I've come to reconsider where I stand on the whole copyright issue, in regards to work that appears on my blog. If you happen to see art that I've created on this blog and it inspires you, by all means go ahead and appropriate it. If you want to modify it, scraplift it, use only parts of it or copy it outright, you have my permission to do so here. If you want to give me credit, fine. If you don't, that's okay too. I've been inspired by countless other people in all walks of life and I believe that generosity of spirit is much greater than any personal pride or glory I could achieve from claiming to be the first or the best to do anything. The sole exception to this would be photos of my family, to protect their privacy.
The vintage images that appear in this blog are digitally altered and colored by scrapologie. Feel free to use them for your personal use, however you like!
Hello friends, I've missed blogging and making art, but I never stop thinking about both. I've been exceptionally busy this year. I hope you've been well. For me, this has mostly been a year of learning to balance home, work, motherhood, friendships and health while still taking time to pursue some of my interests. Here are some of the things I've been up to this year:
- Work has amped up busier than ever. I've been meeting regularly with three mentors at work and have been researching a career change while maintaining my current job. Recently, my employer agreed to finance my masters degree, for which I am so very grateful!
- As a result of the above, I've applied for the graduate program in Instructional Design and Performance Technology at Franklin University and plan to start coursework this January.
- I was selected for my employer's regional Diversity and Inclusion Council, promoting cultural and diversity themed events at my company, in the capacity of an event coordinator. This has been immensely rewarding for me; I've been able to help promote diversity awareness and educate our workforce about the importance of embracing diversity. Our world is changing, and with it, our attitudes and the way in which we view those who are different from us must change as well, if we are to succeed in working together to build a better future for generations to come.
- My little girl turned 10 this year. She's been very busy herself with her own activities. She reads voraciously, has been involved in gymnastics, Girl Scouts and Kumon, and was one of 6 girls from her school selected by OSU's Women In Engineering for their Jasz Bots program which is affiliated with First Lego League. This team of fifth grade girls meet with female grad students in OSU's engineering department twice a week, for two and a half hours after school. Together, they have researched a topic on FLL's theme this year (Nature's Fury) and are working on ideas and ways to combat their chosen environmental disaster (wildfires). In addition, they have built and programmed a Lego robot; the team will compete utilizing their robot at an upcoming event in December. It's a great introduction for girls to a potential future career in engineering.
- I've continued my commitment to fitness and nutrition, continuing to hit the gym 5 nights a week, both cardio as well as weights/resistance training and core exercises.
- I've become very interested in organic foods and natural wellness products, as well as meditation and wellness in general.
- I've connected with old friends and made several new ones. I have enjoyed the fulfillment brought by these relationships, and particularly by doing for and helping others when I can, as I am grateful for the love and help they constantly give me.
- I made some time for fun as well, traveling to Orlando and Disney with Alekha in mid-October, during Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. We also got to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, which Alekha and I both loved!
- I've continued my pursuit of photography, though I haven't had time to sit down and edit photos!
- I spent some quality time with my parents, who I love dearly and are slowing down a bit.
- Lastly, I spent a lot of time in quiet reflection and introspection, pondering the life I'd like to lead, the things I have yet to do, the places I've yet to see and the memories I have yet to make.
I am happy, and life has been good. I do miss blogging and keeping in touch with all my online friends, but think of you all frequently, and wish you all happiness and peace. I am looking forward to what 2014 brings.
“...I want first of all - in fact, as an end to these other desires - to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints -to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony...” (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
It's been a long journey, but I am happy to say I did it! I reached my weight loss goal of 135 lbs mid March. I've learned so much about myself along the way.
I've learned that I am more resilient, stronger and more determined at 44 than I was at 24.
I've learned that it is unrealistic to expect that I can return to my 24 year old self, and that I can celebrate my curvy hips and the little pooch of fat on my stomach that I've made peace with. I've realized that these are marks of womanhood, of motherhood, and that there are genetics at play that we cannot change, no matter how we may try. And that's okay.
I've learned about how to eat for health. And I've learned that there is a time to indulge as well - so yes, I will go and have a celebratory bowl of Jeni's salted caramel ice cream as a treat, thank you!
I've learned that I am an athlete (!) I am running at a speed of 6.0 for 30 minutes straight. I am lifting weights, in spinning classes, doing circuit training and exercises to strengthen my core.
I've learned not to be daunted by even the most overwhelming of goals - just about anything you want to accomplish in life can be done if you break it apart into pieces and take it a step at a time!
I've learned that there is no adversity that I cannot handle, that I am stronger than I thought, braver than I believed, and more resilient than I expected.
I've learned to walk into the gym when I am feeling tired, exhausted, and emotionally spent, and yet, replace all of that with a single thought when I start running: "Bring it!"
I've learned that running takes me to a place where I feel free, at peace, and powerful.
I've learned to love the muscled curves of my body and to be proud of every last moment of sweat and toil it took to get me there.
I've learned that getting to 135 was never about 135 being my ideal weight, it was about me accomplishing a goal I set for myself and knowing that I was able to do it. So if I go up or down 5 pounds on the scale - it doesn't matter. What matters is that I am consistently making healthy dietary choices, that I am in oxygen as often as I can be and making fitness a regular part of my life.
And finally, I've learned that I don't want to go back to being my 24 year old self, that I would not trade two decades of wisdom and the satisfaction of being a confident, happy and independent woman for my 24 year old body.
So if you've been with me each step of the way - thank you for sharing in my journey and for your support! Here is the photo update; hope you had a happy easter!
Weigh in today was 137.5 pounds, 1.5 pounds away from goal! I've made a few more changes to my diet/exercise. I'll start with diet. Breakfast is a protein shake (a single scoop of Pure Protein Vanilla Cream, 75% water, 25% 50-cal OJ), followed by a handful of raw almonds and raisins. Then a cup of antioxidant rich green tea. Mid morning snack is an apple or a tangerine, and maybe a flat spelt seed cracker. Lunch today was quinoa salad, with cooked quinoa, chopped bell pepper, tomatoes and matchstick carrots tossed with a little lemon juice, and another piece of fruit. Mid afternoon snack is an apple on the drive home, and then a rice cake spread with almond butter, and sliced cucumbers. I also invested in a Nutribullet, and have been drinking green smoothies for dinner, filled with either spinach or swiss chard, and whatever fruits I have on hand: banana, mango, plus strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, a sprinkling of almonds, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds. My doctor was happy with my results but has ordered me to increase my carb/protein intake so I'll be adding egg whites for breakfast, plus going with a hummus and veggie wrap for lunch. I'm also drinking lots of water and herbal teas.Basically I need to add a little good carb and protein since I am so active now, and the weight training requires it to prevent muscle loss, and keep my metabolism from slowing down. I'm also taking a multivitamin and a skin/hair/nails supplement containing collagen and biotin.
My exercise regimen is still 5-6 days per week, with spinning class monday nights, and running alternated with walking on the treadmill every other night, but I've increased speed to 6.0 for 30 minutes straight - was so proud of that achievement, never having been much of a runner!
I am still doing cybex machines but have added plenty of core exercises - planks, brazilian butt lifts and free weights plus squats and lunges. I do upper body/torso or trunk on nights that I run/spin. If I'm walking, I'll do the lower body. One of the personal trainers who is working on his certification at the gym was kind enough to offer to train me for free when he has spare time so he's been working with me and putting me through some cross fit training here and there.
All in all, I'm a very happy girl when it comes to the progress I've made. This pic was actually taken a month ago so I do need to update with a new pic - but for now this will have to do. Work has been really crazy and I haven't had a lot of free time so will update with new pics the first chance I get. Have a great week!
tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have
placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and
good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you
see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being
resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst
you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and
my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the
body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of
a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma
or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of
my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself
will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of
every one of your virtues in the field. (Elizabeth I, Speech to the
troops at Tilbury).
One cannot read this without being moved and inspired by her words! Planning to watch Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth again this weekend, one of my favorite films. So glad it's Friday, it has been the week from hell.....!
Alekha came home from school the other day to tell me that a boy in her
class called her "fat" but then also called her "skimpy". Of course, my
natural defensive Mommy instinct was "WTF?!" and I was very annoyed.
But I was very proud of the way she handled the situation, she told me
she didn't let it bother her and she ignored him. I then proceeded to
tell her that sometimes, nine-year-old boys are mean because they just
don't know better. Sometimes it's because they secretly want the
nine-year-old girl's attention. And sometimes it's because they are just
acting out. But I was proud of her because there have been occasions
where people have said unkind things about her height (calling her a
"giant") that have made her cry, and I've repeatedly told her that it
doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of her - that's unimportant. What matters is what she knows to be true of herself. It then made me
realize that someday, it's likely that she will get her heart broken by
someone. And though I can't protect her from it, I daresay it will make
her a stronger person. And I realize that one of the most important
lessons I can teach my daughter about being a strong woman is to never
forget her inner Queen. Queens don't make bargains, Queens don't run
after a man who is walking in the opposite direction, Queens walk always
with their head held high. Queens epitomize grace. Queens don't
necessarily need a king, either. (Elizabeth I comes to mind!) For now,
I'll start with her princess training. I can tell already that she has
the makings of a fine Queen....