2015, last leg.

So, here we are on the last leg of 2015.  Where did the year go?  It seems to have totally flown by.

I find myself on a constant journey to grow as a person.  Not because I feel like a failure in any particular areas, but I do feel like you never stop learning new information… and if you aren’t putting that new information into practice into life… well that would be a waste!

Lately I’ve been focused pretty heavily on the health and wellness area of my life.  I’ve been pretty healthy for most of my adult life, however lately I’ve definitely tried to raise my game to a new level. I signed up at Beachbody, got some Shakeology shakes, and started doing some of their workouts.

I tell you what, I actually DO feel different drinking the shakes every morning.  I noticed a big difference within the first week with less cravings and it actually holds me over until the next meal. I was sure that having it for “breakfast” at 7:00am would really mean that I would have “real breakfast” at 9:00am or something.  But sure enough it holds me over until 11:00am, which is when I usually like to have lunch.  Here is a link if you want to check out the shakeology products: http://www.shakeology.com/fromsandtopearl

I also started using the little colored cups that come with the 21 Day Fix program.  Where you are more concerned about the types of foods you are eating and how much (carbs, veggies, fruits, etc) than tracing every single calorie. Here is a link if you want to check out some of the workouts or challenge packs available.  Challenge packs are often a better deal as you get shakeology and a workout (or workouts) for less than getting them separately: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/fromsandtopearl

And the workouts… come on.  I’ve been doing them for about 4.5 weeks, 6 days a week, 30 minutes a day (sometimes two 30 minute workouts when I’m feeling frisky)… and I can totally tell the difference in my legs and arms (when I flex… things actually look different.. like maybe I’m growing a muscle in there or something).

All of that pales in comparison to the amazing support I’ve received from my beachbody coach… and now that I’m a coach myself (the shakes are definitely cheaper as a coach… FYI), I get to tap into this network of people who are all focused on not only their own health and wellness, but the health and wellness of all the coaches under them and their customers as well.  There is something very uplifting about getting bombarded with messages from really happy, smiley, healthy people during the day.  Hard to feel down about things when that is happening.

I do think that eventually I’d like to see if I could get some people signed up as coaches under me, help them to help themselves and help others… like everything it is a process…. so I’ve been mainly just thinking about it so far.

Anyways, it’s been a fun way to focus my extra time and energy on something that improves me… and when I’m feeling awesome… I’m a way better wife, stepmom, sister, daughter, friend, coworker, etc, etc.

Besides all of that health stuff (PS… I still drink wine and eat chocolate… just in moderation and on special occasions… like date nights with the hubs) I’ve still been doing great with the new gig of being a consultant.  I’ve been doing a lot of work from home lately, which has allowed me to really get into a routine with workouts and prepping healthy food for the week.  The hubs can grocery shop and pick up most of my essentials for meal planning (he is so good) and he has been so supportive in all my adventures, projects, and crazy ideas lately.

2015 has indeed gone fast.. but it’s been so full of good stuff that it’s hard to complain.  I’m so thankful for where I am, what I have, who I am, just… everything. I have full faith that 2016 will have even bigger and better things to come our way!

pic from our recent family adventure to arizona

pic from our recent family adventure to arizona

The 1 year nesting itch

with our one year anniversary less than a week away, I’ve been in major nesting mode. We’ve taken on a few projects to update the house. We have started with the outside/backyard patio. 

   
   

After the patio, the deck around the pool, then inside the house… Then the world!!! :)

   
   

Post Holiday Wish List

New cordless keyboard.  – Now that I’ve been working from home more, I’ve really started to value a nice keyboard.  One that is quiet.  The keyboard I have now makes me feel like a monkey that is just slapping away at the keys.  Even when I try to be quiet.  My husband and stepson picked me up a new cordless mouse for Christmas.  It puts my old keyboard to shame!

North Face Agave Shirt.  – I saw this shirt/sweater a couple months ago, and it has not left my radar. That is the sign of something that should eventually find its way into my closet.  I’m promising it to myself in January when I get paid.

Hoping Zumba puts out some new DVD’s soon.  They have some new stepper DVD’s, but I’d be a happy camper with a whole new Zumba suite of DVD’s.  Maybe Zumbalicious 2015 or something!  Fingers crossed.

Pinterest.  All of it.  It is basically the devil and gives me more outfits to drool over, visions of kitchens and bathrooms dancing in my head, and the misguided notion that I can cook some of those things on there!

I haven’t decided if I’ll actually have any resolutions in 2015.  I find that I am constantly evaluating where I am in this journey and making adjustments on the fly.  Resolutions are made with the assumption that life won’t throw you a couple curve balls over the next 12 months that won’t make your original resolutions seem more like bad prequels to the real life events unfolding.

However, I’m not against making an effort to try and figure out what is important to me right now.  As a married woman (6 months and 2 days in) for the first time in my life my long term plans aren’t exclusive to me.  They include a man, a boy, 2 huskies, and a small village of fish.

Our future is bright (yup, sometimes we even have to wear shades)!

Life is not sucky.

Changes

Let’s see, this year I’ve gotten married, traveled to Italy, and now I’m changing careers.  It’s been a crazy year!  My thirties have definitely taken me places I didn’t know I’d go (or that I’d be able to go).  I definitely can see why people love the decades after their 20’s exponentially more than the years leading up to these defining decades.  I’ve come to a place in my life where I’m surrounded by successful, beautiful souls who I admire and who believe in me in return.  These friendships have definitely become some of my most favorite “things” in my life.  Between my amazingly supportive husband, family and friends I truly feel like this is the perfect time in my life to take leaps instead of steps.  My new career involves me being self employed and consulting on a particular IT software.  It’s very empowering to have the courage to accept an opportunity that means a whole lot more changes to come!

During the deciding process and since then, I’ve been so warmed by the support and encouragement I have received from everyone.  We (Jason and I) knew that it would be an interesting adventure, particularly as newlyweds. I made sure to include Jason in all the decisions so that this was our choice, our new adventure, together. I didn’t want to end up consulting across the country and find out that we both weren’t committed to the idea.  My friends also have surprised me with their belief in me.  Every kind word, every supporting phrase or hug of encouragement has meant the world to me. If these people, who I hold in the highest regard think that I can do a great job… how awesome (and terrifying) is that!

This weekend I’m taking the time to relax at home and spend some time with the family and prepare for my first travel week. It’s the weekend of logistics, finding a bag that will fit my laptop, snacks and anything else I might need on the flight. I’m hoping to travel with just carryon luggage, which presents an interesting set of challenges.  I’m hoping to fit workout clothes, work clothes and any work stuff I need in my bags.  So, now that work is over and the decisions have been made and the forms have been signed… I am left with the logistics of the travel.

Here’s to new adventures, strong relationships and racking up airline miles :)

There are Five Love Languages – What’s Yours?

Whether you’re in a relationship, or not… I found this quiz to be really enlightening to who I am as a person and the kind of love that I need.  I have to credit our Pre-Marital Counselor, Pastor Rom, in pointing us to this book.  He stressed the importance of learning eachother’s love languages and it has really been a fun adventure to figure out together.

From the love languages website (where you can take this quiz for FREE online <– Read: There is no reason not to do it):

Love Language Personal Profile

Interpreting Your Profile Score

The highest score indicates your primary love language (the highest score is 12). It’s not uncommon to have two high scores, although one language does have a slight edge for most people. That just means two languages are important to you.

The lower scores indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you very much on an emotional level. Learn more about your primary love language and how to put it to use next to the corresponding badge below.

Important to Remember

You may have scored more highly on certain love languages than others, but do not dismiss those other languages as insignificant. Your partner may express love in those ways, and it will be helpful to you to understand this about him/her.

In the same way, it will benefit your partner to know your primary love language in order to best express affection for you in ways that you interpret as love. Every time you or your partner speak each other’s language, you score emotional points with one another. Of course, this isn’t a game with a scorecard! The payoff of speaking each other’s love language is a greater sense of connection. This translates into better communication, increased understanding, and, ultimately, improved romance.

If your partner has not already done so, encourage him/her to take The Love Languages Profile. Discuss your respective love languages, and use this insight to improve your relationship

My score:

9 Acts of Service
9 Quality Time
8 Physical Touch
3 Words of Affirmation
1 Receiving Gifts

Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.

Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
What’s your score?  Your Partners?
Yes, Jason took this as well and it was very fun and interesting to go over the results together.  It has been a nice point of reference.  Jason’s top two were Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.  This has helped me to remember that when things are tense I should make an extra effort to focus on those two areas that are important to him.  This has definitely not made me a “perfect” spouse (as if there is such a thing) but I do feel like it has given me some insight into how I can do the best that I can on my end of the relationship!

Wedding Pictures are up… Yay!

Some of our wedding pictures are up!  We got married June 27th at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette.  My Aunt Deb took the pictures and as you can tell by the striking photos, there was much fun and love shared that day!

Check out the pics here: http://www.debwardphotography.com/p105480982

A few pics to set the tone: