"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Alright, this blog is all about honesty so here it is. I am really struggling right now. There are all kinds of little things coming together to culminate is some bizarre, farcical rendition of Mr Toad's Wild Ride. First my training is HARD. Did I mention hard? Running 8 miles just exhausts me. Logan is into everything. He has learned to manipulate the child gates. Did I mention he is only 21 months old?? He is seriously a walking mess maker that hits when he is angry. Oh and does he get angry. Hannah is coming on her half year disequilibrium (3 1/2) and life has become dramatic, argumentative, whiny, and LOUD. The house is more of a mess than I am comfortable with on a daily basis. Eating healthy whole foods is proving to be a challenge. And we are going to buy a new car. I am actually excited about the last but serious even though it is well thought, planned, and we can afford it, the idea of spending the money it will take to buy a mid sized suv makes me want to vomit. Basically life is crazy and a bit rough.

Now that I have thrown out all the problems on the table, I guess I need to figure out what to do about them. I am a doer and I cannot just let them hang out. Drives me nuts. First and foremost, I am maintaining a positive attitude or desperately trying to each day. I know that makes me sound like Miss Suzy Sunshine on Prozac but seriously, what will getting all down, pouty, and weepy do for me?? Nothing, so I am going with forced cheeriness when necessary. It isn't fake if you admit to it, upfront and wholeheartedly.

The training is what it is. I knew it would be hard. I have never run this hard or this much in my life. Truthfully, it wouldn't mean very much if it was easy. So I shall continue on with my plan. OH, and be oh so very grateful that my husband rocks and is crazy supportive in all of this.

The kids, that is a biggie. We don't spank, don't yell, don't shame but honestly, these are the times that the rubber hits the road on these convictions. These are the times that test how serious you are about the whole thing. Well, we are that serious. One of the biggest problems has been screen time, for everyone including momma. I somehow went from not being okay at all with tv for kids to allowing them to watch absolutely sickening amounts. And now Hannah wants to play on the computer. One of the things all this enabled me to do was to spend far too much time on the computer. Well, we are all on strict lockdown. They are now limited to 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour after nap. I have put myself on a strict schedule as well. This will help, after the withdrawals, with alot of the drama around here. We already back to more reading, more crafts, and more time together. I love it and so do the kids.

The house just has to be as it is. It isn't scary filthy just not to my standards. Obviously, it is time to drop those standards for awhile. I am going to take this as another lesson in adjusting and being flexible for the season of life. Then I will indulge in a madcap spring cleaning spree in May. That will be happy.

Food is a tricky one, something has to give. You can eat nasty food for quick and cheap. Not going to do that. I am not going to work out this hard to trash my body. You can eat cheap and healthy if you are willing to put in the time to prep and do the work. Well, right now time is at a premium. So we are left with the only good option, we are going to eat healthy food prepped by someone else that costs a silly amount of money. It is only for 7-8 weeks so it is doable for right now. But it hurst my frugal little heart a bit.

As far as the car, I really am excited. We are looking at a Kia Sorrento or a Hyandai Verracruz. We are a super active and on the go family and we need more room to support that lifestyle. Also, I really want to be able to take mama and papa with us to things like the Forest Park Balloon Glow and the Our Lady of the Snow lights at Christmas. The kids adore spending time with them. It isn't a bad thing to hesitate before spending such a large sum of money. It makes you really think before you do it.

So it is a crazy time in life but there are still a myriad of opportunities to be intentional and grow. Maintaining a good attitude has been crucial. I am happy to see we are standing firm in our parenting convictions even when times are super tough. We will get through this and we will be better for it on the other side. Good times are great and wonderful. I love them. But it is during the tough times, the hard times, you can come to understand you are stronger and more flexible than you thought or if you find it hard, it points out where you need to change. That is always a wonderful thing when you look back on it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Running Has Taught Me About Life

So I am training for a half marathon so I spending alot of my time, well, running. It also gives me a great deal of time to think. I have not been a runner very long, maybe 3 years but it has quickly become a very important part of my life. I have learned many lessons that made my running more efficient, more enjoyable, and better able to serve my health and life. I have found that these lessons can easily transfer to life.

Lesson #1 You are competing against yourself not against the person on the next treadmill or near you on the race course. Technically, if you are racing I guess you are sort of competing against the person next to you but not really. Some of you may be elite athletes that have the ability to take a top prize in a field of 20,000 but I don't. My race, my competition is really about me. Can I beat my time? Can I get a better split? etc. Life is like that too. Stop competing with the lives of people around you and live your life the very best you can. You have no reason to live up to them. None.

Lesson #2 You have to put in the time. For the most part, people just can't wake up one morning as say, "Hmmm I don't have much to do today. I think I will go run 13 plus miles.", especially if they have never run as a practice before. Getting to that goal means hours and hours of just pounding pavement or the treadmill belt due to this wicked winter. You have to put in the time and allow you mind and body to make the slow steps to reach their goals. I find the same is true in life, you have to be willing to do the work. I know a few amazing people who have the coolest dreams but they NEVER succeed. Why? Because they are not willing to do the work each day to achieve them. Once it turns to work they lose interest or motivation. The daily grind is what will truly make the difference.

Lesson #3 You have to learn to relax This has proven to be crazy important to running longer and longer distances. When I first started running I would tense up in my shoulders, neck, and upper back. I guess the stress and strain of this new physicality was settling there. It made the run so hard and often left me with a headache. Then one day, I learned I had to consciously and deliberately relax those muscles. It was hard! But I used to yoga techniques to focus my breath and release those muscles. I was going for a sort of loose, rangy feel. Then one day it clicked and FREEDOM! It was incredible. All of a sudden I had more energy and endurance. My runs refreshed me rather than leaving me achey and sick feeling. I now relax unconsciously when I feel that tensions. Life is pretty much like that too. If we insist on living in a hyper state of anxiety, tension, and worry, it quickly affects our health, our attitude, our lives! Learning to relax and deliberately release tension can combat these negative affects. In any situation, you can only do what you can do. After that worry is not productive. I have found yoga and hooping to be of the utmost importance for this. What can I say? I love to be totally Zenned out.

Lesson #4 You have to treat your injuries properly You are running great. You are making it to all of your runs. Your time is fabulous. Then you feel that tendon or muscle pull. Nooooooo!!! It is so very uncool. But the worst thing you can do is to tough it out. Eventually, you will do more damage and force yourself into a longer recovery. You have to take care of these injuries, if that means ice your foot, do it. If it means completely rest for 6 weeks, you better do it if you want to heal. Life throws some nasty curve balls. Sometimes things happen and it is bad. Sometimes, we don't even bear a teeny tiny particle of responsibility for situations we now must deal with. This is where self care comes to play. I have found that many women, especially those who are wives and mothers, take some of the worst care of themselves. They put everyone else first and neglect their spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. Then the inevitable happens....crash and burnout! It doesn't have to get to that point. Take care of yourself! Whatever that means to you. In fact, preventative care, of both injuries and burnout, should fall under this lesson. Learn it! Live it! Fall in love with it!

Lesson #5 You have to show up This could fall under putting in the time but I think it is different enough and uber important. No matter what you do, if you don't show up and run, what is the point? So I beg of you, show up to your life! Get away from the tv, shut the computer down, turn you phones off, whatever you have to do and show up huge for your life. Please don't be the person at the zoo glued to Facebook while your children BEG for you to pay attention. They will stop begging eventually and you will have missed out on something wonderful. Please don't choose to watch untold hours of tv and then claim you don't have time to workout, eat healthy, spend more time witht he kids, whatever. I want you to get to the end of your life and say, "Wow, I had an amazing life!!" not, "Wow, I watched ALOT of tv and computer screens." I promise you will want to say the first one.

So that is it, some of the lessons I have learned from running. I hope you get something out of it. If not, you can just be grateful this was not a year form now. If it was the title would have been "Out of the Blue Bloody, Nasty Diaper Rashes andWhat I Have Learned From Them".

Peace, Love, and Joyful Hooping!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Passing the Time in Deep Winter

Today I am truly not sure if I have nothing to say or everything to say. I just want to write. It is deep winter here in Missouri. It is cold and icy. Me and the nature kids are not digging it. We need to be outside exploring and sink into the natural world, preferably the warm natural world. We are all a little cranky and alot unsettled. One thing brightened my mood, I was reading an climate report for our area and it said although it can be very cold, our winter is relatively short. When I think about it objectively I understand that is true. When I am cold and have cabin fever I know that it is going to last forever!!!! So I am focused on passing the time hopefully with some joy.

I am in the process of acquiring some pen pals. I am talking honest to goodness letter writing people. I will write them a letter. They will write me a latter. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Hopefully. That is how is should work. I love writing old fashioned letters. Now I am going to write them to strangers and hopefully they will be very cool, groovy, hip mommas in their own special way. I am looking forward to it!

The training for the half marathon is crazy. It is good but oh my goodness what have I done. I am starting to move into the middle part. The intial zeal is worn off and the race is not imminent. I think this is the most important part, the daily grind. My job is to show up and do my schedule. Mother Nature has tried to thwart me but I keep showing up. I missed two work out due to ice and sort of freaked. I have momentum, don't blow it! I am learning alot from this experience. I am really pondering and studying mental toughness. I think that is the key. Actually, I think mental toughness and self discipline is the key to life not just a race.

Hooping. I long more than you can imagine to grab my hoop daily and hoop outside. But it is too stinking cold! So I go to hoop jams and workshops. I am super excited about the next workshop from the St Louis Hoop Club. It will be four part and have things like belly dance, poi, hoop fusion, and other somethings. It is called Circus Fusion.

So this is me trying to get through the deep winter with a real smile on my face, joy in my heart, and sanity in tact. It just might work. Like everything, it is a time of learning. I am seeing beauty in the ordinary. There is so much incredible wonderfulness as my toddler laughs and runs away from me just begging me to chase. And the wonder, it is spectacular. My beautiful 3 year old angel sit in the window and watches the snow. Delight lights up her eyes and she says, "Momma, its snowing. It is beautiful. Merry Christmas!" Okay its February but who cares? She is so stinking amazing. So I guess I am passing the time this in deep winter with goals, dreams, and the beyond belief blessings of family.