Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have you seen this?

What a great idea for those of you that write so well. You can have your very own "coffee table" book. I'm even considering doing it (once I have more posts) ;) to give to my children when they are older. They will be able to look back and see what my struggles, triumphs and my passions were in regards to them and my life. I think it would go perfectly with the 35 scrapbooks I plan on giving each of them! HA!! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 20 and The Grand Finale of 21!!!

Well, day 20 my.....
was at an all time high! Not only had I just returned the day before from the Love and Respect conference where my faith in God and my marriage received a much needed boost but I also let my son go for another cruise around the block solo!!!

This time I decided to try staying inside instead of stressing out on the sidewalk ;)

Great news!! WE BOTH made it! I actually only had a few butterflies in my stomach and my son was really surprised that I wasn't pacing out front. PROGRESS LADIES!!

Such an accurate quote!!

I woke up this morning with an amazing energy inside. For the first time in awhile I felt like everything in my life was aligning perfectly!
One thing for sure it doesn't have to be the "end of the game" to experience....

I feel victory over fear, past mistakes and old habits!

The challenge may be over but the journey is not.
Thank you for following along and all of the encouragement.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 19!!!

WOW Day 19 was a GREAT one! The hubby and I went to San Diego to the Love and Respect conference. Wish I could post photos of our time in San Diego but somehow I managed to take my camera and then never snapped one picture! :( Anyhow, I only found out about this conference because of some very special people in our lives. Not only did they tell us about it but they actually took care of all the arrangements including paying for it. What a gift!

"Thank you" will NEVER quite be enough.

The message at the conference was a little obvious once you hear it out loud. It's almost silly that we don't realize most of this on our own. In fact before we went, I really thought to myself "This is going to be great! The hubby is going to LEARN SO MUCH" Little did I know I hadn't been doing my part very well either. You know, one of those situations where you can CLEARLY see what someone else is doing wrong- not so easy to see your own mistakes. Can you say EYE OPENING?

This quest or challenge started out as a way of me becoming a "sane" mother and not giving my children any hang ups. It's since turned into a full fledged life make over with a little marriage enhancement as well. Not a bad thing at all. It's amazing how the road to major changes really just begins with one small step. Before you know it your jogging. Not quite the jogging where you can carry on a conversation and your breathing is smooth. More like the one where you feel like you might puke and pass out at the same time but JOGGING nonetheless. ;)

Day 19's inspiration word is.....
Definition: Having or showing great power, skill, strength, or force.
I WILL do everything in my power to be a better Me, Mother, Wife and Friend.
I WILL have the strength to make the changes necessary.
I WILL force myself to move forward everyday because.....

We got home late from the conference last night. My son had stayed the night at his friends. When they brought him home we started talking of course about the conference, our lives and our children. I won't go into every detail but we all know how a Fathers parenting differs from a Mothers. (Sasha, you'll appreciate this one) So somehow we started talking about my progress in "letting go" of fear and allowing my son to venture around the corner by himself on the bike. Well the Father of my sons friend decides to tell me how responsible our boys are and how he let them walk from their home to the local CVS to purchase a drink SEVERAL months back!!!!!! Ok ladies I have to admit my insides flopped. I think my lungs were at my knee caps and my heart was in my big toe. By now- you all know how my mind works and I couldn't even process my own fears and thoughts as fast as they were popping around in my skull. Not to mention it took a moment or two for my organs to find their rightful home in my body. Anyhow, He did say that he walked to the corner (without the boys knowing) and watched them from a distance. I think it took the ringing in my ears about 15 minutes to stop. Once it did stop, I calmly walked into my sons room and said "Soooo you went to the store by yourself? Where you scared? Did it feel strange without an adult?" DETAILS LADIES!! If you have gone or will be going to the Love and Respect conference than you/you'll understand! ;)

Of course it was no big deal to my son. Which tells me my timing is right on in letting go a little. We had a great conversation about it. We talked about his reasons for hiding it from me. Of course he doesn't want his mother to freak out. Who would? So I assured him that from now on he was to never worry about that again. I told him that keeping something from me was the same as lying and that's just not ok. I told him it's good for me to hear these stories cause I can see that he is capable and best of all he made it back safely. I told him these stories help me let go just a little more which is great for both of us! So the good news is I didn't FREAK out (as far as anyone else knows) and I gained a trust with my son that is invaluable. Yes Day 19 was a success!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 17 and 18

Well I've hit a bit of a slump. Day 16 was another one of those days that just came and went. Not very eventful, not very LIVING in the moment.

Which led to day 17- WOW! wish I could do that one over again!

Day 17 was a rough one for me. I wasn't feeling very...

I couldn't shake the blah's away. I felt restless but unmotivated. It was as if the left side of my brain was fighting with the right. I knew I had to get up, get moving, forge forward yet I couldn't. Or better put, I didn't. I knew that I was my own worst enemy. I could feel the desire inside of me to be the BEST I could. The best ME, the best MOTHER, the best WIFE but I felt like I was wearing cement shoes while walking through quick sand. Upset with myself for not being able to just DO it. I battled myself all day. It was ugly. One of those 1 step forward 2 steps back kind of days. Thank God for the hubby. I don't know what has gotten into him lately but he has found a compassion and strength that manages to keep me from going insane on days like these. He knew exactly when I needed to be left alone, or needed to talk and exactly when I just needed him to hold me. I am very thankful for that. It is the only thing that helped me survive day 17.

Anyhow, after a great nights sleep, day 18 holds possibilities of so much more!
I woke up feeling like I left the concrete shoes behind and managed to wiggle myself free from the quicksand! I feel like I am ready to..... We are headed to San Diego this afternoon to attend a "Love and Respect" conference.
This should be interesting with the hubby's A.D.D. we'll see how much info he retains! I'm kidding! (well not about the a.d.d. ) I am excited for this workshop. It should be a great experience for both of us. You know I read somewhere that you should look at your marriage like a huge snake. If you don't feed it every day, something bad WILL happen. So were off to "feed our snake" be back Sunday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lola B is turning 300!

Well not exactly turning 300 so much as it's her 300th post!! What's even more amazing is the HUGE give away she's having on her blog to celebrate!!!! Stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ok so I'm a little behind....

I don't know how it happened but day...


slipped by and it's already day 16! So I'll catch you up (rather quickly) on the progress.

Ahhh yes....

Now if only I could manage to do this. Who doesn't dwell on the past (at least a little)? or better yet DREAM of the future? I don't think that's such a bad thing. Unless of course you FORGET about the present! Easier for me to do than it should be. So during this whole challenge the key for me has been to concentrate on the moment I'm in. Concentrate on living it to the fullest and not allowing my fear to paralyze me. A little easier said than done. So here it goes,

It was Monday night and my daughter wanted to go spend a little time with Grandma. We are lucky enough to live about a mile or so away from her. The temperatures had dropped considerably that evening (meaning it was around 80 instead of 103) so we decided on a family bike ride to Grandma's house.

We are lucky enough to live near a historic part of town called Victoria Ave. It is a 2 lane street with trails on either side of it. The lanes are separated by a meridian filled with trees with the most amazing pink flowers and rows of rose bushes on both sides of the road. This goes on for miles. Certain times of the year when you roll your windows down the smell of roses is intoxicating. Anyhow at one intersection there is a mini botanical garden with benches and plaques telling how this part of town came about. I know I said I'd catch you up quickly, as I writing this I'm beginning to realize I LIED.

Anyhow on the way to Grandma's my son notices a cat in this garden and he decides to stop and pet him. So we all stopped for awhile while he and my daughter admired this cat. Not knowing that cats are sometimes free to roam outdoors, my son was concerned he was lost. I told him he was fine but that if it made him feel better we could check on the cat again while on our way home from Grandma's.

So we spend a little time at Grandma's and leave my daughter there for her special time. As we are getting on our bikes my son decides to tell me this...

"MOM I've got a great idea, let me ride ahead to check on the cat!"

Ok if you could have seen the look on my face! So he says ..

"Come on mom- THIS can be one of your steps!"

(note to self, stop talking within ear shot of the 11 year old about my self improvement progress)

My husband then gives me the look. You know the one that says "You should do this" So I let him. I sit in the driveway on my bike once again watching my baby ride off out of sight. I think I might have only given him a minute head start but I'm telling you it felt like 20. So my husband and I head out behind him. We turn the corner and I'm ok- we start to get closer to the garden and I'm NOT ok. I don't see him. In the 30 seconds it took to get to the garden my imagination went into hyper-drive. I panicked. What if he was abducted? DO I EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS WEARING? Would I be able to tell police? Just as I was about to go into a full fledged panic attack he popped up from the bushes with his bright red bicycle helmet and said...

"Aww man I can't find the cat. I hope he went home"

I CAN BREATHE NOW. Managed to pull myself together before anyone was the wiser and off we road TOGETHER the rest of the way home. Can you call it progress when no one else notices?

This next quote is for day 15.

Isn't that the truth? Boy I sure do...

I could just snap my fingers and be done with all of this insane fear! I wish I could wake up every morning feeling energized and excited to seize all that day had to offer! At this point I would settle for not waking up feeling like I have a hang over when I didn't even drink the night before!

But I do PLAN on continuing down this road until I am successful. Until Fear is no longer a factor in my life. Until seizing every day is just second nature rather than a process. Day 15 was rather uneventful. So here's to hoping day 16 has more to offer!

P.S. so much for "rather quickly" ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 13 of the 21 day challenge

It was day 13 yesterday and the day was fantastic. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if my son was home with us and it wasn't football sunday!!! The quote for day 13 is another great one....

I certainly have been guilty of not putting enough....

into my responsibilities. Let's face it, it's easy to slip into bad habits. As for my goal of being a parent with Expanded Awareness- it's taking a lot of EFFORT!! Good thing I didn't have to battle any fear yesterday. Nope day 13 was all about putting effort into a Mother/Daughter relationship. So there were plenty of....

Tether ball games (did I spell that right?)

We saw who could swing the highest ;) We also swam a ton and lounged on the chairs talking and reading. Well I read, she....

fell asleep. At first I covered her up but it started getting pretty warm. I didn't want to disturb her so I wheeled the lounger into the shade. Ya I'm sure that was a funny sight!!

Anyhow after her quick cat nap we made chocolate covered banannas, did a little more talking, reading and playing until we decided....

LET'S FINALLY MAKE OUR CANDLES!!! So we gathered everything up. Printed off the directions from Tracy Porter's blog and started on our candle adventure.

Ok so don't laugh. If you know me personally you know what a struggle it was to scrounge up the cooking supplies needed to do this. Turns out I don't have any metal cookie cutters and I don't have a pyrex measuring dish larger than 1 cup. So instead we improvised and used a pot cooler thingamigger to keep the pyrex above the water. Oh yeah it just came to me a Trivot right? And we made due with a smaller batch of candle wax. Anyhow it took a couple of go arounds be we finally did it.

We managed to get enough to make 2 candles.

My daughter had the brilliant idea of adding some of her shell collection to her candles.
Don't tell her but I think we did it a little to late. Oh well- she loves it -so who cares!

It certainly doesn't take effort to spend time with someone you love. But it's sometimes easy to get caught up with life and forget that all your relationships NEED your best EFFORT!

I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you that day 13 had a rough ending for the adults in the household. I think I might have been slightly cranky due to the football marathon. Anyhow to spare you the ugly details let's just say that throughout all of this I have learned to apologize when needed. Sounds like something that should be effortless right? Ya well It hasn't been one of my strong suits when it comes to my marriage. Horrible I know, but this story has a happy ending :) I said sorry for my outburst and he forgave me. All is well in the Treasures household once again.

Stop back by later to see how day 14 unfolds.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 12 has come to an end

Day 12 has come and it's almost over. I wouldn't say that there was anything particularly....

about today. It was one of those middle of the road kind of days. The kind where the day goes by for the most part uneventful. The pendulum never swings to far left or to far right. The kind of day where everyone just walks around numb, quietly keeping to themselves. It was something in the air here at the Treasures household.

I spent a lot of my time reading about living my life to it's fullest all while curled up in my reading chair. At some point I did manage to snap out of my zombie state to form one thought. It went something like this- "hmm I wonder... Is this what the author had in mind when writing her inspiring words? Did she envision me sitting like a blob almost reading myself into a coma?"

I need both courage and perseverance. Courage to continue being the Mother that I want to be and Perseverance to overcome the lulls and continue to try to live each day to it's fullest. The day did end on a better note. I managed to peel myself off the chair and we all headed to Saturday night service. Tonight it was all about a program they call 180/360.

The 180 being about the changes you can make in your own city and 360 being the changes you can make that affect the world. They talked about the orphaned, poor, sick and the problems they face near and far. There were (heart wrenching) videos of children with Aids/HIV. Most of them starving and without electricity or clean drinking water. Needless to say it puts things into perspective for you.

That's some kind of courage and perseverance isn't it.

There was also a 30 day challenge posed to us this evening. A challenge where you have the opportunity to Live Radically and Love Authentically. So starting tomorrow we will participate in this challenge where each day we will "go without" something so that we can better understand..

1) How truly blessed we are.

2) How much suffering there is in the world

I think this will be a great experience for my family. Anyhow I'll end this post on an unrelated funnier note.

It was my daughter's night to pick dinner. She chose Mc'Donalds. Now let me first tell you that I have a weakness for crunchy burnt fries. The kind most people would throw out. My family thinks it's hilarious but they are kind enough to pick all the "gross" ones out of their box and hand them over. So we're on our way home from Mickey D's when my daughter goes "here mommy here's a gooood fry for you." I happily take it like usual and pop it into my mouth. When I realize it's ALREADY wet? So I nervously ask (not sure I really want to know the answer) "Honey, why is it wet?" she said "Oh I licked it" NICE! Gotta love "pre" licked fries from your children. Magical right?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 11

It's almost the end of Day 11. Today started out like the others, tons of inspiration and motivation. I started off with a quick work out at home followed with another bike ride with the hubby. Then I moved on to a little gardening. I was in a GROOVE when I realized I forgot I was supposed to volunteer in my daughters classroom today. I hoped in the shower had a quick bite to eat and headed off. Somehow from the time I left home, tell the time school let out temperatures rose to a whopping 104. Nothing like HEAT to suck all your mojo right out of ya! I have been mush ever since. So much for seizing the day!

I did manage to finish reading The Moms Town Guide To Getting It All.

I haven't quite made it to the point where my...

is stronger than my fears but I'm close!! Oh ya, and once again the candles got bumped!
Surprise Surprise right?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 10!!

So it's day 10. I think I've been progressing quite well on the major things if I do say so myself! ;) I did think I'd finally get the cork board done today while the kiddos were in school- no such luck. Again, I planned on making the candles with them this afternoon -that didn't happen either. That's ok though cause from now on I'm going to live by the following quote:

This challenge is all about not re-living my history. Not letting it interfere with my life or my families life in any way shape or form anymore!
So even though I didn't accomplish everything I wanted today- I still made a point to...

every moment to it's fullest today. Starting with the kids. Each one of them had a friend over after school today (seems to be the norm lately) and I also watch a friends daughter on Thursdays. So let me break it down for you- I had three 9 year old girls and two 11 year old boys. Now for those of you with more than 2 children this probably seems like no big deal to you. For me, well let's just say there is a reason I'm not a school teacher. ;)

Anyhow, as I was watching the girls swim and play -I realized just how second nature living in the moment is for them. It made me wonder "What happens to us when we grow up?" Why is it that I need countless self help books, daily mantra's, quotes and all sorts of other things to remind me to live life this way? I guess that's a whole other post on it's own!

I took a moment to snap a few photos. Here's the girls seizing their moment:

And enjoying the water:

Taking time out for a lil' girl talk.

(note to self: schedule a girls night out)

So after the 4 hour play date- we rushed over to the library to pick up some more books and then home for PIZZA NIGHT!!

They make great chefs! They don't get this from their mother ;)

Now, dinner is done the kiddos are finishing up homework and I'm ready for a little R&R time with the hubby. Now if only I can get my ears to stop ringing (those girls have a set of lungs on them) I could continue living in the moment with the man of the house! What do you think- candles tomorrow?

Day 9 has come and gone...

Day 9 started out with great...

Got up, got the kiddos off to school and headed to the park with hubby for a bike ride. We managed to make it around the 1 mile track 3 times. May not sound like much but ummmm...
well it was at least for us. We haven't exactly been the picture of health and fitness over the last 10 years. Anyhow, I would've taken pictures of the park and our adventures if I wasn't worried about lugging around any extra weight! ;) So you'll have to take my word for it. Although it kicked my butt it certainly felt like a great accomplishment. Or at least allowed me to have a goal to set for the future i.e. "let's see if we can make it around 5 times next time" You know, that sort of thing. ;)

Once we got home I did a quick pick up of the house- cause as much as I dread housekeeping, I sure do LOVE the way I feel when everything is in it's place! Laundry was done, beds made, kitchen cleaned. I even had a pot roast in the crock pot! This is HUGE for me! (Lulu will understand)

Well I had BIG plans as far as crafting and creating were concerned for this day. I had all sorts of enthusiasm about my new cork board and had all my supplies to make my own home made candles (idea courtesy of Tracy Porter blog) I promised my daughter she could help make the candles. So I had a little time to kill and instead of the usual (computer/blog world) I decided to read some more of my "Mom's Town Guide to Getting it All." Before long it was time to pick up the kids. I was so excited to have some craft time with them!!

I waited in the car (like I do now) when up walked 3 children- not 2. I forgot that my daughter had a play date. You'd think "no big deal, her friend will love to make candles too" WRONG! Even more upsetting is I realized just how little my kids want to do with me when they've got a friend around. Can you hear my heart breaking just a little?

My daughter and her friend decided that it would be much more fun for them to play "salon" and put make up on her stuffed animals. (ya I'm cool like that- what's the big deal? it's her play makeup and I'll just throw the stuffed animals in the washer together when she's done) They had a blast, which really is all that matters.

When I planned my evening I forgot that it was Wednesday and my son wanted to go to a Church function with a friend. How could I say no? It was Church! You'll be proud to know that I didn't worry about him once while he was gone! I know your probably thinking "Duh- he was at Church- why would you be worried?" Need I remind you that I'm the one who's trying to kick the Irrational Fear habit???

Well 5:00 rolled around quickly and soon my daughters friend was headed home and my son was off to church. We had a quick hour to get her homework done before Mom and Dad had friends coming over (with more kids) to watch the M.M.A. fights. Next thing I know it's 9:00 we're a half hour past bedtime and the day was done. No Candles, never finished the cork board but we all had a great time with friends. So in the end it all worked out.

p.s. Son made it home from Church just fine- in case you were wondering! ;)

p.s.s. That clean house I mentioned above- ya uhh scratch that! ;)

I'll let you know about day 10 later on today. So far so good though! ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 8...

That's right it's already day 8! Let me start by talking a little more about my "sanctuary" my little space carved out for those necessary moments when I need to regroup. My pocket book is lacking so I'm not able to furnish my little corner of the world to it's fullest potential. However I do have the necessities!

And in case I feel like staying longer than the required 10 minutes to quiet my mind..

These 2 books are fantastic. The Mom's Town Guide to Getting it All is not only helping to lose the fear when it comes to parenting but it's A Life Makeover- just like it claims to be. It's an interactive book. You don't just read it. You do all sorts of exercises from Mantra's to Diaries to Goal setting. After staying home for so many years you can certainly get into a rut that feels NEVER ENDING!!!! This book is helping me to remember that I am more than I've allowed myself to be.

The second book Living Artfully is also a great book. I've always felt like someone who had great "vision" I could put a room together or whip up an outfit no problem. Yet I wouldn't call myself creative,crafty or artful. This books shows how we've all got it in us and teaches you how to recognize it. There are ALL kinds of ways to be ARTful. These 2 books have sparked something in me and Rhonna's challenge came JUST IN TIME! Day 8 I'm taking literally-

And I plan on being .....

I'll start here with my little craft corner. Certainly not as fancy as most of the ones you see on other blogs but that's OK! This one is perfect for me. All of my scrapbooking,stamping and craft supplies within reach complete with my mantra and inspiration boards. First things first, rather than hanging the 3 cork board pieces on the wall I am going to make a framed one. I've had the frame in the garage for quite some time now. But between all my fear and frustration my environment has not been conducive to creativity. Not anymore!

In recent years I have taken things for granted. After this recession hit I have certainly learned to be grateful for the things that matter. Yet I still think it is ok to want more

So in order to do this I plan on being an "Explorer of the World" or at least my little piece of it and plan on living by the following....

(click on photo to see larger)

I "borrowed" the list from another blogger. I've tweaked it to fit my needs. Once again this is before I thought to give credit where credit was due. Sorry to who ever was brilliant enough to come up with it in the first place! ;)