I'll take chaos and order for $1,000 please Alex...

"What are two things that can't exist independently of each other?"  Ding ding ding ding!!!  WINNER!  The sooner I realize this, the sooner I will stop falling onto the floor in a heap of tears trying to figure out why I can't catch up.  My consolation?  Knowing that I am not alone in this.  A respected friend offered the wisdom that the stage of life that my family is in right now is the "destructive years".  I believe her and think that is a very accurate description!  I also feel a sense of relief, because her four children are grown or almost grown and they are good kids, and their home is a beautiful home and they are all sane and have lived to tell about it!  :) 

One very "normal" element of my home these days is a pile of garbage swept from any given room in the house and a hole waiting to be patched or a patched hole waiting to be finished!  Sadly, sometimes I don't even notice unless someone is coming over.  LOL!

Three weeks into 2012, I find myself at a very familiar place...weary of the resolutions that I have made.  Reluctant to forge on.  Discouraged because of the fact that in three little weeks, my house isn't sparkling, I'm not a size 6, we haven't cut our mortgage in half, I can't find the stack of important papers that I put in a safe place...   I jest of course, because I didn't really expect all of those things to happen in three weeks, but my exxagerated point is that I feel deflated because I don't feel an amazing amount of progress for the amount of effort that I've exerted. 

I have learned been reminded that many things come down to creating good habits and eliminating bad ones. When good is practiced there isn't as much room for the bad and therefore resolutions become reality.

Shouldn't it be a relatively simple concept:  1.  organize a room and it stays that way because EVERYONE ALWAYS puts things back where they belong immediately?  2.  Exercise 6x/week like a maniac and reduce caloric intake by 1,000/day and watch the pounds fall off the scale?  3.  Tighten the spending belt considerably and not worry about the account balance toward the end of the month? 

This is where I typically begin to fail.  I want immediate results.  You know, the kind that I got before I had kids, a crazy schedule, and an age that began with a number above 2!  But this time, I remind myself of my most amazing life because of the gifts God has given me and the idea that I am trying to accomplish results that will offering life lessons to my family in the process. 

I'm thankful that I have been able to avoid much temptation regarding food.  We've been eating healthy, filling foods, and apparently somewhere in there, I'm getting what I need, because I'm not craving sweets 24 hours of the day.  I've reaquainted myself with Quinoa (keen-wa) and replaced rice with it in several recipes.
Mexican quinoa...although we still call it rice and beans!

Breakfast quinoa with agave nectar and blueberries

Healthy Nachos...bell peppers instead of chips. 

I even made brownies, replacing the eggs and oil with pureed black beans...know one even suspected something unusual!  Nice way to have a fairly guilt-free treat.  (135 calories, 2.5 g fat)  So, between eating much better (basically eliminating M&Ms, cookies, and senseless snacking) and participating in some high-intensity group fitness classes that kick my rear end, I have stayed motivated and felt successful.  I even bought a new scale and weighed myself on Tuesday morning--basically at 2 weeks--and was pleasantly surprised to see 169.4 pounds.  It's not hard to stay focused when there are results.  HOWEVER,  on Friday morning, the scale remains the same exact amount and I feel the let-down.  Still not giving in though.  Early plateaus stink!
We "cooked" play dough too as a substitute for baking cookies. Seemed to do the trick.

BUT...last weekend something new transpired...Tim and I agreed to a friendly competition with my mom and dad.  In teams (my mom and I, and Tim and my dad), we will compete with each other for a greater percentage of weight loss by July 1.  BRING IT!  I promise, I will not try to sabatoge my husband, but I will fiercely compete to win.  :)

Part two of our main resolutions:  Finances.  We live comfortably.  We have things we don't need.  We enable each other to spend unwisely often, resulting in bad habits, and ultimately we realize that we're not being the best stewards of God's gift that we can be.  We have begun a study that currently requires us to record every penny of money spent on a weekly basis for a month.  So far, we are not surprised and haven't learned anything we don't already know...but it is definitely a good reminder for us of how we want to live.  Nothing is cheap these days!  It is challenging to stay organized enough to not spend foolishly, bringing me right back to that re-revelation of how organization will lead me to success...but also that I must meet my own expectations where I am at in life right now without excuses.

I feel that this is a boring update, but an update none-the-less.  I must go and prime dry wall patches, plan dinner and record my spending.  :)  Trying to achieve a little order amidst the chaos.