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January of this year I decided to renew my personal trainer certification.  You will notice from the picture that it took me 6 months  before I tested and another 2 &1/2 more before I decided to share this.

Initially, I was SO excited to get back to something I loved.  Something that would bring me around people to encourage them, de-mystify fitness and help them adopt a lifestyle of health and wellness.

In my eagerness, I began to follow fitness professionals on Instagram, explored pages and pages of information and food plans and oh goodness….the sheer death of me: fitness models.  Can you relate?  Have you ever seen a picture on social media or gotten lost and overwhelmed in this world of constantly changing “standards of beauty” and the next new “thing”?

I found myself stalling in my studies and becoming more discouraged as time went on.   I would see people whose muscles had muscles and seemed to be so amazingly amazing that I really did consider throwing in the towel.

But, I don’t like to quit so I plugged away and after a butt kicking from a friend to set a date to test , I did.  And, I passed…in June.

It is now September, 9 months after I decided to get back to doing something that I really truly love and here is the truth.  I am not the most “in shape” person in the world and I do not have a fan fitness base of thousands.  But, I have a passion for health and wellness and I have a passion for people.  I enjoy hearing people’s struggles and walking with them through it and finding a solution.

I am looking forward to what this next chapter has in store for me.  And, even as I type this my mind goes between confidence and doubt.  But, its time to get myself out of my cocoon and back to helping people!

 

 

Just Keeping it Real

I initially posted this today in a blog that I have titled “Life in a Fishbowl and a Pile of Laundry”.  I still have no idea where the old story  of that blog title will take me so, I will post here.  I am no longer swimming in my old fish bowl and suddenly, it is making sense to me why I have felt so silent. I literally JUST had a vision of myself flopping around outside a fishbowl. I might cry. It seems to happen more often these days.

I had a total breakdown last night while cleaning up the dishes. This is seriously how the chain of events occurred in my brain: feeling anxious and insecure > random talk about gym workouts > husband signed up for an online personal trainer > I should be the one that could give advice > no, I am not good at that anymore > I am not good at anything anymore > what have I been doing for the last 6 months > take a breath….don’t cry, don’t cry. Whoops, too late.

My daughter was sitting in the kitchen and looks at me and asks “Are you ok? What’s wrong?” My answer: I honestly have no idea…I am just off today.

As I unraveled right in front of her, this is the gist of what came out: It started this morning when I saw an Instagram post of a friend. There was only one like so far (yes, I need to get off Instagram) and her name was cute so, I clicked on it. Her bio said: “Making the world a more beautiful place. And, live a life worth telling.” (this is loosely quoted and could have been two awesome insta-mommies combined) With the ugly cry I continued; the page was so colorfully coordinated, her kids were all dressed so cute etc. etc. And then, the gauntlet: what am I doing with my life? Is there any good that I am doing? I feel so out of sorts.

My husband bravely enters the kitchen and the conversation and says: “Do you know what the Lord would say to you?”

I whip my head around (seriously, I probably looked like the exorcist) and said: YES! He would say, I AM enough, I AM loved, I AM worthy. He is all I need. I KNOW, I KNOW, KNOW! But, what I KNOW and what I know is not connecting and I am lost right now.

Grace says “You need to write. You need to tell your story. I bet everyone looks at you and thinks you have it all together.”

The conversation went on and we eventually shared some laughs. We counted our blessings because, we obviously know these are 1st world problems. We joked about social media and Jeremy preached a mini sermon where Grace and I had to call a timeout (I should have taken notes)

This morning I opened up a book I just started called The Calvary Road. Here are a few things I highlighted:

You only revive that which has grown weak.

Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He is never defeated. His power is boundless.

But, dying to self is not a thing we do once and for all. All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand ways. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us, for our yieldedness to God is measured by our yieldedness to man. Every humiliation, everyone who tries and vexes us, is God’s way of breaking us, so that there is yet a deeper channel for us in the Life of Christ.

Well, the 2×4 that hit me in the head didn’t leave a horrible mark. I’ll probably survive.

A Christmas Invitation

Just a little background if you stumble upon this blog and don’t really know me.  My husband and I (with God’s grace and an amazing team) started a non-denominationl Christian church 13 years ago.  Prior to that, I was fairly “non-religious” following a rebellion from formal church.  There are obviously many blanks to fill in that are too lengthy for a quick blog post but, in this recent 13 year adventure…I have experienced a lot.

The other day, while thinking though our Christmas plans, I had this moment of sadness.  I know the reason for the season, you probably know the reason for the season but, does everyone feel welcome to go where they can “experience” the reason for the season.  (yes, I know you don’t need a church..put down the darts…these are just my thoughts)

  • To you who has no place to go because you are in a bad place…you are invited.
  • To you who has no intention to keep going to church…you are invited.
  • To you who has been to theMovement and maybe location, sports or general disinterest led you away…you are invited.
  • To you who has never been to a church and are a little afraid…you are invited.
  • And, to you who knows I talk to everyone and you aren’t quite ready to talk to me…just give me a little wave.  I’ll respect that.  You are invited.

I am going out on a limb here but, I love the “Our Father” (Matt. 6:9-16) because it comes from memory.  Sometimes I say it when I don’t have the words and my well-intentioned Catholic upbringing is a blessing.  Sometimes, I think that in the melee of the holiday and our very best intentions to enjoy it, we get a little lost and an invitation to church is just the thing we need.  So, you are invited.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  1 John 4:9

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30 Days Left In My 30’s

Counting down the last days of my 30’s. I really wanted to have something very profound to say on August 9th which was the beginning of the actual countdown. But, after quite a few attempts; I scrapped it and buried my nose in a book. So, without any fanfare…

  • Graduated the boy in June…HUGE, emotional and feels like a lifetime ago.  Hold on momma’s.  I see your back to school pictures…it REALLY DOES FLY by.
  • Traveled to NY to leave my baby in that big, scary city.  Felt okay then but, we have had some mental wrestling matches since.
  • One week at home as empty nesters while the girl went to Lake Powell.  Jeremy and I very awkwardly had a preview to the quietest house on earth!!  I need some more prepping for this.
  • Grace and I visited my family in Nebraska for a week.  Can I just say…MY GRANDMA!  I love her.  LOVE my family, tigers and kangaroos, puzzles, salsa and the general licking of wounds that happens when you leave your kid 4,000 miles away.  AND, Jeremy survived a week alone. This family has never been so splintered.  But, we are okay.  🙂
  • This week…Noah is still in NY  (yes, I wake up every morning at 4:00am when I think he gets up with a bit of a knot in my stomach because I seriously think I still hear his door creak open)  Grace is in Arizona enjoying the McGinty grandparents and Jeremy and I are on my 40th birthday adventure.
  • AMAZING time at the Justin Timberlake concert.  Great time together as a couple as we danced like old people.  (well, me…not so much Jeremy)
  • I miss my church
  • I miss my kids
  • I miss my family
  • I miss my dogs
  • I am OVERWHELMINGLY blessed and so very thankful for everything

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My Journey in Health and Wellness

October 2013

This story starts in the very seat that I am blogging from right now.  There is a high top table in my kitchen against a wall and to my left is a very large mirror.  When I sit and think, I sometimes just space out and look at the lines in my face….{yes, true confessions}  One day, after noting dryness, hyper-pigmentation in my skin and not having a good sunscreen, I phoned a friend that had an Arbonne business. I knew it was a quality product and I was over spending many dollars here and there on junk that was filling up my cabinets.

December 2013

In the whirlwind of the holidays, I enjoyed healthier skin, I was noticing the dryness going away, and my skin was truly looking better. Now, keep in mind, I am not advocating that the goal in life is to have great skin and to look good, but what person wouldn’t mind? The funny part is that during this time I was able to refute an accusation of recent Botox! At the same time, I saw the benefit of this product and the reality of sharing something I personally loved.  Even my husband finally found a daily men’s moisturizer with sunscreen that he uses every day! (he was shocked to have spots burned off his face at such a young age from incidental sun exposure)

January 2014

I’ve always loved helping people. For most women, appearance and dieting and the right “balance” is a struggle. I like to work out and eat as healthy as possible and would always receive requests to help women with their own body issues. It was fun, I enjoyed it, and loved the counseling that came with it. So, I took the plunge and studied to be a personal trainer. For a few years I formulated countless meal plans.  My clients had a “book” where they tracked their food intake. This was always the biggest struggle. Typically, 90% of your workout plan occurs in the kitchen.  So, when I was informed of the nutritional line and support that Arbonne offers, I decided to try the ’28 Day Detox’. I wanted to see if it really worked.

Jan/Feb/March/Apr 2014

Ok, hands down…I was impressed.  They have the best online support you can imagine.  Grocery lists (at all your favorite stores), NEW meal plans and options for each week, daily tips for success and great PRODUCT support.  The Arbonne pea protein powder itself is a no brainer. It is non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, whey free and vegan certified. (for all you women out there, and men….read your labels)  Plus, there are additional dietary supports you can choose to fit your needs.

So, why Arbonne?  I genuinely love the product.  I enjoy sharing it with friends and from the beginning, ALL of the products, skincare and nutrition, are pure, safe and beneficial.  There are no mineral oils, no fillers and not tested on animals. This company is not playing “catch up” in the health and wellness department. What couldn’t you love about that? And best of all, the high quality products are better priced than the basic junk they sell at the stores.

The Business of Arbonne

My friend has been in the business of Arbonne for 8 years and has successfully managed to work part-time from home and help support their family with the Network Marketing aspect. I have personally used the product off and on for 4 years and just kept going back to it because of its quality. I never really embraced the business side. For one, I didn’t need another “job” as I was helping with the church for many years and being a personal trainer on the side, I felt like I was doing plenty! For two, I didn’t want to hunt down people and try to “sell” them on my “new thing”. It just didn’t feel like me.

However, as my days of working on staff at the church ended (yes, I was fired, thank you Jesus!), and my days of training were coming to an end, suddenly I found myself with some time on my hands. In addition, I started thinking about the friends I knew of that had Corporate jobs that made them travel all over and miss time with their kids and family. I wondered if they could be like my friend who could have fun with a business that truly had great products AND make some money for their family? What a win-win! Several of my church friends are involved in other things like this and enjoy the freedom it brings, so why not try the business side? It was intriguing to say the least.

After talking with a couple friends I introduced them to my friend who got me started and she explained it to them. It’s pretty easy. You either like the product and want to share it with others or you don’t. No biggie. I love it and I love sharing things that I love with the people I love.

All that to say, if you see me post about Arbonne products or “sales”, don’t think that I am trying to coerce you into the “business” of it. Like me, you might just enjoy the amazing benefits of it for yourself and buy the products at a good discount. If the business aspect sounds interesting, that’s great too! Either way, I am just sharing what I love with the people I love.

So there you have it! My venture into Arbonne and the fun opportunities God is lining up for me. It’s only getting more and more exciting! Oh, and did I mention their sunscreen is to die for? Ok, shameless plug 😉

Racing

Racing

A photo of the back of my head….racing to watch my son ride on the Carlsbad High football float as a senior. Yes…a senior.

Time flies….I fly.

I race…and time goes faster.

I have read about and thought ‘staying in the moment’ no less than 10 times in the past few weeks and still I race.

One moment to the next. Wishing and willing time to stand still. But, I have no victory in my wishing and wanting.

So, I resign myself to the catching of my breath while I race. Looking to the sidelines, glancing behind. Remembering, laughing and thanking God that I am running.

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Keepsakes & Stuff

Lately, I have been lamenting the loss of a pair of Britney Spears roller skates. Random, I know.  But, my daughter Grace and I bought 2 pair in this whimsical roller skating season.  Since I don’t skate often, they didn’t make the cut in our last move.  The loss of them is attached to my memories of growing up, skating two sessions at the roller rink in Nebraska and all of the other roller skates I’ve owned that are most likely in a trash heap somewhere.  Yes, this is where my thoughts take me and the memory of them comes to me randomly or when “I am scanning my brain for things to think about” (to quote my husband).  And then of course, my mind wanders over other possible items lost or given away that I really wish I had or would have kept.

Recently, I borrowed a friend’s 5 year old daughter for a playdate.  It had been rainy the day before so I scratched the park plans and we headed to Michael’s and then Barnes & Noble.  I had this great, grand dream of crafts and reading books while sipping hot chocolate.  Well, my rental picked a Hello Kitty mini stapler set at Michael’s and after we got our hot drinks and headed back to the kids’ book area at B&N she told me she ‘didn’t like to read’.

As I was coaxing her through the books and trying to entice her with fun titles, I kept spotting different books that I read to my kids when they were little.  My mind started spinning as to where all of our old favorites had gone. (brain scanning mode)  I definitely saved many of the books in their keepsake box but…The Foot Book by Dr. Suess, Up Pup, Green Eggs and Ham….where were they?

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman standing next to her 11 year old son watching him as he arranged a set of 12 Dr. Suess books on the floor.  He moved them around in a 4 x 3 pattern singing a song that, as I would learn later, was a tune that ended videos he spent many hours watching.  When he was satisfied with the arrangement, he stood and his mom checked a photo on  her phone and congratulated him that they were arranged correctly.  “I’m going to send a text to your dad right now”, she said.

In that moment, she looked at me, I looked at her, we smiled and I turned to him and said “Good job.  Do you like Dr. Suess?”  His mother mouths to me (he’s autistic) as he bounces from foot to foot saying “Only pick 3.”  He takes a quick look at me and says “Mine are wet…mine are all wet.”

In a moments time, God ushered in a sweet and gentle reminder to me as his mother filled in the blanks.  This family had left for another son’s 17th birthday dinner and came home to a house that had been completely destroyed by a second story flood.  They lost everything.  Here she stood, with a smile, telling me that they once had EVERY Dr. Suess book and now they are re-building their library.  And, her son rocked back and forth reminding himself “Only pick 3”.

Silly Sunshine….it’s only stuff.

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