love is EVERYWHERE!!

Yesterday was Valentine’s day and motorcycle man took the day off work because we had major plumbing troubles.  In the midst of the plumbing troubles I like to snap pictures just to document life and things like that.  Well today I uploaded some images and I had not even seen the heart in this image below until I uploaded it.  I nearly flipped out.  I get a little dramatic.  If you know me, well I may scare you from time to time with my responses to things, I just get a little bit excited and I may just act as if the sky just fell or something but really it’s just a heart!  DO YOU SEE IT! We went to lunch with some good old friends last Sunday after church.  I found a heart in my salad and the discussion arose.  Sal said it best when he said and I quote “it’s like calling cards from God”  I again got very excited because it’s exactly my thought on the matter!

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IMG_1655This is a heart my niece Laynie found for me.  She ran up one day full of joy and said “Aunt Tracie, I found a heart for you today”

IMG_1681I really should clean the hand rail, but I dont’ think I will be painting it!

IMG_1684Abbie even found dirt claud hearts in our plumbing fiasco.  I have to agree!

photo (16)So I was seeking hearts yesterday and well, hearts were also seeking me (image one) but I had no idea that when we were to go to dinner on Valentine’s night, at my favorite spot (Ruta’s) that my thoughtful guy would be passing me love notes throughout dinner and one lead to Drew Barrymore’s “find it in everything” book!  The one I tried so hard to win, but did not but even better to get it from my motorcycle man who really pays attention to me and then writes the sweetest note inside.  I got about five words in and became really verklempt.  I had to stop reading to compose myself (remember the emotional part about me, the over dramatic bit) He watched the Ellen with me, the one Drew Barrymore was on and he tried to play it all cool and not make a big deal that she also is a heart seeker like me but he banked it.  He remembered and went out and got me her book.  Last one in the store, they had to find it in the back even!  I’m just so grateful.  Who cares about bad plumbing when you have a guy like motorcycle man.  He still makes my heart skip a beat.

 

 

 

love is everywhere – Drew Barrymore finds hearts too!!

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I was so excited the other night when we were watching Ellen and her special guest was Drew Barrymore!  I love Drew Barrymore anyway but when she began to promote her new book of photography and the entire book is pictures of hearts she finds everywhere then well, I loved her even that much more!  It’s something I have been doing for a while and I knew when I began my search for all things hearts that I wasn’t the only human being on this planet to be considered a heart seeker.  I’m aware of many other inspirational photographers who also happen to find love nearly everyplace they go.  So I just decided to start encouraging everyone to be heart seekers because I know how much fun it can be.  Needless to say since I watched her segment and saw she had a contest to win her book, I decided to tag all my IG hearts to her contest hashtag #FindItInEverything .  If I should happen to win her book that would be most incredibly exciting but even if I don’t, I will buy it cause it’s most likely full of really, really amazing finds.  In the meantime since she sparked my vision for hearts again, look how many I found yesterday alone.

photo (12)On my walk, we can pretend this isn’t really a bird turd but it is!

photo (10)In my left over dirty coffee mug

photo (11)The shape of the winter tree against our pretty sunset

photo (14)I even have mini heart seekers who find them and show me!

photo (13)I think my day started really well when I wrote the word love in the dust and then it just kept appearing, it was everyplace yesterday!  So maybe you can find some hearts today and tag them #FindLoveInEverything and then maybe you could win a book of heart pictures by Drew Barrymore!

day thirteen

IMG_0678For puzzles left out on the table, that call to the children even the first to be born.  I put the puzzle out….they appear.  I think it’s time to pull another puzzle out.  I have the perfect one, gifted from our friend 6ft mama.  It’s time.  It’s coming out! Don’t even ask about the soccer player under the table, he lives in his own world but he was there, even if it was under the table.

IMG_3107Trips to Starbucks for happy surprises and when they spell our names the way our mom’s spell our names without even asking, even when I accidentally first tell them my name is something completely not my name.  On this day I think I called myself Amanda….which is my sisters name then corrected myself with my real name, like it would have mattered.  But it did because look, they spelt our names the way our mom’s spell our names!  We freaked out for about a solid minute over how cool this was.

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The morning golden light that comes in through the front windows.  We get the sun in the front of the house in the morning and at the back of the house at night, both equally gorgeous and golden.  I think California has such pretty light.  I’m guessing the light is pretty everyplace but I really am only most familiar with California light.

IMG_4118 Toast for breakfast, sourdough, with real butter and strawberry jelly from France that comes in the most adorable jar and it makes the most adorable cup or vase when we are done with that yummy jelly from France.

IMG_5067For sweet gifts left on my mailbox, or front porch from a sweet little niece who lives right next door.  She is my nature pal and it’s been a while but we exchange things we find in nature.

IMG_5447For hearts left for me to find.  because my family knows how much I love a heart, they leave them for me from time to time in random places. Most have become heart finders and point them out when they see one.  I also love when I get a text from someone who just wants to show me they found a heart and we get happy together that they discovered  a heart.  The one that was there just waiting to be found.

Trust Issues and Control Issues Equal Anxiety

I can remember very clearly when I was a teenager, having a blue beach cruiser with no gears of course and living on hills on either side of me. (No wonder I could eat whatever I wanted)  So back in the day we liked to ride our friends on our handlebars.  I always had to be the one who rode the bike because I didn’t trust anyone to ride me around.  I needed that control or else I would be full of anxiety.  Even now today I’m a bundle of nerves in a car…unless I’m driving.  Sounds so strange that I, miss easy-going, roll with the punches type girl would have these issues, however I do.   I have them so much so that it can consume me.  I’m not any different from many women out there who wake at 2:00 a.m. with their minds twirling and spinning and clicking forward and backward in time. I believe it’s a common trait in many busy women who like to be in control of their world.

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My beach cruiser now a days is orange and black and my passenger is Pablo

When I sat in church on Sunday the sermon wasn’t on control so much but rather living out our faith as opposed to just reciting our faith or believing our faith.  To live our faith as the greatest man of all time did.  Christ lived what he taught and what he believed.  He is our best example of how to fully trust, how to release that control to something bigger.  How about the creator of all the universe.  Who could be bigger than that?  If my one and only God knew me before I was ever born, if he created all the stars in the sky, all the sand of the earth’s beaches and oceans, place rainbows of promise in the sky and be the greatest artist of all time.  If I can’t trust Him, who can I trust?  He made me human.  He gave me a mind to question, he gave me a mind to be defiant because He also loves me that much to give me the free will to choose or not to choose.  I find myself often frustrated because in my world I want to be the one in control, I want to ride the bike with my friend on the handlebars.  Until I realize I’m not in control I will experience issues of trust and feel this dark heavy fog of anxiety.  I always say something like this “It’s that simple and it’s that difficult” because for me that’s how it is.  I know logically what I’m supposed to do but I often just don’t do it.  I’m working on trust, I’m working on releasing my control.  I think it will be a long journey but awareness is the first step and my God, he is a patient God.  I wish to live my beliefs but first I need to release my lack of trust and my control.  I’m just going to start today by putting one step in front of the other, knowing I will take a few steps back now and then but I’ll get there eventually, I will.

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Scripture reference.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Luke 12:25 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?

Strange, life is amazingly strange

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I’m guessing if one is a blogger and one has children that one might just blog about their child on their birthday.  I have three children.  I have two spring babies and just one fall baby and technically I know he is really a summer baby but in my mind the moment it turns September, it’s fall.  Right here in Southern California September is up there as one of our hotter months of the year, but let me think what I will think, to me the entire month is fall.  He is my fall baby.  I have three, I have two A’s and one D.  He is the one D.    I have three, two righties and one lefty.  He is my lefty.  I have three, two free spirits and one of great discipline.  He, this D, this lefty, this fall baby….he is my one of great discipline.  I joke lots saying “I want to be like Dylan when I grow up.”  It’s hard not to say because he has all the qualities I do not.  I have never had to make him do his homework.  He just does.  He does what he knows he needs to do, he does what he knows is required.  When he was little he shared a room with his big brother.  He was the one who desperately wanted his own space.  Why?  To keep it clean.  A few weeks ago he asked if I might get him some cleaning stuff for his face.  I did.  He tells me yesterday, “I have not missed a day mom, I wash my face twice a day since you got me the stuff” Me, I often forget to take off my make up at night.  Are you getting the picture?  But this doesn’t mean he is not fun.  He is full of fun.  He pranks me nearly every day.  He video tapes me without me knowing and performs silly off the wall crazy stunts while he is secretly videotaping me to see what reaction I will give.  He LOVES a reaction. I would say our most common ground is that we are both dreadfully shy yet completely insane with our behind closed-door behaviors.  And the other really, really big thing we share in common.  We share the same faith.  This common ground creates a bond that cannot be broken.  These two very big things help us to get each other even though we are nearly nothing alike.

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 He began high school yesterday.  The class he is the most excited about?  Finance.  He can’t wait to get into the meat of that class.  In fact he already let me know as soon as he gets a job he will save 10% of his earning in a savings each week.  He said if he really manages his money just right he can be a millionaire.  And if anyone can, it will be him.  I believe it’s no mistake he was named after his uncle another well-disciplined, fun-loving, lefty, man of faith who also just happens to know a lot about finances.

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 He shows me how to do hard things.  I learn from this kid.  I learn from him.  He is a gift to me.  It has been an honor to be his mother.  A complete honor.  Happy Birthday D-man.

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Oh yeah and he is athletic. and these days you might find him doing hand stands simply because he can.

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 or yoga type poses without even realizing it

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The birthday part of today is good.  He had his birthday breakfast.  We are going to his favorite Chinese restaurant tonight and he got that robe he has been wanting (shhhhh, he hasn’t opened his gifts yet)  But on a far stranger and sad note.  Austin was in his first car accident today.  This is how the phone call was received.  “Mom?”  “Yes Austin”  “It happened”  “You were in a car accident?”  “Yep”  And that was that.  He is okay, his two friends who were in the car with him are okay and this is good considering he was sitting at a stand still and was hit by a woman going at least 45 miles per hour.  He was ready to make a left hand turn, had a panic situation when he realize he started to turn left on a green rather than wait for all the cars to clear, the bug stalled and he basically just braced himself for the hit.  He has been a wreck himself the rest of  today and is the type of kid who is very hard on himself.  I mean Rich and I knew this would happen, it just happens right?  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  I totalled out my first car when I was about his age.  I knew when I took pictures of the pretty new/old bug there would someday be a different story.  His world has been rocked, the car shouldn’t be driven at this point.  Rich got the bug home but at 30 miles per hour and with lots of crazy noises.  The kid is wondering how he will get to work now, how he will see his girlfriend, he is devastated that he has “cost” us even more money you know all those normal thoughts.  I hate when things like this happen to people I love. I told him it’s okay, everyone is alive, a lesson will be learned and it will give you problem solving skills, what to do next?  Stay tuned.  Life, it’s still very, very good.  Just one of those things.  unfortunately since it happened on Dylan’s birthday we will not be able to forget the date of his first accident.  And you see we are a family of celebrations.  So we do not celebrate the fact that he crashed his first car, but we celebrate in the fact that he had the wits about him to jump out immediately to see if the person who hit him was alright, that he knew exactly where his insurance card was and that he in his own hand writing got her name, address, phone number, license plate, make model, and drivers license number which happened to be expired and out-of-state but still it was his fault for being the one in turning left.  He even sounded calm on our phone call.  He kept it together when it mattered the most.  The woman even complimented us on our son, She told Rich “you have a good boy here”  So this is what we celebrate.  The lesson learned.

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In the glory days

photo (2)Her she sits today.  even the passenger door got buckled from the impact but I have to say these awesome German-made cars are like mini tanks, could have been far worse and his buddy Kris the one who was sitting up front there, could have had it much worse.

My heart

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You see, my heart, it is my faith.  There are times when it just doesn’t seem as though things are going quite our way.  We struggle like I know so many of us do.  And although things are not panning out the way we had envisioned I know there is one thing that can’t be taken from me and that’s my faith.  Sometimes it’s very hard to understand why people get sick with cancer, or lose their homes or a loved one.  All the really bad things that are unexplainable and often seem very unfair.  However the reasons to me are simple.  It’s because I can’t do this alone.  I have my faith, my Heavenly Father to pick me up and carry me when I don’t feel as if I can walk on my own.  This is what works for me.  This is how I survive in a world that can be unfair.  When I focus on the LOVE He sprinkles virtually everywhere.  When I focus on the good, the blessing in each and every day. These gifts, these blessings, they are what keep me focused on Him.  The fact that I wake up each day, that one thing is enough to be grateful for, just waking up.  If it were only that one thing, still I would be full of gratitude because each day is a blessing, a gift.  I got out of bed today.  Today is good.  I’m reminded of this in Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great LOVE we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.”

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Today a little wind has been taken from my sail but in the big scheme of things it’s gonna be okay.  My first-born son,  the one who drove to Hollywood Monday night, he made it home safe.  My husband the one who loves me so much he buys me weird gadgets to help my itchy skin because he wants it to get better as much or more than I do.  My garden and the three pumpkin seeds I planted and have shown signs of growth in less than 7 days.  The home, this home that I have full of LOVE and shared faith.  The friends I have who lift me up and encourage me, they are gifts for my soul. The littlest and only girl we have who leaves me video messages full of love and expression.  The second born who is completely silly when he has too much chocolate. My family who stands by me no matter what I have such wonderful parents and this includes my in-laws. These are also my heart.   You know I could go on and on and on.

37 days

52 days ago I was feeling very depressed, tired, not motivated and my jeans were really, really tight.  The scale read 179.

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37 days ago not long after I wrote the post about being frustrated that my pants were feeling very tight I began a fit camp.  This camp motivated me to get MOVING again!!

35 days ago I was evaluated by my health coach.  She weighed and measured me, calculated my BMI and boy were my eyes opened WIDE!  For instance the one that blew me away the very most was my body age was that of a 59 year old woman.  I happen to know women who are 59 that have a body of that of a 30 year old, so I’m not knocking the age, but when I find out my physical body is 16 years older than my actual age, it’s a little freaky.  Well, a lot freaky. I found out that my body fat is at 46.8%, that means nearly half my body is fat.  I found out that my Body Mass Index is at 30.5 when normal  Body Mass Index should be anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9!   Um, not only do I need to be moving I need to add healthy eating into the mix.  My health coach who happens to be very smart and extremely motivating woman says it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  Oh, gosh. A food lover changing their diet??  Someone who lives for a good piece of chocolate cake?

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 28 days ago I decide to drink one shake a day using Herbalife products.  Filled with all sorts of vitamins and protein.  One shake is about 217 calories and is packed with stuff like Vitamin A, C, D, E, B6 and B12, it has calcium, zink, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, selenium and dietary fiber.  Since I normally skip breakfast I thought starting my day with one shake packed with all this stuff would be a good start. Now although having one shake a day was a good start it’s what Herbalife calls the maintenance plan.  Being I have a ways to go before I’m in a healthy range, I decided to add two shakes a day and a multi vitamin and something called a cell activator.

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So….13 days ago I decide to introduce these two shakes which does include by the way real food.  between shakes I’m eating healthy, snacks.  I love fruits and veggies and I love to use things out of my own garden.  It’s recommended to eat a high protein snack but I eat lots of whole foods, fruits and veggies.  Like one ingredient type foods.  For example a raw zucchini, I have a ton of it.  Or a tomato, half an avocado…sometimes a whole avocado.  I try to up my water intake and also drink a tea made by herbalife.  When it’s time for dinner I make a healthy dinner or if I’m in the mood I eat In-N-Out or subway or if we are invited to dinner I eat what they prepare for us.  I want to be able to live normally and healthily.  If I go too extreme it will not last as a lifestyle.  My goal is to reach healthy weight and then only have one breakfast shake a day.

In total since I first began my movement which has been exactly 37 days, this is what has changed.

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I went from 177.6 to 172.8  that’s 4.8 pounds gone almost 5!

My body age went from 59 years old to 57 years old

My BMI went from 30.5 to 29.8

My chest went down a half an inch

my hips and butt nearly went down a full 3 inches, 2.75 but that’s close enough to 3 for me

my thighs shrank by .25

and my waist also .25

the fat around my organs isn’t so bad to begin with which means for the most part I eat healthy but that too went down one full number.

So this is not leaps and bounds but it has only been a little over a month and so as motorcycle man likes to say, slow and steady, it’s the way to go.  I get frustrated a little cause I want bigger and faster results but I’m also the person who runs on the treadmill 20 minutes and gets back on the scale and wonders why it’s not gone down.  My health coach tells me to give it at least a full 90 days, that’s when real results will be seen.  I’m feeling them now but 60 days from now I will probably see a big difference as well, hopefully I can hold that plank for even longer than a minute by then.

wonder powers

The support within my fitness group keeps me going, the people are so supportive and inspiring themselves. They are also a crack up.  My health coach is amazing and fit camp is free, I only pay for the product I consume.  I’m excited about my journey.  I love where I’m headed.  My goals are as follows:

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number one, I want to be healthy

number two, I want to heal

number three, I want to be strong

My body will find it’s healthy weight I really don’t care about the number but right now it’s a a way to see the change that’s happening by stepping on the scale every so often.

And btw, I still bake things like homemade Oreo’s, zucchini brownies and pies.  I just limit what I get to eat of it. Like one cookie out of the batch, or one brownie.  I can’t live without sweets.  I have tried.