Monthly Archives: August 2013

Meditation on Perspiration or 6 AM Worship

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href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/58442690@N00/27404027882/”>Iain Farrell via Compfight cc
I’ve begun getting up at 6 AM to worship. Now I don’t mean that the praise music comes on and the house is awakened by joyous singing. This is a different variety of worship. A meditation on perspiration. I have started training for my first 5 K in the last few weeks. This is not something I ever thought I could do. But our church decided to start a health and exercise initiative to provide community support for an upcoming half marathon festival that also includes a 5k and 10k. I’m supposed to be taking care of my temple and honoring God with my body. But it doesn’t always feel like that at 6 AM.

My album of the week is Tree 63’s self titled debut. Every song is scripture. Right around the midpoint of my run, the strains of “it’s all for you, Father” keep me going. I know in my heart that this isn’t all for Him, yet. Some of this is for me. I want to be thinner, in better shape, prove something to myself and my family about what I am capable of. But at the same time, when the sweat is dripping down my back and I am rethinking the whole idea of a race at all, the words “Earnestly, earnestly, Lord I seek you, my soul thirsts for you. In a dry and weary land, running out of water, God I long for you” have never had more meaning.
The weekly devotion for our running group this week is Isaiah 40:29-31. There have definitely been moments in my training when I feel weary and pray for God to renew my strength. That is when I realize this can be worship. Sometimes just breathing is worship, taking the next step when all we want to do is lie down. Our perseverance can be a form of worship, if we let Him be the focus. Let us all strive to continue in the race set out for us, clinging to words of hope and knowing that each breath is given by Him and for Him who gives us strength.

Categories: Exercise, Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

What I Won’t Wear Wednesday

After 30 years in this body, there are a few things that I have learned. I realize that my body has been under almost constant change during that time, but I still have a few fashion rules that have always applied and will continue to do so, regardless of trends.
Belts
Yes, I know in the current style world, belts are a necessity. But I am petite and short-waisted. Belts have never looked good on me. In fact years ago I read in a style book that short-waisted women should avoid belts as it just draws attention to their lack of a typical waist. Really my waist is just slightly lower than my bust. So empire waist things look nice on me, but they must be styled very carefully or I end up looking bigger than I am, i.e. pregnant. Unfortunately this is also one of my thickest areas, at least currently and, truthfully, perpetually. If I gain weight, the middle to upper middle is where it will be. So I haven’t wrapped my brain around accentuating that part of me with a belt. I have owned a few pants that were lower rise and I wore a belt lower on the hips and that looked cute, but it also requires shorter shirts otherwise the belt disappears anyway and tucking in a shirt almost never looks good on me. So while I have occasionally worn belts to keep that nasty gap at the back of my pants from happening, I don’t wear them for fashion and certainly not the way the current trends show them being used. (One exception, I have and do wear belted sweaters, but I must wear the belt low on my waist, practically around my hips to pull it off).

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Horizontal Stripes
 I don’t do horizontal stripes. This is something that the current trend is forcing me to rethink. I’m actually about the purchase a couple of pieces to see what I think of them, but generally, I think it makes me look wider. The one exception, is a solid color with a large stripe across the bust area, which can be very flattering, but that is really more color blocking than striping. I do like diagonal stripes and chevron patterns, which I think can slim or create the illusion of attractive curves.   I settled on trying the above pictured cardigan even though it breaks my stripes rule. I figured that if I wore it open that would avoid the widening effect that I was fearing. But, sadly, it was a complete mistake on my actual body, but it hasn’t soured me on all patterned cardigans, just horizontal stripe ones.

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Patterns
In the past, patterns have not been my friend. Textures, definitely, but not patterns. They were always too large or bold that they overwhelmed my petite frame or honestly I just didn’t like them. But there are a few items this year with great patterns that I am seriously drooling over. Hence this shirt that I decided to purchase from Lands End. Sadly, the shirt went back. The pattern was too overwhelming in real life and while I loved my colors, my husband genuinely hated it, so I returned it.

New Things I’m Determined to Try

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Cardigans, both solid and patterned
I’ve never been much of a cute cardigan person, more of a bulky cardigan girl. But we’re talking bulky for heat due to seriously cold temps in my house come winter, not for looking stylish. But I’ve begun to realize that cardigans can be a great year round layering item. So I’m adding more to my wardrobe.
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I love this Lands End cardigan, though I’m unlikely to be buying it anytime soon because the price is a bit more than I usually spend. Though if I knew that I was likely to wear it almost constantly this winter (as I believe I am likely to do) it might be worth it. (Secret: I actually bought this cardigan using a Lands End coupon last week. I absolutely love it and now I have to decide if I’m allowed to keep it. So far I’m leaning toward yes.) I also purchased two different colors of the above solid cardigan, plantation (which is kind of a greenish brown) and eggplant. I’m still waiting to decide whether I’ll be keeping either one, as they are nice and serviceable but I’m still a little nervous about colored cardigans vs. my usual safe neutrals.

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This chevron pattern from Lands End is unique and I think it’s a lot of fun, but my husband has informed me that it “doesn’t look like it’s designed for someone young.” Since I have an unfortunate habit of picking clothes that my mother would wear (as stylish as she is), I try to avoid things that fit into that category. I am open to classic pieces because of their longevity, but I also want to look my age, or at least a stylish version of my age.

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Casual Dresses for Everyday
I’ve always gravitated away from dresses and skirts for everyday wear, even before I became a mom. It just didn’t seem practical. But during a heat wave this summer I read up on how to stay cool and everything I read said, skirts, especially maxi skirts. I have a few yards of jersey knit still sitting on my dining room table waiting to become my new skirt, but these dresses also caught my eye. It may be a mistake, but I’m was willing to try dresses as everyday wear before summer came to an end.
I ended up loving and keeping both dresses. The maxi dress beat all the odds and looks amazing on me, even though it’s not a petite size and has horizontal stripes. The midi tank dress is super comfortable. I ordered it in two colors and now I really don’t want to return either one. A fun scarf tied loosely at the neck helped to disguise any cleavage when I wore it to a park playdate last week.

Things I’m considering

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Bulky, interesting sweater
Not sure if this will make me look too bulky because I’m so short, if it will cover my problem areas or just make me look big all over, but I’m willing to consider it. The reviews of this particular sweater give me pause and the others I’ve seen are so expensive so I may have to wait until fall and winter are in full swing and try a few bargain stores to find what I’m looking for. I do have a couple of bulkier cardigans that I didn’t wear much last winter because they weren’t super convenient for breastfeeding, so perhaps I’ll try them out again this winter.
A Mom Backpack
I’ve been carrying the same backpack diaper bag for more than 4 years now and I’m working on finding an alternative. So far everything I’ve seen is too small and too expensive, so I may have to settle for looking like a bit of a pack mule with my overloaded backpack and purse slung over my arm. I’ve thought about getting a stylish tote of some kind, but I love being hands free for putting kids in car seats, and a backpack is one of the only ways to do that well. I also worry about the long term effects of a heavy tote being carrier on my shoulder.

So what about you? What are your style no-no’s and what previously uncharted territory are you willing to pursue fashion wise?

Here are some great websites I’ve discovered to help me find my mom-fashion style.

Ain’t No Mom Jeans

You Look Fab

J’s Everyday Fashion

Join me next week as I work my way through Frump to Pumps, a one-month motivational for getting dressed.

Categories: Mom Fashion | 1 Comment

It’s OK to Admit It’s Hard

I apologize for my absence during the last week. My laptop has failed, as well as no small part of my sanity, and I am in the process of trying to transition to using a tablet instead. I’ve been dealing with a number of different large stresses in my life lately, which I won’t go into now, but I finally found something that really encouraged me. Hopefully I’ll be back later this week with more posts, but until then, I suggest you check out the amazing blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why I Recommend Wii Fit

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Two years ago, my husband and I sold things on E-Bay to purchase a Wii Sports bundle and the Wii Fit. My husband is a longtime Nintendo fan who had loved the Wii from when it first came out. But the cost was more than we could even consider. So we waited And waited. Until finally, the price dropped, by half. At the time we had to search around for something who still had the Fit Sports package instead of the Mario Cart package that was currently being featured, but we found one. Then a month or two later, we also purchased the Wii Fit with Wii Fit +.

Even without the Wii Fit, Wii sports and Wii sports resort have the potential to be great exercise tools. It can be hard to have high level exercise if you stop too often, so if you are playing for exercise, I recommend choosing your game order in advance instead of spending a long time between rounds searching through menus. This works well for some people because it’s fun and it doesn’t seem much like exercise. When my husband’s doctor told him to exercise he said whatever he chose was fine, as long as he would actually do it. Well, while the Wii was supposed to be for my husband, he has never been very consistent about using it. But it ended up being a great tool for me, especially the Wii Fit.

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Yoga tree pose in the early second trimester.

While I loved my Pilates DVD’s and still miss using them regularly, the Wii Fit really worked with my J side. I could keep a record of exercise schedule, it recorded my approximate calorie burn and let me set weight goals. One of my favorite features is setting a calorie burn goal. You pick a food item (mine is a soft serve ice cream cone), and it tells you how many calories it is. Then your goal is to burn that many calories when you exercise. This helped motivated me to pick the more aerobic activities on days when I felt like playing easy games.

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My daughter using the Wii Fit to do yoga. She loves the doing the warrior pose.

Things I didn’t like about the Wii Fit. You can only log Fit credits on the current day. When you exercise other than on the Wii Fit there is a feature that allows you to log the duration of your exercise and estimate difficulty and it gives you approximate Fit credits that show up on your bar graph. Sometimes I would go for a walk and then forget to log the credits until the next day, so it put it on my current day. This is annoying but not the end of the world. I liked being able to look at the chart and see how often I was exercising at a glance. So it was annoying when it looked like I had gaps, when really I just forgot to log the credits.

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My daughter and I doing Wii Fit boxing in my third trimester. (Notice she is pretending parts of her doctor kit are the Wii remote and Nunchucks)

Now, I realize that the Wii has been replaced by the Wii U, however, that means that there will be more Wii’s on the market and they will be cheaper than ever. If you don’t have space for something like a treadmill and you find workout videos boring, the Wii Fit can be a great option. I had never even done yoga before we got the Wii Fit it was hugely helpful in keeping me active during my last pregnancy. In fact, using my Wii Fit played a huge role in helping me to maintain my blood sugar when I had gestational diabetes. I used to hop on the Wii Fit for 15-30 minutes after every meal (at least until towards the end of my pregnancy) and it really kept my blood sugar balanced.

So if you love technology, and like having a system that will tack your exercise patterns, weight loss goals and calorie burn, the Wii and Wii Fit may be a great option.

 

Categories: Exercise, Women's Health | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning to Appreciate Smallness

IMG_2090Tiny hands that have surprising strength. Little feet with minute toes that can kick and scratch with the best of them. Voices that carry with wispy coos or guttural screams, the sound of which can comfort or strike fear, depending on the day or time. They are so small and yet sometimes I have to remind myself that I am bigger than they are. From the moment each of them was born, I became their slave.  I love them so much it hurts, other times, it just hurts.

IMG_2081From stretching belly muscles to the prick of a lancet four times a day to make sure he grows safely. Nights without enough sleep that don’t seem to stop, even during the preschool years. Short tempered mornings that see me become an ogre I don’t want to be, forgetting how small and fragile their little egos can be as well. When we look each other in the eye and fight the battles for parental authority, never quite sure if I’ll win, I realize how familiar all of this is. They are smaller than me, but not by much. My Father and I have these same arguments and clashes of will. But He is the perfect parent, extending grace with one hand will dispensing loving discipline with the other. I am exhausted from trying to be in charge, in control and the boss of my own life. I want to be small again, returning to his loving arms, so that I can again experience being the beloved child.IMG_2023IMG_2069

Categories: Faith, Family, Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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