Friday, December 14, 2012

Girly Christmas.

I was going to start this entry off with a cute picture of Noah.  But apparently my phone and my computer or my phone and my gmail - my phone is not speaking to someone around here.  So use your imagination.  My son, dressed nicely, Santa hat, cute grin. Good.

Our work party is today.  I'm mostly looking forward to it.  It's way earlier in the month than we typically have it and the timing of it is all off.  But I'm trying to be grateful.  I'm recycling a dress I wore to the party a few years ago.  But it's still cute, so at least I've got that going for me. 

As I was was wrapping some presents last night, the phone rang.  We don't answer our house phone on a regular basis.  When we do, there aren't real people on the other end.  Or if there are real people, they don't understand that we are allowed to say no to their fabulous offers of new shellacked siding and fantastic above ground on the roof pools.  So, to avoid the frustration, we simply don't answer the house phone a whole lot.  However, last night we did and it was an actual person; a little girl for Madeline. In the span of about six seconds those two nine year olds had planned a sleepover, the logistics, the transportation, and the return home trip.  I was a little taken aback.  The other little girl's mother and I did speak briefly on the phone.  But at that point it as more of a formality - we didn't need to.  Had either of those two girls had a driver's license it would have been a done deal. 

It's moments like that that make me smile.  And silently weep a little bit.  My little girl is planing sleep overs and going to sleep overs, and staying at sleep overs.  She's going to be the teen with lots of activities.  She's going to be the middle schooler who wants to be a part of it all.  She's going to be the child who tries hard to please everyone.  I'm proud of that.  I will nurture and foster that. 

Madeline is at her happiest when she's allowed to be a girl.  The girliest of them all.  I know it's hip right now to foster gender equality and sexless based tastes and marketing.  But I think it should also be pretty damn hip to allow your kid to do what she wants to do.  If purple, turquoise, green, and hot pink ("in that order, mom. Pink is LAST now.") are her favorite colors, why should I keep buying blue shirts.  It's just as important to me foster what makes her comfortable and what brings our her best qualities. 

So, if that means that Madeline will totally be rocking a green and pink tutu with her candy cane shirt and leggings today, than so be it.  And I hope at her sleep over they braid each others hair, paint each other's nails, and prank call boys. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where's that Elephant?

There was a small panicked moment last night when I thought I was going to have to go buy a White Elephant gift that I need for work today.  As I said on Twitter last night - why, in a house full of crap, can I not find a White Elephant Gift?? Any other month it's all White Elephant all of the time up in here. Buying a White Elephant gift is like cleaning before your house keeper comes.  Not that I have a house keeper, but I imagine it would feel pretty lame to clean before they came.

Finally, I found something that would work.  But this morning, I'm having second thoughts.  White Elephant gift exchanges always make me nervous.  Particularly the ones that are supposed to be tacky. My fear is that my "tacky"gift is something that someone else has 14 of and LOVES and can't understand why I want to give away.  Oh well.  I have no further time to obsess.

If all else bombs, I'm taking a fabulous popcorn cake.  This time with festive Christmas colors.  So there will be that at least.  I don't think it's wrong to redeem oneself with food.  Not at all. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music of the Night.

I didn't claim to be exciting when I committed to writing more often did I?  Good. 

Thinking of hitting the pillows early tonight.  I'm in some sort of funk.  Not overly depressed.  Just off.  Just sad.  It may have something to do with running myself ragged with kid's activities and not having seen the sun for 116 days.  Or it just may be the Christmas time blues. 

Last night found me in the hallway crying almost uncontrollably thinking about my grandparents.  My grandmother who is still very much alive, and my grandfather who is not.  Gram had sent me a text asking me to put on the TV to PBS.  When I did, there was a Great Performances broadcast of Phantom of the Opera.  That was our thing - mine, Gram's and Pops'. 

They introduced me to the musical when I was really young.  They bought me the soundtrack and I learned every word to every song and played it at top volume for approximately two years straight.  They took me to see a performance when it came to Cleveland.  And when I was thirteen, I spent two weeks in North Carolina with them while they were fixing up a house they were selling.  That soundtrack was the soundtrack to that entire trip.  I'm sure my grandfather suffered in silence, but that memory brings me suck great joy. 

So, in turn, last year, our local high school was doing a performance of the same show.  This time I took Gram.  We sat in the front row.  For weeks after, we sent each other texts to the songs that were stuck in our head. 

I'm lucky.  I'm so, so, lucky to have my Gram.  And to have the memories of them both.  


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Soothing Saturday.

So, yesterday didn't happen as far as this blog is concerned.  It wasn't even a blip on my radar.  It wasn't intentional  but there you have it . 

Yesterday was tragic (I had to restore my phone to factory settings), relaxing (hung out in the house for a change on Saturday.  Even watched some TV), productive (packaged packed and ready to be mailed to Bahrain), fun (watched a silly, guilty pleasure movie with the kids last night turned up loud, cheering, laughing).

We still had our usual hustle and bustle of every Saturday - hockey and dance, errands, and cooking.  But yesterday was just at different pace.  More time was spent hanging out, laughing, talking, and enjoying. 
We recovered nicely from my Friday night blues.  Ok, I was the only one who was blue and perhaps it was only in my head, but regardless, recovered I am. 

On to Sunday.  More commitments and activities today - hockey, basketball, pictures, but we'll all reconnect at some point this evening.  And tonight, if time is on our side, a decorated Christmas tree will be the end result of our efforts. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tonight

Tonight didn't turn out as I'd imagined. Most Friday nights do not, but tonight in particular wasn't even on the map.

Such is life with so many people. So many personalities. So very many cooks in the proverbial kitchen.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. And I know I shouldn't be nearly as upset about it as I am. But I have spent the last 50 minutes holed up in my room fighting back tears.

I'm trying not to give in and just go to bed. If I can make it another two hours, the night can be salvaged and end in a good night. But even that waiting two hours is leaving me salty. The two hours are for others, not me. The two hours could potentially bring with it other bouts of strife.

So, tonight is not for me. It wasn't meant to be for me, I guess, and no one is doing anything differently to prove otherwise.

Safely and quietly I will remain here. Tomorrow will be fresh and bright. I'll begin again.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Judge if You'd Like.

Activity #4 of 7 was cancelled for this evening. This provided a bit of much needed reprieve and relaxation for all of us.

Dinner was low key and decidedly unhealthy. The kids are pretty much zoned out in front of screens and games.

Sometimes it's okay to have a night that won't win you a parent of the year award. The prize is actually that we are all resting and happy. I'll take it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pre Bed Check-in

Tonight my bed and I will become one very soon after this post.  

It may not be late according to the clock, but my body and I have been on the go since 5:30 this morning.  The 5:30 part isn't abnormal.  The coming home after 8:00 PM after several activities is. 

So, I'm spent. 

The kids are already in bed.  I've said my good nights to the rest of the house that is awake, and I'm making my way to a date with my pillows. 

I've stated before that I enjoy that we have the luxury of being busy.  But leaving in the dark and coming home in the dark, do take their toll.  Shuffling kids from one activity to another and back again can be tedious.  

Luckily for me, I am a creature that responds well to sleep.  I will wake up feeling fresh and ready to do it again.  Which is a damn good thing, because do it again, I must.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Bullets

(Madeline's first basketball game. Excuse the blurriness.)

  • We are a basketball playing house now.  Something that has been more of a time commitment than I thought.  But something we've also really enjoyed more than I thought.  I'm happy Madeline decided to step out of her comfort zone a bit and try this.  It was her idea.  I wouldn't have ever even suggested it.
  • We are in charge of snack for the first game back in the new year.  Seems a little more pressure with this crowd to perform above the typical bag of chips and pretzels.  Madeline wants to do something fun.  I believe we're dealing with at least one nut allergy on the team so I don't want to chance anything.  Any suggestions for fun nut-free sports snacks?
  • I need to bake a small batch of something for a work thing next week.  Holiday themed and sweet would be best.  I have a few extra cans of pumpkin pie filling.  Is there anything that can be done with those? And something that can be created and baked in a small amount of time late on a Tuesday night.  Not too many criteria, right? 
  • Still now snow here.  Yesterday it was sixty degrees.  Yes.  While I love the warmer weather. and I'm thankful every day I don't have to drive in bad weather - I miss Christmas snow.  This is the second or third year, we haven't had snow leading up to Christmas.  In my book, snow has its place for 25 days a year.  After that I've no use for it.  Mother Nature, you've already wasted four of those days. 
  • I'm thankful for the commitment to write more often and I hope writing through one of the busiest times of the year sets a trend for me to write more often in the new year.  Ultimately this blog is for me, my thoughts, and the history I want to document here.  Some day maybe it will be a bit more.  But while I'm pressing through  for the habit of writing, please know the bar for quality content might not be set all that high. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Actually Checking Things Off My List.

I'm feeling oddly on top of things as far as Christmas goes this year.  It's December 3rd and I have gifts bought! Good gifts, too.  Hell, I even have one wrapped.  This is not me.  We've got the lights up outside - they've been there for a while as we took advantage of a warmer weekend in November. The tree is up and should be decorated by week's end.  I'm feeling pretty good about the season this year. 

So far I haven't stuck to any sort of budget which is probably going to bite me in the ass later, but I have good ideas this year people, don't judge. 

I figure if I can stay on top of the game this early in the month, I will be less stressed and resentful when far flung family decides to throw a wrench in things later in the month.  Which they will.  They always do.  "Oh, you simply must come over for crappy dinner and forced conversation.  we do it every year.  We pretend to enjoy it, so you should too."  Ugh.  I'd rather eat un-iced Christmas cookies. 

But the main reward for which I'm fueling myself forward is my time off at the end of this month.  Josh and I will both have off from the day after Christmas to the first of the year.  I have been looking forward to this time since I think April when we first talked about it.  I don't know that future years are going to lend themselves so well to such a large chunk of time off, so enjoy this one I shall.  

If I wanted to keep my ahead of the game organizational streak moving forward, I'd pick up the phone tomorrow and schedule some appointments for the kids during that time off, but let's not get crazy.  We'll see where the cards fall on that one. 

For now - let's just bask in the fact that I even have gifts bought that need to be shipped to family overseas.  What? Yes, really. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dancing in the Dark.

Ok. I'm actually typing in the dark. The power's out. So odd for our house. Our house never loses power. But it appears the entire street is without lights, though I can see street lights shining in the neighborhood behind us. I've reported the outage though they did seem to be aware. Now we wait and post from our phone.

I joined Holidailes this morning which I can't link to because I don't know how to do so on my phone. But that's the reason I am posting from my phone, in the dark, before 7am this morning.

I need to get a handle on the coffee/red bull situation. But my car is in the garage. So that may have to wait. Maddie had her first basketball game this morning. I hope things perk up around here before it's time to get ready for that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't be Scared of Your Grandchildren.

This morning I'm off again.  Off to work and straight from the office sometime this afternoon to the airport.  Another work trip.  This time to Philadelphia.  This should be it until next June when it's Chicago for a few days. 

Kids are packed - I took their things over to my mother's last night.  I'm packed save for a few things I"ll be using shortly.  

I think we're ready. 

I know that I've talked before about my trips and how much I depend on other people to help make this work for me.  How much organization and planning goes into a trip and how lucky I am to have family members that wish to and are able to help me.  

All of that is still true but I just have to say one thing - Damn people - lighten up a little bit! Use your head a little bit!  Calm the freak down for a minute!  I don't understand.  When I ask for my mother's help with the kids which is about three times a year tops, it's as if she forgets she ever had, raised, and reared two children of her own.  So frustrating!!

"No, I can't take him to ice skating that will put us home too late."
 "What do you mean there has to be a note? If there has to be a note  you'll need to write and it mark on the outside when I'm supposed to send it."
"She doesn't have basketball practice does she? We can't do basketball practice."

And on and on an on the list goes, until I don't even want to go on my trip at all.  Until I seriously consider saying no to the next one.  

My grandparents helped us, raised us, did everything with us.  So I guess I don't understand the complete opposite mentality  that she has with my children.  (Holy crap! She just sent me a text asking if the kids have lunch money in their account so she won't have to pack lunches.)

I can't - and I feel like I should mention that this is for three days, people.  Not three weeks like she is having everyone believe.  And when I get home, she will be exhausted and she will ask how I do it all and she will go on and on for weeks. All the while never remembering that I DO do basketball and ice skating. Oh, and I DO pack lunches when the kids want them.  And I have a little thing called THREE OTHER KIDS at home too!  

I love my mother I do.  And I know that I am so very fortunate to even have a mother that I can complain about, let alone one that I can complain about the way that she helps me.  I do know that.  

I guess the bottom line is my slight frustration with the way she "helps me", but really my underlying sadness that my kids won't be treated the way we were treated by my grandparents.  We were treated like a prince and a princess.  We still are!  We were so very, very lucky.  

Maybe one day it will change and my mother will come around to being more of the grandparent I imagined. Until then, I do know that I'm lucky and I do know that I couldn't do what I do without her.  But currently I'm hoping she can find it in her to muster up the sentence, "Go take a shower." over the next three days.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy Halloween.

Hurricane Sandy for our family in particular did not do any damage.  We were very lucky that the storm just found us overly prepared. The biggest blow for our house is that Halloween has been postponed until  Sunday.  But with the leaves, limbs, power lines and some neighborhoods without power still, I think that is just fine.  And I haven't heard one kid in our house complain. 

What a tragedy for all that felt the worst of Sandy's wrath.  Josh and I were glued from Sunday on to The Weather channel, Twitter, phones, iPads,  We couldn't get enough information.  Partially to prepare ourselves and partially just to be aware what was happening to our country. So sad.  How much more can New York take?  That's the thought that's been racing through my head these past few days.  

We did have school closed on Tuesday as five of the schools in our district did not have power.  There is one school remaining closed today but the rest are back in session.  Work wasn't effected for anyone I know.  And and streets that I have traveled have remained passable though I know there were many, many that were closed due to trees and live wires and some that still remain closed.  

Sandy really wholloped NEO harder than anyone suspected. 

On to the last two days of the week.  Hug your loved ones.  Be thankful for what you do have even if a few days ago you were sure it wasn't enough.  Because now there are millions who can't even have what we were complaining about just a week ago.  Be safe.  Be grateful. 



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There is a Three in Team.

Last night was Madeline's first basketball practice.  I won't say that she's a natural  but man she had fun.  Noah and I had fun watching too.  I t wasn't my pl;an to stay for the whole practice, but that's how it worked out.  We were pretty highly entertained.  Within the first ten minutes after some name learning games, the coach said "Alright, we're a team now."  They threw in right then and there and did their first 1-2-3 TEAM. 

Yes, I got misty eyed. 

I'm happy for her to be part of something like this.  I'm happy that I'm able to allow her to be part of this.  Believe me, no one is more thankful for me to see how our lives have turned out.  If you had been around in the beginning all of this would have been questionable. You would have thought perhaps not possible. 

I loved my children desperately   And I was a damn good mother.  But here were many weeks and months where I didn't know if my love for them was going to go beyond the basics.  

Then we left.  Suddenly and by cover of night.  Me, my two year old, my six month old, rescued by my brother who had just completed his very first plane ride an hour before hand.  I always say it was all very Lifetime movie. 

On Halloween, I will have been back in Ohio for 7 years.  I've now been home longer than I was gone.  When I first came back, even after I was back up on my own two feet, I often worried about what kind of life I was going to be able to give my kids.  But seven years later and we're doing more than okay. I am very, very grateful for all that I have, all that I can give them, and the love that I can show them that is not over shadowed by so many other things as it would have been if we stayed in Nevada. 

While Noah played math games on my phone, and Madeline dribbled  and giggled  and ran her little heart out, I sat on that cold, hard middle school gym floor and reflected on how awesomely far the three of us have come.  We make a freaking sweet team, my kids and I!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Picture Perfect Party.



This picture pretty much sums up our Halloween party this year.  This is Josh and Seth.  Moments before, Seth had been the cutest triceratops anyone has ever seen.  What a great fun night. 

We had the perfect amount of food.  The only left overs we had were the homemade Chex Mix and the Home Made Halloween Chex Mix.  Lots left of those - but that was by design. 

I thought this year's bash was going to be smaller, but turns out we had the same amount of guest of not more.  For sure we had more kids! That made me very happy. 

I live for my parties each year.  I get a little panicked and stressed right before.  But everyone seems to enjoy themselves and people keep coming back, so I guess I'm doing something right. 

Next year will be year five - something big has to happen for that one, I think. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fruity Halloween.

Four days of work this week.  Friday will be spent finishing up for the party and having our new washer and dryer delivered. It's funny how very adult and responsible I feel lately. 

This year's party is shaping up nicely.  I just need to finish buying up some food, soda, and some things for goody bags for the kids.  I feel slightly less panicked than I typically do at this stage of the game each year.  It's nice.  


I had made this for Julie's baby shower in July.  (Thanks Pinterest)  But inspiration struck while looking at other versions of this as well.  Many, many people did this wrong.  Way wrong.  See, if you lop off the back "carriage" part, it immediately becomes rather coffin like, in my opinion.  Many people seemed to have corpse babies poised to welcome the new arrival in their families.  To each their own I suppose. 

What I want to do do is take that theme and run with that for the party.  Either a baby pumpkin head with a silly face.  Or maybe a skeleton laid out in the fruit   We shall see. And I'm excited to post how it turns out.    But that's an undertaking I need to get started on purchasing my supplies for.  Watermelons aren't actually in season around these parts.  I'll have to move to more seasonal fruits for the fillers as well.  But I think it will make the impression I want.  And anything that can serve as both food and decoration is okay in my book. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Another Grab Bag of Items.

Things are jumbled in my head so that's how my speech, and apparently, blog posts are coming out these days. 

Deal. 

~ I am in love with very single coat at Target right now.  I didn't know that was possible.  I didn't know that I was going to be come a coat type of girl. But there are some really nice ones on those racks that were really speaking to me the other evening.  

~ Hockey starts this weekend.  From here til March.  So, Josh and Max will be away for a long part of the day on Saturday. My dream is that the crappy weather they're calling for will actually come to fruition this time and the little kids and I can have a movie marathon afternoon.  But, if not, I'll kick them outside under threat of "might be the last nice day for a while!", and go about my cleaning and organizing for our upcoming party. 

~ I need to spend more time on Pinterest. I was in such a good schedule of pinning, and organizing, and trying and researching.  And now it's been weeks since I've even logged on to the site. 

~ Wednesday was nice.  Josh and I had a school night out.  He took me to Great Lakes Brewing Company where we had fantastic food and got two growlers filled of a very tasty beer.  After that we headed a bit more downtown and turned in our tickets to see Louis CK at Severance Hall. Such a  great night! A late nigh! But I didn't mind, my cheeks hurt from laughing so very hard.  Both at the paid entertainment and at Josh and the fun we were having.

On to the weekend I say.  Cook some stew, wear some comfy socks, crunch some early leaves. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reasons Things Are Good Right Now.


~ School is underway and going very well, so far, for everyone.  Madeline's grades rock, Noah's behavior rocks.  Homework is somewhat seemingly less of a nightmare than in years past.  I think we've found our groove.  Things are good in this area. 

~ The kids' activities are bringing me more joy than you would think.  I like that we're busy.  I like that we have to plan things and think about logistics.  Hockey will be starting soon for Max, basketball for Maddie, and ice skating for Noah.  Add this to the dancing and other activities already in place, and our winter is pretty packed.  But we're all looking forward to it.  I didn't have very many activities when I was growing up, so I'm happy we get to do this for our kids. 

~ I got a new (to me) car! I love it.  It is amazing what a nice looking , reliable car can do for your self esteem or your outlook on the daily grind.  It's cute, young, fun, and clean!  I am so very fortunate.  I could not have done it without the help of Josh   We actually got two cars.  He got another car for to and from work which has been a dream on gas and wear and tear on the nice manly fancy care he has.  We are very fortunate.  I, most of all. 

~ Fall is here.  As much as I miss the fantastic summers we have, I do love Halloween, leaf turning, and the anticipation of Winter.  In a few weeks we'll be having our Fourth Annual Halloween Party.  Really looking forward to that once more as well.  

~ Wednesday  I'm cashing on a birthday gift Josh got me.  He is taking me to see Louis CK play Severance Hall.  I'm so looking forward to the laughs, the venue, the night out with Joshua.  Just time.  I'm just looking forward to time. 

~ Unscheduled massages for which you have a gift certificate.  Need I say more? 

~ I am a lucky girl in a lucky family.  I have fantastic kids and a partner who is my best friend whom I love with all my heart.  I know the day to day can get us down, and make us tired and question it all.  But if you can step back and pick out the things that are present for which we can be thankful, it lifts you up and gives you the positive outlook that can propel you for a few more days. And that's all we all really need, isn't it?  Just a few more days. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On the Road Again.

The kids will be schlepped to my mother's once more.  The bags are packed and ready to roll once again.  Another night away from my family for work. 

Now that all the logistics have been worked out, I'm feeling excited and confident once again.  

I will drop the kids off at day care this morning.  They will go to school and come back to daycare.  Their lovely aunt Sarah will pick them and take them to her house from where my mother will pick them up.  They will eat, homework, and bathe at my mother's and she will take them back to day care tomorrow.  After school and one more return trip to daycare, I'll be there to pick them up and get back to the home front.  

It sounds a lot more daunting than it is.  It really, really does take a village though.  Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad because they don't think you're doing enough on your own.  If you want to do it correctly you will ask for all the help you need. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Remembering

I have always wanted to write about my 9/11 experience but I have never had the platform to do so.  So  even though I'm a few days late to be considered "timely" this year, it's very important to get this story out for me.

I had been living in Las Vegas since June of that same year.  It was after six in the morning and I was getting ready for work.  The phone rang and it was my father telling me to turn on the TV that something very wrong was happening in New York.  A few minutes after doing what he said, the second plane hit the second tower.  It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen in my life.  It took me a very long time to process that image.  He instructed me to maybe go get some extra cash out of the bank and maybe get some extra canned goods - no one new what was happening or what the ramifications of what was happening would be.   I remember feeling sad.  So sad and frightened.  And so far away from home.

I woke up my then boyfriend, now ex-husband, and told him what had happened.  I told him it was time for him to drive me to work.  On the way there, I told him about my dad's warnings about taking out extra money.  The ex said that my dad was crazy and exaggerating trying to make me feel panicked.  Looking back his reaction to 9/11 was so wildly inverse and inappropriate the red flags of the type of person he was to become should have been flying right a long with every other American flag at the time.  But, that's a subject for another time.

I made it to work.  It as here I first learned about CNN.com's email alerts and signed up right away.  I refreshed the news pages so often and frequently.  I was so scared. I'm fairly certain that I made a few other phone calls to alert other people, but I remember mostly just looking for information.  I was hungry for information and more than likely someone to tell me that it was going to be okay.

The skies being empty in Las Vegas, especially where I worked so close the airport was a sight and lack of sound I will never forget.  So quite.  Such a bright blue cloudless empty sky. 

The owner of our company came to the office shortly after.  He called us all in his office and we talked briefly about what had happened and he said a prayer and sent us home for the day.  

After arriving home, I sat in front of the TV which was where I would pretty much be for the next three+ days.  It was the first introduction of the CNN ticker and I was practically a beta tester for it.  I needed to fill my eyes and brain with information to know that this was actually happening and still the waiting for someone telling me everything was going to be okay. 

I don't recall if it was actually the night of 9/11 or a night soon following, but we went out to dinner.  We were young and didn't know that that was probably in poor taste, so we went.  After a huge fight in the car on the way there (yes I know) we arrived to such and empty restaurant.  The TVs were all tuned to the news.  The few people there were not speaking, all eyes looking at the tvs and the sad images they kept repeating.  
I remember not wanting to leave the house again after that for days and days. 

Like everyone, the rise of togetherness, patriotism, and helpfulness was wonderful to see and be a part of for me.  It was wonderful to see these cars with flags, houses with signs, volunteers and aides.  I miss that part of it.  That was a good time to be an American. 

One last defining moment for me was a moment in the evening, the ex was at work and I had the TV tuned to as much coverage as I could manage.  And I was sitting in the dark watching the TV and Peter Jennings was my friend for the evening.  The piece he was showing was featuring international response to 9/11.  Different countries around the globe with signs, songs, memorials - the last shot showed children from another country singing God Bless America, or something similar. It was so touching.  When the camera came back to the studio, there sat Peter Jennings - crying.  I remember being so shocked that this man, this stoic, professional manly news-reporter was crying.  Weeping even.  The next day, I sent an email to my father and some others about seeing Peter Jennings cry and the impact that had on me.  

I remember the details of this day like no other.  It's possible I remember more about this day from morning to night than I do about the days on which my children were born.  But I think that's okay.  I think the point of remembering keeps those that died alive.  In speaking to me children about this day and holding the close and answering their questions, I'm instilling in them a little bit of the magic that we as a human race had in those days that followed September 11th. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Six Days.

Today I go back to work, reality, and the world.  Three places I haven't been for the past six days. 

I am shocked at how relaxed, happy and rejuvenated I feel.  I've never felt like this after time off before.  I think the past six days were days well spent.  Days that I used to rest and be calm. 

I originally took the first three days of school off just to be home and available to help with Baby Seth should anyone need an extra set of supplies run to school, or someone else's new morning routine wasn't working out.  I was just planning on being the back up adult at home.  But it wasn't until I requested the time off from work that I realized that those three days ran right into the three day Labor Day weekend.  Thus my week +1 day off of work was born. 

The beginning of school has went smoothly and has been largely stress free.  So, I got some Baby Seth bonding time and hung out with Marie for three days.  We talked, and yaked, and watched trashy TV.  I was able to drive my kids to school all three days and Noah was even able to ride the bus home on Friday for the first time; something he's not ever done before because I'm at work.  One afternoon, I took a nap, Friday I watched my nephew for a few hours, and I went grocery shopping at 9 in the morning on a Thursday.  Have you ever?  This stay at home mom stuff really has its perks! 

My free three days rolled into the weekend.  Saturday morning I picked up Gram and we ran some errands. Saturday night Josh and I went out to dinner to The Cheesecake Factory and stopped for a night cap at The Winking Lizard.  We had so much fun.  It was a night we needed together and with each other for a very long time.  

Sunday started at a slow leisurely pace which was fine by me.  Late afternoon, we headed out for some errands and food.  We came home and cooked and watched the race after the little kids had been put to bed.  

Oh! Something else I did this weekend.  I played video games.  Yes me!  What?  Was I so relaxed and happy and delirious that I just gave in to Josh's request and played?  I don't know.  But I know that he and I played a lot of Portal 2 together - a game he completed long ago with Max - and I laughed and had fun.  And have already found myself looking forward to when time permits we're able to play again. 

Yesterday was your obligatory cook out with the family, minus a few members who were at work and a few others who were travelling.  But fun was had by all.  And I was very aware of the relaxed feeling I had sitting on the back deck with an adult beverage.  Kids and Papa were in the pool.  Josh, Marie, Candice and Eric and I were chatting on the deck.  Music was playing, kids were laughing.  It was a great end to a great weekend and dare I say summer. 

I don't typically post these summary of my life posts, but this weekend and few days before were so good, so sanity giving that I want to be able to remember them.  I want to remember in the busy, stressful holidays coming up, that this feeling can be achieved and to savor it when it happens. 

Here's to a fantastic week ahead as well! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pseudo Single Mom

I've finally come up with that term or title for myself and I think it's very accurate and I think if I'm given the opportunity to explain what it means to me, people would agree.

I am in a loving, long term committed relationship.  We live as a blended family with five kids and a grandchild full time.  We both have full and primary custody of our children.  We are not married.

I was a single mother for several years.  A single mother in the true definition of the term - I lived alone with my two children singly. Truthfully, I lived as a single mother even when I was married in Nevada and still living with my ex husband, but that's a post for another day.

After dating for some time, Josh and I began to talk about moving into together.  He brought it up first, it was actually a way of life that I did not think would ever happen for us.  But we began to work out the kinks on how and where to make that happen and we did.  I still say, and will probably maintain for quite some time, that blending our two families was the hardest thing I have ever done.  There were many times in those first few months that I wondered what I had done.

So now here we are, over three years into making this family work, and it was only this past week that I was able to put a term to how I feel in my role as a mother and partner.  I am a single mom in that I am not remarried and I am raising my children on my own.  But I must add the pseudo caveat because I am in a long term committed relationship with someone I love.

I suppose the hard parts sometimes are that people don't think or realize that I still struggle in every way that a single mother struggles.  I have to make decisions for my two children all by myself.  Yes I can ask questions and ask for advice, but ultimately it is my choice and my consequences to deal with from them.  I am 100% financially responsible for my kids, as he is his.  We don't share bank accounts, we don't share expenses beyond what it takes to run the household.  School fees, dance classes, softball, etc.  Those are all my finances to worry about.  The flip side of course, I don't pay for hockey, or medication, or ice skating for his children either.  But I feel like sometimes if I speak of money getting tight or wondering about affording something people look around and wonder if it's so.  It is so because I am still very much on my own when it comes to that.  

I still need to arrange babysitting for my kids I still need to arrange logistics for activities and birthday parties and extra curricular activities.  I have a partner in life -  I really do and I couldn't be happier about it.  But I do not have a partner in child rearing, or money managing, or decision making. 

 This is the arrangement we have chose and it works for us.  But I don't know if other people understand the dynamic of it all.  I don't know if people understand that I'm still so going it alone.  I have a sounding board, but that's where it ends.  

Sometimes it can be lonely.  Sometimes it can be liberating.  It's the way that we've chose to do things and it's not the way most families operate.  I guess in the long run, at the very, very least, we're showing our kids that a family can be what you make of it and how you make it work.  It doesn't have to be conventional and it doesn't have to be what anyone else understands or approves of.  As long as there is respect and love, there can be a family that is powerful. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Year.

I ran Madeline and Noah up to their school last night to check out the teacher postings.  What a bust! Madeline doesn't know who her teacher is, and Noah's hasn't been hired yet.

I've got Noah pretty on board and excited with the thought of a "Mystery Teacher", hopefully Mystery Teacher doesn't let him down.  I need Mystery Teacher to totally live up to the mysterious personality I have set forth here. 

Madeline does not recognize the name of her teacher at all.  I suggested that maybe one of the teachers had a wedding over the summer.  And while she admits that one of the 4th grade teachers was going to marry, she's pretty certain that this is just a new mean boring teacher.  It can't possibly be a happy teacher that she is familiar with.  

But other than that, we're ready.  We are ready to take on fourth grade and second grade by storm!  I hope that the excitement lasts for them.  If we could get to Thanksgiving break still feeling this happy, open, and excited by school, I would call it a success. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Losing It.

I've been losing jewelry at an oddly fast rate lately.  It's rather alarming.

I have one particular ring which was a Christmas gift that I wear every day.  I have lost it twice now for extended periods of time.  Once it was found days later behind the couch.  And this most recent time, I find it in the dining room under the bistro table.  What?  Why? It's not an expensive ring, but it's one I like and wear almost daily. 

Last Tuesday I went on a bike ride and mowed the lawn.  During the lawn mowing I realized I was missing one earring.  I don't know which oh so strenuous activity caused the earring to jump to its death from my nice cushy ear lobe.  But it did.  And now it's gone.  Those earring were cute, simple, and classic. A gift from my mother for Gram sitting one year.  

Friday night we were watching the Olympics and I realized the back off one of my go to earrings was missing.  What is going on around these parts?? These earrings were a gift from Ernie and Sarah when I moved back to Ohio.  I've had them now almost seven years.  And since I had to start my jewelry collection over upon coming back they meant a lot.  I know, I know, just get another back. It's easy enough to do.  I just wanted to add it to my list because it's odd for this kind of thing to be happening to me so frequently. 

I guess it is a very good thing that I'm not the type of girl to beg for or to demand jewelry from Josh.  At this rate, if he delivered, I'd probably just lose it anyway.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Taking Care.

Yesterday was a bit scary.  I found out early in the morning that Gram had had a bad night with severe scary head pains, and what she thought was the a weakness in her left side.  Stroke, of course, is what we all thought. (Well, I also thought aneurysm, but I'm a crazy person).  My mother was unable to leave work, but I did not have any trouble leaving.  So I went to her house by 10 in the morning, I think. 

Her doctor's office had  told her to go in for an emergency CAT scan right away.  So we did.  Yes, that Northeastern Ohio construction tried to foil us, and almost did, but we made it!  And if anyone ever needed a test of Gram's lucidity, that car ride was it!  She took me through back road after back road, avoided detours, knew where bridges were out.  It was a fun trip.  By the time the next barrier showed up we were already laughing our heads off and anticipating a new route anyway. That part was fun. 

Luckily the whole ordeal wasn't awful and wasn't too prolonged.  We were out of there with multiple tests run after three hours.  All tests were inconclusive and they're not sure about much.  But she's agreed to see her doctor today at 3:30 and do some tests as an outpatient so that's good. 

One highlight of the afternoon was as we were leaving, the ER doctor was talking to her about the importance of her keeping her appointment today with the regular doctor and Gram said, "I will doctor.  I promise.  Cross my heart and hope to die." Gram = all smiles as she's saying this.  ER Doc = eyes bulging out of his head and can't believe she uttered the word die in his ER.  It was pretty comical!

I was happy that I could be there.  I was glad to be the one there to help her.  And dare I say, I was a tiny bit glad that my mother was unable to come.  We did just fine - more than fine - Gram and I.  I was calm, helpful, repeated things that the doctor or nurses said to her when she couldn't hear. I helped with little things, like finding her med list in her purse, and I helped with big things like helping her make the decision to stay overnight when they though she was going to be admitted.  

I was proud of myself for holding it together and doing the right thing.  As hard as it was to see my beloved grandmother small and weak in a hospital bed, I was able to be there for her.  I was able to be there with calmness and love. 



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wine and Laughter.

What starts in wine ends in laughter.  Isn't that what they say?  Isn't that a thing?

No?

Well, for me it was so this weekend.  What a great summer weekend.  Friday night, I was able to get away for a few hours by myself and meet some lovely friends at Vintage Ohio Which takes place at the Metro parks Farm Park.  Such a great fun way to spend an evening.  We're already planning our return outing next year.

Saturday the real crazy began.  Up very early to make a fruit salad and head to my mother's by 10.  We were celebrating, poolside, my birthday, Madeline's birthday, Ernie's birthday, ad well as Sarah & Ernie's anniversary.  It was a great time.  Great weather allowed us to swim and listen to music.  The kids and I had to pack it up early afternoon though because we had round one heading to our house.

When I arrived home, Josh was cleaning the pool and I got to work on the inside.  Everything was spic and span and ready for party central that our house became over the next two days by 4:00.  We had in our home the seven of us, plus Baby Seth and Baby Seth's father.  We had Josh's aunt and uncle and two kids.  His grand parents. His other aunt and uncle their two kids and their two grand kids.  Josh's brother also.  It was a full, loud, fun, crazy house. Swimming, eating, laughing, running, eating, so, so, so much eating.

Sunday was a replay of the whole things.  This time with more food! Sunday's party went on well into the evening.  I think my favorite part of the weekend may gave been Sunday night when I was standing in front of the house and I could hear hooting and screaming and whopping and laughter from the back of the house with kids and adults still in the pool. I looked at my phone.  The time was 9:23.  That made me smile.  That's what summer's about. 

To be standing in front of a house that has family inside.. To be standing in front of a house with a spacious backyard with a pool in the middle.  To be standing in front of a house with a pool behind it that has kids inside.  These are things that I will never get used to.  Things that will always make me smile.  I am a very fortunate girl.  

Josh's aunt commented yesterday that she thinks our house is the headquarters.  It is.  And as much as we may grumble or complain about that it's so nice to be the headquarters.  As much recovery time we need or quick cleaning we may need to do, we're happy to have a home where everyone feels welcome and comfortable.  I'm saying we, even though sometimes dear Joshua isn't as warm and fuzzy about our home being family central as I.  But I know he's proud.  I know he's happy that we can do this. 

I'm most happy to be involved in a family that wants to spend so much time with one another and has fun while we do.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Moving Along.

The summer is moving quickly, briskly. and fantastically.
I have no complaints.  None that are actually valid anyway.

The time in Atlanta that I last wrote about was fantastic and successful.  It made me feel very good about myself and very happy with the work that I do.  We've already been asked to return next year.  I'm happy to know that the convention does not fall on the same crazy weekend next year.  We should be okay.

I'd like to say that everything went off without a hitch here while I was gone.  But that's not the truth.  Some people like to make slightly mounded piles of sand into humongous impassable permanent structures and talk and talk and talk about these great obstacles.  Complain to anyone who will listen?  Don't mind if I do.  Qualities I can't stand in my day to day life anyway.  Qualities that never make a person look admirable.  But, what's done is done as they say.  And I don't think anyone else even knew what was going on behind the scenes like I did.

Noah has completed softball for the season.  So much improvement from him and his team, but most of all just happiness from him.  He felt really happy to be a part of something.  I was so proud of him in so many ways.  We already cannot wait until next year!!

All the things I've enjoyed about summers past have been things that have made appearances this summer.  The swimming, the grilling, the late night TV time, the kids being relaxed and getting to be kids. This past month or so has been more busy than I can ever remember being, and I have had more things on my plate than even I am used too.  But I think I've suffered pretty much in silence and I think I've made it through. 

The baby is here and wonderful, so we've gotten through the planning phases of that.  We have one last round of company coming this weekend for a week, and at this point what's a few more bodies around? We're getting our mental ducks in a row for the upcoming school year, it's just a few weeks away.

And with those few weeks, I feel like right this second, we're in a good place.  I feel like this summer has counted and for all of the right reasons.  It had the potential to be hectic and over scheduled, and pretty lame. But we made it work.  I worked hard behind the scenes to make sure there was a summer.  I don't need a pat on the back - tired, tan, sticky kids, and falling into bed adults are exactly what tells me I've succeeded.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Coming.

This weekend coming up is the weekend from hell.  I've mentioned it before.  And everything that I had mentioned still holds true as well as the fairly new additional of Noah's Round Robin tournament held that same weekend.  I guess I'm a softball newbie, because I thought that those tournaments were at the end of the season, not in the middle. 

It will work out.  I have the help of most of my family members trying to make this a successful weekend.  I will be here Saturday, it's Sunday, the busiest day that I'm having fits about it I think about it too long.  Madeline's recital (not to mention birthday), Noah's possible Round Robin game (which we won't know about until late Saturday night). It's stressful to prepare for, but I'm making a dent in many to do lists. 

I'm only gone from Sunday to Tuesday afternoon, but I feel like I'm missing so much.  Like I'm missing out on a huge chunk of summer.  

I suppose a major part of it is just your average mommy guilt.  But I know that not going on this business trip would be professional suicide.  Perhaps next year, if asked, I will be in a position to say no as I've gone once before.  But this year that wasn't the case. It will all work out.  It will be a successful trip for me and a successful weekend for the kids.  

At the very least, I was able to have a conversation with Madeline about going that didn't result in her bursting into tears. 

Progress made, I'd say. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Living Life.

Summer is here. In full swing.  No complaints.  Only awesome memories being made.  This may be my favorite summer yet.  Softball, dance, cook outs, lawn mowing.  Ok, I've never actually owned a lawn mower before.  The novelty of that one may wear off at some point. 

With the living of summer comes the loss of the blog.  I have oodles of drafts I'd love to finish.  And I write a blog post in my head a day about the things going on around me: last day of school, softball parents, crazy neighbors, whiny kids.  All the good stuff. 

But, ever since we made it back from West Virginia, it's been non-stop.  I'm not complaining.  I love my summer life.  But I do miss recording it here.  

Waiting for a rainy day . . . 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Planning.

There are currently more than a few things I'm planning for.  I was going to say that some of them were awesome and some of them were not so awesome.  I think though that they've all pretty much got their own degree of awesomeness so I'm going to keep it positive. 

~ I'm planning for two days off near the beginning of May.  Two days when the kids are still in school so I'll get to use my time during the day as I see fit.  I haven't had any time off since February and I'm very much looking forward to it. 

~ I'm planning for our annual trip to West Virginia over Memorial Day weekend.  At first Gram vetoed the trip.  She didn't want to go this year.  And though I was going to miss the trip, the idea of staying at home with my family to kick off the summer really began to appeal to me. Then, my brother called.  He spoke of wanting to take his son, my nephew, to the places we grew up.  To take Noah fishing on the same lake that he fished upon.  So many memories.  So few years left to take Gram there.  We knew we had to go.  I had him do the talking an convince Gram we needed to go.  I'm really looking forward to it.  And the kids will be too - - once I tell them. 

~ I'm planning for some time in June when I have to go to Atlanta for work. 

~ I'm planning for that same time in June which will be recital weekend around these parts.  And since I won't be here, I'll need to have as much planning as possible completed to make things run smoothly for those left behind to pick up the slack. 

~ I'm planning for Madeline's birthday.  Which is, kill me, the same time in June as recital and the same time that I'll be gone.  But, I don't feel particularly guilty about this because we never celebrate our birthdays on recital weekend.  There is just way too much going on to properly celebrate. 

~ I'm planning for the week after all of that which is Fourth of July.  For the first time ever, Josh and I have taken a good chunk of that week off.  we'll be able to hang with the kids, and hang with each other.  I'm really looking forward to that for sure. 

~I'm planning, we are ALL planning, for the end of July when Julie's baby is due.  I know that' s not something I've spoken about here yet.  But Julie has a baby boy due at the end of July.  And the planning that's taking place for that knows no bounds, emotionally, logistically, financially, etc.  But, a baby's a blessing and we'll make it work. 

What are you planning for?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Posting

I don't know what to title this post.  There is no collective word I can think of that will neatly summarize how I am feeling.  I am beyond categorizing this.

Monday morning, I was sitting at my desk at work.  It as a little after 7:30 am, when a man from another department comes walking into the building talking loudly on his cellphone.  Cell phones in use in our office is a big no no, so I knew something was wrong, but I thought about it as more along the lines of something personal for him or something that he would wrap up quickly.  Once he ended the call, he explained that his daughter attended Chardon High School.  He said that his daughter had told him that there had been shots fired there, but that she was okay.

My co-worker sat down to work, and I ever so briefly scoured a few local news sites to see if I could read anything about this, but I wasn't finding anything.  His manager told him he could go if he'd like and he said no.  He said there was no use in going if he didn't have anywhere to go.  His daughter was safe and that's all he knew at the moment.  He did end up leaving once the high schoolers were officially evacuated to a nearby elementary school.  But prior to that I remember thinking that he was a better person than myself.  Even though, intellectually I know it is not a good idea and would have caused more harm than good, I would have needed to have been as close as possible.  I would have been circling the blocks if necessary.

As it was, I wanted my kids with me so desperately, and they weren't involved in any of it. I couldn't stop thinking about our kids, and those kids, and the hurt kids, and the kid with the gun.  They are all kids.  Possibly a little less now.

So all day, I learned what I could on breaks and quick glimpses of the internet and I thought about how I was going to handle this with Madeline and Noah.  Coincidentally, Monday turned out to be a horrible day at work for me.  Quite possible they worst day I have every had professionally.  So, by the time I was able to pick up my kids I was emotional and sad at all of the events throughout all parts of my day. I decided that I would talk to them at home that evening.  I have always been very honest and frank with my kids about subjects that others deem touchy, so this wasn't going to be handled any differently.

I walked into daycare and I hugged Noah tight.  I told him I missed him.  I walked over to Madeline and hugged her tightly as well and told her I missed her too.  She said, "I missed you too. Mama, did you hear what happened?"  First words out of her mouth.  So that was it.  We were doing this.  We were talking about this. 

I'm still not certain as to whether or not the heard that five teenagers had been shot by another student at school or at daycare or somewhere in between.  But they heard and they knew and they wanted me to reassure them.  We talked about safety.  We talked about sadness.  We talked about bullying.  We talked about teenagers.  We talked a lot.  We're still talking  about it and I hope we always do.  I'm just happy that we talk .  I'm happy that I'm open with them.  I'm happy that they're honest with me.  I am not dramatic or shocking when I speak with them. But I am firm and frank and I get my point across.  I think that's the most important thing I can do. 

I can't believe this has happened so close.  I lived in Chardon until I was eight.  I have friends and family members who have graduated from Chardon High. I take my grandmother shopping to the town of Chardon most every Saturday.  The store at which we shop was the sight where some of the victims were airlifted from.  We pass the high school on the way to the library there. We try to attend the Maple Festival  there each year.  An event I have gone to since I was a child.

It's devastating.  It's heartbreaking.  There's so much to be discussed.  The school, the victims, the troubled teen shooter.  But those are for outlets other than this.  This is my experience.  This is what I shared with my family. This is something that won't be forgotten.  Something that children of an entire local generation, including my own, will carry with them from this day forward. 




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Odds and Ends


I have to take a bit of a cop out here and just run through some random things bullet points style.  There are things I need to record and things swimming in my head that I need to get out.  Some of them may be worthy of their own post, but time is not my friend lately.  So here we go: 
  •  This is the end of week three of C25K for me.  Unfortunately, it is not the end of me actually completing the training set forth for that week.  I started day one.  After that, weather and physical things curbed me for the week.  But next week I shall start again!  I'm not discouraged at all.  Also, Josh has shown me how to use and operate out elliptical machine that I've never touched.  So that will be an added alternative on very cold days.  I kept up with my healthy eating and for that I am proud. 
  • Last weekend was Jane's baby shower.  We came together to celebrate and welcome baby Ada.  She should make her arrivale at the beginning of March! I was so happy to be able to take part in making that day special for Jane.  It was lovely to see her literally glowing in her pregnancy as she visited with friends and family and opened the gifts she was given to ensure a good start with her daughter.  I am happy to be on this journey with my friend through this next step in her life. :)
  • Next weekend is Josh's father's surprise 50th birthday party.  I am so excited for that as well.  In the arena of pseudo in-alws, I have really lucked out.  Jeff is the father and grandfather my kids and I can't have.  And Marie and I are friends and partners in most things concerning this family.  I'm so lucky.  And the friendship means so much.  Sometimes it's hard to be in the middle of both sides of things where drama is concerned.  But we make the most of it.  And we laugh and have good times.  I know that I am loved and I know that I am welcome in this family.  And I know that my kids are as well.  I don't think I could ask for much more. 
  • Monday, the day before Valentine's Day, Josh and I are both taking a much needed day off of work together.  While the kids are in school, we're sneaking off to a romantic lunch at Melting Pot.  Yes it's expensive, yes it's cliche and over the top.  But neither of us have ever been and we're very much looking forward to it.  I mentioned to Josh a few weeks ago how I feel about Valentine's Day.  I don't care that it's not cool to like it; I do.  I don't want to become one of those couples who says "Oh, we've been together too long to celebrate that.  We don't do anything for that."  To me that's as lame as saying "oh,  we don't watch TV or eat foods with the letter "e" in them, or use cars."  Or whatever the cool hipster thing is to dislike these days.  I like being romantic and Josh and I are in love.  Why shouldn't we take advantage of a day set aside to celebrate it? 
  • A couple evenings ago, I had to go outside to call Noah inside for dinner.  He was down the street and I stood in the driveway and watched him ride his bike back home.  Speeding.  Standing up while pedalling.  Hooting and hollaring.  He was a BOY.  I know intellectually that he is fast approaching seven years old.  But emotionally, in my heart, he's a lot younger.  And to see him come flying down that street put a lump in my throat and a smile on my face.  He was late, and he hadn't been where he said he was.  I walked outside angry.  But very much with every push of the pedal he took, and every whoop that escaped his mouth, the aggravation melted away.  I was happy for him.  He is strong and healthy.  And I was happy for me.  I did that.  I made the decisions that allowed that tiny baby to become a safe, happy, healthy boy.  I was very happy for us both by the time he flew in the driveway.  I didn't even scold him.  I asked him nicely to return his bike and helmet to the garage and to come in for dinner.  And you know what - he did.  Like a good boy should.  





Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day Three

I was out again today.  For the third day in a row.  Today is significantly cooler than Monday.  But I did it anyway. 

Depending on how you read and interpret C25K, today should have been a rest day and man was I looking forward to that.  Just the extra 45 minutes of sleep alone.  But the I had a realization yesterday afternoon.  A day of rest wasn't going to serve me right.  A day of rest leads to the door open for another day, and another, and one more, and then I'll just start back up next week.  And we all know where that will lead me.  

So, I decided not to necessarily do W1D3, but to still get up.  Still put on my clothes. Still get outside.  Keep the momentum moving of me getting up in the morning and doing this.  So, I did.  I didn't have a goal or duration of time in mind.  I just plugged in the tunes and away I went.  1.5 miles of walking.  And enjoying.  And then coming back into the house and feeling great. I'm very proud of myself for making the decision not to stay in bed today. 

So far so good.  I'm really, really enjoying everything about this.  The head space I am in this time around is completely different.  I wonder if this is how an alcoholic feels when he knows detox is really going to work this time.  I can't stop thinking about running.  I can't stop planning the next day's work out.  All of my free time on the Internet is spent reading about running, researching this program, finding success stories.  That says a lot right there. 

Simultaneously, I am working on my eating habits as well.  I've done very well this week.  The eating thing is so easy this time.  I'm armed with a bit more knowledge and a lot more determination than times before. 

Here's to a successful wrap up of the remaining days left in the week! 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Running Down a Dream.

I ran 2.09 miles this morning.  In the dark.  In the rain. In the wind.  Considering it's the middle of January in NE OH, that weather is positively dreamy.  I'm really proud of myself.  I'm really happy with how I feel right now.  And though it's only an hour later, I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's run.  And there will be a run tomorrow!

I suppose this could be just like any other time and in a few months I'll look back on this post and be embarrassed or mad or depressed.  That's a risk I'm taking right now though because I actually  want to shout from the rooftops how well I want to do with this.  Because this time feels different.  This time I feel more committed, more excited, more ready. 

I read last week that being publicly accountable will help you stay on track and be successful with a healthy lifestyle change.  So here we are, my blog and I've made a few mentions on FB about what I'm trying to do.  Also I've told family and extended family as well.  We'll see how this approach works.  I haven't tried being so vocal about what I was doing before, so maybe it could work. 

I'm doing this for me. My confidence, my health, myself. 
I'm doing this for my kids.  I want to be around to aggravate them for a long, long time. I want to be a good example  to them. 
I'm doing this for Joshua. I want him to think his lady is hot. 
I'm doing this for our home.  I want to have the energy to keep it clean and kept with projects completed. 
I'm doing this because I am in a wedding in a year and a half.  I don't want to be the fat bridesmaid. 
I'm doing this for Gram.  She will be proud.  She is encouraging when I try to do well. 
I'm doing this because we have a pool.  I want to utilize my own back yard. 

No one ever said our goals had to be reasonable or sane.  If fun goals get me through, then maybe I'll have fun with the work. 

I know I am nowhere near the experience level of a runner to experience what they call runner's high.  But I am experiencing something positive right now after getting out there.  Something I'm pretty damn proud of and something that I'm already craving more of.  I think that is a jog in the right direction. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Steps and Plans.

I've lost two pounds this week.  This is not monumental, this is not a big deal.  But I wanted to post about it because the plan I had in mind for this weekend has worked! I ate healthy, I made good decisions, and I watched my portions.  Fantastic! It is a plan that I will follow next week as well. 

Plans are being made that I'm looking forward to and am happy about.  I'm going to take a long, hard look at Couch25K this weekend and see what is doable for me.  I want health back in my life.  I was looking at a goal of the Johnnycake Jog for over the summer, but I got some conflicting information on that when I asked about it on FB last night.  

Also for the month of January, I am dry.  I had one shindig last weekend during which I imbibed in some spirits, but no more for the rest of January.  We are weekend drinkers, Josh and I.  And we are becoming beer snobs.  It's great fun for us to try new beers and pick up different growlers for the weekend.  But, when your middle is as squishy as mine has become, you can put that hobby on pause a bit. 

Am I on the New Year healthy bandwagon?  It's possible.  Do I care whatever might make me do this this time?  No.  I'm feeling happy and good and strong about my choices.