I wasn’t too worried about it. I like to think my body has to take a break from time to time just to readjust to the fact that it is smaller. I like to think that my body is “re-arranging the furniture” so to speak. I mean 28 pounds of fat is lot to adjust to, right?  I’ve noticed my clothes are looser and fitting differently and I had to go buy a couple of pair of pants because I honestly thought I might lose them by just walking out of them!

Monday, the scales showed the pound was gone (again!).  But this morning, the scales moved!  Hallelujah! The scales moved!!!  I’m down another pound!  I am doing a happy dance this morning.

I know I am more than a number on the scale and all that. And I’ve tried to tell myself that if I didn’t lose another pound, it would be ok. I mean 28 pounds is a small child.  But I started this journey with the primary goal of being healthy and losing my sugar addiction.  My secondary goal was to give myself the Christmas present of a smaller body.

So one more pound is gone.  I’ve lost 29 pounds.  My first goal was to lose 40 so I’m 11 pounds from that goal.

Hallelujah!

How’s it going?

Wow! Can’t believe I’ve let weeks go by without checking in.  When last I posted I had challenged myself to 100 days of yoga. Yeah, well. I fell flat on that one! I had various aches and pains that I was babying and the oomph just up and left me.

On a positive note, I am continuing with the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and I’m over 4 months without sugar! I’ve lost 27 pounds and am in need of a new pair of jeans.  🙂

While on vacation, I did several hikes. We were in the National Parks in Utah and most hikes were large gains in altitude – smallest was about 450 feet and the largest was somewhere over 1,000.  It was exciting to be able to do the hikes. We scrambled over large rocks and over skinny crests and around skinnier ledges to see some of the most beautiful scenery.

I was able to go horseback riding. Of course, I’m pretty sure I got a mule, but that’s fine with me. I felt like we were kindred spirits since I’m often told I am as stubborn as one!  I was excited because I had made the goal of losing enough weight to be able to ride and was many pounds less than their maximum when I got there!

Yesterday, Steve got my bike riding ready and we rode about 6 miles. Not very far, but after a 27 month hiatus, I thought it was a decent distance. Especially with my knee acting up these days…

No pics today. They’re still all in my camera and I just haven’t taken the time to download them to the computer.

How are you doing with your health goals?

100 Day Challenge – my challenges

Well, to be honest this challenge has not gone as I had hoped or expected.  I haven’t given up and I’m continuing to give myself grace as the days pass.  I had not had a migraine in months and then over the weekend, I had a 2 day migraine that left me swooning with a sore brain on the 3rd day.  The day following that, I got out a yoga DVD and half way through had a sharp pain shoot through my leg into my groin so I stopped; then I did some simple yoga stretches about 1/2 hour later and did ok.  Then yesterday, I put off yoga until lunchtime and wouldn’t you know it?  Vertigo kicked in. I couldn’t move without the room spinning!!!!  Geez!  If you don”t know me, you’ll either think I’m in horrible health or that I’m making this stuff up!!!

Today my head is ok. My vertigo seems to be gone.  I’m looking forward to practicing yoga in a couple of hours (I woke up really hungry this morning so I ate first thing!)

On another note, in case you’re wondering, I’m continuing with my sugar free lifestyle.  I can’t believe it myself. I’m 4 days shy of being a whole 3 months without sugar!  I’m noticing lately that I’m craving sweets less and less. I still want something sweet on occasion, but it’s not every day or every meal or every snack like I did 3 months ago.  It’s been an interesting journey.  I think this journey is helping to ground me in the struggles I’m coping with trying to do yoga every day.

Haven’t weighed myself in a while so no weight loss to report. I did measure my waist and I’ve lost 2 inches since the last time I measured. That’s pretty cool. The jeans I bought in June are getting baggy so that’s cool too.  They’re not baggy enough to need to buy new ones. I’m just washing them more often and putting them in the dryer!

I’m knitting the coolest hat!  M11211_Sugar_300_medium

I’m making mine in a pretty green color.  The cables are challenging for me and I’m not sure why. Perhaps because the only needles I could find were metal so the yarn wants to slip off easily? I’m about halfway to shaping the crown!  It’s a KAL (knit along) with some women in my knitting group. Two have almost finished (working on the crown) and one is behind me.  We’re not doing very well with knitting at the same pace. I think I’m on pace, the other two are over-achievers and the one behind me is the owner of the shop and has too many interruptions to knit for any length of time!  The pattern is in the latest edition of Creative Knitting magazine.

I’m also working on my bed quilt.  I really need to upload those photos!!!

Creatively yours,