So Many Pictures!

People ask me all the time why I take so many pictures! I’m not sure I have a simple answer, but I caught myself this weekend taking pictures of the animals and wondering, why do I snap so many photos when I see them everyday.

These guys make me smile and fostering a few of them makes my heart full ❤️

Then I realized I take pictures of more than just animals during the day.

I am a fan of my selfie – it reminds me of where I was and how far I have come, even with no makeup and messy hair I find a way to snap an image of myself and be proud of it, own it.

Heck, the other day I was so proud of the fact I found a planner I loved and was using it I snapped a bunch of photos.

I seem to go through life so quickly I can forget about all the good that has happened to me and in my life.

Simple reminders, like an amazing 40th birthday in Michigan with friends, time with my nephew, my talented daughter and family or simple things like a beautiful sunrise or a shot of the city.

You see, I take photos to remember how fortunate I am. I take them so I remember how grateful I am for everyone in my life, no matter how little or how much I see them.

I take photos to make sure I never forget. When I do forget those images are there to remind me.

So, snap away, know that pictures are worth a million words and I love seeing your pictures!

When Did Life Change?

I’m not sure when my life changed so much.

Life used to be about chasing after a child and managing shared parenting. It was difficult at times. There were ups and downs for sure. I made it through some great times and some really bad times. My life always has revolved around me helping others and taking care of others. It was always hard when I needed to ask for help and I had to ask for a lot over the years.

Now life is about me, usually.

I spend a lot of time working, not having to chase a child around, but I now have one dog and 2 cats…most of the time. I have recently become part of a foster group and usually have an extra dog and cat hanging around.

I have found that I am a homebody. Like part of me wants to go out and do things and then part of me just says “nah” and I stay in.

Take for example today. I gave an open invitation to friends to stop by for dinner and when they couldn’t make it, instead of looking for something else to do, I yanked my bra off, put on pajama pants and made myself dinner. Put on some HGTV and played Candy Crush. I skipped working and really just ignored the world.

Now, was my choice “healthy”? Probably not. Should I have gone to the gym, visited a friend, worked or done something more productive? Probably.

So now I am looking at one more quick walk with the dog and being in bed by 9:00 pm.

I wonder when my life changed. When I stopped worrying about dating and being a social extrovert to accepting single and becoming introverted.

At some point I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me, my looks and my attitude. I dyed my hair, pierced my nose and stopped worrying about being fashionable and instead chose to worry about being with those who want to spend time with me and caring for animals.

Life has changed a lot in 40 years that’s for sure and each day I look forward to another challenge.

This is 40 and 40 is for me.

Aprons & Easels – Hilliard, OH

In my almost 6 years in Columbus I have neglected to do much that is crafty. I have also failed miserably when it comes to getting out and doing things alone.

I met April through a local Facebook page when I was looking for someone to watch Pippa. It was one of those things that I had never thought about needed to do and she was willing to keep Pippa in her home and not cage her, that to me was amazing.

A couple of years ago April opened Aprons & Easels in Hilliard and it took off. I had neglected to visit because, let me reiterate, I do not like doing things alone. So no matter how pretty or awesome a painting was or fun a class looked, going alone wasn’t my MO ~ even with wine involved 🤷🏻‍♀️

Aprons & Easels is a very welcoming environment that displays a ton of great programs for both the beginner and advanced artist.  As I am not really a beginner, but I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, I was intrigued when April had a succulents class – I like plants!

When I walked in I was blown away by all the cool things that are available to do at Aprons & Easels – pallet paintings, glass painting, succulents, mom & me, couples and of course your traditional painting on canvas.

Everyone there was most helpful and welcoming.  There was a little table set up with some snacks and beverages which was nice and there were samples of all kinds of previous work to show what classes can be offered.

This is a great location for a girls night out, mom and me event, fundraiser or company get together.  They have all kinds of options, you just have to call and ask!

Currently there is a Groupon available or if you want to look at upcoming classes you can look and register –> HERE!

Weight Watchers Freestyle – Weeks One & Two

This is a new venture for me. I haven’t even dipped a toe into Weight Watchers for at least 10 years.

Now that I have a nifty smart phone, it makes the calculation way easier than a notebook and calculator.

Here are some facts of the last two weeks:

I can honestly say I haven’t been to the gym. I have not been very active due to the ridiculous cold outside. It’s not an excuse, it’s life and guess what I’m quite okay with being sedentary sometimes.

After a week I have noticed these things:

  • Less acne
  • Stomach not acting up (likely less garbage going in)
  • Better food buying habits
  • Cooking more at home vs eating out
  • Same headache pain, but a little decrease in number of days
  • Additional energy, although it may be out of boredom – not sure

I’ve been cooking more and paying attention to the Freestyle plan. There are over 200 foods that are “free” and if I plan right I am only using points on things like:

  • Cheese
  • Potatoes
  • Bread
  • Sour Cream
  • Sweets

For the first couple of weeks I went over my daily points. 23 points daily and 42 extra/week goes fast – it’s not as simple as you would think.

This + some fruit is a decent breakfast. Keeps me filled up for most of the morning. Something like this is about 5 points because I added cheese and some potatoes. The eggs and veggies were zero points as was the fruit.

For lunch I took some chicken breasts, threw them in the InstantPot earlier in the week, shredded them and made some curry chicken salad (minus the grapes). The 5 points came from some light mayo and the tortilla shell.

For dinner I used a few points for rice and the olive oil to sauté the brussel sprouts/mushrooms/onions. Salmon and veggies are free and that was a pretty well rounded dinner.

Overall, I am happy with Weight Watchers and the commercials that talk about how it is “a way of living” is true. I’m lowering carb and sugar intake, drinking more water and eliminating my bad eating out habits.

Five Truths of Life

I wrote down the title of this blog post in January 2017.  I never completed the actual blog post, that is my procrastination setting in.  It has taken me over 365 days to get to the point of actually writing this post.  My original intent was to talk about things that I learned over the last year, you know, the hard knocks.  Instead I just took some time today to jot down some things that I have realized over the last year that maybe when someone else reads them, they will hit home.

Truths of Life 

Nobody will love you until you love yourself.
I don’t always love myself.  By loving myself I mean I don’t care about me.  I don’t look in the mirror and know that I am enough.  Then I get frustrated when I go on a date and it fails or when I am rejected by anyone.  Then I realize until I exude the self-confidence and love I have for myself, nobody will see that and relationships will continue to fail.

Believe in yourself even when nobody else does
This is important to know and believe.  One that I have hard time believing each day.  I wake up and sometimes ask myself if I can really do it.  I criticize my looks, intelligence and everything in between.  Days I can tell myself that I believe in me and all of me I realize that I can conquer the world.

Take care of you
I don’t take care of myself, because I am busy taking care of those around me.  When I find time to paint my nails, put a face mask on, take a long bath or spend a little longer getting ready, I can take on the world.  Once I am taking care of me, I am a better person for those around me.

Learn to be alone
This is probably one of the hardest things for me to accept.  I love people and I love being with people, so when I am alone, I kinda am not sure what to do.  Normal people do things like read, watch movies, cook, clean or maintain their home when they are alone.  Me, I start to isolate even more.  I just curl up in pajamas and Netflix and chill all on my own.  It takes everything in my power to eat or even walk the dog.  My advice to you, learn to be alone and don’t let it get you down.

Travel and travel more
Most of the time I don’t travel very far, mainly here in Ohio.  Second place you will usually find me is in Illinois visiting a cute baby and one of my best friends.  I used to travel for work and have had a chance to see some great places.  One thing as I am edging on 40 that I have learned to do is when I have the chance to travel, I go.  Take people up on the offer, go and have fun.

At the end of the day, you do you.  Do what is right for you and for your life, but keep in mind you don’t want to finish life with regret.  Make friends.  Make more friends.  Do things with those friends.  Try new things, don’t be afraid to take a class, join a gym or get your friends together for potluck and have some fun.  Paint something, craft away, learn yoga.  Try new foods and get out of your norm and just be awesome!

Peace Always,

Jody

Columbus Adventures

I’ve lived in Columbus for about 6 years now. In the last few months I have had a chance to do a few fun Columbus activities.

First up, the Circleville Pumpkin Show with two of my girlfriends. It was a fun filled day of pumpkins, gourds and lots of food. So many pumpkins of every shape, size and color. How they even get all those pumpkins in one place is beyond me.

The pumpkin doughnuts were delicious, the vendors were great and although parking was a pain in the ass, we went on a great day.

A lot to see, eat and look at. Consider visiting – this happens every year and while it has a fair feel, this is put on by a community who takes great pride in their pumpkin community and heritage.

Next up this year was a trip to Columbus Axe Throwing with the girls. This was a super cool experience. I was amazed I wasn’t afraid of throwing an axe and even hit the wall a few times. The girls and I loved it and spent a lot of time laughing and trying to compete in mini games.

We were paired up with another group and competed for trophies. The instructor was great and showed us how to throw properly, where to throw and gave us tips each time on doing better.

I heard that they have leagues and other fun activities. It is definitely looking like another trip back is in our future.

As I go about my days I hope to continue to find new and awesome things to do in my new city. My friends are awesome and I am super excited to keep finding new hidden gems across Columbus to do.

Oh Hey 2018!

I blinked and 2017 was gone. In the blink of an eye 365 days were just gone. Looking back, each day had its own adventure. Each week had its ups and downs. Each month came with its share of financial challenges.

Along with the ick, there were triumphs.

Friends came. Friends left.

Promises were made. Promises were broken.

Everyone aged a little, grew some grey hairs, lost a few hairs and some of lost weight and some of us gained some.

Family time was precious. Even though I may not have realized it when it happened, looking back on those moments after they happened made me realize how much I cherished each moment. Many people set resolutions or goals for the new year. I’m over here just making sure I make it to meetings on time, pay my bills, support my college-aged daughter and be there for family and friends when they need me. I don’t have time for a fancy planner/pretty journals, personal trainer or cooking lessons. I barely have time to plan and shop for meals that include healthy items. Cereal is my dinner of choice most nights and pretty sure I haven’t had a balanced meal in a long time.

Here is what I do know about what 2018 holds:

  • Another year of doing my best to help others.
  • Paying it forward as often as I can.
  • Random acts of caring and kindness
  • Reaching out to those in need.
  • Making sure my door is always open.

I don’t know what the new year holds for my career, medical challenges or family. I am unsure about many things.

2017 went by too quickly. I am quick to forget how much I accomplished and the cool things I have done.

I welcome 2018 with open arms. I will be able to weather the storm, no matter what it throws my way.