Hello…It’s me…I’ve been wondering

Wondering exactly how/when/if I should fire up the ol’ blog. I like writing and sharing and documenting.  I have a million thoughts and ideas. I am also easily distracted and/or interrupted.  And busy.

But today, I’m just jumping in with the writing and not really organizing my thoughts. Perhaps I’ll see if this reaches anyone out there on the internets. I’ve never had a massive audience, but when you write a post every year or so…the crowd tends to thin out.  Feel free to leave a little comment so I know who’s out there!

For a long while now, I have felt the need to abandon Facebook.  It kinda wastes my time.  A lot.  And frankly, I don’t have a lot of time to waste.  Also, self-discipline is not one of my strengths.  So while I’d like to be the person who just checks Facebook once or twice a day, that’s not me.  Self-discipline is part of it, but I’ve also realized I am an abstainer not a moderator. (source: Gretchen Rubin) I will work out every day at 5:00 a.m. or zero days.  I will eat vegan and no sugar or I will stop at McDonald’s every time I see it.  I will be infertile and have no one call me mom or I will fill my house with small children…ha! I think I might be able to survive by using the Facebook Groups App and Facebook Messenger.  But actual Facebook and I need to take a break.  Soon.  Today?  Maybe.

I have five main reasons to spend less time looking at screens and more time looking at faces.  My kids need me.  I have committed to educating them at home.  There are a few reasons why we decided to homeschool. And lest you think I’m a saintly mother that never looks longingly at the school bus driving by, I have considered (more than once) sending my kids to public school.  However, when I’m honest with myself the very top reason for homeschooling is because I believe I can be the very best teacher for my children.  (Emphasis on I can be, not I am) I have a degree and 13 years of teaching experience before coming home to be with my kids.  Plus, I love them the most.  More practically, they would never get the individual attention in a public school setting that I can provide to them at home.

Now before you judge me for bragging about how awesome I am, let me remind you that I said I can be the best teacher and I can give them more attention that a public (or private) school teacher.  I didn’t say that I am.  Yet.  I really and truly believe I can, that’s what keeps me doing this.  I just know that I am not currently functioning at my optimal potential as their teacher/mom.  Facebook doesn’t have to take all the blame, but it gets a pretty big chunk.  It’s high scorer for stealing my focus.

Most of the time I don’t get too worked up about my low scores on my (self scoring) performance evaluation.  We’ve admittedly got a lot going on around here.  But **news flash** we are always going to have a lot going on around here.  There’s a lot of us and life will always be busy and full of adventure of one kind or another.  So, it’s time for me to buckle up and embrace the chaos as I educate my darlings.

And speaking of the darlings, the irony is not lost on me that I have traded one screen for another this morning as they march around the house leaving a trail of messes and evidence of imagination. This blog that I opened up turned into a declaration of my imminent uncoupling with Facebook, and that feels good. (Except I’m for sure about to post this to Facebook…but THEN, I’ll tend to my children. Promise.)

Stay tuned.  I have a feeling I’m gonna stick around this time.

There is no title

So, writing helps me process my stuff. And sometimes that comes in the form of mega texting sessions to my small group of friends from church.  And in Facebook messenger with my sisters. Or sometimes it develops in too-long Facebook updates and Instagram captions.  Perhaps I should just keep an old fashioned (but on a computer) journal.  Because it seems as though I have yet to manage to regularly carve out time to actually write a blog.  Not even a well thought out awesome blog.  Just a simple blog.  But today, today I have time.  And here I am.

Most people who read (or at least those that are still around) my blog are people I know in real life and they know what’s been going on lately.  So I don’t need to rehash all of the details, but I’ll do a quick recap.

Short version: My husband had his left leg amputated below the knee on August 1.  The past three weeks have been a crazy blur of nights in the hospital, arranging childcare, accepting awesome help, and settling into a routine of having Rob back at home.  Overall, his recovery is going well.  Today he started hyperbaric chamber treatment to expedite the healing of his incision. He cannot be fitted for a prosthetic until the incision is completely healed.  Right now he’s doing a great job of adjusting to life on crutches, which is not all that awesome.  But, we look forward with hope to the day he will be back to normal with a prosthetic leg, or “robot leg” according to the kids.  So we’ll do whatever is needed to help that healing process along.  Hyperbaric is generally from 6:00-9:00 in the morning…which means I am sitting at Starbucks with coffee and technology.  My kids will wake up to big brother sleeping on the couch and their breakfast prepped by mama.  I have other help this week with chauffeuring the mister and caring for the kiddos.  But for today, I am here and enjoying some early morning “me time.”

So.

In other news…

-We will start our fourth year of homeschooling soon. Yikes! and Yay!
-I turn 40 in less than 12 months and I have big plans for a year of awesome. It’s already begun, I’m just delayed in documenting it.
-I have new goals for my health and weight loss.  I’m still wrapping my head around the details of it, but things are settling down (maybe?!) enough that I can give some space to taking care of myself again.
-I have rekindled (a bit literally) my love of reading.  Library, Kindle, and some combination of the two…I look forward to many more pages.
-It is finally not so crazy hot here and we can play outside!  This makes every Zerbe a happy Zerbe!

I have more writing in my head.  And I look forward to setting it free on a regular basis.  I make no promises here, but potentially I’ll return to blogging.  And soon.

 

 

 

 

Well…

It’s been over a year.  And I miss blogging.  So I’m back.

I’m obviously not going to get you all caught up on our life.  And chances are, you probably follow me on facebook, instagram or are lucky enough to know me & my crew in real life. ; )  But yes.  I like to write my thoughts.  And share my thoughts.  And read your thoughts on my thoughts.  So here I am.

Specifically I am sitting in my living room, typing on my laptop, while listening to Gregorian Chant on Pandora via my husband’s headphones.  He was so gracious to offer to watch a movie with the kids in our room tonight so I could have some quiet time.   But apparently 80% of them were not big fans of the movie.  And they are driving fire trucks, ambulances and a newly acquired pokemon on wheels in my living room.  The Gregorian Chant drowns out their noise and keeps me from losing my mind when they decide the siren on the fire truck isn’t quite loud enough and they decide to supplement with their own sound effects.

My babies, who were all under 5 back when I was writing semi-reguarly, are now almost 9, 8, & 7…and I can’t seem to wrap my brain around that.  So, maybe we’ll get back to that topic another time.

We are one week out from Christmas and I have exactly zero presents wrapped and under the tree.  And not many more purchased.  I likely need to remedy that soon and thank the good Lord for Amazon Prime 2 day shipping.  I got LOTS of time!

This blog post interupted by a sick kid.  FYI: One kid was sick on Monday, one on Wednesday and now one on Friday. And…if you’ve been with me for the long haul and remember my code names for my kids…Monday was sick on Monday, Friday was sick on Wednesday and now Wednesday is sick on Friday.  Let’s hope Tuesday & Thursday don’t play this game.

I’ll leave you with this random photo of my kids making reindeer food last weekend at Santa’s Workshop at St Benedicts.  More pics to come, more words to come.  Pinky promise.

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Laps for Little Ones

I am using transformation Tuesday as an opportunity to share about my next run. It’s a great opportunity to make a difference.

Before I came home to teach my kids, I taught at the best school in the world, the Little Light House in Tulsa, OK. I am blessed to remain on staff and help coordinate a monthly class for children on the waiting list. Because of the unique opportunities at LLH, there are more children needing services than we have space available. The current wait averages two and a half years. That time is critical as early intervention is so important for these precious kids.

The Little Light House provides state of the art educational and therapeutic services for infants and children with special needs. Dedicated teachers, therapists & associate teachers spend their days enriching the lives of students & families. And then, the two especially unique qualities of LLH? It’s a private, Christian school. It’s tuition-free. There is no government funding and it is not a United Way agency. Every dollar needed for operating expenses (including salaries, utilities, special equipment, building repairs, etc) is donated. There are big corporate and foundation donors. But really, the heart of the funding comes from dedicated individuals who are faithful to support the mission. Every day checks arrive in the mail, some from individuals who have supported LLH since is beginning over 40 years ago.

The Little Light House also holds four annual fundraisers. This Saturday, my 5 kids and I will participate in Laps for Little Ones. Runners (and walkers) will spend an hour doing laps around the track at Cascia Hall, raising money for little ones at LLH. Would you consider supporting us? Honestly, no amount is too small. It has been the faithful $5, $10, $25 checks arriving in the mail for the past 40 years that have kept the doors open. Please consider giving what you can.

My friends and family have been so great to support my work at LLH and now I am happy to include my children in that example of giving. They also watch what I do to stay healthy and I’m excited to have them out on the track with me. They’ve been a great team of cheerleaders for my past races and we’d love for you to be a part of our special event on Saturday. More information about LLH (fundraising, volunteering, building expansion, etc) can be found at www.littlelighthouse.org

Click here to donate to our Laps fund.

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The one in which I get a little mushy…or may that’s just sweat in my eye

I should have written this post weeks ago.  No excuses.  It’s just belated.  But now it’s done. I owe a big thank you to my trainers and my friends at my gym.  This is my thank you note….with a tiny bit of marathon reflection.

I have lost over 100 pounds.  It has taken me around 18 months to finally hit that milestone, beginning at my highest weight in September 2012 and busting through to a 102 pound loss at the scales in March 2014.  My real journey began in January 2013 when I joined Fitness Protection Program and started a challenge with a bunch of friends from The Little Light House.  I had maintained a 10 pound loss since September, but I made real lifestyle changes that January.

Lots of people think that my weight loss came as a result of working out every day.  That helped, of course. But anyone who has lost any amount of weight knows that the real work happens outside of the gym.  It takes discipline to wake up early every morning to work hard…weights, cardio and crazy things like burpee challenges and becoming a runner. (I’m totally smiling here at the fact that I just openly admitted that I’m a runner.)  I read a quote that says anyone can go to the gym 1 hour a day.  It’s having self control the other 23 hours of the day that makes the difference.  True story.

Ok, but what I really want this post to be about is the fact that my gym played a MAJOR role in my weight loss success.  I know, I know, I just said it’s not the exercise, it’s the eating.  Well, actually it’s both.  But in fact, it’s more.  And so I want to get a little sappy and dedicate this post to my fabulous trainers, Julie & Kasey.  And the fabulous members of Fitness Protection Program.  No way can I name them all…and so I won’t even try.  But thank you…

thank you…
for seeing me as an individual, with specific goals and never even hinting at comparing me to someone else.
for allowing me to learn how to push myself, by not letting me get by with anything less.
for creating (as cliche as it sounds) a family-like atmosphere, at a gym, at 5:00 in the morning, where people sweat and get sore and come back the next day for more of the same.
for celebrating with me every step of the way.
for advising me when my steps were going in the wrong direction.
for making workouts fun.  I laugh & smile every day at FPP.

What I really want to say is this…thanks for making me feel welcome from the very first day.  Nobody ever talks about numbers, and that’s ok.  It’s great really.  But I decided when I lost 100 pounds I’d be okay with talking numbers.  So those thank you’s up there…they are a bit generic, but they are real.

And what I want people to know, is that when I walked in your gym on January 15, 2013 I weighed 314 pounds.

I don’t really know what to say after that.  I’ll just pause for effect.  : )

I think the reason why I feel compelled to share such a personal piece of information for all the world to see…is that I want you to know that you can do it, too.  See, I said I had maintained a 10 pound weight loss by the time I started FPP…which means my highest weight was 324.

Another pause.

It still seems a little surreal to me to type those numbers.  Or maybe it still seems surreal to me that my weight now starts with a 2 instead of a 3 and someday it will start with a 1.  Maybe you’re at your highest weight ever.  Maybe your weight doesn’t start with the right number anymore.  And maybe you see the things I post and you know I do boot camp type workouts and you think you can’t do it.  But I want you to know you can.  You can.  Maybe you have 100+ pounds to lose and it seems overwhelming.  I totally get that.  For YEARS I told myself…”If you’ll just think about losing 2 pounds a week for a year, you’ll get it done”.  But it took a long time for me to actually start trying. (and more on that another day, too) I’m not quite finished yet.  At some point I won’t have a weight goal, but instead a body fat % goal or a BMI goal.

I ran (and jogged and walked) a half marathon last weekend.  I can’t even remember the point I decided to register for the OKC Memorial Run.  Looking back it seems like a natural thing to do.  But really?! One year after I joined FPP, I just get online and sign up for a half marathon?  Something about that doesn’t seem natural at all.  In January 2013 I weighed over 300 pounds and I had a goal to run ONE mile. But by January 2014 I paid money to run 13.1 miles?!

On Monday night I sat around a table with my trainers and friends from FPP as we celebrated our recent races.  I shared a table with someone who has run multiple marathons, ultra marathons and had just come back from her first Boston Marathon.  I shared a table with someone who ran the half marathon in less than half the time that I did.  We all shared our stories and we all toasted each other and everyone was celebrated.  And yep, I felt like a rockstar.

And I think that’s when I had some sort of real revelation about what makes FPP different than any other place I’ve worked out.  It is never about comparing ourselves to one another…although we do like a little friendly competition at times!…it is about supporting and celebrating individual accomplishments.  Nobody cared how much I weighed when I started this journey, but they ask me how it’s going and celebrate my success along the way.  Nobody cared that I couldn’t do some of the exercises when I started working out (plank jacks, side plank, maybe anything with a slider?!) or that there are still some exercises I have to modify (pull-ups!!!!!).  And Monday night, as we sat around…I got to excitedly talk about my experience running my first half marathon.  Nobody cared what my pace was or how much I walked vs. how much I ran.  They listened and applauded me because I accomplished what I set out to do.  They have seen a transformation in me and they celebrate personal success.  And then they bought my dinner and I was stupidly confused by it all.  Which brings me to another point…

The day I tipped past my 100 pound mark, I surprised my trainer (Julie) because I think it was almost 9 pounds less than my previous weight.  She and Kasey had been secretly planning a gift for me…and then waiting and waiting and waiting for me get my act together (ha!) so they could celebrate with me.  Of course the gift wasn’t at the gym on the day I finally hit it! : ) But that day I did get a fabulous card with so many sweet messages from friends.  My kids like to look at it and talk about “the notes from your friends because you did a good job exercising” and then the next day I almost fell over when Julie handed me a Visa gift card.  Members & friends had donated to my gift and then FPP matched it.  I was SHOCKED.  It was a total surprise to me that they had done all of that and I had no idea at all.  I had to promise to spend it on myself…a promise I was happy to make!  I’ve spent a decent chunk of the money, but I have a scheduled shopping trip with my mom & sisters next weekend.  After that, I’ll to a full post on all the goodies I got.  But really, what an amazing place with such generous people.  I still feel so undeserving of such a nice gift.

So thank you FPP family…for pushing me, loving me, celebrating me and being ridiculous and rewarding me.

I feel like I probably haven’t done an excellent job of putting my thoughts into words tonight.  But I’ve been wanting to say thank you for a while, and after dinner on Monday night, I felt I had an additional perspective on why I love FPP so much.  Excellent trainers in all the technical things that trainers need to be good at.  But also excellent people who really care about helping others reach their goals.  Daily accountability, scheduling meetings and giving advice when needed and somehow maintaining this amazing camaraderie that applauds individuals.

Oh, and if you’ve made it this far, you should also know that FPP is celebrating Women Owned Business Day by offering a fabulous deal on a 6 week membership.  A tiny sales pitch to say that for $26 you can workout at Fitness Protection Program for 6 consecutive weeks, as long as it’s activated by November.  Ahem, $26 people.  Give it a try.  If you’re ready to kick start a journey to better health, this is the way to do it.  Click here for the offer or call them at 918-622-3774 with questions.  Visit their website or Facebook for more info!  This special price is only available May 1-7.  Get on it!

PS. This is not a sponsored post.  I’m not that much of a big time blogger (yet). I just wanted to say thank you to my people for being so fantastic.  And I thought you should know about their fantastic deal.  I’ll be at the 5:00 am class if you wanna join me. And if you come in the summer, I could possibly force myself to come to a later class.  I would love to work out with you.  Come!

 

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Pardon me…can you spare a dollar*?

(I miss writing. I’ve been reading some good stuff, which makes me want to write. But I have yet to master mommy time management. Soon? I’ll try!!)

Just a quick plea for $1* That’s all. I’m running a half marathon in OKC in less than 2 weeks and I’d love to have some green laces. I can earn my laces by fundraising for the OKC Memorial Fund. Wanna help? I’m just asking for $1* That’s it.

EDIT: apparently the minimum donation is $10. So maybe I’m really asking for $10…or you can ask 9 friends to pitch in. Thanks : )

Click below to go to my donation page.

Half Crazy

Thankyouverymuch.

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The real deal

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I have two draft posts saved and one I’ve been penning in my head for nearly 3 weeks. Somehow I cannot manage to tidy them up and hit publish.

So this morning I am celebrating the first warm morning of the year and the fact that we made it outside by 9:00, with a backyard blog.

Some randomness about this week…

Monday was fabulous because Rob had the day off. We crossed off two dentist appts and two grocery stores, plus I worked out in the evening. We also ended up with all 8 kids home for dinner. I like having all 10 of us under the same roof.

I played in a trivia contest with three of my siblings & my dad on Tuesday night. We got second place and I didn’t crawl into bed until almost 2 am. I. Am. Wild.

I’ve been doing decent on my weekend long runs, but have been in the bad habit of skipping shorter runs during the week. Due to Tuesday’s late night, I skipped my early morning workout on Wednesday and opted for an evening run instead. I just went two miles since I didn’t want to be gone long. I made them “quick” miles so I could push myself a little. If the weather cooperates, I’ll go 4 miles tonight.

We are heading to my parents’ house for the weekend. I always love going home. We’ll be gone part of Saturday to a visit with the kids’ biological parents, but otherwise we’ll get to just be there without much of a schedule. Of course there will be countless stories read by Grandma & Grandpa, lots of playtime in the basement and outside if we’re lucky. Other than that, I hope to visit my grandpa, run at least 6 miles and have a chance for the kids to play with their cousins.

We might be back to cooler weather next week, so we’re embracing the outdoors while we can. A new playground that is almost as exciting as the dirt pile and plenty of requests to ride bikes….endless fun!!

Happy Spring everyone!