Mar

27

Just Realized…

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As I sat down to type this, I realized that not only have I not eaten yet, but that I also have laundry in the washer that needs to be put in the dryer, so it looks like my time here is going to be very limited.

Since I’m sitting here squinting, because the lighting in this room isn’t very good, it probably isn’t a bad thing. I’ve noticed that when my allergies and sinues are giving me fits, then it seems that my eyes are less than stellar.   That coupled with the lighting, doesn’t make a great combination.

How have you spent your friday? I spent mine with one of my dearest friends, Desere. We went to lunch today at a very quaint restaurant that my sister-in-law suggested, and she was absolutely right when she said we’d love it. We did. The service was great, but the food was even better. We both had tomato soup in a bread bowl, surrounded by a salad of mixed greens, olives, feta, tomatoes, pickled bell pepper and other goodies. It was fantastic, and just enough that we were full and not stuffed.

Afterwards we did a little shopping and enjoyed the sunshine! I was so thrilled to see the sun today- since the weatherman said there wouldn’t be any, actually getting it on those days is an extra treat.

My stomach is growling, so time to eat.

Mar

26

Energy

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It could be the x (I lost count) cups of coffee today, or it could be the work outs I’ve been having the past week or so, but I am so filled with energy these days, and I love it.    I actually wonder if part of it has to do with the fact that I’m actually enjoying my work outs, but whatever it is, I hope it continues for the rest of my life.

I remember when I was inching closer and closer to 40, and how I struggled with it.   After all, this is the girl that was 10 years old when her mom turned 30, and I remember thinking that she was  ‘old’  – at 30.  How crazy is that?   Now 70 doesn’t sound old- but rather anything over 100 does.   

Many people told me that life really begins at 40, and I really remember rolling my eyes and thinking- “yeah right”, but as with most everything in life- much depends on our attitude and how we approach and react to the things that happen in our lives.   

40 came and went, and this year (several months from now), I’ll be celebrating my 42nd birthday.   One of my very best and dearest friends is flying out a week before my birthday, because six days before, she will be celebrating her 40th, and we’re going to do it together..   We have big plans, and she was able to plan her trip in a way that she’ll not only be here for her birthday, but for mine as well.  It’s going to be a whole lot of fun, and poor Marcel will probably be doing alot of groaning at all the giggling and laughter that will be going on.   I’m excited.  It will be one for the record books.

Today I was emailing a friend and in the email she’d sent me, she asked how I was doing.   I responded with aside from the sinus and allergy issues that I have going on right now, that I don’t think I’ve ever felt better in my life, and I haven’t.   I’m so grateful- so much so that words really can’t express.

I believe that I’ve learned so much in my life- lessons that I’ve carried with me, lessons that are making a huge difference in my life.   Learning how to let go of the things that don’t work in my life, or things that no longer matter.  Learning that I don’t have to accept something that I don’t believe in, and that it’s my God given right to say NO, and not have to defend the fact that I chose to do so.

It doesn’t mean that life is always perfect- after all, I believe perfect died on the cross with Jesus more than 2000 years ago, but what I do know is that even when life may give me lemons, I can always make lemonade.  Life IS all about choices-  and those choices will reflect what is happening in your life.

 

My Gratitude List for March 26, 2009.
Today I’m Grateful For: 

  • Things I’ve learned and continue to learn on this journey we call life.
  • Today’s visit from my friend Bobbi.
  • Rainy days.
  • Energy
  • The greatest gift of all-  LOVE

Mar

25

In and Out

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That seems to be my theme for the day-  in and out.  It seems like it’s been one of those rush-rush kind of days, where I haven’t really accomplished anything major, but been able to get a whole lot of little things done. 

We made it to the market in time to pick up Mister M’s kitty food, plus some almonds that I needed, since I was down to two.  I keep them in the house all the time, and grab a couple if I’m feeling hungry, plus I eat a few on my yogurt in the mornings. 

Dinner is cooking and will be finished shortly, but things don’t slow down there-  after dishes I need to make a mad dash to the bath, then head off to Desere’s for coffee. 

Tomorrow is more promising in terms of ‘busy-ness’.   My friend Bobbi is coming over, but that’s the only thing on my agenda.  Expect to see more of me tomorrow- I’ll be catching up with many of you tomorrow, and finally working on my favorite links so that I can access everyone easier.

Right now though- time to dash.

My Gratitude List for March 25, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • A break in the rain while Marcel and I were walking through the market to pick up what we needed.
  • Getting todays work out in, in spite of thinking I wouldn’t have time.
  • Time with friends.
  • Fresh, raw almonds.
  • Kitty kisses

Mar

24

After The Rain

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I had big plans this morning of getting out of bed with Marcel at 4:45 when he got ready for work, but  (You could feel that coming, couldn’t you?) after the storms we had last night, and finally falling asleep at around midnight, I just couldn’t seem to do it.   My plans were to get up early, so that I could get my work-out time on the elliptical before I went off to Bible Study, so I didn’t have to think about it once I got home, but truth was, sleep appealed to me more.   Two extra hours of sleep- it didn’t take me long to reset the alarm clock, roll over and snooze for those two hours.     My thought was that I didn’t have anything pressing going on this afternoon anyway, so I could work out when I got home, and that’s exactly what I did.    I’m sure my body is thanking me for the two extra hours of sleep-  I definitely needed them.

This morning, when I looked out the window to see if the rain was still falling, the first thing I saw in the sky was this amazing rainbow.   I don’t think I’ve ever started off the day by seeing a rainbow, but talk about a day brightener – first thing in the morning.  That’s what GREAT days are made of.

I did grab my camera and snap a few shots, and below is one of those.   I didn’t notice until I had uploaded the photos- but there was a very pale second rainbow out to the left of the other.  

Within five minutes the rainbow was completely gone, the sun faded behind the dark clouds, and the rain falling again.  

It reminded me that in order to appreciate the beauty of the rainbows, we must first endure the rain.  

Rainbow

 

My Gratitude List for March 24, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • Rainbows.
  • Pure Joy.
  • Seeing Marcel smile when I bring him home unexpected goodies.
  • The rain stopping when I was out, so I didn’t have to walk in the rain.
  • Selflessness.

Mar

23

It’s a GOOD Thing

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I’m hungry, so this entry is probably going to be short, because my stomach is driving me to do something other than sitting here at the computer tap-tap-tapping away.

I said yesterday to several people, plus I left it on my ‘status’ message on Facebook for all the world (or all my Facebook friends) to see, that this was going to be a good week.   I just KNEW it… and here we are, one day further and great things are happening.

I received a response to an email I’d sent to someone, and not just a response, but a really positive response that means great things.  That made my day, but then a little earlier, as I was responding to an email from a friend, Marcel came and said that he had something important that he wanted to tell me.

I honestly figured it was about the soccer, or maybe what he wanted me to make for his lunch, but I almost fell off my chair when he said to me that after he submitted his final project for school “which is coming up soon”  that he’s decided he’s going to stop smoking.

The company  he works for offers classes to help with stopping, plus our insurance also covers different programs to help with stopping, but the fact that he’s at the point now where he’s ready to stop, and start ‘living’ and being healthy makes me want to jump for joy!

I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, so Marcel doesn’t smoke in our home, nor does he smoke around me, but I worry about the negative aspects of smoking and what it’s doing to his health. 

While we were home for the holidays, Hein (Desere’s husband), lost his dad to cancer- it wasn’t lung cancer, but the man had smoked for many, many years, and I believe that it hit a little too close to home for Marcel.   As much as I hated that Hein lost his dad, I am happy that something positive came out of that very sad situation- and that was Marcel coming to the realization that this isn’t what he wants for his life any longer.

He’s asked me to help him when the time comes, and we talked quite a bit about it this morning, but he’s already decided that he would like to have some lollypops in the house to help him get through that quitting stage.  I’ll make sure he has cases of lollypops if that’s what he wants.

I told him several times how proud I was of him, and that I knew he’d feel better once he got there, and that he would get there.   Please keep him in your prayers, I know he’s going to need them, but I have every faith that he can, and will do this.

Yes, my friends, good things are happening.

 

My Gratitude List for March 23, 2009.
Today I’m Grateful For: 

 

  • Marcel setting a time frame to stop smoking.
  • The email I received earlier today.
  • Climbing 13 flights of stairs today. YEAH!
  • A new found sense of determination.
  • LIFE!

So take a moment and tell me something good that’s happening in your life.  I know there’s something.

Mar

22

Inspiring Words

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Most people know that when I spend ‘quality’ time with the elliptical each day, that I do it while watching episodes of The Biggest Loser.   It’s a source of inspiration for me, and it pushes me when I start feeling like ‘I can’t’ , because I know that indeed, “I can“!

The only time that I watch the show is when I’m working out, and because I love the show so much, it stimulates me to work out.

Today, I heard trainer Jillian Michaels say something that resonated within me.   It brought tears to my eyes, and when my work out was finished, those words were still with me.  

I am a HUGE fan of quotations, and this is one for the quotation book where I list all of my favorites.  It’s a little blue moleskin book, and I love it.   I also have a brown one, but I haven’t found a use for it yet.  I will though.

I am in the process of adding positive words and quotes to a board here on my computer desk, and I’ll be printing these and adding them first.  They are words I never want to forget, but because I’m human, will need to be reminded of from time to time.

I hope they they serve to inspire and drive you, the same way they have me.   Thank you Jillian!

You can tell me that you choose not to;

You can tell me that you choose to quit;

That you choose to be less than what you are, and less than what God intended you to be;

But don’t ever tell me that you can’t do it.    

–  Jillian Michaels

 

My Gratitude List for March 22, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • Words of ‘wiz’dom that speak to the very core of my being.
  • A sense of accomplishment.
  • Those who live a life of integrity
  • The only ‘true’ light of the world.
  • Knowing that I ‘can’

Mar

21

Challenging Yourself

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As I sit here typing these words out on my keyboard, I can feel my legs stiffening.  It’s a good feeling.  You may wonder if I’m crazy, and while that is probably up for debate in some circles, the fact remains, that what I’m feeling now is (to quote Martha Stewart), a good thing. 

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about challenging myself-  about whether I really challenge myself to push the limits and live to my potential.   Truth is, for many years I didn’t, but last year something ‘clicked’ with me and my life has been constantly changing since. 

Even since that period, I’ve noticed that the things that were once challenges are now part of my everyday life, great things, yet I see that my potential goes beyond what I once thought was the maximum.  Not just with diet and exercise, but with life in general. 

I’ve noticed that many of us make decisions that are great for our lives for that moment, but as life changes,  as we change and grow as individuals, those needs shift, and we need to reposition ourselves.  

Spring has arrived, and I find myself headed in a new direction in my life-  I don’t want to do what I know I can do, I want to rise up and meet the challenge of doing what challenges me, regardless of what that challenge is.  

The only real failure-  not trying at all.  Being defeated before you ever begin-  after all, if you are working towards something, however small and seemingly insignificant, then you are moving forward, making progress, and that’s what it’s all about.

This morning- Marcel and I had decided that if it was great weather today that we’d go walking in a  nature reservation in the dunes.   The area is mostly flat, to be dunes, but there is a particular dune that is quite the challenge.  I’ve heard about it, and seen it once, and knew that it was the tallest of all the dunes-  the one who offers the biggest challenge.

Marcel, Desere, Desere’s youngest, and I headed off this afternoon to walk and to stop along the two mile walk for a cup of coffee.   I’d been saying that I wanted to run up that dune, and I don’t think anyone paid much attention to those words.   Maybe they didn’t believe me, or maybe they didn’t really think much about it, but today when we were standing at the base of the dune, I looked at Desere’s youngest and asked if he was ready to run to the top.   He said ok..

Off we went.  Since I’ve never actually been up this dune, I didn’t know how steep it was, but it looked as though I could see the top.  I jogged all the way up the hill, never stopping, never looking back, completely focused on getting to the top.   When I reached the landing at the top, the trail continued further on to the other side, but right off to the side, was a steep set of stairs, that would ultimately lead me to the top of that hill.  

I was already winded, but I knew that if I stopped there as my body was hoping I would, that I would not have pushed through and reached my goal, so I ran up the stairs.  The last 5 or so, I started wondering if I could make those last few- my heart was pounding, I was panting like an overheated dog, but I was determined. 

I made it.  At the top, I stood for a moment (trying to catch my breath) and enjoying the view surrounding me.  I did it!!

Afterwards, I ran down the steps to meet back up with Desere and Marcel who were waiting for K. and I to return.  

From there we walked to the restaurant, had coffee and walked the mile back to the car.   What a great feeling that IS-  I’m proud of ME!   I’d also worked out just before we’d picked Desere and K. up for the walk, so I definitely got my exercise in for today.

That’s what it’s all about- repositioning yourself, your thinking, and the way you challenge yourself.  After all, anything is possible if we are willing to do the work to make it happen. 

Yes indeed, this stiff feeling in my legs is a good one- yes it is.

My Gratitude List for March 21, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • Challenging myself and climbing that dune-  Never giving up!
  • A lunch invitation for this coming week from Desere.
  • A beautiful blanket of white and purple flowers on the floor of the woods.  Spring has sprung!
  • New life
  • Snail mail letters from friends

Mar

20

Growing Your Inner Garden

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Since this place is called Through the Tulips, I thought, when I received the following email from SparkPeople, that it would be perfect to share in my own ‘garden’ of life- which is what this place is all about. (More on that later)

Growing your inner garden

In order to grow anything in a garden, a lot of factors must come into play–properly planting the seeds or flowers into the soil, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and ensuring adequate sunlight. Are you tending to your own goals in the same fashion?

 Getting that new job takes determination and positive vision to make that dream a reality. Do you believe in your abilities? Believing is a wonderful, powerful tool but it takes more than that. You’ve got to fight the elements, take good care of yourself, and dig down deep for courage in order for your seeds to be cultivated into success.

 

“Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.”

– Norman Vincent Peale

I ask you, what seeds are you planting in YOUR garden??

Mar

19

What Have You Done Today….

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Those of you who know me, know that it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of the NBC television show The Biggest Loser.  I watch not only the American version, but also the Australian version, and am inspired by the transformations that occur in the lives of the participants.   I consider it to be one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me taking off 82 pounds of excess weight that I’ve been carrying around for far longer than I’d like to admit.   This year, I plan to reach the goal weight that I’ve been working so hard to achieve.

The theme song to The Biggest Loser (U.S.) is a song by Heather Small that I first heard years ago on the Oprah Winfrey show-   it’s called  What have you done today  and the words are nothing short of inspiring.

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Still so many answers I don’t know
Realise that to question is how we grow
So I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

We need a change
Do it today
I can feel my spirit rising
We need a change
So do it today
‘Cause I can see a clear horizon

I read earlier that success creates success and I believe that to be true. Each time we accomplish something, especially something that we’ve strived for, or were maybe fearful of in the past, it makes it much easy to accomplish the next time.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past that I would be defeated in something before ever allowing myself to try- just the thought of certain things overwhelmed me, and I can’t became more the rule than the exception. It was the excuse I used for many things in life- but no more.

Even when I’ve had to take baby steps, instead of leaps and strides, I’ve done that- and taken pride in knowing that the momentum is forward, and moving forward is progress.

I’ve noticed that the more I accomplish, the more I want to accomplish, and realize that the only thing limiting what I’m capable of is ME. How often are we our own worst enemy?

I remember last year vacationing in the Czech Republic (Prague) with my parents and Marcel. I’d started working out and living a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the year, and our trip was in April. I remember standing at the base of the Charles Bridge at the location of Prague Castle, and how it towered over the city, and we were walking to get there. I remember thinking to myself, that I could ‘never’ get to the top of that hill- that it was just too high, and that I didn’t think I could make it.

I remember pausing and telling myself that those negative thoughts were exactly what was holding me back in life, and that IF I didn’t try, I’d already failed. It didn’t matter if I got winded, or even tired, but trying was the important thing.

What I wasn’t counting on, was just how much those few months of exercise had done for my physical condition. I breezed up to the top of that hill, overlooking the red clay rooftops down below and found that I wasn’t even winded.

I had tears in my eyes at the sense of accomplishment, and also wondered how many times my self defeating attitude had held me back in the past. Never again.

There are many things that we can do each and every day to be proud of, and even if it’s something as simple as turning off the phone and computer and spending time with our loved ones instead of answering emails and taking phone calls- it’s something to be proud of.

So tell me- What have YOU done today to make you feel proud???

 

My Gratitude List for March 19, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • The sense of accomplishment I feel after working out, and pushing myself.
  • Sitting outside with Marcel and Mister M. this afternoon, and soaking up the sunshine.
  • Great deals for some of my favorite products at the supermarket.
  • Being invited to join a new promotional group for a certain product.
  • Ground almonds and hazelnuts, which is more delicious than any peanut butter.

Mar

18

A Little “Me” Time

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I didn’t have the opportunity to spend here today that I was hoping. The weather was great, plus I had on my Domestic Goddess hat, which meant taking care of the little things that keep the household running smoothly, such as cooking dinner, grooming Mister M. etc.

As I type this, Marcel is in the living room watching the soccer match, which affords me a little quiet time to do what “I” want to do, without giving him the feeling that he’s being negelcted or abandoned for the computer. Not that he feels that way often, but men do have a tendency to feel neglected if we become preoccupied too long with other activities when they are around.

He’s a wonderful man though, and I adore him, plus love spending time with him, but even with all that being said, I still love my “ME” time, and I know you do too, even if you may not be so quick to admit it.

It has been a gorgeous day here in Neverland. It started out a bit on the foggy side, but it wasn’t too late before the sun appeared and the temps rose a few degrees. It was beautiful. I’m hoping for more of the same tomorrow so I can spend some time working outside getting ready for ‘spring planting’.

I noticed earlier today that the daffodils are beginning to bloom, and I saw several carpets of purple and white where the crocus were in bloom. It was gorgeous, and brought a smile to my face- this is the season for new beginnings, which brings so many ideas and thoughts to mind.   

More on those at a later date….

 My Gratitude List for March 18, 2009.

Today I’m Grateful For:

  • Marcel, for doing the dishes, and also for taking care of a phone call that I needed to make, but he made it for me instead.
  • Sue- for the book that she sent me on the Azores.
  • Mister Mistoffelees, for actually making it through a grooming session and not biting or scratching me.
  • Being able to catch up with Sarah for a little while today.  I’ve missed her.
  • Facebook, for reconnecting me with so many wonderful people from my past.

What are YOU grateful for today??

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