Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Do you have a special talent? I was watching America's Got Talent last night and acts like Carlos Aponte blew me away- tiny little guy, tiny speaking voice, huge and fantastic singing voice. As Howie Mandel told him, "Your life just changed." And it got me wondering about talent and how we use it. If you listened to my sermon a few weeks ago (click over- I've added in text), I talked about using your talents. Do you know what your talents are? Do you use them? I sing. Or used to sing. I still sing but not in the same way. As a child and teen, I was a very good singer. I'm not going to try and be humble or blow off my talent. I could sing. I was selected to sing solos in church and at school. In junior high, my choir teacher took me to Solo and Ensemble competition as an 8th grader- the only time she'd taken a soloist who wasn't a freshman. In high school, I sang in choir and at church and in a select women's group at school (shout out to Triple Trio!). In college, I really got to dig into theatre. I'd gotten a little taste in high school and my university (Xavier) had a good theatre program. I'd had some acting classes in high school, been in a couple of shows. But college was where it all came together. Emergency Room, South Pacific, Once On This Island, Our Town, and many more. I was in show choir- my big solo number one year was "I Will Survive." I graduated and went into social work and there was no time for music or theatre. I moved to Indiana and away from social work and suddenly had time to go back to the arts. I discovered community theatre and became heavily involved. Then I had kids and stopped. I discovered Music Team at church and now I sing again. I've started up the children's choir and have plans to put on a concert style show this fall (in very early planning stages right now). So now I'm back to singing again. But it isn't the same. Sometimes... I wonder if life would have been different if choices made way back when had been made differently. What if we hadn't missed the date to audition for the School for Creative and Performing Arts when my family was considering a new school option for high school for me? What if I hadn't gone into social work but had gone on a path where I could still focus on the arts as a hobby... or a passion? I still sing. I love to sing. But I feel like I'm not good. Not like I used to be. Before... it was my talent, my passion, my hobby. It was something I was really good at and got a lot of praise for. My talent, I have to admit, was this strand of confidence that I could cling to during some very dark times while growing up. See, in the midst of struggling and drowning and hiding and fighting my demons... I knew that I was still good because I could sing. I had something beautiful to offer to the world. So no matter what I was fighting in my head, my heart, on the therapist's couch... I knew that there was good inside me. I've healed from all those horrible hurts. I'm a whole and beautiful person. I don't need singing to define the good within me. Maybe that's what really changed. Now, I sing simply for the love of singing. I sing just for joy and happiness. I sing when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm angry. I just enjoy singing. I know my voice isn't as trained as it used to be. I know my knowledge of music isn't as strong as it used to be. I know my voice isn't as beautiful as it used to be. And, thankfully, I don't need it to be.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How To: Farm Fresh Delivery

I recently had a mom friend ask me about my experience using the local produce delivery service, Farm Fresh Delivery.

I’ve shared information about our deliveries here on the blog a couple of times. I’ve been very happy with the quality of the produce we’ve received thus far. I’ve had 1 issue- my grapes weren’t in my bin- and they immediately credited my account for the error.

I get the medium fruit and veggie bin for $42. All produce is organic and it is from midwest farms as much as possible. Farm Fresh also seeks relationships with local area farmers to provide to their customers.

On Thursday afternoon, I receive an e-mail from Farm Fresh with their newsletter. The newsletter highlights any specials being offered, local producers, reminders, and recipes.


It’s also my notification that it’s time to go customize my bin if I’d like- I have until Monday to do so. My delivery day is Tuesday.

I go to the website and login. This is where I can customize my bin or I can scroll down and add various grocery items to my order. I’ve not gotten anything extra from FFD before (meat, granola, eggs, pasta, etc).



I click on “Customize” next to my standard bin order. It shows me everything that is currently scheduled for my bin for the coming week’s delivery. The list shows me how much of each fruit or veggie and where the produce is from. If I’m happy with what’s included, I don’t have to do a thing.


I can go through and make adjustments to anything I don’t want or want more or less of. Anything I don’t want, I change the quantity to zero. For this bin, I don’t want lettuce or garlic or collards or corn, I want 1 lb of grapes instead of 2, I want 1 cucumber instead of 2.


Then I hit Update and now the ordering system will let me select new items based on how much room I have left in the bin based on my changes.


The drop down menu changes based on how much I can add to my bin.


Oh! They have beets this week! I’ve been wanting to try fresh beets and this is my chance!


I click update and it will tell me if I still have room and will customize that drop down menu based on how much room I have left.

I add a cantaloupe and still have room. I add pluots (plum/apricot hybrid) and still have room. I add mini sweet peppers and still have room. I add 1 vidalia onion and still have room. I add 2 avocados and still have room. After the avocados, you can see that the choices that will still fit in my bin have changed and it’s more limited now.


I change my quantity on the pluots from 1 to 2 each and now my bin is full.

My new bin:


Delivery comes on Tuesday for me. On cooler days, it’s just a large green plastic bin with a snap close interlocking lid. Now that the heat has really kicked in, the bin is lined with insulated material and includes an ice pack. Thankfully, my delivery seems to come around the end of the day so it doesn’t sit out for very long at all.

You can see my other mention of and post about Farm Fresh Delivery. Tomorrow, check the Eternal Lizdom Facebook page in the evening to see a picture of the bin’s contents!

P.S. Farm Fresh has recently expanded to include delivery service to schools!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Well, That Was A Bad Choice

Yesterday was a stressful but good kind of day. We went to church and then headed out of town to Cincinnati for my little brother's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. This isn't a blog post about the Boy Scouts. It's a very gray area for me- I've seen the organization do great things in the lives of some boys. There are things that I very much disagree with. So I'd say my overall stance is that I don't support the BSA but I do support the kids I know who go through the program- especially those who, like my brothers, achieve Eagle Scout. So off we went to Cincinnati for the Court of Honor. We got there a bit before it started. The kids were very good for most of the ceremony but required constant interaction and entertainment, of course. I had to take Zach out only once and he was quieted by water and a cookie from a very nice woman my mom is friends with. I did make one major, major Mommy Mistake. I didn't feed my family. I had somehow assumed that there would be food there. There was to be food afterward but somehow, in my frazzled brain, that translated to being able to just give snacks in the car and that would hold us over until the reception (which we weren't going to be able to stay for because Jeff had a meeting back in Indiana that evening). The ceremony started at 1:30. Another uh-oh since that is usually the middle of nap time for Zach. Ceremony ended, everyone is standing around, it's mildly disorganized. My kids have energy to burn, they are tired, they are excited to be around some of their favorite grown ups, they are running around. And then it all gets to be too much and Teagan was a bit beyond hyper and it was time for our visit to be over. As we are headed out of town, we decided to stop and get something to eat. McDonald's. Here comes the bad choice... I was stressed. I was disappointed because I didn't really get to listen to or enjoy any of the ceremony because I was constantly watching the kids. I didn't get to spend much quality time with my brothers or with my brother's girlfriend or with my parents or other family members. I felt like a frazzled and overwhelmed mom with kids who were mostly well behaved and then over the edge. Without much thought... but definitely with determination... I ordered a Big Mac. And fries. And a Dr. Pepper. And I ate the entire Big Mac. And drank the Dr. Pepper. And had less than half of the fries. And then got in the car for the 2 hour drive back home. Within 20 minutes, I could feel the pit in my stomach. I could feel the discomfort, the bloating. For 2 hours, I was pretty darn miserable as I drove my family back home. Yes, it tasted good. But so not worth the misery of the impact of that crappy food on my system. I got home, sat on the toilet for a bit and felt much much better. Then I went and did 60 solid minutes of cardio to work the ick out of my pores. Lesson learned. I'm sticking with the salad from now on. Photobucket

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How A 5 Year Old Handles Being Overwhelmed

The 5K was yesterday- again, thank you all so so so much for all of your support and encouragement. It was a very emotional morning for me in unexpected ways.

Given that it was emotional on so many complicated and intricate levels for me, I guess I should have known that some of that would be passed on to Teagan. She, apparently, doesn't handle it well.

She did fine when I first passed the family. She saw me and yelled to me over and over and as I passed, she was so excited to tell me that she had just seen Miss Tori (preschool teacher).

Then they went to the next corner to wait for the finish. Teagan saw me and started yelling to me. As I got closer, she's yelling to me and then she yells out... "Where's Christy?" Good to know her focus was on mom, right?

Anyway, I cross the finish line and meet up with Tori and Christy and Ashli and Amanda and Ginger and Jeff is working his way over to meet us and I see that Teagan is... in tears. She wanted Mommy. She had thought I was going to stop when I got to them. And even as she now had Mommy, it took some time for her to calm down. But she did and we started the walk home.

We were enjoying our walk- at first, she and I walked and held hands and talked about the race and why some people go slow and some go fast and some walk and some run. Then she wanted to run, so I would "challenge" her to run to the black mailbox, the silver car, the third mailbox, etc. She had picked a dandelion and was running with it. She was about to run to the corner that would be just a few blocks away from our neighborhood when Zach asked to hold her flower. She said no and started to take off. I bent down and picked a dandelion to hand to Zach. Teagan runs up and tries to trade him. I tell her no- she wouldn't give him that flower when he asked so now he has his own.


Seriously- in case you don't understand- MELTDOWN CITY

She screamed and whined and cried. We ignored her and kept walking. She screamed that she wanted to pick a flower- so we encouraged her to do so. Then there was a ... WAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIL

Like none I've ever heard.

I think she might have wailed in a complete musical chord. Or maybe there was a demon about to escape from the bowels of her soul. Apparently, there was a bee or a fly or a gnat or maybe some dust on the dandelion.

The ignoring thing isn't working. The calm and helpful thing isn't working. I try to get her to sit down and chill out for a minute- didn't work. So I picked her up and threw her over my shoulder and took off down the road. She starts screaming that she's scared of heights (that's a new one). I tell her that I will put her down once she calms down. Calm down to get down. Calm down to get down. We are on our street before she finally stops. I put her down. The family keeps walking. She is crying that she doesn't want to be in trouble. Over and over and over and over.

We get home and I realize that the young lady who had been across the street from us when it all started had ended up walking behind us the whole way. Greeeeeeat. Teagan continues with her screaming and crying. I tell her that I love her and always will no matter what but that I didn't like the choices she was making at all. She responded by getting stuck in a new loop... "Why don't you love me anymore??? Why don't you love me??"

I so wanted to run out into the middle of the street and start doing my OWN screaming and crying! The meltdown continued indoors. We put her in her room - I really just needed distance from her and from all the drama. The personal meltdown going on in my head required that I not be the main enforcer of discipline for most of what was going on. This was MY day, MY morning, I wanted to celebrate my accomplishment with my family. I wanted to feel their pride and joy as I reflected back on the race. Instead, I was dealing with one of the biggest behavior disasters we'd seen in many, many months. It eventually stopped and her mood changed back to the normal Jekyll self.

I asked her about it all after we'd eaten our brunch at Bob Evans... why she fell apart, why she yelled and screamed and cried and wailed in such a way that I'd never seen before. Her only answer? I wanted a flower.

I'm sure that all of our neighbors- especially the ones we've never met before- loved the histrionic display going on down the streets of our little suburban neighborhood. I'm sure no one called CPS or watched out the window to make sure we weren't kidnappers or other horrible bad guys. I'm sure that no one watched and judged us as parents- seeing the frustrated, sweaty mom in her running outfit and race bib, the frustrated dad pushing the younger brother and the screeching banshee tossed over a shoulder. The only answer I could find later was that maybe all of that emotion of the day had just caught up to her and she couldn't handle it.

I've always felt that she and I have a unique kind of connection and I have to wonder if she wasn't picking up on my own wild mix of crazy emotions and that her little 5 year old self just had no clue how to process all of it. She'd had plenty of sleep, she'd been fed and hydrated. She'd had playtime at home with Daddy and Zach. She was excited about coming to cheer for Mommy and Aunt Christy. But something wasn't right and it had to come out somehow. I'm sure there was a better way to handle the situation. I'm sure I could have made better, more nurturing, more compassionate choices in how I dealt with my daughter. However, I wouldn't change anything that Jeff or I did with her yesterday. Not a word, not an action. While there may be an explanation for her meltdown, it isn't an excuse for behaving in such a way. And I like that Jeff and I made it very very very clear that her choices were unacceptable- the same message she received with past meltdowns.

The funny thing? As I reflect back on the morning, I'm realizing just how similar my experiences were. Running is hard. Running is not a natural state for the body. You have to choose it and stick to it and work hard to keep your body moving. You have to know what you want and you have to find ways of achieving your goal.

Parenting is hard. Parenting is not a normal state for the mind and soul. You have to choose it and stick to it and work hard to stay committed to your parenting goals. You have to know what you want and you have to find ways of achieving your goal.

My 5K was tough. I had to get myself in the right mental place and I had to commit to my goal and I had to push myself to stick with it. I had all kinds of methods to use to get me through the hard spots but I eventually reached the finish line.

Parenting my melting down daughter was tough. I had to get myself in the right mental place and I had to commit to my goal and I had to push myself to stick with it (would have been super easy to just pick a dandelion and hand it to her, right?). I had all kinds of methods to use to get me through the hard spots but I eventually reached the end of the meltdown. Funny how life works and how the lessons come to us.

Running and Parenting... so much to learn from each of them!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I ran 2 miles. I walked and ran the last mile. I learned a lot, I felt awesome afterwards and was surprised at how strong I felt during. It was a great morning and I am so happy to have shared this accomplishment with some great friends.

First- Christy. She's been training by my side all along. She's made vast improvements- well ahead of mine. She's encouraged me and heard me complain and watched me struggle and celebrated my triumphs. All the while, she's been pushing to reach her own goals. Today, she ran her first 5K in 43 minutes and 59 seconds. She ran the entire course- no walk breaks for her! I don't have a pic... her preference, not mine!

Second- my little running church family! This is Amanda, Ashli, me, and Ginger. These women have been encouraging me along the way and all are better athletes than I am and did great in the race. I was thrilled to be with them when the race started and emotional to have them waiting for me, cheering, at the finish line.

My cheering section... Jeff brought the kids to a corner of the route that isn't far from home. It perked me up to see them!! It was so important to me to have my family there, cheering me on, supporting me.

And after the race... recovery well under way... walking home... tired, proud, feeling accomplished and sweaty and hot.

My finishing time was 46 minutes and 26 seconds. My pace was right around 15 minutes per mile. I ran 2 solid miles before taking a walk break and I don't regret that walk recovery time in the slightest. I did what my body told me it could do the entire route. I knew when I could push and go harder. I knew when I needed to slow down and recover. I knew when I could pick up the pace and jog a bit again.

Surprisingly, I kept up with Christy for those first 2 miles. Typically, we run together for about the first mile and then I slow down or walk and she starts to push and pulls away from me.

Things I remember:
- Not long after passing my family, there was an older woman dressed all in purple who stood on a corner and smiled and clapped for everyone as they went by.
- The guy who had turned on his full lawn sprinkler system and invited runners and walkers to run down his sidewalk to cool off.
- The cheering of the volunteers at the midway water station.
- The guy with the horse puppet who cheered us on about 1/2 mile from the finish line.
- The dad sitting in his driveway with his 2 young boys on his lap, watching runners go by as they lounged in their pj's.
- The local high school pep band that was playing at the start and finish of the race. Loved hearing the drums and horns as I approached the finish line!

The lessons I learned:
- I'm good at starting at my normal pace. I didn't take off and go faster at the start. I started slow and stayed slow and steady.
- I need to work on my last mile so that I can run the entire 3.1 next time. I stayed pretty strong and steady the first 2 miles and then my body just stopped.
- A half mile walk to the park where the race starts is a great warm up.
- A half mile walk back home after walking 1/2 mile and then running 3.1 miles kinda sucks.
- Running and being emotional aren't a good mix.

I got to the last turn and the finish line was ahead. Maybe 1/10 of a mile. I had walked to almost the corner and realized that I was about to turn on the last street. I gave a grunt and kicked it into high gear. I was about half way to the finish line when I saw Jeff and the kids. I heard Teagan yelling for me "Mommy! Mama!!" Something about them being there, so close to the finish line... I started to cry but needed to keep running. Problem is, when I cry, my throat closes up. This makes it remarkably hard to breathe. So I pulled it back together and started to run again.

Then I see Christy. She had finished and was coming back down the route to be with me as I finished. I had to fight the tears all over again. We gave each other a thumbs up and a smile and I tucked the emotional breakdown into my pocket until...

The finish line was in sight- just feet ahead of me. And my friends- Amanda, Ashli, and Ginger- started to cheer for me. Loudly. Screaming my name, yelling for me to get to that finish line. I choked up all over again and kept pushing and pushing even though the air was not going into my lungs.

I crossed the finish line and started to walk, wheezing and wheezing. Miss Tori- one of Teagan's teachers- came up to me and hugged me (she's a runner and did great in this 5K). I choked out that I couldn't breathe and she handed me a water bottle. That sip of water reminded me that I could breath through my nose. Duh. I was fine after that.

I had Christy by my side, Ashli and Amanda and Ginger came to hug me... my husband and kids came to celebrate my accomplishment. I felt... sore and tired and sweaty and so, so proud. While I ran, I though about Momza and the comment she shared here this week... and about Nancy who sent me a note to cheer me on... and Beth who has given me amazing support and encouragement and advice... and Emily who has been doing her own challenges in running and has also guided me and inspired me... and all of the internet and real life friends I've made who have supported me, encouraged me... who have said that I inspire them... you all became my inspiration to be able to come back to this blog and say that I did my very best and that I was proud of what I had accomplished.

Tomorrow... I'll share the story of Teagan's reaction to all of this. Let's just say that I won't be winning any Mom of the Year awards if nominations are left up to strangers and neighbors who witness the behavior of your child.

Friday, June 25, 2010

FGF: Healthier Me Edition

Tomorrow is the Fishers Freedom Festival 5K. I am not confident that I will be able to run all of it because of my knee concern that I wrote about yesterday. I am confident that I will be able to at least complete it and run part of it. Not to worry- I know my body and I have never been someone who pushes too hard or goes past the point of safety to total blow out. Just not my style. I'll know when I need to walk and I'll walk. I'll know if I need to stop and stretch. The Feel Good part of this post: I updated the Healthier Me page listed in the header of the blog. Go check it out and then leave me some comment love back here... I updated the progress pic and talked about where things are now with my lifestyle changes. Thank you for the support and message and e-mails yesterday afternoon. It helped to get it out and it helped to get your encouragement. I have to say that, yes, THIS particular 5K really and truly was my ultimate goal. I did not go into this thinking, "I need to lose weight so I think I'll try running" or "If I pick a 5K, I can work to that goal." or "I want to lose x number of pounds." For 2 years, I've been talking about doing this 5K but I never made a plan and never put that plan into action because it would involve running and I detested running. This year... I decided that I was going to run. I decided to start the Couch to 5K program. I pretty quickly realized that I was going to have to make some major changes if I was going to succeed with the C25K program. I was going to have to change how I ate, what I ate, when I ate, how often I exercised, what kind of exercise I did, and I even went and got a physical for the first time in a decade. So the Fishers Freedom Festival 5K goal really and truly is a significant milestone for me. When I accomplish it, that doesn't mean I quit or that's the end. I accomplish goals and victories and successes every day and don't give up afterwards. We'll see what tomorrow morning holds in terms of the race. It doesn't break me if I can't complete it. It doesn't stop me from continuing this better and healthier way of living. But boy will it feel awesome if I really could jog the entire course... Here's to my continued journey of being a Healthier Me! Photobucket

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Facing Failure

On March 1, I changed the way I care for my body. I started fueling instead of feeding. I focused on fruits and veggies as my main source of nutrition. I started the Couch to 5K running program. I signed up to run a 5K in 4 months. I started to really focus on running. The Couch to 5K program made it easy. Even when I hit a hurdle, I knew I was giving myself 4 months and not just the 9 weeks to get to a point where I could run 3.1 miles. 2 weeks ago, I was fighting the mental game and wondering if I would get there. Then, last Tuesday or Wednesday, I did something to my leg or knee or hip or IT band or who knows what. I iced it, I got a brace, I went for a sports massage, I took it easy on exercise (even taking about 4 days off completely). It isn't better. I tried to run at lunch today. This was it- Christy and I were going to run the 3.1 miles on a neighborhood course. I felt ready. I was a little uncertain of my leg but figured I'd just pay attention to my body and I'd know if I needed to stop or if I was fine. I seemed fine. Until about... 1.25 miles in to the run. And my body quit. I tried a few more times. I was using everything I had in my brain to overcome what I hoped to just be a mental fake out. I finally stopped close to where the route started. I sat in the shade and stretched and started rubbing my knees. There is definite pain in my left knee. It definitely felt very different from my right knee. I sat and waited for Christy (who very awesomely ran the 3.1 route- whohoo!!). And I tried not to dwell on it. At the gym, it hit me. I fought the tears- I lost the fight. A few times. It is overwhelming to me to think that I won't be able to run the entire course on Saturday. It is outside of my comprehension to think that I should possibly even consider not running at all. This is the goal I set 4 months ago. This is what I've been working towards. This is why I've been training. This is how and why I lost weight. This was the event where I was going to prove to myself that I can run, that I can completely change myself, that I can do things I never dreamed I'd do. And that seems to be slipping from my grasp. The race is less than 2 days away. And I am at my desk, icing and nursing a hurting knee. Believe me- I am proud of everything I've done the past 4 months. I know that there are other races. I know that there are other things I can work toward. I know that there are other goals I can set. I know that I have to take care of my body, my knees, and so on. But it still stings that this little goal is slipping away and there isn't much I can do about it. I'm not quitting. I refuse to quit. I'll do everything I can to get my knee as rested and healthy as possible by Saturday and I will do the 5K. I'm still clinging to the hope that my knee issue popped up strong today because there were a couple of little hills in this neighborhood... the race is on a flat set of roads so maybe... I'm not going to blow my knee out or anything. I'm not that stubborn or crazy. But I'm not going down without a fight. Coldplay's "Fix You" is a song I recently discovered thanks to a cover by Straight No Chaser. It's brought me some comfort this afternoon.
When you try your best, but you don't succeed When you get what you want, but not what you need When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep Stuck in reverse And the tears come streaming down your face When you lose something you can't replace When you love someone, but it goes to waste Could it be worse? Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones And I will try to fix you And high up above or down below When you're too in love to let it go But if you never try you'll never know Just what you're worth Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones And I will try to fix you Tears stream down on your face When you lose something you cannot replace Tears stream down on your face And on your face I... Tears stream down on your face I promise you I will learn from my mistakes Tears stream down on your face And on your face I... Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones And I will try to fix you

Communication Skills

1. Body Language Body language is a huge component of how we communicate. I think that is part of why it is so much more difficult to "read" people online. There are no visual cues. When you enter into a conversation with someone face to face, you automatically learn about their mood, demeanor, and intent based on body language. The expression on the face, the posture, eyes up or down, stance. All of these cues set us up to have an expectation of what's coming next. Someone who is scowling and frowning with a furrowed brow, terse lips, arms crossed vs someone with arms at sides, relaxed shoulders, and a smile. You will approach each person in a very different way. You will have different assumptions about their purpose and their mood and their reactions because of those body cues. Take an assessment of how you appear to the world around you. Pay attention to the muscles in your face. Are you frowning or smiling? Are your eyebrows scrunched down or relaxed? Does your jaw feel tight? 2. Tone of Voice This is another one that can really set the tone for a conversation. Have you ever sat down to talk to someone and their voice was terse or they clipped their words or enunciated their syllables? Did that indicate emotion- maybe anger or frustration? Or maybe you hear a voice down the hall and the pace is fast, the pitch is higher- you assume that someone is excited or happy. Next time it seems like you aren't getting the reaction you expect from someone, check your tone of voice. Maybe you sound gruff when you mean to sound calm. Maybe you sound chipper when you mean to sound morose. Maybe you mean to sound forceful and instead sound wimpy. If your tone of voice doesn't match your message... maybe your mood isn't matching your purpose, maybe you've just had a really awful day. But if you want to communicate effectively, your tone has to match your message. 3. Connection Once communcation begins, connect in to the conversation and stay connected until done. Maybe you start with a handshake or a smile... then you make sure to lean in or maintain eye contact. Listen to what's being said and respond appropriately. Stay connected to the person you are talking to- whether they are your friend, your spouse, your parent, your child. Focus on what they are saying and what their body language is telling you. If you talk to someone while staring at your plate or keeping your eyes on your computer or while distracted by something on TV, you send a message that the other person is less important than the thing that has your attention. A great way to connect to a child is through touch- holding hands or a hand on the cheek or shoulder. Also, kneel or squat down to get to their level. When appropriate, these are great ways to establish or maintain a connection to an adult, too. How do you stay connected in a conversation or when in a group? Do you disconnect and focus on a distraction? Do you withdraw inside yourself? Do you mope or pout? Do you make eye contact, smile, and maintain focus on what is happening at that moment? 4. Say What You Mean Using words effectively might seem like the most basic part of communcation- simple and one everyone does. Not so! If you want to convey something to another person, you have to use the words that describe what you mean. There is a time and place for "reading between the lines." But to really have strong communication, it's best to say what you mean and not expect others to understand you or read your mind. I've never encountered an actual mind reader outside of books and TV shows and movies. No one has ever read my mind and known what I was thinking with no communication from me. I've tried- in restaurants, I will stare down the waitress and try to scream my order into her head. I've yet to be heard. If you want someone to know something, tell them. If you want someone to know how you are feeling, what you want to eat, what you need them to do... tell them. 5. Mean What You Say Your words have to be genuine. Those other things up there- connection, body language, tone of voice- are a great bullshit meter for other people when they communicate with you. When asked "How are you?" and you reply with a grimace and tensely reply through gritted teeth, "fine," chances are you won't be believed or taken seriously. If you want someone to believe that you are fine, mean it when you say it. *** Good communication skills are an essential building block for strong and healthy relationships. It doesn't matter who you are trying to communicate with- good communication skills can help you along. You approach your boss to ask for a raise. Your boss comes to you and asks you to take on more responsibility. You want to talk to your spouse about money. You have to fire someone. Your young child has been acting up at school. You want to talk to your tween about sex. You've been asked to choose the restaurant for girl's night out. We communicate throughout the day. How we communicate determines the strength of the relationships we have with those that we communicate with. Are you helping to build your relationships with effective communication skills? Will your kids look back on their relationship with you and remember the great talks you had? Do you remember your communcation relationship with your own parents? Could you talk to them about anything or nothing? Did your dad talk to your mom in a loving and compassionate way? Did your mom talk to her friends or your friends in a way that was demanding or demeaning or passive? What can you do to become a better communicator in the relationships that matter the most to you? Photobucket

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Critical Eye

I hadn't planned on pouring my heart out this week but as I sat and tried to come up with something to blog about... and my thought process came about... yep, it's a heart pourer. I've become critical of how I look. I don't mean it in a necessarily negative way- which is odd since the word critical involves analysis and judgement by definition. I would say I'm more observational but that isn't right either because it's more than that. I look in the mirror and I seek out the changes in my body. I look in the mirror and I see how my clothes fit- or don't fit. Used to be, my glance in the mirror was to make sure my clothes didn't look too tight... to make sure that I didn't look like a sausage in that pair of pants. Now, I look to see how baggy the pants are and can I get away with wearing them and not look like a clown. Used to be I checked the mirror to make sure I had nothing in my teeth or just to give myself an encouraging smile. Now I see my face in the mirror and I'm trying to see what others say they see- that my face is slimmer and they can really see my weight loss "here" (under my chin). Still have a double chin so I wonder just how bad my chin was before? Or exactly how many chins I had? I am overdue on updating my Healthier Me page. I didn't take pics on June 1. I tried. I took a few and then a few more another day. But since my clothes are baggier, I don't feel like the change is noticable anymore. Since May 1, I've gone from 213 lb to 206 lb. There is some change, I'm sure. The other day, Christy and I had the gym all to ourselves and we stood and watched the mirror. She asked if I can see the changes in my body. Yes, I can. And... no, I can't. When I just look at myself in the mirror, it's still just me looking back. But sometimes, as I pass by, I catch an angle out of the corner of my eye that makes me stop and stare. I'm sure it looks like I'm admiring myself- the picture of vanity. But I'm not. I'm trying to remember how my hip looked before, what the rounder curve of my leg was like before. I'm also noticing that I catch the imperfections more than I used to. I used to glance in the mirror, knowing I was fat and knowing what that fat looked like. No need to focus on it- I was fat and I accepted it. Now, I'm still overweight, for sure. But I've also lost a lot of weight, for sure. And that means my body is changing. I look in the mirror and see that chin, see the pudge of my belly, see the thickness of my thighs and I am aware of what I've done to myself over the last decade. I'm aware of the choices I've made. I know the past choices don't matter because it's the choices I am making now that are my focus and my motivation and are getting me healthier and healthier. I still love myself and marvel at myself and admire the things my body can do. This isn't something that's chipping away at my self esteem or anything. But it does leave me feeling... sad? frustrated? insightful? It's something I don't want to touch on too deeply because I do feel the urge to cry sometimes. I think that's a mourning of my past self and those choices I had been making. Maybe some regret about the hard work I have to do now to make up for it. Maybe some frustration at the path ahead of me to get me to wherever it is I want to end up... (completely running that 5K on Saturday would be a nice start but we'll see). I'm still focused primarily on what my body can DO versus how my body LOOKS. I can run. I can run for exercise. I can run from the register to the back of Target and back without being winded or having to stop and walk. But sometimes... those little accomplishments seem to slip away from my mind because I get distracted by the mirror and what I do or don't see in it. Photobucket

Bear With Me...

I'm playing around and makin changes! Now is your chance to tell me what I need to do with my blog to make it look perfect! How can I be more user friendly? Photobucket

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sports Massage

On Saturday, I shared about my current leg issues that are impacting my running / training. After doing some reading online, talking to my trainer, and talking to my mom, I discovered that a good option might be to go for a sports massage. I've gone for a relaxing full body massage all of... three times. I think. I had a massage before getting married. I had a massage when Teagan was a baby. I had a massage a few months ago thanks to a friend (and reader of this blog- hi, Julie!!). I enjoy massages but... there is something about the frivolity of spending money on something that has no purpose aside from relaxation. Yeah, yeah... I know about releasing toxins and all that jazz. But for all practical purposes, I could live without ever getting a massage.

However, this seemed like the exact kind of situation that needed massage. The IT band being tense and causing my knee inflamation could be helped into a released state through massage. So I made an appointment with Massage Envy. They told me I would be seeing Matt. *gulp* I've never been massaged by a man who wasn't expecting something in return... well, aside from my BFF but since he's gay, there's no expectation. So I was a little nervous but the discomfort and the desire for healing far outweighed my concern.

I show up and meet Matt- firm, strong hand shake. This is a good sign! See- I've enjoyed my other massages. They've been relaxing and all that. But I always felt like the masseuse just didn't quite dig deep enough into the muscles. I probably should have been asking for deep tissue but I don't really know all about massage and technique and all that jazz. But Matt had a firm, strong handshake and I knew that he was going to beat the hell out of this IT band problem. We talked for a bit about what was going on with my knee and leg and about my training. We decided he would just do a legs massage and then, at the end, we could see if I wanted anything else done.

If you want the short version- the end result is that he spent an entire hour on my left leg.

He started with my foot. He found a couple of fibrous type spots and worked them out. Up to the ankle and he worked out some more stuff there. The shin. All little spots that easily released. Then he got to that knee. He poked around a bit and found a couple of spots that he worked on.

Then he warned me that he was going to push up from knee to hip along the IT band and that it might hurt. I braced myself while trying to stay relaxed. He ran his forearm along the IT band and... it didn't hurt. Huh. Weird.

So he started poking around along my hip and HOLY HELL WHAT IS THAT IT HURTS WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? That yelling was all inward... outwardly, I think I laughed and then said it hurt.

There were times I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. But I knew the pain was necessary to get the muscle to release. He apologized for how much it was hurting and said that the tensor fasciae latae was extremely tight. He poked and pushed and pressed and proded. I could feel that he was making progress.

Yes, it hurt. But it would hurt less after a few passes. I am writing this on Monday evening. My hip will most likely be pretty bruised by Tuesday morning. It's swollen and there are some red streaks now. It sounds horrible but it really truly did help, I swear! He also talked to me about the importance of stretching. This was his advice not as a massage therapist... but as the stepson of a marathoner who has run Boston 13 times! He grew up surrounded by running and knew a lot. He talked shoes and stride and pace and all sorts of things with me. Previous massages were very quiet so I could focus on being relaxed... this massage was quite chatty so I could be distracted from the pain.

No pain, no gain, right? Pain is weakness leaving the body, right?

So here's the game plan going forward... More stretching. Strengthening that hip muscle. More water. More use of the foam roller and maybe a tennis ball. And maybe a couple more massages to work out the rest of whatever tight muscles I've got!


Monday, June 21, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Teagan asking a question that I wasn't prepared for her to ask. Does this make me look fat? You all gave me some great advice and I always appreciate the response from the readers of this blog when I hit a parenting hurdle. The story continues... All of the teachers at Teagan's preschool read the blog (Hi, LEP staff!!). This is a great thing because they know what's going on with our family and with Teagan outside of school. And that left one teacher very prepared to handle a situation very gracefully and with all the right answers. Teagan approached one of her teachers and asked "Why are you fat and I'm not?" The teacher responded by saying that she didn't think she was fat and that she makes healthy food choices and exercises and is very healthy and that's what matters. I learned about this on Friday morning. The end of a week where Teagan spent many days at school refusing to eat even a bite of her lunch. To be fair, there was a lot on the menu this week that she doesn't like- mac and cheese, broccoli, beefaroni, etc. I'm going to start reviewing the menus with her and we will pick days that I'll pack a lunch for her. I don't think the food refusal is linked to the fat comments- but the behavior and the words still put a bit of fear in my heart. Thankfully, I'm married to a genious. He figured out where the fat thing was coming from. Alvin and the Chipmunks. Stop laughing- I'm actually serious!! Our kids love the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. When Teagan was home sick, she asked to watch The Squeekquel over and over and over. Here's where Jeff's "ah ha" came in... the weight of the 2 youngest chipmunks (male and female) is brought up several times. Theodore gets teased by school bullies and later asks Simon "Does this make my butt look fat?" The youngest member of the Chipettes, Eleanor, gets criticism from the manager for being fat and he makes her wear uncomfortable shoes to make her look taller and less fat. Now, all of the negative messages have positive messages right away (Simon responds by saying that Theodore's butt is fine) or eventually (Theodore tells Eleanor he likes her the way she is without the shoes). But we've all heard the bit of wisdom that says it takes 1000 positive strokes to cancel 1 negative stroke. The positive tie ups aren't noticable when you are 5 years old. The Chipmunks are now banned. And when we picked up the kids from Grandma's and started the drive home and they asked to watch the Chipmunks, I told Teagan we wouldn't be watching that movie for a while because I didn't like what the movie said about being fat. Then I went on to use her teacher's message- that it's about the healthy food choices you make and how active you are and that being fat or skinny doesn't mean you are healthy or making good choices. All of that got me to thinking about being fat and what that means. I think there is a tendency to treat fat as the problem, the disease, the condition. Fat is the symptom. A symptom of a medical problem. A symptom of eating junk. A symptom of eating too much. A symptom of not exercising. A symptom of not being active. Like with anything else, if you pay attention to the symptom and get to the root of the problem, you just might find the solution and eliminate the symptom. If you ignore the symptom... it gets worse. I know so many women who judge everything about themselves by the number on the scale or the size of their jeans. I know women who weigh in every day and that determines what they will or won't eat or drink- or if they eat at all. And when I'm hearing the negative messages about fat coming from a children's movie... I guess I can see why there is confusion. I can't protect my kids, my daughter, from the inundation that surrounds us when it comes to body image and fat and skinny and healthy. But I can try to correct what she is exposed to and limit that exposure. I can be a good role model when it comes to how she sees me eat and exercise and hears what I say about myself. I can be careful about the messages she hears from me about her appearance, her body. There isn't any one, right, exact way to raise kids that will guarantee that they love themselves, respect themselves, value themselves. But if banning the Chipmunks gives me even a little bit of a leg up on my job, I'm going to take the drastic measures required of me. Photobucket

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Weekend

Old friends
Theatre talk
Home by 1 a.m.
Deep sleeping
In bed
Hand Holding
Family Together Again


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frustration and Nurturing

FRUSTRATION I'm scared. I'm a bit down in the dumps. I'm frustrated. I can't think about it too much or I might actually shed tears. I have a very minor owie / injury that is impacting my running. I'm a week out from my first ever 5K- the race that I kind of hinged all of these goals on. Tuesday evening, I noticed some pressure in my left knee when I went from sitting to standing. By Weds, it was definite pressure and tightness- especially if I squatted down or went from sit to stand or if I fully extend my leg out straight. It hasn't gotten better. It feels like it needs to pop but it won't. There is no intense, sharp pain, nothing feels torn or cracked. I went out to run Thursday evening and had to stop - only got in a mile for my complete workout - because it did hurt when I was running. It doesn't hurt to stand or jump or bear full weight on it. I talked to my trainers at the gym on Friday. IT Band I skipped boot camp on Friday. Lunges and squats are a bad idea right now. Instead, I warmed up for 5 minutes on the stationary bike. Then I spent 25 minutes or so with the foam roller, working that IT band and some other muscles in my thigh and areas around my knee, and doing some recommended stretches. Came back to the office and iced my knee and took ibuprofen. Picked up a wrap on my way home. My trainer said the issue is the IT band and the knee pain is caused by inflamation due to the IT band and some muscle below and to the outside of my knee and the degree to which you bend your leg and... a bunch of other stuff. I'm on a rest plan for the weekend- no working out until Monday. I'm not happy. In fact, I've been downright depressed since about Thursday evening. I've been so cautious about taking care of my body and listening to it and not pushing because the one thing I want to absolutely avoid is an injury that prevents me from running the 5K. 4 months ago, I had a body that I wasn't taking care of at all. I was 240 pounds. I exercised some and I walked a bit and I ate horrible crap. And I never had a single health problem- nothing with my joints, my muscles, my tendons. Now I've lost 34 pounds and I'm stronger and healthier than I've ever been. I have muscles and can do workouts that would have killed me 6 months ago. I can run- even if I'm not to my goal just yet. I have a body that I am taking care of and care about. And now I almost have an injury that could prevent me from running the 5K. I'm going to take it one day at a time. I'm going to ice and medicate and wrap over the weekend. I'm going to go easy on my workouts next week. I'm going to pray- a lot- for healing before Saturday. NURTURE Here's the best part of this story so far. The reality of this knee thing being more than it just needing to pop or something hit me on Thursday evening. I did bathtime with the kids while Jeff ran an errand. I had a hard time kneeling beside the tub to wash my kids, I had a hard time getting up from kneeling after washing my kids. I was down in the dumps by the time he got home. He had been outside, doing some yardwork and moving some stuff around. I asked if we could spend some time just cuddling or something after he got cleaned up. I also needed a shower from my (failed) run earlier in the evening so we each went to our separate bathrooms. I had just stepped in the shower when the door opened. I share a bathroom with the kids so my first thought was that one of them had woken up and needed to potty. But it was my husband. Don't worry- family friendly blog! He stepped in the shower with me and he took care of me. He washed my hair, my arms, my legs, my back- even my armpits and feet. He took great care in rinsing away the soap and shampoo. It was a wonderfully tender time with no pressure of expectations. He nurtured me in a basic caretaking way and it was exactly what I needed. From my frustration came an act of real caring and compassion from my husband. I still don't know what next week will hold with this knee / IT band problem. I'm trying to be hopeful that the icing and ibuprofen and rest and knee wrap take care of the inflammation that is causing the pressure and that the foam roller and stretching that I will do next week will take care of the IT band. Most of all, through frustration and nurturing, I learned an important lesson. I am doing a great job taking care of my body. I have to remember to also take care of my soul- or be open to leaning on the person willing to nurture me in the down times. Photobucket

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Best Friday of the Past 5 Years!

It's FRIDAY!!! And it is the BEST Friday of the past few years for me!! If you are a regular reader of Eternal Lizdom, you already know why. If not, I blogged on Wednesday about our plans for this weekend and it all kicks off TODAY! Jeff and I have the entire weekend to ourselves starting this evening. While I am going to be sad when we leave my mom and dad's house because I am definitely going to miss my kids and worry about them being away from me... the benefits FAR outweigh any of the stresses and I am SO looking forward to time alone with my husband! ***** I have a great friend named Lety. We met through an online community for moms in the Indianapolis area. We are very much the same but very different at the same time and that's a really cool kind of friend to have. I always look forward to her advice when I'm faced with a parenting or relationship quandry. Lety is working on developing her own blog(s) and also has a Facebook fan page that has an adorable logo. I complimented her on it and it turns out that she created it herself! Love people with that kind of talent! So I asked her if she'd be willing to help me out by creating a button for Eternal Lizdom. Personally, I love the results! So go ahead- GRAB MY BUTTON!
Eternal Lizdom
***** Something that makes me very happy... Trader Joe's Sparkling Spring Water. It comes in plain, lemon, lime, mandarin orange, and raspberry lime. Sodium free, 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 carbs. It's spring water and carbon dioxide. It's a great substitute for soda and a nice mix it up from plain water! ***** I wrote a post at Fit City this week- all about Sustaining Motivation. Since that week of vacation, I feel like what was once really easy has become more of a struggle (healthy, clean eating). The post is about the strategies I put in place to get back on track. I hope you'll click the button below, read, and share your own thoughts! ***** My blog buddy Garret added a page to his blog that helps readers who aren't bloggers or who don't have Google accounts know how to leave comments on a blog. It's a great tutorial so I'd encourage you to go and check it out! ***** I've been gettinginto more and more fitness and healthy living blogs lately. One that I've just started reading is Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit. Yesterday's post tickled my funny bone so I wanted to share it. ***** Do you cross promote for other bloggers? For example, when you read a good blog post, do you Tweet it or post it on your personal or blog's Facebook page or recommend it in your own blogging? I think that cross promotion can really benefit bloggers and build a stronger community. I've noticed that male bloggers who use other forms of social media- like Twitter- seem to be really good at that and tend to really scratch each other's backs. I think Mommy bloggers should do the same!! We should all make an effort to Tweet or somehow share the good posts of our own favorite bloggers! ***** Time to sign off... time to start my fun Friday... time to get out of town... Wheeeee!!!!! Photobucket

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FitCity: Sustaining Motivation

I’ve started to struggle.

I started my Healthier Me personal initiative on March 1.  For more than 2 months, I coasted through the choices I was making.  Changing what I ate and when I ate and even how I ate was a breeze.  Getting consistent- even daily- exercise became status quo.

For the past 2 weeks or so, some of my old habits have been trying to break back in- and some have been succeeding.
I’ve been contemplating why this happened or what started it when I realized that the analysis of the problem was my way of extending the problem.  “It’s after bedtime and this is when I start to feel the desire to go eat a pudding pop… yep, I’m feeling it now… I wonder why?  Maybe I should eat that pudding pop and find out!” 

So I’m done with analyzing the problem and I’m ready to fix it.

Step One  I loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies.  About a month ago, I started using Farm Fresh Delivery to receive a medium sized bin of fresh, organic produce each week.  Then, we went on vacation and I cancelled delivery.  The week after vacation was hectic so I cancelled delivery again.  I was so happy to get my green bin yesterday.  It was filled with everything I had ordered when I customized my bin.  I now have corn, asparagus, rainbow chard, fingerling potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, nectarines, peaches, snap peas, cherries, strawberries and blueberries to choose from when I want to munch!  I’ve been bringing my routine food (cottage cheese, cheese sticks, frozen lunch) in to work with me and mixing it up with my fantastic supply of fresh fruits and veggies. 

Step Two  I am being honest about my “transgressions.”  I have a history of wanting to sneak food or be secretive about what I ate or how much I ate.  That was a behavior that often led to a sort of mini-binge at times… shoving in a much higher quantity than normal simply because of the danger of hiding it.  Putting it out here for everyone to see; letting my husband know what I am eating each night- those are things that keep me accountable.

Step Three  Accountability to myself is a huge help for me.  I can’t always trust myself to stay true to the basic formula of “calories in and calories out.”  When I first started my journey, I used My Daily Plate on to determine what my daily calorie intake should be, what my intake actually was, and to track my workouts.  Then I learned to trust myself and I stopped using it.  Getting back on track means getting back to using it to truly be accountable to myself for what I choose to put in my body.

Step Four  Education and Immersion are the last 2 things that help me sustain motivation.  I check in on Facebook throughout the day (side note- are you a Fit City Fan on Facebook?  If not- you totally should be because there are fantastic things ramping up for the summer on the Facebook fan page!!  Don’t miss out!) and I am a fan of Fit CityActive.comCool Running’s Couch to 5KRunner’s WorldClean Eating Mama, and The Anti-Jared.  Chances are excellent that as I scroll down my News Feed, I’m going to see some sort of motivational post from one of those pages- a question about food or a link to an article on running or shoes or a link to a Facebook note about food choices.  I also spend time out on websites that have reputable information about running technique, fueling your body, hydration, and so on.  I keep educating myself on how my body works and what my body needs.  I keep myself immersed in a healthy culture.  Another great tool are the Weekly News Links posted right here on the Fit City blog! That’s how I got started with photo food journaling and have learned about healthy initiatives around our city.

I’ve got my game face back on.  I’m prepared and I know what to do.  Tonight, the post-bedtime chow down isn’t going to bring me down! 

What do you do to sustain motivation?  And if you have any resources that help you along the way- Facebook groups, magazines, books to read- I’d love it if you’d share!


Vent: Online vs In Store

I might have to do like my friend, Garret, and make a little animated thing when I've got these vents and complaints!! I am very, very excited to announce that I have a new cell phone! I decided to take the plunge and leap into current technology by getting a smart phone. As you know, I've done some testing of Verizon phones so I've got some experience with phones like Motorola DROID, Palm Pre Plus, and HTC Incredible. I'd been trying to decide between the Palm Pre Plus and the Motorola DROID. The Pre Plus is less expensive. The DROID has a better camera, Google functionality, etc. The DROID is a better phone but is more expensive. I was willing to pay $50 for the Palm Pre Plus but not so much willing to pay $100-$150 for the DROID. So I decided this weekend was the time to take the plunge and make my choice and get my phone replaced. I do the "new every 2" program with Verizon so I knew I would get discounted pricing on these phones. I jump online and look... the DROID is listed at $150 and the Pre Plus at $50. Then I realize I'm not logged in so it isn't taking into account my "new every 2" thing. I log in. The Palm Pre Plus is now FREE after discounts and the DROID is now $50!! I can order online and have my phone in 2 days with free shipping. But I also know there are 2 official Verizon stores close by and I needed to go to Trader Joe's and one of those Verizon stores is near Trader Joe's... so... I'm so glad I called first. Online pricing and store pricing are COMPETELY different. I didn't ask what the prices would be if I came to the store. The man answered the store phone and I explained that I'm looking at phones for my "new every 2" thing and I asked if the pricing I see when logged into the website is the same as the pricing if I come to his store. He hesitates. And then says... disappointedly... "No. It isn't." If you order your product online, you get an additional discount for buying through the internet. If I worked in one of the stores... I wouldn't be too thrilled with that. I wonder if they work on commission? How does a company justify having one set of pricing here and another set there? What if I had gone and bought my phone at the store and then got online and realized I'd spent money I didn't need to spend? What if my friend goes and buys the phone at the store and I buy online and I enjoy the discounts and they don't? It just doesn't make sense to me. And I know Verizon isn't the only cell company that does this. I've heard the same about AT&T. I don't know about Sprint or other carriers. I just can't figure it out. What benefit is there to having higher priced products in your store versus online? Maybe there is a master plan to shut down all the stores? Maybe the stores are supposed to become more like help centers? Are there other business models like this and I've just missed it? I can certainly appreciate, for example, clothing stores that have a wide variety of styles and sizes that offer sale and clearance items online. And I'm inclined to go to the website before I go to the store because the store will only have on sale what it has in stock. The website has an entire warehouse of product available so the selection is better. Anyone have any insight for me on this one? By the way... totally thrilled with my decision... Motorola DROID Now... to find a great running app... Photobucket

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Been Far Too Long

Jeff and I met in 2001 when we were cast in a community theatre show together. Jeff and I got married in October, 2003. Jeff and I got pregnant in early 2004 and, sadly, suffered a miscarriage. Jeff and I got pregnant in the summer of 2004. Jeff and I had a baby girl in March of 2005. Jeff and I got pregnant in the winter of 2007. Jeff and I took Teagan to Grandma's house for an overnight in the summer of 2007 so we could have a night away as 2 adults before the new baby came. Jeff and I had a baby boy in October, 2007. We haven't had a night to ourselves since. I can literally count on my digits the number of times we've even had our own bed to ourselves for an entire night. We get an evening out for dinner from time to time. We make more of an effort for nights out together than we used to when we only had Teagan. We support each other having our individual nights out more, too. I've been away overnight on business once since Zach was born. That was a year ago. Almost 2 years ago, when Zach was still nursing, I fought against going on a business trip that wasn't a true necessity (and I won my fight). Jeff has taken a few weekends each year and a week each August. I want to reconnect with my husband. I want intimacy and lust and hand holding and snuggling and laughter and laughter and laughter and eye gazing and conversations and no interuptions from the back seat and no demands of what song to play and no questions about where we're going or what we're eating or if we can do whatever... I want my husband, all to myself. He wants me, all to himself. This weekend, I'm getting my wish. This weekend, he's getting his wish. Friday afternoon, the four of us are driving to Cincinnati. We are going to my family's house. We are going to have dinner and get the kids settled in. And then 2 of us are leaving. We are driving back to Indianapolis. We will stay here for 2 nights before heading back to Cincinnati on Father's Day for a family dinner and to pick up our kids. We might go to a movie, out to dinner, to one of those paint your own pottery places, to the art museum, down to the Mass Ave district, to a comedy club... who knows! We haven't planned out the weekend. We actually were kind of stumbling to figure out things we could even go and do without the kids. We never really "dated" back when we were dating- we hung out and spent a lot of time together but didn't go and do and see and experience a lot of stuff. I refuse to feel guilty about a weekend that I know is very important for my marriage, my connection to my life partner. But I have to admit... I feel a little guilty that I want a break from my kids. Having a crappy day at work and a bad midday run and coming home to kids that are demanding and whiney and clingy and obstinant and argumentative and... and having their own crappy day... it wears you down. And part of me has been feeling like I want to just throw in the towel. Not walk away. But let them behave how they are going to behave. Stop trying. I'm not going to. I love them too much for that. But I think a weekend where I build myself back up and where I strengthen the connection between me and my life partner, my parenting parter... is just what the doctor ordered. Photobucket

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along

I'm trying a little something new today- Tuesday Tag-Along. I'm exploring some fun blogs that are new to me and hoping to connect with some new regular readers and commenters on my blog! Be sure to scroll down and see my post for today (I post daily) - my adventures (and surprising success) with gardening this year! If you are stopping by for the first time... I blog about... lots of stuff. Parenting, marriage, exercise, healthy eating, faith, spirituality. I recently received a blog award where I was asked to share 5 words that describe my blogging philosophy and experience. I chose "Honest, Positive, Journal, Mission, Satisfying." Tuesday Tag-Along Photobucket

Since When Is My Thumb Green?

I spent part of Sunday afternoon doing a little gardening. I'm not any sort of master gardener or even a good gardener. I'm still a novice and I'm still learning.

As I walked from front yard to back, working on various project, it struck me...

I have plants. I have things growing in dirt that I planted. And most of them are living and thriving.

I've made some mistakes. I planted way too many brussels sprouts and put them all way too close together. I did some transplanting yesterday from very crowded pot to backyard veggie garden.

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I've made some discoveries. Keeping potted strawberries on the front porch makes for an easy and inviting munchie for critters. There was a gorgeous shaped green strawberry when I left for church and it was gone when I got home. So I moved the pot from front porch to the railing of the back deck- which is a good 7 feet off the ground. Not impenetrable but certainly more of a challenge.

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I've made some progress- things are growing and looking big and healthy.

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I even have things I can almost pick! My blackberries are going to be ripe pretty soon and I have my second banana pepper…

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I still have this mystery plant that Teagan brought home… it almost looks like it’s going to vine upward so I wonder if I need to get a little trellis or something? Beans of some sort?

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If you are in the Indianapolis area and don’t have a garden of your own, my friend Amy shared a great find over at Fit City!!

And I’m always inspired by Flartus and Miss Chef and their gardening success!

Anyone else gardening? I’m going to toss a little blog hoppy linky thing down there… share your gardening posts!