LDRICHEL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=LDRICHEL LDRICHEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Blessings All Around! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756206 The past month has been, hands down, THE most stressful of my entire life. We moved (which was wonderful, but it's also one of the most stressful things a person can go through) and RIGHT after that, this happened: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/4/l343416020.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The whole one car situation has been a friggin nightmare that only ended yesterday when I FINALLY replaced my Rav4 (more on that in a bit). But, even in the stress of the crash (everyone was t... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 08:57:42 EST Home, Sweet Home! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5743868 Yes! THIS!!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l137136734.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Lord knows they NEED to see what a strong, intelligent, independent hard-working woman looks like...and I'll make damn sure that whomever they marry is just as competent and whole a person as well! <BR> <BR> Can't wait to see my bonus boys this weekend. We had such a great time last time they were here. We really got close...A looked at me in the car on the way home and said, "Leah...I love... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:27:03 EST Little Swimmer & 4th of July Fun!!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732387 Well, A achieved his goal and he and I swam an entire half mile alongside each other on Thursday. I was so proud of him! I could see that, after three days of swimming, his endurance was better and he was doing two full lengths and barely getting winded. He bragged to everyone that he swam a full mile this week! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1494265758.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You know what really ticked me off, though? At Day Camp, he asked his counselors if he coul... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 09:11:03 EST More Bonus Boy & Veggie Food Pics! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5730902 Well, if you read yesterday's blog, you'll be wondering how A is doing with his "training". We went to the pool today and he and I swam laps together. He got his 15 lengths in (another 1/4 mile!) and I got my 30. We had so much fun together and he was even more proud of himself today than he was yesterday! He SHOULD be proud! It's a BIG deal! He is DETERMINED to swim a full 1/2 mile tomorrow. Ay, the energy of youth! My body is like SERIOUSLY SORE, you guys! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://phot... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 22:02:08 EST My Stepson, The Hero! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5730142 Had to pick up kids from Y Day Camp today and decided to let them swim for a bit. My goggles were broken, so no freestyle for me. <BR> <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> However, instead of lounging in the hot tub, I swam 1/2 mile backstroke instead. Whoa! That was a whole different workout! Shoulders shoulders shoulders!!! <BR> <BR> The best part, though, was when I told my stepson, A, that I swam 1/2 mile, he was so impressed and wondered if he could do it. <BR> <BR> After a few lengths of... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:07:40 EST Meeting the Family http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5723102 Today, Todd took me for the first time to one of his extended family events, the annual Family Reunion. So, apparently they don't get together too often (only a few times a year), but when they do, EVERYONE goes and it's a BIG deal. So, as you can imagine...I was a little nervous! <BR> <BR> We pulled up to this place in the woods surrounded by trees...a beautiful log cabin! Just GORGEOUS!!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1300377511.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 23:34:55 EST A Foray Into Vegetarianism - Photos & Recipes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722093 What a lovely response to my blog yesterday about the documentary, "Forks Over Knives", and Mr. T's & my decision to change our eating style to a plant-based, whole foods mentality! <BR> <BR> Since yesterday, I have learned (for those interested) that, if you go to the Forks Over Knives website ( <link>www.forksoverknives.com/ </link> ), you can find out where you can watch the film online. I believe it's $9.99 to buy it on iTunes and $3.99 to watch on Amazon. Of course, the best way is to... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:53:11 EST Forks Over Knives - A Life Changing Movie Night http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5721282 So, Mr. T and I had a Netflix movie night last Sunday and finally got around to watching the documentary, "Forks Over Knives". <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1551029019.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We have watched food documentaries before...things like "Food, Inc.", "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead", "Super Size Me", etc, and they have all been very interesting and somewhat motivating, but the motivation is usually short-lived and not powerful enough to affect real, long-term cha... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:09:25 EST Says A Thousand Words http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713579 Summertime! Remember playing outside from early morning til after sunset, only running inside for moments at a time to grab Popsicles or gather up a little bit of air conditioning before flying back out the screen door? <BR> <BR> Yeah...neither do our kids. Ugh. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1703356436.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It's the video game generation, folks. And it's a little sad. <BR> <BR> Definitely time to throw all the phones and iPods in a box and put e... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 17:50:04 EST Spencer Pride Festival http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5712925 It's been a pretty nice weekend. Todd's boys have been down here since Wednesday and will stay all next week because they are on Summer Break now. It's been nice to have time with them without my kids around. We took them to the drive-in last night to see Captain America: Winter Soldier (ugh!) and Maleficent (pretty good). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/3/l238154457.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l809005758.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Las... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 16:20:05 EST Brothers and Sisters http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703460 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2013654405.jpg"> <BR> <BR> They love each other! Haha. We've had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Took the kids to a church picnic yesterday at Lake Lemon. They swam in the lake all afternoon and even got to ride on a bass fishing boat. Thrill of their lives. <BR> <BR> Then, we hung out with my friend who has 8 kids until 11:30pm or so. Lots of cookout food there too! <BR> <BR> Today we will hike at McCormick's Creek State Park, play in a w... Mon, 26 May 2014 11:04:42 EST Bonus Weekend! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5643090 My kids went back to their Dad's last night instead of Sunday, as they usually do. They have a family wedding in Illinois today. This provided a unique opportunity for Todd and I to spend the entire weekend alone with his boys! So fun! <BR> <BR> This morning, I got the bonus boys up and took them out on the town. A was so adorable and said in the car, "Hey, this is like an FS date!" I replied, "What's that?" He said, "Future Stepmom date!" Lol. I guess so! They have taken to calling me "S-Mo... Sat, 8 Mar 2014 18:55:20 EST Small Glimpses of Wisdom http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5638699 Today, I will do something utterly revolutionary on this blog. I will be completely and totally real with you, my Spark friends (and even non-Spark enemies). No code names, no forced enthusiasm. Just...me. <BR> <BR> To say this week was unexpected would be an understatement. What began as a simple hospital visit on Wednesday morning turned into a 3.5 day marathon farmer/babysitting gig. My stepdad was admitted to the hospital with severe pain in his left hand, which we thought for awhile, w... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 14:52:33 EST Basketball, Bouncing and Bonus Boys! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5631159 What a perfectly lovely day! For the past few kid weekends, it's been kinda sucky because Bonus Boy #2 has basketball up in Indy (about an hour and a half drive) and Mr. T has been keeping the boys up there on Friday nights at his parents' house, then finally coming home around 5pm on Saturdays. Well, my kids leave at 8:30am Sunday so they were really bummed about missing that time with the boys. And, frankly, so was I. I am tired of the "my kids/your kids" dichotomy. They are all five going... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 21:13:54 EST Weight Loss and Weddings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5608300 I haven't blogged a lot. I've explained before that I was in a year-long health slump, due to some legitimate distractions (and some that were not so legitimate). All the weight I previously lost has piled back on and I don't feel good about my health. Notice I said, "I don't feel good about my HEALTH", not "I don't feel good about MYSELF." That's a pretty important distinction. <BR> <BR> I am a happy woman. I have children who love me and they know I love them. I have a man who still gives ... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 14:10:00 EST New Beginnings and Second Chances http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571756 “If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.” <BR> <BR> This morning, Mr. T (Mr. Todd Mullins) watched as I unwrapped two Bath & Body Works gift cards and a $100 spa gift card. <BR> <BR> Then, he knelt down by the couch next to me and whispered beautiful words to me about how happy I have made him, how I have always been the girl of his dreams (from the time we were 16 years old until now), and, after a few other sweet somethings in my ear, he... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:16:48 EST Catch Up in Photos!!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5557085 Well, it's been a looong time since I blogged. I don't know what happened. My life got insanely busy when Mr. T moved in (pretty much right around the time I posted the last blog) and has been going non-stop ever since. Instead of trying to write about it for pages and pages, I figured a photo tour through my phone's camera would be a nice way to hit the highlights and assure you that I'm still alive and happy. <BR> <BR> First, a quick update on the kiddos. They are doing smashingly well an... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 20:56:59 EST The Real Enemy is Laziness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5515132 So, I did get some make-up and haven't quite gotten around to the haircut yet. Haha. Working on getting some finances in order first, but it's at the top of my list! There are just a couple other super important things that need to be taken care of first...you know, like rent and stuff. :) <BR> <BR> Moving on to the next item in the article, "23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing" from Huffington Post. <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/23<BR>-things-every-woman-should-s... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 11:51:08 EST "NO", I will not say "No". http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5506951 So, I am working through the article, "23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing" for the next few months. <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/2 013/09/11/23-things-every- woman-should-stop-doing_n_ 3908151.html </link> <BR> <BR> Last week, I was working on saying "no" to my children. It was a difficult week, but not as scary as I assumed it would be. Yes, my kids are used to getting what they want. And they weren't happy this week when they didn't get everything they asked for, bu... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 11:56:43 EST "NO", I will not say "Yes". http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5497762 So, I am working through the article, "23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing" for the next few months. <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/23<BR>-things-every-woman-should-stop-doing_<BR>n_3908151.html </link> <BR> <BR> Started last week with "apologizing all the time". I was so guilty of this and I believed it would be a REALLY tough habit to break. But, honestly, after catching myself a couple of times, it hasn't been that difficult to eradicate "sorry" from my vocab... Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:27:59 EST Special Day for A & A http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5492955 Today is a very special day! September 22nd! <BR> <BR> On this day 11 years ago, I had my first baby. Looking back, I feel like I was just a baby myself! She was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And even though I knew that most newborns are really ugly, the nurses and doctors told me that SHE was beautiful...and they were right! In my opinion, she was the first newborn ever to be born that didn't look like a weird old alien man. Haha. Strangely, I was able to see the beauty in ... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 16:39:09 EST No More Apologizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5490583 The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I made a REALLY big mistake at work that pretty much shattered my confidence in myself. I stopped meditating and really just let myself go altogether. This morning, my boss took me to coffee and we had a pretty candid talk about how my work has been suffering lately. She was kind and very loving, but also very stern. It was enough to shake me out of my depression and light a fire under me to re-claim my life. I have a lot of work to do to get ba... Thu, 19 Sep 2013 21:14:52 EST Family Photo Shoot Time! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5482817 Recently, I needed a head shot for my company website, as well as for my personal business. So I asked a friend to take a few pics for me (for free). Turns out, he brought lights and all sorts of equipment and took a BUNCH of photos of my kids and me and Mr. T! All for free! What a blessing! I wasn't expecting to get a bunch of family photos out of the deal, but here they are for your viewing enjoyment. <BR> <BR> Official Head Shot for Website <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpe... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:34:12 EST Finally Found My WHY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5477357 I've been seriously lacking in motivation for so many things lately. I have most definitely been in a funk and am having trouble shaking it. It seems I do well for a week or so, then fall back into my old habits and have to start all over again the next week or month. <BR> <BR> As you know, I've got this side business that I am working and building, which I started in July. The company I'm working with has some of the best training for independent marketing executives that I've ever see... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 01:08:36 EST Do the Work, But First Things First http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5469135 Yesterday, I had lunch with my brother, who was visiting from California. I haven't actually seen him in 5 years. I practically raised this kid and I can't get over the odd feeling that I'm talking to my baby brother, whose head is attached to a grown man's body. <BR> <BR> I am not sure how he does this, but he has an uncanny way of staying silent and making eye contact, to where you feel like he is looking all the way into your soul. It's not that he's anti-social or intense...he's just ... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:09:26 EST For An Awful Person http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5461551 So, I mentioned there is this one person that I hate. I've tried not to hate her, but every time I get close, she goes and does something rude and immature and cruel to people I love. <BR> <BR> It's sad when someone can't act like a civilized grown up woman. <BR> <BR> Still, I've been working on this meditation business and I realize that we're all made of the same stuff. So, I've got to find a way to channel this hatred and, if at all possible, transform it to positive energy and feel... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 23:41:06 EST Last Day of Happiness? Nah - I think not. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5453373 CAUTION: This one is pretty emotionally raw. If you get to the end and want to puke, just remember...I warned you. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> So, I've been on this 21-day journey to re-train my brain towards positivity. It all began when I happened to catch a TEDx Talk by Shawn Achor called "The Happy Secret to Better Work". <BR> <BR> As a refresher, Achor proposed the following: <BR> <BR> "If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is w... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 22:14:43 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 20 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5451384 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful that I remembered that my daughter's tae kwon do sensei owns a barbershop! My 5 yr old has been begging me to take him to get his haircut because he wants to "look like a rock star" for Kindergarten. Well, we took him in today and Jeff did an amazing job and gave him the cutest little fauxhawk. He LOVES it!!!! <BR> <BR> BEFORE: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1220208171.jpg"> <BR> <BR> AFTER: <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 01:13:44 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 19 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5450362 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for great friends, Rebekah and Tiffany, who were kind enough to meet me and let me share my passion for this new business I am launching. They both took some of their own free time to sit down with me and I so appreciate that! Moms are busy and I understand the premium on our free time! <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful that I live right across the street from our co-op grocery store. They have this WONDERFUL deli/hot bar/salad bar and it is my go-to place for... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 22:26:40 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 18 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5449213 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for an AMAZING two-hour nap today! It was just lovely! I wasn't necessarily tired, but I knew I needed to catch up on some rest...so I stopped working, left the apartment a mess for a bit longer and forced myself to bed. It was the best choice I've made in a long time. <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for an impromptu lunch with one of my girlfriends. Literally decided within 5 minutes to get in my car and go meet her at the restaurant. It was fun. I don't ... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 20:27:48 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 17 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5448246 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> First day of school! First day of school! Ready to learn and get some knowledge! <BR> (Name that movie!) <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for so many wonderful SparkFriends, but I received a comment on yesterday's blog from PATTISTAMPS, after I'd had a not-so-great day, that really touched my heart. Thank you for your kind words, sweet lady! <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for an excellent first day of school! All my kids were so excited when they got in the car today. I decid... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:18:55 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 16 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5447075 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> Truth be told, this day could not have gone worse. So it's going to be a stretch for me to do this today. <BR> <BR> 1. I took all three kids to the eye doctor this morning. I was prepared for a purchase of three pairs of glasses and an astronomical bill. Come to find out every single one of them has an astigmatism and is nearsighted. However, the younger two are not severe enough yet to require glasses unless they have trouble focusing in school. So, ended up only hav... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 23:55:47 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 15 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5445463 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful that I'm on vacation this week! I took the week off to be with my kids during their first week of school. They start on Wednesday and my youngest is starting Kindergarten (he's never even been in preschool). This is also the first week I've ever had kids 24/7 without a "break" while I'm at work. Nervous and excited about that. <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for a wonderful weekend, spent with close friends, great food, lovely cocktails, board games, and r... Mon, 5 Aug 2013 15:54:44 EST Happiness Experiment - Two Weeks Done! One to Go! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5441667 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for payday tomorrow! Do I really need to expound on this? Haha. <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for goals met. My goal for July in my new business was to enroll a certain number of customers. I was just ONE short of that goal last night. I admit, I felt a bit bummed about that. But, after a night of good rest, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new challenge - August. It was like the old had gone and the new had come. In fact, I enrolled ... Thu, 1 Aug 2013 23:20:51 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 13 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5439245 GRATITUDES - It is late. I am tired. This will be quick. LOL. <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for a great in home business presentation tonight. I am working hard and slowly but surely seeing my goal come to fruition. ONE MORE DAY in July to meet my personal goal and I am just BARELY going to squeak by and make it, I think. This time tomorrow night, I intend to be celebrating all the hard work I put in this month! <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for work that I love and that makes a difference. Both... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 00:13:14 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 12 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5437673 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for connecting with old friends. Today, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time on my lunch hour with my friend, Mary, who I haven't seen in so long. She and her husband have 8 children, 5 of which were foster children that they adopted (most were special needs). Talk about amazing people. And yet they are just so down to earth and genuine. I love being with Mary and I don't know why I let so much time pass between visits! <BR> <BR> And tomor... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:54:46 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 11 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5436512 GRATITUDES - This weekend was amazing. Mr. T. brought his kids to meet my kids for the first time. I'm pretty sure all of us were a little on edge, not sure what to expect. My kids have been seeing pictures and hearing stories of C & A for so long, they were literally shaking with excitement. So today's entry is pretty much focused on the exquisite time we had together. <BR> <BR> 1. I am thankful for a beautiful day yesterday. We were able to stick to our original plans of taking all 5 kid... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 18:50:27 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 10 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5434476 GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. This morning I was walking in to my meeting, which was taking place at the Indiana Memorial Union (on the Indiana University campus) and I looked up and saw this and immediately had to take a picture: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1674176021.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I started looking around more and was amazed. And I realized that my very first gratitude today is that I am privileged to work in such a beautiful place. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 16:45:01 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 9 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5433557 Sorry I missed yesterday! Keep on keepin' on! <BR> <BR> GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I'm thankful for a great face to face meeting with all the project managers in our organization. I actually organized the venue and food for this 3-day meeting and I was nervous about everything going smoothly. Had a few hiccups with the venue yesterday in the morning, but then we were alright. The agenda has flowed very well and we have stayed on time for the most part. Great professional discussion, as well... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 21:04:52 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 8 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5430877 Moving right along...almost halfway there. <BR> <BR> GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I'm thankful for a good night of rest for all three children and myself. It was very much needed. Last night was not the high point of my parenting career, so when we all laid down and shut our eyes, it was quite literally a godsend. No kids up in the night, no one sick in the wee hours of morning. And I slept like a rock with no pain in my body. Couldn't ask for a better night. <BR> <BR> 2. I'm thankful for m... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:48:40 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 7 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5429698 Well, obviously, I missed a couple days. I was confused as to how to continue...is this Day 7 or Day 9? I decided to just keep going b/c the re-training of the brain takes 21 days and I didn't set too much time aside Saturday and Sunday for this. So, like any hiccup in routine, I'm not giving up...just continuing on. <BR> <BR> GRATITUDES <BR> <BR> 1. I'm thankful that my kids came home from vacation three days early. I was really starting to miss them (they had been away for 12 days alrea... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:21:26 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 6 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5426493 DAY 6 <BR> <BR> I have to admit, I'm finding this happiness business a little harder than I originally thought it would be, as the days go on. The first day was super easy. But, you know...as life goes on as normal, the newness of the "experiment" starts to wear down. Just as a brand new exercise and diet plan dies down after January 1st and is slowly forgotten by February 10th. <BR> <BR> It's not that I don't have things to be thankful for or that I'm not happy. I do and I am. It's ju... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 13:24:46 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 5 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5425485 DAY 5 <BR> <BR> Here's a reiteration of the 5 key activities for boosting happiness/success: <BR> <BR> 1. Three new gratitudes each day will teach your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first. <BR> <BR> 2. Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to re-live it. <BR> <BR> 3. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. <BR> <BR> 4. Meditation allows your brain to get... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:58:05 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 4 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5424585 DAY 4! <BR> <BR> Here's a reiteration of the 5 key activities for boosting happiness/success: <BR> <BR> 1. Three new gratitudes each day will teach your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first. <BR> <BR> 2. Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to re-live it. <BR> <BR> 3. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. <BR> <BR> 4. Meditation allows your brain to g... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:52:34 EST Happiness Experiment: Day 3 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5423056 DAY 3! <BR> <BR> Here's a reiteration of the 5 key activities for boosting happiness/success: <BR> <BR> 1. Three new gratitudes each day will teach your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first. <BR> <BR> 2. Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to re-live it. <BR> <BR> 3. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. <BR> <BR> 4. Meditation allows your brain to g... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:44:42 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 2 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5422040 DAY 2, FOLKS! <BR> <BR> Here's a reiteration of the 5 key activities for boosting happiness/success: <BR> <BR> 1. Three new gratitudes each day will teach your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first. <BR> <BR> 2. Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to re-live it. <BR> <BR> 3. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. <BR> <BR> 4. Meditation allows your brai... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:35:14 EST Happiness Experiment - Day 1 (of 21) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5420720 On Friday, I posted a link to Shawn Achor's TEDx Talk called "The Happy Secret to Better Work". <BR> <BR> The key idea from his talk was this: <BR> <BR> "If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society. That’s because we think we have to be successful, THEN we’ll be happier. But the REAL problem is, our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise somebody’s level of posi... Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:41:42 EST Want to be happier? Here's a start... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5418728 I just watched this TED talk on happiness and it is astounding and so timely for me. I know 13 minutes feels like an ETERNITY to devote to watching a video online in our 2-minute clip YouTube generation, but I can almost 100% guarantee that you will be entertained by this and it will make you think about your level of happiness in life. I, for one, am going to take his 21-day challenge. How bout you? <BR> <BR> <link>www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_ha<BR>ppy_secret_to_better_work.html <... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 09:50:41 EST Rascals, Romance & Riches (or lack thereof) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5418099 I don't know how two weeks has already flown by, but it's already mid-July. How did this even happen? <BR> <BR> A few fun updates to report: <BR> <BR> Miss Minerva and I are getting along splendidly. She absolutely adores my kids, which surprised and delighted me. She is definitely a cuddle bug and she has been the PERFECT kitty! I'm SO glad I adopted her! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1247289641.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The kids are on a 13-day trip to Florida ri... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:15:54 EST Caught My Kids Red-Handed! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5403603 OK, so I said I was back on track and I meant it. I've been wanting to post a blog every single day, but I'm right in the middle of a Kid Week, work has been crazy and I just have not had one free second to do so...until now. Busy life! <BR> <BR> So, I did meet with my friend, Julie, for nutrition counseling last Friday. I had expected I'd pay her $70 and we'd chat for an hour about suggestions for making my life a bit healthier. I did not expect her to have a fully laid out eating plan sp... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:46:37 EST