Friday, February 22, 2019

Yup. I'm One of Those Disney People

Our first family trip to Disney World was June of 2013.

I had never planned on being a Disney family. In my mind, it was too expensive and just wasn't ever going to happen. Then I went to a conference that was held at the Contemporary Resort on Disney property.

My mom had taken me to Disney World for a day when I was around 5 years old. I had a few memories - mostly because it's the story of the time I got separated from my mom. And I remember riding Haunted Mansion.

33 years later, I found myself back at Disney World. I attended the conference and the final day, we had a night at Magic Kingdom. So many memories came flooding back! I'd already loved my time at the Contemporary. I knew that I had to bring my family to Disney World.

2013 First Family Trip

2014 Secret Husband and Wife Trip 

2016 Second Family Trip

2018 Third Family Trip

Our plan had been for our next family trip to happen in 2020. But sometimes plans change.

Teagan and I have to go to Florida for a tae kwon do tournament over Memorial Day weekend. And Miami is only 3-4 hours drive from Orlando.

You can see where this is going, right?

Yep. A last minute mother-daughter trip to Disney World!

And as I prepare for the trip and start making my spreadsheets and plans and studying restaurants and FastPass strategies... I realized that I have become one of those Disney people. I speak the Disney World vacation language. I am a full on Disneyphile.

But here is the very best part of this trip coming up...

It's been amazing, already, for my relationship with Teagan. We have something we are both excited about and looking forward to doing together. It feels like it will be a celebration of surviving junior high. She is very involved in planning and has been researching rides and snacks and transportation. My hope is that we create fantastic memories and strengthen our relationship as she heads into high school.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


This past weekend, I attended my church's annual women's retreat. It's one night and there is always a theme. This year, there was a 3 step process.

First, we talked about Hope.

Second, we asked the question - Where am I stuck?

Finally - What is my dream?

I left the retreat feeling as though it wasn't meant for me. I'm already a hopeful person so I don't need to refocus on Hope. I don't feel like I'm really stuck in my life anywhere. And in a lot of ways, I'm living my dream already. And I know that the retreat really did touch many of the women there and I felt like I made some great connections with others.

I struggled with the times of silence and contemplation because I wasn't connecting to the questions. I took time to journal. And what it boiled down to was what I now feel is a pretty important revelation.

The question was - Where am I stuck?
I reduced that to - Am I stuck?
Or am I exactly where I am supposed to be right now?

After getting home, I found myself thinking over the past year and realized that I've only recently become unstuck in some important areas - my health and my work.

In June of 2018, after a few attempts at starting to get healthy and lose weight, I suddenly kicked it into high gear. I wish I could say what made it work. I wish what worked for me would work for anyone else. Bottom line is that I knew we had a family vacation planned for October and I wanted to look good in family photos and be strong enough to have long days of fun at Disney! Thinking of a friend that I admired for her healthy lifestyle, I asked her to help me. She told me about Beachbody and happened to be at the coach summit at that exact time. She got me signed up - I started working out, changed my diet, and fast forward to Oct and a 35 lb weight loss.

I got myself unstuck. And as I face new challenges, hurdles, temptations, I'll keep working to avoiding getting stuck or get unstuck as needed.

My job has been challenging for several years now - some of it due to circumstances, some of it just the nature of the particular job. Just before my vacation, decisions were made to change up responsibilities in our department. This has completely changed my work situation so that my stress levels have seriously reduced. I enjoy my work again. I'm unstuck.

The lesson I learned is that sometimes, it's ok to just realize the good things. To stop and enjoy the good times. To breath in peace and joy and normalcy - to not be expecting bad news at every turn. To not feel like I'm failing with each bite of food.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February Goals

It's time to set my goals for February. I thought about skipping it but realized that I won't accomplish anything if I don't write down what I want to achieve. I need to write it down and tape it up and make myself accountable.

Physical Health

Workout 4-5 days per week with a focus on weight lifting (Beachbody's LIIFT 4). I will pay attention to my body and not push beyond my capabilities.

I will stick to better nutrition. Vegetables, proteins, fruit, whole grains. Avoiding junk and processed foods.

Mental Health

Reading is good for me and I need to commit to it. I need to finish Frankenstein. I want to read On The Come Up (new book by Angie Thomas) and Thunderhead (book 2 in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy by Neal Shusterman). So my goal is to finish Frankenstein and then I can read the other 2 as my reward.

I also want to do something creative. Last night, before the kids went to bed, we lay on the floor and drew. Just doodles and random things - but it was really fun. I want to be sure I do something creative this month.

The Happiness Project

In the book, author Gretchen Rubin uses February to focus on her marriage. I won't say that my marriage is perfect and all important relationships need ongoing work. But I don't have specific goals that I think need focus this month in my marriage.

However, my relationship with my kids does need some focus. Teagan is a teenager and some days we are very close and some days she pushes very hard. Zach is moving into more activities that I don't understand (video games) and I find that my attention more easily goes towards Teagan.

So my focus in February is going to be ways to keep relationships strong with my kids and with my husband.

Dates with Jeff
Mother son times with Zach
Focus on loving communication - especially with Teagan when she is "teening"

Until next time,

Monday, February 4, 2019

Figuring Out Not Failing

A couple of weeks ago, I hit my lowest weight in at least 15 years.

It freaked me out a little.

I started to struggle with my nutrition a little. But kept on with exercising.

I didn't lose weight but also didn't gain anything. And could feel muscles in my legs and stomach getting stronger.

And then I hurt myself. Exercising.

Plantar fasciitis. Which is more painful than I'd imagined and very annoying. I've had days where I feel like I literally can't walk. Then the limping and adjusting made my IT band flare up.

I attacked the issue. Researched it. Took ibuprofen and iced my foot. Did stretches and massage. Bought a special sock to sleep in because the pain can be worse in the morning due to the foot not flexing all night. I now know to stay completely off the treadmill. I even stopped doing my new exercise program because step aerobics is bad for plantar fasciitis. I was only working out once a day and less than an hour total.

And after a few days, I felt like totally giving up because I was doing "all the right things" and still had pain in my foot.

It hit me this morning. If I don't address this, I will get right back on the road to giving up and failure. Again.

It was an issue with my IT band that was the start of my downfall back when I was a runner.

It's mind bendingly frustrating to be doing healthy things and exercising and getting stronger... and that leads to being bad for me.

My response to my frustration was to eat. It was surprisingly easy to fall back into bad habits.

So here I am, just one week after this injury, and I've gained a few pounds. I'm frustrated that I still have pain in my foot and have to restrict my activity. I'm angry with myself for the bad food choices I've made in the last week.


This time, I'm not going fully off the rails.

It's a dumb thing, maybe, but I know I still have control because the idea of a Big Mac is still gross to me. That seems to be my major measuring stick. When my mind is in the right healthy place, my desire for fast food is nil.

Today, I am focusing on the things I'm still doing right.

Finding ways to exercise without focusing on cardio. I think I'm going to get back to Beachbody's LIIFT 4 - and just modify the cardio parts until my foot heals.

Even the bad eating I did wasn't the most terrible choosing I could have done. I over ate and I did eat junk - but I still was making 85% good choices.

I don't feel a desire to quit. I want to lose more weight. I want to strengthen my muscles. The desire to be healthier is still there.

Here's to getting back on track. To restructuring the plan. To making it work.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

January - Check!

January is coming to an end this week and it's time to review how I did on my January goals - and set February goals.


Going pretty well. I stuck to my January goals with at least a 95% success rate. I missed 10k steps a couple of times but those days still had 2 workouts in them. I've stuck to the no soda thing except for 1 time when Diet Pepsi was the only option when I just wasn't in the mood for water.

I'm discovering and exploring the emotional response of eating - I am an angry eater. I get frustrated or mad with work or my family and that is when I want to shove all the bad things in my face.


Still working on Frankenstein. I'm not loving it but I want to see it through. And my not loving it is actually about the story itself. When the creature is first created, there is a moment when Frankenstein has run away from his apartment - which contains the creature that has come to life and he is freaked out by. Then he comes back to the apartment with a friend he hasn't seen in a couple of years. His reaction to entering the apartment and realizing the creature is gone? He's relieved because he can invite his friend in. Not worried because he doesn't know where the monster is. Not concerned or scared.

But I will stick it out.


I've done the January Vitality focus pretty well! I intend to stick with these habits and also move forward - which means it's time to read February in the book.

Go to bed earlier - check
Exercise - check
Declutter - check (I have a stuff in my car to go to Goodwill)
Complete tasks - check but still work to do
Act energetic - check

February's focus is Marriage. The author's list doesn't feel exactly right for my own marriage so I'm spending some time thinking about what can be better - and also asking Jeff for his input.

For anyone following along, I plan to share Feb goals on Feb 1. Setting my final list over the next day or so and then preparing my journal and such for the new goals.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Accountability and 9 Days

I have to admit that making myself check in weekly on my goals is a good thing. It doesn't necessarily cross my mind in the midst of a week but it does give me a boost to start the new week well.

Our routine was off this past week due to my husband traveling and due to a winter storm keeping us mostly at home for 3 days. 

As I sit down to write this, I feel like I've been failing.

I could have used that time to really make progress on my January goals. But I didn't.

I look back now and regret that I didn't use any of that time to read. Or complete tasks.

I've slipped on my 10k steps per day goal - that one becomes more challenging when you are spending all your time at home.

But I have been working out two times per day.

I'm fully back on water as my all the time drink. Which feels good.

For this final week, I must focus on reading. I need to make time for it.

I've been going to bed earlier.
I've been exercising.
I have a bag of stuff to go to Goodwill.
I haven't used being tired or feeling lazy as an excuse to say no to things.

Complete tasks... I'm definitely behind on this one but I have 9 days left in January to make progress. I did make an eye appointment. And when it hit a snag, I worked through it and made it happen.

Side vent - my employer uses VSP for our vision insurance. For the last 2 years, I've gone to an optical department in a big store. They've always looked up my insurance, said they found me and had it taken care of. I never questioned anything. VSP made changes in July so that if a provider is out of network, the provider can't find you in VSP. Thanks to that change, that previously used optical department couldn't find my insurance. So I cancelled with them and went elsewhere. I had a very good experience and ordered new glasses and plan to order contacts once we know these are the right ones.

Side fun - I'm now moving into progressive lenses / multi-focal contacts. Yay for getting old! Because of that, I decided to order glasses that are more FUN. I did informal polling on Facebook while at my appointment - mostly to make sure people thought I could pull off the ones I knew I wanted. I'm going RED!

Funny, I had thought I was failing at my goals for January. But it seems that maybe I'm not doing so badly after all. There are areas where I need to focus and make progress - but I have time to do that. Just need to adjust and make it happen. I've got 9 days left to read and to make progress on my tasks.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Choices Become Change

It's a pretty normal thing, I think, to want to improve ourselves.

Lose weight.
Be more present to our kids.
Be a better spouse.
Move forward in a career.
Deepen our faith.

And we have lots of ways to achieve those goals. Diet, exercise, go back to school, date nights, go to church, and so on.

I've always focused on making that first choice to get started. But I'm thinking that it's all the other choices that come after that really matter. I've made the first choice many times and then I stop making better choices and I end up failing.

I was exercising yesterday - one of those healthy choices I've been making to achieve my goals to lose weight so that I am stronger and healthier - and it occurred to me that sometimes, that first choice isn't the hardest.

It can feel overwhelming to start. But so many times before, I've wanted to lose weight and be more active and I get my plan together and I start and I do great for about a week. Then I start making different choices and I'm no longer making choices that support my desired goal.

So maybe the harder choice is 6 months after starting when I don't want to get out of bed at 5:15 to get my workout done.

Maybe the harder choice will be in a year when I don't want to keep thinking about and planning vegetables in my daily nutrition because a burger and fries is easier. 

We want so badly to have results - we really want the results first. It isn't even an instant gratification thing for me. I like watching my body change, for example. It's more that I want the choosing to be easy.

But to achieve change... I have to keep making better, healthier choices. Every day. Every meal. Doesn't mean I don't treat myself now and then. But if I choose to start treating myself daily, there is a different kind of change that will happen. Doesn't mean I don't take a day off from exercise. But if I choose a day off every day, a different kind of change will happen. 

Every choice I make has a consequence or a result. That can feel overwhelming and heavy, honestly. But usually it helps me break it down into just making the next right choice. Instead of focusing on the end result that might take 6 more months of work (and thousands of choices), I'm just going to focus on the next choice I need to make.

Right now, I had a workout defeat me. It was intense and it was hard. I got through 15 of 20 minutes. I don't usually quit and I don't usually get angry. But I sure did today. So now I have the next choice to make. I need more exercise than the struggling 15 minutes. Do I do the last 5 minutes of the workout so I can say I completed it? Usually I do another 30-40 minutes of cardio - should I do 50-60 instead? Or should I throw in the towel for today and take it as a sign of needing a day off?

Related image

I'm not sure yet if I will go back and do the last 5 minutes.

I will choose a longer cardio workout.

I won't take today as a rest day.

Every choice I make makes me. So what is it that I want to be? Do these choices still get me there?

Until next time,