Five Minute Friday: Relevant

It's Friday, which means it's time to write for five minutes without worrying if it's just right or not.  Click on over to the Gypsy Mama to join in the fun!

Today's Prompt: Relevant


I often wonder how much of what I write is relevant to you and your lives.  Or how often I use the all-encompassing topic of "balance" to it's outer limits.  I don't often discuss things here that are relevant to what's going on politically or religiously. 

Instead, I discuss the smallness of my world and what I observe there, hoping there are others who are the same.  Others who notice the same things, or have the same joys and struggles.  Or, others how have different opinions and can teach me a thing or two.  I hope that I am relevant in that respect.

I write here because I love to.  Sometimes I have more time than others and I enjoy that there is no pressure to write on certain days or that no one really minds if I don't get on here for a week.  I like to think that people here understand the business of the life of a young, working mother. 

Still, I do worry that I'm not reaching people.  Because the bigger picture here, to me, is that I want to create a sort of community.  Not necessarily one of people that are all of the same mind frame as me-  no one would learn anything. 

I want a community of people who strive to seek balance in their lives, however that looks to them.  People who have joys and struggles like mine or different from mine.  People who are willing to share their experiences like I do.  People who want to be real.

Real, balance, and the pursuit thereof.  That is the matter at hand here, for me.  In that respect, I hope I am relevant.


I apologize if my thoughts are jumbled.  Today's topic was a bit hard for me.  What comes to your mind when you hear the word "relevant?"

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

It's time again for Five Minute Friday.  Please click over to The Gypsy Mama to read the rules and join in. 


Look beyond her tired ponytail and pajamas as she walks hurriedly through the grocery store at two in the afternoon and see a worried Mom stopping to get medicine for the child she comforted all night.

Look beyond that distracted, stony-face and see a man's worry over whether or not he will make the bills this month as he bumps into you- accidentally.

Look beyond the cheery smile of the woman standing on your porch with baked goods and see the lonely soul looking for company.

Look beyond the uncombed hair and mismatched clothes of that man's little girls and see that he plucked them unexpectedly out of the house for some one-on-one time. 

Look beyond the snobby nature of the reclusive woman that is your neighbor and see that she is actually just shy and a bit socially awkward.

Look beyond the angry woman who just yelled at you for brushing past her arm and see the pain she feels at being told this morning that she wasn't important enough to stay with.

Look beyond the facade that everyone puts on for everyone else and see.  SEE.  We are all the same.  We all have our struggles.  We all need friends, a helping hand, a smile, and a little understanding.  We all need each other.


What facade to do you put up for those around you?  What would happen if everyone was honest about their true feelings?  Would we have more disagreements?  Would we have more connections?  Both?  Discuss!

14 Months

Dear Paige,

A couple weeks ago you hit the 14 month mark.  Imagine my shock at how quickly all that time went by!  It has been ages since I wrote you one of these letters.  I only hope I can remember all the little things I have wanted say! First, and most important, your carefree attitude is my favorite thing about you.  I love how easily you go with the flow of whatever comes during the day.  You are generally the happiest baby I have ever met.  You almost always meet people with a smile, especially me when I get you out of your crib.  I love how you practically jump into my arms every morning and lay your head on my shoulder as you clutch your blanket and say "Ahhhh!"  I love that you still want to snuggle with me sometimes.  The feeling of your little head against my neck is one I am not quite ready to let go of.

Kind of a Mama's girl...
You are getting bigger.  Just today I noticed how tall you are.  You seem to age before my eyes.  You are learning things so fast!  In the last couple weeks you went from crawling to almost 100% walking.  You also learned to go up AND down the stairs.  You are so good at it that we took down the baby gate that has been at the top of the stairs since Zoe started crawling.  It's a little hard for Mom to watch as you walk across the grass all by yourself, when you don't want me to feed you, or when you want to figure something out on your own.  I love watching you bask in your independence and accomplishments, but I miss my little baby sometimes.  She's almost gone.

Adoring Uncle Eric just after you met
You had your first birthday party in New Mexico since Uncle Eric was coming home from his mission.  You love to rip paper so unwrapping presents was pretty fun for you!  My favorite part was watching you with your cake.  You kept looking at me like, "Is it really OK for me to do this?"  You would stick your pointer finger in the cake and get the tiniest bit of icing to taste.  Finally someone stuck your whole hand in the frosting and you took off until you got to the cake part.  Apparently you prefer chocolate cake over white cake as you kept spitting out the cake until someone gave you chocolate.  So there is a bit of Daddy in you too. 

Frosting is delicious
You are a fabulous eater.  Weeks after you discovered food that wasn't pureed, you were converted and have never looked back.  I'm shocked at the types of food you eat- foods that we would have just NOW started offering to Zoe.  You navigate things well with just your front teeth.  Your molars are finally coming in though.  I promise you will appreciate them after they finally break through those sore gums.  I hope you continue to enjoy a variety of foods.

The Birthday Girl
I love this age because you have become a little copycat.  You love Michael Jackson and Elmo, just like your sister.  Every time Michael comes on your head starts bobbing vigorously.  It is so cute to watch!  You love to dance to a beat and love to imitate my moves.  You are trying so hard to talk!  You can say a few words like, "Mama", "Dada", "Hi!", "Again!", etc.  You try to say many others after I say them. 

What I love most is you point to things all the time, wanting to know what they are.  When I name it, you usually attempt to say the word.  You are excellent at answering "yes" and "no" questions.  You will whimper a bit and point until I guess what you want or need and then will happily shake your head "yes" when I give it to you.  You also try to copy words from our prayers while we say them together.  You love to copy your sister's funny noises.  Dinnertime will often find us laughing over you and Zoe saying things back and forth to each other.

State Fair Beauty
Your time with Zoe isn't always easy.  You both have jealousy issues and are a little rough with each other.  We're trying to change that.  Most of the time, you play together nicely.  You HATE it when Zoe wants alone time in her room and she closes her door.  You will sit outside it in the hall and cry at being left out.  Usually you are happy to play by yourself, though.  I think you enjoy not having to compete with Zoe for the toys.  When you get along, you play well together.  A favorite game recently is Zoe will lay on the floor and yell, "Somebody help me!" and hold her hand out.  You will go to her immediately and touch her hand "helping" her and suddenly she's free and fine.  I hope this serves as a small reminder that sisters are ALWAYS supposed to be there for each other.  You both love a lot of the same things.  I hope that means you will eventually be best friends.

Watching fireworks with Dad and Zoe
Some of your favorite things?  You love to be tickled and when Mom and Dad make silly faces or funny noises.  I love your giggles!  Peek-a-Boo is one of your most favorite games.  You love to be outside.  Especially now that you can walk.  You love your blanket, always biting it and giving it hugs.  Silly girl.  Your favorite toys are books, balls, your computer and the play kitchen.  When you get a chance to play with them, you love your Little People sets.  I love to watch you put the little people in all different places and push buttons.  You love music and dancing and you even try to sing sometimes.  You like to grab a book and climb into my lap knowing I will read it to you.  You love to taste-test dinner as I'm getting it ready.  Always impatient for it to be done.  Mostly, you love to follow me around wherever I go, creating mischief along the way.

Told you, Mama's girl
You have experienced a lot of firsts this year.  First fireworks, first trip to the Zoo, first trip to the state fair.  You are always so great when we take you places.  Full of wonder and excitement and rarely cranky.  You are a joy to be around.  Plus, EVERYONE comments on how cute you are and how gorgeous your eyes are.  Daddy better be prepared for the teenage years.

"Look, Mom!  Animals!"
You definitely have a little temper.  You are such a calm, happy kid most of the time.   But if you don't get your way, if someone tells you "no", or if you have to do something you don't want to, you throw a most impressive fit.  Crying (sometimes screaming) and writhing around or pushing yourself away from me.  I find it amusing most of the time because you are generally so mild mannered that these moments rarely find us.

My smiley, happy girl

Although I know you will notice less pictures, less posts about you, less attention than your sister got at your age, I hope you always know that I don't love you any less.  My heart is wide and full of love for both my precious girls.  I thank Heavenly Father every day for sending you to me.  My life would be incomplete without the presence of your special spirit.  I love you more than you will ever know.



Five Minute Friday: Catch

Time again for Five Minute Friday. Please click over to The Gypsy Mama and join in!


Unfortunately, the first thing I thought of when I saw today's prompt was more like "catch up!"  I have been away from this space all week doing just that.  Everything on my plate needed to be tackled and I have done almost all of it.  Somehow I have managed to keep up with the laundry and keep the house mostly clean all week.

I had to roast a batch of salsa so the vegetables I had to yank from my garden (before they froze) wouldn't go to waste. 

I had responsibilities I had been putting off that I finally had to attend to.  I put an ad online for the table that has been sitting in my garage for three years. 

I uploaded the pictures from July to present onto the computer.  Not to mention the daily needs and playtime of my girls, making yummy dinner meals, and keeping up with my exercise. 

Although there is still a list a mile long of things I need to do, I am feeling pretty good about this week and everything I accomplished.  It is nice to have the opportunity to catch-up a little.

And I owe a lot of it to Matt, because without all the help he gave me last weekend and during this week, I would never have accomplished what I did. 

My only regret?  Not getting a chance to write here more than once this week.  Oh well, there's always next week, right? 


How did your week go?  I hope you have fun plans for the weekend!

Five Minute Friday: On Ordinary

Time again for Five Minute Friday.  Please click over to The Gypsy Mama and join in!

I live an ordinary life.  I wake up, work, get my girls up, eat breakfast, fit a workout in, work again, eat lunch, do some chores, some playing, work again, make dinner, and get them in bed.  That is how most of my days play out.  To an outsider, perhaps someone with a more extravagant life than mine, that might seem mundane, boring even.  The same schedule day in and day out.

What they don't know is, I wake up every morning to the sweetest man, and we have our conversations about the day ahead, strange dreams we had the night before, and I always get a deep squeeze and a kiss before he leaves.  I work until I'm interrupted by a shy smiling face coming into my room holding "bunny and blanket" asking if she can get up.  The first thing I get from her every morning is a snuggle in my office chair. 

This is followed by the widest grin of excitement when I go get Paige, who jumps into my arms and lays her little head on my shoulder.  I get, "Oh, thank you, Mommy!" for suggesting pancakes for breakfast.  I watch Zoe try to "workout" with me.  I hear her narrative all day long about things she finds exciting.  And Paige squeals with delight when she takes a few steps all by herself.  We find magic and adventure in books.  Delight in Zoe buttoning a jacket "all by herself".  Paige's proud face as she navigates going downstairs on her own. 

I hear screams of excitement when Daddy gets home, and little feet pattering toward him as he tries to kiss me first.  Zoe tells us stories over dinner, stories about our day, or some she makes up on her own.  Paige trying to copy everything we, or especially her sister, do.  I watch Matt as the stresses of his workday melt away at the sweetness of our girls as he relaxes into home. 

We calm down for the night with words from children's books, hear the prayers of a toddler, and sing "Goodnight Sweetheart" every night without fail.  After a couple attempts to stay awake, Zoe finally stays in bed.  Matt and I get some time to relax and reconnect before we snuggle up together in our too-small bed and sleep until morning when we start all over again.

And I know I went over my five minutes today, but that's ok because my life is far from ordinary.

Tell me what is not ordinary about your life...


As I mentioned in an earlier post, my primary goal focus recently has been getting in shape, eating more healthy and focusing on feeling better in my skin.  Today I thought I would give you sort of a progress report, and touch on things I have struggled with the last few months.

Since Matt and I got remarried, one of our focuses has been to get in better shape.  Way back in March we started out really well.  We were doing P90x every night for a few weeks.  Then Easter came.  We travelled to New Mexico to visit family and all our forward momentum came to a screeching halt. 

Since then, we have started over and over again.  When is best to work out?  Mornings?  So we tried mornings.  Then we had too many mornings where we couldn't get up because we're just not used to being up before dawn.  So, since we are night owls, we thought nights will work better.  And we did fairly well, until there were nights where the girls got down late, or we ate too late, or we got busy doing things and it was too late to workout.  So we decided mornings again.  See a pattern?

Meanwhile, between the fact that all that weight I lost was fast and stress-induced and the fact that birth control and quitting nursing brought it all tumbling back, none of my clothes were fitting me very well.  And it was getting worse.

So finally I asked Matt if he would mind if I started doing it without him during the day while he was at work.  Things have been so hectic, he knew we wouldn't do it so he agreed.  And off I went.

Since then I have been working out consistently 4-6 days a week for about a month doing Insanity and other things here and there.  I have been watching my calories more closely (using myfinesspal) and I drink tons of water.  In general, I feel a whole lot better about myself.  I can see muscle tone in my obliques that I have never had.  I am starting to see actual calves on my chicken legs...something I NEVER thought was possible.  My arms are still wimpy, but seem stronger than ever.

Having always been a "soft" girl, I have enjoyed seeing these changes.  Unfortunately, not much has changed in the way my clothes fit.  I still have quite a mommy-pudge to contend with, and I have lost five pounds, but wanted to lose at least 8 by now.

I know much of the reason for my current weight is my body building muscle where there hasn't been any in many years, and in places I have never had muscle definition.  I know muscle is heavier than fat.  So that makes sense.  I have lost inches on my waist, a bit on my belly, and my hips.  My face looks a bit thinner too.  Yet, I know that I have given myself perhaps more "cheat days" than I should.  I definitely can eat less sugar and fat than I do, too.

Tomorrow Matt is going to try joining me doing early mornings again.  If we don't wake up, I will do it later in the day, but it gets hard with all the responsibilities I have between my girls, work and my house, among other things.  I would love to be more consistent with mornings so my days will flow better, and so I don't have to walk this journey alone.  We'll have to keep working on it.

This is a hard change for me.  Sometimes it feels easier to quit.  But I know I won't be happy with that decision.  I am motivated to make this a permanent lifestyle change.  I want to feel good in my skin, no matter what "weight" that ends up being.  I want my girls to see that an active lifestyle and that paying attention to what you consume is important.  I want to fit back into my clothes again!!!! 

If you have weight loss/fitness tips or advice, ideas for how to still eat chocolate on a diet, how to cook healthy AND yummy food for your family and kids, how to teach yourself to wake up before the sun, how you fit in workouts in your busy lives, or if you just want to tell me, "You can do this!", please leave me a comment, or send me an email.  I would appreciate all the encouragement I can get!