Multiples Illuminated – A Review

One of my goals in 2016 was to read more books. Not just blogs, not just Facebook updates, not just Instagram quotes, not just tweets…but actual books. I know as a society we are moving towards having the attention spans of gnats as we continue to gather information in such tiny bite sized pieces, but I long for the good old days of a heavy book in my hand while I lounge on the hammock in my backyard with a margarita. Okay, I don’t own a hammock nor have I ever made myself a margarita, but wouldn’t it be nice?

 

And I know who does not have time for all of that relaxation and hammock nonsense – mothers of multiples – that’s who. But they DO need to carve out some time for some good reading and resources. Which is why I’m writing this post.

 

You parents of multiples – lean in here, you are not alone. You have a community of help….

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One of my dearest friends and incredibly gifted writer(and mom of twins!), Alison Lee has co-authored and co-curated an incredible book with Megan Woolsey, that was just released in time for Mother’s Day – Multiples Illuminated A collection of stories and advice from parents of twins, triplets and more.

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Now, I don’t have twins or triples, but I have always been both fascinated and in awe of families who do. We all know how overwhelming just one baby can be – but to have two or three or more? Now that’s a lot of diapers and lack of sleep. So I LOVED the stories that are shared in this new resource for parents about to become parents of multiples.

 

What I loved about Multiples Illuminated was how it took you through the whole process of (perhaps) infertility and becoming pregnant, to finding out you are having more than one baby, pregnancy, (perhaps) a NICU stay, and coming home. And then how to survive those early days and nights(breastfeeding more than one baby as an example), and into the infant and toddler stages. I laughed, I cried, and I felt each story that I read in this incredible resource. The essays and the contributors are pure gold.

 

Multiples Illuminated also provides a place in each section for you to reflect and recall some of your worries and memories as a wonderful keepsake and journal on your own parenting of multiples journey. This will be a book that you keep by your bedside(or your hammock) for years.

 

If you or someone you know is expecting twins(or more), I completely recommend this book full of advice and incredible stories to you.

 

You can find out more at the Multiples Illuminated interactive website, order here, and also follow them on Twitter and Facebook as additional resources for your growing family.

 

***Disclosure: I was not compensated to read nor review this book in anyway. All words are my own. Now go buy the book, get a hammock, and read more. Drinks are optional.

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Boston Marathon Training

I ran twice this week. I ran a full mile on Tuesday, and then a whole mile and a half on Thursday. Tomorrow, Saturday, I plan to run another mile or so.

 

These are my first miles since December. But it’s been since mid-September and my injury since I’ve done big miles. And big miles to me these days mean anything over five. Whereas a year ago I was doing 20 on any given Saturday without a thought of it being a big deal.

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Now this mile hurts. Later in the afternoon on Tuesday I felt aches in my shins and the back of my thighs. My ankles felt weak. And it’s not like I’ve been sitting around binge watching Netflix and getting out of shape. (Okay, I have binge watched Netflix – OMG Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and Friday Night Lights...). But I’ve been doing most of my binge watching while riding the bike and putting in about 150 miles a week to keep my cardio up. I also spend a good 30 minutes each day on core and strength to be ready to increase my running mileage. But running is different. And these short miles don’t feel natural.

 

After 24 years of running, I’m a beginner again.

 

And Boston Marathon is 8.5 weeks away. After returning to marathon training two years ago, I qualified for Boston….and now…I ran a mile on Tuesday.

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I know I can run that first mile of the race. And damn that last .2 is MINE…but the 25 in between. I’m not feeling sure.

 

And I go through my options..

  1. Skip it. Cry a lot about skipping Boston Marathon. How does one skip BOSTON??? But take another year or so to really get better. I mean I had a torn tendon and stress fracture…do I really need to do this. And then maybe I’ll qualify again in two years and THAT will be my chance to do Boston. But what if I’m never in Marathon shape again. What if my ankle and foot are done. If that’s the case…
  2. ..then I’m going to Boston this year. It might just be my slowest marathon ever. But even finishing in five and a half hours gives me a Boston finish and a medal. Screw it all. I’m going – come what may. Even if it means walking half of it.

I’m scared. No matter how determined I am and ready to embrace the suck I am…I still am scared to mess with an injury.

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So how’s that Boston Marathon Training going? Well I will run three miles this week. And maybe five next week..and seven the week after..and we will just see how things go. That’s where I am right now….scared, confused, mad, frustrated, hopeful, hungry, ready, yet no matter…

….I’m still a runner.

 

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High Five Friday

Five Things To Read This Week.

I’ve been writing. I swear to you I’ve been writing like I promised to last month. But I’ve been writing with a pen and paper just like Julie asked me to do. So maybe those words will end up on here. Or maybe not. Maybe they will show up somewhere else, or maybe they will stay in the notebook for my kids to find 60 years from now when they are cleaning up my cat lady house after I die.

 

Speaking of Julie…her novel Letters For Scarlet launches in April and I just finished my preview copy. You MUST buy and read her book. A full review is coming soon…..

 

My friend Christine always inspires me. Like I wake up most mornings thinking about her and seeking out her writing and photographs because she is pure joy, inspiration, talent, and beauty. She had a few articles go crazy viral over the past week, but I love her article on The Washington Post.

 

I adore Jennie – her faith, family and her writing. I needed to read and nodded through this post about Forgiveness. I think you will see your human self in it too.

 

Love, Surfing, and Marriage – yes yes and yes..all of it from my dear friend Michelle.

 

Five Instagram Photos This Week

 

I do most of my writing these days on Instagram. So if you are looking for me – find and follow me over there..

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  1. New neighbors moved in over the weekend so we made and delivered cookies! Hopefully they will be some new “clients” for Eloise’s babysitting business.
  2. Fernie the Bernie…(WE GOT A DOG…more later)…with her sweet sister in the van.
  3. Yoga #poseoftheday – I’ve been doing core work and daily stretches and yoga as I continue to get stronger as I recover from my running injury.
  4. Snow Day! We had 12″ of snow this week and had a blast in the snow.
  5. Matilda Jane launch week! Our new Spring line is available so I spent the week working my tail off. I’ve been a Trunk Keeper for almost nine years and love my job still every single day.

Linking up with Angela at Happy Fit Mama!

 

Have a great weekend

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Where I Give 15 Fs About 2016

This morning I woke up the same way that I wake up every morning. The cat is licking my face as my alarm goes off. I wonder if she really thinks I’ll forget to Feed her. Have I ever Forgotten to Feed her? I Feed her and I make sure the coffee is ready and then I work-out. After my work-out I drink copious amounts of coffee as I watch the morning news. I catch up on Facebook and Instagram and email, and then I wait for the Family to wake.

Just hours into the New Year, 2016 Feels the same. The cat, the coffee, the news, the work-out and the being First up for like always a million mornings later. I like the comfort in the routine and Familiar. I am not beyond Feeling like a toddler in my need for the predictable. Yet I don’t want to get comfortable in other ways. I want to step out of my comfort(and honestly, control) zone to be better and experience new. Just don’t mess with the First hours of my morning.

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2015 brought some big changes in many areas – Friends, Family, Fitness, Finances…and honestly had me using the big F word more than usual. And if you know me and my love for the big F word – well, wow that’s kind of a big deal to use it even more.

 

I’m not making resolutions here, because eFF that – so instead I’m using 15 F words that will define my life living Forward in 2016.

 

Focus – Like how I started writing this blog post on New Year’s Day..and here it is Five days later and I’m Finally Finishing it. Yeah, I need to work on this one. This Focus of putting First things First and prioritizing and letting go of the crap that’s not important. But I won’t be able to really Focus until I Finish Breaking Bad. Check back with me in a Few days after I binge watch the Final two seasons. Just tell me that cute Jesse is okay.

Family – Numero uno. But I can’t do this until I get clear Focus, right. That’s why I have it listed as number two. Family First and always. I love my people and they need to know it more. I mean sure I clean the house and cook their meals and make sure they have Folders and clean clothes. And I give hugs and kisses and encouragement and love. But I need to be more present for them when we are together. Whether it’s the now old cliche of putting my phone down, or maybe even watching the Minions for the 153rd time.

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Fun – Which brings me to Fun. I’m the heavy in our Family. The enforcer of the chores and the discipline. I run a tight ship and have high expectations of everyone. This will not change. But I do promise to have more Fun this year and always. We can all wear dirty clothing for a day if it means a few hours of sledding. More yes and less no.

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Fitness – I qualified for the Boston Marathon and am running it in April. I’m currently in a boot – so no running which totally sucks, but I’m coming back even stronger than before…trust me. My Fitness goals in 2016 are to get back into running shape with overall health and Future in mind…strong core, strong body, good choices. And by the end of 2016 I want to be in even better overall health and in stronger shape than I am in now. My goal is to write more about my Fitness journey in 2016 too. Hold me to that one, okay?

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F(ph)otography – My camera has taken a bit of a hiatus in recent years. I’m giving myself the time to explore and get to know my Friend Canon again in 2016. I need to stop worrying about perfect and just shoot.

Food – I have always watched what I eat, but I’m bringing my Family more into this in 2016. In 2015 I started “new recipe” Wednesday with the family – I cooked something completely new each Wednesday, and it was a huge success(maybe I should’ve blogged about it), so 2016 is continuing that as well as Focusing on cutting out more sugar and meat and processed items from everything we eat.

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Future – No looking back this year. The best is yet to come. Let’s celebrate and make an impact where we can – in tomorrow…not yesterday.

Friends – This is a BIG one For me in 2016. The older I get the more I know how important true Friends are. Yet how difficult it is to Find Friends at this age. We aren’t having babies anymore, we aren’t in college anymore, and I don’t have a workplace that I go to where I’m heading out to lunches with adults. But it’s Finding those true and easy Friends – through school or activities or book clubs or Facebook…AND making the time to have coffee or wine or even a phone conversation. Let’s all make the time For Friends this year. Friends Feed our soul differently than work or Family. Let’s celebrate and make time for that.

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Finances – Our BIG commitment for 2016. We made some huge Financial decisions in 2014 and 2015 – and now it’s time to continue moving Forward to ensure our Future retirement(EEK) as well as the kids’ Future is Funded. We will hold monthly Family Finance meetings and Focus on what’s important with our Finances. Full transparency as we move Forward is key.

(non)Fiction – I WILL write in 2016. It might not be here always, but I will write. I want to write a children’s book that I’ve had in draft for almost three years, and I will pitch some articles this year. I have Found that the less I write, the more scattered and unhappy my brain gets…so I need to do this. And I will.

Facebook – And all social media. I Find it can be such a time suck because I love to see you all – your Families, your pictures, your lives..and I love to support you all…but I need more balance here. I have already stepped away quite a bit and will continue to Focus my social media time better in 2016.

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Fly – We WILL take a Family vacation in 2016. We WILL continue to show our kids the world in 2016. We WILL Focus on our Finances better so this is our yearly goal as a Family – to invest in our Fun, our Future, and our global views moving Forward.

(give)Forward – I have applied for a local volunteer position and intend to dedicate more of my time in 2016 to giving Forward to others(more locally) in 2016. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank.

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(my aging)Face – Hey, guess what? I’m 47..and will be 48 in 2016. This happens. Yet, I like my Face in the here and now. I do. I like the lines that have come with time and experience. Even the lines on my arms and tummy – YES that happens too dear young people. But I love it. My Face scared me when I was 41-43 because I saw the changes from 37-39..but now, I think it’s kind of awesome. I don’t need to get carded. I can be somebody’s mom, and I can be old enough to be somebody’s mom in college, and I can be old enough to be your mom, or your grandma…and I’m totally zen with all of that. I take care of my body – good Food and Fitness..and well For my Face…not all the thousand dollar lotions in the world can stop time nor do I want to pay for treatments or surgeries or any of that Fake stuff. I own this Face and I love it – wrinkles, age spots, and randoms hairs and all. Also, wearing reading glasses on a date is incredibly sexy.

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F*ucks – And as with my Face..I just can’t give any F*ucks anymore with any bullshit. “I want real. I want true. If you don’t like me that’s on you.” – Tracy Morrison, 2016.

 

Happy 2016, my Friends. The best is yet to come.

“There is no passion to be Found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela

 

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November 29th

The fingerprints on my laptop are disgusting. It has layers of dust from the unexpected kitchen construction this week. And when do I have time to open this laptop? Again, tonight at 11pm when all I really want to do is head to bed. Pretty sure I won’t have time this week to dust off my laptop…so the fingerprints will remain.

 

I woke early to run and head to Target before 8am to get there when they opened. We were out of toilet paper, paper towels, toilet cleaner, and cat food. All critical items. I got there and got in and got out and got back before anyone else was up. That was my plan. The rest of the morning was spent doing a homework project with Astrid, finding and constructing a costume for Esther’s play this week, putting together proper funeral outfits for all of us, and working with Eloise on some pretty tough sudukos. This was followed by piano and a few loads of laundry.

 

Then I took seven kids to see Mockingjay Part 2. Astrid came with us too as Jed was working. Never thought I’d take a six year old to see Mockingjay…but since she has seen the other movies already…well, why the hell not. Parent of the year. I watched my group of 11/12/13 year olds from across the theater. Of course they would rather not sit by me. I don’t blame them.

 

After we met Jed for dinner, we got home and finished some homework, and now here I am with nothing to write about. It’s going to be a busy week. I have my last Matilda Jane launch of the season. Eloise turns 13. My grandma’s funeral in Duluth. My brother is flying in. Esther’s play. A Haiti reunion party. The kitchen project continues. Decorating for Christmas. Good thing this writing every day thing is ending soon.

 

Things sound busy and crazy. But things are good. And happy. I’m happy.

 

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Writing This Month

Only three more posts to go before November is over and I can stop this crazy blogging every day thing.

 

I’m barely making it in under the wire again tonight. I’m not sure where my days go, but they are busy. Now I know why I don’t write much anymore.

 

Anyway, here’s what I’ve learned so far this month:

  1. I am no longer a very good nighttime writer. I used to stay up late writing and doing research and reading other blogs. Also, my kids used to go to bed earlier so I had more time at night. Now my kids barely go to bed before I do – or even after I do. Writing at night no longer works.
  2. I no longer have time to write in the morning. I still get up by 5am each day – but after running and working out, then it’s on to breakfast making and lunch making and kids waking and seriously, there’s just no time to write unless I want to wake at 3:30am.
  3. I need to find a time during the day that I can shut out the noise of life and just write. If I still want to write.
  4. Writing IS harder if you don’t do it regularly. My sentences are ugly and choppy. Yuck. I hate reading my stuff right now.
  5. I don’t enjoy writing about my kids anymore. I now have a teenager, a tween, and a six year old – they can write about themselves if they want to share a story. I don’t feel like it’s my place to share here like I used to.
  6. I’m not sure if writing about fitness, fashion, and travel is that interesting? That’s kind of what I have left after kids and cats…so yeah.
  7. I wish I could write about home decor, but I’m so bad at it. Also, it’s expensive.
  8. Should I only blog about cats?
  9. Instagram is more fun than blogging.
  10. But I have missed my blog. I doubt I’ll continue to write each day, but I will make a better effort to write more than I have this year.

I do appreciate those of you who continue to stop by and believe in me. Okay, hitting publish….two more days to go!!!

 

xo

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

What Astrid is thankful for today and always…..

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I’m thankful for family and friends and health, and for the belief that there is more good in the world than bad. Always.

 

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and sending much love to my friends abroad. xoxoxo

 

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It’s Late

It’s 8:30pm which means it’s super late. Super late. Like I should’ve been in bed an hour ago late. I mean it’s dark by 4:30pm so bedtime can’t be much later than 7:30, right? Please tell me I’m right. So why are all of my kids still up?

 

I was talking to a friend last week. This friend is still deep in the trenches of littles. She has a two year old, four year old and six year old. Bedtimes are still a very big deal in her house. The whole snack time, bath time, book time, bed time thing. I loved that routine until I didn’t love that routine anymore. I told her that soon…so very very very soon…the kids will go to bed after you do. In fact they will bathe themselves, then get their own snacks, put their own clothes in the hamper(if you are lucky), read their own books(any books they want…in fact big books that you don’t even understand), and then they will just turn off the lights when they are ready to close their eyes. Sometimes you mumble to them before you head off to bed, “Turn off the lights before you fall asleep, okay?” That’s the new goodnight routine. Even our six year old now showers herself, gets her own snack, and reads her own stories. But she does get an extra snuggle, a proper tucking in, and has to go to bed before us. Mostly.

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And soon, I know, I’ll be in bed before the kids get home. They’ll be out and I’ll be worried and sleeping with one eye open, listening for the door to open and close.

 

Just like it might be hard for her to imagine a life without a bedtime routine, it’s hard for me to imagine a life without the kids at home most nights. But it doesn’t matter if I can imagine it or not, it will still happen and I am always amazed by the relative ease of parenting transitions as fighting them is futile. Just like I can’t believe my once small child is taller than me. Or better at math. Or borrows my shoes.

 

But I have to go because it’s late. It’s 8:30 and everyone is still up and I know I need to the get the youngest to bed so I can get to bed. Or maybe I’ll just have her sisters give her that extra snuggle so I can go shut my eyes to be ready for tomorrow and the new changes it could bring.

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Five For Friday

I’m linking up with Angela again this Friday!

 

Five Instagrams For A Friday:

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  1. #prayforparis I took this shot of The Eiffel Tower on Valentine’s Day 1999
  2. We took a family hike on Sunday. It was 60 degrees in November in Minnesota – CRAZY!!
  3. Mad for Plaid! LOVING all of the Fall offerings from Aventura this season! Love being an ambassador for them. I have coupon codes too – so now is the time to shop!
  4. Physical Training is going well and I’m getting stronger and faster! LOVE my wrap from Momentum Jewelry – 26.2 #boston2016 here I come!
  5. The holiday line from Matilda Jane Clothing is just dreamy – and these girls aren’t too shabby either! And cooperating for Holiday pictures no less!

Follow me on Instagram!

Five Posts For A Friday:

A lot has changed and happened since I posted last Friday. The world weeps as extremists terrorize the innocent. We need to weep along with them, yet let them know that we are not afraid. And we must continue to help the innocent.

 

The world is suffering the worst refugee crises in decades. One mother writes here about why we must all help and why.

 

Angela wrote one of my favorite things this week – nighttime running safety. I’ve written how I am one of those who actually prefers not to be seen as I’m more afraid of being attacked than of being hit by a car – and run knowing that I yield and give vehicles the right of way. Now that we’ve moved out of the city though – it’s DARK out here and I’m running like a Glow-Worm to see and be seen. Love her tips.

 

My dear friend Jennie lives just outside of Paris. Her family is safe and I love what she wrote this week. We continue to send love to her, her family, and her friends.

 

My friend Arnebya is a true gem, a brilliant writer, and just all around kick-ass person. What she wrote here about searching for love as a young girl hit hard and close to home…and now as a parent..whew.

 

And the best news all week – drinking coffee makes you live longer! So I believe I will live to be 526.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

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Five Good Things On A Friday

I haven’t done a link-up in about three years – which is about three thousand years in blogging. But there is NO WAY I’m going to make it through November and 18 more days of blogging without a few link-ups, memes, and picture posts.

 

And this time I am actually thrilled to link-up for High Five Friday with Angela. She is an inspiration to me as a mom, athlete, and all around badass. I love following her on Instagram and on her blog. So go check her out. But come back here and say hi.

 

Five From Instagram. Here are five pictures from Instagram this week.

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  1. Family holiday picture outtake…I think Esther did a pretty dang good job behind the camera! Also…#manbun.
  2. My new Motivate Wrap from Momentum Jewelry. I LOVE it and haven’t taken it off in a week. I am thrilled to be a new ambassador for them!
  3. Ahem. Official confirmation of acceptance into the 2016 Boston Marathon!!!!!!!
  4. The view from my grandma’s hospice room in Duluth. She was moved to hospice on Monday. She is still holding strong, but prayers for peace would be loved right now.
  5. Typical morning in my family room – coffee, the morning news, and core work after my run. Trying to continue strengthening my core to be a stronger runner and avoid getting injured again.

You might want to follow me on Instagram as I do post more there than here or on Facebook.

 

Five Reads This Week. Okay – maybe some are from last week, but these are reads that I loved and you need to see.

  1. My dear friend Anna is HAVING A BABY! Do you know Anna? Everyone needs to know Anna. Her story. Her Family. Her book. I want Anna and her baby to be in my Five Awesome Things For a Friday every single Friday.
  2.  My friend Kerstin is 44 today! I love her list “What I know at 44.” It’s true that we never stop learning. I love that she never wants to work for someone else again. Amen, Sister! And Happy Happy Birthday!
  3. I adore Christine. Like I want to be college roommates with Christine. Do you think that is possible? I love everything that Christine writes, so I laughed a bit as I read her post about running with your significant other. Jed sometimes asks me if I want to run with him. Um, no…I don’t. I love you, but I don’t want to run with you. Ever. Is that weird? Read her post and you decide.
  4. I’ve become a bit obsessed with Fit Foodie Finds. Lee is a Minnesotan and is brilliant with her unique, healthy, and yummy recipes. I am totally making these Healthy Salted Caramel Cups this weekend.
  5. Get inspired by Kim Stemple who has a terminal illness and just ran the Marine Corp Marathon, yet gave her medal to her husband. Her organization We Finish Together has inspired thousands of runners to give their finishers medals to others.

Happy Friday – and leave a link to a favorite read this week!

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Your Story

Eloise and Esther are gone again tonight. I say again because they seem to be gone a lot lately – camps, classes, friends, hockey games, dance practices, homework in their bedrooms, facetiming with friends. So many times it’s just me, Jed and Astrid. We tell her that we are practicing for when her sisters go off to college and she will have us all to herself.

 

But what if by then she decides to choose her friends, her dance, her sports, her homework. Right now that doesn’t seem possible as she is six and loves to be exactly where we are.

 

Last night the three of us went out for a fancy French dinner.

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Tonight we caught up on a few Amazing Race episodes OnDemand. Jed and I tried out for The Amazing Race a few years back. Watching tonight we realized that we were never chosen as we don’t have a compelling story. Our lives are pretty beautifully boring.

 

So I said out loud “I guess we don’t have a story.”

 

To which Astrid replied “Everyone has a story, you just need to tell it better. Even I have a story that will be told one day. In fact if I write it in a diary and bury it, hundreds of years from now someone could dig it up and it would be a story told in a history class.”

 

So then I just sat there with my mouth hanging open a bit, and then I laughed and hugged her hard…because damn, that’s deep.

 

So I’m listening to my six year old tonight and I’m writing this story down in my blog. My blog – the place where I capture our stories so that maybe one day our great-grandkids will know our history. They will just have to figure out how to get it off the internet…because what will replace the internet in 60 years? Maybe it would just be easier to write it down and bury it. But what if they don’t have shovels in 60 years? Or dirt? Maybe I should tell them about the shovels and dirt and internet back in 2015. And OnDemand. Maybe I need to tell them about cable television, OnDemand and The Amazing Race.

 

Everyone has a story. Don’t forget to write yours down. Or type it. Or tell it to someone who remembers things…like your six year old.

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Why I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury

I didn’t run the Twin Cities Marathon this year. Mentally, it was so hard not to be at the starting line, yet I know it was the right decision. I ended up with peroneal tendonitis two weeks before the race and couldn’t walk without pain, let alone think about running 26.2 miles.

 

It was my first running injury and I guess I am lucky that I have been running for decades injury free. I know this now as I’ve spent the past six weeks talking with doctors, physical therapists, and other runners, and it turns out that almost every runner has an injury at some point.

 

And as frustrating as this injury has been(and how hard I was to live with for the few weeks immediately afterwards), I now actually see it as a blessing in disguise.

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What I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury…

 

1.  It made me realize the importance of cross-training. I’m a “one sport pony” and really only run. And run. And run some more. I’ve ignored the need to work on other muscle groups and give my running “parts” a rest by really focusing on a cross-training plan. I’ve rediscovered yoga, discovered Cross Fit and Pilates, and have enjoyed some bike rides with my family.

2.  I’ve started stretching more. Before I was injured, I stretched because I felt I was suppose to – and I’m sure I never stretched what I was suppose to stretch. Now I’ve learned some amazing stretches for before and after my runs to really work on my body, to work on flexibility and mobility, and warming up before I run. After determining what probably caused this injury – overuse, my gait, some weakness on my left side – it’s given me the opportunity to focus on specific exercises that I can do to improve my running overall.

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3. I found out that core strength is really the key to everything to be a better and healthier runner – and also knowing how to fire different muscles for running running distances. I’ve become more immersed in the science of running and this will help me continue to run for years and years to come. Before my injury all I did was run. Sure, I did a little bit of core work – some planks and light weights and ab work – but it was never regular or probably even working like it should. Now I’m taking time to work on my core almost every day with specific exercises to really focus on my running strength. I’ve incorporated strength training into my weekly training plans to increase my endurance, strength, speed and hopefully to keep me injury free. And I’ve fallen in love with Cross Fit and now do some great hip and glut strength work that I’ve learned at PT.

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4. I’ve become social and realize that I need people, and that’s okay. I joined a gym for the first time in my life(I KNOW, RIGHT?), and after feeling really shy and silly and uncertain at first, I LOVE working out with other people! Everyone is so supportive and kind and really works together to keep everyone focused on their goals. Seriously, the love is crazy amazing. I have always been someone who runs alone and works out alone and now I’m actually considering joining a local running club. Also, I’ve been given the gift of a village – from fellow runners to my PT – I have a support network beyond my family. Don’t ever feel alone.

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5. I’ve taken the time away from running to focus on other priorities. I made a last minute decision to go to Haiti for a week again(more on that later), which really gave me time to rest and focus on others. I’ve also spent more time finding recipes and cooking for my family, and honestly I’ve enjoyed taking a bit of a break from running to get my mojo back before I start training for Boston Marathon 2016.

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Now I don’t recommend getting injured, but I’m six weeks out and pain free and feeling stronger, smarter and faster than ever. So, it’s totally not weird to say with certainty that I’m glad this happened.

 

What has your running injury experience been?

 

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Blogging This Month

I had to reset my blog password yesterday as I couldn’t remember what it was after not logging on for a month. It’s weird how something so part of my heart and soul for nearly eight years could feel like almost nothing overnight. Well, maybe not overnight…but over the course of a few months.

 

Also, I’m sitting in the basement of our dance studio – where I now find myself four days per week, and the girls are done dancing in 15 minutes – so this needs to be rushed as usual. Which is another reason maybe I’m not blogging.

 

Blogging has evolved over the past many years. The race to be published in all the popular places, the race to prove that you are a great writer and worthy, the race to have something controversial enough to write and share so that you get your fame after just writing for so long. Meh. I miss blogs. I miss seeing your kids in cute costumes without worrying if the words that go along with the pictures are worthy of a bigger audience than ten. I miss being humble and human.

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But oddly enough, I don’t miss blogging.

 

And my friends and strangers that I wanted to see and follow – well I still see and read them. I see their cute kids on Instagram and Facebook(does anyone visit Twitter anymore?). But mostly I see my own kids and their friends. I find that as they are getting older, they need me more. Sure, it’s not to make a snack or clean up a mess – but it is to be more present, to drive carpool, to sit next to them for their first R rated movies, or to snuggle up in bed at night and talk about the day- talk about complicated things and emotional things and funny things. And as they are now on social media and such – well I want to make sure they see me put my computer and phone down more. Lately I’ve been using my phone more to Google homework help than to check for likes on an Instagram photo. I’ve been focusing on what I can do(and they can do) more altruistically – and I love the writers that do this well.

So….

 

I’m trying to blog everyday this November. Not because I really want to blog anymore, but because I want to write again. I want to exercise that muscle with words that have been sitting inside my head for many months. Writing is still a sweet release that unburdens my heart and gives me peace. I’ve been missing that. But I guess not missing it enough that I’ve taken the time to say hi here lately.

 

I’m trying to figure out a way to blog for a good reason. To blog for others. To blog when it makes sense and does something good. But not for me.

 

So hi.

 

Here’s to a beautiful November. May your leaves be gorgeous, your skies blue, your families healthy, and your dreams brilliant.

 

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On The First Day Of Seventh Grade

I’ll tell you what I remember about my first day of 7th grade.

 

But first…

 

We moved the summer between 6th and 7th grades, so my brother and I went to stay with our dad in Spokane for most of the season while my mom and stepdad house-hunted, packed up our old house, moved, and got us registered and ready for school. That summer of 1981 I spent watching the Royal Wedding, reading every Judy Blume and VC Andrews book ever written by that time, playing with the random kids in my dad’s apartment building, and making a plan for how I would one day buy my own Papasan chair, because that would make me a real adult.

 

We also spent HOURS and DAYS jean shopping. My only jeans up until that point were the store brand ones from JC Penney. My stepdad was a store manager, so our jean choices – just like our top choices, underwear choices, coat choices, shoe choices – were whatever JC Penney carried. All that I wanted as a new junior high student at a new school was a pair of jeans that weren’t purchased from Penneys. My dad took me everywhere – and we ran into the problem many pre-teen girls did at that time – jeans just didn’t fit. I was too long for kids, but too narrow for juniors. But we were determined and we found a pair of wide-legged, dark wash jeans from an upscale department store that would be perfect for school.

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So after reading Flowers In The Attic for the 14th time, and playing spin the bottle with the boys and girls I met that summer-knowing I would never see them again, my brother and I flew back to Indiana the day before school was to start. My mom had bought our lunchboxes, backpacks, and pencil cases. I had my new jeans and a few new tops. But we lost my all important – “HOW DO I FEATHER MY HAIR NOW, MOTHER??”- curling iron somewhere in the move, and I had to show-up to my first day at a new JUNIOR HIGH with NOT-feathered hair. It turns out my lack of feathering was the least of my problems that day, as I noticed all of the kids wearing straight-legged, light wash jeans. I believe my sweet mom stayed up all night that first day ripping the seams out of my new jeans, cutting off fabric, sewing them back with a straight leg and washing the ever loving crap out of them to make them a lighter wash. And she also bought me a few more pairs of jeans from JC Penney.

 

I look back to that week 34 years ago and I still vividly see the girl I was. I’m still her in many ways – afraid to buy the wrong jeans, scared of new places, still unable to have perfectly feathered hair, but with parents and a family that is there to lean on, rip apart some seams, and mend things up when needed.

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Eloise started her 7th grade year at a new school last week. I’m not going to even try to sugar coat how crappy her first morning was…and she did not even have to worry about having the wrong jeans. But she was worried about her hair, and making new friends, and liking her teachers. I cried a little after drop-off too. Were we doing the right thing – changing schools now, when being almost 13 is already hard enough. But by day three she was excited about her classes, she wasn’t complaining about her uniform, and she had met some kids who asked her to join them at lunch. (I can’t say this to my kids enough –  “ALWAYS BE THE “SCOOPER” PERSON, OKAY!” Always be the one to scoop in the new kids and ask them to sit with you at lunch.) By day five she said she was fine going to the new school, and knew she would still keep the friends from her old school. She said she was okay.

 

I promised to always have her back and be her soft landing. And I even brought her my box of VC Andrews books that I saved all of these years. She picked a few up, read a few pages, and tossed them back with a laugh and a no thank you. Not surprising as she has much better taste than I ever did. She doesn’t even want a Papasan chair.

 

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What The Young Can Teach The Old About Social Media

I have spent the past week with tons of tweens and also with my parents and in-laws. It was dance recital time and our lives were filled with sequins and feathers and smiles and a few tears. But also with technology.

dance-recital

Seven years ago when we started this dance recital thing, our bag was filled with bobby pins, hairspray and coloring books and parents taking quick pictures of their girls before the big show. Now it’s iPads and iPods and the girls taking selfies with their friends and even Facetiming with other friends to show off their costumes.

 

And in the background and the audience are the grandparents – now taking pictures with their own iPhones and iPads and digital cameras…excited to post pictures on their own Facebook pages.

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Eloise joined the social media world six months ago – and I consider it a process for all of us. As a parent, I thought I would be the teacher – monitoring her use, telling her to be nice, watching out for weirdos…but in truth, she has made me more accountable for my own behavior online.

 

I wrote this article several months back on my blog and am now crazy thrilled that it’s on The Washington Post. THE WASHINGTON POST!

 

What has your tween taught you this week? Mine has taught me what a pique is.

 

 

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Do Opposites Attract?

He is a dog person. I like cats.

 

He rides motorcycles. I drive a minivan.

4000 Mile Motorcycle Trip - Colorado 2000

4000 Mile Motorcycle Trip – Colorado 2000

He eats meat. I like kale.

 

He drinks beer. I prefer wine.

 

He is a saver. I like a nice handbag. And shoes. And a new lamp. Maybe a cute new area rug. And I give to charity. A lot.

 

He leans right. I lean…no I am…left.

 

He is a night owl. He married an early bird.

 

He is a bicyclist. I am a runner.

 

He is Carthartts. I am Nordstrom.

 

He is hostels. I am a private shower kind of gal.

 

He is Game Of Thrones. I am Kimmy Schmidt.

 

He is going out. I am staying home.

 

He likes to just drop by. I like to make plans weeks in advance.

 

He is New England. I am Midwestern.

 

He is always late. I am always early.

 

He is Liberal Arts and Ivy League. I am night school and State school.

 

He is depth charge. I am au lait(skim).

 

He is naked. I am sleepinallthefleece.

 

He is Dave Matthews. I am SO.NOT.

 

He is Valdez. I am Paris.

 

He is lacrosse. I am golf.

 

He is racquetball. I am tennis.

 

He is “pure” – (his word). I am tattoos and piercings.

 

He is a scuba diver. I like to hang on the beach.

 

He likes dirt. I like soap.

 

He is milk. I am dark. (chocolate of course)

 

Yet, we have made a life together. 17 years ago we met on an airplane heading to Bangkok. His first line to me was “I went to Middlebury.” And my response was “Where?” And we laughed and talked for the 20 hour flight. He’s educated me on Middlebury. I’ve moved him to the Midwest.

 

I will not say that our life is one of compromise, but it is one of deep understanding and appreciation of what the other likes. And yes, sometimes I motorcycle..and yes he had to stay in a hotel in Paris…with a private shower. And he steals my dark chocolate while I sneak sips of his depth charge.

 

I think the key to our 17 years together and our 13 years of marriage(TODAY) is our willingness to try new things for each other, while buying beer for a spouse and falling in love with a nose piercing. And maybe sitting through a Dave Matthew’s concert.

 

You have to celebrate, appreciate and understand someone’s past before you can build a common future together.

 

May our love, our life, our appreciation, and our adventures continue together.

 

Happy Lucky 13. xo

 

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On Writing

It’s been almost four months since I’ve really written anything. After seven years of blogging(yes, my blogging anniversary came and went last month without a mention from me), I’ve never been quiet for so long.

 

Even this morning, I actually sat down nearly three hours ago to write this post. I started this post exactly 12 times – but found other things to do…email, grocery lists, bills, laundry, paperwork, messaging friends on facebook, maybe crying a few times, talking to my mom on the phone. So then I would get back to this post and delete everything and start again.

 

Like now.

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This is not what I meant to write about. I’ve started posts about tweens and some troubles we are having. I’ve started posts about our move to the suburbs. I’ve started posts about buying Smashbox at Nordstroms. I’ve started posts about my cats. I’ve started posts about Easter and family. I’ve started posts about training and injuries. I’ve started posts about summer camp sign-ups. I’ve started posts about painting furniture. I’ve started posts about lice. I’ve started posts about books I’ve read. About going to Haiti again this Fall. I’ve started posts about Listen To Your Mother. I’ve started posts about being Pro-Choice and about politics. About morality vs. religion. Did I mention cats?

 

But instead I now sit here and write about writing. I know that I still need to write. I feel it deep and shallow inside of me when I don’t. A weird frustration that I cannot explain. Like if I don’t write soon, that I’ll just explode. Hitting publish on a post brings almost a sense of relief – both spiritually and physically that the words are out there to read and weave and I can move on to another thought.

 

Yet for nearly four months I cannot get the words down. They seem trite or meaningless. Already said or not important. Or maybe too personal and not to be shared.

 

And I now I’m teetering on the edge of unhappiness and what that brings – self-doubt and going to bed before I even tuck my kids in. And I know that I should be using my blog as my place to write and share and feel healthy again that my stories are worth something if even just to me. That’s enough. I need to stop over-thinking every word and every post for it’s virality and SEO and just go back and know that even if I can write 100 words and share 3 pictures – well that is still a story worth sharing.

 

I’m back. I think.

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What stops you from writing?

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