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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

beautiful things

In the winter of 2012, my life was chaos. My marriage had ended, I was struggling very badly and my kids were as well. It was the most awful period of my life, ever.  

Every Monday, my kids and I would go to DivorceCare. On each drive, we would listen to Beautiful Things by Gungor over and over. During the darkest part of our lives, that song gave us hope that things might get better.

One night Ethan drew this for me:

Isn't he just the best? "Don't listen to the dust Mom. I am sorry that you are sad. I love you. God makes beautiful things out of the dust." This proves that kids do listen to song lyrics!

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

So flash forward to today. On my way to a meeting, I was listening to Beautiful Things again. Each time I hear it, it brings back memories of that difficult time. However, today I noticed that although those memories will never be erased, they have been handled. Here's the next verse:

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

God is faithful. Always. God has made us new. God has taken the ugliest of things and created something beautiful from it. Hope is springing up. Obedience sprang out of chaos. I am just so thankful to love a sovereign God that has a plan for me and my kids. Our story continues. 

Two years ago, I never imagined the tears and ache would stop. I thought my kids would be ruined. None of my fears came true. God has made us new. Believe that.

Here is the cover art for that song--look very closely!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


My dear friend Rachel made me a calendar that has a monthly theme.

The theme for March was Gratitude.

I have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes I forget to stop pushing and just sit back and be grateful.

I hosted a big dinner party here last Saturday night. I worked hard to get the house spit spot, Courtney worked hard to create an amazing meal and together we created a glorious evening. I am so grateful I have a home. I'm so grateful I have THIS home. (So are my kids--I told them we were moving this morning as an April Fool's joke--they panicked and freaked out! Not funny, I was told.)

I'm grateful that I have an ex that pays me support faithfully--his leaving me enabled me to create my business and follow my dream.

I'm grateful my kids are happy and healthy. It was a tough road to get them here but they have arrived.

I'm grateful for high speed internet. And my phone.

I'm grateful for my amazing family, who I realize is even more amazing than I thought almost every single day. They are people I actually WANT to hang out with. Not sure many can say the same for their families. I realize it is unusual.

I'm grateful for clients that drop into my lap and for opportunities that pop up out of nowhere.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to write without worry of censorship.

I'm grateful to be 36, single and the mom of two kids. It isn't where I imagined I would be but now I can't imagine being anywhere else. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

little bit of this, little bit of that

Dreary. Dreary day. Who else wants to just snuggle up in a fuzzy blanket with a good book? My couch is currently covered in goldfish crumbs so I am forced to be upright and working. Probably a good thing.

Still struggling with no energy. I got rid of the tv in my bedroom and thought it would improve my sleep. NOPE! Made it way worse. Now instead of going bed at the end of a certain show, I am staying up until 1 AM following rabbit holes all over the internet. Ugh. Need to stop this.

I am having a coaching identity crisis. What I thought I wanted to do with my business has changed and now I am trying to figure out what my business looks like going forward. I've been doing a lot of corporate work using strengths, which I love. I prefer group to individual coaching. I don't want to work solely with women dealing with divorce. I've moved on since I first created my business and I need my offerings to reflect that. I've been doing a lot of research and writing lately, just trying to find the right fit. I guess it's normal for small businesses to evolve, right?

Going to start a whole foods cleanse on Monday. Only 7 days. No supplements or potions. Just whole food. Recipes look tasty. More info here.

Had a great breakthrough whilst reading a blog the other night. When I was first single, I went on the best date ever. Still is. It was seriously a super fun night. I hold that night up as the standard which of course no date since has met. So for a long time I thought there was something special about the man I was on the date with. He was a nice man but not the man for me. But that special evening made me think he was the man for me. It took me a long time to move past it but I have now. But what I realized is that he was not what made that night seem so special. I loved who I was that night! I was sparkly, vivacious, hilarious, engaging...all good things. And my hair looked great that day. :) I want to FEEL that way again--it has nothing to do with him. I felt excited, liberated, hopeful, ready to take on my single life. I am far more jaded now and expect each date to be a miserable failure (another good reason not to date right now). But that night was magical. It really was. But the breakthrough is about how I want to recapture ME in that moment, not him. Maybe I will be that girl again someday. I hope so.

That's it for now. Off to serve a free meal at Grace to whoever needs it. We are having hot dogs tonight, Pibs is pumped!

Monday, March 24, 2014

the desire map

Nope, this post is not about sex. Sorry to disappoint. :)

My dear friend/consultant extraordinaire Rachel Greenhouse put The Desire Map in my path. She suggested we read it and discuss during our weekly co-working sessions.

I have been working my way through the first part of the book, which is all about creating goals with soul. Initially I thought I would use this more on my work side but it is turning out to be more about my personal life. I guess in my case my work and personal life are entwined, due to my brand being ME!

I like her approach. The book is an easy, almost stream of consciousness type of style. She hates the idea of boring, stiff goals. She prefers to call them intentions. In creating goals with soul, you connect on a deep level with what gets you really fired up and do more of that, rather than setting lofty, responsible, well thought out goals that don't excite you.

I'm finally at the part where I am ready to start mapping out my desire map. 

She focuses on 5 areas: 
  • Livelihood & Lifestyle
  • Body & Wellness
  • Creativity & Learning
  • Relationships & Society
  • Essence & Spirituality
Sounds a little like my 4 areas of focus!

I tackled the first of many pages today that require me to really think about what I really want, what I truly desire.

Example: the prompt was "I crave" and what flowed from my pen was this:

peace. confidence. comfortable skin. less chin fat. a quiet mind. love. true love. a partner. feeling accomplished. strength.

Two pages full of stuff like that. There are many more to be filled!  I want to take my time though and really think. It's easy for me to think about emotional things with very little effort. I don't want to do that here. I don't want to get caught in the trap of writing the "right" things. I want intentions that sizzle and fit me perfectly. 

The only part of this book that sticks in my craw just a bit is where she says the point of all this is to feel good. I agree with that; however, I hesitate to accept that as a life mantra. Sometimes people do really selfish things that make them feel good and rock the worlds (in a bad way) of the people who are connected to them. I think there is danger in focusing solely on what makes you feel good. There needs to be some thought put into how your actions (or intentions) effect others.

So I will be working on this book for the next little bit. Taking my time writing is not the norm for me. I usually crank these posts out in under 10 minutes! Taking time to think before writing something is new for me. Maybe something amazing will come from it!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

back from vacation!

I'm back from Disney!

It was a fantastic trip, of course! Although nothing about a Disney trip is relaxing--I always come home totally wiped out.
I wore my FitBit the whole time and logged 62 miles for the 8 day trip.  The park days were 25k, 21k, and 23k.  That's over two days worth of steps each time!  No surprise that my feet really hurt by the end of the day.

I ended up getting an ear infection on our second day down there.  Thankfully it was a rainy day so laying in bed all day on a heating pad wasn't a huge waste of time.  Unfortunately, it still hasn't healed and I am now on a second round of antibiotics. I need to be nicer to my kids when they have ear infections--this is awful! Yesterday was the worst day--everything above my shoulders was in pain.  I think the hearing in my infected ear is down to 30%. But it can't get a whole lot worse so I am looking forward to healing!

I had some pop in Disney--something about sunshine, swimming and soda just goes so well together!  I started the week out very strong by making good food choices. By the end of the week, I was having pizza every day!  Believe it or not, I actually lost a pound on the trip.  That has NEVER happened!  Must've been all the walking.

I have been pretty wiped since we got home.  I finally got off my heating pad this afternoon and picked the house up some, went through my emails, and am now writing this.

I feel like I've lost a little focus on my year. I've nailed a few of my goals, which I need to write a post on. But my weight and fitness goals are still hanging out there, unfinished.

I made the decision to quit Lifetime and join Anytime. On Monday I will go and officially sign up. I plan to go daily--Pibs loves it and worked out with my last time.  She watched Doc McStuffins on the treadmill next to me and walked for 30 minutes!  It needs to become a regular part of my morning. I also think it will help me this summer with managing all the free time we have as a family without school to give us structure. They also have a Zumba class on Monday nights that I am excited to check out!  Unfortunately, I have coaching sessions scheduled for the next few Monday nights. But I will get there!

Here are a few fun pics from our trip!

 Party rocking at the Magic Kingdom! It was open until 1 AM, we made it until midnight.

 Doesn't Ethan look so handsome in this picture? The kids rode Star Tours four times in a row.

 Each kid bought a light up toy from the cart at the Magic Kingdom! Much whacking of strangers legs ensued.

 Hanging out with the characters from our favorite show!

 Aren't they breathtaking?

Because we go to Disney so often, they upgraded us to Royal Rooms! The headboard had lights built in and Pibs went crazy for the princess decor. When we walked into our room, she went right to all those framed pictures on the wall and announced she was sleeping right by them!

Friday, February 28, 2014

the end of a relationship....

It's official--I have broken up with diet soda!

After three weeks, the cravings have FINALLY gone away!  I'm not going to lie--this was rough.  It wasn't until yesterday that I didn't have a craving for it.  Every other day I woke up and thought about having a diet coke every 10 minutes.

But yesterday and today? Didn't even think about it.  And knowing what it does to my body has helped me make up my mind to have pop very rarely from now on...and never again will I drink diet!

I am shocked I made it three weeks but also so proud!  I've never stuck with it long enough to see changes.  Well, I do now and I will not be going back.

No judgement if you drink it--you can probably moderate yourself, which I cannot!  Plus I have those gallbladder issues messing me up.

So I went and got my nails done with the money I would've spent on pop these past three weeks!  :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

day 19

I made it to day 19 of no pop!  Bad news is, today I had a pop.  Whoops!

In my defense, I am suffering from a gross cold and really wanted to feel those delicious bubbles on my sore throat.  So I got a regular coke (in the hopes that HFCS is better than aspartame) was just okay.  Not nearly the bubble rush I was hoping for--I wanted a nice burn on my throat to slough off the layers of mucus.  No luck.

Afterwards, I felt like my teeth were very fuzzy and needed a good brushing.  I also immediately had some "digestive issues", specifically the one that has plagued me for over six years now.  So I think we know what the connection there is!

Bottom line--totally not worth it.  At all. 

In other news, I finally quit Lifetime Fitness.  I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders!  I checked out Anytime Fitness here in Shakopee.  I had met two of their employees at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon I spoke at a few weeks ago.  I can go there for $20 a month and I can bring my kids!  My kids loathed the kids club at Lifetime--it is not set up for school age kids.  But at Anytime, they can bring their ipads, watch tv, run around in the studio and do hula hoops...much better for them and me. 

The main reason I was keeping Lifetime was for the pool in the summer (and Norman of course, but he will still be my favorite trainer) but then my pool buddy defected to the Y.  But really, the pool is the only thing I will miss.  Plus, as she reminded me, we have Valley Fair and her boat to look forward to this summer!  :)

Anytime is small, which I like.  When I went to Gold's (before it closed), I had great results.  And back in college, I went to a little Lifetime that was for women only.  I had great results there too.  But in six years at a big Lifetime?  No change at all.  Maybe a small club is just what I need.

Going to try it out after I get back from vacation.