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.

What It Means to Blog

5 Things bloggers wish they could say

I couldn’t not laugh when I stumbled upon the above article. Couldn’t have said it better myself either! Here’s the deal: yes, I have a full time job – two if you count keeping a small child with an adult vocabulary and defiance like her mother…where was I going with this?…oh right, I keep that mini human alive; yes, I love to write so you could infer this blog is simply my hobby; yes, I ‘only’ publish a new post twice a week – but do you know what goes into these “just two” posts a week? Do you know what any of this takes?

I’m not pointing out how you may not understand. What I am doing is saying there’s more to this than type a little, insert a few photos, and wham bam a blog writer I am. Oh, a writer I certainly am!

The difference in being a blogger vs a writer is probably only a few words. Get it, get it. Perhaps being labeled a writer sounds more sophisticated whereas bloggers are a dime a dozen. Trust me when I say this isn’t true at all. From the post content to the stat analyzation to the photo taking to the all the extra publishing on other media platforms: it is work.

Now I’m sure none of my loyal readers have ever considered bloggers as opportunists; however, opportunities do come from capitalizing on various opportunities. To my understanding, this is where monetization comes into the picture. I, too, am hopeful one day I can make money from writing. So I don’t get overly upset when I have to scroll through ads or other tidbits before picking up the remainder of what I was reading. If it works for you, who am I to to say a thing? Previously, before starting my own blog, I did make money writing articles for someone else. It wasn’t much but I learned what to do/not do. Then I became my own boss!

In other words, there may be a time when these posts seem a little longer because I choose to advertise. Please excuse me while I seek out said opportunities. I’ll be over here “just” fulfilling a dream.

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I ask you –

Do you find yourself irritated to scroll a little farther down when reading a news article or other post?

What opportunities are you seeking in your personal or professional life?

Wham bam a writer I am!

On Your Left

I’m about 24 hours out from starting a new training cycle. What I mean is…forgive me for not returning your calls, texts, plans, and anything else that doesn’t include running or eating. I was speaking to a co-worker several minutes (could’ve been weeks, it all runs together; runs, get it?!) about her Spring race plans and she mentioned she still had “unfinished business” with a marathon goal. (To be clear, this woman is an ultra runner, 2000+ day streaker, and super speedy marathon finisher. We’re not even close to being in the same category!) But she’s fun to talk to and very encouraging so she gets a free pass. As I shared my triple half marathon goal, her sounds of incredulousness made me laugh. Here’s this woman who runs high double digits regularly yet thinks my 13.1 for 3 days is insane. Just means we’re all a little different. And equally crazy. Next time I’m going to tell her my life goal of completing a Ragnar. Look it up. It’s awesome!

Lone Star state beauties

There’s no getting around it. I have a shoe addiction. Running shoes specifically. There’s something about the sleek, cushioned, makes-me-feel-like-I’m-running-fast beauty of new shoes. I’m currently rotating 4 pairs. Excessive? I don’t know. Like I’ve said for years: you can’t do enough to take care of your feet. They’re all you get! No replacements available. But, if it came down to it, and I couldn’t speak for myself, YES! I want a foot transplant! Please remember this! You can take my voice; you will never take my feet! I may not be able to berate you with my tongue, but I want one last opportunity to run you down and kick you. Enough of that.

Thursday nights’ Freedom small group is going well. These are the most courageous, strong, and honest women I could ever know. How I got so lucky to lead this group is beyond me. Many times in my life I fretted about being able to be open with other people, especially women. Nothing against women, but being one myself, I know how ugly we can act. Freedom in Christ, amongst other believers, was never a part of my plan and for this I’m thankful because without Him I wouldn’t have made it this far. Life sure is funny like that. I miss my 6am group, but Thursday nights are special in their own way.

Lastly, the title of this post is the most common phrase used by every runner. A close second: where’s the bathroom? I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it’s true for me! I try to smile and wave, clear my throat unnecessarily within earshot, and do all the other things to let people know I’m about to pass them, but obliviousness tends to rub me the wrong way. So if you see me at the lake or in my neighborhood or on base running and I look grumpy, it just means I’ve said “On Your Left” one too many times.

pleased I won’t be running in this

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I ask you –

Last call: anyone willing to train with me for the Texas Triple scheduled for Memorial Day weekend?

Is kicking people as I pass them allowed?

My shoe collection reminds me of the cutest video I have of my mini, age 18 months, walking around the house yelling for her shoes to appear and she looks at the ceiling as a viable option.

Freedom + Secret Keeper

I’ve had to learn how to share. Some days are harder than others. Social media makes it nearly impossible to have a private life. So bear with me when I find it difficult to do so. Writing is the outlet I crave.

For a very long time, it felt like much of my life was a huge secret. I didn’t know any other way. Then the military paid me to keep secrets. 99 years, but who’s counting. It’s what I do. I keep secrets. And I keep them well. I don’t love it, really. The burden is so very heavy. On the bright side, I’ve perfected the nod and smile of zero confrontation. Makes conversation somewhat difficult but it’s a skill nonetheless. Have smile; will travel!

rock and a hard place

But the price I pay for holding them in? No amount exists. It’s tough. It has ruined relationships, damaged my own psyche, and changed the way I view life. The lenses aren’t clear. Having to learn the difference between shame and guilt, as an adult, was almost demoralizing. How could I not know these basic concepts? In short, I wasn’t really taught them. I was taught/learned manipulation. Taking care of myself was considered selfish yet it was the only way I knew how to live.

Not one to dwell on the past, live and learn (better ways). There’s many amends I still need to make. I’m thankful for Him who loved me through it all. But it was hell getting there. Now I know I can’t do it alone. I don’t even want to anymore! I no longer fear judgment or condemnation or the “jaw drop”. Another’s opinion of me is simply none of my business.

‘We may impress people by our strengths, but we connect with them through our vulnerabilities.’ Wish I had come up with this one on my own; alas, I am not brilliant all the time.

Most of it though!

___________________

I ask you –

How well do you keep secrets?

Are there apologies you still owe others?

On a scale of 1-10, how brilliant are you? 9.5. Have to leave some room for error!

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.

_____________________

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!

Finger Pointing

I pour a lot of me into what I write. Can you tell? There’s no recognizable path, from what I can see myself. It just comes. Rarely do I struggle with long bouts of writer’s block even if occasionally I find some of my posts are a bit on the rambling side of life. Focus, Kel!

I write about shoes, running, motherhood, the military, my family and friends, food, and anything else that strikes my fancy with hopes it can reasonate in others. Sometimes it’s completely surprising what my readers enjoy, other times I go down in flames. All this being said, a good friend shared an article with me essentially saying my joy is overbearing and drives people away. Not in so many words. Really not in any of these words.

The article took me back to a previous conversation I have shared on the blog about how I was told I didn’t have an opinion on anything and if I did then I wasn’t sharing it. Or something like that. Specifically, the article used the example (and I’m only slightly paraphrasing) ‘if you find yourself facing a terrible situation and tend to rely on the phrase “at least it isn’t” blah blah blah, then you’re guilty of this so-called toxic positivity, aka FONO, or fear of a negative outlook.’

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-14/what-is-fono-toxic-positivity-is-doing-more-harm-than-good?utm_source=url_link

Gee, thanks. I feel so much better now. Not only am I non-opinionated but now I’m too happy to experience negativity properly. Can’t win, huh? Admittedly, at first, I felt very targeted. What’s wrong with me? It took a few days, but I came to the conclusion you just can’t make everyone happy. You’re either too happy, too down, too polite, too rude, too something. Maybe I don’t like confrontation, maybe my goals are of the dream-way-too-big variety, maybe I strive for success bordering on insanity. At least I’m not a debbie downer! (No offense to anyone named Debbie.)

Even moments of success are coupled with mixed emotions. Positive thinking can only take one so far. I’m as normal as I can be – as I want to be – and self-awareness changes with time.

So if you can’t find me, I’ll be over here with all my sickening joy whilst you complain about what’s wrong. Just don’t be overly surprised when I don’t know what to say to comfort you. Most likely it will begin with “at least”….

____________________

I ask you –

Do you have joy down in your heart? Everyone sing it with me! I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!

Had you heard the term FONO before today?

Name some emotions that rhyme like this: Debbie Downer. Moody Judy.

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!

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.

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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!