January 31, 2012

Photo-A-Day Challenge! February 2012

A few blogs I follow are taking part in a
"Photo-A-Day Challenge"
for the entire year of 2012!
(Brittany at Love Stiched, Jessica at FatMumSlim)

I missed January, but I'm going to try and start the challenge tomorrow for February.

I'll post my weekly photos all at once and hopefully bust out of my boring-box and get creative.

If you want to play along Jessica will be hosting a linky party and I've joined up!

January 20, 2012

The least-kept secret of what I love best about winter - SNOW!

“The first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event”


I love snow.

At the first flakes I see falling, I call my Mom and we gleefully look outside, sharing the joy of winter's gift we've waited for all season. I cannot hide my excitement, nor my happiness, when our Spring-like city is covered in white for a while.

I love to walk in the snow. I love the crunchy-squinchy sound it makes under my boots. I didn't like it when I was a child, it grated like nails on a chalkboard, but I've grown to miss it and now glad don my old boots and crunch away while I can.

January 16, 2012

A "Fast" Update - Not all 6s & 7s...

Day 6 & 7
So here I am...on the eve of my last day of one of the most difficult tasks I've ever committed to. A Fast.

Both yesterday and today have been tremendous mental and physical battles. A battle of wills - Will I cave? Will I fail? Will I pass out? Will I stay strong? Will I give in and just take a taste of peanut butter? Will my stomach ever stop growling?

It is not easy to break off deep, ingrained routines and habits cold turkey (mmm, turkey....). Such strong and natural instincts that have been with us since we were babies.

Something so simple as: "I'm hungry...I eat."

January 13, 2012

A "Fast" Update - Four, Five & Friday!

Thank-you to everyone who has encouraged me and sent me their love. I only ever want to use this blog as a place to encourage others and as a way to express myself.

Oh yes, it is Friday and I'm more than halfway done my 8 day fast!

I'm thanking God that my work week is ending and I can have some time tomorrow to possibly NAP!

My fast is still going strong, I've been tempted but still have held out on the solid foods. I think my brain and body have finally switched off the impulse feeling that I MUST EAT something. Yes, I still have hunger pangs and 'empty' feeling moments, but they quickly pass as I drink some water and think bout something else.

The main issue I have been having for the past 2 days has been sleep. It's taken me a long time to fall asleep lately and I wake up so very tired. I feel like I could fall asleep any moment of the day if I just put my head down to rest....Yet, God is helping me stay strong and close to Him.

January 12, 2012

A "Fast" Update - Painting-by-Numbers

Well, here I am, and Day 3 is over and done with. I never, ever thought that I would have lasted this long. Honestly.

I'm not the type of person who sticks things out. I'm a starter, not a closer. Over the years I've tried all sorts of hobbies, past times, activities and I say tried, because that's what ends up happening; I try them. Full stop.

I usually try something for a little while, feel it out, see if I enjoy it, and most of the time I do. But what always seems to happen is that something else comes along to catch my eye and take my attention away. (Maybe I'm secretly a magpie, distracted by what's new and shiny!)

I have a closet full of "trys" - I have a box of paint-by-numbers that I spent several hours on but only managed to use a couple colours until it was put away never to see the light of day again. I have a violin I never play and guitar I haven't quite learned, and any number of crafts and activities, from bead looms to rollerblades, I've dabbled with but never stuck to.

I know it's okay to try things out and learn what you like or what you're good at, it just feels like my whole life is full of "just trying" something.

January 10, 2012

A "Fast" Update - Still Standing!

Well, so far, so good with my first two days of fasting. I've had a few weak moments and some angry hunger gremlins that seem to crawl right up my throat, but overall, I feel good and am doing well.

Every time I feel hungry or the urge to get something to eat I remind myself of why I am doing this. I remind myself that I can go without for once in my life. I remind myself that God is with me and He can let this experience bring me closer to Him. This afternoon I even took any hungry moment to stop and pray for someone in my family, taking my mind off myself.

As for what I am consuming to stay standing: lots of water, it's easier at work where we have a nice cold filtered water jug, but I've also been drinking 100% (not from concentrate) pressed apple juice. Today I tried a V8 Blueberry with vegetables juice and I just could not trick my mind into drinking a whole glass. It somehow doesn't taste right to me so later I might try it with a straw to fool myself that it's a delicious smoothie.

A "Fast" Update - Meet my new little motivator!

Okay, it's now been only 12 hours since I began my fast...and I am sliding down the slippery slope of weakening with mental hunger!

I know it's mostly in my mind; the human body can last without solid food for quite a while, but it strikes me at how much I am actually just craving the ritual of going to the kitchen and getting something to eat. My feet have been trying to walk to the fridge and hands want to make something, open something, heat up something! Wow, I never realized it would be this difficult this early on! (Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Stop it, traitorous salivary glands!)

Yet, I am surviving. I've been enjoying some fruit juices and I warmed up some organic, low sodium vegetable broth this evening. I've been keeping myself busy, taking down all my Christmas decorations, organizing them, going through them all only keeping what I really love and actually used this year. I went down an entire box from what I usually have stored away.

January 9, 2012

21 Day Challenge....Impossible Quest?

Today our community at Adore is holding their Second Annual 21-Day Challenge of Fasting and Prayer.

Have you ever fasted before? I mean on purpose, not by accident or because you ran out of food and didn't feel like going to the grocery store so you made it through the evening by ignoring the hunger pangs and waiting until morning.

Here in Canada we are so blessed to have so much food and variety of food right at our fingertips! I mean really, for only a few dollars we could eat a day's worth of calories; they wouldn't be all that great for you probably, but it can be done. And for those of us with steady employment do we take it for granted that we can go shop for whatever foods we desire or go out to eat at a restaraunt almost any time?

I have never fasted before...let alone missed a meal if I could help it. I admit it, I like food. I like the socal aspect of eating out with friends and family, of hosting people in my home for a meal or snacks. I like the taste of (almost) anything, I like the ritual of preparing and eating something yummy. I just plain old like food.

January 7, 2012

Knitting and Knowing - A Bumpy Project

Have you ever started a project or wanted to learn a new skill and tried to do it all on your own?

How did that work out for you?

Sometimes, yes, we can make it on our own, climb that mountain, finish what we started and all turns out well. However, most of the time we need help or instruction or at least tips from those who have gone before us or have already done what we wish to do.

The photo to the left is an example of one of my foray into a new craft: knitting. Can you tell what it is that I just finished? No? Me neither.

Just recently I learned how to knit. Okay, I'll admit it, I am totally still learning how to knit. A friend and I picked up our brand new needles a few weeks ago and after a quick intro on how to begin our fingers took off and the strands of yarn began to weave together into...something.

January 6, 2012

A Silly Christmas Tradition

I remember the first time I started what has now become a silly tradition for me at Christmas time. I was about 13 or 14 and I was spending my extra dollars from babysitting on gifts for my family when I saw it...something with my name on it! Literally, the item had my first name on it!

You know that section of any gift store with pens or magnets with name after name of "Jennifer, or "David" inscribed on these personalized items? I never, ever, find my name on those racks.  I may find a "Kristin" or "Kristy" but "Kirsten" is just too unique, I guess.

So this silly Christmas tradition of mine has nothing to do with baking, or decorating, or caroling. It does have something to do with gifts. Actually it has something to do with one gift. And it may seem a wee bit selfish but every year I end up finding, buying, wrapping and opening a gift with no one listed in the "From" section on the tag. This gift FOR me is actually "From"....me!

January 5, 2012

My "List" for the year 2012

January 2012...most of us make lists of resolutions, or "To Do" lists, lists of things we regret we did not do last year or lists of things we want to do this year. Have you made such a list?

I just cracked open a brand new journal that I got for Christmas (an annual self-bought-gift...more on that another time) and started making a list for myself for 2012. Not so much a list of resolutions, but more of a list of reminders.

I don't regret my time in 2011, but when I look back, I can't help but wonder if I acutally used my precious, God-given time to its' full advantage. Did I take every opportunity and make the most of it? Could I have done more? Been more? Loved more? Helped more? Did I let fear guide me instead of trust? What would 2011 have looked like if I had changed one moment?

Yet 2011 is now over and done and all I have are the days before me to make a difference, to explore and enjoy.  I yearn for an adventure! I want to go places and have things happen to me! However, I know if I want some things to happen, I might need to go out and make them happen for myself.

That being said in very random order,

Here is my 2012 LIST:
1. Travel more
2. Enjoy more theatre and concerts
3. Hike!
4. Recycle more
5. Go through and donate stuff
6. Write real letters
7. Figure out more about ME
8. Longer walks with Willow (my dog)
9. Learn my guitar
10. Trust God everyday
11. Thanks people more
12. SMILE More!
13. Train more people to cover my job (so I can do #1-2!)
14. Learn new skills
15. Finish a project
17. Make lots of jewelry (see #16)
18. Read more (less TV!)
19. Cut out Diet Coke!
21. write write write!!!!!
I'm sure I will want to alter and edit this list, but here it is, my wishes, hopes, wants, thoughts for 2012 as of January 5th.

What is YOUR list for 2012??