Do What?!

Good morning, and what a beautiful one at that. I walked out of the gym at about 6:45 and the smell of spring consumed me like a drug. That combined with the elation that comes with the knowledge that I just burned several hundred calories before 7am and there’s no impending workout to contend with, set the tone for what I hope will be….the most amazing day.

Nothing on the schedule that is particularly awesome but today just feels warm and peaceful. My granny used to have furry rabbit skins around the house, I’m not sure why, but the way those skins felt when running your hands over them as a child, was warm and soft and…peaceful. That’s how I feel this morning. Pumping the brakes here as I feel like the dead rabbit skin analogy was just a little much. Moving on.

Homeschooling is what excites me this morning. Yep, homeschooling. We’ve decided to give it a whirl. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so many years but never had the courage to step out and just try. I never felt like I was competent enough or patient enough or conservative enough. Ok, I’m conservative but in a very relaxed way, is that possible? Then a few months ago I felt a check in my spirit, for about the hundredth time, and the question was again raised, can I entertain this home school thing?

I think the first step in answering the question was, why do I want to home school? And I found out there are so many reasons, here is my short list:

1) Flexibility, being tied down to the district calendar for lack of a better word, stinks.

2) Time, I miss my kids because I work weekends, homeschooling will enable me to spend more time with them and it doesn’t take nearly as long as a typical school day. The older they are the more involved they are in sports and activities that take them away from our home. Eight hours in school, home for a snack, football, baseball, gymnastics, dance or the sport du jour takes up the rest of the day. If I home school we actually have time for family and learning things like chores and cooking and other family responsibilities.

3) Curriculum, introducing the study of religion and bible which they don’t get in the public school and is something I think is extremely important. I can also tailor their education to their learning style and spend more one on one time with them than their teacher can.

4) FIELD TRIPS! Speaks for itself, I can’t wait for field trips!

There’s probably more but that’s what I can come up with now. We are planning to attend the Teach them Diligently homeschooling conference in Omaha Nebraska next week and looking forward to learning lots more about curriculum and homeschooling in general.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates on how a crazy girl like me fares in a this new world. Fingers crossed this doesn’t automatically qualify my kids for therapy. Have an extra awesome day!

Dear Me,

I started to formulate this letter in spin class this morning, I think I deserve to actually compose it and publish it, it’s a word of encouragement for myself, and anyone who needs it. Dearest friend, I applaud you for … Continue reading

Fit-Fat

Hands

Gratitude, what’s it about anyway? It’s about not feeling sorry for yourself, not being a victim, it’s about empowerment, it’s about grace and thankfulness.

1. Friends, these people hold me accountable and let me be me, they let me vent and say all the things I couldn’t otherwise say, I wouldn’t otherwise say, if not for a discerning ear. They know what to hold on to, and what to let go of, and what is in my heart. This morning, I’m thankful for friends.

2. Life, I am simply awestruck at this opportunity. The possibilities are endless, the potential for life altering mistakes and victories, the complexity, the fragility, and the knowledge that it’s all so very simple.

3. Health, I feel like starting a FB page called fit-fat. Yeah, you read that right, fit-fat. I’m not kidding here. I am fat, I own that, but I also own that I am pretty darn fit right now and yes, those two can coincide. Hopefully, I can get powerless over the food and as a natural effect of my physical fitness and food choices the fat will go away, but for now I’m fit-fat…and I’m good with that.

4. Springtime…enough said.

5. Fender benders. I have a 2005 paid off Dodge Grand Caravan that I’ve wanted detailed for a few years now. It’s never been in the budget, until now. The other day I was hit from behind in the carpool line, this mom seemed was a little flighty. The incident resulted in a little dimple in the bumper, barely recognizable.  The adjustment and check I received from her insurance company was just shy of the cost of detailing my van. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but who knew that morning driving the kids to school in my pajamas that I would soon be able to afford the cost of  detailing!

One more word about health. I received a pretty amazing compliment the other day. I went to spin class at the gym and pushed myself, it was exactly what I needed, sweat was pouring off my head, good times. After class two girls stopped me and asked me if that was my first time in class, they commented on how well I did. They were noticeably struggling through it. I told them that I normally come to an earlier class and that I am doing ripped now so I use spin for an off day. My level of endurance was obviously impressive…they didn’t know I was fit-fat. 

In conclusion, it was an awesome feeling. Take a few minutes to get grateful and sweat a little today, these will help you learn to love yourself a little more and when we love ourselves we are in a better place to love others and God.

New Music…Andy Mineo

Well new music makes me happy. I commented on a local trainers facebook yesterday. She asked her readers for new rap for her playlist as hers was becoming “tired.”

I leapt to action and started telling her about Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashi, Andy Mineo and to basically just check out Reach Records. I LOVE rap, but I can’t stomach they lyrics of this love that grew out of a wicked and depraved youth. Ghetto Boys, Ice Cube, NWA pre and post Ice, Public Enemy, KRS1, Too Short, all dat. Needless to say, this Jesus lovin’ thirty-something mamma does herself good to steer clear of all dat deese days, besides it’s not good for my littles ears.

So the next best thing was to find some new music. Reach Records serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of fat beats and invigorating lyrics to cure what ails ya. Here’s a sample of something new…

Win The Game

We have struggles. That’s a pretty open idea for a blog post. I feel like discussing this with myself and I will share my inner dialogue with you…

We all have struggles. Some people have life altering problems, some have day-to-day struggles that are more like a pebble in their shoe, the formers problems are probably more like not having shoes. The older I get the more I get this idea that life is about pain. What a bitter-heart inducing realism, life equals pain. While I hold this thought true I also know that life is about love, to live is to love, to love is to hurt, to hurt is to love, etcetera, etcetera. Problem solved, when we accept this, all things fade and as we grab  hold of Gods giant hand we are raised like a Chinese monster villain walking through NYC. We are elevated, still feeling the heat, the problems, but looking at them from another view.

It’s the moments that make the difference. Those moments of crushing pain, the moments of blistering from the constant rubbing of the pebble in your shoe, the moments where choices are made. We’ve all seen the slogans, the status’, the pins, encouraging us to deal with these moments in grace and maturity, but actually acting in a way that is so counter to what our flesh wants to do is nothing short of excruciating sometimes.

She found true love, after fifty, now he’s dying of cancer.

She married her true love, had a few kids, and finds he’s cheated on her after several years of  “marital bliss.”

She has nowhere to call her own, a new baby and no plans for the future.

No one really knows her struggles with food, she eats several bags of Easter candy and finds herself hugging the toilet…again. She just can’t stop herself.

Everyday his wife makes him feel like child, she doesn’t respect him, just breaks him down.

He loves Jesus, but finds himself sexually attracted to men and the shame he feels inside is killing him, he has no one to talk to.

Pain.

Yesterday I was reading about this Ware dude, a basketball player, yes? I don’t follow sports, but his story was pretty incredible. Compound fracture, lying on the court, so many people watching him. All he does is lay there and yell, “WIN THE GAME.”

I read this article and I was encouraged. I felt like that is us, when we are immobilized by life, by the pain, by the hurt, the circumstances, we are lying on the court of life, the games is going to go on and we’re wounded. If we’re quit and still, if we stop and close our eyes, if we wait in the moment I think we can hear Him calling, deep within our spirit chanting…win the game, win the game. First in a soft hushed tone, almost a whisper, and then as we listen intenser still, louder it grows…WIN THE GAME.

Not to say life is a game…but there is definitely a strategy to it. These problems will get the best of us if we let them, this pain will wound us deep enough to kill us if we don’t listen to that voice and wait in the moment. I don’t know what that means for my examples, for me, that means I thank God for my problems, because if I let God use them, He will make me whole and strong. For me, this means I won’t always get an answer, but if I get up and hobble back into the game and keep fighting, there’s no limit to what God can do.

Blog from the Bike

I just finished my workout given to me by fireman trainer Gus. My partner had a date with a biscuit so I had to go it alone. It’s ok though, it’s done, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, mostly because my legs and butt and arms hurt so bad already. I sweat and I worked hard and I listened to “For Today” the Christian metal core band from Iowa during the whole thing and even as I post this.

Regarding Christian metal core; it’s awesome! I’ve never been a huge fan of metal, save the stent in high school when I hung around a bunch of metal heads, rap has always been my preferred workout genre. It’s definitely growing on me and I need some new bands to download. The fact that its Christian and metal core is…different? I can’t have negative, non life giving music in my head, but I need the excitement of the music. For Today combines the beauty of Gods encouraging spirit with fierce drum, guitar and melodies, and serious fuels my workouts.

That’s all…for today. Cheesy pun intended.

The > Good

Everything is connected. As I sit alone at this sushi bar, having a glass of wine barely past noon, I understand that. This moment, as all moments, are connected. I love the sound of the crowd, the woman who just laughed way too loud, her friends still relishing it, the constant chatter around me, and me, alone. There is a mother and son at the bar adjacent to me and I wonder if he’s graduated or why he’s here in the afternoon, I’m even a little concerned that they’re sizing me up, alone, a woman drinking just as the morning breaks. I love it.

I am anxious. A friend and I decided to split the cost of a personal trainer, he is a fireman, he looked serious, so we picked him. Out of all the beefcake dudes we picked him, on the advice of the manager who said he’d recommend him to his mother or sister out of them all. Hmph. The first thing I did was argue with him about nutrition, pre workout mind you. He worked me over in a matter of 20 minutes, he put my friend and I against each other in wall sits, planks, and squats. For example, “If she falls you both do three more sets!” She looks at me and says with determination in her eyes, “I won’t fall.” I knew right then she wouldn’t. My turn, wall sits, he found my weakness, told me if I didn’t hold them we would have to more, I screamed at him, and quit because I couldn’t take it.

I am anxious.

I have 45 minutes until my acting class and my wine is still full and my sushi hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve been looking forward to this all day, my moments alone and my writing. I have to thank a friend for this. Writing is something I love so much but often neglect when life gets hectic. Out of the blue she texted me yesterday paying me one of the best compliments received in a really long time. She said she’d read my entire blog, and it made her cry. I’m not sure why, I guess I have some emotional posts from time to time, but she went on to compliment my writing. I really needed that. I know that I am not a journalist, WordPress’s recommended edits assure me of that, but writing fills me up, and her encouragement fueled my fire.

My anxiety is waning, not sure of its the writing or the wine.

This morning in spin class, enjoyed in the company of three friends, I heard the teacher say something. This teacher, by the way, has lost over 120 lbs and kept it off for several years. He said always think about the greater good, this was during a particularly grueling segment of spin. He used the example of being healthier, looking better by the pool, etc. I felt like I could apply that in every situation, in every moment. As a Christian, each moment is one that we are faced with decisions. Many tests are failed and some are passed with flying colors, but every day presents new choices new challenges, new moments. Today I will think about the greater good, not just my good but the good of those around me, and I will decided accordingly.

Real world example: there is a man sitting next to me, he’s foreign, no one knows me here, I’m far from home. He has a pack of Marlboro lights next to him and I’m pretty sure he’d love to share. I am drinking wine which makes it especially hard to refuse tobacco, but it’s not good for me. It’s good for me to abstain. It’s not a good example for my kids, greater good.

Have a wonderful day…and may I recommend the Pino Grigio and the summer roll at the sushi house in Leawood, perfectly apropos for a snow covered day in early March.

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I am Stuck on Band-Aids…

Good morning! Today I will find my mojo, it’s amazing how a little getaway and slacking on nutrition can set you back. I didn’t gain a bunch of weight but I haven’t lost any more. After my bike accident last Wednesday night I was disheartened. I had planned to ride about sixteen miles and only made it about ten and a half, I had to call hubs because my knee was numb and I was bleeding a lot. It didn’t really start hurting until about thirty minutes later, and then it was incredibly painful. I am not sure if you can tell from the picture but the most damage was right below my knee, really gouged out, and cleaning the dirt and gravel out of it was…exciting in a very macabre way. I must admit I am actually kinda proud of it. Not the injury itself, per say, but that I didn’t let it stop me. I ran on it the next day, and today I will ride my bike again, assuming it still works, the bike not my knee. I haven’t really inventoried the damage so I might be sorely disappointed tonight, pun intended.

Tonight is my first ride with a group. I am meeting up with a group at The Wheel Cyclery in Gladstone to ride an 18-22 mile relaxed ride to the downtown airport. I have purchased a new Specialized Road bike, it will be ready sometime later this week. They had to order it for me, check it out——————>

It’s a Dolce Sport compact. I am really excited about it. We ordered it from Epic Bike and Sport in Kansas City, Mo. The guys there are awesome and very helpful, glad I talked to my friend Mendy from Fit by Burn for recommendations. Speaking of Mendy Shriver, she opened her new studio for Fit by Burn in Liberty recently, they had an open house on Saturday. You should check out her link if you live near Liberty, if anyone can light a candle under yo a$$, it’s her.

As for my ride tonight, I am pretty nervous. Here’s why:

  1. My bike and the hope that it works.
  2. My knee.
  3. Being a total Newb.
  4. If you happen to be a newb, don’t read this—> How To Dress PRO

Reading that article was somewhat daunting. I cannot compare myself to these people who are avid and experienced. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I do that to myself. I think lots of people do that to themselves, ok maybe not my husband, I can actually hear him lecturing me now about comparing myself to these pro’s. Stephan, if you are reading this, consider it done. I have the lecture on my hard drive. Thanks. 

I guess that’s what the day has in store for me. I will leave you with some great uplifting music to work out to. If you like Rap but are not into bi#c%e$, hoe’s, money, and drugs, Lecrae fits the bill. He has a brand new mix tape out, called Church Clothes that’s pretty good. Down load it here, FREE. Have a Blessed Day!

The Ensemble to End All Ensembles

In second grade I have this distinct memory of wanting to be fit. We lived at the back of a trailer park right by the Rio Grande river in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I lived with my mother, I was an only child, and had quite the active imagination, that helped pass the time. I was also very fat. Not freakishly fat, mind you, but just enough to make it the bane of my 7-year-old existence.  Besides being nicknamed Rolaids, being fat was not fun in elementary school. But here’s where the good laugh comes in and every time I recall this memory I smile.

I remember seeing healthy people running, walking, exercising, mostly on television. I watched a lot of television, even back then when we only had…say five channels on a good day. So one day, seven-year-old me decided it was time to get fit. I promptly outfitted myself in the appropriate attire for doing so and set out along the gravel trailer park road that lead to Ultimate Physical Fitness.  A stones throw from my front door I hear a roaring belly laugh that I cannot seem to locate. I stopped dead in my tracks and again, heard the laughter. The sixth sense is very a real sense and mine was telling me this laughter was directed at me, and it was probably coming from an open window where my neighbors lived. I couldn’t see the evil from whence it came but I had an uncanny notion, yes, this sinister laugh was  meant for me. You see, I must have been quite the sight, tight black leotard, white chubby legs, some sort of off brand tennis shoe, and to make the ensemble complete,  a large white towel draped around my neck. That was the image and picture of health I knew would help me get into the best shape of my life, but the mocking laughter sent that seven-year-old me right.  Back.  Home.

Sad as this story may seem, it cracks me up but it encourages me at the same time.  Today is Easter, the holiday I celebrate Jesus overcoming death and giving us forgiveness of our sin. I am spending the day with my family where we are at my Dad’s with my brothers and their families.  This afternoon, I decided to grab the Insanity DVD, isolate in the game room and get my workout on, for Jesus.  As I was stretching,  balancing, hopping and sweating I realized, that even at 70-80 lb. overweight, I am incredibly flexible and have great body control and balance. The thought occurred to me, I was made for this.  From a very young age I have had a desire to be active, even as a young awkward seven-year-old girl with very little fashion sense, this is what I wanted.

My workout is over, initially I did it for a piece of carrot cake tonight, but now I don’t even care.  With all the food and candy around all I can think about is keeping my eye on the prize and how a little pleasure isn’t worth the distraction.  Let me be clear, this is not a declaration of cake abstinence tonight, by no means, I’m just thought-vomiting into the blogosphere.  The cake situation remains to be seen, but for now, I think I’ll head out to Wal-Mart and grab some veggies and put my Grandmother’s juicer to good use.  I’m going to teach her how to make a mean-green taste like a treat.

Have a blessed Easter.