Where I’ve been…….

So where I have I been?  That question has so many answers.  But if you are referring to Facebook, welp I gave it up for a fast at church.  What started out as 40 days has now exceeded 60.  That’s how it all got started anyway.

When considering what to give up I thought about the goal – to get closer to God.  You deprive yourself in a fast in order to seek him more.  By depriving you also gain knowledge or wisdom you may not otherwise be able to experience. As a SAHM it had become so easy to scroll through my feed and comment or chuckle here and there between sets on the barbell, while waiting for kids, or nursing my little guy.  But Lord knows it never stopped there.  Even when not on FB, my thoughts would drift to something I read or saw.   What happened to being present?  Hmmm. I could easily look around a doctor’s office or wait in line somewhere and be the only one not buried in my phone.  Was I missing moments?  I would’nt know if I didn’t take this bold step to find out.

The first few days I felt as though I lost a limb.  How would I communicate with the outside world? I was lonely at times. Like everything else in society, this was instant connection to people.  I had to focus on the phrase ( and sometimes say it outloud) “In lonliness seek Him. ”  To my surprise I was contacted by plenty of cool people throughout my journey.  And guess what?  We had REAL conversations!  That prompted me to reach out more and actually contact folks that were on my mind.

I had an epiphany these last few weeks. Why was I not using the huge opportunity to share??? Instead of the standard answer to why I have left Facebook being for church (which I still partially give) I could actually use that open door and give testimony to others that I’d never imagine talking about Jesus to.  Now the good Lord knows I am far from perfect & a sinner who has hit some major bumps even during this prayerful time, but I could also name a thousand different ways I have been blessed. Me? A vessel?  Who’d a thunk it?!

This has been a huge time of change for my family also.  Herm and I have prayed for the path that God wants for our family. We had been without fulltime employment for a few months and I felt that by eliminating some of the outside distractions, as a family we could focus more on our immediate needs. We recently found out that that road will lead us to Louisiana and put Herm in a great job he is anxious to start.  With that revelation came so many more questions – do we move now, wait until my daughter graduates, leave her here for her senior year?  We came to the decision that I will stay in San Diego with the kids until June of 2014.  Having this “quiet time” made such a huge life decision bearable.  I trusted my faith completely and continue to do so.

Now I might be back here and there every now and again.  I truly do miss some of the smiles that crossed my face with posts of good news, inspiration and endless silliness.  But moderation is just not something I can say I’m ready for.  I can’t give my best to my family when my thoughts are elsewhere.  So I will hang out for a few days and catch up.  Message me if you’d like to keep in contact .

Who’da thunk it?

When I started this blog, it was directed at my journey of motherhood as an army wife on my journey back to health, fitness and a fight to make it through the day as a stay at home mom of 4.  That was 11 months ago. My, how life has changed.

I had a lot of trouble settling into routine.  I let my son dictate the pace decide what things I wanted to do verses what needed to be done.  I thought I’d have some time on my hands for extraneous things like closet cleaning and photo organizing – um, no.  I pared that down a bit to eat, cook, sleep, pick up/drop off kids and of course work out (but that’s a different topic) .  I had had these false expectations of myself to have this perfectly coiffed home.  Yea, that didn’t happen either.  How could it?  I’m home all day!!  The more mobile the boy has gotten, the more proficient I have needed to become at making use of my time.  I’m guessing this is why i haven’t blogged in awhile. I was happy to let go of my feelings as a failure and embrace what I can accomplish in a day.

Getting my strength back was a huuuge goal for the year.  I felt weak and broken.  Those numbers are back for the most part and I am for sure stronger, but along the way I also gained my spiritual armor.  That, my friends, makes all things possible.  When people see me they are like wow, you got back into shape, how’d’ you do it etc. etc.  I tell them about my workouts and food etc.  But that’s the physical part.  The joy comes when someone asks me why I’m happy or notices a contentment in me and I can share with them about my walk with the Lord and how surrendering to Him has changed my life. My body may change or age and my workouts my vary, but He will never leave my side.  That joy is unwavering. Not everyone who asks about the physical part is ready to jump on the Paleo wagon or pick up a barbell, but to date, I have brought 16 people to my church. Hmmmm…… maybe I’m onto something.

So what exactly did happen with my food and workouts, you ask? I have been back on the paleo train for months now. I have gained enough confidence in my diet and body that when i cheat, it seriously is not a big deal.  Maybe it’s more often than I should, but i am in a really good place with my food.  I tried cutting down, going strict and every other method out there and it left me asking if it was worth the effort.  Why?  I could easily stand to lose 10-15lbs but I know it wont make me any happier, and I know getting there will be a pain in the arse.  Don’t even get me started on maintaining it.  Thankfully my husband is just fine with how I look. I’m not posing for any calendar or getting in front of a large crowd for any reason, so in my book at this point in time it’s all good.

I CAN COOK!  I got to figure this out thanks to Juli Bauer and PaleOMG.  Each week I carefully gather ingredients and make an effort to try something new.  I feel like an iron chef when I am alone in the kitchen making something wonderful.  My cooking up to now  in life has been sub par at best – edible, but nothing special. I’m quite excited about how many spices I have now.  In those moments with the boy where I am forced to sit and nurse and surf the tv channels, I have been able to pickup quite a few tips from cooking shows.  There is something very gratifying about making a good meal🙂

I started off the year training very hard.  Bubba was small enough that I could keep him occupied or napping long enough to get through over an hour. Not so much any more.  He is a busy boy!  For a time this really frustrated me – but who was I home for?  Him or me?  How could I get upset at that little man wanting my attention when I’ve waited for him all my life.  So what if I have to stop the clock on the wod and may never know if I could’ve PR’d that Cindy – there will be other days for Cindy, but not other days for an infant :)  That changed my whole view on how and why I workout.  I will never compete or be elite by any means. At one point I even thought well, if I workout in the morning AND run at night maybe I can get a little leaner.  That left me irritable, injured and took time away from my kids.  Tossed that out the window quickly.  Now I run because I want to and for no other reason. I may forever use a band in wods with more pullups than I can muster.  That’s okay.  I’m in this for fitness, health and fun. Anything more would take time away from the very people I live to love.

My friendships have also evolved quite a bit.  A funny thing happens when you stay at home – people forget about you. Or so I thought.  It’s all a matter of perspective. I could say with all honesty now that the friendships I have are stronger and more true than they have ever been.  I feel completely blessed by the women I have been surrounded by this year.  Sometimes you have to reach out more than once before someone grabs your hand, but if you never put your hand out there, you may never know.  A very wise woman told me that. Friendship is a two-way street but if you are missing someone, never ever hesitate to say so.

I was pretty doggone lonely at one point.  So along with my women’s group, i began to volunteer and my daughters’ school.  It felt great to be wanted and greeted with a smile.  Drakey and I also started with a mommy and me class.  I wondered what they’d do with a bunch of infants under a year, but they all really love it & it’s nice for mommys too.  I went in feeling like an outsider, thinking I’d be by far the oldest and have nothing in common with anyone.  Thankfully it’s pretty easy to bond with women whose children your son just hit.  We talk about sales, and good pediatricians and schools and recipes.  We exchange ideas, gossip about tv shows and share good books.  You’d never guess I wasn’t a SAHM all along ;0)  I happily fit somewhere right between the glam moms and those that just rolled out of bed in the same clothes.  My respect for these women has grown ten-fold.

I’ve missed my husband. There have been moments where the magnitude of what he’s doing and missing him have just hit me like a ton of bricks, but I wait til i’m alone in the shower to cry. Some people say they married their best friend or say they are partners – he truly is and we truly are.  My poor children had to endure months of every monotonous detail of me rehashing my day that my husband once sat through.  Had i not previously been a single mom, this might have been a whole lot hairier.  I depend on him to be the rational to my crazy and the all-knowing when I don’t have the answer.  It took forever for me to learn to trust my gut and know that my family was depending on me to lead them.  I will gladly share that responsibility upon his return.

Sacrifice has come in every aspect of my life this year.  I have changed my ideal on what has priority in my life. With it also came great reward. I am tired and beat down at the end of each day, but as I fall into bed, I smile because I know my family appreciates it. Even though the teenagers can be …. well, teenagers, and Bubba is destructo boy, I would not have it any other way.  I used to imagine “having it all” as a huge house, lean, fit body, immaculate housekeeping, great husband and kids.  I got the last part right, only God is firmly at the forefront, i have a little bit more in the middle now and my house looks very much lived in. I am so grateful for my life every day.

Hope & Faith

Hope & faith have been constant themes in my life recently and the situations that surround me.  I was blindsided this week when I was told I was expected back at  work next month.  I *thought* i had more time before that decision would be in front of me. I had faith along the way that my 18 years of service and loyalty would count for something.  But when I reflect on those words “service” and  “loyalty” HOME is where I’m needed and my only loyalty is family and God.  This hit me like a ton of bricks at my women’s group this week when a fellow SAHM stated she felt bad for not being able to volunteer very often as she had no one to care for her kids.  Another woman chimed in – “Are you helping others?  Are you making sacrifices to make that happen? If the answer is yes then you are serving the Lord by helping your family and THAT is your ministry.”  How did they know the words I needed to hear before I even spoke of my dilemma?? 1800 FAITH!!!  That’s how!!!  With my husband deployed, who will be here to steer our ship? My job may not be there, when and if I ever go back but I cannot recapture these years with my boy.  When I think of all the missed moments and rushed days with my older 3 I have so much regret.  I had no time to pause or appreciate.

My daughter loves cheer.  Her goal in life at the moment is to make varsity for her high school team.  She has had many bumps in her second year on a personal level and lost all faith in herself.  We are pulling out of that though and she is finding her stride with renewed hope.  But she came to the cold realization a bit late that her dream was not going to happen – not this year anyway.  Seeing the dreams of your child derailed is gut wrenching, but like my decision earlier in the week, she is relying on her faith now.  Maybe that’s not where is is supposed to be. She is ready to find out what’s next for her even though it may not be what she dreamed of. I am proud of the grace she is handling this all with.

I also had a date with hope & faith in the good old garage gym.  My coach programmed heavy squats for me this week.  Mind you I am now 3 months post partum and nowhere near my previous max so I was dead scared.  Her cues where spot on.  She had me go into the workouts confident that IT’S OKAY TO FAIL – just get under the bar, get low and bail. Practice failure and let go.  A whole lot in those words to ponder.  She gave me numbers to shoot for in heavy singles.  150-155.  I took a deep breath and sat down with my barbell – and then I got up!!!  SUCCESS!!!   What?  I had hoped I could but was okay if it didn’t work out.  She had faith in me all along :)  Well, now lets see how 155 feels.  BAM!!!  Then hello 160 – TWICE!!  I felt like a million bucks!

 

 

Food is going well.  Still excited to find new recipes.  Here is my favorite of the week:

1 cup pecans chopped and toasted(350 5-10min), 1/2 lb bacon cooked and chopped, 1.5 lb brussels sprouts quartered, and 3-4 scallions finely chopped. While pecans are toasting & bacon cooking, whisk together 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 3 tbs lemon juice& 1/4 c evoo& 1/4 tsp black pepper and set aside. In a large skillet, add about 2 or tsp of bacon fat or evoo and mix in brussels sprouts. Cook till softened and lightly browned. Pour in large bowl and add in nuts, scallions, bacon& dressing and mix well NOMS!!

Marching on into March

A bit more settled this week.  I think I have a routine down – feed baby, breakfast, feed baby, school kid chaos, feed baby, followed by workout, feed baby, shower, feed baby, cook & eat something amazing, feed baby, clean, feed baby, pick up kids, feed baby, heard kids through homework/activities, feed baby, again cook something amazing, feed baby, and bed :)  I do love it though.  Who’d a thunk it??

I had an epiphany this week during a conversation with a friend.  While my zest for cooking is at an all-time, high, I am also eating an extraordinary amount of “paleo” breads, muffins, desserts. etc…… the very crap I so vehemently objected against on my soap box so often on the other blog.  That cannot be good.  I was also falling into the nightly snack routine cuz I’m nursing you know, so I like *probably* need the extra calories, right?   I had a flash forward of weaning my baby boy and someone knocking on my door and presenting me with 30lbs to be placed onto my hips and ass – and in a bad way!!!  Time to cut this madness out and get back to the basics.   I want to be the best version of myself I can be.  The reality is  I didnt eat that stuff in the full crap version so why eat it now. I’m not a catholic but i will be giving all of that up for lent….. along with burpees

  Workout highlight of the week – welp, I was scared my uterus may fall out, but my coach said to add 30lbs to my deadlift.  I thought perhaps she was on a bender.  I had a spotty training week – did something weird to my elbow of all dumb things.  Anyhoo, I put on my Valley Crossfit tee and lifted that sheit up like it was an empty bar!!!  Happy happy joy joy!!  Seeing progress never ceases to be an incredible feeling.  No one else can take it away from you.  Very gratifying.

Progress is being made on the health and fitness front, my husband is safe and working hard, the kids are thriving, yes, March is gonna be a great month…..without baked goods

2/25/12 Where I’m at

I’m tired.  Tired and worried and at the same time completely fulfilled.  Does that make any sense at all?  My hubby gets on the plane tomorrow for Afghanistan and our countdown begins.  I had a wonderful few days in Indiana with my best friend.  He let me vent, served me breakfast every day and reminded me with his smile why i fell in love with him.  But letting go again was hard.  I couldn’t sleep or eat.  How do you let your heart walk out the door and not run after it? I am so glad he got to be with his boy.  They smiled and laughed and looked at each other with awe.  And before I knew it the moment was over and I was back home.

I love my life.  I love the hustle and bustle in the morning, working out with my boy watching on, cleaning, cooking and gathering my babies around the table for dinner & laughs.  I cannot thank my husband enough for this opportunity and his support of all that I do.  I am the luckiest girl ever.

My workouts ….. well I had almost a week off.  The most marked progress was a 90lb press and 100lb jerk.  This didnt’ happens without a casualty.  I aced my chin on a jerk and have a swollen lip.  I was a little scared that i popped my tooth out again.  Thankfully I was able to shake it off and start over. I am sore everywhere today.  One more workout til rest day.

Food has been so so.  I am continuing to try new things.  I made fantastic blueberry muffins, chorizo hash and repeated the yummy jambalaya of a few weeks ago.  Planning a trip to Whole Foods to look for a few ingredients that allude me.  I am completely happy when I’m cooking.  I’m not great chef but there is something to creating a new dish.  I am thoroughly enjoying exchanging dishes with my friend.  It makes meals easy and future menu planning fun.

I love my women’s group.  Bible study is a bit like therapy, but for the soul.  We freely share the portions of our lives that need prayer.  I am humbled by the honesty and caring these women have.  They prayed for me when I struggled through a kid issue and prayed this week for my travel with Drake to be easy and sure enough I had angels along the way to help.

Cold hard truth

Let’s get right to it!!

FOOD

Pretty great week turned grossly ineverwanttoeatagain after a Super Bowl binge.  Ick.  That won’t be happening again soon.  We had lots of sunny days and that makes me want salad out on the patio.  Here is my favorite – greens, pecans, avocado & strawberries with a dressing of evoo and lemon juice.  So yummy!!

THE WORKOUTS

1/30 – Squats to 5×5 @ 95 – felt fantastic!!  Deadhang pull-ups with band x12

1/31-press to 5×5 @65 – a far cry from my max and sad to say a few were difficult. Then burpee ladder to 12. I did these in the living room.  Drake thought mommy had lost her mind.

2/1 REST DAY!!  Time to pay bills and get business done!!

2/2 Squats to 5×5@105 – okay but not great.  I need to tape them . More pull up practice

2/3 Deadlifts 1-1-1 115-125-140.  These felt MUCH stronger … progress. Followed by 2 minute max reps of pullups- 32, pushups – 52 and squats 63

2/4 Squats to 5×5 @115.  This time I had a cinematographer.  HOLY SHALLOW SQUATS!!!  Errrr disappointed.  Time to regroup!!  Then for time 20 pullups 40 squats 20 k2e, 10 pullups 20 squats 10 k2e, 5 pullups 10 squats 5 k2e, and 2 pullups 5 squats 2 k2e – 4:20  Wicked fun

So Coach Pony and the husby agree I need to back down my weights on my squats.  I have all the time in the world so no rush.  I just get anxious.  I want it all now but my body is saying not so fast.  It’s sometimes hard to focus when I know the little guy will be awake at any minute.  Patience.

RAMBLINGS

I saw the coolest shirt this week, which led me to the coolest website -Crossfit Faith.  Spiritual wods.  How can you not love it?  I have the feeling I am making some people uncomfortable when i talk about God, but this is MY journey.  Back tot eh shirt – as Crossfitters we have a lot of “hey look at me” which is awesome to see people reach their goals *but* when it gets boastful then it’s a problem.  Seeing the video of the bad behavior at the OC Throwdown was proof of that as well.  There is still that thing called humility and that thing our mamas taught us manners.  Oh and good sportsmanship.  Another reminder that our spirituality should be reflected in EVERYTHING we do.

I learned many cold, hard truths this week – that the power of prayer is priceless, that junk food does not agree with me, that if you videotape your lifts you are smacked right in the face with the fact that your squats are shallow & that good friends -no matter how long it’s been since you were last together – will always be there for you.  We also have a giant mystery in our house – how does the boy keep wetting the side of his jammies at night?  i need to install a camera.  I change him every time he wakes up, make sure the diaper is secure & it happens anyway. Hmmm

Birthday Wish

 

 

I started the week giddy about my birthday – 45 with a baby!!!  Who’d a thunk it?It was an incredible week of girlfriends, gifts, deliciousness and FORGIVNESS… yes, FORGIVNESS Every year at Thanksgiving and then right again at my birthday I reflect on my blessings, but more so on my birthday I focus on what I need to change in my life.  I am slowly working my way through a list of goals my husband and I made and decided to blow out a  big one.  If I’m gonna preach, I need to reach.  There is no better gift, no better feeling than just setting aside anger, when you don’t even recall where it came from and moving forward. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.  That’s when you wonder why you waited so long.

  Can’t really complain about much these day but one thing… announcing to the world proudly over the last 6 weeks that the mini crown prince here only wakes up once a night.  I must have said it one too many times for the universe because the boy now has me up every 2 hours.  Yes, it’s a good thing he’s cute!!!  I will forgive him for now.

The older 3 had a banner week as well – two 1st place wins at cheer competition for monkey#1 and #2&3 got awards at school.  I amazed at my spawn sometimes.  I guess I am doing something right.

THE FOOD

Let’s cut to the chase – it’s my birthday week, I ate loads of yummy stuff.  Unlike my forgivness theme for the week, my stomach decided Saturday evening that enough was enough and revolted.  Yea, not pretty!!!  I can say I have no regrets.  They arent cheats – they are decisions.

Monkey 2 has wanted coconut chicken for a while now, so I got it all together and let her have at it.  I must say it came out terrific!!  Easy peasy – dip chicken in egg, then almond flour, then coconut then fry up in coconut oil.  Only downside is we didn’t make enough for leftovers.

THE WORKOUTS

1/23 Squats!  warmup- #35 1×5, #55 2×4, #75 3×3, #95 1×2 , then 1-1-1-1-1 #110 followed by 10 deadhangs – band assisted.

Sadly I took the “butt test” and FAILED – not just failed but EPICALLY FAILED. MUST. SQUAT. MORE.

1/24 Jerks!  Cant even recall the last time I did them. Warmup- #35 2×5, #45 3×3, #55 2×3, #65 2×3, then 1-1-1 #75  Really fun!

50 kbs for time using #25 db – 1:40 and unbroken – yea boi!!!

1/25 Squats!! Warmup- #33 1×5, #53 3×3, #65 2×4, then #75 5×5

10 deadhangs w no band – hey!!  I think I moved up an inch!!!

wod – 6 rounds AMRAP 3 power cleans, 6 pushups, 9 squats(odd rounds) 9dips (even rounds, 6 rounds rest 1 minute between rounds.  Got through round 1 and ended up with hungry baby sooooooooooooo I had to start over.  Round1- 4 rounds+pc, Round 2- 4, Round 3-4+ pcs, Round 4-4, Round 5 -4, Round 6-4

1/27 Birthday WOD!!!  Squats!!  warmup #45 1×5, #65 2×4, #75 2×2, then #85 5×5 SOLID! WOD

1 5,4,3,2,1 of deadlift/box jumps (did step ups) used #120 2:02

1/29 1/4 “angie” 25 pullups (band) 25 pushups, 25 situps, 25 squats rest 1 minute and repeat, This was a BLAST!!!  2:25 & 2:45

Felt awesome so wanted to get my legs ready for the upcoming 5k – untimed sprints up the hill 200m x5

It was a good week