Saturday, January 25, 2014

Worth the Fight

Every Saturday morning I attend my Weight Watchers meeting.  I've done it since I joined in November 2012 and it's part of my routine that I don't let much get in the way of.  I rarely miss it and I do everything I can to attend each Saturday.  When I joined this last time I made a commitment to myself and my husband that I was going to do this.  I wasn't going to quit.  Even when it got hard.

Well, the last few months have been just that.  Hard.  I have settled back into some old habits and "relaxed" a bit.  2013 wasn't our best year.  Nothing happened, it just was a little rocky.  When life isn't going just the way I want it to I'll justify my poor choices and tell myself "it's ok, you deserve this".  We all know how the story goes from there don't we?!  That's why I've quit and re-joined Weight Watchers more times than I care to keep track of. 

This morning my leader told us a story that literally left me with tears streaming down my cheeks.  She shared part of her own story with us and how she told her husband that she was going to stop WW and do it on her own after hitting her 10% because she thought she could do it.  She said that he asked her "why do you always do this?"  She asked him what he meant and he said "why do you always quit?"  That hit me hard this morning, right where I needed it to.  I NEEDED to hear that because I think there is a small part of me that has wanted to do just that.  Quit.  I've come far enough, who says I have to finish this?  But, I don't want to.  I was close to goal before and I got scared and ran the opposite way, and now I'm here hanging on with every last bit of courage I can muster up each day.

I shared with my meeting this morning that over the last several months I've gained 14 pounds back.  I'd been down almost 55 pounds at WW (I'd lost 30 before starting).  So last summer I was down approximately 85 lbs.  I told them I was struggling and I've had a hard time getting my head back in the game.  As I sat there next to one of my very best friends, and a friend I met at my WW meeting, I was petrified to share my failure but having my "girls" there to support me made that moment much less scary.  And something happened after I shared that number that has been haunting me... I felt a little more free.  A little more human.  A little more encouraged when I was told "thank you for sharing, I'm struggling too and you are an inspiration".  There is nothing that motivates me more than when someone tells me that I've inspired them.  I don't think I've let myself believe that I'm "good enough" to inspire anyone though because I've been ashamed of my struggle. 

I told my husband that I felt like a failure and a fraud having gained back some weight.  He thought I was being a little dramatic (me?  dramatic? what?!)  I told him that I feel like this is what everyone expects me to do because this is what the "old Amy" always did.  I ALWAYS gain it back.  I tell myself I don't deserve to be thin and healthy... I'm supposed to struggle.  It's my storyDamnit, I am DONE with this story.  Who am I not to deserve what I want the most?  I deserve a body I'm proud of.  I deserve to be an active and healthy role model for my son.  I deserve to be a wife my husband can look at and say "I'm glad she's mine."

I know now that happiness is not attached to a number on the scale.  The struggles I had at 258 lbs are still fighting me at 189 lbs.  But, I'm going keep fighting.  I'm not quitting.  It may have crossed my mind but not this time.  I will not let the devil get to me.  I serve a God who has given me all the strength I could ever need to charge onward toward my goal praising Him in the storm along the way.  It's going to happen.  Mark my word my friends.  This girl is on fire.

If you are on a journey that you want to throw in the towel... don't give up.  YOU are worth success.  YOU are worth your dreams.  Fight for what you want.  It's tough.  It's hard.  It's worth it.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Media Free Monday

Yesterday was my first Media Free Monday and I have to say it was a lot easier than I was anticipating.
Sunday night I turned off all notifications for Facebook so I wouldn't be tempted to check it.  There were a few times I almost clicked on the app just out of habit but I stopped myself first.
I got some things done in the time I most likely would have spent on social media and that felt pretty good.
I added a little more flair to the wreath on my front door.
I folded laundry.  I HATE folding laundry.  I'm great at doing the laundry... not so great at getting it folded and put away.
I paid bills.  {oh joy}
I started a new book.  {The Paris Wife: A Novel}
I took a shower and got ready for date night with my husband. 
By the way, I did all of that during my son's nap.  Needless to say I felt very productive!

One of my amazing friends offered to watch Grant so we could go on a date last night so we took her up on the offer and went out for Kansas City Restaurant Week.  We went to Gaslight Grill and the food was ah-mazing.  I think I'll be thinking about the White Chocolate Cheesecake I had for a week.  I'll be trying to work off the calories, too!  Oh well, sometimes you have to go out and have a good time without worrying about the calories.  We had a great time together and it was nice to have my phone "off limits" so we could just enjoy each others company.  Grant had a good time with his best buddies so it was a win-win for everyone!

Join me next Monday for another #mediafreemonday and share it with your friends!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Book Review: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Oh my goodness where do I start!?!  I LOVED this book.  The Aviator's Wife is the story of Charles and Anne Lindbergh told from Anne's perspective and is considered historical fiction.  I knew little (okay, I knew nothing) about the Lindbergh's prior to reading this and I am so intrigued by their story now.  I want to read more about them and learn more about their lives and their marriage.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I'll just include the synopsis of this book and tell you to go buy it.  Like, right now.  Seriously.  Especially if you enjoy reading historical fiction.  For the record, I don't usually go for historical fiction but this book was recommended to me and I'm so glad I read it even though it's not a novel I'd normally choose on my own.

What's it about?  When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

I'd love to know if you read this book.  I can't say enough good things about it and hope you enjoy it!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Book Review: The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman

My "must read" list has more books on it than I think I'll ever have time to read.  When it was my turn to pick for our book club in November I decided to pick a book that's been on my "must read" list for a few years so I could finally mark one off the list.  I chose The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman and I am SO glad I finally read it! This novel was SO good.  I couldn't put it down and it left me bawling at the end!  I love when a book grabs my heart and leaves me thinking about the characters for days.  It gave us a lot to talk about as well, and everyone enjoyed it.

What is this book about? After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

If you are looking for a good book, I'd recommend The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman.  If you decide to read it I'd love to know what you thought!
I plan to share my book reviews this year.  I love to read and usually get 1-2 read a month so I thought this would be a good way to recommend books and hear what you are reading too!  I love getting book recommendations from friends so please share your favorites. 
PS- I'm reading an AMAZING book right now I can't wait to finish and share with you!

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Media Free Monday

Sometimes we need a little push.  A tug.  A little motivation to put something into action that's been weighing on our hearts.  I had my push today to start cutting back on the time I spend on my phone checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, {enter website where time is wasted here}. 
I admit that I'm on social media too much.  I try to cut back and I always end up checking one more post, reading one more article or looking at one more picture.  Before I know it I've wasted another 20 minutes, 30 minutes... an hour.  Honestly, it's ridiculous.  It's something I'm ashamed of if I'm being honest.  So, today I had my awakening.  It's time to make the change and quit talking about it.  It's time to really focus on being INTENTIONAL in this area of my life.
Starting next Monday I'm encouraging anyone who struggles in this area to join me for "Media Free Monday".  What this looks like for me is staying off social media ALL DAY Monday (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc).  I'm still going to check my email, that isn't a problem for me as I only spend a few moments deleting a lot of spam for the most part.  I'm hoping this will help me focus on things I really want to get done in 2014.  Or, just spend those extra moments enjoying my son and/or my husband.  Maybe it'll force me to pick up the phone and call a friend instead of just looking at her Facebook page to tell me what's going on in her life.  Maybe I'll feel productive after my son wakes up from nap instead of wishing I could get those 2 hours back that I just wasted.  Maybe I'll finish a book.  Maybe I'll do some laundry.  My mind is racing with all the ways I can be more productive.
This may not be an issue for some, but I think it's an issue for a lot of us... one that we like to pretend we don't have an problem with.  {Yes, I'm also talking to those of you who may never post but you are on it just as much as those of us who do!}  I love being on social media because it's a great way to keep up with friends and family, but I think checking it 1-2 times a day should be sufficient instead of "checking in" whenever I have a minute here or there.

I'd love to know if you plan to join me for Media Free Monday.  You might just get a few more things checked off your to-do list, too!
Share this post with #mediafreemonday to encourage others to live more intentionally with us.  Good luck!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

I Love Project Life

This is a post I've wanted to write for a long time.  I decided I'm not helping anyone by keeping it to myself and I needed to blog about it and share the amazing solution I've found for my pictures. 

About a year ago two of my besties told me about their newest addiction.  Project Life.  My son was a year old and I hadn't printed any pictures since his 2nd week of life.  They were all in files on my computer, but I wasn't enjoying them at all and I had nothing to look at besides some computer files.   I looked up Project Life and before I knew it I'd ordered the Project Life Baby Edition for Him.  I dove right in and I'm SO happy I did!  I'd kept great notes for G's first year of life so I set up a table in my basement and made up for lost time and within a few weeks I'd printed pictures and documented the first year of his life.  A HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was SO incredibly thankful for my friends for sharing system this with me! (Thanks C & E... LOVE YOU!)  I've continued using Project Life to document G's life and all of my books are written "to" him so someday I hope he reads them like a book, telling him the stories of his childhood.

This style of scrapbooking is meant to be very easy and simple.  It's literally pocket pages that you slip pictures into and journal on 3x4 cards to share the stories from each picture.  Becky Higgins created Project Life as a simple way to document life.  You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want and the longer I do it the more "brave" I get with digital elements and other embellishments but I love that at it's core PL is meant to be literally 4x6 printed pictures and the Core Kit of your choice to use to add your journaling.  When I was learning about this I told myself there is no excuse for my pictures to stay in files on my computer when there was a system like this that makes it so easy!
Here are a few of my layouts.  What I've had to embrace is Project Life is different for each person.  I sometimes get PL envy looking at my books in comparisons to my friends because they are amazingly talented and gifted crafters... and I'm kind of a newbie in the craft world!  But, my book is perfectly mine and it showcases my personality.  Someday my son will take these albums with him and he will have the everyday stories of his childhood.  That is what is most important to me. 
Scrapbooking isn't just about capturing the big moments like birthdays, first steps and new foods.  It's the perfect way to capture what your life looks like right now, in this ordinary moment.  As imperfect as that feels on some days, we will miss these crazy days.  Someday we'll forget the "little" things that brought us so much joy (or maybe not so much joy!).  I'm thankful Project Life gives me a way to keep these memories alive and serve as a glimpse into the past.  Reminding me that life is truly meant to be celebrated.
Here is what you'll need to start your own Project Life album.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Old Lost in the New

I find myself wishing this sweet moment could be bottled up.  I want to stay here forever.  Hold you.  Forever.  The nights you snuggle in to me and say "Mommy" over and over... these are the nights I know I will miss.  I'm so incredibly in love with you baby boy.
Kissing your sweet cheeks over and over is something I can hardly control.  And, sometimes I do it a few more times just because I know someday {sooner than I want to admit} you might push me away from those sweet cheeks.  The right cheek with the perfect dimple that is a reminder that God blesses us in the most unexpected ways... and it's good.  It's always good.

Being a Mommy is something I feared for SO long.  Living with an eating disorder had me fearing what my body would turn into, instead of looking forward to the amazing blessing of holding a baby in my arms.  My own baby.  Our baby. 
Our "baby" is two years old now and tonight I was sorting through maternity clothes and my Mommy gut started yearning for that baby all over again.  Remembering a time when we were looking forward to our first baby, not having the slightest clue how much our lives would change.  How much we wouldn't miss the days gone by.  We love those memories but a day before him hardly matters these days because he is our everything.  Our love created this beautiful life that is ornery, adorable, smart, handsome, caring and the love of our lives. 

Living INTENTIONAL in 2014 starts with being a Mom who is engaged.  Not just "here" but really HERE.  I want to soak up the little everyday moments that I will wish I could bring back someday.  This means putting my phone away more and picking up a truck or a train and joining him on his little journey.  It means going up and down an escalator because he thinks it's hilarious, and so fun.  It means bringing snow in the kitchen because it's way too cold to play outside. 
Who cares about the mess. 
Who cares if it lasts for 3 minutes. 
A lot of memories can be made in 3 minutes. 
Hope you intentionally loved someone a little more today.  I tried to.