Monday, January 11, 2021

It's Going to be a Great Week!

 Hello there Monday morning!

We are on the other side of a wonderful weekend mixed with fun and relaxation that included dinner with friends, Ina's basketball game victory, finally getting the opportunity to exchange Christmas presents with a few family members, a wonderfully entertaining production of Aladdin, church + babies, and cards. 

(Yes, I do see the irony of me taking a picture of my smoothie while my daughter is carrying around a bag of potato chips- above and eating a fruit by the foot, below. Ha!)

I went to bed with a touch of worry about the upcoming week, but quickly shifted my mindset to think of all the things I have to be thankful for and look forward to: 

- All of the laundry is done (and put away!) and Ina and Cora's clothes are laid out for the week. Mira is a wild card and the only thing I can be certain she will not want to wear is whatever I ask her to, so I only choose that battle when it is important to me. Speaking of making mornings easier...

- Ina and I have worked out a to-do list system that makes things easier for both of us. I didn't write one on Sunday and she started writing one herself. 

- Small group starts again this week! (I had a huge smile on my face when I typed that.) We are starting the book of Daniel.

- At work I get to: 

  • Write a document that goes to a certain regulatory agency
  • Play with some old data to (hopefully) make a new point
  • Send a report to a client summarizing an analysis I have never done before until a few months ago
  • Complete an analysis on a huge dataset - this is the type of work I did at my old job regularly and more in my comfort zone- thankful to have some of that!
- My workouts are already waiting for me thanks to Lexi. I am so thankful I have the time and resources (weights, internet, a healthy body) to enjoy them.

- My church has an awesome daily podcast for me to utilize during my morning walks/jogs. 

- We have a week's worth of delicious meals to look forward to:
- The Chiefs are in the playoffs...and no school or work the following day! 

See, with all of that, how is there anything to be anxious about? :) I hope you have a wonderful week! <3

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Mindset Shift

Hello there and Happy Saturday! 

For the first time in weeks I plan to put on jeans, wear shoes other than my fur lined Crocs, and go out in public for Ina's basketball game. It's going to be a great day! 

At the beginning of the week I was feeling pretty down/anxious/sad for no one particular reason other than we are in the middle of a winter pandemic with my newsfeed blowing up with so much fear and anger and I continue to feel inadequate/question myself at work and my girls won't stop fighting with each other and I want to chainsaw the part of the recliner Dan's feet are propped up on and I just want to go to bed. 

OK...maybe I did have a reason. 

That isn't the point.

The point is that on the second day of this I decided I didn't want to feel like this anymore. I was focusing on negative things way too much and letting them steal my joy. Of course life isn't perfect, but I want to choose to be joyful while experiencing those imperfections and frustrations. Here is what I did: 

  • I asked Jesus for help fighting these toxic thoughts/feelings that I firmly believe are spiritual warfare. I remind myself that the battle is already won.
  • I made a 15 minute mid-day walk in the sunshine a high priority, even when it was raining - see above. Ha!
  • When I started thinking something negative, I re-framed it in a positive/thankful way. Example: I changed "I have no idea what I am doing at work. All of the senior scientists know way more than me" to "I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful scientific mentors who are willing to spend time to teach me what I need to succeed in my career." 
  • I reminded myself that I have so many things to be thankful for and said those things out/loud in my head. For example, when the girls were fighting I would look at their beautiful bodies and say, "I am so thankful that my girls are healthy."
  • I stopped looking at social med...just kidding...this train wreck of a week has continued to suck me in. 
You guys - this is nothing ground breaking. Every book/article/podcast recommends these things and I know them but I don't (or wasn't) doing them. As it turns out, those self help/bible study books don't actually help unless you put them into action. 

These are simple/easy actions and since putting them in place my mood has significantly improved. I am writing all of this as a friendly reminder that sometimes you just need to take a step back and shift your mindset. Also, sometimes you need more than that (like counseling or medications) and that is OK too. 

Also, I have made these brussels sprouts twice this week and have been very happy with that decision. 

I hope you have a joyful weekend. <3

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy New Year!

Hello there and Happy New Year! 

We have roasted broccoli at least once a week for dinner, but Ina prefers raw broccoli (how?) and always asks me to save some for her before I put the rest in the oven. Sadly, I rarely remember...but I did that day and she was so excited. 

Like many others', our holiday break was spent at home staring at each other. I left the house twice to pick up grocery orders, but otherwise only escaped for a walk or run here or there. 

We sat by lots of fires,

played lots of cards and games, and ate lots of food. 

Nerts was the reigning favorite, but we also enjoyed Ticket to Ride, Sequence, Phase 10, and Gin Rummy. 

We opened presents on Christmas Eve with Nonnie, next to her tree in the basement and then came upstairs to open presents from us. 

I am strictly under the "less is more" camp for gifts, and I loved watching the girls open the 3 gifts I had picked out for them. They each received fur lined crocs, which have already proved themselves very useful when needing to quickly go outside. Ina also opened a few books in a series she is reading and a lighted picture hanger for her room. Cora has been begging for a little dragon in an egg (I paid way too much money for one, but she has played with it every day since) and she was so excited to get a dance back pack that matches the big girls. Mira opened a sparkly purse and a coloring book and keeps looking at the presents for other people still in the living room asking when we can open those.

The next morning Santa came and sent them on a scavenger hunt around the house to finally find their gifts on Cora's bed (they currently all sleep in Mira's room, so this was super convenient for Santa.)

Ina has been zooming around the house on her new roller skates. Although there have been a few wipe outs, she is getting better each day. 

Cora was excited about her bike, but way much more excited about the stuffed goat Santa had placed there last minute. Her class mascot is a goat and she asked for a live goat for Christmas. Ha!

We spent the rest of the day enjoying a lot of family time and eating food.

I vote for fajitas for Christmas dinner forever.

The next few days were all a blur of sleeping in, watching TV, and not doing much else. After what I would call a Herculean effort of getting the bikes and stroller and air pump out of the garage that is currently stuffed to the brim Nonnie's stuff, we went on a walk/ride around a lake close to our house.

It felt good to get out of the house, because the next few days looked like this. 

"Mom - is there going to be a next Christmas?"

My neice and nephews hung out with us for a few days while their parents were working. The kids had an absolute blast with their cousins and played all sorts of stuff.

What I remember most about those two days was getting lots of snacks. My sister joined us for New Year's Eve and although we didn't stay up until midnight we did have lots of fun.

(The wine glasses became popular choices after that night until one shattered all over the kitchen floor. Back to plastic we go.)

"Mom, I'm just askin', It's New Year's Eve. Can I have one more glass? Just askin!"

We went back to real life (work/school/activities) on Monday. While I have goals for 2021, what I want mostly is to continue the systems and routines I already have in place. Eat real food. Exercise every day. Budget. Pray/study the bible. Continue to empty the house of unneeded items. Build on my skills for work. Stay focused during work and limit distractions.

Two areas where I would love to improve this year are: 1. water intake - a constant struggle for me. I can be consistent for short periods of time, but I would love to develop habits/routine that make drinking enough water second nature. 2. anxiety - I never thought this would be an issue for me, yet here I am. One thing that helps is a daytime walk. 

Here's to more of those in 2021. 

I hope you all had a a great holiday break! Here's to better things in 2021. 

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