Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Naps & Sentences

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for longer naps. We dropped Mckenna down to one nap. She was still only napping an hour...YIKES. That makes for a cranky kid. So after a couple days of tough love (AKA, telling her she'd have to stay in her bed until naptime was over, and that making her stay in bed 1.5 hours) She started sleeping 1.5-2 hours. The few days of transition weren't ideal, but went pretty well. She'd fuss for a few minutes off and on in the middle, but generally go back to sleep. But I'm SO happy she's sleeping a good, solid nap. She's a happier kid!!

I'm thankful for iced coffee. I've been having iced coffees in the morning and they hit the spot...BIG TIME.

I'm thankful for time off IVF meds. We decided to take a little break from IVF (since I've been on some kind of IVF med since November). We are only taking a month off, but somehow knowing I won't be on meds for a whole month feels like the weight of the world is lifted off of my shoulders. Silly to some, I know, but I have a feeling a lot of ladies can relate.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for a wife who does it all. A couple things I love about Mandi: She is more than happy when I drive the ship and she's more than willing to drive the ship when I'm not. She picks up my slack without a complaint and to be perfectly honest, usually does the job I was going to do, better. I fall more in love with her every day.

I'm thankful for fresh fruit. We've been eating a lot of fresh fruit lately for breakfast and throughout the day. We've been scarfing on pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon and blueberries recently and they have been wonderful. We actually have some watermelon and cantaloupe growing in the garden that I can't wait to try!!

I'm thankful for "sentences". Mckenna has been talking in sentences lately and it is so cute...if you consider two to three understandable words a sentence or six words of gibberish. It's just so amazing to me how quickly children develop.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Could I Choose NOT to Exercise?

One thing about usually sucks while you're doing it.

I know I can attest to how sucky it can be. It doesn't matter if I'm running, lifting weights, biking, hiking, doing a class or an array of other activities, the "present" usually stinks. I don't know about you, but when I exercise, I experience the following:

Pain from sore muscles
Pain from stiff joints
Some type of back pain
Light headedness
Eye stings from sweat
Shortness of breath
Coughing my head off
and the list goes on...

So as you see, I don't enjoy exercise. Well, let me back up. I certainly don't enjoy exercise while I'm exercising.

I've been on the record many times about two things regarding exercise, I only do it because I love my wife and daughter and, there is NO DOUBT that it's the best thing for my health. When I'm healthier I'm a better husband and father. On the days that not a bone in my body feels like going to the gym, I figuratively, and sometimes literally, slap myself across the face and say "it's not about you!".

See, my present (both from God and in time) is what inspires me to exercise, but it's my past and future that I often think about when I'm in the trenches. When my energy is zapped and I feel like I can't push anymore and when the pain feels like it has blown past my threshold, I often think about how good I'll feel when I'm done and how terrible I feel when I'm not committed to a life of exercise. The great thing about an exercise "high" is that it often lasts all day. Sure, you're maybe a bit tired. A slight worn out feeling. But I assure you the benefits of exercise are working even when you're not. I don't know about you, but when I exercise, I experience the following:

More energy throughout the day
Better sleep at night
More mucus production through out the day
Less viscous mucus
Ability to take deeper, fuller breaths
A sense of accomplishment
Increased appetite
Better "overall" feeling
Pride in myself
Honor (keeping a promise to my wife and daughter)
Better body image
More focus on other tasks throughout the day
and the list goes on...

Now, looking at the two lists, how could I choose not to exercise?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sometimes You Can't Do It Alone (as well)

As many of you know Mandi and I started torturing ourselves exercising again as soon as I got out of the Hole a few weeks ago. We decided not to go it alone in our exercise routine and rejoin the GPT (group personal training) option at our gym. GPT opens up a wide range of other classes that mainly consist of booty kicking, high energy group classes meant for those that want a little more of a challenge at the gym, have high fitness goals and/or need a little extra attention from one of the many great trainers.

Our general class of choice is called Intensity and is 45 minutes of a variety of exercises at a frantic non-stop pace. For example, yesterday, in 45 minutes we had 3 minutes of break time TOTAL. The other 42 minutes we were doing exercises ranging from kettlebell swings to plank jacks to sumo squats to bar bell curls to decline pushups to straddle jumps. Needless to say, at the end of a 45 minute class, I'm sweating like I just ran across the entire Gobi desert with no water profusely and on a normal day, seeing some sort of star pattern in my line of vision.

This class in one that I love to hate. Every time we commit I'm hesitant (because I'm lazy and don't enjoy pain), but every time we do it, I ask myself why I ever stopped doing the class. Not only am I getting pushed in 45 minutes way more than I would ever push myself, but the benefits do not just stop there - I just simply feel better. I feel better throughout the day, week and hopefully, month and year. When I'm involved in the GPT classes, I'm a better husband, father, friend and human being in general (there's no actual proof of that last one, but I went with it anyway).

Simply put, there are some things in this life that we do better when surrounded by others. We need their accountability. We need their motivation. We need their energy. We need their encouragement. We need their strength. We need their help.

If you're the kind of person who struggles getting to the gym by yourself, stop going it alone. Join some classes. Meet some people. Ask for help. Get a trainer. Commit to two weeks of exercise instead of a lifetime. Go to the gym and sit instead of sitting on your couch (it's more expensive, but at least your at the gym). Stop thinking about how bad it will feel at the time and start thinking about how great it will feel in due time. Side note: I started walking normally again after my first intense workout after about 6 days. It happens.

I promise you're worth it and the person at the gym you haven't met yet that will hold you accountable thinks so too.

Monday, June 10, 2013

"There's a NOW in the pain"

Have you ever heard a sermon at church that really strikes you? That really speaks to you? That is presented in a way you've never heard before? Or maybe it's just the Holy Spirit allowing you to hear it differently?

I heard a sermon yesterday at church that really spoke to me. It applied to our whole IVF situation (still an ongoing saga since November). It really got my wheels spinning. It was about pain and worry. It was about God using our pain NOW, not one day from now, for our good. And that we needed to not be anxious, but pray, and we will receive His peace.

Cool side note: I sat listening and really wanted to write a blog about it. I woke up this morning, sat to write my blog. And couldn't for the life of me remember the scriptures the pastor used, so I thought, "oh well, I can just write about something else." Before I got started I opened my email to do my devotion for the day. The subject line? "Result of Worry" It was a perfect follow-up to yesterday's sermon. The related readings suggested? Philippians 4:6-7Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Which is actually one of the exact verses the pastor used yesterday. Sometimes God is so cool in the way He works…Needless to say, I am able to write this blog.

So the thing that really stayed with me from the sermon, however, was the pastor’s commentary on Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Many of us have heard this one…and use it often in our circumstances. I often read it when something isn’t going right. I always thought, “it’s ok, God will use this situation.” But what I failed to acknowledge and rejoice in what the pastor said this verse is actually saying. He said it’s not just saying that He will work all things together for our good in the future, but NOW. That when we are in a hard spot, in pain, in the midst of less than ideal circumstances, you name it, God is using that time. He is working in that time. He isn’t just giving you that situation to one day use it. He is working in that moment, that month, those years.

For some reason that brought me a lot of peace. I’m sure it’s in part because I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. I couldn’t help but think of our current struggles to get pregnant. I found myself feeling grateful for the last 7 months of struggle. I feel blessed to know that God is currently working during the last 7 months. I may not know how He’s currently working for our good, but that’s ok. It brought me a new level of patience in the process…which by new level, really means some patience at all, as I haven’t been very patient through the process at all. It made me thankful that I serve a God who is Good, and who loves me, and who is doing what’s best for me, even when I don’t know it.

I love sermons that cut right to your soul. And I know that many people struggle with their current circumstance, like I was with our IVF. So I thought I’d share this little tidbit that really spoke to me. It sure feels good to know that in pain and bad circumstances, God is currently working for my good! So I say, bring it on God!