But I'll Do Anything To Get Out Of It!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

taking care of me...

In anticipation of going back to school, for the last month, I have let my exercise routine fly out the window. Because I was spending time away from my family for class and feeling a little more disconnected from my family when I was studying...I was feeling like I had to let go of different facets of my "me" time to make up for it.

This has been a mistake. I need to fit it back in. When I don't take the time to exercise, not only do I notice a little extra pudge where I don't want it, I also just don't feel good about myself. It effects the other ares of of my life.

So I started back this morning with a long brisk walk. As I walked I realized how much I was missing that activity to better myself physically...but also was reminded of how good those walks do me mentally. It is the one place I can think with out interruptions...no kids pulling, no people talking, no phones ringing, no chores calling. It is the ultimate me time... and I need it to function at my highest potential!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

don't go!

Separation anxiety is a nasty thing. I've looked up the best ways to deal with it a million times. I have yet to find the perfect solution.

My six year old, especially in times of change, goes through some major separation sadness. It starts shortly before the separation will occur and gets worse when it is time to say goodbye. I try to talk her through it. I try to distract her from it. It is always heartbreaking to see the tears as she walks into school or as I have to walk out the door to be where I need to be.

The separation is necessary. She has to go to school and so do I -- but I feel so much guilt that she is hurting this way. When her tears start, I try to stay positive, make light of the situation, and I don't prolong goodbyes. But once I have left the situation, I fall apart as much as she has. I want to make her feel better -- but I want to toughen her up at the same time. I want to decrease the time that this sadness occurs -- but I also know that the more it happens, the more desensitized she will become. I feel bad that the time we spend together has decreased, but I also see that now the time we DO spend together is better quality.

I hate that her friends and teachers see her cry on such a regular basis -- I know it has to be embarrassing to my daughter. Who wants to be known as the crier? I am only comforted by the thought that her first grade friends will possibly not remember this bout of sadness weeks from now -- and hopefully my child will not either. I guess only time will tell.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2 sides to every story...

I started back to college this week as a graduate student for my teaching certification and masters in teaching. It has been quite a big adjustment and I have kind of been battling it in a pros and cons kind of manner...

Decreased time at home
con: feeling guilty about less time for housework and playtime
pro: being more productive with the time I DO have at home

I'm ONE of the eldest in the classroom
con: feeling a little "old" right now
pro: I have life experience that some of them don't

A lot of the students in my class are already teachers
con: they have "one up" on me in the classroom
pro: I can learn from their experience

Taking 3 classes is going to be a lot of work and a lot of reading
con: getting back into the swing of studying is tough
pro: I feel like I'm really doing something productive with my time (instead of TV watching and internet surfing)

Regardless of the cons, I am really excited about this new endeavor and I'll be enjoying the challenges and the journey!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

next on the list...

I'm gearing up for my next challenge now...I'm going back to school in the Fall. And better yet, I'm going to the same college I went the first time...Fontbonne. The thought of roaming those halls again is really exciting to me!

With my kids on their way to both being in school full time in a little over a year, I have started thinking about going back to work. The problem is, it kills me to think about going back to do the same thing I did before. My field was Marketing/Public Relations, and with 6-1/2 years out of the business -- I feel lost. The technology involved moves at hyper-speed, It has passed me right by. And the thought of stressful deadlines and 9 to 5 hours (or longer) just doesn't work for me anymore. I was on a quest for something more fulfilling and more compatible with the schedule I would like to keep.

I finally came to conclusion that a career in teaching would be best for all concerned.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the classroom. As a child I took any available opportunity to ‘play’ school with stuffed animals as classmates and pretend homework assignments. I did well throughout all of my years of schooling and was acknowledged for my success as a student. I always used to joke that I would go to school forever if I could. My only regret is that I hadn’t recognized during my college undergraduate work that a degree in teaching would have given me the chance to have everything that I wanted.

Throughout my high school and college years, whenever possible I took part-time jobs that allowed me interaction with children and placed me in a learning environment such as day care centers and latch key programs. Even back then I got a kick out of inspiring young minds.

But I think what really drew me into the teaching profession most is watching my Kindergartner learn to read. I remember when she began her grade school adventure; I wondered how I could aid in her reading comprehension. Quite frankly, I’ve had little to do with the process…but I’ve definitely been inspired by it. Watching her go from average letter recognition to the yearning to read everything she sees has been amazing. Because of her teacher, my daughter loves to crack open a book and she beams with pride as she sounds out words and puts them together. I would like to give that to someone.

I want to be a teacher. Not for the pay, not for the praise, but for the possibility to build a livelihood being where I love to be…the classroom. And for me, the journey to get there will be as enjoyable as the destination.

Throughout my life teachers have held some very significant roles for me. They have motivated me to try new things, encouraged me to stick with challenging activities and have now helped me to appreciate what I am being called to do. I have always had a passion for learning and now I would like to pass that on.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 29, 2009

beach trip high and low points

We just got back from our 1 week beach vacation to Gulf Shores. We had a really full week with lots of ups and downs. Relaxing walks on the beach, treasure hunts, sand castles, crashing waves, beautiful sunsets and whiny car rides, salt-watery eyes, sunburns and sandy beds. So eventful, I thought I'd focus on the best and the worst of the trip.

Two nights of the week, the boys went to the wharf to fetch fresh shrimp and crab for our very own shrimp boil. The boys did ALL of the cooking and we had a feast. Seafood, potatoes, pasta, corn on the cob, bread and watermelon. The food was better than any evening we spent at a restaurant and half the price. That's what I'm talking about....


On about day 4 of our trip, Peyton woke up saying that her feet hurt. I examined them only to find them red and a little swollen. I chalked it up to discomfort from walking on the sand for a couple of days (mine were a little sore too). Throughout the day she started walking on her tip-toes from the pain. By the evening she had developed large welts (bites) on the bottoms of her feet. We called the pharmacy and urgent care to get their advice and both said to treat with benedryl and cortisone cream on the bites throughout the day. Over the next 24 hours Peyton had given up walking, so she had to be taxied around from room-to-room, house to house and to the beach. Her feet looked awful. I really struggled with whether to take her up to the urgent care to be seen, but was afraid to spend the $170 for the visit to get the instruction to do just what I was doing. After searching the Internet, I had come to the conclusion that what she had was probably sand flea bites and the treatment advised was just what I had done. Finally, she had awoken feeling better and looking better. I had made the right decision! Today she is back to her normal running, dancing jumping self. On the car ride home, I took a picture of her healing feet (I wish I had remembered to take a photo when they were at their worst -- but photography was the farthest thing from my mind.) Glad that's over with!

Monday, June 8, 2009

challenging myself...

I made a decision to do something that has been on my "want to do" list for quite sometime. I decided I wanted to run a 5K. For me this is huge...I've have never been a good runner. One day I was on the Internet and decided to look up one of those "couch to 5K" plans. I was taking it very slow and didn't really have a particular 5K in mind. I was going to give myself plenty of time. Then I found out that my friend Jenna had also just started training for her 1st 5K and was about a week or so ahead of me. She was preparing for a 5K at the zoo for Children's Hospital. She gave me her training schedule and I decided to see if I could catch up to where she was so I could join her.

I began with the gym on the treadmill and followed her schedule of 6 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking X 3. I actually held up very well -- and enjoyed it (if you can believe it). Just to prove to myself that I wasn't fooling around, I decided to do one more set of 6 & 2.Since that day, I would think about running all the time and was anxious to get out there and do it again. (Crazy, I know)

Shortly after, I started doing my training sessions outside in my neighborhood where the temperature and inclines proved to be much more challenging. The longer periods of running were tough and the pounding on the pavement brought on a hip pain issue. I'd hoped it wouldn't bring me down.

My race was Sunday and it was an amazing experience. I was pretty nervous and I figured I get passed up by many. I thought the race would take me at least 40 minutes -- especially if I stopped to walk at any point. The only small stop I made was about thirty seconds to catch my breath and take a drink of the water waiting at the half-way mark. There were other times I wanted to rest, but I kept telling myself that doing a 5k RUN -- not walk-- was my goal here.

As I neared the finish line, I was feeling the pain (in my hip and my breathing), but I had a real sense of accomplishment for doing something that I been really wanting to do.

As I crossed the line I saw my two girls cheering for me and to my surprise my mother-in-law, nephew and two nieces were there to see me finish. That extra support almost brought tears to my eyes. My husband greeted me at the end with pride and had timed my race for me (my actual "official" time was 33:54). I was so happy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

old friends...

I have been worse than neglectful of this space of mine! The only excuse that I have to give is that I just "haven't been feeling it" lately. Not feeling like I have a lot to share.

Last night I went to dinner with my grade school buddies. We've known each other since Kindergarten and we still have dinner together on an almost-monthly-basis. They gave me some flack about my absence here and got me thinking that having someone significant to write for can be as important as having something significant to write about.

In their honor, I would like to express how important I think it is to have old friends. They are the friends I can completely be myself with. They are the ones that I can say anything to. They are the friends that I know I can trust. I can share my worst mom moments, uber-brag on my daughters' accomplishments and talk about my hopes for personal achievements without an ounce of discomfort on my part or judgement on theirs.

They are the meaning of friendship for me. I leave each meal with them with a smile on my face and with a knowledge that I am not alone in this. They always have something to teach, something to share, something to give. And although I do not get to see these women near enough, each time we are together, we pick up right where we left off.

I don't have to hide any part of where I came from...they were there. I don't have to watch what I say about my current situation..they are in it with me. I don't have to worry about our friendship ending over something silly...they aren't going anywhere. They are my past, they are my present and they will be my future.

Friday, February 13, 2009

how are you spending your dash?

An angel was laid to rest today. She left behind a husband who adored her, a 2 year old daughter and a baby boy almost to his 4th month. Most of all she left behind the memory of a young woman with a heart of gold, strength beyond measure and a faith in God unfaltering. She won't be forgotten. Now she is in a better place, free from her pain.

Thank you to all of those who have offered up prayers, shared kind words and simply asked what was wrong. I appreciate you.

At the services today the poem below was read aloud -- I wanted to share it because it is filled with words we should have on our minds always, not just when a loved one is lost.

The Dash Poem - by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
©1996 Linda Ellis

Thursday, February 5, 2009

all smiles...

Fill your days with things that make you smile. It's just that simple. I try my very best to jam pack my day with things that make me happy -- so even when I encounter a tough time -- it is inevitable that the good outweighs the bad.

With the kids we blare the music of our favorite songs in the car. We try to sit down as a family and watch TV shows like American Idol -- this always gets us cracking up about one thing or another. And we talk at the dinner table -- and kids really do say the darnedest things.

I've really began to adore our parish school. I've met so many people there that make me happy -- and that makes me want to get more and more involved. I attend Mops, which is filled with many, many amazing women. I am extremely involved in a church group there where I've manufactured friendships that you can't find anywhere else. And I fit in social functions and activities with fellow Kindergarten moms where I've found some really fun friends (and hope to find even more). There is something special about being close friends with your kids' closest friends' parents.

I enjoy my workouts. I have actually found myself smiling during my spinning classes (weird, huh). Not only because it makes me feel good about myself-- but it does, it really does! But also because I actually get some of my best thinking done during the class. To get past the pain -- my mind wonders somewhere else and to distract myself from the physical work I end up going inside mentally and I get to hash out in my head things that are weighing on me. So I'm shedding stress and calories.

I give myself "me" time. Whether it's a night out with the girls, lunch out with my mom or even just an hour of catching up with my Tivo. I need it. I deserve it.

And last...but far from least...chocolate. Chocolate makes me happy. And even though I'm working hard exercising and eating healthy -- I still let myself have some chocolate. Sometimes it takes a little more work to take in that chocolate in moderation (and sometimes I fail miserably, which makes me miserable) but living without it entirely would make me even more miserable.

So these are my "smiles" what are yours?

Monday, February 2, 2009

My lifelong friend Jenny at L.O.T.S of Love presented me with my very first award. Isn't she sweet! It's the LUV award.

Here are the rules and such to keep the LUV going!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to...start your highlight from the bottom up to get the photo)

2. Nominate 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

I am not a huge blog reader -- so to keep the LUV going I am going to nominate 5 blogs that I think are very LUV-able!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

another way to improvise...

Tweak recipes. Instead of frying foods, bake or grill. Use whole grain pasta and brown rice instead of white. Incorporate fresh vegetables whenever you can. Use egg whites instead of the whole egg while cooking. Use fat free or reduced fat cheeses instead of whole. These changes are do-able -- in my opinion, they taste just as good (sometimes you can't even tell) and it's amazing the calories it can save you. Baby steps....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

today's tip

Pick a workout you can live with and put it on your calendar like an appointment...no like a job. This eliminates that question in the morning..."should I workout today, or not"...if it's in your schedule, you go. If something UNAVOIDABLE comes up, than you make up the work. It has become an obligation!

My torture of choice is spinning. Although, for me it isn't torture...it has become more like an addiction. And I don't like exercise. Spinning is fast-paced, exhilarating and the calories that I burn per class alone is enough to keep me coming back for more.

I spin on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings each week (then I try to throw something in at home on an off day to get 4 days in). On these days, I know what I have to do, and I do it. And even though some days it's a little harder than others to get myself to the gym (especially the freezing cold days), I go and feel great afterward. I pull on my cycling shoes, strap on my heart monitor and suit up for work. Hard work.

So I must go now, and psyche myself up for the cycle and put on my garb. Spandex...nothin' but spandex! I'm kidding.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

one tip at a time

These days, I don't seem to have an entire blog post in me -- but I think about writing all the time. With my focus still being on my resolutions (which is pretty impressive for me way into the middle of January)...becoming more fit, organizing my home, making more quality time for the kids, putting more effort into my important friendships and being more efficient and resourceful with my money...I have a lot to think about.

Too much almost -- so I've been trying to focus on one small thing at a time. Once that is mastered I can move on to the next. I take tips from things I read, things I hear from other people or just tips I make up for myself that I know I need to do. So instead of trying to spew out a blog post, for now, for extra accountability, I will put my tips in writing.

My worst time of day for the possibility of over-eating is the afternoon (especially when my youngest is napping) so today's proposal is: For lunch always eat a fruit AND a vegetable first before allowing myself to have anything else.

I've been at this one for a couple of weeks and it does seem to fill me up a little to deter me from over doing it on something else that is not as good. Hopefully it just keeps getting easier...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

pledges still in tact

Over a full week into the new year and I must admit I am doing quite well with sticking to my resolutions. I have returned to the gym and my beloved spinning class, I'm back to counting points -- and I've lost 3 pounds this week. Also, my house has never looked better!

It has turned out that my "organization declaration" has been the key to most of my other promises. Starting last week, when I have some free time, I take the time to get something in my home in order. I work on drawers, or closets or areas of a room like the laundry room or playroom. I take it a little at a time so that I don't get frustrated. Anyway, I am doing this instead of what I would tend to do with a free block of time -- sit, watch TV, start feeling bored, and EAT.

Also, as part of my "order in the house", I have been keeping it picked up all the time. I used to get a little lazy, if something was out of place -- toys, dishes, dirty clothes, clean laundry -- I'd let it build up (or put it on the stairs) until I couldn't anymore and then have to take a lot of time out to put put things back in place. Now I do it as necessary and have found myself with more large chunks of time for hanging out with the girls doing what they want. (also many more trips up the stairs, which is beneficial toward the getting fit resolution!)

So here's to keeping on track with these important pledges with the hope to soon be able to focus on my other 2009 promises! Wish me luck....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

comfy is the key!

I LOVE this store! It's my new favorite. The clothes are cute and comfy and the underwear is simple and comfortable with just the right amount of sexy built in. My favorites are the boykinis.

My husband has said this store is too young for me because they call their clothes "dormwear". Dormwear...loungewear...what's the difference. It's just a name! Why wouldn't a person whose day consists of chauffeuring kids to school, going to the gym, running errands and cleaning the house wear the same kind of things as a person who walks to classes and sits around all day in their room watching TV and doing homework? Same thing! Plus...I'm not that far off from the dorm years (okay, I am, but I don't feel it).

I've only bought a few things there so far (some undies, a comfy varsity night shirt and a bulky cardigan sweater to throw on when I'm feeling chilled) but I have my eye on much more! Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

back to it...

Tomorrow it's back to 6:30 wake-ups and my kindergartner's denial of them. Back to packing lunches and double-checking backpacks. Back to carpool lines and assigned parking spaces. Back to running errands. Back to the gym (wah!). Back to the routine.

I hadn't realized how wonderfully pleasant our Christmas break has been until right this moment. Until now realizing that all the sleeping in (which is 7:30 at our house woohoo), the all-day pajama wearing, holiday treat eating, couch potatoeing, no daily commitmenting is about to come to an end. Until right now I hadn't cherished it enough. I hadn't realized what I had.

So I will go now and treasure my last day of Christmas vacation. Go and revere my husband, my daughters, my freedom. And tomorrow I will get back to it. Back to the grind.