Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Getting Anxious

I am a week away from the fall semester officially starting.  And to tell you the truth I am anxious for it to begin.  I am constantly checking to see if my classes have been added to Desire 2 Learn (D2L) so I can get that sneak peek into what my classes will be like for the semester, and to maybe get a jump start on the readings and/or assignments.

Every semester begins the same way.  I'm always anxious and ready to get going but soon I'm relaxing more than I'm working and eventually I'm stressing because I have so much to get done and there just isn't enough time in the day.

I had made it a goal last year to stop procrastinating and use my time wisely.  I was not successful.  So, this year I am going to set the same goals for myself and do my best to accomplish them.

With only a year and a half left I have no time to waste if I want my grades to reflect a hardworking student who despite not starting off on the right foot took the time to make a change.

I will break down my goals for school in another post, one focused on just my goals.  Until then I'll be checking D2L multiple times every day until at least one of my classes is posted.

Do you get anxious for a new semester to begin?

If you've already started classes how are things going so far?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Missing a Piece of the Puzzle?

Before I write anything else I need to apologize to any of you reading my blog.  When I wrote my last post What's My Motivation? I left out a piece of the puzzle, something I was afraid I would do because I think faster than I type and thought I included everything. 

I jumped from talking about Claire's post, the comment I left, and Claire's response right into what my motivation is for losing weight.  I forgot to say something about how taking "me time" = being a lazy bum by watching TV or reading a book.  As a result of all this "me time" I'm not being very active.  I work in an office where I'm sitting in front of the computer 99% of the time and then I come home and continue to sit around doing nothing.  While yes, I enjoy reading and watching TV and it's my time to relax after a long day at work at some point there's too much "me time" taking place.  Or at least the wrong kind of "me time" activities are taking place.  After sharing this with all of you readers would be where I would get into what my motivation is for losing weight and how I'm not doing what needs to be done despite my strong motivators.

I hope that makes sense and I didn't lose any one.

Speaking of "me time" Wednesday after work I had a massage.  Man oh man was that the fastest hour of my life!  I walked out of there feeling like a new woman who could stand up straight without having to think about it.  I will be doing my best to get another massage in 4-6 weeks.  By then I'll be down to 20 hours a week at work so I'll be a little bit tighter on cash so we'll see what I can do.

I made myself feel even better yesterday when I went to the chiropractor to have an adjustment done.  It's amazing how much easier it is to be adjusted when you're muscles are loose from a massage.  My head felt so much lighter as I was walking out of there thanks to having my neck adjusted and pairing that with the massage from the day before.

Isn't it crazy how you don't realize how bad you felt until you feel great?

Well, now that I've provided the missing piece of the puzzle from my last post and filled you in on the "me time" I've been taking these last two days that has benefited my body I will leave you with a teaser of an upcoming post.

I'm not promising anything but I'm fairly confident that there will be pictures of puppies (yes plural!), a handsome looking daddy, and a hot momma.

Any guesses as to what I may be doing tomorrow??  Maybe a prize will be involved if you guess correctly...  Feel free to look through previous posts to get a hint.  That's all the help I'm giving you!

Enjoy your Friday!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's My Motivation?

Second day in a row of blogging, who am I?  If you missed the first day here's a link to my Versatile Blogger Award post from yesterday.

I'm going to do my best to put my thoughts into words in a focused manner for all of you readers out there.  I want to improve my writing so please feel free to leave feedback in the comments section after reading!

Anyways, moving on to what I really wanted to talk about in this blog post.

This morning I was reading a post by Claire who blogs at Navigating North, you can read that post here.  Her post focused on being flexible with yourself.  I thought the message was great, remember to take some "me time" for yourself every day where you do something you enjoy that relaxes you and not worry about all of the things you need to be doing.  As I was reading all that was going through my mind was - you take too much time for yourself and as a result are spending less time on things you need to be focused on (homework) which then leads to stress as you're trying to meet deadlines at the last minute.  It really applies to all areas in my life, not just school.

I left a comment saying as much, that I take going with the flow to the extreme and do not accomplish much with my time.  This is where Claire comes in with some awesome thoughts that really hit home for me.  Because finding the balance between "me time" and being productive is challenging you need to find out what really motivates you.

Despite being at work I immediately got to thinking about what is motivating me to be productive with my time.  My thoughts immediately turned to my weight loss and came up with these reasons for being the motivation behind my goal of losing weight - I don't like the way my body looks, I'm overweight, and my doctor has advised I should lose weight for my health.  All three are strong reasons to motivate me to lose weight and yet I am not completing the necessary steps to accomplish this goal.

I am extremely frustrated with myself for doing just the opposite to reach my weight loss goals.  Knowing what I need to do is not a problem, but actually doing it seems to be.  For what reason I don't know.  If I don't like the way my body looks I should workout and eat healthy to change the way it looks, what is so hard about that?

There are so many reasons excuses for not doing what needs to be done - I eat what my family buys and prepares for food, I don't have a workout buddy, I can't get up early enough to workout before work - blah blah blah!  They're all excuses!!  If I want to change my habits it is up to me and no one else.

So why then am I not changing what needs to be changed?

Do I not want to change?

The only logical reason has to be that it is hard to make changes to the lifestyle you are comfortable with.  I say this can be the only reason because I definitely do not want to continue with the lifestyle I am living.

If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

My blog is called Living and Learning to be Country Strong (more on where that came from in another post) for a reason.  I need to live my life and learn how to handle the hard stuff in it - changing my habits being one of many.

Before I go off on another tangent I'll stop here.  I have so much more to write about but I will save that for another time.

So what was the purpose of writing this post?  1) To spread the word about Claire's blog because I am absolutely loving it and think everyone should at least check it out! 2) To share my struggle with finding that balance between "me time" and being productive - maybe someone else struggles with this and will benefit from reading about my own struggle 3) To put into "words" what my motivation is to lose weight and finally 4) Honestly, to get the support of the blog community because I need all the support I can get!

If you made your way through all of the above, congratulations!  I welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have for me.

Good night everyone!
~Living N Learning~

Monday, August 22, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated by Claire and Candace for the versatile blogger award two weeks ago and I am now finally getting around to posting it!  I don't know why it took me so long to do this considering how excited I was as this is my first blogger award since starting my blog in February.  Better late than never though right?

Here are the rules...
  • Thank the award giver and link them back in your post (done! see above)
  • Tell readers seven things about you
  • Give the award to newly discovered bloggers (up to 15)
  • Contact the bloggers and let them know they were nominated.
7 Things About Me

  1. I live in the house that my dad built during my first year of life.  My parents have some pretty cute pictures of me during the building period.  One that I remember off the top of my head is of me on the floor in the basement with a whole bag of nails dumped on the floor around me, being daddy's little helper?  Another is of me sitting on a rock pile playing with all of the rocks.  Maybe I'll have to find those pictures and scan them so I can share.
  2. More often than not my dad will build what we want/need rather than buying it.  Our entertainment center?  My dad built it.  My parents' bed?  My dad built it.  The corn hole game we played this weekend at my brother's graduation party?  Yup, my dad built it.  It's awesome to have someone in the family that is so skilled because it saves money and you can have things custom made for you!
  3. I am missing some teeth.  I have what my dentist calls an implant with a crown attached to the "top" (it's on my upper jaw so it's really the bottom I guess) because I didn't have an adult tooth to push my baby tooth out.  The baby tooth was pulled and I then had surgery to have the implant placed where the roots of an adult tooth would be.  Knock on wood, this is the only surgery I have had in my life.  I am also without my twelve-year-old molars in my bottom jaw.  They just never came in and so far this isn't causing any problems so there is no plan to do anything but leave my mouth as it is now.  And one set of missing teeth I am more than happy to have missing are my wisdom teeth.  X-rays have been done and they just are not there but considering I would have to go through the pain of having them pulled if I did have them I'm not missing them one bit.
  4. I have never left the country.  Some day hopefully I hope to because I hear (and see) that there are some beautiful places outside of the US boarders.
  5. My family has determined that I am the one who needs to learn how to bake all of my grandma's recipes.  I do love to bake so it's not a burden or anything like that.  Some of the recipes my family is big on me learning are: sour cream chocolate cake, donuts, cinnamon rolls, and apple kuchen just to name a few.
  6. I do not buy milk from a store.  My grandparents (mom's parents) had a dairy farm for many years, and it has now been passed on to my uncle.  As long as someone is still milking the cows I won't be buying my milk from a store.  My grandma takes milk from the bulk tank in the milk house and whenever we need milk we head over to the farm to get some out of their refrigerator.  You may think it's weird and gross but I've never gotten sick from drinking this milk and to me anything from a store doesn't taste good after having only whole milk my entire life.  Sure, I can drink milk from a store but I have to drink it really fast, or have it with something like cereal or a brownie.
  7. I love to read!  For my birthday in June my parents gave me a Kindle and since that time I've read 37 books already.  I am currently reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I just love getting lost in a good book.  I read the first Twilight book in a day and have been known to finish other books the same day I start them as well.  Sometimes my love of reading interferes with my school work because honestly who wouldn't rather read a book for fun than a textbook?  I definitely need to work on that this semester because let's be honest, school is important, and with only a year and a half left (3 semesters!) I need to be putting my best effort into school.
And the nominees are (drum roll).......
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me.  If you want to know more about anything let me know!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  If you're starting the fall semester today good luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where Did Summer Go??

I cannot believe it is already August 16th!  It feels like just last week I was finishing up my classes and starting to work full time and now it's already time to start really preparing for school and making the schedule change at work back to part-time.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed these last few days.  I finally got my textbooks ordered after putting it off for the past two weeks.  And it just hit me today that I haven't filled out a form for my financial aid that will allow me to count my one class from the local two-year campus towards my full-time student status at the four-year campus my other credits are coming from.  Yeah, it's a bit confusing so maybe I should explain my schooling situation in another post?

This weekend after spending Saturday morning running errands, lounging around Saturday afternoon, and spending the whole day up north on Sunday I realized that I only have three more weekends where I can do that kind of stuff.  Starting September 6th I'll have homework to fill my weekends instead of fun with the family.

Realizing all of these things makes me feel the need to set a plan in place for these last three weeks of summer; not only to enjoy these last three weeks but to prepare myself for another semester at school.

Here it is...
  1. START WORKING OUT!!! - I've been saying this all year, I need to start working out on a consistent basis again!  Ever since my breakup back in October I've had a non-existent workout routine.  I have so many reasons to workout but I haven't been doing anything.  A) My doctor wants to see me lose weight B) I am taking a gym class this semester and want to start building a base so I don't look completely out of shape at the start of the class C) I want to lose weight for myself! Now is the time to start a new habit.
  2. Complete missing financial aid form - I need to get this done to ensure I will not be asked to return any of my financial aid money for not being a full-time student.  I didn't even realize I hadn't done this until today and it is honestly stressing me out to feel like I am unprepared for this semester to start.  Tonight I will be emailing the financial aid office at my school and my program advisor to get the ball rolling so I can cross this off my to-do list by the end of the week.
  3. Cut back on Mountain Dew (again) - I'm not going to lie, Mountain Dew is my go-to drink when I'm stressed or tired at work.  Once again I have a few reasons for wanting to cut back on my Mountain Dew consumption. A) My doctor has advised that it will help with my weight loss (I knew this already) B) My dentist has advised that my teeth are showing signs of decalcification (sp?) from all of the Mountain Dew I am drinking and doesn't want to see it get any worse. C) I want to stop drinking as much as I do because of the above reasons!  I struggle with the mental aspect of cutting back on Mountain Dew.  I haven't suffered from a headache as a result of not drinking Mountain Dew for quite some time now so the only thing stopping me is myself.
Working on #1 and #3 are going to be tough but I know I need and want to accomplish both!  There is no time to start working on these things than the present.  I will not wait for school to start, it starts today!

I want to make goals for this semester, one for every aspect of my life I want to work on; fitness, nutrition, and school.  Becca, a fellow blogger (check out her blog!), sets goals for herself and then achieves them!  I want to not only set goals for myself but achieve them, if not surpass them.  Becca truly inspires me with her dedication and motivation to go after what she wants.  I follow her blog quite closely simply because reading about what she's doing with her life makes me want to be like her.  I don't want to be Becca, I just want to be Amy with Becca-like qualities I guess you could say.  I'm not sure if that makes any sense to you but it makes sense to me.  So Becca, thank you for sharing your life through your blog - the good, the bad, and the ugly - you are making a difference in my life by simply sharing who you are.

That's all for today folks.  Posts are just a brewing in my head so now I just need to take the time to get them on to paper! (So to speak)

Answer me this...

Is there someone you look up to/want to be like when it comes to your life?  As I mentioned above Becca is definitely someone I look up to and find inspiration from.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Workin' on the blog

I am working on finally getting some pages set up.  I just completed my About Me page which gives you a peek at who I am.  Please check it out and if you want to know more let me know.  I'll either add it to the page, fill you in, or maybe do a post about it if I have enough to say.

I'm also going to work on potentially adding the following pages:
  • My Journey - giving you a look into my struggle with my weight and body image
  • About the Blog - explaining the purpose of my blog
  • Recipes - posting some of my favorite recipes to bake and as I learn to cook better/more things those recipes as well
  • Work Outs - a log of my work outs
I'm confident I will post the My Journey and About the Blog page but the others I'm on the fence about.

So, be sure to check out my About Me page and be on the look out for some new pages as well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Playing Catch Up

It's been a few days since I last updated you on the goings on in my life so here's a quick recap.

Thursday after work I again went to the fair with my aunt where we ate dinner, went to the concert (Sawyer Brown) and then went to the beer tent to enjoy some adult beverages.  My aunt's friend ended up going that night as well so we ended up staying until they were closing down (11/11:30pm I think).  While we were in the beer tent I ran into a girl I knew from high school.  She invited me to a party she was hosting at her house Saturday night which I'll get to in a bit.

Friday I went to work where the day dragged by due to the lack of sleep I had gotten the previous two nights.  Once 5pm finally rolled around my mom and I booked it out of there.  Well, I was the one who wanted to book it out of there since it had been two days since I last saw Bo.  When we got home I was so excited to see him.  I may have let him chew on me a bit more than I normally would have just because I was so happy to see him and didn't really care....Until it hurt really bad that is.

Saturday morning my parents, Bo and I went to visit my dad's mom as she has been battling breast cancer and was supposed to go in for surgery Wednesday.  Based on what I heard of the phone conversation between my dad and his mom I do not believe she is going in for surgery any more.  After visiting for a while my dad and I dropped my mom off at Sam's Club while my dad and I took Bo to Petsmart.  We ended up getting him a Kong toy to try and keep him occupied with a toy instead of our hands and arms.

It would work a whole lot better if the treats we have at home weren't small enough to just fall out of the Kong when it's turned up on the end with the bigger hole.  Once this bag of puppy treats is gone we'll find some that work better with the Kong.

I finally went out that night around 9:30pm.  Luckily the party was not far from my house so it didn't take me long to get there, or get home.  I ended up staying until 4am.  I haven't stayed out, or up that late in a long time.  Guess I'm turning into a grandma in my "old" age.

Despite not getting home until after 4am I was up at about 8:30am thanks to an alarm.  I'm not crazy for setting an alarm, I just didn't want to sleep the whole day away.  I did nap throughout the day so it isn't like I made myself stay up all day.

Sunday was basically a relaxation day where I did nothing but be a bum.  Those are seriously my favorite kinds of days!

Now it's day two of the work week and I'm realizing I have a problem with getting up on time again.  This morning I didn't get out of bed until almost 7am.  In a few short weeks I'll be back in school and that will just not fly considering I need to be to work by 7:30am three days a week.  Now is the time for me to start building some good habits; getting up on time, completing my to-do list each day, and keeping up on cleaning and laundry.  All of these things will help me once school starts so it's time to get moving!

Question for you...
How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Bit of Life

*Big Yawn*  Today has been rough bcause I am so tired from being out at the fair last night.

After work yesterday my mom dropped me off at my great aunt's house where I was meeting up with my aunt Pam.  Eventually we made our way to the fair.

First stop was the sheep barn to take pictures of the boards for a co-worker who wasn't going to the fair.  The boards are for the 4-H club my boss' children belong to.

Shoot For The Hoops

Riverside 4-H

Next up was dinner.  We went to the baked potato booth.  It was in the exhibition building which was sooo hot! Just standing in line we were both sweating.  We gladly booked it out of there with our potatoes to find a place to sit and eat them.  We ended up in the beer tent at a picnic table.

After dinner was consumed we made our way to the grandstand to find a place to stand for the Craig Morgan concert.  He's an amazing singer and his show was awesome, as we expected it to be since we saw it in June.

It's definitely interesting to see how many different kinds of people come together for the common love of a certain artist.  The group in front of us, which I went to high school with, was super into the concert but seeing them walk down the street you wouldn't guess that they would like country music.  Well, except for last night since they were decked out in their "country" gear haha.

After the concert we made our way back to the beer tent to enjoy a cold beverage.  I'm not a beer drinker simply because I get very full feeling from them and more than one is a chore to drink.  I tried the Mike's Hard Lemonade - Cranberry Lemonade despite not being a cranberry fan.  After the first few sips I didn't think it was that bad.  I wanted to try the Limeade flavor but they didn't seem to have any at the two bars (within the beer tent) that I went to.  If only they had the Berry, or Black Cherry Lemonade flavors, then I would be loving the beer tent even more!

We ended up leaving after one drink because we both had to work the next day.  I was home by 11pm but instead of going to bed right away I started watching the movie Country Strong, for like the 5th time.  Actually, I've probably watched that movie more than just 5 times.

Now I'm tired beyond belief and am trying to plug away at my work while listening to Justin Moore on my iPod.

Tonight my aunt and I are going to the fair again to see Sawyer Brown.  After tonight I'm not sure if I'll be going again.  I've been missing Bo since I didn't get to see him yesterday, and I won't be able to see him again today.  And despite being only 21 as tired as I am I feel like a grandma who can't handle going out late like I used to haha!

Question for you...
Do you go out on work/school nights?  How do you deal with feeling tired the next day?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hoggin' up the road on my p-p-p-plower

If you missed my post about to-do lists yesterday here's a link for you.  To-Do Lists - Inspired by Navigating North

Today my to-do list is going to be empty because right after work I am going to the fair with my aunt.  We will be seeing Craig Morgan for the second time this summer.  I'll be able to share pictures of Craig Morgan whenever I do my Country Fest recap post(s).

The very first time I saw Craig Morgan was at our fair while I was in high school.  My friend Stephanie and I ended up on stage for a few songs.  One of them being Redneck Yacht Club which we held a sign up which said "We're proud members!".  I came away from that concert with many great memories and a guitar pick!

I didn't bring any of the signs I used in high school from home so my aunt and I will not end up on stage haha.

What are some of your favorite concert memories?

I'm still debating if I want to carry my camera with me tonight.  If I do I'll be sure to post some pictures in an upcoming post.

Happy Wednesday bloggies, we're half way through the week!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To-Do Lists - Inspired by Navigating North

Sorry it's not right side up. Anyone know how to fix?

Way back on Monday July 18th I started writing things in my day planner that I wanted to remember to do that day, creating a to-do list.  Funny enough Claire over at Navigating North (go check it out!) did a post on productivity that next day.  Claire asked the question, "What do you do to feel productive each day?"  I responded with a three-part answer but I'll focus on the last part, completing things on my to-do list.

First of all, I thought Claire was reading my mind for doing that post the day after I started writing my to-do lists down for the day rather than keeping them in my head.  Secondly, I thought to myself do other people use to-do lists like me?

I Tweeted the second question mentioning some fellow bloggers to get their thoughts on to-do lists.

Alexis @ Daily Ramblings (http://alexisanton.blogspot.com/ ) said Yesssss.

Lisa @ I'm An Okie (http://www.imanokie.com/ ) said Sometimes yes sometimes no. Hate to do it but probably need to.

Becca @ I Heart Eggs (http://ihearteggs.wordpress.com/ ) said her to-do lists have to-do lists.  (I'll take that as a yes haha)  She also said she couldn't function without them due to her busy lifestyle.

Alyssa @ Life of bLyss (http://www.lifeofblyss.com/ ) said sure do! Blackberry notepad is a lifesaver for on-the-go to-do lists!

It would appear that to-do lists are used by many people, or at least many of the people I mentioned in my Tweet.

While I love being organized I doubt any of you would be able to tell based on the current state of my room (sorry no pictures will be posted of that) or by the fact that my to-do list is reoccurring day after day.  But as I mentioned in my comment on Claire's post; I do feel productive when I can check something off of that to-do list.  When I do something with my day it makes me feel better about myself, like I'm not some lazy butt who never does anything.  I'm going to work on accomplishing things on my to-do list as a baby step to working towards working out consistently.

How is that a baby step to working out consistently you ask?  Well, for me I can say I want to workout but then I'm easily sucked into TV for the night and it never happens.  If I can start doing things on my to-do list, like cleaning my bathroom, putting away clean clothes, doing laundry, etc. I will be breaking the habit of just watching TV at night.  This will make working out easier since I won't be able to talk myself into sitting in front of the TV as easily because it won't be my current habit.  Does this even make sense to any of you?  It does in my head but putting it into words is tough!

So here's to being productive every day!