Monday, January 30, 2017

Morning Genius

This morning I found myself acting like a cat to get my older boys out of bed.

I literally was meowing, batting their heads and arms with my pretend paws, and rubbing my head on their back.

I was trying to mix it up from the songs I had been creating.  I am a pretty awful singer, but I love to belt out random lyrics with drama to wake my kids.

Think inspirational show tunes that involve metaphors for life with sailboats and wind.

(Yes, these are ORIGINAL songs.  I realize I might be sitting on a multi-million dollar wake-up-your- kids music market here.)

Aiden hates them, Cole loves them.

If my children mostly remember me freaking out with a wooden spoon and yelling about towels on the floor, I hope my show tunes and the morning I acted like a cat to get them out of bed somehow stick too.

I really feel these random moments are my strength as a mother.

I'm desperately searching for ways to use my other strengths.

Or discover my other strengths.

I'm not sure if you are living under a rock or not, but if you are I am going to let you in on something.

Things out in the real world are tense and stressful right now.

The sense of the sky falling, real or not, is a lot of pressure for those of us that worry and fret and feel we will never do or be enough to help so we freeze in fear.

The information sorting and fact checking and dealing with everyone's emotions has been too much lately for me.  I'm not good at it.  Mostly I have been forced to retreat and read a lot less of the Facebook articles posted and say a lot of prayers.

It's admittedly not the best strategy for world changing, but is excellent for my sense of pretend sanity.

Since the beginning of the year (and possibly beginning of my adulthood,) I have been sorting through what I really want to do with myself and my time.

I have found I am really doing a great job attending those barre classes I love.  My commitment to 5 times a week to work toward a new, fit Leslie is strong and progressing.

(Down one pants size....clean eating plus barre will be BIG changes for you folks if you want it.)

Unfortunately, Alex doesn't view my desire to attend barre classes as an appropriate reason to have regular childcare for Max, which may put a kink in my frequency of class attendance.

I carefully described that there is a ballet bar around the room which makes me believe I am a ballet dancer, and that I have new workout clothes.

He was unmoved.

He may have a point.

I need to figure something out.

During the month of December I took a contract project for my favorite fair trade, socially conscious jewelry and accessories company, Noonday Collection.  It involved me writing some training for their upcoming sales conference.

It was a bit chaotic for me with the holiday happenings, but I LOVED having a project to work on like that. I love the company, I love the idea of talking to women about how to improve their businesses and working on personal growth, and I really loved having consistent childcare for Max so that I could work in exercise and some adult tasks.

I just finished that project last Saturday by speaking in front of 300 plus people for an hour.  I never knew if I could do that and it scared me, but I loved it.  I loved what I was talking about, I loved the chance to teach and entertain people, and I loved buying new Anthropologie to wear for the day.

An all around win.

How do I do that more?

I could do without the speaking on stage part constantly, but the rest filled such a hole I have had.

Who would like to hire me to talk to you?  To inspire you?

Is this a job?

Do you think I could wear Anthropologie or my fun workout apparel?

Obviously there are some holes here for me.

In the meantime I am reading.  I am pretending I have to do it for my "job."

Alex likes it when I pretend to work, but don't actually earn income.

He especially likes it when I buy things for my pretend job, like books or a pretty new bag that could hold my laptop for when I go to meetings or Starbucks to get some pretend work done.  It's important to have the right tools.

My current book is titled, "You Are A Badass..." by Jen Sincere.

I'm only 54 pages in to my journey to "badass" but I just know I'm going to be amazing by the end of this book.

I bet I'll be able to act like a cat every morning to wake my kids.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Recap and The Restart

How fitting that my last post was titled, "We Have Now Entered The Crazy Time."

Here we are almost two months later and I am finally starting to write again.

Crazy indeed.

We had a great holiday season.

All is well.

All was well.

All's well that ends well.

You get it.

It was good. It's done.  I'm really happy to be done.

We did and went so much that my head nearly exploded.

True story.

Not really, but my head felt like it was going to metaphorically explode many times in the last two months.

We had a great Thanksgiving.


(In case the all caps lettering was not direct enough, I would appreciate any accolades you can muster for me for this level of detaching and being "in the moment" like all those Facebook articles tell me I need to be.  They never mention the downside of having no proof that you were "in the moment" because there was no way to capture it and post it so everyone on social media knows about my "in the moment" moment, therefore making it true.  Technology IS tough.)

I turned FORTY!

Alex and I went to NYC for my fortieth and were super hip and cool.

(Hip and cool not captured in above photo.)

It was so great to get away and live a totally different life for a few days.  We rented a small studio apartment with the subway running right under us and enjoyed an alley cat's meows all night long.  We were super urban, though not well rested.

Our favorite place we visited was the NYC Public Library so perhaps our hip and cool vibe were weaker than I like to think?

My big takeaways from the trip were:

1. 40 is going to awesome!
2. What the hell am I really doing with my life?  I should hurry before I die.
3. I am so glad I don't have little kids in the city.  It looked like a total pain.
4. I don't like constant crowds and sound.  Personal space is AMAZING.
5.  I really, really love Alex.  He's still my favorite person and he's pretty to look at.

Christmas break was actually pretty enjoyable.  Long breaks from school and routine are not my jam, but this one went well!

I started a severe addiction to barre classes and am going at least 5 times a week.

If you aren't familiar with barre, it's sort of like pilates, but you pretend to be a ballet dancer in your head and tuck your hips and butt a lot.  My description may not be used in any marketing materials soon, but I stand by it.

I'm not that great at it, but I love going and I just know that my ass is going to be phenomenal as soon as I can stop rewarding myself with Starbucks chai tea lattes post workout.

And maybe I should skip the morning buns too.  Maybe.

In my new found fitness strength I participated in the "over 16" rollerskating race at the roller rink when I took my kids before Christmas...and WON...

third place!

I don't want to brag or anything, but that's a medal in the Olympics.

The above photo is me trash talking the lady next to me before the race.

Or I was telling her to promise not to laugh at me.

I can't remember.

I beat her though and that is the important thing.


Christmas break meant there was a decent amount of errand running with my kids. The last few years have been really miserable with all four out in public while trying to complete a task, but this break was OK.

We are at the point where Max can be entertained destroying stuff under the supervision of his siblings and I can race around the store buying things before anything is so messed up that we would owe damages.

This is the cute scene I came back to after 15 minutes spent talking to the super enthusiastic REI employee about bikes.  He really, really knew a lot about bikes.

I just wanted a $100 gift card.

Christmas itself was delightful and relaxing.

Unfortunately, Alex and I suffered some sort of seizure and bought Cole two mice, but otherwise it was a successful year of gift giving and togetherness.

The Christmas pajamas never disappoint.

I'm not sure what is going on with the vein in my neck in this photo, but it probably is a factor in my ability to make a decision to bring rodents in to our home as pets.

Is anyone reading a doctor and concerned about this?

This was the first year that any of our children stayed up past midnight for New Years Eve.  I barely can handle staying up past midnight myself so it was not my favorite part of the break, but overall I can't really complain...I did get to watch that Mariah Carey train wreck performance and I like to think that was worth some sleep deprivation.

Now we are back to school and I am feeling wonderful!  There is nothing better than the return to the routine after a long break.  It thrills me.

Remember my New Year's resolutions from last year?

You can read my post from last year here.

If you are too lazy to click on that link, the list was:

1. Organize House
2. Go on Walks
3. Write

I felt so buried in Max that these were as ambitious as I could get.  I truly felt I was stretching myself to write at all, to organize my house at all, and for the love of bacon I dreamed of taking a walk. A walk!

It's just where I was.

I'm not there anymore.

I love moving forward!

I haven't written my 2017 resolutions or goals yet, but I added on and organized the hell out of my house in 2016.  I walked (sporadically) and then by the end of 2016 I started a 5 time a week exercise program.

Writing.  It's always what I want to do more of, but I did some writing in 2016.  I didn't do my big goal with it, but perhaps that's where I will start this year?  I feel I did what I could with my writing last year and this year I can do more.

Happy 2017 everyone!

Thanks for reading!