power in smaller numbers?

Posted: October 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I made it to the afternoon! Oh, thank goodness. I had numerous times today where I simply wanted to crawl into bed, nap, and ignore responsibility. Duty calls though. Nonstop in the life of a mom. Makenzie kept my hands full today…from 6 am on. Her little fake-mommy-out cry she shared in her “guest post” wasn’t a fake today. I lost my hour or so of productive time this morning.

Somehow, three hours disappeared in the blink of an eye and I was scrambling to get out the door and make it to Power class. I heart workouts on stressful mornings. They totally relieve stress and tension for me. At least for that hour, since after making it to my street I realized I had to turn around and drive back to the gym to pick up my Camelbak water bottle I forgot. I’m not about to lose that thing! It’s attached at my always thirsty side.


Then, I had to act all productive and do responsible things like finish the dagnabitwilliteverend laundry, handle a tired cranky toddler who wouldn’t nap, finally respond to a pile of emails, and type up a final lesson for the first meeting of our church small group I co-lead tonight.  Okay, okay. As much as I bemoan all of this, I know it isn’t much and in truth didn’t let it get to me. Much. If I had in fact felt totally overwhelmed, you would not have found me in the kitchen whipping up Estela’s Nutella Blondies. Ohhh….yes.


I have a feeling I will be whipping up treats for our small group on a regular basis. After all, there are too many fabulous recipes out there to try! We all know I fear cooking, but baking? Baking I can do. I hope the members of our small group like them! I clearly wouldn’t know. 😉


I do want to discuss something I feel strongly about in this post as well. Well, besides cranky toddlers and sugary treats, both of which hold my affection. I want to share the importance in finding a small group of people to connect with. I have my friends from school. I have family friends. I have an amazing group of friends here in the blog world. And for awhile, Peter & I would be perfectly content to hand just the two of us. Then, we joined a small group. My strongest connections ever began there.

Having a small sized group to meet regularly with helped us connect on a much deeper level and now many of these people are my closest and dearest friends. If I had something I felt the need to share, I would turn to them…and truthfully you all as well, but you understand the difference.I can send them a phone call or email and know I will receive a completely open ear and heart from any one of them. I love these people. They help me be a better person and continue my growth in loving myself and others. Basically, its a pretty awesome thing to have.

I found my group through my church and the bonds I made there. I have friends I have also greatly connected with through the small group of the playgroup I am involved in as well (hi Kelly!). There are so many opportunities out there to plug yourself into a community of support – runner’s groups, book clubs, group fitness classes, church, and so much more. If you aren’t already involved in a place you know you can turn to for encouragement and friendship, I hope you find one. I truly believe it can help us each experience more pleasure in life to have these relationships.  Get connected!

  • Are you forgetful? I forget things everywhere!!!
  • Are you involved in a small group of sorts? How? Any tips on helping people get connected who aren’t already? I think www.meetup.com is a great resource!

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48 Comments to “power in smaller numbers?”
  1. Emily says:

    I am usually not forgetful, but if something is not written in on the planner then forget it! I definitely need a calendar and reminders to keep me on track. I have different groups in my life, friends, classmates, etc but none that are totally on the same page with my interests. I have gotten much more into fitness and cooking in the last year and I think thats why I spend so much time reading blogs–they are the people who I connect with most. I also am still in search of a good church in my area where I can feel the sense of connection that I did at my college church. We will have to see, but I definitely appreciate the suggestion 🙂

  2. Mark says:

    Unfortunately, I am NOT forgetful. I have a memory that retains masses of useless junk. I seem to soak up meaningless information for no apparent reason. The important stuff doesn’t seem to commit to memory as well. I may not remember my mother’s name but I am great in a pub quiz :p

    • Tina says:

      That’s so funny! In our groups tonight one of the guys was saying how he can remember tons of football game scores, what he ate when watching certain games, and all sorts of things but will forget about other stuff. Crazy how different minds work!

    • Sarah says:

      You should try out for Jeopardy!

  3. I am forgetful and I set alarms for myself the night before for things that I MUST remember the following morning 🙂 There have been a few times that it has saved my butt.

    I make friends easily but as you get older, I find that it’s harder to make friendship that turns into a really close friendship. My high school friends and my college friends are my closest friends and then I have friends from work and outside social activities. I’m open to making new friends, it’s just hard to take it to the next lever of closeness. I hope that makes sense.

  4. Brooke says:

    i’m not forgetful but i’m obsessive about lists and keeping everything in order. when i do forget i freak out.

    as for small groups – i tend to find my peeps through work, and even after moving jobs 5 years ago i still keep in touch with and hang out with friends on a regular basis.

    • Tina says:

      What’s sad is I am a huge list person too. Yet today I left my water bottle at the gym, forgot to print something for our group members, AND left the DVD for our group discussion at home. Oops!!!

  5. I’m so happy you made the blondies!! Hope you liked them 🙂

    I love my small groups. I belong to this mommy happy hour group and we meet every Friday. We have about 6 moms in the group and thats a perfect number.

  6. I can be so forgetful sometimes, mostly when I’m in a rush. I’ve been known to leave my keys inside my apartment and get locked out, or even in my car! You look amazing btw!

  7. You have a great way of putting things into perspective, Tina!
    I’m pretty forgetful, but lately I’ve been able to be much better.
    I don’t belong to a small group unless you count the volleyball team I’m on or the group of bloomington/normal bloggers I’ve met up with!
    Have a great meeting! 🙂

  8. emily says:

    You are soooo adorable!!!! Those blondies look amazing!

  9. Julie says:

    I’m loving my new small group at bible study this Fall. Of all the past years of bible studies, this group seems to be an all around much better fit for me – age, kids, interests – than those in the past. I always hope friendships will evolve from my small groups, but they never seem to quite get to that point. I think probably because with each study (about every 4 months) we switch our small groups around – which is nice for meeting lots of different people, but not so great for forming lasting friendships. This time around I’m going to try to meet up with my small group outside of Wednesday mornings – some of us are going to Women of Faith this weekend, and we’re hoping to get a hike together. I think this will help us get past the superficial stuff more quickly and hopefully form some stronger bonds.

  10. those look so goooddd!

    i think i have those “can we just pretend we dont have responsibilities and crawl into bed” moments about a hundred times a day hehe

    i am veryyyy forgetful- i have the worst shortterm memory…i do however, have the best longterm memory. I remember the most random details of things that happened long ago. haha go figure

  11. Nuttella Blondies?! Genius! Can’t wait to try them. And I had a strangely similar day with wish to ignore responsibility–every time I looked out the window at the rain and clouds while I was at work, I just kept wishing I could go home, throw on some sweatpants, and crawl under a blanket!

  12. Becca says:

    Haha, yes! I am forgetful. Short-term, anyway. I left my own waterbottle — my Camelbak at one point! (and a sweatshirt) — in my Biology lab several times. Once for like two weeks in a row! It was bad. Haha. 🙂 I also forget about homework (and put it off….). This week, I finished two papers the morning they were due (afternoon classes with nothing to do in the morning)! Oops!
    My long-term memory, on the other hand, is pretty good. I remember things from forever ago! I know a lot of random stuff that could make me useful in trivia games… 😉 A lot of it is thanks to helping my dad with crosswords. 😀

    And I’m kind of in a couple of small groups… I have my BFFs from school, and I’ve got my family. I’ve also got the two I help wtih at church. The one is not super-regular, the Jr. High girls, but the other, Freshman girls, is every Sunday night. I co-lead. 🙂 The JH girls are usualy about six, and they’re ridiculous. They have trouble staying on-task. The Freshman girls are better, although we do have two who are really good friends and are like always together and hyper. It’s a little tough, but we manage!

  13. Kristie says:

    Ah, small groups are wonderful. Chris and I had been feeling pretty lonely when we moved to Madison, but as soon as we found a church we joined a small group and ended up making some really good friends! And I feel like because it was a small group bible study (with dinners :)) we got to know each other really well much more quickly than would have happened with people we just got to know elsewhere.

  14. I couldn’t agree with you more about workouts relieving stress. I’m pretty good about not forgetting things. If I forget something, it’s something big. I can’t do anything halfway of course 😉

  15. Sarah says:

    Workouts are amazing at killing that stress and putting a smile on my face (yay endorphins). You are the epitome of a glowing pregnant woman! I can only hope I’m near as active (and sane) as you when/if I have kids.

    Thanks for all your blog postings. After a long day I always enjoy catching up on your posts while I’m eating dinner 🙂

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: power in smaller numbers?: I made it to the afternoon! Oh, thank goodness. I had numerous times today where I simp… http://bit.ly/ae6wfE […]

  17. You and your belly are SOOO adorable!!!

    i used to be sharp as a tack, but now…super forgetful! I hate it! I never ever forgot anything, and these past couple years I have gotten worse, and I am only 29! That worries me, eek!

    Workouts are the best for relieving stress! When I train clients with stressful jobs, at the end of the day the last thing they want to do it see me, and start complaining before I even get starts…i say, listen, you are paying me to motivate you, this is good for you, and it;s the healthiest way for you to deal with your day and get a good night sleep tonight. By the end of the session they are like different people..it’s amazing the impact exercise has on our well-being as a whole!!!!

    • Tina says:

      I bet thats kind of cool to see how people change and calm down during a workout. It really is such a great stress reliever. And I hate to tell you that the forgetfulness gets worse. It’s scary.

  18. Sava says:

    I am terribly forgetful. I am pretty sure it is coded deeply in my DNA.
    In elementary school I had a BRIGHT pink raincoat I wore every single day (with the hood up, despite the teachers’ complaints) and I forgot it outside at recess, every single day.

    The same process happened with my lunchboxes, sets of earrings (I am getting a little better with that, at least) and even my shoes for P.E. In middle school.

    to help myself out, I run through a mental checklist every time I leave a place. Before I walk out the door in the morning, or before closing up at work. It also helps to have a routine that goes the same way every morning.

  19. sophia says:

    Oh no!! I almost finished my nutella by the spoon….wish I had known abt this yummy blondies earlier!

    I haven’t been able to work out lately…I think I really need some fresh air.

  20. Courtney F says:

    My husband thinks my brain cells get sucked out when I breastfeed. I think he might be right. I forget things or have “blond moments” all of the time!
    Small groups truly are wonderful. You get to share things important to you and people in that specific group will understand. Having different groups is important I think!
    You look great btw!

    • Tina says:

      Thanks! And oh my goodness how I can relate to the breastfeeding brain suck. I’m going to be a mess come January.

  21. I hope you enjoyed some of those blondies for me! I saw them and oh how I wish I could have them. Since Tony is an illustrator and we are home all the time, we organize a group of local comic artist to get together to connect here in Atlanta. I think it is important to participate and connect in groups so you can do things with people that have a common interest.

    I am forgetful when I am hormonal and clumsy all the time! Pretty picture, right? Have a great day Tina!

  22. rachael says:

    I can be forgetful at times. More at work than home . ..

    You look great! Love the baby bump pic!

  23. I heart blondies. They’re such a perfect combo between a fluffy cake and chewy cookie. And nutella sounds like an insanely good addition. 🙂

    I have random groups of friends that apply to different things. Workout friends, friends to drink with, friends to see movies with, friends I blog with, friends I like going to lunch with…. etc. It’s nice to have groups of people that are as passionate about things as I am without having to bore them with other things… 🙂

  24. Heather says:

    i completely agree with you on needing a group to get plugged in with. it makes all the difference in the world when you allow people in and they can love you and speak into your life! and i get forgetful when i get stressed…like i have been as of late…oops!

  25. Shannon says:

    Npw that I have my own little one, I am going to be on the search for some mom groups. You are so right about finding a small group to be part of.

  26. Mandy says:

    You are soooo cute!!! Look at that baby bump!!!

    • Tina says:

      You just wait. Your torpedo is going to be out of control the 2nd time! LOL I seriously think at 6.5 months in I am about as big as I was at the end with M.

  27. I totally agree! We have so enjoyed getting involved in our sunday school class and building friendships there. It really does make a huge difference.

  28. Those blondies look so good! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

    I am not very forgetful — if anything I tend to remember TOO much and think about TOO much. My husband on the other hand? He can be very forgetful. Sometimes I think I have to remember info for the both of us!

    I would love to find a small group to connect with. Jason and I have yet to make new friends together — our friends were either “his” or “mine” before we got together. I think it would be good for us to meet people together. Know what I mean? I’ve checked into some group stuff at church, but we have yet to follow through with any of it.

  29. Holly says:

    I prettttty much grew up on blondies. 😉 And though I’ve never had Nutella (I know!), those look AND sound incredible!

    I am so forgetful, it’s actually embarrassing. I program reminders into my phone all.the.time. For example, I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow and I need to look through recipes tonight to make a list of what i need….so i programmed it into my phone to remind me. Otherwise, forget about it! (Literally!)

    I am really bad about the group thing. 🙁 BUT I am excited about trying out a new church (hopefully next weekend). It’s mostly families, but hopefully I’ll find somethin’ for me to join!

    • Tina says:

      Definitely look into things they would have for you to join there. i think finding groups to connect with in a church is one of the biggest things to develop growth. And fabulous friendships too. 🙂

      I think the ingredients from the blondies should be part of that grocery list. 😉

  30. Those brownies look SO good! Send one over my way:)

    Am I forgetful? Ask my husband. He finds it amazing how I can forget things so quickly and when I do remember it’s at the most random times HA!

    I am still trying to establish myself here in PA, but I do really want to get more involved in small groups. I joined a bookclub, but I haven’t gone to one meeting yet (DOH!) I blogged about my October goals and made it a goal to attend at least one book club meeting this month so I can start meeting a cool group of gals.

  31. Nichole says:

    You know, my grandmother’s Sunday school class is my favorite. They are the most amazing people.

    Those brownies look dangerously amazing.

  32. Monique says:

    You are SO pregnant and SO cute in your pic! I love it 🙂
    You look amazing.

  33. First, I want to say how much I enjoyed your Self Love posts! I know I only commented a few times, but I’ve been working my way through them over the past few days and…wow! Tina, you should write a book! Your words, reflections and advice are truly inspirational. I’ve bookmarked a few in particular to return to when I’m struggling. Thank you. 🙂

    I completely agree with you about the importance of small groups! I joined my first one while I was in college, and connected with some amazing people. Never did I realize that I was capable of feeling so comfortable sharing so much of my life–especially not-so-great details from my past–with complete “strangers.” Those strangers soon became dear friends though. 🙂

    Wow, those brownies sounds amazing! I bet your small group loved them!

    • Tina says:

      Oh they did! And I did too.

      Thank you soooo much for your thoughts on the 30 Days. I admit that I would love to write a book one day. Not sure if its in the cards for me, but its fun to think about…even without any certain idea what I would even do one on. It’s still nice to hear someone thinks I have the capability.

  34. Lauren says:

    Okay…I want those brownies NOW! They look awesome 🙂

    I completely agree about the importance of knowing and connecting with a small group of people. From high school through right after college I was always involved in some sort of small group, either through church or ministry involvement. My husband and I moved almost 3 months ago for his new job at a church and, ironically enough, they don’t have any kind of small group or young adult ministries (although that’s one of his projects to take on). Let’s just say I’m looking forward to when they’re up and running 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I would definitely be anxious to have a small group ministry start up. I think its such a great way to make wonderful friends.

  35. good gravy those blondies look GOOD !!

    I think meetup is a great tool !! I have many small groups of friends, and people call me a “connector” – I introduce friends I think would love each other… it’s fun 🙂

  36. Dee says:

    Nutella Blondies?! Oh my goodness!! *drool*

    Thank you so much for sharing that link! I have been meaning to get out there and meet more new people. Especially since I feel like I’m in quite a rut right now and work just sucks. 🙁

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