Monday, May 23, 2016

This Girl is on Fire

After last week's post, I have been on a complete roll.

Like the uber nerd I am, I immediately jumped on Amazon and purchased some new books.  Fellow nerds will understand that it is nearly impossible to make any changes in your life without new books.  I bought books to relax with (smutty romances), new cookbooks (Heyyyy Gwyneth Paltrow) and books about diet and exercise.  Basically I just love books and this was an awesome reason to blow up my credit card again!

I bought a whole bunch, but have only had time to dive into a couple.  Here is what I have devoured so far!

I know it is so cliche right now, but Kate Hudson's Pretty Happy is really great.  I was doubtful since celebrity books are rarely worth their purchase price (I'm talking to you Pippa Middleton).  But this one is actually really good.  

Not only does Kate Hudson's bubbly personality shine thru but I seriously envy that body.  I will drink any amount of green juice to have abs like that.  I am not done reading it yet, but it is definitely worth picking up.

The second one is Kathryn Budig's Aim True.  I found her on Instagram by way of Gabrielle Bernstein and instantly was drawn to her super cute hair and her happy persona.  The book is a quick read and definitely worth picking up.  There are tons of recipes and some yoga flows thrown in.  But the basis of the book is about loving yourself, just the way you are.  

Hold on for some tender moments.... but that really spoke to me.  Recently I have had some really nasty thoughts...about myself.  Ewwwwww.  Like the ones where you look in the mirror and tell yourself over and over how gross you are.  Or the ones where you lay in bed at night and tell yourself that you are a terrible mom or that you are in a dead end job and are never going to be anything amazing.  I hate those nasty little thoughts.

Part of this year's journey is to be at peace with myself.  As I am today.  Because we are ever evolving and changing and I won't be in the same place next year.  But it is hard to except that change doesn't happy in one day.  You have to constantly work towards it and sometimes you get a little off track.

I totally feel like I am getting back on track.  It may be the sweet smell of summertime on the horizon or the fact that my parents are finally home from Florida (yasssss free babysitters) but I feel good right now!  I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and that feels amazing!

Lastly, I have been playing around with my workouts.  I may have Barre 3'd myself to death over the winter, so I took a little break this weekend for some manual labor and some yoga.  I totally broke my promise to try new workouts every month this year, so yoga is back on the menu.  On top of that I decided to tackle my garden, weeding, plants my vegetables and mowing my lawn.  It felt great to get outside and dig in the dirt!

Ain't nobody gonna break my stride, nobody gonna hold me down!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Keep on Trying

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.  Work has been insane.  So insane that I blink and eight hours have gone by and yet I feel like I accomplished nothing.  Max is growing up so fast which makes me sad.  This past weekend really brought that home when he turned four!!!!  This fast pace that my life has taken on is exhausting.  And it isn't fast paced like I am a jet setter.  It is fast paced in the sense that I am doing my Barre3 workout, while answering emails and entertaining Max.  It has all become too much and I am just burnt out!

At first I really tried stream lining my life.  I purged and purged.  I got rid of toys, clothing, shoes and other random bits and bobs.  I scanned papers and threw them away after.  I cleaned out both of our closets and tossed everything.  Constantly purging like a maniac.  I have taken three loads of bags to Goodwill thinking that this cleansing period would make me feel better.  But it didn't bring the sense of peace I had hoped for.

Then I tried focusing on my health.  Eating well and working out like a maniac.  But that didn't bring the results I had hoped for either.  It wasn't so much a quest to be skinny as much as I wanted to feel better in my own skin.  But that still didn't bring the inner calm that I am desperately craving.  

So I did some soul searching (Christ, grab a tissue) and found that I am just dissatisfied with my life right now.  I hate saying that.  My life doesn't suck.  I have a job, a house, enough money to live and on top of all of that, a beautiful child and a wonderful family.  Yet I am still unhappy.

And that is because I feel like my life stopped and everyone around me kept moving.  All of my friends are getting married or having their second or third child.  They are in relationships or have these amazing jobs.  They go on beautiful vacations.  None of these things are happening over at Camp Alex and it sucks.  Point blank, it just sucks! (First world problems over here)

My life clearly didn't stop but it drastically changed.  And while I have been rebuilding, it feels like everyone moved on without me.  I never liked the feeling of being left behind when I was a kid and it turns out, I still hate it when I am an adult.  

When you have children, it is important to give them stability and routine.  We get up at the same time every day.  We eat similar things every day.  We do the same things all the time, like go to Target or the library.  We go to bed at the same time every night.  I know this is all good for him but it makes me feel like hamster on a wheel.  

I need to find a way to "spark joy" in my life again.  Running used to do that for me but it doesn't work any more.  Trust me, I tried!  A lot of women would say dating would make me feel good.  But I don't want my happiness tied to anyone else.  I want to find happiness in myself first.  And then if a sexy dude comes along, well that is just icing on my cupcake!

No amounts of green juice, yoga or Barre 3 is going to do it either.  So I am on a quest.  I am going to "spark joy" in my life on my own.  But not with things.  Things don't bring happiness or fulfillment.  I am going to do it with experiences and people.  I am bringing my life back to basics (but not #basic) because if I spend one more Saturday at Target, I am going to throw my Starbucks coffee to the ground and start running as fast as my little yoga pant clad legs can carry me.  

You only are given one life.  And it is your job to make it the best life you can!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Time Just Flies By

I don't know how it is possible that I am now the mother of a four year old.  It literally seems like just yesterday I drove him home from the hospital.  I just blinked and he became a big boy right in front of my eyes.

He is so tall now and he talks so much.  He has the best imagination and he tells the funniest stories.  He loves his friends at school and talks about them all the time.  He is definitely not a baby any more!

This past weekend was a birthday extravaganza and I literally ate pizza and cake until my body begged me to stop.  We celebrated for three days straight! 

On Friday, my co-workers had a little party for Max after school.  It was so cute and he loved the attention!

Saturday morning was his birthday party.  A couple of his friends from school came and I had it at a local park.  It was the perfect size and he had such a good time.  I was a little nervous that he would be overwhelmed but instead he was so well behaved and had a ton of fun.

It was construction themed (shocking right?).  So every kid received a tool belt and a construction hat.  I put the drinks in Home Depot buckets and the snacks (goldfish and chips) in his dump trucks.

My mom made this amazing cake.  Two layers and tons of icing.

The cake was a huge hit!

On Sunday, his actual birthday, we had breakfast with the family and then we had a Barbecue for dinner.  We rounded out the weekend with our third birthday cake and then collapsed into a sugar coma.

 We are officially birthday-ed out.  Too much sugar and way too much pizza but so much fun!

My sweet little baby is a big boy now.  It makes me a little sad but so excited for all the fun to come!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Asking for Help

I like to call this another of my ah-ha moments as a Mom.  I was laying in bed this morning, way too tired to get up and do my Barre3 workout.  So I began to strategically rearrange my day.  Because that is what us Mom folk do.  We tightly schedule every day, so when something changes, it takes a lot of coffee and some smart thinking to fit everything in.

Originally, I was going to work out this morning, run errands at lunch and then go grocery shopping after work with Max.  I know, big mistake bringing the little monster to the store, but at this time of year you can't really leave groceries in the car all day.  So I would brave the check out line mine field of matchbox cars, cookies and gum in order to bring home unspoiled yogurt.  I can be totally honest and say that going to the grocery store with Max totally sucks most of the time and I try to go without him as often as possible but I also like to eat lunch so there is only so much time in each day!

But my laziness this morning changed that.  So how do you fit all of that in now?  My workout is really important to me.  But if I don't go to the grocery store, we won't have coffee and I might kill someone tomorrow.  The lunchtime errands include getting money from the bank to pay the babysitter.  She is the only thing keeping this machine running some weeks, so that is a super duper priority.  So what is a girl to do?

You ask for help, which I am really, really bad at!  That help was Stop and Shop's Peapod service, which delivered  my groceries to my house.  Now I don't have to brave the checkout line with Max.  I just pay them $6.95 to deliver the groceries to my front door! (virtual fist pump)

I tried Peapod before but I have a big problem paying for services, when I can do them on my own.  I prefer to spend my money on overpriced coffees from Starbucks and cheap yoga pants.  But with us traveling on this weekend, there was no room for error this week, since I wasn't going to have time to catch up this weekend.  So at that point, I have to give up being able to do everything myself and get some help where I can!

This is just a minor example of how hard it is to fit all this shit into our days, wether you are a Mom or not.  You often have to give up things to fit everything else into a tightly packed schedule.  Most often we give up the things that make us feel good, like our workouts, manicures and hell, even showers.  But in the end we are resentful of the little minions who took up all of our yoga time.  So if you can find a way to fit it all in, even if you need some help and have to pay a little more, isn't that best?

That is my new lease on life.  I can't work full time, workout, take care of the dog, grocery shop, clean our house, do laundry, sleep and wrangle Mad Max.  Not without more hours in my week at least!  So I have been finding ways to get stuff done and make time for myself.  And just so you all know, this is totally not a paid post.  I would LOVE for Stop and Shop to sponsor me in the form of free goldfish and hotdogs but alas, not today!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Advice From Some Old People

A friend of mine shared this and it was too good to not share with all of you!  From Imgur:

1. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.

2. You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.

3. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.

4. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?

5. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day.

6. If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just return to the immediate present moment and savour all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, relax.

7. Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!

8. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.

9. A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.

10. Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.

11. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.

12. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.

13. Maybe this one isn’t as profound as the others, but I think it’s important… Floss regularly, dental problems are awful.

14. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice…

15. The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!

16. We have one time on this earth. Don’t wake up and realize that you are 60 years old and haven’t done the things you dreamed about.

17. Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto.

18. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already.

19. If you have a dream of being or doing something that seems impossible, try for it anyway. It will only become more impossible as you age and become responsible for other people.

20. When you meet someone for the first time, stop and realize that you really know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it all. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Recharging Over the Weekend

As a parent or even as a human being, we all reach a moment where we know we are at our breaking point.  Last week was a really rough week.  Work was insane.  So insane that I had a headache for three days straight because of the pressure I was putting on myself to finish all of my work.  On top of that, Max was really pushing all of my buttons.  I mean EVERY LAST BUTTON. There was only one night last week that there were no tears at bedtime, his or mine.  By Friday night I felt ready to crack under all the stress, pressure and emotions.

At times when stress is crushing me, I have a tendency to move faster and try to do more.  And that always leads to epic meltdown status.  I make mistakes, drop things, spill things and have to redo most of what I just did.  It is like being in the middle of a cyclone.

So when we woke up on Saturday morning, I was determined to leave the week behind me.  We got up early, picked up my sister and drove to LBI for the weekend.  And it was fantastic!

We opened up the beach house, turned on the water and then did one of our favorite things....went to Walmart.  I don't know what it is about the Walmart at the shore, but I seriously love it.  We went in, wandered thru the store, buying all this crap we don't need.  This includes new yoga pants, candy, a Dirty Dancing dvd, Captain Crunch cereal and other general ridiculousness.  We laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants.  It was great!

Riding a skateboard while pushing a shopping cart!

We drove back onto the island and ended up at the tail end of a......FIRE TRUCK PARADE.

I seriously thought Max's heart would explode with joy.  Beach Haven was dedicating a new fire truck and there were almost 60 fire trucks from all the surrounding towns there for the ceremony.  It was so fun and amazing to see them all!  The lights were flashing, sirens were blaring and Max was so excited.

That night we had nachos for dinner and after Max went to bed, my sister and I laid on the couch and drank way too much wine.  We laughed, we cried and then we drunkenly stumbled to bed. Two bottles of wine and a bag of Raisinets probably wasn't great for my diet but some days you just need to enjoy yourself.

Sunday was a rainy, gross day so we headed home early, making sure to stop at Sonic and at Wawa.  Because we apparently needed more junk food.  It was a long trip home but it was really great to spend family time together.  

These moments were exactly what I needed.  Junk food, laughs and a lot of down time.  I barely looked at my phone all weekend and it was fantastic.

I have been moving at mach speed lately and I was feeling seriously worn down.  My emotions have been at a high point lately and I don't like feeling that way.  These moments of weakness causes all of my doubts and worries to creep in.  I don't have the patience for Max and all of his toddler antics and we spend too much time screaming and crying.  It is awful to be in that cycle and I am so glad that I woke up today feeling refreshed and ready for a great week.  I will probably go thru a hideous sugar withdrawal this week but it was totally worth it!

A dude and his love of trucks!