Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Poem: A Tritina about Heaven

Another day in paradise.
I walk in His shadow,
Side-by-side in His glory.

I praise and give glory
To the Creator of this paradise.
Made in His image, I am His shadow.

The darkness cannot touch or shadow
The awesomeness of His glory.
This is His domain, His paradise.

In this final resting place, a paradise, I can forever shadow my Savior and bask in His glory.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Perkins

Monday, April 23, 2018

Poem: Rise Above

Spending the night becomes so tempting;
The act itself so sinful yet satisfying.
In the moment I just have to do it
But later I feel empty inside.

Then I fall into the dance again
Even though I said I'd stop.
Things get out of hand once more...
Control an illusion, a tale like Aesop.

What started out as an experiment,
Something that should have been fun,
Takes a more serious turn
When I find out new life has begun.

I knew I was being foolish
But I couldn't stay from the flame.
Playing with fire excites me
Until the embers turn to pain.

Now is the moment of truth:
Will I sink or will I swim?
Everyone makes mistakes in this life,
It's rising to the occasion that makes us win.

Yes, that scarlet letter
Was once my greatest shame
But then I looked into her eyes
And was forever changed.

For the Lord, her true Creator,
Knit her together in my womb.
And that new life erupts, comes forth,
Like our Messiah from the tomb.

The Lord reminds me through this child
That no sin is too great or grand.
He can forgive us for each one
If we'll only take His hand.

Photo credit: Dakota Corbin

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Looking Forward to 2018

I spent some time today decluttering baby/toddler clothes. I was able to put together two medium sized boxes and a trash bag full of clothes to donate or sell. I decided to weigh the boxes/bag -- 17 pounds of clothes. It felt great to go through some of the extras and find things I can let go of, but I still need to organize what is left so that I can actually find the clothes when I need them.

This reminded me of my decluttering efforts from earlier this year. I began to follow the KonMari decluttering method. I started but I don't think I ever completely finished the second category: non-sentimental papers. I promised myself I would continue the process when we moved this summer, but I have not gotten back into it.

Then I began thinking about my goals for 2018. I tend to set many goals in a wide variety of categories. I usually make strides on all or most of them but rarely seem to be able to actually accomplish them. However, as I continue to grow up and mature, I am finding what works for me. I seem to make a little more progress every year. I have been able to be at peace with not finishing my goals but simply making strides.

But this year, I want to be a finisher.

In 2017, I spent nine months pregnant and then gave birth. I completed 12 college classes (36 hours). My husband and I completed a God-centered marriage program to help strengthen our relationship with each other and God. We had some big expenses but paid cash for all of them, avoiding any new debt. I blogged for 100 consecutive days. I went on my first real vacation (which was basically our honeymoon... two years later). We said good-bye to our first home as a married couple (a teeny tiny little apartment) and moved on to an amazing town home. All in all, a pretty exciting year mixed in to all the mundane of the day to day.

What I am looking forward to accomplishing/making progress toward in 2018:

  • Losing 100+ pounds. I started this goal almost two weeks ago (why not get a head start?). I look forward to crushing it with healthy food as well as trying my hand at strength training (something I haven't really ever done). I am going to try to lose as much weight as possible (and is healthy) while I am on maternity leave so that I have a jump-start for when I go back to work. Working means less time to cook and do dishes. It also means stress and temptations. Getting this head start is super helpful for me in accomplishing this goal.
  • Finish my BA degree. I need 4 classes (12 hours). I would love to finish by May as long as it does not distract me too much from family. If I need to take it slower, I will, and I will still finish before the end of 2018.
  • Continue to work on business ventures that could potentially turn into passive income for my family.
  • Get back to decluttering my home.
  • Possibly finish and publish an ebook I started this year. Still not 100% committed to this one, but I want to at least take some time to review what I have already written on the book and make a decision.

I have a ton of other little goals that I would like to accomplish as well. However, the most important thing is being present with my family. I feel like my daughter's first year went by in a flash. I remember it, but at the same time I sometimes feel like I don't. I would hate for it to feel that same way with my son's first year. Although my goals are meant to help make my family better, I do not want to lose sight of them as I work to accomplish these goals.

What do you plan to accomplish in 2018? 

How do you plan to get there?

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Quick thoughts...

My computer is running an update that has been taking all morning to complete. Two hours later it is at like 20%. So, I bring you a few super quick thoughts I am having this morning, written from my cell phone:

-Day 4 of teaching my child to use the potty chair. I would have given up by now if my husband had not been helping me. It seriously is a job for two when your child is this stubborn.

-I wonder if I'm spending too much time on my cell phone instead of enjoying this time off with my kids...

-And with that, I will sign off, put the phone away, and get on the floor to play with my children

Friday, December 22, 2017

Long Shot (Netflix Original review)

As you may be able to tell, I enjoy crime documentaries. Netflix has been excellent at releasing documentaries that expose the holes in our investigative and justice systems. I recently watched "Long Shot", a 40 minute documentary about a man possibly facing death row simply because he could not prove his alibi.

Juan Catalan had an older brother who was involved in gangs and violence. However, Juan did not follow in his brother's footsteps. When an eyewitness supposedly matches Juan to a violent crime, he is suddenly facing the possibility of death row.

All this time, Juan denies he committed the crime and realizes he had an alibi: he was at a Dodgers game. But providing a ticket stub was not enough. He had to prove he was there.

His lawyer works hard to try to provide this evidence. It is a nail-biting process.

The documentary leaves us with thinking about the "What ifs". There were so many things that happened that if the stars had not aligned, Juan's outcome may have been much less pleasant. The film asks us to try to not live in paranoia of the what ifs, but you have to wonder...

My husband and I agreed that if the documentary accurately portrays the case, the evidence against Juan was weak. If he had been convicted on the "evidence" presented and sent to death row, then that is most certainly an injustice. This felt like a case where he was guilty until he could prove himself innocent which is the opposite of what I like to think our justice system is about. Maybe I'm wrong.

Did you watch this documentary? What did you take away from it?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Why I started Whole30 two weeks postpartum

The Whole30 is a strict elimination program that lasts 30 days (plus 15 days of re-introduction) to help heal your body (especially your gut), tame the sugar dragon, and help participants know what makes their body feel less than optimal. The vast majority of participants also lose weight and/or see body composition improve.

I did two rounds of Whole30 after I gave birth to my daughter. It helped me to lose the weight I had gained during pregnancy and cut cravings. I did these rounds in the spring and summer of 2016.

Unfortunately, I started incorporating the foods that made me feel bloated and sluggish back into my diet in late 2016. I did not get back on track for the entirety of 2017. Granted, I was pregnant for most of 2017, but that didn't mean I had to eat whatever I wanted and gain 50lb (a "healthy" weight gain for a pregnant woman my size would have been about 20lb).

Between the weight gain, already being heavy to begin with, and eating less-than-healthy foods, I felt pretty terrible the last trimester. My energy was super low. I was getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night but as soon as I started maternity leave I started napping in the afternoon as well. I just felt blah.

I had been thinking about wanting to get down to a weight that would be more optimal for my size for the entire duration of my pregnancy. Obviously pregnancy is not a time to lose weight, so I had to wait.

I started Whole30 two weeks postpartum because I knew that I could 1) eat plenty of food to still produce breastmilk for my baby while 2) helping tame my sugar cravings, start feeling better, and lose weight.

Some people may think that I'm crazy to do such an extreme program so soon after having a baby. The truth is: this is actually a great time! Since I normally work outside the home, being off work means having a lot more time to cook and do dishes. Plus, I don't have all of the office treats (think: breakfast tacos, cookies, cakes, and pizza parties) constantly being thrown at me in addition to vending machines in the break room and fast food places on my drive to work.

If you read my post yesterday, you'll know that I am also trying to help my daughter learn to use the potty while nursing a newborn while doing a Whole30. So yes, maybe I am a little crazy. But being a parent does not excuse me from taking care of myself. If anything, it gives me a greater sense of urgency. I need to do this -- for myself and for my family.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It took me over an hour to write this post

Today, I am attempting to teach my older child how to use the potty.

My older child (almost two years old) is running around today without a diaper or pants on. We are going to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes for her to sit on her potty chair for a minute or two. While we sit, we're reading books, looking at pictures, and "talking".

I started making my breakfast about 8:40 and finally sat down to take a bite at 9:17. It was cold. My eating was then interrupted by a potty break.

I also have a 3 week old child who is breastfed on demand. So far I have been able to squeeze his feedings in between potty visits, but I know this will be a challenge.

I opened up my computer to write this blog post around the time I started to fix my breakfast. I am finally hitting publish at 9:54. Hint: that's why there is no stock photo. If I wasn't part of a daily blogging challenge, this post would not be happening.

I am still in my pajamas however I did manage to brush my teeth. Maybe I will have a chance to change clothes by noon.

This potty learning process is supposed to take three to four days. And that's not even including the nighttime potty needs... just the daytime.

As my dad likes to remind me: "This parenting thing isn't for the faint of heart".

So here I go, armed with my pet odor and stain remover spray, lots of picture books to look at while we sit, sticker rewards for her successes, and as much patience as I can muster.