How It’s Going So Far

The view from our back porch! Love sunsets.

As I expected, things haven’t gone as expected moving into the new year. Nothing terrible at all, just not as amazing as my Christmas/New Years.

It has been tough because my Christmas break was the best I’ve probably ever had, so it was hard to follow that! I went into the New Year with the idea of balance. I also knew that it would be a fight because my brain always goes towards the black and white and control. I also often get wrapped up in my mind.

But I’m okay!

I am still doing better than usual for this time of year.

I had a rough couple of weeks between being sick with the flu, Robert has either had a group (that he works with till midnight every night) or has been out of town (he’s in Utah right now), I’m trying to get used to early mornings again (though I’m really loving that time now), and I’ve been dealing with a major issue with a parent at work for the past week (actually more… and it’s totally NOT on me… but I have still had anxiety about it).

Trying to Control

Twice now (already… just a few weeks in), I have noticed myself wanting to start counting calories again. For some reason it feels safe… a way to feel like I have some control in a time when things feel a bit out of control. I’m also much heavier today than I was several months ago. It’s tough to gain a lot of weight at once. I don’t even know why to be honest. I have been more active this month than in a long time, and I’m eating decently well. And that’s really all I can ask for!

If I’m heavier, I’m heavier. I’m healthy. I have worked out/moved 15 out of the past 20 days. I planned on moving every day, but being sick threw me off (I actually did SOME movement those days I was sick… just not every day). I have been eating fruit, veggies, protein, whole grains, etc. I am who I am, and I do NOT want to get stuck in the trap of tracking/counting again. I know what my body needs, and I’m giving my body those things.

My body/mind/soul also need to just live life and not be so focused on things that really should not be controlled. I need balance. This is my word for the year, and while it’s hard to remember some days, it’s good to remind myself of that.

Eating Healthy by Addition, Not Subtraction

I started a challenge in Street Parking this week, and it has actually been SO great. The whole premise of this challenge is consistency with the little things (huge fans of Atomic Habits by James Clear). We got to choose our daily goals (how much fruit, veggies, protein, water, and a sleep habit), and we have to have a 100% streak for 35 days. I kept my habits simple so that I knew I would meet them every day, and even though I’ve been sick, I have had no trouble keeping up (I usually have more than my minimum). Focusing on adding in the good stuff instead of taking stuff away or counting calories has been great for me. Also, it has mostly just been a continuation of what I had already started doing, so I know I can keep doing this when the challenge is over.

Here is some of the food that I have been eating:

The first pic is chickpea pasta mixed with spaghetti squash, and a quick meat sauce with Newman’s Own sauce and grass fed ground beef.

I make a veggie tray each week. This week I bought some “bento boxes” from HEB because they were only $3 instead of $5 and they have come in clutch.

I got that beautiful salad (with the flowers) from a local restaurant. It was literally the best salad I’ve ever had. It is a kale cobb salad. The dressing was AMAZING. I need to learn how to reproduce it.

We had egg-roll-in-a-bowl; a bowl with pre-seasoned and diced chicken from HEB, brussel sprouts, zucchini, and rice; a bagged salad (that was a snack the other day); coconut chicken curry over rice (I used full fat coconut milk, and lot more salt, and I added sweet potatoes); eggs with baby spinach and kale, fruit, and Dave’s English muffin with butter and raw honey.

And of course, we had more than what I took pictures of. Just thought I’d share some ideas!


This has been a struggle these days. Even before the challenge, I have been working on how I can improve my sleep. I hadn’t struggled with it for years, but the past few months have been rough! I think it’s a combo of major med changes and new routines.

Before the challenge, I started doing guided meditation almost nightly, reading, and/or yoga.

I also have an app where I check in every night. It’s a CBT app (cognitive behavioral therapy). It has you tell how your day was and either share gratitude or it helps you work through your thoughts. You work through whether your thoughts are catastrophizing, all-or-nothing thinking, emotional reasoning, magnification of the negative, jumping to conclusions, fortune-telling, mind-reading, self-blaming, etc. Then you work through each thought.

I love the Insight Timer app for guided meditation. It’s free (there are paid options, but they aren’t necessary).

I also listen to my Serenity Spa Music album nightly.

I was doing Yoga with Adriene there for a while, but I haven’t in more than a week. I think I would enjoy picking that back up!

Movement- Being Outside

I have actually picked up running again. I find myself running just because my body feels like it when I go for walks, so I decided to pick up the Endurance on Ramp program again by Street Parking. I started with session 8 because I felt like I was way past the beginning. Session 8 is 6 rounds of 30 second hard run, 1 minute walk, and 2 minutes moderate run. I’ll probably do session 8 several more times before I go to session 9.

Hiking is where my heart is. I absolutely love our trails and just being outside for a long time. I usually do a long hike every weekend. I didn’t last weekend because I wasn’t feeling the greatest (little did I know, I was sick!). I plan to hike this afternoon. I probably won’t do the 5+ miles, but we will see.

I am also doing the Vault (a weekly workout through SP). I even did it sick this week because if you miss once, that’s it!

I add in other things like riding my Schwinn Airdyne (an air bike), other daily workouts with SP, some weight lifting, etc. My goal is some form of movement every day. Now that I’m starting to feel better, I’ll be getting back to it!

New Planner, New Year of Organization

I received my “dream planner” a few weeks ago (silly, I know… it’s the little things). It’s called the Home Planner by Passionate Penny Pincher.

Each day has specific cleaning tasks (which I don’t stick to 100% because it’s a lot), plus weekly tasks for organization. So far, I have organized my pantry (and food cabinets cause I have several), fridge, and freezer.

I have also re-organized my office and bedroom (and moved things around!).

I spent last weekend working on the yard. Our backyard was AWFUL… full of trash (thanks to one of my kids…) and really tall weeds. It’s still not amazing because the whole thing is rocks, but it’s much better than it was. You can’t mow our yard because of the rocks, so it has to be 100% weed-eated. It took a bit.

I know I got through the past week of being sick plus Robert being gone because I spent the last few weeks organizing, working on food prep, and just having a less cluttered space. It makes a huge difference. I also just kept moving the best I could, even when I didn’t feel amazing.

I even washed sheets and towels the other day despite not feeling great because it was a task on my list. And I’m so glad I did because I slept so well that night! Haha.

My Mental Health

As usual, it has been up and down. I have had some periods of extreme anxiety and some depression. Earlier this week, I was feeling super depressed and lonely. I was so sad that there were so many fun things going on around camp, and I couldn’t be involved because I was sick. Robert was gone, and I’m alone all day during the day. I also think that part of the issue is that it has been a long time since my last treatment. I have one scheduled this coming week, but I’m actually feeling okay at the moment! Since I’m feeling okay, I’m questioning whether or not I even need a treatment this coming week, but I am going to go ahead and do it so that I don’t go too long. It will be 5 weeks in between this time, and before that the longest I have gone is 3 weeks. So, this is good! They are just SO expensive ($420 each!); but, they are worth it. I’m doing SO much better than ever this winter.

As I’m writing this and sharing pics of my last few weeks, I’m realizing that maybe I’ve been doing better than I thought. I’ve been stuck in my head this week because of being sick, but things are honestly really good for this time of year! The weather doesn’t hurt! It has been beautiful and sunny every day!

My Weekend Plan

I’m feeling a lot better today, though not 100%. I’m in the mood to do things, though, so I will get moving. I plan on finishing my yards (finish cleaning up the front yard, take the posts out of my garden beds, and throw away the trash). I will plant some succulents that I have had sitting on my counter for a few weeks (I have to plant them in pots that I can bring inside because we still might have some freezes). I plan to hike. I plan to do some food prep for this coming week. We are eating in the dining hall for all dinners, but I will focus on breakfasts and lunches (and snacks).

Tomorrow, we WILL go to church. I have struggled SO much with getting into a routine to go to church (we have struggled with that since we moved here 7 1/2 years ago since church is so far from us), but I am determined to go tomorrow. It’s needed! Robert is out of town still, but we will just go without him.

The rest of tomorrow will be reserved for cleaning and getting ready for a new week!

Cleanliness and organization really do make a huge difference for me, and I’m learning to be okay with that!

On a random note… I’m thinking about switching my blog back to Wild + Free Mama. What do you think?

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