The Talk / History Lesson

In current world news, on today’s newest episode of “I’m seriously not qualified for this job!”, I’ve been tasked with talking to a teenage girl about how underage drinking and smoking are very serious and should not be taken lightly. Great, just great. Not qualified, under qualified, whatever you want to say. This was not included in the parenthood guide! Well, maybe it was, but the kind doctors and nurses simply forgot to give me mine when they gave me all the other paperwork to complete post-birth. I was robbed!

simpler times

I’m not cut out for the enormous responsibility of these oh-so-important life talks. I genuinely don’t know what to say. But then I think back to working with children from unimaginable hardship. In a leadership position, I climbed my way up; somehow I did it then. Younger, more confident perhaps? Now I just sit here cringing, thinking WHY ME?! Again, I’m not qualified. No joke, Kel. My mother told us the story of her father finding out she smoked. She said her father made her smoke an entire cigar (his poison of choice) as punishment/lesson learning/complete craziness if you ask me. She said it was awful. Plot twist: it didn’t make her quit smoking though. She just learned she didn’t like the taste of cigars. Seriously not helpful, Mom. I can, with complete honesty, say I have never smoked anything. Not once. The smell of cigarettes gives me the feeling of all the oxygen being pulled from my lungs. Can’t make this up. I literally feel like I can’t breathe. And I can smell cigarette smoke from other cars if sitting in traffic. Weird, I know. Smoking may be the grossest habit anyone can have. But it is a habit and I know too many who have struggled to quit because it’s truly an addiction. As for drinking? Let’s just say – when I think back to what I used to do, I’m lucky to be alive; we’ll leave it at that.

The advice given to me was to talk about the safety aspects: cancer, juvenile record, even death. Sounds harmless, no pun intended. I feel like if I cap it off with a sentence sounding like ‘I was once your age and I did the same things, blah blah blah’ then it’s a well rounded conversation. Yet somehow this feels like a giant cop out – back to the unqualified statement. On the subject again of my misplaced parenthood book, it probably states do not include stories of your own teenage misadventures. But I imagine it doesn’t give you other available options either. Those of you in possession of this elusive book, feel free to chime in, please.

my face after ‘the talk”

There’s no winning here, is there? I suppose we just do what’s best in the moment, hope it turns out alright, and pray our children don’t end up in a mess only a miracle can fix. But there is a little voice inside me screaming ‘I’ll be damned if my child behaves this way!!’. She probably will. Face it now, Kel. My time is coming.

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I ask you –

Did you get a book?! If you did, can I borrow it?

Any weird adverse reactions to another’s addictive habits?

Tell me what I should say! P.S. this isn’t my child I’m talking to. She’s 4. Let’s not rush things.

Day in Photos, pt 204

More like “Week in Photos…” because I realized the amount of photos in my phone spans more than just a day. Let’s get started!

One person in serious condition, nine others taken to hospital after nursing home fire in Iowa Park

I’m no adrenaline junkie, but when in the right place at a terrible time, you throw on your coat, grab gloves and snow boots, and run a block to help remove nursing home residents from a burning building. It’s like bronchitis but with more coughing. Thankfully everyone is okay. I’m so blessed to have been able to help and speak with the kindest people. Ms. Joyce may never read this; however, she was inspirational in her strength and testimony of God’s power to save. Apologies on my terrible wheelchair driving abilities. She was very forgiving.

Super sledding! All the years of minimal snow really paid off. Could’ve left off the below freezing temperatures though. That vacation home at the ocean wouldn’t even have saved me this time. We got a lot of laughs moving to Texas with 3 snow boards. haHA! Who’s laughing now?!

But there have been many gems of awesomeness to exit the mouth of my baby. At day 2 of no internet connectivity, she exclaimed in true dramatic fashion “Total darkness!” I make her walk uphill, barefoot, in the snow, too.

waiting on her friends to call back

She also enjoys speaking into the 1-way handheld scanner as if the police department can hear her. If anyone is searching for her channel, she can be reached at her handle, “Kaylee Donut Lord”. I kid you not.

When I shared with mini that her dad was sick, went to get medication for himself, and ended up with a cracked windshield, she said “Why didn’t he call JG Wentworth?” so they could “give him money!” She has all the life advice you could ever need.

no survivors

Lastly, it took a few too many days for us to realize the noises originating outside were not from birds hitting the windows but instead from an explosion of soda cans. Apparently the mini fridge was not insulated. This must be how the local 7-11 makes slushies. Now you know.

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I ask you –

Is your phone overcrowded with dozens of random photos?

Need some life advice from a 4-year-old?

Happy to be back in the 50°/60° temperatures this week. Hallelujah, we made it!

Thoughts in the Morning

Some days I wake up overwhelmed with thankfulness. Granted some days I also wake up confused and exhausted. Overall, though, the early morning hours hold my best, most sincere, well thought out prayers. In the quiet moments before the world gets loud and busy, I’m able to write, think, and prepare for the day ahead. He meets me exactly where I am.

just one thought? more is better!

If negativity is a mindset, then it’s my duty to remind you this: so is joy. What a life-changing moment when I stopped (try) to remember we are all flawed humans living in an imperfect world. I ask for joy to permeate hearts rather than lambasting the flippant words of a hurt heart. My lightbulb began to flicker, then roared to full power.

Suddenly there was a change! Perhaps it was my viewpoint which also needed a tune up…when we change our own thoughts, those of others can be changed, as well.

There’s no moral to this story except to choose joy. At all times. In each moment. And especially when around others. One kind word can be the difference between speaking life or death over another. How tough is it? Immeasurably. Not for the faint of heart – or them who dislike going all in – it’s a true commitment. I am only human and fail often.

Resolve to find happiness in even the trying-est of times. Recently I attended a funeral for a man I might have met once, but was a blessing to other family members. He lived a brave life and his battle with inner ailments ultimately overpowered his body. Even though I didn’t know him personally, those that spoke of him expressed much joy for his life. To be remembered in such a way would seem to be the highest honor. The jokes they had about him, his wife…really his whole family…wow!

And because every serious post here must be accompanied by some humor as only I can achieve…I kept my lips locked tight before, during, and after the service so as not to endear myself to proverbial strangers as ‘that girl who said the wrong thing.’ Like I did the other day when my Mom told me “I got your PaPa back.” (If you’ll recall my grandfather passed on Election Day, fitting as it was.) My mother calmly reminded me my grandfather’s wishes to be cremated. But I still didn’t understand what she was saying. As the pause stretched on, she eventually answered my silent question; he returned to her in a small box. Now, he resides on a shelf. And still something about this strikes me as funny. PaPa is on a shelf. He was a small, elfin-stature of a man. Perfect, just perfect.

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I ask you –

Is there a mantra that carries you from day to day?

More often than not, do you wake up confused or thankful?

Elf of the Shelf reference notwithstanding, I’m sure my PaPa thought I was his funniest grandchild!

Dreamer + Sickness

In a sickness-induced haze, I dreamt the following post:

1. I’d love to create a bookstore/winery. Imagine this – floor to ceiling dark, wooden bookshelves with a vast winery stretching into the distance. Each room surrounded with oversized comfy chairs and a fireplace in each corner. You heard it here first.

2. I also want to own a bakery. Sugar is my first love. From the very first time I realized the magic that happens when you cream butter and sugar together, I knew I was destined to be a baker. I say again – who eats cookies and cries? There was that one time, but it was due to extenuating circumstances. I’ll name each sugar-laden delectable a long, gloriously ridiculous name like “marshmallow magic butterflies covered in unicorn glitter”. P.S. I hate glitter and marshmallows.

3. Combine the two previous ideas with a running store and coffee shop. Of course the name of my blog could serve this idea well. Because after imbibing in wine, coffee, cookies, and remaining sedentary for hours, you’re going to need a new pair of shoes!

Currently I’m accepting cash and PayPal payments to go towards the necessary functions of becoming a business owner of which I have little experience in doing, but I can learn!

my co-owner and I

Also, in case you were concerned, my husband may or may not have tried to get rid of me by killing me with his cooking. Jokes on him. We both ended up with what I presume to be food poisoning so either he really didn’t intend to also hurt himself or he screwed up the plates. haHA I live to make his life hard another day!

But seriously. Food poisoning sucks. And it wasn’t his cooking. I’d almost take gastro onboard a floating chunk of steel than ever do this again. Almost.

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I ask you –

Which of the 3 options above is most likely to succeed?

Have you ever had food poisoning? Or gastro?

Just let me know if you’re willing to donate!

When the Sun Goes Down –

artistic effects unintentional

It was the end of a long, tough day. From discussion earlier, I had stated I was going home to eat cookie dough with the intention of it making me feel better, to heal my sad heart. The other person said they were going to drink beer. To each his own. As I scooped out bites of cookie dough – sugar free – the tears came. The grief that was building poured from me. My final thought? Great. Now I’m still sad, even full of cookie dough.

Which reminds me of when I was pregnant with my mini. One night I sat on the couch eating my favorite chocolate chip cookies. And I began to cry. Then I cried more, without any reason at all because hormones are hell, and my thought was this: Who cries while eating cookies?! Only a pregnant woman.

Before I forget, prior to the cookie-dough-and-crying fest, I developed what I now know as “amazonesia”. It’s a thing. Minus the part about Amazon and the part about amnesia, I went grief shopping. Add to cart…oh look, it’s pink, add to cart. Retail therapy is the other moniker.

clearly I needed more shoes

And, if you’re reading this, then I have survived the run streak. Hmmmm. There is a schedule button, so perhaps not. They say it takes roughly 21 days to develop a habit. At day 25, the constant daily running began to become painful. But since the habit was there and the finish line so close I continued to run despite some questionable MCL/ACL bruising. If you recall, I took several weeks off when training for a December half marathon so hopefully there isn’t a pattern emerging. (Full disclaimer: I wrote the above lines prior to completing the run streak because I full well intended to complete it. Alas, my body had other plans and Day 27 was officially my final day of streaking. Huge thanks to the poisoning o’food I received. Too bad it wasn’t February already because then I would have only been short a day. Life goes on.) And if anything good was to come of hours upon hours of living inside my bathroom, I did write an incredibly funny blog post; stand by.

One month to recuperate then it’s time to begin training again. Unless I’ve already decided to start running again by the time you read this. That’s always possible, too.

______________________

I ask you –

What are your grieving habits?

Have you heard of Amazonesia?

Share a time something good came of something horrible.

Collection of Phone Photos

action shots are my favorite

Interestingly enough, my mini now prefaces all the photos she takes with a huge, dramatic sigh and the words “Are you going to put this on the blog?” Ummmm yeah, of course I am.

me need stool, me is short

And if you ever wondered – fairly sure you haven’t because WHY would you – if PMS had a truly physical characteristic, like something you could really see on the outside, it’s this. I was craving pizza so bad, I had my husband drive me to the grocery store. In my pajamas! In my robe and slippers, if it’s not clear enough. This. This is what I’ve come to.

smiling because I’m getting pizza

Lastly, I was eating pizza for breakfast one morning. Could have probably omitted that admission from this story. Suddenly a memory came back of mini putting a too hot piece of pizza in her mouth. Instead of spitting the piece out or doing any of the easiest options, she requests I blow into her mouth. I’d like to say I didn’t, I’d like to tell you all I laughed at this ridiculousness, I’d like to say lots of things here besides what actually happened. I blew air into her mouth. Because I have zero sense and would do literally anything to ensure she doesn’t needlessly suffer.

True, unfailing love is mostly without boundaries. All this work for naught.

___________________

I ask you –

Do you keep a stool in your kitchen?

Have you ever wondered what PMS looks like? Wonder no more!

Share a crazy story of love for your child(ren)!

Lane of Laughs and Memories

I’ve tasked myself with re-posting some of the previous almost 2 years’ best posts. Best is in my opinion, of course. I should really get started on this soon.

early shot

You know what is easy? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. When it’s easy, I get suspicious. So putting this together is bound to be fraught with bumps and bruises. My adviser – whom would most definitely crack up if she heard I’m calling her this – said I’d put so much work into myself the past year, then asked what else should we address this year? At the time I had no retort. I’ve got it! Let’s go back to all that old sh*t and rehash it. No, not that stuff, the other stuff. Growth happens when we’re willing to face it head on. Or, in my case, run from it long enough to crash spectacularly then give in.

(This goal brought to you by social media.) Wouldn’t you know the very first person recommended to “be my friend” was my ex-husband? Wonderful but I’ll pass. A very good friend emailed me about avoiding the drama and crazies – so sorry, Dan, it was crazy right out of the gate. Good thing those expectations were low. And if you didn’t know I was married before, well now you do. Maybe I’ll tell you the story one day. I should probably ask permission first. Wait one.

It’s been fun seeing people I grew up with, went to college with, stalking my best friends I met in the Navy, judging people’s terrible grammar…you know, the usual things I do. Shouldn’t have admitted that, Kel. To be fair, surely others are doing the same to me. Not the grammar part though. Too, two, to. Opening up to strangers the opportunity to pass their own two cents is terrifying yet comical because I promise my ability to find out anything on anyone is unrivaled. Trust me. Don’t test me. I’m trying very hard not to resort to some old ways and I don’t have time for a prison stint.

________________

I ask you –

Do you know the difference between too, to, and two?

Share a favorite song!

Tell me something about you others wouldn’t easily guess!

Re-Introduction + Updates

Run streaking is going very well. I’m only a little surprised. What is very apparent to me is the amount of excuses I can make to not complete some of the prescribed runs during a training cycle. Yet I’ve managed to run every. single. day for this goal. Sometimes it’s only a mile, sometimes it’s three; but I do it. Granted the mileage isn’t high – no long runs, for sure. This is a proverbial marathon, not a sprint. Only maybe yesterday did I even consider I might want to continue the run streak through February. What else do you have to do?

have coffee bar, will travel

If you’re new to the blog, we have a bit of a co-parenting style with my sweet mini me. Every other month she takes off to Tennessee to live with her dad. The amount of ‘missing’ her I feel has no words; however, we do what’s best for her and she’s had this type of life since she was born. Is there an award for most traveled under the age of 5? When she’s off on another month long adventure, my schedule looks like this: get the whole bed to myself (almost), cram literally everything I can into one month to make the time pass by quickly, and plan all the things I want to do with her for when she returns next month. Never said I was exciting.

HI! My name is Kelly and I can’t focus. Only when required. There tends to be many moving parts in my life; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Where’s the fun in one iron in the fire (or however it goes)? Fires may not last long so pile on the irons, is my motto. Never before have I said that so just work with me here. Please remember many of my blog posts, ahem, all of them, are typically written weeks in advance so you may be reading this up to a month after. This protects mine and my family’s privacy and allows ample time for me to overthink what I’ve said in a moment of clarity. Take nothing at face value; I mean no offense to anyone. All this being said, I paid for, designed, developed, and wrote this blog for my own use so I reserve the right to say what I want and in whatever humor I see fit. If you’re disappointed, join the club!

I love what I do. The sphere of influence I have is nothing next to His. My hope is to bless others in the same way I have been so very blessed. I’m not only a blogger; I’m a writer, a storyteller, a coffee-drinker, a joke teller. My jokes are particularly awful if I’m being very honest – which I’m not. My jokes are great!

The “I ask you” section below and located at the end of nearly every single one of my posts is not rhetorical unless stated otherwise. Please leave comments, questions, words of encouragement, whatever is on your heart when you read these posts. The back and forth of a friendship is my vision for Running on Fumes.

________________________

I ask you –

Do you have a coffee bar? Which is better: making your own or purchasing from whomever makes the best for you?

How many irons in the fire do you normally juggle?

Please share a vision you have for your life!

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Looking Forward

What’s next in 2021? I steer clear of the word resolutions because it gives me anxiety. Goals is the preferred noun.

the one that started it all

My planner states “find 3 races”. I used find instead of run because what if we’re at the same impasse in 2021 that we were in before. Can’t even imagine.

Soooooooooooo istartedlookingatdoctoralprograms. I have to write it fast because I’m a little in shock myself. Before my mini was born, I made a silent promise I would fulfill my own dreams while ensuring she could have a strong future, too. It’s hard to quantify the importance of our young people seeing their parents/family members/peers succeed. Granted a doctorate isn’t a single year goal, but the planning phase has commenced. I’m narrowing down schools, examining financial requirements, and viewing time tables. Oh boy.

best be bigger than this!

For one, I can’t believe she’ll be 5 this year. Secondly, let’s rearrange our whole lives for me to get (another) advanced degree because I’m a career college student. Lastly, wait… she’s going to be 5?! But she was just born yesterday!

at 7 months old

I’d also like to complete my book. Yes, really, this time. Even with so much time on my hands last year – you, too, right? – it got pushed to the back burner. Not by design but by priority. I think I needed to focus on a lot of other things, like recovering from an unexpected car crash and making a significant job change, in order to appreciate where this book has taken me. Rightfully so, a publisher may also state I have to break it into two books. Humble brag hahaha That sounds like such a terrible problem to have; however, it would mean quite a bit of re-write on my part. This is a ton to think about.

Of course my plans change about as fast as the weather in Texas so we’ll see what happens next. And if 2021 is half as crazy as the previous year, there’s really zero telling. Stand back everyone!

___________________

I ask you –

Do you prefer “goals” or “resolutions”?

Care to share one of yours?

Anyone want to guess how much a doctorate costs these days? How does gofund me work anyway?!