Saturday, January 30, 2016

It's Saturday Night!

It's a crazy night around here. We have an extra kid until tomorrow afternoon. My nephew, Brandon, is spending the night and going to church with us tomorrow. Ben is happy as a clam because Brandon is his best friend.

I have had another day of both good and not-so-good decisions. I went for my walk with my friend and our dogs this morning. We walked for about 45 minutes. Then I came home, took a shower and Brandon got dropped off. When my sister brought him over, she also dropped off a big bunch of chocolate chip cookies (my favorite!). So I ate way too many cookies. I ate a decent lunch and dinner, though.

My nurturing was talking with my friend, got some exercise, made a good food decision by not eating anything after dinner, and I'm even remembering to make my blog post! 

Well, I'm off to watch a "scary" movie with these little boys. I hope your evening is as full of fun as mine!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday, January 29

Good evening, friends! 

I'm still plugging along. I went to bed last night having not remembered to make my blog post. I am still working to make this a daily habit. On Wednesday I dressed for the gym and ended up with a headache and stayed home. I am having a hard time convincing myself to go back to the gym. 

I do have good news, though! My eating habits are improving quite a bit. I am making better choices each day and staying away from both sugar and artificial sweeteners. I nurtured myself by spending some quiet time alone. 

Today's report isn't great. I didn't go to the gym, but I met a friend for a breakfast date. It was very good for me and nurturing. The kids had a half day of school and orthodontist appointments (two!) in the afternoon. We had a healthy vegetarian dinner, and now here I am, back at the library with my middle school book team meeting. Oh, and somewhere in there I broke my no sugar rule by getting a Coke Slurpee at 7-11. 

What does all this mean? It means I'm succeeding, then failing, then making some good choices, then making some bad choices. I keep trying, though, and I keep forgiving myself, then starting another new day. I never imagined I would begin this plan and then follow it perfectly. I just need to keep trying to make more good choices than bad. 

I'm not trying to be perfect, just better. 

I'll see you again tomorrow, the kids have another half day so my schedule will be thrown off. I'll just keep on working at it!

Enjoy your evening!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday, January 26

Just a quick update for tonight because I'm tired and ready for bed. I followed my no sugar plan, I spent time reading for my nurturing, and I went to yoga tonight (which apparently kicked my butt!)

Tomorrow I will go to the gym!

Have a great night!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A good, normal day

It was a good day! I didn't go to the gym, but I went for a 45 minute walk with the dog. I stuck to my no sugar plan, and logged my food in the My Fitness Pal app. 

I stayed home today (except for dropping kids off at school, and a quick return trip to the middle school to drop off some forgotten gym clothes). I got a lot of cleaning and some paperwork done. I love checking things off my to-do list!  

I talked with a friend and took plenty of cleaning breaks to nurture myself.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.  I hope you had a good day too! Enjoy your Monday evening!

Oh, I forgot to mention that it's a special day at our house: our pup, Violet, is three years old today. She got lots of treats and a nice walk for her birthday. We love you, Violet! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's Sunday Night...

...and I need to report on my weekend!  Since I didn't make a post about Friday or Saturday, I'll cover those as well as today.

Friday I still felt pretty tired and achy, so I rested up in anticipation of my night out with my nephew, Kevin. I didn't work out, I ate a very reasonable breakfast and lunch since I knew I was going out for dinner and that we might have dessert. I also didn't do my blog post. I nurtured myself by going out with Kevin, one of my favorite people.

On Saturday I went back to my weekly dog walking session with a friend, so I actually got some exercise! Yay! We walked for about 45 minutes.Then I nurtured myself by doing pretty close to nothing else for the entire day. I ate too many cookies, but my good food decision was to have small portions at lunch and dinner.

Today I went to church (my nurturing for the day), then came home and did the weekly grocery shopping. My good food decision for the day is to not eat anything after dinner. And as of now, after dinner,  I count it as a weekday so no more sugar until Friday night. Now that the grocery shopping is done for the week I'll have no excuse to stay home from the gym tomorrow . I don't want to jinx myself but I think maybe, just maybe, I may be over this virus!

Happy Sunday ought to you! Here's to a great week to come!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pure Joy

stirred the spaghetti, threw together a salad, and set out plates while pausing to send texts back and forth to Kevin, Sue's oldest child. We coordinated our schedules and firmed up our plans. 

"Leaving now to pick you up!" I texted, as I gave my four kids some last minute instructions. Hoping that they would remember what I needed each of them to do while I was gone, I slid behind the wheel of my freezing cold van and pulled out of the driveway. As I drove carefully along our icy neighborhood roads, my heart and mind changed gears. I left the role of "mom" and switched over to "aunt".

It's one of the greatest pleasures of my life, being an aunt, and I don't set aside as much time to focus on it as I should. But the drive allowed me a few minutes to think about what being an aunt has meant to me. My mind ran like a film projector, images of Kevin as a cuddly newborn, a chubby-faced toddler learning to say "Auntie!",  a fourth grader excitedly telling me stories about his teacher... 

Then, some hard memories: I remember stopping to check on him while his mom lay dying in the next room.  I picture snuggling next to him on the couch as he tried to begin to process the news he had heard moments before, "She's gone".  I can recall the pain on his face as I glanced down at him while I was delivering his mother's eulogy.

We have been through a lot, our family, this boy and me. And today he turns 18. He's an adult now. It makes no sense, he was just a tiny, chicken-legged creature who fit perfectly in my arms. But it makes complete sense, this boy who studies hard every day, all the time, who plans to become a doctor, has the life experience of a much older person. He handles all life has given him with grace, humility, and humor.

We set out to begin our evening, just the two of us. There are plans to eat dinner at one of his mom's favorite restaurants, then see a movie. Later we find ourselves sipping root beer floats, and flitting from topic to topic. Our discussions range from an in-depth critique of the movie, to how we each handle our day to day struggles with grief. 

He hugs me goodbye as I drop him off at his door, and I wait to be sure he gets safely inside. And as I drive away, I let the tears slip down both of my cheeks. But this time I am not feeling sadness and despair. This time the tears are tiny drops of pure thankfulness and joy at the gift my sister has left me, the gift of being Auntie.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Good evening, friends. I come to you tonight from the library, as I allow my middle school "Battle of the Books" team to engage in discussion without me. 

I have come to some realizations today:

1.  I am still sick. I am not being lazy, sloth-like, or irresponsible. I'm generally a person with a lot of energy, but this past week and a half I keep finding the need to collapse into the couch, several times a day.

2. Because I'm still sick, and honestly, even if I wasn't, I need to be forgiving to myself about my lack of progress. I've been reading about establishing new habits (check out all books by Gretchen Rubin!) and have discovered that people who readily forgive themselves for their mistakes are more likely to stick to their goals in the long term.

3. Therefore, I'm not doing well with my exercise but it's going to be okay.

I nurtured myself today by talking to a dear friend (and possibly the entire audience of this blog--hi Donna!).  I made several good food decisions (easier to do with an upset stomach!) and I am writing my daily blog entry.

All is well. When I feel good enough to go back to the gym, I will absolutely do that. In the meantime, I'm watching many recorded episodes of a show called "My 600-lb Life". If that isn't good motivation, then nothing is!

Enjoy your evening! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday, January 20

I went to yoga last night. I didn't go to the gym today, I got a haircut instead! I'm counting that as my nurturing for the day.

I stuck to my no sugar plan, so that was my good food decision of the day.

I'm really having a hard time getting back into working out. Tomorrow should be a good day to go back.

I'll update you on my progress tomorrow night! Enjoy your Wednesday night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sunday, Monday, and Today

I dropped the ball there for awhile. I think part of the reason why I forgot to blog was because nothing much was happening on Sunday, and yesterday was crazy.

On Sunday I went to church (my nurturing for the day), then came home and RESTED. I don't think I got off the couch for hours. I got up to make dinner and clean it up, then went right back to the couch. I was still feeling sick on and off all day.

Yesterday I felt better, which was good because the kids had a day off from school. I started the day with grocery shopping, then we had dentist appointments for four of us. We ended up going out to dinner after the dentist. Oh, and somewhere in there our garage door opener broke. 

I stuck to my "no sugar on weekdays" plan, even though the kids were trying to talk me into getting dessert at the restaurant. 

I haven't worked out in many days. I am feeling pretty good today, but needed to stay home from the gym to wait for the garage door repair people. I am going to yoga tonight, though. 

So, that's where I am, slowly coming back from this illness that basically caused a fever, aches, and extreme fatigue. This week I'll go to yoga and get back to the gym.

Here we go!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Not at my best

I felt pretty run down and achy today. I took a long nap, then dragged myself up because I had promised Sam I would take him to dinner and to the movies. We try to have one on one nights with the kids and this was my turn to hang out with Sam.

We ended up going to Culvers and then seeing Daddy's Home. It was really funny.

I made nothing but bad food choices today. I got no exercise. I nurtured myself by napping, but I am doing my blog post.

Tomorrow we'll go to church and I'll do the grocery shopping. Have a great Saturday night!

Friday's Post, Today

Well, I did it again. I fell asleep on the couch and forgot to make my Friday night blog post!

So let's recap Friday: I got up, and didn't feel like going to the gym. I got annoyed with myself for not going to the gym. I felt like I was moving in slow motion all day. I did several things on my to-do list and decided to stop at a blood drive because it's time for me to donate again. 

When it was my turn to see the nurse she asked, "Did you just have some hot coffee before coming in here?" I told her I had not, in fact I had been drinking a cold drink before coming in. She told me I couldn't donate because I had a fever of 100.8 F.

She asked if I felt sick or knew I was sick. I told her no, but I had been feeling a little more tired than usual. She said "Go home and go to bed! You are sick!"

So, I picked up Joe, then Natalie, then the little boys and basically plopped on the couch, where I stayed for the rest of the night.

So, no exercise, I can't think of any especially good food choices I made (it wasn't my best food day), I didn't do my blog post, and I guess I nurtured myself by refusing to get off the couch. 

I am still feeling a bit iffy today, so we'll see how I do. I'll just keep trying! 

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Off Course, Again

I got into my bathing suit this morning, ready to do water aerobics, when I stood up quickly and realized I had a pounding headache. Natalie stayed home from school with an earache, and Frank was feeling sick too. Clearly we have something going around our house. 

I knew there were still lots of things I needed to accomplish, so I skipped the gym. (For example, I'm at my middle school Battle of the Books meeting right now, although I'd rather be in bed!)

I stuck with my rule of no sugar on the weekdays, although I just really wanted the comfort of a big cup of hot cocoa. It's very cold outside and the roads are STILL pretty bad.  

I nurtured myself with a nice long talk with a friend.

At this point, I have no idea what I'll do tomorrow. I will just see how I feel after a good night of sleep and go from there! I plan to go to bed early, but need to see Big Bang Theory first.

Happy Thursday to you, see you on Friday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January 13, 2016

I got a lot done today, but I didn't work out. I just really felt like I needed to work on my big to-do list instead.

I had salad for both lunch and dinner, so I'm counting that as my good food decision for the day.

I nurtured myself by reading my library book, and by not beating myself up about not going to the gym.

I have big plans for tomorrow, it's going to be a busy day. I am either going to try power yoga or do water aerobics at the gym. I'll let you know tomorrow night!

Have a good evening!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 12, 2016

It was another crazy day filled with lots of snow, bad roads, and complications. I stayed home from the gym because of the roads and the driveway needed to be shoveled, but right as I was about to start shoveling, my neighbor showed up and plowed it (thanks Anthony!).

I had already planned to stay home, and I was going to be missing yoga tonight because of a Deacons meeting at church, so I did a 40 minute yoga workout I found on YouTube.

I made a good food decision by sticking to my "no sugar on weekdays" rule.  I nurtured myself by visiting with a friend, and I almost forgot to blog but did it anyway! Whew!

Well, it turned out that my Deacon meeting was cancelled because of the weather, so I could have gone to yoga after all. I stayed home, though. Hopefully there will be fewer weather complications tomorrow. 

Have a great Tuesday night!

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Always Something

Today started out with me getting ready for the gym, then driving the two oldest kids to school. It took longer than usual because the roads were bad. By the time we got home, Sam was complaining of back pain and wasn't feeling well. I took Ben to the bus stop and kept Sam home. 

But then I was worried about Sam so I made him a doctor appointment (It turns out he sprained a muscle in his back, he'll be fine.) 

After his appointment, I spent 45 minutes shoveling the driveway, which I'm counting as my workout, and then went grocery shopping.

Today was one of those days when I felt like I barely sat down all day. I made lots of good food decisions today, though. I can't think of anything I did to nurture myself, so I will probably go read some of my book before bed.

Overall it was a good day. As long as none of the kids are sick or injured, I will be at the gym tomorrow doing water aerobics.

Happy Monday and see you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weekends are Harder

I posted Friday's blog entry on Saturday morning, then I forgot to post Saturday's entry! I am learning that keeping up with posting is harder on the weekends when my schedule is different.

This post will cover Saturday and today, so I can be back on track. 

Yesterday we took our four kids plus an extra (Sam's best friend) to Chuck E Cheese. We were there all day and I made several questionable food choices. Then we came home, ate dinner, and my mom and her husband came for a visit. After they left I didn't do much else, just watched a little TV and went to bed. 

I guess my good food decision for the day was to stop eating after dinner. I did no exercise. I nurtured myself by reading my library book. And as you know, I didn't do my daily blog entry. I'll get better at being on top of things on the weekends!

Today I went to church (my nurturing for the day), and the weather was so bad that on the drive home I decided not to go back out to grocery shop. I've been home all day since we got back.

I did some work around the house, hung out with Frank and the kids, but did no exercise.

I'm doing my blog post now, and my good food choice for the day is to stop eating after dinner. I'll see you tomorrow, I'm going to the gym to run. Have a good Sunday night!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Oops! January 8, 2016

I fell asleep on the couch last night and never did my blog entry. Since I fell asleep so early, I'm up bright and early this morning.

Yesterday went well. Ben was feeling a lot better and went back to school. I went to the gym and ran two miles. Then I spent some time with my sister, Kate. It was fun to have some sister time.

My visit with Kate was what I did to nurture myself, I worked out, my good food decision was to refrain from snacking after dinner (easy to do when you just pass out from exhaustion on the couch! lol) and now I have made my blog post.  I have completed my first week of my new fitness plan.

Whew! It's more tiring than I anticipated, but that will keep getting better as I keep up with my goals.

See you tomorrow! (Later today, actually) 😀

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sick Day

Today didn't go as planned. When I went to wake up Ben this morning he was complaining of a sore throat and had a croupy cough. It was pretty clear he needed to stay home from school. This meant that my plan to go to the gym went out the window.

We spent our day snuggling on the couch and by this afternoon he was feeling a lot better. He still has a cough but definitely has his energy back up.

As far as my other goals, I'm blogging, I nurtured myself by having a nice phone conversation with a friend (and snuggling with Ben), and I made a good food choice by sticking to my no sugar plan. Tomorrow I should be fine to go back to the gym. I just can't decide if I will run or do water aerobics. I'm feeling very energetic after having a day off!

Have a great night and I'll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 6, 2016

This is getting difficult! I ran on the treadmill this morning. I planned to do a mile and a half, but ended up running a mile and three quarters. It felt good at the time, but after 12 hours and many chores and activities, I'm sore, crabby, and so very hungry!

I almost forgot to blog tonight. I'm ready for bed and I remembered at the last minute. 

I made a good food decision by only allowing myself a yogurt before bed instead of the 700 snacks I wanted to eat (see previous "so very hungry" comment).

I told Frank that I feel like I've been working out on my new plan forever. And then I realized that it has not even been a week! (I get very dramatic when I'm sore and hungry).

I nurtured myself today by blasting and singing along to some of my favorite songs while driving around. 

Okay, I did everything I was supposed to do, tomorrow I'm going to walk on the treadmill (need a break from running) and get a haircut. 

*Moan* *Groan* I'll see you tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016

Today went well but was a bit exhausting.  I started the day by dropping all the kids off at school, then left for water aerobics class at the gym. I got about halfway there when I realized I forgot to pack a towel. So I turned around, grabbed the towel, and made it there just as the class was starting.

After class I stopped at the grocery store for a few things, then home to shower, do dishes, and clean my office. I made it through a ton of paper clutter!

After the kids came home and I made tacos and salad for dinner, I left for yoga class. I worked out twice today! And now I need to go to bed!

So let's see: I'm blogging now, I worked out, I nurtured myself by going to yoga, and I made a good food choice by not having seconds on anything but salad at dinner.

Happy Tuesday everyone! See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Here we go! I've downloaded an app for blogging and I have high hopes that it will post my "before" picture this time.

I started out my day by dropping the kids off at school, then going immediately to the gym. I ran for a mile, then walked for another mile and a half.

I decided to try not eating any sugar on weekdays, so my good food decision today was to stick to that goal.

It was a busy day filled with cleaning and organizing around the house, then taking care of several kid issues while cooking dinner. I am currently at the library with Natalie's middle school Battle of the Books team. I am team leader and am sitting off to the side while they have their discussion. 

I nurtured myself by having two great fulfilling phone conversations with friends. It always builds me up to check in with my friends!

Well my blog entry is done for the night. Have a great evening and I'll see you tomorrow!

(Before picture, taken 1-1-16)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January 3, 2016

Today went pretty well, although I didn't exercise. I started off my day by going to church, which I'm going to count as nurturing myself. I always feel renewed and calm after church. I also taught Sunday School, and spending time with a group of 5-7 year olds renews and nurtures me too.

After church I did all the grocery shopping for the week in anticipation of going to the gym tomorrow morning instead of my old habit of Monday morning grocery shopping. I bought lots of fruits and vegetables! I'm counting that as my good food decision of the day.

I found myself being excited about doing my blog entry for the day, and thinking about what I would say. I think this blogging every day plan is going to work out nicely for me.

As you can see by the formatting of yesterday's post, I still have some learning to do when it comes to blogging from my phone. I wasn't able to get my "before" picture to post, and I'm in a hurry tonight, so I'll try to do that tomorrow.  I plan to take a photo of myself on the first of every month to (hopefully) see my progress.

Tomorrow Frank goes back to work and the kids go back to school.  It also will mark my return to the gym, I will be running on the treadmill right after I get everyone off to school. I have a goal of getting back to being able to run for three miles without stopping. I have some work to do to get there.

Have a great Sunday night, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

January 2, 2016

Today is day two of my healing challenge. I started off the day with a date with a friend to walk our dogs so exercise was covered for the day. Frank and I went to Ikea to buy some furniture, and my one good food decision was to not get dessert there, even though they had very good looking cake and reasonably priced chocolate bars. I am obviously blogging right now, so that goal is accomplished for the day. Now, this doing something to nurture myself thing? I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do. Maybe I'll set aside some time this evening to read a chapter of the book that I never seem to make to read.

I'm trying to attach a picture of myself to use as a "before" photo, but I am blogging from my phone, so I'm not sure if it will work. If not, I'll try again tomorrow!

Have a great Saturday and I will update you on my nurturing activity tomorrow!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Less Sadness, More Fitness for 2016

I have struggled with how to blog about grief as I keep healing. As you can see, I stopped blogging for months because I just didn't know what to say about my life and my grief. Today, the first day of a new year, I have made a decision about this blog: it's time for me to start blogging again.

My one-word mantra for this year is "Healing".

I am going to work hard to heal myself, both mind body, this whole year. You, my dear readers, are going to come along with me for the ride.

My goals are as follows:

1. Exercise 4 times per week all year long

2. Do one small (or big) thing each day to nurture myself emotionally

3. Make one (or more!) good food decision each day

4. Make one blog entry per day to document my progress

Yes, you read that right! I plan to blog each day of 2016, along with taking concrete steps toward continuing my healing. I am sure I will struggle at times, but I am going to aim high! I am more than excited to see what this year will bring, and to share it all with you.

See you tomorrow!