Monday, January 30, 2012

What Am I Doing?

My friend is writing a book.
I am helping her.
I know nothing about writing a book.

What am I doing? 

Basically, I am her editor/proofreader right now. She is writing a testimony of the amazing miracles God has performed in the life of her family over the past 10 years, to which I have had a "front row seat", so to speak.  She wrote the first draft, and now I am going through it and not only correcting grammar and phrasing mistakes, but also cleaning it up, taking out parts, rewriting sections, etc.

I'm feeling a bit over my head, but my friend called today and said she and her whole family were really excited by the changes I made in the Introduction and first chapter. So I'm feeling that at least I'm going in the right direction with it.  Whew.
There is a bit of a time crunch to get this done as soon as possible and to the publisher so that she can have it ready for a conference she is speaking at in a couple of months.

I will fill in more details later, but if you happen to think of it, I'd appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Starting with a Personal Trainer . Oh My.

"Is there anything you don't like about exercise?

That was one of the questions from my  young, bubbly, athletic personal trainer at our first meeting yesterday morning.  I couldn't hide the snort, but then smiled.

"The pain."  

I actually like to exercise, and I told her that.  I enjoy physical activity and pushing myself and reaching goals and feeling fit.  The problem is the pain that it takes to get from fat, flabby, out-of-shape me to svelte, toned, strong and healthy me.  Yesterday was only my physical assessment -  weight, body measurements, flexibility test ( sit on the floor with legs straight in front and reach for toes ), strength test ( lady push ups and crunches ), and cardio test ( resting heartrate, then 5 minutes climbing on and off the step platform, then heartrate again ) .  

I. Am. Sore.

I have been going to the gym about twice a week for a few weeks now and doing about 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.  That doesn't make me sore.  Pushups, crunches, and step platform = another story.  Which is the whole point of the personal trainer. Sessions with a trainer at the Y  is actually a Christmas present from my oldest son - the Army captain who can deadlift 400 lbs and thinks CrossFit is fun.  It is something I requested, because I knew I needed an additional push to both get my knee/leg strength back after surgery and to get this 51-yr-old body heading in the right direction, which is out of the chair and into the gym! 

I really like my trainer - so far - after meeting her for just one hour. Her name is Carrie and she is a mom with 3 young children, and she had knee surgery when she was in college.  So she can relate. Sort of.  She is about as big around as my upper arm.  But she is sweet and I think we'll work well together.  Whatever that means. 

She didn't tell me the results of the tests and measurements yesterday - thankfully. I think they have discovered that telling people the results right away sends them spiraling into the pit of depression and running away as fast as they can waddle!  So she is saving those numbers for a later date, when hopefully I will have improved so much that I will be ecstatic at how far I have come!  We are "starting" on Monday. 

My first goal - which is very reasonable - is consistency.  It is absolutely true that in order to get stronger and healthier you have to actually DO something on a regular basis, and not just think about it.   So I have to make myself go to the gym or go for a walk or do Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii at least 4 times a week. And Carrie will be keeping track of whether I do it or not!  Accountability is good. 

A long time ago, when I was in my teens and twenties and even early thirties, I was in good shape! I was a size 10 when I got married.   I played sports, swam, ran, went to dance aerobics class. If you are exercising somewhat regularly now and are in decent shape, DO NOT STOP.  Make it a lifelong priority!!!  Because  I got busy with kids and life and money was tight and I stopped making exercise a priority and I gradually put on more and more weight until my wedding ring no longer fit and had to be cut off and I hardly recognized the woman in the dressing room mirror.   I would start to walk or try to exercise with a video or go to the gym for short bursts, but I wouldn't stick with it.   And the older I got, the harder it got.  And then my left knee started to hurt, a lot, and I ended up having surgery to trim a torn miniscus last September. I am amazed at how long it takes to recover from what seemed like minor, arthroscopic surgery thru a couple of teeny tiny incisions.  I still struggle with stairs and getting up off the floor, even after finishing 8 weeks of physical therapy. 

So. Here I am at 51, about to start again to see if I can reclaim that lost person.  The one who felt strong and energetic and looked halfway decent in a pair of jeans.  Why?  Because I miss being active and I hate feeling like a slug.  Maybe recording my progress here for the world to see ( okay,  maybe not the world, but Mom and the couple of other people who actually read this ) will motivate me to stick with it this time. I'm hoping that having a cheerleader/personal trainer to hold me accountable and also give me a routine to follow will keep me going as well.  I watch The Biggest Loser on tv, and marvel at the intensity of those workouts and what those people accomplish physically week to week!  Part of their success is having someone showing them how to exercise and standing there screaming at them to NOT GIVE UP!   I can't imagine Carrie will be screaming at me - sure hope not!  But she will be teaching me and encouraging me to push myself and do more than I would do on my own.  So I have high hopes. Here we go.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

50 Fun Facts About Me

 This is a reprise of a list I wrote  several years ago. Just for fun.

1. I was born in Meriden, CT in 1960. My parents moved back to my dad's hometown of Uxbridge, MA within the year, and bought a house up the road, in Mendon, when I was 3. They still live there.

2. I love chocolate!

3. I was married on my birthday, as was my mother.

4. My mother and I made my wedding gown.

5.. I am the first-born daughter of a first-born daughter of a first-born daughter of a first-born daughter. .

6. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour when I was 13.

7. My husband and I first met in 4th grade, when we both played trumpet in the elementary school band. 

8. Our first official "date" was our high school Senior Prom.

9. I've always loved being around children. I carried around the babies at all the family gatherings, and did LOTS of babysitting in high school.

10. My favorite books when I was young were Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Karen by Marie Killilea, and The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss.  I read a LOT.

11. I am one-half Italian, one-fourth Scottish, and one-fourth English.

12, My first paid job, besides babysitting, was as Assistant Recreation Director at our little lake-front town beach in Mendon when I was 14. I continued to work at that beach every summer for the next 8 years., as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and then as the Beach Director.

13. I was in the Synchronized Swim Club in college.

14. My favorite candy bar is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

15. I would rather go to the mountains than to the beach.

16. I dabbled in gymnastics as a teen. I took a gymnastics judging course when I was 18, and actually judged one high school meet.

17. I sing alto.

18. I remember where I was when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. I was vaccuuming the bedroom of our apartment in Boca Raton, Florida, listening to the radio, and keeping one eye on my toddler.

19. My dream house is a solar log home with a big wrap-around porch and a huge yard!

20. I am afraid of heights.

21. When I was 10 years old, my family ( mom, dad,  4 kids ) camped around Europe for 6 weeks in a Volkswagon Campmobile.

22. I hate horror movies and lima beans.

23. Fall is my favorite season.

24. I have had surgery three times ~ to remove my tonsils when I was 5, to remove my gall bladder when I was 42, and to repair a torn miniscus in my left knee when I was 51.

25. I do not drink coffee.

26. I love to bake.

27. I had a crush on David Cassidy when I was in Jr. High ( who didn't? )

28. My husband and I went on a Caribbean Cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary.

29. My favorite board game is Scrabble.

30. I am allergic to shellfish - more specifically, bivalves ( clams, oysters, scallops ).

31. I played field hockey in high school.

32. I was a cheerleader in my senior year of high school, and my future husband was on the basketball team.

33. My middle name is Marie, after my paternal grandmother.

34. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a doctor when I grew up.

35. I collect souvenir pins.

36. So far, I have visited 27 states and 10 countries ( and just driving through doesn't count).

37. I love family camping! I do require toilets and running water, however.

38. The most amazing thing I have ever seen is the Grand Canyon.

39. I prefer Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke.

40. My favorite color is blue.

41. My favorite subjects in school were always English and Art.

42. My first job after college was as an assistant in the Public Relations office at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

43. I started homeschooling in 1994, with a 4th grader, 1st grader, 4 yr old and 1 yr old.

44. I am right-brain dominant!

45. I am very easily distracted. It takes me forever to get through a project, like cleaning my bedroom, because I keep getting sidetracked.

46. I have done both free-lance calligraphy and portrait drawing at one time or another.

47.  I have been a full-time mom since my oldest child was born, but I have also sold Tupperware, worked part-time at a fabric/crafts store, taught private swimming lessons, taught art, and baked cupcakes.

48. I enjoy handcrafts, like crossstitch, knitting, quilting, etc, but don't take the time to do them anymore. I need to work on that.

49. I don't watch much TV, but do enjoy  "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", " Cupcake Wars", "American Idol", and  "NCIS".

50. I am a terrible housekeeper ( something to do with the right-brain, easily distractible thing....)

Welcome 2012!

We rang in 2012 at the annual New Years Eve festivities at our friends, the Nemitzes.
The parents played Family Feud and Catch Phrase while the kids played games upstairs - then we all gathered in the living room and kitchen for the big Countdown! 

Everyone toasted with New Year with sparkling grape juice - even the Campbells, who joined us via Skype from Vancouver, BC!

The kids finished off the night with sparklers out on the lawn.  

Good night everyone!  I wish you all extraordinary blessings in 2012.