Friday, February 20, 2015

ABSolutely Fantastic!

Today my friend shared this video (below) she found on Facebook. It completely inspired me—I cannot wait to try it for my ab workout tomorrow! I'll let you know how I do with it...I'm guessing I won't be as proficient at it as these amazing young gymnasts. But since I was a gymnast for many years of my youth, and I've been doing P90X for the past seven-and-a-half-months (only three-days-per-week, mind you), I think I actually have a decent shot of making it to the end! I may be a bit optimistic, but optimism never hurt anyone, right?! ;) I'll give it my very best efforts! I wonder if Tony Horton (of Beachbody's P90X) has seen this genius and fun workout?! I'm pretty sure Mr. Horton would love it!

You go girls! You're absolutely fantastic!! :)

*Update 02/21/15, 11:20 p.m.
This morning I turned on my TV and Roku, and pulled up the video (above) on our YouTube channel. I was a little nervous to try the video, seeing that those girls are in such fabulous shape (Sorry, the cheesiness escaped me!), but I was also totally excited!! There were a few spots that I wasn't as speedy as they are: 1:13 (the first pike-up), 1:25 (individual leg pike-ups) and 2:41 (fast in'n'out crunches {I don't know what else to call them!}).

Even though sometimes I completed the moves a little later than they did, I'm thrilled I was able to finish the entire video! Yay me! I'm not being prideful here. I'm just so pleased this old body of mine can still keep up with my desires! If I keep practicing the video, I know I'll eventually catch up to their speed!

I will say this: At 4:00, their side v-ups are easier than the ones on Ab Ripper X. So, for once in my life, I felt pretty advanced! Thanks Tony! ;) In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, the side v-ups on Ab Ripper X have the bottom arm on the ground next to the body, by the thigh. It's definitely harder to do it that way than extending the bottom arm out, away from the body. And after I finished this happy ab video, I did Yoga X—it's one of my favorites!

Anyway, I'm just excited that all of my hard work exercising this past year has paid off! I was completely surprised and delighted that I could keep up with those fit gymnasts! Again, don't get me wrong, I'm not as precise in my movements as they are, but hey, it's not too bad for a mother of three in her late thirties! (Nope, I'll not share my age! Ha ha.)

*I debated not sharing this photo for many negative reasons...which I won't explain. :) Yet I decided to share it because of the following positive reasons:
  1. I've worked hard to be fit and I'm utterly happy with my healthy body. I love knowing I'm doing my very best to take good care of this body I've been blessed with. I hope our Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts in caring for the marvelous gift he's given me.
  2. I'm wearing my little sister's ballet leotard. I will always miss Mackenzie! I know she would love the fact that I'm still happily using something she loved.
  3. Mackenzie's leotard fits me better now than it has in years.
  4. To show it's absolutely possible to get one's body into shape—even after giving birth to three babies!
  5. I miss doing gymnastics. I need to wear leotards more often when I workout. :)
Now, I must get ready for comes early tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Judgy Pants

"Stop judging me, Mom!" Those are the words my oldest son spoke to me several weeks ago. I was taken aback by his directness and said, "What?" He then explained how in his seminary class, his teacher taught them a big lesson on not judging others. I thoroughly apologized for making him feel badly and let it go. I thought that judging interaction was the end of our discussion, but it wasn't.

For the rest of the day and into the night, my son continued bringing up the fact that I was judging him. Every little thing I asked him to do, any question I had for him was met with, "Don't judge me, Mom!" or "You're judging me again!" I became a little annoyed at his persistence, so I decided to do some research on judging in the scriptures.

When I logged into my Gospel Library app and searched judgment, there were zero results. Weird! So I searched judging and was given hundreds of results! I started looking over the list in each book of scripture. There were so many scriptures on judging, judges, judge, etc. It was all informative, and I'd read most of those scriptures before. Yet I wanted to help my son understand that sometimes we must judge others or a situation. So I decided to narrow my search to righteous judgement.

Bingo. I found exactly what I was looking for! :) The next morning I had a wonderful conversation with my oldest son. While I don't remember what I said to my son verbatim, this is pretty much what we talked about:

I understand that we shouldn't judge others harshly, frivolously, or without just cause. We truly have no idea what other people are going through, or how their life experiences have shaped them. What might be easy for us could be difficult for someone else, and vice versa.

For the most part, we should absolutely leave judging up to the Lord, as we are told in 1 Samuel 24:15"The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee..." And Matthew 7:2 teaches that we must be careful with how we judge others: "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Yes, we must be thoughtful and cautious when putting on our judgy pants!

Whatever people choose to do with their lives is their business. We have been given the awesome and amazing gift of agency to make our life choices—which I am extremely grateful for! I love being able to make my own choices! (I'm pretty sure I'd "fight to the death" if someone tried to take away my agency.) Aren't we so blessed to be able to make our lives exactly how we want them to be? :) Just like we want others to allow us to live our lives as we see fit—and without harsh judgments—we must allow the same courtesy to everyone around us...within reason, of course.

There are certain times in our lives when when we must judge others. I believe mothers and fathers have that judging stewardship over their children living at home. It's a parent's duty to judge what their children are doing/saying/watching/participating in so they can help them as they grow. Things could go very wrong if all parents did was say, "Oh, I don't want to judge my child. I need to just let them do what they feel is best." No. Our job as parents is to help our children along the way—to help them understand right from wrong, and hopefully put them on the correct life path. Then, when our children are older and living on their own, they can make the decision to either follow what we've taught them, or to go their own way.

I also think we have a right to judge anyone whose actions directly affect us, or those within our stewardship. If others' choices don't have any sort of effect on us, we should happily let them be. But the instant someone else does or says something that involves us and/or our stewardship, we have every right to judge the situation and/or person.

If we know it's truly okay or needed for us to judge a person or situation, we must remember to follow what John 7:24 teaches us, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." Yes, that phrase has stuck with me throughout my entire life—or at least when I heard it in church for the first time! I love that our Savior has fully clarified that we are supposed to judge righteously! :)

I truly try my best not to judge others or situations unnecessarily, but there are those moments when I need to become the judge for the well-being of my family, or myself. As long as I'm prayerful and listen for a response from the Holy Ghost about what needs to be done, I can sleep at night knowing that I tried my very best.

Side note: Not judging is a very difficult task for me when children are involved simply because they have zero control over their lives—they are at the mercy of their caretakers! I'm working on this issue of mine... :)

One of the greatest talks I've ever heard on judging is "Judge Not and Judging", by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. I remember hearing his talk a couple of years after he originally gave it at a BYU devotional in 1998. He goes into much greater detail on judging than I've written here. Yet I look at judging in such simple terms. As I said previously, judging is something I try to my best to avoid, but when necessary, I have no problem hiking up my judgy pants, throwing on my black polyester robe, climbing the stairs of my mahogany desk, sitting up straight in my high-backed chair, listening to both sides of the story, consulting with myself (and whoever else is affected), and slamming down my gavel with a verdict! Just kidding, I don't own any of those judging accessories...except judgy pants! Ha ha.

*In all seriousness, I highly recommend reading or listening to Elder Oaks' words for his talk is filled with clarity and brilliance! This is one of my favorite paragraphs in his talk:
"So far as possible, we should judge circumstances rather than people. In all our judgments we should apply righteous standards. And, in all of this, we must remember the command to forgive."

I'd forgotten about that paragraph because it's been so many years since I heard his talk. But he's absolutely right. Like anything else in life, in order for our judgments to be successful and not catastrophic, forgiveness is key! When we've made mistakes (or sinned on purpose—only to later regret our choices), we want everyone to forgive us! Thus, even after we've seen all the evidence and given our ruling, we must be willing to forgive everyone!

How is the judgy situation with my oldest son, you ask? Well, he fully understood what I was trying to teach him. Yay! And he agreed with me. Bigger yay! Whew! Now I don't have to hear him say, "Mom, you're judging me!" anymore...what a relief! ;)

It's been interesting to see my darling and inquisitive son ask me questions now and again about both people that we know, and the many varied stories in the media. I enjoy hearing him ask what my thoughts are about how others handle their lives—I love that he respects my opinion! We have great conversations simply because he's curious about the world around him.

My son has also gotten used to my reply, "Well, they have nothing to do with us, so I'm not going to judge them." It's also been really funny to hear my son say, "Well, maybe you should [insert activity] so then you can judge them!" In those cases, I reply, "Well, if you really must know, here's my take [on the person/situation]—but don't speak this information to another living soul!!" or "Here's what I would do [about said situation/person]."  (That's a rare occurrence.) Then I absolutely clarify that it's their life and/or situation, and we just need to leave it alone.

I'm grateful for the opportunity I've been given to not only live my own life, but to be able to influence the lives of my amazing and wonderful children! I'm even more grateful that my darling Gregor agreed to not only accompany me on this grand life adventure (And create/raise beautiful children with me!!!), but to also share his thoughts, opinions and laughter. :) The gift of Greg's affection, adoration, eternal love, and our precious children, is literally my dream come true!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

10,000 Thank Yous

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who reads Enthusiastic Fantastic. I don't have a large readership, but I truly thank those of you who have read and continue to read my words. :) I know you all have so many ways to spend your time (Aren't we all so busy with life?!), so the fact that any of you would want to read my thoughts, well it means a lot...a lot, a lot a lot! (That last italicized part is a movie quote from The Parent Trap, 1998. I love that movie!)

Granted, I will happily continue blogging regardless of how many people are reading or how many views my blog receives. (My heart swells with joy when I blog!!) That said, I appreciate your support even more because my little blog just passed 10,000 views! To those fancy-schmancy-high-powered bloggers, my excitement must truly be small potatoes (and probably worth a chuckle), but to me, it's a significant number. 10k views are even more fun because after writing on my personal blog, Adrie World, for five years, my end total views was a mere 8,035. Thus my excitement for 10k views in less than two years is—in my mind—absolutely justified! :)

What I wish is that I was blogging more consistently. I have no excuse other than I'm busy being a wife, mother, and ward Young Women presidency member. My days are filled with serving the people I love and I'm happy with my decision. :) But I definitely want to blog more often—I have umpteen thoughts continually rolling around in my mind, so hopefully I'll be able to spit some of them out shortly! :) Until then, I hope everyone is having a super great day!