Something’s Got to Give

Over the course of the last seven months I have spent a lot of time looking inward…seeing what about myself are strengths and weaknesses…observing how I interact with people…trying to figure out what makes me happy and what makes me sad. You would think this would be an easy task since I have lived within myself for 38 years…but it has been difficult and at times not pretty and frustrating.

Something has got to give.

The thing I hate most about myself is the thing that consumes the majority of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is what I base my whole life on. My weight. My constant companion. Whether I am losing or gaining, at a good place or a bad place, my mind always goes there. And I know it will for the rest of my life. At times I look only forward. This summer I have been working very hard…but I have not had great results (in my opinion).

I have never struggled to lose weight like I have in the past year. I have been to my general practitioner. I have been to my OB/GYN. All test are normal. Basically,I just have a very slow metabolism. I need to have a hard work out twice a day, but I do not have the energy or the drive to do it. It is not about time or commitment; it is about not wanting to wake up early in the summertime. I could easily get up at 5:00 while Shawn and the kids are sleeping a do a workout. But I don’t because, honestly, I don’t want to.

I also have a food addiction. It is hard to say no to things I love to eat and easy to justify over eating. I have been known to binge eat on many many occasions. I have a sweet craving that can send me into a spin if I am not careful. Food is not just nourishment for me, it is love and pleasure and all-consuming. When I veer off the straight and narrow just a little bit it can send me into a downward spiral so far that it takes weeks to recover.

And when I am not losing weight at a pace I deem acceptable, then it gets very easy for me to lose total control. I have felt myself getting that way in the last couple of weeks.

As far as exercising goes, I am committed. Sixty minutes five (or six) days a week has been the norm. I have found classes I like and that push me and I work hard on the treadmill and elliptical trainer. I have counted calories and stayed on track since June. I have also committed to a friend that once school starts I will be joining her three days a week for early morning, before work sweat sessions.

But the weight is just not coming off.

To say I am frustrated does not even skim the surface of how I am feeling. I feel desperate and alone and like a failure and a coward. It is debilitating and makes my mind go to places I do not want to be. It makes me want to eat…to stuff those feelings…to feed the beast so to speak.

I guess I can take assurance in some sense that I recognize what is happening an I am doing something about it, this weekend was not good…but I am feeling more positive and back on track this morning.

One day at a time.

Free DIY

We are not rich.
We pay our bills and live a comfortable life, but by no means do we have a money tree growing in our backyard. So, when it comes to home improvements I have a very long list and a very limited budget. This means that although I have champagne tastes I am on a ginger ale budget.

For the past few months I have been annoyed by our yard. Neither Shawn nor I have a green thumb and we both detest yard work, so naturally our house looks like a rental since we do not care for it properly (or at least this is what I think in my mind). I have been pining over it and complaining about it and yet it still looks the way it looks. Monday I woke up and had had enough. ACTION, people. I need to be a person of action. So, with my zero budget I set out to do amazing things.

I first weeded all the landscaping. This was a chore in itself because we have had a lot of rain followed by a lot of sun and rain and sun and so on. Our beds were like a jungle. At one point I had to get our an axe because some of the weeds had taken roots and become tree-like. It was a horrible task, but when it was finished it was an 88% improvement.

The next day I began the task of cutting the shrubs and all of the trees back. I have not used an electric trimmer like ever, so it took a bit of time before I was comfortable that I was not going to cut off a finger or a leg. I am not kidding, within minutes I could see a huge difference in my front lawn. It was actually amazing.

I continues by raking out all of the beds and then re-weeding what I had missed the day before. I must have filled six yard waste bags (as a side note, we had yard waste bags in our garage dated 2005!).

I finished my project by repairing a broken spot on the deck, securing the lights in the ground, taking down the tiki torches that were connected to the deck(that I have hated for 3 years!) and painting the “Megan’s Tree” sign that was hidden in the landscape. Oh, and I cleaned out a storage container that sits on our deck and was filled with a bunch of crap.

Shawn also got in on the action by giving the yard a great mow, weed eating and edging, and removing the oil stain on our driveway.

And we spent zero money. Nothing. Nada. Zip. And my house looks 100% better. I am so proud of the way it looks. And I am proud of myself and Shawn for just doing it.

As a bonus, Shawn found a very cute bench on deep discount at our local hardware store. It is the perfect fit for our front porch…something we have been talking about since we move in. $35 for the win!

There are many other things that I want to do to upgrade our home in the next year. None of these will be free but they will all be DIY. Young House Love we are not…but we are going to push through and do it. When we bought this house we were newly married (like, a month in) and had so many hopes and dreams for this beautiful house that we could not believe was ours. We did not just buy our first home, but our forever home.

So here is a fun little list of things I would like to do over the course of the next year:
1. Re-paint the family room
2. Rip up the carpet in the family room and replace with Pergo flooring to match the 1st floor
3. Tile the kitchen (and possibly re-paint)
4. Tile three bathrooms with the same tile as the kitchen
5. Gut the master bathroom and start over (this will most likely not happen anytime soon)
6. Replace the furniture in the family room

I guess I will just have to check back and let you know what, if anything has been accomplished.
Wish me luck!

Here are a few pictures of our landscaping. It might not look like much, but it is a lot to me!

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Summer Lovin’

Man, I can’t believe I have not posted again in a while. It seems like every time I want to sit down and write something I just never get it done.

Along with the rest of the country, we have been having the most amazing weather this summer. It has really only been horribly hot for about a week out of the whole summer. Now it is back to 80 and sunny with no humidity. I am not naive enough to think this will last forever, but I am scooping it up and trying to do as many fun outdoor activities as I can. Because, we know fun outdoor activities lead to this…

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Welcome back three hour naps, I have missed you!!!!

We have been exploring local parks and new ice cream stands and even hiking a bit. It has been fun to find new things to do. I have lived here for almost nine years, but I feel like this is the first summer I have really explored my city. Good times.

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Every night when I put the kids to bed I look back on the day and smile. My “have fun” mentality of this summer has really brought out the best in me. And my kids.

So, yet again, not a great post, but a post none the less. At some point I am going to really get back into this whole blogging thing. Not this weekend, though. My family is coming in from Buffalo for a night and then I am spending quality time with my BFF. So happy about it!

The Beginning of the End…of Summer

It has been kind of crazy here for the last few days because my mom is visiting. When my mom visits we are go go go all the time. Not that my days are not busy without her; but when she comes in town I likes to find “Stay-cation” things to do with her.

Megan finished up VBS yesterday with a cute little program. It was adorable…all the children had a singing and dancing party in front of the parents. It is yet another reason why I love my church and the community we are building. I kept imagining Megan as one of the teachers and how she is going to build fantastic friendships every summer of her life. I love fellowship and I do believe that it is the way to have a healthy Christian life. In fact, I often miss my single days when I was involved in a church small group. I keep wanting to get back into it, but with Shawn working nights it is not feasible in my schedule. Maybe someday.

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I wish I had more to write about, but I really don’t. Life/summer is just moving was too quickly for my liking. I wish there was more than a month left of summer vacation. I know, that is such a selfish statement, but I just had to say it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Oh, one more thing…my mom watched the kids while I got a pedicure. It has been years and felt so amazing. I wish I had a lot of money, because I would be getting a pedicure and a manicure every other week for sure.

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You are welcome, Internet, I am sure everyone will sleep more soundly tonight having seen my feet!

Play Date!

Update from yesterday…I think I am more hungry during the day when I do not work out in the morning. I am not sure why this is the case, but I think it is pretty true. This is a totally unresearched, unproven theory, but I am going with it.

Today started with day 2 of VBS drop off. Sweet Megan Elizabeth did great and seemed pretty unaffected by the whole thing.

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love that purple t-shirt…I do not love washing it every night, however

Ty and I headed off to the gym for a Power Core class. I was thinking I was going to be late and not be able to attend but I made it just in time…for ZUMBA? Yes, you heard me correctly. The PC teacher was feeling pretty down with back issues and asked the Zumba instructor (who happened to be in the class) to work our outer and inner thighs with a Zumba routine. I have never done Zumba before and I really had no desire to try it. I will tell you, after 20 minutes I was sweating to death and my thighs were absolutely burning. Like, crazy burning. Zumba for the win! I might take my gym up on a free class this week.

When we got home Shawn picked up Megan and she was crying because I did not pick her up. I guess I will not be making that mistake again! Secretly I just love that my kids are always looking for me…not that they do not love Shawn so much, it is just they love me…they really love me.

Megan had a play date this afternoon which meant we missed naps. Not pretty for anyone involved. I am not really that kind of parent that forces naps, but when I know my kids need them I just know. So, the play date was not terrible, but there were many breakdowns.

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Part of the reason why I did not pick Megan up was because I was waiting for Direct TV. My window was from 12-4. I will spare you all my DTV woes, but in a nutshell this girl is about to go postal. So, I am sitting here now and it is 5:40 and a technician has yet to show up. Super annoying. Really, super annoying. It makes all the troubles I have had with this company heightened and I have no idea why they do not take my time into consideration. It makes me want to tell them to take everything out of my house when (if?) they get here. Irritating.

I have so many things to write about…Disney re-cap, Summer TV, updating my goals for the summer. But, I feel like everyday I just ramble. I guess that is okay…it is my blog, anyway.

Anyone have any good and funny stories out there? I would love to hear them,

Hunger

I am so hungry today I could eat my arm with a little ketchup on it. Seriously. I do not know what is wrong with me. I am JUST.SO.HUNGRY.

Being in the throws of a massive lifestyle/weight loss journey has seen its good, bad and ugly days. This summer the days have been mostly good. I have worked really hard at the gym and my eating has been spot-on. The results have been good, not exceptional (in my opinion).

But today, oh, I have had a rough one. I am just so hungry. Nothing is satisfying my cravings. So, I have been eating, not out of control everything in the house eating, but more than I normally eat. I have tried upping protein and drinking more water, but, seriously, I just am hungry.

We all have those days (I think)… So I just thought I would put it out there.

In other news in my life, my baby, Megan Elizabeth, started Vacation Bible School (VBS) this morning. It might not seem like a big deal to anyone, really, but it was a big deal to me. Megan has never been to any kind of formal school, so I was a little nervous for her.

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Of course, she had a great morning and loved her class and her teacher. She even quoted “the Lord is my Shepherd” when she got in the car which makes this Jesus-loving mommy so happy! She did say she had so much fun but missed us as well. I hope she always have a hunger for The Lord. Church was always a place of fun and friends and awesomeness for me and I am hoping both my kids have the same experiences as I did as a child.

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And, me being me, I had to take a picture of her first day in a classroom.

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Of course, she was irritated and annoyed by this! Get used to it, girlfriend, is all I have to say about that!

Well, needless to say, blogging did not satiate my appetite. HA! Now it is the countdown until the kids wake up and we can get to the gym…at least that will be 60 minutes of now food!

A Little Help From My Friends

This summer has been one of the best I have ever had. I finally feel like I am in a groove with a lot of things. I have a loose schedule that I follow and things that I want to accomplish everyday, but as I said before, I really only have two goals. Having fun has really been in the back of my mind everyday. WhenI go back to work (in five week, eek!) I want to look back on the summer with no regrets…that I spent every day loving life and being there for the people I love.

Being a stay at home mom (temporarily) brings immense happiness, joy, love, laughter, tears, heartache, body ache, and many more feelings everyday. Kids are so unpredictable but predictable at the same time. Am I making sense?

This weekend I was able to step out of my role as mom and into girlfriend mode. Six of my girls hung out this weekend for a little “staycation” in downtown Cincinnati. Originally we got together to see Dave Matthews Band, but it turned out to be so much more. The concert was amazing and DMB never disappoints. But the bonding time I had with my girlfriends is something I needed and I treasure and I love. We had too many laughs, a few cries, and just a weekend that I will be smiling about for a long time to come.

Every time we are together it is like no time has passed at all. Most of these women I have been friends with for over twenty years and a few I have been best friends with my whole life; like over thirty years…oh my, we are getting old…and the foundation of friendship that I have is priceless to me. I hope in another thirty years we are still planning get-together a with each other.

I will leave today with a couple of great pictures from the weekend. I am back home now and in mom and wife mode, but I am still smiling. Being with my girls was exactly what I needed!

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