Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘change’

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post, or all that has happened in between.  There is so much to update!

First and foremost – I got a new job!!  It was completely unexpected, but when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to take it.  Let me step back.  For years, since I was in my masters program in 2006-2008, I knew that eventually I would like to become a New Teacher Advisor, which is someone who mentors first and second year teachers and supports them as they begin their careers.  Our local program is run out of the Silicon Valley/Santa Cruz New Teacher Project, which works in conjunction with all of the local school districts in the area.

I was first involved in the program as an inductee during my 3rd year of teaching.  (As longtime readers may recall, I first began teaching for two years, wasn’t happy with my placement, and took an opportunity to work for an internet company during the dotcom boom.  But I missed teaching, so after the thrill of the internet had died down, I decided to get back to it.  Since I’d been out of the classroom for 5 years at that point, the school district where I was working at the time asked me to do the new teacher program, which I agreed to).  At that point, back in 2002, the New Teacher Program was just beginning.  It offered support, assessment, and training, but I still had to take separate classes, which I paid for out of pocket, to clear my credential.  Still, my experience with the program, and especially my mentor teacher, was so phenomenal, that I knew at some point I would like become a mentor teacher.  Plus, my experience at the internet company, where I was training and supervising a group of 20 people, set me up well for the position.

Skip to two weeks ago, when a job posting for the New Teacher Advisor went out from my district office.  It was August 8th, a week before our first teacher workday and less than two weeks before school was starting.  Could I really apply for this job at this point in the summer, leaving my principal in a really bad position to try and fill my spot?  Not that I think I’m irreplaceable, by any means, but my schedule was one that no one else would be crazy enough to want.  I taught four different classes – English 3 honors, yearbook, journalism, and AVID. No one in their right minds would want that schedule (although I loved the variety it brought), especially that late in the year.  I talked to my parents, a couple of colleagues, and did a lot of soul searching.  Ultimately I decided to go for it because these positions don’t come up very often.  The deciding factor was the other teacher I’d be working with if I got the position – she and I had worked closely together last year, and I loved her.  She and I have a very similar style of organization, communication, and planning and the areas in which we’re different compliment each other.  Since you work so closely with the other New Teacher Advisor, working well together is everything.  I knew I wouldn’t have the same opportunity to work with her again in this position.  So I went for it.

I put in my application, wrote my letter of intent, and scrambled to get the last-minute letters of recommendation I needed.  My colleagues and administrators wrote glowing reviews of me, and even if I didn’t get the job, they really boosted my spirits with what they’d said. I’d worked at my school for 10 years, and had forged relationships with my colleagues and students that had created a true community.  I would miss everything about my school, including teaching, but I also knew that the relationships I had with these people would last a lifetime, no matter where the future took me.

The week of August 11th was whirlwind!  On one hand I was preparing to start school as a teacher, but in the background, I was setting up the interviews for this new position.  If I got the position, would I start the year teaching and then move into the new position once they’d hired my replacement?  I couldn’t sleep at night, working through the scenarios of how the school would be able to replace me in the easiest way.  My head was swirling with the different teachers who might take on each of my assignments so we could cobble together a more reasonable position to hire for.  I was at a professional development for our district teachers on the morning of August 13th when I ran into the HR Director in the bathroom, who said she’d heard that I had applied, and she was really excited about it.  She said that if I were to get the position, she’d like me to start right away, and not have me in the classroom at all, because it would be easier for the students.  She said, “but you’re really difficult to replace.  Do you have any ideas?”  I told her a few of my thoughts, which she really liked, and it seemed like a great sign that I might actually get the job.  As luck would have it,  I gave a 15-minute presentation to the English teachers throughout the district about how I use Turnitin to make grading essays easier.  The Director of Curriculum saw me present, as did the Assistant Superintendent in charge of Curriculum.  My presentation was really well received, and it became a way for me to show my abilities in professional development, which would help me in my interview.  Everything was falling into place.

Friday morning I was at my school where I would be teaching if I didn’t get the job.  At the welcome breakfast I felt weird; I wanted to tell  my colleagues what was going on, but knew I couldn’t, since my interview was later that afternoon, and nothing was set yet.  I led my department meeting, since at that point I was still the department chair, but it felt so strange not to tell them about what was going on.  Still, no use in getting everyone riled up if I wasn’t certain about my status.  Later that morning I went into the vice principal’s office with him and our principal to share with them the ideas as to how to replace me, because both of them had the indication that I was going to get the job.  I was thrilled, but didn’t want to be overly confident, because until they offered me the position, it wasn’t mine.  After talking to the four teachers who would take the different sections I was to teach, we had a really viable position to offer someone new.  I can’t explain how appreciate I am that my colleagues stepped up at literally the last minute to take on a brand new assignment so that I could accept the job, if it was offered to me.  One more reason I absolutely love the school I’d been teaching at for 10 years.

I rushed home to change for the interview, because I had decided that I would go into it as if I didn’t work in the district.  In other words, I was taking it very seriously and wanted to present myself in the best possible light.  I would talk about myself as if they didn’t know who I was and what my accomplishments were.  I would go in there and prove that I was THE person for the job.  I had the interview at 3:30, and it went well.  It was a quick 30 minute back and forth where I answered a set of 12 questions.  I had thought that because of the timing I might have the second interview right away, but they told me they’d be in touch and sent me on my way.  I left the district office confused about when I would find out.  School started on Monday.  As I was pulling up to a colleague’s house to attend his TGIF, I got a call from the HR Director who said she’d like to do the 2nd interview on the phone.  All I kept thinking was that I hope my cell reception would last because I was in the hills, and it could be spotty.  She asked me a few hard-hitting questions, which I answered easily, and then, after about 20 minutes of the interview, she paused and said, “well, we’d like to offer you the job!”  Yay!!!!  I was elated, because even though all indications had looked like I would get the position, that my background and experience made me the ideal candidate, I still didn’t want to take anything for granted.  I was elated that I had the position!  I thanked her so much for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity, and went into the TGIF party, where my principal was in attendance, to tell everyone the good news.  It was bittersweet, because I will really miss working at my high school, but it was also amazing, because I was about to start this new adventure.

I spent all of Sunday cleaning out my classroom.  I worked hard, shed tears at all the memories, and also looked ahead to all that I was about to take on. As a New Teacher Advisor, would mentor new teachers, observe them, offer guidance, and gather resources that they needed.  I would be their lifeline into this new world of teaching, which can be daunting and overwhelming, but ultimately so satisfying. With the new position I also have the opportunity to create and present professional development for the new teachers, as well as any other teachers who want to come to them.  Presenting to adults is something that many educators find difficult, but something at which I thrive.  I’ve never felt nervous presenting in front of anyone, whether it’s a 16-year-old honors student or the CEO of a company.  My confidence allows me to command a room, and I was excited that I would get the chance to display my strengths in this area.

This Monday was my first day, and it was hectic.  I had a new office, a new position, new responsibilities, and a new schedule.  Because I work around when the 1st and 2nd year teachers have time to meet, my schedule isn’t set.  Eventually I’ll get into a regular schedule of meeting with them, but for now, my day-to-day routine was very scattered.  As much as I like change and variety, I also crave structure.  I like knowing my schedule, getting into a routine, and working within those boundaries.  It keeps me organized and sane.  Not to mention fitting in workouts.  I was a bit uncomfortable and overwhelmed at the beginning of the week with the amorphous nature of the days, but after I was able to take a bit of time to organize my appointments, I felt so much better.  Never once did I think I’d made a mistake, and I can already tell that I made the right decision.

This week has been chaotic, but it’s been wonderful.  I didn’t workout as regularly as I would have hoped, but I did fit in several cardio workouts.  I lost weight (more on that in a later post), and I was able to set a bit of organization in place.  I attended two trainings, drove to 4 schools, went to Santa Cruz for a forum, met individually with 4 new teachers, sent countless emails, and even prepared and presented an orientation for our 1st year teachers.  What a week!

I’m so excited with this new direction my career and my life has taken.  My main focus, besides doing an awesome job that supports these new teachers, is to retain a work/life balance.  I have struggled with that in the past, because my natural instincts as an overachieving perfectionist make me a workaholic.  I am bound and determined not to go down that rabbit hole as I have in the past.  I know that this new position will make my schedule challenging, but once I get into the rhythm of meeting weekly with the 18 teachers on my caseload, I know I’ll be able to build a manageable schedule.

It’s not lost on me that I have achieved another goal that I set for myself years ago.  I am so proud of myself and my accomplishments, and happy that my hard work over the years has led me to this point in my career.  I wanted this job for so long, and now I’m going to be able to do it! I’m thrilled at the possibilities that are laid out before me, and I want to appreciate all that I will experiencing.

Read Full Post »

summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 60 was quite a mix.  I started off the week pretty strong – eating well and working out.  Then on Thursday, I got some really disappointing news and took a bit of a downward turn on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday I’d sort of pulled it together, and I’ve been going really strong since Monday.  Whew! Did you follow all that?

bilbl_scale.jpg So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.8. Technically, this is a gain from last week (2 lbs), but I went up over the weekend (<4 lbs), so this is a 2.8 lb loss since I weighed in on Monday.  I’ve lost 96.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 134.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.

I’m not thrilled with myself that I let my emotions get the better of me on Friday and Saturday and spent much of the time sitting on the couch snacking.  I did get out with friends on Friday night, but that led to quite a few cocktails, which also had an adverse affect on my weight.  Could I have handled things differently?  Of course.  Was it a human response that I got under control after two days of wallowing?  Yes.  So I’m actually pretty proud of my ability to bounce back and move on from heartbreak.

The thing I’m actually excited to talk about today is the way I’ve tweaked my eating plan since Monday.  One of my pals on MyFitnessPal messaged me on Monday, asking about the idea of upping calories.  She’s about 6 months out from VSG surgery, and had an appointment with her doctor and nutritionist where they told her they wanted her to start eating more calories. Specifically, that they wanted her to get 1000 net calories per day.  She’s been following my food diaries from the beginning, and has modeled the way she eats after me – trying to eat a balanced diet of protein, veggies, and carbs.  Mostly whole foods, with the occasional treat thrown in.  She said she was hesitant to raise her calories, but tried it for one week, and after stalling on the scale two weeks in a row, she lost 5 pounds the week she upped her calories!

As you guys know, I’ve been basically the same weight for the past several months.  Even though I’ve been eating well, working out, getting lots of water, etc., my weight loss has basically become very stagnant.  I know it’s because I have so few pounds to lose to get to goal (compared to how many I had to lose to begin with)When I went to my 1-year follow up appointment, the nutritionist recommended that I increase my calories to 1200 per day, but I really didn’t think much of that advice, and just continued my normal eating.  Which meant eating between 850-950 calories a day, about 500-650 net calories.  Which is very low, when I think about it in those terms.  Now that I’m post-VSG I will never consume the amount of calories that someone with a normal stomach can, but I have been wanting to change something with my eating to see if I could shake up my body and amp up my weight loss. It makes sense that at this point post-op my body is getting too used to so few calories, and might even be in a bit of “starvation mode.” Although it’s much different for me with only 20% of a normal stomach, I do think upping my calories and eating more frequently will jumpstart my metabolism and lead to weight loss.

Actually, I don’t “think,” I know. I lost 2.8 pounds since Monday following the 1000 net calorie plan.  What I’ve come up with is adding in more snacks throughout the day, as well as incorporating some higher calorie, but very good for me, foods. For example, yesterday:

breakfast

A yummy green smoothie

Morning Snack

Morning Snack

A really great salad

A really great salad

Afternoon snack

Afternoon snack

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Evening snack/dessert

Evening snack/dessert

Daily Total: 1437 calories, 102g protein, 138g carbs, 35g fiber, 68g fat! Net calories: 979.

The thing I like about increasing my calories this way is that I am eating foods that I’ve shied away from because they had more calories, but that I love. I’ve noticed that I haven’t had any cravings, either, because I know that I’ll be enjoying something I like soon enough.  I’m going to give it until next Wednesday and see if the results continue.  If not, I can always go back to what I was doing before. But I have a strong feeling this is going to work well.

Workouts are going great, and I love being able to workout first thing in the morning.  The realization hit me today that I only have 2 1/2 weeks before I start my teacher meetings and school starts, and I’m very grateful that I will have a morning prep so I can continue the beginning of the day workouts without having to get up at 4am!

My goal for these next 2 1/2 weeks is to enjoy every bit of summer vacation that I can.  Which means going to the beach, riding roller coasters at the Boardwalk, hitting the road for a girls’ trip to Long Beach, and simply enjoying the quiet moments in my backyard with Sofi.

This week is all about being open to changes. I’m grateful that I’m someone who embraces change – it’s needed and necessary.

2014-04-06 19.15.38

Until Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

Read Full Post »

measurements

It’s Monday, and because I love alliteration, I figured Major Measurements were perfect for a Monday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been really remiss in taking measurements.  In fact, the last records I have of any measurements at all are from two years ago, in March 2012.  Back at that time, I was still on my quest to lose the pre-op weight loss requirement, and I was struggling with it.  So much so that after looking back at the posts on this blog from March 2012, I can see that I wasn’t really weighing in at all.  There is one weigh-in post from the beginning of the month, and it said that I weighed 297.  So, while these numbers aren’t from my very highest weight of 315, which I bounced up to in late 2012, they’re probably pretty close.

Admittedly, after losing over 120 pounds (-122.4 as of this morning!) since the first set of measurements were taken, I was going to see big changes in the numbers, but it is really astounding when I see it in black and white.

3/4/12

2/16/14

Change

Neck

14.5

13

-1.5 inches

Arms

16.25

12.5

-3.75 inches

Wrist

6.75

6.5

-0.25 inches

Bust

43

34

-9 inches

Waist

44.5

34

-10.5 inches

Hips

61

48

-13 inches

Thighs

35

28.25

-6.75 inches

Calf

18.5

15.75

-2.75 inches

Ankle

9.5

8.5

-1 inch

In total, I’ve lost 48 1/2 inches from around my body!!  That’s four feet!!! I’m really excited with all of these changes, but especially the changes in my bust, waist, hips, and thighs.

From here on out I’m going to take measurements once a month, on the 20th. I had my VSG surgery on May 20th, so celebrating progress like this on the 20th of each month seems like a perfect thing to do. I’ve also decided to start taking progress photos in my sports bra and running pants, because that will really help to show the changes in my body. This is a major step for me, taking pictures in so little clothing.  But I guess that’s all part of this journey, right?

00dde1eb70f2243a9212f8e234e088fe

Read Full Post »

My mantra for 2013 is REFRESH.

Exhilaration1

Refresh has so many connotations:

change in outlook

renewal

exhilaration

recreate

remake

invigorate

In 2013 I am going to REFRESH my life.

Read Full Post »

Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan. I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal. Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Saturday. Saturday mornings I go to Zumba, so I’m already focused on health and fitness; it’s the perfect day to weigh in. Plus, Saturday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Saturday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

I’ve been having a really hard time juggling everything since school started, and I recently sat down and tried to get myself organized so that it all didn’t feel so chaotic. Now, I realize that compared to a lot of people, my life is simple, but they’re not on my journey, I am. Don’t get me wrong, life is going great – work is fantastic, home is wonderful, and I’m really lucky. But I want to set myself up for success in all areas, so I needed to set a few major changes in place.

I’m not trying to be cryptic, but I’m not ready to reveal the changes yet. When I am, you’ll be the first to know.

One obvious change is my weigh-in day, which I’ve moved to Saturday, beginning next week. I’m taking this week off to get organized. Next week, you’ll see a post in the early afternoon, after I get home from Zumba.

Until next Saturday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

Read Full Post »

For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11.  Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 1: One word.

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

In the spirit of where this all started… this is the same first prompt from 2010.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I looked back at last year’s post about this same topic, I saw that I chose the word CHANGE for 2011.  And I do think that this year has been full of changes for me.

The most dramatic change was that my sister and nieces moved in next door to me.  I have absolutely loved having them so close and being able to be such a daily part of their lives.  I’ve been able to help them, but they’ve helped to support me just as much.  Before they moved in, I was often lonely and sort of lost when I’d get home from work.  Now I know that people who love me are literally just a doorstep away.  It’s nice and it helps me feel more grounded.

Another huge change was Lulu’s death and then getting Sofi.  As difficult as losing Lulu was, I now feel that everything does happen for a reason, and Sofi was meant to be in my life.  She is the BEST dog ever, and I have loved every single minute with her.  Lulu was my first dog, and Sofi has benefited from all that Lulu taught me.

I’ve also changed my attitude in many ways – about the way I’m approaching weight loss, about the way that I feel about myself, and about the way that I look at life.  I’m not accepting as many excuses from myself, but I’m also really appreciating the new way that clothes are fitting me as I continue to lose weight.  I’m still waiting for the biggest change of all – getting WLS, but I know that that time will come when it’s supposed to.  And I am confident that it will be sooner rather than later.

Now in terms of 2012, I would have to say that the word will be Accomplishment.  I have huge plans for 2012, and I know that one of the main focal points for the year will be accomplishing so many of my weight loss goals.  It’s inevitable, and I can’t wait for each goal to fall away and for new goals to emerge.  It’s going to be an exciting time, and I look forward to it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

Read Full Post »

For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 18 – Try
What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

There are always so many things that I want to try, because I like keeping it fresh and finding out new things that might interest me.  So, with that in mind, here are a few things that I’m going to see if I like in 2011:

  • spin class (this is actually going to happen next week, but hopefully it will continue into 2011)
  • walk a 5K (I’d put walking in races on hold because I would get terrible cramps in my legs, but I think the daily walking with Lulu has helped me get past that).
  • give C25K another try (once I’m around 250 or so)
  • jog/run a 5K
  • boot camp class (at the gym)
  • scrapbooking
  • find another blog writing group like Reverb 10, because I’ve loved doing it
  • improve my video editing skills
  • make weekly YouTube videos once I get closer to surgery/have surgery
  • act revolutionary every day

As far as trying things in 2010, I tried everything I wanted to.  That’s one thing about me – I’m not usually afraid to try new things, so I’m able to see what works for me and what doesn’t.  I hope to add more to the list above as I discover new things that I’d like to try.

What are some things you’d like to try in 2011?

Read Full Post »

For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 17 – Lesson Learned
What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

Narrowing this down to just one thing was really difficult, because this blog (and your reader comments) allow me to learn so much about myself on an almost daily basis.

I guess the thing that I had hoped I knew about myself that I’ve actually shown myself to be true is that I am a really caring person.  And I’m not saying that to make myself sound wonderful.  It’s one of those things that you hope about yourself, but you’re never sure is true until you’re faced with the situations to prove it.  And I’m happy that I’ve had this fact confirmed in a few ways recently.

Since I’ve lived by myself for so long, I was the only person I had to worry about most of the time.  I didn’t have to answer to anyone but myself, and I was able to come and go as I pleased.  Stay out as late as I wanted.  You get the drill – I was a self-sufficient, independent woman who enjoyed her single life.

But so often I felt like something was missing, and so in June when Lulu finally arrived, it was a huge transition for me to make – to be responsible for another life.   To worry about how late I was out, when I’d get home, how long I’d been  gone, etc.  It meant that I had veterinary bills to pay, flea medications to buy, and dog food to stock up on.  But along with the “have to” also came the “get to.” Because I get to come home to this most amazing creature who thinks the sun rises and sets with me.  Who depends on me for everything and whom I love more than I thought possible.  I know I’ve become a better person because I’ve had her in my life.

And in 2011, I’m going to be able to take this caring for someone besides myself to a whole new level.  Beginning the week after next, I’m going to have my sister and my nieces in my life on a daily basis.  In order to help my sister save money on daycare and to be there to support her, I told her I’d watch the girls (ages 8 and 3 1/2) three days a week from 3:30-6:30.  Which means a significant lifestyle change for me, but it also means that I’m going to get so much back from them.  Their faces lit up when they heard we’d be spending so much time together on a regular basis, which made me feel great.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know my nieces on a much deeper level, and vice versa.  I’m looking forward to having a major impact on their lives.  And I’m looking forward to being changed for the better because of them.

Read Full Post »

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Things are going really well for me in the world of weight loss, and since I’ll update you more on that on  Friday with my Countdown to Christmas/NYE Challenge update, I thought I’d let you in on some other VERY exciting things that are going on.

As you know, I’ve been taking part in Reverb 10 (look for that post later today), and I really encourage you to join in.  I love how it’s allowed me to strut my writing skills and reflect on 2010.  It’s been a really positive experience that I can’t recommend highly enough.

Today has been the best day in recent memory, which is saying a lot, because life has been great!! So much good stuff in one day. I think I’m going to burst with happiness!!”
~~ My Facebook status yesterday afternoon

The reason for such exuberance? I’m going to make you wait for the main reason, but one of the other reasons was that I took yesterday off to finish up Christmas decorations.

I have lots of sick days, so I figured why not?  Plus two of the classes I teach on “B” days are really challenging this year – not in a good way.  About half of the students are extremely rude, disrespectful, and disruptive.  They’re also failing.  There are a myriad of reasons why that I won’t get into here, and I’m not alone – the other teachers at my level are also experiencing this with this group of kids.  Still, they wear me out, so I figured I could use a bit of a break.

I spent the day decorating for Christmas and going back to Pier 1 for a few more items.  My mom came with me, and we had a great time.  I’m happy that I finally have it all set up.  Now I need to invite a few people over so that I can share it with them.  🙂

A few of the photos you’re about to see are repeats from yesterday, but since I rearranged things I figured I’d show them again. (Click on any of the photos to make them larger).

Yes, I will change the “Days left ’till Christmas” every single day.  I do it when I get up in the morning and retrieve the newspaper.

When I showed my student what I’d done with the bowl of pine cones that I bought from her for the orchestra fundraiser, she was impressed.

Full view of living room.

I was afraid this looked too busy, but my mom said she thought it was festive.

You know spoiled little Lulu had to have her own stocking!

The photo is a bit blurry, but this looks really pretty at night, when the candles are lit.

The rest of the living room.

Instead of a full-fledged Christmas tree.

Ditto.

Love the whimsy of this table.  The candles are the exact color of the ornaments and balls.

All that decorating just puts me in such a happy mood.  This is the season when everything sparkles.  Glitter abounds, and it makes January seem so dull in comparison, doesn’t it?  I’ve decided that I’m going to decorate for each season, when appropriate, so that the house never gets that “worn in” look.  I want my decoration to reflect my attitude – happy and bright.

And now, without further ado, the main reason I’m so excited is:

DRUMROLL, please………..

My sister is moving into the duplex next to me!!!

She has finally made the decision to leave her husband (they’ve been talking about separating for more than 6 months, but he’s been unwilling to leave) and move back home to the city where we grew up.  Not only will we share a garage wall and be able to look out our bedroom windows at each other, but my parents are also only 5 minutes away, and most of my sister’s friends live here, too.  She’s going to have such a strong support system in place, and I know that it will mean such a positive change for her and my nieces.

It will mean a lot of change for me, too.  I’ve committed to staying home after school with the girls three days a week (my mom will cover the other two).  Which will mean a lifestyle change for me.  My life won’t be as free and easy as it has been, and my schedule won’t be as open.  But it will be nice to have someone else to care for  besides Lulu and myself.  (Plus Lulu is really excited that she’s going to have Minnie to play with all day). This is going to be a great opportunity to bond even more with my nieces, which will be so special.  I love them so much, and I’ve missed not being physically close to them.  (Even though an hour away isn’t that far compared to some people’s distance, it isn’t just across the street or down the road).  I am completely embracing  this new change.

LC is going to move the week after Christmas, so she and the girls will be able to start the new year off right – with a fresh start, renewed hope, and a new lease on life.  Sounds like the BEST way to start the new year to me!!

Read Full Post »

I love writing on this blog, but sometimes it gets a bit mundane to list what I’ve been eating, how I’ve been doing on my workouts, or what realizations I’ve recently come to. Those are all great things, but day-in-day-out they can get a little boring to write.

And then I saw SkinnyEmmie’s post about joining Reverb 10 and knew it was going to be a great way for me to write on this blog as often as I’d like without getting bored.

What’s Reverb 10?

Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we’ll do both.”

Each day on the Reverb 10 website they post a prompt that I’ll respond to. I like that they keep it creative by saying we can write a post, respond on Twitter (#reverb10), or post a photograph (on Flickr). I’ll post everything on this blog, although some days it might just be my Twitter response or a photo that I’ve taken.

I hope you’ll join in, too, because it sounds like such a great way to wrap-up the year and begin thinking about 2011.

Today’s Prompt:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

2010’s word is ACTION. That’s been my mantra all year long, and though there were times that I stumbled or became inactive, my overlying principle this year was to move forward, make positive strides, and DO SOMETHING.

2011’s word will be CHANGE. I see change as a positive thing, and there will be quite a bit of change in the new year. My sister has finally decided to actually leave her husband and move (with my nieces) back to my city, and if things work out as they should, she’ll be living in the duplex next to mine!! (I haven’t written about it until now because I didn’t want to jinx anything, but if we’re putting positive reverberations out into the universe in order to manifest them, I want to write that one in all caps!!!). My weight is also going to change in 2011, because I will be able to lose the 30 pounds required for the lap band surgery by the first quarter of the year, and the surgery will be scheduled soon thereafter. Then, it will be a huge change of lifestyle for me as I get adjusted to my new appetite, food “rules,” and ways of eating. I will also change the way I approach exercise by looking forward to it as a time to focus on myself, my body, and all that I can do physically. Lots of change in 2011, and I cannot wait!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: