Summer Hiatus: Day # 35

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If I could share, I would show an awesome picture of my awesome students I got to see today. It is so nice to see them during the summer because something magical happens to them in the summer. Our program is an early college program and it is hard. They are at times taking a 36 credit load in a full school day schedule and that is hard stuff. I know they will be better for it, they know they will be better for it, but when they are all in the midst of it let’s talk about the stress they carry. Add in that they are teenagers and attempting at normal teenage lives. So seeing them when school isn’t in session and they are being “normal” teenagers is nice. They smile at lot more. I am very lucky I do what I love. But since I can’t share a pic just imagine smiley faces all around and lots of giggles and yearbook editing between. It gives you one of those feelings when you walk away that says, “I am lucky.” I know this though.

Since we can’t see that moment any other way other than words let’s look at my second best moment of the day. My attitude yesterday was bad. My attitude tried to beat me this AM and I didn’t let it. I decided to run. I know some people would see this time and recognize it is slow. And it is. I don’t do this for marathon training. I don’t run because I had some great hope to be in some big race or so that I have something to talk about with other runners. It was only today that I even realized what PR actually means. I don’t get the lingo and I am not sure I am on a path of wanting or needing that.

My path is instead solely on becoming a better me. Running continues to be spiritually and emotionally healing to me. I compete with no one. I am not trying to be better than my friends on Map My Run or Facebook. Not to mention it gives me focus. Like yesterday and today my attitude has been crappy because I have little control in the what if’s and I hate it. I feel like I internally pout about that stuff.

Well focusing on my run for three miles this morning refocused me. It reminds me I can only control what I can control and that is what is right in front of me. The bonus is the calorie burn which aligns quite nicely with my goals right now. And I got to do that run with my new garmin watch. My fitbit has been over used and abused and it was time to move to the next stage of fitness so I did. I wasn’t looking for something super fancy or too basic. It does everything my fit bit but has the ability to look at runs so I can physically see myself getting better.

So yea my day got better. I didn’t let it suck!

Slice of Life Tuesday: Tuesday won’t suck!

I try and live my life right. And for the most part I do. But every once in awhile the darkness or clouds creep in and keep me in check. Sometimes I feel too positive or too happy as if I am ignoring all that is wrong with the world and I feel like I have established that doesn’t work for me. I hate that feeling of sweeping it all under the rug. It is isn’t healthy.

I am not one to share my students stuff but I got this the other day from a student and it moved me to my core. It is how I try and live my life and it certainly is what I preach in my classroom and more importantly in my own home with my children. But on days where I do anything but it was nice to have this reminder.

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Days like yesterday. The clouds are trying to creep in on my day already on this Tuesday. I am an hour and half into it and one coffee and I feel it. So I dug this out and I am determined that today it will not beat me. I will beat it. This isn’t a weight loss thing or a hormonal thing or any kind of a thing. It is just acknowledging that this Tuesday is trying to suck and I will not let it.

I am sore, I am beaten down mentally and physically. I am struggling with being bored with the things in my diet. I am tired. I am tired. I am tired.  But I am determined to make an impact or a difference on today. It will happen because I declared it. I will let you know how it goes!

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Slice of Life Challenge

Summer Hiatus: Day # 32 Love ALWAYS wins

And yes I am yelling. If you read the moniker Love Always Wins or Love Wins were likely used long before I ever started using them on the blog almost a little less than 2 years ago. I know they are used at Momastery (which I love by the way) and I know they are are part of the No Hate Campaign and hashtags all over social media. That is not and never was why I used them.

And I get it, but over a year ago I sat in my husband’s dark and silent hospital room feeling absolutely helpless and the only thing I could really offer him other than prayers was my love. And it truthfully felt so strong and powerful to move mountains. It still does maybe even more than that. I began truly thinking about all the times in my life that things felt difficult and hard. I realized when I lead with my heart and with my love that usually what followed seemed easier to bear. I also realized that my love cannot be extracted from my faith. They go hand in hand. It is a belief in something better and bigger than me. It felt original to me in that deep and dark moment. I didn’t know till weeks later it wasn’t an original thought.

So I didn’t use the phrase because it is a popular part of culture or because some hashtag on twitter said too. As I said earlier in the week my family is in the midsts of life and love winning is at the very forefront of that life. We need love to win.

Yesterday was especially sentimental to me. When I went to bed last night my world was right and I know enough to recognize that. Love was in tact. My faith stronger than ever. So when I woke up abruptly to storms and sun and rainbows and winds and warmth and cold I recognized this is love winning.

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Somedays are worth the fight of who is right and who is wrong and so much being thrown around on social media was and is just not something I intended to get into yesterday, today or tomorrow. My life and my love has taught me one thing and that is put your energy where it matters. And right now it is with my family and love winning.

#LOVEALWAYSWIN #ICREATEDMYOWNMEANING

Summer Hiatus: Day # 31

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“When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth……

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.”

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”
Kahlil Gibran, Le Prophète

To love some one so completely that you feel it. I mean truly feel it in your insides. That is love. 

TN Reader….I see you.

I see my daily stats here on the blog and I see what brings people to read. But I can always tell when trigeminal neuralgia has been placed into the search engine and somehow it brings a reader here because it brings up post after post about my guy’s TN.

I have been there…searching for answers and hope in the middle of the night. It is a wife or husband desperate to see a spouse 3b07eafbcd6f2f44884562b9af736d91out of pain or worse it the person who has been struck down by this horrible disease. With struck being specifically chosen because that is exactly what it does. It strikes you down.

I won’t lie and say I know and understand your pain. But I do know what it is like to witness and see. I do know how your whole life can be swept up in the matter of moments and can last years, months, weeks, hours or minutes. Each amount of time cruel no matter the duration.

I cannot give you answers or even best case scenarios. I can tell you that you will survive and you are exactly why I am so frank with our story. I try and not tell too much of my guy’s story because it is his to tell, but I can tell you there are bits and pieces of hope daily and I can tell you that you will hold tight to those moments because as I am sure you know they can be fleeting. Fine one minute and depleted the next.

I would never dare and say it will be okay. But you will be okay and don’t give up the fight. 

More importantly just know you aren’t alone. You do not suffer alone and if you need to chat please email me at mommyrhetoric@gmail.com .

I am not a failure…

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill

I am making a confession on the blog today because I promised I won’t filter this journey. I won’t sugar coat it or make any of it seem like it is easy because this revolution has been anything but. But I am going to start off by saying I have failed. I refuse to feel bad for it too. All I have done is replace one bad habit for another and what you are witnessing is me struggling to find my way. And I won’t lie. This has been my biggest hurdle in my revolution. I would rather do 1000 hot, sweaty, hard workouts (with burpees) than deal with my current battle.

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And you wonder what that battle is right? Or what bad habit it is. You see my posts on instagram or my latest blog entry and think my struggle doesn’t feel like much of a struggle because this life seems to fit me. And it does. But here is the struggle I cannot eat enough. I am literally starving myself. No I am not talking about eating disorder starving myself. I am talking about I cannot consume enough food for how much I burn. I have been here for about 4 weeks now. I make small increases. The 21 Day fix extreme helps with a guide, but here is where old habits die hard. Instead of overeating like I did before, I am now under eating. This week on the extreme I have literally found myself opting out of food altogether because my option was unappealing because I am so full. That WILL NOT solve anything or make the scale move. I logically know this.

I have tried continually to remind myself that I work this hard so I can eat more. But I also logically know that my success and my body has been shaped and is being shaped by the foods I eat. I am not sure of the magical answer here. I stopped following the Extreme not because I doubted its success but because a week in and my eating hasn’t changed. I still cannot eat all of my containers in a day. I discovered Spark People app which is kinda of nice because you can track food and exercise and it tells you exactly how much you need to consume based on activity to lose weight. It makes it a no-brainer. And I still cannot eat enough.

Last night I splurged at a birthday dinner for baby girl # 2 and birthday cake. I get home and put it in and says, “You still need to consume another 768 calories to lose weight today. I felt defeated. I feel defeated. I am not sure the magical answer here. I mean I know I could quit running, but I am telling you all….I have absolutely no desire to do that. My running has been the best therapy I have had in years and if you all could see the things I work through when I run you would get it. I imagine all my “baggage” being left behind me on the road. My self-esteem has soared.

I know this is just a bump and I know the scale may not be making huge strides but my muscles are. But I gotta figure this out. I am not sure of the magical answer. All I know is I have no desire to feel ridiculously full and pukey because I have eaten so much. I also know I have no desire to give up any activity. I am standing around 1100-1200 calories a day on average and I am trying hard to up it in small doses. I have intentionally not stepped on the scale but I feel it. And throughout this I have lost inches and I am proud of those losses.

But I won’t lie. I am not happy here. I know I should grateful for such a large loss of weight and being the size I am. But I want more. I have more to go to get me where I want. It isn’t much, but it does need to happen. So yesterday I was wearing a beloved workout outfit that I took a pic of me in a little over a month ago. I loved the way I felt in it and I loved the sass and confidence I feel wearing it, so when I had it on yesterday I decided to do a side by side because I pretty much took it right when the slow down began to occur.

I took it and begged my # 2 to come in and see it. She is always honest. She cannot lie. That is our joke. Plus in this whole journey she has been so incredibly honest and sometimes to the point of being brutal but I have needed it. I showed her this picture.

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She immediately said, “Yes, mom there is a huge difference.” And then the conversation attracted #1 who came in almost mad at me and said, “Gosh Mom, don’t you see the difference?” And I answered back my logical answer and said, “Well yes. I know I am getting leaner and more compact, but I just wish it was coming off as quickly as before.” She went on to say she remembered the last time I wore a shirt I had on earlier and how when she saw me she couldn’t get over how big it was. So I guess changes are happening. I just wish I could be more patient and peaceful with the process.

When I was pregnant with my # 3 (it took me three kids to realize this) I realized how much of my previous pregnancies I spent worrying on things out of my control and time I wasted just enjoying the miracle I was a part of. That I pretty much remained hands off. I sat back and enjoyed the pregnancy and all its marvels. Then I found out I had a blood disorder that was essentially attacking my # 3 but again I sat back and trusted that my body knew what to do. It had done it before and it would do it again and that all would be fine and it was. It actually exceeded expectations.

So here I am again. I eat right and I need to trust the process and that my body knows what it is doing. I am not eating junk and I am doing the absolute best I can not to push myself too hard on exercise. If it feels too much I don’t do it. I don’t ever want this process to not be fun and for me to hate food or exercise. That is the most amazing part of this all. I have come to absolutely love sweating and the feeling of getting my heart rate up. I love lifting weights and feeling stronger physically and mentally. I have loved showing my girls how to properly punch. I have loved learning all the new foods I would have never ever tried. I have loved finding foods that fuel my body and nourish me healthily.

This is just a simple reminder that for me eating clean, training hard will inspire and create results. The real lesson is the patience I need to trust that the process is and will work. It is just not on my time. It is about being persistent which I am. Also a reminder again that the process is so much more mental than physical.

Summer Hiatus: Day # 30

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They are my heart and life and sometimes I look at them and just know this was my reason for being alive. All three so unique and beautiful and adding so much to my world and their own. And they are only just getting started. The three A’s.

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

And because it was #2’s birthday! I gotta share some more pics…..

She was born with the darkest, blackest hair and from the minute she was conceived up until the very present moment she makes her presence known. She demands to be seen, heard and understood. She is fiercely loyal. I have no idea what she will do in the world, but I am positive about a few things. She will change the lives of others and she will do it being the finest dressed on point person she can be.

She brings so much happiness and laughter to our family and our home.

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This picture was her scolding me and making sure I announced to no one at dinner it was her birthday! She hates others acknowledging her or talking to her.

And because I have one more…

abbiebday7Sometimes I look at them and think wow, we created that. # 1 getting so independent and responsible. Truly finding and figuring out who she is in this world and trying to find her purpose. # 3 figuring out the adult world more and more everyday but still has enough “toddler/kiddo” left in her that her perception of the world is humorous and insightful and boldly honest!

I truly love all the stages of parenting and when I am in them I think they are the hardest. I will say the older they get the softer my heart gets for their hurts. When they are young Momma can fix everything and make people nice and keep their worlds upright. The older they get, not so much. :/

But I always let them know I am there and they aren’t ever alone. Ever.

Suppose this maybe where I lose some friends.

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And I hate to say it, but it is what it is. I am so very thankful that my time in college and even more specifically in graduate school and in my own classroom did something truly unique for me. It made me more tolerant and kind. I am way more accepting of people and opinions. Especially those that are differing than mine. In fact, when I hear things I am vehemently against I would venture to guess you would never no.

However, if there were thought bubbles, oh my mind! Very few things get me anxious or angry other than exclusion or people purposefully alienating, hurting others intentionally. Therefore, it is NOT much of a stretch to say all the “isms” irritate me. When the shooting happened in Charleston last week I found myself so full of grief and I wondered why?

I have literally no ties to Charleston or the actual event. But every single time another one of these shootings or events of violence takes place I feel it to my core. And then the aftermath on social media is just too much. The details emerge and people debate gun control and mental illness or fairness or how people deserve it more than others and I just want to throw things at the computer or my phone.

Life cannot be simplified that easily. It isn’t as easy as taking down a flag or making getting a gun harder. In fact, I would go so far as to say those won’t fix anything. What will fix it are real conversations about these things. I have heard so many say the confederate flag should stay up because it is a part of history. And really that excuse makes me crazy. Think about all the crazy crap that is a part of history that we don’t still participate in because it is inhumane.

Like it or not it is a symbol of hate just as the Hitler’s swastika is. I read the best article of this argument the other day and I wish I had copied because it touches on the very rhetoric of this argument and tied to Christian beliefs and values and about stoning a woman for a divorce and how that isn’t a common practice.

Regardless you get my point. I will be the first one to fight to the death and support a person’s right to their opinion which is why I read those posts and I disagree I move on. People have a right to hate. People have the right to believe the way they want to believe. I struggle when it comes to killing others for those beliefs.

Let’s define tolerance: allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference

There are some key words there and they are allow and without interference and just as I call for tolerance of those “isms” I also call for tolerance of those opposed to those isms. Recognize that when wars are fought physically and not rhetorically people die. Lives are forever changed. Tolerance can’t live there. Tolerance is not always a pretty word and even suggests acceptance sometimes. But all you have to really accept is that not everyone is like you and that seems simple.

But it isn’t. But we cannot keep saying racism doesn’t exist anymore or “I don’t see color” because like it or not our world does. Instead of being scared of what diversity says and does in public we need to talk about it more. We need to stop expecting politicians to fix our cultural problems. We need to be firm in our beliefs and tolerant of others. End of story. Period.

And I know it is redundant, but it works. Love always wins, but you have to let it.