Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve & Resolutions

I'm here again to list my 2017 New Year's Resolutions.  I do this every year and I never get discouraged with it when I quit most of my resolutions by February.  That's still one month of being mindful about the things I want to do with my life and the things I need to change or improve to accomplish those things.  So this year is no exception.  Even though New Year's resolutions hadn't even crossed my mind until about an hour ago, I still jotted down 7 of them with that familiar giddy excitement I feel when I start working towards a new goal.  If only this excitement could last well into the dull exhausted effort I start putting in when the end of the goal seems impossible to reach and the efforts feel wasteful.

Without further ado:

1.) Write Every Day
2.) Get an Agent
3.) Add an item to my jewelry shop for which the proceeds go to a charity that will be in jeopardy (or severely cut in funding) by the new administration
4.) Tweet daily about writing and jewelry 
5.) Write a blog post at least once per week
6.) Make healthier choices (for my body and my mind: less Facebook, less junk food, more mindfulness, more exercise, more reading, more journal writing)
7.) Read to my children more

I still work full time from home and my job is intense most days, so I realize that a lot of these will be tough to fit in to a daily schedule, especially with a young family, but most of these things really only require either motivation, or ~15 minutes of my time.

1.) Write Every Day:  At least 250 words will be what I use to constitute writing every day.  And maybe using some kind of habit forming tool (I have some kind of app I was using for this on my phone but then jewelry got crazy before Christmas and I had to stop doing everything during my free time but make holiday orders).

2.) Get an Agent....I need to re-query my finished manuscript and just keep chipping away at agents, hoping for it to finally happen this year.

3.) Add an item...I am terrified about Donal Trump. Terrified.  I want to make jewelry (at least one thing) that allows the buyer to choose which charity the proceeds will go to (maybe one extra dedicated to environmental causes).

4.) Tweet daily....I love going on Twitter and reading tweets from likeminded individuals but I'm always really afraid to write my own tweets.  I want to start doing this.

5.) Write a blog post weekly...to commit even more to this one, I just spent $5 on an app to facilitate this resolution with my iPad...I'm writing this post with it. 

6.) Make Healthier Choices....This one is so easy, yet so hard...I want to drink less alcohol, binge eat junk food almost never, stop getting on Facebook every time I turn on my phone, read more books (I read a lot now but it sometimes takes me forever to finish a book), meditate, take baths, take walks, run, just basically know that when I'm deciding on an activity, a meal, a snack, basically anything, I have the freedom to make good choices or bad choices...and I want to make good ones so I'm less cranky, less sleep deprived, less lethargic, more motivated, etc.

7.) Read to my children more: I suck at this...mostly because I really usually hate kids books...like the short poetic type ones with lots of moral lessons piled on top...my older daughter is into the Magic Treehouse books and I really like their fast pace and adventurous stories so I just want to make it a habit more to read to them...since books are so important to me and I suck as a parent for not making it a routine for them.

So those are it!  Wish me luck! If you are also resolving to change habits this year, I wish you the best of luck as well!! 

Happy New Year!!! (I'm writing this post from Barnes N Noble...my favorite place ever)

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scrivener for iOS is AMAZING

So I'm just now really taking advantage of Scrivener for iOS.  I bought it almost the second it became available even though at the time I was only using an ancient iPhone 4S (that’s a long story…I had an android Samsung Note 4 and a little after a year of usage, it started shutting off sporadically…then so frequently that I couldn’t use it anymore and had to beg friends and family to send me an old unused phone…my awesome friend Laina in PA mailed me her old iPhone).

Even on the small screen of the 4S, it was a great program.  A couple of months after the release, I splurged on an iPad Pro 9.7 inch (my husband was away and I was single parenting for 3 months…it was sort of my “thanks for doing all that” gift). Then our upgrade became available for the phones so I’m also using it on the iPhone SE (rose gold…it’s so cute and perfect and reliable and after all the issues with the phones over this past year, I am SO appreciative of all the things these amazingly smart devices can do).

On the iPad I started writing a new project for NaNoWriMo. Except I was still mostly still writing on the Windows OS (I also have a Microsoft Surface 3…I’ve got a disgusting addiction to technology)… I liked that I could still enter full screen mode on the Windows version of Scrivener.  Somehow, that helps me shut out every other digital distraction so much better.

Until recently, that is.  I was messing with my screen on the iPad version of Scrivener when I realized I could “zoom” in on my text.  My issue with the full screen mode in iOS was that the text was so tiny on my big iPad screen.  But zoomed in, and using the typewriter mode, and narrowing down the margins, and using my iPad smart keyboard, it’s like I can shut out distractions almost as easy as I do on the Windows version.

And the real thing I discovered recently and LOVE is the fact that when I tap on the word count, I can set an overall target word goal and a session target word goal. I’ve been telling myself I need to do 3 sessions a day of 250 words each in order to help maintain my progress and make this a better daily habit and this feature in Scrivener makes it a lot easier to visualize that progress, both overall and within each session.

I keep discovering all of these amazing things that Scrivener can do (on every version of it, haha…I’ve purchased all 3), and I keep falling more in love with it.

So yea, I highly encourage you to use Scrivener (they have a 30 day trial) if you like to write (at all) and also like to feel organized.

NaNoWriMo 2016, not a winner...

I've written 28,798 words this month, so sadly, I was not a winner, but I still plan to write the rest of this book, and I'm starting to make writing more often a habit.  

After the election debacle, I had a conference in Arizona, both of which seriously derailed my progress early on and I was never able to recover (emotionally or otherwise).

So here we are, it's December 1, and I knew about a week and a half ago that it wasn't in the cards for me this year.  I still very much plan to write throughout the year because if there's one thing I learned from this year's attempt, it's that I feel like a better person, a more fulfilled individual, when I'm actively writing something new.  

I downloaded the app "Streaks" on my phone and I've set it up so that I need to write 3 times per day for at least 5 days a week and it's helping me make it a habit.  

So hopefully I'll have myself more prepared next November, because I truly love the whole experience of NaNoWriMo.

Until then, I'll be back often with random updates on my life.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 7, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Day 7 (and briefly, Day 6)

I wrote yesterday, I just didn't write here yesterday.  I didn't even realize until I'd decided to call it quits tonight and came here to bow out when I saw that I hadn't even posted an update yesterday.  It was a good day, too.  Full day of cleaning the house, writing, and exercising (something I've been lacking in more lately).  But I must have assumed I'd get around to posting here at some point and today I must've miss-remembered that I had.

Anyways...I'm so tired right now.  I had a full day (with crappy sleep last night)...worked an insane amount in the 8ish hours of my work day (one of those days where I'm rushing through one thing so I can get it done and move on to the next...which takes a lot out of anyone...right?).  Then had to work on jewelry tonight after picking up the girls from school.  Then came here to write at 10pm.  So I'm not even feeling back for getting under the 1,667 word count total for the day.  It was close, and my average is still higher than that, so whatever.

Still loving my story.

Good night.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo2016 - Day 5

I got to sleep in late this morning.  It's rare that I get up anywhere past 7:30 in the morning and today it was after 8, which is unheard of.  Not that I didn't wake up a few times beforehand...like in the middle of the night when our 6 year old came in the room complaining that she's afraid of ghosts (we made the mistake of letting her watch the new Ghostbusters movie with us last night...she went back to bed when I negotiated that she could keep her door open and our door open, in case she needed a quick getaway to a safe place in the event that a ghost showed up in her room) and at 6:45 this morning when our younger one came and crawled into bed with me for 10 minutes before I convinced her she needed more sleep (it worked, which is also very rare).

After breakfast (made by the newly returned husband) and a fun trip to stores to get unneeded things (like the ingredients to no-bake cookies, also made by the newly returned husband) (and the ingredients to cereal mix, made by me, currently in the oven)...we got home and had lunch, then I got my younger girl to bed for a nap and I went out to Barnes n Noble for 3.5 hours to catch up on my word count.

I got to 2,550 words and feel mostly satisfied with the quality of what I added to my story.  I'm still feeling like I have plenty of content and plenty of story line left to fill the pages.  And I like my idea...the female protagonist makes "memory movies" in the future...no one spends real time with anyone else...everything happens remotely with virtual reality...weddings, birthdays, anniversaries...and she creates them out of nothing but photos, video clips, and requests from her clients.  This way they can pretend they spent real time together with their new spouse or family celebrating a birthday, or friends celebrating a graduation, when really they only ever interact online.
Human population numbers are low, birthrate is low, etc. But for the most part, people are happy.  The female protagonist isn't though.  And the male protagonist wants everyone to be happy.  He wants to become the next president, and he probably will.  He wants to do a good job, fix the country's problems, etc.  The female and male protagonist get "matched" which means they're considered compatible by a system that reads and analyzes their user profiles, their online activity, etc.  They've both had unsuccessful matches in the past and are both pretty much sure the system is a joke, but they like each other, despite themselves.

She gets framed for doing something that's illegal in the future (lying online). Gets kicked offline.  He knows how dangerous it is to be offline and goes to look for her. Her best friend, the one who framed her to get her kicked offline, also comes to find her.  She tells her she's met communities offline that are full of loving, good, innocent and harmless people, they're repopulating the world and she didn't know another way to get them help.  She didn't want to put her friend in harms way, but knew she could influence the one person that could help these people.

Just realized I basically wrote another synopsis, which is basically the same as what I posted here a few days ago.  Oh well!

I love November (not sure if I'll be feeling the same way on day 15, haha).


Friday, November 4, 2016

NaNoWriMo - Day 4

I came up about 450 words short today, but I'm feeling okay about it.  I mean, tomorrow's a Saturday and my husband is finally home so I am completely at liberty to leave the house during my younger daughter's nap for up to 3 hours (or 3 months, if we want to be completely fair about it)...so I plan to set a higher word count goal for the weekend to get caught up and get ahead.

So for tonight (i'm getting dirty looks as we turn on the new Ghostbusters movie and I'm trying to hastily type this entry)...here you go:


Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 3 - I am so tired.

My husband got home from a three month training in California today.  After the very crappy amount of sleep I got last night and the ability to celebrate the end of single parenting, I had mentally decided I wouldn't write tonight.  Then he went to bed at around 9 PM and I thought, well, there's no reason not to write.  So I did.

And now it's time for bed.

Yay me (even if I was literally falling asleep as I was typing full sentences)...


Good night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016, Day 2

Today was a lot tougher.  When I went to pick up my younger kiddo from daycare they said she's been feeling yucky and that they wanted to check her temperature before I took her home.  101.1.  Poor baby girl (she'll be 3 in January).  I gave her ibuprofen around 6:30 after she laid pathetically on the couch for an hour looking like she wanted to die.  I'm not the type to hold off on the medicine, I was just completely blanking on the fact that she should have something to bring the fever down.  Within almost 30 minutes of taking her medicine she was up eating crackers and drinking milk (yea yea, milk was a bad idea).  She went to bed around 8:30 seeming fine, with a cool forehead and all.  Then at 11:15, when I was about 1,200 in on my word count for the night, I hear coughing coming from one of their rooms.  I'm only hopeful for a second that it's just a mild cough, but then I hear the tell-tale sounds of flemmy coughing...knowing without a doubt that I'm about to be confronted with the thick smell of vomit.  Poor kid threw up all over herself in the bed.  I'll stop detailing the level of grossness because I could definitely go on, and even I can't stand the thought of it.  My hands feel swollen and stiff from all the hand-washing.  She had to get in the bath and was shaking like crazy...I felt so bad for her....it was all through her hair so there was no avoiding the tub.  I bleached it after she got out, which I'm sure plays a factor in how uncomfortably swollen and stiff/dry my fingers are right now.  Luckily for me, and maybe not so luckily for him, my husband gets home tomorrow from his 3 month training in California.  I might only work half the day so I can sleep.  I'm really hoping I don't catch whatever she has.  I don't know what she has, to be honest.  Usually when any of us get the actual stomach bug, we don't get a fever with it, but maybe this is an exception?  She had her flu shot a few weeks ago so I'm assuming it's not that.  She took a bath last night and drank a lot of the gross bath water (she does it all the time, even though I beg her not to).

So after all that, I came here to document that I still hit my word count goal for the day.  Exactly 1,667 words.  It was 1,666 but I added in an unnecessary word when I saw that I was only 1 away from the magic number.



Please don't let my daughter puke anymore...please help her feel better soon!! :( Poor little honey (that's what she would say to a "sick" doll).


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo End of Day 1

I'm here, feeling extremely optimistic about this new project and my first day's accomplishments.  I always feel the most hesitant just before I'm starting something new.  I have this idea in my head of how I want it to go, and I'm usually always afraid the whole thing will crash and burn before the end of Chapter 1. But tonight's beginning went better than I could have hoped and I feel like I'm off to a great start.  This story is off to a great start.  This is my synopsis:


And my Day 1 Totals:


It's already after 11 and I sat down to start this at around 8:15.  Almost three hours for 2,000 words.  Ouch.  But I really don't need to average that many EVERY day, as long as I write every day for the next 29 days.  

It's happening.  I feel really, really good about this.  

And then you blink, and it's November

I'm committing myself again this year to participating in NaNoWriMo.  Fifty-thousand words in 30 days.  I have been outlining an idea for the past few weeks, an idea that surfaced over a year ago and now I feel the same unavoidable urge to get it out as I did with my first manuscript.  It's set in a future where people stop interacting in person and the human population keeps dropping.  It'll be set from the point of view of two people (man/woman).

I'm listening to the NaNoWriPod podcast and feeling very frustrated with myself for not staying up until midnight last night to write.  It never even crossed my mind, to be honest.  After trick-or-treating with the kids and trying to fit in some mind numbing TV time, which followed a full day of work and editing my WIP from several years ago (I've been sending queries out again and have already been getting those form letter rejections, trying not to take it personal again), I was just exhausted.  Actually, it's probably best I didn't stay up, since my 2 year old crawled in my bed at 1:45 AM for about 10 minutes before I forced myself to convince her that sleeping in her own bed would be better.  It actually worked...she stayed in her own bed the rest of the night, but that short middle of the night interruption is something I'm not used to now that both my kids sleep through the night.

In conclusion, for better or worse, here's to another month of committing my free time to writing! Good luck to anyone else starting this adventure today!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What a week

So I never intended to do the calorie counting thing over the weekend, which is why I haven't been posting updates about it.  Friday was a semi-decent day...the rest of the weekend was the same.  I did indulge a bit more, but not to the extent that I was angry with myself the next day.

Then yesterday afternoon my car wouldn't start.  I was in the process of picking up the kids...I'd already picked up my older one from school and we were getting a few groceries before going to the daycare for my youngest when the battery was clearly dead.  I apparently have no skill at keeping calm and level-headed in moments like this (imagine if it had been worse!)...I freaked out, called the husband in California (like he'd be able to help)...I think I even called my dad, haha.  Husband told me what I already knew...get someone to jump it.  Luckily there was a seriously nice older man walking to his SUV, which was parked catty-corner to mine.  I asked if he had jumper cables and he didn't, but his wife was walking to meet him and said she'd go find some...she works at the commissary and turned out to be a nice woman who had chatted with my daughter while we were checking out.  She came back with the cables and we got the car started.

Then this morning, I very nervously tried the ignition before taking the kids to school.  It started! So I left it on while taking the little one into daycare, just in case...and then dropped off the oldest at school before going to Panera Bread for my daily free bagel, coffee, and the business of calling the Dodge dealership to schedule for them to look at the battery.  It's still under warranty, so yay for that.

They say to bring it in but that they're very backed up.  I say, okay...be right there.  Go get in the car...battery is dead again.  This time no friendly older men around to save the day...I asked one random stranger who couldn't help me, and no one else was lingering in the parking lot and I wasn't about to go in to make an announcement to the Panera customers that I needed someone's car to start mine (although, I was tempted).  So I called our roadside assistance.  They showed up surprisingly fast and I was on my way to Dodge.

Those a*holes told me they were too busy to even attempt to look at it.  Seriously?!? This thing is under warranty and the battery is only 2 years old..and I have no other form of transportation..what the hell am I supposed to do?!?  They make me go up to the Chrysler/Jeep service department...which I do...and they basically tell me the same thing but they say they'll at least try to get it done.  I can't help myself...I cry for a good 10 minutes after they take the car back.  I'm thinking "how am I supposed to get on base to get my daughter from daycare? Why do things like this happen when the husband is away and I have no friends or family here to just call up for help?" (I do have one good friend but she had a baby about 3 days ago...so that's out of the question).  So after feeling sorry for myself for about 15 minutes...I get over it and get to work with their surprisingly good wifi.  I got quite a bit done when around 12:30 (3ish hours after I got there) they say my car is ready.  Seriously?!?!?! I'm happy and relieved, but also pretty pissed.  What the hell was with all the "we might not be able to even fit you in...this is going to take all day...we might need to shuttle you home..." talk??? Whatever...just give me my car.

And so that was the past two days.  So I haven't been logging my food.  BUT I did weigh another 0.2 pounds less this morning than I did last Wednesday morning.  So that's good.  And I definitely ate under the amount I burned today...but I didn't log, so I have no clue how much.  I didn't snack after dinner.

Now I need sleep.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm Here for a Confession

Three days in a row...three really good days.  I woke up yesterday, weighed myself, discovered I'd dropped 3 pounds (I know it wasn't all true weight loss from just 3 good days of a modest deficit in calories, but I felt less bloated and fit better in my clothes) and my day went along as usual...just as good as the previous 3 days. Ate salad for lunch, went for a great run, did a little lifting, had a banana with peanut butter for my after workout snack...the day was going great.

Then I took my daughter to get chapstick at the Base Exchange (BX..found on most military bases..basically like a mini walmart for military members but tax free and sells a wide range of things, including wine) ......

I figured, why not have a glass or two of wine? I could fit it in my calorie amounts and I'd be fine. I think you know where I'm going with this. 

I indulged....on everything I could get my hands on. Ate some tortilla chips with some cheese dip, then 2 packs of fruit snacks (sorry kids!), then finished off the last serving in a box of cheese nips.  Drank way too much wine, and in the span of 3 hours I officially succeeded in disappointing myself.  I even binge watched Bones (I missed a bunch of the last episodes of this summer...didn't realize it was still on).

So even though I'm struggling to get back on good terms with myself this morning, I'm back on the wagon...trying to dust myself off and get back in a good mindset.  

It was like the combination of wanting to watch TV, having a fresh bottle of wine, giving myself a little slack on the rules, and seeing that progress I'd made in the morning resulted in a very reckless mindset.

Whenever I drink too much wine, I wake up in the middle of the night with barely any hope of falling back to sleep. I was up for the better part of 2 hours between 3:45 and 6:30 ...the whole time just regretting last night.  Ughhh food and wine...why do you have to be so incredibly desirable??? I get now why people say they "cheat on a diet".  I feel like the idea of wine and snacks just seduced me right out of all these good intentions I've had.  

But the beauty of fucking up for one night is that it's just one night...today is a new day.  And despite the crappy night of sleep, I still see myself going for a 3-4 mile run and staying within my calorie goals and definitely NOT drinking any wine tonight (or maybe ever again, haha).  And now I've learned my lesson...when I'm restricting myself and decide to indulge a little, I need to remember that a little means a little...and that I will be very pissed at myself if I ever let myself lose all willpower like I did last night.  


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Super Yummy Protein Shake (tastes like a peanut butter milkshake)

I had a good day yesterday...ended up going over 1,800 calories but I had a great workout and ran 3 miles, so I think I burned over 2,500.  And I went to bed feeling kind of hungry, so I had to have had a deficit in calories.  I've also started making this amazingly delicious protein shake with my awesome blender...all that goes into it are:

  • 1 tbsp natural Jif peanut butter
  • 5 oz whole milk
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate whey protein
  • 4-5 ice cubes
Oh my god. It's like the most delicious chocolate peanut butter milkshake but it actually serves a purpose and doesn't make me feel guilty.  It has like 300 calories, but when I'm running 3+ miles every day AND lifting 2-3 times a week, it is good to get the protein (right?).  And it's a super easy way to satisfy my sweet tooth and help out my muscles.


I had it with lunch yesterday and after a run today. It might be getting a little addicting, haha.

Fulfilled everything else on my list from yesterday except editing my book (I'm going to avoid it for enough days that I feel so guilt ridden, I vow to work on it for weeks at a time, which will last about 3-5 days).  I did finish reading a YA book though....One Past Midnight...which apparently has also been published under a different title.  I plan to start The Woman in Cabin 10 tonight.  And no alcohol...again...ughhhh.  I miss wine.  But it just turns into a gateway thing for me with binge eating.  Also...so...many...calories...

Here's to this lifestyle change! Other than cutting back on alcohol, it's very fulfilling and satisfying to feel more in control of my body and my appetite. 



Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 2 with the Food Journal

I had a very successful first full day of the food journal.  My goals were to eat ~1800 calories and exercise at least a little.  Here were the results of the day:


For exercise, I took the girls to the air force base and ran on the trail for 2.5 miles with the little one in the jogging stroller (we have the Graco Expedition but it's almost 4 years old now so I couldn't find a good link for it...we also bought it at Target for only about $90..just the stroller though, no car seat).  The older daughter (just turned SIX on Friday!) got some exercise too with her scooter and she either raced ahead of me or trailed behind, but it was a great workout for her too.  I tried taking her running a few weeks ago and she made the first mile look easy breezy...then I practically had to carry her the last couple of miles (I dunno, I thought 3 miles would be easy for her..if you knew her, you'd agree...she's like an energizer bunny).

The idea of coming back here and writing about the first day gave me even more motivation to stay on track, so hopefully I can keep this up as well. 

Since I started this blog it has been kind of following along with my life journeys...I pretty regularly come up with new goals and work hard towards achieving them (or fail miserably and quietly pretend I never started them in the first place)....so since that seems to be my thing, I feel like I should write about them to hopefully keep myself accountable (I feel like I've written that exact phrase over a dozen times this year alone). 

Other than the food journal goal, I plan to finish editing my first manuscript (Earths Project) and hopefully have that done by Nov. 1 so I can do another round of NaNoWriMo...I successfully completed one round a couple of years ago with the help of this blog, so I am putting it out there in the world that I plan to do so again this year.  

So here's to another good day...if I can stay away from having an adult drink this evening, it'll be a win for sure (I'm positive most of my major calories show up when it's after 7 and I decide to celebrate surviving a day of parenting and life-ing with a half-bottle of wine and buffet of snacks).



Today's Goals:
  • Edit book for ~30 min
  • Gym & run on base
  • Eat under 1,800 calories
  • No alcohol tonight & no snacking after dinner
  • Work (given)
  • Dishes



Sunday, September 18, 2016

I am keeping a food journal

I always feel more invested in things like this when I put it out there in the world...so here it is.  In 2008, I kept a food diary (on Calorie Count) and I lost more than 20 pounds.  I have had 2 kids since then and fluctuated way back up again and way back down again (with the help of the Whole30 diet...which I completed, though it was not easy and I'm very hesitant to try it again...one major reason is that I love alcohol and the thought of going 30 days without it again just seems ridiculous).

So with running (and training for) a marathon, I got into the habit of eating whatever I wanted.  And I may not have gained much weight through that (and ate A LOT), I definitely didn't lose any.  So now that I'm running less (only between 3 and 4.5 miles per run...but I've been running more often, almost daily)...I'm still eating a lot and feeling pretty down on myself.  I also drink too much...not for alcoholic type standards, but there are a lot of calories in wine, so having 2-3 glasses on any given night AND snacking regularly like I'm some kind of calorie burning queen is not a good combination for me, or my body.  I'm still at a healthy weight, but I suspect I'm at the high end of healthy...borderline overweight.

That's not who I identify as...and my clothes agree. So I started the food journal yesterday, this time with My Fitness Pal because I have a Garmin VivoActive HR and they play well together.  I ate over 2,500 calories (that's including the 2-3 glasses of wine) and then gave up tracking what I was eating.  But this morning, instead of feeling discouraged, I woke up feeling determined.  I've done this before.  I've done a million things harder than this.  Not to brag, but I've pumped (breastmilk) while driving...I've breastfed and pumped while at work for 2 full years of my life.  I've trained for and ran a half and full marathon.  I completed one Whole30 (which really felt as hard for me as my first two examples combined). I've written 2 full books, one during NaNoWriMo (not that I've been able to get either published, but still..).  I've definitely had a crapload of determination to accomplish goals that I've set my mind to...so I can absolutely watch what I eat, set a calorie deficit goal, and lose 5-10 pounds (15 would be ideal).  Right? Right??

Yea...so, I'm off to the base with my kids so I can run on a trail before getting some healthy food.  I'll try checking in again with my progress soon (of course, if you don't hear from me, that's probably not a good sign).



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I Ran a Marathon

I'm still wincing as I go up and down the steps, but I did it!  I am slightly disappointed in myself, however, for not running the whole thing...miles 1-21 were freakin awesome..I felt amazing and felt like I could hit my goal of getting in under 5 hours (or hitting it exactly)...unfortunately my legs decided they didn't want to be pushed much further at that point and every time I'd start running, I'd have to stop and walk for a quarter mile, then run a quarter mile, then walk, and so on.



But the fact that I ran the first 20 at a steady good pace made me feel like I could do this again and for sure hit my goal of seeing a 4 in that first number.  Either way, I moved forward for 5:15 minutes and I completed 26.2 miles yesterday morning.  I ran a marathon.  I am so happy that is something I've done in my life now.  It doesn't matter whether I try it again or reach my goal or never run another mile in my life, I ran a marathon.

Now if only I could get a book published...my bucket list would be all red lines.


I'm feeling very full of happy endorphins now :)


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Marathon is Tomorrow!

I am running a marathon tomorrow!!!  I'm trying to prepare myself in every regard....getting everything charged, making a list of everything I want to do to prepare for tomorrow morning.  I'm sitting outside and it's pretty darn warm out for 9:40 in the morning, and it might be even warmer tomorrow at this time...which is a bummer, but it is what it is and at least for the first couple of hours of running, it'll be cool.  When the wind blows, it's much cooler and more bearable and I'm just going to have to deal.  It'll still be cooler than the half marathon in Arizona was last year at this time.

If all goes well, I should be done between 11:30 and 12:30 (haha..12:30 if all doesn't go well but I still finish, 11:30 if I kick ass and do a steady good race...which is my ultimate goal...my secondary goal is to finish it, so that'd be the 12:30 time...and when you really think about it, isn't 6 hours of moving more grueling than 5...even if they are slower movements?).

Underneath it all I'm equally terrified and excited.  Maybe more excited than terrified, which is good.  Gotta go parent..taking the kids to the parks.


Update...7:45 PM

My girls are at our friends' house...they'll be keeping them over night and throughout the race tomorrow morning.  I really hope they're good and no incidents occur!

I'm all packed up and feeling as ready as I can be.  Rigatoni for dinner with some sourdough bread for a side...sourdough bread with peanut butter for breakfast and maybe a banana (I need to eat before long runs like this or I feel all shaky and energy depleted...I also bring mixed nuts on my long runs and eat them as I go...it has worked for my 3 longest runs and I'm excited to try it out tomorrow).


Packed in my handheld:
-Pepto bismol chewables (you never know...they've save me on several occasions)
-Some body glide in a baggy
-Mixed Nuts
-2 Bags Fruit Snacks
-3 nuun tablets
-Piece of gum
-Headphones in case the Bluetooth ones die
-Probably some other stuff...I'm the survivalist type.

Banana is for the car and I'll apply the body glide in the appropriate places when I get to the park.  IPod is gonna clip to the handheld strap.

Holy shit, this is happening in less than 12 hours.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tonight was a really good night

I went out for a run yesterday, hoping to go 8 miles, but on Saturday evening I may have partaken of a few too many glasses of wine (if that is even close to being grammatically correct, I'm throwing myself a party).  So the run got cut down to 6 miles..with a bit of walking thrown in, which always bums me out.  So I planned to run tonight for 8 miles to make up for yesterday's run/walk.  Then tonight came and as I put the girls to bed, I looked outside and saw some really ominous storm clouds right in the path I planned to run.  I put on my running clothes anyway...screw rain, right? And possibly lightening and hail...but whatever, I'm a freakin runner.  So after getting all geared up I grabbed my ipod...but even though it had a full battery yesterday, the damn thing was bone dead tonight.  Could there be anymore reasons for me to skip the run?  So I did skip the idea of running 8 miles...and ran 5 instead...picking a route with less scary rain clouds.  And I did it with no podcasts, no audiobooks, and no music.  And it turned out great.  I ran my fasted 5K ever and my first 5K in under 30 minutes.  29:10.  WooHoo!  I even literally threw my hands in the air and whooped like I was at the finish line of my own imaginary race.  And though it was raining pretty big drops for most of my run, it never turned into a real downpour.  And my brain had a real chance to shut down for 45 minutes.  It was a really great run.

I got home and almost immediately had a sale in my jewelry shop.  Another thrilling moment because it was a ready to ship bangle I made last year.  It has been waiting to be worn ever since and I'm so glad it'll have a home soon:


I have been boosting up my jewelry and that was my third sale today.  Three totally different types of sales...one of the new bangles I'm launching:


One of my footprint keychains (it has been a huge Father's Day seller this year), and the bangle bracelet I sold after the run.  The last one was the sale I was proudest of...I'm always so much happier to have a piece of jewelry waiting in a drawer for someone to want it bad enough for the purchase.  And I happened to glance at that particular one last week and felt sad that it was still waiting to be worn.  



So that was my night...then I watched the season finale of The Detour with my husband (very good show!) and now I plan to head up to the living room with my book and a second cup of tea.

Really, really great evening.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I love long weekends

Long weekends are so sweet.  I've had time to work on the major amount of orders in my jewelry shop, I've been able to read a lot of Nicholas Sparks' new book (it's a really poorly written one...like the worst of all of his books...but it's a quick read and I love when a book makes me feel like a fast reader, which I am definitely not).  The girls have been (**knock on wood**) super good and we took them to the Garden of the Gods yesterday...oh my god, I've never seen a more beautiful park.  I couldn't even describe it with words.  And so perfect for our kids...flat trails throughout with short detours into the most peaceful and beautiful little clusters of trees and logs.


I might take the dog there for a short walk/run today...it's only about 25 minutes away from our house.


I'm really excited about my jewelry shop right now.  I wanted my 33rd year to be filled with writing and trying to get my book published but my motivations are kind of shifting toward getting the jewelry shop to be successful enough to justify only doing that.  Father's Day has been as big as my Christmases usually are, which is so inspiring.  I'm going to add these bangles today and tomorrow:


I've made a half dozen more charms to swap out of the stainless steel bangle and there will be the option to add charms.  I really love working on new ideas like this.  I'm hoping my non-holiday months can become more successful with these types of anytime options, that might make doing only this a little more realistic.

I'm going to get back to reading and editing some images so I can turn them into stamps for the metal clay (footprints, kids' drawings, handwriting...one for the husband who wants me to make a keychain for his friend who just made Master Sergeant in the Air Force)...Busy, busy, busy...but a really good kind of busy.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Oh Gosh...Where Have I Been?

I've gotten busy with life and haven't been back to write recently.  I'm doing a lot more with my jewelry and I'm considering making a blog just for the jewelry shop....I think I did this years ago and let it peter out...I could resurrect that one.  I've been running a lot more, 25+ miles a week, which for me is a lot.  My long runs have been 10 miles or more once a week for a couple of months now.

With kids and a million things going on with work, the jewelry shop, nicer weather here in Colorado, my new Garmin watch reminding me to be active all the time (more on this watch soon...I LOVE it!).  We've also started a garden, but I can't pretend that has taken much time, we planted it last weekend and it has been just a matter of turning on the sprinklers and looking to make sure none of the plants have died yet.  I really don't know what I'm doing with it yet and keep saying things like "I'm sure there's a healthy way to keep bugs away, I'll look into it"...then I forget.

Speaking of forgetting things, I have keychains to ship this morning.


This is what I'm looking at as I sit here typing this.  I have the window open with a breeze coming in.  It's a perfect moment.

I'm going to climb the Manitou Incline today...all by myself while the kids (and probably husband) nap...I'm looking forward to the alone time and exercise:


I'm slightly afraid I'll fall backwards from exhaustion and come tumbling down the whole thing, but I've climbed it before (once) and survived, so I'm trying to stay positive.  It's like an adrenaline seeking activity for me because I'm partially afraid I could die on this thing, but at the same time it's the best exercise I've gotten in a long time, so I'm willing to take the risk.  

Wish me luck!  And check out my jewelry blog if you want to hear more about what I'm doing over there...like these new mantra bangles:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Anti-All-Natural Parenting Post

Just when I think I'm finally getting my health on track, literally tracking all the calories I eat and burn...trying to moderate my diet, I stumble upon information that tells me everything I'm doing is wrong.  It was a podcast about thyroid disease and how anyone with thyroid issues should never restrict calories to lose weight.  They should just eliminate all chemicals in their hair products, eat all natural everything with no gluten/dairy/sugar/flavor, and get a filter to eliminate fluoride from their drinking water (among about 2 dozen other radical suggestions).


Well damn.  This podcast was on a website that offers a wealth of healthy tips for families (moms in particular).  I'm not going to specifically name the website because I'm sure it's helpful for those perfect parents out there so I don't want to offend anyone because I'm about to spend the next several paragraphs pointing out some things I think are just plain bullshit about sites like this.

Okay, so here's MY issue...there's NO WAY I'm ever going to do EVERYTHING these natural, clean, eco-friendly, organic, completely chemical-free, super-humans swear by.  Who the hell could? And they make it look so easy...their websites always offering helpful "quick meals"...for instance, this specific site I was looking at gave a recipe for some kind of weird way of preparing their coffee..they claimed it would take 3 minutes total but there's NO WAY (I'm really getting worked up...two NO WAY's in one post).  For one thing, it takes me more than 3 minutes to make a regular pot of coffee and this woman was whipping coffee in a blender with coconut oil and something else that sounded gross...oh, some weird kind of butter...but it was some kind of all natural butter that would be impossible to find unless you A.) own a cow and feed it organic grass grown in organic soil under organic sunlight or B.) can spend $100 on butter.



These sites seem to suggest that you aren't a good mother/parent if you aren't feeding your family only all-natural, clean, non-gluten, free from added sugar diets...or if you aren't making your own shampoo/lotion/cloth diapers with a needle and thread by candlelight after your sweet angels have drifted off to sleep.  I'm freaking thrilled if I've managed to bathe my children 3 times in one week or made them green smoothies 3-4 times a week...they like my smoothies because I mask the spinach flavor with tons of fruit and about a cup of apple juice.  Otherwise I will give them chips if it means getting some calories into their stubborn mouths.

So I browsed through this website, sort of in a masochistic way...reading more and more ways that I'm screwing up not only my own health, but the health of my daughters...and probably my dog.  It reminded me that I'm failing at at least a dozen other things...my teeth are probably riddled with cavities (I haven't gotten a new dentist and I HATE going to the dentist so I put it off as long as possible..)...I'm sure I'm ruining the environment in a million different ways...I don't read often enough to my kids...I let them have too much screen time...I drink too much wine...I don't do enough yoga...I don't meditate enough...I never cut my kids' toenails. At least I actually exercise.  And at least I tell my kids that sugar is bad (after I've given them candy and say no more for the day because too much isn't good for you).

I guess the moral of this post is do what you can? Or whatever? I don't really think I have a moral to this post..I just wanted to bitch about these websites so I wouldn't feel so bad about my own failings and shortcomings.  I am not perfect.  My kids are not perfect (yes they are).  I tell them about food and vitamins so hopefully they can one day make healthier decisions for themselves.  Maybe this year I'll even grow a garden (this seems very idealistic to me now that the weather is getting better and I really can start growing a garden).

Really..I'm probably just jealous of these people that can find the time and energy to live completely clean, organic, natural lives AND maintain a website/blog/podcast (or all three) documenting their amazingness so other, less awesome people, can stumble through some sad attempt at being a good mom.

Okay, the cynic in me will go to bed now.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Microsoft Band vs Fitbit Charge HR

I took my Microsoft Band 1 to the Microsoft Store today for a replacement..the band was breaking apart from the screen.  This is actually my second replacement...the first watch wouldn't charge (I may have written about that here...it was replaced the week before my Half Marathon).  They didn't have any in stock because they mainly only sell the new Microsoft Band 2 now so I have to wait up to a week for my new one.  With my running lately I almost can't stand the thought of not being able to track my runs with its GPS...I want to do 10 miles tomorrow so it's a bummer for sure...but my husband gave me his Fitbit Charge HR to use until I get my replacement (he doesn't actually find it useful and has been wanting to stop using it for a while now).  He's also letting me take his iPhone for the run, so I'm going to download Strava and login to track the GPS that way.  The Fitbit is really just to help me track everything else this week.  Steps, etc.  I usually don't care this much about all the calories burned or steps taken but 1.) my Microsoft Band is seemingly underestimating everything, which pisses me off and 2.) I've started using CalorieCount.com again to track my daily intake and I'm getting really into it so I want an accurate calorie expenditure to calculate the deficit.  

So I'm kind of excited about the idea of seeing a different number of daily burned calories.  I really think there'll be a large discrepancy between my Microsoft Band and this Fitbit.  I just can't imagine that I only burn 1580 on an inactive day when "inactive" for me still entails chasing the kids, picking up, running up and down steps, helping a toddler go potty, etc.  I do sit a lot, but I'm definitely not sedentary.  And on "active" days I run between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours..I also weight lift...shouldn't the combo of those two things make me burn more on an "inactive" day? 

These are all things I wrote about in the last post.  Just still super annoyed.

In other, more embarrassing news...yesterday I went for a run and had to walk around 1.5 miles from home bc of stomach cramps....I ran within 10 minutes of eating lunch, which is usually not an issue for me, but I think the cheesy/spicy/citrus of the velveeta cheesy skillet meal I reheated from dinner the night before (yea) began to scream in protest while it shook around in my stomach for 20 minutes straight.  I was ready to die when I finally made it home, then woke up ready to die again last night at 2 AM.  Then I couldn't fall back to sleep so I was up until 4:30.  I really hope all goes well tomorrow with the long run.  I'm not on a timeline or anything though so if it doesn't all go well, it's not like I can't take a few weeks to build it back up again, or even one week.

That's the news for now...I'll be back to report my opinion of the Fitbit Charge HR...I'd much rather use the Surge bc it also has GPS but they never came out with a color other than black...so I ended up with the Microsoft Band...and next will be the Garmin Vivoactiv HR...super excited for that to be released!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Exercise and the Microsoft Band (first version)

First off, let's recap the last post...I was feeling horribly lonesome.  Since that evening (where I definitely hit my mental capacity for rock bottom), I've been feeling a lot more positive.  Getting into facebook groups that relate to me and my interests has helped and I'm setting up a few meet and greets with others in this area so hopefully that works out (no matter how apprehensive I am about them!).

This post is going to be more about where I'm at physically, instead of emotionally, at this point in my life.  This past Sunday I ran 9 miles without needing to stop to walk...just to see if I could.  I've been pushing my distance further over the past several weeks, not needing to walk during a run for over a month (I think) except for once when I ran the day after a snowstorm and got stuck in an area where I could choose between mud and snow, so I chose to walk until I got back to sidewalk.



Then on Tuesday, I ran 3.7 miles, finishing off the run with hill repeats (for the first time in my life) at the end of the run.  Basically you run up a hill faster than normal, then walk or slowly jog back down, then run fast up.  I chose to walk down but I ran up that hill as fast as I could, three times in a row.

Today, even though I almost couldn't find time to fit it in, and it was cold and snowing out, and I forgot ear muffs or a hat even though I know my ears get really painful when I run in the cold...I still ran 2 miles on the track at the gym, which was my goal (didn't have much time before having to get the kids from daycare).  I was so proud of myself!

Unfortunately, it was too cold for my watch to get a reading on my heart rate (the underwhelming Microsoft Band...that'll be a post on its own, maybe combined with a post on the even more underwhelming Android phone I have)...GPS worked though and I did the 2 miles in just under 20 minutes.  9:55 mile avg pace...super exciting bc I'm usually between a 10:30 and 11 minute pace.

The reason I'm disgruntled with the watch: it has been underestimating my daily burn by a lot.  After this run, I'm certain of it, because even though it tracked my pace and the amount of steps I took for that run, it calculated that I only burned 100 calories.  I know it had to have at least been double that amount.  So this has to mean that it was wrong on all of those days where it said I burned 1500 total even after cleaning the house, bathing the children, running up and down the steps to my office all day...not to mention the fact that I weight lift and exercise regularly, which should help me burn more all the time, right? Muscle burns calories faster...or so I've read in every single fitness and nutrition magazine.

Another, more undeniable reason I know my watch has been significantly under-calculating my calorie burn is the fact that I've been tracking my intake since Sunday.  I've dropped a few pounds already which is probably not true weight-loss but I can feel/see a difference.  The deficit according to the watch was not significant but I think the true calorie burn this week was a lot higher.  For instance, on Sunday, even after running 9 miles and burning 1,000 calories...and spending 3 hours that morning cleaning my house...and bathing the kids...and taking the girls for a walk...my f**ing watch calculated 2,400 total for the whole day.  That's 1,400 if I didn't run 9 miles...so 1400 calories burned all day...for breathing and cleaning and walking and playing with the kids and basically being really active all day.  What the hell am I supposed to eat?  According to this watch I'd basically have to starve myself to lose weight.  Such bullshit.

Okay, so this post turned into an 'underwhelming watch' post after all.  Guess I'll change the title.  And I'll stop here and head to bed...after some Facebook scrolling and new watch browsing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Etc.

Then tonight, my husband falls asleep at 8 o'clock.  I've been basically on my own, no other adult conversation (I have one co-worker that still chats with me throughout the day now that I work from home full time, and she was off for two days) for the majority of my time since we moved to Colorado.  I have no friends here yet, I basically just talk with the daycare workers for about 10 minutes total per day...and my husband tonight, on a Saturday night, claims that he's always been like this and that I just have to accept it.  I'm not wanting him to stay awake past 8 for shits and giggles.  I'm asking for it so I can retain a bit of sanity.  But apparently even though I've gone from working in an office with friends to working by myself observing those friends going on with their lives without me...while I just continue my work alone with no one to talk to ever, I should just get over the fact that he can't even stay awake past 7:59 to humor me...doesn't even care when he knows I'm feeling more lonely than ever right now.  And this is HIS fucking fault in the first place.  I didn't want to move from AZ.  But this is what it's like when you're not in control of your own life.  And I now have no friends, no social life, no one to complain to about this, no one who cares, not even him.  And all I do is miss AZ.  Like random small talk with people who don't even give me the time of day now...like if I text or email them, I'm being annoying now and they can't find the time to respond.

I'll admit, I'm miserable.  So ridiculously miserable I can't even put it into words.  I knew this might happen, and here it is, happening.  And the fucking person I moved here because of is making it worse instead of better.  My daughters love their daycare.  That's at least a relief.  But I'm miserable every day.

And no one even knows or cares.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sibling Rivalry

So I know I'm 33 years old and should be well past the age of giving a crap if my parents play favorites between me and my sister, but I can't help myself.  My brother-in-law and I both post photos of our kids a lot...he might do this more than me, but not by much.  And my father shares the photos posted of my niece and nephew about 75% of the time...and he shares about 5% of the photos I post of my kids.

Not to brag, but I have some pretty darn cute kids...so what the H, Dad?  Why do you like my sister's kids better than mine??  Luckily there's about a 1% chance he'll ever read this blog...and about a 0.01% chance he's ever read any blog, so I'm confident I won't get in trouble for this post.  My sister might stumble upon it someday accidentally, but I seriously doubt it...and if she does, oh well, whatever, go right ahead and tell on me.

Either way, I can't keep quiet about this anymore...I bitch about it to my husband every time I see one of my dad's "isn't she adorable" photo shares of May...but what am I supposed to do?  Confront my dad?

"Why don't you think my photos of Jane hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains are share worthy Dad?"

He'd either start sharing my kids' photos out of pity, or stop sharing the photos he really wants to share of my niece and nephew, again, out of pity.  So it's a lose, lose...it is what it is.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tequila

The kids are playing with iPads (shut up, it's a Friday night), husband is watching the Celtics, and I'm drinking tequila...well, margaritas.  I'm now suspicious that every margarita I've ever ordered from any restaurant has basically been a mix of some lower shelf tequila and the standard margarita mix you can buy for $3 at any grocery store.  I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, those are some overpriced drinks.  I'm waiting for my kids to go to bed so I can eat the chocolate I have stashed upstairs in the cupboard.

I've been editing the manuscript I'm most emotionally attached to (I've got two...not that big of a deal, but two is a lot compared to where I was about 5 years ago) over the past couple of months and I'm feeling really good about it...this is my year, people...my 33rd year of life...I will polish up this thing and send it out and I will get an agent and I will sell this thing.  Oh god....wishful thinking is so amazing...and then heartbreaking...and then delusional.

A co-worker/friend offered to read it when I'm done editing it again (well, I sort of asked her to, what was she gonna say? No?).

What if I really do sell it?  It's a YA romance type with a love triangle...I love books like this so what if it really sells and people love it?  You know...my god...it would be everything I've ever wanted.  Well, not everything I've ever wanted.  There are some things I want that I can't ever have, but that's life.

I'm going to go ahead and shut this down now...the tequila is writing things now that I have no control over.

Good night.

Haha, and I just watched the end of Tropic Thunder and I still love Ludacris...I don't care how old I am and how many kids I have.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hiking, Nora Roberts, Being Sick, Missing an Awesome Event

I'm stuck in Colorado Springs this weekend when all of my favorite non-immediate family people are working at the most physically exhausting but amazing fundraiser of the year for the organization I work for.  I'm so sad I'm not there in Phoenix with them...the days are long and, like I said, exhausting, but I still would give anything to be working there this weekend.

In truth, it's still probably good I'm not there, considering last night at this time I was sporting a 101.5 degree fever and felt like death.  After 9 hours of sleep and some heavy doses of ibuprofen, I felt almost back to normal again today.  So during the girls' nap time I packed the dog in the car and, after a short detour to return some library books, I drove him up to Palmer Park where we spent the most lovely hour hiking/jogging/walking through the trails, just exploring the bike paths and enjoying the outdoors.  It was so awesome.


I even found an unread Nora Roberts book in my Audible library this morning so I got to listen to that on the hike.  It was like finding a $20 bill in an old jacket pocket.  So excited to have 15 hours worth of unexpected entertainment.  I felt really good, other than a slightly sore throat and a stuffy nose, so I figured I'm mostly cured of this flu-like infection.  Then I went to the grocery store with the fam and felt all the worst symptoms come back strong.  Super sore throat, aches, chills, fever-like symptoms.  I took more ibuprofen, which kicked in quickly, and I made my garlic/honey tonic and have been taking spoonfuls of that since noticing some white patches at the back of my throat.  I don't think it's strep, I think I have a tonsil problem...like I just get infected tonsils every time I catch a bug.  Sucks.

Now I'm home watching Creed with the husband and trying to drown out the noises coming from both my kids' respective devices.  

Also, I ordered myself a Kindle Fire with an Amazon gift card I got from my in-laws.  I'm super excited...it's supposed to arrive tomorrow (yes, a Sunday, weird right?).  I certainly don't need anymore tablets, but I LOVE them and when a gift card literally covers the full cost of one, I'm not going to pass it up.  I don't need anything else on Amazon at the moment.  And I like spending birthday money on wants rather than needs.

We're supposed to have good weather again tomorrow and now I'm addicted to Palmer Park, so me and Ike are heading there again.  I kind of can't wait.

I really really really wish I were in Phoenix though.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I'm Turning 33 Tomorrow

Since I can remember, my favorite number has been 3.  I'm a little more obsessed with this favorite number than most people probably are with their favorite numbers (or at least, I like to think I am).  So tomorrow is a big deal for me....just like 3/3/03 was a big deal...but this one is a bigger deal because I get to have two threes in my age for 365 days.  And when people ask how old I am, I won't hesitate and have to mentally count for a second or two (which I've had to do a lot).  I'll shout it out like a little kid, maybe even hold up three fingers on each hand.

So I am pretty sure I'm the only one who gives a shit about my birthday.  Which is fine, once you're past 21, who cares about any birthday?  Steve suggested we take a half day and go out to a movie, then he got switched to a new position at his job so that idea never resurfaced.  Whatever.  Then he suggested I order the microSD card I need to transfer my iTunes library to (the one I'm using currently is full)...this "gift" costs a whopping $35.  And lastly, he suggested we go to Chili's for dinner, my favorite.

Tonight I mentioned I'm going to get my favorite nachos there along with a margarita and my favorite dessert.  He actually got mad about all these "things" I want for my birthday, said something along the lines of "you're getting that SD card, we're not gonna spend $100 at Chilis"..so I internalized a moment of deep hatred for his dismissal and annoyance at any day that should be dedicated to me (he's the same with Mother's Day and Christmas...gets all pissed that I should want anything).

It is what it is...and if he doesn't do anything special for tomorrow other than the dinner at Chilis (and doesn't complain anymore about it), I'll be fine.  If he doesn't do anything more and DOES complain about it, I'll be even more disappointed.

This is what being an adult is...for me at least.  Expectations being lowered or eliminated all together...when it comes to expecting anything of other people.

But I will be happy tomorrow, for myself, for being 33.  I will start writing something new and I will indulge a little and let myself read or relax and not feel bad for making Steve give the kids a bath (I haven't even brought that up to him yet...but it's going to be one of those "you do it or it's not getting done" situations).

So Happy Birthday to me!  Best age ever!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Running, Life, a Clean House, and Super-Bowl Sunday

I can't tell you how mentally at ease I am right now.  I'm actively trying to stop worrying about everything so much.  What's the point?  Nothing ever gets better from worrying.  So this morning I spent almost 4 hours cleaning the house and listening to my latest Nora Roberts book on my iPod (it's really the only way to clean, if you're not already doing this, you absolutely need to...pairing a book or a podcast with cleaning makes it almost relaxing and enjoyable...I use a bluetooth headset so I don't have to worry about cords getting caught on the vacuum or a basket full of clothes). Just to let you all know, my husband does ALL the cooking and dishes in this house.  And he gets up on weekends with the kids so I can sleep in...so we're pretty equal on our domestic responsibilities.

So anyways...I went for a run today with my dog...outside, because for the past few treadmill runs, I've been struggling to keep up any sort of pace for longer than 5 minutes.  The 40 degree mountain air really rejuvenated my pleasure in running.  Even when I had to walk through the unshoveled sidewalks, I still really loved the whole experience and I feel a lot better about these beers I've been drinking (it's the Super Bowl, people) and the wings my husband made in his brand new fryer (he was pretty excited about it...it was delivered yesterday).

So having a clean house, a good run under my belt (4 miles), and a relaxing and fun family evening watching the Super Bowl with my husband and kids (well, they're watching cartoons on their respective devices), it just makes me feel so satisfied with life.  I wouldn't ask for anything to be different right now (except, maybe, all of this plus a totally polished book, an agent and a book deal). Maybe some day.

Happy Super Bowl!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Wine, Friday, Nora Roberts, and 9 minutes until Dinner

I started listening to another Nora Roberts book on Audible a few days ago.  I don't know why, but every time I read/listen to one of her books I get this wildly intense desire to write.  Maybe it's because I love the way her stories make me feel (like a glass of wine and a slice of pizza are nothing to be ashamed of and I can still be beautiful and desirable while I consume them).  Either way, I'm literally drinking a glass of wine and listening to the book right now (Angels Fall).  It's good, but let's be honest, they're all sort of the same book with different names and settings (and I'm completely okay with that).

Also this week I've decided to stop giving a shit about what people think of me.  Also whether or not I have anything to worry about now that I'm working remotely.  What could I possibly accomplish, worrying all the time?  Nothing.  So who cares?  Why should I keep perpetuating the self-fulfilling prophecies?  If I keep asking myself why people might be upset with me, I'll come up with, or create reasons for them to be upset with me.  And if I keep worrying about things I have no control over, I'll only drive myself crazy and not gain anything in return.

So I'm going to start writing again, editing too.  Like crazy.  I turn 33 in a month, less than.  And I can't control what people think about my writing but if I want to do it, I should do it.

Dinner is in 3 minutes.

Chicken Enchiladas....the Stouffer's kind. Yum!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Traveling

I'm sitting quietly by myself at a table by the wall in a crowded cafeteria at the Denver Airport trying to decide what to eat for lunch.  I've already, in a moment of annoying weakness, had an entire milkshake.  I was starving when I got here but since it was only 10:30, I convinced myself I'd wait until 11 for lunch.  Then I saw someone wiping the excess of melted milky goodness from the side of his Ben & Jerry's cup and in the span of 5 seconds I went from resolute to not having anything for another half an hour to deciding I couldn't possibly loiter here in this cafeteria without purchasing something from one of the surrounding restaurants.  So I drank the whole thing in less than 10 minutes, it wasn't even that good, and now I'm wondering how I can find something 'light' for my actual meal.

The flight boards at around noon so I have an hour to walk around with no commitments or responsibilities other than to get a Denver Broncos t-shirt for a coworker (almost forgot!).

I should look for a movie to watch on the plane...

Or should I read on the plane?

McDonalds for lunch....the pilot sitting in the seat next to me is having a burger and fries and apparently I'm extremely impressionable today.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In a Rut

I was doing fine...staying up late and writing and/or editing nightly for over a week...then I had some recurrent shingles pain so I took a pain medication and the next day felt like I was afflicted with vertigo or something.  I felt nauseous and like my brain was swimming around in some kind of thick liquid, like I couldn't think clearly and felt swollen and noises echoed and I was dizzy and I had motion sickness all at once.  It was the worst kind of feeling, and it lasted into the next day so I took two nights away from staying up and dedicating time.  Then, worse, a negativity and insecurity settled in and I haven't been able to shake it since.  The questioning of myself, but worse this time, than normal.  The idea that I could ever write something like a readable, publishable, full-length novel...it's ridiculous.  It's like winning the lottery...so unlikely and so out of my reach.  What was I ever thinking?  All the work I've put in up to this point and for what?  Two books that I've already reread dozens of times and have never once thought "I think this is close"...I've never felt like my work has been anywhere near the realm of truly publishable.  It all feels a million miles away...a million hours of work away.  A million re-writes, a million re-reads...it's never going to happen.  Give up. Give up. Give up.  That's where I'm at so I have been avoiding it.

In other news, I'm flying to Phoenix on Wednesday for work and I couldn't be more excited.  To finally be the one to leave for a work commitment.  Makes me feel so much more than just a mother and wife...for once.  I mean, working itself is one thing, but flying to work is so much more legit...right? I also can't wait to see my co-workers...who(m?) I love.  I miss them so much.  I see them sometimes on Skype for staff meetings and random calls but it's so not even nearly in the same realm as working with them in the office.  This new arrangement is fine...I'm certainly more productive working at home with very few distractions, but as I suspected, I miss human interaction.  And I miss my friends from work.  I've moved from Pennsylvania to Louisiana, back to another part of Pennsylvania, then to Arizona, and each time I worked at new places and met new people, and each time I made friends I still keep in touch with.  And now I'm in Colorado and I'm afraid I won't meet anyone in this new city.  I'm not outgoing enough to join groups of any kinds or to find mommy and me type things (yuck).  There's a really good chance that I won't make any friends in Colorado Springs.  On a lot of levels I'm fine with that.  Especially right now, when it has only been a little over a month since I left AZ.  But in a year, I know I won't be okay with that anymore.  And for the 3.5 months that my husband leaves again I really won't be okay.  At all.  I can't even think about it.

So here's to traveling by yourself, something I can look forward to...not needing to answer to anyone on a plane or in an airport.  I can drink what I want, eat what I want, read what I want, watch what I want and I don't have to worry about any interruptions...It's the very rarest of pleasures for me (I've always said my favorite thing to do is to fly...the people watching ...the fact that there's literally nothing to do but what you brought with you ...browsing airport shops...taking your pick of the various variety of airport foods...and on the plane itself you get uninterrupted hours of leisure...it's the best...and I haven't flown anywhere by myself in ...over...2? years?...maybe more...and it's really one of my favorite things to do).

I leave the day after tomorrow.  I'll be gone for 5 days...I will very much miss my children and I hate that they will be missing me, but I'm not going to feel bad about looking forward to this trip.  Maybe I'll even find my way back to writing with all the alone time and people watching at the airport.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thanks Apple!

So they replaced my iPod...so happy!!!  And right now I'm trying to renew my morning's motivation.  Not that I'm teetering too far from sticking to my new plan (well...after the 6 pack of beer, pizza, snacks and Steelers Playoff Game...I guess that's not really true).  I keep hyping up evenings like this...knowing I'm going to eat and drink a lot so then when I do eat and drink a lot, I go overboard and waste all the fun building it up and end up feeling sick to my stomach for half the night.

My kids are about to go to bed, so of course they're creating a final colossal mess in this house, like they're marking their territory.  Abby is so tired, she's falling asleep on the pirate ship pillows her sister is setting up on the living room floor.  She turns 2 tomorrow.  Two years ago at this time I was in labor...the doctor had broken my water and I was starting real contractions.  I made it about 2 hours before I asked for the epidural.  That was disappointing but not really surprising.  Pushing a baby out is terrifying, think about it, for real.  And it's not like I've ever been morally opposed to drugs.

Love these girls.

Good night...hoping for the second wind in a couple of hours.

Writing and Time

My new year wasn't full of its regular resolutions.  I think I threw a few together in my drunken state some evening before the ball dropped but I haven't taken anything seriously in the week+ since 2016 made its appearance on all of our calendars.  So this morning, while laying in bed, trying to squeeze out a dozen more minutes of lazy half sleep, I realized that I'm not doing anything to dedicate time to what I really want to be doing with my life.  And now I have all the gadgets I could ever desire to facilitate that process and I'm still pretending I can just wait until another, less busy, time of my life.  But that's such a delusion.  So I've decided to put aside another chunk of daily time to dedicate to writing or the process or editing.  Any time throughout the day is almost impossible to set aside without inconsistency or other equally important priorities like exercise and children and work and doctor's appointments interrupting the schedule.  Right after the kids go to bed would take away a good chunk of real quality time with my spouse, so I had to sacrifice that possibility.  I'm more anti-morning person than anyone I know and would fight it and skip it regularly with excuses like "my kid woke me up for no reason at midnight"...so that leaves me with the one true time I have ever successfully managed to set aside for writing.  After 10 pm. But instead of the 2 hours I dedicated nightly back when I did NaNoWriMo in 2014, I'm going to set aside 1 hour and look at this as a permanent, year-long solution.  From 10 pm (or 10:15, depending on if my husband  miraculously stays awake for a whole movie) until 11 pm (or 11:15 pm, depending again on the husband, who is usually drooling with his head to the side in front of the TV by 9:30) every night, starting tonight, I will sit on this beautiful, convenient, reliable (knock on wood), Surface tablet and either edit my Earths Project manuscript or come up with a plan for a new book...or both.  And if I want to stay up later working, all the better.  All around I think this will leave me feeling more satisfied with my days and my choices with time.  I think it'll make me more mindful throughout the day, and it'll give me more motivation to research agents, edit my query letter, etc., during my daytime hours.

Today, I'm going to the Apple Store in CO Springs to see if they can please find it in their hearts to replace the screen on my beloved iPod Nano (mostly lightly used with no screen crackage of any kind but suddenly there's a bleed in the ink under the screen, which I'll live with if they don't replace, but it'll make me really, really sad).  If they say it's not covered under warranty, it could cost up to $100...which is just ridiculous.

Maybe I'll head over to Barnes n Noble after this trip for a little extra writing time...still staying up tonight for it though!

Super psyched about my new plan!!  Love feeling the resurgence of motivation!

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's Shingles

The doctor at the urgent care clinic only had to look at my rash for about 2 seconds before he confirmed the diagnosis.  He prescribed me an anti-viral medication, a steroid, and two types of pain medication.  I took one of the pain meds tonight and it hasn't kicked in at all yet.  I'm hoping it does soon because in the 24 hours since I posted last, the pain has become 100% worse.  There's a pinching muscle pain like I pulled the muscle under my shoulder blade and there's a burning pain in the area the skin has the rash...so no fun at all.  Basically my whole left torso feels like it's on fire.  Okay...after about 30 minutes since taking my pain pill, the pain is dulling a little bit.  Like 75% now.



Here's photographic proof.  And one thing I didn't really understand when I researched this was what was causing the pain.  That red rash hurts...yes...but the worst pain is in the muscles and deeper than that rash.  Like under the skin all around my torso is tight and pinched...like all the nerves need to adjust but keep getting caught on each other.  Which is essentially exactly what's happening.

Now I should probably try to get some sleep.  Husband has to get up before 5 tomorrow so I'm going to end up waking up early too.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Stress

So I'm pretty sure I now have physical proof of the amount of stress I felt over the past several weeks. For about a week now I've had an itch all along the skin of my left torso.  I kept wondering if maybe I was dying because along with the skin itching, the area under my skin felt tight and ached dully...back behind my lung and in the front of my chest as well.  So yesterday I noticed a few small red bumps forming around this general area, which I chalked up to the fact that I'd been scratching the area and irritated it.  But then today I woke up with two much larger red patches and half a dozen more smaller bumps like hives all throughout this area...and all of them are sore to the touch.

Somehow it dawned on me to check if I had the shingles and the more I've researched, the more convinced I am that I do.  I knew a friend of mine had them a few years ago so I told her about my symptoms and she agrees.  When I first brought it up to my husband, he laughed and then got mad at me for being such a hypochondriac, but after reading him more about the symptoms of shingles and showing him my bumps, he believes that's what I have too.

I'm really kind of relieved.  Not only am I not dying of lung cancer, but I now have a real battle scar resulting from this move to Colorado.  I can now say that even though I am only 32 years old, I was so stressed from moving to Colorado essentially by myself, that it gave me the shingles!

Of course, if they spread up to my eye and I go blind, I might not be as excited about this.  I'm not really excited about the fact that I have shingles...I'm just one of those weirdos who always thinks she's dying.  Then, whenever I get a real scare (dull ache in my chest) and find out it's something much less life threatening (shingles will hurt pretty bad for a couple of weeks but that's usually as bad as it gets), I feel a mild sense of euphoria and a resurgence of an appreciation for life (I really am this crazy).

Drinking a whole lot of alcohol over the past few weeks probably didn't help my immune system much either, but I'm still going to blame the stress.  If it weren't for the stress, I wouldn't have made it a nightly ritual to drink a bunch of wine before bed.

I'm still able to exercise, which is good.  We got a treadmill about a week ago and almost died trying to carry it into the house and down the steps to the basement.  But other than a baseball sized black bruise on my leg, we survived and we've both been running on it pretty regularly.  I also ran outside today for the 3rd time since moving here.  I count it as the real first time though because when I ran with Ike a day or two after moving in, it was 19 degrees and windy so I felt like Ana trying to find Elsa in that crazy monsoon of snow at the very end of Frozen.  So clearly I didn't get very far that day.  The next run was just to test out how my legs would handle hills.  They didn't like them much.  Today, however, they handled them like a boss.  I felt great on the run and feel great now (other than the sharp pinching pain in my back).

Today is the last day of this intermission in our lives though.  Husband checks in for real at his new job tomorrow and I start working from home.  Unfortunately we don't yet have our kids signed up for daycare.  There was a short waiting list when we got here and they haven't called us to give us the thumbs up yet.  I'm going to call them tomorrow though and hope for the best.  I'll get as much work done with my girls home as I can until the daycare opens up.

Even though these past few weeks have been stressful enough to inflict a physical ailment meant for the elderly, I'm sad this time is coming to an end.  We were finally getting to the good part.  The part where we had time to just relax and breathe and look around at what we accomplished.  And now real life has to start again, damn it.

Time to go research the shingles some more then email my boss to update her on my daycare/work situation.