On February 27, the first full day of Lent,  my family will be starting our next Whole30.  What is the Whole30 you ask?  And why during Lent?

What is the Whole 30?

The Whole30 is a food program that allows you to take charge of your health and change your relationship with food.  It is 30 days (or longer and, in this case, with Lent upon us, our Whole30 is 40 days plus another 7 days of fasting during Holy Week- so 47 days) of eating nothing but truly nourishing    foods.  It means foods that are not damaging to our bodies in any way which, incidentally,  goes against that traditional food pyramid we grew up with and certainly goes against the Standard American Diet and will not include McDonald's or Taco Bell. Doing a Whole30 gives you an opportunity to connect the dots between what you put into your body and the energy you feel, the aches and pains that can't be explained , the weight you can't lose, the mood swings that take charge of your days and the chance to change your life.  Because let's face it.  What you eat does affect your health.  And your health affects EVERYTHING!

Recent findings have led me to believe though some may already consider my eating  healthy,   I really do need to take charge of my health and change my relationship with food. While we eat a primarily Paleo like diet, I am known to cheat a bit.  Okay, a lot.  (yeah, my husband is shaking his head as he reads this and I see the little bubble over his head that says 'she eats WAY to much sugar and dairy'....I know dear, I know).  Yes, I'm known to eat my share of raw dairy, cashew ice-cream fudge from Trader Joe's, Gluten Free Brownies (pretty much my answer to everything), chocolate (milk chocolate if it's my choice), and pretty much any sugary thing that is minus the artificial ingredients. , So no, I'm not a saint when it comes to food (or anything else for that matter) .

Anyway, I've struggled on and off for years of unexplained fatigue, sleep issues, digestive issues, etc. that just haven't gone away entirely though they improve and, yes, of course the more I stick to the healthy Paleo diet, the better the improvement.  I've started seeing a health coach and, little by little, have been piecing things together.  I've learned a lot more about what devastating effects NOT having a gall bladder can have on a body and I haven't had one for about 24 years now.  And I've learned a lot about Adrenal Fatigue (yes, it's real and yes, I have it.... probably have had it for quite a long time.  QUITE a long time.) and I've learned about genetic testing that may pinpoint a few other things about my body and how it absorbs nutrients..  But while the testing is still out, I do know about the adrenals, the low iron, and the missing gall bladder.   And that all needs addressed. And what better way to do it then knock out all the foods I have a bad relationship with.  Yep.  It's time for another Whole30.  Extended Whole30.

Is This Just Another Fad Diet?

In a word? No.  In more words?  It's not about giving up calories (I never count calories), or eating less like fad diets are. The Whole30 is about discovering good food standards and eliminating an unhealthy relationship with your food and an overactive immune system and a disrupted digestive system.  It's about eating  (a lot of) foods that feed and nurture your body - giving you better digestion, more energy , eliminating food cravings, resetting your metabolism,  and yes, maybe even shed some pounds if you have them to shed. Fad diets do not do this.  The Whole30 will.

Our First Whole30

Our first Whole30 was back in 2014 and I blogged about it here.  I posted weekly updates that included what we ate and how we felt.  That experience was quite an awakening to how much certain foods were dominating our lives, how emotionally connected we were to food, and how much better we felt (after a week or two) of being away from those so-called foods. We definitely learned about what foods/food groups cause inflammation, congestion, joint pain and other pains, digestive issues, and more.  (I already knew foods and ingredients affected my mood)

Why Lent?

2014 was our first year of being Paleo.  And we were struggling with adapting to the lifestyle and seeing the dramatic effects it was having on our health.  My husband was losing an incredible amount of weight and Lent was coming fast.  We had no idea what to do.  A typical Orthodox Christian fast involves complete abstinence from all animal products.  And while that wasn't a problem as far as the dairy was concerned, it was a problem for meat and oils (tradition has it that oils were once stored in pouches made from animals skins/intestines and therefore was also given up along with the animal products). We had been toying with the idea of doing a whole30 but kept putting it off because, well frankly, it left me quaking how to truly stick to this paleo thing 100% with no cheating whatsoever.

What to do?  We approached our priest for discussion and advice and well, a blessing.  We had ( and continue to have) amazing support.   So instead of the typical Orthodox fast, we follow a Whole30 for the duration of Lent.

What does this mean we give up instead of meat, dairy, eggs and oils?  It means no grains (none- not a one including wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, oats, etc), no alcohol, no legumes (legumes include beans, peanuts and soybeans and anything containing soy) with the only exceptions as green beans snow peas and sugar snap peas), no dairy (not even my raw cheese), no artificial ingredients including carrageenan, msg, or added sulfites, no baked goods, 'treats', or junk foods made with approved ingredients (in other words, no treats even if they are paleo), and absolutely no sugar of ANY KIND. Yep, that last one is a killer for me- making this truly harder than any Orthodox Fast I have followed.

And why , again during Lent?  Because we know we'll stick to it.  We are a family of faith and we have always taken the Lenten season very very seriously.  If we say we are doing this for God, we WILL DO IT.

In Conclusion

In the upcoming weeks I hope to keep you updated on our progress like I did week by week back in 2014.  It may not happen weekly this year, but I will post at least a few times and perhaps share some new favorite recipes. In the meantime, if you have any questions on the Whole30, check out the books I have pictured on the right of the post or any of the websites below!  And of course, feel free to ask questions!

Food Freedom Forever - (click on the image above) I haven't read this yet- just stumbled on it while looking for links to sources.  I just may put it on my wishlist soon!

Whole30 Program Rules

Whole30.com

For The Facebook Fans

Help With Home Alone Meltdowns on the Whole30

 

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Wrapping it Up:  November

The year is just flying by!  I can hardly believe that December is upon us bringing with it the end of 2015!  My oldest son will be turning 17 and I will be....um....well, older than I was last year!

My Writing World

It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

This was the month of PiBoIdMo - the month where aspiring picture book writers check in with Tara Lazar's posts on her blog to see the day's guest writer's post to find inspiration on our craft and attempt to come up with at least 30 ideas for a picture book.  You can check out my posts about the month starting with this one and ending with this one with a few in-between.  Other than reaching most of my much smaller goals for PiBoIdMo this month (I didn't actually get to work on a manuscript), I did get a few other blog posts out and thus have done better than the last few months.  But I really need to figure out a way to work on some manuscripts.  Sigh.  In time, I guess.  If you want to check out some of the other blog posts, here they are:

My Commonplace Book - this is something that I hope will also improve my writing skills; it will certainly lead to more writing topics!

Peaceful Reflections

Book Review Wednesday: Ishtar's Odyssey - finally- the first book review I've done in ages! Hopefully I will get back to at least doing one a month....fingers crossed!

Year One Homeschooling & Orthodoxy

Foster The Good (actually posted at the end of October)

My Book World

Photo by Kregel Publications
Photo by Kregel Publications

It's been a slow month for reading.  I really haven't been doing much of it at all.  I didmanage to complete For The Children's Sake and worked here and there on The Living Page.  And, if you've followed, I read all of Ishtar's Odyssey in time to do the blog post for Kregal Publications.  It wasn't my favorite book by Arnold Ytreede, but still a quality book for family reading during the advent season.

 

 

 

Our Parenting/Homeschool World

This has also been a slow month for completion of homeschooling.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I have determined that it's okay to stretch out a week of schooling (according to the Ambleside Online 'curriculum' that I'm using) into two or more weeks...but I'm not okay with days going by in which we don't do much of anything for school.  Unfortunately there were a few stretches like that this month.  I don't necessarily think that was a bad thing, but I don't want it to turn into habit.  SO - I just need to juggle this around in my head and figure out how to still get a half hour or hour of school into most of our days, even when really busy.

I've also been thinking over twaddle vs. living books as I mentioned in some of my PiBoIdMo posts (yes, even my Writing World intersects with our Homeschooling World).  I'm thinking more and more these days while there can be a huge difference between twaddle and living books, there can also be some overlap.  What's more- perhaps rather than focusing on eliminating 'twaddle' completely, it's just more important to make sure that better quality Living Books make up the majority of your child's reading time.

Homeschooling aside, I've struggled with parenting in general. Nothing surprising. We ALL struggle when it comes to a method of how to get our children to be obedient without killing their spirit or doing it in a non-loving manner.  My son is struggling with following directions without doing his 'growling' thing or actually attempting to push me or protesting by putting his face right in mine with the dirtiest face a five year old can give.  We read recently, my husband and I, Peaceful Parents Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.  We believe entirely in her theory but putting it into practice isn't always easy.  His behaviors definitely push my buttons whether I recognize his need for guidance in how to display feelings or not and , well, it's a challenge.  So we are working on that. This afternoon was a difficult task - telling him no, he can not go to the neighbor's house as his behavior after church was not of the quality to earn privileges such as that.  While it was difficult, it was manageable, but only because I was able to prepare myself for it.  I knew , getting into the car at church, exactly what was going to happen when we got home and I had 20 minutes to prepare my own set of mind for carrying through.  It's not so easy when a situation presents itself necessitating an immediate response when we are needing to go somewhere or get a list of things done in a short amount of time.  Those cases don't always go the way  I'd like. But I'm sure I'm not the only one in that boat, am I?

Our Food and Health World

My husband continues his health goals in losing weight and becoming more conditioned. doing-the-w30-fb-cover-660x244Have I mentioned since doing the Whole30 during Lent this past year and sticking to a paleo eating style (at least 95% of the time) he has lost over 100 pounds?  The man is amazing as far as I'm concerned!  While I used to be the one doing the attempts at motivation, he is the one trying to motivate me to start exercising now....sigh... the vision is there....finding the time to do it and everything else needs some work!  I'm at least starting to walk a bit more again...if only I can figure out how to keep it up during the winter!  I have a HUGE aversion to cold weather!

This month we started the Nativity fast that is practiced by Orthodox Christians. I'll admit, we've never been ones to follow the nativity fast as well as we do the Great Lent fast.  But this year, my husband decided he wanted to do another Whole30 for the fast.  While my love for sugar was reluctant, I assented to his wish....well, for the most part.  He's doing a whole30 which I help with by keeping completely compliant for the meals (with a few minor exceptions on Thanksgiving) and I'm doing my own modified whole30- while not whole30 approved, is certainly a step up for me as I remain about 95% paleo,  I'm not adding sugar to my teas, keeping my meals whole30 compliant, sticking to non-processed snacks for the most part (at least at home) and attempting to increase my water intake.  And I'm doing my best to keep Wednesdays and Thursdays as days we not only observe the Whole30 rules, but stick to abstinence of meat products as well in accordance to the Orthodox fasting rules.

Our Faith World

Again, the nativity season is upon us.  I'm trying hard to keep up with my morning bible time, adding an Orthodox Advent Study to my materials. I purchased this last year through Sylvia Leontaritis at Orthodoxmom.com.  Unfortunately, I never got past the first week last year.  This year is still a struggle to keep up but I am sticking with it thus far.  I have actually learned a few extra things about the Theotokos I hadn't known before and I always like reading passages from the Old Testament that were prophecies of the birth of Christ.

We were disappointed to know that my husband has been scheduled to work both the nights of Christmas Even AND the night of Christmas Day.  He will be forced into missing both church services.  It's a struggle to not want to pout and think ill thoughts of those in charge of his schedule....  but we are trying to stay positive and be grateful he has a job and, really, other than church - which is of course the most important part of celebrating the holy day- we can do the other celebrations any time...and have planned to do just that.  Yes, Santa is such a NICE man, that he's decided to wait a few days to visit- so we can all open presents together....  cool dude, isn't he?

Other Parts of My World

Hmmm....what haven't I covered?  My son's girlfriend came up from Florida for a few days and visited.  She was able to watch him in one of his last football games of the season.  It was really nice to have her here.  Of course, it was really sad to watch his sadness in the days following her trip back home.  But they are able to at least count the days to the next visit which isn't terribly far off...though I'm sure it seems a terribly long time to them.

Thanksgiving was spent here at home as it usually is.  We had a quiet day- my husband  worked the night before so he slept for a number of hours during the day after he came home and prepped the turkey and chicken (long story that one).  The kids and I lounged in the living room watching the parade and dog show.  It was nice that I didn't have much cooking to do since I was inspired to do the majority of it the day before.  THIS is something that I plan on doing again!  I was sooooo thankful for a low stress day on Thanksgiving!

The days continue to get shorter and a bit colder though I can't complain about temperature just yet, especially for October.  And we've found an excellent 'handy man' to help us with cleaning gutters and other household/outside tasks that makes prepping for season changes all the  more easier.  We also installed a new pellet furnace in the basement and a pellet stove insert into our fireplace.  Between the two, we expect our electric bill and the hassles of last year's woodstove to be a thing of the past.  Time will tell but we are hopeful and feeling warmer already.

It's now 4:08 in the afternoon as I write this and I can see the color changes of the sky in the west already. This indicates to me as the day is nearing an end that I really should be thinking about ending this post and starting the evening meal.  So, until next time- take care and drop in and say hi sometime!

What did you do during November?

Wrapping It Up:  July & August 

So I've stolen a few minutes away downstairs in my "office" to try to get out a post.  I know I won't finish it on this pretty Saturday afternoon but I also know if I get this started now, I'm more likely to finish it and at least get it out sometime in the week to follow (fingers crossed).    It's been two months since I've written ANYTHING and the last post was another wrap up for two months time - sigh-  so here it is :  the second post in 4 months and my July & August wrap up.

My Writing World

Again, it's been vacant.  It hasn't happened.  Sure I've written a few bible verses and put up a few links on the Facebook page but that is NOT WRITING.

But I have done a lot of thinking.  I do have some ideas brewing both for my manuscript writing  and for the blog (s).  Did you read that right?  Yes, I'm actually thinking about branching into several blogs....hmmmmm......  I've actually considered this for a while.  There are 5 main categories I blog about here:  Writing, Books, ...continue reading "July & August Wrap Up"

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Wrapping It Up: May and June

So it’s been quite a while since I have posted anything here. I am missing the blogging and writing but am also feeling a bit more balanced in other aspects of life- actually a lot more balanced. I just need to figure out if I can ever really add writing back in….and if I can, how and when! But here’s a bit of a catch up for those of you left wondering…..

My Writing World

Well- It’s been vacant. I haven’t written a blog post since the end of April. I haven’t worked on a manuscript since maybe the beginning of April- might have been March. I haven’t even corresponded with my critique groups which appear to be disappearing from the radar. It seems I’m not the only one lagging. I never did complete the course work for the class I paid for. All in all, the writing world is off the map right now. So on to other things….

My Book World

Well my reading has certainly picked up. I became determined at the end of May that I was going to enjoy my summer- and while I have LOTS of work to do over the summer- I ...continue reading "May & June Wrap-Up"

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Last year I wrote out a list of 15 Resolutions.  I've learned a lot about goal setting since new-years-day-234805_1280 (1)then so I know that my list was really too cumbersome  and probably did not necessarily stick to my main priorities in life- so I didn't do so good in keeping them.  Still, I made some improvements in some areas and I personally feel that if people don't make that list of goals- whether it's called resolutions, goals, or whatever one chooses to call it, those improvements are much less likely to occur.  So I'm going over last year's list and the goal list I made in the fall to develop a plan of action for 2015.  So here's a brief review of how I did on my 2014 resolutions.

1.  Stick to the Paleo Diet at least 93% of the time.  -  We did really well with this for the first part of the year, not so good these last few months.  We haven't totally failed it; but it was more likely to be in the 70% range if I were to give it a number and YES- I've noted quite a difference so I WILL be focused on getting back to that 90% range!

2.  Exercise, on average, 3 times a week.   - Uh, well.......ooops.  Kind of failed this one.  My exercising tends to go in spurts and while I got myself really motivated about 3 months back to start again, it lasted about 2 days before I sprained my foot and well, yeah.  You get it.

3. Add Evening Prayers to my Prayer Routine.  Hmmmm.   I did it for awhile.  My problem is really  lack of routine at bedtime anymore and keeping my prayer book or bible by the bedside.  It tends to get moved a lot.  Maybe I just need to print out a copy of the ones I like for night and put it in the book I'm reading as the book tends to stay by the bedside more than the bible does.

4.  Read at least 3 books that are of Orthodox content over the course of the year.  Ooops.  Maybe I haven't done as well with these resolutions as I originally thought.  While I worked on several, I did not complete any from cover to cover.

5.  Read at LEAST 12 Newberry Medal Books.  Well, I didn't get in 12 but I do know it was my resolution to read them that kept them present in my mind and was the reason I did get through seven of them!  (Yes, I did finish Flora and Ulysses just the other day!)

6.  Read:

  •  2014 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market   YES!!!!  I did that!
  • A Family of Readers:  A Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature - well, almost.  It got misplaced in the move and I still haven't unpacked all the book boxes as we're still awaiting for the man to complete our built in shelves for the library.
  • Honey For a Child's Heart -  Another one in a box somewhere, but I believe I got at least halfway through that one too.

7.  Watch my Charlotte Mason Videos -  YES!!!  I did that too!  And I read a lot more about the methodology!

8.  Research for a Preschool Curriculum and make a decision by April.  Yes!  I did this too.  I didn't go with a preschool curriculum though.  I realized he was already beyond preschool and I didn't want to go with just one set curriculum this year.  I went with a variety of things including Simply Charlotte Mason's Delightful Reading program which we are taking very slowly and truly enjoying it!

9.  Break 3 Bad habits.  Well , I did break one!  (Nope, not telling- just saying it's done- you'll have to trust me on that one)

10.  Maintain my Gratitude Journal.  My journal, no - though I did add to it here and there. But I did keep a list of things I'm grateful for for my husband and presented it at Christmas.  So I DID work on gratitude and will continue to keep that as a daily goal.

11.  Maintain This Blog!  Well, it's still here so I guess I did it!  I didn't make the huge strides I had hoped for but I did gain viewers and didn't lose them so I'd say I'm still successful.  🙂

12.  Keep Writing!!!  Well, yes, I did do that.  Again, not as much progress as I had hoped for but I haven't given it up.  I think I need to really set more definite and attainable goals for the blog and my other writing.

13.  Set more time aside for ME.  I have done better with this.  This year I have really kept this in my mind as something I need to do and am making progress.  With that comes guilt though and I need to work more at overcoming that and setting my boundaries and reactions to others when they don't understand my need to do this.

14.  Spend more quality time with my children and husband.  I think this year was a definite improvement.  There is still room, of course, for further improvement.  But I would definitely say my husband and I have had many more date nights and time together than previous years and that I've spent more 'fun' time with the kids without feeling pressed for time.

15.  Work on Easy and Quick Paleo Meals that will ensure that I have time to do all of the above.  Yes, I've worked on this and the biggest realization I've made is that I need to stop trying to please the hubby and kids with all their favorite meals and something different so often. I need to make ease and time efficiency my priorities (after HEALTHY of course).

Photos by Pixabay
Photos by Pixabay

So in all, I feel successful.  No I didn't carry out every single one 100% or even half of them- but I think the list kept me on track to make progress.  And sometimes progress is all we can ask for!

How did you do this past year with resolutions?  Are you making a list for 2015?

 

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Can you believe that 2015 is upon us?  WOW. It really doesn't seem possible, yet looking back it's been quite a long year with a lot happening.  Here's a somewhat brief review of my own highlights!

new-year-152044_1280

2014 - A Year In Review

I started out with some resolutions . Some I succeeded with; some not so much - more on that in an upcoming post!  Later in the year, I talked more about goal setting and really thought about priorities- which will affect my thinking when setting up resolutions or goals for 2015!

2014 was also a year of learning a lot about the Paleo eating style and we really sunk our teeth into it during Lent when my family took part in an extended Whole30. If you didn't catch that and are interested, start with this post- and be sure to look for all the ones in-between that first one and this recap.  I'm thrilled to say our health did benefit and I am still not quite the sugar addict I used to be - though I'll admit, I could do with some tweaking again so another whole30 may be in store for us!

We moved from our home in Steam Valley to a beautiful house in the woods much closer to Williamsport.  That was quite the challenge as we discovered that the 'professional packers' didn't exactly do the professional job we had hoped and planned on. However we area all feeling at home and are totally in love with the trees surrounding our house!

Another highlight of our year was our son participating with the local school district in footballfootball! This was his first official football experience and we were so delighted in his progress and the team's undefeated season!

I did a LOT of research into Charlotte Mason!  I'm really drawn to this style of homeschooling and have done some experimentation with books, nature study, word making ( Delightful Reading by Simply Charlotte Mason), music and art appreciation, and more.

Charlotte Mason - Image by Wikimedia.org

I also attempted to  submerge myself into my writing and reading.  While I didn't carry out exactly what I set out to do (see this post), I do feel successful with both.  PiBoIdMo 2014 certainly helped! I'm hoping to do even more with both of those categories in 2015- and my children were kind enough to get my book pile started at Christmas!  This is my current fiction piece!

The blog didn't do too badly this year-  only 4,787 views but I did increase followers and got some interactions with comments- but it didn't quite get to where I had hoped for.  I think things slowed down a bit after switching to WordPress.com.  Other bloggers tell me this is a common problem so I'm hoping after making some other changes, things will pick up again in 2015! I did have several posts that seemed to do much better than others.  Here are some links in case you missed them:

Those People Who Always Smile - This continues to be my most read post since I originally published it after suffering a loss in 2012.  I keep thinking I should do another post on this topic.

St. Emmelia and the Orthodox Homeschool Conference - This post was about the conference held in 2014 but remains to be a highly viewed post.  I'll be sure to write another post this year when I find out the details for 2015!

Why I Refuse To Support Homeschool Diploma Programs -  This is a post I found really necessary to write.  There is so much misinformation out there on these programs and not much out there on the other perspective.  I've had a lot of support and positive feedback among fellow homeschoolers for writing this post.

12 Ways to Eat Healthy Without Going Broke - It's so important to place the food you put into your body as a high priority.  For some families this is hard- I know.  But there are ways to do it.  If your health is a priority (as it should be) there are ways to make healthy food an option instead of giving into 'foods' that aren't really 'food' at all....and cause more damage than good.

And while it hasn't hit the numbers for top posts over the year, a recent post that I wrote is viewed rather often too:

9 Steps to Become a Morning Person

Facebook has been my top referring site- so PLEASE- if you follow me on Facebook be sure to SHARE  your favorite posts and bring more tot he site.  If you don't follow me on Facebook and would like to -  there's a handy little follow button in the column on your right!!!

My personal favorite of the recent months though was this one:  Answer the Phone

Here's some photo highlights of my life this year! (I love looking over photos!)

Sleeping With Blankie...an every night occurrence.
Sleeping With Blankie...an every night occurrence.

2014-11-03 18.47.47

wpid-img_20141018_152508_738.jpg

Greg's Wedding3

 

wpid-img_20141012_180845_509.jpg

This is Maggie.  :)   She is a bit frisky and adventurous when not sleeping!
This is Maggie. 🙂 She is a bit frisky and adventurous when not sleeping!

 

Overall, it's been a good year.  I certainly didn't include everything in this very brief synopsis as my time to write today is short and , well.....

Now it's time to PLAN!

I want the blog to do better and I'm looking for feedback!  So please take a few minutes if you can and let me know-

What do you like reading here?  What are your favorite topics?  Why did you choose to follow this blog and what keeps you coming back?  I'd love to hear so I can keep those thoughts in consideration as I make some plans and changes in the upcoming months!

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I've realized over the past few weeks of reading, self-observation and observation of others, that there is certainly more than one way to experience being "unglued".  I think when I read the book the first time, I only considered my, well - full tilt 'explosions' so to speak.... the yelling & screaming moments.  Or the tearful moments (um, usually accompanied by the yelling).

But really, there's a lot of ways that we experience or display 'becoming unglued' isn't there?

  • yelling
  • screaming
  • cursing
  • crying
  • slamming doors
  • throwing objects
  • grumpy  or snarky responses to others
  • shutting down and not doing ANYTHING
  • overeating/stress eating
  • quietly (but angrily) withdrawing from others
  • blaming
  • etc.

Really, this IS  covered in Lysa Terkeurst's  book.  But I think I sort of glossed over the other things the first time because I so heavily associated myself with the 'exploder', it was really the only part I focused on.  The only thing I worked on.  Now I realize I need to look at it all.  Because all of those other things precede the explosion.

Lysa specifies 4 categories of unglued reactions -

  • The Exploders who Shame Themselves -  (my book has a LOT of underlined and highlighted lines and comments in the margins in the chapter covering this one - another sign that I so closely identified with this the most)
  • The Exploders who Blame Others
  • The Stuffers who Build Barriers
  • The Stuffers who Collect Retaliation Rocks

I remembered that there were various categories and that I had identified with all of them but it was the first one that really stuck.  But really I'm getting ahead of myself.  I haven't even re-read all of chapter 2 yet, let alone chapter 3 where she discusses these categories.  But in rereading chapter 1 and 3, watching the videos and making observations of myself and those around me, I found myself looking ahead at my old notes and thinking, "Oh yes, now it's all coming together...I can see clearly now".   And now what I need to do is stay focused on making it better and asking for and accepting God's mercy and grace in doing that.  And accepting imperfect progress. That's the hard part.

But I AM MAKING PROGRESS.

I'm recognizing again the signals in my body and the circumstances that bring it about. I recognize the tightness in my chest and muscles, the agitation growing within and my breathing patterns.

And I know, after completing session one on the video and the workbook, what my absolute biggest triggers are. They weren't surprises, but they reconfirmed what I need to do  to avoid the triggers and that I need to speak up for myself in trying to make those closest to me understand these needs. NOT that I feel others are responsible for whether my triggers occur - but if they understand, it has the potential to help.  So here they are:

  • SLEEP  - I can say with absolute assurity that my biggest explosions are closely associated with the amount of sleep I've had.  This is better than it used to be, but there are still nights I have insomnia for one reason or another, and it really has an effect on my mood and ability to handle stress.
  • HUNGER -  I can say with just as much assurity that hunger is equal to sleep in relation to my explosions. Now that we primarily use the paleo diet, I do so much better with this issue. While  I can now usually (not always)  go for longer periods of time without eating and don't always have to have major meals by a certain time,  I do know that eating well-balanced meals in a timely fashion really do affect my ability to handle day-to-day life stuff well.
  • NOISE - I like the quiet. I really do.  And soothing sounds like the breeze, songbirds, ocean waves, and low volume soft music.  Put me in a loud situation and I'm stressed.  Does that always make me unglued? No.  I can handle football games, loud rock music coming from my daughter's bedroom, a concert - but mix it with the other factors that I've mentioned or in a stressful time or event?  yeah, not so much.
  • TOO MUCH GOING ON AT ONCE - The mornings are bad....  I'm usually hungry and trying to keep up with my morning routine to get the day off smoothly and I panic if I'm behind.  Add an unexpected phone call, the dog getting sick, my child not being able to find shoes and needing to get somewhere that's on my list of things to do that day and it gets hairy.  Throw in someone asking me to do something extra  or having a computer or some other technology problem and well, I'm not always the most patient. Mornings of course, aren't the only time for this.  The week we moved was crazy.... unexpected problem after unexpected problem on top of needing to cook in a unpacked disorganized kitchen, handling phone calls on top of phone calls, meeting the needs of my youngest and older son, finding things for everyone  - well, there was a lot going on and it's a miracle I still have hair. It's a miracle there's any glue left.
  • INTERRUPTIONS - This is less likely to be a trigger if the other ones aren't occurring, but one I really need to stay aware of and work on. It can be the smallest thing for me too.  Example:

I'm here at the computer, in the middle of a great train of thought, really getting the words out and, "Mommy I need to go potty."  (He's 4, why is he telling me this?)

"Okay dear, go ahead." I go back to the keyboard.

"Which one should I go to?" (We have three bathrooms and he's in this phase where he seems to need me to tell him which one to use)

"Uh, it doesn't matter. Just pick one."

"Tell me which one!" he yells, which I find annoying when I'm trying to get something done, you know?  Actually I find it annoying anytime.

"Yours." I answer in a huffy voice.  "Go use yours."  (It's not his, but he identifies it as his as it's the main bathroom that he uses most often and where the bathtub is that he uses.

"No- K_____ is there!"  (his brother).  Ugh.  I rub my temple.  The tension is building within me.

"Just use the middle bathroom then."

"Ok."

But  now my focus is gone. Did I scream?  No.  But inside I am unglued and I have let this interruption ruin my focus and my mood is on edge for several minutes, sometimes longer paving the way for another interruption to totally set me off.  I really need to find a better way to handle little interruptions.  I really need to learn to call upon God even in these small situations.  I need to learn to call upon God in all situations.

So these are the main things I have learned thus far in my journey of raw emotions and making wise choices while going through them. I have recognized my biggest triggers and in what ways (there are many - my list above only scratches the surface really) I become unglued.

And I've realized I've left God out of these situations.  Rarely do I call upon Him until the situation is so totally blown out of proportion that I see no way to crawl out of the hole. Then I cry out to Him.  THEN I get down on bended knee and ask Him for His hand. Why do I wait until then???  Why, when I first feel those physical changes in my body, or when I realize the triggers ar occurring,don't I reach out to Him then?  That, I believe, will be my first biggest step for true progress.

I believe He has led me to this journey.  The books that I've chosen (see my first original post on this subject) and others I have recently stumbled upon are seeming to be gifts of grace sent by Him.  I must listen and follow.

Please join me.   Share your own thoughts.

How do you experience being "Unglued"?

What are your TRIGGERS?

 

 

 

 

 

6

I am .

I'm going to Vegas.

It's not my ideal vision of a grand vacation, but you know what?  I am really excited.  Not because it's Vegas though, but because I'm getting away with my husband!  He is after all, number one in my life after God and we deserve some time together. Needless to say, I'm also wrapped up in guilt at the thought of leaving the kids for several days - but they will be well taken care of by very loving people whom we trust - so I'm trying desperately NOT to let my 'mother brain' take over my 'I gotta get away with you NOW brain'!

We can do/afford Vegas because my husband is attending a conference there.  Now before you go and say, "well what kind of vacation is that if your husband is going to be at a conference half the days?" let me remind you I am a stay-at- home, homeschool mom who wants to be is a writer!!!!  This is a dream! 

Not only am I going to be able to spend the weekend with him uninterrupted, but I get to spend several days curled up in a hotel room by myself with a book, paper and lots of sharpened pencils and my computer to just READ READ READ and WRITE WRITE WRITE !  AND  I get to spend the evenings with the man of my dreams!  It doesn't get better than that.... I'll TAKE IT!  (although a nice sandy beach on a tropical island or a cabin deep in the woods might be a better selection for next time-just a little hint and a wink to that sweet man).

And if that isn't enough - that man of my dreams is fulfilling a childhood dream as well.  He's bought us tickets to go see Donny and Marie Osmond while we are there.  Wow!  I know, some of you may think - "Really?" - But yeah....  I totally fell in love with Donny and Marie Osmond back in 1976.  I was in second grade.  I LOVED that show.  I still remember the pure excitement I had in just receiving a Donny and Marie T-shirt for Christmas one year....and the horrors of it turning green in the wash....  🙁    I actually met Marie Osmond and her brother Jay - in a Pizza Hut of all places in Provo Utah (I actually lived in Heber City Utah for a couple of years as a child).  I was thrilled to get her autograph (Jays too although at the time I had no idea who he was...lol).  I lost the autograph.  🙁   And I never got the chance to see the show live though I lived rather close.  But now I DO get to see them!!!!  I'm so excited.  And so appreciative because I know only my husband would really get that this makes me so happy and love me enough to do it!  (Love you sweetheart!!)

I'm not sure what else we'll do in Vegas.  We're not the gambling type but we may go wild and spend $10 on a slot machine.  LOL

We are considering renting a car and going to see the Hoover Dam .

As I searched Bing and Google for a picture I could share, I noticed the bridge and now I'm thinking, "Do I have to cross THAT thing??"..... yikes.  My older kids, if they know about this, are probably taking bets on whether I'll chicken out or not....  yeah - my kids - they love to remind me how far up we are when I'm going over a bridge - they apparently like the color of snow white on my skin.....   what love.

I'm not sure what else we will do in the Vegas area or where we will eat!  Not only do we need to find Paleo, but remember, we can't do the artificial stuff and I'm nervous that some restaurants may understand Paleo but that doesn't mean they won't add any artificial stuff that would cause reactions....  but it's Vegas, right?  Surely we can at least find a nice steak and a baked potato and plain salad if nothing else, right?  Are their Chipotle's out there?  I know there's a Whole Foods...several in fact, in the city.  So we will find something!  But if any of my Paleo readers have been there and want to give hints, I'm all ears!

Well, it's time to start thinking about what to pack - clothes and also food for the plane.  If I recall - we can do snacks as long as they are wrapped in store-bought wrappers....like RX bars, beef jerky, Lara bars.... because I'm sure we can't eat what's on the plane and it will be a long journey (6 hours plus a layover...somewhere?)

I'll be sure to post all about the trip when it happens!

 

 

2

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I put two and two together that my son's chemistry lab was letting out early.  I realized that I'd be home before my faithful friend would be done cleaning (she started out as a neighbor who agreed to do my house-cleaning when I was looking for help five years ago and has turned into a great friend) which meant, if she agreed, I could leave my little one home with her and have an entire hour to MYSELF!!!!  WOOT!  She agreed, of course (she and my little guy seem to have quite an attachment) and I was happy as a lark sitting back in my van with my bag of books, notebook and a pencil.

I took my books that I've been reading - the two that I mentioned in my previous post - and a couple of others in addition to the new cookbook (cookbooks are an addiction of mine) that I just received the other day!  I actually managed to read for about 15 minutes from the book on the Charlotte Mason method as well as read a bit from chapter 16 of the Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook and worked on some goal planning.  Chapter 16 is on Time Management and what the book has covered so far in my reading is on setting priorities and setting goals with those priorities. So currently I'm working on that list of priorities and making some long-term (life) goals as well as some medium term (something I can accomplish in one to five years) goals.  I'll get to short-term soon, I'm sure.

After I worked on that for a bit, I peeked at the cookbook.

What made me buy this one is the author's menu plans.  She actually included menu plans for at least 7 weeks and included the grocery shopping lists for each week!  That's one of my goals - to develop a few easy week menu plans so that if I simply don't have time to plan I can just grab a menu and an already made up shopping list and GO....  no stress of trying to figure out what can be made on days I don't have a lot of time.  This would have been nice to have during the week of our big move - as it was, we fell to take-out from so local restaurants that have gluten-free options, but certainly not paleo.  My digestive system is still a little upset with me 🙁  So I'll be playing around with some new recipes soon!  And working on more goal planning....

So now I'm feeling a little more invigorated and even found time to post today which wasn't even in my plans!  So I hope you enjoy this little update as much as I enjoyed finding a few moments to write it up!

Have you had any unexpected but pleasant surprises today?

I've been making some really good cabbage.  Both in terms of the slang word for money and the Brassica family.  🙂

I've been selling lots of things on a local Facebook page for online garage sales.  So far I have decluttered my home of videos, unused wii games, baby toys, games, a keyboard, various books, and a few kitchen items and cookbooks and I've been saving that cabbage to go towards purchases for the new house.  (Closing Date Coming Soon!)

In other parts of my kitchen, I've been making cabbage that is good enough to eat (even by my son who used to turn up his nose at the stuff).  I used to make fried cabbage about once or twice a summer simply because my husband and I loved it.  Secondly, because cabbage is really cheap for a meal (thus saving the other kind of cabbage).  But my kids complained and I hate complaining and just avoided making it at other times - except my cabbage casserole because- well- that's really good.

Now I found a way to make fried cabbage so I have one less complainer.  I thank Sarah Fragoso for this one as I found the base recipe in her Everyday Paleo Cookbook.  It's a great cookbook and well worth every piece of cabbage I spent on it.  🙂  Here's my version which is very close to Sarah's.

recipe title="Great Fried Cabbage" servings="5-6"  time="45 minutes"  difficulty="easy"]

  • 1 package nitrate/nitrite free uncured bacon, preferably organic
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded in food processor or chopped by hand
  • 1 medium to large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:   Cut bacon with kitchen shears into pieces about 2 inches long.  Brown bacon with onion s in large skillet.  Remove bacon and onions from pan (NOT the yummy bacon grease!) and set aside.  Add the chopped cabbage to the hot skillet and stir it around the grease for about 4 minutes, allowing the cabbage to wilt slightly.  Add vinegar, chicken broth, mustard, salt and pepper.  Mix Well.  Allow to simmer on medium heat for ten minutes.  Add the bacon and onion mixture. Allow to simmer for another ten minutes.

This dish is great by itself (just use an extra big cabbage) or is also really good served with pork chops and/or sweet potatoes.

[/recipe]