Thursday, January 28, 2010

House Hunting Horrors

Posted by Mandy at 11:32 AM 5 comments Links to this post

Has anyone ever gone through the process of trying to find a new home? Did anyone else want to SCREAM the entire time?

We bought our first home back in July of 2005. We gutted it, remodeled  the entire thing, and now I'm ready to sell it to a new lucky owner and get the heck out of Dodge. So, we're on step 1: Finding a new home.

This step always seems fun and exciting on those HGTV shows that I watch. Apparently when you have A LOT of money, house hunting is a blast! When you're trying to fit a house that's more than you can afford into a house that's within your budget - well that's hard work.

This job becomes even harder when you're not really on the same page with your spouse about what exactly you should buy. Let the good times roll!

We're pretty much giving up on our dream of buying land and building. It is just way too much work, too much money, and too much time. We're ready to move. We're ready to sell our house, pay off debt, and start saving for our future dream home on our future dream land. So, where do we go while we wait for that dream home to be built? WE HAVE NO IDEA!

I've been looking at houses online and in the paper for several months. Probably closer to a year at this point. There just isn't anything out there that's right, or that's perfect I should say. I'm finally getting accustomed to the idea of buying a house in a neighborhood simply to get more house, in town, and out of here. That would be a hard adjustment for us because we really like country living. But, I could get used to the grocery store only being 5 minutes away as opposed to 20.

I've found a few that I could really see me moving my couch and TV into, but hubby isn't having it. *sigh* Doesn't he know that his job is to agree with me? (don't tell him I said that..)

I keep waiting to drive by a billboard somewhere and it to read:

"Mandy! Your perfect home is at *this address* and it's waiting for you!" Love, God

So far, not happening. The first time around it took us right at a year to find our first home. We're getting close to that timeline again!

If you've gone through this, how long did it take you to find the right home for you?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moms' Hell Week

Posted by Mandy at 6:08 AM 6 comments Links to this post
I was watching a cool segment on the Today Show this morning about the Navy Seals and their intense training. For some reason, my brain immediately began thinking how helpful it would've been to have such a class before having my first child.

I can see it now:

Instead of a ropes course for agility there would be a long hallway set up with legos, cars, Barbie shoes, and push toys for you to navigate through... in the dark. You would have to learn how to not only magically see these things in the pitch black, but you would have to do it while holding your crying toddler and avoiding cursing when one of those legos finds its way into your heel.

One part of the training for Navy Seals they showed was how they put a hood on their head, then rip it off and the Seal has to immediately began battling whatever scenario they have set before him. It might be a gun to your face, or you might instantly start getting beat down by two huge men. Good luck.

For moms, the hood would come off and we'd have vomit flung at us, 3 children all starving at once, a leaky diaper... in the grocery store, (to be followed 20 minutes later by a 3 year old that has to go potty NOW as you try to check out at the grocery store with an infant and at least one other child with you.) and possibly they could throw in sitting in the doctors office while all of your kids are sick... and you've caught the stomach virus. Now, THAT'S some serious training.

Hell Week... the most dreaded week as a Navy Seals trainee. For moms, it would be hard to pinpoint when exactly hell week would begin or ever stop. I'd have to say hell week for moms would probably begin with labor, followed by delivery either via parts of your body doing things you never wanted them to, or your entire abdomen being sliced open and a living being removed via a grown person's hands. Lovely!

Navy Seals suffer sleep deprivation coupled with intense physical labor as part of Hell Week. Humph... we moms have got that one down! Hell Week for moms would include not just one week, but MONTHS and possibly YEARS of constant sleep deprivation, coupled with all of the daily activities you've always had to do. (do you think any woman on earth would actually have a child if this training was mandatory for you to ever conceive a child?)

I think we moms have a lot in common with these physically and mentally fit men. (I didn't see any women in the video... not sure if there are any?) Motherhood is not for the weak or the half-hearted. It's a job that takes a lot of mental strength, physical strength, and unlike the Seals, we can't simply start throwing throat jabs when the enemy attacks. We have to be sleep deprived, emotionally deprived, and still be PATIENT. I totally missed that class when I was pregnant with my first child. (and second... and third...)

Another thing we have in common is, a lot of us know good and well what we're getting into with bringing life into this world, and we CHOOSE to do it. Just like the Navy Seals, we are willing to accept the torture in order to gain the reward. I have to say that we definitely have one up on the Seals in the fact that our reward comes in hugs and kisses and cuddles and theirs comes from.. what? Not dying?

If we were to try to put this training together for future moms.. what else should it include?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Shout-Out For My Girls

Posted by Mandy at 7:34 PM 2 comments Links to this post
How often do we neglect to tell our friends just how amazing we think they are? I think TOO often.

Recent crazy events in my life have allowed me to really sit back and reflect on my friends. I can only come to one conclusion - they are simply the best. Really. I'm sorry if my friends aren't your friends, and once you find out who they are, please seek them out and force them to befriend you. Your life will immediately improve after simply being in their company!

So, here's a list for my girls - at least a few of you. I don't have all night!

Lee Ann - She may never read this, but if anyone deserves some public applause, it's my BFF Lee Ann. Trying to pinpoint what 'exactly' makes her so awesome is tough b/c she's really such a well-rounded gal. Super calm, easy-going, always armed and ready to come to my rescue, and a great person in which to lay your heart right out there. She is such an inspiration to me.. as are all of my friends. She makes me want to be better every time I'm with her. She has wisdom well beyond her years and is going to make the most amazing mom ever with her little boy that's due this coming May. If everyone was so blessed to have awesome parents like little Caleb is, the world would have zero problems.

Leslie - Though she's far-far away now, Leslie is still one of my best girlfriends. She's never more than a phone call or an email away. She reminds me a lot of myself... so it's amazing to me our friendship has lasted! ;) She is the one to call if you need some back-up. Her love if FIERCE and she's a lot like me in the fact that if someone hurts one of her friends, she is hurt as well, and wants to seek out justice. She makes me laugh... she makes me think. If something really tragic or crazy happens she's typically the first person I'm speed-dialing. Even if she's never "been there" she has a way of making me feel like she totally gets where I am and understands what I'm feeling.

Melanie - I know.. she's my sister. But, she's also been one of my best friends throughout the duration of my life. She knows me like no one else - she's been there through every minute of my being. Being 6 years older than I am, our relationship began as more of a "second mom" type, but morphed into a best buddies relationship as I hit my teenage years. She helped me learn to tie my shoes, how to drive a car, and how to have a blast! It's so amazing that now we can pick up the phone to talk about raising our kids, strengthening our marriages, and growing in Christ. When Dad died, she was the only person on this entire earth that felt what I felt, just the way I felt it. Having a sibling is an amazing gift and one I am so thankful for!

Kim - I'm almost positive that my friend Kim won't read this. She's not much into internet stuff - especially blogs. But, I must sing her praises! Kim and I got to go through our pregnancies together with our last babies and they were born just 2 weeks apart. Her God-given gifts are absolutely mercy and generosity. Her grace is unbelievable. Her understanding of others baffles me. I often joke that you can never say in passing that you'd like to have something or "need" something around her because she will give it to you if she has it, or find it for you somehow! Low-Key is an understatement with Kim. I've never heard her yell.. NEVER. She has 4 kids... all 2yrs apart. (wonderful kids.... I am so blessed that my kids get to be her kids' friends!) She cracks me up, and sets the bar very high for how a person should live. Somehow, she does this without ever coming across as "too good" for anyone or without ever so much as raising an eyebrow at someone.

Lauren - My first friend in Monticello! Her mom set us up on a "date" at the park and she and I, and our girls, have been friends since! Her gift is also definitely generosity. Her heart is so loving... she's just amazing. When I've shared hurts of mine with her, she's hurt with me. When I've shared something upsetting with her, she's upset on my behalf. Her wittiness draws me in! I love hearing what she has to say, and if I ever need a pick-me-up, she is definitely the one to seek out. I love how she loves her kids... you can just feel it. I also love that she really enjoys laughing like I do! I mean, this world is nuts.. you MUST laugh about it!

Stephanie - Stephanie is a fairly new friend, which is strange because of how very close I feel to her. We've only known each other for about 2 years, but wow, what a 2 years! She is my rock. Even when she doesn't feel like it. When I need a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk me through ANYTHING, she is absolutely there. Yes, she happens to be a Clinical Psychologist (Dr. Fearer!) :) but God has blessed her with this gift of helping others with her words. You cannot be taught this in school if God doesn't give it to you. She has tons of wisdom... and she knows how to share it without making you feel like an idiot. That takes real talent! In all honesty, I probably only really like her because she has 4 darn cute kids, two of which are 5 month old twins, and she lets me cuddle them whenever I want. I mean... everyone needs a friend like that! ;) I also laugh an awful lot with this gal.

Brandy - I've known Brandy for many years now, but feel that our friendship has grown stronger over the past couple of them. Watching Brandy is a must for anyone. I know.. I'm embarrassing her if she reads this. She never wants the attention she deserves for simply being an amazing woman, Christian, mother, wife, and friend. You don't even need to see her.. just watch her girls. All six of them. You'll see very soon that these kids are being handled with care and love. Brandy cracks me up... I love her ability to turn ridiculous daily happenings into hilarious stories. She is a GREAT advice-giver, and is so wonderful at always saying, "just seek out God and he will answer you." She is really, really good at saying what others are afraid to. Speaking the truth in a gentle but firm way because she KNOWS that it's what people need. Watching her family begin fostering children and adopt put a burden upon my own heart.  Good all around... I couldn't think of a single negative...

 Jennifer - I met Jennifer through Leslie, and we also share Stephanie as a common friend. We're getting to hang out more now that we're all done having babies and I just really like this woman! Even if she might get upset, she really isn't. :) If you could bottle whatever she has it would be the best selling "chill pill" on the market! I really like that she's pretty much an open book. You don't have to work to get to know her - you just do know her. She's hilarious and super smart. She just seems happy.. and I like that!

Maury - Okay, I've only met Maury ONCE in real life, but we've vowed to make this friendship more than an internet thing. Maury is so genuine. Her soul just seems sweet... and good. Another that has opened my eyes to the need of fostering children - and amazingly someone I feel I can email at the drop of a hat and say "please pray for me." I know she will. She also seems like an open book - and I look forward to getting to know her much better as the days go on. I have so much to learn from her.. I am excited about all she might be willing to teach me!

Mom - I am happy to say that my mom is one of my best girlfriends. I have to call her at least a few times a week just to say hello, or to spill my guts about the latest junk going on. When something's going on, I often find myself searching for a free minute to tell her. We laugh together, we've cried together, and she's always been there to come to the rescue if I needed it. Having one of your biological parents die makes you even more grateful for any time you have with the other. Your parents are such a part of you... and I pray that everyone reading this will see that before they suffer a loss.
Lou - Lou is one of the most ambitious women I know. She has a super witty mind, and if I sit and talk with her for any amount of time she will absolutely have me laughing! Her mind isn't only funny, but it's like a steel trap. The information she has stored is nothing short of ridiculous. I can ask her anything from computer/techy stuff, to kid/teacher stuff, to life/advice stuff. Life seems to roll off of her... and I think I'll start writing down all of her great come-backs. I have no idea how she thinks them up so fast!

High School Friends - If I posted on each of you it would not only make me cry but it would be so crazy long. Keitha, Ashlee, Casey, Jackie, Jerrilynn, and ALL THE REST OF YA! Some of you I've kept in touch with for years and years - others I'm just now reconnecting with. Seeing so many of you show up at my Dad's visitation and funeral... it was overwhelming. The love, it just stays doesn't it? No matter how much time has passed since we talked, or even emailed... we grew up together in a little bitty town and we'll always be connected. When I talk to you girls, you know me. You've known the many versions of me. You can appreciate where I am today and you can laugh about the past with me like no one else can. Our memories will always be precious and the new ones we're making as PARENTS is just crazy. How did we all go and grow up? I tell ya!

If your name wasn't specifically mentioned, please know that I love you equally as much. I'm typing with a whiney 2-year old in my lap... and my mind is fading. I am already thinking of so many people in our "cop family" that I could create an entirely different post about. Makes me think that calling so many people "friends" just doesn't do them justice at this point.

Friends are so precious... I am so thankful. I look at how wonderful all of mine are and wonder why on earth they want to hang around me! I think that's just really awesome for me. :) (sorry for you girls... but thanks for hanging in there with me through all of the years..)

I went through many years feeling all alone. I had no one. Now, it's just amazing. God is so good even when we don't deserve it. The next time you feel down, take a true count of how many people you have in your life that love you. If you're unhappy with a low number, pray. God is always there and when I only had my family and my husband and daughter as friends, God filled in every void space. Then, he realized I finally had room for more people and he sent in the cavalry! ! Thankful, thankful, thankful.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saying Goodbye to the Paci

Posted by Mandy at 1:51 PM 3 comments Links to this post

This is Samuel.. he's 2.5 years old. He'll be three way too old this coming June. Our dirty little secret...


Yep. Really.

I don't have a recent picture of him displaying his prized possession - but trust me - we see it all of the time 'round here.

My method of weaning from the pacifier with all three kids is to pretty much be a lazy bum about it until they're so old I'm embarrassed they still have it. So, we're almost there.

I wanted to get past the holidays, and then let the shock of my dad dying pass a little before even beginning this process. For the past 2 days, we've been on it! Currently my form of getting rid of it is to go slow. When he's awake - he can keep it on the kitchen table. When it's naptime or bedtime, he can put it back into his mouth. So far so good! He's not thrown a fit yet about wanting it during the day, which is great compared to how his two older siblings did with this step. I just keep him REALLY busy and he's totally fine.

We'll probably sticking with this step for a good long while. To be honest, as I mentioned above, I'm just too lazy to go cold turkey. I don't want to lose sleep, or him lose naps over a paci. Sleep is wonderful - why screw up a good thing? My plan is more of a 6-month plan to being pacifier free. 3 is the magic age in this house. At age 3, it's gone. Also at age 3, my kids usually stop napping. Hence why age 2.5 is NOT the magic "goodbye pacifier" age.

Has anyone else ever waited this late to begin weaning from a pacifier? Any tips or pointers in case things start to go south?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take Care of Your Own First?

Posted by Mandy at 6:19 AM 4 comments Links to this post
I was reading a short article about the orphaned Haitian children being brought to the USA for care and possibly being adopted by American families when I became shockingly aware of the controversy surrounding this ordeal.

I was completely floored when reading the comments to the article. Many apparently feel that Americans need to only take care of American orphans. "Take care of your own" as one lovely commenter put it. Our own? What does this mean? Does that mean as a white family my family should only ever foster or adopt white children? Does it mean we should only take in children from Arkansas? From our city? "Our own.." something about this just makes me ill. We are all God's children and therefore we are all responcible for each other.

One thing that people don't often realize is there is a huge difference in the way orphans are treated here in the states verses third world countries. (not that things are perfect here.. perfect would be no such thing as an orphan b/c so many families are trying to help them.) Much less when that country is rocked to shambles and there is no food, water, or shelter. Bring those babies here!

I do understand the general idea of what they are saying, though. I've heard many people wonder why people choose to adopt internationally when there are so many children here in need of homes. My best answer, though never having walked in those shoes, would be b/c of what I mentioned above. They probably learn about the horrid conditions of the orphanages in other places and feel God telling them to act. To help.

I just find it a little bit appalling  that anyone would have a problem with children being helped by Americans. This may be a great way to spread God's word to children that possibly would not have heard it otherwise. This could start a great movement of love. Who knows what God is using this for, and using America for in this eve of such destruction.

Am I blinded by ideology? Should we only be focused on the children without homes in America?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kids Update

Posted by Mandy at 8:04 AM 3 comments Links to this post

I can't remember the last time I did a post about the kids, and since progress reports were sent home yesterday, I figured today was a good time to whip one up. Thankfully I am very pleased with my two big kids and how they're doing in school.

Madison, Miss Big 3rd Grader is keeping true to her same grades and behavior in elementary school. Her report showed:

Reading - 98
Literacy - 99
Math     - 95
Writing  - 98
All S's in PE, Music, Art, and Handwriting.

So go Madison! I am so proud of her! She is a very hard worker and has been given the ROC award by her teacher. (Really Outstanding Citizen) According to her teacher Madison minds very well, is quiet and well-mannered, and is always ready to help another student. She must get this from her father...

Then there's our Carter Man. He is working on his second semester of Kindergarten and honestly, I am blown away by how well he is doing. Everything anyone ever told me about boys and school he has proven FALSE. This is how his report card looks for 1st Sem.:

Reading - 99
Math     - 99
Writing  - 98
All S's in PE, Music, and Conduct

Wow!! Carter, though definitely my most silly, hard to control, and emotional child, has shown that school is just what he needed. He not only loves it but is just thriving! He often says that "everyone is my friend" and there isn't a single subject or activity that he doesn't enjoy. His teacher says that she truly cannot imagine him ever getting into trouble at home. (I suppose he saves it up for me... which is fine!)

Carter has been described by his teachers as a very intense and diligent worker, perfectionist, eager to please, super friendly and sweet, and a wonderful listener that is excited to do ANYTHING the teacher says is coming up next. He just likes to stay busy! (he is so much like his mommy... if I get bored, LOOK OUT!)

So, that's our two school-aged children. Now the 'baby.' Okay, I really can't claim him as a baby anymore now that he's 2.5, but I'm eeking out as much babyhood as I can from MY baby.

Samuel is just awesome.  He is usually very laid-back, though he has quite the temper. I actually think that once he grows into his emotions he'll be really really calm and go-with-the-flow. Or, he'll remain this way and will be super happy as long as everyone is doing what he wants, when he wants. He is the baby, after all.

Right now we're doing some mini-school sessions at home that consist of playing with Playdough to help build hand strength (since Carter struggled with that in school for a year.) and to learn colors and shapes. Not to mention it's his favorite thing to do and lots of fun!

We're working on all of those classic two-year-old things like counting, learning the alphabet, colors, shapes, sorting, etc. He's also doing really well with his manners (yes sir, please, thank you, cleaning up his messes when asked, etc.) His favorite daily activities are reading, coloring, playing with Play-Dough, GOING OUTSIDE FOR AS LONG AS MOM CAN STAND THE COLD, and watching a few of his favorite shows. These would be Dora the Explorer, Max and Ruby, and Go Diego Go.

So, everyone is doing really well. We had a few tough weeks with everyone's emotions and behavior following my dad's death, which is to be expected. It seems that we've talked, prayed, and finally began working these issues out and our household is becoming calm and orderly again. I am so very thankful for that!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Congo Women - Most Brutilized Victims of War

Posted by Mandy at 1:27 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Picture this scenario:

You're sitting in your home, making lunch, chatting with your children, and going on with daily life as you know it. Suddenly you hear a commotion outside and your front door slams open. Six men armed with guns, machetes, and knives storm into your home. Your children scream and cry. They grab you. They hold you down, and all six of them take turns brutally raping you as your family watches. When they finish they try to force your own little brother to also rape you and stab him to death when he refuses. He is only six years old. When they leave you are kidnapped and raped every day for 8 months by them, you become pregnant with one of their children, and you have no idea if your own children are dead or alive. Finally you get away, return home and find your children are alive, but are shunned because you have been violated. Your family, friends, and your entire city avoid you like the plague because of what happened to you. Now what?

Is this tough to read? Imagine living it.

Every single day women in the Congo are raped, kidnapped, and murdered as the country sits back and watches. Rape is the weapon of choice used by the angry and power-hungry men in the area as they try to gain control of everyone in every village. The rape is so brutal that many women lose control of bodily functions afterwards (due to permanent damage that only surgery can correct), or they die from subsequent infections.

When they are known to have been raped the woman's family often casts her away and it is not uncommon for these same women to starve to death due to having no one to turn to, and no where to go. Women in the Congo are said to be more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. Can you imagine living this hell?

It isn't just women that suffer this fate. Children as young as 3 are enduring the same horrific life. Rape is now spreading to men to force the fear even farther into the society. Now that it's happening to men... maybe something will be done to stop it.

These issues are real. These issues are happening TODAY. The more I read about it, see about it, and learn about it, the more I think, "We must do SOMETHING."

America can get a really bad rep from other countries, but there is no other nation in the world that gives as much as we do. Not we as in our government, but we as individuals that ban together for a cause. Americans are by nature humanitarians. We love people and we cannot bear to see suffering occur.

Sometimes this lack of being able to handle how sad and upset knowing about other's suffering makes us, we turn away. We bury our heads. We say "that's so horrible.. I can't read anymore of it!" This is NOT how problems get solved. This is NOT how women with no hope find help. This is NOT what you would want others to do if you were that African woman, victimized, brutalized, starving to death, and likely now infected with HIV.

With everything I've been reading on this topic, one group keeps showing up again and again. Women for Women. They help these women that have no hope and they teach them skills to help them make money. They teach them to read. They make life possible for them. If possible, I highly encourage everyone to support their cause with donations. If you're unable to provide monetary support, please provide PRAYER support. God loves these people and I personally know the power of prayer to be truly amazing. Dedicate time each day to have focused prayer time for not just the women, but the people in the Congo and in Africa as a whole. That their hearts will change, that women will be seen as equals to men, that children will have the same rights as everyone else.

Last but not least, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Your own home, your own family, your own church, and your own friends are not what make this world go round. God created us to worship him and to love each other. Though they are not near us in geography, according to God's word they ARE our neighbors. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Will you at least read this story (by Anderson Cooper and CBS News) and see if God tugs on your heart to do something? Maybe he will, maybe he won't. But, don't hide... it is there and it is happening whether we ignore it or not.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ridiculously Easy Steps to Help You Lose Weight

Posted by Mandy at 8:29 AM 1 comments Links to this post
It's a brand new year, and I have no doubt that roughly 90% of people I know have vowed that THIS is the year. The year they will get fit, get healthy, and shed any extra pounds. I know that I am definitely in this mix of folks - so I thought I'd post a few very simple steps that anyone can do each day to help reach these goals.

Easy Step #1 - Drink More Water

Did you know that drinking water is one of the most important things to do in order to lose weight? How easy is that? When you drink proper amounts of water each day, it not only cleanses your body, getting rid of old, nasty water that your body has stored in fear of drought (which is pretty much the #1 reason people get bloated - dehydration), and helps carry toxins out as well - but it actually changes the way you metabolise fat. Without enough water in your body each day, you CANNOT get rid of stored fat. Is anyone else running to the faucet right now? For a quick and great read on this topic, click here.

Easy Step #2 - Cut Out One Unnecessary Snack

If anyone out there is like me, you reach for snacks for many reasons other than your body needs more calories. My snack-attacks usually occur when a favorite show is on, one of my kids is whining and I need IMMEDIATE relief, I'm tired, I'm happy, friends are over, I'm lonely... the list goes on!

Cutting out even just one of your usual snack binges can equal MAJOR body changes. Depending on your current weight, even just cutting out a minor 300 calories a day can equal some pretty cool weight loss each week. (couple this with the increased water intake.. you're a fat burning machine!)

Be careful when you snack.. don't kid yourself with the 100 calorie snack packs. 100 calories of white flour and sugar is still 100 calories that immediately convert to fat. These snacks often satisfy your immediate craving, but only leave you hungry and craving more and more. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with a half of a banana topped with some sugar-free Cool-Whip. (or a fruit of your choice.) This is our favorite dessert around here... almost no calories, fat, or refined sugar. Your body will be so thankful that your thighs will shrink.

Easy Step #3 - Write it Down

Keeping a food journal has been proven time and again to help most people choose more healthy foods. For me, writing down what I eat from time to time helps me evaluate the TRUTH about my daily choices. At the end of the day I can often find that I ate a ton of carbohydrates and almost no protein. Some days I see that I only ate 2 servings of fruits and veggies... no wonder I was craving that Snickers Bar...

Even if you don't keep count of calories, fat, and all that jazz... just seeing food choices on paper will often help you face the truth about what you're putting into your body. Most Americans know what they need, and most of us know what to eat. What we typically do is manage to trick ourselves into believing we're doing "a pretty good job" of keeping our insides healthy when we're probably lacking a ton of vitamins and minerals each day.

Easy Step #4 - MOVE YOUR BODY

Do you know what burns fat? Muscle. Do you know how to get muscle? MOVE.

Exercise is a dirty word for a lot of folks, and boy have I been in that club! Some days I still have to make myself get up and get active. On the worst of days, when I really just cannot make myself do any cardio, I simply pull out my hand weights and do a few sets of different exercises while I watch my favorite shows. I can do pretty much anything as long as the TV is entertaining me. You can always start small and only committ to lifting during commercial breaks. I mean, you're probably only channel surfing during those anyway.

Here is an amazing site I stumbled upon the other day. I plan to search through it each day to find new moves to incorporate to my regular routine. Boredom is the #1 reason I give up on exercise so I have quite the collection of dvd's and outdoor activities to choose from.

Easy Step #5 - DON'T GIVE UP

You know at least four insanely easy steps now. You know what you can do. You know that if you do these things you'll feel so much better in a week. In a month you might just be amazed at how your body is changing, and how you actually feel proud of yourself.

Stop looking at diets. Stop trying to lose 7 pounds in a week. Do it RIGHT this time so this will be the last time. Small steps that are manageable and don't overwhelm you are the perfect way to begin. Adding these steps to your on-going routine can just give you the extra boost you're looking for.

Find a friend to do it with you, comment here if you're looking for someone to support you and help hold you accountable. It's a new year, and maybe it's time for a new you. A you that is caring about you.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Mandy at 4:47 PM 3 comments Links to this post
I feel the need to start this post by saying, "How on earth is it 2010?!"

Now that I've gotten that out of my system... it seems obvious that most bloggers will want to share their New Year's resolutions. I'd guess that many of them are things like lose weight, quite smoking, and get out of debt.

My resolutions are a bit different. I haven't given them a ton of thought, but the best I can figure, I have very few.

1. Move

In 2010 I plan to have my house sold and my family moved into a different house on a larger piece of land, closer to town. We're soo close to getting there. If the perfect place would show up, that would really help us get this show on the road! Alas, small town living provides very little in the way of real estate.

2. Expand My Business

I can't believe how things have blown up in the past 6 months or so with Canine Corrections. I hope to keep this trend going in a big way this year. This is a big reason for resolution #1. More land that's closer to town will likely equal more business. We'll see if it's in the cards!

3. Don't Get Lazy on Health

Being busier than ever makes it harder than ever to eat right and exercise. Thankfully my job is centered around mucho walking and jogging.. but the eating? Not exactly. I took about a month off of even thinking about what I was eating with Dad passing away and the holiday season.. so now I've got to refocus myself and start planning out healthy meals again. The fact that Clayton is signing up to run a half marathon in the spring helps me do this! (he asked if I wanted to do it with him.. HA!)

I think that's about it! I feel pretty good about everything right now, so that's a different way to start a new year for me. I suppose I stuck to my last year's resoultions.. whatever those were, to get here.

Last year was full of amazing times along with some of the most stressful, difficult, painful, and exhausting times of my life. Isn't it odd how that tends to happen? The good with the bad as they say.

Is anyone brave enough to share their resolutions? Beware.. I might hold you to them!

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