Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let It Be Christmas

I learned about love and happiness riding in the backseat of a white Dodge Dynasty looking at Christmas lights with my Poppa Leon and my Grandma Carol. Every single year when we were little, they would take Ethan and I around Hastings looking at all the lights. Little did I know at the time just how big of an impact those memories would have on my life.   I can still hear Grandma singing to Bing Crosby Christmas (on cassette, of course) and Poppa humming the wrong tune to it. It was during these times that I learned the true meaning of family.

Grandma Carol loved Christmas. We would come visit for Thankgiving dinner and her house would have been transformed in to this Christmas wonderland. She even had Christmas hand towels for the bathroom. Each week her house would get more and more holiday-fied. She wanted her whole family together for the holidays. She loved each of us for our unique qualites and ALL of us because we were hers.

 She would wake up long before the rest of us on Christmas morning to start the holiday dinner. Then we all waited patiently until everyone was awake before we could look at presents from Santa. All five of us grandkids were still reeling from seeing Santa (Poppa) the night before.

Later on in the day, we would open presents from the rest of the family. Grandma had this tradition, presents were opened in the order of youngest to oldest, she, of course, being the oldest. I think mainly it was so she could sit back and look at all of our reactions while we opened our gifts. As the years have passed life has changed us. Our family structure has changed. We have welcomed new life, new love and have mourned the loss of three of our main characters. I feel a little sorry for our spouses and significant others because they have to be initiated into the chaos. The rest of us have had our whole lives to adjust to our nutty family. :)

We keep some of the same traditions and have added new ones.  Dad still tries to get us to skip over his turn when opening presents and Mom still gets to talking and just opens out of order. Teri and I are no longer the babies and Uncle Doug has to open his presents last, but the love and hope that Grandma and Poppa instilled in us will always remain.

You see, Christmas with Grandma and Poppa was not about the gifts. It was not about the food.....okay it was a little bit about the food, but you can't really say you lived if you never tried Grandma's cooking. Christmas is about family. It's about unconditional love. It's about making time in our busy lives for each other. It's about laughing and carrying on.

This Christmas I am filled with this bittersweet nostalgia. I long for those holidays of my younger days. Somedays I miss my grandparents so much I can't breathe. I can't figure out this heaviness in my heart this year. This is not the first Christmas I have spent without either of them..... I don't know if it's because the world we are living in is so full of hate and ugliness or if I'm just getting older and the magic of Christmas has faded.

My advice for today,  just let it be Christmas. Enjoy your family. Sit back and truly enjoy each other. Revel in the memories that you are creating. For one day, those memories will have the be what holds you throughout the holiday season. Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Will I Ever Like Running?????

 You know those people who describe themselves as "runners"? The ones that have it on a list of things that they actually enjoy? I WILL NEVER, EVER BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!! EVER!! I know it's good for me. I know I feel better after I do it. I know that it is necessary for a healthy lifestyle....but I straight-up do not like running. I am beginning to think that people who run over five miles in one setting are obviously "running" from something far bigger than my scope-of-practice, as a social worker.....If you are one of these people, you should definitely consider contacting Dr. Phil to help you figure that all out.............Kidding! I will probably never whole-heartedly love it, but all due respect to those who do. In all honesty, working out is getting easier. I am so blessed to have such an excellent support team that encourages me to go work out. They are with me every step of the way. They hold me accountable; which, let's face it, is something that I need.

Nichole and I are looking into doing some 5k's in the early spring in preparation for The Warrior Dash. I mean, I need to know if I can live through an ordinary 5k. If I can survive that, the probability of living through The Warrior Dash increases greatly. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I have serious concerns about my survival during that race. Did you know that there have been actual fatalities during these races? I'm pretty sure that information is never used in a marketing campaign.We are thinking about the Color Me Rad run in May. It just warms my heart to know that both of these runs are near Omaha and Lincoln where physicians are at the forefront of the most innovative care. :)

I have been continuing to do research on the best eating plan for my lifestyle change. I think the best approach is low-carb, clean-eating. Tonight, I cooked chicken thighs with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and Italian Seasoning mix and with it some sauteed onions and green peppers. I have to add that as I was finishing supper up, I wasn't sure or not if it was cooked fully. I asked my sister if we had a food thermometer. As I am asking I am thinking to myself, "why would we have a food thermometer, we probably don't even own an actual thermometer?" Much to my surprise, she informed me that we only had a regular thermometer and I feel it necessary mention that Jennifer did not find it funny that I wanted to use it to temp a couple of chicken thighs. Everyone is a critic.

I also have to report that I am still only down 34 pounds. The reason that hasn't changed is that over the Thanksgiving holiday I kinda went all crazy. I clearly have problems with moderation....I can't even do moderation, in moderation. Boundaries, people, I need boundaries. Obviously, I forgot that Bud Light is not a food group and that Texas T-Bone, Prime Rib, and Mcdonald's probably are not okay all on the same weekend. Sadly, It's taken me a few weeks to take off the extra pounds. It's frusturating because I worked so hard to lose them and in a matter of days they were right back. I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay to not eat well all of the time. The important part is to get back on track because I don't want what I have worked so hard for to slip right through the cracks.