Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finishing the year with a little reflection

I have no regrets for 2014. Sure there are things I would do differently. But I am so thankful that this has been a year lived well!

I was thinking of doing a recap or something, but there is just no way. Not with my very full life and three kids. I know I would end up leaving out something super important.. so instead, I'm going to highlight a couple things that really spoke to me about our year.

2014 was a year of reflection and figuring out who I am. Something about turning 40 will do that to you I guess. I realized that I can be a runner and really fit and STILL LOVE DONUTS! I also realized that I am never going to overcome the anxiety of thinking that I'm not going to be able to wear whatever pair of pants that I have in my hand, that have been in my closet for a long time and that I have worn more than a dozen times. I have accepted that part of my food issues will always be my internal struggle of thinking I am fat; whatever the size of pants I am wearing or whatever the scale says.

This year I started acknowledging that I am an artist. Something about oil painting freed my soul and allowed me to let go of all of the fear and doubt and just create.

This year I also started competing in triathlons. I am going to continue this! I had to realize that my running goal was going to suffer because of the training for tri's, but my overall fitness improved. I ended 2014 with 767 running miles but almost 1000 cardio miles.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most this year was running with my sisters

and my friends! We celebrated the end of the year with 5k this morning in 21 degrees! For these central Texas bodies, that is COLD!

This year was also a year of vacations. Doug and I went to Mexico and then we had our big family trip to Disney World.

There was just something extra special during these moments of togetherness. We live life in such a rush that taking these vacations together let us recharge and reconnect.

My 2015 plans are to simply keep doing what I am doing.

I have some fitness goals.

I'd really, really like to run a sub 2 hour half marathon, a 57 minute 10k and a 25 minute 5k. In order to get to these goals, I am going to have to eat better. I think that focusing on the goal and what it takes to get there is more helpful for me than trying to deny myself the occasional donut.

I started taking this to heart this morning.  I drank a smoothie. Actually I drank almost 2 of them. INSANE. I found out that smoothies that are made from just fruits and veggies are fine, it's the dairy in them that I don't like.


I even got my girls to drink some. That's part of my 2015 plan. More fresh, less processed!

I have some art goals.. like create a piece a month. As I sit here looking at my bag of supplies that I bought home to work with over Christmas break, I realize that this is not going to be easy. In reality I'll probably create a little here, a lot over summer and hopefully finish the year with a dozen new pieces.

I even have some eductional and work related goals, but those are boring. So I'll move on.

In the end this year was a big year.

I turned 40.
Doug returned to pastoring a church after 12 years. (I realize as I type this that I don't know if I ever blogged about that!)
Maddie started high school.
Lexi showed rabbits.
Kylie started kindergarten.

And boy were we busy!

Don't think it's going to slow down in 2015. Better grab your running shoes and a smoothie if you want to keep up!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Changing the way I respond

I rejoined Weight Watchers yesterday. I did pretty well. I worked out, ate healthy foods and played with my little girls. I used all of my daily allowance, 1 weekly point and banked my exercise points.

Good thing!

This morning Maddie, at almost 15 years old, had tubes put in her ears. For the first time. Crazy stuff. We left the house at 4:45am in order to be at the hospital at 6am for check in.
before being called back to pre-op. it was EARLY!
Then we waited and the nurses did paperwork and we waited and finally at 8am they took her back to surgery.

We were at Ihop (Maddie's choice) at 9:30am.

It is possible to make healthy food choices at Ihop. I didn't.

Something about my kid being put under general anesthesia for at least the 9th time in her 14 years made me regress to my crappy food choices.

I was completely aware that I was doing it.. but I did it anyway.

I ordered the Swedish crepes.

I enjoyed the first one. I ate the second one. I stopped one bite in on the third one.

That was 12 Weight Watcher points. Ouch.

At least I only ate 1/2 of the order!! oh. my.

We got home and got Maddie to bed and I sewed some "bum warmers" (a fleece wrap thing you tie around your waist..) for cold weather running. I felt better.

I realize that so many of my eating choices over the last 14 years have been in response to Maddie's health. It's very easy to say "the heck with it, I want french fries or donuts.. I deserve it.. don't you know about my child's struggle." My response has to change. For the most part, it has changed.

This year I am committing myself to making better food choices 80% of the day.

I am looking forward to hitting my goal weight with Weight Watchers. There is just something about those points and that accountability that I need. My extreme, you have to be kidding me goal is 20 pounds. My realistic finish this journey off well goal is 12 pounds.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Sweet Sixteenth

I wanted to make something cool for Doug to celebrate our 16th anniversary. I decided the best gift I could give him was a virtual craft that doesn't make a mess!!! 

I also was going to do one of those cool counting things like.. 3 kids, 7 jobs, 8 houses... and all of that, but I decided that since I'm on vacation I shouldn't have to work that hard counting!!

The most important thing I can say to my love is that I wouldn't change a thing about our journey. 

We have struggled through what life has thrown at us with grace. 

As a couple we have shown mercy to others. 

As a family we love each other and others daily. 

We have walked through dark times believing that there was hope and continue to believe for the future. 

We have enough faith to ask hard questions that don't seem to have answers.

The last 16 years have been an adventure. 

We have lived well. 

I can't wait to see what the next 16 years will bring!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Candlelight Christmas Eve

One of the church celebrations that I have looked forward to the most now that Doug is back pastoring was the Christmas Eve service. These is absolutely NOTHING that matches the awe and reverence that comes with the candlelight singing of Silent Night.

Maddie got sick during the afternoon with her fever spiking to 103.5 and I was so bummed. She has been sick many a Christmas (scrapbooked to prove it..) but given that she was sick last Christmas as well, she was really disappointed. I had been working all day getting treats ready for after the service and was determined that we would find a way for me to be there for at least a few minutes of this special time!

So, I gathered up the candy and crackers and took all of my supplies to the church early and got everything set up and then hightailed it back home so that Doug and the littles could get to church on time.

After giving Maddie another dose of meds, I ran to church and snuck in the back for the end of the service. JUST IN TIME!! whew.

Here is a glimpse. You can almost here the singing!

I absolutely LOVE this picture of Doug helping a child light her candle with the Christ candle!

What a sweet child.

I didn't get any pictures of Lexi or Kylie with their candles as they were sitting down front and I snuck in the back. I will make a point to do so next year!

And if any of you out there haven't ever been to a Christmas Eve service, you should put it on your calendar for next year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Family Christmas Celebrations

There are times throughout the year that I feel bad for the rest of you. Yesterday was one such day. Yesterday, we had our traditional Maxwell Family Christmas Celebration.  We had so very much fun. Below is a recap.. I almost hate to share our joy as it seems wrong when I know that others don't have what I have. But I'll share for those of you that enjoy seeing the antics of my family!

The first thing we do is eat. We have a wide variety of foods. We start with dessert. It's not that we plan to, we just like to snack.. so we ate some "Christmas Crack" along with some prosciutto and mozzarella.

One of the great things about my parent's retirement house is that we can all eat together in one room. We had to do some shifting, be we got everyone together!

After eating, we do our annual family picture. I love these pictures! I did finally realize that the reason my face is never focused cause I focus the camera and start the timer and the run and jump in the picture at the end. I really need to get one of those remotes so that I can have a non-blurry face!

After the real picture, we take the crazy picture. These are truly some of the best pictures we have! They are adorable!

Moments later we are ready to open gifts.

oh wait.. a picture with me? :)

One of the best parts of this process is not what is in the packages, but the absolute joy on everyone's face. And in case you didn't know... joy is LOUD!

After the kid's craziness abates the adults do a gift exchange. We have themes every year. This year we did "free trade" gifts. I bought earrings from Noonday. I brought home a cool bracelet from Ten Thousand Villages. This was a really fun theme.

After the exchange we played. Kylie asked for skates and Mom bought them for her and her same-aged cousins. The three of them had a ball!!

My dad has a model train that he was given as a child. I LOVED that train growing up. He got it out after years in storage and the kids loved it. Hudson seen in the picture below LOVES trains and was in his element sending it back and forth over and over again!

The weather was gorgeous and we spent hours outside. (okay, I was cold and it was was windy, but the kids didn't care.) 

One of the favorite activites is always tossing the footballs. Well, this year, tossing the football was taken to a new level.

It started innocently. Dad mentioned that the guys could knock off the rest of the pecans out of the tree with the footballs.  Well....

3 footballs stuck in the tree. 

Here is what followed.


My dad... up the ladder, into the tree, standing on a branch, holding a stick...  his four daughters yelling at him to get down!

That's when I went inside.

Thankfully he came down... well long enough to find a bigger stick.

Anyway,  we had a blast. The kids love playing together and my sister's and I enjoy talking and laughing and watching our children renew their bonds.

These moments are special and fleeting I know. How thankful I am.