Wednesday, December 31, 2008

300 Miles

During 2008 I ran 300 miles. My first full year of running and I ran 300 miles!

As I think about 2008, to get a little philosophical here, the 300 miles seems like a really good symbol of 2008 for me, it represents so many things.

I started running after volunteering for a race that several of my friends were running in. I had started biking regularly during the divorce- it served one purpose and one purpose only- to fill my time. It had other side benefits like accomplishing something I never thought I would do (biking 180 miles in 3 days), physical fitness and a new activity for Sunshine and me to do together.

But I never really enjoyed biking it felt much more like a chore, I had made a commitment to ride and I knew mentally I needed to do something like that to get through the divorce.

Running on the other hand has somehow become part of me. It is, at times, a compulsion. Other times a drive or a need. It helps me to process my thoughts, to work through issues and to just spend some quality time by myself.

Beyond that, it is hard. It is about me and no one else, me getting up and going outside or into the basement. Me climbing that hill, me pushing through the pain of not enough oxygen, me picking that person in front of me in the race and saying, you know what I can pass her/him. It is also about conquering fears and taking risks. And ultimately about better health and fitness.

I remember standing at the start of my first race in December 2007. I was scared. Could I finish? Will I be the last person to cross the finish line? I walked probably half of the 5k and I did finish and I wasn't the last person to cross the finish line.

Running is a symbol of my life in 2008 in many ways. I have taken more risks. I have had difficult conversations with people at work and in my life. I have stood up for myself and I have said "no", even when I thought that me saying "no" could adversely affect my relationship with that person (friend, coworker, romantic interest). I have traveled with people I didn't know and had a great time. I have held myself accountable for mistakes I've made, but also become much better at forgiving myself for these mistakes. I have played more and in general taken better care of myself.

As I think back over the last 300 miles and 365 days there have been high moments and low moments, frankly some low moments that lasted for weeks. But in the end, I pushed through and made it up the hill, caught the person in front of me and crossed the finish line.

And I am thankful for all those experiences- good, bad or ugly. I look forward to the highs and lows that 2009 will bring, to the 500 miles I will run and to all the new experiences that await me.

May 2009 be filled with all that you hope for, need and want.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Yesterday Sunshine and I went to Boston on the train to the Science Museum, more on that later, but first I needed to say a few things about trains.

I had forgotten, or perhaps I blocked, some previous train experiences until yesterday when we sat about 10 minutes from the station with mechanical problems. At first a 5 minute fix which then led to a 35 minute fix and people coming from the station to fix it. I wasn't as freaked as I am when they say mechanical problem on a plane, I mean at least I knew we weren't going to fall from the sky if something went wrong.

What I remembered of my previous train travel were three specific events.

The first one was when I was probably 10 or 12 and my parents took me to Rockefeller plaza to go skating. On the train ride down the car we were in had NO HEAT, it was probably December and it was COLD. Of course all the other cars were full of people so we suffered. When we arrived in NYC we bought extra layers we just couldn't get warm. I am sure that my parents remember this much differently than I do, and I'm sure it involved lots of whining on my part.

On the way back home on that same trip, different train, they couldn't control the heat in the car so it was, at least as I remember it, 100 plus degrees, and remember we were all sorts of layered up for the outside skating. Again, I'm sure there was whining and probably even crying.

The next episode happened probably in my late 20s. I was headed to NYC with some family to take in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show and shortly south of Albany we stopped. And were were stopped for a while. I think it must have been an early morning train because I remember lots of people in business suits on their cell phones with brief cases who were worried about being late. Well, come to find out some yahoos had sent an ATV from a hillside into the side of the train for fun, I suppose. But when the police arrived and couldn't find a body much mayhem ensued.

I've always thought of trains as pretty reliable and a straightforward kind of travel, maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe things like this happen all the time and I just didn't realize it.

On a related subject, I was fascinated to sit in the train station in Boston and watch the crowd of people stare at the board for the commuter trains. Like zombies in some sense, starring intently at the golden light in the sky and moving in a heard to the correct boarding gate once a number filled the TBA slot on the board. I was, at this moment thankful that this is not part of my every day work life, I suppose I could get used to it, but I'm glad I don't have to.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Spirit

This year I have had a hard time finding my Christmas Spirit. I can't put my finger on it. I'm not sad, I'm not upset, it just isn't here.

I started to write that frankly everything is okay, and deleted it, because that really isn't true. Perhaps a more accurate sentence would be, in my life, for the most part everything is okay. I feel like, however, that there is much negative energy in the world right now.

I am, as are many, excited about the President Elect taking office. I believe that he gives us a chance for change. If nothing else, his election alone has shown that we can change and that we still do have hope.

I listen to the news reports of the bailouts and sit in stunned silence. I am not an economist or a business major. My experience with money is through management of my own and several non-profit organizations as a volunteer. However, if I managed my money or anybody's money the way these large corporations are I would deserve to fail, I would deserve to not be able to get a line of credit, to have to pay with cash, and be held accountable to someone.

Adding to that there are several people in my life who are sick or have loved ones dying, who have been laid off, who have no money to heat their homes or to buy food for their tables.

I was in the store the other day and everyone was polite, no one was angry, but everyone had the same look on their face- exhaustion. And I know I am exhausted, there is never enough time and with the way things are now in the economy we all have to work harder and make do with less.

I have enjoyed buying presents for Sunshine this year and imagening her opening them on Christmas morning. I have listened to Christmas Caroles and enjoyed them.

But maybe that is just it... maybe my Christmas Spirit is just too tired to come out this year, or maybe my Christmas Spirit isn't Christmas Spirit this year... it is instead Hope.. hope that things will change, that we all will get through the trials we face right now and on the other side be better for it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

6 Random Facts

I was tagged by Amy over at Welcome to the Jungle.

First, the tagging game's rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.

Post the rules on your blog.
Write 6 random things about yourself.
Tag 6-ish people at the end of your post.
Let each person know he/she has been tagged.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

OK... 6 totally random things about me:

I hate to iron. My Mom is a fantastic ironer or is it person who irons, me, if I never have to iron another piece of clothing in my life it will be too soon, alas I know that I will be ironing soon.

I do better on less sleep than more sleep. Perhaps this comes with being a Mom but if I ever have a chance to get 8 hours of sleep the next day I am almost useless. The one exception to this rule is if I am sick.

I can drink from my forehead. It is a trick I learned a long time ago and one that can only truly be appreciated in person. But I hope the images going through your head right now are enjoyable.

I have never had a martini or a margarita. This came up in conversation recently and I thought it interesting, just seems like two drinks that if you choose to drink, you should try at some point in your life.

I can back up vehicles towing something. When I learned to drive my Uncle made sure I learned how to do this, at the time I thought what a stupid thing to learn. It has served me well over the years, it is not a talent a lot of people have.

I love being near the water, not sitting on a beach baking in the sun, but walking along the beach of the ocean or a lake, playing in the water or even just taking a hot bath. The water centers me.

Now I tag:

Brian at The SketchoMeter
Nancy at A Dog's Life
Jenn at Jenn & Betsy's Adventure

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've been thinking about what I'm thankful for. It may have been prompted by volunteering in Sunshine's classroom and them writing their Happy Thanksgiving cards, or it may just be that this time of year makes me think about that.

For much of this year I have been struggling with finding the balance of appreciating all that I have and not wanting for too much. It is a weird balance to find to appreciate all that I have in my life and still set goals and drive for things.

So I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of the year thinking about all the things in my life to be thankful and grateful for:

Sunshine- she is amazing. She is smart and funny and curious and allows me to see the world in a different way.
My family- both near and far. I have gotten to see family I haven't seen in awhile this year and it has been wonderful to reconnect, to help my elderly Aunt and see part of my history. I've gotten to reconnect with my cousin who is becoming more like the sister I never had than a cousin. My Mom and Aunt and Uncle who are nearby who are always around to help me and Sunshine. My Dad and Mike who are not so close but are a phone call away and who visit and are very supportive.
My friends- I have gotten to reconnect with old friends recently and I have such wonderful friends nearby who are there to have fun with, to help, or just to be with.
My health- I am grateful that I started running, that I found a sport that drives me and pushes me to be healthy and that I have had the determination to keep it up.
My home and my job- In this time of economic uncertainty I am thankful that Sunshine and I have a roof over our heads and that I have a job to go to everyday to help provide for Sunshine.
My animals- There is nothing like having a cat or a dog curl up next to you on a cold night or sit at your side when you aren't feeling well.

I suppose these things are things that everyone is grateful and thankful for, for me the key will continue to be remembering these wonderful things in my life no matter what else is happening.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


BREATHE. It seems like such a simple thing. It should happen automagically right? Our bodies are just programmed to circulate blood and air without us actually consciously telling our heart to beat or our lungs to move in and out.

But I forget. I forget to breathe. How does that happen? I don't actually tell myself to breathe, so technically can I forget to tell myself to breathe? Or is it I tell myself not to breathe?

I know I'm not alone. I hear people say it all the time- 'don't forget to breathe', 'I keep telling myself to breathe, but I don't'.

I've never been a tremendously goal oriented person, more of a driven person, as my cousin calls it- the relentless pursuit of perfection.

I think in my relentless pursuit I may forget to do simple things like breathe.

So I'm working really hard to remember that all I really have to do is breathe, sometimes that is all there is to do and the rest will fall into place.

Okay now, everyone take a deep breath.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Turkey, A Bull, Dry Ice and Wii, OH MY

One of my favorite days of the year happened this weekend- a couple of my friends have a great Thanksgiving party, we all get together and just connect, people we haven't seen since the last gathering and people we see every day. There is always good food, good friends and good fun. And this year was no exception. It was a fantastic day!

Carving the turkeys.

Look at all that great food!

Riding a manual bull. Can you say that? Is it a manual mechanical bull?

This would be me riding the bull, notice I had a smile the whole time!

And Sunshine takes her turn!

There was of course Wii playing

And what event would be complete without dry ice??

This is the throwing of the dry ice in a bottle and then it explodes.

And dry ice in the sink.

Happy Anniversary

I missed the actual day, but none the less- I have been blogging now for just over a year! It has been an interesting experiment for me. Being able to write about my life with Sunshine and also use the opportunity to write down thoughts and feelings going through my brain- help me to process parts of my life.

So, thank you all for reading and commenting both on the blog and in real life!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Through the Years








Monday, October 20, 2008

Is There Something I'm Not Telling Myself?

Today in the mail I received my "personalized certificate" congratulating me on the birth of my child. Last week I received coupons for formula and diapers.

Yes, it is true I am a mother, I did have a child. Said child has not used formula or diapers in several years.

As far as I know I am not pregnant, I am not expecting a child, frankly one of the key ingredients to making a child (or at least if I remember correctly) is missing.

It stung today when I saw the envelope, congratulating me on the birth of my child. It is no different than when I go into the basement to run and I see the high chair, car seats, boxes of clothes, crib, toys etc sitting in the corner. These things are taking up space, there is so much I could do with that space. But yet, I don't, I keep them around because I'm not ready to say I'm done having children.

Maybe I am done and I'm just not accepting that fact, or maybe it is time to get rid of the baby stuff and make room for other stuff... if another baby comes along I can always get new stuff right?

By the way, I haven't registered anywhere for this mystery baby I'm getting formula and diapers for... so just send money...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Special Moments

It seems like such a small thing.. but Sunshine lost her first tooth this morning. Not her first tooth ever, just her first tooth with me.

Recently I was talking with a friend who is also divorced and we were discussing the milestones that we might miss.. the first date.. the start of their period. Little things, the things that we loose out on when our child(ren) splits their time between two houses.

It is completely selfish and I know that... but I will take such pleasure in being the tooth fairy tonight for the 5th baby tooth to have fallen out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Young and Free

To dance like no one is watching...


This week Sunshine was moved up to the next Tae Kwon Do class. It was time and she and I had been talking about moving up, maybe going and watching a class or two so she could get a feel for it. It is the same instructors but the class moves much faster and is just a bit more intense. From a Mom's perspective I could see if she didn't move up she would start to stagnate, wouldn't learn as much. But at the same time, the class includes older kids with green and blue belts- so I understood why she was hesitant.

Anyway, she moved up this week and had a smile on her face the WHOLE time. I sat back and watched the grin and my heart sang. They ran laps and she smiled. They did drills and she smiled. And then they did sparring.

Since she doesn't have sparring equipment yet they had flags they had to pull from each other's belts.. but she smiled the whole time. The whole time! She did get to watch the other kids spar in their sparring gear so she could see what it was like.

After class I asked her, do you want to spar? And she said "Oh Yes!"

And so, I am buying my gorgeous little daughter sparring gear. Somehow I always thought it would be hockey gear and I'd want to jump off the bench and hurt anyone who touched my little baby.. but no, we're skipping that and going right to hand to hand combat.

She loves it and I see her smile and so I can wrap my brain around it... but my heart... is conflicted... it sings at watching her enjoy it and skips a beat when I realize what she is doing.

I suppose just another one of those challenges we face as parents... the letting go and the holding on and finding that balance. But if you read about a woman from the stands at some Tae Kwon Do match taking out a kid.. send bail money... it is probably just me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Fall

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. There is something about the change of the season, the gorgeous colors on the trees and on the ground. I love waking up and needing to put on warm fuzzy socks and my fleece. Even though many people think of Spring as the time of rebirth- fall, for me, is that door closing, leading to a new opening.

I wish at these moments that I had a deck and could sit and watch the water and have a cup of tea. But I am lucky enough to live close enough to the water that I can go and enjoy the water and the beauty of fall.

Even as the fall arrives- this gorgeous flower is still alive and thriving.

This gorgeous tree in all different stages of autumn.
I love sunsets and sunrises... so beautiful.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thoughts.. thoughts.. thoughts...

Been a bit.. been busy, been out of town.. and I've got about 3 different blogs halfway written in my head.. too many thoughts spinning around in my head to break them all out individually.

But I'll get there.. soon.. don't give up...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Sunshine recently had her birthday parties and her actual birthday. What fun!

This year for the first time I actually had her kids birthday party some place other than my house. It was a stretch for me, but when I did the math, it ended up being cheaper than all the food I would buy and my time.

So we had it at a movie theater and watched The Game Plan, which was a big hit with the kids. We had popcorn and cake and ice cream. All and all a fun day.

The family party was a bit more subdued but still fun none the less, a nice BBQ in the backyard and some more wonderful presents.

And finally, the cupcakes for the classroom.

I would say it was much more of a birthday weekend than a birthDAY.

Happy Birthday Sunshine, thanks for being born!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Last year Sunshine and I took a trip to Florida, to visit a friend and some family that live down there.

I can not for the life of me tell you why I felt so compelled to do this trip, but I just knew I needed to.

It was an adventure with a capital A. Traveling alone with a child caused me a heightened sense of anxiety and also caused me to stop and enjoy things just that little extra bit.

Seeing my cousin who I hadn't seen since I was 13 which was only like what 2 or 3 years ago was a blast! We reconnected and have been in touch regularly since my visit.

Well, she came to visit all the way from Florida and it was a great time. We are so very similar in so many ways and yet so very different in others. Some say we look like we could be sisters.

We spent one day just the two us having fun cousin bonding time. It was wonderful.

Her nice little sports car.. never been in one of these before. It was a blast!

At my favorite beach in the state! I love this place.

I love this sign.. no Street girls or sailors.

A view looking up from the car as we drove.. what a day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Demolition Derby

This weekend we attended the demolition derby. Always so much fun. My cousin from Miami was up, so we dragged her a long, a bit of a stretch for her.. but it was fun all around.

Nothing better than hearing your daughter cheer for cars to loose their tires!!

See even adults have fun at these things!

This would be the loose a tire cheer!

Dancing to YMCA on a big tire in the infield.

Yes that would be Frosty on top of that car.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Running in the Woods

What more can I say... running through the woods.. makes me smile...

For more WW go here..

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

You know, it is all about perspective. And sometimes I lose that fact.

I live a pretty great life, I'm successful professionally, I'm a strong independent woman raising a fabulous child. I've had the opportunity to be in love a few times and had my fair share of broken hearts. I have fantastic friends who are amazing humans in general and great to me.

But there are times... when I get caught in the negative and lose sight of all the great stuff. I forget that there are people who want children but haven't found someone to have one with or can't have children. There are people who have never been in love or who have never been loved back. There are people who struggle from career to career trying to find where they fit in. There are people in unhappy relationships, afraid to end them for fear of what might be on the other side.

It is in these moments when I get low and I can so clearly in my head say to myself- this is ridiculous- be grateful for what you have and who you are- for your life is wonderful- and at the same time ignore this and focus on the thing that is bothering me.

This is when I need the outdoors- when I need wide open space- when I need to see and understand the vastness of nature and appreciate it all.

I can't do as the Dixie Chicks say and head out west... but I can re energize in m my wide open spaces with Sunshine and be ready to tackle the rest of life's tests.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Sky

I love fall, although it seems to have arrived a bit early this year. I love it, cool nights, warm days!

For more WW go here..

Monday, August 25, 2008