me & my house

Monday, April 13, 2015

From Tropics to Tundra and Where Do We Go From Here

Between making big decisions, packing up our home, taking care of twin two year olds, saying goodbye to good friends, moving overseas, and settling into life in a new-ish city... I haven't had much desire to blog, as I'm sure you can understand! You, being any human on earth who can read what I just wrote. Yes, life has been full of life for the Adertons.

The decision to move home was one of much discussion, thought, and prayer. We love Brunei. The friends we made changed us for the better and we carry them in our hearts forever. We thought we would be in Brunei longer than a year and a half, but things don't always pan out the way you think they might and ABC'S The Bachelor doesn't always chose who you thought he would (C'mon Chris!). But just as Netflix brings new, good, and surprising shows like the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, God brings new, good, and surprising things.

Physically, the transition from tropics to frozen tundra was rough. Our first week and a half consisted of trying to adjust the worst jet lag we've ever had. Not only did I get a spat of food poisoning in Hong Kong, but we've had an array of stomach flu, sinus infection, and fever. Despite these things, we've just. been. good. 

We are happy to be back in the midwest, snow and all. We've spent some time with family and are beginning to catch up with friends around the region. Dan is getting set with school and work while the twins and I are figuring out our new normal.

For me, personally, I am enjoying being creative in ways that have been on the back burner for the last few years. There is so much in me that is waking up after a "twin marathon" hiatus and I'm excited to tap into those things and see where they lead. This means I've decided to officially put this blog on the back burner while some of those other ideas are boiling. No more thinking, "I haven't written a blog post in a while," so instead my mind can stew on something new. I'm fairly sure I will come back again, but for now, I'm going to turn down the heat and let it simmer quietly in the back.

I've so loved sharing what we've been doing with our friends and family and I greatly appreciate everyone's encouragement, support, and love. If you want to see what we're doing, the best way to do that, for now, is to follow my private Instagram account. Username: @aderanna  Otherwise, keep your notifications on and you may see a new blog post someday. Or not! Who knows! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Alone Together

The twins have a beautifully synched sleep schedule. This was a deliberate decision from the very beginning in order to in hopes of maintaining a smidgin of sanity in those majorly desperate sleep deprived days. Those babies went to sleep, I did whatever I needed to do (pump, shower, eat, wave to Dan from across the room), and then I had a good hour and a half to catch up on my shut eye. *shudder* *tears* *fist pump* Cue the Rocky Theme Song because I can obviously do anything after that. This is also what I tell myself during particularly difficult WODs. 

They are still on the same nap and bedtime schedule, which I mostly love. The only downside is that I rarely get alone time with either. But there are times, like this afternoon, when one will wake up and the other won't. One will be crying to be bailed out of pack n play prison and the other stays curled up in dream land. If I open the door to their room with the silence of a Milford Man, then I can retrieve said crying child and have some fun alone time with him/her!

Today Eleanor woke up at the best time possible. This weekend we went to a costume party to which I brought little dirt cakes with gummy snakes. Delish. I had a ton of leftover whip cream starter that I didn't want to go bad, so I was whipping that up and monstrously devouring taste testing it with baby girl. It was so nice to spend an hour (Eli slept forever) with Ella, without any interruptions.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why The Girl Who Didn't Like to Sweat Does CrossFit

Over the past three weeks we've hosted and participated in two CrossFit competitions with athletes from around the world, here in Brunei. By my own volition, I spent two days running through a jungle, swimming laps, lifting weights, and sweating. My team got last place, but we had a gloriously good time and wore superhero capes. Hi, I'm Anna Aderton, and I'm blowing my own mind. 

Let's take a quick jog walk (running sucks) down my athletic career memory lane. 

I come from a big family that enjoys sport and wanted to give us ample opportunity to explore what we like. I tried ballet, tap dance,
gymnastics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball. I was a decent second baseman, but once while pitching I walked in 12 runs in a single inning, causing the opposing team's coach to yell, "JUST SWING" so that we could end the most embarrassing moment of my life. I realized I wasn't on the same path as my three siblings, all who had the title of "All Conference Pitcher". I also hated running bases during practice and playing when it was cold outside. And when it was hot. 

I loved playing basketball, still do, but did not like how competitive, cliquey, and stressful it could be. It was not a fun or encouraging environment. I also really hated sweating at the time, wanted to learn how to knit, and decided to focus more on playing piano, just like every 70 year old grandmother 15 year old girl.

I was on a great volleyball team that I truly loved and was so thankful for after moving to a new high school when I was 16. But, my senior year of high school I was given the lead role in a community musical. I said a tearful, "buh bye" to bump-set-spike and dove head first into my role as Maude Draper-Cowles. 

Luckily, I come from a family who also values the arts and enthusiastically supported my decisions. In the short and long run, this was all beneficial. I went on to place first in vocal and piano competitions, have more leads in musicals, complete my bachelor's in music education, and gain a greater understanding of the world of music. I learned that I love to perform and feel so alive when doing so. 

Now, here I am doing high-intensity training - CrossFit. Sixteen, twenty, and twenty-two year old Anna would laugh in twenty-six year old Anna's face if they got a chance to chat (I've been watching a lot of Dr. Who lately, so who knows, it could happen). Here are the reasons why I am so enjoying this sport.

I really like people. I like getting to know someone, sharing stories, encouraging people, etc. CrossFit is a fun way to build community. There is social time before and after class to get to know each other. And there is something primal that happens when people come together do something hard. Accomplishing a difficult workout and encouraging each other through it brings people together, just like in life. We are also learning new skills at the same time, gaining knowledge and growing. 

In my mid-twenties, I have gained a value for health. In high school I ate an entire frozen pizza before dinner. In college I had a regular diet of mac&cheese straight out of the pot. I didn't even put it on a plate. My favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese Pizza. I'd work out every once in a while, do lots of crunches in my room, power walk, etc, and that amount of physical activity (when paired with good eating habits) really works for some people. But for me, something mystical and strange happened when I turned 26 and had twins. Apparently there is real science to back it up, but I can't eat the way I used to, work out the way I used to, and still live the kind of life I want. I fully recognize and embrace that my body will change for the rest of my life as I get older and have children, and doing CrossFit helps me keep it in the best possible shape. I want to be able to run around the park with Eli and Ella, lift them over my head, carry them both up the stairs at the same time, teach them how to play sports, and let's be real, I want to maintain a fit body. I think it is important to honor God by living a healthy lifestyle. CrossFit is an effective activity that has shown me results. It also encourages me to eat well by valuing nutrition and teaching this in its foundation classes.

Photo cred: Ain Lim
I have a competitive nature in me, but I don't like when competition becomes prideful, stressful, or shameful. I like the healthy competition I see in our gyms and athletes. For example, when we begin a workout I simultaneously want to lift more and go faster than my friend, while wanting her to do the best she can, even if that means beating me. It is a fun atmosphere that also encourages me to work hard. 

It can be scaled to where you are. It would be detrimental to my body if I tried to do the exact same workout as Dan (because he's so strong and such a hunk). I will always be working toward doing the prescribed weights, but in the meantime I will be lifting the weight that is beneficial to my growth. This makes CrossFit very inclusive. After not working out for over a year and having twins, I was in rough shape. I couldn't keep up with anyone at the gym, but it didn't matter. I didn't feel shamed or embarrassed. I was encouraged and have now grown so much. People can start from wherever they are.

I like the time commitment it requires for someone like me. A typical workout never goes over 30 minutes (max), which leaves enough time for a good warm-up, skill lesson, and cool down.

And last but not least, I like that this is something Dan and I can enjoy together! Before I (really actually consistently) did CrossFit, Dan would come home after a WOD, say a bunch of weights, movements, and times that meant nothing to me. Now I understand! We bond over this common interest. We encourage each other to grow and develop our skills. I'm now teaching Dan piano, and he occasionally gives me private training. I like knowing if Dan's clean & jerk looked sloppy or pristine. I like knowing that when Dan says, "good job" he knows that I actually did a good job.

Isn't it encouraging to see how much a person can develop interests, gain values, etc? I, for one, like knowing that I will continue to change for the better. With guidance and wisdom, I will never be the same as I was yesterday. I am choosing to no longer be fearful of or stubborn to change. I am learning to have faith in the One who knows me better than I know myself. I am an ever refining loved one, counting on grace, learning as I go. And thank God for that.