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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Success!

This scenario I believe falls under the category "silver lining," or something to that effect.

Because the furnace hadn't been working hard enough in our half of the old farmhouse that we rent, and nothing that they tried to do would make it heat the place higher than 58 degrees (when it was 3 degrees with very, very negative degree windchills outside), we decided to all snuggled together in the living room (where it felt warmer) with a space heater.  So Soccer Boy and I were on the futon/couch, and Cuddle Bug was in his Pack n Play, and my husband got the small couch.

Because:

1) The futon is SO UNCOMFORTABLE to sleep on
2) I was already downstairs
3) it was FINALLY WARM AGAIN!  Yay!

I:

1) actually got up the first time my alarm went off at 4:45
2) did some exercise because of inspiration reading a SparkPeople article
3) have had some time to process/ think/ drink coffee.


So yay!  I am so happy that I read the article that was in my email this morning.  The point that made me STOP READING in the middle of it and START EXERCISING was to start by doing less than you know that your capable of.  If the goal is to make a routine, and to make it stick, then it has to be something that feels doable.

So -- no.  It is WAY too cold for me to run outside right now.  I just can't do it safely, and I don't have the extra time that all those layers entail!! (Well, this morning, I might have! LOL)  BUT... just because I can't run  (no gym membership, no treadmill), doesn't mean that I can't do OTHER exercise.  I have definitely noticed that a "run or NOTHING" attitude creeping into my life.  And face it... this winter is proving to be the worst in a long time.  I need to be doing something to keep fit, and to keep active.

So I popped in my headphones and did a 2 mile Leslie Sansone walk this morning, and I feel great!
But, Cuddle Bug is starving, so I am going to rescue him!

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The truth of the matter...

April at Mommy's Fit for the King posted a lovely devotional today in answer to a challenge of her pastor to take the love verses and commands seriously.  It was a great and inspiring post!

H Love is starting up a "Thirsty Thursday" series to focus on matters of the heart and spirit.  It is going to start next week and I am SO excited!

And I am writing my devotional posts here.

I can't wait to learn from and be encouraged by other bloggers!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is a CRY FOR HELP.

Confession:
My eating has been out of control.  Up until this point it has been mindless, or worse, mindfully bad, with portions that are too large, and eating when I certainly don't need to.

Today, however?  Oh my word.

Breakfast - 6:15 - Oatmeal
Snack (NOT HUNGRY, by the way) - 9:30 - Bagel
Pre-lunch (Still NOT HUNGRY) - 10: 20 - Ham sandwich and cookie
Actual lunch (nope... not hungry - it was just lunchtime) - 1:00 - Hot dogs
Post lunch - (definitely NOT HUNGRY, but ticked at myself for eating the hot dogs instead of the shrimp bisque leftovers we had) 2:00 - Shrimp Bisque.  (At least I was able to give half of it away to my landlord so I didn't end up eating all of it.)

I am so embarrassed.

I need a kick in the pants, folks.  Help a mama out.  Remind me all of the reasons that I will NOT regret making the right choices...  and stuff like that.

Anyone want to challenge me to something?
A little competitive spirit?
Or at least some accountability!  Eek.

I need something, and I am coming to you, blogland....  Please throw me a life jacket or something!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amazing message today.

The message today at church was on 1 Timothy 2: 1 - 15.

It was seriously amazing. I have been thinking about it, and reflecting on it all day.
In fact, it was so much in my mind that I had to write about it.

And I did that here.

I don't mind sharing my faith here. But I don't think it necessary to expound on theological things when this is really a running/weight loss/ life in general kind of blog. So I created that new blog, and I am hoping that it will give me a place to really connect to the Word of God. I have been learning so much lately, and I am excited to see if any coherent writing can come out of it.

Feel free to join me if you wish. :)

Blessings,

Meredith

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beautiful Day!

My husband, unbeknownst to me, called my parents and arranged for them to watch the boys for a bit today. We spent a glorious afternoon going to stores, and browsing, and shopping, and eating at the brand new Chipotle Grill here in Maine. We ended up at Borders, drinking a white mocha (him) and a chai tea latte (me) and browsing a sushi cookbook (him) and CHI RUNNING by Danny Dreyer (me). I ended up buying Chi Running and I am SO VERY EXCITED to read it, and see if the changes suggested, if implemented, could make a difference for me!

Just a side note: I already had the book in my hand, ready to be made mine when I ordered the drink. Tai Chi, Chai Tea... Are you catching it? It was actually exactly what I wanted, too.

Cuddle Bug and Soccer Boy had a great time with Mimi, Grampie, Auntie and Freddie. Freddie is my sister's adorable black/brindle toy poodle. He is actually so tall that he falls in the Mini Poodle category. It took the family a long time to adjust to letting go of the "toy" category. Haha. Seriously, though, he is the sweetest pup. And he is so smart, too! It has been so amazing to watch my family full of allergic people fall in love with a dog! Poodles are one of the few "hypo-allergenic" dogs. Basically, they don't shed, and don't produce dander, which is the lead cause of pet allergies.


OH YEAH! I totally forgot-- we went to the Maine Running Company (I had never been in the Portland store) and I got some SuperFeet inserts for my casual shoes to help combat the plantar fasciitis. Yay! I am so excited about them!

Then we went grocery shopping on the way home, and now we are vegging with the Green Bay/Atlanta game on.

Fabulous day!



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recommended Blog Post -- Hope is NOT a Strategy!

http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com/2011/01/hope-is-not-strategy.html


This AMAZING post (with equally amazing comments) by Amanda has totally rocked my world.

I have a lot of thoughts to sort through about this.
I am not training for a marathon, or even a half marathon. As a full time mother of two preschool aged boys, who is the primary care provider in the evenings, my time is quite limited. I am exceedingly grateful for the short runs that I do get in, and have committed to run 3 -4 times a week.

I finally have the equipment (cold weather gear, yaktrax, and a blinky light) to keep me safe either before work, or after work.

I am afraid to set myself up with an actual program, because LIFE JUST HAPPENS. Frequently. I have to stay at school too late, and then I don't have time to run in the evening.

I can barely move in the morning because my mattress hates me -- there goes my morning run.

Or the one time I have EVERYTHING ready for the morning, and Cuddle Bug gets up WITH ME at 4:15 AM because he knows that I am going to miss him. Hmmm.

I want to be in the place where running becomes a part of my life, and that I can build up my strength and endurance again before I start looking into any training plans.

But......
I definitely know that when I live my life INTENTIONALLY, will PURPOSE, things get done.
Maybe there is a happy medium.

Maybe there can be a plan for a beginner runner like me, with a crazy life?

Three Things Thursday

This is fantastic.
A chance to blog -- just because.

Nothing enormous has happened, but I just need to connect with my blogworld.

1. Spending a full day, or weekend with my boys makes it EXTREMELY hard to go back to work. I adore snow days, but now I am in the middle of "I miss my children so much that I feel ill," and it is making functioning just a little bit difficult.

2. I have already eaten my lunch, and it is not even 10:30 AM.

3. Has anyone seen my Spark? I can't find it. Also missing - my smile, and my laughter. Spark has been missing for days. Smile and laughter I just misplaced this morning -- I probably left them at daycare when I dropped the boys off.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lazy Snow Days

As a kid I loved snow days.
As a college student I loved snow days.
As a teacher I love snow days.
As a Mommy, I LOVE snow days!!!

What is even better? My husband has one too! Granted, he will have to work from 5AM to 10:30PM tomorrow because to A) make up the hours from not going in today, and B) help with snow removal at the high school where he works as a custodian.

Right now I am watching my Cuddle Bug explore the living room that he is simultaneously tearing apart. Since he has started crawling, and pulling himself up on things, he has become FIERCELY independent. He is not really seeming much like my Cuddle Bug-- unless he is sleeping. He wants to be on the floor, crawling toward the latest forbidden something!

Soccer Boy is an excellent Big Brother. He has been AMAZING about sharing his things. He is protective, caring and absolutely adores his little brother. We are so proud of him!

------
Now....
I have a question for all of you...

I have less than 100 miles in on my running sneaker, but my right leg -- not quite my shin, not quite my calf, sort of in between on the outside, is getting tight with increasing regularity. Does that sound like it could be a shoe issue? It is definitely a problem, because I can feel the direct link to my arch issues in my left foot.

Any suggestions?
Thanks!!

-Meredith

Monday, January 10, 2011

Little Miracles

Yesterday something happened.
(Well... yes, of course something happened, if nothing had happened, then we were probably all in comas or something. And that would be alarming, and probably NOT quite worthy of post title "Little Miracles.")

Without going into too much back story, but giving you enough information so that you aren't lost and confused, we are traveling an hour to church each Sunday. We are thrilled to be doing so, and adore our new church home. We wish that we were closer, but that's okay.

With two children, you might imagine that after church hunger might make the thought of another hour in a car a very scary thought. With that in mind, we usually try to make plans with some of our friends up there for lunch. Yesterday the menfolk were picking up the pizza (yay $10 pizza from Pizza Hut!) and the women and children were headed to their house when the window next to my 9 month old opened all by itself. Seriously. When I tried to roll the window back up? Nothing. I pulled over, thinking that perhaps my little imp had found the button, or that the carseat was pushing. THERE. IS. NO. BUTTON. on the the back seat doors.

I seriously could feel myself starting to flip out. But before I could even finish a frantic sentence, I remembered that I do not have to worry. I have a God that is in control of the situation, even if it means that we have to get it repaired and have to juggled bills again. So, I prayed.

And then the window went up.

Soccer Boy was so excited. "Mommy-- Jesus HEARD you!"

Then the window went back down.

We prayed again. It stayed down. It stayed down while my husband tried to figure out what was going on, and it stayed down the entire time we were at their house.

On our way home, it was still down. We had Cuddle Bug bundled up as best we could, since he is like a Houdini when it comes to blankets and coverings. We tried a few more times.
Then Soccer Boy said that we should pray again, so we asked him to.

What follows is just about the cutest prayer ever.

"Dear Jesus,

The window went down, and then up, and then down and now it is still down.

Can you fix it so that my baby brother doesn't get sick?

Amen."


And THEN the WINDOW WENT UP, and STAYED up! We have had no more issues with that darn window since!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So excited!

I need to update you all on my goals, and running.

The past three nights, dinner has been at the dining room table. I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been! On Monday night, after we ate dinner, we played a game. On Tuesday night, we made a birthday card for my mom. Last night, we baked Mimi's cake and wrapped her present. It has just resulted in such WONDERFUL moments with both of my boys.

After Soccer Boy is in bed, I take the time to get the dishes in the dishwasher, and make sure that the kitchen is mostly cleaned up. Last night there were lots of pots and pans, and I just couldn't do it because I was exhausted from making and frosting the cake, and the laundry, and the everything else that I had to do.

On the running front:

I ran on Monday. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO cold! It was the wind-chill, and I was NOT prepared for it. I definitely did NOT over-dress for that run. So I did a quick 1.5 miles. That evening and the next day my foot was DEFINITELY bothering me. :(

I ran again yesterday. I dressed more appropriately. BUT--- I didn't realize until I got beyond my driveway that I really didn't need the Yaktrax that day. So it was a little sluggish because of the extra weight. Again, a quick 1.5 miles. The best part is last night I REALIZED what the root of my foot pain is. My left shin and calf are REALLY tight. So much more tight than my right. So, I stretched it thoroughly throughout the evening, and today I have hardly ANY PAIN at all!!

Hoorray!! I am so excited about this!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Focus on the success...

Last night I cooked dinner for myself, knowing that Soccer Boy would half-heartedly try it, but I waited until it was done and then set all of us up in the dining room. Cuddle- Bug rocked his high chair, and Soccer Boy and I at the table.

We had such a fun meal, even though the negotiations (you want me to eat ONE more piece of potato, Mommy? No, son, I want you to eat FOUR more pieces) seemed endless.

After dinner, we pulled down the Silly Faces game that my beloved Aunt gave to Soccer Boy when they watched the boys for us while we went to a concert in October. Oh my word did we have fun!! What a great night!

And then, after I got Soccer Boy settled in bed, and Cuddle Bug's tummy fed (again), I did the dishes in kitchen, and then I finished up watching the video for the week of the Beth Moore Esther Bible Study. So it was a great evening!

I am so ready for THIS evening. Today has just been.....

hmmm....

Today has been fine. * I * haven't been fine. I am Eeyore today. I just feel like I am going to burst into tears. I am hoping that it will pass -- and hopefully before my fifth grade band rehearsal this afternoon!
-----


On Thursday, the boys and I are headed down to celebrate my mother's birthday with her, ON HER birthday, which is so special. Tonight, I think, will involved art projects for her!! See those exclamation points? I already feel better, just thinking about my Mom and my boys.

:)


Monday, January 3, 2011

Talk to me about what's really important....

It's a new year.

I have been out of control with my eating habits lately. Seriously. Ri-donk-ulously out of control. I am not going to beat myself up about it, because I can't change the things that I have done, or take back any of the decisions that I have made. I also am going to be realistic and know that I will NOT be able to divert the cheesecake in my refrigerator, and that once it (and the tiramisu torte.... I love/hate Trader Joe's!) is gone, I will again start being sane, sensible and smart about my food choices. I blame it all on the gift card. I would NEVER have spent OUR money on a cheesecake AND tiramisu torte, but for some reason, when it is a gift card, or someone else's money, those extravagances are somehow acceptable. Yes. It is a double standard.

I am feeling all sorts of motivated to actually get back into a routine with exercise and running. It was so much harder than I anticipated to get out for a run during vacation. I made lots of excuses, and shifted the blame around. It is really SO MUCH EASIER to go when the kids are at daycare and the husband is at work. I was intending to go this morning, but my darling Cuddle Bug knew how much I was going to miss him today, so he decided to get up WITH me at 4:15 AM. I bet you can do the math and realize that none of my pre-work plans happened this morning! Oh well. I got to spend time with my baby boy, and I am A-OK with that change of plans. :) So, this afternoon, I intend to rush home to throw my running gear on and get a nice run in (with my new safety blinky light!!) before I pick up the boys from daycare. But, after hearing that Cuddle Bug has been whiny and whimpering all day, just wanting to be held ALL. DAY, it makes me want to go scoop him up and hug him close to my heart, and breathe that baby smell and hear his baby laughs. *pout.*

So, time will tell what today will ACTUALLY bring. My hope is that a run will be in the books by 5:30 pm.

Wow, that was a long preface to my 2011 goals.

1. Run 3 - 4 times a week. Most likely MWF and one weekend day.
2. Work on our budget so that we can ALWAYS have salad and other fresh vegetables around.
3. Make conscious choices about the food that I am eating.
4. Make conscious choices about the media (movies/tv/books/articles/websites) that I am intaking.
5. Make the effort to have dinner at the same time as Soccer Boy, using the dining room table. (my husband works evenings, so this is often NOT the way dinner happens!!)

6. Continue to (try to) be more domestic. Be more intentional about free time that I have at home.

---

Well, I think that all of those are very reasonable goals, and some of them will be QUITE challenging. Um... actually.... most of them. That is a good thing, right?


Why I loved 2010!

Yes, arguably I am a bit late with my "year in review" and "resolution/goal setting" posts.

I was on vacation. Which meant that I was soaking up every last moment of snuggling with my 9 month old, and tickles with my 4 and a half year old.

We had a wonderful vacation filled with so much laughter, and smiles and fun. (There was also teething, talking back and time-outs. *Shrug* You know how it is!)

2010 was a year that I will never forget.
1. My second child was born.
2. I became a runner, and in doing so, accomplished something I had always thought was impossible.
3. I dealt with Post Partum Depression, and began taking an anti-depressant.
4. We got a major call on our lives, and have started the plans in motion, and are excited about the future.
5. Because of the call (see #4), we left the church that we loved, and are now driving an hour each way to a new church, that we ALSO love.
6. My husband started putting practical needs ahead of everything else. Case in point? He asked for clothes for Christmas, and was actually excited to receive them.
7. My Soccer Boy made a very exciting, life-changing decision, and we couldn't be more proud of him!!
8. I would be accurate in calling my Mom my sister, which has been a dream of mine since I became a Christian in 1999.
9. I have a group of seniors that have been with me since they were 5th graders, and I absolutely adore them, and they graduate this year. I have actually managed to hold it together for MOST of the year. :) This particular group, just so you have an idea, in September of 2009 I was driving to school, and I realized that they would be seniors the NEXT year, and I cried the rest of the 20 minutes to school. So for me to be functioning as well as I have been is quite an accomplishment. I try not to think "this is my last Christmas concert with my seniors..." and things like that.
10. My little cuddle bug is not so little any more, wearing 18 months clothing quite well at the tender age of 9 months. He has hit so many adorable milestones!

So even with the hard things, this has been a WONDERFUL year. I am NOT sad to see it go, because all of the wonderful things are just going to CARRY OVER into the future. And, my friends, this is a future that I am pretty darn psyched to greet!

I can't stop smiling! My life is just terrifically (woot! I love making up words!) awesome!