Thursday, August 21, 2014

a little of this and a little of that

Just for fun, here's a bunch of randomness on the ol' blawg today!

1) I used to never be able to turn my back on lightning. If it would be thunderstorming at night, for example, I would HAVE to face the window. Not sure why. It's not a problem anymore though.

2)  I wear a camisole under almost every shirt that I wear. Sometimes it's for length, sometimes it's to add height to a lower-cleavage shirt, sometimes it's to provide a layer underneath a sheer top, and sometimes it's just because I'm so used to it that I just naturally put it on whether I need it or not!

3) No matter how much I have grown to appreciate and even love hot summers, September will always be my most favorite month (followed closely by May).

4) School supply shopping used to be something I looked forward to with great anticipation...now it's just another chore to get through.

5) I'm tired. Like, really tired. My eyes are barely staying open right now, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. And I even had Pepsi for lunch...why is it that Pepsi only really keeps me awake at night but doesn't really do it's job during the day??

6) I don't like it that cupcake liners are sold in packs of 50...why not 48 so it's divisible by dozens?

7) I like things to be symmetrical, but I'm working on being ok with it if it's not.

8) I used to have to have my alarm set in 5 minute increments..like 7:10 or 7:15 for example, but not a "weird" in between number. Now when I'm setting my alarm, if it happens to get to 7:12, I just leave it. For me that's pretty mind-blowing! Look at me...I'm growing!

9) If I was still a teenager, my "celebrity" crush would probably be the actor who plays Gabe on "Good Luck Charlie". Well, okay, and Niall from One Direction.

10) My wardrobe these days tends to consist mainly of black&white...with a bit of grey mixed in for good measure. Okay, and a few colored items too but those are few and far between.

11) Did I mention that I'm really sleepy?

12) I have a love-hate relationship with social media. It can be good for SO many things...but when people put a negative spin on EVERYTHING, or try to force their ideas/opinions down everyone's throats, it gets really annoying.

13) I have a daughter who is on the brink of teenage-hood. Well, she's still 10 but with her 11th birthday only a month away - we're definitely smack dab in the middle of the transition from child to teen.

14) This morning on the drive in to the city, I serenaded my girls by crooning along to Bryan Adams' "Everything I do, I do it for you"...with them cringing in the back seat. I tried to explain to them that one day they'd be singing One Direction songs to their kids and their kids would give them those same strange looks.

15) One day I just need to give up with trying to keep plants alive.

16) In 4 sleeps, I'm going to have a girls night reunion with the crew that gave me the "Andi" nickname.

17) Joelle went to her first youth group event on Wednesday, and I didn't even bat an eye. Is it strange that it seems so easy to me to have my kids grow up? I didn't feel sad or nostalgic about her growing up so fast. I was just excited for her new adventure!I didn't even feel the need to be the one to drop her off or pick her up - she just went with a friend.

18) It annoys me when people can't let go of the fact that yes, I am a bit of a picky eater. And that includes not wanting to eat "weird" meats - like deer, goose, or what have you. Everyone has as line that they draw with what they feel is something they're comfortable eating. If it's okay for someone else to draw the line at squirrel, beaver, horse or dog - why can't I draw MY line where I want it? It doesn't matter if you think I will like it (or even if you think you can get away with tricking me into eating it)...just leave my eating habits & opinions to myself, and you can have yours.

19) I love shopping. Especially when there's a sale AND a coupon combined! Speaking of which...it's time to do just that for the last little bit of back-to-school shopping!

















Monday, August 11, 2014

A Simple Woman's Daybook

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.ca/2014/08/the-august-daybook-edition-wee-bit-late.html

Outside my window...the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue with a few smatterings of white clouds placed randomly across the sky.
I am thinking...that I have missed regular blogging and I am hoping to find ways - such as this - to get me back into the groove.
I am thankful...for a quiet morning where I can enjoy 2.5 hours of solitude while my girls are at VBS at a nearby church. And after the next two work days, I will have another 2 mornings just like it!
In the kitchen...are cluttered countertops that seems to be a permanent source of frustration for me. Perhaps this afternoon I will once again tackle this near-constant eyesore.
I am wearing...denim capris from Old Navy with a grey top with colorful sparkles that I got at a garage sale a few weeks ago.
I am creating...blankets. My girls are patiently impatiently waiting for me to finish the crocheted blankets I started for them months ago!
I am going...on a mini Grand Forks get-away this coming Friday! I will only be gone for a total of 10 or 11 hours, but it will be pure bliss!
I am wondering...what me and the girls will have for lunch today.
I am reading...a book to give me better understanding of a personal issue that my family is dealing with.
I am hoping...for a feeling of genuine happiness....sometime in the near future...hopefully.
I am looking forward to...seeing a production of The Little Mermaid at Rainbow Stage mid-week with my daughters, my sister and her 2 daughters and my Mom.
I am learning...that I need a new perspective on life.
Around the house...I see many things that need to be done. Yet none of those things will be getting done while my girls are away this morning. I am taking full advantage of my short alone time.
I am pondering...what I want to do when I grow up.
A favorite quote for today...
 
One of my favorite things...is a chilled Pepsi on a warm summer's day.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Music practice at church, 2 days of work, Rainbow Stage (as mentioned above), supper at my Mom's TWICE and my Grand Forks outing.
A peek into my day...




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#awomansprerogative

Changing her mind.

Actually, it's everyone's prerogative, really.

It's why I have tried to tell myself to "never say never."

Specifically, I'm talking about hashtags. Last fall, I did a post exclaiming my extreme dislike of the oh-so-popular hashtag trend. But over the last few months I have started changing my mind on this topic.

And after fighting it for awhile, I gave in and yes, I have started using hashtags on some of my posts. I still don't like the over-use of them, but I did begin to realize that they really are fun.

It was hard for me to finally start using them, because...well, I can be a bit stubborn. And if I said I hated hastags, then I should stand by that. I started to almost feel guilty for even considering using them. I didn't want to give in.

Well, Hog-wash to that, I say.


So I used to dislike them and then they started growing on me...so what? If my feelings on them changed, why shouldn't I start having fun with them? Why resist something just for the sake of resisting it?

I have been meaning to 'fess up on this subject for awhile now, but after being called out on it several times lately on Instagram or Facebook, I figured it was time to make a public statement.  :)

And while we're on the topic of changing my mind - I also now am into wearing tight yoga/running pants for more than just working out. Like, even in public sometimes.

So sue me.  

(But they're no lululemon's...just cheap Old Navy ones.)


Monday, June 2, 2014

the story

Here's the story,
Of a lovely lady,
Who was bringing up two very lovely girls.
One of them had hair of gold,
Like her mother,
The youngest one...just a bit darker.

Okay, so we may not be the Brady Bunch - but we do have our own story to tell. For me, as a mother, it's been a big struggle these days in many ways with some of the things we have been dealing with. But the one thing I want to talk about today is body image.

Whoa. Big topic.

As most of you know, 5 years ago I was quite overweight, and took the long journey to try to remedy that by losing 70 pounds in 15 months. I still struggle with my own body image every single day - especially over the course of the past year as I have put back on 10 pounds that I have not been able to shake.

And now that my daughters are growing up - they will be turning 9 and 11 this fall - they are already showing signs of having issues with body image themselves.

One daughter has mentioned numerous times over the past year or two how happy she is that she's skinny and she hopes she will always be skinny. The other daughter has started asking her sister if she's fat.

This is a HUGE wake-up call for me, as I try to get a handle on the way I look at my own body. How am I portraying the body image attitude to my girls? How much emphasis do I put on the scale? How many times do I hog-wash my hubby's comments of how beautiful I am if I'm feeling down on myself about my weight?

It's all about a healthy balance. I know this; I've always known this. It's how I lost my weight to begin with. No fad diets, no eliminations, no hard-core over-the-top work-out programs. All just simple moderation with everything I do. That's the way it worked for me.

And that's how I want my daughters to see things too. And if I struggle with these 10 pounds for the rest of my life - then so be it. As long as I am eating foods in moderation and keeping up with regular exercise. THAT'S what it's about. Keeping my body healthy, not about being a certain size or weight. Otherwise I'm being a hypocrite when I tell my girls that "God made us all different shapes and sizes, and the important thing is keeping your body healthy."

I know kids observe way more about us than we even realize, starting at a very young age - but as my girls continue to grow up, their eyes will be fixed on me with even more scrutiny as they look for a role model in this, and many other areas. I want them to know that you can be happy in your own skin, regardless of size, if you take care of yourself. Life is not about being skinny. 

And will they learn that if I don't personally claim that myself? Nope. Not likely.

So, bathroom scale, we won't be meeting very often anymore. You have been a helpful tool over the course of the last several years - and sometimes you have had a very legitimate place in my life. But you cannot be a regular visitor anymore.

And to my hubby - I will accept your compliments much more graciously, regardless of whether our girls are around to hear it or not.

Healthy body image begins at home. And my girls deserve to have the best teacher they can get.


Friday, May 2, 2014

times have changed

I have been blogging since May of 2007, and last month something happened that hadn't before.

There is a whole month with NO posts of any kind. Well, on this Lifesong blog anyway; I'm still going strong on my Photo-a-Day blog. But here, there are no posts in April of 2014...and that feels sort of strange.

I started wondering why my entries have been getting fewer & farther between, and I realized that it's a result of a few things.

1: Social media. There are so many other ways that we interact online these days - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others [although I am only on Instagram & Facebook myself]. With so many regular small updates going on, it feels like most things have been covered already and I would just be repeating myself.

2: My aforementioned Photo-a-Day blog. This closely ties in with the social media aspect, as again, because I post a photo - and a short blurb - each day, it covers a wide (however abbreviated) update on our lives.

3: The girls are getting older. This has two reasons tied with it. Firstly - so often I would blog about cute things they said or did as they were growing up. Now, with them being 8 and 10 - they don't have as many funny antics to record. And secondly - when there actually might be things I would want to write about, I have to remember that they're not my little girls anymore and that they might not want everything they do or say put online for all to read.

4: Time. Someone please invent a way to put more hours in a day?? [and adding a few more to the night would be just as welcome!] With me having 3 jobs - cleaning houses, Tiny TreeHugger and my handiwork business - there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything that I want to do. Oh yeah, and the social media comes into play here again as well, as I have to admit - like most others - that I spend more than enough time frittering away on those sites.

5: Privacy. My girls' privacy isn't the only thing I think about when I'm debating about posting on here. I feel that as the last couple of years have gone by, I'm wanting to be more private about myself too. I have often revealed so much on this blog that I'm surprised by it. Get me in person, and you won't get a lot of personal information outta me, but with this blogging outlet, that has been very different. And I'm not saying that has been a bad thing. It was a necessary thing for me at times. But I feel like I'm in a different place right now and I don't really want to be that stark and honest for all to read.

So where does this leave me? Not sure. And I don't think I need to define it either. I do know that I really enjoy my Photo-a-Day blog a lot. I often scroll through the days and months and it makes me smile. I like having documentation of every single day. And there are still very real & honest glimpses into my life without providing all of the nitty-gritty details.

Maybe some of you have been wondering where I'm at with this blog - and maybe nobody has. But if you have, that's sorta what's been going on. I'll still be around...from time to time. But in between, definitely stop by here to see more of what we're up to!

Friday, March 28, 2014

morning miracle

Sometimes the solution to something is right under your nose - you just have to open your eyes to see it.




I had such a thing happen this week in regards to a parenting situation and I wonder why it took so long for me to find this solution!

Mornings around here are usually pretty rough. It starts off first thing when I wake the girls up. They moan and groan and complain and often the yelling starts before they're even out of bed. It feels like all morning they are dragging their feet and we need to rush, rush, rush.

Finally it dawned on me...they need a "snooze" option. Just like me.

I used to NEVER use my snooze button. I would wake up to my alarm, shut it off and immediately get out of bed. But in the last few years I have discovered the value of the snooze button. I always hit snooze once, and sometimes twice. But those 7 minutes have become very important to me. It gives me a chance to prepare myself mentally for the day before actually having to get up to face it.

So when I made this suggestion to the girls, they were right on board! This was after Monday morning was another rough one, so we've been trying it for the rest of the week. They need new alarm clocks (theirs are really old and the alarm features don't work), but in the meantime I'm waking them up at 7:35am as their "first alarm." I gently wake them up and remind them that they have a few minutes to relax in bed, stretch, and get prepared for the morning. I come back in about 7-10 minutes later (depending what I'm doing in the meantime for getting myself ready for what my day holds) and tell them that now it's time to get up.

And the result?

We have had amazingly smooth mornings all 4 days that we've done it this week! Well, until we get downstairs for breakfast, that is. Then the sibling fighting usually kicks in. BUT - we have at least figured out how to make the actual getting out of bed process an easier feat. They now get out of bed without any grumbling.

The difference in morning attitudes has been amazing and I am so glad that the realization of a "snooze" option finally hit me. I realize that the novelty of this new idea will eventually fade, but I still think that it will always be an improvement over how we were doing things before. Expecting kids to just be up-and-at-'em within seconds of being woken up isn't really realistic. And while I thought I was doing them a favor by letting them sleep as long as possible, it was really back-firing.

So hooray for our new morning miracle!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

empty void

There is so much I could be writing about. My mind is full, but the words won't come.

I struggle so much these days with feeling happy. Or really, with feeling anything at all. Most winters I'm down-and-out with depression...this winter [the worst one we've had in, like 78 years] is different.

I don't feel depressed.

I just don't feel.

I have been the biggest hermit this winter that I have ever been. Getting to Bible Study every other week, church on Sundays and suppers at my parents' place is about as much socializing as I do. By choice, anyway.

If you have felt me ignoring you this winter - trust me, it's not you. And you're not the only one. And it's not so much that I'm ignoring you as I just can't break free of the empty void of emotions. You'd think that if there is nothing, that it can't hold me captive. Yet it's the opposite. The lack of emotions is keeping me locked up in a prison.

Every once in awhile, my mind seems to let me out on parole for good behavior (or something like that)...but I guess I end up violating the terms and I get shuttled right back.

I should be happy that I'm not depressed. And I should be worried that I'm not happy. And I should be angry that I'm being held prisoner.

But I'm not.

And I'm not even really all that sad.

But I am empty.

And maybe that's a feeling in itself. A feeling that stems from the fear that makes me think that feeling nothing is better than feeling depressed or sad or angry...

I'm thinking that things will change when spring actually comes [weather-wise, that is - not just calendar-wise]. And that the spring thaw will not only melt the snow, but will melt away my empty void.

And that underneath the puddles there will be a deep well full of emotions aplenty. And that I will regain the strength to pull them from the well and claim them as my own once again.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

all too familiar

Well...Sunday was the day that I have been dreading for the past several months. It was the day when I woke up to back pain once again.

Yes, that's right. I had a relapse with my back.

I'm thinking this time it was due to playing Just Dance on the Wii with some friends on Saturday night. I didn't do anything too crazy, but it must've been just enough to tweak something.

Sunday morning started out with me just slightly noticing an issue, and as the morning wore on in church it was becoming more and more painful. I had to stay seated for congregational singing, and when I got up to walk, I needed to rely on the pews for support. It also took a few minutes each time I stood up for me to straighten up, giving me the oh-so-glamorous hobbling around look.

I tried to not panic too much as the thought of being trapped in this situation again for who knows how long was starting to suffocate me. It took all of my energy to just focus on that one day; to not look ahead to the many days and weeks and possibly months down the road.

I didn't sleep well Sunday night as I was terrified about getting up in the morning. When this happened to me last June, while the first day was bad enough, getting up after the first night of sleeping on it was excruciating. It was the morning when I literally took 5 minutes to walk to my bathroom and when I had to get Les to help me back into bed. And later when I needed to get the girls up for school, I had to crawl to get there. I was really dreading having to go through that once again.

However, when Monday morning arrived, I discovered - to my absolute joy - that things had not gotten any worse over night. In fact, things might have even improved ever so slightly! I still wasn't able to walk or stand straight, but I didn't need assistance walking anywhere so that was a good sign! Thankfully I had no plans on Monday, so I was able to just sit and rest my back. By the time Tuesday morning came around and I had to head off to clean a house, I was improved even more! In fact, later that evening I told Les that things felt like they did about 2 months into the last episode. And that was only after 3 days?!?! Praise the Lord!

Today is Wednesday and things are still continuing to improve day by day. I am walking straight (I think) and while there is obvious discomfort in my back, it isn't what I would call painful really.

I am even hoping to maybe possibly getting back on my treadmill by Saturday? I won't push it if I'm not feeling ready, but at the rate things are going, it just might be possible!

So while the setback was originally very disheartening, I am SO thankful for quick healing this time around. And that I was able to focus on one day at a time instead of getting depressed right away thinking about the possibilities of what could have been ahead for me.

ps: I edited my wisdom tooth post since there was a new development that I wanted to record. If you're interested in reading it, go to the bottom of this post to find it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

1000 gifts: #708 - 742 {in advance}

February has always been one of my most difficult months of the year to get through. And quite often March is just as difficult, as I wait very impatiently for spring to finally make an appearance.

Last night, while trying to give my oldest daughter things to think about to distract her from some scary thoughts so she could fall asleep, I started listing some things about spring and summer to look forward to. After I got back to my own bed, I could not stop listing off the wonderful things that are going to be part of my life again...once winter decides to leave.

So, in anticipation of the next two seasons, here is a nice long list of gifts that I am going to be very happy to receive...eventually.

[708] That in-between time where neither the furnace nor air conditioner is needed
[709] Having my windows open and the beautiful fresh air flowing through my home
[710] Birds chirping
[711] Daylight hours increasing till almost 10pm
[712] Being able to run outside without having to bundle up
[713] Flip-flops
[714] Cute dresses and fun colors
[715] Running outside
[716] Slurpee runs
[717] Family walks to the park
[718] Reading a book on my lawn chair in the sun (or shade, when it gets too hot!)
[719] The smell of sunscreen
[720] Seeing my pretty tulips come up from the ground


[721] BBQ's and more BBQ's...
[722] Sitting around a campfire (although I could do without the tenting and many other things that tend to go along with it)
[723] A reason to have consistently smoothly shaven legs
[724] Hearing the girls' giggles as they jump on the trampoline
[725] My annual s'more...or two
[726] Walking barefoot on soft, green grass
[727] Having ice cream on the front porch with my family
[728] Porch visits with friends
[729] Evening walks around town with a friend
[730] The sound and smell of gently falling rain
[731] Dancing in the rain

[732] Did I mention BBQ's?
[733] The sidewalk chalk creations that show up on my driveway
[734] No more posts from other people rubbing their hot vacations in our faces ;)
[735] Strawberry season!
[736] The warmth of the sunshine
[737] The reminder that comes with beautiful rainbows
[738] Lazy summer sleep-ins (on non-work days, that is)
[739] Feeling so hot that I think I might melt...but having shade or air conditioning to escape to when it gets TOO bad!
[740] Watching the girls set up their cookie/lemonade stand
[741] My feet walking in the sand
[742] Chillin' poolside at my sister's house

I got so involved with this list, when I looked outside in the middle of writing it, I honestly was taken aback by the sight of the snow! Guess I got a little caught up in the fantasy of it all...



Friday, February 14, 2014

spreading the love

Today is Valentine's Day, once again. You may or may not remember my thoughts on today from last year's post - in case you forget, click here to read it.

For those who choose to boycott this holiday, my main thoughts about it, to be short and simple, are these few things really:

1. YES, we should show love every day - but we also should give thanks every day, and that doesn't stop us from celebrating Thanksgiving...so why should it stop us from celebrating Valentine's Day?

2.  Make the day about how you want it. Boycott the commercialism of it and turn it into a day of simple acts of love and kindness to those around you. Saying no to some aspects of the holiday doesn't mean you need to be totally anti-Valentine's Day...

3. Take it further than your "significant other." Which means EVERYBODY should be able to partake in the holiday, not just those in relationships. Put the focus of love on your kids, your friends, your other family members...spread. the. love.

I had a perfect example of this happen to me first thing this morning. I got a text message from friends of ours - who have only been married a few years and have not yet started their own family. THEY texted US asking if they could babysit our kids for the evening so Les and I could go on a date. They were spreading the love, making this day not about them but about someone else. We already had planned a special dinner at home with the girls, so instead we invited them to join us tonight - but the thought behind their gesture of friendship and generosity was very love-filled and made me feel very blessed.

That's what Valentine's Day should really be about. Don't exclude your significant other by any means, but include other people. Make it about more than gushy romance. Make it about other kinds of love too.

Go ahead...I dare you!