Friday, November 7, 2014

TGI Friday

It has been a crazy week. Work, training, schlepping Tiny Dancer, the usual. But there is still plenty for TGI Friday!
Sprint for Life 5K

Today I'm:

Trusting in my progress and not worry so much for perfection

Grateful for my amazing yoga teacher. She is amazing and brings things (things I never even consider where there) out of me (on and off the mat) with such ease!

Inspired by... MYSELF! We worked on headstand this week in yoga and I'm actually able to get it! I'm amazed by what my body is able to do, and it makes me wonder what else my body can do.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

All You Have to Do Is Just Not Give Up

Watching the New York marathon last weekend I was struck by an assertion made by one of the commentators. He stated that it doesn’t matter that the elite runners where doing it faster, whenever you run 26.2 miles it HURTS! Everybody gets to a point where their body begs them to: “just stop!”  In order to run a marathon, you need to push on when every ounce of your body, mind and spirit is telling you stop…just stop! For the love of everything holy, just STOP.  RIGHT.  NOW.

Now, I’m not a marathoner. I have no desire to punish my body that hard for that long. The truth is I don’t think I will ever be mentally strong enough to push myself past the pain, screams and tears.  I do believe I can do a half marathon, and am training for one in April, and on  yesterday’s run  I had what I thought of as a marathon moment.

I don’t know if it was the humidity, being tired from working yesterday, dehydration, or what, but half way through my run I actually cried. Real tears, legs screaming, lungs screaming, somebody calling me a jackass (oh, wait, that was me) I’ve never cried during a run or a race, and it wasn’t like this was a crazy amount of mileage. I just had a moment. It didn’t make sense, but I went back to what that announcer said: even the elite runners have those moments; the key is to push through them.  A small voice piped up –above the one calling me an effing idiot- and said, “you just have to not give up.” Ah, so simple, so hard, so true.

This voice has been getting louder and louder lately and I attribute it mostly to my yoga practice. That negative voice would rear its ugly head while on my mat, berating me for all the poses I could not do, and then this tiny voice would answer, “all you have to do is not give up.” 

I may not be able to get into crow, or an arm balance. My mileage may be meager but all I have to is not give up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Spy...

I spy with my little eye...

I love "spying" on my kids- watching them be completely themselves as they become the amazing people they are meant to be.  It reminds me that they are individuals. They are complete unto themselves in spite of projections I put on them. They have their own dreams, hopes and fears, that have nothing to do with me.  The connection between mother's and their children can be so strong that it  leaves us unable to see beyond our own hopes and dreams for them and not  as they truly are.

I get so wrapped up in the idea of "my child," feeling sure that other parents are looking at and judging me based on my child behavior that they become little extensions of me rather than the autonomous creatures they are and should be allowed to be.

Stepping back and just watching them be themselves with no input from me shows me how amazing they spite of me... and makes me fall in love with them all over again.

Pic is of me spying on Zoe during her violin lesson

Friday, October 24, 2014

TGI Friday and 1/2 Marathon Training, Oh My!!!

Hello from fall in Houston. It has been beautiful here for almost two weeks, which probably means we are in for a shit storm of a winter. For now it is just beautiful here, and I don't get to say that about Houston very often.

I'm multitasking today on the blog. I was going to post yesterday and being a blog loser didn't, so I'm combining the 1/2 marathon (YIKES) training I did along with TGI Friday. It's my blog so, neah!

First off TGI Friday

This Friday I am:

Trusting my inner yogi. I've been doing privates with an amazing teacher and have come so far it is unreal, but I am balking at my home practice. I'm afraid of "doing it wrong" which makes no sense because my yoga practice before this was entirely at home on my own. I'm committing to just getting on my mat every day and see where I go.

Grateful for this amazing weather that has lasted over a week. It is perfect weather for running and sitting out back with the pups.

Inspired by the changing leaves and weather. Change is good.

Yes, I'm training for a half marathon... again. I'm hoping and praying that I remain injury free and that I don't wimp out. Both of which are entirely possible probable.

I'm running the Diva Dash in Galveston on April 19. That gives me six months to get my shit together and train well.

I'm nowhere near ready to run a half, but that is okay because I've got six months. (right?) The goal for now is to make running a habit and not a, "wow, it is a nice day and I feel like it so I'll go for a run" thing. I'm slowly building some base miles (since I have next to none) and getting my head convinced that we can do this! I don't know which is gong to be harder to convince, my head or my legs.

Run, Jess, Run!!!

Expect tons of bitching about running in the months to come!

Friday, October 17, 2014

TGI Friday!

It has been beautiful here in Houston- our one week of Fall I guess, but whatever, I'll take it.

This Friday I am:

Trusting in the openness and patience that will lead me down the right path

Grateful for my amazing yoga teacher who has showed me that I am stronger than I ever dreamed.

Inspired by my Tiny Dancer who has been "stressed" this week but handled it with grace, aplomb and a cotton candy Frappuccino!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mom Shame

"Mom Shame" - That feeling that you're doing all wrong; that because of you your children are going to turn out to be mass murders or worse- will never become productive members of society and live in your house and on your payroll forever.

It doesn't help that all the other moms look like they have it all together. Now, I've had a glass of wine with enough of them to know that this isn't the case at all, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it.

Because my mom shame runs so deep, I'm always intrigued by the so-called parenting experts. I saw the newest one on Oprah (I KNOW!) and went out and bought the book. A lot of what this particular expert had to say resonated with me:

Your children are individuals with individual needs, wants and dreams regardless of the needs, wants and dreams YOU may have for them.
Your children are sent to you to teach you lessons you have yet to learn
The way you relate to and parent your children are triggers of and reactions to your own stuff
In order to parent effectively, you need to deal with your own stuff and get your own crap under control.

What it bottomed down to was this, when you understand the "why" of why you're freaking out on your children or are so obsessed with say, your kids grades,
you give yourself the space to connect to your children in a deeper and more meaningful way (buy the book).

I've recently had some pretty powerful discussions with my grown son regarding the whys behind some of my parenting choices which has created a deeper understanding and bond between us.

So okay, I get this book and decide I've been doing it all wrong all these years and now I'm going to start doing it "right." One of the things this expert advocates is letting your children "sit with" uncomfortable emotions so that they learn to handle them and not rush to "make it all better" which I actually believe in. So when Tiny Dancer had a major melt down this weekend, I stood back and thinking I was "giving her the space to sit with her feelings" let her melt down a bit, until she looked at me and screamed, "Why are you looking at me like I'm crazy?!" and took off running. Yeah, awesome parenting there!

I took off after her and attempted to explain what I was doing and apologized for it not being what she needed. She responded with an adamant, "NO! it was NOT!" So I did what I normally do in these circumstances which turns out to be exactly what she needs. I get her to breathe and in that breath she usually figures out the answer. I then talk to her about how she had the answer all along and feelings pass, all she does has to breathe through them.  Then we had ice cream.

In the end, the meltdown passed, she got the answer and we got through it. I'm not sure that my mom shame will ever go away...maybe with enough ice-cream.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Case of You

I remember that time you told me you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I  remember when my children were first born - being crazy intoxicated by their sweet newborn scent- not being able to get enough of them.

My NICU baby- Almost 19 years later,
and I could still drink a case of you!
Tiny Dancer being Tiny Dancer wouldn't let me put her down. She demanded to be held, carried and catered to from day one (not much has changed) Of course the three of us, since we had all waited on her for so long, were happy to oblige her every whim. In the early months, dad slept on the couch, endured back pain and practically got bedsores from non-movement while all the while TD slept peacefully on his chest.  The Boy Child held her in his lap while watching cartoons so I could get dinner on the table. I invested in a baby hammock and learned to do everything from dishes to sweeping with a baby tied to my hip.

The Boy was different. He didn't demand to be held. He was quite content to play with his hands at four in the morning and then fall back asleep until a more reasonable hour with no assistance from me, but he also spent 17 days in the "grower and feeder" section of the NICU.

Being a young mother I was petrified, even as all the doctors and nurses kept telling me he would be just fine once he learned to take a bottle, which of course he ultimately did and then 16 years later attempted to eat me out of house and home. Until that time, however, there was absolutely nothing I could do for him. I couldn't even feed him - unless you count holding a bottle while it delivers formula through a tube stuck up his nose down to his stomach, feeding, which I didn't. So I held him, wrapped up in my arms like a gift, and I rocked him. And I sang to him. I sang him country songs from the radio, hymns I learned in church and Joni Mitchell songs - sending each song up as a prayer - and then I held, sang and rocked some more.

The nurses encouraged me to go home and sleep, but every time  I left I was sure he was feeling frightened, alone and abandoned, and since there was absolutely nothing else I could do for him, I stayed. What nobody except Joni Mitchell seemed to understand was, "I could drink a case of you-and still be on my feet."

Almost nineteen years have passed and last week I had the amazing privilege of visiting this fully grown, amazing MAN - who I am proud to call "son" at college. As he sat across from me and gushed about college life, new found friends and new found freedom Joni's words floated between us, "I could drink a case of you..." when you were a newborn; when you were a precocious four year old; and yes, even when I wasn't sure either one of us was going to make it out of those teenage years alive- "and still be on my feet."  That will never ever change, and as he patted my back and whispered "I know Momma" when I burst into tears at the sight of him and sobbed, "I missed you soooo much" I know he gets it and I'm thankful for him letting me drink a case of him.  I love you, Son, and I couldn't be prouder!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So Close!

Let Me Tell You Why That's Bullshit
So close…
I seem to have lived my life one step behind:  just a little slower than I wanted to be; just a little less smart; just a little less…well, everything it seems.
Almost there but not quite.
 I guess you could say I am an A minus kind of person. I have never been able to cross that invisible line to A plus, no matter how long I studied, how much I ran, how much I proofread a paper.   In grad school I got all A minuses. That minus cut me to the core. I always read it as:  “nope, not quite good enough to be one of the cool kids.”
Close but no cigar. 
In running, I have great turnover, but because I’m only 4’9” My short stubbly little legs  will never generate any speed, no matter how hard I try. I will run a 5k all day, but always be a step behind and never for the win or even top ten finish.
 I took voice lessons for almost three years. Yes, I got better. Did I get good?  Yeah, no.
So it didn’t surprise me that when I began working on arm balances in yoga and my yoga teacher tells me, “you’re sooooooooo close. You’ve almost got it.” Well, of course I do. Being “this close” is what I do. I’ll never get there though.  I can get into crow, but my toes are about one (okay maybe two) millimeters off the ground, and only for about half a second. Again, close, but not really, and if history is any indication, that is as good as it is going to get.
 I hate being so close. I hate “almost” having it. It feels like I’m destined to always be just a step behind-never quite making it, and it pisses me the hell off.  In fact, I’m getting pissed again just writing about all those A minuses and  that 3.85 GPA (NOT 4.0!).  It makes me want to cry and give up and just accept that I am and will always be,  a “close but not cigar” kinda gal. 
There are worse things to be I suppose. I try to tell myself, and so does my amazing yoga teacher, that I will get it. I try to remember what another yoga teacher told me, “there are no steps to be taken. You are already there; you just don’t know it yet. 
 Let me tell you why that’s bullshit!
After we worked on arm balances and again I was told “sooo close.” I was lying there in Shavasana trying to breathe the frustration and tears away a small still voice said, “all you have to do is not give up.” I so want to believe that voice and know, deep down,  that if I just keep at it I will get it, but it is so hard.  My yoga teacher realizes, probably better than I do, that it is all in my head and if I will just get out of my head, I will get there; that I’m already there I just don’t know it.  I’m trying.  I even told her that I need to find another word rather than “stuck” because that has so many negative connotations.  I haven’t found a new word-YET! But it is my goal before out next session on Tues.
I’m going to find a new word
I’m going to start telling myself that the past does not dictate the future
I’m going to listen to my yoga teacher’s sweet voice when she tells me I can do it.
I’m going to choose to believe her
I’m NOT going to give up
I’m treating myself to a big bowl of ice cream when I get that arm balance.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Break Free

That last half mile. You know the one.
The one you do because the previous miles felt good and strong and you know you it is time to push yourself.
The one where every inch of your legs is screaming while your head alternately shouts, "don't you DARE quit!!" and " you've got this."
The one where you shamelessly have that bubblegum pop song on repeat-though you'd never admit it.
The one  you scream, "hell, yeah I did!" at the finish and relish in the sweat pouring off you.
Yeah, that's the one.
That is the one where you break free.

Friday, August 29, 2014

5 For 5 Recenter: Day 4!

I feel like I've hit my stride. I don't know if juicing, working out, meditating and doing something for ME is just more on my radar of if it really is getting easier to be more consistent about these things in my life. It just feels like those things are sliding into place and I'm not having to force it as much That is exactly what I wanted from this.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five For Five Re-Center: 3: On a Roll, with Curls

Day 3

I think I'm starting to get the hang of it! I actually got my meditation done first thing in the morning and my juice right after. My workout wasn't until 7:30 and was my prima barre class. Plié and up! I have been jotting my blog done while waiting to pick up Zoe after school. That seems to work.

I had a hair appointment to cover up all the gray and had her do my hair fancy. It was totally fun!

No profound thoughts today Just keep on doin' you boo!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5 For 5 Recentering: Day 2 Fancy Nails and a Theme

Hitting hard on day two! Everything ran late last night, but I had an amazing private yoga lesson and then got my nails done! By the time Tiny Dancer and I finally made it home it was time for dinner. Now this is where things usually fall apart for me. It is 5:30 and I still haven't blogged or juiced. This is normally where I would throw in the towel, call myself a major loser and give up two days in. Yup, that's me. Instead of giving up I managed to put the juicer together again and sat down and posted my blog. It was close to seven before I was done and my family was asking what in the hell I was doing, "Mommy's in the zone! Do NOT disturb her!

Fancy Nails!

In reviewing the commitments I've made for these five days of re-centering, I've noticed the theme of creating space for the things I love and to attempt to find a way from letting everything else encroach on my sacred ground. Last night I realized that this is important too. I need to find a way to honor it and not give in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5 For 5 Recentering


Yesterday was day one and I have to say it went really well. I pulled out my juicer and for a moment wasn't sure I was going to be able to put it all together. It felt like Christmas morning with a kids bike and a zillion pieces that needed to be put together... There HAD to be pieces missing, RIGHT? I don't remember this dohicky? Where does this go again.?

There is NO WAY this is going to make juice!

After taking my dad's amazing advice, "if at first it doesn't go...FORCE IT (and some banging and cursing) I achieved: Shrek pee! YAY!

Shrek pee!! YUM!

 I know, it looks gross, but after a day or two I will actually be out on a street corner selling my kids for kale. I know I'm weird  My poor kids.

My workout was my run. I was SO not feeling it. I got to the gym and hated my life and everything in it  for the first 15 minutes. I never really hit a great groove, I just got tired of listening to myself whine. I told myself what I tell Tiny Dancer when I've had enough of her shizz, "suck it up, Buttercup!" (I'm so making up T-shirts!)  Workout complete with an extra 1/4 of a mile thank you very much!

I got my meditation in too! Not at the perfect time, but I did it and got an amazing wake-up call for it!

Lastly, I got an amazing massage. Oh man! Like a good hair dresser, you really need to click with your massage therapist and I have spent the past two years trying to find another one after my last one abandoned me to go to grad school leaving me and my aching back high and dry.  I finally found someone who gives my low back the love it deserves.

I'm a very goal orientated person. It must be from  all those stats classes pounded into my brain during  grad school. What do I want accomplish in these five days? When I was a therapist, one of the questions I used to ask clients in our first meeting was, "when we are all done here, what would you have liked to accomplished, learned or gained?" In these five days I want to feel back on track. I have been so scattered this last month! I want to take a breath. I want to feel centered and in control of my life and not like life is in control of me. I want to silence that screaming shame talk in my head that tells me that I'm being selfish, that the things I enjoy and want to accomplish are silly. I want to stop hiding the things that are not just important to me, but that actually energize me, nourish me, make me feel strong and whole...happy. I want to stop hiding who I am: writer, yogi, runner.

Monday, August 25, 2014

5 For 5 Challenge

With one kid off to college and the other back in middle school today, the house feels strangely haunted. I can almost feel their ghosts: the Boy Child clomping down the stairs, rushing off to where ever 18 year old boys rush off to. Tiny Dancer pirouetting across the kitchen floor. It feels strange. And lonely. And scary.

I'm having a rough time dealing with Boy Child's absence. The presence of his absence is every where. From the laundry room where I'm struggling to make  a full load of laundry, to the empty seat at the dining room table. Tiny Dancer feels it too. She called him to complain that she had to do the dishes now! Ok, so maybe she is not quite feeling it in the same way, but she is definitely feeling it.

Having my family dynamic so dramatically changed has left me feeling off-centered and ungrounded, at loose ends, spinning off the world instead of grounded firmly to it. But my quiet and changed house has also created a space for me to re-center and restore myself. I am going to take advantage of this space and set a 5 for 5 challenge. I'm committing to doing five things each day for five days that I know nourish my body mind and spirit. I hope to reconnect with myself, become re-centered and to adjust to my new family framework in a positive way.

My challenge is going to run from Monday through Friday. I have the house to myself and the time and space to devout to it.

1. Juicing.  I love the way I feel when I do even just one 16 ounce juice a day ( I am partial to kale, spinach, celery, apple and lemon). I feel less bloated (A LOT less), lighter and I have more energy. 

2. Move. I have been doing really well with exercising lately. I love my yoga teacher and my barre classes and  I even do an adult ballet class on Monday nights. I've been running as well and I'm working toward doing four races this fall. The problem is, I let life get in the way. My run is the first thing to go when things get hectic. For the next five days, I am NOT going to let life get in the way. I am doing all my workouts!

3. Meditate. This is another thing that goes by the wayside when things get hectic. In a perfect world. I would wake up an hour before Tiny Dancer and the pups and I would sit outside, enjoy the only cool part (relatively speaking) of the day and I would do my meditation and devotional reading. Sometimes that happens, but most of the time, I'm crawling out of bed just in time to get TD off to school. I am carving out time, even if it isn't at the "perfect time"

4. Something Decadent. This past month has been a killer and a trip to the nail salon, was just not going to happen. I am going to do one thing each day that makes me feel a little guilty for doing: shouldn't I be home doing laundry or something? Don't we need milk? and then, I'm getting the hell over it and doing it anyway!

5. Blog. I love my blog, but you wouldn't know it by the sporadic posting.  Time to show my blog and myself some love and blog about this journey, challenge, bullshit, whatever!

That is what I will be doing for the next five days. Join me if you so desire, You don't have to do the same five things, pick things that nourish YOUR mind, body and spirit and that you don't always let yourself do because you are so busy doing for others. Honor that voice that says, "I'd really love to get back to...!"  If five sounds too daunting then pick three! If you have seven things you really want to work on, then do seven. Tell me what you have picked and then give updates as to how it is going.

I'd love to do this with others so join in!

Friday, August 22, 2014

TGI Friday!

Welcome back! it has been a crazy couple of weeks. The biggest thing that has happened is that I drove my son 10 hours away and surrendered him to a small dorm at a huge college. It has got to be one of the hardest mommy things I have ever done! More on that later. 

My son as we were driving away. Notice the big smile! "See ya suckers!"
With summer at an end and reliable schedule on the horizon I am hoping to do what I have always said I was going to do and that is to make this a REAL (read: consistent) blog. I'll get there one of these days. More on that later too!

For today we are starting with the amazing Brene Brown's blog prompt TGI Friday!  Here we go!

Trusting Today I am trusting in my son. I don't give him nearly enough credit for being the amazing young man that he is. I nag, scold, and "get all up in his grill." I hope by now he realizes by now that this has everything to do with my feelings of inadequacies as a mother and nothing to do with him.

Grateful  I'm grateful for the opportunities I'm able to provide my son. I'm grateful we are able to send him to the college of his choice and that he doesn't take it for granted. He realizes he has a golden ticket and has promised not to squander it.

Inspired I'm inspired by all the moms who dropped their kids off at college and made it through that last hug goodbye putting on
a smile for our kids even as our hearts were asking, "how do I let go?" We can do this.

Are you a mom who dropped your child off at college? Or even kindergarten. How have you helped yourself through the letting go process. Any words of wisdom to share? And as always, please let me know what your TGI's for this Friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Photo Fun: Putting the Vacation back in Summer Vacation

I'm tired. It has been a crazy summer and except for three and a half glorious days in Vegas last month,  this summer vacation has been sorely lacking in the vacation department. The dilemma is I desperately want to grow my blog. I have a clear idea in my head of what I want to do, and I'm never going to do it by posting every other week.

For the past couple of years I have done Susannah Conway's August Break and during the month of August posted pics every day instead of a blog post. This year she is doing something different. Different is good, but I'm feeling pressured, which is so not the intention of the August Break, so I'm venturing out on my own.  I just want to document my day, sum it up if you will, in a photo

This first pic is Tiny Dancer and I at dance class. I'm the one in ballet slippers. We have been taking a ballet class and a barre class together this summer and I love sharing this with her. I think she has enjoyed it too. Love that kid so much it hurts. (I'm not even going to worry that my fifth needs some serious work! LOL)

Dancin' with my baby!
I'm challenging myself to post a pic a day through August! I will also try and come up with a cool sounding hashtag!

Friday, July 11, 2014

TGI Friday

I had the honor of having Brene Brown as one of my professors in grad school. This blog prompt is hers and I  love it!  

TGI Friday is back on the Blog! Trying to be more consistent about posting and I love this prompt on Fridays. I looked around for another and tried (in vain) to come up with another one, but I just love this one.

It has been a busy summer, I'm sad to say there hasn't been much down time for any of us and it doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon. It is a big summer for our family as we prepare to send off The Boy Child to a college nine hours away. I'm terrified but...

I'm trusting in the love, guidance and parenting he has received and that he will excel at Texas Tech. Wreck 'em Tech!!

I'm grateful for my yoga and ballet teachers who gently meet me where I am and encourage me to go just a little further every class!

I'm inspired by my fellow Instagram runners! We got this!

Please share your own TGI Friday!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It Takes A Lot of Courage

that deep longing to be seen as I am and accepted for it. I was reminded just how much courage it takes to show ourselves, uncertain as we always are of how we will be received. -Marianne Elliot

I love yoga, having  practiced at home off and on for years. It makes me feel strong and centered, and is  a good juxtaposition to the running I also love. While my body craves the relentless forward momentum (just keep swimming) of running, it also craves the stillness of being on the mat.

I finally found a wonderful teacher and small class where I can get out of my house and get some much needed personal instruction. I was lifted up  after the first class when the instructor told me that she could tell I have done yoga before. Especially heartening since 98% of my practice has been on my own.

Yesterday however, I found myself nearly in tears on the mat. While the other ladies in the class were going from tree pose, to lotus, to toe stand, my little tree was whipping around like it was caught in a hurricane.  I was a little frustrated but took a deep breath and told myself that frustration was not going to make my tree any more secure and tried again. I tried to get to lotus and fell over. The teacher remarked, "where you were in tree was perfect for you" (while everyone else was in toe stand, mind you.) She came over to me and started to talk me through tree again. This is where I nearly welled up. I felt like a big old dunce cap had been placed on  my head. I wanted to leave and could actually feel my body shutting down, could almost hear all my armor slamming shut against my chest. I told her, "no, it is ok. I don't want to hold the class back. If they are ready to move on that's fine," I kept apologizing. "Welcome to remedial yoga, I'm sorry, we can move on."

"They're fine, I 'm working with you now."

Another deep breath to let it all go and back into tree pose. I reminded myself that two weeks ago my little tree still had to be rooted with my toes and that today my leg was up on my thigh.  The instructor gently guided me through tree in reverse prayer, which I got and was able to hold for five breaths.  Then we moved on to crow and I promptly fell on my head, but without all the negative trash talk going on IN my head.

I obsessed about the class the rest of the day. Do I quit? Do I talk to the teacher? Do I stuff my feelings and possibly begin to dread yoga class? It wasn't until I read the above quote later that afternoon that I realized I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I let everyone see me, vulnerable and wobbly, unsure how I was going to be received: This is exactly where I AM! Would they laugh, become resentful? I didn't realize how brave that had been. Instead of being shamed and shutting done, I was brave and I'm proud of that.

So you go you little wobbly, but brave tree, fly your vulnerable yet brave flag high!

To learn more about Marianne, courage, and yoga, please visit

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Meditation with Maddie

Maddie says, "om shanti."
I've learned a lot about meditation from my mini dachshund,  Maddie. Ten pounds of pure badness in the disguise of the sweetest dog you have ever seen, she just doesn't care about much. This includes my early morning meditation time, which unfortunately directly coincides with Maddie's squirrel hunting time.

It never fails that once I get into my meditation pose and put in my ear phones, she releases whatever squirrel she is terrorizing at the time and jumps on my lap to hang with me until I'm done, if she doesn't get done first that is! At which point  she uses my lotus position as a launching pad and the squirrels are on their own.

 I've learned that I don't have to stop what I'm doing to attend to her every whim and that I can always go back to the breath when she disrupts my zen. Things I try to remember out in the world.

Monday, June 30, 2014


A few weeks ago my favorite 'hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-woman-scorned-housewife' Brandi Glanville called her youngest son an "asshole" on her podcast. I have to admit I love me some Brandi, she is one of my guilty pleasure.  She is gorgeous, smart, funny, and is the epitome of making lemonade (vodka flavored) out of lemons. Now, I can't speak to the incident on her podcast. I didn't hear it myself but, I'm not sure calling your child an asshole in ANY context is ok. I would never do it, especially on a public podcast. These boys of Brandi's have enough crap to deal with without being called names on top of it. In my opinion there are assholes in this whole dysfunctional family, and it isn't the kids. I'm looking at you Ms. Wrecker Service.  If it were me, I'd be using that word...and many others....all over the place. Which, to be fair, Brandi has done her share of. Hell hath no fury and all that.

While I may never call my kids assholes, last week I began to wonder why we let them get away with things that if a college roommate, not to mention a husband, did would unleash a Kraken that would leave them quivering on their beer keg or barcalounger.

Case in point. Last week was dance camp. Which means getting my grumpy, so not a morning person, Tiny Dancer,  up, looking presentable, fed and to the studio by 9:30 in the morning. Never mind that she signed up for this, and in fact BEGGED to do this. Not to mention I'm scheduled for two 12 hour shifts this week and I'm trying to fit in workouts so that I can fit into my bathing suit for a Vegas trip in three weeks. Oh, and NOW she tells me that she wants to get there early so that she and the other assistant can work on the dance they are making up. Sure, cause Mama ain't got nothing but time.

The mad rush ensues and we are out the door loaded with dance shoes and my gym bag, EARLY per Tiny Dancer's request.

Several hours later I return home and what do I see on the breakfast bar? Why, Tiny Dancer's half eaten breakfast, of course. On the kitchen counter is the greasy plate the boy child nuked his bacon on with the paper towels glued to the plate. Nice. They can't even clear their plates and rinse them off??? I wanted to go on strike right then and there and began to wonder if my not working full time had actually done a disservice to my kids.  Being at home most of time meant I was there to pick up the slack, but did it mean that my kids never learned to pick up their own slack known as the freaking dishes? Apparently.

Just as I was going to head to job websites to find a full time job and thereby teach my kids a lesson: Let's see how they like it when Mama isn't around to clean up after them! This happened:


Give you one guess.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Recital and My Tiny Dancer

This weekend was Tiny Dancer's first recital with her new studio. It was held at the Wortham Center in downtown Houston. It is right next door to where the Houston Ballet is preforming Swan Lake. I mean RIGHT next door. We were able to peek in at their stage and see one of the props. Zoe even saw some of the dancers and talked to one of them. She was so excited she was jumping up and down.

The one thing I learned this weekend is that I want a camera! I took pics with my Iphone, but they would be so much better with a real camera. I looked around at Best Buy. I'm in as soon as a decide which one I want.

My Tiny Dancer in all her glory! Dance to your destiny, Zoe!


 Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand...

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today


Sunday, June 15, 2014

On the Disabled List

My calf is STILL jacked. I'm pissed because number one, the first time I ever did that video I thought, "that is a calf injury waiting to happen!" And number two, I've wondered exactly how many people get through these workouts without doing serious bodily injury to themselves. My guess would be about .00001%. I'm sure they hurt themselves for the same reason I did : they don't listen to themselves when that little voice says, "you're an idiot and are going to totally jack yourself up!"  

I'm not disparaging T25 or ShaunT at all. He constantly reminds you to go at your own pace, listen to your body and modify, modify, modify. I should have modified, I didn't, I got hurt. My bad.  Was it worth it? No, which brings me to my next point. Why do we feel the need to kill ourselves with our workouts? Yes, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you, but why does challenge equal, "if your not killing yourself and doing things that you KNOW are potentially injury inducing then you are not really working." 

I've probably lost three pounds and three inches in five weeks. That is pretty damn good considering: I'm freakishly short and even five pounds can look like a big change, I only have 10, maybe 15, pounds to lose, I'm old as heck and my metabolism has basically just stopped, and there was a trip to Vegas and my son's graduation party thrown in there. I actually lost and gained two pounds about a dozen times, so I'm counting it as a 12 weight loss. Ah, if only it worked that way.  

I KNOW working out consistently  was a big factor in the weight loss, but I was working out before I began the program doing running and barre classes. This time I also started tracking my calories and was floored at how much I was consuming, so I'm wondering how much of it is finally getting my calorie intake under control. 

As I lie here on my couch deeply engrossed in Lifetime movies, with my calf elevated and icing, giving myself an ulcer from all the Motrin I've chewed, I'm at a loss as to where to go next.  Do I go back to ShaunT and modify, or do what I love (running, barre & yoga) and  see how it goes? For this week I'm hitting the gym and the elliptical and giving my calf a rest after that who knows. I hate this. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Race Recap!

I race the Sprint for Life 5K with my mom every year. it is a wonder tradition and celebration of her overcoming ovarian cancer.

This year was a beautiful day for a race. It was cool and bright and I felt great the entire time: fearless, roaring and brave!

ll you stood there with me in the doorway
My hands shake
I'm not usually this way but
You pull me in and I'm a little more brave
It's the first kiss,
It's flawless,
Really something,
It's fearless
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making Moments Count

I love to take pictures. I have recently decided that I was going to make "purchase a real camera" a goal for this year. A photog that I really admire and who is doing my son's senior pics, offers beginning photography classes so taking her class is goal number two.

I'm shy about getting in front of the camera. I'm shy behind it too. I am afraid of being wrong. I see moments I would like to capture, but I freeze.

A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to the beach during spring break. There was a family there: mom. dad and twin girls. I thought they were beautiful. The mom's long legs and big hat inspired me and the sweetness of her girls to take guiltily snap some pics.  I didn't want to intrude but something made me desperate to capture this moment, even if it wasn't mine.

I look at the pics and realized I missed the towel flying out behind the boy, and the her shadow on the sand. Things to look for next time. I was taking pics fast and trying not to get caught. LOL

Oh, how sweet is this? The girls were so cute and the way the parents were with them was so sweet. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. Manifestation of the word Family.
Last week was Tiny Dancer's in-house dress rehearsal. The dancers came in their costumes and parents were allowed to preview recital dances. I caught this pic of TD and her teacher which I love.  I learned that you have to keep shooting! This time I knew what I was going for and keep clicking away until I captured it. Her teacher made me send it to he and may even use it in promotional materials. How cool would THAT be?

Friday, April 11, 2014

TGI Friday

on our cruise somewhere between Galveston and paradise
I'm at work today for the first of four 12 hours shifts. I need to change my perspective because right now I am tired and grumpy, hiding in my office drinking coffee and eating dark chocolate in a vain attempt to brighten my mood!

I'm trusting I will make it through the next four days unscathed (relatively)

I'm grateful for my co-workers who, even though they call me "the shit magnet" do it out of love!

I'm inspired by all the social workers out there who doing their best to be the change in the world they want to see. We are in this together!

What If

What if…
What if I threw my scale out the window 

What if I focused solely on eating the food that doesn’t kill my stomach and gives me energy 

What if I just I just ran because I loved it, not worrying about time, distance or what others would think

What if I stopped saying, “I don’t run, I plod. I’m not a real runner.”  

What if I started saying, “I’m a real runner” 

What if I stopped being scared of going to work every day and remembered that there hasn’t been one thing in the past two years that has come up that I haven’t been able to handle

What if I openly shared the pictures I take and the things I write

What if I actually developed the idea I have for an on line class and put it out there

What if I loved myself as much as my dog loves me

Yes, WHAT IF!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Setting out Bird Feeders

Story of a man, who when he was young, shot and killed a bird with a pellet gun just to see if he could. Years later the thought of that bird haunted him. He knew there was no way he could make it up to the bird, after all he couldn't unkill the bird. Instead, he fills his yard with bird feeders and bird baths and is especially sensitive to wounded animals, particularly birds. this is how he honors the bird he killed all those years ago and attempts to alleviate that birds pain by lessening the pain of other birds.

These last few weeks at work have seen me running around vainly trying to staunch the flow of pain and heartache with a band aid, and I'm failing miserably.

In my line of work I regularly see horrible things. You would think social workers would  be a black-hearted, cynical and tough-skinned breed. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are ultra-sensitive souls. Most of us became social workers because we honestly believed we could change the world for the better. (Lord knows we didn't do it for the money or respect) We live our lives attempting to be the change we want to see in the world. Highly idealistic, we are shattered when reality rears its ugly head.

During my last two shifts reality didn't just rear its ugly head, it jumped up, slapped me in the face kicked me in the gut, then peed on me all the while laughing in my face. It was awful, and I'm wondering how I can ever go back knowing that reality doesn't even bother to lurk in the corners of where I work, but rather sits front and center eating donuts and mocking us all. Even after a wonderful week long cruise the thought of going back to that place still fills me with dread. The reality is I don't want to have to deal with the things I dealt with again. Ever.

The way I see it I have two options. I can quit. I don't feel like a failure, I just feel depleted.  Or I can go back. I can take a lesson from the man who shot the bird.  I can't save everyone. I can't change the harsh reality of the world, I can't undo the horrible things I have witnessed,  but I can set out bird feeders by being a source of kindness and light. When I think of going back to work as going to set out bird feeders it doesn't feel so scary or futile. To be honest, I don't know how many bird feeders I have left in me, I know I have enough for now.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To the Guy Who Actually BARKED at Me...

She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway
She's living in a world and it's on fire
Filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away

Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down

This girl is on fire...
This girl is on fire...
She's walking on fire...
This girl is on fire...

To the gentleman who actually barked, yes barked, at me from his car as he drove past me on my run today:

I could have been humiliated. I could have crumbled into a tiny ball of tears and limped home. I could have decided to never run again. Instead, you made me want to tell you about me and this body you were so quick to judge and then make a public display of your disgust. While you may disparage it, I am very proud of this body, as imperfect as it is, and all it has done for me.

First off, I know I'm fat, thank you very much. My cardiologist and my nutritionist, not to mention the dressing room mirrors in many a department store have also informed me.  I'm working on it and am down 10lbs.

I also know that I run slower than a baby hippo. I'm okay with that because there was a time when I didn't know if I could ever run again. You see, five and half years ago my heart tried to reach and  kill me. I survived an eight hour open heart surgery. Less than 48 hours later I was being thrown out of the ICU because I was up and talking and too lucid for the nurses. I was told this never happens. I spent five days in the hospital. Eight weeks later I was running again.

This soft, fluffy, belly carried two babies long enough for them come into this world healthy and whole even when doctors warned me that despite their (an my) best efforts they could come early and need intensive care. Neither did.

This body also created a brand new human being when nobody thought it would be possible. Two years of tears,  refusing to give up and trusting in my body provided me with a beautiful baby girl.

These saggy boobs provided nourishment for my daughter when she fought feeding and growing for an entire year. She's now 11, beautiful and strong.

This fat ass has dragged itself across many 5Ks. I thought the first one was going to kill me, but now I run them for the sheer joy of it and my son runs them with me, providing us both with a great feeling of accomplishment and a bonding experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

These feet that are plodding along so slowly spent five months immobilized after foot surgery. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to walk around the mall with my daughter much less run again. Part of my physical therapy was ballet. Not only did I get up and running again, my turnout is fabulous and I can even do a grand plie.

So thank you, Mr. Barker. Instead of letting you make me feel bad, you reminded me of all the things I love and am so proud of in this body and the amazing things it has done and will continue to do.  I hope that in the future you are able to look past what ever you saw in me that generated such a low response and instead see all the wonderful things that a woman's body, no matter its outward appearance, is capable of, because whoever she is, I'm sure she's on fire, even if you can't see it. Until then, "Woof, woof," right  back atcha!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Well it is official...Spring has arrived to Houston. We had a long, cold winter (for Houston) and while I'm not entirely sad to see it go, I am not looking forward to another Houston summer. YUCK! But, in keeping with the spirit of TGI Friday, I'm going to focus on what I'm trusting in, grateful for, and inspired by right In. This. Moment.

I'm Trusting that this 10 day detox my nutritionist has me on will jump start my weight loss and level out my blood sugar!

I'm Grateful for my co-workers in this crazy work place. I'm grateful we can always make each other laugh, no matter how hard the day.

I'm Inspired by the smell and feel of Spring in the air, a time of rebirth and growth. I intend to make the most of it.

What are you TGIing right at this moment in time?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Am Not THAT Dance Mom

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others

When tiny dancer was about eight or nine we were in the car headed to yet another dance class when she stated, very matter-of-fact, "Mom, dance is my passion. I have a gift."  She is so right. There is nothing she is more passionate about than dance, and there is nothing I love more that watching her grow as a dancer. I feel that is my moral obligation as a mother to provide a safe space for her to follow her passion. I cannot, for the life of me, conceive of doing anything that would squash her passion. Which is why, for the life of me, i cannot understand the show Dance Moms. 

This show is full of women who fight, say ugly things, call each other (and each other's daughter's) nasty names, and in last weeks episode assault each other. I tell Tiny Dancer I don't care how good the teacher is, or what opportunities the dance studio would provide, I would not allow her within 100 feet of such foolishness. We've had our share of dance drama. When we switched studios last September and you would have thought that we sold secrets to the Russians! We put more thought, time and energy into that decision that where was going to go to college. When Zoe was treated shabbily for leaving I was in full on Mamma Bear mode. I cannot imagine my life as a dance mom where that sort of treatment is par for the course.

It just bothers me that these women don't seem to understand what they are their beautiful dancers. They are denying the light of their daughter's passion for dance to shine. I can only imagine how hurtful this would be to dancer. Dance is still my daughter's passion, and as her light shines, so does mine.  Make it shine, Tiny Dancer!

Friday, February 7, 2014

TGI Friday

Hello from wintry Houston.
Maddie says, "brrrrrrrr"
It has been in the 30s and 40s all week, which I know is not much to those still digging out in the Midwest and Northeast, but here in Houston that is Tundra weather! I'm loving it though. I may be strange but I'd much rather complain about the cold than the heat! 

On this cold Friday:

I'm Trusting in this positive flow of creative energy that has recently hit me. Just going to go with it. I'm Trusting it will bring about wonderful things.

I'm Grateful during this cold snap, for warm fireplaces, smore fixings and the fact the my kids have jackets (that they hate to wear) to keep them warm, when so many out there don't.

I'm Inspired by two of my fellow bloggers who I re-connected with this week! So nice to know I'm not alone!

Please share what you are trusting in, grateful for, and inspired by!

Have a good weekend and stay warm!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Progess Not Perfection

So I started this #1000 miles challenge, but I almost didn't. 1000 miles seems like such a daunting goal, and I was positive that I was never going to be able to meet it. If I couldn't be sure that I could make the goal I wasn't even going to try.

And it is not just this challenge. If I can't run five miles I sure as hell am not going to run/walk for 30 min or even 20 for that matter. If I can't meditate and obtain Dali Lama like enlightenment than what is five minutes focusing on my breath in my own backyard going to accomplish? If I can't design the perfect on line course (a dream of mine) then I'm not even going to put it out into the universe that it is something that I want.

 If I can't do something perfectly than I'm not going to even try.

As all the things I was waiting to do until I could do them perfectly began to build up, I began to feel stuck, in a state of perpetual waiting- waiting to be perfect. Sadly, I realized that this perfectionism quirk of mine had held me back and kept me from living my life.

No, I can't run five miles, but if I had kept going, pushed on, not given up, I'd probably be running 1/2 marathons by now.

If I hadn't been so worried that people would laugh, that it would be stupid, that it wouldn't be good enough...perfect... that on line class would be up and running and would have give me the confidence and inspiration to come up with how many more?  

I may not reach 1000 miles by July 4, but as I was putting in my piddly (to me) two miles and wondering how I was going to reach 1000 miles two measly miles at a time, it dawned on me that two miles becomes, five, becomes ten, becomes a half marathon. If I keep putting in the miles, I will make progress, and I will be running more than two miles in July. Now I'm excited thinking about how much further I will be in July and I can't wait to see the miles I'm running.

I can't wait to see how much progress I have made, not how perfect I will be!