Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Vague Book

Earlier today, I looked up from the fifteen projects I was working on at my desk. I realized my viewpoint was a rather solid representation of my current conundrum. I know all the healthy things I should be eating and drinking (water, coffee, fruit), but dammit all, the only thing I can focus on is that Halloween candy lurking in the background. Also, I have a cough that rivals something out of The Exorcist. I’ll spare you the details, but that’s why the cough drop makes a random appearance.

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Early this week, I made some big changes. Ones I’m not ready to write a ton about here, but let’s just say my plans for future races have changed drastically. In a sense, I feel defeated and disappointed in myself. I hope others aren’t disappointed, because I do hope to redeem myself eventually. I have other things I need to focus on first, and I’m working through that. So in another sense, I am relieved. The pressure I was putting on myself was having the opposite effect I had hoped for. Rather than feeling motivated and determined like I used to in college when I’d save 20 page term papers until the night before they were due, I just felt…lost and like I was grabbing for something I’m just not ready to reach yet.

Well, enough “Vague-booking” from me. I’ll plan on expanding more another time.

Halloween has come and gone. November is here, and that means I’m legally allowed to play Christmas music in my home and car. (If you are someone who is morally opposed to this, I promise I’m not forcing it upon you. I am simply someone who basks in the glory of winter and Christmas and all the warmth and fuzzies that come from it. I love Christmas movies and snow and hot cocoa. I love trimming the tree and decorating my home until it looks like Christmas threw up in there. And I’m not going to apologize for it. I don’t ignore Thanksgiving (although, let’s not pretend Thanksgiving is based upon some warm and fuzzy event…) by any means. I just love the chance to celebrate winter and being with family and friends.

Where was I going with this? Oh, right. Halloween happened. I am hesitant to include myself in the picture below, because I am admittedly disappointed at the sight of myself in my costume. If you are overweight, maybe you understand that disappointment…when you *feel* like you look pretty good and then you see a photo of yourself that makes you want to crawl into a closet. Oh well. LJ thought I looked badass (not her word choice, but close enough), and I have to focus on that.

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My little Sith Lord had a delightful and sugar-filled day. She has such a full candy bucket, and I’ll be first to admit I’ve been sampling from it far too much this week. Especially as I am trying so very hard (for the millionth time) to be conscious of what I am consuming. I am so grossed out by the idea of sugar, and yet these rich confections still seem to keep jumping right into my mouth. Bastards.

For real, though. I have an awful cold this week. (Sorry to any of my coworkers reading this who have had to listen to my disgusting cough. Thanks for putting up with me and the massive amounts of Clorox wipes I’ve been using.) My whole body hurts from coughing, and I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled a few muscles. And this has led to me having a bit of a pity party because I can’t run without having a massive coughing attack. Which has led to some “DGAF” kind of moments when it comes to the ample amount of treats available. Goodness, I’m sure getting my use out of Urban Dictionary today.

I promise. It’s gonna get better. Did you hear that? Hold me accountable, plz and thx.

Wishing you and yours a happy Daylight Saving time. Ugh. Maybe “happy” is the wrong sentiment. Maybe “I hope we can get through this dark-all-the-time BS” is closer to the truth. Either way. Snuggle in. Have some cocoa. Watch a Christmas movie (or Thanksgiving movie or Halloween or just a movie, whatever). Enjoy yourself.

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Further clarity and subsequent extreme amounts of gratitude

I am grateful. After my last blog post, I received warm comments and messages from quite a few people. It validated the fact that this blog is a good, positive part of my life. It also validated something else for me. Almost everyone who reached out expressed sentiments of, “Me too!” whether they were agreeing with weight issues, mental health issues, or just dealing with a rocky road. I hear you all. I am thinking of you all (even those who didn’t comment but had one of those, “Me too!” moments). And I am thankful you are here with me.

As I find the days until WDW 2018 passing quickly, it reaffirms the fact that I need to be taking good care of myself and sticking to my training plan.

Sidenote: Disney released pics of the medals for WDW Marathon weekend, and they are beautiful. Oh, Lordy, I hope I finish so I can get that sweet piece of bling.

I need to stick to what I know works, and I know consistently taking care of myself works. I’ve taken on a new conquest: heart rate training. And I must say I am an absolute convert. I submitted a guest blog post to Minneapolis Running detailing my experiences with heart rate training so far, so I won’t bore you with too many details. And lucky me, they posted it! Please take a look at it if you get a chance, and leave some love. They’re a great group of runners, and I’m grateful they give me an opportunity to write on a bigger platform.

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I’m a planner, don’tcha know?

I will say I’m signed up through the Train Like A Mother club, and I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a training plan + community + general awesomeness. I am #coachedandloved. And you know I can never pass up an opportunity to give a shoutout to the AMR crew.

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#momlife

Other than that, you haven’t missed too terribly much of my life while I’ve been on my unplanned hiatus. Been preparing for a Star Wars bday party in October, getting super duper excited for SW VIII, and vacation preparations (I make a mean scheduling spreadsheet, y’all), which will undoubtedly include many Star Wars events…I’ve been proudly flying my geek flag lately.

Okay. I guess my kiddo had her first day of preschool. And she got a big kid bed. And my dog wore a cute hat. But only a few things other than that happened.

This seems like a good place to include this post from BookRiot. It spoke to me. Because Star Wars totally is and totally always has been a girl thing, too:

As a woman in her mid-30s, watching A New Hope and Princess Leia was very different than watching it as a kid. THIS—this was a princess I could support. This was a self-rescuing, take-no-shit princess who blasted Stormtroopers, sassed the guys who were sent to rescue her, and did it all in a dress, with those fantastic buns intact, not a hair out of place. Carrie Fisher the actress was no less amazing—a sharp-tongued, razor-wit individual who was unapologetic and open about her struggles and worked tirelessly to get rid of the stigma of bipolar disorder and drug abuse. 

Preach.

Alright. I’ll leave you with that. Hoping to get into some semblance of a schedule soon along with details of my actual running life and book life and all the things I actually made this blog to document.

Again. Thank you, and I’m sending light and love to YOU.

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Clarity Lost and Sorta Found

This post is a raw and humbling one that I’ve tried to write with honesty. I don’t write it for pity. I write it as both an explanation and for other people who may be experiencing similar struggles. Forgive me, though, if it is muddled; it was difficult to accurately convey some really big feelings through a keyboard.


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I’ve been in hiding as far as this blog goes. I can’t tell you why I continue to get these big ideas that I can train and run and blog and be a “with it” kind of human being. Clearly, that’s just not in the cards for me right now. It gets to a point where I don’t even know what to say here. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t know if I’m making a difference for others or for myself. And if I am making a difference for myself, is it negative?

It’s time to be transparent. I’ve fallen completely off the exercise wagon since mid-summer. I don’t feel my eating has been that terrible, but my exercise and training have been completely lacking. I am in a cycle of despising myself for not exercising and then not having the energy to get up in the morning because my mind has been filled with so much yuck.

I’ve gained 20 lbs in the last few months. That may sound like a lot to most people, but I’ve  fluctuated dramatically my whole life. I can have a 5 lb difference from one day to the next. So I hope this weight will come off as quickly as it came on.

I hate seeing pictures of myself or looking in the mirror. I know it is an image of my own doing, and again, it catches me up in that cycle of being mad at myself and feeling defeated.

I want to be transparent. I’ve been building myself back to a place where I’m documenting my nutrition and my training. I’m cleaning up, both literally and metaphorically…deep-cleaning my house (something else that I fall behind on when I’m in a funk) and sweeping the cobwebs from the nooks and crannies in my brain.

My goal is to have a completely documented log of what I ate and what I did and how I feel. I won’t bombard you with it every day, but I may do a weekly wrap-up to show my (hopefully) progress.

I’m so tired of feeling bad. I gave up on trying to feel good, but I think it’s just going to take a lot more pushing than I was able to give previously. Now, though? I’m feeling like I’m at that proverbial fork in the road. I want to head down a path to all-around health before it’s too late.

I will be transparent. And I hope you can be understanding and patient. I still expect to hit those big and little bumps in the road; I have to learn to be understanding and patient with myself, too.

If anyone else has found themselves in a place like I am, please feel free to get in touch. I think the best thing is knowing that we are not alone in our struggles, whether they be mental or physical, weight-related or otherwise. You are worth fighting for, through all the shit and “yuck” the world throws your way. And I’m going to try to believe I am, too.

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Sorta Silent Saturday

Pathetic long run today. Disappointment. At the very least, I enjoyed what nature offered me this morning.


Also, happy birthday, Grandma. I miss you so much that my heart feels like it will implode sometimes. I like to imagine what things would be like if you were here now…but that hurts a lot, too. Hearts can break from wanting something so much.

So instead, I’m doing my best to smile and celebrate you today. I’m living a life of grand love for my family and friends, because that’s what you did. And I deep cleaned my camper, too, because I could hear your voice telling me it was maybe getting a little filthy.


Mama Monday: 5 Picture Books for Belly Laughs

Oh, hello there! How was your weekend? Did you rest? Did you party? Did you have at least a little fun? I hope your answers are: yes, yes, and A LOT.

This past weekend was hubby’s and my 7th wedding anniversary. Has it really been 7 years already? Seems like yesterday and eons ago all at the same time. I don’t know how that works.

We celebrated by running the Fifteen’s 5k in Minneapolis. I highly recommend this race! It is so well-organized and for a great cause. The hills are a doozy at times, but I had a good guy encouraging me the whole way. I’ll write a more detailed review later this week, but for now…just get it on your calendar as soon as you can! (The date ranges from the last Sunday in July to the first Sunday in August from what I’ve seen so far.)

Onto today’s Mama Monday topic! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about quality time with my Lula. There’s nothing I wish for more than to spend MUCH more time with her than I do. Being a working mom presents its own challenges, and I struggle with so much mom guilt for being a full-time librarian. Lula has a wonderful daycare provider, and I know she needs the social interaction with kids. That doesn’t stop me from wishing I could be with her more often, though.

The time I spend with her is important to me. I have been working on certain things that interfere with my time with her, like aimlessly surfing or playing games on my phone. I am trying my hardest to enjoy the time we do have together. And what better way to spend our time together than laughing?

One way she and I connect is through books, and she LOVES a funny book. Here are five of our very favorites I recommend you check out from your local library.

  1. The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

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    My BFF gave me this book for a Christmas gift a few years ago. The first time I read the title to Lula earlier this year, she immediately said, “I don’t want a book with no pictures!” It only took two pages before she was hooked and begging for it again and again and again. Because…every single thing the page says? The reader HAS to read it out loud. Even if it means you turn into a singing robot monkey. Or…BLORK.

    Be ready for lots of giggles with this one. Especially if you’ve already read it a few times and your kiddo knows what’s coming. Even if they don’t know how to read, they’ll barely be able to contain themselves as they wait for you to say the words, “A HIPPO NAMED BOO-BOO BUTT.”

  2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

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    There’s something so charming about listening to your preschooler respond to a book as though they were actually talking with the characters in it. To know that you can help them travel into a world where they can actually talk to their silly pal, Pigeon? Too cute.

    In this book, the busdriver explicitly instructs you to NOT let the pigeon drive the bus. Pigeon has other ideas and is ready to do/say ANYTHING to get his way. Lula laughs but remains steadfast in saying, “NO, Pigeon! No way!” when he argues with her.

    Pigeon has lots more adventures after this first one, so I recommend any Pigeon books you can find. In fact, I recommend any Mo Willems title that exists. He is just excellent.

  3. Toot by Leslie Patricelli

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    By the age of 3, many preschoolers believe there aren’t many things funnier than a good ol’ fashioned fart. Leslie Patricelli realized this and made it into a whole board book starring her beloved character, the baby. All of the baby books are entertaining, but none of them elicit giggles quite like this one.

    There’s not much more I have to say for this one. Just be ready to make lots of different bodily function noises. And you might just get the giggles, too.

  4. Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

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    Sandra Boynton is another well-known name in our household. Her anthropomorphic critters are a little quirky and a whole lot of fun. With this particular book, Lula loves it because it gives her a chance to read to me.

    The premise is simple. Four critters wear variously colored pieces of clothing. Everything is fine until you get to turkey. Turkey doesn’t seem to know exactly how to wear clothing. For example, he wears his pants on his arms and his coat on his beak. Ooops!

    It’s easy for Lula to “read” to me by identifying the color and piece of clothing each animal is wearing. And she thinks it’s HILARIOUS to say “Ooops” each time she sees the turkey. She looks up at me to make sure I’m laughing, too. And I am, just from seeing her delight in reading to Mama. Simple text that still manages to be incredibly engaging for preschoolers.

  5. Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

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    Our copy of this book is so well-worn and loved that I’m considering replacing it. Even though it is a board book, I can’t imagine not reading it frequently to Lula, even as she gets older. It has been a favorite of hers since she could form opinions.

    Although it isn’t intentionally super funny, it has an amazing beat to it as the title suggests. She loves the beat and the words and the dancing farm animals. And I actually have fun trying to rap the words. So it garnered some bonus mama points.

    There’s also the opportunity to read the words really fast toward the end, and that leaves Lula laughing long after the book is done.

It was SO hard to choose 5 books! Because we love a million more of them.

What are you favorite picture books to read with your kiddos?

SHOP

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Wildcard Wednesday: 3 Basic Grocery Planning Tips + FREE Printable

I’ve touched a bit in the past about my love for organization, planning, and all things being-ahead-of-the-game. Mostly because I’m usually far, far from ahead. And you know what? Being behind is a really crummy feeling. I’m not good at flying by the seat of my yoga pants. I realized a while ago that I need to set myself up for success. That’s where my grocery list has become a life-saver.

Today, I want to give you my favorite three tips for staying on top of my grocery list. And if you make it to the end, I’ll even have a little printable gifty.

  1. Schedule time to meal plan and make your grocery list.
    To save a lot of time, you have to spend a little time dedicated to your meals for the week. For me, this works best on Sunday afternoons. I have an arsenal of quick, easy family recipes through Pinterest, my Google Drive, and my old-fashioned recipe box at home. I sit down, browse for a few minutes, and pick a few meals for the week. Not more than a few, though. One night is for leftovers, and the weekend is usually hubby’s realm.
  2. Plan all week. All the time.
    This might be counterintuitive to what I wrote above, but hear me out. Have a “list in progress” all the time. And set yourself up for success by pre-dividing the list into specific food/product categories.

    The way I accomplish this is through a couple of inexpensive items. I bought a frame at the dollar store. It’s not super high-quality, but it gets the job done. If you invest a little in a frame, it’ll likely last just about forever.

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    I also bought a few fine-tipped dry-erase markers. Inside the frame, I have a template list I typed up quite some time ago. (Can you see “diapers” is still on that? We haven’t purchased diapers for quite a while.) It is divided by categories, and then I have lists of common pantry/fridge staples. These are foods that I purchase often for recipes or otherwise. With a checkbox next to each item, I can easily mark an item when we need it. I also have blank lines at the end of the list, so I can fill in any random items I may need. Then, when I get to my Sunday planning time, it makes it super easy to…

  3. Get into the grocery store. Grab only what you need. Get out.
    When I have an easy-to-follow list of the items I need, it makes it simple to avoid impulse purchases, stay within budget, and buy mostly healthy foods. I personally feel less tempted to browse and think, “Oh, that Brownie Brittle looks so good…one package can’t hurt. Oooh, wait, look at those Bunny Grahams. Those look good, too.”

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    After checkmarking all my items, a la tip number 2, I simply add them to my condensed list for the store. This list is also…can you guess?…DIVIDED into categories! I bet you’re shocked.

    Again, this makes it easy to head to a certain section of the store, grab each item, cross ’em off, and BAM. No running back and forth across the store to grab those things you forget, and you’re in the checkout line just in time for your kiddo to ask “Can I get a cookie?” for the eight millionth time.

These all may sound like simple things, but sometimes simple things are the most efficient. And I’m a sucker for efficiency.

On a related note, I’ve been playing around with creating my own printables lately, and I decided to share one for the very first time. Go here to download a simple grocery list that will *hopefully* save you a little bit of time! If nothing else, it’s kinda fun colors and patterns and fonts. So there’s that. I’m still working on my skillz. (Let me know if the link isn’t working. Like I said, I’m new at this!)

All righty then. That’s just a brief wrap-up of how I make my grocery list. Do you have any special tips from your own meal-planning or list-making? Let me know in the comments!

Please also let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my other “lists.” I’m always down to share tips from an organizational maniac. After all, the more time I save at home, the more time I can spend playing Candy Crush running.

SHOP

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Mama Monday: Why You NEED to Go to the Minnesota Children’s Museum

So I promised I’d be back, didn’t I? And look! Here I am. I’m coming off a 1-week trip that took us from southern MN to Duluth, then up to International Falls and on a houseboat for 4 days, then to the Mille Lacs area, then back home, then to the camper, then to St. Paul. And finally back HOME. If you’re not local, I can tell you that the three of us did about…16 hours of driving? I can’t even keep track.

It was a jam-packed trip that left me needing another vacation, even though I slept quite a bit! But we made fantastic memories, and I’m so grateful my in-laws gave us this gift of time together in a beautiful part of the world.

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I’ve had some time now to do some planning and re-organizing of many aspects of my life and training and blog and just general well-being. So with that, today begins the first “Mama Monday” post. In these posts, I’ll try to share general insights on parenting life from my own perspective. They may be tips. They may be places to go or things to do or things I’ve purchased that I fully believe are worth the buy. It could just be a general rave/rant about something I’m dealing with as a mom. It could be running/fitness-related, but a lot of it probably won’t be.

Today is a special one to kick it off, though. Over the weekend, we visited the Minnesota Children’s Museum, which recently underwent a HUGE renovation. I didn’t recognize nearly anything from our prior visit there!

The museum “is dedicated to providing children with a fun, hands-on and stimulating environment to explore and discover. The Museum helps to instill a lifelong love of learning by nurturing the real-world skills children need to become engaged citizens in the future.” And goodness, do they do it well. LJ has a fast-growing brain, as do most kiddos, and sometimes it’s hard to find things to stimulate her imagination and learning. I’m so glad we have MCM within an hour of our house. It’s not far away, and it makes it easy to jet up there and PLAY!

When we arrived today, we hit right at lunchtime. So our first stop after the box office was for a little nosh. They had great options, especially for those crunchy plant eaters like us. We are lacto-ovo vegetarian, and we found a great selection.

I chose the vegan boost salad, because I’ve been feeling bogged down with all the “junk” I’ve been eating. It was a good amount to get a taste of all the tasty veggies and add-ins, but it wasn’t too much. LJ chose the kitty-cat pizza, hubby had the mac & cheese, and we split a donut between the 3 of us for dessert. (I guess that’s my idea of healthy eating? I mean, who can turn down a donut?)

After lunch, we made our plan of attack. We’d start on the top floor and work our way down to the other two. The first zone we went in was the “Our World” exhibit sponsored by Best Buy. It is a play area that looks like a little city, complete with a pretend post office, fire station, food stands, and hardware store. LJ walked in and yelled, “Look! It’s just like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!”

She had a blast putting on a fire fighter jacket and going in the “truck,” playing a postal worker by moving boxes along a conveyor belt and then dropping them down the mail chute to the first floor, and creating her own digital road signs in the hardware store. I know we could have spent so much more time in that space, but we knew we had a lot of ground to cover!

We visited Tip Top Terrace next. It is a rooftop eco-area with so many fun things to do and see. You can make music, do your own bird calling, “paint” with water (a surprisingly HUGE hit with LJ), and visit their see/smell/touch garden. LJ loved feeling the plant called “Lamb’s Ears” and smelling the basil.

Again, we could have spent much more time there, but time was a wastin’.

The current traveling exhibit at MCM is Ball-o-Rama. It reminded me that so many scientific concepts and forces are things we take for granted. Gravity. Acceleration. Momentum. We, as adults, don’t remember learning about these things, and it’s fun to watch the wheels turn in my own child’s head as she realizes new concepts about our world.

The hands-on interaction in this one was very fun! Who knew you could learn so much with a few simple golf balls? She may not remember the big words like acceleration or friction, but she’ll sure remember standing at the top of the staircase and sending golf balls down the roller coaster. She’ll remember bouncing a big rubber ball off an orange “bounce pad.” (Orange is her favorite color after all.) It’s setting the stage for a solid education. And did I mention: fun?

There is a studio area for creating and experimenting with materials. We didn’t make it to those this time, but I fully intend on hitting those up next visit.

Our next stop was Imaginopolis! It contained so many different “fantastical” objects that would allow LJ to be the star in her own story. I think it was a little overwhelming for her, because it was so open-ended. Everything was up to her to make up or create, which is wonderful, but we all needed a little “pushing along.”

Luckily, the MCM staff is wonderful and we constantly saw them interacting with kids and adults throughout all the exhibits. A staffer came in, sat right down, and helped LJ to create her own story using the objects. It was helpful for me to learn how to let her take the reigns for imagination! She can create way better stories than I can, and she doesn’t usually need my guidance once she gets started!

Next was Creativity Jam! Our stop there was pretty brief, but they had many found materials and other items to…well…create! After years of me telling LJ she can’t put stickers on the walls and floor and household objects, that’s exactly what she got to do in one area. They have a free-standing structure kids can decorate with stickers. There’s a piano in there that’s COVERED. I think I probably had more fun than she did in this area.

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Don’t think MCM has forgotten their littlest friends! They still have a play area for kids 3 and under called “Sprouts.” We went in there for a few minutes to enjoy the squishy floors and climbing structure, but we quickly decided 3 1/2 might be a little old for this section. Our kiddo is so go-go-go, and she’s tall for her age. We mostly worried about her knocking over other littles. Still a great area!

We headed to the slightly larger (try 4 stories) play structure called “The Scramble.” Make sure you bring your socks when you come! No bare feet or shoes in this wild climbing adventure. It has two climbing towers, a spiral slide, a climbing rope, and a netted catwalk at the top. It freaked this height-phobic mama out big time, but my small fry is fearless. She quickly figured out how to scale the climbing towers with Dad, and she couldn’t stop going down the slide. She scares me, but she had so much fun!

The first time she went up one of the climbing towers, she told her dad (who was standing on the stairway outside the tower), “I can’t do this!” He talked her through it, and she made it part-way up. There are small exit holes for children at various points, which is nice if it gets to be too much for them.

The second time she scaled the tower, she again began to waver a bit. After a beat, she reassured herself, “I CAN do this” and proceeded to make it all the way up the whole thing! It instilled confidence in her and made her believe in herself.

Me? I was just dandy staying at the bottom.

After we practically pulled her off of The Scramble, we brought her over to the Super Awesome Adventures area. There was a lot to do here, and there were a lot of people, so we didn’t spend a super long time. She did have fun playing around with the green screen (which also has a climbing wall!), balancing on a beam and some balance boards, and sliding down a carpeted “skate park.”

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We spent some time in the 3M Forces at Play gallery, and again: so much to do! Between bubbles, launching ping pong balls with air streams, and washing a silly car, I can’t believe we got out of there. LJ was fascinated with the fact that she could scrub the car doors with soap and use a hose to wash it…inside! There was also an interactive water wall, which she’s only ever seen in a Daniel Tiger app she plays. She liked having a real-life one at her whim!

It didn’t seem like many people knew about “The Backyard” that you find by going through a door in the Forces at Play area, but it was way cute! Big tires and tubes to play in, a gathering area under a big umbrella (yeah, I took advantage of that), a human-sized birds nest, flower boxes, and earth-related activity stations. LJ currently is curating a collection of rocks; we don’t know why. What I do know is that she had fun looking at all different types of rocks under a magnifying glass. We talked about how they were alike and different, what they felt like, and what they looked like.

After that, we decided it was time to head home. Learning is exhausting. And that leads me to probably the best parental benefit of MCM: (Besides the fact that it’s FUN, hands-on, play-learning for your kid, of course.)

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Nap time was within a few minutes of leaving the parking structure. Thumbs up!

So this may seem like a giant photo op post for my kid, but I promise that’s not my intention. What I want you to look at is this: in nearly every single picture, she is smiling. She is engaged. She is interacting with things she’s never seen or touched or used before. She is learning and growing and making big memories.

She is playing.

So if you are able to make it to the Twin Cities area, I highly recommend visiting the Minnesota Children’s Museum. They also have a Rochester, MN location that I’m sure we’ll be taking advantage of soon. Both are worth the effort to get there, and I’m so glad we have this opportunity so close!

Did you hang with me ’til the end, chickadees? If so, bravo! That was a big post. But I hope you enjoyed it and remember how important playing is for kids. Playing is learning. So go out now, and find a new way to play and have fun!

Until next time!

SHOP

***Disclosure: Hubby is part of the “play advocate” program for MCM. As such, we received a membership in exchange for him meeting certain social media posting/promotion requirements. Me? I’m not an official program member, but I sure do love the place! This post would be coming to you even if we weren’t part of this program.
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WCT

I am slightly early for WCW, but I’ve been meaning to share this article for a while now. No time like the present! I’ve written about Mirna before, and I will likely be writing about her again. (She has a book coming out this fall, and you can be darn sure I already pre-ordered that puppy.) She just has such fabulous perspective and beautiful thoughts that I need to hear most every day. I need some sort of app on my phone where I press a button, and Mirna gives me some sort of sage advice or cheery pick-me-up. Can someone work on that?

But I say that, if you run and it is an important part of your life or fitness regime, be proud and share your success with others. You never know who is watching. Your child, your relatives, your coworkers…they might be the ones that need to witness that strength, focus and energy emanating from you so that, maybe one day, they can try running themselves.

This is something I need to keep in mind when I’m at my lowest. Because if I can’t muster the gumption to get moving for myself, I can certainly picture my kiddo playing dress-up with my running shoes so she can “be like Mommy.” I can remember that others in my life struggle, too, and I want them to believe there’s a reason to get up and get going, whether they are running or participating in another activity that makes them happy.

Speaking of getting going, yesterday officially kicked off my TLAM 13.1 Run/Walk plan!

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Trying to get more comfortable with this “sweaty selfie” thang

Although I’ve done these plans in the past and had to bow out (due to no fault of the plans, might I add…it was always injury or illness causing me to de-rail), I’m feeling really good at the start of this one. I feel like I’ve had time to recover, wallow, re-group, fall apart again, and heal. I feel organized and stronger mentally than I did at the start of my last attempt. This is going to be good.

The flowers are a bloomin’ in our yard as of late. And they provide a lovely “welcome home” to me when I finish a run.

I have no green thumb of which to speak, but the former occupants did a beautiful job of landscaping. Lucky us.

Also. I think you already know this, but I find my bear-dog adorable, albeit stinky. And I think she’s hilarious when she gets a treat. So I tried to capture the magical moment. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do. (Maybe not that much. Maybe it won’t be your phone background and maybe you won’t giggle every time you turn on your phone. But you could do that if you wanted.)

This week has also provided a slight reprieve from the usual morning hustle and bustle. Our wonderful daycare provider is taking a well-deserved family vacation. We easily found care for LJ between hubby, me, and my step-mother (AKA LJ’s favorite person in the world!). Her nina (a nickname LJ began calling her at a young age) is bearing the bulk of the days, and they are having fabulous adventures together. Me? I don’t have to worry about corralling LJ and getting her out the door for a few days. It doesn’t sound like a luxury, but oh, it is fantastic.

AND! They came to visit me at the library and brought me some treats. They enjoyed storytime together, and it was nice to see my baby mid-day.

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And now? I have some PiYo workouts to catch up on, a house to clean (psh…probably not happening), and some sleep to get (psh to this, too).

SHOP

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FriYAY

The sun is shining. The skies are blue. It’s Friday. The stars are aligned or the gods are finally happy with us or Mother Nature is just in a really damn good mood. Any way you cut it, today is beautiful in my neck of the woods, and I hope it’s great for you, too.

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Lunch breaks: deck, book, food. Win.

I found my way out on the beaten trail a couple of times this week, and I have a “race” tomorrow, if you can call it that. It’s a local event that sponsors local families dealing with serious illnesses. Always gives you the happy tingly feelings inside your heart to see so many community members getting together for a good cause. And it’s nice to have companions on my usual running paths!

This week has also provided opportunities to get outside as a family, something we never do enough of. I’m not sure if it’s easier or more difficult now that LJ is older, but she’s an active kiddo. So anything that helps tucker her out is good in my book.

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I’ve been really contemplating my relationship with food these past few weeks, as is evidenced by the great sugar fast of April 2017. (Y’know…by great, I mean 3 whole days sugar-free and a few more days mostly sugar-free.) It’s part of my unofficial “health reset” where I basically start building myself brick-by-brick again.

I’ve observed my behavior, and I am noticing a trend. If I start eating refined sugar earlier in the day, I want it all day. If I abstain for a while, I’m less likely to crave it and think about it. So whatever that’s worth…I don’t know.

This article seemed to hit at exactly the right time, though. It preaches kindness, and that’s what I need to remember.

The most important one that is helping me be kinder to myself every day? Find what works for you.

What works for you may not work for someone else—and that is okay. When it comes to food (and running and life…) it is okay to experiment. You may make a mistake. Something may not work for you. But, you’ll learn from it and move on.

This morning, I woke up, thought about the snacking I did after I got home from work last night, and my mind immediately thought, “You eat garbage. You are garbage.”

I caught myself. I was surprised, because I realized these are thoughts I have often but don’t often stop myself from having. This morning, I corrected myself: “You didn’t eat great last night. It satisfied some need or desire you had, even if it wasn’t the healthiest way to do it. Today will be better, starting…now.”

I didn’t 100% believe myself, but I believe there’s some merit to the phrase “Fake it ’til you make it.”

Well, before I pack up and head out for the weekend, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish you a belated happy Star Wars Day.

Here’s my little Wookiee with her Wookiee hair and her Wookiee shirt. And my dog, because…Chewbarka.

SHOP

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Grumpy Snow Owl

It’s April 27th, and I saw tiny snowflakes falling from the sky as I let the dog out this morning. She frolicked with happiness. I turned grumpy.

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Re-enactment. We share a stunning resemblance, though, don’t we?

I also have a case of the grumps, though, because I haven’t run in a while. I’m rather run down instead. I’ve had a cold for two weeks now, and I just really wish I could breathe out of my nose and that my eyes weren’t itchy and that my head didn’t feel so gummed up. I also feel like sleeping for days.

I’m being hard on myself for not running, but at the same time, it’s kind of a relief to allow myself some time to recuperate. Usually, I push through my illnesses and train anyway. This time, though? I’m stepping back. Perhaps it’s something to do with the lousy nature of my last long run. Perhaps it’s something bigger. I have some decisions to make, though, and they will have an effect on the future of my running “career.” (Career? Hobby? Lifestyle? I am not sure how to address it.)

I’m considering starting at level 1, if that makes any sense. And I’ll see where that takes me. My ankle injury is reverberating longer than I had expected, and I just don’t feel ready for going too long-distance at this time. After my last run, my heart isn’t in it. I’m trying to re-vamp too many other things in my life right now: eating, self-reflection, meditation/yoga. All things that will give me more peace before I begin rigorously training again. Don’t get me wrong. I love running, and I don’t want to quit it. I still have my big goals to achieve, and I want to get there soon!

But I have to help the other “pieces” of my life fall in place first. I can’t train and lose weight at the same time. I can’t incorporate as much meditation and yoga as I want when I’m trying to keep my mileage high. Maybe other people have a propensity for these things. I just don’t right now.

I don’t know where all this rambling leaves me, and kudos to you if you’ve made it this far. I do know I want to continue blogging with a focus on running and health and mamahood. I like getting my thoughts out on virtual paper, and I hope I’ve been able to give something good to the wonderful people who read this as well.

For today, though…I’m going to focus on each day as it comes. I’m going to try to do things that bring me joy at that very moment in time. I hope find the time and effort to do the same.

SHOP

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