Thursday, November 27, 2014


1. For my two children.

2. For my husband, the poor man.

3. For my health, even if it's not perfect.

4. For the miles I've run.

5. That I still have my parents and my in-laws.

6. For the roof over my head.

7. For my security.

8. That I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom...for the second time.

9. That I had my husband's support to start a second career, although it's on hold.

10. For those who allow me to be who I am, even if they don't agree.

11. For the freedom to express my beliefs.

12. For grace.

13. For freedom to worship.

14. For good therapists.

15. For my sensitivity, although it's not always a good thing.

16. For good books....and my Kindle.

17. For my snuggle buddy dogs.

18. For the food in my belly.

19. Texas.

20. And white sand beaches.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another 50 things

I had so much fun writing the first list, that I started another list right away. Enjoy.

1. Always say "please" and "thank you."

2. Don't speed through a parking lot.

3. Try a new food at least once. You just never know.

4. Do something scary.

5. Baseball is better in person.

6. Most men get better looking with age.

7. Especially when their hair turns gray.

8. However, good looks are much less important than a good heart.

9. The right person will love you at your worst.

10. Expect delays and headaches when you travel, and then just deal with it.

11. Learn how to swim.

12. Learn how to shoot.

13. Be kind.

14. Things never take "just 10 minutes."

15. Pay your bills on time.

16. Don't buy it if you can't afford it.

17. Start your kid's college fund as soon as she's born.

18. Cut people some slack. You don't know their story.

19. Don't judge people with tattoos.

20. Bust out the crayons and color.

21. Ask yourself if the argument is really worth it.

22. It's never too early to start getting mammograms.

23. Even if your baby is past his due date, enjoy those last moments of pregnancy. You'll miss it.

24. Find a white sand beach and dig your toes in.

25. Always own at least one little black dress.

26. Don't use the word "diet."

27. You won't regret putting in hardwood floors.

28. Use your cookbooks.

29. Hugs are the best therapy.

30. Buy the house with a view.

31. Pay it forward.

32. He who has the most toys does not win.

33. Never ever ever start smoking.

34. Don't underestimate the impact having a child will have on your life.

35. Take a nap.

36. Listen to classical music.

37. Keep your toenails painted.

38. Big diamonds are overrated.

39. Never run out of coffee.

40. Proper grammar. Enough said.

41. Get your passport...just in case 

42. You can never have too many board games.

43. Or puzzles. As a matter of fact, go buy another one.

44. Charcoal grills are the only real grills.

45. Appreciate a good thunderstorm.

46. Run in the rain.

47. Take the scenic route.

48. Don't get stuck in a boring box. Peek over the top sometimes.

49. Fuzzy pajamas.

50. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. So do it today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

50 things

In the past 40+ years there are a few things I've learned about life.

1. Nap when the baby naps.

2. Let the baby sleep on you.

3. If the dog wants to snuggle, let him. The laundry can wait.

4. Spend the day reading a good book.

5. Run that extra mile.

6. Explore the unknown path.

7. Go out to dinner.

8. Buy the shoes.

9. Admit your faults.

10. Let the sink pile up with dishes so you can hang out with your kids.

11. Book a flight to go see a friend.

12. Send a care package.

13. Don't skip the weddings or the funerals.

14. Open the good bottle of wine.

15. Light a scented candle just because.

16. Let your kids bring in the new year...and then sleep in the next day.

17. Cook bacon every weekend.

18. Save your money for a ridiculous vacation.

19. Don't waste your money on an expensive car.

20. Rescue a pet.

21. If that pet is a chihuahua, buy him sweaters.

22. Take a road trip.

23. Take too many pictures.

24. Pray.

25. Vote.

26. Call your parents every week.

27. Say "I love you" every day. To your spouse. To your kids. To your friends. You can't say it enough.

28. Kiss your spouse at bedtime every night.

29. Appreciate your siblings.

30. Sometimes it's okay to drink too much.

31. But don't drive when you do.

32. Make your bed everyday.

33. Put your dirty laundry in the hamper.

34. Say yes to the dinner invitation.

35. Go see that movie.

36. Eat the cake, but not every day.

37. Exercise. Your heart, your figure, and your mind will thank you.

38. Never skip moisturizer.

39. Go to the dentist twice a year.

40. Appreciate the friends who love you and all your quirks.

41. Never take punctuality lightly.

42. Own at least one pair of really great cowboy boots.

43. Make sure you have a really great pair of jeans to wear with those boots.

44. Go on a hike.

45. Cry.

46. There's no such thing as too many pairs of cozy socks.

47. Turn off the TV and listen to music.

48. Always have a koozie in your car.

49. Don't apologize for your beliefs.

50. Remember every day is a blessing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time for Me

Tomorrow marks 4 months since my last day of work. I really did think I'd be back at work by now, but I don't foresee a change in my stay-at-home status anytime soon. And that's okay. It's nice.

Greg started his third week at his new job today. It's quiet around here during the day. I never have the TV on, I rarely play music. It's odd not hearing him on the phone during conference calls and not eating lunch with him. I have a lot of quiet time to just think. That's sometimes good and sometimes bad. But I'm not complaining. Things are different, but it's not bad.

I'm trying to spend my time doing things that make me happy, that are low stress, and help out our family. Reorganizing the house, getting errands done, shopping, training, reading, relaxing...

Speaking of training....

Marathon training is getting REAL. I'm now 9 weeks out from Marathon #11, and in my heaviest miles. My first 20 miler of this training cycle is this coming Saturday, and I'm racing a half marathon in 27 days. How has my running been lately?

AWESOME. Strangely, crazy awesome.

I'm sure it has everything to do with the cold weather we've been having, but running has just been easy for me the past few weeks. I'm running faster than usual when I think I'm running slow, my endurance has improved dramatically, and it's making me very happy. A few weeks ago I ran back-to-back 9 mile runs, then a 16 miler the next weekend, then 10 mile and 4 mile runs this past weekend. And all were at a decent pace, particularly this past weekend. My interval runs are more effortless, too.

Basically, I'M THRILLED.

Does this mean I have plans to go for the 1:52:55 I need at my half marathon in order to qualify for the 2016 Houston Marathon? I don't know. That would mean running 8:37 pace and I'm pretty sure that despite my improvements in running I'm not quite at that level. Although if the weather cooperates, I might go for it anyway. I have 5 weeks between my half marathon and my marathon, so plenty of time to recover and regroup before 26.2.

I've also been thinking a lot about what I want to do next year with regards to training and racing. I know I will focus on triathlons after my April marathon, and will hopefully get comfortable with longer distance ones before 2016. I'd really like to do a Half Ironman in early 2016, which means my marathon season will likely be very different. I'm excited and eager to see how the year shapes up, how I'm going to change things up, and how it will allow me the "me" time I so desperately need. It's fun to have things to look forward to and it makes me feel peace in the chaos.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The benefit of Facebook

There are a lot of annoying things about Facebook. But I've always maintained that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Sometimes it's my news source, it's how I stay connected with my training groups, I can easily keep up to date with friends and family, and we get to share a lot of pretty awesome things.

I had an epiphany this morning about a huge positive regarding Facebook. It can connect us with people that we may otherwise not have connected to, and their impact on our lives may be considerable.

On October 22, an old classmate of mine, Melissa, passed away from cancer. She and I were not close in school and hadn't seen each other since high school. But we connected on Facebook in recent years, as many of us do with our old classmates. Her struggle with Stage 4 cancer was well documented by her, and it was a huge struggle. Melissa was a single mother with two boys, one grown and one still very young.

Despite the daily pain and burden she felt dealing with the physical and emotional toll the cancer was taking on her, EVERY SINGLE post displayed an optimism and selflessness that I don't think I have ever witnessed in anyone else. She was a fighter and a damn strong one. No matter how many times the cancer knocked her down, she brushed it off as being "just for a season" and that she would continue to fight. If any of us was struggling, she was right there for you, saying prayers and offering encouragement. She would ask people to give her things to pray for.

She continues to remind me, after her death, that no matter what is going on in our lives, we are strong enough to get through it and there is always a positive to find in the midst of the struggle.

I wouldn't have connected with Melissa, and she wouldn't have had this impact on my heart, if it wasn't for Facebook. I'm a better person after being touched by her struggle. I don't want to forget the lessons she has taught me.

I dearly miss her daily posts. We need more Melissas in our world.

Monday, November 3, 2014


You all know about my struggles with my kids lately. I've been very open about that. But there's something that I haven't been at liberty to discuss until today. I can finally open up about it and let out a sigh of relief.

On September 23, my husband was laid off from his job. In the midst of trying to get my kids on the right track with therapy, medications, school, etc, our entire world changed with one phone call. For the past 15 years my husband has worked for the same company and has been happy and successful there, with the past 7 years out of our home office in Austin although company headquarters is in Silicon Valley. Back in August they announced they would be laying off a very big chunk of the worldwide workforce, and although we've weathered the past layoffs unscathed, my husband knew this time around his time was probably up. As a preemptive strike he started looking for another job. As the big layoff week loomed closer, it got a little more stressful as he just knew he was on the chopping block. He was the only worker on his team that was not based in San Jose.

September 23 brought with it the news and our world completely changed. He is our breadwinner and without him working there is no income. With a mortgage and two children we needed an income. Thankfully because he had already been looking he had a lot of contacts at other companies and quickly had interviews lined up. But it was stressful just not knowing what was going to happen.

In all honesty, we've gotten very comfortable with his work schedule. Working from home on mostly San Jose time was a true blessing. If I needed him to be home or to run an errand he was almost always available. We got to spend a lot of time together during the day, which is something we probably started to take for granted. He's also our main household chef.

This was all going to change and in the midst of all the other stressors we were dealing with, the thought of it just drained us. We quickly adjusted our spending and our usual way of life. Yes, there's a severance as with most layoffs and over the years we've saved our money but we weren't dumb enough to rely on that for long.

His official last day of work was October 10. On October 16, he got a job offer from another tech company.

Talk about a huge weight off our shoulders.

Today he started that new job. It's quiet in my house. I'm used to hearing him on conference calls all day long. I'm used to eating lunch with him most days. I'm used to him starting dinner around 5pm. Now it's all on my shoulders again. I get to be the kid chauffeur, the errand runner, the chef. But really, talk about first world problems, right?

So there you go. I could finally get that completely off my chest. The world threw us a huge curveball but we navigated it, have started a new journey, and because he got a new job so quickly he bought me a new bike. Pretty kickass.