Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Had A Time...

What a great weekend we just had! It was one of those busy every second type of deals, but being that it was so full of social events, one could hardly complain!

Friday night some friends of ours from our small town move(I know, how sad is it that I need to somehow label where we've lived in the last four years to be able to distinguish without naming!) came here to watch their daughter compete in a volleyball tournament and asked if we could meet up. Even though the weather that day was less than stellar, we figured if they ventured for the drive, so could we! They are such a great family and we had a wonderful few hours chatting and laughing while watching the game, while the other kids ran and laughed and generally acted silly. It was great seeing them, and we definitely need to get back to visit all the old gang that we have missed very much.

On Saturday, our youngest had a birthday party to attend and we had to still get a gift! We scurried about in a frenzy doing that, getting some food in her, and finally dropped her at her destination. The birthday girl attends the same school, and we got to know the family via being "walkers" as the school calls us. They had just moved here from Halifax at the end of August, same as us, so we had a lot in common and shared a wistful spirit of longing for the East Coast. They invited us to come in after the party and stay for awhile and let the kids play while the adults visited with our own "refreshments."  We ended up being there FOUR hours and had a truly lovely time with them as well as another couple from Halifax.

That brought us contentedly to Sunday, and my Mom's birthday. We had asked her what she'd like to do and she suggested bowling! That seemed a little random but we had a great time in the glow in the dark lanes, competing and laughing! We gave my Mom her gifts afterwards and chatted a bit before heading home yet again.

I remembered that I had to pick up a few necessities at the grocery store on our way, and ran into my friend that I hadn't seen in these four years! She is SO full of energy and life and just seeing her made me smile for the rest of the afternoon! We made plans to get together next week and emailed right away to confirm. She's "great people" and I'd love to reconnect.

I was exhausted come Monday, my house was a mess from us being in and out and it not being cleaned, the laundry was piled up yet again, but.....aren't those the signs of a great weekend for the suburban family? I'd much rather have been out there seeing people and enjoying friendships old and new, than home cleaning and sorting!

If only I could avoid cleaning every weekend for the sake of a great social life, I'd say that would be a life well lived!

Note: A little trivia for you....The blog post title is a line from one of my favourite series of all time...."My So Called Life"

Monday, January 23, 2012

If A 19 Year Old Feels The Burn.....

I know you're probably getting bored and sick to death of Booty Camp posts but it's my blog so nah nah nah boo boo. Just humour me because this is a good one!

Tonight was "bring a friend to booty camp" day and as a bunch of my friends were suddenly, inexplicably busy (ahem) my niece came along with my sister and I for the class.

She's seen us come home sweaty and purple faced. She's witnessed the inability to walk down stairs without clutching the railing, she's heard the moans and groans. She's kind of scoffed at us, really.

Well, tonight she was laughing no more! I believe about three quarters of the way through the class her exact words were, "I hate this bitch."  Oh, oh how I laughed. She was joking, sort of anyways.

After several rounds of burpees, squats, planks, squat jumps, football runs with jumps, bicep dips, push ups and whatever other fresh hell my trainer Lauri thought of in that diabolical mind of hers, we were spent. My niece looked at me and said, "I must be in worse shape than I thought!"  No, no. It's just THAT intense.

I left feeling not so badly about my intensity level after that. If a 19 year old found it challenging, than this almost 40 year old is kicking some booty! Literally!

Is it mean of me to hope that she can't walk tomorrow? Just a little???  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Warrior

I often hope for laisser-faire weekends with nary a task to do, but unfortunately that's rarely the case. I have to admit though, part of the "busy" is just normal, everyday, everyone has the same things to do kinda stuff. We get groceries, we do laundry etc etc etc. It's not the most fun to be had in the world EVER, but it's just part of the gettin' by routine of life. The other part of the admitting is that the rest of the busy is often for social plans. Who can really complain about having an active social life? That's right. Only people who either over schedule themselves just to say they are, or those who don't have a lot of social activities and are envious. As I'm neither of those things-it's busy with a side of fun!

Can I first toot my own horn a little? TOOOOOT. I ROCKED the exercise this weekend, like, hard core. I did all of my Booty Camp DVD's as was instructed, but I also decided I felt strong enough to try running again. Today? I did my DVD and THEN ran! Whaaaat? I saw this quote on Pinterest about how your legs aren't tired when you run, just your brain is trying to get you to stop. I honestly had that in mind today as I ran, pushing myself to keep going, doing that internal dialogue in my head that I so often do.

"You're not tired. The first few minutes of ANY run suck. Just run through it, you know it will get better. Look, there's only 2 minutes left in this run portion. You can go for 2 minutes! Just keep going!"

You know what? I did. I actually fist pumped at the end while I walked to cool down. I SO did. I felt like some super hard core rock star. I have about a bazillion of miles to go before that is a reality in any way, shape or form...but a girl is allowed to dream.

My daughter had her friend sleepover two nights, got a haircut, dyed her hair from light blond to light brown. There was also a movie for all (Beauty and the Beast in 3D), skating on the community rink, and meeting new friends on Saturday night.

We had some folks over and one of them brought his two daughters that are roughly the same ages as our two. They had a great time hanging out, after initial awkwardness, and the adults did too. My husband likes to make fun of me because whenever we have people in he says I "over host" and put out way too much food. I'd rather there's too much than too little! The funny part of this gathering was that my husband thought it was Sunday and they'd watch the football games. He was all messed up due to the PD day on Friday and the fact that he was off for the day. Once we figured out it was Saturday, we decided to just go ahead with plans anyways! You never need an excuse to see friends, right?

I also had a great visit on Saturday with my friend Claire. She set me up at her salon (no, like really had my back! The stylist told me Claire had gone over my wishes with her, checked that everything was a go and generally made sure I would enjoy my time! Girl is beyond and above the bestest. Love her!)  I want to go darker with my hair colour, more like an auburn or copper sort of colour than my usual blond. I was strawberry blond as a kid, but as I get older it seems to be turning a darker red. I also covet that dark shade like Lindsay Lohan had when she wasn't emaciated and cracked out, or Mary Kate Olsen or Addison from Private Practice. In order to get that colour, we first had to fill in the VERY blond strands that were bleached out. So, this visit was primarily getting my hair to that darker shade. It's more brown than I'd like, but the stylist explained we need to do that first, then in 6-8 weeks we can just put whatever shades of red I'd like. If we'd just gone ahead with red? Ya, I'd have pink hair. That would definitely not be up my alley. Some people can pull that off but me? Not so much. So, my hair-in some light, it's very auburn, in others it's more brown. I'm used to being fair so I have to get used to looking in the mirror at dark hair! Change doesn't scare me though, so I'm totally up for it! It's just hair, right?

After that transformative appointment, Claire and I headed out for a bite to eat and a chat. I seriously lose all sense of time when I'm with her, chatting away. It could be 10 hours later and we'd still have more to say. Friends like that are few and far between, that's for sure. Can I just say again-love her!

Tomorrow is back to routine and I don't mind a bit. There's going to be Booty Camp and my youngest is skating with her class on Thursday (I've volunteered to do up skates) and my oldest has a fun field trip and well....the week just looks promising.

All of this exercise must have released some crazy endorphins because I feel high on life!

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dreams of Living Abroad

Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed about travelling to different places and seeing parts of the world that captivated my imagination or soul. I wanted to stay living in Ottawa, but I wanted to go and explore and experience as much of what was "out there" as I could.

Somewhere from childhood to adulthood, I developed a horrific fear of flying. I still wanted to go to all of those places, but I wanted somehow to be teleported there. Needless to say, I never went.

Well, unless you count various US states by car (several!) or Acapulco on Spring Break (who really remembers much of that?? I only explored the nightlife!)

When I met my husband, we decided to pack up everything we owned (very little) and move to Kelowna, BC. His  parents lived there and we figured it would be a fantastic adventure and a surefire quick start way to test the waters of a new relationship. It was either meant to be or would be doomed.

We lived there a year and then I missed home too much and we moved back.

Since we've now moved a few more times, I've outgrown the need/want to stay in the same city as my birth. I've also had more practice flying and while I'm still a nervous flier, I'm much more willing to go. Of course, if  I could move back to Halifax and live there for the long haul, I'd do that in a heartbeat too. Still, I'd sojourn for a period "away."

Here's my dream. I would love to visit Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, France, Spain. Those are my top picks. But my real fantasy? To get to actually LIVE one of those places (preferably Spain because of the climate and beach and language opportunity!) for six months to a year. My husband's job isn't portable so I'm not sure of the logistics, but one day, I'd love to be able to take our kids and go! Not forever, but for awhile.

My friend Claire and her family did just that, living in Costa Rica. If you follow Liisa from http://www.fitforakid.net/, you know she's doing that right now! I think it's an incredible opportunity, and one I hope eventually comes our way. Heck, I'll even "settle" for an extended summer, say 3 months?

My feet are itchy again, and my head is soaring above the clouds and across the ocean to see what lies in wait.

One day......

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chilly Saturday

It snowed a gazillion inches of snow the last two days, and with my husband out of commission due to pulling his back, it was me and the shovel. I literally shoveled THREE times yesterday. I don't mind shovelling really, but three times??? Seriously?

The more annoying thing was my neighbour snow plowing away and not even offering to do the end of my driveway as I was grunting and groaning lifting heavy, wet, dirty snow. Grr.

I just kept in mind that I was burning a ton of calories.

Today is very, very, very cold out. It's not the type of day for outdoor activities, so the fam and I have been keeping busy indoors. My husband is just lying in a heap, actually, with the odd moan of how horrible his old man back feels. I told him he needs to kick up the core strengthening! HA!

I did my Booty Camp DVD today, and my girls offered to give me some company. I love when they want to do an activity with me! It was funny to see them saying how "easy" it was, and then getting all out of breath. Booyah! The biggest compliment was that my youngest said, "Mommy, you're really strong!" That's completely untrue at this moment, as I struggle to do one regular push-up, but you know....was still a great feeling. It's important to me that they learn about healthy eating and nutrition, but also about staying active. I want them to know that staying active isn't about weight loss or dieting, it's about exactly what my daughter said, strength.

I'm taking some time to write while my eldest is running on my treadmill. She's started a fitness program she set up for herself, doing push-ups and sit-ups and jumping jacks and plank each day, and now has added a running component. She's a tiny, petite little thing, and her goal is a 6 pack and strength. I told her I'd supervise, so here I sit.

I'm just about to shower and then my youngest and I are baking some chocolate chip pumpkin loaves and I'm roasting some chick peas for a snack during the week. I love chick peas and tend to eat way too many when they're around but they're a good protein for a snack after Booty Camp.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, but you can find them at http://willowbirdbaking.com/2010/09/02/snack-attack-2-chili-lime-roasted-chickpeas/

Hope you're having a great Saturday and keeping warm!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bustin' My Booty At Booty Camp...And News!

I started my 8 week "Booty Camp Fitness" classes with my sister on Monday night. Let me tell you straight off, I was totally nervous about the pain that was going to be inflicted there. I mean, it's BOOT CAMP, not "have a latte and get a massage camp."  The whole point of signing up for this endeavour was to bust out of a rut and to whip ourselves into shape. It's been many, many months since I really put any effort into exercise, and whoa do I need it.

Booty Camp Fitness has great testimonials on their site, but it also has great word of mouth from people I actually know, many of whom lost tons of inches and pounds. Check and check! Sign me up! I got my gear together, got my butt out the door and headed off with my sister to our first sweat-a-thon.

Wow. That's all I can really say. It's now Thursday and I'm still barely able to go down the stairs without clutching the railing. Sitting on the toilet involves mostly just falling on to it and hoping I hit the mark. The first class involved about a bazillion squats, lunges, burpees, squat jumps, lunge jumps, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit ups....It's all kind of a blur now.  I'm a pretty competitive person in that I don't like to actually SHOW that I'm dying or can't keep going-but in this class? There's no way you can do that. I had to modify a few times (okay, a few hundred times) and I had to stop once or twice. It was super intense.

Last night was the second class and I was dreading going. I mean, how in heck was I supposed to even DO the exercises when I can't even walk or sit? It was a Cardio Combat type of class with kickboxing and cardio for 5 minute intervals, followed by 5 minutes of different weight and plank stations. This was still killer, but way more up my alley.

I have to do a DVD twice this week as well and was told to not have any sugar or alcohol by our trainer. So far, I'm doing well. I'm scared that I'm not going to be able to move tomorrow since the workouts seem to hit me even harder the second day but I guess we'll see what happens with that. It's kind of frustrating to be basically out of commission but I'm sure it will get better. Let's hope because getting anything accomplished is a nightmare and takes double the time!

In VERY EXCITING news, you are now looking at the new blogger on the "Losing It In Ottawa" site! They put a request out for new writers to join their team and I took the bull by the horns! I wrote up my email and saved it as a draft for a day or so. I'm a pretty private person when it comes to my personal life, and talking about weight or fitness struggles may not seem glamorous, but I think it's important. SO many of us are trying each day to do better and be better and to make health and fitness a priority in our lives, and it's both comforting and inspiring to see others who are on the same path. I had resolved to just DO and take more spontaneous chances this year-so I pressed send and waited to see if I'd be chosen!

I'll be writing every second Saturday, starting January 28th. I'll be chronicling my journey for 8 weeks, as I go through this Booty Camp challenge, as I get my head in the game clean and whole eating wise, and as I make being active more of a daily thing both on my own and with my family. "Losing It In Ottawa" has had many great bloggers writing for them, and terrific, inspiring stories of individuals who have found their way to their best selves. I'm truly excited and honoured to be able to join their team. Please follow me along there, and let me know what you think. I appreciate your comments and feedback, and most importantly, your encouragement!

"Losing It In Ottawa" can be found here: http://losingitinottawa.wordpress.com/

Bookmark it, follow it, add your insight! I'd love to see you all!

Speaking of moving my behind, I better slowly and gingerly pick myself off of this chair and go slip in my DVD. It's not going to be an easy road ahead, but with your help, it will be a successful one!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Take A Flying Leap!

I'm an analytical, weigh the pros and cons, let's make a list of possible outcomes kind of gal. I've been this way since I decided to enter the world a whole three weeks late on the night of the Miss Universe Pageant. It's just how I roll.

Last year, I decided that I was going to step outside of my comfort zone and really start just jumping into things that sounded intriguing to me because, really, what was there to lose? I'd been down the critical analysis path for my entire existence, and you know what? All of that careful forethought hadn't really helped me out any. It was time for a new tactic.

I met people from the Internet in person, I ordered off the Starbucks menu, (okay, I actually DID go check that out first! That thing is intimidating!) I went to fitness classes that scared the hell out of me and then CONTINUED to go, ALONE. That is big for me. I also opened my blog up and started sending writing out into the world when every fiber of my being was unsure if I should do so.

You know what? Every Single One of those things turned out really spectacular. Not one bad thing happened because I didn't map out what might "potentially" occur or how I might look or feel or a hundred other "What Ifs." 

I'm vowing here and now, in writing, to keep leaping this year. In fact, I've started already. A few things have come into my line of vision that piqued my curiosity, and before I could talk myself out of them, I've pulled the trigger.

You'll find me panting and barely able to move attending Booty Camp Fitness classes twice a week. It terrifies me frankly-but I'm doing it anyways. 

You'll find me lacing up my skates for some solo sessions on outdoor rinks during the (hopefully?) quiet daytime hours. I love skating but haven't done it in years. I believe last time I was 3 months pregnant! I'm expecting while kids are in school it won't be a madhouse on the ice, and I'm hoping I can get some solid workout time in with something I enjoy in a season that I don't.

Lastly, I've submitted my name to a few writing assignments that have me "baring all" in a way that is insanely open for me, Miss Privacy. I don't know what will come of those, but I'm proud that I took the chance and put my name in the ring without worrying about outcome-whichever way that may go. 

I've played it cautious for way too long, and it's held me back from situations because I was worried what would "maybe" happen. 

Not any more, baby. 

It's time to FLY.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

The year 2011 has come to a close and the consensus seems to be that it just flew by! I concur. Many years past have seemed to drag on and on and by New Year's Eve I'd be stamping my foot like a petulant child, demanding it end and a new beginning take it's place.

Yet this year seems to have happened so fast, part of me feels like I was just thrown from one thing to the next, without having the time to pause, take stock or breathe. 

On Twitter, the question was raised regarding "what made 2011 great for you?" Being the pessimist that I am, my mind immediately jumped to all of the crappy stuff I am not happy about having happened and I literally had to stop myself and try to spin it into a positive.

Here is that spin:

For me, 2011 started out tremendously well. I felt an inner peace I hadn't in...well, ever.....living in a place I love beyond words or description. You can't make others understand that feeling unless they too have "found their home."  My family and I got to travel to Florida and my girls got to experience Disney for the first time. It was truly magical.

Though I'm by no means Ms. Fitness or something, I seemed to find my groove and was doing Zumba twice a week, running three times a week, and doing Yoga in class and at home every chance I got. I felt like I was discovering the authentic "me" that I had been missing for a long, long time. 

On top of all that greatness, I also made some amazing friendships with women that I clicked with on the first meeting. These women are awesome motivators, cheerleaders, confidants, and friends for the long haul. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know my move to Halifax was meant to be for many reasons, and one of those was all of them.

Then....dun dun dun.....we were asked to move back to my home town. That was honestly the last thing we wanted to do, but the offer was too great to not leap. 

The good news is, I've rekindled friendships in 2011 that mean the world to me. I've been blessed to be close to my oldest and dearest friends on this earth once more. My kids have been able to spend time with family and know that relationship. 

I spent New Year's Eve exactly how I would hope to usher in a New Year-with people that I can truly just be myself around-and who value that relationship. They don't talk about me behind my back, they don't judge me when the tears start falling, they hold my hand and hug me and just plain love me through every single thing life throws my way. The sentimentality aside, they also make me laugh and laugh until my sides ache.

I've discovered some life lessons throughout this whirlwind year-as I hope to every year that I'm walking this life path. That's what we're here for, no? To grow and learn and become better souls in general? I think so.

I've learned that many people think they have all the answers and think their view is the reality. In fact, they don't know much other than what they want to believe. The other possibility is that they are scared to face what the actuality is, preferring to be comfortable in the "how it used to be" instead of the "how it really is."

I've learned that drama is just second nature to some people, and there's not a thing I can do to change that fact. I can confront lies and gossip and whispering every single time it happens (and trust me I do and will) but I've had to just swallow the bitter pill of acceptance in these circumstances and surround myself with what I know is the truth. I know what is in my heart and soul, I know where I've travelled, where I'm at and where I'm hoping to go....and that's all I can do and be. I can't allow others malice and intent to hurt keep penetrating my life. It's easier said than done, of course. It also still hurts when it happens. All one can do is not get drawn into also gossiping (I'm working on this! Old habits die hard!) and try to balance that out by having supportive, loving people in their corner to buffer out the dark. Luckily for me, I have a large, light filled corner.

I've learned that I have a lot of work to keep doing on myself. Dang it! Here I thought I was close to perfect. HA! I have resolutions and goals for 2012 that all add up to trying to find that elusive puzzle piece that I'm still missing. I feel incomplete in different ways-physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. I'm kind of trying to carve a niche and figuring out what I'm missing and where I want to go with all of "this." I know I've been on a path the last few years and I'm proud of where it's been leading, but I feel like I'm now at an important juncture and the decisions I make here will be big. Hopefully big/good and not big/bad. That would suck. I feel like I've been dancing to the beat of other people's drums-kids, husband, family.....and it's time to find my own and what doing for me looks like instead of doing for everybody else.

All of that learning has led me to think that if 2012 ISN'T the purported "End of The World" than I better get to work on making it the BEGINNING of something huge. Of course I have practical goals like "sleep 8 hours a night" and fun plans like Florida again and an even better trip to Halifax this summer-but my hearts wishes are more about personal betterment in all ways, inner peace and contentment, and hope. 

Hope that I can take all that I learned, above, and put it to good use in future. Hope that 2012 brings some answers to questions unresolved. Hope that if someone wants to know what lies in my heart, instead of presuming based on gossip or past experience, they will feel welcomed to approach me personally. Hope, above all else, that while life is never perfect or continually peaceful, that it is interesting, healthy, and joyous.

In all of these (long winded) wishes is also my hope for all of these things for you. 

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let your soul expand, let your heart reach out to others in loving and generous warmth, and great and lasting will be your joy, and all prosperity will come to you.   – James Allen 

                            This is what "Peace" looks like to me