Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks Mary!

This will be added to my list of projects. Thank you Mary for the recommendation. Love this idea...
The Burning House

A little Hokie love...

9/30/201112:47:02 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment
Wish I lived a bit closer to Blacksburg so I could partake in the game festivities this weekend.
I miss all my Hokies.
I miss this:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If this doesn't inspire the travel bug, I'm not sure what will...

I love doors.

Home is Wherever I'm With You...

After the Labor Day holiday this song from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros has never rang so true in my mind. Since the wildfires hit Central Texas, specifically so close to "home" back on Sept 5th its been amazing to think what we truly need in life to be happy and healthy. In a moment of panic when you think your house could be next in "the line of fire" you grab whats important. So what really is important?...What would you pick? What is worth putting in your vehicle for when you make your escape? What cannot be replaced?
Faced with a house filled with stuff the important things were few and far between. A fire proof (hah) safe filled with important documents; passports, birth certificates, pictures and irreplaceable greeting cards from loved ones passed. Deemed fire safe, we've heard the blazes in Central Texas were so hot they melted right through similar products. It has come to our attention that a safe deposit box is in our future for these important items. So what else did I grab? A wedding album, laptop, hard drives filled with memories in pictures, medications, toothbrushes, a few clothes, dogfood and leashes. My second run through the house garnered pillows and blankets, a few more clothes so as to not be dressed in yoga/pj wear and some deoderant. Filling up the Prius or in my case not filling up the Prius left me realizing that not many things in life are the "important things" other than my family. I left the entire back seat of the Prius ready for the dogs. In hindsight after all our things were sitting on the kitchen table the next day when the smoke subsided I realized 75% of the things I grabbed weren't that important. Throw my husband, child and fourlegged children in the car and rescue our passports and computers and I'm good to go. I'm happy, I'm healthy and life is good; with or without a house to come home to with all our stuff inside. Even the passports and computers are replaceable. The memories they hold would be hard to lose but stuff is negotiable, family isn't. And dogs are my family. See blogpost from Monday.
Since labor day we have reevaluated the things we have and what we really "need" to live a happy, healthy life. We've nearly emptied our filing cabinet filled with not so important documents. We've donated my couponing bounty of personal care products to the fire victims. We've donated clothing to Goodwill. We've cleaned. We've made plans for a safe deposit box however have yet to follow through with. Which reminds me... We've made plans with the neighbors just in case either of us are not home if something happens...We'll each have a vehicle with six dogs but we'll be damned if we don't evac with our fourlegged family members. We've discussed what happened with Kendall and made "just in case" plans. We've even thought about creating an evacuation kit to keep in our vehicles just in case we aren't home when something happens. Think about it, what would you need if you left for the grocery store on a holiday weekend and you weren't allowed to go back to your house to collect anything. There are thousands of people that lost their houses in Bastrop and hundreds of stories of lost pets that just break my heart. For my family and friends and loved ones, I encourage you to make those just in case plans for your "important things" and I guarantee you that other than your family's safety there isn't much else you 'need' to be happy.
My happiness...
My home...
Is wherever I'm with you...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Albert Rooney Laycock AKA Bert

Bert & Humphrey
So we've gone from Labradoodle to Wolfhound Poodle mix to Deerhound Poodle mix to who the hell knows what he is, Mutt.
I think I've finally figured it out. Mr. Bertonymous HAS TO BE a Weimardoodle, in temperament and look. His gray/brown hue and insane eyebrows have got to be from a Weimaraner and Poodle mix.
He looks like kin to this little guy...Dudley
or this one...could be Bert's twin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Biba vs. Fence

Just a reminder to our good friends Keith and Gina. Family is forever. Fence - not so much.
So this is what happens when a mini-horse chases a squirrel. Biba's eyes were definitely open and she was probably breathing a little more heavily than normal but her brakes didn't work so well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family is Forever
Had a really fantastic weekend. Kim and Dennis (aka Marmi and Poppa) were in town to visit us. They met us at gymnastics on Saturday morning and we spent the weekend with them celebrating Dennis' upcoming birthday. Kendall, Kim and I went to see DolphinTale and it was actually a pretty cute movie. I like 'based on a true story' kids movies because it gives them a real life inspiration or hope for the future. Its not made up, its not about a perfect cartoon character life and its not hopeless, its something positive to guide them in their life choices and show them whats out there happening in real life, in the world we live in. It was an awesome story that gave me something to add to my bucket list. Swimming with Dolphins. One of the lines in the movie that will stick with me is 'Family is Forever' because it is. Our families are the original melting pot. The tree of life. That's family. And your family can include your blood relatives, friends and even the animals you love. Case in three mutts. Beloved part of our small branch of the Laycock family tree.
See Winter

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Official, He's Turned Into Me

My husband has turned into me. Cleaned forever last night. The entire downstairs of our house was spotless when I woke up. Who does that? Well, I typically do but something had him going last night. Haven't convinced him to join me in the yoga hot room yet but it'll happen eventually. So Dustin pulled an Amanda last night and cleaned until he was satisfied with a job well done and I went to bed.
Looking forward to a weekend with Marmi and Poppa. At gymnastics class with Kendall awaiting Marmi and Poppa. I actually skipped yoga this morning because Kendall asked me to come watch her at gymnastics, so I'm watching and blogging instead of my morning asanas.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Semi-Blind Yoga

imgfave of the day
Usual Thursday evening yoga last night. One big difference was not wearing my contacts so I was pretty blind. Still practiced breathing normally and with my eyes open staring at my fuzzy outline in the mirror the whole time. It was nice though. You and I both look much thinner when I'm not wearing contacts or glasses. I couldnt tell you from any other Yogi in the class but everyone looked fabulously skinny. Hah. My practice was awesome though. Balancing wasn't too difficult since I didnt have specific objects to distract me from the postures. I consistently fall out of Standing Head to Knee Pose because my eyes get distracted but last night that didnt bother me. Another move forward was in my Eagle Pose. I got my leg up higher and my foot is now almost behind my calf muscle. So close...I never thought I'd get to where I am because I never considered that I could actually twist my body up like two wet ropes but hey I'm much closer to that then I ever thought possible. I got the sweaty, wet part down pat but the twisting them up is a long awaited achievement. Every day is a journey and every day in and out of the hotroom is never the same. One day you have standing separate leg stretching pose and your forehead hits the floor and the next day you dont. One day you drink all your water and feel like you might die on your mat and the next day you dont. One day you think I am awesome at yoga today and the next day you think you suck and you never want to step back in the hot room. One day you think I'm going to do this my way because its the right way (and you fail miserably) and the next day you let your body do as it was meant to and you achieve the closest thing possible to the eagle pose. Its all about letting go, keeping your intentions and forgetting that you may fail or be wrong. Just be. Breath one breathe at a time. Breath normal and keep those eyes open, fuzzy figures or not.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coin Toss

Found on thanks to Stumble!
Be honest with yourself. Whether you fail or succeed with whatever decision you've made, with your eyes open, breathing normal - everything will work out the way it is supposed to and you'll live it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forehead on the Floor

I asked for my 60 in 60 tshirt yesterday before class, my 'you can't buy it, you have to earn it' tshirt should be on this Yogis back by tomorrow. If you can't find inspiration in the hotroom at Bikram, then how about a 'free' tshirt to get you in there 60 days in a row!
Latest, favorite recipe personally requested again by Dustin; Chicken & Sausage Gumbo made again last night. Yes, we ate this for dinner after 10pm because it is THAT good.
Yesterday (Day 64 of life in the hotroom) I officially rested my forehead on the floor during standing separate leg stretching. Legs shaking... Arms shaking...Hands almost under my heels...I finally touched my forehead on the floor. Now if I can just do it again today... ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So I have been inspired to do this for a long time. To blog. To write my thoughts down. To follow through with sharing the intricacies of Amanda's life with family and friends. Recipes I've tried; the ones I love, the ones I hate and the ones my husband can't stop drooling over. Things that happen; random, planned or simply just fate. Its been a long, not so hard road to live and love in Austin, TX but I'm here and I'm happy and its about damn time I started talking about it. I moved to Austin six years ago, married for almost four and finally I'm ready to chronicle my own journey through life.
What was the tipping point? What just recently inspired me to choose September of 2011 to finally take the plunge into the blogosphere and share my thoughts with the online world. It was actually the farthest thing from technology and social media and IT inspired the name of this blog. If you can believe it one of my largest stumbling blocks to launching my thoughts on the world wide web was the name. I needed to have a domain name and website name that could inspire me daily to keep writing. A philosophy to my life, on and offline, to move forward. If I'm not inspired to live the words I type in for my website, how do I expect myself to write about it? The answers to all my questions were found in Bikram Yoga.
On July 8th I was indulging in some Leanderthal Martinis with my friend and neighbor, Melissa.  For all you non-Leanderthals out there, think Beer instead of Gin and Vermouth. Yes, its delicious, you should try one! Melissa mentioned the idea of wanting to try Bikram yoga but not wanting to go alone. With some beer induced peer pressure slash smile and nod 'of course i will' hesitation, I agreed to 'let's go together but we'll go next weekend when we aren't recovering from our 'martinis' and the full week of doubt and 'what the hell did i agree to' thoughts ensued. I convinced my friend Gina to join us for a full team of 'newbies' and the following saturday the 16th of July we went, we didnt weasle out of it, we actually followed through. We really had no clue what we were getting ourselves into, not a clue. I knew the class was 90 minutes long and I knew it would be 'ehhh...warm' in the hotroom and even at the beginning of class we looked at each other and said 'this wont be too bad, it doesn't seem too hot.' Yea, check the thermometer at the door, its at least 105 degrees with some crazy humidity. 5 minutes into the class after the breathing exercise we hadn't even done a yoga pose yet, I was drenched in sweat. I will be the first to admit, class one - I thought I would die, puke or pass out. But Melissa and Gina and I were 'in it together' and we had to follow the rule, do not leave the room. You can think you will die, but you wont; you can lie down or pass out on your yoga mat but whatever happens in your first class we were told to 'have fun' and 'stay in the room'. Ok buddy, I'll have fun! I'll stay in the room if you'll get out the smelling salts after the 90 minutes to wake me from my puddle. We made it. All three of us, stayed in the room, drowning in our own sweat that dripped in new angles and places we ever thought possible, but we made it through. I had sweat dripping in my eyeballs, in my ears and up my nose. You say up the nose sweat isn't possible. Ahh, then I challenge you to meet me in the hotroom and you can experience it firsthand or should I say firstnose.
So the first class ended, we chugged some gatorade and somehow made it back home in a strange yoga stupor and we laughed at ourselves and thought it was freezing outside in the 100 degree heat. A hot shower and a few quarts of water later, I had the headache from hell. Slept all afternoon and still had a headache. I thought to myself, never ever again will I do THAT to my body, what was I thinking agreeing to that. To this day I still haven't figured out what the inspiration was to even go back again, I did not go back the next day, I considered it, I even called Gina to see if she wanted to attempt class number two together but I bailed on the idea quickly. I must have been hearing lines from Home Alone in my head 'do you guys give up or are you hungry for more?' Apparently I was hungry for more sweat puddles as Monday came around and I somehow was inspired to go for class number two. I was more prepared this time, I learned that my headache was caused by my failure to properly hydrate before class so I chugged water all day long at work to prevent a repeat headache. It worked and class number two seemed easy breezy compared to my intro to the hotroom. So what did I do, I continued to go every day. About a week into my new every day yoga routine I realized there was this 60 in 60 challenge. 60 classes in 60 days, I challenged myself to complete that and I so it was, I went every day to prove to myself that I could. Every day for two months straight 90 minutes in 105 degree heat. And not just stay in the 105 degree hotroom but actually do the 26 postures of Bikram Yoga. September 15th marked my 60th class in 60 days and during class 40 I found the words that inspired this blog.
Every day for 60 days you do the same postures and you listen to the same words. You are always hearing something new. At class 40 I heard something new that are now the words to guide me through life in general. 'Eyes Open, Breathing Normal.' During your 90 minute Bikram Yoga practice you are asked to keep your eyes open and to breath normal. The perfect reminder for daily life to help get you through. You can't live your life with your eyes closed, you can't experience the good or bad without being open to seeing or living it. When your eyes are open, you are present, you are there and you are living. Breathing normal is the only way to make it. Make it through those ups and downs you are now living with your eyes open. Breathing normal lets you survive the 90 minutes in the hotroom without passing out. Breathing normal gets your through the panic that occurs when you make it to class ten minutes too late and you aren't allowed to practice that day and its too late to make it to an alternate class. Breathing normal makes you believe in yourself long enough to do a double and take two classes in one day to make up for the one you missed. Breathing normal brings calm and peace to your regularly hectic life. Breathing normal lets you live your life with your eyes always open.
So here it is, my blog, my thoughts, my journey through Bikram Yoga, my new inspiration and theme for living and my life on virtual paper. This is Amanda...Eyes Open, Breathing Normal.