Monday, March 31, 2014

One Little Word {Commit}

"Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do 
long after the mood you said it in has left you."  --Trent Shelton

Hi Friends,

Month three of "commit" is done.  Overall, I think March went better than February.  I'm still finding "commit" to be an extremely challenging word.  The hardest part is the fact that it's so black & white (or maybe that's the easiest part?).  The best part about March was all the dedicated and deliberate one-on-one John time.  He frequently reminded me that it was "John month."  : )

Here's how I did in March:

1.  This month I want to focus on John.  I'd like to find some intentional one-on-one time with him each week in March.  Yes!!  We had several dates this month and it was awesome!  John loved "John Month".  I'm sure he will be sorry to see it go.  : )
2.  Two full-family game nights in March.  Nope.  :(  I will try this again in April.
3.  Call my parents once a week.  I called and even visited in March.  I need to sneak in a call today to get credit for the last week of March.  : )

1.  Stay strict on the nutrition plan.  Yes.  Except while I was in Chicago and one random Tuesday that it all went out the window for the day.
2.  CrossFit four times a week.  Yes.  Except while I was in Chicago.

1.  Record all expenditures.  Yes
2. Come in under budget.  No

1.  Spend time working on Script School at least an hour each week.  Practice makes better.  No.  Script School went by the wayside this month.  I will get it all back out in April.
2.  Stay current on Project Life.  Yes

Here are my April goals:

1.  After dinner family walks.  It finally (!) looks like spring has arrived in Wisconsin (although we still have a lot of snow in our yard).  We took our first after dinner family walk last night, and it was awesome.  Buster is completely worn out today, but he loved ever minute of yesterday's walk. 
2.  Two family game nights.  I really want to make this happen this month.

1.  CrossFit four times per week.
2.  Eat clean.
3.  Sign up for a yoga class with John.

1.  Record all expenditures.
2.  Come in on budget.

1.  Make big progress on Mom and Dad's photo albums.
2. Host two creative get-togethers.

Every time I write out my monthly goals I feel positive that they are completely attainable.  I'm shooting for 100% in April. Wish me luck!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Feeling Grateful {Thoughts on 14.5}

Hi Friends,

Real conversation with the Starbucks barista* this morning:

Him:  How's your day going so far?
Me:  Awesome!  I've already got my workout in, so the day is off to a great start!
Him:  Oh, that's great!  Where do you workout, across the street?  
Me:  No, I workout at CrossFit over on the west side of Appleton.
Him:  Huh. I've heard that's pretty intense.
Me:  It sure is, but I love it.
Him:  I don't know much about CrossFit, but I do know that people who do it tend to get really into it.
Me:  That's because it's awesome!

I don't write about CrossFit too much, because I am afraid of being one of those people who writes about CrossFit too much.  The truth is, though, that the reason that CrossFitters talk about CrossFit so much is because it is more than just a place to workout.  It really is awesome.   Believe me, I have tried it all.  I have worked out in expensive private gyms and at the local YMCA.  I've taken spin classes and step aerobics, yoga and body sculpt.  I've worked out one-on-one with a private trainer and in huge groups.  In all of those years of working out, I have never, ever, worked out in a more supportive environment than CrossFit Appleton.  Is it scary?  Heck, yeah.  Has it made me cry? You better believe it.  Are there people who are more fit than me?  Yup, most of them are. But you know what?  Every single one of those super-fit people wants me to succeed.  Every single one of those people knows my name, and they all know when I've accomplished a new goal.  Even on the days where the WOD (workout of the day) beats me up, or is filled with things I can't do yet, I still leave the box feeling proud.  It's like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Today, every single CrossFit athlete around the world did the same WOD, 14.5:


MEN - includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
95-lb. thrusters
WOMEN - includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters

Want to see what that looks like?  You can check out a demonstration here.  

This morning when I looked at 14.5, my heart sank.  I knew it was going to be tough:  138 burpees is the stuff my nightmares are made of.  Seriously.  Burpees are my nemesis.  The first time I ever cried at CrossFit involved not being able to complete 50 burpees.  My lower back hurts for days after I do burpees.   I looked at that workout and considered just going back to bed. I was still in my jammies when I got this text from my friend, Autumn:

"Girlfriend r u ready for this one?!!!  Boom!  Bring it on!!"

I'm not going to lie--I seriously considered lying to her and telling her I was sick, but her enthusiasm and belief in me helped get me to the box.  After warm up and lifting, it was time to start 14.5.  By this point, I was pretty much freaking out about those 138 burpees.  I talked it over with my coach, Marie, and we decided I would do ab mat sit ups instead.  I would still be working my core, but my lower back would be protected.  Here's what I have to say about 14.5:  even with the modification, it was hard.  138 thrusters is a whole lot of thrusters.  One hundred and thirty eight sit ups is a lot too, but not nearly as hard as 138 burpees. Once I finished getting through the whole set (sit ups are much faster than burpees), I had time to watch and cheer on those who were still working.  My friend, Autumn, got through the whole WOD (burpees and all) perfectly.  It was incredibly inspiring.  Once she was done, I cheered on Kyle and then Nick.  Each and every person in the box got through 14.5 and all those burpees.  It was awesome.

Even without all those burpees, I left today's workout proud of what I had accomplished.  I left feeling inspired and confident that I would be able to do 138 burpees--someday.  I feel so grateful for what I have already learned how to do.  I am stronger, and I love working out again.  The beauty of CrossFit is that it's never going to be easy, but I will see progress, and every step along the way, I will have a whole bunch of awesome people cheering me on.  CrossFit Appleton is a pretty magical place.  

Three years ago, I had major foot surgery.  I had a plate and a screw put into my left foot. I had part of a bone removed.  I had pins sticking out of two different areas of my foot.   I was on crutches for 8 weeks, and it was months before the swelling and pain went away.  

Today I did a modified 14.5.  

I am so grateful to be where I am today.  I am so grateful for CrossFit Appleton.



PS  Here is a post I wrote 3 years ago tomorrow.  For those of you who aren't aware, Buster and I had surgery in the same week of March 2011.   Buster tore the dog equivalent of his ACL in his back left leg and had to have a plate put in.  (Yes--we were both pretty much total messes in March of 2011).

On Jumping and Showers//Buster Update

MARCH 29, 2011
Buster jumped over Jack’s red beanbag chair this morning.
He just sailed right on over it, no problem.
Is it wrong that I’m jealous of the fact that Buster can already jump?
Not that he’s supposed to be jumping yet.
He didn’t ask or anything, he just did it.
In general, he’s been very good during his recovery period.
Taking it easy and all.
Since we removed his cone, he’s left his incision completely alone (thank goodness!).
And he’s not even limping anymore (yahoo!).
These are good things.
But watching him clear that beanbag chair this morning really got to me.
It’s just that it doesn't seem fair that he can already take long daily walks and jump over beanbag chairs,
and I’m still using my crutches.
I want to jump, too.
(Okay, that’s a total lie.  I haven’t missed jumping at all).
But I have missed walking–especially up and down stairs.
We have a lot of stairs in our house.
It seems like every single thing I need is either upstairs or downstairs.
But back to Buster, our super dog.
As in:  super-stinky.
We’re waiting until Buster’s final x-rays are taken in two weeks before we give him a bath.
And let me tell you;  he definitely needs a bath.
Hey!  Did I tell you that I can now take a shower thanks to my new removable Aircast?
I tell you what:  showering is one of life’s most taken-for-granted pleasures.
Showering ROCKS!
I will gladly crawl up and down the stairs to take a shower.
Which is something Buster can’t do.
I’ll take a good shower over a jump over a beanbag chair any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The truth is, someone could probably take Buster to the doggie wash and give him a bath,
but it’s kind of my job and it’s definitely something I can’t manage on one leg.
The good news is we’re both closing in on week #6,
which means it won’t be long until I can take my favorite dog over to the doggie wash for a big, ‘ole bath.
Just two more weeks until I get the go-ahead to ditch the crutches!
And once I do, you better believe I’ll be jumping up and down for JOY
(just probably not over Jack’s red beanbag chair).  : )


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workspace Wednesday

 Hi Friends,

This week's Workspace Wednesday is brought to you by my friend, Tricia, the goddess behind Club Scrap. Tricia invited me to be her guest next weekend at Fort Wilderness.  We will spend the entire weekend creating, and scraping, and relaxing in the woods.  I am beyond excited!  I'm so excited, in fact, that I've already started to pack my "to go" box.  It's been a long time since I've scrapped anywhere except my craft room, and I want to make sure I bring everything I might need.
 I want to take full advantage of this creative time.  My plan is to finish up last year's Project Life album (which fell by the wayside during swim season) and make a whole bunch of progress on mom and dad's heritage albums.
I know I won't be able to bring everything, so I'm thinking a whole bunch of pre-planning is key to next weekend's success. Did I mention how excited I am to get a whole weekend away just to create?!?!

Hooray for crafty friends!



PS  These are totally staged photos for this post.  I'm sure when I pack my box for real, it will be filled-to-the-gills and not quite as photogenic!  : )

Monday, March 24, 2014

30 Lists (Week 3)

Hey There, Friends,

Sorry for the lack of posts last week.  I'm not sure how the week totally got away from me, but I think it might have had something to do with watching every episode of Scandal in the last 7 days (oops!).  I am not a huge TV watcher, but when I find something I like on Netflix, I can't rest until I've watched it all.'s last week's lists.  I can't believe we are already on list #24!  I'm glad I did this challenge this month.  It's been an easy creative outlet for me.

I think my favorite list of this bunch was the Pins to Try.  I tend to pin all sorts of good things on my Pinterest boards, only to promptly forget about them.  It was fun to go back through some of my boards and pick a few to try.  I'll keep you posted on whether or not I actually get around to making any of them!  : )  In the meantime, if you'd like to look at my pins and pick a few to try out on your own, you can find my profile here. 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

30 Lists {Week Two}

 Hi Friends!

I'm still loving this month's 30 Lists challenge!  This week's prompts seemed extra-good.  Here are my lists from days 8-14:
 Last Saturday was Sarah's Dad's memorial service.  I started the day with a bit of creating, then went to the service with John, then we went out on a date.  My feelings were all over the map that day!

And there you have it--seven more lists in the book.  On to week three!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Workspace Wednesday {March 12 Edition}

Hi Friends!

This week's Workspace Wednesday is a little peek at what I look at when I'm sitting at my craft table.  I did a big 'ole clean up last week before Sarah and her family came over.  I decided it was time to change out the wall and shelf behind my table. I rearranged the narrow ledge John made for me and decided to use it to hold my Project Life cards.  I organized them by color and put them right in front of my nose.  I am definitely using them way more now than I did when they were in a box.  When John built the ledge, I also had him widen the shelf above it so it could hold my Project Life albums.  I am thrilled that they are out on a shelf, instead of hidden on a rack.  The metal box holds my stamp collection.  The little album is from 30Lists a few years ago.  John brought me back the cute nesting dolls from Russia last year.  

Maddie gave me that awesome "So Many of My Smiles Begin With You" letterpress print for Christmas, and I knew I wanted to put it up where I could see it all the time.  The walls surrounding this space are pretty crowded, so I knew I wanted to keep this space nice and clean.  I had purchased the "Love" letterpress print from the same artist last summer at the farmer's market and had yet to hang it up.  I knew the two prints would look great together.The 5x7 photograph is one of my favorites of the kids from last summer. 
The little New Year's Resolution print is from this Etsy shop.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.  Emily brought me home the "Girl's Pool" sign when they took the old record board down at the high school.  I love that I have a little part of the pool in my space.  


Each Wednesday in 2014 I will be sharing a glimpse at my work space.  You can see more Workspace Wednesday on Marcy's blog, Hello Forever.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On My Creative "To Do" List

Hi Friends!

I have been seeing so many great DIY's out there lately.  I decided I needed to make a creative "To Do" list and try some of them out.  I love the Typography print above created by Mandi for A Beautiful Mess.  It's all kinds of awesome, and the directions sound super easy.

I also love this banner.  I totally want to make one.  Super cute, right?
And this cool Marquee Letter DIY is something John and I could make together.  Double bonus!

Now I'm off to start planning.  What's on your Creative "To Do" list?


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Color/Colour Challenge {Blue}

 Hi Friends,

I'm wrapping up this cycle of the Color/Colour Challenge with my favorite color to photograph:  blue!  I had so much fun searching out all kinds of different shades of blue.  I found everything from pale, pale robin's egg blue to rich, vibrant cobalt blue.  I also found some aqua and turquoise, both of which are favorites of mine.

I have decided I am definitely going to keep going with this challenge on my own.  I have gotten used to searching for colors as I go through my week, and I love that I am using my big camera all the time, too.  I am looking forward to seeing how my pictures change through the year as it warms up.   I can't wait to find color outside again.

Want to play along with me this cycle?  Grab your camera and start looking for all things red!  If you do decide to do this with me, please let me know in the comments.  I'd love to see your pictures!



Saturday, March 8, 2014

30 Lists {Week One}

Hi Friends!

I am loving this month's 30 List challenge.  So far the hardest prompt has been "Favorite Fictional Couples." You would think this would be easy for me since I read all the time, but I actually drew a big 'ole blank when I tried to remember my favorite couples from literature.  Here are my first seven lists:

Lists are so much fun, aren't they?  Are you playing along?  Please leave me a link in the comments--I'd love to see your lists!