Monday, September 26, 2011

Another goal achieved!!

My 10 K race was yesterday and though everything in my body pointed toward me NOT completing it I managed to go through.

Plagued by either a virus or just an irritated GI tract since last Sunday's long run I really wondered if it was really a smart move to run my race. On a good day I generally experience GI upset after a long run so how could I figure that there would be the remotest possibility I could do it while continuing to fight off GI issues that already existed?

I'll give it to you in one word ....


Miracle drug.

It was Saturday evening around 9:30pm Wally and I finally gave in and went to Wal-Mart and picked some up after I read on the Internet that it was ok to take for runner's 'issues'.

Generally I don't listen too closely to online diagnosis and I wouldn't recommend others too but desparate times ...

I was determined to at least TRY to run.

So an hour before the race I took 2 as directed and another a half hour later. The max you can take in 24 hrs is 4 so I really hoped that this was the answer.

It absolutely was (of course I also had multitudes praying for my guts as well).

We arrived at the race site about 45 minutes before we started and that's when I got nervous. Not about the actual run, rather about trying to run without a Depends.

I shivered and shook and wished we'd just signed up for the 5K. It occured to me that I had actually orginally signed up to do the run by myself. Wow, that was determination.

I am so thankful for my running buddy Kay who really encouraged me on.

Our first run together 6 weeks ago was rough for her as we did 5 K and she hadn't been running for a while due to not feeling well. She'd never run much past that.

I joked with her that she made me feel great as a runner since she is a stick and going through to be a trainer and struggled a bit more than myself who is rather curvy and, well ... rather curvy.

She took my joking very well.

We had met up a couple more times doing longer runs as well as running on our own while I was away recently. I'd say we were each others lifesavers in getting this goal accomplished.

Anyhow, we car pooled yesterday, along with our husbands. My mom met us there, as well as Kay's dad, grandpa and in-laws.

If you ever have someone close to you doing something monumental for themselves, here's some advice: be there.

Though a 10 K may be but a walk in the park to some, for myself it was yet another leap towards believing that much more in myself and what I can do if I choose to believe. It was so much more than a race. When you have those around you that can celebrate that leap with you it not only makes it easier, it makes it mean much more than when you are by yourself. (Hence my having parties for the 'little things').

We waited for what seemed to be an eternity for them to sound the start alarm and say 'Go!' but finally they did as we were off!

Within the first few minutes I'd wished we'd started slower and had the pace we normally would've but we were off none the less, with all of the seasoned runners breaking away from us.

Curse their beautiful runner's legs.

And belts with water bottles.

And great tans.

As we got into our stride it became clear what my goal would be (after not pooping my pants, after finishing the race): get in front of the old lady, and the tubby guy.

We would see.

As we ran I found one of my favourite things was the fact that people on the street would stop and cheer us on. They'd yell 'Thank you!', 'Good job!' and 'You can do it!' (this was a run for Parkinson's - I have a good friend with it, my great grandmother also had it).

They clapped, wove flags (not sure the connection to running but it was a good addition), and smiled.

Of course the organization also had it's arranged cheerleaders along the route and I took advantage of them too. Apparently most runners are focused and ignore them.

Not I! I waved back, smiled and gave thumbs up.

Hells yeah I can do it! Hells yeah you look ridiculous cheering me on with your oddball dance moves! Hells yeah that's what I need to see to get me through!

(I'm a novice what else can I say).

Kay and I also had our very own personal cheerleaders who followed in not 1 but 2 vehicles honking their horns, yelling out the window, and now that I think about it I think someone was waving something .... seriously what's up with the flags?

They stopped several times to take pictures and encourage us and they certainly did.

Well .... except for at one point.

When the race happened to pass by Kay's in-law's home, our whole cheer leading group were sitting on lawn chairs as we dragged our sorry butts passed. THAT was not encouraging.

I yelled at them to at least stand up.

Some of them did, the others I cursed.

About halfway through while going up a hill we passed the old lady and her parnter. I almost felt bad because she was an inspiration to me. I said almost.

As we rounded our last corner and I saw the police lights I knew the end was near. At least technically it was near. Near is relative when you are trying to keep your bowels in check, it's hot, and you think you're gonna hurl.

As Kay and I got to the finish line (which I have to point out was the same as the start line - I think that's counter productive) I felt that surge of adrenaline.

You know, the one I wished I'd had during the entire last half of the run.

Together we finished our 10 K (6.25 miles) race at a time of 1 hr 9 minutes and 9 seconds.

Last week when we ran less than 5.5 miles our time was 1 hr and 4 minutes so we definitely improved. It's hard not to wonder how much better it could have been had I not been sick ... oh well.

Once again the rush of completing such a big goal (for myself) was not realized in the finish. For some reason there weren't a hundred people there throwing confetti on our hair and jumping all over us.

Just as it was with the party last year and the 5 K in the spring, the rush seemed to be experienced most during the process.

Wait a second, I also seemed to get it when I got to throw the cups from the water stations on the ground. Seriously, I think that was one of my favourite parts of the race!!

Once we had made it to the end and were congratulated by our families and each other it was all over.

Very much like a wedding - lots of planning and hard work but over in such a short time.

The cool thing though is the fact that now I have started and I never have to stop. There are always more goals you can build onto. Shortening your time, improving your speed (yes, one in the same I suppose), going further.

As for me I have already planned my next goal to primarily focus on in my life and though it's fitness related it is not physical. I do hope to improve my running times throughout the fall and winter and do another 10 K in the spring.

I never did pass the tubby guy.

Who knows, maybe I'll try a half marathon.

Stranger things have happened.


If you think you can't .... just try!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

'The heartbeat is strong!'

Said my pregnant peer.

She was very excited about her recent positive visit to the doctor.

I can only imagine that hearing those words would bring great comfort, great relief and great joy. They would to me if I were in that situation.

This was the same person who shared with me the day she heard her baby's heartbeat for the first time (not sure how we seem to run into each other on 'heartbeat' days but we seem to).

I remember, and you may too, that day I shared every bit of her excitement as my own after hearing from our own social worker for the first time.

Her joy was palpable. As was mine.

On this particular day, 'heartbeat update day' I was a little less joyous.

It was last week after we had gone to our first PRIDE class and had heard our first few sad stories of the potential realities we could be faced with through our process of adoption (although I have to throw in EVERY parent faces risks of heartbreak so really we aren't much different).

When I heard those words 'The heartbeat is strong!' rather than identify with the statement as I did the first time I felt a pang of panic.

My baby's heartbeat had weakened slightly.

Realize that as I say this that just as a woman who is holding and growing a baby in her womb also holds the the very workings of that tiny little heartbeat.

Wally and I also do the same for our little one(s).

After the night of our first class our hope had dimmed slightly and we (or at least I) actually felt the 'heartbeat' slow down.

As any mother would, I got concerned, I panicked, I worried.

My own heartbeat picked up.

I thought 'What do we need to do? How can we fix this? I want to take care of this child (ren) the best that I can, but what if .... ?'

Thankfully Wally is much more stable and less hormonal than myself and he held me in my fears and gently reminded me that it was ok to slow down, relax, and breathe. All things that would do our child(ren) well.

He was exactly right. Through out the past week I have taken time to think, release my worries,and take a break from solving problems that don't yet exist.

And sure enough ...

The heartbeat is strong again.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balancing Act

I've spent the past few days around several first time mom-to-be's and moms of newborns who also have other children.

It's been quite the experience.

As I have been trying my best to develop and maintain a balanced and healthy view of becoming a parent, as well as dealing with the process of adoption (especially with the 'fostering with a view' part) I've noticed how differently my experience is than those of my counterparts in the 'waiting' position.

Yesterday I spent lunch with two co workers that had in the past few months each had babies. Both have other children. Both pointed out all the negatives of pregnancy and giving birth.

The old me would've latched onto hurt, sadness and depression at the fact that I (that I know of at this point) will not likely experience these things. I would've felt inward pain and a clear separation between myself and them as a woman that will not be giving birth to her children.

Instead at the moment of decision I clung to all of their negatives as they saw them, negatives.

I decided 'Yay, no heartburn for me! Yay, no getting large and uncomfortable! Yay, I can drink!' (Even though I don't really drink much at all). I actually began to feel thankful that I get to be able to experience motherhood without those not always fun side effects.

Point one for me.

I noticed the new moms-to-be were MUCH different with their demeanour. They definitely had their complaints: 'The baby's kicking so much! I can't sleep! I have to pee all of the time!'

For some reason I had a harder time with their complaints. All I kept saying (our loud once and to myself several times) was 'Be thankful'.

I'm not sure what the big difference was. The new moms-to-be seemed to be radiating with a glow. Seriously I think they had spot lights on them. Much more so than the veteran moms.

Maybe it's because the veteran moms know what those little creatures can do.

Either way when the conversation came around to our adoption process and I was asked how it was going or what was entailed I found it to put sort of a damper on things. (Keep in mind, that's just my interpretation).

Talking about long boring classes, intense interviews and potentially losing your kids in the end isn't as fun as seeing ultra sound photos, finding out if it's a boy or a girl, or hearing a heartbeat for the first time.

I do realize that we're also at a very unfun part of the process (of course at this point I don't see the 'fun' appearing for a while).

I've truly realized how incredibly different our situation is from the norm (whatever that is). Though I know that we are by far nothing special and people adopt and go through 'the system' all of the time (50 adoptions last year in our city of 350 000 people). Many of the feelings and experiencing we will go through getting to parenthood will vary a lot from our pregnant peers.

I suppose in the last few days my eyes have been opened to how important I feel it is to sort of get the word out to have people be able to understand what 'the process' is like. To hopefully 'get' that there's many forms of adoption, many pathways to it, and it's not like going through a drive thru at McDonald's.

It's also NOT just about papers, laws and second class citizens.

I think adoption can seem rather sterile, yet contaminated with the child's history, rather than celebrated for the fact that they are so wanted.

The fact is that our child(ren) will always have more than one mommy and one daddy.


Nothing will ever change that. They will always have eight grandparents and perhaps many, many siblings.

Though they may not have contact with their bio family (or perhaps they will for years to come), they exist and our children have every right to know those facts when they are capable of understanding them and it is safe.

This is our reality.

Right now as I face people in 'typical' growing family scenarios I must keep balanced in my emotions and feelings surrounding them. I must keep in mind that I cannot expect others to understand my situation if they've never been shown it (or been in it). I must remember that my husband and I are CHOOSING to expand our family this way and we whole heartedly want to do this. Because we truly do.

I am very happy that with each passing day I feel stronger in our choice to do this and even more so that Wally feels the same way.

I am thankful God is growing us both through this experience and giving us the necessary wisdom to deal with one thing at a time and not panic and run away.

Wally keeps reminding me 'Anything worth having is worth fighting for'. And though I don't want that to sound negative in that we're fighting the 'system', we are fighting off others' expectations, our own expectations and what feels easiest to do at times.

I won't be perfect, because I'm not perfect. But I'll do my best to balance my way through this crazy road to parenthood.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Totally awesome stuff

What's totally awesome? One may ask.

Well a few things ...

The fact that as I type I'm sitting on a throne of sorts awaiting some action that has seemed to dissipate. But just in case the refrigerator sounds flare up I thought I'd cover my bases (as to promote smooth uninterrupted writing).

Another something totally awesome is the pepto pills that I finally gave in and gobbled up so that I could get through a full 4 hr shift.

Item #3 on my list of totally awesome is the fact that Wally and I FINALLY came up with a website address that seems to fit what I plan on making it. I'll wait to share it closer to the day but I have to say I think it's pretty damn great. (if I do say so myself).

(Just a sec, my butt is going numb. Let me find a better seat...)

Ahhhhhhh .... that's better.

Where was I?

Oh yeah the new site.

How about I give you a few sneak tidbits of what it will be all about?

In many ways it will be similar to what I'm doing now in that I will continue to write my stories on life. What I see, how I see it, what I (and Wally) go through or have been through. I suppose my perspective on what I experience.

I would like to go back through our journey towards adoption and give people an idea of where we're coming from and how different it is to choose adoption compared to having a family the 'traditional' way. The more people I talk to the more I realize not many really understand what the process is like. I'd love to give them a peak inside.

But in addition to that I also want to have some fun sharing things that brighten my day (baby monkey will be first on the list). Like videos, photos, funny stories.

I also would like to use it to share my favourite healthy eating sites (no the food does NOT taste like card board!!!). Maybe share once again the struggle I've had in this particular area.

Something else that I'd like to add to the new site that I don't' do here is other writers. I want other people to be able to share their own experiences on topics such as: life, death, losing love or a loved one, parenting, making hard choices, growing, being single, being married, going after a dream, going through a divorce or loss of a spouse, losing a child or a dream. There are a million more topics.

My hope is to be able to have fun times and thoughtful times helping people be able to learn and grow from one another simply by taking time to hear their stories. I look forward to learning a lot.

For those who don't feel comfortable writing but would allow me to sit down and talk to them I would love to 'interview' them. Which really means have coffee and hopefully take some notes.

The premise of the entire site is the idea of making the best out of what you end up with. Making lemonade out of lemons (although I hate that saying as I'm not a huge fan of lemonade).

How about ... hmmmmmm ... banana bread out of bananas. Yes, that's right. Mmmmmmmm.

If you like to write OR are passionate about something of the heart send me a line and tell me what it is or what you've learned in life that you want to share, how you've grown to appreciate, maybe not the lemons but an aspect of the lemons you would've never been able to notice had you not been given them. Because I'm not going to pretend we're going to always love (nor should we) the experiences we're given, but we can, appreciate perhaps the tiniest things in a pretty awesome way than if we hadn't.


Monday, September 19, 2011

I think I'm dying ...

So I'll be honest, most of the reason I'm posting tonight is to keep in the rhythm of writing. No helpful information guaranteed.

I'm very thankful to say that I was sent home from work tonight. Mostly because I was quite confident my death was fast approaching.

I'm guessing it's due to the lack of attention I paid to my body after my 5.5 mile training run yesterday.

Instead of being insidiously conscious of my water intake, food intake and such I decided I felt so good that I'd tackle paining the garage door and trim ... you know while I had the energy and since I'd been putting it off.

I believe that specific action has brought me to feeling the awful way I currently do.

My muscles are achy, not sore really, just achy. My head hurts, my GI tract has decided to make refrigerator sounds every couple of hours and threaten to act as a slip and slide for my ... bodily functions.

I was determined this morning to make the most of my morning off so I busily spent 3 hrs in the kitchen making 3 batches of different soups, hummus, dessert hummus, as well as hard boiling some eggs for lunches. All while neglecting to drink a thing. And most definitely not willing to eat anything that might awake the slip 'n slide gods.

After I was done int he kitchen I laid down as I felt much worse than when I woke up (which already wasn't so swell). I felt better again after a couple of hours.

I went to the cleaning job I do aside from my job and did alright for about an hour then once again I slowed down and felt the aches and yucks. It's good that I didn't eat anything though.

I almost cried a few times at the thought of doing my work shift which requires lifts of people and mental toughness of steal (ok there aren't many places I go that's not required).

When I got there one of the young ladies I'd contacted to see if she could do my shift was there, a glimmer of hope. Then I realized she was working somewhere else. I am so thankful to my co workers though for working out the shift for me to be able to go home ... after I went out to get the groceries.
I've never completed a task so efficiently in my life.

By the time I got home I was ready to drop, but I needed to get something for my tummy, something to eat that wouldn't temp the GI tract gods.

I convinced Wally to come with me and we went to the drug store for ginger ale and arrowroot cookies.

Of course it was before 7 pm and we were in the cookie aisle, and the best ones were on sale ... so ensued a battle.

Though the double stuffed Oreos were on sale, AND the chocolate chip, AND the Peanut Butter Pirate Cookies, AND I thought I was being completely reasonable to by pass them all and grab the ginger snap no names. You know to go with my arrowroot cookies ... since I had barely eaten allllllll day.

Well, if I had planned on a treat I should've planned on going by myself. Because that's when a serious tantrum started.

Wally pulled out all the stops saying 'You're sick! No cookies! That won't make you feel better! ONLY arrowroot cookies for you!!;

I proceeded to argue: 'But they're at least organic! They WILL make me feel better! I'll just get them by myself tomorrow!' Then I grabbed him with my head down on his shoulder and pleaded with some rather dramatic cries to let me get them.

He didn't.

We left.

I ate one sleeve of two in the box.

And drank lots of water.

My head still hurts but I'm sure sleep will help.

Hopefully I'm not actually dying.

Or I definitely would've bought the cookies.

ALL of them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thinkin' Instead of Drinkin'

Well, as long as you don't counted anything with the words 'salted caramel' in the title.

I have found that the gentle kick in the pants Wally gave me a couple days ago regarding my leaving all of my belongings all over the house (I mean where they aren't supposed to live) has helped me get into some sort of gear.

I have spent the weekend catching up on all of the laundry (I still hadn't done any vacation laundry which leaves the underwear situation to be desired - I wore clean ones but there weren't much to the ones I had left). I've also tidied up, unpacked, done a little sorting, half cleaned out the jungle that keeps regrowing in our yard, and finally painted the garage door and trim on the garage (that's been waiting since spring to be done). I've also got a bit more Christmas shopping done (YAY!)

This has definitely helped me to be able to enjoy the down time I've had without guilt or stress seeing and thinking of all the things I need to do.

While doing all of these things I've been able to take the time to really chew on the information we got last Wednesday at our first PRIDE class.

I've gone back and forth since our night of information overload about how exactly to approach sifting through the facts, our emotions, the future and how things may or may not actually turn out.

I've thought over and over about the idea of having our child(ren) for 3 years only to lose them. I thought about what life in legal limbo would be like, what bio parental visits might be like. What the adjustment period would be like compared to that of a strictly adoption parent.

I realized how much different 'fostering with a view' (to adopt) is than straight up adoption. Its' very different.

There's little to no finality for months to years.

There's the potential dealing with the family for a while.

There's the fact that technically no baby/kid showers should really be happening (I guess, I don't know the protocol for stuff like this).

There's the fear of bonding with the nagging worry that it's all for nothing.

I could go on .... and on.

Now before I sound like I'm trying my best to muster up support for one seriously happening pity party I'll stop and let you in on the products of all my thinking.

(I may need to think a minute on it as now I have seemed to have forgotten...)

Oh yes, I've got it.

Whether you get pregnant naturally, through invetro, a surrogate, or a planned adoption there are risks.

There are risks that your child could get sick, get into an accident, be hurt, be harmed, have physical, mental or emotional issues, or, God forbid, die.

No matter how someone becomes a parent any of those things could happen, any of them.

Sure maybe they don't have to worry about CAS reclaiming them but the outcome and effects on us (their new family) is the same.

It's loss, grief, disappointment, hurt, sadness, anger, feeling of life being unfair, feelings of no one understanding, and I could once again, go on and on.

As I've taken time to think on our situation and our thoughts on how to proceed (either continuing with fostering to adopt or straight adoption) I realize that no matter how you become a parent or for however long, you are at risk of all of these things. People think I will be at a higher risk but they are probably the ones who have perfectly healthy children that return love as planned and have yet to experience one of these losses (I'm not sure how it's possible for this to happen as surely at some point every parent feels at least one of these emotions).

The gentleman of the couple I had mentioned before that really encouraged us to just go ahead and do what we felt to do with the adoption and not give people's opinions much thought, encouraged me when I shared my overwhelming feelings this week.

He said 'It's just like when the doctor gives you a new prescription, he is legally obligated to give you the facts first to allow you to make the decision'.

Then I realized, MOST of the time when you are given the ugly facts they are the minority and initially they scare you out of your wits because who really wants hair to grow on their tongue or their toe nails to turn green? But it's better than having a worm growing in your guts right? (ok so I don't actually know the side effects for tape worm drugs ...)

As each day passes I'm trying my best to relax and take one tid bit of information at a time (even though they are feeding you feasts of it every Wednesday night).

I'm going to let go of what my dream family is because no one's family ends up the way they think and most times they wouldn't change a thing (well except during family holidays when people get opinionated and have to share a conversation with you know who and the alcohol needs to come out).

I'm going to try to focus on the idea of being a good parent rather than the baby showers (or whatever adopted kids get when they're not babies).

I always get annoyed when people get wrapped up in planning a fairytale wedding and forget that when they wake up the next day neither one of them look like the characters they played.

I think that perhaps I need to apply that perspective to this.

The magical moment new parents often share a few minutes after their babies safe arrival may not happen for us until months or even years later.

But I'm telling you, when it finally does, I'm going to savour every second of our newly born family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Creating good habits

That's the key I've realized to becoming what you want.

I'm sure it's no shock to anyone that specifically I'm going to relate this to my lifestyle.

I think I've written a bit lately about how I have decided to commit to no longer trying to 'lose weight'.

And before anyone gets too tied in a knot this does NOT mean I now am allowing myself the freedom to embrace my addictions and just try to live with them and have to shop for new clothes every six months (bigger and bigger they get!).

Although in one way I suppose you could think of it as learning how to live with these things.

Lately I've been really trying to look at my struggles long term rather than 'I want to lose ten pounds in a month to get into those jeans' I am looking at it as 'What habits am I allowing myself to continue that keep me where I'm at in my addictions and unsatisfied with my lifestyle' (hence keeping my jeans too tight).

In doing this I am CONSTANTLY having to remind myself this is actually facing some of the real issues head on and it will take time to develop new habits that will last.

Last year when I made some serious changes and got some serious results I did so with a fairly determined and set mind. I also had my trainer around to keep after me and text when I was feeling weak. I made a lot of real changes that I kept consistently for I would guess at least four months. I believe it was a true change of heart and lifestyle.

Then changes in my environment happened and in our lives. Old habit reformed and I found myself living many of my old ways out again, though keeping many great habits I had developed.

I've heard it takes several consecutive days to form a habit and only 4 days to demolish it. I don't doubt this theory one bit.

I am so thankful that many of the convictions that grew in me last year have stayed and even developed though my emotional tendencies to rely on food have crept in.

Another thing I am so thankful for is my love for exercise. The idea of exercising to balance my bad food habits is completely gone. I NEVER ever think now 'I ate a chocolate bar I better workout tonight'. Rather I workout because I know the benefits it has for my body and I love the competition within myself to do better and feel strong.

This in itself is a true success (even if my 'skinny' jeans are snug). I am so grateful to have at least embraced the truth that your body size is predominantly determined by what you put in your mouth (yes exercise helps but it's only 10% of the equation).

As I've tried to slow down my mind and really accept that true change rarely happens overnight and is all encompassing at once (though I do believe it can happen with true decision) I've really taken time to think about what unhealthy habits I have redeveloped in the last 6-9 months.

Here's the ones I notice:

* eating at night (more often than not an emotional binge)
* Sugarfests at the bulk barn on the weekend
* having fries anytime we go out for fast food
* deciding that a batch of cookies (though 'clean') are an acceptable portion
* hot sugary drinks 2-3 times a week

It's kind of interesting as I still ONLY bake with whole foods and ingredients (YAY!!) but I have no problem eating mounds of chocolate!

I will say too that Wally and I pretty much only cook clean at home as well. The main habits we've returned to are surrounding our emotional eating and snacks outside the house.

One thing I am VERY proud of at the least, I have remained restaurant gravy free!!! I used to be a gravy on the fries addict when we went out!!! 15 months and counting!!! (Even though admittedly I have dreams to go to the Poutinerrie (sp?))

They say when pursuing to change a habit you should start with one that you feel VERY confident about. And if that's difficult to find to tweak it until you do feel confident about it.

Out of nowhere last week while on vacation I decided to make my goal NOT to eat at night after supper. Int eh 7 days I was gone I think only 2 of them did I eat a treat after dinner (while watching 'Heavy'). YAY!!!! Some may see that as complete failure but I say YAY!!! For me, on vacation, that's good stuff!!!

I've carried that as my goal currently to stop night time binging and I'm kind of surprised how challenging it's been to do while at home this week.

I got home from work Tuesday night around 8:40ish and out of habit wanted a snack. I wasn't hungry just used to the habit. I was strong.

Wednesday night we were at PRIDE where we had eaten before we went but the class was at 6pm and we didn't realize they feed you a light supper. I avoided the supper and had 2 mini chocolate bars (I cut myself some slack as I knew the 2 1/2 -3 hr rule and we'd be going to bed later). I skipped the buffet of food and cookies and stuck to my table and water. When we got home I was super emotional and wanted to ditch my plan so bad and Wally even gave me permission. I stuck to it.

Last night we ordered pizza (as the only habit that concerned me was no night time eating). I ate 1 slice too many which lead me to believe that justified just finished off another but by the time I decided that Wally had reminded me of my rule. It was 7:01pm. Grrrr. I also wanted chocolate but as we had none in the house and I was too lazy to go, no dice. I was completely full and just still wanting to eat, it made no sense at all and that's when I clearly saw how incredibly emotional my evening foodfests were.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share my recent thoughts and happenings with the issue that follows me and admit my imperfections.

I often don't feel justified taking my PT (personal trainer) course because I continue my journey with developing long term healthy habits, but then I remind myself of a couple of things: I do have a genuine passion for fitness (perhaps I'm not a competitor but I LOVE challenging myself), my main focus is to motivate others to make real life changes, little by little and it's hard to be an example of that if I can't do it myself and am willing to show that you don't have to make some drastic overnight change to be a true success.

Though our size/clothes are measuring points of our success, they are not the only ones. You could live a perfect week and not lose weight or change in visual ways, perhaps is was your heart that changed and that is JUST as, if not more, important!!

I've gone on long enough. I never know if these 'food struggle' posts resonate with anyone but they help me work things out in my head!

Thanks :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top Ten

Not sure what's wrong with me posting twice in a couple of hours, maybe I want to return to my day on a lighter note. (Seriously I can't wait to go public with my blog).

I decided that each week on my new blog I would have a Top Ten List. Of whatever. I would even offer to post other people's Top Ten Lists sometimes.

I just love lists that much.

So in light of this I am going to do this weeks Top Ten List...

Top Ten Things I Wouldn't Feel Sad About If They Never Happened Again:

1. My Muslim neighbour with the biggest heart ever, stopped telling me to go to get fertility treatments or at least see a dr. so that we could have our own baby. Because, she states 'It's a bigger love that grows in your heart, it's different'.

I feel the same way, only about adoption.

2. People I barely know on a personal level stop asking me if I've gone through fertility testing and treatments.

What the Harv?! How is it possibly your business? I'm not asking for you to feel sorry for me because we may be able to have children, it really doesn't matter to us!!

3. Me just dropping my stuff on the floor when I walk in the door and leaving it for an entire week.

4. My dog eating blue peppers I leave on the floor because of number 3.

5. Wally and I getting over tired and snapping at each other.

6. My dogs scratching through the night.

7. Me feeling overwhelmed.

8. My nose turning red

9. My sink smelling mouldy

10. Cleaning out kitty litter boxes (that's right I don't even own cats but I still end up doing this!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

'Don't make me go!!!!'

Those are the words I said to Wally this morning as he was getting ready for work and I was trying to hide in the comfort of our bed.

Now I'm saying them to the dogs as I blog trying to avoid running before trying to avoid going to where i don't want to go.

I feel much like I did a few months ago when we got back from Thailand only it's intensified.

I am beginning to feel conviction set in to replace a mere desire to shake up the job situation.

It's like knowing right and wrong and blatantly choosing wrong even though you still feel the prickles in your heart to do right.

I remember when Wally and I were first married and lived very much in a faith based way. I'm not talking religion, I really do mean faith.

He'd get a call from the organization he worked for and be told: 'Next pay will be half as your fundraising has been down. It'll stay that way until you get more financial support'.

Though in the initial moment we felt stress we had no choice but to give it up and trust the God we gave our marriage to.

I remember one day when I realized losing a cleaning client or a piano student meant I was looking forward to either the rest God was granting me or the new people I would get a call from to work for them.

Never once were we failed.

Not once.

We made every mortgage payment, every car payment, every bill we had.

Only one time did we not have money up front and that was that Christmas lesson we learned from a near stranger who offered to pay our bill interest free until we had money to settle up. And in many ways I think that was a good lesson to learn, to see.

Since then our lives have changed so much. Though I believe God is the one who has provided for us in every way, He has also taught us how to provide for ourselves in many ways.

Ultimately I know He's the giver but I also know that He's very much the excited parent that is wanting to show us how to do things ourselves. This whole practice opens up the idea of us having to think on our own a bit more. Decide more for ourselves with the tools he's given.

This can be much more challenging than just saying: 'God will figure it out'.

Don't get me wrong, I fully believe that God can and often does step in and do this, but I also believe there are times He doesn't because He wants to see how we're going to manage things with what He's given us.

Right now I feel I'm at the point where I'm trying to figure out what to do with the tools He's given me.

He's given me faith, intelligence, desire, creativity, trust, abilities, wisdom, and some great lessons learned.

Now ... what to do with them?

Perhaps I just need to ask Him. Wow, what a novel idea.

Maybe I'll do that. And maybe He'll show me.

You'll never know until you ask.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's nearly home time ...

Yup, time to sit in the circle, hold hands and sing the good bye song. Although I'm pretty sure if I requested this K and M would look at me like I'd lost my mind.

Side note:

The other day I made a deal - though one sided- with K and said 'Does that sound like a plan Stan?'

To which he replied: 'I don't know who Stan is.'

This vacation has been full of good times that I am thankful for. LOTS of kid time. Lots of girlfriend time (which mostly consisted of eating while watching food shows about not eating). Naps. Reading. A little blogging. Lots of thinking about becoming a parent.

The latter came up hourly really as I worried often I would not be able to handle any toddler, let alone one that would be new to our family and have one of their own already. I've questioned over and over this week whether Wally and I are ready for all of the challenges an older child adoption may hold for us and starting our parenting journey at such an especially challenging age.

I just pray that we are given all of the tools we need to be who we need to be for this new little one and each other through out the rest of our lives.

Although I know we really ought to only be concerned with one day at a time.

In 3 days we start our parenting classes for our adoption requirements. Yikes!!!

I sensed something different the week before coming on this trip. An urgency to get things done. An extra busyness above the 'week before vacation' feeling I usually get.

I have a feeling that once the plan hits the landing strip my wheels will just be starting up. And I'm not sure when they will stop.

Joy and I were chatting about the fact that she couldn't believe that she's due in 9 weeks and that really wasn't all that much time.

I stared at her in shock and said: 'In 9 weeks we'll be done our adoption course and we could potentially be waiting'.


I. Just. Can't. Believe. It.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shakes, girl talk and more thinkin'

My visit in a land far, far away from home has been good. I think it's timing was perfect not only for my friend Joy who is only a couple of weeks from welcoming her husband home from his 7 month deployment but also for myself.

Spending my week with a pregnant woman who is mothering a 4 1/2 year old and nearly 3 year old is in many ways exactly what I need.

I've witnessed a gentle love and correction from a mother with a teaching spirit that not only wants her children to behave and be good but also wants them to know the 'whys' to these things.

I genuinely believe she deserves a metal and a vacation. I'm sure she disagrees.

I've also enjoyed nap time, evening girl talk and way, way too much yummy food.

Seriously pumpkin pie shakes before 11 am aren't generally on the agenda (at all), but I won't lie, it's been fun. (Is it weird that we ate chocolate chip cookies while watching a documentary about becoming vegan for the health of it?)

Tonight we did something that I've decided is a new tradition. We did it the first time I came to visit a few years ago. Mac's photo booth.

We laughed until we cried.

I'm pretty sure we're becoming old people as it only took a couple of pictures to make us cry. Probably by the time I visit next we'll need some Depends.

I've also continued to work on some thoughts around my new blog, read a book about writing, and finally pick up the adoption book I've been fearing for weeks. But I think I may have mentioned that.

I'm glad I still have 2 more full days before my return (although I'm missing Wally and my pooches like crazy ... yes Wally, you most). I still have some thinking to do, there's still food to be eaten and definitely a few memories to be made.

I am already dreading Tuesday and going back to work.

I'm hoping that starting my new blog and continuing with my course will be energizing for me. I guess we'll see what happens...

In the mean time I will snuggle up to the stuffed doggie I rummaged out of not quite 3 yr old M's stuffed animal collection and sleep tight.

(Sorry if this wasn't exciting, I'm just trying to get in the habit of writing everyday:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The dog's on the couch, but it's not my house

One great thing about being on vacation, away from your house, away from distractions, and visiting someone else's is that you have a chance to think differently.

For me sometimes it's overload because I get overwhelmed with what all to think about and process on a normal day let alone being plunked into a whole new world and perspective.

This morning I have 3 1/2 hrs of uninterrupted time to myself to do just that. Initially I was going to take off and check out some stores on my own but when I realized the house would be empty and it wasn't mine I thought 'Stay home and think! You can shop anytime!' (Besides I've already exceeded my non existent vacation budget).

That's the one great thing about going somewhere else. It's somewhere else. You can sit around and not have a hundred things to deter you from thinking since it's not your house, it's not your life, it's just your time. I can't feel guilty for not completing a chore since non of it is mine (and I already loaded the dishwasher so I don't even have to feel guilty about being a completely lazy house guest).

So one the four kids (2 were guests) and pregnant friend vacated the building I ran quickly to lock the door. Just kidding I just thought about running quickly to lock the door (I trust Joy knows the humour in this).

Nope, instead I abandoned the idea of running on my vacation as my VERY impaired sense of direction follows me everywhere and there's no way I could handle running and making sure no American grabbed my from the bushes to kidnap me, while trying to find my way through oddly set up streets. It's just too much for me.

I realized that it's totally ok to check my e-mail while sitting on the toilet (even though my eating as of late doesn't really promote a lot of action in that area - TMI deal with it) because no one would know. (Although at this point now everyone knows).

I looked up the nearest Walmart to scope something out for Wally.

I watched to dog walk sadly around her house and am now noticing she's laying in the couch all peace full. Um ... she's not really allowed on that couch. But she looks so peaceful I think I'll forget that I know that rule ... for a little while anyways.

Then I did my favourite thing in the world to do. I made a list.

For the first time in a while I sat down and actually thought deeply about what I was putting on the list.

I admit scratching down 'eggs', 'milk', 'call doctor' don't generally require much serious thought but many of the other lists I write down in hopes of completely changing my life just by writing them down do.

I hardly think because I wrote down 'do cardio three times a week' means I'm actually gong to do cardio three times a week. Although often when I'm making those lists that's what I'm hoping my microwave thoughts are going to do.

Unfortunately microwave lists generally yield microwave results and I end up throwing the list in the garbage, only to make the identical version a few weeks later.

Lately I've been having a very slow yet I blieve, very significant epiphany.

I have been realizing how much our culture goes after the results of something, and rather than pursuing to do the work to get the results and focusing on the principle of the actions that will yield the results, they make the result the goal.

I'm not sure if I made any sense there ...

Easiest example and the one that began opening my eyes:

As I travel north and south in my journey of weight and health and such in the past I have predominantly made my focus about the goal. I would decide that if I wasn't a certain number on the scale I wasn't doing well.

Who cared if I was eating artificial foods? Who cared if I was exercising? Who cared if I was cheating the system by binging at certain times an starving at others? My measurement was entirely by the scale.

Last year when the scale was my fickle friend. I decided I would give the old fashioned way a true try. I decided to only focus on eating whole foods for several months. That was my entire focus.

Without realizing it in a few months I had yielded myself a pretty acceptable, fit and healthy body.

No, I wasn't bikini ready (in my head I never will be) but I was my natural size, feeling good and not struggling near as much with mental games and emotional turmoil.

My focus was clear. My intentions were pure. The outcome was what I had always wanted.

When my focused changed and my weight went north and I began to panic my intentions were tainted, my heart changed and I began to look for ways to be able to have the same great results but with no intention of keeping my pure intentions: a healthy balanced lifestyle free of the mental games.

Anyways, what I'm trying to get across is that I have realized that with ANYTHING you pursue: a job you love, a better relationship, even a better body, your focus needs to be on the how than the what. If you resolve to accept that the how is nearly one in the same as the why you are on the fast (ok yet seemingly slow at times) road to what you actually want.

I'm not feeling particularly successful at the moment of articulating myself well.

Perhaps as times goes on I'll be able to share my gradually brightening epiphany with you.

I think I was initially talking about lists.

So I made a list today that actually felt like it served a real, true and practical purpose. I made a general one first with things like: writing everyday and being read, making money doing something I love, and loving my life.

Then I made a second list relating to the first one that will break it down in to a doable action.

For example: Writing every single day no matter whether it's a line, post, or a link and posting it. Completing my PT certification by spending 2 hrs each Monday working on it and reassessing my progress in a month. Writing down three things each day that were good about my day or that I'm thankful for.

These are very simple steps to take my life where I'd like to see it go.

In saying all these things I fully realize life happens and we can't all just plan everything according to our dreams. But we can tackle small steps, some days very tiny steps toward the direction we desire.

I guess you'll be reading more. Or should I say I'll be writing more.

I definitely shouldn't assume :)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On vacation!!

To start the fun off , Saturday when Wally went to print out my boarding pass exactly 24 hrs before my flight we realized my ticket wasn’t for Sunday at all. It was for Monday! Not generally a mistake you want to make when you are planning your holidays. In one way it was not a mistake just a misunderstanding as I did not book the ticket, my friend Joy did. And fortunately she knew what she was doing.

Anyhow after settling into the idea of getting a day of rest after all of Wally’s birthday festivities we enjoyed a relaxing Sunday together. I got a 5K run in this morning before being dropped off to the Airbus at 10 am. All was quiet and running smoothly until we got to the border.

That’s when things got a little intense.

I had my passport out, as did the 8 other passengers of the bus and my itinerary. No probs right?

Except for the part when the U.S. border official got to me and saw my itinerary and noticed the lack of a way home. Hmmmm …

Oops. I forgot about that part.

Joy and I had originally planned that I would be driving home with her across country with the kids to keep them company and then I would just get a one way ticket home.

I went ahead and got my ticket then Joy learned that she would have to leave for home earlier than planned due to her son starting school. She went ahead and booked another one way flight and airbus for me so that I could continue with our plans for my visit.

Sounds like a good solution.

Unless you are in a packed bus with 8 pairs of eyes staring you down because you may indeed hold everyone up from their vacations.

Yeah, I’m not generally the details person when it comes to trips. Give me my ticket and luggage and point me in the direction of the plane and I’m good. Beyond that I’m not really any help to anyone including myself.

(For example: When I go to the first airport I wandered a perimeter of about 5 feet for a few minutes until an airport worker came up to me and asked ‘Are you looking for something?’ and I replied ‘Departures?’ and this big hairy, burly man giggled (yes giggled) and told me where to go. Then I continued being lost, just on a different floor).

Anyhow, I said a few silent prayers and released myself to the fact I may not actually make my flight (as the official left us all for several minutes with my itinerary and did not look impressed, nor hopeful for me. In the end I write while in an airport so you can guess that I got the ‘Ma’am next time you MUST bring your full itinerary or you WON’T be allowed into the country’ talk. Insert *batting of the eyelashes* and a high yet soft pitched ‘Yes officer’.

Now fast forward to me in a frustrated yet somewhat silent rage of not being able to connect to the internet while putting in 4 hours at the airport.

Now let me fancy you with a list:
Top Ten Things I’d rather have skipped learning during my airport time …

1. People having loud yet private conversations on their cell phones for hours at a time.

I’m pretty sure these people make up things to talk about just so that they don’t have to quietly read a book. I mean it. They certainly aren’t talking about anything that matters. They just sit in their chairs and yap, going down their list of contacts putting in time. I get to be the lucky one that by the time the flight occurs I know their relationship issues, who’s birthday party is happening, why they are wearing white pants after labour day and who all did them wrong since they were in Kindergarten. If you’re gonna talk needlessly for hours on the phone find a booth!! I miss the concept of the phone booth (another good post on this one!)

2. Seeing everyone and their dog use their wi fi connection while I couldn’t seem to get mine running.

I swear the dogs even had laptops.

3. Wendy’s in the States don’t have chicken fingers!!!!

The injustices in this concept are monumental and devastating.

4. That you can’t say simply look for the word ‘Departures’ on signs to find where you are supposed to go.

Wally, you promised it would be that easy.

5. Candy is everywhere and it seems essential to the experience of the airport that I buy it up and eat it because what if my flight is cancelled (you know and I can’t get the free pretzels and pop they give you in flight).

This caused me to purchase 2 for $7 bags of chocolate covered pretzels and Twizzlers and eat them all immediately (and also getting chocolate smudged all over my ‘Out of Chocolate – Life is Crap’ t-shirt that I was wearing and making me feel guilty for parading around in Lu Lu lemon workout pants and amazing Reeboks.

6. I need the fancy wheely deals for my carry on bag (or have it be a back pack).

Because when you pack 4 books, three magazines, 2 knitting projects, a lap top, over night toiletries and 2 bags of candies that are irresistible, you have a hard time lugging it around (especially when you also have a purse with another book, wallet, cell phone, ipod and such as well).

7. Everyone should have personalized luggage.

Seriously, it should be mandatory.

8. Airport chairs ought not be put so close together.

Really, who is going to sit that close to a stranger?

9. All airports need to have a gym and sleeping quarters.

I just think it’s true.

10. There shouldn’t be a ‘Watch your step as you are getting off of the walkway’ recorded message repeating a thousand times especially with gates nearby.

I say if someone is lazy enough not to walk (ok, ok or just can’t) they should at least be able to recognize when to exit the moving floor.

Ok so my airport time wasn’t really that bad at all I was just observing.
I am now, as I write, safely in the land of warmth and hurricane season completing this post under a strawberry shortcake printed comforter (the old school kind!!) in a little girl’s room. I am so looking forward to some good friend talks and fun kid quirks for the remainder of the week.

You know, once the after effects of the liquorice, chocolate covered pretzels and Wendy’s from yesterday wear off.