The One With The Restart

When it comes to building good habits and following a healthy lifestyle, I typically take an all or nothing approach.

In the past, when I’ve decided to Whole30, my determination was a thing to behold; there was no burrito, brownie or cheesecake known to man that could take my eye off the prize.

I’m going to chalk it up to the Irish on my dad’s side.

Lately, however, things haven’t been so black and white.

Some weekends, you fall completely off the ol’ wagon have a slice (or three) of Costco pizza to keep the milkshake your hubby brought you company and you have to restart.

Let’s face it, sometimes it happens.

Maybe it didn’t used to happen, but in today’s season of sleep deprivation and a 1-year-old who has slept through the night exactly twice in his entire life, wifing, commuting, working and generally trying to be a productive member of society, I’m going to cut myself some slack.

The key is, if you happen to swan dive off the wagon, acknowledge it and get back on.

For my restart, I took a page out of The Real Food Dietician’s recipe book and gave their “Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash” a spin.

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Fresh out of the oven Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

[Side Note: Is it just me or is spaghetti squash the HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD to cut? I swear, if I ever have a major kitchen accident, it’s going to involve a spaghetti squash. I’ll be sitting there, arm amputated at the elbow and with an eye twitch and raised Santoku knife and will shout, “At least I showed that spaghetti squash who is boss!”]

Moving on.

I got my squash sliced and roasted without any major bodily damage.

Probably because The Man heard what I was about to do and took my knife away from me.

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Steve, your sauce rocks my socks.

I made a couple of tweaks to their recipe because 1) I didn’t have any Tessemae’s Mild Buffalo Sauce and 2) I didn’t have any ghee or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to make the DYI version of Buffalo Sauce.

As everything else, my hunt for compliant Buffalo Sauce led me to the wonderful world of Amazon where I found Steve’s PaleoGoods PaleoChef Buffalo Wing Sauce. Without skipping a beat, I ordered the sauce, Prime got it here two days later and today, I went to town adding a liberal dousing all over my shredded chicken and spaghetti squash.

Then I tasted it and got a definite hint of sweetness.

Maybe it was the fact that I was looking for Buffalo Sauce at 5 a.m., maybe I just wasn’t paying attention — regardless — somehow, I missed the fact that the fifth ingredient was honey. So not Whole30, but absolutely delicious and legitimately paleo with completely pronounceable ingredients. WIN.

Anyway, now my restart needs a restart.

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I got a little fancy and topped mine with homemade Whole30-compliant avocado ranch dressing.

I would say tomorrow is going to be that day, but I’ve got leftovers and they’re delicious.

Rather than focusing on getting back to my Whole30, this week is going to be focused on making generally good choices and getting to the gym at least three times after my flu-induced hiatus.

Fingers crossed that a little “sweat equity” does the trick because y’all, I got my new swimsuit in the mail and I did a silent scream when I tried it on.

… actually, I’m not 100 percent sure it was silent.

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The One Where We Planned Our Vacation

Confession: In our sixish years together, The Man and my vacations have been a little on the few and far between side.

With the exception of a trip to visit friends in Houston when we were dating, our honeymoon and a trip to meet his G-ma in Oregon, we typically opt to go the “staycation” route.

The one time we planned to really do it up right and actually got our passports and booked a cruise for the Mexican Rivera, I went and got pregnant, the Zika Virus happened and my doctor vetoed all hopes of shenanigans.

Fast forward two years …

The Man now has a job that makes sneaking away during the summer months difficult, necessitating the idea of a winter excursion.

After mulling our options and being vetoed on my Italy dream due to inclement/40-something degree weather (hey — we’re California people; we need sunshine), we honed in on something more tropical: Hawaii.

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Photo (c) Hawaiian Airlines

 

In the winter.

With wither bod.

Nothing — and I mean nothing — can be as inspiring as the though of having to hit the beach with fresh-off-Christmas buns of cinnamon needing to be squeezed into bikini bottoms.

It’s the kind of terror that can inspire you to mentally calculate the curvature of the earth and it’s gravitational pull to determine how long you have to wait before getting to your vanpool so you can Google the “fastest exercises to tone legs.”

As a result, I’m going to try to channel my desperation into a semi-Whole30 with hints of gyming and yoga to get me on my way and I need you — yes, YOU — to help me stay accountable.

Now that I’m somewhat recovered from the flu of the apocalypse, I’m hoping to hit the gym three times a week and schedule in some yoga two times on top of that — all while trying to keep things somewhat Whole30/paleo. Ish.

“Ish” because, let’s face it, I’ve got a life, a job, a husband and a toddler. Things happen.

Sound like a plan?

Good.

Here we go.

The One With #MondayVibes

This is to myself, more than anyone else.

Don’t allow yourself to get weighed down by negativity. You will always find more than enough to drown in and, what’s worse, you almost always end up sinking those around you.

You can choose to be different.

You can be someone’s cement shoes or their water wings/floaty noodle.

While there was no single catastrophically terrible thing that happened today, it just felt like a never-ending parade of straws that were maxing out this camel’s back.

Teething baby.

Broken sleep.

Early morning.

No coffee at the gas station.

No cashier to ring up the energy drink I planned on buying as a replacement.

No caffeine for the drive to work.

1.2 billion emails waiting for me in my Inbox.

Worst of all, people.

All the little things that I’m usually good(ish) at brushing off all caught up to me and it became a day of #killallthethings.

But it shouldn’t have been.

I should have taken a step back and looked at the big picture.

Work stress? I have a job.

Teething baby? My bouncing bundle of love is healthy and is growing and is experiencing all of the other things that healthy, growing babies are dealing with.

Text messages about missed medical payments? 1) I’ve got a cell phone that can receive text messages. 2) With only minor teeth pulling, my insurance should work this out.

Random annoyances? Opportunities to exercise patience and self-control. … which I’m pretty sure I failed at.

BUT, tomorrow is a new day and I/you/we can and will do better.

In fact, don’t wait until tomorrow.

Make today, this afternoon, this hour, this moment, now, count.

We’ve got this.

3.9.17

Jackson
Do you people see that smile?! I die. He makes me a happy melted pile of mush.

I really, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally failed at blogging this time.

But I’ve got a good excuse – him.

Meet Jackson: The squishiest, happiest, most all-around adorable and perfect baby to grace the world with his presence.

And no, I’m not at all biased.

Thanks for asking.

OK, fine I admit it: I’m head-over heels totally in love with him.

Jackson stormed into our lives and hearts at 3:43 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2016, and from the first moment I laid eyes on him, he has filled me with such awe and wonder and amazement at just how good of a God we have. His design for life is just so incredible and as I’ve had the privilege of watching Jackson grow and develop and reach new milestones (like the time he lifted his head up off my chest three hours after he was born and made eye contact with me), I’m filled with a sense of wonder at God’s creativity and love for us. It really is overwhelming at times — but in an amazingly awesome way.

In all honesty, the last four months have been an absolute whirlwind of adventure and straight up crazy. I’m pretty sure between the two of us, The Man and I experienced every emotional high and low known to human existence.
In addition to turning our life as a happy, care-free twosome on its ear with our chunky bundle of love, we decided to buy a house and move. An hour away. And sell our condo. And paint the new house. And replace light fixtures. And go back to work.

— All major life earthquakes on their own, so we decided to kill all the birds with one stone and do it at the same time. Now that I’ve slightly distanced myself from the situation/unpacked most of our boxes/regained a semblance of sanity, I’m happy to report it’s totally doable (though not entirely recommended).

Now, thankfully, The Man has his garage and The Man Cub has a room of his own that doesn’t have two bikes, canned goods, random tools and patio furniture cushions parked in it.

Total win.

Through it all, I feel like I’ve learned some valuable life lessons.

The experience taught me the value of patience — especially with one another. No, I’m not saying I’ve arrived and am the wonderful patient person that I’ve always wanted to be. We all know that’s not going to happen. But I’d like to think at the very least that I’m making progress.

Sometimes having patience means looking beyond a perceived (or very obvious) slight and having the maturity to show some grace and let it go. That doesn’t mean being a doormat, though. Just know the battles that matter and the ones that don’t and be secure enough in yourself that you don’t feel like you need to validate yourself every three and a half minutes.

Also, give others the benefit of the doubt.

Have you ever found yourself in that situation where it seems like everything you say, do and think is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG so you don’t know what to say and suddenly even that is interpreted as having an attitude?

No?

Oh. Right. Me either.

But theoretically, imagine if it did, and you’re just standing there wishing the other person would just give you the benefit of the doubt and not take things the wrong way … now remember that feeling when you’re in a situation and someone says or does something to you that you really want to let them have it for … and decide if it’s really a hill you need to go to war over, or a battle best saved for another day.

Most importantly, remember, to have a good marriage you don’t really get to coast. When you start to take the attitude that “I’ve done X, Y, Z I’m going to hold here until you do A, B, C and match some of the effort I’ve expended,” you are going to have trouble.

Big trouble.

Right here in River City.

With a capital T that rhymes with — OK, I’m done.

Seriously, though, marriage isn’t about going half way. It’s about going 100 percent of the way whether you receive the same amount of effort from your spouse or not.

Give and take doesn’t always work, because we won’t always measure things the same way. And once you get yourself in a situation where you feel like the scales have tipped in your direction, unless you miraculously feel like your SO has gone above and beyond to bridge the gap, you’re going to start feeling bitter and resentful.

Maybe not at first. But it will happen.

And trust me, that’s not a happy place to be.

Give without the expectation of getting.

That way you are free to give with a joyful spirit and won’t get stuck waiting for someone to make something up to you that may or may not come or that they may or may not even be aware of.

Forgive.

Show grace.

Say sorry.

Be happy. It’s a choice — not a set of circumstances.

12.31.15

I failed at blogging.

I really hating breaking resolutions, which is why I’m always hesitant to make them.

However, despite my failed attempt to crank out any postable content over the year, I did kick off a new writing project (details to be disclosed at a later date. Maybe.) … so that’s kind of a win. Right?

Before I set out any new resolutions, I feel like I should do a quick recap of last year’s successes – or lack thereof.

To review, in 2015 it was my goal to:

  • Finish reading through my BibleSTILL WORKING ON IT. REALLY MAKING IT HAPPEN THIS YEAR.
  • Write moreI KIND OF DID? THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO BE MORE SPECIFIC AND TRY TO BLOG MORE. FINGERS CROSSED.
  • Share my faith with someoneCHECK. RESULTS PENDING.
  • Keep promises CHECK.
  • Build trust and give itALWAYS A WORK IN PROGRESS, BUT I’M THANKFUL TO BE ABLE TO REPORT ACTUAL PROGRESS IN BOTH OF THESE AREAS (DESPITE SOME BUMPS AND BRUISES THAT COME WITH THE TERRITORY)
  • Forgive quicklyMRRMPH. STILL WORKING ON THAT.
  • Don’t hold grudgesWILL ALWAYS BE WORKING ON THIS.
  • Be kinderAND THIS.
  • Read more – CHECK. (I BECAME MINORLY – FINE, MAJORLY – OBSESSED WITH THE “RED RISING” BOOKS)
  • Travel moreHOPEFULLY THIS WILL HAPPEN MORE THIS YEAR. THE MAN AND I HAVE MATCHING VACATION TIME, SO I’M CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS. WILL. BE. THE. YEAR.
  • Play the guitar moreSPORADICALLY?
  • Drink more water – … WHEN I TRACK IT ON MY FITBIT?
  • Do the 5k Resolution RunCHECK!
  • Do the Whole30BLEW THIS ONE OUT OF THE WATER WITH NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE WHOLE30S! AND I’M PLANNING TO START ANOTHER ON SUNDAY.
  • Be bikini ready by the summer – really this timeYES, I ACTUALLY WORE A BIKINI TO THE LAKE THIS SUMMER.
  • Be a better wife#LIFEGOALS
  • Workout togetherWE HAD A COUPLE GOOD WEEKS IN THERE … LOOKING FORWARD TO STEPPING UP OUR GAME IN 2016.
  • Install ceiling fansSTILL ON OUR TO-DO LIST, BUT WE DID PUT IN A NEW KITCHEN LIGHT, SO SCORE. BESIDES, IT’S WINTER AND IT’S 30-SOMETHING DEGREES OUTSIDE. NO ONE NEEDS A CEILING FAN.
  • Buy new switch platesBOUGHT AND INSTALLED.
  • Put in kitchen backsplashWE’RE STILL DEBATING THE WISDOM OF THIS ONE.
  • Revamp/reorganize guest roomCHECK … BUT IT COULD USE ANOTHER.
  • Buy knobs and/or handles for kitchen cabinets and drawersDONE AND DONE! (AND FOR THE BATHROOM, TOO)

As you can see, my list is pretty hit and miss, but overall I’m happy with the things I was able to accomplish.

Yes, I failed at blogging.

And a few other things.

But tomorrow is a new day, brimming with opportunity that I’m ready to meet head on.

With that being said, here’s to 2016 and:

  • Reading my Bible every day

… In addition to the outstanding/in progress resolutions from last year …

Here’s to 2016 – let’s make it a good one!

1.4.15 — Starting Fresh

Well, somehow, and I’m not entirely sure how, we’ve managed to make it through another year.

Not gonna’ lie, 2014 was a little rough. Yes, it had some great high points (new job, better hours, actually getting to actually SEE my man while we were both still conscious), but generally speaking it’s a chapter I’m thankful to turn the page on.

On to 2015 will all of its promise, adventures to be lived and memories to make.

I’m typically not very big on resolutions.

They’re always made and broken so easily, and that really bugs me.

However, I was thinking about it, and had something of a light-bulb moment;

It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.

On that note, (and in no particular order) here are of few resolutions I’ve set out for myself in 2015:

  • Finish reading through my Bible
  • Write more (Ta-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Here I am!)
  • Share my faith with someone
  • Keep promises
  • Build trust and give it
  • Forgive quickly
  • Don’t hold grudges
  • Be kinder
  • Read more
  • Travel more
  • Play the guitar more
  • Drink more water
  • Do the 5k Resolution Run on Jan   (done and done!)
  • Do the Whole30 (currently on day four)
  • Be bikini ready by the summer – really this time
  • Be a better wife
  • Workout together
  • Install ceiling fans
  • Buy new switch plates
  • Put in kitchen backsplash
  • Revamp/reorganize guest room (check-check — finished yesterday)
  • Buy knobs and/or handles for kitchen cabinets and drawers

While some of these might seem trivial – OK, they are trivial – I think it’s important to set goals for yourself, both short term and long term, and see those goals accomplished.

C’mon, what are you scared of? What are some of your resolutions?

11.29.14

Sooooo consistency.

Not always my strong suit.

Since my last post regaling you with newly-wedded bliss, pretty much the only thing that’s stayed the same is, well, the newly-wedded bliss.

My hair went from blond to burgundy to brown to black to bleached blond, now to a slightly more natural-ish shade of blond.

My rat died.

That’s pet rat, for your information. Don’t judge.

I made a swan dive from reporting into a world of gallon/pound conversions, number crunching, stock control and inventory adjustments … and couldn’t be happier.

It’s kinda’ like shopping on steroids.

For the first time in our entire relationship, The Man and I are on the same schedule and love it. It makes every day feel like a weekend – with the exception of the whole getting up at the crack of dawn thing.

Gotta’ admit, I was a little nervous to completely change fields … to give up a sure thing for a one-year contract job, but hey, what’s life without a little uncertainty?

Anyway, the move paid off – BIG TIME – and, as of last weekish, I now have an offer for a permanent position.

[NOTE: Cue the happy dance, because I actually did one when I got the official email]

Now I can continue my stint with the other crazed commuters watching out for even crazier motorcyclists whiffing past our side view mirrors and shooting practically non-existent gaps in traffic with the best of them. I swear, people are straight up crazy.

Now, I find myself on the cusp of adulthood – you know, those people who actually plan for the future and occasionally find themselves contemplating foreign topics such as retirement, 401ks and insurance … eeep!

I say all this, not only to try to sweep over the 11 month gap since my last post, but to say how much I have to be thankful for – which is fitting since Thanksgiving was two days ago.

Mind you, I’m not saying life is really that rosy all the time, but when you take a step back and evaluate the things that really matter … time spent with the people you love, making memories, sharing a good laugh with a friend, having plenty of food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in, it can give you some much-needed perspective.

I don’t know what the future will hold in the next year, the year after that, five years from now or when I’m 40 … but there’s no point in worry about that today. Today gives us all plenty to deal with.

I’m the last person in the world you’ll ever hear going all “YOLO” bonkers, but cliché references aside, it’s important to make each day count.

Remind yourself that you can’t make everybody happy all the time – and be OK with that.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably your own worst critic. Cut yourself some slack; As much as you try, you’re not a superhero and sometimes something’s got to give. Deal.

Forgive quickly; Grudges only hurt you and hold you back. Plus, they have the nasty habit of growing into something worse (bitterness) if you give them half a chance.

Love long; As shocking as it may be to believe, I’m not 100 percent charming 100 percent of the time … I’m going to go out on a limb and guess – just guess – that you aren’t either. Remember that when you deal with others and hold on to those who matter for dear life.

Most of all, always go to bed with a clean conscience. Say what you mean, doesn’t expect others to be mind readers, don’t be fake, don’t be sketchy … it will always come back to bite you.