Mama Bailey Gets Fit (Again)

Almost 2 years ago I was in the best shape of my adult life. I lost 60 lbs and I was down to my teenage weight. Wow, 60 lbs. That seems so ridiculous typing it out. I was eating healthy and exercising multiple times a week.

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Before and after from two years ago. With baby Abby in the back!

Needless to say, I’ve gained it all back and am completely out of shape again.

A few weeks ago I had restarted Weight Watchers using my old paper slider and classroom books someone had given me years ago. I lost 9lbs really fast but then lost momentum and gave it up.

Not this time. I’m totally committed. I got out my old 30 Day Shred DVD, some new workout leggings and Weight Watchers friendly food. Today was Day 1 and I can honestly say, I forgot how hard this is lol.

It’s hard for me to make time for myself, whether planning out meals or taking time to work out. There always seems to be something more important that I should be doing instead. Shouldn’t I be cuddling the baby? Aren’t there dishes to put away? Have I swept the food off the floor in the kitchen today? I think that’s how a lot of moms feel. It’s so much easier just to shove a cookie in my face (with the baby on my hip, laundry in the dryer and a 3 and 5 year old asking me for things) than it is to actually make something nutritious.

But I also think I USE the fact that I’m a (semi) working mom to get out of doing things that I don’t want to. Especially diet and exercise. I can’t POSSIBLY work out because I’m far too busy right?

This time though, I have goals. And motivation. My next appointment with my doctor is in February, one year from Ben’s birth. I want him to see how hard I’ve worked and be proud of me. We know we want more children, so I know that to maintain my health in the long run, this is important stuff. I can’t be obese. I want to be around and active to take care of my children and grandchildren.

So here it is, accountability picture from after tonight’s workout. My face is red and sweaty and my glasses make my whole face look odd but. Its a start!

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How Clutter can Cost You

While I’m on a roll thinking (and writing) about clutter, I thought I’d mention that clutter can cost you. Not only your sanity, but like, money.

  1. Storage Services:
    Paying to store your junk in a locker or some other off site facility that you pay rent too is a waste! If you really loved or needed those things, you’d make room for them in your home.
  2. Rebuying Things: 
    I’ve totally done this before. I KNOW I have something… possibly two of them. But I can’t find whatever it is because its buried under junk or in a huge disorganized pile and end up buying another whatever it is I’m looking for. How silly is that?
  3. “Storage Solutions”:
    Stores love to sell you things. Remember that every time you step into a store or surf a website. Shelves and racks and other junk is not going to fix your clutter problem. They will relieve you of your hard earned money.
  4. Lack of Contentment:
    Two years ago when Sam was a little guy and I was dropping him off at the school for his half an hour speech sessions, I filled the time I spent waiting with reading Ruth Soukup’s book Living Well, Spending Less. At first I was thinking “this isn’t any earth shattering information, and I’m not addicted to spending and buying housewares and trifles.”
    But it IS earth shattering information.
    Her point is finding contentment. Finding it without spending your self broke filling your home with things that you think will make you happy. I recommend it to EVERYONE.
    I’m never less content with my living situation than when it’s cluttered up and disorganized. Keeping my home clean fosters contentment with my home, the things we already have, and I don’t feel the urge to spend on more, more, more, looking to fill that void.
  5. Renovations and Housing:
    There’s a show on TV I used to watch called Love it or List it. Basically the premise (almost always) is a family is “growing out of their home” and renovate their old home or move to a bigger one. The money spent obviously tops the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But I feel like I could solve 99% of the “storage issues” with a dumpster and a snow shovel.
    Putting yourself into unrepayable debt in order to store things is insane. Paying $100,000 (and possibly losing money in resale value) to chop up your home into a new awkward layout in order to squeeze in more closets is insane. At this point, you’re no longer having or buying a home for people, you’re maintaining a home for things. Throw them out!!

Periodically I do a huge purge of the house and I’m right in the middle of one right now. It’s a lot of work and theres always a point where I say to myself “why did I even start this?” All those 5 reasons are why. Those and that my living space directly effects my mental state. I’ll be posting about it here, along with a million other ideas I have. If only I could unclutter my brain!

Clutter

Clutter kills me.

When I look around my house and see things laying out of place, or an over cluttered counter or tabletop, it makes me insane. It makes my neck tense up.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to be at home. As soon as I get to work, after getting report on my patients, I start throwing things out. Empty bottles, cups, scribbled notes and stray papers all get immediately swept into the trash can. Then I can focus.

I even bang out the keyboard out onto the desk and then wipe the desk top.

With three kids in the house, the clutter adds up fast. I do my best every day to keep a handle on it, but every so often, I can feel it taking over. The toys spill out into the dining and living room, the craft cabinet overflows and starts pushing the curtain out of the way, the kitchen cabinets don’t quite close. We clean up overnight before bed, but there just doesn’t seem to be a place to put anything.

So with the dumpster already here for the basement clean out (not to mention that it’s free after the sale of my car), I thought “hey, why not clean out the whole house!”

I only wish I had more arms to carry stuff out with.

My first project is the kid’s playroom. With Abby’s 4th birthday and Christmas both coming up, I know its going to get out of control any minute.

Here are some unfiltered, cluttered up, uncleaned or put away or organized before images. The plan is to purge unused toys and junk then organize everything else into bins and baskets. Jeff is working on shelves and a reading bench for around the window.

Once upon a time this room was clean and neat and everything had a place. Pretty soon again it will be!

Thankfulness and Giving

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There was a time when I wasn’t so grateful.

I remember when Sam was a baby and I worked second shift, I was blessed to have a babysitter that agreed to keep Sam until I got out of work at 11:30. Despite the fact that she had to be up, dressed and presentable to get her three kids off to school and greet her home daycare kids the next morning at 6am. One day she told me she couldn’t do it anymore. And I acted like such a B. Not only did I not thank her for taking him two nights a week for months, but I acted like it was her DUTY to take my kid on my crazy schedule.

What a jerk, huh?

This is an obvious example but I saw a need for more gratitude in my life. How often do we stop and really think of everything we have to appreciate? Not only to be grateful but to give back. This season of Thanksgiving really gets me thinking about it. God has given us so much; a beautiful healthy family, a comfortable home, steady employment, and the consciousness to see these assets and be good stewards of everything we were given. Or at least try to.

Giving is incorporated in Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps. We’re still deep into the debt repayment phase so right now we give a measly 1-2% of our yearly income either to charity or community outreach. We donate monthly to our local food bank. Every Christmas we pick out some farm animals as a family to donate to third world impoverished nations through Heifer International, and the kid’s school has a giving tree through a local church.

This year specifically, we chose a family of six (SIX!) children 1-12 off the giving tree.  We haven’t decided exactly what to give from Heifer, last year we gave a flock of chickens.

New for this year I also plan on making baked goods with the kids and delivering them to the fire house in town. I contacted the police department also, I just haven’t heard back from them about if they have a policy to accept donated food. Both the big kids love to help me in the kitchen, so this will be such a good way to introduce outward expressions of gratitude now that they are old enough to understand.

Years ago before we were so conscious of where our money went, I wouldn’t have ever though we had “extra money” hanging around for charitable donations. But as Dave Ramsey says, a budget is having a purpose for every dollar. We’ve worked giving into our budget and now view it as almost an investment. Not one we ever plan to see a financial or even tangible return on, but more an investment in our emotional lives and this of our children.

7 Years

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that yesterday was our 7th anniversary.

To my Husband,

Seven years ago, when we were just 21 and 22, I could see whispers of it, but I couldn’t see our future.

Through these first seven years, through ups and downs, hard times and wonderful times, I am so thankful of the man you are and the family we have.

I can’t wait to see where our next seven years, and beyond, lead us. I can’t see it any clearer than I could the day we both stood on the altar, but whatever it is I’m glad it will be with you.

I love you.

The Past Six Weeks

How is it already November 15th? I feel like I was just planning out October. I really wanted to be more active in this blog, even though it seems like its just for me. This whole wife/mother thing has really kept me super busy lately.

SO anyways, Operation October went very well. We officially have all the money we need to buy our brand new boiler saved up. And an unexpected blessing happened in the process.

After saving up all the money, we decided (with much urging from yours truly) to rent a huge dumpster and just totally purge almost everything in the basement. We had to do this anyways, but especially to make room to get the boiler in and for the guy to move around and work. After 7 years of marriage, 3 kids and 4 fast and unplanned moves, we never really had the chance to sort and purge things we didn’t need anymore, and boy does that stuff add up after a while.

Backstory: Until January Jeff and I both drove small compact sedans. With the impending arrival of baby Ben in February, we knew we needed room for the 3rd carseat, so Jeff traded in his fancy (stop smoking reward) car and we got the van for the same amount that was left on his car loan, less the $2000 down payment I had saved up. He inherited my car, a very basic model with power nothing that I had paid off years ago, leaving us with one car payment still.

In the spring, his grandmother said that she was getting a new car and asked if we wanted to buy her old one for $1200! Hers was newer than my old one, had a few options and about 50,000 less miles. Plus we had the cash saved up, so we jumped on it.

This of course left us with an extra car. And the extra insurance, excise tax, inspection and registration fees that go with it. So we tried a few different avenues to sell my old sedan. A few people looked, we tried a few dealership trade in deals, but we never got the price we wanted or were left with a really good feeling, so we just hung on to it and kept the faith.

Last Thursday Jeff took the day out of work to attend the kid’s Veterans Day show at school, so he had the dumpster delivered as he would have the rest of the day off for purging. We’ve rented a few and always use this one guy who does canisters as a side income.

Turns out, he was looking for a car! He came back Saturday and drove it around. It needed some work so he asked what we would take. We said $1200, making us even after buying Jeff’s grandmother’s. He offered $1000 and he wouldn’t charge for the dumpster. Deal of the century!!

I’m so relieved that we got a deal we were comfortable with. I’m hanging on to the money he gave us incase he changes his mind or finds something he really doesn’t like with the car. I’d hate to spend it and then have to take from our savings to give it back. Plus I watch way too much Judge Judy where all people do is sue over private car sales lol.

So thankful that car is gone and hoping that the transaction is over and everything comes up roses. Now we’re deciding whether to put the money towards paying off 2 of my ever lingering student loans or making a big payment on the van, but I feel like this is a good problem to have 🙂