Goodbye 2014

It’s the last day of the year. 2014 brought me the most wonderful gift, my little Ryan Robert (who is currently sleeping in my arms). He has been the highlight for sure. I am not going to say that he completed our family because who really knows, but I will say that he has made our family much more complete. I have always envisioned having a big family and my dream of this was realized with Ryan’s birth. He has turned Megan and Tyler into the “big kids” (even though they are still little) and given them much more of a purpose. They love him and he loves them. I am enjoying every day with my new family dynamic.

This year also pushed me and tested me in ways I did not foresee. Having a baby at 39 is no joke. I have been more tired, more stressed, and more taxed than I have ever been in my life. I am glad I came out of ot a better woman.

I plan to do an entire post about my goals for 2015. I will say that I am planning on making 2015 a year of self-improvement in many different realms of my life.

So, goodbye 2014, it has been a great one!

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Merry Christmas!

Well, that was a long break.

December happens and before you know it Christmas Eve happens and then your watching the Rose parade and it’s like, what just happened?

Time flies when you’re having fun.

Our holiday was perfectly imperfect, just how we like it. The kids received way too many gifts, I (once again) needed an engineering degree to put together toys; namely the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle underground cave ~ so cool but so many pieces!, and everyone was together which made it great.

We decided to make a surprise trip to Buffalo to visit with family for a couple of days. What a great decision! It has been so much fun. The kids have been great and the hotel has a pool. Megan keeps calling this her “vacation” which I find hilarious because we are staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Western NY.

I am happy I have another week off of work since we left our house in shambles to escape to NY. We need to do a lot if organizing (re: purging) in the next few days. But for now I am enjoying the time with my family.

He are a few pictures from the last few days:

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This and That

#1

I made it to the gym again last night.  Once again I spent some time on the treadmill.  At this point in my life I am not really concentrating on speed, just movement.  Getting 45 minutes of solid movement in is all I am asking of myself.  The “Before” me would say that is not good enough, but the “Today” me says it is alright because I am gearing up for some hard work starting in January.

#2

I have an iPad that I use whenever I am working out.  I enjoy watching trashy TV on Netflix.  It makes the time go much faster for me.  However, the Internet at the gym has not been so great, so, instead, I have been listening to Pandora (mostly DMB, Bare Naked Ladies, and PINK radio) and I just downloaded a book.  The book is called Heaven is Here by Stephanie Aurora Clark Neilson.  Stephanie writes a popular blog that I have been following for a few years now.  Basically she lived a very perfect fairytale life until she almost died in a plane crash.  Her story is actually pretty amazing.

#3

Some blogs I have read for several years now and I feel like I know the writers well.  It is strange, because, in fact, I do not know them at all.  Blogging is funny that way.  I also hate it when I have read a blog for years and then the person stops writings and doesn’t tell anyone.  It’s like the “friendship has ended and I mourn it in a way.  What has happened to you Beth Ann????

Personally, I know I have a couple readers, but I am sure there are other people “out there” who read this blog.  It is kind of neat to think about.  I write on this blog because I like to have a journal that I can look back on.  I have never been interested it advertising this blog or making myself known, but if that were to happen, it would be fine too.

#4

We started feeding Ryan baby food this week.  He seems to like it okay.  We started with cereal which he is not impressed with but he finds sweet potatoes and apples to be pretty darn good.  Just like the other two…they love those sweet potatoes!

#5

I have not bought one Christmas present yet.  Yesterday I did make a list of everyone we need to buy from and what I think I will be getting them.  I am thinking about making it a “Kohl’s Christmas” because I have some Kohl’s Cash and coupons and it just makes financial sense.  Some people might be stressed out about this but I am not.  In fact, I kind of like waiting until the last minute.  When I am finished working on the 19th, we will head out to the mall and get all of the things.  It is like a special date night for Shawn and meJ

#6

I love Starbucks

#7

I am showing my 7th grade students The Ultimate Gift.  It is such a wonderful story and puts me in a great mood.  If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it over the holidays.  You will not regret it.

#8

I love Old Navy.  I love it even more now…I ordered a few things (for myself) last week while they were 30% off.  My shipment is still pending and I saw yesterday that everything was now 40%.  I e-mailed customer service to see if they would honor the 40% thinking they never would.  But, you know what?  THEY DID!  What AMAZING customer service!  It makes me want to order more (which I am sure I will).

#9

I am getting a Fitbit for Christmas from the pastor at my church.  Every year we receive $100 in our paycheck as a “Christmas Bonus” but this year he asked if we would like a Fitbit instead.  Um, yes, please!  So excited about this!

#10

Only one more week until Christmas Break!  It is going to be a long week filled to the brim with evening activities, but nonetheless I am super excited about having two weeks off!

An oldie but a goodie of my BooBoo Bear!

An oldie but a goodie of my BooBoo Bear!

Getting Some Things off My Chest

It is not a secret that I have been feeling a little bit “off” lately.  It could be blamed on a lot of things, but I would say it mostly has to do with my attitude and the choices I have been making.  You see, we all control our own destiny (with a bunch of God mixed in there, but that is for another post).  We all make a choice every morning when we awake what version of ourselves we are going to display (thank you, Matthew Kelly, for teaching me those words).  Every day is an opportunity to show the best version of yourself.  I must admit, this choice seems to have been harder to make over the last few months.

I have been very tired.
I have been feeling fat.
I don’t like how my clothes fit.
I feel overwhelmed.
I feel worthless.
I feel under-appreciated.
I feel over-worked.
On and on and on…

I have made a choice over the last few months to spend a lot of time in self-pity.  It may not seem like that to the outside world (I am an excellent actress), but about 90% of my attitude has been in self-loathing mode.  It needs to stop.  I need to bring myself out of this funk.

The weirdest part about this “funk” is that when people compliment me, I take it as a complete insult.  For instance, I made reindeer cake pops over the weekend and posted a picture of them on Facebook as Megan and I left for a cookie exchange…so many people made comments about them; nice things, like, “how do you have the time?” or “you are a super-mom, how do you do it with three kids?” or “I envy your talent.”  With each comment I felt about as big as my pinky nail.  I felt like people were judging me and telling me I was sacrificing time with my family to make them.  I felt like I needed to justify my decision to make cake pops instead of playing with my kids or attending to my baby.  I had myself in a complete tizzy about the whole thing.  I went to bed in tears that night.

That’s how I feel a lot of the time.  Like if I go to the gym people judge me because I am a working mom and I am spending EVEN MORE TIME away from my kids…or if I go out to dinner with friends, or make plans for the future, or anything…judge, judge, judge.  I know this is in my head.  I know it.  I also know that I am the only person that can stop this feeling.  And, if I really dig deep I can see a light.

Slowly I am trying to work my way out of this.  I am trying to not take things so personally, but it is hard for me to change this mind-set.  I have big plans for 2015…and I am gearing up for those so I am feeling in transition right now.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate transitions.  HA!
Seriously, why do I care if people judge me anyway?  I am raising my kids the best way I know how and that has to be good enough for me.  I am taking care of myself so I can be a better mom.  If I want to have another baby I should not feel like the world thinks I am crazy.  Anything I do I am doing with good intentions.

I just have to keep telling myself that.

Over and over and over again.

Like, a lot.

Giving the Gift

Guess where I went yesterday?

lifetime

Oh yes, after about a month hiatus, I was back to Lifetime Fitness.  I did a great 45 minutes on the treadmill.  When I left, I was sweaty and happy.

My friends and I talk about this all the time, but isn’t it funny how great working out makes you feel so good, but how it is the first thing to go when things get busy?  I think part of my crankiness over the last few weeks was that I was not giving myself the gift of movement.  I actually love to go to the gym.  I love the vibe, I love how I feel when it is over, I love that my kids love the KidsFit area.  It is really a win win, but I almost never make it a priority.  I am so good about it when my schedule is clear and I pack my bag and I head over there right after work.  But if one thing is off, it is the first thing I fall away from.

I am gearing up for a very healthy and happy 2015, but I decided yesterday, why wait?  I need to get back at it, even if it is not exactly perfect timing all the time.   So what if dinner is a little later or bath time is pushed back.  In the grand scheme of things, why does it even matter?

So, I am giving myself the gift this holiday season.  I am handing myself the freedom to feel good and to have a little time to myself.

I already feel good about it!

Checking In

I have been sort of a blog slacker lately. Really, I have sort of been a life slacker if you want to know the truth. With the cold weather setting in, driving a neighbor to and from school, and just being tired; life has seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace for me. This means, no blogging, no working out, no doing anything really fun for myself, nothing.

20141206-161951.jpgI have spent time outside when the weather has not been crappy…that one day in November.

I am hoping once the holidays are over, I will feel a new zest for life again.

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As much as I love seeing Christmas and Thanksgiving through the eyes of my children, the holidays are still very difficult for my since my dad’s passing. It is just another harsh reminder of the one thing that I really want that I will never again have. Believe me, I know I am blessed beyond words. I have a wonderful life with a great family and my cup runnith over. With all that said, it is still depressing for me. And I let this feeling ruin a lot of my days. I become a miserable person to the people I love the most (namely, my husband). I become bitter and defensive and annoyed very easily. I get mad at people and internalize everything until my heart is broken in pieces. I tend to look at the cup as half empty instead of half full.

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20141206-162308.jpgI did bust a move at a fab ’80s party for my BFF

So this Advent Season, I have decided to be really intentional about happiness. I am going to prepare for Christmas by doing things that make me and my family happy. I am going to extend myself a little more than I usually do without complaint. I am going to be especially nice to my husband. I am going to be a little more patient with my children. I am going to forgive feely and not let the little things become big issues. I am going to eat peppermint ice cream (because I love it).

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20141206-162533.jpgBecause, really, life is pretty awesome