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Count down to Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Less than a handful of days until Christmas. Already the 22nd and still have some things to finish up. A bit of wrapping, little bit of baking and lots of house cleaning.

It was good to get to the gym twice these past couple of days. The weather has been so cold, with lots of frost on the sidewalks and roads making a bit of outside running harder. I won't be able to use that excuse much longer as marathon training will set in.

With the holidays comes food that I don't normally have through the year. Yes, I will have some and also know that with that choice comes the choice to watch the amount, keep the exercise level up and drink lots of water.

I'm balancing out the exercise, proper food with some inspirational reading. It brings a balance to my days and helps me to focus on what is important to me. I also will be doing a sharing in the Christmas Eve service and am writing the final draft.

I'm looking forward that while completing Christmas preparationsI will have a sense of calm. Hubby and I have planned the next couple of days to include the necessities plus a great outing to downtown Manchester, UK Christmas Eve morning. The atmosphere is great, the lights are magical, the smells warming and it just makes you feel great. Time will be made for running Christmas morning with a friend and then again during a fancy dress encouraged fell run on Boxing Day.

Yes, its a balance act and I am going to focus on the less stress mind set. This is such a special time and I'll soak it all up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITLIKENIC 12/22/2007 10:35PM

    Love all your plans, enjoy! Be safe out there on the ice, and have fun!

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What I learned while in Uni:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I am thankful for having the opportunity to be a part of this team. There are always things to learn and more to learn about myself.
The challenges have allowed me to test myself and see if I am capable of following through with goals for a week at at time. I realized that in the earlier weeks of the term I was able to keep up with posting and thus do really well with each challenge. I found out that I don't like not being able to follow through with something when I sign up for it. Thus with these past couple of weeks I have felt very hectic and not able to complete the challenges very well.

I like being part of team, of feeling like I am a part of a greater thing. Having a team that is there feels really good. Knowing that others have gone through what I have or are currently going through helps me, especially when it gets tough for me.

I pay more attention to the fiber in my day, the need for proper amounts of water, getting the right amount of sleep. Eating after dinner is not a good idea for me....eating will not help what is going on in my mind. Writing about it helps.

I look forward to seeing what I will learn about myself next semester.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITLIKENIC 12/20/2007 9:55PM

    We look forward to you being with us next semester! (((HUGS)))

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where has the past month gone? Just one more week and then CHRISTMAS! This year it will be spent on this side of the pond. The memories of last year flood back and the members of my family I got to visit with.

It was great being in NYC, spending Christmas Eve and day with my brother and his family. Running in the mornings along the Atlantic and meeting new running folks.

It was incredibly special to be with all three of my children and catch up with what they had been doing for the past months. Seeing one of my granddaughters brought the magic of the holidays to my heart as well. Nothing speaks of Christmas more than young children.

Sharing all of that with my husband allowed us to have these great memories to look back at this year. The excitiment of all that we saw and did will be replaced with family and traditions from over here. The meals and festivities will be shared with in-laws and all will be familiar.

I am thankful for the memories of last year and looking forward to making new memories from this year. It's like a picture book that continues to turn it's pages. Each day passes by and each page turns. I'm still writing on today's page and there is so much to make into a memory.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE7777 12/19/2007 12:49PM

    Cheers to you Mary! Enjoy!

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FITLIKENIC 12/18/2007 2:58PM

    Sounds like wonderful memories you will treasure always...

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An American Thanksgiving in England

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Although it was just another day in paradise over here across the "pond", being American, I still carry on with the traditions I remember. It was similar to having a work day AND getting ready for a dinner party.
I had cooked the October pumpkin so it was ready to be made into a pie and froze the rest to get me through the year. The pie was made on Wednesday to save oven time on Thursday.
First on my list after doing some necessary business paperwork was a lovely quick 5 mile run down the hill out of the village and to return up the other side. Great start to the day and chance to be thankful for the ability to do this.
After cleaning up, it was turkey time and I got the Tom in just before my son phoned from the US to wish me a Happy T-Day! It had been lightly snowing where he and family were visiting and very cold; nothing like a phone call from a child to brighten any day.
I planned a couple of new additions to my menu of roast turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie. I found a lovely light salad to start our meal and a yummy delicate sauce to dress the steamed asparagus.
My elderly in-laws arrived on time although the turkey was a bit slow at finishing so we spent the time in conversation with me also finishing cooking detail in the kitchen. The meal was much appreciated and we enjoyed each other’s company. I once again explained the history of the day.
I wrapped a good portion of the leftovers and gave them to my in-laws for them to enjoy during the weekend. They appreciated the “goodie bag” and were off on their way the short 3 miles home.
To finish off the day, I attempted to touch base with my other two children but was unable to reach them so I phoned one of my siblings, my younger brother, and enjoyed the surprise reaction to my trans-Atlantic call. It was a great way to reminisce of other holidays spent together and verbally touch base. After all, isn’t family or friends that feel like family, what make this holiday even better?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRICOTINE 11/27/2007 12:08PM

    It sounds like you had a blessed Thanksgiving! :-))

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Strategies to get me thru...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holidays can be a time that I just let everything I have worked hard for during the previous months slip. There are so many things I try to get done that I can feel like a knot is being tied tighter and tighter in my stomach. I can rush around with a sense of urgency that never leaves for weeks.

I can make it different if I want. There are strategies I can use to ease myself from a “now, now, now!” mind frame. This by no means is a complete list but just the first ideas that pop in my mind:

1. PLAN AHEAD—make lists, don’t wait till the last minute, schedule my time better
2. EXERCISE—this really gives me the break from routine and makes me feel better
3. FIND SOME RELAX TIME—doing something for ME helps to de-stress and not feel left out when I am doing for “everyone else”
4. REMEMBER THE DAY and why I am celebrating. Keep that “attitude of gratitude” as I have so many things to be thankful for. (for Thanksgiving)

I am pleased that for Thanksgiving I was able to do these. Even though it had been a horrific week with car upsets, I did focus on these points and at the end of the day...I can look back and say it was a really great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERRYD8784 11/25/2007 2:02PM

    Good for you, Mary, not letting holiday stresses get the best of you! Hope those car "upsets" didn't last long. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your day. After all your hard work, you deserve it!

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NANCY-GIRL 11/24/2007 2:33PM

    Great, honest post, Mary. You've worked too hard & come too far & let the holidays ruin it all. You have a good head about you & a good plan laid out. ...... what's this about car upsets? Is that British slang for accidents?? Is everyone OK?........ Take care, hugs, Nancy

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TRICOTINE 11/23/2007 2:01PM

    YAY!!! Good for you!!! :-)

I am pleased to say that I did pretty good myself! In fact, I lost a pound on Thanksgiving! :-))


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