July Project 12-Gratitude

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July is almost halfway over and I haven’t even shared with you what I am doing this month!   My project 12 this month is all about gratitude.  Every morning, before I do anything else, I am writing down 12 things I am grateful for.

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So my morning look a little like this.

I am using  a beautiful leather bound journal my mother-in-law gave me.  My hope is to fill it up with so many things I am grateful for and have it to look back on.   There are 31 days in July.  12 items every day makes for 372 different heartfelt items.  Pretty awesome, right?  Well…until the other day when I tried to complicate this beautiful project and make it WAAAYYYYY harder than it is supposed to be.

The other morning,  I am getting ready to write and I want to repeat an item.  In fact, I want to repeat several.

Everyday single day I am so grateful for my relationship with God, my family, coffee, and a job I adore.   I love talking to God, and praying down the alphabet when I am driving. (Have I shared this amazing way I discovered how to  pray with you yet?  Start with “A”.  Pray for someone who starts with that letter.  Go to “B”.  Same deal.)  My family is so supportive, encouraging, and loving.  Coffee needs no explanation.  Ever.   Doing what I love has never been more amazing for my spirit.   I had a student the other day tell me that I was the reason she got out of bed so early on Monday and Wednesday.  Humbled, I looked at her and told her she (and all my yoga students!)  is the reason I get out of bed so early.

Back to the other morning…I look back on July 1st of this project where I wrote these items at the top of the list.  I am so frustrated because I wish I listed family member individually, and said iced coffee one day, and hot coffee another day.

Than I just said,  WHO CARES!?!?!!?!  (with a little help from my incredibly level-headed husband!)

Can’t I be grateful for the same things everyday?  That means I am doing pretty good, right?

Yes.  And Yes.

What are you grateful for today?

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Beach Reading

I love reading on the beach…just something about relaxing with your feet in the sand and ocean waves as the background music.  I usually read a book a day when we take our family beach trip in the summer.

Here is a look at what I read this last trip, a “borrowed” recap, and my star rating for each book.
5 stars:  highly recommend…go buy it right now!
4 stars:  recommend…but no rush. Possibly borrow from a friend, or be on the waiting list at the library.
3 stars:  I don’t regret reading this book, it is just okay…better than not reading anything.
2 stars: not worth your time unless you are crazy bored.
1 star:  feed this book to a goat.

jenlancaster

At 17, Lissy Ryder was the Mean Girl of Lyons Township High in suburban Chicago. As head cheerleader and girlfriend of the football team captain, Duke, she had a clique of cool girls in her thrall, and she persecuted anyone who was different or nonconformist. Now 37, Lissy, a publicist, lives only to overspend. After she’s fired by her PR firm for shirking, her husband, Duke, stops covering her massive debts and asks for a divorce. She’s gained a few pounds since moving back to her parents’ house and is not looking forward to the 20-year reunion of LTH’s class of ’92. Hoping to network with her former sycophants, she’s appalled to find that, without exception, her victims have outclassed and outperformed her. Amy, a girl Lissy mocked for her long nose, is now a plastic surgeon to the stars. One-time hippie outcast Debbie is now Deva, a New-Age entrepreneur. Brian, a dorky but attractive neighbor Lissy dumped for Duke, is an Internet couponing mogul. At the reunion, Lissy is the pariah. When Deva gives her a rare Incan potion, Lissy thinks it’s a hangover cure, until she wakes up in her parents’ house—in 1991! Lissy seizes this opportunity to avoid karmic missteps, dialing down the meanness. Back in the future, Lissy is not only happily hitched to Duke, but as the CEO of a thriving Chicago PR firm, is supporting him. She has it all, including the Birkin bag and the Gold Coast town house. However, now her victims are failures: Brian toils in a grim cubicle, the plastic surgeon is a trailer-trash drunk, etc. How can Lissy rectify the unintended consequences of her well-meaning do-over? –Kirkus Reviews

I have really enjoyed Jen Lancaster in the past… this was an easy beach read but a little far fetched and not quite up to par with her others.  I give it 3 stars.

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Gen and her husband, Art, are still deeply in love, but they are struggling after years of trying to deal with the stillbirth of their only child, Beth. The baby was delivered early after an obstetrician detected that there was no heartbeat. After the child’s stillbirth, it was determined she was deformed and would not have survived anyway, a revelation that threw Gen into emotional turmoil. Although she and Art have been trying to conceive again, they’ve been unsuccessful and have resorted to fertility treatments. None have taken. Gen is almost ready to give up on having a child when a woman comes to her door and tells her some unsettling news: Not only was Gen’s baby born alive, but others knew about it, including someone close to Gen. Although Gen doesn’t believe the woman, she starts to investigate on her own, setting off a chain of events that lead her deeper and deeper into a dark place. Along the way, she acquires an unlikely ally, a man who once worked with her husband but who is now one of his deadliest foes. She is left to wonder who is playing her for a fool—one of the people she loves or her new friend. McKenzie is a skillful writer and understands how to build interest and tension with well-drawn characters and fascinating back story. –Kirkus Reviews

LOVED every second of reading this book.  It reminded me of Gone GIrl, and Sharp Objects.  5 Glowing Stars!

terrymcmillan

Marilyn Grimes suspects she’s premenopausal, but tests show she’s seven weeks pregnant. This is bittersweet news for the narrator, who has spent 23 of her 44 years being a model housewife and mother in her middle-class neighborhood of Oakland Hills, across from San Francisco. She’s raised three kids, now grown, while her engineer husband, Leon, has been a good provider, though the fun has gone out of their marriage. Then new tests show the fetus is dead, which is pure relief for Marilyn, though she still has her hands too full to focus on self-fulfillment: an MFA program, a business venture. Down in Fresno, her mother, Lovey, is becoming senile, and Marilyn’s much younger adopted sister, Joy, can’t cope: A drug addict, she can’t even raise her own two kids, Tiecey and LL, so Marilyn must periodically descend from what Joy derisively calls her “little Cosby world” to help out. That little Cosby world is topsy-turvy too. Not only has Arthurine, Leon’s far from senile mother, who lives with them, suddenly started dating, but one of Marilyn’s sons is home on spring break, bringing his girlfriend and a bunch of homeboys—and staid old Leon is turning into a homeboy himself, looking ludicrous in new baggy jeans. When he announces he’s off to Costa Rica to find himself and may be leaving Marilyn for good, she goes ballistic. McMillan is at her best juggling all these different characters. Bring ’em on! And the zingers are blistering. –Kirkus Reviews

I went though a huge Terry McMillan phase a decade or so back when Stella was getting her groove back.  I don’t know if I am over it, but this book wasn’t groovy.   2 stars.

 

unfinished businees

Based on over twenty-five years of spirit communication and thousands of professional readings, world-famous medium James Van Praagh shares with readers the personal regrets, misgivings, remorse, and, most important, the advice of the dead who have chosen him as a medium. These spirits have a great deal to say about what they have learned and discovered on the other side and how we, the living, can benefit from their experiences.

Unfinished Business is filled with shocking and emotional stories of Van Praagh’s communication with loved ones who cross over the barrier between the living and the dead to send messages to those whom they have left behind. Through these pro-found true stories, Van Praagh guides us on an adventure into the spirit world. The lessons for the living that he has learned from these experiences range from the dangers of emotional baggage caused by guilt, fear, and regret to the importance of karma, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for our actions. Van Praagh shares with us now the wisdom that, without him, we would only gain after death.  –Good Reads Reviews

Loved this book!  I have had some channeling of my own go on recently, so I really related.  I have had several experiences, so this gave me some peace about it all.  I recommend it if you are into this kind of thing.   5 stars!

 

expecting

A mom, a dad, a baby…and another dad.
Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriages, Laurie was afraid they’d never be able to have a child. Now she’s cautiously optimistic — the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn’t yet know how different.
Jack can’t seem to catch a break — his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he’s somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity’s party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm bank gives Jack an idea.
Laurie and Alan’s joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296. And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?–Good Read Reviews

This was a just a book to have on the beach.  Minimal thought required, nothing really special.  3 stars.

Have you read any of these books?
Any book recommendations for me?

working out on vacay

Do you exercise when you are on vacation?  Or just totally relax?

I have done both before…but I like the way I feel when I work out.  I am a happier mom, wife and Kacy when I do.
Last week my family and I vacationed in Nags Head, which is part of the Outer Banks.  We go every year to the same place, and see the same people.  We call them our “Time Share Family”!  The place we stay offers a week Y membership…so nice, right?  I found it easy just to go ahead and wake up and get it done early in the morning.

Here is a look at my workouts each day:

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Saturday:  We checked in around 5, and took a long walk on the beach…then completed with handstand practice!

Sunday:  I woke up and went for a 2 mile power walk on the beach by myself.

Monday:  Yoga at the Y with my favorite OBX teacher, Anne Howard.

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Tuesday:  One of my time share family members, Dani and I took a body design class.  Lots of weights, squats, push-ups.  Hard, but good!

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Wednesday: Back to the Y for early morning yoga, then my family and I climbed Jockey’s Ridge.  Climbing the big dune was pretty tough after all the lunges from Tuesday’s class, but we made it.  It was on my  #37in37 list, so I had to knock it out.  Oh, and we did more handstands and cartwheels.

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Thursday:  Back to Body Design class for more torture!  And later some whip and nay-nay practice.  Do your kids love to dance?  Mine do…it is one of our favorite things to do together!

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Friday:  Yoga with Anne again–my friend Frances was in town so we met for class!

If you don’t work out on vacation, don’t feel bad.  I did put in a good hour-hour and a half in the morning, but the rest of my days looked like this:

 

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or sometimes like this:

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I am off to the beach again tomorrow for my second Barre/Yoga Fusion retreat!  I will get my workouts in the weekend for sure.  Interested in a retreat?  We have spots left in our August retreat if you want in!

Stay tuned for my next blog–I am reviewing all the books I read last week!  XO

 

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