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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hurricane Christmas

Last night, we had the pleasure of touring one of our local fire stations with my son's Cub Scout den. Very cute, the boys had a lot of fun counting hoses and checking out the "secret compartments" that the fire trucks and engines house. The moms had fun googling at the cute fire man that demonstrated his fire suit for us. It was pretty win/win.

After that adventure, we headed out to our local tree dealer. This is the latest we have ever brought home a tree. Usually we have it in and decorated by December 1st. This year? Slacker central. Anyway, we found our tree fairly quickly and brought it home. My husband proceeded to move an end table, dog bed, and chair out of their spots to put the tree in it's traditional location. Where are those three items now? Well, I put the dog bed in a good spot, but I currently have an end table and chair chillin in the middle of the living room along with the clippings of the tree that my son insisted we bring home. It's like a hurricane hit in there!

On top of everything else I have to finish today/before the weekend/before Christmas.....guess they'll go in the spare bedroom dungeon of discarded furniture and unwanted items, also known as the office. Gah! I'll tackle that disaster in 2012. =o)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


A few months ago, I spent some time with a friend of mine who had recently converted to a vegan lifestyle. Naturally, being that I give everyone a chance to speak their case, I listened to her talking to me about the wonderfulness of a lifestyle that consumes basically nothing that is an animal by-product. I did some research and some reading and some more research and thought, "hey, why don't we try this?" So I talked my husband into letting me introduce a few meals a week that were vegan (or vegetarian). He agreed to do this, but asking a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy to have a meal with no meat in it is like asking a lion to turn down the gazelle and eat some grass instead. It. Ain't. Happenin. Needless to say, that lasted only a few weeks. Listening to him complain and cry about the meatless meals just wasn't worth it. Plus, he would just turn around and buy himself CRAP food that made him happy after eating a meal that left him feeling unsatisfied and ultimately unhappy.

We went about our lives. Then I stumbled across this hilarious woman blogger at I was searching for a recipe and she had it on her page. After clickety clicking through several links, I realized that she follows the paleo diet. In a nutshell, the paleo diet is one in which an individual cuts out grains, legumes, and sugar from their diet. The diet mimics that of the paleolithic era, prior to the introduction of the use of grains for dietary consumption. It's not as dramatic as the Atkins or Zone diets, nor is it as dramatic as a gluten free diet, but it does sort of throw a person into a reduced-carb, reduced-gluten world. I figured I would try it out because obviously the eat-everything-I-want diet is not working for either of us. This also works very well for my hubby since he LOVES meat and also vegetables. We are loving following this diet. Our kids still eat breads and cheeses and stuff at breakfast and lunchtime but we have pretty much cut all of those types of foods out of our daily dinners and my husband and I have been following the diet during the daytime as well. He has lost 5 pounds so far and he hasn't worked out at all! (Disclaimer- I totally don't condone the lack of exercise, I only use that to emphasize how well this is working for us even in its' absence.) I have lost two pounds myself.

See, I'm not a nutritionist or anything but I feel like there isn't one dietary plan that will work for everyone. Each person needs to find something that will work for them. A vegan lifestyle can be pushed and pushed and pushed on you, but if you don't really buy into it, it's not going to work for you. In my husband's case, he just couldn't wrap his head around a life without meat, milk, or cheese. It would never have worked for him because he didn't believe in it. Partly because he wouldn't give it a chance and partly because his body was telling him it wasn't the right route for him. This paleo diet is something he whole-heartedly believes in. He is willing to give up the sugars and the grains for it, even though he is bread-junkie. And his body is responding well to it. I'm looking forward to seeing more results as we move forward and start hitting the gym full force!!!!

PS-Keep your eyes out for a review of the book, Run Like a Girl, which I have read and re-read its so good!! I'll be posting that later this week.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yakkity yak

Well, as sure you have noticed I have pretty much completely lost my motivation to run. Since February I have gained 14 lbs. FOURTEEN! Im almost back to where I was when this journey began almost two years ago. I feel worse than I felt even at my heaviest and it is weighing heavily on my heart and soul. The good news is that I think I have snapped out of it. I ran twice last week, both around 2 miles. Starting up slowly so that I don't hurt myself, kind of trying to ease my way into it.

It is so strange. You are losing weight and doing great and it is so motivating that you can't help but be totally on track. And then something happens. Maybe it's a weekend out of town or injury or illness, but something happens to throw you off kilter. And you feel discouraged and unmotivated. And then you start gaining weight and you become less and less motivated to move or eat right or anything. Why is that?

Whatever the reason, I'm so over it. I'm done with squeezing into my jeans that I just bought six months ago. I'm done with feeling completely self-conscious with everything I wear. Im ready to move forward and get back on track.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eight years

Yesterday was my eight-year wedding anniversary. The day started off like any other day, I hollered at my husband from the kitchen while he snored his way through the alarm....I kissed him goodbye and headed back to bed. I ran around during the day, doing the usual routine- laundry, groceries, emails for Cub Scouts, phone calls, kid stuff, homework. Jacob offered to make dinner, so I didn't worry too much about that. We have this silly semi-tradition stemming from a mishap on Valentine's Day 2000 when I wound up serving us grilled cheese and pb&j and soup in my bedroom on an end table. =o) So he offered to make grilled cheese and soup for the family for dinner. After I sent our son to a time out after several meltdowns, my husband arrived home from work with -surprise!- roses behind his back. He very rarely gets me flowers, and even less of the time, they are roses. He really likes daisies and lilies, stuff that is a little less cliche-y. And then surprise again, he brought home some coffee ice cream! YUM! We had dinner as a family and I cleaned up from dinner while he got the kids ready for bed. Then we settled in for the most terrible chocolate mousse I have ever tasted followed by some much better ice cream and watched Red Riding Hood.

It's funny to think how different life was eight years ago. Even five years ago things were drastically different. Eight years ago we could get up and go at our pleasure. We didn't have bedtime, naptime, any kind of routine other than going to work every day. We only had to contend with our own moods and grumpiness. We were concerned only with our own hygiene and well-being. Who cared if our house was messy or if we ate dinner at ten o'clock at night? We were young and unconcerned.

I also spent some time yesterday reading, "Run Like A Girl". I am so in love with this book!! I have my highlighter and flags out and find something worth marking on almost every page. It is completely inspiring and has brought to light so many things that I didn't realize. I'm about halfway through it and can't wait to let you guys know all the wonderful things I've learned and come to realize about myself as a result of this book!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Missing person's report aka Freak.Out.Central.

Yesterday I experienced the worst afternoon of my life. Isaiah typically gets off of the bus at 2:45 pm. Since this year he's in the second grade, I've given him a little teensy bit more freedom. Instead of going to wait for him at the bus stop, I go out to the end of our driveway and wait for him. I can see the bus go through the corner (we are the second house in) and then I can see him cross the streets to get to the house. No big deal, right? It makes him feel good, and I can still see him from the second he passes the back of the bus. Except yesterday the bus drove off and my kid was not on the sidewalk.

"OK, calm down, he's probably at school still. Maybe he had to go to the bathroom or something and he missed the bus. Let's call the school."

The school tells me that they will page him and hopefully he will turn up at the office but they give me the number to transportation and they can make some calls to see if he maybe got on the wrong bus. I knew this was highly unlikely because he has the same bus driver and bus number as last year. But I called anyway, just to be on the safe side. No answer. Great. Call the school back. "Nope he hasn't come. Let me call his teacher. Maybe she saw where he went." Shit. This isn't making me feel any better. So I call the cops to see if they can maybe send a car over to the school to see if he's wandering around. In the back of my head I'm hoping that he didn't think he could walk home. It's almost a four mile walk along some pretty heavily trafficked but not fantastically sidewalked streets.

I file the missing persons report, crying the whole time. How tall is he, how much does he weigh, what clothes is he wearing....all questions that I never ever wanted to answer while talking to a police officer. About fifteen minutes later my house phone rang. To my surprise, it was our friend and Den Leader's wife, Mandy. To my relief, she lets me know that Isaiah turned up on her doorstep. He was trying to walk home and realized that he didn't know the way. When he realized he was lost, he saw a trail that they had traveled on during a Scout meeting and he remembered how to get their house. So he went there.

FREAKING OUT. He was unaccounted for for a total of only about 45 minutes, but it was the most terrifying 45 minutes of my life thus far. My police officer friend tells me I did a good thing by filing the report as quickly as I did because if the unthinkable actually were happening, minutes are critical. Thank goodness it was just my kid making a bad decision and nothing worse happened. I'm also very thankful that under the pressure of being lost, he was able to keep his head and figure out a solution instead of continuing to wander around. SO. I woke up this morning with my eyes almost swollen shut from crying for hours yesterday afternoon. But I have my son, grounded FOREVER, safe and sound at home with us.

On a lighter note, I received my copy of "Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives" in the mail on Wednesday. I made it about twenty pages in to the book prior to disaster striking yesterday afternoon....but I love what I've read so far and can't wait to get back to y'all with my review. I just know you're all on pins and needles.

Also coming up soon, a big change in my family........stay tuned boys and girls!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The green-eyed monster track record is not looking so fantastical. Last blog? Oooohhhh...over a month ago. That tells you roughly how many miles I have ran since then. Yep, big fat goose egg. Truth be told, I thought I could handle running with my kid on a bike in front of me and I was wrong. The stress of being with him, watching double time as he crossed driveways and almost went over the edge of the curb was more than I could handle. Not to mention that it was hot and I felt so terrible looking at him at the end of a run and he had sweat trickling down his face from under his helmet. Oh well. I have my sights set on a different half marathon this year, the Paul Reese Memorial Run in Clarksburg. It's the week before my birthday which gives me approximately ten weeks to train for it. Perfect.

In other non-running related news, my brother-in-law is getting married this weekend. The past year has gone by super fast and not without it's share of drama. There have been a few disagreements over the things that they have opted to do and admittedly some catty behavior on my part. In the end though, these past few weeks I've realized that I have just been displaying one of my least favorable traits. I am an incredibly envious person. And instead of dealing with the envy and moving on, I hold on to it for dear life and dwell on it until it builds into this festering chip on my shoulder. Really not pretty. So for the past few weeks I've been working really hard to overcome this envy that I have for this woman, this wedding, this entire situation. And yesterday I came clean to her and told her how I felt and apologized for any hard feelings that may have resulted. It's difficult to keep focusing on the beauty of a situation when you are constantly dwelling over how you wish you had that opportunity. It's difficult to not focus on the fact that every situation is different. It's difficult to say, they've waited ten years longer than you did to get married, of course their wedding is going to be a little more (okay, a lot more) elaborate than yours. I have always had a hard time dealing with envy. This girl just seems to have it all...the college degree and career, the crafty creativity, the relationship with her family...and I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that that's a GOOD thing for my brother-in-law to have in his life. After talking with her for several hours yesterday I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel so liberated! Like I can finally be truly happy for them, because I am, but it was always overshadowed by that stupid green-eyed monster.

ALSO, I am looking forward to receiving and reviewing a copy of a new book within the next few weeks. Keep your eye out for my review!

Monday, July 11, 2011

On getting a grip

Since high school graduation eleven years ago, I have changed quite a bit. But then again, there are some things that haven't changed. I'd like to say that I still have a pretty sunny disposition and I really like to see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt. Back then, when I graduated, I had some serious body image issues that I still struggle with. Back then, however, I had no reason to be worried or ashamed of the way I looked. I was super hot! (Relatively speaking of course.) I had a teeny tiny 24 inch waist, teeny tiny boobies (boo), and sported nicely curved hips. Since that time I have gained about forty pounds (as of last year it was almost 60 gained, so yay me for dropping that number!) and popped out two children. My skin, clearly not genetically enhanced by Mr.Fantastic or Stretch Armstrong, did not gracefully handle the amount of stretching that occurred during the weight gain or the two pregnancies.

Last year I bought myself a tankini to help resolve the issue of the belly button and stretch marks. Really I can handle the stretch marks. The thing that kills me is this imploded crater that is permanently stuck in the middle of my gut. Well, this year when I put on the tankini I was shocked to discover that the dang thing is *drumroll please* TOO BIG! OK, so now what? I put on this bikini that I bought a few years ago and only wore when we had a backyard pool of our own. Of course it fit, but then I'm stuck with the problem of the belly button. I can't possibly show it to anyone. What would they think?

After wrestling with my own brain for two freakin weeks I came to the conclusion that:
1.If it weren't for the offensive belly button, I would be totally ok with showing off my tummy. EFF the stretch marks, I've got two kids!
2. I'm proud of the progress that I've made and my midsection is really not too shabby.
3. I need to GET OVER IT and realize that no amount of working out or sit ups is going to get rid of it. So.

I wore the bikini. TWICE. First at the lake with a group of friends. This was an all day process. First I had the bikini on under my tank top, then the tank top got folded up while I was sitting in the sun and pulled back down when anyone came near me, then I said screw it and took the tank top off and then I said oh screw it again and the shorts came off. The second time was at a Fourth of July barbecue with family and friends. And you know what? I was okay. Nobody ran screaming. Nobody pointed and laughed. (Thank goodness.)

I'm taking what I've been given and dealing with it. And it feels great.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feelin the burn...

Yikes, it's been almost a month since my last post! Since my last appearance, we have been a bunch of busy Browns. Since Father's Day we have been camping for a total of 7 nights and 9 days. That's three weekends in a row. THREE WEEKENDS. In. A. Row. Do you know how much laundry that is? O.M.G. I've done a lot of laundry these past few weeks. We have a break coming up. From camping that is. We still have a lot of activities planned, they're just less involved and we get to sleep in our own beds.

On the running front, I've been trying to log at least two outings per week. My half marathon training kicks off next week and I gotta be honest, I'm not looking forward to it. It's HOT and this year I'm lacking a live-in nanny to allow my husband and I to run after the sun goes down. Boo. The nice part is that I'm getting a nice little tan from my efforts. The downside to this is that my tan line hits just below my knee since I run in capris. And since I decided that I'm wearing shorts this summer, my two-tone legs are a sight to see. I finally broke down and got a running skirt last week though. I decided on a running skirt because my thighs still rub together so my shorts like to creep up. Not only is this super uncomfortable, but it's also not cute at all. The handy dandy skirt feature acts as a cloak to cover the uncuteness of the creepy shorts.

I've been running with Isaiah on his bike and Justice in the jogger. We just have to make sure we head out earlier in the morning before the heat kicks in. Summer is definitely here and isn't messing around. Today we left at around nine. It was already 78*. Since I've just become used to the notion of wearing any kind of shorts in public, running in my skirt was really a scary thought. I felt exposed and vulnerable. On top of the heat and the massive amounts of exposed skin, I went to use my inhaler before we left the house only to discover that it was empty. I should have just given up at that point. But nope, I'm kind of stubborn like that I guess and headed out anyway.

On our last outing, I got upset with Isaiah for not taking extra caution when crossing business driveways. So I reminded him before this trip. Of course, he took this as the prime opportunity to show me how well he can listen. He took it to the extreme and actually stopped his bike before each driveway, like screeching halt-I almost ran into him kind of stop. He was hot too, so we had to stop a lot to drink the Gatorade I brought along with us. We saw a car accident, pretty big one, on our way and got to see the firetrucks, ambulances, and clean up crew show up and get to work. He was pretty excited about that, but it was just one more thing to distract him. He kept speeding up, then slowing down to a crawl pace, then almost falling off the curb.

So in conclusion, it was not an awesome run. Uneven pace, lots of stopping, ridiculous amounts of chafing, and definitely out of breath. We covered 2.7 miles in 36 minutes. It wasn't a shining moment in my running career but I'm glad to have gotten out and completed the miles.

Monday, June 6, 2011

THREE more days

Unbelievably enough, this school year is already coming to an end. On Thursday, my son will spend his last day as a first grader. And on Friday, I will have my first day of what I'm sure will be the longest summer I've ever experienced. Not that I'm not looking forward to this summer. We've got a lot of fantastically fun things planned and potential for a whole lot more.

My BFF from afar is coming to California at the end of July. I'm super excited for her visit. We haven't seen each other in almost a year and I'm ready to spend some quality time with her. She has been struggling with her weight, and we have put on a little competition to keep us each accountable and give ourselves a little something extra to work for. The one who loses the highest percentage of weight (a la Biggest Loser) wins a facial paid for by the other. One, I would L.O.V.E a facial. Two, it would give us a really good excuse to ditch the hubbies and the babies for a few hours. Three, well, I don't have a number three. I'm just excited to see her and spend time with her wonderful family.

I've been continuing to run as the weather permits. It's been freakishly wet and cold here; kinda feels like November. Most days when I can't run I just make sure I stay really busy moving around the house and I do my yoga, which really does get me sweating. I love the yoga stretchiness and really should integrate that into every day. I'm actually going to start staying up when my husband leaves for work at 5:30 am. Currently, I go back to bed until I have to get my son up for school at 6:30. Then sometimes after he gets on the bus I climb back into bed until 8. I think once school is out for summer, I'm going to need that time in the morning to myself and will regret staying in bed until the kids are both awake. That way I can do yoga, watch some morning news, and enjoy my cup of coffee before any of the whining, tattling, and neediness begins.

How does your schedule change for summer break? Do you find it more difficult having your kids home all day long?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eating Clean

Ridiculously enough, it is hailing right now. Here. In Central California, where it is usually blazing hot already. Here I was, worried about how I was going to run in 100* temps and this morning I had to call the run on account of rain. Weird. I have been getting out there three times a week for the past few weeks, and I feel great!! I'm able to sustain under a 12 minute mile while pushing the jogger for 3+ miles. We actually ventured out last week and wound up covering 4.25 miles. I felt amazing! I FEEL amazing! I have musles in my legs that I can feel and see that I didn't even know existed! Even my arms feel like they are toning up as I have to put forth extra effort now to push the stroller.

The other night while at the grocery store I had to wait in line to return my RedBox movie (I absolutely love redbox). Jacob ventured off with the kids to the magazine aisle and I stumbled across Clean Eating magazine with a delicious looking chocolate pie on the cover. After flipping through it and drooling on every single picture they had in there, I decided I just had to have it. I am so glad I made that purchase. Every page is full of valuable nutritional information. They even have a two week meal plan which outlines breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with two daily snacks. AMAZING. This week's shopping included my creating a spreadsheet closely following the meal plans and creating a shopping list off of that. This morning I woke up early to prepare my husband's breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the day. He has called me after each meal to give me a quick review. It's pretty simple stuff for the most part during the day. He is satisfied and so am I. But he asked me...What exactly is clean eating?

So I did some extra research. The Clean Eating magazine states that "the soul of clean eating is consuming food in it's most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and it's preparation, leading to an improved life-one meal at a time." Several websites I've visited have listed the same basic principles:

  • Avoid processed and refined foods. Reduce added sugars and enjoy whole grains.

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Eat five or six small meals per day, never skipping breakfast.

  • Replace saturated and trans fats with good healthy natural fats.

  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol.

  • "If man made it, don't eat it." Only eat foods occuring naturally, no man-made fillers or ingredients.

I'm down with all of that, so we're going to give it a shot. I spent a lot of time in the produce section yesterday stocking up on strawberries, blackberries, zucchini, lettuce, and fennel. I like the fact that I mainly shop in the perimeter of the store and not in the aisles. I like the fact that I have fewer boxes and jars on my countertop after cooking. It feels really good to know that I'm feeding my family good, wholesome food that is prepared at home from fresh ingredients. It has been a slow process but I think ultimately this is what we have been working toward all along, we just didn't know it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF.

It's Wednesday, MAY 25th. I live in California. I'm looking out my back sliding door right now and see what? Sunshine? Not. A. Freakin. Chance. It's raining. Not a summer sprinkle. It's raining and has been for the past several hours. Guess I'm not running today. I'll be doing yoga once my daughter takes her nap. (As you may recall, she's not conducive to a good workout.) My puppy Bruiser got fixed on Monday so he's busy visiting Coney Island. We'll see how he handles me on the yoga mat. Chances are he will be just as pesky, just with a lampshade on his head.

Last night Isaiah had his weekly pack meeting. He's a Tiger Cub which is mostly 1st graders, so the boys are all around seven years old. We met up last night at a local park to do a combination barbecue/den meeting. The boys had a blast. First they played tug-of-war. We did a combination of the boys (there were four scouts and two younger siblings) versus the three moms present. Hilarious. Moms won. YAY MOMS!! Then we did parent and kid vs the rest of the pack. Isaiah looked at me and said, "Maybe we should get Daddy." Jacob was barbecuing. My feelings were a little hurt but I understand his position. Mommy: physically weak and small-ish. Daddy: superman. Well, guess what. Mommy got the job done and we whooped up on them. Haha!

I am blown away sometimes that I am a parent. You would think after seven plus years of being the designated Mother Hen I would be used to it, but no. I still stop in my tracks sometimes with the realization, "Mom. That's me!" I mean, I remember when I was a kid and how I felt about my mom. Shouldn't I know everything? Shouldn't I have a touch that can calm the wildest beast and magic kisses that cure all injuries? And then I understand. I do. To them, I do and that's good enough. As much as I feel like parenting is like treading water in the middle of an ocean with a lifeboat that's juuust out of reach, they think the world of me. There is no Best Mom Award or Cleanest House Award. They think I'm great. My husband thinks I'm great. And that's all that matters.

Off to yoga it up.....this weather sure is dreary. Are we sure it's really May?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Anniversaries and just a little bit further

Today is May 23rd. For the rest of the month I will think to myself, "today in 2009 we were ____". Why? Check here for the whole story. It's terrible that I will always remember that on May 24th I had my first Monte Cristo and the exact clothing that I was wearing, down to the shoes, underwear, earrings, and necklace. (I never wore that combo again.) On May 25th my office was open and I was told NOT to come to work but I did anyway because it took my mind off of things. I remember the hugs and the tears. I remember the two people that pretended I didn't exist for the following three days. I will always remember that on May 28 we celebrated my sister's birthday at my mom's and we huddled around my sister in a wheelchair pretending to be happy about her blowing out candles. Her hair was french braided because she couldn't wash her hair or brush it on her own..... I will always remember May 30 as the day of the first Memorial Service where we filled my husband's Lodge to capacity with people that loved and supported us. It was incredible. The last week of May will probably always be difficult. And here I am, on May 23rd, a half an hour away from the exact time of the accident, steeling myself for a difficult week.

I ran today. I've been trying to log as many miles as I can, which really should be more than I've been but it's more than I was so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself. I started off with the jogger doing 2.7 miles. I completed this a few times, then bumped it up to what I thought was 3. I started using mapmyrun on my newly re-activated Blackberry which informed me that the distance I mapped on gmaps as just over 3 miles was actually 3.2. Woohoo! Today I felt awesome so when I hit my turnaround point for the 3.2 I decided to go to the next stop light. Still felt good, so I said I would go to the corner. Still felt good, so I turned the corner and stopped at the next intersection. I figured I should probably stop before I started feeling bad since i still had to make it all the way back home LOL. Turned around and headed for home. Justice was happy as a clam; I love that she loves going out in the jogger! I got back to my starting point and discovered that I had travelled 3.6 miles in 43 minutes which put me at just under a 12 minute mile. Slow in general but I'm picking up speed during my jogger runs (ahahaha I typo'd that as hogger, teehee) which I'm hoping equates to more speed when I'm not pushing it and more endurance at the same time.

Best part of the run was in the beginning when Justice was playing with her bubbles. It was breezy enough and the wind from my "SPEED" (good grief that's funny) that she just had to hold the wand up and the bubbles blew themselves. I got a few smiles from drivers that saw me jogging along with bubbles trailing behind me. =o)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Your chariot awaits

For Mother's Day, my husband found me a single jogger. I never ever thought I would be excited to receive workout gear for any gift, and here I am, super excited over a jogging stroller. What happened to me? I'm not complaining. I love it!

About a month ago, we sold our Kelty double jogger on Craigslist. Don't get me wrong, we loved it! Until we put the kids in. At almost 100 lbs combined, with him weighing twice as much as she did- do the math on that: x + 2x=100. Yeah I'm a math geek like that, get over it. I digress. It was awkward and difficult to push in a straight line. It made it just not worth going out. I spent more time fighting the stroller than actually moving forward.

Plus, with Isaiah at school all day it was just ridiculous to plop Justice in there by herself. Same problem. The weight distribution was 0 on one side and 30 lbs on the other. Not to mention it looked ridiculous.

We found our 50% off stroller on Mother's Day. And I say 50% off not because it was on sale but because it is basically our double jogger cut in half. AMAZING! I snapped it up, eager to take her on our maiden voyage. All day yesterday Justice wanted to run but it just wasn't in our cards. Once I finished errand running and grocery shopping it was lunch time. Then it was her nap time. Then Isaiah came home from school. Bah. So today, we took off at around ten am for our journey out. I stopped about fifty times to adjust this or that. I moved my hands in about a hundred different positions and configurations. I tried running directly behind the stroller, off to the side, pushing it ahead of me...

Things I learned:

My driving force is my left arm. My right arm is totally useless when running.

Pushing a 30 lb kid plus a 20+ lb stroller is HARD!

A Penske truck driver will almost always honk at me. Grr.

My favorite body/hand/stroller configuration is my right hand on the left handlebar with my body off to the left of the stroller. Best stride for me, least shoulder fatigue, most strange looks from passers-by. Booya.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dude, it's a race recap!

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a super duper Happy Mother's Day. If you're not a mom, I hope you had a great day celebrating the moms in your life. I had a great weekend. Let's rewind a few days, shall we?

Friday I picked up our race packets. I was a little bit disappointed at the fact that I only got a t-shirt and race bibs *more on that later*, but was really impressed at how organized everything was. Sped home, dropped the kiddos off with my Mom and headed out to a dinner function that we were invited to. Longest.Dinner.Ever. Not that it was bad, just long. Home at around ten (gah!) where I promptly shoved the kids into their beds and got our clothes ready for a quick and easy morning departure. Cue midnight, and I'm finally ready for bed. Why do I always do that?

Getting out the door Saturday morning was easy!! The kids outfits were on them and they were ready to go in mere minutes, as was I. Coordinating with all the people that were participating with us was harder than I expected. My in-laws were travelling about 45 minutes to get there. They had my sister-in-law who was going to be walking the 5k with the kids and my brother-in-law and his fiance. We also were meeting up with the runner friends of ours, T & J. We parked right next to T & J, but they had to pick up their bibs still so they were long gone before we got there. The in-laws were there, somewhere in the mass of people, and my brother-in-law (we'll call him TB) was still en route. As we walked along to the start line, we heard the announcer talking about the 5k runners starting at 7:45 instead of 7:30. WHAT? My husband gave me that look. Oops. All this time I was saying that the runners started at 7:50. That was the walkers time. I am so glad we arrived early and that there was a fifteen minute delay!!! We found my in-laws, T & J popped up a few minutes later, and TB & fiance were nowhere to be found. {They wound up finding the kids and s-i-l in time for the walk.} Mere moments later, they started counting down the runners. I kissed the kids and off we went!

I am surprised at how many people don't understand that there is a reason they put the yellow caution tape across the sides of the starting line. Do they think everyone bottlenecks at the starting line because they like feeling like cattle? Even my in-laws thought they were being sneaky by going off to the side but we called them back and told them that their chip wouldn't trigger unless they actually crossed the line. Dorks. Anyway, after bobbing and weaving through the beginning we finally fell into a good groove. I was running with J, who is so much fun! We were chit-chatting about all kinds of stuff. The boys were hanging out behind us. I'm sure for all kinds of reasons, one being that my husband hadn't run more than a half mile since October. I completely missed the mile marker but I felt great! I could tell that I was pushing myself hard to keep up with J, who I knew was holding back for me. Around probably the mile and a half mark I started lagging behind. I could see J just barely ahead of me, she kept looking back to see how close I was and then I saw her slow up big time. She wouldn't let me fall behind, she said. We passed the 2 mile marker which I missed again! Around a half mile later I started feeling really really really hot. My face felt super flushed and my stomach felt a teensy bit queasy. So I slowed up again. I pushed my visor up higher on my forehead so I could get some more cool air. I watched them get further and further away from me until I couldn't see them anymore. And then all of a sudden she was back!!

"You didn't have to come back for me" I said.

"I'm not trying to beat any records today", she said "And besides, it's easier to cross the finish line if you've got someone to do it with."

Love that girl. She pushed me the last quarter mile and told me that I needed to sprint and give it all I had when we passed that three mile marker. And so I did. It wasn't much, but it was everything. The announcer was calling out, "twenty more seconds if you want to finish under 34 minutes". I knew that with the delay in chip time, maybe, just maybe, if I finished under 34 minute clock time I would actually beat my goal of 33 minutes. Sputtering past the finish line, it read 33:53. Fingers crossed, I hoped my chip time would prove me victorious.

Race expo was awesome! Lots and lots of free goodies. I mean lots. Food, GoGirl, swag bags, coffee, keychains, magnets, chap stick, pink name it. Totally made up for what I thought was lacking at race packet pick up. =-P

Today I got the email with the link to where I could find my results. I typed in my name, waited for the page to load.......32:14......YEAH BABY!!! Smashed my goal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kettle Corn, I smite thee!

Yesterday I almost almost almost had a minor meltdown. I saved it at the last minute, but it was right there on the tip of reality. I planned on going to Cub Scouts as a family, and then running my perky little butt home from there. It's about 3.25 miles; perfect! (PS- By perky I mean me, not my butt. Oh no, not for many years now.) At about 4:45, Jacob called me and said he was still working and wouldn't be able to make it with us to the meeting. You know that feeling when you have your plans set and all of a sudden discover that that's not what you're doing? I was mad, then sad, then irritated, then just plain blah. I took off the running gear that I already had on. Threw them on the bed. Then realized, hmm, if I was going to run home from the meeting I can still run after the meeting as long as Jacob isn't home too much after we get back.

LUCKY for me....he pulled up as I was unbuckling Justice. So I set her down and yelled, "I'm going for a run!" as I dashed inside. I got dressed in record time and started stretching as the kids rode their bikes in the driveway. Off I went. I had some shin pain early on in the run which made me nervous, but it went away after the first half mile-ish. And then I just felt good. I decided to push myself a little bit harder since as my husband and I have discussed in the past, this is a pitfall of mine. I don't push myself nearly as much as I should. At least not as much as I need to to make myself faster. I think I'm afraid of having another asthma attack. Perhaps just plain afraid. Whatever the reason, I don't. So I pushed. Just a little bit. Just until I felt a little uncomfortable. I ran until I became nervous with the amount of grayness in the sky, then turned around.

I was ridiculously red-faced. I was breathing very hard. My lungs weren't happy with me at all. I was salty (this from my husband upon kissing my neck, promptly followed with, "wanna take a shower?" ha!). And I ran under an 11 minute mile. For me, this is newsworthy! My best 5k time was an 11:09 mile. And here I am, running not quite a 5k (2.7 miles) at a 10:40!?!?!?! A 10:40!! Freakin A folks, this is a big deal! I am more excited than ever to run the Susan G Komen 5k this weekend. I won't be quite as fast as the friends that we are "running it" with, but I won't be quite as slow as I was the last time I did one. I am excited to move forward and keep pushing myself to do better. It's funny how progress and results push you to keep going...

OMG and we worked a booth at the Dixon May Fair today. Seriously, I could eat kettle corn all freaking day long. I won't, but I'm just sayin. I could.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yoga FUN

As you may have read in a previous post, I am incorporating yoga into my workout regimen. This has worked pretty well for me the first few times I did it. The first time I did it my daughter was napping. The next couple of times she hung out with me for just a few minutes and then wandered off to play in her bedroom. Today, was quite a different experience. For starters, Justice decided to hang out in front of me on my mat doing the moves with me. There is just not enough space on a yoga mat for two people, even if one of them is a mini person.

I got to downward facing dog and discovered this:

Well, hello Bruiser. He was jumping around, licking my face and trying to nibble at my nose. Good times. Not the best for my zen moments and getting lost in the poses. It's hard to breathe in and out in a controlled manner when you have a puppy in the face, lick, snort, sniff, nibble. Ahem, as if I can do that anyway.

So after pushing him away, I followed the instructions and transitioned into high plank position and discovered this in my face:

Now this is just ridiculous. Excuse me, little girl? As much as I love your little booty it is unacceptable for you to be right there, like that, in my way. How can I flooooow? Awkwardly, I made it through the move and back into downward facing dog when I discovered this:

And that is when I called it quits for the day. Mayhaps I'll try again later after he is crated for the night and she is having sweet dreams.

Besides, I've decided that I'll be running home from Isaiah's Cub Scout meeting tonight. It's a perfect 3.25 miles from our house. My kinda way to squeeze in a few miles! Woohoo! **Wanna guess how many mosquito bites I'll have before I get home?**

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beware of porta-potties!!

On Saturday we participated in the March of Dimes' March for Babies. Thousands of people were milling around the state capitol's front steps and there were about ten porta-potties to service alllllll those people. Naturally, pipsqueak pipes up that she has to use the bathroom reeeeaaalllyyyyyy bad. So off we go to stand in line. I gotta say, I'm kinda glad she did. While we were standing in line, almost our turn, a runner cruises by. He was in great shape, no shirt on, nice abs, headphones...I was checking out his form (yeah, that's it, his form) when all of a sudden *BAM* a lady opens her porta potty door right on him. I mean like, he ran into the opening door, pretty much the skinny part caught him just right. She froze with that look on her face like 'OMG what just happened." It was LOUD and he almost fell on the ground backwards but caught himself before he actually fell. And he kept running, didn't skip a beat. I don't know if he stopped around the corner to check out his wounds, but I'm sure he's bruised today.

That night, we were surprised when we visited my in-laws and they offered to have the kids overnight. Unfortunately, we were completely exhausted from The March for Babies and running our booth at Winters Youth Day and it was almost ten before we made it home so we couldn't do anything special. But we did get to sleep in the next morning which was amazing. I actually woke up at 7:30 to pee and let the puppy out but then I got back into bed until about 9. We also were able to go on a nice long bike ride that morning. We wound up meeting up with some good (child-less) friends of ours for a brunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant downtown. They had just finished a 10k that morning so we were a nice sweaty bunch LOL. I have never ridden my bike to get to a destination like that before so it felt pretty cool although my butt was definitely not happy with me. No bike shorts=ouch!

On the way there, we discovered that two more events were occurring in downtown- a concert held by a radio station and another walk at the Capitol. As we rode past the porta-potties my husband yelled back at me, "Watch for doors!" Haha, he's such a funny guy. This concert was sponsored by a local Hip-Hop/R&B station and I have never seen so much black eyeliner, hootchie wear, and hairspray in the light of day. I wish I had my camera, the people watching was AMAAAAZING!! On the way into town they hadn't let anybody in yet and the line stretched for blocks and blocks so we had prime observation going on.

In all, we rode a total of 10.25 miles which I think is pretty great considering I have ridden less than 100 yards over the past twelve or so years. I totally look forward to doing it again.

Do you enjoy bicycling? What other types of cross training do you do?

Thursday, April 28, 2011


That was the sound my dreams made, just for a brief moment, yesterday. *squish* As many of you may know, I have a dream to run a full marathon prior to my 30th birthday. This blessed event is to take place on November 19, 2012. I am settling for being registered for a marathon taking place soon after my 30th birthday since I am lucky enough to live in Sacramento, home of the California International Marathon. It's held the first weekend of December so it will be about two weeks after my 30th birthday, which I can compromise for.

As many of you may not know, my husband is super duper protective of me. Yesterday while I was gushing over my big plans for the half marathon later this year followed by a half marathon in May-ish of next year followed by THE BIG FULL in November, he stopped me. And divulged that he isn't really comfortable with the idea of me running 26.2. My jaw dropped, and I was completely speechless. But only for a second. "WHAT??? What do you mean?" Turns out he knows someone that has run a marathon. Well he knows a few, but this particular individual really did a number on himself during the marathon and somehow caused himself to become diabetic.

The full story on this is unknown, but my husband (I suppoooooose) has reason for concern. Diabetes runs absolutely rampant in both sides of my family. I have a grandparent on both sides and several aunts and uncles that suffer from complications due to diabetes. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my daughter which increases my risk of contracting Type II diabetes even further. So for him to hear of this person becoming diabetic immediately following the marathon freaked him out. More than freaked him out. He is insisting that I am under a doctor's care for my entire training cycle. He wants me to bust out my blood tester and start using it. My husband, my dear dear husband is known for his dramatics and over-reacting, but this surprised me. So how am I going to handle it? If anything this makes me want to do it even more. To prove that I am stronger than this condition. To prove even further that I can do it. If he wants me to be under a doctor's care, well, I guess I'll be visiting the doctor a lot next year. I'll be doing a lot of research and monitoring everything very closely.

For a brief moment, my dreams went *squish* but they're back. I just have more obstacles in my way, and that will make my victory that. much. sweeter.

Has anyone else heard of anything like this happening before?? I never have, so any input is welcome!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slim Calm Sexy

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Rodale Books offering a FREE TRIAL of this new book/DVD program. Skeptical, I clicked on the link and checked out it's claims. Slim Calm Sexy Yoga. It sounded pretty decent, so I went a little bit further and filled out the form to have it sent to me. After this point what typically happens is a new form pops up asking for my credit card information at which time I promptly "X" out of it and say forget it. Not this time! The next screen informs me that my items will be shipped soon. Shocker!

I received the ginormous package yesterday. It contained all kinds of goodies, which I LOVE. Mostly just little pamphlets about eating and a special Prevention nutrition booklet. I like thumbing through these, even though it's mostly just a teaser for what you can order. The bread and butter of this package was the DVD and book. The book is no joke. I started reading it yesterday and also scanned through to the end. It has all the poses broken down from the base pose all the way to more advanced poses that require freakish looking flexibility. Also at the end of the book it gives you routines that can help with things like preventing depression, enhancing your "big O's", boosting your metabolism, and even clearing up your skin! Amazing! I can't wait to try out some of the routines, especially the one designed for first thing after you wake up and supposedly there are moves that can assist with memory. We shall see.

I also tried out the DVD yesterday for the first time. This girl is a maniac. I was huffing and puffing through some of the moves and she's carrying on a conversation like we're out at brunch or something. The good news is that it was definitely challenging enough to get me to break a serious sweat. The bad news is that it was a total wake up call to my absolute lack of core strength. I made it through the whole session, which left me feeling very loose and stretched (I'm talking the most amazing stretch of my life) and can't wait to do it again!

I am really looking forward to continuing to do this program. I think it will be a great cross-training tool to keep my body limber and strengthen up my core. I know it's too early to really see results but I gotta tell ya, I was really motivated this morning and went out for a run instead of scrambling back into bed. I ran a 5k in 35 minutes, which is just a few seconds quicker than my best race time. And this was just a training run, where I had to stop multiple times. Those darn cars, can't they just get out of my way?!?!? ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fit Family

First, I hope everyone had an amazing Easter! We had a fun-filled weekend with friends and family. We got a little bit of sleep, enjoyed a lot of sun, and endured sticky fingers and sugar hyped children from Friday evening on until Sunday night. It was great!

Over the past several weeks, my husband has been riding his bicycle to work. He has wanted to do this for years but has never actually sacked up and done it. It's 9-ish miles to work so it's around 20 miles round trip. He has to get up an hour and a half earlier to get prepared to head out. He gives himself 45 minutes to ride there and about 15 to change into his work clothes and boots. On the way home he takes it a little bit easier, but it still takes him no longer than an hour. This is very exciting for him and being that he has a slightly obsessive personality he started spending a lot of time perusing Craigslist for street bikes (he currently is doing his riding on a mountain bike) and parts. He stumbled across a few decent deals on a bike for me which lead to a obsession with finding me a bike. Long story short, he built himself a new-old bike (new to us, but used parts and a ten year old frame) and I am now the proud owner of a new-old bike of my own!

My new baby is a 2001 Specialized Stumpjumper, red and black, full suspension beast. My husband bought it brand new and it's mine now. Alllllll miiiiiiine. Naturally, this meant that I had to actually, you know, like, ride it? Anyone wanna guess when the last time was that I actually rode a bike? My age still ended in -teen. Probably seventeen to be exact. You know how they say you never forget how to ride a bike? Turns out I was riding my bike wrong my whole freakin life. In my own defense I never actually had a nice mountain bike, I always rode cruiser-esque deals where your hands are above your butt. I felt like I was going to flip over the handlebars of this bike. It was awkward and nervewracking riding it, and after just a few little turns around the front of the house I called it quits. Next day I gave it another try and almost ate it in my driveway. There's a nice little skidmark on the concrete as evidence. Jacob tried not to laugh, but I heard a little snort come out.

Eventually the goal is to have me confident enough to actually ride around town on the bike without running into poles or parked cars. We would like to get Justice a trailer or something since Isaiah is big enough to ride for shorter distances. Jacob took him out yesterday for a nice cruise around the neighborhood. It was so cute hearing them laughing together outside as they returned home. I can't wait until we are the family that pulls up at the frozen yogurt shop on our bikes and goes for outings on the bike trails. I love our new fit family!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two choices

I found this quote in this great book I just finished. (It's called The Seven Faith Tribes, and I totally recommend it.) Ready for your mind to be blown? Here goes: "Every living thing has two choices: grow or die. If you're not doing one, you're doing the other. My advice: choose growth!!" Is your mind blown yet? Mine was.

My goal every day is to do something that I can be proud of, that I can say, "yes, I did that". Yesterday I framed and hung some pictures that I have been meaning to handle for a long long time. This finally got me started on the wall collage that I have been envisioning for almost as long. I put some more miles on my shoes. Today I worked some more on the blanket for my friends. I took the kiddos to the park and soaked up some sun. I did some reading and copied down some yummy looking and healthy recipes. Anyway, so I'd like to do something every day that enriches my life and allows me to GROW in some way. Whether it be artistically with painting or crocheting or playing guitar or physically or spiritually, I will do something every day that will lead to something bigger in myself. I even feel like crossing things off of my checklist makes me feel good inside, like I am overcoming hurdles or something. Dog flea and heartworm medicine? Check. Selecting/purchasing my son's suit for his cameo as ring bearer? Check. It's the little things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Now I'm off to fold some whites, my least favorite job, and then finish this darn blanket square. But before I leave, let me ask you: What did you do today that made you feel good??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hooray for running buddies!!!

I have a confession to make. I have been totally slacking in the working out department. The good news is I've been holding steady weight-wise. The bad news is I've been holding steady weight-wise. Zero pounds gained or lost. Oh well, I can't expect a miracle and magically start losing weight by myself. I'm at a magic number right now. Want to know what it is? 156. Last time I lost weight (back in 2005) I got down to 156, and then went back up twenty or so pounds from there. Yikes. And here I am again, teetering at the edge of untouched territory. Once I drop this last pound, I will be the lightest I have been since there was a "1" in front of my age. And I still have a ways to go before I think I'll be done.

It's not like I haven't been doing anything. I have dabbled in artwork and created a really pretty trio of paintings for my living room. I have been crocheting like a madwoman. To date I have made one scary looking scarf, one darn decent scarf, a super cute hat with ears for my daughter, and I am halfway through a giant baby blanket for my very good friends (this was quite the undertaking. I have to admit that I started and restarted this blanket about five times because I kept effing it up). I have taken up reading again and have discovered that yes, I do LOVE reading! I have been learning guitar. Again. I have been working on puppy training. I have been taking better care of my house than ever, and have been making minor changes every day that make a big impact on how I feel about our home. All in all, I am super happy with what I've been up to.

And I have been working out, in a spotty sort of fashion. A walk here, a weights session there. I've probably lifted weights about twice a week since I stopped going to the gym. It's just not with the intensity or stick-to-it-iveness that I used to have.

My husband's best friend from high school sort of fell away from us a long time ago. We didn't have a big falling out or anything, we just sort of stopped hanging out. He went his way, having fun and partying and we went our way, making babies and becoming all domestic. We would hear from him every now and then and after spending some time together he would disappear again. He now has a girlfriend. A serious one. And SHE RUNS. So now HE RUNS. I could not be more excited about this amazing turn of events. So far this year they have participated in three 10ks and a 12k. She is planning on running two half marathons and the CIM this year. So they are now a new motivation for my husband and I to run. She has also introduced us to another couple that lives in town and THEY RUN. OMG I'm surrounded by runners!!! More motivation. She is training for her first half marathon in October so that's perfect. I am so incredibly stoked. Jacob wants to run and is once again seemingly bitten by the running bug. He asked me today if I was ready to start half marathon training again and of course I said hell yeah!!! So as soon as he walked in the door this afternoon he told me to change my clothes and get out the door. I banged out 2.7 miles in 32 minutes, which is certainly not a record but I will only get faster. I hope. =o)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring has finally sprung!

I was super excited to wake up this morning to a beautiful sunny day!! After all this dreary wetness it was wonderful to wake up, snap open the blinds, and let the sun shine in!! Jacob had a relief day today, which was kind of a relief bein that he worked 14 hours on Saturday. We took advantage of it by running some errands and taking care of some odds and ends around the house. I took advantage of it by getting outside and going for my first outdoor run in what seems like forever!! It was kind of a strange run. It was a little breezy which always effs with me, and it was kinda cold so I wore my long sleeves, but then not cold enough so I got really hot after just a little while. Sigh. I really need to look into the arm sleeves so I have less to lug around when I dress inappropriately for the current weather conditions. I *still* haven't gotten confirmation that my inhaler prescription is ready for pick-up, which is friggin lame, so I went without it and could completely tell the difference. I know I shouldn't expect to lace up my shoes after a month or so and just knock an easy three out, but I'm a little disappointed. After only 2, my lungs are on fire (still, an hour and a half later). My legs and back feel great for once, my Achilles is just a teensy bit snarky, and my feet are awesome too. Stupid lungs. I am really looking forward to this weather warming up some more (make sure to remind me that I said this in July when I'm complaining that I live on the face of the sun) and getting a nice tan for the first time in years!! I am looking forward to miles upon miles of healthy running and a half marathon in the fall. I haven't decided....I could do Urban Cow again in October. It has a really big crowd and runs through more suburban/urban neighborhood-y areas aside from the really nice section along the river. OR I could run Clarksburg which has a smaller crowd in a country setting running past vineyards and farmland. I don't know. I like the knowledge that Urban Cow had sooo many people participating (like 3000) that it didn't matter if I didn't have anyone there cheering for me, at least there were spectators! I like knowing that the course is well patrolled by police officers and the aid stations are well manned. On the other hand, the crowd was a little out of control. The bathroom situation was borderline ridiculous. But at least there were a lot of porta-potties. Parking was ample, since the starting line was across the street from a college. But I think I might like a small town feel, I think I might like the scenery out there. I appreciate it while driving anyway. Do I go with what I know, and give myself a fair comparison when trying to PR? Or do I go with something new and different? Time will only tell..... stay tuned! PSSSST!! I want to give a big HUGE shout out to my best buddy since forever LEESA who completed her very first Half Marathon in Dallas this weekend. I am super super super duper excited for her as she goes along her triathlete journey and can't wait to see her at her peak!!! <3 <3 <3

Monday, March 21, 2011

Three truckers walk into a bar....

On Friday, we broke our diet. BIG. It was kind of a fun excursion onto the wild side, I guess. We went to a local Mexican restaurant that's kind of a landmark in our town. It's very tiny, cozy, authentic, and as in all small towns, full of people you know. I saw six people that I went to school with and two parents of people that I went to school with (on top of the two schoolmates that we were there with.) It's amazing how things work in a small town. I love it, but at the same time it's kind of a hassle when you're just trying to get to the bathroom with your three year old. "Sorry, can't talk, she's about to pee her pants," as she races down the aisle, running past the bathroom. But I digress. I was peer pressured into 'just one' margarita. I rarely drink so this was kind of a nice treat to savor the frosty goodness. Then came dinner. Jacob and I had discussed sharing a plate since this restaurant is notorious for their super-sized portions. Naturally, when faced with the menu, we couldn't decide on something that we both wanted so we wound up ordering our own plates. The waitress placed my oval plate in front of me with a flourish, and it sang to me. Ooooooh maaaaannnnnn......refried beans, rice, crunchy chicken taco, and chicken enchilada???? Yes, yes, yes please. It looked and tasted better than I remember. After devouring much of what was on my plate, I felt embarassed. And full. Very very full. What did I do? Oh dear. After we hung out there for a while, we agreed to continue the evening and head back to our friends M&D's house. It was his birthday, and we don't get to hang out with them very much even though they live in town. After we arrived at their house, another friend of M's called and said he was in the area and asked if he and his wife could come by. We had SO much fun! My husband is a truck driver, M is a truck driver (same work), and the new guy C is a truck driver as well. Put the three of them together and they are hilarious! We were up at their house playing Battle of the Sexes until 1:30 am. I have to say that if I had to choose a night to cheat on the diet, I think I picked a perfect night. I regret that I ate as much as I did, but live and learn and we all had an amazing time. I'm sure I will spend that same amount of amazing time working off the meal in the gym, and it will be totally worth it.

My husband and I were talking last night and we made the decision that with gas being $4 per gallon and up, we really can't afford for me to be driving to the gym every day any more. This is terribly sad for me because I was really enjoying the workouts that I was getting in as well as the time I was getting to spend with one of my BFFs Denise. She is so funny and honest I just can't get enough of her. We have been friends since high school so we have seen each other through a lot of stuff. I am extremely grateful for the time that I got to spend at the gym with her; I don't think I could have created the habit of working out that I did without having this opportunity. I will just have to work extra hard to keep on track and get my cardio in other ways, and make sure that I focus focus focus on the diet and weight lifting aspects of fitness as well. I'm also really looking forward to the weather clearing up! With the time change in effect, it's staying light out later which means I can run in the early evening/late afternoon when my husband gets home from work. Yay!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The tale of the missing blogger

I am alive, I promise. I just re-allocated my time and it didn't allow for the hours that I can spend perusing the many blogs that LOVE to read on a daily basis. At this point, I'm so far behind I might as well pretend I'm finding y'all for the very first time and just start from scratch. Since February 10 (my last blog posting, yikes) I have been dealing with an Achilles tendon issue. Lots of icing, lots of resting. I've read a lot of running articles and books that have advised that I can use the elliptical or cycle still (as long as it doesn't hurt) so I have been spending a lot of time on my booty pedaling away. For some reason it (the booty) goes numb about half hour in. My hub says it's because the soles of my shoes are too soft so the pedal is putting pressure on my foot which is leading to the numbness. He's probably right- he usually is- though I hate to admit it. Today, I think I'm going to try for two miles on the treadmill. I haven't ran over 1.25 miles in over a month and I think it's about time. Good news is that the diet and the exercising that I have been doing have left me stabile in my weight loss, actually losing two pounds. Not a huge deal, but it's progress in the right direction so I'm happy.

On the parenting front, I was horrified a few weeks ago to discover my daughter covered in a terrible rash. A $30 co-pay and 15 seconds with the doctor later, it was determined that she had hives, no they didn't know why or how long it would last but give her Benadryl so they don't itch. Nice. Thankfully, the hives have pretty much completely disappeared and she has continued to carry on her busy little life the entire ordeal. Apparently it was only heartbreaking to Jacob and I to see her body all red and welty; she could have cared less.

I'm definitely planning on picking back up on the writing. I have missed it a lot. I look forward to catching up on everyone and seeing what you all are up to in the weeks to come!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things that make you feel good- the little things

After weeks of minimal change on the scale and feeling a little bit down on myself because of my lack of mileage, I had two feel-good moments within the past 24 or so hours.

Yesterday I went and visited with my younger sister. It was after a workout so I had some running pants on that hit just below the knee and my tanktop on. As I was buckling in my daughter, my sister says, "You've been running a lot haven't you?" I grumble something to the effect of, "yeah kinda but not as much as I should be or would like to be." She surprised the heck out of me by saying, "yeah I can really tell. Your legs are getting pretty toned." SCORE. That left me grinning for a few hours after. I mean, I can tell that I've been working on my legs but it could just be my imagination. Nobody obsesses over my legs or my bulges as much as I do. So it felt pretty nice to hear from someone else that they can really tell the difference.

And then this morning when I got up to get my son ready for work I just grabbed the first comfy tee I saw in my drawer to wear under my sweatshirt. I mean, it's just the bus stop, whatever. I kept the tee on but lost the sweatshirt when I got back home and started in on breakfast, the morning housework, etc. At one point I made it to the bathroom and finally glanced at myself in the mirror. Whoa. The shirt used to be snug, showing off all the glory of my muffin top. Super sexy, right? This morning I realized that it just hung there. Not tight at all. You couldn't see any pudge (which is still there by the way, just smaller I guess). Whaaaaat? Could it be? Yes, boys and girls, there is progress being made everywhere. My pants are sagging ridiculously but I refuse to buy new clothes until summer when I can get shorts. And now, now my shirts are fitting better or are a little too big. Oh, the sweetness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finding peace.

Lately I've been doing a lot of soul searching. A lot of thinking about myself and how I can improve myself as a person. I used to like to think that I was perfect. I had this complex about perfection, this addiction to competition so fierce that if I couldn't be the best at something it wasn't worth my time. I fought for straight A's and the highest percentages in class and if I wasn't fighting for those high grades I wasn't doing anything at all in class. I wanted to be told that I was great and perfect. Criticism was the worst thing in my life. I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle being micro-managed at work. I got into an argument with my husband a few weeks ago where I told him that he was "too critical" of everything and sometimes it would be nice if he could just pretend and tell me that I was perfect. Without going into too many details, we went to bed angry (which we never do) and I found myself lying awake listening to him snore, staring at the ceiling deep in thought. He was right. Why did I feel like I needed to perfect?? Why did I always feel like I had to be the best? Why couldn't I do something badly and laugh about it? Why did I feel like I need to measure up and compare to somebody else?

So these past few weeks I've been trying to let go of that kind of thinking. I don't need to prove my worth as a mother, a wife, or an athlete to anybody but myself. As long as I'm doing my best and I am happy with what I'm doing that should be good enough. I'm done with working so hard only to be let down because I discover that someone else did it better. I've discovered that being a stay-at-home-mom is a more cutthroat industry than any other I've worked in. These b**&@* are HARD CORE!! It's a competition over who does the most cleaning, whose kids are smarter or in more activities, who cares for their husband the most. You know what? My house is in an almost constant state of disarray in the bedrooms. I keep the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room clean. The bedrooms? Well, I do what I can.
I don't have my kids in a ton of extra-curricular activities. I feel like it puts undue stress on my family when we have to change our dinner schedule and keep them out until bedtime or later to go to practice/meetings. For some families, they thrive on the activities. For ours, not so much. I like being able to make plans with people because we have our weekends mostly free. I don't like having every minute of every day structured. We are very much a "play it by ear" family. Sometimes too much, but that's something we're working on. We enjoy spending time with each other, and yeah, sometimes that means that we all four hang out in my bed until ten on a Saturday before I make us a big breakfast and we don't leave the house until two in the afternoon. That doesn't mean that I am any less of a mom than the lady that lives in the big beautiful house that is up at 6 am cleaning it while her family sleeps.

I am learning as I go. My family was a terrible disfunctioning mess. I don't know how a "normal" family functions because what is on TV is just not normal. So every day I take in as an opportunity to learn. How to become a mother that nurtures without yelling. How to communicate effectively with my husband. How to gently guide my children to be good people in the world. How to fit in all the cleaning while still being attentive to my children. How to be beautiful and still functional at home. How to work as a team and thrive as a family unit.

I'm done. I'm done trying to keep up with everyone around me. My kids are happy, clean, and fed. My husband is happy, clean, and fed. I too would be completely happy if I would just allow myself to be content and stop competing. LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION! Everyone, every family, is different and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. It is not an even playing field so there is no basis for comparison. Nobody is perfect, nor can they try to be all the time. And those people that seem to be? It's because they brag about how perfect they are and sweep the not-so-good-stuff under the rug, which makes them irritating which in turn makes them NOT PERFECT. Ha!

On a somewhat related note, I've decided that I will not be running the half marathon in March as planned. I realized that it was just another thing that I was doing in an overly competitive nature and for the wrong reasons. Not that I expected to be the best or fastest LOL, I'm just not ready for it. I will wait until further along in the year. I have been working out five days a week since the beginning of the year, for an hour or so each day. I try to run every day for at least two miles instead of trying to stick to the training plan. When I'm ready to increase my mileage again I will, but just not now. I'm excited and proud of the time that I've been spending at the gym this year and think that by the end of the year I will be at my goal weight and fitness level and that is more important to me than training my brains out for a half marathon and then being burnt out and stopping for three months.

I am on my way to finding peace.....and it feels damn good.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Enriching my life, and maybe yours in the process!

Another housebound day today as my son remained feverish overnight. Today, he feels fine, and if he weren't up at 2:30 this morning telling me he was hot and coughing, I would have sent him to school. He is feeling back to normal today, which is driving me crazy since he and sister have been crabbing at each other It will be ok, he'll be back to school tomorrow and Justice and I can get back to our regular routine for two days before the weekend.

When I discovered in April that I was going to be laid off of work in the end of May, my husband instantly leapt into action. He figured he needed to find a way to supplement his income in the eventuality that I couldn't find work. He decided that the best way to do this would be to become an AVON representative. Yes, as a man. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate this man??? His great-grandparents both sold AVON years and years ago as a team and he figured there couldn't be a better way to do this. Now that I'm not working, I do a lot of the leg work during the day. Distributing, making phone calls, and whatnot. So in an effort to boost our exposure and introduce new customers to the AVON product line, I would like to present to you, dear readers, our online store located here. You can browse our catalog just as though you were receiving a paper copy or you can search for specific items. The way I see it, if you are going to buy makeup anyway (and let's be honest, you will), might as well support the small business dreams of one family rather than stuffing the already bloated wallets of the bigwigs...right? As a bonus, we are offering free shipping on all orders of $30 or more. So check it out! I guarantee that you will find something you love. And we don't just offer makeup...oh no, we offer household items, toys, clothes, and even Mark. which is a more trendy approach geared toward more youthful style. (Really really cute stuff, I'm tellin ya!)

Also, if you are fundraising for any organization we can create an online event in which you can invite your friends and family to shop our online store and a set percentage of their purchases will be donated to the organization of your choice. Their purchases would be directly shipped to their home, so you don't have to sort orders or deliver! This is an amazing and easy opportunity to raise money! Contact us at brownjid (at) gmail (dot) com for more details.

Keep your eye out for AVON product reviews from me as I explore new items!!

On a running related note, I checked out CSN stores today and discovered that there are very inexpensive manual treadmills on the market....I didn't know that these existed! I've only seen the fancy schmancy ones with digital readouts and programs and waaaay too many buttons. Has anyone ever used one of these? I'm curious, because they are super inexpensive and if they actually get the job done I would totally be looking into purchasing one. Let me know if you have any input! And make sure you check out Running from the Law's giveaway here!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not a prostitute, but encroaching on their space.

Thank goodness Jacob got home early from work yesterday. I excitedly changed my clothes, laced up my shoes, and took my inhaler hits. I opened the door, stepped outside, and instantly felt nervous. Running without Jacob feels just wrong. Like I'm all of a sudden very vulnerable to everything- the elements, people, and above all, myself. I composed myself, stretched, and strutted my way down the street and saw my worst nightmare swooping over my designated starting line. A flock of seagulls.

No, seriously, one of my biggest fears in life is to get pooped on by a bird. I just don't know if I can handle it. And right there, outside the choice liquor store at the end of my street, is a whole flock of birds. I couldn't figure out why until I turned the corner and discovered that there was a guy throwing out bird seed or bread or something for them. I patiently waited at the other corner under the guise of messing with my iPod, but just as the birds started to disperse, he threw more bread out! Grr! I couldn't wait any longer, so just decided to chance it and go. The man apologized while his friends (super classy while they hang out at the bus stop, ooohhh yeah, swoon) leered at me passing. Ick.

My legs felt tired already after not even a mile but I was determined to finish this run out. My goal was five and I was going to hit it, dammit!! So I told myself that I would allow rest at stop lights while waiting for the walk sign and I could walk through the crosswalks on the way back home. I was feeling shin-tired, but overall felt great. The weather was perfect for a run. There were a lot of cyclists out too since I run on a main street through town. They usually aren't very friendly, but yesterday was the exception. They all waved and said hey as they went past. Except for one, who yelled HI from across the four lane road. I waved politely and carried on, until the stop light when the guy actually had turned around and rode back to talk to me. Yikes!! This guy shops regularly at the grocery store I used to work at so I recognized him as a pretty hard core cyclist. I figured a little banter on training might be nice. So when he asked how I was, I was ok with that. How many miles I was going, I was ok with that. How old I was, not so ok with that one. I told him I don't answer that question and his response was, 'oh, very young I can tell'. And with that he turned his bike around and headed in his original direction. Phew.

This stretch of road that I run on- I like it because it's got sidewalks most of the way and it's very heavily trafficked. The heavy traffic I used to hate because everyone sees me and looks at me, but then at the same time if everyone is seeing and looking at me, hopefully no-one will mess with me. After dark is another story. I would not venture out on this strip of road by myself after dark, mostly because it is known for it's choice occupation-solicitation. Knowing this, I thought two/three/four times about taking off my top layer long sleeved shirt and just running in my tank and decided against it each time. That was probably a good idea being that it was a weird temperature. It was cold enough to need the long sleeves but then not. I rolled up the sleeves to expose my wrists and I had to pull them back down because I wound up feeling cold.

So in the end, I had to cut my run a little short due to some road construction at my turnaround point. I wound up running 4.6 miles, and traveling approximately 5 miles with my warm up and cool down. It took me around 55 minutes to do the run portion, which was 12:01 mile. Not terribly bad, but I'm hoping I can drop more weight and speed up a little bit so I can hit my goal.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Recap

I am the oldest of six kids (if you include my 2 stepbrothers). I take my older sister job extremely seriously. This means that I tell my siblings how it is straight. I try not to sugarcoat, unless it's necessary, and I don't say things just because I know that's what they want to hear. Unfortunately, I'm the only one that does this. So while everyone is thinking it, I'm the only one that's saying it, so I wind up being the big B word. Congratu-freakin-lations, I'm the bad guy. Always. On the flip side, I also try to always be supportive in times of need. After my sister's accident, I jumped into action, arranging the memorial service for my niece and Nicholas. I was immediately on the road to the hospital to hold her hand. I offered up as much support as I could.

There is a lot of background behind her and her previous relationships, and I just won't get into that now. Let's just suffice it to say that when she announced her engagement for her second marriage, I was a little bit apprehensive. But I kept my mouth shut about it. I've done enough talking to her about that whole subject. And when she got married this Saturday, I was there to let her know that she was putting her petticoats on inside out and to help her and her bridesmaids get her into her dress. I put her veil on her and fixed her mascara. I posed her on the steps and tried to get the designated photographer (a relative of the groom's) to get at least some of the shots that I wish I had gotten at my wedding. I can only imagine what her in-laws think of me. I'm sure that I'm described as the big B word. I'm sure that when she talks about me to them, they only get to hear about the 'mean' things that I've said or about the a-hole that I'm married to. Oh well.

On the running front, I haven't done any running this weekend. Last night we headed out to a friend's birthday party. The chips and cookies out for general consumption were a huge temptation, and I did fine with avoiding them...until everyone else left, and it was just our family and the hosts. Luckily it was only a short period of time that I found myself in front of the chips shoveling them into my face while we chit-chatted. Naturally, I was irritated with myself the whole way home.
My son developed a fever last night, which carried on until this morning, so I am pretty much housebound. I'm hoping that Jacob will get off of work early enough that I can head out for a run before dark...but it's pretty gray and gloomy outside so it will probably be dark too early. But here's hopin!! I really want to get a five miler in this week. I was supposed to do one yesterday, but that didn't happen. Before my son got his fever I was thinking that they could go hang out with my mom while I ran, but that's not going to happen either. I'm pretty sure that five miles on a treadmill might just be torture. One hour. If I were faster, that would be no biggie. But at the pace I run, that's one hour committed to a little five foot square space. I'll keep you posted.
For curiosity's sake, and a desire to potentially increase my income potential, how does one set out to promote/review/offer items? I see a lot of people getting offers and I'm curious how that happens?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MIA, but not missing or inactive

Hello fellow bloggers, and Happy New Year to you all! I know, I know, the month is practically halfway over already. I personally don't know where the time went. Life has been crazy and fun and overall pretty fantastic for the past few weeks.

Thanks to my lovely lovely friend Denise, I have been able to maintain my running habits. I haven't really been sticking to the training plan, but I have run almost every single weekday since the beginning of the year. I haven't hit anything on the treadmill over 3.5 miles yet, but I have hope. Treadmill running is so different from running on the street. For one, the scenery doesn't change. The terrain doesn't change. The wind doesn't change. The speed doesn't change, unless I hit a button. It's very strange. I kinda like it, but then I kinda don't. After a certain point, it just gets boring. But I am plugging along, trying to get those miles built up. I'm already at ten miles for the week, which I'm really excited about. I'm also cross training on the bike there and I'm considering trying out some Bosu ball workouts. We have the weights here at home too so I've been doing some lifting in the evening. So I'm definitely staying active and I'm feeling great!!

Did I tell you that I set a mileage goal for myself this year? My goal is to run 500 miles by 1/1/2012. I figure that if I'm training for half marathons for 24 weeks out of the year, I can easily hit that. I will have to run about ten miles per week. We'll see how I do.

On non-running related news, check out this little guy that we picked up last week!!

This is Bruiser! He is a sweet Jack Russell Terrier puppy. He's nine weeks old now and my kids are madly in love with him. Well, Justice is apprehensive. He likes to bite on her skirts and stuff and she doesn't know how to handle that. But otherwise, he's the household center of attention. I'm having loads of fun doing all the extra laundry from the towels in his crate and even more fun with the house training. It's like having a newborn in the house, but worse. I can't wait until he can just tell us when he has to go instead of us taking him out every hour and still having accidents in the house.

So I hope to be back on a more regular basis as my miles grow and my training progresses. See y'all soon!!