- the children's activity room
- the low-key atmosphere in the gym/weight areas
- family friendly
- the large number of active older adults that exercise there. It gives me hope.
- the coffee
- the older man wearing a Nike coolmax shirt, with a "swoosh"; the older lady walking on the treadmill with her fresh weekly wash & set; the older man wearing overalls working his way through the circuits; the group of younger girls working out together; the older man beside me running faster than I am
- the activities and programs offered
- the young kids playing basketball in the gym
- the song, of course :)
As a coach at USA Fit Bay Area says, "Yeah, we put one foot in front of the other, for a really long time, and then they give us stuff." It's funny and true. Finishing an organized race event is such a thrill...honestly. Whether it's a 5K fun run, 10 K, Half or Full Marathon, all distances are respected and finishing is something to be truly proud of...whatever your time.
I say all of this to encourage you NOT to be intimidated. It's time to give it a try. I started jogging on a treadmill, gradually increasing my speed and endurance. I then tried jogging outside. Step by step I built up my endurance. Running in intervals with a short walk break in between is an excellent way to start. I still follow that plan in a race. Now, let's go....
My name is Holly, and I call myself a RUNNER!
I was just tickled pink to find a package from my swap partner waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday. When I opened the envelope, I saw all these wrapped goodies from Stephanie. She lives in Wisconsin and is mom to 2 adorable little people. I was so excited to receive some of her favorite things. Look how pretty...I could hardly stop myself from opening them immediately, but I waited to take a quick picture before discovering all this...
How did she know I am a true soap junkie? Coconut lime is one of my faves! Somehow she also knew my affection, okay, obsession with all lip balms, glosses, glazes, sticks, etc. This one smells so yummy and is a sweet, soft blush of pink. Thanks Stephanie! Wait... there's more...
She also sent pure devilish goodness wrapped in paper. Yes, that's right a decadent dark chocolate with cherries bar of joy. Can't wait to eat it! What's that sound you hear? Oh, my lips smacking, sorry! (Hee Hee) Who knew we liked the same type of pen? Well, she did of course. These are the best, put out your eye, sharp pens. Thanks again! Yes, there is still more goodness...
Stephanie also included a copy of Real Simple magazine. Can I jump into that hammock right now? I have always admired this magazine, but never bought one for myself. I can't wait to read it. Thank you again, Stephanie, for sharing a few of your favorite things with me.
This swap was such a fabulous experience. How fun to meet someone new and share bits of ourselves! Love that. It was a great way to make a new friend in Blogville and make the world a bit smaller. Can't wait to swap again sometime!
Who is this crazy lady?
That would be me.
This morning I was a 100%, high-voltage crank pot. Snippy, snarly, queen of tortured sighs...you name it. Scott left a bit early for work. I didn't know why I was so off, then I thought about dates. Yep, it's about that time again. Joy.
The other day I saw a snippet on the Today Show about foods to avoid to treat PMS, like caffeine and salt. This is not the time I want to avoid any food. I seem to need coffee in an IV and a steady diet of Tex-Mex. They suggested other foods to replace the good stuff you avoid, but I don't want any of that. (Can you hear my whine?)
I am better now. Exercise does wonders, thank goodness. I attacked the elliptical and the bike and they brought me back from the dark side. For a while.
At least regarding this...
Late last night these strange feelings invaded, rooted I'm sure in my insecurities. What if she doesn't like it? What if our tastes are completely different?, etc. I was doubting my decision to send handmade items to someone I don't know really know much about. Silly I know, but those doubts were assaulting me.
This morning I came full circle by realizing that the overall purpose of this swap is to get to know fellow bloggers a little better, meet someone new and share a bit of our lives. Discover things we have in common and discover something new. Connect. Relate. Share. It is for fun, therefore insecurities are no longer allowed. I let them go and mailed off my packages with a sense of excitement. I can't wait for her to receive them and I can hardly wait to discover her favorite things!
I picked up A., along with 2 caramels for later, Pappo always has an interesting array of treats. My plan was to head to the mall to make a quick return. We stopped by home for a bit to freshen up. In the 2 minutes after we arrived, the plumbers arrived. Surprise! (We have been having repair/reconstruction done for the past several months. 3 words: shower pan failure. Thank goodness for State Farm. Maybe we'll be asked to do a commercial someday). Sadie, our sweet but high strung Golden Retriever, commences to bark her fur off. Executive Mommy Decision: stay at the mall for a while.
A. will be 4 in September. This is a murky age I am learning. One minute A. is an agreeable Pollyanna, the next she is Linda Blair's twin. You never know. One area of contention is the stroller. It's hard to allow her to walk beside me, if we're going to be more than say, a minute. She doesn't want to ride either, unless it costs $5.00 and comes in blue or red with four wheels. I was not going to pay to rent a "car" when we had the umbrella stroller. I asked her if she wanted to walk beside me or ride. She said she would ride in the stroller. I should have suspected something right then and there.
We were barely inside the air-conditioned splendor before she decided she wanted to walk. The next hour or so was spent dealing with this as we meandered around the mall. Joy.
We won't even talk about the visit to the MAC counter. I earned that lipstick though!
Really, I must have lost my mind because I actually strolled us into the epitome of pre-pre-preteen girl Heaven--Claire's. I haven't been in there since high school. Seriously, what was I thinking? A. is just discovering all the girly accoutrement, but barely. Here I am putting her front and center! Smart mom moment. Anyway, the objective was to find stretchy bracelets for A. Somehow we made it out alive, given the store is the size of a cracker box jammed to the ceiling with glittery junk, er, I mean stuff, and I was pushing an octopus in a stroller. I already had visions of my latte later.
Lunch came next and things were looking up. I wish I owned Chick-Fil-A stock. We even got a cookie. I relented and let her push the stroller. Now, this is Friday afternoon at the mall folks, it was fairly crowded. In fear that she would knock someone down, I tried to help her push one handle. This was the next battle. I tried to give her some freedom and then step in when she veered too close to some unsuspecting JC Penney patron.
Soon we (me) were malled out. I had seen enough skin, although not at the beach, to last for a long time and I was about to throw the stroller under a bus. I checked my watch. We had just enough time to get home for a nap, before it really would have been too late. I did figure into my calculations the time spent picking up my latte though. Of course, by this time it had grown from a grande to a venti.
The plumbers were gone, Sadie was calm. Ahhh. Once A. was snoozing, I savored every last delicious drop. I wish I owned stock in Starbucks too.
- A. loves her swimming lessons. She can't wait to continue next week. No bribery needed.
- Since we're already at the Y, I have gotten in 3 pretty good workouts.
- A. enjoys the child center at the Y. They play outside, read stories, do crafts, etc.
- Our mornings have flown by.
- A. has napped.
- I did find a neat treat for the FT Swap. (The other things will be handmade.)
- The Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad from TGI Friday's. I know, just a large-chain-somewhat-overpriced salad...but it's truly Dee-Lish!
The Not so Good:
- My weekly cleaning routine has been rudely knocked off its track.
- Therefore I've been a bit out of sorts and feeling like I can't catch up.
- A. has been staying up later. Sigh. The Catch-22 of those naps!
- She still gets up with the birds though.
- I haven't had a lot of free time to work on my things for the Favorite Things Swap. Eeek!
- It took me 4 days to make Tuna Fish Salad. Why, you ask? We bought the eggs on Monday, but it was already lunchtime. Tuesday we boiled the eggs and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Wednesday we were hardly home. Finally today, A. was able to eat the tuna fish she has been asking for all week. Sometimes it's just the simple things that do me in.
Thankfully, there aren't really any bad or ugly things (I wanted to do The Good, The Bad & The Ugly list, felt a little like Clint today). This evening I was so happy to clean my sink. It was like this ridiculous weight was immediately lifted. I know, get over myself. In my small, somewhat OCD riddled world, a clean, shiny sink determines my mood. Yeah, there are some control issues within my little world.
Had to document my little helper today. A. took great delight in putting treats in bags for our mission team from our church. They leave this week to work in Dominica. She paid attention well and did a great job on the assembly line.
I have had a longing in my heart to start teaching her about service and helping others. We don't do enough, but we try, in small ways. Even if she doesn't quite "get it" yet, I want her to begin to be exposed to the concept. She has helped bake birthday cakes for the nursing home, she brings food for Hungry Charlie (our church pantry), helped take food for the sick, and knows about Goodie Mail (her term). When she is a bit older, I would like to take her to visit our elderly members. Right now neither one of us might survive! As she gets older she will be able to do more and I hope serving becomes a part of her life.
Do you have ideas that can help teach children service and helping others? If so, PLEASE share! I would love to have some more ideas that are appropriate for an almost 4 year old.
****Later thoughts @ 9:15pm***** I did not mean for my thoughts above to sound boastful or anything close to that at all. I truly want to raise A. to have a desire to help others and serve. We have only done little things so far, and it's sporadic. I want to do better and I want to use opportunities that might come up to teach her. Thanks for all your ideas and comments!
A. started her swim lessons at the YMCA yesterday. She is a Pike, which is a beginner. Naturally, she thinks she can swim already without any help, but she has been sadly misinformed. Coach Kate has been teaching her cool little tricks like scooping ice cream, brushing off peanut butter from her ears(backstroke), blow out birthday candles, etc.
Let's take a moment to reflect back to the turn of the past century, well, okay circa 1972. Here I am at my swim lessons. I am the second from the right, sitting on the step. We had no noodles, floaties, squirty fish. Nada. I still managed to learn though and I think I remember it being fun.
One of my basic items is a pair of Under Armour liner shorts, like these found here. They should be available in different inseam lengths. I have bought them at Academy or Sports Authority stores. Now, I am a stickler for, shall we say, derriere coverage. In that light, I wear a loose pair of nylon/Drifit running shorts over the liners. And black is my BFF. I have 2 faves, both from Nike.
I wear the ones above almost all the time. Nope, this isn't me.here. I recently found them at Target also, and they were cheaper--which is always good. Target usually has a great assortment of running clothes by Champion, and the prices are reasonable too. You can see for yourself here.
As for shirts, almost anything made of Coolmax or Drifit material, with a low to zero cotton content. Currently, I like the v-neck from Nike. I know it goes against everything we've ever heard, but cotton is NOT your friend when you exercise. It gets soggy and can cause chafing or blisters. Eek! Remember this also when you choose socks.
Hydration is critical on longer runs. It's personal preference, but you need a plan. I use this.
Maybe a sport watch, an MP3 player, and energy gels/blocks and you're ready to go.
That's about it for now, folks. Happy running! Happy walking!
Do you have a must have for running?
This has been my routine every Friday night for the last several weeks:
- Lay out running clothes and shoes.
- Fill Fuel Belt bottles.
- Check running bag for Garmin & iPOD; check battery levels.
- Set alarm for 5:10 a.m in order to meet BAF group at the school for 7@6.
- Turn off alarm.
- Stay in bed.
I suppose in a way it was, because instead of
we went to
- Our YMCA. This week A. and I have been there twice . I made friends with the treadmill and she made friends in the children's center. A. starts swim lessons there on Monday.
- The Asian salad from McDs. Yes, I'm sure this has been around forever and a day and I'm just now discovering it, but I'm slow sometimes. A. and I stopped by after the Y and since I was still sweaty, I decided I should get something somewhat healthy. For McDs (or as A. would say, "McDonalds, happy to be a part of Sesame Street." They say this right before the Street comes on and she is convinced it IS NOT right unless you say the entire thing.) it was pretty good.
- Netflix sent Happy Feet and we are planning on watching it this weekend. Who can resist cute penguins? The March of the Penguins totally made me cry and cheer. Amazing birds, folks.
- Hoping to carve out some card/scrapbook time over the weekend.
- Getting in 3 days of running this week. I was beginning to think about having to change the title of this meager blog to Coach Potato Bird or something (Brownie Bird?). Let's just say it's been a while since I've run 2 days consecutively. I hope to make it 4 days by running in the morning with the BAF group.
Well, that's five that I can think of. Five seems like a good place to stop since it finishes off the alliteration of Friday Favorites nicely. Or should I say, fabulously?
What are your Friday Favorites? What plans do you have for this weekend?
The flippy stuff is gone from the back and it's cut in an angled-bob- type style. Should be fun. Oh, yeah, and I'm a brunette again.
Color + Cut + Tip = WAY less than the other lady and we can still eat. That's a good thing.
It arrived yesterday in my email. I held my breath and scrolled down the page. Would I be stepping up my training and leaving on a jet plane in early November? Nope. Not this year at least.
On a big whim a few months ago, I entered the giganto lottery for the NYC Marathon. If Lance could do it, so could I. Of course, he had a support crew made up entirely of elite runners, but I have Scott and A., right?
I'm not too terribly disappointed this isn't my New York year. It's one of my Oh My Goodness running goals, I'm sure I'll get there someday.
Had to take a moment to mention (okay, confess) my new obsession. Friday Night Lights. Yes, I know, the season is over. If you are like me there are only so many shows you can fit in during the regular season. Sad but true, I know. Well, I missed out on this little joy and now it's in reruns. Yep, I'm a bit late to the party...but at least I made it!
Y'all, this little TV show is good! It's not just football girls, really (I mean unless that's your main thing). It's rich with drama y'all. We're talking about a show layered with high school drama, family drama, life changing issues, teenage angst, humor, and of course...football. Set your DVR for Sunday nights at 8 p.m. and check this out.
It's just good TV folks. Seriously.
I'm still a bit disturbed this afternoon. I knew it would be rough and violent, but I hung in there...I wanted justice for Leo. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say it didn't end the way I expected. I need to watch tons of Disney generated happiness and happy Chick Flicks for a while now.
It was around 9:00p.m., the house was quiet. The kitchen was closed. The sink was shined and ready for the morning. In case you're wondering, lately I've developed a kitchen sink obsession. I like for it to be cleaned, shined and dried so it greets me all sparkly in the AM. I'm sure that's a whole other post in itself.
Scott said,"I could just take some banana bread to the picnic." (Which was probably my achievement of the day, and it was freezing as we spoke.)
Me: "Are you supposed to bring something tomorrow?" (remember, it's 9:00)
Scott: "Um, yeah."
Well, you can imagine the next part of the conversation. It included phrases like, why didn't you tell me earlier, I was home most of the day and could have made something, store bought cookies are apparently cheap and open to derisive co-worker comments, would you really eat banana bread at a picnic, etc. So, he decided he'd do the break apart cookies, but it would involve a late night trip to the store. Fine. By the time the last cookie was cooling, my kitchen had crumbs in lots of interesting places and my sparkly, happy sink was trashed. Sigh.
Maria also sent a thoughtful note. Thank you Maria! Kim surprised me with a note and a cute chicken notepad. How fun! All of these goodies certainly perked up my mailbox last week.
Good Mail is of course fun to receive. It's such a helping of joy and sunshine in my mailbox, instead of the usual deluge of bills, catalogs, fliers, etc. I think it's also fun to send. I enjoy looking for little treats (nothing expensive) that my friends might like. Just a little something to let them know they are being thought of. I also enjoy making and sending a card that will hopefully brighten their day. Stopping by the post office isn't that bad at all knowing I'm doing it for someone else. Now A. is aware of Good Mail, both receiving it and sending it. I hope it will be a habit that stays with her as she grows up.
Have you sent some Good Mail recently? Try it, you'll like it!
Well, today was the day. I was excited to check out a new salon and cute up my hair. I called this morning and a very pleasant girl told me that T. had an opening next Tuesday. I was thrilled, so quick! She started to take my information and I said I was a new client. Pause. I sensed something. But what? The pleasant girl asked if I was aware that T. charges $100 for a new client haircut? Then $60, on up for color.
After a pause, I stammered, "Excuse me, did you say $100 for a haircut?"
And she did. Seriously.
I mumbled something about T. giving me her card... but I didn't realize...and refinancing...and payment plans...and thank you very much, buh-bye.
Now, my next question is who pays this ridiculous amount for a haircut?
Or some ham or jam? For all the lovely years of our union (soon to be 12) there has been someone between us, or should I say a few people. A British comedy troupe from the late 60s and early 70s that is currently disbanded. Yet, their power is still strong.
As a girl I have never paid much attention to Monty Python. I just never "got it". Many of my girlfriends feel the same way. Now, if you talk to guys, of varying ages, Monty Python is "The Man" (or should I say "The Troupe"). Scott is no different. He can quote entire scenes of dialogue from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and then laugh like he was 8 years old again. Often he and other grown men do this. I still don't get it.
Anyhoo, as a combination Christmas/Birthday surprise, I gave him tickets to see Spamalot, which is a musical spoof of Monty Python's Holy Grail. Needless to say, Scott was over the moon. Soon word got out and various grown men came up to him at church to discuss this and how cool it was. I guess I did good.
A couple of Saturdays ago we went to see it. I never knew Scott could drive so fast. Or walk so fast in front of me to get inside (and we HAD PLENTY OF TIME). He was just, shall we say, excited. While I still don't "get it", and will continue to roll my eyes when he quotes MP, I will quietly admit that parts of it were pretty funny. Shhh.
Here are some other birthday goodies Scott enjoyed. A chocolate cake with sprinkles, a card made by A. (with all the punched & glued hearts, it's her thing), and several other birthday cards from friends. His friends at work bombarded him with cookies (it WAS an onslaught) and he was high on sugar for days.
She decided it was a whole lot easier to let the bugs come to her. She set the catcher down and went back inside saying she'd check later to see if she got any. That's my girl!
This is just one of those novels that grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. It has been an exciting tale of a spunky young girl traveling with her family to the Arizona Territories, complete with adventure, Indians, romance, family, humor, and growing up. I am already fearing the end and having to stop living life with Sarah. I am anticipating a slight depression when I finish, and that time is coming. Maybe tonight. Sigh.
What are you reading these days?
What? You've never considered this? Well, I have pink dreams...big ones.
The iPod Meme
1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense.
How do you feel today?
Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones (I guess I need some more coffee!)
What's your outlook on life?
Glamorous by Fergie (Like I always say, less isn't more, more is more.)
What does your family think of you?
Yeah! by Usher (Not sure, except they do cheer me on a lot.)
What do your friends think of you?
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man by Prince (Ha! That should make Scott feel good.)
What do your exes think of you?
Lady by Lenny Kravitz (Ha-I guess they are still pining for me...yeah, right!)
How's your love life?
Vertigo by U2 (Hmmm...a sense of falling? Is that good or bad?)
How will your love life be in the future?
I Saw Her First by John Mellancamp
Will you get married?
Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne
Are you good at school?
M!ssundzstood by P!NK
Will you be successful?
Legs by ZZ Top
What song should they play on your birthday?
Ain't That a Shame? by Cheap Trick (That's funny, I guess since I'll be getting another year older.)
What song should they play at your graduation?
Cool by Gwen Stefani
The Soundtrack of your life?
Let's Go Crazy by Prince (Appropriate)
You and your best friends are?
Elevation by U2 (I guess we're on a higher plane.)
Pon de Replay by Rhianna
Keep Your Hands Off My Girl by Good Charlotte
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard (Well, we all know I AM addicted to sugar.)
Sk8r Boi by Avril Lavigne
It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
What does next year have in store for you?
Hey Baby by No Doubt (That would be an interesting surprise!)
What do you say when life gets too hard?
Addicted to Love By Tina Turner (Might as well face it...)
What song will you dance to at your wedding?
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
What do you want as your career?
The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani
Your favorite saying:
Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses (Eeek!)
How will you die?
Beverly Hills by Weezer (What? Yeah, right on Rodeo Drive visiting Dr. 90210 Ha!)
To be honest, I did cheat...just a little, SexyBack by Justin Timberlake is not a good answer to any of these!