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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’


Happy Monday!

This is day 29 of our Whole30 adventure and I have to say, I’m amazed at how relatively easy it has been. Most importantly, my wonderful AH has been totally onboard with the plan – I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. We’ve also had a great Facebook group – these folks have shared recipes, given encouragement and helped us all stay on track. We’re even continuing the group after W30 is over – everyone has noticed so many positive changes we don’t want to quit!

I am eager to continue trying new recipes, looking for ways to slowly add back in some things (like…wine…not gonna lie, I’ve missed wine!) and maintaining my new healthy lifestyle.

I’d love to hear your Whole30 experiences! Please comment and let’s start a conversation!

To your health!

Lori

P.S. My music career is taking off! You can hear some of my music and see videos at: http://www.loriyearymusic.com

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This will be a multi-part blog, so bear with me. There’s a lot of ground to cover!  Parenting is an interesting proposition. It is at times wonderful, challenging, harrowing and seemingly impossible, but always, always worth every ounce of effort you invest.

When Awesome Husband (AH) and I started talking about having children, we had very specific ideas about how to raise them. We had watched other parents (good and bad) and determined that our kids would not be perfect (duh!), but they would be well-behaved, respectful and relatively well-adjusted. We acknowledged that it wouldn’t be easy, but we agreed – which is the first key to parenting well.

Agreement is critical to raising good kids. Critical. It is also imperative. As parents, your job is to come to an understanding early on (preferably before you have children) about how you are going to discipline, encourage, edify and help your children grow into responsible adults. I created an “ABC’s of Parenting” that I believe served us well. I think our grown daughters would agree – we weren’t perfect, but we were pretty consistent when it came to raising them!

So, let’s get started.

AAccept your children for the awesome individuals God created them to be. Acknowledge that each child’s personality, learning style, and emotional makeup will be completely different than their siblings. Appreciate those differences and celebrate them. Be Aware of how each child addresses challenges and problems. Help them understand that God created them to be who they are and he doesn’t make mistakes! Be ready to Apologize when you, inevitably make mistakes. This one was really hard for me, because it had not been well modeled by my own parents. It took me a while, but I learned to say “I was wrong” when I really messed up with my kids.

BBelieve in your child’s abilities and inherent goodness. Bless your children daily. Whether it’s a simple “I love who you are”, “You are awesome” or praying over them before they start their day, blessing your children will set them up for success. Balance your life so that you have time for your kids. Every day. No matter how busy you are, be available if they need to talk. I remember there were days when we were so tired the last thing we wanted to do was listen to elementary/middle/high school drama, but we knew it was important so we set aside time for each of the girls. Don’t hesitate to set Boundaries for your kids. Even if they rail against it, every child really wants boundaries. They need to know what the rules are, and that the rules aren’t situational. Make a rule and stick to it. Draw a line in the sand and don’t waiver. But think it through, carefully, so you don’t have to reverse yourself later!

That’s probably enough to chew on for now. I’d love your feedback – and if you have questions, please let me know! I don’t pretend that we are/were perfect parents. Far from it. Just two human beings doing the best we can with the experience God gave us on this journey. Hopefully it helps.

Up next: CDE

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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My Awesome Husband (AH) and I recently celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. It’s quite a milestone for us, and one we plan to celebrate thoroughly.  We started by simply dancing in our living room to some great James Taylor songs. Looking back over the years I can pinpoint times that challenged us, threatened to divide us, brought us closer and strengthened our love for each other. Sometimes all those things happened at one time! We’ve been through a lot together, and I can honestly say we’re stronger and more in love now than ever before. That’s not to say our marriage is perfect by any stretch – we are two very flawed human beings who decided to get married – and stay married – no matter what life brought our way.

Marriage is tricky. It brings together two people from very different backgrounds, belief systems, schools of thought and puts them together in the most intimate relationship on earth. We lived in different cities throughout our dating and engagement – never living in the same town until after we got married. There was no “normal” dating relationship, so there were a lot of things that never got discussed or dealt with. So much we didn’t know about each other! A long distance relationship is definitely not something I would recommend.

I came from a family where my mom was basically the one in control. Dad was great, but he generally just went along with whatever my mom wanted. Rhett’s parents worked as partners and made most of their decisions together, but his dad was definitely the head of the family. Needless to say our first few years were difficult as we navigated through the dynamics of those differing views. I fully expected AH to just go along with whatever I decided we needed to do. Not so much. We had many heated discussions about how decisions were going to be made in our family. For about 7 years.

You see, we’re both fairly stubborn, so it wasn’t easy to come to agreement. I wanted AH to just give it up and let me run things, but he didn’t see it that way. After many tears, arguments and frustration I finally realized that what I really wanted was to have someone else take the reins of our relationship, so I quit fighting it and truly let God become the third person in our marriage. AH and I agreed that God knew better than we did the best direction for our family and it made all the difference. We prayed through decisions and didn’t move forward until we both felt comfortable with it. We really talked through a problem, took it to God and allowed Him to help us sort it out. It didn’t mean things always ran smoothly, but it was so, so much better!

When we allow God to lead and guide in our marriage, let Him “drive” so to speak, we find that the road is a lot less bumpy, twisty and rough. We still have to constantly adjust our attitudes. Feelings still get hurt. Difficult times are guaranteed. Toes occasionally get stepped on. But we’re still dancing. And that’s what really matters.

Taking joy in the journey after 31 years,

Lori

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Do or Do not. There is no try. The wise words of Yoda from Star Wars. Now that I am in the “maintenance” part of my weight loss/health journey, the statement makes a lot of sense. When I embarked on my weight loss program, I realized one of the pitfalls that had plagued (and sabotaged) my previous efforts. My words. I would say things like “I’m trying to lose X pounds”, “I would like to lose about X pounds”, etc. See what I mean? I would get all excited about losing weight, then when it didn’t come off fast enough I would get frustrated and give up. Granted, I have a propensity to start things and not finish them, but this was a pattern I desperately needed to change.

I’m still not sure why this weight loss journey has been so different. I know I’m different. This time my attitude is “I am going to lose 25 pounds”. “I will be healthier and more fit”. “I will keep the weight off!” There was no try, only do. I am determined. I am resolute. And I succeeded.

There are times in life when trying just isn’t enough. We have to purpose to do something or it will never get done. I had to decide to do something about my weight. Trying wouldn’t get it done. I had to make up my mind, devise a plan and put that plan into action. And I had to do this for me.

Too often we come to a decision about losing weight based on what others think or say. My awesome husband (AH) never chided me about my weight. Never said I looked fat. Never rejected me because of my weight. And I will be forever grateful for that unconditional love. Every time I’ve gone on a diet before it was because I thought someone else wanted me to lose weight. Wrong motivation. Recipe for failure. This time, I decided I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to be more fit. I wanted to be thinner. I decided, I did the work, I made it happen. And this time, there’s no going back.

This will sound like the opposite of what I just said, but it’s true: I did have support on this journey. I had cheerleaders to encourage me along the way. AH and my wonderful daughters, friends and co-workers encouraged me every day. When I thought about giving up, they reminded me how far I’d come. I literally could not have done it without them. They were the glue that held me together when I felt like falling apart.

What’s stopping you from losing weight? Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it takes time and effort to prepare healthy meals instead of eating “fast” food. Yes, it’s a pain to log your meals and exercise. Yes, it takes a while to actually see the scale numbers move downward. Yes, drinking more water means you’ll have to pee more often. I know all that. But I promise you, it will be worth it when the pounds start coming off, your clothes fit looser and people start to notice. You will feel better. You will be healthier. You might even be happier. It’s worth it.

There is no try. Just do it.

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

P.S. If you like this blog, please rate it! I’d love to hear your comments on this or any of my posts. It’s nice to know people actually read this thing!

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Summer is finally here and vacation is upon us. Our family will head off to Table Rock Lake in Missouri soon and I can’t wait! Table Rock has been a family tradition for 20 years and it never gets old. We’ve been on other vacations, but with the exception of one year (which we vowed never to do again) it’s been our refuge since our youngest girls were 6 and 8 years old.

My awesome husband (AH) has been going to Table Rock since he was 6 years old. His family camped there every summer for 3 weeks, and he says it’s really the only “home” he knew during those growing up years. They moved a lot because of his dad’s job, so the lake was one of the few constants in his life. His fondest childhood memories are linked to the time he spent in the Ozarks and he was keen to share it with us. So, in 1994 we bought out first family ski boat and began what would be a family tradition.

City girl that I am, I wasn’t too sure how I would like the whole camping thing. And I really wasn’t sure how our youngest girls would like it. My planner husband had a list for everything and we were well prepared for the adventure. The girls peppered us with questions the whole way (7+ hours) to the lake, and were genuine troopers as we set up camp and got settled. They both learned to waterski that year, and entertained us with water ballet and musical shows from the water every night. At the end of the week, we held our breaths as we pulled out of the campground. Would they want to come back? Very soon we heard a chorus of “That was awesome! Can we come back next year?” and knew we had them hooked.

We’ve invited friends and family to join us at the lake every year, and everyone says it is indeed an amazing place. Our best friends have been going with us since 1999 and it wouldn’t be the same without them. There’s something so peaceful and restorative about the lake. No matter what month we choose it seems to be just the right timing every year. It’s our oasis in the middle of what is always a busy summer.

Someday AH and I will have a lake house and retire (at least part time) at Table Rock. For now we’ll go as often as we can, knowing that peaceful place is just a few hours away. It is enough.

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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Mother’s Day was yesterday and I am blessed with 3 of the most amazing daughters on the planet. I am also blessed with many, many “adopted” daughters who have enriched my life in more ways than I can count. Rhett and I didn’t set out to be great parents. We just wanted to be consistent, loving, patient and above all, led by God as we raised our girls. I’ve said many times, if ever a man was created to father daughters (and do it extremely well), it’s my awesome husband. But as wonderful as it is, it’s not easy.

I can’t count the number of times someone has asked when we’re writing a book about raising girls. It’s a huge compliment that people think we’ve done it well, but humbling too. We are not perfect parents. We made (and still make) plenty of mistakes and have had to regroup many times throughout our parenthood.  We decided very early (before we ever had kids!) there were several “non-negotiables” where our children were concerned:

  1. Our children would know that God loves them and that Jesus died for their sins.
  2. Our children would be respectful of us and other adults. We’d seen too many children who talked back, sassed, and basically disrespected their parents.
  3. Whining was never an option. Fingernails on a chalkboard. Not happening.
  4. Consistency. There was no moving target when it came to discipline. There was a line. It did not move.
  5. Our children would be able to behave appropriately in public. No running around and causing trouble in a restaurant. We left restaurants many times when the girls would not settle down and behave.
  6. We would not bribe our children to behave. If you set the standard of behavior early, your life will be infinitely easier the older they get.
  7. We would present a united front in every situation. We would not be played one against the other.
  8. We told our children we loved them every day. Several times. Our love was never conditional. Ever.
  9. We talked to them. A lot. No subject was off limits and we never, ever laughed at them or belittled their thoughts or ideas. Dinner every night (with few exceptions) with the family was our way to stay connected with the girls.
  10. Discipline was swift and appropriate to the offense. There was no “wait until your father gets home”. We used the “1-2-3” method until they were old enough to be stopped with “the look”.
  11. We taught our girls to dream. Nothing was out of their reach. If they wanted to achieve it, we would support and encourage them until they reached their goal. Or change their minds and went in a different direction.

I have more, but I’ll leave you today with this thought: “Conspicuously absent from the Ten Commandments is any obligation of parent to child. We must suppose that God felt it unnecessary to command by law what He had ensured by love.” ~Robert Brault

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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Allow me to introduce myself. My “new” self. More confident, happier, healthier and 17 pounds lighter than on January 1, 2012. 20 pounds lighter than this same time, last year. At my lowest weight in over 15 years. Cholesterol is within normal range. Blood pressure is actually lower than my normal 110/70 (88/60 today!). I have more energy and feel better than I have in years. I can hardly believe this is me.

I’ve become a health “evangelist” of sorts. I really try not to be annoying, but like anyone who has a great experience with something, I just naturally want to share it. Not to get all crazy and weird, but because I believed the diet hype for too many years that there was a magic quick fix for my weight loss needs. A “magic bullet” if you will. Drink this shake, take these pills, eat this combination of foods and you’ll lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks – GUARANTEED!!!!! Not. I really, really wanted to believe it – and tried pretty much every advertised product and diet out there. I lost a few pounds, but always gained it right back because I didn’t make any real lifestyle or most of all, attitude changes.

I went for my annual exam recently and heard the words I’ve waited years to hear: “You look great” – from my doctor! He asked how I’ve lost the weight and was so pleased when I said “believe it or not, with diet and exercise”. He said too many times his patients come in asking for diet pills and leave discouraged when he tells them diet and exercise is really the best way to achieve long term weight loss. And that used to be me. I honestly scoffed at that advice for years – until now.

The basic problem was I didn’t want to change the way I ate. I didn’t want to exercise. I didn’t want to change anything. I just wanted to be thinner. Ridiculous, right? Any kind of change takes exactly that: change. I had to change the way I was thinking in order to affect change in the way I look and feel. Funny how that happens.

I’m realizing things about myself during this process. Some good, some not so good. But in the end, it’s all good because I’m becoming a better version of myself. I like myself more now – and not just because of the weight loss. I set my mind to accomplish something and I did it! I had support from my awesome husband, wonderful daughters and great friends, but most of all I did this for me. And yes, it feels great!

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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