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,