Doing All the Outdoorsy Things Again and Trying New Things

I love that the kids are bigger and they can 1) be alone at camp while I hike and work retail, and 2) do so much more than they used to be able to.  We can finally do “all the outdoorsy things” that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

I have been waiting for some reason to get back out and do what I have wanted to do at camp… hiking and camping and bouldering/climbing (this is new) and kayaking and swimming.  We have all of those possibilities at the camp.

Robert and I will be bouldering and hiking together while the kids sleep in the mornings.  And then when they go to school in the fall.  We’re starting Monday (tomorrow) morning and I cannot wait.  I’m so glad that I remembered that it was a possibility.

We are going to Colorado at the end of July.  We are doing a pilot trip to figure out if the camp should start a wilderness family camp at our camp.  So four families will be going to CO and camping for 5 days in the wilderness.  Of course the trip will be sort of “glamping” because we will have camping toilets and showers, a table that Robert is building, etc.  Kind of different from what we’re used to but it’ll be fun.

In August we’re hoping to do a more wilderness trip with our basic camping gear in New Mexico as a family.  We’ll see what happens.

We also plan to start kayaking and camping along the river in areas.  Lots of fun things to come!  Expect lots of pictures!

I’m trying soooooo hard to get out of my comfort zone more.  It makes me feel so good mentally and emotionally and I’ve noticed I feel better physically because I’m moving my body in a way that brings me joy.

Yesterday the my family and my parents went to the lake about 20 minutes from their house.  We took the boat out and we swam at the beach at the lake.  We were there for like 5 hours.  So so much fun.  I haven’t seen my mom that active in a long time and I enjoyed getting in the water with the kids.  I also enjoyed sitting in chairs and watching the kids.  I was so happy to get out in a swimsuit and not feel self conscious.  Only downfall is that we all got really badly sunburned because I didn’t reapply sunscreen (I know better, but I’m also not using to being out in the sun that long anymore).

Here are some pics:

Gosh, before January I would not have been able to handle all of this!!  The meds that I’m on have been so amazing and I’m so thankful to my doctor for not giving up on helping me find the *right* meds for my brain chemistry!  Yes, I’m on quite a few, but that combo has been great for me!  This is the longest that I’ve been stable in YEARS.  Like since before Joey died.  I’ve had a good few weeks or month here or there, but not a full 6 months!  This is huge.

Anyway, I’m gonna go play games with Ethan and Robert :-).  Have a Happy Sunday!

Establishing Our Values and Goals as a Family

I feel like I have so, so much to share and I don’t even know where to start! Robert and I went to Big Bend State Park last weekend and it was so amazing and just what we needed for … Continue reading

Happy Weekend! Busy Saturday!

Yesterday I met my mom in Kerrville for her to pick the kids up and take them to her house.  They are there till Monday.  I spent a lot of the day today being lazy.

At about 3:45 I had had enough of that so I got up and got busy!  I cut up veggies and baked some muffins.  Robert came home about the time that I was going to cut a cantaloupe and honey dew.  He ended up cutting it for me, then he pan-seared some salmon and chicken breast for me to have over salads this coming week.  I bagged mixed nuts for snacks, made pumpkin steel cut oats in the instant pot, tore lettuce and put it in a big container to have salads, made homemade dressings (creamy buffalo and balsamic vinaigrette), and made quinoa.

I also have peeled boiled eggs (I buy them boiled and peeled from Walmart!) and Greek yogurt to grab for snacks or to go with meals!

I feel like I am set up for success!  It feels so good.

All of this work only took a few hours!  It helps that Robert pitched in!

On a similar note…

I started the Healthy Habits Happy Moms Balance 365 program several weeks ago. The idea is to pick one healthy habit at a time to focus on, and once you are consistent with it for a time, then you add another one. It’s slllloooowwww and hard sometimes. I have honestly struggled with even figuring out what to start with because I feel like I’m not at all where I want to be with my health. I am learning to love my body the way it is, but I know that I have a ways to go in the health department. But dieting isn’t the answer. It’s not healthy, it isn’t sustainable, and it actually leads to bingeing and weight gain. So I want to be okay with the slowness of this program.

Robert and I were talking earlier and I realized that he’s right… I need to focus 100% on being active again. So many reasons. I have high cholesterol and the meds that I was on cause high liver enzymes… since I am an alcoholic my doctor prefers for me to not take them unless I have to (even though I’m not drinking anymore!). Also. With my generalized anxiety disorder and the return of the weird physical symptoms, being outside hiking is REALLY good for that. It’s one of the best things for anxiety, actually. My counselor has told me that she wants me to walk 30 minutes a day and I haven’t been doing that. I find joy in being outside. I love hiking. I have just gotten out of the habit. I used to hike ALL THE TIME. Also, we are backpacking in a couple of months and I am NOT physically ready for that! It’s just the best habit to focus on right now!

My goal is 2-3 times a week by myself and once a week with the kids to do their nature study . I would like to do what my counselor told me to do (every day), but I’m going to start slow.

Overall I am doing SO well right now. I just still have this anxiety. And it’s weird that I’m having the breathing issue off and on.  I know the anxiety is always going to be there, but my counselor tells me that I can get it more manageable if I get outside exercise. So that is what I will do!

Robert also reminded me that usually when I am active, everything else falls into place.  I am more consistent with a lot of things in my life… time in the Word, eating healthier, I’m more active in the community, etc because I’m feeling good mentally!

Back to the Basics

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For years “natural living” was my way of life, and I made sure everyone knew it.  I was obsessed with that way of living.  It was all I thought about, all I talked about.  My friends all saw me as the “crunchy mama” because of the way I ate, my home-births, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, natural products, natural supplements, essential oils, etc.  In fact, my mom actually called me “Earth mama” (whatever that means haha).  It was my identity.

Last year, I decided it was time to shed that as my identity.  I no longer wanted to be known as the “crunchy mama.”  I wanted to be known for who I was, and that wasn’t actually who I wanted to be anymore.  I needed freedom.

Over this past year (+) I have been running far, far away from that title and identity.  I have gone completely the other direction, and in some ways I’m thankful.  I have rid myself of some unnecessary stress in the process.  I have been focusing mostly on my mental health, and natural living just didn’t fit in there in the midst of it all (some people say that natural living would help with my mental health and I believe that can be true, but with the extent of my mental illness, I believe it would only make a dent).

In the process of shedding my “crunchy mama” image, I have picked up some bad habits.  Some of those include “Little” and “Debbie” in the title.  Along with “Coke” and “Zero.”  I mean, I have always struggled with Coke Zero, but I have hit an all time high with how much I drink.  I buy 24 packs and go through them quickly.  It’s bad.

I have also gained about 25 pounds this past year and a half.  Some of that is because of my medicine.  But I do believe some of that is the fact that my eating habits are not near what they should be.

Today (after eating my processed/frozen crap for lunch), I decided that I need to make a change. I know HOW I should be eating; I’m just not doing it.  In fact, most of the foods that I should be eating are in my refrigerator and/or pantry.

My goal these next few days is to take a hard look at what I have been eating, and what I can do to replace the junk with healthy foods (for my family and myself).  I’m not planning to diet, but to just be healthy (will still allow balance for those times that it’s not possible to eat healthy).  Also, I have been spending WAY too much at Walmart, and I plan to switch over to HEB and try to reduce our grocery budget while still eating healthy.  I spend a LOT on junk that isn’t necessary, so I think it’s very possible to do.

Robert and I are going to Big Bend next week, then I plan to come back from that trip eating better and continuing the hiking that I have been doing (though this week we haven’t because of bad weather!).  The kids and I will hike every afternoon as our “PE.”  I am hoping that I am not so exhausted at the end of every day, I’m hoping to at least reduce the amount of Coke Zero that I drink, and I’m hoping to make treats just that… treats, not a daily thing.  I will get back to baking/making foods homemade again.  I love baking, why not use it for healthy foods?!  We have so much healthy food in our pantry!  A huge bag of steel cut oats, rolled oats, whole wheat flour, sucanat (a non-processed sweetener), raw honey, lots of coconut oil, etc.  I’m already equipped!  Now to just add to that the fresh, whole foods, and I’m all set!

Balance is a good and important thing.  But I haven’t been eating balanced.  I’ve just been eating badly.  And I feel worn out, exhausted, and I’m over weight.  I just want my health back.

Going back to the basics!