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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not such a big fan....

I am not such a big fan of AGE 5 so far.

We are dealing with horrible attitudes, and defiance Every. Single. Day.

It is wearing us down.
The poor little guy....  he has such a tender heart.  When he realizes how naughty he has been he is heartbroken.  We are just trying help him think about the choices he is making.  So hard.

I am so fortunate that the good, cute, wonderful times are also plentiful, because without those, I know that I would be going crazy.

And I just want to say --  friends that stand by you, and support you, and have been there?  Awesome.
So called friends that judge?  Even when they are pretending not to?
Not helpful.  The opposite of helpful.

Just sayin'.

And because I don't want this post to be ALL bad, here is a picture of my littlest cutie pie:

Yummy pasta!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boy Mom BlogHop!

If you are a mother of boys, then you owe it to yourself to check out the #MOBSociety (MOB = Mothers of Boys).  Imagine a room filled with other women that have rowdy, and sometimes whiny, and active boys and know exactly why you feel like you could collapse on the chair with a latte.  That is what The MOB Society is like.  And you don't even have to leave your house!!

Are you ready to connect with some other Moms of Boys? Share the laughter, the frustrations, the joy and the ..... everything that comes with our precious little men?  Then you should join up with the 1st EVER Mob Society "Boy Mom BlogHop!"


So.... Now I am supposed to give an introduction to myself and my blog.  
But I feel like I have really been doing a lot of that lately, as I am re-committing myself to a life that is lived on purpose.  So, I think I will link you up to a post from earlier in the week.  It's what I am all about.  

But --- for those who don't click over (and that's okey dokey), here is the even shorter than cliff's notes version.

My husband and I have been married 9 years.  We have two boys - Soccer Boy just turned five, and Cuddle Bug is 16 months old.   








I am the band director for the small community that we live in, and I am starting my eleventh year there.  I adore my job.  I love it.  In fact....  I know, without a doubt, that it is an essential part of my purpose.  However -- I also love my boys.  And I love being with them, and teaching them, and training them.  I am thrilled that my teacher schedule allows me to have summers off with them, and that Soccer Boy will be attending Kindergarten at MY school in the fall!!

We live in Maine, and we love it here.  (There is more to that story, too.)

I play every band instrument, and many others, but my best is trombone.
(Wait... that has nothing to do with being a boy mom.  Sorry.)

Oh --- one of my blogging idols is linked up in the Boy Mom BlogHop. If you do not read her blog, you absolutely must.  Seriously.  (Shell, I am talking about YOU.)

So!  1st Annual Boy Mom BlogHop!  Let's do it up!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday: The Ugly Truth

Two things make any kind of cold that I get incredibly difficult.

1)  I get pleurisy almost every time.  It is in the outside lining of your lungs become inflamed and every time you breathe in and your lungs touch your ribcage, big pain happens.  Not fun.  And when you consider that I am a professional musician, and play instruments ALL. THE. TIME, all of which require excessive breathing, it hurts. A lot.

2) I have asthma.  It hardly ever bothers me. I have to be careful when I am excerising -- running in particular, because it is easy to get to a place where it takes a long time to recover from, but I know how to handle it, and to be honest --- I am just not that fast. Yet.  But.  When I have a cold, my poor, compromised lungs can't handle it, and the cough hangs on forever, and makes people think that I am on the verge of death.  I'm not, because really, it is ten times better than it was three days ago.  Right now I am in the stage of -- I am fine unless I try to do anything taxing.  You know, like carry my 16 month old up the stairs for naptime.  Or into the house.  Or rescuing him from imminent danger.

SO those two things make exercising very difficult right now.
I actually took advantage of Soccer Boy being at Vacation Bible School, and Cuddle Bug being down for a nap and started my Leslie Sansone 5 Mile walk playlist on Youtube.  Yeah.  The last two minutes of every mile are jogging.  I really shouldn't have done it.  I knew that I probably shouldn't do it, but I am.... stubborn. And sometimes really... stupid.

I just made it to that point feeling good and strong. I wanted to give it my all.  It felt great to be exercising, and being back at it again.  All that changed after the two minute jogging section.  I didn't feel it completely until we were about five minutes into the next mile, and I just started shutting down.  Oh well.  I got 20 minutes in, which is really good considering that I haven't done a darn thing since.... I actually don't remember when.

So now I am sitting on my couch, regulating my breathing, and trying to decide if I need the inhaler for the asthma, or the ibuprofen for the pleurisy.  *facepalm*


HOWEVER:

I weighed in this morning--  I am down one more pound, which brings my total lost to 6 pounds so far.

And... since I am being authentic, and I did mention a couple of posts ago that I do have over 100 pounds to lose, I am going to just dig my heels in and put those numbers up there.

Ugh.
Bottom line? (This is my pep talk to myself. Feel free to stop reading for a moment. I will let you know when it is over.)  The people who love you, LOVE YOU.  It doesn't matter to them what size you wear, or what the number is on the scale.  The people that love you are excited to see that you are trying to take charge of your HEALTH, because it means that you have a better chance of being around longer.  Yes.  It is a number.  And yes.... it has a nasty stigma attached.  But it is not the number of your forever.  You can post it, and move on.  And then you can be authentic, and HONEST and be even more motivated to leave these big numbers behind.... FOREVER.

(Okay... pep talk over.  You can start reading again.)

Okay.

Starting Weight (July 6th):  275 lbs
Previous Weight (July 20th):  270 lbs
Current Weight: 269 lbs
+/- this week:   - 1 lb
Total lost: 6 lbs



There it is, blogland.
I am feeling particularly motivated at the moment.  (see? It's already working!  Ha!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eventful day....

What a day.
Let me get the outline for you:

Cuddle bug slept until 7:45.  (unheard of.)
We had to leave at 8:30.  Not a big deal.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) for Soccer Boy at 9:00.
(Potentially Disastrous Deal)
Smooth drop-off and extrication at 9:30.
Cuddle bug back in bed at 9:45.
Up again at 11:15, to get ready to pick up Soccer Boy.
VBS ended at 12:05, grabbed food, headed to prime bike riding real estate (empty school parking lot) and had a "picnic"
Ate lunch, watched bike riding, reconnected with a student, more bike riding and stroller pushing until 1:30
Load kids in car, realize car won't start.  1:32
Call dear friend to ask for a jump. 1:33
She shows up at 1:40
Still not working by the time my husband calls on his way home from work, 2:00
Hang out with friend, talking, sharing, until 2:45, when my husband arrives.
Tow truck arrives at 3:20
Drops car off at the garage practically across the street 3:35
Boys and I head home with the other car, and arrive at 3:45.
My husband calls asking us to come back so that I can write a check for the new batter at 3:50.
Realizes he has the checks in the van, 3:51.
Home with the van, in perfect condition, 4:15.


So actually -- it was an amazing day....  Until I realized that I must have done something to COMPLETELY kill the battery.  I mean how does that happen in 45 minutes?  Really?

After that it was... challenging.
I knew it was probably the battery, but probably and my instincts are not always closely related.
My friend was really great -- even though we had to resort to the manual to actually know how to correctly jump start a car.  Haha.   Her middle daughter had came along and was keeping Soccer Boy  occupied, so that was really cool.  It gave us a chance to talk about some pretty intense things, for a few moments.

And the tow truck driver was really cool. He let Soccer Boy sit in the cab of the truck for a bit.  It was loud in their, so it only lasted 3 seconds.  I counted.  But he was still smiling.  

Oh!! The BEST UNEXPECTED BLESSING!   It forced us to clean out the PT Cruiser.   Oh my word does that husband of mine collect garbage.   Yay for having trash bags in the Van, and nothing but time while waiting for the tow truck, right?

So, we are home, both cars are functioning, and life is just fine.  Because of lessons that I taught yesterday, we have exactly the amount of money that we needed for the new battery, and the equipment check, and the installation.   And just for the record, I do NOT believe that to be a coincidence.  ;)


 Check out his new bike!!  He has a super awesome Lightning McQueen helmet too.

If you have never tried Diptic, and you have an iPhone or iPod with a camera, then I would highly recommend it.  It has completely changed the way I take pictures.  I used to be so disappointed that Soccer Boy wouldn't actually smile, or would keep making silly faces.  Now I love it, because I can make a collage like this!!

And this picture collage of Cuddle Bug is not from today, it is from Sunday evening, and he is eating some of my Aunt Rita's delicious cookies!  Eating and wearing them.   It's about a 40/60 split, I think!!

I just wanted to include some recent pictures of the littlest, as well.





All is well that ends well. :)



Mish mash of meanderings...

This is my life in general blog.
I keep forgetting that.
I feel like I can only post if I have something to report on the exercise/ weight loss front.
But....
It is my blog.
And I can write about whatever I want to write about.


I think that I have figured out a way that will make the TITLE of my blog fit the theme of my LIFE.


Hebrews 12: 1 b:


 let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...


I Corinthians 9 :24


 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.




Now -- if we are speaking only of running, then the thought that I might win a prize for it is laughable.
Ha ha ha.


But ---
Since I am talking about my life in general?


THESE are the races that I am running:


- Raising my children to love and respect and fear God.
- Staying consistent in prayer, and in Bible study, so that my life reflects the glory, and the beauty of the amazing God that I serve.
- Exercising discipline in all areas -- fitness and housekeeping... you name it.




So -- how about a Race Report?


Raising my children to love and respect and fear God.


Soccer Boy (now age five!!) has so many questions.  But at the same time, he has such tremendous faith.
We are doing a lot of things right in this area -- but a lot of it is because he  is driving the conversation.


In my own study, I am realizing that my husband and I need to be more intentional about what we share about God and when, rather than just waiting for him to mention it or ask questions.  Cuddle Bug may not be as attuned to things of the Lord.  We need to establish the patterns now.


Prayer/ Bible study.


This area is going quite well right now.  I am reading (and blogging) through the Bible in 90 Days through a challenge hosted at Mom's Toolbox.  Over 900 people are reading together!!!


I am blogging my reflections at Crying Out to My God.


I am also reading One Thousand Thanks: A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp.    This book is amazing.... it is challenging me and inspiring me at the same time.


Oh -- and this is the biggest deal.   It is summer vacation.  I am a teacher.  I do not work in the summers. I just hang out with my adorable children, and teach a few lessons.  Summer was ALWAYS the time that any prayer or bible study routine that I had would fall to the wayside, because I simply refused to wake up earlier than my children if I didn't need to.   This summer, since my husband switches to daytime schedules in the summer months, he is up in the morning at 3:45 AM.  Are you ready for this?


I have been getting up WITH him.  There have been TWO exceptions to this -- and one was when I was quite sick and had to play a concert that evening, and the extra two hours of sleep were amazing, and the other was when Cuddle Bug decided that an all night party would be a good idea.


I mean right now?  I am writing this post at 5:22AM.  Legit.  5:22AM.  In the summer time.


(okay. Race report on this topic is exhausted.)


Exercising discipline in all areas:


um....
Well, I was doing really well with the exercise, even though I had a terrible summer cold.  And then it got hotter than....  well, so hot that I was dripping sweat after mopping my kitchen floor and baking a cake (even with fans trained on me the whole time) on the birthday of my five year old.


Now that the weather has cooled off, I am intending fully to get back into some exercise, although my lungs are still not 100%, so I know that I have to be careful.


Food --  I have not been tracking since last Thursday.  Just lazy.  I am large, large person.  I have 100 lbs to lose, which means that I have a LOT of calories to eat.  Sometimes, in order to make sure I am not under-eating, I have to make not great choices, just to get the calories in.  I hate doing it, because I am actually trying to make healthy choices.  But....  there it is.  Honesty.


(Just for the record, being authentic for the whole world to see... is sometimes... um... really hard.)


Housekeeping --
No comment.  Now that the weather has cooled off, I am hoping to finally get the laundry beast under control, and perhaps find a system so that my kitchen counters might see the light of day for more than one hour at a time.




-----
Well there you have it.
My very first "race report."


And my first attempt at being my real self, and not just one slice of myself, on this blog.




Things to come:  Weigh in day tomorrow, and a possible ACTUAL race (that involves running (and walking intervals) on Saturday!!


Things to arrive in the mail:   Still waiting on the amazing bracelet that I won in a giveaway at Joggerslife.    It is a bracelet with a handstamped word of my choice (AUTHENTIC) on a silver plate, with a leather (I believe) cord.  I am so excited.  :)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good start....

I haven't mentioned this on the blog because I didn't want to Jinx anything.
But... if I am being authentic, and I am owning my journey.... then....  there are some risks involved.

Since I recommitted myself to my healthiness journey:

Weigh in after one week: 3.5 pounds lost!
Weigh in after two weeks: 1.5 pounds lost, for a total of FIVE POUNDS!!!

Yay!

And the part that I am hesitant to talk about?
I am not dieting.
I am tracking.
I am hardly ever hungry... I sometimes have to FIND things to eat.

My dear friend mentioned several times in my previous struggles that she didn't think that I was eating enough calories, but I was afraid to try eating more.  What if it didn't work?  It's a scary thing when you are trying to DIET, and it isn't working, to consider EATING MORE, because I was so afraid that rather than standing STILL, the scale would start moving the WRONG WAY.

But, this time around, when I was really ready to listen, she pointed me in the direction of the fat2fitradio.com website.  So far, I have read some articles and used their calculators, but I am downloading some of the podcasts, because it is very interesting.

Well- there you have it.
Accountability.
:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weddings and Competitions

One of my favorite cousins got married yesterday. We loaded up the boys inthe car and headed out on the five hour drive. They were both awesome.

Random Tidbit:  Stephen is really good at Angry Birds. He calls it Grumpy Birds.  Isn't that cute?

We were able to check-in at our hotel, relax, hang with Mimi, Grampie and Auntie, and change into wedding finery.

Image source: Wikipedia

The hotel was located at The Towers, in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  The wedding ceremony was in the left tower, which looks right out to the ocean. The dining was in the middle section, which is over the busy Ocean Road.

Amy and Dan have been together since they were in 8th grade. Isn't that amazing? They went to college separately, and did internships separately, and through it all, remained completely devoted to one another.  They were adorable.  And she was radiant.

The boys were both fantastic at the wedding. We had a frightening moment when we realized that the caterers did not have ANY milk that I was hoping to use for Cuddle Bug's bottle.  But that disaster was averted, when they offered to water down some half and half.  Done.  Crisis averted.  A very thoughtful Mimi brought her grandboys toys to help keep them occupied.  Soccer Boy got to build a Lego airplane, with the assistance of my cousin Mitch (who was the ring bearer at our wedding, 9 years ago!).  Cuddle Bug got a new truck to play with.  And by play, I of course mean throw it down to the ground so the Mommy can pick it up, over and over, and over again.

A fantastic day.

Now....
One of the ladies in my group of online Mommy friends (we met during our pregnancies with our Cuddle Bug age children) has thrown the gauntlet.

She started a Biggest Mommy Loser challenge.

I resisted.
I wrestled.
And then I thought about all of my friends getting skinny because they are working hard and motivating each other, and I realized....  Yes.  I have to do this, even if the weight doesn't come off on the scale.  I have to do this.

So I signed up, and I took the horrible before pictures (horrible not JUST because of the subject matter, but because of a lack of a full length mirror, I was taking them into the window out to our deck. If you look closely (which I will NOT be giving you the opportunity.... SORRY) you can see the hint of one our patio chairs.  Ha!  And because our scale is one of those dinosaur non digital ones), and actually admitted my weight to people.  Even on myfitnesspal you are allowed to keep it to yourself!

UGH.
But it is done.
We will be weighing in monthly, and the challenge will end on New Years Day 2012.

So I guess it is time blow the dust off of the 30 Day Shred.  :)

And.... just for the record?  Pleurisy is no fun.  No fun at all.  I get it almost every time that I get a cold.  Ugh.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update. :)

I am happy to report that:

A) I have logged every single that I have eaten since Wednesday of last week.
B) Exercised every day but Sunday.

C) I went RUNNING again!  I found a pretty good road that is very low traffic, and has plenty of flat places!  I logged two miles with a 2 minute run/ 1.5 minute walk interval, and felt really strong.  Physically and mentally!  (That was on Saturday.)

D)  I did 20 consecutive push-ups!

E) I made up my own mini circuit training routine, and did EVERY.single.part of it.  I fought harder for myself than I ever have for Jillian.  (That surprised me.)

F) I have been logging my activity pretty much anywhere that I can think of... trying to generate LOTS off accountability.  :)

G) Lots of other things are falling into place. :)

Life is good.

We just got home from a sweaty 90 minute walk around town, up hills and down hills, sometimes pushing both of the boys in the double stroller.  My arms are FEELING it. :)  My friend and colleague contacted me about going for a walk so she could break in some new hiking boots, and was game to have the kids along!  She held hands with the big boy, and at another time pushed the little boy in the stroller... even BOTH of them in the stroller at one time!

It is amazing what a difference ONE day can make.


:)






Friday, July 8, 2011

New Leaf, episode 1

I am extremely happy to report that:

I finished out the day on Wednesday like a rockstar.
I logged every bite, and was under my calorie goal.

Thursday was another fantastic day:
Leslie Sansone 2 mile walk for abs. (if anyone wants the youtube link, I can share the playlist I made with you.) It is no P90X, but it is a good workout.  My legs and arms feel the burn toward the end.

I ate with intention, and thought of food as fuel.
I logged every bite.

Today?

Leslie Sansone video

20 pushups -- the days workout called for 5, 6, 4, 5 with breaks in between.  I didn't take the breaks.
So, essentially, with the exception of the maybe 2 seconds in each interval to switch to the next screen, I did 20 consecutive pushups.  (I can feel it in my shoulders. My left especially.)

And yet to do?

1. Squats/ Jumping Jacks/ Lunges/ Jumping Jacks   -- my own circuit training!!
2. go for a walk/run later in a much quieter traffic area

And not related to the fitness front -- I am going to do some laundry today if it kills me!
:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today is the day.

Last night was the turning point.


I reached out for help.
I emailed friends asking for support, and information.


And this morning?


Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds for Abs 2 mile walk (using 3 lb weights)


Finished before 7:30 AM.


29 Push-ups, using the Push-up app for my phone.
34 Squats, using the Squat app for my phone.


Finished before 9:30 AM.


And then I was challenged by a friend on one of my facebook groups to add lunges, so I upped the ante even further, and added jumping jacks.


4 sets of:
20 side lunges, 20 jumping jacks -- all weighted with 3 lb  weights)


Finished before 11:30 AM.


AND --
I have tracked my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal.


-----


Then -- as if that wasn't enough...


I read this amazing post by TMB.  (one of my all-time forever favorite bloggers. Just for the record.)
It's all about being comfortable in your own skin.  With who you are, wherever you are, no matter what is going on around you.


Highlights from her post:


Confidence is beautiful.
Strength is beautiful.
Pride is beautiful.

Express yourself however you'd like. Then, own it.
Understand that it doesn't matter what's on the outside. Then, own it.
Be who you are, even if that's not what everyone wants you to be. Then, own it.



Thank you, TMB....  that was so much affirming the changes that were already in progress in my heart of hearts.




And then I read this post by Lindsay, another Prior Fat Girl.


And it's not so much that I related to where she is right now -- because y'all -- she is happy.  And you know -- I love my life. I love my family, I love my job, I love my Savior.  Things are amazing.  We moved to an awesome home (that is having a new furnace installed at this very moment, thank you Mr. Landlord) in a quaint town that I love being in.


But I am miserable with myself.
I hate looking in the mirror.
I hate feeling out of breath when I do things that I could do easily a few months ago.
I hate that I am not fitting comfortably in my clothes (or my own skin).
I hate that I have lost all of my endurance and stamina on the running front.
I hate that I have lost all of my confidence.


And you know what?
I am finally to the point where I am doing something about it.
Again.


How many times in my life am I going to LET MYSELF  get to that point?


My fervent prayer is that the answer will be NEVER AGAIN. 


Last summer-- I was running.  I was Shredding. I was eating healthy things.


I was losing inches, but not losing ANY weight -- according to the scale.


I got so fed UP WITH IT.


So now ---  I am scared out of my mind to commit to eating 2000 calories a day, and exercise again, because if the scale doesn't move again, I will probably throw it off of my deck.  (And unfortunately, be filled with self-loathing.)


But the alternative to not trying is no longer acceptable.


So here I go.
Half -way through the day of my turning point.


It's GO  time.


-------------------------------------------------------


I desperately need community, and accountability, and friends along this journey.
Please... consider becoming my cheerleader/friend.... I'm really good at being that for people, too!


Email me, or comment on this post, or tweet me.



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Open Letter to Google

Dear Google,

I have flirted with other web-based blogging platforms.

In my heart I have been completely unfaithful to Blogger.

But what it all boils down to is this:

Google Friend Connect, when it works is completely awesome.

When it is not working?
A colossal bummer.

But -- ease of publishing?  Ease of editing the layout?
The best that I have tried.

So....
Google?
I love you. I love your browser. I love your extensions.

PLEASE FIX THIS.

Okay.  Thanks!

-Meredith

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Time to Face the Music

I won an amazing giveaway.
Seriously.

Elisabeth, of A Jogger's Life, had a very cool giveaway.  Up for grabs?  A beautiful bracelet made by HardWear Designs.


The challenge was coming up with the perfect word.

It took a while, but I finally found it.

Authentic


It is perfect.  It describes my journey -- both where I aim to be, and where I am beginning to be.

Authentic.
Owning my journey.
Every step.  (Every sit on the couch.)
Every bite. (Hmm.)

Okay... so upon further reflection, I am doing really well on being authentic in ONE area of my life.

One little corner of my life.

I blog daily (multiple times, sometimes) at Crying Out to My God.  Every morning (weekdays definitely, weekends sporadically) I am Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.  It has changed my life, and deepened my faith.

When we were looking at our current home, and waiting to find out if we would get it or not,  in the six days in between, the Lord gave me wisdom, assurance, peace, and patience.  It was unbelievable.

But....
I feel safe talking about it there.  The followers that I have for that blog are like - minded individuals, all on their own faith journey.

But....
This is my blog.
I don't have to censor myself.
When it comes down to it, I am doing this for myself.  Goodness knows I am not a witty enough writer to have masses of followers....

Google Friend Connect is cool.
But...
I think that I have let it run my blog, and the content that I put out there for the world a little bit.

So.
If I am really going to be

Authentic

then it appears that I have some work to do.

 I am going to own my journey,
and I am going to blog about it.

Will I keep the blogs separate?
I don't know.

I could see Crying Out to My God becoming my daily study, giving thanks blog, and using this blog for more reflective posts.

I don't know yet.
But, I am going to figure it out.