Posts filed under ‘one month at a time’

twenty fourteen

i’m actually in shock that we are on this end of the holiday season already!  it’s been an amazing blur of parties and gift wrapping and visiting with friends.  for two months leading up to christmas, my fingers were busy with knitting, crochet, and sewing, as is common for this time of year.  each year gets a bit busier, and this year i unfortunately had to turn down work because there just wasn’t enough time for it all (shown here are most of the items, i didn’t have time to photograph some of them before they were packaged and gone!)

our family worked really hard to keep christmas about Jesus this year, and shifting the focus back onto Him.  we did more acts of kindness, and gave more gifts that didn’t require wrapping.  it was the very best christmas season that i’ve ever experienced, and i’m hoping to duplicate it for many more years to come.

2013 was a big year of changes for me.  i got older, i cut my hair (multiple times), i pierced my nose, i dropped 20lbs, and i had my braces removed.  i learned to control my illness with diet, and am so so thankful for that victory.  i also got cats; two of them.   i learned (through trial & error) to be a better mom, and to be a confident homeschooler.  i quit yelling at my kids, then fell off the wagon, then humbly scrambled back onto it again.

looking ahead, there are things in 2014 that i want to do differently, and things that i want to stay the same.  always, always, always– cherish the time i have with my kids and other loved ones.

my “new years resolution”, is to get back into my 30 day schedule of self-improvement.  i have a few lined up, and i love it when you guys join me in them!

  • january: clean house every night before bed.  the handmade gifts and christmas schedule left me running and dropping a lot, and i’m just ready to snap at the state of my home!  i came across this today, and it totally seems achievable.  so i’ll try for a month and even if i fail half of the days, i’ll still be ahead.
  • daily in february/march/etc, (in no particular order):  practice french, spend 30 minutes with God, delete & clean up my photos.  i dunno, i’m kind of dry on ideas.  i usually have several “healthy eating month” or “30 day shred month” ideas, but my kids are at the gym 4 times a week with programs, so i’m working out during those times too.  and my “special needs belly” forces me to eat healthily every single day, so they’re kind of unnecessary regulars that i can’t fall back on anymore.  any suggestions?

most of all, i want 2014 to be awesome!  in what will feel like 3 months, we’ll be back here again wondering where another year disappeared to, and i want to be able to have nothing but great things to reflect upon.  i’m so ready to work towards that!

thanks for sticking around and reading my musings.  i hope that each one of you have a great 2014, full of God’s blessings and your recognition of them.  happy new year!



January 1, 2014 at 22:15 Leave a comment

getting ready for february

i’ve been kind of quiet on the self-improving theme of this month, and i’m not really sure why.  it’s possible that it’s because i didn’t wait for january to start before i began, or it’s possible that it was such an obvious theme that it didn’t need to be said.

today marks day 24 of exercising and drinking 2L of water every single day.  i hate the cliché new years resolution thing, but by the time december was halfway over i was dreading the thought of trading jogging pants for jeans each day.  i didn’t feel comfortable in my clothes, and i was too afraid to step on a scale.   eventually i snapped and had the following crazy-person conversation with myself:

“you’re eating like crap and you need to exercise.”
“but everyone does healthy month in january, and i hate doing what everyone else does.”
“you’re wearing your overalls.  the ones you wore when you were pregnant.”
“yeah but the holiday schedule isn’t co-operating right now.”
“the holiday food isn’t co-operating right now.”
“i’ll start in  january.”
“that’s what everyone else does.”

and that very day i drank 2 litres of water and threw on the 30 day shred video.  i haven’t stopped since, and i’m so glad that i talked myself into it.  i know i’ve never been a huge person, but i could totally make myself one if i’m not in control of the habits i’m forming.

it’s also helpful that some friends and i have started swimming together once a week, and that my kids have homeschool activities at the gym that give me an hour of exercise time all to myself.   so i’ve got the non-stop shred, the swimming, elliptical, and let’s not forget that winter has finally arrived, so clearing my massive driveway has also played a role.

so that’s decemberish/januaryish/rest of my lifeish, and i’ve got a great project planned for february that i think will appeal to most of you.

my house needs a bit of work.  i’m one of those people that can put a basket of laundry on the floor, and after walking past it a couple of times, the basket becomes invisible to me.  i’ve got half-patched holes in the walls, and half-renovated rooms.  i’ve got plans for the spaces in my house, but there’s no action on my part to see them through.

so february’s project is starting early, because it’s a project that requires some prep.  first step is taping a piece of paper to a wall in each of the rooms of this house.  then i’ll tie some twine around a pencil and tape that to the paper as well.  it won’t look pretty, but that’ll probably motivate me to finish up this task well.  on each paper, i’ll start making a list of things that need to get done.  for example, in my living room i’ll have “put artwork on the wall”, “patch and paint holes”, “organize shelves”, and i’m sure the list will grow as i start looking around for things to fix.

once february hits, i’ll be committing half an hour each day to getting each item checked off of the list.

tonight i spent an hour on my computer, and when i looked at the clock and realized how long it had been, i couldn’t even recall what i’d been doing.  my friends, i do not like to waste time!  time is something that can never be earned back once it is spent.  so february will be dedicated to using my time wisely, and i’m really looking forward to the results of this one!

who’s in?

January 22, 2012 at 22:55 Leave a comment

one month project

it’s been a while since i’ve done a “one month at a time” self-bettering project.  don’t know what i’m talking about?  in short, i like to fix me.  if i want to become the person i want to be, i have to make it happen.  i’m not talking all spiritual here, i just mean stuff like better posture, better eating, less sleeping (i hate that month!). basic things that make me feel like i’m accomplishing something more than what comes naturally.

sometimes people join in with me and that’s kind of nice.  especially when it’s healthy month– that’s a good one to have some extra support in.  december however, is NOT healthy month. nohoho sir.

instead of denying myself christmas cookies and egg nog, i’m going to deny myself stress.  stress+holidays=not what the holidays are all about.

december is “go to bed with a clean house” month.  it doesn’t have to be perfect (unless you’re berni), but it has to be clean enough that when the house meets me in the morning i am happy to see it.

benefits (because sometimes people need to be sold on this stuff):

1. no “to do” list getting between you and a what you really want to do in the morning.
2. christmas decorations can be visible and enjoyed.
3. your husband will love you even more (as if that were possible!)
4. photos.  a clean backdrop for all of pictures you’ll take of your kids decorating christmas cookies, or making christmas crafts– you know you’d take more photos if there wasn’t embarrassing stuff in the background!
5. in my experience, i do more when i have a clean house.  i’ll bake a pie for elliot because all of the measuring cups are clean and there’s space to roll out dough on the counter.  or i’ll pull out the craft bin for the kids to experiment with because i know that the contents won’t end up mixed in with all of the toys that are already on the floor.

okay, so my examples do not reflect my house!  well not all at once, anyway.  and as of this month they’re not going to reflect it EVER.    or at least for december.

anyone in?

November 29, 2011 at 23:40 3 comments


i finished the 30 day shred yesterday, and did my final measurements and weigh-in today.  here are my thoughts on the matter:  i worked SO HARD!!  seriously, that is my first thought about the DVD.  coming in a close second, is the thought that it took 4 months at the gym to shed 11 of the extra pounds that i’d somehow picked up between summer and the end of the year.  in just 30 days (okay, 35 if you include skipped days) of “shredding”, i was able to lose 6 pounds, and 6 inches total off of my body.

gone are the days where i used to eat a bag of microwave popcorn for breakfast, and then fix myself a tray of brownies for lunch (and eat the whole thing).  this whole “working to stay small” thing really caught me off-guard at the beginning of 2011.  derek very gently explained it to me with “you’re not in your 20s anymore”  but i had no idea that getting older would play such a role in what my body does with the food i feed it.

after having babies, i ran and ran and ran until my knees quit on me, but not before i was back to pre-prego form.  when i found myself facing 15 extra pounds and no means of running them off, i seriously panicked.  not because i think that the outside is anywhere near as important as the inside, but because i was out of control and had no idea how to fix it.   my first course of action was to complain about it to derek.  then i complained to God, and asked for some help and He gave me the calmness that i needed and the self-control to not eat 6 freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

this morning when i weighed myself, i was HALF A POUND away from my goal weight.  a measly half pound!  and since january, i’ve lost 14.9 lbs.  instead of being frustrated that i could have worked just a tiny bit harder to get the nice round 15 or to have hit my goal weight, i was satisfied.  i know without a doubt that the satisfaction winning over the frustration is because God was involved in the whole affair.  plus, the “.5” and “.1” are great reminders that just because i’ve finished a program, i’m not finished with taking care of myself.

June 5, 2011 at 17:25 Leave a comment

two on the go

i missed a few days of the shred last month, so my self-bettering project for march is creeping into june.  today is my last day for the program, so i’ll be tallying up the measurements and weights tomorrow to see where jillian michaels got me.  she is one tough lady!

i’m not going to go into too much detail until the official “30 day shred” post goes up though, because my self-bettering project for june is to limit myself to one hour of computer time each day.   that means that my blog posts will be spartan, but i’m really hoping for great results from this one.   i had loads of ideas bouncing around in my head for what i’d do with the month of june.  it’s a month with so much promise since we finish school this week and the summer chaos doesn’t start until july.  with so much free time i could sign myself up for “one home improvement project a week” , or the “15 minutes a day of organizing” which went so well the last time i tried it.  there was also the idea of practicing my flute every day for a month since the missing piece had finally been replaced, but it has to go in for a tune-up or something because i can’t get the E flat to work.  boo-urns.

anyway, with all of those ideas contending for selection in my head, a tiny little idea of “limiting distractions from productivity” started out as a whisper and gained its voice, finally shouting above all the other ideas and promising that i would get more done if i just turned my computer off.  my “one month at a time” thing has  always been about DOING MORE.  this month i’m going to do less, and i’m looking forward to reaping the benefits of this one!

June 4, 2011 at 12:24 1 comment

playing with my kids, and may.

i committed to spend more time playing with my kids during the month of april, and it may have been both one of the easiest, and one of the most difficult self-bettering months that i’ve ever done.   easy because my kids are so awesome to spend time with, but difficult because it really required a lot of initiative and there were so many times when i thought “i just read 4 books to them (for school), i really want a break.”

sometimes i would take that break, but most times i would walk away from whatever i thought i wanted to do, and realize that hanging out with my kids was way more enjoyable than the thing they’d called me away from.

this month i got way better at reading, colouring, and at making voices for the dolls that i was playing with or the characters that i was reading about.  i learned the names of my future grandchildren.  i gave under-doggies.  i played touch tag, wrestled, and there were many, many dance parties.  we baked, made crafts, and perused the toy sections.  i became a better listener.   i said “yes” when i wanted to say “not this time” and i never once regretted it.

it was a good month.

for the month of may, i’m going to go back the healthy-way, and do the 30 day shred.  it’s a workout DVD put out by jillian from the biggest loser.  about 11 or 12 days ago my sister, desiree, started doing the routine and asked me to join her.  i did for about 5 days, but i was still going to the gym and was busy building ikea furniture and walking all over the city, so there was no opportunity for more exercise.

with the arrival of may and the gym membership put on hold for another summer, the time has come to see what pain i can put my body through.  it’s been a few months since healthy month, so it’s definitely due, and you know i like the idea of a 30 day challenge.

May 1, 2011 at 21:03 Leave a comment

april already!

last week i was at the library and when i signed out my stuff the librarian said “blablabla, movies are due april 4th”  and my eyes bugged out of my head and i blurted “april?!! really?  already!”  the poor librarian took a step back in shock at my enthusiastic blurt, but confirmed the fact that i have no concept of time.   so here we are, it’s april.

first order of business: i finished up my monthly self-bettering thing with kicking the habit of crossing my legs.  remember that my criteria had to be that it was simple, and something i could do even if i chopped a hand off or the plague re-visited my family.    i’ve been wanting to stop crossing my legs for years, actually.  i’m one of those people who hate having habits.  i don’t even like putting my socks on the same foot first each time, or developing a pattern of right foot one day, left foot the other.    it needs to be unpredictable, random and chaotic to fit into my life, i’m quirky that way.    at first it was difficult because my short legs left my feet dangling in some cases, and i didn’t want my posture to suffer, but it was just 2 weeks to finish off march, and by the end of it all i’d figured it out.  enthralling right?  yeah, you wish you were me.

so for april’s self-bettering thing, it should be another healthy month because i like to do those every 3 months, but i’m still actually counting the calories and stuff like i was in january. it’s like healthy month never ended- yay! that’s kind of the point of these month-at-a-time things-  trying to form habits by be disciplined for a measly month.  april’s official habit that i’ll try to form is to play with my kids every day.

i know i’m a homeschooler, so i see my kids all day every day; but after we’ve done our school work for the day, we tend to part ways and do our own thing or run errands or whatever.  for the last two days i’ve been playing more with the kids, and really enjoying it.  i thought that i would feel like i have no time to myself or that house work wasn’t getting done, but  there’s time for all of it and investing in the kids is always rewarding on it’s own.  we’ve always had dance parties, wrestled, and played spontaneously, but this month is INTENTIONAL play time with the kidlets every single day.

i’m off to play pokémon with elliot!  another post coming soon about making sushi, and there’s been a post brewing about elliot and his awesomeness for a long time.

April 2, 2011 at 15:25 1 comment

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