In the Spirit of Thanksgiving….

  • I am thankful for my family
    (Photo credit: exploredc.org)
    (Photo credit: exploredc.org)
  • I am thankful for my friends
  • I am thankful for my loud but oh-so-lovable dogs
  • I am thankful for my home and my great neighborhood
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to be in school
  • I am thankful for the opportunities that have come my way as a result of my education
  • I am thankful for the fabulous professors who have guided me through this journey
  • I am thankful for the coffee that has gotten me through some long days of homework
  • I am thankful for the Public Relations Student Society of America.  Joining this organization during my first semester of school changed the course of my time in college.
  • I am thankful for the support I have received from family, friends, acquaintances, schoolmates and faculty since I have gone back to school.  It truly has helped me through this wild ride!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

The spring semester is in full swing for me—so far so good. With the Martin Luther King holiday this past Monday, I haven’t even had a full two weeks of school.  Ask me in a month how it’s really going, as it’s kind of hard to tell right now.

One of the things I struggled with when I went back to school was meal planning and making sure I was eating right.  It’s easy to get caught up in cafeteria food for breakfast and lunch and then do take-out or prepackaged processed garbage for dinners for the family.  It’s a vicious cycle when dealing with crazy schedules for all of us and we are just trying to get through every day without losing our minds.

Around Christmas, I became frustrated with myself.  I’d put on 10 pounds since I started school in the fall of 2011 and even then, I’d wanted to lose a few.  There I was on Christmas, really irritated that my wedding rings and jeans were really tight.  On December 27, I contemplated re-joining Weight Watchers.  I’m a Lifetime member, meaning and I reached and maintained my goal at one point.  My frustration with WW is the push for their processed low point foods.  I realize it’s a business, but the push for that stuff by certain leaders always bothered me.  When I did lose and maintain, it was with a leader who wanted her members to eat real foods.  I decided instead to use My Fitness Pal to log my calories and really try to learn more about nutrition and health and not just focus on “getting the most bang for my buck” in terms of calories.  It was going to be a challenge, but I really wanted to educate myself on this.

My husband and I watched the documentary Hungry for Change on Netflix over that weekend.  What an eye-opener!  We realized then that we needed to eat cleaner, more wholesome foods and also educate our children on this, as well.

Since then, I’ve lost almost 8 pounds.  My husband has lost about 10.  I’ve incorporated exercise back in to my life.  I had pretty much stopped exercising when I started school last year, despite a love of spinning.  My back started bothering me when I went back to school from carrying a way-too-heavy messenger bag and one of my joints near my hip was messed up for a while. I’ve been exercising regularly without pain and I feel good.  We’ve really changed the way we eat and changed how we shop for food.  We read ingredient labels now.  I had no idea that there was high fructose corn syrup in the supposedly whole wheat bread we’d been buying for years.  Ick.

We’ve made some positive changes.  It’s a challenge to fit everything in, but it’s what we need to do in order to maintain our health and embrace an overall sense of well-being.  After all, life can’t be just about working hard.

photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com
photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

"I’d like to thank the academy….."

OK, not really, but I would like to thank my friends and family for their support in this endeavor this semester.

I am officially done with my first semester back to college.  I took my last exam today and while I know I have a long way to go in getting my degree, the first semester is done and I know I can do this.  It was not easy.  I had to give up some of my perfectionism when it comes to my home and cleaning and laundry and such.  I have had to learn to forgive myself when I mess up-especially when my little guy came home from his piano school holiday party last week and said I forgot to send him with a gift for the Yankee Swap.  Oops.

Things will not be perfect on this journey and it’s not going to be easy.  Next semester involves five classes, as opposed to this semester’s four, and I am working on a national public relations competition, but I’m doing what I love.

I have work to do for the PR campaign while I am on break, but I am looking forward to getting some things in order around the house and enjoying some time to read books that aren’t textbooks and maybe watch some TV.  I hope I can have lunch with some old friends and some of the new friends I made at school–lunch that isn’t in a dining hall would be fabulous!

Before I can do all of that, though, I need to catch up on the laundry that I’ve slacked on and write my to-do list for the week so I can be ready for Christmas.  I will, however, be going out to pick up a novel of some sort to read tonight when I take my son to his appointment.  I usually wait in the waiting room and do homework.  Tonight I can relax while I am there, and after I get home, I will enjoy a glass of wine and relax some more.

A lovely day off….

Let me begin by saying Happy Veterans Day to all the vets out there!

I got to enjoy a day off with the boys today.  It was enjoyable and productive–the best of both worlds.  We went to get Christmas photos done.  Now, I don’t usually do professional Christmas photos.  I usually take my own picture of the boys for our cards, but this year I just didn’t have the patience or time.  It was nice to get the boys dressed in their holiday sweaters and and go to the mall, armed with coupons, of course.  The little bit extra I spent, compared to my DIY cards, was worth it because it’s November 11th and the cards are done and in my house.  Now I just have to address them and mail them.  I even have the stamps. I’m hopeful that they will be addressed and ready to go by Thanksgiving weekend and my card recipients will be astounded that Amy the college student is still efficient with her cards.  🙂

We also lucked out and were able to get a picture with Santa today, too.  I am usually one to complain that this is too early to do all of this Christmas preparation because Thanksgiving is still about two weeks away, but I had to do these things when I had the time.  Once Thanksgiving hits, I’m going to be dealing with finals and end of the semester projects and such.

I also wondered how I was going to feel about the holidays this year.  Was I going to be stressed?  Was I going to be prepared and just pace myself to get through?  Was I going to be able to even get into the spirit before finals are over?  How the heck am I going to play Super Mom and Super College Student and give my family a memorable holiday season?  The one thing I’ve figured out over the last few weeks is that things will get done.  The most difficult part of my semester is over.  I will have three final exams, but they are spread out in a way that I should be OK.  I shouldn’t lose my mind too much.  I have convinced my hubby that we should aim to get some decorations up and at least our artificial white tree up over Thanksgiving weekend and then we’ll probably get our real tree the following weekend, but he might be on trimming duty.

It will get done, it will all be fine and I will enjoy it.  When you see these adorable faces, how can you not get into the holiday spirit?