Monday, May 31, 2010

The Sermon: Part One

I will eventually be able to share my sermon with you. There will be a video of it on our church's website and there will also be a recording made for the radio program that airs weekly on a local Christian radio show. Jeff took some pictures for you- these are staged. Would have been a little strange to be posing for pictures while giving the sermon! But I did try and go through what I had been doing during my sermon for the sake of realism...
It went well. I will say that church has never gone faster for me. The morning flew by.

First service always has a smaller crowd and a more intimate feel. Perfect for the first delivery. I stayed behind the music stand and I think I did a good job of reading but also looking up and connecting with the congregation. I didn't always go with what was written on my paper- some of the bits that were more story telling were "off script."

I know I connected emotionally with a lot of people- I could tell by their faces as I spoke. It was interesting to watch the faces and see when people would fade out and when they really listened and when they were purposefully looking at me to cheer me on!

The topic of the sermon... well, I'm not a very "topical" person so it's hard for me to pinpoint it. I was telling my story of how I came to be involved and how my involvement has grown and changed and what being really connected in and involved at my church means to me. I focused on using Time, Talent, and Treasure as a way to make God's love actionable.

And just as I am quite gifted at being rather wordy here on the blog, I'm quite capable of talking for a long time, too. I clocked in at just over 23 minutes- which is the exact time that is ideal for editing for the radio show.

After each service, I received fantastic support and love from my church family. People I know as good friends hugged me and praised me. People that I greet each week but don't know well went out of their way to thank me for the message. Some of the things people said to me meant a lot- like hearing that I was a really good storyteller or being told that my friend was proud of me (said as she hugged me tightly). Shared an emotional hug from my father-in-law; I was touched because I knew he was proud of me.

But what I wanted most of all was a hug from my husband. And I got it and more- I know he was proud of me and that he appreciated what I had to say in my sermon.

My husband was proud of me.

I was nervous. But I was also excited and I felt very purposeful. I knew why I was there and I knew the message that God had given me to deliver. When I had been working on writing my sermon, I had all kinds of ideas that went nowhere when I sat down to write. One Sunday, during a sermon, I got the loud and clear message that I needed to share my own story. Thankfully, I carry a notebook with me and was able to start jotting down what eventually became the outline. As soon as I could get to my computer... I prayed and opened myself up and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I didn't change a lot from that first rough draft that I'd sent to my pastor to review. I didn't rehearse my sermon a lot or read it over and over and over. I went in and shared the message I was intended to share. I was honest and genuine in everything that I said and shared- just as I am here on the blog.

I enjoyed the experience and I know that I am still processing what it all means to my connection to God and to my church and to my friends and family. Oh, and Jeff did sneak in one picture during my sermon...
Psssst... those are my brand new, size 12 capris that I just bought. They have this awesome "comfort fit waistband" (Lee) that prevents them from gapping when I lean forward or squat down and the waistband doesn't flip over when I sit.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Week Ahead

Today, I preach 2 services at church. Then I will enjoy lunch with my family. I hope to take a trip to Trader Joe's to get snacks for our little getaway coming up this week. Monday, we plan to meet up with a friend and her son to enjoy a picnic and some play time at a local splash park. Tuesday, we head to Spencer County for a little getaway. We will visit Lincoln's Boyhood Home and Living Historical Farm. We will tour the Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza and Amphitheatre at Lincoln State Park. We will visit local attractions in Santa Claus, Indiana like the Santa Claus Christmas Store, the Santa Claus Post Office and the Santa Claus Museum. Then we head to Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort to check into our rental RV! Dessert will be at Santa's Candy Castle. Wednesday is the big fun day- Holiday World & Splashin' Safari! Holiday World (all the dry stuff) opens at 9:30 so we will go and enjoy Holiday World in the morning and then hit the wet rides for the afternoon! I haven't been to Holiday World and really hope that it lives up to its reputation of one of the best family theme parks in the country. Free soft drinks, free sunscreen, family owned business. Clean, well laid out, never feels overcrowded even on a busy day. We drive home Wednesday night. (Our house will not be unattended while we are gone- we have a friend who stays at our house to take care of our dog.) Thursday and Friday, I'm being a "bad mom" and sending my kids back to daycare at Miss Lisa's and Little Explorers so I can clean my house. I did a great job on the kids' rooms when Teagan was sick so I know I can really get stuff done in those 2 days! Saturday, we have Teagan's last soccer practice / game (and trophies!). I'm also hoping there will be a trip to Conner Prairie to enjoy the Indiana Festival. Isn't it funny how a week of vacation can leave you more tired by the end than when it started? Photobucket

Saturday, May 29, 2010

She Was A Mean Girl

I think I've shared enough on this blog that it's pretty clear that I am pretty passionate about raising children who are kind, compassionate- not bullies, not mean kids. Yesterday, we had a fantastic learning opportunity for Teagan. She had a bad, bad day at school. There is a new kid at school for the summer. This child also happens to be the son of a friend of mine who also happens to be the new (and popular) cook for the school. Yesterday was this boy's second day at the school. The night before, Teagan and I talked about ways that she can help him feel welcome, ways that she can be a friend. She has shown before that she can be a great helper and friend in this capacity- she's been given the "job" of helping new kids or kids who need a little help before. When I dropped her off in the morning, Lori and I talked with her again about being a helper to make this boy feel welcome, to be his friend, etc. We shared examples of things she could do to be kind and friendly. Teagan seemed very eager to be a helper, to be a friend. Apparently, she wasn't. At her first opportunity to be in a small group with this boy (her, him, one other girl)... she says (within earshot of the director of the school), "Wouldn't it be AWFUL to be new in a school and not have ANY friends?" She said this to the other girl, with her back purposefully turned to the boy. She made other similar comments and her tone was snooty, condescending. Lori called her aside and spoke to her about it- telling her that she wasn't being a friend, she wasn't helping him feel welcome. Lori was met with attitude that made it clear that this was exactly Teagan's intent. And this went on all morning. She needled him, talked down to him, basically bullied him. Then came the big explosion- they were lining up and Teagan's job was to be The Caboose (end of the line). This boy came and got in line behind her and she FLIPPED OUT. She starts screaming at him and pointing her finger in his face. Lori was right there and intervened immediately. First- major props to this boy because he really let it all slide (according to Lori). Personally, my temper would have pointed me towards retaliation. He kept his cool or was oblivious to her barbs. Second- I love our preschool because Lori and the teachers are right on my girl when they need to be. Lori let me know what was going on, partnered with me, handled it. To complicate matters- Teagan also had another big lying incident in the afternoon. Jeff was picking her up early because Grandma was in town for a visit and we wanted her to have some time with Grandma. Teagan used the early pick up and the teachers' varied lunch hours to her advantage when she told her teacher that the other teacher (who was at lunch) had said she could pick something form the Treasure Box. She was believed- and this teacher hadn't yet been filled in by Lori on how Teagan's day had gone (ironically, Lori was on the phone with me at that time, filling me in on Teagan's morning)- and she got to pick a prize from the Box. Jeff is such an awesome dad. When he found out about the Treasure box debacle (Lori told me about it about an hour after it happened), he took her back to school and had her return the Treasure to the Box and she had to apologize to her teachers. Jeff also talked with her about being mean to the new boy. The first good sign- instead of denying that anything happened (her typical MO), she immediately started crying and apologizing. They had a nice talk about being kind- especially when there are opportunities to help someone. But here's the thing... this situation was SO unlike her... but also... SO fitting of her potential... her attitude... sigh... I felt like I really had to do something to really reinforce at home that her behavior, her meanness, wasn't acceptable. After talking to Christy about all of it to get some insight and talk it all through, I decided that there were many opportunities for natural consequences and one potential for a mom & dad enforced consequence. She had to go to bed without her 2 little stuffed animals that she has recently become attached to. As I explained to her, there was someone at school today who wanted to have a friend and instead was treated meanly. Now she's going to be wanting her stuffed animal friends at a time when she really wants a friend- and she won't have them. It was a hard day. Oh- when I first came home, I went to her room where she was getting dressed so we could take Grandma out to dinner, I knelt down in front of her, I looked her in the eye and said, "I know you had a rough, terrible day today and I want you to know that I love you. I am disappointed in your choices today and we will talk about it later, but I want you to know that I love you no matter what and I'm sorry you had a bad day." And I held her. And it was good. There have been tears and hurt feelings and shock and disappointment and attempts at turning things around. I feel like Jeff and Lori and I handled things well and that this was a learning opportunity and that Teagan has learned a lesson. She might not have learned about kindness but she definitely learned that this team is watching out for her and will be on her when she screws up. I also think I demonstrated that, even when in trouble, Mommy and Daddy are a soft place to fall and I hope the message came through that we love her no matter what. Ironically, I was just having a conversation with a mom earlier this week who has a daughter who is about middle school age and has become the victim of mean girls. A "leader of the pack" found a way to exclude this girl and, seemingly, the mom was part of it, too (even though the mom had been very involved in this girl's life for many years). So the subject of mean girls and kindness was already in my heart, on my mind. It scares me to see my daughter displaying behaviors that could turn her into a Mean Girl. I have a feeling the next couple of years are going to be very defining for my little girl. How about you? How do you handle it when your child is the mean kid? How about when your child is the one who is excluded or bullied? Photobucket

Friday, May 28, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Denim

Swing by The Girl Next Door's place... and be sure to oooo and aaaaah over her fantastic new look! And feel free to go visit some other Feel Gooders, too! *** I've mentioned that my friend, Ashli, gave me some clothes that were sized smaller than what I had in my closet. At my top weight of 240, I was almost into an 18. I'm 5'8"-ish and my body distributes weight very evenly so I know that my higher poundage doesn't compute to sizes the way it would for others. Ashli has been on her own fitness journey- she's tall and pretty and athletic. She's been shrinking out of her clothes and has been kind enough to pass them along to me- dresses and skirts and pants. Last fall/winter, I wore a pair of jeans to work. The only pair I actually wore- size 18 mom jeans. And I hated jeans. But they had started letting us wear jeans on Fridays at work and I wanted to play along. One Friday, my jeans tore at the zipper and my fuschia underwear really stood out against the denim. So off I rushed to find a replacement pair. It was de-press-ing. Everything was stretch denim. Everything was low rise. I was so frustrated. I couldn't find any pair of jeans (for a reasonable price) that I could put on without looking like denim cased sausage! I was so desperate, I even tried on men's jeans. I finally found a pair of the same style of Lees that I had been wearing. Unless you are willing to shell out big bucks, jeans just aren't designed to be worn on larger bodies. Sad. I couldn't change the fashion industry so now that I've been changing my body... JEANS! Ashli passed on several pairs of jeans- size 14. A couple of pairs fit right away and were comfortable and stylish and I loved them. There was one pair... they looked so cute... but when I pulled them on, I couldn't quite get the button together... they were tight in the thighs and butt. No biggie- I knew my body just hadn't gotten there yet. They have become my favorite jeans. They are my "go to" jeans. They are the jeans I look for when I'm getting dressed. Ashli said she was actually sad to part with them because she loved them so much and I fully understand why. These are the jeans that you grab and toss in the washer right when you do a load- you can't bear for them to sit in a hamper of dirty clothes. These are the jeans that you plan outfits around. I wear them when I go out with friends. I wear them when I run errands. I wear them on weekends and to work on Fridays. I can walk in them, sit in them, dance in them- and squat down to play with my kids in them. And I won't be wearing them much longer. Photobucket

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Random Thoughts on TV This Week

There was a lot on TV this week that left me... wanting something more, something different. LOST - I was disappointed in the finale. If it had been a plain old episode, I would have enjoyed it. Had it been the season finale, I would have loved it. But as the end all, be all SERIES FINALE... Boo! I loved that character story lines. I cried with the reunions and flooding of memories and I totally "got it." But I'm feeling dissed. The writers and creators kept making promises- the past 6 seasons- that they had the storyline planned out and that all questions would be answered. I've also heard that the focus is on the characters and that those are the storylines that weer supposed to be tied up so that's why the finale went the way it did. Here's my 2 big issues: 1. If the finale was supposed to be about the characters, about the human drama, why didn't we learn more about how they ended up where they did? Why didn't we get some info about how some got off the island and how some died and where they died and what kind of lives they led before dying and ending up in this place where they regained those memories and waited for Jack? It was great to see loves reunited but there is more to a person's story than their spouse or soulmate- did anyone go on to have kids or cure cancer or write great plays or... ??? 2. They kinda sorta left out some important people. I wasn't happy about Michael and Walt not even being mentioned in the finale. I understand that Eko didn't cooperate so he wasn't included. But Michael and Walt were a huge part of the show for a lot of fans! But the main character of the entire show was completely ignored. THE ISLAND. The finale should have clued us in as to the history of the island, what it really was, how it came to be, what role it played in the world. What the heck is a smoke monster? What's the giant magnetic pull? Is that really a hole directly to hell? The point has been clearly made that the island was REAL and that everything that happened on the island REALLY HAPPENED. Then why was there no solid explanation for this very sci-fi island?? If the characteristics of the island weren't to be explained, why make it such a mystical and mystifying place? Why not just have them crash on some island in the Bermuda Triangle and make the show about basic survival? There was no place for the mystery of the island in that finale and that really left me disappointed. AMERICAN IDOL - The less talented person won. I was disappointed that my favorite contestant (I'd been rooting on Team Bowersox since her audition) didn't win. But... and I've said this with other seasons... I think it will be better for her career to NOT win American Idol. She will do the tour and fulfill that contractual obligation but then she will have more control over who she signs with and what she produces and I think that will be awesome. In fact, I have to wonder if Simon, Kara, or Randy snatched her up as soon as the credits rolled? GLEE - Glee was the saving grace of the week. It was the highlight of TV and so much more. The Lady Gaga stuff was awesome but... there was this speech... and I cried and I rejoiced and I was on the edge of my couch... I watched it and thought of all the people and kids I've known who are gay and who had parents that would have been on the "faggy" end of that conversation instead of on the "not in my house" end. I wish that any child who is coming to terms with their sexuality could have a parent like Burt- he doesn't understand Kurt being gay. He's honest about that. He's had a lot of dreams that he's had to let go of for his son (he talked about that in another episode). But he loves his son and he is working to understand, defend, be there. Burt is becoming one of my hands down favorite TV characters... How about you? Any great TV moments for you this week? Any thoughts on the big finales? Photobucket

Why Do People Hurt People?

Just a quick thought to toss out there... Why do people choose to purposefully hurt other people? I don't mean all the underlying reasons about their childhood or their self esteem or whatever. I mean... when someone makes a choice and they know that someone is going to get hurt in the process... why don't they work to make it easier, better? Even worse- why do they teach their kids do be mean? Sometimes I am really just baffled by the choices people make and the way they justify it to themselves. Photobucket

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming Soon, To A Church Near You!

A couple of months ago, my pastor sent me an e-mail and made a request that knocked my socks off. I read it and then sat and stared at the e-mail for an hour with my jaw on the ground. He was asking me to give a sermon at church. From time to time, pastors need a vacation. Whether it be to attend a seminar or go on vacation… time away from the church is a good thing. I certainly need time away from my job and my job isn’t anywhere near as demanding as his! I’ve been part of my church for about 6 years. In that time, when Pastor Rusty is away, we have a substitute pastor. Someone from another church or someone who travels from church to church to fill in as needed. Always Pastor So-and-so. Growing up, I have memories of my very serious and staid congregation and church service each week… and when our pastor was away, there were no subs. One of the church Elders would very somberly bring a tape recorder to the pulpit and press play and then adjust the microphone so that a previously recorded sermon from our pastor could be heard. Over the past few months, there have been a couple of people in our congregation that have given the sermon. And I honestly thought nothing of it. Wilbur is our Lay Leader so it made sense to me that he would stand in front of the church and speak. Jeremy first did a sermon with Pastor Rusty and has since given sermons to fill in for Rusty- so that made sense, too. But… me? Give a sermon? Deliver the weekly message to the congregation? Me? Really? While I was able to accept it as common practice for those who had grown up in the United Methodist faith… I hadn’t, so this was really weird for me. While I was able to embrace members of my church family getting up and doing exactly what I was being asked to do… something about it wasn’t… instantly right for me. I hesitated. I prayed and thought and wondered and turned to friends whose faith and spirituality I really admire. And then I said a scary, scary thing. Yes. I am not a theologian. I don’t have a bunch of memorized Bible verses tucked away that I can spout off for any occasion. I don’t know the history of Jesus’ time or the culture of that era. I haven’t done studies on the geography of Bethlehem. I haven’t translated any Bible text or sought out the lost chapters of the Bible. I’m just a woman who really loves God. Was that going to be enough? Yes. I thought about what my sermon topic should be for a couple of weeks. I had some ideas but they either didn’t really come together or Pastor Rusty would burst my bubble by preaching on that very topic that Sunday. Seriously- I had a great idea on how the church is similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and then Pastor Rusty gave a sermon that was all about farming and such and I just… well. Anyway. That wasn’t the message for me to give, apparently. I prayed and thought. And finally figured something out. I’m not a preacher. I write. I blog. I share my thoughts and experiences through words and photographs. So I needed to stick with what I knew and just sit down and write. So I did. I wrote my sermon from the heart and sent it off to Pastor Rusty to review and provide insight. I met with him… nervous that he would tell me that he had made a huge mistake and that he was just going to go back and ask Wilbur or Jeremy to fill in after all. Instead, he said something far more frightening… that he loved it. That it was real and honest and very good. He had some pointers to kind of fill in some gaps. And I’ve gone back and filled in a few more that I found. But my sermon is written. I’m prepared for the Children’s Sermon that day, too. I’ll also be leading the Offertory and Prayer and giving the closing Benediction. All were options that I didn’t have to do- but I feel like one of Pastor Rusty’s greatest gifts is how he ties the message together in all aspects of worship. This Sunday, I’m going to preach. I’m going to share some of my story and share a message. I’m nervous. I’m confident. I’m eager. I’m scared. I’m not sure I’m entirely ready and I don’t think I can be entirely ready until it’s all over. Just one request… pray for me, ok? Photobucket

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My 5K

Monday is running day. I typically run 3 days a week- Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. On weekday runs, Christy and I head to the gym at lunch time, change clothes, and drive to a neighborhood close by to run. We then head back to the gym, shower, and go back to work. On Saturdays, I run in my neighborhood, usually first thing in the morning. This week, humidity has hit the Indianapolis area. The temps have been approaching 90 and the humidity has been thick. Saturday, I went out and got in a great run with more distance than I had anticipated. Sunday, the heat wave hit. Monday, I knew there was no way I was going to get in an outdoor run in the middle of the day. It was too humid to try and run and sweat and breath and pace. So I opted to just go back to running on the treadmill. It’s funny… when I started the Couch to 5K program, I was not a runner at all. Running those 60 second intervals was a huge accomplishment for me. I ran for my first 3 weeks on the treadmill. My first attempt at running outside was a flop. I got in a good workout but the intervals that I had been kicking butt on at the gym were now giving me a good beating. Running outdoors sucked. Big time. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t pace myself, I felt like I really had no clue what I was doing. Slowly but surely, as I have increased those running intervals, I have been running outdoors more and more and more. I am now to a point that running on a treadmill… sucks. When I run outside, I automatically control my pace based on what my body feels it can do- slow down when things get tough, speed up when feeling strong or just to get to the next driveway. Changing scenery helps, too. But mostly, it’s the pace that I love about being outside. Also, wherever I run to, I have to get back to my starting point. On a treadmill, I can slow down to a walk or just hit stop way too easily. So, yesterday, Monday run, high humidity, strong sun. Not going to even try to run outdoors in it. I get on the treadmill and do my 5 minute walk to warm up. I kick up the speed on the treadmill and start my jog. I’m about 10 minutes in when I realize that… the slow down button is calling me… the stop button is beckoning. Ack! I push for a bit longer and then cave. I slow down to a brisk walk and decide to recover for 3 minutes before starting back to that jog pace. I get 30 minutes into the workout and am somewhere around 2 miles. I don’t remember exactly. I’ve been running a lot and walking a little. And I decide to push and see if I can get to 5K (3.1 miles) with a lot more running and a little more walking. And I did. 48 minutes. 5K. That time and distance included that 5 minute warm up walk and does not include a cool down walk at the end. I did 5K in 48 minutes. I now have a baseline. My first official race is June 26. It’s a Saturday morning, it’s in my neighborhood where I already run at a time when I already run. I now have less than 5 weeks, just over 1 month, to push myself to better that time. My goal all along has been to be capable of running (jogging) 5K. Now, my goal, my challenge, is to run it at a pace that will beat that 48 minute time. Photobucket

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Fragments

There is a lot going on these days! Instead of a single topic, I just need to get myself a little organized by writing out stuff I've got going on these days. 1. Thursday, Teagan broke out with a raging ear infection. Our doctor was out of the office Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening, Teagan was in tears over the pain so I opted to take her to an urgent care office. In the course of 2 hours, we saw the doctor, went to Target, and got a 10 day supply of pink medicine (amoxicillin). She was doing much better by Friday- thanks to getting that dose in right away. 2. I stayed home on Friday and spent my time rearranging the kids' rooms. They now each have a lot more playspace and special things in their rooms to make them "theirs." Teagan has a reading area and an art spot. Zach has the basketball hoop in his room now. The kids have spent a lot of time playing in each other's rooms! 3. This past Saturday, I went a little further in my running journey. I went out very early in the morning and did a little extra warm up walking due to some soreness in my back. I started my run and just kept going until I knew I had to quit. I ran 2.3 miles! I'm very excited because I am fully confident that I will be running 3 miles any day now and can then focus on improving my pace before my first official 5K at the end of June! 4. Saturday was also Teagan's graduation from pre-K. Personally, the idea of pre-K graduation is a little silly. But I loved seeing all the kids together, all the teachers and aides together. I loved the little song and poem they did. I loved their little caps and pretty dresses. I loved the nice things that the school's owner/director had to say and the nice things the teachers had to say. Little Explorers is a special place and I'm so glad we found it. 5. I've got a lot of final touches for a very special project this week. I'm going to give it a special blog post later in the week... but... I am going to be giving the sermon at my church this Sunday. 6. It was very warm here yesterday- we got the swimsuits out, plugged in the sprinkler and had some water fun! Zach isn't a huge fan of the water but did enjoy filling buckets and watering the garden. Teagan, on the other hand, took great delight in running through the sprinkler, around the sprinkler. 7. Zach loves chocolate. And he sure looks adorable after enjoying a chocolate cupcake from The Blue Spatula! Photobucket

Saturday, May 22, 2010


One of my favorite things to make these days is soup. I've tried once or twice in the past but it didn't turn out so great. But I've started to make soup like I actually know what I'm doing and the results are pretty tasty!! I did a repeat but added to version I made before- Pot Roast Soup. This is Teagan's favorite soup. We ate out for dinner tonight and I told Teagan I had made this soup and she asked if she could have it for dessert! This time, since I didn't actually have a leftover pot roast, I bought some on sale stew meat. I browned up the meat. I used 12 cups of water, 12ish ts of beef base, 1ish ts of onion soup base. I added in several pinches of that special smoked salt I bought recently at a Farmer's Market. I added a healthy dash of "best"ershire sauce. Then cut up potato and fresh green beans. Also added in some chopped onion. I had some for lunch yesterday- it was very good! Next time I heat some up, I'm going to toss in a bunch of baby spinach. Soup is just a super easy way of using up produce. It's a great way of getting in several servings of veggies at once. It's comforting and tasty no matter what time of year. In fact, I'm thinking I might add some oyster mushrooms to my soup when I heat it up. Any thoughts on that? Do you have a favorite soup? So far, I'm just making them up as I go. Either a beef or chicken base and then... whatever veggies suit my mood! Photobucket

Friday, May 21, 2010

Funky, Funny, Feel Good Friday Fragments!

Mommy's Idea

Click the buttons above to go visit our lovely hosts- Mrs444 and The Girl Next Door. Here's my fragmented list of things that I felt good about this week!


I posted over at FitCity Indy yesterday. As often as I can, I've been attending every other week chats on Twitter that FitCity hosts. There is a different guest each chat who is there to answer questions about food, fitness, healthy lifestyle. This week, I posted about how those chats are magic- at least for me. Hop over and I hope you will leave a comment and maybe include a link to your favorite online motivation for staying focused on fitness! Click the button below.


A week ago, I went out with a group of theatre friends. Actually, I only ever worked with 3 of the women in the group. 4 of the women I have met through these nights out (I get invited because I'm still friends with Christy). We went to a local hibachi place and had a blast. I enjoyed 2 small glasses of wine and those small glasses of wine certainly helped me find great humor in the turtle tank when I ventured off to find the bathroom:


I greatly enjoyed this week's Farm Fresh Delivery again! This week, instead of just accepting what was sent, I went online and customized my delivery bin. I got strawberries (2 containers), blueberries (1 small container), an artichoke, an avocado, 2 kiwi, a bunch of radishes, a bunch of carrots, a pound of peas (in shell), a pound of green beans, a lemon, oyster mushrooms, baby spinach. My kids have created a new favorite snack- hollow out a strawberry and fill it out 3-4 blueberries. Never would have been possible with regular strawberries but the ones we got were HUGE!


I had a very frustrating drive home on Wednesday. It had already been a long day and I was exhuasted and I had to go do the mom-school-Teagan-Ball thing and all I wanted to do was go home and put on my red athletic pants (from Ashli) and zonk out. So that kind of lets you know my mood. Our route home is usually mostly highway. Yesterday, we cam upon major traffic so Christy and I decided we'd take our back roads route. It usually serves us well. Not this time. Traffic, traffic everywhere. Red lights at every turn. I finally got on the main road that goes from one side of town to the other (116th Street). The stretch I would drive would be about 5-6 miles. Not long after turning onto this main road, and immediately hitting a major back up, a woman passes by on her bicycle. Ha ha ha, right? Traffic starts to move and we pass her.

Traffic backs up again and she passes us. Hm.

We finally get to a major cross road and have caught up to each other. Traffic looks bad so I opt to head south and then cross over and come back up north. Traffic was bad that way, too. We finally make it back up north and are about to the cross street near home and what do I see?

Yep. That's her. Yep.


Happy Friday!! Any big, fun plans for the weekend??

Teagan has pre-k graduation on Saturday morning (*sniff, sniff*).

2 more local Farmer's Markets open this weekend (not sure I will get to them but we'll see).

Sunday, the church choir kids are going to lead the congregation in a worship song for the first time!

I also have some planting left to finish- herbs, peony, sneezeweed.


Focusing on healthy living, kinky turtle, giant strawberries, efficient bicyclers, and weekend plans... What do YOU feel good about this week? Photobucket

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FitCity: Twitter Chats Are Magic!

Back in February, I became a FitCity Mom Blogger.  I attended my first Twitter Chat in February, as well.  The chat was with Matt Larson from the Ransburg YMCA.  His topic was beating workout burnout (which often hits in the wintertime).  My introduction on FitCity was on Feb 4.  That Twitter chat was on Feb 9. 

blogged about that chat.  It was a true lightbulb moment.  Matt said that it is recommended that you get 60 minutes of exercise a day.  I had a mild panic attack at my keyboard- I struggled to give up my lunch hour to get in 30 minutes of exercise, where would I possibly ever find an HOUR to give up?!  Matt clarified that it doesn’t have to be 60 minutes all at one time.  You can break it up into 10-15 minute times during the day.  Major ah-ha moment! 

2 weeks later, I participated in the next FitCity chat with Annessa Chumbley as the guest.  Annessa is from Flourish! and was chatting about navigating the grocery store.  I didn’t learn anything brand new but things I already knew were reinforced.  For example, shop the outside loop of the grocery store.  That’s where you find produce and meat and dairy and eggs and you skip the boxed, packaged, processed, factory made stuff. 

After that first chat, I was inspired to become more active and finds ways to incorporate more exercise into my day to day activities.  I work a desk job.  I often sit on conference calls.  Now, when I’m locked in my office and listening to a call, I mute the phone so they can’t hear me and I get up and march in place or do lunges and squats at my desk for 10-15 minutes.  In the afternoon, I will take 10 minutes to walk up and down a long hallway.  In the evening, I will take the family out for a walk after dinner.  In the evening, my 5 year old daughter and I will play Just Dance on the Wii

After that second chat, I started making changes to how I thought about food.  That chat was on February 23.  On March 1, I officially started a campaign to become a Healthier Me.  I decided to try and become the one thing I really never thought I would be- a runner.  I started to look at food as fuel that would either enhance or hurt my running performance.  I started to focus on fruits and vegetables- items found on the outer loop of the grocery store.

I did, unfortunately, miss a couple of chats.  But I got back on track with Twitter chatting on April 20 with guest April Adams.  She’s a dietician and author of the book, “Back to Basics.”  I was almost 2 months into my commitment to becoming a runner, living a healthier lifestyle.  I was starting to struggle a little with my choices in regards to food.  I was in a bit of a rut.  This chat was a huge boost to my confidence because it reinforced that I am knowledgable and I am making great choices.  I was revved up again and eager to stock up on fruits and veggies. 

Last week, our Twitter chat guest was Emily Collins from On Track Fitness.  Emily’s topic was overcoming workout hurdles, mental blocks.  I was eager for the chat.  I’d stalled out with my running program.  I’m following the Couch to 5K interval training program.  I had hit a hurdle on Week 4 with that first 5 minute run.  So I stayed on Week 4 for about 2 weeks until I conquered it.  By the end of Week 5, there is a 20 minute run and I was stumped yet again.  I couldn’t break that 20 minutes.  I could go 13-14 minutes.  I got advice on breathing, stride, mental tips… nothing helped.  For weeks, the best I could do was run a mile and then my body would just quit.  I was really hopeful that the Twitter chat would yield the same “magic” results for me- it would take my hurdle and help me find a way over it. 

It did.

That chat was on Tuesday and the very next day, I ran for 29 minutes. 

I’ve decided that the Twitter chats must be magic.  The first one got me fired up to find ways to fit more purposeful activity into my day.  The second one helped me get focused on changing my food choices.  The fourth one that I attended helped me feel confident in thos changed food choices.  And the last one clicked something into my runner’s brain to get past that mental running hurdle.

Ok, ok, I know the chats aren’t really magic.  Something I have learned over the past 3 months is that the best way to stay focused on being healthy is to surround myself with message about health.  Attending the FitCity Twitter chats is one way to keep healthy living right in front of me.  Being a fan of FitCity on Facebook is another way that I keep my active lifestyle fresh.  I’m on Facebook frequently and have found that seeing updates in my News Feed from and the Couch to 5K Running Program and Flourish! also keep healthy choices fresh in my mind.  I read the blogs of people who have changed their lives by changing how they choose to eat and be active- like The Anti-Jared - or that inspire others to get and be healthy like On Track Fitness

If I have fast foods ads in my face all day, that’s where my mind will stay focused.  If I stay passive and let the ads online and on TV and on billboards tell me what to eat and how to live, I’d spend most of my time eating burgers, fries and milkshakes or taking in a more-than-you-should-ever-eat buffet while heading to the casino to sit at a slot machine before going to sit in the hot tub and then sit and watch a movie and then stuff my face with this brand of ice cream only found at this store and if you don’t like how you look you can just have plastic surgery and…

Or I can purposfully surround myself with positive messages about healthy eating and active living.  I don’t anticipate seeing billboards along 465 for carrots or kiwi or running shoes.  I doubt I’ll watch Glee and see ads for broccoli or the health benefits of natural fiber found in fruits and vegetables.  I can’t imagine turning on the radio and hearing an ad that encourages me to put the car in park and walk the rest of the way home.  But I can choose to read those healthy focused blogs, to see tips and articles from health focused groups on Facebook and Twitter… to keep myself surrounded with postive, healthy messages.

If you are looking for a place to get started to build your own online healthy community, I’d really encourage you to sign up for the FitCity e-newsletter, to fan the FitCity Facebook group (look for fun stuff coming there soon), to participate in the FitCity Twitter chats (the next one is Tuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. with returning gues Annessa Chumbley- just search/follow #indyfitchat).  Comment on the blog posts here and get connected in to this health focused community!

Do you have favorite ways to keep healthy choices in front of you?  Any favorite health focused blogs or websites or groups?  Have you participated in a FitCity Twitter chat and learned something new or had a positive impact from it?

Unfamiliar with using Twitter to chat?  Let me know in the comments and I will find a way to make the information easy to follow so you can participate, too!


When Moms Go Out...

A few weeks ago, Teagan's preschool hosted a "Dad's Night." There was a baseball theme and they had hot dogs and popcorn and played games and had a tournament (which the kids, of course, won). Last night, it was "Mom's Night." The school hosted a "Bruisers and Ballerinas Ball." Semi formal attire... so I wore the dress and heels in the pic I posted yesterday. And we borrowed a dress for Teagan from my friend, Amy. Love this pic- this is Teagan's friend, Ethan. I loved his little suit and tie!! Remember how I went and helped my friend, Satch (she's the school's cook and did all the yummy treats for the Ball)? And that one of the pretzel rods that I dipped and sprinkled had already started to set so the sprinkles didn't stick? Satch was kind enough to save that special pretzel rod just for me!! We did some dancing and singing and played with balloons and hokey-pokey-ed. And I started to notice the lovely fashions around me. Everyone had taken some special care in appearance for the evening. I was especially taken by the variety of shoes that the moms were wearing!! I gotta say... heels are NOT my thing. For years, I've been a flats girl. My heart (and feet) were thrilled a few years ago when ballet flats made a comeback. I recently bought my first pair of heels in quite some time. I wore them all day today. And all evening. And I will NOT be doing that again anytime soon! My left knee hurts, my feet are tired... how do women do it?? It was a very nice evening. Most of all, I gotta give major props to Satch for the hours of work she put in to making all of those treats. She made little banana pudding cups, chocolate mousse cups, the dipped pretzels, and a variety of cookies. She works at the school in the morning until after lunchtime. Then she goes home and bakes. So she spent many, many hours doing the work for this shindig- I only helped out for 2 of those hours. And her food is amazing. So, so, so good. If you are in the Indy area and need some amazing sweet treats for a get together... I highly recommend my friend, Satch!! You can reach her through her Facebook page- The Blue Spatula. Photobucket

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fear of Success

This post is dedicated to my friend, Ashli. Ashli is my friend from church. She is the one who got me hooked in to Music Team. She is the one handing me down lovely pants and dresses. See, she is also working on losing a few pounds and shrinking in size and getting more fit.

This week, she posted on Facebook about fear of failure... or maybe even fear of success. It's been sticking in my mind ever since. She said that she thinks she has a fear of success and that leads to self-sabotage as she gets closer to her goal.

I totally understand. I've certainly done that before. And I've certainly thought about it over the last month or so.

I can't possibly understand what goes on in Ashli's head. But I can share my own experience from my own perspective.

Is it fear of success or is it fear of the unknown?

Personally, I enjoy success. I like to achieve goals and I like how I feel when I accomplish something.

In my moments of weakness, when I am struggling inside my head and fighting the urges...

Here's what it sounds like, my self talk. "This is such a pain in the rear. I'm so tired of cutting up veggies, I don't have time to plan my dinner, I'm bored with grapefruit and spinach. It would just be easier to get a Big Mac. I deserve a Big Mac! I have been so good for so long and it would totally be ok to just go crazy for a day."

Then the fear talk starts up. "If I have a Big Mac... and fries... and soda... what if that is the end of the success I've had so far? What if I'm not really as in control as I think I am? What if a Big Mac leads to chimichangas and tacos and whoppers and deep fried everything?"

Then I remind myself... that this is an ongoing journey. I will slip and even fall and I will always have the option to make a different choice the next time.

So I think it isn't so much, for me, that I fear success. I think it's more a discomfort with the unknown.

For the past decade, my life has been all about fast food, sweet treats, and achieving a type of pleasure through food. Knowing that I could always grab a Big Mac or drive through for a milk shake or pick up breakfast at Chick Fil A. That was my normal, my comfort level.

And here I am, working really, really, really hard to create a new definition of normal.

And that can be overwhelming and, honestly, scary.

I think back to when Jeff and I brought Teagan home from the hospital... and we were suddenly overwhelmed and scared. But there was no out. I couldn't quit being a mom. Yes, I could take a break from time to time and it was good for me to take a break from time to time. But being a mom was and is always top priority. Even when I take a break.

I also think about parenting and how I parent... Do I focus on the long term goal? Am I set on what the outcome of my parenting choices will be? Am I determined that I will reach a certain goal of what kind of adults my kids will become?

No, I'm not. In all honesty, I usually focus on just getting through the day.

It's not that I'm going blind in my parenting role. I know what kind of mom I want to be and I have philosophies about parenting my children that are important to me. I study and read and seek to improve and work with my husband on the hard choices and the easy choices.

And I guess it's kind of scary to think about my relationship with food and exercise to be that way, too.

As I get close to a goal or a breakthrough... it gets scary to think about this change, this new way of living, about having this be my new long term. Kind of like the adjustment I made to becoming a mother.


I do think that it's also possible that how we treat ourselves and how we think of ourselves and how we talk to ourselves plays a big role in how we approach our bodies and our goals and our desires. In my past, even though I wasn't overweight at the time, I didn't treat my body with love and respect because I didn't feel I deserved it. I felt shame, anger, resentment towards my body. So I punished myself in my own way- messing around with a lot of other guys. Not sleeping around, just to be clear.

I've known people who have expressed that they fail at weight loss or getting fit because they get to that point where they are really seeing the changes and feeling better and stronger... and they don't feel like they "deserve" to feel so positively about themselves.


I also think there is something to be said for living life waiting for what's next versus appreciating what's already here. What if we applied that to being healthy?

I believe in living in this moment because this moment is what I have. When I am feeling overwhelmed, the best thing I can do is focus on this exact second, this exact minute, this one task in front of me. I have to focus and channel my mind, my energy so that I can block out all the what ifs and have-to-do's.

Perhaps the same is true with getting healthy. If all I focus on is where I want to be, then I'm not taking time to focus on what I have right now. If all I want is to fit into a size 8, then I won't be content with the size 14 I've already dropped down to from an 18. I'm dismissing the success I've already had, I'm judging it to be "not enough."

That doesn't mean we don't have goals and that we don't want to accomplish and push and try harder. But maybe we could all benefit from taking more time to sit still with what we have now.

When I look in the mirror, am I thinking about what the shape of my legs will be in 3 months? Or am I admiring the new shape and muscle tone that wasn't there 3 months ago?

I think it's pretty common in our culture to always be rushing and looking forward and finding what's next. And I think that can be damaging because then we miss out on what's already around us.


So those are my scattered and rambling thoughts on the fear of failure, the fear of success, the potential for self sabotage.

I need to remember that this is a lifetime, lifestyle change and that it will take time to adjust and get used to it. And that, again, like parenting, the changes will keep coming. There isn't a final destination where everything is just done. Life will continue to change around me and I have to be able to adjust with it. I have to remember to treat myself kindly, with love and respect and admiration. And I have to remember to focus on what I've accomplished so far, what I have right now, and not get bogged down with where I haven't gotten to yet.


No Time!

Whew!! It's a busy couple of days and I didn't have time to write anything last night and haven't had time so far this morning and won't be at my computer all afternoon! Last night, after bath time and bedtime, I went to help a friend with some sugary treats she's making for the Mother's Night event that Teagan's school is hosting this evening. I chopped chocolate candy coating and dipped pretzel rods and sprinkled the dipped pretzel rods. I only messed up twice- I spilled melted chocolate (forgive me, Father, for I have sinned) and I didn't get sprinkles on one pretzel before the chocolate began to set.
Today, I'm wearing a DRESS of all things. An even bigger deal... is that I'm wearing heels! I tower over everyone at work today! But the event tonight is a Ball and I need to be dressed up. Teagan will be wearing a borrowed gown- it's gorgeous and I love the look on her face when she tries it on.
I shared a pic of me in my dress on Facebook today as part of Inspiration Wednesday.
I will get back to "real" posting tomorrow!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


First, I would like to take a moment to share a safety tip. This is Zach. He is 2 years old (31 months, actually). He likes to be a big boy. He likes to drink from cups and bottles the same way his big sister does, the same way his parents do. But you have to be careful. Because this adorableness... Can lead to this... Don't let the cute face distract you. Seriously- don't look in those big brown eyes! But DO look at that upper lip. He created such a strong suction on his upper lip that he actually gave himself a hickey!! But the real reason we are there is to play soccer! Teagan is participating in soccer through the local YMCA. There is a different lesson each week- on team work or a healthy diet or respect. The first 30 minutes are practice and drills. The second 30 minutes are a game- which is crazy hilarious to watch! All the kids have these ginormous jerseys that they wear. They work on passing and dribbling and kicking and running and shooting. They focus on not using their hands. They practice the overhand throw from the sidelines. They talk about in bounds and out of bounds. Some of the kids really pay attention. Some of the kids cry. Some of the kids stand around. Some of the kids do... watever it is that she's doing... Generally, she does pay attention. She is learning about endurance and team work. We, as parents, are learning a lot about encouragement and where the line is to push and where the line is to let her stop. Teagan really gets in there and gets aggressive with the ball. She isn't quite to a point that she takes the ball and runs it down the field. But she is a great team player and is often available to assist the player who does have control of the ball. She is focused on the other yellow players. She wants to make a goal but seems to really understand that each goal accomplished is a team effort. She can take a fall. She can make smart moves. She has a mom and dad and little brother cheerings from the sidelines. But most of all... the thing she really loves about soccer... and I can tell that this is what she loves best because she's got her signature focus face on (the tongue sticking out)... ... is when she RUNS! And, of course, the celebrating when she gets to where she's going. Soccer is held each week at a small local church. This is a fantastic outreach for them and they take advantage of it well. If I didn't have a church home, I would be interested in visiting this church because the people are so friendly. The church provides a nice port-a-potty (it really is nice- the pot itself has this little door for the bottom of the toilet so it isn't just a hole leading down to worst uckiness, the bowl gets cleaned with this blue water scented stuff, and there is even a sink and soap and paper towels!). The church also sells concessions- hot dogs, nachos, chips, fruit snacks, drinks, etc. We typically go to McAlister's Deli for lunch but... Teagan has asked to eat lunch at soccer next time. Hot dogs, bottled flavored water, and being part of this little piece of a community. Now if only there was an easy way to instantly get the stink off my kid before she gets in the van... Photobucket