Quitting and Contentment

Hi there!  Goodness, it has been a long time since I wrote anything on this little old blog (August 2017 to be exact!).  To say that I’ve been “up in the air” about many things is putting it mildly!  I’ve been asking myself do I switch to a new church (or not), switch career fields (or not), do I complete coursework to switch jobs within the field of education (or not), do I run a marathon (or not), etc., etc.

I hate to feel like I’m just bumping along without an goal.  I love to take action when I’ve identified a problem.  I also confess to wanting lots of human opinions either from loved ones or the infamous Google search.  These tendencies present a problem when I put ultimatums on myself and timelines and expectations.  Then, the fixing of one “problem” results in lots of internal problems for me.

I guess you could say that my motto for 2018 is just quit. We are only 18 days in, and I’ve already doing a pretty good job.

  1.  Registered for Yuengling Shamrock Marathon – I switched over to the 8K.
  2. Registered, Paid, and Began classes at Old Dominion and Tidewater Community College – I dropped those classes after the first week.  Sadly, this was after I put about 7 hours work into them.
  3. Tentatively planned two vacations – I abandoned both ideas as one was too far of a car ride for our car-challenged children and the other was not the Mr.’s idea of a vacation.  I do see his point as it was a trip to the beach, and we LIVE in Virginia Beach.  😉
  4. Heck, I was already ahead of myself and gave up on this blog back in August!

I think quitting can have such negativity associated with it.  However, I know as a teacher I go over with students when to abandon a book.  How often do we as adults take inventory of our lives (friends, family, profession, spirituality, hobbies) and decide what really needs to be abandoned?  Is there a friend who really isn’t a friend and has become a drain on your emotions?  Is there a family member who requires a little more distance from your everyday thoughts and your heat?  Perhaps, you need to change your job in some way or maybe an attitude/way you do thing adjustment is necessary.  Are you stagnant spiritually?  When’s the last time you truly felt your soul was evolving even in some small way?  Hobbies?  Do you have none or quite too many?  Are you really doing something that is special to you?

It’s no secret that I love to purge/organize/drop-off at the thrift store.  I love the feeling that you have after really clearing out some space in a home.  It feels like I can breathe easier and see with so much more clarity what remains.  I think it’s easier to identify where “clutter” is when it’s tangible and has a sort-of “in your face”-ness to it.

I believe that 2018 for me will be a year of changes but also (*hopefully*) a year of contentment.  I’m quite tired of striving.  There’s that saying – “There’s always room for improvement.”  I do love a good self-help book and the sense of accomplishment from meeting a goal.  I’ve done a lot of that.  I think really for me to grow as a person it might…just maybe…be more important for me to let contentment grow this year.

Can I just be content with my personality?  my skills?  my weaknesses?  my accomplishments?  my failures?  I feels like the quest for the Holy Grail!  I guess I’ll have to find my best Indiana Jones’ hat and try!

Do you set resolutions or goals only in January?  or maybe not at all?

Have a great day and year!  🙂

Sunday Fun Day

Hi there!  What a great weekend it has been/continues to be!  We had such a good time yesterday, and today has been fun too. If you recall, we’ve had a few illness-filled weekends.  This one feels like an actual reprieve from the work week instead of a different type of “work.”  The Mr. and I watched The Best of Me last night on DVD.  It’s a Nicholas Sparks novel, so you can just imagine the plot of this one.  Very good sentiment and heart-touching.  However, I think the Mr. is lobbying for a break from the “touchy feely” movie that I’ve been picking lately!  We rose and shone early this morning to attend the 8AM service at church.  H was a pretty good little dude and captured a few of the older ladies’ hearts.  😉  After church, we got to go on a walk together and do some yard work.  The Mr. purchased and planted two dogwoods and a redbud.  He’s way into it.  Me…not so much!  I did help a little with cleaning up some dead vines and just plain junky plant material in our yard.  Holden had a blast finding two new “homes” for worms that popped up and just generally getting into mischief with pliers, rakes, and fertilizer.  I think we pretty much blew his mind when we told him that the fertilizer was essentially “poop!”  Then, Roscoe ate it, and well…there you go!  Lots of opportunity for questions/conversations!  Here are a few pictures from my Teacher of the Year reception (including the wristlet corsage that I wore!  I felt very prom-ish!).

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Truthfully, I get really uncomfortable at “things” like this.  This is my nervous/frightening face.

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#bathroomselfie

Another interesting pic from the weekend – the Mr.’s hunting gear laundry day!

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He certainly likes his gear/accessories!  If he was a girl, I swear he would have a million shoes and bags!

I hope you’re having a terrific weekend!  It’s amazing how simply being well and having some sunshine can be so appreciated in the spring after the winter season!

A thought for all the moms out there who are struggling with decisions, big and small!

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Image Courtesy of Traci Michele – Found at Pinterest.com

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Image from Pinterest

Natalie

A Love Letter to Me

Good morning!  In celebration of all things love {and I mean, what else is February known for!?!?…perhaps, Presidents’ Day?}, I decided to write a little love letter to my body.  What sparked this you might ask?  Well, this magazine cover that was posted on my Facebook feed.  Lots of drama surrounding this one!  I think she is quite pretty, but I do worry if she is healthy.  I don’t know her from Adam, and it is so not my job to judge her.  As a society, we have to think about the role models we put before our kids.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Sports Illustrated is not where I hope kids look for role models {at least perhaps not in the swimsuit issue!}.  I’m quite sure there are other choices that don’t include scantily clad women gyrating and sighing in preview commercials.  What. the. world.  HOWEVER, we do need to be careful not to say that being unhealthy is okay.  Being unhealthy is something to be celebrated.  No matter your size or shape, the real test of beauty of a female body is that body in motion.  What can it do?  I hope this woman is fit enough to not get winded while she jogs with her dog a block.  I hope her cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels are normal OR perhaps on the low end of normal.  I do not know ANYTHING about her medical history or state.  I do know that being overweight or obese is hard on your body.  Not only does it impact what you do, it impacts the hardworking organs inside you.  I don’t know about you, but I plan to be around for a long time.  I don’t want to let an extra 20 pounds wear out my body before my time.  So…

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Article by US Weekly – Photo Courtesy of Its Website

Here we go!

Dear Me,

I just wanted to take the time and tell you a few things on my mind.  You have always been there for me when I need you.  You help me to be an energetic mom.  I can chase my kid for hours without becoming {too} winded. I scooped him up when he wasn’t listening and head to the road one time.  Granted there were no cars!  I still was able to sprint and scoop with relative ease.  You were with me while going through natural, medication-free labor, and I’m pretty sure you abs helped with how speedy everything worked!  Thank you feet.  Boy, I definitely put you through it!  Thank you for taking on 13.1 miles with me back in 2012 for my first {and only} to date half marathon.  Not to mention, you’ve gotten up and gone through cross country, track practice, late night college runs, and early morning cause there’s a baby at home runs!  I’ve gotten to rock climb with you, mountain bike, swim in the ocean, bay and pool with you.  You keep right on going!  This past spring/summer, I worked you really hard.  You helped me move boxes and furniture.  Can you believe we moved every last item out of our temporary apartment into our new home by ourselves {well, with the the Mr. too!}!?!?!?  Thank you.  I promise to continue to take good care of you.  I will try to put mostly healthy foods like fruits and veggies in you.  I’ll keep the chocolate to a minimum and keep on cutting out processed food as much as possible.  I know what you like and what you run best on.  I’ll exercise you to keep you ready for more adventures, but I’ll try not to over do it.  I’ll also make an effort to add more stretching.  It is so good for the mind, but I know you like it too.  You know I’ve been trying to do better with the sleep.  The Mr. was at fault last night.  I swear it wasn’t me wanting to get up at 3AM.  Poor guy has a cold and was being a noisy bedmate.  Once again, thank you.  I love you.  You do a great job!  Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep up the maintenance.

Love,

Natalie

Lynyrd Skynyrd Speaks

Hi everyone!  I can’t get my mind wrapped around the fact that it is a Tuesday night instead of a Monday night.  I’m sure I’ll be confused all week after the MLK Jr. Day off.  After a somewhat false start at the trampoline place {totally sold out!}, we hit up Target for a few quick buys with my gift card.  Then, we went over to a local “bounce house” to let Holden jump for joy aka get that boy energy out!  He had a blast.  I, however, would have much rather gone to the trampoline place and got to jump around too.  I’m pretty sure the workers would have frowned on me climbing on the bounce houses.

After a little over an hour, I pulled the plug on Holden’s plan to jump ALL DAY.  We headed to the mall to do a quick return and then to Great Clips for a hair cut for H.  They are absolutely wonderful with him!  So patient!  I always tip 25% there.  We {mostly me} appreciate the kind kid treatment.

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What a busy but fun morning.  All this before noon!  The rest of the day kind of fizzled as H snoozed away the afternoon, and I was a bit mopey and tired myself.  I tried to read a book.  Then, I tried some other productive things.  No luck.  Oh well.

To be quite honest, I’ve had a hard time recently when I have quiet, down time.  Instead of relaxing myself or doing something active/productive, I find myself paralyzed by my thoughts.  I think on this.  I think on that.  I run that scenario with that situation and then switch to another.  EX-HAUSTING!  And so very annoying.

To be quite honest again, I sort of feel like I’m just drowning in my thoughts sometimes.  Since the fall, I can’t seem to hit the reset button.  Some things happen that trickle into your everyday and don’t let you go.  No matter how hard you desire to shake them lose.  I pray about it.  I read tips about it.  I talk with others about my feelings {eww}.  I try to do this.  I try to do that.  Today, I got the urge to go for a run.  Now, it was a relatively nice day.  However, I typically only seek out an outdoor run after a long work day if the weather is *just right.*  This is definitely true if I’m not feeling 100%.  It is oh-so-easy to talk yourself out of a run.  For whatever reason, I did it.  Left work.  Threw on running clothes.  Felt a good bit about guilt about not racing to pick up H from daycare {this is all day, every day feeling.  go me.}.  Took the dog to alleviate said guilt by validating exercise with Roscoe exercise.  Ran with no course/route in mind.  Ran at a pretty crappy pace.  Whatever.

Had the best run ever.  Why?  Clear, real peace.  Just like that.  It came on almost like a wave as I started out.  Then, {as my lovely iPod shuffled a random mix of rap, Christian music, and some Carrie Underwood for good measure} Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man” came on.  That was it.  Total clarity.  Isn’t it funny that you can think the same thoughts, write the same words in a journal, even read actual words that Jesus Christ said…until it is the right time and the right medium, it means nothing.  And in just a run, just a song…it meant everything.  Same message.  The lyrics are listed below.  Here is a link to a YouTube video if you’d like to hear it for yourself.  I listened 3x to it while I was running and each time I become more sure that that run was where I was supposed to be, that song was exactly what I was supposed to hear.

“Simple Man”

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.[Chorus:]
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Boy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart,
And nothing else.
You can do this,
If you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

You Get What You Need

Today was certainly an unexpected day!  It started when the Mr. surprised me by coming home early this morning, so I wouldn’t have to rush to get Holden to daycare before going in for an inservice day at school.  This means that I left the house WITHOUT looking slightly disheveled and like a rushing madwoman.  A very nice surprise indeed.  My day was even better when I got to enjoy lunch outside of the school walls at Chesapeake Pizza.  I hadn’t been here to eat before, but I liked the mini pizza that I got.  The only issue with this place is that they don’t take cards…no debit or credit.  What in the world.  Fortunately, I remembered hearing this and got some cash back at good old Wal-Mart.  Twenty bucks cash back on a thing of Tic Tacs.  Then, I get back to school and decide to head down to the Teacher of the Year reception.  I contemplated not going just because I felt like I got absolutely nothing on my “to do” list done today.  Imagine my surprise when the Teacher of the Year was announced, and it was me!  I was shocked to say the least.  When Holden and the Mr. walked in, I got a little cry cry.  My school is much more a family than just random people who show up each day and suffer through the work day with.  They are truly the funniest, supportive, and most hard working people I know.  I’ve contemplated trying to find a teaching position closer to home (my commute is about 30 to 40 minutes with traffic issues), but I always come back to the people I work with.  I just don’t want to leave them!  They are worth the drive.  It means so much to me that my peers feel like I’m doing a good job.

Even though life doesn’t always give you what you want…it seems to me that I tend to get what I need usually when I need it.  Perhaps not on my time table…I needed a pick-me-up, some positivity, then presto!  There it was in the form of a super sweet cake, a little boy’s “congratulations mommy!,” a bouquet of flowers, and kind hugs and words from co-workers.

Teacher of the Year Logo

Natalie

Moving 101

Hey There!  Today marks the calm before the storm in our move-out-of-house-into-apartment project.  Holden and I have a brief reprieve this evening, so we are going to make the most of it with a walk, some coloring, dinner, and books.  Tomorrow night is all business.  The icky kind of business that involves reorganizing (I thought we were done!) the storage unit to accommodate more of the items that won’t fit in our urban paradise aka our apartment home.  I know all this will be worth it when we are eventually in our home home.  We are in the process of buying a home????  Basically, we put an offer on a short sale, so it will be several more weeks before we hear back if we got it.  Oh the anticipation!  The apartment home is our “for now home.”  It is a super swanky apartment complex that I personally feel is a mismatch for me/us.  However, I’m sure there will be parts of it I’ll love (hello 2nd bathroom and trash chute!) and parts I hate (parking garage + elevator + hall = how far we will have to trek with our grocery bags!).  Internet will be a thing of the past until we get a modem (what the world…) to plug up in our new abode.  Here’s a few pics of the process…

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My big boy with his big boy hair cut done by moi!

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Escaping the craziness for a bit at the library…

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Holden playing in our empty kitchen cabinets

Through this process, I’ve learned some lessons about moving…

  1. It is more work than I thought.
  2. It is stressful!  And stress and me do NOT get along.
  3. It is more expensive than I even imagined.
  4. I truly realized that I have a lot of extra “stuff” that I do not use!  What in the world am I keeping all this “stuff” for!!!!
  5. Little boys are amused by anything.  Handy when you’re packing!  He loves boxes, empty cabinets, kitchen utensils…
  6. My husband is seriously the hardest working man I know.  Wow.
  7. I always need more boxes.
  8. At some point, I just have to throw it in a box or throw something period.
  9. We have a ridiculous amount of places to change our address.
  10. I shouldn’t have packed all the soap and all the plastic bags when we still had a full week to be at home.  Yikes!

3 days until move out/move in!