Lent Day 35 and 36

The sun came out today! My pre-noon “chinook” headache told me that the weather would rapidly change today. Sure enough, it did! Melting like crazy, shining on my face! Misty midnight, be gone! LOL!

I’m feeling great today! I feel like I’m getting things done and I’m excited about things to come! I heard yesterday that my Dad is busy working on a little project that I suggested to him about a new sewing table/desk made from the door of my old room. If anyone can pull something like that off, my Dad can! Plus, he’s retired and I think was looking for a project! LOL! Thanks Dad! You’re the BEST!

Yesterday, I worked out at the gym. Today, was rest day (one of the College coaches caught me doing lunges yesterday, so she came over to give me some pointers. She’s from Russia, a gorgeous athletic woman who knows her stuff! Let’s just say she pushed me to work a little harder than I’ve been doing! Wow! Sore legs!)

Weigh-In Wednesday today!!

Day 1 – 176 lbs

Day 8 – 172 lbs

Day 15 – 172 lbs

Day 22 – 168 lbs

Day 29 – 167 lbs

Day 36 – 166 lbs – the digital read was flitting between 165 and 166! Holy moly!!

I am thrilled with the way I’ve been feeling being without refined sugar. And now the conversations and planning that my family (especially my hubby) and I have been doing to make some real changes in the way we eat PERMANENTLY make me so proud of us! We have learned so much and are learning and living healthier lives because of it!

Gramma, you would be proud of us observing Lent and learning about each other along the way. I kinda think that’s what Lent is all about. Learning more about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us so that we can learn more about loving so much that any sacrifice is worth it. I ❤ my Family! 🙂

Tuesday Menu:

Breakfast: I had a piece of toast with natural peanut butter and fresh juiced orange juice (we love our juicer! LOL!)

a.m. snack: Greek yogurt, blackberries and hemp

Lunch: Strawberry and spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette and some chicken breast.

p.m. snack: banana

Supper: spaghetti – whole wheat pasta

 

Wednesday Menu:

Breakfast: Bruce made me one of those thin bagel egg, bacon & cheese sandwiches

a.m. snack: soy milk latte that I decided to try…not bad. Kristi says “eewwww” (that was hilarious!)

Lunch: chicken breast. greek yogurt and some strawberries and hemp

p.m. snack: skipped this today – totally lost track of time!

Supper: chili made from some dry “raw” beans that Bruce picked up at Costco today – he’s finding some interesting healthy foods there lately. I’m a little concerned since I prefer to shop local. However, he is trying to help…

Cheers to healthier eating my friends! 🙂

Life is Beautiful

It is the first day of Spring 2012, here in Olds, Alberta.

I rushed along, stuck behind someone who thought the speed limit through town is 20KPH, late and no parking spot and so many things demanding my time. I felt the cold on my hands where my forgotten gloves should have been. My body aches from yesterday’s tough workout and my sluggish brain complains of the lack of caffeine that my sleeping in resulted in from only one latte today…

There are many things to grumble about, there are many changes to be afraid of, there are many things that don’t go the way I’d planned. And yet…I have it all:

1. My beautiful family who give me reason to press on

2. A warm bed and loving husband in a house in a quiet neighbourhood where my family is safe

3. Parents who allowed me to spread my wings and fly wherever my heart takes me

4. Friends who love me the way I am, who are always there when I fall

5. A job that lets me do what I do best: help people, every day

6. My body that is strong and able to feel the cold and the sore muscles because I am alive and well

7. Dreams that may seem crazy to some but I believe in them anyway

8. A hope and faith that there are so many more special moments and days ahead of me
I read an email early today that said: “Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house … kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.” ~ Mother Teresa and then I saw this video:

All of these thoughts came flowing out of my heart and I had to write. I had to share. Regardless of the consequences. I just had to share in whatever way I can.

Life IS beautiful…We have it all

Lent Day 2

So far, so good!

The kids were off school today and the TV remained off! This evening, they did pop in a movie, but they aren’t even watching it, their Dad is! LOL! They were playing on the computer a bit, but they’ve been playing Lego and doing crafts, so that’s a good thing. They were calling us this morning asking about refined sugar in some of their foods that they normally eat – because they are intent are being refined sugar-free! So cool!

Menu:

Breakfast: homemade oatmeal with honey, flax seed, coconut oil, raspberries & cinnamon

a.m. Snack: the kids had a piece of light rye bread with natural peanut butter

Lunch: “Catelli Healthy Choice” linguine with a little melted cheddar cheese & fresh tomato, light rye bread with ham & cheddar

p.m. Snack: raw, fresh pineapple

Supper: Caesar salad (no sugar dressing! yay!) and chicken broccoli casserole – left over chicken, a head of broccoli, steamed rice, cream of mushroom soup and a little cheddar cheese baked in the oven (very easy, literally thrown together!)

I had my usual 2 lattes this morning (I never put sugar in my latte – just espresso and 1% milk) and drank water with my other meals. I meant to drink water all day, but forgot. A habit that I need to improve on!

I stopped by Health Street on my way back to work after lunch and picked up pure Agave that was on special as well as some organic raisins. Neither of which have refined sugar. I plan on using these as sweet additions to my hot cereal in the morning – full of good for you stuff!

The Hug

I bury my face in that soft, warm place between neck and shoulders.

I breathe him in.

Strong arms envelope me.

The world disappears.

A whisper only I can hear.

Takes me back to the first one so long ago.

I will miss you.

I will be here when you return.

Arms wide open.

Number 4,367,221 and counting!

Moments to Remember

Moments to remember:

  • Waking up so early that it feels like I’m the only person left in the world; feeling so close to myself that I can hear the beating of my own heart
  • Meeting new people who’s lives have been touched by a terrible disease. People that are so compelled to do something about it that they got up early to be part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. People that share stories with strangers about someone they love (or even their own) and their battle with cancer.
  • Tears streaming down faces and no one caring who sees them. In remembrance, in anger, in joy, in determination to make a difference
  • Seeing the joy on faces as they make it to camp after that first day; tears and dusty smiles as they practically collapse off their bikes. Being a part of their moment; lending a hand where I can
  • Tasting a cold beer after a long dusty day, laughing and talking like old friends with people I barely know yet are now kindred spirits
  • Feeling a soft bed, even there in a tent on the ground, feels so good after such a day
  • Standing in the mud and rain, ignoring the cold in my hands as I clap them and cheer each and every rider, encouraging them by name to go out there and push through. Strangers become instant friends in the united fight
  • My ball cap dripping rain off the brim, steam rising from the top of my head as I try to dry off a little; feeling guilty because I know they are out there riding in this.
  • I think of those that fight the battle. I hear the reasons why people are here at the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I cry with them, I laugh with them. I am surprised again how much we are all the same.
  • Seeing my dear friend at the finish line, knowing how much her body must hurt, how she climbed those hills pushing through that driving rain. I know how hard it must have been and I know how determined she is. Every ribbon and every name on her shirt a reason for her to refuse to get off that bike.
  • Being so humbled to know amazing people like her. People that have their own battles to fight, yet still they find the strength to do something.
  • I wonder about all the times that I’ve whined and complained. Times when I did not take action. It makes me understand that the only way things (especially ME) can change is by doing something. ANYTHING. Something.
  • Then, when I came home and heard the words, “I missed you so much Mom” and the lump was there again in my throat as I realized that I don’t want them to ever have to hear the awful words “You have cancer” – that’s why I do these things. That’s why everyone was there. For their children and their children’s children
  • And I curl up with that long-legged tween and tousle that goofy boy’s hair; praying that these moments never end. Praying that I will have the strength to DO something. ANYTHING. Each and every day

Bubble Gum

You’re never too old for bubble gum, I figure. Nor are you ever to old to talk like Yoda. Talking like him, I am…

Thunder rolls outside
The dog that annoyed me, even this morning
Curls at my feet, trembling
Seeking shelter with his people
It warms my heart, feeling him soft against my foot
I’d run around barefoot all day if I could
I love the feel of the world on my feet
Bubble gum snapping in my mouth
Can you teach me how Mom?
How old were you when you learned?
Did it take you a long time?
Questions and a few tears of frustration
Her brother and I try to demonstrate
Pull gum out of our mouths and put it back (eeewww!)
But I am 10 again, rolling along in the big yellow bus
I don’t know (or care) much about germs
I just want to win the Biggest Bubble game
It sticks to my chin and even my nose
I dab at it with the rest of the wad
Pop it all in my mouth again for another try
Helpful cousins and siblings jab at the bubble
With a finger (do you know where that’s been?)
Sprawled there with them, I am back there
Patiently, I demo again and again
Showing off my expertise here and there in the lesson
She gets a mirror, and it becomes easier
We’re sprawled on the couch, chewing
The dishes are piled by the sink, dirty & clean
Laundry sits wrinkled and unfolded
The computer’s hum beckons me to my to do list
Email dings on my iPhone, taunting me
There! Twin tiny bubbles! Finally, success!
We three beam with joy at our shared talent
And another everyday AWESOME fills my heart
You know what? I am worthy. I am good. I AM.

Home Again

I’m back home after a few days away. It’s good to be back.

  • I’m raising my kids 30 minutes away from where I was raised; in the small town that I was born in
  • I remember camping trips and raspberries and milk from a cow
  • My kids can walk to their friends’ house and it takes me 15 minutes to ride my bike to work
  • The movie theatre in town still has “love-seat” chairs and you don’t have to take out a loan to buy popcorn
  • Girls like me drink beer on a Friday night and love to play baseball
  • I live in a country where we don’t have to be afraid to vote (though they happen too often…that’s another story)
  • I talk about God, family, mistakes and love in my writing and it makes me feel better
  • We have snow and more snow, but we can still have fun and lots of babies in the fall 😉
  • My kids are healthy, safe and warm and I am blessed
  • My husband loves me and misses me when I’m gone
Life is good and I’m home again.

I heard this song twice on the drive – a new song – and a song that makes me think of summer and small towns and me:

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