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Posts Tagged ‘30 day challenge’

  1. Weekend Reading

    May 13, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    10,000 Maniacs were one of my favorite bands in college. Then Natalie Merchant went off and did some amazing solo work. Now, she is setting 19th century children’s poetry to music. Brilliance.

    Hmmm. I think I may have just found my next 30 Day Challenge.

    The only literary character more important to my childhood than Nancy Drew, was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I can’t wait to read this book.

    If all commercials were this cool, I wouldn’t fast forward through my DVR’d shows so much.

    I totally want to attend this online course in food photography, but I’m traveling this weekend. Again. Good thing I adore my sister and new nephew.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I LOVE Jon Stewart.

  2. 30 Day Challenge: Exercise Recap aka Slacker Central

    May 12, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    Welcome back, folks! Man, life gets busy sometimes. I haven’t blogged much and I can really only chalk that up to how busy we’ve been. After traveling to Connecticut and Missouri, we were in Illinois for three days last week. I’ll post about that trip at a later time, but we had a lovely weekend visiting family, celebrating baptisms, and enjoying my first Mother’s Day. Between travel, packing, unpacking, job hunting, and just life in general, I really haven’t had much time to blog even though I have tons of ideas rattling around in my head.

    All of this busy-ness also lead to an epic fail on my part. That 30 days of exercise challenge? You know, the one where I was supposed to work out at least everyday? Yeah, I didn’t even post a 50% success rate. I counted up the days and workouts and came to a grand total of 13 days. Yikes.

    Some days I put these on and went for a run.

    Other days I rolled this out and stretched and balanced and…fell over.

    But most days, something got in my way. Some days the weather was bad. Some days I was on the run traveling or completing errands on the one day of the week I had the car. (We’re a one car family.) Some days I was just plain lazy. I had fully intended to join our rec center for the month, but then looked at how many days we would be out of town and how many days I would use it when we were in town, and it just seemed like a waste. I also didn’t get to try as many new workouts as I wanted to or have as much variety as I wanted. There were a lot of walks, a lot of yoga, and a few runs. I did a couple sessions of P90X, which kicked my butt. Although, I found the host to be incredibly obnoxious. There was also one disastrous jump rope session. (All I will say about that is that jumping rope post childbirth can be…a challenge. In the same way sneezing becomes a challenge. I think most of the mamas here understand.) Sadly, there were ZERO hikes. Zero. This needs to be rectified quickly.

    The upside of this failed experiment is that I’m a bit further along than I was before. I have figured out where I want to go with my workouts and what I am capable of at this point with this post-pregnancy body. I also feel like I have a more realistic handle on what I’m capable of with my current life and responsibilities. Right now, I’m home with Olivia. I love playing with her everyday and just being her Mommy. In a few short months, however, I’m hoping to be back at work teaching. So, these hours in the day when I have the opportunity to crawl around with her on the floor or push her in the tree swing in the backyard are precious. I’m going to choose that over working out 9 times out of 10.

    My next steps are going to be to continue this 30 Day Challenge. I am not where I want to be in terms of physical fitness and exercise has yet to become a habit in my every day life. So, just like running, I’m going to continue to put one foot in front of the other. One day soon, I hope, this will again be my reality.

  3. 30 Day Challenge Recap: Devotions

    April 4, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    Last Thursday was the final day of my first 30 Day Challenge. You can read about the challenge HERE. I’m a little late in getting you a recap of how it went because last Wednesday my sister delivered her twin boys. We are blessed beyond measure by the birth of Luke and Logan. Sadly, Logan was too tiny to survive, but Luke is doing amazingly well in the NICU. We anxiously await the day he gets to come home with his Mommy and Daddy.

    The process of doing daily devotions is not something I had ever taken on before. I would read them from time to time, maybe once a week. On those days, the practice was very meaningful to me. Now, having done it for 30 days in a row (ok, ok, I forgot a couple days, but I made it up the next day. I blame the cuteness.) I realize how meaningful it is when you truly make it a part of your daily schedule.

    Some of the things I like about devotions, I’ve mentioned already. It helps clear my head for my day. They help me be more patient and loving to the people in my life. But, it took making it a daily habit to realize even more benefits. First, I discovered it didn’t matter when I read the devotions. Initially, I felt like I had to read them in the morning. I thought that it was an appropriate time and that it would help to set a positive tone for the day. However, with a seven month old, sometimes mornings were just too crazy. So, when I would crawl into bed at the end of the day, I would read them then and I was pleasantly surprised to find the effect was the same. The devotions helped to clear my head of all the action of the day and I slept better. Additionally, Tim and I would sometimes read them together, which was a lovely way to connect after he had been gone at work all day.

    Second, I learned that there always seems to be more room in my heart for prayer. At the bottom of each page of devotions, there is a prayer request. Sometimes the request is very meaningful to me and I can apply it directly to a person in my life. Other times, the request was for something that I was unfamiliar with or for a people far away. But it felt nice to pray for these strangers, kind of like a charitable act. It never felt overwhelming or like a chore. Maybe that is something God does for you. He opens your heart wider and wider so that His love can be shared across boundaries you thought were too large and imposing.

    My favorite part of this entire process was reading the Bible. Prior to this challenge I was familiar with the scriptures that probably everyone else knows as well. Psalm 23, John 3:16, etc. The devotions offered the opportunity to read a wider variety of the Bible. I read from books I hadn’t even heard of before. I’m such a heathen. Ha! Some of the passages were very direct and plainspoken. Some were downright poetic. My favorites were Isaiah 40:28-31, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, and Psalm 139:13-16.

    The point of these 30 Day Challenges is to bring something positive and new into my life and turn it into a habit that will last. I really believe that I will carry on the practice of daily devotions. It is calming and healing to me on an emotional and spiritual level. If you chose to practice along with me, I’d love to hear about your experience. Comment away!

    Also, tomorrow I will announce the next 30 day challenge, so stay tuned. It just may take your breath away!

  4. 30 Day Challenge: Devotions

    March 1, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    They say it takes 30 days to establish a new habit. So, at the beginning of each month, I am going to set a goal or challenge for myself. I’ll keep it up for 30 days or the length of the month. At the end of the month, I will report back and let you know how it went. I would love it if you would join me in any of these challenges that you are also interested in and share your experiences in the comments of the related posts.

    For March, I am going to do 30 days of devotions. For those unfamiliar with devotions, it is kind of like daily Bible study. Devotionals can be found for free at most churches and contain a scripture, a prayer, and a related story. The one I will be using is The Upper Room.

    You can also follow a devotional plan online or via your smart phone. Yes, people, there is an app for that.

    In fact, after our move last October, we still haven’t been able to find our Bible. We found our New Testament books, but when I need to read from the Old Testament, out comes my trusty iPhone. Most Bible apps also have a devotional plan and there are devotional apps as well.

    So…why devotions? The last two years have been full of life changing events. In our family, both immediate and extended, we have experienced a new marriage, birth, death, unemployment, an interstate move, re-employment, and pregnancy complications. That’s an incredibly busy and stressful two years. While I’m not a devout person, I do believe very strongly in God and consider myself a Christian. My desire to do devotions every day comes from a need to quiet my mind and let go of that which I can’t control. During these last two years, I have sporadically read the devotional and I have found on the days that I did, I was much better prepared to deal with any stress the day sent my way. I was nicer to my husband, more patient with my students and my daughter, and happier in general.

    Devotions have also helped me to be grateful and humble on the days when my blessings were abundant. They have prompted me to be more forgiving, to reach out to those in need and to be thankful for that which I do have, rather than coveting what I feel that I lack.

    It is my hope that by taking this on as a 30 day challenge, reading a daily devotional will turn into a habit beyond the 30 days. I also hope that I will feel calmer and less stressed overall as a result of making this a daily practice rather than a “when I feel like it” practice.

    And….we’re off!

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