Thursday, March 27, 2008

March Madness

That title was simply an attention grabber.

I really need an attention grabber, because I never blog anymore, and I'm sure folks are tired of coming over here, just to see that I'm still being a slacker/slogger. I just can't seem to get motivated to say anything blogworthy on a regular basis anymore.

I mean, life is good. We had a nice Easter. As usual, we have our up ups and down downs, and then our uneventful days, which make up the bulk of our existence. We work, we come home, try to keep the house in order, pay bills, get up and start all over again.

I've started an actual journal at home. I used to keep one religiously, but when I started blogging, I all but gave it up. I don't know, there's just something comforting about taking a pen in hand and writing my thoughts down. Seeing my own handwriting makes me feel like my words are flowing from my soul, not my brain...if that makes sense.

Josh turned 17 years old yesterday. He came to work with me on the day before his birthday. He snoozed in the conference room on the couch and then walked to town to visit with a cousin. My job is less than a mile from anywhere in town, so he didn't have far to go. For some reason, when I was watching him walk down hill, away from my job, I got the worst pain in my heart....such a deep sadness. So often I distance myself from Josh emotionally, because I can't take the hurt. He can be so unpredictable, that it doesn't benefit me to let myself become complacent, expecting smooth sailing from him. Yet that day I saw his lone figure moving away from me, and I was engulfed in emotion.

So soon he'll be his own man, and the little bit of say so I have in his life will be null and void. That's such a scary prospect for me. He's talking about colleges...pros and cons...financing options...SATS....campus visits....oh man. Wasn't I just changing this boy's diaper? I can't be old enough to have a son that will graduate next year! Can I? Wasn't I just graduating myself?

Josh has finally had the time to concentrate on driving. Robert and I both are taking him out to practice pretty regularly now. For some reason, at this point, Josh seems to be more confident behind the wheel when I'm the one in the passenger seat. I try hard to be calm and reassuring, even though I am somewhat nervous inside as he maneuvers the roadways. He says that I seem totally at ease. Perhaps I should pursue a career in acting! :) Next month, Josh starts driver's ed, so that should be helpful. In the interim, pray for us! :) And send all your extra helmets and bubble wrap! tee hee.

Anyway, when I was watching Josh walk down the hill, away from me, what was I to do but let him know I cared? I grabbed my cel phone and sent him a text message...."I love you, Josh." I got a message back, "ILU2." Good enough for me. :) Technology is our friend.

Today Jo is with me at work, snoozing away in the conference room. There's something about having him nearby that is comforting right now. Maybe it's that I know that Jo has another 8 years of being at home. Maybe that it's because Josiah is always the same kid...unchanging and kind. He seldom gets in a bad mood, and he's always affectionate and compassionate. I so hope that his rapidly approaching teenage years don't diminish his kindness. That would be heartbreaking in and of itself.

We haven't seen much of Jess since spring break started. She's been staying with Robert's sister since last Friday. She wasn't even home for Easter...she went to church with Robert's family and spent the day there. She sent me pictures from her cel phone so I could see what she looked like in her Easter outfit. She'll be sixteen in August, and she, too, is exerting her independence more and more.

I'm so thankful that winter is almost at its end. Winter is a difficult time for me. The bleak, sunless weather brings me down. I think what has helped me this year is my fitness program.

I've been working out 3-5 times a week, between 1/2 hour and an hour per workout. I'm using my walk at home dvds, which I have about 20 of, and the "walk boosters," which include weights, stretchy bands, among other Leslie Sansone walk enhancers. Right now I'm at 20 lbs down. My energy is better, I've not had a cold or asthmatic episode in MONTHS, (knock on wood) my mood is usually positive, and I'm sure that I'm at least one clothing size down.

For now, I'm putting on a belt and just wearing baggy clothes. I don't want to go out and buy new stuff, as I want to lose between 20 and 30 more pounds, and I don't want to have to keep buying new sizes. For me, the most important thing is HABIT. HABIT, HABIT, HABIT. When people ask me what I'm doing to lose weight, it's all about habit for me.

I gained the weight by falling into the bad habit of eating poorly and not being active. I'm losing it, gradually, by replacing those habits with healthier ones. This HABIT can't ever change, or the results will be unhealthy. The weight will come back, my health will decline, and the fitness benefits will disappear.

I'm not looking at my life the same way anymore. I'm not looking to "reward myself" for a certain number of pounds lost. The reward is a healthier life, fewer trips to the doctor, fewer medications to take in the future, and the ability to do more than I ever have.

I think the biggest change I've noticed is not in the scale or in the mirror. It's in my life.

I was shopping with Jess at her favorite outlet mall clothing store about a month ago. She takes the phrase, "Shop 'Til you Drop" to a whole new level.

So, I had been walking around the mall, then holding Jess' stuff, and walking even more, helping her pick some outfits for several hours. After about the first hour, she said, "Mom...are you tired? Do you need to sit down?" I thought about it. "Nope. I'm good." An hour later. "Mom, you probably need to sit down. I'm probably wearing you out, huh?" The answer was still "I'm fine."

And I was fine. I was so thrilled about that. My stamina is so much better than it was. That is a reward to beat all rewards.

In other excitement, I got a Cricut machine. I love it! I've been making some fun stuff with it. I'm making personalized gift tags for birthdays and special well as some cool and very easy scrapbook pages. What's cool is that it works with my Creative Memories paper, which I consider a quality product. I know what to ask for from Robert when he wants to know what I want for Mother's Day or my birthday. Cricut cartridges!!!! At $60 per cartridge, I won't be buying those on a weekly basis, but if I ask for them for holidays and birthdays, I'll eventually have quite a library of fun stuff to create. It's a neat invention.

Work is going well. I took the initiative and spoke to my head boss about some issues that had been detrimental to my finances and the way I feel about my job. In August, I will have been with this company ten years. I had just about lost confidence in my future here. The talk went better than I had expected, and I have renewed faith in my job. I've now salaried, though for years I resisted such a move. This change has afforded me more free time, as I now work 40 hours a week, while making more than my former hourly wage at 45 hours a week. It was validating to have my concerns met with such a positive response.

So, finances are looking up, although like everyone, the gas prices aren't a big help. Robert and I are still ride sharing every day in order to avoid having to put gas in two vehicles. Working in the same town...less than a mile one job perk we have. We drive a van and a Jeep....both are gas hogs. When finances permit, we plan on buying a smaller car. While we need a vehicle with lots of leg room...we don't have small children anymore....if Robert and I can get a small car to drive back and forth to work in, that will save a great deal in fuel expense.

Things are really busy at the foundry where Robert works. He has been working about 20 hours overtime per week for the last two months. That certainly contributes to getting things caught up in our once depressing budget. We don't know how long the overtime will last, but we're doing our best to get ahead in the interim.

I think that is all news that is news right now. I'll be stopping by your blog to see what's going on in your life soon...if I haven't already. In the meantime, blogger friends, SIGN UP FOR A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT, AND LOOK ME UP! (If you're not already one of my facebook pals.) I am on that site more than any other...and it's a great way to stay in touch. It doesn't take a lot of time to communicate and keep one another posted there. Plus with the privacy settings, I feel so much better about posting pictures there. I have 20+ albums with recent pics in them...and only my facebook friends can see them! Once you get over there, you'll see why I have such a hard time keeping up a blog....that site is addicting!

Okay, I'm done rambling. I guess I needed to post a loquacious update. I owe my blogger peeps that.

Until next time, love and many hugs!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Remember that Cool Contest I told you about in February?

You know, the cool foster/adoptive mom with the cool blog who was giving away the cool Ipod?

Guess what?

The winner didn't ever get back with her to claim it!

So his/her loss is our gain! The contest is back on!

You can check it out here:

Good luck!