Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Half Marathon that wasn't

So on Tuesday I went to the doctors.  THANKFULLY, the MRI showed that all is normal in my brain!  So my headaches are nothing serious.  However, my doctor put me on some medicine, and said that I was able to exercise, but I should not do too much, too fast.  So my half marathon is off.  I have mixed feelings about the outcome.  In someways I am incredibly disappointed but in other ways I am extremely relieved.
In this whole experience, there have been many lessons learned. 
  • I never expected to EVER be able to make it as far as I did during training.  The 10 miles of run/walking that I did a few weeks ago is what I will take with me - knowing that I trained and pushed myself to do something that at one point seemed impossible is enough. 
  • Also, in the spirit of being true to myself, I have accepted that I do not like running.  I tried (oh how I tried) to like it - but I don't.  Getting out the door to go run is 1million times harder than getting out the door to bike, or swim, or Zumba, or even spinning.  So I will continue to workout, and be healthier - but I am going to focus on what I enjoy!
  • Lastly, after being sent to get an MRI, to check for an aneurysm or tumor, shook my world a little.  While I didn't want to overreact or over-dramatize the situation, I couldn't help but wonder about my future.  Not knowing if my headaches were something serious, or not, reminded me of the preciousness of life. 
My husband is still doing the half marathon, so we leave tomorrow for Disney. I will be there to cheer on the runners and watch their amazing accomplishment! 

Good Luck to everyone who is racing!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Half Marathon Training Update.

So...I haven't shared about my half marathon training for over two weeks and the last I shared was about my self-sabotage.  Well...soon after that last post, I went out and did 10 miles!  I ran for 3 minutes and then I walked for 2 minutes, I ran for 3 more minutes, and I walked for 2 minutes...and did that pattern 27.5 times.  It felt great and I was incredibly positive and hopeful.  The following weekend I did 11 miles.  It didn't go as smoothly, but nonetheless, I finished the 11 miles at a pace fast enough that had I been in the actual race, I would not of been gathered up in the patty wagon and driven to the finish.  So I felt that, while this wasn't what I had envisioned back when I signed up, it was still an accomplishment to simply finish, and beating the patty wagon was my new goal.

This past weekend my son was sick and I was exhausted, not feeling the top of my game and had a few pretty severe, throbbing headaches, so I laid low.  On Monday, I decided to go for a short 3 mile run, and not even 1/2 mile into the run I felt a killler, throbbing headache coming on and I turned around and walked home.  The throbbing ache was very strong for a good hour and then a dull pain lasted the remained of the night.  To make a long story short, what I came to realize was that in the past 6 days my headaches were all triggered by exerting energy and my heart rate raising.  This was something that I had never experienced before - and I have not been prone to regular headaches or ever had even one migraine. 

So, yesterday I had a doctor's appointment.  After answering all of his questions, following his fingers (with my eyes) up, down, and all around and performing various sobriety tests (which I passed with flying colors - which is a good thing, since I hadn't had a drink for at least 6 hours), my doc sidelined me from any exertion. He wrote a script for a MRI of my brain (just as a precaution) and set an appointment for a follow-up with him.  So this morning, I headed (literally) into a giant medical tube, had dye injected into my vein, and had millions of magnetic waves penetrating my head, imaging my noggin. 

The good news is that the MRI tech said that she saw nothing alarming, but, of course, my doctor will give me the final results.  My follow up appointment is on Tuesday, so until then, I am banded from any exertion.  This weekend I am signed up for a 5k which I will now watch from the sidelines.  And next weekend is the half marathon.  Honestly, I have no idea whether I'll be able to do it or not.

So...I wish I could wrap this up into a pretty bow with an enlightened conclusion, but right now I do not have one.  On Tuesday I will know more...  Until then I am crossing my fingers and wishing for the best - whatever that might be.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My oldest son has been sick.
Vomiting from Thursday night until Sunday morning. 

It has been challenging and difficult to see - as all parents know too well.  It is NO fun to have a sick child. 

However, I do have ONE tiny, little itty-bitty, happy piece of news that came out of the four days of vomitismus...

He got most of the "hurl-age" contained to the commode!

I'm sure that this is certaintly not listed as a milestone in any medical journals...but I am wondering...

"Why the F*#@^  not?" 

Major accomplishment.  Major!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Women on Fire Tea Party - a little slice of utopia.

Imagine a world where women come together in the spirit of encouragement, support, and authenticity.  A place where judgments, competition, and insecurities are checked at the door and all are welcomed with open arms!  Where women are simply encouraged to become...  to realize their "true" selves search inside themselves to tap into their purpose ... and, step by step, become more of who they really are.

Doesn't that sound unreal?

But it's not...
Last night (after driving two hours through horrific thunderstorms and tornado warnings) I found a slice of that utopia and I am so jazzed!

I attended a Women on Fire (WOF) Tea Party and it was amazing!

The WOF Tea Party celebrated each woman, built a sense of sisterhood, embraced and encouraged collaboration, and intrinsically fostered authenticity.  As soon as I arrived, I knew that I was in exactly the right place.

Stories were shared, connections were made, and women came together to celebrate each other and themselves.  Not simply for self-indulgence or to bolster a friend, but to build a community and to renovate and redefine how success happens and what it looks like.  Instead of competition, winning (thus implying that someone else loses), and clawing up the ladder of success, Women on Fire fosters each person's success through support.  The entire tone and spirit of the night, fit me like a glove (and I am not talking an OJ Simpson glove, I am talking soft, warm, cashmere, perfectly-fitting glove)!  It was wonderfully profound!

I SO am looking forward to my next WOF event!...but, I am hoping for better weather and/or a closer location :)  If this sound at all interesting to you I highly reccomend checking out Women on Fire!  WOF Tea Parties are located in various locations across the country - plus you can sign up for a FREE inspirational newsletter. 

I must send a BIG thank you to Andrea and Jerry who lead the tea party with brilliance.  And to Debbie Phillips who founded WOF.  Also a shout out to Rosemary who is a wonderful connector.

Also, it would be important to note that I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated. 
My experience at the WOF Tea Party was phenomenal and I just wanted to share!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Being fully alive!

We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.
~Charles Schaefer

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

50% Off...Little Hands Artwork!

As I have gone through this Search for Me in Mommy over the past 8 months, a lot has changed in my life.  One big change, that I announced on this blog a few months ago, is that I started a business - Little Hands Artwork!

This morning, when I checked the Little Hands Artwork Facebook page, it had just hit 100+ "LIKES"!!!
So I am CELEBRATING by offering a spectacular deal!

Anyone who orders a program by 11:59pm on Saturday, September 18, 2010 will get 50% off any CANVAS PRINT!

Just go to and check out the 3 different programs...
The Studio (for up to 8 pieces of artwork)
The Gallery (for 9-12 pieces of artwork)
The Museum (for 13-15 pieces of artwork)

You don't need to choose the pieces of artwork you want to use nor have gather the masterpieces today...
After you order the program, the 50% off coupon will be emailed directly to you
and it doesn't expire until December 31, 2010.

You could use this discount for
Fall & Winter Birthdays...Christmas...Hanukkah...New Years Gifts
or simply treat yourself!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Battle Banana

I swore I wouldn't be that mom.  I knew that my kids would be good eaters.  Certainly if I just exposed them to all different kinds of food, they wouldn't be picky, whiny, or difficult at the dinner table.

Oh, Oh, Oh...I have SO eaten my words!  I am a mom of picky-eaters!  And, *gulp* that is incredibly hard to swallow!

They are SO picky, whiny, and fussy. 

Most meals, I don't even like eating with them!

Recently my 4 year old has been incredibly challenging!  It could be a perfectly prepared dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget, that he requested, and he will whine, "I don't want that..."

I refuse to be a short-order cook, knowing that I would just be encouraging the bad behavior.  So, he sits, at the table with his plate of Stegosauruses, T-Rex's, and Iquanadons FUSSING.


He's been sent to our "fussy chair" to settle down and returns to the table only to begin the fussing again.

When it first started, I thought perhaps he was sick, or perhaps he was just over-tired, or perhaps just cranky, or perhaps....  But the meal-time-cranks, have been going on for at least one month...and that is a conservative estimate.

So, my heels are dug in.  And, the battle has begun.  This morning, it is the Battle Banana!

The banana - THAT. HE. ASKED. FOR.

I know that the whining, crying, and fussing will only get worse, before it gets better. 

I have gathered my gear - Patience (check),  Strength (check),  Focus (check) mixed with Love and Caring (check and check).

And, as he screams, for the 15th billion time "I don't want to eat my banana!"...I am trying to keep my anger in check.

Oh...and I have my MP3 player...

This time I might even have to use both ear buds!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Ring the bells that can still ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in.

                                       ~Leonard Cohen

A big thank you to Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo who included this inspiration in their Inner Mean Girl Reform School curriculum.  It reminds me to forget about perfection, and to embrace myself, cracks, flaws and all!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Your Night Blooming Cereus Moments...

A week or so ago, a neighbor stop by around 8:30pm in the evening.  He told my husband and I about a flower in his backyard.  The Night Blooming Cereus is a unique plant that blooms one time a year, at night, and the flower only last one night.  I was incredibly intrigued, so I grabbed my camera and headed over to witness this bizarre moment, compliments of Mother Nature.

When I first arrived, the flower was just beginning to open up.

And, about 45 minutes later, the flower had changed drastically...
Isn't it simply stunning?!!? Truly, a moment of brilliance!
This experience got me thinking more about moments of brillance - specifically of the human-kind. 

While, the Night Blooming Cereus is bold, obvious, and beautiful, I think that our moments of brilliance are more subtle and quiet.  Consequently, I think we have a hard time recognizing and celebrating our brilliance.

When is the last time you...
  • Pushed through a challenging moment and saw the glory on the other side?
  • Acted upon an inspired idea?
  • Authentically shared yourself and built a connection with another person?
  • Saw and encouraged the beauty and strength in someone else?
  • Saw and encouraged the beauty and strength in yourself?
  • Opened yourself up to new ideas, thoughts, and ways of doing things?
  • Believed in and stood up for yourself, despite the fear of rejection?
  • Failed, but continued to pursue and persist?
  • Purposely stepped out of your comfort zone?
  • Paid it forward?
Each of those times (plus many others) are your Night Blooming Cereus moments!  Moments where you showed and shared your beauty, your strength, and your gifts. 

Why not take this moment to celebrate yourself... 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Half Marathon Training...Self-Sabotage

We must be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
ARGH!  I have been the queen of self-sabotage this week. 

Last week I did an 8 mile run/walk and it felt pretty good.  Then a day or two later I went out and did just over 3 miles and it felt HORRIBLE and I had to walk at the end...WTF?!!?  So between my "it's-the-first-week-of-school-for-the-kids excuse and not feeling positive or motivated, I have successfully done, basically, no training this week.

I know that I am doing this to myself...  It's all mental...
  • I am overwhelmed by the concept of 13.1 miles
  • I am disappointed that my vision of training for this half marathon has not been my reality
  • I am frustrated that I haven't lost weight
  • And, I know that I didn't really change my eating habits...probably the main reason why I haven't lost weight
  • Plus, I have been trying to be in touch with my Inner Wisdom - but this week my Inner Mean Girl has camped out on my cranium, taking all other thoughts hostage and refuses to relinquish control...or maybe I am just being a little overly dramatic... 
 But the facts remain...I have paid my money, booked my flight, and hotel room, as has my husband, so regardless of my self-sabotage, I am doing this half marathon.

So I know I must move on - literally and figuratively.  This weekend, I have promised myself that I am doing a long run...err, a long run/walk.

I'd like to say "wish me luck"...but really it more about me just getting out there and DO IT!

When you feel like destroying something that you have worked on or worked for or worked toward - that is a sign that there is a need to press harder, to do more, to go past previous boundaries. It also represents that you are at the edge of succeeding.
~Gillian MacBeth-Louthan

27 days until the Half Marathon!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No Hailrails

Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.
~Melody Beattie, "Finding Your Way Home"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inner Wisdom - Nuggets of Goodness.

As I have mentioned, I am doing an at-home course called Inner Mean Girl Reform School.  One of the last lessons I did was about incorporating a "Daily Practice" into my routine.  When I first heard about this, I wasn't so sure.  But as learned more, I realized that I pretty much already had a "Daily Practice", I just hadn't thought about it as such. 

Most days I find time to take a bath.  Some days I use it to energize myself to start the day and other days I find myself needing to soak away my stress in the middle of the afternoon or evening.  One piece that I realized was missing from my "Daily Practice" was making a conscious decision to take time, pause, and find a connection with my Inner Wisdom.

So I have been trying to incorporate my Inner Wisdom into my bath time.  Recently I have closed my eyes and asked "What does my Inner Wisdom want me to know today?" and I have been pleasantly surprised about my insights.  Some of the nuggets of goodness I heard include:
  • "Pauses move you forward."
  • "Sometimes, the silence of thought, is good."
  • "Love your body, it takes you places."
  • "Each day is a new day, each hour is a new hour, each moment is a new moment.  You get to choose what to do with each."
  • "You are changeable."
I find it curious that my Inner Wisdom speaks to me in third person...perhaps I need to better identify my Inner Wisdom as the core of who I am...  Interesting.  I am going to have to think about that?!...

Anyway, another thing about my Inner Wisdom, is that she has a theme song.  And, I find this very amusing, yet incredibly telling.  Every time I have a chat with her, in the background of my brain, I hear The Eagles, A Peaceful Easy Feeling (with a few words changed)

"I've got a peaceful easy feeling, and I won't let you down.
Cuz' you're already standin' on the ground."

So today, I am thankful for the peaceful easy feeling and strength that my Inner Wisdom gives me.
My Inner Mean Girl Reform School posts include:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cold and Heartless?!!?

As the morning dawned, I knew that my oldest son was waking with butterflies in his stomach and feeling a mix of excitement, fear, and anticipation.  It is his first day of kindergarten.  Today he experiences many firsts - his bus ride to and from school, meeting new friends, eating lunch at school, having a locker, and much more.  Being a kindergartner is a big deal!  This is a new chapter in his life.

And a new chapter in our family's life.

As his mother, I also feel a change.  At times, I have a hard time believing that my oldest child is five years old.  What happened to the time?  Wasn't he just learning to walk and talk yesterday?  When did he get so big?  Everyone told me, when my son was a baby, that time would move at warp speed. And, I have come to realize that "the days are long, but the years are short".*  When thinking about the swiftness of the last five years, I feel a bit reminiscent and sentimental.  I can not believe that my "baby" is a kindergartner!

But, I must confess...generally, I feel incredibly at ease and, dare I say, even a little thrilled, about this new chapter.  When my son stepped on the bus this morning, I had no tears, nor was I sad.  And, in the afternoon, after I dropped my other son off at preschool, I did a little happy dance in my head.  "Woohooie!" I thought, "Freedom!", "ME Time!"

Mostly, I am fine with my response to these changes, but there is a small part of me, that wonders about my giddy state.  As I happily skipped away from the bus stop and the school, I knew that other mothers were emotional.  When I saw and heard about their tears I question myself.  "Why did I not cry?", "Should I have been sad?", "Am I cold and heartless?".  And there is also the guilt.  When asked "Did you cry?", I feel pressure to respond affirmatively.  When I don't, I feel that I have committed a crime on motherhood, and am left out of the lamenting and ensuing camaraderie that follows.  I am left wondering if my membership card might soon be revoked.

Both of my sons have arrived home unscathed.  They had a great time at school and were excited to tell me about their days.  At this point my mom friends who, felt the pangs of sadness and shed tears are feeling better and, fortunately for me, have not disavowed our friendship.  So I think that, my membership card will remain intact for at least another day. 

This experience simply reminded me that, just as our children have their individual temperaments and quirks, moms have their unique reactions and responses to the various chapters of motherhood.  And, most importantly, each is absolutely acceptable and very appropriate.

Happy Beginning of School, Moms - even the "cold and heartless" ones, like me ;)!

*thanks to Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Motherhood Video

To celebrate the joys and challenges of motherhood, I made this video!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Half Marathon Training...35 days to go.

My half marathon training is continuing.  As the race gets closer and closer I have tried to wrap my brain around 13.1 miles and, still it seems impossible.
Last night I did my long run...8 miles.  Overall it felt good!  And today, although I am stiff, I am not as sore as I had expected. 

I have noticed a few things in the past few weeks...

1.  Each time I am going for a run, especially when it is a long one, getting out the door is a challenge.  I go to the bathroom at least 2 times, then I have to find my watch and my headphones, I stretch...and then I walk around the house...procrastinating... and, perhaps more the issue, feeling scared and overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.  8 miles felt daunting.

2.  I need to reevaluate my expectations for the half marathon.  Back in May when I decided to do it, I envisioned myself running at just over a 10 minute mile pace the entire 13.1 miles.  My training has proved I am not going to be that fast.  My pace for 3-4 miles runs is between 12 and 13 minute miles and for long runs between 14 and 15.  And, I think I need to be OK with walking at some points.  With only 35 days to go and since the longest run I have done is 8 miles, reality is beginning to set in.  So I need to figure out my new half marathon reality.

3.  I have a horrible habit of comparing myself to everyone else and that is most often deflating.  I am reading the book, Run Like a Mother (thanks Eternal Lizdom for recommending it!) and I have gotten some great tips...but I can't help but to be discouraged the author put quotes around the word "run" explaining that it was merely a 12 minute mile.  And then I think, "Hell, I would be thrilled with 12 minute miles right now!".  Logically, I know that the author is a multiple marathon runner and has been training for years and to compare is INCREDIBLY unfair to me, but my initial reaction is on of inadequacy and fraudulency.

Only 35 days to go...and some long runs ahead.  I am scared, but optimistic.  And as always...
I'd love any suggestions or thoughts that you may have!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeding the Soul

It's good to get away and spend a few days... 

in a place that is different from home.

 Seeing sights that are atypical

and surprisingly breathtaking.

Hearing foreign chatter

and the clippity clop of a different way of life.

Taking in the fresh air.

Noticing the beauty of simplicity.

Experiencing the joy


and wonder of childhood.

Feeds the soul!

Thanks friend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inner Mean Girl Reform School - Week 2

During Week 1 of Inner Mean Girl Reform School, I met Catty Inner Mean Girl (IMG).

Week 2 was all about getting to know my Inner Wisdom.

The week's goal was to listen to what Catty Patty was saying to me, and then close my eyes and ask "What does my Inner Wisdom know?"  For instance, Catty Patty often appears when I am thinking about going for a run.  She is quick to say "Let's not go!", "You can't run that far." and "You can do it tomorrow."  When I close my eyes and listen to my Inner Wisdom, instead, I hear "I can do it and - damnit - I am worth being healthy and strong!" and "Go, just do it!".

Surprisingly, my Inner Wisdom voice seems much more calm, and reserved than my screaming, pushy IMG.  So, while I am able to hear my Inner Wisdom, sometimes it is still such a battle to do what I know is best.  Times when I didn't follow my Inner Wisdom, Catty Patty, would add salt to my wound by adding "See, I told you, you can't do it!".

I am learning!  I know that I need to give my Inner Wisdom - the BEST me - a more powerful, strong voice. 

By, saying, out loud,

"I can do it!"
"I am strong!"
"I am poweful!"
"I am worth it!"

I am beginning to feel my strength! 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creating YOUR Life

“Whatever you create in your life you must first create in your imagination.”
~Tycho Photiou

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Half Marathon Training...Facing Fears

The Disney Half Marathon Wine and Dine is in just 44 days and I am CRAZY scared!

Two weeks ago we were on a family vacation and my workouts were horrible. It was hot, humid, and I was incredibly sluggish. One of my runs was only 2 miles and I even had to stop and walk for part of it and none my other runs on vacation felt even a little good. So, for the past two weeks the training has felt like a losing battle. When I have a bad run, I begin to question IF I can ever do it and I feel overwhelmed by the distance (or lack of distance) and the speed (or lack of speed), and want to just plain quit. I know that it is SO mental and am more and more understanding why many people say that it is 90% mental and the rest is physical.

It is FEAR. 

  • Fear of not being successful. 

  • Fear of feeling like a fraud, because no matter how much I try to convice myself differently, I do not identify as a "runner" or an "athlete". 

  • The fear of how I will feel as my insecurities are tested at the race when I am surrounded by thinner, faster, more fit, "real" runners. 

  • Fear of the pain I will feel, both mental an physical. 

  • Fear of feeling like the "fat" girl. 

  • Fear of failure. 

  • Fear of not having fun because I let my mind and negative thoughts determine my experience. 

  • Fear that I will not be able to run 13.1 miles.
And, I know that "Fear is an acronym in the English language for ' False Evidence Appearing Real'"* and that I need to face these fears to remove their debilitating power. 

I am not exactly sure how to face them...but I think I need to...

  • continue to train, even when I am afraid that I can't make the distance, especially during my long runs.

  • shift my negative self-talk, (My Inner Mean Girl, Catty Patty) by repeating my running affirmations "I am powerful!"  "I am stong!"  "I can do this!"  "I am worth it!" and repeat while running, as needed.

  • remind myself that this is MY race and comparing myself to ANYONE is a true disservice to ME.

  • embrace me, as I am.  (To realized that..."Yes, I am overweight and 41 years old and not typically an athlete, but I am doing this and I deserve to feel proud of myself!")

  • accept that there will be workouts that aren't great, but one day does not make me a failure.

  • celebrate and feel joy!  (This is hard for me to do)
That is my plan...and it feels pretty good right now.

This week my training schedule is to do three 3-4 mile and a 7 miles run.  Wish me luck!

*quote credit:  Neale Donald Walsch

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