Saturday, December 26, 2009

of resolutions and new years...

Well another Christmas has come and to close out the old year and bring in the new. With the new year comes new possibilities, new plans, dreams and resolution.
Although I have never been much for publicly announcing my resolutions, I have in years past made them. I have at times even written them down and attempted to make them happen. But often times, I have done as many do, reverted back to my old habits and ways shortly after the new year.

According to "experts" it takes about 21 days to create a habit, or 30 to 40 repetitions of a behavior for that behavior to become a new habit. I have also read that you can develop a taste for a food you don't like after trying it as few as seven to as many as fourteen times.

So if these facts are true and accurate, then many of us don't repeat our desired new behavior that long into the new year for those resolutions to become our new habit. I know with myself, changing my eating habits and preferences took time to develop. I didn't wake up the first morning craving yogurt and fruit and passing the biscuits and bacon without my mouth salivating.

And the first few days I didn't have my usual morning dose of Dr Pepper weren't easy...the headache alone was enough to send me running back to Sonic for a route 44 size of my drug of choice. But after a week or so the caffeine was out of my system and I no longer had that desire for the dark brown fizzy stuff. Now, I don't know if I could finish a glass of that sweet syrup-y drink or not. Just so you know, I'm not going to try...because with anything, it can become a habit again. I haven't been delivered from my human nature yet, so I realize that the whole act of creating new habits works in reverse also.

With exercise it takes more than just a few times of pushing yourself to get up off the couch and putting on your gym shoes and pushing your body beyond what it wants to do. Even after months of repeating the behavior, there are times when I really don't want to get up and "just do it". But once you see the results of your hard work, and you know how much better you feel after the workout, your more likely to get up and repeat the behavior for the reward...not necessarily because you want to exercise, but the reward becomes the motive to propel you to repeat the action again and again...At least I find this true for me.
The way I feel after I complete a workout is what drives me even on the laziest of days to get up and move. I have so much more energy and feel more mentally alert and the endorphins kick in to lift my mood to such a level that I want to repeat this feeling again and again. It gets to the place that on a day that I can't workout for some reason or the other, I am actually upset or disappointed that I missed that workout. Along with the pleasure I get from seeing the results on my body and watching the pounds fall off and my clothing size shrinking.

I am at a point now, where I want to push beyond my current physical level and see what else my body can do. I want to change my idea of what a women of 43, 44, 45 and so on can do. I want to show my children that they don't have to become a statistic. They don't have to become over weight, under active and plagued with health problems...

Instead of trying to start my weight loss journey at the beginning of a new year, I find I do better by just picking a time and doing it. So I chose August of this past year to really get serious about my health and weight issues. So far, I have lost twenty-five pounds and feel so much better physically and mentally. I still want to lose fifteen to twenty pounds in order to reach the goal I set for myself. And to reach the goal that Wii fit said I needed to be for my height and age.

As New Years Resolutions go, I suppose mine would include continued weight loss and fitness goals. Continue to incorporate clean eating, getting more natural and pure with my food choices. Which would include adding more fresh real food, cutting out more refined sugar and flour products. But one resolution I have is to grow more of our food this year. I am planning a raised bed garden for our backyard that will provide fresh vegetables for the family. I want to find a source of fresh eggs, milk and meat. I plan to eat more locally produced foods, and rely less on the standard grocery stores. I want to help support local, small farms to help keep their lifestyle part of our culture. Since I can't have my own farm like we did a few years back, I want to help those who do, continue their way of life. Perhaps by helping them, I can come closer to living the life that I desire.

I want to continue to simplify my lifestyle. To not only rid myself of excess things, but to set aside ideas, thoughts, behaviors, habits and attitudes that no longer serve or support the lifestyle that I am seeking. I don't want to be bogged down by things that are contrary to who I am becoming and the direction I am headed. Knowing however, that a mind that is to wide open can be filled with garbage and untruth, so I will continue to hold to those truths which will never become old or outdated, but will always remain...I don't want to be led astray, down a path of deception, so I will continue to seek Him in all my ways...
My plan for this year is to start to train for a 5K. I want to run my first this year, hopefully in the spring or early summer. I know this will require more discipline of me and demand more physically from my body. I feel that I am ready for this challenge more so than I have ever been. I am ready for this next step. I am hoping that this is something that Andrew and I can do together, something that we can work toward as a couple as well as individually.

Some books that I plan to begin to reread in the coming year in order to refocus and renew my convictions and passions in these areas are:

Because it is my road map for this life and the one to come.

This one inspires me each year to plant, even at times when I have been unable to do so.

Because I need to readjust my priorities ever so often.

Because this is the way I want to live my life.

For inspiration and a reminder of how we should be eating.

There are many others I will add to that list. All of these are ones I have read before, more than once, but continue to find inspiration and something new with each reading. I have others on my shelf I will list at another time, for now, life is calling, and that is one call I want to answer!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve...

It is a beautiful sunny day in North Carolina. It is currently 51* and a very nice day so far. I have spent most of the day in the kitchen. Taking my time, enjoying the process.

I have my cornbread dressing mixed and ready to bake. I baked some blueberry muffins and pumpkin muffins. I also fixed a chocolate chip/caramel cookie bar. I am cooking sweet potatoes now to make a casserole like I made for Thanksgiving. I have a small Cajun style turkey breast to cook tomorrow and a small honey glazed ham to heat and serve. I plan to put together a sweet pea salad and have rolls. That will be the extent of our meal for tomorrow.

But we will also have nacho cheese dip, Christmas dip (cream cheese, green onion and dried beef) with crackers and chips. I will have hummus with my Stacy's Pita chips. I am the only one in the family that eats hummus, I can't imagine why, I think it is delicious, especially with roasted garlic.

Later this evening the kids and I will make a batch of cookies to leave for Santa. And I think that should do it for me and the kitchen...

Tomorrow I plan to get up and make some biscuits and bacon for breakfast so after the kids open presents they can get their bellies full and spend the long day in their pj's enjoying their loot.

Today is my dad's birthday. He is 68 years old. I have a small cake for him later today. For now, he and Lauren are getting ready to go to Aberdeen to do a bit of shopping...I can't imagine why, I would be tired of shopping, but after a couple of days, he gets restless and wants to get out of the house...I have never seen a man that loves to shop as much as he does.

Andrew is in the garage reorganizing the left over Christmas decorations and lights getting it all ready to put away in a couple of days. I usually don't leave my tree up very long after Christmas. I'm usually just ready to get it put away and move on to the next thing. I mean really, after Christmas Day the holiday is over and life goes back to normal routines. I guess that's just me.

Noah is in the living room with three dining chairs and a sheet. He made himself a tent and is in it eating popcorn and drinking orange juice. I think Megan is upstair reading a book or on the computer.

Well that is all I have for now. That is what's happening for the moment at the Thomason household. I think my sweet potatoes are done and need tending so I will post photos and Christmas info tomorrow. Hope each of you have a very merry and blessed Christmas. May God bless you and keep you through the new year to come. Just remember to always make room for Him in your life...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas time...

Yes, I know I have been neglectful of this blog lately. There has just been so much going on lately that I can't seem to discipline myself to sit down and write...I know that is no excuse...laziness is the real culprit, but I don't like to admit it. I have also been sick since last Friday.

I feel much better now, only left with a cough and congestion.

My parents are here visiting for the holidays and the weather has for the most part been bad the entire time they have been here. I am hoping before they have to head south again that it will warm up and be sunny for a few days so we can get out and actually do something while they are here.

Christmas is just a few days away and I have pretty well done my shopping. I have a couple of items to pick up and little odds and ends like stocking stuffers to get, but other than that...I am about there. I didn't stress over it this year, just let it happen. I did most of my shopping online. The kids had small lists this year, there wasn't really anything major they wanted or needed. I told them early on that this year we were downsizing and weren't going to spend like we have in years past. So the girls were really good about keeping their lists down to a manageable size. Like Megan said, there really wasn't anything they needed, because they have so much already. I am glad that at 14 she can see that and understand how blessed she is.

I want my kids to learn to enjoy what they do have and find contentment in those things. And not constantly be seeking newer and better versions of what they have. I hope they will learn that the consumerist society we live in doesn't bring happiness. That you can't find fulfillment and happiness by getting more and more...what it actually does is leave you empty, unhappy, unfulfilled and wanting more...

For Noah, he only mentioned a couple of things he wanted, and that was when he would see something advertised, then he would forget about it later. I chose things I know he likes and would go along with the things he already enjoys playing with. The other day Megan asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said he only wanted one gift for Christmas. She asked him if he was sure that he just wanted one, and he said yes, he just wanted one...

For him, it will just be the excitement of the morning and as long as he gets a few things he can open, he will be happy.

For me, this Christmas is about being thankful for God's blessings...there are so many things to be thankful for this year. And I wanted the girls especially to realize those blessings, and appreciate them. I want them to see that there are so many people that have lost their jobs and losing their homes and that those are the big things in life. The things we have faced are minor in comparison to what some people are facing this year. I want them to see beyond their wants and see the needs of others, realizing that there are hurting people in this world and there is more to this life than satisfying our wants...

I would hope that they could learn to reach out from themselves to offer the love of God to others. Getting beyond the selfishness that this world promotes and really love others in such a way that they are willing to not only see the needs of others, but actually give of themselves to help.

Of course, if I thought about it, I am sure I could come up with a list of things that I want, or could ask for, but for the most part, there really isn't anything that I need. Of course I could use a few more clothes, considering that most of mine are getting to loose on me, but for now, until I reach my goal weight, I will manage with what I have. I would also like to get a food processor or an external hard drive to store all of my pictures on, so I can get them off my computer...but really those aren't things I just have to have right now. I am sure with time those things will find their way into my life, but for this Christmas I want to really feel the true meaning of Christmas in my heart. For so many years, I have raced around trying to "do Christmas" that I never found the joy that Christmas is really about...this year, my wish is to really experience Christmas, to be present and feel the joy of it...

Sunday, December 6, 2009


It has been a while since I blogged. Just been busy and haven't taken the time to stop and write. We have been busy getting ready for the grandparents visit. They will be heading this way tomorrow. We haven't seen them since March so we will be glad when they get here.

Here is a photo of Noah sleeping on his bean bag with his teddy. He was getting comfy, waiting for the Polar Express. But he fell asleep before it arrived!

Yesterday was our Christmas tree trimming day. We always put up our tree the first weekend in December. This year we put up two trees. Simply because we had two trees and we had the room to do it. We have had the 7ft tree for several years, but when we moved back into the city of Little Rock a couple of years ago, we moved into a smaller place and didn't have the room for the larger tree. So we bought a smaller tree. Since moving to North Carolina we have a larger place so we decided this year to put the larger tree in the living room and the smaller tree in the dining room.

This is the smaller one. When we bought it a couple of years ago, we bought all new ornaments, red and gold. When we use to use the larger tree, we had blue and silver. But after a couple of moves and Noah...a few of the ornaments got broken. So the girls went yesterday to buy some blue and silver to add to the larger tree. But like trends go, this years blue isn't the same as the blue several years ago...because of this, the ribbon we had on it no longer match and the other blue ornaments don't go with the new the tree looks pretty naked right now. I am going to have to go to Hobby Lobby this week and buy new blue ribbon and a few new blue ornaments to completely dress the tree.

Here is something that has been taking my time away from blogging. I have become obsessed with crocheting again. I haven't done much of it in a few years, but this scarf got me pumped again...

It is called the Claudia Scarf. I found it here.

I just fell in love with it. So I tried my hand at it. Only in a different weight and color. Mine is black and done in 100% cotton yarn. It is a worsted weight instead of the fingering weight the pattern uses. But I really do love it. I am working on a couple more now in different colors and weights.

At Thanksgiving I found a recipe on the Cooking Light website for a lighter version of Sweet Potato Casserole. And I have to say it was delicious. I didn't get much chance to gorge on it, because others thought it was good also and it went very quickly. Here is a link to the recipe.

I was in Fayetteville on my own doing a little shopping early one morning and decided to stop in at Goodwill, or GCF as it is called. I used to go to Goodwill weekly in Little Rock and find all kinds of bargins...Since moving here I have picked up a few items, such as a wooden bird cage that I use to decorate my front porch. I also picked up a new dehydrater and some crafting materials. I usually don't buy clothes from there, but happened by and saw this gray fleece, hooded American Eagle pullover hanging out of place on the end of a looked brand new and looked comfortable. So for a couple of bucks I bought it. It has now become my favorite thing to wear around. It is warm and fuzzy! But on this particular morning I happened upon this...

I have an eat-in kitchen area that has been pretty empty and needed a table. I looked around for one, but didn't want to pay several hundred dollars for one. Thanks to Goodwill, I didn't have to pay but $59.00! This almost new, no scratches, dings or dents, looks like I just bought it new...all we had to do was clean the cloth seats with the steam cleaner to get the coffee stains out. Now they look like new.

It fills the space perfectly. The table came with four chairs but unless I need the extra seating, I just keep two out. It is the perfect spot to sit first thing in the morning and watch the sun rise in the window. It was an awesome deal!
Believe it or not, I had just gone to the bank before going to GCF and I withdrew some cash. For some reason I chose to withdraw $60.00...I usually don't carry much cash, instead use the debit card. However, that morning I just punched in $60.00 and when I got to GCF I knew why God put it in my mind to get $60...GCF doesn't take debit cards...only cash or check. I later realized that I had written my last check at church the night or two before and hadn't put more in my checkbook. Because of the trip to the bank, I had just enough cash on me to buy the table before someone else came along and snagged it. So I am very thankful that God not only takes care of our big things, but he is concerned with the little things that make up our lives also.
On a final are Noah's latest masterpieces...I have them displayed on the wall by my desk in my creative space.


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