Life went nutty and happened completely out of the blue. The two of us were just plugging along and then our worlds changed with very little warning. We now live closer together (yay!), we have completely different jobs (kind of yay) and we are taking the blog to a more personal place.
Right now, though, we’re working on getting all the Elf stuff up and rushin’ our buns to get new options up as well. We want to offer really really really really (really) quick ideas for parents who are up to their eyeballs in work and home and holidays and everything else that is slammed on us this time of year. Some people have more time than others and some just like to dedicate more time to the ol’ elf. Whatever works for you is great with us – we just want to have what you’re looking for. So, if there’s something that could solve all your elf problems, let us know. We’ll have printables for you to download and just throw on the little scout elf while your child is brushing their teeth before school and you realize you haven’t moved the elf from a couple of days ago. You know that feeling, right? We’ll also have more in-depth scenes that let you can build if/when you have more time on your hands.
Mom and I will sit down and fill you in on what has been happening, what’s going on with the blog and all that good stuff. We promise not to leave out the details. We have a lot of catching up to do.
The vibe of things, like I said, is more personal. We aren’t organizational experts nor is our life in order. Ever. We are organized chaos. We can pull it together when we need to but we certainly don’t believe we have to have our life in order all the time. It’s just not realistic. We’ll continue to do organizational projects, DIY and all sorts of life stuff. If we learn something, we’ll share. If we see something cool, we’ll share. If we wonder about something, we’ll ask.
What it all boiled down to is that we were trying so hard to be everything until it led us to the edge of burnout. Since we have passion for what we’re doing here and love connecting with you, we needed to figure out how to focus on the things we loved and steer away from the things we didn’t. Perfection = don’t love (it’s too hard and it brings out the nasty). You = We love. So, here is us talking to you. Real. Raw. Honest. Transparent.
On to elf stuff. We shall return with more.
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Much love to you!
This post is a bit long but it’s broken up into sections so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You’ll be taking a ride through my mind. No holding back.
Back when I wrote So You’re Calling Me Fat, I was determined to make my way toward health. I’ve done it what seems like 100 times before and quit every time. My quitting doesn’t always happen after a certain number of days, it just comes out of nowhere and when it gets hard, I get hungry, I don’t see quick progress or (insert any other excuse here) happens, I bow out and return to my “normal” eating. The problem: I feel immediate guilt. Not enough to change, though.
I thought this time was going to be different. It was 32 days ago that I, again, committed to being healthy. I didn’t want to make it a crazy plan, just something I could freaking stick to.
In order to pull my focus away from what I’d naturally veer toward (quick fixes, eating plans, etc), I had to take a minute to discover what would work for me. I have a really strong mind and once I put my mind to something, it can turn into an obsession. This goes for wanting a Diet Coke, chocolate, junk food and a Range Rover. Oh wait, whoops, that last part wasn’t relevant. I am obsessed, though. Just FYI.
Getting the Right Mindset:
Why am I doing this? Do I just want to be thin? Is it for health? Like, TRULY for health (not just what sounds good to say out loud) or is it something else?
My body is fairly healthy. I don’t have any major problems and haven’t had to deal with health issues. A lightbulb went off. My body has been functioning normally despite everything I have done to it. My heart continues to beat, my lungs work, my immune system fights sickness and I ignore the fact that I can wake up every day and live. I feed my body crap, I set high expectations and assume it will perform exactly how I want it.
I have started thinking of my body as a friend who would do anything for me. It wants to make me happy, it does things for me that I don’t even recognize. The thing is: I’m ignoring this friend but still expect her to do what I need. This whole time, she hasn’t said much. I continue to hang out with other people (junk food, no exercise) who ruin my reputation (build fat, clog arteries) but always expect that my friend will be there whenever I need her.
That’s not fair of me.
It’s time I started focusing on my friend and finally give her what she needs.
In this case, it’s healthy food for optimal performance, exercise for health and mental clarity and a whole sh*t ton of water to show how much I care.
I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t want to do what I’d done before because it got me to where I am today. With the exception of Weight Watchers (which I wholeheartedly believe works), nothing gets me (and you) to where we want to be and is realistic to maintain. Period.
So, then, now what?
I needed to recognize my habits.
I went through my kitchen and rearranged everything. I took the snacks and moved them to a different place, I cleared off the kitchen counters, I moved the tempting food in the fridge to the very bottom and put the Diet Coke in our garage fridge.
Every time I’d unknowingly make my way to a snack, I’d be forced to stop. This was clearly a habit I wasn’t aware of. Since the thing I was ready to grab was no longer there, I had given myself a moment to see what I was doing and decide whether or not it was worth the guilt that would follow.
In most cases, the answer was “no“. It wasn’t worth it.
It Only Takes Three Things:
- Lots of water
- Portion Control
- Exercise (no matter what it is)
It All Seems So Easy. Is it?
It all sounds good in writing, doesn’t it? Planning out menus, rearranging the kitchen and throwing out fluffy analogies is simple at the beginning. Of course we all approach our goals with the greatest intentions. We think it will work this time. Buuuuuut… life gets busy which means that we need to cut at least one thing out of our schedule – usually exercise. We get tired which means we snack more or grab something that will “wake us up”. Chocolate comes to mind. Maybe a latte? Insert sugar or billion calories here.
Am I Successful?
I have made bigger changes to life than I was prepared for. What’s most surprising is that I don’t feel resentment toward the whole process. For once. I believe I’m ready. I’ve planned to do this when my head is in the exact right place. I’ve cut out Diet Coke, added in over 100oz of water a day, cut my portions (and drink water through my meals), eliminated most sugar and cut out all fast food.
These things are a HUGE change in my life. It’s extremely uncomfortable and requires constant attention to every move I make.
Complete Honesty and Vulnerability (and it makes my stomach turn):
When I made the decision to FINALLY make changes, I weighed 190 pounds. Writing that down makes me want to barf. If I don’t, it’s just another thing I’m hiding. It will allow me to go right back and pretend like all is okay. It’s not. I drank about 4-6 Diet Cokes a day, would eat fast food no less than 4 times a week and snacked on sugary things by the massive handfuls.
Inner monologue: Please let this be smart of me to post right now rather than something that comes back to bite me. I have to just keep typing and not hit the delete button. Keep going…keep going…
Chin up. Shoulders back. Forward momentum.
After 32 days of completely changing my eating habits, taking walks (not even consistently) and believing in myself, I am proud to say that I have lost 17 pounds and am fitting into a pair of my old favorite jeans. Each day, I’m getting closer to my designer jeans that have been sitting in my closet for 6 years. Even then, I only wore them for two years. All of this is really new to me.
I’ve still got a long way to go but I can look at myself and be happy knowing that I’m not giving up, that I’m only getting better and that I can see changes that make me smile. My inner Tawsha is slowly but surely emerging.
Sounds silly but it’s true. I’m not chubby and insecure on the inside.
Because I’m OCD in many ways, having my inner Tawsha and outer Tawsha match makes me feel organized.
So, what’s your story?
It takes practice taking a “thin” selfie
Hi, I’m Tawsha and I do things in extremes.
Group: “Hi Tawsha“.
I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post because it goes so far back.
Summary: I’ve always been a fit and active person. Until adult hood. Once I was out of organized sports, I would either spend all my time doing nothing in the way of exercise or I’d be obsessively teaching classes, choreographing for fitness and figure competitors and tearing it up at boot camp class. It’s a little crazy. My body has got be like, “WTF Tawsha?”
In the past 5 years, any sort of exercise has been a struggle and painful due to my back and sciatica (the story is here).
Finally, after all this time, I decided to bite the bullet and go to the doctor for one purpose: Health. I didn’t want to dilly dally. I told the lady making the appointment that I needed to get a grip, that I wasn’t sure where my health stood and that I was tired of hiding from it. I’m not sure she was ready for an ‘Oprah moment’ during that brief convo but I tend to over share most of the time. I couldn’t help it. All or nothing is basically how I roll.
I got into the doctor fairly quickly and sat down with him to talk about my health history, my habits, how I tend to obsess or not at all and that I needed to hear from him what my next steps would be.
After a few tests, I found out that I’m healthy. Like, really healthy. My body has been a champion and has fought hard to keep my levels even, my blood sugar normal and my blood pressure normal. I don’t know how this is even possible (thinking back to my fast food meal not more than 1 hour prior to my appointment about being out of control).
The doctor’s answer: You need to lose weight.
When I can, I hide behind someone in a picture.
I know this. I’ve known this since I started gaining weight. In all of my son’s 5 years of life, he’s known his mom to be soft and squishy. Lovely.
I guess I just kept telling myself that I was being the hardest on me. That others saw me differently. That’s what the people around me say, at least. “You look fine.” “You’re not fat.” “You’re overreacting.” When I mention my weight to people around me, I’m not fishing for compliments, I’m genuinely concerned. I always heard what would ease my mind. It’s like giving drugs to an addict.
It’s nobody’s fault but my own.
To take the drama down a notch; I’m not massively obese but I am 55-60 pounds more than I need to be which offers the wonderful benefits of a shorter life span, higher insurance rates and a side of insecurity. The doctor asked me where I saw my “healthy range” and I responded with a dress size. “I’m healthiest at a 6”. The number on the scale game is an evil one and I can’t get involved in that bid’niss. Let’s be real. I want to fit back into my cute jeans and not wear 4 layers of clothing in order to cover my arms, stomach and any other unflattering area.
The one thing my doctor told me is that if I could bring my weight down just 20 pounds, I’d extend my life expectancy 7 more years. First of all, ‘JUST 20 POUNDS? Excuse, me, doc? I’m struggling to lose ONE FREAKING POUND.’ However, the life expectancy comment really hit me hard. All I could think about was that I’d get to spend 7 more years with my son. 7 more years with the family I love and doing a job I can’t get enough of. That’s what did it.
So, today, as I sit and write this blog, I’m putting it all out there. The good, the bad and the ugly.
How I look today. An honest shot that I wouldn’t let my husband post on Facebook.
This website won’t turn into a fitness or healthy motivation site, it’s a place where I plan to hold myself accountable in front of you. You will call me on my crap. You’ll help me be a better person and, in turn, I hope to offer the same to you.
I don’t know where this is going and I don’t have a major plan for my writing. What I do know is that I’ll keep my personal blogs updated, I’ll share anything I learn and I’ll be extremely open. I do have a plan for weight loss. That’s the good news.
This whole admission is kind of scary because it’s focusing on what I’ve avoided sharing for so long. It’s real and not an empty promise to myself or some fad diet that I think is going to work miracles. Turns out, they don’t. I’ve tried them. ALL of them.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
- Where do you stand with all of this?
- Are you interested?
- Do you want to jump on this journey with me?
- Are you wondering about anything?
- Do you have questions?
Next up: How I plan to reach my goal.
Follow us on Bloglovin’ (free HERE) to get updates in your email.
More times than I can count, I’ve been told, “Don’t wish the years away.” “Enjoy every moment you have with him.” I am still in awe of how lucky daddy and I are to have you as our son. You’re adorable, you’re smart, you’re feisty, you are independent and you’re hilarious. One problem: You grew up too fast.
As we wash all your new school clothes, buy your supplies and prep to meet your teacher, the first day of Kindergarten creeps closer and closer. Next week, life will change as we know it. Where did the time go?
Since the day you were born, we had planned that both daddy and I would work during the day. It didn’t happen that way. There was a plan greater than our own that kept me home with you. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t realize what an honor that was. How rare. While trying to start and run a business from home, there you were. Each day, I got to wake up with you, feed you breakfast and play with trains, trucks and Legos. This all happened while I took on the challenge of working from a home office. You you eventually grew to the age where you could talk my ear off…even when I was on an important phone call. Now we can signal to each other what the other one wants in our own little sign language. If only the people on the other end knew that I spent many of those calls with you in the bathroom, fixing a toy, racing Lighting McQueen and even rocking you to sleep .
Since I was reminded so many times to appreciate each moment, I tried to slow things down a bit and put family first. It didn’t always work out that way. I’ve never noticed it more than I do at this moment. Why? Why didn’t I just turn around and forget about the world for just one second? I knew that as each minute passed, I couldn’t go back in time. Talk about major mom guilt. I am blown away by what you have learned, experienced and even taught yourself. Whether you are in my office or not, I’ll always sit with one leg straight out, ready to jump up at any moment. I’ll always leave the door open and I’ll always welcome play time.
You are such a gift. You are first to enter my mind in the morning and the last I think about at night. In fact, I actually don’t think you ever leave this ol’ noggin.
We’re embarking on a new adventure. This time, you’re leading the way. I’ll be right behind you. I can’t wait to hear your stories when you come home. I can’t wait to meet your new friends. I can’t wait to experience school, friendships and challenges through your eyes.
There are no words to describe the way my heart melts when I see you smile, the pain I feel when you are sad and the lengths I would go to make you happy. I love you so incredibly much and am more proud than I ever thought possible.
To my sweet little boy starting kindergarten next week; Show the world what you have to offer and don’t hold back. They have no idea what’s about to hit ’em.
Mel is a friend of mine who has recently moved from Seattle, Washington to Leesburg, Virginia. We’ll just call a spade a spade – she moved to the opposite side of the country. This social butterfly is finding that the east coast isn’t the same as the west coast…at least when it comes to making new friends.
She keeps trying, though.
Mel has told me her stories about attempting to make friends and it’s just not what she had anticipated. First, she went to girls night and THIS happened. She, later, talked her husband into finding people at the park. That story is HERE.
Once you’re all caught up, scroll below to see the continuation to Episode 2.
My husband met a couple at the park that I am FINALLY thinking will work out. That story HERE.
The husband responded.
God, I’m embarrassed to even go any further. Seriously.
He explained that I probably wouldn’t hear back from his wife for a bit because she is swamped with two kids under the age of two. Sure, sure (saying from Cougar Town…if you don’t watch that show then you are missing out tremendously), I totally get it – it might take her a few days to respond. So I think to myself, perfect, I can wait a few days.
Then, he provides me with directions to the nearest Nordstrom Rack. Let’s just stop here so we can all feel the gut punch that I felt. Out of the entire email all he got was ‘Gee, I’ll go ahead and get her on her way to Nordstrom.’ Seriously? I mentioned Nordstrom in my email as a conversation starter, something funny to read, something that would maybe pull them in and give them a little snippet of my effin spectacular personality.
I think we can all agree that my email didn’t land. How could it not land? It was PERFECT. If I would have received that same email I would have cried pure tears of joy and responded with ‘Is now too early to meet for a drink?‘
Whatever. I found the nearest Nordstrom and did buy myself two pairs of Havianas that I rock on a daily basis and even got some M.A.C. powder. I may not have any friends but I REFUSE to roll around without good make up while wearing TEVAS. YES, I was wearing TEVA flip flops for a period of several weeks because I could not find my damn Havaianas. At least that crisis has been handled. Anyway, moving on.
Did the wife respond? Let me sum this shit up to you in one word: NO.
It gets better.
About a week after me sending ‘the’ email to ‘the’ couple, Chris and I were discussing the communication exchange or lack thereof and he says ‘You know what? I remembered them mentioning something about how they enjoyed spending time with their BIBLE STUDY GROUP.’ I literally looked at him, with a straight face and said ‘are you f*cking kidding me BROWN? Nice RECON!’ Here I was thinking my husband would never steer me wrong. Yeah, I take that back. He basically put me on a bike with no helmet covered in honey and told me to go ‘that way’ towards 20,000 feathers. Gosh, he is so sweet.
Meanwhile, Chris is standing there laughing, and at the same time I can feel my bowels dropping because I feel sick about how much of an ass I just made out of myself. Don’t worry, he is STILL laughing while eating something super fattening and I’m just sucking on water. Whatever, I digress.
THEN I SEE THEM AT THE PARK. FML.
Friday night, my daughter, Kennedy, and I head to the park because it’s balls hot and we have nothing better to do with our time since the ARMY scheduled Chris at a four day training event on Mother’s Day Weekend. GO ARMY. Assclowns. Let’s set the stage. It’s just Kennedy and I at the park. It’s a courtyard type situation where all of the townhouses are around me and the sidewalks cover the perimeter of the park. If you are on the sidewalk you have no choice but to see who is at the park. You with me?
‘The’ couple starts walking toward the park with their stroller and two kids. I’m thinking, ‘Oh good god and I don’t even have any booze with me!’ My heart is pounding and I’m at a loss as to WTF I would say once they get to the park. Do I act like I have no clue who they are? Do I smile and wave like an idiot? Do I ignore? Where do I put my hands? Seriously, kill me.
No worries, they came up to the park and took a sharp left AWAY from the park and AWAY from us. Not once making eye contact or even looking in our direction. You might be thinking ‘Well, maybe that couple doesn’t know it’s you.’ I’ll give you that BUT they know who Kennedy is. They all just sat around and played for like an hour. All you moms out there know that you don’t forget another kids face after you play at the park with them for an hour and talk to their parent at the same time and exchange contact information. Right?
Needless to say I’ll be on Google finding a new park where I can drink!