Bikram Kicks My Butt

Oh boy, last nights class was my first in a while and it dang near killed me. I have forgotten a few things about Bikram, haha or about how to prepare for it, I do this often with a lot of various activities.

Anyways, the mistakes are as follows:
I didn't eat enough yesterday
I didn't drink enough yesterday
I forgot how stinkin' hot that room can really be
I wore way too many clothes
I closed my eyes too much
I forgot my positive self-talking
I got stupidly frustrated with myself
I could not get my knees to participate properly in the locked position, seriously.
I forgot that it's hard, mentally and physically
I wasn't in the moment enough

BUT that being said, here are the good things:
I actually showed up like I said I was going to
I stayed in the room the whole time, even when I felt like I might puke/pass out/die
I left the house really early and got a solid 2+hrs of relative peace and quiet
While my first class may have been WAY easier, part of that was because I was so out of shape that my muscles were happy to be moving whatever which way I told them to go. This time my body was fighting me- but that's because I've been working it hard, and the muscles don't want to be stretched even though they desperately need it. Signs of progress!
I realized just how dehydrated my body was because I have been slacking at drinking all the water that it needs, so today has been all about refueling and bathroom breaks, Kalea keeps asking me what I'm doing every single time I go to the bathroom, I guess she's not used to me being in there that much besides to help her
My body feels much looser today than it has in weeks- huge blessing since everything has been feeling so tight- and when I say everything I mean from the top of my head to my toes, it's been crazy.
I had the absolute BEST, DEEPEST, MOST RESTFUL sleep that I've had in a looooooong time and didn't mind the girls waking us up at 6:15 as much as I normally do.
There's a palpable quiet after a class, when everyone is just sitting/cooling off in the hallway, it's kind of interesting to observe, those who are speaking, speak in hushed tones and it's not just quiet, it's reverent in the way that I think we talk about at church but, at least for me, I never feel like I actually achieve it, except after yoga- probably because I have no kids screaming/trying to run all over
When I leave the studio and walk out into the cool evening air I feel grateful for that experience, I just don't get that after any other kind of workout
My head feels more clear/alert/aware
I have almost mastered the floor series half of the class- which is great because that part of the class goes by SO fast when you know what you're doing and it involves a lot of just laying, relaxed on your back- which I am an expert at :)

And I will go again and probably love/hate it a little more and maybe get my butt kicked a lot more, but there's some weird part of me that likes the challenge so don't feel too bad for me!


Photo Books

I've had a few questions about the photo books that I've had printed, and I figured I'd give my opinions with what little knowledge I have about them. So far I've used Kodak, Shutterfly and Blurb.

To be honest the Blurb books I did seemed really over-priced for what they were- soft cover 8x8 and hard cover 8.5x11, I think. One was a gift for my brother while he was on his mission, since he missed Kalea's first year of life. I put some time into it, actually more time than I should have, and when he brought it home and I actually got to see the finished product, I was a little steamed about it, but such is life. I didn't really edit any of the photos and I found the colors to be dark and not as vibrant. Maybe I missed something in the process, but that was really disappointing. The hardcover one was a little bit better because I made sure to lighten everything in Picasa, but it didn't auto-save the last minute changes that I made and so it shipped in a less desirable format, but I was also rushed in doing that one and didn't have the best quality photos, etc... So meh, it was a learning experience and I'm glad I used that site to teach me because it's made all others seem way easier :P
Blurb is also the only company that I've ever paid full-price for a photobook from. They don't have as many, as frequent, or as good deals as some other companies, but I hear that they are really good to use for printing "Blog books", I have zero experience with that though. Also, they don't have tons of options for embellishing your page, but they have some cute background choices.

I actually didn't mind Kodak. It was REALLY easy to use, but didn't really have any bells and whistles. So if you want to just get your photos in a book, this is a great option. I did mine VERY last minute because I had a coupon that was expiring so I made really simple collages in Picasa and uploaded them to the Kodak site and then auto-filled the book and added simple captions. Kalea is looking at it in the above photo.
I also like using Kodak because they ship to a FutureShop near you, so I just went there to pick it up and it was SO fast, I'm pretty sure it was only a week. My coupon was also for a FREE book. I think all I paid was a few dollars for the shipping to the store. That was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.

I am addicted. I have so many books started with these guys. I love that there's almost always a good deal 30-50% off all the time? Sign me up. I made a really nice 12x12 book (pictured with Brynlee above) and was quite happy with the result, I used a 50% off coupon, so with shipping to Canada it was still under the regular book price.
Some of the photos that weren't the greatest quality turned out pretty decent and they have so many different backgrounds and embellishments that it seems kind of silly to use anyone else anymore. It satisfies the scrapbooking side of me and I like having so much control over what the end product looks like. There is an auto-fill option that I might try if we ever get really nice family pictures done, but most of the books that I'm doing require a lot of attention to detail as far as chronological order goes so I've only used that option so far. I also like the different color ways that they use and I'm a huge fan of all the different fonts. And it's easy to use. And they are always getting new themes, so it's fun to have a real choice between a theme like "Baby" and "Family" or for mother's day they had more modern options and more traditional/flowery options. I like that a lot. I like Shutterfly a lot. Can you tell?
Compared to other companies I think this is the most value for your dollar that I have found so far. I also like their options for cards, etc... not that I've used them for that yet, but I know many people that have/do frequently. I totally understand why.

Anywho, that's basically all I know about these companies in a nutshell. Hopefully that helps if people were looking for opinions on them!


I Hate Censoring Myself

Of late I've come to the realization that I've been censoring a lot of personal opinions in the last few years, maybe not on the blog, but definitely in "real life". It's annoying me and causing me to wonder where the heck all my fearlessness went? Ugh. Maybe that's part of being an adult? Choosing when and where to voice said opinions? I kind of miss not caring so much what people think or how they would react to what I have to say. Maybe that's why blogging is so cathartic for me, in the sense that I can get it out and feel comfortable knowing that most of the people who read this at least for the most part, understand where I'm coming from and actually know me, and love me anyway. There's a safety in that I guess. Maybe I need to make an effort to foster opportunities to have these conversations more often on a smaller scale... Anyways.
We were having an interesting discussion at church last week about being unified, and an individual made reference to the birth rates in the US (and they're similar in Canada) that half of all births are to un-wed/single mothers. The question was posed "What can we do to effectively help decrease that?" and right away I turn to Steve and say "Start pushing the use of birth control, or maybe teach how to use it for it's intended purpose and not just for helping teenage girls clear up their acne?" and Steve turns to me and says "Say it" and I didn't. And I didn't because I was scared of the reaction I would get, but I honestly think that's the most logical way to help the problem. I don't think teaching "abstinence as the only way" is working, in fact there's a lot of evidence in the world that it isn't working at all. There were lots of fluffy answers about teaching our children that sex is sacred and only to be used within the bonds of marriage, etc being unified in teaching that message in our homes, etc... and that's all great, but can we just jump outside of that box for a minute and realize that a great deal of kids that hear that message still find themselves caught up in those emotion-filled moments and 9mths later... So I don't completely buy into it, and I don't think it's fair to our kids to only teach them that one-side of the equation. I remember my Dad telling me, "The only thing you need to do with the pill is put it between your knees and squeeze" which was a light way for him to deal with a heavy subject I guess, but really? Sex talk: check. Can you imagine his horror when he found out I was ingesting it to help with my teenage acne??? That was a fun day, "They're prescribing birth control to manage teenage acne? Oh. My. Gosh." I dunno, sometimes the idealistic tendencies of grown-ups bothers me, especially that the older I get, the more I am viewed as a "grown up". Yes, ideally people wouldn't have sex outside of marriage, but they do, so why don't we stop pretending that it doesn't happen and start being more proactive? Am I the only person who sees it this way? I think I have more moderate tendencies in some areas, this being one.
Rant complete. Discussion to begin in comments shortly, I'm sure.