For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Where a Little Bit Means a Lot

Until about 5 years ago, I was always able to eat
just about anything I wanted without gaining weight.

Not true anymore.

I generally try to lose weight before I go on vacation
in the summer and have to wear a bathing suit.

In my closet, I have various sizes of jeans that are
available to fit whatever size I am at the time: 4, 6, or 8.

I may not look heavy to other people.
I am good at wearing looser tops and sweaters to hide
my muffin top.

In fact, I feel bad even mentioning to others that I'm
trying to lose a few pounds.  They look at me like I'm
crazy.  But I know I'm not.

A few months ago, I hit an all-time high weight of 133.
On a 5'2" frame,  this is not healthy.
For a female my age, my ideal weight is about 122 lbs,
within a range of 109-137.

I know I feel great at 122.

But it's amazing how just a few pounds can make such a difference in how I look and feel!

Not so surprising when you look at what 5 lbs of fat looks like.
Put this on my belly where it always accumulates and it's easy to see
why my jeans don't fit!

So, a few months ago, I made a change.
I cut out almost all bread, baked goods, chips, and soda.
And I exercise moderately almost every day.

I eat mainly lean meat, eggs, fresh fruits and veggies, and water.

Once a week, I enjoy a trip to TCBY or Friendly's for a
chocolate soft serve, but other than that,
I snack on fruit or nuts.


It was hard at first because I LOVE bread, and I'm at home all day
so it's easy to snack.  But the less I eat all of the junk food, 
the less I WANT to eat it.  The cravings have subsided.
I feel like I am in control now.

I have lost 7 lbs so far.  A pound a week.

I have 4 or 5 more pounds to go.

Pants that I couldn't even begin to zip a few weeks ago
are fitting great now.

A few pounds can make a huge difference in how you look and feel!
A little bit means a lot!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


We are currently in the middle of track season at our high school.  As with practically everything I do, I love to take pictures of the athletes and post them on Facebook for the kids to see.

As I look at the photos, I can't help but be amazed by their determination and grit. 

As I struggle with getting my own aging body into decent shape,
I see the effort these kids are putting into this sport, and it makes
me want to do better myself.

They INSPIRE me.

This athlete had never pole vaulted until this year.

 This is my daughter, Annie.
Your are witnessing the first time she made the sand pit in the triple jump.

Just look at the determination on the faces of these runners!

I think sometimes as we get older, we just don't try as hard.
We use our age as an excuse. 

A few seconds after I took this picture, #13 banged her shin into the top
of the next hurdle and was on the ground in a tremendous amount of pain. 

I also like to take pictures of the athletes when they are NOT competing.

Especially Annie!
She always seems to be surrounded by other kids,
either telling a story or reacting to one.

It's my secret challenge to catch her with a different expression
at every meet.

She makes me smile!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Baby is Twenty-One

April 22, 1991.  This was a huge milestone in my life.
                           It was the day I became a mom.
                           I had ALWAYS wanted to be a mother.
                           I had waited a long time for this day.
                           I was determined not to screw up.

April 22, 2012   My baby boy turns 21 years old today.
                           It seems like yesterday that he was born.
                           I've been a mom for 21 years.
                           I have tried to be a good mom.
                           I've screwed up MANY times.
                           I learned from my mistakes.

After 21 years, I feel like I am finally qualified to be a mother.
How easy it would be now!

I would be more relaxed.

I wouldn't second guess myself so often.

I wouldn't lay awake at night going over the events of each day,
wondering if I had done the right thing, if I had handled each situation
as a good mother should.

I have Adam to thank for this.  He was my teacher.
As I said, I learned from my mistakes.
And most of my mistakes were on him.
The firstborn.

My intentions were always good.
But it's like learning to ride a bike without training wheels.
In the beginning, you envision yourself getting on the seat
   and riding perfectly down the street.
In reality, it's scary.
Others may try to tell you what to do, but you must find your own way.
In reality, you take a few spills and maybe even shed some tears.
It takes a while to find your balance.
When you finally do, your bike may have some dents and scratches,
but you love your bike more than anything.

On this 21st anniversary of becoming a mom,
I love my little boy more than anything.
He has grown into a good man, in spite of me.
And hopefully, because of me too.

Happy Birthday, Adam!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Digging Around

Rule of Holes: If you're in one, stop digging.

For some reason, I have a hard time following this rule.

I have been preparing a new flower bed over the past few days.

Digging, more digging, loosening the soil.

If you've ever worked in the garden tilling the soil,
I bet you've hit barriers as you push your shovel into the ground.

Sometimes you hit tree roots.

Most of the time, though, you hear that unmistakeable sound of
the metal shovel coming in contact with a rock.

When this happens (and it happens a lot in my yard)
I get a feeling of excitement and curiosity.

I move the shovel over a few inches and try again.

If I still hit rock, I repeat the process in an attempt to
figure out just how big the rock is.

It gets really exciting when I know it's just the tip of the iceberg!
I can't wait to uncover it and see exactly what it looks like!

When I finally find an edge to slip the shovel underneath it,
it's then that I start to feel the weight of the rock and guess how far it
might extend downward into the earth.

I ALWAYS need to get it out of the ground.
Even if it's pretty deep and probably wouldn't affect
the plants at all, I'm up for the challenge.

Most of the time, they are nothing but large pebbles.

But sometimes I've worked for hours to unearth a huge
boulder that almost breaks the shovel (and my back) as
I work to lift it out of the ground.

It's not just rocks in the garden that make me like this.

I can dig around on the internet for hours, unearthing
information on just about anything.

The internet is so much like my garden.

There are so many rocks to find!

 “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Monday, April 16, 2012

It Just Happened

I usually like to write 2 times a week, but for the past few days I've been grasping for inspiration.  It occurs once in a while, and usually something happens to get me jump-started once again.

It just happened.

As you know, we are in the middle of having 2 bathrooms renovated.  Most of our toiletries are in boxes keeping only the things we use on a daily basis within easy reach.

This morning, I ran out of Eye Make-up Remover.
I keep a small bottle handy to dip a Q-Tip inside whenever I need to remove smudges under my eyes.
I refill it from a larger bottle when needed.

So I went to the box of items in storage to find the larger bottle of eye make-up remover.
I refilled the small bottle, dipped the Q-Tip, and swiped it under both of my eyes.

Immediately, I knew something was wrong!

This was not my "gentle eye makeup remover".

The fumes were burning my eyes almost instantaneously!
I closed my eyes tight to try to stop the fumes,
but I think this made it worse.
Some of the liquid must have been forced into my eyes
when I squeezed them shut!

The bathroom is just across the hall.
I stumbled blindly into the bathroom and turned on the water.
Even in my distress, I realized what I had done.
As I put my eyes under the running water, I could envision myself
refilling my little bottle of eye makeup remover.

I recognized the familiar odor.

After flushing my eyes for a few minutes, they felt much better.
I went to the box to get the bottle I had used.



I am so thankful it was a more natural, acetone free version!

I am also very thankful I only used it UNDER my eyes!

If I had used it on the top lid, my lash extensions might have come unglued!
THAT would have been a disaster!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Catching Some Flies!

With a house full of pets, you gotta have rules.
No dogs on the new couch.
Don't let the cats sharpen their claws on the furniture.
No cats allowed on the kitchen counters.

But there are times when the rules can be bent.
The other day was one of those times.

She was working.
Doing a job that I don't care to do myself!

 A job that she takes very seriously.

She's focused.

On this fly.

 A bomb could go off and she wouldn't even notice!

 Sometimes the fly leads her on a merry chase around the house.

 But today it had mercy on her and stayed on the window.

 But Maddie is lightning fast.
And has no mercy on the fly!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bathroom Renovation

As  a reminder of what our bathroom looked like a few weeks ago...

A very outdated bathroom from the 1980's.
Grungy fiberglass tub enclosure that had lost its luster years ago.
It was cramped and dirty and old!

Two weeks ago,   J. D. Shea Home Improvements began
       working on the project.

John Shea has been very meticulous with every detail
       and a great guy to work with.

First, the destruction...

It looks better already!

The tub was put in first.  It is a soaking tub from Kohler.

The floor ripped out in preparation for new tile.

The area around the tub was tiled with large tiles from Porcelanosa.  Eve at Tile America was wonderful to work with when deciding which tile to use for the walls and the floor!
I painted the walls a denim blue color, picking up a little of the grey/blue from the floor tiles.

The floor was also a large tile from Porcelanosa.  Very pretty!

 We are 95% done with the first bathroom now.  The tub is waiting on a frameless glass enclosure.
The tile looks amazing! 

 The fixtures for the tub are from Grohe.  Very modern and plain.

The tile looks like a woven grass cloth.   We accented it with a simple dark brown strip.

  There is a niche in the shower wall for toiletries.

 And the shower head can be hand-held for cleaning the tub.

Nutmeg Stairs and Cabinets in Ellington made the vanity.  The hardware has not arrived yet for the drawers.

The floor is beautiful!

I really like the way the tile comes up around the bottom of the wall so I dont' need to have the painted white molding!

I also love the one-piece skirted toilet by Toto!  I hated to clean around the base of the old toilet where the dust, dirt, and hair collected.

I splurged a bit on the VIPP garbage can - so pretty and sleek!

 The light fixture is very modern and square - like the bathroom tub fixtures.

I even found a square door knob in polished chrome to match the fixtures.

I added a train rack of the wall over the toilet for towels from Restoration Hardware.

 And matching modern hooks from Restoration Hardware for towels.

And a modern toilet paper holder, also from Restoration Hardware.

 The medicine cabinet door has not been installed yet.  We are waiting until after the plumber hooks up the sink so it doesn't get injured in the process.

I am so happy with all of my choices and with the quality of the work that has been done.
When I shower, I feel like I'm in a hotel instead of my own house!  I also tried out the tub and soaked for quite a while the other night - my whole body was nice and warm under the water the whole time!

When the glass doors are installed, I'll give you the final picture.

But for now,  that's it!