Friday, December 31, 2010

2011

A few hours, now, until a new year. 

Do I have any resolutions?  Eh.  Goals?  Sure.  Wishes?  Aplenty.

Here's wishing you and yours a happy, happy beginning to a happy, happy year.

Love,
Ruby

(and Birdie :) )


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not so very frightful

Work has been KILLING me lately so it was an extra wonderful thing to be officially closed at 1pm today due to...SNOW!!!  It's been falling and falling and everything is blanketed in lovely white and I'm home with my boys making chex mix and listening to holiday music.  And tomorrow (our last day before the 11-day Winter Break) may well be a snow day too, at the rate its falling.  Insert contented sigh here.

And from last night...a blurry cell phone picture of our tree and Frosty the Snowman on TV.  LOVE.



Hope all you folks out in the internets are warm and cozy and celebrating (or not) in the way that suits you best.  Merry Merry!

Monday, December 13, 2010

8 DAYS AND COUNTING

One of the (many) perks of working where I work is that we get a paid break over Xmas.  We don't have to use vacation time, even.  The entire place shuts down and we all get 11 straight days off.  And did I mention its paid?

11 DAYS.

Three of those days will be spent at the in-laws for the actual holiday but the rest are ALL MINE.  I can't wait to get to see my little boy every day, all day, for that long.  As a momma who works outside the home and places her son in the care of another, this gift of TIME means more than any bonus check or holiday party would.  (It will be nice to see the Husband, too.  Wink.)

I have so many plans: sledding, snowshoeing, crafts, swimming, movies, snuggles...

I'm just...giddy with excitement.  Can't wait!

Thursday, December 2, 2010






Just popping in to say WHEW THIS TIME OF YEAR IS INSANITY.

The good news:  We are shopping local this year, getting almost all (very modest-its the thought, right?) holiday gifts from local small businesses.  Fuck Walmart, man.  I think I bought one thing there- something on my child's letter to Santa that couldn't be got anywhere else in town.  ( I live in a SMALL town, dudes.)

So we're done- just need to get our holiday cards and we can ship boxes off to friends and family.  We have to ship just about everything because our families are so spread out, hence the early shopping.  Feeling victorious! 

In other news:

1.  Otto had to have a very small filling put into a very small cavity.  He did SO AWESOME at the dentist.  The filling was tiny enough that they didn't have to numb him or anything and the actual procedure was lightening fast.   I love our dentist.  And my kid is a rockstar.

2.  Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are awesome.

3.  So is chai.

4.  We are headed up to the mountains to get our tree this weekend.  This is my single favorite holiday activity.  Yay!!

5.  I love you all.  :)  Carry on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to Run in the Early Morning in Winter-A Step by Step Guide if You're Me

1.  Set your alarm for 5:15 AM or whatever time you want to drag your sorry ass out of bed.  Double check that you have indeed set it for AM at least twice because you don't trust your sleep-deprived, toddler-parenting brain.  And being wakened by your 3 year old at 7 when you need to leave the house at 7:35 does not bode well for the rest of the day.

2.  Wear as much of your running attire to bed as possible.  Typically this is (thick, knee-high) socks, running tights, and tee.  Your husband will of course appreciate the sheer sexiness of this ensemble. After your alarm successfully goes off, put sweats over tights (because it WILL be fucking cold.)  Squeeze yourself into a sportsbra and throw on a sweatshirt or fleece.  Put a waterproof layer on top in the event of snow or sleet.  Put on shoes and tie them.  With a double knot.  Because ice provides enough challenges for those of us who are clumsily inclined.  (THIS MEANS YOU.)

3.  Protect your extremeties:  This means a hat that you don't mind sweating in, and some sort of gloves that still allow you to open up one of those little dog poop bags and pick up shit when your dog takes the inevitable pit stop in the middle of the street at which time you will also see the only car ALL MORNING headed right towards your shitting dog.

4.  Be able to see and be seen.  This means remember your headlamp, dummy.  Some reflective gear of some sort also does not go amiss. This will prevent the car from hitting you while your dog shits and prevent you from hitting black ice at full tilt.  Usually.

5.  Last, put your RoadID, NikeSportBand and Ipod in proper locations on your body.  Wonder briefly why you have so many electronic crutches to run.  Then decide you don't really care.

6.  Take a deep breath and try not to recoil when that first blast of icy air hits your face.  Tell yourself, "This is going to be fun!"  Almost believe it.

7.  Get in a good warm up while you wait for your dog to pee.  Do some lunges, some side-to-sides, high kicks and whatever else feels good.  Briefly hope that no one is watching you as you probably look like a total dork.

8.  Start running.  Spend the first couple minutes hating this, wishing you were still in your warm bed snuggled up to your kid.  But then notice how your ipod is picking great songs.  As your body gets warm and approaches 'cruising altitude,' (meaning that you don't have to purposefully tell your legs to move forward anymore), start to think about shit that went down yesterday/last night/last year/when you were 7.   Take this time to process what's been bugging you.  Think about the future.  Think about your husband, your kid, that book you're reading for book club, whether there will be enough snow for snowshoeing this weekend, what you're going to make for dinner.

Feel how strongly your heart beats in your chest, how your legs carry you over snow and ice, how warm your core is while your cheeks and nose feel delightfully cold in comparison.  Notice how bright the moon is.  Start to wonder how you got so lucky that this is your life. 

9.  After an hour or so, approach the end of your run and feel a little sad that its almost over.  Walk to cool down.  Stretch.  Shovel the walk if it needs it.  Take some deep breaths of the cold, clear air, noticing how great it feels now that you're hot and sweating.  Pet the dog and tell her "good run."

Open the door and go inside feeling exhilarated, centered, excited for a hot shower and ready to kickass all.  effing.  day.

10.  Be thankful.  Look forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My mama said there'd be days like this

Saturday was just ill-fated from the beginning**.  After a kind of shitty night's sleep, I really wanted to run.  So after a bowl of oatmeal and some snuggle time with the kid, Ruby and I headed a ways out of town.  I wanted to run this road that goes past the old cement factory and turns into a wildlife refuge.  Supposedly great views of our surrounding mountain ranges and all that.  Unfortunately, while in town it had seemed relatively calm, if cold, out on the high plains there were hurricane force winds whipping snow and tumleweeds around willy-nilly. 

But, being the stubborn idiot I can be sometimes, we set out anyway.  It was awful.  A facebook friend commented that my particular locale is known for its "free microdermabrasions" and holy shit she's not kidding.  3 miles and 30 horrible minutes later, I had grit in my eyes, nose, and mouth and was half wondering if there was any skin left on my face.

We finally made it back to town, and I decided to drive through for a pumpkin pie latte as a consolation prize.  As we pulled into the coffee hut, Ruby puked all over the passenger seat of my husband's car.  Sigh.  I thought puppies grew out of car sickness...?

Finally, we made it home and as I pulled into the driveway, I saw the husband and the kiddo standing on the stoop.

The kid's face looked like this:


He'd lept off the coffee table and directly into a wooden cabinet.  This picture was the day of.  You should see it now- he looks like a prize fighter with lots of purple and blue around that pretty eye.


Thank goodness this is a 2-day week for me with a 5-day holiday weekend because fuck.




**There was ONE fun thing on Saturday- I caught a showing of that one big movie about the boy wizard that night with friends.  Loved it.  RIP Dobby the Elf!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Favorite Things: Simply

Here we are again, somehow.  Poised on the brink of the Season of Excess.  The Season of Want.  The Season of Shopping and Presents and Wishlists and Letters to Santa etc. etc.

I've been thinking about how I fall into these traps of wanting this or that, convincing myself I "need" that this or the other thing.   Convincing myself that I need a new coat or boots or that Otto needs this or that toy, that the dog needs such and such obedience class.   And you know what?  It's not true.  (Well, maybe that last one might be true.)

The point is, I have everything I need to be happy.  I, no...WE are already perfect.

And in that spirit, a list of my favorite SIMPLE things right now.  Things that I am grateful for, things that brighten my day, things that keep me centered.  "Things" that can't be bought.

 1. My kid's laugh.  Especially if its a result of something I did.  I love it.  That sound is like crack.

Also, his chubby cheeks don't go amiss.


2. A dark, clean house on a winter's evening with lit candles and a steaming hot cup of tea.  Ok, well I guess technically those things can be bought, but what I really mean is the delicious sort of  homebody tendency I feel after day light savings time ends and the darkness descends so early.   I just kind of embrace it and cocoon up in my little house with my little family, a good book, and some chamomile.   My interpretation of AskMoxie's Candletime.

The Danes have a verb for this sort of thing, "at hygge sig" which we don't really have an equivalent for in English.  The closest translation would be "to cozy oneself."   Too cute.

3.  A long, sweaty run in the cold.  I know this is weird but there's something about running in cold weather that makes it even more satisfying.   I pretend I'm in Rocky IV, you know where he's training in Russia and running in the snow?  Yeah.   I come home feeling even more badass than usual, high on endorphins.   EYE OF THE TIGER.


4.  And finally, a hot bath on a cold night. Preferably with a good book and glass of wine or bottle of hard cider.  Yes?



What are your favorite, simple pleasures?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Change is all around me now...and not the shiny, silver, clunky kind.  I'm talking massive, sweeping changes in areas of my life.  Or at least that's how it feels.

The first big change: I do believe my son is weaned.  And let me tell you, now that I've been through child-led weaning from beginning to end, it is a beautiful, amazing thing to watch.  It's been so gradual that it hasn't been traumatic or sudden for either of us, rather just a gentle progression from "baby" to "kid."   We went from multiple nursings a day when he was a baby (obviously) to fewer and fewer as he got older. And then more recently, to just a couple times a day.  Then it was only once at bedtime and if he hurt himself or got super upset.  And then only at upsets.  And now...nothing.    At bedtime we now "snuggle."  At upsets, we rock and talk and hug and listen.  He no longer asks for "milk."

Of course he still needs me.  Of course he does!  But he doesn't need to breastfeed.  And he made that decision for himself.  Which is totally awesome.  If I ever had it to do over, I would do it this way again in a heartbeat. 

But!  I won't pretend that it hasn't been a little emotional for me to realize that this marks the end of a really special time in my relationship with my son.  I know there is a lot to look forward to and more awesomeness to come but I've allowed myself to mourn just a tad the unique relationship that exists between mother and nursling.  I'm sure dropping prolactin levels also have something to do with a little bit of melancholy. 

*     *     *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

The second big change, is in my worklife.  And while I don't want to go into too much detail here for obvious reasons, suffice to say that upheaval has been ubiquitous between having a new position, a new supervisor (who doesn't start for another 6 weeks or so) and all that comes with that.  They have also been sending me to some trainings that require overnights away from home.

This last week was the first such training and the first time ever since he's been on the planet, I slept apart from my kid.  It was weird.  But I'd being lying if I claimed not to have slept like I was dead.  The Husband, however, wasn't so lucky as he is used to Otto snuggling me at night and not him. 

There's another training scheduled next month that requires 2 nights away.  Eeek.  I know everything will be fine and that almost might be the problem.  Aren't they LOST without me?  How do they function when Mama's not home for TWO WHOLE DAYS?!?!?  Heh. 

These changes are good and I know that.  I'm fulfilled and challenged in my work in a way that I haven't been in a long time.  I have an employer who wants to invest in my career development and who sees potential in me.  That is awesome.  But there's a tiny part of me that feels sad that I'm no longer necessary for Otto's daily/nightly sustenance. 

I keep telling myself that of COURSE he still needs me.  A lot. (See above.)  And he gets a lot of me.  We still co-sleep and my evenings and weekends are spent with him.  But its a time of transition and that usually means some new feelings, some reevaluating, and allowing yourself to mourn the loss of what was even while looking forward to what comes next. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloweener

Even though I'm not a super ginormous fan of dressing in costume anymore, I still love Halloween.  I love the spookiness of the season:  The increasing darkness, the dimming pallet of oranges, browns, golds and the thinning of sunlight all add to the overall eeriness of this time of year. 

I also love Halloween goodies and decorations.  Here are some Etsy finds I'm positively ghouling over.  Heh.

1.  A spooky painting:
Bat Tree Original Painting by jellybeans

2.  And more bats:

Halloween Bat Paper Garland by houseofclouds




3.  Mmmmm, pie:
You are my Pumpkin Pie Card by friendsagain


4.  Zombie Bunnies love treats:
Zombie Buns Attack Snack Plate by barbaradonovan

5. A vintage collage.  Adorbs.
Halloween Time Vintage-style Original Collage by summerroad

6.  And a super cute boogie-ing Batman, if I DO say so myself. 


Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take care of yourself

I love this message.  Its simple, direct and meaningful.   I can hear and see the mother in her coming out just a bit and I like it.  Although I'm *just* a straight ally, my guess is that for young people it doesn't always take sweeping policy changes (those will come) or big promises or protests or rallies (necessary but sometimes overwhelming) . 

Sometimes, maybe, you just need someone to tell you that you matter and to have hope that things will get better.




Thank you, Ms. Secretary of State.  You have your moments and this is one of them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making Hay

On what could very well be the last pretty weekend of fall before the snow hits (its forecast for this week), a friend and I took our dogs on an epic trail run on Saturday.  We set out to do maybe 7 or 8 miles up at Happy Jack...and ended up doing somewhere between 10 and 11 (my NikeSportBand, which I think tends to be high, said 11 and her GPS phone said 10.6...).

Here I am at mile 8 or so, stopping to enjoy the view.  I definitely look like I've been running for a while.  Heh.



It was beautiful day.  Brisk enough that I never felt overheated but warm enough to run in a tank and capris.  The dogs had a great time, too:



We couldn't believe that 8 miles in, they still had the energy for these kind of shenanigans.  Although later that night, Ruby was dead. to. the. world. and I physically had to pry her off the couch and make her go outside to pee before bed.

To tell the truth, I was pretty tired myself.  But in a good, feeling like a total badass kind of way.  :)


*        *        *        *       *        *        *        *         *         *

AND!!  Omg!  I just saw that the freaking Coen brothers are remaking one of my favorite movies  from when I was young.  My husband it excited because this one doesn't have John Wayne in it.  (He HATES John Wayne.  I sort of totally love him.  Opposites attract, I guess.)

So. Excited.  Take a look:


Friday, October 15, 2010

Holy shit

1.  Look over there =>   ...My DailyMile counter says 250 miles, baby!!  That's how far I've run since I started logging mileage.  Pretty impressive.  To these eyes, anyhow.

My knee is feeling better (knock on wood) thanks due, I think, to reducing my mileage, running on gravel/dirt for a bit and wearing a knee strap like this one.   Let's hope the trend continues and I can knock out some amazing runs before the snow flies.

2.  Work...OMG, y'all.  My new job is kind of monopolizing things right now.  Definitely don't want to go into too much detail here but suffice to say that things are crazy but hopefully will be settling down in the next few weeks.  Just gotta keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel.  And drink lots of coffee.

3.  My son is such a joy right now.  He's going to be Batman for Halloween and we've been learning all about the letter "B" lately ("its like a man with a big belly, mama!") so its fun to see him connecting all the words that start with B in his head, including Batman.  He's growing at a ridiculous rate- I've noticed recently that most of his jeans are nearly too short for him, although he's constantly pulling them up because he has a skinny little butt and they keep slipping down.  (Anyone know a good brand that might fit a skinny butted, long legged kid?)

He's also doing a lot of pre-reading things like becoming OBSESSED with puzzles and asking what signs/papers/labels say.  He's always liked puzzles but now he'll knock out several before dinner and want more after.  Aside from writing his own name (which he's done for a while now), he can also recognize the names of each child in his class, and some other basic words.  I don't think its quite reading yet, more like just recognizing certain letters but I don't think it will be long!  It's so amazing to see that little brain figuring it all out.

4.  The fall here has been one of the prettier ones in recent memory.  I've made it up to the mountain for several runs which is SO good for my mental health and spirit in general.  The weather seems like it will hold for at least a few more days so I have plans for another run with a friend this weekend.  We're all wondering when the first snow will hit...its usually before Halloween.  We'll see...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ozark Otto Awesomeness

We just got back into town after visiting my folks in the Ozarks for several days.  We drove, we flew, rented a car and drove some more.  We saw a civil war battlefield, Bass Pro Shop (OMG, the red-neck-i-ness of it all), a cave, ate AMAZING BBQ , recreated near flowing rivers and deep, woodsy forests aand generally enjoyed ourselves.  It became apparent pretty quickly that we were starved for family together time without the distractions of home.

One thing that really stood out on the trip was Otto.  He was awesome.  Great in the car, great on the plane, agreeable, easily entertained and overall just pleasant.  He had maybe two small meltdowns the entire trip but I don't think you can blame him- his schedule was completely thrown out the window and there was A LOT of driving and sightseeing even for me.  And I'm 30 years older than him.  Each little meltdown was resolved with relative ease.

He really loved the bus that took us from the airport to our car.  "Mom!  Mom!  We're riding a bus!"  (He's doing this thing right now where every other sentence requires a nearly shouted "MOM!"  Just to make sure I'm still listening, I guess.  And even if I immediately answer, he'll sometimes do it multiple times as if vamping until his thought is formulated enough to say out loud.  "MOM!"  "Yes?"  "Mom!"  "Yes?"  "MOM!"  "YES???????"  (pause)  "We're on a BUS!!!"  I try to be patient with this but its so annoying, sometimes I find myself saying "Whaaaaaaaaat?!?" in an exasperated tone.  Hopefully he grows out of it soon.)

His other favorite thing was throwing rocks in the river by my folks house.  He (and really all the boys, including my dad) could have done that for hours on end.  A wonderful time was had and we got lots of pictures...but of course they're still on my camera.   Haven't quite had time to sit down and upload them all yet.

Oh! And no potty accidents at all.  So proud of him.

We got back late on Monday and then yesterday, Otto and I took the day off to regroup, pay the rent, get groceries, unpack, do laundry, etc.   He kept saying "Mom!  We have the DAY OFF!!!"   We got all our shit done with some time left over to play and make cabbage buns for dinner.

After getting to see him all day, everyday for so many days in a row, I was a little teary-eyed when leaving him at daycare this morning.  I miss his little silly butt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Need to Vent About This...

So I'm having an issue with my right knee.

Ever since I started running seriously, my right knee has been a little wonky.  I've had runner's knee and general soreness come and go but never anything more than just an annoying ache that would go away after a while.

But now I'm kinda scared that I've done something to really damage it and it has me sad and kinda worried.

I did an 8 miler about a week and a half ago, then a 6 miler two days later.  Then two days after that, I went for what was going to be an easy 5 and had to completely stop at about 4 miles because my knee was just...done.  Not just sore- it was a sharp, arresting pain just below my knee cap that literally stopped me in my tracks.

I took 4 days off (from running- I cross-trained), then ran 3.5 miles this Monday- my knee still hurt, but I was able to modify my stride to keep it from doing the sharp-totally-shutting-me-down pain that it had done the run before.  I can feel that its still injured- it hurts to go up stairs and if I even step wrong while walking, I get that sharp pain- like there's no cushioning in there at all.

This has got me so, so down.  You wouldn't think that a little thing like having a hurt knee would really affect your mood, but its keeping me from having good runs which are KEY to my mental well-being.  Also, I was planning on running a 10K in two weeks in Missouri when we go to visit my folks.  Frankly, I can't see that happening now, if I can barely limp through 4 miles.

I've been icing, taking anti-inflammatories and I'll go get a knee brace to immobilize it for a few days.  I just want to feel better so I can get my road therapy in.  I really hope that works and I don't need a doctor's visit. 

/venting session.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fleeting

On Friday, my boy turns 3.


*        *        *        *        *        *       *       *       *       *    

Its well known in these parts, that when fall hits, there is ONE, maybe two weekends to see the aspens.  The nights turn colder and suddenly their leaves catch fire and shimmer in the wind like a million shiny gold coins and then POOF.  They're gone. 

This weekend was THE weekend and we went up on Saturday to marvel at the fleeting brilliance.  One bright moment in time that can't truly be captured or saved.  All you can really do is be present and immerse yourself in the beauty of now...because tomorrow may be it's own version of beautiful  but it will never be This again.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Beginnings

First week in my new position at work.  New co-workers, new building, new desk.  New supervisor, new duties.

On my first morning, yesterday, there was a large bouquet of fall flowers on my desk and they brought bagels and fruit for a welcome breakfast.  It made me feel really welcome.

But now I feel like by 2 pm, after being bombarded with new information for hours, my brain is officially off duty for the day.  Its all I can do to point my bleary eyes somewhere in the vicinity of my supervisor's face and at least pretend I know what the hell she is trying to tell me.

This is going to be a good change, I can tell, but right now, its a little overwhelming.

I am exhausted.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

34 before 34

I think I mentioned that my 33rd (otherwise known as "Jesus") birthday was a couple weeks ago.  Since then, I've been thinking about what my goals are for the coming year...what things do I want to complete before 34?  Some of these are Big Ones...some are small, but most are doable. There are a few that might be a stretch but sometimes just saying/writing things down plants a seed that eventually grows up into awesome.

1.  Run a half-marathon.  My goal is the July 4th half in my hometown next summer. Done!  Ran the Horsetooth Half-Marathon in Fort Collins, CO in April 2011.  2:03!!
2.  Journal (more) regularly with an actual paper and pen.
3.  Organize family photos.  Ugh.  Bane of my existence.  I am so NOT a scrapbooker.  Its all I can do to make sure everything is uploaded to a photo site and prints dumped in a shoebox.
4.  Try mountain biking.   Done!  2 girlfriends took me up with the Husband's old bike last night.  We did 6 miles of rocky trails at twilight.  It was brutal but awesome.  My wrists and ass are freakin' sore.
5. Run a 10K - Registered for one at the end of the month in MO with my dad.  Done!  But not in MO- did it in hot, humid TX instead.  52:35!!
6. Organize Otto's artwork by age.  I got an accordion folder and labled sections "Age 1, Age 2," etc.  It will work for now and it forces me to do some triage and only keep the really awesome stuff.
7.  Get a new job.  Done!  I start my new position on Monday.  A promotion/transfer that has me both nervous and excited. 
8.  Start knitting again.  I need socks!  And there's a felted slipper pattern that has my eye...
9.  Learn at least 5 new songs on the ukulele.
10.  Take a road trip to visit a friend.
11.  Snowshoe at least once this winter.   Went snowshoeing a handful of times and even tried back country skiing.  (Not my deal, but at least I tried it!)

12.  Brush the dog at least once a week.  Poor thing, she gets so matted.  We're doing pretty well on this front.  We got her shaved in April and so far, so good!
13.  Get a massage.
14.  Go on more dates with the Husband...once a week seems hard but maybe once a month?  We're really trying to take more time for eachother and we took our first weekend away from the kiddo over Memorial Day.  It was glorious!
15. Purchase and learn new piano music.
16.  Learn how to (really) swim.  I can tread water and dog paddle but I want to learn how to really swim so that maybe I can
17.  Try a Triathlon.  Seems a little out there right now (given #16) but a sprint tri might be doable...just putting the idea out there for myself.
18.  Buy hard copies of the Hunger Games trilogy to save for when Otto is old enough to read them. 
19.  Watch Dr. Zhivago again because my mother insists that I should love it. 
20.  Keep moving towards eating homemade/ local foods.  We're doing well so far: local farm eggs, local honey, making our own bread...
21.  Run the Warrior Dash.  How fun does that look!?!
22.  Buy a small deep freezer.  (Probably used.)  For storing local beef/bison!
23.  Start a charity giving family tradition at Holidays time.  I want to start doing something yearly with our family where we together choose a charity and together shop/find items.
24. Actually prepare and cook a whole chicken.  I know!  I've actually never done this...we always just get boneless/skinless chicken breast.  But I want to learn the art of a simple roast chicken and explore all the things you can do with it.
25.  Attend more yoga classes.  I do yoga at home fairly regularly but the classes provide benefits beyond what I can do at home.  And they are fun!
26.  Organize my kitchen cupboards.  Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh.
27.  Meditate for at least 5 minutes a day. 
28.  Take Otto to the children's museum and the zoo in Denver.
29.  Visit my little brother and soon to be born niece/nephew in Hawaii.  Hey, a girl can dream!
30.  Start Otto on beginning piano lessons.  Taught by me! 
31.  Have a garage sale.  Might be too late for this year, but next spring I know we'll be ready to unload some "treasures."  Just slid in under the wire!
32.  Go to a major league baseball game.  I'm not a huge fan, but Otto and the Husband would have a wonderful time.
33.  Try Zumba!  This scares me but I want to give it a shot...if only to do something outside my comfort zone.
34.  Sleep more.  Goal is 7-8 hrs. a night.  I'm actually doing pretty good with this one.  One day (night) at a time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Antelope Dash

On Saturday, I ran my first ever trail race.  It was SUCH a good time, helped along, I'm sure, by the fact that several of my friends ran it with me AND the husband and the kiddo came up to cheer me on.

I got 3rd overall (womens) in the 4 mile and felt really proud of my effort.

Running buddies- (I'm number 18-note how the black capris make my white legs even whiter)


It was a gorgeous day and even though some of the hills made me feel like my heart was in my throat, there was a nice downhill coast for the last mile that gave me that coveted runner's high/on top of the world feeling.

At the finish line, I overheard one woman (who I passed at about mile 1) talking about how her "34 year old ankles just can't do this stuff anymore."  Um...I'm 33?  Heh.  So I've got a year?  *wink*

The post run spread was awesome, too- watermelon, apples, bananas, cookies, crackers, cheese, coffee, sportsdrink...I think I probably put back in whatever calories I burned.

I got a kickass huge medal and was cheered on by the cutest bystander ever:


It was a good day, except for the fact that I missed getting to see a friend in Colorado Springs because of the race.  Sorry, L!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

On an unrelated note, my husband shaved his beard off this weekend.  It's the second time I've seen his chin in the 17 years I've known him.   I kinda feel like I'm cheating on him with a stranger.  He looks that different.  But he also looks about 10 years younger and pretty effin' cute.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On the edge of 17

Confession:  I met my husband for the first time at a catholic youth organization picnic.  ( How funny is that given my current state of non-believing?)

It was August 27, 1993.  I had just turned 16 and was brand new in town, my family having just moved there from Montana.  My mom thought I could 'meet some nice people' at the gathering.  He was 17, an incoming senior and adorable in a grunge-rock 90's sort of way:  A tall, muscular redhead with shoulder length hair, combat boots, flannel shirts...a guitar player.  Neither of us were at the CYO picnic by choice.

We were attracted to eachother right away and I got grounded a couple days later for staying out super late with him after a Welcome Back to School dance.  After all, we were in a new town and I was with a boy I barely even knew.   No cell phones in those days.  I remember trying to call my parents once during the evening to let them know we were going to hang out after the dance, but I got a busy signal.  In an effort to appear cool, I shrugged it off and headed towards the city park with him, where we swayed back and forth in swings in the dark and talked the night away.  Sometime around 2am, my folks found us and the sound of rage in my father's voice is something I'll never forget.

By the way, the Husband got congratulatory high-fives from his parents for the same incident.  Double standards!

*    *    *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *  

Anyhow, here we are, 17 years later.  That is a long ass time.  Over half my life, that I've known and loved this man.   
Craziness.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gifts

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was a good day.  I took the kiddo to daycare (his first day in a new classroom- he was so. excited.) and then grabbed the dog and headed up to the mountains for a long trail run.  No ipod or cars to distract me.  Just my breath... my heart beating in my now 33 year old chest...my footfalls hitting the dirt trail in a rhythmic, hypnotizing beat.

I also got a lot of gifts.  From the Husband, a Nike Sportband, something I'd asked for and will use almost daily.  From parents and parents-in-law, money for clothes.  I've gone down almost 3 sizes since this whole running nonsense started and none of my fall/winter clothes really fit well anymore, especially pants. 

The most touching gift, however, was one from a person I barely even know.  In my volunteer job see this woman, we'll call her Shannon,  from time to time- a single mother who works two jobs to support herself and an infant son.  I've been privileged enough to share information with her a few times and I feel like I've helped her have a successful breastfeeding experience so far.  She also sells farm-fresh (delicious) eggs to help make ends meet (which I am SO GLAD we buy- no salmonella worries for us!). 

Anyway, we don't know each other too well but Shannon noticed on facebook that it was my birthday.  While most friends, and frankly even close family were content with a "Happy Birthday!" on my wall, I got a text from her yesterday saying simply "I have a present for you! I'll bring it by tomorrow." 

Today, she came by my day job with her baby (soooo cute) and presented me with a card.  Inside of it was $6 in cash.  "It's not much," she said.  "But I wanted to get you something and I know you said you were asking for money from your parents for clothes."

Honey, you just gave me Everything.

I hugged her.  Told her how sweet it was, realizing that this small amount could very well represent almost an hour of work for her.  I never thought about refusing it...that seems insulting after she went to so much effort. As she drove away, I teared up a little, wondering if I will ever bring myself to spend this hard earned, selflessly given $6.

I'm still not sure.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

(Some of the) Things that make me Weird

For some reason, I've been getting a lot of (half-joking...I think)  "you're so WEIRD's"  in the past few days from friends and family alike.  Usually, its as a reaction to my warped sense of humor or my random quoting of movie lines that gets this reaction.  But then I start thinking...maybe I am really weird?   

1.  I love voting.  I don't know...is that weird?  Primary elections are happening here today and I hit the polls before work and savored every little bubble I got to color in.

2.  In the same vein, I also love filling out forms.  Of any sort really.  The doctor's office, tax forms, whatever.  I see a clipboard coming my way, I get all anticipatory and start rubbing my palms together like a comic book villain.   I loved playing school/secretary as a child and would gleefully design and then fill out my own forms.

3.  I really, really, REALLY hate to have the bottom of my feet touched, especially the arches.   I'm super ticklish and it makes me feel all violated and ooky.  Consequently, I am not a person who enjoys foot massages.  I know!  Weird.

4.  I love Neil Diamond.  Dudes.  Sweet Caroline is the SHIZ.

5.  I hate Tom Cruise.  Although, maybe that's not that weird.

And just for fun, here's a picture I took this weekend that was supposed to be of the fog rolling over the mountains as I drove up over the summit, but just turned out to be a picture of my dirty car window.  You're welcome.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Working for the Weekend

1. Yesterday, at work, a colleague came in and asked me what the Kid would like to drink at a company picnic since she was in charge of bringing non-alcoholic drinks.  I said something like "Oh, I'll probably just bring a water bottle for him," and then this somehow segued into a tirade against HFCS and how sodas/koolaids/etc. are evil.  Sorry, co-worker.  Didn't mean to spew verbal diarrhea at you.   Obviously, I'm passionate about that subject but really- there's a time and a place and this wasn't it.  I feel bad.

2. Speaking of co-workers, I've been SO ANNOYED all week that its been hard to concentrate.  I don't want to elaborate much here but OH MY GOD.  So hard for me to just focus on my work and not develop a nervous twitch due to coughing/loud crunching/endless chit-chatting/etc.  I need a weekend.

3. In a more hopeful and less whiny vein, I might have mentioned that I interviewed for a job this week that would be a small step up income-wise, but a big step up job-satisfaction-wise.   Oh, and after some planned remodeling, this position would also get its own office.  See #2 on why this would be awesome.  I hope they let us know sooner rather than later.

And now, a little gratuitous kidpic:



The kid loves books.

Happy Friday!







Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nothing Much

I've thought about posting something here several times in the past few days but I just can't seem to get my shit together to formulate any sort of coherent thought.  And so, without further adieu, a completely random posting of nothingness.  You're welcome! 

We have a lot going on- some of it completely awesome.  The husband has been participating in a series of mountain bike races and really enjoying it.  Its so fun to see him digging something so much.  Also, at last night's race he won a prize in the raffle of 5 free yoga classes...and guess who has a wifey who likes yoga!  Whee!  The Kid and I grabbed some portable dinner and drove up the mountain to watch him race and had a blast.

The Kid is entering that age 3-ish place and we're definitely noticing an increase in asserting of individuality, arguing and tantrums.  It's all completely developmentally appropriate but that doesn't make it any less frustrating when you're trying to get out the door in the morning/ do the grocery shopping/ insert any adult-initiated activity here.  We're brainstorming ideas for his birthday next month and having fun window shopping for strider bikes and roller skates, both things we know he'd love.

He's making huge intellectual strides right now and its so much fun to see him comprehending more and more on a daily basis.  His favorite book to read right now is A Frog Prince which is super wordy without a ton of pictures...he will sit through the entire thing multiple times if his reader is a sucker game.

As for me, I have some job stuff hopefully coming up (fingers crossed) and lots of volunteer work stuff happening as well. Also, I'm making plans for how  to continue running when the snow and ice hits.  I've been scouring craigslist and other classifieds for a good used treadmill and asking everyone for cold weather running stuff for my birthday later this month.  I figure I can get out there as long as the ice isn't too bad, and in that event I'll hopefully be safe and warm and sweating on a treadmill. 

I've got some races coming up- a 5K this weekend and a 4-mile trail run later in the month.  Then in October, my dad and I plan on running a 10K together in Missouri (hooray for low altitude!)  Imma gonna kill it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Realizations

1.  I need to start writing in a journal again.  Blog/facebook/twitter do not take the place of pen and paper for purging my brain of clogging thoughts and feelings.  I'm feeling mentally constipated and need to get that shit out.  I've been feeling that way for a couple weeks and only just now realized the solution was just to sit and write.  Now to carve out some time, another problem entirely.  :-)

2.  I want more tattoos.  I have 6 or so tattoos but I want more!  I want something on my foot that has to do with running (a recent idea)  and I want a forearm tattoo of a key (an idea I've had for ages.)    As far as the running tattoo,  I've been thinking of a pronghorn.  I see these gorgeous creatures almost daily on my runs and their wiki article contains a quote calling them "the true marathoners of the American West."  They are super beautiful and such graceful, amazing runners.  The only problem is that I don't want a 'western' tattoo and I'm worried that without the right artist, that might be exactly what I'd get.  Thoughts?

3.  I need to change up my skincare routine.  I've been breaking out a lot more lately and the only thing I can think to attribute it to is the increased sweating from working out and the warm weather.  To be honest, I can't afford pricey cleansers/lotions etc. so for almost my entire adult life I've used Dove soap in the evening and a gentle facial cleanser (like Olay) in the am.  I love Say Yes to Carrots face lotion , both their day and night versions.  Not sure where to go from here...anyone have affordable all or mostly natural products that they love?  I'm thinking I might need to switch to something made for 'normal-oily' as opposed to 'normal'?

4.  Louis CK is a genius.  If you haven't already, check out his show Louie on Hulu.  Its the most hilarious thing ever.  I heart him big time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What the WHAT, now?

I hit the pavement this morning at 5-fucking-in-the-am (ouch) and like always, the first few minutes felt stiff, awkward, disjointed.   I was hobbling down the dark street, my way lit only by streetlamps and the moon, half-asleep and half-hungover, the 1/3 Tiger's Milk bar and glass of water sloshing noisily in my stomach and the dog trotting a long behind me and not moving much faster than I was.

But at about the first mile, I started to find my rhythm.  Justin Timberlake started to convince me that I really WAS bringing sexy back even after copious amounts of homemade grilled pizza and beer consumed last night in honor of the husband's birthday.  My legs started to feel warm and beads of sweat formed on my upper lip as my heart and breathing found a steady, comfortable beat.

Its at this point in the run, usually, is where my body begins to remember how to do this whole pacing thing.  The music starts to motivate me and the run turns from torture into catharsis.  My brain gets freed up from just making myself GO, and can move on to rehashing the day before, going over my to-do list, and daydreaming a little about future happenings.

So what did I daydream about today, in my woozy, still kinda beer-loopy state at approximately mile 4?  Having another kid.

Yeah, I don't know either.

Friday, July 30, 2010

And Possibly Beer.

Ha Ha!  Its Friday and I've only had to work 2 and a half days this week.  Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?

Short work weeks are awesome.

Tonight, we're biking down to the farmer's market for some peaches and cherries and whatever else catches our eyes.  There's a dude there who sells hot tamales and I'll be lobbying hard for a few of those (pork!) plus some fresh fruit to make up an easy dinner.

(Note:  I kind of hate you all who have daily or even weekly farmers markets year round.  You know who you are.  Here, our market is once a week for 4 hours from July-September and honestly there's not a ton of stuff to choose from...whatever farmers in northern Colorado can grow.  The upside to this is that Farmer's Market Day is an Event at which they block off two city blocks downtown and pretty much the entire town shows up to mill around in the sunshine.)

Sunday, then, is the Husband's birthday.  He still hasn't decided what he wants to do.  I have no plans for a cake or anything because I've asked him repeatedly what he would like and he hems and haws and rolls his eyes and basically ignores me.  So!  We very well may be putting candles into scrambled eggs or something. 

As for me, I'm feeling raw and ragged from coming off our vacation and jumping straight back into work.  I just need some catch-up time at home...laundry, cleaning, reading my book, and maybe a long run and some yoga to center myself again.  And possibly beer. 

Oh, and I suppose I'll hang with my son.  That kid is alright.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Birdie Was Here

  Woods Landing, WY.  Population: 94. 


This week, my folks drove out from Missouri and rented a cabin in Woods Landing, by the river.  No cell phone signal, no internet...just us and the quiet beauty of the Snowy Range.  My dad and I went on a couple amazing runs that had my thighs begging for mercy due to extreme mountainous terrain.   We literally ran 2.5 miles UP A MOUNTAIN towards an observatory and then back down again.  At sunrise.  It was awesome and breathtaking and some of the hardest running I've ever done. 

We played in the water and hiked a bit and had a campfire complete with s'mores.   We picnicked out-of-doors and generally made merry. Otto collected rocks and bird feathers and pine cones and drank what might have been his first soda ever: a cold, sweating can of Sprite purchased at the little country store.  He held it gingerly with both hands, sipping at it reverently as though it were some rare, expensive single malt scotch.


And now we're home, with a pile of dirty clothes reeking of sunscreen and bug spray and woodsmoke and sore legs and light sunburns.  Otto had such a wonderful time, playing baseball with my dad, running through the woods in the sunshine, reading books with my mom, and being the center of attention for days on end.   

This morning, in fact, when it was time to say good-bye and go back to our lives, even though we'd talked (a lot) about how this morning we'd have to get up and say bye to Nana and Doodah and go back to school  he was completely inconsolable.  Wailing for his Nana and sobbing in this totally heartbreaking way.  It was fucking brutal.  I felt like a child abuser leaving him at school, he was so upset. 

Now we just gotta get through a partial workweek and piece some normalcy back together.  I love summer and I love vacations, but I also love my daily routine. 

But man, we had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Let's Begin at the Beginning...a Very Good Place to Start

This last weekend, I ran my first 5K race since high school. 

I had two goals going into it:  Run the Whole Way and Don't Be Last.  I also wanted to be under 30 minutes but the first two goals were the most important.  I was nervous.

So, I showed up for registration at 7:15 or so (start time was 8:00) and immediately regretted riding my bike as that meant I had no place to lock up my wallet or sweats.  Good thing the husband and Otto were scheduled to come down before the start- I would be able to stash stuff in the bike trailer.   I got my bib number and t-shirt (another thing that needed to be stored somewhere) and commenced to pin my number onto my tank top with mildly shaking hands about 47 different times until I was satisfied that it was straight and not going to bug me while I was running.

I also felt like I had to pee every five minutes.  Yeah, nervous.

Fortunately, the running gods smiled on me and I spotted a bookclub friend in the registration line.  I clung to her like a life preserver until the race start, the poor dear.  After she got set up, we ran a few blocks together as a warm up and chatted which was great for keeping my mind off of the "what if's."  We did some stretching and then the husband and the kiddo showed up and provided some more entertainment.  And a place to put my stuff.

Before long, it was time to line up.  The 10K runners left 5 minutes before us 5K-ers and we cheered them on as they thundered past.  They looked fast.  And skinny.

I lined up near the back of the back of the pack, figuring it was better to start slow and pass others than the other way around.  I was so right.  The gun went off and my friend and I stayed together for maybe 20 yards and then I shouted at her to "Have Fun!" and got inside my own head and tried to find my pace.

It was relatively cool and cloudy, so heat wasn't a concern.  The race course was near my neighborhood, on streets I've run many times so finding my footing wasn't an issue.  I was able to just let go and RUN.  And it felt good.  I was passing people.  A LOT of people.  I wasn't near the front, by any means, but I was doing it.  I was DOING IT!  And it felt good!  It was fun!

The husband and Otto biked up to the half-way point aid station and cheered me as I grabbed a paper cup full of water and commenced to get it just about everywhere except in my mouth.  Running is bouncy.

It was about here that the side stitch started.  For some reason, my right side is prone to this and it happens often.  I tried the tricks I've read about- shallow, quick breathing for a couple minutes and then deep, slower breaths for a couple minutes after that.  The only thing that seemed to work, though, was shoving my fingers into my abdomen and cursing under my breath.  That helped.

Since a 5K is only 3.1 miles, however, and I've been running almost double that on my long runs, it went by really fast and pretty much before I knew it, I was nearing the finish line.  I could see the big clock!  And people were lined up on the sides cheering...for me!  I picked up my pace.  This could be addicting.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 26:50:4...well under my 30 minute goal.  People patted me on the back and brought me water and fruit and the husband said how proud he was and Otto reached up to kiss my neck. 

We hung out for a while and then at the awards ceremony, I was surprised and frankly shocked when I heard my name called as 1st place for my age group.   I got 18th overall out of 70 runners.  WTF?  This seemed crazy.  And like it was probably a mistake.  But I looked at the listed times and...yeah.  There I was! 18th overall and 1st for women 30-40 yrs.  Holy shit.

Gold medal!


I've signed up for another 5K in a month and am seriously considering an 8 mile trail race set for two weeks after that. 

I'm just getting started.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Favorite Things- Let's Go (Window) Shopping

I know its kind of a silly, frivolous pastime, but one of my favorite things to do is window shop (and really shop) online.  (Its still window shopping online- hello...Windows.)  Some of these things, I have actually purchased and some of them are just plain eye-candy-wishful-thinking...

1.  V-neck tee shirts.   I'm finding that with all the strength work I've been doing, I now have some definition in my shoulders and my collar bone.  (Yay!)  However, the boobies are showing the effects of weight loss and pregnancy/breastfeeding.  (Boo.)  These cheap little shirts are flattering in that they highlight the collar-boned-ness while (paired with a nice little padded bra) creating the illusion that I still have boobs.  (Its not a trick, Michael! Its an ILLUSION

They come in lots of colors, but of course all mine tend to be gray, black, or something in between.  I'm so predictable.




2.  This online store.  OMG THE CUTE.  I think that ever since my stint in Denmark, I've had an attraction to Scandinavian design.  In some alternate dream universe in which money is no object, I totally live in a beautiful, spacious home full of light and hardwood floors and pale smooth lines broken up only by whimsical textiles and creative light fixtures. 

I mean, really:




3.  My Asics running shoes.  I know they are pricey.  Oh lordy, are they pricey.   But my dad sprung for them and I've always felt more comfortable spending his money than my own.  Haha.  Anyway, they are cushy and wonderful and pretty much the minute I started running in them, I noticed a significant decrease in my knee pain and overall achy-jointed ness.  They rock.

I went to an actual running store to get fitted for these- they made me run and walk a bit for them and it was determined that I 1) don't pronate at all and 2) have high arches.  These are what's known as a neutral, cushioned shoe and they are heaven to run on.

When this pair is shot, now that I know what I like, I'll fish around online for a good deal.  Although, I recently discovered that if I join our local running club, I get 15% off at the running store.  So when the time comes, I'll weigh my options and do whatever is cheapest.  I do think it was important and worth a slightly higher price in the beginning to have a knowledgeable sales person help me find the right shoe for me.


4.  This shop Etsy and their cute arm warmers.  Here at high altitude, even though the days are warm, the early mornings and late evenings are very cool.  A pair of these with your t-shirt and jeans can feel just right, especially when driving to work at 7am when the steering wheel is coooooold.

  And OMG they're cute. 



5.  And for the same reasons, I'm loving lighter, summer scarves.  They are just right when the chill comes off the mountain but you want to keep sitting outside, watching the citronella candle burn and trading insults with your friends over some PBR's.  Ahem.

(Found here and here )




* Of course, I'm not getting paid for any of this.  Just shoppers love/lust!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Born to Run

You know, I'm honestly and pleasantly surprised at how much I'm getting into running.  And not just because its exercise or something to do or meditation or sanity-saving or adrenaline producing or any of those other things that running is starting to be to me.  I'm also getting into it as a Sport. 

This is weird for me on so many levels, but mainly because I've never really 'gotten into' a sport.  In fact, I've generally been pretty "anti:"  I hate American football more than anything.  I'd rather have a root canal than have to sit through a football game.  Basketball is dumb and I really can't stand watching men play especially because every time they go up for a shot or a rebound all you see is huge pastures of armpit hair.  Baseball is almost as boring as golf which is slightly less exciting than watching grass grow.

That leaves hockey and soccer, which I can tolerate and sometimes even enjoy if its something exciting (like the Stanley or World Cup) or its happening live right in front of me.  But I would never say I was "into" either of them. 

But running.  Its something different all together.  Its tough.  Its about mental and physical endurance and tenacity and individual strength and determination.  I found a pile of back issues of Runner's World at a garage sale a few weeks ago for a quarter a piece and snatched them up.  Once home, I poured over them, reading each of them cover to cover and then flipping back through.  I couldn't stop!  The more I learn, the more I "get into" it, the more Runners inspire me. 

Take Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She entered the famous race in 1967 using her intials of K.V. Switzer, 5 years before women would be officially allowed to compete.    Once she received her number and began running, and it was clear that she was female, a race official forcibly tried to remove her from the race.  She literally ran away from him (with some help from her boyfriend who was running with her) and completed the 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 20 minutes.  She later went on to win the New York City Marathon in 1974 with a time of 3:07:29.

Then there's Deena Kastor, an Olympian Marathoner, U.S. record holder and all around bad ass.   She's 5'4", 104 lbs. and one of the best distance runners in the world.  She's come back after injuries to run her heart out achieve personal bests and set U.S. record times.   She's one tough little cookie. 

I watched this movie the other day, which features these women, and many other runners and realized that I'm hooked.   I got all misty at several points in the film, thinking about all the hard work and determination that each runner must have to finish such a long distance.   Running long distances is hard and its lonely. Its grueling and not especially glamourous.  It takes time and energy and a willpower that I just don't think everyone has.

But its also rewarding.  Running is inspiring, fortifying, spiritual.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *



When I was in High School, I ran cross-country.  It was easy for me.  3.2 miles is nothing and as a 16 year old, I had great times.  I won female athlete of the year once.  But then I discovered Boys.  And Indie Rock.  And Tom Robbins.  And smoking and drinking and joy riding and all those other things young people do.  And I left running behind and didn't look back.

My dad, on the other hand, has always been a runner.  Always.  Rain, shine, snow, wind...it never mattered to him.  He was out there, running.  When I was running, we would sometimes run together, him pushing me to be stronger, faster. 

Then I Went Away.  Europe, college, marriage, baby...these were in the foreground.  Running was not.

This week, my dad came to visit.  I casually asked him if he'd like to go for a run.  His eyes shone.  We left at 6am, striding together through the early morning fog, discussing shoes and foot placement and proper form and how to build speed.  It felt like I was 16 again, running along side the first man who ever loved me, the first man who saw what I could truly be.

It was good to be back.




 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Old Glory

Just dragged ourselves back into town after 4 days spent in the absolute WAR ZONE that is Lander, Wyoming on July 4th. Fireworks are encouraged. Open container laws are lifted. In short, it is a huge, drunken free-for-all involving fire and explosions. What's not to like?



Even though our "real" purpose was to be at the party for mom-in-law's 60th birthday  (which was fun), we managed to squeeze in the parade and the husband and I even got out for a bluegrass show and a lawn party during which drunken 20-somethings were shooting off roman candles...at eachother.  The mother in me kinda wanted to call their parents.  But instead, I just grabbed another beer and got the hell out of their way.

Also, my dad was in town to run the half-marathon that takes place every year.  He lives in Missouri, so the altitude bothered him a bit.  But as you can see, he finished way strong.  He is my hero and he is awesome.  Maybe next year I'll be there with him...


And really, how cute is that little downtown?  This is the town in which I spent my last years of high school and where I met my husband.  So its always fun to go back and see how it hasn't changed at all.  Well, at least not in the ways that matter.

And now, I'm sitting here trying to get my head around an overflowing inbox. 

Viva la USA!!! And Viva la Vacation!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Question: Why is his "Childhood Friend" an Ampliphier?

Just a quick word to confirm that I'm not, in fact, dead but rather working my ass off both at work and at home due to some weird cosmic convergence of Crazy Sucky Busy Time. (Hey! I think I'll trademark that phrase and put it on a tee shirt.)

On the upside, the weather is awesome, my kid is a rock star and my husband has his moments.  Heh.

In my free time, (HAHAHAHAHAHALOL HILARIOUS) I've been enjoying some hits from the early 80's.  Because rockin' saxaphone is awesome.

Who can it be now??

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

In between morning rushes, bedtime stories, bug-collecting, ow-ies, bandaids, being superheroes, couch forts, snuggles, potty-ing and dinner times, I look at my son and can see that the tiny baby who was nearly an extension of me at first, nearly always attached to me in some way, mute, and helpless, is now (not so suddenly, but still astoundingly)  A Person.  With a Self.  A Self who is independent of me on many levels, and becoming more so every day.  And this is a good thing, something to be celebrated. 

 Now that he is walking, talking, running, discovering, arguing, negotiating, making friends, imagining, philosophizing about life, even...everyday, you can SEE that Self in there more clearly.  It's breathtaking and awe inspiring and just...you know.    He's breaking out of the cocoon of babyness and butterflying his way out. 

It reminds me of  turtles.  You know, the sea turtles?  The ones that hatch on the beach and somehow, someway have to make it all the way down to the ocean, their new, fragile little flippers dragging them through the sand, rife with predators and inclement weather and god knows what-all. 

My son's sense of Who He Is, and how he feels about himself is a baby turtle.  Cautiously venturing out from the safety of the egg, tentatively making his way out into the big ocean all full of multitudes of different, amazing, potentially harmful creatures.  Many of whom would love a nice baby turtle appetizer and won't think twice about taking it.

Of course, I love the Self that is emerging.  And I encourage it.  I want to hold it in my hand and admire its beauty, its intricacy, its perfect design.  I work hard to reflect back to him what I want him to see within- a worthwhile person, with amazing, smart ideas, a wonderful imagination, valid feelings, strength and sensitivity.  I want him to know that he is worth seeing, worth listening to, worth loving.  Worthy of pursuing desire, of pleasure, of peace.

And while I would like to just hold an umbrella over him as he navigates his way to the ocean, aiming a shotgun at any hungries who happen to come by, I know that's impractical.  And ultimately, unhealthy for both of us.  I can't protect him from every heartbreak, from those who would tell him he's somehow inferior, from disappointment.  All I can do is give him the best start possible, and a safe place to come back to when the seas get rough.

But I might sleep with a harpoon under my pillow and carry a trident behind my back. 
You know, just in case.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

OMG, Y'all- Book Review.

First.  If you have not read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.  You'll thank me.  **

I actually just finished the second book in the trilogy and can't believe that the third one doesn't come out until August.  August!  I die!

This was a book club selection (I have the coolest book club!  Love!) and probably not something I would have picked up on my own....maybe, but probably not.  I hate to say it but the cover art kind of reminded me of some sort of Patriot Games adult man spy fantasy fiction.  But.  THESE ARE NOT THAT. 

They are, however, young adult books but don't let that sway you- in my opinion, some of the best literature comes out of the 'young adult' genre. 

I would like to provide a brief synopsis here but everytime I try to explain the first book to someone, I do such a terrible job, they look at me like a boob just sprouted on my forehead.  Let's just say that The Hunger Games is thought-provoking, gripping, and features an incredible young female protagonist.  

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Second.  Cecily of Uppercase Woman linked to a project involving bloggers writing letters to their 20 year old selves.  This idea intrigues me and sounds really awesome.  Truly.   But every time I sit down to think about what I would write, I get all gummed up...like there's some shit that went down back then that I've never really taken the time to process.  I try to picture my 20 year old self and I'm awash in images of confusion, heartache, recklessness, and hard-headed, almost willful self-destruction.  Is that unusual?  Or is that just what being 20 IS to most people? 

I still may try to write the letter, but right now the idea of it feels like wading through quicksand.  That can't be healthy.





**  FULL DISCLOSURE: This is not a paid review.  I just loved the book.  However, if you buy the book from Amazon through my site, I DO get a little kickback.  Just keeping shit real.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Questions

1.  Who's genius idea was it to have 'round table staff meetings' at 9 AM on MONDAYS?  KILL.

2.  How is my heater clicking on in the middle of motherloving JUNE supposed to keep me from wallowing in dank hole of self-pity and depression because?  It feels like IT IS NEVER GOING TO BE SUMMER.  

3.  How much caffeine will it actually take for me to feel like a human today?  1 cup of coffee?  2?  37?

4.  How are you?