STORIES

My Love Affair with……

Yoga.  It is my “new thing”.

I used to be an avid runner and “lifter of weights” (“weight lifter” sounds very manly).  However, I found that the older I got, the more I needed something a little less jarring on my ever aging bones and joints.

I always thought yoga looked so cool!  I would see Madonna and other celebrities coming out of their yoga classes and I wanted to be like them.  So, I took a yoga class once (it was years ago) at the gym I belong to.  I went in with high expectations, I mean why not?  I was young, healthy, decent looking I could envision myself in the poses.  I mean how hard could ↓ pose be?

Hard!

At first I felt like I really had the hang of it.  But once we got passed the beginning meditation/breathing thing (I had that mastered by the way) things got real intense, and it went really bad fast.  It just wasn’t going like I expected.  The more I worked to get into a pose, the more I looked like a beached seal!   Why do those yoga places have so many mirrors?  I had to have been in some sort of advanced class because I could get into some of the poses but then really couldn’t get back out (well, I thought I was in the poses but ahem, look below for my pic, yes, the seal ↓ ).  I nearly took out some of my yoga classmates (is that what they are called? or is it other yogi’s?) with some of my poses (they were not pretty).  Like really, a foot almost went into someone’s face.  They weren’t impressed with my yoga.

It’s not easy to be aware that your encroaching in someone else’s space when you are twisted like a pretzel.

After all that, I figured that maybe yoga wasn’t for me.

So instead, I started running and doing the “lifting of the weights” thing.  And that went well, until I turned 45, then all hell broke loose.  It’s like my body formed a total revolt.  My joints were screaming at me and I would be so tired at the end of the day, I could barely climb the stairs.  My body was trying to tell me something.

I was forced to look at other types of exercise, and outside of swimming (I would drown, I am a horrible swimmer) and biking (I do like to bike but hard in a blizzard and no, I don’t like riding a stationary bike, BORING).  There didn’t seem like a lot of options and since I had sworn off yoga from my first failed attempt, I was in a conundrum.  So what did I do?  Nothing!  A confused mind does?-yep, nothing, no exercise at all!

I happened upon a magazine about relaxation and exercise and how they are so good for us (duh) and of course, yoga was in there.  The article swore by yoga and its health benefits, so I decided to give it another try (but I definitely was NOT going back to the gym!).

Instead, I found Adriene!  She comes to my house whenever I decide to do a little yoga and it’s absolutely awesome to set my own schedule!  She is patient and encouraging, in fact there are times she says to take a rest through a pose if I need to.  I mean, how amazing is that?  Occasionally she brings along her dog Benji, but he is well behaved.  I know, you are worried about the cost of this type of personal yoga instructing, who wouldn’t be?  But this is the best part, she’s free….on YOUTUBE!

So, it has become my NEW normal routine to get up and meet Adriene in my office before breakfast.  I won’t lie, there are days I think of skipping out but I make myself do a session, and I always feel so good when I am done.  The best part is, I am in the comfort of my own home.  I don’t have to worry about shoving a wayward foot into some poor unsuspecting persons face during a pose.  The best part is that I can choose how short or how long the yoga session is.  I also get to choose which area I need to work on (back, neck, legs, etc).  And most important, I get to choose the complexity of the yoga session!

So why yoga?

  • Yoga connects the mind, body and soul
  • Yoga combines body postures, breathing and meditation
  • Yoga improves your immune system
  • Yoga increases self-confidence
  • Yoga improves concentration and motivation
  • Yoga eases digestion
  • Yoga relieves anxiety, depression and stress
  • Yoga improves your mood
  • Yoga leads to a more positive outlook on life
  • Yoga aids weight loss by improving metabolism
  • Yoga reduces cellulite through muscle stretching
  • Yoga helps you sleep better
  • Yoga improves posture

I have more reasons, there are a ton of benefits but I figured if you have ADD (like me) you gave up about halfway through that list anyway (by the way yoga helps with ADD).

Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and Yoga products.  But you don’t have to.  Pull on your comfy sweats, pull your hair up and find a spot on a rug or mat and invite Adriene into your home for your individual yoga class when YOU decide to.

You will love yoga.  You will love Adriene.  I do!

By the way, there are so many free videos, if you don’t like Adriene (I don’t know how you wouldn’t, she’s lovely) you will find someone on YouTube that you do.

Happy Yoga-ing!

 

STORIES

The Ya Ya Sisterhood

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood!

I love everything about it!  The cast is amazing and the story compelling.

Essentially, it is about the unbreakable bond between a group of friends, whom call themselves the Ya Ya Sisterhood, that spans decades.  This bond and these friendships carry these women through some fun and challenging times.  This story further details the complicated relationships between mothers and their children and the powerful connection that women create with each other over time.  As the movie progresses, we learn about broken hearts, family troubles, public humiliations, nervous breakdowns, and alcoholism. Despite the sometimes silly antics of the Ya Ya’s, the overall feel of this movie is despair over what happens to someone too weak to deal with life’s problems.

The greater story is about the relationship between mother, Vivi and daughter, Sidda.  Both women are locked in a continuing mother-daughter struggle.  Sidda is a successful playwright who makes the mistake of telling Time magazine about her troubled childhood with alcoholic and abusive Vivi. When Vivi reads the Time article, she flies into a rage.   All of this ultimately leads to angry communication between the two women and they end on non-speaking terms.  Enter the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, who decide that the best way to mend the relationship is to help Sidda better understand and empathize with Vivi.

As the movie progresses you are carried though the highs and lows with these woman.

The humor is contagious and the sadness deep.

Part of what Sidda learns is that she and her mother are part of a multi-generational pattern of dysfunctional communication. In their family system, mothers and daughters battle for power, husbands and wives exist in passionless marriages, and alcoholism and abuse are symptoms of unexpressed  frustration and depression.  On a positive note, as Sidda realizes the hardships and heartaches her mother experienced, she is able to forgive her, and Vivi, on her end, accepts responsibility for her failings. The movie succeeds in pulling all the bad and good factors together and gives us a fairly peaceful ending of love and forgiveness.

I understand this movie on a very deep level.  I have always felt that I was Sidda in this movie and of course, Vivi my mother.   Our stories, though not exact, are uncannily similar.  Our relationship was at times, every bit as dramatic as the one depicted in this movie.  And at at other times, we could find the same peace that Sidda and Vivi found.

 Regardless of our struggle, there are things I miss about my mother.  I miss her voice.  I miss her creative ideas.  I miss the fact that my children don’t have their grandmother.   I even miss the things that annoyed me about her.  I wish life would’ve been more simple and easier growing up but then, I would not be who I am today and for that, I am grateful.

“It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride.”  ~Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is a powerful story that will make you laugh and cry.  I hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Madi’s room reveal

It was a busy week but we have completed Madi’s room.

I know that Madi and I were both excited to tackle this update and with the help of her dad and brother we made short work of it!  I recently had a small surgery so a lot of the “heavy lifting and work” fell to Chad (her dad).  I was amazed at how quickly it all came together.  We went shopping (which is like torture with this girl) and Madi got to pick out everything that went in her room!

I was so excited for the finished product!  I love creating!  That is something that we all get from our mother, she had one of the most creative minds I know.

The question though, does Madi love it?  I believe that she does but I think that I am always a bit thunderstruck by the moodiness of a 12 year old girl.  My mother always said I was a “boy mom” and for good reason.  I’m constantly flabbergasted at how to interact with this preteen girl (Madi is my niece by the way).  At her best, she is mature and delightful and at her worst, moody and brooding (which is also sort of an Anderson thing).  I keep asking her if she loves it and her answer is a shrug of the shoulders and a “yeah” which is more like a “mm-yeah”.  She really hasn’t left her room since we have completed it (except to go to school) so I am going to take that as ‘2 thumb’s up’!

Here are the results!  I also am adding in a few before so you can get the affect of the after!

Her room did need an update, it was very “little girl” and a “hodge podge” of items.

She chose her paint color, a trendy shade of grey.  I was ecstatic because I love all shades of grey, what a versatile color choice!

Her closet is the biggest transformation.  It was just an ordinary closet with one shelf and a clothing bar.  We removed that and Chad installed a closet system (DIY=savings), go dad!  The storage in her closet now has quadrupled with the new closet system.

I painted an old desk (purchased from a boutique in town) and bench.  I wanted a little bit of old, antique mixed in.  We also repainted the shelf above her desk (perfect for her nail polish display), a find from Hobby Lobby (I love that place too much).  The sweet bedside lamps were a find at Target.  Yes, I also love Target!  Her “M” got a second life as well.

She got a bigger dresser (a girl of 12 needs a lot of storage). And most importantly, a big girl bed!  We found the bed ensemble at Target, we snagged a great deal!  It is a soft cream, fur comforter and shams with 2 throw pillows!  We also got the curtains at Target (my iron blew up, so ignore the wrinkles).

And then last, her boho tapestry!  We were going to wallpaper the wall her bed sat against but finding wallpaper we could agree on was another obstacle, so we went with the tapestry and then the fairy lights to accent it!

Overall, a success!

Happy updating!

Out in the theater

Marvel Cinematic Universe, what a franchise!

10 years ago they started with the mega hit Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr (one of my all time favorites).  He was made to play the part of Tony Stark!  In fact so much so that at times, I forget that he is really RDJ and not TS.

This week they came out with Avengers Infinity War.  I plan on seeing it with my son and his girlfriend as soon as she gets here this coming week from California (it is killing me to wait).

I have seen every movie since the first Iron Man in 2008 (many more than once).

I love these movies as do many millions of people.  It’s probably the inner child in all of us that yearns to believe in a hero and maybe, believe that we can be heroes, at least while we are watching the movie.

This week we have been watching Avengers movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor and others while getting ready for the grand finale, Infinity War!  It’s fun to watch as my nephew puts aside some of his other toys to break out his Marvel toys, as he watches along with the movies.  It’s amazing where these movies can take us and our imagination!

I realize that at some point the characters that I love; Tony, Steve (aka Captain America), Hawkeye, Nat, Hulk, and Thor will have to “die”.  I haven’t accepted this yet.

I also realize that some of the newer Marvel characters; Starlord, Ant Man, Spider Man, Dr Strange, Vision and all of the others that we have come to appreciate and love, will either take the reigns or also be killed off in a dramatic universe saving (or ending) way.

Change is always hard.  Maybe also, it’s the fact that as these characters age and must be replaced, I realize I too have grown 10 years older along with Iron Man.  There is a letting go of our youth in letting go of some of these characters.  That’s hard to swallow.

But we know that all good things always come to an end.  But I’m hoping not yet.  I am hoping that the current characters make it through to the next galaxy ending event to save the day (and the universe), once again!

In the meantime, if you are a Marvel fan like I am, get to the theater, grab a bucket of buttered popcorn and enjoy the latest installment of the Avenger’s saga!

 

 

Madi’s Room Makeover-planning stage

It’s time to update Madi’s room!  She’s a mature 12 and trying to decide on a theme is a little overwhelming.  I want something that speaks to her age now and something that will take her though the next handful of years until she leaves for college.  She is at the age where she spends more time in her room and I want her to feel like it’s a safe zone to relax and unwind.

Sound impossible?  Lucky for me it is the trending style today and so finding the inspiration has been easy.  I’ve been pinning some ideas for her room.  Our inspiration rooms are definitely a soft and cozy yet, minimal and clean lined room.

We hope to emulate these rooms and then add our own little stamp of *Madi magic* on it as well!

We are ready to get started with the process but as you know, these things take a little planning and time.  I will be posting the before and after pictures, so check back soon for Madi’s Room Makeover!

 

 

STORIES

My True Life Partner(s)

I think what I find most intriguing about sibling relationships is how many people don’t have them.  To me that idea is foreign because my siblings have just simply always been around.  In fact, I find it always a little surprising when my co-workers comment how my little sister, Ally and I get along so well (yep, we work in the same place).  They find us chatting in a corner, often laughing about something or coming up with a new scheme or story.  You may find this weird (because many people do) but when I see my sister at work I always get a little excited (she works supplemental, so that means, not often-lucky girl!).  See the thing is, I don’t find that weird.

Don’t get me wrong, we can fight, pull hair, scratch and punch as well as the rest of any other dysfunctional siblings out there.  But as much as we could do that to each other, if anyone else tried to hurt one of us, they would face the wrath of the other siblings.

There are 9 of us.  I have 3 sister’s Roxy, Dawn and Ally and 5 brother’s Randy, Lon and Chad.  (Daren and Douglas died when they were 22 and an infant, respectively.)  So we are now a living tribe of 7.  And I love my tribe dearly!  More than love, believe it or not we actually kind of like each other.

An article on the cover of Time magazine caught my eye several years ago, it read “your true life partner”.  I was intrigued and so I picked it up thinking, who IS my true life partner?  Turns out it’s my siblings!  The article made a lot of sense though and as I read through it, I couldn’t help but think about how true it was.

It read something like, “Your siblings are with you throughout your life.  Your parents start with you but then they leave you all too soon.  Your spouse or significant other comes later, they may stay or they may go.  Your children come in the middle.  But your siblings will see you off from the start and they will see you to the end”.

Kind of cool.  Kind of profound.

I’m sad for people that don’t know sibling like and love.  I am happy for those that do!  I can’t imagine my life without this crazy Anderson bunch!

To my tribe, we’ve had some great times, some sad times, some confusing times, some hilarious times and some hard times, each situation bonded us even more.

To my Life Partners, here’s to the past and to the future!

XO

 

Exercise

We all KNOW that exercising is GOOD for us but then WHY is it so HARD to do?  The benefits are plenty:

  1. It strengthens the heart
  2. It helps keep arteries and veins clear.
  3. It strengthens the lungs.
  4. It reduces blood sugar levels.
  5. It controls weight.
  6. It strengthens bones.
  7. It helps prevent cancer.
  8. It regulates blood pressure.
  9. It improves energy levels.
  10. It enhances emotional well-being.

But MOSTLY we just FEEL better AFTER we do exercise!

And yet for many of us, we simply do not make a regular habit of exercising!  I am as guilty as the next person, I know I should and yet….I procrastinate almost always.  And yet there are so many ways to exercise that do NOT require going to the gym.  It can be a walk through a meadow or along a beach (if your lucky enough to live by one!).  How about a bike ride through a scenic path or jump in a kayak if you are located near water!  It simply takes opening the door and stepping outside and just enjoying the outdoors as we simply….GET A MOVE ON!

My goal for this year is to do exactly that…..make it a habit to MOVE!