He's making a list,
He's checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
What really got me annoyed this week was the whole peer pressure behind that stupid Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. To this point in time, I had managed to completely avoid this "family tradition," and I was hoping to do so until my sweet little Eoin was too old to believe in it anyway. But last week we innocently visited a family that unfortunately has one of those elves creeping around their house all season long. And these poor little gullible girls believe so strongly in the power of their elf that they accidentally convinced Eoin that there must be something wrong with him that he didn't have his own elf.
Now I don't give my child everything he wants just because he thinks he should have it, and I was willing to weather the storm of a house without an elf, but then Eoin shared with me that the girls had suggested that maybe he should pray really hard for one and that this act might do the trick. He began to question why even the almighty had conspired against him when he had prayed with all his heart, and that is when I caved. I am sorry to say that we now have an elf named Spencer living in our house that we have to remember to move every night, or we will crush Eoin's belief in holiday magic. And to me, that is not the worst of it. I question why a child would want this elf in their house at all. Spencer must have to come alive at night to move from one place to another, and shouldn't this creep kids out a bit. Doesn't this whole premise of a doll coming alive sound a bit like those Chucky horror movies? And I thought kids hated tattlers, right? This elf also scoots off to the the North Pole at night and reports back to Santa about all the bad things the kids did all day--sounds like tattling to the extreme to me.
Thankfully, while we have this kind of peer pressure to conform and admittedly some added pressure to eat all the delicious hand-made treats prepared for us during the holidays, there can also be some positive peer pressure to conform. First, one pressure comes in the form of friends and family that love you and motivate you to get out there and move your body and make better choices overall. This is honestly one of the secrets to my continued success. I have a group of friends and an amazing husband that encourage me to consistently push myself to new fitness levels and to get out on a consistent basis.
I also put some positive peer pressure on myself by not only signing up for different kinds of races throughout the year, but I encourage my friends and family to join me so I can't back out even if I wanted to. Having races on my calendar also encourages me to train consistently, because I am too anal to do a race that I have not trained for. Those closet to me would say that shows my competitiveness..I say that it shows I want to avoid injury and prevent killing myself in the process.
However, this blog might be my biggest form of peer pressure of all. Some of my friends wonder how I find time to write my blog every week, but I find that this public purging of my soul is another secret to my continued progress. I don't know exactly who reads my blogs, but I will often run in to people who share that something I wrote motivated them or that they could relate to something I shared in my blog. A few weeks ago I ran into a colleague that I didn't even know was reading my blog on a weekly basis. She shared that she had been reading my blogs to find her own motivation at a time when she felt she had lost some control over her health. Knowing this about my readers helps me keep my "wandering" under some sense of control so I can continue to motivate others. So you all motivate me because I want to continue to motivate you as well. Peer pressure can be bad sometimes, but there are times when this pressure gives us the kick we need to get our lives back under control.
I am hoping to try and include a short update each week on the items I received in my weekly veggie/fruit box and share some of the meals I was able to create with the food items I was provided. This week's theme is soup. After last week's blog someone shared that they had purchased the box at some point and that they enjoyed everything "except the big squash things (big ewww in our house)." I took this as a challenge because I too had a "big squash thing," also known as butternut squash, that had been sitting around for a few weeks and I knew I could make something delicious out of it. I began by cutting it into chunks, skin and all, and roasting them in the oven. Here is a step-by-step guide to help--only I did not peel until after it was roasted. This made the preparation so much easier. 7 Steps to Cooking Butternut Squash Then I created a delicious soup using this recipe Curried Squash & Chicken Soup. Instead of frozen squash, I used my freshly oven-roasted version, and I left out the chicken and the spinach in my version. So tasty! The second soup I made this weekend was my all time favorite Lady Gaga Tomato Soup. I have shared this before, but I feel it is worth sharing again. It is super easy, low in calories, and delicious (although I do agree it needs a little salt and extra chicken broth)!