Carry On

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Well, it has been a little over a month since my last post and it has been a month which carried a lot of sadness.  On April 12, 2013 the world lost a strong and loving woman, on this date my mother passed away after a period of extended illness; my world will never be the same.

In my family my mother’s nickname was The General; that alone should tell you the pivotal role she played in our lives.  For the past several years I have lived hundreds of miles from my parents and I used to joke (well sort of joke) that even though I was hundreds of miles away and in my forties my mom could still call me and tell me what to do.  Like when I was a teen I did not always listen, but I certainly paid attention.

My mother loved fiercely, for me that love and strength fueled me in so many parts of my life.  She is huge part of how I lead at work and how I have raised my children.  I feel I could write a book if I took the time to include all that she has done for me.

Since her passing I have played some of my memories of her in my head some have made me cry, some have made me smile.  Yesterday when I was getting ready for a run, one in particular came to mind and in that memory I took action to etch my mother firmly into my running.

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In early fall of last year I traveled back east and took my parents on a mini vacation to Wildwood, NJ. While there I wanted to buy a hat for running; I was still pretty new to running and had not purchased a hat or headband or anything.  Because Wildwood was such a part of my childhood and I did not get there very often anymore I wanted a Wildwood hat; little did I know this hat would mean so much more.  As it turns out I would only see my mom two more times after this vacation and that time with my parents in NJ holds some special memories for me.

Most of the winter I have been wearing a wool cap when I run and I also purchased a Bondi Band so I do not always wear this hat.  Yesterday it was raining and I definitely wanted a baseball cap, so I pulled out this hat to wear on my run.  As I was ready to put it on memories of that time with my parents came flooding back.  So I took my hat and a Sharpie and wrote a little note for my mom.  I put on my hat and took my mom with me on my run, it was the best run I have had in months.

Love and miss you Mom.

Be a Crafty Runner

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So this weekend I ran my first race since the Half in Disney, and it was my birthday, and I got Bon Jovi tickets, and yesterday (Monday) was National Napping Day (which I celebrated in style).

What more could you ask for in a weekend?  At my age not much, it was a full and fun weekend!

The race was on Saturday morning, a local 5K, and the first in a 3-race series that takes place over the next month.  A 10K on the 23rd and then a 10-mile on April 6th will complete the series.  There is a local Half two weeks after that, I am still thinking about that one, not sure I am quite ready for another Half yet.  I really did enjoy the 5K; it was a fast and flat route which made it an amazing way to start a great weekend.  I will definitely not be giving up this running thing any time soon.

My daughter, who runs with me, had a great idea; she wanted to scrapbook all of our bibs, a way to save them and something fun to do.  So after the race we cleaned up and went to the craft store.  My other daughter decided she wanted to crochet again, they did a lot of crocheting with their Grandmother when they were little and thought it would be fun to start again.  We were already going to the craft store, so why not?

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At the store we picked up cute scrapbooks, scrapbook paper, stickers, glue, etc.  Then it was time to go get the crocheting stuff.  I should state that I know nothing about crocheting and the most creative thing I have done in a decade is buy a cute sparkle skirt and put it together with a t-shirt to make a costume for the Princess race.  That being said, there was a woman in the “Crocheting Department” more than willing to help.  She showed us which needles to buy and suggested some yarn.  Total, less than $10, for that price I can try anything…or so I thought.

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We came home from the store feeling all crafty and stuff, decided that the scrapbooking would be easier so we would save that for a Friday night dinner and wine evening and dove right into the crocheting.  We Googled You Tube videos to see how to start the yarn and the first stitches.  Let’s jump right to the end of this fiasco; the middle part of the story is painful.  By the end, my daughter, the one with the idea in the first place was cursing, I gave up, and my other daughter made a blanket while we were trying to figure out the slip knot (Not really but she definitely got it).  So this Friday will be a crocheting 101 tutorial taught by my daughter, wine, and scrapbooking.

Thankfully I have a long run planned for Saturday; it will give me a chance to relax.

One more time for the Womankind

I truly believe this quote.  After finding myself almost ranting about women being oppressed at least twice in the past week, I feel the need to put this out here.  I am not a militant feminist or anything, I do not think any woman needs to be, we carry all of the power without so much as a raised hand or a voice above a whisper.

One of the things that made me think of this are the Ecards I often see on social networking sites like Facebook.  The cards with a picture of a women and it says something like – I am strong, I speak my mind, I am intelligent, etc “if that makes me a bitch so what”.  I often times find myself thinking, why does that make you a bitch?  Maybe you are just a bitch, because I am all of those things and I am not a bitch.  Ok, enough about that I have used that word too many times, on to the next item.

It is Women’s History Month

I often think of all of the women who have influenced me in my life; and the list is a long one.  Today I am going to pay tribute to as many of these women as I can, I am going to list them and a brief note on why they have influenced me or inspired me.  I am listing just first names, and hope that any who read this will know who they are.

We should all take inventory of those around us who bring good into our lives, these are the people we want to be with, or at the very least always remember.

Mary Ann – for being strong, whatever the reason or situation

Caitlin – for her courage and conviction; never has someone so stubborn been so beautiful

April – for being true to herself; every aspect of you is amazing

Jennifer W – for her butterfly like transformation to a beautiful young lady I am excited to know

Lurie – for being there at a time when I really needed her and for letting me back in after my less than graceful exit

Jennifer M – for being the most dynamic women I have ever met, for being the primary reason I decided to take my life and my health back into my control

Liz – for showing me that virtual strangers (or in this case “virtual” friends) can bring joy to your life and keep you going when you want to quit

Kelly – for being the keeper of at least one-third of my sanity, she is one of the two reasons I believe that people come into your life for a reason, there are no accidental meetings.  Without her I would not be complete

Colleen – for being the keeper of at least one-third of my sanity, she is the other of the two reasons I believe that people come into your life for a reason.  Without her I would not be complete.  I miss her every day and do not reach out to her enough

Jill – for showing me that being yourself is empowering; I like my life more because I crossed paths with her

Pam – real and refreshing and committed to doing good The Mother Teresa of New Jersey, the world needs many more of her

Shannon – she taught me so much, things I will realize in moments of clarity for years to come.  I am better for knowing her

Dawn – old friends are the best friends; and humor should never be underestimated in its ability to inspire.

Patsy – she taught me that being a friend means being a friend through thick and thin and that blood is NOT always thicker than water. Love you like a sister

Tia – I love her faith, she inspires me every day with her words and probably does not even know it

Stella – her gentle presence in my life was not as appreciated as it should have been.

There are so many more; moments that I refer to in my life randomly to make better decisions.  During Women’s History Month, and throughout the year, think about the women in your life that have a positive influence on you or have inspired you to do good.  Keep those women close at hand in your mind and in your heart.

 

My other passion and a short PSA

My blog is mostly about my journey and has focused primarily on my running, which has become part of my life and something I really enjoy and oh, by the way it is making me healthier.

Tonight I want to share a message about another passion of mine, rescue animals.  This might scare some of you off, some of you might think I am crazy and others may applaud.  Right now in my home I have 8 rescue animals…yes, eight.

Some are cats and some are dogs, but all are part of our family.  They each have their own story and their own personality, some of their personalities clash and others are very close, just like a family.

If you have never rescued an animal or had a pet I highly recommend getting one.  The unconditional love, the companionship and the fun are priceless.  Every day so many animals are abandoned, abused and unloved, rescuing is so important and the returns are innumerable.

Introducing  – Quigley – the lover, Allie – the protector, Blossom – the boss, Charlie – the gentleman, Aurora – the scaredy cat , Lucky Bob – antsy, Tiny Beast – the brat, Batman – the curious cat

Thank you for allowing me to introduce my animal family.

In case you need a run update – I am running in a 5K next weekend, training for a 10K in October and of course the Disney Princess Half in February.

180 days smoke free and 161 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

We are a strange little band of characters

This is a late post tonight and probably a short one.  Tonight I spent time with my family, some of that time was at the gym with my daughter and some of the time was chatting online.

I enjoy spending time with my family no matter how that happens, my love for them is very deep.  We are definitely a strange little band of characters all very different in our opinions, and when we have an opinion we have no problem expressing it!  I think that is one of the things I love the most, really we could go at it pretty hardily and then have dinner and laugh.

Cherish your family, they may drive you crazy, you may disagree with them, and at some point you will get mad at them, but remember your “roots remain the same”.

A short note on my gym visit, I did 30 intense minutes on the treadmill and was happy with my distance and how I felt afterwards.