Momma Hunt
So post christmas my weight watchers leader posted a challenge that the local running shop was offering.  It was to sign up for a different kind of "race".  You signed up and committed to walking outside every day in January.  Well in the end of December when the weather was oddly warm a balmy 45-50 every day this sounded like a good idea.  So I signed up.  Why....well why not.  It would get me walking everyday and outside.  I also figured it would be a good way to get my started to get more fitness in.  I haven't been working out and feeling miserable to be frank.  So even if that is all I do its a step in the right direction.  Well it was all fun and games until it got cold, and then cold and rainy, then cold and snowy.  As of one week in and I have walked the rain, the snow, and the cold...oh and a few nice days too!  Some photographic proof-because hey if there isn't a selfie it didn't happen right!
My walking partners in crime-expect in the really bad weather they hated it

We had to do sweaters because it was too cold without 

This is from yesterday when I waited too long to walk I had to walk in a the full blown blizzard 

On the day it was a downpour-at least my jacket is somewhat waterproof.  

So far I have loved this-especially yesterday in the snow finishing my walk.  Although it was cold I felt sort of connected to my dad who loved winter.  He never minded the cold weather and I have this image of him coming in from snowblowing and shoveling looking some sort of Yeti all covered in snow.  He would get out of his wet clothes, sit by the fire, and enjoy the winter.  I also have many memories of him just staring out my parents big picture watching the snow...he loved it.  So when I am out thier freezing my biscuits off (mine not my dog who is also named biscuit) I have fond memories to keep me going.  
Momma Hunt
So every year I set lofty goals for myself but never really do much with that...but shit I am an optimist so why hell not!  Just kidding.....well not really I really feel that need to set some good goals for myself and actually work on achieving them.  Part of my reason for this is in the last few months although my anxiety is high I have sort of felt the fog of grief starting to lift.  My therapist who I worked with right after my dad died said her patients often comment that with grief they feel like they are walking around half asleep for months or even years as they figure out this new life without the person they love.  For me it was sort of this double whammy of loosing my dad, my kids loosing their hero, and having to grow up all at once. It was and still is a lot.  But lately I have been noticing that I am not as shell shocked.  I can talk about my dad and not have it crush me, the holidays were not as devestatingly sad.  I am also realizing that I have put a few things on the back burner for these last two years.  A lot of that is myself care and taking good care of me, of taking time with my husband and realizing that he is more than that guy who lives in the house, and taking time to cultivate relationships other than my family.  I think it was hard for me and my heart to even interact with people-sometimes it still is.  As if pleasure and joy sometimes were too much.  Happiness was too much.  Frankly I wanted to be sad and pissed off and angry and miserable.  Sometimes I still do.  Yet, I realized I need to work on not letting myself and my life get sucked in to that not good place.  There is too much beauty and joy to just be existing to just be getting by.  That is what I have really felt for the last two years....that I was surviving.  I say it like its a horrible thing....its not.  I survived, my kids survived, for the most part my relationships survived.  I know I have been harder to be around, harder to love, harder to like.  I am harsher and more critical.  My best qualities of being funny, and kind, and joyful have been muted and often still are.  Shout out to my friends and especially Ryan for patiently hanging on during this wild ride I have been on.  I often realized at the end of the day I was too tired from "surviving" to give my friends or my husband much of anything (I also know this is a problem of all mothers).  I know that in friendship and certainly in marriage there are ebbs and flows-that doesn't make them easy.  I know for Ryan it has been hard to see me like this and not really "fix" what was wrong all while trying to maintain his own mental health.  He, like most people who struggle with mental illness,  have a hard time being around others who are mentally unwell.  He has stood by as I sorted out how to move forward in this new dadless world I was thrown into.

So anywho...enough musings on where I have been.  I want to think about the future.  I know some people are concerned with what will happen with our government in the upcoming year. For me I choose to bring light into the world first with my own family and then in my classroom.  I will worry about the US and the World when I need to.  

So my goals for 2017

1.  I need to get my eating and weight in check.  I plan to head to my dr to talk about on going stomach issues and request to see a dietician for that and help with my eating.  My goal is 52 pounds by Dec 31 of next year.  More than that I just to be eating better so I am not sick all the time

2.  I want to commit to a bit of self care everyday.   That means exercising, or meditation, or journaling at least 20min every day.  I need it for my mental health and I need it to continue to be a good mom and wife

3.  I want to do one family adventure with kids every month that doesn't not involve screens.  So although I have loved our movie binge of the last few weeks I want non-screen fun with the family

4.  I want to walk or jog a total of 217 miles this year

5.  I want to make at least 5 quilts this year-at least one for me to keep

6.  I want to do one thing for me each month.  Go out with a friend, go out alone, something that is just for me.  

7.  I want to do something special with Ryan once a month....either a date night or something fun once the kids go to this isn't secret code for anything.  I just feel like our relationship has taken a back burner to everything and some day its just going to be the two of us and I would still like to make sure we like each other when that happens.  

I am hoping to get back into blogging a bit more and keep track of these goals....I think as the goals slip from my mind then they get forgotten.  So I am hoping for a good 2017-How about you?  What are you goals for the year? 

Momma Hunt
So I have been away from this place-my place for a long time.  Somtimes that is because I am busy, sometimes its because I don't have much to talk about, sometimes is because I don't know what to say.  The last few months have been busy being a mom, taking the kids to activities, and doing all the things that come with being a teacher and a wife.  The two year anniversary of my dad's death came and went and although I thought I was ok...I am starting to realize that maybe I wasn't as good as I thought.  From Mid October till now with all the holidays are stressful for most people but add to this my navigating these holidays and milestones without my dad is an odd thing.  I have found that this holiday season...the third one....has been a lot easier.  I was able to handle the ebb and flow of the emotions a bit better but this year more than the others the kids have really been missing my dad which takes on a whole new special kind of hard.  What I started to realize a few weeks ago was that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety.  For me it comes on fixating on things.  Silly things. Most often that anxiety comes with worrying over money or questioning myself.  What I noticed was it was getting worse. I started worrying about the cracks in the floor-that there was something wrong with our house.  I started to obsess over health related stuff.  Silly stuff like there was something wrong with that I hadn't gotten my period in months-The normal explanation was that its the pill im brain on anxiety---I am totally pregnant with a miracle baby (I am on the pill for my cycle and Ryan had the snip snip years ago).  I question why someone doesn't text....are they mad at me, do they not like me, is our friendship ending.  Really reason everyone is busy with their shit!  

I hate that I get this way.  I hate how I get upset over things that don't need to be upset over. Rather than come up with new things to do or think about....I am stewing over and over again over the same crap. I know this is anxiety.  I tried doing a hypnosis for anxiety-that seemed to work but then I stopped doing it.  I think I need to try again.    I also think I need to begin exercising more....or lets be real at all.  I know in theory that these things should help but sometimes I am so exhuasted from work and the kids that all I can do is be a blob. Being that blob has taken its toll.  I am not really any where close to my health goals and that makes me sad.  I am sad that I allow my brain and this anxiety to get the best of me.  I think what I hate the most is that it makes me doubt myself, my healthy, my happiness, and my relationships with others.  I am always questioning and worrying and then I wonder why I got so sick right before Christmas.  I am stressing myself out for no reason.  

I think that my goal for the New Year is going to be try and be more calm in the upcoming weeks. I will try and take better care of myself.  I also decided that if this doesn't settle down in the next few weeks that I will probably ask my doctor about it because normally my anxiety isn't this bad for that long.  One little step at a time towards health is my goal.  What are your goals for the upcoming year? 

Momma Hunt
'So I totally hit the jackpot in reviews for this stunning bag!!!  I was contacted by Pheonix Trading Company to see if i would be interested in testing out and reviewing their handbag line by Joy and Iman.  Well he had me at handbag! Hello!!!!  So before I even received by bag I spent a little time checking out what the Pheonix Trading Company was.  As I had never heard of it I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they offer unique and staple handbags the also had a lot of HomeGoods, clothes, and home appliances.  It appears that this is a great site for both your unique and staple clothing and HomeGoods.  It seems to almost have an online TJ Max or Marshalls feel to it.  Lots of selection of tons of stuff at really good prices.  According to their website they buy overstock and off-season items at a discount of designer and home shopping products which explains the amazing varity of products on thier website.  But lets talk about what is really important....THE BAG!!!  So here it is fresh out of the box.

My first thought dang this is a nice bag for a website that says it specializes in homegoods and applicaiance.  Not only was the bag a super rich black leather (yes leather) it was very well made. The handles were a perfect length to go over the sholder even with a sweater or jacket (which is a must in New England) it was also well contructed and could be used as a tote..  Best part-it comes in several color choices, my favorite looks is the gray which is totally in this season and it is 70.00!!!!  No seriously a well made leather bag for 70.00 its a steal!!!  You can't even get pleather for that price for this quiality of bag.   Another wonderful quality it is a big bag-and I love a good big bag.  

Here is a better shot to see the richness of the leather and the great gold zipper detailing.  Below are some inside shots to show you have spaciious the inside is.  

Here you can see the various compartments.  There are two compartments with a middle laptop compartment that is lightly paddd.  There are generous pockets on both sides for all your phones, keys, etc.  Also notice how much is in here and there is room to spare-my big wallet, sunglasses, jouranl, papers.  

Here is me trying to show you the inside side pockets that can hold your phone etc

Also if you are traveling this can hold your important cards so maybe you don't even need a wallet for business women it can hold cards etc.  

A personal favorite touch is the light that is attached to the strap so you can find things in a bag of this size!!! 

Here is the other side really is a lushous looking bag and I cant get over that it is only 70.00!!!

I love this bag and have been using it as my work bag for two weeks now.  It has held up beatifully nad have packet it to the gills includin a  laptop, a liter of seltzer, my lunch, and a stack of papers, plus my regular stuff.  It is super durable.  My one and only complaint would be that this is not an ideal bag for every day.  It is super well made leather so it is a bit heavy and big for your every day purse (unless that is your style).  I think this is an amazing bag for work-especially with the choice of colors-I also love this in blue.  Also go check out the link because it has all the specs on the bag! Tons of features.  In full honesty I would have thought this bag retailed for at least 150 based on the fact that is contructed of nice quality leather and has so may features.  So my suggesions is this-go travel over to Pheonix Trading Company poke around all of the awesome clothes and homegoods and fun home applicances add a few things to the cart along with your favorite color of this bag plus its free shipping!!!!!  I know I am probably going to get this in brown or gray to use in the spring!!!   A great big thank you to Pheonix Trading Company for allowing me to try this bag!  
Momma Hunt
Several weeks ago I was shipped an amazing little surprise!  Several bags of freeze dried fruit to try and post a review about for my blog.  At first I was a little leery of some of the chips (hello beat chips) but having tried them all I was quiet impressed.  In each bag you got several servings of these tasty little dried fruit treats.  What I loved most about them is there was no added sugar like you sometimes get in dried fruit.  It was just the fruit themselves.  These were also non-gmo which for me is an added bonus.  Having tried them all my favorite ones were the medley ones with banana chips in them.  See below.  The reason I loved those were the bananas were so good!!!!    The only ones I didn't really love were the just strawberry I thought the strawberry alone were a little too tart for my liking.  Yet, my strawberry loving girl did enjoy these so maybe it was just my personal preference.  I think this make for a nice light after school snack or to go along with lunches as something different.  As most parents do I struggle with what to feed the kids that is easy to pack, they will eat, and is not junk!  These fit the bill.  So if you are looking for something new to try I would highly recommend Crunchies to try.  They are a nice healthy snack to add into your rotation.

Momma Hunt
So despite my love of organizers, planners, and lists-I am often easily overwhelmed and scattered.  This summer I have really begun to notice this more.  I make lists of the things that I need to accomplish and the things that I want to do-yet somehow.....Most of them don't get done.  

I often forget things I wanted to do and find myself doing other things.  As much as I would love to blame this on all the small people that live in my house....I think its me.  My lists are fine, my ability to do those things is fine, I just get distracted.  

Most often that distraction comes at the hands of my phone. Sometimes it comes in my desire to relax and kick back over the summer.  Sometimes it comes from getting-started-itis.  That is totally a thing.  I am a person that once I start something I can often get it done quickly and well-but getting started is hard.  No like I am the person that takes 10 minutes to pick out nail polish because actually putting on my nails isn't hard....its the starting.  I have a hard time starting coloring pages...why because its getting-started-itis.  

I think this summer I have a few things on my list that are "scary" or "emotional" and that is why I put them off.  Organizing and paying the bills stresses me out.  I want to make Josie's baby book but I know seeing pictures of her as a baby-especially with my dad will be hard for me.  I want to start sewing projects but sewing is new to me and hard so I am worried I am going to mess it up.  So like I said-Getting-started-itis.  

Even blogging and writing is like that for me....I want to write.  I have lots that I need to get out of my brain so I can think better.  Yet, sitting down to type is a whole new ball game....Once I start I am good.  Clearly anyone who reads this can see that I don't have issue with saying things!!

So what about all of you?  Do you have this issue?  Any tips for organizing?  For getting ahead?  Maybe I need to put my damn phone down and just get to it!

Momma Hunt

So as I mentioned in my previous post a few months ago I crossed something off my bucket list.  I took a sewing class.  Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to sew-my mom and grandmother couldn't.  When I did the 4-H fair as a child a great aunt helped me.  As I have gotten older I have loved quilts.  I love the colors, the fabrics, all of it.  When my dad died I even had a friend of Ryan's make quilts for the kids because I didn't know how but I wanted to.

So around my birthday I signed up for an intro to sewing class.  We learned some basic sticking and cutting.  Then when I got home I started looking up some simple patterns and I found this pattern for a cute easy to make headband. It was great because it came with step by step instructions on what to do.  I also found one for a doll dress that I made for Josie and her new American Girl doll.    I was so proud of these things.  It was something I wanted to do, I set my mind to it, I went and I did it.

I have found over the years that as a Mom and wife I have neglected to spend time on me.  I don't mean in that selfish I am going to be all about me-but in a way of bettering myself.  Lets be real knowing to sew doesn't serve a huge purpose other than I like to do it...but in a way that is good enough.  Something that mom likes to do and enjoys.  Below are pictures of my first few items I made!  The only issue with this sewing thing is that I am no instantly fabric obsessed and need to buy all the fabric.  Below you will see some of my recent purchases!
My headband....which now that I cute off all my hair doesn't look as cute! 

Doll Dress

Dog print!!! I need to make something special with these!!

More fun prints-I made Dylan a little coin purse with the dinos and the stars and crabs will be a bucket purse I am attempting to make into bag.  

What are the things that you have been wanting to do?  Is there something that you have done for yourself recently.  I would love to hear!