Monday, August 8, 2016

I am Powerful, I am in Control

Negative thoughts swirl through everything I do lately.  The last few years have been extremely tough and it's been very hard to keep a positive attitude.  I'm feeling it from all sides; marriage, work, kids, friends, family, the whole nine yards.  There's so many, "I should be doing things this way" thoughts floating through my head at all times.  So much guilt and self-doubt, it's hard to climb out of the emotional hole I've dug myself.

It's so out of character for me to be stuck this long.  Normally, I realize I'm doing it and start filling in the holes and rounding out my attitude.  This time, it seems that everything I try fails, even changing my outlook.  I think my unscheduled summer has had a lot to do with it and I'm hoping now that school has started, the schedule will help.  I start doing what I need to and then something comes along that's more important.  Sometimes, that thing is just going fishing with the boys or playing Minecraft with Zakk.  And those are normally really good things, they're great interruptions for getting things back on track.  But it seems that after they occur, I'm stagnant.

Fishing on the Savannah River with the boys

So going to put down a plan here and make some goals.  Because goals are my thing, I must always have a goal to work towards.  Obviously, my current goals need to be tweaked.  I'm a firm believer in positive attitude, positive life and that you are who you make yourself.  I love TED talks, they're absolutely amazing and help you reaffirm your value and self-worth.  Even if the talk is about helping to bring water into third-world countries.  They help you see that one tiny little person in this huge scope of countless universes can actually make a difference.

So one of my recent favorite TED talks is by Cesar Kuriyama, creator of the 1 Second Every Day app.  You can watch his TED talk here: One Second Every Day, but the gist of it is taking time out of every day to really appreciate where you are at that moment.  So the beginning of August, I downloaded his app, after using a free generic one for a few days to make sure it was something that would mesh with me.  It was seriously worth the paltry $4.99.   So it's been helping me enjoy at least times in my day.

But a second a day, or actually the two minutes it takes to get that second, isn't going to do it on it's own.  So I need to also take time just for my attitude.  I was doing yoga daily, then I had became involved in a huge project which took over my life for a little bit.  Yoga starts again tonight!  I love the quiet time to myself.  Most people take advantage of the mornings to prepare for the day, but I love the nights,  The kids are sleeping after their busy days and I like to take that time to "evaluate" my day and figure out how to improve it tomorrow.

Two blogs that I'm following at the moment really will help with taking back my positivity.  Elaina, from Life Before 30 (even though I may be a little past that), has some great content on finding your purpose.  Although sometimes her steps are a little big for my little world.  8 Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude from Tiny Buddha, is what I'm concentrating on right now.  "Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run."  

All in all, I think the most important thing I need to remember right now is:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Projects and Goals, is there ever anything else?

Less than four months between posts!  I'm getting better at this.  Last post I mentioned that I was really working on my health.  I'd proud to say I've stuck with it and I have currently cost 24 lbs since January and my blood pressure has been in normal ranges for two months straight, without any medication for either!

I actually hate weight loss medications and fad diets, or even diets in general.  I believe in diet changes and life habits instead.  Now I will once in awhile take some time off sugar and/or fats like butter, but in the long run, I like chocolate cake too much and it tastes much better with both.  My biggest lifetime diet change this year was ixnay on the energy drinks.  Cardiologist referral and energy drinks just don't mix.  Although I'll admit, I still haven't made that appointment.

Tonight I hit a nice goal, I broke my FitBit step record.  I was ready to call it a night when I noticed I was 113 steps away from my highest step count this year and decided I couldn't end the night that way.  It's the eve of the first day of school here and while we've been working on getting on a school schedule for three weeks, Zakk was still tossing and turning in anticipation of his first day of seventh grade.  So while I'm pacing the hallway trying to beat my record, my kiddo's yelling out from his room every time I walk past his door.  "Love you."  "Love you."  "I still can't sleep."  "I'm watching you."  "Love you."  "Still awake."  I finally hit over my goal, higher than the last one because my OCD demanded zeros at the end and he's passed out with his head at the foot of the bed.  It only took about 15 minutes total, but I'm sure in his head it was more like an hour.  Oh 5 am, I haven't missed you.

But while we're talking about my current projects, I do keep a list of them on the left hand side.  I've actually finished up a few of those, completed some that aren't there and started new ones.  I'll get some pictures up soon of those.  I always have projects going so there's always changes there.  Even if I'm not posting, I try to keep that list up to date.  Mostly just to remind myself what I'm supposed to be doing!  I do use Pinterest A LOT and have both an "Up Next" and a "Finished" board, so feel free to follow me: JTStripling

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

And It's Been Awhile...

...Since I could hold my head up high.  Sorry, couldn't help myself.  Starting a new post is always the hardest part.  And that title slot, I think that needs to be moved way down to the bottom of the page.  Let's write the post and then name it from now on, shall we?

Anyway! As I was saying, it's been awhile since I've posted something.  I've spent the last year on a weird work schedule, followed by three months of an even stranger one.  I've had four awake, non-working, daylight hours every work day and it's just becoming way too much for our household.

We've also taken quite a hit from reality/life over the last few months.  No details, but the household has been dramatically reduced to three of us for awhile.  Making my work schedule even worse.  With the rough time we've been having, I'm looking to make some positive changes around here.

First change starts with myself, as it should be.  I've been having some pretty bad back to back health issues with one leading to a cardiology referral.  If that doesn't kick someone in the butt, I don't know what will!  A few years back, I said I was comfortable with my weight and didn't see a need to "diet", etc. unless it was for health reasons.  Well, now health is an issue.  I had lost a lot of weight a few years back and my hubbie told me I was getting too skinny.  Followed by a resounding yes from his father, lol.  So I stopped doing what I was doing and ended up gaining it all back.  With the stress of the last few months, I'm up almost another 10 lbs too, oops.  So I guess my first goal needs to be getting back in shape.  Ack, I hate cardio but that's the way we need to go!

See, I build muscle FAST!  Really fast, it's actually a severe issue.  Have you ever seen muscle under fat?  Yeah, it just looks like more fat.  So I have to get rid of the fat before I can even think of toning.  Which muscle building probably won't be a factor anytime soon because I take muscle relaxers daily.  Another byproduct of the health issues.  So cardio is where I'll be starting until I've lost about 30 lbs.  It is probably the best thing right now if I really do have heart issues anyway, right?

So this lovely new chapter of my life is going to start with weight loss.  I mean I may as well since I've already made some other pretty dramatic changes recently.  I decided at the ripe old age of 39 to pierce my nose, lol.  Well I did it at 38, but that was only a few months ago.  At 39, I decided to cut off all my waist length hair.  It was only supposed to be cut to my shoulders, but the hair stylist got a little scissors happy with it and now, it just comes to right above my chin.  Most of the length was dead, so it needed a fresh start.  I just didn't realize I was going to start all the way over with it!

So changes, changes, changes.  2015 was about loss, 2016 will be about change.  Now, I've found the determination, I just need to locate the motivation!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bad Luck Bre

I've been busy, busy, busy!!  Unfortunately, it's not really been with fun stuff either.  Two years ago we bought Sabrina a used Chevrolet Cavalier and it's been nothing but trouble ever since!  Every time we think it's running good, it goes right back down.  I have a friend who's a service technician for Chevrolet and we had him look over her car and fix what the biggest issues were.  We get it back and the very next day:

- a kamikaze deer decided to attack her car in the middle of the night.  It ended with her having a small crack in her windshield and her driver's side mirror ripped off.  The next day, in the pouring rain, her car cut off while she was driving it to work and she couldn't get it to start back up.  We found out that she has a short in her wiring which was draining everything we had just replaced; alternator, battery, starter, etc.  Her car now needs a whole electrical wiring job, which is going to have to wait a little while.  

Only having one vehicle and two adults working and in school means I'm constantly behind the wheel of our car.  I start my day driving at 7 am and don't stop til 9:30.  My housework has fallen behind and my poor projects are almost nonexistent.  Every few days, I get a little break though, like today.  I don't have to drive until 4:30 this evening, woohoo!!  Projects, blog post and housecleaning on my list!

Now Bre has had some exciting things happen lately as well.  She went from blonde to auburn hair and absolutely loves it.  I think it really makes her stand up and look more mature.  She's always looked young for her age and it does make it difficult when she's in classes with adults.



The blonde picture was taken in July and the auburn picture was taken this week.  Huge difference and she obviously prefers to take selfies in the car :D.

She also became adult and infant CPR certified last night and received her AED and First Aid certification as well.  AND she did her first blood collection almost perfectly! The new hair color and all the certifications really make me wonder where my baby went?  She's really growing up but luckily she's still living at home while she gets her schooling and career started, I don't mind one single bit!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Taste Test: Betty Crocker Salted Caramel Cookies

I'm not a fan of pre-packaged cookies but my hubbie is in love with anything salted caramel. So when I saw these I decided what the heck? 

They were really easy to make requiring only one egg and 1/2 cup of butter. Stir, bake for seven minutes and ta-da you have cookies!

Surprisingly, these were really, really yummy! I mean I was totally amazed at how these pre-packaged, one egg cookies turned out. Hubbie was in love and with 15 minutes tops for yummy cookies, I was too! Needless to say they didn't last long at all. 

I will say though, I'm now excited to find a "from scratch" recipe. But overall these were an exciting thumbs up find, so go get ya some!

*I was not reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, which as always are completely my own*

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Super Happy Days

Wow, I swear I'm not regressing to my teenage years.  I really don't know why that phrase is fitting but I can't explain it any other way.  Fridays and Saturdays are super happy for me.  Even when I was going through the really bad depression, Fridays and Saturdays were still relatively good.  Everyone loves weekends but I really LOVE weekends.

Friday and Saturday mornings, there's no need for alarm clocks for the most part.  Both hubbie and I wake up without an alarm and we get snuggle time.  Just laying there waking up together starts my days off so much better.  Fridays are also my weekly lunch dates with my father-in-law.  He's diabetic and has lost a leg due to diabetes.  As of yet, he doesn't have a vehicle he can drive so I run him to his weekly diabetic appointment and then we grab lunch somewhere.  We usually eat in the car just because it's easier for him than running in everywhere as he's in a wheelchair whenever he has to go more than a few feet with his cane.  Just being able to talk with someone familiar outside my household is really nice for me.  Every other Friday, we also pickup Shalyn to have her for the weekend.  Having the house full of kid stuff, laughter and yes, childish bickering just fills my heart.  I also try to find fun stuff for them to do over the weekend so that they're entertained by more than electronics.

Saturdays are nice sleep in days and full of fun, household chores and family time.  Yes, household chores make me happy.  We have a small house full of a lot of people which makes it so hard to keep everything in its place.  So getting the house back in order after a busy week makes my OCD self very happy.  We snuggle on the couch in our jammies, we bake, we clean, we watch movies as a family.  There's just nothing better!

I'm off to fold socks that we've been throwing in a sock bin all week, in my jammies of course!  Have a terrific weekend.