Is it really August?

I can’t believe that summer is almost over.

I feel like I blinked and it went from the end of June to the end of August. I am in serious denial that I have to go back to work in just a few weeks… even more so because at present I don’t have a job. If I am unable to find an LTO I’ll be back on the supply list… a prospect I am not looking forward to. I enjoy supply teaching, but trying to find childcare that will match that schedule is a nightmare.

Anyway.

It’s been a good summer. I desperately felt like I just needed some time at home with the kids after last semester, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve also slowly been organizing and decluttering my house–I’ve lost track of the number of bags and pieces of furniture I’ve donated over the last six weeks. I am determined to stop holding on to something purely on the chance that I might need it again someday… if I haven’t touched it in years, chances are I won’t miss it. And you know what? It feels really good. I’m on a mission to go through every nook and cranny in my house.

I also decided to refocus on my goals and started exercising regularly again. I brushed the cobwebs off my shoes and hit the pavement and worked my way up to 8km, and even braved running with both kids in the stroller.

…and then of course I injured myself. I sprained my foot right at the joint of my big toe and it has been one of the most painful injuries I have ever endured. I went to see my doctor last Wednesday, but it took some time for the anti-inflammatories she prescribed to kick in. That night the pain in my foot was so bad that I couldn’t even step down on it… I had to slide up the stairs on my bum to get into bed. There’s nothing I can do to help it but rest, and I’m not going to lie, this has been a huge blow for me. I just felt like I was getting back into a rhythm, and then I found out that it will be at least another two weeks before I can run again.

So, I took a small break from my #365 Healthy Day project and had a little pity party, but now I’m ready to figure this out. I’m not even supposed to go for walks for another few days until the tenderness in my toe subsides to a point where it isn’t noticeable, so any exercise with any type of impact is out at the moment. But, where there is a will there’s a way, and I’m exploring other things I can do while I wait out this injury.

The hardest part is that I know now that I won’t be ready to run my 10km race in September. I’m really disappointed about it, but I’m determined to run a 10km race somewhere before the snow flies. I’m hoping that I can find a race in October where I can attempt it.

So, I’ll be back with my regular #365healthydays posts tomorrow, please keep your fingers crossed that my foot heals quickly! This mama is dying to get back into her running shoes. :)

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A Farewell to my Twenties*

Today was my last day of work before a much anticipated (and needed) summer vacation.

Today is also the last day of my twenties.

When I wake up tomorrow, I’ll be 30. I’m not anxious or sad about it, though the idea of entering another decade has made me reflect a little on my life and where I am today.

More specifically, on who I am today.

My twenties were good to me. In the last ten years, I got married, finished university, lived in two cities, started my career and bought our first car and home.

In those years, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life and fell in love with teaching. I’m just beginning my sixth year in this profession, and despite it’s challenges, I can say without hesitation that I love what I do. I am so proud to be able to say that I am a teacher because I find it so exciting. Even though the road to find permanent full-time work is sometimes a little soul-crushing, it still feels worth it to me. I know that someday I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be, and I can only hope it might be at the school I’ve been privileged to work at for the last three years.

Over the course of the last ten years I spent a lot of time figuring out who I was, and who I wanted to be as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, friend…

…and mother.

I have wanted to be a mother since before I can remember. In fact, before I fell in love with teaching, I always thought I would be a stay-at-home mother, just like my mom. If there was some magical way to teach high school and stay home with my kids, I would totally do it.

The moment I first held Ruby was an experience I will never, ever forget. You spend almost 10 months with this little blob in your belly that hiccups and kicks, and even though I loved her then, nothing will ever, ever compare to that moment when I held her for the first time. I didn’t know it was possible to love someone so small with a love that big. In an instant my own needs became secondary and I knew my heart was attached to hers. It was overwhelming, exhausting, emotional and exhilarating.

She made me a mother, and every day I am so thankful that she picked me.

And then sweet Hank arrived and I fell in love all over again. Even though I sometimes feel like I’m failing in every aspect of my chaotic life–he toddles over, arches his back and reaches up for me as high as he possibly can. When I pick him up and settle him on my lap, he snuggles in as close as possible, and I realize that despite it all, I must be doing something right.

Over the last ten years I’ve gained weight, lost weight, fallen in love with running and fallen off the wagon. I figured out that it’s okay not to have everything figured out as long as you keep trying. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, as long as you keep picking yourself back up and moving forward.

I’ve learned that happiness isn’t a destination you arrive at when your trials are over, but rather that joy is in the journey itself.

I’ve learned that the boy I married ten years ago is a supportive partner and friend, a wonderful father and a hard working provider for our family. I’ve learned that marriage is not like it seems in the movies–that real romance is in the little day to day things that make me fall in love with him all over again.

I’ve learned that most of the time, my mother really did (and does) know best. She has always been there as my cheerleader and champion, and her shoulder is always available when I need something to lean on. I’ve learned that my dad is still my hero, and is a well of wisdom and strength that I often draw from.

In the last ten years I experienced great loss, but also so much joy. I’ve made new friends, missed old ones and felt so grateful for the people who have walked  a while with me on this journey.

In the last ten years I grew up, but I also realized that I’m not done growing.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve been crying pretty much the entire time I’ve been writing this post… but it’s not because I’m sad. It’s because as I’ve spent tonight reflecting on the years that have passed, I feel so incredibly blessed. My life is far from perfect, but this ride I’m on has been nothing short of spectacular.

In the classic words of my father: “life is good”.

So, bring it on, thirties. I don’t expect it to be easy, but if it’s anything like my twenties have been, I know I’ll figure it out.

Peace out, twenties.

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Unplugged*

A little over two weeks ago I unplugged myself from Facebook. I deactivated my personal account and walked away cold turkey.

A few of people have asked me why I chose to get rid of it, and I feel like the old break-up cliche best fits: It’s not you, it’s me. I learn a little bit more about myself with each passing year, and I think I have a bit of an addictive personality and I have trouble doing anything in moderation. As much as I love seeing everyone’s photos and updates, I felt like I was wasting my life away trolling through the newsfeed. I felt like my phone was permanently glued to my hand and I was constantly checking it. I’ve tried deleting the app, but I knew Facebook was still there in the background, waiting for me to log in and waste another 30 minutes that I could be using to do something more productive.

And in the spirit of complete honesty, there have been moments where the things I see on Facebook have made me doubt myself as a mother, teacher, friend, wife, etc. More than once I caught myself comparing my life to things I saw splashed on Facebook. Every so often I found myself questioning things like why my home didn’t look as beautiful (or as clean) as others… or why I couldn’t seem to come up with crazy fun activities for my kids all day every day…  or why I never felt or looked as put together as some of my friends, etc. I know it’s completely irrational and that Facebook is tricky because we only see one side of a story, but in the past I have struggled with my self-confidence and as much as I tried to stop, I kept comparing my life to everyone around me… and I didn’t always feel that I measured up. So, I walked away. I took a “time out”, if you will.

(We have lots of those in my house nowadays. *sigh* How long does the threenager phase last?!)

And honestly? It has been so, so great.

I’m not going to lie, it felt a little weird at first. I was so used to checking it every 10 minutes that I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I found myself picking up my phone as per usual, then I’d quickly browse through Instagram and Twitter, and then… nothing. My phone suddenly became rather boring… so I’ve found that I’m picking it up less.

And I love that.

Also, I feel like it’s a little bit more exciting talking to people because (aside from a few glimpses from a few friends on Instagram) I’m limited in the information I have about what’s going on in their lives.  My conversations feel more meaningful, and instead of feeling like I’m out of the loop (which I’m sure I probably am), I feel like I’m connecting with my friends and family in a real way. I’m texting more often, writing actual emails (what?!), and I’m using my phone. To call people. (*gasp*) Who knew that phones still had that capability?!

Get ready, you’re probably on my list and will get a phone attack from me in the future. haha

In short, it’s been great. Aside from connecting today to post this as a quick explanation for why I chose to drop off the face of the earth, Facebook and I have broken up.

And I feel really good about it.

No regrets.

A few days ago someone asked me, “…but how will you keep in touch with everyone?!” Facebook was definitely the most convenient method, but there’s always email, carrier pigeons or tin can phones, and of course, I’ll always be here. I’ve felt such a pull to start writing again, and now that the kids are a little older and a little more independent I’m hoping to get in a bit of a routine again.

I may not stay away forever, but I’m going to keep running with this, at least for now. I’m loving being a little more unplugged. :)

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A Sweet Farewell*

Hello again :)

I think this may have been the longest I’ve gone without writing here. I just checked the date of my last post–January 18th. Has it really been three months since I last updated?

A lot has happened in those three months, and I regret not writing down my feelings as we went through it. The biggest change is that I ended up going back to work much earlier than anticipated. As the end of my maternity leave approached at the end of January, I decided to extend my leave by 6 weeks so that I could stay home with the kids a little longer. So, when a job came up at my old school that was supposed to start at the end of March, it seemed like a perfect fit. There’s a bit of back story that I’ll fill in later, but the short version is that I was offered the job with a “small” caveat–the start date was pushed up to January 29th. It’s been a crazy transition, but despite the madness I’m really enjoying being back at work.

I missed teaching, and I’ve really missed writing. Life has been busier than ever for the Hubster and I as we’ve tried to juggle working with time with the kids, ourselves and each other. I feel like my time is so precious now, as I have so little of it that I feel is really “mine”.

And yet I feel like I’m wasting so much of it… on Facebook.

Oh, Facebook. I love it. I really do. I love seeing the status updates, the photos, the funny memes and videos. I love the drama in some of the groups I’m in, and I love all the uplifting messages I see posted there all the time.

I do not love the amount of time I spend trolling through the news feed. And I just. can’t. stop. I’ve tried to cut back or spend less time, but I’m totally an addict. I know that it’s there *waiting* for me, so I creep back on “just for a second”. And then I look at my clock and realize that I’ve spent 30 minutes refreshing my newsfeed just in case someone posts something that I absolutely cannot miss.

(Yes, I’ve become that person. *sigh*)

A little while ago a friend of mine let me know that she no longer used Facebook, and shortly after that she told me she had basically gotten rid of all her social media accounts. I obviously looked at her like she had grown a second head and puzzled over why someone would want to disconnect like that.

And then… the more that I puzzled, the more it appealed to me. I waste so much time, and I have so little time to waste. I have this beautiful blog that I’ve spent years building that sits neglected because the time I could be spending writing and creating is wasted watching videos and reading status updates. I can still share recipes and stories here, and I’ve decided to keep my Instagram account because I love sharing photos.

Somehow Facebook has become the first thing I check on my phone in the morning, and I feel like I’m constantly on it throughout the day. And let’s be honest… most of the time I feel like I’m creeping on people I haven’t spoken to in real life in years. I feel like I’ve been using it a shield to keep tabs on people from a distance instead of actually, truly communicating with my wonderful family and friends.

I’ve been thinking about it for several weeks, and when I woke up this morning, I decided that today was the day. Part of me is freaking out a little (I’m going to miss EVERYTHING. AH.) but mostly I’m excited. It feels strangely liberating.

So, this is it. From here on out, all my updates, stories, Paleo-ish and running adventures will be here and on Instagram. I also love emails and texts, and I am hoping to stay in touch with all of you… just in a different way. :)

Peace out, Facebook.

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Paleo(ish) Trial – Week Two Review

Well, I did it!

Today was last day of my two-week Paleo(ish) Trial. It’s been an awesome two weeks, and I am so so glad that I stopped using my lack of self-control as an excuse to avoid this. I have spent years being that person who “couldn’t”–I couldn’t possibly give up sugar because I have no will power. I couldn’t possibly stop eating processed foods because I’m so busy! I couldn’t possibly make better meals for myself because I have no time.

I’m so happy that I finally proved myself wrong. Life is so much better when you just stop believing that you can’t so something… let me be proof that you can.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I used to get insane sugar cravings. They were so bad. Once one started it was like I couldn’t focus on anything until I had satisfied it. I used to sneak down to the basement or hide in in the kitchen to eat a cookie (or four) because I didn’t want Ruby to see me eating things I knew I shouldn’t. I would hear myself telling her that she couldn’t have it because it wasn’t good for her, then I would turn my back and eat that exact thing I wouldn’t let my daughter have. I knew I wasn’t setting a good example for my family, and it took me a long time to accept it and be ready to do something about it.

This has been a big change for me. The things I’m eating aren’t really all that different from things I would normally buy, but this trial has helped me “cut out the crap” and break some really bad habits.

I think that the way I’ve approached breakfast these past two weeks has been one of the biggest changes. Instead of reaching for frozen waffles or toast, I’m beginning my day with eggs, greek yogurt, fruit or a smoothie. I find myself SO full afterward that I’ve cut out my mid-morning crash where I would begin my day’s downward spiral of poor food choices.

In fact, this trial has pretty much helped me to cut out snacking all together. The meals were simple, delicious and very filling, and I stopped having those crashes through the day where I felt like I needed to eat something, even though I wasn’t really hungry.

It has also helped make me even more aware of some pretty bad habits I have when I’m out. I somehow got in this routine of buying myself a “treat” almost every time I’m out. As I cut out sugar, processed foods and fast foods completely from day one, it took me a day or two for my mind to catch up. I ran out on an errand one evening, and as I was coming home I thought, “Oh, I’ll just swing in here and get myself a donut”. It took me a minute to remember that those are definitely not Paleo(ish) and I was still very full from dinner. Actually, I was very proficient at justifying why I “needed” or should be allowed to have something from any fast food place I passed.

And I never, ever felt good after I ate it.

Now that I’ve cut it out for two weeks, I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last time that I felt this good. I have so much more energy, my mind feels clearer, and I feel better about myself now that I’m not mindlessly snacking on garbage all day long just because it’s “there”.

I really don’t find that I’ve missed any of the foods that I’ve reduced or cut out. Seriously.

(I honestly never ever thought that I’d say that.)

(I mean, I seriously love dessert. And allll the carbs. And all kinds of things that are not good for me.)

So, this is why I’ve decided to make this a permanent change for me. I get that the Paleo(ish) diet is not for everyone, but this has been such a positive experience that I just don’t want to go back to the way I was eating before. I don’t think I’ll ever adopt a hardcore Paleo lifestyle–kudos to those that do, it’s just too much for me. But the changes I’ve made over the last two weeks have been just enough to motivate me to stay on this path. The changes to my meals weren’t really all that hard… making the decision to start was.

In short, it’s helped me understand that my body is worth “fueling” with good foods. That I am worth it.

So, that’s where I am. I think I’ll stop posting photos of every meal I make, but I would love to keep sharing photos and recipes for new things I’m trying. I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead today and buying a juicer or nutribullet is on the top of my list.

(After I buy a new vacuum. I desperately need a new vacuum.)

Thanks for following me through my trial–your encouragement, support and suggestions were SO helpful and made this so much fun for me! Please keep it coming–I love trying your recipes and ideas as I still feel so new on this healthy eating train.

So, my Paleo(ish) Trial has officially ended… but my new healthier lifestyle has only just begun. :)

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