Getting back in shape. Again. Last year at this time I was at the heaviest I had ever been. 2011 was a shitty year and I ate my feelings, smooshing away the grief I felt over losing mom. I didn’t care. I ate and ate and ate, half knowing that after the new year I would go on Weight Watchers and get back into shape. And that’s what happened. I think that the highest amount I lost this year was 40 pounds. It didn’t stick, not all of it; I gained back about half of that when I tired of the program and not feeling like I could eat…well, anything. But what really made me happy was just getting off that unnatural grief weight. I am happy that I started exercising AND kept exercising. Now it is part of the routine of life, I do it several times a week and it feels so good.
I am happy that I feel like I found my natural weight too. It may not be “skinny”, or the weight I was when I was 25, or what the charts say I’m “supposed” to weigh, but it’s what my body naturally goes back to every time. After I go off every diet, after I lose all the baby weight after birth, this is the weight my body bounces back to. I’m not going to fight it anymore; I’m happy with the number, how I look, and the feeling I have –so good for me! I think what I’m going to do this time, instead of a diet or Weight Watchers, I'm just going to eat healthily and exercise. I’m pretty much doing that anyway so it’s not big stretch, AND it’s better for my psyche, and better for my kids to see their mama eating good food like it’s no big deal.
|Brennan and I ran a 5k last summer!|
Going to the YMCA. I am a huge fan of the Y. At first we were going to the Bellevue YMCA and it was pretty good. The facilities were pretty good, but the childcare was only so so. I didn’t know it at the time, but the Northshore Y in Bothell is so much better! We went there this summer when the Bellevue facility was shut for yearly maintenance for the week. We never went back to the Bellevue Y. The Northshore children’s area is SO GOOD! They have so many caring teachers in the child’s area, just milling around, playing with the kids, doing crafts with them—the other place only had one mean lady and Megan hated it there. Now both kids look forward to going and I love it because they do, and I can get a break and exercise while the kids get their goof out.
|Megan and Finn running around the YMCA in their Halloween costumes|
Getting my tattoo! This design was on my mom’s shoulder and last January Sherri and I each got one of our own. Sherri’s is on her calf and mine is on my wrist. I love my fairy butterfly lady, and each time I see it I think of my mom.
|Right after I got my tattoo--it's still a little swollen|
Megan starting preschool! She loves it! Now, it started out a little rough, what with there being rules that Megan didn’t understand, and new teachers to enforce those rules—so time outs were had….but I think she’s found her stride. She loves the class, her little friends, the crafts she makes, the little songs they learn. I’m happy because she is happy.
Hawaii! How could I not be happy about going to Hawaii for a week in June? It was fabulous! We relaxed, we played, we did sand and surf-type things, we bonded as a family, and we created some lovely memories. My favorite moments were sitting in our living room after the kids went to bed and talking with Brennan, my dad and sister Sherri. It was terrific.
|Don't I look relaxed?|
Finding my happiness again (or for the first time, depending on how you look at it). I had been in pretty sad shape after my mom died. It felt miraculous when this happened, but it did and so far I’ve actually been able to maintain quite a bit of that happiness. I think it’s helped that every day I try to write “things that made me happy in the last 24 hours” posts on Facebook. My friend Tatiana inspired me to do this and it really helps to stop and recognize the small things that add up to a good day. Believe me, I could spend all day complaining about something, but it’s the choice to acknowledge the happy things that makes a difference.
Having my dad over for dinner once a week. We have made it a habit to have my dad come over on Wednesday evenings and share a meal. The kids love having their grandpa to play with and I love the company and the help. We eat dinner and after the kids go to bed, Brennan, dad and I have a super good, deep talk. It refreshes my outlook on life every single week! And on that same note, I’m so happy that my dad and I have developed such a good relationship. It was good before mom died, but it was different. Mom was always the focus. Now that’s she’s gone, dad and I have done some good bonding. So that’s nice.
|Me and Dad|
Having all kinds of wonderful help from my sister Sherri. She is the most selfless person I know, and I don't think I'd make it from week to week without her love and support.
|Sherri LOVES Finn and Megan so much! She's a great aunt|
Writing. I am happy that I started this blog. I sort of hid out from it during the holidays, but I’m back. I want to keep writing at least once a week. It’s been a real pleasure to share parts of myself on here. I have also been happy about developing (but not yet writing) a new story. I think this year I’m going to find more time to write it out.
Spending another year with my love—Brennan O’Reilly. He is my family and my best friend. We have raised us up some good kids, created multiple blessings, some amazing feats of abundance, and we’ve somehow managed, in the end, to do so with good humor. I love him.
|What an amazing family!|