One Healthy Thing, Just One

My goal this week is to do 1 healthy thing a day. I’m not limiting myself to one mind you, but rather I am doing something healthy everyday that I don’t normally do. So for instance, I drink a lot of water and eat a fairly healthy diet, so it would be a cop out to say cool, my healthy thing for Monday is I drank water. Not much of a challenge or a stretch. So I picked doing yoga everyday. I was doing it maybe once a week, if that, and I was always going to a class. This week however, I am going to attempt to do it everyday, here in my living room… with two toddlers.

Okay you can stop laughing now.

My doctor pointed out to me that maybe I should be stretching more and that it was indeed possible to do yoga in my living room. She doesn’t have children so she doesn’t get why I was laughing so hard. But her words did get me thinking. Maybe if I started my day off with a quick 20 min yoga session it would set a nice tone for the rest of the day. Better yet, if I could get my kids to try some of the poses or at least get them asking about the yoga process then maybe they would benefit as well. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to the practice of yoga or meditation on a regular basis actually have increased abilities to manage their emotions and outbursts. Hm, well that sounds like a good thing. I’m not sure how much a 3 year old can really get out of it, but it couldn’t hurt and he won’t always be 3.

I love the idea of my children growing up with an active family. I love that they will always think that exercise and moving your body is just what you do. My oldest already does the yoga breathing with me when he is stressed or crying, the dragon breath with the tongue out never fails to calm him; though arguably he is soothed by my being ridiculous with my tongue out, but it doesn’t matter why it works, just that it does. We practice his breathing multiple times a day, not just when he is worked up. This way he is sort of conditioned to mimic me without thinking and I have found he is much more likely to comply with the process when he is upset. Almost like an Pavlovian response.

I am excited to lay out our mats in the front of the TV and do our first downward facing dog- little people already got this one down like it’s their job. I am excited to incorporate something that makes me feel so good into our lives on a regular basis. I have always said it is best to baby step into things so they are easier to make a habit and stick too. I am hoping this small baby step of yoga will result in bigger steps of more hiking or energy depleting runs through the neighborhood. What little person doesn’t need to deplete some energy on a regular basis?

I really think one of the best things anyone can do to live an intentional life is to take care of themselves first. Our health and well being is so important that without it we can’t begin to live intentionally. It doesn’t matter what activity you like to do, remember this isn’t someone else’s life, its yours. You don’t have to feel pressured to do Yoga just because I like it, or run just because your sister-in-law does it, or join Crossfit just because everyone says it is amazing. Maybe your thing is Zumba, or basketball, or lifting weights. Maybe you enjoy hiking or walking or boot camp classes. It doesn’t matter. But this week, week 9, I challenge you all to find something you love to do, that benefits your physical being, and then do that thing every day.

Happiness comes when we take care of ourselves and we nurture not just our minds and souls but our bodies as well. There are too many studies to name that have proven over and over again the benefits of physical activity on the brain, emotional health, and happiness. So pick just one thing. Start with one thing. Do it today, then tomorrow, then the next day. Before you know it, it will be Monday all over again and you can pick a new thing. Or be amazed at lasting the week and keep on doing it.

 

Now moments of the weekend: Dancing to the song at the end of Shrek repeatedly for 20+ minutes with my boys… “I, Believe….”. Best dancing ever! Date night with my husband that included a free dinner thanks to rewards points, and no kids. Sleeping in on Sunday.

Go ahead, I dare you not to at least tap your toes to the music. :)

What I am listening to: Jake Bugg. Lightning Bolt. This kid can sing. Seriously, why didn’t I do something amazing by 19? Why have I still not done anything amazing?

What I’m reading: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella. It turns out I have either already read this book or I read so many books that they all seem the same because I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I know what is about to happen before it does.

What I’m watching: Dexter Series Finale. I won’t ruin it for anyone, even if you aren’t watching now you might later. Suffice it to say, it was a rough go.

Inspirations from the Ether: Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet someone new everyday, and actually converse with them in person! Shock and awe! It’s a cool goal for someone who almost single handedly created the venue to NOT do that very thing. It is sad that someone is so introverted that this is a goal in life. I am however inspired by his yearly goals of self-improvement. Just goes to show even billionaires need work.

Jay in 3 Songs

Nothing makes me happier than to stroke the ego (get your mind out of the gutter) of my husband Jay. Seriously, he is easy to compliment and easy to tease because no matter what you say the man is so arrogant he can turn it into a compliment. And why shouldn’t he? This would be a great place to go into the value of a healthy self-esteem, but I’ll save that for another post. Right now this is all about Jay. That’s right you heard me. I think it is important to dedicate 1 post to the man who makes happiness in my life possible. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the rule, no one can make you happy, you have to find happiness in yourself, blah blah blah. I’ve even heard no one can make you miserable, and I would respectfully call bullshit on that one, but I digress. Jay makes me happy. He is a good man, a great husband, and a kick-ass dad.

For some reason fall always makes me think of Jay. Don’t get me wrong I live with him, I think about him all the time, but there is something about Fall that seems like Jay. If Jay had a season it would be Fall, absolutely, no question. Sure his birthday is in October, so you could argue that is what makes him seem like Fall, but anyone who knows Jay knows exactly why it is that his season is Fall. In a word, Football.

Now, I didn’t have a dad and I specifically tried to date people who didn’t like football- with the one exception of a wonderful fella in College- so I have no real associations with football other than Jay. He eats it, breathes, drinks it, sleeps it, and I don’t even want to think of what else he could do with Football. I love his passion about Football and I am secretly jealous that nothing moves me the way Football does Jay. He is an amazing player, awesome fan, and dedicated fanatic. He has made me like football (maybe I’ll love it when I get to see my own boys play). I look forward to the day when his boys first pull  helmets over their heads. I look forward to watching their games with Jay. I look forward to clutching his hand in fright when they get hit the first time. I look forward to yelling and high fiving and seeing my breath in the chilly Fall air with Jay by my side. So the first song that is Jay, straight up chills and Goosebumps is The Boys of Fall.

When I was pregnant Jay was pretty adamant that he wanted a little boy, so much so that I made him practice his “it’s a girl face” so he wouldn’t look like an asshole during the ultrasound. Sure, if we had had a girl he would have loved her and I’ve no doubt he would have been wrapped around her little finger and he would have been fiercely protective and he would have enjoyed tea parties and dress up. Because that is who he is.

About a week before we had the “what is the sex” ultrasound I heard a Brad Paisley song on the radio, and I just knew in my heart there was a little boy swimming inside of me. The song gave me chills because I knew I was really listening to the future that Jay would have with his little boy. I envy him that ride. Little boys and their dads. But I’m glad I get to witness it. I’m glad my little men have such a great man to emulate. Luckily, Jay never needed his staged I ‘m so excited I’m having a girl face. The ultrasound very clearly showed a penis, and it was fun to say “I have a penis inside” (seriously that joke never gets old). We have two boys, very different little boys. And I have no doubt they will be every bit the men their father is. I look forward to laughing with Jay in private after our boys get in trouble for the same things Jay used to do. I look forward to watching him teach his sons how to be men. Oh yeah, and football.  The second song that is Jay is Anything Like Me

I bet at this point you are sitting on the edge of your seats wondering what will be the 3rd song?? What final song could possibly sum up a man like Jay? What song could capture the true essence of a man like no other? A man who prides himself on being an American, a soldier, a player? What song could possibly just scream the man I have chosen to spend forever with? Well, that’s is a no brainer. So for anyone who knows him it will all make perfect sense why song three is all about being a guy. I never thought I’d marry a guy’s guy. I never thought I’d hitch my star to someone so absolutely full of maleness. So whether it is the biceps our neighbor couldn’t stop talking about, the gun under the seat of his giant pickup, or his actual- no kidding just like the song- aversion to using lotion (in Colorado? Is he crazy?) there is no doubt that I must always remember Jay is Still a Guy.

I suppose maybe there is a running theme in all the songs. I think music can make us remember so many things, it can draw out emotions we didn’t even know we had. It is so powerful. I know for me, every time I hear these songs, even more so than “our song” I can’t help but think of Jay and how lucky I am to have him. He is absolutely one of a kind, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bonus Song: Here is our song. Why? This is the song jay sang to me on the night he first said I love you. Not too shabby. He must read the How to Woo a Woman Handbook.

We’ve Come a Long Way Baby: The 6 Things I Didn’t Know About Towels

Recently I wrote a post about financial distress and living paycheck to paycheck. About a week later a kind hearted soul sent me towels in the mail anonymously. I have since discovered my wonderful benefactor and thanked her for the thoughtful gesture. I am still amazed and thankful, not so much for the towels, but the fact that anyone, especially someone I haven’t seen in about 15 years, would feel compelled to send me towels. It was so freaking cool, I still can’t get over it. Those are the kind of people I want in my life, not because they buy me things, but because she cared, she really stinking cared.

It has been a long time, or a coons age (as the husband would say), since I have had new towels. I wasn’t kidding when I said the ones we use are from my childhood- note the comparison photo above of old vs. new (circa 1984, and yes I know that towel is older than many of you). So there were some surprises when I opened the new pack of towels and introduced them to the family and our regular routine of showering and washing.

Here are the 6 things I didn’t know about towels.:

  1. Towels are soft. No really. I’m not joking. Apparently, towels are soft. When you buy new towels they are supposed to be soft to the touch and delicate on your skin. I had no idea.
  2. Towels are absorbent. That may seem obvious to you, but I can tell you from direct experience that towels that are 30 years old are not. The best way to get dry with a towel you can see through is to rub it fiercely over your skin until the water runs off of you in fear. Because if you try to just put the towel over it and hope it will absorb, I swear you can hear the towel laughing at you. That all you got woman! (yes, my towels are from the hood)
  3. Towels are thick. Like seriously thick, like you may only need one towel to dry of a two year old thick! No more will I be reaching in the cupboard for a second thin see through towel to dry of a creature that weighs less than 25 pounds. No, No, mama got new towels up in here! (ok, the towel’s ghetto-ness has rubbed off on me a little).
  4. Towels are not supposed to be see through. This one is news to me, but I see it is actually a trend amongst towels. It would seem that the popular towels are indeed not see through. Huh… I’m still shaking my head on this one. I don’t know if this has always been the trend and my survivor towels used to be less translucent, or if this is a new trend in towels that all the kids think is cool.  Are there trends for towels? I mean next year will holey towels be all the rage? If so, I might finally be cool.
  5. Towels will clog your dryer with lint. Its funny I had almost forgotten why people have a lint trap in their dryers or why one would even need one. I mean, sure we have one, sure I empty it, but with 5 dogs and two toddlers, the only thing in our trap is dog hair and random stickers. Imagine my surprise when I washed the towels for the first time and they filled the trap with some much towel lint it was like getting another towel for free by surprise. Buy 6 towels get the 7th free when you wash. It should be on the package. Seriously, I bet more of you would buy a set of towels that claim a free one magically appears when you wash them.
  6. Adults love new towels, kids still like towels with holes in them. I’ll have to say I’m not really surprised by this one, but it was the first time I could do an actual side by side comparison. It would seem, after exhaustive research, that 2 out of 2 toddlers will still choose a see through towel with holes in it, over a new soft, absorbent, warm towel.

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I’ve felt so fancy this week with my new towels. It’s like I’m staying at Buckingham Palace but I don’t have to worry about any stuffy Brits telling me I can’t walk around half naked. I’m excited to see how the other half lives, I mean seriously you can’t tease a girl with new towels and leave her with holey socks… I’m just saying… hint hint… ;)