Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ready for the NEW YEAR!!

My husband and I went out today to brave the mall.  I needed to get my calendars for next year & always wait for them to go 50% off.  Whoa, it was crazy there!  My husband is wonderful to say yes to going with me & putting up with the nuts out there (me not included in the nuttiness)!!

Also, took advantage of GREAT prices on running shoes at Dick's.  I haven't tried Asics yet.  I have been a Saucony girl up til now.  They were on sale too but I thought I would give these a try.  Not keen on the colors but I think I can look past that ;-)

I also made sure to get my 2014 workout journal.  I love this one (it says running but I use it for everything).  I can log my miles & write down all I like to keep track of as well. 

Also, got some GREAT fitness gifts for Christmas this year.  I got the Beachbody workout INSANITY!!!!  I am nervous & excited about it!!  I also received a foam roller.  Oh MY!!  I can't wait to use this!

Are you ready for a new year?  What will you do this year to challenge yourself?  If you haven't thought about it, you could do that now :)  Set goals & try to go beyond. 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Follow me on Facebook too for more daily updates at Imperfectly Pamela

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Write It Down

I never realized how important writing my goals down was. 

A great motivator for me has been Chalene Johnson (TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme). 

Something she talks about is writing down goals & also making sure to write down your progress as well.  I have a calendar book that I keep by my workout DVD's & equipment & I log every workout & what weight I use.  What color band I use.  All of it.  How many miles I may have run, etc. 

I write down if something hurt or if I wasn't feeling right about something.  If I did reps too fast, if the weight wasn't enough or was too much.  I also put if I do pushups on my knees or toes and how many that way.  This really helps me see my progress.  I even have my own little shorthand system now.

I have also started putting my weight & measurements before I start a new program.  As you learn about me if you are new to my blog, I don't like the numbers but I do try to have them keep me on target with my goals.

I also PLAN MY WORKOUTS.  I usually do a week ahead of time but I am also usually working through a program so honestly it's already planned out for me unless I'm hybridding (is that a word?) it.  The only day I usually have a rest is Sunday.  I am gone all morning with my family at church & try to keep my focus on them during the day. 

I am a cardio JUNKIE.  I love weight work for sure but my heart soars when I'm jumping, kicking, running.  When I am doing a workout with lots of weight work I usually add in my favorite Turbofire workouts to balance my days with cardio & weight work.  Ah, just thinking about it makes me look forward to tomorrow morning :)

I hope I have helped you think about writing down your goals & workouts.  Keeping track is really important.  In the beginning it might be hard to do but once you get used to it you won't know how you went without writing things down.

How do you keep yourself accountable with your workouts?  Do you prefer weight work or cardio?  How do you keep that balance?

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Follow me on Facebook @ Imperfectlypamela

Friday, December 13, 2013

Slow Progress

When I started my fitness & healthy living journey 8 years ago I had weight to lose & a lot of jiggles to firm up.  I still have jiggles to firm up & I would love to lose some more weight but that isn't my big goal anymore.

I am not a big fan of the scale.  Yes, it helps a lot of people to stay the course but it will make this girl go NUTS!  I judge by how my clothes are fitting & also what I see in the mirror.

I have noticed over the last few months I haven't been seeing a lot of change with the workouts I'm doing.  I have started making sure I'm taking some time between workout programs to settle down a bit with some yoga & stretching.  Not as much high impact, high weight work.  I think that helps.  I have also said it really helps to switch things up.  Challenge yourself, get out of the rut you have been in.

I realized today that I am seeing some slow progress.  Putting on a pair of jeans that the butt is a bit looser!  Gotta love that right? 

When we get the weight off & start working on getting leaner & firmer the progress may seem a bit slower but I know I'm getting stronger through this process and YOU ARE TOO!!

Please remember -- before you start any new exercise program to check with your Dr to make sure you are ok to start it. 

I would love to hear of any progress or plans you have.  I know New Years is always a time people want to start to get healthier, etc.  You don't need to wait!  Any day is the perfect day.  Do it for your family, your spouse but most of all?  Do it for YOU!!  I promise, you WILL NOT be disappointed.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Follow me on Facebook too!  I would love to see you there :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Birthday!!

Well, today I turned 45! 
I am proud to say that.  I feel GREAT.  I have a GREAT family. 
Things aren't perfect but I am choosing to look at my blessings. 
I decided this year I was going to start my day with a run that would be my gift to myself.  I logged 4.5 miles in today in honor of my 45th year.  My husband came along & was able to push me that last little bit that I was just hitting a wall. 
I am SO happy I did that.
What do you do for yourself on your birthday??
Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fit Moms for Life Pledge

Take the Fit Moms for Life Pledge!!!

"I will never forget that tomorrow starts today
I am ready to be my best
And to love who I am at every step along the way
I can do it
I’m worth the effort"

After you take the pledge come back & leave me a comment!!  We are all in this together.  Whether you started today or 8 years ago :)

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving (and a few other things)

Here I am!!

I took a little time off from posting because we had some guests from out of town.  My DAD & MOM!!  It was wonderful to be able to visit with them & share Thanksgiving with them as well.  They stayed with my sister (the dog friendly house - they brought their 6 dogs!!!).  That is so close though that we still got our Grandma & Grandpa fix here too.

By the way Happy Thanksgiving!!!

My parents, younger sis & her fam & me & my fam :)
Thanksgiving started out for me with a 5K.  I had decided not to pay for races anymore since my hubby & I are trying really hard to make sure our money is going toward paying of debt, etc.  My friend wanted me to run & she blessed me with this 5K.  I had so much fun running with her & cheering her on.  She hadn't run in a little while so she was concerned she wouldn't make the whole race running.  She did & I am SO proud of her!!  We can do it if we just set our minds to it & get it done. 

The rest of the day was spent cooking, visiting & EATING!!  Oh my I love food.  If you didn't guess it already there were so many healthy choices & I just HAD to make some pies that I could eat too.

I have missed a couple days of workouts for some medical issues.  I have been having some stomach problems & had some testing done (can't get my sweat on when I can't eat or drink anything!) then my husband had surgery so no workout for me yet.  I am looking forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled program.  I miss it!!

I hope you and your family & friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Anyone out there start your Christmas decorating?
 Our tree is done & the rest of the house is getting there!  Now to finish & get all these boxes out of the way!

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

"like" my Facebook page for more daily updates :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday Food

This time of the year is a very YUMMY time of year for so many of our senses!!

The smells are amazing.  I smell cinnamon every where I go it seems!!

The beautiful colors of autumn (well, in Florida they are a little limited in my opinion but we try)

The feel of the cooler weather outside.  That crispness.  (Yes, we do get this here in Florida too just not as chilly)

The TASTES of so many holiday specialties.  I have seen a lot of people posting about the Pumpkin Spice Coffees back at DD & Starbucks.  I went the other day & noticed the Peppermint Mocha is there too. 

What about the yummy foods you will find as you are at office parties & friends houses.  There will be a smorgasbord of foods for sure.  THIS is where you can make a change.

When you are invited to a party or having one at work find out what you can bring.  If there is a theme then find something you would enjoy that works with your healthy lifestyle & take it.  That guarantees you will have something there to eat.  

Talk with the host of the party & ask what you can bring.  

Remember.  It is ok to pass on food that is no good for you.  You will not hurt peoples feelings and honestly if they get hurt because you passed on their dish well that may just be their issue to deal with. 

Treat your body with the respect it deserves.  You won't be sorry you did!!

I'm going to try to star posting some more recipes of things I love to eat but change the recipe so I CAN eat it :)

What is your favorite holiday food? 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

You can check me out at Facebook & Twitter too @ ImperfectlyPamela

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Day 5K

This is one of the last official races I ran.  My daughter did her first Kid's Run this day too.  GREAT memories!!
Ok my blog friends.  A while ago I decided to stop running in the races around my area.  Not for any other reason but because my husband & I are trying to make ends meet & save our money.  I have stopped trying to beat my last time or be faster than someone else.  I run because I love it.  I run with people that are slower than me & I run with my kids and/or husband when they are on their bikes & I'm able to go my own speed & maybe challenge myself.  I realized I didn't need to pay money to run a race. 

A good friend of mine, an old running partner and my neighbor talked to me tonight & said she is signing me up to run the Thanksgiving Day 5K.  I had explained our situation but she just wants us all to be together running.  How could I say no.  I think I can handle that. 

So, I have my workout for Thanksgiving Day planned already!!  Now that's planning ahead!!

What about you?  Have any upcoming events you are excited about? 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Women's Bodies

I have this pinned on my board on Pinterest but I just saw it come through on Facebook too.  I find this amazing. 

This model would have to change her body to the outlined proportions to be a life-size Barbie. Must teach ourselves and daughters that women can be soft with curves and still be healthy and strong

Let's be the role models our daughters & other girls & women need us to be!!!

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!! 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie Recipe

Ok, I promised it & here it is.  These cookies do NOT last long in my house.  They are soft & yummy in my  our tummies!!  NOT just for breakfast either!

Enjoy!  Leave me a comment & let me know what you think!!
Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

3 cups quick cooking oats (I use old fashioned & they are YUMMY!) gluten free or regular
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 - 1 cup raisins (you could also add chocolate chips if that's how you roll!)

In a large bowl mix all ingredients together.  (if adding raisins or chips add them last)
Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet then remove from pan to cooling rack.
Serve warm or make ahead & freeze (they didn't make it to the freezer in my house!)  They last in the fridge for days.

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook @ImperfectlyPamela

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pumpkin Craziness

Oh I love pumpkin!!  Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Raisin Cookies, carving pumpkins, pumpkin SEEDS!! Yummy!!  (have you read that book "Too Many Pumpkins"?  I just thought about that )

We may be a few days late in carving a pumpkin but we are ok with that.  My daughter LOVED carving the pumpkin & not having anyone to fight with about carving or pulling the slimy stuff out.  She did AWESOME!!  I'm sure the boys will get home & just feel so jealous (yeah right!). 

Here are some picks of our time & my little girl dressed up as Princess Tiana.  I hope you are having a wonderful autumn season!!  This is probably one of my favorite times of year in Florida!

Finished product.  VERY happy :)

Beautiful Princess <3 p=""> 
Thanks for stopping by! 

We have been enjoying some pretty fantastic weather here in Central Florida.  I have been able to get out running a few times as well with a friend & my kids.  Unfortunately Plantar Fasciitis has reared it's ugly head (foot) again.  I will be seeing my Sports Medicine guy very soon. 

I'm going to post a GREAT gluten free recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies soon! 

What are you doing lately?  Did you partake in the Halloween festivities or any Fall Festivals? 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Did you know?

I'm also on Facebook!

Check out my page at

I post there as often as I can & would love to have you hang out with me there too!!

Be Blessed & Life Healthy!!!

What is YOUR goal?


I realize everyone has a different goal for themselves.  Some want to just be fit & keep up with their kids.  Some want to be "skinny" and even that will be different for everyone.  Some just want to eat healthy.  Some use healthy eating to be able to go off certain meds.

What about other things like keeping your house clutter free (a HUGE problem for this woman!).  Being on time (another biggy for me!).

Well, I am learning to write my goals down. 

I put them where I can see them.  That helps to hold me accountable on a daily basis. 

If it's something big, I make sure I talk with someone about it.  Someone I know who will honestly help to hold me accountable.

What about you?  Do you have goals you have trouble sticking to?  How do you reach them? Maybe you have some tips that could help -- PLEASE SHARE:)

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Challenging Myself

A friend of mine recently posted this picture on her Facebook page. 

I saw this picture & saw it as a challenge.  I am always looking for something that I can do that will challenge this body and honestly?  Make me wake up the next morning KNOWING I worked something that needed it in a different way than usual! 

So, I have just finished 1 week of 20 each of these exercises (squats can be made more challenging with holding weights in each hand) (40 Jumping Jax though with a band around my ankles).  This next week I will up this to 30 & the Jax to 50 in addition to my regularly scheduled workouts.

Oh & I can tell you from experience that these muscles are telling me I'm doing them good :)

What about you?  What do you do to challenge yourself?  Want to jump on board with me?  Let me know!! 

You can also "like" my Facebook page at Imperfectly Pamela.  I post a little more regularly there.

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The More I Workout....

The more I workout, the more I LOVE IT!!!

Seriously, so often someone will start working out & then find themselves quitting after a little while.  There are so many reasons I'm sure.  -They don't carve the time out of their schedule to make it happen.  -The program they chose isn't the right one for them.  -They don't schedule their workouts ahead of time.  This last one is different from the first one about carving out time for the workout.  Making sure you have a scheduled plan of workouts for the week or even month is REALLY important! 

I didn't realize this until I started the Beachbody workouts. 

I got a schedule with each of the workouts I have & while I certainly don't need to stick with them, and I didn't at first with P90X, I realized maybe they knew what they were talking about! 

I am working right now on my 3rd round of ChaLEAN Extreme.  The workouts are really awesome.  She knows what she is doing.  She does the TurboFire workouts too & they are my FAVORITE cardio workouts to be sure. 

Recently, if you have been keeping up with my blog, you know I have a new addition to my weights.  I added 20lb weights & I am THRILLED to say I am using them during this program.  Right now they are more for lower body exercises but I know eventually I will be able to get them into the upper body too. 

I am so happy to say that after many years I have found the workouts that work for me.  Including running & biking.  Along with Beachbody workouts like TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme & P90X I have invested in Bob Harpers workouts.   His InsideOut workout DVD's are INTENSE & I use them between the longer programs I do.  Keeps me shaking things up with my workouts & keeps my body guessing what's coming next.

I am seeing some great results.  Great definition in my arms & legs.  I still have areas I want to work on but I know I will get there.  It hasn't been over night & I have been working really hard at it for over 7 years!

I feel great.  That's the idea right?  I want to be able to keep up.  I want my kids to grow up & know exercise should be an every day thing & not a chore.  There are other options than going to the gym.  So many people I have talked to get memberships & don't end up seeing the year through.  It can be discouraging.  The right mind-set & being determined to make a difference really does help!!

Have you found an exercise that works for you?  How do you challenge yourself?

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Woman's Musings

I have to say, I don't feel my age.  I don't feel like I actually am old enough to have a child out of high school & on his way to finding where his place in life is outside our home. 

With that said though, I am.  I am proud to be able to say I have an 18 yr old son that is a phenomenal musician.  I have loved watching that boy grow from the moment he was in my belly and I will continue love watching him continue to grow.  Even if it has to be from afar & hearing things through social media first. 

I also have an incredible 14 yr old son.  He shows his talents through baseball, music & learning.  As well as having the compassion & empathy for others that will just leave you speechless.  He continues to communicate with myself & his dad.  Asking questions to learn & understanding when he needs to be corrected in something. 

Our other child is a beautiful 7 (and a 1/2) year old daughter.  She has the voice of an angel & is quick as a whip.  She has a combination of both her brothers in her & I can see that being wonderful & challenging all rolled into one. 

I have been trying to really take the time recently to think about the way things have changed lately.  I hope you will humor me.  While I try to keep my blog along the fitness/health lines - I am a wife, mom & woman & as I'm sure you can understand my brain is constantly going with other things too!

I know social media has a place.  I realize many people use it for great things.  I have a good friend that uses it to help her with fostering dogs & making sure they can help dogs that are in danger.  I have used it to ask for prayer for my father who was very sick (update on him at the end).  There are so many things we can use Facebook, Twitter & the like for.  I think the main thing though is just entertainment.  That is where it can get a little grey. 

I have had friends tell me that their spouse & them have decided not to be part of FB because they have heard the stories of people hooking up with old girl/boyfriends.

Another reason is it's a TIME SUCKER( seriously!). 

The thing that probably makes me most sad is when people use it in a way that is hurtful.  To hear good news from someone close to you really stinks.  

I think many people will use it to say things that they wouldn't normally say to lots of people.  When I post on FB or Twitter & when I post here on my blog I try VERY hard to think about what I'm saying & how it may come across.  My intent is never to hurt anyone.  I truly would just like to inspire & help others. 

Also, I would never want a friend or loved one to read my blog & find out something about my life that they should have learned 1st hand. 

I don't know.  Maybe this is a little old fashioned.  Maybe tweeting about something you just did that was a big deal is the new way to do things today.  Maybe a Mom & Dad just need to grow with the times.  I don't think I am an old fuddy-duddy (HA!  When was the last time you heard that one!). 

I just love my family & am so interested in their lives.  Not to be controlling.   Sheesh, I have enough of my own stuff to be handling & keeping in line!  I just am interested.  I want to see life through their eyes as well.  I want to love the new people they are becoming & have become. 

Well, I feel like I may have gone on a little meander here in my typing.  I hope you understand & will return! 

As for the update on my Dad.  He is home now with Mom.  He is receiving therapy for walking & moving his hands as well.  Turns out when you are unresponsive for 11 days on a ventilator your body doesn't react well.  I was blessed to talk with him a couple nights ago.  He was a bit winded just talking but can I just say what a BLESSING it was to hear his voice.  The man got a new chance at life.  My prayer is he will learn Who gave him that chance & embrace it. 

What's on your mind lately?  Can I pray for you?  I would be honored!!

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling Strong!

So recently I'm sure you saw my little "New Addition" post :)

Let me just tell you what a HUGE difference it makes to up your weights!  I am SO happy with how I am feeling.  I just feel STRONGER.  It's been a week & a half & while I know I have a little ways to go with these weights before seeing any changes I know how I'm feeling.  I have already been able to increase reps with some of the things I have been doing.  Just since last week! 

When I do my workouts & really kill them I know I walk taller.  I feel so much more confident too.  I'm sure I'm not the only one!

I'm one of those craaaazy people that loves the soreness the next day too.  I was sore yesterday from my run on Saturday & I'm hoping tomorrow I will be feeling this workout from this morning.

So, what are you waiting for?  You are strong & capable.  Get out there & KILL your workout.  Show it who's boss :)  You ARE WORTH IT!!

What is your favorite -- Cardio or Weight work? 

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Fun with the Fullwoods: Guest Post: A Yummy (and healthy!) Cookie Recipe

One of my favorite blogs has a guest post with a YUMMY recipe!!  Looking forward to making these cookies very soon.  I love new things that are a healthy alternative.  Check it out & let me know what you think!
Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Fun with the Fullwoods: Guest Post: A Yummy (and healthy!) Cookie Recipe: Happy fall, y'all! We are thrilled that autumn is finally upon us, even if it is still 90-something degrees in Houston. Fall is the...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Every Day Choices


Every day there are choices we have to make. 

For most of us it starts with getting out of bed!!

I have found lately that I'm tired.  I'm getting enough sleep (for the most part) but I'm just tired.  When we get tired we tend to make some food choices that just may not be the best. 

I have found lots of people do "prep" work on Sunday with their food.  They cut up veggies & prepare meals for the whole week!  That way it's easy to grab & go.  I was reading a blog about salads she made in a Mason jar!!  She prepped 6 of them for the rest of the week!  They stay fresh in the jars.  I'm thinking THAT might be a cool way to prep salads.  That is one of the things that drives me batty is getting all the salad stuff done.

I find myself eating breakfast a lot on the run.  I realized this morning while eating on the way to church, what kind of role model am I being?  My oldest son does the same thing now.  I watch him make his food & take it with him. 

I'm not saying this is necessarily bad but I am realizing how much they pay attention to what we do as parents. 

You know that saying about not going food shopping when you are hungry?  How true is that??!! 


I am living proof that making changes to my food habits & exercising work.  Every morning I get out of bed I need to make that choice.  I need to make the choice on what I'm going to eat. 
-I choose NOT to buy the stuff I shouldn't have.  That way it's not tempting me at all. 
-I choose to make sure I'm drinking PLENTY of water every day. (Your weight divided by 2 in ounces) 
-I choose to make sure I'm getting enough sleep (7-9 hours a night).
-I choose to make sure I'm getting LOTS of veggies & some fruit in EVERY DAY.
-I choose to make sure I'm not starving myself by skipping meals or light snacks.  We shouldn't go more than 3 hours without something little.  A few nuts, an apple.  Doesn't have to be fancy :)
-I choose to make sure I have time EVERY DAY to exercise.  Even if it's just going for a walk.  I have seen over time this is a GREAT stress reliever.

Is it easy?  Nope. 

Is working out every day hard?  Some times. 

Is it worth it?  100 times over -- YES YES YES!

What are some healthy choices you have made lately?  Have you noticed a difference?

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mandisa - Overcomer Dedicated to my Dad

I'm dedicating this song to my Dad.  I wish I could sing it to him myself right now. He is overcoming SO much right now!!  If you could please join us in praying for clarity of mind & that he would hear Jesus talking to his heart!! 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

My New Addition!

Oh I am SOOOO excited!! 

Some girls buy shoes.  Some by clothes.  Some go for food, etc.

Me?  This is my purchase of choice.  You know, the one I save my $$ for......

Welcome 20# weights.  I have been waiting patiently (NOT!) for your arrival!!

I am excited & a bit nervous to begin using them.

What about you?  What have you added to help your fitness routine be more challenging for you?  (even if you answer is A FITNESS ROUTINE! that is good!).

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What To Eat?

To get a phone call or anything telling you something has happened to someone close to you is very devastating & stressful.

My sisters & I have always said how blessed we have been to have not really lost anyone close before what we believed should be their time.  Grandparents were around til they got older, etc. 

Getting a text saying Dad was in trouble in ICU was very stressful.  While my first thoughts were on him & how can we swing a flight up there & me leaving my family for a time, I knew I had to be there.  My husband was very understanding. 

Before I left I realized I had no idea what I would be eating while away.  I had just gone shopping & grabbed lots of Uberbars (my fave lately) and nuts.  My sis & I made sure we had water whenever we could get it as well.  The cafeteria offered good choices but you had to look for them.  Oatmeal in the am and eggs was my choice breakfast but we typically didn't eat again until dinner.  That's when the nut bars, nuts & any fresh fruit we could find came in handy.  We drank as much water as we could as well. 

We all deal with stress differently.  My sister was incredible with finding out all the information she could about what was happening.  The nurses with our Dad were very accommodating.  She was then able to route that information to her husband who is an RN & he could tell us what exactly we needed to know (and for me he was able to put it in very simple terms (: ) 

Saturday felt like a good day for Dad & we went back to the hotel on a little bit of a high.  We stopped for dinner take out from Olive Garden (have you had their salad with the GF salmon?  GREAT choice & oh so filling!).  Being that I try to respect my husband's wishes in not running alone my sis said she would come with me to the fitness room & walk while I ran.  That is the way I deal with stress.  I workout.  I felt giddy just thinking about getting there & running.  I couldn't get over how much I looked forward to it.  I did a HIIT workout on their treadmill & was able to eat & sleep well that night.  It's a good thing.  We woke up to a huge crisis my Dad was going through.  I needed that release the night before and was very glad I took it. 

Now,  I have comfort foods.  Unfortunately (well, fortunately) there wasn't much of what I like there (gluten free bread, chocolate, etc).  We did stop for our fave coffees that helped us to just feel a tad bit better about things :)  Even then I found another alternative at the cafeteria that I could use and my sis benefited from it too.

I realize everyone deals with things in their own way.  I think I have been doing this long enough that my brain just looks for other options that will give me that same feeling but is healthier for me in the long run.  On the other hand, I will not (and you shouldn't either) beat myself up over some comfort food you had in a stressful time. 

I get a clean slate tomorrow.  I'm thankful for that & I will take it!!

Tell me - how do you deal with stress?  Are you a comfort eater?  Do you turn to exercise or shut down?  I would really love to know.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Family Emergency

My Dad giving my oldest his first car (Dad's old one)  The smiles say it all.
I got a text letting me know my dad was at the ER.  He & Mom live 1000 miles away from us so it's hard when you hear someone is sick because you can't just hop in the car to be there.

He had pneumonia & within a short period of time he went from walking into the ER to going to ICU on ventilator.  My sister, that lives close to me, and I were trying to figure out what we should do.  Go or stay.  It was so hard.  Her husband is a nurse & was keeping track of Dad's information.  He told us when it was time for us to go.

I would like to honor my Dad & not give details about the whole ordeal.  There were MANY complications though & at one point I can honestly tell you we thought we may just truly be saying good bye to our father.  We stayed for a couple days & the whole time in the backs of our minds thinking of our departing flight on Monday.  Wondering if we would be on it or not. 

Our other sister was there first to help Mom through some things & of course, be with Dad.  When we got there she was able to go home.  She ended up turning around though 18 hours later to come back. 

We turned to our faith most of all.  We prayed over him & for him.  We talked with him about God's salvation through Jesus.  We prayed for the nurses & doctors.  Even thanking God for the orderlies there that were helping us through & offering to get us food/drinks/chairs to sit on.  Anything they could do to make life easier for us.   I am humbled just thinking of it now.  They let 3 of us be in there for longer than they should have. 

Dad isn't out of the woods yet.  I would be so appreciative of your prayers for him & my mom.  All us girls had to leave & at this time Dad is trying to get off the ventilator.  His chances are so much better than they were.

A few things I have learned from this experience.  Please bear with me.  Some may see silly & others not but my mind just went from one extreme to another.

* Nurses don't make enough $$ for what they do.
* I am even more determined then ever to focus on health & fitness.  When we compromise our bodies with bad food, no exercise, smoking, too much alcohol, we affect how our bodies will be able to fight when it needs to. 
* My brain turns to Swiss cheese when I don't get the proper food & sleep (and enough water!)
* The smallest gesture to someone in crisis is so very special & appreciated.  Even just handing them a bottle of water or offering a seat.  A pat on the back and/or a prayer. 
* No amount of time away should affect the love & closeness you can find with family & old friends. 
*  A grudge is never worth holding on to.  When the rubber hits the road, it just shouldn't matter.  We have all been made with our own feelings & opinions.  If we were all the same wouldn't that be boring!  Looking at something from someone else's point of view should be a blessing.  Not something that breaks a relationship up.  We don't have to agree on something to be able love each other or even be friends. 
* It's never too late to tell someone you love them.  NEVER.  Don't wait.  You just don't know what the future holds.

I hope at least one person was blessed by my post.  

I will be posting about how I dealt with my eating & fitness during this time but just didn't want to put it in this post.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guatemala - Part 4

This will be my last post about our trip.  It's been a month now :( and it's time I guess. (Well, over a month at this point).

It will be long so I hope you can bear with me.  Pictures follow my post.  Hope you can put up with reading before scrolling down to check them out :)

Most of our time in Amatitlan we were told we were mainly to build relationships by teaching English & just interacting with the kids & others we meet. 

We held 2 sessions each day.  The earlier session was the older kids (14 yr old +) and the later session was to be the younger kids.  They go to school at different times so that was the easiest way to do it.  The younger kids were at school in the morning (only about 3 hours in school!) and they older ones, if they were still in school, went in the afternoon.  Many older kids had to stop school & get a job for money for the family. 

It turned out our morning session was 4 young girls.  They were just precious.  We painted nails & talked about their lives & of course taught English & we taught each other songs. 

This is where we learned they had something like 14 classes!  Then as we talked more we found out that they would have music class maybe one time in 4 weeks.  It's amazing they could retain the information they are learning from that class at all.

The afternoon was our largest group. There were some children in this session that were older but they hadn't made it out of the Primary school yet.  This group was lots of fun.  They played musical chairs, soccer, painted nails, UNO.  This of course was after the part of the session that we taught the English words for colors & parts of the body, different greetings like "Hello" and "How are you?".  It was fun for us to teach them these things & they also taught us as well. 

They never came to a session dragging their feet like we may see our kids do for school.  They came happy & very much wanting to be there with us.  Many were shy at first but after that initial few minutes they opened right up.  We were getting hugs & kisses before they would leave. 

Wednesday & Thursday we were blessed to go & visit the schools.  Wednesday we visited the school closest to where we were staying.  We were able to walk there.  We sang songs & our kids did a skit that showed 2 girls struggling with the temptation of walking away from God.  Every time I watched this I cried.  They did an amazing job each & every time.  They did this at the schools twice.  The second time they did it Dr Elry had explained what was happening beforehand so they could understand it a little better.    If I'm able to I will post the video of this soon. 

Thursday's trip to the school was a bit more exciting.  We got to ride the CHICKEN BUS!!!!!  It got it's name "Chicken Bus" from the coin they used to use to be able to ride it.  There was a chicken on one side of the coin.  We found out where our school busses from the states go to die.  They get our busses & totally pimp them out.  Oh and there is NO maximum occupancy in Guatemala!!  Oh my.  At one point we were squeezed in there like sardines.  People standing in the aisle & squished on the seats.  We got to take 2 buses going up to the school.  WAY up a mountain. 

When we got the school all the children were already waiting for us in the courtyard.  We spent a lot more time here singing & doing the skit (again 2 times).  After we were done our boys played soccer with their 6th grade boys.  Then  (get this) the teachers of this school wanted to know if the ladies in our group would play them in basketball.  Ok, seriously, the extent of my basketball knowledge you could fit on the end of a pin!  I go out & shoot hoops every once in a while with my son or daughter but that is it.  I didn't go in at first then realized I needed to help out my team (mostly because it was HOT & a never ending game)!  We were NOT doing well!  I call this Guatemala team of women AMAZONS!!  They seemed like they were 10ft tall & just about as wide but that isn't the truth -  as you see in this picture.  All I kept thinking was WHEN WILL THIS GAME EVER END!!!  At one point my son hollered at me "Mom, you have to JUMP!!".  Wow. 
Basketball -  Guatemala vs USA
We stayed there all morning until the kids left to go home.  We went for a walk & saw a beautiful sight.  I think the Dr called it a lagoon.  Not sure why.  It was just gorgeous though.  The vans picked us up there (no Chicken Bus :(  ) and we headed back for our last session.  This session lasted into the night.  Usually we were good about sending the kids home so we could have dinner etc but this night was special.  All the kids from the whole week were there.  Taking pictures & just hanging out.  No one wanted to leave.  Them or us.  It was very bittersweet. 

I can honestly say this trip started out for me as something I could give to children & people that maybe didn't have much.  I left there with so much more than I gave.  I left knowing I will go back some day.  I left knowing Dr Elry, Liz, Sammy, Andres & all the kids there are my extended family.  I left knowing that while we might think a language barrier will stop us from communicating, it really only does that if we CHOOSE for it to.  There is always a way to communicate. 

I watched my daughter that last night by the edge of the lake catching little minnows with a couple girls from the village.  They talked & used hand signals & they were just loving being with each other. 

So now I want to remember my time there. I want to see things the way God sees them.  I want to remember that I am blessed.  REALLY Blessed.  but while I may not live in a 3rd world country, there is so much that I wish I had that they have.  Simplicity is a big one.  I'm working on that.  Relationship.  I'm working on that too.  My priorities have been out of whack.  I'm working on that.

Oh and I'm working on my husband saying ok to heading back down next year. 

I hope you enjoyed my posts about our trip.  I wish we could be sitting across from each other so you can look at the pictures with me & just feel my excitement & passion for what we were doing.  I am trying to share what's in my heart but I'm not sure this is doing it justice.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you stick around.  My passions have grown but fitness & healthy living is still my big one.  I'll be back with more of that & more of my family stuff. 

Let me know what you think about our trip.  Have you been out of the country on a mission trip?   I would love to hear about it. 

You can follow me on Facebook & Twitter too at Imperfectlypamela 

Be Blessed & Healthy!!!!

This black tank is what held all the water for showers & toilet flushing for the day! 

Prepping the front wall of the clinic to be painted & leveling out the ground.
Painting the wall :)

What color would you like?
Such a little thing we take forgranted but these girls did not.  They LOVED this!

Painted the wall in the back yard.  This is out background for the last picture here :)


Who doesn't LOVE a game of musical chairs??!!

More painting....inside the waiting room of the clinic.

The men deserved every minute of their break.

School #1

School #1 - kids doing the drama

School #2

School #2 (soccer with the kids)

A last round of backyard soccer.

No communication problem here.  They were intent on catching minnows together.

The sun was setting but we couldn't say good bye to our new friends.

My Guatemala sister in Christ - Liz

Us with our Amatitlan family.  Forever in our hearts.

Ah, the finished wall & garden.  Beautiful.
Well, I know there were so many pictures I didn't post.  I will probably do that periodically just because.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!