Jason and I did some acroyoga in January! We had so much fun. It is quite the trust exercise and team building experience. I did three challenges this month including the acroyoga one and I think that’s my limit. I had a good time working on my inversions and doing some interesting variations. I’ve started doing more videos and hyperlapsed videos, which is fun. Find me on instagram (dgreb) to see them!
Half of these are taken with my phone and half are taken with the real camera, so I apologize for half of these pics being grainy. Lol
Jason’s department decided to meet at a restaurant in Downtown Asheville Friday night for an evening that included their significant others since their annual Christmas party is for employees only. Jason’s sister graciously agreed to watch the kiddos so we could stay overnight as a little getaway. It was wonderful!
After dinner at Pack’s Tavern we headed over to The Book Exchange in Battery Park. There we had truffles, coffee and adult conversation! Yay! It is a great place filled with used books and a cozy atmosphere.
We stayed at Aloft right in Downtown and it was awesome. The room, though a bit small, was ultra modern and clean and the bed was comfy. It was very colorful, with these neat fabric boxes over the hallway lights.
When we got to the hotel and started unpacking, look what I found! I bought this game two Christmas’ ago and then promptly lost it. I had brought it down to Florida to play and blamed my aunt for taking it, though she swears she didn’t. Ha! It was funny to find it after all this time.
We stopped at Green Sage in the morning for breakfast. Jason humored me because it is an interesting place where tempeh and tofu are popular menu selections. We had real eggs and sausage, however and it was delicious!
We had a great time in Asheville and returned to Franklin refreshed and happy.
I promised you some inversions and I think I delivered! December was a good month of progress. There were a couple of poses I’ve never done which kept it interesting and a few poses towards the end were difficult, but I pushed through and am glad I did. I gained a lot of strength and have decided to do three month-long challenges in January. I think that’s my limit. One is a regular challenge coupled with some internal work, the second is an inversion challenge and the third is Acroyoga! Acroyoga is a partnership yoga, so you’ll see Jason in some of my pics for next month. :)
We did Christmas late this year. In recent Christmas’ we have opened presents without Noah and Nora on Christmas day and then let them open their gifts when they got home. That kinda sucks all around, so we waited this year. It was Patrick’s turn to have them for Christmas day, so they returned home the day after and we ended up celebrating on Saturday. We hadn’t done it that way yet and I have to say I enjoyed it the most. Probably because my mom, aunt and uncle were there as well.
After eating Christmas lunch we set up foursquare downstairs. My family loves to play those types of games on holidays and I love it! We are super competitive and Noah and Nora got “schooled” in the art of foursquare, for sure. :) They enjoyed it though.
My aunt and uncle have taken up jump rope for cardio. They got all of the kids jump ropes for Christmas and demonstrated their skills for them. It was neat to see their tricks and quite impressive.
It was a great visit. It always makes Christmas special to have family together.
Jason has done a Summer term and a Fall term this year and plans to continue in the Spring with obtaining his BA in MIS (Management of Information Systems). He’s currently going Full-time and handling it well.
I’ve wanted to return to school for a while, but, you know, I keep having babies. ;o) I took a Physics class a few semesters ago which tided me over for a little while since it was crazy hard and I had a newborn at the time. As the kids get older and I get older I yearn to get back to it. A few months ago I applied for a really great job. The job market in Franklin is really bad unless you only need 8$ an hour and/or part-time work, so when a full-time HR position became available I went for it even though half of my paycheck would go to childcare for the time being. It would get my foot in the door and eventually all of the kids would be in school and childcare would go down dramatically. I didn’t get it (they went with someone who had way more experience then I did), but it kicked up the need to either work or go to school that much more.
My AA affords me a better position, but still not anything I want to do or that pays very well. Better than minimum wage, but not much. You need a BA and cross your fingers the job isn’t in Asheville. My AA is in Business Administration. Although I love management, a BA in Business Management will get me a job running a Dollar General around here. I’ve also lived a bit vicariously through Jason’s endeavors up the corporate ladder and the classes don’t seem as interesting to me for that degree. What I LOVED about the business administration was the writing classes. Since I’ve been blogging for over ten years (and journaling for twice that) perhaps I enjoy writing a bit more than management. Another thing I’ve noticed is that I really enjoy Noah’s age right now and what he is learning in school. I almost want to do his homework for him. I can get a BA in English with a concentration in Professional Writing from the local University and would have my BA and might possibly be able to get a job at the Middle or Intermediate school. Either way the prospects would be better for a solid position anywhere. I would most likely go on to get my Masters and teach at the college level, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
This term coming up in the Spring I was unable to find childcare. There is literally only one place for children under two years old and a handful of home daycares, so I will need to wait until Henry turns two in June and can start in the Fall and Lorelei can do Pre-K. I am ok with that, a little disappointed, but I was hesitant to put Henry in childcare so early anyway. Thankfully, there is one class that I can take online at the local community college that will transfer to the University; American Literature. I don’t heart literature so much, so paying less for this class does not bother me one bit. We’ll also get to see what having two college students looks like in our household.
We’re crazy busy already, so maybe taking an online class right now is a good transition. I’m looking forward to it.
(not great phone pics, but I was busy cooking and didn’t pull out the real camera this year)
The kids were plenty old enough this year to help. That was fun. ;o)
Grandma was here too, but I missed getting a pic of her.
After lunch/dinner we pulled out the Christmas tree. That amazing $20 tree I found two years ago at an after, after Christmas sale works perfectly in the new house. :) I’m currently working on a tree skirt. Let’s hope Cookie doesn’t pee on it. :oP
I did my second month-long Instagram yoga challenge for November. Some of these poses were new to me and a few of them were really difficult. The new house has great light and a variety of places to do my poses which makes it easier to get great pictures. I do my best to get my pictures done during the day while Henry naps, but sometimes I ask Nora or Jason to take my pic when they get home from school or work. My phone’s camera app has a ten second timer and I’ve also learned it has voice control, so I can yell “shoot” or “capture” and it starts the timer or takes a picture. That feature makes getting into a difficult pose a little easier.
I can see progress here, which I love, and I’ve started a December challenge as well as two mini challenges to shake things up. One of them is an inversion challenge, so next month you’ll see me on my head and hands a lot. :)
Sunday we went to Papa’s (our old house) and grabbed the last of our stuff from the storage/work area beneath the house. I think there is one more load of stuff we don’t have to have right now, but it isn’t immediate.
Papa had a fire going and you can part of the coop that we don’t need at the new house.
Henry was amazed by all the leaves. He laughed so hard hearing them crunch under his feet. (So, so happy we don’t have to rake all of those anymore!)
Noah going through his “walking sticks” and Nora asking Papa if she can throw a huge stick she found on the fire.
Lorelei playing. They love seeing their Papa and we are happy to be done with the switch. :)
(Sorry for the blown out phone pics. Impromptu documentation and bad metering.)
One cool evening while I was making dinner, I caught Jason outside enjoying the porch while Henry ran around (he loves it out there). It was perfect weather. We spend quite a bit of time out there and Lorelei and Henry enjoy their afternoon snack on the porch most days. I think it’s the sunshine. The porch on our old house was under the roof, this one has a clear roof, so the sunshine still comes through.
We are loving the house. We have space to play and be separate and although we’re still figuring out paint colors and where some things should be put, we are very happy with the move. In the old house we were all together, all the time, but here there is space for individual time with each other by happenstance. Noah will be in the shower and Nora will come up and talk or practice sign language with me. Lorelei can play in her room without Henry all up in her “bidness”. Jason and I aren’t hovering over the kids to get their baths and everything completed and into bed, so I think they are feeling a little more relaxed as well. One of the best things is that one of the kids can have a tantrum in their room and we barely hear it, so it doesn’t last as long or escalate like it would in the old house where we had to bear the yelling and pouting because it was right in our face. The kids still play outside too. I don’t let Lorelei play outside by herself, but the three bigger kids go outside and explore like they would at our old house. We are still easing into our day to day and it feels right and peaceful.
I started exercising at the end of January this year. We are done having babies and I knew that my body could look better and be stronger for things like hiking and picking up and playing with my kids. Who knew I would get so into it?
I tried all of the classes that I could that interested me. I did something called Tabata, which I loved. I then tried Powerhouse with my SIL, Amber. It used weights and I wasn’t sure I would like that, but it turns out I do. I actually really enjoy lifting weights. I heart body weight exercises too, but lifting is a game changer. My body type only needs a little bit of cardio, so I usually do the treadmill for 10-20 minutes and then do a few machines and then move onto weights. I’ve paid for time with a couple of trainers which has helped round out my knowledge. I also tried yoga and have fallen in love!
Not only does working out give me more strength and energy it eases the stress of day-to-day with my children. Along with lifting weights and cardio I started doing a Friday morning Cardio and Barre class which has a bit of everything including about 30 minutes of dance and is really fun. I would never call myself a dancer, but my body has been learning the choreography and begs to differ. I also received some compliments on my form in Barre class which I attribute to my consistency in going to class. Tuesday and Thursday nights (or one or the other) I do yoga. A studio just opened in town and I’ve added Monday nights when I can swing it.
Yoga has taught me to breathe. I went to the chiro a few months ago and he asked me to take a deep breath and after I did he told me to work on it. I don’t think we, as a people, breathe well. Our breathing is shallow, enough to get some air in and to keep going. We breathe hard when we exert ourselves, but how often is that and how helpful? I started with Vinyasa yoga which is “breath-synchronized poses” and at first I had to consciously breathe, being prodded by the teacher, but I now do it automatically. Jason and I were trying out an app I downloaded, Yoga Studio and we were doing a short flow when I heard myself breathing. You don’t really hear yourself breathing in a huge studio with everyone else doing it, but in our living room I couldn’t help but notice. It feels nice to breathe. Did you know that the diaphragm is a muscle? Among other muscles like triceps, quads and glutes apparently I’ve been working my diaphragm as well!
For the month of September I did two yoga challenges on Instagram. One was called Balance Basics and was a great introduction to arm balances and the other was called 14 Days of Balance. It was two different styles of challenges. The first was laid out in a cute infograph of all the poses for each day of September. You simply refered to the infograph and did the pose for that day making sure to snap a pic. The other challenge was a surprise each day and was the most fun, though difficult. The point of the challenge was to get you doing yoga every day and it worked. I really enjoyed the challenge and plan to do another in November. I had started a different challenge for October, but it was all about backbends and I ain’t there yet.
Here are my poses:
As the month went on, I practiced more and more yoga everyday and got better and better. A pose that I had trouble with at the beginning of the month I got on the first try and higher or steadier towards the end of the month. I began to grow in confidence. Some nights I had to wait for Jason to get home to take my yoga picture and my body was too tired, but in the essence of keeping it real I took the pic and posted anyway.
Moving has put a kink in my schedule, but I have begun getting back into it. My body misses the exercise. My mind misses the discipline. My breath is getting shallow again. Some weeks I go as planned other weeks I miss a day due to sickness or kids stuff, but I don’t stop permanently and I hope to continue on my yoga journey. Favorite hashtag on Instagram- #yogaeverydamnday
Find me on Instagram (dgreb), it’s my new favorite place!