Beach Body — Not This Year

Hi and Happy Thursday. I read something on Facebook recently that spoke to me since I do not have a body ready for the beach this summer. In fact, it isn’t even close.  It said, “How to Have a Beach Body: 1. Have a Body; and 2. Go The Beach.”

I added with this that despite me being overweight, I am looking forward to our trip to the beach. I will enjoy myself but may be embarrassed at some of the photos that we take. I will do my best to focus on the wonderful family time that I will have and the fun time with friends. Memories will be made and that is something to look forward to.

Speaking of photos, I have always enjoyed hamming it up for the camera and taking photos with my loved ones. My siblings and I like to be silly, as do Kirk, Ian, and I. But, I was just looking at some from earlier this week, and oh brother, I have some work to do. I don’t like how I look and saw many flaws. So it is time to make changes.

I currently am heavier than I was when Ian was born. That had been my heaviest but now I am beyond it. I have struggled with weight loss and have a constant battle with it. I sit most of the day with family business stuff, things for Ian’s school, and many other things, and don’t get much exercise.  I also love to eat and love my food. So what else is to happen as I have gotten older?

But over the summer, I am trying to walk more, be more active, and eat more healthy food. The past few years have been stressful with lots of changes, family members and friends with major health issues, deaths of dear ones, and a lot going on.  So, food has been a source of comfort. I have eaten while being stressed.  I am working on that as well.

I really and truly want to be around to see Ian grow up.  I also want to grow old with my husband. So, it is time to take care of myself and get back to the size I was before Ian was born.  Although that is still a double-digit, I will be happy to see that again since I felt so good when I was that size.

When I had success before, I did cardio of up to 45 minutes each day, watched my food intake and the sodium.  So, I will work my way up to this again.  I will plan to start with 30 minutes a day of activity and go from there.

This photo was taken in 1990 of me with my brother at the beach. This is my favorite beach to visit and am so looking forward to being there again this summer.  I was in the best shape of my life back then and felt really good.

One problem with where I live is the humidity and the discomfort of being outside at certain times of the day. The beach we always visit doesn’t have that so it is easier to walk.  I plan to do a lot of that during that trip.  I also plan to before and after the trip. And I will be doing exercise inside as well.

I have had successful weight loss in the past and have had heavy times as well. It seems to go back and forth. I just hope and pray that I can get a handle on it. I am going to try. I will add activity, still enjoy my food but try to make better choices, and try not to stress eat.

I have heard a quote that nothing you eat feels as good as being skinny or something like that. I am not to that point yet since I still very much enjoy my food and desserts. I do however, realize that it is time to get a handle on things and do better for myself.

I would appreciate ideas and suggestions, but please don’t judge as I am trying. Thanks and God Bless.

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All Children Need Their Parents

Whether you are appalled at the recent policy of separating illegal immigrant children from their parents like I am or you think they are getting what they deserve, it is something that is wrong and shouldn’t be done.

Breaking up families in any way or separating kids from parents they need is wrong no matter who the family is or if they are legal citizens or not.  At least it is to me.  I cannot speak for anyone else but I am heartbroken that this is happening. I am heartbroken for the parents separated from their kids and more so for the kids who are apart from their parents.

When I woke up this morning, I had the following thought, “Is a refugee or illegal immigrant child of less value or importance than my son?” I say a resounding and loud NOooooooo!  So why are they being treated like they are?

It is something that I am surprised that we aren’t more livid and outraged about.  It is something that is breaking up families and doing harm to young minds and souls.  It is something that needs to stop.

I have heard some people say that this is supposed to a deterrent and that these families know this is the policy.  But what if they don’t?  What if they are just being told the kids are being taken to the bathroom and then not being returned to them?  Does that change how we feel about the situation?

No matter who the family is, it is hard when kids are ripped from their parents’ arms.  And, condoning it and saying it is our new policy is just mind-boggling to me.  I honestly am trying to understand the thinking, but as a mother, I can’t.  My mind and heart first go to the child.  And in this case, that is thousands of kids who are now in a foreign land without the very people who they need the most.

There are a lot of people who are speaking out against this policy — all five first ladies, the Rev. Franklin Graham, a Catholic cardinal, Senator John McCain, Senator Ted Cruz, the Methodist Church, attorneys, pediatricians, the United Nations, Senator Mazie Hirono, and many others.

My hope and prayer is that something will be done very soon so these kids don’t have to suffer for too long.  Immigration laws may need to be improved, but does it have to be at the expense of families?  Of children?

Let’s contact our senators, congressmen and women and other elected officials to have our voices be heard.  Let’s also vote in the upcoming elections.  Let’s be part of the change that we seem to need.

Let’s remember the precious lives who are being harmed and don’t have to be.  Let’s be the compassionate and safe refuge that our country has been known for.  Let’s please do better and make America kind, compassion, and loving again.

Children are some of the best teachers that we have.  In closing, I want to leave you with this thought from Mary Hollingsworth’s “On Raising Children”:

“…Children teach the world to love. They teach us to look past a person’s skin color right to his or her heart. They teach us how to be honest, open, and innocent.  And they teach us how to hug and laugh and be enthusiastic. 

“Children make us keep our promises because they never forget one that we make.  They even make us into scientists and professors by asking ‘why?’ about everything that moves and many things that don’t. 

“Isn’t it interesting that while we are teaching our children to be adults, they are teaching us to be children?  That’s especially important when we remember what Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.'” 

Don’t find fault, find a remedy

“Don’t find fault.  Find a remedy.” — Henry Ford 

Isn’t that a great quote?  I came across it and knew that I had to write about it.  Since it is often easier to criticize or find fault then find solutions or remedies, I knew it was worth considering and discussing.

I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of hearing our county’s leadership gripe about the other side, complain that the enemy is making it so nothing is happening, and digging their heals in that their way is the only way.

Whatever happened to compromise, meeting in the middle, or actually listening to someone else’s argument?  Those seem to be gone and we are much more apt to blame others.  As Mr. Ford said, let’s instead try to find a remedy.

Do you think that is possible?  I only hope and pray that it is.  When I was in Civics in 9th grade, I was assigned to argue in favor of a subject that I didn’t agree with.  It was one of the hardest things I have every done, but I learned so much as a result. I learned what was important to someone I disagreed with. I learned why that other argument had validity. And, I learned to respect others who disagree with me.

My dream is that we can have national education that advocates this.  I think that our children need to learn to argue in favor of what they believe and against it.  This, if nothing else, would help bridge the gap between us.  These kids would understand why someone feels the way they do that is different from their own feelings. And they would know that it is okay to disagree with someone and also to respect them.

What a concept right?  Perhaps that is one remedy to our division, criticism, blame, and hate.  Do you have an idea of a remedy?  Please share if you do.

One of the definitions of remedy from Merriam Webster Dictionary is ” something that corrects or counteracts.”  My hope is that we can work to do that rather than just place blame, find fault, accuse, or belittle.

Let’s be kind to each other, let’s respect each other, let’s listen to each other in order to understand where someone else is coming from.  Is that possible?  I don’t know.  I hope and pray that it is. After all, we need healing from all sides of issues and from all people.

A few quotes about compromise and remedies:

  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Compromise, contrary to popular opinion, does not mean selling out one’s principles. Compromise means working out differences to forge a solution which fits the diversity of the body politic.” — Madeline M. Kunin
  • “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
  • “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” — Colin  Powell
  • “Problem-solving leaders have one thing in common: a faith that there’s always a better way.” – Gerald M. Weinberg
  • “Our right to disagree is precious but fragile. The best way to protect and preserve it is to let the other side speak without demonizing them or destroying their right to be heard. Such civil exchanges are the heart beat of democracy – essential to keeping it alive.” — Madeline M. Kunin
  • “Instead of thinking out the box, get rid of the box.” – Deepak Chopra
  • “Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position, but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together.” — Colin Powell

Summertime Fun

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

Hi and Happy Summer.  Are you having a good one so far?  We are and enjoying our different routine. We were super busy between the last time I wrote and the end of school. There was a lot going on and much to finish. So I have not had the time to write and I have missed it very much.

We are enjoying the down time and the family time. On the other hand, we have been busy with our family business, yet still make time for nice meals together, some shopping and some time to chat without somewhere we have to be each night, or without homework.

We are having time to read, enjoying ice cream, Lego movies and builds, and word finds. I have asked Ian to teach me about chess and I am looking forward to that.  He has become a great player and I know almost nothing about the game. I am blessed to have time for that with him.

This summer, Ian has discovered the Harry Potter books.  He really likes them and has been taken in by the world that J.K. Rowling has created.  I have not read the series yet but think I might.  I have heard so many great things about it.

I will have to take more photos of our adventures this summer.  I tend to enjoy being in the moment and forget to do that. I am, after all, from a different generation than that of documenting everything on a cell phone. And, I don’t have the right phone to do that with.  Perhaps one day.

On this summer day, I am thankful for:

  • Later bedtimes and the chance to sleep in
  • Homemade dinners and time to visit
  • Watching a favorite show or movie together
  • Hearing about favorite parts of Ian’s new book
  • Enthusiasm of a new Lego set
  • Enthusiasm of a new book
  • Watching Ian build his new Lego set
  • Treats from a favorite bakery
  • Walks with my guys
  • Times with family
  • Family photos and fun times
  • Funny times together when laughter turns to tears
  • Used books stores where I can find books, bumper stickers, and buttons
  • Our slower pace
  • Our upcoming beach trip
  • Dinners out with friends and family
  • Birthday celebrations and new life

Hope you have a great day. I will try to write more over the summer and have plenty to write about. Just finding the time to do it is often a challenge. Please share ideas that you’d like me to blog about. Blessings to you and yours.