If I Want To Be, I Have To Do

My new mantra is: If I want to BE, I have to DO.

So often I think, say, or ask myself (and others): What do I do?

I want to be an artist. What do I do?

I want to be a photographer. What do I do?

I want to be a singer/ songwriter. What do I do?

I want to have a cleaner house. What do I do?

I want to be healthy. What do I do?

I want to be active. What do I do?

I want to be a good mom. What do I do?

I want to have friends. What do I do?

I want to sell stuff on Etsy. What do I do?

I want to be a more loving wife. What do I do?

There are tons more I could list but these are some of the main questions applying to me…

I’ve realized something though. The answer is pretty much always DO.

If I want to BE (blank), I have to DO the work – like the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”

So here are some answers for you (and me):

I want to be an artist – so DO Art – draw, paint, color, cut, create!

I want to be a photographer – so Do it – take pictures, pictures and more pictures – whether you have a nice camera or not! This isn’t even a good picture but it’s a PICTURE! It’s a start!

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I want to be a singer/ songwriter – so DO it – write a song about anything – your breakfast, a unibrow – then sing it, practice, write more, sing more!

I want to be cleaner – so DO it – stop laying on the floor with your teddy bear reading that awesome book and wash the dishes, sweep the floor, get rid of clutter, put your cup in the sink, rinse off your plate!

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I want to be healthy – DO it – make changes, eat less processed foods, stop when you’re full, drink water!

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I want to be active – DO it – go to the gym, go on a walk, a run, yoga, biking, hula hoop, swim in this crazy heat!

I want to be a good mom – DO it – we are good parents but can always improve, read up on it, ask questions, practice patience and practice it more, pray, learn to find joy in the mundane… in a sweet baby smile!

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I want to have friends – DO it – be friendly, become part of a community where you can meet people, get involved, volunteer, smile more (from your eyes), be a friend!

I want to sell stuff on Etsy – DO it – make stuff, collect vintage items, do art – then list, list, list and wait (while making more)!

I want to be a more loving spouse – DO it – hug your hubby/ wife when they walk through the door even if you’ve had a bad day and subconsciously blame them (yep, I didn’t greet my man yesterday), do a chore, buy a gift, spend time, hold hands, play a game, laugh!

I want to be a better person – so DO it – make the changes you need to better yourself, push yourself to accomplish things you normally slack on, DO, DO and DO! We can only improve if we DO the work to BE better.

These are all things I need to remind myself too! We need to stop asking What To Do and Just Do!

Let’s say goodbye to that old self and bring on some action and change! If we want to BE, we have to DO!

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“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson

Letting Go of Gluttony

I’ve gained weight.

In a previous post on Intuitive Eating I recommended the book “How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too,” by Josie Spinardi. A book I still find very good! At the time of the post I was 151 pounds, now I am back up to the 157-160 pound range I was stuck in before…sigh. This may sound like Intuitive Eating doesn’t work BUT, as with all things, you still have to “follow through” for changes to occur.

So – in order to better honor my waistline – I have decided to cut back on the holiday celebrations. Some days baking is the only option to celebrate with my boys and making three goodies in a row isn’t very effective in the “I’m trying to shed a few pounds and keep them off” world. Autumn3 I do LOVE sweets and don’t intend to cut them out of my diet but just because I “can” eat a dessert everyday (in moderation) doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strengthen my Intuitive Eating muscles before leaving a full plate of cookies on my counter alongside gooey toffee bars alongside Ding Dong Bundt Cake…

So I am going to stick with celebrations not involving food, or at least avoid so many sweet ones at this point!

And honestly I have been discouraged. I want to say, “I am content to stay this weight forever! I am happy with me and accept myself as I am!” I absolutely need to accept myself but the reality is – if I don’t figure this eating stuff out now, even if I only gain 5 pounds a year, in 12 years I could have gained 60 pounds – putting me at 220 when I’m 40!

Between having kids (which already leaves me way less active) and metabolism slowing down with age – I don’t know if my eating will maintain this current weight or if gradually the pounds will start sneaking on. Autumn Lucky for me my library always has great books on display, and I came across the book “It Was Me All Along: A Memoir” by Andie Mitchell. Andie’s story is her weight gain/ weight loss journey. She lost over 100 pounds without cutting anything from her diet – just eating in moderation and being more active.

I won’t say it’s a “happy happy” book because there is definitely some sadness – like her breaking up with the man she calls her best friend because she doesn’t have romantic feelings for him anymore – which I found disappointing!

Either way she had some wonderful insights and encouraged me in my fight for a healthier life!

My favorite line of the book was, “Another plate wouldn’t have brought me any greater satisfaction, because contentment doesn’t double by the serving.”  

This really hit a nerve – the contentment of “one” cupcake doesn’t double if I have TWO!? I realized how much a second or third serving, in so many foods, actually brings discontent because I’m left with so much regret and guilt!   Autumn2 I absolutely want to learn to be content with who I am, right here, right now (which is a process in itself) because even though it seems like it, weight loss isn’t going to make me happier. I do want to make changes though, so I can be healthier as well as setting a good example for my children!

I want to come to the place where eating a dessert (or any food for that matter) can be described as Andie does in her book, “…it was delightful. I’d made it special; I’d enjoyed it, and because of that – the eating lacked regret.”

A Lesson On Gratitude

This past weekend we took a mini vacation to the Seattle area. It was a fun break as well as an opportunity to see a close friend who was visiting from the East Coast.

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One of the best parts of our trip was exploring Whidbey Island.

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Jeffrey, as well as most children I assume, loves to stop and look at everything when we are out and about. It’s a constant “come on Jeffrey, hurry up, let’s go, come on buddy.”

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As we headed toward the beach we passed through an area covered with dandelions. Jeffrey kept stopping to look and pick them – but we hurried him along so we could see the next thing – and besides, they’re “just weeds”.

DSC_0533Fast forward to our return home…

On a walk yesterday afternoon, with a combination of being tired and hot, Jeffrey didn’t stop to look at anything around us.

Within a day he went from finding joy in the dandelions to being totally unaware of his surroundings.

A wave of sadness hit me, I became aware of how fast my “baby” is growing up and how his young toddler curiosity will one day be gone.

Then it hit me – flashbacks of all the times I rush my little boy.

And I realized – every stop to look at a weed, pick up smooth colorful rocks, or point out a water fountain in a neighbor’s yard – is an expression of gratitude. He is actually “seeing” the beauty in everything and is present in the moment – completely aware of what’s around him – which does not hold true for myself.

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It is so easy for me to hurry along life – even with no pressing demands. Because of my inability to stand there, wait and see new things for myself, I am teaching my children to stop looking for the beauty. I am training them to be like me and so many other adults – those of us who don’t see the loveliness in an abundance of bright yellow dandelions, pink and purple pebbles in someone’s yard or the many black sprinkler heads peeping up through the grass… the things that matter so much to our little ones!

I don’t want my children to lose this wonderful quality – gratitude – the ability to really “see” everything.

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Immediately I started pointing out things for Jeffrey to look at – things I would normally miss myself – flowers among weeds, the cool breeze brushing against us, a decorative teal bike hidden in the bushes of a creative person’s yard.

We need to embrace and affirm the wonder of our children and how they perceive the world around them. To consciously slow down and let our kiddos take the joy of life, living in the moment, and “seeing” beauty into their adulthood.

DSC_0525 “Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.” – Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”  

Nature Photography Day

We celebrated a few holidays today – the first being Nature Photography Day. I have an old camera I let Jeffrey use to take pictures outside. All of these photos Jeffrey took without my help – except the ones he is in obviously.

My picture of him taking a picture…

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Of this…

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Pictures of the vegetable garden…

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My cute little photographer…

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Up close with the strawberry plants…

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I thought this one was a fun perspective!

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Pretty flowers…

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And a shot of each other…

DSC_0278I am absolutely not a fan of this picture of myself but I am trying to be honest with all of Jeffrey’s picture taking! Sob!!

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A great smile for National Smile Power Day…

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And since it was perfectly windy, we celebrated Fly a Kite Day out front while Jack napped.

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Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Ok this is going to be the most uninteresting post yet…

We had a yard sale on Saturday morning to make a little money for an upcoming trip and to unload our garage… worst decision ever!

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I never want to have a yard sale again… all that work and barely made anything – I’m thankful for the little we did make but I am not filling my garage up with our cast-offs in the future – straight to a second hand store it will go.

My mom even set up a little table for Jeffrey to sell coffee and toast and not one person bought anything from him – besides us.

So I am stretching it here for a celebration but every time Jeffrey buttered the toast for us he would forget and lick his little knife… EVERY time… I call that a goofy Kitchen Klutz… haha! Thankfully this “sometimes” kitchen klutz (me) broke no dishes in my own kitchen or during the setup of the yard sale…

Then it was a crazy rush to pack up, clean up, send Jeffrey off to the circus with MeMa and head to a graduation party.

So this is the only picture we have… one of Jack finally getting to sit facing forward…mad he didn’t get to pull weeds for Weed Your Garden Day… ha!

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National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

On Caleb’s day of watching the boys (while I was at work), they made our first clean eating dessert recipe, to celebrate National Peanut Butter Cookie Day… DSC_0237

Stirring it up…

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Cookie sheet time!

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And ready for the oven…

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Wearing Daddy’s grilling apron…

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I LOVE THIS!

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And some “healthy” peanut butter cookies… they could use a few adjustments but overall they turned out pretty good for a first attempt.

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And seeing as Jack was missing in those pictures here he is enjoying freshly picked strawberries from the garden…

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