Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Year 2, Day 236: Decluttering

This has been a year of stopping and starting over....and the year is only half over!

The stopping is always discouraging, but the part to focus on is the starting over. Really, that is what the old proverb, "fall down 7 times, get up 8" means....starting over.

I see stopping as failure. I see failure as a bad thing. But maybe it is time to change that perspective.

I've been reading/working through a wonderful book by Peter Walsh, "Lighten Up". I thought it was going to be a strictly "how to clean up your house" book. It is not. Now, Peter Walsh has books out there like that, but he also has books like "Lighten Up" that puts the whole idea of declutter on its head.

"Lighten Up" is about decluttering your finances, which ends up decluttering some of your emotional clutter and your house clutter.

Who knew it was all connected?

Future posts may be less about exercise and more about decluttering because what I have learned is that until I get other aspects of my life under control, I am never going to get my health under control. For me, the stacks of papers I have ignored for years, the piles of pictures and cards that I have left in boxes for years is a symptom of excuses that I have made to myself.

I have learned that when I feel overwhelmed in the slightest I become inactive and when I am inactive nothing gets done so than I feel overwhelmed. Yup, I pretty ugly circle.

Happily, my finances are not cluttered. The majority of my house is clutter free (I can't stand a cluttered and messy kitchen, bathroom or utility room). The children and I have decided to make scrapbooking our art project for the rest of the year (they are so excited!).

And I have decided to tackle my two biggest stressors (my spirituality and my health) with baby steps.

I like that new beginnings can happen any time of the year.

I like that new beginnings can happen multiple times!!!

Happy Walking!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Year 2, Day 232: 5 Gratitudes for Friday

1. That our latest house hiccup (pack rats) was discovered while both my husband and father-in-law were here at the house. They discovered the pack rats. They took care of the pack rats. Me? I googled pack rats, read about them and saw how cute they are...yep, pack rats are little bit cute. They just don't get to live in my yard.

2. My husband is continuing to ensure the pack rat problem does not come back by having landscapers clean up the bushes around the yard - every bush will have the lower 2 feet cut away. Pack rats do not like sunlight and they don't like to climb trees (to hard to carry their "treasures"). I am so excited. The landscapers will be here on Tuesday!!!

3. For discovering Peter Walsh. For those who watched Oprah or Rachel Ray, you probably know all about Peter Walsh the decluttering guru. I ran across one of his Facebook posts recently and fell in love. I love to clean, declutter and organize! Too many moves recently has made my home the exact opposite of what I prefer, but I am gobbling up Peter Walsh's decluttering challenges (which you can read here) and reading his books. He has one for decluttering your house, your hips, your head and your finances. Loving them!!!! Love that my home and head are getting decluttered! (Finances are golden and the hips will come next!)

4. K having the opportunity to be in charge of our homeschool groups art activity. She did a great job of coming up with an idea (make caterpillars out of cardboard egg cartons) and executing it. She had one caterpillar to show off and then took the children through each step. The other teenagers jumped right in with setting up, preparing the egg cartons and helping the other children. It was great! The woman in charge of art day has asked K to do it again!

5. For so many things. A husband who loves and supports me. For children who are willing to work hard and jump into activities. For friends who love and support me. For lots of rain and lots of sunshine. I am feeling really blessed today.

Happy Walking!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Year 2, Day 211: 5 Gratitudes for Friday

1. Meeting some amazing women today while I was visiting teaching (for those not LDS, visiting teaching is when the women of the church visit each other each month and also are available to help through out the month - I see it as a great excuse to make new friends and talk!). I feel very blessed to have been in the presence of older women who have already been through my stage of life (younger children, teenagers, etc.). I just sat back and listened. I can't wait to visit them again!

2. A librarian who found a way to inspire my son to read more, but to also read some challenging books. He is so excited and working hard - all on his own!

3. My husband's continual support as I strive to better myself and take care of myself - even if that means I am in bed by 8pm!

4. My mom for loving me and supporting me even though we are much too far apart. I would also have to add my sister - who is also much too far away. Heck, let's change number 4 to all of the women in my life who continue to love me and support me and are much to far away! I love the emails, the phone calls, the face book messages, the comments, the text messages...everything - it keeps me going. Thank you!!!!

5. For a heated pool!!!!! I know, I know, I am a wuss because I like my water a nice 85 degrees, but the warm water has been wonderful and when I swim, I don't feel pain. Just so glad Steve is willing to pay for that little extra for my comfort. He is the best!

Happy Walking!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Year 2, Day 204: 5 Gratitudes for Friday

1. Swim classes completed. All my children improved, but Z improved the most because he finally learned to swim! I've been calling the class "swim magic"....now if I could only find "magic" in other subjects! We send a great big thanks to their teacher, Ms. Sam!

2. The leaky pipe in the yard has been fixed - no more mini creek! The plumbers worked hard all day in the hot sun - digging a deep hole and then having to bail water. Wow! But thanks to them and their hard work, we are back to normal.

3. My husband apologizing when he griped at me this morning. He doesn't gripe very often and he apologizes first happens even less often. But I am very thankful for him humbling himself....makes it so much easier to think good thoughts. :)

4. My children spending their own money on LEGO mixels. Mixels are the newest LEGO craze and I have no desire to spend my money on it. My children didn't even ask me to spend my money. They pulled their money together and bought it themselves. Very cool.
You can learn more about Mixels here.

5. My children supporting me in my early bedtime. It is already making a big difference for me. I actually woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off this morning! Still get very tired at the end of the day, but the early bedtime is working (for those who don't know, I am now going to bed at 8pm). I kiss my children goodnight and then each one of them knows what time is their "lights out." So far so good - no one has broken their bedtime. What great children!

Happy Walking!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Year 2, Day 202: Sleep

I've had it with sleep. Simply had it.

Sleep is needed for everything. everything.

Sleep helps your brain, your weight, your allergies, your muscles, your digestion, your skin...

And sleep is probably the hardest thing to get in...for me. Maybe not you. But it is the hardest thing to get in.

All the "experts" and "studies" suggest that we, as adults, need between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Yeah. That doesn't happen to often.

I've tried living on 7 hours - slowly over time I become more and more exhausted.

I've tried living on 8 hours - this works, but almost always crave an afternoon nap.


Now I am going to try living on 9 hours.

Too make this work (and still allow myself and hour in the morning before the children get up), I will need to go to bed between 8 and 8:30pm.

Yeah! I get to be a 12 again.

My children think this is hilarious because they all go to bed after me. That's right. I am going to bed before my children.

This has to be the most bizarre thing I have tried in the name of sleep....but, gosh, I am so tired of falling asleep during movies, reading books and yawning while I am driving.

Happy Walking!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Year 2, Day 200: My day with sweets!

I don't remember if I blogged about this or not; and honestly, if I take the time to check I will probably get lost in reading old posts and then forget to come and post about my day with sweets....so I will risk repeating myself. :)

Earlier this year, when I pinched my piriformis muscle/sciatic nerve, I discovered that I was addicted to all things sugary.

As I laid on the hard floor waiting patiently for my muscles to relax, I gobbled what was easy - granola bars with chocolate chips, candy bars, cookies...yeah, it wasn't pretty.

So, I made Mother's Day my last day to have sweets for the rest of the month.

I had read, somewhere, about a family that sugar out of their diet - even the hidden sugars in foods (talk about a lot of label reading!). This family allowed themselves a spurge once a month.

I figured I could do that too.

Yesterday, in honor of Father's day, I had my treat for the month of June.....yeah, it was good. I had one double stuff Oreo and I had two Recess Peanut Butter cup flavored Oreos (yes, they were as good as they sound). I happily dunked their sugary goodness into milk and savored the cool delight. Such bliss.

Am I tempted to eat more? Nope, not at all. My next sugary delight will be in July for my husband's birthday (Grasshopper pie...yum) and in August I will have something fun at my family's reunion.

I actually like having something to look forward too - somehow it makes it easier to be strong. Sure, I have only been doing this a month....so I will let you know if I slip or if it gets harder, but right now? I am loving it.

Happy Walking!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Year 2, Day 197: 5 Gratitudes for Friday

1. My son being water ready. My biggest fear has been Z not being able to save himself if something weird happened while swimming. He has no fear of the water, but his ability did not match!
After a week of swim lessons, Z can now save himself....everything after this will be gravy. Today, after only 5 lessons (a half hour each), Z jumped into the deep end, rolled onto his back and swam a modified version of the backstroke to the side of the pool. He did it several times.
What I loved watching, was how the trust Z had in his teacher, Ms. Sam, allowed him to push himself. Ms. Sam never once pushed Z or asked him to do more than he was comfortable with. She was patient. She asked him to work on different things (like learning to blow out of his nose when his face was in the water). She had him do everything that the rest of the class was doing, but let him know that he only had to do his best at his own pace and his own ability.
Also, in the beginning, Z would ask "are you going to let go?" Ms. Sam, said no and she kept her word. This was huge.

2. For Jaden, a girl in Z's swim class, for being such a caring young girl. Jaden noticed Z did not like to get his face wet. Jaden told her mom that she wanted to be Z's friend and help him like the water more. Z told me that he wanted to be Jaden's friend because her enthusiasm for "diving" down into the water made Z want to do it too. They have become friends and have cheered each other on through each and every class. Very cool.

3. For parents who get it. Not only did Jaden want to help Z, but Jaden's mom started cheering Z on whenever he did something especially hard. It became infectious and now all the parents are cheering on all the children when they do something hard. Z and Jaden happen to get most of the cheering because they both had the most to learn and the most fears to overcome. The first time these two children jumped into the deep end (with some help) - all the parents erupted into cheers and applause. It was just like the applause given to the winning team....because that is what it was. The winning team of two individuals overcoming a fear and learning a hard, but important skill.

4. For Heavenly Father giving me lots of opportunities this past few weeks to learn to be a little stronger and an opportunity for my children to learn to work hard be a little more responsible. Some of what we had to do (like cleaning up a bug explosion in the food pantry) I hope to never have to repeat, but I am grateful for the opportunities. I leaned on the Lord more and the children did more on their own. It was all worth it.

5. For my husband. He is an amazing father, an amazing husband and an amazing person. I am so glad that he married me 16 years ago. I am so thankful that he works hard so I can stay home and home school. I think I love him more now then I did then.

Happy Walking!