LETTERS HOME

There is nothing so cherishing as receiving a card or letter from a loved one in the mail. Yes snail mail. Most of the mail we get anymore is junk mail, sales flyers, credit card offers, and magazine subscriptions. But getting that letter touching the envelope, smelling it, carefully opening it to preserve it has become something of a sacred ceremony. Sending letters home are cherished because it shows that you were willing to take the time out of your busy life to think about them.

letter-writing

We live in the instant where everyone writes in short hyphenated blobs of letters instead of complete thoughts. Text messages, emails, instant messages, Facebook posts, and tweets have replaced a letter home or a card to a loved one on their birthday.

I remember going through a box of my mom’s old letters when I ran across a letter my dad sent my mom before they were married. In it he asked her to marry him. He wrote and sent this letter while he was stationed at his FOB in 1945. He wrote other letters to my mom, and sent her cards along the way as well. I am so thankful my mom saved everything, because I got to touch a bit of family history.

Every time I go through my own cards that my sons have given and made me, that my husband has given me, I touch a love history that no one else can know. It’s sentimental, it’s beautiful and it’s mine. I get to share this love history with my family. It’s personal, it’s tangible. Sorry but you can’t hold a text message up to your heart, and feel the person’s feelings coming through your phone screen.

While writing this post I’m reading a letter that was sent to me, by someone I used to dream about when I was 16. God granted me that dream. It’s so special to me to see his words and feel his love come through the pages with every stroke of the pen he took, I know he wrote it with love in his heart.

Write a letter home, send a card. Reconnect with your loved ones. Give them something tangible to embrace.  Something that shows future generations just how much love you’ve had in your life.

Send some letters home!

Advertisements

ITALIAN GIRL SAYS GOODBYE TO PASTA & LOSES 15 POUNDS

Two and a half weeks ago, I decided to do something drastic for the health of my husband and for myself. I decided to go Paleo and totally grain-free. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog then you already know that my husband has been gluten intolerant for more than two years. But I learned something interesting about myself almost 3 weeks ago. I have a gluten allergy and while I don’t have Celiac’s Disease, this allergy causes some pretty disturbing issues for me. So this Italian girl said goodbye to pasta and lost 15 pounds in 18 days.

I know what you’re thinking…It’s simply not possible to lose that much weight in that short of time. If’ I didn’t see the scale numbers for myself I wouldn’t believe it either. The clincher came when my jeans became so big it was difficult to hold them up. So I tried on my skinny jeans, and they were loose on me too.  Eating grain free is so easy for both me and my husband. I thought I would miss the pastas but I really don’t probably because I haven’t had regular pasta in over three years.

My scale is my friend.

People are constantly asking me what exactly do I eat and what kind of crazy exercise routine am I doing. So here goes this is what I’ve been eating:

Breakfast: 1organic egg cooked any way I want, with some Himalayan Salt and 1 small organic banana, 1 cup of Earl Grey Tea with 2 stevia drops, and 32 ounces of water.

I don’t eat for four hours between breakfast and lunch.

Lunch: I have a 20 ounce cup of tea with stevia and a salad with either tuna, or whatever protein we had from the night before.

Snack: a handful of soaked almonds or a homemade “Laura Bar” (My own versions that have no added fat except the nuts).

Dinner: I’ve been making burgers and all kinds of different ethnic stir fries (husband can live on stir fries with no soy because he’s allergic to that too) , another salad and for dessert a serving of frozen fruit puree. My favorite so far has been Pineapple Vanilla Sorbet. It’s super easy to make.

I’ve also instituted no eating after 7 pm.

This is my basic diet, I haven’t strayed from it at all. I drink 96 ounces of water a day.  The most interesting this is that I’m not hungry all the time. I do give myself one cheat meal once a week, but for me that’s usually a piece of chocolate.

I’ve been walking and using my old Shwinn Airdyne exercise bike that a friend gave me to use. And that’s it. I will start my weight training routine Next Monday.

This way of eating has really cause me to take a second look at how I feel because before, while I had a lot of energy, I was still having inflammation issues. Now that I’m totally grain free, those inflammation issues are not such a problem anymore. Another plus at eating this way is meal prep takes only about 30 minutes, and some of the stir-fries I’ve made in less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

My husband’s results to this eating plan are totally different than mine, he hasn’t lost as much weight but he hasn’t taken any digestive enzymes (which he was popping like candy) since starting this plan. Plus he hasn’t had a problem with his lipomas (fatty tumors)  or the pain in his side caused by his IBS of which he has not had a problem with this whole time and he’s been under a great deal of stress.

This Italian girl is staying on this plan until she reaches her goal weight of 145 pounds. I thought I could do it before December but if the weight keeps falling off of me at this rate, I’ll be at my goal weight much quicker.

Pastas will come and go; people will forever be posting photos of delectable foods everywhere we look, but we don’t have to succumb to these and give up our dreams and goals for a moment of tongue bliss. It doesn’t matter what ethnic heritage you are, you can lose weight and stick to a program especially if you’re seeing results. This program is easy, it’s simple too. I find the simpler the plan the easier to stick to it. Many people out there are trying to find ways to come up with recipes that mimic the regular version, that’s so time consuming and nothing we try will ever taste like the old version. So just make peace with yourself and resolve to change your tastes.

This Italian girl said goodbye to pasta and lost 15 pounds.

If I can do it, so can you.

MY FATHER: MY FIRST INSPIRATION

My father was and still is an inspiration in my life. I only had my father for 25 short years but he was my champion and my cheerleader. He was my life saver and my teacher. I have a photo of him up on my wall above my computer, so I can see his face every time I sit down to work. I look at him and I see all that he stood for. He taught me how to live by his example, he never lectured me or even yelled at me. He talked to me. We talked about anything I wanted to talk about. I was never afraid of asking him questions about life, about careers, about love, and about God. My father was my first inspiration.

My Father

My Father

He was my cheerleader: When I was 13 I was in a track meet where I fell, and knee hurt so much that I just wanted to stay on the ground but my dad was on the sidelines, telling me to get up and finish the race. He said it didn’t matter that I would come in last, it mattered that I finished what I started. So I got up and I limped, walked, and hopped to the finish line, where my dad was standing with his arms opened to hug me. It’s a moment I will never forget.

He was my champion: When I was 15 I was designing some clothes for myself; my mom was constantly telling me that it would never work out. My dad told my mom to knock it off. Then turned to me and said “No matter what you do, if you put your mind to it, it will turn out even better than you thought it could.” The sweater I designed and made turned out so good I started getting orders for, and a woman’s clothing boutique wanted to carry it in their store.

He was my lifesaver: It was in the middle of the night, I was a baby, my mother was rocking me to sleep. She fell asleep instead of me. I fell out of her arms and my father caught me. He said something (an angel) made him get up from a dead sleep. He just reached out his hands and caught me. If he didn’t catch me, who knows what life would be like for me. He saved my life.

He was my teacher: My friend’s fathers yelled at them almost incessantly, or they got lectured and grounded. My father never did any of those things. He never yelled at me. He talked to me.  When he was wrong about something having to do with me, he admitted it to me and apologized. His example about how to live showed me how to live. When I graduated high school, he told me something that has stuck with my entire life: “Stand in the gap, Laura, that’s where people need you the most but are too afraid to ask.”

I loved my father so much that when he died I felt like I lost a part of my heart. July 10th marks 25 years that I lived without him. There’s not a day that goes by that I haven’t thought about him. I am so thankful I married a man like my father, who’s loving heart has taught our own sons to follow their dreams and not let anything or anyone stand in their way. To say you’re sorry and admit when you’re wrong when you are. To forgive people and forget their wrongs against you. To say you love the people in your life, no matter who’s around.

My Husband

My Husband

It was difficult at first to go on without my father. It was extremely difficult when someone else in the family told me “Don’t cry, you have nothing to cry about!” at my father’s funeral. It was even more difficult to have that same person tell me “Now that your father gone it was his turn to now to lead me.” And no, it wasn’t my husband who said that. But in actuality it is my husband who took over when I married him to lead me and be my teacher, my champion, my cheerleader, and my lifesaver.

Both my father and my husband lead me toward God. My father made it easy for me to submit to God because he led a godly life and showed me the right example a loving father, husband, and man should be.  My husband is an extension of my own father. I married a man like my father, and I am so blessed because of it. My husband’s leads a godly life and shows me every day that God comes first in his life. I have no problem coming in second to God.

My father was my first inspiration.

 To all the father’s who inspire their children to greatness!

Happy Father’s Day!

SCRIPTING MY FUTURE

I talk to myself constantly. I know some pretty successful people who do the same thing. I am forever asking myself questions, and yes I answer myself, too. And why shouldn’t I? The questions I ask myself are directed at me, and need my answers to make sense in my life. I’m scripting my future through these conversations with myself.

We all have our own set of scripts. We write out scripts for our voice mail box. If we’re in the professional world, we use scripts all the time, each for a different reason. We rehearse what we’re going to say to people when we first meet them before we actually open our mouths. It’s through these scripts that our lives are laid out before us and we give other people a glimpse into our worlds.

You are listening

Here’s a script I’ve been rehearsing lately:

“Do you really want to eat now or would you rather have a glass of water? Aren’t you losing weight? Do you remember the number on the scale? Don’t you love the way your clothes are so big on you? I’ll just have a glass of water, then if I’m hungry in 20 minutes then I’ll have a small snack.”

Here’s another one:

“If you’re bored, let’s go for a walk, that will perk you right up. C’mon get your shoes on, grab a sweatshirt, your keys, and let’s go. The fresh air is good for you, it’ll get you out of the house. You’ll meet new people and you’ll feel better.”

How many times do we ask ourselves what are we going to make for dinner? And the answer usually comes to us when we’re looking in the pantry or refrigerator. These scripts help us to move forward when life isn’t turning out the way we planned. They are really our self-talk. Whether our scripts are positive or negative they are really controlling our future by planting seeds in our minds. When these seeds take hold our bodies, and our futures unfold like the thoughts that have been planted. I’m scripting my future by changing my script.

Your future depends on your script.

COMMERCIALS IN LIFE

Yes, it’s been a while since I last wrote anything. Sorry for that. I’ve been doing some health experimenting on myself to test if I’m really allergic to what I’ve been thinking I could be allergic to. The results are in, and I am not liking the answers, not one bit. I will either have to live with the hives or stop drinking coffee altogether. I think I’ll just give up the coffee. It’s been such a constant part of my life ever since I was three years old. But I’ve gone without it for stints up to 5 years at a time. It’s either  kicking the addiction or just scratching myself into oblivion. It’s the commercials in life, the times of absence, the studying, the reflecting that makes me see what really needs to be done and why. 

So many times we go through life with different allergy outbreaks only to turn our backs on the sirens going off in our bodies or our children’s bodies. We keep focusing on every other symptom and action that we lose sight of the only one that is staring us right in the face. We want things when we want them. We don’t want to give up our constant companions (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, corn, junk food) even when they make us sick.

How many sirens need to go off for us to listen? Will we listen to the hives? Probably not, we just cover it up with an anti-histamines. Will we listen to the coughs, the sniffles, the constant sore throats? Nope we just take products that remove the symptoms instead of looking for the cause. Will we listen to our stiff joints and sore muscles? Nope we just rub them down with lotions, creams, and take pain relievers in hopes that the pains will go away. We never think it could be what we’re eating, or our lack of physical activity that could be causing the problems.

sirenPicture

 

We only listen when the sirens are blaring and screaming CANCER, HEART ATTACK, DIABETES. We pause for a commercial break in our own lives only when the outcomes could be the death of us. That’s when we reflect and look back at our lives to see where we went wrong, and try to fix our health before it’s too late, but it’s already too late. Sometimes there is no going back. Sometimes we just have to face it, our choices in life have brought us to this moment. 

The time is now. Don’t let another day go by without evaluating your actions to make better choices for your own health’s sake and your family’s sake. Stop muffling the siren’s cry and listen to what your body is telling you. We only get so many commercials in life, use them wisely. 

WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY

Have you ever tried opening a window that would no budge no matter how hard you tried to open it. I did that this morning as I was trying to open my kitchen window. I tugged, I pulled, and it’s still not open. Not to mention that I had to climb up on the ledge behind my sink to do it. I was not so much afraid of falling into the sink as I was afraid of my robing opening up for the world to see. So I climbed down, got dressed and forgot about the window. I sat in the kitchen drinking my coffee and realizing that the window represented my life. I am always trying to open windows of opportunity that are not ready to be opened to me and that I’m not ready for them either.

Instead of getting dressed early this morning, I stayed in my robe. I wasn’t ready for the day, and from past experience I should know better than to attempt something when I wasn’t ready for it. Each time I try something that I’m not ready for, it turns out badly. My life is like that too. I’m always willing to jump into something new, always ready to take that new risk but never really ready for what might happen in the mean time. Not at all ready for the consequences that will prevail from my simple decisions.

Sometimes my windows of opportunity open easily, with the slightest movement they open wide and I get to experience what is waiting for me through the window. But why is it that I always want to open the windows that won’t budge? What makes me think that just by my strength alone I can make all the windows open? Besides I can only jump through one window at a time. I guess I need to pick and choose which window to open and when to open it.

Which window will open?

Which window will open?

I also need to be ready for the window to be open, not dressed in a robe, or not prepared mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, or physically. So how should I go about being in the state of preparedness all the time so I can open my windows of opportunity?

First, I pray about what windows God is going to help me unlock and open up so that I can have a breath of fresh air and so I can learn what I need to learn so I may help others and to get to the next level in my relationship with Him.

Second I keep a list of all my talents and skills and each day I glance through it remembering how I learned how to use them for good. Then I try to pinpoint one skill each day that I need to work on that will help me to help other people better.

Third I put myself out in the public. You can’t help people when you’re not around them. You can’t connect with people if you lead a secluded life. Most of the time opening windows of opportunity requires a group effort. You can’t do it on your own, no matter how you try. You need someone to lean on, who will help you see how and where you need to change in order to grow.

Be prepared because you never know when your window of opportunity will open and you’ll be given the chance to see your life differently. You’ll be able to grow beyond what you thought you ever could. Your talents and skills will be put to the test but the outcome is so well worth it.

Be ready for window opening opportunity that can change your life.