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Monday, August 27, 2012

peace in the season

It feels odd to be in such a state of peace as we move closer to changes and transitions....excited even.

There is a quietness that is settled over me.  As programs are rolled out for the fall church season and friends start asking what we will participate in.....I quietly and confidently say "I don't know".  Because, I don't.  I don't know what fall will bring, I don't know what middle school will look like for Dude.  Will he need the down time, more time for homework or will he want to do after school programs?   I don't know.....neither do I feel a strong pull toward anything.  I simply feel this calm and an ease to go with the flow.  That during this season in life I am not to make commitments.

Its a funny feeling to finally feel this settled in my spirit...makes me want to laugh.....perhaps that's the joy bubbling up.  I love the season we are in!

I'm excited for our daughter that she is going to be a junior!  That she is really coming into her own and has found she loves drama and is actually excited about tryouts.  That she's excited about prom already and that she seems to have a new confidence and ease about her.

I'm excited for what middle school will be like for our son.  Granted there are many prayers for him that it is NOTHING like my own experience.  I love that he is so excited for the opportunities....all the clubs and extras that he wants to participate in (though I have a feeling we will have a conversation about how he can't do them all).  I love that he is so relaxed, so at ease and confident at his age.  It blows my mind.  No nervousness at all....he never has.  First day of school?  Mom, get a grip, it's no big deal, I can walk myself in.  Every year, not once, not even pre-school or kindergarten, would he let me walk him into class.  He wanted to do it on his own.  The first few years I think it was me who needed my hand held but now, he's taught me over the years that his first day experience is so much different than my own.  Mine were full of nerves and questions and what-ifs...but his, relaxed and go with the flow.

As parents, its a new season for us.  Our kids are so self sufficient now that I sometimes need to remind myself.  We don't need babysitters anymore.  That is so weird!  The need for us to do things for them has changed and now what they need from us is guidance and teaching to do things on their own, building up their skill set.  Its a great mental shift for mom.

I've been working on transitioning our home to better suit older kids and make the basement area function better for them to have friends over.  It used to be the grown up hang out and now it's all about the kids.  Gotta make it cool!

The household diet is changing so the menus will be changing, the day of the week I shop on has changed and what I buy has changed.

So many areas of transition.
Such great peace.

Blessings of anticipation for what the Lord has in store for you and protection from the desire to do anything but go with it.
the Mrs.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

the one with the 5 in the middle

I haven't wanted to totally jinx myself.
To say it out loud and claim it for fear it would become elusive again.

But I've seen it....that number with the mythical 5 in the middle.....and it didn't go anywhere.

one 5 nine

Its a 5.  Not a 6.  But a 5!  That six got kicked in the arse and has made its way off to who cares where!

It was last week....Bon Jovi started to sing to me in my head about living on a prayer and being half way there.  It was delightful.

I've since changed my weigh in methods.  Numbers don't compute or stay well in my brain.  My scale has memory functions and keeps track of my start weight, goal weight and 5 saved weigh ins at a time.  It tells me how much I've lost total and how much I have left to lose.  I was only saving my weight on Mondays and then periodically weighing in during the week to check in on how things were moving.  The frustrating part would be the days that I would be down over 2lbs but at the end of the week the saved weight didn't show that highlight - or that after the good drop I'd gained back some.   So, my new method: weigh in several times a week as I remember - but always on Mondays.  When there is a good successful drop Save THAT one and track from that point to maintain motivation and drive - as well as the reward of success in hitting that save button on a good note!  Those are the only numbers that get saved though.  Only the good ones.  So if I start to slip up....the scale feedback builds.  Instead of a +.2 one week and then next being a +.1.2 I'll get the total of +1.4 so my brain will SEE that it's not JUST a small gain this week but SEE the accumulation of how far from that success point I am getting.  To me that is more motivating - to be able to hit the save button again! :)

Oh 5, you are ever so lovely.

Added bonus.....I gave my daughter 3 pairs of my jeans.  They required a belt and were saggy and baggy...totally unflattering and I wasn't going to wear them anymore.   She's been waiting for that moment.  She's already worn all three pairs.  They look better on her anyway.  She's 8 inches taller than I and they hit all the right places on her slender but curvy teen bod.  I'm still pretty boxy in the middle.  I think I accidentally got a mans rib cage, for a short chick I've always had this broad ribcage.   Granted it does wonders for the 'girls' but really.....they don't need assistance the way they did in high school.  Once school starts the Mr and I will be having a little shopping day of our own.  I only have 3 pair of pants now....in total.  Oh darn! :)

Blessings of your own kind of fabulous 5's in your life,
the Mrs.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Can YOU say "transition" boys and girls?

There are so many tiers of it going on right now I can't even begin to describe how many places I see it.  While that sounds overwhelming - on so many levels - looks overwhelming to type, it feels entirely, unexpectedly different.

I'm loving every moment and living right in the moment of where we are, and not focused on where we might be in the next.

Is this some natural shift that happens in your mid 30's?  Or is this my very own God orchestrated transition of the mind?  There has been a tremendous mental shift for me in the last months.  One that has filled me with a peace and calm that overrides all things.  Don't get me wrong, I still get all kinds of anxious when there is way too much going on all at once, but even that is different and more short lived.  

Don't waste today on tomorrow....or yesterday.

That seems to sum up where my focus is at.  I want to be present in the here and now.  In the moments with my family I want them to feel that I was actually there and not drifted off to the next thing.  Not leaving them with memories of a wife and mother who was there physically but not actually present and there, for and with them.   I am remembering a lot of not just the details and facts of when I was growing up but the feelings I had.   The relationships I had with my family......or the complete and utter lack of them.   The combination of complete and utter aloneness with the overwhelming pressure of being an axis point to which too many things revolved around.   I am realizing as I watch my kids grow, how incredibly blessed they are to have lives that are filled with so little drama that I have to strain to try to understand the magnitude of what is "big" to them.   How as a 16 year old I would have done anything to trade lives with my daughter.  As an 11 year old......I could only dream to live life as simply and freely as my son does.  

There is so much I want to impart to them....so much to share with them....I need to make a way for it to  happen.  

The weather here has been crisp and cool.  So very fall like in nature that even some leaves have changed and fallen.   I feel so tuned in to seeing transition right now.  Its like this radar has been turned on and even the slightest, most subtle transitions jump out to greet me with this welcome I feel deep in my spirit.

It is the loveliest of times.   I feel the most comfortably "me" I have ever felt in my life.  The weight of expectation has been cast off....who I am supposed to be has no more importance.  Resting in who I am, settling in to see who He is making me into.....safety bar locked and arms up.....just going with the flow and enjoying the ride.  Life is different this way.   Even the greatest of impending shifts to our lives creates not even a ripple of stress.  

Whatever God is up to right now, I'm excited to see whats next.

Blessings to you for arms up joy in the ride of your life, 
the Mrs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An update, a weigh in and heavy compliment

Well mark me absent.  Sorry.  A lot of life happens in August!

So that porch project I mentioned a while back......or at least I think I mentioned it.....who really keeps track?  It circled the bowl for a while and disappeared, thanks to city codes.  So that idea morphed into "lets just get some patio furniture and make that weird, uninviting space more inviting" because hey!, good timing, furniture in the patio variety is going on clearance everywhere.  On a Monday morning I saw a tent sale outside a new furniture store and it was full of patio stuff.  Tuesday evening we went to check it out and it was gone.  Like the tent never was.  So we went inside thinking we'd ask or at least find the last few reject pieces to look at.  Nothing.  Since we were there we figured we should look around because we made the trip and we've been thinking about (and saving for) new living room furniture for years but not decided what we really wanted.  Turned out they were having a big sale.  We took the week to think about it and set a budget.  Saturday we looked again, calculated over and over, discussed, sat, laid down, rearranged and measured, sat some more, made ourselves reaaaaaally comfy and finally decided.  Part of the new set arrives on Thursday!  A sectional big enough that, for the first time since we've been married, my 6'6 husband can actually lay down comfortably and all of us will be able to be on it, at the same time, EVEN if he is laying down!  I'm a tad excited.  We haven't owned a new piece of furniture (that wasn't someone else's first) in about 10 years.  A new coffee table and end table arrive in about 6 weeks (on back order).

School prep is in full swing.  One boy down and one girl to go.  Tomorrow its schedule pick up and then off to shop for her new fashion identity for this year.  She's been Pinteresting like crazy!

The Dude's bedroom Transformation is 99% complete.  Just a few little things left to hang.....which I keep forgetting about.

I am currently in conflicted mommy mode.  I am so excited and ready for school to start and to get into a normal rhythm as well as get some alone time back and be able to get things done in the house in a more efficient manner.......but school starting also means that we go back to barely seeing Wonderteen.  It feels forever between weekends and considering how much closer we've all gotten this summer, it will probably feel worse.  Watching these kids grow and come into themselves is so amazing and the school year tends to bring on explosive growth.  It always seems that school starts and within a month I'm noticing big "growing up" changes in conversation and responsibility.

Weigh-ins have continued.  I feel like I've been driving toward 160 with a bungee cord attached to my butt.  I push to get there and right when I think its within my reach I am pulled back a pound....or even two.  It's been frustrating.  Though while the number dance has been happening I've noticed definition happening.  My face continues to change, my collar bones and arms look different.  Watches and rings continue to get bigger.  Belts are still losing notches and those shorts that started to feel baggy are now looking baggy and unflattering. I finally had to bite the bullet and get the girls some new gear......yes, I had to do the dreaded bra shopping again.  Though this time I actually purchased.  When they measured me they didn't tell me "uh, you need an F, we don't carry those".  Instead I heard the great news that I officially am down a band size into the 30's instead of the 40's but.....lets just say that a double turned into a triple and now that my mid section is starting to slim more, the girls are just.....OUT THERE.
As of yesterday I am solidly at 160.0.  I didn't buy avocados this week, I am going to avoid oil like the plague, I bought one bar of chocolate and marked each piece with a day of the week so I can have one square per day and it will be easy to see when I have had too many.  Though I didn't eat one yesterday.....amazing.  This week I am hoping to FINALLY get into the 150's and break through this wall. I read about all these people who make the switch to a plant based diet and just start dropping pounds left and right....it's not happening for me!  Its frustrating but I know that my body has held on to the pounds tightly.  Friends are dropping as much, or even in one case double, what I have already lost and they've done it in at least half the time.  I've now been doing this for well over a year and I'm only down 32 lbs.  I'm not saying that 32 isn't any big deal - it is a big deal and it's a lot of weight - I just really thought I'd be done by now.   Exercise....well, that really hasn't been happening.  It took several weeks for my hips to recover from the cabin jogging I did and a couple weeks ago, then I attempted the treadmill and my hips went all kinds of painful crazy.  So it appears that being a runner is not in my future and I've been avoiding the treadmill as I like feeling comfortable walking.  Once school starts I plan to start working some Pilate's into my day, as that is gentle on the joints, can be done in short increments and most positions are laying down which should be easy on the hips.

In more romantic news....Last week Mr schemed with the kids to get me out on a surprise date.  He sent me flowers and asked me out just like he did for our very first date.  We went out to dinner and to see the new Batman in Imax (still loved it by the way).  While we were at dinner he stopped and looked at me, really looked at me, and told me that since we've been married, I've never been more beautiful.  Other than the first 6 months we were together (when I was a tiny 115 and a size 4....who knows what size that would be today though) I've been heavy.  It started with beginning birth control and packing on a whopping 50 pounds in less than 5 months. It just wouldn't come off.....that combined with the diet change of "mommy and daddy's groceries" to "living on your own groceries" it just did bad things to my body and I haven't looked the same since.  For years I've looked in the mirror and not recognized myself.  Flipping back and forth between a vision in my head being smaller than reality and then looking in the mirror and feeling much larger than reality.  Now however...in my head I see myself at my goal weight and size and my body feels uncomfortably big and in the way.  It causes frustration.....and humor......one day I was laying down and put my hand down at my waist and felt this bulge.  At first I thought "what the heck is that!"  and then.....I  realized it was a fat roll and laughed myself silly.  Even the fat that is still there is different.   Everything is changing, fitting differently, looking differently....my face probably fascinates me the most.  I've seen this fat girl so long and focused on what I wanted my body to look like for so long that my new slimmer face surprises me.  When I see pictures, I think whoa....that is me???   Crazy.

The heavy compliment?  It came from Mr as we walked into the furniture store.  We were having a conversation about people we know with negative attitudes, how it seems like they search for things to complain about and can't seem to see the good in anything.  Then Mr says "They don't have a joyful spirit and aren't lucky enough to have a wife who has a joyful spirit to teach them."  It went something like that...but it really hit me and I didn't know what to say as I felt tears start to well up.  Of course those had to be stuffed down because we were going into the store and I really didn't need to be that girl at the moment. Those words though....it is a heavy compliment.  Its both something to live up to and affirming something I've striven for most of my life.  To take all of the trials and challenges life has handed me and make myself better with them.....never bitter.  It's always been a challenge to mentally not pull the "oh poor me" card or fall into that trap the world seems to set for people "oh you've been through so much, I'd be a little angry at the world too".  NO.  Adversity is NO excuse for a bad attitude, anger, bitterness or an invasive negativity that is toxic to everyone around you.  Adversity is an opportunity, to grow, to learn, to be stretched, to have the ability to stand in someone else's shoes and be able to mean it when you say I understand.  Adversity is an opportunity to gain wisdom.  Don't focus on the love and support you needed and didn't get - you can't go back and change your experience in life any more than you can change the ingredients in last nights dinner.  Focus on how you can use that experience.  Love and support someone else the way you needed it.  Give to others what you wish you'd received.  Missing out is not a valid reason for withholding from others.  It might just bring you healing in the process.

A joyful spirit....  Wow.  Me?  He really thinks that of me?   ......that may be the compliment of a lifetime.

Blessings to you, for a joyful spirit in all things transitional and stationary, may the blessing of laughter and joy bubble up from within your soul and be displayed on your face.
the Mrs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

AHHHHHHHHHawwwwwwwwwgust

The month I love and drives me crazy.

As a creature of habit, large swings to our normal activity tend to throw me off.  August means talks of school come up more and more often.  All those projects that have been procrastinated on get put into motion so they can be done before school starts.   Activities tend to slow down and Wonderteen is here for the whole month (instead of the every other week summer routine).  We look forward to August.  The Dude dreads when it ends.  He absolutely adores his sister and the feeling is mutual.

August is a humorous blend of love and crazy.  LOVE the talks and the nearly endless laughter.
The lack of silence, down time and structure....make me crazy.  Which adds to the laughter.

LOVE the way my kids get along.
By next week I will start hearing things like "back off", "stop touching me","get away" and "get out of my room" for the first time all summer.......driving me crazy.   But secretly, I'll love it...it makes me laugh and smile about how rare those moments are for them and how one day those moments will turn into stories they'll laugh at.

Love the sweet teenage rambling....always wanting my ear for things from big to small to "what on earth are you talking about!?"
The constant auditory stimulation driving me a bit crazy.......

Love the changes and plans that come up.   Whether its decorating (shifting bedrooms, painting, a piece of furniture needing to be replaced etc), planning for a new school routine, shopping for school supplies or clothes or this years favorite of mine - planning a whole new style that reflects who she is and who she wants to be. .....and that she wants my help.   LOVE.  yes.
Crazy......it feels like a lot to try and cram into one month while still trying to maintain the regular things that need attention not to even begin to mention the other random activities clogging our weekends.

August is when the art of balance and humility is tested.  Grace needs to be handed out like candy at the fair.  While we as a couple and parents try to grasp a few quiet moments together and cling to our sanity, we also need to strive to remember that for our kids August is a month of hesitation, anticipation and intensity.  The hesitation of what a new year might bring, the anticipation of daily seeing friends and the intense need to cram in as much crazy and fun as they can handle before heading back into the structure and work of school.  Combine that with all the hormones and you easily get to the crazy part.

August is all about the crazy love.  We all know we are a bit crazy but we love it.

Blessings of crazy happy love to all of you,
the Mrs.