today…..yesterday

Today I’m going to cook a 25 pound turkey and since I get home after 2:00 p.m. our bird may not be done till 9:00 p.m. (picture eyes bulging out!!) **warning** it cooks twice as fast in one of these bags.  It was MORE than done by 6 p.m.

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Today I baked crescents, the kind we buy at Trader Joes in the frozen section. We set them out over night to rise then bake them in the morning! The house smelt sooo good. It even woke Awesome ( and yes I mean awesome) up early….oh the smell of fresh-baked goodness on a chilly morning.

Today I took littlest and only girl to school. It’s pajama day so she went cozy.

Today I ate the crescents with my friends at work, we had hot tea and crescents with other yummy treats, we talked we laughed and that was our Christmas gift to each other.

Today we will not talk about what I did at work, except for the part about having tea with my friends

Today I will do bunny yoga by the light of the Christmas tree.

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Today I will pick up Moon Rebel and his friend Shawn from school.

Today I will then pick up littlest and only girl and our neighbor from the high school.

Today I will vacuum our floors

Today I will put up the dishes and wipe down the counters (Moon Rebel stepped in to help)

Today I will light a few candles

Today I will make my bed

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Today I will talk to God

Today I plan to write a letter back to a friend. (this happened more like 2:44 a.m. but I still count it as the same day)

Today I’m sure we will build a toasty fire.

Today I will bring the mail in.

Today I will make midafternoon coffee, maybe a seasonal flavor in the coffee press (I snuck in a snack too)

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Today I will be sure to hug the children and Mr. Motorcycle man. (bonus) lots of Aunts and Uncles were here from up north…so I got lots of hugs in today..yesterday.

Today I will play music.

Today I will blog about today  which was actually yesterday and so when there isn’t much to blog about. One blogs about their day. Because I must write.   I just must.

31 Days of December

IMG_0727My friend Michelle just posted the coolest blog post and idea and she is so wonderful, she doesn’t keep ideas all to herself, she shares them and I love that about her.  I read her blog post a few days ago and thought it was just the best. So even though we are three days in, we made these little envelopes last night and tucked a note card inside each one with little ideas and random acts of kindness to do throughout the month of December.  We made nearly all 31 days of ideas but Abbie only got to decorating 10 of the envelopes so far. She is doing such a gret job decorating these.  The cool thing is….our church is also doing something very similar for this month and they have created a calendar with ideas too.

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Let me tell you something else too while we are on the subject of perfection or should we say not perfection.  Normally, had I heard of this idea three days in I would say, “oh forget it!  I’m too late” but this time in the spirit of imperfection I thought, “no way.  We are doing this.”  It only means we get to open a few on some days until we catch up.  That’s not all, normally I would have stayed up till the sun came up until all 31 days were complete and hanging on the string but  also in the spirit of not being perfect, I decided we will hang them up as they get decorated and that will be that!  Seriously people, this is a big deal for me.  I’m just accepting this as it happens and this little project has me already enjoying the month of December.  Heck, we are already caught up, we opened up three this morning!  Oh, and one more thing, these envelopes, they have a story too!  I didn’t buy anything for this project, we had all this stuff already here in my craft cupboard.  Those envelopes are 20 years old and left over from our wedding thank you notes!

gratitude

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This week I’m participating in a week of gratitude with my friend Michelle.  I’m not just grateful this one week out of the year, nor am I grateful just one month of the year.  I have tried very hard to put this into my daily practice for a good handful of years now.  It helps to live each day more positively.  I’m pretty sure it’s a proven fact.  And no it’s not easy to be thankful every day, sometimes it’s hard when friends are fighting cancer, or we have lost a loved one or we are worried about how we are going to pay our mortgage.  Sometimes it’s hard, it’s really hard but I realized even in the midst of sadness, hardships and loss that finding a blessing or many in each day helps get me through.  Just simply helps put a different spin on the day.  For instance as I cleaned out my fridge this weekend, it had spoiled food I had to toss out, it had really grimy shelves to not just wipe out but take out and scrub hard.  I thought to myself.  We have food.  We have never been starved.  Others are not so fortunate.  It sometimes has me feeling guilty that we have such blessings. While others do not.  One time my dad wrote me a letter.  He said “if I could just give you one bit of advice, it would be to live simply, do not complicate your life with things.  The more things you have the more complicated life gets”  I see this to be so true.  I see people with little who have such a joy about them.  I see people with so much who seem sad.  Today as I got up earlier than normal because motorcycle man took today off and since he had the day off, I figure I should do the things he normally does.  Make my own coffee and take second born to zero period.  I felt like him today, up early, even warmed up my engine, like he always does, then I backed into our driveway, like he always does.  When I got into my car to take littlest and only girl to school, I set my hot coffee on the dash, it steamed up the window.  I will always draw a heart in dust, or steamy windows…most always.  So I did and as I did I looked across the street.  I smiled because I knew he was safe.  God brought my first-born home safe last night.  I’m thankful for that view, the little black car parked on the street.

 

 

 

You are part of the story

first bam everBefore there was Now You there was 52 Weeks of BAM.   Four years ago in May of 2010 there was a group on Flickr created by a talented and insightful woman named Tiffany. It was during this time I began to feel connection with other women from around the world. It was a time of transformation. She created a movement, she did! I had joined Flickr in September of 2009.  I had been posting little tad bits of my life here or there and pretty much daily. I began to notice there were groups, Bench Monday, Facedown Tuesday, and Fence Friday. I noticed there were sort of relationships being formed within these groups. I knew a local photographer who dissed Flickr, she said it was too clicky (giggle….get it clicky) So she wasn’t into it. I can see how she may have felt that way. In the beginning I would be lucky if one person looked at my photographs or even left a comment. Yet I would notice within these groups people seemed to have these strange relationships, like they knew each other or something? I didn’t really understand or get it, until 52 Weeks of BAM came along.

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I joined. The timing was just right. I had just turned 40 and I had just lost my grandpa whom I adored. It was a very emotional year of grasping the fact he was really gone and also tripping out that I had entered a new decade. Week by week I would take a self-portrait.

being carefree in front of abbieIt was so WEIRD turning the camera on me. I had previously been all about the family, the kids our trips and even on our trips there was an obvious absence of me. Sometimes motorcycle man would say “here let me take a picture of you and the kids” and that was always nice, or I may remember to use my timer and take a family shot but more times than not, the kids and Rich outnumbered me in our photographs. And honestly it was a slight feeling of being transparent as in, not being a part of, but more like being an observer of.

after 2 nights in the hosptial with littlest girlI’m sure I’m a typical mom. We put our family before us. It’s a natural thing to behave this way. It’s our honor to be a mother, we should get a badge for it for sure. But Tiffany she began to tweak the way I viewed motherhood.

after I found out they think I need to see someoneI began to think back at my own mother. I have vivid memories of my mom. I can close my eyes and see her and even remember her scent. When I was a little girl, she smelt like green apples and her eye tooth sort of popped forward before she got braces as an adult. She had silky blond hair and she always looked gorgeous, she was in charge of her figure. She worked out in tights and leotards at the gym, she did aerobics and drank tab soda. She had a really clean house and worked full-time and volunteered at my school. She was basically a rock star and my inspiration of what a woman was capable of, which pretty much meant I could do anything, she owned her own business too, so not only could she cook from scratch, sew my clothes and be a terrific mother, she could have a career too.

me and herBUT I also wished she had taken more pictures of her and me together and especially I wish there were more images in print of her. She IS a radiant woman with a down deep belly laugh. Can you imagine had she been in a group like this the images that may have happened?

wordsToday, I’m just looking back. How it all began and how awkward it felt in the beginning to turn the camera on myself. And in this practice I realize it IS an art, it’s not about “oh look at me! I’m amazing and adorable” It’s about capturing a mood, what was happening in that day? The proof, I was there, I was fully present.   And sometimes the moods are not good. And yes, many mainstream every day women may think this strange what I do but I’m not mainstream and I’m rather proud of that little fact.

Please remember.  You are not transparent.  You are not on the outside looking in.  YOU are a part of the story.

Update day 52

“Be kind to yourself, be patient, you will find your answers. Love who you are right now—even if right now isn’t a place you want to be—you will always be you—start to appreciate yourself! You will feel so much better! And do not compare yourself to others. You are on your own special road. Be well my fellow travelers and know your path is a good one.”  -LINDA SILVA PALLESCHI-

 Remember this POST from 7 weeks ago?   This is what has happened in seven weeks by doing just a few things differently.  I have not had a soda in 52 days, this is a big deal!  I have taken to drinking lots and lots of water and this week 8 we are up to 64 ounces a day but honestly, I was downing this amount of water from the start of the challenge.  I LOVE water.  That’s the easy part.  Stopped eating after 9 p.m. which is very easy.  I ate mostly foods off the positive food list provided and it wasn’t very hard.  I did still eat dark chocolate here or there but it has to be at least 70%. No joke I ate one row of chocolate nearly every night after dinner.   I had to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and exercise for 30 minutes a day and on my good days, really great days I got in my full 10,000 steps which was probably like 80% of the challenge. What I really loved about this challenge was also the spiritual aspect.  I prayed, read my Bible and journaled during these 8 weeks (technically just past 7 weeks so far) We would also get a bonus challenge each week.  This week for instance we need to floss our teeth each night, rest before bed by turning off the t.v. and just sitting in peace of listening to music and lastly this week we need to leave a gift at someones door step.  I feel better, I think I look a little better.  I have not changed in leaps and bounds but at a nice slow pace.  Below are my new stats and before and after pix.  I’m proud of myself.  Yes, I wanted to lose more like 15 pounds during these 8 weeks but I’m very happy to be headed down.  It feels so much easier these days to order water to drink when we go out rather than soda, it saves money too.  Oh and for the record I still enjoy a glass of wine every so often.  We get 2 free negatives a week.  We have a neutral food list, a negative food list and a positive food list.

 

August 23, 2014 October 14, 2014
Weight 177 170
Hips 43-½” 40”
Legs 22” 21”
Arm 12” 12”
Waist 37-½” 35”
Bust 41” 38”

 

Total lost in pounds -7   total lost in inches -10

The weird part is, I lost all these inches half way through the challenge and not much after the halfway point, but I did shed more weight after the half way mark,  averaging about 1 pound per week.  In fact and I can’t really count it but three days ago the scale read 169 but each day after it has stayed at a solid 170 but that just means the 160’s are close and no it’s not about a number but I still want the spare tire to be GONE.  I can feel it flap when I walk.  It sure would be nice not to feel that when I exercise.  So my goal is to lose the spare tire.  Which has not happened yet so I continue.

week 1 and 7 frontI can see a difference but to be honest the pants do not feel much different, then again the before picture I had been wearing them a good long while, the after they are straight out of the dryer which are always more snug until I wear them a few days.  Yes I wear them more than a few times before the next wash.

week 1 and 7 sideI think side shows most the difference.  I love that my boobs are shrinking.

week 1 and 7 backI can’t tell as much from the back

the big day

Yesterday I walked with the littlest and only girl.  I told her if I walked with her I wouldn’t wear my headphones.  She said, “Oh, mom it’s okay, wear your headphones”  I said “No way Abbie, if you walk with me I want to talk to you, see how your day was and enjoy your company”  She said “okay and smiled” Then she told me about her day.  And this isn’t new.  When she walks with me we talk, if Moon Rebel walks with me….we talk.  It’s a oppertunity but it got me so excited thinking about what’s ahead.  I’m pretty sure I will have more time.  Time to read, time to walk and time to create.  Abbie really wants to bake.  It’s been so hot around here that turning on my oven is my last thought but I sure can’t wait for it to cool down.  The first really serious cool day we will bake.  And when the holidays begin to approach we will completely enjoy them with crafts and laughs and pictures of it all.  I will never stop documenting our life in photographs.

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When I picked up Moon Rebel today he gave me the WEIRDEST look.  I said “yeah, so my hair was in my face so I pulled it back”  He says “not that mom! I never see you wear lipstick!”  “Oh that, well I deactivated my facebook and took Instagram off my phone, so I put on some lipstick and pulled my hair back while I waited” He barely believed me, “really mom?  for real?”  “Yep for real”  in which he puts his hand in the air and wants a high-five!

IMG_5495When Littlest and only girl got into the jeep she said “I love your hair mom!” I tried to ask littlest and only girl to take a picture with me today when I picked her up.  But she would not, she said “here mom, let me just take one of you” she took out her phone and snapped. Then she said “I’m saving this as your profile picture for the times you call me”

Italian feathers!!

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My parents are back from Italy last night.  They spent two and a half weeks there with good friends. I mentioned to mom before she left…..”make sure and take selfies of you and dad!”  She just laughed.   “Maybe you can find some hearts and Italian bird feathers at your feet”  And within a few days I received in my in box a big smiley selfie of mom and dad on the train!

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Then a few days later she sent me a heart shaped rock and I said “mom, did you scoop it up and put it in your pocket”  she wrote back “lol, it was huge!”  I took a closer look and it was, it was pretty big but a perfect heart.

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Then she sent me a picture of her espresso and it had a heart on top!

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She sent other pictures too, the leaning tower, buildings and views.  It looked like an epic trip and I’m so grateful my parents have the means to do this sort of thing. Travel to see our beautiful world.  These little messages she sent mean so much to me.  She took the time to share with me things that we can share together and even though I wasn’t with her and my dad, it’s almost like I was because she was constantly on the look out for hearts and feathers so as I thought of them from here, they thought of us from there and we stayed connected in our hearts.

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Do you want to know what’s special about these feathers?  They are the Italian feathers mom found at her feet.  She got me a few other things too but she could have stopped at these Italian feathers and I would have been perfectly content.  I was already over the moon about them.  I have put them with my other feathers but they have their own little cup so I can remember which ones came from little Italian birds.

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And completely on a different subject.  We as part of our challenge were supposed to do two new exercises this week.  I tried this app called Seven, and it’s free and it completely kicked my butt.  I’m sore today!  SORE, which is good.  I think Yoga will be my other change up for the week.  Because typically I just walk lots and lots and lots during the week.   So it’s nice to do something different.  I did pay extra for the hippie trainer though.  He makes me laugh!

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And this is me after the work out!  So you see it really did kick my butt.

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