Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Resolutions

It’s that time again when we make goals for ourselves for the year!  Is anyone else like me and have a horrible track record for setting goals and then not really keeping them?  I set goals every year and only very very few of them I have ever actually stuck to and accomplished.  So I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this year different.  I want to make this year the one that I set a goal and actually make it happen!

I read a pretty good article here that sums up some strategies to help you keep your goals.  These are a few highlights that I took away from it:

1. Be specific and make it attainable – in other words don’t set my sights too high and be detailed in what I need to do to accomplish it.

2. Focus on just ONE thing.  Instead of making a list of goals, choose one specific thing or area that you want to work on.

3.  Plan-Plan-Plan!!!!  Create a very clear plan on how to accomplish the goal.

4. Do Baby Steps – in your plan, have clear small steps along the way that can show your progress

5. Avoid repeating past failures – if you are setting a goal similar to one you’ve tried in the past – REEVALUATE the goal – determine what went wrong the first time and adjust your plan to overcome those setbacks

6. Don’t let small stumbles make you give up – when you come to a setback, take a step back, reevaluate, modify your goal plan if necessary and then keep going!

7. Get support from family and friends – share your goals with those around you and ask them to be your cheering section.  Being accountable to others helps provide motivation.

8. Remember – change is a process – the habit that you are trying to change didn’t get created overnight, so it is completely unreasonable to think that changing it will be an immediate thing.  It will be a slow process, but it IS doable.

9. Stay motivated – it is easy to be motivated at the beginning, find ways throughout the process to reignite that spark of motivation – remind yourself often of WHY you are doing this

10. Keep working at it!  Don’t give up!  Record your progress and your failures.

So what is my goal going to be this year?  My one area of focus is going to be my health.  I’m starting to feel old.  And I don’t like it.  I am tired of feeling, well, tired.  I want to feel better. 

Now to apply those strategies above -

I had thought about setting a realistic weight loss goal.  Something specific and attainable, but then after reading this article from the New York Times, The Fat Trap, I’ve decided to change that a bit.  That article is kind of long but is a great read about new research in the area of weight loss that talks about how when we are losing weight, our bodies actually fight against us.  Your body becomes used to a specific weight and views it as “normal” whether it actually is or not.  And then when you loose weight your body fights to get it back to where it perceives “normal” to be.  It is hypothesized that it takes years – yep YEARS – of maintenance dieting and exercise at the new lower weight before your body starts to view that new weight as the norm.  So to make a really long explanation short – I took away from the article a desire to focus on being healthy rather than losing a specific amount of weight. 

So my goal is to begin an exercise program and to support that program with eating foods that fuel the body in a healthy way – fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.

To make my exercise program as specific as possible, Nathan and I have decided to sign up to run (or in my case, more like run/walk) the Ortega River Run on February 25th.  It is a 5 mile course and is BEAUTIFUL.  We did it about 8 years ago when Dallin was just a baby and I pushed him in the jogging stroller.  The course goes through an old neighborhood along the river, down little roads with huge canopy trees and lovely old houses.  It really is beautiful.  We’d love to have friends join us!!!!

From the 1st Place Sports website I was able to find a training schedule for a race of that length and then I modified it to make the “rest” day fall on Sunday.

10 K training schedule

So Monday I start my training! You’ll notice that the training schedule lists specific numbers of miles to “run”, well, I’m not sure I’m completely up to that so my miles will most likely be a combination of running/walking with more running hopefully mixed in as I go along.  I’m very excited.  I really do want to make this the one year that I accomplish my goal!!!!

Obviously this training schedule only takes me through the end of February.  At that time, I plan to reevaluate, see how things went, and modify my goal as necessary to keep on improving my health for the year.

Happy goal setting everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cookies for Santa

One of my favorite family traditions is making cookies for Santa.  It is one of those traditions that ties back to my childhood.  As a child, I remember using this very bowl handed down to me from my mom,


to mix up oatmeal cookies or snickerdoodles because those were “Santa’s” favorites.  They also happened to be my dad’s favorite.  Strange coincidence, no?

And so now it continues on with my kids.  At our house, “Santa” happens to love sugar cookies.  And so sugar cookies we made!


Sprinkles anyone?


Santa washed those down with a glass of eggnog and loved them!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skating Again!

Last Thursday, we met up with some of my cousins that I discovered lived over here just a couple months ago at Skate Station.  This time around I was able to convince all three to go out there and skate!


They have these really awesome of “trainer” skates for little ones.  They don’t allow you to roll very fast and so Layton was able to get out there on his own and really go!


Mandy on the other hand had to use regular skates.  She spent most of the time there clinging to the wall :)


But she did eventually get a little more adventurous and gave it a good try.  She never really got the hang of it, but she is excited about and wants to try again.  Hopefully we can go again soon so that she can really learn how to do it.


And Dallin, well – he is now an old pro at it.  He went skating around the rink no problem!!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Photos

When Christmas rolls around, we always try to get a good family photo done.  I think this is a pretty standard practice with a lot of families :)  We always take enough that at least one or two of them turn out good enough to go on the Christmas card and to hang on the wall.  But to be quite honest, my favorite ones aren’t necessarily the “perfect” ones with everyone looking and everyone smiling that I use on the Christmas card.  I think all the other not so perfect ones actually make me smile more!  So here are a few of our out takes that made me smile!


This one is a personal favorite – let’s just say I was pushing the wrong button and no one was ready!!!


Anyone noticing a pattern here of why most of these pictures didn’t make the Christmas card cut?  One word – LAYTON!


I love my little family!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Ballet Performance

Last Saturday, Mandy’s ballet class (plus two other classes) paid a visit to a nursing home.  They sang a couple of fun Christmas songs,


and then started in on their performance.


It is always so fun to watch little kids “dance”.  It always brings a smile to my face.  And I think it also brightened the day of some of the residents.













I am really glad Mandy got the opportunity to do that.  She has the sweetest dance instructor.  Ms. Jan is so much fun and ever so thoughtful.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Our Trip to Bethlehem

The second weekend of this month, the Orange Park Methodist Church put on one fantastic event!  They invited the community to take a step back in time to see what life might have been like in Bethlehem when Christ was born.

You came in through the city gates past the rather scary looking soldiers.


On entering the city our family was “counted” and we paid our “taxes” (which really was a voluntary donation to their charity fund).


Then we wondered the streets of Bethlehem.  Getting a taste of fresh bread,


watching the blacksmiths work,


seeing the livestock, including a baby goat that was born only the night before,


learning how to build from the carpenter and even giving it a try,


and walking into the market to see what foods were sold there.


And last we came upon the stable where Mary and Joseph and this adorable chubby little Baby Jesus spent the night.


The kids love it so much and I think it really was an experience they will remember and will help them understand what life might have been like back then.