Friday, May 31, 2013

Off To The Pool Through Grandma-Eva's Eyes

Today was the last day of school for my 1st grader Sophia, and the kids have requested that we go to the pool to celebrate.

Currently, I am at least 15 lbs heavier than I want to be.  Really, I would like to be about 30 lbs lighter, but who's countin?. :) Since I've just been trying to stay sane I haven't been focusing as much on losing the weight like I was last spring (when I lost 27 lbs! woo!woo!,) but I'm excited to start working on that again.

Still, today, I am not going to be losing 15 lbs. LOL

Weight is another big issue for me, or size, because most of my life it wasn't.  I was active, healthy, slim and loved it.  it wasn't difficult.  Then I had 3 kids during which I was sick CONSTANTLY.  The only way I wasn't puking was if I had something in my stomach, so I was nibbling on something CONSTANTLY.  Usually breads and crackers.  I know, really nutritious. :)

Now my youngest is almost 2, and it's been hard to curb the eating habits I developed while pregnant, which only worsened with stress, late-night eating while editing photos for my home business (Forget-Me-Not Fotography Like us on Facebook!) and giving in to my husband's poor, mid-west eating habits of cheese, meat and more cheese.  He even (I DO LOVE HIM!) makes his trademark "Fried Cheese."  :) I know I can lose the weight with Weight Watchers (a program I've used before) but I really just want to get to that happy physical place by exercising and eating right and just being accountable to me.

Anyway, along the way I have really not liked being in pictures or swimsuits.  You never realize how big you are until you see yourself in a swimsuit or a picture.  It's like physical evidence of all the binging and poor choices you've made staring back at you.  And those hips don't lie!  I don't think there is an ideal size or that everyone should look the same.  I DON'T.  I just know I can be taking better care of myself.

That all being said, it's important for me to be in pictures with my kids.  I treasure the pictures I have with my own family so much.  So my current mental mantra for finally being a little more comfortable in pictures is "I'll be bigger later."  Let me explain. :)

Since I'm always "planning" on getting in better shape, I've often thought to myself, "I'll be skinnier later so I'll just be in pictures then..."  Has anyone else ever thought that?  Please tell me I'm not the only one.  Well, then one day I was looking at pictures of my mom and me when I was a munchkin and she looked great!

Not that she doesn't now, she's beautiful!  But we do tend to age with it was special to see her younger and looking so alive with us kids.  Even though she, at that point in time, didn't like her hair or was a little self-conscious of her smile, she was smiling anyway.  Making a slideshow of her and us for Mother's Day was so rewarding and only possible because she smiled for the camera (even though she ALSO DID NOT WANT TO BE in the pictures.)  If you would like to see that slideshow it's here (Warning: If you are a mother you might need to have some kleenex ready...)

So I figure, however I look now, whenever in the future I am seeing that picture I WILL LOVE IT!  Compared to future-Eva, I will be younger in today's pictures.  Today's Eva has all her teeth!  My skin will be smoother now than how it is later.  I'm sure the "cottage cheese" I've got now will be nothing compared to later. :) And even if I'm 15 lbs or 30 lbs bigger than I want to be right now, I'm sure someday "I'll be bigger later."  And that's not a bad thing.  There is a season and time for all things, but not for being so self-conscious we don't let ourselves fully live life. :)
I no longer always look at myself through today's-judging-Eva eyes.  I look at myself through Grandma or even Great-Grandma-Eva's eyes.  And according to her, I'm a hottie! :)  Seriously, the old Eva would NOT have wanted a picture with her daughter on the last day of school and I'm SO glad I have that to treasure.

So I'm off to get all ready for the pool.  And I am going to enjoy every moment of it, white legs, farmer's tan and all!  LOL Luv, Eva

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday Was A Beautiful Day And I Almost Missed It

Yesterday truly was a beautiful day, and I almost missed it.

My heart breaks for all of those who have succumbed to the dark pressures of depression and are no longer with us.  That sentence does not say enough for them, but they are in my thoughts, especially days like today.  I believe some might even be angels, giving me strength and helping me last this long and make it to this great emotional place.

I was able to witness a milestone for little Michael.  He is out of kindergarten and officially a 1st grader!  So technically, I have two 1st graders right now, since Sophia is still in school until Friday.

It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago I was telling my husband I didn't care about being around for any of our children's graduations, weddings, anything...

I am so grateful for friends and family that reminded me of their love for me, and gave me strength.  Don't ever pass up an opportunity to tell someone you love them.  You never know- YOU might be the only person in the world they believe.

To all those having a down day, week or month...or more...think happy thoughts, surround yourself with loving, genuine people and remember that whether or not you feel it or believe it, YOU ARE LOVED, NEEDED and PRICELESS.  Luv, Eva

Slides, Belly-flops & Picking Myself Up Again

I've been editing and posting pictures like crazy of our family activities this past spring, and most recently my kids' school carnival.  (If you'd like to see some please become my "friend" and check 'em out. :))  Since all of our family is at least a state away, Facebook and other photo sharing keeps us connected.

Anyway, I came across some pictures I'd been meaning to write about from some moments with my family that especially inspired me...
 Just kidding about that one!  Although I do have an inspirational Mario Kart moment, but another time...
I meant this one...
 ...and this one.
Little Sam is almost 2, and like most kids his age he does not know how to give up.  Whether it's climbing a mini rock wall, vying for a toy, asking for a treat...he will try and try and try until he gets what he wants accomplished.  Sammy literally slid down this wall (on his adorable, cute, belly) several times before finally making it to the top.  And then he was off to his next challenge!  

There was no "Ok, where's my prize?" or "Now I need my break."  He just KEPT GOING!

Now I'm not saying I never want a break, because I like breaks.  And I'm not saying I don't want a prize because I love prizes!  (Especially chocolate prizes!)  But I am saying that I wan to be more like Sam in my climbing-sliding-climbing endurance skills.  
I want to do a better job of picking myself up again and reaching for the top no matter how many times I belly-flop and slide down.  
Because maybe life isn't about just getting to the top anyway.  Maybe it's more like the slides my kids love, meant to have a high, beautiful view,
 then some descents,

  and then an opportunity to rise again.

If that's the case, which every day I believe more and more that it is, I want to enjoy the ride (and slides) a lot more.  Kids have to grow and adapt so much and still find fun along the way, yet I know I make myself out to be the victim when things are hard.  

Does Sammy have a pity-party when he has to try more than once to climb his little mountain?  Nope.  Do Sophia and Michael complain about having to climb the stairs to get to ride down the slide?  Never.  
I love my kids.  As hard as it is to raise them sometimes, they are worth every moment, every minute, every slip, fall, belly-flop, slip and slide I find myself taking along the way.  There are a lot of  other things I could have done with my life, but taking the chance to grow with them is the greatest mountain I've been privileged to climb.  Best of all, they remind me to laugh, keep trying and be silly even in my worst belly-flop moments.  Thanks kiddies.  And thank you Sammy.   
Love, Eva