She’s 5 (and I’m Old)!

 

So I know I promised a race recap from my most recent marathon, and it will come (eventually).  But not today… Today we have far more important things going on here!  On this day, five years ago, at 1:43 PM (yeah 143, as in I love you if you remember pagers), I did something pretty awesome.  I gave birth to this beautiful baby…

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…Who has grown into this amazing girl…

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…And has made my life so much better than it ever was before!  Every day I am so thankful to have Isla Elyse as my daughter.  She is creative, artistic, kind, thoughtful and smart and she even has a monkey on her head.  I could go on.  In my opinion (impartial of course), she is the coolest five year old to ever walk the face of the earth!

We are having her real party on Saturday, but of course today needs to be special too.  So here’s how the morning went.  I woke up early and went for a nice solo run before anyone else was up.  Then after a refreshing shower, I decorated the birthday donuts and set out a tea party picnic just the way she likes it, complete with her beautifully wrapped first present of the day.  She woke up to this delightful scene and couldn’t have been happier.  Woah!  Hold on a sec!  Reality check.  That is how it all happened in my head.  I am not the picture perfect mother, and things don’t always go as planned.    Here’s how the morning actually started.  Isla came and climbed into bed with me as I groggily wished her a happy birthday.  I tried to sound more excited and awake than I was.  It had been a rough night of changing sheets and cleaning puke out of the carpet, off the floors and walls (how do they even do that?) and trying to comfort and poor, sick two year old.  I did not go for a run.  I was not ready with a tea party picnic.  And I was really struggling to even be awake.  I quickly made some frosting 5s on a donut, added 5 candles to another and topped the other 2 with sprinkles, put juice in the teapot (no time to make tea) and Keurigged (yeah it’s a verb) myself a coffee.

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As we ate donuts and eggs, Isla announced, “This is already the best birthday ever because I have a donut with fives on it!”  And suddenly I felt better… still tired… but… So. Much. Better!  It really is the little things.  She loved my thrown-together breakfast.  She didn’t think I had failed as a mother.  She was thankful and happy.  It was perfect!  If it was perfect for her, then it was perfect for me.  Sometimes the anxious perfectionist in me drives me crazy.  Isla’s response to what I thought was all wrong and a big mess was a reminder to me to relax and enjoy the little things in life… like a donut with 5s on it.  One if the things I love about being a mother is learning to see the world through little eyes again.  Thank you Isla, and Happy Birthday my wise little big girl!  You are five, and I am old!

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What was your “best birthday ever”?

 

 

 

SoMo Oh No!

Southernmost Marathon, here we come!

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Hands on your head, it’s the official car seat pose

And to answer one of the two top questions people ask before a marathon… No! Yes! Maybe? Yes, maybe. Definitely, decidedly maybe! The question is, “Are you ready?” Mentally? Um… Maybe. I’m majorly nervous and super excited. If you’ve never run a marathon, and want to know how it feels, it’s kind of like having a baby. Not that running feels like labor, but the pre marathon jitters feel like the pre labor nerves. And obviously the medal at the end isn’t as cool as a baby… I wonder if they could give out kittens? Still not quite like getting a baby human, but closer. Anyway you get the idea. The feeling is excitement, nervousness anticipation, dread… I am ready and not ready. It will be excruciating and rewarding… Lots of different feelings… So many feelings… All the feelings. Men, if you want to know the feeling I’m talking about, you should probably just sign up for a marathon. Am I ready physically? As ready as I’ll ever be. I actually trained and followed a plan this time. (If you know me, you’re impressed. If you don’t know me, be impressed.)
I think the second marathon is actually scarier than the first. This time I know what I’m getting myself into. Ignorance was bliss. It’s going to hurt. I’m going to feel like lying down in the middle of the road at about mile 21. But if it was easy, it wouldn’t feel
like such an accomplishment at the finish line. Also the second time around I have a time to beat. The first one was an automatic PR. My only goal was to run the whole thing. This time I want to do that again… Just faster. Anyway ready or not, this thing is happening. They don’t postpone the race because I don’t feel ready. Apparently.
In answer to the other top question (from the non running sort); 26.2 miles. The question, of course, is “How long is this marathon?” I politely refrain from responding “Marathon length.” I know plenty of runners roll their eyes at this common inquiry. Runners, be nice. Not everyone knows that. At least they are kind enough to have (or feign) interest. Non-runners, 26.2 = marathon… marathon = 26.2. If you didn’t know before, now you do. And thank you for asking. Don’t worry, we only pretend to be annoyed by the question. Deep down we love the look of shock on your face, when we nonchalantly answer, 26.2, no big deal.
And maybe, just maybe, it really is no big deal to superhumans who run 52 marathons in 52 weeks (Julie Weiss) or to ultra marathoners who run 50 or even 100 mile races (crazy people) but to me, right now, it is a big deal. I’m kind of freaking out… Just a little.
So that’s what I’ll be doing this Saturday morning when I would normally be sleeping (as a sane person should) or drinking Dunking Donuts dark roast… black with coconut. Wish me luck.

Funny First on the Actual First…

 

Now that’s a first!  Or at least it is the first time I’ve done it in a long time.

Enjoy!

 

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They Get it From Their Mama

 

 

 Aliana

 

“Ehhhhch [fake burp noise]!  I’m like Daddy!  When I have to burp, I burp.”

Just like Daddy.

 

“Oh no I ate too much, and now my belly is going to get a headache.”

 

“Baby alligators can’t talk… Because they’re babies!”

Obviously.  How silly that I thought it might have to do with the fact they are alligators!

 

 

Isla

 

Mommy, you’re the best monster in the whole world!

How sweet.  I think.

 

“Mommy, when I grow up, I’m going to be a boutique owner, a cupcake maker, and restaurant owner and a car fixer mechanic.  So I probably won’t have time to visit you.  Sorry.  But I’ll still love you.”

I kind of want to cry and laugh at the same time.

 

Isla:  I’ll be Ariel.  Aliana, you can be prince Eric.  Mommy, will you be Ariel ‘s mommy?

Me:  No, because she’s dead, remember?

Isla:  Aw!  Why don’t you ever want to be dead?

Oh, the disappointment in her voice!

 

“Mommy you should be a waitress when you grow up!”

Been there, done that.  Oh and the growing up part?  Did that too.

 

“Pretend you’re a human, but you’re a nice human, okay mommy?”

That’s a hard one.

 

 

Sisters

Aliana:  Doctor, my baby! She’s dead!

Doctor Isla:  She’s dead?  Is there anything else wrong with her?

 

Cinderella (Isla):  Oh dance with me Prince Charming!

Prince Charming (Aliana):  Um no.  You have to clean the floors if you want to marry me!

 

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Your turn!  If you have a funny little one, please share a story or quote!  You know who you are  (Angela, Denisse, Christina, Jessica, Phyllis). 

 

Fall is Funny…

 

…In Florida.  We know we’re supposed to wear scarves and boots.  We know fall colors are in.  We drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes and tweet about them just like the rest of you.  But it is still so hot.  So. Hot.  Our scarves and boots are paired with sundresses and mini skirts (yeah, we don’t really get fall fashion). Our fall colored make-up is melting off our faces.  So. Hot.  I actually got heat exhaustion on one of my runs recently.  Yes, that’s because I didn’t follow my own advice on summer running.  I ran in the heat of the day.  I did not bring water.  Why?  Because I can do anything (no, I can’t).  I’m a runner.  That’s what runners do.  After my lovely 13.1 mile run, I threw up.  Pardon the over-share… it’s kind of what I do.  If you don’t want to know way too many details about my life, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog (but please do!).  My point… Fall is funny here in Florida because it really doesn’t exist, but for some reason, we pretend it does.

You know what else is funny?  My girls.  Terrible segue, I know.  I tried (kind of).  Fall in Florida is funny.  Kids are funny.  And since today is officially the first day of Fall, I am doing a special edition of Funny First, full of quotes from Isla and Aliana.  (You and I both know the real reason for this is the fact that I am so for behind on my writing that I never got to it on September first, but we’re going to pretend that it’s the first thing… My blog, my rules).

 

Isla

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“You can be the royal breakfast maker!  Oh, and don’t forget to keep the castle clean.”

Gee thanks… On the bright side, it kind of has a ring to it.  And it is slightly preferable to that time she asked if she could just call me “servant”!

“I have a scar.  You know how I know what it’s called?  Because I’m smart!”

Yes she is.  Modest, not so much.

“Yay!  You got me a bloody donut!”

No, it’s not a British thing.  It is more commonly known as a Jelly Donut… but look at one sometime… You’ll see.

 

“When I’m six, I will be a teenager.”

I don’t doubt it.

 

“Teenagers do whatever they want cause they’re like grown ups.”

Oh dear.

 

Isla really wants a pet kitty… so much in fact that she has already picked out a name: Butterwings Meowy-Cup.

Mom and Dad, “Sweetness” suddenly seems normal, now doesn’t it?

 

Aliana

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Aliana: Sorry I stepped on your toe mommy.

Me: It’s alright.

Aliana: Otay! I’m gonna do it again!

 

“Oh ow!  My forehead does not want that!  My forehead says to not take such big bites”

And that is how a two year old describes brain freeze.

 

“Can I watch TV?  But it has to be Mickey because I hate all the other shows!”

 

“I want a cookie, and a cookie won’t spill because it’s a cookie.  So can I have a cookie?”

She knows exactly how to appeal to a tired mommy who does not want to clean the floors AGAIN!  In case you’re wondering, she got the cookie.

 

Me: I’m going to close the door because I’m blow drying my hair.

(She doesn’t like the noise)

But I’m right in here.  If you need anything, you can come in.

…A few seconds later, bursting into the room shouting desperately…

Aliana: I need something!  I need something!  Help me!

Me:  What do you need, Baby?

Aliana: Um I need… I need…

(Looking around the bathroom for an idea)

I need lotion!

Why do I get the feeling she just wanted her mommy?  And I don’t mind a all!

 

It’s a Sister Thing!

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Aliana: Let’s play princess!

Isla: Mommy!  Oh Mommy!  You won’t believe this!  Aliana read my mind of what I want to play!

Mmhmm or maybe you both just always want to play princess all the time.

 

Aliana to Isla: I’m going to make you rich and famous and give you a lot of lollipops!

 

I was getting more and more frustrated with the fighting taking place in the back seat as I was driving…

Me: Girls!  Keep your hands to yourselves until we get home!

Isla to Aliana: We can still hit each other with our heads!

Well I do want to encourage creative solutions and  resourceful problem solving.

 

 

If You’re Running Through Hell…

 

Er… I mean Florida.  Okay, Okay, I joke.  I love Florida.  Florida is not hell  Florida is beautiful…  Beaches, Theme Parks, Sunshine…  Sunshine…  Right, that’s what that is.  Sunshine.  It isn’t hellfire.  Sometimes when I’m running in the 102 degree summer weather, heat index of 120, I get confused.  It feels a little hellish.  So as the song goes: “If you’re going through hell, keep on going.  Don’t slow down…”  Wait what?  That is some terrible advice!  Slow down.  Seriously slow down.  You have to.  If your running times don’t go up at least a little with the temperatures, then I need running advice from you. Otherwise, read on.

There isn’t much I would consider myself an expert on, but running in high temperatures without dying is one thing I know about  What are my credentials, you ask?  I run in Florida, in the summer and I am not dead.  Impressed?  You should be.  Obviously you can’t just stop running when the temperatures rise.  Most races are in the fall, and you don’t want to undo all your spring training.  Also if you run just to stay sane (ish) and happy (like I do), you don’t want to spend all summer insane and depressed.  Of course you could train indoors (wimp), but what fun is that?  Runners run outside rain or shine, and people think the rain is the hard part.  Sometimes it’s the shine that kills you!   So I put together a few tips that I follow (and one I don’t) for surviving the heat.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Eight Eight Ounce glasses a day?  More like eight eight ounce glasses before and during your morning run!

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I start with two of these while I drink my coffee, and as I get ready to run.  Then, depending on the distance I’m planning, I bring at least one, probably two, bottles of water on the run with me.  Of course carrying all that can be a problem.  That’s your problem.  My stroller has cup holders.   Carry it or use one of those weird water backpack thingies.  Sure they’re as dorky as a fanny-pack and Crocs, but you need water!  It’s not like anyone actually looks good running in 100 degree weather anyway, so get over it, and find a way to bring water.

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See?  Even Jane Austin agrees!  You may be in a state of inelegance, but it is better than being in a state of heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Do This!

Do This!

Or End Up Like This!

Or End Up Like This!

And if you’re a stroller running Mama (or Daddy), don’t forget to keep the little ones hydrated.  I’m actually way better about that than I am about bringing my own drink.  I have been known to beg the girls for just a tiny sip.  I don’t recommend it.  They are misers, and they chew their straws (ew!)  So get your own!

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Slow Down

Yes, I hinted at this in the beginning.  It isn’t even a choice for me.  Sometimes I try to pay attention to pace and keep it up where I think it should be.  I can’t.  If I run fast in the beginning, I will slow down… waaayyyyy down.  I will feel like I am running through molasses.  One time I felt like I was doing the Chariots of Fire slow mo run… music and all.  Even my thoughts slowed down.  It was weird and kind of scary.  My point, choose to slow down or your body will do it for you.  If you are using a training plan, use effort based goals instead of pace.  For example, feel free to push yourself the way you would on a 5K, but don’t expect your results to be the same.

Run In the Coolest Part of the Day

Yeah… about that… I totally don’t.  In fact I seem to always pick the very hottest part of the day.  I guess I feel like it is like some crazy runner badge of honor or something (crazy being the key word). I frequently have conversations like this:

Incredulous person: You ran today?  Today?  At what time?

Crazy Person (Me): Yeah.  1:30-2:30 or so.

Incredulous person then responds with incredulous face and crazy person shrugs.

Crazy Person:  I’m used to it.  I’m a Florida girl and I like it.

Anyway do as I say, not as I do.  Run first thing in the morning or in the evening or if you are brave and not afraid of the dark, you could go at night (I’m not and I don’t).

Do it!

Keep running.  Follow my hot weather tips or else… You. Will. Die.  I exaggerate (but seriously, you might).  Happy Hot running in hell everyone!  Soon it’ll be winter and we can all complain about running in the freezing cold weather.  Crazy runners!

Crazy Runners!

Crazy Runner!

 

 

Do you have any hot weather running tips to add?

Would you rather run in extremely hot or extremely cold weather?

 

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A Blog-Worthy Occasion

WARNING!  This post was written pre-coffee.  It is highly recommended that you skip directly to the pictures.  Due to a critical lack of caffeine, we cannot be held responsible for coherency or intelligibility.

I haven’t written much lately.  It isn’t because there’s nothing going on.  Quite the opposite.  I can’t seem to find time to sit down… at all… ever.  I have this (almost) super efficient process for writing.  As I’m running or doing dishing or any other mindless tasks, I think of something I would really like to write about.  I start writing it in my head.  I even add pictures.  I think of a title…  All the cute and witty things I will say.  I am so funny inside my own head (maybe because I get my own jokes).  I perfectly punctuate it all.  I proofread and make changes and improvements.  Then later, I play princess tea party or some super complicated game of pretend that requires all my mental focus (If you think I’m joking about that, I’m not!  These girls have some seriously convoluted and highly intricate scenarios that they want to act out, and if you do or say the wrong thing, you will be told to start over!  Isla, are you directing a science fiction princess movie or playing?) …and I forget everything I had previously blogged in my head.  So, what I am trying to say is this… If my computer could just read my mind, I would have a post a day (or more).  And that, my friends, is why this is an almost super efficient process… simply because technology is not yet able to read minds (and now that I think about it, wouldn’t that be scary?  What if it published the wrong thing?).  Anyway I am rambling… Maybe my computer is publishing my thoughts because there is no way I actually meant to write all this.  Or is there?  I need coffee.  Yep, I just thought that and now there it is.

So my point is this (oh you were thinking I didn’t have one, weren’t you?)… I was doing dishes this morning, writing a post in my head about a very special, amazing and awesome occasion, and then I realized it would never get to the blog unless I sat down and typed (Yes, I too, am blown away by my pre coffee thoughts and their absolute lack of brilliance).  But what would I say?  I wasn’t finished writing it in my head!  I hadn’t even started proof reading or rewriting.  I had nothing cute to say.  Cute and witty writing… Who needs it?  I have pictures, so I have cute covered.  Yesterday was Isla’s first day in VPK!  I cannot believe she is in school!  She is so grown up!  My little baby…

6 Months Old

6 Months Old

…This Girl… Has blossomed into an outgoing, smart, fun, sweet, loving and imaginative 4 (almost 5!) year old!

School Girl

School Girl

And she is in school!

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I said I wanted to take a picture of her with her backpack for the first day of school, and this is what I got.

Back to School Fashion

Back to School Fashion

Then, since they both got new clothes and shoes for the beginning of the school year, I wanted a picture of Isla and Aliana together.  No, Isla wasn’t sad or bored or whatever else that face looks like.  That is her model face.  Blue Steel, Baby.

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Isla loved school!  We loved having her home after school.  As Aliana said,

“Oh Isla!  It’s like you were gone for-EVER!”

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What a day!  And this is all the beginning of a whole new exciting part of life!  My baby girl is really in school!  Can I go cry into some coffee now?

 

 

First day of school for Mamas (and Daddies) that have already done it: Did you cry?

(Yep)

Did your little one cry or want you to stay or even notice when you left?

(Nope)

Do you remember your own first day of school?

Funny First

Isla

Isla: What was that thing on the TV?
Me: It’s called a test of the emergency broadcasting system.
Isla: Why did they do it when I was watching TV?
Me: They didn’t know who was watching.
Isla: Well, why didn’t they just call you first?

We’re important like that… Kind of a big deal you know.

“If only you had four arms that could stretch really far then you could clean the table and help me go potty at the same time.”

Probably true.

Can I have some medicine? My head hurts as bad as a snake would bite you… a grown up snake!

Sounds serious! Maybe hospitals should use this instead of the 1-10 scale for pain.

When I was sick… “If you wouldn’t take care of your girl [Isla] when she’s sick then maybe you could actually get some rest and get better.”

“You’ve really outdone yourself with this smoothie, mama!”

Frozen bananas, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla bean… and blend. Yes, I’m quite the gourmet chef.

Aliana

At Disney when I was going to take Isla on a ride that Aliana wasn’t tall enough to go on… “You cannot go on that ride because I will cry, and it’s too expensive and my phone says it’s 16 miles far away!”

She really covered all her bases with that explanation.

Aliana: Get out of my way Mama!
Me: You should say “excuse me,” Baby.
Aliana: Okay. Excuse me, Mama, get out of my way!

Better…

Aliana: Mommy pick a princess!
Me: Okay I choose Belle.
Aliana: Wrong! You can only choose Cinderella. Try again.
Me: Okay. Cinderella.
A: No! Now it’s Rapunzel. Choose right or I will not play with you!

Just. Can’t. Win.

Me: How did you get so cute, Aliana?
Aliana: Because you makeded me cute like this in your belly!

Me: Do you need to go potty?
Aliana: No! I’m a mermaid and I go pee pee in the sea!

Aliana sorting though her panty drawer…
Aliana: I can’t find it.
Me (Handing her a pair): Here you go.
Aliana: No, that’s not it!
Me: Which ones are you looking for?
Aliana: I looking for… I looking for… I looking for not that!

“Your hair looks like spaghetti and I want to eat it all!”

Thank you? I think.

Trying to drag me out of the kitchen to play in her room… “Why you so heavy like this?”

Aliana: Can I have my donut now?
Me: No, Baby. You can have it when we get home.
Aliana: Awww Mama! Why you gotta be so rude?

Thank you, Magic.

Sisters

Isla: Me first!
Aliana: No, me first!
Isla: No me first!
Me: You should be kind. I’m going to give it to whoever is being kind and sharing. Then you can both have some.
Isla: But we’re both not being kind!

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Your turn! Tell me a funny story. Please?

Confession #2: I Use the F Word in Front of my Daughters

 

They say confession is good for the soul.  After getting that last thing off my chest (you know the one about how I am pretty much insane), I decided to confess again.  This one is bad.  Brace yourself.  Ready?  I use the F word in front of my two and four year-old daughters.  Not just once… kind of a lot.  In reference to myself, in reference to others, I don’t even think twice, I just say it.  Gasp.  Go ahead judge me now.  No, not that F word.  Not the one you’re probably judging me for (It’s okay.  I did give you permission).  The other F word… the even worse one.  It starts with F and rhymes with Cat.  Got it?

You might be surprised that I referred to it as the “even worse” F word.  I’m not advocating tossing the other one around in front of your children either.  I am just saying if you have to choose between the duck and the cat, the duck would probably do less damage.  Okay, stop judging now!  Just hear me out.  Yes, the duck is far more scandalous and it is inappropriate.  But think what the cat can do.

When your daughter looks at you what does she see?  She sees beauty… Beautiful Mommy.  I know because I was little once… once upon a time, long, long ago (Enough!  Not that long!).  I knew my mommy was the most beautiful mommy.  I wanted to have her smile, her eyes, her voice…  I wanted to look like my mommy.  If Beautiful Mommy feels less than beautiful, she should never tell her daughter this.  If she feels like her butt looks fat in these jeans, she should shut her mouth.  Beautiful Daughter looks up to Beautiful Mommy and hopes and expects to be just like her someday.  Your little girl believes everything you say.  Maybe you are normally a self confident woman, but today you feel F-A-T.  Don’t say it out loud…. not in front of your child.  Every time we bring up our insecurities like they are fact, they become fact… to our little ones.  Then as they grow up, our insecurities will becomes their own.  If Mommy worries about being fat, Daughter will think she is fat.

Think about be before you speak, Mommy

Think about ME before you speak, Mommy

If I burn my finger and exclaim “Duck!”  It is about the same to my little girls as if I burn my finger and say “Ow!”  It may startle.  It may surprise.  It will not do any permanent damage (except to my maternal ego when she quite possibly repeats it after a fall at the playground).  If we are honest, the biggest real problem with this F word is the embarrassment it can (and probably will) cause you as a parent.  If the choice is between long term emotional damage to your daughter or a temporary red face for yourself, I think we both know which one is better.

As if my previous confession is not bad enough, I sometimes I use the S word too.  Skinny.  But what is wrong with that? you ask?  Sure I get it.  I get why the F word is bad.  Why is the S word bad?  Isn’t skinny a good thing?  No, no, NO!  Here’s why.  In magazines, TV commercials, movies… all around us, is the message.  Fat is bad.  Skinny is good.  Maybe the worst evil and the highest good even.  I hate to admit it, but I sometimes get caught up in this terribly, horribly, dreadfully bad way of thinking.  Fat is neither bad nor good (although it is unhealthy to be overweight).  Skinny is neither bad nor good (although it too, can be unhealthy).  Praising a girl for being skinny can be just as damaging as condemning a girl for being fat.  Shocking, I know.  Again, hold off on the judgement.  Think about it this way.  There are two basic kinds of motivation… positive and negative.  The negative comments toward obesity are harmful to a girl’s self image.  But positive comments about being skinny can cause problems too.  If she is good because she is skinny, won’t she be better is she gets skinnier?  If she loses even more weight, people will really like her.  This can lead to an unhealthy view of weight and even unhealthier methods of achieving the ultimate goal… to be skinny.  She may also begin to identify herself as a skinny girl instead of a kind, smart, funny, interesting, etc… person.  Being and staying skinny can become too important.  Both fat and skinny put too much emphasis on physical appearance, and not enough on what really matters.

I think, as mothers, we should eliminate these bad words from our vocabularies.  At the very least we need to stop using them in front of our daughters.  Yes, they will grow up.  They will eventually hear these words.  But don’t let it be from their own Mommies.  Keep them innocent and happy.  Let them dance because it is fun, without a thought of how many calories it might burn.  Will you join me and vow to keep little ears safe from the real S and F words?

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And now, I shall jump off my soapbox before I fall and hurt myself.

Thank you!

 

What do you think?

Confession

It has been 12 days since my last run.

Yes, that sounds like a confession.  It feels like a confession.  It feels all wrong to be not running.  I don’t feel well enough to run.  I’m sick.  I shouldn’t be running.  And probably couldn’t even if I tried.  But still, it feels all wrong.  I feel guilty. When I don’t run, I get anxious.  I feel like I have gained… One. Million. Pounds.  I feel like I’ve lost everything I have been training for.  I feel out of shape, and I am convinced I look it.  That is the real confession.  That is wrong.  Not only is it wrong, it is absolutely ridiculous.  I went to the doctor before I got sick for a check up, and I went again a couple days ago.  I had gained weight.  One pound.  So maybe I drank two cups of water more that day.  One pound.  Weight fluctuates throughout the day.  One pound.  Seriously!  But I was worrying about it and obsessing and thinking that I had “let myself go.”  I even cut back on my beloved ice cream (That probably explains why I got sicker and sicker).  I worried about every calorie.  I skipped breakfast and lunch then ate three times as much dinner (because that’s healthy*).  It is a disordered way of thinking, and I know it.  Sick bodies need food too.  Not running should not mean not eating.  Running is healthy.  Eating nutritious food is healthy.  You know what is not healthy?  Worrying and obsessing…  especially over something I cannot control.  So this is my confession.  This is so embarrassing to confess because I know it sounds crazy… it is crazy!  I know I am not overweight.  Most people would even classify me as “skinny.”  I really do know that.  But still… that little voice… the mean one… is just plain nuts!  Nice to meet you Little Voice… now go away!  No, it’s not crazy at all that I am talking back to myself inside my head.  Also not crazy that the good voice, the one talking back to the bad one has a fake French accent.  This is all normal.

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As for losing everything I’ve trained for, maybe I will start off a little slower when I get back to running.  Maybe I’ve lost a little.  Who knows?  But it doesn’t matter.  I can’t run right now.  Worry does’t help  I will be able to soon.  That’s all.

True story.  So try 12 days!

True story. So try 12 days!

I run because I love it.  I need to get back to that.  Yes, it’s okay to run to stay fit and in shape.  Yes, it’s good to train for something.  Yes, it’s fine to want my best marathon time this Fall.  It’s good to have goals, but it is not good to let those goals change the way I feel about running.  I don’t run to keep myself from gaining a single pound… ever.  I don’t run to just get a PR in a race.  I run because I love it.  If I run because I love size zero jeans or because I love a 3:35:00 Marathon time (not that I ever have or ever will have that), then I am not running for the right reasons. So if I cannot run for a while, that needs to be okay too.  The problem isn’t that I miss running.  That is natural, to miss something I love.  The problem is how I worry and obsess over not running.  The problem is feeling guilty for not running.  I should just rest, relax, recover, then RUN.  No more guilt! This time off has given me time to think about why I run.  I still love running.  I just want to get back to that being my main motivation. love-running

 

*Sarcasm!  Do not do this!

What are your reasons for running/ working out?

Do you feel guilty when you can’t/ don’t work out?

What is the longest break you’ve ever had to taken from running?

The Best Place to Run

 

If you know me at all, you probably know that a few of my passions include running, art and my darling little girls.  Actually even if you don’t know me, you may have guessed one or two of those.  How about running while enjoying an outdoor art gallery with my girls?  That sounds too good to be true.  In fact that just might be pretty close to my idea of heaven, (except instead of asphalt, the trail should be paved in gold and the temperatures a little less hellish maybe) but it isn’t too good to be true.  It is one of our hidden treasures here in Central Florida, and it just got even better.

Paint the Trail.  Our favorite local trail is lined with paintings by local artist, Jeff Sonksen as well as a few others.  Currently the paintings cover, I believe, just over .6 miles.  The goal is for it to grow to 5 miles and become the world’s longest painting.  We love watching it grow.  It keeps the girls happy throughout the run.  Isla loves to “announce the paintings.”  As we approach she shouts, “Ladies and Gentlemen…” (although there are seldom any gentlemen around to hear her) “…Presenting…” Then she goes on to point out anything she recognizes.  “Nemo… Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle… Maleficent… Jimmy Fallon…”  Yes, she knows who Jimmy Fallon is, but only because of Paint the Trail.

Not too long ago, on one of these runs, we did meet one gentleman on the trail who wasn’t running or bicycling too fast to hear her enthusiastic exclamations.  We got to meet the artist.  He told us more about some of the paintings and how he got started.  I kind of felt like a big scary stalker because I already knew so much about him.  I’d read an article in the newspaper… I also follow his Facebook and his Instagram… Yep, pretty much a stalker.  Meeting Jeff was great!  And the girls were excited to tell him what they thought he should paint.  Aliana said just one word, “Layandatwamp!”  He loved the idea.  Okay, so maybe I had to translate a little first.  But then he loved it, and said he would do it!  Then Isla launched into a fast paced monologue about Frozen and Elsa and Anna and best movie ever and… What?  He hadn’t seen it?  He needed to see it immediately and he should paint Elsa and Frozen and Elsa and Anna, best movie and oh she just loves the Olaf painting but she would like Elsa more…  The girl is not shy.  Or quiet.  But eventually even Isla must breathe.  Jeff was very nice to both the girls.  They were happy to talk to him.  He said maybe he would do Elsa too.

I had a secret.  I wasn’t going to tell the girls, but I had seen on Facebook (stalker that I am) that someone had sponsored a panel, and I thought I could do the same for Isla.  Sisters are funny.  If one has something, the other must have something of equal or greater value (not greater actually because then the other one wants something else too, meaning she now has two things which is totally unfair and leads to the sister with only one thing of greater value wanting two things and…).  So if Aliana was going to have a panel, of course Isla needed one too (an equal one).

Shortly after that run, we went out of town and didn’t have a chance to run the trail again for a couple weeks.  When we got back, I could barely keep my secret.  I knew something the girls didn’t know, and I wasn’t telling.  I could not wait to show them!  I told them we were going to the trail for a run.  A couple miles in, Isla started screaming.  “Elsa!  Elsa Elsa ELSA!!!!!!!!”  Because…

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That’s right!  Lady and the Tramp (you did know that’s what she was saying, right?) and Elsa!  Of course we stopped for a closer look.

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Did they like it?

I think so!

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Yes they did!  I did too!  We loved it!

If you’d like to be a stalker too learn more about Paint the Trail and Jeff Sonksen, Check out his Facebook page.  Better yet, go for a run or bike ride on the Seminole Wekiva Trail.  Or if you want to sponsor your own panel, you can donate and request too.  Wouldn’t that make a great gift for someone who has everything?  If you don’t live in the Central Florida area, I’ll send you pictures of your section.  (Full disclosure: I am totally promoting this for my own benefit.  The girls and I get so much pleasure out of watching the painting grow).

There you have it.  The best place to run.  Ever.  Now come visit and see!

 

 

What is your favorite place for a run?

Have you ever seen anything like this?  Where?