Hi! As a prior United States Navy servicemember, I enjoy sharing the way it has changed my life and my deep appreciation of fitness and health. My hope is this journey will be funny, emotional, and inspiring! -Kelly
Do you know the hardest part about blogging? The photos!
I can write all day long. In fact, I do. There’s no shortage of things for me to endlessly elaborate on. But pictures? Are they even required?
In short, yes? Some? Ugh. This is hard.
Occasionally I use stock photos. Now, I know no one wants to hear that, but it’s the truth. Sometimes I don’t have time to take the photos I want; other times I feel like I keep repeating what I’ve already done. There’s only so many flower photos, people. Barring using the crazy self photos I take at the gym or after I run, it requires a conscious effort to include well thought out photos in each post. Believe me, no one has ever accused me of being well thought out hahaha
In the meantime, I try to keep these posts relevant and fun. If you have ideas for a post or a subject you’d like my take on, let me know! I’d like to say my door is always open… but I’m scared of the dark – yes, seriously – and it keeps the bugs out.
I ask you –
Fellow bloggers, what do you do for photographic content?
Any takers for the photography position I have available? Volunteer work only.
Enjoy the first week of June! Somehow we made it this far!
Reading of other great moms and parents who devote themselves to their children’s artistic and mind-blossoming activities, I decided to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. I promptly fell off. In January, we began asking my knowledge-thirsty, small human what her favorite part of the week was. Each Sunday, I pose the question, then draw her memory on a much-too-small piece of paper, date it, then drop it into the unicorn bucket. Mostly, she recalls whatever was done within the past 48 hours; occasionally she surprises me with something from earlier in the week. Let’s be real. It’s my job to remind her of the week’s highlights then she chooses.
I believe it’s going well! The plan is to read all 52 weeks sometime around New Years. Give or take. The joke has become “She tried her best!” I’m the ‘she’ and, yes, I do my try my best but clearly I’m no artist.
My animals look like their evil counterparts and even the stick figures are lacking in depth. I can draw a really great tree, though! Is there anyone who can’t? Nonetheless, maybe I’ll look back on this upon the great unveiling of each week and see how my skills have improved. Just in case, I’m not holding my breath. You shouldn’t either.
Anyone else have a love affair with cilantro? I absolutely understand it’s a love/hate relationship with this particular greenery. You either believe it is heaven sent or it is what one may envision Dawn dish soap tastes like. I’m of the former. Small favors. Interestingly enough, there was a short period in my life where I was an unwilling participant in cilantro’s soapy side effects.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved cilantro. Raw, in foods (hello, salsa!), I would eat it to my taste buds’ content. However, during pregnancy, and unbeknownst to me, something awful happened. As I sat down to eat one night, I placed a heavy dose of cilantro on my taco, took a bite, and probably made the worst face of my life. Hubby, who can’t stand cilantro in any form, looked appalled. As I stuttered and mumbled along the lines of “It tastes like soap”, I registered complete sadness. I wanted to cry. How could my beloved cilantro turn on me? And during my time of need!
For many months post-pregnancy, I recounted the terrible taste, afraid to try it again. What if it never returned to normal? As anticlimactic as this post is, it should be clear now that my love for cilantro returned. I’ve never had another soap experience. Hallelujah. But all this does lend itself to the fascinating way our bodies and hormones work together.
So what’s the moral of the story? Draw pictures, laugh at yourself, and, for the most daring, try cilantro again.
I ask you –
Do you have any talents, hidden or otherwise?
Name your most/least favorite vegetable.
Thoughts on cilantro? Bonus points if you’ve been through a similar situation.
I know all about tornado alley. I live there. And there’s really nothing scary about it until tornado season. Or any month of the year. Any day of the week. Take no prisoners. So when I received the alert regarding a tornado warning – remember, that’s the one where they say a tornado has either been spotted or impending – I took it seriously from the comforts of my cozy couch. But I did peruse accuweather. Surprise, surpise. A huge storm sort of headed our way.
Next, I did what any tornado alley-inhabited person would do. I went outside! As if “meteorologist” adorns my name. It definitely does not. As a no less than 46mph wind gust nearly blew me off the back porch, I moved my precious flower pots to safer territory and retreated inside. But not before capturing the above photo of the lake covered in white caps and churning like the open ocean. If I was any dumber, I would’ve got out my kayak and gone for a ride!
Thankfully, the tornadoes never showed their ugly faces near my home but I know many were not as fortunate. In 2 small towns near mine, they experienced golf ball, softball, and bowling ball sized hail. Let me repeat. BOWLING BALL. Can you imagine a bowling ball being chunked through your roof in a +/- 100 mph downdraft? The sound of it would probably have killed me before the impact. These towns are now recovering with the help of saintly volunteers and residents. No doubt the history in some of these places is forever affected.
After the wind and rain had passed (or was just beginning for the remainder of the night), I, again, took to the outdoors. A beautiful double rainbow was the only prize for such crazy weather. And some grass in my ears and hair. Just wonderful.
I ask you –
Ever seen a tornado or know someone who willingly lives in tornado alley?
Being in the US Navy, 46mph winds really isn’t that big of a deal. But it is when it’s unexpected!
Last week was hell. But the good kind of hell. Let’s not mince words and get to the point.
If you hedged your bets on me not returning to the gym opening day all I can say is I hope you didn’t lose a lot of money. Because I was there. Granted it was 2.5 hours after they officially unlocked the doors, but, hey, I had to work that day so my options were limited.
Needless to say – or is it needed? – I completely broke apart every muscle group minus glutes/legs/anything below the pelvis. It felt incredible! Seems those home workouts were lackluster at best. As the week wore on and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, aka the true hell that sets in to muscles when you’ve pretty much over taxed them) set in, I was located on the couch, unable to move, but so proud of myself. This is the beginning stages of some type of masochism.
If you’re wondering, or judging me, by the negation of lower body exercise, may I remind you I am in the final weeks of pre-marathon base building training. Say that a few times fast. Absolutely I could go in and knock out reps of squats, lunges, and good mornings (p.s. these are my favorite) but the recovery is a heavy price to pay. But now that I say…errrr type…this, I’m reminded how important those good mornings are for strong hamstrings to power my runs. Anyway. I just didn’t do it, ok?! But I will. Promise.
Moral of the story: everything is sore, I’m managing to both run and strength train on the same days, and the training plan officially starts tomorrow. In my next life, I will be a juggler in the traveling circus.
Hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day. Remember the true meaning of this day and know we are quite fortunate to have what we do.
I ask you –
How crazy am I to jump back into the gym day 1? Nevermind. Don’t answer that.
Are there any circuses that don’t travel?
Memorial Day plans? Since large gatherings are most likely out of the question. Unless you’re extremely rebellious.
Amazingly enough, there are still people in our world who feel like they can’t be their true selves. As if society dictates how/what/whom they should look and feel, it’s a very common occurrence.
In recent conversation, it came up that a woman I know, after expending emotional energy, allows herself to cry and mourn what she has lost. It struck me as profound because how often do we let ourselves just feel? Believe me, it can be a terrifying journey to embark on – with the scariest of turns and very little sustainable food sources. At the end, however, you will be rewarded with soul food beyond anything you’ve ever tasted. So how do you get there? You simply start.
Please pause for a random thought:
Exercise does for the body what feeling does for the soul. It hurts! True. It really does hurt. You won’t catch me lying about the pain. But so much good can come of it. The mind and soul need ample time to process; without this time, it’s much like complacency – everything starts to feel the same.
For example, do you know what food tastes like when you rapidly inhale it and don’t take the time to enjoy it? Sure, you taste it but you don’t really taste. There is a means to an end.
The above was an awe-inspiring documentary I am better for watching. Truly unbelievable are the men and women whose souls flourish in bringing people together for a common goal. As the caption states, the hope one witnesses in others who have faced a tough set of circumstances really proves how much we need one another. Try not to feel moved while watching this movie; I dare you.
And now back to our main content:
In being true to yourself, I believe it’s also important to be – what these hip young people call and I know as a buzz word – transparent. Transparency doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. (The word doesn’t, the idea does.) It’s not so much about being see through to others; who cares what they think. Easier said than done, I know.
There was a time in my life when perception was reality. Loathing. In the real, wide world this isn’t necessarily true. As a child, I didn’t know why I was different. The pressure on myself to be perfect and have things just so was, frankly, debilitating. At the age of 6, when I’d visit other friends’ homes, their bedrooms would be a wild mess. How I envied the randomness of it. In an effort to curtail my perfectionism, I’d go home and ransack my dresser drawers to make my room look “lived in”. But each time I did this (yes, multiple times), the experience would end in tears and my returning the room to its former cleanliness.
It took many years to embrace my Type A personality. Today, I’m comfortable with it. It’s just how I am. Things have a place and belong somewhere. I take pride in a clean car and home. Sure, bordering on compulsive, this behavior isn’t always healthy but it’s who I am. I do my best not to impose myself on my mini’s way of living because obviously choice is very important. But if I’m being completely honest, her lackluster care for order in some things but not in others drives me insane.
You know that emoji with both arms up and a big shrug? Just insert that right here.
I ask you –
When was the last time you dove into your emotions?
Any buzz words you’re sick of hearing? Transparent is definitely the biggest for me.
Similar in nature to the dreaded freshman 15 is what I’m not-so-lovingly referring to as the covid 19. Get it, get it.
It would appear my favorite pair of shorts are becoming…ummm…snug. The scale also seems to be inching upward, as well, even in the face of a training schedule and some at home strength workouts. Yikes.
My only saving grace (can it even be called that?) is I see others, mainly elite runners, struggling with the same issue. Not only are we moving less, but we’re also stuck at home surrounded by baked goods. Wait. Is that just me? It’s clearly become a big problem. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, so why is it now?
Working office half days every other day means I’m at home more than 60% of the time previously. And if you count when I worked at the gym, I’m home exponentially more now. This has created a pocket of daylight where I simply sit – either on the couch or at a desk working remotely. Sure, I have a mostly sedentary job even at the office but there are many instances of movement from office to office or going upstairs. Now? I walk 10 feet to the kitchen for more water or 20 feet to the bathroom. I really need to correct this. Pronto.
With a vacation, a marathon, and every day whatever-this-life is on the horizon, I really need to get my sh*t together. At the time of this posting, ideally my gym will be reopened. Sometime this summer I expect to return to in-person work full-time. As for life? I’ll leave this open ended with maniacal laughter. I can’t change the inevitable heat wave I’m sure to encounter which will render me inside and shaded more than, say, fall or spring-like temperatures, but the few things I can control I will. Let’s start with portion and dessert control, shall we?
Perhaps I scale back on the sugar-laden sweet nothings I imbibe in regularly. Or maybe I don’t inhale 3 servings of pizza. I’m not saying I will; I’m just saying I should. Let’s all get real here. Most likely I’ll keep on the same track currently on and complain the entire way. Sounds reasonable enough.
The scale does not control me! Those shorts, however…well…that’s another story.
I ask you –
Same boat? Just me?
Do you work from home more now? Truthfully, I’m extremely lucky to have a job and my deepest worries go out to those who have a very limited source of income, if any, due to circumstances. Please note I’m not making light of this situation.
Any tips for making this crossroads a bit more bearable?
Ahhhhh. The smell of sun, salt, and decaying ocean creatures is on the horizon. It only took 8 years. Yeppers, my vacation is officially booked!
Contrary to popular opinion, I snagged a condo rental when the price was well below market value. And I think my opinion was deemed unpopular only because of uncertainty in our current times. I don’t care; I did it anyway. And these people will be thanking me in a few months. I shall reward myself with tiny umbrella-infused drinks.
A short walk from the beach, close to all my favorite eateries, and on the best island in the word. South Padre, I’ll be seeing you soon! My excitement was contagious because even the little munchkin got in on the list-making action. The kite she has been promised is icing on the cake. She wasn’t too keen on the 13 hour commute, but we regularly traveled over 25 hours from Virginia to Texas so this sounds like a quick jaunt to me. Note to self: we need more coloring books.
My apologies on the briefness of this post. I’m off to bathing suit shop and I’ve heard the dressing rooms aren’t yet available. Wish me luck. The curbside delivery people are in for quite a show.
I ask you –
Where’s your favorite place to visit/vacation?
Are you partial to warm or cool weather climates?
Offhand, does any one know the fine for public indecency? I seem to recall getting warned of this mid-race last year. Long story. Will share some other time.
100%: the possibility of every gym, bar, church, and eating establishment with a line out the door once restrictions are lifted.
50%: the possibility I’ll be one of those in the line.
Truthfully, I didn’t really “go” a lot of places before this time. But, I was able to and that seems to be the difference. Funny how when we’re told we can’t do something how much more we long to do it. Much like being a child. If something seems off limits or your parental figure says you can’t, the enticement eats away at our minds. Oh the possibilities.
However, many good things have come of this. 1) I spend a whole lot less money eating out and buying needless things. 2) Family time is most important. I didn’t realize how many things we could do together with a bucket of slime (yuck) and some kinetic sand (yay). 3) Time. Again. Working on my “projects”, reading, and gardening is valuable to an extroverted introvert. I don’t know if this is what I am, but most people probably ring true somewhere in the middle. But I digress.
Besides, what else are we doing with our lives that is so important? Be honest. As each decade passes, we get so caught up in going, doing, being, creating that we don’t even know what our values are. Who are we as people? I’m reminded of millions of tiny ants rushing around; ants that live to seek out a piece of food and return it to their nest. Is that what we do? Rush to work to make money to seek out food – and that’s all? I want to work to live, not live to work. Is there something better out there?
Waxing philosophical makes the mind wander even farther. Mine anyway. It’s normal to get caught in a rut – writer’s block, living day to day, etc. – so how do we overcome this? Be the change. A mindset can be changed by no one other than yourself. Find a place, a person, an idea, then run with it. Change is constant. I, for one, believe it can be a good thing.
I had no clue where this post would go when I began writing. Life is like that, too. If you are to reflect back 1 year ago, 5 years ago, even 10 years ago: where were you then? Just the other day I located a journal from 2010. Holy wow. Reading my own words was surreal and I gently followed the path that young woman was on, where her head was, what place she was in at the time. It must be gentle because although she and I are the same we are world’s apart. And she deserves understanding.
I ask you –
Will you be first, middle, or last in the hypothetical line on the return to “normalcy”?
Uncovered any old musings? Tell me about them!
How gentle are you with yourself when looking back on days go by?
We’ve barely touched May and the mercury is already nosing 100°. Ugh. FML. The show must go on.
Occasionally I can get in an early run outdoors, but usually I’m relegated to the treadmill. Honestly it isn’t so bad because at least there I have about an hour to devote to mindless television. Foreword: apologies to all my friends who recommended shows for me to watch. I continue to watch the same I have been watching for years. First, I finished Brothers & Sisters. Then, I watched Younger (currently awaiting the next season). Now I’m on Revenge.
The truth is this: besides Younger, I’ve seen the other series at least once before. Creature of habit much? I just have a problem committing to a new show with several episodes I have to figure out. I’m sure that’s the whole point, but when I’m running, I want to sink into the show with little extra effort.
Seems staying at home does have its perks. Like running for alone time.
But also seeing this amazing sight! I really really really don’t like geese, but seeing the cute little babies before they become angry, drab creatures is exciting. I’ve heard geese babies typically stay where they’re born. Dammit. They just poop on everything and drives me insane. Yuck.
The most important reason to run is so I can continue imbibing in the bakery madness my home has become. Comfort foods extend to bread, old-fashioned favorites, and the like; mine is cookies. Guess it could be worse, right? And when mini-cookie maker gets started, we just can’t stop. Needless to say, I’m enjoying it immensely! My heart and blood sugar are overcome with happiness. Remember this for when I need an intervention.
I ask you –
Shows you’re watching now?
Recommendations? I probably won’t watch them, but I enjoy you trying.
What’s the summer average temperatures where you live?
Well, yes, because they make fabulous reading material!
As we continue to navigate these times together (yet apart), it can be difficult to find meaningful topics to share with you all. Why should today be any different? In honor of much silliness, welcome to today’s edition of a game I like to call What’s on your nightstand?!
First, some ground rules. 1) Family friendly. 2) If it’s not, the funnier you can make it, the more points received. 3) I made all these rules up because I suck at games. Except Super Mario. I will crush you.
This post alludes to my intellectual side. Start laughing now; you won’t stop. I enjoy long walks on the beach, snuggling up beside a toasty fire place, and hot coffee. What do all these have in common besides warmth? My sidekick: a cover-bound destination to anywhere. Clearly I’m missing the bookstores most.
All the books! What have you been reading? After several comments regarding my book shelf photo several posts back, it occured to me I can hold a type of virtual book club! I seriously need friends.
Currently there are 3 books I’m enjoying. Although I have strict opposition against reading multiple books at once, sometimes it happens. Are you telling me you never get bored? Personally I prefer series books, but I’ve read countless stand alone titles and have been thoroughly entertained.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.
I ask you –
What are you currently reading?
Tell the truth: do you judge a book by its cover? Yes. I’m known to read a book solely on the basis I was drawn to the cover art.