Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winners, and my TaeKwonDo Girly

Yay for giveaway winners!  Here's what I got:

Socks go to Suz @ Cows and Lasers and Everything in Between

Soap goes to Darcy @ Chunky Wonder Woman

Coffee holder goes to Kim @ Just Another Mom on the Run

Headbands go to April @ Mom on the Run

Congrats ladies, and thanks for following my sometimes odd but always fun journey!

So now my fun and exciting news of the week--my daughter passed her TaeKwonDo belt test yesterday with flying colors!  I could tell she was nervous about it, and in class on Monday she completely fell apart.  She wasn't able to do the form to save her life, and she was getting openly frustrated.  We unfortunately had a very full evening, so we couldn't just go home to practice in quiet and private.  So I gave her a little pep talk in the car and we saved the practicing for Tuesday after school.

She got home, and in her usual style got majorly pissy because she was hungry.  There are only ever two reasons that my kids (and most kids I think) are in a bad mood--they're tired or they're hungry.  And when both happen, you might as well give up for the day!  But fortunately she was wide awake and excited, so after a few struggled crying attempts at pushing through her form, I gave her a sandwich and sat her down for a talk.

I went about it all a different way this time.  I told her exactly what I wasn't supposed to tell her but exactly what the actual truth was--no one fails these tests.  When she was given her final "tip" in class, that was showing that she was proficient enough to test and move on to the next belt.  The test is a formality, a way for us to get pictures and them to get more money.  So there was no need at all to be nervous, she simply needed to go out there confident in her abilities and ready to have fun and kick butt.  Then we ran through her forms again, this time with me telling her to smile the whole time.  And it was PERFECT!  She did an amazing job, we yelled some cheers about kicking butt (the neighbors were probably very confused), we laughed, and we didn't practice it again.  I wanted to end it on a good note and just let her relax.

When it was her turn to test, she was with four other children but in front of an entire room full of parents and cameras and other belt levels.  And you know what?  She didn't care in the least.  They did their forms, with the boys next to her rushing through like bats out of hell, just as boys do.  It threw her off at first, and she got out of step with them, and then at her own, slightly slower pace she did the entire form correctly.  The Master even talked about her at the end, bragging on her level of concentration and ability to go her own pace and recover so well from the beginning hiccup.  He said that's what the test was really about--how they performed under pressure.  And she aced it!  She was beaming with pride by the end, and we celebrated with a trip to McDonald's.  Don't judge, when my kid kicks ass I oblige her with what she wants!

She's the only kid I've ever seen who skips in TaeKwonDo

iPhones--good for keeping little boys busy in quiet moments!

"I want that belt!"


Let's hope this motivation pushes her into some awesome hard work in her new belt, because the next belt is green.  And green belt means sparring and alllllll sorts of fun!  If I can hold myself back from slapping the kid who kicks her first, that is.... :P

Have a happy Wednesday!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday--The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

1.  The good is about my daughter!  For the past few months since she's moved up a level in TaeKwonDo, she's been quite unhappy/discouraged with class.  She's by far the smallest, one of the youngest, and one of the few girls in there.  She's a tough kid, but it automatically intimidated her.  Plus, the class moves at a much faster pace, and what was always somewhat simple for her suddenly became challenging.  We went through WEEKS of her flipping out when we'd get there, refusing to do anything but sit on the side of the mat and make rude faces.  So totally unlike her!  But we knew it was because she's never actually been challenged in her life, and we worked with the amazing instructors to show patience and understanding.  BUT we didn't stop taking her.  We were finally about to give up, though.  We had all been sick, our contract runs out in a month, and we were fairly sure she'd be happy to just let it go.  Until last Monday.  She showed up to class for the first time in a week, and she was renewed!  She improved so much over the past week and a half, that she's actually testing for her next belt next week!!  And not only that, she LOVES it again.  She got over the hurdles that were challenging her, and she said that she plans on continuing to do so for every new belt.  She knows that it will get harder with each test, and she seems to understand now.  I'm hoping that she'll keep this sort of perseverance into the new challenges, but there's only one way to find out!

2.  So after that happy lot, here's the bad.  Back story--in September when my father got sick, I went to visit him.  It was really stressful and fairly hot out there in SoCal.  So I needed lots of caffeine, and I couldn't stand drinking those ultra-fattening frappucinos or hot coffee.  My confession is that I went back to drinking diet soda.  And I never stopped.  I know that I detoxed from it in the summer and was doing really well, but this bit of stress hit me hard and I don't have a lot of vices.  So I took the one really bad thing that I do to myself, and I went with it out of frustration.  I've recently started working pretty hard to wean back off of it again.  I've been back on my morning protein shakes with some espresso in them, and in the afternoon I try to have either an almond milk latte or a hot tea, or skip the caffeine all together.  It's actually going fairly well, but don't be surprised if I get a tad bit bitchy at times. (On a happier note, my father is still in the hospital but making forward steps daily!)

3.  The ugly is my yoga practice, fo sho'.  I finally went back to my Power Yoga class today, after a long time off.  When I was going regularly, I felt so balanced and strong.  But since we've all had a major case of the grossness, I've not only missed that class but most of my other workouts too.  It's left me feeling quite off-centered and weak.  The class started off rough, as I rushed in late because the boy threw an insane fit this morning.  I got ready messily but quietly and tried to focus.  I never set my "intention" for the practice, I unfortunately missed that part.  And I could tell.  She focused on balance today with tons of one-legged poses.  It was an eye opener to how imbalanced I've become!  I was all over the place, and it was so hard to focus and not just give up in embarrassment.  But I made it through, and I felt better by the end.  I almost walked out of the class twice, and nearly cried once.  But dammit, I'll be back next week and hopefully a bit stronger physically and emotionally by every class.  If my daughter can persevere, so can I!  Now, off to practice some Warrior III and Dancer poses....

Don't forget, go to enter my Pay It Forward Giveaways!  You can enter through next Tuesday, and I'll draw FOUR lucky winners on Wednesday morning.  Go win something!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Pay It Forward Giveaways!

So, I know I've mentioned in the past that I have an odd luck for winning things, right?  Well, it's not seemed to go away.  Recently I entered in a few giveaways from the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day, just for the heck of it.  I only entered a couple giveaways, the ones I really REALLY liked.  The reason being that I tend to win the stuff I try for, and I didn't want to make it unfair.  I know, it's a snotty assumption, but it proves itself every time.  And it did again!  I managed to win an absolutely gorgeous necklace from Fab handmade:

I chose the one on the left, but aren't they all gorgeous!?!

And it just so happens that she has another super adorable giveaway going on right now through tomorrow!  Go to her winter giveaway here and enter to win some super adorable earrings, all you have to do is follow her blog. 

And just today, I woke up to find out that I won my absolute favorite of the giveaways, this beautifully happy purse from Hey Fish Studio:
Eeek, isn't it gorgeous?!?!
She doesn't presently have another giveaway going right now, but she does have an Etsy shop here with some pretty adorable little bags that you know you (or someone you love) totally should have.  Go there now!

So that brings me to the next part--If I'm winning all this awesome shit, I should be giving something away too, right?  Right????  So, here you go, I have a few things for you!!!

Giveaway One
First up for you, I'll give one lucky person an awesome pair of black Pro Compression knee socks in S/M:

I have a pair of these in hot pink, and they've been a Godsend for tough recovery runs.  I wore them directly after my Spartan Beast, and I think the only thing that DIDN'T hurt the next day was my calves, because of these socks.

Giveaway Two
The next thing up for grabs is very cool for the traveling type.  It's a bar of JR Liggett's Shampoo with a travel case and face cloth:
Isn't the model adorable? :P
This shampoo is all natural with no harsh additives and you shouldn't need a conditioner with it, plus the carrying case is made of recycled plastic.  Everything in the package is 100% biodegradable!

Giveaway Three
This giveaway is something that I made this morning just for the occasion!  It is an insulated cloth coffee sleeve:
The outer layers are one of my favorite designer fabrics, and the inner layer is a heat-resistant insulation.  Keep this in your purse, and every time you buy a coffee while you're on-the-go, you won't have to waste the extra trash by using one of their sleeves.  Plus, this is way cuter.  And it'll fit every size, since it's got a button/elastic closure.  Win!

Giveaway Four
It wouldn't be a HipFitFam giveaway if I didn't give someone some headbands, right?  Well, here you go.  One lucky person will get two headbands of their choice of fabric, from the options below:

So there you go!  Four fun prizes for four lucky winners!  I'll do a random drawing via on next Wednesday December 19th when I wake up.  All you have to do to enter is live in the continental US and then do one (or both) of these things:

1. Follow this blog.  My following is a bit low right now on Blogger, and I'd love to show up on your blogroll.  It would make me happy!  Leave me a comment here that you're a follower, and you get one entry.

2. Go read this post and tell me HERE about one way in which you've bettered yourself over the past one/five/whatever years.  I love to hear success stories!

REMEMBER:  If your blogger profile is set to private, make sure you leave me a way to get in touch with you, such as your email address written like this:  name at email dot com.  Thanks!!!

And if I DOUBLE my followership on the blog (I'm presently at 43), I'll give away a second set of headbands.  Woohoo!

That's it, easy peasy.  Go win something from me, and be sure to tell your friends!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If I Were Less Lazy...

If I were less lazy, I'd get up at 5am to work out before getting the kiddo ready for school.

If I were less lazy, I'd be doing pushups, planks, and crunches while sitting on the floor with the kids.

If I were less lazy, I would make my own protein bars instead of getting the store-bought kind.

If I were less lazy, I would read a lot more and study a lot harder.

If I were less lazy, I'd watch less tv with the husband at night and do productive stuff instead.

If I were less lazy, I'd have that kick-ass bedroom quilt finished by now.

And a quilt for each kid.

If I were less lazy, I'd be able to do twice as many pullups at this point.  Which would be two.  Haha.

But you know what, I'm not less lazy.  And I'm a damn fine leap ahead of the previous me. 

So I'll suck it up and be happy with how far I've come.  I used to never work out.  Like, never.

I used to think running was a punishment and that pushups would just make your arms bulky. 

I used to eat candy bars instead of store-bought protein bars.

I used to only read beauty magazines and wish I looked like them.  And studying wasn't in my wild college girl vocabulary.

I used to sit and watch tv during the day also, instead of saving for decompression time at night.

I used to think that sewing was for grandmas.  I didn't know the beauty of something handmade.

I used to say I'd never even do one pullup.

So I guess it's not that bad, huh?

In a world where we're constantly reminded of our shortcomings, look at yourself today and remember how far you've come.  And feel proud.  You deserve it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tis the Season to Feel like Butt

First off, let me apologize for my lack of blogging lately.  I just haven't really been up to the task, quite honestly.  It's been a bit messy around here, and I've had a really hard time trying to motivate others to be healthy and fit when I can't even get my own house in order.  Basically, this is the past month:

Daughter has ear infection
Daughter has nasty cold
Son has nasty cold
Both get better, I get nasty cold
Husband has nasty cold
I get fever and son gets another cold
I get really bad strep throat
Daughter gets fever
Son gets stomach virus
I get stomach virus
Husband gets strep throat
Son gets strep throat and double ear infection

And that's where we are now.  The poor boy is feverish and covered in hives.  Fortunately for him, he doesn't have any actual pain in his ears.  They simply look like they're on fire inside.  He does fairly well through the day, only whining a bit about the itching.  But the night is when it hits the hardest.  I'm personally not a huge fan of overprescribed antibiotics, but in this instance I feel it's absolutely necessary.  In fact, they've both had their first rounds of antibiotics EVER this season.  I guess it's because of kindergarten and the introduction of all the new germs, but it's still completely depressing.  They've been sicker the past month than ever before in their lives.  And I've been persistent with the vitamins, Emergen-C, probiotics, and allllll sorts of healthy foods.  Hopefully it will all pass soon and we'll all be well for longer than one day at a time.

And of course with a month like that, it's kind of hard to maintain a decent workout schedule.  I've spent most nights dealing with coughing, vomiting, or crying.  So my weekend long runs have been replaced by sleeping.  And my weekday workouts haven't happened because I can't take a sick kid (or my sick self) to the gym.  I've lost a lot of endurance and strength, but I'm determined to get it back.  Once everyone is healthy, of course.

I've gotten a little done in the past few weeks, craft-wise.  I've managed to get our house fairly cleaned and decorated for the holidays.  I made a brand new Advent Calendar this season, because my old one was three years old and looking a bit shabby.  This new one is made from free designer wallpaper samples.  I rolled them, sealed the bottom, and put numbered ornament stickers on them.  Then I simply hung them from twine above the fireplace, and voila!  Every day has a different activity, like "bake peppermint brownies" or "learn about Winter Solstice".  Today we'll be making snowflakes from yarn and popsicle sticks!  It's an excellent way to count down to Christmas, and it can be done relatively cheaply with a little thought (or some Pinterest inspiration)!
Each little "cup" has a cute family activity, easy peasy!
I've also made my first ever Christmas wreath, which I'm quite proud of.  And this weekend I was tired of sitting around and felt the need to have new clothes, so I even sewed myself a cute little jersey knit mini skirt!  The boy also has a new stocking made from a sweater I accidentally shrunk and didn't want to give up.  Being cheap can sometimes be SO fun!

So now, I move on to my next phase--getting back into shape for the Spring race season.  I have my next Spartan Race in March, which will complete my Trifecta.  I'll also be doing the Hurricane Heat before my race, which will be about 4+ hours of grueling pain with a team of other crazy bastards.  I can't wait!  I have a few local marathons that I'm doing as well.  I'm working on finding fewer races, closer to home.  And the cheaper, the better.  I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, just a start line and a finish line.  Although a medal is really appealing!  On my list as of now is this for next season:

Spartan Sprint & Hurricane Heat--March 23
Too Slow for Boston Marathon--April 14
Kings Mountain Marathon--April 27 (my birthday!)

And if I have the money/energy, I'd love to run my first marathon again, the New River Marathon on May 4.  It would put me as a qualifier for Marathon Maniacs, which would be super duper cool.  But then again, that just costs more money.  So we'll see.  The only ones I'm officially signed up for now are the Spartan and the TSFB, and that's a good start! 

I'm hoping that although the end of the year is usually a time of overeating and being too busy to work out, that I'll be able to do exactly the opposite.  It's been a long time coming, and I need it.  I need it bad.

How has the season of sickness been treating all of you?  Did you also fall off the wagon, or were you able to stay on?  If you did--tell me your secret!!