Monthly Archives: March 2013

When You Know Your Family is Complete

I’ve had friends tell me “You’ll just know when you are finished wanting to have more babies.”  It seemed some vague to me…you’ll just know.  How will I know?  Will the two kids I already have drive me to the point of insanity one day and the image of a newborn swaddled in a receiving blanket will no longer seem appealing to me?  Or will I wake up one day and realize the indecisiveness over wanting a third child just isn’t there any more and I can finally get rid of all of the baby stuff that is piled to the ceiling in my basement?  I’ve wondered this since the birth of my daughter for over 3 years and can finally say I understand the “You’ll just know” feeling.

My Baby Boy Nicholas

My Baby Boy Nicholas

This past month has been swamped with baby news.  Friends have been giving birth left and right and pregnancy announcements have been popping up all over the place.  All of this baby news of course made me think, “Maybe we should try for a 3rd.”  I went back and forth with it in my head for days even though my husband had put the idea of a 3rd to rest long ago but I just couldn’t come to peace with it.  Then it hit me, as I was daydreaming about the possibilities of expanding our family, the black cloud of postpartum depression loomed over me.  I suffered from severe postpartum depression after the birth of both of my babies. (Click here to read my postpartum story, Baby Blues to Baby Bliss).  It was to date the most difficult thing I have had to face.  I started to feel the tightening in my chest and the ache in my heart.  I thought of the two beautiful and  healthy children that I was lucky enough to give birth to and how I would never want them to see me go through that nightmare again.  At that moment I JuSt KnEw that I was done having babies and that my family was complete.

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My Baby Girl Abby

I am sure the “You just know” moment is different for every woman.  Whether it is the decision to not have children at all, or to not add any more children to the family you already have.  I suddenly feel a sense of peace knowing that my decision is made and will live each day loving my family of 4.

Please share your “I just knew” moments in the comments section!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Getting Real, Good Life, Hard Reality, Life, Parenthood, Relationships

If You’re Wrong, Admit It

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: If You’re Wrong, Admit It.

Principle:  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

“If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves?  Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?   Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say – and say them before that person has a chance to say them.  The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimized.”  (pg. 137)

“There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the  courage to admit one’s errors.  It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error.’”  (pg. 138)

“Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes  – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.”  (pg. 139)

“Remember the old proverb:  “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”‘  (pg. 142)

Principle:  If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

Click here for beginning post of this series.

Click here for last week’s post.

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships, SelfImprovement, You

Just A Little Heart Attack

I wanted to drop you a quick line pointing you toward an excellent video to watch this weekend. Cardiovascular disease impacts 1 in 3 Americans, and is the leading cause of death in the United States – killing more people than the next 5 most common causes combined.

Women’s symptoms of a heart attack are *VERY* different than those of men, and because they often can mimic fatigue or the common cold, many women don’t realize they are having a heart attack.

Now, for some of you, you may think this video is an exact replica of your LiFe each morning (that’s how I felt!) which is even more of a reason that you should watch this!!

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Filed under Health/Fitness, You

Get Your Posse and Get Your {Exercise} Groove On!

Source:  girlgetstrong.com

Source: girlgetstrong.com

If you read Robyn’s post The Weight Is On yesterday, you can probably relate.  As spring approaches it is just natural to want to get in shape whether you have gained excess winter weight or you’re just feeling like you’ve been stuck inside for way too many months and are needing a ChAnGge oF sCeNeRy.

Sometimes it can be hard to get started when you see the long road ahead to reach your WeiGht-LoSs GoAl.  Afterall, overcoming the inertia can be a difficult thing to do.

On Monday we had a little pep talk and we decided that we would overcome the inertia together.  So we made a 2-MoNtH pAcT to exercise consistently from now to mid-May, basically, the beginning of summer.  It is actually quite motivating when you look at it in the context of  summer being right around the corner.

One thing that really motivated us in our new goal was this website from the National Institute Of Health that can help in your weight loss efforts.  Here’s the link:  http://bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov/ .  It allows you to put in your weight, goal weight, and a few other items.  It will then tell you how many calories you need to consume each day to reach your goal.  We played around on it and found it quite addictive.

(You do need to have Java installed on your computer.  You can install a free version by going to www.java.com ) Here is what the simulator looks like:HWS

Overwhelmed by the idea of tracking your calories?  No worries!  Check out this quick, easy and free calorie counting website:  http://www.myfitnesspal.com/  They also offer a free app for your phone!

So, if you’re like us and you need to overcome inertia, GeT yOuR PoSsE - a group of friends, an exercise group, your neighbors, or family members and get your exercise groove on.  After all, there’s only about 60 days until summer!

Lara, Robyn, & Robynn

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Filed under Hard Reality, Health/Fitness, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, RANDO•RAMA, You

The Weight is On

As we are approaching the warm weather I once again find myself having to deal with the excess weight that I have put on over the winter.  Every year I say I am not going to gain weight during the winter, and every year I find myself in the same predicament.  Last summer I reached my lowest weight since having my kids.  I was so proud of my achievement, but did that stop me from over indulging during the month-long Christmas festivities…NO!  Then once Christmas came and went there was New Years, the Super Bowl, and I can’t forget to mention my new obsession with Golden Oreos.  I watched the numbers on the scale creep up until yesterday I realized I had put on a full 15 pounds since the summer and am once again miserable with what I see in the mirror when the clothes come off.

scale_upload-l

I decided to take out my camera phone and take 3 pictures of myself…front, back, and side views in my bathing suit.  What I saw in the pictures was even worse than the image that had been staring at me in the mirror.  As I said in a past weight loss post (Put On Your Big Girl Panties and Deal With It), to many friends and family members it may not seem like I need to lost weight, but I know that I can do better.  Weight loss isn’t about how you look compared to other people, it is about how you feel about yourself.

Using my pictures as a starting off point, I am excited to get my butt in gear and start working towards the Robyn that I know I can be!  With today being the first day of spring…NOW is as good a time as any to change the eating habits that have crept up through the cold.  Any readers who can relate…GET OUT YOUR CAMERAS and let’s go!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Getting Real, Hard Reality, Life, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You

A Sure Way Of Making Enemies – And How To Avoid It

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: A Sure Way Of Making Enemies – And How To Avoid It.

Principle:  Show respect for the other person’s opinions.  Never say, “You’re wrong”.

“You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words.”  (pg. 123)

“There’s magic, positive magic in such phrases as:  “I may be wrong.  I frequently am.  Let’s examine the facts.’”  (pg. 125)

“Few people are logical.  Most of us are prejudiced and biased.”  (pg. 126)

“We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts…It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem.”  (pg. 126-127)

“If you want some excellent suggestions about dealing with people and managing yourself and improving your personality, read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography… he conquered the iniquitous habit of argument and transformed himself into one of the most able, suave and diplomatic men in American history.”  (pg. 128-129)

“Be diplomatic,” counseled the King.  “It will help you gain your point.’” (pg. 134)

Principle:  Show respect for the other person’s opinions.  Never say, “You’re wrong”.

Click here for beginning post of this series.

Click here for last week’s post.

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Start Over

Good morning Friends!

I am sure eNjoYinG the nice weather we are having in Kansas. We are looking forward to spring break!

Today I wanted to pass along something that has been helpful to our family. The other morning I was fixing Leanne’s hair.  She didn’t like it and combed the braid out.  It upset me because I had worked hard on it and we were running out of time before the bus came.  I told her she would have to figure out how to fix her hair on her own and walked into the other room, upset (probably not the best of parenting!).  To my surprise she walked after me and asked,

“Mom, can we sTarT oVeR?”

I replied, “Sure!”  She stuck out her hand and we shook on it.

She smiled.

In a cheery voice I asked her how I could help her get ready for school, and off we went.  It was as if the short moment of frustration never happened.

SOURCE

SOURCE

Don’t get me wrong, when my kids or husband ask me to “start over” it takes a big swallow of pride to put my anger aside and agree to start fresh.  The human side of us just wants to stew over the problem, which only makes things worse and wastes a lot of time.

But just like ripping it like a band-aid, it only stings for a second!  Do yourself (and your loved ones) a favor by asking if you can START OVER the next time things head in the wrong direction.

Lara

Now that nicer weather is around the corner, do you need help getting motivated to do some spring cleaning? If so, read my “Rip It Like A Band-Aid” post!

 

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Italian Knots with an Easter Twist

Every Christmas and Easter my Grandmother would make batches and batches of her Italian Knots.  They have always been my favorite cookie and I am so glad that she taught be how to make them.  This year I am adding a twist to the traditional knot cookie and shaping the dough into the shape of a bunny!

bunny3

Click here to see my original post on how to make traditional knots.

Recipe:

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

½ lb. butter (2 sticks)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

5 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

Dough:

Melt butter, add sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt…slowly add flour.  Chill dough in refrigerator for an hour.  Form knots or bunnies and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Icing:

Mix confectioner’s sugar, a drop of vanilla, and warm water until you get the consistency you want (I like my icing on this thick side).  Dip tops of cookies into icing and add sprinkles!  EnJoY!

bunny1

bunny2

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA, Recipes

You Can’t Win An Argument

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter: You Can’t Win An argument.

Principle: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

“You can’t win an argument.”  (pg. 117)

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  (pg. 117)

“If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.”  (pg. 118)

“So figure it out for yourself.  Which would you rather have, an academic, theatrical victory or a person’s good will?  You can seldom have both.”  (pg. 118)

Principle: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

Click here for beginning post of this series.

Click here for last week’s post.

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Make a Pact

Every once in a while Doug and I will catch ourselves wAsTiNg a lot of time rehashing an upsetting incident, discussing something negative, or spending way too much time on something that we shouldn’t.  Do you ever do that? Recently, we have done something helpful to avoid these ongoing situations.  We “make a pact” with one another to no longer waste another minute on that specific topic.  When we catch ourselves in a conversation that makes us feel sour, one of us may say, “Okay…for the rest of the month we need to work on not bringing up_______.”  From then on we hold each other accountable by giving “the look” or a quick reminder when conversations head the wrong direction.pinky-swear1

Is there something that you are doing, saying or thinking about that you need to nip in the bud?  By regurgitating the same negative conversations you are adding unnecessary depression to your day AND to those around you.  Doug and I always have to remember…the kids are aLwAys watching and listening!!  Whatever we talk a lot about, they will believe!

What conversations can you remove from your life by mAkiNg a pAcT to stop?  Don’t forget, with the help of someone else, you can achieve this goal much easier and catch old habits before they creep back in your life!

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Marriage, Relationships