Friday, September 28, 2012

Being my True Self

I don't know what's changed, but in the past few months I've slowly started to be the person I have always wanted to be. That person I was in my head, the one I was without all the filter and censors we put on ourselves so we're 'presentable' to the public at large. No, I'm not as skinny as I want to be. I'm not as tattooed as I'd like, and I'm sporting a growing out pixie rather than the dreadlocks I want. But my essence is truer to myself than it has ever been.

Maybe it was turning twenty-eight. Maybe it has been having all of the niceties of life that I used to build the picture of the perfect life torn away (job loss, health issues, poverty, losing our home, and having to rely on the kindness of others to make it through). Maybe it's been an answer to my prayers. Maybe it is all those things- or none of them at all. Whatever it is, I love it! There is nothing that can compare to looking in the mirror and seeing yourself. Not a mask you put on for the world, but just YOU.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In the hoop...

I've followed Sarah Janssen's blogging at Walk Slowly Live Wildly for a long time now. Including her blogging about hooping. Yes, hula hooping has gone to the grown ups. Before seeing it on her blog, I honestly had no idea. And hoop! So beautiful.

This past July, I finally purchased a basic "naked" hoop from etsy. It'sade out of irrigation tubing, and isn't exactly perfectly round, something I'm trying to figure out how to fix. I covered the hoop in duct tape rather than pretty colorful gaffers tape that is commonly used, as I knew it would be getting scraped up from falls, drops, and runaway spins. All of those things have happened and there are holes in the duct tape now.

I couldn't hoop for most of August. It was just too hot to work up a sweat outside in the humidity! Finally, nights are cooling down. After the kids are asleep, once the baby has nursed, I find myself heading outside most nights. The only plus side to hubby's nasty smoking habit is that even on nights I don't feel like hooping, I wind up outside to tell him something. If I waited until he was done smoking, I would forget. Motherhood has left me with a swiss cheese brain. When I go out there to talk to Kelton, I wind up grabbing the hoop to keep my hands busy.

When I started with that 38" hoop, I could waist hoop for maybe minute at most before it started it's twirling drop to the ground. Though the hoop has a way of crashing into my ankle or shin on the way down. A painful reminder to keep practicing! I quickly became a fan of hooping with my hand, my arm above my head.

Now I have waist hooping down, and am trying to learn to waist hoop in the opposite direction. Learning new moves is the ultimate lesson in humility. The second I start thinking maybe I don't look completely spastic, that hoop gies flying off my body, leaving me running after it and laughing at myself. The fact that nobody can see me is another benefit to night hooping.

A week or so ago, I started praying while hooping. I don't own an mp3 player, and have no ear buds for my phone, so I've been hooping silently from the start. Prayer definitely helped that, and I find my prayers while hooping feel more natural ans less forced. It has been an unexpected blessing to find a new way to connect with God.

Tonight I took the phone out and laid it in a chair with Pandora on while I hooped. Suddenly, I was trying tricks I'd been afraid to try before. I was moving more when hooping with my arms over my head. It might have even been able to be mistaken for dancing! Which is amazing, because I have no skills on the dance floor! For the first time it clicked in my head that I could, with a LOT more practicing, dance with my hoop like the women in all the amazing videosy daughters and I have poured over on YouTube.

Speaking of the girls, my dad bought them hoops from the toy store. They love them. The seven year old loves using my hoop, too. A testament to how short I am, I can share a hoop with a 7 year old! I am looking forward to family hooping trips to the park.

Since beginning to hoop, I feel more comfortable in my skin. I feel more connected to my body, I can feel muscles working that haven't worked in a long time! I'm happier and find hooping really helpful when I'm feeling anxious or have had a crazy hard day patenting. I'm so grateful I found hooping! I think I may ask for hooping lessons for Christmas this year, since I pick things up a lot quicker when somebody is right next to me showing me what to do.

Have you ever found yourself loving something you never thought you'd like doing?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Change is coming...

Autumn is nearly here now. The nights have the a crispness in the air, mixed with the lovely scent of fire from a neighbor's fireplace (oh, how I miss a home with a fireplace!). This time of year has always been my favorite. It's held a certain magic for me my entire life. When the temperatures cool and the leaves begin to change, I feel my soul awakening. I'm an odd bird; I come alive in the autumn and winter (and early spring, to be fair), and prefer to spend my summers hibernating away from the heat and humidity.

This time of year is also the busiest for our family. In September we have my dad's birthday, the anniversary of when hubby and I started dating (we celebrate this as much as our wedding anniversary...12 years this year!), and my Pa's birthday. Now, Pa passed away in 2003, but his birthday still holds a special place in my heart. October has our wedding anniversary (9 years this year), my mother-in-law's birthday, and Halloween. Oh, Halloween. This is one of the MAJOR holidays in our house. We love it! November now has Zane's birthday. My boy is almost a year; how did that happen?!?! Then Thanksgiving as well. December has Joey's birthday (which is also my Ga-Ga's birthday, again it's a day to remember her), Kelton's birthday, and of course Christmas. LOTS going on! There's always a reason to celebrate in the fall around here!

I am 95% certain that I will be getting hired for a full-time customer service position I interviewed for on Thursday. I'll start in October if I get hired. I'm very confident in how the interview went, and am anticipating a phone call extending a conditional offer of employment (have to do the background check and drug screening) early next week. Working full-time will be a huge change. It's something I haven't done since I had to quit my job due to hyperemesis while pregnant with our oldest. So, seven years. I am both apprehensive and excited. We've gone nearly a year without regular income. It's been by the grace of God that we've made it out relatively unscathed. But, having regular income that will be enough to pay all of our monthly bills and a teeny bit extra for those unexpected expenses? I cannot begin to explain how huge of a blessing that would be. I credit the mental boost those crisp mornings and nights give me for nailing my interview. Now, if I'm not offered the job, that would be a crushing blow. BUT, I have another place to call for an interview if that happens.

School is also happening this autumn. Both for me and the kids. We did wind up sticking with homeschooling the girls. We're down to one vehicle, and if I were the stay at home parent, it wouldn't be a big deal for me to walk the kids to and from school everyday. But, hubby is going to be the one at home. There's no way he can be expected to walk a half mile each way every single day. Sure, some days he may be able to do it, but other days it would practically kill him. Also with the schedule I'm likely to be working, I'd get home in just enough time to put the girls to bed. I would miss out on them all week, every week. Neither them or I want to have just two days a week where we get to see each other.

I've recently become a bit obsessed with hooping. I ordered myself a basic, "naked" hoop from etsy last month. I'm still not the best at it, but I'm sticking with it, practicing and improving. I find myself hooping most late at night (big shocker, there, eh?). After the kids are in bed, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and the sun is down. I head to the driveway with my hoop and just move. I've never been someone that could meditate. In massage school, we had some students who fell asleep during their massages they were so relaxed. Then you had me. I was the girl that was lying there running budgets and grocery lists and all kinds of weird, random thoughts through my brain. But when I was giving a massage, I could shut my brain off. It was just my hands working, the only thoughts being ones of peace and serenity. I was centered, I was focused. Such a different change of pace from my normal, frenzied self. I feel very much the same when I'm hooping. It's just me and the hoop, and God out there. I don't have an armband for my phone, so I haven't been able to listen to music while I hoop. Instead I find myself praying while hooping. It's a great time to just connect with God and open my heart and soul to His message for me. The girls really want to hoop, too. They try with my big 38" hoop. Anna-Lee (7) is able to do it pretty well, but Joey (4) and Lucy (2) really need smaller hoops. Our Shopko had some on clearance, and a friend said to check Dollar Tree as well, so we're going hoop shopping soon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The summer is drawing to an end. Thank goodness, I say! To say this summer has been challenging is putting it very, very nicely. Our family has had a rough go of things for a while now, but these past three months have easily been the most trying and difficult season I've experienced in my twenty-eight years. I won't go into details, because there is no point in focusing on and rehashing the negative. What I will take from these trials and challenges is faith that God is always there. Even when things have been so dark, when my prayers were prayed in gasps in between aching sobs, He has been there. Giving us the underlying calm. The promise that things were working for His plan, and that He would take care of us if we just had faith. This time has made me a better Christian, a better wife, a better mother, and a better person. But, if I do say so myself, I am ready for a new season in our lives to begin!

This week I will be signing our two oldest girls up to attend public school. School started here on the 15th of August, but we had planned to homeschool them again this year. However, lots of discussion and prayer has led us to this point. The girls are so excited! I'm apprehensive, but excited for them. I admit a lot of my apprehension has to do with us not being morning people. At all. But we will adapt.

Tomorrow (well, today, actually), my husband will take the first step towards having a trial of a spinal cord stimulator. It's just a psychiatric evaluation. They need to make sure you aren't paranoid and going to be pulling wires out of your back because you think the government is trying to control you, after all. ;-) But, it is a big deal. Because once that is done, they can schedule the trial placement of the stimulator! Leads will be put into the spinal column using an epidural injection, and they will be connected to a transmitter on a belt. He'll have that for five days. The trial will be considered successful if he experiences at least a 50% reduction in pain. Some people experience more, but the doctor has told us 50% is what to look for reasonably. I am praying it is a success. If it is, they take out the trial leads, wait four weeks for the back to heal, and then place the permanent stimulator. It is just like the trial one, but the transmitter is implanted in the hip. This is his best option for pain relief.