Sunday, February 28, 2010

LOAD: Wrap-up

I did it. Twenty-eight layouts in 28 days. If you'd like to see what I created, you can view photos (some good, some bad) of all 28 layouts (some good, some bad) on Flickr by clicking HERE.

And now, I must file my taxes. After that, I promise I'll get back to blogging (about something other than paper crafts) more regularly, responding to email, leaving comments, real-life socializing, and behaving normally.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well, don't say I didn't warn you that the blogging might slow down during LOAD. I'm pleased to say I'm right on track with this Layout-A-Day challenge, having posted my 17th layout to the gallery earlier today.

I've been meaning to update with photos and write about the rest of Project ESCR, so I figured I'd tackle the E of ESCR today. (Perhaps photos, which I know are way more interesting to most of you, will come later today.)

Since I started this blog to keep myself accountable for regular exercise (especially running), the renewed commitment here shouldn't surprise anyone. But if 2010 is going to be a year of at-home achievement, exercise has to be a part of it. It definitely fits the bill of "something that makes me feel good" when I do it regularly. (As do the other components of Project ESCR.)

I've been taking a class at BPS called The Wellness Journey, at it has been awesome. It's an 8-week commitment, during which time you get yourself moving again and begin to make all sorts of little life changes to increase your overall wellness, as prompted to do so through course materials. With a great online community and a seriously motivating and supportive Wellness Coach, this has been a fantastic way to get the mojo going. (Not to mention the super-cute mini-book I made to track everything.)

So. I've been running three times a week and doing strength training twice a week for seven weeks now. I feel great. My stamina has slowly been increasing. Do I look any better? Who knows. Do I weigh any less? Who knows. (I hid the scale and haven't stepped on it in seven weeks--crazy for a control freak like me.) But here is the thing, as part of my overall wellness goal, I am trying not to let the number on the scale rule my moods. Instead, I am trying to make better choices throughout each day. It is not an all-or-nothing thing, it's a "do a little bit better today than you did yesterday" thing.

Anyway. Back to the EXERCISE. I hope my mother won't be ashamed of me when I say I am PROUD of myself for sticking to my exercise routine for seven weeks. Getting up early feels a little more natural now (I workout before the Gutsy Dad leaves for school), and having the rest of the day to feel awesome that I have already accomplished my workout is very motivating.

I'm still only doing 3 miles, but this will be changing next week as I begin to up my distance. I no longer use my 10-minute walking warm-up as part of my 3 miles. (I walk the 10, then start the clock on the run.) I am running in an 8&2 run/walk ratio, which is only one minute away from the magical ratio (8&1) of my running heyday. Frankly, I don't care if I don't get back to 8&1. I do care about increasing my distance, and I do care about improving my speed. So these will be my goals moving forward.

Was this the most exciting blog post ever? Not by a long shot. But now you know a little bit more about the E of ESCR. Read about the S here and the R directly below.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I don't think I need to preach to anyone about the importance of reading in general, but I do want to emphasize what a crucial part of Project ESCR it is for me. I used to read voraciously, but the older I've gotten the more distracted I've become by TV, computer time, kids, husband, chores, you name it.

But here's the thing: reading is just plain good for your brain because it exercises it like nothing else. And it's good for your soul because it forces you to sit down, relax, and focus on something.

I've been trying to incorporate more reading into my life in two ways: first by reading in bed for half an hour or so before lights out and second by using audiobooks in the car. The commute to church and back twice a week gives me at least 3 hours of listening ("reading") time on wheels. Love that.

The layout above includes lists of favorite books, recent reads, etc. (If you care, I think you can click on the photo to see the layout large enough to read the lists.) So my question for you is, what book did you love so much the first time you read it that you can still remember that satisfying "I just finished an awesome book" feeling?

DOon't you want to feel that way again? I DO.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Challenge of Me: Wrap-up

Here are some highlights from the Challenge of Me workshop I recently finished at BPS. We made 28 layouts in 28 days. Hmm... sounds kind of like LOAD. Oh wait, that's THIS month! More on LOAD later. First, here's what I made in January. These came together pretty quickly, once I got on a roll. I got in the groove of writing up the journaling (where applicable) the night before, and then assembling the page the following morning during Maddie's nap & Jillsie's Sesame Street. For those of you who are still baffled by my scrapping, just think of it in the same way you would think of an hour with a good book--a great escape and workout for the brain.