Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hurdles vs Road Blocks


Here's the deal.

I'm not going to go back to school in the near future.

Man, I was all gung-ho, trying to avoid every obstacle thrown up in my way.  And there seemed to be one everywhere I turned.

First, I figured out that a BS in Nutrition is basically just BS.  You can't do a thing with it.  It's on all the "Top 20 Worthless Degrees" lists.  See, I'd need to become a Registered Dietician, which means a specially accredited program - or you don't qualify for the test.  OK, fine.  Well, that narrows my list of accredited online programs down to TWO.  And they only take like 20 students per year.  And I'd have to do a 1200 hour internship.  Which would mean for several months before I could get a job as an RD, I'd be working for free.  The whole point of me finding an online program is so that I can work... for money... while I do this. 

Let me make a side rant here:  With the obesity problem in America, you would think that nutrition jobs would be in high demand, that it would be far, far easier to get degrees that are worth more than the paper they're printed on.  But they're not.  Even if I went for a more fitness-centered degree, the chances of finding full-time work are slim.  There's a problem there, people.  We'd rather spend billions of dollars fixing sick people then investing in preventing the sicknesses in the first place.  It's just not right.  It's like we're deliberately breeding a country of sickly, weak people.  End rant.

Back to my obstacles.  I looked at other degrees, figured out that these strictly online colleges are not regarded very highly.  Then I found some "real" colleges that offer online programs.  Cool, but then I found out that I'm not getting nearly what I hoped for financial aid.  

Lots of obstacles.

Even with all of that, I told myself, "Stay determined.  You can figure it all out.  We can jump these hurdles."

Then I had a discussion with my husband.  He basically asked me how long this would take and how much money this was going to be, asked me if this was something I'd still be interested in 4 years from now...  and I got upset.  I didn't start a fight or anything, but I wanted to say, "Shut up and support me."

I woke up this morning feeling pretty grouchy about it all.  On my drive to work, I was just sulking.  "Why can't he just support me?"  

Let me back up a minute here.  I need to tell you what exactly my husband's concerns are.  We have a plan.  At the end of May, we will be done with paying for child care for good.  We are going to use that extra money to double up on his Snap On bill (ugh, it's ugly).  Our van is paid off in November.  We'll take that money and at first, put it towards some work on his truck (it's 13 years old - in good shape, but needs some TLC if we hope for it to last longer) and then sock that money away for a down payment on a home.  A home with land... so Bill can have, at the very least, a little hobby farm.  He was raised on a farm - he worked on his grandfather & uncle's farm until they auctioned it when he was in his early 20s.  He's worked on a few farms since we were married.  It's what he loves.  What he really wants out of life.  If I go to school, all of that extra money would go towards tuition and we would be delaying this plan.

And, as I was driving to work, feeling all "woe is me," it hit me... I just asked him to put off his LIFELONG DREAM.  Again.  "Why can't he just support me?"  Good grief, that's all the man has done our whole marriage!  "Why can't he just support me?"  Why can't I just support him?  He's right, I am wishy-washy when it comes to my "passions."  I wanted to be a photographer, I wanted to have a handmade sewing and crochet business... none of that is important to me now, but at the time it was.  This is something he's wanted forever.  And he's always put me and our family first. 

It was a huge revelation for me.  I hate admitting when I'm wrong.  But I apologized to him this afternoon for being so selfish and told him that we are going ahead with our original plan.  If I'm still feeling this passionate about going into some sort of health and fitness career when we accomplish that goal, then I can work towards it.  But it's his time right now.  I know that.  I feel good about that.  As long as I can have a pet alpaca.  =)

No, I'm not joking.

So the moral of this story is...

Sometimes obstacles get in our way like hurdles to see how determined we are to get where we want to go.  But sometimes they're honest-to-God road blocks that tell us we're not going the right way.  It's hard to distinguish between them a lot of times until we get to the huge potholes.  I just have to say I'm glad I avoided the potholes this time, because I'm sure there would have been some killer ones...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Decisions, decisions...

In all this training I've been putting myself through the past 6 months, I've had to break down several mental barriers.  Fitness is probably just as much mental as it is physical.  Your body is capable of way more than you have probably ever tried to put it through - it's your mind that holds you back most of the time.

I had expressed hope once that the confidence and drive that I'm finding on my fitness journey would spread into other areas of my seriously stagnant life.  I'm perfectly happy with my family, don't get me wrong there.  But I dislike our home, I dislike my job.... and just haven't had the drive to do anything about it.

The other day, my boss pretty much asked me if I'd like to be groomed for her position.  I work in a surgery center and I'm technically the office manager - but there's not much to manage, really.  I do medical billing and coding, patient accounts... I'm THE billing department in total.  I like parts of my job, but overall, the healthcare industry leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.  Maybe I just have a skewed view of it all, but making profit off of other people's misfortune feels wrong.   Plus, I am not really sure that dealing with personnel issues is my thing.

But still, that's a very real option.  

However.  There's something else.

Call it my tendency to go all out obsessive over things.  This idea has been a little seedling in my brain for a while, but it seems to have grown a lot lately.  The subject keeps popping up randomly for me.

I think I'd like to get a degree in Nutrition and work with kids.

Which is kind of funny considering my kids would prefer to eat nothing but candy all day and I have yet to figure out how to clean up their diet and not starve them (and yes, one in particular WILL starve herself - I've worried about her potential for eating disorders for years).

I ran across Jamie Oliver's TED talk the other day, and it just really hit me how strongly I actually do feel about this.  It's an interesting watch, if you have the time.

The part where he's asking the kids to identify different types of vegetables and they don't have the slightest clue what a potato is - so eye-opening.  So many kids honestly don't know that those french fries they live off of come from something that grows in the ground.  Mashed potatoes can come out of something other than a box.  I've made it a point the past several times I take the girls to the grocery store to have the girls get my produce for me.  Even if they won't eat it yet, they know what a cabbage looks like.  They know where to find the zucchini.

I found myself in a discussion with someone about childhood obesity the very next day, just out of the blue.  "Feed them off smaller plates."  Yes, kids do eat too much, but what about what goes on the plate?  You can feed your kid off a saucer, but if it's not full of healthy, real food, what's the point?  If they're stuck in front of a video game console all afternoon, what's the point?

When I first picked up It Starts With Food, I honestly thought it would be a struggle for me to read.  I don't do non-fiction, it bores me.  But I was so intrigued by the science.  I've found myself reading more and more books and articles about nutrition, just really enthralled by it.  I don't think most people realize exactly what goes on inside your body and it's just a shame.  People need to know that there is a difference between eating an 800 calorie hamburger and 800 calories of fruits and vegetables.  People need to know how your body reacts to the different nutrients you feed it, and to the lack of them.  And the best place to start - with kids.  A lot of adults - they don't want to know.  They don't have or want to make the time it takes to eat real food.  But if you teach the kids... give them the foundation before the habits are too deeply ingrained...  I think it's just logical.

See, there seems to be a bit of a passion growing there.  I see it every day, in life and online.... people do not know that they're not eating real food.  They don't know what they're doing to themselves.  They just have never had the education.  I never had that education.  Yes, you get a teeny tiny bit of it in school, but not nearly enough.  Dinner when I was growing up, was whatever we could throw together in as short a time as possible after my parents got home from work...  my vegetable experience was canned green beans and corn.  Sweet potatoes?  Brussels sprouts?  Greens?  Blech.  (I adore them now, though)  We rarely had fast food, because it was too expensive, but frozen chicken patties and Little Debbie snack cakes aren't exactly nutritional power-houses.

So, I took my first baby step this morning.  I filled out the FAFSA.  I'm going to try to pack in yet one more time-consuming thing into my already insane life - online college.  I'm wavering between Health Administration and Nutrition Science, but honestly... we know where my heart is.  I'd make way more money with Heath Administration, but I'd probably be miserable.  Either way, though, I'm ready to dig myself out of this hole and push myself to be the best possible me I can - not just my body, but all of me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Keep on going...

Sunday, I went out to do my C25k run.  Two 8-minute intervals.  I had never gone 8 minutes before, so doing it outside on the trail probably wasn't my brightest idea.  I do much better off the treadmill if I've done the run before on the treadmill.  I picked a new trail I hadn't done before and it was a bit hilly.  I made my first interval - barely.  I, of course, ran too fast.  I wasn't properly hydrated either.  The time came for my second interval and I just could not do it.  I tried 3 times, but my legs hurt and my lungs hurt.  I gave up and walked back.

During my walk back, amid beating myself up, I made a decision to kick the C25k program to the curb.  If I had completed my run that day, the next run was TWENTY minutes.  No freaking way.  Nuh uh.  Not happening.  I decided I would just increase my time by 2 minutes each workout.  It will get me to 36 minutes by my "test" 5k.  Hopefully just the drive to get it done will get me to the finish line (if I run 4.5 mph, it would take me approximately 40 minutes to do a 5k).

Oh, yeah, I registered for a 5k - to run - May 26.  Right before my disaster of a run.... so I was really mad at myself for "failing." 

I know, it wasn't a failure.  Not really.  I ran 8 minutes (.72 miles in that time), farther than I had in one shot before.  And I know it's hard for me, when I push that hard, to pick up another interval.  And the C25k program starts to get a little crazy after that.  I'm hoping just increasing one long run every time will get me there.

Tuesday I decided to try out my idea and run for 10 minutes.  I knew it would be easier on the treadmill, so I wasn't really worried about it.  I hopped on, warmed up for 5 minutes, and took off running.  One song... two songs... the third song started about 9 minutes in and I thought "Why not try to run to the end of the song?"  So I ran past 10 minutes straight to 12:40.  I realized since I was running at a 13:20 pace (4.5 mph) that I was only 40 seconds away from having run an entire mile.

Yeah, I kept on going.  And ran my first ever mile!  13 minutes and 20 seconds.  Well over 5 minutes longer than I ran on Sunday.  Longer than my goal of 10 minutes.  I felt awesome!

Today my goal was 12 minutes.  I thought about making my goal 14, since I knew I could do 12, but I've been fighting a cold and didn't want to set myself up for disappointment.  I really wanted to run another mile, though.

Same thing... once that song started towards the end of my 12 minutes, I wanted to keep going to the end.  I hit a mile... and the song wasn't over yet.  And then I was sooooo close to 1.25 miles.  I just HAD to get there.  

And I did.  1.25 miles in 16:30(ish).  SIXTEEN minutes!   Twice what almost killed me on Sunday!

I can run over a mile.

Get out of here.

And I discovered the absolute best thing...


See the vent above the "CYBEX" up there?  That's a FAN.  That works.  My previous favorite treadmill is supposed to have a fan, but it didn't work when I tested it.  This one worked and it felt like the angels fanning me after that run.  Awesome.

My next run will be Saturday or Sunday...  outside.  My goal will be 14 minutes, because I know how difficult it is for me to keep a nice, slow pace and I'm not going to expect 1.5 miles or 20 minutes or anything else way above and beyond what I've done before.  I'm really excited though.  I never thought I'd get here.  I never thought I really even wanted to.  But it's a pretty rocking place to be, for sure.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heart Walk 2013

I have heard myself called something quite a bit lately, several times just this week, and it still feels very weird to me.  


I started sharing my walks for my half-marathon training on facebook as an accountability thing.  I was hoping if I missed a few of them, someone would call me out on it.  I never missed more than one at a time, so I don't really know if anyone would have.  I haven't really shared much about my weight loss journey there, but it seems that since starting with the walking and now running that I've managed to inspire several people.


It just seems odd to me.  

Today I commented on a friend's post about her sister running in her first 5k today, and the sister told me she had read about my half-marathon and was so inspired by it.  I'm just blown away.  I know 3 people who are doing my next half-marathon partly because I did the first one.  Another friend of mine has told me twice that she's thought of me when she had a tough time pushing through a run.

I'm really grateful for it.  It helps motivate me to keep pushing myself.  

Three of my Crayola Bombs have been delivered.  How fun!  One recipient told me she intended to do some bombing of her own this next week.  Yay!  


So, this morning was The Heart Walk.  My sister and I have done this several years now, and this was my first time alone.  She has been sick all week and didn't feel up to walking 3 miles.  Lucky for me, I'm not one of those "I don't want to do it if I have to do it by myself" kind of people.

I have this nickname that one of my friends gave me a few years back... Wonder Woman (or WW for short).  I had decided a few months ago that I wanted to get a Wonder Woman shirt to wear to races.  People dress up for races all the time.  I felt it was time to get my own costume of sorts.  I found a shirt last weekend and it was in the Misses section.  I know Misses sizes run smaller than Women's (why, I don't know, it's confusing), so I got an XXL, even though that's too big for me in Women's.  Well, it was still snug... really snug.  I wasn't sure I would be comfortable wearing it.  

I put on an old Heart Walk tshirt, but it's really big on me now and I felt really frumpy.  So, I put the WW shirt back on and sent a pic of me to my sister to get her opinion.  I felt that it looked OK if I "sucked it in", and hey - it would be a great ab workout for the day.  ;)  She said it didn't look that bad.  Then she told me it made my boobs look great.  I cracked up over that.    

In the end, I decided to go with the WW shirt, but mainly because it was chilly out and I would have a jacket on anyway.  I left it half unzipped, so the WW was showing, but my belly was covered, since that was the part that I was self-conscious about.

Pardon the hair, it was misbehaving.


I could have listed way more than my Daddy on the sticker, but it's mainly for my Daddy.  =)  My jacket was velour, so the sticker wouldn't stick well.  =p  It stayed on most of the time, though.

I didn't run any today.  I thought about it, but I needed an excuse to go explore a trail tomorrow, so now I can say "but, but, but I have to go do my Couch to 5k!"  Is that wrong of me?  Hey, we all need our "me" time.

I ended up next to another solo walker and used her as my pacer.  She was a pretty fast walker, so it worked.  I did the 3.1 miles in 46 minutes.  

Then I came home and decided to be a bum with Mr. Bill for a little bit before he had to go to work.  He just loved snuggling with his sweaty wife.  Not really, but we get so little time together that he wasn't going to complain (and I did go take a shower after bugging him for a while.)


Oh, and by the way, we can both lay on the couch next to each other without one of us falling on the floor.  Weight loss rocks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better than before

I'm sorry for being a whiner.  I promise, no whining today.  =)

Today has been a great day.

Work wasn't particularly irritating.  It was raining all day, but I can deal with rain.  My husband was in a goofy mood when I saw him, which is always nice.

I got a very sweet message from a friend.  It almost made me cry... after the first part of the week, to read what she wrote made me feel so much better.

Even Killer was feeling the love today.  


Killer and I don't usually interact, other than her wanting to be let out and me stepping on her.  On accident... we don't get along much, but I don't purposely step on her. But she crawled up in my lap, and I decided to let her stay.  Very rare occurrence.  My husband was shocked.

And then I went and did this...


Oh yeah.

Eight boxes.  One for me, one that the girls claimed (punks - like they didn't just get new crayons for Easter), and 6 to bomb with.  

I copied the quote and stuck it with the boxes.  I knew where 3 of them were going right away.  

One went just down the road to my sister's house.  I just dropped it by the door and ran.  My sister sent me a message later and told me she had been home the whole time.  She's sick.  =(  It's the second time I've left her a little present by the door while she was sickly on her couch, oblivious to my sneaky ways.  Neither time did I know she was home sick (at least I don't remember knowing the first time, but certainly not this time).

Two went to the post office with me to be sent to a couple of awesome ladies who I've never met face-to-face, but they've been two of my best friends for years now.  

I have three more.  I am trying to decide if I'm going to bomb people I personally know, or leave them somewhere random - or both.  Either way, it's made me so giddy that I might just keep it up.  Bomb a few people each week.  It makes me happy, so why not?

I went to the rec center and thought I was doing four 5-minute intervals for C25k, but it actually was only supposed to be three.  I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it at all.  Five minutes has been a struggle, and doing it 4 times was intimidating.  But I talked myself into it. 

My first 5 minute interval was awesome.  Nothing like Tuesday.  Dare I say it was easy?  Yeah, kinda...

Then, my second interval came up and I was just grinning ear to ear.  Halfway through, the "you are halfway" announcement happened (in case I was running outside doing an out-and-back route).  Apparently it was only 3 intervals.

I have to say I was a little disappointed.  I felt kind of cheated.

So I finished my intervals and went into my 5 minute cool down.  And I thought, "Why stop at 3?  There's absolutely no reason not to do 4.  You aren't dying, you have the time.  Do it."  So, after my cool-down wrapped up (it was the same pace as my recovery walks between intervals anyway and only a little longer), I bumped up the speed again and did another 5 minutes.

And I loved it.

It was the first time I really have thought, throughout the past 4 weeks of doing C25k, that I really felt like I might just be able to run - not run/walk - the half-marathon in October.  I'm finding my stride, I'm finding my breathing... I'm just really impressed with myself.

So, I came home and got the girls off to bed.  Showered and sat down to use my new crayons.


I had printed off a few mandalas to color, and this was the one I picked tonight.  And, as I was coloring, I thought, "Man, this design would make a really awesome afghan."  Like a circular Babette.  I think I'll print out another blank one, pick 6 or 7 colors and play with it.  Maybe I really will make an afghan.  I haven't felt inspired to crochet in a while, so I should jump on it.  =)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The week that won't end...

I try my best to keep my blog positive, but indulge me in some whining for a moment and then I'll try to bring things back up a notch at the end.  OK?

This week has sucked so far.  Honestly, I'd rather just hide under the covers for the next few days and pray that next week will bring better things. Really, I thought Monday was bad and that things couldn't get worse, but today probably trumped Monday (on a personal level).

I'm not going into details.  I don't want to say it's not important, but you know what I mean.  Some of it has been little, stupid things.  But little, stupid things add up.  Some of it has been just heartbreaking.  I'm sad for people I love, sad for things that might have been.  Worried about what might be to come.  Aggravated at the ugliness that keeps rearing it's head.

Ugh.  I'm just sad and angry at the world.

I hate being sad and angry.

So, I need to do something about it.

I need to be happy.  And I figure if I need to be happy, that other people out there need to be happy, too.  So I need to make someone happy.

I've been racking my brain all evening to come up with what to do.  I have a few ideas, but there is one that keeps coming back to me...

(sidenote:  I find it kind of funny that the CRAYOLA bomb pic I have was made with Rose Art crayons)

The wording is kind of tiny, so let me just copy it here...

"Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air, floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn't go cheap, either -  not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in.  With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination."  - Robert Fulghum.

I'm Crayola Bombing.  I may give them to certain people.  I may leave them random places.  But there are going to be as many boxes of 64-count Crayolas with the built-in sharpeners as I can responsibly buy (because over-spending isn't going to bring me much happiness....) sent out into the world to make it a brighter, happier place.

And maybe I will keep one for myself, tell the kids to keep their mitts off of them (they have their own crayons, I'm not mean), and just sit down and color.  With a smile and a little funny look on my face as I try to cover the world with imagination.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Yesterday was a very difficult day.  There are two reasons.  

The first is obvious.  I don't think there is a soul who wasn't shaken by what happened at the Boston Marathon.  I've never really felt like I could call myself a runner... I can run 5 minutes tops right now.  But yesterday, I felt like one.  I walked a half-marathon, training for months, so I have some small idea of what kind of dedication and work goes into running a marathon.  And this was one of the ultimate marathons... people train for YEARS to just qualify to be there.  To know so many dreams were crushed breaks my heart almost as much as all the injuries and deaths.

The second one is a little more personal.  I saw last week that an old friend of mine posted that her 15 year old nephew was missing.  On Friday, a body was found in a field near his home, and they all feared the worst.  Yesterday it was confirmed that it was him, shot to death at such a young age.  The family has been through some of the most tragic circumstances I can imagine and now this.... 

I felt so crushed under all the tragedy and heartache.  I spent the afternoon with my family out at the park... it just seemed like the best place to be.  Nature is a refuge.  I found a trail that I had never explored, and it reminded me that there is still so much to look forward to.

So, today, since I feel like I can call myself a runner, I ran for those who can't.

I had seen many people say they were wearing race shirts today.  At first, I wanted to wear my half-marathon shirt.  That's the closest to a marathon I've gotten (and my ever get, to be honest), and it seemed appropriate.  Until I remembered that horseshoe and the word "LUCKY" across the front of it, and that just seemed wrong.  To wear a shirt proclaiming that I'm lucky when these people had the misfortune of being the target of an attack like that...  So I grabbed my Mud Run shirt instead.  Any other day, I am proud to wear my half-marathon shirt and I do feel that I'm incredibly lucky for many reasons surrounding it, but it seemed to be the wrong sentiment for today.

I went to the rec center, got on my favorite treadmill and finished Week 4 of C25k.  When it felt difficult, I reminded myself why I had to keep going.  For the people who may never run again because of their injuries.  For the people who have had their security ripped out from under them and will have to overcome that fear to get out on the street and run again.  For the people stopped so close to their dream of crossing that finish line.  To show support for the helpers Mr. Rogers so wisely told us to look for.  To show that whatever sick psycho did this can't stop US as a whole.  To send out my strength, what little I might have, out into the universe for those who feel weak right now.  For the little boy who had endured so many heartbreaks in his life, now cut short in one of the most tragic ways possible.  I had to keep running.  

And I will keep on running.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tour de Cure 5k 2013

I'm just going to start off by warning you that I have a headache and I'm tired.  So this could be rambly and weird.  Pointless warning... I'm always rambly and weird.

This morning was the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association.  I've never done this one before, unlike the other 5ks I have planned this year.  I know I've looked for it before, but this is the first time I've found one here, so maybe it's fairly new.  There are several options for the Tour de Cure, most of them being bike riding, up to 100 miles.  But there was a 5k Family Walk/Run, which is good because I don't own a bike.  I used to try to ride with my sister a few summers ago, but it's a lot harder than I remember it being as a child.

My sister, her friend, and I all registered.  My sister's friend is a runner, so she had planned to run the entire 5k.  My sister and I decided to do our C25k run, since we're on the same week.  

When I got there, if it hadn't been for the big sign saying it was the Tour de Cure, I would have thought I had gone to the wrong place.  There were not many people there at all.  When we got to the starting line, the guy said they had about 150 people register, but there were probably 30-40 of us that actually showed.  Which is kind of crazy because it's not a free race.  You pay for registration.  Most of the other charity races like the Heart Walk and MS walk are free registration.  You just are supposed to raise money.  I suck at raising money, so I just donate $25 or so when I register so I don't feel too bad.  But the Tour de Cure is a $25 registration fee (and you are supposed to raise money, but like I said... I suck at that).  I did get a tshirt and water bottle out of it, though.  But, the point of all that is that this is the smallest 5k I've ever been to.

And look what I discovered before the race...

Sorry about the bird poop, I didn't realize it was there until now...

The thingy on my ear bud fell off.  =(  I hate those ear buds anyway, it's the second time I've lost one of those (it came with 3 pair of whatever they are) and they come off inside my ear sometimes when I take them off.  That's not fun.  I replaced them later in the day.  Hopefully my new pair won't be so obnoxious.  I'm not sure if I'm going to wrap the cords like this pair.  It makes them a little heavy, which is a pain when you're running and they're flopping around.  But anyway, I only had one ear bud in, but that was OK because I had my sister to talk to anyway.  I did need to hear my app, though, so I couldn't do without.

We successfully completed our C25k!  =)  Our first 5 minute run was .42 miles!  All our running intervals combined, we ran about 1.25 miles!  Considering the 5k was actually short (2.75 miles), we came pretty close to running half the race!  Lots of exclamation marks in this paragraph!  It's exciting!

Afterwards, my sister found a ladybug...


That has nothing to do with anything.  Ladybugs are just cool.


There we are.  I interrupted her stretching to take the picture.  She's much more diligent about stretching than I am.  I know I need to do it more, I just don't.  

So.  There you have it.  Another thing crossed off my 37 List!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

A day of rest?

I was really looking forward to another beautiful day of sunshine and warm weather.  I got warm... ish.  The sun stayed hidden all day.  Boo!  

But today was scheduled to be Garden Day, and that could be done without the sun.  I got Bill up early and got the grocery shopping out of the way (alooooooone!) and then he went off to get the materials for Phase One.

We did raised beds last year, and really liked them, but they were a bit shallow.  So, earlier, Bill had just stacked them on top of each other to make one deep one.  We needed more space than that, though.  He had a plan.

It involved these...


30 cinder blocks.  Since he knew what his plan was, he was in charge of setting them up.  That meant *I* was in charge of getting the blocks to him.  I wanted to... honestly.  I was looking forward to some good, heavy lifting.  The girls took turns carrying one block at a time to him on a dolly, and I carried about half of them on my own.


After they were laid out, Bill went back out to get Phase Two... the dirt.


40 bags.  40 lbs each.  Actually, quite a few of them were saturated from last week's rain and were pure mud.  So they weighed more than 40 lbs.  The girls took maybe 6 on their dolly before they got too into getting the dirt/mud out of the bags.  So I carried the majority of 1600 pounds of dirt by myself.

Needless to say, I am worn out now.  And I know I'll be stiff and sore tomorrow, but it was worth it.  We didn't plant today.... like I said, many of the bags were just mud, so we need to let it dry out a little bit.  And we were tired.  =)


Isabelle is my garden girl.  She loves it.  Last summer she would go out and check the plants and if there was a teeny tiny tomato on the vine, she'd welcome it to the garden.  I think she just really likes to get dirty and it's a good excuse to do so.  =)


Bill loves that he has a little "farmhand."  Of course, trying to get the girls to eat dirt isn't going to get him an awful lot of help.  ;)


Sore muscles.... dirty hands... dirty clothes....


Dirty faces...


Not a very restful day, for sure.  But a good day.  A really good weekend.  =)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Forget Christmas... the first few REAL days of Spring are the absolute best!  I have been dying for this for weeks.  I swear if it dips below 40 degrees again before next Fall, I'm going to just go on a rampage.

The end of the last week was pretty sucky.  I missed my Thursday appointment with my C25k app because Isabelle was ill (she's better now, by the way).  Friday was OK until Isabelle went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde for the evening.  It was just stressful and it's that week of the month where I don't deal well with things anyway.  I woke up this morning and knew I needed some time to myself or today was going to be just awful.

When Bill woke up, he sent me off.  I had enough time to do one of two things... do my grocery shopping alone or hit the trails.  I dreaded the idea of having to take the kids grocery shopping, but I knew I needed to be outside.  So... to the park!

When I got there, I really just wanted to walk.  I was bummed over missing Thursday's C25k and knew I'd probably have to redo Week 3 because of it.  Honestly, I kind of wanted to just forget about running altogether.  But I have a goal, and being whiny and pouty over a missed workout is not going to get me to that goal.  So I started my C25k app.

I did really well.  On both 3 minute runs, I kept a good pace (so the treadmill has helped me!) and when I got to the "Oh, Lord, kill me know!" phase, I picked a spot in the distance and told myself I only had to make it that far.  And the interval was over before then both times.  

And you know what?  3 minutes of running is 1/4 mile!! (at my pace, anyway)  I can run a quarter of a mile without stopping!!!!   Just a few short weeks ago, I couldn't run a minute.  I just kept pushing myself, thinking, "You can do this, You HAVE to do this... after this week, you NEED to do this."  It was like flipping a big double bird at the past week... at all the discouragement I've felt the past two days.  You can knock me down, but I will get back up.

I'm not going into Week 4 having only done 2 days of Week 3, so I'll see how Tuesday goes.  I'll either just move to Week 4 after that, or finish out the week on Week 3.  It's no big deal to repeat.  I'm not going into this half-marathon in October with a "I have to run the whole thing" attitude.  Maybe I can, maybe I can't.  But I'll give it my best shot.

And, I was in a much, much, MUCH better mood after that.

How could I not be happy here?
The rest of the day was pretty much devoted to laundry and spending as much time outside as possible.

The girls asked if we could walk around the neighborhood.  We walked last night, too.  It's about a half mile loop that we walk.  They ran a little bit.  I just walked.  =)

They don't believe in sneakers.  

A few weeks ago, my parents moved to a new apartment and they no longer have to take care of their yard.  So they gave us their mower.  An electric mower.  Ooooh, fancy!  I never mow, because Bill actually enjoys it, but I really wanted to try Big Orange out.


OK, I don't know who thought "Hey, you know what would be great?  A mower with a cord!", but they need a pop upside the head.  How irritating!  Why doesn't it have a rechargeable battery?  That makes sense.  

I finished the yard, folded more laundry, then watched the girls play for a while... fed them... folded more laundry, watched them play... then they asked to go on another walk.  Well, why not?


That time we made two loops, so the girls got in 1.5 miles today!  I'm impressed!

I'm nice and tired, but my batteries have been recharged.  I feel more like I can take on the world again.  Tomorrow we're working on starting our garden.  =)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Frustrated, Incorporated

Tell me you've heard the song...  I swear, every time I'm feeling like this, that song pops up in my head.

I had a hard time finding that video because the song is called Misery, not Frustrated Incorporated.  LOL


The other day I was telling Bill that I was feeling like a crappy mother because the girls are pretty much back to eating crap all day, every day.  I just pretty much threw up my hands in despair, worn out by all the fits and tantrums and begging.  Not to mention that they'd get whatever they want from Bill anyway.  And Olivia would literally just not eat, and she was looking really awful because of it.  She's always been underweight, and it was disturbing to see her lose weight.

So, I need to make a plan to get everyone back on track.  A less abrupt method, something that will hopefully not lead to the same brick wall.

Today has left me feeling more desperate to make it happen, too.


That's my Isaboo.

This morning, she told me her stomach was hurting.  I just passed it off as her being tired... she was up early enough to see me in the morning, after all.  And she always says her tummy hurts when she's tired.  But when I picked them up from school today, she told me again that her tummy hurt.  I had a flashback of when she was in the hospital a year and a half ago.  

And sure enough, we got home and she was walking around hunched over from the pain, and crying.  I called her doctor's office to get an appointment, but they couldn't see her today.  I was afraid to wait, and I knew Olivia's doctor's office (they have different pediatricians... long story) usually had a walk-in clinic, so I called them to see if we could come in.  They told us to come on in.

The doctor, who we had never seen before, at first just told me she was probably just constipated.  Give her ibuprofen and miralax, she'll be fine.  Then I recounted the hospital story and told them about my husband's Crohn's, which was diagnosed at an unusually young age.  He decided to check her again, and said her inguinal lymph nodes are swollen.  He told me to go ahead with the meds, but also gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if she got worse or started running a fever.

I did get her to bed tonight, but she's still definitely hurting.  We'll see if she can sleep through the night and how she is in the morning.

I told myself last time, that if it happened again that we'd go to a pediatric gastroenterologist, because they felt what happened last time was probably originally some kind of gastrointestinal infection that inflamed her lymph nodes in her abdomen.   And I may still make that appointment.

But honestly, I blame the crap she eats.  


Time to really get back to brass tacks.  I really am a firm believer in this:

Just need to practice what I preach... and enforce it with my family better.

ps... I really dislike the new embedding method with Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Come listen to my brain...

First of all, I would like to say that, yes... today was supposed to be weigh in day, but I didn't like the scale today so it will be tomorrow.  I get to make the rules and change them when I feel like it.  =P


Today was the first day of Week 3 of C25k.  That means a 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk, and repeat.  Week 2 was only 90 second runs, so 3 minutes seemed like a big jump.  But I was ready for the challenge.  Not really.  But I was going to try.

I would just like to treat you to the internal conversations surrounding this workout.  Because you don't think I'm crazy enough, I guess.  

It's raining.  The gym is going to be crowded and I'll never get a treadmill.

It's always raining lately and you always get a treadmill, it will be OK.  If nothing else, there's the track.

I can't run on the track yet.

You have to sometime.

So I get upstairs and there is one treadmill open.  The one I hate that has no shelf for my phone.  I figure it's better than the track, so I jump on it.  Then the one next to me opens up before I even turn on the treadmill, so I move over to the better treadmill.  I'm picky.

I started with a 5 minute warm up and then begin my 90 second interval.

These pants suck

It was these or the light gray capris and it's freezing outside.  Plus, when you wore the capris last time it looked like you peed on yourself.  Suck it up.

My underwear is slipping

Shut up and run.

That 90 seconds wasn't bad, but I'm not sure I can run a full 3 minutes.

Well, you have to try.

Then came the 3 minute run.  I have this odd habit of finding faces in the designs on stuff, and somehow I have located a face on the carpet in front of all three of the treadmills.  I know that's bizarre, but I find the face and focus on that face when I run.  The first 3 minute run was definitely difficult, but I did it without dying.  Go me!  

I'm not sure I can do another 3 minute run like that.  I only have so much energy.  The first 90 seconds took like 10%, the 3 minute took 50% and now I have another 90 seconds and that just doesn't leave me enough energy for another 3 minutes.  I still have to have enough energy to crawl to the child care room.  The girls can roll me out of the building, but I have to make it that far.

You can do this.  Get ready.

I did my second 90 second interval, and tried to brace myself through out the 90 second recovery walk for the 3 minutes ahead.  

That first 3 minute run was hard, I don't think I can do another one

Yes, you can, just go.

No, really, I have like no energy left.  I can't do this.

Yes, you can, shut up.

("Start running now!")

I can't do this.  I'm already out of breath.

Just try to count.  It's OK. 

I think I'm going to have to stop.

It hasn't even been 60 seconds, you can keep going.

This is week 3, I'm pretty sure this is the week where Crystal fell off the treadmill.

You're not going to fall off of the treadmill, you keep kicking the front of it, you're nowhere near the back of it.

I don't think I even like running.

You don't have to be a runner for life, just get through this.

No, I'm pretty sure I'm a walker.

It's like Crystal said about herself, "I'm no different than anyone else.  If they can run, I can run, too."

I can't do this, I can't breathe.


I think the phone is dead and it will never tell me to stop running.

The music is still playing, it's not dead.  Look at the face.

The face looks like a dead person, that doesn't make me feel better.

Watch Wheel of Fortune.

I can't look up there, I'll fall off.

You're not falling off.

Gasp, gasp, gasp


I'm going to stop now

No you're not

Inhale, inhale, inhale

EXHALE.  You have to exhale, too.

I'm going to stop, I've done my best.

Check the time so you can at least see how far you did make it.

7 more seconds?  Holy crap, I've almost made it!  I can't stop now!

I told you you could do it.

So, I survived.  I even kept walking another 20 minutes or so to hit 3 miles.  Thursday should be a bit easier, if the previous weeks' experience holds true.  Probably no less psychotic.  That's just me.


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