Sunday, November 16, 2014

Being Authentic

At this time of year I always find myself looking forward to the New Year. I look forward to fresh starts and new chances. It's an optimistic feeling. This year is no different. Well, perhaps it is a little different. This year I'm really putting a lot of thought into my resolutions, and for once my resolutions don't focus on my standards - lose weight, look better, be more organized. While there may be pieces of that interwoven into my thoughts, this year I seem to be focusing on living differently. Being more authentic to who I am. Crafting the best version of Ashley that I can be.

This new approach may have something to do with getting older. Or perhaps it's related to the realization that my rheumatoid arthritis isn't going anywhere. Or maybe it's just an internal force telling me it's time to re-examine some things. Nonetheless, I have crafted a vision for the next year - my year of being authentic.

In this vision I'm seeking to enhance my life in five core areas: exercise, nutrition, mind, self-care, and connections. In each core area I'm setting a series of goals. I'm breaking these goals into three month segments. So I'll seek to challenge myself in each area for three months. Hopefully I will have accomplished those goals (or at least made strides towards accomplishing them). Then I'll build upon those goals in the next three months.

Yes, this is a seriously involved set of resolutions! But as I evaluate my life, my health, and my future I realize that it is necessary if I am to live a life that fulfills me. Join me over the next month and a half as a carefully craft my plan. And then stay tuned over the next year to see how it all unfolds.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Parenting Peace

Are you one of the perfect parents out there? Me neither. Almost six years in to this and I still feel like a novice most days. I've got to believe that there are many other moms out there who feel the same way. Every day I learn so much more about my children, how to parent them, how not to parent them, what I've done right and what I've done wrong. 

I'm trying to let go of the need to be perfect - the need to try to be supermom. We are all supermoms. We each do the best that we can. Each day we head out into the world trying to do the best that we can. None of us wake up saying, "You know what? I'm going to really be a crappy person, a crappy parent today."

So can we quit beating up on each other? Breastfeed, don't breastfeed. Cover up or not. Homeschool or public school. Stay at home mom or work outside the home mom. We are all doing the best we can. Beating up on each other doesn't help anyone. We need to be a team because we need each other. We need to be a united front. We need to teach our children to be united with each other too and they will learn that from us. We must be the people we want them to become.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tap This

NaBloPoMo May 2014
My water consumption (and resulting hiatus from society) continues. Before I began my life as a camel, I tested out a bunch of different water bottles to tote my water around in (since my usual coffee mug doesn't really work here). I have avoided plastic since I'm not a huge fan of plastic both in terms of the chemicals involved and its impact on the environment. I tried stainless steel but couldn't find one that made me happy. I hate the sports tops. The open tops were all too big and resulted in me slopping water down the front of my shirt (very classy).
I took a chance on some glass ones on Amazon and angels sang, confetti rained down, the sun came out...

Maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but I did find the perfect water bottle. I LOVE it. And since we're spending so much time together now, I'm glad I found one that I truly love. Pick one up for yourself. Bottoms up!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nourishing Myself

NaBloPoMo May 2014
This week I've really been trying to pump my body full of good old fashioned nutrition. I've been chugging water and shoveling in fruits and veggies like a champion. This effort to nourish myself (instead of just feed myself) has resulted in three particularly profound side effects.
First, I feel fantastic! I have so much energy. I actually ran a mile on the treadmill tonight. If only someone had enlightened me before! Fruits, veggies, and water = feeling good. I don't know what assholes are keeping this secret under wraps, but I've just blown their cover! Take that!
Second, I am losing weight! And I can only imagine how much better I'm going to feel when I get rid of these extra 20 (or so) pounds that I'm carrying around. Fingers crossed that it keeps coming off.
Third, when you drink this much water you have to pee constantly. It's ridiculous. I'm seriously considering a catheter. How are you supposed to get everything done in a day when you're peeing every ten minutes? I can only hope that his goes away after my chronically dehydrated body gets used to its new state of hydration. Surely this will stop... right?
So, it's not all roses, but mostly it is. Go nourish yourself. You'll feel better (and accomplish less...)!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo - Day 1 - Nourish

As you've probably noticed, I have not been blogging for a while. Business travel has left me struggling to find time to shower and see my children, so I had to let the extras go. However, when I saw that a new month of NaBloPoMo was gearing up, I decided it was time to get back to it. So I've signed up. If you're wondering what the heck NaBloPoMo is... it's a group of bloggers who blog every day for a month. It actually began as a thing where they would blog everyday in the month of November (National Blog Posting Month), but now it's spread to other months. Anywho... I decided to give it a go. Surely it will get me back into the blogosphere again.

NaBloPoMo May 2014

The topic for the month of May is Nourish - and this is a topic that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately.

As someone who is mostly vegan, I should eat healthy. It sounds like I would, right? And sometimes I do. Other times, I eat horribly. And I really think the lack of consistency in my life impacts it so much. At home, I have the chance to cook. On the road I have to eat out. And not every restaurant (or every geographic region for that matter) caters to vegetarians, let alone those trying to eat vegan. Mostly, it means eating a whole lot of carbs and processed food - or living on plain salads.

One perk of eating on the road is that I seem to be eating regularly, which is something that doesn't always happen at home. I rarely eat breakfast at home (unless you count coffee!) and even at meal time my diet is rarely balanced due to tiny humans who steal from my plate and rarely let me consume a hot meal. We are trying to make an effort to have more sit down dinners as a family, but even as small as my children are now it seems that's rarely possible with dance lessons and soccer practice and playdates and... And then there is all the candy and junk that seems to come along with children - and my extreme lack of willpower in its presence.

In a nutshell, my diet is in serious need of an overhaul. Perhaps this is just the month to do it. Time to do some research. I've been told that Becoming Vegan is a phenomenal resource for learning about nutrition for vegans, and it's been patiently waiting for me on my iPad to read. Time to get reading...

Anyone want to read it with me?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Living in Squalor - NO MORE!!!

Much like exercising, cleaning doesn't thrill me. At all. But I've managed to work exercise into my life, and so February has become cleaning month for me. Since I'm a bit Type A, I needed to come up with a good schedule to keep me in line. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a beautiful organizational scheme at Green Child Magazine. (If you haven't read the magazine or checked out their website, be sure to do so!)

This set of printables gave me a Spring Cleaning Checklist as well as a Weekly Cleaning Checklist that I can customize anyway I want.
I have vowed that I will straighten up the downstairs each night before I sit down for my nightly TV show (a bad habit my husband and I have, but hey - we all have our vices right?). No picking up = no TV. And so far, I'm on track with that. It helps that my husband is on board and helping me too.

And then I took the Weekly Cleaning Checklist and decided that each day I (and my wonderful husband and children) would tackle an extra couple of tasks. Here is my breakdown…

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Exercise Success"

I may have FINALLY found a fitness regimen that works for me!

Over the past few weeks I've experimented with walking, aerobics, yoga, planking... and I can handle all of them. Some I enjoy more than others. But I really think the key to my fitness is my children.

I know what you're thinking. Oh, how sweet! She is going to get fit by playing with her children. You can just see me running around the backyard, hula hooping, swinging, etc. Yes, I do those things. But that's not at all what I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about my recent efforts to keep my house company ready at a moment's notice. My two little ones are angels. Messy, messy angels. Trying to maintain my house has meant that I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and lounge in two weeks. I've been up mopping, sweeping, dusting, scrubbing, and washing for what seems like an eternity. As soon as one room is done, they've destroyed another!

From the time I wake up until I pass out at night, I've been busting my butt to keep this joint in order. And all that housework has got to add up to some calorie burning, right? Surely it must. And while it may not be the cardio workout that will get me a six pack (that will NEVER happen by the way), it produces results - specifically a clean house! That's a pretty sweet deal.

Now we'll just have to see how things go in the next few weeks... cleaning, walking, yoga, aerobics... and I guess the occasional plank. And since I'm into cleaning, I think that will be February's goal - getting this house clean and organized. Stay tuned.