Sunday, May 29, 2011

waiting on a sign

so I read THIS this past week.  and if you read it, feel free to read my somewhat coherent comment that followed.  ha!

but it continues to stick with me.  speak something worth repeating.  be worth echoing.

I know darn well that mandy was writing about creativity and inspiration and creating something new, something echoed, something reflecting.  but yet the words are haunting me.  following me.  swirling around in my very, very cluttered brain.

and maybe because it strikes a chord with me in a way that I hadn't anticipated.  in a place that I don't really like to go looking.  it's that old, dusty place that operates unconsciously.  with habits and thought processes that are decades old, formed by a look.  a misplaced comment.  a slight.  a bit of neglect.  stamped into a self-conscious that was a mouldable piece of soft clay, not yet hardened into the lovely piece of woman-girl-mother-wife that exists today.  but leaving the mark.  that mark.  the mark of unworthiness.

until this moment {oh, and the next as well!}, I have allowed my self worth to be shaped by my past.  I have craved affirmation.  I have sought the approval of others.  I have undone myself to fit a mould.  and I have lost myself along the way.  I have always been curious.  creative.  intuitive.  and yet, with the messages that I learned to believe about myself along the way, I became dulled.  a copy.  afraid.

and although I am not "THERE" yet, I am beginning to feel angry at what I've wasted.  I am saddened by my fear.  and impressed that it's not all dead and gone!  I have made poor, poor choices.  I am a great sinner.  I have {and often continue to!} cursed and sworn and been arrogant, judgemental and proud.  but no longer does that have to define me.  somewhere in all the mess, my life has been saved.  shown grace.  the past redeemed.  recovered.  refound.  and there is a little speck of my soul that is craving something new.  something worth echoing.

and all of this is just swirling in my head.  knowing change needs to be made.  knowing that all the pieces are connected.  knowing that all will be well.  and trusting that this journey, this painful and difficult journey, is one worth taking.

be worth echoing.  live a life worth repeating.  be more than the lies you've been told.  be who you were created to be.  and know that you are not alone.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

country clutter

well, for a short work week it was sure long.  five days of work crammed into four isn't good in may.  that said, having a long weekend in may is good.  here in lies the paradox.  and on top of it, it was rainy and cold and grey most of the week.  ty's soccer got canceled on wednesday {it was only a practice} and nate's thursday game was cold and windy.  today, however, was lovely.

nate was up early and he came to weight watchers with me {down 1 this week}; we got home and the two we left there were still sound asleep!  once ty wandered out of bed, I took the boys to the downtown market.  it opened up last weekend, but we were away, so today was our first farmer's market of the season!  I got pasta, hummus, eggs, peppers, tomatoes...all yummy, locally grown/raised foods.  and fresh things inspire me to cook.  so I made a pasta salad with a bunch of the stuff I came home with.  totally delish!

and as the salad was doing its "flavour melding", I went for a walk.  the boys came along on their bikes.  6k and they did pretty good.  this new bike thing was good for them.  ty's old bike was so small that he had to work so hard to get any speed.  this new bike of his is just so much easier!  and he's happier.  which means I'm happier.

{having a hotdog at the market}

so I was feeling a bit discouraged this morning, only being down one pound this week.  my scale at home had me closer to down two pounds.  my scale is almost NEVER right, and I know that, but it's occasionally right which means that it always gives me hope!  grrr.  then I had a revelation {mainly because I wrote a bunch of information down in the front of my ww booklet}.  as of today, I am down twenty pounds from where I was when I started weight watchers in december of 2008.  and yes, I've been here before, but regardless, I am still down twenty.  when I look at it that way, I am pretty pleased with my one pound.  because I will always want one pound to be two and two to be three, but regardless of how long it takes me, I am still down twenty.  and twenty seems like a huge number!!  weight loss is 75% psychological.  at least mine is.  and that 75% often gets the better of me.  but today, I walked 6km in 60 minutes and I beat down that psycho {ha!} part of me!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

feel love

{boys with new birthday bikes}

 {no more knees hitting the handle bars}

 {a big bike for a growing boy!}

 {but posing with the stanley cup may just be the highlight of ty's day!!}

{hockey lovers through and through...}

ty turns six next month and nate will be eight in july.  so grandma and opa bought the boys new bikes and bought them now so they'd have all summer to ride them and enjoy them.  we've always bought used bikes for the kids and these are new and super shiny.  they haven't stopped smiling!

plus, nate learned how to tie laces last night.  my friend yvonne sat down with him for 10 or 15 minutes and showed him and it stuck!  he is so proud of himself.  and I'm proud of him too.  and glad I did have to do the teaching on that one!!

I will not be broken

so I was having a chat with a friend tonight and we were discussing music {we like the same kind, overall} and blog titles.  I always have a good chuckle when I see where my blog visitors are from - and trust me, they come from everywhere.  oh, and these are not blog readers, these are blog visitors.  damn google.  I have good reason to think that it has everything to do with my blog titles.  I hate thinking of titles.  I can't be witty all the time.  I have an old brain that doesn't like to think.  so a couple of years ago I just started using song titles as my blog titles {hence all the random visitors, looking for band/lyric websites!}.  often they mean nothing.  and occasionally they are chosen with intent.  but when you see the sometimes obvious pattern in my blog titles, you will know darn well what album is currently seeing a lot of playtime on my iTunes account.  and perhaps, this is sometimes the most subtle way I know to express emotion without having to spell it out.

when I blog, I am often tired - I usually write at the end of my day {unless it's spring break or summer vacation!} and so I don't always feel like my content is of value to anyone but myself.  I write for me.  I write because when I speak, I solve problems.  I dig deeper.  I evaluate my motives.  I break down my intentions.  I make changes.  I commit to change.  I become who I was meant to be.  but because my audience is usually just myself {no offence, all you lovely readers out there!}, I don't always take the time to be deep and meaningful.  I sometimes ramble on about the mundane.  the ordinary.  but when you string a week of blog titles together, sometimes you get a glimpse of where I'm really at.  the details behind the "fine" when asked "how are you doing?".

so yes, I am currently all about ben harper as I try to avoid my life - thinking too deeply, holding to my self-imposed commitments, and other serious things that involve decision making - and I just sail on the tides of letting myself plan and dream and live in a place where I can sit on a hill with my friends and see nothing but candles and hear ben harper's voice sing only for me.  avoidance.  it's where I am right now.

good thing tomorrow is a new day.  fresh with no mistakes on it.  with mercies that are new.  'cause this weekend may have beat me up just a bit!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

spilling faith

well it's been an eventful long weekend - in a good way.  the boys and I took off on thursday night and headed two hours up north to the great metropolis of glendon, alberta.  home of the giant perogy and my friend coralee!  although my kids are city kids through and through, I do try to school them in all things rural on occasion.  heading out to the country is what I can do to help my kids not to be scared of bugs, dirt, tractors and wildlife!!  it was fun.  and good.  good to be away from my "needing to be cleaned house" and from laundry.  to sit in the hot sun and forget to wear sunscreen.  oh but the bugs.  I am COVERED in mosquito bites.  it actually looks like I have hives on my hands - and maybe I do; I'll be keeping an eye on them!

today we walked almost 9 km, as per our schedule.  I was off by 3.25 km this last week, but once again, I'm pretty impressed that I am hitting the pavement as much as I have been, considering my schedule.  yeah me!  didn't go to weight watchers this weekend, so there's no report in that department, but I just may have had a few "off" days.  it feels good to be back on track today!

how's your weekend been??

Monday, May 16, 2011

rock n' roll is free

okay, so the new ben harper album came down the pipes today.  sigh.  being on the hill last summer, watching him perform was totally in my top three concert experiences.  I have my brother to thank for my love of ben harper.  and this album makes me happy!

"...I don't even know myself, what it would take to know myself, I need to change, I don't know how, don't give up on me now" {don't give up on me now ~ ben harper}

so we walked 7km {that's 4.4 miles, mandy!!} yesterday.  face first into the wind for half of the loop.  brutal.  I had seriously told myself that I wouldn't complain about the weather once spring showed up and the sun started sharing the heat, but this wind and the hordes of swarming mosquitos is beginning to irritate me.  it's been an awful weather year.  we lived through 6 months of snow - big snow.  and now this.  I get tired of it.

and the no-sugar thing has been going fairly well.  I had a small piece of chocolate today - the 75% cocoa kind.  and I had two smoothies.  my morning smoothy of berries, greek yogurt, blueberry juice and protein powder is a standard right now, but this afternoon I got home from school and was so hungry, so I made myself a spinach-blueberry-coconut milk-pineapple smoothy.  it's a nasty colour {green+blue+yellow = icky!}, but it tastes really nice.  I need to buy some more pineapple...  I made ty a mango-orange creamsicle one tonight - I used coconut milk with regular milk - and he really liked it.  nate got his standard "funky monkey" - banana+chocolate milk!  my blender gets abused and beaten up with all the stuff I expect it to blend!!  needless to say, not limiting my "sugar-from-fruit" has really helped me make the transition to a cleaner and healthier eater.  some day I may limit my fruit, but for now, it's a way healthier choice than what I was making before.  and then there is my new love:  toast with apple butter.  I bought the organic stuff with nothing added and I tell ya, it's a great treat when I need a little something sweet.

I am not saying, by any means, that I have this thing mastered, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am in control of what I eat and not food being in control of me.  a step in the right direction...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

graveyard shift

downloaded the new sam roberts cd today.  I've listened to three songs and I liked all three.  this is a good sign!  I have a couple of friends who are HUGE sam roberts fans and although I like his stuff, I've never put him in the same category as my brandon flowers or the killers.  well this album may be turning me a bit.  and maybe, just maybe, he'll headline at folk fest this year.  that would be AMAZING.  oohhh, but mumford and sons would be cool too.  okay, well you get my drift.

so I completed 19 out of 21 of my required kms this week.  two short ain't bad for a first week back at it and a week of super wind.  and I was down 0.2 on the scale today.  yeah me.  sheesh.  I am only going to see the positive in this one and that's that I was down.  period.

nate rode his bike while I walked today - it was kinda fun trying to keep up with him.  I'd do that again!

 {he rode a head of me the whole time}

 {had to stop by the lake to look at the geese - that's what those are, right??}

{I took these from on top of the hill, just hoping they didn't charge for the boy!!}

good times in the 'hood!

Friday, May 13, 2011

these words

I eluded to this a bit {the day before} yesterday, but I think I need to get my thoughts on this topic out of my head and onto a place where I can process them and see them.  goal setting.

I suck at making goals.  how do I know this?  well, I don't often complete my goals.  as far as I can see, it has more to do with my creation of a good or smart goal than anything else.  and really, it's not that I suck at writing up a good goal - I do this professionally all the time.  it's part of what I do for my kids on a term to term basis.  in fact, I write two goals, each with three objectives, for each of my students.  then I monitor their progress.  so why can't I do this on a personal level?  yeah.  good question.  so this is what I've been exploring the last few days.  I want to lose weight.  I want to walk a half marathon.  I want to pay off a credit card.  I want.  I want.  I want.  but I never really make a plan, and definitely never talk about the plan.  I have become who I've been told I am.   but oddly enough, it's not really who I am.

so at almost 39 years old, I am going to actively work to change this.  and strangely enough, this half marathon + no sugar dealy thing are the two things that are going to change a few things.  I am tired.  tired of giving up on myself.  and as I tell my kids at school, I am the only person with the power to change my behaviour, even if it's 30+ years of bad-habit-bad-self-talk behaviour.  what does have to do with goal setting?  for me, everything.  it's time to set some good/smart goals.  and it's time to just decide that all my energy is going towards achieving them.

the goal:
1.  it is 8 weeks until my birthday.  I want to be down 10 pounds by my birthday.  that is a little over a pound a week.  and down 10 from where I am now puts me over my elusive psychological hump.  the number on the scale that I don't EVER recall seeing in my adult life.

the plan:
a)  follow my walking schedule like it's no ones business.  do my long walks with my mom & sister and do my short walks {unless the weather is awful} so that I get my kms on my shoes.  on the days when john is working nights, I will do my workout dvd - it's not walking, but it's exercise.

b)  continue eating clean, following weight watchers and eating little to no sugar.  this past week I've had very little sugar and the sugar I did have was either accidental or natural {honey, agave, etc}.  when I keep this up at about the 90-95% level, my belly feels MUCH better and I have more energy.  I have not been so regimental about my carbs this time around, but I am being conscious of them and it's helping my bloaty-belly-icky-gassy-gross thing that apparently I've been living with WAY too long and only realized how awful that was when it was gone.  I don't want that back.  {and here in lies a big part of my motivation with this eating's too short to feel this icky all the time}  part of this is also cutting back my alcohol intake.  one glass of wine is good enough.  john and I don't need to finish the bottle.

the goal:
2.  it is 14 weeks until the half marathon.  I want to be down 25 pounds by then.  and I want to do it in 3 hours {the half, not the losing weight!!}

the plan:
a)  follow the walking schedule religiously {same as above!}
b)  continue with eating clean {same as above!}
c)  reward myself with a really cute lululemon hoodie that I saw today.

bottom line is:  if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  clean eating, cutting out booze, walking half marathons - these all take a lot of hard work and planning.  so I guess I'll be showing up at the party with my salad or quinoa and perhaps I'll have a bit less margarita.  and that's okay.  for once, I'm realizing that I'm worth it.  and that I can do this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


let's start with some pictures...

{ty & john}
so the dr's office called and ty has strep throat.  he's been so out of sorts this week - super angry and super clingy.  well I guess I was kinda hyper-emotional too the week I was sick.  last night he was in bed on time {for him!} and then in our bed at around 1230.  this time I moved.  well this morning, this is the sight I walked into:  sound asleep, ty holding on to john's arm for dear life.  LOVE.

{hitting the pavement}
so you know how I said that I was going to do a half marathon this summer with my mom and my sister?  well, the training has begun!  I walked a total of 7.6 km on sunday, 4.5 km last night and  3.2 km tonight.  that is 15.4 km this week.  I need to complete 5.6 more to get my week's goal done.  new shoes and an iPod make all the difference.  the view of the sunset last night wasn't so bad either!

{the sunset}
I have HUGE motivational issues when it comes to training.  I hate training.  in the past I've solely relied on my mom and sister to be the driving force of my motivation.  we plan our weekend long walks together and they sorta keep my ass going.  well this time I am going to be my own motivation.  or I'm going to try to be.  the half marathon is 15 weeks away and there are some weight and health goals that I really want to accomplish by then.  I know that my motivation will wain, but until it does, I am going to follow the walking plan and get my kms in, come hell or high water {or shift work!}.

{nate in goal for his first shift of the night.  no action!}
I realized that I've posted some pictures of ty playing soccer - this one is of nate from tuesday night.  he played a good game!

{ty sat on my lap for most of it!}

Monday, May 09, 2011

the stand

sigh.  I am not a hugh mother's day person.  that said, I'll take any excuse for some time off {as in my last post!}.  but I am a fan of my mother.  although not perfect, she's pretty damn cool.  a decent human being and a wonderful role model.  any sort of parenting that I do with any skill is because of the great job my mom did.  and she's not all super mushy and huggy, but she demanded independence, cultivated creativity, and we NEVER lipped her off.  maybe the biggest thing I remember growing up was that our house was always open - to their friends, people in need and neglected children; but also always open to our friends.  there were always kids at our house - playing, sleeping over, building forts, hanging name it.  and in the midst of all the chaos, I learned how to cook for a crowd, how to be happy for a dishwasher {trust me.  doing dishes for 8 is NOT happy}, how to do my own laundry and how to care for others --- all because of my mom.  although growing up I often felt like I had to fight for time and attention, she is the person I call almost daily to chat with about my day.  she asks me how I did at weight watchers.  she gives me running shoes and tells me that I am walking another half with her and my sister.  and knows that I need that push.  so I may not love the celebration of being a mom {I often feel so inadequate}, I am certainly okay with celebrating MY mom.

so you may be asking, what did my lovely children give me for mother's day?  well, the kids did this clay thing at school and they each made me something special:

 {a toucan from nate - a lovely shade of gold, if you didn't see that!}

{an underwater themed picture frame and a little bag from ty}

and I know that a lot of people treasure these elementary crafts and keep them on display for years to come, and perhaps store them in a special box for memories and such.  not me.  they get ONE month in my house.  then they will find a nice spot elsewhere.  forever.  apparently I am more like my mom than I realize.

Friday, May 06, 2011

strange cup of tea

since I promised pictures {most of these match my last post!}

 {breakfast at timmys in the mall - the boys sat and watched skating}

{the pixies concert last sunday night} 

 {someone is SUPER excited about his first game!}

 {and he's kinda liking his practice on wednesday night too!}
it's just too bad that he's been sick ever since.  he ran a fever off and on for over 24 hours paired with a sore throat.  he stayed home with john on thursday {john's on nights right now!} and I stayed home today and took him to the doctor.  same gig as me, I think.  just a cold.  poor kid.  it didn't stop me from shipping him {and nate} off to grandma's house tonight.  john is in the middle of his nights rotation and both of us, due to the sick boy, are running on no sleep.  so off to grandma's they went!

and so I've decided that the gift of an empty house for 20 hours is the best mother's day gift ever.

{so this is my evening.  an excellent bottle of wine.  in a new tumbler.}

what are you up to tonight?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I'm just a kid

well, I've survived the massive cold of spring 2011.  it's been a rough 10 days or so of cold movement through my chest, throat and nose and it has now created a permanent {it feels like} home in my sinuses.  blah.  I'll do a wee re-cap on my week:

1.  thursday last week:  yeah.  I have no recollection of this day at all.  I "taught" all day and then came home and slept.  I think.

2.  friday last week:  we had a pd day at school.  and for once, it was good and productive and generally happy!  I was exhausted by the end of it - mentally and physically.  the boys and I went for supper with my sister.  that was nice...

3.  saturday:  john was still on days; the boys and I did a bunch of running around in the morning.  weight watchers for a weigh in {down 3 lbs...yippie!!}.  the mall for some breakfast and birthday present shopping.  then ty had a birthday party to attend.  then nate did {his was a sleep over, so I was down to one kid over night!}.  then I picked ty up and he went to a friends house for a bit while I had coffee with a friend.  it was nice and low key!

4.  sunday:  ty and I were at church EARLY!  I was on media, so he just hung out with me behind the computers.  then we went and bought some groceries and grabbed some lunch.  hanging out with ty is fun.  I like that kid.  then we went and picked up nate and RACED home so that katrina could pick me up for the pixies concert!  now THAT was a good time!  it was super loud and super awesome.  I like that.  I didn't get home until 1130 that night - way too late for a sick girl.  sigh.

5.  monday:  TIRED!  shocking.  and we started soccer on monday night.  ty plays on mondays and wednesdays.  nate plays tuesday-thursdays.  I love watching the boys play, especially when the sun is shining and it's lovely outside.  monday was LOVELY.  'cause after soccer I came home, poured a glass of wine and watched election results.  loved that!

6.  today:  cold.  rain.  grey.  soccer wasn't so fun tonight.  holy wind, batman.  I came home and took a long shower just to warm up and steam out my sinuses.

yeah.  and now we're dealing with over-tired kids.  and I wasn't able to participate in the sugar challenge that I was planning to do before I got sick.  I just had no motivation.  so I am going to start up again tomorrow.  I tried today but hit a little glitch at about 3:45.  it was called the coconut mocha frappuccino. and I didn't really like it.  {okay, I liked it just a wee bit!}

so how was your week??  I throw some pictures in here soon.  too hard to do while fighting with small children...