Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to Basics

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is so easy for everyone to get caught up in the big things. The decorations, the presents, the presentation. While all of these things make Christmas (and life in general) a little more fun and a lot more sparkly, I had an ah-ha moment a couple nights ago. I've already preached blogged about how Christmas isn't about money or gifts, and I stand by that. But what I didn't mention? Is that life isn't about money or gifts either. And sometimes I need to stop and remind myself of this. Try and stay with me on this one...

I started a new job last week and am working 3 days a week at it, while still working 2 days a week at my old job. Fortunately it's with the same company, but the positions couldn't be more different. I love my new job and I am so grateful for it, but this transitioning and switching back and forth between the two? It's taking a lot out of me. I come home mentally drained. I love learning all of these new things but at the same time it's hard. My brain is going crazy trying to balance new responsibilities with old responsibilities. And this is my excuse. My excuse for being a less than ideal wife.

My husband has mentioned in the past few weeks that I have been distant. I've been out of it. I think the preparing for the new job, starting the new job, combined with the holiday crazies has made me this way. Well, I guess I can't really blame all of that, because when it really comes down to it, it's about me and the way I handle these things. But moving on.

My heart was heavy because of Shawn telling me I had been distant, so I sent him a text (while in the same room as him, mind you) and asked him if he wanted to go upstairs and just spend time together instead of watching TV with my family. I doubt I have to tell you how hard it is to be married in someone else's home, and while we are so entirely grateful that my dad and step mom have let us stay here while we get back on our feet, it's still just hard. We came from our own place and had to move into someone else's. We went from having alone time all the time to hardly ever having alone time. So I was relieved and happy when he headed upstairs after reading my text. Once upstairs? We just laid there and talked. And cuddled. And spent time with one another.

It was so nice to ignore all the worries, responsibilities, and holiday crazies. We took it back to the important stuff. Back to basics, if you will. It reminded me of how we were when we first started dating. I feel like after you are with a person for a while you get in a routine. Loving almost becomes a habit. And while love is certainly something that is important to me and that I'd like to keep constant in my life and in my relationship, a habit is not what I want for my marriage. So now I have this new mission. Love out of intention. Pure and simple love.

So now with Christmas just around the corner, and the New Year following close behind, I want to go ahead and put this out there as my "resolution". Except it's something that I'm going to start with now. I want to take it back to basics in my life. I want to push all the "for show" aside and really remember what first attracted me to my husband, why I first "clicked" with my best friends, and why family really should come first.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Little About Me

Since I (surprisingly) haven't had much to say lately, here is a little more about me. I stole this from Jenna who stole it from Katie :)

Guilty pleasure?
Twitter. For real. My husband makes fun of me for it all the time... I think I'm addicted. (So, uh, Follow me!)

Recent splurge?
A new North Face jacket. My old one was way too big and let all the cold in, thus defeating the purpose of a jacket. I was able to sell my old one for $75 and got the new one on sale since it was "discontinued" (they all look the same to me though!)... but it was still a bigger purchase!
In bulk, I buy?
Nothing. I did buy food and toiletries in bulk when I was in college and we probably will start buying bulk again once we have kids. The membership fees just wouldn't be worth it for us right now though.

My go-to flower?
Um, I am not picky. Give me any pretty flower and it will make me smile :)

Comfort food?
When I'm not feeling well I crave macaroni & cheese - specifically: Kraft, the shapes kind.

For breakfast?
Low Fat Eggo waffle and a glass of skim milk. Every morning, without fail. And I will usually eat a banana mid-morning.

For dinner?
Sadly, it's usually whatever my Dad cooks. Which isn't really so sad since he's an amazing cook, but it is sad I live at home...  Which I should really write a post explaining why one day. Other than his yummy cooking, Shawn and I usually go out to eat a couple times a week (which we are trying to cut back on).

Love/hate relationship with?
Weight Watchers. Although now that I'm on maintenance and get more daily points, I really just straight up love it. But when I was losing, some days I would be out of points and want something so!bad! and get really angry... but then weigh in days I would be happy again ;)

Can't stop watching?
My current favorite shows include: Glee, Up All Night, New Girl, X Factor (but the past 2 weeks results REALLY made me mad and I may boycott), Teen Mom 2 (don't judge), Sister Wives, and Desperate Housewives... and then reruns of The Office, How I Met Your Mother, and SVU - I never seem to catch new episodes of these though.

Dreaming about?
A house! We have started looking for a house and I'm obsessed. I may or may not check online listings multiple times a day.

Every girl should have?
An outlet. Whether it is your best friend, mom, husband... just someone you can vent to, cry to, bitch to, or celebrate with at any time of the day.

My style in five words?
Alright but could be better. Can I explain? I know what I like when I see it on someone else, and that way, I think my style is good. But? I have the worst time trying to put an outfit together for myself. So I usually just stick to basics and don't venture out. Anyone want to be my personal shopper?!

I love wearing?
Smaller sizes. For real. This goes back to my love for Weight Watchers :)

Dream job?
To be completely honest? A mom. I can't wait to be a mom. No matter how successful I feel at a job I get paid to do, I won't feel truly successful until I have a family.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

5K Motivation

As I have mentioned before, I am new to the running world. I'm not in love with it, but I can honestly say I don't hate it anymore. It has, as promised by veteran runners, gotten easier. And some days? I actually look forward to a run.

On Saturday I completed my second 5K. It feels great to know how far I've come. But what I like most about runs? The feeling afterward. Also, the encouragement I get from some pretty awesome people in my life. My husband, my mom, and some great friends I've made through the Internet.

Shawn is a natural athlete. He is agile, fast, and strong... basically everything that I'm not. He is an Army vet and has crazy drive and determination. He has been the best trainer I could ever ask for and has been so supportive of me. He pushes me when I don't want to be pushed. I might yell and cuss and complain sometimes, but I know he has my best interest in mind. And for that, I am grateful. I couldn't have gotten this far without his help. Also? Working out with your spouse is definitely a relationship booster. It has given us something to relate on. We may not always agree on what movie to watch, what store our money is best spent in, or what we do for fun in our free time... but now we have this common goal to live a healthy lifestyle and that? Is amazing.

My mom. How can a girl even start when it comes to how her mom has supported her? Let's just stick to health-motivation for this post so things don't get all sappy. If you asked anyone a year ago if my mom and I would ever run a 5K together you would have gotten a fit of laughter instead of a solid answer. Today I can proudly say that that is no longer the case.

Last year my mom got bit by the work out bug when she signed up to join Shawn in the Tough Mudder. In the middle of her training she had to have major surgery but that didn't slow her down one bit. In fact, it made her stronger. I watched her as she finished a 12 mile obstacle course run last April and I couldn't have been prouder. Since then I've also cheered her on through multiple races, including a triathlon.

About a month ago she invited me to participate in a "casual" 5K run. I figured since I was running an "official" 5K in a couple weeks I might as well try to see how far I still had to go. That day? I ran my first 5K alongside of my mom. She had to slow her pace because of me (she IS 8 inches taller than me, no lie) but she went slower for me. To help me. And seeing my mom running a couple steps ahead of me was quite the motivation. She then ran in my first official 5K with me a couple weeks later. I made sure she ran at her own pace this time, which was fine with me, since I had her there at the finish line cheering for me. What an awesome experience. And this April? We will be completing the Tough Mudder together. No more spectator tickets for me ;)

Katie and Susan are two amazing sisters. Seriously, they've lost over 100 lbs. together this year (for real!). It's safe to say they have not only been a motivator when it comes to Weight Watchers, but also when it comes to running.

Susan ran her first 5K a few months ago, and when I sent her encouraging words via Twitter after she finished, I can distinctly remember her responding that the next one I was going to run with her. She didn't ask, she told. I had been waiting for that push. I needed that push. She doesn't know this, but last year Shawn and I made a Bucket List. On it? I said I wanted to run a 5K. And after her encouragement I couldn't think of any more excuses. So I signed up when I could barely run 1 mile straight. Then I found out Katie also signed up. Katie has also been a huge inspiration to me. I knew it would be an awesome experience to run in the same race with the girls that have been such a huge support for me throughout my Weight Watchers journey. I relate to these girls. They help me, motivate me, and inspire me. And I'm thankful for them.

I don't think I would have made it this far without any of these wonderful people's encouragement. So to everyone that has pushed me, motivated me, and kept me going: Thank you. Whether you are listed here or not, I am thankful for you. Your kind words are greatly appreciated.

If you want, please head over to Katie's blog to read her post on motivators and to see a few pictures from Saturday's 5K. I can pretty much echo everything she wrote, so instead of sounding like a broken record, I encourage you to read what she has to say.

Happy running ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Reminder

I hope this helps someone else as much as it helped me.
Happy December :)