Sing it, Johnny!

Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

You guys. Don’t tell my husband but… I am listening to Christmas music. I know. I know. Its early. Thanksgiving is 2.5 weeks away. I am usually “allowed” to start breaking out my Frank Sinatra Christmas CD the evening that we are decorating the Christmas tree.  Now, I am a sucker for some traditions, so ole blue eyes will remain in the dusty CD storage until the Coleman Christmas tree enters. For now, I am using Pandora ( which still blows my mind that you can get free amazing music).

Before you know it, I will be losing my ever loving mind trying to clean and get ready for us to have Thanksgiving.  We took on this tradition a few years ago and I do love it! Husband is a bad ass cook and I love to bake ( and drink wine!).  Usually I head downtown to do the 5 mile Turkey Trot but this year I may just run with some of my favorite running buddies local.  This is also the time that GG ( my grandma but the kids call her GG for Great Grandma) comes up and then stays with us during the winter months! We also started a family tradition of playing Apples to Apples were one of my BFFs ( S) comes over after her family dinner to have just ” a little bit” of wine and some laughs! Its usually a long fun night ending in more wine by the fireplace.

What I don’t love is what happens the day after. Now, I am not referrering to Black Friday where people much braver and motived than me ( and maybe a tad crazier) go stand in line for hours upon hours to get a pair of pajama pants for $5.  What I am taking about is the text, phone calls and emails from the family asking what my darling little angels would like this year for Christmas. I am forced to copy and paste some bullshit that I find on toyrus. com just to make the texts and emails stop. As I am giving them these ideas, my mind is focused on the fact that this is just more stuff. More mind numbing toys that my kids will like for maybe 5 minutes and then they will be off doing what they love most- asking me for snacks and refining the definition of fight club for our home with  the “hockey stick” addition sprinked in with “hula hoops can also be used as a weapon”.

Here’s the thing… I LOVE the family ( welp. most of them.) and they are all so very generous when it comes to Christmas and the kids but we do not need more stuff. In fact, I am in a scurry just to try to declutter the house now before GG arrives and before the holidays. This includes all toys, clothes, books, etc.

What I want my kids to have our memories and experiences. Come and take Madeline out to a play and lunch. Grant is obsessed with trains. Take him somewhere we would never take him to have an adventure. Don’t want to spend 1-1 time… then gift cards to movies, the aquarium, Disney on Ice ( shoot me, now) , an Indians game next spring, or a day pass to go tobogganing. Money towards monthly gymnastics fees or swim lessons. Let’s think outside the box, here. Teach my children something I can’t.  Can you sew?  Great. Teach my daughter. Master Lego builder?  Awesome. I will drop Grant off for 2 hours with snacks.  In fact, I want to do the “4 things for Christmas” for the kids ( want, need, wear and read) along with a few fun stocking stuffers.

And while I am at- I am done this year. Done. Done with doing brunches and dinners and breakfasts just so we can cross it ( as well as so you can cross us) off the “Holiday To Do” lists. Everyone can feel how forced, awkward and awful it is. No one wants to be there. Everyone is counting down the minutes until its over. Why?  Why are we doing this year after year after year?  I want to spend this time with my darling friends. I want to have a Christmas Holiday pajama party with hot cocoa, yummy food and fun holiday movies with my kiddos and some friends. I want to use this time to reconnect with friends that I have lost touch with over marathon training and “momming”. I want to sit by the Christmas tree with husband drinking an amazing red while Frank belts out all of my favorite songs. I want to bake cookies with my MIL, SIL and daughter.

Its time to Coleman this Christmas.  I encourage you to do the same.  Hate mailing out Christmas cards? Stop. Got to travel all day long for Christmas just to be in the car more than someones house? Stop. Buying pointless gifts for someone just because that is how it is always been done? Stop.

What if this is your last Christmas?  Your last holiday season with those that you love. Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

Blossoming

I have made the decision to cut the cancer out of my body.  To stop watering the flower that will never bloom regardless of the amount of sun, water or soil.  The door needs to be shut and locked.  It may remain shut forever or not.  For now, it needs to be shut.  And stay shut.  No more opening just a little bit and peeking inside. No more pulling it all the way open in hopes of seeing something different on the other side of the door. My heart knows what’s on the other side (or what’s not).

To mourn a relationship with your parents while they are still alive but dead is a tough feat. To continue hoping, praying and begging for love from them is harder.

God wanted me in this world and they are the mechanism that brought me here.  They didn’t want to be parents.  They still don’t want too.  And thats ok.  Coming to face with the reality of this is making me accept, forgive and even love them for who they truly are, not for the ghost of what I longed for them to be.

Looking back, I have always been an orphan of sorts. I had to be an adult many times when I should have been a child.  I have had to be the parent when I was just a daughter. Joy, happiness and love were replaced by fear, rejection and doubt. I may have not had a childhood but I am choosing to have an adulthood.

While I can not undo, redo or take back … I can move on.  The time is now.  Now I will move on, leaving behind a relationship that is no longer serving my highest good.  I will be brave with my head held high knowing that I no longer will need to live in a state of wondering what can I do to be loved, accepted and good enough. I am loved, accepted and good enough.

Sometimes flowers don’t bloom and we don’t know why. Even after more water, new soil and a different place to grow.  Instead of focusing all of my energy on the one flower that is not growing, I am now choosing to nurture all of the other beautiful flowers around it.  And the most beautiful flower of all- myself. spent-flower-bloom

 

Running on Empty

Yesterday afternoon, I busted out 10 miles. Truth be told, I had anxiety the entire week about this run.  While laying in bed yesterday morning, I had come up with at least 14 excuses to not run the 10 miles.  “Oh. Its SO cold out ( it was 30 degrees). My throat hurts.  I have enough time in my training so I can skip 1 long run. I can do my run Monday morning at 5am before anyone gets up”. Husband just let me say my excuses and he listened to me play this out loud.  Finally, I told him the truth.  I was scared of 10 miles.  Something about 10.  Being out of the single digits. More time on my feet.  “What if I forget how to run?  What I get cold, hungry, thirsty or tired?  What if I get kidnapped? What if I get hit by a falling tree?  The “What Ifs” in my mind were none stop.

Husband headed downstairs to fix fancy breakfast potatoes ( so very good!) and I had more time to really face my anxiety head on. Anxiety was fear. Fear of failing.  Not being good enough. The self imposed expectations that I had placed on myself were showing their ugly faces (again.) I started to do some soul searching about my relationship with running.  Is this healthy if it is causing me such a level of anxiety?  Running is such a part of who I am ( soul level speak here) that just like I can not imagine my life without husband, I can’t imagine my life without running.

Yesterday , I committed to myself to not live in fear of the “what if”.  Sure, some things are scary because they are new or uncharted territories but you don’t know, until you know.  Not to mention, I did sign myself up for the Chicago Marathon lottery. 10 miles has nothing on 26.2 miles! My current training is to hit sub2 at the half marathon I am running on April 24th.

A gal from my running group agreed to meet me for the run yesterday.  She was only supposed to run 6 but after I told her I had 10 to tackle, she said ” Ah. Whats 4 more!” The run was awesome. Amazing. Goal pace was 9:30. We crushed it.

This weeks intention before running… empty my negative thoughts, fears and doubts.  Right foot.Left foot. Repeat. 10miler

 

Written in Ink

I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page.

The picture posted is my daughter, M (6), running last week at a local reservation we love to go too.  It was 60 degrees in Ohio in February. The day sounded and felt like Spring. This reservation has something called Storybook Trail.  Our library puts a children’s book one page at a time along a path on a wooden covered post to encourage reading while being active.  The book is usually 15 pages long.  M and I look forward to this very much. The books are changed out the first of the month.  (Have I mentioned how grateful I am for our community and library?  They are always coming up with new ideas to keep the kiddos engaged in reading.)

M was running ahead and I said to her ” Hey you!!!  Why are you running away from me!??!” M’s response ” I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page”.  Wow.  That simple phrase made me stop, take out my phone to capture this moment.  That’s it.  Right there.  What M said.  Running towards the next page.

Being a runner, I love to run TO something. I often run to the lake. The treadmill feels like someone is locking me up in a small room with no windows.  To be running and going nowhere is an awful feeling for me.  I will brave almost all elements just to avoid the dreadmill.  I know this about myself so why do I continue to ” lock myself in a small room with no windows” about things in my past that I need to move on from?  Why can’t I just run towards the next page? I have already read that page ( time and time and time again).  The words never change.  The image is imprinted. Its part of my story.

I am living “running and going nowhere” when I obsessively dwell on events that occurred years ago. No matter how many times I hash it out- think it through- make up different or happier endings, the page will not change. It is set in ink.

And it’s just as it should be.  My story is being written with times of sorrow, depression, anger, hate, and innocence.  Just as well, my story includes joy, humor, love, happiness and hope.

I will run to the next page with the same excitement, adventure and enthusiasm as M did last Wednesday. Now… if I could just find a pair on pink glittery cowgirl boots in my size….

mads

Ok Universe. I will listen.

That silent voice that keeps getting louder… maybe it is time to listen.

This week has been filled with a repetitive message that the universe is trying to teach me (as well as some of my dearest friends and family)… When to let go.  Often, we hold on to expectations, beliefs, situations and even people, when deep down the voice inside of us is screaming “NO. GO”. Is it fear of giving up on someone or something?  Is it that this person or expectation defines who we are?  Is it that we feel obligated? Are we “what if’ing” ourselves into the possibility of a better future?

I have not ran since last Friday  This left leg thing is really stubborn and hurts like a mother.  I am supposed to be training for a half marathon in April.  Sunday, husband and I attempted to run a few miles ( and for the record, husband only runs with me maybe 1-2 a year with much, much persistence).  The pain was intense.  I had to stop. I had to let go of the fact that running was not going to happen. I was in pain and upset because all I wanted to do is enjoy a nice sunny Sunday run with my soul man. In fact, I was having such a hard time letting go, I attempted to run 2 more times even when the tears were washing my cheeks.  It was time to face reality. My body was screaming NOOO and I was responding back GOOOO. I know that I will heal and will be hitting the streets very soon. I had to let go of that run and my expectations.

The Uncle situation is a hot mess. After multiple phone calls and attempts to try to help him to help himself, I finally needed to let go of this.  I can not want to live his life more than he does.  The love and support is here but Uncle doesn’t want it.

Morning routines need to be followed in order for M to successfully get out the door fed, read, brushed and trussed in time for the bus.  Letting this idea go has made me a less insane mommy in the mornings.  Worse case scenario…if we are running behind… I take her to school( a mere 7 minute car ride). Best case scenario… no tears or screaming from anyone in the wee hours of the morning.

A hard area for me, that I am always trying to let go or balance ( damn Libra’s), is cleaning the house.  It needs to be done but I don’t want it to take away time from the kiddos or from my “me” time.  I am working on the fact that the house does not need to be this or that. Growing up, cleaning or having a clean room, was the only way that I was shown love.  To me, clean = worthy of love or that I was not a good child because of this “mess”.  Saturday mornings were spent trying to make the house spotless while at the same time praying that this would be the day that I did enough or that the house was clean enough, so I would be loved by my parents.  This day never came. And I know it never will.

let go

 

 

 

Lets talk about Gin

How Gin made me realize the changes that are occurring.

I am hands down a vodka girl.  Love it many of ways but prefer vodka “chilled. up. little bit dirty with 3 blue cheese stuffed olives, please”.  Any of my friends that have been with me when I order this lovely “just a little but dirty” martini looks at me quizzical. I know what I like when it comes to drinks, chocolate, and friendships.  My standards are high and if the night is a good one, all the above happen together.

Last night, I was honored to host book club.  We read “Girl on the Train” and one of my best gal pals (K) recommended having Gin and Tonics as the main character drinks a shit ton of these on a train, out of a can ( god love the British). With this being my first time hosting book club, I wanted to make a good first impression.  I went to my local grocery store at 10am and hit up the liquor store.  Along with the gin and tonic, I also purchased 3 bottles of wine, milk and goldfish crackers. The mid-sixities check out lady was a little taken aback but I think the goldfish crackers made her feel a bit at ease.

This is the first time I have ever had gin.  I like it.  I like it a lot.  The lime+gin combo is pretty impressive.  In fact, I am sipping on one at this very moment.  Gin for me is another drink option but it also made me realize that other tastes in my life have changed as well.  This coming from the girl who never had salsa until college ( I know, right!?!!).  Sushi scared the crap out of me until I tried it in Mexico on our honeymoon ( Again. I know, right!  Sushi and Mexico?  Wat. )  Now I crave it.  My husband is obsessed with hot sauce, hot peppers and anything spicy. After being with him for almost 15 years, I now have developed a taste for the hot sauce.  Franks used to be too hot for me.  Sriracha now keeps appearing on more and more of my foods

Now that I am mid-thirties, my tastes have changed when it comes to what I need from my relationships as well as what I need from myself. I have been beyond blessed with a handful or less amazing friends. Before, I wanted numbers.  I wanted to feel popular and well liked. Pretty. And smart.  I needed a lot of people around me to fill in the holes of my insecurities.  A few of these gals (K and S) have been only in my life for the past 3-4 years but honestly, it feels like we have been friends beyond this lifetime.  These gals are my mommy friends. I met them through a random picked playgroup when M was 2.5.  Thank god for that playgroup.  They have seen me at the highest and the very lowest points of my life, to date.  My other BFF (C) was given to me in college.  We met through a mutual friend of ours, a total hussy, leaving us at the bar to go home with randoms.  C wasn’t going to leave me by myself.  We bonded over said hussies never ending crisis filled life. C lives on the East Side and I only get to see her every other month or so but we connect every. single. day.  In fact, C just got back from a family trip and I about lost my mind.  Not to have communication with her was tough.  C is rock solid.  And bluntly honest. I love both and need both of these qualities in my ROD (ride or die) chicks. C,K,and S can look at me or hear the tone of my voice (or text) and call bullshit if I am pulling ” I am fine” while the tears are pouring down my cheeks or the rage is exploding out of my ears.  They get ME.  Let me be ME.  They call me out of my hippy side but love it at the same time.  They know when I am uncomfortable at another mommy event and stick by my side.  They text me to remind me to get my run in, eat healthy or take sometime for myself.  They listened to me complain for 9 lonnnnggggg months straight as this last pregnancy was my nemesis.   We text/ email with good news, bad news, shitty news, happy news or even no news.  We send each other funny articles off of scary mommy or huff post.  They are sometimes the silver lining on what seems like the rain cloud that will not go the eff away.  Without them, I would be lost.  I would feel empty.  I would be incomplete.

What I now need from myself is ever changing but this is also new for me.  I used to be very uncomfortable to the limbo position. Being a Libra, my daily goal is to feel balanced.  I am a very black/white girl.  I am either 100% into being healthy ( running, yoga, vegan, water, mediate, sleep, read, sex) or- not. What I need from myself ( at this moment) is embracing the imbalance. Being in the moment with G as he wants me to play choo-choo instead of putting him off for one last flip of the laundry or loading the dishwasher.  Its reading that one more story to M at night.  What I need now from myself is playing scrabble with GG or listening to her favorite teenage story just one more time.  Its staying awake to see my husband after work just to check in with him and see in his eyes if he is really doing “Ok”. What I need is to say yes to the things that make me feel excited and no to the events that I am just ehh about.  What I need is to give myself grace.  patience.  kindness-if the day spirals out of control.   What I need is to love myself.  Fully.  Deeply and unquestionable.

And if this doesn’t pan out, I still have gin and C, K and S.