Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIO & Weigh It In Wednesday 1/25/12


the scale lives to tattle on me another day!

Last week was tough with a +4 gain.

Today, I was holding my breath in that the scale would be kind to me & give me what I wanted.

After all I'm back to Food Logging & being more consciences about what I put in my mouth/body/mind/soul/life.

That damn scale had better read a minus!

(I laugh but really I was going to bash it in if it didn't at least tell me I lost one pound)

Today is Day 3 of no chocolate. The crazies for chocolate have subsided as have the severe crazies for sugar. I can manage to still think & walk & breathe without desperately wanting chocolate or something sweet or fatty or salty or something!

Proof? There's still half a Red Velvet cake sitting in my fridge - I didn't even attempt to lick the frosting off the cover! And I got that cake yesterday.

(Yay Me!)

Food Logging is still a tedious bitch of a chore. BUT its also showing me in my own handwriting where my patterns of eating really need work.

For instance, on most days I don't actually EAT a breakfast until 10am. Which isn't too smart considering that I am up at 5:45am. So what am I doing with all that time? I'm drinking water or herbal tea or Crystal Lite.

Mornings are busy times getting children ready for school, checking emails, facebooking, twittering, writing, showering, thinking lovely thoughts about how I'm going to be a force of good during the day & making sure my gear is packed & ready to hit the gym by 8am.

What I usually have for breakfast when I do get to it ... is a protein shake.

My Protein Shake Recipe:

1/3 cup of dried fat free/skim milk
3 cups of water

mix it up & microwave it for 1:30 min on high.

Stir in 1 scoop of BodyFortress Strawberry Protein Powder. Keep stirring until its blended in well. Drink while its hot.

And that's my breakfast. 200 calories, 2.5 grms of fat & 35 grms of protein 24 oz of fluid.

Before noon, I'll already have downed my first gallon of water & working on the second gallon.

How do I keep track of all the water I drink? I have a 25 oz water bottle on me at all times. every time. I'm never without it. ever.

I'm trying to get myself back in to the habit of eating every 3 hours. Even when I am not hungry, so that I don't ever get the crazy hungers (you know the hungers where you grab anything & stick it in your face kind of hungers). I'm also back to monitoring why I am eating what I do. (Like that time frame where I consoling myself with Cheetos because I was feeling guilty/crappy/angry at situations involving certain people. That's just not cool!)

I'm really paying attention to my self because I like me. That's not conceit - that's healthy. I like me, I take care of me, I give me the good things I need to keep on keeping on because I deserve it & I earn it every day that I show up & move forward.

With love & delicious scale jumping~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cheetos Days & Pity Parties

Because some days, you just need a Cheetos

Some times, I feel sorry for myself. Not often. Usually I make sure to get my pity party all out of my system in one go.

But last week, the blahblahblah's got the upper hand on me & instead of having one big bitch fest & then setting it aside - I let in linger & fester.

And worse, I fed the pity party CHEETOS.

Not chocolate (which I could justify as a substitute for the sex I am not having) but CHEETOS. There is no escaping the fact that when your face first chin deep in a bag of neon orange cheesy dust - there's a problem somewhere that has nothing to do with hunger.

Even as I placed the buy 2 for $6 minus $1 off coupon Cheetos on the conveyor belt, I heard myself telling the cashier," I know. I'm having a Cheetos day. It's just been shitty today & I need a Cheetos." She laughed and said,"No worries, girl! I know what you mean. I ate a bag yesterday after my kids told me about all the homework they didn't do yet. I get it. Cheetos make it better."  We laughed. I left with my 2 bags of Cheetos tucked into my big black bag. 

Those babies were for me. For later. For making me feel better.

Which is just horrible!
That's not the way that my life works anymore! 

I don't eat to feel better. I eat to fuel my body. (In the words of Dr. Socks,"Is that a rock? Yes? Does it have protein?Yes? Then eat it. You don't eat for fun. You eat for fuel.")

If I feel like shit its because I feel like shit about something else/someone else/somewhere else & I'm dealing with it directly.

Which is true. I've been feeling shitty because...

There's a set of people I've been avoiding/dodging/procrastinating dealing with. Mostly because I absolutely hate drama. I hate having to deal with other people's emotional cyclones. It's messy. It's ugly. It's an energy drain for me.

It's necessary.


And I've been feeling shitty because....

I realized that for most people my age, the reason that they don't have the kind of friendships that I do is that they don't work at it. If I let go  - no wait, let me re-phrase that - if I just stop working at being friends ( & being friendly), people just fade away & they don't come back. 

People are alone because they stop working on connecting themselves to themselves & investing their love in other people. It's not that they stop caring or loving - they just stop making the effort.

And I've been feeling shitty because...

There are some people who are going to hate me & want to kill me if they could. Not because of any thing I've done to them but because the simple fact that I exist in this world is painful for them. That I live, love & laugh enrages them. I defy their definitions. No amount of kindness or love from me will change the way they work.

That makes me sad. 

Some one so unexpected reached out to give me a shoulder to cry on & a ear to listen to my whineybitchybaby pity party. And as we talked & walked for 3 miles - he reminded me that I have so very much, that I should count my many blessing, that yes serving our fellows is tiring & hard work. He listened to me without judgement for feeling crappy & blue & weary. 

He re-assured me that it was alright to be tired & frustrated & angry & sad & lonely & hurt. But that for those of us who know better, we are expected to serve better - to apply our knowledge of the Gospel & Love Out Loud. He reminded me of what Love means.

He reminded me that God answers my prayers, especially the prayers that I haven't said yet but am in desperate need of because all I can do cry for a bit. It's tough to always be the tough one, the strong one, the go to girl. Even the best fall down sometimes. 

The key is to never stay down. Always get up. 
And to put the Cheetos in the trash.

With love & deliciousness~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIO & Weigh It In Wednesday 1/18/2012

I hate Wednesday Weigh In's.

OK. That's not true. I love it last week when the scale said minus pounds.
This week I hate it because it said plus pounds.

I don't get it.

I was gonna lie and say that when I watch what I eat, my body gets all weird on me & hangs on to every single pound of fat like there was a famine going on.

But the truth is that I've been sloppy this past week.

I indulged in a couple of squares of DOVE dark chocolate here & there, a couple bags of chocolate animal crackers here & there, a couple of handfuls of chips here & there. A handful of marsh mellows. a couple of cookies.  I had a slice of pizza last weekend. A couple of chocolate banana cupcakes last Sunday after church. Hot soft pillow hunks of fresh French bread drowned in margarine.

Well you get the picture.

(I sure got the picture when I got on the scale and it was +4 pounds. Up from last week.)

The point is I knew what I was doing when I ate all that good stuff. All of THAT has to go somewhere & I'm guessing its going straight to my ass again. My G things were feeling a little bit snuggish yesterday. But I told myself, that was my imagination. Not my thighs talking.

So much for my imagination. *sigh*

Let's review some basics so that I can get my head on straight again.

Here's what I've learned from my weight-loss journey:

1)  Food Logs are a MUST DO. Your memory can't be trusted when it comes to food.This was especially true of me when I was super obese & trying to drop the weight to get healthy. I personally loathe food logging. It's tedious, tiresome & I'm always sure I have way better things to DO than write everything I put into my mouth. But my memory of what I ate over a 24 hour time frame can not be trusted.

I have a bazillion things going on in my head about a bazillion things I have to get done. I can't even remember what I was doing 6 hours ago without consulting my planner.

It's the same for food. Do you remember everything you ate yesterday AND the quantities that you ate it in AND the exact time that you ate it?

Yeah, me neither. And that's why a Food Log is my best friend.

2) Honesty. I saw a picture a few days ago that stated,"Your body is the best testament of your food log". It's true to a certain point. My body (not just my weight but also my strength & endurance) are a telling billboard of my food log. I personally have lied & fudged & straight out altered many a food log before a check in with my nutritionist. Which is just stupid considering I paid CASH out of my kids pockets to get those sessions in with her. Considering that I had nearly 3 years of working with a set of nutritionist and each 15 minutes session cost me $25 - I was not being smart by falsifying my food logs.

I finally got smart & start using my nutritionist(s) for what they are there for, which is to educated me on food choices & consequences. Then I got smarter & started reading for myself about what nutrition should look like for me. They & I had many a good convo about eating smart & to not be afraid to be honest about what I eat. I PAY them to educate me, not guilt trip me about what I did or didn't eat.

Lesson learned the hard & expensive way.

3) Kindness & Gratitude. I learned to be kind to myself. To give honor & love & respect to my self. To accept all the things that I am, that I have done & that I will do. Being kind to myself means that I don't abuse the gifts God has blessed me with which is my body, my mind, my heart & my soul.

If I believe that I am sincerely grateful for the blessings He pours out upon me, I take care of them the best that I can.

Since that is what I believe in, abusing my body by failing to care for it is being careless with God's blessing. I really like getting blessed so I try my best to care for the blessings I get so that they bloom with goodness.

Being kind to myself also lets me get over myself when things aren't so grand (like a +4lbs on the scale) because I know that's not the end of the world. For some other people out there - maybe +4 pounds has the power to ruin their whole day or week.

Not me. Its just one number on one day. Kindness engenders hope. Hope is what keeps me going. every day.

4) Keep On Going. Every Day. or Endure to the end. But I like Keep on Going. Sounds more pro-active to me & less draconian & enduring. I've watched a lot of people lose weight fast in a short time. Which is great if that works for them. But I've also seen them gain it back in a short time too. Which is also great if that works for them.

That doesn't work for me.

A little bit here & a little bit there. Consistently. For me, that works.

Some people start off with a Bang! I'm gonna drop 20 pounds! 40 pounds! 50 pounds! in one month! Yay!  Get rid of carbs! High Fiber! High Protein! Shakes! Bars! Cookies! Pills! Magic Weight-loss guaranteed! WhooHoo!

(I get tired of hearing from them, of them  & about them.)

And then what? Do they keep the weight off 6 months later? A year later? 2 years later? 5 years later? Are they healthy?


5) Exercise can't fix what your Mouth did. Eat clean & train hard!

So with that all said, what I'm going to do is dig my good old trusty food log out & meticulously & honestly food log starting today.

With love & food logs ~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things learned from my Grandmothers

Me & My Mini-Me's:LTR Sim, Katzu, Me & Tafi Dec 2011
A few weeks ago, my good friend from childhood & fellow bloggeress, TeineToa4lype (click on her name to go straight to her blog) wrote an awesome piece about the life lessons she's learned from her Nana. She shares a deep bond with her grandmother that I wish every one in the world could have with their grandmothers too. My children share that kind of bond with my mother. They are thankful & blessed by it.

I wish that for myself as well since the relationship I shared with my grandmothers was at the best "aloof".

After reading her post, she inspired me to think about my own grandmothers & the lessons I've learned from them.

Gramma Katie

Things I learned from my Grandmothers:

#1 : That being a single mother is not the end of the world. Whether by death (as in the case of Gramma Katie, who's husband died) or divorce (as was the case with Gramma Lama, who's husband divorced her so he could marry another) it's not the worse thing that could happen to a woman.

Life goes on. Love goes on. We keep on keeping on. Because that's how we do it.
Gramma Lama

I am a single mother at this point of my life because of divorce. I would have preferred to NOT be a single mother. But divorce was something that one of us wanted & that the High Court of American Samoa was kind enough to grant. Prior to my marriage & subsequent divorce - single motherhood was the result of Decision.

Both of them raised their children without college degrees, without husbands and without losing their damn minds in the chaos of being a single parent. BUT they didn't do it alone or without cost. Some costs are only seen in the faces of the next generation.

#2: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is always there. Rain or shine. Rich or poor. Stick to the church & you can't go wrong. That's a direct quote from both of them.

By the time I got to an age of inquisitiveness, both my grandmothers had developed a deep & abiding & stoic faith in the LDS church. Now whether or not their belief in the church translated into a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, is a different matter.  I can not say. Did they live their testimonies? I guess so. I can not assume. But if one of their beliefs is that families are forever - perhaps they are saving their best & strongest energies for reparation & restitution & repentance for the next life. I've seen the consequences & damages both of these women have done on their spouses, their children - their families.

#3: Girls are not as important or valued as boys. Daughters are disposable in a way that Sons never are. I've seen the daughters of these women bear the scars of this callousness towards them. Daughters, these women born from their bodies reflect back at them in brutal clarity the consequences of their choices. Daughters they could not have survived without in the post World War II era.

Watching their homes, it was Boys get first pick, first food & first service.

Girls get slaps & work & periods & bills.

While neither of them may have cared to directly state so - this manifest in the way things worked in their homes. This may be cultural (since both were born & raised in Samoa) and it may be religious (both were fervent  respecters of the priesthood, which only goes to males). I don' t know which one is valid - only that it was what it was. Women were second class citizens. Unless you were the given generations declared Dolly/Princess/Taupou.

And then that was a different matter.

#4: keep your house clean because you never know when people are coming by. Both of my grandmothers were serious die hard cleaners. They could put any Merry Maid OCD having germ-a-phobe to shame! Their homes could be small & filled with mucho cluttered food storage whatevers - but it would be clean, neat & orderly. I secretly believe that the reason they kept house so meticulously has to do with the number of Relief Society sisters they themselves criticised for having less than immaculate domiciles.

#5: reading scriptures should always be done in a group round robin style.
This is so that you can annoy the greatest number of people with the least amount of effort. And so you can practice literacy. And especially so that everyone can all feel better that none of you can say any of those complicated Book of Mormon/Old & New Testament names without tripping up on it twice. When I become a Grandmother, I fully intend to pass this tradition of annoyance down to my little guys! It's a privilege of age to annoy the young ones!

#6: praying until every one's knees hurt & our backs give out only serves to put all the rest of us to sleep.  Seriously? Who really needs to pray for 30 minutes straight? 3 times a day? 7 days a week? God heard you. He knows your needs & your trials & your tribulations. Praying more & harder & longer isn't going to get God working on your case any faster or any sooner. He's on it already. Some times you've just got to go by the seat of your proverbial faith pants & get to it. He knows you're thankful. We know you're thankful. Thank you for finally saying AMENE! (OK. Now I'm just being juvenile)

#7: that if you pay your tithing GOD takes care of the rest of everything. This was another commonality that both Grandmothers passed down to me. Pay your Tithing. Without fail. Without grumbling.Without procrastination. Pay it & see what the Lord will do! I think its interesting that both of these women were absolute in their commitment to pay their tithing & when their finances permitted to also pay fast offering.

I remember several fast Sundays where they fasted & paid their fast offerings on top of their tithing. They did not share the whys of why they were fasting - only that it's Fast Sunday and what the hell do I think I'm doing eating breakfast & lunch? They are fasting which means WE ARE ALL FASTING.

#8: promises don't end with death. This one is specific to my Grandmother Katie. I believe that a mother's promise given to her son, which her son gave to me and which my patriarchal blessing stated & confirmed & which every blessing I've had since then repeats - reminds me that promises don't end when our bodies are silent.

#9: food makes many things better including grudges, fights & holidays. Both of my grandmothers were disposed to feeding people to make things better. Food it seemed was essential to paving the way to peace. Grandmother Katie preferred big feeds with big brimming pots of food at all hours of the day & night. She always had a lot of people to feed & she feed every one. EVERY ONE. No one was ever turned away from her food. She shoved food on to whomever & where ever.

Grandmother Lama baked. She baked her wedding cakes for hundred of people without ever charging what commercial bakeries were. She knew the people she baked for & never attempted to rob them in cheap ingredients or over pricing. She baked cakes for those she knew couldn't pay her & that was okay with her. I remember her one time discussing with her son how someone couldn't pay her to do a wedding cake & she said that's okay. I have a big cake order next week. It will take care of itself. (and it did)

The generosity of these two women in the communities they lived in is legendary. They gave more than food & shelter to whomever asked. They also gave freely of whatever they or their children had to anyone in need whether the needy asked or not. They gave their time & love & wisdom to those who crossed their paths, however briefly or violently or casually.

Had they always been this way or did they have to learn to be this way? I can not say.

What were they like as girls?as young women? as young wives? young mothers? As my sister pointed out, by the time I met them, they were old already.

Their faith such as it was when I knew them had decades to percolate through the sieve of trials & tribulations.

#10: Love takes Time. This is my most favorite thing that I learned from both of them. That love takes time. And that time does not end when we die - any more than love ends with death. Those of you who know my story, know why this is my most favorite thing. My love story - like both of theirs is playing out on an eternal timeline, not just the here & now. Love takes Time & time is what I'm counting on.

Some day I hope that one of my granddaughters writes about me too. And what she better say is, "My Mamma Lu was a fierce faithful force to be reckoned with. She lived her testimony loud & lovingly. Sometime way too loud. I miss her. I love her. I thank her for everything."

Because that's what I think of when I remember my own grandmothers.

After all is said & done ~ they were fierce faithful forces trailblazing women who held their own ground & did not back down or run like cowards for someone else to fix their problems. They fixed their own sinks, mowed their own yards, worked a couple of low paying jobs to pay bills & did their own thing. They did it. They accounted for it. How can I not admire that kind of courage?

(Well, at least we know where all that feisty comes from now!)

With love & delicious Grandmothers~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIO Wednesday 1/11/12

For me so I can see what everyone else out there has too see

I don't want to go run this morning.

It's 8:01am & I am still parked in my car watching the minutes tick by. I'm gripped by anxiety to get out & run.

What is this?
Where is this crazy coming from?

Working out is what I do. This is my habit & my addiction of choice. When I am NOT working out in the mornings - I feel incomplete. Like when I forget to pray before bed or brush my teeth in the mornings. Last year when I was sick & in the hospital my only thoughts were when can I get back in the gym without busting my stitches? I asked all of my doctors, "Can I run tomorrow? How about just a little bit? And slow?"

(See? That's how die hard I was. Am. Will be again)

Working out & getting my sweat on is what I do. I LOVE the feel of my body pushing weights or rowing or running cardio even if all I can do is one minute of it. I LOVE the feel good endorphins that get me high as a kite every day! If I can't have sex or chocolate - then dammit! What I will have is a good hard workout!

So why am I sitting in my car watching the clock unable to make myself get out & run it?


Part of it has to do with my expired gym membership (which I'm working on re-newing). The other part of it is getting back in to running on pavement in the open air on the open road where people can see me.

The safety of the gym where I've worked out for the past 2 years isn't there.

I'm OUT THERE where PEOPLE CAN SEE ME jiggling while jogging, sweating & singing. I look like a big sweaty splotchy mess of a woman when I'm working out. I am not cute & I do not smell fresh like a daisy even though I make it a point to shower before I workout every day & I am blind when I work out because I hate wearing my glasses.

The hateful Harriettes & Harry's, the bitter Betty's & Bob's, the gossiping Gals & Guys who drive by in their big SUV's & shiny trucks. All the bitches who wish massive amounts of hateful diarrhea on me for being out there. They are there & even if they don't know me by name - they can see me.

I know they are there.

I got too used to the enclosed & familiar safety of the gym I frequent. Everyone there is supportive. Everyone there is there for their own reasons. Everyone there pretty much comes there to work out & get it done. Everyone minds their own damned work out & just want to get through their own one.

Just like me.

But being out on the pavement requires me to re-set my mental toughness. To become aware of my surroundings. To run sweaty & breathless knowing that people going by in their cars are looking at my ass & wondering how in the hell does that ass get moving like that? To stop when people I do know stop their cars to say Hey Girl! Getting some exercise in & I tell them No, I'm running to McDonalds so I can eat a BigMac for breakfast.

Which I plan on doing today. Get out & Run It. But NOT to McDonalds.

As I lace up my shoes & search for a good song on the IPOD & watch the minutes click by I tell myself, "Sorry bitches but I won't be defeated by fear or shame today. You can hate all you want on me. I am still going to get up & get out of this car & run it even if all I run is one single minute. Because then I win. I win because I got it done. Because I am here."

And as I run the first half mile from BYU-H to Laie Elementary (where I wave at Katzu who's walking back to class) I also say to myself,"This one is for all of us FatGirls who show up & get it done. I'm running with you girls & I'm running for you."

With love & delicious open pavements~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughts for Tuesday 1/10/12

I spent Tuesday re-organizing & re-arranging. I tell ya there's nothing like not being able to find what you're looking for to ignite that fire to clean, organize & throw it all in the trash!


What I was looking for was a library book. What I found was a book I bought 2 years ago & forgot about it.

1,003 Great Things about Friends.

(I'm almost sure that I bought this for a friend & obviously didn't mail it to her. Oops! My apologies to the friend who is still waiting for it. Hopefully I sent you something better. Like chocolate. Because I'm a good friend like that. Ha!)

I had a couple of chuckles reading the great things & not so great things about friends.

It made me think of all the many friends & friendships I've had over the years.

There are some friends I don't see often because the distances are great but we write, email, chat or call. We make the effort to stay connected & I'm thankful for that. Lives are busy with families, closer friends, work, hobbies, chaos, whatever. But we stay connected however infrequently, however shortly. God Bless my friends.

I smiled & laughed when I read this one. Reminded me of last summer when my Bestie came to visit me & I was freakishly worried about my house & kids & cats not passing muster with her. She was & is awesome. It made no difference at all. With friends - you don't need to put out the nuts, appetizers or napkins but its nice to do so when you wanna tempt them into sampling your latest baked goods!

That's just not how we do it Polynesian Style. We get mad when we ask you if you need help & you say No & we can plainly see that Yes you do need help & your pride won't let you accept it. A Poly friend will & often does ignore your No's & help anyway. You'd be damned lucky if a Poly will even ASK you if you need help before just pitching in a helping hand & strong shoulder or a 20lb bag of rice. As a rule, we help first & ask questions laters. That is - if we were raised right.

Ahhh... how guilty I've been of this one when I was young & dumb! I used to have my former friends way back in the day before I grew up & gained this wonderful maturity - spy & do drive by's & then with the advent of the internet - cyberspy on them. I had good friends - good enough that they refused to do these demeaning & demoralizing things on my behalf. As they said to me,"Why bother? They'll never have the best of you. Don't even give them the satisfaction of blowing their ego by spying on them."

There was a few of us at that time who all pledged that if any one of us should die suddenly - the others would rush over to house & grab the box of stuff & hide it. Before the Relief Society sisters ever knew it was there.

This one made me a little sad because as I've grown older & my friendships have deepened ~ saying sorry has been necessary. Necessary to help friendships grow & strengthen. Not always nice to say or hear from someone else but necessary.

Its not the same as when I was a friend in elementary or even high school when you & a friend disagreed it was the norm for all parties concerned to just drift into new groups of friends quietly & immediately. Or have a big screaming fight in the malae or street or church parking lot during young women's with the end result still being moving on to other friends.

You just move on & ignore it & fill the blank spots where your friend used to be with a new friend to hang out with.

What happens when you become an adult is that its harder to make & keep friends. It's harder to be a good friend because the lines & responsibilities of being a friend grow & change. It's harder to find good friends. And from what I'm told - its hard for others to recognize friends from foes. 

I find myself challenged at times about what being a friend is for different friends.

Some friends need constantly coddling, constant care, constant emotional or financial or intellectual or spiritual support. Some friends considerably less attention. Still other friends thrive on shared motion.

Friendship for me as an adult has been about saying sorry when I was truly sorry & forgiving my friend truly when forgiving was called for. 

With & delicious friends~

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mothering Much or What?

I think there is a fine line between Mothering & SMothering.

Or how I like to say it Mothering Much or what?

I constantly check & re-check myself if I've crossed over the line from mothering my children to smothering them.

Have I taught them to be self reliant little people? Or have I taught them that I have all the answers?

Because on some days - it really does seem like they've learned nothing. Not one damn thing. Not how to care for themselves & certainly not how to care for others. It's like I've handicapped them - failed to prepare them for life beyond & in excess of me.

I just want to give myself a big fat WTF! (With dark chocolate sprinkles on top please)

And when I'm shouting out swear words that my Bishop across the street can surely hear - I have to wonder Are my children deaf? Didn't they hear me tell them that they have to learn how to cook & clean & shop & save & store & do laundry & hang clothes & sweep floors & plant seeds & haul weeds & tend gardens?

Didn't my boys hear me when they asked me to sew up their blankies & I handed them a needle & thread & said Have at it!?!


Some days I have to wonder.

Like what the hell boys! Put some deodorant on before your stench starts to burn my eyes out. Or why dammit are your stinky socks hiding in your book basket? Or Yes you must shower every day. EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY and sometimes twice a day if you've been out & about in this heat.

They ask me why it is they have to learn how to serve each other. Why it is every one can't just do for themselves. And that's when the Primary lessons start coming out. What if Jesus felt that way about it? What if Heavenly Father didn't love us so much that He gave his only Begotten Son to suffer & bleed & die for things/sins He didn't commit? He served & continues to serve us out of love. When we serve, we are loving in motion or as one sister said to me, Love Out Loud!

I have to tell them - you're learning to serve so you can learn to lead. You can't be a leader without understanding the fundamental key in leading is ... serving. (And not self serving at the soft serve ice cream machine either) Serving is Leading & Leading is Loving.

Then there are times when they are so deep in the shit that they can't see out & they decide that THAT is the perfect time for them to shut up & NOT TELL ME WHATS UP!

Sim is still learning this lesson but gradually he's coming to the realization the best time to ask for help is NOT when the big F is looming large on the front. Ask for help while there's still space & time enough to get it done without divine intervention.

Kennedy Katzu & I have been practicing that I will never punish for telling the truth but if I catch you lying you'd better start becoming a firm believer in prayer because only God will be able to save you from the wrath of Mom.

Katz is dealing with a tough teacher this year. She is fair. He is lazy. I'm caught between wanting to intervene & letting him navigate this challenge by himself. What I hope he learns more than school work is to be resilient & bounce back when things/people/challenges are hard. Because that's what he says now about school, its not fun, its hard, its work.

And those things are true. His teacher does yell at him & single him out because he doesn't complete his assignments but more so because he's so cavalier about not completing his school work. He's smart. He knows it. He's charmed. He knows it. This is one of the first times that he's had to work hard at completing something.

It is tough to watch him struggle. I have to restrain myself from jumping in there & telling his teacher to back off. But I trust her. I've talked to her. I'm wary. I don't trust many people with my children. Her yelling stresses him out, which doesn't stress me out - it pisses me off. He is my baby. I want to make the world good for him.

But I also know that he's not a baby anymore and that if I want to make Katz into the kind of man I believe he is - I need to keep my mouth shut & stay out of it.

Oh! I tell you Mothering may be a noble profession but the hours suck, the pay sucks & sometimes the people you're in charge of suck too.

And some times all I can do is sit on the back porch steps & thank God for the warm sunshine because when it get like this ~ that's all that makes it better.

Which is what I plan to do first thing in the morning. Watch the sun come up & soak up some sunshine in the quiet morning before the kids get up & scrambling around like water drops on a hot frying pan.

With love & delicious crazy Mothering~

Friday, January 6, 2012

An unkind word unspoken

I read something earlier that sparked a thought,"The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. — Unknown"

Now why would I attach a photo of desserts with that thought?

Because a kind word is sweet & the unkind word unsaid is probably the sweetest thing one can do for some one else.

What good does a mean word or in my case - a string of mean words do?

(Ok. I'll feel better for about a nano second because I got to yell my head off but in the long run & bigger picture - what's the real objective? Making me feel better or finding a working solution to the issues at hand?)

It's taken a good size dose of maturity to keep silent when someone I know is just itching for a good verbal set down! 

But as I've learned - its easier to keep my mouth shut now at this good young age of 40 than it is to say sorry I hurt your feelings.
KokoSamoa Cupcakes - Just because I'm hungry right now!

It's best for me to let people find out on their own what the truth is. Even if it takes them YEARS to get to it & then have their own Ah ha! moment.

One of the precepts I grew up with as a Mormon in a village populated with other Mormons & going to school with nearly all Mormons was that if we cared about someone in a truly Christ-like manner then it was our spiritual duty to TELL SOMEONE when & where we believed they aren't living the Gospel or being righteous or whatever & whatnot. And to shun them or berate them or harass them if they refused to conform to our beliefs is unkind.

I was 10 years old the first time this happened to me. I was going to eat my lunch in the cafeteria with the rest of my class. Several of them had said their prayer over their food. I did not. Two of them pointedly told me that I wasn't a good Mormon if I didn't pray in public & bless my food. I told them it's none of their damn business if or when I pray. This is a public school & no one - not no damn person could tell me to pray if I refused too. Didn't they know the US Constitution?

This happened repeatedly during my growing years. With more of the What kind of Mormon are you if you don't get up & bear your testimony like all the rest of the young women? & You must be living your life wrong if you're inactive unkind words flung my way by happy caring Mormon people.Not just kids are mean. Adults who should know & do better are pretty good at being unkind.

This kind of spiritual bullying is in my opinion unkind. I think its unkind when people who don't even know you profess to care for your eternal soul & barge right into your life telling you that all you have to do have a better life is accept Christ (the Christ we believe it) and none other. And that if you don't believe in our Christ - you will go to hell. 

I think its even worse when it comes from people you do know who do claim to love you.

For these good meaning well intention-ed kind words from ignorant & compassion-less souls - I offer this: shut up & live your testimony

Your kindness in keeping your opinions of other peoples lives will do more good in the world than all your bible bashing/book of Mormon thumping them over the head can ever accomplish.

Your kindness is saying to someone who's life is not the same as yours or mine or anyone else's is as simple as,"It will get better. Just hang in there a little bit longer."

Your kindness is being the one who hugs the people who feel left out, singled out & left behind by society. You know where they are. You know who they are. It does not matter why or how they got there. It's not your job or mine to say who deserves our time & talents & love & kindness. We are commanded to love one another. That's our job.

Love - true love- like the kind Christ offers is about being good to one another especially when the other person's beliefs & lifestyle are different from yours or mine.

With love & delicious unsaid unkind words~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

KennaNoa's Brownies

KennaNoa is my babygirl. She is fearless. She is smart. She is unapologetic about loving her life. She wakes up excited to get into things & see what everyone is up too. She is bossy. She is demanding. If she doesn't like something - she says so. She loves to dance & again - be bossy.

You can see immediately why her & I get a long so very well.

We have a story about KennaNoa that sums her up nicely. When she was still just a little bun in the oven, her Mum went to the OB-GYN to get an ultrasound done her. Just to make sure things were nice & progressing smoothly.

My sister & I spent a good 20 minutes cracking jokes about her husband (who I do love very dearly!) when the tech stepped into do the ultrasound, we were still laughing. KennaNoa's first picture to the world looks like this:

and we laughed with her. Then the tech said she had to move KennaNoa around to get some other shots. KennaNoa did not like this & so the next shot of her looked like this:

Nothing the tech did would move her so she could get the other measurements done.

KennaNoa was done. Which means - all anyone is going to get from her is her ass.

Again, can you see why her & I get a long so very well?

KennaNoa & the pretend Belle
Now that KennaNoa is here, its all too easy for me to see how that episode was just the barest glimpse of her personality. She is an old soul in a new body. This should be a very interesting experience for her!

(disclaimer: She isn't really MY babygirl. She's on loan to me from her parents, who were lucky enough to have her instead of me. But she's mine. She's my heart. My little mini-me.)

KennaNoa (EttaAnna Stinky Pants Princess SnowWhite) is one of the reasons I get up every day & smile & look for the morning sun. Mostly because I know, where ever she is at that same moment ~ she is probably laughing or yelling her head off or chasing her dog Sparky across the house. She fills up all the little & big places in my heart. She loves me just as I am: fat or skinny, ugly or uglier, naughty or nice. She has no expectations of me other than to be ~ how awesome is that?

I talk to her nearly every day. We talk about food & princesses. She tells me she made me cookies or brownies but because I live so far away - she ate them for me too.

She's having fun living & loving. Life is good when you're three!

Her most favorite thing to eat? Brownies. Lovely chocolate-y chewey brownies.

Once she even hid her stash of brownies behind the couch - or so I'm told. I wouldn't be surprised though. As the youngest grandchild - she's had to fend for herself!

Here is KennaNoa's Bestest Brownies Ever recipe:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
prepared as directed on the box.

Sometimes we add in walnuts. Generally we just leave it alone.

With love & delicious brownies~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Work it Out & Weigh In Wednesday

First an APOLOGY...

I'm sorry to be sending you a picture of my ass.

I know. Its a lot to wake up to on a Wednesday morning. I should know - I wake up with it every day.

I hate that I have such a curvy ass. I really do. (Yes I know that its an ass that has fueled many a male fantasy & filled the nightmares of quite a few other men )

But (no pun intended) I hate that its so big & out there!

I want it gone. Or at least diminished to a size more appropriate to my proportions. Meaning: I want my bottoms to be in the same zip code as my tops!

I've heard it all before - I should be thankful for the curves God gave me & I am thankful for them. I just no longer want them to be as curvy or out there as they are. Men love curvy booties. As if. There is only one man who I want who's opinion counts & last time I checked Jesus said he was just fine with my ass. ( Gasp! Did I say Jesus? I meant Moroni. Or one of the 2 thousand stripling warriors. Or Alma. Younger or Older or whichever)

Whatever. I just want it smaller.

So I am sorry to preface your morning with my ass!


Wednesdays are going to be my Work It Out & Weigh It In days. Every Wednesday - I'll post whats going on in my fitness vs. fatness fight. Because it is a fight.

Today I headed for the gym & by default the digital scale. I won't lie to you & tell you that I didn't say a big prayer before I got on. I did pray & write down an affirmation before I stepped to it.

Are you ready?

It said 2_4lbs. YES! I had actually managed to drop some weight during the 2 week break from the gym. I am relieved.

And then I realized something that's been circling around my head for a couple of weeks.

I have Fat Paranoia. I absolutely will not ever be fatter than what I was ever again. I've worked too hard. I've suffered too long. I've earned this strong body. I refuse to lose it to fatness. I will not ever again be that FatGirl who can't fit into a public bathroom stall & has to use the handicapped one.

Marlon asked me  "why you are curious about this challenge and/or what you would like to achieve with our group?" (in terms of fitness). Three days later, I'm still thinking about his questions. What I wrote back to him a few minutes ago was I want to get fit. I want to be strong. Basically I want to be able to climb a coconut tree like that guy did in Other Side of Heaven. To do that you have to be strong, agile & flexible.

(Yes I know, I have such practical fitness goals:climb coconut trees, haul bunches of banana's, walk 15 miles a day. What's the use of building a strong body if you don't use it for good working things? My body is not a decoration! It must do its job! Picking my own coconuts is just one example of making strong work for me. I am a farmer remember? Farming is tough work. Those banana's aren't going to just jump off the tree & hop into my truck. Neither are the papayas or the taro or the kumalas.)

I'm happy to add in that I didn't lose much in the weight room either. I've finally moved off the crybaby weights (10lbs) and on to baby weights (20lbs). No aches or pains. Just a lot of sweat though. Which is a good thing.

Now I just have to work on cleaning up my eating!

With love & delicious weigh in's & work outs~

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ti for Tuesday

Ti Leaves

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to share conversations & kokosamoa (along with bread & butter!Yummy!) at the home of a friend whom I only visit with once a year.

These women have been on my mind for the greater part of the past two weeks. They are as individuals - fantastic smart spiritual women of faith. As a group - they are fierce & feisty! I feel incredibly blessed to have been in the right place & the right time to be there.

One sister took out her endowments less than six months ago - she waited for most of her life to reach this point where her understanding of the Gospel got to a point where she couldn't wait a moment more to learn more about where we came from, where we are & where we are going too.

In a world where sarcasm is the du jour & many have no hope of life after this life - her faith is wonderful to behold. Her spirit shines! and I am warmed by it.

Another sister re-discovered her faith after years away from it. A woman who has traveled some very hard & deviled roads, she is also bright & loving & kind. She told me once that the only way she could escape the drags of a former relationship was through the gift of love from our Savior Jesus Christ. As someone who knew her while she battled with that relationship and can see she where she is now - the love our Savior shows us is great indeed.

We talked from the late hours of night until the first light of the new day came up. We talked about healing: spiritual & emotional & mental & physical healings. We talked about the journeys that each of us has taken to become who we are in this time.

I feel blessed & privileged to know these women. To hear their testimonies of God & Gospel reverberated in their works & warmth for one another & others they don't already know. I love how they don't have time to waste on the little things: they are to busy living & loving to worry about what the Joneses are doing or thinking or saying. It just doesn't damn matter to them.

(It also just doesn't damn matter to me either.)

I think about all the women I know & I wonder do they know that I know they are the kind of sisters in the gospel that don't bother to ask Have I done any Good in the world today? They all just get it done & keep on keeping on getting it done. It does not matter if they are members or not or even members in good standing. They are good women of faith.

That isn't to say that any of these women are saints - only that they are working on becoming Christ-like.

I like how human they are in their living testimonies. I love how they are humble hardworking pliant women. I absolutely love that their faith in the Gospel does NOT preclude them from having a grand sense of humor about subjects most other sisters would be personally offended by.

Such as the humor derived from other sisters putting on the drama in Relief Society or the wanna-be Oscar Award Actresses that snot cry in the mic on Fast & Testimony Sacrament Meetings or dare I say it? The Sunday Mormons who spent Friday & Saturday nights at the bars & bus stops & porking their neighbors wife/husband but are wheezing out scriptures & sulfur regardless.

God Bless us all!

As I am fond of saying (and reminding myself constantly) the plan of Salvation wasn't invented for the perfected saints. It was necessary for those of us - like me - who are here to learn & prove that I can live by faith. In order to have faith, you have to have trials... and as I am learning, faith proceeds the miracle.


Here's to new adventures in faith building!

With love & delicious faith~

Hello 2012!

SIm & Taf @ Malaekahana Beach in Kahuku, Hawaii

I just absolutely love Mondays - especially when its a holiday Monday AND the sun is shining!

It's the first Monday of the new year & I'm excited about all the good things that are headed my way.

Excited about the adventures I'll be undertaking: a 90 fitness challenge with my new friend Marvon, an attend the temple once a week challenge thanks to Apostle Somebodyortheother, a 23 day Frugal Living challenge with my frugal buddies over at Frugal Living & a host of other challenges that I'm getting my claws into.

(Can we just say January 2012 is looking to be a challenging month?)

I'm excited to be getting my stuff written & published this year. I've got short stories & essays & more blogs on tap to be published & printed. I've got more food adventures that I'll be photographing & writing about. So we will all salivate together! (Just say YUMMY!)

I'm excited to be reading & researching more Polynesian literature & legends & folklore. Lots of interesting material out there. Just wrapped up reading Samoan Medicinal Plants by Whistler. Interesting reading. What's interesting about it? The perspective of someone outside of our culture & blood looking in on us & our traditions & writing on it.

I'm excited for the new friends I've made & the discoveries I'll make in developing our friendships. Welcome, New Friends!!! (and Thank YOU to my continuing friends. You've made the journey here so much more fun than if I had to do it alone!)

I'm excited to be with my children this year. (Well, I'm excited to be with them any day of any year!) We have an outline of adventures we'd like to experience as a family: One of those is farming, another is hiking, another is more baking & cooking together. Getting healthier physically & mentally & emotionally & spiritually is something we always endeavor towards as a family & as individuals.

Our adventures never end & that's a good thing.

With love & delicious adventures ~