So, I am obviously a bit behind with everything. Just the same, in the spirit of catching up, I am going to post my new year's resolutions here without shame. I made them on New Year's Eve, I simply didn't get them on here until mid-January.
Here's the list:
1. Cook at least 2 times per week & freeze meals for us.
2. Put vegetable on the kids plates for dinner, even if they don't eat it
3. Get to the gym 2-3 times per week, and finally lose the 'baby' weight
4. Get my house in order. My home, my heart.
We (Brandon and I) were in the habit of eating junk food for dinner every night. Cheese and crackers or a burger. So, I decided to pick the 2 easiest days for me to cook (days I don't work) and those are my cooking days. I used to buy a bunch of meat with the hopes of cooking it, and well, life happened and all that meat was wasted. So now, I go to the store, check out what is on sale, and just buy enough for those 2 meals. Going in with a plan has really helped. Plus, we are eating something more than chicken or spaghetti. Tomorrow night is ribs! yum! I also make enough to freeze, which will save money and time for us. plus, who doesn't feel better with a real meal rather than cheese and crackers for dinner? So far it is going well.
I am doing better, but need to be more consistent. Still trying to be creative with what they can eat. When you take away cheese, butter, and anything with milk, soy or wheat in it, well you lose alot of options that would help the vegetable dilemma. Back to the grindstone on that one.
Going to the gym 2-3 times per week (hopefully losing the baby weight)
I am FINALLY doing this for myself, and it is GLORIOUS. Before the babies, I used to go to a cardio kickboxing class 3 or 4 times per week. I was in the best shape of my life. But pregnancy and all of the vomiting that came with it, quickly put that to an end. And then there was the bedrest and the extra 85 lbs. So, you get the picture. For 3 years I have given myself a pass not to lose the weight. I just had 3 babies at the same time. I have 3 infants and don't have time or energy. I have 3 toddlers and a new business, again-no time. I have 3 3 year olds and a new store front-no time. At this rate, I would have 3 college students and still no time. So, I finally realized that my excuses weren't helping me any. I think we all know that we make time for what matters. I just decided that I needed to make the time. I had spent 3 years being a martyr of my own choosing. Nothing about that is attractive. So, I put my own name on my list. I am important too, and it was way past time that I did a little something to take care of myself. I realized that doing so is actually a benefit to my family, not a detriment. Not to sound self-important here, but they kind of need me to be healthy. So, I worked it into my schedule. I also made a plan for my diet. Nothing super restrictive. Just sensible. The main thing it requires is planning and some self-control. And guess what? I have lost 6 lbs. More than that, I feel good. All of this time I looked back and thought I used to work out so much because I was obsessed with being skinny. But guess what I found out? I was being way too hard on my younger self. There is a lot of adrenaline and good endorphins that come along with that exercise. I TRULY feel better. Not just because of the weight loss--though that doesn't hurt. I just FEEL better. I am happier. And who doesn't want a happy momma? It is so true..if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Just ask Brandon.
Getting my house in order.
This last one has been key for me. After a good bit of reflection I have become aware that much of what needs remedied above all boils down to number 4.
So how do I even begin to tackle this monster? Baby steps. I am one who thinks you have to finish a project if you start it, so if I can't finish, sometimes I just don't start. not good. So, I began with my house. I am in the process of purging some of the clutter. We have way too much stuff. I have been 4 different sizes in the last 4 years, and have the clothes to prove it. All the more motivation for number 3. So, I hauled a van load of stuff to Goodwill, and plan to keep doing that a little at a time until our house looks like a home rather than a junk yard. we aren't there yet, but it is a work in progress.
For the heart part. This one was more complex. I haven't gone off into 'wild living' or anything. I have simply been feeling my way without a plan. And as in every other area of my life, this hasn't been working. in fact, I think those other issues, are really symptoms of this reality. God and I have been fine. Not angry with Him. Not ignoring him or anything. Just not being really intentional about my faith either. Sometimes I think God might prefer outright rejection over apathy. I would. I would rather get a stern NO than to have someone say they love me with little evidence to prove the point. So, for me again, it has been time to sort through the junk, do a little purging, a little realigning of priorities, and finally--to put away the excuses and get moving.
Interestingly, this has not been a painful process. Rather it has been incredibly peaceful for me. I am a person who craves order. Maybe we all are. The problem is, I am not an orderly person. Not my nature. What a horrible dichotomy, huh? For me it just means that I have to work alot harder to get things in line. But once it is there, I feel a great since of relief, not burden. My burden is to live life out of sync. And that is exactly what I have been doing for going on 4 years now. It got so bad that for the last 6 months, maybe longer, I have had these repetitive dreams. One of the more vivid ones has me driving my first car--a rockin' blue mustang convertible--(yes, my parents were totally nuts). In the dream, I am driving it down a curvy mountain road really fast, and the breaks won't work and the steering wheel is so loose, that basically nothing I do to try to correct the problem makes any difference at all. I am bound to crash. Complete lack of control. The dream is horrifying. I would have this dream over and over. Same dream. Same chaos. It doesn't take a psychologist to tell me that this dream is just telling me what any observant onlooker already knows. That car is my life, and it is driving me. Not the other way around.
Another warning sign that probably should have distrubed me more than it did at time. I started having chest pains back before christmas. Finally it got bad enough that I slipped into CVS to check my blood pressure. If I was going to have a stroke, I would like a little notice, thank you very much. My BP was fine, so what did I do? Kept going at break neck pace. I had just opened my new store in Bearden. It was Christmas holidays, and super busy. So I just kept going. The buzz and busyness of Christmas kept me numb to the stress and the long hours.
We took a nice break and went to Mississippi to see Brandon's family, and I got to be with my kids for several days in a row. No work. It was awesome. Once we got back, I got back into the store and the routine. Even with my new resolutions in place, I had failed to get one thing in check...my time with my babies. After some requests, I sent out a newsletter to my local customers announcing new hours that would no doubt be pleasing to them. This would certainly translate to more money for me. So happy customers. More money. What is the problem? The problem is that I was missing my babies and my husband, and no money made up for that. I was miserable. With my new resolve to get my life, heart, and priorities in line, I spent one L-o-o-o-ng night praying for wisdom. I need the Lord's blessing on my business. I need to be a saavy business woman. But I am mommy & wife first. There had to be a way to make this work. I finally fell asleep around 4am. I woke up knowing exactly what I had to do.
I sent the following Newsletter
I decided to let the chips fall where they may. I felt good about my decision, and had peace that it would be ok. Some people would no doubt be mad. Others would think I was a total flake, but O.K. I made the right choice. And you know what? I got an outpouring of support from my customers. It was ridiculous and amazing at the same time. Suddenly these moms were telling me what a great thing I did, even though it probably inconvenienced them. I was amazed and relieved.
Why do I take the time to write all of this down? It has helped me. Maybe it will help someone else. There is more planning involved. I can't live intentionally if I want to be lazy. But laziness doesn't feel good either. It seems like it would, but it doesn't. Just feels icky. So here I go on this new part of my journey. So far I like where I am in 2009. I will try to keep you posted as I (hopefully) make progress. Bless you if you hung in this long and actually read this far.