January 25, 2013

Fit Friday: Morning Workouts

I mentioned yesterday as part of my exercise resolve, that I am doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred to start to do some strength training and toning. I had my concerns about committing to doing something every single day for 30 days. I have a regular workout routine of about 3-5 days a week, but rarely do I get a workout in on all 7 days. So, the only time I could be assured I can get it in is...

First thing in the morning. Fuuuuuu... 

I have never been a fan of working out in the morning. It always seems like a good idea, but my resolve always dies quickly after it starts. Let's face it. As a mom? I freaking TREASURE my sleep.

Pros:
1) If I workout in the morning I am done for the day. YAY! Glass of wine at dinner tonight!

And... that's all I can think of for pros.

Cons:
1) I am hungry as hell when I first wake up. If I eat before I workout, I'll get cramps. If I wait, I don't feel right either. I can't win!
2) 4:50a is fucking early yo. Even the dog gave me her "fuck you" look, curled up and went back to sleep.
3) I am just non-functioning in the morning until I take a shower. Trying to do something that requires coordination at 4:50am? Not a good scenario for Jo.
4) It doesn't wake me up or fire me up at all. In fact, I'm even more tired than ever.
5) If it is an awesome workout, I will feel sore and miserable the entire rest of the day.

I'm sure I can think of more cons, but those are my top 5.

Now, before you think I'm a pouty pants, this is all based on today being my first day of getting up before humans should ever be awake. If I am going to stick to the Shred, I have to get up before work to get it done. There is really no other option and I'm not going to give up my evening runs for this (and I don't recommend trying to do the Shred and a 10K training program back to back. My body is really, really pissed off at me today for trying that approach).

I'm sure I will tell you more about the 30 Day Shred as the month goes on, but hear me now... it is not for the weak. After the first night, my cocky mouth called it a piece of cake. On day 3? I kind of want to punch Jillian in the face. My level of sore is absolutely astronomical. Please god. Tell me this gets better! My abs and ass better be fucking ripped by the end of 30 days or I may break down and cry. To give you an idea of how hardcore this program is, my husband threw out his back doing his day 3 today. I'm sure Jillian would not be please as she preaches throughout the entire 20 minutes about how to avoid injury.

I may have to fire up the jacuzzi later tonight to soothe my aching muscles! I wonder if it even works...


January 24, 2013

My Healthy Resolve

We are now 3 weeks into the new year and I am struggling with my holiday weight gain and learning some valuable lessons in the process.

For some reason, when I went ballistic over the holidays with my eating, I didn't think it would be a big deal. 5 pounds? So what! I can lose that in a jiffy. Oh MY GOD. I was so wrong. As a matter of fact, despite my best efforts (seriously), I have even creeped up yet another couple pounds. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

It's not even so much the extra pounds... my clothes still fit okay (not great) and I've been working out like mad as I train for my 7K in March. It's the creeping up of the scale that has me concerned as well as old habits that are creeping back in. I'm a carb junkie. I fucking love bread and sugar- it amazes me the excuses I make with myself to have them.

Issue #1: I have a very difficult time controlling my cravings. While some of my cravings may be physical in nature, 90% of it is mental. Those of you on a weight loss plan or those who have food drama issues- do you ever find yourself having conversations in your head about your choices? Mine go like this:

"Oh, I'm just having one piece of candy, it's no big deal."

"I'm going to run like an animal for 45 minutes tonight. I can eat a big lunch."

"Nobody is looking. Quick. Grab another piece of chocolate!"

What. The. Hell. I have to break this cycle. I have to stop cheating. I have to stop this unhealthy behavior.

Issue #2: Crutches. Medifast is now a crutch. My first instinct when I fell outside of my acceptable weight range was to run back and start the 5 & 1 program again. Yes, they were the catalyst that allowed me to lose an excessive amount of weight and for that I am grateful; however, I cannot keep running back to Medifast because I can't control my eating outside of their program.

I MUST DO THIS with real food. I must learn how to eat. I must learn how to control what I eat. I must remain in the mindset that this is a lifelong commitment and I must not fall into old habits.

MY HEALTHY RESOLVE

Diet/Nutrition: 
I am a WeightWatchers Online member and I made the decision to make that a part of my healthy living commitment once I reached goal. Overall, it is basically the same concept as Medifast maintenance. But tracking my food can't just be something I do every once in awhile. I NEED to track every single day. I need to hold myself accountable for what I am putting in my mouth. I have zero self-control so this is a necessary part of my weight maintenance. Let me tell you folks: maintaining my weight has proven to be MUCH HARDER than losing it. I have been working very hard over the last week to pay attention to my hunger cues and recognize when and why I am eating. I have been doing a lot of journaling. My habits have been VERY eye opening.

Exercise: 
While I continue to train for my running adventures in 2013 (currently training for the Get Lucky 7K on March 16 and planning to do the Women Rock 10K in August), it has become apparent that I need to start strength training/toning. My husband and I have been eyeing up the X91 Incline Fitness Trainer from Nordic Track- I cannot even TELL you how much this thing would improve my winter running training!! I have also decided to try the 30 Day Shred to see if that can help buff me up. Yes. I will take before and after pictures!! It's tough- I sometimes feel very physically wiped out after my runs, so incorporating strength is going to be a challenge. You know what though? I'm proud. Exercise has been a top priority in my life over the last year and I have done a great job of sticking with a regular routine.

Motivation: 
My bestie and I just booked our calendars in July for a grown up girlfriend getaway to the Wisconsin Dells! There will be a pool. I will need to wear a swimsuit. In front of other humans. Motivation enough? I think so.

I am also having a relatively major surgery in the next few months with my impending partial hysterectomy. I need to be healthy so I can recover quickly. I don't want my recovery to be as long and arduous as the last surgery I had. I can't tell you how ready I am to get this over with so I can just move on with my life.

Self-Confidence:
Even though I have found a very happy place within myself the last couple months, I found that it takes a lot to keep myself there. I get easily derailed. I have a difficult time trusting myself and others with my very delicate heart. When my confidence gets wounded, I fall off the track (ahem... emotional eating much?). I need to be forward about my needs and expectations with those I am closest. I need to be firm with myself about who I am. I need to rid my life of things that hurt or bring me down. Go back to my old mantra: Give it up when it stops being fun. However, that is much easier said than done as I prefer to put bandaids on things to try and make them better rather than throwing them out altogether (I AM a mom you know!). I have been struggling in this area and it is now time for me to put on my big girl pants and be the best me I can be without the crutch of other people. I've got this.

All of this said, I am committed and ready for a healthy 2013!!! Bring it on!!


January 13, 2013

No nonsense Winter Fashion

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't accept very many sponsored blog opportunities because many of them are just not a good fit. However, when I was able to try out a pair of No nonsense tights and leggings, I jumped at it! 

One of the things I love most about winter is the fashion. I love cozy sweaters, a cute pair of jeans, leggings to wear around the house and tights with my winter dresses and skirts. While I love wearing tights with all the fun patterns and they provide warmth, leggings have been a little more challenging for me to incorporate into my style. 

I wish I had a more colorful outfit, but I want to stick to what I usually wear since it is a bit more "me": 

The leggings I received were pretty perfect for me The tights were black ribbed tights and the leggings were brown cords. I love the black tights because of course I have a thousand and one outfits to go with them. The brown cord leggings on the other hand... A little more challenging. My husband didn't think much of them either and actually laughed at me wearing them. They are pretty comfortable and I wore them around the house with a long sleeved baggy tee. 

I'm pretty picky about my tights. I wear them a lot so I want them to last awhile. What is nice about No nonsense tights is that you can pretty much find them at any food/drugstore or any mass retailer and they are very reasonably priced. I'm not kidding when I say that I have probably bought about 10 pairs of No nonsense tights over the past month or so! 

I was really excited to hear that Jill Martin is partnering with No nonsense. Jill is not just a fashion expert but an Emmy Award-winning TV personality and co-author of the New York Times bestselling style guide "I Have Nothing to Wear!" She is also the New York Correspondent for Access Hollywood. She's the perfect ambassador for this brand and will do a great job bringing great fashion to women everywhere. 

As a social marketer, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't encourage my readers to check out No nonsense on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/benononsense. Follow them for great fashion ideas and deals! You won't regret it. 

Visit Sponsor's Site

January 11, 2013

Fit Friday: Seasonal Affective Disorder

First of all... I am a NaBloPoMo failure. I really love the concept of having preset topics to write about for an entire month; however, I also hated it. I kind of felt like I was forcing myself to write about things that maybe I didn't have the most passion for not to mention, I simply lack the time to post every day. I do appreciate the topic of the month though: Energy. I'm going to talk a little bit about that today.

Skating after 17 yrs. Ouch.
Skating on our pond
Winter in Minnesota is both awesome and awful all at the same time. I love it because I get to wear cozy sweaters, cute jeans and get all bundled up by the fireplace. I love skating, skiing and have a 4 year old who loves nothing more than to play in the snow. I also hate it because around mid-January, I get the blues. There is an actual disorder for it- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I get bombarded by it every year without fail. These are the symptoms:


  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
No matter how hard I try to tell myself that it's not happening, it always does. I get most of these symptoms to varying degrees. It sucks. Not just for me, but for everyone around me who has to deal with me acting this way. It doesn't take much to knock me off my game so friends and family... you have been warned. I rarely realize the effect of my words and actions until I look at the aftermath and have to clean it all up.

Warm, Cozy Sweaters
There are ways to combat it. Meds. Exercise. Winter vacations. I won't do meds other than your typical vitamins, I exercise, but it usually does not suffice and winter vacations have just never ended up on our agenda. Rag on me all you like, but I combat it by doing about 10 sessions in a tanning booth over about a 3 week period. Now, I'm not a year round tanner, so I feel like I can get away with it even just for a short time. Frankly, it is wonderful. It is warm, relaxing (albeit slightly claustrophobic) and it gives me just the slightest healthy glow to my winter white pale skin.





Cozy blankets & kids
My 7 & 10K training has also helped significantly this year. Instead of turning to the carbs as I normally would, I have been jumping on the treadmill to punch out my training. I am using Active.com's 5K to 10K training app and it is a fantastic challenge that has really brought me to the next level. I hate that I have to be on a treadmill, but hey, it's MN. My options are limited and I am definitely not a cold weather runner. I think it has been good for me to have a fitness goal during this time of year- it helps to keep me focused. My most recent accomplishment is running 4.2 miles in 45 minutes (which included a 5 minute walking warmup and 5 minute cool down)- my goal for the 7K (4.4 miles) is 45 minutes so I still have some work to do. I really do think this training app will help to get me there. Running really helps me work out my frustrations not to mention helps me gain clarity and focus. I have to be focused when I am running otherwise my form gets lazy and I get side cramps. No thank you. When I am running, it is just me and the road (or on the treadmill, the road in my imagination). Nothing else matters. Nothing else exists. Just the end goal. Get there. Get there fast. It is awesome.

Nothing is fool proof in battling my SAD. I can do all of these things and still wind up not coming out of the fog until springtime arrives. I don't want SAD to seem like an excuse for my erratic behavior, but more like an explanation. It helps me understand too how I can be on top of the world and then so quickly bottom out. I will continue to try and recognize when SAD is about to get the best of me, but if one of those moments is missed, I guess I will just have to do my best to pick up the pieces.


January 08, 2013

Sleeping Beauty (NaBloPoMo Day 6)


TODAY'S TOPIC: 
If you could be given the option to never sleep and also never be tired, would you take it if it meant you'd also never dream again?
My sweetly sleeping little boy

Maybe some people want more time in their day. Perhaps the option to never sleep again would be amazing for some. 

NOT ME!! 

I freaking love sleep. Love it. I would never give it up. Not because of dreaming, although I love my dreams at night, but because it is just such a necessary function. Yeah, I'm a mom so sleep is somewhat limited and often overrated but when I get it? Oh it is so, so sweet. I feel refreshed. Energized. My dreams are just the topping. Most of the time I cannot remember them, but many I do and I usually do not want to wake up from them. 

When you get sick what do you do? Sleep! It is so important.

Look, I'm busy. I'm a working mom. Yes, I wish I had more hours in a day. Yes, I wish I could deal with a sick kid overnight without being tired the next day. Yes, I wish I could've gone through college without needing to sleep... oh wait... that is exactly what I did. But when I am able to sleep. I don't take it for granted. I love it. I need it. I'll make whatever time I can for it.

What about you? Would you give up sleep? 

January 07, 2013

Energy Music (NaBloPoMo Day 5)


TODAY'S TOPIC:

What is your favorite song that gives you energy? 

Oh how I wish there was just ONE song that gave me energy! 
I am a music lover. All kinds of music. I gain different types of energy from the music I listen to from just positive good feelings, to sometimes sadness and of course nostalgia. But when I really think about drawing energy from music, I have to look to my playlist for running. Here is a sample of what my workout soundtrack sounds like: 

http://open.spotify.com/user/1255688858/playlist/7zDswlQqeT7BvmGQaTFw8d

It's a mix of pop, dance, rock and country. All of which pump me up and get me inspired to push further. Run longer. Every song on my playlist has been meticulously chosen. I never want to feel compelled to push the "next" button on my iPhone. I just want to keep moving! 

I find it funny that this is the topic for today because it is very timely. Just after Christmas, my laptop which I have had for around 3 1/2 years crashed and burned. The motherboard died an agonizing death. We were in the process of getting my hard drive backed up to EVENTUALLY get me a MacBook. I wasn't expecting to lose my precious laptop so soon and I was in desperate fear that I lost everything. I am happy to report that it was not a total loss and all of my pictures and music were restored from my old hard drive to my gorgeous new MacBook Pro (seriously... my god... this thing is amazing and I am enamored with it as much as you can be enamored with an inanimate object). I was not able to restore my old playlists from iTunes however, so I have been in rebuilding mode. I was a little pissed about having to put my lists back together, but it actually became fun. Sort of a renewal in a lot of ways. I have a new workout playlist, a slow dance playlist (come on now, I'm a girl and I love getting all swoony over good slow jams), I have a playlist for Jack with all of his lullabies and kids music and of course the ever popular one month a year Christmas playlist. I am currently doing a 30 day trial of Spotify... my husband loves it but I am still on the fence. 

I count on music to get me through a lot of things from my morning to commute to my workout at night!

Do you have a go to song or is it music overall for you that gives you energy? I'd love to know! Share! Share! 



Hour of Power (NaBlaPoMo Day 4)


TODAY'S TOPIC: 
At what time of day do you feel the most energetic and productive?

This is a few days behind... thought I posted this but I didn't so here is Friday's topic! 

I had a little bit of a laugh when I decided on my title for today's topic. I remember back in college, WAY back in the day when Minnesota bars were only open until 1am, around 12:30a (or last call as we all hated to hear), we could fly across the border to Hudson, Wisconsin where the bars were open until 2am. We lovingly referred to this tradition as the "Hour of Power". That one hour? That was the best one hour of the entire night as we tried to fit as much dancing, picking up guys and shots into one hour. 

Well, a lot has changed in the 14 years since the Hour of Power tradition. Minnesota bars are now open until 2am and I am about to turn 37. Partying until 2am simply does not compute for this old mama, but I do look back on those days with great nostalgia. I also wonder... how was I able to party all night long and get up at 7am for work the next morning? How do I not look more haggard for my 37 years!? My energy as a twenty-something was truly out of this world. 

I am now older (and a shit ton wiser... well... most of the time). My week is centered around a 40+ hour work week and being a parent. At work, I have a few times a day that my productivity usually peaks: 
First thing in the morning- I have digital duties and updates that need to be attended to the minute I get in and get my computer booted up. I am usually motivated enough to go over my list of "to do" items and check my calendar. Then it's bring on the coffee. 
Midday- I am almost always trying to make deadlines before noon, so my energy usually peaks again from around 10-11:30am until my tummy starts to growl at me. 
Mid-Afternoon- Around 2:30 after my post lunch haze I realize that I only have about an hour and a half left to get things accomplished for the day so I start to crank on my to-do items. By about 3:30 I crash and burn. 

I am rarely energetic and productive in the evening which is hilarious because that is when I get my workouts in. Believe me. It takes a LOT of internal motivation to either hit the pavement/treadmill or get my ass to the gym. I usually feel pretty good after my workouts, but my productivity still sucks. I really just enjoy relaxing and winding down in the evening. 

The weekends are a whole other beast. I'm usually pretty productive in the morning. I see the disaster that has accumulated over the busy week and the Type A in me goes nutzo. The afternoons are pretty low key as that is when the kiddo gets some quiet time (note... this is quiet time. Not nap time. My child... does not do nap time. Ever). Sundays are insanity. Between church, laundry and football (well, at least right now) there is plenty of good energy flowing through the house. 


What does this mean? It means my life is a chaotic mess and I just go with the flow!

When do you feel most energetic and productive? 

January 03, 2013

Recharging The Batteries (NaBloPoMo Day 3)


TODAY'S TOPIC: 
What is your favorite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?

Being a mom, I am pretty much always drained of energy both emotionally and physically. It has been important for me over the last four years to find many outlets as ways to recharge my batteries and keep myself energized. I need to do this not just for me, but for my son so I can be a better mom, for my job so I can be a stronger employee and for my husband so I can be a good wife.

Coffee. Yum! 
1. COFFEE
Okay. Perhaps this isn't the best outlet, but I freaking love my coffee in the morning in a can't live without it sort of way. So, today, when I spilled it all over just as I was walking out the door? Not cool. I love my morning cup of Joe. It's delicious and it warms me up. I'm not one of those people who slugs it down all day long. Just one simple mug in the morning and I am recharged.






Post Run- Runner's High
2. RUNNING
Maybe some people get tired from their workouts, but for me, it is my greatest source of recharge. After a month of walking pneumonia, I was finally able to start training for the 7K I am running in March. Can you say runner's high? I was amped up all night last night! The runner's high is one of the reasons I have become so addicted to running. When I was overweight, I use to roll my eyes at the people who would say, "I get energized when I workout!" Liars! Then my body got used it it, and then my body started liking it and THEN? My body now needs it. When I was sick, I was really surprised at how much I was missing being able to run and workout. It's real, people! Teach your body to want to exercise and you will gain so much from it!


Secret healthy snack stash
3. CHOOSING HEALTHY SNACKS
Truthfully, I really suck at this one. It is one of the things I have long struggled with; however the influence of Medifast has actually helped me a great deal in this department. It is true, that if you pack healthy snacks to bring with you to the office, you will eat them over choosing any other junk that may be laying around. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. I do feel much more energized after eating fruits and veggies over a piece of chocolate (even if the chocolate is oh so good!).




My Bestie. 
4. FRIENDS
I freaking love my friends. They make me laugh. They lift me up. Whenever I am in need of a little boost, I will send them an email or a text to say hi. Their response never ceases to energize me and add a little excitement to my day. Thank you friends for always being my constant source of entertainment!







Me & My Cute Movie Date
5. BEING MOMMY
Okay. I know that sounds hypocritical. I just said that being a Mom wears my shit out. While as a whole, being a mom is tiring, but spending time with my kid is the best. It is hard not to feel energized around him! He is hilarious, fun and the most energetic 4 year old boy I have ever seen in my life. I have the best time with him.






How do you recharge when you are feeling low on energy? 

January 02, 2013

My Top 5 Energy Suckers (NaBloPoMo Day 2)

In an effort to revitalize my blog as well as force me to be more creative with my writing, I have decided to participate in the January 2013 NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). The theme for the month is "Energy" which I love since I didn't have much of it to finish off 2012. I cannot even explain how pumped and motivated I am for 2013! I am nothing but energy right now so this theme is perfect for me.

Without further ado, today's writing prompt:

WHICH DAILY TASKS TAKE UP THE MOST OF YOUR ENERGY

1. Waking up
I never used to have a problem getting up in the morning until I had a kid. Regardless of whether or not the 4 year old sleeps all night, I still wake up at least a couple times for a glance at the monitor to make sure he's okay. It takes all of my energy to drag my ass out of bed in the morning. The only cure? Coffee. And lots of it.

2. Commuting 
There is nothing that beats me down more than driving to work. If I have had 4 hours or 8 hours of sleep, driving to work absolutely zaps me of my energy. Loud music does not help. Neither does my road rage. Taking the bus has helped; however, the bus clientele does not (this is an entire post on its own).

3. Boring Mindless Projects
There is nothing that sucks up more of my mental energy than boring, lame mindless projects. Are they a necessary part of just about anyone's job? Yup. For example, cleaning out your email. UGH! Why can't I just organize it right away than let it pile up?? I recommend a thumping Pandora station to get through it.

My sweet sleeping boy
4. Putting The Kid To Bed
This one should really top the list. Is there anything that sucks more of your energy than the endless nagging to get your kid to go to bed? The following are repeated numerous times:

  • Time to go get jammies on. 
  • Let's go brush your teeth. 
  • Go potty one more time. 
  • Diego or Dora? 
  • Sit down and watch your one episode of Diego/Dora please. 
  • No, you can't watch two Diego/Dora's
  • What are reading books on tonight: Nook, iPad or regular books? 
  • Just one more book. 
  • No you cannot have any water. 
  • No you do not need a bandaid for your nonexistent finger wound. 
  • I promise. I sprayed the monsters under your bed and they are gone. 
  • Yes, I will turn on your light saber night light.
  • Close your eyes and go to sleep, Jack.
  • Yes, I will stay with you. 
And once ALL of those things are done, I stay with him until he falls asleep and I fall asleep. I usually wake up confused and uncertain of how long I was passed out or if he passed out before or after me. All thoughts of ambition post child bedtime are usually gone because I have now entered in the world of complete exhaustion and watching Soaps suddenly seems like a much more valuable way to zone out than running 3 miles on my treadmill. I then read the book, "Go The Fuck To Sleep" and feel better knowing that I am not alone.

5. Other People's Drama
I love my family and friends with my entire heart and soul. I will always, ALWAYS listen to their problems and be there for them. Always. (ALWAYS). Did I say always? However... I'm not going to deny that it drains me. Depresses me. Sucks the energy out of me. I know I'm not perfect and not every day is going to be full of positive energy and roses for me- those are the days when I look to my team (a.k.a. my friends and family) to help pick me up. I'm sure I suck the life out of them sometimes too. This is why one of my resolutions in 2013 is to be a more positive and happy person. I fully believe in the book The Secret (and you should read it if you haven't)- it teaches the power of positive thinking and how by being positive, good things are naturally attracted to you.

There you have it, my top five energy suckers.

So tell me, what daily things suck the life and energy out of you every day? How do you fight back? 


January 01, 2013

Thank You 2012 - Hello 2013!

I know for some, they say GOOD RIDDANCE to 2012. Even within my own family, there has been much sadness and heartache. Before I tell you how kick ass my year was, I want those who have had struggles to know that my heart is with you and I hope 2013 is a bigger and better year.

I'll start out by saying, my 2012 wasn't without some sadness. Most recently, I had to bid a final farewell to my fertility and had any hopes of a 2nd baby dashed away in what seems like just a moment. I shed many tears, I went through my anger over my situation and now... I simply accept it. I have never been one to dwell on my hardships and I am not about to start now!

The rest of 2012 was beyond amazing for me. Here are the highlights and my 2013 resolutions:

1. I MADE MY GOAL WEIGHT!! This... there are no words. This achievement is one that I had dreamed about for years. I have Medifast to thank for getting me there and am PROUD PROUD PROUD to say I have been in maintenance for 6 months without any significant gains. Obviously my top resolution for 2013 is to keep the weight off which as I have learned is no easy task. But to those who didn't believe I could do it? Or thought that I would gain it all back? THIS:


2. I am a full-fledged RUNNER. I am actually really proud to say these words. Why? Because who the fuck likes to run? ME! That's who! I never thought in a million years I would call myself a runner, but here I am, training for a 7K and a 10K this year and it isn't torture. I love it. I love the runner's high. I love the sense of accomplishment it gives me. I love being able to use the time to work out my stress. I love that it gives me focus. The runner's body isn't a bad trade off either! It wouldn't be a new year without a resolution to keep my new body in shape and continue to push the limits on my running to be an even better, healthier me.



3. My FAMILY. I had a few key moments this year within my little three-person family.

  • The first of which happened when my husband was out of town on his man trip. I had just quit my job of 5 years, was on a week-long work hiatus between jobs and was suddenly very overwhelmed by the love I had for my son. Don't get me wrong. I have always loved the kid. But let's face it, being a mom is stressful and hard. I realized I had been focusing too much on the "hard" parts. The bedtime battles. The illnesses. The bad reports from school. When it was just the two of us all week, rather than complain about how much "work" he was, I enjoyed every single solitary second of it just being us. I stayed longer when putting him to bed, even if I didn't have to. We played outside every night after school. We strengthened our bond. Yes, there are still tough times, but I now let the good override the bad. My resolution for 2013 is to continue to strengthen our bond and enjoy every moment, even the not so good ones. 
  • The second moment is the renewed strength in my marriage. I had some strange moments of clarity this holiday season that forced me to look at myself differently. My outside has changed, but it took me awhile to allow myself to change and be happy on the inside, too. I didn't even realize I was doing it, but I had been pushing my husband away for years, especially since Jackson had been born. We have been together for over a decade now, and like most couples, it was bound to reach a place where our marriage was maybe a little stagnant and boring. With this renewed sense of clarity and reason, I began to open my heart up to him again. I started focusing less on everything I thought he was doing wrong, and chose to be kinder, nicer. Thank him for all the things he is doing right. We have never been better- almost feels like the early days when we first started dating. We're having so much fun together and I love every ounce of him and our marriage. It is a resolution in 2013 to keep our marriage fun and alive. 
  • In a defining moment, my brother and his wife made me a Godmother to their son Connor. I am so honored that they chose me as I know they had a lot of choices. I know they chose me for many reasons, but topping the list was the opportunity to have a special relationship with my nephew since I wouldn't be able to have another. It is one of my resolutions to spend more time with him in 2013. 
My sweet boy who still likes to snuggle with his mama
My awesome husband
My Godson, Connor

4. I started a new job!! After 5 years of basically running in place, I decided it was time to move on. If you look back on my blog posts, you will see that I was not entirely thrilled with my new world. It was a big, stressful adjustment that I wasn't sure I would ever be okay with. It is my goal to be positive about my job throughout 2013 and continue to make an impact no matter what "corporate" junk gets in the way. I am happy to report that now with a 6 month tenure under my belt: 
  • I no longer feel like a total idiot. I still have a lot of learning to do before I feel like I am making a true impact within my job and my team, but that kind of stuff can take years to develop. Importantly, I feel confident and secure in my future with the company. 
  • I no longer hate working downtown! Yes, there are days I get irritated with my commute and the people on the bus (especially the guy who fell asleep ON me one day. Not even kidding.) but, I'm sure no matter where I work, there will be annoyances. I have discovered some balance between taking the bus and driving. I have made friends with the workers at the Caribou Coffee in my building. I LOVE the Farmer's Market and am longing for spring to arrive so I can wander Nicollet Mall. 
  • I have made friends. This is one of the important parts of a job. Seriously. How much does it suck to go to a place day in and day out and have nobody to chat with?? Oh and I'm a first class chatterbox so this NEEDED to happen! 
  • I have bit of flexibility. While I can't do it all the time by any measure, I do have the ability to work from home. I am able to attend all of Jack's school functions guilt free and still be able to keep up with my work. It is wonderful and I'm so grateful for the trust and opportunity. 
1st week at new job. Cubeville. 

5. I renewed old friendships and began new ones. Most of my dearest friends I have had for close to 20 years. Holy shit. That's a long time. It's also proof that they are true friendships that have stood the test of time- including my having a baby (I'm really the only one of my friends that has a kid). I have really made it my goal to spend more time with them. My women friends are important to me! Spending time with them has made my year that much more exciting. I also met so many fantastic people through work and especially online. I feel like I have surrounded myself with positive people who lift me up and push me to the next level. People who make me look at things differently and provide me with ridiculous amounts of inspiration. Thank you friends for making my 2012 one of the best years ever! I vow to spend more time with all of you in 2013 and make a bigger and better effort to be the best friend I can be.
Me and My Ladies Celebrating NYE last night


My bestie of nearly 20 years
My friend Angie- also a friend of nearly 20 years.

My sister-in-law and friend (and concert buddy)
Sister, Sister in Law- my friends

As you can see, I have very few negative things to say about this year. A positive attitude changes everything, not just for yourself, but it radiates to everyone around you.  

Farewell 2012! I hope 2013 will be just as amazing as you were- it certainly has a lot to live up to! 

Cheers! 


 
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