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Friday, March 27, 2015

Back from Mexico!!! (told in pics)



Oh, man! Vacation was SO fun- but sheesh, this food poisoning thing needs to end soon.




I feel so icky, I can't even sleep. What should I do now?




Oh! I know! I will unpack the little stuff! Kurt hates the little stuff! That will make him super happy if it is all done before he wakes up!






Awwwww! The family boarding passes! Such awesome keepsakes! I will file these in the scrapbook!








             Wait a minute here......


1, 2, 3, 4, 5...... 6!?

SIX!?



Yes! SIX!

SO thrilled to announce our newest travel companion! Arriving late fall 2015!




Well, what do ya know?! It isn't food poisoning after all!

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

February is almost over!

It is cold. No, not like, "Oh yeah, look at that- it is cold! Let's hope it snows so we can make a snowman!" I mean it is like, "Holy crap. It doesn't matter if it snows or not, it is too cold to go make a snowman!"

0 degrees, and I don't want to know the wind-chill temp. Cold.

But... sunny! So, that is awesome!

I got my hair cut today! It feels AWESOME. Totally needed it done. I have not had it cut in like... psh... a year? Two? Seriously, it might be almost 2 years... maybe less, but it was at least a year ago because I haven't had it cut since we moved here. That is nuts! It was so long, and not in a cute I was growing it out kind of way, but more like a is she a member of one of those religions where you cannot cut your hair kind of way. *There is absolutely nothing wrong with such religions.

(This is a pic of the haircut. I already LOVE it! This picture does this cut no justice. When did my eyes get so green? I swear they are getting greener each year. Anyone else have color-changing eyes?)

Yoga this week was good, but not as good as I am betting the yoga will be this coming week. My hubby is out of town for 6 nights- I have a feeling I will be bringing a lot to the mat while he is gone. Just in day 1 and the kids were bonkers. The little tykes do not do well with big changes and out-of-town daddy.

And the Oscar goes to... (I did not watch all of the Oscars- it was just too political. All I cared about were the outfits anyway...)

Pose: This week's winner is Balancing Butterfly. What a cool pose. Seriously, what a neat pose. Just so cool. Love the feeling on my feet.

Video of the Week: Another Adriene video! This one is Yoga for Bedtime (and where I first saw a pose similar to the one above- only the one in the video is supported- so do not fear!)

Best Sequence/Additions: This bedtime restorative sequence. You might be thinking, "What is with all the bedtime and sleep stuff here, lady?" Well- I am an insomniac. I get it from my dad. It happens fairly often and is chronic, with the worst periods coming in cycles that last a few weeks. It usually starts with one bad night and somehow creates havoc for a couple of weeks after. So annoying. Herbal teas, essential oils, and some bedtime yoga help- anything catch more Zs, right? Kurt being gone hurts it too, as our toddler LOVES midnight snuggles- but midnight snuggles keep me awake until 4am... this leads to a pretty sleepy homeschooling mom. Not a good thing. So, the fact that I started this latest insomnia cycle even before Kurt left is no good, and now do not have the evening support I am accustomed to having! (Kurt knows how bad this can get, and often will try hard to arrange for me to sleep as long as possible to try and break the cycle or at least help me get a bit more rest- but with him gone all that is gone too!) No, I will not take meds. I used to, but after talking to my pharmacist (pretty sharp guy) I decided meds are not the answer and stopped taking them a few years ago.

Physical Benefits: Totally forgot to weigh myself, so I have no idea on that one! I am sleepy. So that is a good thing- I can log off and sleep!

Soundtrack Song of the Week: Such Great Heights (just love this song! It is old, but good!)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mid-February

I have totally cheated the last two weeks. I have no idea why- but I was just done. I would literally do ONE pose a day, so I could say I did my yoga... but it was such a cop out!

I could sit around and be angry with myself, or I can choose to recognize that for whatever reason I needed to take a break. I am okay with that. Could I have handled it better? Could I have been more motivated? Determined? Disciplined? Yes. But- this is not a sprint- this is a marathon... and maybe that was the time I needed to reset my pace. So, for whatever reason (seriously not even interested in analyzing it), I took a break. But- the last three days I have been back on track and feeling really good about it- so I am choosing to focus on that =)

Also, about mid-through January, I noticed I had stopped losing weight. What's up with that? I speculated on increased muscle being heavier, not drinking enough water, etc. I figured I would just give it some time. However, as the weeks passed I was getting frustrated. No, I am NOT doing this to lose weight- but I sorta thought it would follow as I was more active and eating cleaner. I finally ended up posting for help in an online health-group, and one of the members pointed out I was SERIOUSLY missing fats from my diet. I mean they were almost completely absent. I was not intentionally forgetting to add fat- I just wasn't thinking of it. I was juicing a great deal (mostly veggies), and would have nice big salads for lunch- but because I was short on time/energy I would forget to add some avocado or some homemade dressing- so I was just eating a giant pile of more veggies. While this may seem really healthy- the truth is that MY body doesn't react well to things like this. My body has issues with absorbing fats already (my cholesterol was usually around 125, even while eating the standard American diet full of processed foods, fast food, fried foods, etc- at its highest it was 155, and that was while I was pregnant) so by removing even more fats I was doing myself a HUGE disservice. SO THANKFUL to have the internet and health and nutrition gurus at my fingertips!

I started remembering to add my fats- oil to the pan, side of avocado, fish oil, nuts/seeds, even some dark chocolate... and guess what?

We are now -5.

I know that is not a huge amount, but I am happy to have discovered the problem and been able to adjust my diet to fix it. No wonder I didn't feel like doing yoga. I sorta didn't feel like I had the energy to do much of anything! Well, that is solved now! YAY! *I am not saying this was the cause of my yoga-rebellion, but it does make a bit of sense.

Pose: Vajrasana I love this! I struggled with this a great deal last month, but kept trying- and now can be in this pose very comfortably. Happy =)

Video of the Week: Yoga for Cramps/PMS (yoga for ladies!)

Best Sequence/Additions: I was researching headstands, and I found information on some issues with anatomy. Sometimes a neck may be too long to be comfortable in a headstand- and when I read that I was like: YES!!!!!!!!!!!! It seemed like no matter how much I pushed out of my shoulders my neck still felt a decently large amount of pressure. I attributed this to my weight, but even as I increased my upper body and core strength I could not overcome the problem- even when I was pushing WAY out of my shoulders. A few articles suggested that it may be an issue with neck length (I do have a long neck), and recommended some support under the arms. I added a blanket under the forearms and elbows and BAM- no more pressure! It was so great!!! I found I am now able to hold the pose even longer, and even more comfortably. Wonderful!

Physical benefits: the yoga for cramps really helped... and that is as much as I will say about that...

Soundtrack song of the week(s): Truth.   This is my new favorite song ever! I save this for my hardest poses- and it just helps me groove along. LOVE!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

January

January is over. Yup, gone. I will be honest- that felt like it went fast!

This month was really awesome. Knowing I can set a goal and stick to it- pretty neat- especially when the goal involves _doing_ something instead of just abstaining from a bad habit (my usual goals).

I tried hard to think of something profound to write about month 1, but in truth I didn't have any extra thoughts beyond what I already shared.

I will say this: I realize now that my practice- and most things in my life- are between 70-90% mental. The physical aspects of many of the poses are challenging, yes- but they can be built up to. I found that my attitude, thoughts, and determination level all mattered. And, once I realized this, I found it extends far beyond my mat. I know that many (most?) people already know the power of a good attitude and positive forethought, but I had never extended it into so many parts of my day. For example: I am an introvert. I enjoy peace, quiet, and alone time. I homeschool my very active children, so sometimes peace and quiet is hard to come by, and I tend not to schedule things because when those moments come I need to grab them and recharge. However, one week in January was particularly busy- but because I shifted my attitude and dove in with enthusiasm and optimism, things worked out really well! **I did have to recharge later that weekend, which was a bummer to my family, as we use weekends for family stuff- so having that much scheduled during the week will not be happening a lot, but it was good to know I could do it- and do it joyfully!

Good month. =)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week 4

It has been 4 straight weeks of yoga. Wow, amazing- go me! I have had times where I did yoga often, but I do not know if I ever did it this many days in a row (I am probably wrong- just never did it consciously).

This was actually the hardest week. I am not sure of why. I just felt blahhhhhhh.

Saturday night I did yoga with a friend- that was awesome! She was so sweet, she let me lead us- it was a really cool experience. If we ever live in a more metro area, I can see myself taking teacher trainings. It was really awesome to share a practice.

I do not really have much to say this week. Weird.... maybe? I don't know. I mean- I feel good. Settled. Calm. Don't feel like I have any big unfinished business hanging over my head- so that is nice.

This week's highlights:

Pose: Camatkarasana, or "Wild Thing" pose (aka flip dog). This pose is just FUN! As soon as I got into the pose I couldn't stop smiling! It was a great feeling! My cat was sitting directly next to me when I did the first side- and it was really neat. I don't know- can't describe it. Just a neat moment between me, my mat, and my cat.

Video of the Week: I only did this video this week, so I guess this is the winner. I do not foresee myself doing the video again- it was just too... blah... I don't know... boring? Standard? To be honest, when I am doing my bare bones home practice, it looks a lot like this video- so maybe that is why this didn't appeal to me as much. I don't know...

Best Sequence/Additions: I did some sun salutations and then did this sequence from Yoga Journal. LOVED it! It was lots of fun, and there were poses that I do not normally incorporate in my home practice. Good stuff.

Physical Benefits: Energy levels are up, and I am feeling a lot stronger. My skin is clearer than it has been in years- but I am not sure if that is the yoga, or the cleaner eating. Overall I feel amazing, so that is good!!! -2lbs

Soundtrack Song of the Week: Cough Syrup

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mercury in Retrograde! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!


A few months ago I nearly had a breakdown. Okay, not an actual breakdown, but definitely a freak-out-session-worthy-of-calling-on-a-bestie. (I keep a handful of besties for just such occasions.)

I texted her, spazzing out. My kids weren't listening. Nothing was going right. Printer stopped working. Vacuum would turn on and randomly turn off (and my livingroom carpet is hunter green- I NEED to vacuum every day or it looks horrible!!!). My family life felt insane. The internet pissed me off (is EVERYONE on crack?!). My brain couldn't focus- it felt scattered- sort of like someone went into my mental file cabinet and just dumped out every single drawer- it was clear, but cluttered. It was a nightmare. What was going on?!

I word-vomited this to my buddy, and she simply said, "Mercury is in retrograde!" I had no idea what she was talking about, but she went on to explain. It sounded too good to be true. There is actually a REASON for all this crappy crap going on?

Yes.

I do not pretend to know everything about everything. I do not even pretend to know a little something about everything. Whether or not our energies can or can not be affected by the cosmos is beyond me, but any emergency worker, clinician, or hotline worker will tell you when the moon is full. Likewise, my kids can tell me exactly when Mercury is in retrograde. Coincidence? Maybe. Or, maybe it is more. Maybe they are highly sensitive to visual planetary spins (when they should be in bed sleeping anyway). Honestly, I have no idea. Here is what I do know:

Mercury in retrograde is something that can be read about here. Basically, this is about planetary rotations interacting in a way which may affect things here on earth. Things like what? Well, it is not recommended that you sign contracts, make big ticket purchases, get married, accept a job, or make any giant life changes. This, instead, is a time of reflection. This is a time for you to finish projects, meet old friends, complete unfinished business, tie up loose ends.

I did not subscribe to this being a big deal, I just loved the idea of it being the reason for my kids being insane (mostly because there is an ending period!), so when my brother and another bestie were buying their homes during the last retrograde (two separate families, two separate states)- I said nothing. Nothing. I didn't want them to think I was a bit weird... but it turns out I probably should have said something, as BOTH home purchases had really bizarre complications (that were beyond the control or fault of my brother or friend!). The complications ended up costing them money, stress, and hassle. Now- were those the fault of Mercury being in retrograde? Maybe not. But... maybe it was...

I do not know the answer to all things. But I do know that yesterday my kids were COMPLETELY bonkers. They started getting into it a few days earlier, and it just got worse every day, and climaxed yesterday. Today was no different, and I was ready to call it quits when my dear husband texted me, "Mercury is in retrograde!!!"

Yeah... either my kids' freak-out times are just coincidentally on schedule with Mercury in retrograde, or it is a genuinely real phenomenon that affects people. Regardless, I am happy to follow the astrology advice that suggests we take a few weeks to ponder, reflect, relax, and finish things that need finishing, and wait for this phase to pass (be it a phase in child development or visual phase of the planets).

If you absolutely hate what I have to say- chalk it up to Mercury in retrograde. (It is known for messing with all forms of communication, you know).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

21 Days to make a habit!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it is a myth and studies show it is closer to 66 days- but shush. Growing up my father would often chirp, "21 days!" and remind me to pick up my towel, have breakfast, or do some other good idea that he wanted to make habitual. And today officially marks day 21 of yoga daily!!! (Yes, I started before the New Year, but from now on I will only be referencing the New Year as the beginning of my personal challenge!)

This was a good week, yoga-wise. I felt a lot better (no more icky sicky), but to be on the safe side stuck with more gentle videos and postures. This week I did my very first (unsupported by partner or wall) Sirsasana!!!! This is a HUGE deal for me, and I am all the more thrilled that my husband was there to cheer me on and celebrate the moment! Wait... GENTLE and you were doing Sirsasana??? Yeah, let me tell you about it!

Some takeaways this week: my practice is a lot more mental than I ever realized. I had been going gently for days, and then did a calm yin practice, but really wanted to try Sirsasana. I asked my husband for some help, and he was there to talk to me and make me feel comfortable ("You are so close- almost there. You actually had it for a moment- did you feel it!?" Super encouraging!). The next day I wanted to try again, and I did- and that was when I nailed the pose. I have been doing this pose for years (I seriously think the first time was in 2007) but NEVER did it without wall or partner support before. Why? There were times I was much more physically fit- so why didn't I do it? I am not sure- but whatever my hurdle was, it was obviously mentally and not physically based (as I said- I was more fit in years past than I am now).

There were days this week when I did not feel like doing yoga. This is mostly because I was feeling blahhhhhhh. My husband is out of town on business, the kids were making me nuts, and all I wanted was to grab something chocolaty and go to bed and watch Gilmore Girls (I am new to the show- it is pretty cute!!!!). However, each time I would drag my mat out and start moving I felt a LOT better (I always felt more peaceful, calm, and happy). So it worked out well!

This week's highlights:

Pose: Sirsasana, hands down! (Or should I say, head down?) Oh man- what a feeling!!!!!

Video of the Week: You know, I saw some pretty interesting ones... I have to say I think this little yoga video for sick people is the winner. It is short, sweet, and perfect when you feel ill!

Best Sequence/Additions: I carried my daughter around and found that my back was aching. I did this quick video and felt a lot better.

Physical Benefits: Any time I felt a headache I did a bit of yoga, and it went away. I love love love love being able to do something that is healthy and helps heal, rather than popping a pill! -4lbs

Soundtrack song of the week: Que Sera, Sera!