Friday, June 15, 2012

Tattooed Momma Update

It has been awhile since I have given you a tattoo momma update. And since I did get a new tattoo a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was time. (And, also, I promised my favorite tattoo artist that I would share a tidbit of advice.)

When I started this sleeve project a couple of years back, I wanted the "live simply" on my wrist and then simple butterflies around it. Doug (said amazing tattoo artist) was not a fan of the simple butterfly outlines I wanted- he wanted more detail and for me to go bigger- he warned me that I would be back to change it.

...and, of course, because he is an amazing artist who knows his stuff... he was right. I went back and asked for more detail on the butterflies....

(red is sharpie- not tattoo!)

But after he did such amazing work and detail on my upper arm:

The wrist just did not seem to match. And so I sheepishly begged him to just cover the original butterflies with a bigger, better, more detailed version:

And of course, it is amazing and I LOVE it! He added detail to one small butterfly and completely covered the other two.

But, in the midst of a tattoo, I promised that I would tell everyone I know that you should listen to your tattoo artist. If you choose an artist wisely, they will know what they are doing and work with you to create something that is just perfect for you.

The artiste himself as work:

Yes, I love him. He rocks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Project 10: Week One

Week one and I was not entirely successful. My goal was to work out 6 times in 7 days, and I did not reach that goal.  I do have an excuse... because we all need to use excuses... right???

I have been working out regularly for 2 months. Regularly, but not enough. I only work out 2-3 times per week and do not get nearly enough exercise the rest of those days to consider myself a fit person. So, after my post last week and committing to work out 6 times, my fitness studio informed me that my regular Friday night and Saturday morning classes were cancelled! And she NEVER cancels.

So, I learned a lesson: you need a backup plan. And because I did not want excuses to get in my way, I came up with that plan.

I work out twice per week doing circuit training at the fitness studio (and also at the studio twice per week doing Zumba). I have come to really love the circuit training. While the Zumba is fun and keeps my heart pumping, the circuit training is where I really see and feel a difference in my body.

These are the workouts that I really want to concentrate on, but unfortunately life just gets in the way sometimes where I can not get to the studio. My husband is running late from work, I have to work, there is a chorus recital, there is a dance recital... yada, yada, yada.

And this is where I created my backup plan. I needed to be able to set up a circuit at home for days I could not make it to the studio. I spent 2 days online researching my favorite circuit exercises. I created cards to lay out at stations for myself:

Circuit training works with very little equipment, so I made sure to pick exercises that only utilized the equipment that I already owned:

I then downloaded an app for my iPhone and iPad that would play my music and guide me through my own workout with audible commands: Circuit Timer by Vova Galchenko.

And, voila... no more excuses. I am now set up to do my circuit training at home if I need to.

You may be wondering why I don't just do my circuit training at home all the time. Well, let's just say I am not a self-motivator. If my wonderful friend, Tina, pulls into my driveway to pick me up to go workout... I am going. If I am looking at pile of laundry, a fridge of cold beer, a computer screen... and whatever other distractions I have at home, the chances are WAY less likely that I will go change into my sweats and start working out. 

Now go visit all the other wonderful ladies progressing through Project 10 and see if you can learn any tips from them....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project 10

So, after my rant on fitness last Thursday, I have found a bandwagon that I can really get behind. I have decided to join some great ladies on their journey with Project 10.  This is simply a 10 week journey to fitness. The host, Stephanie describes it like this:

Each Wednesday morning I will publish a link-up post. Participants will share 1-3 posts they've written the previous week pertaining to weight loss or fitness. We will share our: successes and struggles, favorite recipes, favorite apps and websites for fitness/nutrition/recipes, exercise routines and products, and, of course, our before/after photos.

It's easy peasy and a great way for me to set a goal and be held accountable. So here goes... my before photo:

Now, as far as my goals. I do not need to lose any weight. I am well within the healthy range for a 5'9" woman. But I would LOVE to rearrange my weight. When you are young, you just think pregnancy will make you fat- nobody prepares you for the worse fate... your body simply changes. Weight can be lost- but i fear some of these changes will never be reversed. My boobs for instance, I spent 24 years as a AA cup.... VERY small. And then after baby #1, they were left a bit bigger (Yay). And then after baby #2, I lost them again (damn it!) and then after baby #3, they have reappeared (this change I would like to keep!) But there are other changes (like my belly) that can go!

Anyhow, my goals... I need to be able to put my wedding rings back on! I wore my rings at the same size for 9 years... and then this year... I think they shrunk. But I really want to wear them again without having to resize them.

I will not be taking my measurements nor posting them. That is just dangerous for me. I do not want to obsess and I do not want my daughters to see me obsessing. But I will know I am where I want to be when I get those damn rings on!

My next goal is to be fit enough to hike Mt. Washington in a few weeks with my hubby for our 10 year anniversary. I have not hiked something that strenuous in years!  Yikes!

To achieve these goals for me can mean only one thing- working out. I already eat healthy and do not care to give up any small treats (it's summer, hello ice cream!), but I can find time to work out at least 6 days a week. For me that will be Zumba twice and circuit training 4 times. I also may sub Wii Fit or hula hooping when I want to get my girls involved. I think exercising 6 times per week is completely doable. I just need to get off my lazy bum and do it. If I can't make it to the fitness studio, then I will make the time at home with my girls. They love to exercise with me, so I really have no excuse.

A couple small changes I need to make as well is drink way more water and less beer. It's that damn high-calorie (but oh so yummy) dark beer I drink that has shrunk that wedding ring of mine. And I know I need more water, it's just a habit I need to get into... ASAP.

So, here I go. You get to hear about this for the next 10 weeks. If you want some inspiration, go visit the other Mommas on their journey. I have a feeling the more people watching us, the more accountable we will be.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In my grandmothers words...

With a visit to my mother this past weekend, I was able to get a glimpse of a journal my grandmother had written in. It was actually a journal that my mother had given to my grandmother to fill out before she passed away. 
It is one of those journals that asks great questions like, "Describe your childhood bedroom." "How did you meet your husband?" Things that are so fun to learn about your family and to pass on for generations. I am so glad that my grandmother answered a lot of these questions, because I learned a lot about her and my daughters will be able to learn a lot about her... as will their children. It is a priceless heirloom.

I love seeing my grandmothers handwriting and seeing that her answers mirror my own (and my mothers... and my daughters'!) This questions was, "What was your favorite pastime as a child? Did you prefer doing it alone or with someone else?"

She answered, "Laying out on a hot summer day looking up at the blue sky and dreaming of things I'd like to do or be. I always dreamed of living on a farm with lots of animals and a swimming hole for hot days. Yes I preferred being alone with my thoughts and dreams. I loved playing with my dog, (Skip) a Belgiun Shepherd and also my neighbors dog, Lady, a Spaniel. " (Can you believe she not only recalled her own dog, but the names of her neighbor dogs???) "Sometimes playing with my neighbor, Bea Beavers kids. Wintertime going sledding on Main Street. Summer going on hare and hound chases (I do believe this was a game and not my grandmother hunting down bunny rabbits.), and hanging May Baskets, etc. Having my school friends over to play or do homework"

It is so great that she dreamt of living on a farm. My mother does now live on a farm (sans animals), I would LOVE to own a farm (although my fantasy has several shirtless, tanned, glistening farmhands... but I digress...) And when we ask any one of our daughters where they want to live when they grown up... all will excitedly answer on a farm with lots of animals.

Anyhow, what I am here to tell you is GET A JOURNAL! Give your mother, father, grandparents one of these great journals so that they can start a tradition. Get these stories on paper before it is too late. I think our generation is lucky where we live on social media and our children will certainly have more of a window into our lives than previous generations... but nothing is like opening a real book with your Momma's real handwriting and letting yourself into her life from the very beginning... before you even existed.

I actually have one of these journals that my mother gave to me... and now I have the impetus to find it and start filling it out. I want my children (and my children's children) to be able to look back and learn things about me that cannot be found at the Vital Records office. Things that will be forgotten about my life if they are not recorded and cherished.

I will leave you with my favorite quote from my grandmother... one I have shared with my girls and I hope the live up to and pass on as well:

Recall for me some of the most important lessons you have learned in life:
"The most important lesson I have learned in life is to love others and don't cause them pain. Be the best you can and try to do the right thing for every ones sake."

I love you, Grammie! Thank you for the words... the love... and the lessons.