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The Third Birthday That Almost Wasn’t

I’ve gotten good at living in the moment and appreciating every day as if it might be my last, each milestone a cause for pause and celebration no matter how small. I turned another year older in January which marks the third birthday that almost wasn’t. What a year it’s been on so many fronts.

Being published brings a new level of insanity I had no idea awaited me. Promoting a book is more demanding work than creating the story in the first place. The editing process was a whirlwind and consumed most of the holidays. Now we are neck deep in blog tours and article writing and cross promoting and networking and planning the unofficial release party at LTUE next week. I did more writing in January than any January on record but the majority of production was NOT on my current novel. How to keep up with everything and still continue to produce the next book has become the latest thing I need to learn. Regardless, I wouldn’t trade the experience and the thrill for anything. I have an author page on Amazon. Seriously. Amazon. I still wake up sometimes and forget it is real. I’m published.

This year also brought me a new association of authors and thrust me into the non-profit world. It is an amazing group and my closest friends from my writing group are part of it. Bonus! The group happened to put together a lunch on my birthday. But, I have a demanding day job so I couldn’t make a Wednesday lunch work. I was sad, but that’s life and the day job pays for it so what can you do? Unexpectedly, my calendar opened up and I had the afternoon free so I took it off to celebrate my birthday. It was the perfect lunch full of tiaras, signing each others books, group photos, selfies and raucous conversation certain to make fellow diners uncomfortable. “How many does he have?” “Did she leave him?” “I had to kill her off last night.” I’m certain the fifteen of us all talking over one another was like a tornado in an otherwise subdued setting. We hadn’t all been together since before the holidays and it was a loud reunion. It was the perfect start to my birthday. I sat there in the midst of award winning authors, successful editors, non-profit founders, a lawyer and just plain powerful writers all brought together because of our love of writing. I marvel that they had become my people. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

I came home to my new business cards in the mail. I’m official! Everything is moving at the speed of light careening me deeper into this life of my dreams. It still feels surreal. If this birthday had been stolen from me back in 2011, none of this would have happened.

2015-01-21 15.55.40

For my birthday I got a sparkly “Birthday Girl” tiara from one of my friends. It started with a mention and snowballed into a new thing we do. Writing fueled by a tiara on your head. All the most bad-ass chick writers I know are doing it. Enough of us we’ve formed a collective. I may or may not have more than one. I’ll never tell! Maybe this is the key to figuring out how to promote and create at the same time. (How did I ever write in solitude before?)

The best and most freeing part of this birthday that almost never was is owning the new number proudly. I am forty-three. Something about being faced with the real possibility of never seeing the number get bigger than thirty-nine makes it much more of a celebration to see forty-three. It is liberating not giving a shit what the number is. So many people cringe at the thought of disclosing their true age. I say own it – the alternative to that number getting bigger as we get older is far, far worse. I know FORTY THREE never felt better. I’m loving every minute of this stolen year I am grateful to be celebrating. Here’s to many more to come!


Birth of a gym rat and Ragnar training

It’s official… I’m a regular at the gym.  I’m in love with running so much that I’ve gone and made it a habit that has me working out six days a week – every week!  I have a personal trainer who has helped me incorporate strength training and I found a yoga class that I love.  With Ragnar training just around the corner, which will be even more challenging than my half marathon training program I did last fall, this is very good news.  And with my new heart rate monitor – which I obsess about now way too much – I can be scientifically sure of exactly what my efforts are providing.  If I decide to run fast and not care what my heart rate is doing, then I know I have to refuel mid-run because I’m not burning fat – but I’m building cardio endurance instead.  If I decide to be disciplined and stay within my fat-burning zones I can go longer without refueling but it is more frustrating to run slower so I hate it.  (Nothing ever makes me happy I guess!)

So, here’s my gym schedule:

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – short run (2-3 miles) or cross train plus weights
Wednesday – mid-range run (4-5 miles)
Thursday – short run plus weights
Friday – mid-range run
Saturday – short run plus yoga
Sunday – long run – at least 8 miles

As Ragnar training ramps up, the distances will increase but the schedule will remain the same.  Since Ragnar is a relay race where each runner has to run three times over the course of two days, towards the middle there will be days where my long run is split into three separate runs of shorter distances so you get used to having to run multiple times in a day.  The Ragnar slogan is: Run, Drive, Sleep, Repeat. 

I am so excited and so committed to being successful at Rangar I’m not doing a half marathon before like I had originally planned.  Okay, and I couldn’t find one that didn’t conflict with Big Sister’s dance competition schedule this spring. Grrrrr Who knew that I’d have a sport that competed with my kid’s sport but I love it!  Hubby started running yesterday – something he thought he couldn’t do again after a back injury and an ACL replacement – and is also gearing up for Ragnar.  I’m so excited to be doing it together!

I can’t lie… Amidst all this excitement and commitment, I’m a little intimidated about Ragnar, too.  Because I like downhill WAY more than uphill, I selected a spot that has more downhill but that means I have longer distances.  When it is all said and done, I will have run 21 miles in the 48 hours of the race.  Practically a full marathon!  So, time to get the game face on and start training strong. I’m proof that anyone can be a runner – since I’m still a bit on the heavier side of my ideal weight (I could stand to lose about 30 more pounds) but I can run 10 miles on any given Sunday!  Just pick a goal and stick with it, right?  RIGHT!


Oh so true

“My inner child is a mean little fucker” … my new favorite bumper sticker!


Diabetes sucks – week 30

Diabetes sucks so thank god I don’t have it!  My follow-up blood tests came back normal but because my levels had been high at least once, my doctor ordered me to go for some diabetes education which I did early last week.  In addition to finding out the ‘how’ of eating to maintain balanced glucose levels, I inherited a glucometer in order to monitor my levels. Considering the strong history of diabetes in my gene pool (both Mom and Dad have it plus fraternal Grandma and Grandpa – yikes!) I was very interested in gathering data.  Many of my obsessive (and sometimes irritating to others) habits in the last couple of years are direct results from my vow to never get this awful condition.  I spent a few days testing my sugar every few hours and gathering data – us problem-solvers by nature LOVE data!  Now that I am armed with education and seeing how the food choices I make actually correspond to my blood sugar levels, I am feeling less worried about what is happening to baby and confident I can maintain the normal levels I’ve had the last week of monitoring.  With the education, I am now also armed with how I can still eat in moderation some of the things I am craving without it impacting baby in any way.  She should be happy about that, too!

The amount of time I have left is starting to get real for me.  I had some friends over on Saturday and everyone was asking to see the baby room.  Yeah, the baby room has not been transformed one ounce and it kind of hit me.  We haven’t even gotten the bassinet we are intending to use out of storage at my parent’s house yet.  If I went into labor early (which is the new worry of this stage of the game) we would be scrambling to even have a place for the poor darling to sleep.  So now I am trying to find time to put up Christmas decorations AND clear out the room designated for baby so it can be transformed.

My baby bump is ginormous and baby is constantly moving.  It is fun to interact with her and start thinking about the kind of baby she will be.  Will she be as well-behaved as her big sister who was so easy and slept through the night after 4 weeks?  I sure hope so since the alternative makes me tired just thinking about it.  I went down to our storage room and found a super nice surprise – 5 boxes of baby stuff I had packed away and we had moved 3 times without discarding.  It is surprising to me that they ended up sticking around out of nostalgia – since that was the only reason to keep them because we said we were done having kids really – especially since Daddy is not a packrat and tends to throw things out even when we might someday need them.  I guess subconsciously we both knew we weren’t done having babies?  I have tons of blankets and burp cloths and even still have a monitor and some bottles.  It was like finding treasure in the back yard and now I will have even more things to put away once the baby room IS a baby room.


Double Junior Whopper

Not many times are there 'blog worthy' moments that would warrant a post while at a concert… But there was one tonight! My sister picked me up from work early because we have General Admission lawn seating and wanted to get here before the gates opened. We hit the Burger King drive through instead of paying $10 for a slice of icky pizza. Nothing noteworthy about Burger King drive through, right? Until the following exchange took place:

“Can I get a double junior whopper?”

“Sorry, we don't have a double junior whopper”

“You have a junior whopper, right?”

“Yes”

“Well, can I get one of those and get an extra patty?”

-wait for it-

“Oh, you mean a double junior whopper?”

It was at that point we looked at each other and my smartass said “isn't that what you said?” We were cracking up so bad she could barely answer his question on whether she wanted cheese on that. I tell you, the IQ requirements are super low at Burger King these days!

OMG I just saw a guy with a mullet! (and is that marijuana I smell?!) Rock on!!

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Another 5K

Officially, this was my secomd 5K since I did Race For the Cure back in May but it didn't quite count since I couldn't do any running. No such restrictions for the 5K on the 4th of July and 25 lbs lighter this time around! It was a timed event and divided into divisions – based on age, lucky me! *wry grin* The race started at 6:15 am – it wasn't even light outside when we left! – and the weather was beautiful! I was able to run probably halfway with fast walking in between. I turned in an official time of 51:09 and was 21st in my division. I was trailing right behind the last of the runners and staying ahead of the fastest walkers which for me felt pretty damn good. Already planning another one for August with tons of time in between for training to increase my distance. Allergy season is kicking my ass but I am not letting that stop me. I heart running!!
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Social Experiments

Ever wonder just how far and fast news travels?  I have some fairly major news of a personal nature and I was initially trying to “keep a lid” on it, so to speak.  While that worked when I hadn’t told a single soul, the minute I spilled the beans to even the most trusted people, the news started spreading like wild fire.  Of course, my control-freak nature was screaming that me and me alone should be the one to disseminate this very personal information to every single person who inevitably would learn of it.  When that didn’t happen, my social animal nature decided instead to turn it into a social experiment.  I am now keeping the same news to myself but am watching with major interest to see the patterns of how and where (and how far) it spreads.  I will post the news – as well as the results of the pseudo-experiment which could really just be called an observation in human nature – in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, it is pretty entertaining stuff!  Stay tuned…  and if you are one of those who happen to fit into the category of a reader of this blog AND already know what’s up with me, please don’t spoil the fun by posting comments that could give it away?  Again, there’s my control freak nature rearing its ugly little head…


Breakthrough… Finally!

I did it-something at the start of this crazy running journey I thought I would never be able to do. I stretched and psych'ed myself up and walked out my front door, dog in tow, and started running. Fifteen minutes and a mile later I stopped running. Holy shit it felt good and truth be told I could probably have pushed myself and gone further but was on a time schedule. It was true what 'they' say: working up to being able to run the first mile straight is tough, but here's hoping the next one isn't quite as long to get under my belt. Who knows, maybe I'll do more running than walking in my next 5K on the 4th of July next weekend.
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Frustrations of Training

HCG regiment is winding down with only a week left in the stabilization period at which time I can eat starch and sugar again.  I finished the injections with a total of 24lbs lost and am wearing clothes I haven’t fit into since pre-pregnancy.  For the last two weeks I’ve been able to easily maintain the weight eating regularly again plus I’ve been able to run and really train.  I got a fabulous new personal trainer keychain – not that I’m pimping anything but if you want info on it, check out www.nextfit.com – and went away for a long weekend to a spot where there were tons of empty dirt roads where I could run every day.  Which I did, and with the help of the trainer I was able to double my endurance doing walk/jog interval training.  Was feeling fabulous the first night – even ran with the hubby – did 2 miles and was on Cloud9.  Went out the next day and knew it wasn’t a fluke because I was able to run longer distance in the same time allotment.  Fabulous!  Until the next day when I got out of bed and my foot hurt so bad I couldn’t walk on it…   Apparently I am now suffering from yet another running ailment most often caused by increasing your mileage too quickly called plantar fasciitis.  WTF?  So, I took a few days of rest and ice – more rest than ice but, still, the resting is the hardest for me to adhere to!  Went out again last night and was feeling so down afterwards!  The foot felt pretty good and was only a little tender this morning.  However, I was running with my long-time walking partner who on the outset was NOT excited about running.  Now, with what looks to me like minimal effort, she is able to run faster and longer than I am.  Of course, her long ass legs and her singer’s lungs are definitely advantages I just don’t have.  We added another friend last night who also – even on HCG and cheating at the running part – is a stronger runner than me and part of my inspiration to start running in the first place.  I felt no apprehension about her coming along knowing she was on HCG and “couldn’t” run.  But, she is not the stickler for rules I took her to be and they both kicked my trash!  We got one jog interval under our belts and I was sucking wind like a novice.  Again, WTF?  I had to cut the run short to get home to a sick child and then felt dejected all night because I couldn’t keep up.  Thoughts orbiting my head had the semi-constant theme of finding some excuse to just run by myself from now on so I don’t have the constant reminder of “you aren’t a strong runner” right next to me.  These thoughts were still there this morning when I awoke and hadn’t really faded over the morning at work.  As I sat at my desk fighting to breathe through my nose and resigning myself to the fact I just might be coming down with the head cold the rest of my household has had for the last week, a light bulb went off.  I was sucking wind last night because I am all stuffed up!!  I was all up in my head for no good reason…  I know I would miss being pushed to do my best if I gave in and ran by myself.  Besides, my book would certainly suffer since the walking intervals are devoted to plot outlining and discussion with fellow writers.  So, I’m still on the training circuit but won’t push myself until I’ve recovered from whatever has me all stuffed up.  Ah, the frustrations of training that come in so many forms!


Just need to vent

It is no secret I loathe the location of my cubicle being on the aisle because I have zero patience when it comes to all the bullshit that happens in the hallway. Two things I overheard said as folks walked by today struck me as particularly notworthy for the way they portrayed the laziness of people I am surrounded by…

“I think we should be able to schedule naps everyday.”

“I think I am going to read a book… I brought one today!”

Come on, people, REALLY? It is called “work” for a reason and in this economy, with hundreds of unemployed waiting in the wings who would kill for your job, you should PROBABLY be doing something to earn your keep. I hear reports from all over of companies trimming fat in the form of non-performers and await they day it happens at my place of employ!
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