Grati-Tuesday

Years ago, a friend of mine started a “Gratituesday” post in a group that we’re in, and she has continued it to this day.  I always love commenting what I’m thankful for (when I see it).  I have decided that I will start a “Gratituesday” blog every week!  I do write 3-10 things that I’m thankful for to my sponsor every day, but it’s fun to include pictures and more details, so that’s what this post will be!

Some of these are repeats of a thankful post that I wrote last week, and some of these will repeat each week… but I’ll try to update with new pictures if they do repeat :-).

 

Robert and I decided to buy a pair of shoes for ourselves as a Christmas gift… yes it’s early, but we do that every year.  These are hand painted Toms.  Toms are my favorite shoe, and these are my favorite Toms ever!

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I have been working on creating healthy habits.  The first one is doing the Couch to 5k program again!  I did Day 1 yesterday, and I repeated it today with a good friend of mine.  We’re going to do the program together!  I’m super excited about it.

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I feel like we did a pretty good job for our first time together :-).

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The desire to create life-long habits, one at a time!

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After our run/walk, I decided to take a hike on my own for my mental health and to spend some time in prayer.  I got quite a few steps in and 101 active minutes!

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This is a typical lunch for me when I got to town!  This is cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, Triscuits, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots with hummus.

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Robert made me a healthy lunch today!  It’s lemon pepper flounder with leftover roasted veggies (acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potato, onion, and russet potato).  Yum!  (I also had 2 cookies… because… balance).

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When I don’t have eggs in corn tortillas or oatmeal, I have a green smoothie :-).  This one is frozen banana, frozen kale, frozen berries, almond milk, protein powder (I don’t do THM anymore, but I love their protein powder), and spirulina.

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One of my favorite drinks is Bai with apple cider vinegar.  I also sometimes use sparkling water with apple cider vinegar in it.

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This makes me so happy!  My boys all playing with Legos together :-).

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Levi decided to write this all on his own in his journal! I’ll translate: Turkey, home, parents, and God, world, family, friends, and other people, rain, water, food, pizza, sandwich, donuts, ice cream.

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Ethan wrote these in his journal!  He is growing so much!

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I’m thankful that the month of meals is planned, and I have an organizational system that works for Robert and I.  Most of these meals are things we already have here so it should be a light month on our grocery budget!

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Mulled cider candle!

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The little tree that Robert made last year out of branches.  It’s so fun!

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Christmas books to read as a family!

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My new haircut!!!

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I could probably keep going, but I end it for now!  What are you grateful for today?

My 2016 Thankful Post

I have so much to be thankful for.  Life today is NOT what I imagined it to be at the beginning of the year, but I’m so thankful for the way it has turned out.

Before I get started on the things that I’m thankful for in the world, I want to say that what I am thankful for first is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Without His grace, I would be in a bad spot.  I’m so thankful for who He is and what He has taught me since I trusted in Him as an 11 year old.  I have grown to be more like Him every day, with some mountains and valleys in the process.  I have so much more to learn and so much space to fill between Him and me… One day at a time!  One moment at a time!

I’m thankful for my amazing, supportive husband.  He has been through a lot because of me (between my mental illness including bipolar 2, severe anxiety with obsessive/compulsive traits, and now my addiction).  I have been in the hospital twice for my mental illnesses and in rehab for a full month for my alcoholism.  He has held down the “fort” more times than the normal household.  I have spent so much of our money and credit because of my obsessive/compulsive behaviors.  He has had to take on a lot.  Through my stay in rehab and our experience with Family Week, our marriage has grown so much.  We have gotten in touch with our Love Languages again and have nurtured that.  We communicate better than we ever have.  He has taken leadership in areas that I’ve asked him to take leadership.  He prays for me all the time.  He is amazing, good looking, and everything a wife could hope for.

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My beautiful kids.  They are everything a mama would hope for in kids.  They have their moments, but overall, they are really good kids.  They make good choices most of the time, they love to worship, they love to play outside, they are good friends, they love to play games with me :-), and they love to bake with me.

Karis is creative, loves to read (and reads on an eighth grade level in fifth grade), is messy and disorganized (ha!), is very smart, loves “girl time” with me, bosses her brothers around, and loves Jesus.

Ethan is passionate, spends money like his mama, loves music (he has his uncle’s guitar and a keyboard that was given to us that he wants to learn), loves to worship (mostly with Shane and Shane and Needtobreathe), and LOVES old cars/jeeps/trucks.  He wants to be a mechanic and is already working towards that.

Levi is my baby.  He loves to cuddle, loves electronics and doesn’t like outside very much (but we force him out every day! ha!), loves Christmas like me, loves to play games, is very smart (he reads on a 2nd-3rd grade level in first grade), loves Star Wars, and loves to bake with his mama.

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This beautiful place that we live!  The ability to hike whenever I want, just outside our door (on 1400 acres).

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Our camp family.  There really are no words.  We are beyond blessed to be here.

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Our beautiful little home!  I love it!

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This is the view from our back porch :-).

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I love my little kitchen.

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The kitchen/dining/living is all open-concept.  It’s great for having people over.  It’s small, but it works.  We often have 10-15 people in here at once.

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This tree is one of my favorite things about this house.

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Our little Christmas tree :-).

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This is our bedroom.  Small and cozy.  Bed, books, and lamps.  Pretty quilt.  All the important stuff.

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The kids’ bathroom

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This is Levi’s new room (it was our school room…).

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This is Karis’ room.  It’s very cluttered and packed, but she loves it.  That’s all that matters!

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Ethan’s room.  Full of books, Legos, and musical instruments.

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Here is our Expedition that is now PAID OFF!!  No more car payments!!  I’m so thankful that we’re in a new place financially.  Probably the best we’ve ever been in.  Not that Robert makes a ton (because let’s face it, we’re in camp ministry), but we have a free place to live, free utilities, insurance premiums are paid for, and we get a lot of free food through the year… and now no car payment! We are getting through the next few months of me driving to town 5 days a week (2 1/2 hours of driving a day), then we’ll be able to focus on saving, then paying off credit card debt (again…).

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Our parents!  We would not be where we are without them!  My parents are always there for us when we need them!  They have a fantastic relationship with their grandkids.  They stay with them often!  In fact, when I was in La Hacienda for a month, the kids stayed with them most of that time.  I don’t know what we would have done without them!  My inlaws have helped us out in so many ways over the years… between letting us live with them (twice) and helping us out financially a few times.  They also love their grandkids and always look forward to spending time with them!  We’re headed there this Christmas and we’re all looking forward to it!

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My amazing friends, old and new!  I cannot imagine my life without my friends.  I have so many friends and I’m so blessed and lucky.  Between friends here at camp, friends that we went to church with/hung out with in Frisco, friends from our old camp, friends from old churches, and now friends from La Hacienda.  I have the best friends a girl could ask for.  I am very loved!

La Hacienda!  I would NOT be where I am today without this place.  I have grown to a whole new level from all that I learned there.  I can only imagine where I will be in my future because of La Ha and what I am learning now through AA.

My current and former counselors.  They have taught me so much over the years.  They give me a safe place to share my thoughts and heart.  I am currently doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and I just know that it’s going to change the way I see things.  I’m looking forward to continual growth in this area.

The little things… Yummy smelling seasonal candles, Christmas lights, music (Bethel, JJ Heller, Jenny and Tyler, Crowder, Shane and Shane, etc), fresh baked goods (and the ability to spend time doing the baking), books, coffee, games, my Mac and iPhone :-), Toms and boots, leggings, comfy jeans, t-shirts, flannels, my coffee mugs, Harney and Sons hot tea with raw honey, flowers,  my Bible and Bible studies, the “Big Book” (Alcoholics Anonymous), coloring books, organization, fires in our fire pit, Coke Zero, my “fake Yeti” cup, La Croix, eating mostly healthy (besides my Coke Zero), feeling beautiful and loving myself as is.

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Forming Healthy, Long-term Habits

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I have tried so many diets and ways of eating that I have lost track.  And here I am, at my highest weight and biggest size.  I know how to eat healthy, I just don’t do it consistently.  I also have rarely been consistent with exercise!  It’s all because I haven’t formed habits… I just tried an all or nothing approach.

Yesterday I stumbled across a Facebook group called Healthy Habits Happy Moms.

I’ve been lurking in the group today… watching videos, reading posts, reading comments, etc.

They are NOT an anti-weight loss group.  Weight loss CAN be healthy.  But what they ARE is an anti-diet and anti-extreme exercise group.  They focus on loving your body the way it is.  They focus on self care.  Everything that I’ve been trying to find in one place.

They talk about how it’s healthy to allow yourself to eat “non-healthy” foods in moderation.  Having some chocolate, cake, cookies, etc is not a bad thing.  It can be a good thing!  They are not anti-sugar or carbs or fat.  They feel that all of those fit into a balanced diet.

Their website Healthy Habits Happy Moms says, “We are not about strict meal plans, good and bad food lists, or nutrition and workout dogma.”

This website and Facebook group is a breath of fresh air for me.  For someone who has been struggling with these areas for years, I feel like I might be able to be successful.

A few things that are important: 1) Focusing on a few new habits at a time instead of an all or nothing approach, 2) short, daily exercise, and 3) focusing on self care.

I purchased their HHHM Strength Circuits exercises ($22).

There are 6, 10 minute or less workouts and 5, 20 minute or less workouts.  There is a warm up exercise and a workout calendar included.  The calendar has 3 of the circuit workouts, cardio, recovery, and rest days included.

The new habits that I’m going to start (now) are: 1) Drinking half my body weight in water a day (reducing my Coke Zero intake… shooting for stopping completely over time), 2)  Drinking hot tea and raw honey at night instead of decaf coffee with sugar and flavored creamer, and 3) Working out, starting with 3 days a week, then increasing each week until I work out 6 days a week.

I will continue eating the healthy way I know to eat, allowing myself some “unhealthy” foods some, too.  I will continue taking my supplements (raw whole foods vitamin, cod liver oil, and B12).

I’m super excited and at peace in an area that has been bringing me so much turmoil for years.

Eating on a Budget, My Stockpile, and Upcoming Meal Plan

We are in a time of survival and saving money.  I grocery shopped for the first time since being out of rehab and I was impressed with myself!  I spent $88 and will still need to spend another $50 max… so that’s a total of $138 for 2 weeks.  Not bad!

How am I spending so little on groceries?

  • Mostly store brand
  • Cheap meats
  • Inexpensive meals
  • Bulk snacks vs pre-packed
  • I bake my own bread and most breakfast foods
  • I stock up over time so I don’t have to buy much at once (this is a BIG one… it’s how I make things work!)
  • The kids eat breakfasts and lunches at school for free (but they’ll be home this week!)

A few things that I bought that are NOT “whole foods” but are time and money savers (or they are things we just enjoy!):

  • Pop tarts (mainly for when during the week when the kids eat breakfast at school but need a little something before they get to school… so something I wouldn’t have bought until recently)
  • White cheddar Cheez-its (keeps me from buying snacks in town, and we all love them)
  • Generic saltines (cheap, easy snack for the kids after school)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Ranch packets
  • Onion soup mix

Other things that ARE whole foods that I just bought the cheap versions:

  • Chuck roast
  • Ground beef (2 lbs)
  • Cheese (shredded)
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Spring mix
  • Triscuits (somewhat processed but made with only 3 ingredients!)
  • Canned diced tomatoes (4 cans)
  • Rotel (3 cans generic)
  • Enchilada sauce (made with just a few ingredients)
  • Salsa (I bought Picante Sauce this time)
  • Canned beans (black and pinto)
  • Canned corn (2 cans)
  • Tortilla chips (somewhat processed, but only a few ingredients)

I also bought things like bar soap for Robert, conditioner, some Christmas lights, etc.

The foods that I will still have to buy (in the next 2 weeks):

  • Frozen mixed veggies and broccoli
  • Fresh produce: bananas, grapes, lunch veggies (broccoli, carrots, cucumbers), avocados, celery
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Cage free eggs
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • More Coke Zero

My Stockpile/Foods I Already Had:

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Baking Items, Oils, Sweeteners

Breakfasts

  • Organic toasted O’s
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Puffins
  • Pumpkin steel cut oatmeal (in the refrigerator)
  • Breakfast cookies (almost out… then to make some more!)
  • Organic steel cut oats
  • Organic rolled oats
  • Organic quick oats

Dairy

  • Organic whole milk
  • Half and half
  • Sliced provolone
  • String cheese
  • Tillamook mild cheddar block
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Triple zero yogurt (stevia and chicory root sweetened)
  • Laughing cow cheese

Meats and Eggs

  • Chicken thighs
  • Flounder
  • Salmon
  • Link sausage
  • Pork chops
  • Round steak (I make something call onion steak with this!)
  • New York strip steaks (2)
  • Smoked turkey (Greenburg!)
  • Natural Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
  • Hormel natural lunch meat
  • Cage free eggs
  • Canned tuna

Beverages

  • Bai drinks
  • La Croix sparkling water (berry, peach/pear, and cranberry raspberry)
  • Teas of all kinds (cold brew and hot teas)
  • Coffee (different types… Texas pecan, classic 8 o’clock, and hazelnut water processed decaf)
  • Almond milk

Breads

  • Sprouted bread (Trader Joe’s and Central Market brand… frozen)
  • Homemade whole wheat bread
  • Joseph’s pitas and Lavash bread
  • Corn tortillas
  • Mixed corn/flour tortillas
  • Low carb whole wheat tortillas

Produce

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

Pantry Items/Canned Goods/Snacks

  • Dry pinto beans and black beans
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Hot sauces (Sriracha and Franks)
  • Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • Ramen (we bought it for backpacking but we like it now and then)
  • Organic mac n cheese (3)
  • Canned green beans (2)
  • Organic canned tomato sauce and paste
  • Black bean pasta
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Bragg’s Nutritional yeast (we like it on stove-popped popcorn)
  • Goldfish
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Wasa crackers
  • Organic apple sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar (Braggs!)
  • Amazing balsamic vinegar (made in Santa Fe, NM)
  • Garbanzo beans (canned)
  • THM Protein powder
  • THM peanut flour
  • THM integral collagen
  • Skippy natural peanut butter
  • Stevia Kitchen jellies
  • Polaner jelly
  • Organic canned pumpkin
  • Organic coconut milk (canned)

Frozen

  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen stir fry veggies with sauce

Etc

  • Condiments (Creole mustard, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, olive oil mayo)
  • Dressings

Vitamins/Fish Oil (I already have these on hand… I will only buy them as I can afford it… probably not again until I’m not driving to town every day):

  • Garden of Life Vitamin Code raw whole foods vitamins with probiotics and enzymes (I only take 2 capsules instead of 4 to make them last longer… they’re expensive!)

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The meals that I have planned for the next few weeks:

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwiches on homemade bread
  • Wraps
  • Organic mac n cheese (for kids)
  • Finger foods (lunch meat, cheese, veggies, and sliced fruit)
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots (crockpot)
  • Grilled chicken thighs and veggies
  • Burrito bowls (brown rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, cheese, avocados, and sour cream)
  • Stir fry (sliced pork chops, frozen stir fry veggies and sauce)
  • Onion steak and frozen veggies
  • Baked potato bar
  • Cheese enchilada stacks, beans, and rice
  • Southwestern soup (basically a taco soup with black beans)
  • Smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, and broccoli
  • Turkey pot pie
  • Turkey noodle soup
  • Thanksgiving meal with family
  • Grilled steaks (when the kids are at my parents’)
  • Leftovers!

At this point, I am happy with the balance that I have found.  In the coming months I hope to stop drinking Coke Zero and so much sugar in my coffee… but I’ll get there.  At the moment I’m just surviving!

Being Real

It’s been a long week of struggling to get to sleep and waking up early.  I’ve been in town every single day.  My days are long.  We have had something every evening this week except for Wednesday.  I haven’t had much time to clean my house, and it is a complete disaster.  When I was homeschooling I never would have let that happen!  New life = new priorities (as I’ve talked about before).

I find my new life freeing.  The fact that I can let it go says a lot about how much I have grown.  I mean, we will clean it this weekend, but I’m not freaking out about it.  At the moment I’m sipping my coffee and blogging :-).

Here are some pictures of our disaster:

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Here is the update:

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The kids still have to clean their rooms… but it’s nice to have a clean living area!

Changing My Expectations and Setting Priorities

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Well.  Here we are again.  I had all of these ideas and expectations about what life would look like now, and I’m “not measuring up.”

Robert and I talked this morning and he thinks I need to come up with a few priorities right now and make decisions about life right now (for the next 3 months) based on those priorities.

I wrote a post called Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Emotional Health, and I had all of these lofty ideas that I could pull it all off.  Little did I know that driving every day was going to wear me out.  Lack of finances (because of driving 5 days a week to town and seeing a counselor twice a week) wins out over wanting to eat naturally and all real foods.  Plus just my love for a few things wins out (Coke Zero and pumpkin creamer).  I want to enjoy the little things for now.  I’m giving up something that has been a big part of my life for several years (alcohol), and it’s a powerful thing to give up.  I need to be satisfied with that for now.  I can re-visit wanting to eat all real foods in a few months!  I will continue eating balanced, though.  I love baking so I will eat homemade bread and homemade breakfasts.  I will continue taking my lunch to town, which means I eat healthy lunches.  I also eat healthy dinners mostly (unless we eat in the dining hall).

I will exercise as I have time.  When I have nothing in my afternoons, I’ll have time.  The times that I have lots going on in a day (like yesterday), I will be okay with the fact that I cannot exercise.  Life goes on.

My main goals are sobriety and spiritual/emotional/mental health.  They go hand in hand.  If I have all these goals that I cannot attain, I’m not taking care of my emotional/mental health.  If I exercise and don’t have time to spend time in the word, I’m not taking care of my spiritual health.  I will do the best I can as I get through a hectic 3 months.

Let’s try this again.  Here I go.  I can do this with the Lord’s help.

Crockpot Pumpkin Oatmeal

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I was so excited to find an easy recipe for crockpot pumpkin oatmeal!  I decided, though, that I wanted to change things up a bit, so I’m going to share my changes to the recipe here!

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Here are the ingredients (pictured above):

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup sucanat (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 can pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • coconut oil spray
  1. Spray the crockpot with coconut oil
  2. Mix all wet ingredients with a whisk
  3. Mix in dry ingredients
  4. Pour into crockpot
  5. Cook on low over night
  6. Eat in the morning!

I doubled the recipe and mixed it all up.  I placed some of the liquid into a container and put it in the refrigerator.  I placed the dry ingredients in a bag.  I plan to make it again later in the week.  I prefer it fresh, which is why I didn’t make it all at once.

Breakfast Cookies

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  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cup sucanat (or 3/4 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I use sprouted)
  • 2 cups whole rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Lily’s because they are stevia sweetened)

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  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes
  7. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet before removing.

New Life!

When I went into La Hacienda, I had no idea what was to come!  I went in thinking it would be 30 days out of my life, then I would come home and live the life I was living when I went in.

Little did I know… life was about to change completely.

The day I met with my case manager/counselor for the first time, I realized that I could no longer go on as I was.

She told me the first time we met that she recommends 90 meetings in 90 days.  This includes AA and counseling.  I said, “but I homeschool!”  She said, well however you can make it work, you need to.  The relapse rate is really high in the three months after rehab, so everyone there recommends that.  At that point she told me that sobriety isn’t just rehab then done.  It’s a life-long commitment to AA and working the program.  I felt like someone had ripped my heart out.  But in that moment I knew what I needed to do.

I called Robert and he thought it was great that I was thinking about putting the kids in school.  He said that if they were in school, they could be home instead of at my parents’.  Not that being at my parents’ was a bad thing, but it wasn’t home.  Plus, they weren’t able to do much school there.

It took a few days of me praying through it.  Mostly for my heart to be okay with this huge change.

I called the kids and just asked how they would feel about going to school.  Karis immediately started crying saying she wants to be homeschooled.  The boys were all about it.

I talked with Robert and he reminded me that Karis would be okay if we made the decision to put them in school.  But my mama heart hurt for her.

I continued to pray.

The next day I called to tell them that we were going to put them into school.  Karis was actually *excited*!  Her heart had changed.

And that was that.  They were not going to be homeschooled anymore.

I have since realized that homeschooling was actually driving me to drink more.  It was causing me a ton of anxiety, and I didn’t realize it.  I have been selling curriculum the past few days and it has brought me so much peace!

On another note… something else that is different is how we are approaching Christmas this year!  The kids no longer believe in Santa (which is a huge relief!).  We have decided that we are only buying them four gifts: want, need, wear, read.  When I told them this, Levi got upset that he was only going to received one toy.  I asked him what Christmas is all about, and he told me “Jesus!”  He immediately stopped being upset.  We are not buying gifts for any adults this year, and we are going to give to a family in need instead of buying for our niece and nephew.  Christmas will be about Jesus and family this year!  I’m so excited about that.

We ended up putting our Christmas stuff yesterday!  I know it’s early, but that’s just me :-).  I love Christmas and enjoy celebrating it as long as possible!  It brings me so much peace to have the Christmas tree up with lights and listening to Christmas music.  It reminds me of the beautiful times in my life.  I have always loved Christmas!

My grandpa made this for me the year I got married!  I love it!

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We need some more lights.  We’ll get some more this week.  I can see big holes in the tree :-).

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I moved the coffee table into my room to make room for the tree.  I love all the lamp light in our room!  The shelves were moved in there when we gave the “school room” to Levi as his own room!

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After cleaning out all of the curriculum from our cabinet, I decided to use it for crafts again!  There is also a stack of holiday books.

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On another note… the kids had their first program at school on Friday!  It was for Veteran’s Day!  They had so much fun!

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Our new life is so good!  Tomorrow starts my new routine!  Up early (5:45), get kids ready for school, quiet time and coffee, get ready, leave for counseling appointment at 11, AA at noon, coming home and working out (strength training and hiking), picking the kids up from the bus at the end of our dirt road, homework, dinner in the dining hall (which is becoming less and less this time of year), read aloud and prayer with kids, put them to bed early (7:30), shower, and time with my hubby before an early bed time for me!

I’m Home!

I came home Wednesday (11/9).  It was such a glorious day!  Robert and I went to Kerrville to get my meds, had brunch at Denny’s (pumpkin cream pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hash browns), got a Starbucks drink (Chestnut Praline!), went to meet the kids’ teachers (that went really well!), came home for a while, then picked up the kids from the bus.

Yesterday (Thursday 11/10) was kind of rough, but I made it.  I went to an AA meeting in town and it was terrible.  No one under the age of 60.  One guy was rude and grumpy the whole time… he left when another man said he hasn’t had the desire to drink in 17 years.  The rest of the people were very sweet and welcoming, but I need a group with all ages.  Monday I’m going to a woman’s AA, so that should be good.  I’ve heard great things about it!

After AA, I went to meet with my new sponsor for the first time.  We have talked on the phone, but we had never met.  It was such a great meeting.  I felt connected with her immediately!  She has 7 years of sobriety and she’s a counselor!  She’s younger than me, but she has a lot of maturity because of all that she has learned over the years.  She is very knowledgable, and she is a Christ follower, which is HUGE.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her better, and I know that she will be just what I need to help me stay sober… which is obviously the goal!  I texted her last night because it was rough, and she told me to do some step work, which helped a ton!

On my way home I picked up the kids.  I immediately felt stress when Karis told me she had to do a project all in one evening.

We got home and I went through the boys’ binders… Levi has failed several math pages (because he wasn’t paying attention… he knows how to subtract!) and Karis has failed a math page.  The kids were all stressed out.  Ethan had a meltdown while doing his homework.

Robert came home and did an AWESOME job helping all of them calm down.  But at that point I was already super stressed.

The kids finished their homework (late) and we had yummy hamburgers that Robert grilled.  The kids went to bed early (about 7:45) and Robert let me take a bath.  It was great to help me calm down.

Like I said before, I had texted my sponsor and she told me to do some step work.  So I read about step 3 again.  It’s all about giving over my will and life to the care of God.  I read the third step prayer.  And I prayed specifically.  It was a great reminder that God is in control, and He cares for me.  He will take care of everything if I just surrender it all to Him!  Of course that’s easier said than done… but I have to practice it every day!

Finishing the day reading the Big Book and praying was what I needed to be reminded why it’s so important to surrender when I’m really stressed/anxious.  It worked!  I slept great.  I didn’t wake up till Robert’s alarm went off this morning!

We got up and got the kids ready for school.  They had plenty of time today so it didn’t feel rushed.  We listen to classical Christmas music, have yummy smelling candles lit, and I drink pumpkin/pecan coffee.  It’s a great way to stay the day.  Relaxed.  The kids left for school in a great mood!

This morning they have a Veteran’s Day program at 10, then they will be coming home early at 1:00 because the football team has a playoff game in Cedar Park (near Austin).  In the future, we’ll probably be going to those games.  Karis will most likely be in band!  She has chosen to play the flute like her mama!  She has already started because they have band in fifth grade!  Ethan may play football… but he says he wants to play baseball.  We’ll see!  I’m so happy that the kids have more opportunities now that they are going to school.  It makes the hard days more worth it.

Tonight we are going to watch movies, have stove popped popcorn, and eat in the dining hall (no cooking or clean up!).  I’m so excited that they won’t have homework! Their old school had weekend homework.  This experience is much better.

Overall, I’m getting used to life on the outside of La Hacienda, and it is going well!  I had a rough evening, but those will happen.  I just need to cope with it in the moment and figure out how to make it better next time.  I am figuring this all out!

 

So happy to be out!

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Pumpkin cream pancakes at Denny’s

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Homework!

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Karis and her flute!

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Build your own pizzas for dinner!

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Our new read-aloud as we get ready for Thanksgiving!

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Playing a game with my hubby on my first night home.

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Robert has taken over my meal planning.  This whole month has been mostly using what we have at home (plus some fresh veggies, etc).  He’s rocking this frugal thing!  And mostly healthy :-).

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I’m excited to have a new day!  God’s mercies are new every morning!  Have a great Friday!