Wednesday, November 30, 2011

6 more to go....

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss was my fourth book in my "marathon" reading list.  I finished it over Thanksgiving and very much enjoyed the story.  The main character Leo (who is also the author of the History of Love) is an old, ornery man whose love for Alma (childhood sweetheart) is so felt throughout this book.  The love of these two begins during World War II and although it is not talked of, horrific/devastating losses to both these people are felt during the story.  The other main character in the book is a young teen whose name also happens to be Alma (her parents named her after the Alma in the book History of Love).  This young lady is entertaining and I enjoyed the way in which the author wrote her chapters in almost list forms with dates and numbers as an organizational tool for the younger Alma's chapters.  I won't say much more because I don't want to give too much away, but Leo and the young Alma's stories are entwined.  It was a good read, not the happiest of stories, but I think one of true love. 

I am now off to read John Adams by David McCullough- book club book so doesn't help my book marathon due to finish at the end of February (6 more to go).  So far I'm 70 pages into this mamoth book and actually finding myself enjoying it quite readily.  My goal is to have it done by X-mas break, but unsure if that is unrealistic (736 pages of unrealistic :)- you know ChattyNatty- she's got to have goals.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mommy's project: leading

So i was challenged by this week' mommy's project topic- Leading...

So I do what I do best a few random thoughts on leading.

I found a site dedicated to National Women's Hall of Fame.
Here is a little blurb from their site to engage you.
Showcasing Great Women. . . Inspiring All!

Welcome to the National Women's Hall of Fame - the home of inspiration, innovation and imagination. We invite you to learn more about our work and find out how, together, we can honor great women of today and yesterday, while shaping the leaders of tomorrow. Thank you for helping us carry our mission of "Showcasing Great Women...Inspiring All!" from Seneca Falls to the world.

There are 247 women inducted into this hall of fame- here is the mission of the hall.

At the National Women’s Hall of Fame, our mission all day, every day is “Showcasing great women…Inspiring all!”

We are achieving our mission in a variety of ways while preserving our historical roots through the induction of great women into the Hall of Fame.  Our comprehensive programming and multiple organizational venues give potential members and supporters several ways to become engaged with the Hall and the Inductees, both now and in the future.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is at a dynamic evolutionary place in its history.  We are excited about its potential, but most excited about the expansiveness of our vision and its anticipated impact upon women’s lives—past, present and future.

Now onto my randomness. So as I said I was having a hard time thinking of what to write about leading. It hit me as I was responding to another mommy's project blog that "as moms
we are leaders everyday to our kids" Our kids look to us for leadership daily. Some days we are great leaders and some days we are crappy leaders. Just writing that makes me realize how I impact my children on a daily basis. Wouldn't it be best if I daily chose to be a great leader (mom) and not a crappy one.

If one day my kids were to choose me for national hall of fame leader I know I had done right!1

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey trot

We started this morning off with our first- hopefully annual- 5K family fun walk/run. The kids had fun wearing the turkey hats and turkey shirts. We ended the walk/run with a family breakfast. It was a cool morning but everyone survived the weather and had smiles on their faces. So thankful for the great family I have. Happy thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunny day before Thanksgiving Run

So yesterday I was feeling down due to poor food intake, but today was a different day. I woke up and enjoyed breakfast, by-passing the mini chocolate donughts- thank you very much! I went for a late morning run (11:23) to be precise- much later than my normal morning runs. I wondered how the run was going to go due to this change from my normal early a.m. Schedule. Well it went well- the sun was shining, hardly any wind, and my playlist today was a change up. I love Christmas songs/music so I ran the whole time listening and smiling to great holiday tunes. I didn't even mind the adds because they too were a reminder of the season "Black Friday". I think listening to x-mas tunes just might get me through a December of running. Try it if you need a pick me up and love reliving your life via listening to holiday tunes. The run went by fast despite it not being a speed run. Great precurser to Thanksgiving day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Naughty, Naughty.. Falling off the wagon

So I ran into a friend today and she preceeded to tell me how after our last book club meeting she was motivated by my "pushing it hard" in regard to running. So she ran three days in a row increasing her mileage each day and trying to "push it". Well by the 3rd day after running she felt so horrible she layed around the house the rest of the day not feeling like eating or doing much of anything. She decided not to emulate me any further.

I laughed and told her the following.

Last night I I went to the gym at 6 pm and rode spin bike for ten miles followed by arms and abs 10 minute work out. I went home helped get things packed for turkey day travels, showered and read to kids before sitting down to dinner at 8:15 pm. My dinner consisted of baked chicken nuggets, fries, beer and to cap it all off 2 regular sized Reese's PB cups.

I'm not a great role model. Now I do like pushing myself and putting crazy goals out there for me, but I fail heavily in the nutrition aspect. I kept thinking last night as I was eating my WT dinner that my friend Trudy would not partake in my kind of post workout meal (she is probably one of the healthiest eaters I know). Now I like fruits, veggies and lean cuts of meat (sorry don't do fish). But I also like candy, cookies (thanks to mother inlaw I have had probably 10 turkey sugar cookies since we saw them Sunday), hot dogs, chips, beer, and wine, etc, etc. This past week has been piss poor in regards to my eating.

So I finished by telling my friend that I'm glad I enjoy working out but wish I could get a grip on my eating and be as goal oriented about that. I know it is all about moderation, but as you probably have figured out I don't do much of anything in moderation- All or Nothing- my motto. Don't worry I'm not going to swear off pumpkin pie or pecan pie this turkey day, but I do look forward to running off all those turkey day calories.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Mommy's Project: Organizing

Organizing is something I use to think I was good at.  Then over time I realized I'm not really that good at organizing, but I am good at moving things from one pile to another.  I don't know if it is the fact that I'm thirty-five (half way to 70) or what, but lately I've just really been wanting to clean up my life.  This includes organizing things better.  You say "like what", and I say "where to begin"...

My basement is truly a basement- it has poor lighting, minimal windows (just one sliding glass door  to walk out patio, and is constantly in a clutter.  Organizing the basement would be a great start to making the space more enjoyable to spend time in, but I start the organization process, but never seem to finish it. 

"Aha!- that is what I am- a half-ass Organizer!  I purge and move things around, but never really organize the area.  Along with the basement would be my closet/wardrobe.  I've started the process and have two piles of clothes that need to go to Goodwill, but haven't finished the organizing.  I still don't have all my summer outfits put away and all of my winter sweaters out.  So of course I'm not making the most out of my wardrobe, which is another way in which I think organizing the closet/wardrobe would help me.  I have a lot of clothes, but sometimes feel like I'm constantly wearing the same thing over and over and over again. 

Organizing my life would of course include organizing my time better.  I need to look at my back post of the book about how to manage your week, not just your day, and by looking at how I'm spending time, maybe that would be a help to organizing my time better. 

Organizing my office at work would be another big endeavor.  I tear out all of these articles thinking that I will get to them and read them, but I don't seem to get to it and so the piles of unread articles keep piling up.  Along with the articles are papers that I haven't looked at in years, yet I'm fearful one day I just my need that college paper on this and that to help me with my current project, etc.  I know, I know, dump it and move  on and that would be a great step at  organizing my work space and hopefully also organizing my work time. 

So what to do- well I think getting a project done, even if it takes all day, would be a fine step, but then I feel guilty, because while I'm doing all of this organization what am I missing- what are my kids doing while I take all day to organize the basement?  If they are in the basement while I'm trying to organize you know what will happen- toys will be out, tears will be shed about that toy or this toy being put up for adoption at Goodwill.  So do you ship your kids off with friends, family, hubby for the afternoon and miss out on family time.  Oh the fun of being a mom and constantly feeling like you are on a see saw.  I think first step for me is to get my organization priority list made and try to conquer what I can.  If any of you have great organizational tools or ideas I'm all ears.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Florida 5K

Today my friend Trudy and ran our first 5k together and it was our first race in Florida. It was organized through our American Heart Association conference. It was a humid morning run but was my fastest 5k to date. 25:12 (8:08 min/mile). It feels like my running/speed work may be getting there. Now if I could only run that pace for a 1/2 or full marathon. Was great fun to experience this race with another one of my best buds and running gals.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mommy's Project: nap time

I love the way my children look when they sleep. My oldest doesn't really nap anymore, and if he does we only let him sleep for 45 min or less. Otherwise we have issues with him getting to sleep at bedtime- like his mom.

My youngest doesn't nap everyday but definitely needs her nap time some days. She enjoys her loveys as you can see. Nap time is a needed time for all of us. It allows me to have some down time myself. Both kids have become accustom to my "you don't have to nap but you have to rest" line.

I myself don't nap much but every once in awhile, Sundays mainly, I will tell hubby I'm going up to read in bed and will maybe get a few pages read before nodding off. I try to set my clock so I don't sleep longer than an hour or else I have horrible time going to bed. Nap time is a needed thing for all. Rest time too.

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Not your normal Nov Sat AM run

I'm in Orlando, Fl for American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference. I haven't ran longer than 6 miles since Chicago. I've run, don't get me wrong. I've just not done a longer distance.

So I ran 8 miles in sunny 52 degree weather. Above are some of the sites I took in while running. It was a good run despite having to do a mile on grass/road when no cars were coming at me :). I'm looking forward to a couple more runs in the Florida sun. Wish my sis and BRB, heck any of my running peeps, could've been with me on my run this morning. I wasn't naked for this one and enjoyed listening to my Chicago marathon playlist while running. What a great way to start a morning.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Book 3

Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Is the 3rd book in my marathon of books reading. I read her first book The Historian and loved it. This book was different but amazing in it's own way. It is a mystery, love story, and art history tied into 561 pages. This book proves my "just because a book is long doesn't mean it will take long to read" theory.

I am amazed at the beautiful words in this story and her writing and way in which her details paint such a clear picture of what is happening. She really brought the story to life.

This story also reminded me of what little I know about art. The art style focused on in this book was Impressionism: Monet, Manet, etc. I am a huge fan of this period of art work. However, she talked about artists I didn't know about and women artist from that period. It makes me want to go and visit the art institute in Chicago and really look at art differently, more purposefully.

This book was quite enjoyable and I'm so glad I read it.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Running Naked

I've got your attention don't I.  This is a figurative title.  I ran this a.m.  I was suppose to run with some girls for our second Saturday planned morning run. 

Side note: After running the marathon I thought one way to stay motivated  with running during the winter was by organizing some group runs.  Last week there were four of us at the running store ready to run 5 miles. I think all the girls had a great time and we all ran the same pace.

This Saturday one thing or another came up for some of the girls who said they'd be there and I was alone.  However, I wasn't just alone I was naked- I had no watch, IPOD or BRB.  It was quiet, dark and the only thing I really had with me was my headlamp.  I really never run in silence because I either run with music, podcasts, or chatter with BRB.  However, it wasn't all that bad.  I did the run in 48 minutes and started was home by 7 a.m.  Now I'm not going to try and make a habit of this running NAKED, because I hope to have either my music or BRB keeping me company. I do know that I can run 5 miles with nothing but my arms and legs pushing me forward.  I'd be interested to know how many of you run NAKED.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Running Motivation

I don't really feel like I need much motivation lately to run these days- I actually feel a little uneasy if I'm not running.  However, I do feel like I'm not running the miles I was when training, which happens to all of us, but more so I feel like I've lost the other motivations that came with training- eating right, stretching, and pushing myself during the runs.  So I found it helpful to look at Healthy Tipping Point's post on Motivation for running- she too is struggling- she is struggling to "Get out There"- which again isn't the problem, but if I'm going to get "out there" might as well make it worth it.  Here is what I did for a little motivation:- thanks Healthy Tipping Point  Also I listened to two podcasts of Another Mother Runner on my drive back from a meeting yesterday and that inspired me also.  Their first topic was Kill the Hill and the second wasn't motivational, but was amusing and showed me another way to get creative with running- Costumes to Run In.  Kill The Hill was great and my favorite line from that podcast was about how running hills, for almost all of us, is our best running form- forced strides, leaning into the hills, swinging arms to move forward- not just letting your feet do the "running".  Hill Intervals will be another way I want to conquer the whole "not running fast enough".  The other part of the Kill the Hill podcast I could relate to was the "false flats"- it happens to me quite frequently when I'm running- when you are running and it is such a slow incline you don't notice, but then you turn around and realize- "I was running up a really, really, really long hill.  Yep we've all been there- those jump out and bite you!


O.k.- I love this quote- and wish oh wish I had abs like that :) Oh yeah- she is about 10 years younger than me and probably has never had kids. 

Would like to add to the end of this quote or TIME WITH MY BRB!



O.k. I'm ready for my run tomorrow are you?

Mommy''s Project: Fixing

Fixing- So many different words, thoughts come to mind.  Here is the best I can come up with- being ChattyNatty- sharing them all :).

Fixing Dinner, Fixing the Car (again not exactly me fixing it- but taking it to the dealership), Fixing the kid's lunch, Fixing the hem on a costume that is way too long and my daughter keeps catching her foot in the hem, Fixing the Christmas Dinner... the Easter Dinner... the Thanksgiving Dinner, Fixing the mess I made when I decided to clean up the basement storage room, Fixing the mess I made when I inserted my big foot in my mouth again, Fixing the bathtub's plunger that won't go back down, Fixing the lawn after it has been attacked by Grubs (seriously ripping up grass that is killed from grubs has to be one of the all time going to make me gag  "when I see the grubs under the grass" memories of my life). Fixing the fight I started with the hubby over who knows what, Fixing the fish tank after it has set for 3 months with water in it, no fish, and no working filter, Fixing my hair- total bed head- before heading out for a run in the a.m., Fixing my make-up (o.k. who am I kidding- I maybe throw on lipstick these days), Fixing myself a bowl of ice cream, Fixing _____ Fixing_____ Fixing______ ( you fill in the blanks).