Fairy Tale Mom
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I’m getting so much better at praying daily. When I first added it to my 40×40 list I really struggled with knowing when or why or how to pray. While I never struggled with Who to pray to (I conquered that question years ago) I just couldn’t get in the habit of doing it every day. And, on the occasions that I did remember to pray, I didn’t ever really know What to pray for.

It would be easy, I suppose, to say that prayers of gratitude were abundant and the most obvious choice. But, for me they weren’t easy or abundant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my many, many blessings. I’ve prayed for them and about them often. (Dear Jesus, that you for allowing me the opportunity to continue loving the princess.)

The other obvious choice is to pray for guidance. I did this fervently and often. I prayed for signs. I prayed for divine intervention. I prayed for guidance. I begged to help with troubling decisions. I once found myself pleading with God for an hour straight, crying the whole time, for answers to questions I hadn’t yet formed.

Then, I spent a whole lot of time praying for the wisdom to know when God was speaking to me. Confession – I still pray this prayer quite often.

After 2 years of working at building a relationship with God strong enough for me to speak to Him daily, I don’t know that I’ve gotten any better at the substance or timing of my prayers. What I can say, with certainty, is that I know that just trying is enough – even though it doesn’t feel like enough. Even while I feel tiny and silly for asking God to care about my insignificant problems, I know now that He already knew. My prayer for help and wisdom and patience and guidance were all an adequate and completely inadequate expression of gratitude.

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weight loss exercise class

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The Friendaversary has been celebrated – properly I might add. @justheather has introduced me to so many new things, like blogging. And, she’s been a great motivator during the healthy living project. While she applied to be a Mamavation Mom, I decided that the best way to support her was to join her on the journey.

So, I’ve been drinking tons of water. In fact, Diet Coke just doesn’t sound good anymore – and I used to drink LOTS of Diet Coke. The salads every day have really made a difference in my health – I’ll spare you the details on that one. And, I’m learning new ways to eat some of my healthier favorites. I’ve always been a veggie eater, I just didn’t eat enough of them. So, this week we are working on portiion control… that’s a big challenge for me.

And, now the GOOD NEWS –

I’m wearing smaller pants!!!  That’t right. I’m down a size!

I still haven’t stepped on the scale, but I promise that I can see a difference!

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Ok, so I only worked out a few times this week. (That includes death by Zumba with MFH on Thursday.) I still was really good about drinking water and not much soda. But, I was in training classes at work and it was hard to keep on track.

You see, there isn’t much food you can take with you when you aren’t sure of the facilities or amenities available for storage or reheating. But, I did manage to eat salads most days, and still yogurt for breakfast.

But, my biggest confession is that this weekend I was really not good. With a 6 hour dance competition on Saturday and a very hectic day on Sunday, I ate what was available – that was pizza for dinner.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m back on track. Being on #teamheather is helping so much so I feel awful for letting her down this weekend.

MFH has introduced me to many things in the last few years. I started blogging, and utilizing social media. I started paying much more attention to my need to be more than a mom. I’ve traveled with her to Chicago and New York, making new friends on the way. She introduced me to some great books. And, now she’s brought me along on a journey that I have so badly wanted to take for years.

You see, I have a weight problem. I never thought that I was hiding it, after all, you aren’t blind. However, I wasn’t admitting that I had an issue to myself. I pretended that losing the weight and changing habits would be easy. Well, it hasn’t been easy. Actually, it hasn’t happened at all.

Until, MFH submitted her application to the mamavation campaign. I know that I am very supportive of my friends when they have a goal, so I agreed to join her in her quest. I’ve mostly given up Diet Coke. I used to drink at least 4 cans a day, it was hard to give up. Now, I drink TONS of water. And, today, I realized that my pants are falling down.

Now, I’m not quite good enough to get in all of the hazing work outs every day, but I’m trying to get most of them in. I think it’s making a difference. Mostly, the difference is that I care to make a change.

I’m tired of feeling horrible, and I want a really cute little black dress.

I’ve tried everything else, but I’m banking on MFH and the mamavation team.

I’ve been hearing from my mother for years that I have a weight issue. And, don’t think that I don’t notice that my pants are way bigger than they were 5 years ago.

But, more than that, I’m so sick of getting winded playing with the princess. I want to be healthy. I want to find a way to make better decisions about my body, my life, my health than I have. I am lucky that MFH decided to join bookieboo.com and apply for this challenge.

I’ve been mostly following along. And, while I won’t step on a scale yet. I can tell you that I feel so much better when I take the time to work out. Doing it with my BFF is just a bonus. She is a great motivator and supporter. AND, she didn’t laugh at me when we took our first Zumba class this week.

So, as I make better decisions this week, for my health, I am so grateful to have a support system in place. And, I ‘m grateful for the motivation from a network of great people who know exactly what I’m feeling.

In case I’ve not made this public before, I really didn’t like my old job. I dreaded going every day and desperately wanted out. Now, you would think that I spent hours and hours looking for a new job and applying for positions. Yet, I didn’t.

But, prayer was successful and a new job found me. I’ve been with the new company (another financial institution with a big name) for just a few weeks and am really so much happier.

The environment is better, the systems are better and I’m enjoying the structure and ability to easily access information. The only downside is that while I am in training, I’m driving far away. So, the Princess gets a happier Mommy at home, but still sees less of mommy as I’m always in the car.

I can’t help but be thankful though. I’m being given a great opportunity to learn and grow. So, I’ll take the temporary inconvenience in exchange for the long term gain. I’ll just be really tired in the meantime.

In answer to the "Is the glass half empty...

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Today I was thinking on things that I know for sure. I’m trying, still, to make a difficult decision. There are so many sides to consider and I was trying to wrap my head around the details of the decision so that I could move forward.

It turns out, unlike the Media Mogul Oprah, I don’t know much for sure. I know that I love the Princess beyond measure. I know that I’m fiercely loyal to those that I hold dear. And, I know that caffeine is a driving force in my life.

I’m unsure of so many things. How do I make long term decisions if I continue to question so very many important things in my life?

My primary question today is: Whose happiness is most important? And, what if my happiness causes pain to someone else?

This decision is really weighing me down and preventing me from moving forward or in any direction really. I’m losing so much no matter which way I choose…

So, the question really is this: How do you choose the path to follow when both look equally ominous? Really, How do YOU choose?

I need help.

Daily Prayer:
Dear God, Today I am confused and troubled and burdoned with worry. While I trust you to guide me toward the right choices, I find myself listening harder and harder for your voice to speak to me. Please continue to guide me and be with those that I love as we make choices today. Help us to live the life you have designed for us. Amen.

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No. Really, I just quit my job. It is a pretty amazing feeling to leave a job that you don’t really like in the first place. But, it’s a little sad too. I’ve worked with some of those people for 6 years. I know them well.

I met great people in that job. And, I learned a great deal about finance and banking (like all of it, as I knew nothing going into it). But, it was time to go.

After the bank I worked for, and enjoyed for 4 years, got bought by the new company, things just weren’t the same. I knew that I wanted to find something new nearly right away, but I waited. And, as I waited NBF and the fairy and the pirate all found themselves without jobs.

While there was such uncertainty in Fairytale Land, I decided to hold off on my own job search. It felt necessary as I helped with the job searches of those around me, I was too distracted to look on my own. The time came, though, when I just couldn’t ignore an opportunity in front of me.

A colleague of mine, who I never had a great relationship with, told me that she was offered a job with a competitor and passed my name on to the recruiter.

After a 2 month long interview process, I was offered a position with a little bit of a pay increase and a substantial incentive plan.

I am thankful for the opportunity and grateful that someone thought enough of my work ethic to recommend me.

Tonight I realized a few things:
1. I am the worst Girl Scout Treasurer ever
2. I always miss my kid after bed time, even though I’m really excited to put her to bed at night.
3. I need to go to the gym that I joined.
4. I’ve made little progress on my 40×40 list
5. I need a 5 year plan.

It is that last one that has me the most freaked out. I mean, I don’t like where I am financially, physically or spiritually and I have no plans in place to make any changes.

I wrote a whole list, my 40×40, so that I could make plans and I never make plans to complete the list. So, this week I am planning 2 things to complete. I won’t complete them this week, but I will make the plan. I will budget the time and resources necessary.

I will need some serious budget rehab to plan any overseas travel, so that will have to wait until some other major decisions get made in fairytale land this week.

But, I’m sure that I can find 2, just TWO, items that I can complete in the near future.

I’ll keep you posted…

Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks, 09-10. Catego...
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As this year draws to a close, I don’t know if I’m really sad to see it go. This year was a tough one in Fairytale Land. We faced job loss and job struggles, money concerns, and all the uncertainty that we can handle. So as this year ends, I say good riddance.

But, several great things happened in 2010 as well. I met new friends in far away places. I learned a new skill (knitting counts). I gained confidence in some abilities I haven’t used in a while. And, a friend believed in me enough to help me achieve a childhood dream. And, the travel.. I went to the beach and to the mountains and to the plains. All in all, I suppose I had a good year despite some unlikely circumstances.

So, as I go into the New Year, I want to make sure that I am better prepared to tackle the things in life that just tend to come up and also be better able to live in the moment of the many blessings that come my way.

So, as I make my list for 2011, I’m going to include some sort of financial plan, one item to better myself physically, one item to deepen relationships with friends, one item to be a better parent and one completely selfish gift to myself. Now, I’ll spend all day working on the list and another week editing it, but I will go into this year with a better plan than I had last year.

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