09 Nov

Amazement: Muscle Sculpting

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

Day 9 of NaBloPoMo 2014: Married to Amazement

I had been writing these posts a day ahead of time, but a party-hard sort of weekend has me pining for my bed. I’ve recently written about this part of my life, my prep for Dirty Thirty. I’m working really hard at this, using up a lot of resources, and each day I feel grateful that I have the time and ability to work at this goal of mine. I deeply admire women who push past this plateau like the one I’m experiencing using home workout DVDs while juggling their kids. That’s commitment!

Speaking of commitment, I’ve got to get my oldest in bed so I can get in a full eight hours of sleep before my 4:30am alarm goes off. I’m switching my Monday-Friday workouts to 5am to get it out of the way and maximize my childcare time for work. It’s brutal to switch ot waking up that early, but I think it will be a good routine.

(If you’re wondering, two months into my program I’m up a few pounds, but have a smaller waist and rounder behind. Progress is slow but I’m getting somewhere!)

Edit: I was writing while tired and should have clarified that I’m working to figure out how to take in the idea that the number on the scale is going up, and I don’t fit into smaller pants, but my body is changing for the better. I can feel that I’m stronger and firmer. The program is working, it’s just working in a different way than what I’ve experienced in the past.

08 Nov

Amazement: My Brain as a Muscle

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

Day 8 of NaBloPoMo 2014: Married to Amazement

The first week of NaBloPoMo focused on shifts in my thinking/approach/mindset. For the second week I want to focus on the opportunities in my life that I’m trying to recognize and maximize. I do so with full knowledge that I have a freaking great life, and that there is a fine line between acknowledging opportunities and bragging about them. The next seven posts are my attempt to do so. I hope readers can be generous with me as I write these out to document my current life experience, for I am sure there will be times when poor writing gets in the way of my message. That seems to happen a lot with me, which is one of the reasons why I’m flexing my writing skills and trying to refine them.

Speaking of flexing, for my first post on opportunities I wanted to focus on the idea that the brain is a muscle, and individuals have incredible capacity to expand and build upon their knowledge base. We, as parents, were first introduced to this concept when we read Nurtureshock, and it’s a cause that Salman Khan has recently begun to champion.

I tend to focus on doing things I know I can succeed at, because I like the feeling when I do something well. If I encounter something I don’t think I’m good at, I find a way around it. I see that same trait in T1 and it makes me nervous because it’s not something that has pushed me to my greatest potential. I chose my major in college (English) based on the classes I didn’t want to take (math, science) not the career I wanted to pursue*. I am proud of the way I pushed through my online Statistics class in 2012. It used a lot of “brain muscles” that I haven’t utilized in a long time, and That Husband acknowledged at the end that the course was much more difficult than it would have been if I had taken it on campus.

With enough time and persistence I have the potential to achieve a lot! I have some big dreams to work toward that will show me, and my kids, the incredible things we can accomplish with a little extra dedication to our training.

*Actually I wasn’t pursuing a career other than motherhood. Different time, different story.

07 Nov

Amazement: Being Brave

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

Day 7 of NaBloPoMo 2014: Married to Amazement

There are a lot of ways to be brave. Some of them are nearly heroic. Some of them are heroic. My acts are nowhere near that scale, but I’m looking to see the bravery wherever it can be found, no matter if it might be labeled as trivial.

My personal bravery is partially related to authenticity, which isn’t a surprise to anyone who knows me well. I thrive in environments where I feel like I’m putting my truth forward and it’s being accepted and validated. Of late I’ve added another dimension to my personal definition of bravery. I’d describe it as a courage found in viewing my weaknesses, accepting them, and making adjustments to overcome them (where possible).

And then. Then I must be strong enough to exercise self-compassion and accept my efforts as enough. That last one is hard for me. I fall short in so many ways, and my rate of change is dreadfully slow. My therapist friend says to me “Be kind to yourself J.” She’s right, there is always more room for kindness.

05 Nov

Amazement: Oversharing

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

Day 6 of NaBloPoMo2014: Married to Amazement

If middle names functioned as descriptors mine might be Jenna Overshare Andersen. It’s not that I don’t have a filter, it’s that my definition of oversharing is drastically different than everyone else. Since I would like to operate and thrive within our current society I’m working to figure out the line between authenticity and saying too much. It’s been rather thorny because everyone has different ideas about how much is too much. Which cooks should I be allowing into my mental kitchen?

Daring Greatly has been the best resource I’ve found thus far for defining and addressing oversharing, but it’s not quite enough. I’d be first in line to pre-order a copy if she wrote an entire book on why people overshare and how to stop. For now I’m relying on that same system I’ve cited multiple times before – honest conversations with people I know have my best interests at heart, with the ability to pull me in close and then bring me at arms length to help me see things about myself that are too close for me to suss out without going cross-eyed.

Why don’t I finish this post with an overshare a la Lena Dunham?

I went off hormonal birth control recently* and HELLO to my old friend libido. I think my lifting routine is pumping her up as well. #winning

*using a copper IUD, so no babies here

05 Nov

One Quick Take

Posted by Jenna, Under Holiday

Mario and Yoshi. BFF Foreverzzz.

DIY Mario and Luigi Halloween Costumes

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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