My Addictive Brain, Healthy Habits, and Making Changes for Good Health

I’ve written about this sooooo many times, and I have made a final decision (after talking with Robert who is a very balanced person and he agrees with me this time). I am doing something “black and white” (I’ve been … Continue reading

Doing Hard Work

Routine.  It’s so necessary for my mental health.  While I try really hard to implement it during the summer, it’s not built in so it’s hard. I tend to stay up too late.  Sleep too late.  Sit around drinking coffee … Continue reading

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

Night and Day

I thought I would give a little bit of an update on things.

I am night and day better from where I was this time last week.

I have settled into the idea that I will only be homeschooling Karis, and I’ve learned to be good with that. She does better at home, she is mostly independent, and she is fun to work with. There is no stress or anxiety involved in it. I’m looking forward to digging into things with her. And we have a good relationship and she’s now a pre-teener so this is good for us.  I plan to really dive into stuff with her and learn along side her.  And on the days that I don’t feel up to it, she is capable of doing everything on her own!

I hope to do Poetry Teatime every Friday with the girls at the camp.  It will be so fun.

The boys are so excited about going back to school, and honestly they do really well in school. I’ve talked with their teachers from this past year (one emailed me and one I emailed first), and they are so happy that they will be back. They were so encouraging and positive.  The boys will learn and grow at school. We will have a regular routine/schedule every day which will be good for my anxiety and good for my Ethan’s anxiety as well. He needs that routine.

I plan to still do some nature studies with all of the kids.  We will try to take a few “field trips” but not as many as when I would have had them home.

And I am happy to be able to focus on getting healthier mentally and physically. As you know, I have mental illness, and I also went to rehab last fall for alcoholism (which is a mental illness as well). I need to be able to focus on keeping myself healthy and sober. In addition, I’m trying to get back to health physically (using the Balance 365 program) because I haven’t been doing too well there, either. So I guess this is just a season of health for me. Maybe once I’m healthier, I can bring my boys back home (if that’s God’s plan). It’ll probably be a while if that does happen. In the meantime I’m happy about playing with the kids until the boys’ school starts on August 23rd. We were going to start school next week. And I’m looking forward to doing some back-to-school shopping and all of that.

Family camp this week has been pretty great so far.  We have 2 more full days, then we leave on Saturday.  I haven’t felt good the whole time, though, because of my cough and constant nausea.  I’m also really tired all the time.  So I’ve just been resting as much as I can.  We have done 1-2 activities per day and played in the game room a lot.  We have had great meals, fun themed nights, and I’ve enjoyed time with friends.  We have been gone from home for a full week already, which is hard for me because I’m a homebody and an introvert.  I’m making it, though, and am trying to just enjoy the time that I have with my family all together!  It is a blessing to have this opportunity.

Here are some pictures of our week so far:

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Build-your-own pizzas

I actually did the Cross Bows!

The kids love the foam pit, but not as much as last year.

Family devotionals and outdoor worship

RC Cars were fun!

Patriotic night

Patriotic night ended up being indoors.

Drift Ball ended in some minor injuries.

Tonight is Luau night.

The next two days are packed full of fun activities.  Paint war, lake front, date night, hiking, more RC cars, kickball game, dessert, and a dance.

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!

Grati-Tuesday, January 3rd

My start to the new year has been amazing!!!  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for.  I’ve already shared some of these pictures, but I’ll share again!

Some important things that I’m learning:

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The ability to buy plenty of food for multiple weeks (besides produce and other items that spoil, we’ll be able to make this stretch for 3-4 weeks).  This is a huge blessing because we have had years in which this was difficult to do.  We are blessed. (some of this we bought to cook for 8 summer staff, but we ended up not having to do that so we have more food for us!)

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New, amazing music thanks to a gift card!

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Game playing time with my best friend.

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A new found confidence.

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Organization that makes my days easier (and a notebook cover with my chips in it!).

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My hubby who loves me for who I am (I don’t think I look great in this pic, but Robert always thinks I look great).  The photo bomber cracks me up.

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Hubby bonding with his kids over our new Wii U (he has never had a video game console before, so this is new).  He has also been playing Nerf gun wars with them :-).

My hubby and kids in general.  I am so incredibly blessed by them.  They are all a person could ask for.  Robert is the most patient, supportive, loving, caring, and honest man a wife could ask for.  He loves with all that’s with-in him.  Karis is creative, caring, loves Jesus, and is loving towards others.  Ethan is passionate, so helpful, and organized.  Levi is a silly guy, loving, caring, and loves Jesus.  I am so excited to see them grow up!  They are amazing people.

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AA Twenty Four Hours a Day, the Big Book, and AA step work.

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A candle that smells like a fresh, new year!

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A new Bible study to dig deep into God’s word.

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  • My mental health is the best it has ever been.  THIS IS HUGE.  My medications make a huge difference, and the work I do on a daily basis also makes a huge difference!
  • Coffee
  • Coke Zero
  • I am beginning to be content with my body the way it is, knowing that my body doesn’t let go of weight due to medications, and I’m ready to just live life and not try to lose weight.
  • The fact that the kids are now in school… which means I have less to be anxious about.  I miss homeschooling a lot, but I know that this is what we all need.
  • Healthy food
  • Unhealthy food that makes me happy

I could probably go on and on, but I’ll stop for now :-).  What are you grateful for on this Grati-Tuesday?

Grocery Geek, Part 2, Updated

Well. I ended up doing some more grocery shopping.

I was worried about what I spent today, then I came home and crunched the numbers.  It all evens out :-).

Yesterday I got a few things that I knew we needed while we were at Walmart (I switched a meal from this week with a meal next week so I can use some produce that I already have).  The kids were shopping using their Christmas money.

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  • 2 boxes whole wheat pasta
  • 1 bag whole wheat egg noodles (for chicken noodle soup that we had yesterday)
  • Newman’s Own pasta sauce (I usually make my own, but this is actually cheaper!)
  • Ivory body wash
  • Neutrogena face wash
  • Puff
  • Candle (this was misc)

Then today I decided to get everything for next week except the produce.  I will buy the produce Wednesday or Thursday.  Next week I won’t need to buy anything until Friday!

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  • 4.5lbs ground chuck (I split it into 4 bags when I got home… it was super cheap this way)
  • 3lb chuck shoulder roast
  • 2lbs pacific whiting filets
  • 3lbs Bone in pork chops

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  • 2 boxes Pop Tarts (this is a treat)
  • 2 boxes family size Triscuits (one original and one cracked black pepper and olive oil)
  • 11oz bag of Unmomento breakfast blend coffee
  • 11oz bag of Unmomento decaf coffee (these are half the price of the HEB coffees that I have been buying!)
  • Nature’s Seasons (we use this on almost everything)
  • Coarse sea salt

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  • Quart size freezer bags
  • Gallon size freezer bags
  • LOTS of toilet paper (Charmin basic… had a coupon for it)
  • 14pk of Goodnights
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 gallon whole milk (to make homemade yogurt)
  • Natural bliss coffee creamer
  • 16oz roasted red pepper hummus

This leaves us with $34.30 to buy produce for next week (I won’t spend that… all I’ll need is a few broccoli crowns, a few avocados, cabbage, and a few tomatoes).  Whatever is leftover will be moved to my savings account.

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I had to get Levi HEB brand Zaditor and Zyrtec because the cedar has been killing his allergies!  This came out of our health and wellness budget.  There won’t be anything left in this budget once I pay for my $180 doctor appointment and $30 for prescriptions next week.

I’m kind of excited because it looks like I’m going to come in under budget for gas!  I added up how much I will be spending this week and next week and it’s less than what I have budgeted for.  Whatever is leftover between gas and groceries will be moved over to my savings account.  Every little bit counts.

I think I can do this.  It’s tough because I always end up spending more than I planned… but I guess budgeting takes some time to get used to.

*Update*

I bought produce today (and 2 sneaky bags of popcorn that they were selling 2 for $1.79 at the register…).  It was $25 for all of it (that big bag of carrots was only $3!).  And I am done shopping for this pay period!

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Also, I was able to stretch dinners for most of the month of January between what I have on hand and dinners in the dining hall!

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All I will need to buy later this month:

  • Coffee
  • Half and Half or creamer
  • Eggs
  • Milk (for drinking and making yogurt)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Lunch meat
  • Cottage cheese
  • Butter
  • Hummus
  • Produce
  • Sodas (ha!)
  • Whole chicken
  • Goodnights
  • Maybe a few other things…