Monday, November 7, 2011

Carving Out Gratitude

I am finding it difficult to write lately. Carving out pre-dawn moments to find my slice of peace is proving to be harder than I thought. So this morning I have chosen to spend this slice of peace on expressing gratitude.

I am thankful

For a grandmother's love for her grandchildren. My mother takes care of my children while I go to work and still holds down a full-time job. I marvel at her ability to take care of others, find joy in it and still carve out time for herself.

For a faraway friend's reminder to stay relational even if it is the last thing I desire. I am thankful for the time she took to put encouragement, conviction and love to words all within the same stroke.

For a season that inspires so much hope that I can't help but roll around in it!

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! That is what makes me most grateful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Come Unity

Salty waves crashing against stone walls holding up the hallelujahs
Water poured over my head linking me for life to a world before me
Warm sweet milk served by nuns after mass
Communion taken before commitment
Tradition, community, mystery mixed with sacrifice, repentance, and forgiveness

There is little I know about my great-grandmother Lise-Rose.  She dotted on my mother and committed her life to service in our little village church.  Even though I never met her I have felt a strong connection to her.  Not only because she was so gracious and loving towards my own mother but because I identify with her need and love of serving.  Serving is a way for me to connect my faith to my community.  It is has always been about relationship.  It is where my faith, family and community meet and grow.   The stone walls I walk around today still hold up the hallelujahs and the waves are also found close by.  Yet, in the midst of this there is hurt that is leaking out through the seams of misunderstanding and distrust.

Writing about hurts in your church is like writing about hurt from your mother.  You don't want to expose unpleasantness.  You want to protect what has shown you love and protection.  Since joining our church almost 3 years ago our family has found a place to ride out the storms and a place to grow our faith.  Even more I have found a place to serve with the gifts God has given me.  Recently I have seen some things that have challenged my faith in God's plan.  I question whether or not what I feel and see is representative of his guidance or the failings of people.  I struggle between the need to please others by turning a blind eye or speaking up when something isn't quite right.  Each has a consequence that doesn't sit well with me.  I watch as others quietly disapprove and disappear.  It seems to me that the one place the truth should be embraced is sometimes the hardest place to speak it.

I am forced to remember that though I long to please others I am not here to do this.  God has called me to live openly so that I can inspire others to serve him.

How do you grow your faith when the walls come tumbling?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Extreme Couponing Envy

Extreme couponing = extreme envy.  When I watch this show I am slightly contemplating getting a binder and sitting at a table with my 4 children cutting through a sea coupons.  It's a great way to develop fine motor skills by the way.  Images of grocery trips lined with buggy after buggy of toilet paper and barbecue sauce dance around in my head.  Then reality (my 17 month old) smacks me in the head. There is no way I would have that much time to devote to something so extreme, but maybe I am saying this because I have never gotten thousands of dollars worth of food for FREE.

I love these women's commitment to finding free ways to feed their family.  I love the idea of making lists, creating a binder with sections, pockets, zippers, secret codes etc...  Okay the secret code thing was made up.  And- the stock piles.  (That's where the envy begins for me.)  I would love to go into a storage room with neatly lined shelves of toilet paper with labels facing gloriously at me.  Who wouldn't?  On some level it reminds me of people who have bunkers in the event of war or something.  That thought doesn't hang around long though.

To be honest, I have my own extreme shopping addiction.  Cereal boxes.  Since staying at Libby's house for almost a month this summer I started craving a shelf of neatly lined cereal boxes.  Don't ask me why but I just like the look of it.  So now I can't stop buying cereal when it is on sale.  By the way we only eat cold cereal once a week.  So these babies are sticking around for a long time.

I am also obsessed with price matching.  I have utilized charts, iPhone apps and monthly menu planners in an effort to capitalize on savings.  It is addictive.  The more you save the more you want to save. This new world is shocking to me because I was the one who would spend the same amount on a pair of shoes as I did on my rent.  Shocking I know.  But they were really nice shoes.

Do you have extreme couponing envy?  (Search deep me it's there.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Food Frenzy

Lately I have been watching a lot of documentaries about food.  It has become a mini obsession really.  Because food is something so close to my heart I make it my business to find out everything I can about it.  I get excited when I discover that carrots come in psychedelic colours and patterns.  I also love how food connects us to complete strangers.  Just last week I spoke to a British grandma about roasting parsnips and cooking with beet root.  On the surface this woman and I seem to have nothing in common.  Yet in a supermarket we appeared like besties.  We parted with our traded secrets tucked neatly in our mental cooking folders.

This past year we ordered half a cow.  It was the most cost effective way to enjoy organic beef.  Every time I cooked some of this meat I feel proud that I took one small step to ensuring that some of our food is just food.  I am also angry that we have to pay so much for food the way it was meant to be consumed.  How is it cheaper to eat food that has been genetically altered or soaked with preservatives?

What are you in a food frenzy about?

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Write

I try to write.  The words come but the fear follows.  Worries about judgement settle near by.  And the words find their escape.  I am trying to be brave in this new world of mine.  I know it will be good - eventually.  But sometimes change can hurt.

There are moments when the bad is so bad I hurt all over.  Some days my beaten body carries me to my warm bed and I nestle beside my baby girl.  I look at her sweet lips pressed delicately together.  I watch her feather-like curls swirl this way and that around her round lovely face.  Kisses flow and our embrace tightens.  She is my Ella-Shilloh.

The past year and a half she has endured this treacherous life with me inside and out.  While I carried her my life endured pain that I never thought I could endure.  The horrid details are imprinted in a place I seldom visit anymore.  When she was born more pain followed and still kept following.  I tried to find peace in happiness.  Sometimes it was their waiting, other times they both escaped like runaway brides.

Lately I feel like my life is a race against time, money, and falling in over my head.  You get it. You've been there.  Maybe.  In the last three months I have gone through homelessness (for a short time), separation, and working outside of my home for the first time in a while.  My life became foreign to me.  My plans floated beside me out of the reach of my future.  The life of baking loaf after loaf of cinnamon bread, homeschooling, drop-ins, coffee breaks with the girls and diy-anything slipped by.

In three weeks I had changed my whole life and people couldn't recognize me anymore.  The honest truth is the hardest part about this brave new world of mine is not the separation, or the homelessness, or the work - it is the part where I have to find a new dream.

Here's the fear again.  Yet, I write.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Making It

I Just finished watching The Day After Tomorrow.  I don't know why I do this to myself.  Movies like that make me want to run and huddle in a room with my family.  They fill me with fear and paralyze any dreams of spontaneous living.  I am not kidding.  This is why I stay away from legal dramas, sci fi flicks, horror, and anything with more suspense than Green Eggs and Ham.  I know that watching this movie will make me feel like the end of the world is at my door step.  Yet I still sit paralyzed by the promise made from father to son,

"I will come for you, do you understand me? I will come for you. "  

I have seen this movie before and it doesn't make sense that I would put myself through this torment again. Then it happens.  The end.

 "Who is that?" 
  "My father. You made it." 
 "Of course I did. "
I grab my face and press the tears in.  The reminder that there was someone in my life that loved me like that.  Don't get me wrong I had a mother who would do anything for me and I am eternally grateful for.  Yet, there has always been a missing piece.  That father - making it.  Even through death.

Next movie: Pride & prejudice (Yes the 5 hour one.)  What cinematic torment do you endure?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Decide on Five

A list of decisions I have made:

1. Put Cohen back in school.  This decision scares me to bits.  I imagine children giving him tips on how to drive me crazy, torment his siblings even more than he already does, and develop unhealthy habits like drinking milk through his nose!  School is a scary place.  I should know I lived taught there for a few years.  I know...I know...he will be fine.

I just love this picture of my first and last. Sweet!

2.  Embrace my domestic life.  When my husband's cousin read that I wrote for Blissfully Domestic she laughed and made fun-just a little.  I felt a tinge of hurt but dismissed the thoughts that carpooled along.  I tried to explain that I am not living in la la land.  I know that parts of my life scare most people - even me.  But I do find bliss throughout my life in little pockets on my apron, in cheeks full of home cooking, and size 3 overalls.  I love being at home.  I wish I could conjure up a list of reasons right now.  But it is more about the things I can't describe or take pictures of.  The pauses.  The luxury of time.  The learning woven in and out.  It is in pyjamas at noon and time to make filet-au-poivre just because.  It is making rainbows throughout the day, and Costco runs with the Besties.  Okay I said I wasn't going to make a list but I did.  What can I say- I made a decision.

The epitome of domestic bliss!

3.  Take a compliment.  Thank you.

4.  Take care of myself.  It all started with the girls weekend away.  I washed my face- at night.  I bought my favourite body product and dressed in the light.  I even looked in the mirror up close and from afar.  Something in me clicked.  I wanted to paint my toes, wear lipstick that didn't blend, and wash my face every night.  It felt good.  It made me feel human- again.

We really did not want to leave.  

5.  Dream.  Which would involve sleep.  So on that note good night.

What's your five?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wholesome Sweetness

The past week I have been cooking up a storm.  I took loads of pictures hoping that I could write a few recipes for the blog.  I have mentioned before how much I love cook books and how I read recipes like short stories.  So that's why it was a little heart breaking when I discovered that I hate writing recipes.  Most of the time I don't follow recipes in the dozen of cookbooks I own.  I just like to feel the pages, get some eye candy and get inspired. Lately I have been in love with my "Where Women Cook" magazine.  (I am really hoping someone will get me the book for Christmas! Hello mom are you listening?)

So instead of writing the recipes for the things I have made this week I have decided to give you some eye candy to inspire you and your pots and pans.

(From left to right: cinnamon bread slices & loaf, curry chicken with paneer and raita, cinnamon bread roll,  and banana nut bread with maple syrup frosting.)

The cinnamon slice was inspired by an image I found at Pinterest.  The loaf and the roll were inspired by the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon roll recipe.  I have used this recipe to make rosemary rolls, garlic rolls, Parker house rolls and much more.  We love the rolls with our pulled pork!

Sometimes inspiration comes from a sale sign at the grocery store.  This definitely applies to the Indian meal I made this week. Paneer was on sale and I couldn't resist. Paneer is this Indian cheese that you can fry and add to lots of different  dishes.  It has a smooth texture and soaks up all the flavours of the dish it sits in.  Lovely isn't it.  I like it with spinach or peas.  I don't use a recipe for this but I'm sure there are a lot out there.

Because it is spring and the sugar bush is buzzing I had to make some maple syrup inspired goodies.  Since someone told me that maple syrup has more calcium than milk I have gone out of my way to find reasons to use this duct tape for food ingredient.  I decided to make a Maple Syrup frosting for my banana nut bread.  I'm not usually a frosting kinda girl but I searched far and wide for crevices to smother frosting over.  Soooo goooood.  Amen.  Thank you Jesus!

And just like that I'm done for the night.

What inspires you to get up and cook?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Straight to Fro

I have been on a ride with my hair since finding out I was pregnant with Ella-Shilloh in the Fall of 2009.  I decided not to chemically straighten my hair while I was pregnant. I have very thick coils that take over my head like ink stains on a white page.  It is fun, touchable, freeing and fearful all at the same time.

Every couple of weeks I walked into the neighbourhood salon and let my hairdresser get her biceps work out done by blowing out my mushroom of coils.  She had to take breaks, use a special dryer and sometimes just look at me and giggle.  People would stare at the mushroom of coils and look at my hair dresser with pity.  I couldn't wait to show them how great it would look afterward.  The crazy band of characters it took to make my hair behave worked together to produce smooth, long, shiny strands.  My hair dresser would flip my straight dark hair to show what I prize I had.  After all every body wanted this hair.  Hair that felt light and airy.  Hair that made me feel like I could fly - until I got out the door and realized it was raining.  I would take cover under scarves, hats, purses, coat sleeves, overgrown babies - whatever was in arms reach. After all water was my ultimate frenemy.

In preparation for my girls weekend I found myself in a dilemma.  Should I get my hair "did" and avoid saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, pools - even showers? Just to save some straight strands.  Or should I go natural? What to do?  As I looked at my afro puff in the bathroom mirror I couldn't resist squishing it over and over.  My 2 1/2 year old daughter was watching me.  She sang "Mama I like your hair."  I sang back, "I like it too."  In those little moments I realized that I liked my hair all coiling every which way.  I like the way it grew without any care in the world.  I like the way it spoke without a word coming out of my mouth.  Every time I looked at it would sing, "Mama, I like your hair."  I sang back, "I like you too. Very much. Very much."

What do you like about you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Girls Weekend

Just finished the best weekend ever.  Really. I wanted to fill you in on every detail but thought you might have other things to do - like facebook laundry.  So I'll give you the super reader's digest version.  I love cookbooks and read them like novels so that's how I've chosen to write about this weekend.

1 swanky hotel suite with 3 beds in the middle of downtown Toronto
3 giggly-but-chilled-out-snack-happy girlfriends
1 early morning Walmart run for mags, peanut infused snacks, and A & W (you know how much I love it!)
1 mid afternoon sprint to the new mall where we met Mark McEwen (the chef- photo to follow) and bought stinky cheese and crusty bread
1 quick run to LCBOhhhh (the liquor store) for ice wine (thanks mom), Zinfandel, and a mini shot of Baileys

Endless frivolous t.v. shows while we ate brie, sipped wine, and flipped through magazines in the comfiest bed ever
Room Service
Sweet gifts (chocolate dipped strawberries) from Libby's husband delivered to our room (the strawberries that is!)

1 late late late breakfast that lasted as long as we wanted it to
1 Subway trip to the mall for products that make us smell as sweet as we are (deep down inside)
1 late night dip in the hot tub
3 Amazing families who understand how much we needed this weekend without our children or anyone else for that matter (Thanks Mom - You are the best!)

The plate included salsa, popcorn, french bread, chips and brie - just perfect!
Take all these ingredients and mix them together in any order.  If you would like to increase the amounts any of the ingredients go ahead.  You'll have a blast! For real!

Unfortunately we had to leave.

Have you ever gotten away for some real rest?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bake Mix Stir

Two of my close friends and I decided to do some large scale cooking.  I can't tell you what it does to my heart to be in a professional kitchen.  I love the large stove that holds more pots than I own and a counter top that can handle endless cinnamon roll logs.  

Our cooking journey started on Tuesdays where we would grab our carts assemble the my two girls into them and stroll the isles looking for the most inexpensive way to make pot roast, pulled pork, roasted chicken or pasta meals.  One of my favourite moments was standing up to the grocery manager who mislabeled elephant garlic as colossal garlic.  Instead of paying almost $4 a pound we paid half that.  Don't mess with us, we are armed with our mixers, sharp knives and nights of recipe hunting.  We always ended our shopping days with a Costco lunch with the girls.  Our three daughters and the three of us would dip french fries, smother hot dogs and sing endless rounds of  ring around the rosie.

I can't tell you how much I looked forward to our shopping and cooking sessions.  On Thursdays we roasted garlic, made endless trays of meat balls, hand rolled fragrant rosemary dinner rolls and had the occasional meringue mishap.  Our time gave us an opportunity to catch up, giggle, and trade secrets.  I learned a lot from my fellow cooks.  Here are some lessons learned:

1. Montreal steak spice is a must have.  You can use it in meat balls (amazing!), pulled pork and just about any meat dish that needs garlic and onions.

2.A & W root beer.  A & W root beer.  It deserved a second mention.  Libby (one of the cooks) pours a bottle into her slow cooker and cooks her pork shoulder in it.  Can someone say AMEN!

3. Homemade dinner rolls are a must.  This has become one of my favourite things to make for dinner.  When I make dinner rolls for my family, friends, or church it is the equivalent of a cherry on top, a chocolate on your pillow, and a red carpet at the Oscars.  It sends the message - you are special.  Have a dinner roll.  We used the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon roll recipe and just omitted the sugar and rolling part.  

4. Clean up. All three of us brought something valuable to the team.  The most valuable member is the woman who cleans/tidies/organizes WHILE she cooks.  She does this so well you don't notice - until she is sick and you realize it took you twice as long to make that meal.

What are you bringing to the kitchen?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chasing Thoughts

This week has been tough.  The constant reminders, yelling, incessant chatter, sibling fights and road runner paces leave me tired.  I sit tonight and reflect on the week that slipped passed me.   The days where my voice thinned and my chest pounded leap back into my mind.  I think about all the messages he heard:
go to
       the step
       your room
       your bed
                    without prayers

It hits me right back.  Nobody should go to bed without... especially prayers.  As exhausting as his feet are to watch and his questions are to answer he is loved.  He calls me to a place where my feet turn from and my head aches in.  A place where I know he would rather not be if he had a choice.  He doesn't.

He doesn't like chasing thoughts that don't rest - even for a second.  He would rather finish what he started and be the star student -for once. He would love to spend time with his siblings that don't end with someone getting hurt because impulses raced ahead of reason.

Tonight I remind myself that I hope to be a reminder of what he can be despite the racing thoughts, impulses that don't quit and quick steps that lead everywhere all at once.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

You've spent an entire week feeling tired and worn out.  Most nights you crawl into bed way too late and wake up way too early.  Then it happens.  Right there waiting for you is an early to bed evening where visions of soft warm sleepy moments lay.  Babies are sleeping soundly (beside you) and the house is still and quiet.  The duvet feels like it should and all in well in the world.

Then at 2:43 AM your eyes spring open for no apparent reason.  Just like that this night of sleepy bliss has turned into another late night...mare.  I hate when that happens.  I lay there praying (no really I am praying) that I would go back to sleep.  Eyes still wide open.  Then I move on to other prayers about my children, marriage, my friends marriages, doctors, world peace, meals in the making, TMZ... whatever I can come up with.  Eye lids still apart.  I figure I might as well make some use of this "extra" time.  Here are some things to do when your eyes won't do what they should:

1. Go on facebook  a laundry folding spree (Yippeeee! not.)
2. Clean out your fridge (that blondie feels so much better in your tummy) oven
3. Get back to your blog that you have neglected for (almost) months!
4. Watch YouTube  your baby sleep with ease (sooo jealous!)
5. Goggle the Ministry of Transportation because you need to get that renewal sticker before you get a nother  ticket!

I hope your late-night-early-morning was as productive as mine!

What do you do with your "extra time"?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Captivating Enough

I am pulling one of those all nighters again.  The children have been playing tag with the flu/cold/germ bug and life around here has been a little messy.  Messy in terms of a flooded basement, laundry (again), and homeschooling challenges.  It has been one of those months where I have fantasised about literally dropping off Cohen at school and waving goodbye from the van.  It would be so much easier wouldn't it?  I would just like to catch my breath.

No time for that now.  On Saturday I started my journey into Breakthrough part 2 (or season 2 as I like to call it).  Breakthrough is kind of like Christian group therapy with intensity and reflection at every turn.  Through my first day I discovered something about myself in the words of one of the other members in my group.  I realized that I felt that I was cursed, deserving of bad things, and I should just accept that stability and peace were not mine to have.  For some reason I have felt that God wanted me go through the loss of my father, devastation, my husband's battle with depression, my battle with anger, illness, financial difficulties, and on and on.  I have felt for a long time that God was punishing me for not being good enough.

I started a study on the book Captivating and I have been captivated by the message.  This book describes so much of the confusion, frustration and hurt that women struggle with.
"An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy...  After all if we were better women-whatever that means-life wouldn't be so hard.  Right?  We wouldn't have so many struggles; there would be less sorrow in our hearts."

I had allowed a lie to slip in and and take up residence in my mind.  Because I am too messy, not humble enough, not gentle enough, and not "godly" enough God would forever pour his wrath on me in the form of hardship and loss.  This is all wrapped up in another lie I tell myself: I can win God's love.  If only I am a gracious mother, solid wife and dutiful follower of Christ God will love me and pour favour down on me.  It looks outrageous when I reread my words.  I should know better.  After all how many verses have I had to memorize about grace?

Through Breakthrough and Captivating I am beginning to discover lies I have grown to believe and need to let go of.

What lies do you hold on to?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Temple Love: Timing is Everything

This is my best friend in Thailand.  She is one of the best at taking care of her body!  I cry when I think that we used to wear each other's clothes:(  

This post is a few days late.  (Sorry) I had a mediocre work out week last week. Here are some family members  / things that got in the way:

I am an early bird.  The morning offers many promises, one of them being a new start and a lot of energy.  I also love those early morning moments where I can hear more of my thoughts and less fighting, playful noises and screaming. (Let's be real we are a loud family!)  When I tried to work out in the afternoon or evening I wasn't into it and I didn't work out as hard.

Life can get in the way.  Note to self: Plan appointments, chores, children's illness, tantrums  and outings around your workout!  I had a few appointments and meetings that kind of made workout times difficult.

Sleep is my friend.  I can hear my children saying a collective AMEN in their sleep.  If I don't sleep my workouts are rushed because my mornings move like molasses.  I am up at 12:41 AM right now so I am still learning this lesson. Teachers don't make the best students!

I eat much better when there is a paper trail.  I didn't record what I was eating last week and my eating was all over the place.  I know some people find recording meals tedious but the control freak in me finds it satisfying.

Hope your week has been much more productive than mine!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Showing Marriage Some Love

The women's and men's group at our church are getting together to plan a Valentine's Dinner.  We have sorted out a lot of details and are really excited about this event.  Along the way some have shared concerns about excluding single/divorced people.  Although it is important to be inclusive I felt it equally important to support marriages.

In the first five years of our marriage my husband and I were part of a group of three couples who met every Sunday night.  We prayed, had communion together, ate, and spent time together.  The other two couples had children.  We did not.  This did not matter to my husband and I.  We always commented on how much closer we felt after those evenings.  Although the purpose was to grow in our faith we ended up growing in our marriage.  I look back on those nights and they still fill me with some encouragement for the future.

The church we got married in was 100 years old.  I was hoping that would inspire a long marriage.

Those evenings are long gone and we are all spread apart.  I can tell you that one of the couples are on the way to divorce and my husband and I have been struggling for the past three and a half years.  I often wonder if things would have been different if we had stayed in this group?

You can't see the depth of joy and determination I felt on that day. 
I have also been thinking a lot lately about the programs/services etc... for married couples in churches.  It occurred to me that I have heard of almost every program under the sun i.e. MOPS, AWANA, Men's Small group, Family Small Group, Ladies Bible Study, mentorship programs, children's Sunday programs, Sports, I can go on and on.  I have never been to a church or heard of any churches that offer a couples/married group.  I am not sure why this is such an unpopular group.  The church is in the marriage business after all and nobody can ignore the blaring statistics on divorce.  So why is there so little in the way of creating opportunities for couples to get together and support each other on this journey?  

How does your church show marriage some love?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Temple Love: Working on the Work Out

Working on the Work Out
I loved working out with our new Wii Fit from Monday to Friday.  Sometimes my children worked out with me and sometimes it didn't quite work out having them around while I worked out.  Most mornings they would play around me while I boxed, stepped and ran my way to fitness.

On two occasions my husband came downstairs to find toddlers dodging my rhythm lacking steps and my boxing moves.  He found that situation overwhelming.  I'll admit for most people it might have looked more zoo than family.  But for me it worked.  I could work out without the help of any one's schedule.  My husband wasn't convinced.  Later that night he asked why I couldn't work out while the kids were in bed. His comment felt a little like a misplaced slap in the face.  I explained that I am a morning person and after being an active member of the children's lives for at least 12 hours a day the last thing I wanted to do was lift a finger, leg, butt cheek- anything.  Men!

My hair paid a big price for this week of working out.  For those of you who have naturally straight hair you won't get this- so just skip this and move ahead.  For the rest of you on-line hugs will be needed.  I enjoyed working out but not the feeling of sweat trickling through my scalp and leaving a trail of curls where I just wanted smoothness.  Okay I sound like a baby- I'll stop.

With all the flu induced diets floating around the Internet I knew that food was going to be a problem.  I have been sick 4 times in the last month and I have never found the courage to be sick of food.  I used the old Weight Watchers Point system and I like that it forced me to be more conscious of what I put in my mouth.  But by the 2 day I had used up all my extra points and craved more sweets than ever.  I felt like I was thinking about food too much and that is never a good thing for me.

Looking forward to my exercise program with my Wii and eating well.  (Thank goodness I finished all my Christmas chocolate last week!)

How did you show love to your temple?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Temple Love

I am going where most women hate to go and wished didn't exist. I decided a week or two ago that I would try to start working out again.  I bought the Wii for the children for Christmas and I also picked up the Wii Fit for my mom and myself.
The only big deals in my life (1997): my best friend and my big hair!

Days and body gone bye bye!

Most people blame their weight gain on pregnancy.  I have the opposite problem due to my thyroid.  I loose weight while I am pregnant.  When I deliver I end up gaining weight like it is going out of style.  This happens to some women.  On their behalf I would like to ask God...pregnancy, childbirth, and this?  Really?  I think you could have stopped at childbirth God.  But then again you know best- keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

For 13 years I have been telling myself that I am okay with weighing 60-80 pounds more than I was ever supposed to.  I was always the skinny athletic girl.  I was involved in sports and worked out quite a bit.  I was one of those crazy people that loved to exercise.  I worked out 6 days a week and became obsessed with the shape of my legs.  I was determined to have legs like  Nadia Comaneci.  I carried her Danskin ad in my filo fax (so 1989).

In 1997 I gained 60 pounds- (no people it wasn't a typo).  I had no idea that my body would betray me (with a little help from a trip to England.)  That summer I graduated from University, went to England on my own, ended a relationship and started another one. I loved the shopping in England and bought all these amazing clothes I was sure I was going to need for work.  I was in deep love with a particular brown and cream hounds tooth skirt.  (I used to have style people- really I did!)  I also bought all these shoes...sigh.

By the end of that year I had to kiss that skirt and all my other clothes goodbye because I gained 60 pounds in the matter of a few months.  No one ever told me that your shoe size changes as you gain weight.  I went from a 6 to an 8.  My shoes went from my shopping bags to another woman's closet. I went to the doctor and asked how this could happen.  He explained that I was eating too much.  Okay... really?

Let's get to the readers digest version of how I found myself fat in my usually skinny self.  I learned later that I have hypothyroidism and my thyroid was having a party on me. (Thanks Thy!)

So here I am almost 38 and looking for at my body with a little bit of a healthier perspective.  I don't really have any weight amount in mind.  I just want to show some love and respect to this temple and look good while doing it.

Who is ready for some temple love?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rearview Joy

I decided to take a look back and give thanks for the memories I was able to build with the people that matter the most in my life.  This past year took us on some thrilling (not in a good way) turns.  Even as I write this I have worries bouncing about.  Thankfully we have the capability as humans to look back and maybe sigh a little, tear up a little, but most importantly live a little joy all over again!

Greg and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on Dec 23rd.  Our life has taken some death defying drops  but I am amazed at how God is holding us together even though we drift so far.

I will always feel like that little girl with ribbons in her hair who had a mother who dared to love  me despite the mess I made!  (And continue to make!)

Every Christmas (except one) for the past 5 years we have had a new baby to welcome into our family.   They drive me to drink places I never imagined I wanted to visit- but the journey is worth it!

Happy New Year everyone!