A Birthday Legacy

Written By: Kim - Sep• 01•11

Today is my birthday and if I can make the arrangements, I take the day off from work.

After I had breakfast with my husband, I hit the gym for yoga. My daughter wondered, the night before, why I would go to the gym on my birthday. She said I should do something fun. I reminded her that in order to have many more healthy birthdays, regular exercise was part of the plan. And, I planned to do something fun later.

Part of my "something fun" birthday: pedi/mani for me and Abby.

While yoga moves are the same in every language, what moves each instructor exposes you to are different. As usual, I was not disappointed to learn something new.

As with any yoga class, we closed with relaxation. She asked us to envision a jewel or crystal and the light and warmth it emitted. I admit that visualization has never really worked for me. This was part of the Lamaze child birth strategy class we took before my oldest child was born. Despite the beautiful beach sunset picture we had in the delivery room, I could only get through contractions by breathing, groaning and squeezing the hell out of my husband’s hands. And, I made it through both births of my children without drugs, but that is another blog post for another time.

While in yoga, I pictured something like the Hope Diamond (if you’re going to visualize, visualize big). Then I realized that it really didn’t matter. Inanimate objects do not add value to our lives. What matters are my family, friends and colleagues. So, instead of visualizing a priceless object, I visualized the most priceless people in my life: my children. All of the adjectives that the yoga instructor used were some of what we see, I hope, when we really see our children: light, energy, warmth.

People become parents for a lot of reasons. Sometimes parenting is a thankless job. Sometimes your heart bursts with joy and love at this person you are sharing a life with. Other times children break your heart. You laugh because you are so happy and at other times wonder what in the hell you were thinking when you decided to bring another life in to the world. You begin to question why you thought you were qualified to be a parent. You watch “19 Kids and Counting” and wonder why you aren’t more like Michelle Duggar. That woman should be sainted and she’s not even Catholic.

But then you realize that you acted on faith. You had faith that you could do this; that God would provide and that your heart had room for more. You created another life because you could not imagine your life without children. All the negatives about parenting fall away and you realize that this is your legacy. The only one that matters.

So, here’s to many more fun, healthy birthdays, faith and a long legacy. No one said it would be easy.

Mid-Year Check: New Year’s Resolutions Still Alive

Written By: Kim - Jul• 13•11

I created this blog as part of my New Year’s Resolutions. Since it belongs to me, I publish when I want and choose the topics. As part of my 2011 resolutions, hitting the gym was also part of the plan. As if I needed any more resolutions, I also shared with you that we would be vacationing in Italy.

I can report that the blog still lives, despite it’s fractious publishing schedule. I enjoy writing but sometimes I simply do not feel like putting my fingers on a keyboard and commenting on life. As we head in to the last six months of 2011, my goal is to publish more frequently. Will you find me posting once a day? Doubt it. But once a week consistently would be better than my current schedule.

© Aaron Neifer courtesy of Stock.xchng

I am still hitting the gym five days a week. I feel better than I have in quite some time. Because of my continued Yoga practice, I am more limber than I used to be. Considering I could not sit “Indian style” when I started at the gym in January and can now, my limberness has improved even if it is not exactly prima ballerina status. But, it’s progress. Thanks to Zumba, my waistline is trimmer than it has been in a while. My husband recently read that menopausal women must do an hour of exercise a day just to maintain their weight. While I am not exactly menopausal yet, this is not good news for the twice a week Zumba class. This just means I have to add more cardio and lay off the dessert. Let’s see how that goes after our vacation and all of that yummy Italian food.

© Jose Hosttas courtesy of stock.xchng

My dream of vacationing in Italy is finally coming true. We will spend the last two weeks this month in Rome and the Almalfi Coast. I have poured over travel blogs, read tidbits from others, sought advice from well-seasoned international travelers I know and have borrowed well-used guidebooks with notes and highlights from other travelers.

Planning this trip was not easy. I am sure I heard my credit card break as I purchased coach airline tickets for four. Many family conversations centered around, “Let’s wait until after Italy.” “We don’t really need that now, we want it now.” “I said the next time my 11 year-old fridge broke, I was replacing it. But not until later this year.” “Next year we are purchasing a sprinkler system.” Did we eat bread and water for six months? No. But we were focused on the goal. Every time we looked at a purchase, all we could think was, “that is XXX amount of money we can’t spend on vacation.” Ok, well really it was Mike and I that were thinking that. The kids think money grows on trees and that Mom and Dad can just use credit cards.

Focus on what you want and make it happen. It might take a while and sacrifices will surely have to be made. But it will be worth it. I will do my best to blog and post a picture or two from Italy. If not, my blog will be speaking Italian in August.