Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Crazy Week, a Big Change, and Upcoming Posts

These past couple of weeks have flown by. Here it is, already the middle of the first week of school. I can hardly believe it!

I have some review posts in the works, but I thought I'd give you another updatey post for today. Hope you don't mind. ;)

I snapped this adorable shot of my girls and my mom on their way to Subway after a day of school shopping. This was last Friday, when I was frantically trying to get all of my last errands before school done. :} We made it, but it was quite a long day.

On Saturday, the girls got new haircuts for school. Here they are before cuts (Little Gal, Middle Gal, and Oldest Gal).

Waiting for their turn. :) Kit came with us because Little Gal wanted a "Kit cut" for her new hairstyle. I figured the easiest way to explain it to the hairdressers would be to just bring her with us. Which, of course, gave us some cute photo ops. ;) 

And here they are after their cuts.

Middle Gal

Little Gal, with Kit in tow. ;) She does look very much like her special doll now. :) (Although she informed me she needs freckles to look exactly like her.) ;)

Oldest Gal

Oldest Gal also decided to get her bangs cut for the first time in about six years. She's enjoying them, but realizing that having bangs makes hair care a little more complicated. ;)

On Monday, the girls had their first day of school. 

Oldest Gal is in sixth grade and started her first year of Middle School. It's on the same campus, but is in a different building with different teachers. She was a little nervous at first, but is really enjoying Middle School so far. :)

Middle Gal is a fourth grader this year. She was sad that her best friend she made last year is no longer at the school, but she's having a good week so far and is making some new friends.

Little Gal is a big second grader this year. She's having a great time and enjoying her teachers.

I can't believe they're that old! Where has the time gone?

As for me, I've been enjoying having a bit of time to myself during the day. :) We had a wonderful summer together, and for the first time in the past few years, I felt an honest, bittersweet twinge as I dropped my children off at school. Usually, I'm the mom counting the days 'til school starts again. ;) 

I've been plugging away at my book and finished editing another chapter this week. Slow and steady wins the race, right? ;)

A picture of my awesome shelf by the computer, just because it makes me smile. :) I love filling my work space with things that brighten my day and inspire my creativity. 

In other news, I've taken a huge step towards good health and signed up for a gym membership and a class there that focuses on both fitness and nutrition. The class begins on August 31st. It will start out at two days a week and end up at five, and will last until November. In the meantime, I'm doing some small group training with a personal trainer there so that I have at least a slight idea of what to do when I start the other class. ;) I've decided to record a series of short vlogs, sharing my thoughts on the experience. Hopefully, someday I'll be able to look back on them and see how far I've come. ;)

 Here are the vlogs I've done so far. The first is a basic intro/update video I did, and the second two are my first two Gym Vlogs:

Random Updates Vlog

Gym Vlog #1

Gym Vlog #2

I've never been more nervous about anything in my entire life (and I get nervous about a LOT of stuff). But after surviving my first day of a small group session, I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing. I didn't die! ;) I was actually able to do what my trainer asked me to do...aside from some minor beginner's mistakes on form and such. 

Honestly, the hardest part was getting there over thirty minutes early and not knowing what to do. I spent a long time in the locker room, working up the courage to leave the safety of the lockers. (Yoga pants are not the most confidence inspiring attire, people!) ;) I walked around on the bottom floor for a while, watching some of the other members. I think I was making one gal uncomfortable, which made me feel bad. I just wanted to see what I should expect from my own class. Maybe standing off to one side, sipping my water and watching her work with her trainer was a bit too much. :} 

My trainer had told me it would be good to stretch before the workout, but here lies one of my other problems. I have no clue how to stretch correctly. I certainly have no interest in stretching in public, pretending I know what I'm doing. Not at this point, anyway. So instead, I walked back and forth a little bit more. A couple of people were watching my awkward attempt at blending in...which wasn't working AT ALL. One of them was an older guy on an exercise bike who seemed amused by my discomfort, in a kind way, not a "look at that sorry loser" way.

I finally decided to head to the upstairs section. It was empty, so at least I could be awkward without an audience. ;) I tried the treadmill for about a minute...maybe. I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing, though, and people on the bottom floor could see me again. (The middle of the top floor was open, looking down on the bottom floor.)  Besides, I was going just fast enough to make it move, and that's about it. Forgetting the treadmill, I went over to the exercise bikes. I have one of those at home, so I figured I could probably do okay on one of those. They were spin bikes, slightly different than mine, and the seats were so high I couldn't get on them. I tried to figure out how to adjust them, but I was afraid to fiddle too much. 

Since I didn't want to accidentally break a spin bike on my first day, I settled on walking back and forth upstairs. No one had to know I was in a professional gym and ignoring the equipment. ;) It killed time and got me loose and limbered up for the workout.

I headed downstairs about five minutes before the scheduled class time. The older guy who'd been on the bike was in the area where the class was to take place. He was very friendly and introduced himself. I instantly felt at ease. He wasn't the macho, too cool for you gym guy type I'd expected, but was very kind and down to earth. He even was a retired UPS driver! ;) 

It was just the two of us and the trainer for the class. Once the class actually began, everything was wonderful. I'm not the best athlete, and I mess up A LOT, especially on form since I've never trained before. But having someone right there, telling me what to do and demonstrating it for me first, was just what I needed. Having another member there who messed up every once in a while made me feel better, too. I wasn't the only non-perfect gym member. ;) 

And that about sums up the first day. Except for the fact that my thighs are protesting every time I stand up or sit down. I hope I can move tomorrow. ;) 

I'll try not to bog you guys down with too many details on the exercising thing. This is, after all, a doll and toy review blog. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten. I just wanted to remember the awkward goofiness of this first day. Someday, I'll walk into that gym with head held high, a woman on a mission who knows exactly what she is supposed to do. 

And then, maybe I can find some other awkward newbie and let her know that it's all going to be okay. :)


I've got lots of actual doll and toy-related posts coming up, so don't despair if you're tired of hearing about me instead. ;) Stay tuned!


Kirren said...

Aww, your girls look so cute!

Feeling awkward because I don't know what to do is exactly why I avoid our school gym like the plague. Maybe sometime I'll get the courage to go, like you did. (I have to say, having you as a role model is giving me some courage to go.) :) I hope it goes well for you!

Meritre said...

I don't know how others feel but I like these personal posts as much as the toy related posts, there is always something interesting in them and it often shows that I'm not alone with a problem or another.

Aileen said...

It was nice to read about your journey into exercise since I'm kind of in the same boat. My son starts pre-school on Monday and I decided that I'm going to join a gym and attend while he's at school. I'm hoping that since I'll be going around midday that there won't be too many people there. I'm pretty self conscious about working out in front of athletic, fit people since I'm quite overweight. I also went to see a nutritionist for the first time yesterday. I'm hoping I can get to a healthy weight so I can run around with my son without being held back by my size. I wish you the best with your new exercise routine, glad to see you're enjoying it so far.

NovaBabe said...

Good luck! I haven't worked out in over 6 months, and am trying to convince myself to find the time, since I work full time a 45 minute drive from home, and I live 15-20 minutes from any town/city. I need to start going again, maybe seeing someone go will help with my own motivation.

Karina B. said...

Yay, another post! =D I love your updatey posts, by the way. =) It's fun to see what's going on in your life! Wishing you much inspiration as you continue plugging away at your book; I can't wait to read it someday! ;)

MoxieFun said...

Good luck! You have wonderful children and you're amazing mom. God bless U!

MyLittleMegara said...

A "Kit cut," aah that is so perfect! :) Everybody's hair looks great, and I have your Rainbow Dash shirt. ;} Good luck with your exercise program!! I know you can do it!

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments, everyone. :) It made my week to read them. :)

Kirren, I'm glad I've given you some courage. I'm learning to embrace the awkwardness that is me. It's not easy, but I think it's good for us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone sometimes. ;) I hope things go well for you, too!

Aileen, wishing you all the best as you start your new journey. I completely understand how difficult it is to walk into a gym full of athletic people. Praying that you'll find a place that is as welcoming and supportive as I have. :) Hang in there! Wish you were local so we could be brave together. ;)

Thanks, NovaBabe! :) I don't want overwhelm the blog with too many gym-related things since it's not the focus here, but I thought that it might be fun and encouraging for some of my readers. It seems like a lot of us are in that same spot of needing encouragement and motivation in the exercise department. ;) Have a great weekend!

Hi Karina! Nice to hear from you. :) Glad you enjoy these posts.

I got another chapter or two done yesterday. I can't wait 'til it's done so I can share it with all of you! :D

Aww, thanks so much, MoxieFun. :) God bless you, too!

Hi, MyLittleMegara! :) That's what I thought, too. :) Little Gal looks adorable in it. I'm so happy the cuts turned out nicely.

How fun that we have the same shirt! Did you get yours at Party City? Mine was a birthday gift from my mom. She'd seen me looking at it at Party City several times and decided to get it for me. :)

Thanks for the encouragement, too. If I'm ever feeling unsure of myself, I'll just pop over here again and read all of your sweet comments! :D

MyLittleMegara said...

Hahaha, yes, it was at Party City!! I love how it has Dashie on the front and back. :)

beastsbelle said...

Me too! :D

Lisa Neault said...

I would like to encourage you to keep at it. I started with a gym and trainer last year in the new year, after watching my mother pass away in November /December on life support of 2013. I made a decision that I would never let my health get so out of control to that point as she had. I know that sounds drastic, but it has been a year long process and I worked with my trainer for three months and then developed a system of walked 2-3 miles in the morning on my own, with swimming in the pool. I was and am very overweight and you have to develop a workout that works for you, that makes you feel comfortable, and not nervous, and it sounds like you have a good trainer that is helping you. That's REALLY important. It has been a long haul for me but the good news is I have lost about 22 lbs and been able to keep it off. That's a pretty big milestone and you will too. Keep a positive note, the more you do, the more you will love it.

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
I loved hearing the more personal side of what you've been up to. I've been watching your vlogs and even though we don't really "know" each other, I've been reading your blog for a year now so I feel like I sort of do and I'm so proud of you!
You are definitely not alone. I've been athletic most of my life and played a lot of team sports in high school, but joining a gym as an adult was very scary for me as well. I felt many of the same feelings you did about the equipment and being afraid to fiddle with the adjustments to make it correct for my size, etc or even knowing which exercise to do with which weight.
It will get so much easier as you are probably already noticing! It's great that you have a trainer as she can really teach you how to do everything and that discomfort will melt away.
It's great that you are using your blog to inspire others to tackle their fears and plod through their discomfort because there will be so many good things that come out of this.
Good luck this week! :)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lisa. Congratulations on all you've accomplished! :D I know it isn't going to be easy, but I'm ready to take this journey for my health and quality of life. There are health issues in my family that I would like to avoid as well. Heart conditions, strokes, cancer, diabetes, you name it. I'd like to do everything I can to keep in good health. And, to be perfectly honest, I'm ready to be okay with what I see in the mirror each morning, too. ;) It's amazing, though, how working towards better health makes me less stressed about where I am now.

I'm already enjoying my time at the gym, even though it's been one of the most challenging things I've ever tried, both physically and emotionally. I'm looking forward to getting better and better at each exercise challenge I encounter. :)

Thank you again for stopping by and sharing your story. Have a blessed week. :)

Hi Farrah Lily! I'm so glad you've been enjoying the vlogs and these posts. I'm not always great at responding to comments right away with my current schedule, but I always love hearing from you. :) Your encouraging words always make my day. :D I feel like I "know" you too, so I completely understand what you mean. ;) Thanks for being such a great online friend. It's so special to be able to share this journey with you and all of the other wonderful people I've met here. I figure if I can encourage even one person to try something new that improves their health or quality of living, then it's worth it. ;)

Thanks for all of your wonderful comments, everyone! :)