Where in the world Wednesday & #TechNoThursday

Where in the world has the time gone?

How is your week going? Are you keeping up with the promises that you made to yourself?

As many of you may know, I am working through revamping my home office thanks to a new book. This organization project will take some time, trust me. This room has elements, AND STUFF, from all members of our household, but I am making progress. I look forward to sharing results with you…hopefully soon 🙂 What I appreciate most about the book so far is that the author gets how busy moms can be.

Speaking of busy, do you ever get to the end of your day, and wonder where in the world the time has gone?  I find that I have so many items on my agenda, and often not enough time to get to everything. This made me reevaluate what I am allowing onto my schedule, as well as what distractions I welcome into my day.  I received many questions about my family’s attempt to institute TechNoThursday recently, so I thought that I would take a quick moment to address the most common theme.

“I cannot disconnect for an entire day”  We can’t either, and I never suggested that you do so.  Our phones aren’t turned off; the tablets aren’t in the freezer.  We simply choose to put them aside, and STOP STARING AT THEM throughout conversations, outings, and meals.  I noticed that many people in restaurants, shops, and even church, have their faces buried in their phones (& yes, we can all tell the difference between your Bible app & your favorite social media apps lol). Yesterday I watched a mom fuss at her kid because he was interrupting…wait for it… as she attempted to update her status on her phone. She looked at me, and said, “I have so little time to catch up with my friends.” Wow! If you cannot answer your loved one, due to an overwhelming need to check your phone every few moments, you might have a major problem.  My desire with TechNoThursday is to help bring back a level of civility, communication, and COMMON SENSE that can get lost when we are all staring at a device, and not looking at each other.

This isn’t meant to be preachy, and I am not against technology (I love all of my gadgets!), but I think that we all could use a dose of good, old-fashioned human interaction. I have no idea if TechNoThursday will extend beyond my household, but I truly hope that it does. Will  you catch me with my phone and e-reader in public? Of course. Will you catch me ignoring my husband, child, or loved ones for them? I intentionally try not to do so, so I sincerely hope that you wont.  Can I teach my child to appreciate technology, but to also be able to communicate effectively face to face? I can only do so if I am being the best example, and doing it myself.

Where in the world will all of the time go for your week? Will you make time for yourself and your loved ones? Will you reach the end of this week (or month, or year) with a sense of accomplishment for completed tasks, or bewilderment over the “lost” time? What can we all do to make the best of our time? I hope to learn more about this (and apply it) daily. This, like so many other of my lifestyle projects, is a work in progress.  I hope that you’ll stick around for the journey.

Until next time,

xoxo

Momma’s Motivation to Move It!

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Happy Monday!

For many, today is the 1st day back to the grind.  Even if you had to return to the office, I am pretty sure that parents of school age kiddos are doing their happiest dances right about now…

I would bet that a few more Moms are ready to do their happy dances. Tonight, join me in celebrating the BIG REVEAL of the Mamavation Mom finalists! I remember the anticipation and excitement of my Mamavation campaign, and I am elated to support this fabulous batch of applicants.  Good luck, ladies!

How are those exercise decisions coming? The gyms are pretty crowded this week, but most people will start to slack off around the same time that their Girl Scout cookie orders arrive. How will you maintain your mojo, and tough it out? How can you make this year different from the past times that you promised to keep at it? Don’t worry; this won’t be a preachy post about working out (I hate those!). I can’t profess to have a foolproof system, but these tiny, simple steps worked for me:
1)MOVE: Just move. Perhaps you are snowed in, or you’re trapped in the office with a major deadline. You cannot allow anything, any situation, to derail your commitment to get in your cardio. If you simply take the stairs, park a longer distance from the door, walk your laundry, or children’s toys to various room, you are giving yourself some very much needed movement. No one wakes up, and immediately has the capacity to run a marathon. The training starts in small steps. You may not run a major race this week, month, or even this year, but you can start by taking steps. Try it. Get up now, and walk around…Be sure to come back, and finish reading this though 🙂
2) DRINK MORE WATER: This is a cheat to help you move, too. If you are drinking enough water, you will have to make more trips to the bathroom. Take the long way from your desk, or wherever you are. Keeping your body hydrated helps your organs to operate properly, flushes toxins from your system, and can prevent you from overeating. Go ahead, and guzzle up!
3) GET CREATIVE: Maybe you recently moved to a new area, or do not have moms around you with similar schedules. How on earth will  you find a gym buddy, or time to workout? If your little guy has soccer practice, don’t waste time in the stands of onlookers. Instead, get in your laps around the field. When you take your children to the park, you can use some of the playground equipment in your exercise routines.Some of your favorite famous trainers have DVD’s and Xbox/Wii routines. You can even find free exercise tutorials online.  You can create your very own workout routines with various resources, and there are so many online moms groups available to motivate, support, and hold you accountable.

It seems simple, right? Guess what: it really is. The hardest step to take is usually the first one. I know because I have been there.  Today, I will take a first step with you. I absolutely abhor indoor kiddie gyms & playscapes! I think that they all smell like feet. UGH! Superkiddo, of course, LOVES them!  While he plays his heart out, I will be on the mats & equipment getting my sweat on… I guess that means that I’ll leave that place smelling like sweat AND feet 🙂

Whatever you do today, and wherever you go, please take a few moments to take care of yourself. You are the best Momma that your children will ever have. You cannot give them your best if you’ve worn yourself out. Get motivated. Get moving.

 

Until next time,

xoxoxo

1st Wednesday and #TechNOThursday

Happy 2014!

I hope that you enjoyed ringing in the New Year with friends, or if you are anything like my family, celebrated with a great night’s sleep.  What do you have planned for 2014? Something new? Something major? A revision? A renovation?  Guess what: every plan, large or small, starts with a single step.  Today is the 1st day of YOUR New Year. Make it count. Make it a great 1st step.

Tomorrow is Thursday, so in our house, we will take care of all of the obligatory items, and then begin TechNOThursday.  We may see a movie with Superkiddo’s friends, or simply have another family game day (Careful: Superkiddo plays a ruthless round of Hi Ho Cherry O!). Whatever the activities, and wherever the day takes us, our primary focus will be on face to face interaction, and fewer distractions from our mobile devices.  I sincerely hope that it can become a movement that spreads to other families and friends. Wouldn’t you love to complete transactions in a store, ride in a car, or talk to someone, without the interruptions from their cell phones? I know that I would.  

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Say it with me: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES, & ENJOY YOUR LIFE!  

 

Wherever today, and the rest of 2014, may take you, I wish you and your family all of the best.
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Until next time,

xoxo

Resolution Revolution – Intent

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas week! We spent our time with family & friends, and now find that we may need a vacation just to recover from vacation! It took quite some time to clear out the “carnage” of wrapping paper and decor…Now we are preparing for New Year‘s Eve…
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Speaking of New Year’s Eve… You see them every December 31st: diet ads, gym discounts, life coach clichés, and hoards of people declaring how the next year will be better than the last. Do they make it? Some do; most do not. Why? Because changing our lifestyles will require so much more than words, and most of us aren’t really willing to do the work. So, what do we do? STOP MAKING RESOLUTIONS! Really? Yes, really.

I wish that a magic pill existed for some situations (who wouldn’t want a magic pill for laundry?), but the truth is we have to work for what we want. If your goal is to get healthier in the new year, guess what…you will have to work for it. If your goal is to get your finances in better shape, improve your marriage, grades, or whatever, you already know the drill.

I will start 2014 by doing the same work that revolutionized 2013, & my lifestyle: being intentionally focused during my time with family & friends, being intentional with my workouts (no matter what!), and intentionally controlling what I allow into my household’s food. These aren’t resolutions; these are tools that I cultivated until I saw results. They appear to be simple on the surface, but they can require sacrifice to maintain.

Intentional Focus on Family:
I started to notice that my 6 yr old Superkiddo always wanted a gadget in his hand. It didn’t matter what kind – Leap Pad, iPad, iPod, random handheld game; he would simply settle for a gadget. Requests would be made in the car, while walking through a store, and at the dinner table. I had to stop, & ask myself WHY… He daily witnessed the adults around him texting, typing, reading, etc on devices. Most of his friends are focused on electronics. We now have to make the effort to communicate without the interruptions and distractions from our phones. It can be difficult. My hubby is a techie; he has to stay connected. Almost all of my writing gigs are remote; I have to stay connected. HOWEVER the most important connections that I can ever have on planet earth will always be with my loved ones.
We started out by taking 1 day per week to intentionally eliminate non essential use of our electronic devices, and to communicate face to face. As much as I love my e-reading app, I found that I needed to get back into the habit of reading actual books. Why? So that my kiddo would again prefer them over reading on his tablet. Our #TechNoThursday pledge may expand into other days, but for now, it is working well for us.

Intentional Workouts
If you run, or frequent the gym often, you probably encountered what I call “gym ruts”. The routines became just actions of habit (although it isn’t awful to make workouts your second nature), and you no longer found joy, or results, from them. This is NOT what I want at all! Every workout, every run, will have purpose and goals.
I am quite fortunate to have access to some of the most amazingly compassionate and knowledgeable professionals in the health and fitness industry. It can be inspiring, but I can also get comfortable, so I have to consistently challenge myself.

I will start 2014 with another 2 week challenge through Mamavation, endure the torture from my favorite local trainer, and begin prep for a certain marathon (I will post which one when I have the confirmation that I made the cut!).  I am so excited!

Intentional “food warrior”

If anyone in your household has even 1/8 of the allergies that my Superkiddo suffers from, then you know the importance of reading every label, on everything, every time.  The more that I read labels, I find that many store-bought foods contain all sorts of chemicals (that I can’t even pronounce!). I believe that our food source should be as clean and pure as possible.  I am sure that if my family lived on 100 acres of farmland, that I could possibly determine all components of our food source, but we don’t.  I live in small town USA – I have to drive to another region to shop at Whole Foods, or frequent one of my favorite allergy-safe restaurants. What can I do on a normal, daily basis?

I started by saying NO to GMO‘s, and supporting organizations that do the same. This can limit the brands that I support, but it also limits the amount of experimental crud that we ingest. It should scare, and enrage you to see how our food source has become an experiment, and turned our children into lab rats! I also started working on becoming a better gardener. You won’t find me driving a tractor (not yet lol), or selling our harvest at the farmer’s market, but our goal is to grow more of our own food, and continue to educate Superkiddo on the wonders of doing so.

In 2014, I will remain vigilant in my pursuit of the purest, safest foods possible, and continue to support campaigns such as Laboratory Lunch. Don’t just take my word for it, do your own research, and find how much of your food source has been altered. I hope that you will then join with the countless parents and physicians who are taking a stand against the selfish, cruel, and cowardly corporations who’d rather that you remain unaware of what chemicals and side-effects await you in their products.

I would like to thank each of you for taking the time to read the little blog that could (HA!). I am still growing, gaining momentum, and learning daily. Opportunities continue to pour in, and connections are being made. You are included in the many successes I experienced in 2013. Your feedback, and sharing of my work, enabled me to extend my reach. I do not take it lightly. You are very much loved, and appreciated! Stay tuned for the great things ahead in 2014! You can stay in the loop by subscribing, hanging out & following my Facebook page, tuning into Twitter & Google+, & popping over to Pinterest. I have so much to share with you, and I look forward to doing so.

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Until next time,
xoxo

I Tried Wearing My Husband’s Pants

Yes, you read that correctly, but let’s start with the back story…

My husband and I were never one of those couples who wanted to show up to events in matching outfits. High 5 if you’re one of them; it was just never our thing. We started off as two skinny, high on life and love, lovebirds in our 20’s. There were occasions on which I’d steal his jogging pants or shorts when I went to the gym, and there was one Halloween when I wore an old, out of commission camo uniform, but this wasn’t a normal, daily thing for us to do.

Fast forward about 13 years… last year was crazy! Simply put: I hated where I was, and where I was hated me. I allowed my unhappiness to take a toll on my health. One random November morning, I was doing laundry, all of my jeans were in the washer, and I needed to run out for a quick errand. There was a pair of pants on the bed, so I grabbed them. They didn’t fit. They. DIDN’T. F-I-T! I was mortified. Sure, I knew that I hadn’t been as diligent in the gym that year, and most of my time at my desk had been consumed with stress snacking, but it never dawned on me just how bad off I was. I had to do something. I had to take charge, and stop this ridiculous lack of control.

Cue Mamavation. It didn’t seem to make sense. How could a virtual boot camp, or sharing my weight struggles with strangers, help me? Simply put? I tried everything else, and ultimately, those methods failed. If I wanted something badly enough, I would have to work for it, and try something new. Most of you already know how the story ended. I became a Mamavation Mom, got my butt kicked by Mark (@MrBookieboo) and my local personal trainer, Lisa (she’s CRAZY!), and lost over 40lbs. Yes, I did it! *snap snap snap*

The applications are open for Mamavation Mom, and several people have contacted me for my insight on applying. Mamavation didn’t ask me to write anything. I am doing this because I care. Even if I have never met you, I care about you and your health. This type of campaign isn’t for everyone; it is INTENSE. You cannot hold onto fear, pride, or a sense of entitlement if you expect to get results. You have to give it up, all of it. If you have tried everything else, and not been able to obtain your health and fitness goals, this may very well be the solution for you. If you put in the work, you will see results.

I know what you are thinking right now. Enough about Mamavation! Can you fit into your husband’s gym pants today? Well, I could, but they don’t complement my gorgeous rear end, so I don’t. HA! If I can transform my life, take command over my food choices, and step out of my fears, YOU CAN, TOO! If you are unhappy about any area of your life, make today the day that you change. Please do not start 2014 with another breakable resolution, or baggage from this year. Pull up your own big girl (or big boy) pants, and get to work. If you apply to be a Mamavation Mom, I will gladly cheer you on. If you find another method to jumpstart your road to fitness, I will still cheer you on. I want to see you meet your health and fitness goals. You really can get healthy once and for all. Go for it!

Until next time,
xoxoxo