Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. This is the story of our continuing Journey through the ups and downs of maintenance.
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Powering Up Our Lives: JUICING

Thank you to all those who read and / or commented on my last post.  
Your words gave me energy!  
I have been learning about energy recently and how everything has energy.  
Our thoughts and our words have energy.  
I FELT the energy from your comments and felt invigorated.  So Thank you!

Okay, we decided NOT to wait until 2014 to begin our juicing fast / detox.  So we went to our grocer and picked up some fruits and veggies.  I think this was the first time that that is all we had in our shopping cart! It looked like this when we got home.  


We started last Saturday, so today is our 3rd day!  
I'm so glad we did because already today, I feel less bloated.  Even my fingers feel skinnier.  

That first day was kinda hard for me, I'll admit.  My thoughts raced from "What have I got myself into?", to "I'm not sure I can do this for very long."  I got a little moody and down.
But I held out and did NOT let those thoughts determine my choices. :)

Today, both Brent and I feel more energy!  
We didn't sleep in as long and feel more alert and focused!  
I feel committed and excited!

Our first juice was called "Mean Green"

 
It had apples, cucumbers, celery, kale, lemon and ginger in it.  And it wasn't bad at all.  We liked it.
One time I added in more veggies than was listed - It was okay, but Brent prefers I stick to actual recipes for now. :p


Other ones we've had are:
 
Can't BEET it Juice and Sunset Passion Juice


Our Favorite was just this morning:  
Jolt Juice with apples, oranges, cucumber, lemon and kale.  That was pretty tasty!

We have been watching all kinds of health and food videos and reading lots of articles.  With cancer and heart disease in both our families, it's time to get more serious about our eating and help our children as well.

  Avoiding cancer and heart disease with a healthy diet is our TOP PRIORITY.
Along with feeling better and doing all that we want to do!  
I want to eat foods that BOLSTER our immune system 
rather than weaken it!



One video we liked was called "Forks over Knives".  Following that documentary, we got this food chart above (a simple version of a more detailed chart) that we are going to incorporate into our family's food and eating.  Eating so much less meat and dairy may be hard at first, but the statistics are powerful and I'm ready to do what I need to do to take that risk of cancer and heart disease way way down!  There is a lot of information here, from one of the doctors on that documentary.  Very interesting.

And really, there are so many great documentaries to open our eyes to what is going on in our food industry. We can't afford to ignore it anymore!

2014 looks AWESOME!  Life is good!!
XoxOXoxOXO ~Margene





Thursday, December 26, 2013

For Things To Change...

Any readers still reading this blog?

Yes, I have been absent and yes I have been avoiding my blog. 

Some quick things that have gone on lately:
1. My oldest turned 21!  (Amazing since I don't seem to have aged!  lol)
2. My daughter won state champs in her marching band!
3. Brent and I celebrated our 25th Wedding anniversary!  (See what cool thing I did - I pinned it here)

Okay, Keeping it REAL.

I have had same huge ups and downs in my life since moving here to Utah two years ago.  Slowly, I've let my own health slip down in priority as the challenges have crept in.  My knee injury  has set me back from basketball and running.  As I've missed out on those fun things, I've also slipped into some old negative thinking, and slowly packed on some weight.  Grrr.  

Here's a clue that my body has been growing.  After driving errands and shopping one day, I got home to realize I had a little tear in my pants... like a gaping rip tear.   Dang!


How did I not notice this?  How did someone not tell me?  Maybe they thought it was a fashion statement.  Maybe I'm glad no one told me, actually.  And I did get a big laugh from this, um... I'm realizing that although  I've made several attempts to jump back into a healthier eating and exercising regime with some success, overall  I'm finding it difficult to keep it consistent.

So, the hubs and I have decided that 2014 is our year again!  

Our year to get back our health 
(before it gets away from us),
and to get back our 
ENERGY
our ZEST FOR LIFE
and our MOJO.  

It is now our biggest priority again!

I'm so grateful for the success that we've already had, and knowing that IT CAN HAPPEN.  Believing it's possible is really half the battle.  It's about wanting it bad enough.  It's about focusing on the GOAL and not the reasons or excuses.

To jump start us, we are going on a minimum 10-day Juicing fast (or feast as some call it).  This will help clean out our bodies of toxins and help re-set our cravings. 

We got inspired by this video "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" a documentary by Joe Cross.  Have you seen this?

I've also been concerned about our cancer risks.  My neighbor friend just passed away after a hard battle with cancer.  Also my dad died of lymphoma cancer at age 64, and his mom died from breast cancer.  My own sister is a breast cancer survivor. 

I know that the way we eat can put us at more risk for getting cancer. What we eat affects our moods, our health, our looks, and our ability to think and focus.

I watched this video about cancer which I found very interesting - they do try to have you buy an info kit, but just watching the video is very enlightening.  It comes down to what we eat and several foods contribute to cancer and several foods help prevent cancer.  Why don't our doctors focus on what we eat?  Why do they always go to prescribing meds?  Okay, that's another topic!!

I got a juicer for Christmas! 

So, after our 10-day (or longer) jump start juicing jamboree, we plan on continuing on with organic fresh/raw veggies and fruit, smaller portion meals, and adding in some Medifast meals as well.  We still love the Medifast products and the 5:1 Take Shape For Life weight loss system that has saved our lives already.

Who's with me for big changes in 2014?  

What are your plans and goals?


I want to go ROCK CLIMBING again, I want to get my knee healed and enjoy BASKETBALL again.  And I want to NOT have my pants rip again.  lol

Here's my motto:  
For things to change, I must change.  
For things to get better, I must get better!!

~Margene

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why keep poison in my mind and body?

Hello!  
Happy September!!!!!

Kids are in school, life is getting a little more consistent.  YES!

Okay, hard lesson learned lately:

Recently, I've had a situation where I was involved in a service of doing something nice for a friend. And in the course of my work on this, some negative words and accusations were said to me.  Some things were said to me and other hurtful things were said about me personally behind my back.  This was all  done by people I thought would have "had my back" so to speak. 

This put a huge negative spin on the whole positive thing I was trying to do and I found myself going through all the reasons why this was so completely unfair and rude, even a blatant betrayal. 

Yes, I felt anger, and sadness, and loss. 

I thought everyone involved was actually my friend.  So now, with their tendency to judge and criticize me, I felt that they were not really friends after all. So in my mind I lost friendships. 

UG! And then I let this dampen the super nice thing I was doing for a friend to begin with. 

---- Big Sigh ----

It is so easy to see how I was not in the wrong.
 I was the one actually doing something NICE.

YET... 
how I handle this can put me in the wrong. 

It's like it's all a TEST. 

Maybe the question in mind isn't if my friends are true friends, but really: 

What kind of "Friend" am I? 

One of the main people in question - I confronted and we actually talked it out. 
 This person gave me a sincere apology for their part in what happened. 

So it should have been done, right? 

Yet I found myself still mulling over things and thinking of things to get upset over
and kind of "renewed" that feeling of how "out of line" others were. 

How SO rude this was. 
How I want nothing more to do with people like that! 
How sick I am of reaching out SOOOO often in friendship and love and that is what I get! 

I spent a week in anguish, hurt, and sadness. I cried, I didn't go out.  
I felt so angry and sorry for myself. That's a week of my life I can't get back. 

What's funny, is I KNOW what will bring me peace in all this. 
(Okay, not really funny because I'm not laughing... but ya know)

I KNOW it's not confronting everyone who was rude; it's not isolating myself from everyone that is going to ease my soul. I KNOW that I have to LET GO and truly FORGIVE them. I need to let God deal with it, and let it drift away from my soul. 

And THEN I won't have the pain and anguish. 

THEN I can be FREE. 

If I really think of myself and GET REAL with all that I've ever said and done, I know that I have made mistakes and hurt others. I've done things that were unfair. Maybe not this same thing - but really, who am I to feel that I'm a saint and others aren't? 

I even knew that if I prayed specifically about this, 
I KNEW that the prompting I would feel would be to forgive and let it go. 

Why keep poison in my mind and body? 
It only harms me. 

So it's been a humbling experience. 
I am now working on forgiving and letting it go. 

I want to remember the good that came from the service and look back with a smile. 
 I know that it's Christ's atonement that wipes all that negative and pain away for REALS. 

I will be quicker to forgive and let go the next time I'm given the opportunity. 

And what does this have to do with health and eating? 

To me, it's everything! 

When I am being REAL with myself in the areas of needing to forgive. 
 I find that I'm also being REAL with myself in acknowledging that I need to make better health choices. 

I've said this before, but I truly feel that my physical and mental health is directly tied to my Spiritual health and my relationship with my high power! When I grow distant from God, it becomes harder to forgive others, to make better eating choices, and to have a clear mind in seeing truth. 

For me, being closer to God and seeking His Spirit
helps me be empowered over my life and my thoughts.
Life is GOOD
XoxoXO ~Margene



Monday, August 12, 2013

What to do with Zucchini!! Chips & Boats!

Happy Monday!!  
If you're reading this then you survived your weekend and hopefully are about to embark on an amazing week of WONDER.  Or at least another week of life.  It's about THRIVING and not just SURVIVING.  This week I'm gonna THRIVE.

To recap some of my last week, I made my long time favorite:  Zucchini Chips!!  I got this idea originally from Sandy here.  It's just so easy.  I take my zucchini (which is so prevalent right now, these green wonders are popping up in everyone's garden - except mine since I don't have one yet) and cut the ends off and then I hand sliced it using my cheese grater - using the side with the single slicer.  Or you can use our food processor for quick work.  Basically, you want them in thin little slices.

Then line your cookie sheet with parchment paper (I used tinfoil and then sprayed it with pam, the first time, but parchment paper doesn't need oil so I did that the second time).  Set out your zucchini slices on the tray, brush with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours or so.  SOOOO addicting!



WOW are these good.  Awesome to take to the movies or have as a quick snack.  These would count towards your "green" on your 5:1 plan, OR (for me, not official TSFL), they count for 1 snack.

Note - Do not turn up the temp over 200 to bake them quicker because they may burn!  Which is what happened to my first batch.  Also, do not over salt. I found that my first batch was way too salty (as well as burned).  They just need a light sprinkle before baking.

I burned my first batch :(

I also saw this cool recipe for Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Boats on FB (I don't know the name, I just made that up!) and made these last week too.  The original recipe can be found here.

I cut off the ends of the zucchini and sliced in half, brushed the top with a little olive oil and sprinkled with some garlic powder blend.  Then I put some sliced up mini red tomatoes on and sprinkled with reduced fat cheese blend.  Salt and pepper to taste and baked at 375 for 20 - 30 minutes - until soft.


WOW!!  


Hubs LOVED these!!  My son ate them without realizing they were tomatoes even!  lol
Very yummy Lean and Green - just added 1 chicken patty and with the chicken and cheese being my "Lean", the zucchini and tomatoes was my "Green".  Definitely a keeper!

Some other L&G pics from last week:
 Chicken salad for the hubs.  The Lean is the light cheese and chicken, the green is the romaine, peppers, & tomatoes.  We just tried this Bolthouse Salsa Ranch flavor which isn't bad.  Again, yogurt based dressings are so much creamier and LESS calories than regular dressings.  
For my lean, I found some Griller Morning Star patties in my freezer that I cooked up on my stove and added these mushrooms, mini tomatoes, and zucchini (sauteed on my stove with a little olive oil).  I like cutting the zucchini into long strips for a change.  Just added some salt and pepper and this was a quick tasty meal for me.

There you go!  If you have some zucchini sitting around, at least here some ideas of some stuff you can try!  Make it a great "ON PLAN" day!
~Margene

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Because it's not about food....

It's about being PREPARED and enjoying the fuel we put in our bodies.  
I am a BEING of ORDER!
Therefore, I am preparing my meals.
Woo Hoo!  
(This is big for a mom who is driving teens to/from work and activities for 90% of her waking hours, or so it seems)

Yesterday I tried some new things, thanks to Sandy at Sandy's Kitchen!!  Lover her!  She has a lot of recipes for those following the TSFL program and using Medifast food.  Or for those just wanting to eat healtheir.  I've followed her for years now.  So I tried two of her items listed.  First:

MEDIFAST PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BALLS
I didn't follow the exact recipe she has because I didn't have almond milk, but here is what I did:


Ingredients:
1 MF Chocolate Pudding
1 MF Hot Cocoa
4 T. PB2
1/4+ cup mixture of Water and Sugar Free Peanut Butter Syrup

Combine all ingredients in small bowl.  Form into 8 fudge balls.  4 balls makes 1 meal (since you used 2 MF meals in the recipe)

I actually made 5x this recipe - that's why you see 40 balls in the pic up there.  Then I put them in baggies (4 per bag) and froze them.  We can just grab one and go and have it ready by the time we eat.  The hubs really likes them!!!

You can find Sandy's recipe here.


Second:
MEDIFAST OATMEAL COOKIES



Ingredients:
1 MF Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1/4 t. Cinnamon
1 packet Splenda (I used Stevia)
1/3 cup water
1/8 t. baking powder
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T Peanut Butter (I used PB2)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients and let sit for 5 min.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Drop by spoonfulls and bake  for 12-15 minutes.

I doubled the recipe for me and the hubs.  Next time I would try to get the cookies flatter if I could to more crispiness.  But they were fine.  Definitely better than making the actual oatmeal.  My son took a bite and wanted more. :)  I will include these up in my Recipes - Medifast tab.  You can see Sandy's original recipe here.


I have also found the I love the Coleman Chicken Meatballs that Costco sells.  The carbs are lower and protein higher than other meatballs I compared and they looked like a great option for our "lean".

So we had them as our L&G last night and salad - So yummy and easy and fast.  That's really what I need, is easy and fast and yet still seems like a quality meal.

I love mushrooms on my salad and had 6 meatballs (on left), Brent had 4 meatballs with 2 turkey sausages. And of course light dressing.

Another meal I had that was super yummy, and also from Costco was this Garlic Pepper Marinated Sockeye Salmon.  Just defrost and bake for 15 minutes and it's total gourmet!  I added some cucumber as my "green" and had a delicious dinner.


For the hubs, I scrambled up 1 cup of egg beaters with some red pepper and added some light cheese just before it was done for a cheesy egg scramble.  Fresh cucumbers also finished off his "green".  So that was also a super fast meal fix that filled him up.


Onward and forward as a BEING OF ORDER!  
Yup, that's me.  If you have any quick and easy, healthy meal ideas, do share! 

oxXXOooXoo ~Margene

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Creating order | Margene's Lean and Greens

Howdy peeps!!  
Happy August!!

Dang, that came fast (August).  
I'm back again (on my blog here) and working at our new schedule and how life is changing for us with older kids.

As of today, we have 3 working kids!!  And only one of them can drive.  It gets tricky.  But I love having older kids and all the fun that comes with it.  I feel like I'm more one of them (at least inside I still feel juvenile), plus I get to be their mom.  There's truly no better job.  And it's been WAY FUN to have the hubs around more and working together with him.  Life is in a process of changing.

LIFE IS ALWAYS CHANGING.

It's like we put things in "order" and then chaos comes.  Then we adjust and put things in "order" again and then chaos comes.  I'm learning that the KEY to this is being GRATEFUL for success of creating ORDER, even though it may be briefly lived, it still happened!  Then things fall out of order OR change, it gives me a new chance to step it UP A LEVEL into a new level of ORDER!
The problem comes when I expect things to stay the same.  To stay clean, to stay organized, to stay unbroken, for relationships to stay just right, for kids to stay obedient and happy, ETC.  But WHY am I unhappy about that?  The world is constantly changing and NOTHING stays the same.  The earth itself is always in a state of change.  It's adjusting to that change and STILL CREATING ORDER that builds character.  It's gratitude for the opportunity to create order.

I AM A BEING OF ORDER.

Even if it's just my bookshelf.  Or a small area of my desk.  Or one shelf in my fridge!  I'm learning to start small and NOT be discouraged when chaos comes.  But see it as an opportunity to go to the next level. 
OKAY - so that's what brings me back to my blog.  I am a being of ORDER.  I can adjust to changes in my life.  And with those changes, I can adjust to KEEP EATING HEALTHY, and Being ACTIVE!


I've rebuilt my website:  Margene's Lean and Green's  - which I am MUCH happier about.  It's mostly for the visuals.  When you click on the pictures of the food, It will link you back to the corresponding post on THIS BLOG that either describes that dish or gives the actual recipe.  Hopefully, that is helpful to those who want ideas for lean meals. :)  I'm excited to be adding to it more as well.



There are also some cool links on the side like I have on this blog, AND my top videos - which is super nice to have easy access to.  :)

So... I'm off to creating ORDER today.  I will not look at everything OUT of order, but just focus on one small thing at a time, and get that in order.  And I will find joy in every little thing I create order with! 


LIFE IS GOOD!!!
XoxOxoX ~Margene

Friday, June 14, 2013

Leap of Faith

Happy June!!

Quick update:

1. My youngest child turned 13 and became a teenager!  (Not to mention, he's like as tall as me now!)


2. Brent & I attended an AMAZING 3 day conference  a few weeks back called "Master of Influence" (3 Key Elements | Kirk Duncan) that has really changed our view and drive.  It was FABULOUS!



3. My oldest daughter (second oldest child) graduated High School!!!  (so my oldest two who have disabilities are both HS graduates!)  SO COOL!!



4. I took a quick trip to Oregon with my daughter and our friends just last week.  We visited the coast, stayed briefly with my cousin and then brother, surprised a couple friends and then zoomed home!  EPIC!




5. AND..... Today is Brent's LAST DAY at his place of employment where he has worked for the last 8 years!  Eight years is a LONG time.  That is 6 years with this employer in Oregon and 2 years with them in Utah - and today is the last day!

THIS is our huge LEAP of FAITH.



THIS has been a long time coming.  Something I haven't been able to talk about much and even can't give detailed reasons why he is leaving.  But I can say that it's nothing bad about the company or people and nothing bad happened, it's just something WE'VE needed for OUR FAMILY!  It's been a long time coming.  We're not sure where we will go from here.  We have a tentative plan, and we hope it works out and we will be continued to be guided.

Our first MAIN FOCUS is again, our HEALTH - and losing the weight we've gained back.  And for Brent, that's the most critical.  And we have other focuses and goals after that.

It's a continual journey.  And it's been such a different journey here in Utah than it was in Oregon!!  So we need to adjust and make it work here for us.  For our health, and for our joy!  Because we know we are meant to live here, and the Lord wants us here right now.

So here we go, my peeps.  Wish us luck!!!  
Life is good!!

Here is a video I saw today that feel so fittting to us right now.  ENJOY!  
~Margene XOxOXoX

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 2013 - Week 1 Back Again

Our first week back again on plan ended last Tuesday and has yielded some nice results:

Me - lost 6 pounds
Brent - lost 10 pounds

Not too shabby!  Our scale has since broke and so we need to buy a new scale before our next weigh in.

I made me some yummy knox blox!!  (strawberry, banana, blueberry AND Peach Mango)


Last Saturday was a beautiful day and we went to the park as a family and enjoyed playing catch with the baseball and football, and just hanging out.  It's not easy getting everyone together now that our kids are older and my oldest has a job, so it was way nice.

Can't wait for long bike rides and hikes and summer fun.  I hope my knee will cooperate!  I'm having a hard time staying positive in my mind lately.  It's such a battle!!  But every day I am looking for all the positive in my life and expressing my thanks to my Heavenly Father.



One of my neighbors and friends just lost her husband less than two weeks ago.  My heart is so broken for her.  They were high school sweethearts like me and Brent.  I know how hard it's been suffering the loss of my parents, I can't imagine the pain from losing your best friend & husband.  I've been thinking and praying for her everyday.  

There is already enough sorrow in this life.  I know we need to celebrate LIFE and all that is GOOD!  There is also SO MUCH GOOD!  So many people who help others and serve and bear each others' burdens'.  There are so many good people on this earth, it's easy to get caught up in the negative.




But I don't want to waste my time.  I am trying to look forward with faith to all that is ahead of me for myself and my family!  This week I'm thankful for the sunshine, the health of my family, cars that are currently working, a friend I haven't seen for a long time who stopped by for a visit, my sons working on a project together, my daughters going to Morp this weekend, and me and my hubs going to see Iron Man 3 tonight.

Woo Hoo!!!

We are ON PLAN and DRINKING the H2O.  

Life is GOOD!!

XoxO ~Margene

Friday, April 26, 2013

Change and RE-FOCUS + Dance Dare #7


Here I am... at another place on my journey.  Another place of change.  Have you noticed that change is fine when you're making it happen yourself and plan for it?  When it's something you want and have been anticipating?  Change isn't so great when it's unexpected and shifts your footing to where it can knock you down. 

So as you can tell by the sparsity of my blog posts, I've had life and different responsibilities cross my path that have re-directed me in many ways.  I am always looking for a reason that things happen, because I don't believe in coincidence.  I don't believe that you meet anyone by chance.
 
For the last 9 months I was called into service in my church as Relief Society President, a daunting responsibility, to which I felt extremely inadequate, but learned to rely on my Heavenly Father more than any other time in my life.  I was recently released from this service, quite unexpectedly I might add.  Usually one serves in this capacity for several years.  But alas, change rolls around when you least expect it and just when you think you know what you're doing!  This wasn't an easy change as I had my whole heart into my calling and I held nothing back.  I felt it was part of the reason we even moved here.  I felt like I was making a difference.  I was truly heartbroken to have it come to an end so soon and so unexpectedly.  But I am learning once again to trust in the Lord and in His Timing.

So I find myself with more time.  I never realized how much time I actually do have now... to focus on my own family, and my own health.   And NOW I have time to re-focus myself.  I've let too much weight slip back on and my knee has began hurting for a while and affecting my ability to be as active as I'd like to be.  I've even had to pull out of playing basketball!!!!  I cannot tell you what a disappointment that's been!!  It makes me feel like I've aged ten years (like I actually feel my age right now!) Running is painful.  This is not acceptable to me.


 I went on an awesome hike a few weeks ago over Spring Break - a very breathtaking and cool hike!!  But my knee was in pain the whole time.  I'm thinking it's the extra weight I've let slip back on. 


SOO -   FIRST thing is:  We're going back ON PLAN to get our extra weight off.  
We're actually on day 3 right now!  
And next we're working on several other things.  
It's nice to be able to do that and have the time to re-focus.


Look... I focused on these deer as I drove by.  It really is a hunters delight where I live, we see deer all the time and have to watch that we don't hit them!

Here are some of our meals I've focused on making lately.  YUM.

Veggie Salad with beef strips - Salmon & Sausage with steamed broccoli 
Beef strips with sauteed peppers and mushrooms


So my motto these days is:  Trust in the Lord and in His Timing.  
Even when things don't look great, you've got to BELIEVE that God has something better in mind for you - you just have to have FAITH and PATIENCE in Him.

Life is GOOD!!
~ XOXO Margene

PS - I finally had time to Focus on putting together my latest Dance Dare video!
So here is Margene's Seventh Dance Dares!  Enjoy!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Faith means....

Hello there blog friends!  I hope you are having a TERRIFIC week!

It might seem that I've fallen off the blog radar, it's just LIFE has come in full force.  Big ups and big downs, but what else is new?  I think what it's come down to me lately is just my FAITH.  And by faith, I mean believing in myself and trusting in the Lord.  Believing the best of others and their intentions... believing that difficult situations will work out for my best in the end.

I find that we believe what we tell ourselves!  So if we tell ourselves that we are blessed and have loving family and friends - we will believe it.  But if we tell ourselves that we are alone and no one is true to us - we will believe that too.  So it's important to FEED OURSELVES GOOD THOUGHTS.

My Faith is in choosing to believe the good of myself and others, especially when it's hardest and things are difficult.

So on that note, my daughter, made a video by herself on what faith means to her.  She did if for a project she was working on and more than half the pictures are personal ones of ours.  I'd like to post if for you to enjoy.  I think she did a fantastic job!!  ENJOY.





LIFE IS GOOD!!! 
Love,
~Margene
xoXoxO

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Month of LUV.....


Well, it is the month of Valentine's and thus LOVE, right? 
Have you shown love to yourself this month?  Have you built yourself up, forgiven yourself for mistakes you've made, and been kind to yourself?  Have you given out love and then felt empty inside?

I dunno why I'm asking that.  Maybe sometimes we as women and mothers, think so much of others and our family and those who rely on us that I wonder if we forget to be nice to ourselves.  Brent is always telling me to be nice to myself.

For Valentine's this year, Brent got me my DJ mug, and a little stuffed Spidy to "protect" me, and some cute toys and nice card.  I wasn't even expecting anything this year, but he still got me something!  That's my man.  He's cool like dat!

It's been and ON and OFF month with our eating.  Part of this is because other things have just taken precedence over preparing our meals.  It's a season of my life that is different than I expected, but it's still good.  My kids are older and they all have such unique needs.  My oldest two cannot drive yet one has a job several miles away.  My daughter sliced her thumb nearly off at school and had to have surgery to reattach everything inside.  My other daughter got asked to her first Prom.  My youngest was sick for a week and is way behind in school.  There are so many busy-needs with all my kids and I am also very involved in church work.  I am learning what I make a priority and what I do not.  Like housework is not a huge priority unless we're having someone over for dinner.  And that is when I actually make dinner!

I cannot allow myself to get on myself for every failing I think I have or do, because then I would feel like I'm failing at everything and I'd want to just give up on everything.  The old Margene used to do that… just sink down into depression and hating myself and marinate in self-doubt.  Sometimes that old "lure" tugs at me, especially when there is so much adversity.  But dang, I've come a LONG way.  Not in just losing weight but in the kind of person I use to be to how I am now!

Brent and I decided today to make a huge deal over every little thing… a positive deal.  So we exaggerate our excitement and just exaggerate our happiness and complimenting everything.  It's actually been fun!  I called him on the cell phone while I was at the grocery store and was SO excited he answered the phone and thanked him, and he was thanking me and we were lavishing over everything and then he says "Hey, it's our one minute anniversary on the phone, YAY!"  It was so over-the-top that is was fun and we continued later on at home.  Hugging and smiling and being so sappy happy!  We're weird but we like to be weird!  Maybe exaggerating the littlest of positivness is WAY better than sighing about the stresses of the day.  That just gets old, ya know?

Life is GOOD.  It's MORE than good, it's AWESOME!!!

This month, I got to go to my first JAZZ game for a GNO!!  And guess who they were playing?  The Portland Trail Blazers (significant since I lived near Portland for 14 years!)  How epic is that? After the game we went and saw "Warm Bodies" which was fun to laugh at... a great "B" movie!
 I also got to DJ three dances this month!  What other 44 year old "Mormon Mommy" gets to Dee Jay a big youth crowd and get them going?  And later an 80's dance and then an Adult Valentine's dance.  Who gets to do that?  My life is so freakin' awesome!! 

For those who have read my blog for a while, you may remember the church women's "Beach Retreat" I went on every year in Oregon.  Now, just next week, I've organized a women's "Mountain Retreat" for here in Utah!!  I am SO excited for this opportunity to share such an event with my new church family here!  We have some very cool things planned and I hope it all goes well.

One miracle to share:
A couple weeks ago, my daughters got sick and were throwing up.  Then a day or two later, both my sons and Brent were all sick and also throwing up.  My oldest daughter felt well enough to go to school.  It was that morning where I woke up with all the same symptoms as my family - who were all sick now and vomiting.  So I layed in bed and slept until noon, but I made myself get up because I had to pick up my daughter from school so she could babysit for our neighbor.  As I did, I didn't feel so bad.  As I drove to pick her up (her school is like 30 minutes away), I learned about her thumb getting cut.  So I ended up taking her to the emergency room at the hospital and was there for that traumatic experience and to help calm her.  Later that day there were several other church-related needs I took care of.  That night I realized that I had started out SICK that day!  I had every same symptom as the rest of my family.  I KNOW it was Heavenly Father that took that from me, he made me "whole" so I could be there for my daughter and be there for those that needed me that day.  No one else would have been able to pick her up or take her to the hospital.  I consider that a miracle.  I know HE did that for me.  I never did get sick!!!  How totally blessed am I? 

There you have it:  
Be NICE to yourself.
Notice how God is intervening in your life and helping you.
It's not always how you may expect, but He is there!
You can move a mountain, one handful at a  time.

Much Love XooXXoo
~Margene

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's about Perspective


Isn't perspective everything?  The same situations in my life change depending on my perspective of them.  People change before my eyes, depending on my perspective.  It's my own perspective that changes how I see myself.  What I think is really my choice!  I either feel rich in blessings and see miracles around me OR I feel empty and lacking and full of heartache.  Even if circumstances change, we can gravitate to either way of viewing it.

I remember listening to marriage talk tape once where the author was saying that no matter what your spouse ever does… you can find something to praise about him.  She gave the example of someone who said all their husband does is sit on the couch and watch football (while drinking and cursing).  She said that you can admire his appreciation of sports. 

You can ALWAYS find SOMETHING positive if you look for it. 

Thankfully, it's not a struggle for me to find the good in my husband.  But there are other areas of my life that I am continually working on my perspective. 

Like even moving here to Utah.  It was our most difficult move and required many sacrifices.  But we have also gained many blessings and opportunities as well.    

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I've had this thought that because of our sacrifice in moving here, the Lord would bless me in a specific area that I wanted.  So my perspective starts to mold around whether I feel this blessing will be answered or not. 

Doesn't it seem true that our pain, disappointment and sorrow is often attached to the fact that there is something we WANT? 

And is it wrong to want something good?  Is it wrong to have righteous desires?  A good marriage? To have children? To mend family relations? For better health?  Etc.

But why must wanting and praying for good things bring such heartache?

Perhaps it is our PERSPECTIVE. 

In my own perspective of looking for a specific blessing, am I not seeing all the other blessings that have been showered upon me?  Am I not enjoying what I already have?  And really, am I lacking anything? 

Is it possible that the feeling of "lacking" something or the sense of "loss" is really a deception?  After all, doesn't God provide for our every need? 

If we don't have something we want right now, is it possible that we don't really "need" it like we think we do?  Or maybe we aren't ready to have it yet?

In my goals for this year, I not only want to EAT HEALTHY, KEEP ACTIVE, and SERVE OUTSIDE MYSELF… I have also written down my greatest blessings and also the answers to my longings (as if they are realized) in sentence form, and will repeat these sentences to myself every day.  Because it's about my PERSPECTIVE and I want to keep it as real as possible. 

I know there is an Adversary trying to manipulate my perspective and distract me from truth.  For me, keeping close to the Lord is the ONLY thing that helps me overcome some of this very strong manipulation.

Here are some yummy meals I've had this last month when out on a date with my man:
The one on the left was some beef kabobs, and the right was prime rib with cole-slaw - which I haven't had in years (I cut the fat off it, of course)

Our waffle iron got dropped and broke, so Brent made me these Medifast Pancakes in the sandwich maker with sugar free syrup to dip.  I thought that was clever!
That is all for now.  I hope to do better at updating my blog this year!  I appreciate all my wonderful blogger Peeps!  Thank you for reading and for your positive encouragement.  :)

Much love, XOxoXo ~Margene