Sunday, August 01, 2010
I don't know how many of my friends here are aware that my sister has been in the process of adopting from Guatemala for nearly 3 years. It's been a journey fraught with heartache and frustration, largely due to the tangle of bureaucratic red tap that has mired ALL of the "grandfathered in" cases since Guatemala closed it's doors to international adoption as of January 1, 2008. For my sister - who is uniquely qualified in this case, as the child she is adopting is deaf, and my sister is honestly tri-lingual (English, Spanish, and ASL) and has worked with both the deaf community and as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher for years - it's been insanely complicated, and she's been close to giving up hope that this will EVER be over, and that her daughter will EVER come home, more than once. FWIW, Debora was 6 years old when Sandi filed the final paperwork. She'll turn 9 in December.
BUT - I got a call from my sister on Thursday, and have had my mom's candle (yeah, it's an electric Christmas decoration, but my mom used to light it whenever she prayed, and she had a direct line to deity) lit ever since. I'm asking folks to join with me sending prayers, energy, good juju, whatever you can, that this is really IT, and that we'll be able to start counting down Debora's final homecoming in weeks instead of months (and years)!
Sandi and Debora, during Sandi's most recent visit to Casa de Bernabe' (the orphanage where Debora lives) just last month.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
I just joined the Harry Potter Challenge team this week, and got sorted into Gryffindor (squee!). This is my first week with the team, and my first week trying one of their challenges. Here's the Summer Term Week 4 assignment:
We are continuing our studies this week. Some of the classes bear repeating for a second week and we will look at some new ones as well:
*Herbology - This is required for a healthy body. We don't eat enought of the correct foods so for this week: Eat at least five servings of Fruit and/or Vegetables each day (list each). 10 points each day.
*Transfiguration - We need to move and challenge ourselves to do more than we did yesterday. To do this we need to: Exercise at least 30 minutes each day. This can be a combination of cardio, strength, and/or Stretching. 10 points each day for completing this.
*Potions - We need to seriously look at what goes into our bodies. This can be either of the following to accomplish this: A - Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day and no caffinated beverages. Any liquids other than water that are not caffinated do not count either for or against. Anything caffinated means you get 0 for the day. or B - Monitor your calories (or other food counting points) and stay within your appropriate range. 10 points for each day you can do one or the other. You can switch between the two if you want on a daily basis.
*Great Hall - It is important to stay in touch with everyone who is helping you to accomplish your goals. To do this: Post a message in your common room thread each day, send a spark message or spark goodie to someone in the castle each day, or communicate in some other message with someone in the castle each day. 10 points for each day you complete this task
If you can do all four tasks each day, you can have a 20 point bonus. Total for the week (with bonus) is 300 points
SO...we'll see how this goes. I DO have some concerns. First of all, I haven't been counting the number of fruits/veggies that I eat in a day intentionally as specific servings. Considering our odd schedule, I'm a little concerned about meeting that goal. HOWEVER, as I've been typing this I've been going over the past few weeks and noticing how much I've increased my fruit/veggie intake in general, and it would certainly be a good way to increase my carb intake without adding fat (because I'm consistently low on carbs and high on fat, like any good Atkins survivor likely would be). So, this is a good goal for me to focus on. I've also not been as consistent on exercising *every* day, but this will just be that much more incentive to hit the HealthPlex every day to get the most out of that membership I just started. I'm also concerned about the caffeine prohibition regarding potions - I do generally start my day with a cup of coffee, though I'm not nearly the coffee-based-life-form my mate is. :) And it's NOT been consistent, and I don't think I had any caffeine at all when we were at Camp!, so I can probably give that a shot. I'm not big on prohibitions on *anything* though - as a former "I lost 65lbs on Atkins" who gained it all back, I know for me it's important NOT to identify anything as "you may not have this", or I set myself up for cravings and failure. Everything in moderation has been the way I've been approaching this. SO, I suspect I'll flip back and forth between the 8 glasses of water and no caffeine and tracking to get my points there.
So, like I said, we'll see how it goes. I'll be tracking on this thread on the team page: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
Not sure if I'll blog it or not - if I do the subject line will start with HPC (for Harry Potter Challenge).
So there ya go -starting my first week at Hogwarts! SQUEE! I'm excited.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
~My sister sent me this in e-mail - she's on the mailing list - and I thought it was pretty insightful. It definitely aligns with the "prophesy" I received regarding weightloss and being happy. So I thought I'd share - enjoy! ~
The deeper I go into this journey of healthy, permanent fat loss, the clearer I see that freedom from the struggle with your weight...
And stopping the "dieting" obsession that plagues our culture...
Is when you find your own personal spiritual path to weight loss.
I'm not here to convince you that you have a spirit or even show you how to "be spiritual" (from my experience, only YOU can show yourself that)...
But what I am here to talk to you about is aligning your spiritual path with how you care for your body.
When you get that aligned, then weight loss is inevitable and permanent.
Your Spiritual Path Is Your Own
How you define "spirit" and how you connect to your spirit is personal.
No one can tell you how you connect to your spirit because no two people are exactly alike, but the experience of spirit is universal.
The way that you know you are connected to spirit is when you feel flooded with Love, acceptance, and you feel a lightness inside your body, heart, and mind.
When you feel "whole" and completely safe, with a deep sense of peace and gratitude for your body and whole Self... that's when you know you are connected to something "bigger than you".
How you get there is not important... what is important is that you recognize this place inside of you is also connected to your body.
Your body is the physical manifestation of your spirit.
They are, in fact, one and the same.
That's why when you love and cherish your body, you are aligned with your deepest, truest Self.
You feel happier, more loving, more accepting of ALL beings including yourself.
Your perspective of your body changes. Instead of focusing on what you "don't like"... you see what an AMAZING miracle your body is, and what a GIFT it is. You CHOOSE to cherish and love it.
You are allowing the love of your spirit to shine through.
Be in this place.
Live in this place.
Make your choices of HEALTH from this place.
And you will lose weight without even thinking about it.
When You Fall Down, Pick Yourself Back Up
It is a continuous journey, and you are never "there" without intention or effort.
You will fall out of alignment, and it is up to you to gently guide yourself back.
This is the journey.
This is the practice.
This is how your spiritual muscle grows stronger and stronger every day of your life.
When you fall out of alignment with your body~spirit connection, don't just accept that that's the way it's going to be.
Find your way back.
Don't stop until you get back to that place of love and acceptance for your body.
Your spirit is waiting for you to return and will always accept you with the Love and Light you are craving.
When you feel this unconditional love and acceptance inside of you, you don't run to sugar or fattening foods to "feel good"...
You don't beat yourself up inside your body and mind because you feel like you "don't deserve" to be happy and healthy...
You KNOW that you deserve everything in life: a healthy body, a peaceful mind, and a radiant
You have that feeling of love and acceptance from a deeper place inside of you. And this universal place of love never runs out of healing energy for you to receive.
Your body is transformed from the inside~out.
The weight loss happens as a side-effect from all the love and light you are showering upon yourself every day from the radiance of your spirit.
Making "self-sabotaging" choices just doesn't "feel right" anymore because you know that you deserve true radiant health and happiness.
From my perspective, from my own personal journey, and from watching thousands of other men and women go through this around the world...
This is the spiritual path of weight loss.
And it will set you free.
Open up and receive the love and light even bigger and brighter than you ever have before.
You deserve it.
Thank you for cherishing your body and shining the light of your spirit onto yourself. You are making the world a brighter, more loving place to be.
Love and Light,
Andrea's Youtube Channel (which my sister told me about a while ago - pretty cool)
Friday, July 30, 2010
Okay, I've said it for years now that everyone expects to love their kids, but it's an extra special blessing when you really LIKE them. I have been extra specially blessed - all three of my red-heads are intelligent, creative, fascinating, compassionate, and just amazing people. I loved hanging out with them as they were growing up, and they are some of the coolest young adults I know.
But I gotta tell you - you never know what you're gonna get when they start dating. 'Cause not everybody else's kids are such stellar people, ya know? I've always worried about being the typical overprotective overbearing "mother in law" for whom no one will ever be good enough...
Except I forget that my kids ALSO have impeccable taste, and are smarter than the average bear.
Enter DANCINGRAVEYNS, who sort of popped into our lives randomly a couple of months ago, having tracked down this friend she remembered from grade school (and apparently remembers his mom and his mom's car on fieldtrips too - *blink* it MUST have been the farm one, 'cause that's the only one I can remember helping with transportation on, and no I don't remember ANY of those other 1st graders' names *sheepish look*).
Okay, to understand the impact this young lady has had on my family...my kids and their dad are horders, okay? Not in the "scary bring a bulldozer and the health department" way, but they're gamers and computer geeks. You'd be amazed at the computer bits my ex has stashed all over his house. And don't even get me started on all the SCA stuff he never uses but still has (there are shields sitting on his front porch, okay? And a stash of rattan weapons by the front door). And when DANCINGRAVEYNS decided she wanted to come over and game...they cleaned the dining room. You can see the top of the table. No really. *blink* I don't think anyone has seen the top of that table since our DIVORCE (aka 1993). This girl is a force of nature with mystical powers, I'm telling you.
And she's funny, and intelligent, and pagan and bisexual, and isn't fazed one bit by her boyfriend's mom's unusual lifestyle choices (heck, she wanted to to go Sirius Rising WITH us, but already had a trip to the ocean planned for that weekend). She's even corrupting my son into a coffee drinker (which MUST be twisting his father's knickers - my ex can't even stand the smell). *snickers* Of course, my son has corrupted her into the time-suck that is World of Warcraft (a language I don't speak), so I think they're even.
Personally, I don't see any extra weight on her to lose, but she wants to tone up "To not be self-conscious of wearing a belly-dancing costume/performing for him" (which I find utterly adorable...then again they are utterly adorable together, as my pictures of them snogging during a game of Munchkin should attest). Said offspring has been warned that if they ever break up, it better be a friendly break up, 'cause we're not giving her back. She's stuck with us and our crazy family.
And you know what she did this week that totally sealed the deal? She called one night me at work, because she was having a crisis (having second thoughts about her college decision), and said she "valued my opinion, and wanted my feedback". How cool is that? *glows* Is it pathetic that I'm really glad my kid's girlfriend likes me? I am such a lucky mommy-person.
That said, I know she's gotten some flack from some of her family regarding her decision on that score (she's changed her plan, and will be going to a college closer to home - NOT because of her boyfriend, but because of her concerns regarding being able to focus on school while being in a totally foreign environment), and I think she could really use some extra support right now.
SO - meet my friend (how cool is it that I can say that and mean it?) DANCINGRAVEYNS: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=DA
Friday, July 30, 2010
So, I've decided to dust myself off and just let the work stuff go. Because honestly? My job in NO way defines me, or my life - never has. In fact, I've said many times that my job is simply a means to fund the REST of my life, and it does a fairly good job of that. And the REST of my life is pretty kick-ass these days.
Heck, I get 4 weeks of vacation, which allows us to travel and go to fun events (and follow our favorite band around a bunch - just got word from a friend in Chicago that they're playing the Old Town School of Folk there in December again, so I'm feeling another "birthday trip" coming on). Home is truly Home - I love our little apartment and our cats, and that my kids come over as often as they do to hang out with us. And who knows...maybe once the dust settles I can start taking on doula clients again. And one of the nice things about having a separate "day job" means I can work with the people who really NEED a doula - women in tough circumstances who normally wouldn't have the money to pay for the extra support. That's where my heart is - teens, or women living in the culture of poverty, or women with unplanned pregnancies who are considering adoption (my personal key place of "ministry", having been there). Anything is possible, right? You never know what twists and turns tomorrow may hold. It's just a matter of making the ride as fun, exciting, and worthwhile as possible.
That said, I'm really excited about the healthplex membership! I probably won't go today - there aren't any classes scheduled today that I want to jump into just yet, and I want to keep the majority of my walking outside as long as the weather is reasonably nice - I spend way too much time indoors staring at glowy screens. I need fresh air, sunshine and NATURE - I get way too distracted and disconnected sometimes, and as a pagan I should pay better attention. Not sure if I'll get there over the weekend - it kind of depends on how things stack up tomorrow (we're talking about going to meet a friend in Columbus to go see the Titanic Exhibit, but haven't gotten word about timing yet to figure out if we can pull it off). But Monday I'll be there to start the Couch to 5 K program on the treadmills ('cause I don't need to be shown how to use those, I remember from my old membership at Fitworks), and Tuesday I'll be there for my appointment, and then WATCH OUT! W00T! I'm really excited because they have Zumba and Spinning at 9am on alternating days, which is *perfect* timing for when I'd be able to get there. Beyond that, well there's all sorts of options. Here's the website if you want to check out the classes and stuff they offer: www.ehealthconnection.com/regions/me
In the words of our favorite band - "I'm on a roll!"
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