Tuesday, October 4, 2011

End the Trend

As I walked through the grocery store today, I got incredibly frustrated.  Aside from the packaged sugar and garbage that is screaming from the shelves to be bought, there were the morbidly obese customers riding on carts that make beeping noises when they back up.  When did this become our country?  When did we settle into obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, etc. and accept it as normal?  Why are we buying into this?  When did sickness become common and the fit and healthy the minority?

When I unpacked my goodies I found that I, too, had succumbed to the pressure.  Amongst my stash of vegetables, fruit and coconut milk, I had added some cookies and rice krispie treats.  Why?  Because I have been conditioned to believe that my kids need want sugar after their lunches.  I am perpetuating the cycle of obesity and poor nutrition.  Sure it's fine if they have a treat from time to time, but why has it become daily? 

As a Beachbody Coach, it is my job to help End the Trend of Obesity and I believe in that.  It is my PASSION.  I need to fix my own home as well.  I feel like I do well with my own diet, but I let my kids eat "kid food" because it is just easier.  So this is me putting it out there.  I am committed to helping my kids learn solid lessons about nutrition and eat a diet that allows them to grow to be strong and healthy.  Are you with me?

PS:  If you would like help getting a handle on your own health and fitness, please contact me.  I would love to help!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day and the Sabbath

Drew: "Mom, is Labor Day the Sabbath?"

Me: "Uh, did you say Sabbath or Saturday?"

Drew: "Sabbath.  When is the Sabbath?"

::::Insert brief discussion about Jewish historical Sabbath and our Christian Sabbath here::::

Drew: "I think Labor Day will be my Sabbath from video games." 

Long pause

Drew: "I can still watch TV, though, right?"

Have a very happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hip Update

Monday I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon in Columbus who will be performing my hip surgery.  I can't believe I typed those lines.  At the age of 38, I never thought I would be preparing for hip surgery!  That's something you do when you are 70+!  Anyway, the second MRI showed that I do have a tear in my labrum.  To repair it requires an arthroscopic hip surgery and no local surgeons do that procedure.  In fact, my husband told me this morning that I am the only person he knows who has had an arthroscopic hip repair.

So, right now we are waiting on the insurance to approve my surgery.  If/when they do, we will schedule it.  My planning, OCD brain wants it to be Sept 20, because that day works really well in my schedule, but I know it's not up to me. (Jeremiah 29:11) The recovery time is 3-6 weeks on crutches and it will be 6 months until I am back to my ol' happy-go-lucky self. 

I saw my chiropractor today and he thinks he can help me to recover quicker and eventually get me back to running.  I am hoping and praying for that!  I have so missed my early morning summer runs and 5K season. :(

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers!  I will continue to update as things progress.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

5 Day Shakeology Challenge

I am running a 5 day Shakeology challenge. You have heard me rave about Shakeology, now is your chance to try it for 5 days to see what it can do for you!

What you need to do:

Sign up as a customer on my Beachbody site:http://beachbodycoach.com/​BeccaCoach

Let me know what flavor of Shakeology you would like: Greenberry, Chocolate or a mixture of both. I need to know this by August 10th so I can get them to you in time to start.

Send a check or paypal to me for $25. That covers your Shakeology for the challenge. Or you can order a larger bag at 

Commit to drinking Shakeology once a day for 5 days.

Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day for 5 days.

Submit a complete food journal to me every evening during the challenge. If you bite it, you write it!

I will send you a healthy dose of motivation every morning. I can also give you a meal plan to follow, if you are interested. I will review your food journal and offer suggestions as needed. When you feel like you don't want to do it anymore, I'll be there to remind you why you are doing this in the first place. ;) There will be a raffle type drawing of everyone who completes the challenge. The prize will be determined later! The more people who sign up, the more prizes there will be!

Please feel free to message or email me with any questions!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

August 3 in 30 Goals

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am struggling to find balance.  I feel like my days keep getting away from me and my to-do list is never done. I have decided to join the 3 in 30 group to get myself refocused for August.  Even though I am not a practicing RN anymore, my brain still thinks like one.  Therefore, I have to have measurable goals that I can see whether or not I achieved them.  So here are my three for August:

1.  Complete the last of my homework for Beth Moore's Believing God study.  Our group actually watched the last video on Tuesday and I still have a week's worth of homework to do.  I'm thinking I can get it done in a month. ;)

2.  Do the 31 Days to Clean Challenges.  It just so happens that August has 31 days and I can complete all of the challenges in that time frame.

3.  Have my 8 year old help me prepare 2 meals a week.  My guy, Jay, thinks he wants to be a chef (among other things like an author, a scientist, an artist...it's good to be 8 and have your whole life in front of you).  I could use the help in the kitchen and it would teach him some very important life skills, like how to hold a knife.

Please feel free to share with me how you achieve your personal goals.  I would love to know!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Still

Once again I am joining Gypsy Mama with 5 Minute Friday.  This weeks prompt is - Still.

7:49 PM

I'm still sitting at the computer after a long day away from home.  My goal has been to spend more time with my kids this evening, who I missed greatly while I was volunteering.  They are still playing happily with minimal intervention on my part.  Lego Rock Band is still in our future!

I am still struggling to find the balance.  The balance between faith, family, fitness and friends.  Still hoping to find the answers by plugging along, one day at a time.  Today, I pray for the opportunity to be still before God.  To hear His voice and to follow His perfect will for my life.

Stillness doesn't come very easily.  Everything about me wants to move, move, move and go, go, go.  I fidget as I type this.  Multi-tasking is an art that I am proficient at.  "Be still, and know that I am God."  If I am not taking the time to be still, am I taking the time to know, truly know, that He is God?  It is when I allow my heart and mind rest that His presence becomes powerful and abundant in my life.

7:54 PM

This is totally random, but that's what's floating around in my head this evening.  Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Priorities 2011

I was flipping through my goal setting notebook and found that I started the year by making a list of priorities.   It was very helpful for me to see what I have been working well on and what needs more of my focus and attention.

Here they are:

1. God - relationship with Him, teaching my children how to grow in their relationships with Him.
2. Family - spending more quality time together.
3. My marriage - growing in intimacy and one-ness with my husband.
4. Friends - supporting my friends in person and in prayer.  Being sensitive to the needs of those around me.
5. Business - growth.  Help others to achieve their fitness goals.  Be a motivator and encourager.

I am so thankful that I made this list.  It is a great compass to point me in the direction of how I best need to be spending my time.

What are your top 5 priorities?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

I haven't blogged in a while and I thought "Five Minute Friday" would be a good place to start.  Today's prompt is the word "Grateful":

10:02 Start

Grateful for a lost child who was found at the neighbor's house.

Grateful for sunny summer days spent at the pool.  The smell of chlorine in my daughter's hair.  The sunburned cheeks and freckles on my little boys' faces.   Good friends to chat with.  Pool snacks to share.

Grateful for a 14 year old who is willing to watch his younger siblings while I go grocery shopping, go to the doctor or just go to lunch with a friend.

Grateful for Bible Study that brings me closer to God and the Body of Christ.  The Body of Christ functioning the way it is supposed to.

Grateful for timely prayer and protection.  People who will go to their knees for me and my family.  People I can go to my knees for. The Sacrifice that allows me to approach the Throne of God.

Grateful for a family that is imperfect and keeps me humble.  For old memories that are shared.  For visits with extended family.

Grateful for the slower pace of summer so that I can take the time to be grateful to a Loving God.

10:07 Stop

Check out other great blogs at http://www.thegypsymama.com.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's time for a Fitness Challenge!

I did a fitness challenge through my facebook page back in January and it was such a success, that I have decided to do another one.  Please feel free to join no matter what your fitness goals are!  Here are the details:

Need some extra fitness motivation this summer?  Join this Biggest Loser Style Challenge.

Fit Challenge
Want to WIN some money and lose weight???

*For 30 days, you need to workout 4-5 days/week. I will provide you with an Exercise Log so you can track your workouts.

*The Challenge officially starts 07/05/11 for one month. It will end on 08/05/11. Winner will be announced on 08/06/11.

*Email me (beccajanern@yahoo.com ) your weight and measurements sometime between now and 07/01/11

*At the end of each week, email me your weight.

*At the end of the challenge, email me your weight and measurements again.

*The winner will be determined by highest percentage of weight loss over 30 days.

*The prize will be at least $50 and will increase by $50 for every 5 people that join the challenge. 1-5 people =$50, 6-10 = $100, 11-15 = $150 and so on. If 100 people join, the prize will be $1000!!!! Get your friends, neighbors, co-workers that you like to compete with, and family to join!

*Cost is $10 mailed/Paypal to Rebecca Oaks OR purchase a Beachbody workout program or Shakeology from http://beachbodycoach.com/BeccaCoach *****If you are already on Shakeology home direct, you can join at no charge and still qualify for the prize money! :)******

*Payment must be received by me by July 1st to be included in the challenge

* ADVANTAGE- you don't have to commit to any in-person workouts or meetings! This challenge can be done wherever you are, even if you go on vacation during the 30 days - everything is done online!

*We are going on the honor system here, so please be honest about your weight loss.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Rain's Getting Me Down

All this rain we've been having here in NW Ohio is really starting to affect my mood.  This morning, God has given me so much to be thankful for to help lift my mood.

Today I am thankful for:

- An almost 14 year old who still calls me "Mommy".

- An almost 8 year old who only wants super heroes for his birthday.

- An almost 7 year old (all of my boys were born in May.  We've got a lot of birthdays coming up!) who gets out of the car and says: "Oh.  Hello worm!  How are you today?"

- A 6 year old princess who walks downstairs and assumes there is a two hour delay because it's raining again.

- Tuesday morning Bible Study so I can share my joys and struggles and the application of the Word with dear friends.

How has God blessed you today?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Get Back out on the Field

For the past several years, I have been involved in Bible Study groups.  These groups give me so much more than just a knowledge of the Bible and how to apply it to my life.  I have come to view them as the "half time pep talk" of my life.

They give me an opportunity to connect with other women.  To hear their stories and learn from their mistakes.  To encourage them with things that have worked for me.  To share tears, joys and the moments of life.

But, I believe the most important role of these group meetings is to lift each other up.  To vent about life's struggles and leave them there.  To encourage each other to get back out on the field and play this game called life with confidence that the goal we are focused on is THE goal.  To develop a game plan to get to that goal and to lead our children there.  Especially in those moments when I'm not so sure that I want to be the mom anymore.

Bible study and a Caramel Mocha.  That can help you put just about anything into perspective. ;)

Do you have someone or a group that encourages you?  Who helps you to get back out on the field when you just want to hang it up?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Distance - 5 Minute Friday

This week's prompt from Gypsy Mama is on distance.


The space between too points.

Where does the most distance lie in my life?  I would say that distance is between the person I am and the person that I want to be.  I struggle so hard with knowing what is right and doing it.  After a total meltdown with my kids yesterday, I keep wondering when is it going to get better?

When will my selfishness end?  When will I not be a slave to the schedule and circumstances?  When will I truly start living intentionally?

I feel like days, sometimes weeks, go by that I am achieving those goals.  There is focus and control.  But then one little boy gets mad at ME because he can't ride his bike yet.  One little girl is a hoarder in the making. And another little boy is being mischievous at school.  The volcano blows and out spews ugliness that I didn't even know lived in there.

This distance, between my desire and reality, is also distancing me from God and His will for me.  He wants consistent fruit, not occasional fruit with mostly nuts.  How can He bless me where I am when I am so often focused on me and my wants?


Monday, April 11, 2011

Things I Learned Today

1. Ankylosaurs are my son's favorite herbivores.

2. An injection in to the hip joint is really as uncomfortable as it sounds.

3. Even in the middle of financial chaos, God provides glimmers of hope.

4. Retro Taco Doritoes are back in the grocery store, same packaging and all.  Pretty cool, but I left them in the store.

5. Working out with stated hip injection isn't as bad as I thought, especially with a fun friend.  

6. Philadelphia Cream Cheese Santa Fe Blend makes PHENOMENAL chicken enchiladas.

Friday, April 8, 2011

5 Minute Friday - If You Met Me

Today I am linking up to Gypsy Mama's blog.  She has given a prompt to write about for just 5 minutes.  Today's prompt is "If you met me..."  Let's see where this takes us.

If you met me....

You would see that I get a bit nervous meeting new people, but once I am comfortable, I will probably tell you a story about my family.  I've got some great quotes and I like to tell people the ages of my kids just to see how many questions they ask. ;)  

You would also see that I slouch too much, I wear the same jewelry all the time and my nails are always a mess no matter how hard I try.  You would probably hear me sigh in frustration at my kids one minute and then laugh with them the next.  They keep me on an emotional roller coaster.  

I would ask you lots of questions because I love to hear everyone else's stories. (We all have one!) And it is much easier for me to get you talking than to come up with something interesting to say.  

You would definitely see that my favorite color is green because I am always wearing it, even if it is just on my toes.  Speaking of toes, you would see how little I like shoes because, odds are, I am wearing flip-flops. :)


Wow, that was harder than I thought.    

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Matthew 4 - Blogging Through the Gospels

One of my favorite blogs that encourages Bible Literacy is Mom's Toolbox.  I have enjoyed reading through the Bible in 90 days with her.  Now, she has a reading plan for studying the Gospels.  I find this very fitting , especially coming into the Easter season.  I love to see the work of Christ from the different angles that are presented in the Gospels.

Todays' reading was Matthew 4.  I am using the SOAP format to investigate the Word.  Here is what stuck out to me:

Scripture:  Matthew 4:11 Then the devil left Him and angels came and attended to Him.

Observation:  The devil is real and a tormentor.  But after Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, alone, fasting and being tempted, His Father sent angels to care for Him.

Application:  I LOVE the picture that this provides of those glorious angels sent from the Father to care for His Son!  I can only imagine how tender and loving they were towards His body that had been weakened by 40 days without food.

Prayer:  Father, God, help me to attend to my family, friends and neighbors the way that the angels attended to Christ, with loving-kindness and tender mercy.  Thank you for the reminder that You care for Your children.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Welcome to the Way

If you are joining me from the Ultimate Blog Party, Welcome!  I am so glad you stopped by!  Here I blog about my family, my faith and fitness.  You can expect to see posts like this:

As I was cleaning up the dinner dishes tonight I asked Jay (7) to wipe off the table for me. To which he replied, "Uhhh, you're not supposed to be talking to me."

Me: "WHAT?  Why?"

Jay: "YOU need to learn the way of Jay.  We only communicate with notes."

Me: (Laughs hysterically) "Make sure you push the chairs in when you are done wiping the table.  And I CAN write it down for you."

My table is nice and clean, with everything back where it belongs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 in 30 Thursday

The Twitter world is all a buzz about this #3in30.  I kept seeing this hashtag over and over again and I had to figure out was.  Basically, the purpose is to complete three goals in thirty days, starting with a new set of goals at the beginning of each month.  I love goal setting, but I tend to come up with all these grand, complex plans and just end up getting overwhelmed with all I need to do to accomplish my goals.  I do believe I can handle three, however.

So you all are my accountability group!  I am putting my goals out to you so that I am more likely to get them done.  Here they are:

1.  Go to bed at 10:30 PM.  I know I need my morning quiet time to function.  Plus, I need to get my workout in before the kids get up or it may not happen. If I am staying up until midnight or later, I am less likely to get out of bed when that alarm goes off.  A good day starts the night before!

2.  Workout six days a week according to the Turbo Fire/ChaLean Extreme Hybrid program.  My workouts have been lacking because I haven't been getting up and the hip has been bothering me.  However, my mental attitude truly needs a good workout.

3.  Eat Clean- at least 80% of the time.  My diet has been lacking as well.  I downloaded another Clean Eating menu plan and I am going to follow that.  I am allowing myself two meal cheats a week.  Those will most likely be Friday and Saturday night, since we tend to eat out on the weekend.

There they are!  They shouldn't be too difficult.  I just have to be focused and take control of my day.

What are your goals for the month of April?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be Careful What You Promise....

We all do it.  We bribe our kids to get a desired behavior.  My 6 year old, Drew, has struggled all school year.  His attention span is short non-existent.  He breaks out into song for unknown reasons.  He practices playing the drums with everything.   He has no concept of personal space.  All of these things are fine at home (except sometimes that personal space thing).  At school, however, he gets into a bit of trouble.

His class uses a stoplight system.  They all start the day with their clothespin off the chart.  The first time they get into trouble, the clothespin goes to green (1), then yellow (2) and finally red (3).  Drew was constantly getting his clothespin moved.  Mostly ones and twos but he did have the occasional three.  In order to get him to have proper classroom behavior, we've been bribing him.

At first, he had to behave for a week (not even moved to a one) and he could take Karate lessons.

Apparently, he can be bribed.

The next step was to go a month without getting his clothespin moved.  The reward this time? 

Yes, that's right.  A drum set for my budding drummer.  

If he behaves all day tomorrow, he will have earned his drum set.  I truly didn't think he could do it, but he really does have some self control.

If anyone feels so led, you are welcome to send me some earplugs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makeover Monday - The Office Version

I am a couple of weeks behind on Simple Mom's de-cluttering challenge.  Yesterday, I attacked our paper work in the basement office.  The office is definitely my nemesis.  It is essentially a junk drawer that pretends to be a room.  It took a lot of personal pep talk to get me down there with my trash bags, duster and vacuum cleaner.

Here are the before pictures:

This used to be my desk space until my computer was moved to the kitchen.  Much more practical for me to be upstairs instead of hiding out in the "dungeon".
The fax machine, lots of paper work, boxes, misc. picture frames.

The "Man Cave" corner of the office.  The hubby's and my oldest's computers.  Perfect for late night games of World of Warcraft.

The oldest and his clutter.

And now for the after photos.  I am SO BUMMED that I did not get a before picture of the bookcases.  They were a disaster and I completely rearranged them.

Ahhh, pretty, organized bookcases.  Game guides and fiction on the left.  Surgical texts, Bible Studies and non-fiction on the right.

 All of my scrapbooking supplies were moved to the left side of the desk and I can use the open area to work on projects.  The picture frames are off of the shelves so Hubby has room for his school texts and projects.

The Man Cave corner.

 The computer table that you can actually see under all of that stuff.

In the interest of full disclosure, I still have lots of paperwork to go through.  We have 2 double file drawers and one single that are packed full of things that need to be shredded.  It is my plan to finish the paper clutter before I move onto the next hot spot, which is the kids' clothes, toys, books, etc.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Yummy Shakeology Recipes

I shamelessly and wholeheartedly promote Shakeology.  Why?  Because I totally love it.  It does what it says it will do: decreases cravings, lowers cholesterol, it's loaded with nutrients and it helps you lose weight.  Don't take my word for it, find out more about it here.

I do have some favorite recipes that I would love to share with you.

Almond Mocha Chiller

1 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened original)
1 tsp Instant Espresso
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
Ice to taste
Blend well

Vanilla Peanut Butter Fudge

1 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

Chocolate Bananas Foster

1 Banana
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Rum Extract
1 cup Milk (skim, almond, rice, soy, etc.)
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

Chocolate Covered Cherries

1/2 cup Frozen Cherries
1 cup Milk (your choice)
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste

And this is my stand by because I almost always have these ingredients on hand:

Chocolate Banana Nutter

1 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
1 banana
1 cup water
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
ice to taste.

Have I tempted your taste buds enough?  Would you love to try it for yourself?  Just let me know and I will be glad to send you a sample.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Funky Hip Thing

For the past few weeks, my left hip has been MAD at me.  We used to have a great relationship.  I would workout, it would cooperate.  I would run, it would run right along with me.  I would pop it (constantly), it would breathe a sigh of relief.  Recently, the popping of my hip has gotten more and more uncomfortable.  That sigh of relief turned into a whimper.

A few weekends ago, the family and I took a road trip to Columbus.  On the way home, my hip was really painful and I couldn't pop it to relieve the pain.  It was just felt really tight and I chalked it up to sitting in the car for too long.  The next day, while standing in church, I finally got the thing to pop.  When it popped, that former sigh of relief became a blood curdling scream in agony.  I have never felt such instantaneous, sharp pain in my life.  It made me nauseous and, thankfully, I already had my arm around my husband so I could grab onto him to stabilize myself.

A week goes by and I finally go to see the doctor.  At this point, the pain is manageable with Motrin and only gets truly unbearable during extended times of inactivity.  The doctor suggests, after physical exam and x-rays, that I may have torn the labrum in my hip.  For those of you who have no clue what that is, it's basically the suction cup that holds the femur into the hip joint.  He ordered an MRI to be sure of his assessment.

MRI??? WHAT?!?!  I don't do MRI's!  Well, apparently, I do.  But only with the help of some Ativan (happy pills) and a wonderful friend who was willing to babysit me. I survived the procedure, but the tear didn't show up on the MRI.  Wonderful!  Where do we go from here?

My doctor recommended that I follow up with a surgeon who does arthroscopic hip repairs.  Surgery is still questionable at this point.  The only reason I even entertain the thought of going to the OR is because this pain is intense.  I am able to get it under control with the help of Naprosyn (Motrin isn't cutting it anymore), but that gives me horrible heartburn.  Right now I am playing this game of taking drugs to counteract the side effects of my drugs.  Sure, I could take something stronger for the pain, but I need to be able to function, drive and take care of my 4 kids.

The other issue: I'm afraid to workout.  When the pain gets bad, it gets REALLY bad and I don't want to do anything that makes it worse.  So, of course, my weight is creeping up because I am still eating like I burn 800-1000 calories a day with exercise.  That doesn't help with my mental condition at all.

Thank you for those of you who have been praying!  Keep them coming because this definitely isn't over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Night Time Fears Resolved

For as long as he could express it to me, my seven year old has been having issues with fear at bedtime.  He gets so scared that he can't settle down and get to sleep.  For a long time, he was sleeping with his younger brother (the two are 12.5 months apart), but lately, the 6 year old has been complaining that he can't sleep because his older brother bothers him.  Using his younger brother as a teddy bear won't work anymore.

We've tried lots of different things.  I pray with him.  He recites "Perfect Love casts out fear" over and over again.  I let him read with a book light (which just keeps him up until midnight!).  We leave lights on, doors open, and constantly reassure him that nothing bad will happen while he's sleeping.  He occasionally sleeps with me.  Nothing has helped him!

The other day I was reading a Facebook post by The Gypsy Mama where she was asking for advice on how to deal with sudden night terrors in her five year old son.  One very wise lady recommended having him list several things that make him happy.  So last night, I tried this with Jay.  I had him list five.  Here's what they were:

1. Hugs from Mom and Dad
2. Having friends over.
3. Playing with his brothers and sister.
4. Rainbows and unicorns
5. Going to Cedar Point

When I tucked him in, he was all giggles and said "I might DIE from laughing so much!" with a big grin on his face.  When he woke up this morning he told me that he wasn't scared at all last night and he and his younger brother even came up with a few more for his list while they were lying in separate beds. :)  I think we may be on to something here!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

To Routine or Not to Routine

The other day I started a post detailing the process I use for my Quiet Time with the Lord every morning.  As I was typing away, I realized that it could potentially be the single most boring post on the interwebz.  I am confident that you don't want to hear every single step I take each morning before the sun comes up.  So I nixed that (you're welcome), but it did lead me to some thoughts on routines.

How important are routines to you?  I am a huge fan of the Flylady and she advocates set times and days for accomplishing certain tasks.  I see the importance of it.  I am very routined with certain things.  I empty the dishwasher every morning, I make my bed, I shower, I do laundry.  Most of the tasks I do around the house I do in a very specific order.  For example, I only make the bed after I shower.  I only take my water glass from the night stand to the kitchen after I make the bed.  So, if by chance I don't take a shower until 10:00 PM, the bed doesn't get made and the water glass from the night before is still there.  Silly, right?

My husband is a surgeon and he does most things by routine, such as giving phone orders.  He does it that way so he won't forget anything important.   I have heard him get short with many a nurse when they are asking about lab work and he is still at activity level.  He's mentally going through a checklist so everything is covered.  If he is ever questioned about what he does, he can say, "I know I did that, because it is what I always do."  Routine is definitely needed there.

Here's where I get into trouble:  Free time.  Time with the kids. Play time. Reading.  My daughter asked me the other day if I would play a game with her.  I looked at my sofa full of laundry, the kitchen sink full of dishes and panicked!  No!  I can't play a game!  Can't you see the mess I have to clean up???  It's like I can't move on until everything as done.  And, let's face it, most days it doesn't all get done.  I go to bed with laundry waiting to be folded, toys needing to be picked up and dishes in the sink.  Yet I don't feel that I can relax until it is all done.

Which leads me to this thought:  Is it possible to schedule the life out of my life?  Am I really living if I am focusing completely on checking off my tasks?  How am I building relationships with my friends and family if my day is so tightly packed that I can't be flexible?  Even tonight, hubby and I went for a lovely trip to the grocery store and a drive around town.  I glanced at the clock and realized that it was 9:00 PM and got anxious.  The kids weren't in their jammies.  Bedtime devotion hasn't been done.  They won't be in bed on time.  They'll be cranky tomorrow.  Yet another way I have failed as their mother......

I am searching for the balance between the necessity of a to-do list (and I do believe it is necessary if I want to accomplish my goals for myself and my family) and the flexibility that is required of me to enjoy my life and those I love.  I feel like God has been speaking to me about this a lot lately.  I feel that I need to be more focused in the mornings and accomplish what I can before the family gets out of bed.  For me, that includes quiet time, workout and day planning.  I found this lovely group of ladies on Twitter (#hellomornings) that are all working towards this some goal.  I love having the accountability that this group provides.

I still don't have it all figured out, but through prayer and planning, I am working on it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Closet - After

I completed the closet yesterday (Saturday) afternoon at 5:00 PM.  It was quite the project and of course, I had several interruptions.  But I got it done.  I ended up with 4 bags of clothes to be donated and only a few things to throw away.  

For a reminder of the before, click here.

I am much happier with the shelves now.  They seem to make more sense.

I moved my sweatshirts/jackets to the left hand corner of this section so they weren't crowding out my more delicate shirts.

My skirts on the left then extra hangers then hubby's shirts.

Hubby's corner.  I did nothing here except for cleaning out that box, stacking his knee braces and making sure his clothes were on black hangers.  Some of my green hangers ended up on his side and we can't have that! ;)

This is the pile of things that were donated

This dress was Regan's treasure of the day. My mom made it for me several years ago when I was Worthy Advisor for Rainbow Girls.  I debated letting go of this, but Regan is going to keep it for dress up.  She loves it! 

I am so glad I did this and I can't wait to move onto the rest of the house.  One of the items I gave away brought up a discussion between me and the Hubby.  It was something that was very special to a family member and was handed on to me.  I have no emotional attachment to it all, but was entrusted with it's care taking by someone who will check on it from time to time.  

This leads me to the question: What do YOU do with hand-me-down "treasures" that are not treasures to you at all?  What is your level of commitment to them?  Am I destined to have a box of attic stuff of all the things I felt obligated to keep?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Things that are easier while my hubby is gone

My man is out of town this weekend for some training in Florida.  I am so jealous as he complains of being "chilly" in 61 degree weather because the breeze coming from the water is a bit brisk.  We have snow in Ohio, I'll take ocean breezes any day!  But I digress.  I am learning that certain things are a little easier when he's not around.  Here are my top 10:

1.  It's easier to get out of bed in the morning when I don't have his nice, warm body to cuddle with.
2.  It's easier to have a messy kitchen because he's not here to clean up after my dinner mess.  (He ALWAYS does the dinner dishes when he's here)
3.  It's easier to to have long conversations on the telephone.
4.  It's easier to let the kids have a campout on the floor in our bedroom.
5.  It's easier to chat with my teenage son and his buddies who are here because that is as close as I am going to get to face-to-face adult conversation.
6.  It's easier to avoid the accounting work that I need to do because he is not here to help me install the backup files.
7.  It's easier to watch my 6 year old grin ear-to-ear while daddy tells him how proud he is that the boy behaved at school.
8.  It's easier to give extra hugs and kisses to the kids because I can say that they are from daddy.
9.  It's easier to forget to feed the dogs.
10.  It's easier to miss him like crazy!

He's only gone for three days, but I am soooo ready for him to come home...NOW!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I am starting off this Spring with a super duper thorough Spring Clean.  I read this fabulous book back in January and it inspired me.  Tsh is running a hot spot declutter challenge over on her blog so I thought that was a great place to start.  Today, I had my carpets cleaned so these are not "true" before photos, but this is what I've got:

My side of the closet (I'm not touching my hubby's side.  He just did a major declutter a few months ago)

Imagine all this on the floor of my closet.  That's a more accurate before picture

The shelves.  I have got to do something with the shelves.

This is hubby's side.  It's normally a bit prettier, but I shoved the dry cleaning up there so it wouldn't be dragging on the carpet.

The plan is to tackle it this weekend.  This is the weekend between basketball and soccer season so if I don't take the time now, I can't guarantee it will get done.  

Stay tuned!