LONG, busy weekend + MMMM

I feel like I was away from the internet for a while this weekend. I did check into my Words with Friends yesterday afternoon and posted some pics to Flickr but otherwise, I was far far away from the land of the connected. And you know what? I liked it.

My parents got into town around 6:45 or so Friday evening and I had spaghetti all made and waiting. Having fed the kids earlier kept them happy while they waited, knowing Gramma and Papa were getting there soon. Ash and I filled up on carbs and chilled for a while but tried to get into bed relatively early. Our alarm went off at 5:30 AM the next morning and we did our pre-race routine and drove to Boston, Georgia. I was nervous leading up to it but not so much the day of, honestly. I started off at a fairly good pace and not until mile 11 did my body really start to hate me. But I set a PR of 2:23 – which is 13 minutes faster than my first time – and was pretty happy. My goal for the Disney half in January is to cut at least 7 minutes off that time. I’m going to train with some speedwork this time to help reach that goal.

After we got back into town, we made hamburgers and fries and the kids and Ash took a nap while my parents and I went to the produce market. My mom and I got pedicures after and then in the evening, we all went for Mexican and margaritas. Woo hoot! Had a blast and fell asleep on the couch by 9:30.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast and then did a photoshoot of us in our Halloween costumes.

Isaac would NOT wear his Thor helmet but at least we got relatively good shots.

I truly enjoyed my weekend but I am glad my race is over and that all my busyness over the last weeks few culminates in Trick or Treating tonight. I want to relax!

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So since Monday’s Music Moves Me meme is – oblivious – Halloween based today, I’m going with Rob Zombie. I love him, I really do. His videos are pretty creepy so here goes my parental advisory notice:

 

Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie

 

 

Dragula – Rob Zombie

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday Confessional – Hurried and Harried edition

PhotobucketTell the truth now….

I confess…I was pretty proud of myself for making Isaac’s costume last night but I did find out that I don’t feel as crafty as I once was. It’s odd.

I confess… His costume looks pretty good, considering its simplicity. I can’t wait to show you guys pics.

I confess… I am nervous about my race tomorrow. I wasn’t… until about three days ago. I was going along fine, trusting in the training, but then all this other stuff came up and now and am sort of shaken. Must get back on track.

I confess… I am annoyed by some things my mother has said this week and I am trying very hard to put them out of my mind before she comes into town today.

I confess… I was actually annoyed by the Big News they broke on Bones fans at the end of last season so I was, therefore, not excited about the new season. Well, I think I am now, after all the promos. Now? I am pumped! Next Thursday, baby! (How can you not love these sexy people?)

I confess… I ate a lot of bagels this week. Carbs for the race. Yeah, that’s it.

I confess… I will sing the praises of Honda for an eternity because they ended up reimbursing me for 2/3 of what I paid. And considering my warranty had expired, that’s pretty effing awesome. Buy Honda for life!

I confess… the pedicure my mom’s getting me after my race tomorrow is going to be AMAZING.

Ok, that’s it, people. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Why I missed Wednesday Blogging:

Because my week has been insane so far! I’m going to detail it in (hopefully) Thirteen things that were bad/crazy/good. Here goes:

To start off the week, I got an (1) email that could severely impact our household. I spent the entire evening worried, even though I knew/know it will all work out. I created scenarios in my head where I could make something else happen. And then the next day, it was all OK; I think the problem has resolved itself. Whew. So then Tuesday began on that note and I felt good about things.

That day went well except for the exceedingly awkward conference with the student (2) I mentioned in my Random Tuesday post; the one who randomly wanted to hug me. Look, some students form a bond with their instructor after a semester… if they came into the office for a lot of help or confided in them, etc. This student is not one of those. We barely speak. She’s just one of that crowd. THAT’s why it was weird. The day wore on, I had a meeting and then cut out around quarter to 5, realizing I had not taken a lunch and was starving! (3) I proceeded to my car where I realized it had warmed up significantly. Opening the windows about halfway, I pulled towards the lot gate arm. As I waited for said arm to lift, I noticed that my passenger side window was lower than I put it. Groan. My first instinct was to stop the car and pull it up; I’ve had window issues on older cars before and quickly realized the deal. Alas, one milisecond later, the window dropped down into the door. (4) Le sigh.

I called my father to ask where to take it – I was distraught and not thinking clearly – but he didn’t answer. I drove home, parked in the driveway and as I reached down to hit the garage door opener, I found that the Toy Story water bottle that has been in my car for weeks in a cup holder was on its side and water had filled the third cup holder, wherein sat the opener. (5) Fail! I picked it up and water mixed with some sort of whitish stuff spewed out all over my Eddie Bauer pants and the car interior! (6) And of course, it did not open the garage. (7) By this time, I had gotten ahold of my mother who suggested taking it to the car service place we’d once gone to when her car over-heated. I went inside and washed the white stuff off my hands and then drove to the car place.

They couldn’t do anything about it right then so I made an appointment for 7:30 the next morning and drove home. At this point, Ash and I were talking it out and he remembered that we’d gotten the Honda 5 yr/60,000 mile warranty. I’d never had to use it so I couldn’t remember at all so I called Honda. The man let me know that yes, we had purchased it. And yes, it had expired ON THE 18TH OF OCTOBER. A mere 7 days earlier. (8) I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I was in denial and just hoping the window was off the track and would go back up and stay. The Honda dude suggested that it was probably a regulator arm and quoted me at nearly 300 dollars! (9) [Heart palpitations, headache to ensue.] I managed to calm down and take it with stride. Nothing was going to get done at that point so I made dinner, worked out, and fell asleep.

Wednesday morning I drove the kids to school – window down and all with it being 50 degrees – and then headed to the repair shop. Sadly, they found that it was the regulator but quoted me 100 dollars more! I told them Honda’s quote and Don, the manager, promised to match and/or beat it. I explained to him my warranty deal and, since he knew the manager at Honda, called to see if there was wiggle room. Sadly, they can’t budge on the date but the other manager suggested I give Honda Care a call. 286 dollars later, I call Honda Care’s 800 number and speak to a man who said they could reimburse me if I took it to Honda. Of course, the local dealer manager had said get it fixed where I was then call Honda. Sigh. BUT, this nice man said to go ahead and fax him the receipt and they’d try to reimburse me what they would pay the dealer, since I am only at 46k miles. (10) I faxed my info in as soon as I got to the office but I haven’t heard from them yet. At least there’s hope!

So after being pushed and pulled in so many emotional directions, I decided to leave work early and go to Joanne Fabrics to buy some Halloween stuff. I need to embellish some things on Isaac’s Thor costume. I found the perfect cape fabric (11) but it was unraveled and not labeled with a price so to be sure, I waited for 30 minutes at the fabric counter, only to have them tell me I could have used one of the other 1.99 squares to check out. How would I have known it was the same! BUT, I got home and – without much hope at it working – gave the garage door opener a push. Huzzah! It opened! (12) On that note, I ran and then we played in the yard with the kids and things are looking pretty darn decent now. (13)

What I realized is that I was looking at life as either in neutral or bad. You go about your day to day with things being status quo. Nothing amazing or horrific happens; just your average stuff. Then something like a broken window comes along and you get all pissed like, “Why is this happening to me?” But you suddenly become thankful for the mundane because at least it isn’t that. It could be worse. I have a whole different outlook now and feel happier for it.

 

Talk to us Tuesday – Running vs. Babies: fight!

Running is a lot like child-birth. And I know what you’re saying… “I pushed out a kid but I can’t run.” Actually, running is a lot like being pregnant. Mostly because both of them afford you the opportunity to become very well-attuned to your body. Before being pregnant, if I had a pain somewhere inside – say, indigestion or gas pains – it was just a sort of internal annoyance and half the time I couldn’t really pinpoint what it was. After being pregnant where I analyzed every single tiny movement on the inside, I can now tell what all ails me. I can better feel what my body is trying to tell me.

Similarly, running makes you assess your aches. You get to know tiny places on your body you may have previously neglected. I never really cared much about the backside of my knee or the underside of my ribcage or my left hip. But depending on the grade of hill or the pavement or the temperature, each part in pain presents itself in different ways and you have to pay attention to them. I like this part about running. It makes me mentally aware of myself, probably more than I want to be. But it is almost exactly the same awareness as having a small person inside me. I don’t think you can ever explain to someone who has never carried a child the pain that reverberates throughout your core when you’re in labor. It is so body-deep and unlike anything I have ever experienced before… except the way I felt after my first long race. Not the same, but similar. It is a pain like no other.

I am happy that I have undertaken both child-bearing and long distance running. If nothing else, they have been battles of will; mental challenges, despite the physical aspects. In pregnancy, you want it to end for god’s sakes and some days, you’d be willing to have that child forcibly removed so you wouldn’t have to be pregnant one more effing day. In running, though your legs keep moving, you just want to stop sometimes, lay down and just be still because it’s so. long. OMG. But with both, you push on through because you know it doesn’t last forever and the end result is so worth it.

With Saturday being race day, I keep reminding myself that, physically, I can do it. I’m not worried about that part. The last go-round of training – my first time – was hard. Every long run (every run after, say, 8 miles) was awful. I was sore for days after. This time I experienced none of that. It was all mental. My legs and my lungs held up just fine. I easily discourage myself so it will only be a matter of convincing my brain to shut the hell up and let me find my zone, that comfortable spot where I’m on auto-pilot and miles pass before I know it and there’s the finish line, edging closer. And if that goes well, I’m going to run another one. And if it makes sense… I may even have another kid. Who knows?

Random Tuesday – Written on a Monday; sue me!


Stacy


Without internet AGAIN on a Tuesday morning. FSU, what are you doing to me?!

  • That’s right; I’m writing these on Monday because – Lordy – it IS slow here today. I think it’s because we have reached mid-semester so students are feeling the pressure and TAs are dug in and wading through and I am putting off inevitable little tasks that sit atop my desk.
  • Five days until my half-marathon. I’ll be talking about this in my Talk To Us Tuesday post. Look for it!
  • I got some spicy wings from the store Friday night (not the deep fried kind or the sopping wet kind) and man, ever since then, I cannot stop thinking about spicy stuff. I want wings!!
  • I was also craving an Italian sub Saturday night around midnight. I am eating one for lunch today; it is orgasmic!
  • I went through a phase for about 2 weeks where I really didn’t want any coffee. Now? I am craving massive amounts of it. And not because I am tired. I just want the flavor and the heat, now that it’s starting to get cool.
  • What’s the deal with so many people protesting lately?  I know it makes me sound like a bad person but I don’t actually see the point. You just end up pissing off the people you’re protesting against.
  • One of my female students came up to me at the beginning of class Friday – as she tends to do with dumb questions – and said she didn’t actually have a question, just wanted to give me a hug. I straight up told her that made me uncomfortable and I’d rather not. I sort of brushed it off after that but the longer I thought about it, the more it irked me. And I have a conference with her in ten minutes!
  • I’m weirded out when I find out that my friends – people I know fairly well – don’t know about X. In the case of today, how do you not know who Captain America is?
  • Ok here’s a Tuesday one. I had a wee bit of bad news last night that isn’t really bad bad news but it reminded me that nothing is certain and always be moving. I know that’s super vague but it is what it is.

Without further ado, I present Kody Courdan.  I know nothing about him except that he models underwear. Who knows if he’s actually into rock climbing but it’s a nice touch.

Happy Tuesday!

Low key weekend + MMMM

I have to say, after last weekend being very full, we decided not to have any plans this weekend. Ash and I both ran on Saturday and we ate pizza and napped – oh did we ever nap. The boys went down by 12:30 and Ash and I went to the couch to watch football. Next thing I knew, it was 3 o’clock. We hit up Publix for the second time in two days and the evening was spent watching more college football and baking pumpkin apple muffins and just hanging out.

Ash had to run 13 miles on Sunday so he drove out to the St. Marks trail and the kids and I went to Target and I proceeded to make chocolate chip cookies at Ash’s request. And pretty much right when those were done, I had to start on lunch. In fact, I cooked and baked a lot this weekend. But I like running the oven on cold days to warm up the house. I don’t turn the heat on until the last possible moment so, you know…

I was laying on the couch after having woken from my normal 2nd quarter nap on Sunday and for one brief moment, I was unfettered by worry. I wasn’t thinking about money or anything I had to do and I was really and truly happy. It was a wonderful feeling. I carried it with me for the rest of the day and got laundry done and didn’t get annoyed by the kids or anything. And today, I feel so much lighter. So much more rested. It’s nice. Really nice.

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Freebie week for this meme so here are a couple videos from the 80s – Cinderella and Dokken. I listen to this while I run. I was going to post some Rammstein videos but I didn’t want to  mess with the Parental Advisories. Tee hee. These are far more tame. Just lots of hair and makeup. On men. ;)

 

 

Happy Monday! (How was your weekend?)

Friday Confessional – Keep it moving, people

PhotobucketI confess… I usually write this post on Thursday afternoons but I have been super busy this week.

I confess… that I wasn’t quite ready for this cold weather. Went to bed with it being 74 in the house, woke up to 69 and a cold bathroom.

I confess… I have zero plans for the weekend. And I kinda like it.

I confess… I was not exactly easy to be around yesterday evening. I was in a bad/bitchy mood.

I confess… I am super looking forward to my half day. We’re seeing Three Musketeers! Truly a movie where I can turn off my brain for a while.

I confess… I couldn’t sleep last night because I started thinking about things I have seen or done just once in my life. Look for a post about that soon.

I confess… I have my next four paychecks budgeted out in blue ink on a folded sheet of newsprint that Elliot painted on.

I confess… I am not happy that my husband and I play against each other this week in Fantasy football. How bad is it that I hope he wins just because he gets all grumpy when he loses?

I confess… I’m irritated that every time I get paid, there’s some extra thing I have to get and there isn’t any money left for something fun and frivolous. Oh well.

Ok, there you have it. I have to go teach class and get on with my life. What you be confessin’?

On the outside and the inside

I was getting dressed for our anniversary outing this past weekend and I was semi-ready; skirt on but still deciding on a top and Elliot comes bursting into my room and says, “Mommy, why are you so… beautiful?” He paused for a while and just assessed me for a minute. I don’t know what he was originally thinking but the last word he chose affected me in a way I didn’t expect. I tend to brush off compliments but hearing him say that warmed my heart. Even if I don’t believe it.

I am glad I don’t have daughters because I have a very real fear of self-image problems and I know that girls struggle with that a lot more. (And I know that doesn’t sound quite right – glad I don’t have daughters – but I am just too scared to have to deal with it for them.) Not saying boys don’t – or won’t – but I know the kinds of pressures put on young girls to be “beautiful.” I always buried that stuff way down deep when I was younger and put up a front; I pretended I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me but as we all know, it’s not ever easy to simply ignore hurtful words.

I was bullied a little as a kid. I had curly hair and a gap between my front teeth and I was short. But I made up for my shortcomings in other ways. I was really fast and really smart and – as I recall – kind of funny. But I was never fashionable and I guess sort of a dork so there was always a cool kid who made fun of me. I grew up and fixed those things but I still don’t think I am an attractive person. But when you have kids, you have to convey a certain level of confidence. Kids are  eerily perceptive so I think it’s important that I do this.

I put on a pair of jeans this morning and they fit me really well. Hugged my curves in good ways and actually felt a little looser in certain areas, thanks to running. I put on a pair of brown Merrells I got off Ebay and a green shirt and looked in the mirror. I felt pretty put-together and thought about what Elliot said. It was a rare moment for me to feel like I’m not totally hideous. In fact, I was actually happy about the way I looked. I shall carry that with me and use it to bolster that confidence so my boys can grow up comfortable with who they are. I learned something new about myself and I owe it in part to my four year old son and his kind words.

Happy List/Talk To Us Tuesday – Thanksgiving memories

I’m going to deviate from the traditional Happy List for a moment here to reminisce. I have to; I’m feeling nostalgic.

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It’s dreary today and North Florida/Southern Alabama has this look about it that feels washed out. Picture long low cotton fields all culled over against a gray sky backdrop, framed in by an even grayer asphalt road. I recall so many seemingly endless car trips to Dothan, Alabama when I was a kid that looked just like this. We always drove through Tallahassee on our way and each time, it was raining.  Just like right now.

But even amidst the rain, I remember feeling very content and happy being at my grandparents’ house. We were usually the first of the families to arrive. My aunt and uncle and their kids from South Florida got there later, as well as my Knetucky Uncle and my Georgia Aunt and her husband and children. We used to have a joke about how the cousins who came from our same neck of the woods were usually late but I mean, who is late to a holiday gathering, really? I mean, there is no deadline; just everyone come and we’ll be together. If all of my father’s siblings came then the house was full to the brim. I can only recall one year when every single cousin and aunt/uncle was there. We had to pile three wide on the pull out couches and all the spare bedrooms were full. One year, my Uncle Hal and his wife stayed in my Papa’s camper, which I swear to you never left the concrete slab in the backyard EVER.

The things that made me happiest were: all the chatting amongst my family members, gathered around the long dark brown kitchen table, some nuts and candies in bowls on the table to snack on while Papa told old stories of co-workers and neighbours when they lived in Miami. Also, the smells. My Mema stirring the creamed corn in a skillet, shredding chicken at the counter and putting the unusables into an old oyster bucket for the dogs out back. Not their dogs but the neighbour’s hunting dogs that my grandparents fed scraps to. Out on their back porch, my Papa smoked a brisket and boiled peanuts. In the den, uncles and children watched football; the sounds of the age-old announcers were the soundtrack to Thanksgiving. People drifted off to sleep in the recliners while women put out place settings in the dining room.

We had a kid’s table, of course, but we usually didn’t talk much; I think we were all listening to the adults instead. The food was delectable as always: turkey, brisket, field peas, chicken and dumplings, giblet gravy, candied yams, creamed corn, and rolls. All of it mouthwatering and we stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t stand it anymore. And when we were done, we simply threw a tablecloth over it all so we could come back in a few hours and scavenge. Feeling filled, we pulled on coats and headed outside. They lived right next to a church with a playground and big open field so we played on the swings or the slides or picked up pecans to gather in our coat pockets. As children, untainted by the pressures of the adult world, this vacation from school and the family gathering made us happier than our small vocabularies could express.

I miss those days. My grandparents are dead now and we’ve sold their house. I will probably never go to Dothan again, unless we end up having a family reunion there and I actually manage to attend. But when Ash and I talk about having more kids and he gives me the “big family gatherings” speech, I think about much those trips meant to me and just how insanely happy I feel when I think back on them. And maybe having more kids is the right choice because future holidays will be so full of people and love and fun. I don’t really know if we’ll have any more but the idea is there, in the back of my mind… always.