Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Really Shouldn't

We all have those temptations... those things we just can't seem to say No to... even though we probably should.


It isn't that the sushi I eat is unhealthy.  We eat a few rolls that have unhealthy elements but most of the sushi we choose (we being me, Christy, and our other sushi friends) is raw fish and veggies.  The problem is that sushi means overindulgence.  I have a very hard time limiting myself to 1 or 2 rolls.  And not only is that not great for my eating habits, it's hard on the budget.

Free Food

If there is free food offered, I take it.  Leftovers from a business lunch?  Yes, thank you!  Treats brought in to celebrate a birthday?  Yes, thank you!  Doesn't seem to matter if it's something I really like or not.  If it's free, I take it.  I have made some progress in this area- I don't always opt for the free lunch invitation and I can turn down cake.  Unless it's carrot cake. 


I don't want to shop at Target.  I don't like supporting businesses that support things with their profits that I disagree with.  I never re-signed with Curves when I found out the owner of the company (who was quite rich thanks to the profits he made from all those memberships) donated large amounts of money to extreme pro-life groups (the ones who bombed clinics and such).  I stopped eating at Chick-Fil-A because of their stance on gay marriage and their commitment to doing things like donating food and money to groups that fight against equal marriage rights.  Target has given money to politicians in their state that are opposed to gay marriage.  But Target does other things that I do agree with so I'm totally torn and convenience & price ends up winning out.

Talk and Drive

I know my mom won't be happy with me on this one.  But when I'm driving 30 minutes each way for my commute, that is often the best time for chatting on the phone.  I dial and talk hands free thanks to the Bluetooth system in my minivan.  I literally push one button on my rearview mirror and then everything is voice operated.  Sorry, Oprah (although, my phone usage DOES fit into her pledge, Mom!).  I do have a "personal assistant" app on my phone so that if someone texts me while I'm driving, they get a text back that I'm driving and can't text them back right now.  I often forget to turn that app on when I get in the car for my regular commutes. 

Eating Out

This is one that I have mixed feelings on as well.  We eat out.  A lot.  In fact, lately, we eat out often enough that we don't hit the grocery store on a regular basis.  Our evenings are packed and grabbing something to eat on our way from one place to another works best.  And when the evenings aren't busy, coming home and cooking at the end of a long day doesn't sound good to me.  This is one that I might have to challenge myself to change.  I am taking an "easy prep dinners" cooking class in a few weeks.  Who thinks I should then challenge myself to 1 week of no dinners out for the family?

Do It All Myself

I asked Christy to give me something that can make it harder to be my friend.  I asked her to be gentle with me.  I don't know what I was expecting- I'm a good friend but everyone has things they do that others find annoying or obnoxious.  Her answer was that my independence can be a challenge.  I have to agree and I know this is something that imapcts my marriage as well.  It's not that I think I can do things better than anyone or that if I want it done right, I have to do it.  It's not that I won't ask for help or that there is some sort of pride thing involved.  I think what happens is that I don't realize that there are things that I can ask for help with.  When I get overwhelmed at work, Christy is awesome about asking if there is anything she can help with.  If she didn't ask, I would never think to take any of my workload to her or to our support staff.  When I get overwhelmed at home, if Jeff doesn't just randomly do stuff on his own or ask what he can do to help, I don't think to ask him to do things.  However, when my husband or my friends or someone who knows me sees a need and steps up to take care of me, I am deeply appreciative. 

How about you?  What are your shouldn'ts?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Our schedules have been pretty hectic lately.

There are weekends when we barely have time to sit and relax.  But it's ok because we have so much fun while we're running like crazy.  This past weekend was packed full of fun things.  I ran my 5K on Saturday and my husband and kids came out to cheer me on.  The kids participated in the kid fun runs after my 5K.  Then a quick trip home to do a whirlwind clean up.  Visit the Farmer's Market.  Grandma came to visit.  While the kids played with Grandma, Jeff did yardwork and I worked on laundry/bedroom clean up.  Saturday night, Jeff arranged a surprise date night for us.  His dad came to babysit (and ended up walking the kids up to the neighborhood festival where they were beyond thrilled to have cotton candy, ice cream, and lemon shake ups for dinner) and we went out for dinner and a movie.  Sunday morning was 2 church services with children's choir in between.  Home to try and rest a bit before heading out to participate in the town festival parade with our church.  Quick stop by the festival on the way home for a corndog and lemon shake up.  Home to crash into bed.

We were busy, we were exhausted, but we had an insane amount of fun.  There wasn't a lot of fighting or whining or whatever.  We had moments here and there but we were too busy to complain.  And everything we did was as a family.

Then there are times when crazy busy isn't such a good thing.  Work is on that track again.  My day starts and ends with meetings and is filled with meetings all day long.  The work load increases with each meeting but there is no time in the day to get work done.  Meetings overlap and I'm sometimes double booked.  Lunch hour is non-existent most days- I literally had 15 minutes between meetings recently to snarf down food while standing at the kitchenette counter outside the conference room. 

Time passes and my kids get bigger and older and smarter.  I love the ages we are in right now.  Zach, being 3, is loving and affectionate and curious about how the world works.  He adores his older sister and follows in her footsteps while also finding his own way.  Teagan, being 6, is smart and funny and eager to be responsible and grown up as much as possible but she still holds on to this creativity and silliness and curiousity. 

Time passes and my marriage changes.  Some days are tough.  Some days we are grumpy and cranky and have little terse conversations.  Some days, we rely completely on each other to just get through the day.  But the days go by and we have grown together and grown each other in the past decade. 

Time passes.  Can't stop it, can't slow it down, can't pause it like my DVR.  As time goes by, there are hurts and healings, joys and concerns, living and dying.

If I only focus on the time, I'm going to miss out on the living.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finding My Mojo

Find me on my Team In Training blog today!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Climbing Trees

Every kid needs someone to teach them to climb a tree.  Thankfully, we have Aunt Christy who is aware of this important part of childhood.

We have a couple of trees that are ideal for early climbers who are in need of a little help.

I don't remember climbing any trees until I was in junior high, actually.  Up until that point, we'd lived in apartments or condos or other communities that didn't have the types of trees you can climb.  But once we had a house, we had great climbing trees and I loved nothing more than to climb up high and just observe the world.

Now that I'm a mom, I'm not so sure I want my kids being so adventurous.  It's definitely a scary idea- kids way up high with hard ground beneath them. 

But climbing trees is such a kid thing, isn't it?  Like cartwheels and splashing in puddles and skipping.

Can someone please tell me why my 6 year old is already posing for her Senior Pictures??

And while there are no pictures to prove it... I just might have climbed up into the tree for a minute or two...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Am Piano

There is a special community art project going on in my town.

i am piano. play me.

In 4 different places around town, there are painted pianos that remain outdoors and are available for anyone to play at any time.

I came upon one of the pianos on a recent bike ride.  I'm eager to go visit the others and maybe to even dig out some old sheet music and try to actually play again.

Unknown Mami


Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fragments: Giving and Getting

First, gotta start by GIVING you a good laugh!

Mommy's Idea

Last summer, my family met a dog at the Farmer's Market. He was visiting with our local Humane Society. I fell a little bit in love with him. Teagan and I even visited him at the shelter when we brought donations up one Sunday. He's awesome with kids and we came home and had a discussion (Jeff and I) about taking Sassy up to meet him and possibly adopting him. But our little bitty Sassy is 13 years old. And since this dog was already reported to not do well with cats, we feared he might not do well with very small cat shaped dogs, either. And we figure that Sassy really deserves to be the queen of our home for her last years. It's not the right time to adopt a new pet. Thankfully, Trice was adopted by a wonderful family not long after we had that talk so my heart was at ease.

Well, Trice is back at the Humane Society. What I've been told is that there was a neighborhood cat that Trice got into trouble with and the family had to bring him back. They were apparently heartbroken over it- he was awesome with their kids, especially their special needs child.

This is Trice and he needs a home in the worst way so if you live in the Indy area, please consider going to meet this sweet boy and take him home to your kids.

You could be GIVING a dog a safe and happy home and GETTING an incredible pet with unconditional love and unbelievable joy in return!

Tomorrow, I run a 5K.  After this weekend, I'm ready to fully commit to my training runs with Team In Training.  I'm still concerned that my heart isn't fully in it and part of me still wants to switch to the cycling event.  The thought of cycling 100 miles vs running 13.1 is so insanely appealing.  But I'm not feeling confident about the fundraising at all.  $2800 is a lot of money.  And I'm almost to the halfway point of fundraising for the half marathon.  I guess I have a little more time to think about it.  And if you'd like to make a tax deductible donation, please visit my Team In Training donation website

Special thanks to my recent donations- my mom (her first time donating to one of my causes so you know this one's serious!), Mim and Katie.

I'm going to add some info to my Team in Training blog page as well but want to let you know that each of these women have crafty skills that you can take advantage of!  Check out the Team In Training page for more info!

If you are GIVING me a donation, you will be GETTING a thank you from me, marketing from me, and most of all, you will be GIVING someone who is fighting a blood cancer hope, treatment, education, support.

So very excited for my evening!  It's a regular thing for my friends and I to go out for sushi but I love it soooooo much that I get very excited for it.  Our sushi place- Wild Ginger on 116th St- is the kind of place where you compare any other sushi to it and if you eat other sushi- even if it's good- you end up craving Wild Ginger.  And once Wild Ginger is in your head, you MUST have it.  It's been in my head for a few days and now we are heading out to celebrate a friend's birthday!

I'm GETTING sushi! That's all. No give.

Happy Friday!!!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looking Back At Promises Made

After a friend commented on timelines and what would have been happening in our lives 7 years ago, I went back and started reading my old message board that I had created when I became pregnant and wanted to be able to journal my thoughts and also share our milestones with family and friends.

Oh, what a trip down memory lane!

Oct 16, 2004  The first time I felt the baby move in my belly.

Nov 12, 2004  The big ultrasound- "It's a girl!"

Jan 3-6, 2005  My heart scare

March 16  Teagan's Birth Day

In July 2005, I wrote a letter to Teagan on that message board.  In it, I made her some promises for her future.  I think I've done a good job of keeping my promises (so far).


I will always remember... I will always remember learning I was pregnant again and knowing that this time it would be okay, I will always remember your birth and the grasp you had on my finger before they had to take you from me, that you are small and growing and that you aren't a grown up yet, I will always remember to kiss you and hug you and tell you that I love you before I have to leave you for the day or when I say goodnight.

I will never intentionally put you in harm's way, I will never turn my back on you or disown you or abandon you, I will never stop loving you.

I promise... to always accept you for who you are, to teach you to be as accepting of all other people and to find beauty in their differences, to love you unconditionally by every definition of the phrase, to bear in mind your well being with every decision I make, to protect you to the best of my ability, to make a home where you can feel safe and secure and loved and always know that you are welcome, to love your father and put in the effort and work required to make our marriage strong.

When you are 5, I promise... that I will help you through those first days of school ( and rely on my fellow Mommies to help me through it), that I will not burden you with adult problems, that I will continue to love you unconditionally, that I will let you pick your own clothes for the first day of school, that I will let you pick the theme for your birthday party, and that I will hug and kiss you goodbye and goodnight.

When you are 10, I promise... that I will not judge your friends but that I will gently guide you if I see you in trouble, that I will still love you unconditionally, that I will be able to let down my guard and be a fun mom, that we will have mom-and-daughter days, that I will not be jealous when you want Daddy time, that I will be understanding and patient as you became a teenager, that I will be honest with you about the changes happening to your body, and that I will still hug and kiss you goodbye and goodnight.

When you are 15, I promise... to try my best to trust your judgment when it comes to friends and dates, that I will also be honest with you if I see a situation where I think you may end up in danger or in trouble, that I will buy the pints of ice cream when your heart is broken, that I will hopefully have the relationship with you that I wanted with my mom, that you will be able to come to me to talk about anything- from sex, drugs, smoking, cutting, homosexuality, violence to the easier stuff like make up and homework and choosing a college and the latest episode of American Idol- and I won't freak out (at least, not in front of you), that I will love you unconditionally and that I will still hug and kiss you goodbye and goodnight.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


There's some stuff that went down yesterday that has left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of my local mom friends and connections.

My initial reaction was concern for the people involved- specifically one person who I consider a friend.

My next reaction was concern for all the moms who would be angry about the changes.

I've mentioned that online community for moms a few times.  It was a discussion board.  It was originally a small website just for local moms.  It was run by the local newspaper (which is owned by a Corporate, national group).  A few other cities also got their own sites as well.  Our site and another city really seemed to take to it and our sites were very active and popular.

The corporate folks decided that you have to grow a good thing so they connected all the sites into one network.  We each still had our own city area but we fell under one big umbrella.  There were now national groups and threads and admins.  Our leadership took a hit in having responsibilities and power cut.

Then more changes happened.  And a few more.

I stepped down from my paid role a few months ago when new contracts were rolled out with demands that I knew I wouldn't be able to meet.  But I wasn't leaving the site.  I'd seen too many wonderful things happen there.  I saw the community come together to support a family when a mom was diagnosed and quickly passed away from cancer.  I've been part of the team that walks and runs in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  I've been part of and also observed the teamwork of moms coming together at the holidays to lift up families in need.

Personally, I've gotten valuable advice on managing my kids, been encouraged in my efforts to become more physically active, been able to offer advice on topics ranging from breastfeeding to marriage to things to do when visiting Indianapolis.

I've been a message board mama for a long time.  I've done the Baby Center thing and checked out Cafemom and was a member of for a long time.  I have connections- real friendships- with women from that last site. 

But I was plugged into this local group in a different way.  And as the changes came, I rolled with it.  To some degree, it was because I was asked to be positive and encouraging about the changes.  More than that, I still very much believed in what we could accomplish as a group and that the design of the site wasn't what mattered- it was the people who posted and connected that mattered.

Yesterday, our site administrator was layed off.  Yesterday, we were informed that our monthly magazine was gone. 

It's another step toward making the site less personal.

And I can't stand behind it anymore.  I can't be positive about these new changes.  The person they cut was part of the lifeblood of the site.  When they reduced her job on the site to practically nothing a few months ago, the change was in the air.  But I hung in there. 

Thankfully, I'm connected with a lot of those moms through Facebook and several of them read my blog and I read the blogs of some of them.  Because my time on that online community is done.  If things had been handled differently, maybe this would have a different ending.  If the national corporation had opted to take up the proposal to let us have our independent little local site again, things would be different. 

I'm going to miss that community.  But I know the power of those women and they don't need a specific message board to continue to create positive waves in our real life community.  Yes, it will be a bigger challenge to be organized and connected and to share.  There will be a learning curve to using Facebook or a new platform to stay connected to each other.  We lose our connections to the lurkers. 

But endings always happen.

Comments have been turned off for today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

I rode my bike 32 miles on Saturday. I took Teagan for an almost 2 mile ride to the drugstore and back on Sunday. I did an almost 5 mile ride on my own Sunday evening.

I didn't ride last night because of my dental situation making me feel icky.

Today, I'm already plotting out when I can go ride. I thought about bringing my bike to work and riding at lunch time but there is the possibility of severe weather today so I scratched that plan.

I have to make myself run this week because I'm running a 5K on Saturday. Not just any 5K. This was my first ever 5K last year so this is an important aniversary in my running career.

But I want to ride my bicycle.

I have a friend at work who loves running. He used to be a serious distance runner and is getting back into running and has completed a few 5K's, a half marathon, and is training for a marathon later in the year. He's a decent runner and goes a speed I can only dream of. That half marathon he did? He averaged just under 9 minute miles. I'm lucky to run a mile in 14 minutes on my best day.

He loves getting outside and running. He loves the speed, the movement, the exercise, the push. He feels great while he's running.

I don't love running. I love looking forward to a run (but haven't really felt that excitement to run in a while). I love how I feel after a run. But I don't love running while I'm doing it.

I know I'm still recovering from that half that I did in May. And I knew it would take some time before I got excited about running again. It happened in June 2010 after I ran that first ever 5K. There is something about achieving the goal that leaves me needing some distance from it all.

Unlike last year's let down, this year, I have a new activity stepping in.

When I ride my bike, I feel fast and free and strong. I feel like there are so many places I can go and things I can do. I feel good- even when riding in the rain. During that 32 mile ride on Saturday, I hit some low points. Riding in the rain (and some mud) during the ride was tough but it didn't stop me. I did have some physical stuff to work through in the middle of the ride (weird stitch in my belly) but other than that, I felt good.

And I hadn't trained for that 32 miles. I'd cycled the 5 miles to church on a Wednesday evening a few weeks prior, had dinner, worked out with friends, and then rode the 5 miles home. That was the extent of my training.

If I start taking cycling seriously, I wonder how much I really could do, how far I really could go?

I started running and have gone around 300 miles since I started keeping track in April of 2010.

How many miles will I gain on my bike in the coming year?

I feel like I have a lot to learn about cycling.  And I have to be cautious because it would be very easy to drop lots of dollars on various equipment and clothes.  It's not a sport I feel I can easily afford.  But a few basic investments are already paying off and I only have a couple more things on my list to make cycling a full on family event.

I think that's something I really like about cycling, too.  It's something we can do as a family.  Teagan is becoming a stronger rider.  She needs a bigger bike and will then be ready to learn to ride without training wheels.  We are wanting to get a bike trailer so we can take the kids on bike rides together.  And with a trailer, we can easily ride to the Farmer's Market, the grocery store, and even church from time to time.

As I rode my bike on Sunday evening, it hit me how good I felt and that I could honestly say that I loved riding my bike.  I loved the burn in my thighs and the use of my arm muscles.  I loved it as I was doing it.  I think that's key to really succeeding in most anything in life, isn't it?

Some of us are runners, some are cyclists, some are swimmers, some are dancers, some are group fitness lovers.  Some are elite athletes and some are newbies. 

Bottom line is that we all have to find what we love and start working on it.

Sidebar on the Queen song linked above- if you're a fan of Queen, you most likely already know that the original video for this song featured a large group of naked women riding bikes.  Personally, I cannot imagine riding a bike naked.  I bought special pants with extra padding to cover my naughty bits- no way would I want to hop on a bike naked and truly expose those tender areas to cycling abuse!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Why He's The Best

I love my husband. 

We aren't living some fairy tale.  We fight, we annoy each other, we miscommunicate.  We also have fun and go on adventures and support each other and share frustration and work together as a team.

Best of all, we love each other and sometimes that comes through when we take care of each other.

This morning, I had a temporary crown put on a very back molar. 

This afternoon, as the numbness wore off, the pain hit.  Because I have some weird allergic reaction to over the counter pain meds, I can't take anything. 

I've been pretty miserable.

I called Jeff to whine a little at one point.  He sympathized as best he could.

An hour later, I get a message to come out front.

There's my husband... with something to help me feel better...

Mint chocolate chip milkshake.  He figured the cold would help me feel better.

I love him.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Miracles Do Happen!

Do you believe in miracles?  I do.  I've experienced a few in my lifetime.  Some are deeply personal, some I am more open about.  Because I believe in miracles, I appreciate the small miracles and joys around me as often as I can.

Art- secretly hiding far overhead.

And then finding the mirror beneath that allows you to become part of the art!

The beautiful wheat fields making up some of the farmland of Indiana.

Delicious homemade mashup treats- brownie on the bottom, chocolate chip cookie on top.

The gift of music.  And ukeleles.  

Flowers and flower gardens and tucked away gazebos that offer some privacy and rest and peace.

Local wineries, local vineyards.

Strong legs and capable feet that allow me to ride.

Friends to ride with- friends who encourage and push and support.

Having an annual Girlfriend Ride that supports a great cause and that showed me that I can cycle 50K (~32 miles).

The true miracles of the day didn't happen on our bike ride.  The true miracles of the day happened on our drive back home from Columbus, IN to Fishers, IN.  As we traveled up I-65, we witnessed an accident.

An old brown passenger van that was hauling a pop up camper was about 3 cars in front of us.  As we are driving along and relaxing and soaking in the events of the ride we had just completed... the van loses a wheel.  Not the tire.  The wheel.  The wheel flies off into the grass and the van and camper start to fishtail.  Within seconds, the fishtail leads to losing control, into the grass off the shoulder, and then the van begins to flip.  It flips to its side and the trailer flips after it, causing the van to thud to the ground but then flips again.  This repeats on the roof and then on the other side before it all stops.

Smoke is coming up from the van where the wheel flew off.  The wheel is yards away, smoke pouring from it. 

We pull to the shoulder and jump into immediate action.  Paulette dials 911 and hands me the phone.  She's a nurse- an ICU nurse who used to be an EMT.  She jumps out of my van and races to the scene.  Christy whips out her phone and calls 911.  I give info to the 911 operator- "We are on 65 northbound, 1/2 mile from exit 95 for Whiteland.  A van just flipped and there is smoke. No known injuries yet but we haven't reached the van. My friend is a nurse."

I race out of the car to help.  Many people had stopped to help as well.  There are 8-10 people at the van when the side door starts to open.  I call as I'm running to alert the other that the passengers are exiting from the door.  A couple of guys help get the doors open and start helping the passengers emerge.  First, a boy around 8-10 years old.  Then a 12-ish year old boy.  A young teen girl.  All being helped by their dad and the people who have gathered to help.  As we hurry to get them out, one of the helpers notices fuel leaking on the other side of the van and alerts all to the urgency of getting everyone back.  We clear everyone to a safe distance. 

Paulette works to check for injuries.  Christy is still on the phone- now transferred to the State Police.  I'm talking to one of the kids.

Within a minute, an ambulance is there.  I rush to the shoulder and as they pull up, I alert them to which people were in the van and alert them to the report of fuel leaking. 

Then the older boy locks his gaze across the highway.  At this point, we've noticed that he might be autistic.  My concern is that he's going to run across the 4 lane highway- because he's locked in on his mom who was driving ahead of them in a Penske moving van along with 2 other teen girls.  She dashes across the lanes of traffic to the median.  I stop the slow traffic on our side of the highway.  She crosses and her children rush to her and there is sobbing and hugging and holding.

She shares with me that she had been on the phone with her husband when it happened.  She told me that she could hear her children screaming and she saw the van flip... and then she melted down into tears and I held her.

Here's the miraculous stuff...

That van flipped and thudded and flipped and thudded and fishtailed.  The people and stuff inside had to have been tossed about.

No one was seriously hurt.

One boy had a couple of small scratches. 

There were no broken bones, no gashes, no lacerations. 

That ambulance that arrived within minutes?  It hadn't received the call- it had been driving from from another call and just happened upon the scene.

No injuries, a former-EMT-now-ICU-nurse as a first responder on the scene, and an ambulance just happens to be right there.

I definitely believe in miracles In My City!

Unknown Mami


Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday! Friday! Friday!

Mommy's Idea


It's been a long week. We've had plenty of fun times but I'm excited for it to be Friday!

Highlights of our fun week:

This week's theme at camp (the preschool / kindergarten where the kids go has a summer camp program) was Cooking and my kids LOVED it. Monday they made cookies and cupcakes. Tuesday was ravioli- the kids made a cheese mixture and had pasta squares that they filled and folded over to make ravioli triangles. Wednesday was pizza- each kid making their own pizza. Thursday was ice cream- which the kids were eager for all week long. Friday- making breakfast. The kids have been eager to get to camp every day and bursting with details on our way home each evening!


Monday night, we went to dinner at a Korean BBQ place to go with the camp theme of cooking. I know, cooking at home would make more sense. But trust me- cooking in my home isn't much of an option these days. Korean BBQ is cooked on a small grill at your table. It was our first time so the server (who is the son of the owners who are the chef and sushi chef) helped us.


Tuesday night we had dinner out to support a fundraiser for our church and then headed over to a free concert in our town- a Beatles tribute! It is part of a weekly series- Tuesday evenings, free outdoor concert. We ran into a family we knew from kindergarten that happened to be Teagan' best grilfriends (triplets). The kids had a blast together!


Thursday, along with being ice cream day, was the annual Employee Appreciation Day at my workplace. They have a big carnival type of event- cookout food, snow cones, face painting, a clown, the Colts mascot (Blue) was there, huge inflatable sports things and bounce houses, a photo booth, an animal show, and a magic show performed by employees (fun with science stuff). It was the best event so far and my kids had a blast.

I had some fun too... especially when I caved and went down the giant inflatable slide. I want one for MY birthday!!

Yup, that's my weird laughing scream. Loved it!


But what I am most excited about for this Friday is that tonight, I head out with 2 of my girlfriends for the Girlfriend Ride in Columbus, IN. We are staying overnight in a friend's parent's cabin. We have adult beverages and will sit around and talk and relax for the evening. In the morning, we go on one of the greatest bike rides I've heard of- the course is full of pampering stops (like hand massages) and food (like chocolate). We're doing the 50K (31 miles). I am very excited for the bike ride, the experience, and most of all- time with my friends!


Part of me is wanting to change my Team In Training event from running a half marathon to a cycling event in Michigan. If I change, I'd be cycling 100 miles (Century Ride) instead of running 13.1. With the training, I'd learn a lot more about taking care of my bike and handling problems I can encounter on the trail. Plus, I love riding my bike. I enjoy it. I don't enjoy running (I enjoy the benefits of running. My hang up is that I'd have to raise more money. Right now, I need to raise $1500 by Aug 3. If I change to the cycling, I'd need to raise $3,000 by July 20. I need to be close to those numbers by those dates for those events. I'm not confident I can do it.


So proud of my husband- he's planning to take the kids to the Farmer's Market without me on Saturday! I hope he remembers to get me a jalapeno brownie from Sugar 4!

What are your weekend plans? I hope you have a chance to get outside and do something fun and active!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inspiring Others

I've had some really cool experiences lately.  And it's all pretty much happened on Facebook. 

I love to scroll down my news feed and see what people are up to.  I like to read about vacation plans, fun days in the park, interesting meals, funny things kids say, questions about different situaitons, links posted to funny videos, links to serious news stories. 

Lately, I've been noticing something cool.

Linda ran her first 5K distance.

Heather is doing regular workouts and plans to run a 5K in September.

Jessica is on week 2 of Couch to 5K.

Lety mentions that she and Krista are heading to the gym together.

Sarina just got home from a walk.

Lauren went out and ran 10 miles.

Mia is doing precor, strength training, turbo fire.

Tonya did her 2nd half-marathon.

Emily was off doing a Ragnar relay for the second time.

Beth shares her runs, walks, fitness routines, and deals on fitness equipment.

I see status updates about "Jillian kicking my butt" and "heading out for Zumba."  I see updates about people feeling better, stronger, healthier.  I see people sharing ideas for produce based meals.  I see all these people getting support and encouragement for these healthy choices.

It's pretty amazing.

I'm not trying to take any kind of credit for the choices people are making in regards to their health.  It does warm my heart whenever someone says that I have inspired them to start their own journey towards healthier living.

Lately, as I expected would happen, I haven't been as motivated as I've been in the past.  I can give lots of excuses- work has been insane, Christy has a stress fracture, I did a half marathon and need a break.  I haven't been going to the gym as often as I'd like.  I haven't been eating the way I prefer to eat.  My choices have been lazy lately.

But did you see what Linda and Lety and Emily and Lauren and Sarina and Heather and Krista and Mia have done?  If they can do it...

There is something really cool that happens when I read those status updates.

People who have said that I inspired them end up inspiring me.

I asked a question on Facebook yesterday, wondering what it is that inspires people to get started and to keep going.

Lety finds inspiration in other people sharing what they are doing and sharing their successes.

Emily focuses on how far she's come, all that she has accomplished.

Beth enjoys having found something she lvoes doing- running. 

Linda is making her efforts and progress public on Facebook so that she is held accountable to succeed and keep going.  She sees people in her family on an unhealthy path and doesn't want to go there herself.

Nan wants her to conquer the serious health issues she's facing.

Jessica wants to feel like her old self- to be able to be physically active and not exhaust herself.

Bg Kahuna wanted to avoid turning into a 400 lb waterbed with a head.

Chrissy works in health education and knows the value of healthy living- and the risks of unhealthy living.

If you need inspiration- look for it.  It's there.  It's inside of you... and it just might be in your Facebook news feed or in some tweets. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Missing People

There's a trend of missing people lately.  People who have vanished.  Sometimes foul play is suspected, Sometimes, there are no clues.

What we see is the anguish of those left behind.  The pain of family and friends as they wait for answers and search endlessly for their missing loved one.

Recently, a young woman from Indiana University has gone missing.  There is a lot of media attention- and the coverage is growing as it went national this morning on the Today Show

Sunday night, a 7 year old boy with autism (nonverbal) went missing from his home.  He was found dead Monday morning.

There is a young man missing in Plainfield, IN.  He was last seen leaving a hotel and is reported to have a medical condition and to be grieving the loss of his grandfather.

In fact, there are more than 1,000 missing persons cases being investigated in Indiana at this time.  That number is pretty evenly split between adults and chidlren.

I caught part of a show on Lifetime last night called Vanished.  I got caught up in the telling of a 2 year old who went missing from his bedroom, the divorce of mom and dad, mom's suicide causing the trail to go completely cold, and the ongoing hope that the boy is out there somewhere, waiting to be found.

I've watched movies portraying the stories we all fear- of children or loved ones gone missing. 

It breaks my heart.  I can't imagine having someone you've loved just... disappear.  I can't imagine worrying about them not having needed medication or the circumstances under which they vanished, or the conditions that they may be living in or the way they may have been killed.

I've seen plenty of news coverage in the last decade of a mom and kids found living in a hidden shed behind a house, of a teen boy found after being kidnapped a decade prior, of a body found after a long and exhausting search.

It breaks my heart.

It's one of those Big Unanswerable Questions.  One that you hope gets answered someday- even if you have to wait for the afterlife for that answer.  Why do people do such horrible things to each other?

Even on a smaller scale- aside from murder and molestation and kidnapping and abuse- why do we seek to hurt one another?

When someone chooses to be mean, they're trying to take away a piece of someone else.  And if someone has been picked at enough, maybe they end up being something of a missing person as well.  Their body is present but they've had to force their personalities, their character, their humor, their passion to disappear because they've been so bullied or picked on or neglected because of it.

I was thinking the other day about my kids growing up and what they will say about their childhood when they are adults.  I look back at my own childhood and there is a lot of pain.  Jeff's childhood is filled with pain.  Sure, we have some happy memories.  But so many of the people in my life have hard, pain filled backgrounds.  And yet we fight so hard to try and make the lives of our children as wonderful as possible. 

My kids will experience pain.  Life happens.  But I'm doing everything I can to protect them and to teach them to protect themselves from the Bad Guys- and especially from the Bad Guys that appear to be Good Guys.  That's scary stuff. 

Part of me wants to really understand what it's like for someone to grow up in a "normal" home and family.  With "normal" hurts and life experiences.  The kind of hurts where someone isn't intending to damage you. 

Sometimes, missing people are those that have been taken or those that have chosen to disappear. 

Sometimes, missing people feels like a bigger thing, a more confusing thing, a harder to put your finger on thing.  Maybe because seeing a family in such profound pain brings me dangerously close to the edge of that terrible level of fear that I didn't truly ever feel until I became a mom.

Hug your kids, your spouse, your parents.  Call up your best friend and tell them what they mean to you.  Take a few minutes today to appreciate the important people in your life- make sure they don't go missing.


Monday, June 13, 2011


I've always said that the thing I like most about blogging and social networking is the connections I've made to other people.

I'm finding that connection is something that boosts me and drives me in other areas of my life.

When I gave my sermon last month, I knew I would be connecting with people with those words.  And I did.  The feedback that has rolled in indicates that people connected with what I was sharing.

I had my first Team In Training group run this past Saturday morning.  Part of the reason for joining an effort like Team In Training, aside from the fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, is being able to connect with other people with similar interests and passions.  I was a little nervous going to my first training run.  I'd missed the very first meet up because we were on our weekend getaway to Kentucky.  Part of me worried that people had already formed groups and made friends and that it would be hard to "break in."  Part of me felt pretty confident that I'd meet at least one person that I would connect with.  Normally, Christy would be with me so it wouldn't matter if I meshed with anyone else.  But she's still healing up from a stress fracture in her foot and won't be running for at least a few more weeks. 

I had a friend there that I know through a local mom's website.  It was great to  have a friendly face to immediately connect with.  Then there are the Team In Training coaches and mentors and team captains- they go out of their way to say hello and chat.  I met a nice woman named Susan and we hit it off well.  Then we got out and started our running and walking.  This is where the groups split up and I was suddenly on my own.  The runners all started off at a run and I started out walking to get myself warmed up.  I started running and soon found myself matching pace with a another woman.  She and I started talking and running and walking together.

Her name is Minerva.  One thing I loved was how much she observed her surroundings.  Together, we saw at least 7 deer in the woods through our state park running route.  We talked about our families and what we do for a living and how we plan to raise money for Team In Training.  She shared that she had come to the initial run the weekend prior but no one had talked to her and she almost didn't come back.  I'm so glad she did.  She pushed me when I needed pushing and understood when I needed to walk. 

We connected.

After the run, I came home and the family piled into the van and we headed over to our local Farmer's Market.  We started visiting the familiar booths- the coffee guy is always my first stop, then off to the pretzel booth so the kids (and sometimes husband) have something to munch on while we walk around.  Next stop was at Sugar 4.  I talked about Sugar 4 in my post about opening day of the Market- shared some pictures, mentioned my favorite jalapeno brownies.  When I approached the table this time, the owners recognized me.  I was a little... surprised.  Jennifer and her husband both thanked me profusely for writing even that little bit about their little business.

Turns out, they've been hit with some difficult life stuff recently.  And having a stranger say nice things about their passion- baking these yummy treats- was a spiritual lift that they desperately needed.

We talked and we even hugged and...

We connected.

Of course, I also got a good selection of yummy treats.  A jalapeno brownie, of course, and a double chocolate biscotti for Christy and I to share, 2 red velvet cookies (one for Christy) and 2 mini gingerbread men for my kids (Jennifer makes them with crystallized ginger in them so you get the gingerbread flavor but also get amazing bursts of ginger).  Yummy homemade treats, made with love and passion.

In one day, I connected with people in real ways.  And that's why I do the things I do.  That's why I talk to strangers in restaurants and grocery store aisles.  That's why I smile and make eye contact.  That's why I blog and tweet and participate on message boards and on Facebook.   That's why my friends and my church family are so important to me.  I need those connections. 

When you comment or tweet me or respond to an e-mail, you are connecting with me.  I put something out into the blogosphere, into the intranets, and when that little ping reaches someone...

We connect.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sundays In My City: Louisville Waterfront

Not my city... but a city we enjoyed visiting!  These are a small part of our getaway last weekend to Louisville, KY.

We hung out by the waterfront.  Fantastic parks and walking paths.  Had a great time on a rented 4 wheel bicycle surrey.  Saw a coal barge going down the river- I have memories of my own growing up and my dad's connections to coal mining and how he used to always point out the barges hauling coal to me.  We easily could have spent most of the day on the waterfront with the assortment of playgrounds and the giant splash park!

Plus, spotting Santa on the off season is always a bonus.  Who knew he was a fan of Joe's Crab Shack?

I also spied an exercise group- 4 women and 1 leader doing a variety of exercises along the riverfront.  We spotted lots of cyclists and runners and walkers, too.

But what I really loved was catching someone doing cartwheels!

Unknown Mami