Monday, January 14, 2013

needing advice...

So, I'm back on the wagon to eat better, exercise more regularly and lose some (or a lot) of weight.  I do OK eating wise at work and I tend to drink a lot of water during the day.  My real problems come in at home...maybe because I have access to food here more easily than at work or maybe it is just a long ingrained habit...I don't know for sure what it is..but I need help.  What do I do to avoid eating at home or at least snacking mindlessly or late at night?  Any tips would be welcome.  I know I need to start tracking what I'm I'm going to start doing that again, but any other tips would be great.  I'm not big into crash diets or completely eliminating food from my life because for me that is just not sustainable.  I want to be able to drink a beer, have some ice cream, etc when I want to.  I don't want to feel like I'm in a food prison, because I know that will just make me want those things even more.  I have a significant amount of weight I want to lose, but it isn't about being skinny I just want to feel better about myself and most importantly be around for my kids and husband for a long, long time.  So have at it...what should I be doing to get on the right track??

Thursday, January 10, 2013

finding a balance...

I've never been very good at balance.  When I dive into something I usually dive in headfirst and whatever I'm doing consumes me until I'm done.  Lately, I've been somewhat obsessed with hanging things on the walls and decorating the house.  I spent a day while the kids were sick printing new pictures finding picture frames and hanging stuff.  I have ideas of other things I want to do, but don't have the supplies to actually complete them.  I just finished reading 11/22/63 (the novel by Stephen King) it is about 850 pages.  Any free time I had while I was in the middle of that book went into reading it until I was done.  See, I get consumed by a particular project until I can check it off my list.  I'm better about multitasking at work but in my personal life I just can't seem to balance a bunch of stuff at once.  Obviously, I can't just be consumed with the kids for the next 11-14 years and not do anything else, but I don't know how to spread my time out, how to do things for myself and for everyone else without spreading myself too thin.  With a full-time job, 2 side bookkeeping jobs and the kids, I barely have any time left for Bob, much less myself, and in general the time I have for myself I honestly just want to sleep!  What is the key to a balanced life (or at least a more balanced life)?  How do you find time to do things that feed your soul and re-energize you when you feel like you have nothing left?  I know there are some very smart and well balanced mamas that read I'm looking to you, wise ones, to help me have a more balanced 2013.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

just go to sleep would ya....

I'm what...7 days and 4 posts into the new year and I'm already out of things to talk about. 
Here's one...bedtime routines...what do you guys do to get your kids to bed with no fuss?  I know there are some of you out there, we have friends that put their kids down at 6-7 pm and they don't hear another peep out of them until morning.  On more than one occasion Bryce has been up well past 10pm.  We put him to bed and he just continually gets out of bed until someone yells and then he will eventually pass out.  Both kids are hard to get up in the morning (neither have ever been kids to get up at 5am...ever!), but we're combating that with family breakfasts. Even though they don't have to leave for school until close to 8am, they get up at 6:15ish and eat breakfast with me before I go to work.  This gives them time to eat, get dressed and truly wake up without being too rushed in the morning.  So far it seems to be helping and mornings seem to be a bit less stressful (although truthfully, Bob would be the one to ask since I'm out the door by 6:30/6:40 every morning...but he tells me it is helping).  Bedtimes are still a struggle though...both kids say they are scared and want to sleep with us...this is not an option in our house.  I honestly don't think they are scared, it is just a stall tactic.  We've tried letting them play for 15 minutes in their rooms before bedtime to unwind a little, they get plenty of notice that bedtime is approaching, but still there is crying almost every night.  So, those of you that are bedtime magicians with kids that just go to bed at bedtime...what is your secret??  This worn out mama wants to know!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

dinner chat...

We are a meal plan family.  I print out the calendar every month (sometimes a couple of months at a time) and we sit down and decide what we're having for dinner every day that month.  Thursdays are always leftover days (because Friday is garbage day) but other than that...we don't really repeat any meals during the month.  I have a list of probably 35-40 things my family will actually eat (they might not all be favorites..but in general they will eat what I put in front of them)  We generally grocery shop for the entire month (although there is always trips for milk and fresh produce in the month as well) but for us this works...we save money on groceries by not making multiple trips during the week and by not eating out when we don't feel like cooking or when "there is nothing to eat".  Now, that is not to say that we still don't occasionally decide that we don't want what is on the menu and swap it for another day or break down and get pizza or subs, but our meal plan drastically reduces those urges.  I don't mind making dinner when I get home from work and don't first have to decide what to eat.  Does anyone else make a meal plan?  What are your favorite go-to recipes?  I'm always looking for new things to try!
Oh...and in case you didn't notice...I posted some more cake pics on the cake/cookie page!
(sorry for the super random post...we just made our January meal plan and got groceries so it was on my mind) :)

Monday, January 07, 2013

possibly the year of more posts...

In addition to nurturing my friendships more, I'm going to attempt to nurture my little blog more.  It most certainly is the first thing that gets neglected when I get busy or overwhelmed, but truth is...I love writing here. On Bryce's birthday this year I looked back to the posts leading up to and immediately following his birth and was so incredibly thankful for every poorly written post.  I smiled and laughed and teared up and remembered so vividly those moments, things I probably would have forgotten.  So, I'm back on the saddle...for now at least! I'm hoping (but never really believing) that life is going to be slowing down a little now that we are settled in our house (which we still adore!) and in a pretty good routine for the moment at least.  So, my question to you is...what do you want to know?  I need to get back in the habit of regularly writing as it seems that as my company moves more into social media an insurance blog is in my future (don't'll be informative and fun...just like me!)  Also, even though I have a huge stack of books to read...what are the best books you read in 2012 that I should definitely read?  I'm half way through 11/22/63 and I love it...I may review it...but I always think my book reviews stink so we'll see.
So, the floor is yours...ask away and leave those book recommendations!

Friday, January 04, 2013

resolution...of sorts...

In general I'm not big on New Year's resolutions.  I mean yes, I always have good intentions of starting the new year with a clean slate, I'm going to eat better, sleep more, exercise and in general take better care of myself, and then after a month or so there are a million other things that take priority above taking better care of myself.  It is the joyous curse of being a mom.  So for the most part I don't make resolutions or I guess to be more honest I make them every day.  Every night before I go to sleep, I think over my day, pat myself on the back for the good things I did that day, goals I met or improvements I made and then I think about the parts of my day where I failed or didn't meet my goals and I resolve to start fresh tomorrow, to start the next day with a new slate, to not let my shortcomings defeat me for the coming day. 
All of this to say, I don't write down resolutions, but for 2013 I have a resolution that I am going to do my best to work at and improve. 
In 2013 I want to be a better friend.  I feel like over the last 2 years I have let my friendships slide, hoping they would ride through the storm without the attention and love they need and deserve.  I won't apologize for doing what I had to do for the past two years while our whole world was upside down, trying to sell a house in a crappy market, living apart, struggling financially and just trying to keep my head above water and survive.  But I do have some regret that I let people I love down, that I maybe wasn't there for them as much as I wanted to be and I didn't tend to my friendships in the way they deserve.  I have the very best of friends (some of whom happen to be related to me either by blood or marriage) who love me for who I am, faults and all. In a way I feel like I am missing a part of myself when I don't nurture the friendships that are so dear to me.  So, while I'm sure there will be days when I lay my head down on my pillow and know that I wasn't the greatest of friend that day, I will take a deep breath and consciously resolve to do better the next day.  Friendships take work and I don't ever want those that mean the most to me to think I take them for granted, I resolve to work at my friendships and to make time for them, because they are important to me.  It may be luck that these people happened into my life but it is work, love, caring and time that keeps them here.  Thank you for sticking by me for the last 2 years and allowing me the room and love to take more from our friendships than I gave.  I love you all!  Here is to 2013...full of love, laughter and friends.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

i'm baaaack...with a book review (more updates soon...i promise!)

Christmas came a little early this year when the newest installment in A Modern Witch series popped into my email.  I couldn't wait to sit down and start this book.  Unfortunately, I did have to wait a couple of days, but when I started it, I couldn't put it down.  I read it in 2 sittings (it would have been 1 but it was Christmas and I had to spend some time with my family!)
With her latest installment Geary brings back all of our favorite witches and we get to learn a great deal more about a witch that makes a brief appearance in the first book of the series.
After Jamie and Lauren walk into Beth's circle in A Modern Witch they do some serious damage and leave Beth to pick up the pieces.  Beth is haunted and also strangely drawn into the offer of training that Jamie made to her the day he and Lauren came to the circle.  When Beth is transported into the Realm on a fluke, Beth is completely unraveled and Lauren knows they have to  repair the damage they have done.  Beth agrees to come to Berkley to train and right away they can all tell she is different, in her learning process and in her sense of community.  When Beth discloses that she has autism, the community of witches tries hard to adapt and help Beth learn in the best way they can.  Nell particularly has a difficult time relating and understanding Beth, which shakes her to her core.  A Different Witch is an amazing story of overcoming and embracing our differences for the betterment of all involved and how in the end maybe we aren't so different after all.
I loved the fifth book of this series as much as I loved the first four.  I found myself relating to Nell as a mother and as the heart of a family, to want to protect those you love so fiercely that you are scared to let the "different" in and also to Beth to want to be accepted as who you are and not just looked at as "different".  I know I have said it a thousand times but I. LOVE. THIS. SERIES. I got the first three books of this series in paperback for Christmas, you know it is a keeper when you not only have it on your e-reader, but also want it on your bookshelf!  Happy Reading!

**In the interest of full disclosure, I was given this book by the author, but all opinions are mine and mine alone