What a crazy Thursday! It was such a busy day, we had an important meeting at work, plus a large project due. So I was up early, running around all day delivering documents and lunches, gathering up signatures, putting out fires, and cloroxing every inch of my office to fend off the omnipresent flu virus.
But the best part of my whole day happened in the first five minutes after getting to work. Team Newbies got an email from someone in the audience of yesterday’s Biggest Loser kickoff. She said she went to the meeting to learn about the program. She also said she could relate to so much of what we said, about how we felt when we started, and that by knowing we succeeded, she knew she could too. One step at a time.
Talk about gratifying. I was so overwhelmed that I had to stop the day I had just started, just to breathe. To that person who reached out to us, thank you. Thank you for reminding us where we were last year. Thank you for realizing that our message was, “you CAN do it.” Thank you for telling us personally, that we had the honor of being any tiny part in lighting the spark of your inspiration. I have never received more meaningful feedback.
After sending her a thank you for her kind words, and immersing myself in my frantic schedule, I carried that feeling around with me everywhere I went. It still lights me up inside. How amazing it is to feel like you made a difference.
I think that is enough to be grateful for, any day of the week.
You may get tired of hearing it this year, but I love, love, LOVE my hula hoops. I know a lot of you are thinking that hula hoops are for kids, or that they are boring, or even that if it isn’t 1958, what would you do with one. (Insert rolling eyes here.) But that is only because you have not gotten inside the hoop lately. Boy, you don’t know what you are missing!
Wednesday is probably my favorite fitness day of the week, because Wednesday is Hoop day! I have a 30 minute “Hoop to the Core” class on Wednesdays that is a great low-impact aerobic workout. It is my mid-week break from reality and helps me grab my inner child and make her shake her groove thing. The best part of this 30 minute work out? I am smiling for all 30 minutes. Smiling and sweating and dancing. What could be better?
Have you picked up a hoop recently? Not one of the kids hoops they sell in the toy store, but an adult hoop, sized and weighted for grown ups. It’s like, well, its kind of like bacon wrapped water chestnuts (yes, Jenn, the ones you make to perfection.) You always know its going to be awesome, but it still surprises you how awesome, and when you are done you always want more. I will often grab one of my hoops and hoop while I watch TV. Turns being a couch potato into being active and I still get to watch NCIS. Hello there Gibbs!
Check out some of the You Tube videos of hoopers, or go to Hoopnitica and check out everything they have to offer. Also take a look at the great tricks you can learn, or even make your own hoop. Whatever you do, try it for yourself, see if you don’t find it the best thing since recess.
Want to find a little burst of joy in your week? Try a hula hoop. You will smile and laugh and remember what it feels like to be a kid when you find a place inside the hoop. You will thank me, I promise.
“We come spinning out of nothingness. Scattering stars like dust. The stars form a circle. And in the center we dance.” Rumi.
Busy day at work again today! One or two emergencies before 8:00 a.m. and a few more throughout the
day. Nothing your slightly above average administrative super hero can’t handle.
Today I got back into the gym for one of my favorite classes, Sculpt and Strengthen, or as Katie called it, Pain and Suffering. It amazes me how fast working out changes my mood and how I feel in general. It was a good class, and even though I wasn’t quite up to it, I am glad I went.
One of my friends from work brought me the most glorious gifts today. He and his wife took a trip to Indonesia last month and took a class on underwater photography. He brought me a calendar made entirely with his amazing images. I found myself really wanting to go see these beautiful sights for myself. How amazing to get to witness an entirely different world through the lens of a camera.
I am so lucky to get to share these experiences with my friends. Places and things I would never get to see that are suddenly open to me. How awesome is that? What a wonderful thing to be able to be thankful for…
Monday. Monday is bad enough, but under the weather Monday is the worst. I woke up to achy chills and a sore throat, with a nice headache to round things out. I decided to stay home. I know that I am no joy to be around when it comes to battling through an illness. So, I decided to rest, and stay away from anyone I might accidentally harm while feeling sick.
I managed to sleep on and off through most of the morning and after some soup at lunchtime started to feel a little bit better. The thing that gets me is the chills. I can take ibuprofen for the aches, and cough syrup for the sore throat, but the chills just come and go at will, and they are really annoying… After a shot of Emergen-C and some Alka Seltzer Cold, I started to feel human again. Just about 4:00 pm, I ran out to drop off a bill and then came back home to feed the puppies their dinner.
Climbing out of the car and heading to the door, I glanced up the street behind me, and this is what I see.
This is the view of the Sandia Mountains from my front yard. At certain times in the evening, near sunset, the mountains will take on this slightly reddish-pink hue. Sandia means watermelon, and it may have been this beautiful watermelon color that led the Spanish settlers to give the mountain its name.
What, you weren’t that interested in the history lesson? I can’t seem to help myself. I love New Mexico.
Every time I happen upon the mountains as they are lighting up in color, I am struck with the beauty of this place. It seems kind of magical. Knowing that the views I see are the same that the settlers in the 1500’s saw makes me feel connected to them and to the land here. Its a very humbling and breathtaking feeling, to know that time is all interwoven and that your place in it is just as important as anyone’s.
From feeling lousy and sick, to feeling like I am part of the magic of the world around me, that is a nice upswing for a Monday, and one can leave me feeling grateful to be a part of life.
Sundays are always a mixture of relaxing and stressful. This Sunday, I took down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. I also spent quite a bit of time sweeping and doing dishes, folding laundry and generally getting the house back to reality. There were more than a few minutes where I seriously considered keeping Christmas up year round but din’t think the tree would really last much longer with 3 animals running through the living room.
We watch the Ravens beat the Colts, and watch Ray Lewis do his final dance in M&T Bank Stadium. The end of a football era, and one that the people of Maryland and the Ravens Nation will talk about for generations. I myself am a Saints fan, but I have always admired the energy Ray brings to the game. He has always been a player to watch, and I look forward to seeing what he will be doing next.
Sunday is also a day I like to make a nice dinner, either a new recipe or one that I know is a favorite. Pinterest being one of my favorite inspiration spots for cooking. This week I found the perfect dinner idea and I didn’t even need to go shopping for ingredients (BONUS!)
So I assembled everything I needed to make a scrumptious version of this great recipe. Pulled together an easy fresh salad and fixed some mashed potatoes. As I was pulling the chicken out of the oven, King Edward walked into the kitchen to tell me he was going to go pick up his son Justin, who needed a ride home from work. Not perfect timing, as I had been cooking for an hour and it was just coming out of the oven. Did I say that already?
I told Ed to go ahead and see if Justin wanted free dinner, and started setting the table with everything we need for a nice meal. About 15 minutes later, we have an unexpected dinner guest. I don’t think I necessarily do it on purpose, but I tend to make enough for four when I cook. Thinking that there will be leftovers for lunches, etc. But it always comes in handy if any of our kids drops in to join us for a meal.
The smile on Ed’s face is always bigger and brighter when he has any of his kids near him. Having Justin come for dinner, and then stay and spend some time playing with the dogs, watching TV and joining Ed on his quest for world Call of Duty domination made the whole house that much happier. We are truly so blessed to have our kids close enough to stop by for dinner, and we are both so genuinely thankful for our unexpected dinner guest.
And by the way, definitely try the chicken, it was phenomenal!
Yay! Saturday! The first weekend of the new year. I actually love the weekends, not because I am not going to work, but because I get to spend time with Ed and get things done around the house. Saturdays are also my crossfit day. I just started working out with this amazing group of people I met through Meetup. Cantina Crossfit holds a weekly free workout in the park. This is a great opportunity to get a little fresh air and workout at the same time. This week, however, we are going to be doing a dry run in their new facility, and it is right up the street. (I did my first push presses and box jumps today!)
That means…. I get to sleep in!
Well, past 6:30 at least.
With two dogs that need to keep a schedule of breakfast and outdoor activity time, I rarely sleep late. I also find that when I sleep late on the weekends, its harder to get up on weekday mornings. There is also something very relaxing about freshly brewed coffee in house where everything else is quiet.
But today I slept in until almost 7:30, allowing myself to rest and be a little lazy before releasing the hounds, so to speak. It was blissful! With everything else I had on my list for the day, it was nice to loll around like a woman of leisure and do nothing at all. There are days when an hour of added rest is all you need to start your day with a little thanksgiving.