Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Nice Change

Almost two months ago we had the blessing of having my in laws move to town.  We never thought we'd see the day....seriously.  We had a little anxiety about it, after all we have basically been going it alone ever since we moved off to college 18 years ago.  How would having family this close change our little world?  Would it be a good change, a stressful change, or very little change at all?  So far so good.

We have started up a new tradition of eating together every Sunday after church and for the time, my in laws are even attending the same church.  Then there's getting to have another set of people to watch our little angels so we can actually have time together.  We now have two options for childcare for date night.  How nice!  And still to come, my littles will have an extended audience to partake in their little musical performances.

Another perk.....we are close for the holidays.  No more traveling for hours on end for a short weekend just so we can spend a holiday together.  And since they are so close and we can see them often, we don't ever have to use any of our break time to go visit them.  We can use our breaks to go vacation in new places.

Oh and then there's having my MIL around when Jeff is out of town so we can really live up girls weekends.  That part is nice too.

One activity that their move has brought us is the opportunity to really enjoy the lake with a boat.  You heard me right.  Grandpa purchased an old boat before their move and we intend on making the most of it.  Currently, we are waiting for it to get fixed up so it is functional.  I can't wait.

All in all this has been such a welcome change in our lives.  We are better for it!  Welcome to Branson Grandma and Grandpa.  We're so happy you decided to share your lives with us on a more permanent basis!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm still here

I knew it had been a long time since I posted, so I went back and looked to be sure.  Geesh!  School started, work started, my life has changed, what more can I say.

Let's start with school/work.  Girls are all settled in their new classes and so am I.  I have lots of new ideas to implement this year with my students, as I do every year and I like the feeling of eager anticipation of how it will all go over.  As a teacher, sometimes you just plan a lesson that....flops.  It feels a little bit like someone just knocked you down because when a lesson isn't good, kids aren't engaged, bad behaviors escalate and there goes your day!  Especially when you don't have time to revamp the lesson before the next batch of kids walk through the door ready to learn the same stuff.  Sigh!  Anyways, I'm the queen of wallow for a few minutes in self pity and then get back up, dust myself off, go back to the drawing board, come up with something even better, and go at it again.  So anyways, it'll be an interesting year to see how all my lofty plans turn out.  You can't keep Darci down!  Here's hoping for the best.

A goal of mine for this school year is to stay positive when it comes to all the government BS that goes along with what I do. Last year I let myself get all bent out of shape, stressed out, and deflated over it all.  I can't keep doing that to myself.  I have had to catch myself already a few times as I've sit through hours of lecture on government regulations that are coming down the pike and what that means for how we are to teach.  More assessing, more data recording, more research, more reporting, more, more, more paperwork, and more worry about job security if it doesn't look good enough for the folks above.  Honestly, I feel like I need a week or two off just to get all the friggin paperwork done.  Hi, my name is Darci and I teach kids and fill out paperwork.  Seriously?   But alas, I am doing a lot of positive self talk to keep my chin up during it all.  Things that go around in my head, include:  you've got this Darci, you have nothing to worry about God has you where he wants you, it's still about the kids, you've got the goods to prove yourself a million times over.

As for my personal life....well this might just be the year of Darci.  It didn't set out for it to be that way, it just kind of happened.  I'm sure many of you know I have been trying to be healthier.  It started as eating better, cutting back on sweets, cutting down on portions.  I experienced a 12 pound weight loss after those changes.  Then a couple months later I added exercise into the mix since I thought I might gain weight in the summer months when I wasn't moving around teaching all the time.  I had no intentions of loosing more weight but rather just maintaining by that point.  However, in order to prevent workout boredom I knew I'd have to change things up a bit to so I didn't get mentally bored with my workouts.  Next thing I knew I was challenging myself to go harder on my workouts, faster, longer, heavier weights.  Honestly, I had the time to do it so why not?  What a healthy way to kill time on a hot summer day.  Before I knew it I was down another 10 pounds for total of 22 pound weight loss.  NOTHING fit anymore.  Despite my reluctance to buy new clothing, I really had no choice at that point. I had to completely change out all clothing from the waist down.  Thankfully shirts still fit.  The best part about it was I was seeing my body transform in amazing ways.  It was really inspiring and motivating.  When you have that big of a change and worked that hard, suddenly it becomes easier to say no to bad food.  It becomes easier to not skip a workout.  But then....what would happen when I had to work and didn't have all this time on my hands.

When work started I was NERVOUS.  To work that hard and backslide back to where I was.  I had dropped my size in clothing literally in half.  I hadn't worn that size since highschool.  I knew I could keep up with healthy eating, portion control, and cutting out sugar.  It was the exercise I was so nervous about.  Would I be too tired and stop working out?  Upon returning to school, the comments I started receiving from folks were overwhelming and so encouraging.  Everyone noticed and had such nice things to say.  That was the fuel I needed to keep going.  HOWEVER, I quickly realized that I had to adjust my expectations for workouts a little from what I had been doing.  My job is very active.  It was unreasonable to expect myself to workout 6 days a week for an hour plus like I had been going.  I tried it the first week.  I felt really run down and suddenly I didn't look forward to working out at all.  So, I contended that since my job was so active, I would allow myself to cut back to 4 days on and 1 day off.  Also, I would  make myself do at least 30 minutes of intense physical activity with a 5 minute warm-up, 5 minute cool down, and stretching before and after.  If I had a day where I wasn't as active, I would hit it harder in my home gym and for longer.  That seemed to do the trick.  Suddenly, I didn't dread workouts as much and I felt a little more normal and not as run down.

Now with all that said, I do have to say that not every day is easy.  There are still some days I don't want to do it.  BUT, I have come up with little mantras to help me push through the dread of another workout.  My best and most motivating one is, "What's one hour of a little work to look and feel good for 23 hours?"  I've also done some of the more cliche ones like: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, "  "Today's pain is tomorrrow's gain, "  "Just do it."  "You're stronger than you know."

So anyways, it has been quite the journey and my body is still changing.  It has been a new self-discovery for me of what I am capable of.  I have a whole new appreciation for my body and what it can do and how it responds.  I'm finding muscles I didn't know existed. I  find it all fascinating and motivating.  I never would've thought that in just 2.5 short months I could transform this much.  It intrigues me to think what could happen when I've been at it for an entire year.  I keep telling myself if I can only make it to a year then I will know I have it in me to keep this as a lifetime habit.  I have NEVER been able to keep up with an exercise program in my entire life.  Will this finally be my time?  We shall see.  I really want to be able to feel fit and fabulous on my 40th birthday and I want to be one of those people who get's to say, "I'm in the best shape of my life."  What an accomplishment.

So anyhoo, that's what's up with me.  Another day, another time, I'll share a little more about the family, but it's off to the treadmill right now ;).  We had some exciting things happen at the end of our summer.   More to come.