Cherishing the moments… (Juneathon 6/7 & 6/8)

Didn’t post yesterday due to this:

My daughter and I after she graduated!  So hard to believe she is done with High School.

My daughter and I after she graduated! So hard to believe she is done with High School.

But I did get some exercise.  Not formal but I was running around like a crazy person getting ready and then because I couldn’t sit still I was up and down (read us doing squats and stretching!)  I would say my heart rate went up probably more stress and emotions but sometimes that is more tiring and really felt like I had done physical work by the end of the evening.

Today we walked.  We walked, we ate, and then we walked again.  No pedometer to measure the distance but we were up and moving.  Here is some of the scenery we were blessed with.

Some well used lobstah traps!

Some well used lobstah traps!

 

Where the freshwater meets the saltwater and also a great view during dinner.

Where the freshwater meets the saltwater and also a great view during dinner.

A little shopping while we walk in this quaint New England downtown.  Looks like it did probably 100 years ago.

A little shopping while we walk in this quaint New England downtown. Looks like it did probably 100 years ago.

Not the best walking surface but in pretty good shape.

Not the best walking surface but in pretty good shape.

Spent some time on the beach walking too.

Spent some time on the beach walking too.

My walking buddy, aka Dave!

My walking buddy, aka Dave!

My other walking buddy, aka my mom!

My other walking buddy, aka my mom!

It was a beautiful day!

It was a beautiful day!

Two more days of some exercise done, just not as formal as I would like.  I am hoping to get back to a regular schedule as soon as all this graduation stuff (party next weekend) is over.

One more, a beautiful sunset.

One more, a beautiful sunset.

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Mommy’s Day

Today is that day in the good ole’ USA, we celebrate Mommy’s (aka Mother’s Day).  I think moms and women should be celebrated all the time but I am not sure the card companies agree with me hence the second Sunday of May is Mother’s day!

I spent my day here:

lake3

 

I would like to say lounging and resting but that is not so, besides I would probably be very bored because I can’t sit still that long.  We were opening for the season which makes me very excited but is a lot of hardwork.  Anyway back to the picture, we have a family lake house that is so peaceful and nice that just thinking about it makes me calm and relaxed.  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful day.  And then of course, moms don’t cook dinner on Mom’s day so out to dinner with the family for a nice relaxing meal.

Now back to mommy’s day (I am all over the place today, sorry) I think we should celebrate each other every day especially those who have molded us into the person we are today.  Each person who comes into my life on a daily basis challenges me to be a better person.  I am thankful for my mom for building up my confidence and cheering me on to try and complete new things.  Thanks Mom because of you and I am a better mom!  Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there (and yes you moms of the four-legged variety count too!).

A Mother…
When you’re a child she walks before you,
To set an example.
When you’re a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.
When you’re an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together..
Author Unknown

Family!

We all have them whether we would like to admit it or not.  We have a family!  We also have opportunities to create new families.   Whether we move far away from our original family, find ourselves the last of our original family, or are just simply around the same people all the time due to your children’s activities and create a bond through shared experiences.  This is what has happened to us.

Most of my family members together last year.

Most of my family members together last year.

Over the past 12 years while my daughter has been competing in dance competitions, we have been a part of several different dance families but none as long as this current family.  We travel together, share food together, deal with our children’s crazy moods together, laugh together and here recently cry together (or at least for me).  This current family has been together for about 8 years with some going and new people coming in but the values are all the same.  We want to see our girls/ladies shine, express themselves, learn teamwork, build their confidence and most of all have fun.

Teen/Senior family members after doing an awesome job competing today.

Teen/Senior family members after doing an awesome job competing today.

Well today was one of those moments that I began to realize that it is coming to an end.  My daughter is graduating and even though there will be college dance performances to go to, this is it.  We have one regional competition left and one national competition left this summer.  The thought that kept going through my head all day as I went in and out of tearful moments was, “It felt like it just started and then it was over.”  Did I cherish each moment?  Did I take a moment to breathe and enjoy?  For the most part the answer is “yes”.  But you better believe I will be trying to do more of that over the next few months.

Then what?  A new “running family”?  I’m not sure.  All I know is that this idea of family and the people who have been part of our lives up to this point have made an impression on me.  I’ve grown by knowing each one and have enjoyed creating a new family through this shared experience.

How about your family connections?  Do they play a big role in your daily life? 

Christmas Survey just for fun!

Christmas2Totally stealing this from these two blogs: The Hungry Runner Girl and my friend at Fit for a Year.

  1. Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song? Love Amy Grant’s Christmas Albums/CD’s  They are in my CD player until New Year’s Day!
  2. Run on Christmas morning or take the day off? Hopefully I will run sometime during the day.  It will be my only day off that week so I would like to enjoy it with a good run.
  3. What do you usually eat on Christmas morning? Bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls but we will eat anything because we love breakfast!
  4. Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition? Each year I give my daughter a new ornament(or two or three ornaments) for her tree.  Now after 18 years she has a full tree and she can use when she moves away in the future.  Also Christmas Eve service with my family and a midnight service if we can find one.
  5. Real tree, fake tree or no tree? 5 fake trees put up Thanksgiving night or within the next few days after Turkey day!
  6. Christmas pajamas, yay or nay? Nay.  Just stick to my old T-shirt for bed.
  7. Where do you spend the holidays, at home, with your parents, extended family, in-laws or friends? We spend Christmas morning at home opening gifts and then go over to our extended families home for dinner and more gift giving.
  8. What’s your favorite Christmas food? I love the desserts, hence the reason I run!  My favorite cookie to bake all during this season are Ginger Snaps that are soft and chewy instead of snappy!
  9. Open presents all at once or take turns? We take turns.  I love to see what everyone gets!
  10. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Elf, Home Alone movies and the Santa Clauses.

Now it is your turn.  Share your info on your blog and link it back or leave it in the messages.  Would love to know more about you and your traditionschristmas1

A week in somewhat of a review!

christmastree1I am so happy it is Friday.  The unfortunate part is that by the time I write this post and get it posted, it might be Saturday.  But I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway!  Not even sure what I am gonna write about but I felt the need.

I guess I will start with what I learned this week:  I learned that being a therapist is hard!  Okay, I already knew that but this week was a real challenge for me (especially in the midst of what felt like my own breakdown/breakthrough).  I got into therapy to help people and I guess with it comes the unfortunate wanting to “fix things” for everyone.  But, hey guess what, that can’t be done.  I know this but have to constantly remind myself I am just there to help others find their strength.  They have it inside them, I’m just there to help them.  So I guess that is a pretty big lesson to keep reminding myself of or just relearn again, over and over again!

I don’t know about you but I was also overwhelmed this week by the fact that this month has gone so fast.  I once heard someone say (and I totally believe) “we rush through our childhood wanting to grow up and then when we grow up we want things to slow down so we can enjoy them.”  I’m screaming for things to slow down!!!  Can you hear me?!  Not sure whether it is effective because life still seems to be cruising by.  So this weekend my goal is to try and slow down.

I did take a great step in slowing down tonight.  We had a Christmas show (I performed a tap dance with my daughter and it was wonderful) and then poof it was over.  Everyone cleared out and the place was quiet.  I waited around for the person to come back to lock up and I just sat in the silence.  I looked around at the trees that decorated the facility took a couple of pics (here is one)christmastree and just tried to relax.  I thought about my week, about the tragic news in Connecticut, and just thought “I need to continue to enjoy my family, tell them I love them, and never be afraid to be who I am because life is short.”  Maybe that is why you are getting this rambling blog tonight.  Maybe I want you to hear, “Life is short.  We must take every opportunity to cherish what we have.”

This weekend, this is my focus and something I want to continue to practice throughout the month as well as next year.  Maybe that will be my word of the year.  Last year’s word was “gratitude”.  Maybe this year will be “cherish”.  I think it sounds like a plan.

How was your week?  Did you learn anything new?  Are you glad it is Friday?  Do you ever pick a word and think/reflect on it throughout the year?  Why or why not?  Love to hear from you!

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving.  Many of you already know this but for those who are from another country, we celebrate originally because we were thankful for a large harvest back in the days of settling this great country. (If you want to read more try this site)  Today it has turned in to a day of celebrating with a large feast, including a turkey and lots of pies, and being surrounded family and friends.  So in my eyes it hasn’t changed too much, well except for the after Thanksgiving sales and the craziness they call Black Friday!  But I digress….

So this year as many of you already know, I have kept a gratitude journal and spend time each day writing down things I am thankful for.  I have done this for several reasons: One to remind me how blessed I am, Two to help me when I am struggling to remind me how blessed I am, and Three as a reminder to myself about how blessed I am.  I know, I know those all sound the same!  But think about it, if you are reading this right now you are blessed with a computer, eyes to see, understanding to read and the ability to pick a great blog to read.  🙂  

As I was thinking about writing this blog (which has really been on my mind since Monday) I was wondering how I would express my gratitude and how overwhelmed I am when I think about my blessings.  (Let’s just say tears come to my eyes and I get that lump in my throat.  They are happy tears though.)  Many of my friends did the days of thankfulness leading up to thanksgiving and listed them all on facebook daily.  I didn’t participate but was thankful for reading others.  It made me really think about what means the most in my life so here goes in somewhat poetry form:

Living these 40 years,

Shedding many, many tears.

 

Warm hugs and beautiful smiles,

Ability to run miles and miles.

 

Strength that astounds me,

Weakness that helps me grow.

 

Using my God-given talents to help others who are struggling,

And realizing it is not just a job but a calling.

 

Writing and reading blog after blog,

Having followers great and small.

 

Wonderful friends old and new,

Memories that last forever.

 

Family members both near and far,

Who love me no matter how crazy I r!

 

My girls who make me so proud,

And Dave who I love to be around.

 

I am thankful for every breathe and every second,

Take some time to count your blessings.

5 miler finished!!!

It was cold!

Today I completed my first ever 5 miler and Turkey Trot.  They were one in the same so it was not only my first 5 miler but also my first ever Turkey Trot.  Bad news is, I didn’t come home with a turkey!  Good news is, I didn’t come home with a turkey!  Don’t get me wrong, I love turkey and you can find me eating it for most of the month of November.  We are just a small family and having a turkey in the house would only create issues like me wanting to cook it and eat it all which could never happen before it went bad. (I’m not cooking for Turkey day instead we are hanging out with some friends and family at another location.)

Goofing around with Mackenzie before the race.

Getting my tunes all ready!

So now for the race, well I learned something today.  If the top prize at your race is $800, you get some elite runners and the race is fast!!!!  Which is good if you are in great shape and have been able to run a lot or if you know how to pace yourself so you don’t start out to fast, both of which were not the case for this.  But I did keep telling myself that this is a “trot”.  “This is your long run Sunday with about 1,000 of your friends who decided to do the same thing on a 45 degree day.”  I am not making excuses or starting this out negative, I am just making a statement.

I did enjoy the race but like I stated a little earlier, I need to work on a few things.  One is get some more runs in so I feel more in shape which just means a little better management of schedule.  That is a work in progress but I am working towards it.  Second, learning how to pace myself!  Not sure how to do this because my first mile was 7:12 and I was excited that I did that but also knew I had to slow down fast so I would have something at the end.  So I did.  But I would like to figure out how to do the pacing the right way where your first mile is your slowest and you speed up as you keep going.  I think this also comes with more races.  I am already looking for my next race but with the cold weather in New England (and me being a wimp) I will have to figure out how to build up my courage to run in the COLD!

I will do the race again and the best news is, now I have a time to beat: 40:54  I think I can do that! (Stay tuned for the official results in a future blog)

Special thanks to my wonderful family who came out to cheer me on and snap photos (Dave).  Here are two more pics from today’s race, beginning and end.  Not pictured is my awesome partner in crime Dave.  Love you!!!

Beginning of the race and the mass of runners!

Official time is 40:54 but this shows 41:00. I’ll take the 40:54!

Whirlwind trip to New York City

Saturday morning at 5:30 am we set out for our whirlwind trip to New York City.  Really it was a trip about visiting colleges (Hofstra and Adelphi) but we turned it into more, because if you are that close to the city, why not drop on in?!

We took a ferry to Long Island which was relaxing and then drove through beautiful wine country.  Was so wanting to stop and just spend our trip there but I am not sure my daughter would appreciate not seeing the colleges, the original destinations!

We made it to Hofstra, took the tour and spent some time exploring the bookstore because everyone needs a shirt from all the colleges they visit!  It was now time to check in to the hotel and make our way into the city.  Here are some fab pictures we took on our trip:

 

Notice how there are no pics of the colleges.  We really did visit, honest.  For some reason we only took our camera’s out when we were in the city.

Some of the things I noticed about myself were these:

  • I still cry when the admissions person talks about my daughter being the class of 2013 for her high school but they are looking at her as the class of 2017 !  Maybe I just had something in my eye, maybe it was the cost of these colleges, or maybe it is back to that not so distant blog post about really missing her when she goes away!
  • I am not a city person!!!!  I grew up in the midwest and love New England but those city people are harsh.  From driving to walking they were very overwhelming!  There was one point while I was driving that the train came through and I had to stop making the person behind me miss making through the red light.  He honked at me and yelled at me for the entire five minutes we waited on the train.  So apparently these people would rather me get hit by a train so they can make the light, where they would have to wait for the train too!  Not a fan of driving on Long Island.
  • Trains/Train stations are unpredictable which cause me stress!!!  Example: Made it to Penn station in time for the 12:14 am (yep that’s right been up since 5 am why not stay in nyc until 12:15am in the morning!) and there was no track assigned to the train.  What?  How does that happen?  When they finally announced the track number it was 12:16am and everyone who was waiting, which must have been about 300 people made a mad dash for the train.  That was fun! Not!!!  But we made it.
  • I love to surprise people.  When we surprised Mack with Chicago tickets (I videoed it and it is great!) I cried again!  It was so much fun to be able to do that.  PS – I still watch the video and cry!
  • The 9/11 sight still brings back memories and emotions even this many years later and it looks pretty cool at night too.

Finally, I love fun whirlwind trips but it takes a few days to really feel rested from long adventures.  I guess I might be getting old or I just need to do more of them to get use to it!!

Riding the Ferry to Long Island! It is really early!

PS – did not get any runs in while on this trip but we did walk ALOT so I think that counts as my exercise for the weekend.  Back to the gym this week.

Kidnapped, but don’t worry it was by my family!!!

Don’t let the title shock you!  My family planned an event but they would not tell me where we were going.  The only info I had was that I had to wear shorts.  Well that’s kind of broad and it’s fall and cold so I had more questions of course.  What type of shorts?  Running, work out, jean?  Well the answer was something long.  What?  So after trying continuously to get info I had to settle on something tight fighting like biker shorts but not something airy like running shorts.  So there was my answer.  I could do that, biker shorts (the non padded kind, so I guess spandex shorts) was the answer.  Then comes the self-conscious me, “will others have spandex on”, “what exactly are we doing that I have to wear tight pants?”

So I quit asking and put on my biker shorts and we were off.  After a 40 minute drive we turned down this muddy road in the center of a nearby town and my daughter says, “Oh we are taking you out to kill you.”  To which I respond, “don’t worry I posted that I was with my family so others might come looking for me if I never returned and they know where to start!”  (Gotta love facebook, keeping your family and friends informed of your whereabouts since 2009, or at least then for me!)

I was surprised to see this sign at the end of this road:

Now this is something I had never done and really before now probably would never try due to the lack of being in shape.  But lucky for me I have been hanging from ropes for some time now (at least a month anyway).  Remember this?

Anyway, we had our 20 minute lesson and we were off.  Hanging from ropes and scaling walls like Spiderman.  Or at least that is how I felt going up.  Coming down is a little different.  You are totally relying on someone to keep from falling fast to the ground.  In this case it was Dave and he did a great job supporting me or else this post would be very different!  🙂

I wanted to post this because for me this was trust or as my sister calls me a “control freak” and I need to relax a little bit.  It’s hard to give up control.  I am usually the one planning things and I am a big fan of having a pretty good understanding of what is going to happen.  I guess that is kind of the definition of control.  Oh well.  I am learning to let go. 

Over the past years I have been learning to give up control.  Especially over things I cannot possibly ever take control of.  Really the only things I have control of are my reactions to things, my thoughts, and most of my emotions.  (Remember: crazy mom with a graduating senior who cries at the drop of a hat right now!)

I also learned something else today and that was that I really am in great shape thanks to all that running, weights, and TRX training.  Everyone was getting tired after about two hours and I still wanted to keep going.  I made them wait just a few more times for me to scale the wall and then gave into the hunger whining of the girls.  Next time we feed them before we go.  Oh wait, I didn’t know what I was doing so next time they need to take responsibility for eating if they decide to kidnap me to a place that does not have a snack bar!

Values

What does the word values mean to you?  Dictionary.com’s definition as a verb is “to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance” and “to regard or esteem highly”.  So I ask, what are your values, what do you esteem highly, respect, or put in the highest importance?  Have you ever made a list and really looked at it?  Why not?  You should give it a try.

Well I have a job that makes me have others do this but I was wondering what my list would look like and would it surprise me?  So I did it and here it is:

  • Family
  • Faith
  • Friends
  • Financial Security (seem to be stuck on the F’s)
  • Knowledge/Learning
  • Exercise/Running/Health
  • Career

This is just a quick list but I think it pretty much covers it.  It doesn’t surprise me at all.  It actually just firms up what I already knew.  My relationships and health I value over my career.  This may seem weird but when you are a people person like me, it doesn’t.  My mom keeps telling me that she didn’t think I would ever work a 40 hour a week job (she knows me way to well, love you mom).  This was usually because I was in school all the time and couldn’t do it but the more I think about it, I’m not sure I want to work a 40 hour a week job.  I want to make enough money to be financially secure but in the mental health field 40 hours a week is very draining on your own mental health.  So obviously I am still looking for balance in the career aspect of things.

Now I look at my life as it is right now and compare it to the values I just listed.  Am I on track with my values?  I think so.  Are there some things I can work on?  Of course, I’m human and I go through times of placing more value on things than others.  So now I need to decide what I need to change.  I have a few ideas.  I need to spend some more time on making financially smart decisions, after all next year our last one will go off to college and somehow I have to figure out how to pay for that.  I need to spend more time with my friends.  Because of some recent circumstances, I have let relationships with friends be put on the back burner, but I think I am ready to bring them to the present once again.

We all know that my exercise/health is an important value and I try to work on that daily.  (Latest run of 6 miles this morning in what had to be 1000% humidity!)  Still working on eating better but I think I do pretty good (I’m not eating as many chocolate chip cookies and ice cream as I really want to eat!  Moderation!). 

So my overall reflection is that I have think I have strong values that I am working to make stronger and I am thankful I took a moment to really think about and explore my thoughts regarding them.   Now it is up to you.  Make a list of your values, examine your life and how they fit in.  If it is not what you want, then it is time to make some changes.  If it is, then congrats.  Keep up the great work!