Redefining success

So…I’ve struggled with writing this blog for months. MONTHS! And I think I’ve got a good idea why. Success is something I don’t feel qualified to talk about. And I’ll tell you why in just a second, but first I just have to say it’s because if those very things I just might be perfectly qualified to write this blog. Here’s the thing. I fail. A lot. 

I fail at maintaining a positive attitude (choosing joy if you will). 

I fail at being the kind of friend/ daughter/ sister/ auntie/ cousin/ coworker/ employee  (You get the idea) that I would like to be. 

I fail at being a good girlfriend (I take out a lot of my attitude and issues on my wonderful, loving, and very understanding boyfriend). 

I fail at returning phone calls (sorry grandma!) 

I fail at doing stuff. I have a lot of great ideas and fail at following through. 

I fail at making good choices… I try… But that dang sweet tooth!!! And that emotion eating thing. And onion rings. 

I fail at my job… More than I would care to admit. 

I fail at keeping track of my checkbook (thank God for my mother) 

I fail at reading my Bible regularly. 

I fail at being in the moment sometimes. 

I can’t even manage to take a ONE a day vitamin for crying out loud. 

When I was growing up I always figured that by 35 I would be married. Have a houseful (more like 2 kids) a house and a dog. I would be working as a kindergarten teacher and loving life. Well… Life had other plans. There is NO freaking way that 17 years as a bill collector (well… Some of those were customer service years) was something I thought of. Ever! But does that mean I’m not successful? I don’t hit my “goal” at work every month. But does that make me a failure? Am I trying new things? Am I going outside my comfort zone?  Am I changing lives? How’s my attitude? I think these are the things that should be defining my work succes. It’s hard…..VERY hard to see that in the moment, but sometimes I need to step back and realize it. 

What I realized when thinking about this whole thing is that sometimes your definition changes over time. When I started my weight loss journey I viewed success as me fitting in a size 10 jeans. No lie. However…. Today if I had to buy a size 10 I would be disappointed in myself. Not because there is ANYTHING wrong with being a size 10, but because I am currently like a size 3-4. And me going back to a 10 at this point would really show I had given Up.   This isn’t about pants size… It’s about how perspective changes as time passes and goals are hit or things change.  On a related topic when I started thinking about wanting to run, I wanted to 30 seconds, yes SECONDS!  Without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I run 5 miles for fun. Things change, the definition has to change at some point.  

I guess I say all this to pose a question. What does success look like to you? How do you define success? I asked this question on my Facebook and had several conversations with people about it. I got lot of interesting answers. Some very specific summed up as results define success. A lot of people said they define success by how happy they are. Some people responded that it’s the seeds you plant and the legacy that you leave behind that really defines success. 

I guess what I’m learning is that it’s the daily things that add up to success. I’m still trying to figure this all out. I’m not perfect. And you know what?!?! . I’m going to keep failing. Maybe success is not letting that failure define me. Maybe it’s not letting failure keep me from keeping on trying. Maybe it’s getting back up once I’ve been knocked down. Idiot really know the answer…. 

What are your thoughts? 

Christmassy thoughts for you to ponder

Christmassy thoughts for you to ponder

It’s Christmas Eve!!!

So I’ve been deep in thought about Christmas once again. Was getting my hair cut the other day when I ended up in a conversation about Christmas. The hype is crazy. The pressure to get the right thing, to spend enough money, to decorate just right, to make all the goodies PINTREST worthy, to make everything just perfect. We live in a culture of abundance. Too many presents, too much food. Too much hussle. Too much bustle. 

My challenge to you is think about how you remember your Christmas growing up. Do you remember what you “got”. The girl cutting my hair and I could each think of 3 things we got. 3!!!! However, I look back fondly on my Christmases growing up. Some of my most treasured memories are of time spent with my family at Christmas. Was a time of the year where we just spend time together. My mom worked her butt off all year round to provide for us. But Christmas Eve was a time we could all be together. 

These are some of my most treasured memories:

Visits with Santa

 

This happens to be my favorite photo of Santa and I.

Christmas crafts were big in my house. Painting ceramics. 

Decorating the house was also fun. Christmas music in the background. All of us kids working together to make the house look festive.  We always had presents on the wall

Driving around looking at Christmas lights.

Christmas programs.  Journey to the center of Christmas! 

Going to candle light service at church and mom dripping wax on her hand. Also mom trying so hard to clap along to the songs and having no rhythm. Getting home from church and having treats and pizza for dinner. And opening presents sitting around the tree. 

Most of all was baking cookies. Eating so much cookie dough and frosting that I had a giant stomach ache (totally worth it!) my brother throwing cookie dough on the Ceiling to see if it would stick. Using too much flour and making a giant mess… Always ending in a flour fight. Having contests to see who could make the prettiest cookie. Getting yelled at for sneaking a cookie cuz those were for the people mom worked with. Also getting “the look” when I “accidentally” got frosting on my fingers and then licked them… Oops! Then getting excited when we got to eat them. Cookies for breakfast! 

My sister coming down in her undies Christmas morning to open gifts. Sorry sister, it’s adorable and part of my memories 😉 (I’ll spare the photo on this one)   Ps. She was little! 

I always enjoyed everyone else opening their presents, and always wanted to be the one to hand themall out.  (Even when I was in first grade and had just had my tonsils out).  Here is a photo of me watching the gift opening:  

Playing games all day Christmas Day with my siblings. Just being together. Enjoying each other. We didn’t always get along, but we tried on Christmas.  It didn’t matter if it was board games, marbles, Legos, Nintendo or some made up game we came up with. We just hung out! 

 Here is our Christmas In a nutshell. Love the coordinating wind suits. Notice how we aren’t real thrilled about the “lets take a photo thing” makes me giggle. 

And In case you are wondering what gifts I remembered: 

 

My new kids on the block comforter!

My pen-doodle-um. The coolest craft thing ever!

The other was my “cheerleader wanna be doll” but I don’t have a photo of her. But I did find this photo of my Hyper-color sweatshirt that’s loved as well. If you don’t know what hyper color is… You are missing out!   

So.. To wrap it all up. *notice the pun*

For me. Christmas is about being present. Not the presents. It’s about spending time with family. Not money on family. It’s about giving and not getting. It’s about love and kindness. Finding the true meaning of the season. And of course cookies and frosting. 

Merry Christmas and God Bless. And find the magic in the season. 

 

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end

I don’t know where to begin this blog. Other than to say my life has recently put me in a position to make some changes that were/ are not fun/ easy or comfortable. Having to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and having to give up things that I love. Having to put my faith in God and believe that everything happens for a reason and when one door closes another one opens. What I have learned is that keeping an open mind is important and it’s how you react to the situation that really decides the outcome.

That being said… today kinda sucked. I had to say good bye to a group of people who have become like family to me. The watched me stumble and trip and babble my way through week after week of weight watchers meetings. They loved me in the beginning when I didn’t have a clue and was a scared frightened girl… And watched me blossom into a… I don’t know really… I still really don’t have a clue… But they still love me. They make me laugh and they inspire me. They keep me real and honest and accountable. They gave me crap about wanting a tattoo…. But we’re excited when I reached the goal (haven’t quite got the tattoo yet… So they may never see it). They mean more to me than they will probably ever know. We took this little meeting and grew it into a stable group of members who love coming. Who hate it when the weather puts a wrench in the meeting. They hold each other accountable and that makes me happy.

These are just some of my people:

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This next part is for them:
THANK YOU!
Thank you for being there for me. Being my rock and my support. Making me laugh and understanding that I do not have it all together. We are not perfect….but we are all pretty awesome. It was hard to express this in the meeting…. But it has to be said. Keep being awesome. Your journey is not over. My journey is not over. We must keep on.. Keeping on. No reason to quit. Is the journey long and hard? Yup! Is it worth it!!?!? Absolutely! You just never know who you are inspiring… Just keep being you! And if you EVER.. And I mean EVER need anything… You know how to reach me! Don’t be scared to reach out… We need each other! What was today’s meeting about? Who’s got your back!?! Answer: I do! Sure we stumble and fall… Let’s just not give up. K?!? Keep me posted and I’m excited to be apart of your journey! I love you all! And you will forever be in my heart!

You know even if you were not a part of our fantastic little group… The things above apply. It’s true! Reach out. We are here for each other.

As for me. I don’t know exactly what the future holds… But I know who holds the future.

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Thanks for making me feel special…. This week and every week! And don’t forget: MAKE GOOD CHOICES. ( well, most if the time)

Ps. This blog was written entirely while walking on the treadmill. The people in the picture know why. Nobody is perfect… Right?!?! Lol. This is why I love weight watchers… Cuz perfect is NOT required!

2014…What an adventure!

I have been trying to figure out how to sum up the year that was 2014. And I really haven’t come up with a real good way to do that. The conclusion is… I am one blessed girl. I spent the year surrounded by friends and family who love and support me. Went on some amazing adventures with some pretty amazing people and had a blast doing so. I hit a goal that took me forever to do so. (And I will hit it again… Had a bit too much fun over the holidays). All I can really say is that I am having fun being me. Overall, life in 2014 was a bit roller coaster-y…but that’s life…. Right?!?! Gonna recap the year in a few of my favorite photos….

DSCN0619-0.JPG Lifelight with Rachel, Jen and Hali. This was our adventure at Falls Park!

DSCN0793.JPG the fam spent the day at the zoo. I love these people more than they will ever know!

DSCN0709.JPG discovered a new love of paddle boarding!!! So freaking fun!

IMG_0279.JPG totally crushed my 10k PR!

IMG_0316.JPG literally spent the day walking around HILLY Duluth Minnesota!

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Welcomed this amazing lady into our crazy family!

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Got a little muddy with some dirty girls….

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Added to my “bestie” group with the addition of my newest littlest bestie Whitney. Got to spend some time (although never enough) with my Little bestie Brooklynn too. And their mom who has been my bestie the longest. Love them all!

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Visited the Big Apple with my sister Jen. This is us in front of the FRIENDS building. k and i at Disney on ice

Auntie and Kiersten bonding day at Disney on Ice. So many memories!

I could keep on going. I have a bazzillon pictures…. And so much more. Thanks for taking this little journey down 2014 memory lane. Looking forward to an adventurous fun 20-FIT-teen! Make it a great year!

Let’s be thankful

‘Twas the night before thanksgiving when all though biolife was a flurry of activity… When Tonya decided to write a little I am thankful for list. Enjoy the randomness of things I am thankful for. And maybe right your own while your at it. Disclaimer…. This list.. Like most of the thoughts in my head is in no particular order.

Life. Living, breathing… Existing. It’s pretty awesome right?!?!
Family. As crazy as y’all are.
My niece and 4 nephews! Thankful for each one of them!
Friends.
Coworkers… Most of them anyways.
My body. Stronger and fitter than it has been. Ever.

My tennis shoes. Helps me get that stronger fitter me 🙂

Biolife. Saving lives and earning extra cash.
Jeans. I like jeans.
Music… All kinds!
My iPad, iPod and iPhone.
My jobs. All four of them.
Sunshine
Rainbows
Cardboard tubes (it really is the little things)
Dreams
Memories
Laughter
The color orange
VACATIONS
Food
Toys
Games and game nights
Butterflies
My scrapbook room
My support group. They say it takes a village and it really does!
My weight watchers people! They are so kind and amazing! I love them all.
Hair brushes
Hats
Toasters
Movies…. And movie nights
This blog
The people who read this blog… Hey that’s you!
Smiles
Giggles
My education. Yeah. That’s a good one!
My cat. Love my fat cat.

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Sunsets
NAPS!
Hugs
Cupcakes

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Running. Transformed my body… And my life!

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This is from the run I reference in my previous blog

My faith
My church
All the kids in my life
Pintrest
Facebook
Instagram
My cozy apartment
Warmth
Shopping
Earbuds
The bible
My pastors
Blankets
Ice cream
Text messages
Inside jokes
The internet.
Patience. I wish I had some 😉
Mercy.
Grace
Love
Silence…. Not always, but sometimes!
Lazy Sunday mornings
The Green Bay Packers
Pictures
Running clothes
Sunglasses
Contacts!! Not a fan of wearing glasses if I don’t have to!
Nature!
Rollerblades

And most important at this moment is that I am done donating plasma! Took over a half hour longer than usual. Talk about a test of patience! Happy thanksgiving. And make good choices… Or don’t and workout a little extra and get back in track the next day.