Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I've been on a new track for walking/moving during the week. I've also cut out all artificial sweeteners and am in progress with making the change to mostly-natural foods. I've been researching a fair amount of low-cholesterol meals (doc is giving me a few months for my LDL to improve before considering medication).

I've discovered it's not really that hard to avoid processed foods - it does mean getting rid of most of the snacks that I consume at work and making an effort to fill that void with fresh fruits or veggie snacks, but that's something I'm willing to do.

So all of this experimenting will continue for as long as needed, but I will do a weigh in in two months to see if dropping processed foods and sweeteners has made any difference.

I'm also considering a yoga class in a few weeks, but haven't fully committed to that since I have a couple of other obligations to wrap up before then, but I do think I'd like to give that a try.

I am resolved not to join a gym unless absolutely necessary and I would like to talk to a nutritionist, but not the one at my endocrinologist's office. She wasn't really all that pleasant last time, so I only want to bring people on board this adventure who are going to be a great support and influence.

I figure if I can slog through the heat of summer with 3 committed walks per week then I can do just about anything. I need to work on strengthening exercises too for more energy and well, strength.

This post is decidedly un-poetic - just a quick update to see my commitment in print.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Looking back over some of my posts I realized I'm guilty of what I accuse other bloggers of doing - being way too serious and kind of a downer.

So after a bible study on Wednesday where I told the other ladies in my group that I was tired and didn't see a way to get organized in my life and to have time to enjoy my family, I've actually been enjoying my family more.

My sweet girl is on the floor right now, having found the diaper basket (with clean diapers) and is happily hugging them and putting them on her head. she's a master crawler now and is quickly moving all over the apartment. I am glad for these few minutes to watch her completely wrapped up in how fun it is to hold a diaper and play with it. Clean ones, folks.

I am grateful for the prayers of the women who are mentioning my name to God this week. There is joy to be had and I'm going to get back to it. If I don't write enough about it, I'll do better.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time In

I have had terrible jaw pain lately because I'm clenching my teeth, both during the day and while I sleep. I tried a very expensive mold-at-home mouth guard... woke up with worse pain in a couple of my teeth than the jaw pain ever caused. I know it's stress. I am working 40-45 hours a week, taking care of our baby at night, in a book club at my church on Wednesday nights... errand running, cooking, cleaning... I've never felt like time passed more quickly, yet inefficiently as it has in the last few months.

When I recall what it was like to be home with the baby full time it makes my heart ache. I had oodles of time with her, so I felt like it was OK to take breaks and get other stuff done. Now that I'm working I don't feel like I have that "leeway" to spend time doing other things. I want to be with her as much as possible.

Hubby and I mostly talk about what needs to get done during the week - how were your classes - how was your day... not like we used to. The plan was for me to have time to do something for myself once a week, but that falls by the wayside a lot. Sometimes by my hand, sometimes it just doesn't happen for other reasons.

When I do get time to myself it is hard to concentrate and relax. Relaxing isn't familiar to me anymore. The luxury of losing myself in thought, a good book, or writing just doesn't come easy. If I'm writing it turns into a to-do list; if I'm reading, I find myself re-reading just to make sense of what the author is saying... my thoughts usually turn to just imagining having more money, being at home full-time... things that are not part of our reality right now.

I know my husband probably feels the same about his studies. Cramming as much work into a couple of hours at a stretch has to be hard. He doesn't seem rested any more than I do. His joy seems sapped.

When your heart stretches one way & your life has to be worked out in another ... this feels like the hard part of parenting, hard part of maturing...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Little Observer

Sometimes when driving with my Little One in the backseat things can be pretty quiet. Then over the hum of traffic I hear "oooh ahhhh" or "doooh"... I look back in the mirror, to her mirror, to see a reverse reflection of a sweet little observer. I catch her looking with her brow furrowed up, at the clouds, the trees... My daughter is lovely and I love what I'm seeing in her.

It may just be a baby thing, but I've been around a fair amount of other children lately and I don't see what's happening with this little girl... she's absorbing, thinking, looking... I hope that she's a thinker, a contemplator, a reflective little soul.

It's really a miraculous thing to watch someone grow into awareness of the world around them. What an amazing thing to be a parent.

When to Step Away

I got to close a door in my life recently that has been a source of stress for me for many months. Since my father died my mother has been slow to get the house cleaned up and organized. It's in quite a bit of disarray, my parents both "hoarding" (for lack of a better term). Over the past few years my mother has gotten to blame my father for her lack of productivity and organization.

Now that he is gone it was his "stuff" that prevented her from doing what she wanted to do with the house. She kept saying she was overwhelmed by all of the boxes so "the kids" came in and did everything for her. Then it was our stuff that was the problem. This weekend we spent hours taking our things out.

What was surprising to her, I think, is that the house is still a wreck. She's got so much stuff, so many rooms filled with years and years of possessions that she's not really paid attention to how much she's accumulated. It prevents her from opening her home to anyone, to hosting holidays, to even having her grandchildren over.

So, now that we're no longer to blame, I've stepped away from trying to fix this and being so worked up about it. We've encouraged her to get help, which she's refused. We've even offered to clean with her. She's refused. So it's up to her. She keeps saying she has to be in the right mindset, but I think that's just more excuses and blaming. I've tried to have compassion. I know that some people must look at me and think "man, I wish she'd just get it together and lose weight!", so I know that change is hard especially when people are looking at you doing it. But I don't think she'll be able to do this on her own, so things won't change. And like my Dad's stuff, this will eventually be our problem to clean up.

So much time has been poured into this home that isn't ours, time away from our own families fixing problems that were years in the making... I just kind of came to the realization that sometimes helping people isn't the help they need. So, I'm not closing the door on my mother, just the nonsense of the tangled web she's woven in her house. My own little family needs me and that is where I want to be. I do hope that when she sees that no one comes over, that it's not a place where her grandchildren can play that it will be a motivating force to get going. Honestly, you live your life with all this stuff... what meaning does it have when it lowers your quality of life and relationships...

PS: I am enjoying my post-work/evening walks with Little One. I am also proud of staying away from the trashy snack cabinet at work... baby steps are steps!!! I am taking my own medicine - looking 10 years down the road - where do I want to be and how do I want to be living ... I don't want to squander the time I have now to fix this.

New Things

I'm starting a new thing tomorrow night. I'll be leading a discussion group on "She's Got Issues". I'm not super into the book yet. As I've mentioned before I'm not impressed with the "Am I right, Ladies?!?!" tone of the book and some surprisingly sweeping generalizations about the issues women deal with, but I'm willing to work with it.

I hope that the barrier of tone and topic won't prevent growth. I'm excited to get to know the women in my group. I realized this weekend that while I'm in a position of facilitation I'm really more excited to listen and learn. I've always longed for a wise-female relationship where I can lean on someone who is older, more experienced and cares to guide, not dictate, but to love and pray for a younger generation. Most people get this with their mothers or grandmothers. I didn't.

My sister mentioned last night how worried she was that she was doing things like our mother. I told her to consider this: how we are is kind of like riding a bike. Whatever we're focused on, where our mind/attention is we are likely to follow. If you look over your left shoulder while you're riding your shoulders, arms, and inevitably the bike are going to follow. By focusing so much on not being our mother, is she in a sense turning in that direction.

How we behave is sometimes not up to us - lots of things influence reaction, but mostly we can decide how we want to change and move towards it. I think fixing your eyes on something you love, want to be, or simply what is good, is a great way to avoid some of the inherited unsavory characteristics she's dealing with. Self-awareness is good, but obsession of avoidance of issues can be inviting too much of that in when you're trying to keep it out.

It'll be nice to hear from women with years more experience than I dealing with things kind of like this. Looking forward to it...