Monday, November 2, 2009

Matthew

As I continue this journey of change and of having my life look the way I have always envisioned it there is always the question, what is my true purpose?  Right?  I can eat better, exercise, save money, make meals, but those are all superficial to the soul within.  There is a constant quest for meaning and inspiration in life, not only mine but others as well, I'm sure.  Last night I was given all of the above, confirmation of purpose, meaning and inspiration.  Here is my journal entry...
I often yearn for more in my life, opportunities to do something big, moments that help me realize my purpose, and tonite was one of those moments.  There was no spotlight, no one else to award me recognition, just a conversation at dinner with my 12 year old son.  I struggle to find words to describe how I feel about this young man, this child bestowed upon me by God to look after, to nurture.  He was my gift, my purpose and tonite as I listened to him speak about his life, school, friends, sports, over spaghetti, I realized that I am doing something big.
When I found out I was pregnant with Matthew God reassured me that this was His plan for me.  So many times along the way I have felt empty or lost, not seeing the big picture. But all my yearnings and insecurities about being a good mother and living a purposeful life dissipated as I watched and listened to my son.  He is profound.  I know he is only 12, but I see in him glimpses of the man he will become.  He is confident and yet I see the adolescent hesitation.  He is strong of spirit, not easily broken, and yet he is sensitive.  He has a heart for others, caring and including.  There are so many layers to my son, that I often miss in our daily interactions and I felt truly blessed to have had my eyes opened to see them all tonite.
He is a parent's dream on paper, honors student, straight A's, athlete, polite, easy to brag about, but even when I catch myself gushing I never take credit.  I always tell people "he just came out that way", and that's the truth.  The boy I gave birth to and the young man he is becoming is who God created him to be and my role, or purpose, is to continue guiding him so he can come to full fruition of all God has in store for him.  I could not be more humbled, grateful, blessed or proud...it is more than I ever thought motherhood could be. 
I was affirmed in my purpose and he's such a great kid, I couldn't help but think, I'm getting some of it right!  These are encouraging and inspiring thoughts to continue to improve and to know you are capable of what ever it is you set out to accomplish.
And I MUST give a huge "shout out" to Aaron on this because Matthew is so much like him.  I can't imagine a better man for my son to learn from.

are small successes the real victory?

I wanted to keep this blog updated with my journey for a new life, but I'm realizing that the journey is slow, dredgerous, and often dissappointing.  But here is something I shared with a friend the other day that I thought I would post.
 I just wanted to share how things are going on my quest for a "new life". I guess change happens a little at a time unless it's forced on you. I am still not exercising which is weighing heavily on my mind. I know it is so important for my body, mind, spirit connection. I just don't know when the best time is to fit it in each day! I also know as the holidays are approaching it's even more important for me. So I don't gain 25 holiday lbs! For the past few years I have begged God to remind me to keep working out through the holidays, so this year I HAVE to make it a priority. I started a new book by the editor of Men's Health magazine called the abs diet. He originally wrote it for men, aaron brought it home, and I read it. Then I found his adapted for women version recently @ TJMaxx (for $3.99) love it! He claims that through "super foods" a person can change their body in 6 weeks. There is also a great daily workout routine. I am reading through it now, and looking forward to implement it soon. I just feel like I need time to get myself together, stock the super foods and pre-make some of the recipes. With still working on Matthew's room I'm just not ready. Also, I am watching Dr. Oz as I'm writing this to you, and I am recording it because he is featuring a guest that he put on a 28 day sugar detox, something I also have been hoping to do. So I have big plans for myself. I may not start until the new year. I don't want it to be part of the new year, or a resolution, but the holidays are such a fun and busy time, I don't want to add another "project" to my schedule. Bobby is about to go off track in Nov, I'm not sure that will allow more time for me, or less, so I'm playing it by ear, but these are goals for the near future. 
I do have a small success story. Today, I spent time cleaning my room (it was so gross!) and then knew I needed to head to Evangeline's. I was about an hour behind schedule when I left and forgot to have something to eat. Normally I would have gone through the McDonald's drive thru, but MIRACULOUSLY today I had NO DESIRE to have fast food. I was thrilled! I went on with my errand, got what I needed headed back into town and ended up eating at Chipotle. I was able to have lunch with alot of "super foods" and I feel so much better about my choice! :) (although I waited so long to eat, I nearly passed out at the register). I am hoping to keep things moving forward, how ever I can...working on Matt's room, my health and nutrition, our finances...but I know now it will be in small ways and that's all I can do each day.
And speaking of finances. I was able to nearly do it all on our cash allowance including Matthew's bday party. I did dip into our debit a little but, we are not overdrafted AND I have not used our credit cards in at least a month! I do feel like I'm making progress. Like I said, it's going to be small if you look at it on a daily basis, but when I've completely made the change in my life, then it will look big. :)
Since this note to my friend, I just want to add with finances, not only were we not overdrafted at payday, we actually are rebuilding our funds!  Victory!  Let's see if I can do it again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The New Me


  Oh, so it's the first day of the rest of my life, right, let's not be so dramatic.  I'm still not sure I want to blog all this, even though no one reads it, but against my better judgement, I'm typing... Don't expect "Confessions of a Shopaholic" although in the opening credits, when she describes the way she feels when she buys something, yeah, I could have written that, hence the need for a new me.  That and the fact that I've got alot of time on my hands these days, with both my boys in school full time and no thoughts of getting a J-O-B. ;)  
  I've been a mom for nearly 12 years, and a wife for 10, and there is so much I want to do.  I have never been one to put all my eggs in one basket, all mom, all wife, all Shawna, there's  always been a fair balance of each, but probably more on the mom and wife side than the Shawna side, so now with all this time on my hands it's time to take a closer look at Shawna.  That is scary for me.  Reconnecting with myself not so much, setting goals to improve myself, huge!  My fear is not that I fail, but that I do not continue to try, which has often been the case with me.  If I don't see the results I want, I quit, or sometimes if I fail, I figure why bother to continue to try when it's just not in my nature to change.
So what does the new me look like?  How do I want to change?  Who do I want to be? I still want to be me.  I love spending time with my family and friends, I love shopping and scrapbooking, I love the sunshine.  I just want to improve in some areas.  I want to take responsibility for my body.  I need to realize that the food that makes my body happy isn't the food that makes "me" happy.  And if I want my body to keep up with me for the next 60 years, I have to take better care of it.  Does that mean becoming a gym rat? NO!  Because if you notice loving the gym was not a part of my list.  It does mean cutting way back on eating out and having fun exercising.  I kind of think of it in terms of the dog, it's my responsibility to be sure the dog gets exercise, I need to be sure I take myself for a walk too.  (Although my husband will tell you I rarely walk the dog, cuz I know he will do it later! :)  See what a challenge this is going to be.  Not only the exercise, but food as well.  I have little to no self control (which will be my main struggle that touches several areas of my life) so eating right is very hard for me.  I tend to constantly feel the need to "treat" myself with food.  A trip to Cold Stone, lunch @ McDonald's, dinner out cuz I deserve it (every other night), it is really starting to show, not good!  So although I know I need to work on eating healthier, I just want to start by eating WHATEVER IS AT HOME!  Even if it's ice cream, so long as I'm not going out.  Which will help in the other area I need to change, my spending habits.  This is another place where my lack of self control becomes an issue.  I also like "treating" myself to pedicures, make-up, accessories, shoes, and clothes.  My challenge in this area, why?  Why do I need it?  (Similar challenge with food)  Those are the hard ones.  There are projects I want to complete and things I want to learn as well, but my health and spending habits are the biggies and I'm hoping by diving into some projects it will help me eat out less, which will help me spend less, and will help me get into better shape.  So since I'm now doing this in a public forum, I hope to keep my blog up to date with how I'm doing, what projects I'm working on and what has inspired me to keep it up.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OCD is not my fight

It's been a really long time since I've blogged.  I guess a lot of what I would "journal" seems too personal and damaging to the image I have built, to share with the world wide web.  Even though I am one who truly believes that you should shout your story from the mountaintops so the world may feel more connected, I tend to be selective of my audience.
Tonite I saw something that moved me as I wrestle with my inner (slightly less evil) demons.  I watched 2 young girls battle and begin to overcome their obsessive compulsive behavior.  One just wanted to swim again, the other wanted to go to prom.  They spent months in grueling therapy to achieve their goals.  And though each had a few kinks to still work out, they both did it.  I was so inspired.  
I sit at home hiding behind the title of stay at home mom, like it's a job.  For many of you it is, you do an amazing job keeping things tidy, nurturing your children, having dinner ready, and making your home a comfortable place for your husbands, that's just not me.  I am not motivated.  My house is livable, my kids are happy, and dinner gets made, but there is so much room for improvement.  We have lived here nearly 7 years and it has been the same struggle for me.  Be passionate, achieve your goals, make a change.  I can not do it.  I fear that I am frozen with fear of failure.  I am not the fearful type, and I don't know why I would care if I failed, I am at the point now where it seems there is really no point in trying.  That seems so sad to me.  So when I saw these girls battling for their lives, I thought I should be doing the same.  I deserve to live my best life (without Bob Greene or Oprah, please!).  I want to give that gift to myself.  And then the thought crossed my mind..."I need some intense therapy".  Yikes!  That will remain to be seen, as I am a firm believer also, in pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.  I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself, that's just the bull in me (I'm a Taurus).  To tell you the truth I had a recent, somewhat intense (from my personal experience) battle with anxiety and when I shared my emotions with friends they shared a concern that I may be suffering from symptoms of depression.  Well I threw myself into "cure" mode.  I was not going to let myself go down that road.  I feel a lot better now, but I have to admit, the experience left a scar on my spirit that may permanently haunt me.  But I did it.  I faced it head on, so I know I am capable of battling to create a new me, the Shawna I know I can be.  
Where to begin?  The task seems so overwhelming, like picking up after a party (the parties around here can get pretty messy).  Where do you begin, will it ever end, and will things all get put back the way they were? I suppose I will focus on one thing, what is most important to me and go from there, but it could take years to get to the next thing!  I once heard that to become the person you want to be, you just need to start acting like that person.  Maybe that's the solution.  So next time you see me, if I don't seem the same, don't panic, it's just the new me! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



Look what I found in the closet today... what a goof ball! I spent half the day trying to get a cute picture of me in my veil.  I did NOT wear it Minnie Mouse style, like the photo below, I wore it under my updo.  It was a surprise to find the box that I have kept this in today.  I also found my guarder.  Strangely, it had a gold turtle pin on it.  Shame on me I have no idea why.  I don't remember anyone giving it to me or anything!  Whoops!  I was actually in the closet looking through (and putting away) all of the cards and notes I have saved from Aaron, the boys, my parents, my sister and some from friends.  What fun to read all the heartfelt sentiments from the most important people in my life.  I also came across a few sets of photo booth photos with Aaron and I, Matthew and I when he was a baby, the first ring Aaron ever bought me, and a memoir of my pregnancy with Bobby.  All this while I enjoyed a bag of Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper! Can you think of a more perfect day?!