I thought I’d update you on a few things I’ve been totally digging lately!
1. My stroller fitness class.
My friend Heather and I started going a few weeks ago and man, we are having a BLAST! We meet with 8-20 other women in a mall before it opens. Over the course of an hour, we are led by an instructor through each wing of the mall doing running, power walking, and sprinting intervals, plyometric exercises, mat exercises, and resistance band training…while pushing our strollers and involving our babies in our workout with songs and other activities. It’s an awesome workout and so much fun! I bought a package of classes intending to go once a week (it’s kinda pricey and 25 minutes away) but I’m having a difficult time practicing moderation. I want to go every day!!
It makes me so happy to involve Zoe in my workout and to be in such a supportive, positive environment with other moms. The class is truly focused on building strength, energy, and health so that you can be a hands-on mama. I find that so many exercise programs don’t value health as much as they value a specific body shape, and that mindset just isn’t appealing to me after some of my life experiences. I’m thrilled to find a workout that really resonates with my heart and my core values.
Heather took this fun little picture of Zoe and me working our other core 🙂
After class, Heather and I settle into the “family area” of the mall and feed our babies while we chat. Sometimes we’ll grab a coffee or a snack from home and hang out for an extra hour while the babies play and grab each other’s faces and toys. By the time I get home, I’ve already had a great workout, fun time with Zoe, and an uplifting conversation with a friend, and the day is only halfway over!
And the other moms in that class are so inspirational. On Wednesday, a woman was breastfeeding and still doing the warm up. If that didn’t sink in, I’ll say it another way…a baby was LATCHED TO HER BREAST and she was doing squats with perfect form. Inspirational!
2. Date nights.
We have been super blessed by people that want to babysit Zoe for free, which means David and I can make date night a pretty regular occurrence instead of a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. On Wednesday, a mom and daughter from youth group babysat for Zoe for free AND gave David and me a gift card to go out to dinner. We had delicious sushi and wine, great conversation, a walk by the water, and (most importantly) connection.
Parenting means that you spend a lot of time working side by side but not as much time looking into each other’s eyes and having real conversations. Having the chance to put on a dress, wear foundation, hold hands, and actually have a real conversation about goals for the upcoming year was priceless. I’m so beyond grateful that we have this support from our church family!
3. Cadbury Milk Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Bar.
Normally, I’m like “STAY AWAY FROM MY CHOCOLATE, NUTS” but my mom bought this for me and I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried it.
Thank you, mom. And if you try it, thank me.
4. Zoe’s first word!
She can say the word “dog!” Well, what she actually says is “daaah” or “di-gggah” but she says it consistently when she sees our dog Java or other people’s dogs, so I’m counting it!
Zoe and my parents’ “di-gggah,” Rudy
I suspected that “dog” would be one of her first words because she’s obsessed with dogs, but I had hoped that by giving up my hard-earned career and being a stay-at-home mom who pours 24/7 effort into her I might get to hear “mama” first. Apparently that sacrifice went right over her head. We’ll see how that works out for her when I move out in a huff and she’s left in the care of a bichon poo.
Sleeping on the job? Better learn my name pretty quickly, Zo.
5. Not-so-quiet quiet time.
For the last 9 years, I’ve been really intentional about creating time in the mornings to study the Bible, pray, and journal for 20-60 minutes. It was always one of the best things about my entire day.
Since becoming a mom, though, my quiet time has changed. Some mornings I get it in, but other mornings I’m working from 5 am on (and my boss is pretty demanding!)
Motherhood makes me SO aware of my need for God and desirous of growth. So, I’ve tried a few different methods to ensure that I’m still connecting with God.
The kicker is that what works one week may not work the next because babies and their needs are always changing, but I feel a whole lot of grace in this area. I anticipate and appreciate the times that I get to devote my full attention to a “quiet time,” and I desire that connection with God so even when I can’t do the “ritual” I still invite God into my day and experience His presence. Here are a few other techniques that have been working well for me:
-listening to sermon podcasts while playing with Zoe or doing household chores (I love North Point Community Church’s podcasts)
–shereadstruth.com. The study consists of a short Bible reading followed by a meditation and a community forum where other women share their perspectives on the passage. Right now we’re doing a Women of the Bible series that I LOVE. I read the Bible passages out loud to Zoe (I do voices!) and then read the meditation and community forum on David’s iPad while I sit next to her on the floor. She doesn’t seem to notice that I’m distracted as long as I occasionally make animal noises (e.g. “God is love. MOOO!”)
-for a while, I did a workbook study because if I got interrupted, it was easy to find where I was in the workbook and just pick back up.
-listening to Christian music and Christian radio
-thanking God for His presence as I see and experience it throughout the day
If all else fails, put your daughter in a onesie with a Bible verse on it. You may not have actually connected with God that day, but you LOOK pretty spiritual.
What is one (or five!) things you’ve been loving lately?!