Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A cold shower

I am a self proclaimed morning person.  But it really is true.  So if I decide to get up at 445 in the morning, and work out, its hard, but I can do it.  Then people say things like "your so crazy, how can you do that?"  But to put it in perspective, if you asked me to go take a run at 8:30 at night, I'd think you were crazy, because I really need to be in bed around 9:15. 

So I got up at 440 this morning, to head to work to do some interval work on the treadmill.  I love the fact that barely anyone is up, but I am.  That is one motivation for me to get up early.  Its that hour or so that it is literally just me, before the world wakes up.  So I join a select few in the fitness center for some sweat and introspection.  I was successful in pushing myself, which doesn't always happen, so it was a good workout.  Now when you finish a good workout, the shower is something you really look forward to.  And I'm ok with showering in a locker room.  I have all my stuff, and my flip flops, so I'm good.  Now today, I get in my fav shower, and realize, the water is not getting warm.  Now our showers at work have been known to not have hot water - and its happened to me at lunch before.   But I"m able to take a half shower then - a jump under, jump out, soap up, jump back under kindof thing.  But that is not possible when I am needing to shampoo my hair.  So I took a deep breath, jumped under, and got it done.

Now that is not my idea of a good start to my morning.  Even a morning person has a hard time getting up at 440am, for the record.  But it was the start to my Wednesday.  I don't know about you, but maybe, sometimes we need that cold shower, just to shake us up a bit.  I've had my turn.  Tomorrow, its a nice warm shower at home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


You know its bad when they've changed the layout of the entire blog website.

Sooooooooo.  How's it going?  crickets.........

I won't bore you with all the millions of reasons as to why the poor blog has been neglected.  Lets just move on.  Get past it.  And jump right into ...FALL!!!

So this week at school, the kids have "Book Character Day".  I'm pretty sure the idea is that they get to wear their halloween costumes besides just trick or treating.  If you do that kind of thing.  But not for my kids.  Not only are their halloween costumes, not from a book, but they were having no part of me trying to work them into book character day.  So I got to come up with not 3 costumes, but 6.  So we've got Fancy Nancy, Amelia Bedilia, and Frank Hardy.  Then we're going to have twin kittens, and the tin man.  It should be adorable, if I can just pull it all off, and I'll be sure to post pictures....for the crickets.  Ha!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Its the weekend

Its the weekend and look at me!! I'm blogging!!! To the air I'm sure. And that is ok with my. My faithful readers have given up on me. My apologies. This was always my outlet. So if its just me and the keys of my computer, or 1000 people, its still serves the same purpose.

Today was the first day of soccer. I never played soccer. Its interesting to me that my kids want to. The real reason I never played soccer was because I hated to run. Funny, huh. I've said before that I used to hate it. Its true. This is Carson's 3rd year playing soccer. We play in the recreational church league. The kids learn the game, and for the most part, there aren't psycho push parents. (I was told by my husband today to stop yelling and jumping up and down). The past 2 years for Zak have been being on a team that is lucky to win a couple of games the entire season. He's usually one who hangs back and doesn't care necessarily about getting in on the action. Its hard for his competitive mom to watch. But I've learned. Well, today was different. After 2 years of hanging back, that boy took control today and scored 3 goals. He had not made one goal in 2 years in a game. And 3 today!!!! That's what triggered the jumping up and down and yelling by me. I was so stinking proud of him. I have 3 theories on today's game. #1, its just finally clicked and he just figured it all out. #2, its because they changed the age brackets for his division and he's now at the same level as everyone else. Or #3, he had just sat and watched his younger sister, Paige tear it up in her game.

Its Paige's first year to play, and after the first practice, I knew she was of my DNA. She hustled, and wanted to be in on the action. She scored 3 goals in her game as well. It was a good day for our fam when it came to soccer.

So I had to learn a little lesson today. I had already counted Zak out. I just figured he wasn't going to be that athlete that was aggressive, took control, and played hard. Its hard to admit I counted him out, but I did. He showed me.

How many times do we count people out, without giving them time to go at their own pace, and then show what they've got?

Happy Weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

For Real?

Has it seriously been since May that I have posted? For Shame!!!! I'm sure there's no one left to read my musings. It might be bettter that way.

So summer has been filled with work, a little travel, a lot of poolside, and no running. Its been nice. Its been blazing hot, and my motivation level for anything active has been nonexistent. And I've told myself that is ok.

But my favorite season is sooo close. I'm excited, but at the same time, its so hard to envision pumpkins and crisp air when its 105 degrees outside. But I'm still hopeful.

I'm off to the east coast the beginning of this week for work. Looking forward to a little bit of down time and a change in scenery.

I'll be back soon, promise.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I'm comfortable at my 6 speed on the treadmill. Its an easy 10 min mile. I like most things in my life comfortable. But the truth is, you just don't grow as a person when you are not comfortable. I've got Corporate Challenge coming up in June. Its where a lot of the big corporate companies get together and compete in athletic events. I'm going to participate in a relay. Now, as soon as I found out I was on the team, I immediately tried to call a 100 meter leg. But then after the secondary email came out, stating that someone was going to have to take the 400m leg, I started thinking. I have the endurance. But I'm slow. I'm comfortable. You can't run one lap around the track in a relay at a 10 minute pace. So today, I got on the treadmill, and decided to push myself. I ran 10 minutes at a litte under 10 min pace. Then every 2 minutes I ran harder, until I was running an 8 min mile pace, every minute. And surprisingly, I was tired, but I wasn't dying. Thats when I knew, I should take the 400m leg and push myself. I went back to my desk, emailed the team captain, and said I'd take it. So now, in order to not embarrass myself, or my team, I've got to get uncomfortable, and train hard to get faster. In 2 weeks. I'll let you make your own life application, because there are too many to list.

Here goes nothing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This was my mother's day gift. A Japanese Maple tree for my front flower bed. I love it. It makes me happy. You can't see it too well from this picture, but the trunk goes completely horizontal for about 8 inches. Thats why I picked this one. Makes me smile.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Memorial Marathon

Wow. What a race. A week ago today, I was running 13.1 miles in freezing cold rain, for over 2 hours. I don't even really know where to start. Andy's brothers and their families came in on Friday. I didn't fell as prepared for this race, as I thought I should have. My first half marathon, I was a training plan drill sergeant. I followed it to the tee. This time, not so much. But still, I got my long runs in and didn't feel ill prepared, just not as prepared as I had wanted.

I watched the weather all week and knew what was coming. 40's and rain. Nothing you can do about that. The thought crossed my mind for about 10 seconds to skip the run. But when you put so much into it, its really not even an option.

We woke up early and stepped outside. No rain, but we could see lightening in the distance. I told the boys I had seen people run in trash bags, and thought we should do it. So we were all on the living room floor cutting out our arm/head holes from our large black trash bags. Andy of course was running late, so we waited on him, and then jetted out the door. Excitement was high, but I think we were all nervous.

Once we got downtown, we heard rumors of the start being delayed by 30 minutes. Ugh. It was cold and rainy and we had to find some shelter for an extra 30 minutes. So we huddles with about 100 other runners under the eaves of a downtown building. Andy and I left Scott and Matthew to check our gear and agreed to meet in the start corral. It started raining even harder, and we quickly realized there was no way we were meeting up with Scott and Matthew. So we found our place in the start corral, squished together with 25,000 other runners. Finally, the gun goes off and after 7 minutes, we had crossed the start and were off. Andy and I decided to run together for the first 2 miles, but I knew he was eager to pick up the pace so I told him to go on, and good luck. So I stayed content to just trot behind the other runners for the first 2 miles. But as I came up on the first clock, I thought, oh that can't be right, I'm not going that slow. Oh yes I was, so I started weaving and bobbing between all the runners, finding my normal pace. The rain really didn't bother me, and once we got started, I wasn't cold. It was a steady rain the entire time. I had my favorite running visor on, so I never got water in my face. It was actually a pleasant run. At mile 7 I was feel good. Almost euphoric. I felt good, I had my normal pace, it was super fun. At about mile 9, I was at the complete opposite of the spectrum. I was having the mental peptalk, about how I was so close, my legs were tired, and I had shed the trash bag 3 miles before so I was good and soaked. At mile 11, I hit my company's waterstop and saw a few people I knew so that gave me the kick I needed to make it to the finish. As soon as I saw that finish line, I cranked it up. That was the one thing I had been practicing, running hard at the end. With an official time of 2:26, I was done.

My first two complacent miles cost me my goal of 2:20. But I was happy to have done it. I got one lone picture of the guys before the race in their trash bags. I'm already planning on running again next year. I can not settle for 2:26.

Andy and his brothers all finished within 10 minutes of each other around the 2 hour mark. I think it was a great brotherly experience for them. They even want to make it an annual event.

Just Finish Strong. yep. I did.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big Plans

Oh I always have SUCH big plans. Big plans of things I'm going to do. Its always been a problem for me. Planning big, and unable to follow through. I seriously have the best of intentions. Intending to send that card in the mail to that friend who needs a word of encouragement. Intending to write that blog post every night detailing out my wonderful vacation (I got through Day 1, pitiful, I know). Intending to sit and read to my girls when they ask, call my grandma to check up on her, oh the list could go on and on and on. Sometimes, my own agenda is my downfall. My priorities can seem so noble at one moment, and then I look back on them, and wonder what in the world I was thinking. It usually produces a self lecture that I wish I would write down. Because I'm pretty sure I'll be giving it to myself again, and I might as well just post it on my bathroom mirror and read it every day. Why is it sometimes some things seem sooo important at any given moment, and then later, so not. It will probably always be a struggle for me. I really do want to do everything I feel I need to, exceed everyone's expectations of me, and never look back at any regrets. Its not now, and when I do get there, because I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 2 in DC

So we started this morning waking up early. Within minutes of coming upstairs, saying we were ready, we had downed some cereal with freshly made almond milk, compliments of Traci, the sis. She had packed Andy and I a lunch. We printed out a Metro map and jumped into my brother in law, Rob's vehicle and he dropped us at the nearest Metro station and said have fun. So Metro cards and map in hand, Andy and I tried our best to blend in with the morning commuters. Which wasn't hard. You could hear a pin drop on the metro. No one said a word and they did 1 of three things, sleep, read the paper or a book, listen to music, or stare straight ahead. Oh, that's 4 things. So they did one of 4 things. We started off our morning at Union Station. I loved this place!! After browsing the Barns and Noble there, we had coffee and some breakfast in a cafe and people watched while we discussed what to do with our morning. We stayed there an hour or so and then headed back onto the Metro to find our way to DC cupcakes. We mapped out a stop that was closest to Georgetown and started walking. We crossed the Potomac river by way of walking across a big bridge to the cutest college town ever. This is a pic of Georgetown
There were runners galore, and the flowers around were beautiful. We were dying to go for a run. Perfect weather - around 63 with a slight breeze. Andy with some tulips.

We ended up here!!! At Georgetown Cupcakes (a.k.a. DC Cupcakes, where the TLC show is filmed). I was giddy.
Me, standing in the line. It was only 30 minutes, so not too bad!!

One of the workers was gracious to flash me a smile while I took a pic. That's where they are assembling every one's orders

After we walked the town and perused some shops, we packed our cupcakes back down to the river to eat, along with the lunch Traci packed.

My cupcake, the hummingbird. Banana cake with pecans and a banana cream cheese frosting sprinkled with pecans and a blue fondant humming bird.

So. stinking. good.

Andy with his chocolate hazelnut cupcake. It was good, but not as good as my hummingbird!!
Some of the cherry blossoms! They were still blooming!!!

After lunch we metroed back to a station where my sis picked me up, after she had picked up our dad at the airport who is joining in on the weekend fun!!! Now Rob is cooking up some burgers on the deck, Andy is sleeping, and I'm going to go sit in the hammock.

Till tomorrow.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Andy and Amy do DC

Day 1 - first day of vacation!!!! Andy and I are in Washington D.C., to visit my sister and her family before they move to Germany next month. We almost brought the kids with us, but neither of us has been to DC and its a short trip so we are going to do some major power sight seeing. We started the morning at 415am to get to the airport on time to catch the first flight out. We are flying standby due to Andy's generous uncle who is an employee of the airline. But with that deeply discounted ticket, comes going with the flow. Now, I can switch gears and go with the flow when needed. I'd rather have a concrete plan, but if thats not possible, I can roll. Andy, well....yeah....not so much. We got super lucky though, and got on all the flights we initially wanted to. So I touched down in 4 different states today. We've enjoyed a nice dinner from my all organic, natural sister (homemade pizza with fresh veggies and goat cheese, salad and smoothies with vegetables and fruits I can't even pronounce). But don't worry, tomorrow we're slated to hit Georgetown Cupcakes, made famous by the show "DC Cupcakes", among other landmarks. I'll keep you filled in with pics throughout the weekend! Early to bed for me. Traveling zaps the energy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Things you could have heard in my house this week: Paige: Mom, I think you need to ask Zak to forgive you for yelling at him Zak: (while watching Wipeout) Mom, they wont let her use sign language, they just keep covering up her hands with that thing that says censored. Me: Zak, put the book down and go to sleep Me: I need a vacation, like bad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Croissant French Toast with Fresh Strawberries

This is one of my all time favorites. Its out of Southern Living magazine, and what isn't fabulous out of that magazine????
First of all, you must start with the most skilled kitchen helpers around. They must be fresh out of bed and in their pajamas
Then you take your large croissants and slice them in half. Whisk together 3/4 C milk, 2 large eggs, and 1 tsp of vanilla. The girls and I have this thing with vanilla. It absolutely can not be imitation. And we always, always take a big sniff and "ahhhhhhh" before we use it. Its like our pregame ritual. Then you melt some butter on your skillet, dip the croissants in your milk/egg/vanilla mixture on both sides, and brown. Then top with your sliced fresh strawberries that have been in the refrigerator overnight with 1/2 c of sugar. You could also top with whipped cream, but we went with powdered sugar. And here is my oh so NOT Pioneer Woman photo of our finished product. But this, with coffee and the Sunday morning paper.....bliss. Except watch it, you might get caught up in the bliss and be late for church...just sayin.

Just Finish?!

My training schedule deems Saturday the "long run" day. So when your training, that is the day of the week you get your longest run in, be it 4 miles or 10. As of today, I've officially switched my long run day to Sunday. I wish I could describe to you how it feels to be alone, in the wee hours of the morning, with the moon low in the western sky, with nothing but your ipod and your thoughts. Literally no one is out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning. And there's something that just refuels me. Now I'll be honest, my run wasn't all euphoric this morning. The wind was something fierce, and halfway through, I got a side stitch and my right knee started to hurt. I had to slow my pace down quite a bit. So about the last mile, I was literally talking myself out of walking home. I just kept telling myself to just finish. That last few blocks I'm usually picking up my pace, racing to my mailbox where my Propel water awaits me. Today, I did good to just not walk.

So here's my little bit of Sunday morning encouragement. Sometimes, it doesn't matter if you finish strong. It just matters that you finish.

Profound, I know.

Now, I'm off to make something super delicious for the fam for Sunday morning breakfast before church. I'll be sure to post pics and a recipe!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Biscuits - and we're not talking out of a can

Well, spring break week is coming to a close, for some weird reason, I have not gotten to get my bake on. But tonight I did bust out some homemade biscuits. Tonight was breakfast for dinner. One of our family fav's. They are sooooo simple, and sooooo much better than the canned ones. Just take 10 more minutes and make these. Your body will heart you for skipping most of the preservatives , and your family will thank you for some tasty biscuits.

2 1/4 c. flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

fluff together with pastry blender in a large bowl

blend in 1/2 c shortening ( I use butter flavor crisco sticks) with pastry blender until coarse pea like texture

1 c milk.

Add the milk and stir.

You could get out a mat, flour it, and roll your dough out and cut nice little circles. But because i'm usually in a hurry, I flour my hands and then shape them into circles and slap them on the baking pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes

And you get what you see above..... mmmmmm

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I've got an itch

Working full time doesn't led itself for a lot of "play" time in the kitchen. And I have to say I miss that. So with it being Spring Break this week, and I have a few days off, I'm going to spend some of it on the kitchen.

And I am allllll about this blog right here.

I'm soooo about to get my Martha on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Evening with the Elephants

Our zoo sent our elephants away 2 years ago to another zoo, so they could make little baby elephants. Well now our elephants are back, and one is pregnant. Our zoo has made them an incredible new home that we got a sneek peek of tonight. I met my mom and kids afterwork to go check it out. I have to say, it was pretty impressive. The weather was perfect and the tram was free! Here's a few pics of our fun evening.

Rene' refused to be in this picture

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I feel like I need to start this with a little disclaimer. We all know life is not giggles and roses, although we'd love for it to be. Me especially. And there are many a blog out there where your going to get that. But this, is not one of them. I want people in my life who can get real with me, and not pretend that they're perfect, or their families are perfect, because we all know it isn't true. And we just traipse through the mud together, holding each other's hands, no matter how dirty or tired we get. And because of that, I'm going to always be real here.

Ok, that said, I've gotten my feelings hurt. In 2 totally different relationships. And I'm honestly trying to figure out exactly how I should handle it. My initial response is to jump on my high horse, and make my totally right point known. On the other hand, I want to say nothing, back away, and leave the other person wondering what happened. Part of the problem is I feel like I'm a little misunderstood. Like unfair expectations have been placed on me. And while I'd love to be that person I'm expected to be, at this point in my life, there is no way I can be.

I'm afraid the theme of 2011 has become for me the simple word "grace". I'm realizing I need a whole lot of it. And realizing I need to extend it in return.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've made it no secret that I'm a girl who needs her sleep. Being a morning person, I'm lucky if I make it until 10:00pm. And honestly, if I don't get my sleep, I'm pretty sure you don't want to be around me. I'm short tempered, snippy, and an all around unpleasant person. I can feel it when it comes on, and as an adult, I try to recognize it and get myself either a nap, or to bed altogether.

So, in the spirit of self learning, you would think I could recognize this in my children, and make the necessary adjustments. After all, they have half of my DNA.


I knew when i came home this evening, after I looked at Rene' wrong and she gave me a dirty look, that it just might be a long evening. Andy was quick to let me know she didn't get a good nap. Again, that should have been my 2nd clue. The rest of the evening entailed small fits, lots of crying, and a spanking. And in hindsight, I should have put her to bed at 6:30. I asked myself, as I walked out of her room, after putting her to bed "Why do I constantly make the same mistake over, and over?" One of my friends made a comment I have never forgotten. "Sometimes our kids are just begging us to save them from themselves". Tonight was one of those nights. I'm promising myself, no matter what the evening's plans entail, if I see any of the above mentioned clues, I'm going to take action. For the sake of us all, especially the one needing sleep.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Zak had his last basketball game yesterday. His sweet little team pulled out their first win, on their final game.

He stated at the beginning of the school year that he wanted to play basketball. He's played soccer, and baseball. And I want him to try things out and see what he likes, and what he's good at. We will most definitely not keep up 3 separate sports as he gets older. I'm a firm believer on not throwing kids in a million activities and preserving what little time we have at home together. But I also want to recognize their talents, and let them have the opportunity to refine them. So, basketball in the fall it was.

There's no other way to describe the season, other than brutal. Within the first 5 minutes of their first practice, I quickly realized, I might have made a mistake. Zak had just turned 8 in Oct, so I put him in the 8, 9, and 10 year old league. He was the shortest kid on the team, but seemed to pick up the drills ok. I talked to his coach after the practice and told him I thought maybe I needed to move him down to the 5, 6, and 7 year old league. He told me to do whatever I saw fit, but that he'd love to have him on the team. Well, I called the next day to see if we could change, and was told they couldn't "play down" a league. In other words, it wouldn't be fair for an 8 year old to play with 5, 6, and 7 year olds. Seeing her point, I sighed and said ok.

I catch a fair amount of flack from a few friends for putting my kids in the "recreational leagues". There is a local church that has a very well run program, and those are the leagues we play in. But the way I see it, if my kids going to be a superstar in a sport, it doesn't matter what league he plays in when he's 8. He's either got the talent or he/she doesn't.

So as the games started, I had forgotten something about myself. I'm really competitive. I found myself yelling directions to the kids (namely my son), cheering the loudest, and feeling my blood pressure rise. I so did not think I was that parent. And I plan on making sure, I'm not. But I still wanted our team to win. Now I played basket ball in the 4th grade. And I always fouled out. I wasn't afraid to be aggressive - to my determent. So to have a son, who is really out there, just to play and have fun, is a little hard to swallow. Zak hangs back, and doesn't go for the ball, like I think he should. He trots up and down the court paying more attention to the fact of whether or not we're videoing him correctly.

But they won their last game, and he was over the moon. I love my overly excited, short son. He may not be a superstar athlete (altho I'd so love for him to be). But man, I love that kid.

Good job Zak!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life (sigh)

I apologize for the late post. Its amazing how life just continues on. Sometimes, I'm ahead of the game, ready for whatever comes my way. Other times, like the past week, I feel like its dragging me behind it, while I frantically try to catch up.

I went to one of my dearest friend's mom's funeral today. She fought a long hard battle with cancer. I have very fond memories of her mom. She was the mom who loaded up her van at all hours of the night to go TPing with a bunch of middle school giggly girls. There was always food galore (I remember the cakes for some reason) when we would go to her house. Sweet, sweet woman. I felt terribly for my friend. Its so hard to sit back and watch someone you love be in pain over something you can not fix for them. But there's also something to be said for mourning together. I sat on that pew in the church with 5 of my closest friends and my mom. We all grew up together from those early middle school days, and have remained close friends. Those are my "go to girls". If I needed anything, I know they'd be there in a heartbeat, with outstretched arms, or a reality check. Whichever was necessary, maybe even both. Those are the best friends to have, and I think they're few and far between.

And what is so terrible, is that I just looked for a picture of all of us together to post here, and I can't find one. I'm putting that on the to do list. And I'll come back and post it.

Be thankful for your friends people. Good ones are few and far between.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I started my day off by sneaking out of a sleeping house at 7am for a 5 mile run with my neighbor, Jen. I think our love of running was found together. One day, we were standing out in our front lawns talking, and I had known that she had started running, as had I. So I just threw out - hey, want to run a half marathon? She shrugged her shoulders and said "sure". And that was the start of many 5am training runs. It was so great to share that experience of training and running 13.1 miles with her. Something that I know we both won't forget. She has since quickly passed me in speed and physical fitness, and our busy schedules don't lend for too many runs together these days. There is something you can't describe about moments spent, in the early morning fog, catching up with a friend, between quick breaths. Its more than just having coffee, or dinner together. There's a bit of an unspoken bond. If you've never experienced it, I suggest you put that on your bucket list.

Then, as we were walking back to our houses, after our cool down, I ran into Andy with the van full of pajama clad, sleepy eyed kids who were off to pick up donuts.

My perfect Saturday morning. A run, donuts, and the people in my life I love.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every 6 Weeks

Every 6 weeks, like clockwork, I get to do something I love. Are you dying to know what it is....?
Its getting my hair done. I'm actually growing it out. But due to being in slight denial regarding my age, I have to get it colored. But the process I don't mind. It means I get to sit in a chair for and hour and a half and do nothing. No one has any expectations of me for a solid hour and a half, but to sit and be still.

And then there's my hairdresser, Kerrie. What is it with the hairdressers? I know that famous people usually spill all their secrets to their hairdressers (does that term date me, "hairdresser"? as much as my grey hair, I'm afraid. I'll use stylist from here on out). Anyway, the "stars" all dish to their hair stylists. And I must say, I find myself doing the same. Sitting in that chair, whether she wants to hear it or not, she's going to get the good, bad, and ugly of my day. And the best thing about Kerrie, is that she always listens. I don't know if she rolls her eyes when I come in, but she acts like she cares, and even offers up some wisdom. And its good wisdom!

Everyone needs a hair stylist like Kerrie. Its the cheapest therapy there is. I need to get her a gift.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A glimpse

If there was a person who wanted just one glimpse of my family, that would tell them a lot about what each personality encompases, here it is. Keep in mind, what you read below is happening simultaneously.

At TJMaxx:

me: trying desperately to find that perfectly priced/style of top for work.
Andy: asking me a question about the socks I bought him for Christmas and wants to return/exchange.
Zak: pushing the cart waaaayyy too fast
Paige: standing in front of the mirror, singing and swishing her hips
Rene': riding in the cart Zak is pushing, with her hand out, knocking down the displays as they go by.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I think I might have a post titled this every month. Does that say something about me? There was this time, not so long ago, that I used to get up and run at 445 in the morning. I'd have to say, I was highly motivated when I did that. Today, I'm pretty sure there's not anything short of a vacation that would get me out of bed at 445.

At Thanksgiving, we went to Colorado to spend it with Andy's family. I had this brilliant idea that all my brothers and sisters in law should come down to Oklahoma and run the Memorial Half Marathon with Andy and I at the beginning of May. I had visions of us all at the starting line, wearing our matching tshirts, ipods in, ready to make a memory. So I pumped them all up, told them I'd send them the training plan, and promised a good time. Well, 2 of the sisters in law have since gotten pregnant, so their out. But Andy's brothers are in. Now here we are, on the other side of 2 weeks with snow on the ground, and my motivation to get on the treadmill at work is nonexistent. Week 1 of my training plan went well. Week 2 which included snowstorm #1, ended with me completing one day of a brutal mental battle on the treadmill. And now we're at week 3. Its looking a lot like week 2.

I'm a girl who doesn't like to miss a party. Especially one that I've planned. It looks as though I've got a motivation problem. Now. What to do to fix it.

But I'm the one who had this bright idea. It somehow seems cruel that I'm not on board.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rene' turns 4

We celebrated this little one's 4th birthday this weekend. I can not believe my youngest is 4. I feel like I barely remember her "babyhood" and it makes me sad, yet I am so loving having conversations with her.
Andy's parents in are in town from Colorado and we had a nice family party with grandparents, cousins, and aunts. I hope everyone had as good a time as I did.
I believe family is the most complicated of relationships to navigate in this world. You are bound to people by blood, and shared experiences maintain the bond. But here's the hard part. Its not always pleasant. We get older, become our own person, and don't always share the same ideas. And then we get mad because they don't. Yet I looked around the room and saw people who I'm not always happy with, and have no doubt made my angry, there to support and love my child. I love that my girls feel comfortable on my husband's aunt's lap, while listening to a story. I love that my kids were making memories with their cousins, playing with all of the new birthday toys. I love scooping up a random kid running by, who is not necessarily my own, and giving them kisses, only to set them down as they run off squealing. I love that the people in the room, have seen me at my worst, yet still love me, despite my character flaws. And I hope that I can remember to show the the grace, that I know they show me when I'm less than tolerable.
Family is an amazing thing. Lets not take it for granted.
Happy 4th Birthday Rene'! Your mom loves you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Man, 2 days stuck in the house due to a nice little snow storm and I was ready to venture out. Granted, I had no choice, I did have to go to work, but still. I bundled it up and drove my 28 year old little white Toyota Camry to work. That car is my baby. I seriously didn't know you could love a car. Let a lone a 28 year old one. But I do. Andy and I bought it the first year we got married. Its been paid off for over 10 years, and been to Wyoming and back. This wasn't going to be a post about my love for my car. Moving on.

I had an awful run today. I could not get there mentally. All my little self pep talk tricks were not working. For starters, I was stuck on the treadmill at work. I started my whole little running career on the treadmill, and now, I can barely handle it. I have a window to look out of. I guess I shouldn't complain. There is this big field and then some apartments in the distance. Great view, I know. (sarcasm font). And most of the time, I try to focus on this flag pole in front of the apartments, and zone out to the music. But today, it wasn't working. Just white everywhere. I had to walk a minute a couple of times, just so I could get through. And then I quit 5 minutes early. Ugh. Did I just say that out loud? Never good to say you quit. I did not finish strong. And to top it allll off, as I got into the shower, I noticed the water was not getting warm. So I stood there for 3 minutes, still not warm. I was sweaty and still had half a day to go. So I plunged under and back out enough times to soap down and rinse off. Lets move on. again.

So Rene's bday is next week. But the big party is Saturday night. Just a bunch of family members. But she doesn't know any different, yet. So this afternoon, it hits me. Its Thursday. I have 2 days, to pull off a birthday party. Uh Oh. Panic sets in. What in the world did I do on my 2 days off due to snow, you might ask? I can't really remember. There was lots of sleeping and eating.

Whew. Thursday, I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowed in!

And this is how we deal.

No work for me today or tomorrow.

I was a baking fool.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2 sides

I think I'm one of those people who gets something in their mind, and then that's it. Its gospel. And then, I'm promptly proven wrong. I've been lucky. I've gotten to live 2 sides of a very hotly debated topic. Is it better to be a stay at home mom or a working mom? I was a stay at home mom for 6 years. I've been a working mom for 2 years. I'm going to consider myself knowledgeable on both topics. For those who have not done both, they are equally challenging. Each with its own very unique challenges. But there's one thing that is the same. And that's my love for my kids. When we decided that I would go back to work and Andy would come home for awhile, I was torn. True to keeping it real, I though it would be detrimental to my kids for me to go to work. Because after all, my way at home, was the right way, the only way. I didn't think anyone could do it better. But we decided at the time, it was what was best for our family. Now that I've been back to work for 2 years, I'm ashamed at my prior stance. My kids are getting special years with their dad. And honestly, I'm jealous. I didn't get 1/8th of the time with my dad that my kids are getting. And I'm going to admit something. Andy can do the girl's hair better than I can. He may not appreciate me putting that out there - but its the truth. Any way you look at it, being a mom is hard. Your the family's glue. Whether your at work or your at home. And that, I can attest to. You set the tone of the family.

I don't know why we get these ideas in our heads that make us think we're better than others because of the choices we make. When push comes to shove - every one's family is different. Some things work beautifully for one family and just don't work for others. Its that simple. I'm going to implore you to cut your fellow mothers, whether working or stay at home, some slack. We all love our kids, we all want whats best for them, and we all work harder than we ever thought , whether that be at home or elsewhere, for those we'd give our life.

Well that was simple enough to solve.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week in Review

Week 1, done. Not only for my half marathon training, but also my first week at the new job. I could not be more pleased. While keeping in mind, it was just the first week, I really think I'm going to like it. After being so unhappy for so long in the old one, everything seemed refreshing, the people, the boss, the cubicle. I have not one thing to complain about. I know it won't be all roses and sunshine. I have learned that in my old age. But I'm confident in the change I've made.

So completely switching gears, we haven't made it a habit to take the kids to dinner with us at a "restaurant with a waiter". Anyone under the age of 5 just doesn't appreciate that experience. And cutting every one's food with an audience just isn't something on the top 5 "love to do" list. Its more work there, than it is at home. So its a rare occasion when the kids get to bust out their best manners and show us their stuff. But they do have "the speech" down. This is where we're all in the van, in the parking lot of some public place. I turn around and face them all, with my sternest look and threaten them an inch short of their lives if they embarrass me in any way shape or form while in said public place.

Tonight, we decide, we have to have our favorite Mexican food, which happens to be at a restaurant with a waiter. But we were craving it, so we loaded them all up and drove across town. While in the parking lot, they basically repeated "the speech" back to me, adding their own examples of how "we don't play with other people's napkins or eat chips off the floor." I don't know what happened in the past 2 years, but my kids have grown up. They were model children at the restaurant. And I'm not one of those moms who says that about their kids. Mine are the first to be instigating the trouble. We had a really, nice, enjoyable dinner.

Now, that being said, brace yourselves because one smooth week can only mean one thing. Next week.....I'll probably want to sell the children, quit my job and trade in my husband. Ha Ha. Oh, I kid...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 1

I don't think its a coincidence that the first day of my half marathon training was also the first day on my new job. This will be my 2nd half marathon ever. And this is my 2nd position with my current company. The similarities could go on and on, actually. I could make this entire post drawing parallels with a half marathon and a job. But I won't.

The first day went well. The nerves were so annoying though. But I got the best text from my old running partner (who also ran that first half marathon with me) on my to work. Its all just ironic, I tell you! There is a reason why she was my running partner. She is a motivator. And she said exactly what I needed to hear.

I won't bore you with the accountant details, but I will tell you I have high hopes for this. My motivation is high, my experience a good match, and my resolve steadfast. I plan on doing some things a little different this go around. And that's what its all about isn't it? Finding what works and what doesn't. I think I'm finally up for the challenge.

But I am a woman, so I reserve the right to change my mind with no warning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Kid on the Block

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I'm starting a new job. Its with the same company, but a completely different department. New coworkers, new work, new boss, oh and lets not forget the new cubicle. It is a welcome change. Its been a rough year. But man, do I loathe being the "new girl". I'll probably be all nervous this evening, and find myself laying awake tonight. Much like I did last night. I just want to make sure I start this out right. There's something about starting out fresh. I love a clean slate. And you can't redo a first impression. The hope of doing things different, hopefully better than before.

I've learned a lot about myself this past year. I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I'm not as patient either. Oh who am I kidding, I never thought I was patient. But I sure have learned what NOT to do. And maybe that's what I was supposed to learn, but I sure didn't appreciate having to learn it that way.

I know you'll all (all 3 of you, one being my mother) be on pins and needles wondering how my first day goes. I'll be sure and make this my first stop of the evening once the kids are in bed.

Its 2am, can't get to sleep, think I'll start a blog

Its 2 in the morning, I'm wide awake. This never happens to me. Never. Yet here I am. I don't have time to blog. I used to have one. It fell by the wayside when I lost interest. But for some reason, I felt the need to start a new one. New title, new phase, new followers. And I think writing is the one creative gene I posess.

So lets start with the blog title, Just Finish Strong. I think those who know me really well, might be sick my talk of running. Its a newfound love, and I hope it stays for years to come. I apologzie if it becomes cliche'. But if you don't like running analogies, you won't be a regular reader. I'm not saying thats all your going to get here, but its highly likely running will be alluded to, or discussed quite often. So in nearly every one of my runs, the mantra "Just Finish Strong" goes through my mind the last block. I'm usually tired, and have my mind on what the rest of the day holds, but I tell myself this, nearly every run. And if your a person who likes to try to find deep meanings and apply them to many aspects of your life, I think this is a good one. I'm not claiming to be one of those, but I'm happy to throw one out there for those that are. Maybe thats going to be my life motto. I don't know. But right now, I need that reminder in my work, relationships, and decision making.

I can't promise this will be a deep, entertaining, or beneficial use of your time, but I can promise you it will always be me, keeping it real. we go!