Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's time.

Sixteen weeks until marathon #2.

Official training starts on Monday.

I wish I could say I'm thrilled, but I'm not.

I have enjoyed the last four months: dropping in the gym when the urge hit, exercising for enjoyment, sleeping in until 6:30, running slow, running short, hitting the carton of Breyer's Vanilla Bean instead of the black asphalt.

It's been sweet relief.

Soon, that all comes to an end and

I will begin the most monotonous and exhausting thing I have ever known.

So, why do it?

As a fellow runner explained, "If you have to ask, you will never understand. It is something only those select few know. Those who put themselves through pain, but know, deep down, how good it really feels."

So, for the next 4 months, I will train- tempo runs, long runs, fartleks, shin splints, knee aches, icing, protein shakes, glucosamine, ibuprofen, and a few tears.

In the end it will be worth it. I've experienced the runner's high many times, but never more than the moment I finished 26.2 miles.

I can't wait to do it again.

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep." -Robert Frost

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hand-me-down Halloween

We're ready for Halloween around here.

After pulling out my Halloween Decorations, Cal and Elle came across some costumes from Halloweens past.

They've decided that Frankenstein and Woof Boy are going to be there costumes of choice and I am thrilled.

Hand-me-down costumes will save me about $75!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

School Lunch Ideas

In my attempt to reform the diets of my children, I gave up the convenience of a hot school lunch for a healthy, made-at-home alternative.

My kids have always loved buying school lunch, but since it is impossible for me to know exactly what is in the food that the kids are eating (Trust me, I tried.), I decided to start making their lunches this year.

I've found some great additions to their brown bags.

Some of our favorites:
  • Horizon organic chocolate and vanilla milk boxes
  • Capri Sun juice pouches (no longer contain High Fructose Corn Syrup!)
  • All Natural Pop Chips
  • Organic PB and all-natural, organic jam
  • Whole wheat bread w/out artificial ingr. or preservatives (EVERY loaf at my closest grocery store contains these, so I get bread at Fresh and Easy. Omega 3 seed and Sprouted Wheat are my favorites!)
  • Organic Valley cheese sticks
  • Cookie cutters for sandwiches
  • Clifbar Zbars and Twisted Fruit Ropes (My kids love these for lunches and snacks and I like them for long runs.)
To make the lunches more fun, check out these items: order to avoid an all-out revolt, I allow the kids to choose one day a week to eat a school lunch. They love going through the menu and picking out their favorite day.

Here's to healthy kiddos!

Just for fun, if you want to see some school lunches from around the world, go here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hitchin' a Ride

I'm not the only one lucky to have him in my life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall Saturday Mornings

Official soccer season has begun.

Three games at the same time made for one hectic Saturday morning.

Elle didn't have much contact with the ball, but perfected the art of running up and down the field.

Cal faked "dizziness" and managed to sit out half of the game.

Max honed his favorite skill, the "fake-out" and scored three goals. (Shhh...he gets $1/per more thing I said I'd never do as a parent.)

And...I got a great workout running from one field to another.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Her Honor...

She sang it , the words softening into a whisper. “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair…” She laid her head down and drifted off to sleep, the last dose of Morphine pulling her away into dreamland.

For the last 6 months, I had been trying to wrap my head around the idea of life without my mom. She was dying. Her cancer had spread and her once vigorous fight had become a slow waiting game. The three people she had spent her adult life taking care of had become her caregivers.

My dad, my sister, and I came together as a team to walk her through the last months of her life. They were filled with surgery, dr. appointments, chemotherapy, pain control, planning how to live, and finally…planning how to die.

As I sat with my mom one summer afternoon, a pen and pad of paper in hand, we outlined the details of her funeral. “What music do you want to be played?” My mom listed off all of her favorites, from Cat Stevens to Linda Ronstadt. When she thought of San Francisco, she lit up. I knew she loved that song and it would be perfect. The planning went on and she grew tired. As I sat there in silence with her, I thought of the past few months’ events and how they had led us to this place, my mom’s hand in mine, watching her peacefully sleep, while I wrote, “She doesn’t want any sad songs at the funeral.”

How did I get here? How could I do this?

I thought back at all of the ways how, instead of drowning in our own sorrow, my family had found the strength and courage to do whatever it took to make my mom comfortable and at peace. It was hard to see her suffer, both physically and emotionally. My mom was our protector and I knew it had to be excruciating for her to helplessly watch us experience such grief and pain.

Those eight months were the most difficult of my life, but they were the most poignant.
We were the only three people in the room when my mom took her last breath. And…as traumatic and difficult as those moments were, an unexplainable bond was formed between the three of us. We shared a life altering experience in that room on September 8, 2007 and I will


be the same.

I look back now and see myself going through the motions, almost controlled by something else. It was more surreal than anything I’ve ever known. My dad, sister, and I will often ask each other, “How did we do that?” But, we know. We did it for her. For 33 years she was always there when I needed her. She was more than what she had to be. From her husband and from her daughters,

she deserved

nothing less



Mom, I hope we did you proud.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Always Thinkin'

According to Max, "The chicks dig a sweet mustache."

Man, I love this kid.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Letter to the President

Dear President Obama,

In the midst of much controversy concerning your upcoming speech, I , as an educator and parent, thank you for addressing the students of this country as to the importance of working hard and staying in school.

Yesterday, a letter came home from our neighborhood school giving parents the option of not viewing Tuesday’s speech. At first glance, I snickered and set the paper down. Then, I quickly picked it back up and re-read the letter, confused that I must have missed something. Why would I not want my children to hear the President of the United States tell them how important education is in their lives?

I have long admired your tough-love, pick yourself up from your bootstraps approach to raising and educating our children.

No excuses. Work hard. No excuses.

Sure, I disagree with you on teacher merit pay and expanding charter schools. And… I may or may not agree with you on health care, taxes, or domestic policy, but if you want to tell my kiddos to get good grades, set goals, go to college…please, have at ’em!

And…Don’t you worry, Mr. President. (assume sarcasm here.) If you try to get sly and attempt to brainwash my munchkins with your socialist mumbo jumbo, I’ll be quick to step in. They've warned me about you, Mr. President. I even hear that if I play your speech backward, I may hear, “Socialism Now” and “Capitalism is dead”!! So, don't try it, Mister. Please, stick to the subject at hand.

Remind my children of their potential. Remind them how fortunate they are to be born in a country of endless educational opportunity. Ask them, not if they are going to go to college, but where are they going to go to college. These are things I tell my children everyday, but it certainly can’t hurt to hear them from their president!

And, since we’re talking education here, Mr. President. Can you please treat teachers as the professionals that they are and finally, make changes to pay them a decent and respectable salary? Each day, we parents, hand over our children into the care of these individuals and what they do with them is truly miraculous.

Your friend and constituent,

To go directly to the US Department of Education’s page, go here.
To read Obama’s speech on education given in March 2009, go here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Last Getaway of the Summer

My bicycle man abandoned me and spent the last couple of weeks riding up and down the mountains of Park City. This weekend I was lucky enough to join him on his turf, where he spent years traversing these hills on a snowboard and bike. We hiked two mountains, went on a great scenic run, did the required alpine slide, visited the Sunday farmer's market, and ate at some great local cafes. And...if someday, a miracle happens, and the snow ceases to fall in this town, I may make it my home.