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!

The bathroom is only 10 ft away…

It’s been a long day, I’ve longed for this moment when I collapse into bed but there’s one problem, I’m still in my clothes and haven’t brushed my teeth. This is no bueno.

Right now I dream of Jeannie comes to mind…now that’s a skill.

My feet would be massaged, my jams would be on, my teeth would be brushed, and I’d be a size 4.

I guess there’s a reason that show was fictional. Working for something, even as small as clean teeth and bedtime clothes make the reward feel like an accomplishment.

If I were to wake up in the morning a size 4 I’m sure I’d be all broken up about having been denied the opportunity to work for it. Not. But I wouldn’t know the cost and I’d probably quickly gain the weight back again.

So, the bedtime story moral tonight, is enjoy the journey. Whatever your journey is, seek out the joy and hold those things close, they are the meaning behind your mission.

Right now, it’s the toothpaste calling me, and my cozy new jams, I can’t wait to sleep…

Sweet dreams.

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.

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.

seasons

Sitting here at my desk I feel the weight of the wet winters day. The wind is up, and the naked trees look fragile as they bend in it. I hear the screeches and yearnings of a train in the distance, and finally it’s whistling down some old railroad.

Today I am contemplating life. My daughter, my baby, is eloping. She’s twenty years old today, and she will be a married women by nightfall. Today I look back at my life, the life of my mother and grandmother and listen to my ancestors before them, they tell me to rest. Nothing is happening that hasn’t happened before, nothing can come that will separate the bonds we share. Process and proverbs, we all rise and fall to the beats God put in our hearts thousands of years ago.

My wish for her today is simple, that she learn to rest in this life. It seems today I am finding it so much simpler than I once had. There are big problems and small problems, but in reality, they are all but little moments in which we can practice surrender.

I am surrendering today. Like the naked tree in the winters wind I will lean into it, not looking graceful at times, not caring, my roots are firm. I know that spring is coming, and winter again. There is nothing new under the sun.

I am resting in the blissful idea that life will happen just as it should, and I will learn from it just as I should. In the spring and summer, fall and winter, there will bountiful blessings and sorrows alike, and I will soak in every second of this amazing gift called LIFE.

Dusty Canvases

Good morning…It’s another day, another hour passing, another blog post that begs to be more than meaningless words.

Weight loss, that’s what this blog is supposedly about, ok. Eph that. I need to just swirl everything into one focused thought. Losing weight, that’s good. Losing the behaviors that keep one in  self medicating  states, even better.

My struggles:

Anxiety

Fear

Fat

Loneliness

Laundry

Not kidding. I’m just a regular woman on a path, yesterday I felt like a girl and thought you saw me as that too until you called Ma’am one too many times. Just wait little woman, your day is coming. That’s the funny thing about life, no one gets out of this easy, if your lucky you’ll get wrinkles, you’ll love and lose it, you’ll die a thousands deaths in your heart and be left with emptiness of body and soul…and the sun will rise again in the morning, inviting you to do it all over again.

Since I have stopped using food medication, my anxiety level has raised to the point where I can feel it in my body. Not a great feeling. It really crept up on me, and guess what I am doing more of? Smoking. It relaxes me and I love it. I know it’s bad for me, inhale, which is why I have to get this crossed off my feel good list, yesterday.

Oddly enough, I am in the best shape of my life, I run once or twice a week and ride my bike an average of sixty to seventy miles a week. I am posting all of this because I need to say it. I am not going to pretend that life is roses or cherries all the ephing time, nor is it always cigarettes and Cheetos.

Desperate for middle ground and balance.

I haven’t hit my second goal, but I don’t care. Not a cop-out. I don’t care if it takes me two years to get this weight off because with each pound I am uncovering old pieces of myself that must be dealt with. Like spelunking in the attics of my life, the deeper I go the dustier the canvases become, and as I pull them off I discover a treasure buried there. Some treasure requires more time, more love, more preservation. Some, require burning. I didn’t get this way overnight. I won’t give up on me. Even if me takes forever.

My husband has been such a good man during this season in my life. He walks with me and deals with my high drama and emotional vomit. I won’t candy coat it,  he’s a pain in the ephhing ass too sometimes. But he’s a man, and we’re so different. I don’t pretend we have a marriage made in wonderland. We have a very real marriage. We wrestle it out, there are days we can’t stand each other, and days we want to be close. He’s a good friend, a good daddy, a good companion. I cringe at the thought of what his blog would say about me:) He doesn’t blog by the way…lucky me.

What you missed while I was away:

My Triathlon, I did it. Although I almost forgot how to swim, but I did it. YAY!

Atlanta, learned some lessons about myself while spending time with my dearest friend.

New job, forthcoming.

Made another video for the ANCC Art of Nursing film festival, not really creative, just helped a friend, earned a trip to LA in October.

 

 

 

The Dream Crusher & The Latin Rock Band that Made it all Better

Lots on my mind tonight. First of all I have to confess something. I made cookies yesterday, just enough for the kids and thier friends to each have one of my homeade buckaroos. It’s my grandmother’s recipe, cocnut, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and I add some coarsely chopped almonds, yum. There was one that happened to be left over, I tried to get my friend to eat it and she declined. So there it sat, all day log, alone, on the cold glass stovetop.

Later, I came home from dinner and a movie with my family, and there it sat, still alone, rejected… scrumptious. So I took it, into my hand and gave it a home, in my tummy, with all the other bad food from the night. Later, I invited acai dark chocolate berries to the party. It wasn’t a good feeling, to go to bed full. I am getting used to going to bed hungryish. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I am still having trouble with the big breakfast thing. I would rather do meals this way; price, king, pauper.

I went on a ride to the community center tonight, ready to swim some laps and ride home. My brick workout, where you stack two types of exercises from the tri. Being the newb that I am I forgot a lock for my bike and the silver headed rule follower working the front desk was under no circumstances going to let me bring my bike in. I all but begged, but no, said she didn’t want to be yelled at being new and all. That, and I suspect it gave her great pleasure to crush my dreams. Why do some people roll like that? I pictured her later that night eating her pot pie watching wheel of fortune feeling quite satisfied with herself, as if she’d done some great favor to the universe.

I ended up riding twenty miles and loving it! Tomorrow I will try to swim and run, but the best part about tonight was my new clip-less pedals and shoes. It felt a little like wearing tap shoes and bike riding but it was great! I don’t know if it was the coffee, or the shakeology I mixed with it, or maybe even the shoes but my ride was phenom. The hills were cake, I had no problems with them. I’ve been told that the shoes would help on hills and they must have, it was an entire different riding experience. Kudos to they guys at Epic bike and sport in near Parkville, Mo. Those guys are certifiably the best crew and bike shop I’ve been in so far. Which is why I pass two other bike shops and go all the way over there from Liberty to shop them. Service, it still works.

So I rode and rode and could have ridden another ten easily. I made myself go home because it was getting dark. Oye Como Va, the Santana rendition not the Tito Puente version, is now my official last song of the ride, it’s perfect. I’ve fallen in love with cycling.

Climb

(This post will be best read when blocking out the world with a pair of earbuds and listening to Bon Iver-Bon Iver)

Why did life chose us? It feels like a gift…sometimes, and other times it feels like a penalty. I’m not writing this from grief, I just feel a deep connection to this life and am contemplating many things this morning.

What keeps us from living out our dreams, why do we have them and where do they come from? I wonder if it is no coincidence that out of our hearts is born a great desire. Desires that are crushed or fed, poisoned or cared for, lived or let die. I don’t want to let my dreams go and even as I sit here I am aware that they are constantly evolving.

When I was young I wanted to write and act. Then I wanted to provide for my daughter, so I went to nursing school. As a mother I desired to raise her and love her and put my strength into our little family. When I met my husband I ached for more children and a bigger family. When I had more children I wanted to bake bread and enjoy their childhood, now that they are in school I miss rocking them to sleep and crave strong memories of that time, so strong I can taste and smell them. I look at their bedrooms and how they’ve changed, the same rooms I changed diapers in they now read and play. Life moves quickly, like a freight train we are not aware we’re on. Where is the destination?

Now that my children are a more self-sufficient I can feel those dreams of my youth raising to the surface of my soul. I still enjoy being a mother, I enjoy making lunches and reading stories, but I am ready to tiptoe out into the great unknown. I start right here, writing thoughts and reading yours. I challenge myself to write from the heart or my efforts will be in vain. I only do this to cultivate my inner man, to grow and feel and be…more than I have been before.

I am not satisfied with complacency. I cannot live to pass moments. I feel like climbing. It comes from a great heartbeat deep inside me and I can’t stave the sound. Life…it beckons.

What is one thing you can do to find that forsaken dream of youth? One small way to reignite the fire deep within your soul? To forget the person or persons who put your light out, to press on toward the goal that the father of life gave you as a young woman or man. You may feel that what I am writing is nonsense but I beg you to stop where you are, desk, subway, train, grocery, park, jail, bathroom, stop and close your eyes, what did you leave behind?

I write this letter to myself, I write this letter to my friends, we cannot let dreams die because it is in those small dreams that we were really live. Let us find a way to create today, to create a path back to the piece of ourselves we lost many years ago, I think if we do we will find a welcome journey awaits.

Dear friends, stop looking for value in the beauty of your face, the value of your assets, and the goods you produce. All of these things are good things, but only if you can say that your heart is full and your dreams are deep.

Godspeed, have a wonderful day. I hope it finds you moving stones and cutting twigs, clearing the way to that path you know is alive and leads to fullness of life.